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(Puris omnia pura) 

Arab Proverb. 

Niuna corrotta mcnte intese mai sanamente parole." 

"Decameron " conclntio*. 

"Erubuit, posuitque meum Lucretia librum 

Sed coram Bruto. Brute 1 recede, leget. 

" Mieulx est de ris que de larmes escripre, 

Pour ce que rire est le propre des homines. " 


"The pleasure we derive from perusing the Thousand-and-One 
Stones makes us regret that we possess only a comparatively small 
part of these tatty eoeh&nting fictions." 

CWCWTON'S "^Mrfory <y-^o6i. 










Shammar Edition 

Limited to one thousand numbered sets, 
of which this is 



HAY 12 197? 














OTBAH AND RAYYA . . . . ...'.., . 91 







(Lane, Vol. I. page 22$*) 


(Lane, Vol. I. $2iJ 



(Lane, Another Anecdote of Two Lovers, III. 252 J 


viii Contents. 



(Lane omits.) 


(Lane omits.) 


(Lane omits.) 



(Lane, III. 255, The Story ofjultanar of the Sea .) 

(Lane, III. 373, Notes to Chapt. xxiv.) 


(Latu, III. 308, The Story of Self El- Mu look and Badeea El-Jamal, with the Intro- 
duction transferred to a note t p. 372. J 

The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night. 

Nofo fo&en ft foas tfje &i'x l^unteto an* 

SHAHRAZAD continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, 
that Sa'adan having broken into the palace of King Jamak and 
pounded to pieces those therein, the survivors cried out, " Quarter ! 
Quarter ! " ; and Sa'adan said to them, " Pinion your King ! " So 
they bound Jamak and took him up, and Sa'adan drove them 
before him like sheep and brought them to Gharib's presence, after 
the most part of the citizens had perished by the enemy's swords. 
When the King of Babel came to himself, he found himself bound 
and heard Sa'adan say, " I will sup to-night off this King Jamak :" 
whereupon he turned to Gharib and cried to him, " I throw myself 
on thy mercy." Replied Gharib, " Become a Moslem, and thou 
shalt be safe from the Ghul and from the vengeance of the Living 
One who ceaseth not// So Jamak professed Al-Islam with heart 
and tongue and Gharib bade loose his bonds. Then he expounded 
The Faith to his people and they all became True Believers ; after 
which Jamak returned to the city and despatched thence provaunt 
and henchmen to Gharib; and wine to the camp before Babel 
where they passed the night. On the morrow, Gharib gave the 
signal for the march and they fared on till they came to Mayyd- 
farikin, 1 which they found empty, for its people had heard what 
had befallen Babel and had fled to Cufa-city and told Ajib. 
When he heard the news, his Doom-day appeared to him and he 
assembled his braves and informing them of the enemy's approach 
ordered them make ready to do battle with his brother's host ; 
after which he numbered them and found them thirty thousand 
horse and ten thousand foot. 2 So, needing more, he levied other 
fifty thousand men, cavalry and infantry, and taking horse amid a 
mighty host, rode forwards, till he came upon his brother's army 
encamped before Mosul and pitched his tents in face of their lines. 
Then Gharib wrote a writ and said to his officers. " Which of you 
will carry this letter to Ajib ? " Whereupon Sahim sprang to his 
feet and cried, " O King of the Age, I will bear thy missive and 
bring thee back an answer." So Gharib gave him the epistle and 

1 Mayyafarikin, whose adjective for shortness is "Fariki": the place is often men- 
tioned in the Nights as the then capital of Diyar Bakr, thirty parasangs from Na~sibin, 
the classical Nisibis, between the upper Euphrates and Tigris'. 

2 This proportion is singular to moderns but characterised Arab and more especially 
Turcoman armies. 


A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

he repaired to the pavilion of Ajib who, when informed of his 
coming, said, " Admit him ! " and when he stood in the presence 
asked him, " Whence comest thou ?" Answered Sahim, " From the 
King of the Arabs and the Persians, son-in-law of Chosroe, King 
of the world, who sendeth thee a writ ; so do thou return him a 
reply." Quoth Ajib, " Give me the letter ;" accordingly Sahim 
gave it to him and he tore it open and found therein : " In the 
name of Allah the Compassionating, the Compassionate ! Peace 
on Abraham the Friend await ! But afterwards. As soon as this 
letter shall come to thy hand, do thou confess the Unity of the 
Bountiful King, Causer of causes and Mover of the clouds j 1 and 
leave worshipping idols. An thou do this thing, thou art my 
brother and ruler over us and I will pardon thee the deaths of my 
father and mother, nor will I reproach thee with what thou hast 
done. But an thou obey not my bidding, behold, I will hasten to 
thee and cut off thy head and lay waste thy dominions. Verily, I 
give thee good counsel, and the Peace be on those who pace the 
path of salvation and obey the Most High King ! " When Ajib 
read these words and knew the threat they contained, his eyes 
sank into the crown of his head and he gnashed his teeth and flew 
into a furious rage. Then he tore the letter in pieces and threw it 
away, which vexed Sahim and he cried out upon Ajib, saying, 
" Allah wither thy hand for the deed thou hast done ! " With this 
Ajib cried out to his men, saying, " Seize yonder hound and hew 
him in pieces with your hangers." 2 So they ran at Sahim ; but he 

1 Such is the bathos caused by the Saja* -assonance : in the music of the Arabic it 
contrasts strangely with the baldness of translation. The same is the case with the 
Koran, beautiful in the original and miserably dull in European languages ; it is like the 
glorious style of the " Anglican Version " by the side of its bastard brothers in Hindo^ 
stani or Marathi ; one of these marvels of stupidity translating the " Lamb of God " by 
" God's little goat." 

2 This incident is taken from the Life of Mohammed who, in the " Year of Missions " 
(A.H. 7) sent letters to foreign potentates bidding them embrace Al-Islam ; and, his 
seal being in three lines, Mohammed | Apostle | of Allah, Khusrau Parwi'z ( = the 
Charming) was offended because his name was placed below Mohammed's. So he tore 
the letter in pieces adding, says Firdausi, these words : 

Hath the Arab's daring performed such feat, 

Fed on camel's milk and the lizard's meat, 

That he cast on Kayanian crown his eye ? 

Fie, O whirling world ! on thy faith and fie ! 

Hearing of this insult Mohammed exclaimed, " Allah shall tear his kingdom ! " a 
prophecy which was of course fulfilled, or we should not have heard of it. These lines 
are horribly multilated in the Dabistan iii. 99. 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 3 

bared blade and fell upon them and slew of them more than fifty 
braves ; after which he cut his way out, though bathed in blood, and 
won back to Gharib, who said, " What is this case, O Sahim ? " 
And he told him what had passed, whereat he grew livid for rage 
and crying " Allaho Akbar God is most great !" bade the battle- 
drums beat. So the fighting-men donned their hauberks and 
coats of straitwoven mail and baldrick'd themselves with their 
swords ; the footmen drew out in battle-array, whilst the horsemen 
mounted their prancing horses and dancing camels and levelled 
their long lances, and the champions rushed into the field. Ajib 
and his men also took horse and host charged down upon host. 
- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say 
her permitted say. 

Nofo tofjm it toas t|)e S>(x f^utrtrcrtr anfc 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Gharib and his merry men took horse, Ajib and his troops also 
mounted and host charged down upon host. Then ruled the Kazi 
of Battle, in whose ordinance is no wrong, for a seal is on his lips 
and he speaketh not ; and the blood railed in rills and purfled 
earth with curious embroidery ; heads grew gray and hotter waxed 
battle and fiercer. Feet slipped and stood firm the valiant and 
pushed forwards, whilst turned the faint-heart and fled, nor did 
they leave fighting till the day darkened and the night starkened. 
Then clashed the cymbals of retreat and the two hosts drew apart 
each from other, and returned to their tents, where they nighted. 
Next morning, as soon as it was day, the cymbals beat to battle 
and derring-do, and the warriors donned their harness of fight and 
baldrick'd l their blades the brightest bright and with the brown 
lance bedight mounted doughty steed every knight and cried out, 
saying, " This day no flight ! " And the two hosts drew out in 
battle array, like the surging sea The first to open the chapter 2 of 

1 This " Taklfd " must not be translated " girt on the sword." The Arab carries hia 
weapon by a baldrick or bandoleer passed over his right shoulder. In modern days the 
" Majdal" over the left shoulder supports on the right hip a line of Tatarif or brass 
cylinders for cartridges : the other cross-belt (Al-Masdar) bears on the left side . the 
Kharizah or bullet-pouch of hide ; and the Hizam or waist-belt holds the dagger and 
extra cartridges. (Pilgrimage iii. 90.) 

2 Arab. " Bab," which may tnean door or gate. The plural form (Abwab) occurs m 
the next line, meaning that he displayed all manner of martial prowess. 

Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

war was Sahim, who drave his destrier between the two lines and 
played with swords and spears and turned over all the Capitula of 
combat till men of choicest wits were confounded. Then he cried 
out, saying, " Who is for fighting ? Who is for jousting ? Let no 
sluggard come out or weakling!" Whereupon there rushed at 
him a horseman of the Kafirs, as he were a flame of fire ; but 
Sahim let him not stand long before him ere he overthrew him 
with a thrust. Then a second came forth and he slew him also, 
and a third and he tare him in twain, and a fourth and he did him 
to death ; nor did they cease sallying out to him and he left not 
slaying them, till it was noon, by which time he had laid low two 
hundred braves. Then Ajib cried to his men, " Charge once 
more," and sturdy host on sturdy host down bone and great was 
the clash of arms and battle-roar. The shining swords out rang ; 
the blood in streams ran and footman rushed upon footman ; 
Death showed in van and horse-hoof was shcdden with skull of 
man ; nor did they cease from sore smiting till waned the day 
and the night came on in black array, when they drew apart 
and, returning to their tents, passed the night there. As soon 
as morning morrowed the two hosts mounted and sought the 
field of fight ; and the Moslems looked for Gharib to back steed 
and ride under the standards as was his wont, but he came not. 
So Sahim sent to his brother's pavilion a slave who, finding him 
not, asked the tent-pitchers, 1 but they answered, "We know 
naught of him." Whereat he was greatly concerned and went 
forth and told the troops, who refrained from battle, saying, " An 
Gharib be absent, his foe will destroy .us." Now there was for 
Gharib's absence a cause strange but true which we will set out in 
order due. And it was thus. When Ajib returned to his camp 
on the preceding night, he called one of his guardsmen by name 
Sayydr and said to him, " O Sayyar, I have not treasured thee 
save for a day like this ; and now I bid thee enter among 
Gharib's host and, pushing into the marquee of their lord, bring 
him hither to me and prove how wily thy cunning be." And 
Sayyar said, " I hear and I obey." So he repaired to the enemy's 
camp and stealing into Gharib's pavilion, under the darkness of 
the night, when all the men had gone to their places of rest, stood 
up as though he were a slave to serve Gharib, who presently, 

1 Arab. " Farrash " (also used in Persian), a man of general utility who pitches tents, 
sweeps the floors, administers floggings, etc. etc. (Pilgrimage iii. 90). 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 5 

being a thirst, called to him for water. So he brought him a 
pitcher of water, drugged with Bhang, and Gharib could not fulfil 
his need ere he fell down with head distancing heels, whereupon 
Sayyar wrapped him in his cloak and carrying him to Ajib's tent, 
threw him down at his feet. Quoth Ajib, " O Sayyar, what is 
this?" Quoth he, "This be thy brother Gharib ;" whereat Ajib 
rejoiced and said, " The blessings of the Idols light upon thee ! 
Loose him and wake him." So they made him sniff up vinegar 
and he came to himself and opened his eyes ; then, finding 
himself bound and in a tent other than his own, exclaimed, " There 
is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, 
the Great ! " Thereupon Ajib cried out at him, saying, " Dost 
thou draw on me, O dog, and seek to slay me and take on me 
thy blood-wreak of thy father and thy mother ? I will send thee 
this very day to them and rid the world of thee." Replied 
Gharib, " Kafir hound ! soon shalt thou see against whom the 
wheels of fate shall revolve and who shall be overthrown by the 
wrath of the Almighty King, Who wotteth what is in hearts and 
Who shall leave thee in Gehenna tormented and confounded ! 
Have ruth on thyself and say with me : There is no god but the 
God and Abraham is the Friend of God!" When Ajib heard 
Gharib's words, he snarked and snorted and railed at his god, the 
stone, and called for the sworder and the leather-rug of blood ; 
but his Wazir, who was at heart a Moslem though outwardly a 
Miscreant, rose and kissing ground before him, said, " Patience, O 
King, deal not hastily, but wait till we know the conquered from 
the conqueror. If we prove the victors, we shall have power to 
kill him and, if we be beaten, his being alive in our hands will be 
a strength to us." And the Emirs said, " The Minister speaketh 

sooth!" And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

Wofo fojw tt foas t&e &ix ^untofc an* ^fjirtg-nmtj 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Ajib purposed to slay Gharib, the Wazir rose and said, " Deal 
not hastily, for we have always power to kill him ! " So Ajib 
bade lay his brother Gharib in irons and chain him up in his own 
tent and set a thousand stout warriors to guard him. Meanwhile 
Gharib's host when they awoke that morning and found not their 

A If Laylak wa Laylak. 

King, were as sheep sans a shepherd ; but Sa'adan the Ghul 
cried out at them, saying, " O folk, don your war-gear and trust 
to your Lord to defend you ! " So Arabs and Ajams mounted 
horse, after clothing themselves in hauberks of iron and shirting 
themselves in straight-knit mail, and sallied forth to the field, the 
Chiefs and the colours moving in van. Then dashed out the 
Ghul of the Mountain, with a club on his shoulder, two hundred 
pounds in weight, and wheeled and careered, saying, " Ho, 
worshippers of idols, come ye out and renown it this day, for 'tis 
a day of onslaught ! Whoso knoweth me hath enough of my 
mischief and whoso knoweth me not, I will make myself known 
to him. I am Sa'adan, servant of King Gharib. Who is for 
jousting ? Who is for fighting ? Let no faint-heart come forth 
to me to-day or weakling." And there rushed upon him a 
Champion of the Infidels, as he were a flame of fire, and drove at 
him, but Sa'adan charged home at him and dealt him with his 
club a blow which broke his ribs and cast him lifeless to the 
earth. Then he called out to his sons and slaves, saying, " Light 
the bonfire, and whoso falleth of the Kafirs do ye dress him and 
roast him .well in the flame, then bring him to me that I may 
break my fast on him ! " So they kindled a fire midmost the 
plain and laid thereon the slain, till he was cooked, when they 
brought him to Sa'adan, who gnawed his flesh and crunched his 
bones. When the Miscreants saw the Mountain-Ghul do this 
deed they were affrighted with sore affright, but Ajib cried out to 
his men, saying, " Out on you ! Fall upon the Ogre and hew 
him in hunks with your scymitars ! " So twenty thousand men 
ran at Sa'adan, whilst the footmen circled round him and rained 
upon him darts and shafts so that he was wounded in four-and- 
twenty places, and his blood ran down upon the earth, and he was 
alone. Then the host of the Moslems drave at the heathenry, 
calling for help upon the Lord of the three Worlds, and they 
ceased not from fight and fray till the day came to an end, when 
they drew apart. But the Infidels had captured Sa'adan, as he 
were a drunken man for loss of blood ; and they bound him fast 
and set him by Gharib who, seeing the Ghul a prisoner, said, 
" There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the 
Glorious, the Great ! O Sa'adan, what case is this ? " " O my 
lord," replied Sa'adan, " it is Allah (extolled and exalted be He !) 
who ordaineth joy and annoy and there is no help but this and 
that betide." And Gharib rejoined, "Thou speakest sooth, O 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 7 

Sa'adan ! " But A jib passed the night in joy and he said to his 
men, " Mount ye on the morrow and fall upon the Moslems so 
shall not one of them be left alive." And they replied, 
" Hearkening and obedience ! " This is how it fared with them ; 
but as regards the Moslems, they passed the night, dejected and 
weeping for their King and Sa'adan ; but Sahim said to them, 
41 folk, be not concerned, for the aidance of Almighty Allah is 
nigh/* Then he waited till midnight, when he assumed the garb 
of a tent-pitcher ; and, repairing to Ajib's camp, made his way 
between the tents and pavilions till he came to the King's marquee, 
where he saw him seated on his throne surrounded by his Princes. 
So he entered and going up to the candles which burnt in the tent, 
snuffed them and sprinkled levigated henbane on the wicks j after 
which he withdrew and waited without the marquee, till the smoke 
of the burning henbane reached Ajib and his Princes and they fell 
to the ground like dead men. Then he left them and went to the 
prison tent, where he found Gharib and Sa'adan, guarded by a 
thousand braves, who were overcome with sleep. So he cried 
out at the guards, saying, " Woe to you ! Sleep not ; but watch 
your prisoners and light the cressets." Presently he filled a cresset 
with firewood, on which he strewed henbane, and lighting it, went 
round about the tent with it, till the smoke entered the nostrils of 
the guards, and they all fell asleep drowned by the drug ; when he 
entered the tent and finding Gharib and Sa'adan also insensible 
he aroused them by making them smell and sniff at a sponge full 
of vinegar he had with him. Thereupon he loosed their bonds 
and collars, and when they saw him, they blessed him and rejoiced 
in him. After this they went forth and took all the arms of the 
guards and Sahim said to them, " Go to your own camp ;" while 
he re-entered A jib's pavilion and, wrapping him in his cloak, lifted 
him up and made for the Moslem encampment. And the Lord, 
the Compassionate, protected him, so that he reached Gharib's 
tent in safety and unrolled the cloak before him. Gharib looked 
at its contents and seeing his brother Ajib bound, cried out, 
" Allaho Akbar God is Most Great ! Aidance ! Victory ! " And 
he blessed Sahim and bade him arouse Ajib. So he made him 
smell the vinegar mixed with incense, and he opened his eyes and, 
finding himself bound and shackled, hung down his head earth- 
wards. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 

to say her permitted say. 

A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

Wofo fofien it foas t&* Sbtx l^utttotfr an& ^ortfetf) Xigfjt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after Sahim 
had aroused Ajib, whom he had made insensible with henbane and 
had brought to his brother Gharib, the captive opened his eyes 
and, feeling himself bound and shackled, hung down his head 
earthwards. Thereupon cried Sahim, " O Accursed, lift thy head !'* 
So he raised his eyes and found himself amongst Arabs and Ajams 
and saw his brother seated on the throne of his estate and the place 
of his power, wherefore he was silent and spake not. Then Gharib 
cried out and said, " Strip me this hound ! " So they stripped him 
and came down upon him with whips, till they weakened his body 
and subdued his pride, after which Gharib set over him a guard of 
an hundred knights. And when this fraternal correction had been 
administered they heard shouts of, " There is no God but the 
God ! " and " God is Most Great ! " from the camp of the Kafirs. 
Now the cause of this was that, ten days after his nephew King 
Al-Damigh, Gharib's uncle, had set out from Al-Jazirah, with 
twenty thousand horse, and on nearing the field of battle, had 
despatched one of his scouts to get news. The man was absent 
a whole day, at the end of which time he returned and told 
Al-Damigh all that had happened to Gharib with his brother. 
So he waited till the night, when he fell upon the Infidels, crying 
out, " Allaho Akbar ! " and put them to the edge of the biting 
scymitar. When Gharib heard the Takbir, 1 he said to Sahim, 
" Go find out the cause of these shouts and war-cries." So Sahim 
repaired to the field of battle and questioned the slaves and camp 
followers, who told him that King Al-Damigh had come up with 
twenty thousand men and had fallen upon the idolaters by night, 
saying, " By the virtue of Abraham the Friend, I will not forsake 
my brother's son, but will play a brave man's part and beat back 
the host of Miscreants and please the Omnipotent King ! " So 
Sahim returned and told his uncle's derring-do to Gharib, who 
cried out to his men, saying, " Don your arms and mount your 
steeds and let us succour my father's brother ! " So they took 
horse and fell upon the Infidels and put them to the edge of the 
sharp sword. By the morning they had killed nigh fifty thousand 

1 i.e. the slogan-cry of "Allaho Akbar," which M. C. Barbier de Meynard compares 
,with the Christian " Te Deum." 

The History of Gtiarib and his Brother Ajib. g 

of the Kafirs and made other thirty thousand prisoners, and the 
rest of Ajib's army dispersed over the length and breadth of earth- 
Then the Moslems returned in victory and triumph, and Gharib rode 
out to meet his uncle, whom he saluted and thanked for his help. 
Quoth Al-Damigh, " I wonder if that dog Ajib fell in this day's 
affair." Quoth Gharib, " O uncle, be of good cheer and keep thine 
yes cool and clear : know that he is with me in chains." When 
Al-Damigh heard this he rejoiced with exceeding joy and the two 
kings dismounted and entered the pavilion, but found no Ajib 
there ; whereupon Gharib exclaimed, " O glory of Abraham, the 
Friend (with whom be peace !)," adding, " Alas, what an ill end is 
this to a glorious day ! " and he cried out to the tent-pitchers, say- 
ing, " Woe to you ! Where is my enemy who oweth me so much ? " 
Quoth they, " When thou mountedst and we went with thee, thou 
didst not bid us guard him ;" and Gharib exclaimed, " There is no 
Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the 
Great !" But Al-Damigh said to him, "Hasten not nor be con- 
cerned, for where can he go, and we in pursuit of him ? " Now 
the manner of Ajib's escape was in this wise. His page Sayyar 
had been ambushed in the camp and when he saw Gharib mount 
and ride forth, leaving none to guard his enemy Ajib, he could 
hardly credit his eyes. So he waited awhile and presently crept 
to the tent and taking Ajib, who was senseless for the pain of the 
bastinado, on his back, made off with him into the open country 
and fared on at the top of his speed from early night to the next 
day, till he came to a spring of water, under an apple tree. There 
he set down Ajib from his back and washed his face, whereupon 
he opened his eyes and seeing Sayyar, said to him, " O Sayyar, 
carry me to Cufa that I may recover there and levy horsemen and 
soldiers wherewith to overthrow my foe : and know, O Sayyar, 
that I am anhungered." So Sayyar sprang up and going out to 
the desert caught an ostrich-poult and brought it to his lord. 
Then he gathered fuel and deftly using the fire-sticks kindled a 
fire, by which he roasted the bird which he had hallal'd ! and fed 
Ajib with its flesh and gave him to drink of the water of the spring, 
till his strength returned to him, after which he went to one of the 
Badawi tribal encampments, and stealing thence a steed mounted 
Ajib upon it and journeyed on with him for many days till they 

1 The Anglo-Indian term for the Moslem rite of killing animals for food. (Pilgrimage 
i- 377-) 

IO Alf Laylah zva Laylah. 

drew near the city of Cufa. The Viceroy of the capital came out 
to meet and salute the King, whom he found weak with the beat- 
ing his brother had inflicted upon him ; and Ajib entered the city 
and called his physicians. When they answered his summons, he 
bade them heal him in less than ten days' time : they said, " We 
hear and we obey," and they tended him till he became whole of 
the sickness that was upon him and of the punishment Then he 
commanded his Wazirs to write letters to all his Nabobs and vassals, 
and he indited one-and-twenty writs and despatched them to the 
governors, who assembled their troops and set out for Cufa by 

forced marches. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Jiofo foien ft "foa* tfje Six f^untorefc anfc Jtat^fitst 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ajib 
sent orders to assemble the troops, who marched forthright to 
Cufa. Meanwhile, Gharib, being troubled for Ajib's escape, 
despatched in quest of him a thousand braves, who dispersed on 
all sides and sought him a day and a night, but found no trace 
of him ; so they returned and told Gharib, who called for his 
brother Sahim, but found him not ; whereat he was sore concerned, 
fearing for him from the shifts of Fortune, And lo ! Sahim entered 
and kissed ground before Gharib, who rose, when he saw him, and 
asked, " Where hast thou been, O Sahim ? " He answered, " O 
King, I have been to Cufa and there I find that the dog Ajib hath 
made his way to his capital and is healed of his hurts : eke, he 
hath written letters to his vassals and sent them to his Nabobs 
who have brought him troops," When Gharib heard this, he gave 
the command to march ; so they struck tents and fared for Cufa. 
When they came in sight of the city, they found it compassed 
about with a host like the surging main, having neither beginning 
nor end. So Gharib with his troops encamped in face of the 
Kafirs and set up his standards, and darkness fell down upon the 
two hosts, whereupon they lighted camp-fires and kept watch till 
daybreak. Then King Gharib rose and making the Wuzu-ablution. 
prayed a two-bow prayer according to the rite of our father 
Abraham the Friend (on whom be the Peace !) ; after which he 
commanded the battle-drums to sound the point of war. Accord- 
ingly* the kettle-drums beat to combat and the standards fluttered 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. n 

whilst the fighting men armour donned and their horses 
mounted and themselves displayed and to plain fared. Now the 
first to open the gate of war was King Al-Damigh, who urged his 
charger between the two opposing armies and displayed himself 
and played with the swords and the spears, till both hosts were con- 
founded and at him marvelled, after which he cried out, saying, 
" Who is for jousting ? Let no sluggard come out to me or 
weakling ; for I am Al-Damigh, the King, brother of Kundamir 
the King." Then there rushed forth a horseman of the Kafirs, 
as he were a flame of fire, and drave at Al-Damigh, without word 
said ; but the King received him with a lance-thrust in the breast 
so dour that the point issued from between his shoulders and 
Allah hurried his soul to the fire, the abiding-place dire. Then 
came forth a second he slew, and a third he slew likewise, and 
they ceased not to come out to him and he to slay them, till he 
had made an end of six-and-seventy fighting men. Hereupon 
the Miscreants and men of might hung back and would not 
encounter him ; but Ajib cried out to his men and said, " Fie on 
you, O folk ! if ye all go forth to him, one by one, he will not 
leave any of you, sitting or standing. Charge on him all at once 
and cleanse of them our earthly wone and strew their heads for 
your horses* hoofs like a plain of stone ! w So they waved the 
awe-striking flag and host was heaped upon host ; blood rained 
in streams upon earth and railed and the Judge of battle ruled, 
in whose ordinance is no unright. The fearless stood firm on feet 
in the stead of fight, whilst the faint-heart gave back and took 
to flight thinking the day would never come to an end nor the 
curtains of gloom would be drawn by the hand of Night ; and 
they ceased not to battle with swords and to smite till light 
darkened and murk starkened. Then the kettle-drums of the 
Infidels beat the retreat, but Gharib, refusing to stay his arms, 
drave at the Paynimry, and the Believers in Unity, the Moslems, 
followed him. How many heads and hands they shore, how many 
necks and sinews they tore, how many knees and spines they 
mashed and how many grown men and youths they to death 
bashed ! With the first gleam of morning grey the Infidels broke 
and fled away, in disorder and disarray ; and the Moslems followed 
them till middle-day and took over twenty thousand of them, 
whom they brought to their tents in bonds to stay. Then Gharib 
sat down before the gate of Cufa and commanded a herald to 
proclaim pardon and protection for every wight who should leave 

12 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

the worship to idols dight and profess the unity of His All- 
might the Creator of mankind and of light and night. So was 
made proclamation as he bade in the streets of Cufa and all that 
were therein embraced the True Faith, great and small ; then they 
issued forth in a body and renewed their Islam before King 
Gharib, who rejoiced in them with exceeding joy and his breast 
broadened and he threw off all annoy. Presently he enquired of 
Mardas and his daughter Mahdiyah, and, being told that he had 
taken up his abode behind the Red Mountain, he called Sahim 
and said to him, " Find out for me what is become of thy 
father." Sahim mounted steed without stay or delay and set 
his berry-brown spear in rest and fared on in quest till he reached 
the Red Mountain, where he sought for his father, yet found no 
trace of him nor of his tribe ; however, he saw in their stead an 
elder of the Arabs, a very old man, broken with excess of years, 
and asked him of the folk and whither they were gone. Replied 
he, "O my son, when Mardas heard of Gharib's descent upon 
Cufa he feared with great fear and, taking his daughter and his 
folk, set out with his handmaids and negroes into the wild and 
wold, and I wot not whither he went." So Sahim, hearing the 
Shaykh's words, returned to Gharib and told him thereof, whereat 
he was greatly concerned. Then he sat down on his father's throne 
and, opening his treasuries, distributed largesse to each and every 
of his braves. And he took up his abode in Cufa and sent out 
spies to get news of Ajib. He also summoned the Grandees of 
the realm, who came and did him homage ; as also did the 
citizens and he bestowed on them sumptuous robes of honour 

and commended the Ryots to their care. And Shahrazad 

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

tojen it foas tje ix f^unforefc antr JFort^seconfc 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Gharib, 
after giving robes of honour to the citizens of Cufa and com- 
mending the Ryots to their care, went out on a day of the days 
to hunt, with an hundred horse, and fared on till he came to a 
Wady, abounding in trees and fruits and rich in rills and birds. 
It was a pasturing-place for roes and gazelles, to the spirit a 
delight whose scents reposed from the langour of fight. They 
encamped in the valley, for the day was clear and bright, and 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 1 3 

there passed the night. On the morrow, Gharib made the Wuzu* 
ablution and prayed the two-bow dawn-prayer, offering np praise 
and thanks to Almighty Allah ; when, lo and behold ! there arose 
a clamour and confusion in the meadows, and he bade Sahim go 
see what was to do. So Sahim mounted forthright and rode till 
he espied goods being plundered and horses haltered and women 
carried off and children crying out. Whereupon he questioned one 
of the shepherds, saying, " What be all this ? "; and they replied, 
" This is the Harim of Mardas, Chief of the Banu Kahtan, and his 
good and that of his clan ; for yesterday Jamrkan slew Mardas and 
made prize of his women and children and household stuff and all 
the belonging of his tribe. It is his wont to go a-raiding and to 
cut off highways and waylay wayfarers and he is a furious tyrant ; 
neither Arabs nor Kings can prevail against him and he is the 
scourge and curse of the country," Now when Sahim heard 
these news of his sire's slaughter and the looting of his Harim and 
property, he returned to Gharib and told him the case, wherefore 
fire was added to his fire and his spirit chafed to wipe out his shame 
and his blood-wit to claim : so he rode with his men after the 
robbers till he overtook them and fell upon them, crying out and 
saying, " Almighty Allah upon the rebel, the traitor, the infidel ! " 
and he slew in a single charge one-and-twenty fighting-men. Then 
he halted in mid-field, with no coward's heart, and cried out, 
" Where is Jamrkan ? Let him come out to me, that I may make 
him quaff the cup of disgrace and rid of him earth's face ! " Hardly 
had he made an end of speaking, when forth rushed Jamrkan, as 
he were a calamity of calamities or a piece of a mountain, cased in 
steel. He was a mighty huge 1 Amalekite ; and he drave at Gharib 
without speech or salute, like the fierce tyrant he was. And he 
was armed with a mace of China steel, so heavy, so potent, that 
had he smitten a hill he had smashed it. Now when he charged, 
Gharib met him like a hungry lion, and the brigand aimed a blow 
at his head with his mace ; but he evaded it and it smote the earth 
and sank therein half a cubit deep. Then Gharib took his battle 
flail and smiting Jamrkan on the wrist, crushed his fingers and 
the mace dropped from his grasp ; whereupon Gharib bent down 
from his seat in selle and snatching it up, swiftlier than the 
blinding leven, smote him therewith full on the flat of the ribs, 

1 Arab " tawilan jiddan " a hideous Cairenism in these days; but formerly used 
by Al-mas'udi and other good writers. 

14 A If Laylah wa Lay I ah. 

and he fell to the earth like a long-stemmed palm-tree. So Sahiro 
took him and pinioning him, haled him off with a rope, and 
Gharib's horsemen fell on those of Jamrkan and slew fifty of them : 
the rest fled ; nor did they cease flying till they reached their 
tribal camp and raised their voices in clamour ; whereupon all who 
were in the Castle came out to meet them and asked the news. 
They told the tribe what had passed ; and, when they heard that 
their chief was a prisoner, they set out for the valley vying one 
with other in their haste to deliver him. Now when King 
Gharib had captured Jamrkan and had seen his braves take flight, 
he dismounted and called for Jamrkan, who humbled himself 
before him, saying, " I am under thy protection, O champion of 
the Age ! " Replied Gharib, " O dog of the Arabs, dost thou cut 
the road for the servants of Almighty Allah, and fearest thou 
not the Lord of the Worlds ?" " O my master," asked Jamrkan, 
" and who is the Lord of the Worlds ? " " O dog," answered 
Gharib, "and what calamity dost thou worship?" He said, "O 
my lord, I worship a god made of dates * kneaded with butter and 
honey, and at times I eat him and make me another." When 
Gharib heard this, he laughed till he fell backwards and said, " O 
miserable, there is none worship-worth save Almighty Allah, who 
created thee and created all things and provideth all creatures with 
daily bread, from whom nothing is hid and He over all things is 
Omnipotent." Quoth Jamrkan, " And where is this great god, 
that I may worship him ? " Quoth Gahrib, " O fellow, know that 
this god's name is Allah the God and it is He who fashioned 
the heavens and the earth and garred the trees to grow and the 
waters to flow. He created wild beasts and birds and Paradise 
and Hell-fire and veileth Himself from all eyes seeing and of none 
being seen. He, and He only, is the Dweller On high. Extolled 
be His perfection! There is no god but He!" When Jamrkan 
heard these words, the ears of his heart were opened ; his skin 
shuddered with horripilation and he said, " O my lord, what shall 
I say that I may become of you and that this mighty Lord may 
accept of me ? " Replied Gharib, " Say : There is no god but 
the God and Abraham the Friend is the Apostle of God ! " So 
he pronounced the profession of the Faith and was written of 

1 Arab " 'Ajwah," enucleated dates pressed together into a solid mass so as to be 
sliced with a knife like cold pudding. The allusion is to the dough-idols of the Hanifah, 
tribe, whose eating their gods made the saturnine Caliph Omar laugh. 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 1 5 

the people of felicity. Then quoth Gharib, " Say me, hast thou 
tasted the sweetness of Al-Islam ? "; and quoth the other, " Yes ;" 
whereupon Gharib cried, " Loose his bonds ! " So they unbound 
him and he kissed ground before Gharib and his feet. Now whilst 
this was going on, behold, they espied a great cloud of dust that 

towered till it walled the wold. And Shahrazad perceived 

the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

fo&en ft foas tje gbtx f^utrtrrrtr anfc Jportg-tijittr 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Jamrkan 
islamised and kissed the ground between the hands of Gharib ; and, 
as they were thus, behold, a great cloud of dust towered till it 
walled the wold and Gharib said to Sahim, " Go and see for us 
what it be." So he went forth, like a bird in full flight, and 
presently returned, saying, " O King of the Age, this dust is of the 
Banu Amir, the comrades of Jamrkan." Whereupon quoth Gharib 
to the new Moslem, " Ride out to thy people and offer to them 
Al-Islam : an they profess, they shall be saved ; but, an they refuse, 
we will put them to the sword." So Jamrkan mounted and driving 
steed towards his tribesmen, cried out to them ; and they knew him 
and dismounting, came up to him on foot and said, " We rejoice in 
thy safety, O our lord ! " Said he, " O folk, whoso obeyeth me 
shall be saved ; but whoso gainsayeth me, I will cut him in twain 
with this scymitar." And they made answer, saying, " Command 
us what thou wilt, for we will not oppose thy commandment.'* 
Quoth he, " Then say with me : There is no god but the God and 
Abraham is the Friend of God ! " They asked, " O our lord, whence 
haddest thou these words ? " And he told them what had befallen 
him with Gharib, adding, " O folk, know ye not that I am your 
chief in battle-plain and where men of cut and thrust are fain ; and 
yet a man single-handed me to prisoner hath ta'en and made me 
the cup of shame and disgrace to drain ? " When they heard his 
speech, they spoke the word of Unity and Jamrkan led them to 
Gharib, at whose hands they renewed their profession of Al-Islam 
and wished him glory and victory, after they had kissed the earth 
before him. Gharib rejoiced in them and said to them, " O folk, 
return to your people and expound Al-Islam to them ; " but all 
replied, " O our lord, we will never leave thee, whilst we live ; but 
we will go and fetch our families and return to thee." And Gharib 

1 6 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

said, " Go, and join me at the city of Cufa." So Jamrkan and his 
comrades returned to their tribal camp and offered Al-Islam to 
their women and children, who all to a soul embraced the True 
Faith, after which they dismantled their abodes and struck their 
tents and set out for Cufa driving before them their steeds, camels 
and sheep. During this time Gharib returned to Cufa, where the 
horsemen met him in state. He entered his palace and sat down 
on his sire's throne with his champions ranged on either hand. 
Then the spies came forwards, and informed him that his brother 
Ajib had made his escape and had taken refuge with Jaland 1 bin 
Karkar, lord of the city of Oman and land of Al-Yaman ; where- 
upon Gharib cried aloud to his host, " O men, make you ready to 
march in three days." Then he expounded Al-Islam to the thirty 
thousand men he had captured in the first affair and exhorted 
them to profess and take service with him. Twenty thousand 
embraced the Faith, but the rest refused and he slew them. Then 
came forward Jamrkan and his tribe and kissed the ground before 
Gharib, who bestowed on him a splendid robe of honour and 
made him captain of his vanguard, saying, " O Jamrkan, mount 
\vith the Chiefs of thy kith and kin and twenty thousand horse 
and fare on before us to the land of Jaland bin Karkar." " Heark- 
ening and obedience," answered Jamrkan and, leaving the women 
and children of the tribe in Cufa, he set forward. Then Gharib 
passed in review the Harim of Mardas and his eye lit upon 
Mahdiyah, who was among the women, wherewith he fell down 
fainting. They sprinkled rose-water on his face, till he came to 
himself, when he embraced Mahdiyah and carried her into a 
sitting-chamber, where he sat with her; and they twain lay 
together that night without fornication. Next morning he went 
out and sitting down on the throne of his kingship, robed his 
uncle Al-Damigh with a robe of honour ; and appointed him his 
viceroy over all Al-Irak, commending Mahdiyah to his care, till 
he should return from his expedition against Ajib ; and, when 
the order was accepted, he set out for the land of Al-Yaman 
and the City of Oman with twenty thousand horse and ten 
thousand foot. Now, when Ajib and his defeated army drew in 
sight of Oman, King Jaland saw the dust of their approach and 

1 Mr. Payne writes " Julned." In a fancy name we must not look for grammar ; but 
a quiescent lam (<Q followed by nun () is unknown to Arabic while we find sundry cases 
Of " Ian " (fath'd lam and nun), and Jalandah means noxious or injuiious. In Oman also 
there was a dynasty called Julandah, for which see Mr. Badger xiii: and/owm. 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. if 

sent to find out its meaning scouts who returned and said, " Verily 
this is the dust of one hight Ajib, lord of Al-Irak." And Jaland 
wondered at his coming to his country and, when assured of the 
tidings, he said to his officers, " Fare ye forth and meet him." 
So they went out and met him and pitched tents for him at the 
city-gate; and Ajib entered in to Jaland, weeping-eyed and heavy- 
hearted. Now Jaland's wife was the daughter of Ajib's paternal 
uncle and he had children by her ; so, when he saw his kinsman 
in this plight, he asked for the truth of what ailed him and Ajib 
told him all that had befallen him, first and last, from his brother 
and said, " O King, Gharib biddeth the folk worship the Lord of 
the Heavens and forbiddeth them from the service of simulacres 
and other of the gods." When Jaland heard these words he 
raged and revolted and said, " By the virtue of the Sun, Lord 
of Life and Light, I will not leave one of thy brother's folk in 
existence! But where didst thou quit them and how many men 
are they ? " Answered Ajib, " I left them in Cufa and they 
be fifty thousand horse." Whereupon Jaland called his Wazir 
Jawdmard, 1 saying, " Take thee seventy thousand horse and fare 
to Gufa and bring me the Moslems alive, that I may torture them 
with all manner of tortures." So Jawamard departed with his 
host and fared through the first day and the second till the 
seventh day, when he came to a Wady abounding in trees and 
rills and fruits. Here he called a halt And Shahrazad per- 
ceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

fo&en tt foa* t&e gbix ^untrrelr an* ,ffort8*fottrft 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Jaland sent Jawamard with his army to Cufa, they came upon a 
Wady abounding in trees and rills where a halt was called and 
they rested till the middle of the night, when the Wazir gave the 
signal for departure and mounting, rode on before them till hard 
upon dawn, at which time he descended into a well-wooded valley, 
whose flowers were fragrant and whose birds warbled on boughs, 
as they swayed gracefully to and fro, and Satan blew into his sides 
and puffed him up with pride and he improvised these couplets 
and cried : 

1 Doubtless for Jawan-mard un giovane, a brave. See vol. iv., p. 208. 

I g A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

I plunge with my braves in the seething sea; o Seize the foe in my strength 

and my valiancy ; 
And the doughtiest knights wot me well to be o Friend to friend and fierce 

foe to mine enemy. 
1 will load Gharib with the captive's chains o Right soon, and return in 

all joy and glee ; 
For I've donned my mail and my weapons wield o And on all sides charge at 

the chivalry. 1 

Hardly had Jawamard made an end of his verses when there came 
out upon him from among the trees a horseman of terrible mien 
covered and clad in steely sheen, who cried out to him, saying, 
" Stand, O riff-raff of the Arabs ! Doff thy dress and ground thine 
arms-gear and dismount thy destrier and be off with thy life ! " 
When Jawamard heard this, the light in his eyes became darkest 
night and he drew his sabre and drove at Jamrkan, for he it was, 
saying, " O thief of the Arabs, wilt thou cut the road for me, who 
am captain of the host of Jaland bin Karkar and am come to 
bring Gharib and his men in bond ? " When Jamrkan heard these 
words, he said, " How cooling is this to my heart and liver ! " And 
he made at Jawamard versifying in these couplets : 

Pm the noted knight in the field of fight, o Whose sabre and spear every foe 

affright ! 
Jamrkan am I, to my foes a fear, o With a lance-lunge known unto 

every knight : 
Gharib is my lord, nay my pontiff, my prince, o Where the two hosts dash 

very lion of might : 
An Imam of the Faith, pious, striking awe o On the plain where his foes 

like the fawn take flight ; 
Whose voice bids folk to the faith of the Friend, o False, doubling idols and 

gods despite ! 

Now Jamrkan had fared on with his tribesmen ten days' journey 
from Cufa-city and called a halt on the eleventh day till midnight, 
when he ordered a march and rode on devancing them till he 
descended into the valley aforesaid and heard Jawamard reciting 
his verses. So he drave at him as the driving of a ravening lion, 
and smiting him with his sword, clove him in twain and waited till 
his captains came up, when he told them what had passed and 
said to them, " Take each of you five thousand men and disperse 

1 Mr. Payne transposes the distichs, making the last first. I have followed the Arabic 
order finding it in the Mac. and Bui. Edits, (ii. 129). 

The History of Gftarib and his Brother Ajib. 19 

round about the Wady, whilst I and the Banu Amir fall upon the 
enemy's van, shouting, Allaho Akbar God is Most Great ! When 
ye hear my slogan, do ye charge them, crying like me upon the 
Lord, and smite them with the sword." " We hear and we obey," 
answered they and turning back to their braves did his bidding 
and spread themselves about the sides of the valley in the twilight 
forerunning the dawn. Presently, lo and behold! up came the 
army of Al-Yaman, like a flock of sheep, filling plain and steep, 
and Jamrkan and the Banu Amir fell upon them, shouting, 
" Allaho Akbar ! " till all heard it, Moslems and Miscreants. 
Whereupon the True Believers ambushed in the valley answered 
from every side and the hills and mountains responsive cried and 
all things replied, green and dried, saying, " God is Most Great ! 
Aidance and Victory to us from on High ! Shame to the 
Miscreants who His name deny ! " And the Kafirs were con- 
founded and smote one another with sabres keen whilst the True 
Believers and pious fell upon them like flames of fiery sheen and 
naught was seen but heads flying and blood jetting and faint-hearts 
hieing. By the time they could see one another's faces, two-thirds 
of the Infidels had perished and Allah hastened their souls to the 
fire and abiding-place dire. The rest fled and to the deserts sped 
whilst the Moslems pursued them to slay and take captives till 
middle-day, when they returned in triumph with seven thousand 
prisoners; and but six-and-twenty thousand of the Infidels 
escaped and the most of them wounded. Then the Moslems 
collected the horses and arms, the loads and tents of the enemy 
and despatched them to Cufa with an escort of a thousand horse ; 
And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying 
her permitted say. 

fojjm ft foa tfie Sbfx 



She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Jamrkan in 
his battle with Jawamard slew him and slew his men ; and, after 
taking many prisoners and much money and many horses and 
loads, sent them with an escort of a thousand riders, to Cufa city. 
Then he and the army of Al-Islam dismounted and expounded The 
saving Faith to the prisoners, who made profession with heart and 
tongue ; whereupon they released them from bonds and embraced 
them and rejoiced in them. Then Jamrkan made his troops, who 

20 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

had swelled to a mighty many, rest a day and a night and marched 
with the dawn, intending to attack Jaland bin Karkar in the city 
of Oman ; whilst the thousand horse fared back to Cufa with the 
loot. When they reached the city, they went in to King Gharib 
and told him what had passed, whereat he rejoiced and gave them 
joy and, turning to the Ghul of the Mountain, said, "Take horse 
with twenty thousand and follow Jamrkan." So Sa'adan and his 
sons mounted and set out, amid twenty thousand horse for Oman. 
Meanwhile, the fugitives of the defeated Kafirs reached Oman and 
went in to Jaland, weeping and crying, " Woe ! " and " Ruin ! " 
whereat he was confounded and said to them, " What calamity 
hath befallen you ? " So they told him what had happened and 
he said, " Woe to you ! How many men were they ? " They 
replied, " O King, there were twenty standards, under each a 
thousand men." When Jaland heard these words he said, " May 
the sun pour no blessing on you ! Fie upon you ! What, shall 
twenty thousand overcome you, and you seventy thousand horse 
and Jawamard able to withstand three thousand in field of fight ?" 
Then, in the excess of his rage and mortification, he bared his 
blade and cried out to those who were present, saying, " Fall on 
them ! " So the courtiers drew their swords upon the fugitives 
and annihilated them to the last man and cast them to the dogs. 
Then Jaland cried aloud to his son, saying, " Take an hundred 
thousand horse and go to Al-Irak and lay it waste altogether." 
Now this son's name was Kurajan and there was no doughtier 
knight in all the force ; for he could charge single-handed three 
thousand riders. So he and his host made haste to equip them- 
selves and marched in battle-array, rank following rank, with the 
Prince at their head, glorying in himself and improvising these 
couplets : 

I'm Al-Kurajan, and my name is known * To beat all who in wold or in 

city wone I 
How many a soldier my sword at will * Struck down like a cow on the 

ground bestrown? 
How many a soldier I've forced to fly * And have rolled their heads as a 

ball is thrown? 
Now I'll drive and harry the land Irak 1 * And like rain Til shower the 

blood of fone ; 
And lay hands on Gharib and his men, whose doom * To the wise a warning 

shall soon be shown ! 

1 AMrak like Al-Yaman may lose the article in verse, 

The History of Gharib and his Brother A jib. Zl 

The host fared on twelve days' journey and, while they were still 
marching, behold, a great dust cloud arose before them and walled 
the horizon, and the whole region. So Kurajan sent out scouts, 
saying, " Go forth and bring me tidings of what meaneth this 
dust." They went till they passed under the enemy's standards 
and presently returning said, " O King, verily this is the dust of 
the Moslems." Whereat he was glad and said, " Did ye count 
them ? " And they answered, " We counted the colours and they 
numbered twenty." Quoth he, " By my faith, I will not send one 
man-at-arms against them, but will go forth to them alone by 
myself and strew their heads under the horses' hooves ! " Now 
this was the army of Jamrkan who, espying the host of the Kafirs 
and seeing them as a surging sea, called a halt ; so his troops 
pitched the tents and set up the standards, calling upon the name 
of the All-wise One, the Creator of light and gloom, Lord of all 
creatures, Who seeth while Him none see, the High to infinity, 
extolled and exalted be He! There is no God but He! The 
Miscreants also halted and pitched their tents, and Kurajan said 
to them " Keep on your arms, and in armour sleep, for during the 
last watch of the night we will mount and trample yonder handful 
under feet ! " Now one of Jamrkan's spies was standing nigh and 
heard what Kurajan had contrived ; so he returned to the host and 
told his chief who said to them, " Arm yourselves and as soon as 
it is night, bring me all the mules and camels and hang all the 
bells and clinkets and rattles ye have about their necks." Now 
they had with them more than twenty thousand camels and mules. 
So they waited till the Infidels fell asleep, when Jamrkan com- 
manded them to mount, and they arose to ride and on the Lord of 
the Worlds they relied. Then said Jamrkan, " Drive the camels 
and mules to the Miscreants' camp and push them with your spears 
for goads ! " They did as he bade and the beasts rushed upon the 
enemy's tents, whilst the bells and clinkets and rattles jangled 1 
and the Moslems followed at their heels, shouting, " God is Most 
Great ! " till all the hills and mountains resounded with the name 
of the Highmost Deity, to whom belong glory and majesty ! 
The cattle hearing this terrible din, took fright and rushed upon 

1 Arab. " Ka'ka'at ": hence Jabal Ka'ka'an, the higher levels in Meccah, of old. 
inhabited by the Jurhamites and so called from their clashing and jangling arms ; whilst 
the Amalekites dwelt in the lower grounds called Jiyad from their generous steeds 
(Pilgrimage iii. 191). 

22 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

the tents and trampled the folk, as they lay asleep. -- And 
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her 
permitted say 

foijm it foas tij* Sbfx f^untireU an& JForts-sfxtJ W 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Jamrkan fell upon them with his men and steeds and camels, and 
the camp lay sleeping, the idolaters started up in confusion and, 
snatching up their arms, fell upon one another with smiting, till 
the most part was slaughtered. And when the day broke, they 
looked and found no Moslem slain, but saw them all on horse- 
back, armed and armoured ; wherefore they knew that this was 
a sleight which had been played upon them, and Kurajan cried out 
to the remnant of his folk, " O sons of whores, what we had a 
mind to do with them, that have they done with us and their craft 
hath gotten the better of our cunning." And they were about to 
charge when, lo and behold ! a cloud of dust rose high and walled 
the horizon-sky, when the wind smote it, so that it spired aloft 
and spread pavilion-wise in the lift and there it hung ; and pre- 
sently appeared beneath it the glint of helmet and gleam of hauberk 
and splendid warriors, baldrick'd with their tempered swords and 
holding in rest their supple spears. When the Kafirs saw this, 
they held back from the battle and each army sent out, to know 
the meaning of this dust, scouts, who returned with the news that 
it was an army of Moslems. Now this was the host of the Moun- 
tain-Ghul whom Gharib had despatched to Jamrkan's aid, and 
Sa'adan himself rode in their van. So the two hosts of the True 
Believers joined company and rushing upon the Paynimry like a 
flame of fire, plied them with keen sword and Rudaynian spear 
and quivering lance, what while day was darkened and eyes 
for the much dust starkened. The valiant stood fast and the 
faint-hearted coward fled and to the wilds and the wolds swift 
sped, whilst the blood over earth was like torrents shed ; nor did 
they cease from fight till the day took flight and in gloom came 
the night Then the Moslems drew apart from the Miscreants and 
returned to their tents, where they ate and slept, till the darkness 
fled away and gave place to smiling day ; when they prayed the 
dawn-prayer and mounted to battle. Now Kurajan had said to 
his men as they drew off from fight (for indeed two-thirds of their 
number had perished by sword and spear), " O folk, to-morrow, 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 23 

I will champion it in the stead of war where cut and thrust jar, 
and where braves push and wheel I will take the field/' So, as 
soon as light was seen and morn appeared with its shine and sheen, 
took horse the hosts twain and shouted their slogans amain and 
bared the brand and hent lance in hand and in ranks took stand. 
The first to open the door of war was Kurajan, who cried out, 
saying, " Let no coward come out to me this day nor craven ! " 
Whereupon Jamrkan and Sa'adan stood by the colqurs, but there 
ran at him a captain of the Banu Amir and the two drave each at 
other awhile, like two rams butting. Presently Kurajan seized the 
Moslem by the jerkin under his hauberk and, dragging him from, 
his saddle, dashed him to the ground where he left him ; upon 
which the Kafirs laid hands on him and bound him and bore him 
off to their tents ; whilst Kurajan wheeled about and careered and 
offered battle, till another captain came out, whom also he took 
prisoner ; nor did he leave to do thus till he had made prize of 
seven captains before mid-day. Then Jamrkan cried out with so 
mighty a cry, that the whole field made reply and heard it the 
armies twain, and ran at Kurajan with a heart in rageful pain, 
improvising these couplets : 

Jamrkan am I ! and a man of might, o Whom the warriors fear with a sore 

affright : 
I waste the forts and I leave the walls o To wail and weep for the wights I 

smite : 
Then, O Kurajan, tread the rightful road o And quit the paths of thy 

foul unright : 
Own the One True God, who dispread the skies o And made founts to flow 

and the hills pegged tight : 
An the slave embrace the True Faith, he'll 'scape o Hell- pains and in Heaven 

be deckt and dight ! 

When Kurajan heard these words, he snarked and snorted and 
foully abused the sun and the moon and drave at Jamrkan, versi- 
fying with these couplets : 

I'm Kurajan, of this age the knight ; o And my shade to the lions 

of Shara' 1 is blight : 
I storm the forts and snare kings of beasts o And warriors fear me in 

field of fight ; 
Then, Harkye Jamrkan, if thou doubt my word, o Come forth to the combat 

and try my might ! 

1 Al-Shara', a mountain in Arabia. 

Alf Laylah wa Laylafi. 

When Jamrkan heard these verses, he charged him with a stout 
heart and they smote each at other with swords till the two hosts 
lamented for them, and they lunged with lance and great was the 
clamour between them : nor did they leave righting till the time 
of mid-afternoon prayer was passed and the day began to wane. 
Then Jamrkan drave at Kurajan and smiting him on the breast 
with his mace, 1 cast him to the ground, as he were the trunk of a 
palm-tree ; and the Moslems pinioned him and dragged him off 
with ropes like a camel. Now when the Miscreants saw their 
Prince captive, a hot fever-fit of ignorance seized on them and 
tlrey bore down upon the True Believers thinking to rescue him ; 
but the Moslem champions met them and left most of them 
prostrate on the earth, whilst the rest turned and sought safety 
in flight, seeking surer site, while the clanking sabres their back- 
sides smite. The Moslems ceased not pursuing them till they had 
scattered them over mount and wold, when they returned from 
them to the spoil ; whereof was great store of horses and tents 
and so forth : good look to it for a spoil ! Then Jamrkan went 
in to Kurajan and expounded to him Al-Islam, threatening him 
with death unless he embraced the Faith. But he refused ; so 
they cut off his head and stuck it on a spear, after which they 
fared on towards Oman 2 city. But as regards the Kafirs, the 
survivors returned to Jaland and made known to him the slaying 
of his son and the slaughter of his host, hearing which he cast 
his crown to the ground and buffeting his face, till the blood ran 
from his nostrils, fell fainting to the floor. They sprinkled rose* 
water on his head, till he came to himself and cried to his 
Wazir, Write letters to all my Governors and Nabobs, and bid 
them leave not a smiter with the sword nor a lunger with the 
lance nor a bender of the bow, but bring them all to me in one 
body." So he wrote letters and despatched them by runners to 

1 See, 249. "This (mace) is a dangerous weapon when struck on the 
shoulders or unguarded arm : I am convinced that a blow with it on a head armoured 
with a salade (cassis cselata, a light iron helmet) would stun a man " (says La 

2 Oman, which the natives pronounce "Aman," is the region best known by its 
capital, Maskat. These are the Omana Moscha and Omanum Emporium of Ptolemy 
and the Periplus. Ibn Batutah writes Amman, but the best dictionaries give " Oman." 
(N.B. Mr. Badger, p. i, wrongly derives Sachalitis from " Sawahfly " : it is evidently 

'Sahili.") The people bear by no means the best character: Ibn Batutah (four- 
teenth century) says, " their wives are most base ; yet, without denying this, their 
husbands express nothing like jealousy on the subject." (Lee, p. 62.) 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 25 

the Governors, who levied their power and joined the King with 
a prevailing host, whose number was one hundred and eighty- 
thousand men. Then they made ready tents and camels and 
noble steeds and were about to march when, behold, up came 
Jamrkan and Sa'adan the Ghul, with seventy thousand horse, as 
they were lions fierce-faced, all steel-encased. When Jaland saw 
the Moslems trooping on he rejoiced and said, " By the virtue 
of the Sun, and her resplendent light, I will not leave alive one 
of my foes ; no, not one to carry the news, and I will lay waste 
th land of Al-Irak, that I may take my wreak for my son, the 
havoc-making champion bold ; nor shall my fire be quenched or 
cooled 1 " Then he turned to Ajib and said to him, " O dog of 
Al-Irak, 'twas thou broughtest this calamity on us ! But by the 
virtue of that which I worship, except I avenge me of mine enemy 
I will do thee die after foulest fashion ! " When Ajib heard these 
words he was troubled with sore trouble and blamed himself ; but 
he waited till nightfall, when the Moslems had pitched their tents 
for rest. Now he had been degraded and expelled the royal 
camp together with those who were left to him of his suite : so 
he said to them, " O my kinsmen, know that Jaland and I are 
dismayed with exceeding dismay at the coming of the Moslems, 
and I know that he will not avail to protect me from my brother 
nor from any other ; so it is my counsel that we make our escape, 
whilst all eyes sleep, and flee to King Ya'arub bin Kahtan, 1 for 
that he hath more of men and is stronger of reign." They, hearing 
his advice exclaimed " Right is thy rede," whereupon he bade them 
kindle fires at their tent-doors and march under cover of the night. 
They did his bidding and set out, so by daybreak they had already 
fared far away. As soon as it was morning Jaland mounted with 
two hundred and sixty thousand fighting-men, clad cap-a-pie ia 
hauberks and cuirasses and strait-knit mail-coats, the kettle-drums 
beat a point of war and all drew out for cut and thrust and fight 
and fray. Then Jamrkan and Sa'adan rode out with forty- 
thousand stalwart fighting-men, under each standard a thousand 
cavaliers, doughty champions, foremost in champaign. The two 
hosts drew out in battles and bared their blades and levelled 
their limber lances, for the drinking of the cup of death. The 

1 The name I have said of a quasi historical personage, son of Joktan, the first Arabist 
and the founder of the Tobba" (* 'successor") dynasty in Al-Yaman ; whik Jurham, his 
brother, established that of Al-Hijaz. The name is .probably chosen because well- 

36 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

first to open the gate of strife was Sa'adan, as he were a mountain 
of syenite or a Marid of the Jinn. Then dashed out to him a 
champion of the Infidels, and the Ghul slew him and casting him 
to the earth, cried out to his sons and slaves, saying, " Light the 
fire and roast me this dead one." They did as he bade and 
brought him the roast and he ate it and crunched the bones, whilst 
the Kafirs stood looking on from afar ; and they cried out, " Oh 
for aid from the light-giving Sun ! " and were affrighted at the 
thought of being slain by Sa'adan. Then Jaland shouted to his 
men, saying, " Slay me yonder loathsome beast ! " Whereupon 
another captain of his host drove at the Ghul ; but he slew him, 
and he ceased not to slay horseman after horseman, till he had 
made an end of thirty men. With this the blamed Kafirs held 
back and feared to face him, crying, " Who shall cope with Jinns 
and Ghuls ?" But Jaland raised his voice saying, " Let an hundred 
horse charge him and bring him to me, bound or slain." So an 
hundred horse set upon Sa'adan with swords and spears, and he met 
them with a heart firmer than flint, proclaiming the unity of the 
Requiting King, whom no one thing diverteth from other thing. 
Then he cried aloud, " Allaho Akbar ! " and, smiting them with 
his sword, made their heads fly and in one onset he slew of them 
four-and-seventy whereupon the rest took to flight. So Jaland 
shouted aloud to ten of his captains, each commanding a thousand 
men, and said to them, " Shoot his horse with arrows till 
it fall under him, and then lay hands on him." Therewith ten 
thousand horse drove at Sa'adan who met them with a stout 
heart ; and Jamrkan, seeing this, bore down upon the Miscreants 
with his Moslems, crying out, " God is Most Great ! " Before 
they could reach the Ghul, the enemy had slain his steed and 
taken him prisoner ; but they ceased not to charge the Infidels, 
till the day grew dark for dust and eyes were blinded, and the 
sharp sword clanged while firm stood the valiant cavalier and 
destruction overtook the faint-heart in his fear ; till the Moslems 
were amongst the Paynims like a white patch on a black bull. 
- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying 
her permitted say. 

JJofo fo&m it foas tje S>ix f^un&tft ana jfortB=SbentJ 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that battle 
raged between the Moslems and the Paynims till the True 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 27 

Believers were like a white patch on a black bull. Nor did they 
stint from the mellay till the darkness fell down, when they drew 
apart, after there had been slain of the Infidels men without compt. 
Then Jamrkan and his men returned to their tents ; but they 
were in great grief for Sa'adan, so that neither meat nor sleep 
was sweet to them, and they counted their host and found that 
less than a thousand had been slain. But Jamrkan said, " O folk, 
to-morrow I will go forth into the battle-plain and place where cut 
and thrust obtain, and slay their champions and make prize of 
their families after taking them captives and I will ransom Sa'adan 
therewith, by the leave of the Requiting King, whom no one 
thing diverteth from other thing ! " Wherefore their hearts were 
heartened and they joyed as they separated to their tents. Mean- 
while J aland entered his pavilion and sitting down on his sofa of 
estate, with his folk about him, called for Sa'adan and forthright 
on his coming, said to him, " O dog run wood and least of the 
Arab brood and carrier of firewood, who was it slew my son 
Kurajan, the brave of the age, slayer of heroes and caster down 
of warriors ? " Quoth the Ghul, " Jamrkan slew him, captain of 
the armies of King Gharib, Prince of cavaliers, and I roasted and 
ate him, for I was anhungered." When Jaland heard these words, 
his eyes sank into his head for rage and he bade his swordbearer 
smite Sa'adan's neck. So he came forward in that intent, where- 
upon Sa'adan stretched himself mightily and bursting his bonds, 
snatched the sword from the headsman and hewed off his head. 
Then he made at Jaland who threw himself down from the throne 
and fled ; whilst Sa'adan fell on the bystanders and killed twenty 
of the King's chief officers, and all the rest took to flight 
Therewith loud rose the crying in the camp of the Infidels and the 
Ghul sallied forth of the pavilion and falling upon the troops 
smote them with the sword, right and left, till they opened and 
left a lane for him to pass ; nor did he cease to press forward, 
cutting at them on either side, till he won free of the Miscreants' 
tents and made for the Moslem camp. Now these had heard the 
uproar among their enemies and said, " Haply some calamity hath 
befallen them." But whilst they were in perplexity, behold, 
Sa'adan stood amongst them and they rejoiced at his coming with 
exceeding joy ; more especially Jamrkan, who saluted him with 
the salam as did other True Believers and gave him joy of his 
escape, Such was the case with the Moslems ; but as regards the 
Miscreants, when, after the Ghul's departure, they and their King 

28 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

returned to their tents, Jaland said to them, " O folk, by the 
virtue of the Sun's light-giving ray and by the darkness of the 
Night and the light of the Day and the Stars that stray, I 
thought not this day to have escaped death in mellay ; for, had I 
fallen into yonder fellow's hands, he had eaten me, as I were a 
kernel of wheat or a barley-corn or any other grain." They re- 
plied, " O King, never saw we any do the like of this Ghul." 
And he said, " O folk, to-morrow do ye all don arms and mount 
steed and trample them under your horses' hooves." Meanwhile 
the Moslems had ended their rejoicings at Sa'adan's return and 
Jamrkan said to them, " To-morrow, I will show you my derring- 
do and what behoveth the like of me, for by the virtue of Abraham 
the Friend, I will slay them with the foulest of slaughters and 
smite them with the bite of the sword, till all who have under- 
standing confounded at them shall stand. But I mean to attack 
both right and left wings ; so, when ye see me drive at the King 
under the standards, do ye charge behind me with a resolute 
charge, and Allah's it is to decree what thing shall be ! " Accord- 
ingly the two sides lay upon their arms till the day broke through 
night and the sun appeared to sight. Then they mounted swiftlier 
than the twinkling of the eyelid ; the raven of the wold croaked 
and the two hosts, looking each at other with the eye of fascina- 
tion, formed in line-array and prepared for fight and fray. The 
first to open the chapter of war was Jamrkan who wheeled and 
careered and offered fight in field ; and Jaland and his men were 
about to charge when, behold, a cloud of dust uprolled till it 
walled the wold and overlaid the day. Then the four winds 
smote it and away it floated torn to rags, and there appeared be- 
neath it cavaliers, with helms black and garb white and many a 
princely knight and lances that bite and swords that smite and 
footmen who lion-like knew no affright. Seeing this both armies 
left fighting and sent out scouts to reconnoitre and report who 
thus had come in main and might. So they went and within the 
dust-cloud disappeared from sight, and returned after awhile with 
the news aright that the approaching host was one of Moslems, 
under the command of King Gharib. When the True Believers 
heard from the scouts of the coming of their King, they rejoiced 
and driving out to meet him, dismounted and kissed the earth 

between his hands And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased to say her permitted say. 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 29 

fojm ft foa* rt)e S>(x ^unfcreli an* jFoi%ctj$t!J 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the Moslems saw the presence of their King Gharib, they joyed 
with exceeding joy ; and, kissing the earth between his hands, 
saluted him and gat around him whilst he welcomed them and 
rejoiced in their safety. Then they escorted him to their camp 
and pitched pavilions for him and set up standards ; and Gharib 
sat down on his couch of estate, with his Grandees about him ; 
and they related to him all that had befallen, especially to 
Sa'adan. Meanwhile the Kafirs sought for Ajib and finding him 
not among them nor in their tents, told Jaland of his flight, 
whereat his Doomsday rose and he bit his fingers, saying, " By 
the Sun's light-giving round, he is a perfidious hound and hath 
fled with his rascal rout to desert-ground. But naught save force 
of hard fighting will serve us to repel these foes ; so fortify your 
resolves and hearten your hearts and beware of the Moslems.'* 
And Gharib also said to the True Believers, " Strengthen your 
courage and fortify your hearts and seek aid of your Lord, be- 
seeching him to vouchsafe you the victory over your enemies." 
They replied, " O King, soon thou shalt see what we will do fn 
battle-plain where men cut and thrust amain." So the two hosts 
slept till the day arose with its sheen and shone and the rising 
sun rained light upon hill and down, when Gharib prayed the 
two-bow prayer, after the rite of Abraham the Friend (on whom 
be the Peace !) and wrote a letter, which he despatched by his 
brother Sahim to 'the King of the Kafirs. When Sahim reached 
the enemies' camp, the guards asked him what he wanted, and 
he answered them, "I want your ruler." 1 Quoth they, "Wait 
till we consult him anent thee ; " and he waited, whilst they went 
in to their Sovran and told him of the coming of a messenger, 
and he cried, " Hither with him to me ! " So they brought Sahim 
before Jaland, who said to him, "Who hath sent thee.?' 1 Quoth 
he, " King Gharib sends me, whom Allah hath made ruler over 
Arab and Ajam ; receive his letter and return its reply." Jaland 
took the writ and opening it, read as follows : " In the name of 

1 Arab " Hakim M : lit. one who orders; often confounded by the unscientific with 
Hakim, a doctor, a philosopher. The latter re-appears in the Heb. Khakham applied 
in modern days to the Jewish scribe who takes the place of the Rabbi. 

3o A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate * the One, the 
All-knowing, the supremely Great o the Immemorial, the Lord 
of Noah and Sdlih and Hud and Abraham and of all things He 
made! * The Peace be on him who followeth in the way of 
righteousness and who feareth the issues of frowardness * who 
obeyeth the Almighty King and followeth the Faith saving and 
preferreth the next world to any present thing ! * But afterwards : 

Jaland, none is worthy of worship save Allah alone, the 
Victorious, the One, Creator of night and day and the sphere 
revolving alway # Who sendeth the holy Prophets and garreth 
the streams to flow and the trees to grow, who vaulted the heavens 
and spread out the earth like a carpet below * Who feedeth the 
birds in their nests and the wild beasts in the deserts * for He is 
Allah the All-powerful, the Forgiving, the Long-suffering, the 
Protector, whom eye comprehendeth on no wise and who maketh 
night on day arise * He who sent down the Apostles and their 
Holy Writ Know, O Jaland, that there is no faith but the Faith 
of Abraham the Friend ; so cleave to the Creed of Salvation and 
be saved from the biting glaive and the Fire which followeth the 
grave * But, an thou refuse Al-Islam look for ruin to haste and 
thy reign to be waste and thy traces untraced * And, lastly, send 
me the dog Ajib hight that I may take from him my father's and 
mother's blood-wit." When Jaland had read this letter, he said 
to Sahim, "Tell thy lord that Ajib hath fled, he and his folk, and 

1 know not whither he is gone ; but, as for Jaland, he will not 
forswear his faith, and to-morrow, there shall be battle between us 
and the Sun shall give us the victory." So Sahim returned to 
his brother with this reply, and when the morning morrowed, the 
Moslems donned their arms and armour and bestrode their stout 
steeds, calling aloud on the name of the All-conquering King, 
Creator of bodies and souls, and magnifying Him with " Allaho 
Akbar." Then the kettle-drums of battle beat until earth trembled, 
and sought the field all the lordly warriors and doughty champions.' 
The first to open the gate of battle was Jamrkan, who drave his 
charger into mid-plain and played with sword and javelin, till the 
understanding was amazed; after which he cried out, saying, 
" Ho ! who is for tilting ? Ho ! who is for fighting ? Let no 
sluggard come out to me to-day nor weakling ! I am the slayer 
of Kurajan bin Jaland ; who will come forth to avenge him ? " 
When Jaland heard the name of his son, he cried out to his men, 
" O whore-sons, bring me yonder horseman who slew my son, that 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 31 

I may eat his flesh and drink his blood." So an hundred fighting 
men charged at Jamrkan, but he slew the most part of them and 
put their chief to flight ; which feat when Jaland saw, he cried out 
to his folk, " At him all at once and assault him with one assault." 
Accordingly they waved the awe-striking banners and host was 
heaped on host ; Gharib rushed on with his men and Jamrkan did 
the same and the two sides met like two seas together clashing. 
The Yamdni sword and spear wrought havoc and breasts and 
bellies were rent, whilst both armies saw the Angel of Death face 
to face and the dust of the battle rose to the skirts of the sky. 
Ears went deaf and tongues went dumb and doom from every side 
came on whilst valiant stood fast and faint-heart fled : and they 
ceased not from fight and fray till ended the day, when the drums 
beat the retreat and the two hosts drew apart and returned, each 

to its tents. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

jlofo tojjm ft foas tj* Sfct'x f^un&refc anb JpottB=nmtf) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King 
Gharib ended the battle and the two hosts drew apart and each had 
returned to his own tents, he sat down on the throne of his realm 
and the place of his reign, whilst his chief officers ranged them- 
selves about him, and he said, " I am sore concerned for the flight 
of the cur Ajib and I know not whither he has gone. Except I 
overtake him and take my wreak of him, I shall die of despite.'* 
Whereupon Sahim came forward and kissing the earth before him, 
said, " O King, I will go to the army of the Kafirs and find out 
what is come of the perfidious dog Ajib." Quoth Gharib, " Go, 
and learn the truth anent the hog." So Sahim disguised himself 
in the habit of the Infidels and became as he were of them; then, 
making for the enemy's camp, he found them all asleep, drunken 
with war and battle, and none were on wake save only the guards. 
He passed on and presently came to the King's pavilion where he 
found King Jaland asleep unattended ; so he crept up and made 
him smell and sniff up levigated Bhang and he became as one 
dead. Then Sahim went out and took a male mule, and wrapping 
the King in the coverlet of his bed, laid him on its back ; after 
which he threw a mat over him and led the beast to the Moslem 
camp. Now when he came to Gharib's pavilion and would have 

32 A If Laylafi wa Laylah. 

entered, the guards knew him not and prevented him, saying, 
" Who art thou ? " He laughed and uncovered his face, and they 
knew him and admitted him. When Gharib saw him he said, 
What bearest thou there, O Sahim ?" ; and he replied, "O King, 
this is Jaland bin Karkar." Then he uncovered him, and Gharib 
knew him and said, " Arouse him, O Sahim," So he made him 
smell vinegar 1 and frankincense; and he cast the Bhang from his 
nostrils and, opening his eyes, found himself among the Moslems; 
whereupon quoth he, " What is this foul dream ? " and closing his 
eyelids again, would have slept ; but Sahim dealt him a kick, 
saying, " Open thine eyes, O accursed ! " So he opened them and 
asked, " Where am I ? " ; and Sahim answered, " Thou art in the 
presence of King Gharib bin Kundamir, King of Irak." When 
Jaland heard this, he said, " O King, I am under thy protection ! 
Know that I am not at fault, but that who led us forth to fight theo 
was thy brother, and the same cast enmity between us and then 
fled." Quoth Gharib, " Knowest thou whither he is gone ? " ; and 
quoth Jaland, " No, by the light-giving sun, I know not whither." 
Then Gharib bade lay him in bonds and set guards over him, whilst 
each captain returned to his own tent, and Jamrkan while wending 
said to his men, " O sons of my uncle, I purpose this night to do a 
deed wherewith I may whiten my face with King Gharib." Quoth 
they, " Do as thou wilt, we hearken to thy commandment and obey 
it.*' Quoth he, " Arm yourselves and, muffling your steps while I 
go with you, let us fare softly and disperse about the Infidels' camp, 
so that the very ants shall not be ware of you ; and, when you hear 
me cry Allaho Akbar, do ye the like and cry out, saying, God is 
Most Great ! and hold back and make for the city gate ; and we 
seek aid from the Most High." So the folk armed themselves 
cap-a-pie and waited till the noon of night, when they dispersed 
about the enemy's camp and tarried awhile when, lo and behold ! 
Jamrkan smote shield with sword and shouted, " Allaho Akbar ! " 
Thereupon they all cried out the like, till rang again valley and 
mountain, hills, sands and ruins. The Miscreants awoke in dismay 
and fell one upon other, and the sword went round amongst them ; 

1 As has been seen, acids have ever been and are still administered as counter- 
inebriants, while hot spices and sweets greatly increase the effect of Bhang, opium, 
henbane, datura, &c. The Persians have a most unpleasant form of treating men when 
dead-drunk with wine or spirits. They hang them up by the heels, as we used to do 
with the drowned, and stuff their mouths with human ordure which is sure to produce 

The History of Gharib and his Brother A jib. 33 

the Moslems drew back and made for the city gates, where they 
slew the warders and entering, made themselves masters of the 
town, with all that was therein of treasure and women. Thus it 
befel with Jamrkan ; but as regards King Gharib, hearing the 
noise and clamour of " God is Most Great," he mounted with his 
troops to the last man and sent on in advance Sahim who, when 
he came near the field of fight, saw that Jamrkan had fallen upon 
the Kafirs with the Banu Amir by night and made them drink the 
cup of death. So he returned and told all to his brother, who 
called down blessings on Jamrkan. And the Infidels ceased not 
to smite one another with the biting sword and expending their 
strength till the day rose and lighted up the land, when Gharib cried 
out to his men, " Charge, O ye noble, and do a deed to please the 
All-knowing King ! " So the True Believers fell upon the idolaters 
and plied upon every false hypocritical breast the keen sword and 
the quivering spear. They sought to take refuge in the city ; but 
Jamrkan came forth upon them with his kinsmen, who hemmed 
them in between two mountain-ranges, and slew an innumerable 

host of them, and the rest fled into the wastes and wolds. 

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

JSofo fofcn ft ferns tf)e gbt'x f^untafc atft jptftietl) Jiu$t, 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the Moslem host charged upon the Miscreants they hewed them 
in pieces with the biting scymitar and the rest fled to the wastes 
and wolds ; nor did the Moslems cease pursuing them with the 
sword, till they had scattered them abroad in the plains and stony 
places. Then they returned to Oman city, and King Gharib 
entered the palace of the King and, sitting down on the throne of 
his kingship, with his Grandees and Officers ranged right and left, 
sent for J aland, They brought him in haste and Gharib ex- 
pounded to him Al-Islam ; but he rejected it ; wherefore Gharib 
bade crucify him on the gate of the city, and they shot at him with 
shafts till he was like unto a porcupine. Then Gharib honourably 
robed Jamrkan and said to him, " Thou shalt be lord of this city 
and ruler thereof with power to loose and to bind therein, for it 
was thou didst open it with thy sword and thy folk." And 
Jamrkan kissed the King's feet, thanked him and wished him 
abiding victory and glory and every blessing. Moreover Gharib 
VOL. vn. C 

34 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

opened Jaland's treasuries and saw what was therein of coin, 
whereof he gave largesse to his captains and standard-bearers and 
fighting-men, yea, even to the girls and children ; and thus he 
lavished his gifts ten days long. After this, one night he dreamt 
a terrible dream and awoke, troubled and trembling. So he 
aroused his brother Sahim and said to him, " I saw in my vision 
that we were in a wide valley, when there pounced down on us 
two ravening birds of prey, never in my life saw I greater than 
they ; their legs were like lances, and as they swooped we were in 
sore fear of them." Replied Sahim, " O King, this be some great 
enemy; so stand on thy guard against him." Gharib slept not 
the rest of the night and, when the day broke, he called for his 
courser and mounted. Quoth Sahim, " Whither goest thou, my 
brother ? " and quoth Gharib, " I awoke heavy at heart ; so I mean 
to ride abroad ten days and broaden my breast." Said Sahim, 
" Take with thee a thousand braves ;" but Gharib replied, " I will 
not go forth but with thee and only thee." So the two brothers 
mounted and, seeking the dales and leasows, fared on from Wady 
to Wady and from meadow to meadow, till they came to a valley 
abounding in streams and sweet-smelling flowers and trees laden 
with all manner eatable fruits, two of each kind. Birds warbled 
on the branches their various strains ; the mocking-bird trilled out 
her sweet notes fain and the turtle filled with her voice the plain. 
There sang the nightingale, whose chant arouses the sleeper, and 
the merle with his note like the voice of man and the cushat 
and the ring-dove, whilst the parrot with its eloquent tongue 
answered the twain. The valley pleased them and they ate of its 
fruits and drank of its waters, after which they sat under the 
shadow of its trees till drowsiness overcame them and they slept, 
glory be to Him who sleepeth not ! As they lay asleep, lo ! two 
fierce Marids swooped down on them and, taking each one on his 
shoulders, towered with them high in air, till they were above 
the clouds. So Gharib and Sahim awoke and found themselves 
betwixt heaven and earth ; whereupon they looked at those who 
bore them and saw that they were two Marids, the head of the one 
being as that of a dog and the head of the other as that of an ape 1 
with hair like horses' tails and claws like lions' claws, and both 
were big as great palm-trees. When they espied this case, they 
exclaimed, " There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in 

1 Compare the description of the elephant-faced Vetala (Kathd S.S. Fasc. xi. p. 388). 

The History of Gkarib and his Brother Ajib. 35 

Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! " Now the cause of this was that 
a certain King of the Kings of the Jinn, hight Mura'ash, had a 
son called Sd'ik, who loved a damsel of the Jinn, named Najmah; 1 
and the twain used to foregather in that Wady under the sem- 
blance of two birds. Gharib and Sahim saw them thus and 
deeming them birds, shot at them with shafts but wounding only 
Sa'ik whose blood flowed. Najmah mourned over him ; then, 
fearing lest the like calamity befal herself, snatched up her lover 
and flew with him to his father's palace, where she cast him down 
at the gate. The warders bore him in and laid him before his sire 
who, seeing the pile sticking in his rib exclaimed, " Alas, my son ! 
Who hath done with thee this thing, that I may lay waste his 
abiding-place and hurry on his destruction, though he were the 
greatest of the Kings of the Jann ? " Thereupon Sa'ik opened his 
eyes and said, " O my father, none slew me save a mortal in the 
Valley of Springs." Hardly had he made an end of these words, 
when his soul departed; whereupon his father buffeted his face, 
till the blood streamed fix m his mouth, and cried out to two 
Marids, saying, " Hie ye to the Valley of Springs and bring me all 
who are therein." So they betook themselves to the Wady in 
question, where they found Gharib and Sahim asleep, and, snatching 

them up, carried them to King Mura'ash. 2 And Shahrazad 

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

Jlofo fofjen ft foas tfie gbix f^untrreb an& JFtftg-first 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
two Marids, after snatching up Gharib and Sahim in their sleep, 
carried them to Mura'ash, king of the Jann, whom they saw 
seated on the throne of his kingship, as he were a huge mountain, 
with four heads on his body, 3 the first that of a lion, the second 
that of an elephant, the third that of a panther, and the fourth that 

1 The lover's name Sa'ik = the Striker (with lightning) ; Najmah, the beloved = the 

2 I have modified the last three lines of the Mac. Edit, which contain a repetition 
evidently introduced by the carelessness of the copyist. 

3 The Hindu Charvakas explain the Triad, Bramha, Vishnu and Shiva, by the sexual 
organs and upon Vishnu's having four arms they gloss, "At the time of sexual inter- 
course, each man and woman has as many.'* (Dabistan ii. 202). This is the Eastern 
view of Rabelais' " beast with two backs." 

Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

of a lynx. The Marids set them down before Mura'ash and said 
to him, " O King, these twain be they we found in the Valley of 
Springs." Thereupon he looked at them with wrathful eyes and 
snarked and snorted and shot sparks from his nostrils, so that 
all who stood by feared him. Then said he, " O dogs of mankind, 
ye have slain my son and lighted fire in my liver." Quoth Gharib, 
" Who is thy son, and who hath seen him ? " Quoth Mura'ash, 
" Were ye not in the Valley of Springs and did ye not see my son 
there, in the guise of a bird, and did ye not shoot at him with 
wooden bolts that he died ?" Replied Gharib, " I know not who 
slew him ; and, by the virtue of the Great God, the One, the 
Immemorial who knoweth things all, and of Abraham the Friend, 
we saw no bird, neither slew we bird or beast ! " Now when 
Mura'ash heard Gharib swear by Allah and His greatness and by 
Abraham the Friend, he knew him for a Moslem (he himself 
being a worshipper of Fire, not of the All-powerful Sire), so he 
cried out to his folk, " Bring me my Goddess. 1 " Accordingly they 
brought a brazier of gold and, setting it before him, kindled therein 
fire and cast on drugs, whereupon there arose therefrom green and 
blue and yellow flames and the King and all who were present 
prostrated themselves before the brazier, whilst Gharib and Sahim 
ceased not to attest the Unity of Allah Almighty, to cry out " God 
is Most Great "and to bear witness to His Omnipotence. Pre- 
sently, Mura'ash raised his head and, seeing the two Princes 
standing in lieu of falling down to worship, said to them, " O dogs, 
why do ye not prostrate yourselves ? " Replied Gharib, " Out on 
you, O ye accursed ! Prostration befitteth not man save to the 
Worshipful King, who bringeth forth all creatures into beingness 
from nothingness and maketh water to well from the barren rock- 
well, Him who inclineth heart of sire unto new-born scion and who 
may not be described as sitting or standing ; the God of Noah and 
Salfh and Hud and Abraham the Friend, Who created Heaven 
and Hell and trees and fruit as well, 2 for He is Allah, the One, the 
All-powerful." When Mura'ash heard this, his eyes sank into his 
head 3 and he cried out to his guards, saying, " Pinion me these 
two dogs and sacrifice them to my Goddess." So they bound 
them and were about to cast them into the fire when, behold, 

1 Arab. " Rabbat-i," my she Lord, fire (nar) being feminine. 

8 The prose-rhyme is answerable for this galimatias. 

* A common phrase equivalent to our started from his head," 

The History of Gharib and hts Brother Ajib. 37 

one of the crenelles of the palace-parapet fell down upon the 
brazier and brake it and put out the fire, which became ashes 
flying in air. Then quoth Gharib, "God is Most Great! He 
giveth aid and victory and He forsaketh those who deny Him, 
Fire worshipping and not the Almighty King !" Presently quoth 
Mura'ash, " Thou art a sorcerer and hast bewitched my Goddess, 
so that this thing hath befallen her. Gharib replied, " O madman, 
an the fire had soul or sense it would have warded off from self all 
that hurteth it." When Mura'ash heard these words, he roared 
and bellowed and reviled the Fire, saying, " By my faith, I will 
not kill you save by the fire !" Then he bade cast them into gaol ; 
and, calling an hundred Marids, made them bring much fuel and set 
fire thereto. So they brought great plenty of wood and made a 
huge blaze, which flamed up mightily till the morning, when 
Mura'ash mounted an elephant, bearing on its back a throne of 
gold dubbed with jewels, and the tribes of the Jinn gathered about 
him in their various kinds. Presently they brought in Gharib and 
Sahim who, seeing the flaming of the fire, sought help of the One, 
the All-conquering Creator of night and day, Him of All-might, 
whom no sight comprehendeth, but who comprehendeth all sights, 
for He is the Subtle, the All-knowing. And they ceased not 
humbly beseeching Him till, behold, a cloud arose from West to 
East and, pouring down showers of rain, like the swollen sea, 
quenched the fire. When the King saw this, he was affrighted, he 
and his troops, and entered the palace, where he turned to the 
Wazirs and Grandees and said to them, " How say ye of these two 
men ? " They replied, " O King, had they not been in the right, 
this thing had not befallen the fire ; wherefore we say that they 
be true men which speak sooth." Rejoined Mura'ash, "Verily 
the Truth hath been displayed to me, ay, and the manifest way, 
and I am certified that the worship of the fire is false ; for, were 
it goddess, it had warded off from itself the rain which quenched 
it and the stone which broke its brasier and beat it into ashes. 
Wherefore I believe in Him Who created the fire and the light 
and the shade and the heat. And ye, what say ye ? " They 
answered, " O King, we also hear and follow and obey." So the 
King called for Gharib and embraced him and kissed him between 
the eyes and then summoned Sahim ; whereupon the bystanders 

all crowded to kiss their hands and heads. And Shahrazad 

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

38 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

fo&en it foas t&e &fo l^untetr an* 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Mura'ash and his men found salvation in the Saving Faith, 
Al-Islam, he called for Gharib and Sahim and kissed them between 
the eyes and so did all the Grandees who crowded to buss their 
hands and heads. Then Mura'ash sat down on the throne of his 
kingship and, seating Gharib on his right and Sahim on his left 
hand, said to them, " O mortals, what shall we say, that we 
may become Moslems ? " Replied Gharib, " Say : There is no 
god but the God, and Abraham is the Friend of God ! " So the 
King and his folk professed Al-Islam with heart and tongue, and 
Gharib abode with them awhile, teaching them the ritual of prayer. 
But presently he called to mind his people and sighed, whereupon 
quoth Mura'ash, "Verily, trouble is gone and joy and gladness are 
come." Quoth Gharib, " O King, I have many foes and I fear for 
my folk from them.'* Then he related to him his history with his 
brother Ajib from first to last, and the King of the Jinns said, " O 
King of men, I will send one who shall bring thee news of thy 
people, for I will not let thee go till I have had my fill of thy 
face." Then he called two doughty Marids, by name Kaylajan 
and Kurajan, and after they had done him homage, he bade them 
repair to Al-Yaman and bring him news of Gharib's army. They 
replied, " To hear is to obey," and departed. Thus far concerning 
the brothers ; but as regards the Moslems, they arose in the morn- 
ing and led by their captains rode to King Gharib's palace, to do 
their service to him ; but the eunuchs told them that the King had 
mounted with his brother and had ridden forth at peep o' day. 
So they made for the valleys and mountains and followed the 
track of the Princes, till they came to the Valley of Springs, where 
they found their arms cast down and their two gallant steeds 
grazing and said, " The King is missing from this place, by the 
glory of Abraham the Friend ! " Then they mounted and sought 
in the valley and the mountains three days, but found no trace of 
them whereupon they began the mourning ceremonies and, send- 
ing for couriers, said to them, " Do ye disperse yourselves about 
the cities and sconces and castles, and seek ye news of our King." 
"Hearkening and obedience!" cried the couriers, who dispersed 
hither and thither each over one of the Seven Climes and sought 
everywhere for Gharib. but found no trace of him. Now when the 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 39 

tidings came to Ajib by his spies that his brother was lost and 
there was no news of the missing, he rejoiced and going in to 
King Ya'arub bin Kahtan, sought of him aid which he granted 
and gave him two hundred thousand Amalekites, wherewith he 
set out for Al-Yaman and sat down before the city of Oman. 
Jamrkan and Sa'adan sallied forth and offered him battle, and 
there were slain of the Moslems much folk, so the True Believers 
retired into the city and shut the gates and manned the walls. 
At this moment came up the two Marids Kaylajan and Kurajan 
and, seeing the Moslem beleaguered waited till nightfall, when 
they fell upon the miscreants and plied them with sharp swords 
of the swords of the Jinn, each twelve cubits long, if a man smote 
therewith a rock, verily he would cleave it in sunder. They 
charged the Idolaters, shouting, " Allaho Akbar ! God is Most 
Great ! He giveth aid and victory and forsaketh those who deny 
the Faith of Abraham the Friend ! " and whilst they raged amongst 
the foes, fire issued from their mouths and nostrils, and they made 
great slaughter amongst them. Thereupon the Infidels ran out 
of their tents offering battle but, seeing these strange things, were 
confounded and their hair stood on end and their reason fled. So 
they snatched up their arms and fell one upon other, whilst the 
Marids shore off their heads, as a reaper eareth grain, crying, 
"God is Most Great! We are the lads of King Gharib, the 
friend of Mura'ash, King of the Jinn ! " The sword ceased not 
to go round amongst them till the night was half spent, when the 
Misbelievers, imagining that the mountains were all Ifrits, loaded 
their tents and treasure and baggage upon camels and made off; 

and the first to fly was Ajib. And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo fo&en (t foas tje S>ix ^untefc an* Jaftg.-tfu'rtr NfgSt, 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
Misbelievers made off and the first to fly was Ajib. Thereupon 
the Moslems gathered together, marvelling at this that had 
betided the Infidels and fearing the tribesmen of the Jinn. But 
the Marids ceased not from pursuit, till they had driven them far 
away into the hills and wolds ; and but fifty thousand Rebels l of 
two hundred thousand escaped with their lives and made for their 

1 Arab. " Mariduna " = rebels (against Allah and his prders)- 

40 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

own land, wounded and sore discomfited. Then the two Jinns 
returned and said to them, " O host of the Moslems, your lord 
King Gharib and his brother Sahim salute you ; they are the 
guests of Mura'ash, King of the Jann, and will be with you anon." 
When Gharib's men heard that he was safe and well, they joyed 
with exceeding joy and said to the Marids, "Allah gladden 
you twain with good news, O noble spirits ! " So Kurajan and 
Kaylajan returned to Mura'ash and Gharib ; and acquainted them 
with that which had happened, whereat Gharib finding the two 
sitting together felt heart at ease and said, "Allah abundantly 
requite you ! " Then quoth King Mura'ash, " O my brother, I am 
minded to show thee our country and the city of Japhet ! son of 
Noah (on whom be peace !) " Quoth Gharib, " O King, do what 
seemeth good to thee." So he called for three noble steeds and 
mounting, he and Gharib and Sahim, set out with a thousand 
Marids, as they were a piece of a mountain cloven lengthwise. 
They fared on, solacing themselves with the sight of valleys and 
mountains, till they came to Jabarsd, 2 the city of Japhet son of 
Noah (on whom be peace !) where the townsfolk all, great and 
small, came forth to meet King Mura'ash and brought them into 
the city in great state. Then Mura'ash went up to the palace of 
Japhet son of Noah and sat down on the throne of his kingship, 
which was of alabaster, ten stages high and latticed with wands of 
gold wherefrom hung all manner coloured silks. The people of 
the city stood before him and he said to them, " O seed of Yafis 
bin Nuh, what did your fathers and grandfathers worship ? " They 
replied, "We found them worshipping Fire and followed their 
example, as thou well knowest." " O folk," rejoined Mura'ash, 
" we have been shown that the fire is but one of the creatures of 
Almighty Allah, Creator of all things ; and when we knew this, 
we submitted ourselves to God, the One, the All-powerful, Maker 

1 Arab. Yafis or Yafat. He had eleven sons and was entitled Abu al-Turk because 
this one engendered the Turcomans as others did the Chinese, Scythians, Slaves (Saklab), 
Gog, Magog, and the Muscovites or Russians. According to the Moslems there was a 
rapid falling off in size amongst this family. Noah's grave at Karak (the Ruin) a 
suburb of Zahlah, in La Brocquiere's "Valley of Noah, where the Ark was built," is 
104 ft. 10 in. long by 8 ft. 8 in. broad. (N.B. It is a bit of the old aqueduct which Mr. 
Porter, the learned author of the "Giant Cities of Bashan," quotes as a "traditional 
memorial of primeval giants" talibus carduis pascuntur asini !). Nabi Ham measures 
only 9 ft. 6 in. between headstone and tombstone, being in fact about as long as hi* 
father was broad. 

* See Night dcliv., vol. vii., p, 43, infra. 

The History of Gharib and his Brother A jib. 41 

of night and day and the sphere revolving alway, Whom compre- 
hendeth no sight, but Who comprehendeth all sights, for He is 
the Subtle, the All-wise. So seek ye Salvation and ye shall be 
saved from the wrath of the Almighty One and from the fiery 
doom in the world to come." And they embraced Al-Islam with 
heart and tongue. Then Mura'ash took Gharib by the hand and 
showed him the palace and its ordinance and all the marvels it 
contained, till they came to the armoury, wherein were the arms 
of Japhet son of Noah. Here Gharib saw a sword hanging to a 
pin of gold and asked, "O King, whose is that? Mura'ash 
answered, " 'Tis the sword of Yafis bin Nuh, wherewith he was 
wont to do battle against men and Jinn. The sage Jardum forged 
it and graved on its back names of might. 1 It is named Al-Mahik 
the Annihilator for that it never descendeth upon a man, but 
it annihilateth him, nor upon a Jinni, but it crusheth him ; and if 
one smote therewith a mountain 'twould overthrow it." When 
Gharib heard tell of the virtues of the sword, he said, " I desire to 
look on this blade ; " and Mura'ash said, " Do as thou wilt." So 
Gharib put out his hand, and, hending the sword, drew it from its 
sheath ; whereupon it flashed and Death crept on its edge and 
glittered; and it was twelve spans long and three broad. Now 
Gharib wished to become owner of it, and King Mura'ash said, 
" An thou canst smite with it, take it." " 'Tis well," Gharib replied, 
and took it up, and it was in his hand as a staff; wherefore all 
who were present, men and Jinn, marvelled and said, " Well done, 
O Prince of Knights ! " Then said Mura'ash " Lay thy hand on 
this hoard for which the Kings of the earth sigh in vain, and 
mount, that I may show thee the city." Then they took horse 
and rode forth the palace, with men and Jinns attending them on 
foot, -- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 
to say her permitted say. 

Nofo to&en (t foas tjc btx f^untafc an& JFtftB=fourtl) 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Gharib and King Mura'ash rode forth the palace of Japhet, with 

1 According to Turcoman legends (evidently post-Mohammedan) Noah gave his son 
Japhet a stone inscribed with the Greatest Name, and it had the virtue of bringing on or 
driving off rain. The Moghuls long preserved the tradition and hence probably the 

42 A If Laylah iva Laylah. 

men and Jinns attending them on foot, they passed through the 
streets and thoroughfares of the town, by palaces and deserted 
mansions and gilded doorways, till they issued from the gates 
and entered gardens full of trees fruit-bearing and waters welling 
and birds speaking and celebrating the praises of Him to whom 
belong Majesty and Eternity ; nor did they cease to solace them- 
selves in the land till nightfall, when they returned to the palace 
of Japhet son of Noah and they brought them the table of food. 
So they ate and Gharib turned to the King of the Jann and said 
to him, " O King, I would fain return to my folk and my force ; 
for I know not their plight after me." Replied Mura'ash, " By 
Allah, O my brother, I will not part with thee for a full month, 
till I have had my fill of thy sight." Now Gharib could not say 
nay, so he abode with him in the city of Japhet, eating and 
drinking and making merry, till the month ended, when Mura'ash 
gave him great store of gems and precious ores, emeralds and 
balass-rubies, diamonds and other jewels, ingots of gold and silver 
and likewise ambergis and musk and brocaded silks and else of 
rarities and things of price. Moreover he clad him and Sahim in 
silken robes of honour gold-inwoven and set on Gharib's head a 
crown jewelled with pearls and diamonds of inestimable value. 
All these treasures he made up into even loads for him and, 
calling five hundred Marids, said to them, " Get ye ready to 
travel on the morrow, that we may bring King Gharib and Sahim 
back to their own country." And they answered, " We hear and 
we obey/' So they passed the night in the city, purposing to 
depart on the morrow, but, next morning, as they were about to 
set forth behold, they espied a great host advancing upon the 
city, with horses neighing and kettle-drums beating and trumpets 
braying and riders filling the earth for they numbered threescore 
and ten thousand Marids, flying and diving, under a King called 
Barkan. Now this Barkan was lord of the City of Carnelian and 
the Castle of Gold and under his rule were five hill-strongholds, in 
each five hundred thousand Marids ; and he and his tribe 
worshipped the Fire, not the Omnipotent Sire. He was a cousin 
of Mura'ash, the son of his father's brother, and the cause of his 
coming was that there had been among the subjects of King 
Mura'ash a misbelieving Marid, who professed Al-Islam hypo- 
critically, and he stole away from his people and made for the 
Valley of Carnelian, where he went in to King Barkan and, 
kissing the earth before him, wished him abiding glory and 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 43 

prosperity. Then he told him of Mura'ash being converted to 
Al-Islam, and Barkan said, " How came he to tear himself away 
from his faith l ? " So the rebel told him what had passed and, 
when Barkan heard it, he snorted and snarked and railed at Sun 
and Moon and sparkling Fire, saying, " By the virtue of my faith, 
I will surely slay mine uncle's son and his people and this mortal, 
nor will I leave one of them alive ! " Then he cried out to the 
legions of the Jinn and choosing of them seventy thousand 
Marids, set out and fared on till he came to Jabarsa 2 the city of 
Japhet and encamped before its gates. When Mura'ash saw this, 
he despatched a Marid, saying, " Go to this host and learn all that 
it wanteth and return hither in haste." So the messenger rushed 
away to Barkan's camp, where the Marids flocked to meet him 
and said to him, " Who art thou ? " Replied he, " An envoy from 
King Mura'ash ; " whereupon they carried him in to Barkan, 
before whom he prostrated himself, saying, " O my lord, my 
master hath sent me to thee, to learn tidings of thee." Quoth 
Barkan, " Return to thy lord and say to him : This is thy 
cousin Barkan, who is come to salute thee." - And Shahrazad 
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted 

Koto tof)*n it toas tjc S>tx ^untrrefc anto jFtftg-fiftf) Nifl&t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
Marid-envoy of Mura'ash was borne before Barkan and said to 
him, " O my lord, my master hath sent me to thee to learn tidings 
of thee," Barkan replied, "Return to thy lord and say to him: 
This is thy cousin Barkan who is come to salute thee ! " So the 
messenger went back and told Mura'ash, who said to Gharib, 
" Sit thou on thy throne whilst I go and salute my cousin and 
return to thee." Then he mounted and rode to the camp of his 
uncle's son. Now this was a trick 3 of Barkan, to bring Mura'ash 
out and seize upon him, and he said to his Marids, whom he had 
stationed about him, " When ye see me embrace him, 4 lay hold of 

1 This expresses Moslem sentiment ; the convert to Al-Islam being theoretically 
respected and practically despised. The Turks call him a " Burma "= twister, a 
turncoat, and no one either trusts him or believes in his sincerity. 

2 The name of the city first appears here : it is found also in the Bui. Edit., vol. ii. 

P- i3 2 - 

3 Arab. " 'Amala hilah,*' a Syro-Egyptian vulgarism. 

4 i.e. his cousin, but he will not use the word. 

44 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

him and pinion him." And they replied, " To hear is to obey." 
So, when King Mura'ash came up and entered Barkan's pavilion, 
the owner rose to him and threw his arms round his neck ; 
whereat the Jann fell upon Mura'ash and pinioned him and 
chained him. Mura'ash looked at Barkan and said, "What 
manner of thing is this ? " Quoth Barkan, " O dog of the Jann, 
wilt thou leave the faith of thy fathers and grandfathers and enter 
a faith thou knowest not ?" Rejoined Mura'ash, "O son of my 
uncle, indeed I have found the faith of Abraham the Friend to be 
the True Faith and all other than it vain." Asked Barkan, "And 
who told thee of this ? " ; and Mura'ash answered, " Gharib, King 
of Irak, whom I hold in the highest honour." By the right of the 
Fire and the Light and the Shade and the Heat," cried Barkan, 
" I will assuredly slay both thee and him ! " And he cast him 
Into gaol. Now when Mura'ash's henchman saw what had befallen 
his lord, he fled back to the city and told the King's legionaries 
who cried out and mounted. Quoth Gharib, "What is the 
matter ? " And they told him all that had passed, whereupon he 
cried out to Sahim, " Saddle me one of the chargers that King 
Mura'ash gave me. Said Sahim, " O my brother, wilt thou do 
battle with the Jinn ? " Gharib replied, " Yes, I will fight them 
with the sword of Japhet son of Noah, seeking help of the Lord of 
Abraham the Friend (on whom be the Peace !) ; for He is the 
Lord of all things and sole Creator ! " So Sahim saddled him a 
sorrel horse of the horses of the Jinn, as he were a castle strong 
among castles, and he armed and mounting, rode out with the 
legions of the Jinn, hauberk 'd cap-a-pie. Then Barkan and his 
host mounted also and the two hosts drew out in lines facing each 
other. The first to open the gate of war was Gharib, who drave 
his steed into the mid-field and bared the enchanted blade, 
whence issued a glittering light that dazzled the eyes of all the 
Jinn and struck terror to their hearts. Then he played ! with the 
sword till their wits were wildered, and cried out, saying, " Allaho 
Akbar ! I am Gharib, King of Irak. There is no Faith save the 
Faith of Abraham the Friend ! " Now when Barkan heard 
Gharib's words, he said, " This is he who seduced my cousin from 
his religion ; so, by the virtue of my faith, I will not sit down on 
my throne till I have decapitated this Gharib and suppressed his 

1 Arab." La'ab," meaning very serious use of the sword: we still preserve the old 

The History of Gharib and his Brother A jib. 45 

breath of life and forced my cousin and his people back to their 
belief: and whoso baulketh me, him will I destroy." Then he 
mounted an elephant paper-white as he were a tower plastered 
with gypsum, and goaded him with a spike of steel which ran 
deep into his flesh, whereupon the elephant trumpeted and made 
for the battle-plain where cut and thrust obtain ; and, when he 
drew near Gharib, he cried out to him, saying, " O dog of mankind, 
what made thee come into our land, to debauch my cousin and his 
folk and pervert them from one faith to other faith." Know that 
this day is the last of thy worldly days/ 1 Gharib replied, 
41 Avaunt, 1 O vilest of the Jann 1 " Therewith Barkan drew a 
javelin and making it quiver 2 in his hand, cast it at Gharib ; but 
it missed him. So he hurled a second javelin at him ; but 
Gharib caught it in mid-air and after poising it launched it at 
the elephant. It smote him on the flank and came out on the 
other side, whereupon the beast fell to the earth dead and Barkan 
was thrown to the ground, like a great palm-tree. Before he 
could stir, Gharib smote him with the flat of Japhet's blade on 
the nape of the neck, and he fell upon the earth in a fainting-fit ; 
whereupon the Marids swooped down on him and surrounding 
him pinioned his elbows. When Barkan's people saw their 
king a prisoner, they drove at the others, seeking to rescue him, 
but Gharib and the Islamised Jinn fell upon them and gloriously 
done for Gharib ! indeed that day he pleased the Lord who 
answereth prayer and slaked his vengeance with the talisman- 
sword ! Whomsoever he smote, he clove him in sunder and 
before his soul could depart he became a heap of ashes in the 
fire ; whilst the two hosts of the Jinn shot each other with flamy 
meteors till the battle-field was wrapped in smoke. And Gharib 
tourneyed right and left among the Kafirs who gave way before 
him, till he came to King Barkan's pavilion, with Kaylajan and 
Kurajan on his either hand, and cried out to them, " Loose your 

lord ! " So they unbound Mura'ash and broke his fetters and 

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

1 Arab. " Ikhsa," from a root meaning to drive away a dog. 

2 Arab. " Hazza-hu," the quivering motion given to the " Harbak" (a light throw 
pear or javelin) before it leaves the hand. 

46 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

ttfofo fofien ft foas tje &ix f^untofc antr JFi 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
King Gharib cried out to Kaylajan and Kurajan, saying, " Loose 
your lord ! ", they unbound Mura'ash and broke his fetters, and 
he said to them, " Bring me my arms and my winged horse. 
Now he had two flying steeds, one of which he had given to 
Gharib and the other he had kept for himself; and this he 
.mounted after he had donned his battle-harness. Then he and 
Gharib fell upon the enemy, flying through the air on their winged 
horses, and the true believing Jinn followed them, shouting 
" Allaho Akbar God is Most Great ! " till plains and hills, 
valleys and mountains re-worded the cry. The Infidels fled 
before them and they returned, after having slain more than 
thirty thousand Marids and Satans, to the city of Japhet, where 
the two Kings sat down on their couches of estate and sought 
Barkan, but found him not ; for after capturing him they were 
diverted from him by stress of battle, where an Ifrit of his servants 
made his way to him and loosing him, carried him to his folk, 
of whom he found part slain and the rest in full flight. So he 
flew up with the King high in air and sat him down in the City 
of Carnelian and Castle of Gold, where Barkan seated himself on 
the throne of his kingship. Presently, those of his people who 
had survived the affair came in to him and gave him joy of his 
safety ; and he said, " O folk, where is safety ? My army is slain 
and they took me prisoner and have rent in pieces mine honour 
among the tribes of the Jann." Quoth they, " O King, 'tis ever 
thus that kings still afflict and are afflicted " Quoth he, " There 
is no help but I take my wreak and wipe out my shame, else shall 
I be for ever disgraced among the tribes of the Jann." Then he 
wrote letters to the Governors of his fortresses, who came to him 
right loyally and, when he reviewed them, he found three 
hundred and twenty thousand fierce Marids and Satans ; who 
said to him, " What is thy need ? " And he replied, " Get ye 
ready to set out in three days' time ; " whereto they rejoined 
" Harkening and obedience ! " On this wise it befel King 
Barkan ; but as regards Mura'ash, when he discovered his 
prisoner's escape, it was grievous to him and he said," Had we 
set an hundred Marids to guard him, he had not fled ; but 
whither shall he go from us ? " Then said he to Gharib, " Know, 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 47 

my brother, that Barkan is perfidious and will never rest from 
wreaking blood-revenge on us, but will assuredly assemble his 
legions and return to attack us ; wherefore I am minded to fore- 
stall him and follow the trail of his defeat, whilst he is yet 
weakened thereby." Replied Gharib, " This is the right rede, 
and will best serve our need ; " and Mura'ash, said, " Oh my 
brother, let the Marids bear thee back to thine own country and 
leave me to fight the battles of the Faith against the Infidels, that 

1 may be lightened of my sin-load." But Gharib rejoined, 
" By the virtue of the Clement, the Bountiful, the Veiler, I will 
not go hence till I do to death all the misbelieving Jinn ; and 
Allah hasten their souls to the fire and dwelling-place dire ; 
and none shall be saved but those who worship Allah the One, 
the Victorious ! But do thou send Sahim back to the city of 
Oman, so haply he may be healed of his ailment." For Sahim 
was sick. So Mura'ash cried to the Marids, saying, " Take ye 
up Sahim and these treasures and bear them to Oman city." 
And after replying, " We hear and we obey," they took them and 
made for the land of men. Then Mura'ash wrote letters to all 
his Governors and Captains of fortresses and they came to him 
with an hundred and sixty thousand warriors. So they made 
them ready and departed for the City of Carnelian and the Castle 
of Gold, covering in one day a year's journey and halted in a 
valley, where they encamped and passed the night. Next morning 
as they were about to set forth, behold, the vanguard of Barkan's 
army appeared, whereupon the Jinn cried out and the two hosts 
met and fell each upon other in that valley. Then the 
engagement was dight and there befel a sore fight as though an 
earthquake shook the site and fair plight waxed foul plight. 
Earnest came and jest took flight, and parley ceased 'twixt wight 
and wight, 1 whilst long lives were cut short in a trice and the 
Unbelievers fell into disgrace and despite ; for Gharib charged 
them, proclaiming the Unity of the Worshipful, the All-might and 
shore through necks and left heads rolling in the dust ; nor did 
night betide before nigh seventy thousand of the Miscreants were 
slain, and of the Moslemised over ten thousand Marids had fallen. 
Then the kettle-drums beat the retreat, and the two hosts drew 

apart, And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 

saying her permitted say. 

Here the translator must either order the sequence of the sentences or follow the rhyme. 

48 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

Kofo foftcn ft foas t&e Sbfx ^un&refc an* JftftB-sebent!) Nfgjt, 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the two hosts drew apart, Gharib and Mura'ash returned to their 
tents, after wiping their weapons, and supper being set before 
them, they ate and gave each other joy of their safety, and the 
loss of their Marids being so small. As for Barkan, he returned 
to his tent, grieving for the slaughter of his champions, and said 
to his officers, " O folk, an we tarry here and do battle with them 
on this wise in three days' time we shall be cut off to the last 
wight." Quoth they, " And how shall we do, O King ? " Quoth 
Barkan, " We will fall upon them under cover of night whilst they 
are deep in sleep, and not one of them shall be left to tell the tale. 
So take your arms and when I give the word of command, attack 
and fall on your enemies as one." Now there was amongst 
them a Marid named Jandal whose heart inclined to Al-Islam ; 
so, when he heard the Kafirs' plot, he stole away from them and 
going in to King Mura'ash and King Gharib, told the twain what 
Barkan had devised ; whereupon Mura'ash turned to Gharib and 
said to him, " O my brother, what shall we do ? " Gharib replied, 
" To-night we will fall upon the Miscreants and chase them into 
the wilds and the wolds if it be the will of the Omnipotent King." 
Then he summoned the Captains of the Jann and said to them, 
" Arm yourselves, you and yours ; and, as soon as 'tis dark, steal 
out of your tents on foot, hundreds after hundreds, and lie in 
ambush among the mountains ; and when ye see the enemy 
engaged among the tents, do ye fall upon them from all quarters. 
Hearten your hearts and rely on your Lord, and ye shall certainly 
conquer ; and behold, I am with you ! " So, as soon as it was 
dark night, the Infidels attacked the camp, invoking aid of the 
fire and light ; but when they came among the tents, the Moslems 
fell upon them, calling for help on the Lord of the Worlds and 
saying, "O Most Merciful of Mercifuls, O Creator of all createds ! " 
till they left them like mown grass, cut down and dead. Nor did 
morning dawn before the most part of the unbelievers were species 
without souls and the rest made for the wastes and marshes, whilst 
Gharib and Mura'ash returned triumphant and victorious ; and, 
making prize of the enemy's baggage, they rested till the morrow, 
when they set out for the City of Carnelian and Castle of Gold. 
As for Barkan, when the battle had turned against him and most 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 49 

of his lieges were stain, he fled through the dark with the remnant 
of his power to his capital where he entered his palace and 
assembling his legionaries said to them, " O folk, whoso hath 
aught of price, let him take it and follow me to the Mountain 
Kaf, to the Blue King, lord of the Pied Palace ; for he it is who 
shall avenge us." So they took their women and children and 
goods and made for the Caucasus-mountain. Presently Mura'ash 
and Gharib arrived at the City of Carnelian and Castle of Gold to 
find the gates open and none left to give them news ; whereupon 
they entered and Mura'ash led Gharib that he might show him 
the city, whose walls were builded of emeralds and its gates of 
red carnelian, with studs of silver, and the terrace-roofs of its houses 
and mansions reposed upon beams of lign-aloes and sandal-wood. 
So they took their pleasure in its streets and alleys, till they 
came to the Palace of Gold and entering passed through seven 
vestibules, when they drew near to a building, whose walls were of 
royal balass-rubies and its pavement of emerald and jacinth. The 
two Kings were astounded at the goodliness of the place and fared 
on from vestibule to vestibule, till they had passed through the 
seventh and happened upon the inner court of the palace wherein 
they saw four dai'ses, each different from the others, and in the 
midst a jetting fount of red gold, compassed about with golden 
lions, 1 from whose mouths issued water. These were things to 
daze man's wit. The estrade at the upper end was hung and 
carpeted with brocaded silks of various colours and thereon stood 
two thrones of red gold, inlaid with pearls and jewels. So 
Mura'ash and Gharib sat down on Barkan's thrones and held 

high state in the Palace of Gold. -And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Koto fo&m it foas tje &>fx ?^un&reb antr JFiftg^tg&tJ Nfgjt, 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that 
Mura'ash and Gharib took seat on Barkan's thrones and held 
high state. Then said Gharib to Mura'ash, " What thinkest thou 
to do?" And Mura'ash replied, "O King of mankind, I have 
despatched an hundred horse to learn where Barkan is, that we 

1 Possibly taken from the Lions' Court in the Alhambra = (Dar) Al-hamra, the Red 


A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

may pursue him." Then they abode three days in the palace, till 
the scouting Marids returned with the news that Barkan had fled 
to the Mountain Kaf and craved protection of the Blue King who 
granted it ; whereupon quoth Mura'ash to Gharib, " What sayest 
thou, O my brother ? " and quoth Gharib, " Except we attack 
them they will attack us." So they bade the host make ready for 
departure and after three days, they were about to set out with 
their troops, when the Marids, who had carried Sahim and the 
presents back to Oman, returned and kissed ground before Gharib. 
He questioned them of his people and they replied, " After the 
last affair, thy brother Ajib, leaving Ya'arub bin Kahtan, fled to 
the King of Hind and, submitting his case, sought his protection. 
The King granted his prayer and writing letters to all his 
governors, levied an army as it were the surging sea, having 
neither beginning nor end, wherewith he purposeth to invade 
Al-Irak and lay it waste." When Gharib heard this, he said, 
Perish the Misbelievers ! Verily, Allah Almighty shall give the 
victory to Al-Islam and I will soon show them hew and foin." 
Said Mura'ash, " O King of humans, by the virtue of the Mighty 
Name, I must needs go with thee to thy kingdom and destroy 
thy foes and bring thee to thy wish." Gharib thanked him and 
they rested on this resolve till the morrow, when they set out, 
intending for Mount Caucasus and marched many days till they 
reached the City of Alabaster and the Pied Palace. Now this 
city was fashioned of alabaster and precious stones by Barik bin 
Faki', father of the Jinn, and he also founded the Pied Palace, 
which was so named because edified with one brick of gold 
alternating with one of silver, nor was there builded aught like it 
in all the world. When they came within half a day's journey of 
the city, they halted to take their rest, and Mura'ash sent out to 
reconnoitre a scout who returned and said, " O King, within the 
City of Alabaster are legions of the Jinn, for number as the leaves 
of the trees or as the drops of rain." So Mura'ash said to Gharib, 
" How shall we do, O King of Mankind ? " He replied, " O King, 
divide your men into four bodies and encompass with them the 
camp of the Infidels ; then, in the middle of the night, let them 
cry out, saying; -God is Most Great! and withdraw and watch 
what happeneth among the tribes of the Jinn." So Mura'ash did 
as Gharib counselled and the troops waited till midnight, when 
they encircled the foe and shouted " Allaho Akbar ! Ho for the 
Faith of Abraham the Friend, on whom be the Peace ! " The 

Tfo History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 5 1 

Misbelievers at this cry awoke in affright and snatching up their 
arms, fell one upon other till the morning, when most part of them 
were dead bodies and but few remained. Then Gharib cried out 
to the True Believers, saying, " Up and at the remnant of the 
Kafirs ! Behold I am with you, and Allah is your helper ! " So 
the Moslems drave at the enemy and Gharib bared his magical 
blade Al-Mahik and fell upon the foe, lopping off noses and 
making heads wax hoary and whole ranks turn tail. At last 
he came up with Barkan and smote him and bereft him of life 
and he fell down, drenched in his blood. On like wise he did 
with the Blue King, and by undurn-hour not one of the Kafirs 
was left alive to tell the tale. Then Gharib and Mura'ash entered 
the Pied Palace and found its walls builded of alternate courses 
of gold and silver, with door-sills of crystal and keystones of 
greenest emerald. In its midst was a fountain adorned with bells 
and pendants and figures of birds and beasts spouting forth water, 
and thereby a dais ] furnished with gold-brocaded silk, bordered 
or embroidered with jewels : and they found the treasures of the 
palace past count or description. Then they entered the women's 
court, where they came upon a magnificent serraglio and Gharib 
saw, among the Blue King's woman-folk a girl clad in a dress 
worth a thousand dinars, never had he beheld a goodlier. About 
her were an hundred slave-girls, upholding her train with golden 
hooks, and she was in their midst as the moon among stars. 
When he saw her, his reason was confounded and he said to 
one of the waiting-women, " Who may be yonder maid ? " Quoth 

they, " This is the Blue King's daughter, Star o' Morn." And 

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

Nofo fo&en ft foas tje grfx f^un&retr anfc JFiftg-ntmf) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Gharib asked the slave-women saying, " Who may be yonder 

1 Arab. " Shazarwan " from Pers. Shadurwan, a palace, cornice, etc. That of the 
Meccan Ka'abah is a projection of about a foot broad in pent house shape sloping down- 
wards and two feet above the granite pavement : its only use appears in the large brass 
rings welded into it to hold down the covering. There are two breaks in it, one under 
the doorway and the other opposite Ishmael's tomb ; and pilgrims are directed during 
circuit to keep the whole body outside it. 

\lf Laylah wa Laylah. 

maid, they replied, " This is Star o' Morn, daughter to the Blue 
King." Then Gharib turned to Mura'ash and said to him, " O 
King of the Jinn, I have a mind to take yonder damsel to wife." 
Replied Mura'ash, " The palace and all that therein is, live stock 
and dead, are the prize of thy right hand ; for, hadst thou not 
devised a stratagem to destroy the Blue King and Barkan, they 
had cut us off to the last one : wherefore the treasure is thy 
treasure and the folk thy thralls." Gharib thanked him for his 
/air speech and going up to the girl, gazed steadfastly upon her 
and loved her with exceeding love, forgetting Fakhr Taj the 
IPrincess and even Mahdiyah. Now her mother was the Chinese 
King's daughter whom the Blue King had carried off from her 
palace and perforce deflowered, and she conceived by him and 
bare this girl, whom he named Star o' Morn, by reason of her 
beauty and loveliness ; for she was the very Princess of the Fair. 
Her mother died when she was a babe of forty days, and the 
nurses and eunuchs reared her, till she reached the age of seven- 
teen ; but she hated her sire and rejoiced in his slaughter. So 
Gharib put his palm to hers * and went in unto her that night and 
found her a virgin. Then he bade pull down the Pied Palace 
and divided the spoil with the true-believing Jinn, and there fell 
to his share one-and-twenty thousand bricks of gold and silver and 
money and treasure beyond speech and count. Then Mura'ash 
took Gharib and showed him the Mountain Kaf and all its 
marvels; after which they returned to Barkan's fortress and dis- 
mantled it and shared the spoil thereof. Then they repaired to 
Mura'ash's capital, where they tarried five days, when Gharib 
sought to revisit his native country and Mura'ash said, "O 
King of mankind, I will ride at thy stirrup and bring thee to 
thine own land." Replied Gharib, " No, by the virtue of Abraham 
the Friend, I will not suffer thee to weary thyself thus, nor will 
I take any of the Jinn save Kaylajan and Kurajan." Quoth the 
King, "Take with thee ten thousand horsemen of the Jinn, to 
^erve thee ; " but quoth Gharib, " I will take only as I said to 
thee." So Mura'ash bade a thousand Marids carry him to his 
native land, with his share of the spoil; and he commanded 
Kaylajan and Kurajan to follow him and obey him ; and they 
answered, " Hearkening and obedience." Then said Gharib to 
the Marids, " Do ye carry the treasure and Star o' Morn ; " for 

1 The " Musafahah " before noticed, voL vi., p. 287. 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 53 

he himself thought to ride his flying steed. But Mura'ash said 
to him, " This horse, O my brother, will live only in our region, 
and, if it come upon man's earth, 'twill die : but I have in my 
stables a sea-horse, whose fellow is not found in Al-Irak, no, nor 
in all the world is its like." So he caused bring forth the horse, 
and when Gharib saw it, it interposed between him and his wits. 1 
Then they bound it and Kaylajan bore it on his shoulders and 
Kurajan took what he could carry. And Mura'ash embraced 
Gharib and wept for parting from him, saying, "O my brother, 
if aught befal thee wherein thou art powerless, send for me and 
I will come to thine aid with an army able to lay waste the 
whole earth and what is thereon." Gharib thanked him for his 
kindness and zeal for the True Faith and took leave of him ; 
whereupon the Marids set out with Gharib and his goods; and, 
after traversing fifty years' journey in two days and a night, 
alighted near the city of Oman and halted to take rest. Then 
Gharib sent out Kaylajan, to learn news of his people, and he 
returned and said, " O King, the city is beleaguered by a host 
of Infidels, as they were the surging sea, and thy people are 
fighting them. The drums beat to battle and Jamrkan goeth 
forth as champion in the field." When Gharib heard this, he 
cried aloud, " God is Most Great ! " and said to Kaylajan, " Saddle 
me the steed and bring me my arms and spear ; for to-day the 
valiant shall be known from the coward in the place of war and 
battle-stead. So Kaylajan brought him all he sought and Gharib 
armed and belting in baldrick Al-Mahik, -mounted the sea-horse 
and made toward the hosts. Quoth Kaylajan and Kurajan to 
him, " Set thy heart at rest and let us go to the Kafirs and scatter 
them abroad in the wastes and wilds till, by the help of Allah, 
the All-powerful, we leave not a soul alive, no, not a blower of 
the fire." But Gharib said " By the virtue of Abraham the Friend, 
I will not let you fight them without me and behold, I mount ! " 
Now the cause of the coming of that great host was right mar- 

vellous. 2 And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 

to say her permitted say. 

1 i.e. He was confounded at its beauty. 

2 Arab. " 'Ajib," punning upon the name. 

54 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

Wofo tofjen it toas tfte &ft f^untafc an* gbixtfct!) XfgJt, 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Gharib had bidden Kaylajan go and learn news of his people, the 
Jinn fared forth and presently returning said, "Verily around thy 
city is a mighty host ! " Now the cause of its coming was that 
Ajib, having fled the field after Ya'arub's army had been put to 
the rout, said to his people, " O folk, if we return to Ya'arub bin 
Kahtan, he will say to us : But for you, my son and my people 
had not been slain ; and he will put us to death, even to the last 
man. Wherefore, methinks we were better go to Tarkandn, King 
of Hind, and beseech him to avenge us.*' Replied they, " Come, 
let us go thither ; and the blessing of the Fire be upon thee ! " 
So they fared days and nights till they reached King Tarkanan's 
capital city and, after asking and obtaining permission to present 
himself, Ajib went in to him and kissed ground before him. 
Then he wished him what men use to wish to monarchy and 
said to him, " O King, protect me, so may protect thee the 
sparkling Fire and the Night with its thick darkness ! " Tarkanan 
looked at Ajib and asked, " Who art thou and what dost thou 
want?"; to which the other answered, "I am Ajib King of 
Al-Irak ; my brother hath wronged me and gotten the martery 
of the land and the subjects have submitted themselves to him. 
Moreover, he hath embraced the faith of Al-Islam and he ceaseth 
not to chase me from country to country ; and behold, I am come 
to seek protection of thee and thy power." When Tarkanan 
heard Ajib's words, he rose and sat down and cried, " By the 
virtue of the Fire, I will assuredly avenge thee and will let none 
serve other than my goddess the Fire ! " And he called aloud to 
his son, saying, " O my son, make ready to go to Al-Irak and lay 
it waste and bind all who serve aught but the Fire and torment 
them and make example of them ; yet slay them not, but bring 
them to me, that I may ply them with various tortures and make 
them taste the bitterness of humiliation and leave them a warning 
to whoso will be warned in this our while." Then he chose out 
to accompany him eighty thousand fighting men on horseback and 
the like number on giraffes, 1 besides ten thousand elephants, 

1 Arab. "Zarrdf" (whence our word) from "Zarf"= walking hastily : the old 
" cameleopard " which originated the nursery idea of its origin. It is one of the most 
timid of the antelope tribe and unfit for riding; 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 55 

bearing on their backs seats 1 of sandal-wood, latticed with golden 
rods, plated and studded with gold and silver and shielded with 
pavoises of gold and emerald ; moreover he sent good store of 
war-chariots, in each eight men fighting with all kinds of weapons. 
Now the Prince's name was Ra'ad Shah, 2 and he was the champion 
of his time, for prowess having no peer. So he and his army 
equipped them in ten day's time, then set out, as they were a bank 
of clouds, and fared on two months' journey, till they came upon 
Oman city and encompassed it, to the joy of Ajib, who thought 
himself assured of victory. Jamrkan and Sa'adan and all their 
fighting-men sallied forth into the field of fight whilst the kettle- 
drums beat to battle and the horses neighed. At this moment up 
came King Gharib, who, as we have said, had been warned by 
Kaylajan ; and he urged on his destrier and entered among the 
Infidels waiting to see who should come forth and open the chapter 
of war. Then out rushed Sa'adan the Ghul and offered combat, 
whereupon there issued forth to him one of the champions of 
Hind ; but Sa'adan scarce let him take stand in front ere he smote 
him with his mace and crushed his bones and stretched him on the 
ground ; and so did he with a second and a third, till he had slain 
thirty fighting men. Then there dashed out at him an Indian 
cavalier, by name Battdsh al-Akrdn, 3 uncle to King Tarkanan 
and of his day the doughtiest man, reckoned worth five thousand 
horse in battle-plain and cried out to Sa'adan, saying, " O thief of 
the Arabs, hath thy daring reached that degree that thou shouldst 
slay the Kings of Hind and their champions and capture their 
horsemen ? But this day is the last of thy worldly days." When 
Sa'adan heard these words, his eyes waxed blood-red and he 
drave at Battash and aimed a stroke at him with his club ; but he 
evaded it and the force of the blow bore Sa'adan to the ground ; 

1 Arab. " Takht," a useful word, meaning even a saddle. The usual term is " Haudaj " 
r= the Anglo-Indian " howdah." 

2 " Thunder-King," Arab, and Persian. 

3 i.e. " He who violently assaults his peers " (the best men of the age). Batshat al- 
Kubra = the Great Disaster, is applied to the unhappy " Battle of Bedr " (Badr) on 
Ramazan 17, A.H. 2 ( = Jan. 13, 624) when Mohammed was so nearly defeated that the 
Angels were obliged to assist him (Koran, chapts. iii. II ; i. 42 j viii. 9). Mohammed 
is soundly rated by Christian writers for beheading two prisoners Utbah ibn Rabi'a who 
had once spat on his face and Nazir ibn Haris who recited Persian romances and pre- 
ferred them to the "foolish fables of the Koran." What would our forefathers have 
done to a man who spat in the face of John Knox and openly preferred a French play to 
the Pentateuch ? 

56 A If Laylah wa Laylqh. 

and before he could recover himself, the Indians pinioned him and 
haled him off to their tents. Now when Jamrkan saw his comrade 
a prisoner, he cried out, saying, " Ho for the Faith of Abraham 
the Friend ! " and clapping heel to his horse, ran at Battash. 
They wheeled about awhile, till Battash charged Jamrkan and 
catching him by his jerkin 1 tare him from his saddle and cast him 
to the ground ; whereupon the Indians bound him and dragged him 
away to their tents. And Battash ceased not to overcome all who 
came out to him, Captain after Captain till he had made prisoners 
of four-and-twenty Chiefs of the Moslems, whereat the True 
Believers were sore dismayed. When Gharib saw what had 
befallen his braves, he drew from beneath his knee 2 a mace of gold 
weighing six-score pounds which had belonged to Barkan King of 

the Jann And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo tojen it toas ify &tx f^untottti antJ gbixtg^fitst 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Gharib beheld what had befallen his braves he drew forth a golden 
mace which had belonged to Barkan King of the Jann and clapped 
heel to his sea-horse, which bore him like the wind-gust into mid- 
field. Then he let drive at Battash, crying out, "God is Most 
Great! He giveth aid and victory and He abaseth whoso reject 
the Faith of Abraham the Friend ! " and smote him with the mace, 
whereupon he fell to the ground and Gharib, turning to the 
Moslems, saw his brother Sahim and said to him, " Pinion me this 
hound." When Sahim heard his brother's words, he ran to 
Battash and bound him hard and fast and bore him off, whilst the 
Moslem braves wondered who this knight could be and the 
Indians said one to other, " Who is this horseman which came out 
from among them and hath taken our Chief prisoner ? " Mean- 
while Gharib continued to offer battle and there issued forth to 
him a captain of the Hindfs whom he felled to earth with his mace, 
and Kaylajan and Kurajan pinioned him and delivered him over 
to Sahim ; nor did Gharib leave to do thus, till he had taken 

. l Arab. " Jilbab" either habergeon (mail-coat) or the buff-jacket worn under it. 

2 A favourite way, rough and ready, of carrying Kght weapons ; often alluded to in 
The Nights. So Khusrawan in Antar carried " under his thighs four small darts, each 
like a blazing flame." 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 57 

prisoner two-and-fifty of the doughtiest Captains of the army of 
Hind. Then the day came to an end and the kettle-drums beat 
the retreat ; whereupon Gharib left the field and rode towards the 
Moslem camp. The first to meet him was Sahim, who kissed his 
feet in the stirrups and said, "May thy hand never wither, 
O champion of the age ! Tell us who thou art among the braves." 
So Gharib raised his vizor of mail and Sahim knew him and cried 
out, saying, " This is your King and your lord Gharib, who is come 
back from the land of the Jann ! " When the Moslems heard 
Gharib's name, they threw themselves off their horses' backs, and, 
crowding about him, kissed his feet in the stirrups and saluted 
him, rejoicing in his safe return. Then they carried him into the 
city of Oman, where he entered his palace and sat down on the 
throne of his kingship, whilst his officers stood around him in the 
utmost joy. Food was set on and they ate, after which Gharib 
related to them all that had betided him with the Jinn in Mount 
Kaf, and they marvelled thereat with exceeding marvel and 
praised Allah for his safety. Then he dismissed them to their 
sleeping-places ; so they withdrew to their several lodgings, and 
when none abode with him but Kaylajan and Kurajan, who never 
Jeft him, he said to them, " Can ye carry me to Cufa that I may 
take my pleasure in my Harim, and bring me back before the end 
of the night ? " They replied, " O our lord, this thou askest is 
easy." Now the distance between Cufa and Oman is sixty days' 
journey for a diligent horseman, and Kaylajan said to Kurajan, " I 
will carry him going and thou coming back.'* So he took up 
Gharib and flew off with him, in company with Kurajan ; nor was 
an hour past before they set him down at the gate of his palace, 
in Cufa. He went in to his uncle Al-Damigh, who rose to him 
and saluted him ; after which quoth Gharib, " How is it with my 
wives Fakhr Taj 1 and Mahdiyah ?" Al-Damigh answered, " They 
are both well and in good case." Then the eunuch went in and 
acquainted the women of the Harim with Gharib's coming, whereat 
they rejoiced and raised the trill of joy and gave him the reward 
for good news. Presently in came King Gharib, and they rose 
and saluting him, conversed with him, till Al-Damigh entered, 

1 Mr. Payne very reasonably supplants here and below Fakhr Taj (who in Night 
dcxxxiv. is left in her father's palace and who is reported to be dead in Night dclxvii.) by 
Star o' Morn. But the former is also given in the Bui. Edit. (ii. 148), so the story- 
teller must have forgotten all about her. I leave it as a model specimen of Eastern 

58 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

when Gharib related to them all that had befallen him in the land 
of the Jinn, whereat they all marvelled. Then he lay with Fakhr 
Taj till near daybreak, when he took leave of his wives and his 
uncle and mounted Kurajan's back, nor was the darkness dispelled 
before the two Marids set him down in the city of Oman. Then 
he and his men armed and he bade open the gates when, behold, 
up came a horseman from the host of the Indians, with Jamrkan 
and Sa'adan and the rest of the captive captains whom he had 
delivered, and committed them to Gharib. The Moslems, rejoicing 
in their safety, donned their mails and took horse, while the kettle 
drums beat a point of war ; and the Miscreants also drew up in 

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

say her permitted say. 

ft foas t&e Sbtx f^untrrrtr an& Stxtg^contr Ni 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the Moslem host mounted and rode to the plain of cut and thrust, 
the first to open the door of war was King Gharib who, drawing 
his sword Al-Mahik, drove his charger between the two ranks and 
cried out, saying, " Whoso knoweth me hath enough of my mischief 
and whoso unknoweth me, to him I will make myself known. I 
am Gharib, King of Al-Irak and Al-Yaman, brother of Ajib." 
When Ra'ad Shah, son of the King of Hind, heard this, he shouted 
to his captains, " Bring me Ajib." So they brought him and 
Ra'ad Shah said to him, "Thou wottest that this quarrel is thy 
quarrel and thou art the cause of all this slaughter. Now yonder 
standeth thy brother Gharib amiddle-most the fightfield and stead 
where sword and spear we shall wield ; go thou to him and bring 
him to me a prisoner, that I may set him on a camel arsy-versy, 
and make a show of him and carry him to the land of Hind." 
Answered Ajib, " O King, send out to him other than I, for I am 
in ill-health this morning." But Ra'ad Shah snarked and snorted 
and cried, " By the virtue of the sparkling Fire and the light and 
the shade and the heat, unless thou fare forth to thy brother and 
bring him to me in haste, I will cut off thy head and make an end 
of thee." So Ajib took heart and urging his horse up to his 
brother in mid-field, said to him, " O dog of the Arabs and vilest 
of all who hammer down tent-pegs, wilt thou contend with Kings ? 
Take what to thee cometh and receive the glad tidings of thy 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 59 

death." When Gharib heard this, he said to him, " Who art thou 
among the Kings ?" And Ajib answered, saying, " I am thy 
brother, and this day is the last of thy worldly days." Now when 
Gharib was assured that he was indeed his brother Ajib, he cried 
out and said, " Ho, to avenge my father and mother ! " Then 
giving his sword to Kaylajan, 1 he drave at Ajib and smote him 
with his mace a smashing blow and a swashing, that went nigh to 
beat in his ribs, and seizing him by the mail-gorget tore him 
from the saddle and cast him to the ground ; whereupon the two 
Marids pounced upon him and binding him fast, dragged him off 
dejected and abject ; whilst Gharib rejoiced in the capture of his 
enemy and repeated these couplets of the poet : 

I have won my wish and my need have scored o Unto Thee be the praise and 

the thanks, O our Lord ! 
I grew up dejected and abject ; poor, But Allah vouchsafed me all 

boons implored : 
I have conquered countries and mastered men o But for Thee were I naught, 

O thou Lord adored ! 

When Ra'ad Shah saw how evilly Ajib fared with his brother, he 
called for his charger and donning his harness and habergeon, 
mounted and dashed out a-field, As soon as he drew near King 
Gharib, he cried out at him, saying, " O basest of Arabs and bearer 
of scrubs, 2 who art thou, that thou shouldest capture Kings and 
braves ? Down from thy horse and put elbows behind back and 
kiss my feet and set my warriors free and go with me in bond 
of chains to my reign that I may pardon thee and make thee a 
Shaykh in our own land, so mayst thou eat there a bittock of 
bread." When Gharib heard these words he laughed till he fell 
backwards and answered, saying, O mad hound and mangy 
wolf, soon shalt thou see against whom the shifts of Fortune will 
turn ! " Then he cried out to Sahim, saying, " Bring me the 
prisoners ;" so he brought them, and Gharib smote off their heads ; 
whereupon Ra'ad Shah drave at him, with the driving of a lordly 

1 There is some chivalry in his unwillingness to use the magical blade. As a rule the 
Knights of Romance utterly ignore fair play and take every dirty advantage in the magic 
line that comes to hand. 

2 Arab. " Hammal al-Hatabi " = one who carries to market the fuel-sticks which he 
picks up in the waste. In the Koran (chapt. cxi.) it is applied to Umm Jamil, wife of 
Mohammed's hostile cousin, Abd al-Uzza, there termed Abu Lahab (Father of smokeless 
Flame) with the implied meaning that she will bear fuel to feed Hell-fire. 

60 A If Lay la h wa Laylah. 

champion and the onslaught of a fierce slaughterer and they falsed 
and fainted and fought till nightfall, when the kettle-drums beat 

the retreat. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo fojen it foas tfjt &>fx f^utrtrrett an* Jblxtg-ftf* Nt'gR 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the kettle-drums beat the retreat, the two Kings parted and 
returned, each to his own place where his people gave him joy of 
his safety. And the Moslems said to Gharib, " Tis not thy want, 
O King, to prolong a fight ;" and he replied, " O folk, I have done 
battle with many royalties J and champions ; but never saw I a 
harder hitter than this one. Had I chosen to draw Al-Mahik upon 
him, I had mashed his bones and made an end of his days : but I 
delayed with him, thinking to take him prisoner and give him part 
enjoyment in Al-Islam. J> Thus far concerning Gharib ; but as 
regards Ra'ad Shah, he returned to his marquee and sat upon his 
throne, when his Chiefs came in to him and asked him of his 
adversary, and he answered, " By the truth of the sparkling Fire, 
never in my life saw I the like of yonder brave ! But to-morrow I 
will take him prisoner and lead him away dejected and abject." 
Then they slept till daybreak, when the battle-drums beat to fight 
and the swords in baldric were dight ; and war-cries were cried 
amain and all mounted their horses of generous strain and drew 
out into the field, filling every wide place and hill and plain. The 
first to open the door of war was the rider outrageous and the lion 
rageous, King Gharib, who drave his steed between the two hosts 
and wheeled and careered over the field, crying, " Who is for fray, 
who is for fight ? Let no sluggard come out to me this day nor 
dullard ! " Before he had made an end of speaking, out rushed 

1 Arab. " Akyal," lit. whose word (Kaul) is obeyed, a title of the Himyarite Kings, 
of whom Al-Bergendi relates that one of them left an inscription at Samarcand, which 
many centuries ago no man could read. This evidently alludes to the dynasty which 
preceded the " Tobba " and to No. xxiv. Shamar Yar'ash (Shamar the Palsied). Some 
make him son of Malik surnamed Nashir al-Ni'am (Scatterer of Blessings) others of 
Afrikus (No. xviii.), who, according to Al-Jannabi, Ahmad bin Yusuf and Ibn Ibdun 
(Pocock, Spec. Hist. Arab.) founded the Berber (Barbar) race, the remnants of the 
Causanites expelled by the " robber, Joshua son of Nun," and became the eponymus of 
" Africa." This word which, under the Romans, denoted a small province on the 
Northern Sea-board, is, I would suggest, A'far-Kahi (Afar-land), the Afar being now the 
Dankali race, the country of Osiris whom my learned friend, the late Mariette Pasha, 
derived from the Egyptian " Punt " identified by him with the Somali country. This 
would make " Africa," as it ought to be, an Eyptian (Coptic) term. 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 6 1 

Ra'ad Shah, riding on an elephant, as he were a vast tower, in a 
seat girthed with silken bands ; and between the elephant's ears 
sat the driver, bearing in hand a hook, wherewith he goaded the 
beast and directed him right and left. When the elephant drew 
near Gharib's horse, and the steed saw a creature it had never 
before set eyes on, it took fright j 1 wherefore Gharib dismounted 
and gave the horse to Kaylajan. Then he drew Al-Mahik and 
advanced to meet Ra'ad Shah a-foot, walking on till he faced the 
elephant. Now it was Ra'ad Shah's wont, when he found himself 
overmatched by any brave, to mount an elephant, taking with him 
an implement called the lasso, 2 which was in the shape of a net, 
wide at base and narrow at top with a running cord of silk passed 
through rings along its edges. With this he would attack horse- 
men and casting the meshes over them, draw the running noose 
and drag the rider off his horse and make him prisoner ; and thus 
had he conquered many cavaliers. So, as Gharib came up to him, 
he raised his hand and, despreading the net over him, pulled him 
on to the back of the elephant and cried out to the beast to return 
to the Indian camp. But Kaylajan and Kurajan had not left 
Gharib and, when they beheld what had befallen their lord, they 
laid hold of the elephant, whilst Gharib strove with the net, till 
fee rent it in sunder. Upon this the two Marids seized Ra'ad 
Shah and bound him with a cord of palm-fibre. Then the two 
armies drove each at other and met with a shock like two seas 
crashing or two mountains together dashing, whilst the dust, rose 
to the confines of the sky and blinded was every eye. The battle 
waxed fierce and fell, the blood ran in rills, nor did they cease to 
wage war with lunge of lance and sway of sword in lustiest way, 
till the day darkened and the night starkened, .when the drums 
beat the retreat and the two hosts drew asunder. 3 Now the 

1 Herodotus (i. 80) notes this concerning the camel. Elephants are not allowed to 
walk the streets in Anglo-Indian cities, where they have caused many accidents. 

2 Arab. Wahk or Wahak, suggesting the Roman retiarius. But the lasso pure and 
simple, the favourite weapon of shepherd and herdsmen was well-known to the old 
Egyptians and in ancient India. It forms one of the T-letters in the hieroglyphs. 

3 Compare with this and other Arab battle-pieces the Pandit's description in the 
Katha Sarit Sagara, e.g. "Then a confused battle arose with dint of arrow, javelin, 
lance, mace and axe, costing the lives of countless soldiers (N.B. Millions are 
nothing to him) ; rivers of blood flowed with the bodies of elephants and horses for 
alligators, with the pearls from the heads of elephants for sands and with the heads of 
heroes for stones. That feast of battle delighted the flesh-loving demons who, drunk 
with blood instead of wine, were dancing with the palpitating trunks," etc., etc. 
Fasc. xii. 526. 

(52 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Moslems were evilly entreated that day by reason of the riders 
on elephants and giraffes, 1 and many of them were killed and 
most of the rest were wounded. This was grievous to Gharib, 
who commanded the hurt to be medicined and turning to his 
Chief Officers, asked them what they counselled. Answered they, 
"O King, 'tis only the elephants and giraffes that irk us; were 
we but quit of them, we should overcome the enemy." Quoth 
Kaylajan and Kurajan, " We twain will unsheath our swords and 
fall on them and slay the most part of them." But there came 
forward a man of Oman, who had been privy counsellor to Jaland, 
and said, " O King, I will be surety for the host, an thou wilt but 
hearken to me and follow my counsel." Gharib turned to his 
Captains and said to them, " Whatsoever this wise man shall say 

to you that do." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased to say her permitted say. 

TSTofo fo!)w ft foas tf)* bfx l^un&reU atrt gbtxtjufourt!) Kt'g&t, 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Gharib said to his Captains, " Whatsoever this wise man shall say 
to you, that do "; they replied, " Hearing and obeying ! " So the 
Omani chose out ten captains and asked them, " How many 
braves have ye under your hands ? "; and they answered, " Ten 
thousand fighting-men." Then he carried them into the armoury 
and armed five thousand of them with harquebuses and other five 
thousand with cross-bows and taught them to shoot with these 
new weapons. 2 Now as soon as it was day, the Indians came out 
to the field, armed cap-a-pie, with the elephants, giraffes and 
champions in their van ; whereupon Gharib and his men mounted 
and both hosts drew out and the big drums beat to battle. Then 

1 The giraffe is here mal-place* : it is, I repeat, one of the most timid of the antelope 
tribe. Nothing can be more graceful than this huge game as it stands under a tree 
extending its long and slender neck to the foliage above it ; but when in flight all the 
limbs seem loose and the head is carried almost on a level with the back. 

2 The fire-arms may have been inserted by the copier ; the cross-bow (Arcubalista) is 
of unknown antiquity. I have remarked in my book of the Sword (p. 19) that the bow 
is the first crucial evidence of the distinction between the human weapon and the bestial 
arm, and like the hymen or membrane of virginity proves a difference of degree if not 
of kind between man and the so-called lower animals. I note from Yule's Marco Polo 
(ii., 143) "that the cross-bow was re-introduced into European warfare during the 
twelfth century"; but the arbalesta was well known to the fan rot Charlemagne 
(Regnier Sat. X). 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 63 

the man of Oman cried out to the archers and harquebusiers to 
shoot, and they plied the elephants and giraffes with shafts and 
leaden bullets, which entered the beasts' flanks, whereat they 
roared out and turning upon their own ranks, trod them down 
with their hoofs. Presently the Moslems charged the Misbelievers 
and outflanked them right and left, whilst the elephants and 
giraffes trampled them and drove them into the hills and wolds, 
whither the Moslems followed hard upon them with the keen- 
edged sword and but few of the giraffes and elephants escaped. 
Then King Gharib and his folk returned, rejoicing in their victory; 
and on the morrow they divided the loot and rested five days ; 
after which King Gharib sat down on the throne of his kingship 
and sending for his brother Ajib, said to him, <( O dog, why hast 
thou assembled the Kings against us ? But He who hath power 
over all things hath given us the victory over thee. So embrace 
the Saving Faith and thou shalt be saved, and I will forbear to 
avenge my father and mother on thee therefor, and I will make 
thee King again as thou wast, placing myself under thy hand." 
But Ajib said, " I will not leave my faith." So Gharib bade lay 
him in irons and appointed an hundred stalwart slaves to guard 
him ; after which he turned to Ra'ad Shah and said to him, " How 
sayst thou of the faith of Al-Islam ? " Replied he, " O my lord, 
I will enter thy faith ; for, were it not a true Faith and a goodly, 
thou hadst not conquered us. Put forth thy hand and I will testify 
that there is no god but the God arid that Abraham the Friend is 
the Apostle of God." At this Gharib rejoiced and said to him," Is 
thy heart indeed stablished in the sweetness of this Belief?" And 
he answered, saying, "Yes, O my lord!" Then quoth Gharib, 
" O, Ra'ad Shah, wilt thou go to thy country and thy kingdom ? "; 
and quoth he, " O* my lord, my father will put me to death, for 
that I have left his faith." Gharib rejoined, " I will go with thee 
and make thee king of the country and constrain the folk to obey 
thee, by the help of Allah the Bountiful, the Beneficent." And 
Ra'ad Shah kissed his hands and feet. Then Gharib rewarded 
the counsellor who had caused the rout of the foe and gave him. 
great wealth ; after which he turned to Kaylajan and Kurajan, 
and said to them, " Harkye, Chiefs of the Jinn, 'tis my will that 
ye carry me, together with Ra'ad Shah and Jamrkan and Sa'adan 
to the land of Hind." " We hear and we obey," answered they. 
So Kurajan took up Jamrkan and Sa'adan, whilst Kalajan took 
Gharib and Ra'ad Shah and made for the land of Hind. And 

A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her per- 
mitted say. 

Nofo fofjm ft foas tfje &fx |un&re& an* ^fxtg-Kftb 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
two Marids had taken up Gharib and Jamrkan, Sa'adan the Ghul 
and Ra'ad Shah, they flew on with them from sundown till the 
last of the night, when they set them down on the terrace of King 
Tarkanan's palace at Cashmere. Now news was brought to 
Tarkanan by the remnants of his host of what had befallen his 
son, whereat he. slept not neither took delight in aught, and he was 
troubled with sore trouble. As he sat in his Harim, pondering 
his case, behold, Gharib and his company descended the stairways 
of the palace and came in to him ; and when he saw his son and 
those who were with him, he was confused and fear took him of 
the Marids. Then Ra'ad Shah turned to him and said, " How 
long wilt thou persist in thy frowardness, O traitor and worshipper 
of the Fire ? Woe to thee ! Leave worshipping the Fire and 
serve the Magnanimous Sire, Creator of day and night, whom 
attaineth no sight." When Tarkanan heard his son's speech, he 
cast at him an iron club he had by him ; but it missed him and 
fell upon a buttress of the palace and smote out three stones. 
Then cried the King, " O dog, thou hast destroyed mine army and 
hast forsaken thy faith and comest now to make me do likewise ! " 
With this Gharib went up to him and dealt him a cuff on the 
neck which knocked him down ; whereupon the Marids hound 
him fast and all the Harim-women fled. Then Gharib sat down 
on the throne of kingship and said to Ra'ad Shah, " Do thou 
justice upon thy father." So Ra'ad Shah turned to him and 
said, " O perverse old man, become one of the saved and thou 
shalt be saved from the fire and the wrath of the All-powerful." 
But Tarkanan cried, " I will not die save in my own faith." 
Whereupon Gharib drew Al-Mahik and smote him therewith, 
and he fell to the earth in two pieces, and Allah hurried his soul 
to the fire and abiding-place dire. 1 Then Gharib bade hang his 
body over the palace gate and they hung one-half on the right 

1 In AMslam this was unjustifiable homicide, excused only because the Kafir had 
tried to slay his own son. He should have been summoned to become a tributary and 
then, on express refusal, he might legally hav been put to death. 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 6$ 

hand and the other on the left and waited till day, when Gnarib 
caused Ra'ad Shah don the royal habit and sit down on his 
father's throne, with himself on his dexter hand and Jamrkan and 
Sa'adan and the Marids standing right and left ; and he said to 
Kaylajan and Kurajan, " Whoso entereth of the Princes and 
Officers, seize him and bind him, and let not a single Captain 
escape you." And they answered, " Hearkening and obedience ! " 
Presently, the Officers made for the palace, to do their service to 
the King, and the first to appear was the Chief Captain who, 
seeing King Tarkanan's dead body cut in half and hanging on 
either side of the gate, was seized with terror and amazement. 
Then Kaylajan laid hold of him by the collar and threw him and 
pinioned him ; after which he dragged him into the palace and 
before sunrise they had bound three hundred and fifty Captains 
and set them before Gharib, who said to them, " O folk, have you 
seen your King hanging at the palace-gate ? " Asked they, who 
hath done this deed ?"; and he answered, " I did it, by the help 
of Allah Almighty ; and whoso opposeth me, I will do with him 
likewise." Then quoth they, " What is thy will with us ? " ; and 
quoth he, " I am Gharib, King of Al-Irak, he who slew your 
warriors ; and now Ra'ad Shah hath embraced the Faith of 
Salvation and is become a mighty King and ruler over you. So 
do ye become True Believers and all shall be well with you ; but, 
if ye refuse, you shall repent it." So they pronounced the pro- 
fession of the Faith and were enrolled among the people of felicity. 
Then said Gharib, " Are your hearts indeed stablished in the 
sweetness of the Belief ? "; and they replied, " Yes "; whereupon 
he bade release them and clad them in robes of honour, saying, 
"Go to your people and expound Al-Islam to them. Whoso 
accepteth the Faith, spare him ; but if he refuse slay him."- 
And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say 
her permitted say. 

fo$cn (t foas tie Sbfx l^untrrft an* % 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King 
Gharib said to the troops of Ra'ad Shah, " Go to your people and 
offer Al-Islam to them. Whoso accepteth the Faith spare him ; 
but if he refuse, slay him." So they went out and, assembling 
the men under their command, explained what had taken place 
and expounded Al-Islam to them, and they all professed, except 

66 A tf Laylak wa Laylak. 

a few, whom they put to death ; after which they returned and 
told Gharib, who blessed Allah and glorified Him, saying, " Praised 
be the Almighty who hath made this thing easy to us without 
strife ! " Then he abode in Cashmere of India forty days, till he 
had ordered the affairs of the country and cast down the shrines 
and temples of the Fire and built in their stead mosques and 
cathedrals, whilst Ra'ad Shah made ready for him rarities and 
treasures beyond count and despatched them to Al-Irak in ships. 
Then Gharib mounted on Kaylajan's back and Jamrkan and 
Sa'adan on that of Kurajan, after they had taken leave of Ra'ad 
Shah ; and journeyed through the night till break of day, when 
they reached Oman city where their troops met them and saluted 
them and rejoiced in them. Then they set out for Cufa where 
Gharib called for his brother Ajib and commanded to hang him. 
So Sahim brought hooks of iron and driving them into the tendons 
of Ajib's heels, hung him over the gate ; and Gharib bade them 
shoot him ; so they riddled him with arrows, till he was like unto 
a porcupine. Then Gharib entered his palace and sitting down 
on the throne of his kingship, passed the day in ordering the 
affairs of the state. At nightfall he went in to his Harim, where 
Star o' Morn came to meet him and embraced him and gave him 
joy, she and her women, of his safety. He spent that day and 
lay that night with her and on the morrow, after he had made the 
Ghusl-ablution and prayed the dawn-prayer, he sat down on his 
throne and commanded preparation to be made for his marriage 
with Mahdiyah. Accordingly they slaughtered three thousand 
head of sheep and two thousand oxen and a thousand he-goats 
and five hundred camels and the like number of horses, beside 
four thousand fowls and great store of geese ; never was such 
wedding in Al-Islam to that day. Then he went in to Mahdiyah 
and took her maidenhead and abode with her ten days; after 
which he committed the kingdom to his uncle Al-Damigh, charging 
him to rule the lieges justly, and journeyed with his women and 
warriors, till he came to the ships laden with the treasures and 
rarities which Ra'ad Shah had sent him, and divided the monies 
among his men who from poor became rich. Then they fared on 
till they reached the city of Babel, where he bestowed on Sahim 
Al-Layl a robe of honour and appointed him Sultan of the city. 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying 

her permitted say. 

The History of Charib and his Brother Ajib. 67 

Nofo fo&en it teas fte Sbii f^imfcrefc anto bfxt|?^ebcnt!> 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Gharib, 
after robing his brother Sahim and appointing him Sultan, abode 
with him ten days, after which he set out again and journeyed nor 
stinted travel till he reached the castle of Sa'adan the Ghul, where 
they rested five days. Then quoth Gharib to Kaylajan and 
Kurajan, "Pass over to Isbanir al-Madain, to the palace of the 
Chosroe, and find what is come of Fakhr Taj and bring me one 
of the King's kinsmen, who shall acquaint me with what hath 
passed." Quoth they, " We hear and we obey," and set out forth- 
right for Isbanir. As they flew between heaven and earth, hehold, 
they caught sight of a mighty army, as it were the surging sea, 
and Kaylajan said to Kurajan, " Let us descend and determine 
what be this host." So they alighted and walking among the 
troops, found them Persians and questioned the soldiers whose 
men they were and whither they were bound ; whereto they made 
answer, " We are en route for Al-Irak, to slay Gharib and all who 
company him." When the Marids heard these words, they repaired 
to the pavilion of the Persian general, whose name was Rustam, 
and waited till the soldiers slept, when they took up Rustam, bed 
and all, and made for the castle where Gharib lay. They arrived 
there by midnight and going to the door of the King's pavilion, 
cried, " Permission ! " which when he heard, he sat up and said, 
"Come in." So they entered and set down the couch with 
Rustam asleep thereon. Gharib asked, " Who be this ? " and they 
answered, " This be a Persian Prince, whom we met coming with 
a great host, thinking to slay thee and thine, and we have brought 
him to thee, that he may tell thee what thou hast a mind to 
know." " Fetch me an hundred braves ! " cried Gharib, and they 
fetched them ; whereupon he bade them, " Draw your swords and 
stand at the head of this Persian carle ! " Then they awoke him 
and he opened his eyes ; and, finding an arch of steel over his 
head, shut them again, crying, " What be this foul dream ? " But 
Kaylajan pricked him with his sword-point and he sat up and 
said, " Where am I ? " Quoth Sahim, " Thou art in the presence 
of King Gharib, son-in-law of the King of the Persians. What is 
thy name and whither goest thou ? " When Rustam heard Gharib's 
name, he bethought himself and said in his mind, " Am I asleep 
or awake ? " Whereupon Sahim dealt him a buffet, saying, " Why 

68 A If Laylafy wa Laylah. 

dost thou not answer ? " And he raised his head and asked, " Who 
brought me from my tent out of the midst of my men ? J> Gharib 
answered, " These two Marids brought thee." So he looked at 
Kaylajan and Kurajan and skited in his bag-trousers. Then the 
Marids fell upon him, baring their tusks and brandishing their 
blades, and said to him, " Wilt thou not rise and kiss ground before 
King Gharib ? " And he trembled at them and was assured that 
he was not aleep ; so he stood up and kissed the ground between 
the hands of Gharib, saying, " The blessing of the Fire be on thee, 
and long life be thy life, O King ! " Gharib cried, " O dog of the 
Persians, fire is not worshipful, for that it is harmful and profiteth 
not save in cooking food." Asked Rustam, "Who then is wor- 
shipful ? " ; and Gharib answered, " Alone worshipworth is God, 
who formed thee and fashioned thee and created the heavens and 
the earth." Quoth the Ajami, "What shall I say that I may 
become of the party of this Lord and enter thy Faith ? " ; and 
quoth Gharib, " Say : There is no god but the God, and Abraham 
is the Friend of God." So Rustam pronounced the profession of 
the Faith and was enrolled among the people of felicity. Then 
said he to Gharib, " Know, O my lord, that thy father-in-law, King 
Sabur, seeketh to slay thee ; and indeed he hath sent me with an 
hundred thousand men, charging me to spare none of you." Gharib 
rejoined, " Is this my reward for having delivered his daughter 
from death and dishonour ? Allah will requite him his ill intent. 
But what is thy name ? " The Persian answered, " My name is 
Rustam, general of Sabur;" and Gharib, " Thou shalt have the 
like rank in my army," adding, " But tell me, O Rustam, how is it 
with the Princess Fakhr Taj ? " " May thy head live, O King of 
the age!" "What was the cause of her death?" Rustam re- 
plied, " O my lord, no sooner hadst thou left us than one of the 
Princess's women went in to King Sabur and said to him : O my 
master, didst thou give Gharib leave to lie with the Princess my 
mistress? whereto he answered : No, by the virtue of the fire! 
and drawing his sword, went in to his daughter and said to her : 
O foul baggage, why didst thou suffer yonder Badawi to sleep 
with thee, without dower or even wedding? She replied : O my 
papa, 'twas thou gavest him leave to sleep with me. Then he 
asked : Did the fellow have thee ? but she was silent and hung 
down her head. Hereupon he cried out to the midwives and 
slave-girls, saying : Pinion me this harlot's elbows behind her 
and look at her privy parts. So they did as he 'bade them and 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 69 

after inspecting her slit said to him : O King, she hath lost her 
maidenhead. Whereupon he ran at her and would have slain her, 
but her mother rose up and threw herself between them crying : 
O King, slay her not, lest thou be for ever dishonoured ; but shut 
her in a cell till she die. So he cast her into prison till nightfall, 
when he called two of his courtiers and said to them : Carry her 
afar off and throw her into the river Jayhun and tell none. They 
did his commandment, and indeed her memory is forgotten and 

her time is past." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased to say her permitted say. 

fofitn it foas tfte &>tx |&utrtrre& anb 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib 
asked news of Fakhr Taj, Rustam informed him that she had been 
drowned in the river by her sire's command. And when Gharib 
heard this, the world waxed wan before his eyes and he cried, " By 
the virtue of Abraham the Friend, I will assuredly go to yonder 
dog and overwhelm him and lay waste his realm ! " Then he sent 
letters to Jamrkan and to the governors of Mosul and Mayyafdrikfn ; 
and, turning to Rustam, said to him, " How many men hadst thou 
in thine army?" He replied, "An hundred thousand Persian 
horse;" and Gharib rejoined, "Take ten thousand horse and go 
to thy people and occupy them with war ; I will follow on thy 
trail." So Rustam mounted and taking ten thousand Arab horse 
made for his tribe, saying in himself, " I will do a deed shall 
whiten my face with King Gharib." So he fared on seven days, 
till there remained but half a day's journey between him and the 
Persian camp ; when, dividing his host into four divisions he said 
to his men, " Surround the Persians on all sides and fall upon them 
with the sword." They rode on from eventide till midnight, when 
they had compassed the camp of the Ajamis, who were asleep in 
security, and fell upon them, shouting, " God is Most Great ! " 
Whereupon the Persians started up from sleep and their feet 
slipped and the sabre went round amongst them ; for the All- 
knowing King was wroth with them, and Rustam wrought amongst 
them as fire in dry fuel ; till, by the end of the night, the whole of 
the Persian host was slain or wounded or fled, and the Moslems 
made prize of their tent;s and baggage, horses, camels and treasure- 
chests. Then they alighted and rested in the tents of the Ajamis 

70 A If Laylah wa Lay la ft. 

till King Gharib came up and, seeing what Rustam had done and 
how he had gained by stratagem a great and complete victory, he 
invested him with a robe of honour and said to him, " O Rustam, 
it was thou didst put the Persians to the rout ; wherefore all the 
spoil is thine." So he kissed Gharib's hand and thanked him, and 
they rested till the end of the day, when they set out for King 
Sabur's capital. Meanwhile, the fugitives of the defeated force 
reached Isbanir and went in to Sabur, crying out and saying, 
" Alas ! " and " Well-away ! " and " Woe worth the day ! " Quoth 
he, " What hath befallen you and who with his mischief hath 
smitten you ? " So they told him all that had passed and said, 
" Naught befel us except that thy general Rustam, fell upon us in 
the darkness of the night because he had turned Moslem ; nor did 
Gharib come near us." When the King heard this, he cast his 
crown to the ground and said, " There is no worth left us ! " Then 
he turned to his son Ward Shah 1 and said to him, "O my son, 
there is none for this affair save thou." Answered Ward Shah, 
" By thy life, O my father, I will assuredly bring Gharib and his 
chiefs of the people in chains and slay all who are with him." 
Then he numbered his army and found it two hundred and twenty 
thousand men. So they slept, intending to set forth on the 
morrow ; but, next morning, as they were about to march, behold, 
a cloud of dust arose and spread till it walled the world and 
baffled the sight of the farthest-seeing wight. Now Sabur had 
mounted to farewell his son, and when he saw this mighty great 
dust, he let call a runner and said to him, " Go find me out the 
cause of this dust-cloud." The scout went and returned, saying, 
" O my lord, Gharib and his braves are upon you ; " whereupon 
they unloaded their bat-beasts and drew out in line of battle. 
When Gharib came up and saw the Persians ranged in row, he 
cried out to his men, saying, " Charge with the blessing of Allah ! " 
So they waved the flags, and the Arabs and the Ajamis drave one 
at other and folk were heaped upon folk. Blood ran like water 
and all souls saw death face to face ; the brave advanced and 
pressed forward to assail and the coward hung back and turned tail 
and they ceased not from fight and fray till ended day, when the 
kettle-drums beat the retreat and the two hosts drew apart. Then 
Sabur commanded to pitch his camp hard over the city-gate, and 

* l i.e. " Rose King," like the Sikh name " Gulab Singh " = Rosewater Lion, sound* 
ing in translation almost too absurd to be true. 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 71 

Gharib set up his pavilions in front of theirs ; and every one went 

to his tent. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo fo&en ft toas t&e b(x 

anfc &ixtg-n(ntl) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
two hosts drew apart, every one went to his tent until the morning. 
As soon as it was day, the two hosts mounted their strong steeds 
and levelled their lances and wore their harness of war ; then they 
raised their slogan-cries and drew out in battle-array, whilst came 
forth all the lordly knights and the lions of fights. Now the first 
to open the gate of battle was Rustam, who urged his charger into 
mid-field and cried out, " God is most Great ! I am Rustam 
champion-in-chief of the Arabs and Ajams. Who is for tilting, 
who is for fighting ? Let no sluggard come out to me this day or 
weakling ! " Then there rushed forth to him a champion of the 
Persians ; the two charged each other and there befel between 
them a sore fight, till Rustam sprang upon his adversary and 
smote him with a mace he had with him, seventy pounds in 
weight, and beat his head down upon his breast, and he fell to the 
earth, dead and in his blood drowned. This was no light matter 
to Sabur and he commanded his men to charge ; so they drave at 
the Moslems, invoking the aid of the light-giving Sun, whilst the 
True Believers called for help upon the Magnanimous King. But 
the Ajams, the Miscreants, outnumbered the Arabs, the Moslems, 
and made them drain the cup of death ; which when Gharib saw 
he drew his sword Al-Mahik and crying out his war-cry, fell upon 
the Persians, with Kaylajan and Kurajan at either stirrup ; nor 
did he leave playing upon them with blade till he hewed his way 
to the standard-bearer and smote him on the head with the flat of 
his sword, whereupon he fell down in a fainting-fit and the two 
Marids bore him off to their camp. When the Persians saw the 
standard fall, they turned and fled and for the city-gates made ; 
but the Moslems followed them with the blade and they crowded 
together to enter the city, so that they could not shut the gates 
and there died of them much people. Then Rustam and Sa'adan, 
Jamrkan and Sahim, Al-Damigh, Kaylajan and Kurajan and all 
the braves Mohammedan and the champions of Faith Unitarian 
fell upon the misbelieving Persians in the gates, and the blood of 

72 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

the Kafirs ran in the streets like a torrent till they threw down 
their arms and harness and called out for quarter ; whereupon the 
Moslems stayed their swords from the slaughter and drove them to 
their tents, as one driveth a flock of sheep. Meanwhile Gharib 
returned to his pavilion, where he doffed his gear and washed him- 
self of the blood of the Infidels ; after which he donned his royal 
robes and sat down on his chair of estate. Then he called for the 
King of the Persians and said to him, " O dog of the Ajams, what 
moved thee to deal thus with thy daughter ? How seest thou me 
unworthy to be her baron ? " And Sabur answered, saying, " O 
King, punish me not because of that deed which I did ; for I 
repent me and confronted thee not in fight but in my fear of thee." 1 
When Gharib heard these words he bade throw him flat and beat 
him. So they bastinadoed him, till he could no longer groan, and 
cast him among the prisoners. Then Gharib expounded Al-Islam 
to the Persians and one hundred and twenty thousand of them 
embraced The Faith, and the rest he put to the sword. Moreover 
all the citizens professed Al-Islam and Gharib mounted and 
entered in great state the city Isbanir Al-Madain. Then he went 
into the King's palace and sitting down on Sabur's throne, gave 
robes and largesse and distributed the booty and treasure among 
the Arabs and Persians, wherefore they loved him and wished him 
victory and honour and endurance of days. But Fakhr Taj's 
mother remembered her daughter and raised the voice of mourning 
for her, and the palace was filled with wails and cries. Gharib 
heard this and entering the Harim, asked the women what ailed 
them, whereupon the Princess's mother came forward and said, "O 
my lord, thy presence put me in mind of my daughter and how 
she would have joyed in thy coming, had she been alive and well.'* 
Gharib wept for her and sitting down on his throne, called for 
Sabur, and they brought him stumbling in his shackles. Quoth 
Gharib to him, " O dog of the Persians, what didst thou do with 
thy daughter ? " " I gave her to such an one and such an one," 
quoth the King, "saying: Drown her in the river Jayhun." So 
Gharib sent for the two men and asked them, " Is what he saith 
true ? " Answered they, " Yes ; but, O King, we did not drown 
her, nay we took pity on her and left her on the banks of the 
Jayhun, saying : Save thyself and return not to the city, lest the 

* " Repentance acquits the penitent" is a favourite and noble saying popular in 
Islam. It is first found in Seneca ; and is probably as old as the dawn of literature. 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 73 

King slay thee and slay us with thee. This is all we know of her." 
- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say 
her permitted say. 

Nofo fofjen it foas t!je &ix ^unbrefc anfc SbebentktJ NtgSt, 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
two men ended the tale of Fakhr Taj with these words, " And we 
left her upon the bank of the river Jayhun ! " Now, when Gharib 
heard this he bade bring the astrologers and said to them, " Strike 
me a board of geomancy and find out what is come of Fakhr Taj, 
and whether she is still in the bonds of life or dead.'* They did 
so and said, " O King of the age, it is manifest to us that the 
Princess is alive and hath borne a male child j but she is with a 
tribe of the Jinn, and will be parted from thee twenty years ; 
count, therefore, how many years thou hast been absent in travel." 
So he reckoned up the years of his absence and found them eight 
years and said, " There is no Majesty and there is no Might save 
in Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! " l Then he sent for all Sabur's 
Governors of towns and strongholds and they came and did him 
homage. Now one day after this, as he sat in his palace, behold, 
a cloud of dust appeared in the distance and spread till it walled 
the whole land and darkened the horizon. So he summoned the 
two Marids and bade them reconnoitre, and they went forth 
under the dust cloud and snatching up a horseman of the ad- 
vancing host, returned and set him down before Gharib, saying, 
" Ask this fellow, for he is of the army." Quoth Gharib, " Whose 
power is this ? " and the man answered, " O King, 'tis the army of 
Khirad Shah, 2 King of Shiras, who is come forth to fight thee." 
Now the cause of Khirad Shah's coming was this. When Gharib 
defeated Sabur's army, as hath been related, and took him 
prisoner, the King's son fled, with a handful of his father's force 
and ceased not flying till he reached the city of Shiras, where he 
went into King Khirad Shah and kissed ground before him, 
whilst the tears ran down his cheeks. When the King saw him in 
this case, he said to him, " Lift thy head, O youth, and tell me 

1 Here an ejaculation of impatience. 

2 i.e. "King Intelligence": it has a ludicrous sound suggesting only " Dandanha-i 
Khirad " = wisdom-teeth. The Mac. Edit, persistently keeps " Ward Shah," copyist- 

74 A If Laylak iva Laylak. 

what maketh thee weep." He replied, " O King, a King of the 
Arabs, by name Gharib, hath fallen on us and captured the King 
my sire and slain the Persians making them drain the cup of 
death." And he told him all that had passed from first to last. 
Quoth Khirad Shah, " Is my wife 1 well ?" and quoth the Prince, 
"Gharib hath taken her." Cried the King " As my head liveth, 
I will not leave a Badawi or a Moslem on the face of the earth ! " 
So he wrote letters to his Viceroys, who levied their troops and 
joined him with an army which when reviewed numbered eighty- 
five thousand men. Then he opened his armouries and distributed 
arms and armour to the troops, after which he set out with them 
and journeyed till he came to Isbanir, and all encamped before 
the city-gate. Hereupon Kaylajan and Kurajan came in to 
Gharib and kissing his knee, said to him, " O our Lord, heal our 
hearts and give us this host to our share." And he said, " Up 
and at them!* 1 So the two Marids flew aloft high in the lift 
and lighting down in the pavilion of the King of Shiras, found 
him seated on his chair of estate, with the Prince of Persia, 
Ward Shah son of Sabur, sitting on his right hand, and about him 
his Captains, with whom he was taking counsel for the slaughter 
of the Moslems, Kaylajan came forward and caught up the 
Prince and Kurajan snatched up the King and the twain flew back 
with them to Gharib, who caused beat them till they fainted. 
Then the Marids returned to the Shirazian camp and, drawing their 
swords, which no mortal man had strength to wield, fell upon the 
Misbelievers and Allah hurried their souls to the Fire and abiding- 
place dire, whilst they saw no one and nothing save two swords 
flashing and reaping men, as a husbandman reaps corn. So they left 
their tents and mounting their horses bare-backed, fled ; and the 
Marids pursued them two days and slew of them much people ; 
after which they returned and kissed Gharib's hand. He thanked 
them for the deed they had done and said to them, " The spoil of 
the Infidels is yours alone : none shall share with you therein." 
So they called down blessings on him and going forth, gathered 
the booty together and abode in their own homes. On this wise it 

fared with them ; but as regards Gharib and his lieges, And 

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

1 i.e. Fakhr Taj, who had been promised him in marriage. See Night dcxxxiii. 
supra, vol. vi. 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 75 

JJofo fofjen ft foag tfie &Cx f^untafc antr gicbemg-first Wfi&t, 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after 
Gharib had put to flight the host of Khirad Shah, he bade 
Kaylajan and Kurajan take the spoil to their own possession nor 
share it with any ; so they gathered the booty and abode in their 
own homes. Meanwhile the remains of the beaten force ceased 
not flying till they reached the city of Shiras and there lifted up 
the voice of weeping and began the ceremonial lamentations for 
those of them that had been slain. Now King Khirad Shah had a 
brother Siran the Sorcerer hight, than whom there was no greater 
wizard in his day, and he lived apart from his brother in a certain 
stronghold, called the Fortalice of Fruits, 1 in a place abounding in 
trees and streams and birds and blooms, half a day's journey from 
Shiras. So the fugitives betook them thither and went in to Siran 
the Sorcerer, weeping and wailing aloud. Quoth he, " O folk, 
what garreth you weep ?" and they told him all that had happened, 
especially how the two Marids had carried off his brother Khirad 
Shah ; whereupon the light of his eyes became night and he said, 
" By the virtue of my faith, I will certainly slay Gharib and all his 
men and leave not one alive to tell the tale !" Then he pro- 
nounced certain magical words and summoned the Red King, who 
appeared and Siran said to him, " Fare for Isbanir and fall on 
Gharib, as he sitteth upon his throne." Replied he, " Hearkening 
and obedience ! " and, gathering his troops, repaired to Isbanir 
and assailed Gharib, who seeing him, drew his sword Al-Mahik 
and he and Kaylajan and Kurajan fell upon the army of the Red 
King and slew of them five hundred and thirty and wounded the 
King himself with a grevious wound ; whereupon he and his people 
fled and stayed not in their flight, till they reached the Fortalice 
of Fruits and went into Siran, crying out and exclaiming, " Woe ! " 
and " Ruin ! " And the Red King said to Siran, " O sage, Gharib 
hath with him the enchanted sword of Japhet son of Noah, and 
whomsoever he smiteth therewith he severeth him in sunder, and 
with him also are two Marids from Mount Caucasus, given to him 
by King Mura'ash. He it is who slew the blue King and Barkan 
Lord of the Carnelian City, and did to death much people of the 

1 The name does not appear till further on, after vague Eastern fashion which, her! 
and elsewhere I have not had the heart to adopt. The same may be found in Ariosto,/arwr. 

76 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

Jinn." When the Enchanter heard this, he said to the Red King" 
" Go," and he went his ways ; whereupon he resumed his conjura- 
tions, and calling up a Marid, by name Zu'azi'a gave him a drachm 
of levigated Bhang and said to him, "Go thou at Isbanir, and 
enter King Gharib's palace and assume the form of a sparrow. 
Wait till he fall and there be none with him ; then put the 
Bhang up his nostrils and bring him to me." " To hear is to 
obey/' replied the Marid and flew to Isbanir, where, changing 
himself into a sparrow, he perched on the window of the palace 
and waited till all Gharib's attendants retired to their rooms 
and the King himself slept. Then he flew down and going up to 
Gharib, blew the powdered Bhang into his nostrils, till he lost 
his senses, whereupon he wrapped him in the bed-coverlet and 
flew off with him, like the storm-wind, to the Fortalice of Fruits ; 
where he arrived at midnight and laid his prize before Sirart.. The 
Sorcerer thanked him and would have put Gharib to death, as he 
lay senseless under Bhang ; but a man of his people withheld him 
saying, " O Sage, an thou slay him, his friend King Mura'ash 
will fall on us with all his Ifrits and lay waste our realm.'* 
" How then shall we do with him ? " asked Siran, and the other 
answered, " Cast him into the Jayhun while he is still in Bhang 
and he shall be drowned and none will know who threw him in." 
And Siran bade the Marid take Gharib and cast him into Jayhun 

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

say her permitted say. 

Noto fofjen ft foas tje Sbtx f^untrretr atrtr Sbefontg-seconlr 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
Marid took Gharib and carried him to the Jayhun purposing to 
cast him therein, but it was grievous to him to drown him, where- 
fore he made a raft of wood and binding it with cords, pushed it 
out (and Gharib thereon) into the current, which carried it away. 
Thus fared it with Gharib ; but as regards his people, when they 
awoke in the morning and went in to do their service to their 
King, they found him not and seeing his rosary on the throne, 
awaited him awhile, but he came not. So they sought out the 
head Chamberlain and said to him, " Go into the Harim and look 
for the King : for it is not his habit to tarry till this time." 
Accordingly, the Chamberlain entered the Serraglio and enquired 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 77 

for the King, but the women said, " Since yesterday we have not 
seen him." Thereupon he returned and told the Officers, who 
were confounded and said, " Let us see if he have gone to take his 
pleasure in the gardens." Then they went out and questioned the 
gardeners if they had seen the King, and they answered, " No ; " 
whereat they were sore concerned and searched all the garths till 
the end of the day, when they returned in tears. Moreover, the 
two Marids sought for him all round the city, but came back 
after three days, without having happened on any tidings of him. 
So the people donned black and made their complaint to the 
Lord of all worshipping men who doth as he is fain. Mean- 
while, the current bore the raft along for five days till it brought 
it to the salt sea, where the waves disported with Gharib and his 
stomach, being troubled, threw up the Bhang. Then he opened 
his eyes and finding himself in the midst of the main, a plaything 
of the billows, said, " There is no Majesty and there is no Might 
save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! Would to Heaven I wot 
who hath done this deed by me ! " Presently as he lay, perplexed 
concerning his case, lo ! he caught sight of a ship sailing by and 
signalled with his sleeve to the sailors, who came to him and took 
him up, saying, rt Who art thou and whence comest thou ? " He 
replied, " Do ye feed me and give me to drink, till I recover my- 
self, and after I will tell you who I am." So they brought him 
water and victual, and he ate and drank and Allah restored to him 
his reason. Then he asked them, " O folk, what countrymen are 
ye and what is your Faith ? ; " and they answered, " We are from 
Karaj l and we worship an idol called Minkash." Cried Gharib, 
" Perdition to you and your idol ! O dogs, none is worthy of worship 
save Allah who created all things, who saith to a thing Be ! and 
it becometh." When they heard this, they rose up and fell upon 
him in great wrath and would have seized him. Now he was 
without weapons, but whomsoever he struck, he smote down and 
deprived of life, till he had felled forty men, after which they over- 
came him by force of numbers and bound him fast, saying, " We 
will not slay him save in our own land, that we may first show him 
to our King." Then they sailed on till they came to the city of 
Karaj. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 
saying her permitted say. 

1 A town in Persian Irak, unhappily far from the " Salt sea.' 

Alf Laylah wa Lay/aft. 

ETofo fofjni ft foas tfie S>ix f^untafc an* &ebentg-rt)hfo 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the ship's crew seized Gharib and bound him fast they said, " We 
will not slay him save in our own land. Then they sailed on till 
they came to the city of Karaj, the builder whereof was an 
Amalekite, fierce and furious ; and he had set up at each gate of the 
city a magical figure of copper which, whenever a stranger entered, 
blew a blast on a trumpet, that all in the city heard it and fell 
upon the stranger and slew him, except they embraced their creed. 
When Gharib entered the city, the figure stationed at the gate 
blew such a horrible blast that the King was affrighted and going 
into his idol, found fire and smoke issuing from its mouth, nose 
and eyes. Now a Satan had entered the belly of the idol and 
speaking as with its tongue, said, " O King, there is come to thy 
city one hight Gharib, King of Al-Irak, who biddeth the folk quit 
their belief and worship his Lord ; wherefore, when they bring him 
before thee, look thou spare him not." So the King went out 
and sat down on his throne ; and presently, the sailors brought in 
Gharib and set him before the presence, saying, " O King, we 
found this youth shipwrecked in the midst of the sea, and he is a 
Kafir and believeth not in our gods." Then they told him all 
that had passed and the King said, " Carry him to the house of 
the Great Idol and cut his throat before him, so haply our god 
may look lovingly upon us." But the Wazir said, " O King, it 
befitteth not to slaughter him thus, for he would die in a moment : 
better we imprison him and build a pyre of fuel and burn him 
with fire." Thereupon the King commanded to cast Gharib into 
gaol and caused wood to be brought, and they made a mighty 
pyre and set fire to it, and it burnt till the morning. Then the 
King and the people of the city came forth and the Ruler sent to 
fetch Gharib ; but his lieges found him not ; so they returned and 
told their King who said, "And how made he his escape?" 
Quoth they, " We found the chains and shackles cast down and 
the doors fast locked." Whereat the King N marvelled and asked, 
" Hath this fellow to Heaven up flown or into the earth gone 
down ? ; " and they answered, " We know not." Then said the 
King, " I will go and question my God, and he will inform me 
whither he is gone/' So he rose and went in, to prostrate himself 
to his idol, but found it not and began to rub his eyes and say, 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 79 

" Am I in sleep or on wake ? " Then he turned to his Wazir 
and said to him, " Where is my God and where is my prisoner ? 
By my faith, O dog of Wazirs, haddest thou not counselled me to 
burn him, I had slaughtered him ; for it is he who hath stolen my 
god and fled ; and there is no help but I take blood-wreak of 
him ! " Then he drew his sword and struck off the Wazir's head. 
Now there was for Gharib's escape with the idol a strange cause 
and it was on this wise. When they had shut him up in a cell 
adjoining the doomed shrine under which stood the idol, he rose 
to pray, calling upon the name of Almighty Allah and seeking 
deliverance of Him, to whom be honour and glory ! The Marid 
who had charge of the idol and spoke in its name, heard him 
and fear got hold upon his heart and he said, " O shame upon me ! 
Who is this seeth me while I see him not ? " So he went in 
to Gharib and throwing himself at his feet, said to him, " O my 
Lord, what must I say that I may become of thy company 
and enter thy religion ? " Replied Gharib, " Say : There is no 
god but the God and Abraham is the Friend of God/' So the 
Marid pronounced the profession of Faith and was enrolled among 
the people of felicity. Now his name was Zalzal, son of 
Al-Muzalzil, 1 one of the Chiefs of the Kings of the Jinn. Then 
he unbound Gharib and taking him and the idol, made for the 

higher air. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

Noto fofjen ft toas t&e &>t'x f^unfctrti anfc Sb^entg-fourtfi Nt'gfct, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
Marid took up Gharib and the idol and made for the higher air. 
Such was his case ; but as regards the King, when his soldiers 
saw what had befallen and the slaughter of the Wazir they 
renounced the worship of the idol and drawing their swords, slew 
the King ; after which they fell on one another, and the sword 
went round amongst them three days, till there abode alive but 
two men, one of whom prevailed over the other and killed him. 
Then the boys attacked the survivor and slew him and fell to 
fighting amongst themselves, till they were all killed ; and the 
women and girls fled to the hamlets and forted villages ; wherefore 
the city became desert and none dwelt therein but the owi. 

1 " Earthquake son of Ennosigaius " (the Earthquake-maker). 

A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Meanwhile, the Marid Zalzal flew with Gharib towards his own 
country, the Island of Camphor and the Castle of Crystal and 
the Land of the Enchanted Calf, so called because its King 
Al-Muzalzil, had a pied calf, which he had clad in housings brocaded 
with red gold, and worshipped as a god. One day the King and 
his people went in to the calf and found him trembling ; so the 
King said, " O my God, what hath troubled thee ? " whereupon 
the Satan in the calfs belly cried out and said, " O Muzalzil, 
verily thy son hath deserted to the Faith of Abraham the Friend, 
at the hands of Gharib Lord of Al-Irak ; " and went on to tell 
him all that had passed from first to last. When the King heard 
the words of his calf he was confounded and going forth, sat 
down upon his throne. Then he summoned his Grandees who 
came in a body, and he told them what he had heard from the 
idol, whereat they marvelled and said, " What shall we do, O 
King ? " Quoth he, " When my son cometh and ye see him 
embrace him, do ye lay hold of him." And they said, 
* Hearkening and obedience ! " After two days came Zalzal and 
Gharib, with the King's idol of Karaj, but no sooner had they 
entered the palace-gate than the Jinn seized on them and 
carried them before Al-Muzalzil, who looked at his son with 
eyes of ire and said to him, " O dog of the Jann, hast thou 
left thy Faith and that of thy fathers and grandfathers ? " Quoth 
Zalzal, " I have embraced the True Faith, and on like wise do 
thou (Woe be to thee!) seek salvation and thou shalt be saved 
from the wrath of the King Almighty in sway, Creator of Night 
and Day/' Therewith his father waxed wroth and said, " O son 
of adultery, dost confront me with these words ? " Then he bade 
clap him in prison and turning to Gharib, said to him, " O 
wretch of a mortal, how hast thou abused my son's wit and 
seduced him from his Faith ? " Quoth Gharib, " Indeed, I have 
brought him out of wrongousness into the way of righteousness, 
out of Hell into Heaven and out of unfaith to the True Faith." 
Whereupon the King cried out to a Marid called Sayyar, saying, 
*' Take this dog and cast him into the Wady of Fire, that he may 
perish.'' Now this valley was in the " Waste Quarter 1 " and 
was thus named from the excess of its heat and the flaming of its 
fire, which was so fierce that none who went down therein could 

* Arab. " Ruba'al-Kharab " or Ruba'al-Khali (empty quarter), the great central 
wilderness of Arabia covering some 50,000 square miles and still left white on our 
maps (Pilgrimage, i. 14). 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 81 

live an hour, but was destroyed ; and it was compassed about 
by mountains high and slippery wherein was no opening. So 
Sayyar took up Gharib and flew with him towards the Valley 
of Fire, till he came within an hour's journey thereof, when being 
weary, he alighted in a valley full of trees and streams and fruits, 
and setting down from his back Gharib chained as he was, fell 
asleep for fatigue. When Gharib heard him snore, he strove with 
his bonds till he burst them ; then, taking up a heavy stone, 
he cast it down on the Hand's head and crushed his bones, so 

that he died on the spot. Then he fared on into the valley. 

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

jgofo fojen ft foas tje bix f^un&refc anfc ^cbentg-fiftfi 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Gharib 
after killing the Marid fared on into the valley and found him- 
self in a great island in mid-ocean, full of all fruits that lips 
and tongue could desire. So he abode alone on the island, 
drinking of its waters and eating of its fruits and of fish that 
he caught, and days and years passed over him, till he had 
sojourned there in his solitude seven years. One day, as he sat, be- 
hold, there came down on him from the air two Marids, each carry- 
ing a man ; and seeing him they said, " Who art thou, O fellow, 
and of which of the tribes art thou ? " Now they took him for a 
Jinni, because his hair was grown long ; and he replied, saying, 
" I am not of the Jann," whereupon they questioned him, and he 
told them all that had befallen him. They grieved for him and 
one of the Ifrits said, "Abide thou here till we bear these two 
lambs to our King, that he may break his fast on the one and 
sup on the other, and after we will come back and carry thee to 
thine own country." He thanked them and said, " Where be the 
lambs ? " Quoth they, " These two mortals are the lambs." And 
Gharib said, " I take refuge with Allah the God of Abraham the 
Friend, the Lord of all creatures, who hath power over every- 
thing ! " Then the Marids flew away and Gharib abode awaiting 
them two days, when one of them returned, bringing with him a 
suit of clothes wherewith he clad him. Then he took him up and 
flew with him sky-high out of sight of earth, till Gharib heard 
the angels glorifying God in heaven, and a flaming shaft issued 

82 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

from amongst them and made for the Marid, who fled from it 
towards the earth. The meteor pursued him, till he came within 
a spear's cast of the ground, when Gharib leaped from his 
shoulders and the fiery shaft overtook the Marid, who became a 
heap of ashes. As for Gharib, he fell into the sea and sank two 
fathoms deep, after which he rose to the surface and swam for 
two days and two nights, till his strength failed him and he made 
certain of death. But, on the third day as he was despairing 
he caught sight of an island steep and mountainous; so he swam 
for it and landing, walked on inland, where he rested a day and a 
night, feeding on the growth of the ground. Then he climbed to the 
mountain top, and, descending the opposite slope, fared on two days 
till he came in sight of a walled and bulwarked city, abounding in 
trees and rills. He walked up to it ; but, when he reached the 
gate, the warders seized on him, and carried him to their Queen, 
whose name was Jan Shah. 1 Now she was five hundred years 
old, and every man who entered the city, they brought to her 
and she made him sleep with her, and when he had done his 
work, she slew him and so had she slain many men. When she 
saw Gharib, he pleased her mightily ; so she asked him, " What be 
thy name and Faith and whence comest thou ? " and he answered > 
" My name is Gharib King of Irak, and I am a Moslem.' 1 Said 
she, <s Leave this Creed and enter mine and I will marry thee 
and make thee King." But he looked at her with eyes of ire and 
cried, " Perish thou and thy faith ! " Cried she, " Dost thou 
blaspheme my idol, which is of red carnelian, set with pearls and 
gems?" And she called out to her men, saying, " Imprison him 
in the house of the idol ; haply it will soften his heart." So they 
shut him up in the domed shrine and locking the doors upon him, 

went their way. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fo&m it foas tfje %ix ^untatr an& gbebentB-sixtft Nt'g&t, 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
they took Gharib, they jailed him in the idol's domed shrine ; and 
locking the doors upon him, went their way. As soon as they 
were gone, Gharib gazed at the idol, which was of red carnelian, 

1 Pers. " Life King," women also assume the title of Shah, 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 83 

with collars of pearls and precious stones about its neck, and 
presently he went close to it and lifting it up, dashed it on the 
ground and brake it in bits ; after which he lay down and slept 
till daybreak. When morning morrowed, the Queen took seat on 
her throne and said, " O men, bring me the prisoner." So they 
opened the temple doors and entering, found the idol broken in 
pieces, whereupon they buffeted their faces till the blood ran 
from the corners of their eyes. Then they made at Gharib to 
seize him ; but he smote one of them with his fist and slew him, 
and so did he with another and yet another, till he had slain 
five-and-twenty of them and the rest fled and went in to Queen 
Jan Shah, shrieking loudly. Quoth she, " What is the matter ? " 
and quoth they, " The prisoner hath broken thine idol and slain 
thy men," and told her all that had passed. When she heard this, 
she cast her crown to the ground and said, " There is no worth 
left in idols ! " Then she mounted amid a thousand fighting-men 
and rode to the temple, where she found Gharib had gotten him a 
sword and come forth and was slaying men and overthrowing 
warriors. When she saw his prowess, her heart was drowned in 
the love of him and she said to herself, " I have no need of the 
idol and care for naught save this Gharib, that he may lie in my 
bosom the rest of my life." Then she cried to her men, " Hold 
aloof from him and leave him to himself!"; then, going up to 
him she muttered certain magical words, whereupon his arm 
became benumbed, his forearm relaxed and the sword dropped 
from his hand. So they seized him and pinioned him, as he 
stood confounded, stupefied. Then the Queen returned to her 
palace, and seating herself on her seat of estate, bade her people 
withdraw and leave Gharib with her. When they were alone, she 
said to him, " O dog of the Arabs, wilt thou shiver my idol and 
slay my people ? " He replied, " O accursed woman, had he been 
a god he had defended himself?" Quoth she, " Stroke me and I 
will forgive thee all thou hast done." But he replied, saying, 
" I will do nought of this." And she said, " By the virtue of my 
faith, I will torture thee with grievous torture ! " So she took 
water and conjuring over it, sprinkled it upon him and he became 
an ape. And she used to feed and water and keep him in a 
closet, appointing one to care for him ; and in this plight he abode 
two years. Then she called him to her one day and said to him, 
" Wilt thou hearken to me ? " And he signed to her with his 
head, " Yes," So she rejoiced and freed him from the enchant- 

A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

ment. Then she brought htm food and he ate and toyed with 
her and kissed her, so that she trusted in him. When it was 
night she lay down and said to him, " Come, do thy business." 
He replied, "'Tis well; and, mounting on her breast, seized her 
by the neck and brake it, nor did he arise from her till life had 
left her. Then, seeing an open cabinet, he went in and found 
there a sword of damascened * steel and a targe of Chinese iron ; 
so he armed himself cap-^-pie and waited till the day. As soon 
as it was morning, he went forth and stood at the gate of the 
palace. When the Emirs came and would have gone in to do their 
service to the Queen, they found Gharib standing at the gate, clad 
in complete war-gear ; and he said to them, " O folk, leave the 
service of idols and worship the All-wise King, Creator of Night 
and Day, the Lord of men, the Quickener of dry bones, for He 
made all things and hath dominion over all." When the Kafirs 
heard this, they ran at him, but he fell on them like a rending 
lion and charged through them again and again, slaying of them 

much people ; And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

fofien it foas tije >ix l^uirtrrEfc anfc b*bentp=sebnt{) 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the Kafirs fell upon Gharib, he slew of them much people ; but, 
when the night came, they overcame him by dint of numbers and 
would have taken him by strenuous effort, when behold, there 
descended upon the Infidels a thousand Marids, under the 
command of Zalzal, who plied them with the keen sabre and 
made them drink the cup of destruction, whilst Allah hurried 
their souls to Hell-fire, till but few were left of the people of Jan 
Shah to tell the tale and the rest cried out, " Quarter ! Quarter ! " 
and believed in the Requiting King, whom no one thing diverteth 
from other thing, the Destroyer of the Jababirah 2 and Extermi- 
nator of the Akdsirah, Lord of this world and of the next. Then 

1 Arab. '* Mujauhar '*: the watery or wavy mark upon Eastern blades is called the 
"jauhar," lit. = jewel. The peculiarity is also called water and grain, which gives 
rise to a host of double-entendres, puns, paronomasias and conceits more or less frigid. 

3 Etymologically meaning tyrants or giants ; and applied to great heathen conquerors 
like Nimrod and the mighty rulers of Syria, the Anakim, Giants and other peoples of 
Hebrew fable. The Akasirah are the Chosroes before noticed. 

The History of Gharib and his Brother A jib. 85 

Zalzal saluted Gharib and gave him joy of his safety ; and 
Gharib said to him, " How knowest thou of my case ? " and he 
replied, " O my lord, my father kept me in prison two years, after 
sending thee to the Valley of Fire ; then he released me, and I 
abode with him another year, till I was restored to favour with 
him, when I slew him and his troops submitted to me. I ruled 
them for a year's space till, one night, I lay down to sleep, 
having thee in thought, and saw thee in a dream, fighting against 
the people of Jan Shah ; wherefore I took these thousand Marids 
and came to thee." And Gharib marvelled at this happy con- 
juncture. Then he seized upon Jan Shah's treasures and those of 
the slain and appointed a ruler over the city; after which the 
Marids took up Gharib and the monies and he lay the same night 
in the Castle of Crystal. He abode Zalzal's guest six months, 
when he desired to depart ; so Zalzal gave him rich presents and 
despatched three thousand Marids, who brought the spoils of 
Karaj-city and added them to those of Jan Shah. Then Zalzal 
loaded forty thousand Marids with the treasure and himself 
taking up Gharib, flew with his host towards the city of Isbanir 
al-Madain where they arrived at midnight. But as Gharib 
glanced around he saw the walls invested on all sides by a 
conquering army, 1 as it were the surging sea, so he said to Zalzal, 
" O my brother, what is the cause of this siege and whence came 
this army ? " Then he alighted on the terrace-roof of his palace 
and cried out, saying, ' Ho, Star o' Morn ! Ho, Mahdiyah ! " 
Whereupon the twain started up from sleep in amazement and 
said, "Who calleth us at this hour?" Quoth he, "Tis I, your 
lord, Gharib, the Marvellous One of the deeds wondrous." When 
the Princesses heard their lord's voice, they rejoiced and so did 
the women and the eunuchs. Then Gharib went down to them 
and they threw themselves upon him and lullilooed with cries of 
joy, so that all the palace rang again and the Captains of the 
army awoke and said, " What is to do ? " So they made for the 
palace and asked the eunuchs, " Hath one of the King's women 
given birth to a child ? " ; and they answered, " No ; but rejoice 
ye, for King Gharib hath returned to you." So they rejoiced, 
and Gharib, after salams to the women came forth amongst his 
comrades, who threw themselves upon him and kissed his hands 

1 Arab. " Askar jarra"r " lit. " drawing*': so in Egyptian slang " Nas jarrar " folk 
who wish to draw your money out of your pocket, greedy cheats. 

86 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

and feet, returning thanks to Almighty Allah and praising Him. 
Then he sat down on his throne, with his officers sitting about 
him, and questioned them of the beleaguering army. They 
replied, "O King, these troops sat down before the city three 
days ago and there are amongst them Jinns as well as men; but 
we know not what they want, for we have had with them neither 
battle nor speech." And presently they added, " The name of 
the commander of the besieging army is Murad Shah and he hath 
with him an hundred thousand horse and three thousand foot, 
besides two hundred tribesmen of the Jinn." Now the manner 

of his coming was wondrous. And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fofcen tt foa* tie Sbfe f^untKefc ant* 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the cause 
of this army coming upon Isbanir city was wondrous. When 
the two men, whom Sabur had charged to drown his daughter 
Fakhr Taj, let her go, bidding her flee for her life, she went forth 
distracted, unknowing whither to turn and saying, "Where is 
thine eye, O Gharib, that thou mayst see my case and the misery 
I am in ? ".; and wandered on from country to country, and 
valley to valley, till she came to a Wady abounding in trees and 
streams, in whose midst stood a strong-based castle and a lofty- 
builded as it were one of the pavilions of Paradise. So she betook 
herself thither and entering the fortilice, found it hung and car- 
peted with stuffs of silk and great plenty of gold and silver vessels ; 
and therein were an hundred beautiful damsels. When the 
maidens saw Fakhr Taj, they came up to her and saluted her, 
deeming her of the virgins of the Jinn, and asked her of her 
case. Quoth she, " I am daughter to the Persians' King ; " and 
told them all that had befallen her ; which when they heard, they 
wept over her and condoled with her and comforted her, saying, 
" Be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear, for here 
shalt thou have meat and drink and raiment, and we all are thy 
handmaids.' 1 She called down blessings on them and they 
brought her food, of which she ate till she was satisfied. Then 
quoth she to them, " Who is the owner of this palace and lord 
over you girls ? " and quoth they, " King Salsal, son of Dal, is 
our master ; he passeth a night here once in every month and 

The History of Gharib and his Brother A jib. 87 

fareth in the morning to rule over the tribes of the Jahn." So 
Fakhr Taj took up her abode with them and after five days she 
gave birth to a male child, as he were the moon. They cut his 
navel cord and kohl'd his eyes then they named him Murad Shah, 
and he grew up in his mother's lap. After a while came King 
Salsal, riding on a paper-white elephant, as he were a tower 
plastered with lime and attended by the troops of the Jinn. He 
entered the palace, where the hundred damsels met him and 
kissed ground before him, and amongst them Fakhr Taj. When 
the King saw her, he looked at her and said to the others, " Who 
is yonder damsel ? " ; and they replied, " She is the daughter of 
Sabur, King of the Persians and Turks and Daylamites." Quoth he, 
" Who brought her hither ? " So they repeated to him her story ; 
whereat he was moved to pity for her and said to her, " Grieve 
not, but take patience till thy son be grown a man, when I will 
go to the land of the Ajams and strike off thy father's head from 
between his shoulders and seat thy son on the throne in his 
stead." So she rose and kissed his hands and blessed him. Then 
she abode in the castle and her son grew up and was reared with 
the children of the King. They used to ride forth together 
a-hunting and birding and he became skilled in the chase of wild 
beasts and ravening lions arid ate of their flesh, till his heart 
became harder than the rock. When he reached the age of fifteen, 
his spirit waxed big in him and he said to Fakhr Taj, " O my 
mamma, who is my papa ? " She replied, " O my son, Gharib, 
King of Irak, is thy father and I am the King's daughter, of the 
Persians," and she told him her story. Quoth he, "Did my 
grandfather indeed give orders to slay thee and my father 
Gharib?"; and quoth she, "Yes.' 1 Whereupon he, "By the 
claim thou hast on me for rearing me, I will assuredly go to 
thy father's city and cut off his head and bring it into thy pre- 
sence!" And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

Sfofo fofjm ft foas t&e &>fx ffeunlrrclr antr &EtontB=mnt& 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Murad Shah son of Fakhr Taj thus bespake his mother, she 
rejoiced in his speech. Now he used to go a-riding with two 
hundred Marids till he grew to man's estate, when he and they 

88 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

fell to making raids and cutting off the roads and they pushed 
their razzias ever farther till one day he attacked the city of 
Shiraz and took it. Then he proceeded to the palace and cut off 
the King's head, as he sat on his throne, and slew many of his 
troops, whereupon the rest cried " Quarter ! Quarter ! " and kissed 
his stirrups. Finding that they numbered ten thousand horse, he 
led them to Balkh, where he slew the King of the city and put 
his men to the rout and made himself master of the riches of the 
place. Thence he passed to Niirayn, 1 at the head of an army of 
thirty thousand horse, and the Lord of Nurayn came out to him, 
with treasure and tribute, and did him homage. Then he went 
on to Samarcand of the Persians and took the city, and after that 
to Akhldt 2 and took that town also ; nor was there any city he 
came to but he captured it. Thus Murad Shah became the head 
of a mighty host, and all the booty he made and spoils in the 
sundry cities he divided among his soldiery, who loved him for 
his valour and munificence. At last he came to Isbanir al-Madain 
and sat down before it, saying, " Let us wait till the rest of my 
army come up, when I will seize on my grandfather and solace 
my mother's heart by smiting his neck in her presence." So he 
sent for her, and by reason of this, there was no battle for three 
days, when Gharib and Zalzal arrived with the forty thousand 
Marids, laden with treasure and presents. They asked concerning 
the besiegers, but none could enlighten them beyond saying that 
the host had been there encamped for three days without a fight 
taking place. Presently came Fakhr Taj, and her son Murad 
Shah embraced her saying, "Sit in thy tent till I bring thy 
father to thee." And she sought succour for him of the Lord 
of the Worlds, the Lord of the heavens and the Lord of the 
earths. Next morning, as soon as it was day, Murad Shah 
mounted and rode forth, with the two hundred Marids on his 
right hand and the Kings of men on his left, whilst the kettle- 
drums beat to battle. When Gharib heard this, he also took 
to horse and, calling his people to the combat, rode out, with 
the Jinn on his dexter hand and the men on his sinistral. Then 
came forth Murad Shah, armed cap-a-pie and drave his charger 
right and left, crying, " O folk, let none come forth to me but 
your King. If he conquer me, he shall be lord of both armies, 

1 In Turkestan: the name means " Two lights." 

* In Armenia, mentioned by Sadik Isfahdni (Transl. p. 62). 

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 89 

and if I conquer him, I will slay him, as I have slain others." 
When Gharib heard his speech, he said, " Avaunt, O dog of the 
Arabs ! " And they charged at each other and lunged with 
lances, till they broke, then hewed at each other with swords, 
till the blades were notched ; nor did they cease to advance and 
retire and wheel and career, till the day was half spent and their 
horses fell down under them, when they dismounted and gripped 
each other. Then Murad Shah seizing Gharib lifted him up and 
strove to dash him to the ground ; but Gharib caught him by 
the ears and pulled him with his might, till it seemed to the 
youth as if the heavens were falling on the earth ' and he cried 
out, with his heart in his mouth, saying, " I yield myself to thy 

mercy, O Knight of the Age!" So Gharib bound him, And 

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

Nofo fo&cn ft foag tjje bfx f^unfcrcfc anfc (JBtijfjtfetf) 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Gharib caught Murad Shah by the ears and well nigh tore them 
off he cried, " I yield myself to thy mercy, O Knight of the Age ! " 
So Gharib bound him, and the Marids his comrades would have 
charged and rescued him, but Gharib fell on them with a thousand 
Marids and was about to smite them down, when they cried out, 
" Quarter ! Quarter ! " and threw away their arms. Then Gharib 
returned to his Shahmiyanah which was of green silk, embroidered 
with red gold and set with pearls and gems ; and, seating himself 
on his throne, called for Murad Shah. So they brought him, 
shuffling in his manacles and shackles. When the prisoner saw 
him, he hung down his head for shame ; and Gharib said to him, 
" O dog of the Arabs, who art thou that thou shouldst ride forth 
and measure thyself against kings ? " Replied Murad Shah, " O 
my lord, reproach me not, for indeed I have excuse." Quoth 
Gharib, " What manner of excuse hast thou ? "; And quoth he, 
" Know, O my lord, that I came out to avenge my mother and 
my father on Sabur, King of the Persians ; for he would have 
slain them ; but my mother escaped and I know not whether 

1 This is the only ludicrous incident in the tale which justifies Von Hammer's sus- 
picion. Compare it with the combat between Rustam and his son Sohrab. 

' 90 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

he killed my father or not." When Gharib heard these words, 
he replied, " By Allah, thou art indeed excusable ! But who were 
thy father and mother and what are their names ? " Murad Shah 
said, " My sire was Gharib, King of Al-Irak, and my mother 
Fakhr Taj, daughter of King Sabur of Persia." When Gharib 
heard this, he gave a great cry and fell down fainting. They 
sprinkled rose-water on him, till he came to himself, when he 
said to Murad Shah, " Art thou indeed Gharib's son by Fakhr 
Taj?"; and he replied, "Yes." Cried Gharib, "Thou art a 
champion, the son of a champion. Loose my child ! " And 
Sahim and Kaylajan went up to Murad Shah and set him free. 
Then Gharib embraced his son and, seating him beside himself, 
said to him, " Where is thy mother ? " " She is with me in my 
tent," answered Murad Shah ; and Gharib said, " Bring her to 
me." So Murad Shah mounted and repaired to his camp, where 
his comrades met him, rejoicing in his safety, and asked him of 
his case ; but he answered, " This is no time for questions." 
Then he went in to his mother and told her what had passed ; 
whereat she was gladdened with exceeding gladness: so he 
carried her to Gharib, and they two embraced and rejoiced in 
each other. Then Fakhr Taj and Murad Shah islamised and 
expounded The Faith to their troops, who all made profession 
with heart and tongue. After this, Gharib sent for Sabur and 
his son Ward Shah, and upbraided them for their evil dealing 
and expounded Al-Islam to them ; but they refused to profess ; 
wherefore he crucified them on the gate of the city and the people 
decorated the town and held high festival, Then Gharib crowned 
Murad Shah with the crown of the Chosroes and made him King 
of the Persians and Turks and Medes ; moreover, he made his 
uncle Al-Damigh, King over Al-Irak, and all the peoples and 
lands submitted themselves to Gharib. Then he abode in his 
kingship, doing justice among his lieges, wherefore all the people 
loved him, and he and his wives and comrades ceased not from 
all solace of life, till there came to them the Destroyer of Delights 
and Sunderer of Societies, and extolled be the perfection of Him 
whose glory endureth for ever and aye and whose boons embrace 
all His creatures ! This is every thing that hath come down to 

us of the history of Gharib and Ajib. And Abdullah bin 

Ma'amar al-Kaysi hath thus related the tale of 

Otbah and Rayya. 91 


I WENT one year on the pilgrimage to the Holy House of Allah, 
and when I had accomplished my pilgrimage, I turned back for 
visitation of the tomb of the Prophet, whom Allah bless and 
keep! One night, as I sat in the garden, 2 between the tomb and 
the pulpit, I heard a low moaning in a soft voice ; so I listened 
to it and it said : 

Have the doves that moan in the lotus-tree o Woke grief in thy heart and 

bred misery ? 
Or doth memory of maiden in beauty deckt o Cause this doubt in thee, 

this despondency? , 

night, thou art longsome 'for love-sick sprite o Complaining of Love and its 

ecstacy : 

Thou makest him wakeful, who burns with fire o Of a love, like the live coal's 


The moon is witness my heart is held o By a moonlight brow of the 

brightest blee : 

1 reckt not to see me by Love ensnared o Till ensnared before I could 

reck or see. 

Then the voice ceased and not knowing whence it came to me 
I abode perplexed ; but lo ! it again took up its lament and 
recited . 

Came Rayya's phantom to grieve thy sight o In the thickest gloom of the 
black-haired Night ! 

And hath love of slumber deprived those eyes o And the phantom-vision vexed 
thy sprite ? 

1 cried to the Night, whose glooms were like o Seas that surge and billow with 
might, with might : 

U O Night, thou art longsome to lover who o Hath no aid nor help save the 
morning-light ! " 

She replied, " Complain not that 1 am long : * 'Tis love is the cause of thy long- 
some plight ! " 

1 I cannot understand why Trebutien, iii., 457> writes this word Afba. He remarks 
that it is the " Oina and Riya " of Jami, elegantly translated by M. de Chezy in the 
Journal Asiatique, vol. I, 144. 

2 I have described this part of the Medinah Mosque in Pilgrimage ii , 62-69. The 
name derives from a saying of Mohammed (of which there are many variants), 
"Setweeen my tomb and my pulpit is a garden of the Gardens of Paradise'* 
(Burckhardt, Arabia, p. 337). The whole Southern portico (not only a part) now 
enjoys that honoured name and the tawdry decorations are intended to suggest a 

g2 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

Now, at the first of the couplets, I sprang up and made for the 
quarter whence the sound came, nor had the voice ended repeating 
them, ere I was with the speaker and saw a youth of the utmost 
beauty, the hair of whose side face had not sprouted and in whose 

cheeks tears had worn twin trenches. And Shahrazad perceived 

the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo fofien it toas tfje g>tx 3^un&re& anfc 1Et'$tpsfirst Ntfifct, 


She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah 
ibn Ma'amar al-Kaysi thus continued : So I sprang up and made 
for the quarter whence the sound came, nor had the voice ended 
repeating the verses, ere I was with the speaker and saw a youth 
on whose side face the hair had not sprouted and in whose cheeks 
tears had worn twin trenches. Quoth I to him, " Fair befal thee 
for a youth ! " ; and quoth he, " And thee also ! Who art thou ? " 
I replied, " Abdullah bin Ma'amar al-Kaysi ; " and he said, " Dost 
thou want aught ? " I rejoined, " I was sitting in the garden and 
naught hath troubled me this night but thy voice. With my life 
would I ransom thee ! What aileth thee ? " He said, " Sit thee 
down.'* So I sat down and he continued, " I am Otbah bin al- 
Hubdb bin al-Mundhir bin al-Jamuh the Ansarf. 1 I went out in 
the morning to the Mosque Al-Ahzab 2 and occupied myself there 
awhile with prayer-bows and prostrations, after which I withdrew 
apart, to worship privily. But lo ! up came women, as they were 
moons, walking with a swaying gait, and surrounding a damsel of 
passing loveliness, perfect in beauty and grace, who stopped before 
me and said : O Otbah, what sayst thou of union with one who 
seeketh union with thee ? Then she left me and went away ; and 
since that time I have had no tidings of her nor come upon any 
trace of her ; and behold, I am distracted and do naught but 
remove from place to place." Then he cried out and fell to the 

1 Mohammed's companions (Ashab), numbering some five hundred, were divided into 
two orders, the Muhajirin (fugitives) or Meccans who accompanied the Apostle to Al- 
Medinah (Pilgrimage ii. 138) and the Ansar (Auxiliaries) or Medinites who invited him 
to their city and lent him zealous aid (Ibid ii. 130). The terms constantly occur in 
Arab history. 

2 The " Mosque of the Troops," also called Al-Fath (victory), the largest of the 
" Four Mosques : " it is still a place of pious visitation where prayer is granted. Koran, 
chap, xxxiii., and Pilgrimage ii. 325. 

Otbnh and Rayya. 93 

ground fainting. When he came to himself, it was as if the 
damask of his cheeks were dyed with safflower, 1 and he recited 
these couplets : 

1 see you with my heart from far countrie o Would Heaven you also me from 

far could see 
My heart and eyes for you are sorrowing ; o My soul with you abides and you 

with me. 
I take no joy in life when you're unseen Or Heaven or Garden of Eternity. 

Said I, " O Otbah, O son of my uncle, repent to thy Lord and 
crave pardon for thy sin ; for before thee is the terror of standing 
up to Judgment." He replied, " Far be it from me so to do. I 
shall never leave to love till the two mimosa-gatherers return." 3 
I abode with him till daybreak, when I said to him, " Come let us 
go to the Mosque Al-Ahzab." So we went thither and sat there, till 
we had prayed the midday prayers, when lo ! up came the women ; 
but the damsel was not among them. Quoth they to him, " O 
Otbah, what thinkest thou of her who seeketh union with thee ? *' 
He said, "And what of her ? " ; and they replied, " Her father hath 
taken her and departed to Al-Samawah." 3 I asked them the 
name of the damsel and they said, " She is called Rayya, daughter 
of Al-Ghitrif al-Sulami."* Whereupon Otbah raised his head and 
recited these verses : 

My friends, Rayya" hath mounted soon as morning shone, And to Samdwah's 

wilds her caravan is gone. 
My friends, I've wept till I can weep no more, Oh, say, o Hath any one a 

tear that I can take on loan. 

1 Arab. "Al-Wars," with two meanings. The Alfaz Adwiyah gives it = Kurkum, 
curcuma, turmeric, safran d'Inde ; but popular usage assigns it to Usfur, Kurtum or 
safflower (carthamus tinctorius). I saw the shrub growing all about Harar which 
exports it, and it is plentiful in Al-Yaman (Niebuhr, p. 133), where women affect it to 
stain the skin a light yellow and remove freckles : it is also an internal remedy in 
leprosy. But the main use is that of a dye, and the Tob stained with Wars is almost 
universal in some parts of Arabia. Sonnini (p. 510) describes it at length and says that 
Europeans in Egypt call it " Parrot-seeds " because the bird loves it, and the Levant 
trader " Saffrenum." 

2 Two men of the great 'Anazah race went forth to gather Karaz, the fruit of the Sant 
(Mimosa Nilotica) both used for tanning, and never returned. Hence the proverb which 
is obsolete in conversation. See Burckhardt, Prov. 659 : where it takes the place of 
*' ad Graecas Kalendas." 

3 Name of a desert (Mafazah) and a settlement on the Euphrates' bank between Basrah 
and the site of old Kufah near Kerbela ; the well known visitation place in Babylonian 

4 Of the Banu Sulaym tribe ; the adjective is Sulami not Sulaymi. 

A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Then said I to him, " O Otbah, I have brought with me great 
wealth, wherewith I desire to succour generous men ; and by 
Allah, I will lavish it before thee, 1 so thou mayst attain thy 
desire and more than thy desire! Come with me to the as- 
sembly of the Ansaris." So we rose and went, till we entered 
their assembly, when I salam'd to them and they returned my 
greeting civilly. Then quoth I, "O assembly, what say ye of 
Otbah and his father?": and they replied, "They are of the 
princes of the Arabs." I continued, " Know that he is smitten 
with the calamity of love and I desire your furtherance to Al- 
Samawah." And they said, "To hear is to obey." So they 
mounted with us, the whole party, and we rode till we drew 
near the place of the Banu Sulaym. Now when Ghitrif heard 
of our being near, he hastened forth to meet us, saying, " Long 
life to you, O nobles ! " ; whereto we replied, " And to thee also ! 
Behold we are thy guests." Quoth he, "Ye have lighted down 
at a most hospitable abode and ample ; " and alighting he cried 
out, " Ho, all ye slaves, come down ! " So they came down and 
spread skin-rugs and cushions and slaughtered sheep and cattle ; 
but we said, " We will not taste of thy food, till thou have accom- 
plished our need." He asked, "And what is your need?"; and 
we answered, "We demand thy noble daughter in marriage for 
Otbah bin Hubab bin Mundhir the illustrious and well-born." 
"O my brethren," said he, "she whom you demand is owner of 
herself, and I will go in to her and tell her." So he rose in wrath 2 
and went in to Rayya, who said to him, " O my papa, why do I 
see thee show anger ? " And he replied, saying, " Certain of the 
Ansaris have come upon me to demand thy hand of me in marriage." 
Quoth she, " They are noble chiefs ; the Prophet, on whom be the 
choicest blessings and peace, intercedeth for them with Allah. 
For whom among them do they ask me ? " Quoth he, " For a 
youth known as Otbah bin al-Hubab;" and she said, "I have 
heard of Otbah that he performeth what he promiseth and findeth 
what he seeketh." Ghitrif cried, " I swear that I will never marry 
thee to him ; no, never, for there hath been reported to me some- 
what of thy converse with him." Said she, "What was that? 

1 Arab. "Am'am-ak"=: before thee (in space) j from the same root as Imam antistes, 
leader of prayer ; and conducing to perpetual puns, e.g. " You are Imam-i (my leader) and 
therefore should be Amam-i" (in advance of me). 

2 He was angry, as presently appears, because he had heard of certain love passages 
between the two and this in Arabia is a dishonour to the family. 

Otbah and Rayya. 95 

But in any case, I swear that the Ansaris shall not be uncivilly 
rejected; wherefore do thou offer them a fair excuse." "How 
so ? " " Make the dowry heavy to them and they will desist." 
"Thou sayst well/' said he, and going out in haste, told the 
Ansaris, "The damsel of the tribe 1 consented! ; but she requireth 
a dowry worthy herself. Who engageth for this ? " " I," answered 
I. Then said he, " I require for her a thousand bracelets of red 
gold and five thousand dirhams of the coinage of Hajar 2 and a 
hundred pieces of woollen cloth and striped stuffs 3 of Al-Yaman 
and five bladders of ambergris." Said I, " Thou shalt have that 
much ; dost thou consent ? " ; and he said, " I do consent." So I 
despatched to Al-Medinah the Illumined 4 a party of the Ansaris, 
who brought all for which I had become surety ; whereupon they 
slaughtered sheep and cattle and the folk assembled to eat of the 
food. We abode thus forty days when Ghitrif said to us, " Take 
your bride." So we sat her in a dromedary-litter and her father 
equipped her with thirty camel-loads of things of price ; after 
which we farewelled him and journeyed till we came within a 
day's journey of Al-Medinah the Illumined, when there fell upon 
us horsemen, with intent to plunder, and methinks they were of 
the Banu Sulaym, Otbah drove at them and slew of them much 
people, but fell back, wounded by a lance-thrust, and presently 
dropped to the earth. Then there came to us succour of the 
country people, who drove away the highwaymen ; but Otbah's 
days were ended. So we said, " Alas for Otbah, oh ! ; " and the 

1 Euphemy for "my daughter." 

8 The Badawin call a sound dollar " Kirsh hajar" or " Riyal hajar " (a stone dollar ; 
but the word is spelt with the greater h). 

3 Arab. Burdah and Habarah. The former often translated mantle is a thick woollen 
stuff, brown or gray, woven oblong and used like a plaid by day and by night. Moham- 
med's Burdah woven in his Harem and given to the poet, Ka'ab, was 7| ft. long by 4^ : 
it is still in the upper Serraglio of Stambul. In early days the stuff was mostly striped ; 
now it is either plain or with lines so narrow that it looks like one colour. The Habarah 
is a Burd made in Al-Yaman and not to be confounded with the Egyptian mantilla of 
like name (Lane, M. E. chapt. iii). 

4 Every Eastern city has its special title. Al-Medinah in entitled " Al-Munawwarah " 
(the Illumined) from the blinding light which surrounds the Prophet's tomb and which 
does not show to eyes profane (Pilgrimage ii. 3). I presume that the idea arose from 
the huge lamps of " The Garden." I have noted that Mohammed's coffin suspended by 
magnets is an idea unknown to Moslems, but we find the fancy in Al-Harawi related of 
St. Peter, " Simon Cephas (the rock) is in the City of Great Rome, in its largest 
church within a silver ark hanging by chains from the ceiling." (Lee, Ibn Batutah, 
p. 161). 

A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

damsel hearing it cast herself down from the camel and throwing 
herself upon him, cried out grievously and repeated these 

couplets : 

Patient I seemed, yet Patience shown by me r Was but self-guiling till tty 

sight I see : 
Had my soul done as due my life had gone, o Had fled before mankind 

forestalling thee : 
Then, after me and thee none shall to friend Be just, nor any soul with 

soul agree. 

Then she sobbed a single sob and gave up the ghost. We dug 
one grave for them and laid them in the earth, and I returned 
to the dwellings of my people, where I abode seven years. Then 
I betook me again to Al-Hijaz and entering Al-Medinah the 
Illumined for pious visitation said in my mind, " By Allah, I will 
go again to Otbah's tomb ! " So I repaired thither, and, behold, 
over the grave was a tall tree, on which hung fillets of red and 
green and yellow stuffs. 1 So I asked the people of the place, 
" How be this tree called ? " ; and they answered, " The tree of 
.the Bride and the Bridegroom." I abode by the tomb a day and 
a night, then went my way ; and this is all I know of Otbah. 
Almighty Allah have mercy upon him ! And they also tell this 
tale of 


IT is related that Hind daughter of Al-Nu'man was the fairest 
woman of her day, and her beauty and loveliness were reported to 
Al-Hajjaj, who sought her in marriage and lavished much treasure 
on her. So he took her to wife, engaging to give her a dowry of 
two hundred thousand dirhams in case of divorce, and when he 
went into her, he abode with her a long time. One day after this, 

1 Here the fillets are hung instead of the normal rag-strips to denote an honoured 
tomb. Lane (iii. 242) and many others are puzzled about the use of these articles. In 
many cases they are suspended to trees in order to transfer sickness from the body to 
the tree and whoever shall touch it. The Sawahili people term such articles a Keti (seat 
or vehicle) for the mysterious haunter of the tree who prefers occupying it to the patient's 
person. Briefly the custom still popular throughout Arabia, is African and Fetish. 

2 Al-Mas'udi (chap, xcv.), mentions a Hind bint Asmd and tells a facetious story 
of her and the " enemy of Allah/' the poet Jarir. 

Hind Daughter of Al-Nu'man and Al-Hajjaj. 97 

he went in to her and found her looking at her face in the mirror 
and saying: 

Hind is an Arab filly purest bred, o Which hath been covered by a 

mongrel mule ; 
An colt of horse she throw by Allah ! well; o If mule> it but results from 

mulish rule. 1 

When Al-Hajjaj heard this, he turned back and went his way, 
unseen of Hind ; and, being minded to put her away, he sent 
Abdullah bin Tahir to her, to divorce her. So Abdullah went in to 
her and said to her, " Al-Hajjaj Abu Mohammed saith to thee : 
Here be the two hundred thousand dirhams of thy contingent 
dowry he oweth thee ; and he hath deputed me to divorce thee." 
Replied she, " O Ibn Tahir, I gladly agree to this ; for know that 
I never for one day took pleasure in him , so, if we separate, by 
Allah, I shall never regret him, and these two hundred thousand 
dirhams I give to thee as a reward for the glad tidings thou 
bringest me of my release from yonder dog of the Thakafites." 2 
After this, the Commander of the Faithful, Abd al-Malik bin 

1 Here the old Shiah hatred of the energetic conqueror of Oman crops out again. 
Hind's song is that of Maysum concerning her husband Mu'awiyah which Mrs. Godfrey 
Clark ('Ildm-en-Nas, p. 108) thus translates : 

A hut that the winds make tremble 

Is dearer to me than a noble palace ; 
And a dish of crumbs on the floor of my home 

Is dearer to me than a varied feast ; 
And the soughing of the breeze through every crevice 

Is dearer to me than the beating of drums. 

Compare with Dr. Carlyle's No. X. : 

The russet suit of camel's hair 

With spirits light and eye serene 
Is dearer to my bosom far 

Than all the trappings of a queen, etc. etc. 

And with mine (Pilgrimage iii. 262) : 

O take these purple robes away, 

Give back my cloak of camel's hair 
And bear me from this towering pile 
To where the black tents flap i' the air, etc. etc. 

1 Al-Hajjaj's tribal name was Al-Thakifi or descendant of Thakif. According to 
Al-Mas'udi, he was son of Farighah (the tall Beauty) by Yvisuf bin Ukayl the Thakafite 
and vint au monde tout difforme avec 1'anus ob? true. As he refused the breast, Satan, 
in human form, advised suckling him with the blood of two black kids, a black buck* 
goat and a black snake ; which had the desired effect. 


98 / Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

Marvvan, heard of her beauty and loveliness, her stature and 
symmetry, her sweet speech and the amorous grace of her glances 
and sent to her, to ask her in marriage ; And Shahrazad per- 
ceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

fofjen it foas tje S>ix ^untrrefc anfc 3Ef$tp-sccon& 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
Prince of True Believers, Abd al-Malik bin Marwan, hearing of 
the lady's beauty and loveliness, sent to ask her in marriage ; and 
she wrote him in reply a letter, in which, after the glorification of 
Allah and benediction of His Prophet, she said, " But afterwards. 
Know, O Commander of the Faithful, that the dog hath lapped in 
the vase." When the Caliph read her answer, he laughed and 
wrote to her, citing his saying (whom may Allah bless and keep!) 
" If a dog lap in the vessel of one of you, let him wash seven times, 
once thereof with earth," and adding, " Wash the affront from the 
place of use." 1 With this she could not gainsay him ; so she 
replied to him, saying (after praise and blessing), " O Commander 
of the Faithful I will not consent save on one condition, and if 
thou ask me what it is, I reply that Al-Hajjaj lead my camel to 
the town where thou tarriest barefoot and clad as he is/' 2 When 
the Caliph read her letter, he laughed long and loudly and sent to 
Al-Hajjaj, bidding him do as she wished. He dared not disobey 
the order, so he submitted to the Caliph's commandment and sent 
to Hind, telling her to make ready for the journey. So she made 
ready and mounted her litter, when Al-Hajjaj with his suite came 
up to Hind's door and as she mounted and her damsels and 
eunuchs rode around her, he dismounted and took the halter of 
her camel and led it along, barefooted, whilst she and her damsels 
and tirewomen laughed and jeered at him and made mock of him. 
Then she said to her tirewoman, " Draw back the curtain of the 
litter ; " and she drew back the curtain, till Hind was face to face 
with Al-Hajjaj, whereupon she laughed at him and he improvised 
this couplet : 

Though now thou jeer, O Hind, how many a night o I've left thee wakeful 
sighing for the light 

1 Trebutien, iii. 465, translates these sayings into Italian. 

2 Making him a " Kawwad " leader, i.e. pimp; a true piece of feminine spite. 
But the Caliph prized Al-Hajjaj too highly to treat him as in the text. 

Khuzaymah Bin Bishr and Ikrimah Al-Fayyaz. 99 

And she answered him with these two : 

We reck not, an our life escape from bane, o For waste of wealth and gear 

that went in vain : 
Money may be regained and rank re-won o When one is cured of malady and 


And she ceased not to laugh at him and make sport of him, till 
they drew near the city of the Caliph, when she threw down a 
dinar with her own hand and said to Al-Hajjaj, " O camel-driver, 
I have dropped a dirham ; look for it and give it to me." So he 
looked and seeing naught but the dinar, said, " This is a dinar." 
She replied, " Nay, 'tis a dirham." But he said, " This is a dinar/* 
Then quoth she, " Praised be Allah who hath given us in exchange 
for a paltry dirham a dinar! Give it us." And Al-Hajjaj was 
abashed at this. Then he carried her to the palace of the Com- 
mander of the Faithful, and she went in to him and became his 

favourite. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

jtfofo tofjen ft foas t&e S>(x f^untrrcto anto 1Efgf)tg=if)nfo Nt$t, 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that men also 
tell a tale anent 


THERE lived once, in the days of the Caliph Sulayman bin Abd 
al-Malik 2 a man of the Banu Asad, by name Khuzaymah bin 
Bishr, who was famed for bounty and abundant wealth and 
excellence and righteous dealing with his brethren. He continued 
thus till times grew strait with him and he became in need of 

1 i.e. "The overflowing," with benefits; on account of his generosity. 

2 The seventh Ommiade A. H. 96-99 (715-719). He died of his fine appetite after 
eating at a sitting a lamb, six fowls, seventy pomegranates, and li Ibs. of currants. 
He was also proud of his youth and beauty and was wont to say, " Mohammed was the 
Apostle and Abu Bakr witness to the Truth ; Omar the Discriminator and Othman the 
Bashful, Mu'awiyah the Mild and Yazid the Patient ; Abd al-Malik the Administrator 
and Waiid the Tyrant ; but I am the Young King ! " 

IOO A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

the aid of those Moslem brethen on whom he had lavished favour 
and kindness. So they succoured him a while and then grew weary 
of him, which when he saw, he went in to his wife who was the 
daughter of his father's brother, and said to her, " O my cousin, I 
find a change in my brethren ; wherefore I am resolved to keep 
my house till death come to me." So he shut his door and abode 
in his home, living on that which he had by him, till it was spent 
and he knew not what to do. Now Ikrimah al-Raba'f, surnamed 
Al-Fayydz, governor of Mesopotamia, 1 had known him, and one 
day, as he sat in his audience-chamber, mention was made of 
Khuzaymah, whereupon quoth Ikrimah, " How is it with him ? " 
And quoth they, " He is in a plight past telling, and hath shut his 
door and keepeth the house." Ikrimah rejoined, " This cometh but 
of his excessive generosity : but how is it that Khuzaymah bin 
Bishr findeth nor comforter nor requiter ?" And they replied, "He 
hath found naught of this." So when it was night, Ikrimah took 
four thousand dinars and laid them in one purse ; then, bidding 
saddle his beast, he mounted and rode privily to Khuzaymah's 
house, attended only by one of his pages, carrying the money. 
When he came to the door, he alighted and taking the purse from 
the page made him withdraw afar off; after which he went up to 
the door and knocked. Khuzaymah came out to him, and he gave 
him the purse, saying, " Better thy case herewith." He took it 
and finding it heavy put it from his hand and laying hold of the 
bridle of Ikrimah's horse, asked, " Who art thou ? My soul be thy 
ransom ! " Answered Ikrimah, " O man I come not to thee at a 
time like this desiring that thou shouldst know me." Khuzaymah 
rejoined, " I will not let thee go till thou make thyself known to 
me," whereupon Ikrimah said " I am hight Jabir Athardt al- 
Kirdm." 2 Quoth Khuzaymah, "Tell me more." But Ikrimah 
cried, "No/* and fared forth, whilst Khuzaymah went in to his 
cousin and said to her, " Rejoice for Allah hath sent us speedy 
relief and wealth ; if these be but dirhams, yet are they many. 
Arise and light the lamp." She said, " I have not wherewithal to 
light it." So he spent the night handling the coins and felt by 
their roughness that they were dinars, but could not credit it, 
Meanwhile Ikrimah returned to his own house and found that his 

1 Arab. Al-Jazirah, "the Island ; " name of the region and the capital. 
* i.e. " Repairer of the Slips of the Generous," an evasive reply, which of course did 
i not deceive the questioner. 

Khuzaymah Bin Bishr and Ikrimah Al-Fayyaz. 101 

wife had missed him and asked for him, and when they told her oi 
his riding forth, she misdoubted of him, and said to him, " Verily 
the Wali of Al-Jazirah rideth not abroad after such an hour of the 
night, unattended and secretly, save to a wife or a mistress." He 
answered, "Allah knoweth that I went not forth to either of these." 
" Tell me then wherefore thou wentest forth ? " "I went not forth at 
this hour save that none should know it." " I must needs be told." 
" Wilt thou keep the matter secret, if I tell thee ? " " Yes ! " So 
he told her the state of the case, adding, " Wilt thou have me swear 
to thee ? " Answered she, " No, no, my heart is set at ease and 
trusteth in that which thou hast told me." As for Khuzaymah, 
soon as it was day he made his peace with his creditors and set his 
affairs in order ; after which he got him ready and set out for the 
Court of Sulayman bin Abd al-Malik, who was then sojourning in 
Palestine. 1 When he came to the royal gate, he sought admission 
of the chamberlain, who went in and told the Caliph of his presence. 
Now he was renowned for his beneficence and Sulayman knew of 
him ; so he bade admit him. When he entered, he saluted the 
Caliph after the usual fashion of saluting 2 and the King asked, "O 
Khuzaymah, what hath kept thee so long from us ? " Answered 
he, " Evil case," and quoth the Caliph, " What hindered thee from 
having recourse to us ? " Quoth he, " My infirmity, O Commander 
of the Faithful ! " " And why," said Sulayman, " comest thou to 
us now ? " Khuzaymah replied, " Know, O Commander of the 
Faithful, that I was sitting one night late in my house, when a man 
knocked at the door and did thus and thus ; " and he went on to* 
tell him of all that had passed between Ikrimah and himself from 
first to last. Sulayman asked, " Knowest thou the man ?" and Khu- 
zaymah answered, " No, O Commander of the Faithful, he was 
reserved 3 and would say naught save : I am hight Jabir Atharat al- 
Kiram." When Sulayman heard this, his heart burned within him 
for anxiety to discover the man, and he said, " If we knew him, 
truly we would requite him for his generosity." Then he bound 
for Khuzaymah a banner 4 and made him Governor of Mesopotamia, 
in the stead of Ikrimah al-Fayyaz ; and he set out for Al-Jazirah. 
When he drew near the city, Ikrimah and the people of the place 

1 Arab. " Falastin," now obselete. The word has echoed far west and the name o< 
the noble race has been degraded to " PLilister," a bourgeois, a greasy burgher. 

2 Saying, " The Peace be with thee, O Prince of True Believers ! " 

3 Arab. " Mutanakkir," which may also mean proud or in disguise. 
* On appointment as viceroy. See vol. Hi., 307. 

IO2 A If Laylah wa Lay la h 

came forth to meet him and they saluted each other and went on 
into the town, where Khuzaymah took up his lodging in the 
Government-house and bade take security for Ikrimah and that he 
should be called to account. 1 So an account was taken against 
him and he was found to be in default for much money ; where- 
upon Khuzaymah required of him payment, but he said, " I have 
no means of paying aught." Quoth Khuzaymah, " It must be 
paid ; " and quoth Ikrimah, " I have it not ; do what thou hast to 

do." So Khuzaymah ordered him to gaol. And Shahrazad 

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

Xofo tojen ft foas t&e &>fx f^untab atrtr lEfg&tg-fourtf) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Khuzaymah, 
having ordered the imprisonment of Ikrimah al-Fayyaz, sent to 
him again to demand payment of the debt ; but he replied, " I am 
not of those who preserve their wealth at the expense of their 
honour ; do what thou wilt." Then Khuzaymah bade load him 
with irons and kept him in prison a month or more, till confine- 
ment began to tell upon him and he became wasted, After this, 
tidings of his plight travelled to the daughter of his uncle who was 
troubled with sore co'ncern thereat and, sending for a freedwoman 
of hers, a woman of abundant judgment, and experience, said 
to her, " Go forthwith to the Emir Khuzaymah's gate and say : I 
have a counsel for the Emir. If they ask what it is, add : I will 
not tell it save to himself; and when thou enterest to him, beg to 
see him in private and when private ask him : What be this deed 
thou hast done ? Hath Jabir Atharat al-Kiram deserved of thee 
no better reward than to be cast into strait prison and hard bond 
of irons ? " The woman did as she was bid, and when Khuzaymah 
heard her words, he cried out at the top of his voice, saying, "Alas, 
the baseness of it! Was it indeed he?" And she answered, 
"Yes." Then he bade saddle his beast forthwith and, summoning 
the honourable men of the city, repaired with them to the prison 
and opening the door, went in with them to Ikrimah, whom they 
found sitting in evil case, worn out and wasted with blows and 

1 The custom with outgoing Governors. It was adopted by the Spaniards and 
Portuguese especially in America. The generosity of Ikrimah without the slightest 
regard to justice or common honesty is characteristic of the Arab in story-books. 

Khuzayntah Bin Bishr and Ikrimah Al-Fayyaz. 103 

misery. When he looked at Khuzaymah, he was abashed and 
hung his head ; but the other bent down to him and kissed his 
face ; whereupon he raised his head and asked, " What maketh 
thee do this ? " Answered Khuzaymah, " The generosity of thy 
dealing and the vileness of my requital." And Ikrimah said, 
" Allah pardon us and thee ! " Then Khuzaymah commanded the 
jailor to strike off Ikrimah's fetters and clap them on his own feet ; 
but Ikrimah said, " What is this thou wilt do ? " Quoth the other, 
"I have a mind to suffer what thou hast suffered." Quoth Ikrimah, 
"I conjure thee by Allah, do not so!" Then they went out 
together and returned to Khuzaymah's house, where Ikrimah 
would have farewelled him and wended his way ; but he forbade 
him and Ikrimah said, " What is thy will of me ? " Replied 
Khuzaymah, " I wish to change thy case, for my shame before the 
daughter of thine uncle is yet greater than my shame before thee." 
So he bade clear the bath and entering with Ikrimah, served him 
there in person and when they went forth he bestowed on him a 
splendid robe of honour and mounted him and gave him much 
money. Then he carried him to his house and asked his leave to 
make his excuses to his wife and obtained her pardon. After this 
he besought him to accompany him to the Caliph, who was then 
abiding at Ramlah 1 and he agreed. So they journeyed thither, 
and when they reached the royal quarters the chamberlain went in 
and acquainted the Caliph Sulayman bin Abd al-Malik with 
Khuzaymah's arrival, whereat he was troubled and said, " What ! 
is the Governor of Mesopotamia come without our command ? 
This can be only on some grave occasion." Then he bade admit 
him and said, before saluting him, " What is behind thee, O 
Khuzaymah ? " Replied he, " Good, O Commander of the 
Faithful." Asked Sulayman, " What bringeth thee ? "; and he 
answered, saying, " I have discovered Jabir Atharat al-Kiram and 
thought to gladden thee with him, knowing thine excessive desire 
to know him and thy longing to see him." "Who is he ?"" quoth 
the Caliph and quoth Khuzaymah, "^Ikrimah al-Fayyaz." 
So Sulayman called for Ikrimah, who approached and saluted him 
as Caliph ; and the King welcomed him and making him draw 
near his sitting-place, said to him, " O Ikrimah, thy good deed to 
him hath brought thee naught but evil," adding, " Now write down 
in a note thy needs each and every, and that which thou desirest." 

1 The celebrated half-way house between Jaffa and Jerusalem, 

IO4 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

He did so and the Caliph commanded to do all that he required 
and that forthwith. Moreover he gave him ten thousand dinars 
more than he asked for and twenty chests of clothes over and 
above that he sought, and calling for a spear, bound him a banner 
and made him Governor over Armenia and Azarbijan 1 and 
Mesopotamia, saying, Khuzaymah's case is in thy hands, an 
thou wilt, continue him in his office, and if thou wilt, degrade 
him." And Ikrimah said, " Nay, but I restore him to his office, 
O Commander of the Faithful." Then they went out from him 
and ceased not to be Governors under Sulayman bin Abd al-Malik 
all the days of his Caliphate. And they also tell a tale of 



THERE lived in the reign of the Caliph Hishdm, 2 son of Abd al- 
Malik, a man called Yunus the Scribe well-known to the general, and 
he set out one day on a journey to Damascus, having with him a 
slave-girl of surpassing beauty and loveliness, whom he had taught 
all that was needful to her and whose price was an hundred thousand 
dirhams. When they drew near to Damascus, the caravan halted 
by the side of a lake and Yunus went down to a quiet place with 
his damsel and took out some victual he had with him and a 
leather bottle of wine. As he sat at meat, behold, came up a 
young man of goodly favour and dignified presence, mounted on 
a sorrel horse and followed by two eunuchs, and said to him, 
" Wilt thou accept me to guest ? " " Yes/' replied Yunus. So the 
stranger alighted and said, " Give me to drink of thy wine." 
Yunus gave him to drink and he said, " If it please thee, sing us a 
song." So Yunus sang this couplet extempore : 

She joineth charms were never seen conjoined in mortal dress : o And for her 
love she makes me love my tears and wakefulness. 

1 Alias the Kohistan or mountain region, Susiana (Khuzistan) whose capital was Susa ; 
and the head quarters of fire-worship. Azar (fire) was the name of Abraham's father 
whom Eusebius calls " Athar " (Pilgrimage iii. 336). 

2 Tenth Ommiade A.H. 105-125 (=^724-743), a wise and discreet ruler with an 
inclination to avarice and asceticism. According to some, the Ommiades produced only 
three statesmen, Mu'awayah, Abd al-Malik and Hisham ; and the reign of the latter wa 
the end of sage government and wise administration. 

Yunus the Scribe and the Caliph Walid Bin Sahl. 105 

At which the stranger rejoiced with exceeding joy and Yunus 
gave him to drink again and again, till the wine got the better of 
him and he said, " Bid thy slave-girl sing." So she improvised 
this couplet : 

A houri, by whose charms my heart is moved to sore distress ; o Nor wand of 
tree nor sun nor moon her rivals I confess ! 

The stranger was overjoyed with this and they sat drinking till 
nightfall, when they prayed the evening-prayer and the youth said 
to Yunus, " What bringeth thee to our city ? " He replied, " Quest 
of wherewithal to pay my debts and better my case." Quoth the 
other, "Wilt thou sell me this slave-girl for thirty thousand 
dirhams ? " Whereto quoth Yunus, " I must have more than 
that." He asked, " Will forty thousand content thee ? "; but 
Yunus answered, " That would only settle my debts, and I should 
remain empty-handed." Rejoined the stranger, " We will take her 
of thee at fifty thousand dirhams x and give thee a suit of clothes 
to boot and the expenses of thy journey and make thee a sharer 
in my condition as long as thou livest." Cried Yunus, " I sell her 
to thee on these terms." Then said the young man, " Wilt thou 
trust me to bring thee the money to-morrow and let me take her 
with me, or shall she abide with thee till I pay thee down her 
price ? " Whereto wine and shame and awe of the stranger led 
Yunus to reply, " I will trust thee ; take her and Allah bless thee 
in her ! " Whereupon the visitor bade one of his pages sit her 
before him on his beast, and mounting his own horse, farewelled 
of Yunus and rode away out of sight. Hardly had he left him, 
when the seller bethought himself and knew that he had erred in 
selling her and said to himself, " What have I done ? I have 
delivered my slave-girl to a man with whom I am unacquainted, 
neither know I who he is ; and grant that I were acquainted with 
him, how am I to get at him ? " So he abode in thought till the 
morning, when he prayed the dawn-prayers and his companions 
entered Damascus, whilst he sat, preplexed and wotting not what 
to do, till the sun scorched him and it irked him to abide there. 
He thought to enter the city, but said in his mind, " If I enter 
Damascus, I cannot be sure but that the messenger will come and 
find me not, in which case I shall have sinned against myself a 

1 About 1,250, which seems a long price; but in those days Damascus had been 
enriched with the spoils of the world adjacent. 

io6 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

second sin." Accordingly he sat down in the shade of a wall that 
was there, and towards the wane of day, up came one of the 
eunuchs whom he had seen with the young man, whereat great joy 
possessed Yunus and he said in himself, " I know not that aught 
hath ever given me more delight than the sight of this castrato." 
When the eunuch reached him, he said to him, " O my lord, we 
have kept thee long waiting "; but Yunus disclosed nothing to him 
of the torments of anxiety he had suffered. Then quoth the 
castrato, " Knowest thou the man who bought the girl of thee ? "; 
and quoth Yunus, " No," to which the other rejoined, "Twas Walid 
bin Sahl, 1 the Heir Apparent." And Yunus was silent. Then 
said the eunuch, " Ride," and made him mount a horse he had with 
him and they rode till they came to a mansion, where they dis- 
mounted and entered. Here Yunus found the damsel, who sprang 
up at his sight and saluted him. He asked her how she had fared 
with him who had bought her and she answered, " He lodged me 
in this apartment and ordered me all I needed." Then he sat 
with her awhile, till suddenly one of the servants of the house- 
owner came in and bade him rise and follow him. So he followed 
the man into the presence of his master and found him yester- 
night's guest, whom he saw seated on his couch and who said to 
him, " Who art thou ? " " I am Yunus the Scribe." " Welcome to 
thee, O Yunus ! by Allah, I have long wished to look on thee ; for 
I have heard of thy report. How didst thou pass the night ? " 
" Well, may Almighty Allah advance thee ? " " Peradventure thou 
repentedest thee of that thou didst yesterday and saidst to thyself: 
I have delivered my slave-girl to a man with whom I am not 
acquainted, neither know I his name nor whence he cometh ? " 
" Allah forbid, O Emir, that I should repent over her ! Had I made 
gift of her to the Prince, she were the least of the gifts that are 

given unto him, And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased saying her permitted say. 

1 Eleventh Ommiade dynasty, A.H. 125 126 ( =743 744). Ibn Sahl (son of ease, 
i.e. free and easy) was a nickname ; he was the son of Yazid II. and brother of Hisham. 
He scandalised the lieges by his profligacy, wishing to make the pilgrimage in order to 
drink upon the Ka'abah-roof ; so they attacked the palace and lynched him. His 
death is supposed to have been brought about (27th of Jamada al-Akhirah rr April 16, 744) 
by his cousin and successor Yazid (No. iii.) surnamed the Retrencher. The tale in the 
text speaks well for him ; but generosity amongst the Arabs covers a multitude of sins, 
and people say, " Better a liberal sinner than a stingy saint." 

Yunus ike Scribe and the Caliph Walid Bin Sahl 107 

Jiofo fo&cn ft foaa t&e Six ?^un&re& anfc Ii8&tB-fift& ^Bifi&t, 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
'/anus the Scribe said to Walid, " Allah forbid I should repent 
over her ! Had I made gift of her to the Prince, she were the least 
of gifts that are given to him, nor indeed is she worthy of his 
rank," Walid rejoined, " By Allah, but I repented me of having 
carried her away from thee and said to myself : This man is a 
stranger and knoweth me not, and I have taken him by surprise 
and acted inconsiderately by him, in my haste to take the damsel ! 
Dost thou recall what passed between us ? " Quoth Yunus, " Yes !" 
and quoth Walid, " Dost thou sell this damsel to me for fifty 
thousand dirhams ? " And Yunus said, *' I do." Then the Prince 
called to one of his servants to bring him fifty thousand dirhams 
and a thousand and five hundred dinars to boot, and gave 
them all to Yunus, saying, " Take the slave's price : the thousand 
dinars are for thy fair opinion of us and the five hundred are for thy 
viaticum and for what present thou shalt buy for thy people. Art 
thou content ? " " I am content," answered Yunus and kissed his 
hands, saying, " By Allah, thou hast filled my eyes and my hands 
and my heart ! " Quoth Walid, " By Allah, I have as yet had 
no privacy of her nor have I taken my fill of her singing. Bring 
her to me ! " So she came and he bade her sit, then said to her, 
" Sing " And she sang these verses : 

thou who dost comprise all Beauty's boons ! > O sweet of nature, fain of 

coquetry ! 
In Turks and Arabs many beauties dwell ; o But, O my fawn, in none thy 

charms I see. 
Turn to thy lover, O my fair, and keep o Thy word, though but in 

visioned phantasy : 
Shame and disgrace are lawful for thy sake o And wakeful nights full fill with 

joy and glee : 
I'm not the first for thee who fared distraught; Slain by thy love how 

many a many be ! 

1 am content with thee for wordly share Dearer than life and good art thou 

tome ! 

When he heard this, he was delighted exceedingly and praised 
Yunus for his excellent teaching of her and her fair education. 
Then he bade his servants bring him a roadster with saddle and 
housings for his riding, and a mule to carry his gear, and said to him, 

Io8 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

" O Yunus, when it shall reach thee that command hath come to 
me, do thou join me ; and, by Allah, I will fill thy hands with 
good and advance thee to honour and make thee rich as long as 
thou livest ! " So Yunus said, " I took his goods and went my 
ways ; and when Walid succeeded to the Caliphate, I repaired to 
him ; and by Allah, he kept his promise and entreated me with 
high honour and munificence. Then I abode with him in all con- 
tent of case and rise of rank and mine affairs prospered and my 
wealth increased and goods and farms became mine, such as 
sufficed me and will suffice my heirs after me ; nor did I cease to 
abide with Walid, till he was slain, the mercy of Almighty Allah 
be on him ! " And men tell a tale concerning 


THE Caliph Harun al-Rashid was walking one day with Ja'afar 
the Barmecide, when he espied a company of girls drawing water 
and went up to them, having a miiid to drink. As he drew near, 
one of them turned to her fellows and improvised these lines : 

Thy phantom bid thou fleet, and fly o Far from the couch whereon I lie ; 
So I may rest and quench the fire, o Bonfire in bones aye flaming high ; 
My love-sick form Love's restless palm o Rolls o'er the rug whereon I sigh : 
How 'tis with me thou wottest well How long, then, union wilt deny ? 

The Caliph marvelled at her elegance and eloquence. And 

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

Nofo tofcen ft foas tfte t'x f^untatr an& ?Eig!)tp*sfot!) Nf$r, 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
Caliph, hearing the girl's verses, marvelled at her elegance and 
eloquence, and said to her, " O daughter of nobles, are these thine 
own or a quotation ? " Replied she, " They are my very own," and 
he rejoined, " An thou say sooth keep the sense and change the 
rhyme." So she said : 

Bid thou thy phantom distance keep o And quit this couch the while I sleep ; 
So I may rest and quench the flames o Through all my body rageful creep, 
In love-sick one, whom passion's palms o Roll o'er the bed where grief I weep. 
How 'tis with me thou wottest well ; All but thy union hold I cheap ! 

Harun Al-Rashid and the Arab Girl. 109 

Quoth the Caliph, " This also is stolen " ; and quoth she, " Nay, 'tis 
my very own." He said, " If it be indeed thine own, change the 
rhyme again and keep the sense." So she recited the following: 

Unto thy phantom deal behest o To shun my couch the while I rest, 

So I repose and quench the fire o That burns what lieth in my breast, 
My weary form Love's restless palm o Rolls o'er with boon of sleep unblest. 
How 'tis with me thou wottest well o When union's bought 'tis haply best ! 

Quoth Al-Rashid, "This too is stolen "; and quoth she, " Not, so, 
'tis mine." He said, " If thy words be true change the rhyme 
once more." And she recited : 

Drive off the ghost that ever shows o Beside my couch when I'd repose, 
So I may rest and quench the fire o Beneath my ribs e'er flames and 

In love-sick one, whom passion's palms o Roll o'er the couch where weeping 

How 'tis with me thou wottest well o Will union come as unioti goes ? 

Then said the Caliph, " Of what part of this camp art thou ? "; and 
she replid, " Of its middle in dwelling and of its highest in tent- 
poles." l Wherefore he knew that she was the daughter of the 
tribal chief. ".And thou," quoth she, "of what art thou among the 
guardians of the horses ? " ; and quoth he, " Of the highest in tree 
and of the ripest in fruit." " Allah protect thee, O Commander 
of the Faithful ! " said she, and kissing ground called down 
blessings on him. Then she went away with the maidens of 
the Arabs, and the Caliph said to Ja'afar, " There is no help for 
it but I take her to wife/' So Ja'afar repaired to her father and 
said to him, u The Commander of the Faithful hath a mind to 
thy daughter." "He replied, " With love and goodwill, she is a 
gift as a handmaid to His Highness our Lord the Commander of 
the Faithful." So he equipped her and carried her to the Caliph, 
who took her to wife and went in to her, and she became of the 
dearest of his women to him. Furthermore, he bestowed on her 

1 The tents of black wool woven by the Badawi women are generally supported by 
three parallel rows of poles lengthways and crossways (the highest line being the central) 
and the covering is pegged down. Thus the outline of the roofs forms two or more 
hanging curves, and these characterise the architecture of the Tartars and Chinese ; they 
are still preserved in the Turkish (and sometimes in the European) "Kiosque," and they 
have extended to the Brazil where the upturned eaves, often painted vermilion below, at 
once attract the traveller's notice. 

A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

father largesse such as succoured him among Arabs, till he was 
transported to the mercy of Almighty Allah. The Caliph, hearing 
of his death, went in to her greatly troubled ; and, when she saw 
him looking afflicted, she entered her chamber and doffing all that 
was upon her of rich raiment, donned mourning apparel and raised 
lament for her father. It was said to her, " What is the reason of 
this ? "; and she replied, " My father is dead." So they repaired 
to the Caliph and told him and he rose and going in to her, asked 
her who had informed her of her father's death ; and she answered 
" It was thy face, O Commander of the Faithful ! " Said he, 
" How so ? "; and she said, " Since I have been with thee, I never 
saw thee on such wise till this time, and there was none for whom 
I feared save my father, by reason of his great age ; but may thy 
head live, O Commander of the Faithful ! " The Caliph's eyes 
filled with tears and he condoled with her ; but she ceased not to 
mourn for her father, till she followed him Allah have mercy on 
the twain ! " And a tale is also told of 


THE Commander of the Faithful Harun Al-Rashid was exceeding 
restless one night and rising from his bed, paced from chamber 
to chamber, but could not compose himself to sleep. As soon as 
it was day, he said, " Fetch me Al-Asma'i ! " * So the eunuch went 
out and told the doorkeepers ; these sent for the poet and when 
he came, informed the Caliph who bade admit him and said to 
him, " O Asma'i, I wish thee to tell me the best thou hast heard 
of stories of women and their verses." Answered Al-Asma'i, 
" Hearkening and obedience ! I have heard great store of women's 
verses ; but none pleased me save three sets of couplets I once 

heard from three girls." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn 

of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

1 See vol. iv., 159. The author of " Antar," known to Englishmen by the old trans- 
lation of Mr. Terrick Hamilton, secretary of Legation at Constantinople. There is an 
abridgement of the forty-five volumes of Al- Asma'i' s " Antar" which mostly supplies or 
rather supplied the "Antariyyah" or professional tale-tellers; whose theme was the 
heroic Mulatto lover. 

Al-Asmcfi and the Three Girls of Bassorah. in 

fo&en ft foas t&e ftix ^untorefc an* IBtg^tg-sebentJ J5ffi!)t, 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Al- 
Asma'i said to the Prince of True Believers, " Verily I have heard 
much, but nothing pleased me save three sets of couplets impro- 
vised by as many girls." Quoth the Caliph, " Tell me of them," and 
quoth he, " Know then, O Commander of the Faithful, that I once 
abode in Bassorah, and one day, as I was walking, the heat was 
sore upon me and I sought for a siesta-place but found none. 
However by looking right and left I came upon a porch swept 
and sprinkled, at the upper end whereof was a wooden bench under 
an open lattice-window, whence exhaled a scent of musk. I entered 
the porch and sitting down on the bench, would have stretcht me 
at full length when I heard from within a girl's sweet voice talking 
and saying : O my sisters, we are here seated to spend our day 
in friendly converse ; so come, let us each put down an hundred 
dinars and recite a line of verse ; and whoso extemporiseth the 
goodliest and sweetest line, the three hundred dinars shall be hers. 
" With love and gladness," said the others ; and the eldest recited 
the first couplet which is this : 

Would he come to my bed during sleep 'twere delight * But a visit on wake 
were delightsomer sight ! 

Quoth the second : 

'Naught came to salute me in sleep save his shade But " welcome, fair 
welcome," I cried to the spright ! 

.Then said the youngest : 

My soul and my folk I engage for the youth Musk-scented I see in 

my bed every night ! 

Quoth I, " An she be fair as her verse hath grace, the thing is 
complete in every case." Then I came down from my bench 1 and 
was about to go away, when behold, the door opened and out 
came a slave-girl, who said to me, " Sit, O Shaykh ! " So I climbed 

1 The " Dakkah " or long wooden sofa, as opposed to the " mastabah " or stone bench, 
is often a tall platform and in mosques is a kind of ambo railed round and supported by 
columns. Here readers recite the Koran : Lane (M.E. chapt. iii.) sketches it in the 
" Interior of a Mosque." 

A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

up and sat down again when she gave me a scroll, wherein was 
written, in characters of the utmost beauty, with straight Alifs, 1 
big-bellied Has and rounded Waws, the following : We would 
have the Shaykh (Allah lengthen his days !) to know that we are 
three maidens, sisters, sitting in friendly converse, who have laid 
down each an hundred dinars, conditioning that whoso recite the 
goodliest and sweetest couplet shall have the whole three hundred 
dinars ; and we appoint thee umpire between us : so decide as 
thou seest best, and the Peace be on thee ! Quoth I to the girl, 
Here to me inkcase and paper. So she went in and, returning 
after a little, brought me a silvered inkcase and gilded pens 2 with 
which I wrote these couplets : 

They talked of three beauties whose converse was quite 

man with experience dight : 
Three maidens who borrowed the bloom of the dawn 

their lovers in sorriest plight. 
They were hidden from eyes of the piier and spy 

their modesty mote not affright ; 
So they opened whatever lay hid in their hearts 

fun began verse to indite. 
Quoth one fair coquette with her amorous grace 

the sweet of her speech flashed bright : 
Would he come to my bed during sleep 'twere delight 

were delightsomer sight ! 
When she ended, her verse by her smiling was gilt : 

'gan singing as nightingale might : 
Naught came to salute me in sleep save his shade 

welcome, I cried to the spright ! 
But the third I preferred for she said in reply, 

most apposite, exquisite : 
My soul and my folk I engage for the youth 

in my bed every night ! 
So when I considered their words to decide, 

the mock of the cynical wight ; 
I pronounced for the youngest, declaring her verse 

that which is nearest the right. 

a Like the talk of a 
o Making hearts of 
o Who slept and 
o And in frolicsome 
Whose teeth for 
o But a visit on wake 
o Then the second 
o But welcome, fair 
o With expression 
o Musk-scented I see 
o And not make me 
o Of all verses be 

Then I gave the scroll to the slave-girl, who went upstairs with it, 
and behold, I heard a noise of dancing and clapping of hands 
and Doomsday astir. Quoth I to myself, " 'Tis no time for me 

1 Alif (1) Ha () and Waw (j), the first, twenty-seventh and twenty-sixth letters of the 
Arabic alphabet : No. I is the most simple and difficult to write caligraphically. 
8 Reeds washed with gold and used for love-letters, &c. 

Ibrahim of Mosul and the Devil. 1 1 3 

to stay here." So I came down from the platform and was 
about to go away, when the damsel cried out to me, " Sit down, 
O Asma'i ! " Asked I, " Who gave thee to know that I was 
Al-Asma'i ? " and she answered, " O Shaykh, an thy name be un- 
known to us, thy poetry is not ! " So I sat down again and sud- 
denly the door opened and out came the first damsel, with a dish 
of fruits and another of sweetmeats. I ate of both and praised 
their fashion and would have ganged my gait ; but she cried out, 
" Sit down, O Asma'i ! " Wherewith I raised my eyes to her and 
saw a rosy palm in a saffron sleeve, meseemed it was the full moon 
rising splendid in the cloudy East. Then she threw me a purse 
containing three hundred dinars and said to me, " This is mine 
and I give it to thee by way of douceur in requital of thy judg- 
ment." Quoth the Caliph, "Why didst thou decide for the young- 
est ? " and quoth Al-Asma'i, " O Commander of the Faithful, 
whose life Allah prolong ! the eldest said : I should delight in 
him, if he visited my couch in sleep. Now this is restricted and 
dependent upon a condition which may befal or may not befal ; 
whilst, for the second, an image of dreams came to her in sleep, 
and she saluted it ; but the youngest's couplet said that she actually 
lay with her lover and smelt his breath sweeter than musk and she 
engaged her soul and her folk for him, which she had not done, 
were he not dearer to her than her sprite." Said the Caliph, 
" Thou didst well, O Asma'i," and gave him other three hundred 
ducats in payment of his story. And I have heard a tale con- 


QUOTH Abu Ishak Ibrahim al-Mausili : -Tasked Al-Rashid once to 
give me a day's leave that I might be private with the people of my 
household and my brethren, and he gave me leave for Saturday the 
Sabbath. So I went home and betook myself to making ready meat 

1 Lane introduced this tale into vol. i., p. 223, notes on chapt. iii., apparently not 
knowing that it was in The Nights. He gives a mere abstract, omitting all the verse, and 
he borrowed it either from the Halbat al-Kumayt (chapl. xiv.) or from Al-Mas'iidf 
(chapt. cxi.). See the French translation, vol. vi. p. 340. I am at pains to understand 
why M. C. Barbier de Maynard writes " Rechid" with an accented vowel ; although 
French delicacy made him render, by " fils de courtisane," the expression in the text, 
44 O biter of thy mother's enlarged (or uncircumcised) clitoris " (Bazar). 


M4 A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

and drink and other necessaries and bade the doorkeepers 
doors and let none come in to me. However, presently, as I sat 
in my sitting-chamber, with my women who were looking after 
my wants, behold, there appeared an old man of comely and 
reverend aspect, 1 clad in white clothes and a shirt of fine stuff 
with a doctor's turband on his head and a silver-handled staff in 
his hand, and the house and porch were full of the perfumes where- 
with he was scented. I was greatly vexed at his coming in to me 
and thought to turn away the doorkeepers ; but he saluted me 
after the goodliest fashion and I returned his greeting and bade 
him be seated. So he sat down and began entertaining me with 
stories of the Arabs and their verses, till my anger left me and 
methought my servants had sought to pleasure me by admitting a 
man of such good breeding and fine culture. Then I asked him, 
"Art thou for meat ? "; and he answered, " I have no need of it" 
" And for drink ? " quoth I, and quoth he, " That is as thou wilt." 
So I drank off a pint of wine and poured him out the like. Then 
said he, " O Abu Ishak, wilt thou sing us somewhat, so we may 
hear of thine art that wherein thou excellest high and low ? " His 
words angered me ; but I swallowed my anger and taking the lute 
played and sang. " Well done, O Abu Ishak ! " 2 said he ; whereat 
my wrath redoubled and I said to myself, " Is it not enough that 
he should intrude upon me, without my leave, and importune me 
thus, but he must call me by name, as though he knew not the 
right way to address me ?" Quoth he, "An thou wilt sing some- 
thing more we will requite thee." I dissembled my annoyance 
and took the lute and sang again, taking pains with what I sang 
and rising thereto altogether, in consideration of his saying, " We 

will requite thee." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fo&en tt toas t&e Six ?un&rrtr an& 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the Shaykh said to Abu Ishak, " If thou wilt sing something more 
we will requite thee," I dissembled my annoyance (continued 

1 In Al-Mas'udf the Devil is "a young man fair of favour and formous of figure,'* 
which is more appropriate to a " Tempter." He also wears light stuffs of dyed silks. 
* It would have been more courteous in an utter stranger to say, O my lord. 

Ibrahim of Mosul and the Devil. 1 1 5 

Ibrahim) and, taking the lute, sang again with great attention to 
my singing and rising altogether thereto, in consideration of his 
saying, "We will requite thee." He was delighted, and cried, 
" Well done, O my lord ! "; presently adding, " Dost thou give me 
leave to sing ? " " As thou wilt," answered I, deeming him weak 
of wit, in that he should think to sing in my presence, after that 
which he had heard from me. So he took the lute and swept the 
strings, and by Allah, I fancied they spoke in Arabic tongue, with 
a sweet and liquid and murmurous voice ; then he began and sang 
these couplets : 

I bear a hurt heart, who will sell me for this o A heart whole and free from 

all canker and smart ? 
Nay, none will consent or to barter or buy o Such loss, ne'er torn sorrow 

and sickness to part : 
I groan wi' the groaning of wine-wounded men o And pine for the pining 

ne'er freeth my heart. 

And by Allah, meseemed the doors and the walls and all that was 
in the house answered and sang with him, for the beauty of his 
voice, so that I fancied my very limbs and clothes replied to him, 
and I abode amazed and unable to speak or move, for the trouble 
of my heart. Then he sang these couplets : 

Culvers of Liwa ! l to your nests return ; o Your mournful voices thrill 

this heart of mine. 
Then back a-copse they flew, and well-nigh took o My life and made me tell my 

secret pine. 
With cooing call they one who's gone, as though o Their breasts were maddened 

with the rage of wine : 
Ne'er did mine eyes their like for culvers see o Who weep yet tear-drops 

never dye their eyne. 

And also these couplets : 

O Zephyr of Najd, when from Najd thou blow, o Thy breathings heap only 

new woe on woe ! 
The turtle bespake me in bloom of morn o From the cassia-twig and 

the willow-bough 
She moaned with the moaning of love-sick youth o And exposed love-secret I 

ne'er would show : 
They say lover wearies of love when near And is cured of love an 

afar he go : 

1 The Arab Tempe (of fiction, not of grisly fact). 

1 1 6 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

I tried either cure which ne'er cured my love ; o But that nearness is better 

than farness I know i 1 
Yet, the nearness of love shall no Vantage prove o An whoso thou lovest 

deny thee of love. 

Then said he, " O Ibrahim, sing this song after me, and preserving 
the mode thereof in thy singing, teach it to thy slave-girls." 
Quoth I, " Repeat it to me." But he answered, " There needs no 
repetition; thou hast it by heart nor is there more to learn." 
Then he suddenly vanished from my sight. At this I was amazed 
and running to my sword drew it and made for the door of the 
Harim, but found it closed and said to the women, " What have 
ye heard ? " Quoth they, " We have heard the sweetest of singing 
and the goodliest." Then I went forth amazed, to the house-door 
and, finding it locked, questioned the doorkeepers of the old man. 
They replied, " What old man ? By Allah, no one hath gone in 
to thee this day ! " So I returned pondering the matter, when, 
behold, there arose from one of the corners of the house, a Vox et 
praeterea nihil, saying, " O Abu Ishak, no harm shall befal thee. 
'Tis I, Abu Murrah, 2 who have been thy cup-companion this day, 
so fear nothing ! " Then I mounted and rode to the palace, where 
I told Al-Rashid what had passed, and he said, " Repeat to me 
the airs thou heardest from him." So I took the lute and played 
and sang them to him ; for, behold, they were rooted in my heart. 
The Caliph was charmed with them and drank thereto, albeit he 
was no confirmed wine-bibber, saying, "Would he would some 
day pleasure us with his company, as he hath pleasured thee ! " 3 
Then he ordered me a present and I took it and went away. And 
men relate this story anent 

1 These four lines are in Al-Mas'udi, chapt. cxviii. Fr. trans, vii. 313, but that author 
does not tell us who wrote them. 

2 e. Father of Bitterness = the Devil. This legend of the Foul Fiend appearing to 
Ibrahim of Mosul (and also to Isam, N. dcxcv.) seems to have been accepted by con- 
temporaries and reminds us of similar visitations in Europe notably to Dr. Faust. 
One can only exclaim, " Lor, papa, what nonsense you are talking ! " the words of a small 
girl whose father thought proper to indoctrinate her into certain Biblical stories. I once 
began to write a biography of the Devil ; but I found that European folk-lore had made 
such an unmitigated fool of the grand old Typhon-Ahriman as to take away from him all 
human interest. 

3 In Al-Mas'udi the Caliph exclaims, "Verily tbou bast received a visit from 

The Lovers of the Banu Uzrah. 117 


QUOTH Masrur the Eunuch : The Caliph Harun Al-Rashid was 
very wakeful one night and said to me, " See which of the poets is 
at the door to-night." So I went out and finding Jamil bin 
Ma'amar al-Uzri 2 in the antechamber, said to him, " Answer the 
Commander of the Faithful." Quoth he, " I hear and I obey," 
and going in with me, saluted the Caliph, who returned his greet- 
ing and bade him sit down. Then he said to him, "O Jamil, 
hast thou any of thy wonderful new stories to tell us ? " He 
replied, " Yes, O Commander of the Faithful : wouldst thou fainer 
hear that which I have seen with mine eyes or that which I have 
only heard ? " Quoth the Caliph, 4< Tell me something thou hast 
actually beheld." Quoth Jamil, " 'Tis well, O Prince of True 
Believers ; incline thy heart to me and lend me thine ears." The 
Caliph took a bolster of red brocade, purfled with gold and stuffed 
with ostrich-feathers and, laying it under his thighs, propped up 
both elbows thereon ; then he said to Jamil, "Now 3 for thy tale, 
O Jamil ! " Thereupon he begun : Know, O Commander of the 
Faithful, that I was once desperately enamoured of a certain girl 

and used to pay her frequent visits. And Shahrazad perceived 

the dawn of day and ceased saving her permitted say. 

Nofo folKtt it foms t&e bu f^untatr antr 1ffif)tg=mnt!) Nigftt, 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the Caliph had propped his elbows upon the brocaded cushion, he 
said, " Out with thy tale, O Jamil ! " and the poet begun : Know? 
O Commander of the Faithful, I was desperately in love with a girl 
and used often to visit her, because she was my desire and delight 

1 Al-Mas'udi, chapt. cxix. (Fr. transl. vii., 351) mentions the Banu Odhrah as famed 
for lovers and tells the pathetic tale of 'Orwah and 'Afra, 

2 Jamil bin Ma'amar the poet has been noticed in Vol. ii. 102 ; and he has no business 
here as he died years before Al-Rashid was born. The tale begins like that of Ibn 
Mansur and the Lady Budiir (Night cccxxvii.), except that Mansur does not offer hi 

8 Arab " Halutmna," an interjection = bring ! a congener of the Heb. " Halum * 
the grammarians of Kufah and Bassorah are divided concerning its origin. r 


A If Lay I ah wa Laylah. 

of all the things of this world. After a while, her people removed 
with her, by reason of scarcity of pasture, and I abode some time 
without seeing her, till I grew restless for desire and longed for her 
sight and the flesh 1 urged me to journey to her. One night, I 
could hold out no longer ; so I rose and saddling my she-camel, 
bound on my turban and donned my oldest dress. 2 Then I 
baldricked myself with my sword and slinging my spear behind 
me, mounted and rode forth in quest of her. I fared on fast till, 
one night, it was pitch dark and exceeding black, yet I persisted 
in the hard task of climbing down Wadys and up hills, hearing on 
all sides the roaring of lions and howling of wolves and the cries 
of the wild beasts. My reason was troubled thereat and my heart 
sank within me ; but for all that my tongue ceased not to call on 
the name of Almighty Allah. As I went along thus, sleep over- 
took me and the camel carried me aside out of my road, till, 
presently, something 3 smote me on the head, and I woke, 
startled and alarmed, and found myself in a pasturage full of trees 
and streams and birds on the branches, warbling their various 
speech and notes. As the trees were tangled I alighted and, 
taking my camel's halter in hand, fared on softly with her, till I 
got clear of the thick growth and came out into the open country, 
where I adjusted her saddle and mounted again, knowing not 
where to go nor whither the Fates should lead me ; but, presently, 
peering afar into the desert, I espied a fire in its middle depth. 
So I smote my camel and made for the fire. When I drew near, 
I saw a tent pitched, and fronted by a spear stuck in the ground, 
with a pennon flying * and horses tethered and camels feeding, and 
said in myself, " Doubtless there hangeth some grave matter by 
this tent, for I see none other than it in the desert." So I went 
up thereto and said, " Peace be with you, O people of the tent, 
and the mercy of Allah and His blessing ! " Whereupon there 
came forth to me a young man as youths are when nineteen years 
old, who was like the full moon shining in the East, with valour 
written between his eyes, and answered, saying, " And with thee 

1 Arab. "Nafs-f" which here corresponds with our canting "the flesh," the "Old 
Adam," &c. 

2 Arab. ' Atmarf " used for travel. The Anglo-Americans are the only people who 
have the common sense to travel (where they are not known) in their " store clothes" 
and reserve the worst for where they are known. 

3 e.g., a branch or bough. 

4 Arab. " Rayah kaimah," which Lane translates a " beast standing" ! 

The Lovers of the Banu Uzrah. 119 

be the Peace, and Allah's mercy and His blessing ! O brother of 
the Arabs, methinks thou hast lost thy way ? " Replied I, " Even 
so, direct me right, Allah have mercy on thee ! " He rejoined, 
" O brother of the Arabs, of a truth this our land is infested with 
lions and the night is exceeding dark and dreary, beyond measure 
cold and gloomy, and I fear lest the wild beasts rend thee in 
pieces ; wherefore do thou alight and abide with me this night in 
ease and comfort, and to-morrow I will put thee in the right way." 
Accordingly, I dismounted and hobbled my she-camel with the 
end of her halter ; l then I put off my heavy upper clothes and sat 
down. Presently the young man took a sheep and slaughtered it 
and kindled a brisk fire ; after which he went into the tent and 
bringing out finely powdered salt and spices, fell to cutting off 
pieces of mutton and roasting them over the fire and feeding me 
therewith, weeping at one while and sighing at another. Then he 
groaned heavily and wept sore and improvised these couplets 

There remains to him naught save a flitting breath o And an eye whose babe 

ever wandereth. 
There remains not a joint in his limbs, but what o Disease firm fixt ever 

tortureth. , 
His tears are flowing, his vitals burning ; * Yet for all his tongue still he 

All foemen in pity beweep his woes ; Ah for freke whom the foeman 

pitieth ! 

By this I knew, O Commander of the Faithful, that the youth was 
a distracted lover (for none knoweth passion save he who hath 
tasted the passion-savour), and quoth I to myself, "Shall I ask 
him ? " But I consulted my judgment and said, " How shall I 
assail him with questioning, and I in his abode ? " So I restrained 
myself and ate my sufficiency of the meat. When we had made 
an end of eating, the young man arose and entering the tent, 
brought out a handsome basin and ewer and a silken napkin, 
whose ends were purfled with red gold and a sprinkling-bottle 
full of rose-water mingled with musk. I marvelled at his dainty 
delicate ways and said in my mind, " Never wot I of delicacy in 
the desert." Then we washed our hands and talked a while, after 

1 Tying up the near foreleg just above the knee ; and even with this a camel can hop 
over sundry miles of ground in the course of a night. The hobbling is shown in Lane 
(Nights vol.ii., p. 46). 

I2O A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

which he went into the tent and making a partition between 
himself and me with a piece of red brocade, said to me, " Enter, 
O Chief of the Arabs, and take thy rest ; for thou hast suffered 
more of toil and travel than sufficeth this night and in this thy 
journey." So I entered and finding a bed of green brocade, doffed 
my dress and passed a night such as I had never passed in my 

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

say her permitted say. 

Nofo fo&en (t foa* t&e g>fx ^untrrefc anlr jStoetfet!) ttffg&t, 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Jamil 
spoke, saying : Never in my life passed I a night like that. I 
pondered the young man's case, till the world was dark and all 
eyes slept, when I was aroused by the sound of a low voice, never 
heard I a softer or sweeter. I raised the curtain which hung be- 
tween us and saw a damsel (never beheld I a fairer of face), by the 
young man's side and they were both weeping and complaining, 
one to other of the pangs of passion and desire and of the excess 
of their longing for union. 1 Quoth I, " By Allah, I wonder who 
may be this second one ! When I entered this tent, there was 
none therein save this young man." And after reflection I added, 
" Doubtless this damsel is of the daughters of the Jinn and is 
enamoured of this youth ; so they have secluded themselves with 
each other in this solitary place.*' Then I considered her closely 
and behold, she was a mortal and an Arab girl, whose face, when 
she unveiled, shamed the shining sun, and the tent was lit up by 
the light of her countenance. When I was assured that she was 
his beloved, I bethought me of lover-jealousy ; so I let drop the 
curtain and covering my face, fell asleep. As soon as it was dawn 
I arose and donning my clothes, made the Wuzu-ablution and 
prayed such prayers as are obligatory and which I had deferred. 
Then I said, " O brother of the Arabs, wilt thou direct me into 
the right road and thus add to thy favours ? " He replied, " At 
thy leisure, O chief of the Arabs, the term of the guest-rite is 

1 As opposed to "Severance" in the old knightly language of love, which is now 
apparently lost to the world. I tried it in the Lyrics of Camoens and found that I 
was speaking a forgotten tongue, which mightily amused the common sort of critic and 

The Lovers of the Banu Uzrah. 121 

three days, 1 and I am not one to let thee go before that time." So 
I abode with him three days, and on the fourth day as we sat 
talking, I asked him of his name and lineage. Quoth he " As for 
my lineage, I am of the Banu Odhrah ; my name is such an one, 
son of such an one and my father's brother is called such an one/' 
And behold, O Commander of the Faithful, he was the son of my 
paternal uncle and of the noblest house of the Banu Uzrah. 
Said I, " O my cousin, what moved thee to act on this wise, 
secluding thyself in the waste and leaving thy fair estate and that 
of thy father and thy slaves and handmaids ? " When he heard 
my words, his eyes filled with tears and he replied, " Know, O my 
cousin, that I fell madly in love of the daughter of my father's 
brother, fascinated by her, distracted for her, passion-possessed as 
by a Jinn, wholly unable to let her out of my sight. So I sought 
her in marriage of her sire, but he refused and married her to a 
man of the Banu Odhrah, who went in to her and carried her to 
his abiding-place this last year. When she was thus far removed 
from me and I was prevented from looking on her, the fiery pangs 
of passion and excess of love-longing and desire drove me to for- 
sake my clan 2 and friends and fortune and take up my abode in 
this desert, where I have grown used to my solitude." I asked, 
" Where are their dwellings ? " and he answered, " They are hard 
by, on the crest of yonder hill ; and every night, at the dead time, 
when all eyes sleep, she stealeth secretly out of the camp, unseen 
of any one, and I satisfy my desire of her converse and she of 
mine. 8 So I abide thus, solacing myself with her a part of the 
night, till Allah work out that which is to be wrought ; either I 
shall compass my desire, in spite 4 of the envious, or Allah will 

1 More exactly three days and eight hours, after which the guest becomes a friend, 
and as in the Argentine prairies is expected to do friend's duty. The popular saying is, 
" The entertainment of a guest is three days ; the viaticum (jaizah) is a day and a 
night, and whatso exceedeth this is alms.*' 

2 Arab. "'Ashirah." Books tell us there are seven degrees of connection among the 
Badawin : Sha'ab, tribe or rather race, nation (as the Anazah) descended from a common 
ancestor: Kabilah the tribe proper (whence lesKabyles] ; Fasilah (sept), Imarah, Ashirah 
(all a man's connections) ; Fakhiz (lit. the thigh, i.e., his blood relations) and Batn 
(belly) his kith and kin. Practically Kabilah is the tribe, Ashirah the clan, and Bayt 
the household ; while Hayy may be anything between tribe and kith and kin. 

3 This is the true platonic love of noble Arabs, the Ishk 'uzrf, noted in vol. H., 104. 

4 Arab. "'Ala raghro," a favourite term. It occurs in theology ; for instance, when the 
Shi'ahs are asked the cause of such and such a ritual distinction they will reply, " Ala 
raghmi '1-Tasannun " : lit. = to spite the Sunnis. 

122 A If Laylah wa Lay la k. 

determine for me and He is the best of determinators." Now 
when the youth told me his case, O Commander of the Faithful, 
I was concerned for him and perplexed by reason of my jealousy 
for his honour; so I said to him, "O son of my uncle, wilt thou 
that I point out to thee a plan and suggest to thee a project, 
whereby (please Allah) thou shalt find perfect welfare and the way 
of right and successful issue whereby the Almighty shall do away 
from thee that thou dreadest ? " He replied, " Say on, O my 
cousin " ; and quoth I, " When it is night and the girl cometh, set 
her on my she-camel which is swift of pace, and mount thou thy 
steed, whilst I bestride one of these dromedaries. So will we fare 
on all night and when the morrow morns, we shall have traversed 
wolds and wastes, and thou wilt have attained thy desire and won 
the beloved of thy heart. The Almighty's earth is wide, and by 
Allah, I will back thee with heart and wealth and sword." -- And 
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her per- 
mitted say. 

Jiofo to&En it toas tfje S>(x ^untJtefc anfc Jitnctg-first 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Jamil 
advised the elopment and night journey, promising his aid as long 
as he lived, the youth accepted and said, "O cousin, wait till I 
take counsel with her, for she is quick-witted and prudent and hath 
insight into affairs." So (continued Jamil) when the night darkened 
and the hour of her coming arrived, and he awaiting her at the 
appointed tide, she delayed beyond her usual time, and I saw him 
go forth the door of the tent and opening his mouth, inhale the 
wafts of breeze that blew from her quarter, as if to snuff her per- 
fume, and he repeated these two couplets : 

Breeze of East who bringest me gentle air o From the place of sojourn where 

dwells my fair : 
O Breeze, of the lover thou bearest sign, o Canst not of her coming some 

signal bear ? 

Then he entered the tent and sat weeping awhile ; after which he 
said to me, " O my cousin, some mischance must have betided the 
daughter of mine uncle, or some accident must have hindered her 
from coming to me this night," presently adding, " But abide 
where thou art, till I bring thee the news." And he took sword 

The Lovers of the Banu Uzrah. 123 

and shield and was absent a while of the night, after which he 
returned, carrying something in hand and called aloud to me. So 
I hastened to him and he said, " O my cousin, knowest thou what 
hath happened ? " I replied, " No, by Allah ! " Quoth he, " Verily, 
I am distraught concerning my cousin this night ; for, as she was 
coming to me, a lion met her in the way and devoured her, and 
there remaineth of her but what thou seest." So saying, he threw 
down what he had in his hand, and behold, it was the damsel's 
turband and what was left of her bones. Then he wept sore and 
casting down his bow, 1 took a bag and went forth again saying, 
" Stir not hence till I return to thee, if it please Almighty Allah " 
He was absent a while and presently returned, bearing in his hand 
a lion's head, which he threw on the ground and called for water. 
So I brought him water, with which he washed the lion's mouth 
and fell to kissing it and weeping ; and he mourned for her ex- 
ceedingly and recited these couplets : 

Ho thou lion who broughtest thyself to woe, e Thou art slain and worse 

sorrows my bosom rend ! 
Thou hast reft me of fairest companionship, o Made her home Earth's 

womb till the world shall end. 
To Time, who hath wrought me such grief, I say, o " Allah grant in her stead 

never show a friend ! " 

Then said he to me, " O cousin, I conjure thee by Allah and the 
claims of kindred and consanguinity 2 between us, keep thou my 
charge. Thou wilt presently see me dead before thee; where- 
upon do thou wash me and shroud me and these that remain of 
my cousin's bones in this robe and bury us both in one grave and 
write thereon these two couplets : 

On Earth surface we lived in rare ease and joy o By fellowship joined in one 

house and home. 
But Fate with her changes departed us, o And the shroud conjoins us in 

Earth's cold womb. 

1 In the text " Al-Kaus " for which Lane and Payne substitute a shield. The bow had 
not been mentioned but n'importe, the Arab reader would say. In the text it is left 
at home because it is a cowardly, far-killing weapon compared with sword and lance. 
Hence the Spaniard calls and justly calls the knife the " bravest of arms " as it wants a 
man behind it. 

2 Arab. " Rahim" or "Rihm"= womb, uterine relations, pity or sympathy, which 
may here be meant. 

124 Alf Laylah tva Laylah. 

Then he wept with sore weeping and, entering the tent, was absent 
awhile, after which he came forth, groaning and crying out. Then 
he gave one sob and departed this world. When I saw that he 
was indeed dead, it was grievous to me and so sore was my 
sorrow for him that I had well-nigh followed him for excess of 
mourning over him. Then I laid him out and did as he had 
enjoined me, shrouding his cousin's remains with him in one robe 
and laying the twain in one grave. I abode by their tomb three 
days, after which I departed and continued to pay frequent pious 
visits 1 to the place for two years. This then is their story, O 
Commander of the Faithful ! Al-Rashid was pleased with Jamil's 
story and rewarded him with a robe of honour and a handsome 
present. And men also tell a tale concerning 


CALIPH Mu'AwiYAH was sitting one day in his palace 8 at 
Damascus, in a room whose windows were open on all four 
sides, that the breeze might enter from every quarter. Now it 
was a day of excessive heat, with no breeze from the hills 
stirring, and the middle of the day, when the heat was at its 
height, and the Caliph saw a man coming along, scorched by 
the heat of the ground and limping, as he fared on barefoot. 
Mu'awiyah considered him awhile and said to his courtiers, 
" Hath Allah (may He be extolled and exalted !) created any 
miserabler than he who need must hie abroad at such an hour 
and in such sultry tide as this ? " Quoth one of them, " Haply 
he seeketh the Commander of the Faithful ; " and quoth the 

1 Reciting Fatihahs and so forth, as I have described in the Cemetery of Al-Medinah 
(ii. 300). Moslems do not pay for prayers to benefit the dead like the majority of 
Christendom and, according to Calvinistic Wahhbi-ism, their prayers and blessings are 
of no avail. But the mourner's heart loathes reason and he prays for his dead instinctively 
like the so-termed " Protestant." Amongst the latter, by the bye, I find four great 
Sommith) (i) Paul of Tarsus who protested against the Hebraism of Peter; (2) Mo- 
hammed who protested against the perversions of Christianity ; (3) Luther who protested 
against Italian rule in Germany, and lastly (4) one (who shall be nameless) that protests 
against the whole business. 

2 Lane transfers this to vol. i. 520 (notes to chapt. vii.) ; and gives a mere abstract 
as of that preceding. 

3 We learn from Ibn Batutah that it stood South of the Great Mosque and afterwards 
became the Coppersmiths' Bazar. The site was known as Al-Khazra (the Green) and 
the building was destroyed by the Abbasides. See Defremery and Sanguinetti, i. 206. 

The Badawi and his Wife. 12$ 

Caliph, " By Allah, if he seek me, I will assuredly give to him, 
and if he be wronged, I will certainly succour him. Ho, boy ! 
Stand at the door, and if yonder wild Arab seek to come in to 
me, forbid him not therefrom." So the page went out and pre- 
sently the Arab came up to him and he said, " What dost thou 
want ? " Answered the other, " I want the Commander of the 
Faithful," and the page said, " Enter." So he entered and saluted 

the Caliph, And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fofjcn it foas t&e btx f^untofc antr Nfnet|usC<m& 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
page allowed him to enter, the Badawi saluted the Caliph, who 
said to him, " Who art thou ? " Replied the Arab, " I am a man 
of the Banu Tami'm." " And what bringeth thee here at this 
season ? " asked Mu'awiyah ; and the Arab answered, " I come to 
thee, complaining and thy protection imploring." " Against 
whom ? " " Against Marwan bin al-Hakam, 2 thy deputy," replied 
he, and began reciting : 

Mu'dwiyah, 3 thou gen'rous lord, and best of men that be; o And oh, thou 

lord of learning, grace and fair humanity, 
Thee-wards I come because my way of life is strait to me : o O help ! and let 

me not despair thine equity to see. 
Deign thou redress the wrong that dealt the tyrant whim of him o Who better 

had my life destroyed than made such wrong to dree. 

1 This great tribe or rather nation has been noticed before (vol. ii. 170). The name 
means " Strong," and derives from one Tamim bin Murr of the race of Adnan, nat. 
circ. A.D. 121. They hold the North-Eastern uplands of Najd, comprising the great 
desert Al-Dahna and extend to Al-Bahrayn. They are split up into a multitude of 
clans and septs.; and they can boast of producing two famous sectarians. One was 
Abdullah bin Suffer, head of the Suffriyah ; and the other Abdullah bin Ibaz (Ibadh) 
whence the Ibaziyah heretics of Oman who long included her princes. Mr. Palgrave 
wrongly writes Abadeeyah and Biadeeyah and my "Baydzi" was an Arab vulgarism 
used by the Zanzibarians. Dr. Badger rightly prefers Ibaziyah which he writes 
Ibadhiyah (Hist, of the Imams, etc.) 

2 Governor of Al-Medinah under Mu'awiyah and afterwards (A.H. 64-65 r= 683-4) 
fourth Ommiade. Al-Siyuti (p. 216) will not account him amongst the princes of the 
Faithful, holding him a rebel against Al-Zubayr. Ockley makes Ibn al-Zubayr omU 
and Mar win tenth Caliph. 

3 The address, without the vocative particle, is more emphatic) and the P.N. 
Mu'awiyah seems to court the omission* 

126 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

He robbed me of my wife Su'dd and proved him worst of foes, Stealing 

mine honour 'mid my folk with foul iniquity ; 
And went about to take my life before th' appointed day Hath dawned which 

Allah made my lot by destiny's decree. 

Now when Mu'awiyah heard him recite these verses, with the 
fire flashing from his mouth, he said to him, " Welcome and fair 
welcome, O brother of the Arabs ! Tell me thy tale and acquaint 
me with thy case." Replied the Arab, " O Commander of the 
Faithful, I had a wife whom I loved passing dear with love none 
came near ; and she was the coolth of mine eyes and the joy of 
my heart ; and I had a herd of camels, whose produce enabled 
me to maintain my condition ; but there came upon us a bad 
year which killed off hoof and horn and left me naught. When 
what was in my hand failed me and wealth fell from me and I 
lapsed into evil case, I at once became abject and a burden to 
those who erewhile wished to visit me; and when her father 
knew it, he took her from me and abjured me and drove me 
forth without ruth. So I repaired to thy deputy, Marwan bin 
al-Hakam, and asked his aid. He summoned her sire and ques- 
tioned him of my case, when he denied any knowledge of me. 
Quoth I, " Allah assain the Emir ! An it please him to send 
for the woman and question her of her father's saying, the truth 
will appear." So he sent for her and brought her; but no 
sooner had he set eyes on her than he fell in love with her ; so, 
becoming my rival, he denied me succour and was wroth with 
me, and sent me to prison, where I became as I had fallen from 
heaven and the wind had cast me down in a far land. Then 
said Marwan to her father, "Wilt thou give her to me to wife, 
on a present settlement of a thousand dinars and a contingent 
dowry of ten thousand dirhams, 1 and I will engage to free her 
from yonder wild Arab ! " Her father was seduced by the bribe 
and agreed to the bargain ; whereupon Marwan sent for me and 
looking at me like an angry lion, said to me, " O Arab, divorce 
Su'ad." I replied, " I will not put her away ; " but he set on me 
a company of his servants, who tortured me with all manner of 
tortures, till I found no help for it but to divorce her. I did so 
and he sent me back to prison, where I abode till the days of her 

1 This may also mean that the 500 were the woman's "mahr" or marriage dowry 
and the 250 a present to buy the father's consent. 

The Badawi and his Wife. 127 

purification were accomplished, when he married her and let me 
go. So now I come hither in thee hoping and thy succour 
imploring and myself on thy protection throwing." And he 
spoke these couplets : 

Within my heart is fire o Whichever flameth higher ; 

Within my frame are pains o For skill of leach too dire. 

Live coals in vitals burn o And sparks from coal up spire : 

Tears flood mine eyes and down o Coursing my cheek ne'er tire : 
Only God's aid and thine o I crave for my desire ! 

Then he was convulsed, 1 and his teeth chattered and he fell 
down in a fit, squirming like a scotched snake. When Mu'awiyah 
heard his story and his verse, he said, " Marwan bin al-Hakam 
hath transgressed against the laws of the Faith and hath vio- 
lated the Harim of True Believers ! " And Shahrazad per- 
ceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

BTofo fo&en it foas tfje ?t'x ^utrtrrefc anU Ntttctg=tfn't& 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that 
when the Caliph Mu'awiyah heard the wild Arab's words, he said, 
" The son of Al-Hakam hath indeed transgressed against the laws 
of the Faith and hath violated the Harim of True Believers," 
presently adding, " O Arab, thou comest to me with a story, the 
like whereof I never heard ! " Then he called for inkcase and 
paper and wrote to Marwan as follows : Verily it hath reached 
me that thou transgresseth the laws of the Faith with regard to 
thy lieges. Now it behoveth the Wali who governeth the folk to 
keep his eyes from their lusts and stay his flesh from its delights. 
And after he wrote many words, which (quoth he who told me 
the tale) I omit, for brevity's sake, and amongst them these 
couplets : 

Thou wast invested (woe to thee !) 3 with rule for thee unfit ; 6 Crave thou of 
Allah pardon for thy foul adultery. 

Th* unhappy youth to us is come complaining 'mid his groans o And asks re- 
dress for parting-grief and saddened me through thee. 

1 Quite true to nature. See an account of the quasi-epileptic fits to which Syrians 
are subject and by them called Al-Wahtah in " The Inner Life of Syria," i. 233. 

2 Arab "Wayha-k" here equivalent to Wayla-k. M. C. Barbier de Meynard renders 
the first " mon ami " and the second " miserable." 

128 Alf Laylah iva Laylah. 

An oath have I to Allah sworn shall never be forsworn ; Nay, for 

do what Faith and Creed command me to decree. 
An thou dare cross me in whate'er to thee I now indite o I of thy flesJi 

assuredly will make the vulture free. 
Divorce Su'ad, equip her well, and in the hottest haste With Al-Kumayt 

and Zibdn's son, hight Nasr, send to me. 

Then he folded the letter and, sealing it with his seal, delivered it 
to Al-Kumayt l and Nasr bin Zibdn (whom he was wont to employ 
on weighty matters, because of their trustiness) who took the 
missive and carried it to Al-Medinah, where they went in to 
Marwan and saluting him delivered to him the writ and told him 
how the case stood. He read the letter and fell a-weeping ; but 
he went in to Su'ad (as 'twas not in his power to refuse obedience 
to the Caliph) and, acquainting her with the case, divorced her in 
the presence of Al-Kumayt and Nasr ; after which he equipped 
her and delivered her to them, together with a letter to the Caliph 
wherein he versified as follows : - 

Hurry not, Prince of Faithful Men ! with best of grace thy vow o I will accom- 
plish as 'twas vowed and with the gladdest gree. 

I sinned not adulterous sin when loved her I, then how o Canst charge 
me with advowtrous deed or any villainy ? 

Soon comes to thee that splendid sun which hath no living peer o On earth, 
nor aught in mortal men or Jinns her like shah see. 

This he sealed with his own signet and gave to the messengers 
who returned with Su'ad to Damascus and delivered to Mu'awiyah 
the letter, and when he had read it he cried, " Verily, he hath 
obeyed handsomely, but he exceedeth in his praise of the woman." 
Then he called for her and saw beauty such as he had never seen, 
for comeliness and loveliness, stature and symmetrical grace ; 
moreover, he talked with her and found her fluent of speech and 
choice in words. Quoth he, " Bring me the Arab." So they 
fetched the man, who came, sore disordered for shifts and changes 
of fortune, and Mu'awiyah said to him, " O Arab, an thou wilt 
freely give her up to me, I will bestow upon thee in her stead 
three slave girls, high-bosomed maids like moons, with each a 
thousand dinars ; and I will assign thee on the Treasury such an 
annual sum as shall content thee and enrich thee." When the 

1 This is an instance when the article (Al) is correctly used with one proper name and 
not with another. Al-Kumayt (P. N. of poet) lit. means a bay horse with black points : 
Nasr is victory. 

The Badawi and his Wife. 129 

Arab heard this, he groaned one groan and swooned away, so that 
Mu'awiyah thought he was dead ; and, as soon as he revived, the 
Caliph said to him, " What aileth thee ? " The Arab answered, 
" With heavy heart and in sore need have I appealed to thee from 
the injustice of Marwan bin al-Hakam ; but to whom shall I 
appeal from thine injustice ? " And he versified in these 
couplets : 

Make me not (Allah save the Caliph !) one of the betrayed o Who from the 

fiery sands to fire must sue for help and aid : 
Deign thou restore Su'a"d to this afflicted heart distraught, o Which every 

morn and eve by sorest sorrow is waylaid : 
Loose thou my bonds and grudge me not and give her back to me ; o And if 

thou do so ne'er thou shall for lack of thanks upbraid ! 

Then said he, " By Allah, O Commander of the Faithful, wert 
thou to give me all the riches contained in the Caliphate, yet 
would I not take them without Su'ad." And he recited this 
couplet : 

I love Su'a"d and unto all but hers my love is dead, * Each morn I feel her 
love to me is drink and daily bread. 

Quoth the Caliph, " Thou confesses! to having divorced her and 
Marwan owned the like ; so now we will give her free choice. An 
she choose other than thee, we will marry her to him, and if she 
choose thee, we will restore her to thee." Replied the Arab, 
" Do so." So Mu'awiyah said to her, " What sayest thou, O 
Su'ad ? Which dost thou. choose ; the Commander of the 
Faithful, with his honour and glory and dominion and palaces and 
treasures and all else thou seest at his command, or Marwan bin 
al-Hakam with his violence and tyranny, or this Arab, with his 
hunger and poverty ? " So she improvised these couplets : 

This one, whom hunger plagues, and rags enfold, o Dearer than tribe and kith 

and kin I hold ; 
Than crowned head, or deputy Marwdn, o Or all who boast of silver 

coins and gold. 

Then said she, " By Allah, O Commander of the Faithful, I will 
not forsake him for the shifts of Fortune or the perfidies of Fate, 
there being between us old companionship we may not forget, and 
love beyond stay and let ; and indeed 'tis but just that I bear with 
him in his adversity, even as I shared with him in prosperity." 
VOL. VII. i 

130 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

The Caliph marvelled at her wit and love and constancy and, 
ordering her ten thousand dirhams, delivered her to the Arab, who 
took his wife and went away. 1 And they likewise tell a tale of 


THE Caliph Harun al-Rashid was sleepless one night ; so he sent 
for Al-Asma'i and Husayn al-Khalf a 2 and said to them, " Tell me 
a story you twain and do thou begin, O Husayn." He said, u 'Tis 
well, O Commander of the Faithful ; " and thus began : Some 
years ago, I dropped down stream to Bassorah, to present to 
Mohammed bin Sulayman al-Rabfi 3 a Kasidah or elegy I had 
composed in his praise ; and he accepted it and bade me abide 
with him. One day, I went out to Al-Mirbad, 4 by way of Al- 
Muhaliyah ; 5 and, being oppressed by the excessive heat, went up 
to a great door, to ask for drink, when I was suddenly aware of a 
damsel, as she were a branch swaying, with eyes languishing, eye- 
brows arched and finely pencilled and smooth cheeks rounded, 
clad in a shift the colour of a pomegranate-flower, and a mantilla 
of Sana'd 6 work ; but the perfect whiteness of her body overcame 
the redness of her shift, through which glittered two breasts like 
twin granadoes and a waist, as it were a roll of fine Coptic linen, 
with creases like scrolls of pure white paper stuffed with musk. 7 
Moreover, O Prince of True Believers, round her neck was slung 
an amulet of red gold that fell down between her breasts, and on 

1 This anecdote, which reads like truth, is ample set off for a cart-load of abuse of 
women. But even the Hindus, determined misogynists in books, sometimes relent. 
Says the Katha Sarit Sagara : " So you see, King, honourable matrons are devoted to 
their husbands, and it is not the case that all women are always bad " (ii. 624). Let 
me hope that after all this Mistress Su'ad did not lead her husband a hardish life. 

2 Al-Khali'a has been explained in vol. i. 311 : the translation of Al-Mas'udi (vi. 10) 
renders it " sce'lerat." Abu All al- Husayn the Wag was a Bassorite and a worthy com- 
panion of Abu Nowas the Debauchee ; but he adorned the Court of Al-Amin the son, 
not of Al-Rashid the father. 

8 Governor of Bassorah, but not in Al-Husayn's day. 

4 The famous market-place where poems were recited ; mentioned by Al-Hariri 

6 A quarter of Bassorah. 

' Capital of Al-Yaman, and then famed for its leather and other work (vol. v. 16). 

* The creases in the stomach like the large navel are always insisted upon. Says the 
Katha (ii. 525) " And he looked on that torrent river of the elixir of beauty, adorned 
with a waist made charming by those wave-like wrinkles," etc. 

The Lovers of Bassorah. \ 3 1 

the plain of her forehead were browlocks like jet. 1 Her eyebrows 
joined and her eyes were like lakes ; she had an aquiline nose and 
thereunder shell-like lips showing teeth like pearls. Pleasantness 
prevailed in every part of her ; but she seemed dejected, disturbed, 
distracted and in the vestibule came and went, walking upon the 
hearts of her lovers, whilst her legs 2 made mute the voices of their 
ankle-rings ; and indeed she was as saith the poet : 

Each portion of her charms we see o Seems of the whole a simile. 

I was overawed by her, O Commander of the Faithful, and drew 
near her to greet her, and behold, the house and vestibule and 
highways breathed fragrant with musk. So I saluted her and she 
returned my salam with a voice dejected and heart depressed and 
with the ardour of passion consumed. Then said I to her, " O my 
lady, I am an old man and a stranger and sore troubled by thirst. 
Wilt thou order me a draught of water, and win reward in 
heaven ? " She cried, " Away, O Shaykh, from me ! I am dis- 
tracted from all thought of meat and drink." And Shahrazad 

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

Nofo tofen ft foaa t&e &(x f^untafc antr Nmetg-fourtJ) Nig&t, 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
damsel said, " O Shaykh, I am distracted from all thought of meat 
and drink." Quoth I (continued Husayn), " By what ailment, O 
my lady ? " and quoth she, " I love one who dealeth not justly 
by me and I desire one who of me will none. Wherefore I am 
afflicted with the wakefulness of those who wake star-gazing." 
I asked, " O my lady, is there on the wide expanse of earth one 
to whom thou hast a mind and who to thee hath no mind ? " 
Answered she, " Yes ; and this for the perfection of beauty and 
loveliness and goodliness wherewith he is endowed." " And why 
standeth thou in this porch ? " enquired 1. " This is his road," 
replied she, " and the hour of his passing by." I said, "O my lady, 
have ye ever foregathered and had such commerce and converse as 

1 Arab. Sabaj (not Sabah, as the Mac. Edit, misprints it) : I am not sure of its 

2 A truly Arab conceit, suggesting 

The mind, the music breathing from her face ; 

heir calves moved rhythmically, suggesting the movement and consequent sound of a 
musical instrument. 

132 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

might cause this passion ?" At this she heaved a deep sigh ; the 
tears rained down her cheeks, as they were dew falling upon roses, 
and she versified with these couplets : 

We were like willow-boughs in garden shining o And scented joys in 

happiest life combining ; 
Whenas one bough from other self would rend o And oh ! thou seest 

this for that repining ! 

Quoth I, " O maid, and what betideth thee of thy love for this 
man ?"; and quot. she, " I see the sun upon the walls of his folk and 
I think the sun is he ; or haply I catch sight of him unexpectedly 
and am confounded and the blood and the life fly my body and I 
abide in unreasoning plight a week or e'en a se'nnight." Said I, 
" Excuse me, for I also have suffered that which is upon thee of 
love-longing and distraction of soul and wasting of frame and loss 
of strength ; and I see in thee pallor of complexion and emaciation, 
such as testify of the fever-fits of desire. But how shouldst thou 
be unsmitten of passion and thou a sojourner in the land of 
Bassorah ? " Said she, " By Allah, before I fell in love of this 
youth, I was perfect in beauty and loveliness and amorous grace 
which ravished all the Princes of Bassorah, till he fell in love with 
me" I asked, " O maid, and who parted you ? "; and she 
answered, " The vicissitudes of fortune," but the manner of our 
separation was strange ; and 'twas on this wise. One New Year's 
day I had invited the damsels of Bassorah and amongst them a 
girl belonging to Sfrdn, who had bought her out of Oman for four- 
score thousand dirhams. She loved me and loved me to madness 
and when she entered she threw herself upon me and well-nigh 
tore me in pieces with bites and pinches. 1 Then we withdrew 
apart, to drink wine at our ease, till our meat was ready 2 and our 

1 The morosa voluptas of the Catholic divines. The Sapphist described in the text 
would procure an orgasm (in gloria, as the Italians call it) by biting and rolling over the 
girl she loved ; but by loosening the trouser-string she evidently aims at a closer tri- 
badism the Arab " Musahikah." 

2 We drink (or drank) after dinner; Easterns before the meal and half- Easterns (like the 
Russians) before and after. We talk of liquor being unwholesome on an empty stomach ; 
but the truth is that all is purely habit. And as the Russian accompanies his Vodki with 
caviare, etc., so the Oriental drinks his Raki or Mahaya (Ma al-hayat aqua vitse) alter- 
nately with a Salatah, for whose composition see Pilgrimage i. 198. The Eastern practice 
has its advantages : it awakens the appetite, stimulates digestion and, what Easterns 
greatly regard, it is economical ; half a bottle doing the work of a whole. Bhang and 
Kusumba (opium dissolved and strained through a pledget of cotton) are always drunk 
before dinner and thus the " jolly " time is the preprandial, not the postprandial. 

The Lovers of Bassorah. 133 

delight was complete, and she toyed with me and I with her, and 
now I was upon her and now she was upon me. Presently, the 
fumes of the wine moved her to strike her hand on the inkle of 
my petticoat-trousers, whereby it became loosed, unknown of 
either of us, and my trousers fell down in our play, At this 
moment he came in unobserved and, seeing me thus, was wroth at 
the sight and made off, as the Arab filly hearing the tinkle of her 

bridle. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 

saying her permitted say. 

Nofo fofjen it foas tjie bix l^untrreb anfc Nmetg=fiftf) 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
maiden said to Husayn al-Khali'a, " When my lover saw me playing, 
as I described to thee, with Siran's girl, he went forth in anger. 
And 'tis now, O Shaykh, three years ago, and since then I have 
never ceased to excuse myself to him and coax him and crave his 
indulgence, but he will neither cast a look at me from the corner 
of his eye, nor write me a word nor speak to me by messenger nor 
hear from me aught." Quoth I, " Harkye maid, is he an Arab or 
an Ajam ? "; and quoth she, " Out on thee ! He is of the Princes 
of Bassorah." " Is he old or young ? " asked I ; and she looked at 
me laughingly and answered, " Thou art certainly a simpleton ! 
He is like the moon on the night of its full, smooth-cheeked and 
beardless, nor is there any defect in him except his aversion to me.'* 
Then I put the question, " What is his name ? " and she replied, 
" What wilt thou do with him ? " I rejoined, " I will do my best 
to come at him, that I may bring about reunion between you.'* 
Said she, " I will tell thee on condition that thou carry him a 
note ; " and I said " I have no objection to that." Then quoth 
she, " His name is Zamrah bin al-Mughayrah, hight Abu al-Sakha, 1 
and his palace is in the Mirbad." Therewith she called to those 
within for inkcase and paper and tucking up 2 her sleeves, showed 
two wrists like broad rings of silver. She then wrote after the 
Basmalah as follows, " My lord, the omission of blessings 3 at the 
head of this my letter shows mine insufficiency, and know that had 

1 "Abu al-Sakhd" (pronounced Abussakha) = Father of munificence. 

2 Arab. " Shammara," also used for gathering up the gown, so as to run the faster. 
* .*., blessing the Prophet and all True Believers (herself included). 

134 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

my prayer been answered, thou hadst never left me ; for how often 
have I prayed that thou shouldest not leave me, and yet thou 
didst leave me ! Were it not that distress with me exceedeth the 
bounds of restraint, that which thy servant hath forced herself to 
do in writing this writ were an aidance to her, despite her despair of 
thee, because of her knowledge of thee that thou wilt fail to answer. 
Do thou fulfil her desire, my lord, of a sight of thee from the porch, 
as thou passest in the street, wherewith thou wilt quicken the dead 
soul in her. Or, far better for her still than this, do thou write her 
a letter with thine own hand (Allah endow it with all excellence !), 
and appoint it in requital of the intimacy that was between us in 
the nights of time past, whereof thou must preserve the memory. 
My lord, was I not to thee a lover sick with passion ? An thou 
answer my prayer, I will give to thee thanks and to Allah praise ; 
and so The Peace ! " ! Then she gave me the letter and I went 
away. Next morning I repaired to the door of the Viceroy- 
Mohammed bin Sulayman, where I found an assembly of the 
notables of Bassorah, and amongst them a youth who adorned the 
gathering and surpassed in beauty and brightness all who were 
there; and indeed the Emir Mohammed set him above himself. 
I asked who he was and behold, it was Zamrah himself : so I 
said in my mind, " Verily, there hath befallen yonder unhappy 
one that which hath befallen her 2 ! " Then I betook myself to 
the Mirbad and stood waiting at the door of his house, till he 
came riding up in state, when I accosted him and invoking more 
than usual blessings on him, handed him the missive. When he 
read it and understood it he said to me, "O Shaykh, we have 
taken other in her stead. Say me, wilt thou see the substitute ? " 
I answered, " Yes." Whereupon he called out a woman's name, 
and there came forth a damsel who shamed the two greater lights ; 
swelling-breasted, walking the gait of one who hasteneth without 
fear, to whom he gave the note, saying, " Do thou answer it." 
When she read it, she turned pale at the contents and said to 
me, " O old man, crave pardon of Allah for this that thou hast 
brought." So I went out, O Commander of the Faithful, dragging 
my feet and returning to her asked leave to enter. When she saw 
me, she asked, " What is behind thee ? "; and I answered, " Evil 

1 The style of this letter is that of a public scribe in a Cairo market-place thirty years 

2 i.e. she could not help falling in love with this beauty man. 

The Lovers of Basso rah. 135 

and despair." Quoth she, " Have thou no concern of him. Where 
are Allah and His power ? " l Then she ordered me five hundred 
dinars and I took them and went away. Some days after I passed 
by the place and saw there horsemen and footmen. So I went in 
and lo ! these were the companions of Zamrah, who were begging 
her to return to him ; but she said, " No, by Allah, I will not look 
him in the face!" And she prostrated herself in gratitude. to 
Allah and exultation over Zamrah's defeat. Then I drew near 
her, and she pulled out to me a letter, wherein was written, after 
the Bismillah, " My lady, but for my forbearance towards thee 
(whose life Allah lengthen !) I would relate somewhat of what 
betided from thee and set out my excuse, in that thou trans- 
gressedst against me, whenas thou wast manifestly a sinner against 
thyself and myself in breach of vows and lack of constancy and 
preference of another over us ; for, by Allah, on whom we call for 
help against that which was of thy free-will, thou didst trans- 
gress against the love of me ; and so The Peace ! " Then she 
showed me the presents and rarities he had sent her, which were 
of the value of thirty thousand dinars. I saw her again after this, 
and Zamrah had married her. Quoth Al-Rashid, "Had not 
Zamrah been beforehand with us, I should certainly have had 
to do with her myself. 02 And men tell the tale of 

1 " Kudrat," used somewhat in the sense of our vague "Providence." The sentence 
means, leave Omnipotence to manage him. Mr. Redhouse, who forces a likeness 
between Moslem and Christian theology, tells us that " Qader is unjustly translated by 
Fate and Destiny, an old pagan idea abhorrent to Al-Islam which reposes on God's 
providence." He makes Kaza and Kismet quasi synonymes of "Qaza" and " Qader," 
the former signifying God's decree, the latter our allotted portion ; and he would render 
both by dispensation. Of course it is convenient to forget the Guarded Tablet of the 
learned and the Night of Power and skull-lectures of the vulgar. The eminent 
Turkish scholar would also translate Salat by worship (du'a being prayer) because it 
signifies a simple act of adoration without entreaty. If he will read the Opener of the 
Koran, recited in every set of prayers, he will find an especial request to be " led to the 
path which is straight." These vagaries are seriously adopted by Mr. E. J. W. Gibb in 
his Ottoman Poems (p. 245, etc.) London : Trubner and Co., 1882 ; and they deserve, 
I think, reprehension, because they serve only to mislead ; and the high authority of 
the source whence they come necessarily recommends them to many. 

2 The reader will have noticed the likeness of this tale to that of Ibn Mansur and the 
Lady Budur (vol. iv., 228 et seq.} For this reason Lane leaves it untranslated (iii. 252). 

136 A If Laylah wa Lay la ft. 


QUOTH Ishak bin Ibrahim al-Mausili : I was in my house one 
night in the winter-time, when the clouds had dispread them- 
selves and the rains poured down in torrents, as from the mouths 
of water-skins, and the folk forbore to come and go about the 
ways for that which was therein of rain and slough. Now I was 
straitened in breast because none of my brethren came to me nor 
could I go to them, by reason of the mud and mire ; so I said 
to my servant, " Bring me wherewithal I may divert myself." 
Accordingly he brought me meat and drink, but I had no heart 
to eat, without some one to keep me company, and I ceased not 
to look out of window and watch the ways till nightfall, when I 
bethought myself of a damsel belonging to one of the sons of 
Al-Mahdi, 2 whom I loved and who was skilled in singing and 
playing upon instruments of music, and said to myself, "Were 
she here with us to-night, my joy would be complete and my 
night would be abridged of the melancholy and restlessness 
which are upon me." At this moment one knocked at the door, 
saying, " Shall a beloved enter in who standeth at the door ? " 
Quoth I to myself, " Meseems the plant of my desire hath 
fruited." So I went to the door and found my mistress, with a 
long green skirt 3 wrapped about her and a kerchief of brocade 
on her head, to fend her from the rain. She was covered with 
mud to her knees and all that was upon her was drenched with 
water from gargoyles 4 and house-sprouts ; in short, she was in 

1 Lane also omits this tale (iii. 252). See Night dclxxxviii., vol. vii. p. \\$et seq. t 
for a variant of the story. 

2 Third Abbaside, A. H. 158-169 (=775-785), and father of Harun Al-Rashid. He 
is known chiefly for his eccentricities, such as cutting the throats of all his carrier- 
pigeons, making a man dine off marrow and sugar and having snow sent to him at 
Meccah, a distance of 700 miles. 

3 Arab. Mirt ; the dictionaries give a short shift, cloak or breeches of wool or 
coarse silk. 

4 Arab. " Mayazib" plur. of the Pers. Mizab (orig. Miz-i-ab = channel of water) a 
spout for roof-rain. That which drains the Ka'abah on the N. W. side is called Mizab 
al-Rahmah (Gargoyle of Mercy) and pilgrims stand under it for a douche of holy water. 
It is supposed to be of gold, but really of silver gold-plated and is described of 
Burckhardt and myself (Pilgrimage iii. 164). The length is 4 feet IO in. ; width 9 in. ; 
height of sides 8 in. ; and slope at mouth I foot 6 in. long. 

Ishak of Mosul and his Mistress and the Devil. 137 

sorry plight. So I said to her, " O my mistress, what bringeth 
thee hither through all this mud ? " Replied she, " Thy messenger 
came and set forth to me that which was with thee of love and 
longing, so that I could not choose but yield and hasten to thee." 
I marvelled at this -- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of 
day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fofjen it teas tfje &ft J^untofc anb Wfnttg-sixtf) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
damsel came and knocked at Ishak's door, he went forth to her 
and cried, " O my lady, what bringeth thee hither through all this 
mud ? "; and she replied, " Thy messenger came and set forth to 
me that which was with thee of love and longing, so that I could 
not choose but yield and hasten to thee." I marvelled at this, 
but did not like to tell her that I had sent no messenger; where- 
fore I said, " Praised be Allah for that He hath brought us 
together, after all I have suffered by the mortification of patience ! 
Verily, hadst thou delayed an hour longer, I must have run to 
thee, because of my much love for thee and longing for thy 
presence." Then I called to my boy for water, that I might 
better her plight, and he brought a kettle full of hot water such 
as she wanted. I bade pour it over her feet, whilst I set to work 
to wash them myself; after which I called for one of my richest 
dresses and clad her therein after she had doffed the muddy 
clothes. Then, as soon as we were comfortably seated, I would 
have called for food, but she refused and I said to her, " Art thou 
for wine ? "; and she replied, " Yes." So I fetched cups and she 
asked me, " Who shall sing ? " " I, O my princess ! " "I care not 
for that ; " " One of my damsels ? " " I have no mind to that 
either ! " " Then sing thyself." " Not I ! " " Who then shall sing 
for thee ? " I enquired, and she rejoined, " Go out and seek some 
one to sing for me." So I went out, in obedience to her, though 
I despaired of finding any one in such weather and fared on till 
I came to the main street, where I suddenly saw a blind man 
striking the earth with his staff and saying, " May Allah not 
requite with weal those with whom I was ! When I sang, they 
listened not, and when I was silent, they made light of me." So 
I said to him, "Art thou a singer?' and he replied, "Yes." 
Quoth I, " Wilt thou finish thy night with us and cheer us with 
thy company?"; and quoth he, " If it be thy will, take my hand." 

T38 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

So I took his hand and, leading him to my house, said to the 
damsel, "O my mistress, I have brought a blind singer, with 
whom we may take our pleasure and he will not see us." She 
said, " Bring him to me." So I brought him in and invited him 
to eat. He ate but a very little and washed his hands, after 
which I brought him wine and he drank three cupsful. Then he 
said to me, "Who art thou?"; and I replied, " I am Ishak bin 
Ibrahim al-Mausili." Quoth he, " I have heard of thee and now 
I rejoice in thy company;" and I, " O my lord, I am glad in thy 
gladness." He said, " O Ishak, sing to me." So I took the lute, 
by way of jest, and cried, " I hear and I obey." When I had 
made an end of my song, he said to me, " O Ishak, thou 
comest nigh to be a singer ! " His words belittled me in 
mine own eyes and I threw the lute from my hand ; whereupon 
he said, " Hast thou not with thee some one who is skilled in 
singing ? " Quoth I, " I have a damsel with me ;" and quoth he, 
" Bid her sing." I asked him, " Wilt thou sing, when thou hast 
had enough of her singing ? "; and he answered " Yes." So she 
sang and he said, " Nay, thou hast shown no art." Whereupon she 
flung the lute from her hand in wrath and cried, "We have done 
our best : if thou have aught, favour us with it by way of an 
alms." Quoth he, " Bring me a lute hand hath not touched." So 
I bade the servant bring him a new lute and he tuned it and pre- 
luding in a mode I knew not began to sing, improvising these 
couplets : 

Clove through the shades and came to me in night so dark and sore * The lover 

weeting of herself 'twas trysting-tide once more : 
Naught startled us but her saldm and first of words she said * " May a 

beloved enter in who standeth at the door ! " 

When the girl heard this, she looked at me askance and said, 
" What secret was between us could not thy breast hold for one 
hour, but thou must discover it to this man ? " However, I swore 
to her that I had not told him and excused myself to her and fell 
to kissing her hands and tickling her breasts and biting her 
cheeks, till she laughed and, turning to the blind man, said to him, 
" Sing, O my lord ! " So he took the lute and sang these two 
couplets : 

Ah, often have I sought the fair ; how often lief and fain * My palming felt the 

finger ends that bear the varied stain ! 
And tickled pouting breasts that stand firm as pomegranates twain * And bit 

the apple of her cheek kissed o'er and o'er again. 

The Lovers of Al-Medinah. 139 

So I said to her, " O my princess, who can have told him what we 
were about ? " Replied she, " True," and we moved away from 
him. Presently quoth he, " I must make water ;" and quoth I, 
" O boy, take the candle and go before him." Then he went out 
and tarried a long while. So we went in search of him, but could 
not find him ; and behold, the doors were locked and the keys in 
the closet, and we knew not whether to heaven he had flown or 
into earth had sunk. Wherefore I knew that he was Ibli's and that 
he had done me pimp's duty, and I returned, recalling to myself 
the words of Abu Nowas in these couplets : 

I marvel in Iblis such pride to see Beside his low intent and villeiny : 

He sinned to Adam who to bow refused, Yet pimps for all of Adam's progeny. 

And they tell a tale concerning 


QUOTH Ibrahim the father of Ishak, 1 1 was ever a devoted friend 
to the Barmecide family. And it so happened to me one day, as 
I sat at home quite alone, a knock was heard at the door ; so my 
servant went out and returned, saying, " A comely youth is at the 
door, asking admission/' J bade admit him and there came in to 
me a young man, on whom were signs of sickness, and he said, " I 
have long wished to meet thee, for I have need of thine aid." 
" What is it thou requirest ? " asked I. Whereupon he pulled out 
three hundred dinars and laying them before me, said, " I beseech 
thee to accept these and compose me an air to two couplets I have 
made." Said I, " Repeat them to me ;" And Shahrazad per- 
ceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say, 

Nofo foben it foas tfce bix f^un&telr anfc Ntntg=sebentj) 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the youth came in to Ibrahim and placed the gold in his hands, 

1 The Mac. and Bui. Edits, have by mistake " Son of Ishak." Lane has "Is-hak 
the son of Ibrahim * following Trebutien (iii. 483) but suggests in a note the right read- 
ing as above. 

140 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

saying, " Prithee accept it and compose me an air to two couplets/* 
He replied, " Recite them to me," whereupon he recited : 

By Allah, glance of mine ! thou hast opprest * My heart, so quench the fire that 

burns my breast. 
Blames me the world because in him 1 I live * Yet cannot see him till in shroud 

I rest. 

Accordingly, quoth Ibrahim, I set the verses to an air plaintive as 
a dirge and sang it to him ; whereupon he swooned away and I 
thought that he was dead. However, after a while, he came to 
himself, and said to me, " Repeat the air." But I conjured him 
by Allah to excuse me, saying, " I fear lest thou die/' " Would 
Heaven it were so ! " replied he and ceased not humbly to impor- 
tune me, till I had pity on him and repeated it ; whereupon he 
cried out with a grievous cry and fell into a fit worse than before 
and I doubted not but that he was dead ; but I sprinkled rose- 
water on him till he revived and sat up. I praised Allah for his 
recovery and laying the ducats before him, said, " Take thy money 
and depart from me." Quoth he, " I have no need of the money 
and thou shalt have the like of it, if thou wilt repeat the air." 
My breast broadened at the mention of the money and I said, <( I 
will repeat it, but on three conditions : the first, that thou tarry 
with me and eat of my victual, till thou regain strength; the 
second, that thou drink wine enough to hearten thy heart ; and 
the third, that thou tell me thy tale." He agreed to this and ate 
and drank ; after which he said : " I am of the citizens of Al-Medi- 
nah and I went forth one day a-pleasuring with my friends ; and, 
following the road to Al-Akik, 2 saw a company of girls and 
amongst them a damsel as she were a branch pearled with dew, 
with eyes whose sidelong glances were never withdrawn till they 
had stolen away his soul who looked on them. The maidens 
rested in the shade till the end of the day, when they went away, 

1 Again masculine for feminine. 

2 There are two of this name. The Upper Al-Akik contains the whole site of Al-Me- 
dinah ; the Lower is on the Meccan road about four miles S.W. of the city. The 
Prophet called it " blessed " because ordered by an angel to pray therein. The poets 
have said pretty things about it, e.g. 

O friend, this is the vale Akik ; here stand and strive in thought : 
If not a very lover, strive to be by love distraught ! 

for whose esoteric meaning see Pilgrimage ii. 24. I passed through Al-Akik in July 
when it was dry as summer dust and its " beautiful trees " were mere vegetable mummies. 

The Lovers of Al-Medinah. 141 

leaving in my heart wounds slow to heal. I returned next morn- 
ing to scent out news of her, but found none who could tell me of 
her ; so I sought her in the streets and markets, but could come 
on no trace of her ; wherefore I fell ill of grief and told my case 
to one of my kinsmen, who said to me, No harm shall befal thee : 
the days of spring are not yet past and the skies show sign of 
rain, 1 whereupon she will go forth, and I will go out with thee, and 
do thou thy will. His words comforted my heart and I waited 
till Al-Akik ran with water, when I went forth with my friends and 
kinsmen and sat in the very same place where I first saw her. We 
had not been seated long before up came the women, like horses 
running for a wager ; and I whispered to a girl of my kindred, 
" Say to yonder damsel Quoth this man to thee, He did well who 
spoke this couplet: 

She shot my heart with shaft, then turned on heel * And flying dealt fresh 
wound and scarring wheal." 

So she went to her and repeated my words, to which she replied 
saying, " Tell him that he said well who answered in this couplet : 

The like of whatso feelest thou we feel ; * Patience ! perchance swift cure our 
hearts shall heal." 

I refrained from further speech for fear of scandal and rose to go 
away. She rose at my rising, and I followed and she looked back 
at me, till she saw I had noted her abode. Then she began to come 
to me and I to go to her, so that we foregathered and met often, till 
the case was noised abroad and grew notorious and her sire came to 
know of it. However, I ceased not to meet her most assiduously 
and complained of my condition to my father, who assembled our 
kindred and repaired to ask her in marriage for me, of her sire, 
who cried, " Had this been proposed to me before he gave her a 
bad name by his assignations, I would have consented ; but now 
the thing is notorious and I am loath to verify the saying of the 

1 Those who live in the wet climates of the Northern lemperates can hardly under- 
stand the delight of a shower in rainless lands, like Arabia and Nubia. In Sind we 
used to strip and stand in the downfall and raise faces sky-wards to get the full benefit 
of the douche. In Southern Persia food is hastily cooked at such times, wine strained, 
Kaliuns made ready and horses saddled for a ride to the nearest gardens and a happy 
drinking-bout under the cypresses. If a man refused, his friends would say of him, " See 
how he turns his back upon the blessing of Allah ! " (like an ass which presents its tail 
to the weather). 

A If Laylah wa Lay I ah. 

folk." Then (continued Ibrahim) I repeated the air to him and he 
went away, after having acquainted me with his abode, and we 
became friends. Now I was devoted to the Barmecides ; so next 
time Ja'afar bin Yahya sat to give audience, I attended, as was my 
wont, and sang to him the young man's verses. They pleased him 
and he drank some cups of wine and said, " Fie upon thee ! 
whose song is this ? " So I told him the young man's tale and he 
bade me ride over to him and give him assurances of the winning 
of his wish. Accordingly I fetched him to Ja'afar who asked him 
to repeat his story. He did so and Ja'afar said, " Thou art now 
under my protection : trust me to marry thee to her." So his 
heart was comforted and he abode with us. When the morning 
morrowed Ja'afar mounted and went in to Al-Rashid, to whom he 
related the story. The Caliph was pleased with it and sending for 
the young man and myself, commanded me to repeat the air and 
drank thereto. Then he wrote to the Governor of Al-Hijaz, 
bidding him despatch the girl's father and his household in honour- 
able fashion to his presence and spare no expense for their outfit. 
So, in a little while, they came and the Caliph, sending for the 
man, commanded him to marry his daughter to her lover ; after 
which he gave him an hundred thousand dinars, and the father 
went back to his folk. As for the young man, he abode one of 
Ja'afar's cup-companions till there happened what happened; 1 
whereupon he returned with his household to Al-Medinah ; may 
Almighty Allah have mercy upon their souls one and all ! And 
they also tell, O auspicious King, a tale of 


THERE was given to Abu Amir bin Mar wan, 2 a boy of the 
Christians, than whom never fell eyes on a handsomer. Al-Nasir 
the conquering Soldan saw him and said to Abu Amir, who was 
his Wazir, " Whence cometh this boy ? " Replied he, " From 
Allah ; " whereupon the other, *' Wilt thou terrify us with stars 

1 i.e. the destruction of the Barmecides. 

2 He was Wazir to the Great "Saladin" (Salah al-Din = one conforming with the 
Faith) : see vol. iv. 271, where Saladin is also entitled Al-Malik al-Nasir = the Con- 
quering King. He was a Kurd and therefore fond of boys (like Virgil, Horace, etc.), 
but that perversion did not prevent his being one of the noblest of men. He lies in the 
Great Amawi Mosque of Damascus and I never visited a tomb with more reverence. 

A I- Malik Al-Nasir and his Wassir. 143 

and make us prisoner with moons ?" Abu Amir excused himself 
to him and preparing a present, sent it to him with the boy, to 
whom he said, " Be thou part of the gift: were it not of necessity, 
my soul had not consented to give thee away." And he wrote 
with him these two couplets : 

My lord, this full moon takes in Heaven of thee new birth ; o Nor can deny 

we Heaven excelleth humble earth : 
Thee with my soul I please and oh ! the pleasant case ! o No man e'er 

saw I who to give his soul prefer'th. 

The thing pleased Al-Nasir and he requited him with much 
treasure and the Minister became high in favour with him. After 
this, there was presented to the Wazir a slave-girl, one of the 
loveliest women in the world, and he feared lest this should come 
to the King's ears and he desire her, and the like should happen 
as with the boy. So he made up a present still costlier than the 
first and sent it with her to the King, And Shahrazad per- 
ceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Noto to&en ft foa* tfie Sbfx f^untircfc atrtr Wtwg--0i$rt) 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
Wazir Abu Amir, when presented with the beautiful slave-girl, 
feared lest it come to the Conquering King's ears and that the like 
should happen as with the boy, so he made up a present still 
costlier than the first and sent it with her to his master, accompany- 
ing it with these couplets : 

My lord, this be the Sun, the Moon thou hadst before ; o So the two greater 

lights now in thy Heaven unite : 
Conjunction promising to me prosperity, And Kausar-draught to thee and 

Eden's long delight. 
Earth shows no charms, by Allah, ranking as their third, o Nor King who 

secondeth our Conquering King in might. 

Wherefore his credit redoubled with Al-Nasir; but, after a while, 
one of his enemies maligned him to the King, alleging that there 
still lurked in him a hot lust for the boy and that he ceased not to 
desire him, whenever the cool northern breezes moved him, and to 
gnash his teeth for having given him away. Cried the King, 
" Wag not thou thy tongue at him, or I will shear off thy head.'* 
However, he wrote Abu Amir a letter, as from the boy, to the 

A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

following effect: "O my lord, thou knowest that thou wast all 
and one to me and that I never ceased from delight with thee. 
Albeit I am with the Sultan, yet would I choose rather solitude 
with thee, but that I fear the King's majesty : wherefore devise 
thou to demand me of him." This letter he sent to Abu Amir 
by a little foot-page, whom he enjoined to say, " This is from 
such an one : the King never speaketh to him." When the Wazir 
read the letter and heard the cheating message, he noted the 
poison-draught 1 and wrote on the back of the note these 
couplets : 

Shall man experience-lectured ever care o Fool-like to thrust his head in lion's 

lair ? 
I'm none of those whose wits to love succumb o Nor witless of the snares 

my foes prepare : 
Wert thou my sprite, I'd give thee loyally ; o Shall sprite, from body 

sundered, backwards fare ? 

When Al-Nasir knew of this answer, he marvelled at the Wazir's 
quickness of wit and would never again lend ear to aught of 
insinuations against him. Then said he to him, " How didst 
thou escape falling into the net ? " And he replied, " Because my 
reason is unentangled in the toils of passion." And they also 
tell a tale of 


THERE lived in the time of Harun al-Rashid a man named Ahmad 
al-Danaf and another Hasan Shuma'n 3 hight, the twain past 
masters in fraud and feints, who had done rare things. in their day ; 
wherefore the Caliph invested them with caftans of honour and 
made them Captains of the watch for Baghdad (Ahmad of the 

1 Arab. " Ahassa bi'1-Shurbah ; " in our idiom " he smelt a rat." 

2 This and the next tale are omitted by Lane (iii. 254) on " account of its vulgarity, 
rendered more objectionable by indecent incidents." It has been honoured with a litho- 
graphed reprint at Cairo A.H. 1278 and the Bresl. Edit. ix. 193 calls it the "Tale of 
Ahmad al-Danaf with Dalilah." 

3 "Ahmad, the Distressing Sickness," or "Calamity;" Hasan the Pestilent and 
Dalilah the bawd. See vol. ii. 329, and vol. iv. 75. 

The Rogueries of Dalilah and her Daughter Z ay nab. 145 

right hand and Hasan of the left hand) ; and appointed to each of 
them a stipend of a thousand dinars a month and forty stalwart 
men to be at their bidding. Moreover to Calamity Ahmad was 
committed the watch of the district outside the walls. So Ahmad 
and Hasan went forth in company of the Emir Khalid, the Wali 
or Chief of Police, attended each by his forty followers on horse- 
back, and preceded by the Crier, crying aloud and saying, " By 
command of the Caliph ! None is captain of the watch of 
the right hand but Ahmad al-Danaf and none is captain of the 
watch of the left hand but Hasan Shuman, and both are to 
be obeyed when they bid and are to be held in all honour and 
worship." Now there was in the city an old woman called Dalflah 
the Wily, who had a daughter by name Zaynab the Coney-catcher. 
They heard the proclamation made and Zaynab said to Dalilah, 
"See, O my mother, this fellow, Ahmad al-Danaf! He came 
hither from Cairo, a fugitive, and played the double-dealer in 
Baghdad, till he got into the Caliph's company and is now become 
captain of the right hand, whilst that mangy chap Hasan Shuman 
is captain of the left hand, and each hath a table spread morning 
and evening and a monthly wage of a thousand dinars; whereas 
we abide unemployed and neglected in this house, without estate 
and without honour, and have none to ask of us." Now Dalilah's 
husband had been town-captain of Baghdad with a monthly wage 
of one thousand dinars ; but he died leaving two daughters, one 
married and with a son by name Ahmad al-Lakft 1 or Ahmad the 
Abortion ; and the other called Zaynab, a spinster. And this 
Dalilah was a past mistress in all manner. of craft and trickery and 
double dealing; she could wile the very dragon out of his den 
and Iblis himself might have learnt deceit of her. Her father 2 
had also been governor of the carrier-pigeons to the Caliph with a 
solde of one thousand dinars a month. He used to rear the birds 
to carry letters and messages, wherefore in time of need each was 
dearer to the Caliph than one of his own sons. So Zaynab said 
to her mother, " Up and play off some feint and fraud that may 

haply make i ; notorious " And Shahrazad perceived the dawn 

of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

1 A foetus, a foundling, a contemptible felTow. 

2 In the Mac. Edit. " her husband ": the end of the tale shows the error, infra, p. 171. 
The Bresl. Edit., x. 195, informs us that Dalilah was a " Faylasufiyah " = philoso- 


146 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Nofo fojm it foas tfje &ix f^utrtrrrti anH TSrmetg-mntf) tftgfjt, 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Zaynab 
thus addressed her dam, " Up and play off some feint and fraud 
which may haply make us notorious in Baghdad, so perchance we 
shall win our father's stipend for ourselves." Replied the old 
trot, " As thy head liveth, O my daughter, I will play off higher- 
class rogueries in Baghdad than ever played Calamity Ahmad or 
Hasan the Pestilent." So saying, she rose and threw over her 
face the Lisam-veil and donned clothes such as the poorer Sufis 
wear, petticoat-trousers falling over her heels, and a gown of 
white wool with a broad girdle. She also took a pitcher ] and 
filled it with water to the neck ; after which she set three dinars in 
the mouth and stopped it up with a plug of palm-fibre. Then she 
threw round her shoulder, baldrick-wise, a rosary as big as a load 
of firewood, and taking in her hand a flag, made of parti-coloured 
rags, red and yellow and green, went out, crying, " Allah ! Allah ! " 
with tongue celebrating the praises of the Lord, whilst her heart 
galloped in the Devil's race-course, seeking how she might play 
some sharping trick upon town. She walked from street to street, 
till she came to an alley swept and watered and marble-paved, 
where she saw a vaulted gateway, with a threshold of alabaster, 
and a Moorish porter standing at the door, which was of sandal- 
wood plated with brass and furnished with a ring of silver for 
knocker. Now this house belonged to the Chief of the Caliph's 
Serjeant-ushers, a man of great wealth in fields, houses and allow- 
ances, called the Emir Hasan Sharr al-Tarik, or Evil of the Way, 
and therefor called because his blow forewent his word. He was 
married to a fair damsel, Khatun 2 hight, whom he loved and who 
had made him swear, on the night of his going in unto her, that 
he would take none other to wife over her nor lie abroad for a 
single night. And so things went on till one day, he went to the 
Divan and saw that each Emir had with him a son or two. Then 
he entered the Hammam-bath and looking at his face in the 

1 Arab, " Ibrik " usually a ewer, a spout-pot, from the Pers. Ab-rfz = water-pourer ; 
the old woman thus vaunted her ceremonial purity. The basin and ewer are called in 
poetry "the two rumourers," because they rattle when borne about. 

2 Khatun in Turk, is = a lady, a dame of high degree ; at times, as here and else- 
where, it becomes a P. N. 

The Rogueries of Dalilah and her Daughter Z ay nab. 147 

mirror, noted that the white hairs in his beard overlay its black, 
and he said in himself, " Will not He who took thy sire bless thee 
with a son ? " So he went in to his wife, in angry mood, and she 
said to him, " Good evening to thee " ; but he replied, " Get thee 
out of my sight ": from the day I saw thee I have seen naught of 
good." " How so ? " quoth she. Quoth he, " On the night of my 
going in unto thee, thou madest me swear to take no other wife 
over thee, and this very day I have seen each Emir with a son 
and some with two. So I minded me of death 1 ; and also that to 
me hath been vouchsafed neither son nor daughter and that 
whoso leaveth no male hath no memory. This, then, is the 
reason of my anger, for thou art barren ; and knowing thee is like 
planing a rock." Cried she, " Allah's name upon thee. Indeed, 
I have worn out the mortars with beating wool and pounding 
drugs, 2 and I am not to blame ; the barrenness is with thee, for 
that thou art a snub-nosed mule and thy sperm is weak and 
watery and impregnateth not neither getteth children." Said he, 
" When I return from my journey, I will take another wife ; " and 
she, " My luck is with Allah ! " Then he went out from her and 
both repented of the sharp words spoken each to other. Now as 
the Emir's wife looked forth of her lattice, as she were a Bride of 
the Hoards 3 for the jewellery upon her, behold, there stood 
Dalilah espying her and seeing her clad in costly clothes and 
ornaments, said to herself, " 'Twould be a rare trick, O Dalilah, to 
entice yonder young lady from her husband's house and strip her 
of all her jewels and clothes and make off with the whole lot." 
So she took up her stand under the windows of the Emir's house, 
and fell to calling aloud upon Allah's name and saying, " Be 
present, ye Walls, ye friends of the Lord ! " Whereupon every 
woman in the street looked from her lattice and, seeing a matron 
clad, after Sufi fashion, in clothes of white wool, as she were a 
pavilion of light, said, " Allah bring us a blessing by the aidance 
of this pious old person, from whose face issueth light ! " And 
Khatun, the wife of the Emir Hasan, burst into tears and said to 

1 Arab, " Maut," a word mostly avoided in the Koran and by the Founder of 

2 Arab. " Akdkfr," drugs, spices, simples which cannot be distinguished without study 
and practice. Hence the proverb (Burckhardt, 703), Is this an art of drugs ? difficult 
as the druggist's craft ? 

3 i.e. Beautiful as the fairy damsels who guard enchanted treasures, such as that of 
Al-Shamardal (vol. vi. 221). 

148 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

her handmaid, " Get thee down, O Makbulah, and kiss the hand of 
Shaykh Abu Alf, the porter, and say to him : Let yonder 
Religious enter to my lady, so haply she may get a blessing of 
her." So she went down to the porter and kissing his hand, said 
to him, " My mistress telleth thee : Let yonder pious old woman 
come in to me, so may I get a blessing of her ; and belike her 
benediction may extend to us likewise." - And Shahrazad 
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted 

Nofo fojjm it foas tje gbcfon f^unfcwfctf) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
handmaid went down and said to the porter, "Suffer yonder 
Religious enter to my lady so haply she may get a blessing of 
her, and we too may be blessed, one and all," the gate-keeper 
went up to Dalilah and kissed her hand, but she forbade him, 
saying, " Away from me, lest my ablution be made null and 
void. 1 Thou, also, art of the attracted God-wards and kindly 
looked upon by Allah's Saints and under His especial guardian- 
ship. May He deliver thee from this servitude, O Abu AH ! " 
Now the Emir owed three months' wage to the porter who was 
straitened thereby, but knew not how to recover his due from his 
lord ; so he said to the old woman, " O my mother, give me to 
drink from thy pitcher, so I may win a blessing through thee." 
She took the ewer from her shoulder and whirled it about in air, 
so that the plug flew out of its mouth and the three dinars fell to 
the ground. The porter saw them and picked them up, saying in 
his mind, "Glory to God ! This old woman is one of the Saints that 
have hoards at their command ! It hath been revealed to her of 
me that I am in want of money for daily expenses ; so she hath 
conjured me these three dinars out of the air." Then said he to 
her, " Take, O my aunt, these three dinars which fell from thy 
pitcher ; " and she replied, " Away with them from me ! I am of 
the folk who occupy not themselves with the things of the world, 
no never ! Take them and use them for thine own benefit, in 
lieu of those the Emir oweth thee." Quoth he, " Thanks to Allah 

1 i.e. by contact with a person in a state of ceremonial impurity ; servants are not 
particular upon this point and " Salat mamlukfyah" (Mameluke's prayers) means 
praying without ablution. 

The Rogueries of Dalilah and her Datighter Zaynab. 149 

for succour ! This is of the chapter of revelation ! " Thereupon 
the maid accosted her and kissing her hand, carried her up to her 
mistress. She found the lady as she were a treasure, whose 
guardian talisman had been loosed ; and Khatun bade her 
welcome and kissed her hand. Quoth she, " O my daughter, I 
come not to thee save for thy weal and by Allah's will." Then 
Khatun set food before her ; but she said, " O my daughter, I eat 
naught except of the food of Paradise and I keep continual fast 
breaking it but five days in the year. But, O my child, I see thee 
chagrined and desire that thou tell me the cause of thy concern/' 
*' O my mother," replied Khatun, " I made my husband swear, 
on my wedding-night, that he would wive none but me, and he saw 
others with children and longed for them and said to me : Thou art 
a barren thing ! . I answered : Thou art a mule which begetteth 
not ; so he left me in anger, saying, When I come back from my 
journey, I will take another wife, for he hath villages and lands 
and large allowances, and if he begat children by another, they 
will possess the money and take the estates from me." Said 
Dalilah, O my daughter, knowest thou not of my master, the 
Shaykh Abu al-Hamlat, 1 whom if any debtor visit, Allah 
quitteth him his debt, and if a barren woman, she conceiveth ? " 
Khatun replied, " O my mother, since the day of my wedding I 
have not gone forth the house, no, not even to pay visits of 
condolence or congratulation." The old woman rejoined, " O my 
child, I will carry thee to him and do thou cast thy burden on 
him and make a vow to him : haply when thy husband shall 
return from his journey and lie with thee thou shalt conceive by 
him and bear a girl or a boy : but, be it female or male, it shall 
be a dervish of the Shaykh Abu al-Hamlat." Thereupon Khatun 
rose and arrayed herself in her richest raiment, and donning all 
her jewellery said, " Keep thou an eye on the house," to her 
maid, who replied, " I hear and obey, O my lady." Then she 
went down and the porter Abu Ali met her and asked her, 
" Whither away, O my lady ?" " I go to visit the Shaykh Abu 
al-Hamlat ; " answered she ; and he, *' Be a year's fast incumbent 
on me ! Verily yon Religious is of Allah's saints and full of 
holiness, O my lady, and she hath hidden treasure at her 
command, for she gave me three dinars of red gold and divined 
my case, without my asking her, and knew that I was in want." 

1 i.e. Father of assaults, burdens or pregnancies ; the last being here the meaning. 

150 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Then the old woman went out with the young lady Khatun, 
saying to her, " Inshallah, O my daughter, when thou hast visited 
the Shaykh Abu al-Hamlat, there shall betide thee solace of soul 
and by leave of Almighty Allah thou shalt conceive, and thy 
husband the Emir shall love thee by the blessing of the Shaykh 
and shall never again let thee hear a despiteful -word." Quoth 
Khatun, " I will go with thee to visit him, O my mother ! " But 
Dalilah said to herself, " Where shall I strip her and take her 
clothes and jewellery, with the folk coming and going ? " Then 
she said to her, " O my daughter, walk thou behind me, within 
sight of me, for this thy mother is a woman sorely burdened ; 
everyone who hath a burden casteth it on me and all who have 
pious offerings 1 to make give them to me and kiss my hand." 
So the young lady followed her at a distance, whilst her anklets 
tinkled and her hair-coins 2 clinked as she went, till they reached the 
bazar of the merchants. Presently, they came to the shop of a 
young merchant, by name Sfdf Hasan who was very handsome 1 
and had no hair on his face. He saw the lady approaching and 
fell to casting stolen glances at her, which when the old woman 
saw, she beckoned to her and said, " Sit down in this shop, 
till I return to thee." Khatun obeyed her and sat down in the 
shop-front of the young merchant, who cast at her one glance of 
eyes that cost him a thousand sighs. Then the old woman 
accosted him and saluted him, saying, "Tell me, is not thy 
name Sidi Hasan, son of the merchant Mohsin ? " He replied, 
" Yes, who told thee my name ? " Quoth she, " Folk of good 
repute direct me to thee. Know that this young lady is my 
daughter and her father was a merchant, who died and left her 
much money. She is come of marriageable age and the wise 
say : Offer thy daughter in marriage and not thy son ; and all 
her life she hath not come forth the house till this day. Now a 
divine warning and a command given in secret bid me wed her 
to thee ; so, if thou art poor, I will give thee capital and will 
open for thee instead of one shop two shops." Thereupon quoth 
the young merchant to himself, " I asked Allah for a bride, and 

1 Ex votos and so forth. 

* Arab. " Iksah," plaits, braids, also the little gold coins and other ornaments worn 
In the hair, now mostly by the middle and lower classes. Low Europeans sometimes 
take advantage of the native prostitutes by detaching these valuables, a form of " bilkinp " 
peculiar to the Nile- Valley. 

* In Bresl. Edit. Mah'h Kawi (pron. f Awi), a Cairene vulgarism. 

The Rogueries of Dalilah and her Daughter Zaynab. 1 5 1 

He hath given me three things, to wit, coin, clothing, and coynte." 
Then he continued to the old trot, " O my mother, that where- 
to thou directest me is well ; but this long while my mother 
saith to me : I wish to marry thee, but I object replying, I will 
not marry except on the sight of my own eyes." Said Dalilah, 
" Rise and follow my steps, and I will show her to thee, naked. 1 ' 1 
So he rose and took a thousand dinars, saying in himself, 

*' Haply we may need to buy somewhat And Shahrazad 

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

jlofo fof)n ft foais rtj* &ebm f^untolr anfc Jffrst 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
old woman said to Hasan, son of Mohsin the merchant, 4< Rise 
up and follow me, and I will show her naked to thee." So he 
rose and took with him a thousand dinars, saying in himself, 
" Haply we may need to buy somewhat or pay the fees for 
drawing up the marriage contract." The old woman bade him 
walk behind the young lady at a distance but within shot of sight 
and said to herself, " Where wilt thou carry the young lady and 
the merchant that thou mayest strip them both whilst his shop 
is still shut ? " Then she walked on and Khatun after her, 
followed by the young merchant, till she came to a dyery, kept 
by a master dyer, by name Hajj Mohammed, a man of ill-repute ; 
like the colocasia 2 seller's knife cutting male and female, and 
loving to eat both figs and pomegranates. 3 He heard the tinkle of 
the ankle rings and, raising his head, saw the lady and the young 
man. Presently the old woman came up to him and, after 
salaming to him and sitting down opposite him, asked him, " Art 
thou not Hajj Mohammed the dyer ? " He answered, "Yes, I am 
he : what dost thou want ? " Quoth she, " Verily, folks of fair 
repute have directed me to thee. Look at yonder handsome girl, 
my daughter, and that comely beardless youth, my son ; I brought 
them both up and spent much money on both- of them. Now, 
thou must know that I have a big old ruinous house which I have 

1 Meaning without veil or upper clothing. 

2 Arab. " Kallakas " the edible African arum before explained. This Colocasia 
is supposed to bear, unlike the palm, male and female flowers in one spathe. 

3 See vol. iii. 302. The figs refer to the anus and the pomgranates, like the sycomore, 
10 the female parts. Me nee faemina nee puer, &c., says Horace in pensive mood 

152 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

shored up with wood, and the builder saith to me : Go and 
live in some other place, lest belike it fall upon thee ; and when 
this is repaired return hither. So I went forth to seek me a 
lodging, and people of worth directed me to thee, and I wish to 
lodge my son and daughter with thee." Quoth the dyer in his 
mind, " Verily, here is fresh butter upon cake come to thee." But 
he said to the old woman, " 'Tis true I have a house and saloon 
and upper floor ; but I cannot spare any part thereof, for I want it 
all for guests and for the indigo-growers my clients." She replied, 
" O my son, 'twill be only for a month or two at the most, till our 
house be repaired, and we are strange folk. Let the guest-chamber 
be shared between us and thee, and by thy life, O my son, an thou 
desire that thy guests be ours, we will welcome them and eat with 
them and sleep with them." Then he gave her the keys, one big 
and one small and one crooked, saying to her, " The big key is 
that of the house, the crooked one that of the saloon and the little 
one that of the upper floor." So Dalilah took the keys and fared 
on, followed by the lady who forwent the young merchant, till 
she came to the lane wherein was the house. She opened the 
door and entered, introducing the damsel to whom said she, " O 
my daughter, this (pointing to the saloon) is the lodging of the 
Shaykh Abu al-Hamlat ; but go thou into the upper floor and 
loose thy outer veil and wait till I come to thee." So she went 
up and sat down. Presently appeared the young merchant, whom 
Dalilah carried into the saloon, saying, " Sit down, whilst I fetch 
my daughter and show her to thee." So he sat down and the old 
trot went up to Khatun who said to her, "I wish to visit the 
Shaykh, before the folk come." Replied the beldame, "O my 
daughter, we fear for thee." Asked Khatun, " Why so ? " and 
Dalilah answered, " Because here is a son of mine, a natural who 
knoweth not summer from winter, but goeth ever naked. He is 
the Shaykh's deputy and, if he saw a girl like thee come to visit 
his chief, he would snatch her earrings and tear her ears and rend 
her silken robes. 1 So do thou doff thy jewellery and clothes and 
I will keep them for thee, till thou hast made thy pious visitation." 
Accordingly the damsel did off her outer dress and jewels and 
gave them to the old woman, who said, " I will lay them for thee 

1 It is in accordance to custom that the Shaykh be attended by a half-witted fanatic 
who would be made furious by seeing gold and silks in the reverend presence so coylj 

Tke Rogueries of Dalilah and her Daughter Z ay nab. 153 

'on the Shaykh's curtain, that a blessing may betide thee." Then 
she went out, leaving the lady in her shift and petticoat-trousers, 
and hid the clothes and jewels in a place on the staircase ; after 
which she betook herself to the young merchant, whom she found 
impatiently awaiting the girl, and he cried, " Where is thy 
daughter, that I may see her ? " But she smote palm on breast 
and he said, " What aileth thee ? " Quoth she, " Would there 
were no such thing as the ill neighbour and the envious ! They 
saw thee enter the house with me and asked me of thee ; and I 
said : This is a bridegroom I have found for my daughter. So 
they envied me on thine account and said to my girl, Is thy mother 
tired of keeping thee, that she marrieth thee to a leper ? There- 
upon I swore to her that she should not see thee save naked." 
Quoth he, " I take refuge with Allah from the envious," and baring 
his fore-arm, showed her that it was like silver. Said she, " Have 
no fear ; thou shalt see her naked, even as she shall see thee 
naked ; " and he said, " Let her come and look at me." Then he 
put off his pelisse and sables and his girdle and dagger and the 
rest of his raiment, except his shirt and bag-trousers, and would 
have laid the purse of a thousand dinars with them, but Dalilah 
cried, " Give them to me, that I may take care of them." So she 
took them and fetching the girl's clothes and jewellery shouldered 
the whole and locking the door upon them went her ways. - And 
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her 
permitted say. 

tof)tt it toas tfje &eben l^untolr anto g>econ& Wgjt, 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the old woman had taken the property of the young merchant and 
the damsel and wended her ways, having locked the door upon 
them, she deposited her spoils with a druggist of her acquaintance 
and returned to the dyer, whom she found sitting, awaiting her. 
Quoth he, " Inshallah, the house pleaseth thee ? "; and quoth she, 
" There is a blessing in it ; and I go now to fetch porters to carry 
hither our goods and furniture. But my children would have me 
bring them a panade with meat ; so do thou take this dinar and 
buy the dish and go and eat the morning meal with them." Asked 
the dyer, " Who shall guard the dyery meanwhile and the people's 
goods that be therein ? "; and the old woman answered, " Thy 
lad ! " " So be it," rejoined he, and taking a dish and cover, went 

154 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

out to do her bidding. So far concerning the dyer who will again 
be mentioned in the tale; but as regards the old woman, she 
fetched the clothes and jewels she had left with the druggist and 
going back to the dyery, said to the lad, " Run after thy master, 
and I will not stir hence till you both return." " To hear is to 
obey," answered he and went away, while she began to collect all 
the customers' goods. Presently, there came up an ass-driver, a 
scavenger, who had been out of work for a week and who was an 
Hashish-eater to boot ; and she called him, saying, " Hither, O 
donkey-boy ! " So he came to her and she asked, " Knowest thou 
my son the dyer ? "; whereto he answered, " Yes, I know him." 
Then she said, " The poor fellow is insolvent and loaded with 
debts, and as often as he is put in prison, I set him free, Now 
we wish to see him declared bankrupt and I am going to return 
the goods to their owners ; so do thou lend me thine ass to carry 
the load and receive this dinar to its hire. When I am gone, take 
the handsaw and empty out the vats and jars and break them, so 
that if there come an officer from the Kafcfs court, he may find 
nothing in the dyery." Quoth he, " I owe the Hajj a kindness 
and will do something for Allah's love." So she laid the things 
on the ass and, the Protector protecting her, made for her own 
house ; so that she arrived there in safety and went in to her 
daughter Zaynab, who said to her, " O my mother, my heart hath 
been with thee ! What hast thou done by way of roguery ? " 
Dalilah replied, tf I have played off four tricks on four wights ; the 
wife of the Serjeant-usher, a young merchant, a dyer and an ass- 
driver, and have brought thee all their spoil on the donkey-boy's 
beast." Cried Zaynab, " O my mother, thou wilt never more be 
able to go about the town, for fear of the Serjeant-usher, whose 
wife's raiment and jewellery thou hast taken, and the merchant 
whom thou hast stripped naked, and the dyer whose customers' 
goods thou hast stolen and the owner of the ass." Rejoined the 
old woman, " Pooh, my girl ! I reck not of them, save the donkey- 
boy, who knoweth me." Meanwhile the dyer bought the meat- 
panade and set out for the house, followed by his servant with the 
food on head. On his way thither, he passed his shop, where he 
found the donkey-boy breaking the vats and jars and saw that 
there was neither stuff nor liquor left in them and that the dyery 
was in ruins. So he said to him, " Hold thy hand, O ass-driver ; " 
and the donkey-boy desisted and cried, " Praised be Allah for thy 
safety, O master ! Verily my heart was with thee." " Why so ? " 

The Rogueries of Dalilah and her Daughter Z ay nab. 155 

41 Thou art become bankrupt and they have filed a docket of thine 
insolvency." "Who told thee this?" " Thy mother told me, and 
bade me break the jars and empty the vats, that the Kazi's officers 
might find nothing in the shop, if they should come." " Allah 
confound the far One ! " * cried the dyer ; " My mother died long 
ago." And he beat his breast, exclaiming, " Alas, for the loss of 
my goods and those of the folk ! " The donkey-boy also wept 
and ejaculated, " Alas, for the loss of my ass ! "; and he said to 
the dyer, " Give me back my beast which thy mother stole from 
me." The dyer laid hold of him by the throat and fell to buffeting 
him, saying, " Bring me the old woman ;" whilst the other buffeted 
him in return saying, " Give me back my beast." So they beat 

and cursed each other, till the folk collected around them And 

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

tfoto fojeit ft foas tlje eben l^untofc anft &Mr Nfgjt, 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
dyer caught hold of the donkey-boy and the donkey-boy caught 
hold of the dyer and they beat and cursed each other till the folk 
collected round them and one of them asked, " What is the matter, 
O Master Mohammed ? " The ass-driver answered, " I will tell 
thee the tale," and related to them his story, saying, I deemed I 
was doing the dyer a good turn ; but, when he saw me he beat his 
breast and said, My mother is dead. And now, I for one require 
my ass of him, it being he who hath put this trick on me, that he 
might make me lose my beast." Then said the folk to the dyer, 
" O Master Mohammed, dost thou know this matron, that thou 
didst entrust her with the dyery and all therein ? '* And he 
replied, " I know her not ; but she took lodgings with me to-day ? 
she and her son and daughter." Quoth one, w In my judgment, 
the dyer is bound to indemnify the ass-driver." Quoth another, 
" Why so ? " " Because," replied the first, " he trusted not the old 
woman nor gave her his ass save only because he saw that the 
dyer had entrusted her with the dyery and its contents." And a 
third said, " O master, since thou hast lodged her with thee, it 
behoveth thee to get the man back his ass." Then they made for 

1 In English, "God damn everything an inch high ! " 

1 56 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

the house, and the tale will come round to them again. Mean- 
while, the young merchant remained awaiting the old woman's 
coming with her daughter, but she came not nor did her daughter ; 
whilst the young lady in like manner sat expecting her return 
with leave from her son, the God-attended one, the Shaykh's 
deputy, to go in to the holy presence. So weary of waiting, she 
rose to visit the Shaykh by herself and went down into the saloon, 
where she found the young merchant, who said to her, " Come 
hither! where is thy mother, who brought me to marry thee?" 
She replied, " My mother is dead, art thou the old woman's son, 
the ecstatic, the deputy of the Shaykh Abu al-Hamlat ? " Quoth 
he, " The swindling old trot is no mother of mine ; she hath 
cheated me and taken my clothes and a thousand dinars." Quoth 
Khatun, " And me also hath she swindled for she brought me to 
see the Shaykh Abu al-Hamlat and in lieu of so doing she hath 
stripped me." Thereupon he, " I look to thee to make good my 
clothes and my thousand dinars ;" and she, " I look to thee to 
make good my clothes and jewellery." And, behold, at this 
moment in came the dyer and seeing them both stripped of their 
raiment, said to them, " Tell me where your mother is." So the 
young lady related all that had befallen her and the young 
merchant related all that had betided him, and the Master-dyer 
exclaimed, " Alas, for the loss of my goods and those of the folk ! "; 
and the ass-driver ejaculated, " Alas, for my ass ! Give me, O 
dyer, my ass ! " Then said the dyer, " This old woman is a 
sharper. Come forth, that I may lock the door." Quoth the 
young merchant, " 'Twere a disgrace to thee that we should enter 
thy house dressed and go forth from it undressed." So the dyer 
clad him and the damsel and sent her back to her house where we 
shall find her after the return of her husband. Then he shut the 
dyery and said to the young merchant, " Come, let us go and 
search for the old woman and hand her over to the Wali, 1 the 
Chief of Police." So they and the ass-man repaired to the house 
of the master of police and made their complaint to him. Quoth 

1 Burckhardt notes that the Wali, or chief police officer at Cairo, was exclusively 
termed Al-Agha and quotes the proverb (No. 156) " One night the whore repented and 
cried: What! no Wali (Al-Agha) to lay whores by the heels?" Some of these 
Egyptian by-words are most amusing and characteristic ; but they require literal trans- 
lation, not the timid touch of the last generation. I am preparing, for the use of my 
friend, Bernard Quaritch, a bona fide version which awaits only the promised volume of 
Herr Landberg. 

'the Rogueries of Dalilak and her Daughter Zaynab. 157 

he, " O folk, what want ye ? " and when they told him he rejoined, 
" How many old women are there not in the town ! Go ye and 
seek for her and lay hands on her and bring her to me, and I will 
torture her for you and make her confess. 1 ' So they sought for 
her all round the town ; and an account of them will presently be 
given. 1 As for old Dalilah the Wily, she said, " I have a mind to 
play off another trick," to her daughter who answered, " O my 
mother, I fear for thee ;" but the beldam cried, " I am like the bean 
husks which fall, proof against fire and water." So she rose, and 
donning a slave-girl's dress of such as serve people of condition, 
went out to look for some one to defraud. Presently she came to 
a by-street, spread with carpets and lighted with hanging lamps, 
and heard a noise of singing-women and drumming of tambourines. 
Here she saw a handmaid bearing on her shoulder a boy, clad in 
trousers laced with silver and a little Aba-cloak of velvet, with a 
pearl embroidered Tarbush-cap on his head, and about his neck a 
collar of gold set with jewels. Now the house belonged to the 
Provost of the Merchants of Baghdad, and the boy was his son. 
He had a virgin daughter, to boot, who was promised in marriage, 
and it was her betrothal they were celebrating that day. There 
was with her mother a company of noble dames and singing- 
women, and whenever she went upstairs or down, the boy clung 
to her. So she called the slave-girl and said to her, " Take thy 
young master and play with him, till the company break up." 
Seeing this, Dalilah asked the handmaid, " What festivities are 
these in your mistress's house ;" and was answered " She celebrates 
her daughter's betrothal this day, and she hath singing-women 
with her." Quoth the old woman to herself, "O Dalilah, the 
thing to do is to spirit away this boy from the maid," And 
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her 
permitted say. 

fofjnx it foa* rtjc &ebm ^wtittrtr an* Jfourtj) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
old trot said to herself, " O Dalilah, the thing to do is to spirit 
away this boy from the maid 1 " she began crying out, " O 

1 Lit. for "we leave them for the present": the formula is much used in this tale, 
showing another hand, author or copyist. 

1 58 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

disgrace! O ill luck!" Then pulling out a brass token, resem- 
bling a dinar, she said to the maid, who was a simpleton, " Take 
this ducat and go in to thy mistress and say to her : Umm 
al-Khayr rejoiceth with thee and is beholden to thee for thy 
favours, and on the day of assembly she and her daughters will 
visit thee and handsel the tiring-women with the usual gifts." 
Said the girl, " O my mother, my young master here catcheth hold 
of his mamma, whenever he seeth her ;" and she replied " Give 
him to me, whilst thou goest in and comest back." So she gave 
her the child and taking the token, went in ; whereupon Dalilah 
made off with the boy to a by-lane, where she stripped him of his 
clothes and jewels, saying to herself, " O Dalilah, 'twould indeed 
be the finest of tricks, even as thou hast cheated the maid and 
taken the boy from her, so now to carry on the game and pawn 
him for a thousand dinars. So she repaired to the jewel-bazar, 
where she saw a Jew goldsmith seated with a cage full of jewellery 
before him, and said to herself, " 'Twould be a rare trick to 
chouse this Jew fellow and get a thousand gold pieces worth of 
jewellery from him and leave the boy in pledge for it." Presently 
the Jew looked at them and seeing the boy with the old woman, 
knew him for the son of the Provost of the Merchants. Now the 
Israelite was a man of great wealth, but would envy his neighbour 
if he sold and himself did not sell ; so espying Dalilah, he said to 
her, " What seekest thou, O my mistress ? " She asked, " Art 
thou Master Azariah * the Jew ? " having first enquired his name 
of others; and he answered, "Yes." Quoth she, "This boy's 
sister, daughter of the Shahbandar of the Merchants, is a promised 
bride, and to-day they celebrate her betrothal ; and she hath need 
of jewellery. So give me two pair of gold ankle-rings, a brace of 
gold bracelets, and pearl ear-drops, with a girdle, a poignard and 
a seal-ring." He brought them out and she took of him a thousand 
dinars' worth of jewellery, saying, " I will take these ornaments on 
approval ; and whatso pleaseth them, they will keep and I will 
bring thee the price and leave this boy with thee till then." He 
said, " Be it as thou wilt ! " So she took the jewellery and made 
off to her own house, where her daughter asked her how the trick 
had sped. She told her how she had taken and stripped the 
Shahbandar's boy, and Zaynab said, " Thou wilt never be able to 
walk abroad again in the town." Meanwhile, the maid went in 

1 Arab. " Uzrah." 

The Rogueries of Dalilah and her Daughter Zaynab. 1 59 

to her mistress and said to her, "O my lady, Umm al-Khayr 
saluteth thee and rejoiceth with thee and on assembly-day she 
will come, she and her daughters, and give the customary pre- 
sents." Quoth her mistress, "Where is thy young master ?" 
Quoth the slave-girl, "I left him with her lest he cling to thee, 
and she gave me this, as largesse for the singing-women." So 
the lady said to the chief of the singers, " Take thy money ; " and 
she took it and found it a brass counter ; whereupon the lady cried 
to the maid, " Get thee down, O whore, and look to thy young 
master." Accordingly, she went down and finding neither boy 
nor old woman, shrieked aloud and fell on her face. Their joy 
was changed into annoy, and behold, the Provost came in, when his 
wife told him all that had befallen and he went out in quest of the 
child, whilst the other merchants also fared forth and each sought 
his own road. Presently, the Shahbandar, who had looked every- 
where, espied his son seated, naked, in the Jew's shop and said to 
the owner, " This is my son." " 'Tis well," answered the Jew. So 
he took him up, without asking for his clothes, of the excess of his 
joy at finding him ; but the Jew laid hold of him, saying, " Allah 
succour the Caliph against thee!" 1 The Provost asked, "What 
aileth thee, O Jew ? " ; and he answered, " Verily the old woman 
took of me a thousand dinars' worth of jewellery for thy daughter, 
and left this lad in pledge for the price ; and I had not trusted 
her, but that she offered to leave the child whom I knew for thy 
son." Said the Provost, " My daughter needeth no jewellery, give 
me the boy's clothes." Thereupon the Jew shrieked out, " Come 
to my aid, O Moslems ! " but at that moment up came the dyer 
and the ass-man and the young merchant, who were going about, 
seeking the old woman, and enquired the cause of their jangle. 
So they told them the case and they said, " This old woman is a 
cheat, who hath cheated us before you." Then they recounted to 
them how she had dealt with them, and the Provost said, " Since 
I have found my son, be his clothes his ransom ! If I come upon 
the old woman, I will require them of her." And he carried the 
child home to his mother, who rejoiced in his safety. Then the 
Jew said to the three others, "Whither go ye?"; and they 
answered, " We go to look for her." Quoth the Jew, " Take me 
with you," presently adding, " Is there any one of you knoweth 
her ?" The donkey-boy cried, " I know her ; " and the Jew said, 

1 i.e. " Thou art unjust -and violent enough to wrong even the Caliph ! " 

160 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

" If we all go forth together, we shall never catch her ; for she will 
flee from us. Let each take a different road, and be our rendez- 
vous at the shop of Hajj Mas'iid, the Moorish barber." They 
agreed to this and set off, each in a different direction. Presently, 
Dalilah sallied forth again to play her tricks and the ass-driver 
met her and knew her. So he caught hold of her and said to 
her, " Woe to thee ! Hast thou been long at this trade ? " She 
asked, "What aileth thee?"; and he answered, "Give me back 
my ass." Quoth she, " Cover what Allah covereth, O my son ! 
Dost thou seek thine ass and the people's things ? " Quoth he, 
"I want my ass; that's all;" and quoth she, ! saw that thou 
wast poor: so I deposited thine ass for thee with the Moorish 
barber. Stand off, whilst I speak him fair, that he may give thee 
the beast." So she went up to the Maghrabi and kissed his hand 
and shed tears. He asked her what ailed her and she said, " O 
my son, look at my boy who standeth yonder. He was ill and 
exposed himself to the air, which injured his intellect. He used 
to buy asses and now, if he stand he saith nothing but, My ass ! 
if he sit he crieth, My ass ! and if he walk he crieth, My ass ! 
Now I have been told by a certain physician that his mind is 
disordered and that nothing will cure him but drawing two of his 
grinders and cauterising him twice on either temple. So do thou 
take this dinar and call him to thee, saying : Thine ass is with 
me." Said the barber, " May I fast for a year, if I do not give him 
his ass in his fist ! " Now he had with him two journeymen, so he 
said to one of them, " Go, heat the irons." Then the old woman 
went her way and the barber called to the donkey-boy, 1 saying, 
" Thine ass is with me, good fellow ! come and take him, and as 
thou livest, I will give him into thy palm." So he came to him 
and the barber carried him into a dark room, where he knocked 
him down and the journeymen bound him hand and foot. Then 
the Maghrabi arose and pulled out two of his grinders and fired 
him on either temple ; after which he let him go, and he rose and 
said, " O Moor, why hast thou used me with this usage ? " Quoth 
the barber, " Thy mother told me that thou hadst taken cold whilst 
ill, and hadst lost thy reason, so that, whether sitting or standing 
or walking, thou wouldst say nothing but My ass ! So here is 
thine ass in thy fist." Said the other, " Allah requite thee for 
pulling out my teeth." Then the barber told him all that the old 

* 1 may note that a " donkey-boy" like our "post-boy " can be of any age in Egypt. 

The Rogueries of Dalilah and her Daughter Z ay nab. 1 61 

woman had related and he exclaimed, " Allah torment her ! " ; and 
the twain left the shop and went out, disputing. When the barber 
returned, he found his booth empty, for, whilst he was absent, the 
old woman had taken all that was therein and made off with it to 
her daughter, whom she acquainted with all that had befallen and 
all she had done. The barber, seeing his place plundered, caught 
hold of the donkey-boy and said to him, " Bring me thy mother." 
But he answered, saying, " She is not my mother ; she is a sharper 
who hath cozened much people and stolen my ass." And lo ! at 
this moment up came the dyer and the Jew and the young 
merchant, and seeing the Moorish barber holding on to the ass- 
driver who was fired on both temples, they said to him, " What 
hath befallen thee, O donkey-boy?" So he told them all that 
had betided him and the barber did the like ; and the others in 
turn related to the Moor the tricks the old woman had played 
them. Then he shut up his shop and went with them to the 
office of the Police-master to whom they said, "We look to 
thee for our case and our coin." ! Quoth the Wali, " And how 
many old women are there not in Baghdad ! Say me, doth any 
of you know her?" Quoth the ass-man, "I do; so give me ten 
of thine officers." He gave them half a score archers and they 
all five went out, followed by the sergeants, and patrolled the 
city, till they met the old woman, when they laid hands on her 
and carrying her to the house of the Chief of Police, stood waiting 
under his office windows till he should come forth. Presently, 
the warders fell asleep, for excess of watching with their chief, 
and old Dalilah feigned to follow their example, till the ass-man 
and his fellows slept likewise, when she stole away from them 
and, going in to the Wall's Harim, kissed the hand of the mistress 
of the house and asked her "Where is the Chief of Police?" 
The lady answered, " He is asleep ; what wouldst thou with 
him ? " Quoth Dalilah, " My husband is a merchant of chattels 
and gave me five Mamelukes to sell, whilst he went on a journey. 
The Master of Police met me and bought them of me for a 
thousand dinars and two hundred for myself, saying : Bring 

them to my house. So I have brought them." And Shah- 

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

1 They could legally demand to be recouped but the chief would have found some 
pretext to put off payment. Such at least is the legal process of these days. 


A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Noto toj)n ft foas t&e &eben fl^utrtireb an* Jpiftf) 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
old woman, entering the Harim of the Police-Master, said to his 
wife, " Verily the Wali bought of me five slaves for one thousand 
ducats and two hundred for myself, saying : Bring them to my 
quarters. So I have brought them." Hearing the old woman's 
story she believed it and asked her, " Where are the slaves ? " 
Dalilah replied, " O my lady, they are asleep under the palace 
window "; whereupon the dame looked out and seeing the Moorish 
barber clad in a Mameluke habit and the young merchant as he 
were a drunken Mameluke 1 and the Jew and the dyer and the ass- 
driver as they were shaven Mamelukes, said in herself, " Each of 
these white slaves is worth more than a thousand dinars." So she 
opened her chest and gave the old woman the thousand ducats, 
saying, " Fare thee forth now and come back anon ; when my 
husband waketh, I will get thee the other two hundred dinars from 
him." Answered the old woman, " O my lady, an hundred of them 
are thine, under the sherbet-gugglet whereof thou drinkest, 2 and 
the other hundred do thou keep for me against I come back," 
presently adding, " Now let me out by the private door." So she 
let her out, and the Protector protected her and she made her way 
home to her daughter, to whom she related how she had gotten a 
thousand gold pieces and sold her five pursuers into slavery, 
ending with, " O my daughter, the one who troubleth me most is 
the ass-driver, for he knoweth me." Said Zaynab, " O my mother, 
abide quiet awhile and let what thou hast done suffice thee, for the 
crock shall not always escape the shock." When the Chief of 
Police awoke, his wife said to him, " I give thee joy of the five 
slaves thou hast bought of the old woman." Asked he, "What 
slaves ? " And she answered, " Why dost thou deny it to me ? 
Allah willing, they shall become like thee people of condition." 
Quoth he, " As my head liveth, I have bought no slaves ! Who 
saith this ? " Quoth she, " The old woman, the brokeress, from 

1 i.e. drunk with the excess of his beauty. 

2 A delicate way of offering a fee. When officers commanding regiments in India 
contracted for clothing the men, they found these douceurs under their dinner- napkins. 
All that is now changed ; but I doubt the change being an improvement : the public 
is plundered by a "Board" instead of an individual. 

The Rogueries of Dalilak and her Daughter Z ay nab. 163 

whom thou boughtest them ; and thou didst promise her a 
thousand dinars for them and two hundred for herself." Cried 
he, " Didst thou give her the money ? " And she replied, " Yes ; 
for I saw the slaves with my own eyes, and on each is a suit of 
clothes worth a thousand dinars ; so I sent out to bid the sergeants 
have an eye to them." The Wali went out and, seeing the five 
plaintiffs, said to the officers, " Where are the five slaves we bought 
for a thousand dinars of the old woman ? " Said they, " There 
are no slaves here ; only these five men, who found the old woman, 
and seized her and brought her hither. We fell asleep, whilst 
waiting for thee, and she stole away and entered the Harim. 
Presently out came a maid and asked us : Are the five with you 
with whom the old woman came ? "; and we answered, " Yes." 
Cried the Master of Police, " By Allah, this is the biggest of 
swindles ! "; and the five men said, *' We look to thee for our 
goods." Quoth the Wali, " The old woman, your mistress, sold 
you to me for a thousand gold pieces." Quoth they, " That were 
not allowed of Allah ; we are free-born men and may not be 
sold, and we appeal from thee to the Caliph." Rejoined the Master 
of Police," None showed her the way to the house save you, and I 
will sell you to the galleys for two hundred dinars apiece." Just 
then, behold, up came the Emir Hasan Sharr al-Tarik who, on his 
return from his journey,' had found his wife stripped of her clothes 
and jewellery and heard from her all that had passed ; whereupon 
quoth he, " The Master of Police shall answer me this " and 
repairing to him, said, " Dost thou suffer old women to go round 
about the town and cozen folk of their goods ? This is thy duty 
and I look to thee for my wife's property." Then said he to the 
five men, " What is the case with you ? " So they told him their 
stories and he said, "Ye are wronged men," and turning to the 
Master of Police, asked him, " Why dost thou arrest them ? " 
Answered he, " None brought the old wretch to my house save 
these five, so that she took a thousand dinars of my money and 
sold them to my women." Whereupon the five cried, " O Emir 
Hasan, be thou our advocate in this cause." Then said the Master 
of Police to the Emir, " Thy wife's goods are at my charge and I 
will be surety for the old woman. But which of you knoweth 
her ? " They cried, " We all know her : send ten apparitors with 
us, and we will take her." So he gave them ten men, and the ass- 
driver said to them, " Follow me, for I should know her with blue 

1 64 A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

eyes." 1 Then they fared forth and lo! they meet old Dalilah 
coming out of a by-street : so they at once laid hands on her and 
brought her to the office of the Wali who asked her, " Where are 
the people's goods ? " But she answered, saying, " I have neither 
gotten them nor seen them." Then he cried to the gaoler, " Take 
her with thee and clap her in gaol till the morning ; but he replied, 
" I v/iil not take her nor will I imprison her lest she play a trick 
on me and I be answerable for her." So the Master of Police 
mounted and rode out with Dalilah and the rest to the bank of the 
Tigris, where he bade the lamp-lighter crucify her by her hair. 
He drew her up by the pulley and bound her on the cross ; after 
which the Master of Police set ten men to guard her and went 
home. Presently, the night fell down and sleep overcame the 
watchmen. Now a certain Badawi had heard one man say to a 
friend, " Praise be to Allah for thy safe return ! Where hast thou 
been all this time ? " Replied the other, " In Baghdad where I 
broke my fast on honey- fritters." 2 Quoth the Badawi to himself, 
" Needs must I go to Baghdad and eat honey-fritters therein "; for 
in all his life he had never entered Baghdad nor seen fritters of the 
sort. So he mounted his stallion and rode on towards Baghdad, 
saying in his mind, " 'Tis a fine thing to eat honey-fritters ! On the 
honour of an Arab, I will break my fast with honey-fritters and 

naught else ! " And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

fo&en ft .foas tfje Sbcben ^unHrcfc antr Sbfot& ttf t$t, 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the wild 
Arab mounted horse and made for Baghdad saying in his mind, 
" 'Tis a fine thing to eat honey-fritters ! On the honour of an 
Arab I will break my fast with honey-fritters and naught else ;" 
and he rode on till he came to the place where Dalilah was 

1 This may mean, I should know her even were my eyes blue (or blind) with cataract 
and the Bresl. Edit ix., 231, reads "Ayni" = my eye ; or it may be, I should know 
her by her staring, glittering, hungry eyes, as opposed to the " Hawar " soft-black and 
languishing (Arab. Prov. i. 115, and ii. 848). The Prophet said " blue-eyed (women) 
are of good omen." And when one man reproached another saying "Thou art Azrak '* 
(blue-eyed!) he retorted," So is the falcon ! " " Zurk-an " in Kor. xx. 102, is translated 
by Mr. Rod well " leaden eyes." It ought to be blue-eyed, dim-sighted, purblind. 

2 Arab. " Zalabiyah bi-'Asal. M 

The Rogueries of Dalilak and her Daughter Z ay nab. 16$ 

crucified and she heard him mutter these words. So he went up 
to her and said to her, " What art thou ? " Quoth she, " I throw 
myself on thy protection, O Shaykh of the Arabs ! " and quoth 
he, " Allah indeed protect thee ! But what is the cause of thy 
crucifixion ? " Said she, " I have an enemy, an oilman, who frieth 
fritters, and I stopped to buy some of him, when I chanced to spit 
and my spittle fell on the fritters. So he complained of me to the 
Governor, who commanded to crucify me, saying : I adjudge 
that ye take ten pounds of honey-fritters and feed her therewith 
upon the cross. If she eat them, let her go, but if not, leave her 
hanging. And my stomach will not brook sweet things." Cried 
the Badawi, " By the honour of the Arabs, I departed not the 
camp but that I might taste of honey-fritters ! I will eat them 
for thee." Quoth she, " None may eat them, except he be hung 
up in my place." So he fell into the trap and unbound her ; 
whereupon she bound him in her stead, after she had stripped him 
of his clothes and turband and put them on ; then covering herself 
with his burnouse and mounting his horse, she rode to her house, 
where Zaynab asked her, "What meaneth this plight ? "; and she 
answered, " They crucified me ; " and told her all that had befallen 
her with the Badawi. This is how it fared with her ; but as regards 
the watchmen, the first who woke roused his companions and they 
saw that the day had broken. So one of them raised his eyes and 
cried, " Dalilah." Replied the Badawi, " By Allah ! I have not 
eaten all night. Haye ye brought the honey-fritters ? " All 
exclaimed, " This is a man and a Badawi," and one of them 
asked him, " O Badawi, where is Dalilah and who loosed her ? " 
He answered, " 'Twas I ; she shall not eat the honey-fritters against 
her will ; for her soul abhorreth them." So they knew that the 
Arab was ignorant of her case, whom she had cozened, and said 
to one another, " Shall we flee or abide the accomplishment of that 
which Allah hath written for us ? " As they were talking, up came 
the Chief of Police, with all the folk whom the old woman had 
cheated, and said to the guards, " Arise, loose Dalilah." Quoth 
the Badawi, " We have not eaten to-night. Hast thou brought the 
honey-fritters ? " Whereupon the Wali raised his eyes to the cross 
and seeing the Badawi hung up in the stead of the old woman, 
said to the watchmen, "What is this ? " " Pardon, O our lord ! " 
"Tell me what hath happened." " We were weary with watching 
with thee on guard and said : Dalilah is crucified. So we fell 
asleep, and when we awoke, we found the Badawi hung up in her 

1 66 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

room ; and we are at thy mercy." " O folk, Allah's pardon be 
upon you ! She is indeed a clever cheat ! " Then they unbound 
the Badawi, who laid hold of the Master of Police, saying, "Allah 
succour the Caliph against thee ! I look to none but thee for my 
horse and clothes ! " So the Wali questioned him and he told 
him what had passed between Dalilah and himself. The magis- 
trate marvelled and asked him, " Why didst thou release her?"; 
and the Badawi answered, " I knew not that she was a felon." 
Then said the others, " O Chief of Police, we look to thee in the 
matter of our goods ; for we delivered the old woman into thy 
hands and she was in thy guard ; and we cite thee before the 
Divan of the Caliph." Now the Emir Hasan had gone up to the 
Divan, when in came the Wali with the Badawi and the five others, 
saying, " Verily, we are wronged men ! " " Who hath wronged 
you ? " asked the Caliph ; so each came forward in turn and told 
his story, after which said the Master of Police, " O Commander 
of the Faithful, the old woman cheated me also and sold me these 
five men as slaves for a thousand dinars, albeit they are free-born." 
Quoth the Prince of True Believers, " I take upon myself all that 
you have lost "; adding to the Master of Police, " I charge thee 
with the old woman." But he shook his collar, saying, " O Com- 
mander of the Faithful, I will not answer for her ; for, after I had 
hung her on the cross, she tricked this Badawi and, when he loosed 
her, she tied him up in her room and made off with his clothes and 
horse." Quoth the Caliph, " Whom but thee shall I charge with 
her?"; and quoth the Wali, " Charge Ahmad al-Danaf, for he 
hath a thousand dinars a month and one-and-forty followers, at a 
monthly wage of an hundred dinars each," So the Caliph said, 
" Harkye, Captain Ahmad ! " " At thy service, O Commander of 
the Faithful," said he ; and the Caliph cried, " I charge thee to 
bring the old woman before us." Replied Ahmad, " I will answer 
for her/* Then the Caliph kept the Badawi and the five with him, 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying 

her permitted say. 

SCoto fofien ft te tlje gebcn J^uirtre* anb 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the Caliph said to Calamity Ahmad, n I charge thee to bring the 
old woman before us," he said, " I will answer for her, O Com- 

The Rogueries of Dalilah and her Daughter Z ay nab. 167 

mander of the Faithful! " Then the Caliph kept the Badawi and 
the five with him, whilst Ahmad and his men went down to their 
hall, 1 saying to one another, " How shall we lay hands on her, 
seeing that there are many old women in the town ? " And quoth 
Ahmad to Hasan Shuman, " What counsellest thou ? " Whereupon 
quoth one of them, by name Ali Kitf al-Jamal, 2 to Al-Danaf, " Of 
what dost thou take counsel with Hasan Shuman ? Is the Pestilent 
one any great shakes ? " Said Hasan, " O Ali, why dost thou 
disparage me ? By the Most Great Name, I will not company 
with thee at this time!"; and he rose and went out in wrath. 
Then said Ahmad, " O my braves, let every sergeant take ten men, 
each to his own quarter and search for Dalilah." All did his 
bidding, Ali included, and they said, " Ere we disperse let us agree 
to rendezvous in the quarter Al-Kalkh." It was noised abroad 
in the city that Calamity Ahmad had undertaken to lay hands on 
Dalilah the Wily, and Zaynab said to her, " O my mother, an thou 
be indeed a trickstress, do thou befool Ahmad al-Danaf and his 
company." Answered Dalilah, " I fear none save Hasan Shuman ; " 
and Zaynab said, " By the life of my browlock, I will assuredly 
get thee the clothes of all the one-and-forty." Then she dressed 
and veiled herself and going to a certain druggist, who had a 
saloon with two doors, salamed to him and gave him an ashraf/ 
and said to him, " Take this gold piece as a douceur for thy saloon 
and let it to me till the end of the day." So he gave her the 
keys and she fetched carpets and so forth on the stolen ass and 
furnishing the place, set on each raised pavement a tray of meat 
and wine. Then she went out and stood at the door, with her 
face unveiled and behold, up came Ali Kitf al-Jamal and his 
men. She kissed his hand ; and he fell in love with her, seeing 
her to be a handsome girl, and said to her, " What dost thou 
want?" Quoth she, "Art thou Captain Ahmad al-Danaf?"; 
and quoth he, " No, but I am of his company and my name is 
Ali Camel-shoulder." Asked she, " Whither fare you ? "; and he 
answered, " We go about in quest of a sharkish old woman, who 
hath stolen folk's good, and we mean to lay hands on her. But 
who art thou and what is thy business ? " She replied, " My 
father was a taverner at Mosul and he died and left me much 
money. So I came hither, for fear of the Dignities, and asked 

1 Arab. c Ka'ah," their mess-room, barracks. 
3 i.e. Camel shoulder-blade. 

1 68 Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

the people who would protect me, to which they replied : None 
but Ahmad al-Danaf." Said the men, " From this day forth, 
thou art under his protection " ; and she replied, " Hearten me 
by eating a bit and drinking a sup of water." * They consented 
and entering, ate and drank till they were drunken, when she 
drugged them with Bhang and stripped them of their clothes and 
arms ; and on like wise she did with the three other companions. 
Presently, Calamity Ahmad went out to look for Dalilah, but 
found her not, neither set eyes on any of his followers, and went 
on till he came to the door where Zaynab was standing. She 
kissed his hand and he looked on her and fell in love with her. 
Quoth she, " Art thou Captain Ahmad al-Danaf?"; and quoth he, 
" Yes : who art thou ? " She replied, " I am a stranger from 
Mosul. My father was a vintner at that place and he died and 
left me much money wherewith I came to this city, for fear of the 
powers that be, and opened this tavern. The Master of Police 
hath imposed a tax on me, but it is my desire to put myself under 
thy protection and pay thee what the police would take of me, for 
thou hast the better right to it." Quoth he, " Do not pay him 
aught : thou shalt have my protection and welcome." Then quoth 
she, *' Please to heal my heart and eat of my victual." So he 
entered and ate and drank wine, till he could not sit upright, when 
she drugged him and took his clothes and arms. Then she loaded 
her purchase on the Badawi's horse and the donkey-boy's ass and 
made off with it, after she had aroused AH Kitf al-Jamal. Camel- 
shoulder awoke and found himself naked and saw Ahmad and his 
men drugged and stripped : so he revived them with the counter- 
drug and they awoke and found themselves naked. Quoth Calamity 
Ahmad, " O lads, what is this ? We were going to catch her, and 
lo ! this strumpet hath caught us ! How Hasan Shuman will re- 
joice over us ! But we will wait till it is dark and then go away." 
Meanwhile Pestilence Hasan said to the hall-keeper, " Where are 
the men ? "; and as he asked, up they came naked ; and he recited 
these two couplets 2 : 

1 So in the Brazil you are invited to drink a copa cTagua and find a splendid banquet. 
There is a smack of Chinese ceremony in this practice which lingers throughout southern 
Europe \ but the less advanced society is, the more it is fettered by ceremony and 

2 The Bresl. edit. (ix. 239) prefers these lines : 

Some of us be hawks and some sparrow-hawks, * And vultures some which at carrion pike j. 
And maidens deem all alike we be * But, save in our turbands, we're not alike. 

The Rogueries of Dalilah and her Daughter Zaynub. 169 

Men in their purposes are much alike, o But in their issues difference 

comes to light : 
Of men some wise are, others simple souls ; o As of the stars some dull, some 

pearly bright. 

Then he looked at them and asked, " Who hath played you this 
trick and made you naked ? "; and they answered, " We went in 
quest of an old woman, and a pretty girl stripped us.'* Quoth 
Hasan, "She hath done right well." They asked, "Dost thou 
know her ? "; and he answered, " Yes, I know her and the old trot 
too." Quoth they, "What shall we say to the Caliph?"; and 
quoth he, " O Danaf, do thou shake thy collar before him, and he 
will say :- Who is answerable for her ; and if he ask why thou 
hast not caught her ; say thou : We know her not ; but charge 
Hasan Shuman with her. And if he give her into my charge, I 
will lay hands on her." So they slept that night and on the 
morrow they went up to the Caliph's Divan and kissed ground 
before him. Quoth he, " Where is the old woman, O Captain 
Ahmad ? " But he shook his collar. The Caliph asked him why 
he did so, and he answered, " I know her not; but do thou charge 
Hasan Shuman to lay hands on her, for he knoweth her and her 
daughter also." Then Hasan interceded for her with the Caliph, 
saying, " Indeed, she hath not played off these tricks, because she 
coveted the folk's stuff, but to show her cleverness and that of her 
daughter, to the intent that thou shouldst continue her husband's 
stipend to her and that of her father to her daughter. So an thou 
wilt spare her life I will fetch her to thee." Cried the Caliph, 
" By the life of my ancestors, if she restore the people's goods, I 
will pardon her on thine intercession ! " And said the Pestilence, 
" Give me a pledge, O Prince of True Believers ! " Whereupon 
Al-Rashid gave him the kerchief of pardon. So Hasan repaired 
to Daliiah's house and called to her. Her daughter Zaynab 
answered him and he asked her, " Where is thy mother ? " " Up- 
stairs," she answered ; and he said, " Bid her take the people's 
goods and come with me to the presence of the Caliph ; for I 
have brought her the kerchief of pardon, and if she will not come 
with a good grace, let her blame only herself." So Dalilah came 
down and tying the kerchief about her neck gave him the people's 
goods on the donkey-boy's ass and the Badawi's horse. Quoth 
he, " There remain the clothes of my Chief and his men "; and 
quoth she, " By the Most Great Name, 'twas not I who stripped 
them ! " Rejoined Hasan, " Thou sayst sooth, it was thy daughter 

A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

Zaynab's doing, and this was a good turn she did thee." Then he 
carried her to the Divan and laying the people's goods and stuff 
before the Caliph, set the old trot in his presence. As soon as he 
saw her, he bade throw her down on the carpet of blood, whereat 
she cried, " I cast myself on thy protection, O Shuman ! " So he 
rose and kissing the Caliph's hands, said, " Pardon, O Commander 
of the Faithful ! Indeed, thou gavest me the kerchief of pardon." 
Said the Prince of True Believers, " I pardon her for thy sake : 
come hither, O old woman ; what is thy name ? " " My name is 
Wily Dalilah," answered she, and the Caliph said, "Thou art 
indeed crafty and full of guile." Whence she was dubbed Dalilah 
the Wily One. Then quoth he, " Why hast thou played all these 
tricks on the folk and wearied our hearts ? " and quoth she, " I did 
it not of lust for their goods, but because I had heard of the 
tricks which Ahmad al-Danaf and Hasan Shuman played in 
Baghdad and said to myself:! too will do the like. And now 
I have returned the folk their goods." But the ass-driver rose 
and said, " I invoke Allah's law 1 between me and her ; for it 
sufficed her not to take my ass, but she must needs egg on the 
Moorish barber to tear out my eye-teeth and fire me on both 

temples." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

fo&en ft foas tje gbcbcn l^unforft anfc 15f$tl) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
donkey-boy rose and cried out, " I invoke Allah's law between me 
and her ; for it sufficed her not to take my ass, but she must needs 
egg on the barber to tear out my eye-teeth and fire me on both 
temples;" thereupon the Caliph bade give him an hundred 
dinars and ordered the dyer the like, saying, " Go ; set up thy 
dyery again." So they called down blessings on his head and 
went away. The Badawi also took his clothes and horse and de- 
parted, saying, "'Tis henceforth unlawful and forbidden me to 
enter Baghdad and eat honey-fritters." And the others took their 
goods and went away. Then said the Caliph, "Ask a boon of 

1 Arab. Shar'a = holy law : here it especially applies to Al-Kisas = lex talionis, 
which would order her eye-tooth to be torn out. 

The Rogueries of Dalilah and her Daughter Z ay nab. 17 1 

me, O Dalilah ! "; and she said, " Verily, my father was governor 
of the carrier-pigeons to thee and I know how to rear the birds ; 
and my husband was town-captain of Baghdad. Now I wish to 
have the reversion of my husband and my daughter wisheth to 
have that of her father." The Caliph granted both their requests 
and she said, " I ask of thee that I may be portress of thy Khan." 
Now he had built a Khan of three stories, for the merchants to 
lodge in, and had assigned to its service forty slaves and also forty 
dogs he had brought from the King of the Sulaymaniyah, 1 when 
he deposed him ; and there was in the Khan a cook-slave, who 
cooked for the chattels and fed the hounds for which he let make 
collars. Said the Caliph, " O Dalilah, I will write thee a patent 
of guardianship of the Khan, and if aught be lost therefrom, thou 
shalt be answerable for it." " 'Tis well," replied she ; "but do 
thou lodge my daughter in the pavilion over the door of the Khan, 
for it hath terraced roofs, and carrier-pigeons may not be reared to 
advantage save in an open space." The Caliph granted her this also 
and she and her daughter removed to the pavilion in question, 
where Zaynab hung up the one-and-forty dresses of Calamity 
Ahmad and his company. Moreover, they delivered to Dalilah 
the forty pigeons which carried the royal messages, and the Caliph 
appointed the Wily One mistress over the forty slaves and charged 
them to obey her. She made the place of her sitting behind the 
door of the Khan, and every day she used to go up to the Caliph's 
Divan, lest he should need to send a message by pigeon-post and 
stay there till eventide whilst the forty slaves stood on guard at 
the Khan ; and when darkness came on they loosed the forty 
dogs that they might keep watch over the place by night. Such 
were the doings of Dalilah the Wily One in Baghdad and much 
like them were 

1 i.f. t of the Afghans. Sulaymani is the Egypt and Hijazi term for an Afghan and 
the proverb says " Sulaymani harami" the Afghan is a villainous man. See Pilgri- 
mage i. 59, which gives them a better character. The Bresl. edit, simply says, "King 

172 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 


Now as regards the works of Mercury 'AH ; there lived once at 
Cairo, 2 in the days of Salah the Egyptian, who was Chief of the 
Cairo Police and had forty men under him, a sharper named AH, 
for whom the Master of Police used to set snares and think that 
he had fallen therein ; but, when they sought for him, they found 
that he had fled like zaybak, or quicksiler, wherefore they dubbed 
him AH Zaybak or Mercury AH of Cairo. Now one day, as he 
sat with his men in his hall, his heart became heavy within him 
and his breast was straitened. The hall-keeper saw him sitting 
with frowning face and said to him, " What aileth thee, O my 
Chief? If thy breast be straitened take a turn in the streets of 
Cairo, for assuredly walking in her markets will do away with 
thy irk." So he rose up and went out and threaded the streets 
awhile, but only increased in cark and care. Presently, he came 
to a wine-shop and said to himself, " I will go in and drink myself 
drunken." So he entered and seeing seven rows of people in 
the shop, said, " Harkye, taverner ! I will not sit except by 
myself." Accordingly, the vintner placed him in a chamber alone 
and set strong pure wine before him whereof he drank till he lost 
his senses. Then he sallied forth again and walked till he came 
to the road called Red, whilst the people left the street clear 
before him, out of fear of him. Presently, he turned and saw a 
water-carrier trudging along, with his skin and gugglet, crying out 
and saying, " O exchange ! There is no drink but what raisin* 
make, there is no love-delight but what of the lover we take and 
none sitteth in the place of honour save the sensible freke 5 !" So 
he said to him, " Here, give me to drink ! " The water-carrier 
looked at him and gave him the gugglet which he took and 
gazing into it, shook it up and lastly poured it out on the ground. 

1 This is a sequel to the Story of Dalilah and both are highly relished by Arabs. The 
Bresl. Edit. ix. 245, runs both into one. 

2 Arab. Misr, Masr. the Capital, says Savary, applied alternately to Memphis, Fostat 
and Grand Cairo each of which had a Jizah (pron. Gizah), skirt, angle outlying 

3 For the curious street-cries of old Cairo see Lane (M. E. chapt. xiv.) and my 
Pilgrimage (i. 120) : here the rhymes are of Zabib (raisins), habib (lover) and labi'b 
(man of sense}. 

The Adventures of Mercury AH of Cario. 173 

Asked the water-carrier, "Why dost thou not drink?"'; and he 
answered, saying, " Give me to drink." So the man filled the cup 
a second time and he took it and shook it and emptied it on the 
ground ; and thus he did a third time. Quoth the water-carrier, 
" An thou wilt not drink, I will be off." And Ali said, " Give me 
to drink. " So he filled the cup a fourth time and gave it to him ; 
and he drank and gave the man a dinar. The water-carrier looked 
at him with disdain and said, belittling him, " Good luck to thee ! 
Good luck to thee, my lad ! Little folk are one thing and great 

folk another!" And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Noto tojien it toa* t|je &eton ^unttreft antr Nmtfj 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
utoter-carrier receiving the dinar, looked at the giver with disdain 
and said, " Good luck to thee ! Good luck to thee ! Little folk 
are one thing and great folk another." Now when Mercury Ali 
heard this, he caught hold of the man's gaberdine and drawing on 
him a poignard of price, such an one as that whereof the poet 
speaketh in these two couplets : 

Watered steel-blade, the world perfection calls, o Drunk with the viper poison 

foes appals, 
Cuts lively, burns the blood whene'er it falls ; o And picks up gems from 

pave of marble halls -, 1 

cried to him, " O Shaykh, speak reasonably to me ! Thy water- 
skin is worth if dear three dirhams, and the gugglets I emptied on 
the ground held a pint or so of water." Replied the water-carrier 
"Tis well," and Ali rejoined, "I gave thee a golden ducat: why, 
then dost thou belittle me ? Say me, hast thou ever seen any 
more valiant than I or more generous than I ? " Answered the 
water-carrier; "I have indeed, seen one more valiant than thou 
and eke more generous than thou ; for, never, since women bare 

1 The Mac. and Bui. Edits, give two silly couplets of moral advice : 

Strike with thy stubborn steel, and never fear * Aught save the Godhead of Allmighty 

Might ; 
And shun ill practices and never show * Through life but generous gifts to human 

The above is from the Bresl. Edit. ix. 247. 

174 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

children, was there on earth's face a brave man who was not 
generous." Quoth Ali, and who is he thou deemest braver and 
more generous than I ? " Quoth the other, " Thou must know 
that I have had a strange adventure. My father was a Shaykh 
of the Water-carriers who give drink in Cairo and, when he died, 
he left me five male camels, a he-mule, a shop and a house ; but 
the poor man is never satisfied; or, if he be satisfied he dieth. 
So I said to myself: I will go up to Al-Hijaz ; and, taking a 
string of camels, bought goods on tick, till I had run in debt for 
five hundred ducats, all of which I lost in the pilgrimage. Then 
I said in my mind : If I return to Cairo the folk will clap me in 
jail for their goods. So I fared with the pilgrims-caravan of 
Damascus to Aleppo and thence I went on to Baghdad, where I 
sought out the Shaykh of the Water-carriers of the city and 
finding his house I went in and repeated the opening chapter of 
the Koran to him. He questioned me of my case and I told 
him all that had betided me, whereupon he assigned me a shop 
and gave me a water-skin and gear. So I sallied forth a-morn 
trusting in Allah to provide, and went round about the city. I 
offered the gugglet to one, that he might drink ; but he cried, " I 
have eaten naught whereon to drink ; for a niggard invited me 
this day and set two gugglets before me ; so I said to him : O 
son of the sordid, hast thou given me aught to eat that thou 
offerest me drink after it ? Wherefore wend thy ways, O water- 
carrier, till I have eaten somewhat : then come and give me to 
drink.' 1 Thereupon I accosted another and he said : Allah pro- 
vide thee ! And so I went on till noon, without taking hansel, 
and I said to myself, Would Heaven I had never come to Bagh- 
dad ! Presently, I saw the folk running as fast as they could ; 
so I followed them and behold, a long file of men riding two and 
two and clad in steel, with double neck-rings and felt bonnets and 
burnouses and swords and bucklers. I asked one of the folk 
whose suite this was, and he answered, That of Captain Ahmad 
al-Danaf. Quoth I, And what is he? and quoth the other, He 
is town-captain of Baghdad and her Divan, and to him is com- 
mitted the care of the suburbs. He getteth a thousand dinars a 
month from the Caliph and Hasan Shuman hath the like. More- 
over, each of his men draweth an hundred dinars a month ; and 
they are now returning to their barrack from the Divan. And lo ! 
Calamity Ahmad saw me and cried out, Come give me drink. So 
I filled the cup and gave it him, and he shook it and emptied it 

The Adventures of Mercury AH of Cairo. 175 

out, like unto thee ; and thus he did a second time. Then I filled 
the cup a third time and he took a draught as thou diddest ; after 
which he asked me, O water-carrier, whence comest thou? And 
I answered, From Cairo, and he, Allah keep Cairo and her citi- 
zens ! What may bring thee thither? So I told him my story 
and gave him to understand that I was a debtor fleeing from debt 
and distress. He cried, Thou art welcome to Baghdad; then he 
gave me five dinars and said to his men, For the love of Allah be 
generous to him. So each of them gave me a dinar and Ahmad 
said to me, O Shaykh, what while thou abides! in Baghdad thou 
shalt have of us the like every time thou givest us to drink. 
Accordingly, I paid them frequent visits and good ceased not to 
come to me from the folk till, one day, reckoning up the profit I 
had made of them, I found it a thousand dinars and said to 
myself, The best thing thou canst do is to return to Egypt. So I 
went to Ahmad's house and kissed his hand, and he said, What 
seekest thou ? Quoth I, I have a mind to depart ; and I repeated 
these two couplets : 

Sojourn of stranger, in whatever land, o Is like the castle basedwpon the 

wind : 
The breaths of breezes level all he raised, o And so on homeward-way's the 

stranger's mind. 

I added, The caravan is about to start for Cairo and I wish to 
return to my people. So he gave me a she-mule and an hundred 
dinars and said to me, I desire to send somewhat by thee, O 
Shaykh ! Dost thou know the people of Cairo ? Yes, answered 

I ; And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to 

say her permitted say. 

Nofo fofjen it foas tfje Sbebm f^untafc anb STentJ 

She pursued, It hath reached me, auspicious King, that when 
Ahmad al-Danaf had given the water-carrier a she-mule and an 
hundred dinars and said to him, " I desire to send a trust by thee. 
Dost thou know the people of Cairo ? " I answered (quoth the 
water-carrier), Yes ; and he said, Take this letter and carry it to 
AH Zaybak of Cairo arid say to him, Thy Captain saluteth thee 
and he is now with the Caliph. So I took the letter and journeyed 
back to Cairo, where I paid my debts and plied my water-carry- 

A If Lay I ah wa Lay la k. 

ing trade ; but I have not delivered the letter, because I know 
not the abode of Mercury All." Quoth Ali, " O elder, be of 
good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear : I am that Ali, 
the first of the lads of Captain Ahmad : here with the letter J " 
So he gave him the missive and he opened it and read these two 
couplets : 

O adornment of beauties to thee write I o On a paper that flies as the 

winds go by : 
Could I fly, I had flown to their arms in desire, But a bird with cut wings; 

how shall ever he fly ? " 

" But after salutation from Captain Ahmad al-Danaf to the 
eldest of his sons, Mercury Ali of Cairo. Thou knowest that I 
tormented Salah al-Din the Cairene and befooled him till I buried 
him alive and reduced his lads to obey me, and amongst them 
Ali Kitf al-Jamal ; and I am now become town-captain of 
Baghdad in the Divan of the Caliph who hath made me over- 
seer of the suburbs. An thou be still mindful of our covenant, 
come to me ; haply thou shalt play some trick in Baghdad which 
may promote thee to the Caliph's service, so he may appoint thee 
stipends and allowances and assign thee a lodging, which is what 
thou wouldst see and so peace be on thee." When Ali read this 
letter, he kissed it and laying it on his head, gave the water- 
carrier ten dinars ; after which he returned to his barracks and 
told his comrades and said to them, " I commend you one to 
other." Then he changed all his clothes and, donning a travelling 
cloak and a tarboosh, took a case, containing a spear of bamboo- 
cane, four-and-twenty cubits long, made in several pieces, to fit 
into one another. Quoth his lieutenant, " Wilt thou go a journey 
when the treasury is empty ? " ; and quoth Ali, " When I reach 
Damascus I will send you what shall suffice you." Then he set 
out and fared on, till he overtook a caravan about to start, 
whereof were the Shah-bandar, or Provost of the Merchants, and 
forty other traders. They had all loaded their beasts, except 
the Provost, whose loads lay upon the ground, and Ali heard his 
caravan-leader, who was a Syrian, say to the muleteers, " Bear a 
hand, one of you ! " But they reviled him and abused him. 
Quoth Ali in himself, " None will suit me so well to travel 
withal as this leader." Now Ali was beardless and well-favoured ; 
so he went up to and saluted the leader who welcomed him and 
said, " What seekest thou ? " Replied Ali, " O my uncle, I see 

The Adventures of Mercury AH of Cairo. 1 77 

thee alone with forty mule-loads of goods ; but why hast thou not 
brought hands to help thee ?" Rejoined the other, O my son, I 
hired two lads and clothed them and put in each one's pocket 
two hundred dinars ; and they helped me till we came to the 
Dervishes' Convent, 1 when they ran away." Quoth Ali, " Whither 
are you bound ? " and quoth the Syrian, " to Aleppo/' when 
Ali said, " I will lend thee a hand." Accordingly they loaded 
the beasts and the Provost mounted his she-mule and they set out 
he rejoicing in Ali ; and presently he loved him and made 
much of him and on this wise they fared on till nightfall, when 
they dismounted and ate and drank. Then came the time of 
sleep and Ali lay down on his side and made as if he slept ; 
whereupon the Syrian stretched himself near him and Ali rose 
from his stead and sat down at the door of the merchant's 
pavilion. Presently, the Syrian turned over and would have 
taken Ali in his arms, but found him not and said to himself, 
" Haply he hath promised another and he hath taken him ; 
but I have the first right and another night I will keep him." 
Now Ali continued sitting at the door of the tent till nigh upon 
daybreak, when he returned and lay down near the Syrian, who 
found him by his side, when he awoke, and said to himself, " If 
I ask him where he hath been, he will leave me and go away/' 
So he dissembled with him and they went on till they came to 
a forest, in which was a cave, where dwelt a rending lion. Now 
whenever a caravan passed, they would draw lots among 
themselves and him on whom the lot fell they would throw to 
the beast. So they drew lots and the lot fell not save upon the 
Provost of the Merchants. And lo ! the lion cut off their way 
awaiting his pray, wherefore the Provost was sore distressed 
and said to the leader, " Allah disappoint the fortunes* of the far 
one and bring his journey to naught ! I charge thee, after my 
death, give my loads to my children." Quoth Ali the Clever 
One, " What meaneth all this ?" So they told him the case and 
he said, " Why do ye run from the tom-cat of the desert ? I 
warrant you I will kill him." So the Syrian went to the Provost 
and told him of this and he said, " If he slay him, I will give him 

1 Arab. ' Al-Khanakah " now more usually termed a Takfyah (Pilgrim, i. 124). 

2 Arab. " Ka'b al-ba'fd " (Bresl. Edit. ix. 255) =heel or ankle, melaph. for fortune, 
reputation : so the Arabs say the "Ka'b of the tribe is gone I " here "the far one" 
= the caravan-leader. 


178 A If Laylak wa Laylak. 

a thousand dinars/* and said the other merchants, "We will 
reward him likewise one and all." With this AH put off 
his mantle and there appeared upon him a suit of steel ; then he 
took a chopper of steel l and opening it turned the screw ; after 
which he went forth alone and standing in the road before the 
lion, cried out to him. The lion ran at him, but AH of Cairo 
smote him between the eyes with his chopper and cut him in 
sunder, whilst the caravan-leader and the merchants looked on. 
Then said he to the leader, " Have no fear, O nuncle ! " and the 
Syrian answered, saying, " O my son, I am thy servant for all 
future time." Then the Provost embraced him and kissed him 
between the eyes and gave him the thousand dinars, and each of 
the other merchants gave him twenty dinars. He deposited all 
the coin with the Provost and they slept that night till the morning, 
when they set out again, intending for Baghdad, and fared on 
till they came to the Lion's Clump and the Wady of Dogs, where 
lay a villain Badawi, a brigand and his tribe, who sallied forth on 
them. The folk fled from the highwaymen, and the Provost said, 
" My monies are lost ! "; when, lo ! up came AH in a buff coat 
hung with bellsj and bringing out his long lance, fitted the pieces 
together. Then he seized one of the Arab's horses and mounting 
it cried out to the Badawi Chief, saying, " Come out to fight me 
with spears ! " Moreover he shook his bells and the Arab's mare 
took fright at the noise and AH struck the chiefs spear and broke 
it. Then he smote him on the neck and cut off his head. 2 When 
the Badawin saw their chief fall, they ran at AH, but he cried out,, 
saying, " Allaho Akbar God is Most Great! " and, falling on them 
broke them and put them to flight. Then he raised the Chief's head 
on his spear-point and returned to the merchants, who rewarded 
him liberally and continued their journey, till they reached 
Baghdad. Thereupon AH took his money from the Provost and 
committed it to the Syrian caravan-leader, saying, " When thou 
returnest to Cairo, ask for my barracks and give these monies to 
my deputy." Then he slept that night and on the morrow he 
entered the city and threading the streets enquired for Calamity 

1 Arab. "Shan't," from Sharata = he Scarified; " Mishrat " = a lancet and 
" Sharif ah " =r a mason's rule. Mr. Payne renders " Sharit " by whinyard : it must be 
a chopper-like weapon, with a pin or screw (laulab) to keep the blade open like the 
snap of the Spaniard's cuchillo. Dozy explains itrzepee, synonyme de Sayf. 

8 Text "Dimagh," a Persianism when used for the head : the word properly means 
brain or meninx. 

The Adventures of Mercury AH of Cairo. 179 

Ahmad's quarters; but none would direct him thereto. 1 So he' 
walked on, till he came to the square Al-Nafz, where he saw 
children at play, and amongst them a lad called Ahmad al-Lakft, 2 
and said to himself, " O my AH, thou shalt not get news of them 
but from their little ones." Then he turned and seeing a sweet- 
meat-seller bought Halwd of him and called to the children ; but 
Ahmad al-Lakit drove the rest away and coming up to him, said, 
" What seekest thou ? " Quoth AH, " I had a son a'nd he died and 
I saw him in a dream asking for sweetmeats : wherefore I have 
bought them and wish to give each child a bit." So saying, he 
gave Ahmad a slice, and he looked at it and seeing a dinar 
sticking to it, said, " Begone ! I am no catamite : seek another 
than I." Quoth AH, " O my son, none but a sharp fellow taketh 
the hire, even as he is a sharp one who giveth it. I have sought 
all day for Ahmad al-Danaf s barrack, but none would direct me 
thereto ; so this dinar is thine an thou wilt guide me thither." 
Quoth the lad, " I will run before thee and do thou keep up with 
me, till I come to the place, when I will catch up a pebble with 
my foot 3 and kick it against the door ; and so shalt thou know it." 
Accordingly he ran on and AH after him, till they came to the 
place, when the boy caught up a pebble between his toes and 

kicked it against the door so as to make the place known. And 

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

Nofo fojtn ft foas tje beten f^un&refc anfc 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Ahmad the Abortion had made known the place, AH laid hold of 
him and would have taken the dinar from him, but could not ; so 
he said to him, " Go : thou deservest largesse for thou art a sharp 
fellow, whole of wit and stout of heart. Inshallah, if I become a 

1 They were afraid even to stand and answer this remarkable ruffian. 

2 Ahmad the Abortion, or the Foundling, nephew (sister's son) of Zaynab the Coney- 
catcher. See supra, p. 145. 

3 Here the sharp lad discovers the direction without pointing it out. I need hardly 
enlarge upon the prehensile powers of the Eastern foot : the tailor will hold his cloth 
between his toes and pick up his needle with it, whilst the woman can knead every 
muscle and at times catch a mosquito between the toes. I knew an officer in India 
whose mistress hurt his feelings by so doing at a critical time when he attributed her 
movement to pleasure. 

i8o A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

captain to the Caliph, I will make thee one of my lads." Then 
the boy made off and Ali Zaybak went up to the door and knocked ; 
whereupon quoth Ahmad al-Danaf, "O doorkeeper, open the 
door ; that is the knock of Quicksilver Ali the Cairene." So he 
opened the door and Ali entered and saluted with the salam 
Ahmad who embraced him, and the Forty greeted him. Then 
Calamity Ahmad gave him a suit of clothes, saying, " When the 
Caliph made me captain, he clothed my lads and I kept this suit l 
for thee." Then they seated him in the place of honour and 
setting on meat they ate well and drink they drank hard and 
made merry till the morning, when Ahmad said to Ali, " Beware 
thou walk not about the streets of Baghdad, but sit thee still in 
this barrack." Asked Ali, " Why so ? Have I come hither to be 
shut up ? No, I came to look about me and divert myself." 
Replied Ahmad, "O my son, think not that Baghdad be like 
Cairo. Baghdad is the seat of the Caliphate ; sharpers abound 
therein and rogueries spring therefrom as worts spring out of 
earth.*' So Ali abode in the barrack three days when Ahmad 
said to him, " I wish to present thee to the Caliph, that he 
may assign thee an allowance." But he replied, " When the 
time cometh." So he let him go his own way. One day, as 
Ali sat in the barrack, his breast became straitened and his soul 
troubled and he said in himself, " Come, let us up and thread the 
ways of Baghdad and broaden my bosom.'* So he went out and 
walked from street to street, till he came to the middle bazar, 
where he entered a cook-shop and dined ; 2 after which he went out 
to wash his hands. Presently he saw forty slaves, with felt bon- 
nets and steel cutlasses, come walking, two by two ; and last of all 
came Dalilah the Wily, mounted on a she-mule, with a gilded 
helmet which bore a ball of polished steel, and clad in a coat of 
mail, and such like. Now she was returning from the Divan to 
the Khan of which she was portress ; and when she espied Ali, 
she looked at him fixedly and saw that he resembled Calamity 
Ahmad in height and breadth. Moreover, he was clad in a striped 

1 Arab. " Hullah " = dress. In old days it was composed of the Burd or Rida, the 
shoulder-cloth from 6 to 9 or 10 feet long, and the Izar or waistcloth which was either 
tied or tucked into a girdle of leather or metal. The woman's waistcloth was called 
Nitah and descended to the feet while the upper part was doubled and provided with a 
Tikkah or string over which it fell to the knees overhanging the lower folds. This 
doubling of the " Hujrah," or part round the waist, was called the " Hubkah." 

1 Arab " Taghadda," the dinner being at eleven a.m. or noon. 

The Adventures of Mercury All of Cairo. 


Aba-cloak and a burnous, with a steel cutlass by his side and 
similar gear, while valour shone from his eyes, testifying in favour 
of him and not in disfavour of him. So she returned to the Khan 
and going in to her daughter, fetched a table of sand, and struck 
a geomantic figure, whereby she discovered that the stranger's 
name was AH of Cairo and that his fortune overcame her fortune 
and that of her daughter. Asked Zaynab, " O my mother, what 
hath befallen thee that thou hast recourse to the sand-table?" 
Answered Dalilah, " O my daughter, I have seen this day a young 
man who resembleth Calamity Ahmad, and I fear lest he come to 
hear how thou didst strip Ahmad and his men and enter the Khan 
and play us a trick, in revenge for what we did with his chief and 
the forty ; for methinks he has taken up his lodging in Al-Danaf s 
barrack/' Zaynab rejoined, " What is this ? Methinks thou hast 
taken his measure." Then she donned her fine clothes and went 
out into the streets. When the people saw her, they all made love 
to her and she promised and sware and listened and coquetted and 
passed from market to market, till she saw AH the Cairene coming, 
when she went up to him and rubbed her shoulder against him. 
Then she turned and said, " Allah give long life to folk of dis- 
crimination ! " Quoth he, " How goodly is thy form ! To whom 
dost thou belong ? " ; and quoth she, " To the gallant 1 like thee ; " 
and he said, " Art thou wife or spinster ? " " Married," said she. 
Asked AH, "Shall it be in my lodging or thine?" 2 and she 
answered, " I am a merchant's daughter and a merchant's wife 
and in all my life I have never been out of doors till to-day, and 
my only reason was that when I made ready food and thought to 
eat, I had no mind thereto without company. When I saw thee, 
love of thee entered my heart : so wilt thou deign solace my soul 
and eat a mouthful with me ? " Quoth he, " Whoso is invited, let 
him accept." Thereupon she went on and he followed her from 
street to street, but presently he bethought himself and said, 
" What wilt thou do and thou a stranger ? Verily 'tis said : 
Whoso doth whoredom in his strangerhood, Allah will send him 

1 Arab. Ghandur for which the Dictionaries give only " fat, thick." It applies in 
Arabia especially to a Harami, brigand or freebooter, most honourable of professions, 
slain in foray or fray, opposed to " Fatis" or carrion (the corps crtvt of the Klephts), 
the man who dies the straw-death. Pilgrimage iii. 66. 

2 My fair readers will note with surprise how such matters are hurried in the East. 
The picture is, however, true to life in lands where "flirtation" is utterly unknown and, 
indeed, impossible. 

1 82 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

back disappointed. But I will put her off from thee with fair 
words." So he said to her, " Take this dinar and appoint me a 
day other than this ; " and she said, " By the Mighty Name, it 
may not be but thou shalt go home with me as my guest this very 
day and I will take thee to fast friend." So he followed her till 
she came to a house with a lofty porch and a wooden bolt on the 
door and said to him, " Open this lock." * Asked he " Where is 
the key ? " ; and she answered, " Tis lost." Quoth he, " Whoso 
openeth a lock without a key is a knave whom it behoveth the 
ruler to punish, and I know not how to open doors without keys ? 2 " 
With this she raised her veil and showed him her face, whereat he 
took one glance of eyes that cost him a thousand sighs. Then she 
let fall her veil on the lock and repeating over it the names of the 
mother of Moses, opened it without a key and entered. He fol- 
lowed her and saw swords and steel-weapons hanging up ; and she 
put off her veil and sat down with him. Quoth he to himself, 
" Accomplish what Allah hath decreed to thee," and bent over her, 
to take a kiss of her cheek ; but she caught the kiss upon her palm, 
saying, " This beseemeth not but by night." Then she brought a 
tray of food and wine, and they ate and drank ; after which she 
rose and drawing water from the well, poured it from the ewer over 
his hands, whilst he washed them. Now whilst they were on this 
wise, she cried out and beat upon her breast, saying, " My husband 
had a signet-ring of ruby, which was pledged to him for five 
hundred dinars, and I put it on ; but 'twas too large for me, so I 
straitened it with wax, and when I let down the bucket, 3 that 
ring must have dropped into the well So turn thy face to the 
door, the while I doff my dress and go down into the well and 
fetch it." Quoth Ali, " 'Twere shame on me that thou shouldst 
go down there I being present ; none shall do it save I." So he 
put off his clothes and tied the rope about himself and she let him 
down into the well. Now there was much water therein and she 
said to him, " The rope is too short ; loose thyself and drop down." 
So he did himself loose from the rope and dropped into the 
water, in which he sank fathoms deep without touching bottom ; 
whilst she donned her mantilla and taking his clothes, returned to 

her mother And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

1 Arab. "Zabbah," the wooden bolt (before noticed) which forms the lock and is 
opened by a slider and pins. It is illustrated by Lane (M. E. Introduction). 
* i.e. I am not a petty thief. * Arab. Sail = kettle, bucket. Lat. Situla (?) 

The Adventures of Mercury Ali of Cairo. 183 

TJCofu fojen ft toas tf)0 &eben ^untofc anfc ^toclftj Nt'g&t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ali 
of Cairo was in the well, Zaynab donned her mantilla and, taking 
his clothes, returned to her mother and said, " I have stripped Ali 
the Egyptian and cast him into the Emir Hasan's well, whence 
alas for his chance of escaping!" 1 Presently, the Emir Hasan, 
the master of the house, who had been absent at the Divan, came 
home and, finding the door open, said to his Syce, "Why didst 
thou not draw the bolt ? " " O my lord," replied the groom, 
" indeed I locked it with my own hand." The Emir cried, " As 
my head liveth, some robber hath entered my house ! " Then he 
went in and searched, but found none and said to the groom, 
" Fill the ewer, that I may make the Wuzu-ablution." So the 
man lowered the bucket into the well but, when he drew it up, he 
found it heavy and looking down, saw something therein sitting ; 
whereupon he let it fall into the water and cried out, saying, " O 
my lord, an Ifrit came up to me out of the well ! " Replied the 
Emir, " Go and fetch four doctors of the law, that they may read 
the Koran over him, till he go away." So he fetched the doctors 
and the Emir said to them, " Sit round this well and exorcise me 
this Ifrit." They did as he bade them ; after which the groom and 
another servant lowered the bucket again and AH clung to it and 
hid himself under it patiently till he came near the top, when he 
sprang out and landed among the doctors, who fell a-cuffing one 
another and crying out, " Ifrit ! Ifrit ! " The Emir looked at Ali 
and seeing him a young man, said to him, "Art thou a thief?" 
" No," replied Ali ; " Then what dost thou in the well ? " asked 
the Emir ; and Ali answered, " I was asleep and dreamt a wet 
dream ; 2 so I went down to the Tigris to wash myself and dived, 
whereupon the current carried me under the earth and I came up 
in this well." Quoth the other, "Tell the truth." 3 So Ali told 
him all that had befallen him, and the Emir gave him an old 

1 i.e. <f there is no chance of 'his escaping." It may also mean, *' And far from him 
(Hay hat) is escape." 

2 Arab. "Ihtilam," the sign of puberty in boy or girl; this, like all emissions of 
semen, voluntary or involuntary, requires the Ghuzl or total ablution before prayers can 
be said, etc. See vol. v. 199, in the Tale of Tawaddud. 

3 This is the way to take an Eastern when he tells a deliberate lie ; and it often 
surprises him into speaking the truth. 

1 84 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

gown and let him go. He returned to Calamity Ahmad's lodging 
and related to him all that had passed. Quoth Ahmad, " Did I 
not warn thee that Baghdad is full of women who play tricks upon 
men ? " And quoth AH Kitf al-Jamal, " I conjure thee by the 
Mighty Name, tell me how it is that thou art the chief of the lads 
of Cairo and yet hast been stripped by a girl ? " This was 
grievous to Ali and he repented him of not having followed 
Ahmad's advice. Then the Calamity gave him another suit of 
clothes and Hasan Shuman said to him, " Dost thou know the 
young person ? " " No," replied Ali ; and Hasan rejoined, 
" Twas Zaynab, the daughter of Dalilah the Wily, the portress of 
the Caliph's Khan ; and hast thou fallen into her toils, O Ali ? " 
Quoth he, " Yes," and quoth Hasan, " O Ali, 'twas she who took 
thy Chiefs clothes and those of all his men." " This is a disgrace 
to you all ! " "And what thinkest thou to do ? " " I purpose to 
marry her/' " Put away that thought far from thee, and console thy 
heart of her." " O Hasan, do thou counsel me how I shall do to 
marry her/' " With all my heart : if thou wilt drink from my 
hand and march under my banner, I will bring thee to thy will of 
her." " I will well." So Hasan made Ali put off his clothes ; 
and, taking a cauldron heated therein somewhat as it were pitch, 
wherewith he anointed him and he became like unto a blackamoor 
slave. Moreover, he smeared his lips and cheeks and pencilled 
his eyes with red Kohl. 1 Then he clad him in a slave's habit and 
giving him a tray of kabobs and wine, said to him, " There is a 
black cook in the Khan who requires from the bazar only meat ; 
and thou art now become his like ; so go thou to him civilly and 
accost him in friendly fashion and speak to him in the blacks' 
lingo, and salute him, saying, Tis long since we met in the 
beer-ken. He will answer thee, I have been too busy : on my 
hands be forty slaves, for whom I cook dinner and supper, besides 
making ready a tray for Dalilah and the like for her daughter 
Zaynab and the dogs' food. And do thou say to him, Come, let 
us eat kabobs and lush swipes. 2 Then go with him into the 
saloon and make him drunken and question him of his service, 
how many dishes and what dishes he hath to cook, and ask him of 

1 The conjunctiva in Africans is seldom white ; often it is red and more frequently 

* So in the texts, possibly a clerical error for the wine which he had brought with the 
kabobs. But beer is the especial tipple of African slaves in Egypt. 

The Adventures of Mercury All of Cairo. 185 

the dogs* food and the keys of the kitchen and the larder ; and he 
will tell thee ; for a man, when he is drunken, telleth all he would 
conceal were he sober. When thou hast done this drug him and 
don his clothes and sticking the two knives in thy girdle, take the 
vegetable-basket and go to the market and buy meat and greens, 
with which do thou return to the Khan and enter the kitchen and 
the larder and cook the food. Dish it up and put Bhang in it, so 
as to drug the dogs and the slaves and Dalilah and Zaynab and 
lastly serve up. When all are asleep, hie thee to the upper 
chamber and bring away every suit of clothes thou wilt find 
hanging there. And if thou have a mind to marry Zaynab, bring 
with thee also the forty carrier-pigeons/' So AH went to the 
Khan and going in to the cook, saluted him and said, " Tis long 
since I have met thee in the beer-ken." The slave replied, "I 
have been busy cooking for the slaves and the dogs." Then he 
took him and making him drunken, questioned him of his work. 
Quoth the kitchener, " Every day I cook five dishes for dinner 
and the like for supper ; and yesterday they sought of me a sixth 
dish, 1 yellow rice, 2 and a seventh, a mess of cooked pomegranate 
seed." Ali asked, "And what is the order of thy service ?" and 
the slave answered, " First I serve up Zaynab's tray, next Dalilah's ; 
then I feed the slaves and give the dogs their sufficiency of meat, 
and the least that satisfies them is a pound each." But, as fate 
would have it, he forgot to ask him of the keys. Then he drugged 
him and donned his clothes ; after which he took the basket and 

went to the market. There he bought meat and greens. And 

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

Nofo foljm it tons tfie S>eben fountain an* mftfeent]) Ni$t, 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ali of 
Cairo, after drugging the cook-slave with Bhang, took the two 
knives which he stuck in his belt and, carrying the vegetable- 

1 Arab. Laun, prop. := color, hue ; but applied to species and genus, our ' kind "j 
and especially to dishes which differ in appearance ; whilst in Egypt it means any dish. 

2 Arab. ' Zardah "= rice dressed with honey and saffron. Vol. ii. 313. The word is 
still common in Turkey. 

186 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

basket, went to the market where he bought meat and greens ; 
and, presently returning to the Khan, he saw Dalilah seated at the 
gate, watching those who went in and came out, and the forty 
slaves with her, armed. So he heartened his heart and entered ; 
but Dalilah knew him and said to him, " Back, O captain of 
thieves ! Wilt thou play a trick on me in the Khan ? " Thereupon 
he (dressed as a slave) turned and said to her, " What sayest thou, 

portress ? " She asked, " What hast thou done with the slave, 
our cook ? ; say me if thou hast killed or drugged him ? " He 
answered, " What cook ? Is there here another slave-cook than 

1 ? " She rejoined, " Thou liest, thou art Mercury AH the Cairene." 
And he said to her, in slaves' patois, " O portress, are the Cairenes 
black or white ? I will slave for you no longer." Then said the 
slaves to him, " What is the matter with thee, O our cousin ? " 
Cried Dalilah, " This is none of your uncle's children, but AH 
Zaybak the Egyptian ; and meseems he hath either drugged your 
cousin or killed him." But they said, " Indeed this is our cousin 
Sa'adu'llah the cook ; " and she, " Not so, 'tis Mercury AH, and 
he hath dyed his skin.'* Quoth the sharper, " And who is AH ? I 
am Sa'adu'llah." Then she fetched unguent of proof, with which 
she anointed Ali's forearm and rubbed it ; but the black did not 
come off; whereupon quoth the slaves, " Let him go and dress us 
our dinner." Quoth Dalilah, " If he be indeed your cousin, he 
knoweth what you sought of him yesternight 1 and how many 
dishes he cooketh every day." So they asked him of this and he 
said, " Every day I cook you five dishes for the morning and the 
like for the evening meal, lentils and rice and broth and stew 2 and 
sherbet of roses ; and yesternight ye sought of me a sixth dish and 
a seventh, to wit yellow rice and cooked pomegranate seed." And 
the slaves said " Right ! " Then quoth DaHlah, " In with him and 
if he know the kitchen and the larder, he is indeed your cousin ; 
but, if not, kill him." Now the cook had a cat which he had 
brought up, and whenever he entered the kitchen it would stand 
at the door and spring to his back, as soon as he went in. So, 
when AH entered, the cat saw him and jumped on his shoulders ; 
but he threw it off and it ran before him to the door of the kitchen 

1 Arab. " Laylat Ams," the night of yesterday (Al-barihah) not our " last night " which 
would be the night of the day spoken of. 

2 Arab. " Yakhnf," a word much used in Persia and India and properly applied to 
the complicated broth prepared for the rice and meat. For a good recipe see Herklots, 
Appendix xxix. 

The Adventures of Mercury All of Cairo. 


and stopped there. He guessed that this was the kitchen door ; so 
he took the keys and seeing one with traces of feathers thereon, 
knew it for the kitchen key and therewith opened the door. Then 
he entered and setting down the greens, went out again, led by the 
cat, which ran before him and stopped at another door. He guessed 
that this was the larder and seeing one of the keys marked with 
grease, knew it for the key and opened the door therewith ; where- 
upon quoth the slaves, " O Dalilah, were he a stranger, he had not 
known the kitchen and the larder, nor had he been able to distin- 
guish the keys thereof from the rest ; verily, he is our cousin 
Sa'adu'llah." Quoth she, " He learned the places from the cat and 
distinguished the keys one from the other by the appearance : but 
this cleverness imposeth not upon me" Then he returned to the 
kitchen where he cooked the dinner and, carrying Zaynab's tray up 
to her room, saw all the stolen clothes hanging up ; after which he 
went down and took Dalilah her tray and gave the slaves and the 
dogs their rations. The like he did at sundown and drugged 
Dalilah's food and that of Zaynab and the slaves. Now the doors 
of the Khan were opened and shut with the sun. So Ali went 
forth and cried out, saying, " O dwellers in the Khan, the watch 
is set and we have loosed the dogs ; whoso stirreth out after this 
can blame none save himself." But he had delayed the dogs' 
supper and put poison therein ; consequently when he set it before 
them, they ate of it and died while the slaves and Dalilah and 
Zaynab still slept under Bhang. Then he went up and took all the 
clothes and the carrier-pigeons and, opening the gate, made off to 
the barrack of the Forty, where he found Hasan Shuman the 
Pestilence who said to him, " How hast thou fared ? " Thereupon 
he told him what had passed and he praised him. Then he 
caused him put off his clothes and boiled a decoction of herbs 
wherewith he washed him, and his skin became white as it was ; 
after which he donned his own dress and going back to the Khan, 
clad the cook in the habit he had taken from him and made him smell 
to the counter-drug ; upon which the slave awoke and going forth 
to the greengrocer's, bought vegetables and returned to the Khan, 
Such was the case with Al-Zaybak of Cairo ; but as regards Dalilah 
the Wily, when the day broke, one of the lodgers in the Khan came 
out of his chamber and, seeing the gate open and the slaves drugged 
and the dogs dead, he went in to her and found her lying drugged, 
with a scroll on her neck and at her head a sponge steeped in the 
counter-drug. He set the sponge to her nostrils and she awoke and 

Laylak wa Laylah. 

asked," Where am I ?" The merchant answered, "When I came down 
from my chamber I saw the gate of the Khan open and the dogs 
dead and found the slaves and thee drugged." So she took up 
the paper and read therein these words, " None did this deed save 
Ali the Egyptian." Then she awoke the slaves and Zaynab by 
making them smell the counter-Bhang and said to them, " Did I not 
tell you that this was Ali of Cairo ?"; presently adding to the slaves, 
" But do ye conceal the matter." Then she said to her daughter, 
" How often have I warned thee that Ali would not forego his 
revenge? He hath done this deed in requital of that which 
thou diddest with him and he had it in his power to do with thee 
other than this thing ; but he refrained therefrom out of courtesy 
and a desire that there should be love and friendship between us." 
So saying, she doffed her man's gear and donned woman's attire 1 
and, tying the kerchief of peace about her neck, repaired to Ahmad 
al-Danafs barrack. Now when Ali entered with the clothes and 
the carrier-pigeons, Hasan Shuman gave the hall-keeper the price 
of forty pigeons and he bought them and cooked them amongst 
the men. Presently there came a knock at the door and Ahmad 
said, " That is Dalilah's knock : rise and open to her, O hall- 
keeper." So he admitted her and And Shahrazad perceived 

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

Nofo fo&en ft foas t&e fteben ^un&rrtr anfc jfourtefntf) Wi 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Dalilah was admitted, Hasan asked her, " What bringeth thee 
hither, O ill-omened old woman ? Verily, thou and thy brother 
Zurayk the fishmonger are of a piece \ "; and she answered, " O 
captain I am in the wrong and this my neck is at thy mercy ; but 
tell me which of you it was that played me this trick ? " Quoth 
Calamity Ahmad, " Twas the first of my lads." Rejoined Dalilah, 
" For the sake of Allah intercede with him to give me back the 
carrier-pigeons and what not, and thou wilt lay me under great 
obligation." When Hasan heard this he said, " Allah requite thee, 
O Ali \ Why didst thou cook the pigeons ? "; and Ali answered, 
" I knew not that they were carrier-pigeons." Then said Ahmad, 
" O hall-keeper bring us the cooked pigeons." So he brought them 
and Dalilah took a piece and tasting it, said, " This is none of the 

1 In token of defeat and in acknowledgment that she was no match for men. 

The Adventures of Mercury Alt of Cairo.^ 189 

carrier-pigeons' flesh, for I fed them on grains of musk and their 
meat is become even as musk." Quoth Shuman, " An thou desire 
to have the carrier-pigeons, comply with Ali's will." Asked she 
" What is that ? " And Hasan answered, " He would have thee 
marry him to thy daughter Zaynab." She said, " I have not com- 
mand over her except of affection "; and Hasan said to AH the 
Cairene " Give her the pigeons." So he gave them to her, and she 
took them and rejoiced in them. Then quoth Hasan to her, 
" There is no help but thou return us a sufficient reply "; and 
Dalilah rejoined, "If it be indeed his wish to marry her, it availed 
nothing to play this clever trick upon us : it behoveth him rather 
to demand her in marriage of her mother's brother and her 
guardian, Captain Zurayk, him who crieth out, saying : Ho ! a 
pound of fish for two farthings ! and who hangeth up in his shop 
a purse containing two thousand dinars." When the Forty heard 
this, they all rose and cried out, saying, " What manner of blather 
is this, O harlot ? Dost thou wish to bereave us of our brother 
Ali of Cairo ? " Then she returned to the Khan and said to her 
daughter, " Ali the Egyptian seeketh thee in marriage." Whereat 
Zaynab rejoiced, for she loved him because of his chaste forbear- 
ance towards her, 1 and asked her mother what had passed. So 
she told her, adding, " I made it a condition that he should demand 
thy hand of thine uncle, so I might make him fall into destruc- 
tion." Meanwhile Ali turned to his fellows and asked them, 
" What manner of man is this Zurayk ? "; and they answered," He 
was chief of the sharpers of Al-Irak land and could all but pierce 
mountains and lay hold upon the stars. He would steal the Kohl 
from the eye and, in brief, he had not his match for roguery ; but 
he hath repented his sins and forsworn his old way of life and 
opened him a fishmonger's shop. And now he hath amassed two 
thousand dinars by the sale of fish and laid them in a purse with 
strings of silk, to which he hath tied bells and rings and rattles of 
brass, hung on a peg within the doorway. Every time he openeth 
his shop he suspendeth the said purse and crieth out, saying : 
Where are ye, O sharpers of Egypt, O prigs of Al-Irak, O 
tricksters of Ajam-land ? Behold, Zurayk the fishmonger hath 
hung up a purse in front of his shop, and whoso pretendeth to 

1 This is a neat touch of nature. Many a woman, even of the world, has fallen in love 
with a man before indifferent to her because he did not take advantage of her when he 
bad the opportunity. 

igo A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

craft and cunning, and can take it by sleight, it is his. So the long 
fingered and greedy-minded come and try to take the purse, but 
cannot ; for, whilst he frieth his fish and tendeth the fire, he layeth 
at his feet scone-like circles of lead ; and whenever a thief thinketh 
to take him unawares and maketh a snatch at the purse he casteth 
at him a load of lead and slayeth him or doeth him a damage. So 
O Ali, wert thou to tackle him, thou wouldst be as one who 
jostleth a funeral cortege, unknowing who is dead j 1 for thou art no 
match for him, and we fear his mischief for thee. Indeed, thou 
hast no call to marry Zaynab, and he who leaveth a thing alone 
liveth without it." Cried Ali, " This were shame, O comrades ; 
needs must I take the purse : but bring me a young lady's habit." 
So they brought him women's clothes and he clad himself therein 
and stained his hands with Henna, and modestly hung down his 
veil. Then he took a lamb and killing it, cut out the long 
intestine 2 which he cleaned and tied up below ; moreover he filled 

1 The slightest movement causes a fight at a funeral or a wedding-procession in the 
East ; even amongst the " mild Hindus." 

8 Arab. " Al-Musran " (plur. of " Masir ") properly the intestines which contain the 
chyle. The bag made by Ali was, in fact, a " Cundum " (so called from the inventor* 
Colonel Cundum of the Guards in the days of Charles Second) or " French letter "; une 
capote anglaise, a "check upon child." Captain Grose says (Class. Diet. etc. s.v. 
Cundum) "The dried gut of a sheep worn by a man in the act of coition to prevent 
venereal infection. These machines were long prepared and sold by a matron of the 
name of Philips at the Green Canister in Half Moon Street in the Strand * * * 
Also a false scabbard over a sword and the oilskin case for the colours of a regiment." 
Another account is given in the Guide Pratique des Maladies Secretes, Dr. G. Harris, 
Bruxelles. Librairie Populaire. He calls these petits sachets de baudruche " Candoms, 
from the doctor who invented them." (Littre ignores the word) and declares that the 
famous Ricord compared them with a bad umbrella which a storm can break or burst, 
while others term them cuirasses against pleasure and cobwebs against infection. They 
were much used in the last century. "Those pretended stolen goods were Mr. Wilkes's 
Papers, many of which tended to prove his authorship of the North Briton, No. 45, 
April 23, 1763, and some Cundums enclosed in an envelope" (Records of C. of King's 
Bench, London, 1763). " Pour finir 1' inventaire de ces curiosites du cabinet de Madame 
Gourdan, il ne faut pas omettre une multitude de redingottes appelees d'Angleterre, je ne 
sais pourquois. Vous connoissez, an surplus, ces especes de boucliers qu'on oppose aux 
traits empoisonnes de 1'amour ; el qui n'emoussent que ceux du plaisir." (L* Observateur 
Anglois, Londies 1778, iii. 69). Again we read : 

" Les capotes melancoliques 
Qui pendent chez les gros Millan (?) 
S'enflent d'elles-memes, lubriques, 
Et dechargent en se gonflant." 

Passage Satyrique. 

The Adventures of Mercury Alt of Cairo. 191 

it with the blood and bound it between his thighs ; after which he 
donned petticoat-trousers and walking boots. He also made 
himself a pair of false breasts with birds' crops and filled them 
with thickened milk and tied round his hips and over his belly a 
piece of linen, which he stuffed with cotton, girding himself over 
all with a kerchief of silk well starched. Then he went out, 
whilst all who saw him exclaimed. " What a fine pair of hind 
cheeks ! " Presently he saw an ass-driver coming, so he gave 
him a dinar and mounting, rode till he came to Zurayk's shop, 
where he saw the purse hung up and the gold glittering 
through it. Now Zurayk was frying fish, and AH said, " O 
ass-man, what is that smell ? " Replied he, " It's the smell 
of Zurayk's fish." Quoth Ali, "I am a woman with child and 
the smell harmeth me ; go, fetch me a slice of the fish." So the 
donkey-boy said to Zurayk, " What aileth thee to fry fish so early 
and annoy pregnant women with the smell ? I have here the wife 
of the Emir Hasan Sharr al-Tarik, and she is with child ; so give 
her a bit of fish, for the babe stirreth in her womb. O Protector, 
O my God, avert from us the mischief of this day ! " Thereupon 
Zurayk took a piece of fish and would have fried it, but the fire 
had gone out and he went in to rekindle it. Meanwhile Ali dis- 
mounted and sitting down, pressed upon the lamb's intestine till 
it burst and the blood ran out from between his legs. Then he 
cried aloud, saying, " O my back ! O my side " Whereupon the 
driver turned and seeing the blood running, said, " What aileth 
thee, O my lady ? " Replied Ali, " I have miscarried "; where- 
upon Zurayk looked out and seeing the blood fled affrighted 
into the inner shop. Quoth the donkey-driver, "Allah torment 

Also in Louis Prolat : 

" II fuyait, me laissant une capote au cul." 

The articles are now of two kinds mostly of baudruche (sheep's gut) and a few of 
caoutchouc. They are made almost exclusively in the faubourgs of Paris, giving employ- 
ment to many women and young girls ; Crenelle turns out the baudruche and Crenelle 
and Lilas the India-rubber article ; and of the three or four makers M. Deschamps is 
best known. The sheep's gut is not joined in any way but of single piece as it comes 
from the animal after, of course, much manipulation to make it thin and supple ; the 
inferior qualities are stuck together at the sides. Prices vary from 4^ to 36 francs per 
gross. Those of India-rubber are always joined at the side with a solution especially 
prepared for the purpose. I have also heard of fish-bladders but can give no details on 
the subject. The Cundum was unknown to the ancients of Europe although syphilis was 
not : even prehistoric skeletons show traces of its ravages. 

1 9* A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

thee, O Zurayk ! The lady hath miscarried and thou art no 
match for her husband. Why must thou make a stench so early 
in the morning ? I said to thee : Bring her a slice, but thou 
wouldst not." Thereupon, he took his ass and went his way and, 
as Zurayk still did not appear, AH put out his hand to the purse ; 
but no sooner had he touched it than the bells and rattles and 
rings began to jingle and the gold to chink. Quoth Zurayk, who 
returned at the sound, " Thy perfidy hath come to light, O gallows- 
bird ! Wilt thou put a cheat on me and thou in a woman's habit ? 
Now take what cometh to thee ! " And he threw a cake of lead 
at him, but it went agley and lighted on another ; whereupon the 
people rose against Zurayk and said to him, " Art thou a trades- 
man, or a swashbuckler ? An thou be a tradesman, take down thy 
purse and spare the folk thy mischief." He replied, " Bismillah, 
in the name of Allah ! On my head be it." As for Ali, he made 
off to the barrack and told Hasan Shuman what had happened, 
after which he put off his woman's gear and donning a groom's 
habit which was brought to him by his chief took a dish and five 
dirhams. Then he returned to Zurayk's shop and the fishmonger 
said to him, " What dost thou want, O my master ? " 1 He showed 
him the dirhams and Zurayk would have given him of the fish 
in the tray, but he said, " I will have none save hot fish." So he 
set fish in the earthen pan and finding the fire dead, went in to 
relight it; whereupon Ali put out his hand to the purse and 
caught hold of the end of it. The rattles and rings and bells 
jingled and Zurayk said, "Thy trick hath not deceived me. I 
knew thee for all thou art disguised as a groom by the grip of 
thy hand on the dish and the dirhams. And Shahrazad per- 
ceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo fojen ft toas tje &eben f^untoteU anto Jftfttentf) 

She resumed, It hath reached me. O auspicious King, that when 
Ali of Egypt put out his hand to the purse, the bells and rings 
jingled and Zurayk said, " Thy trick hath not deceived me for 
all thou comest disguised as a groom I knew thee by the grip of 
thy hand on the dish and the dirhams ! " So saying, he threw the 

1 Arab. " Ya UstA M (for " Ustaz.") The Pers. term is Ustad = a craft-master, an 
artisan and especially a barber. Here it is merely a polite address. 

The Adventures of Mercury AH of Cairo. 193 

lead at him, but he avoided it and it fell into the pan full of 
hot fish and broke it and overturned it, fat and all, upon the 
breast and shoulders of the Kazi, who was passing. The oil ran 
down inside his clothes to his privy parts and he cried out, " O 
my privities ! What a sad pickle you are in ! Alas, unhappy I ! 
Who hath played me this trick?" Answered the people, "O 
our lord, it was some small boy that threw a stone into the 
pan: but for Allah's ward, it had been worse." Then they 
turned and seeing the loaf of lead and that it was Zurayk who 
,had thrown it, rose against him and said to him, " O Zurayk, 
this is not allowed of Allah ! Take down the purse or it shall 
go ill for thee." Answered he, " I will take it down, Inshallah \ " 
Meanwhile Ali returned to the barrack and told his comrades 
who cried, " Where is the purse ? ", all that had passed and they 
said, "Thou hast exhausted two-thirds of his cunning." Then 
he changed his groom's dress for the garb of a merchant and 
going out, met a snake-charmer, with a bag of serpents and a 
wallet containing his kit to whom said he, " O charmer, come 
and amuse my lads, and thou shalt have largesse." So he accom- 
panied him to the barrack, where he fed him and drugging him 
with Bhang, doffed his clothes and put them on. Then he took 
the bags and repairing to Zurayk's shop began to play the reed- 
pipe. Quoth Zurayk, " Allah provide thee ! " But Ali pulled 
out the serpents and cast them down before him ; whereat the 
fishseller, who was afraid of snakes, fled from them into the 
inner shop. Thereupon Ali picked up the reptiles and, thrusting 
them back into the bag, stretched out his hand and caught hold 
of the end of the purse. The rings again rang and the bells and 
rattles jangled, and Zurayk cried, " Wilt thou never cease to play 
me tricks ? Now thou feignest thyself a serpent-charmer ! " So 
saying, he took up a piece of lead, and hurled it at Ali ; but it 
missed him and fell on the head of a groom, who was passing 
by, following his master, a trooper, and knocked him down. 
Quoth the soldier, "Who felled him?"; and the folk said, 
"'Twas a stone fell from the roof." So the soldier passed on 
and the people, seeing the piece of lead, went up to Zurayk 
and cried to him, "Take down the purse!"; and he said, 
" Inshallah, I will take it down this very night ! " Ali ceased 
not to practice upon Zurayk till he had made seven different 
attempts but without taking the purse. Then he returned the 
snake-charmer his clothes and kit and gave him due benevo- 

194 A If Laylah wa Lay la h. 

lence ; after which he went back to Zurayk's shop and heard 
him say, " If I leave the purse here to-night, he will dig through 
the shop-wall and take it ; I will carry it home with me." So 
he arose and shut the shop; then he took down the purse and 
putting it in his bosom set out home, till he came near his 
house, when he saw a wedding in a neighbour's lodging and 
said to himself, " I will hie me home and give my wife the purse 
and don my fine clothes and return to the marriage." And AH 
followed him. Now Zurayk had married a black girl, one of the 
freed women of the Wazir Ja'afar and she had borne him a son, 
whom he named Abdallah, and he had promised her to spend the 
money in the purse on the occasion of the boy's circumcision and 
of his marriage-procession. So he went into his house and, as he 
entered, his wife saw that his face was overcast and asked him, 
" What hath caused thy sadness ? " Quoth he, " Allah hath 
afflicted me this day with a rascal who made seven attempts to get 
the purse, but without avail ; " and quoth she, " Give it to me, that 
I may lay it up against the boy's festival-day." (Now Ali, who 
had followed him lay hidden in a closet whence he could see and 
hear all.) So he gave her the purse and changed his clothes, say- 
ing, " Keep the purse safely, O Umm Abdallah, for I am going to 
the wedding." But she said, "Take thy sleep awhile." So he lay 
down and fell asleep. Presently, Ali rose and going on tiptoe to 
the purse, took it and went to the house of the wedding and stood 
there, looking on at the fun. Now meanwhile, Zurayk dreamt that 
he saw a bird fly away with the purse and awaking in affright, said 
to his wife, " Rise; look for the purse." So she looked and finding 
it gone, buffeted her face and said, " Alas the blackness of thy 
fortune, O Umm Abdallah ! A sharker hath taken the purse." 
Quoth Zurayk, " By Allah it can be none other than rascal Ali 
who hath plagued me all day ! He hath followed me home and 
seized the purse ; and there is no help but that I go and get it 
back." Quoth she, " Except thou bring it, I will lock on thee 
the door and leave thee to pass the night in the street." So 
he went up to the house of the wedding, and seeing Ali looking 
on, said to himself/' This is he who took the purse; but he lodgeth 
with Ahmad al-Danaf." So he forewent him to the barrack and, 
climbing up at the back, dropped down into the saloon, where he 
found every one asleep. Presently there came a rap at the door 
and Zurayk asked, " Who is there ! " " Ali of Cairo," answered the 

The Adventures of Mercury Alt of Cairo. 195 

knocker ; and Zurayk said, " Hast thou brought the purse ? " So 
Ali thought it was Hasan Shuman and replied, " I have brought 
it j 1 open the door." Quoth Zurayk, " Impossible that I open to 
thee till I see the purse ; for thy chief and I have laid a wager 
about it." Said Ali, " Put out thy hand." So he put out his hand 
through the hole in the side-door and Ali laid the purse in it; 
whereupon Zurayk took it and going forth, as he had come in, 
returned to the wedding. Ali stood for a long while at the door, 
but none opened to him ; and at last he gave a thundering knock 
that awoke all the men and they said, " That is Ali of Cairo's 
peculiar rap." So the hall-keeper opened to him and Hasan 
Shuman said to him, " Hast thou brought the purse ? " Replied 
Ali, " Enough of jesting, O Shuman : didst thou not swear that 
thou wouldest not open to me till I showed thee the purse, and 
did I not give it thee through the hole in the side door ? And 
didst thou not say to me, I am sworn never to open the door till 
thou show me the purse ? " Quoth Hasan, " By Allah, 'twas not 
I who took it, but Zurayk ! " Quoth Ali, " Needs must I get it 
again," and repaired to the house of the wedding, where he heard 
the buffoon 2 say, "Bravo, 3 O Abu Abdallah ! Good luck to thee 
with thy son ! " Said Ali, " My luck is in the ascendant," and 
going to the fishmonger's lodging, climbed over the back wall of 
the house and found his wife asleep. So he drugged her with 
Bhang and clad himself in her clothes. Then he took the child in 
his arms and went round, searching, till he found a palm-leaf 

1 In common parlance Arabs answer a question (like the classics of Europe who rarely 
used Yes and No f Yea and Nay), by repeating its last words. They have, however, 
many affirmative particles e.g. Ni'am which answers a negative " Dost thou not go ?" 
Ni'am (Yes !) ; and Ajal, a stronger form following a command, e.g. Sir (go) Ajal, 
Yes verily. The popular form is Aywa ('llahi) = Yes, by Allah. The chief negatives 
are Ma and La, both often used in the sense of " There is not." 

2 Arab. " Khalbiis," prop, the servant of the Almah-gids who acts buffoon as well as 
pimp. The " Maskharah " (whence our " mask ") corresponds with the fool or jester of 
mediaeval Europe: amongst the Arnauts he is called "Suttari" and is known by his 
fox's tails : he mounts a mare, tom-toms on the kettle-drum and is generally one of the 
bravest of the corps. These buffoons are noted for extreme indecency : they generally 
appear in the ring provided with an enormous phallus of whip-cord and with this they 
charge man, woman and child, to the infinite delight of the public. 

3 Arab. "Shubash" pronounced in Egypt Shobash : it is the Persian Shah-bash lit. 
=r be a King, equivalent to our bravo. Here, however, the allusion is to the buffoon's 
cry at an Egyptian feast, " Shohbash 'alayk, ya Sahib al-faraj," =a present is due from 
thee, O giver of the fete ! " See Lane M E. xxvii. 

196 A If Lay la k wa Laylah. 

basket containing buns, 1 which Zurayk of his niggardliness, had 
kept from the Greater Feast. Presently, the fishmonger returned 
and knocked at the door, whereupon AH imitated his wife's voice 
and asked, " Who is at the door ? " " Abu Abdallah," answered 
Zurayk and AH said, " I swore that I would not open the door to 
thee, except thou broughtest back the purse." Quoth the fish- 
monger, " I have brought it." Cried AH, " Here with it into my 
hand before I open the door;" and Zurayk answered, saying, " Let 
down the basket and take it therein." So Sharper AH let down 
the basket and the other put the purse therein, whereupon All 
took it and drugged the child. Then he aroused the woman and 
making off by the back way as he had entered, returned with the 
child and the purse and the basket of cakes to the barrack and 
showed them all to the Forty, who praised his dexterity. There- 
upon he gave them cakes, which they ate, and made over the boy 
to Hasan Shuman, saying, " This is Zurayk's child ; hide it by 
thee." So he hid it and fetching a lamb, gave it to the hall-keeper 
who cooked it whole, wrapped in a cloth, and laid it out shrouded 
as it were a dead body. Meanwhile Zurayk stood awhile, waiting 
at the door, then gave a knock like thunder and his wife said to 
him, " Hast thou brought the purse ? " He replied, " Didst thou 
not take it up in the basket thou diddest let down but now?"; and 
she rejoined, " I let no basket down to thee, nor have I set eyes 
on the purse." Quoth he, " By Allah the sharper hath been 
beforehand with me and hath taken the purse again ! " Then he 
searched the house and found the basket of cakes gone and the 
child missing and cried out, saying, " Alas, my child ! " Where- 
upon the woman beat her breast and said, I and thee to the 
Wazir, for none hath killed my son save this sharper, and all 
because of thee." Cried Zurayk, " I will answer for him." So he 
tied the kerchief of truce about his neck and going to Ahmad 
al-Danaf's lodging, knocked at the door. The hall-keeper ad- 
mitted him and as he entered Hasan Shuman asked him, " What 
bringeth thee here ? " He answered, " Do ye intercede with AH 
the Cairene to restore me my child and I will yield to him the 
purse of gold." Quoth Hasan, " Allah requite thee, O AH ! Why 

1 Arab. " Ka f ak al-I'd: " the former is the Arab form of the Persian " Kahk " (still 
retained in Egypt) whence I would derive our word " cake." It alludes to the sweet 
cakes which are served up with dates, the quatre mendiants and sherbets during visits of 
the Lesser (not the greater) Festival, at the end of the Ramazan fast. (Lane M.E. xxv). 

The Adventures of Mercury Ali of Cairo. 

didst thou not tell me it was his child ? " " What hath befallen 
him ? " cried Zurayk, and Hasan replied, " We gave him raisins to 
eat, and he choked and died ; and this is he." Quoth Zurayk 
"Alas, my son! What shall I say to his mother?" Then he 
rose and opening the shroud, saw it was a lamb barbecued and 
said, " Thou makest sport of me, O Ali ! " Then they gave him 
the child and Calamity Ahmad said to him, "Thou didst hang up 
the purse, proclaiming that it should be the property of any sharper 
who should be able to take it, and Ali hath taken it; so 'tis the 
very property of our Cairene." Zurayk answered, " I make him 
a present of it ;" but Ali said to him, " Do thou accept it on 
account of thy niece Zaynab." And Zurayk replied, " I accept it." 
Then quoth the Forty, " We demand of thee Zaynab in marriage 
for Ali of Cairo ;" but quoth he, " I have no control over her save 
of kindness." Hasan asked, "Dost thou grant our suit ?"; and he 
answered, "Yes, I will grant her in marriage to him who can avail 
to her mahr or marriage-settlement." " And what is her dowry ? " 
enquired Hasan ; and Zurayk replied, " She hath sworn that none 
shall mount her breast save the man who bringeth her the robe of 
Kamar, daughter of Azariah the Jew and the rest of her gear." 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to 

say her permitted say. 

IC-ofo fo&cn ft foas tfie &eben ^untrnft anfc >txteentf) Nifl&t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Zurayk replied to Shuman, "She hath sworn that none shall 
ride astraddle upon her breast save the man who bringeth her 
the clothes of Kamar, daughter of Azariah the Jew and her 
crown and girdle and pantoufle 1 of gold/' Ali cried, " If I do 
not bring her the clothes this very night, I renounce my claim to 
her." Rejoined Zurayk, " O Ali, thou art a dead man if thou play 
any of thy pranks on Kamar." " Why so ? " asked Ali and the 
other answered, " Her father, Jew Azariah, is a skilful, wily, per- 
fidious magician who hath the Jinn at his service. He owneth 
without the city a castle, whose walls are one brick of gold and 
one of silver and which is visible to the folk only whilst he is 

1 Arab. " Tasumah," a rare word for a peculiar slipper. Do*y (s. v.) says only, 

espece de chaussure, sandale, pantoufle, soulier. 

198 A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

therein : when he goeth forth, it disappeareth. He brought his 
daughter this dress I speak of from an enchanted treasure, and 
every day he layeth it in a charger of gold and, opening the 
windows of the palace, crieth out : Where are the sharpers of 
Cairo, the prigs of Al-Irak, the master-thieves of Ajam-land ? 
Whoso prevaileth to take this dress, 'tis his. So all the long- 
fingered ones essayed the adventure, but failed to take it, and he 
turned them by his magic into apes and asses." But Ali said, " I 
will assuredly take it, and Zaynab shall be displayed therein/' * 
So he went to the shop of the Jew and found him a man of stern 
and forbidding aspect, seated with scales and stone-weights and 
gold and silver and nests of drawers and so forth before him, and 
a she-mule tethered hard by. Presently he rose and shutting his 
shop, laid the gold and silver in two purses, which he placed in a 
pair of saddle-bags and set on the she-mule's back. Then he 
mounted and rode till he reached the city-outskirts followed, with- 
out his knowledge, by Ali, when he took out some dust from a 
pocket-purse and, muttering over it, sprinkled it upon the air, No 
sooner had he done this than sharper Ali saw a castle which had 
not its like, and the Jew mounted the steps upon his beast which 
was a subject Jinni ; after which he dismounted and taking the 
saddle-bags off her back, dismissed the she-mule and she vanished. 
Then he entered the castle and sat down. Presently, he arose and 
opening the lattices, took a wand of gold, which he set up in the 
open window and, hanging thereto a golden charger by chains of 
the same metal, laid in it the dress, whilst Ali watched him from 
behind the door, and presently he cried out, saying, " Where are 
the sharpers of Cairo ? Where are the prigs of Al-Irak, the 
master-thieves of the Ajam-land ? Whoso can take this dress by 
his sleight, 'tis his ! " Then he pronounced certain magical words 
and a tray of food spread itself before him. He ate and conjured 
a second time, whereupon the tray disappeared ; and yet a third 
time, when a table of wine was placed between his hands and he 
drank. Quoth Ali, " I know not how I am to take the dress 
except if he be drunken. " Then he stole up behind the Jew 
whinger in grip ; but the other turned and conjured, saying to his 
hand, " Hold with the sword ;" whereupon Ali's right arm was held 
and abode half-way in the air hending the hanger. He put out his 

1 Arab. " Ijtila " = the displaying of the bride on her wedding night so often alluded 
to in The Nights. 

The Adventures of Mercury All of Cairo. 199 

left hand to the weapon, but it also stood fixed in the air, and so with 
his right foot, leaving him standing on one foot. Then the Jew 
dispelled the charm from him and Ali became as before. Pre- 
sently Azariah struck a table of sand and found that the thief s 
name was Mercury Ali of Cairo ; so he turned to him and said, 
" Come nearer! Who art thou and what dost thou here? " He 
replied, " I am Ali of Cairo, of the band of Ahmad al-Danaf. I 
sought the hand of Zaynab, daughter of Dalilah the Wily, and 
she demanded thy daughter's dress to her dowry ; so do thou give 
it to me and become a Moslem, an thou wouldst save thy life." 
Rejoined the Jew, " After thy death ! Many have gone about to 
steal the dress, but failed to take it from me ; wherefore an thou 
deign be advised, thou wilt begone and save thyself ; for they only 
seek the dress of thee, that thou mayst fall into destruction ; and 
indeed, had I not seen by geomancy that thy fortune overrideth 
my fortunes I had smitten thy neck." Ali rejoiced to hear that 
his luck overcame that of the Jew and said to him, " There is no 
help for it but I must have the dress and thou must become a True 
Believer." Asked the Jew, " Is this thy will and last word," and 
Ali answered, " Yes." So the Jew took a cup and filling it with 
water, conjured over it and said to Ali, " Come forth from this 
shape of a man into the form of an ass." Then he sprinkled him 
with the water and straightway he became a donkey, with hoofs 
and long ears, and fell to braying after the manner of asinines. 
The Jew drew round him a circle which became a wall over 
against him, and drank on till the morning, when he said to Ali, 
" I will ride thee to-day and give the she-mule a rest." So he 
locked up the dress, the charger, the rod and the charms in a 
cupboard 1 and conjured over Ali, who followed him. Then he 
set the saddle-bags on his back and mounting, fared forth of the 
Castle, whereupon it disappeared from sight and he rode into 
Baghdad, till he came to his shop, where he alighted and emptied 
the bags of gold and silver into the trays before him. As for Ali, 
he was tied up by the shop-door, where he stood in his asinine 
form hearing and understanding all that passed, without being 
able to speak. And behold, up came a young merchant with 
whom fortune had played the tyrant and who could find no easier 
way of earning his livelihood than water-carrying. So he brought 

1 Arab. Khiskhanah ; a mixed word from Khaysh = canvass or stuffs generally and 
Pers. Khanah = house room. Dozy (s.v.) says armoire t buffet. 

2OO A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

his wife's bracelets to the Jew and said to him, " Give me the 
price of these bracelets, that I may buy me an ass." Asked the 
Jew, " What wilt thou do with him ? "; and the other answered, 
" O master, I mean to fetch water from the r/ver on his back, and 
earn my living thereby.' 1 Quoth the Jew, " Take this ass of mine." 
So he sold him the bracelets and received the ass-shaped Ali of 
Cairo in part payment and carried him home. Quoth Ali to him- 
self, " If the Ass-man clap the pannel on thee and load thee with 
water-skins and go with thee half a score journeys a day he will 
ruin thy health and thou wilt die." So, when the water-carrier's 
wife came to ^bring him his fodder, he butted her with his head 
and she fell on her back ; whereupon he sprang on her and smiting 
her brow with his mouth, put out and displayed that which his 
begetter left him. She cried aloud and the neighbours came to 
her assistance and beat him and raised him off her breast. When 
her husband the intended water-carrier came home, she said to 
him, " Now either divorce me or return the ass to his owner." He 
asked, " What hath happened ? "; and she answered, " This is a 
devil in the guise of a donkey. He sprang upon me, and had not 
the neighbours beaten him off my bosom he had done with me a 
foul thing." So he carried the ass back to the Jew, who said 
to him, " Wherefore hast thou brought him back ? " and he 
replied, " He did a foul thing with my wife." So the Jew gave 
him his money again and he went away; and Azariah said to Ali, 
" Hast thou recourse to knavery, unlucky wretch that thou art, in 

order that And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

ttfoto fo&en it foas tfje &cbtn l^untofc anto Jbcbenfmtti) 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the water-carrier brought back the ass, its Jew owner returned to 
him the monies and turning to Ali of Cairo said, " Hast thou 
recourse to knavery, unlucky wretch that thou art, in order that 
he may return thee to me ? But since it pleaseth thee to be an 
ass, I will make thee a spectacle and a laughing stock to great and 
small." Then he mounted him and rode till he came without the 
city, when he brought out the ashes in powder and conjuring over 
it sprinkled it upon the air and immediately the Castle appeared. 
He entered and taking the saddle-bags off the ass's back set up 

The Adventures of Mercury Ali of Cairo. 20 1 

the rod and hung to it the charger wherein were the clothes pro- 
claiming aloud, " Where be the clever ones of all quarters who 
may avail to take this dress?" Then he conjured as before and 
meat was set before him and he ate and then wine when he drank ; 
after which he took a cup of water and muttering certain words 
thereover, sprinkled it on the ass Ali, saying, " Quit this form and 
return to thy former shape." Ali straightway became a man once 
more and Azariah said to him, " O Ali, take good advice and be 
content with my mischief. Thou hast no call to marry Zaynab 
nor to take my daughter's dress, for 'tis no easy matter for thee : 
so leave greed and 'twill be better for thee ; else will I turn thee 
into a bear or an ape or set on thee an Ifrit, who will cast thee 
behind the Mountain Kaf." He replied, " I have engaged to take 
the dress and needs must I have it and thou must Islamize or I 
will slay thee." Rejoined the Jew, " O Ali, thou art like a walnut; 
unless it be broken it cannot be eaten." Then he took a cup of 
water and conjuring over it, sprinkled Ali with somewhat thereof, 
saying, u Take thou shape of bear ; " whereupon he instantly be- 
came a bear and the Jew put a collar about his neck, muzzled him 
and chained him to a picket of iron. Then he sat down and ate 
and drank, now and then throwing him a morsel of his orts and 
emptying the dregs of the cup over him, till the morning, when he 
rose and laid by the tray and the dress and conjured over the 
bear, which followed him to the shop. There the Jew sat down 
and emptied the gold and silver into the trays before Ali, after 
binding him by the chain ; and the bear there abode seeing and 
comprehending but not able to speak. Presently up came a man 
and a merchant, who accosted the Jew and said to him, "O Master, 
wilt thou sell me yonder bear? I have a wife who is my cousin 
and is sick ; and they have prescribed for her to eat bears' flesh 
and anoint herself with bears' grease." At this the Jew rejoiced 
and said to himself, " I will sell him to this merchant, so he may 
slaughter him and we be at peace from him." And Ali also said in 
his mind, " By Allah, this fellow meaneth to slaughter me ; but 
deliverance is with the Almighty." Then said the Jew, " He is a 
present from me to thee." So the merchant took him and carried 
him to the butcher, to whom he said, " Bring thy tools and com- 
pany me." The butcher took his knives and followed the merchant 
to his house, where he bound the beast and fell to sharpening his 
blade : but, when he went up to him to slaughter him, the bear 
escaped from his hands and rising into the air, disappeared from 

202 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

sight between heaven and earth ; nor did he cease flying till he 
alighted at the Jew's castle. Now the reason thereof was on this 
wise. When the Jew returned home, his daughter questioned him 
of AH and he told her what had happened ; whereupon she said, 
" Summon a Jinni and ask him of the youth, whether he be indeed 
Mercury Ali or another who secketh to put a cheat on thee." So 
Azariah called a Jinni by conjurations and questioned him of Ali ; 
and he replied, "'Tis Ali of Cairo himself. The butcher hath 
pinioned him and whetted his knife to slaughter him." Quoth the 
Jew, " Go, snatch him up and bring him hither, ere the butcher cut 
his throat." So the Jinni flew off and, snatching Ali out of the 
butcher's hands, bore him to the palace and set him down before 
the Jew, who took a cup of water and conjuring over it, sprinkled 
him therewith, saying, "Return to thine own shape." And he 
straightway became a man again as before. The Jew's daughter 
Kamar, 1 seeing him to be a handsome young man, fell in love with 
him and he fell in love with her ; and she said to him, " O unlucky 
one, why dost thou go about to take my dress, enforcing my father 
to deal thus with thee ?" Quoth he, t( 1 have engaged to get it for 
Zaynab the Coney-catcher, that I may wed her therewith." And 
she said, " Others than thou have played pranks with my father to 
get my dress, but could not win to it," presently adding, " So put 
away this thought from thee." But he answered, " Needs must I 
have it, and thy father must become a Moslem, else I will slay 
him." Then said the Jew, " See, O my daughter, how this un- 
lucky fellow seeketh his own destruction," adding, " Now I will 
turn thee into a dog." So he took a cup graven with characters 
and full of water and conjuring over it, sprinkled some of it upon 
Ali, saying, " Take thou form of dog." Whereupon he straight- 
way became a dog, and the Jew and his daughter drank together 
till the morning, when the father laid up the dress and charger 
and mounted his mule. Then he conjured over the dog, which 
followed him, as he rode towards the town, and all dogs barked at 
Ali 2 as he passed, till he came to the shop of a broker, a seller of 
second-hand goods, who rose and drove away the dogs, and Ali 
lay down before him. The Jew turned and looked for him, but 

1 The Bresl. Edit. "Kamarfyah"= Moon-like (fern.) for Moon. 

* Every traveller describes the manners and customs of dogs in Eastern cities where 
they furiously attack all canine intruders. I have noticed the subject in writing of Al- 
Medinah where the beasts are confined to the suburbs (Pilgrimage ii. 52-54). 

The Adventures of Mercury All of Cairo. 203 

finding him not, passed onwards. Presently, the broker shut up 
his shop and went home, followed by the dog, which, when his 
daughter saw enter the house, she veiled her face and said, " O my 
papa, dost thou bring a strange man in to me ? " He replied, " O 
my daughter, this is a dog." Quoth she, " Not so, 'tis Ali the 
Cairene, whom the Jew Azariah hath enchanted ; " and she turned 
to the dog and said to him, " Art not Ali of Cairo ? " And he 
signed to her with his head, " Yes." Then her father asked her, 
" Why did the Jew enchant him ? " ; and she answered, " Because 
of his daughter Kamar's dress ; but I can release him." Said the 
broker, " An thou canst indeed do him this good office, now is the 
time," and she, " If he will marry me, I will release him." And 
he signed to her with his head, " Yes." So she took a cup of 
water, graven with certain signs and conjuring over it, was about 
to sprinkle Ali therewith, when lo and behold ! she heard a great 
cry and the cup fell from her hand. She turned and found that it 
was her father's handmaid, who had cried out ; and she said to 
her, " O my mistress, is't thus thou keepest the covenant between 
me and thee ? None taught thee this art save I, and thou didst 
agree with me that thou wouldst do naught without consulting 
me and that whoso married thee should marry me also, and that 
one night should be mine and one night thine." And the broker's 
daughter said, " 'Tis well." When the broker heard the maid's 
words, he asked his daughter, "Who taught the maid?"; and 
she answered, " O my papa, enquire of herself." So he put the 
question and she replied, " Know, O my lord, that, when I was 
with Azariah the Jew, I used to spy upon him and listen to him, 
when he performed his gramarye ; and when he went forth to his 
shop in Baghdad, I opened his books and read in them, till I 
became skilled in the Cabbala-science. One day, he was warm 
with wine and would have me lie with him, but I objected, saying, 
I may not grant thee this except thou become a Moslem. He 
refused and I said to him, Now for the Sultan's market. 1 So he 
sold me to thee and I taught my young mistress, making it a 
condition with her that she should do naught without my counsel, 
and that whoso might wed her should wed me also, one night for 
me and one night for her." Then she took a cup of water and 
conjuring over it, sprinkled the dog therewith ; saying, " Return 

1 She could legally compel him to sell her j because, being an Infidel, he had attempted 
to debauch a Moslemah. 

2O4 Aff Laylah wa Laylah, 

thou to form of man." And he straightway was restored to his 
former shape ; whereupon the broker saluted him with the salam 
and asked him the reason of his enchantment. So Ali told him 

all that had passed And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased to say her permitted say 

j3ofo fo&en it foas t&e >ebm f^untrrrtr an& lEtgbttenrt) Jiu$t, 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
broker, having saluted Ali of Cairo with the salam, asked him the 
reason of his enchantment and what had befallen him ; and he 
answered by telling him all that had passed, when the broker said 
to him, " Will not my daughter and the handmaid suffice thee ? " 
but he answered, " Needs must I have Zaynab also." Now 
suddenly there came a rap at the door and the maid said, " Who 
is at the door ? " The knocker replied, " Kamar, daughter of 
Azariah the Jew ; say me, is Ali of Cairo with you ? '' Replied 
the broker's daughter, " O thou daughter of a dog ! If he be 
with us, what wilt thou with him ? Go down, O maid, and open 
to her." So the maid let her in, and when she looked upon 
Ali and he upon her, he said, " What bringeth thee hither 
O dog's daughter ? " Quoth she, " I testify that there is no 
god but the God and I testify that Mohammed is the Apostle 
of God." And, having thus Islamised, she asked him, " Do men 
in the Faith of Al-Islam give marriage portions to women or 
do women dower men ? '* Quoth he, " Men endow women." 
" Then," said she, " I come and dower myself for thee, 
bringing thee, as my marriage-portion, my dress together with 
the rod and charger and chains and the head of my father, 
the enemy of thee and the foeman of Allah." And she threw 
down the Jew's head before him. Now the cause of her 
slaying her sire was as follows. On the night of his turning 
Ali into a dog, she saw, in a dream, a speaker who said to her, 
" Become a Moslemah." She did so ; and as soon as she awoke 
next morning she expounded Al-Islam to her father who re- 
fused to embrace the Faith ; so she drugged him with Bhang 
and killed him. As for Ali, he took the gear and said to the 
broker, " Meet we to-morrow at the Caliph's Divan, that I may 
take thy daughter and the handmaid to wife." Then he set out 
rejoicing, to return to the barrack of the Forty. On his way he 
met a sweetmeat seller, who was beating hand upon hand and 

The Adventures of Mercury AH of Cairo. 205 

saying, There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, 
the Glorious, the Great ! Folk's labour hath waxed sinful and 
man is active only in fraud ! " Then said he to Ali, " I conjure 
thee, by Allah, taste of this confection ! " So Ali took a piece 
and ate it and fell down senseless, for there was Bhang therein ; 
whereupon the sweetmeat-seller seized the dress and the charger 
and the rest of the gear and thrusting them into the box: where 
he kept his sweetmeats hoisted it up and made off. Presently he 
met a Kazi, who called to him, saying, " Come hither, O sweet- 
meat seller ! " So he went up to him and setting down his sack 
laid the tray of sweetmeats upon it and asked, " What dost thou 
want?" "Halwd and dragte, 1 " answered the Kazi and, taking 
some in his hand, said, " Both of these are adulterated.'' Then 
he brought out sweetmeats from his breast-pocket 2 and gave them 
to the sweetmeat-seller, saying, " Look at this fashion ; how 
excellent it is ! Eat of it and make the like of it." So he ate 
and fell down senseless, for the sweetmeats were drugged with 
Bhang, whereupon the Kazi bundled him into the sack and made 
off with him, charger and chest and all, to the barrack of the 
Forty. Now the Judge in question was Hasan Shuman and the 
reason of this was as follows. When Ali had been gone some 
days in quest of the dress and they heard no news of him, 
Calamity Ahmad said to his men, " O lads, go and seek for your 
brother Ali of Cairo." So they sallied forth in quest of him and 
among the rest Hasan Shuman the Pestilence, disguised in a Kazi's 
gear. He came upon the sweetmeat-seller and, knowing him 
for Ahmad al-Lakit 3 suspected him of having played some trick 
upon Ali ; so he drugged him and did as we have seen. Mean- 
while, the other Forty fared about the streets and highways 
making search in different directions, and amongst them Ali 
Kitf al-Jamal, who espying a crowd, made towards the people 
and found the Cairene Ali lying drugged and senseless in their 
midst. So he revived him and he came to himself and seeing the 
folk flocking around him asked, " Where am I ? " Answered 
Ali Camel-shoulder and his comrades, " We found thee lying here 
drugged but know not who drugged thee." Quoth Ali, " 'Twas 

1 Arab." Halawat waMulabbas "; the latter etymological ly means one dressed or clothed. 
Here it alludes to almonds, etc., clothed or coated with sugar. See Dozy s. v. " labas." 

~ Arab. " 'Ubb" from a root = being long : Dozy (s.v.), says poche au sein ; Habb 
al-'ubb is a woman's ornament. 

3 Who, it will be remembered, was Dalilah's grandson. 

206 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

a certain sweetmeat-seller who drugged me and took the gear 
from me ; but where is he gone ? " Quoth his comrades, " We 
have seen nothing of him ; but come, rise and go home with 
us." So they returned to the barrack, where they found Ahmad 
al-Danaf, who greeted AH and enquired if he had brought the 
dress. He replied, " I was coming hither with it and other 
matters, including the Jew's head, when a sweetmeat-seller met 
me and drugged me with Bhang and took them from me." Then 
he told him the whole tale ending with, " If I come across that 
man of goodies again, I will requite him." Presently Hasan 
Shuman came out of a closet and said to him, " Hast thou gotten 
the gear, O Ali ?" So he told him what had befallen him and 
added, " If I know whither the rascal is gone and where to 
find the knave, I would pay him out. Knowest thou whither 
he went?" Answered Hasan, " I know where he is," and 
opening the door of the closet, showed him the sweet- 
meat-seller within, drugged and senseless. Then he aroused 
him and he opened his eyes and finding himself in presence of 
Mercury Ali and Calamity Ahmad and the Forty, started up and 
said, " Where am I and who hath laid hands on me ? " Replied 
Shuman, "'Twas I laid hands on thee;" and Ali cried, " O 
perfidious wretch, wilt thou play thy pranks on me ? " And he 
would have slain him : but Hasan said to him, *' Hold thy hand 
for this fellow is become thy kinsman/' " How my kinsman ? " 
quoth Ali ; and quoth Hasan, " This is Ahmad al-Lakit son of 
Zaynab's sister." Then said Ali to the prisoner, " Why didst thou 
thus, O Lakit ? " and he replied, " My grandmother, Dalilah the 
Wily, bade me do it ; only because Zurayk the fishmonger fore- 
gathered with the old woman and said : Mercury Ali of Cairo is 
a sharper and a past master in knavery, and he will certainly slay 
the Jew and bring hither the dress. So she sent for me and 
said to me, O Ahmad, dost thou know Ali of Cairo ? Answered 
I : Indeed I do and 'twas I directed him to Ahmad al-Danaf's 
lodging when he first came to Baghdad. Quoth she : Go and set 
thy nets for him, and if he have brought back the gear, put a 
cheat on him and take it from him. So I went round about the 
highways of the city, till I met a sweetmeat-seller and buying his 
clothes and stock-in-trade and gear for ten dinars, did what was 
clone." Thereupon quoth Ali, " Go back to thy grandmother and 
Zurayk, and tell them that I have brought the gear and the Jew's 
head and say to them: Meet me to-morrow at the Caliph's 

The Adventures of Mercury All of Cairo. 207 

Divan, there to receive Zaynab's dowry." And Calamity Ahmad 
rejoiced in this and said, " We have not wasted our pains in 
rearing thee, O Ali ! " Next morning Ali took the dress, the 
charger, the rod and the chains of gold, together with the head of 
Azariah the Jew mounted on a pike, and went up, accompanied 
by Ahmad al-Danaf and the Forty, to the Divan, where they 

kissed ground before the Caliph And Shahrazad perceived 

the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo fofeen ft foas t&e *btim ^unUrrtJ antr Ninctecntft 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ali 
the Cairene went up to the Caliph's Divan, accompanied by his 
uncle Ahmad al-Danaf and his lads they kissed ground before the 
Caliph who turned and seeing a youth of the most valiant aspect, 
enquired of Calamity Ahmad concerning him and he replied, " O 
Commander of the Faithful, this is Mercury Ali the Egyptian 
captain of the brave boys of Cairo, and he is the first of my lads." 
And the Caliph loved him for the valour that shone from between 
his eyes, testifying for him and not against him. Then Ali rose ; 
and, casting the Jew's head down before him, said, " May thine 
every enemy be like this one, O Prince of True Believers!" 
Quoth Al-Rashid, " Whose head is this ? " ; and quoth Ali, " 'Tis 
the head of Azariah the Jew." " Who slew him ? " asked the 
Caliph. So Ali related to him all that had passed, from first to 
last, and the Caliph said, " I had not thought thou wouldst kill 
him, for that he was a sorcerer." Ali replied, " O Commander of 
the Faithful, my Lord made me prevail to his slaughter/' Then 
the Caliph sent the Chief of Police to the Jew's palace, where he 
found him lying headless ; so he laid the body on a bier, 1 and 
carried it to Al-Rashid, who commanded to burn it Whereat, 
behold, up came Kamar and kissing the ground before the Caliph, 
informed him that she was the daughter of Jew Azariah and that 
she had become a Moslemah. Then she renewed her profession 

1 Arab. "Tabut," a term applied to the Ark of the Covenant (Koran ii. 349), which 
contained Moses' rod and shoes, Aaron's mitre, the manna-pot, the broken Tables of 
the Law, and the portraits of all the prophets which are to appear till the end of time 
an extensive list for a box measuring 3 by 7 cubits. Europeans often translate it coffin, 
but it is properly the wooden case placed over an honoured grave. " Iran " is the Ark 
of Moses exposure, also the large hearse on which tribal chiefs were carried to earth. 

208 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

of Faith before the Commander of the Faithful and said to him 
" Be thou my intercessor with Sharper Ali that he take me to 
wife." She also appointed him her guardian to consent to her 
marriage with the Cairene, to whom he gave the Jew's palace and 
all its contents, saying, " Ask a boon of me." Quoth Ali, " I beg 
of thee to let me stand on thy carpet and eat of thy table ; " and 
quoth the Caliph, " O Ali, hast thou any lads ? " He replied, " I 
have forty lads ; but they are in Cairo." Rejoined the Caliph, 
" Send to Cairo and fetch them hither," presently adding, " But, 
O Ali, hast thou a barrack for them?" "No," answered Ali; 
and Hasan Shuman said, " I make him a present of my barrack 
\vith all that is therein, O Commander of the Faithful." How- 
ever, the Caliph retorted, saying, " Thy lodging is thine own, O 
Hasan;" and he bade his treasurer give the court architect ten 
thousand dinars, that he might build Ali a hall with four dafses 
and forty sleeping-closets for his lads. Then said he, "O Ali, 
hast thou any further wish, that we may command its fulfilment ?"; 
and said Ali, " O King of the age, be thou my intercessor with 
Dalilah the Wily that she give me her daughter Zaynab to wife 
and take the dress and gear of Azariah's girl in lieu of dower." 
Dalilah accepted the Caliph's intercession and accepted the 
charger and dress and what not, and they drew up the marriage 
contracts between Ali and Zaynab and Kamar, the Jew's daughter 
and the broker's daughter and the handmaid. Moreover, the 
Caliph assigned him a solde with a table morning and evening, 
and stipends and allowances for fodder ; all of the most liberal. 
Then Ali the Cairene fell to making ready for the wedding 
festivities and, after thirty days, he sent a letter to his comrades in 
Cairo, wherein he gave them to know of the favours and honours 
which the Caliph had bestowed upon him and said, "I have 
married four maidens and needs must ye come to the wedding.'' 
So, after a reasonable time the forty lads arrived and they held 
high festival ; he homed them in his barrack and entreated them 
with the utmost regard and presented them to the Caliph, who 
bestowed on them robes of honour and largesse. Then the tiring- 
women displayed Zaynab before Ali in the dress of the Jew's 
daughter, and he went in unto her and found her a pearl 
unthridden and a filly by all save himself unridden. Then he 
went in unto the three other maidens and found them accomplished 
in beauty and loveliness. After this it befel that Ali of Cairo was 
one night on guard by the Caliph who said to him, " I wish thee 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 209 

O Ali, to tell me all that hath befallen thee from first to last with 
Dalilah the Wily and Zaynab the Coney-catcher and Zurayk the 
Fishmonger." So Ali related to him all his adventures and the 
Commander of the Faithful bade record them and lay them up in 
the royal muniment-rooms. So they wrote down all that had 
befallen him and kept it in store with other histories for the 
people of Mohammed the Best of Men. And Ali and his wives 
and comrades abode in all solace of life, and its joyance, till there 
came to them the Destroyer of Delights and Sunderer of Societies ; 
and Allah (be He extolled and exalted !) is All-knowing ! ' And 
also men relate the tale of 


THERE was once in the city of Shiraz a mighty King called Sayf 
al-A'azam Shah, who had grown old, without being blessed with 
a son. So he summoned the physicists and physicians and said 
to them, " I am now in years and ye know my case and the state 
of the kingdom and its ordinance ; and I fear for my subjects 
after me ; for that up to this present I have not been vouchsafed 
a son." Thereupon they replied, " We will compound thee a some- 
what of drugs wherein shall be efficacy, if it please Almighty 
Allah ! " So they mixed him drugs, which he used and knew his 
wife carnally, and she conceived by leave of the Most High Lord, 
who saith to a thing, " Be," and it becometh. When her months 
were accomplished, she gave birth to a male child like the moon, 
whom his father named Ardashir, 3 and he grew up and throve and 
applied himself to the study of learning and letters, till he 
attained the age of fifteen. Now there was in Al-Irak a King 
called Abd al-Kddir who had a daughter, by name Hayat 
al-Nufus, and she was like the rising full moon ; but she had an 
hatred for men and the folk very hardly dared name mankind in 
her presence. The Kings of the Chosroes had sought her in 

1 i.e. What we have related is not " Gospel Truth." 

2 Omitted by Lane (Hi. 252) "because little more than. a repetition" of Taj al-Muluk 
and the Lady Dunya. This is true ; but the nice progress of the nurse's pimping is a 
well-finished picture and the old woman's speech (infra p. 243) is a gem. 

* Artaxerxes ; in the Mac. Edit. Azdashir, a misprint. 

2IO A I Laylah wa Laylah. 

marriage of her sire ; but, when he spoke with her thereof, she 
said, " Never will I do this ; and if thou force me thereto, I will 
slay myself." Now Prince Ardashir heard of her fame and fell in 
love with her and told his father who, seeing his case, took pity 
on him and promised him day by day that he should marry her. 
So he despatched his Wazir to demand her in wedlock, but King 
Abd al-Kadir refused, and when the Minister returned to King 
Sayf al-A'azam and acquainted him with what had befallen his 
mission and the failure thereof, he was wroth with exceeding 
wrath and cried, " Shall the like of me send to one of the Kings 
on a requisition and he accomplish it not ? " Then he bade a 
herald make proclamation to his troops, bidding them bring out 
the tents and equip them for war with all diligence, though they 
should borrow money for the necessary expenses; and he said, 
" I will on no wise turn back, till I have laid waste King Abd 
al-Kadir's dominions and slain his men and plundered his 
treasures and blotted out his traces ! " When the report of this 
reached Ardashir he rose from his carpet-bed, and going in to his 
father, kissed ground * between his hands and said, " O mighty 

King, trouble not thyself with aught of this thing And 

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

Koto fo&en ft toas tjje &eben f^untrrrtr an* ^toentjetfi Xig&t, 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
report of this reached the Prince he went in to his sire the King 
and, kissing ground between his hands, said, " O mighty King, 
trouble not thy soul with aught of this thing and levy not thy 
champions and armies neither spend thy monies. Thou art 
stronger than he, and if thou loose upon him this thy host, thou 
wilt lay waste his cities and dominions and spoil his good and slay 
his strong men and himself ; but when his daughter shall come to 
know what hath befallen her father and his people by reason of 
her, she will slay herself, and I shall die on her account ; for I can 
never live after her ; no, never." Asked the King, " And what 

I use "kiss ground" as we say "kiss hands." But it must not be understood 
literally: the nearest approach would be to touch the earth with the finger-tips and 
apply them to the lips or brow. Amongst Hindus the Ashtanga-prostration included 
actually kissing the ground. 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 211 

then thinkest thou to do, O my son ? " and the Prince answered, 
"I will don a merchant's habit and cast about how I may win to 
the Princess and compass my desire of her/' Quoth Sayf 
al-A'azam, "Art thou determined upon this?"; and quoth the 
Prince, " Yes, O my sire ; " whereupon the King called to his 
Wazir, and said to him, " Do thou journey with my son, the core 
of my heart, and help him to win his will and watch over him and 
guide him with thy sound judgment, for thou standest to him even 
in my stead." " I hear and obey," answered the Minister ; and 
the King gave his son three hundred thousand dinars in gold and 
great store of jewels and precious stones and goldsmiths' ware and 
stuffs and other things of price. Then Prince Ardashir v/ent in to 
his mother and kissed her hands and asked her blessing. She 
blessed him and, forthright opening her treasures, brought out to 
him necklaces and trinkets and apparel and all manner of other 
costly objects hoarded up from the time of the bygone Kings, whose 
price might not be evened with coin. Moreover, he took with 
him of his Mamelukes and negro-slaves and cattle all that he 
needed for the road and clad himself and the Wazir and their 
company in traders' gear. Then he farewelled his parents and 
kinsfolk and friends ; and, setting out, fared on over wolds and 
wastes all hours of the day and watches of the night ; and whenas 
the way was longsome upon him he improvised these couplets : 

My longing bred of love with mine unease for ever grows ; o Nor against all 

the wrongs of time one succourer arose : 
When Pleiads and the Fishes show in sky the rise I watch, o As worshipper 

within whose breast a pious burning glows : 
For Star o' Morn I speer until at last when it is seen, o I'm madded with 

my passion and my fancy's woes and throes : 
I swear by you that never from your love have I been loosed ; o Naught am 

I save a watcher who of slumber nothing knows ! 
Though hard appear my hope to win, though languor aye increase, o And after 

thee my patience fails and ne'er a helper shows ; 
Yet will I wait till Allah shall be pleased to join our loves ; o I'll mortify 

the jealous and I'll mock me of my foes. 

When he ended his verse he swooned away and the Wazir 
sprinkled rose-water on him, till the Prince came to himself, when 
the Minister said to him, " O King's son, possess thy soul in 
patience ; for the consequence of patience is consolation, and 
behold, thou art on the way to whatso thou wishest." And he 
ceased not to bespeak him fair and comfort him till his trouble 

212 A If Lay la h wa Lay I ah. 

subsided ; and they continued their journey with all diligence. 
Presently, the Prince again became impatient of the length of the 
way and bethought him of his beloved and recited these 
couplets : 

Longsome is absence, restlessness increaseth and despite ; * And burn my 

vitals in the blaze my love and longings light : 
Grows my hair gray from pains and pangs which I am doomed bear * For 

pine, while tear-floods stream from eyes and sore offend my sight : 
I swear, O Hope of me, O End of every wish and will, * By Him who made 

mankind and every branch with leafage dight, 
A passion-load for thee, O my Desire, I must endure, * And boast I that to 

bear such load no lover hath the might 

Question the Night of me and Night thy soul shall satisfy * Mine eyelids 
never close in sleep throughout the livelong night. 

Then he wept with sore weeping and 'plained of that he suffered 
for stress of love-longing; but the Wazir comforted him and 
spoke him fair, promising him the winning of his wish ; after 
which they fared on again for a few days, when they drew near 
to the White City, the capital of King Abd al-Kadir, soon after 
sunrise. Then said the Minister to the Prince, " Rejoice, O 
King's son, in all good ; for see, yonder is the White City, that 
which thou seekest" Whereat the Prince rejoiced with exceeding 
joy and recited these couplets : 

My friends, I yearn in heart distraught for him ; o Longing abides and with 

sore pains I brim : 
I mourn like childless mother, nor can find o One to console me when 

the light grows dim ; 
Yet when the breezes blow from off thy land, o I feel their freshness shed 

on heart and limb ; 
And rail mine eyes like water-laden clouds, o While in a tear-sea shed 

by heart I swim. 

Now when they entered the White City they asked for the 
Merchants' Khan, a place of moneyed men ; and when shown the 
hostelry they hired three magazines and on receiving the keys 1 
they laid up therein all their goods and gear. They abode in the 
Khan till they were rested, when the Wazir applied himself to 

devise a device for the Prince, And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

1 The "key " is mentioned because a fee so called (miftah) is paid on its being handed 
to the new lodger (Pilgrimage i. 62). 

Avdashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 213 

Nofo fofjm it foa* flje &ebcn l^untafc an* ^feentg-first 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
Prince and the Minister alighted at the Khan and lodged their 
goods in the ground-floor magazines and there settled their 
servants. Then they tarried awhile till they had rested when 
the Wazir arose and applied himself to devise a device for the 
Prince, and said to him, " I have bethought me of somewhat 
wherein, methinks, will be success for thee, so it please Almighty 
Allah." Quoth Ardashir, " O thou Wazir of good counsel, do 
what cometh to thy mind, and may the Lord direct thy rede 
aright ! " Quoth the Minister, " I purpose to hire thee a shop 
in the market-street of the stuff-sellers and set thee therein ; for 
that all, great and small, have recourse to the bazar and, meseems, 
when the folk see thee with their own eyes sitting in the shop 
their hearts will incline to thee and thou wilt thus be enabled to 
attain thy desire, for thou art fair of favour and souls incline 
to thee and sight rejoiceth in thee." The other replied, " Do 
what seemeth good to thee." So the Wazir forthright began to 
robe the Prince and himself in their richest raiment and, putting 
a purse of a thousand dinars in his breast-pocket, went forth and 
walked about the city, whilst all who looked upon them marvelled 
at the beauty of the King's son, saying, " Glory be to Him 
who created this youth ' of vile water 1 ' ! Blessed be Allah 
excellentest of Creators ! " Great was the talk anent him and 
some said, " This is no mortal, ' this is naught save a noble 
angel '"; 2 and others, "Hath Rizwdn, the door-keeper of the 
Eden-garden, left the gate of Paradise unguarded, that this youth 
hath come forth ?" The people followed them to the stuff- 
market, where they entered and stood, till there came up to them 
an old man of dignified presence and venerable appearance, who 
saluted them, and they returned his salam. Then the Shaykh 
said to them, " O my lords, have ye any need, that we may 
have the honour of accomplishing ? " ; and the Wazir asked him, 
" Who art thou, O elder ? " He answered, " I am the Overseer 
of the market." Quoth the Wazir, ' Know then, O Shaykh, 
that this youth is my son and I wish to hire him a shop in the . 

1 The Koranic term for semen, often quoted. 

* Koran, xii. 31, in the story of Joseph, before noticed. 

214 -A If Layiak wa Laylah. 

bazar, that he may sit therein and learn to sell and buy and take 
and give, and come to ken merchants' ways and habits." " I hear 
and I obey/' replied the Overseer and brought them without stay 
or delay the key of a shop, which he caused the brokers sweep 
and clean. And they did his bidding. Then the Wazir sent for 
a high mattress, stuffed with ostrich-down, and set it up in the 
shop, spreading upon it a small prayer-carpet, and a cushion 
fringed with broidery of red gold. Moreover he brought pillows 
and transported thither so much of the goods and stuffs that 
he had brought with him as filled the shop. Next morning the 
young Prince came and opening the shop, seated himself on the 
divan, and stationed two Mamelukes, clad in the richest of raiment 
before him and two black slaves of the goodliest of the 
Abyssinians in the lower part of the shop. The Wazir enjoined 
him to keep his secret from the folk, so thereby he might find" 
aid in the winning of his wishes ; then he left him and charging 
him to acquaint him with what befel him in the shop, day by day 
returned to the Khan. The Prince sat in the shop till night as 
he were the moon at its fullest, whilst the folk, hearing tell of his 
comeliness, flocked to the place, without errand, to gaze on his 
beauty and loveliness and symmetry and perfect grace and glorify 
the Almighty who created and shaped him, till none could pass 
through that bazar for the excessive crowding of the folk about 
him. The King's son turned right and left, abashed at the 
throng of people that stared at him, hoping to make acquaintance 
with some one about the court, of whom he might get news of 
the Princess ; but he found no way to this, wherefore his breast 
was straitened. Meanwhile, the Wazir daily promised him 
the attainment of his desire and the case so continued for a 
time till, one morning, as the youth sat in the shop, there came 
up an old woman of respectable semblance and dignified presence 
clad in raiment of devotees 1 and followed by two slave-girls like 
moons. She stopped before the shop and, having considered the 
Prince awhile, cried, " Glory be to God who fashioned that face 
and perfected that figure ! " Then she saluted him and he 
returned her salam and seated her by his side. Quoth she, 
" Whence cometh thou, O fair of favour ? " ; and quoth he, " From 
the parts of Hind, O my mother ; and I have come to this city to 

1 Probably the white woollens, so often mentioned, whose use is now returning to 
Europe, where men have a reasonable fear of dyed stuffs, especially since Aniline 
conquered Cochineal. 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufits. 21$ 

see the world and look about me." Honour to thee for a visitor ! 
What goods and stuffs hast thou ? Show me something handsome, 
fit for Kings. "If thou wish for handsome stuffs, I will show 
them to thee ; for I have wares that beseem persons of every 
condition." O my son, I want somewhat costly of price and 
seemly to sight ; brief, the best thou hast." " Thou must needs 
tell me for whom thou seekest it, that I may show thee goods 
according to the rank of the requirer." " Thou speakest sooth, 
O my son," said she, " I want somewhat for my mistreess 
Hayat al-Nufus, daughter of Abd al-Kadir, lord of this land and 
King of this country," Now when Ardashir heard his mistres's 
name, his reason flew for joy and his heart fluttered and he gave 
no order to slave or servant, but, putting his hand behind him, 
pulled out a purse of an hundred dinars and offered it to the old 
woman, saying, " This is for the washing of thy clothes." Then 
he again put forth his hand and brought out of a wrapper a dress 
worth ten thousand dinars or more and said to her, " This is of 
that which I have brought to your country." When the old 
woman saw it, it pleased her and she asked, " What is the price of 
this dress, O perfect in qualities ? " Answered he, " I will take 
no price for it !" whereupon she thanked him and repeated 
her question ; but he said, " By Allah, I will take no price 
for it. I make thee a present of it, an the Princess will 
not accept it and 'tis a guest-gift from me to thee. Alham- 
dolillah Glory be to God who hath brought us together, 
so that, if one day I have a want, I shall find thee a helper to 
me in winning it ! " She marvelled at the goodliness of his 
speech and the excess of his generosity and the perfection of his 
courtesy and said to him, "What is thy name, O my lord ?" 
He replied, " My name is Ardashir ; " and she cried, " By Allah 
this is a rare name ! Therewith are Kings' sons named, and thou 
art in a guise of the sons of the merchants ! " Quoth he, 
*' Of the love my father bore me, he gave me this name, but 
a name signifieth naught ; " and quoth she in wonder, " O my 
son, take the price of thy goods." But he swore that he would 
not take aught. Then the old lady said to him, " O my dear 
one, Truth (I would have thee know) is the greatest of all 
things and thou hadst not dealt thus generously by me but for a 
special reason : so tell me thy case and thy secret thought ; belike 
thou hast some wish to whose winning I may help thee." There- 
upon he laid his hand in hers and, after exacting an oath of secrecy, 

216 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

told her the whole story of his passion for the Princess and his 
condition by reason thereof. The old woman shook her head and 
said, " True ; but O my son, the wise say, in the current adage : 
An thou wouldest be obeyed, abstain from ordering what may not 
be made ; and thou, my son, thy name is Merchant, and though 
thou hadst the keys of the Hidden Hoards, yet wouldst thou be 
called naught but Merchant. An thou wouldst rise to high rank, 
according to thy station, then seek the hand of a Kazi's daughter 
or even an Emir's ; but why, O my son, aspirest thou to none but 
the daughter of the King of the age and the time, and she a clean 
maid, who knoweth nothing of the things of the world and hath 
never in her life seen anything but her palace wherein she 
dwelleth ? Yet, for all her tender age, she is intelligent, shrewd, 
vivacious, penetrating, quick of wit, sharp of act and rare of rede : 
her father hath no other child and she is dearer to him than his 
life and soul. Every morning he cometh to her and giveth her 
good-morrow, and all who dwell in the palace stand in dread of 
her. Think not, O my son, that any dare bespeak her with aught 
of these words ; nor is there any way for me thereto. By Allah, 
O my son, my heart and vitals love thee and were it in my power 
to give thee access to her, I would assuredly do it ; but I will tell 
thee somewhat, wherein Allah may haply appoint the healing of 
thy heart, and will risk life and goods for thee, till I win thy will 
for thee." He asked, " And what is that, O my mother ;" and 
she answered, " Seek of me the daughter of a Wazir or an Emir, 
and I will grant thy request ; but it may not be that one should 
mount from earth to heaven at one bound." When the Prince 
heard this, he replied to her with courtesy and sense, " O my 
mother, thou art a woman of wit and knowest how things go. 
Say me doth a man, when his head irketh him, bind up his hand ?" 
Quoth she, " No, by Allah, O my son " ; and quoth he, " Even so my 
heart seeketh none but her and naught slayeth me but love of her. 
By Allah, I am a dead man, and I find not one to counsel me aright 
and succour me ! Allah upon thee, O my mother, take pity on my 

strangerhood and the streaming of my tears!" And Shahrazad 

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

Nofo fo&en ft foas tje S>eten f^untafc anfc foentg=$cam& Xfg&t, 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Arda- 
shir, the King's son said to the old woman, " Allah upon thee, O 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 217 

my mother, take pity on my strangerhood and the streaming of my 
tears." Replied she, "By Allah, O my son, thy words rend my 
heart, but my hand hath no cunning wherewith to help thee." 
Quoth he, " I beseech thee of thy favour, carry her a letter and kiss 
her hands for me." So she had compassion on him and said, 
" Write what thou wilt and I will bear it to her." When he heard 
this, he was ready to fly for joy and calling for ink-case and paper, 
wrote these couplets : 

Haya"t al-Nufus, be gen'rous, and incline o To one who loving thee for 

parting's doomed to pine. 

1 was in all delight, in gladsomest of life, o But now I am distraught with 

sufferings condign. 
To wakefulness I cling through longsomeness of night o And with me sorrow 

chats 1 through each sad eve of mine; 
Pity a lover sad, a sore afflicted wretch o Whose eyelids ever ulcered are 

with tearful brine ; 
And when the morning comes at last, the real morn o He finds him drunken 

and distraught with passion's wine. 

Then he folded the scroll and kissing it, gave it to the old woman ; 
after which he put his hand to a chest and took out a second 
purse containing an hundred dinars, which he presented to her, 
saying, " Divide this among the slave girls." She refused it and 
cried, " By Allah, O my son, I am not with thee for aught of 
this ! "; however, he thanked her and answered, " There is no help 
but that thou accept of it." So she took it and kissing his hands, 
returned home; and going in to the Princess, cried, "O my lady, 
I have brought thee somewhat the like whereof is not with the 
people of our city, and it cometh from a handsome young man, 
than whom there is not a goodlier on earth's face ! " She asked, 
<f O my nurse, and whence cometh the youth ? " and the old 

1 Arab, "samfr," one who enjoys the musamarah or night-talk outside the Arab tents. 
"Samar " is the shade of the moon, or half darkness when only stars shine without a 
moon, or the darkness of a moonless night. Hence the proverb (A. P. ii. 513) " Ma" 
af'al-hu al-samar wa'l kamar ;" I will not do it by moondarkness or by moonshine, i.e. 
never. I have elsewhere remarked that " Early to bed and early to rise " is a civilised 
maxim ; most barbarians sit deep into the night in the light of the moon of a camp-fire 
and will not rise till nearly noon. They agree in our modern version of the old saw : 

Early to bed and early to rise 

Makes a man surly and gives him red eyes. 

The Shayks of Arab tribes especially transact most of their public business during the 
dark hours. 

A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

woman answered, " From the parts of Hind ; and he hath given 
me this dress of gold brocade, embroidered with pearls and gems 
and worth the Kingdom of Chosroes and Caesar." Thereupon she 
opened the dress and the whole palace was illuminated by its 
brightness, because of the beauty of its fashion and the wealth of 
unions and jewels wherewith it was broidered, and all who were 
present marvelled at it. The Princess examined it and, judging it 
to be worth no less than a whole year's revenue of her father's 
kingdom, said to the old woman, " O my nurse, cometh this dress 
from him or from another?" 1 Replied she, "From him;" and 
Hayat al-Nufus asked, " Is this trader of our town or a stranger ? " 
The old woman answered, " He is a foreigner, O my lady, newly 
come hither; and by Allah he hath servants and slaves; and he 
is fair of face, symmetrical of form, well mannered, open-handed 
and open-hearted, never saw I a goodlier than he, save thyself." 
The King's daughter rejoined, " Indeed this is an extraordinary 
thing, that a dress like this, which money cannot buy, should be 
in the hands of a merchant ! What price did he set on it, O my 
nurse ? " Quoth she, " By Allah, he would set no price on it, but 
gave me back the money thou sentcst by me and swore that he 
would take naught thereof, saying : 'Tis a gift from me to the 
King's daughter ; for it beseemeth none but her ; and if she will 
not accept it, I make thee a present of it." Cried the Princess, 
"By Allah, this is indeed marvellous generosity and wondrous 
munificence ! But I fear the issue of his affair, lest haply 2 he be 
brought to necessity. Why didst thou not ask him, O my nurse, 
if he had any desire, that we might fulfil it for him ? " The nurse 
replied, " O my lady, I did ask him, and he said to me : I have 
indeed a desire ; but he would not tell me what it was. However, 
he gave me this letter and said : Carry it to the Princess." So 
Hayat al-Nufus took the letter and opened and read it to the end ; 
whereupon she was sore chafed ; and lost temper and changing 
colour for anger she cried out to the old woman, saying, " Woe to 
thee, O nurse ! What is the name of this dog who durst write 
this language to a King's daughter ? What affinity is there 
between me and this hound that he should address me thus ? By 
Almighty Allah, Lord of the well Zemzem and of the Hatim 

1 Suspecting that it had been sent by some Royal lover. 

2 Arab. " Rubbamet " a particle more emphatic than rubba, = perhaps, sometimes, 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 219 

Wall, 1 but that I fear the Omnipotent, the Most High, I would 
send and bind the cur's hands behind him and slit his nostrils, and 
shear off his nose and ears and after, by way of example, crucify 
him on the gate of the bazar wherein is his booth !" When the old 
woman heard these words, she waxed yellow; her side muscles 2 
quivered and her tongue clave to her mouth ; but she heartened 
her heart and said, " Softly, O my lady ! What is there in his 
letter to trouble thee thus ? Is it aught but a memorial containing 
his complaint to thee of poverty or oppression, from which he 
hopeth to be relieved by thy favour ? " Replied she, " No, by 
Allah, O my nurse, 'tis naught of this ; but verses and shameful 
words ! However, O my nurse, this dog must be in one of three 
cases : either he is Jinn-mad, and hath no wit, or he seeketh his 
own slaughter, or else he is assisted to his wish of me by some 
one of exceeding puissance and a mighty Sultan. Or hath he 
heard that I am one of the baggages of the city, who lie a night 
or two with whosoever seeketh them, that he writeth me immodest 
verses to debauch my reason by talking of such matters ? " Re- 
joined the old woman, " By Allah, O my lady, thou sayst sooth ! 
But reck not thou of yonder ignorant hound, for thou art seated in 
thy lofty, firm-builded and unapproachable palace, to which the very 
birds cannot soar neither the wind pass over it, and as for him, 
he is clean distraught. Wherefore do thou write him a letter 
and chide him angrily and spare him no manner of reproof, but 
threaten him with dreadful threats and menace him with death 
and say to him : Whence hast thou knowledge of me, that thou 
durst write me, O dog- of a merchant, O thou who trudgest far 
and wide all thy days in wilds and wolds for the sake of gaining 
a dirham or a dinar ? By Allah, except thou awake from thy 
sleep and put off thine intoxication, I will assuredly crucify thee 
on the gate of the market-street wherein is thy shop ! " Quoth 
the Princess, " I fear lest he presume, if I write to him "; and 
quoth the nurse, " And pray what is he and what is his rank that 
he should presume to us ? Indeed, we write him but to the intent 
that his presumption may be cut off arid his fear magnified." 

1 The broken (wall) " from Hatim == breaking. It fences the Hijr or space where 
Ishmael is buried (vol. vi. 205) ; and I have described it in Pilgrimage iii. 165. 

2 Arab. ** Farais " (plur. of farisah) : the phrase has often occurred and is our 
" trembled in every nerve." As often happens in Arabic, it is "horsey;" alluding to 
the shoulder-muscles (not shoulder-blades, Preston p. So.) between neck and flank which 
readily quiver in blood-horses when excited or frightened. 

22O A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

And she ceased not craftily to persuade her, till she called for 
ink-case and paper and wrote him these couplets : 

thou who claimest to be prey of love and ecstasy ; o Thou, who for 

passion spendest nights in grief and saddest gree : 

Say, dost thou (haughty one !) desire enjoyment of the moon ? o Did man e'er sue 
the moon for grace whate'er his lunacy ? 

1 verily will counsel thee with rede the best to hear : o Cut short this 

course ere come thou nigh sore risk, nay death, to dree ! 
If thou to this request return, surely on thee shall fall o Sore punishment, 

for vile offence a grievous penalty. 
Be reasonable then, be wise, hark back unto thy wits ; o Behold, in very 

truth I speak with best advice to thee : 
By Him who did all things that be create from nothingness; o Who dressed the 

face of heaven with stars in brightest radiancy: 
If in the like of this thy speech thou dare to sin again ! o I'll surely have 

thee crucified upon a trunk of tree. 

Then she rolled up the letter and gave it to the old woman who 
took it and, repairing to Ardashir's shop, delivered it to him, 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying 

her permitted say. 

Koto toljen it toas tfje Sfceben Jf^un&rttf anfc ^foentg--tf)ufo Ntg&t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
old woman took that letter from Hayat al-Nufus she fared forth 
till she found the youth who was sitting in his shop and gave it 
to him, saying, " Read thine answer and know that when she 
perused thy paper she was wroth with exceeding wrath ; but 
I soothed her and spake her fair, till she consented to write thee 
a reply." He took the letter joyfully but, when he had read it 
and understood its drift, he wept sore, whereat the old woman's 
heart ached and she cried, " O my son, Allah never cause thine 
eyes to weep nor thy heart to mourn ! What can be more gracious 
than that she should answer thy letter when thou hast done what 
thou diddest ? " He replied, " O my mother what shall I do for 
a subtle device ? Behold, she writeth to me, threatening me with 
death and crucifixion and forbidding me from writing to her; and 
I, by Allah, see my death to be better than my life ; but I beg 
thee of thy grace * to carry her another letter from me." She 

1 Arab. " Fazl " = exceeding goodness as in " Fazl wa ma'rifah " = virtue and 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 221 

said, " Write and I warrant I'll bring thee an answer. By Allah, 
I will assuredly venture my life to win for thee thy wish, though 
I die to pleasure thee ! " He thanked her and kissing her hands, 
wrote these verses : 

Do you threaten me wi' death for my loving you so well? o When Death 

to me were rest and all dying is by Fate ? 
And man's death is but a boon, when so longsome to him grows o His life, and 

rejected he lives in lonest state : 
Then visit ye a lover who hath ne'er a soul to aid ; o For on pious works 

of men Heaven's blessing shall await. 
But an ye be resolved on this deed then up and on ; o I'm in bonds to you, 

a bondsman confined within your gate : 
What path have I whose patience without you is no more? o How is this, when 

a lover's heart in stress of love is strait ? 
O my lady show me ruth, who by passion am misused ; o For all who love 

the noble stand for evermore excused. 

He then folded the scroll and gave it to the old woman, together 
with two purses of two hundred dinars, which she would have 
refused, but he conjured her by oath to accept of them. So she 
took them both and said, " Needs must I bring thee to thy desire, 
despite the noses of thy foes." Then she repaired to the palace 
and gave the letter to Hayat al-Nufus who said, " What is this, 
O my nurse ? Here are we in a correspondence and thou coming 
and going ! Indeed, I fear lest the matter get wind and we be 
disgraced." Rejoined the old woman, " How so, O my lady ? 
Who dare speak such word ? " So she took the letter and after 
reading and understanding it she smote hand on hand, saying, 
" Verily, this is a calamity which is fallen upon us, and I know 
not whence this young man came to us ! " Quoth the old woman, 
" O my lady, Allah upon thee, write him another letter ; but be 
rough with him this time and say to him : An thou write me 
another word after this, I will have thy head struck off." Quoth 
the Princess, " O my nurse, I am assured that the matter will not 
end on such wise ; 'twere better to break off this exchange of 
letters ; and, except the puppy take warning by my previous 
threats, I will strike off his head." The old woman said, " Then 
write him a letter and give him to know this condition." So 
Hayat al-Nufus called for pen-case and paper and wrote these 
couplets : 

Ho, thou heedless of Time and his sore despight ! o Ho, thou heart whom 
hopes of my favours excite ! 

222 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Think O pride-full! would'st win for thyself the skies? o Would'st attain to 
the moon shining clear and bright ? 

I will burn thee with fire that shall ne'er be quenched, o Or will slay thee 
with scymitar's sharpest bite ! 

Leave it, friend, and 'scape the tormenting pains, o Such as turn hair- 

partings 1 from black to white. 

Take my warning and fly from the road of love ; o Draw thee back 

from a course nor seemly nor right ! 

Then she folded the scroll and gave it to the old woman, who was 
puzzled and perplexed by the matter. She carried it to Ardashir, 
and the Prince read the letter and bowed his head to the earth, 
making as if he wrote with his finger and speaking not a word. 
Quoth the old woman, " How is it I see thee silent stay and not 
say thy say ? " ; and quoth he, " O my mother, what shall I say, 
seeing that she doth but threaten me and redoubleth in hard- 
heartedness and aversion?" Rejoined the nurse, "Write her a 
letter of what thou wilt : I will protect thee ; nor let thy heart 
be cast down, for needs must I bring you twain together.'' He 
thanked her for her kindness and kissing her hand, wrote these 
couplets : 

A heart, by Allah ! never soft to lover-wight, o Who sighs for union 

only with his friends, his sprite ! 
Who with tear-ulcered eyelids evermore must bide, o When falleth upon 

earth first darkness of the night : 
Be just, be gen'rous, lend thy ruth and deign give alms o To love-molested lover, 

parted, forced to flight ! 
He spends the length of longsome night without a doze; o Fire-brent and drent 

in tear-flood flowing infinite : 
Ah ; cut not off the longing of my fondest heart o Now disappointed, 

wasted, flutt'ring for its blight. 

Then he folded the scroll and gave it to the old woman, together 
with three hundred dinars, saying, " This is for the washing of thy 
hands." She thanked him and kissed his hands, after which she 
returned to the palace and gave the letter to the Princess, who 
took it and read it and throwing it from her fingers, sprang to her 
feet. Then she walked, shod as she was with pattens of gold, set 
with pearls and jewels, till she came to her sire's palace, whilst 
the vein of anger started out between her eyes, and none dared 

1 Arab, " Al-Mafarik " (plur. of Mafrak), = the pole or crown of the head, where 
the hair parts naturally and where baldness mostly begins. 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 223 

ask her of her case. When she reached the palace, she enquired 
for the King, and the slave-girls and concubines replied to her, 
"O my lady, he is gone forth a-hunting and sporting." So she 
returned, as she were a rending lioness, and bespake none for the 
space of three hours, when her brow cleared and her wrath cooled. 
As soon as the old woman saw that her irk and anger were past, 
she went up to her and, kissing ground between her hands, asked 
her, " O my lady, whither went those noble steps ? " The Princess 
answered, "To the palace of the King my sire." "And could 
no one do thine errand ? " enquired the nurse. Replied the 
Princess, " No, for I went to Acquaint him of that which hath 
befallen me with yonder cur of a merchant, so he might lay hands 
on him and on all the merchants of his bazar and crucify them 
over their shops nor suffer a single foreign merchant to tarry in 
our town," Quoth the old woman, "And was this thine only 
reason, O my lady, for going to thy sire?"; and quoth Hayat 
al-Nufus, " Yes, but I found him absent a-hunting and sporting 
and now I await his return/' Cried the old nurse, " I take refuge 
with Allah, the All-hearing, the All-knowing ! Praised be He ! 
O my lady, thou art the most sensible of women and how couldst 
thou think of telling the King these fond words, which it behoveth 
none to publish ? " Asked the Princess, " And why so ? " and the 
nurse answered, " Suppose thou had found the King in his palace 
and told him all this tale and he had sent after the merchants and 
commanded to hang them over their shops, the folk would have 
seen them hanging and asked the reason and it would have been 

answered them : They sought to seduce the King's daughter. 

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

Nob fofien tt foas tfje Sbebw f^untrtrt anH ^foent^fouttfj 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
old woman said to the Princess, " Suppose thou had told this to 
the King and he had ordered the merchants to be hanged, would 
not folk have seen them and have asked the cause of the execution 
when the answer would have been : They sought to seduce the 
King's daughter ? Then would they have dispread divers reports 
concerning thee, some saying : She abode with them ten days, 
away from her palace, till they had taken their fill of her; and 

224 Alf Laylah wa Laylah* 

other some in othcrguise ; for woman's honour, O my lady, is like 
curded milk, the least dust fouleth it ; and like glass, which, if it 
be cracked, may not be mended. So beware of telling thy sire or 
any other of this matter, lest thy fair fame be smirched, O mistress 
mine, for 'twill never profit thee to tell folk aught ; no, never ! 
Weigh what I say with thy keen wit, and if thou find it not just, 
do whatso thou wilt." The Princess pondered her words, and 
seeing them to be altogether profitable and right, said, "Thou 
speakest sooth, O my nurse ; but anger had blinded my judg- 
ment." Quoth the old woman, "Thy resolve to tell no one is 
pleasing to the Almighty ; but something remaineth to be done : 
we must not let the shamelessness of yonder vile dog of a mer- 
chant pass without notice. Write him a letter and say to him : 
O vilest of traders, but that I found the King my father absent, I 
had straightway commanded to hang thee and all thy neighbours. 
But thou shalt gain nothing by this ; for I swear to thee, by Allah 
the Most High, that an thou return to the like of this talk, I will 
blot out the trace of thee from the face of earth \ And deal thou 
roughly with him in words, so shalt thou discourage him in this 
attempt and arouse him from his heedlessncss." " And will these 
words cause him to abstain from his offending ? " asked the 
Princess ; and the old woman answered, " How should he not 
abstain? Besides, I will talk with him and tell him what hath 
passed." So the Princess called for ink-case and paper and wrote 
these couplets: 

To win our favours still thy hopes are bent ; o And still to win thy will 
art confident ! 

Naught save his pride-full aim shall slay a man ; o And he by us shall die of 
his intent. 

Thou art no lord of might, no chief of men, o Nabob or Prince or Sol- 
dan Heaven-sent ; 

And were this deed of one who is our peer, o He had returned with 
hair for fear white-sprent : 

Yet will I deign once more excuse thy sin o So from this time thou 

prove thee penitent. 

Then she gave the missive to the old woman, saying, " O my nurse, 
do thou admonish this puppy lest I be forced to cut off his head 
and sin on his account." Replied the old woman, " By Allah, O 
my lady, I will not leave him a side to turn on ! " s Then she 
returned to the youth and, when salams had been exchanged, she 
gave him the letter. He read it and shook his head, saying, 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 225 

"Verily, we are Allah's and unto him shall we return!" adding, 
"O my mother, what shall I do? My fortitude faileth me and 
my patience palleth upon me ! " She replied, " O my son, be long- 
suffering : peradventure, after this Allah shall bring somewhat to 
pass. Write that which is in thy mind and I will fetch thee an 
answer, and be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear ; 
for needs must I bring about union between thee and her, 
Inshallah ! " He blessed her and wrote to the Princess a note 
containing these couplets : 

Since none will lend my love a helping hand, * And I by passion's bale in 

death low-lain, 
I bear a flaming fire within my heart * By day and night nor place of rest 

How cease to hope in thee, my wishes' term ? * Or with my longings to be glad 

and fain ? 
The Lord of highmost Heaven to grant my prayer * Pray I, whom love of lady 

fair hath slain ; 
And as I'm clean o'erthrown by love and fear, * To grant me speedy union 

deign, oh deign ! 

Then he folded the scroll and gave it to the old woman, bringing 
out at the same time a purse of four hundred dinars. She took 
the whole and returning to the palace sought the Princess to whom 
she gave the letter ; but the King's daughter refused to take it 
and cried, "What is this? " Replied the old woman, " O my lady, 
this is only the answer to the letter thou sentest to that merchant 
dog-" Quoth Hayat al-Nufus, " Didst thou forbid him as I told 
thee ? " ; and quoth she, " Yes, and this is his reply." So the 
Princess took the letter and read it to the end ; then she turned 
to the old woman and exclaimed, " Where is the result of thy 
promise ? " " O my lady, saith he not in his letter that he repent- 
eth and will not again offend, excusing himself for the past ? " 
" Not so, by Allah ! : on the contrary, he increaseth." " O my 
lady, write him a letter and thou shalt presently see what I will 
do with him." " There needeth nor letter nor answer." " I must 
have a letter that I may rebuke him roughly and cut off his hopes." 
" Thou canst do that without a letter." " I cannot do it without 
the letter." So Hayat al-Nufus called for pen-case and paper and 
wrote these verses : 

Long have I chid thee but my chiding hindereth thee not * How often would 

my verse with writ o' hand ensnare thee, ah ! 
Then keep thy passion hidden deep and ever unrevealed, * And if thou dare 

gainsay me Earth shall no more bear thee, ah ! 

226 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

And if, despite my warning, thou dost to such words return * Death's Mes- 
senger 1 shall go his rounds and dead declare thee, ah ! 

Soon shall the wold's fierce chilling blast o'erblow that corse o' thine ; * And 
birds o' the wild with ravening bills and beaks shall tear thee, ah ! 

Return to righteous course ; perchance that same will profit thee ; * If bent on 
wilful aims and lewd I fain forswear thee, ah ! 

When she had made an end of her writing this, she cast the writ from 
her hand in wrath, and the old woman picked it up and went with 
it to Ardashir. When he read it to the last he knew that she had 
not softened to him, but only redoubled in rage against him, and 
that he would never win to meet her, so he bethought himself 
to write her an answer invoking Allah's help against her. There- 
upon he indited these couplets : 

Lord, by the Five Shaykhs, I pray deliver me * From love, which gars me 

bear such grief and misery. 
Thou knowest what I bear for passion's fiery flame ; What stress of sickness 

for that merciless maid I dree. 
She hath no pity on the pangs to me decreed # How long on weakly wight 

shall last her tyranny ? 

1 am distraught for her with passing agonies And find no friend, folk ! to 

hear my plaint and plea. 
How long, when Night hath drooped her pinions o'er the world * Shall I lament 

in public as in privacy? 
For love of you I cannot find forgetfulness ; * And how forget when Patience 

taketh wings to flee ? 
O thou wild parting-bird 2 say is she safe and sure From shift and change 

of time and the world's cruelty ? 

Then he folded the scroll and gave it to the old woman, adding a 
purse of five hundred dinars ; and she took it and carried it to the 
Princess, who read it to the end and learned its purport. Then, 
casting it from her hand, she cried, " Tell me O wicked old woman, 
the cause of all that hath befallen me from thee and from thy 

1 Arab. Na'i al-maut, the person sent round to announce a death to the friends and 
relations of the deceased and invite them to the funeral. 

2 Arab. Tair al-bayn, any bird, not only the Hatim or black crow, which announces 
separation. Crows and ravens flock for food to the camps broken up for the springtide 
and autumnal marches, and thus become emblems of desertion and desolation. The 
same birds are also connected with Abel's burial in the Koran (v. 34), a Jewish tradition 
borrowed by Mohammed. Lastly, here is a paranomasia in the words " Ghurab al- 
Bayn" =: Raven of the Wold (the black bird with white breast and red beak and legs) : 
"GhuraV (Heb. Oreb) connects with Ghurbah = strangerhood, exile, and "Bayn" 
with distance, interval, disunion, the desert (between the cultivated spots). There is 
another and a similar pun anent the Ban-tree; the first word meaning "he fared, he 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nu/us. 227 

cunning and thine advocacy of him, so that thou hast made me 
write letter after letter and thou ceasest not to carry messages, 
going and coming between us twain, till thou hast brought about a 
correspondence and a connection. Thou leavest not to say: I 
will ensure thee against his mischief and cut off from thee his 
speech ; but thou speakest not thus save only to the intent that I may 
continue to write thee letters and thou to fetch and carry between 
us, evening and morning, till thou ruin my repute. Woe to thee ! 
Ho, eunuchs, seize her ! Then Hayat al-Nufus commanded them 
to beat her, and they lashed her till her whole body flowed with 
blood and she fainted away, whereupon the King's daughter caused 
her slave-women to drag her forth by the feet and cast her without 
the palace and bade one of them stand by her head till she re- 
covered, and say to her, " The Princess hath sworn an oath that 
thou shalt never return to and re-enter this palace ; and she hath 
commanded to slay thee without mercy an thou dare return 
hither." So, when she came to herself, the damsel told her what 
the King's daughter said and she answered, " Hearkening and 
obedience." Presently the slave-girls fetched a basket and a porter 
whom they caused carry her to her own house ; and they sent after 
her a physician, bidding him tend her assiduously till she recovered. 
He did what he was told to do and as soon as she was whole she 
mounted and rode to the shop of Ardashir who was concerned 
with sore concern for her absence and was longing for news of 
her. As soon as he saw her, he sprang up and coming to meet 
her, saluted her ; then he noticed that she was weak and ailing ; 
so he questioned her of her case and she told him all that had 
befallen her from her nursling. When he heard this, he found it 
grievous and smote hand upon hand, saying, " By Allah, O my 
mother, this that hath betided thee straiteneth my heart! But, 
what, O my mother, is the reason of the Princess's hatred to 
men ? " Replied the old woman, " Thou must know O my son, 
that she hath a beautiful garden, than which there is naught good- 
lier on earth's face and it chanced that she lay there one night. In 
the joyance of sleep, she dreamt a dream and 'twas this, that she 
went down into the garden, where she saw a fowler set up his net 
and strew corn thereabout, after which he withdrew and sat down 
afar off to await what game should fall into it. Ere an hour had 
passed the birds flocked to pick up the corn and a male pigeon 1 

1 Arab. "Tayr," any flying thing, a bird; with true Arab carelessness the writer 
waits till the tale is nearly ended before letting us know that the birds are pigeons 

228 A If Laylah wa Lay I ah. 

fell into the net and struggled in it, whereat all the others took 
fright and fled from him. His mate was amongst them, but she 
returned to him after the shortest delay ; and, coming up to the net, 
sought out the mesh wherein his foot was entangled and ceased 
not to peck at it with her bill, till she severed it and released her 
husband, with whom she flew away. All this while, the fowler sat 
dozing, and when he awoke, he looked at the net and found it 
spoilt. So he mended it and strewed fresh grain, then withdrew 
to a distance and sat down to watch it again. The birds soon 
returned and began to pick up the corn, and among the rest the 
pair of pigeons. Presently, the she-pigeon fell into the net and 
struggled to get free ; whereupon all the other birds flew away, and 
her mate, whom she had saved, fled with the rest and did not 
return to her. Meantime, sleep had again overcome the fowler; 
and, when he awoke after long slumbering, he saw the she-pigeon 
caught in the net j so he went up to her and freeing her feet from 
the meshes, cut her throat. The Princess startled by the dream 
awoke troubled, and said : Thus do men with women, for women 
have pity on men and throw away their lives for them, when they 
are in difficulties ; but if the Lord decree against a woman and she 
fall into calamity, her mate deserteth her and rescueth her not, 
and wasted is that which she did with him of kindness. Allah 
curse her who putteth her trust in men, for they ill requite the fair 
offices which women do them ! And from that day she conceived 
an hatred to men." Said the King's son, " O my mother, doth 
she never go out into the highways ? "; and the old woman replied, 
" Nay, O my son ; but I will tell thee somewhat wherein, Allah 
willing, there shall be profit for thee. She hath a garden which is of 
the goodliest pleasaunces of the age ; and every year, at the time of 
the ripening of the fruits, she goeth thither and taketh her pleasure 
therein only one day, nor layeth the night but in her pavilion. She 
entereth the garden by the private wicket of the palace which leadeth 
thereto ; and thou must know that it wanteth now but a month 
to the time of her going forth. So take my advice and 
hie thee this very day to the keeper of that garden and 
make acquaintance with him and gain his good graces, for he 
admitteth not one of Allah's creatures into the garth, because of 
its communication with the Princess's palace. I will let thee 
know two days beforehand of the day fixed for her coming forth, 
when do thou repair to the garden, as of thy wont, and make 
shift to night there. When the King's daughter cometh be thou 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 229 

hidden in some place or other ; And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

fo&m it tons t&e Scben untireb anfc ^toentg-fift!) 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
old woman charged the King's son, saying, " I will let thee know 
two days beforehand of the King's daughter going down to the 
garden : do thou hide thee in some place or other ; and, when thou 
espiest her, come forth and show thyself to her. When she 
seeth thee, she will fall in love with thee ; for thou art fair to 
look upon and love covereth all things. So keep thine eyes cool 
and clear 1 and be of good cheer, O my son, for needs must I 
bring about union between thee and her." The young Prince 
kissed her hand and thanked her and gave her three pieces of 
Alexandrian silk and three of satin of various colours, and with 
each piece, linen for shifts and stuff for trousers and a kerchief for 
the turband and fine white cotton cloth of Ba'albak for the linings, 
so as to make her six complete suits, each handsomer than its 
sister. Moreover, he gave her a purse containing six hundred 
gold pieces and said to her, " This is for the tailoring." She took 
the whole and said to him, <( O my son, art thou not pleased to 
acquaint me with thine abiding-place and I also will show thee the 
way to my lodging ? " " Yes," answered he and sent a Mameluke 
with her to note her home and show her his own house. Then he 
rose and bidding his slaves shut the shop, went back to the 
Wazir, to whom he related all that had passed between him and 
the old woman, from first to last. Quoth the Minister, " O my 
son, should the Princess Hayat al-Nufus come out and look upon 
thee and thou find no favour with her what wilt thou do ? " 
Quoth Ardashir, " There will be nothing left but to pass from 
words to deeds and risk my life with her ; for I will snatch her 
up from amongst her attendants and set her behind me on a 
swift horse and make for the wildest of the wold. If I escape, I 
shall have won my wish and if I perish, I shall be at rest from 

1 Arab. " Karr 'aynan." The Arabs say, "Allah cool thine eye," because tears of 
grief are hot and those of joy cool (Al-Asma'i) ; others say the cool eye is opposed to 
that heated by watching; and Al-Hariri (Ass. xxvii.) makes a scorching afternoon 
" hotter than the tear of a childless mother." In the burning climate of Arabia coolth 
and refrigeration are equivalent to refreshment and delight. 

230 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

this hateful life." Rejoined the Minister, " O my son, dost thou 
think to do this thing and live ? How shall we make our escape, 
seeing that our country is far distant, and how wilt thou deal 
thus with a King of the Kings of the Age, who hath under his 
hand an hundred thousand horse, nor can we be sure but that he 
will despatch some of his troops to cut off our way ? Verily, 
there is no good in this project which no wise man would 
attempt." Asked Ardashir, " And how then shall we do, O Wazir 
of good counsel ? For unless I win her I am a dead man without 
a chance." The Minister answered, " Wait till to-morrow when 
we will visit this garden and note its condition and see what 
betideth us with the care-taker." So when the morning morrowed 
they took a thousand dinars in a poke and, repairing to the 
garden, found it compassed about with high walls and strong, rich 
in trees and rill-full leas and goodly fruiteries. And indeed its 
flowers breathed perfume and its birds warbled amid the bloom as 
it were a garden of the gardens of Paradise. Within the door 
sat a Shaykh, an old man on a stone bench and they saluted him. 
When he saw them and noted the fairness of their favour, he rose 
to his feet after returning their salute, and said, " O my lords, per- 
chance ye have a wish which we may have the honour of satisfying ? " 
Replied the Wazir, " Know, O elder, that we are strangers and the 
heat hath overcome us : our lodging is afar off at the other end 
of the city ; so we desire of thy courtesy that thou take these two 
dinars and buy us somewhat of provaunt and open us meanwhile 
the door of this flower garden and seat us in some shaded place, 
where there is cold water, that we may cool ourselves there, 
against thou return with the provision, when we will eat, and thou 
with us, and then, rested and refreshed, we shall wend our ways." 
So saying, he pulled out of his pouch a couple of dinars and put 
them into the keeper's hand. Now this care-taker was a man 
aged three-score and ten, who had never in all his life possessed 
so much money: "So, when he saw the two dinars in his hand, 
he was like to fly for joy and rising forthwith opened the 
garden gate to the Prince and the Wazir, and made them enter 
and sit down under a wide-spreading, fruit-laden, shade-affording 
tree, saying, " Sit ye here and go no further into the garden, for 
it hath a privy door communicating with the palace of the 
Princess Hayat al-Nufus." They replied, "We will not stir 
hence." Whereupon he went out to buy what they had ordered 
and returned after awhile, with a porter bearing on his head a 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 231 

roasted lamb and bread. They ate and drank together and 
talked awhile, till, presently, the Wazir, looking about him in all 
corners right and left, caught sight of a lofty pavilion at the 
farther end of the garden ; but it was old and the plaster was 
peeled from its walls and its buttresses were broken down. So 
he said to the Gardener, " O Shaykh, is this garden thine own or 
dost thou hire it ? " ; and he replied, " I am neither owner nor 
tenant of the garden, only its care-taker." Asked the Minister, 
" And what is thy wage ? " whereto the old man answered, " A 
dinar a month," and quoth the Wazir, " Verily they wrong thee, 
especially an thou have a family." Quoth the elder, " By Allah, 
O my lord; I have eight children and I " The Wazir broke in, 
There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the 
Glorious, the Great ! Thou makest me bear thy grief my poor 
fellow ! What wouldst thou say of him who should do thee a 
good turn, on account of this family of thine ? " Replied the old 
man, " O my lord, whatsoever good thou dost shall be garnered 
up for thee with God the Most High ! " Thereupon said the 
Wazir, " O Shaykh, thou knowest this garden of thine to be a 
goodly place ; but the pavilion yonder is old and ruinous. Now I 
mean to repair it and stucco it anew and paint it handsomely, so 
that it will be the finest thing in the garth ; and when the owner 
comes and finds the pavilion restored and beautified, he will not 
fail to question thee concerning it. Then do thou say : O my 
lord, at great expense I set it in repair, for that I saw it in ruins 
and none could make use of it nor could anyone sit therein. If 
he says : Whence hadst thou the money for this ? reply, I spent of 
my own money upon the stucco, thereby thinking to whiten my 
face with thee and hoping for thy bounties. And needs must he 
recompense thee fairly over the extent of thine expenses. To- 
morrow I will bring builders and plasterers and painters to repair 
this pavilion and will give thee what I promised thee." Then he 
pulled out of his poke a purse of five hundred dinars and gave it 
to the Gardener, saying, "Take these gold pieces and expend 
them upon thy family and let them pray for me and for this my 
son." Thereupon the Prince asked the Wazir, " What is the 
meaning of all this ? " and he answered, " Thou shalt presently 

see the issue thereof." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of 

day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

232 A If Laylah wa Laylah 

Nofo tofien ft foas t&e Sbeben 3^untJre& anfc 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the Wazir gave five hundred ducats to the old Gardener, saying, 
" Take these gold pieces and expend them upon thy family and 
let them pray for this my son," the old man looked at the gold 
and his wits fled ; so he fell down at the Wazir's feet, kissing them 
and invoking blessings on him and his son ; and when they went 
away, he said to them, " I shall expect you to-morrow : for by 
Allah Almighty, there must be no parting between us, night or 
day." Next morning the Wazir went to the Prince's shop and 
sent for the syndic of the builders ; then he carried him and his 
men to the garth, where the Gardener rejoiced in their sight. He 
gave them the price of rations 1 and what was needful to the work- 
men for the restoration of the pavilion, and they repaired it and 
stucco'd it and decorated it. Then said the Minister to the 
painters, " Harkye, my masters, listen to my words and apprehend 
my wish and my aim. Know that I have a garden like this, where 
I was sleeping one night among the nights and saw in a dream a 
fowler set up nets and sprinkle corn thereabout. The birds flocked 
to pick up the grain, and a cock-bird fell into the net, whereupon the 
others took fright and flew away, and amongst the rest his mate : 
but, after awhile, she returned alone and picked at the mesh that 
held his feet, till she set him free and they flew away together. 
Now the fowler had fallen asleep and, when he awoke, he found 
the net empty ; so he mended it and strewing fresh grain sat down 
afar off, waiting for game to fall into that snare. Presently the 
birds assembled again to pick up the grains, and amongst the rest 
the two pigeons. By-and-by, the hen-bird fell into the net, when 
all the other birds took fright at her and flew away, and her 
husband flew With them and did not return ; whereupon the fowler 
came up and taking the quarry, cut her throat. Now, when her 
mate flew away with the others, a bird of raven seized him and 
slew him and ate his flesh and drank his blood, and I would have 

1 Arab. " Muunah," the " Mona " of Maroccan travellers (English not Italian who 
are scandalised by "Mona") meaning the provisions supplied gratis by the unhappy 
villagers to all who visit them with passport from the Sultan. Our cousins German 
have lately scored a great success by paying for all their rations which the Ministers of 
other nations, England included, were mean enough to accept. 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 233 

you pourtray me the presentment of this my dream, even as I have 
related it to you, in the liveliest colours, laying the fair scene in 
this rare garden, with its walls and trees and rills, and dwell 
especially on the fowler and the falcon, If ye do this I have set 
forth to you and the work please me, I will give you what shall 
gladden your hearts, over and above your wage." The painters, 
hearing these words, applied themselves with all diligence to do 
what he required of them and wrought it out in masterly style ; 
and when they had made an end of the work, they showed it to 
the Wazir who, seeing his so-called dream set forth as it was 1 
was pleased and thanked them and rewarded them munificently. 
Presently, the Prince came in, according to his custom, and 
entered the pavilion, unweeting what the Wazir had done. So 
when he saw the portraiture of the fowler and the birds and the 
net and beheld the male pigeon in the clutches of the hawk, which 
had slain him and was drinking his blood and eating his flesh, his 
understanding was confounded and he returned to the Minister 
and said, " O Wazir of good counsel, I have seen this day a marvel 
which, were it graven with needlegravers on the eye-corners would 
be a warner to whoso will be warned ?" Asked the Minister, " And 
what is that, O my lord ? "; and the Prince answered, " Did I not 
tell thee of the dream the Princess had and how it was the cause 
of her hatred for men ? " "Yes," replied the Wazir ; and Ardashir 
rejoined, " By Allah, O Minister, I have seen the whole dream 
pourtrayed in painting, as I had eyed it with mine own eyes ; 
but I found therein a circumstance which was hidden from the 
Princess, so that she saw it not, and 'tis upon this that I rely for 
the winning of my wish." Quoth the Wazir, " And what is that, 
O my son ? "; and quoth the Prince, " I saw that, when the male 
bird flew away ; and, leaving his mate entangled in the net, failed 
to return and save her, a falcon pounced on him and slaying him, 
ate his flesh and drank his blood. Would to Heaven the Princess 
had seen the whole of the dream and had beheld the cause of his 
failure to return and rescue her ! " Replied the Wazir, " By Allah, 

1 Arab. " Kaannahu huwa"; lit. = as he (was) he. This reminds us of the great 
grammarian, Sibawayh, whose name the Persians derive from " Apple-flavour (Sib + bu). 
He was disputing, in presence of Harun al-Rashid with a rival Ai-Kisa'f, and advocated 
the Basrian form, " Fa-iza huwa hu " (behold, it was he) against theKufan, " Fa-iza huwa 
iyyahu " (behold, it was him). The enemy overcame him by appealing to Badawin, who 
spoke impurely, whereupon Sibawayh left the court, retired to Khorasan and died, it is 
said of a broken heart. 

234 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

O auspicious King, this is indeed a rare thing and a wonderful ! " 
And the King's son ceased not to marvel at the picture and lament 
that the King's daughter had not beheld the dream to its end, 
saying in himself, " Would she had seen it to the last or might see 
the whole over again, though but in the imbroglio of sleep ! " 
Then quoth the Wazir to him, " Thou saidst to me : Why wilt 
thou repair the pavilion?; and I replied: Thou shalt presently 
see the issue thereof. And behold, now its issue thou seest ; for 
it was I did this deed and bade the painters pourtray the Princess's 
dream thus and paint the male bird in the pounces of the falcon 
which eateth his flesh and drinketh his blood ; so that when she 
cometh to the pavilion, she will behold her dream depicted and see 
how the cock-pigeon was slain and excuse him and turn from her 
hate for men." When the Prince heard the Wazir's words, he 
kissed his hands and thanked him, saying, " Verily, the like of 
thee is fit to be Minister to the most mighty King, and, by Allah, 
an I win my wish and return to my sire, rejoicing, I will assuredly 
acquaint him with this, that he may redouble in honouring thee 
and advance thee in dignity and hearken to thine every word." 
So the Wazir kissed his hand and they both went to the old 
Gardener and said, " Look at yonder pavilion and see how fine it 
is ! " And he replied, " This is all of your happy thought." Then 
said they, " O elder, when the owners of the place question thee 
concerning the restoration of the pavilion, say thou : 'Twas I did 
it of my own monies; to the intent that there may betide thee fair 
favour and good fortune." He said, " I hear and I obey "; and 
the Prince continued to pay him frequent visits. Such was the 
case with the Prince and the Wazir ; but as regards Hayat 
al-Nufus, when she ceased to receive the Prince's letters and 
messages and when the old woman was absent from her, she 
rejoiced with joy exceeding and concluded that the young man 
had returned to his own country. One day, there came to her a 
covered tray from her father ; so she uncovered it and finding 
therein fine fruits, asked her waiting-women, " Is the season of 
these fruits come?" Answered they, "Yes." Thereupon she 
cried, " Would we might make ready to take our pleasure in the 

flower-garden ! " And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 235 

foj)en ft foaa tfje Sbeben f^unfcteto an* 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Princess, 
after receiving the fruit from her sire, asked, " Is the season of 
these fruits set in ? "; and they answered, " Yes ! " Thereupon she 
cried, " Would we might make ready to take our pleasure in the 
flower-garden ! " " O my lady," they replied, " thou sayest well, 
and by Allah, we also long for the garden ! " So she enquired, 
" How shall we do, seeing that every year it is none save my nurse 
who taketh us to walk in the garden and who pointeth out to us 
the various trees and plants ; and I have beaten her and forbidden 
her from me ? Indeed, I repent me of what was done by me to 
her, for that, in any case, she is my nurse and hath over me the 
right of fosterage. But there is no Majesty and there is no Might 
save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! " When her handmaids 
heard this, they all sprang up ; and, kissing the ground between 
her hands, exclaimed, "Allah upon thee, O my lady, do thou 
pardon her and bid her to the presence ! " ; and quoth she, " By 
Allah, I am resolved upon this ; but which of you will go to her, 
for I have prepared her a splendid robe of honour ? " Hereupon 
two damsels came forward, by name Bulbul and Siwad al-'Ayn, 
who were comely and graceful and the principals among the 
Princess's women, and her favourites. And they said, " We will 
go to her, O King's daughter ! " ; and she said, " Do what seemeth 
good to you." So they went to the house of the nurse and 
knocked at the door and entered ; and she, recognising the twain, 
received them with open arms and welcomed them. When they 
had sat awhile with her, they said to her, " O nurse, the Princess 
pardoneth thee and desireth to take thee back into favour." She 
replied, " This may never be, though I drink the cup of ruin ! 
Hast thou forgotten how she put me to shame before those who 
love me and those who hate me, when my clothes were dyed with 
my blood and I well nigh died for stress of beating, and after this 
they dragged me forth by the feet, like a dead dog, and cast me 
without the door ? So by Allah, I will never return to her nor fill 
my eyes with her sight ! " Quoth the two girls, " Disappoint not 
our pains in coming to thee nor send us away unsuccessful. 
Where is thy courtesy uswards ? Think but who it is that cometh 
in to visit thee : canst thou wish for any higher of standing than 
we with the King's daughter ? " She replied, " I take refuge with 

236 A If Lay la k iva Laylah. 

Allah : well I wot that my station is less than yours ; were it not 
that the Princess's favour exalted me above all her women, so 
that, were I wroth with the greatest of them, she had died in her 
skin of fright." They rejoined, " All is as it was and naught is in 
anywise changed. Indeed, 'tis better than before, for the Princess 
humbleth herself to thee and seeketh a reconciliation without 
intermediary." Said the old woman, " By Allah, were it not for 
your presence and intercession with me, I had never returned to 
her; no, not though she had commanded to slay me!" They 
thanked her for this and she rose and dressing herself accom- 
panied them to the palace. Now when the King's daughter saw 
her, she sprang to her feet in honour, and the old woman said, 
" Allah ! Allah ! O King's daughter, say me, whose was the fault, 
mine or thine ? " Hayat al-Nufus replied, " The fault was mine, 
and 'tis thine to pardon and forgive. By Allah, O my nurse, thy 
rank is high with me and thou hast over me the right of fosterage ; 
but thou knowest that Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) hath 
allotted to His creatures four things, disposition, life, daily bread 
and death ; nor is it in man's power to avert that which is decreed. 
Verily, I was beside myself and could not recover my senses ; but, 

my nurse, I repent of what deed I did." With this, the crone's 
anger ceased from her and she rose and kissed the ground before 
the Princess, who called for a costly robe of honour and threw it 
over her, whereat she rejoiced with exceeding joy in the presence 
of the Princess's slaves and women. When all ended thus happily, 
Hayat al-Nufus said to the old woman, " O my nurse, how go the 
fruits and growths of our garth ? " ; and she replied, " O my lady, 

1 see excellent fruits in the town ; but I will enquire of this matter 
and return thee an answer this very day." Then she withdrew, 
honoured with all honour and betook herself to Ardashir, who 
received her with open arms and embraced her and rejoiced in her 
coming, for that he had expected her long and longingly. She 
told him all that had passed between herself and the Princess and 
how her mistress was minded to go down into the garden on such 
a day. -- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 
to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fo&en ft foas tfje gbebcn ^untotr anfc 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
old woman betook herself to the Prince and told him all that had 

Ardashir and Hayat al-Nufus. 237 

passed between herself and the Princess Hayat al-Nufus ; and 
how her mistress was minded to go down into the garden on such 
a day and said to him, " Hast thou done as I bade thee with the 
Warder of the garden and hast thou made him taste of thy 
bounties ? " He replied, " Yes, and the oldster is become my good 
friend : my way is his way and he would well I had need of him." 
Then he told her all that had happened and of the dream-paintings 
which the Wazir had caused to be limned in the pavilion ; especially 
of the fowler, the net and the falcon : whereat she joyed with great 
joy and said, "Allah upon thee, do thou set thy Minister midmost 
thy heart, for this that he hath done pointeth to the keenness of 
his wit and he hath helped thee to the winning thy wish. So rise 
forthright, O my son, and go to the Hammam-bath and don thy 
daintiest dress, wherein may be our success. Then fare thou to 
the Gardener and make shift to pass the night in the garden, for 
though he should give the earth full of gold none may win to pass 
into it, whilst the King's daughter is therein. When thou hast 
entered, hide thee where no eye may espy thee and keep concealed 
till thou hear me cry : O Thou whose boons are hidden, save us 
from that we fear! Then come forth from thine ambush and 
walk among the trees and show thy beauty and loveliness which 
put the moons to shame, to the intent that Princess Hayat al- 
Nufus may see thee and that her heart and soul may be filled 
with love of thee ; so shalt thou attain to thy wish and thy grief 
be gone." " To hear is to obey," replied the young Prince and 
gave her a purse of a thousand dinars, which she took and went 
away. Thereupon Ardashir fared straight for the bath and 
washed ; after which he arrayed himself in the richest of robes 
of the apparel of the Kings of the Chosroes and girt his middle 
with a girdle wherein were conjoined all manner precious stones 
and donned a turband inwoven with red gold and purfled with 
pearls and gems. His cheeks shone rosy-red and his lips were 
scarlet ; his eyelids like the gazelle's wantoned ; like a wine-struck 
wight in his gait he swayed ; beauty and loveliness garbed him, 
and his shape shamed the bowing of the bough. Then he put in 
his pocket a purse containing a thousand dinars and, repairing to 
the flower-garden, knocked at the door. The Gardener opened 
to him and rejoicing with great joy salamed to him in most 
worshipful fashion; then, observing that his face was overcast, 
he asked him how he did. The King's son answered, " Know, O 
elder, that I am dear to my father and he never laid his hand on 

238 A If Laylah wa La} 

me till this day, when words arose between us and he abused me 
and smote me on the face and struck me with his staff and drave 
me away. Now I have no friend to turn to and I fear the perfidy 
of Fortune, for thou knowest that the wrath of parents is no light 
thing. Wherefore I come to thee, O uncle, seeing that to my 
father thou art known, and I desire of thy favour that thou suffer 
me abide in the garden till the end of the day, or pass the night 
there, till Allah grant good understanding between myself and 
my sire." When the old man heard these words he was concerned 
anent what had occurred and said, " O my lord, dost thou give me 
leave to go to thy sire and be the means of reconciliation between 
thee and him?" Replied Ardashir, "O uncle, thou must know 
that my father is of impatient nature, and irascible ; so an thou 
proffer him reconciliation in his heat of temper he will make thee 
no answer ; but when a day or two shall have passed, his heat 
will soften. Then go thou in to him and thereupon he will 
relent." " Hearkening and obedience," quoth the Gardener ; 
" but, O my lord, do thou come with me to my house, where 
thou shalt night with my children and my family and none shall 
reproach this to us." Quoth Ardashir, " O uncle, I must be alone 
when I am angry." 1 The old man said, " It irketh me that thou 
shouldst lie solitary in the garden, when I have a house." But 
Ardashir said, " O uncle, I have an aim in this, that the trouble of 
my mind may be dispelled from me and I know that in this lies 
the means of regaining his favour and softening his heart 
to me/' Rejoined the Gardener, " I will fetch thee a carpet 
to sleep on and a coverlet wherewith to cover thee;" and 
the Prince said, " There is no harm in that, O uncle." So the 
keeper rose and opened the garden to him, and brought him 
the carpet and coverlet, knowing not that the King's daughter 
was minded to visit the garth. On this wise fared it with the 
Prince ; but as regards the nurse, she returned to the Princess 
and told her that the fruits were kindly ripe on the garden trees ; 
whereupon she said, " O my nurse, go down with me to-morrow 
into the garden, that we may walk about in it and take our 

1 This is a sign of the Saudawi or melancholic tempejrament in which black bile 
predominates. It is supposed to cause a distaste for society and a longing for solitude, 
an unsettled habit of mind and neglect of worldly affairs. I remarked that in Arabia 
students are subject to it, and that amongst philosophers and literary men of Mecca 
and Al-Medinah there was hardly one who was not spoken of as a "Saudawi." See 
Pilgrimage ii. 49, 50. 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 239 

pleasure, Inshallah ; and send meanwhile to the Gardener, to let 
him know what we purpose." So she sent to the Gardener to 
say : The Princess will visit the parterre to-morrow, so leave 
neither water-carriers nor tree-tenders therein, nor let one of 
Allah's creatures enter the garth. When word came to him, he 
set his water-ways and channels in order and, going to Ardashir, 
said to him, " O my lord, the King's daughter is mistress of this 
garden ; and I have only to crave thy pardon, for the place is 
thy place and I live only in thy favours, except that my tongue 
is under thy feet. 1 I must tell thee that the Princess Hayat al- 
Nufus hath a mind to visit it to-morrow at the first of the day and 
hath bidden me leave none therein who might look upon her. 
So I would have thee of thy favour go forth of the garden this 
day, for the Queen will abide only in it till the time of mid-after- 
noon prayer and after it shall be at thy service for se'nnights and 
fortnights, months and years." Ardashir asked, " O elder, haply 
we have caused thee some mishap ? " ; and the other answered, 
" By Allah, O my lord, naught hath betided me from thee but 
honour ! " Rejoined the Prince, " An it be so, nothing but all 
good shall befal thee through us ; for I will hide in the garden 
and none shall espy me, till the King's daughter hath gone back 
to her palace." Said the Gardener, " O my lord, an she espy 
the shadow of a man in the garden or any of Allah's male 
creatures she will strike off my head ; *' And Shahrazad per- 
ceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Jtofo fo{)n it foas t&e b*ben l^unutefc anfc fo0ntg=ntml) 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the Gardener said to the Prince, " An the King's daughter espy 
the shadow of a man in her garden, she will strike off my head ; " 
the youth replied, " Have no fear, I will on no wise let any see 
me. But doubtless to-day thou lackest of spending-money for 
thy family." Then he put his hand to his purse and pulled out 
five hundred ducats, which he gave to him saying, " Take this 
gold and lay it out on thy family, that thy heart may be at ease 
concerning them." When the Shaykh looked upon the gold, his 

1 f.t. I am a servant and bound to tell thee what my orders are. 

240 A If Lay la h wa Laylah. 

life seemed a light thing to him 1 and he suffered the Prince to 
tarry where he was, charging him straitly not to show himself in 
the garden. Then he left him loitering about. Meanwhile, when 
the eunuchs went in to the Princess at break of day, she bade 
open the private wicket leading from the palace to the parterres 
and donned a royal robe, embroidered with pearls and jewels and 
gems, over a shift of fine silk purfled with rubies. Under the 
whole was that which tongue refuseth to explain, whereat was 
confounded the brain and whose love would embrave the craven's 
strain. On her head she set a crown of red gold, inlaid with 
pearls and gems and she tripped in pattens of cloth of gold, 
embroidered with fresh pearls 2 and adorned with all manner 
precious stones. Then she put her hand upon the old woman's 
shoulder and commanded to go forth by the privy door ; but the 
nurse looked at the garden and, seeing it full of eunuchs and 
handmaids walking about, eating the fruits and troubling the 
streams and taking their ease of sport and pleasure in the 
water said to the Princess, " O my lady, is this a garden or a 
madhouse ? " Quoth the Princess, " What meaneth thy speech, O 
nurse ? " ; and quoth the old woman, " Verily the garden is full 
of slave-girls and eunuchs, eating of the fruits and troubling 
the streams and scaring the birds and hindering us from 
taking our ease and sporting and laughing and what not 
else ; and thou hast no need of them. Wert thou going forth of 
thy palace into the highway, this would be fitting, as an honour 
and a ward to thee ; but, now, O my lady, thou goest forth of the 
wicket into the garden, where none of Almighty Allah's creatures 
may look on thee." Rejoined the Princess, " By Allah, O nurse 
mine, thou sayst sooth ! But how shall we do ? " ; and the old 
woman said, " Bid the eunuchs send them all away and keep only 
two of the slave-girls, that we may make merry with them. So 
she dismissed them all, with the exception of two of her hand- 
maids who were most in favour with her. But when the old 
woman saw that her heart was light and that the season was 
pleasant to her, she said to her, " Now we can enjoy ourselves 
aright : so up and let us take our pleasance in the garden." The 

1 A touching lesson how tribes settle matters in the East. 

2 i.e. fresh from water (Arab. "Rutub"), before the air can tarnish them. The 
pearl (margarita) in Arab is Lu'lu' ; the " unio " or large pearl Durr, plur. Durar. In 
modern parlance Durr is the second quality of the twelve into which pearls are 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 241 

Princess put her hand upon her shoulder and went out by the 
private door. The two waiting-women walked in front and she 
followed them laughing at them and swaying gracefully to and 
fro in her ample robes ; whilst the nurse forewent her, showing 
her the trees and feeding her with fruits ; and so they fared on 
from place to place, till they came to the pavilion, which when 
the King's daughter beheld and saw that it had been restored, 
she asked the old woman, " O my nurse, seest thou yonder 
pavilion ? It hath been repaired and its walls whitened." She 
answered, " By Allah, O my lady, I heard say that the keeper of 
the garden had taken stuffs of a company of merchants and sold 
them and bought bricks and lime and plaster and stones and so 
forth with the price ; so I asked him what he had done with all 
this, and he said : I have repaired the pavilion which lay in 
ruins, presently adding : And when the merchants sought their 
due of me, I said to them, Wait til^ the Princess visit the 
garden and see the repairs and they satisfy her; then will I 
take of her what she is pleased to bestow on me,^and pay you 
what is your due. Quoth I What moved thee to do this 
thing?; and quoth he: I saw the pavilion in ruins, the coigns 
thrown down and the stucco peeled from the walls, and none had 
the grace to repair it ; so I borrowed the coin on my own account 
and restored the place ; and I trust in the King's daughter to deal 
with me as befitteth her dignity. I said : The Princess is all 
goodness and generosity and will no doubt requite thee. And 
he did all this but in hopes of thy bounty." Replied the Prin- 
cess, " By Allah, he hath dealt nobly in rebuilding it and hath 
done the deed of generous men ! Call me my purse-keeperess." 
The old woman accordingly fetched the purse-keeperess, whom the 
Princess bade give the Gardener two thousand dinars ; whereupon 
the nurse sent to him, bidding him to the presence of the King's 
daughter. But when the messenger said to him, " Obey the 
Queen's order," the Gardener felt feeble and, trembling in every 
joint, said in himself, Doubtless, the Princess hath seen the young 
man, and this day will be the most unlucky of days for me." So 
he went home and told his wife and children what had happened 
and gave them his last charges and farewelled them, while they 
wept for and with him. Then he presented himself before the 
Princess, with a face the colour of turmeric and ready to fall flat 
at full length. The old woman remarked his plight and hastened 
to forestall him, saying, " O Shaykh, kiss the earth in thanksgiving 


242 A If Laylah wa Lay la ft. 

to Almighty Allah and be constant in prayer to Him for the 
Princess. I told her what thou didst in the matter of repairing 
the ruined pavilion, and she rejoiceth in this and bestoweth on 
thee two thousand dinars in requital of thy pains ; so take them 
from the purse-keeperess and kiss the earth before the King's 
daughter and bless her and wend thy way." Hearing these words 
he took the gold and kissed the ground before Hayat al-Nufus, 
calling down blessings on her. Then he returned to his house, 
and his family rejoiced in him and blessed him * who had been 

the prime cause of this business. And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fofcen it foas tfje Sbebcn ^unlrrrtr an& $frtt'et& 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the Care-taker took the two thousand ducats from the Princess and 
returned to his house, all his family rejoiced in him and blessed 
him who had been the prime cause of this business. Thus it fared 
with these ; but as regards the old woman, she said to the Princess, 
" O my lady, this is indeed become a fine place ! Never saw I a 
purer white than its plastering nor properer than its painting! 
I wonder if he have also repaired it within : else hath he made 
the outside white and left the inside black. Come, let us enter 
and inspect." So they went in, the nurse preceding, and found 
the interior painted and gilded in the goodliest way, The 
Princess looked right and left, till she came to the upper end 
of the estrade, when she fixed her eyes upon the wall and gazed 
long and earnestly thereat ; whereupon the old woman knew that 
her glance had lighted on the presentment of her dream and took 
the two waiting-women away with her, that they might not divert 
her mind. When the King's daughter had made an end of 
examining the painting, she turned to the old woman, wondering 
and beating hand on hand, and said to her, " O my nurse, come, 
see a wondrous thing which were it graven with needle-gravers 
on the eye corners would be a warner to whoso will be warned." 
She replied, " And what is that, O my lady ? "; when the Princess 
rejoined, " Go, look at the upper end of the estrade, and tell me 
what thou seest there." So she went up and considered the 
dream-drawing : then she came down, wondering, and said, " By 

1 i.e. the Wazir, but purposely left vague. 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 243 

Allah, O my lady, here is depicted the garden and the fowler 
and his net and the birds and all thou sawest in thy dream ; and 
verily, nothing but urgent need withheld the male pigeon from 
returning to free his mate after he had fled her, for I see him in 
the talons of a bird of raven which hath slaughtered him and is 
drinking his blood and rending his flesh and eating it ; and this, 

my lady, caused his tarrying to return and rescue her from the 
net. But, O my mistress, the wonder is how thy dream came to 
be thus depicted, for, wert thou minded to set it forth in painture, 
thou hadst not availed to portray it. By Allah, this is a marvel 
which should be recorded in histories ! Surely, O my lady, the 
angels appointed to attend upon the sons of Adam, knew that 
the cock-pigeon was wronged of us, because we blamed him for 
deserting his mate ; so they embraced his cause and made manifest 
his excuse ; and now for the first time we see him in the hawk's 
pounces a dead bird." Quoth the Princess, " O my nurse, verily, 
Fate and Fortune had course against this bird, and we did him 
wrong." Quoth the nurse, " O my mistress, foes shall meet before 
Allah the Most High : but, O my lady, verily, the truth hath been 
made manifest and the male pigeon's excuse certified to us ; for 
had the hawk not seized him and drunk his blood and rent his 
flesh he had not held aloof from his mate, but had returned to 
her, and set her free from the net ; but against death there is no 
recourse, nor, O my lady, is there aught in the world more tenderly 
solicitous than the male for the female, among all creatures which 
Almighty Allah hath created. And especially 'tis thus with man ; 
for he starveth himself to feed his wife, strippeth himself to clothe 
her, angereth his family to please her and disobeyeth and denieth 
his parents to endow her. She knoweth his secrets and concealeth 
them and she cannot endure from him a single hour. 1 An he be 
absent from her one night, her eyes sleep not, nor is there a dearer 
to her than he : she loveth him more than her parents and they 
lie down to sleep in each other's arms, with his hand under her 
neck and her hand under his neck, even as saith the poet : 

1 made my wrist her pillow and I lay with her in litter ; * And I said to Night 

" Be long ! " while the full moon showed glitter : 

Ah me, it was a night, Allah never made its like ; * Whose first was 
sweetest sweet and whose last was bitt'rest bitter ! z 

1 The whole of the nurse's speech is admirable : its naive and striking picture of 
conjugal affection goes far to redeem the grossness of The Nights. 
* The bitterness was the parting in the morning. 

244 Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

Then he kisseth her and she kisseth him ; and I have heard of a 
certain King that, when his wife fell sick and died, he buried 
himself alive with her, submitting himself to death, for the love 
of her and the strait companionship which was between them. 
Moreover, a certain King sickened and died, and when they were 
about to bury him, his wife said to her people : Let me bury 
myself alive with him : else will I slay myself and my blood shall 
be on your heads. So, when they saw she would not be turned 
from this thing, they left her, and she cast herself into the grave 
with her dead husband, of the greatness of her love and tenderness 
for him." And the old woman ceased not to ply the Princess with 
anecdotes of conjugal love between men and women, till there 
ceased that which was in her heart of hatred for the sex masculine ; 
and when she felt that she had succeeded in renewing in her the 
natural inclination of woman to man, she said to her, " Tis time 
to go and walk in the garden." So they fared forth from the 
pavilion and paced among the trees. Presently the Prince chanced 
to turn and his eyes fell on Hayat al-Nufus ; and when he saw 
the symmetry of her shape and the rosiclearness of her cheeks 
and the blackness of her eyes and her exceeding grace and her 
passing loveliness and her excelling beauty and her prevailing 
elegance and her abounding perfection, his reason was confounded 
and he could not take his eyes off her. Passion annihilated his 
right judgment and love overpassed all limits in him ; his vitals 
were occupied with her service and his heart was aflame with the 
fire of repine, so that he swooned away and fell to the ground. 
When he came to himself, she had passed from his sight and was 

hidden from him among the trees ; And Shahrazad perceived 

the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo fofjen it foas tfje Sbeben l^unfcrefc anfo tJinrtjufirst 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Prince Ardashir, who lay hid in the garden, saw the Princess and 
her nurse walking amongst the trees, he swooned away for very 
love-longing. When he came to himself Hayat al-Nufus had 
passed from his sight and was hidden from him among the trees ; 
so he sighed from his heart-core and improvised these couplets : 

Whenas mine eyes behold her loveliness, o My heart is torn with love's own 

Ardashir and Hayat al-Nufus. 24$ 

I wake overthrown, castdown on face of earth o Nor can the Princess 1 my 

sore torment see. 
She turned and ravished this sad Love-thrall'd sprite ; o Mercy, by Allah, ruth ; 

nay, sympathy ! 
O Lord, afford me union, deign Thou soothe o My soul, ere grave-niche house 

this corse of me ; 
I'll kiss her ten times ten times, and times ten o For lover's wasted cheek the 

kisses be ! 

The old woman ceased not to lead the Princess a-pleasuring about 
the garden, till they reached the place where the Prince lay 
ambushed, when, behold she said, " O Thou whose bounties are 
hidden, vouchsafe us assurance from that we fear ! " The King's 
son hearing the signal, left his lurking-place and, surprised by the 
summons, walked among the trees, swaying to and fro with a 
proud and graceful gait and a shape that shamed the branches. 
His brow was crowned with pearly drops and his cheeks red as 
the afterglow, extolled be Allah the Almighty in that He hath 
created ! When the King's daughter caught sight of him, she 
gazed a long while on him and noticed his beauty and grace and 
loveliness and his eyes that wantoned like the gazelle's, and his 
shape that outvied the branches of the myrobalan ; wherefore her 
wits were confounded and her soul captivated and her heart trans- 
fixed with the arrows of his glaces. Then she said to the old 
woman, "O my nurse, whence came yonder handsome youth ?"; 
and the nurse asked, " Where is he, O my lady ? " " There he is," 
answered Hayat al-Nufus ; " near hand, among the trees." The 
old woman turned right and left, as if she knew not of his 
presence, and cried, " And pray, who can have taught this youth 
the way into this garden ? " Quoth Hayat al-Nufus, " Who shall 
give us news of the young man ? Glory be to Him who created 
men ! But say me, dost thou know him, O my nurse ? " Quoth 
the old woman, " O my lady, he is the young merchant who wrote 
to thee by me." The Princess (and indeed she was drowned in 
the sea of her desire and the fire of her passion and love-longing) 
broke out, " O my nurse, how goodly is this youth ! Indeed he is 
fair of favour. Methinks, there is not on the face of earth a 
goodlier than he ! " Now when the old woman was assured that 
the love of him had gotten possession of the Princess, she said to 
her, " Did I not tell thee, O my lady, that he was a comely youth 
with a beaming favour ? " Replied Hayat al-Nufus, " O my nurse, 

1 English Prin'cess," too often pronounced in French fashion Princess 

246 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

King's daughters know not the ways of the world nor the manners 
of those that be therein, for that they company with none, neither 
give they nor take they. O my nurse, how shall I do to bring 
about a meeting and present myself to him, and what shall I say 
to him and what will he say to me ? " Said the old woman, 
" What device is left me ? Indeed, we were confounded in this 
matter by thy behaviour"; and the Princess said, " O my nurse, 
know thou that if any ever died of passion, I shall do so, and 
behold, I look for nothing but death on the spot by reason of the 
fire of my love-longing." When the old woman heard her words 
and saw the transport of her desire for him, she answered, " O my 
lady, now as for his coming to thee, there is no way thereto ; and 
indeed thou art excused from going to him, because of thy tender 
age ; but rise with me and follow me. I will accost him : so shalt 
thou not be put to shame, and in the twinkling of an eye affection 
shall ensue between you." The King's daughter cried, " Go thou 
before me, for the decree of Allah may not be rejected." Accord- 
ingly they went up to the place where Ardashir sat, as he were 
the full moon at its fullest, and the old woman said to him, " See 
O youth, who is present before thee ! 'Tis the daughter of our 
King of the age, Hayat al-Nufus : bethink thee of her rank and 
appreciate the honour she doth thee in coming to thee and rise out 
of respect for her and stand before her." The Prince sprang to 
his feet in an instant and his eyes met her eyes, whereupon they 
both became as they were drunken without wine. Then the love 
of him and desire redoubled upon the Princess and she opened 
her arms and he his, and they embraced ; but love-longing and 
passion overcame them and they swooned away and fell to the 
ground and lay a long while without sense. The old woman, 
fearing scandalous exposure, carried them both into the pavilion, 
and, sitting down at the door, said to the two waiting-women, 
" Seize the occasion to take your pleasure in the garden, for the 
Princess sleepeth." So they returned to their diversion. Presently 
the lovers revived from their swoon and found themselves in the 
pavilion, whereat quoth the Prince, " Allah upon thee, O Princess 
of fair ones, is this vision or sleep-illusion ? " Then the twain 
embraced and intoxicated themselves without wine, complaining 
each to other of the anguish of passion ; and the Prince impro- 
vised these couplets : 

Sun riseth sheen from her brilliant brow, o And her cheek shows the rosiest 
afterglow : 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 247 

And when both appear to the looker-on, o The skyline star ne'er for shame 

will show : 
An the leven flash from those smiling lips, o Morn breaks and the rays dusk 

and gloom o'erthrow. 
And when with her graceful shape she sways, o Droops leafiest Bdn-tree 1 for 

envy low : 
Me her sight suffices ; naught crave I more : o Lord of Men and Morn, be her 

guard from foe ! 
The full moon borrows a part of her charms ; o The sun would rival but fails 

his lowe. 
Whence could Sol aspire to that bending grace ? o Whence should Luna see 

such wit and such mind-gifts know ? 
Who shall blame me for being all love to her, o 'Twixt accord and discord 

aye doomed to woe : 
Tis she won my heart with those forms that bend o What shall lover's heart 

from such charms defend ? 

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

Nofo fo&en it foas t&e >ebcn ^untJtefc an* fZFf)tr.tB*scconTj 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the Prince had made an end of his verses, the Princess strained 
him to her bosom and kissed him on the mouth and between the 
eyes ; whereupon his soul returned to him and he fell to com- 
plaining to her of that he had endured for stress of love and 
tyranny of longing and excess of transport and distraction and all 
he had suffered for the hardness of her heart. Hearing those 
words she kissed his hands and feet and bared her head, 2 where- 
upon the gloom gathered and the full moons dawned therein. Then 
said she to him, " O my beloved and term of all my wishes, would 
the day of estrangement had never been and Allah grant it may 
never return between us ! " And they embraced and wept 
together, whilst she recited these couplets : 

1 In dictionaries " Ban " (Anglice ben-tree) is the myrobalan which produces gum 
benzoin. It resembles the tamarisk. Mr. Lyall (p. 74 Translations of Ancient Arab 
Poetry, Williams and Norgate, 1885), calls it a species of Moringa, tall, with plentiful 
and intensely green foliage used for comparisons on account of its straightness and 
graceful shape of its branches. The nut supplies a medicinal oil. 

8 A sign of extreme familiarity : the glooms are the hands and the full moons are the 

248 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

O who shamest the Moon and the sunny glow : o Thou whose slaughtering 

tyranny lays me low ; 
With the sword of a look thou hast shorn my heart, o How escape thy sword- 

glance fatal of blow ? 
Thus eke are thine eyebrows a bow that shot o My bosom with shafts of 

fiercest lowe : 
From thy cheeks' rich crop cometh Paradise j o How, then, shall my 

heart the rich crop forego ? 
Thy graceful shape is a blooming branch, o And shall pluck the 

fruits who shall bear that bough. 
Perforce thou drawest me, robst my sleep ; o In thy love I strip me 

and shameless show :* 
Allah lend thee the rays of most righteous light, o Draw the farthest near 

and a tryst bestow : 
Then have ruth on the vitals thy love hath seared, o And the heart that flics 

to thy side the mo'e! 

And when she ended her recitation, passion overcame her and she 
was distraught for love and wept copious tears, rain-like streaming 
down. This burnt the Prince's heart and he in turn became 
troubled and distracted for love of her. So he drew nearer to her 
and kissed her hands and wept with sore weeping and they 
ceased not from lover-reproaches and converse and versifying, 
until the call to mid-afternoon prayer (nor was there aught 
between them other than this), when they bethought them of 
parting and she said to him, " O light of mine eyes and core of 
my heart, the time of severance has come between us twain : when 
shall we meet again ? " " By Allah/' replied he (and indeed her 
words shot him as with shafts), " to mention of parting I am 
never fain ! " Then she went forth of the pavilion, and he turned 
and saw her sighing sighs would melt the rock and weeping 
shower-like tears ; whereupon he for love was sunken in the sea of 
desolation and improvised these couplets : 

O my heart's desire ! grows my misery o From the stress of love, and what 

cure for me ? 
By thy face, like dawn when it lights the dark, o And thy hair whose hue 

beareth night-tide's blee, 
And thy form like the branch which in grace inclines o To Zephyr's 2 breath 

blowing fain and free, 
By the glance of thine eyes like the fawn's soft gaze, o When she views pursuer 

of high degree, 

1 Arab. " Khal'a al-'izar ": lit. = stripping off jaws or side-beard. 
z Arab. " Shimal " =the north wind. 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 249 

And thy waist down borne by the weight of hips, o These so heavy and that 

lacking gravity, 
By the wine of thy lip-dew, the sweetest of drink, o Fresh water and musk in 

its purity, 

gazelle of the tribe, ease my soul of grief, o And grant me thy phantom in 

sleep to see I 

Now when she heard his verses in praise of her, she turned back 
to him and embracing him, with a heart on fire for the anguish 
of severance, fire which naught save kisses and embraces might 
quench, cried, " Sooth the byword saith, Patience is for a lover 
and not the lack thereof. There is no help for it but I contrive a 
means for our reunion." Then she farewelled him and fared 
forth, knowing not where she set her feet, for stress of her love ; 
nor did she stay her steps till she found herself in her own 
chamber. When she was gone, passion and love-longing re- 
doubled upon the young Prince and the delight of sleep was 
forbidden him, and the Princess in her turn tasted not food and 
her patience failed and she sickened for desire. As soon as 
dawned the day, she sent for the nurse, who came and found her 
condition changed and she cried, " Question me not of my case; 
for all I suffer is due to thy handiwork. Where is the beloved of 
my heart ? " " O my lady, when d/'<J bf leave thee ? Hath he 
been absent from thee more than this night ? " " Can I endure 
absence from him an hour ? Come, find some means to bring us 
together speedily, for my soul is like to flee my body. " O my 
lady, have patience till I contrive thee some subtle device, 
whereof none shall be ware." " By the Great God, except thou 
bring him to me this very day, I will tell the King that thou hast 
corrupted me, and he will cut off thy head ! " " I conjure thee, 
by Allah, have patience with me, for this is a dangerous matter ! " 
And the nurse humbled herself to her, till she granted her three 
days' delay, saying, " O my nurse, the three days will be three 
years to me ; and if the fourth day pass and thou bring him not, 

1 will go about to slay thee." So the old woman left her and 
returned to her lodging, where she abode till the morning of the 
fourth day, when she summoned the tirewomen of the town and 
sought of them fine dyes and rouge for the painting of a virgin 
girl and adorning ; and they brought her cosmetics of the best. 
Then she sent for the Prince and, opening her chest, brought out 
a bundle containing a suit of woman's apparel, worth five thousand 
dinars, and a head-kerchief fringed with all manner gems. Then 

250 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

said she to him, " O my son, hast thou a mind to foregather with 
Hayat al-Nufus ? "; and he replied, " Yes." So she took a pair of 
tweezers and pulled out the hairs of his face and pencilled his 
eyes with Kohl. 1 Then she stripped him and painted him with 
Henna 2 from his nails to his shoulders and from his insteps to his 
thighs and tattooed 3 him about the body, till he was like red 
roses upon alabaster slabs. After a little, she washed him and 
dried him and bringing out a shift and a pair of petticoat-trousers 
made him put them on. Then she clad him in the royal suit 
aforesaid and, binding the kerchief about his head, veiled him 
and taught him how to walk, saying, " Advance thy left and 
draw back thy right." He did her bidding and forewent her, as 
he were a Houri faring abroad from Paradise. Then said she 
to him, "Fortify thy heart, for thou art going to the King's 
palace, where there will without fail be guards and eunuchs at 
the gate ; and if thou be startled at them and show doubt or 
dread, they will suspect thee and examine thee, and we shall 

1 An operation well described by Juvenal 

Ilia supercilium, modica fuligine tactum, 
Obliqua producit acu, pingitque, trementes 
Attolens oculos. 

Sonnini (Travels in Egypt, chapt. xvi.) justly remarks that this pencilling the angles ol 
the eyes with Kohl, which the old Levant trade called alquifoux or arquifoux, makes 
them appear large and more oblong ; and I have noted that the modern Egyptian 
(especially Coptic) eye, like that of the Sphinx and the old figures looks in profile as 
if it were seen in full (Pilgrimage i. 214). 

2 The same traveller notes a singular property in the Henna-flower that when smelt 
closely it exhales a "very powerful spermatic odour," hence it became a favourite with 
women as the tea-rose with us. He finds it on the nails of mummies, and identifies it 
with the Kupros of the ancient Greeks (the moderns call it Kene or Kena) and the 
BoVpvs -rijs Kvvrpov (Botrus cypri) of Solomon's Song (i. 14). The Hebr. is " Gopher," 
a well-known word which the A. V. translates by "a cluster of camphire (?) in the vine- 
yards of En-gedi"; and a note on iv. 13 ineptly adds, "or, cypress." The Revised 
Edit, amends it to " a cluster of henna- flowers." The Solomonic (?) description is very 
correct ; the shrub affects vineyards, and about Bombay forms fine hedges which can be 
smelt from a distance. 

3 Hardly the equivalent of the Arab. " Kataba " (which includes true tattooing with 
needles) and is applied to painting " patches" of blue or green colour, with sprigs and 
arabesques upon the arms and especially the breasts of women. " Kataba " would also 
be applied to striping the fingers with Henna which becomes a shining black under a 
paste of honey, lime and sal-ammoniac. This "patching" is alluded to by Strabo and 
Galen (Lane M. E. chapt ii.) ; and we may note that savages and barbarians can leave 
nothing of beauty unadorned ; they seem to hate a plain surface like the Hindu silver- 
smith, whose art is shown only in chasing. 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 251 

both get into grievous trouble and haply lose our lives : where- 
fore an thou feel thyself unable to this, tell me." He answered, 
" In very sooth this thing hath no terrors for me, so be of good 
cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear/ ' Then she went out 
preceding him till the twain came to the palace-gate, which was 
full of eunuchs. She turned and looked at him, as much as to 
say, " Art thou troubled or no ? " and finding him all unchanged, 
went on. The chief eunuch glanced at the nurse and knew her 
but, seeing a damsel following her, whose charms confounded 
the reason, he said in his mind, "As for the old woman, she 
is the nurse ; but as for the girl who is with her there is none 
in our land resembleth her in favour or approacheth her in 
fairness save the Princess Hayat al-Nufus, who is secluded and 
never goeth out. Would I knew how she came into the streets 
and would Heaven I wot whether or no 'twas by leave of the 
King!" Then he rose to learn somewhat concerning her and 
well nigh thirty castrates followed him ; which when the old 
woman saw, her reason fled for fear and she said, " Verily, we 
are Allah's and to Him we shall return ! Without recourse 

we are dead folk this time." And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo fo&en ft foas t&e &cben ??unta& anlr gRtfrtfi-tiJftii Xfgftt, 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the old nurse saw the head of the eunuchry and his assistants 
making for her she was in exceeding fear and cried, " There is no 
Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the 
Great ! Verily we are God's and unto him we shall return ; 
without recourse we be dead folk this time." When the head 
eunuch heard her speak thus, fear gat hold upon him, by reason 
of that which he knew of the Princess's violence and that her 
father was ruled by her, and he said to himself, " Belike the King 
hath commanded the nurse to carry his daughter forth upon 
some occasion of hers, whereof she would have none know; and 
if I oppose her, she will be wroth with me and will say: This 
eunuch fellow stopped me, that he might pry into my affairs. 
So she will do her best to kill me, and I have no call to meddle 
in this matter/' So saying, he turned back, and with him the 
thirty assistants who drove the people from the door of the 

252 A If Lay la h wa Laylak. 

palace; whereupon the nurse entered and saluted the eunuchs 
with her head, whilst all the thirty stood to do her honour and 
returned her salam. She led in the Prince and he ceased not 
following her from door to door, and the Protector protected 
them, so that they passed all the guards, till they came to the 
seventh door: it was that of the great pavilion, wherein was 
the King's throne, and it communicated with the chambers of 
his women and the saloons of the Harim, as well as with his 
daughter's pavilion. So the old woman halted and said, " Here 
we are, O my son, and glory be to Him who hath brought us 
thus far in safety ! But, O my son, we cannot foregather with 
the Princess except by night ; for night enveileth the fearful." 
He replied, "True, but what is to be done ? " Quoth she, "Hide 
thee in this black hole," showing him behind the door a dark and 
deep cistern, with a cover thereto. So he entered the cistern, 
and she went away and left him there till ended day, when she 
returned and carried him into the palace, till they came to the 
door of Hayat al-Nufus's apartment. The old woman knocked 
and a little maid came out and said, " Who is at the door ? " 
Said the nurse, " 'Tis I," whereupon the maid returned and 
craved permission of her lady, who said, " Open to her and let 
her come in with any who may accompany her." So they 
entered and the nurse, casting a glance around, perceived that 
the Princess had made ready the sitting-chamber and ranged 
the lamps in row and lighted candles of wax in chandeliers of 
gold and silver and spread the divans and estrades with carpets 
and cushions. Moreover, she had set on trays of food and 
fruits and confections and she had perfumed the place with 
musk and aloes-wood and ambergris. She was seated among 
the lamps and the tapers and the light of her face outshone the 
lustre of them all. When she saw the old woman, she said to 
her, "O nurse, where is the beloved of my heart?"; and the 
other replied, " O my lady, I cannot find him nor have mine 
eyes espied him ; but I have brought thee his own sister ; and 
here she is." Cried the Princess, " Art thou Jinn-mad? What 
need have I of his sister ? Say me, an a man's head irk him, 
doth he bind up his hand ? " The old woman answered, " No, 
by Allah, O my lady ! But look on her, and if she pleases 
thee, let her be with thee." Then she uncovered the Prince's 
face, whereupon Hayat al-Nufus knew him and running to him, 
pressed him to her bosom, and he pressed her to his breast. 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 253 

Then they both fell down in a swoon and lay without sense a 
long while. The old woman sprinkled rose-water upon them 
till they came to themselves, when she kissed him on the mouth 
more than a thousand times and improvised these couplets : 

Sought me this heart's dear love at gloom of night ; o I rose in honour till he 

sat forthright, 
And said, " O aim of mine, O sole desire o In such night-visit hast 

of guards no fright ? " 
Replied he, " Yes, I feared much, but Love o Robbed me of all my 

wits and reft my sprite." 
We dipt with kisses and awhile clung we o For here 'twas safe ; nor 

feared we watchman-wight : 
Then rose we parting without doubtful deed o And shook out skirts 

where none a stain could sight. 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to 

say her permitted say. 

fo&en (t foas tfie gbeben l^utrtrrefc anfc tEfn'ttg-fourt!) Nic$t, 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
her lover visited Hayat al-Nufus in her palace, the twain embraced 
and she improvised some happy couplets beseeming the occasion. 
And when she had ended her extempore lines she said, " Is it 
indeed true that I see thee in my abode and that thou art my 
cup-mate and my familiar ? " Then passion grew on her and love 
was grievous to her, so that her reason well-nigh fled for joy and 
she improvised these couplets : 

With all my soul I'll ransom him who came to me in gloom o Of night, whilst 

I had waited long to see his figure loom ; 
And naught aroused me save his weeping voice of tender tone o And whispered 

I, " Fair fall thy foot and welcome and well come ! " 
His cheek I kissed a thousand times, and yet a thousand more ; * Then dipt 

and clung about his breast enveiled in darkling room. 
And cried, " Now verily I've won the aim of every wish * So praise and 

prayers to Allah for this grace now best become." 
Then slept we even as we would the goodliest of nights * Till morning came 

to end our night and light up earth with bloom. 

As soon as it was day, she made him enter a place in her apart- 
ment unknown to any and he abode there till nightfall, when she 
brought him out and they sat in converse and carouse. Presently 

254 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

he said to her," I wish to return to my own country and tell my 
father what hath passed between us, that he may equip his 
Wazir to demand thee in marriage of thy sire." She replied, " O 
my love, I fear, an thou return to thy country and kingdom, thou 
wilt be distracted from me and forget the love of me ; or that 
thy father will not further thy wishes in this matter and I shall 
die. Meseems the better rede were that thou abide with me and 
in my hand-grasp, I looking on thy face, and thou on mine, till 
I devise some plan, whereby we may escape together some night 
and flee to thy country ; for I have cut off my hopes from my own 
people and I despair of them. He rejoined, " I hear and obey ; " 
and they fell again to their carousal and conversing. He tarried 
with her thus for some time till, one night, the wine was pleasant 
to them and they lay not down nor did they sleep till break of 
day. Now it chanced that one of the Kings sent her father a 
present, and amongst other things, a necklace of union jewels, 
nine-and-twenty grains, to whose price a King's treasures might 
not suffice. Quoth Abd-al-Kadir, " This riviere beseemeth none 
but my daughter Hayat al-Nufus ; " and, turning to an eunuch, 
whose jaw-teeth the Princess had knocked out for reasons best 
known to herself, 1 he called to him and said, " Carry the necklace 
to thy lady and say to her: One of the Kings hath sent thy 
father this, as a present, and its price may not be paid with 
money ; put it on thy neck." The slave took the necklace, 
saying in himself, " Allah Almighty make it the last thing she 
shall put on in this world, for that she deprived me of the benefit 
of my grinder-teeth ! " ; and repairing to the Princess's apart- 
ment, found the door locked and the old woman asleep before the 
threshold. He shook her, and she awoke in affright and asked, 
"What dost thou want?"; to which he answered, " The King 
hath sent me on an errand to his daughter." Quoth the nurse, 
" The key is not here, go away, whilst I fetch it ; " but quoth 
he, " I cannot go back to the King without having done his 

1 A violent temper, accompanied with votes de fait and personal violence, is by 
no means rare amongst Eastern princesses ; and terrible tales are told in Persia con- 
cerning the daughters of Fath AH Shah. Few men and no woman can resist the temp- 
tations of absolute command. The daughter of a certain Dictator all-powerful in the 
Argentine Republic was once seen on horseback with a white bridle of peculiar 
leather ; it was made of the skin of a man who had boasted of her favours. The slave- 
girls suffer first from these masterful young persons and then it is the turn of the 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus 

commandment." So she went away, as if to fetch the key ; but 
fear overtook her and she sought safety in flight. Then the 
eunuch awaited her awhile ; then, finding she did not return, he 
feared that the King would be angry at his delay ; so he rattled 
at the door and shook it, whereupon the bolt gave way and the 
leaf opened. He entered and passed on, till he came to the seventh 
door and walking in to the Princess's chamber found the place 
splendidly furnished and saw candles and flagons there. At this 
spectacle he marvelled and going close up to the bed, which was 
curtained by a hanging of silk, embroidered with a net-work of 
jewels, drew back the curtain from before the Princess and saw 
her sleeping with her arms about the neck of a young man hand- 
somer than herself ; whereat he magnified Allah Almighty, who 
had created such a youth of vile water, and said, " How goodly 
be this fashion for one who hateth men ! How came she by this 
fellow ? Methinks 'twas on his account that she knocked out 
my back teeth ! " Then he drew the curtain and made for the 
door ; but the King's daughter awoke in affright and seeing the 
eunuch, whose name was Kafiir, called to him. He made her no 
answer : so she came down from the bed on the estrade ; and 
catching hold of his skirt laid it on her head and kissed his feet, 
saying, " Veil what Allah veileth ! " Quoth he, " May Allah not 
veil thee nor him who would veil thee ! Thou didst knock out 
my grinders and saidst to me : Let none make mention to me 
aught of men and their ways ! " So saying, he disengaged him- 
self from her grasp and running out, locked the door on them 
and set another eunuch to guard it. Then he went in to the King 
who said to htm " Hast thou given the necklace to Hayat al- 
Nufus ? " The eunuch replied, " By Allah, thou deservest 
altogether a better fate ; " and the King asked, " What hath 
happened ? Tell me quickly ; " whereto he answered, " I will not 
tell thee, save in private and between our eyes," but the King 
retorted, saying, " Tell me at once and in public." Cried the 
eunuch, "Then grant me immunity." So the King threw him 
the kerchief of immunity and he said, " O King, I went into the 
Princess Hayat al-Nufus and found her asleep in a carpeted 
chamber and on her bosom was a young man. So I locked the 
door upon the two and came back to thee." When the King 
heard these words he started up and taking a sword in his 
hand, cried out to the Rais of the eunuchs, saying, "Take thy 
lads and go to the Princess's chamber and bring me her and 

A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

him who is with her as they twain lie on the bed ; but cover 

them both up." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased saying her permitted say. 

JSoto fofjen ft foa* t&e Sbeben f^unfcrelr ana {rirtg*6ft!) JStg&t, 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the King commanded the head eunuch to take his lads and to 
fetch and set before him Hayat al-Nufus and him who was with 
her, the chief and his men entered the Princess's apartment 
where he found her standing up, dissolved in railing tears, and 
the Prince by her side ; so he said to them, " Lie down on the 
bed, as thou wast and let him do likewise." The King's daughter 
feared for her lover 1 and said to him, " This is no time for 
resistance." So they both lay down and the eunuchs covered 
them up and carried the twain into the King's presence. There- 
upon Abd al-Kadir pulled off the coverings and the Princess 
sprang to her feet. He looked at her and would have smitten 
her neck : but the Prince threw himself on the father's breast, 
saying, " The fault was not hers but mine only : kill me before 
thou killest her." The King made at him, to cut him down, but 
Hayat al-Nufus cast herself on her father and said, " Kill me 
not him ; for he is the son of a great King, lord of all the land 
in its length and breadth." When the King heard this, he turned 
to the Chief Wazir, who was a gathering-place of all that is evil, 
and said to him, " What sayst thou of this matter, O Minister ? " 
Quoth his Wazir, " What I say is that all who find themselves in 
such case as this have need of lying, and there is nothing for it 
but to cut off both their heads, after torturing them with all 
manner of tortures." Hereupon the King called his sworder of 
vengeance, who came with his lads, and said to him, " Take this 
gallows bird and strike off his head and after do the like with 
this harlot and burn their bodies, and consult me not about them 
a second time." So the headsmen put his hand to her back, to 
take her ; but the King cried out at him and cast at him some- 
what he hent in hand, which had well-nigh killed him, saying, 
" O dog, how durst thou show ruth to those with whom I am 
wroth ? Put thy hand to her hair and drag her along by it, so that 

1 A neat touch j she was too thorough-bred to care for herself first* 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 257 

she may fall on her face." Accordingly he haled her by her hair 
and the Prince in like manner to the place of blood, where he tore 
off a piece of his skirt and therewith bound the Prince's eyes 
putting the Princess last, in the hope that some one would inter- 
cede for her. Then, having made ready the Prince he swung his 
sharp sword three times (whilst all the troops wept and prayed 
Allah to send them deliverance by some intercessor), and raised 
his hand to cut off Ardashir's head when, behold, there arose a 
cloud of dust, that spread and flew till it veiled the view. Now 
the cause thereof was that when the young Prince had delayed 
beyond measure, the King, his sire, had levied a mighty host and 
had marched with it in person to get tidings of his son. Such 
was his case; but as regards King Abd al-Kadir, when he saw 
this, he said, " O wights, what is the meaning of yonder dust that 
dimmeth sights ? " The Grand Wazir sprang up and went out to 
reconnoitre and found behind the cloud men like locusts, of whom 
no count could be made nor aught avail of aid, filling the hills and 
plains and valleys. So he returned with the report to the King, 
who said to him, " Go down and learn for us what may be this 
host and the cause of its marching upon our country. Ask also 
of their commander and salute him for me and enquire the reason 
of his coming. An he came in quest of aught, we will aid him, 
and if he have a blood-feud with one of the Kings, we will ride 
with him ; or, if he desire a gift, we will handsel him ; for this is 
indeed a numerous host and a power uttermost, and we fear for 
our land from its mischief/' So the Minister went forth and 
walked among the tents and troopers and body-guards, and ceased 
not faring on from the first of the day till near sundown, when he 
came to the warders with gilded swords in tents star-studded. 
Passing these, he made his way through Emirs and Wazirs and 
Nabobs and Chamberlains, to the pavilion of the Sultan, and found 
him a mighty King. When the King's officers saw him, they 
cried out to him, saying, " Kiss ground ! Kiss ground ! "* He did 
so and would have risen, but they cried out at him a second and a 
third time. So he kissed the earth again and again and raised his 
head and would have stood up, but fell down at full length for excess 
of awe. When at last he was set between the hands of the King 
he said to him, " Allah prolong thy days and increase thy sovranty 
and exalt thy rank, O thou auspicious King ! And furthermore, 

* Here the ground or earth is really kissed. 

258 Alf Laylah wa 

of a truth, King Abd al-Kadir saluteth thee and kisseth the earth 
before thee and asketh on what weighty business thou art come. 
An thou seek to avenge thee for blood on any King, he will take 
horse in thy service ; or, an thou come in quest of aught, wherein 
it is in his power to help thee, he standeth up at thy service on 
account thereof." So Ardashir's father replied to the Wazir, 
saying, " O messenger, return to thy lord and tell him that the 
most mighty King Sayf al-A'azam Shah, Lord of Shiraz, had a 
son who hath been long absent from him and news of him have 
not come and all traces of him have been cut off. An he be in 
this city, he will take him and depart from you ; but, if aught have 
befallen him or any mischief have ensued to him from you, his 
father will lay waste your land and make spoil of your goods and 
slay your men and seize your women. Return, therefore, to thy 
lord in haste and tell him this, ere evil befal him." Answered the 
Minister, " To hear is to obey ! " and turned to go away, when the 
Chamberlains cried out to him, saying, " Kiss ground ! Kiss 
ground ! " So he kissed the ground a score of times and rose 
not till his life-breath was in his nostrils. 1 Then he left the King's 
high court and returned to the city, full of anxious thought con- 
cerning the affair of this King and the multitude of his troops, 
and going in to King Abd al-Kadir, pale with fear and trembling 
in his side-muscles, acquainted him with that had befallen him ; 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say 

her permitted say. 

Nofo fojcn it foas tje Sbeben f^uirtrefc an& 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir 
returned from the court of the Great King, pale with fear and 
with side-muscles quivering for dread exceeding ; and acquainted 
his lord with that had befallen him. Hereat disquietude and 
terror for himself and for his people laid hold upon him and he 
said to the Minister, " O Wazir, and who is this King's son ? " 
Replied the other, " 'Tis even he whom thou badest put to death, 
but praised be Allah who hastened not his slaughter ! Else had 
his father wasted our lands and spoiled our good." Quoth the 
King " See now thy corrupt judgment, in that thou didst counsel 

1 Corresponding with our phrase, " His heart was in his mouth'" 

Ardashir and Hayat al-Nufus. 259 

us to slay him ! Where is the young man, the son of yonder 
magnanimous King ? " And quoth the Wazir, " O mighty King, 
thou didst command him be put to death." When the King heard 
this, he was clean distraught and cried out from his heart's core 
and in-most of head, saying, " Woe to you ! Fetch me the Heads- 
man forthright, lest death fall on him ! " So they fetched the 
Sworder and he said, " O King of the Age, I have smitten off his 
head even as thou badest me." Cried Abd al-Kadir " O dog, an 
this be true, I will assuredly send thee after him." The Heads- 
man replied, " O King, thou didst command me to slay him with- 
out consulting thee a second time." Said the King, " I was in my 
wrath ; but speak the truth, ere thou lose thy life ;" and said the 
Sworder, " O King, he is yet in the chains of life." At this Abd 
al-Kadir rejoiced and his heart was set at rest ; then he called for 
Ardashir, and when he came, he stood up to receive him and kissed 
his mouth, saying, " O my son, I ask pardon of Allah Almighty 
for the wrong I have done thee, and say thou not aught that may 
lower my credit with thy sire, the Great King." The Prince asked 
" O King of the Age, and where is my father ? " and the other 
answered, " He is come hither on thine account." Thereupon 
quoth Ardashir, " By thy worship, I will not stir from before thee 
till I have cleared my honour and the honour of thy daughter 
from that which thou laidest to our charge ; for she is a pure 
virgin. Send for the midwives and let them examine her before 
thee. An they find her maidenhead gone, I give thee leave to 
shed my blood ; and if they find her a clean maid, her innocence 
of dishonour and mine also will be made manifest" So he sum- 
moned the midwives, who examined the Princess and found her a 
pure virgin and so told the King, seeking largesse of him. He 
gave them what they sought, putting off his royal robes to bestow 
on them, and in like manner he was bountiful to all who were in 
the Harim. And they brought forth the scent-cups and perfumed 
all the Lords of estate and Grandees ; and not one but rejoiced 
with exceeding joy. Then the King threw his arms about Arda- 
shir's neck and entreated him with all worship and honour, bidding 
his chief eunuchs bear him to the bath. When he came out, he 
cast over his shoulders a costly robe and crowned him with a 
coronet of jewels ; he also girt him with a girdle of silk, purfled 
with red gold and set with pearls and gems, and mounted him on 
one of his noblest mares, with selle and trappings of gold inlaid 
with pearls and jewels. Then he bade his Grandees and Captains 

260 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

mount on his service and escort him to his father's presence ; and 
charged him tell his sire that King Abd al-Kadir was at his disposal, 
hearkening to and obeying him in whatso he should bid or forbid. 
" I will not fail of this," answered Ardashir and farewelling him, 
repaired to his father who, at sight of him, was transported for 
delight and springing up, advanced to meet him and embraced 
him, whilst joy and gladness spread among all the host of the 
Great King. Then came the Wazirs and Chamberlains and 
Captains and guards and kissed the ground before the Prince and 
rejoiced in his coming: and it was a great day with them for 
enjoyment, for the King's son gave leave to those of King Abd 
al-Kadir's officers who had accompanied him and others of the 
townsfolk, to view the ordinance of his father's host, without let 
or stay, so they might know the multitude of the Great King's 
troops and the might of his empire. And all who had seen him 
selling stuffs in the linendrapers' bazar marvelled how his soul 
could have consented thereto, considering the nobility of his spirit 
and the loftiness of his dignity ; but it was his love and inclination 
to the King's daughter that to this had constrained him, Mean- 
while, news of the multitude of her lover's troops came to Hayat 
al-Nufus, who was still jailed by her sire's commandment, till they 
knew what he should order respecting her, whether pardon and 
release pr death and burning ; and she looked down from the 
terrace-roof of the palace and, turning towards the mountains, saw 
even these covered with armed men. When she beheld all those 
warriors and knew that they were the army of Ardashir's father, 
she feared lest he should be diverted from her by his sire and 
forget her and depart from her, whereupon her father would slay 
her, So she called a handmaid that was with her in her apartment 
by way of service, and said to her, " Go to Ardashir, son of the 
Great King, and fear not. When thou comest into his presence, 
kiss the ground before him and tell him what thou art and say to 
him : My lady saluteth thee and would have thee to know that 
she is a prisoner in her father's palace, awaiting his sentence, 
whether he be minded to pardon her or put her to death, and she 
beseecheth thee not to forget her or forsake her ; for to-day thou 
art all-powerful ; and, in whatso thou commandest, no man dare 
cross thee. Wherefore, an it seem good to thee to rescue her from 
her sire and take her with thee, it were of thy bounty, for indeed 
she endureth all these trials for thy sake. But, an this seem not 
good to thee, for that thy desire of her is at an end, still speak to 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 261 

thy sire, so haply he may intercede for her with her father and he 
depart not, till he have made him set her free and taken surety 
from and made covenant with him, that he will not go about to 
put her to death nor work her aught of harm. This is her last 
word to thee, may Allah not desolate her of thee, and so The 

Peace!" 1 And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

ttfofo fo&en it toas t&e Sbebcn f^unteto anb IjittB=sebenti) 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
bondmaid sent by Hayat al-Nufus made her way to Ardashir and 
delivered him her lady's message, which when he heard, he wept 
with sore weeping and said to her, " Know that Hayat al-Nufus 
is my mistress and that I am her slave and the captive of her love. 
I have not forgotten what was between us nor the bitterness of 
the parting day ; so do thou say to her, after thou hast kissed her 
feet, that I will speak with my father of her, and he shall send his 
Wazir, who sought her aforetime in marriage for me, to demand 
her hand once more of her sire, for he dare not refuse. So, if he 
send to her to consult her, let her make no opposition ; for I will 
not return to my country without her." Then the handmaid 
returned to Hayat al-Nufus ; and, kissing her hands, delivered to 
her the message, which when she heard, she wept for very joy and 
returned thanks to Almighty Allah. Such was her case ; but as 
regards Ardashir, he was alone with his father that night and the 
Great King questioned him of his case, whereupon he told him all 
that had befallen him, first and last. Then quoth the King, 
"What wilt thou have me do for thee, O my son? An thou 
desire Abd al-Kadir's ruin, I will lay waste his lands and spoil his 
hoards and dishonour his house." Replied Ardashir, " I do not 
desire that, O my father, for he hath done nothing to me deserving 
thereof; but I wish for union with her; wherefore I beseech thee 
of thy favour to make ready a present for her father, (but let 
it be a magnificent gift !) and send it to him by thy Minister, 
the man of just judgment." Quoth the King, " I hear and 
and sending for the treasures he had laid up from 

1 Very artful is the contrast of the love-lorn Princess's humility with her furious 
behaviour, in the pride of her purity, while she was yet a virginette and fancy free. 

262 A If Lay la k wa Laylah. 

time past, brought out all manner precious things and showed 
them to his son, who was pleased with them. Then he called 
his Wazir and bade him bear the present with him 1 to King Abd 
al-Kadir and demand his daughter in marriage for Ardashir, 
saying, " Accept the present and return him a reply." Now from 
the time of Ardashir's departure, King Abd al-Kadir had been 
troubled and ceased not to be heavy at heart, fearing the laying 
waste of his reign and the spoiling of his realm ; when behold, 
the Wazir came in to him and saluting him, kissed ground before 
him. He rose up standing and received him with honour ; but 
the Minister made haste to fall at his feet and kissing them cried, 
" Pardon, O King of the Age ! The like of thee should not rise 
to the like of me, for I am the least of servants' slaves. Know, O 
King, that Prince Ardashir hath acquainted his father with some 
of the favours and kindnesses thou hast done him, wherefore he 
thanketh thee and sendeth thee in company of thy servant who 
standeth before thee, a present, saluting thee and wishing thee 
especial blessings and prosperities." Abd al-Kadir could not 
believe what he heard of the excess of his fear, till the Wazir 
laid the present before him, when he saw it to be such gift as 
no money could purchase nor could one of the Kings of the 
earth avail to the like thereof; wherefore he was belittled in his 
own eyes and springing to his feet, praised Almighty Allah and 
glorified Him and thanked the Prince. Then said the Minister 
to him, "O noble King, give ear to my word and know that 
the Great King sendeth to thee, desiring thine alliance, and I 
come to thee seeking and craving the hand of thy daughter, the 
chaste dame and treasured gem Hayat al-Nufus, in wedlock for 
his son Ardashir, wherefore, if thou consent to this proposal and 
accept of him, do thou agree with me for her marriage-portion/* 
Abd al-Kadir hearing these words replied, "I hear and obey. 
For my part, I make no objection, and nothing can be more 
pleasurable to me ; but the girl is of full age and reason and her 
affair is in her own hand. So be assured that I will refer it to 
her and she shall chose for herself." Then he turned to the chief 
eunuch and bade him go and acquaint the Princess with the 
event. So he repaired to the Harim and, kissing the Princess's 
hands, acquainted her with the Great King's offer adding, " What 

1 Arab. " Suhbat-hu " lit. = in company with him, a popular idiom in Egypt and 
Syria. It often occurs in the Bresl. Edit 

Ardashir and Hay at al-Nufus. 263 

sayest thou in answer ? " " I hear and I obey/' replied she. 

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

Nofo fofjm ft te rt)e Jkeben l^untaU arrtr < JJ{nrtg=t!$tl) Nfg&t, 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
chief eunuch of the Harim having informed the Princess how she 
had been demanded in marriage by the Great King and having 
heard her reply, " I hear and I obey," returned therewith to the 
King and gave him this answer, whereat he rejoiced with exceeding 
joy and, calling for a costly robe of honour, threw it over the 
Wazir's shoulders. Furthermore, he ordered him ten thousand 
dinars and bade him carry the answer to the Great King and 
crave leave for him to pay him a visit. " Hearing and obeying," 
answered the Minister; and, returning to his master, delivered him 
the reply and Abd al-Kadir's message, and repeated all their talk, 
whereat he rejoiced greatly and Ardashir was transported for 
delight and his breast broadened and he was a most happy man. 
King Sayf al-A'azam also gave King Abd al-Kadir leave to come 
forth to visit him ; so, on the morrow, he took horse and rode to 
the camp of the Great King, who came to meet him and saluting 
him, seated him in the place of honour, and gave him welcome ; 
and they two sat whilst Ardashir stood before them. Then arose 
an orator of the King Abd al-Kadir's court and pronounced an 
eloquent discourse, giving the Prince joy of the attainment of his 
desire and of his marriage with the Princess, a Queen among 
King's daughters. When he sat down the Great King caused 
bring a chest full of pearls and gems, together with fifty thousand 
dinars, and said to King Abd al-Kadir, " I am my son's deputy in 
all that concerneth this matter." So Abd al-Kadir acknowledged 
receipt of the marriage-portion and amongst the rest, fifty thousand 
dinars for the nuptial festivities ; after which they fetched the 
Kazis and the witnesses, who wrote out the contract of marriage 
between the Prince and Princess, and it was a notable day, wherein 
all lovers made merry and all haters and enviers were mortified. 
They spread the marriage-feasts and banquets and lastly Ardashir 
went in unto the Princess and found her a jewel which had been 
hidden, an union pearl unthridden and a filly that none but he 
had ridden, so he notified this to his sire. Then King Sayf al- 

264 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

A'azam asked his SOD, " Hast thou any wish thou wouldst have 
fulfilled ere we depart?" ; and he answered, "Yes, O King, know 
that I would fain take my wreak of the Wazir who entreated us 
on evil wise and the eunuch who forged a lie against us." So the 
King sent forthright to Abd al-Kadir, demanding of him the 
Minister and the castrate, whereupon he despatched them both 
to him and he commanded to hang them over the city gate. 
After this, they abode a little while and then sought of Abd 
al-Kadir leave for his daughter to equip her for departure. So 
he equipped her and mounted her in a Takhtrawan, a travelling 
litter of red gold, inlaid with pearls and gems and drawn by noble 
steeds. She carried with her all her waiting-women and eunuchs, 
as well as the nurse, who had returned, after her flight, and re- 
sumed her office. Then King Sayf al-A'azam and his son mounted 
and Abd al-Kadir mounted also with all the lords of his land, to 
take leave of his son-in-law and daughter ; and it was a day to be 
reckoned of the goodliest of days. After they had gone some 
distance, the Great King conjured Abd al-Kadir to turn back; 
so he farewelled him and his son, after he had strained him to his 
breast and kissed him between the eyes and thanked him for his 
grace and favours and commended his daughter to his care. Then 
he went in to the Princess and embraced her ; and she kissed his 
hands and they wept in the standing-place of parting. After this 
he returned to his capital and Ardashir and his company fared 
on, till they reached Shiraz, where they celebrated the marriage- 
festivities anew. And they abode in all comfort and solace and 
joyance of life, till there came to them the Destroyer of delights 
and Severer of societies; the Depopulator of palaces and the 
Garnerer of graveyards. And men also relate the tale of 


THERE was once in days of yore and in ages and times long gone 
before, in Ajam-land, a King Shahriman 1 hight, whose abiding- 
place was Khordsan. He owned an hundred concubines, but by 

1 In the Mac. Edit. " Shahzamdn," a corruption of -Shah Zaman =. King of the Age. 
(See vol. i. 2.) 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 265 

none of them had he been blessed with boon of child, male or 
female, all the days of his life. One day, among the days, he 
bethought him of this and fell lamenting for that the most part 
of his existence was past and he had not been vouchsafed a son, 
to inherit the kingdom after him, even as he had inherited it from 
his fathers and forebears ; by reason whereof there betided him 
sore cark and care and chagrin exceeding. As he sat thus one 
of his Mamelukes came in to him and said, " O my lord, at the 
door is a slave-girl with her merchant, and fairer than she eye 
hath never seen." Quoth the King, " Hither to me with merchant 
and maid ! " ; and both came in to him. Now when Shahriman 
beheld the girl, he saw that she was like a Rudaynian lance, 1 and 
she was wrapped in a veil of gold-purfled silk. The merchant 
uncovered her face, whereupon the place was illumined by her 
beauty and her seven tresses hung down to her anklets like 
horses' tails. She had Nature-kohl'd eyes, heavy hips and thighs 
and waist of slenderest guise ; her sight healed all maladies 
and quenched the fire of sighs, for she was even as the poet 
cries : 

I love her madly for she is perfect fair, o Complete in gravity and 

gracious way ; 
Nor overtall nor overshort, the while o Too full for trousers are 

those hips that sway : 
Her shape is midmost 'twixt o'er small and tall ; o Nor long to blame nor little 

to gainsay : 
O'erfall her anklets tresses black as night o Yet in her face resplends 

eternal day. 

The King seeing her marvelled at her beauty and loveliness, her 
symmetry and perfect grace and said to the merchant, " O Shaykh, 
how much for this maiden ? " Replied the merchant, " O my 
lord, I bought her for two thousand dinars of the merchant who 
owned her before myself, since when I have travelled with her 
three years and she hath cost me, up to the time of my coming 
hither, other three thousand gold pieces ; but she is a gift from me 
to thee." The King robed him with a splendid robe of honour 
and ordered him ten thousand ducats, whereupon he kissed his 
hands, thanking him for his bounty and beneficence, and went his 
ways. Then the King committed the damsel to the tire-women, 

1 For a note on this subject see vol. ii. I, 

266 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

saying, " Amend ye the case of this maiden ! and adorn her and 
furnish her a bower and set her therein." And he bade his 
chamberlains carry her everything she needed and shut all the 
doors upon her. Now his capital wherein he dwelt, was called the 
White City and was seated on the sea-shore ; so they lodged her 

in a chamber, whose latticed casements overlooked the main. 

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

STofo fofKit ft toas tfi* &eben f^unflrrtr an& CfjfrtB^ntntJ 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King 
after taking the maiden, committed her to the tire-women bidding 
them amend her case and set her in a bower, and ordered his 
chamberlains to shut all the doors upon her when they had lodged 
her in a chamber whose latticed casements overlooked the main. 
Then Shahriman went in to her ; but she spake not to him neither 
took any note of him. 2 Quoth he, " 'Twould seem she hath been 
with folk who have not taught her manners." Then he looked at 
the damsel and saw her surpassing beauty and loveliness and 
symmetry and perfect grace, with a face like the rondure of the 
moon at its full or the sun shining in the sheeny sky. So he 
marvelled at her charms of favour and figure and he praised Allah 
the Creator (magnified be His might !), after which he walked up 
to her and sat him down by her side ; then he pressed her to his 
bosom and seating her on his thighs, sucked the dew of her lips, 
which he found sweeter than honey. Presently he called for trays 
spread with richest viands of all kinds and ate and fed her by 
mouthfuls, till she had enough ; yet she spoke not one word. The 
King began to talk to her and asked her of her name ; but she 
abode still silent and uttered not a syllable nor made him any 
answer, neither ceased to hang down her head groundwards ; and 
it was but the excess of her beauty and loveliness and the amorous 

1 i.t. bathe her and apply cosmetics to remove all traces of travel. 

2 These pretentious and curious displays of coquetry are not uncommon in handsome 
slave-girls when newly bought ; and it is a kind of pundonor to humour them. They 
may also refuse their favours and a master who took possession of their persons by brute 
force would be blamed by his friends, men and women. Even the most despotic of 
despots, Fath Ali Shah of Persia, put up with refusals from his slave-girls and did not, as 
would the mean-minded, marry them to the grooms or cooks of the palace. 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 267 

grace that saved her from the royal wrath. Quoth he to himself, 
" Glory be to God, the Creator of this girl ! How charming she 
is, save that she speaketh not ! But perfection belongeth only to 
Allah the Most High." And he asked the slave-girls whether she 
had spoken, and they said, " From the time of her coming until 
now she hath not uttered a word nor have we heard her address 
us." Then he summoned some of his women and concubines and 
bade them sing to her and make merry with her, so haply she 
might speak. Accordingly they played before her all manner 
instruments of music and sports and what not and sang, till the 
whole company was moved to mirth, except the damsel, who 
looked at them in silence, but neither laughed nor spoke. The 
King's breast was straitened ; thereupon he dismissed the women 
and abode alone with that damsel : after which he doffed his 
clothes and disrobing her with his own hand, looked upon her 
body and saw it as it were a silvern ingot. So he loved her with 
exceeding love and falling upon her, took her maidenhead and 
found her a pure virgin ; whereat he rejoiced with excessive joy 
and said in himself, " By Allah, 'tis a wonder that a girl so fair of 
form and face should have been left by the merchants a clean maid 
as she is ! " ! Then he devoted himself altogether to her, heeding 
none other and forsaking all his concubines and favourites, and 
tarried with her a whole year as it were a single day. Still she 
spoke not till, one morning he said to her (and indeed the love of 
her and longing waxed upon him), "O desire of souls, verily 
passion for thee is great with me, and I have forsaken for thy sake 
all my slave-girls and concubines and women and favourites and I 
have made thee my portion of the world and had patience with 
thee a whole year ; and now I beseech Almighty Allah, of His 
favour, to soften thy heart to me, so thou mayst speak to me. Or, 
an thou be dumb, tell me by a sign, that I may give up hope of 
thy speech. I pray the Lord (extolled be He !) to vouchsafe me 
by thee a son child, who shall inherit the kingdom after me ; for I 
am old and lone and have none to be my heir. Wherefore, Allah 
upon thee, an thou love me, return me a reply." The damsel 
bowed her head awhile in thought, and presently raising it, smiled 
in his face ; whereat it seemed to him as if lightning filled the 
chamber. Then she said, " O magnanimous liege lord, and 

1 Such continence is rarely shown by the young Jallabs or slave-traders ; when older 
they learn how much money is lost with the chattel's virginity. 

268 A If Laylah wa Lay la ft. 

valorous lion, Allah hath answered thy prayer, for I am with 
child by thee and the time of my delivery is near at hand, though 
I know not if the unborn babe be male or female. 1 But, had I not 
conceived by thee, I had not spoken to thee one word." When 
the King heard her speech, his face shone with joy and gladness 
and he kissed her head and hands for excess of delight, saying, 
" Alhamdolillah laud to Lord who hath vouchsafed me the 
things I desired ! ; first, thy speech, and secondly, thy tidings that 
thou art with child by me/' Then he rose up and went forth from 
her and, seating himself on the throne of his kingship, in an 
ecstasy of happiness, bade his Wazir distribute to the poor and 
needy and widows and others an hundred thousand dinars, by way 
of thank-offering to Allah Most High and alms on his own 
account. The Minister did as bidden by the King who, returning 
to the damsel, sat with her and embraced and pressed her to his 
breast, saying, " O my lady, my queen, whose slave I am, prithee 
what was the cause of this thy silence ? Thou hast been with me 
a whole year, night and day, waking and sleeping, yet hast not 
spoken to me till this day." She replied, " Hearken, O King of 
the Age, and know that I am a wretched exile, broken-hearted and 
far-parted from my mother and my family and my brother." When 
the King heard her words, he knew her desire and said, " As for 
thy saying that thou art wretched, there is for such speech no 
ground, inasmuch as my kingdom and good and all I possess are 
at thy service and I also am become thy bondman ; but, as for thy 
saying : I am parted from my mother and brother and family, tell 
me where they are and I will send and fetch them to thee." There- 
upon she answered, " Know, then, O auspicious King, that I am called 
Julnar 2 the Sea-born and that my father was of the Kings of the 

1 Midwives in the East, as in the less civilised parts of the West, have many nostrums 
for divining the sex of the unborn child. 

2 Arabic (which has no written "g")from Pers. Gulnar (Gul-i-anar) pomegranate- 
flower, the " Gulnare" of Byron who learnt his Orientalism at the Mekhitarist (Armenian) 
Convent, Venice. I regret to see the little honour now paid to the gallant poet in the 
land where he should be honoured the most. The systematic depreciation was begun by 
the late Mr. Thackeray, perhaps the last man to value the noble independence of Byron's 
spirit j and it has been perpetuated, I regret to see, by better judges. These critics 
seem wholly to ignore the fact that Byron founded a school which covered Europe from 
Russia to Spain, from Norway to Sicily, and which from England passed over to the two 
Americas. This exceptional success, which has not yet fallen even to Shakespeare's lot, 
was due to genius only, for the poet almost ignored study and poetic art. His great mis- 
fortune was being born in England under theGeorgium Sidus. Any Continental people 
would have regarded him as one of the prime glories of his race. 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 269 

Main. He died and left us his reign, but while we were yet 
unsettled, behold, one of the other Kings arose against us and took 
the realm from our hands. I have a brother called Salih, and my 
mother also is a woman of the sea ; but I fell out with my brother 
" The Pious " and swore that I would throw myself into the hands 
of a man of the folk of the land. So I came forth of the sea and 
sat down on the edge of an island in the moonshine, 1 where a 
passer-by found me and, carrying me to his house, besought me of 
love-liesse ; but I smote him on the head, so that he all but died ; 
whereupon he carried me forth and sold me to the merchant from 
whom thou hadst me, and this was a good man and a virtuous ; 
pious, loyal and generous. Were it not that thy heart loved me 
and that thou promotedest me over all thy concubines, I had not 
remained with thee a single hour, but had cast myself from this 
window into the sea and gone to my mother and family ; but I was 
ashamed to fare themwards, being with child by thee ; for they 
would have deemed evilly of me and would not have credited me, 
even although I swore to them, an I told them that a King had 
bought me with his gold and made me his portion of the world 
and preferred me over all his wives and every thing that his right 

hand possessed. This then is my story and the Peace ! " And 

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

fo&en ft foas tje Sbeben f^un&retr anfc JporttetJ Nffijt, 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Julnar 2 the Sea-born, answering the question of King Shahriman, 
told him her past from first to last, the King thanked her and 
kissed her between the eyes, saying, " By Allah, O my lady and 
light of mine eyes, I cannot bear to be parted from thee one hour ; 
and given thou leave me, I shall die forthright What then is to 
be done ? " Replied she, " O my lord, the time of my delivery 

1 Arab. " Fi al-Kamar," which Lane renders "in the moonlight." It seems to me 
that the allusion is to the Comorin Islands ; but the sequel speaks simply of an island. 

2 The Mac.Edit. misprints Julnar as Julnaz (so the Bui. Edit. ii. 233), and Lane's Jullanar 
is an Egyptian vulgarism. He is right in suspecting the " White City" to be imaginary; 
but its sea has no apparent connection with the Caspian. The mermen and mermaids 
appear to him to be of an inferior order of the Jinn, termed Al-Ghawwasah, the Divers, 
who fly through air and are made of fire which at times issues from their mouths. 

270 A If Laylah wa Lay tat 

is at hand and my family needs must be present, that they may 
tend me; for the women of the land know not the manner of 
child-bearing of the women of the sea, nor do the daughters of 
the ocean know the manner of the daughters of the earth ; and 
when my people come, Wiall be reconciled to them and they will 
be reconciled to me." uoth the King, " How do the people of 
the sea walk therein, without being wetted ? "; and quoth she, " O 
King of the Age, we walk in the waters with our eyes open, as do 
ye on the ground, by the blessing of the names graven upon the 
seal-ring of Solomon David- son (on whom be peace!). But, O 
King, when my kith and kin come, I will tell them how thou 
boughtest me with thy gold, and hast entreated me with kindness 
and benevolence. It behoveth that thou confirm my words to 
them and that they witness thine estate with their own eyes and 
they learn that thou art a King, son of a King." He rejoined, " O 
my lady, do what seemeth good to thee and what pleaseth thee ; 
and I will consent to thee in all thou wouldst do." The damsel con- 
tinued, " Yes, we walk in the sea and see what is therein and behold 
the sun, moon, stars and sky, as it were on the surface of earth ; 
and this irketh us naught. Know also that there be many peoples 
in the main and various forms and creatures of all kinds that are 
on the land, and that all that is on the land compared with that 
which is in the main is but a very small matter." And the King 
marvelled at her words. Then she pulled out from her bosom 
two bits of Comorin lign-aloes and, kindling fire in a chafing-dish, 
chose somewhat of them and threw it in, then she whistled a loud 
whistle and spake words none understood. Thereupon arose a 
great smoke and she said to the King, who was looking on, " O 
my lord, arise and hide thyself in a closet, that I may show thee 
my brother and mother and family, whilst they see thee not ; for 
I design to bring them hither, and thou shalt presently espy a 
wondrous thing and shalt marvel at the several creatures and 
strange shapes which Almighty Allah hath created." So he arose 
without stay or delay and entering a closet, fell a-watching what 
she should do. She continued her fumigations and conjurations 
till the sea foamed and frothed turbid and there rose from it a 
handsome young man of a bright favour, as he were the moon at 
its full, with brow flower-white, cheeks of ruddy light and teeth 
like the marguerite. He was the likest of all creatures to his 
sister and the tongue of the case spoke in his praise these two 
couplets : 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 271 

The full moon groweth perfect once a month o But thy face each day we see 

And the full moon dwelleth in single sign, o But to thee all hearts be a 

dwelling stead. 

After him there came forth of the sea an ancient dame with hair 
speckled gray and five maidens, as they were moons, bearing a 
likeness to the damsel hight Julnar. The King looked upon them 
as they all walked upon the face of the water, till they drew near the 
window and saw Julnar, whereupon they knew her and went in to 
her. She rose to them and met them with joy and gladness, and 
they embraced her and wept with sore weeping. Then said they 
to her, " O Julnar, how couldst thou leave us four years, and we 
unknowing of thine abiding place ? By Allah the world hath 
been straitened upon us for stress of severance from thee, and we 
have had no delight of food or drink ; no, not for one day, but 
have wept with sore weeping night and day for the excess of our 
longing after thee !" Then she fell to kissing the hands of the 
youth her brother and her mother and cousins, and they sat with 
her awhile, questioning her of her case and of what had betided 
her, as well as of her present estate. " Know/' replied she, " that, 
when I left you, I issued from the sea and sat down on the shore 
of an island, where a man found me and sold me to a merchant, 
who brought me to this city and sold me for ten thousand dinars 
to the King of the country, who entreated me with honour and 
forsook all his concubines and women and favourites for my sake 
and was distracted by me from all he had and all that was in his 
city." Quoth her brother, " Praised be Allah, who hath reunited us 
with thee ! But now, O my sister, 'tis my purpose that thou arise 
and go with us to our country and people " When the King 
heard these words, his wits fled him for fear lest the damsel accept 
her brother's words and he himself avail not to stay her, albeit he 
loved her passionately, and he became distracted with fear of 
losing her. But Julnar answered, " By Allah, O my brother, the 
mortal who bought me is lord of this city and he is a mighty King 
and a wise man, good and generous with extreme generosity. 
Moreover, he is a personage of great worth and wealth and hath 
neither son nor daughter. He hath entreated me with honour and 
done me all manner of favour and kindness ; nor, from the day of 
his buying me to this time have I heard from him an ill word to 
hurt my heart ; but he hath never ceased to use me courteously ; 
doing nothing save with my counsel, and I am in the best of case 

272 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

with him and in the perfection of fair fortune. Furthermore, were 
I to leave him, he would perish ; for he cannot endure to be parted 
from me an hour ; and if I left him, I also should die, for the 
excess of the love I bear him, by reason of his great goodness to 
me during the time of my sojourn v/ith him ; for, were my father 
alive, my estate with him would not be like my estate with this 
great and glorious and puissant potentate. And verily, ye see 
me with child by him and praise be to Allah, who hath made me 
a daughter of the Kings of the sea, and my husband the mightest 
of the Kings of the land, and Allah, in very sooth, he hath com- 
pensated me for whatso I lost. And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo fofcen it teas t&e Sfceben f^un&refc anfc jforti}=first Ntgjt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Julnar the 
Sea-born told her brother all her tale, adding " Allah hath not cut 
me off, but hath compensated me for whatso I lost. Now this 
King hath no issue, male or female, so I pray the Almighty to 
vouchsafe me a son who shall inherit of this mighty sovran that 
which the Lord hath bestowed upon him of lands and palaces and 
possessions." Now when her brother and the daughters of her 
uncle heard this her speech, their eyes were cooled thereby and 
they said, " O Julnar, thou knowest thy value with us and thou 
wottest the affection we bear thee and thou art certified that thou 
art to us the dearest of all creatures and thou art assured that we 
seek but ease for thee, without travail or trouble. Wherefore, an 
thou be in unease, arise and go with us to our land and our folk ; 
but, an thou be at thine ease here, in honour and happiness, this 
is our wish and our will ; for we desire naught save thy welfare in 
any case." 1 Quoth she, " By Allah, I am here in the utmost ease 
and solace and honour and grace ! " When the King heard what 
she said, he joyed with a heart set at rest and thanked her silently 
for this ; the love of her redoubled on him and entered his heart- 
core and he knew that she loved him as he loved her and that she 
desired to abide with him, that she might see his child by her. 
Then Julnar bade her women lay the tables and set on all sorts 
of viands, which had been cooked in kitchen under her own eyes, 

1 Arab. " 'Ala Kulli hal," a popular phrase, like the Anglo-American "anyhow" 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 2/3 

and fruits and sweetmeats, whereof she ate, she and her kinsfolk. 
But, presently, they said to her, " O Julnar, thy lord is a stranger 
to us, and we have entered his house, without his leave or weeting. 
Thou hast extolled to us his excellence and eke thou hast set 
before us of his victual whereof we have eaten ; yet have we not 
companied with him nor seen him, neither hath he seen us nor 
come to our presence and eaten with us, so there might be between 
us bread and salt." And they all left eating and were wroth with 
her, and fire issued from their mouths, as from cressets ; which 
when the King saw, his wits fled for excess of fear of them. But 
Julnar arose and soothed them and going to the closet where was 
the King her lord, said to him, " O my lord, hast thou seen and 
heard how I praised thee and extolled thee to my people and hast 
thou noted what they said to me of their desire to carry me away 
with them?" Quoth he, "I both heard and saw: May the 
Almighty abundantly requite thee for me ! By Allah, I knew not 
the full measure of thy fondness until this blessed hour, and now 
I doubt not of thy love to me ! " Quoth she, " O my lord, is the 
reward of kindness aught but kindness ? Verily, thou hast dealt 
generously with me and hast entreated me with worship and I have 
seen that thou lovest me with the utmost love, and thou hast done 
me all manner of honour and kindness and preferred me above all 
thou lovest and desirest, So how should my heart be content to 
leave thee and depart from thee, and how should I do thus after 
all thy goodness to me ? But now I desire of thy courtesy that 
thou come and salute my family, so thou mayst see them and they 
thee and pure love and friendship may be between you ; for know, 
O King of the Age, that my brother and mother and cousins love 
thee with exceeding love, by reason of my praises of thee to 
them, and they say : We will not depart from thee nor go to 
our homes till we have foregathered with the King and saluted 
him. For indeed they desire to see thee and make acquaintance 
with thee." The King replied, " To hear is to obey, for this is my 
very own wish." So saying, he rose and went in to them and 
saluted them with the goodliest salutation ; and they sprang up to 
him and received him with the utmost worship, after which he sat 
down in the palace and ate with them ; and he entertained them 
thus for the space of thirty days. Then, being desirous of returning 
home, they took leave of the King and Queen and departed with 
due permission to their own land, after he had done them all pos- 
sible honour Awhile after this, Julnar completed the days of her 

274 Alf Laylah wa Lay I ah. 

pregnancy and the time of her delivery being come, she bore a 
boy, as he were the moon at its full ; whereat the utmost joy 
betided the King, for that he had never in his life been vouchsafed 
son or daughter. So they held high festival and decorated the 
city seven days, in the extreme of joy and jollity : and on the 
seventh day came Queen Julnar's mother, Farashah Hight, 1 and 
brother and cousins, whenas they knew of her delivery. -And 
Shahrazad perceived the light of day and ceased to say her per- 
mitted say. 

to&en it foas tfje >ebw ^untKefc anU jfortp-seconb 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Julnar 
was brought to bed and was visited by her people, the King 
received them with joy at their coming and said to them, " I said 
that I would not give my son a name till you should come and 
name him of your knowledge." So they named him Badr Basim, 2 
and all agreed upon this name. Then they showed the child to 
his uncle Salih, who took him in his arms and arising began to 
walk about the chamber with him in all directions right and left. 
Presently he carried him forth of the palace and going down to- 
the salt sea, fared on with him, till he was hidden from the King's 
sight Now when Shahriman saw him take his son and disappear 
with him in the depth of the sea, he gave the child up for lost and 
fel to weeping and wailing ; but Julnar said to him, " O King of 
the Age, fear not, neither grieve for thy son, for I love my child 
more than thou and he is with my brother ; so reck thou not of 
the sea neither fear for him drowning. Had my brother known 
that aught of harm would betide the little one, he had not done 
this deed ; and he will presently bring thee thy son safe, Inshallah 
an it please the Almighty." Nor was an hour past before the 
sea became turbid and troubled and King Salih came forth and 
flew from the sea till he came up to them with the child lying 
quiet and showing a face like the moon on the night of fulness. 
Then, looking at the King he said, " Haply thou fearedst harm for 
thy son, whenas I plunged into the sea with him ? " Replied the 
father, " Yes, O my lord, I did indeed fear for him and thought he 

In the text the name does not appear till near the end of the tale. 
i.e. Full moon smiling. 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 275 

would never be saved therefrom." Rejoined Salih, " O King of 
the land, we pencilled his eyes with an eye-powder we know of 
and recited over him the names graven upon the seal-ring of 
Solomon David-son (on whom be the Peace !), for this is what we 
use to do with children newly born among us ; and now thou 
needst not fear for him drowning or suffocation in all the oceans 
of the world, if he should go down into them ; for, even as ye walk 
on the land, so walk we in the sea." Then he pulled out of his 
pocket a casket, graven and sealed and, breaking open the seals, 
emptied it ; whereupon there fell from it strings of all manner 
jacinths and other jewels, besides three hundred bugles of emerald 
and other three hundred hollow gems, as big as ostrich eggs, 
whose light dimmed that of sun and moon. Quoth Salih, " O 
King of the Age, these jewels and jacinths are a present from me 
to thee. We never yet brought thee a gift, for that we knew not 
Julnar's abiding-place neither had we of her any tidings or trace ; 
but now that we see thee to be united with her and we are all 
become one thing, we have brought thee this present ; and every 
little while we will bring thee the like thereof, Inshallah ! for that 
these jewels and jacinths are more plentiful with us than pebbles 
on the beach and we know the good and the bad of them and their 
whereabouts and the way to them, and they are easy to us." 
When the King saw the jewels, his wits were bewildered and his 
sense was astounded and he said, " By Allah, one single gem of 
these jewels is worth my realm ! " Then he thanked for his bounty 
Salih the Sea-born and, looking towards Queen Julnar, said, " I 
am abashed before thy brother, for that he hath dealt munificently 
by me and bestowed on me this splendid gift, which the folk of 
the land were unable to present." So she thanked her brother 
for his deed and he said, " O King of the Age, thou hast the prior 
claim on us and it behoves us to thank thee, for thou hast entreated 
our sister with kindness and we have entered thy dwelling and 
eaten of thy victual ; and the poet saith 1 : 

Had / wept b ;fore she did in my passion for Saada, I had healed my soul 

before repentance came. 
But she wept before 7 did : her tears drew mine ; and I said, The merit 

belongs to the precedent. 

" And " (resumed Salih the Pious) " if we stood on our faces in thy 

1 These lines have occurred in vol. iii. 264, so I quote Lane ii. 499, 

276 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

service, O King of the Age, a thousand years, yet had we not the 
might to requite thee, and this were but a scantling of thy due." 
The King thanked him with heartiest thanks and the Merman and 
Merwomen abode with him forty days' space, at the end of which 
Salih arose and kissed the ground before his brother-in-law, who 
asked " What wantest thou, O Salih ? " He answered, " O King 
of the Age, indeed thou hast done us overabundant favours, and 
we crave of thy bounties that thou deal charitably with us and 
grant us permission to depart ; for we yearn after our people and 
country and kinsfolk and our homes ; so will we never forsake thy 
service nor that of my sister and my nephew ; and by Allah, O King 
of the Age, 'tis not pleasant to my heart to part from thee ; but how 
shall we do, seeing that we have been reared in the sea and that 
the sojourn of the shore liketh us not?" When the King heard 
these words he rose to his feet and farewelled Salih the Sea-born 
and his mother and his cousins, and all wept together, because of 
parting and presently they said to him, " Anon we will be with 
thee again, nor will we forsake thee, but will visit thee every few 
days." Then they flew off and descending into the sea, disap- 
peared from sight. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo fo&en it toas t&e &ebm l^untetr anfc JportB-tlu'ttr Ni'gftt, 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
relations of Julnar the Sea-born farewelled the King and her, 
weeping together because of parting ; then they flew off and de- 
scending into the depths disappeared from sight. After this King 
Shahriman showed the more kindness to Julnar and honoured her 
with increase of honour ; and the little one grew up and flourished, 
whilst his maternal uncle and grandam and cousins visited the 
King every few days and abode with him a month or two months 
at a time. The boy ceased not to increase in beauty and loveli- 
ness with increase of years, till he attained the age of fifteen and 
was unique in his perfection and symmetry. He learnt writing 
and Koran- reading; history, syntax and lexicography; archery, 
spearplay and horsemanship and what not else behoveth the sons 
of Kings ; nor was there one of the children of the folk of the 
city, men or women, but would talk of the youth's charms, for he 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 277 

was of surpassing beauty and perfection, even such an one as is 
praised in the saying of the poet : ! " 

The whiskers write upon his cheek, with ambergris on oearl, Two lines, as 

'twere with jet upon an apple, line for line. 
Death harbours in his languid eye and slays with every glance, And in his 

cheek is drunkenness, and not in any wine. 

And in that of another : 

Upsprings from table of his lovely cheek 2 * A growth like broidery my 

wonder is : 
As 'twere a lamp that burns through night hung up * Beneath the gloom 8 in 

chains of ambergris. 

And indeed the King loved him with exceeding love, and sum- 
moning his Wazir and Emirs and the Chief Officers of state and 
Grandees of his realm, required of them a binding oath that they 
would make Badr Basim King over them after his sire ; and they 
sware the oath gladly, for the sovran was liberal to the lieges 
pleasant in parley and a very compend of goodness, saying naught 
but that wherein was advantage for the people. On the morrow 
Shahriman mounted, with all his troops and Emirs and Lords, and 
went forth into the city and returned. When they drew near the 
palace, the King dismounted, to wait upon his son who abode on 
horseback, and he and all the Emirs and Grandees bore the saddle- 
cloth of honour before him, each and every of them bearing it in 
his turn, till they came to the vestibule of the palace, where the 
Prince alighted and his father and the Emirs embraced him and 
seated him on the throne of Kingship, whilst they (including his 
sire) stood before him. Then Badr Basim judged the people, 
deposing the unjust and promoting the just and continued so 
doing till near upon noon, when he descended from the throne 
and went in to his mother, Julnar the Sea-born, with the crown 
upon his head, as he were the moon. When she saw him, with 
the King standing before him, she rose and kissing him, gave him 
joy of the Sultanate and wished him and his sire length of life 
and victory over their foes. He sat with her and rested till the 
hour of mid-afternoon prayer, when he took horse and repaired, 

1 These lines occurred in vol. ii. 301. I quote Mr. Payne. 

2 Arab. "Khadd" = cheek from the eye-orbit to the place where the beard grows j 
also applied to the side of a rough highland, the side-planks of a litter, etc. etc. 

3 The black hair of youth. 

A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

with the Emirs before him, to the Maydan-plain, where he played at 
arms with his father and his lords, till night-fall, when he returned 
to the palace, preceded by all the folk. He rode forth thus every 
day to the tilting-ground, returning to sit and judge the people 
and do justice between carl and churl ; and thus he continued 
doing a whole year<j at the end of which he began to ride out 
a-hunting and a-chasing and to go round about in the cities and 
countries under his rule, proclaiming security and satisfaction and 
doing after the fashion of Kings ; and he was unique among the 
people of his day for glory and valour and just dealing among the 
subjects. And it chanced that one day the old King fell sick 
and his fluttering heart forebode him of translation to the Mansion 
of Eternity. His sickness grew upon him till he was nigh upon 
death, when he called his son and commended his mother and 
subjects to his care and caused all the Emirs and Grandees 
once more swear allegiance to the Prince and assured himself of 
them by strongest oaths ; after which he lingered a few days and 
departed to the mercy of Almighty Allah. His son and widow 
and all the Emirs and Wazirs and Lords mourned over him, and 
they built him a tomb and buried him therein. They ceased not 
ceremonially to mourn for him a whole month, till Salih and his 
mother and cousins arrived and condoled with their grieving for 
the King and said, " O Julnar, though the King be dead, yet hath 
he left this noble and peerless youth, and not dead is whoso 
leaveth the like of him, the rending lion and the shining moon ;" 
-- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say 
her permitted say. 

fojen it foas t&e 

f^un&reDf an& jportg-fouttf) 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Salih 
brother of Julnar and her mother and cousins said to her, " Albeit 
the King be dead, yet hath he left behind him as successor this 
noble and peerless youth, the rending lion and the shining moon." 
Thereupon the Grandees and notables of the Empire went in to 
King Badr Basim and said to him, " O King, there is no harm in 
mourning for the late sovran : but over-mourning beseemeth none 
save women ; wherefore occupy thou not thy heart and our hearts 
with mourning for thy sire; inasmuch as he hath left thee behind him, 
and whoso leaveth the like of thee is not dead." Then they com- 
forted him and diverted him and lastly carried him to the bath. 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son.. 279 

When he came out of the Hammam, he donned a rich robe, pur- 
fled with gold and embroidered with jewels and jacinths ; and, 
setting the royal crown on his head, sat down on his throne of 
kingship and ordered the affairs of the folk, doing equal justice 
between strong and weak, and exacting from the prince the dues 
of the pauper ; wherefore the people loved him with exceeding 
love. Thus he continued doing for a full year, whilst, every now 
and then, his kinsfolk of the sea visited him, and his life was 
pleasant and his eye was cooled. Now it came to pass that his 
uncle Salih went in one night of the nights to Julnar and saluted 
her ; whereupon she rose and embracing him seated him by her 
side and asked him, " O my brother, how art thou and my mother 
and my cousins.'* He answered, " O my sister, they are well and 
glad and in good case, lacking naught save a sight of thy face/' 
Then she set somewhat of food before him and he ate, after which 
talk ensued between the twain and they spake of King Badr Basim 
and his beauty and loveliness, his symmetry and skill in cavalarice 
and cleverness and good breeding. Now Badr was propped upon 
his elbow hard by them ; and, hearing his mother and uncle 
speak of him, he feigned sleep and listened to their talk. 1 
Presently Salih said to his sister, " Thy son is now seventeen years 
old and is unmarried, and I fear least mishap befal him and he 
have no son ; wherefore it is my desire to marry him to a Princess 
of the princesses of the sea, who shall be a match for him in beauty 
and loveliness." Quoth Julnar, " Name them to me for I know 
them all." So Salih proceeded to enumerate them to her, one by 
one, but to each she said, " I like not this one for my son ; I will 
not marry him but to one who is his equal in beauty and loveliness 
and wit and piety and good breeding and magnanimity and 
dominion and rank and lineage." 2 Quoth Salih, " I know none 
other of the daughters of the Kings of the sea, for I have 
numbered to thee more than an hundred girls and not one of 
them pleaseth thee : but see, O my sister, whether thy son be 
asleep or no." So she felt Badr and finding on him the signs of 
slumber said to Salih, " He is asleep ; what hast thou to say and 

1 This manner of listening is not held dishonourable amongst Arabs or Easterns 
generally ; who, however, hear as little good of themselves as westerns declare in 

2 Arab. " Hasab wa nasab," before explained as inherited degree and acquired 
dignity. See vol. iv. 171 

280 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

what is thine object in making sure his sleeping?" Replied he, 
"O my sister, know that I have bethought me of a Mermaid of 
the mermaids who befitteth thy son ; but I fear to name her, lest 
he be awake and his heart be taken with her love and maybe we 
shall be unable to win to her ; so should he and we and the 
Grandees of the realm be wearied in vain and trouble betide us 
through this ; for, as saith the poet : 

Love, at first sight, is a spurt of spray ; But a spreading sea when it 
gaineth sway. 

When she heard these words, she cried, "Tell me the condition of 
this girl, and her name for I know all the damsels of the sea, 
Kings' daughters and others ; and, if I judge her worthy of him, I 
will demand her in marriage for him of her father } though I spend 
on her whatso my hand possesseth. So recount to me all anent 
her and fear naught, for my son sleepeth." Quoth Salih, " I fear 
lest he be awake ; and the poet saith : 

I loved him, soon as his praise I heard , o For ear oft loveth ere eye survey 

But Julnar said, " Speak out and be brief and fear not, O my 
brother." So he said, " By Allah, O my sister, none is worthy of 
thy son save the Princess Jauharah, daughter of King Al-Samandal, 2 
for that she is like unto him in beauty and loveliness and brilliancy 
and perfection ; nor is there found, in sea or on land, a sweeter or 
pleasanter of gifts than she ; for she is prime in comeliness and 
seemlihead of face and symmetrical shape of perfect grace ; her 
cheek is ruddy dight, her brow flower white, her teeth gem-bright, 
her eyes blackest black and whitest white, her hips of heavy 
weight, her waist slight and her favour exquisite. When she 
turneth she shameth the wild cattle 3 and the gazelles and when 
she walketh, she breedeth envy in the willow branch : when she 
unveileth her face outshineth sun and moon and all who look upon 
her she enslaveth soon : sweet-lipped and soft-sided indeed is she." 

1 Arab. Mujajat = spittle running from the mouth: hence Lane, "is like running 
saliva," which, in poetry is not pretty. 

1 Arab, and Heb. Salmandra from Pers. Satnandal ( dar duk dun, etc), a Sala- 
mander, a mouse which lives in fire, some say a bird in India and China and others 
confuse with the chameleon (Bochart Hiero. Part ii. chapt. vi). 

3 Arab. Maha " one of the four kinds of wild cows or bovine antelopes, bubalus, 
Antelope defassa, A. leucoryx, etc. 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 281 

Now when Julnar heard what Salih said, she replied, " Thou 
sayest sooth, O my brother ! By Allah, I have seen her many and 
many a time and she was my companion, when we were little ones ; 
but now we have no knowledge of each other, for constraint of 
distance ; nor have I set eyes on her for eighteen years. By Allah, 
none is worthy of my son but she ! " Now Badr heard all they 
said and mastered what had passed, first and last, of these praises 
bestowed on Jauharah daughter of King Al-Samandal ; so he fell 
in love with her on hearsay, pretending sleep the while, wherefore 
fire was kindled in his heart on her account full sore and he was 
drowned in a sea without bottom or shore. -- And Shahrazad 
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo to&en ft toas tfce &cben l^untircti an& jpottp-fiftf) 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
King Badr Basim heard the words of his uncle Salih and his 
mother Julnar, praising the daughter of King Al-Samandal, a 
flame of fire burnt in his heart full sore and he was drowned in a 
sea which hath nor bottom nor shore. Then Salih, looking at his 
sister, exclaimed, " By Allah, O my sister, there is no greater fool 
among the Kings of the sea than her father nor one more violent 
of temper than he ! So name thou not the girl to thy son, till we 
demand her in marriage of her father. If he favour us with his 
assent, we will praise Allah Almighty ; and if he refuse us and will 
not give her to thy son to wife, we will say no more about it and 
seek another match." Answered Julnar, "Right is thy rede ; " 
and they parleyed no more ; but Badr passed the night with a 
heart on fire with passion for Princess Jauharah. However he 
concealed his case and spake not of her to his mother or his uncle, 
albeit he was on coals of fire for love of her. Now when it was 
morning, the King and his uncle went to the Hammam-bath and 
washed, after which they came forth and drank wine and the 
servants set food before them, whereof they and Julnar ate their 
sufficiency, and washed their hands. Then Salih rose and said to 
his nephew and sister, '* With your leave, I would fain go to my 
mother and my folk for I have been with you some days and their 
hearts are troubled with awaiting me." But Badr Basim said to 
him, " Tarry with us this day ; " and he consented. Then quoth 
the King, " Come, O my uncle, let us go forth to the garden." So 

282 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

they sallied forth and promenaded about the pastures and took 
their solace awhile, after which King Badr lay down under a shady 
tree, thinking to rest and sleep ; but he remembered his uncle's 
description of the maiden and her beauty and loveliness and shed 
railing tears, reciting these two couplets * : 

Were it said to me while the flame is burning within me, o And the fire blazing 

in my heart and bowels, 
Wouldst thou rather that thou shouldest behold them o Or a draught of pure 

water ? I would answer, Them. 

Then he sighed and wept and lamented, reciting these verses 
also : 

Who shall save me from love of a lovely gazelle, o Brighter browed than the 

sunshine, my bonnibel ! 
My heart, erst free from her love, now burns o With fire for the maid of 


When Salih heard what his nephew said, he smote hand upon 
hand and said, " There is no god but the God ! Mohammed is the 
Apostle of God and there is no Majesty and there is no Might 
save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" adding, "O my son, 
heardest thou what passed between me and thy mother respecting 
Princess Jauharah ? " Replied Badr Basim, " Yes, O my uncle, 
and I fell in love with her by hearsay through what I heard you 
say. Indeed, my heart cleaveth to her and I cannot live without 
her." Rejoined his uncle, " O King, let us return to thy mother 
and tell her how the case standeth and crave her leave that I may 
take thee with me and seek the Princess in marriage of her sire ; 
after which we will farewell her and I and thou will return. 
Indeed, I fear to take thee and go without her leave, lest she be 
wroth with me ; and verily the right would be on her side, for I 
should be the cause of her separation from us. Moreover, the 
city would be left without king and there would be none to 
govern the citizens and look to their affairs ; so should the realm 
be disordered against thee and the kingship depart from thy 
hands." But Badr Basim, hearing these words, cried, " O my 
uncle, if I return to my mother and consult her on such matter, 
she will not suffer me to do this ; wherefore I will not return to 

1 These lines have occurred in vol. iii. 279 ; so I quote Lane (iii, 274) by way of 
variety ; although I do not like his " bowels." 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 283 

my mother nor consult her." And he wept before him and 
presently added, " I will go with thee and tell her not and after 
will return." When Salih heard what his nephew said, he was 
confused anent his case and said, " I crave help of the Almighty 
in any event." Then, seeing that Badr Basim was resolved to go 
with him, whether his mother would let him or no, he drew from 
his finger a seal-ring, whereon were graven certain of the names 
of Allah the Most High, and gave it to him, saying, " Put this on 
thy finger, and thou shalt be safe from drowning and other perils 
and from the mischief of sea-beasts and great fishes." So King 
Badr Basim took the ring and set it on his finger. Then they 

drove into the deep And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of 

day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo to&en it tea* t{je >ebm f^un&reb anil jportgsixti) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Badr 
Basim and his uncle, after diving into the deep, fared on till 
they came to Salih's palace, where they found Badr Basim's 
grandmother, the mother of his mother, seated with her kinsfolk ; 
and, going in to them, kissed their hands. When the old Queen 
saw Badr, she rose to him and embracing him, kissed him between 
the eyes and said to him, " A blessed coming, O my son ! How 
didst thou leave thy mother Julnar ? " He replied, " She is well 
in health and fortune, and saluteth thee and her uncle's daughters. 
Then Salih related to his mother what had occurred between him 
and his sister and how King Badr Basim had fallen in love with 
the Princess Jauharah daughter of Al-Samandal by report and 
told her the whole tale from beginning to end adding, " He hath 
not come save to demand her in wedlock of her sire;" which 
when the old Queen heard, she was wroth against her son with 
exceeding wrath and sore troubled and concerned and said, " O 
Salih, O my son, in very sooth thou diddest wrong to name the 
Princess before thy nephew, knowing, as thou dost, that her father 
is stupid and violent, little of wit and tyrannical of temper, 
grudging his daughter to every suitor ; for all the Monarchs of 
the Main have sought her hand, but he rejected them all ; nay, he 
would none of them, saying : Ye are no match for her in beauty 
or in loveliness or in aught else. Wherefore we fear to demand 
her in wedlock of him, lest he reject us, even as he hath rejected 

284 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

others ; and we are a folk of high spirit and should return broken- 
hearted." Hearing these words Salih answered, " O my mother, 
what is to do ? For King Badr Basim saith : There is no help 
but that I seek her in marriage of her sire, though I expend my 
whole kingdom ; and he avoucheth that, an he take her not to 
wife, he will die of love for her and longing." And Salih con- 
tinued, "He is handsomer and goodlier than she ; his father was 
King of all the Persians, whose King he now is, and none is worthy 
of Jauharah save Badr Basim. Wherefore I purpose to carry her 
father a gift of jacinths and jewels befitting his dignity, and 
demand her of him in marriage. An he object to us that he is a 
King, behold, our man also is a King and the son of a King ; or, 
if he object to us her beauty, behold our man is more beautiful 
than she ; or, again, if he object to us the vastness of his dominion, 
behold our man's dominion is vaster than hers and her father's 
and numbereth more troops and guards, for that his kingdom is 
greater than that of Al-Samandal. Needs must I do my endeavour 
to further the desire of my sister's son, though it relieve me of my 
life ; because I was the cause of whatso hath betided ; and, even 
as I plunged him into the ocean of her love, so will I go about 
to marry him to her, and may Almighty Allah help me thereto ! " 
Rejoined his mother, " Do as thou wilt, but beware of giving 
her father rough words, whenas thou speakest with him ; for thou 
knowest his stupidity and violence and I fear lest he do thee a 
mischief, for he knoweth not respect for any." And Salih 
answered, '" Hearkening and obedience." Then he sprang up 
and taking two bags full of gems such as rubies and bugles of 
emerald, noble ores and all manner jewels gave them to his 
servants to carry and set out with his nephew for the palace of 
Al-Samandal. When they came thither, he sought audience of 
the King and being admitted to his presence, kissed ground 
before him and saluted him with the goodliest Salam. The 
King rose to him and honouring him with the utmost honour, 
bade him be seated. So he sat down and presently the King 
said to him, " A blessed coming : indeed thou has desolated us, O 
Salih! But what bringeth thee to us? Tell me thine errand 
that we may fulfil it to thee." Whereupon Salih arose and, 
kissing the ground a second time, said, " O King of the age, my 
errand is to Allah and the magnanimous liege lord and the valiant 
lion, the report of whose good qualities the caravans far and near 
have dispread and whose renown for benefits and beneficence and 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 28$ 

clemency and graciousness and liberality to all climes and 
countries hath sped." Thereupon he opened the two bags and, 
displaying their contents before Al-Samandal, said to him, "O 
King of the Age, haply wilt thou accept my gift and by showing 

favour to me heal my heart." And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

foljen it foa& tfje S>cbtn f^untat! anti 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Salih offered his gift to the King, saying, " My aim and end is 
that the Sovran show favour to me and heal my heart by ac- 
cepting my present," King Al-Samandal asked, " With what object 
dost thou gift me with this gift ? Tell me thy tale and acquaint 
me with thy requirement. An its accomplishment be in my power 
I will straightway accomplish it to thee and spare thee toil and 
trouble ; and if I be unable thereunto, Allah compelleth not any 
soul aught beyond its power " l So Salih rose and kissing ground 
three times, said, " O King of the Age, that which I desire thou 
art indeed able to do ; it is in thy power and thou art master 
thereof; and I impose not on the King a difficulty, nor am I Jinn- 
demented, that I should crave of the King a thing whereto he 
availeth not ; for one of the sages saith : An thou wouldst be 
complied with ask that which can be readily supplied. Wherefore, 
that of which I am come in quest, the King (whom Allah preserve !) 
is able to grant." The King replied, " Ask what thou wouldst 
have, and state thy case and seek thy need." Then said Salih, 2 
" O King of the Age, know that I come as a suitor, seeking the 
unique pearl and the hoarded jewel, the Princess Jauharah, 
daughter of our lord the King ; wherefore, O King dis- 
appoint thou not thy suitor." Now when the King heard 
this, he laughed till he fell backwards, in mockery of him 
and said, "O Salih, I had thought thee a man of worth and a 
youth of sense, seeking naught save what was reasonable and 
speaking not save advisedly. What then hath befallen thy 
reason and urged thee to this monstrous matter and mighty hazard, 

1 The last verse (286) of chapt. ii. The Cow: "compelleth" in the sense of 


8 Salih's speeches are euphuistic. 

286 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

that thou seekest in marriage daughters of Kings, lords of cities 
and climates ? Say me, art thou of a rank to aspire to this great 
eminence and hath thy wit failed thee to this extreme pass that 
thou affrontest me with this demand ? " Replied Salih, " Allah 
amend the King ! I seek her not for myself (albeit, an I did, I 
am her match and more than her match, for thou knowest that 
my father was King of the Kings of the sea, for all thou art this 
day our King), but I seek her for King Badr Basim, lord of the 
lands of the Persians and son of King Shahriman, whose puissance 
thou knowest. An thou object that thou art a mighty great King, 
King Badr is a greater ; and if thou object thy daughter's beauty, 
King Badr is more beautiful than she and fairer of form and 
more excellent of rank and lineage ; and he is the champion of the 
people of his day. Wherefore, if thou grant my request, O King 
of the Age thou wilt have set the thing in its stead ; but, if thou 
deal arrogantly with us, thou wilt not use us justly nor travel with 
us the 'road which is straight 1 / Moreover, O King, thou knowest 
that the Princess Jauharah, the daughter of our lord the King, must 
needs be wedded and bedded, for the sage saith, a girl's lot is either 
grace of marriage or the grave. 2 Wherefore, an thou mean to 
marry her, my sister's son is worthier of her than any other man." 
Now when King Al-Samandal heard Salih's words, he was wroth 
with exceeding wrath ; his reason well nigh fled and his soul 
was like to depart his body for rage, and he cried, " O dog, 
shall the like of thee dare to bespeak me thus and name my 
daughter in the assemblies, 3 saying that the son of thy sister 
Julnar is a match for her ? Who art thou and who is this sister 
of thine and who is her son and who was his father, 4 that thou 
durst say to me such say and address me with such address ? 
What are ye all, in comparison with my daughter, but dogs ? " 
And he cried out to his pages, saying, " Take yonder gallows- 
bird's head ? " So they drew their swords and made for Salih, 
but he fled and for the palace-gate sped ; and reaching the 
entrance, he found of his cousins and kinsfolk and servants, more 
than a thousand horse armed cap-a-pie in iron and close knitted 

1 From the Fatihah. 

2 A truly Eastern saying, which ignores the " old maids" of the West. 

3 i.e. naming her before the lieges as if the speaker were her and his superior. It 
would have been more polite not to have gone beyond " the unique pearl and the 
hoarded jewel : " the offensive part of the speech was using the girl's name. 

4 Meaning emphatically that one and all were nobodies. 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 287 

mail-coats, hending in hand spears and naked swords glittering 
white. And these when they saw Salih come running out of the 
palace (they having been sent by his mother to his succour,) 
questioned him and he told them what was to do ; whereupon 
they knew that the King was a fool and violent-tempered to boot. 
So they dismounted and baring their blades, went in to the King 
Al-Samandal, whom they found seated upon the throne of his 
Kingship, unaware of their coming and enraged against Salih 
with furious rage ; and they beheld his eunuchs and pages and 
officers unprepared. When the King saw them enter, drawn brand 
in hand, he cried out to his people, saying " Woe to you ! Take 
me the heads of these hounds ! " But ere an hour had sped 
Al-Samandal's party were put to the route and relied upon flight, 
and Salih and his kinsfolk seized upon the King and pinioned 

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

say her permitted say. 

Nofo fofan ft foas tfce gbtfon f^utrtrrefc an* 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Salih and his kingfolk pinioned the King, Princess Jauharah 
awoke and knew that her father was a captive and his guards 
slain. So she fled forth the palace to a certain island, and 
climbing up into a high tree, hid herself in its summit. Now 
when the two parties came to blows, some of King Al-Samandal's 
pages fled and Badr Basim meeting them, questioned them of 
their case and they told him what had happened. But when he 
heard that the King was a prisoner, Badr feared for himself and 
fled, saying in his heart, " Verily, all this turmoil is on my account 
and none is wanted but I." So he sought safety in flight, 
security to sight, knowing not whither he went ; but destiny from 
Eternity fore-ordained drave him to the very island where the 
Princess had taken refuge, and he came to the very tree whereon 
she sat and threw himself down, like a dead man, thinking to 
lie and repose himself and knowing not there is no rest for the 
pursued, for none knoweth what Fate hideth for him in the future. 
As he lay down, he raised his eyes to the tree and they met the 
eyes of the Princess. So he looked at her and seeing her to be 
like the moon rising in the East, cried, " Glory to Him who 
fashioned yonder perfect form, Him who is the Creator of all 

288 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

things and who over all things is Almighty ! Glory to the Great 
God, the Maker, the Shaper and Fashioner ! By Allah, if 
my presentiments be true, this is Jauharah, daughter of King 
Al-Samandal ! Methinks that, when she heard of our coming to 
blows with her father, she fled to this island and, happening upon 
this tree, hid herself on its head ; but, if this be not the Princess 
herself, 'tis one yet goodlier than she." Then he bethought him- 
self of her case and said in himself, " I will arise and lay hands 
on her and question her of her condition ; and. if she be indeed 
the she, I will demand her in wedlock of herself and so win my 
wish." So he stood up and said to her, " O end of all desire, who 
art thou and who brought thee hither ? " She looked at Badr 
Basim and seeing him to be as the full moon, 1 when it shineth from 
under the black cloud, slender of shape and sweet of smile, 
answered, " O fair of fashion, I am Princess Jauharah, daughter 
of King Al-Samandal, and I took refuge in this place, because 
Salih and his host came to blows with my sire and slew his 
troops and took him prisoner, with some of his men ; where- 
fore I fled, fearing for my very life," presently adding, " And I 
weet not what fortune hath done with my father." When King 
Badr Basim heard these words he marvelled with exceeding 
marvel at this strange chance and thought. " Doubtless I have 
won my wish by the capture of her sire." Then he looked at 
Jauharah and said to her, " Come down, O my lady ; for I am 
slain for love of thee and thine eyes have captivated me. On 
my account and thine are all these broils and battles; for thou 
must know that I am King Badr Basim, Lord of the Persians 
and Salih is my mother's brother and he it is who came to thy 
sire to demand thee of him in marrfage. As for me, I have 
quited my kingdom for thy sake, and our meeting here is the 
rarest coincidence. So come down to me and let us twain fare 
for thy father's palace, that I may beseech uncle Salih to release 
him and I may make thee my lawful wife. When Jauharah heard his 
words, she said in herself, " 'Twas on this miserable gallows bird's 
account, then, that all this hath befallen and that my father 
hath fallen prisoner and his chamberlains and suite have been 
slain and I have been departed from my palace, a miserable exile 
and have fled for refuge to this island. But, an I devise not 
against him some device to defend myself from him, he will 

1 Arab. Badr, the usual pun. 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 289 

possess himself of me and take his will of me ; for he is in 
love and for aught that he doeth a lover is not blamed." Then 
she beguiled him with winning words and soft speeches, whilst 
he knew not the perfidy against him she purposed, and asked 
him, " O my lord and light of my eyes, say me, art thou indeed 
King Badr Basim, son of Queen Julnar ? " And he answered, 

" Yes, O my lady." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased saying her permitted say. 

fo&m ft teas t&e gbebw l^unfcreti an& jTottg-nmtS Nt'fi&t, 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Jauharah, 
daughter of King Al-Samandal, asked the youth, "Art thou in 
very soth King Badr Basim, son of Queen Julnar ? " And he 
answered, " Yes, O my lady ! " Then she, " May Allah cut off my 
father and gar his kingdom cease from him and heal not his heart 
neither avert from him strangerhood, if he could desire a comelier 
than thou or aught goodlier than these fair qualities of thine ! By 
Allah, he is of little wit and judgment ! " presently adding, " But, 
O King of the Age, punish him not for that he hath done ; more 
by token that an thou love me a span, verily I love thee a cubit. 
Indeed, I have fallen into the net of thy love and am become of 
the number of thy slain. The love that was with thee hath trans- 
ferred itself to me and there is left thereof with thee but a tithe of 
that which is with me." So saying, she came down from the tree 
and drawing near him strained him to her bosom and fell to kissing 
him ; whereat passion and desire for her redoubled on him and 
doubting not but she loved him, he trusted in her, and returned 
her kisses and caresses. Presently he said to her, " By Allah, O 
Princess, my uncle Salih set forth to me not a fortieth part of thy 
charms ; no, nor a quarter-carat 1 of the four-and-twenty." Then 
Jauharah pressed him to her bosom and pronounced some unin- 
telligible words ; then spat on his face, saying, " Quit this form of 
man and take shape of bird, the handsomest of birds, white of 
robe, with red bill and legs." Hardly had she spoken, when 

1 Arab. Kirat (Kepariov) the bean of the Abrus precatorius, used as a weight i n 
Arabia and India and as a bead for decoration in Africa. It is equal to four Kamhahs 
or wheat-grains and about 3 grs. avoir. ; and being the twenty-fourth of a miskal, it is 
applied to that proportion of everything. Thus the Arabs say of a perfect man, "He is 
of four-and-twenty Kirat " i.e. pure gold. See vol. iii. 239. 


290 A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

King Badr Basim found himself transformed into a bird, the hand- 
somest of birds, who shook himself and stood looking at her. 
Now Jauharah had with her one of her slave-girls, by name Mar- 
sfnah ; * so she called her and said to her, " By Allah, but that I 
fear for the life of my father, who is his uncle's prisoner, I would 
kill him ! Allah never requite him with good t How unlucky 
was his coming to us ; for all this trouble is due to his hard-headed- 
ness ! But do thou, O slave-girl, bear him to the Thirsty Island 
and leave him there to die of thirst." So Marsinah carried him to 
the island in question and would have returned and left him there ; 
but she said in herself, " By Allah, the lord of such beauty and 
loveliness deserveth not to die of thirst ! " So she went forth 
from that island and brought him to another abounding in trees 
and fruits and rills and, setting him down there, returned to her 
mistress and told her, " I have left him on the Thirsty Island." 
Such was the case with Badr Basim ; but as regards King Salih, 
he sought for Jauharah after capturing the King and killing his 
folk ; but, finding her not, returned to his palace and said to his 
mother, " Where is my sister's son, King Badr Basim ? " " By 
Allah, O my son," replied she, " I know nothing of him ! For 
when it reached him that you and King Al-Samandal had come to 
blows and that strife and slaughter had betided between you, he 
was affrighted and fled." When Salih heard this, he grieved for 
his nephew and said, " O my mother, by Allah, we have dealt negli- 
gently by King Badr and I fear lest he perish or lest one of King 
Al-Samandal's soldiers or his daughter Jauharah fall in with him. 
So should we come to shame with his mother and no good betide 
us from her, for that I took him without her leave." Then he 
despatched guards and scouts throughout the sea and elsewhere to 
seek for Badr ; but they could learn no tidings of him ; so they 
returned and told King Salih, wherefore cark and care redoubled 
on him and his breast was straitened for King Badr Basim. So 
far concerning nephew and uncle, but as for Julnar the Sea-born, 
after their departure she abode in expectation of them, but her 
son returned not and she heard no report of him. So when many 
days of fruitless waiting had gone by, she arose and going down 
into the sea, repaired to her mother, who sighting her rose to her 
and kissed her and embraced her, as did the Mermaids her cousins. 

1 The (she) myrtle : Kazimirski (A. de Biberstein) Dictionnaire Arabe-Francais (Paris 
Maisonneuve 1867) gives Marsin = Rose de Jericho: myrte. 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 291 

Then she questioned her mother of King ,Badr Basim, and she 
answered, saying, " O my daughter, of a truth he came hither with 
his uncle, who took jacinths and jewels and carrying them to King 
Al-Samandal, demanded his daughter in marriage for thy son ; 
but he consented not and was violent against thy brother in words. 
Now I had sent Salih nigh upon a thousand horse and a battle 
befel between him and King Al-Samandal ; but Allah aided thy 
brother against him, and he slew his guards and troops and took 
himself prisoner. Meanwhile, tidings of this reached thy son, and 
it would seem as if he feared for himself; wherefore he fled forth 
from us, without our will, and returned not to us, nor have we 
heard any news of him." Then Julnar enquired for King Salih, 
and his mother said, " He is seated on the throne of his kingship, 
in the stead of King Al-Samandal, and hath sent in all directions 
to seek thy son and Princess Jauharah." When Julnar heard 
the maternal words, she mourned for her son with sad mourning 
and was highly incensed against her brother Salih for that he 
had taken him and gone down with him into the sea without her 
leave ; and she said, " O my mother, I fear for our realm ; as I 
came to thee without letting any know ; and I dread tarrying 
with thee, lest the state fall into disorder and the kingdom pass 
from our hands. Wherefore I deem best to return and govern the 
reign till it please Allah to order our son's affair for us. But look 
ye forget him not neither neglect his case ; for should he come to 
any harm, it would infallibly kill me, since I see not the world 
save in him and delight but in his life." She replied, " With love 
and gladness, O my daughter. Ask not what we suffer by reason 
of his loss and absence." Then she sent to seek for her grandson, 
whilst Julnar returned to her kingdom, weeping-eyed and heavy- 
hearted, and indeed the gladness of the world was straitened upon 

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

say her permitted say. 

Nofo toljen ft toas tfje Sbeben ^untrrclJ an& J^tftfetf) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Queen 
Julnar returned from her mother to her own realm, her breast was 
straitened and she was in ill-case. So fared it with her ; but as 
regards King Badr Basim, after Princess Jauharah had ensorcelled 
him and had sent him with her handmaid to the Thirsty Island, 

292 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

saying, " Leave him there to die of thirst," and Marsinah had set 
him down in a green islet, he abode days and nights in the sem- 
blance of a bird eating of its fruits and drinking of its waters and 
knowing not whither to go nor how to fly ; till, one day, there 
came a certain fowler to the island to catch somewhat wherewithal 
to get his living. He espied King Badr Basim in his form of a 
white-robed bird, with red bill and legs, captivating the sight and 
bewildering the thought ; and, looking thereat, said in himself, 
" Verily, yonder is a beautiful bird : never saw I its like in fairness 
or form." So he cast his net over Badr and taking him, carried 
him to the town, mentally resolved to sell him for a high price. 
On his way one of the townsfolk accosted him and said, " For how 
much this fowl, O fowler ?" Quoth the fowler, "What wilt thou 
do with him an thou buy him ? " Answered the other, " I will 
cut his throat and eat him ; " whereupon said the birder, " Who 
could have the heart to kill this bird and eat him ? Verily, I 
mean to present him to our King, who will give me more than 
thou wouldest give me and will not kill him, but will divert him- 
self by gazing upon his beauty and grace, for in all my life, since 
I have been a fowler, I never saw his like among land game or 
water fowl. The utmost thou wouldst give me for him, however 
much thou covet him, would be a dirham, and, by Allah Almighty, 
I will not sell him ! " Then he carried the bird up to the King's 
palace and when the King saw it, its beauty and grace pleased him 
and the red colour of its beak and legs. So he sent an eunuch to 
buy it, who accosted the fowler and said to him, " Wilt thou sell 
this bird ? " Answered he, " Nay, 'tis a gift from me to the King " * 
So the eunuch carried the bird to the King and told him what the 
man had said ; and he took it and gave the fowler ten dinars, 
whereupon he kissed ground and fared forth. Then the eunuch 
carried the bird to the palace and placing him in a fine cage, hung 
him up after setting meat and drink by him. When the King 
came down from the Divan, he said to the eunuch, " Where is the 
bird ? Bring it to me, that I may look upon it ; for, by Allah, 'tis 
beautiful ! " So the eunuch brought the cage and set it between 
the hands of the King, who looked and seeing the food untouched, 
said, " By Allah, I wis not what it will eat, that I may nourish it ! " 

1 Needless to note that the fowler had a right to expect a return present worth double 
or treble the price of his gift. Such is the universal practice of the East : in the West 
the extortioner says, " I leave it to you, sir ! " 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 293 

Then he called for food and they laid the tables and the King ate. 
Now when the bird saw the flesh and meats and fruits and sweet- 
meats, he ate of all that was upon the trays before the King, 
whereat the Sovran and all the bystanders marvelled and the King 
said to his attendants, eunuchs and Mamelukes, " In all my life I 
never saw a bird eat as doth this bird ! " Then he sent an eunuch 
to fetch his wife that she might enjoy looking upon the bird, and 
he went in to summon her and said, " O my lady, the King desireth 
thy presence, that thou mayst divert thyself with the sight of a 
bird he hath bought. When we set on the food, it flew down from 
its cage and perching on the table, ate of all that was thereon. So 
arise, O my lady, and solace thee with the sight for it is goodly of 
aspect and is a wonder of the wonders of the age." Hearing 
these words she came in haste ; but, when she noted the bird, she 
veiled her face and turned to fare away. The King rose up and 
looking at her, asked, " Why dost thou veil thy face when there is 
none in presence save the women and eunuchs who wait on thee 
and thy husband ? " Answered she, " O King, this bird is no bird, 
but a man like thyself." He rejoined, " Thou liest, this is too 
much of a jest. How should he be other than a bird ? "; and she 
" O King, by Allah, I do not jest with thee nor do I tell thee 
aught but the truth ; for verily this bird is King Badr Basim, son 
of King Shahriman, Lord of the land of the Persians, and his 

mother is Julnar the Sea-born." And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

fo&en it foas flje &eben f^uirtrretr anfc JFift^firet Vfgftt, 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the King's wife said to the King, " Verily, this is no bird but a 
man like thyself: he is King Badr Basim son of King Sharimair. 
and his mother is Julnar the Sea-born," quoth the King, "And how 
came he in this shape ? "; and quoth she, " Princess Jauharah, 
daughter of King Al-Samandal, hath enchanted him : " and told 
him all that had passed with King Badr Basim from first to last. 1 
The King marvelled exceedingly at his wife's words and conjured 
her, on his life, to free Badr from his enchantment (for she was the 
notablest enchantress of her age), and not leave him in torment, 

1 And she does tell him all that the reader well knows. 

294 A If Lay I ah wa Laylak. 

saying, " May Almighty Allah cut off Jauharah's hand, for a fou 
witch as she is ! How little is her faith and how great her craft 
and perfidy ! " Said the Queen, " Do thou say to him : O Badr 
Basim, enter yonder closet ! " So the King bade him enter the 
closet and he went in obediently. Then the Queen veiled her face 
and taking in her hand a cup of water, 1 entered the closet, where 
she pronounced over the water certain incomprehensible words 
ending with, " By the virtue of these mighty names and holy verses 
and by the majesty of Allah Almighty, Creator of heaven and 
earth, the Quickener of the dead and Appointer of the means of 
daily bread and the terms determined, quit this thy form wherein 
thou art and return to the shape in which the Lord created thee ! " 
Hardly had she made an end of her words, when the bird 
trembled once and became a man ; and the King saw before him 
a handsome youth, than whom on earth's face was none goodlier. 
But when King Badr Basim found himself thus restored to his 
own form fie cried, " There is no god but the God and Mohammed 
is the Apostle of God ! Glory be to the Creator of all creatures 
and Provider of their provision, and Ordainer of their life-terms 
preordained ! " Then he kissed the King's hand and wished him 
long life, and the King kissed his head and said to him, " O Badr 
Basim, tell me thy history from commencement to conclusion." 
So he told him his whole tale, concealing naught ; and the King 
marvelled thereat and said to him, " O Badr Basim, Allah hath 
saved thee from the spell : but what hath thy judgment decided 
arid what thinkest thou to do ? " Replied he, " O King of the 
Age, I desire of thy bounty that thou equip me a ship with a 
company of thy servants and all that is needful ; for 'tis long since 
I have been absent and I dread lest the kingdom depart from me. 
And I misdoubt me my mother is dead of grief for my loss ; and 
this doubt is the stronger for that she knoweth not what is come 
of me nor whether I am alive or dead. Wherefore, I beseech thee, 
O King, to crown thy favours to me by granting me what I seek." 
The King, after beholding the beauty and grace of Badr Basim 
and listening to his sweet speech, said, " I hear and obey." So he 
fitted him out a ship, to which he transported all that was needful 

1 This was for sprinkling him, but the texts omit that operation. Arabic has distinct 
terms for various forms of metamorphosis. "Naskh" is change from a lower to a 
higher, as beast to man ; " Maskh " (the common expression) is the reverse ; " Raskh " 
is from animate to inanimate (man to stone) and " Faskh " is absolute wasting away to 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 295 

and which he manned with a company of his servants ; and Badr 
Basim set sail in it, after having taken leave of the King. They 
sailed over the sea ten successive days with a favouring wind ; but, 
on the eleventh day, the ocean became troubled with exceeding 
trouble, the ship rose and fell and the sailors were powerless to 
govern her. So they drifted at the mercy of the waves, till the 
craft neared a rock in mid-sea which fell upon her l and broke her 
up and all on board were drowned, save King Badr Basim who got 
astride one of the planks of the vessel, after having been nigh upon 
destruction. The plank ceased not to be borne by the set of the 
sea, whilst he knew not whither he went and had no means of 
directing its motion, as the wind and waves wrought for three 
whole days. But on the fourth the plank grounded with him on 
the sea-shore where he sighted a white city, as it were a dove 
passing white, builded upon a tongue of land that jutted out into 
the deep and it was goodly of ordinance, with high towers and 
lofty walls against which the waves beat. When Badr Basim saw 
this, he rejoiced with exceeding joy, for he was well-nigh dead of 
hunger and thirst, and dismounting from the plank, would have 
gone up the beach to the city ; but there came down to him mules 
and asses and horses, in number as the sea-sands and fell to 
striking at him and staying him from landing. So he swam round 
to the back of the city, where he waded to shore and entering the 
place, found none therein and marvelled at this, saying, " Would 
I knew to whom doth this city belong, wherein is no lord nor any 
liege, and whence came these mules and asses and horses that 
hindered me from landing ? " And he mused over his case. Then 
he walked on at hazard till he espied an old man, a grocer. 2 So 
he saluted him and the other returned his salam and seeing him to 
be a handsome young man, said to him, " O youth, whence comest 
thou and what brought thee to this city?" Badr told him his 
story ; at which the old man marvelled and said, " O my son, didst 
thou see any on thy way ? " He replied, " Indeed, O my father, 
I wondered in good sooth to sight a city void of folk." Quoth the 

1 I render this improbable detail literally : it can only mean that the ship was dashed 
against a rock. 

2 Who was probably squatting on his shop-counter. The "Bakkal" (who must not 
be confounded with the epicier), lit " vender of herbs " =r greengrocer, and according 
to Richardson used incorrectly for Baddal (?) vendor of provisions,. Popularly it is 
applied to a seller of oil, honey, butter and fruit, like the Ital. " Pizzicagnolo " =s 
Salsamentarius, and in N. West Africa to an inn-keeper. 

296 A If Laylah wa Laylah, 

Shaykh, " O my son, come up into the shop, lest thou perish." So 
Badr Basim went up into the shop and sat down ; whereupon the 
old man set before him somewhat of food, saying, "O my son, 
enter the inner shop ; glory be to Him who hath preserved thee 
from yonder she-Sathanas ! " King Badr Basim was sore affrighted 
at the grocer's words ; but he ate his fill and washed his hands ; 
then glanced at his host and said to him, " O my lord, what is the 
meaning of these words ? Verily thou hast made me fearful of 
this city and its folk." Replied the old man, " Know, O my son, 
that this is the City of the Magicians and its Queen is as she were 
a she-Satan, a sorceress and a mighty enchantress, passing crafty 
and perfidious exceedingly. All thou sawest of horses and mules 
and asses were once sons of Adam like thee and me ; they were 
also strangers, for whoever entereth this city, being a young man 
like thyself, this miscreant witch taketh him and hometh him for 
forty days, after which she enchanteth him, and he becometh a 
mule or a horse or an ass, of those animals thou sawest on the 
sea-shore. - And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 
ceased to say her permitted say. 

fojjnt ft foas $0 gbeben l^unbwb atrtr Jpiftg-stconU 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old 
grocer related to King Badr Basim the history of the enchantress 
ending with, " All these people hath she spelled ; and, when it was 
thy intent to land they feared lest thou be transmewed like them- 
selves ; so they counselled thee by signs that said : Land not, of 
their solicitude for thee, fearing that haply she should do with thee 
like as she had done with them. She possessed herself of this city 
and seized it from its citizens by sorcery and her name is Queen 
Lab, which being interpreted, meaneth in Arabic ' Almanac of the 
Sun.' " * When Badr Basim heard what the old man said, he was 
affrighted with sore affright and trembled like reed in wind saying 
in himself, " Hardly do I feel me free from the affliction wherein I 
was by reason of sorcery, when Destiny casteth me into yet sorrier 

1 Here the Shaykh is mistaken: he should have said, "The Sun in old Persian." 
" Almanac " simply makes nonsense of the Arabian Circe's name. In Arab, it is 
"Takwim," whence the Span, and Port. "Tacuino:" in Heb. Hakamatha-Takuuali 
= sapientia dispositionis astrorum (Asiat. Research, iii. 120). 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 297 

case ! " And he fell a-musing over his condition and that which 
had betided him. When the Shaykh looked at him and saw the 
violence of his terror, he said to him, "O my son, come, sit at the 
threshold of the shop and look upon yonder creatures and upon 
their dress and complexion and that wherein they are by reason 
of gramarye and dread not ; for the Queen and all in the city love 
and tender me and will not vex my heart or trouble my mind." 
So King Badr Basim came out and sat at the shop-door, looking 
out upon the folk ; and there passed by him a world of creatures 
without number. But when the people saw him, they accosted the 
grocer and said to him, " O elder, is this thy captive and thy prey 
gotten in these days ? " The old man replied, " He is my brother's 
son, I heard that his father was dead ; so I sent for him and 
brought him here that I might quench with him the fire of my 
home-sickness." Quoth they, " Verily, he is a comely youth ; but 
we fear for him from Queen Lab, lest she turn on thee with 
treachery and take him from thee, for she loveth handsome young 
men." Quoth the Shaykh, " The Queen will not gainsay my 
commandment, for she loveth and tendereth me ; and when she 
shall know that he is my brother's son, she will not molest him or 
afflict me in him neither trouble my heart on his account." Then 
King Badr Basim abode some months with the grocer, eating and 
drinking, and the old man loved him with exceeding love. One 
day, as he sat in the shop according to his custom, behold, there 
came up a thousand eunuchs, with drawn swords and clad in 
various kinds of raiment and girt with jewelled girdles : all rode 
Arabian steeds and bore in baldrick Indian blades. They saluted 
the grocer, as they passed his shop and were followed by a thousand 
damsels like moons, clad in various raiments of silks and satins 
fringed with gold and embroidered with jewels of sorts, and spears 
were slung to their shoulders. In their midst rode a damsel 
mounted on a Rabite mare, saddled with a saddle of gold set 
with various kinds of jewels and jacinths; and they reached in a 
body the Shaykh's shop. The damsels saluted him and passed 
on, till, lo and behold ! up came Queen Lab, in great state, and 
seeing King Badr Basim sitting in the shop, as he were the moon 
at its full, was amazed at his beauty and loveliness and became 
passionately enamoured of him, and distraught with desire of him, 
So she alighted and sitting down by King Badr Basim said to the 
old man, " Whence hadst thou this handsome one ? " ; and the 
Shaykh replied, " He is my brother's son, and is lately come to 

298 A If LaylaJi wa Laylah. 

me." Quoth Lab, " Let him be with me this night, that I may 
talk with him ; " and quoth the old man, " Wilt thou take him 
from me and not enchant him ? " Said she, " Yes," and said he, 
" Swear to me." ' So she sware to him that she would not do him 
any hurt or ensorcell him, and bidding bring him a fine horse, 
saddled and bridled with a golden bridle and decked with trappings 
all of gold set with jewels, gave the old man a thousand dinars, 
saying, " Use this." ! Then she took Badr Basim and carried him 
off, as he were the full moon on its fourteenth night, whilst all 
the folk, seeing his beauty, were grieved for him and said, " By 
Allah, verily, this youth deserveth not to be bewitched by yonder 
sorceress, the accursed ! " Now King Badr Basim heard all they 
said, but was silent, committing his case to Allah Almighty, till 

they came to And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo fo&en it foas tjt &ebm ^utrtrreto anto JFtftp-tfn'ttr 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King 
Badr Basim ceased not faring with Queen Lab and her suite till 
they came to her palace-gate, where the Emirs and eunuchs and 
Lords of the realm took foot and she bade the Chamberlains 
dismiss her Officers and Grandees, who kissed ground and went 
away, whilst she entered the palace with Badr Basim and her 
eunuchs and women. Here he found a place, whose like he had 
never seen at all, for it was builded of gold and in its midst was a 
great basin brimfull of water midmost a vast flower-garden, He 
looked at the garden and saw it abounding in birds of various 
kinds and colours, warbling in all manner tongues and voices, 
pleasurable and plaintive. And everywhere he beheld great state 
and dominion and said, " Glory be to God, who of His bounty and 
long-suffering provideth those who serve other than Himself!" 
The Queen sat down at a latticed window overlooking the garden 
on a couch of ivory, whereon was a high bed, and King Badr 
Basim seated himself by her side. She kissed him and pressing 
him to her breast, bade her women bring a tray of food. So they 
brought a tray of red gold, inlaid with pearls and jewels and 
spread with all manner of viands and he and she ate, till they 

1 i.e. for thy daily expenses. 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 299 

were satisfied, and washed their hands ; after which the waiting- 
women set on flagons of gold and silver and glass, together with 
all kinds of flowers and dishes of dried fruits. Then the Queen 
summoned the singing-women and there came ten maidens, as 
they were moons, hending all manner of musical instruments. 
Queen Lab crowned a cup and drinking it off, filled another and 
passed it to King Badr Basim, who took it and drank ; and they 
ceased not to drink till they had their sufficiency. Then she bade 
the damsels sing, and they sang all manner modes till it seemed 
to Badr Basim as if the palace danced with him for joy. His 
sense was ecstasied and his breast broadened, and he forgot his 
strangerhood and said in himself, " Verily, this Queen is young 
and beautiful * and I will never leave her ; for her kingdom is 
vaster than my kingdom and she is fairer than Princess Jauharah." 
So he ceased not to drink with her till even-tide came, when they 
lighted the lamps and waxen candles and diffused censer- 
perfumes ; nor did they leave drinking, till they were both 
drunken, and the singing-women sang the while. Then Queen 
Lab, being in liquor, rose from her seat and lay down on a bed 
and dismissing her women called to Badr Basim to come and 
sleep by her side. So he lay with her, in all delight of life till 

the morning. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

Koto fofjen (t toas t&e gbeben f^untrrefc anfc 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
Queen awoke she repaired to the Hammam-bath in the palace, 
King Badr Basim being with her, and they bathed and were 
purified ; after which she clad him in the finest of raiment and 
called for the service of wine. So the waiting women brought 
the drinking-gear and they drank. Presently, the Queen arose 
and taking Badr Basim by the hand, sat down with him on chairs 
and bade bring food, whereof they ate, and washed their hands. 
Then the damsels fetched the drinking-gear and fruits and flowers 

1 Un adolescent aime toutes lesfemmes. Man is by nature polygamic whereas woman as 
a rule is monogamic and polyandrous only when tired of her lover. For the man, as 
has been truly said, loves the woman, but the love of the woman is for the love of the 

3<x> Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

and confections, and they ceased not to eat and drink, 1 whilst the 
singing-girls sang various airs till the evening. They gave not 
over eating and drinking and merry-making for a space of forty 
days, when the Queen said to him, "O Badr Basim, say me 
whether is the more pleasant, this place or the shop of thine uncle 
the grocer ? " He replied, " By Allah, O Queen, this is the pleasanter, 
for my uncle is but a beggarly man, who vendeth pot-herbs." 
She laughed at his words and the twain lay together in the 
pleasantest of case till the morning, when King Badr Basim 
awoke from sleep and found not Queen Lab by his side, so he 
said, " Would Heaven I knew where can she have gone ! " And 
indeed he was troubled at her absence and perplexed about the 
case, for she stayed away from him a great while and did not 
return ; so he donned his dress and went seeking her but not 
finding her, and he said to himself, " Haply, she is gone to the 
flower-garden." Thereupon he went out into the garden and 
came to a running rill beside which he saw a white she-bird and 
on the stream-bank a tree full of birds of various colours, and he 
stood and watched the birds without their seeing him. And 
behold, a black bird flew down upon that white she-bird and fell 
to billing her pigeon-fashion, then he leapt on her and trod her 
three consecutive times, after which the bird changed and became 
a woman. Badr looked at her and lo ! it was Queen Lab. So he 
knew that the black bird was a man transmewed and that she was 
enamoured of him and had transformed herself into a bird, that he 
might enjoy her ; wherefore jealousy got hold upon him and he 
was wroth with the Queen because of the black bird. Then he 
returned to his place and lay down on the carpet-bed and after an 
hour or so she came back to him and fell to kissing him and 
jesting with him ; but being sore incensed against her he answered 
her not a word. She saw what was to do with him and was 
assured that he had witnessed what befel her when she was a 
white bird and was trodden by the black bird ; yet she discovered 
naught to him but concealed what ailed her. When he had done 
her need, he said to her, " O Queen, I would have thee give me 
leave to go to my uncle's shop, for I long after him and have not 

1 I have already noted that the heroes and heroines of Eastern love-tales are always 
bonnes fourchettes : they eat and drink hard enough to scandalise the sentimental amourist 
of the West ; but it is understood that this abundant diet is necessary to qualify them for 
the Herculean labours of the love night. 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 301 

seen him these forty days." She replied, " Go to him but tarry 
not from me, for I cannot brook to be parted from thee, nor can I 
endure without thee an hour." He said, " I hear and I obey," 
and mounting, rode to the shop of the Shaykh, the grocer, who 
welcomed him and rose to him and embracing him said to him, 
" How hast thou fared with yonder idolatress ? " He replied, (( I 
was well in health and happiness till this last night," and told him 
what had passed in the garden with the black bird. Now when 
the old man heard his words, he said. " Beware of her, for know 
that the birds upon the trees were all young men and strangers, 
whom she loved and enchanted and turned into birds. That 
black bird thou sawest was one of her Mamelukes whom she loved 
with exceeding love, till he cast his eyes upon one of her women. 

wherefore she changed him into a black bird ; And Shahrazad 

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

iicifo fojen ft foas tje &cben 3^tm&re& antr 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Badr Basim acquainted the old grocer with all the doings of 
Queen Lab and what he had seen of her proceedings, the Shaykh 
gave him to know that all the birds upon the tree were young 
men and strangers whom she had enchanted, and that the black 
bird was one of her Mamelukes whom she had transmewed. 
" And," continued the Shaykh, " whenas she lusteth after him she 
transformeth herself into a she-bird that he may enjoy her, for she 
still loveth him with passionate love. When she found that thou 
knewest of her case, she plotted evil against thee, for she loveth 
thee not wholly. But no harm shall betide thee from her, so long 
as I protect thee ; therefore fear nothing ; for I am a Moslem, by 
name Abdallah, and there is none in my day more magical than 
I ; yet do I not make use of gramarye save upon constraint. 
Many a time have I put to naught the sorceries of yonder 
accursed and delivered folk from her, and I care not for her, 
because she can do me no hurt : nay, she feareth me with ex- 
ceeding fear, as do all in the city who, like her, are magicians and 
serve the fire, not the Omnipotent Sire. So to-morrow, come 

1 Here again a little excision is necessary ; the reader already knows all about it. 

302 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

thou to me and tell me what she doth with thee ; for this very 
night she will cast about to destroy thee, and I will tell thee how 
thou shalt do with her, that thou mayst save thyself from her 
malice." Then King Badr Basim farewelled the Shaykh and 
returned to the Queen whom he found awaiting him. When she 
saw him, she rose and seating him and welcoming him brought 
him meat and drink and the two ate till they had enough and 
washed their hands; after which she called for wine and they 
drank till the night was well nigh half spent, when she plied him 
with cup after cup till he was drunken and lost sense 1 and wit. 
When she saw him thus, she said to him, " I conjure thee by 
Allah and by whatso thou worshippest, if I ask thee a question 
wilt thou inform me rightly and answer me truly ? " And he being 
drunken, answered, " Yes, O my lady." Quoth she, " O my lord 
and light of mine eyes, when thou awokest last night and foundest 
me not, thou soughtest me, till thou sawest me in the garden, 
under the guise of a white she-bird, and also thou sawest the 
black bird leap on me and tread me. Now I will tell the truth of 
this matter. That black bird was one of my Mamelukes, whom I 
loved with exceeding love ; but one day he cast his eyes upon a 
certain of my slave-girls, wherefore jealousy gat hold upon me 
and I transformed him by my spells into a black bird and her I 
slew. But now I cannot endure without him a single hour ; so, 
whenever I lust after him, I change myself into a she-bird and go 
to him, that he may leap me and enjoy me, even as thou hast seen. 
Art thou not therefore incensed against me, because of this, albeit, 
by the virtue of Fire and Light, Shade and Heat, I love thee 
more than ever and have made thee my portion of the world ? " 
He answered (being drunken), " Thy conjecture of the cause of my 
rage is correct, and it had no reason other than this." With this 
she embraced him and kissed him and made great show of love to 
him ; then she lay down to sleep and he by her side. Presently, 
about midnight she rose from the carpet-bed and King Badr Basim 
was awake ; but he feigned sleep and watched stealthily to see 
what she would do. She took out of a red bag a something red, 
which she planted a-middlemost the chamber, and it became a 
stream, running like the sea ; after which she took a handful of 
barley and strewing it on the ground, watered it with water from 

1 Arab. " Hiss," prop, speaking a perception (as of sound or motion) as opposed to 
" Hadas," a surmise or opinion without proof. 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 303 

the river ; whereupon it became wheat in the ear, and she gathered 
it and ground it into flour. Then she set it aside and returning to 
bed, lay down by Badr Basim till morning when he arose and 
washed his face and asked her leave to visit the Shaykh his uncle. 
She gave him permission and he repaired to Abdallah and told 
him what had passed. The old man laughed and said, " By Allah, 
this miscreant witch plotteth mischief against thee ; but reck thou 
not of her ever !" Then he gave him a pound of parched corn 1 
and said to him, " Take this with thee and know that, when she 
seeth it, she will ask thee : What is this and what wilt thou do 
with it ? Do thou answer : Abundance of good things is good ; 
and eat of it. Then will she bring forth to thee parched grain of 
her own and say to thee : Eat of this Sawi'k ; and do thou feign 
to her that thou eatest thereof, but eat of this instead, and beware 
and have a care lest thou eat of hers even a grain ; for, an thou 
eat so much as a grain thereof, her spells will have power over 
thee and she will enchant thee and say to thee : Leave this form 
of a man. Whereupon thou wilt quit thine own shape for what 
shape she will. But, an thou eat not thereof, her enchantments 
will be null and void and no harm will betide thee therefrom ; 
whereat she will be shamed with shame exceeding and say to 
thee : I did but jest with thee ! Then will she make a show of 
love and fondness to thee ; but this will all be but hypocrisy in her 
and craft. And do thou also make a show of love to her and 
say to her: O my lady and light of mine eyes, eat of this parched 
barley and see how delicious it is. And if she eat thereof, though 
it be but a grain, take water in thy hand and throw it in her face, 
saying : Quit this human form (for what form soever thou wilt 
have her take). Then leave her and come to me and I will counsel 
thee what to do." So Badr Basim took leave of him and returning 
to the palace, went in to the Queen, who said to him, " Welcome 
and well come and good cheer to thee ! " And she rose and kissed 
him, saying, " Thou hast tarried long from me, O my lord," He 
replied, " I have been with my uncle, and he gave me to eat of 
this Sawik." Quoth she, " We have better than that." Then she 

1 "Arab. "Sawik," the old and modern name for native frumenty, green grain 
(mostly barley) toasted, pounded, mixed with dates or sugar and eaten on journeys 
when cooking is impracticable. M. C. de Perceval (iii, 54), gives it a different and 
now unknown name ; and Mr. Lane also applies it to "plisane." It named the "Day 
of Sawaykah " (for which see Pilgrimage ii. 19), called by our popular authors the 
" War of the Meal-sacks." 

304 Alf Lay la k wa Laylah. 

laid his parched Sawik in one plate and hers in another and said 
to him, " Eat of this, for 'tis better than thine." So he feigned to 
eat of it and when she thought he had done so, she took water in 
her hand and sprinkled him therewith, saying, " Quit this form, O 
thou gallows-bird, thou miserable, and take that of a mule one- 
eyed and foul of favour." But he changed not; which when she 
saw, she arose and wont up to him and kissed him between the 
eyes, saying, " O my beloved, I did but jest with thee ; bear me no 
malice because of this." Quoth he, " O my lady, I bear thee no 
whit of malice ; nay, I am assured that thou lovest me : but eat 
of this my parched barley." So she eat a mouthful of Abdallah's 
Sawik ; but no sooner had it settled in her stomach than she was 
convulsed ; and King Badr Basim took water in his palm and 
threw it in her face, saying, " Quit this human form and take that 
of a dapple mule." No sooner had he spoken than she found 
herself changed into a she-mule, whereupon the tears rolled down 
her cheeks and she fell to rubbing her muzzle against his feet. 
Then he would have bridled her, but she would not take the bit ; 
so he left her and, going to the grocer, told him what had passed. 
Abdallah brought out for him a bridle and bade him rein her 
forthwith. So he took it to the palace, and when she saw him, 
she came up to him and he set the bit in her mouth and mounting 
her, rode forth to find the Shaykh. But when the old man saw 
her, he rose and said to her, " Almighty Allah confound thee, O 
accursed woman ! " Then quoth he to Badr, " O my son, there is 
no more tarrying for thee in this city ; so ride her and fare with 
her whither thou wilt and beware lest thou commit the bridle ! to 
any." King Badr thanked him and farewelling him, fare.d on three 
days, without ceasing, till he drew near another city and there 
met him an old man, gray-headed and comely, who said to him, 
" Whence comest thou, O my son ? " Badr replied, " From the 
city of this witch "; and the old man said, " Thou art my guest 
to-night." He consented and went with him ; but by the way 
behold, they met an old woman, who wept when she saw the mule, 

1 Mr. Keightley (H. 122-24 Tales and Popular Fictions, a book now somewhat 
obselete) remarks, "There is nothing said about the bridle in the account of the sale 
{infra), but I am sure that in the original tale, Badr's misfortunes must have been owing 
to his having parted with it. In Chaucer's Squier's Tale the bridle would also appear 
to have been of some importance." He quotes a story from the Notti Piacevoli of 
Straparola, the Milanese, published at Venice in 1550. And there is a popular story 
of the kind in Germany. 

Julnar the Sea-born and her Son. 35 

and said, " There is no god but the God ! Verily, this mule re- 
sembleth my son's she-mule, which is dead, and my heart acheth 
for her ; so, Allah upon thee, O my lord, do thou sell her to me ! " 
He replied, " By Allah, O my mother, I cannot sell her. But she 
cried, " Allah upon thee, do not refuse my request, for my son will 
surely be a dead man except I buy him this mule." And she im- 
portuned him, till he exclaimed, " I will not sell her save for a 
thousand dinars," saying in himself, "Whence should this old 
woman get a thousand gold pieces ? " Thereupon she brought out 
from her girdle a purse containing a thousand ducats, which when 
King Badr Basim saw, he said, " O my mother, I did but jest 
with thee ; I cannot sell her." But the old man looked at him and 
said, " O my son, in this city none may lie, for whoso lieth they 
put to death." So King Badr Basim lighted down from the mule. 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say 

her permitted say. 

Nofo to&cn it foas tje S*ben f^un&refc an* jpiftg-sfxtj 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Badr Basim dismounted from and delivered the mule to the old 
woman, she drew the bit from her mouth and, taking water in her 
hand, sprinkled the mule therewith, saying, " O my daughter, quit 
this shape for that form wherein thou wast aforetime ! " Upon 
this she was straightway restored to her original semblance and 
the two women embraced and kissed each other. So King Badr 
Basim knew that the old woman was Queen Lab's mother and 
that he had been tricked and would have fled ; when, lo ! the old 
woman whistled a loud whistle and her call was obeyed by an 
Ifrit as he were a great mountain, whereat Badr was affrighted and 
stood still. Then the old woman mounted on the Ifrit's back, 
taking her daughter behind her and King Badr Basim before her, 
and the Ifrit flew off with them ; nor was it a full hour ere they 
were in the palace of Queen Lab, who sat down on the throne of 
kingship and said to Badr, " Gallows-bird that thou art, now am 
I come hither and have attained to that I desired and soon will I 
show thee how I will do with thee and with yonder old man the 
grocer ! How many favours have I shown him ! Yet he doth me 
frowardness ; for thou hast not attained thine end but by means of 
him." Then she took water and sprinkled him therewith, saying, 

A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

" Quit the shape wherein thou art for the form of a foul-favoured 
fowl, the foulest of all fowls ; and she set him in a cage and cut 
off from him meat and drink ; but one of her women seeing this 
cruelty, took compassion on him and gave him food and water 
without her knowledge. One day, the damsel took her mistress at 
unawares and going forth the palace, repaired to the old grocer, to 
whom she told the whole case, saying, " Queen Lab is minded to 
make an end of thy brother's son/' The Shaykh thanked her and 
said, " There is no help but that I take the city from her and 
make thee Queen thereof in her stead.'* Then he whistled a loud 
whistle and there came forth to him an Ifrit with four wings, to 
whom he said, " Take up this damsel and carry her to the city of 
Julnar the Sea-born and her mother Farashah 1 for they twain are 
the most powerful magicians on face of earth." And he said to 
the damsel, " When thou comest thither, tell them that King Badr 
Basim is Queen Lab's captive." Then the Ifrit took up his load 
and, flying off with her> in a little while set her down upon the 
terrace roof of Queen Julnar's palace. So she descended and 
going in to the Queen, kissed the earth and told her what had 
passed to her son, first and last, whereupon Julnar rose to her and 
entreated her with honour and thanked her. Then she let beat 
the drums in the city and acquainted her lieges and the lords of 
her realm with the good news that King Badr Basim was found ; 
after which she and her mother Farashah and her brother Salih 
assembled all the tribes of the Jinn and the troops of the main ; 
for the Kings of the Jinn obeyed them since the taking of King 
Al-Samandal. Presently they all flew up into the air and lighting- 
down on the city of the sorceress, sacked the town and the palace 
and slew all the Unbelievers therein in the twinkling of an eye. 
Then said Julnar to the damsel, " Where is my son ? " And the 
slave-girl brought her the cage and signing to the bird within, 
cried, " This is thy son." So Julnar took him forth of the cage 
and sprinkled him with water, saying Quit this shape for the 
form wherein thou wast aforetime ; " nor had she made an end of 
her speech ere he shook and became a man as before : whereupon 
his mother, seeing him restored to human shape, embraced him 
and he wept with sore weeping. On like wise did his uncle Salih 

1 Here, for the first time we find the name of the mother who has often been men- 
tioned in the story. Farashah is the fem. or singular form of " Farash," a butterfly, a 
moth. Lane notes that his Shaykh gives it the very unusual sense of " a locust." 

Jitlnar the Sea- born and her Son. 307 

and his grandmother and the daughters of his uncle and fell to 
kissing his hands and feet. Then Julnar sent for Shaykh 
Abdallah and thanking him for his kind dealing with her son, 
married him to the damsel, whom he had despatched to her with 
news of him, and made him King of the city. Moreover, she 
summoned those who survived of the citizens (and they were 
Moslems), and made them swear fealty to him and take the oath 
of loyalty, whereto they replied, " Hearkening and obedience ! " 
Then she and her company farewelled him and returned to their 
own capital. The townsfolk came out to meet them, with drums 
beating, and decorated the place three days and held high festival, 
of the greatness of their joy for the return of their King Badr 
Basim. After this Badr said to his mother, "O my mother, 
naught remains but that I marry and we be all united." She 
replied, " Right is thy rede, O my son, but wait till we ask who 
befitteth thee among the daughters of the Kings." And his grand- 
mother Farashah, and the daughters of both his uncles said, " O 
Badr Basim, we will help thee to win thy wish forthright." Then 
each of them arose and fared forth questing in the lands, whilst 
Julnar sent out her waiting women on the necks of Ifrits, bidding 
them leave not a city nor a King's palace without noting all the 
handsome girls that were therein. But, when King Badr Basim 
saw the trouble they were taking in this matter, he said to Julnar, 
"O my mother, leave this thing, for none will content me save 
Jauharah, daughter of King Al-Samandal ; for that she is indeed 
a jewel, 1 according to her name." Replied Julnar, " I know that 
which thou seekest ; " and bade forthright bring Al-Samandal the 
King. As soon as he was present, she sent for Badr Basim and 
acquainted him with the King's coming, whereupon he went in to- 
him. Now when Al-Samandal was aware of his presence, he rose 
to him and saluted him and bade him welcome ; and King Badr 
Basim demanded of him his daughter Jauharah in marriage. 
Quoth he, " She is thine handmaid and at thy service and dispo- 
sition," and despatched some of his suite bidding them seek her 
abode and, after telling her that her sire was in the hands of King 
Badr Basim, to bring her forthright. So they flew up into the air 
and disappeared and they returned after a while, with the Princess 
who, as soon as she saw her father, went up to him and threw her 
arms round his neck, Then looking at her he said, "O my 

1 Punning upon Jauharah = " a jewel " a name which has an Hibernian smack. 

A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

daughter, know that I have given thee in wedlock to this mag- 
nanimous Sovran, and valiant lion King Badr Basim, son of Queen 
Julnar the Sea-born, for that he is the goodliest of the folk of his 
day and most powerful and the most exalted of them in degree 
and the noblest in rank ; he befitteth none but thee and thou none 
but him." Answered she, " I may not gainsay thee, O my sire ; 
do as thou wilt, for indeed chagrin and despite are at an end, and 
I am one of his handmaids." So they summoned the Kazi and 
the witnesses who drew up the marriage-contract between King 
Badr Basim and the Princess Jauharah, and the citizens decorated 
the city and beat the drums of rejoicing, and they released all who 
were in the jails, whilst the King clothed the widows and the 
orphans and bestowed robes of honour upon the Lords of the 
Realm and Emirs and Grandees : and they made bride-feasts and 
held high festival night and morn ten days, at the end of which 
time they displayed the bride, in nine different dresses, before 
King Badr Basim who bestowed an honourable robe upon King 
Al-Samandal and sent him back to his country and people and 
kinsfolk. And they ceased not from living the most delectable of 
life and the most solaceful of days, eating and drinking and 
enjoying every luxury, till there came to them the Destroyer of 
delights and the Sunderer of Societies; and this is the end of 
their story, 1 may Allah have mercy on them all ! Moreover, O 
auspicious King, a tale is also told anent 


THERE was once, in days of yore and in ages and times long gone 
before, a King of the Kings of the Persians, by name Mohammed 
bin Sabaik, who ruled over Khordsan-land and used every year to 
go on razzia into the countries of the Miscreants in Hind and 
Sind and China and the lands of Mawarannahr beyond the Oxus 
and other regions of the barbarians and what not else. He was a 

1 In the old version "All the lovers of the Magic Queen resumed their pristine forms 
as soon as she ceased to live ; " moreover, they were all sons of kings, princes, or per- 
sons of high degree. 

King Mohammed Bin Sabaik and the Merchant. 309 

just King, a valiant and a generous, and loved table-talk 1 and tales 
and verses and anecdotes and histories and entertaining stories 
and legends of the ancients. Whoso knew a rare recital and re- 
lated it to him in such fashion as to please him he would bestow 
on him a sumptuous robe of honour and clothe him from head to 
foot and give him a thousand dinars, and mount him on a horse 
saddled and bridled besides other great gifts ; and the man would 
take all this and wend his way. Now it chanced that one day 
there came an old man before him and related to him a rare 
story, which pleased the King and made him marvel, so he ordered 
him a magnificent present, amongst other things a thousand 
dinars of Khorasan and a horse with its housings and trappings. 
After this, the bruit of the King's munificence was blazed 
abroad in all countries and there heard of him a man, Hasan 
the Merchant hight, who was generous, open-handed and learned, 
a scholar and an accomplished poet. Now that King had an 
envious Wazir, a multum-in-parvo of ill, loving no man, rich nor 
poor, and whoso came before the King and he gave him aught 
he envied him and said, " Verily, this fashion annihilateth wealth 
and ruineth the land ; and such is the custom of the King." 
But this was naught save envy and despite in that Minister. 
Presently the King heard talk of Hasan the Merchant and sending 
for him, said to him as soon as he came into the presence, " O 
Merchant Hasan, this Wazir of mine vexeth and thwarteth me 
concerning the money I give to poets and boon-companions and 
story-tellers and glee-men, and I would have thee tell me a goodly 
history and a rare story, such as I have never before heard. An 
it please me, I will give thee lands galore, with their forts, in 
free tenure, in addition to thy fiefs and untaxed lands ; besides 
which I will put my whole kingdom in thy hands and make 
thee my Chief Wazir ; so shalt thou sit on my right hand and 
rule my subjects. But, an thou bring me not that which I bid 
thee, I will take all that is in thy hand and banish thee my 
realm." Replied Hasan, " Hearkening and obedience to our lord 
the King ! But thy slave beseecheth thee to have patience with 
him a year ; than will he tell thee a tale, such as thou hast never 
in thy life heard, neither hath other than thou heard its like, not 
to say a better than it." Quoth the King, " I grant thee a 

1 Arab. " Munddamah," = conversation over the cup (Lane), used somewhat in the 
sense of ' Musdmarah" = talks by moonlight. 

3IO A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

whole year's delay." And he called for a costly robe of honour 
wherein he robed Hasan, saying, " Keep thy house and mount not 
horse, neither go nor come for a year's time, till thou bring me 
that I seek of thee. An thou bring it, especial favour awaiteth 
thee and thou mayst count upon that which I have promised 
thee ; but, an thou bring it not, thou art not of us nor are we 

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

saying her permitted say. 

JJofo foDen it foaa tfj* gbtben ^unbtefc anfc 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
King Mohammed son of Sabaik said to Hasan the Merchant, 
"An thou bring me that I seek of thee, especial favour awaiteth 
thee and thou mayest now rejoice in that which I have promised 
thee ; but, an thou bring it not, thou art not of us nor are we of 
thee." Hasan kissed ground before the King and went out from 
the presence. Then he chose five of the best of his Mamelukes, 
who could all write and read and were learned, intelligent, accom- 
plished ; and he gave each of them five thousand dinars, saying, 
' I reared you not save for the like of this day ; so do ye help 
me to further the King's desire and deliver me from his 
hand." Quoth they, " What wilt thou have us do ? Our lives be 
thy ransom ! " Quoth he, " I wish you to go each to a different 
country and seek out diligently the learned and erudite and 
literate and the tellers of wondrous stories and marvellous histories 
and do your endeavour to procure me the story of Sayf al- 
Muliik. If ye find it with any one, pay him what price soever 
he asketh for it although he demand a thousand dinars ; give 
him what ye may and promise him the rest and bring me the story ; 
for whoso happeneth on it and bringeth it to me, I will bestow 
on him a costly robe of honour and largesse galore, and there 
shall be to me none more worshipped than he." Then said he 
to one of them, " Hie thou to Al-Hind and Al-Sind and all 
their provinces and dependencies." To another, " Hie thou to the 
home of the Persians and to China and her climates." To the 
third, " Hie thou to the land of Khorasan with its districts." To 
the fourth, " Hie thou to Mauritania and all its regions, districts, 
provinces and quarters." And to the fifth, " Hie thou to Syria 
and Egypt and their outliers." Moreover, he chose them out an 

King Mohammed Bin Sabaik and the Merchant. 31 1 

auspicious day and said to them, " Fare ye forth this day and 
be diligent in the accomplishment of my need and be not sloth- 
ful, though the case cost you your lives." So they farewelled 
him and departed, each taking the direction prescribed to him. 
Now, four of them were absent four months, and searched but 
found nothing ; so they returned and told their master, whose 
breast was straitened, that they had ransacked towns and cities 
and countries for the thing he sought, but had happened upon 
naught thereof. Meanwhile, the fifth servant journeyed till he 
came to the land of Syria and entered Damascus, which he found 
a pleasant city and a secure, abounding in trees and rills, leas and 
fruiteries and birds chanting the praises of Allah the One, the All- 
powerful of sway, Creator of Night and Day. Here he tarried 
some time, asking for his master's desire, but none answered him 
wherefore he was on the point of departing thence to another 
place, when he met a young man running and stumbling over his 
skirts. So he asked to him, " Wherefore runnest thou in such 
eagerness and whither dost thou press ? " And he answered, 
" There is an elder here, a man of learning, who every day at this 
time taketh his seat on a stool 1 and relateth tales and stones and 
delectable anecdotes, whereof never heard any the like ; and I am 
running to get me a place near him and fear I shall find no room, 
because of the much folk." Quoth the Mameluke, " Take me 
with thee ; " and quoth the youth, " Make haste in thy walking." 
So he shut his door and hastened with him to the place of 
recitation, where he saw an old man of bright favour seated on a 
stool holding forth to the folk. He sat down near him and 
addressed himself to hear his story, till the going down of the 
sun, when the old man made an end of his tale and the people, 
having heard it all, dispersed from about him ; whereupon the 
Mamaluke accosted him and saluted him, and he returned his 
salam and greeted him with the utmost worship and courtesy. 
Then said the messenger to him, " O my lord Shaykh, thou art a 
comely and reverend man, and thy discourse is goodly ; but I 
would fain ask thee of somewhat." Replied the old man, "Ask 
of what thou wilt!" Then said the Mameluke, " Hast thou the 
story of Sayf al-Muluk and Badfa al-Jamal ? " Rejoined the 

1 Arab. "Kursi," a word of many meanings; here it would allude to the square 
crate-like seat of palm-fronds used by the Rawi or public reciter of tales when he is not 
pacing about the coffee-house. 

312 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

elder, "And who told thee of this story and informed the 
thereof ? " Answered the messenger, " None told me of it, but I 
am come from a far country, in quest of this tale, and I will pay 
thee whatever thou askest for its price if thou have it and wilt, of 
thy bounty and charity, impart it to me and make it an alms to 
me, of the generosity of thy nature for, had I my life in my hand 
and lavished it upon thee for this thing, yet were it pleasing to my 
heart." Replied the old man, " Be of good cheer and keep thine 
eye cool and clear : thou shalt have it ; but this is no story that 
one telleth in the beaten highway, nor do I give it to every one." 
Cried the other, " By Allah, O my lord, do not grudge it me, but 
ask of me what price thou wilt." And the old man, " If thou 
wish for the history give me an hundred dinars and thou shalt 
have it ; but upon five conditions." Now when the Mameluke 
knew that the old man had the story and was willing to sell it 
to him, he joyed with exceeding joy and said, " I will give thee the 
hundred dinars by way of price and ten to boot as a gratuity and 
take it on the conditions of which thou speakest." Said the old man, 
u Then go and fetch the gold pieces, and take that thou seekest." 
So the messenger kissed his hands and joyful and happy returned 
to his lodging, where he laid an hundred and ten dinars 1 in a 
purse he had by him. As soon as morning morrowed, he donned 
his clothes and taking the dinars, repaired to the story-teller, 
whom he found seated at the door of his house. So he saluted 
him and the other returned his salam. Then he gave him the gold 
and the old man took it and carrying the messenger into his house 
made him sit down in a convenient place, when he set before 
him inkcase and reed-pen and paper and giving him a book, said 
to him, "Write out what thou seekest of the night-story 2 of Sayf 
al-Muluk from this book." Accordingly the Mameluke fell to work 
and wrote till he had made an end of his copy, when he read it to 
the old man, and he corrected it and presently said to him, 
" Know, O my son, that my five conditions are as follows ; firstly, 
that thou tell not this story in the beaten high road nor before 
women and slave-girls nor to black slaves nor feather-heads ; nor 
again to boys ; but read it only before Kings and Emirs and 
Wazirs and men of learning, such as expounders of the Koran 

1 Von Hammer remarks that this is precisely the sum paid in Egypt for a MS. copy of 
The Nights. 

2 Arab. "Samar," the origin of Musamarah, which see, vol. iv. 237. 

King Mohammed Bin Sabaik and the Merchant. 313 

and others." Thereupon the messenger accepted the conditions 
and kissing the old man's hand, took leave of him, and fared forth. 
- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say 
her permitted say. 

Nofo fofjen ft to tfje gbeben pjutrtrrett antr Jpfftg^fflfttJ Nfgi)t t 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the Mameluke of Hasan the Merchant had copied the tale out of 
the book belonging to the old man of Damascus, and had accepted 
his conditions and farewelled him, he fared forth on the same day, 
glad and joyful, and journeyed on diligently, of the excess of his 
contentment, for that he had gotten the story of Sayf al-Muluk, 
till he came to his own country, when he despatched his servant 
to bear the good news to his master and say to him, " Thy 
Mameluke is come back in safety and hath won his will and his 
aim." (Now of the term appointed between Hasan and the King 
there wanted but ten days.) Then, after taking rest in his own 
quarters he himself went in to the Merchant and told him all that 
had befallen him and gave him the book containing the story of 
Sayf al-Muluk and Badi'a al-Jamal, when Hasan joyed with 
exceeding joy at the sight and bestowed on him all the clothes he 
had on and gave him ten thoroughbred horses and the like 
number of camels and mules and three negro chattels and two 
white slaves. Then Hasan took the book and copied out the story 
plainly in his own hand ; after which he presented himself before 
the King and said to him, " O thou auspicious King, I have 
brought thee a night-story and a rarely pleasant relation, whose 
like none ever heard at all." When these words reached the 
King's ear, he sent forthright for all the Emirs, who were men of 
understanding, and all the learned doctors and folk of erudition 
and culture and poets and wits ; and Hasan sat down and read the 
history before the King, who marvelled thereat and approved it, 
as did all who were present, and they showered gold and silver 
and jewels upon the Merchant. Moreover, the King bestowed on 
him a costly robe of honour of the richest of his raiment and gave 
him a great city with its castles and outliers ; and he appointed 
him one of his Chief Wazirs and seated him on his right hand. 
Then he caused the scribes write the story in letters of gold and 
lay it up in his privy treasures ; and whenever his breast was 

A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

straitened, he would summon Hasan and he would read him the 
story, 1 which was as follows : 


THERE was once, in days of old and in ages and times long told, 
a King in Egypt called Asim bin Safwan, 2 who was a liberal and 
beneficent sovran, venerable and majestic. He owned many cities 
and sconces and fortresses and troops and warriors and had a 
Wazir named Fdris bin Scilih,* and he and all his subjects 
worshipped the sun and the fire, instead of the All-powerful Sire, 
the Glorious, the Victorious. Now this King was become a very 
old man, weakened and wasted with age and sickness and de- 
crepitude ; for he had lived an hundred and fourscore years and 
had no child, male or female, by reason whereof he was ever in 
cark and care from morning to night and from night to morn. It 
so happened that one day of the days, he was sitting on the throne 
of his Kingship, with his Emirs and Wazirs and Captains and 
Grandees in attendance on him, according to their custom, in their 
several stations, and whenever there came in an Emir, who had 
with him a son or two sons, or haply three who stood at the sides 
of their sires the King envied him and said in himself, " Every 
one of these is happy and rejoiceth in his children, whilst I, I 
have no child, and to-morrow I die and leave my reign and 
throne and lands and hoards, and strangers will take them and 
none will bear me in memory nor will there remain any mention 
of me in the world." Then he became drowned in the sea of 
thought and for the much thronging of griefs and anxieties upon 
his heart, like travellers faring for the well, he shed tears and 
descending from his throne, sat down upon the floor, 4 weeping 
and humbling himself before the Lord. Now when the Wazir and 

1 The pomp and circumstance, with which the tale is introduced to the reader showing 
the importance attached to it. Lane, most injudiciously I think, transfers the Proemium 
to a note in chapt. xxiv., thus converting an Arabian Night into an Arabian Note. 

2 'Asim = defending (honour) or defended, son of Safwan = clear, cold (dry). 
Trebutienii. 126, has Safran. 

3 Faris = the rider, the Knight, son of Salih the righteous, the pious, the just. 

4 In sign of the deepest dejection, when a man would signify that he can fall no lower. 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a al-Jamdl. 315 

notables of the realm and others who were present in the assembly 
saw him do thus with his royal person, they feared for their lives 
and let the poursuivants cry aloud to the lieges, saying, " Hie ye 
to your homes and rest till the King recover from what aileth 
him." So they went away, leaving none in the presence save the 
Minister who, as soon as the King came to himself, kissed ground 
between his hands and said, " O King of the Age and the time, 
wherefore this weeping and wailing? Tell me who hath trans- 
gressed against thee of the Kings or Castellans or Emirs or 
Grandees, and inform me who hath thwarted thee, O my liege 
lord, that we may all fall on him and tear his soul from his two 
sides." But he spake not neither raised his head ; whereupon the 
Minister kissed ground before him a second time and said to him, 
"O Master, 1 I am even as thy son and thy slave, nay, I have 
reared thee ; yet know I not the cause of thy cark and chagrin and 
of this thy case ; and who should know but I who should stand in 
my stead between thy hands ? Tell me therefore why this weeping 
and wherefore thine affliction." Nevertheless, the King neither 
opened his mouth nor raised his head, but ceased not to weep and 
cry with a loud crying and lament with exceeding lamentation 
and ejaculate, " Alas ! " The Wazir took patience with him awhile, 
after which he said to him, " Except thou tell me the cause of this 
thine affliction, I will set this sword to my heart and will slay 
myself before thine eyes, rather than see thee thus distressed." 
Then King Asim raised his head and, wiping away his tears, said, 
4t O Minister of good counsel and experience, leave me to my care 
and my chagrin, for that which is in my heart of sorrow sufficeth 
mei" But Paris said, " Tell me, O King, the cause of this thy 

weeping, haply Allah will appoint thee relief at my hands. 

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

ttfofo fojEtt it foas tje gbebw ff^unlw& antr JFfftg=nint!) 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
Wazir said to King Asim, " Tell me the cause of this thy weeping : 

1 Arab. Ya Khawand (in Bresl. Edit. vol. iv. 191) and fern, form Khawandah 
(p. 20) from Pers. Khawand or Khawandngar = superior, lord, master ; Khudawand 
is still used in popular as in classical Persian, and is universally understood in 

A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

haply Allah shall appoint thee relief at my hands." Replied the 
King, " O Wazir, I weep not for monies nor horses nor kingdoms 
nor aught else, but that I am become an old man, yea, very old 
nigh upon an hundred and fourscore years of age, and I have not 
been blessed with a child, male or female : so, when I die, they 
will bury me and my trace will be effaced and my name cut off ; 
the stranger will take my throne and reign and none will ever 
make mention of my being." Rejoined the Minister Paris, "O 
King of the Age, I am older than thou by an hundred years yet 
have I never been blest with boon of child and cease not day 
and night from cark and care and concern ; so how shall we do, 
I and thou ? " Quoth Asim, " O Wazir, hast thou no device or 
shift in this matter ? " and quoth the Minister, " Know, O King 
that I have heard of a Sovran in the land of Saba 1 by name 
Solomon David-son (upon the twain be the Peace !), 2 who pre- 
tendeth to prophetship and avoucheth that he hath a mighty Lord 
who can do all things and whose kingdom is in the Heavens and 
who hath dominion over all mankind and birds and beasts and 
over the wind and the Jinn. Moreover, he kenneth the speech of 
birds and the language of every other created thing; and withal, 
he calleth all creatures to the worship of his Lord and discourseth 
to them of their service. So let us send him a messenger in the 
King's name and seek of him our need, beseeching him to put up 
prayer to his Lord, that He vouchsafe each of us boon of issue. 
If his Faith be soothfast and his Lord Omnipotent, He will 
assuredly bless each of us with a child male or female, and if the 
thing thus fall out, we will enter his faith and worship his Lord ; 
else will we take patience and devise us another device." The 
King cried, " This is well seen, and my breast is broadened by 
this thy speech ; but where shall we find a messenger befitting 
this grave matter, for that this Solomon is no Kinglet and the 
approaching him is no light affair ? Indeed, I will send him none, 
on the like of this matter, save thyself ; for thou art ancient and 
versed in all manner affairs and the like of thee is the like of 
myself; wherefore I desire that thou weary thyself and journey 
to him and occupy thyself sedulously with accomplishing this 

1 The Biblical Sheba, whence came the Queen of many Hebrew fables. 

2 These would be the interjections of the writer or story-teller. The Mac. Edit, is 
here a sketch which must be filled up by the Bresl. Edit. vol. iv 189-318: "Tale of 
King Asim and his son Sayf al-Muluk with Badi'a al-Jamai." 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a ai-Jamal. 317 

matter, so haply solace may be at thy hand." The Minister said, 
" I hear and I obey ; but rise thou forthwith and seat thee upon 
the throne, so the Emirs and Lords of the realm and officers and 
the lieges may enter applying themselves to thy service, according 
to their custom ; for they all went away from thee, troubled at 
heart on thine account. Then will I go out and set forth on the 
Sovran's errand." So the King arose forthright and sat down on 
the throne of his kingship, whilst the Wazir went out and said to 
the Chamberlain, " Bid the folk proceed to their service, as of their 
wont." Accordingly the troops and Captains and Lords of the 
land entered, after they had spread the tables and ate and drank 
and withdrew as was their wont, after which the Wazir Faris 
went forth from King Asim and, repairing to his own house, 
equipped himself for travel and returned to the King, who opened 
to him the treasuries and provided him with rarities and things 
of price and rich stuffs and gear without compare, such as nor 
Emir nor Wazir hath power to possess. Moreover, King Asim 
charged him to accost Solomon with reverence, foregoing him 
with the salam but not exceeding in speech; "and (continued 
he) then do thou ask of him thy need, and if he say 'tis granted, 
return to us in haste, for I shall be awaiting thee." Accordingly, 
the Minister kissed hands and took the presents and setting out, 
fared on night and day, till he came within fifteen days' journey 
of Saba. Meanwhile Allah (extolled and exalted be He !) inspired 
Solomon the son of David (the Peace be upon both !) and said 
to hirn^ " O Solomon, the King of Egypt sendeth unto thee his 
Chief Wazir, with a present of rarities and such and such things 
of price ; so do thou also despatch thy Counsellor Asaf bin 
Barkhiya to meet him with honour and with victual at the halting- 
places ; and when he cometh to thy presence, say unto him : 
Verily, thy King hath sent thee in quest of this and that and thy 
business is thus and thus. Then do thou propound to him The 
Saving Faith." l Whereupon Solomon bade his Wazir make 
ready a company of his retainers and go forth to meet the 

1 The oath by the Seal-ring of Solomon was the Stygian " swear " in Fairy-land. 
The signet consisted of four jewels, presented by as many angels, representing the 
Winds, the Birds, Earth (including sea) and Spirits, and the gems were inscribed with 
as many sentences (i) To Allah belong Majesty and Might : (2) All created things 
praise the Lord ; (3) Heaven and Earth are Allah's slaves and (4) There is no god but 
the God and Mohammed is His messenger. For Sakhr and his theft of the signet see 
Dr. Weil's, " The Bible, the Koran, and the Talmud.'* 

318 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Minister of Egypt with honour and sumptuous provision at the 
halting-places. So Asaf made ready all that was needed for their 
entertainment and setting out, fared on till he fell in with Paris 
and accosted him with the salam, honouring him and his company 
with exceeding honour. Moreover, he brought them provaunt 
and provender at the halting-places and said to them, " Well come 
and welcome and fair welcome to the coming guests ! Rejoice in 
the certain winning of your wish ! Be your souls of good cheer 
and your eyes cool and clear and your breasts be broadened ! " 
Quoth Paris in himself, " Who acquainted him with this ? " ; and 
he said to Asaf, 1 " O my lord, and who gave thee to know of us 
and our need?" "It was Solomon son of David (on whom be 
the Peace !), told us of this ! " " And who told our lord Solomon ? " 
" The Lord of the heaven and the earth told him, the God of all 
creatures ! " " This is none other than a mighty God ! " " And 
do ye not worship him ? " " We worship the Sun, and prostrate 
ourselves thereto." " O Wazir Paris, the sun is but a star of the 
stars created by Allah (extolled and exalted be He !), and Allah 
forbid that it should be a Lord ! Because whiles it riseth and 
whiles it setteth, but our Lord is ever present and never absent 
and He over all things is Omnipotent ! " Then they journeyed on 
a little while till they came to the land Saba and drew near the 
throne of Solomon David-son, (upon the twain be peace !), who 
commanded his hosts of men and Jinn and others 2 to form line on 
their road. So the beasts of the sea and the elephants and leopards 
and lynxes and all beasts of the land ranged themselves in espalier 
on either side of the way, after their several kinds, and similarly 
the Jinn drew out in two ranks, appearing all to mortal eyes 
without concealment, in divers forms grisly and gruesome. So 
they lined the road on either hand, and the birds bespread their 
wings over the host of creatures to shade them, warbling one to 
other in all manner of voices and tongues. Now when the people 
of Egypt came to this terrible array, they dreaded it and durst 
not proceed ; but Asaf said to them, " Pass on amidst them and 
walk forward and fear them not : for they are slaves of Solomon 
son of David, and none of them will harm you." So saying, he 

1 Tre'butien (ii. I2&) remarks, "Get Assaf peut tre celui auquel David adresse 
plusieurs de ses psaumes, et que nos interpretes disent avoir &< son maftre de chapelle 
(from Biblioth. Orient). 

2 Mermen, monsters, beasts, etc. 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad fa al-Jawal. 319 

entered between the ranks, followed by all the folk and amongst 
them the Wazir of Egypt and his company, fearful : and they 
ceased not faring forwards till they reached the city, where they 
lodged the embassy in the guest-house and for the space of three 
days entertained them sumptuously entreating them with the 
utmost honour. Then they carried them before Solomon, prophet 
of Allah (on whom be the Peace !), and when entering they would 
have kissed the earth before him ; but he forbade them, saying, 
" It besitteth not a man prostrate himself to earth save before 
Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty !), Creator of Earth 
and Heaven and all other things ; wherefore, whosoever of you 
hath a mind to sit let him be seated in my service, or to stand, 
let him stand, but let none stand to do me worship." So they 
obeyed him and the Wazir Faris and some of his intimates sat 
down, whilst certain of the lesser sort remained afoot to wait on 
him. When they had sat awhile, the servants spread the tables 
and they all, men and beasts, ate their sufficiency. 1 Then Solomon 
bade Faris expound his errand, that it might be accomplished, 
saying, " Speak and hide naught of that wherefor thou art come ; 
for I know why ye come and what is your errand, which is thus 
and thus. The King of Egypt who despatched thee, Asim hight, 
hath become a very old man, infirm, decrepit ; and Allah (whose 
name be exalted !) hath not blessed him with offspring, male or 
female. So he abode in cark and care and chagrin from morn to 
night and from night to morn. It so happened that one day of 
the days as he sat upon the throne of his kingship with his Emirs 
and Wazirs, and Captains and Grandees in attendance on him, he 
saw some of them with two sons others with one and others with 
even three who came with their sire to do him service. So he 
said in himself, of the excess of his sorrow, " Who shall get my 
kingdom after my death ? Will any save a stranger take it ? 
And thus shall I pass out of being as though I had never been ! " 
On this account he became drowned in the sea of thought, until 
his eyes were flooded with tears and he covered his face with his 
kerchief and wept with sore weeping. Then he rose from off his 

1 This is in accordance with Eastern etiquette ; the guest must be fed before his errand 
is asked. The Porte, in the days of its pride, managed in this way sorely to insult the 
Ambassadors of the most powerful European kingdoms and the first French Republic 
had the honour of abating the barbarians' nuisance. So the old Scottish Highlanders 
never asked the name or clan of a chance guest, lest he prove a foe before he had eaten 
their food. 

320 A If Laylah wa Lay la k. 

throne and sat down upon the floor wailing and lamenting and 
none knew what was in heart as he grovelled in the ground save 

Allah Almighty. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fofien ft foas tfjc beben !^unttrrtr an* gbfotieti) 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Solomon 
David-son (upon both of whom be peace !) after disclosing to the 
Wazir Faris that which had passed between himself and his master, 
King Asim, said to him, " Is this that I have told thee the truth, 
O Wazir ? " Replied Faris, " O prophet of Allah, this thou hast 
said is indeed sooth and verity ; but when we discoursed of this 
matter, none was with the King and myself, nor was any ware of 
our case ; who, then told thee of all these things ? " Answered 
Solomon, " They were told to me by my Lord who knoweth whatso 
is concealed 1 from the eye and what is hidden in the breasts." 
Quoth Faris, " O Prophet of Allah, verily this is none other than a 
mighty Lord and an omnipotent God ! " And he Islamized with 
all his many. Then said Solomon to him, " Thou hast with thee 
such and such presents and rarities ; " and Faris replied " Yes." 
The prophet continued, " I accept them all and give them in free 
gift unto thee. So do ye rest, thou and thy company, in the place 
where you have been lodging, till the fatigue of the journey shall 
cease from you ; and to-morrow, Inshallah ! thine errand shall be 
accomplished to the uttermost, if it be the will of Allah the Most 
High, Lord of heaven and earth and the light which followeth the 
gloom ; Creator of all creatures." So Faris returned to his quarters 
and passed the night in deep thought. But when morning mor- 
rowed he presented himself before the Lord Solomon, who said 
to him, " When thou returnest to King Asim bin Safwan and you 
twain are re-united, do ye both go forth some day armed with 
bow, bolts and brand, and fare to such a place, where ye shall 
find a certain tree. Mount upon it and sit silent until the mid- 
hour between noon-prayer and that of mid-afternoon, when the 
noontide heat hath cooled ; then descend and look at the foot 
of the tree, whence ye will see two serpents come forth, one 
with a head like an ape's and the other with a head like an 

1 In Bresl. Edit. (301) Khdfiyah : in Mac. Khainah, the perfidy. 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad fa al-Jamal. 321 

Ifrit's. Shoot them ye twain with bolts and kill them both; 
then cut off a span's length from their heads and the like from 
their tails and throw it away. The rest of the flesh cook and 
cook well and give it to your wives to eat : then lie with them 
that night and, by Allah's leave, they shall conceive and bear 
male children." Moreover, he gave him a seal-ring a sword and 
a wrapper containing two tunics l embroidered with gold and 
jewels, saying, "O Wazir Paris, when your sons grow up to 
man's estate, give to each of them one of these tunics." Then 
said he, " In the name of Allah ! May the Almighty accomplish 
your desire ! And now nothing remaineth for thee but to depart, 
relying on the blessing of the Lord the Most High, for the King 
looketh for thy return night and day and his eye is ever gazing 
on the road." So the Wazir advanced to the prophet Solomon 
son of David (upon both of whom be the Peace !) and farewelled 
him and fared forth from him after kissing his hands. Rejoicing 
in the accomplishment of his errand he travelled on with all 
diligence night and day, and ceased not wayfaring till he drew 
near to Cairo, when he despatched one of his servants to 
acquaint King Asim with his approach and the successful issue 
of his journey ; which when the King heard he joyed with 
exceeding joy, he and his Grandees and Officers and troops 
especially in the Wazir's safe return. When they met, the 
Minister dismounted and, kissing ground before the King, gave 
him the glad news anent the winning of his wish in fullest 
fashion ; after which he expounded the True Faith to him, and 
the King and all his people embraced Al-Islam with much joy 
and gladness. Then said Asim to his Wazir, " Go home and 
rest this night and a week to boot ; then go to the Hammam- 
bath and come to me, that I may inform thee of what we shall 
have to consider." So Faris kissed ground and withdrew, with 
his suite, pages and eunuchs, to his house, where he rested eight 
days ; after which he repaired to the King and related to him 
all that had passed between Solomon and himself, adding, " Do 
thou rise and go forth with me alone." Then the King and the 
Minister took two bows and two bolts and repairing to the tree 
indicated by Solomon, clomb up into it and there sat in silence 
till the mid-day heat had passed away and it was near upon the 

1 So in the Mac. Edit., in the Bresl. only one " Kaba " or Kaftan ; but from the sequel 
it seems to be a clerical error. 


322 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

hour of mid-afternoon prayer, when they descended and looking 
about them saw a serpent-couple 1 issue from the roots of the 
tree. The King gazed at them, marvelling to see them ringed 
with collars of gold about their necks, and said to Faris, " O 
Wazir, verily these snakes have golden torques! By Allah, this 
is forsooth a rare thing! Let us catch them and set them in a 
cage and keep them to look upon." But the Minister said, 
" These hath Allah created for profitable use ; 2 so do thou 
shoot one and I will shoot the other with these our shafts." 
Accordingly they shot at them with arrows and slew them ; 
after which they cut off a span's length of their heads and tails 
and threw it away. Then they carried the rest to the King's 
palace, where they called the kitchener and giving him that 
flesh said, "Dress this meat daintily, with onion-sauce 3 and 
spices, and ladle it out into two saucers and bring them 

hither at such an hour, without delay ! " And Shahrazad 

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

ft foas t&e gbeten |^tmt)re& an& Sbfxtg-fittt 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
King and the Wazir gave the serpents' flesh to the kitchener, 
saying, " Cook it and ladle it out into two saucers and bring 
them hither without delay ! "; the cook took the meat and went 
with it to the kitchen, where he cooked it and dressed it in skilful 
fashion with a mighty fine onion-sauce and hot spices ; after which 
he ladled it out into two saucers and set them before the King 
and the Wazir, who took each a dish and gave their wives to eat 
of the meat. Then they went in that night unto them and knew 
them carnally, and by the good pleasure of Allah (extolled and 
exalted be He!) and His all-might and furtherance, they both 
conceived on one and the same night. The King abode three 

1 Arab. "Su'uban" (Thu'uban) popularly translated " basilisk." The Egyptians 
suppose that when this serpent forms ring round the Ibn 'Irs (weasel or ichneumon) 
the latter emits a peculiar air which causes the reptile to burst. 

2 i.e. that prophesied by Solomon. 

3 Arab. " Takliyah " from kaly, a fry : Lane's Shaykh explained it as " onions cooked 
in clarified butter, after which they are put upon other cooked food." The mention 
of onions points to Egypt as the origin of this tale and certainly not to Arabia, where 
the strong-smelling root is hated. 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a al-Jamal 323 

months, troubled in mind and saying in himself, " I wonder 
whether this thing will prove true or untrue"; till one day, as 
the lady his Queen was sitting, the child stirred in her womb and 
she felt a pain and her colour changed. So she knew that she 
was with child and calling the chief of her eunuchs, gave him 
this command, " Go to the King, wherever he may be and con- 
gratulate him saying : O King of the Age, I bring thee the 
glad tidings that our lady's pregnancy is become manifest, for 
the child stirreth in her womb." So the eunuch went out in 
haste, rejoicing, and rinding the King alone, with cheek on palm, 
pondering this thing, kissed ground between his hands and 
acquainted him with his wife's pregnancy. When the King 
heard his words, he sprang to his feet and in the excess of his 
joy, he kissed x the eunuch's hands and head and doffing the 
clothes he had on, gave them to him. Moreover, he said to 
those who were present in his assembly, " Whoso loveth me, let 
him bestow largesse upon this man." 2 And they gave him of 
coin and jewels and jacinths and horses and mules and estates 
and gardens what was beyond count or calculation. At that 
moment in came the Wazir Paris and said to Asim, " O my 
master, but now I was sitting alone at home and absorbed in 
thought, pondering the matter of the pregnancy and saying 
to myself: Would I wot an this thing be true and whether 
my wife Khatun 3 have conceived or not! when, behold, an 
eunuch came in to me and brought me the glad tidings that 
his lady was indeed pregnant, for that her colour was changed 
and the child stirred in her womb ; whereupon, in my joy, I 
doffed all the clothes I had on and gave them to him, together 
with a thousand dinars, and made him Chief of the Eunuchs." 
Rejoined the King, "O Minister, Allah (extolled and exalted 
be He !) hath, of His grace and bounty and goodness, and 
beneficence, made gift to us of the True Faith and brought us 
out of night into light, and hath been bountiful to us, of His 

1 Von Hammer quotes the case of the Grand Vizier Yusuf throwing his own pelisse 
over the shoulders of the Aleppine Merchant who brought him the news of the death 
of his enemy, Jazzar Pasha. 

2 This peculiar style of generosity was also the custom in contemporary Europe. 

3 Khatun, which follows the name (e.g. Hurmat Khatun), in India corresponds with 
the male title Khan, taken by the Pathan Moslems (e.g. Pir Khan). Khanum is the 
affix to the Moghul or Tartar nobility, the men assuming a double designation e.g. Mirza 
Abdallah Beg. See Oriental collections (Ouseley's) vol. i. 97. 

324 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

favour and benevolence ; wherefore I am minded to solace the 
folk and cause them to rejoice." Quoth Paris, " Do what thou 
wilt, 1 " and quoth the King, " O Wazir, go down without stay 
or delay and set free all who are in the prisons, both criminals 
and debtors, and whoso transgresseth after this, we will requite 
as he deserveth even to the striking off of his head. Moreover, 
we forgive the people three years' taxes, and do thou set up 
kitchens all around about the city walls 2 and bid the kitcheners hang 
over the fire all kinds of cooking pots and cook all manner of meats, 
continuing their cooking night and day, and let all comers, both 
of our citizens and of the neighbouring countries, far and near, eat 
and drink and carry to their houses. And do thou command the 
people to make holiday and decorate the city seven days and shut 
not the taverns night nor day 3 ; and if thou delay I will behead 
thee 4 ! " So he did as the King bade him and the folk decorated 
the city and citadel and bulwarks after the goodliest fashion and, 
donning their richest attire, passed their time in feasting and sport- 
ing and making merry, till the days of the Queen's pregnancy were 
accomplished and she was taken, one night, with labour pains 
hard before dawn. Then the King bade summon all the Olema 
and astronomers, mathematicians and men of learning, astrologersi 
scientists and scribes in the city, and they assembled and sat 
awaiting the throwing of a bead into the cup* which was to be the 
signal to the Astrophils, as well as to the nurses and attendants, 
that the child was born. Presently, as they sat in expectation, 
the Queen gave birth to a boy like a slice of the moon when 
fullest and the astrologers fell to calculating and noted his star 
and nativity and drew his horoscope. Then, on being summoned 
they rose and, kissing the earth before the King, gave him the 
glad tidings, saying, " In very sooth the new-born child is of 
happy augury and born under an auspicious aspect, but " they 

1 Lit. " Whatso thou wouldest do that do ! " a contrast with our European laconism. 

2 These are booths built against and outside the walls, made of palm-fronds and ligl 

3 Von Hammer inTrebutien (ii. 135) says, "Such rejoicings are still customary at Con- 
stantinople, under the name of Donanma, not only when the Sultanas are enceintes^ but 
also when they are brought to bed. In 1803 the rumour of the pregnancy of a Sultana, 
being falsely spread, involved all the Ministers in useless expenses to prepare for a 
Donanma" which never took place." Lane justly remarks upon this passage that the 
title Sultan precedes while the feminine Sultanah follows the name. 

4 These words (Bresl. Edit.) would be spoken in jest, a grim joke enough, but 
showing the elation of the King's spirits. 

A signal like a gong : the Mac. Edit, reads " Takah," = in at the window. 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a al-Jamal. 325 

added, " in the first of his life there will befall him a thing which 
we fear to name before the King." Quoth Asim, " Speak and 
fear not ; " so quoth they, " O King, this boy will fare forth from 
this land and journey in strangerhood and suffer shipwreck and 
hardship and prisonment and distress, and indeed he hath before 
him the sorest of sufferings ; but he shall free him of them in 
the end, and win to his wish and live the happiest of lives the 
rest of his days, ruling over subjects with a strong hand and 
having dominion in the land, despite enemies and enviers." Now 
when the King heard the astrologers' words, he said, " The 
matter is a mystery ; but all that Allah Almighty hath written 
for the creature of good and bad cometh to pass and needs must 
betide him from this day to that a thousand solaces." So he 
paid no heed to their words or attention to their speeches but 
bestowed on them robes of honour, as well upon all who were 
present, and dismissed them ; when, behold, in came Paris the 
Wazir and kissed the earth before the King in huge joy, saying, 
" Good tidings, O King ! My wife hath but now given birth to a 
son, as he were a slice of the moon." Replied Asim, " O Wazir, 
go, bring thy wife and child hither, that she may abide with my 
wife in my palace, and they shall bring up the two boys together." 
So Paris fetched his wife and son and they committed the two 
children to the nurses wet and dry. And after seven days had 
passed over them, they brought them before the King and said 
to him, " What wilt thou name the twain ? " Quoth he, " Do ye 
name them ; " but quoth they, " None nameth the son save his 
sire." So he said, " Name my son Sayf al-Muluk, after my 
grandfather, and the Minister's son Sai'd 1 " Then he bestowed 
robes of honour on the nurses wet and dry and said to them, " Be 
ye ruthful over them and rear them after the goodliest fashion. J> 
So they brought up the two boys diligently till they reached the 
age of five, when the King committed them to a doctor of 
Sciences 2 who taught them to read the Koran and write. When 
they were ten years old, King Asim gave them in charge to masters, 

1 Sayf al-Muluk = " Sword (Egyptian Sif, Arab. Sayf, Gr. &pos) of the Kings "; 
and he must not be called tout bonnement Sayf. Sai'd =: the forearm. 

2 Arab. Fakih =r a divine, from Fikh = theology, a man versed in law and divinity 
i.e. (i) the Koran and its interpretation comprehending the sacred ancient history of the 
creation and prophets (Chapters iii, iv, v and vi) ^. (2) the traditions and legends connected 
with early Moslem History and (3) some auxiliary sciences as grammar, syntax and 
prosody ; logic, rhetoric and philosophy. See p. 18 of " El-Mas' \idf,'s Historical 

326 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

who instructed them in cavalarice and shooting with shafts and 
lunging with lance and play of Polo and the like till, by the time 
they were fifteen years old, they were clever in all manner of 
martial exercises, nor was there one to vie with them in horseman- 
ship, for each of them would do battle with a thousand men and 
make head against them single handed. So when they came to 
years of discretion, whenever King Asim looked on them he 
joyed in them with exceeding joy ; and when they attained their 
twenty-fifth year, he took Paris his Minister apart one day and 
said to him, " O Wazir, I am minded to consult with thee 
concerning a thing I desire to do." Replied he, " Whatever thou 
hast a mind to do, do it ; for thy judgment is blessed." Quoth the 
King, " O Wazir, I am become a very old and decrepit man, sore 
stricken in years, and I desire to take up my abode in an oratory, 
that I may worship Allah Almighty and give my kingdom and 
Sultanate to my son Sayf al-Muluk for that he is grown a goodly 
youth, perfect in knightly exercises and intellectual attainments, 
polite letters and gravity, dignity and the art of government. 
What sayst thou, O Minister, of this project ? " And quoth 
the counsellor, " Right indeed is thy rede : the idea is a blessed 
and a fortunate, and if thou do this, I will do the like and 
my son Sa'id shall be the Prince's Wazir, for he is a comely 
young man and complete in knowledge and judgment. Thus 
will the two youths be together, and we will order their affair and 
neglect not their case, but guide them to goodness and in the way 
that is straight." Quoth the King, " Write letters and send them 
by couriers to all the countries and cities and sconces and fort- 
resses that be under our hands, bidding their chiefs be present on 
such a day at the Horse-course of the Elephant." * So the Wazir 

Encyclopaedia etc.," by my friend Prof. Aloys Springer, London 1841. This fine frag- 
ment printed by the Oriental Translation Fund has been left unfinished when the 
Asiatic Society of Paris has printed in Eight Vols. 8vo the text and translation of 
MM. Barbier de Meynard and Pavet de Courteille. What a national disgrace ! And 
the same with the mere abridgment of Ibn Batutah by Prof. Lee (Orient. Tr. Fund 1820) 
when the French have the fine Edition and translation by Defremery and Sanguinetti 
with index etc. in 4 vols. 8vo 1858-59. But England is now content to rank in such 
matters as encouragement of learning, endowment of research etc., into the basest of 
kingdoms, and the contrast of status between the learned Societies of London and of 
Paris, Berlin, Vienna or Rome is mortifying to an Englishman a national opprobrium. 
1 Arab. Maydan al-Fil prob. for Birkat al-Fil, the Tank of the Elephant before- 
mentioned. Lane quotes Al-Makrizi who in his Khitat informs us that the lakelet was 
made about the end of the seventh century (A. H.), and in the seventeenth year of the 
eighth century became the site of stables. The Bresl. Edit. (iv. 214) reads " Maydaa 
al-'Adl," prob. for Al-'Adil the name of the King who laid out the Maydan. 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a al-Jamal. 327 

went out without stay or delay and despatched letters of this 
purport to all the deputies and governors of fortresses and others 
under King Asim ; and he commanded also that all in the city 
should be present far and near, high and low. When the 
appointed time drew nigh, King Asim bade the tent-pitchers 
plant pavilions in the midst of the Champ-de-Mars and decorate 
them after the most sumptuous fashion and set up the great 
throne whereon he sat not but on festivals. And they at once did 
his bidding. Then he and all his Nabobs and Chamberlains and 
Emirs sallied forth, and he commanded proclamation be made 
to the people, saying, " In the name of Allah, come forth to 
the Mayddn ! " So all the Emirs and Wazirs and Governors 
of provinces and Feudatories 1 came forth to the place of 
assembly and, entering the royal pavilion, addressed them- 
selves to the service of the King as was their wont, and abode 
in their several stations some sitting and others standing, 
till all the people were gathered together, when the King 
bade spread the tables and they ate and drank and prayed 
for him. Then he commanded the Chamberlains 2 to proclaim 
to the people that they should not depart : so they made 
proclamation to them, saying, " Let none of you fare hence till 
he have heard the King's words ! " So they withdrew the curtains 
of the royal pavilion and the King said, " Whoso loveth me, let 
him remain till he have heard my speech ! " Whereupon all the 
folk sat down in mind tranquil after they had been fearful, saying, 
" Wherefore have we been summoned by the King ? " Then the 
Sovran rose to his feet, and making them swear that none would 
stir from his stead, said to them, " O ye Emirs and Wazirs and 
Lords of the land ; the great and the small of you, and all ye who 
are present of the people ; say me, wot ye not that this kingdom 
was an inheritance to me from my fathers and forefathers ? " 
Answered they, "Yes, O King we all know that." And he 
continued, " I and you, we all worshipped the sun and moon, till 
Allah (extolled and exalted be He !) vouchsafed us the knowledge 
of the True Faith and brought us out of darkness unto light, and 
directed us to the religion of Al- Islam. Know that I am become 

1 Arab. Asha"b al-Ziya', the latter word mostly signifies estates consisting, strictly 
speaking, of land under artificial irrigation. 

2 The Bresl. Edit. iv. 215 has (t Chawashiyah "=' Chiaush, the Turkish word, written 
with the Pers. "ch," a letter which in Arabic is supplanted by "sh," everywhere except 
in Morocco. 

328 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

a very old man, feeble and decrepit, and I desire to take up my 
abode in a hermitage 1 there to worship Allah Almighty and crave 
His pardon for past offences and make this my son Sayf al-Muluk 
ruler. Ye know full well that he is a comely youth, eloquent, 
liberal, learned, versed in affairs, intelligent, equitable ; wherefore 
I am minded presently to resign to him my realm and to make 
him ruler over you and seat him as Sultan in my stead, whilst I 
give myself to solitude and to the worship of Allah in an oratory 
and my son and heir shall judge between you. What say ye 
then, all of you ? " Thereupon they all rose and kissing ground 
before him, made answer with " Hearing and obedience," saying, 
" O our King and our defender an thou should set over us one of 
thy blackamoor slaves we would obey him and hearken to thy 
word and accept thy command : how much more then with thy 
son Sayf al-Muluk ? Indeed, we accept of him and approve him 
on our eyes and heads ! " So King Asim bin Safwan arose and 
came down from his seat and seating his son on the great throne, 2 
took the crown from his own head and set it on the head of Sayf 
al-Muluk and girt his middle with the royal girdle. 3 Then he sat 
down beside his son on the throne of his kingship, whilst the 
Emirs and Wazirs and Lords of the land and all the rest of the 
folk rose and kissed ground before him, saying, " Indeed, he is 
worthy of the kingship and hath better right to it than any 
other." Then the Chamberlains made proclamation crying, 
" Amdn ! Am an ! Safety ! Safety ! " and offered up prayers for his 
victory and prosperity. And Sayf al-Muluk scattered gold and 

silver on the heads of the lieges one and all. And Shahrazad 

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

Nofo fojen ft foa* tfie Sbrten f^untrrefc anto bfxtg--secoirtr Nfgftt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King 
Asim seated his son, Sayf al-Muluk, upon the throne and all the 

1 Arab. "Zawiyah" lit. a corner, a cell. Lane (M. E. chapt. xxiv.) renders it "a 
small kiosque," and translates the famous Zawiyat al-Umydn (Blind Men's Angle) near 
the south-eastern corner of the Azhar or great Collegiate Mosque of Cairo, " Chapel of 
the Blind " (chapt. ix.). In popular parlance it suggests a hermitage. 

2 Arab. " Takht," a Pers. word used as more emphatic than the Arab. Sarlr. 

3 This girding the sovereign is found in the hieroglyphs as a peculiarity of the ancient 
Kings of Egypt, says Von Hammer referring readers to Denon. 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a al-Jamal. 329 

people prayed for his victory and prosperity, the youth scattered 
gold and silver on the heads of the lieges, one and all, and con- 
ferred robes of honour and gave gifts and largesse. Then, after a 
moment, the Wazir Faris arose and kissing ground said, " O Emirs, 
O Grandees, ye ken that I am Wazir and that my Wazirate dateth 
from old, before the accession of King Asim bin Safwan, who hath 
now divested himself of the Kingship and made his son King in 
his stead ? " Answered they, " Yes, we know that thy Wazirate 
is from sire after grandsire." He continued, "And now in my 
turn I divest myself of office and invest this my son Sa'id, for he 
is intelligent, quick-witted, sagacious. What say ye all ? " And 
they replied, " None is worthy to be Wazir to King Sayf al-Muluk 
but thy son Sa'id, and they befit each other." With this Faris 
arose and taking off his Wazirial turband, set it on his son's head 
and eke laid his ink-case of office before him, whilst the Chamber- 
lains and the Emirs said, " Indeed, he is deserving of the Wazir- 
ship " and the Heralds cried aloud, " Mubarak ! Mubarak ! Felix 
sit et faustus ! " After this, King Asim and Faris the Minister 
arose and, opening the royal treasuries, conferred magnificent 
robes of honour on all the Viceroys and Emirs and Wazirs and 
Lords of the land and other folk and gave salaries and benefac- 
tions and wrote them new mandates and diplomas with the signa- 
tures of King Sayf al-Muluk and his Wazir Sa'id. Moreover, he 
made distribution of money to the men-at-arms and gave guerdons, 
and the provincials abode in the city a full week ere they departed 
each to his own country and place. Then King Asim carried his 
son and his Wazir Sa'id back to the palace which was in the city 
and bade the treasurer bring the seal-ring and signet, 1 sword and 
wrapper ; which being done, he said to the two young men, " O 
my sons, come hither and let each of you choose two of these 
things and take them." The first to make choice was Sayf al- 
Muluk, who put out his hand and took the ring and the wrapper, 
whilst Sa'id took the sword and the signet ; after which they both 
kissed the King's hands and went away to their lodging. Now 
Sayf al-Muluk opened not the wrapper to see what was therein, 
but threw it on the couch where he and Sa'id slept by night, for 
it was their habit to lie together. Presently they spread them the 
bed and the two lay down with a pair of wax candles burning over 

1 Arab. " Mohr," which was not amongst the gifts of Solomon in Night dcclx. The 
Bresl. Edit. (p. 220) adds " and the bow," which is also de trop. 

33O A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

them, and slept till midnight, when Sayf al-Muluk awoke and, seeing 
the bundle at his head, said in his mind, " I wonder what thing of 
price is in this wrapper my father gave me ! " So he took it together 
with a candle and descended from the couch leaving Sa'id sleeping 
and carried the bundle into a closet, where he opened it and found 
within a tunic of the fabric of the Jann. He spread it out and saw 
on the lining 1 of the back, the portraiture wroughten in gold of a girl 
and marvellous was her loveliness ; and no sooner had he set eyes 
on the figure than his reason fled his head and he became Jinn- 
mad for love thereof, so that he fell down in a swoon and pre- 
sently recovering, began to weep and lament, beating his face 
and breast and kissing her. And he recited these verses : 

Love, at the first, is a spurt of spray 2 * Which Doom disposes and Fates 

display ; 
Till, when deep diveth youth in passion-sea * Unbearable sorrows his soul 


And also these two couplets : 

Had I known of love in what fashion he * Robbeth heart and soul I had 

guarded me : 

But of malice prepense I threw self away, * Unwitting of Love what his nature 


And Sayf al-Muluk ceased not to weep and wail and beat face 
and breast, till Sa'id awoke and missing him from the bed and 
seeing but a single candle, said to himself, " Whither is Sayf al- 
Muluk gone?" Then he took the other candle and went round 
about the palace, till he came upon the closet where he saw the 
Prince lying at full length, weeping with sore weeping and lament- 
ing aloud. So he said to him, " O my brother, for what cause 
are these tears and what hath befallen thee ? Speak to me and 
tell me the reason thereof." But Sayf al-Muluk spoke not neither 
raised his head and continued to weep and wail and beat hand on 
breast. Seeing him in this case quoth Sa'id, " I am thy Wazir and 
thy brother, and we were reared together, I and thou ; so an thou 
do not unburden thy breast and discover thy secret to me, to whom 
shalt thou reveal it and disclose its cause ? " And he went on to 

1 Arab. " Batanah," the ordinary lining opp. to Tazrib, or quilting with a layer of 
cotton between two folds of cloth. The idea in the text is that the unhappy wearer 
would have to carry his cross (the girl) on his back. 

* This line has occurred in Night dccxliv. supra p. 280. 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad fa al-Jamal. 331 

humble himself and kiss the ground before him a full hour, whilst 
Sayf al-Muluk paid no heed to him nor answered him a word, but 
gave not over weeping. At last, being affrighted at his case and 
weary of striving with him, he went out and fetched a sword, with 
which he returned to the closet, and setting the point to his own 
breast, said to the Prince, " Rouse thee, O my brother ! An thou 
tell me not what aileth thee, I will slay myself and see thee no 
longer in this case." Whereupon Sayf al-Muluk raised his head 
towards the Wazir and answered him, " O my brother, I am 
ashamed to tell thee what hath betided me ; " but Sa'id said, " I 
conjure thee by Allah, Lord of Lords, Liberator of Necks, 1 Causer 
of causes, the One, the Ruthful, the Gift-full, the Bountiful, that 
thou tell me what aileth thee and be not abashed at me, for I am 
thy slave and thy Minister and counsellor in all thine affairs ! " 
Quoth Sayf al-Muluk, "Come and look at this likeness." So 
Sa'id looked at it awhile and considering it straitly, behold, he 
saw written, as a crown over its head, in letters of pearl, these 
words, "This is the counterfeit presentment of Badi'a al-Jamal, 
daughter of Shahydl bin Sharukh, a King of the Kings of the 
true-believing Jann who have taken up their abode in the city of 
Babel and sojourn in the garden of Iram, Son of 'Ad the Greater 2 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying 

her permitted say. 

Nofo fofcen ft foas tye Sbeben f^utrtrrett an& $>txtg=t|)nfo Nfgbt, 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Sa'id, son of the Wazir Paris, had read to Sayf al-Muluk son of 
King Asim the writ on the tunic, which showed the portraiture of 
Badi'a al-Jamal, daughter of Shahyal bin Sharukh, a King of 
the Kings of the Moslem Jinns dwelling in Babel-city and in the 
Garden of Iram, son of 'Ad the Greater, he cried, " O my brother, 
knowest thou of what woman this is the presentment, that we may 
seek for her?" Sayf al-Muluk replied, "No, by Allah, O my 
brother, I know her not ! " and Sa'id rejoined, " Come, read this 

1 Arab. " Mu'attik al-Rikab" i.e. who frees those in bondage from the yoke. 

2 In the Mac. Edit, and in Trebutien (ii. 143) the King is here called Schimakhson of 
Scharoukh, but elsewhere, Schohiali = Shahyal, in the Bresl. Edit. Shahal. What the 
author means by " Son of 'Ad the Greater," I cannot divine. 

332 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

writing on the crown." So Sayf al-Muluk read it and cried out 
from his heart's core and very vitals, saying, " Alas ! Alas ! 
Alas ! " Quoth Sa'id, 4< O my brother, an the original of the 
portrait exist and her name be Badi'a al-Jamal, and she abide in 
the world, I will hasten to seek her, that thou mayst win thy will 
without delay. But, Allah upon thee, O my brother, leave this 
weeping and ascend thy throne, that the Officers of the State may 
come in to do their service to thee, and in the undurn, do thou 
summon the merchants and fakirs and travellers and pilgrims and 
paupers and ask of them concerning this city and the garden of 
Iram ; haply by the help and blessing of Allah (extolled and 
exalted be He !), some one of them shall direct us thither." So, 
when it was day, Sayf al-Muluk went forth and mounted the 
throne, clasping the tunic in his arms, for he could neither stand 
nor sit without it, nor would sleep visit him save it were with him ; 
and the Emirs and Wazirs and Lords and Officers came in to him. 
When the Divan was complete all being assembled in their places 
he said to his Minister, " Go forth to them and tell them that the 
King hath been suddenly struck by sickness and he, by Allah, 
hath passed the night in ill case." So Sa'id fared forth and told 
the folk what he said ; which when old King Asim heard, he was 
concerned for his son and, summoning the physicians and astro- 
logers, carried them in to Sayf al-Muluk. They looked at him 
and prescribed him ptisanes and diet-drinks, simples and medicinal 
waters and wrote him characts and incensed him with Nadd and 
aloes-wood and ambergris three days' space ; but his malady per- 
sisted three months, till King Asim was wroth with the leaches 
and said to them, " Woe to you, O dogs ! What ? Are all of you 
impotent to cure my son ? Except ye heal him forthright, I will 
put the whole of you to death." The Archiater replied, " O King 
of the Age, in very sooth we know that this is thy son and thou 
wottest that we fail not of diligence in tending a stranger ; so how 
much more with medicining thy son ? But thy son is afflicted 
with a malady hard to heal, which, if thou desire to know, we will 
discover it to thee." Quoth Asim, " What then find ye to be 
the malady of my son ? "; and quoth the leach, " O King of the 
Age, thy son is in love and he loveth one to whose enjoyment he 
hath no way of access." At this the King was wroth and asked, 
" How know ye that my son is in love and how came love to 
him ? "; they answered, " Enquire of his Wazir and brother Sa'id, 
for he knoweth his case." The King rose and repaired to his 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a al-Jamal. 333 

private closet and summoning Sa'id said to him, " Tell me the 
truth of thy brother's malady." But Sa'id replied, " I know it 
not." So King Asim said to the Sworder, " Take Sa'id and bind 
his eyes and strike his neck." Whereupon Sa'id feared for him- 
self and cried, " O King of the Age, grant me immunity." Replied 
the King, " Speak and thou shalt have it." " They son is in love." 
" With whom is he in love ? " " With a King's daughter of the 
Jann." " And where could he have espied a daughter of the Jinns ? " 
" Her portrait was wroughten on the tunic that was in the bundle 
given thee by Solomon, prophet of Allah ! " When the King 
heard this, he rose, and going in to Sayf al-Muluk, said to him, 
" O my son, what hath afflicted thee ? What is this portrait 
whereof thou art enamoured? And why didst thou not tell me." 
He replied, " O my sire, I was ashamed to name this to thee and 
could not bring myself to discover aught thereof to any one at all ; 
but now thou knowest my case, look how thou mayest do to cure 
me." Rejoined his father, "What is to be done? Were this one 
of the daughters of men we might devise a device for coming at 
her ; but she is a King's daughter of the Jinns and who can woo 
and win her, save it be Solomon David-son, and hardly he? 1 
However, O my son, do thou arise forthright and hearten thy heart 
and take horse and ride out a-hunting or to weapon-play in the 
Maydan. Divert thyself with eating and drinking and put away 
cark and care from thy heart, and I will bring thee an hundred 
maids of the daughters of Kings ; for thou hast no need to the 
daughters of the Jann, over whom, we lack controul and of kind 
other than ours." But he said, " I cannot renounce her nor will I 
seek other than her." Asked King Asim, " How then shall we 
do, O my son ? "; and Sayf al-Muluk answered, " Bring us all the 
merchants and travellers and wanderers in the city, that we may 
question them thereof. Peradventure, Allah will lead us to the 
city of Babel and the garden of Iram." So King Asim bade 
summon all the merchants in the city and strangers and sea- 
captains and, as each came, enquired of him anent the city of 
Babel and its peninsula 2 and the garden of Iram ; but none of 
them knew these places nor could any give him tidings thereof. 
However, when the stance broke up, one of them said, " O King 

1 Lit. " For he is the man who can avail thereto," with the meaning given in the 

2 Arab. Jazirat, insula or peninsula, vol. i. 2. 

334 A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

of the Age, an thou be minded to ken this thing, up and hie thee 
to the land of China ; for it hath a vast city ! and a safe wherein 
are store of rarities and things of price and folk of all kinds ; and 
thou shalt not come to the knowledge of this city and garden but 
from its folk ; it may be one of them will direct thee to that thou 
seekest." Wherepon quoth Sayf al-Muluk, " O my sire, equip me 
a ship, that I may fare to the China-land ; and do thou rule the 
reign in my stead." Replied the old King, " O my son, abide 
thou on the throne of thy kingship and govern thy commons, and 
I myself will make the voyage to China and ask for thee of the 
city of Babel and the garden of Iram." But Sayf al-Muluk 
rejoined, " O my sire, in very sooth this affair concerneth me and 
none can search after it like myself: so, come what will, an thou 
give me leave to make the voyage, I will depart and wander 
awhile. If I find trace or tidings of her, my wish will be won, and 
if not, belike the voyage will broaden my breast and recruit my 
courage ; and haply by foreign travel my case will be made easy 

to me, and if I live, I shall return to thee safe and sound.'* 

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

Nofo fojjen ft fern tje Sbeben J^imfcrefc anfc Sbfittg-foutft Wg&t, 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sayf 
al-Muluk said to his sire King Asim, " Equip me a ship that I may 
fare therein to the China-land and search for the object of my 
desire. If I live I shall return to thee safe and sound." The old 
King looked at his son and saw nothing for it but to do what he 
desired ; so he gave him the leave he wanted and fitted him forty 
ships, manned with twenty thousand armed Mamelukes, besides 
servants, and presented him with great plenty of money and 
necessaries and warlike gear, as much as he required. When the 
ships were laden with water and victual, weapons and troops, Sayf 
al-Muluk's father and mother farewelled him and King Asim said, 
" Depart, O my son, and travel in weal and health and safety. I 
commend thee to Him with Whom deposits are not lost." 2 So the 
Prince bade adieu to his parents and embarked, with his brother 

Probably Canton with which the Arabs were familiar. 

i.e. "Who disappointeth not those who put their trust in Him." 

Sayf al-Mutuk and Bad? a al-Jamal. 335 

Sa'id, and they weighed anchor and sailed till they came to the 
City of China. When the Chinamen heard of the coming of forty 
ships, full of armed men and stores, weapons and hoards, they 
made sure that these were enemies come to battle with them and 
seige them ; so they bolted the gates of the town and made ready 
the mangonels. 1 But Sayf al-Muluk, hearing of this, sent two of 
his Chief Mamelukes to the King of China, bidding them say to 
him, " This is Sayf al-Muluk, son of King Asim of Egypt, who is 
come to thy city as a guest, to divert himself by viewing thy 
country awhile, and not for conquest or contention ; wherefore, 
an thou wilt receive him, he will come ashore to thee ; and if not 
he will return and will not disquiet thee nor the people of thy 
capital." They presented themselves at the city gates and said, 
" We are messengers from King Sayf al-Muluk." Whereupon the 
townsfolk opened the gates and carried them to their King, whose 
name was Faghfur 2 Shah and between whom and King Asim 
there had erst been acquaintance. So, when he heard that the 
new-comer Prince was the son of King Asim, he bestowed robes 
of honour on the messengers and, bidding open the gates, made 
ready guest-gifts and went forth in person with the chief officers 
of his realm, to meet Sayf al-Muluk, and the two Kings embraced. 
Then Faghfur said to his guest, " Well come and welcome and fair 
cheer to him who cometh to us ! I am thy slave and the slave of 
thy sire : my city is between thy hands to command and whatso 
thou seekest shall be brought before thee." Then he presented 
him with the guest-gifts and victual for the folk at their stations ; 
and they took horse, with the Wazir Sa'id and the chiefs of their 
officers and the rest of their troops, and rode from the sea-shore 
to the city, which they entered with cymbals clashing and drums 

1 Arab. " Al-Manjanikat " plur. of manjanik, from Gr. Mayyavov> Lat. Manganum 
(Engl. Mangonel from the dim. Mangonella). Ducange Glossarium, s.v. The Greek 
is applied originally to defensive weapons, then to the artillery of the day, Ballista, 
catapults, etc. The kindred Arab, form " Manjanin" is applied chiefly to the Noria or 
Persian water-wheel. 

2 Faghfur is the common Moslem title for the Emperors of China ; in 1 he Kamus the 
first syllable is Zammated (Fugh) ; in Al-Mas'udi (chapt. xiv.) we find Baghfur and in 
Al-Idrisi Baghbugh, or Baghbun. In Al-Asma'i Bagh god or idol (Pehlewi and 
Persian) ; hence according to some Baghdad (?) and Baghistan a pagoda (?). Sprenger 
(Al-Mas'udi, p. 327) remarks that Baghfur is a literal translation of Tien-tse and quotes 
Visdelou, "pour mieux faire comprendre de quel ciel ils veulent parler, ils poussent la 
genealogie (of the Emperor) plus loin. Ils lui donnent le ciel pour pere, la terre pour 
mere, le soleil pour frere aine et la lune pour sceur aniee." 

336 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

beating in token of rejoicing. There they abode in the enjoyment 
of fair entertainment for forty days, at the end of which quoth the 
King of China to Sayf al-Muluk, " O son of my brother, how is 
thy case 1 ? Doth my country please thee ? " ; and quoth Sayf al- 
Muluk, " May Allah Almighty long honour it with thee, O King ! " 
Said Faghfur, " Naught hath brought thee hither save some need 
which hath occurred to thee; and whatso thou desirest of my 
country I will accomplish it to thee." Replied Sayf al-Muluk, 
" O King, my case is a wondrous," and told him how he had fallen 
in love with the portrait of Badi'a al-Jamal, and wept bitter tears. 
When the King of China heard his story, he wept for pity and 
solicitude for him and cried, " And what wouldst thou have now, O 
Sayf al-Muluk ? " ; and he rejoined, " I would have thee bring me 
all the wanderers and travellers, the seafarers and sea-captains, 
that I may question them of the original of this portrait ; perhaps 
one of them may give me tidings of her." So Faghfur Shah sent 
out his Nabobs and Chamberlains and body-guards to fetch all 
the wanderers and travellers in the land, and they brought them 
before the two Kings, and they were a numerous company. Then 
Sayf al-Muluk questioned them of the City of Babel and the 
Garden of Iram, but none of them returned him a reply, where- 
upon he was bewildered and wist not what to do ; but one of the 
sea-captains said to him, " O auspicious King, an thou wouldst 
know of this city and that garden up and hie thee to the Islands 
of the Indian realm." 2 Thereupon Sayf al-Muluk bade bring the 
ships ; which being done, they freighted them with vivers and 
water and all that they needed, and the Prince and his Wazir 
re-embarked, with all their men, after they had farewelled King 
Faghfur Shah. They sailed the seas four months with a fair wind, 
in safety and satisfaction till it chanced that one day of the days 
there came out upon them a wind and the billows buffeted them 
from all quarters. The rain and hail 3 descended on them and 
during twenty days the sea was troubled for the violence of the 
wind ; wherefor the ships drave one against other and brake 
up, as did the carracks 4 and all on board were drowned, except 

1 Arab. " Kayf halak " =: how de doo ? the salutation of a Fellah. 

2 i.e. subject to the Maharajah of Hind. 

3 This is not a mistake : I have seen heavy hail in Africa, N. Lat. 4 ; within sight of 
the Equator. 

* Arab. " Harrdkat," here used in the sense of smaller craft, and presently for a 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a al-Jamal. 337 

Sayf al-Muluk and some of his servants, who saved themselves 
in a little cock-boat. Then the wind fell by the decree of Allah 
Almighty and the sun shone out; whereupon Sayf al-Muluk 
opened his eyes and seeing no sign of the ships nor aught but 
sky and sea, said to the Mamelukes who were with him, " Where 
are the carracks and cock-boats and where is my brother Sa'id ? " 
They replied, " O King of the Age, there remain nor ships nor 
boats nor those who were therein ; for they are all drowned and 
become food for fishes." Now when he heard this, he cried aloud 
and repeated the saying which whoso saith shall not be con- 
founded, and it is, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might 
save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! " Then he fell to buffeting 
his face and would have cast himself into the sea, but his Mamelukes 
withheld him, saying, " O King, what will this profit thee ? Thou 
hast brought all this on thyself ; for, hadst thou hearkened to thy 
father's words, naught thereof had betided thee. But this was 

written from all eternity by the will of the Creator of Souls. 

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

Nofo fojjen it foas tfje gbeben f^untotfr antr bfxtg=fiftj Ni$t t 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Sayf al-Muluk would have cast himself into the main, his Mame- 
lukes withheld him saying, " What will this profit thee ? Thou 
hast done this deed by thyself, yet was it written from all eternity 
by the will of the Creator of Souls, that the creature might 
accomplish that which Allah hath decreed unto him. And in- 
deed, at the time of thy birth, the astrologers assured thy sire 
that all manner troubles should befal thee. So there is naught 
for it but patience till Allah deliver us from this our strait." 
Replied the Prince, " There is no Majesty and there is no Might 
save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! Neither is there refuge 
nor fleeing from that which He decreeth ! " And he sighed and 
recited these couplets : 

By the Compassionate, I 'm dazed about my case, for lo ! Troubles and griefs 

beset me sore ; I know not whence they grow. 
I will be patient, so the folk, that I against a thing Bitt'rer than very aloes' 

self, 1 endured have, may know. 

1 See vol. i. 138 : here by way of variety I quote Mr. Payne. 

338 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

Less bitter than my patience is the taste of aloes-juice ; I 've borne with 

patience what 's more hot than coals with fire aglow. 
In this my trouble what resource have I, save to commit My case to Him who 

orders all that is, for weal or woe ? 

Then he became drowned in the depth of thoughts and his tears ran 
down upon his cheeks like torrent-rain ; and he slept a while of the 
day, after which he awoke and sought of food somewhat. So they 
set meat before him and he ate his sufficiency, till they removed 
the food from before him, whilst the boat drove on with them 
they knew not whither it was wandering. It drifted with them 
at the will of the winds and the waves, night and day a great 
while, till their victual was spent and they saw themselves shent 
and were reduced to extreme hunger and thirst and exhaustion,, 
when behold, suddenly they sighted an island from afar and the 
breezes wafted them on, till they came thither. Then, making 
the cock-boat fast to the coast and leaving one therein to guard 
it, they fared on into the island, where they found abundance of 
fruits of all colours and ate of them till they were satisfied. Pre- 
sently, they saw a person sitting among those trees and he was 
long-faced, of strange favour and white of beard and body. He 
called to one of the Mamelukes by his name, saying, " Eat not of 
these fruits, for they are unripe ; but come hither to me, that I 
may give thee to eat of the best and the ripest." The slave 
looked at him and thought that he was one of the shipwrecked, 
who had made his way to that island ; so he joyed with exceeding 
joy at sight of him and went close up to him, knowing not what 
was decreed to him in the Secret Purpose nor what was writ upon 
his brow. But, when he drew near, the stranger in human shape 
leapt upon him, for he was a Marid, 1 and riding upon his shoulder- 
blades and twisting one of his legs about his neck, let the other 
hang down upon his back, saying, " Walk on, fellow ; for there is 
no escape for thee from me and thou art become mine ass." 
Thereupon the Mameluke fell a-weeping and cried out to his 
comrades, " Alas, my lord ! Flee ye forth of this wood and save 
yourselves, for one of the dwellers therein hath mounted on my 
shoulders, and the rest seek you, desiring to ride you like me." 
When they heard these words, all fled down to the boat and 

1 This explains the Arab idea of the " Old Man of the Sea " in Sindbad the Seaman 
(vol. vi. 50). He was not a monkey nor an unknown monster ; but an evil Jinni of 
the most powerful class, yet subject to defeat and death. 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a al-JamaL 

pushed off to sea; whilst the islanders followed them into the 
water, saying, " Whither wend ye ? Come, tarry with us and we 
will mount on your backs and give you meat and drink, and you 
shall be our donkeys." Hearing this they hastened the more sea- 
wards till they left them in the distance and fared on, trusting in 
Allah Almighty ; nor did they leave faring for a month, till 
another island rose before them and thereon they landed. Here 
they found fruits of various kinds and busied themselves with 
eating of them, when behold, they saw from afar, somewhat lying 
in the road, a hideous creature as it were a column of silver. So 
they went up to it and one of the men gave it a kick, when lo ! it 
was a thing of human semblance, long of eyes and cloven of head 
and hidden under one of his ears, for he was wont, whenas he lay 
down to sleep, to spread one ear under his head and cover his face 
with the other ear. 1 He snatched up the Mameluke who had 
kicked him and carried him off into the middle of the island, and 
behold, it was all full of Ghuls who eat the sons of Adam. The 
man cried out to his fellows, " Save yourselves, for this is the 
island of the man-eating Ghuls, and they mean to tear me to bits 
and devour me." When they heard these words they fled back to 
the boat, without gathering any store of the fruits and, putting 
out to sea, fared on some days till it so happened that they came 
to another island, where they found a high mountain. So they 
climbed to the top and there saw a thick copse. Now they were 
sore anhungered ; so they took to eating of the fruits ; but, before 
they were aware, there came upon them from among the trees 
black men of terrible aspect, each fifty cubits high with eye-teeth 2 
protruding from their mouths like elephants' tusks ; and, laying- 
hands on Sayf al-Muluk and his company, carried them to their 
King, whom they found seated on a piece of black felt laid on a 
rock, and about him a great company of Zanzibar-blacks, standing 
in his service. The blackamoors who had captured the Prince 
and his Mamelukes set them before the King and said to him, 
"We found these birds among the trees"; and the King was 
sharp-set ; so he took two of the servants and cut their throats 

and ate them ; And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

1 These Plinian monsters abound in Persian literature. For a specimen see Richardson 
Dissert, p. xlviii. 

2 Arab. "Anyab," plur. of " Nab " = canine tooth (eye-tooth of man), tusks of 
horse and camel etc. 

34O A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Nofo fofien ft foas tfje S?eben l^un&rrtr anfc Sbfats-ghtft 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
Zanzibar-blacks took Sayf al-Muluk and his Mamelukes and set 
them before the King, saying, " O King, we came upon these birds 
among the trees." Thereupon the King seized two of the Mame- 
lukes and cut their throats and ate them ; which, when Sayf al- 
Muluk saw, he feared for himself and wept and repeated these 
verses : 

Familiar with my heart are woes and with them I Who shunned them ; for 

familiar are great hearts and high. 
The woes I suffer are not all of single kind o I have, thank Allah, varied 

thousands to aby ! 

Then he sighed and repeated these also : 

The World hath shot me with its sorrows till o My heart is covered with 

shafts galore ; 
And now, when strike me other shafts, must break o Against th' old points the 

points that latest pour. 

When the King heard his weeping and wailing, he said, " Verily 
these birds have sweet voices and their song pleaseth me : put 
them in cages." So they set them each in his own cage and 
hung them up at the King's head that he might listen to their 
warbling. On this wise Sayf al-Muluk and his Mamelukes abode 
and the blackamoors gave them to eat and drink : and now they 
wept and now laughed, now spake and now were hushed, whilst 
the King of the blacks delighted in the sound of their voices. 
And so they continued for a long time. Now this King had a 
daughter married in another island who, hearing that her father 
had birds with sweet voices, sent a messenger to him seeking of 
him some of them. So he sent her, by her Cossid, 1 Sayf al-Muluk 
and three of his men in four cages ; and, when she saw them, 

1 Arab. "Kasid," the Anglo-Indian Cossid. The post is called Barld from the Persian 
"buridah" (cut) because the mules used for the purpose were dock-tailed. Barid 
applies equally to the post-mule, the rider and the distance from one station (Sikkah) to 
another which varied from two to six parasangs. The letter-carrier was termed 
Al-Faranik from the Pers. Parwnah, a servant. In the Diwdn al-Barid (Post-office) 
every letter was entered in a Madraj or list called in Arabic Al-Askidar from the 
Persian " Az Kih darf " = from whom hast thou it ? 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a al-Jamal. 341 

they pleased her and she bade hang them up in a place over her 
head. The Prince fell to marvelling at that which had befallen 
him and calling to mind his former high and honourable estate 
and weeping for himself ; and the thfee servants wept for them- 
selves ; and the King's daughter deemed that they sang. Now it 
was her wont, whenever any one from the land of Egypt or else- 
where fell into her hands and he pleased her, to advance him to 
great favour with her ; and by the decree of Allah Almighty it 
befel that, when she saw Sayf al-Muluk she was charmed by his 
beauty and loveliness and symmetry and perfect grace, and she 
commanded to entreat him and his companions with honour and 
to loose them from their cages. Now one day she took the Prince 
apart and would have him enjoy her ; but he refused, saying, " O 
my lady, I am a banisht wight and with passion for a beloved one 
in piteous plight, nor with other will I consent to love-delight" 
Then she coaxed him and importuned him, but he held aloof from 
her, and she could not approach him nor get her desire of him by 
any ways and means. At last, when she was weary of courting 
him in vain, she waxed wroth with him and his Mamelukes, and 
commanded that they should serve her and fetch her wood and 
water. In such condition they abode four years till Sayf al-Muluk 
became weary of his life and sent to intercede with the Princess, 
so haply she might release them and let them wend their ways 
and be at rest from that their hard labour. So she sent for him 
and said to him, " If thou wilt do my desire, I will free thee from 
this thy durance vile and thou shalt go to thy country, safe and 
sound." And she wept and ceased not to humble herself to him 
and wheedle him, but he would not hearken to her words ; where- 
upon she turned from him, in anger, and he and his companions 
abode on the island in the same plight. The islanders knew them 
for " The Princess's birds " and durst not work them any wrong ; 
and her heart was at ease concerning them, being assured that 
they could not escape from the island. So they used to absent 
themselves from her two and three days at a time and go round 
about the desert parts in all directions, gathering firewood, which 
they brought to the Princess's kitchen ; and thus they abode five l 
years. Now one day it so chanced that the Prince and his men 
were sitting on the sea-shore, devising of what had befallen, and 
Sayf al-Muluk, seeing himself and his men in such case, bethought 

1 " Ten years" in the Bresl. Edit. iv. 244. 

A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

him of his mother and father and his brother Sa'id and, calling 
to mind what high degree he had been in, fell a-weeping and 
lamenting passing sore, whilst his slaves wept likewise. Then said 
they to him, " O King of the Age, how long shall we weep ? 
Weeping availeth not ; for this thing was written on our brows by 
the ordinance of Allah, to whom belong Might and Majesty. 
Indeed, the Pen runneth with that He decreeth and nought will 
serve us but patience : haply Allah (extolled and exalted be He !) 
who hath saddened us shall gladden us ! " Quoth he, " O my 
brothers, how shall we win free from this accursed woman ? I see 
no way of escape for us, save Allah of his grace deliver us from 
her; but methinks we may flee and be at rest from this hard 
labour." And quoth they, " O King of the Age, whither shall we 
flee ? For the whole island is full of Ghuls which devour the Sons 
of Adam, and whithersoever we go, they will find us there and 
either eat us or capture and carry us back to that accursed, the 
King's daughter, who will be wroth with us." Sayf al-Muluk 
rejoined, " I will contrive you somewhat, whereby peradventure 
Allah Almighty shall deliver us and help us to escape from this 
island." They asked, " And how wilt thou do ?"; and he answered, 
" Let us cut some of these long pieces of wood, and twist ropes of 
their bark and bind them one with another, and make of them a 
raft 1 which we will launch and load with these fruits: then we will 
fashion us paddles and embark on the raft after breaking our 
bonds with the axe. It may be that Almighty Allah will make ft 
the means of our deliverance from this accursed woman and vouch- 
safe us a fair wind to bring us to the land of Hind, for He over all 
things is Almighty ! " Said they, " Right is thy rede," and re- 
joiced thereat with exceeding joy. So they arose without stay or 
delay and cut with their axes wood for the raft and twisted ropes 
to bind the logs and at this they worked a whole month. Every day 
about evening they gathered somewhat of fuel and bore it to the 
Princess's kitchen, and employed the rest of the twenty-four hours 

working at the raft. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of 

day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

1 In the Bresl. Edit. (iv. 245) we find " Kalak," a raft, like those used upon the 
Euphrates, and better than the " Fulk," or ship, of the Mac. Edit. 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a al-JamaL 543 

fofjen ft foas t&e Sbeben f^untotr antr SbtxtB=Sbent6 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sayf 
al-Muluk and his Mamelukes, having cut the wood and twisted the 
ropes for their raft, made an end of it and launched it upon the 
sea ; then, after breaking their bonds with the axe, and loading 
the craft with fruits plucked from the island-trees, they embarked 
at close of day ; nor did any wot of their intent. They put out to 
sea in their raft and paddled on four months, knowing not whither 
the craft carried them, till their provaunt failed them and they were 
suffering the severest extreme of hunger and thirst, when behold, 
the sea waxed troubled and foamed and rose in high waves, and 
there came forth upon them a frightful crocodile, 1 which put out 
its claw and catching up one of the Mamelukes swallowed him. 
At the sight of this horror Sayf al-Muluk wept bitterly and he and 
the two men 2 that remained to him pushed off from the place 
where they had seen the crocodile, sore affrighted. After this they 
continued drifting on till one day they espied a mountain terrible 
tall and spiring high in air, whereat they rejoiced, when presently 
an island appeared. They made towards it with all their might 
congratulating one another on the prospect of making land ; but 
hardly had they sighted the island on which was the mountain, 
when the sea changed face and boiled and rose in big waves and a 
second crocodile raised its head and putting out its claw caught up 
the two remaining Mamelukes and swallowed them. So Sayf al- 
Muluk abode alone, and making his way to the island, toiled till 
he reached the mountain-top, where he looked about and found a 
copse, and walking among the trees fell to eating of the fruits. 
Presently, he saw among the branches more than twenty great 
apes, each bigger than a he-mule, whereat he was seized with ex- 
ceeding fear. The apes came down and surrounded him ; 3 then 

1 Arab. Timsah from Coptic (Old Egypt) Emsuh or Msuh. The animal cannot live 
in salt-water, a fact which proves that the Crocodile Lakes on the Suez Canal were in 
old days fed by Nile-water ; and this was necessarily a Canal. 

2 So in the Bresl. Edit. (iv. 245). In the Mac. text " one man," which better suits 
the second crocodile, for the animal can hardly be expected to take two at a time. 

3 He had ample reason to be frightened. The large Cynocephalus is exceedingly 
dangerous. When travelling on the Gold Coast with my late friend Colonel De Ruvignes, 
we suddenly came in the grey of the morning upon a herd of these beasts. We dis- 
mounted, hobbled our nags and sat down, sword and revolver in hand. Luckily it was 

344 AV Laylah wa Laylah. 

they forewent him, signing to him to follow them, and walked on, 
and he too, till he came to a castle, tall of base and strong of 
build whose ordinance was one brick of gold and one of silver. 
The apes entered and he after them, and he saw in the castle all 
manner of rarities, jewels and precious metals such as tongue 
faileth to describe. Here also he found a young man, passing tall 
of stature with no hair on his cheeks, and Sayf al-Muluk was 
cheered by the sight for there was no human being but he in the 
castle. The stranger marvelled exceedingly at sight of the Prince 
and asked him, " What is thy name and of what land art thou and 
how earnest thou hither ? Tell me thy tale and hide from me 
naught thereof." Answered the Prince, " By Allah, I came not 
hither of my own consent nor is this place of my intent ; yet 
I cannot but go from place to place till I win my wish." Quoth 
the youth, " And what is thy object ? " ; and quoth the other, " I 
am of the land of Egypt and my name is Sayf al-Muluk son of 
King Asim bin Safwan "; and told him all that had passed with 
him, from first to last. Whereupon the youth arose and stood in 
his service, saying, " O King of the Age, I was erst in Egypt and 
heard that thou hadst gone to the land of China ; but where is 
this land and where lies China-land ? * Verily, this is a wondrous 
thing and marvellous matter ! " Answered the Prince, " Sooth 
thou speakest but, when I left China-land, I set out, intending for 
the land of Hind and a stormy wind arose and the sea boiled and 
broke all my ships "; brief, he told him all that had befallen him 
till he came thither ; whereupon quoth the other, " O King's son, 
thou hast had enough of strangerhood and its sufferings ; Alham- 
dolillah, praised be Allah who hath brought thee hither ! So 
now do thou abide with me, that I may enjoy thy company till 
I die, when thou shalt become King over this island, to which no 
bound is known, and these apes thou seest are indeed skilled in 
all manner of crafts ; and whatso thou seekest here shalt thou 
find." Replied Sayf al-Muluk, " O my brother, I may not tarry 
in anyplace till my wish be won, albeit I compass the whole world 
in pursuit thereof and make quest of every one so peradventure 

feeding time for the vicious brutes, which scowled at us but did not attack us. During 
my four years 1 service on the West African Coast I heard enough to satisfy me that these 
powerful beasts often kill men and rape women ; but I could not convince myself that 
they ever kept the women as concubines. 

1 As we should say in English it is a far cry to Loch Awe : the Hindu by-word is, 
" Dihli (Delhi) is a long way off." See vol. i. 37, 

Sayf al-Muluk and Badfa al-Jamal. 345 

Allah may bring me to my desire or my course lead me to the 
place wherein is the appointed term of my days, and I shall die 
my death." Then the youth turned with a sign to one of the 
apes, and he went out and was absent awhile, after which he 
returned with other apes girt with silken zones. 1 They brought 
the trays and set on near 2 an hundred chargers of gold and saucers 
of silver, containing all manner of meats. Then they stood, after 
the manner of servants between the hands of Kings, till the youth 
signalled to the Chamberlains, who sat down, and he whose wont 
it was to serve stood, whilst the two Princes ate their sufficiency. 
Then the apes cleared the table and brought basins and ewers of 
gold, and they washed their hands in rose water ; after which they 
set on fine sugar and nigh forty flagons, in each a different kind 
of wine, and they drank and took their pleasure and made merry 
and had a fine time. And all the apes danced and gambolled 
before them, what while the eaters sat at meat ; which when Sayf 
al-Muluk saw, he marvelled at them and forgot that which had 

befallen him of sufferings. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn 

of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

ttfofo fojen ft to tje >ebcrt f^untefc an& SMxtB*rffi&tJ 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Sayf al-Muluk saw the gestures and gambols of the apes, he 
marvelled thereat and forgot that which had betided him of 
strangerhood and its sufferings. At nightfall they lighted waxen 
candles in candlesticks of gold studded with gems and set on 
dishes of confections and fruits of sugar-candy. So they ate ; 
and when the hour of rest was come, the apes spread them bedding 
and they slept. And when morning morrowed, the young man 
arose, as was his wont, before sunrise and waking Sayf al-Muluk 
said to him, " Put thy head forth of this lattice and see what 
standeth beneath it." So he put out his head and saw the wide 
waste and all the wold filled with apes, whose number none knew 
save Allah Almighty. Quoth he, " Here be great plenty of apes, 
for they cover the whole country : but why are they assembled 

1 Arab. Futah, a napkin, a waistcloth, the Indian Zones alluded to by the old Greek 
* Arab. " Yaji (it comes) miat khwanj ah "quite Fellah talk. 

346 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

at this hour ? V Quoth the youth, " This is their custom. Every 
Sabbath, 1 all the apes in the island come hither, some from two 
and three days' distance, and stand here till I awake from sleep 
and put forth my head from this lattice, when they kiss ground 
before me and go about their business." So saying, he put his 
head out of the window ; and when the apes saw him, they kissed 
the earth before him and went their way. Sayf al-Muluk abode 
with the young man a whole month when he farewelled him and 
departed, escorted by a party of nigh a hundred apes, which the 
young man bade escort him. They journeyed with him seven 
days, till they came to the limits of their islands, 2 when they took 
leave of him and returned to their places, while Sayf al-Muluk 
fared on alone over mount and hill, desert and plain, four months' 
journey, one day anhungered and the next satiated, now eating 
of the herbs of the earth and then of the fruits of the trees, till 
he repented him of the harm he had done himself by leaving the 
young man ; and he was about to retrace his steps to him, when 
he saw a something black afar off and said to himself, " Is this a 
city or trees ? But I will not turn back till I see what it is." 
So he made towards it and when he drew near, he saw that it was 
a palace tall of base. Now he who built it was Japhet son of Noah 
(on whom be peace !) and it is of this palace that God the Most 
High speaketh in His precious Book, whenas He saith, " And an 
abandoned well and a high-builded palace." 3 Sayf al-Muluk sat 

1 As Tr^butien shows (li. 155) these apes were a remnant of some ancient tribe 
possibly those of Ad who had gone to Meccah to pray for rain and thus escaped the 
general destruction. See vol. i. 65. Perhaps they were the Jews of Aylah who in 
David's day were transformed into monkeys for fishing on the Sabbath (Saturday) 
Koran ii. 61. 

2 I can see no reason why Lane purposely changes this to " the extremity of their 

3 Koran xxii. 44, Mr. Payne remarks : This absurd addition is probably due to 
some copyist, who thought to show his knowledge of the Koran, but did not understand 
the meaning of the verse from which the quotation is taken and which runs thus, 
" How many cities have We destroyed, whilst yet they transgressed, and they are laid 
low on their own foundations and wells abandoned and high-builded palaces ! " Mr. 
Lane observes that the words are either misunderstood or purposely misapplied by the 
author of the tale." Purposeful perversions of Holy Writ are very popular amongst 
Moslems and form part of their rhetoric ; but such is not the case here. According to 
Von Hammer (Trebutien ii. 154), " Eastern geographers place the Bir al-Mu'utallal 
(Ruined Well) and the Kasr al-Mashid (High-builded Castle) in the province of 
Hadramaut, and we wait for a new Niebuhr to inform us what are the monuments or 
the ruins so called." His text translates puits arides et palais de platre (not likely !). 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a al-famal. 347 

down at the gate and said in his mind, " Would I knew what is 
within yonder palace and what King dwelleth there and who shall 
acquaint me whether its folk are men or Jinn ? Who will tell me 
the truth of the case ? " He sat considering awhile, but, seeing 
none go in or come out, he rose and committing himself to Allah 
Almighty entered the palace and walked on, till he had counted 
seven vestibules ; yet saw no one. Presently looking to his right 
he beheld three doors, while before him was a fourth, over which 
hung a curtain, So he went up to this and raising the curtain, 
found himself in a great hall l spread with silken carpets. At the 
upper end rose a throne of gold whereon sat a damsel, whose face 
was like the moon, arrayed in royal raiment and beautified as she 
were a bride on the night of her displaying ; and at the foot of 
the throne was a table of forty trays spread with golden and 
silvern dishes full of dainty viands. The Prince went up and 
saluted her, and she returned his salam, saying, " Art thou of 
mankind or of the Jinn ? " Replied he, " I am a man of the best 
of mankind ; 2 for I am a King, son of a King." She rejoined, 
" What seekest thou ? Up with thee and eat of yonder food, and 
after tell me thy past from first to last and how thou earnest 
hither." So he sat down at the table and removing the cover 
from a tray of meats (he being hungry) and ate till he was full ; 
then washed his right hand and going up to the throne, sat down 
by the damsel who asked him, " Who art thou and What is thy 
name and whence comest thou aad who brought thee hither ? " 
He answered, " Indeed my story is a long but do thou first tell 
me who and what and whence thou art and why thou dwellest 
in this place alone.' She rejoined, " My name is Daulat Khatun 3 
and J am the daughter of the King of Hind. My father dwelleth 
in the Capital-city of Sarandib and hath a great and goodly garden, 
there is no goodlier, in all the land of Hind or its dependencies ; 

Lane remarks that Mashi'd mostly means " plastered," but here = Mushayyad, lofty, 
explained in the Jalalayn Commentary as = rafi'a, high-raised. The two places are 
also mentioned by Al-Mas'udi ; and they occur in Al-Kazwmi (see Night dccclviii.) : 
both of these authors making the Koran directly allude to them. 

1 Arab, (from Pers.) Aywan which here corresponds with the Egyptian " liwan " a 
tall saloon with estrades. 

2 This nai've style of "renowning it " is customary in the East, contrasting with the 
servile address of the subject " thy- slave " etc. 

3 Daulat (not Dawlah) the Anglo-Indian Dowlat; prop, meaning the shifts of affairs, 
hence, fortune, empire, kingdom. Khatun = " lady," I have noted, follows the name 
after Turkish fashion. 

343 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

and in this garden is a great tank. One day, I went out into the 
garden with my slave-women and I stripped me naked and they 
likewise and, entering the tank, fell to sporting and solacing our- 
selves therein. Presently, before I could be ware, a something as 
it were a cloud swooped down on me and snatching me up from 
amongst my handmaids, soared aloft with me betwixt heaven and 
earth, saying, " Fear not, O Daulat Khatun, but be of good 
heart." Then he flew on with me a little while, after which he set 
me down in this palace and straightway without stay or delay 
became a handsome young man daintily apparelled, who said to 
me: Now dost thou know me? Replied I: No, O my lord; 
and he said, : I am the Blue King, Sovran of the Jann ; my father 
dwelleth in the Castle Al-Kulzum 1 night, and hath under his 
hand six hundred thousand Jinn, flyers and divers. It chanced 
that while passing on my way I saw thee and fell in love with thee 
for thy lovely form : so I swooped down on thee and snatched thee 
up from among the slave-girls and brought thee to this the High- 
builded Castle, which is my dwelling-place. None may fare 
hither be he man or be he Jinni, and from Hind hither is a 
journey of an hundred and twenty years : wherefore do thou hold 
that thou wilt never again behold the land of thy father and thy 
mother ; so abide with me here, in contentment of heart and 
peace, and I will bring to thy hands whatso thou seekest." Then 

he embraced me and kissed me, And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

ft foas tfjc g>eben l^untetr atrtr Sbfrtg-nfntft Xi$t, 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
damsel said to Sayf al-Muluk, " Then the King of the Jann, after 
he had acquainted me with his case, embraced me and kissed me, 

saying : Abide here and fear nothing ; whereupon he went 

away from rne for an hour and presently returned with these 

1 The old name of Suez-town from the Greek Clysma (the shutting), which named the 
Gulf of Suez " Sea of Kulzum." The ruins in the shape of a huge mound, upon which 
Sa'id Pasha built a Kiosk-palace, lie to the north of the modern town and have been 
noticed by me, (Pilgrimage, Midian etc.) The Rev. Prof. Sayce examined the mound 
and from the Roman remains found in it determined it to be a fort guarding the old 
mouth of the Old Egyptian Sweet-water Canal which then debouched near the town. 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a al-Jamal. 349 

tables and carpets and furniture. He comes to me every Third 1 
and abideth with me three days and on Friday, at the time of 
mid-afternoon prayer, he departeth and is absent till the following 
Third. When he is here, he eateth and drinketh and kisseth and 
huggeth me, but doth naught else with me, and I am a pure 
virgin, even as Allah Almighty created me. My father's name 
is Taj al-Muluk, and he wotteth not what is come of me nor 
hath he hit upon any trace of me. This is my story : now tell 
me thy tale." Answered the Prince, " My story is a long and I 
fear lest while I am telling it to thee the Ifrit come." Quoth she 
" He went out from me but an hour before thy entering and 
will not return till Third : so sit thee down and take thine ease 
and hearten thy heart and tell me what hath betided thee, from 
beginning to end." And quoth he, " I hear and I obey." So he 
fell to telling her all that had befallen him from commencement 
to conclusion but, when she heard speak of Badi'a al-Jamal, her 
eyes ran over with railing tears and she cried, " O Badi'a al-Jama^ 
I had not thought this of thee ! Alack for our luck ! O Badi'a 

al-Jamal, dost thou not remember me nor say : My sister 

Daulat Khatun whither is she gone ? " And her weeping re- 
doubled, lamenting for that Badi'a al-Jamal had forgotten her. 2 
Then said Sayf al-Muluk, " O Daulat Khatun, thou art a mortal 
and she is a Jinniyah : how then can she be thy sister ? " Replied 
the Princess, "She is my sister by fosterage and this is how it 
came about. My mother went out to solace herself in the garden, 
when labour-pangs seized her and she bare me. Now the mother 
of Badi'a al-Jamal chanced to be passing with her guards, when 
she also was taken with travail-pains ; so she alighted in a side 
of the garden and there brought forth Badi'a al-Jamal. She 
despatched one of her women to seek food and childbirth- 
gear of my mother, who sent her what she sought and invited her 
to visit her. So she came to her with Badi'a al-Jamal and my 
mother suckled the child, who with her mother tarried with us in 
the garden two months. And before wending her ways the 
mother of Badi'a al-Jamal gave my mother somewhat, 3 saying : 
When thou hast need of me, I will come to thee a middlemost the 

1 i.e. Tuesday. See vol. iii, 249. 

2 Because being a Jinniyah the foster-sister could have come to her and saved her from 
old maidenhood. 

3 Arab. " Hajah " properly a needful thing. This consisted according to the Bresl. 
Edit, of certain perfumes, by burning which she could summon the Queen of the Jinn. 

A If Laylah wa 

garden, and departed to her own land ; but she and her daughter 
used to visit us every year and abide with us awhile before return- 
ing home. Wherefore an I were with my mother, O Sayf al- 
Muluk, and if thou wert with me in my own country and Badi'a 
al-Jamal and I were together as of wont, I would devise some 
device with her to bring thee to thy desire of her : but I am here 
and they know naught of me ; for that an they kenned what is 
become of me, they have power to deliver me from this place ; 
however, the matter is in Allah's hands (extolled and exalteth be 
He !) and what can I do ? " Quoth Sayf al-Muluk, " Rise and let us 
flee and go whither the Almighty willeth ; J> but, quoth she, " We 
cannot do that : for, by Allah, though we fled hence a year's 
journey that accursed would overtake us in an hour and slaughter 
us." Then said the Prince, " I will hide myself in his way, and 
when he passeth by I will smite him with the sword and slay 
him." Daulat Khatun replied, "Thou canst not succeed in 
slaying him save thou slay his soul/* Asked he, " And where is 
his soul ? " ; and she answered, " Many a time have I questioned 
him thereof but he would not tell me, till one day I pressed him 

and he waxed wroth with me and said to me : How often wilt 

thou ask me of my soul ? What hast thou to do with my soul ? 

I rejoined : O Hatim, 1 there remaineth none to me but thou, 

except Allah ; and my life dependeth on thy life and whilst thou 
livest, all is well for me ; so, except I care for thy soul and set it 
in the apple of this mine eye, how shall I live in thine absence ? 
An I knew where thy soul abideth, I would never cease whilst I live, to 
hold it in mine embrace and would keep it as my right eye. Where- 
upon said he to me : What time I was born, the astrologers pre- 
dicted that I should lose my soul at the hands of the son of a king 
of mankind. So I took it and set it in the crop of a sparrow, 
and shut up the bird in a box. The box I set in a casket, and 
enclosing this in seven other caskets and seven chests, laid the 
whole in a alabastrine coffer, 2 which I buried within the marge of 
yon earth-circling sea ; for that these parts are far from the world 
of men and none of them can win hither. So now see I have told 
thee what thou wouldst know, and do thou tell none thereof, for 

it is a secret between me and thee." And Shahrazad perceived 

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

1 Probably used in its sense of a "black crow." The Bresl. Edit, (iv, 261). ha* 
" Khatim " (seal-ring) which is but one of its almost innumerable misprints. 
* Here it is called ' Tabik " and afterwards " Tabut." 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a al-Jamal. 351 

Ct to $0 >eben f^utrtreti anfc SbtbentfetJ jNTlgSt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Daulat Khatun acquainted Sayf al-Muluk with the whereabouts 
of the soul of the Jinni who had carried her off and repeated to him 
his speech ending with, "And this is a secret between me and 
thee ! " "I rejoined," quoth she : To whom should I tell it, 
seeing that none but thou cometh hither with whom I may talk 
thereof?" adding, " By Allah, thou hast indeed set thy soul in the 
strongest of strongholds to which none may gain access ! How 
should a man win to it, unless the impossible be fore-ordained and 
Allah decree like as the astrologers predicted ? " Thereupon the 
Jinni : Peradventure one may come, having on his finger the seal- 
ring of Solomon son of David (on the twain be peace !) and lay 
his hand with the ring on the face of the water, saying : By the 
virtue of the names engraven upon this ring, let the soul of such 
an one come forth ! Whereupon the coffer will rise to the surface 
and he will break it open and do the like with the chests and 
caskets, till he come to the little box, when he will take out the 
sparrow and strangle it, and I shall die/' Then said Sayf al- 
Muluk, " I am the King's son of whom he spake, and this is the 
ring of Solomon David-son on my finger : so rise, let us go 
down to the sea-shore and see if his words be leal or leasing ! " 
Thereupon the two walked down to the sea-shore and the Princess 
stood on the beach, whilst the Prince waded into the water to his 
Waist and laying his hand with the ring on the surface of the sea, 
said, "By the virtue of the names and talismans engraven on this 
ring, and by the might of Sulayman bin Daud (on whom be 
the Peace !), let the soul of Hatim the Jinni, son of the Blue 
King, come forth ! " Whereat the sea boiled in billows and the 
coffer of alabaster rose to the surface. Sayf al-Muluk took it 
and shattered it against the rock and broke open the chests and 
caskets, till he came to the little box and drew thereout the 
sparrow. Then the twain returned to the castle and sat down 
on the throne ; but hardly had they done this, when lo and behold ! 
there arose a dust-cloud terrifying and some huge thing 1 came 
flying and crying, " Spare me, O King's son, and slay me not ; 
but make me thy freedman, and I will bring thee to thy desire ! " 
Quoth Daulat Khatun, " The Jinni cometh ; slay the sparrow, 
lest this accursed enter the palace and take it from thee and 

352 A If Laylah wa Laylaft. 

slaughter me and slaughter thee after me.' So the Prince wrung 
the sparrow's neck and it died, whereupon the Jinni fell down at 
the palace-door and became a heap of black ashes. Then said 
Daulat Khatun, " We are delivered from the hand of yonder 
accursed ; what shall we do now ? "; and Sayf al-Muluk replied, 
" It behoveth us to ask aid of Allah Almighty who hath afflicted 
us; belike He will direct us and help us to escape from this our 
strait." So saying, he arose and pulling up * half a score of the 
doors of the palace, which were of sandal-wood and lign-aloes with 
nails of gold and silver, bound them together with ropes of silk 
and floss 2 -silk and fine linen and wrought of them a raft, which he 
and the Princess aided each other to hale down to the sea-shore. 
They launched it upon the water till it floated and, making it fast 
to the beach, returned to the palace, whence they removed all the 
chargers of gold and saucers of silver and jewels and precious 
stones and metals and what else was light of load and weighty of 
worth and freighted the raft therewith. Then they embarked after 
fashioning two pieces of wood into the likeness of paddles and 
casting off the rope-moorings, let the raft drift out to sea with 
them, committing themselves to Allah the Most High, who con- 
tenteth those that put their trust in Him and disappointeth not them 
who rely upon Him. They ceased not faring on thus four months 
until their victual was exhausted and their sufferings waxed severe 
and their souls were straitened ; so they prayed Allah to vouchsafe 
them deliverance from that danger. But all this time when they 
lay down to sleep, Sayf al-Muluk set Daulat Khatun behind him 
and laid a naked brand at his back, so that, when he turned in 
sleep the sword was between them. 3 At last it chanced one night, 

1 i.e. raising from the lower hinge-pins. See vol. ii 214. 

2 Arab. Abrfsam or Ibrisam (from Persian Abrisham or Ibrlsham) = raw silk or 
floss, i.e. untwisted silk. 

3 This knightly practice, evidently borrowed from the East, appears in many romances 
of chivalry e.g. When Sir Tristran is found by King Mark asleep beside Ysonde (Isentt) 
with drawn sword between them, the former cried : 

Gif they weren in sinne 

Nought so they no lay. 
And we are told : 

Sir Amys and the lady bright 

To bed gan they go ; 
And when they weren in bed laid, 
Sir Amys his sword out-brayed 
And held it between them two. 

This occurs in the old French romance of Amys and Amyloun which is taken into the 

Sayf al-Muluk and Badia al-Jamal. 353 

when Sayf al-Muluk was asleep and Daulat Khatun awake, that 
behold, the raft drifted landwards and entered a port wherein were 
ships. The Princess saw the ships and heard a man, he being the 
chief and head of the captains, talking with the sailors ; whereby 
she knew that this was the port of some city and that they were 
come to an inhabited country. So she joyed with exceeding joy 
and waking the Prince said to him, "Ask the captain the name of 
the city and harbour." Thereupon Sayf al-Muluk arose and said 
to the captain, "O my brother, how is this harbour hight and 
what be the names of yonder city and its King ? " Replied the 
Captain, " O false face I 1 O frosty beard ! an thou knew not the 
name of this port and city, how earnest thou hither ? " Quoth 
Sayf al-Muluk, " I am a stranger and had taken passage in a 
merchant ship which was wrecked and sank with all on board ; but 
I saved myself on a plank and made my way hither; wherefore I 
asked thee the name of the place, and in asking is no offence." 
Then said the captain, " This is the city of 'Amariyah and this 
harbour is called Kami'n al-Bahrayn." 2 When the Princess heard 
this she rejoiced with exceeding joy and said, " Praised be Allah ! " 
He asked, "What is to do?"; and she answered, "O Sayf al- 
Muluk, rejoice in succour near hand ; for the King of this city is 

my uncle, my father's brother. And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

to&en it tons t&e Sbeben f^untalf anfc 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that 
Daulat Khatun said to Sayf al-Muluk, " Rejoice in safety near 
hand ; for the King of this city is my uncle, my father's brother 

tale of the Ravens in the Seven Wise Masters where Ludovic personates his friend 
Alexander in marrying the King of Egypt's daughter and sleeps every night with a bare 
blade between him and the bride. See also Aladdin and his lamp. An Englishman 
remarked, " The drawn sword would be little hindrance to a man and maid coming 
together." The drawn sword represented only the Prince's honour. 

1 Arab. "Ya Saki' al-Wajh," which Lane translates by "lying " or "liar." 

2 Kamin (in Bresl. Edit. " bayn " between) Al-Bahrayn =. Ambuscade or lurking- 
place of the two seas. The name of the city in Lane is " 'Emareeych '* imaginary but 
derived from Emarch ('imarah) =. being populous. Trebutien (ii. 161) takes from Bresl. 
Edit. " Amar " and translates the port-name, " le lieu de refuge des deux mers." 


354 Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

and his name is ' Ali al-Muluk," * adding, " Say thou then to the 
captain : Is the Sultan of the city, Ali al-Muluk, well ?" He asked 
but the captain was wroth with him and cried, " Thou sayest : I 
am a stranger and never in my life came hither. Who then told 
thee the name of the lord of the city ? " When Daulat Khatun 
heard this, she rejoiced and knew him for Mu'in al-Dfn, 2 one of her 
father's captains. Now he had fared forth in search of her, after 
she was lost and rinding her not, he never ceased cruising till he 
came to her uncle's city. Then she bade Sayf al-Muluk say to 
him, "O Captain Mu'in al-Din, come and speak with thy 
mistress ! " So he called out to him as she bade, whereat he was 
wroth with exceeding wrath and answered, " O dog, O thief, O 
spy, who art thou and how knowest thou me ? " Then he said to 
one of the sailors, " Give me an ash 3 -stave, that I may go to 
yonder plaguing Arab and break his head." So he took the 
stick and made for Sayf al-Muluk, but, when he came to the raft, 
he saw a something, wondrous, beauteous, which confounded his 
wits and considering it straitly he made sure that it was Daulat 
Khatun sitting there, as she were a slice of the moon ; whereat he 
said to the Prince, "Who is that with thee?" Replied he, "A 
damsel by name Daulat Khatun."' When the captain heard the 
Princess's name and knew that she was his mistress and the 
daughter of his King, he fell down in a fainting-fit, and when he 
came to himself, he left the raft and whatso was thereon and 
riding up to the palace, craved an audience of the King ; where- 
upon the chamberlain went in to the presence and said, " Captain 
Mu'in al-Din is come to bring thee good news ; so bid he be 
brought in." The King bade admit him ; accordingly he entered 
and kissing ground 4 said to him, " O King, thou owest me a gift 
for glad tidings ; for thy brother's daughter Daulat Khatun hath 
reached our city safe and sound, and is now on a raft in the 
harbour, in company with a young man like the moon on the 
night of its full/' When the King heard this, he rejoiced and 
conferred a costly robe of honour on the captain. Then he 

* i.e. "High of (among) the Kings." Lane proposes to read 'Ali al-Mulk =high in 

2 Pronounce MuMnuddeen = Aider of the Faith. The Bresl. Edit. (iv. 266) also 
teads " Mu'in al-Riyasah "= Mu'in of the Captaincies. 

3 Arab. Shum a tough wood used for the staves with which donkeys are driven Sir 
Gardner Wilkinson informed Lane that it is the ash. 

* In Persian we find the fuller metaphorical form, " kissing the ground of obedience,*' 

Sayf al-Muluk and Badta al-Jamal. 35$ 

straightway bade decorate the city in honour of the safe return of 
his brother's daughter, and sending for her and Sayf al-Muluk, 
saluted the twain and gave them joy of their safety ; after which 
he despatched a messenger to his brother, to let him know that 
his daughter was found and was with him. As soon as the news 
reached Taj al-Muluk he gat him ready and assembling his troops 
set out for his brother's capital, where he found his daughter and 
they rejoiced with exceeding joy. He sojourned with his brother 
a week, after which he took his daughter and Sayf al-Muluk and 
returned to Sarandib, where the Princess foregathered with her 
mother and they rejoiced at her safe return ; and held high festival 
and that day was a great day, never was seen its like. As for 
Sayf al-Muluk, the King entreated him with honour and said to 
him, " O Sayf al-Muluk, thou hast done me and my daughter all 
this good for which I cannot requite thee nor can any requite 
thee, save the Lord of the three Worlds ; but I wish thee to sit 
upon the throne in my stead and rule the land of Hind, for I offer 
thee of my throne and kingdom and treasures and servants, all 
this in free gift to thee." Whereupon Sayf al-Muluk rose and 
kissing the ground before the King, thanked him and answered, 
" O King of the Age, I accept all thou givest me and return it to 
thee in freest gift : for I, O King of the Age, covet not sovranty 
nor sultanate nor desire aught but that Allah the Most High 
bring me to my desire." Rejoined the King, " O Sayf al-Muluk 
these my treasures are at thy disposal : take of them what thou 
\vilt, without consulting me, and Allah requite thee for me with all 
weal ! " Quoth the Prince, " Allah advance the King ! There is 
no delight for me in .money or in dominion till I win my wish : 
but now I have a mind to solace myself in the city and view its 
thoroughfares and market-streets/' So the King bade bring him 
a mare of the thoroughbreds, saddled and bridled ; and Sayf 
al-Muluk mounted her and rode through the streets and markets 
of the city. As he looked about him right and left, lo ! his eyes 
fell on a young man, who was carrying a tunic and crying it for 
sale at fifteen dinars : so he considered him and saw him to be 
like his brother Sa'id ; and indeed it was his very self, but he was 
wan of blee and changed for long strangerhood and the travails of 
travel, so that he knew him not. However, he said to his 
attendants, " Take yonder youth and carry him to the palace 
where I lodge, and keep him with you till my return from the 
ride when I will question him." But they understood him 

3 $6 A If Layla/i wa Laylah. 

to say, " Carry him to the prison/' and said in themselves 
" Haply this is some runaway Mameluke of his." So they 
took him and bore him to the bridewell, where they laid him 
in irons and left him seated in solitude, unremembered by 
any. Presently Sayf al-Muluk returned to the palace, but he 
forgot his brother Sa'id, and none made mention of him. 
So he abode in prison, and when they brought out the 
prisoners, to cut ashlar from the quarries they took Sa'id with 
them, and he wrought with the rest. He abode a month's 
space, in this squalor and sore sorrow, pondering his case and 
saying in himself, " What is the cause of my imprisonment ? "; 
while Sayf al-Muluk's mind was diverted from him by rejoicing 
and other things ; but one day, as he sat, he bethought him of 
Sa'id and said to his Mamelukes, " Where is the white slave I 
gave into your charge on such a day ? " Quoth they, " Didst thou 
not bid us bear him to the bridewell ? "; and quoth he, " Nay I 
said not so ; I bade you carry him to my palace after the ride." 
Then he sent his Chamberlains and Emirs for Sa'id and they 
fetched him in fetters, and loosing him from his irons set him 
before the Prince, who asked him, " O young man, what country- 
man art thou ? "; and he answered, " I am from Egypt and my 
name is Sa'id, son of Paris the Wazir." Now hearing these words 
Sayf al-Muluk sprang to his feet and throwing himself off the 
throne and upon his friend, hung on his neck, weeping aloud for 
very joy and saying, " O my brother, O Sa'id, praise be Allah for 
that I see thee alive ! I am thy brother Sayf al-Muluk, son of 
King Asim." Then they embraced and shed tears together and 
all who were present marvelled at them, After this Sayf al-Muluk 
bade his people bear Sa'id to the Hammam-bath : and they did so. 
When he came out, they clad him in costly clothing and carried 
him back to Sayf al-Muluk who seated him on the throne beside 
himself, When King Taj al-Muluk heard of the reunion of Sayf 
al-Muluk and his brother Sa'id, he joyed with joy exceeding and 
came to them, and the three sat devising of all that had befallen 
them in the past from first to last. Then said Sa'id : O my 
brother, O Sayf al-Muluk, when the ship sank with all on board 
I saved myself on a plank with a company of Mamelukes and it 
drifted with us a whole month, when the wind cast us, by the 
ordinance of Allah Almighty, upon an island. So we landed and 
entering among the trees took to eating of the fruits, for we were 
anhungred. Whilst we were busy eating, there fell on us unawares, 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a al-Jamal. 357 

folk like Ifrits J and springing on our shoulders rode us 2 and said 
to us, " Go on with us ; for ye are become our asses." So I said 
to him who had mounted me, " What art thou and why mountest 
thou me ? " At this he twisted one of his legs about my neck, till 
I was all but dead, and beat upon my back the while with the 
other leg, till I thought he had broken my backbone. So I fell to 
the ground on my face, having no strength left in me for famine 
and thirst. From my fall he knew that I was hungry and taking 
me by the hand, led me to a tree laden with fruit which was a 
pear-tree 3 and said to me, " Eat thy fill of this tree." So I ate 
till I had enough and rose to walk against my will ; but, ere I had 
fared afar the creature turned and leaping on my shoulders again 
drove me on, now walking, now running 1 and now trotting, and he 
the while mounted on me, laughing and saying, " Never in my 
life saw I a donkey like unto thee ! " We abode thus for years 
till, one day of the days, it chanced that we saw there great plenty 
of vines, covered with ripe fruit ; so we gathered a quantity of 
grape-bunches and throwing them into a pit, trod them with our 
feet, till the pit became a great water-pool. Then we waited 
awhile and presently returning thither, found that the sun had 
wroughten on the grape-juice and it was become wine. So we 
used to drink it till we were drunken and our faces flushed and 
we fell to singing and dancing and running about in the merriment 
of drunkenness 4 ; whereupon our masters said to us, ' What is it 
that reddeneth your faces and maketh you dance and sing?" 
We replied, " Ask us not, what is your quest in questioning us 
hereof ? " But they insisted, saying, " You must tell us so that 
we may know the truth of the case," till we told them how we 

1 For the Shaykh of the Sea(-board) in Sindbad the Seaman see vol. vi. 50. 

2 That this riding is a facetious exaggeration of the African practice I find was 
guessed by Mr. Keightley. 

3 Arab. "Kummasra": the root seems to be " Kamsara " = being slender or 

4 Lane translates, "by reason of the exhilaration produced by intoxication." But 
the Arabic here has no assonance. The passage also alludes to the drunken habits of 
those blameless Ethiopians, the races of Central Africa where, after midday a chief is 
rarely if ever found sober. We hear much about drink in England but Englishmen are 
mere babes compared with these stalwart Negroes. In Unyamwezi I found all the 
standing bedsteads of pole-sleepers and bark-slabs disposed at an angle of about 20 degrees 
for the purpose of draining off the huge pottle-fulls of Pombe (Osirian beer) drained 
by the occupants ; and, comminxit lectum pot us might be said of the whole male 

358 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

had pressed grapes and made wine. Quoth they, " Give us to 
drink thereof"; but quoth we, "The grapes are spent." So they 
brought us to a Wady, whose length we knew not from its breadth 
nor its beginning from its end wherein were vines each bunch of 
grapes on them weighing twenty pounds * by the scale and all 
within easy reach, and they said, " Gather of these." So we 
gathered a mighty great store of grapes and finding there a big 
trench bigger than the great tank in the King's garden we filled 
it full of fruit. This we trod with our feet and did with the juice 
as before till it became strong wine, which it did after a month ; 
whereupon we said to them, " 'Tis come to perfection ; but in 
what will ye drink it ? " And they replied, " We had asses like 
unto you ; but we ate them and kept their heads : so give us to 
drink in their skulls." We went to their caves which we found 
full of heads and bones of the Sons of Adam , and we gave 
them to drink, when they became drunken and lay down, nigh 
two hundred of them. Then we said to one another, " Is 't not 
enough that they should ride us, but they must eat us also ? 
There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the 
Glorious, the Great ! But we will ply them with wine, till they 
are overcome by drunkenness, when we will slay them and be at 
rest from them." Accordingly, we awoke them and fell to filling 
the skulls and gave them to drink, but they said, " This is 
bitter." We replied, " Why say ye 'tis bitter ? Whoso saith thus, 
except he drink of it ten times, he dieth the same day." When 
they heard this, they feared death and cried to us, " Give us to 
drink the whole ten times." So we gave them to drink, and 
when they had swallowed the rest of the ten draughts they waxed 
drunken exceedingly and their strength failed them and they 
availed not to mount us. Thereupon we dragged them together 
by their hands and laying them one upon another, collected great 
plenty of dry vine-stalks and branches and heaped it about and 
upon them : then we set fire to the pile and stood afar off, to see 

what became of them. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn 

of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

1 This is not exaggerated. When at Hebron I saw the biblical spectacle of two men 
carrying a huge bunch slung to a pole, not so much for the weight as to keep the grapes 
from injury. 

Sayf al-Miiluk and Bad? a al-Jamal. 359 

fojjen it foas t&c &eben f^un&reft airt &bentg-secon& Nt 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sa'id 
continued : When we set fire to the pile wherein were the Ghuls, 
I with the Mamelukes stood afar off to see what became of them ; 
and, as soon the fire was burnt out, we came back and found 
them a heap of ashes, wherefore we praised Allah Almighty who 
had delivered us from them. Then we went forth about the 
island and sought the sea-shore, where we parted and I and two of 
the Mamelukes fared on till we came to a thick copse full of fruit 
and there busied ourselves with eating, and behold, presently up 
came a man tall of stature long of beard and lengthy of ear, 
with eyes like cressets driving before him and feeding a great 
flock of sheep;i When he saw us he rejoiced and said to us, 
44 Well come, and fair welcome to you ! Draw near me that I 
may slaughter you an ewe of these sheep and roast it and give 
you to eat." Quoth we, " Where is thine abode ? " And quoth 
he, " Hard by yonder mountain ; go on towards it till ye come 
to a cave and enter therein, for you will see many guests like 
yourselves ; and do ye sit with them, whilst we make ready for 
you the guest-meal." We believed him so fared on, as he bade 
us, till we came to the cavern, where we found many guests, Sons 
of Adam like ourselves, but they were all blinded 2 ; and when 
we entered, one said, " I'm sick " ; and another, " I'm weak." So 
we cried to them, "What is this you say and what is the cause 
of your sickness and weakness ? " They asked, " Who are 
ye ? " ; and we answered, " We are guests." Then said they, 
" What hath made you fall into the hands of yonder accursed ? 
But there is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the 
Glorious, the Great ? This is a Ghul who devoureth the Sons of 
Adam and he hath blinded us and meaneth to eat us." Said 

1 The Mac. and Bui. Edits, add, " and with him a host of others after his kind " ; 
but these words are omitted by the Bresl. Edit, and apparently from the sequel there 
was only one Ghul-giant. 

2 Probably alluding to the most barbarous Persian practice of plucking or (earing 
out the eyes from their sockets. See Sir John Malcolm's description of the capture of 
Kirman and Morier (in Zohrab, the hostage) for the wholesale blinding of the 
Asterabadian by the Eunuch-King Agha Mohammed Shah. I may note that the 
mediaeval Italian practice called bacinan, or scorching with red-hot basins, came from 

360 A If Laylah wa Lay la ft. 

we, "And how did he blind you ?" and they replied, " Even as 
he will blind yourselves anon." Quoth we, " And how so ? " 
And quoth they, " He will bring you bowls of soured milk * and 
will say to you : Ye are weary with wayfare : take this milk and 
drink it. And when ye have drunken thereof, ye will become 
blind like us." Said I to myself, " There is no escape for us but 
by contrivance." So I dug a hole in the ground and sat over it. 
After an hour or so in came the accursed Ghul with bowls of 
milk, whereof he gave to each of us, saying, " Ye come from the 
desert and are athirst : so take this milk and drink it, whilst I 
roast you the flesh." I took the cup and carried it to my mouth but 
emptied it into the hole ; then I cried out, " Alas ! my sight is 
gone and I am blind ! " and clapping my hand to my eyes, fell 
a-weeping and a-wailing, whilst the accursed laughed and said, 
" Fear not, thou art now become like mine other guests." But, 
as for my two comrades, they drank the milk and became blind. 
Thereupon the Ghul arose and stopping up the mouth of the 
cavern came to me and felt my ribs, but found me lean and with 
no flesh on my bones : so he tried another and finding him fat, 
rejoiced. Then he slaughtered three sheep and skinned them and 
fetching iron spits, spitted the flesh thereon and set them over the 
fire to roast. When the meat was done, he placed it before my 
comrades, who ate and he with them ; after which he brought a 
leather-bag full of wine and drank thereof and lay down prone 
and snored. Said I to myself, " He's drowned in sleep : how 
shall I slay him ?" Then I bethought me of the spits and 
thrusting two of them into the fire, waited till they were as red- 
hot coals : whereupon I arose and girded myself and taking a 
spit in each hand went up to the accursed Ghul and thrust them 
into his eyes, pressing upon them with all my might. He sprang to 
his feet for sweet life and would have laid hold of me ; but he was 
blind. So I fled from him into the inner cavern, whilst he ran after 
me ; but I found no place of refuge from him nor whence I might 
escape into the open country, for the cave was stopped up with 
stones ; wherefore I was bewildered and said to the blind men,, 
" How shall I do with this accursed ? " Replied one of them, " O Sa'id , 

1 Arab. "Laban" as opposed to "Halfb": in Night dcclxxiv (infra p. 365) the 
former is used for sweet milk, and other passages could be cited. I have noted that all 
galaktophagi, or milk-drinking races, prefer the artificially soured to the sweet, choosing the 
fermentation to take place outside rather than inside their stomachs. Amongst the Sonial 
I never saw man, woman or child drink a drop of fresh milk ; and they offered consider- 
able opposition to our heating it for coffee. 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a al-Jamal. 361 

with a run and a spring mount up to yonder niche ! and thou wilt 
find there a sharpened scymitarof copper : bring it to me and I will 
tell thee what to do/' So I clombed to the niche and taking the 
blade, returned to the blind man, who said to me, " Smite him 
with the sword in his middle, and he will die forthright." So I 
rushed after the Ghul, who was weary with running after me and 
felt for the blind men that he might kill them and, coming up to 
him smote him with the sword a single stroke across his waist 
and he fell in twain. Then he screamed and cried out to me, " O 
marx, an thou desire to slay me, strike me a second stroke." 
Accordingly, I was about to smite him another cut ; but he who 
had directed me to the niche and the scymitar said, " Smite him 
not a second time, for then he will not die, but will live and 

destroy us." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

fojjen ft foas tfje 

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sa'id 
continued : Now when I struck the Ghul with the sword he 
cried out to me, " O man, an thou desire to slay me, strike me a 
second stroke !" I was about so to do when he who had directed 
me to the scymitar said, " Smite him not a second time, for 
then he will not die but will live and destroy us ! " So I held my 
hand as he bade me, and the Ghul died. Then said the blind 
man to me, " Open the mouth of the cave and let us fare forth ; so 
haply Allah may help us and bring us to rest from this place." 
And I said, " No harm can come to us now ; let us rather 
abide here and repose and eat of these sheep and drink of this 
wine, for long is the land. Accordingly we tarried there two 
months, eating of the sheep and of the fruits of the island and 
drinking the generous grape-juice till it so chanced one day, as we 
sat upon the beach, we caught sight of a ship looming large in 
the distance ; so we made signs for the crew and holla'd to them. 
They feared to draw near, knowing that the island was inhabited 
by a Ghul 2 who ate Adamites, and would have sheered off; but 

1 Arab. Tdkah not " an aperture " as Lane has it, but an arched hollow in the wall. 

2 In Tre'butien (ii, 168) the cannibal is called " Goul Eli-Fenioun " and Von Hammer 
remarks, " There is no need of such likeness of name to prove that all this episode is a 
manifest imitation of the adventures of Ulysses in Polyphemus' cave ; * * * and this 
induces the belief that the Arabs have been acquainted with the poems of Homer." 

362 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

we ran down to the marge of the sea and made signs to them, 
with our turband-ends and shouted to them, whereupon one of the 
sailors, who was sharp of sight, said to the rest, " Harkye, 
comrades, I see these men formed like ourselves, for they have 
not the fashion of Ghuls." So they made for us, little by little, 
till they drew near us in the dinghy 1 and were certified that we 
were indeed human beings, when they saluted us and we returned 
their salam and gave them the glad tidings of the slaying of the 
accursed, wherefore they thanked us. Then we carried to the 
ship all that was in the cave of stuffs and sheep and treasure, to- 
gether with a viaticum of the island-fruits, such as should serve us 
days and months, and embarking, sailed on with a fair breeze 
three days ; at the end of which the wind veered round against 
us and the air became exceeding dark ; nor had an hour passed 
before the wind drave the craft on to a rock, where it broke up 
and its planks were torn asunder. 2 However, the Great God 
decreed that I should lay hold of one of the planks, which I 
bestrode, and it bore me along two days, for the wind had fallen 
fair again, and I paddled with my feet awhile, till Allah the 
Most High brought me safe ashore and I landed and came to this 
city, where I found myself a stranger, solitary, friendless, not 
knowing what to do ; for hunger was sore upon me and I was in 
great tribulation. Thereupon I, O my brother, hid myself and 
pulling off this my tunic, carried it to the market, saying in my 
mind, " I will sell it and live on its price, till Allah accomplish to 
me whatso he will accomplish." Then I took the tunic in my 
hand and cried it for sale, and the folk were looking at it and 
bidding for it, when, O my brother, thou earnest by and seeing me 
commandedst me to the palace ; but thy pages arrested and thrust 
me into the prison and there I abode till thou bethoughtest thee 
of me and badst bring me before thee. So now I have told thee 
what befel me, and Alhamdolillah Glorified be God for reunion ! 
Much marvelled the two Kings at Sa'id's tale and Taj al-Muluk 

Living intimately with the Greeks they could not have ignored the Iliad and the Odyssey : 
indeed we know by tradition that they had translations, now apparently lost. I cannot 
however, accept Lane's conjecture that "the story of Ulysses and Polyphemus may 
have been of Eastern origin." Possibly the myth came from Egypt, for I have shown 
that the opening of the Iliad bears a suspicious likeness to the proem of Pentavu's 

1 Arab. Shakhtur. 

2 In the Bresl. Edit, the ship is not wrecked but lands Sa'id in safety. 

Sayf al-Muluk and Badi'a al-Jamal. 363 

having made ready a goodly dwelling for Sayf al-Muluk and his 
Wazir, Daulat Khatun used to visit the Prince there and thank 
him for his favours and talk with him. One day, he met her and 
said to her, " O my lady, where is the promise thou madest me> 
in the palace of Japhet son of Noah, saying : Were I with my 
people, I would make shift to bring thee to thy desire ? " And 
Sa'id said to her, " O Princess, I crave thine aid to enable him to 
win his will." Answered she, " Yea, verily ; I will do my 
endeavour for him, that he may attain his aim, if it please Allah 
Almighty." And she turned to Sayf al-Muluk and said to him, 
" Be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear." Then she 
rose and going in to her mother, said to her, " Come with me 
forthright and let us purify ourselves an'd make fumigations 1 that 
Badi'a al-Jamal and her mother may come and see me and rejoice 
in me." Answered the Queen, " With love and goodly gree ; " 
and rising, betook herself to the garden and burnt off these 
perfumes which she always had by her ; nor was it long before 
Badi'a al-Jamal and her mother made their appearance. The 
Queen of Hind foregathered with the other Queen and acquainted 
her with her daughter's safe return, whereat she rejoiced ; and 
Badi'a al-Jamal and Daulat Khatun foregathered likewise and 
rejoiced in each other. Then they pitched the pavilions 2 and 
dressed dainty viands and made ready the place of entertainment ; 
whilst the two Princesses withdrew to a tent apart and ate together 
and drank and made merry ; after which they sat down to converse, 
and Badi'a al-Jamal said, " What hath befallen thee in thy stranger- 
hood ? " Replied Daulat Khatun, " O my sister how sad is severance 
and how gladsome is reunion ; ask me not what hath befallen me ! 
Oh, what hardships mortals suffer ! " cried she, " How so ? " and 
the other said to her, " O my sister, I was inmured in the High- 
builded Castle of Japhet son of Noah, whither the son of the Blue 
King carried me off till Sayf al-Muluk slew the Jinni and brought 
me back to my sire ; " and she told her to boot all that the Prince 
had undergone of hardships and horrors before he came to the 
Castle. 3 Badi'a al-Jamal marvelled at her tale and said, " By 
Allah, O my sister, this is the most wondrous of wonders ! This 

1 So in the Shah-nameh the Si'murgh-bird gives one of her feathers to her protege Zal 
which he will throw into the fire when she is wanted. 

2 Bresl. Edit. Al-Zardakhanat Arab. plur. of Zarad-Khdnah, a bastard word=armoury, 
from Arab. Zarad (hauberk) and Pers. Khanah = house etc. 

3 Some retrenchment was here found necessary to avoid " damnable iteration." 

364 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Sayf al-Muluk is indeed a man ! But why did he leave his father 
and mother and betake himself to travel and expose himself to 
these perils ? " Quoth Daulat Khatun, " I have a mind to tell thee 
the first part of his history ; but shame of thee hindereth me there- 
from. " Quoth Badi'a al-Jamal, " Why shouldst thou have shame 
of me, seeing that thou art my sister and my bosom-friend and 
there is muchel a matter between thee and me and I know thou 
wiliest me naught but well ? Tell me then what thou hast to say 
and be not abashed at me and hide nothing from me and have 
no fear of consequences." Answered Daulat Khatun, " By Allah, 
all the calamities that have betided this unfortunate have been on 
thine account and because of thee ! " Asked Badi'a al-Jamal, 
" How so, O my sister ? " ; and the other answered, " Know that 
he saw thy portrait wrought on a tunic which thy father sent to 
Solomon son of David (on the twain be peace !) and he opened it 
not neither looked at it, but despatched it, with other presents and 
rarities to Asim bin Safwan, King of Egypt, who gave it, still 
unopened, to his son Sayf al-Muluk. The Prince unfolded the 
tunic, thinking to put it on, and seeing thy portrait, became 
enamoured of it ; wherefore he came forth in quest of thee, and 
left his folk and reign and suffered all these terrors and hardships 

on thine account." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fojjnx ft foas t&e &*bcn ^tmfcrrtr anfc &>tbnup-fourt& Nifijt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Daulat 
Khatun related to Badi'a al-Jamal the first part of Sayf al-Muluk's 
history ; how his love for her was caused by the tunic whereon 
her presentment was wrought ; how he went forth, passion-dis- 
traught, in quest of her ; how he forsook his people and his king- 
dom for her sake and how he had suffered all these terrors and 
hardships on her account. When Badi'a al-Jamal heard this, she 
blushed rosy red and was confounded at Daulat Khatun and said, 
"Verily this may never, never be; for man accordeth not with 
the Jann." Then Daulat Khatun went on to praise Sayf al- 
Muluk and extol his comliness and courage and cavalarice, and 
ceased not repeating her memories of his prowess and his ex- 
cellent qualities till she ended with saying, "For the sake of 
Almighty Allah and of me, O sister mine, come and speak with 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a al-Jamal. 365 

him, though but one word ! >: But Badi'a al-Jamal cried, " By 
Allah, O sister mine, this that thou sayest I will not hear, neither 
will I assent to thee therein ; " and it was as if she heard naught 
of what the other said and as if no love of Sayf al-Muluk and his 
beauty and bearing and bravery had gotten hold upon her heart. 
Then Daulat Khatun humbled herself and said, " O Badi'a al- 
Jamal, by the milk we have sucked, I and thou, and by that 
which is graven on the seal-ring of Solomon (on whom be peace !) 
hearken to these my words for I pledged myself in the High- 
builded Castle of Japhet, to show him thy face. So Allah upon 
thee, show it to him once, for the love of me, and look thyself on 
him ! " And she ceased not to weep and implore her and kiss her 
hands and feet, till she consented and said, " For thy sake I will 
show him my face once and he shall have a single glance." With 
that Daulat Khatun's heart was gladdened and she kissed her 
hands and feet. Then she went forth and fared to the great 
pavilion in the garden and bade her slave-women spread it with 
carpets and set up a couch of gold and place the wine-vessels in 
order ; after which she went into Sayf al-Muluk and to his Wazir 
Sa'id, whom she found seated in their lodging, and gave the Prince 
the glad tidings of the winning of his wish, saying, " Go to the 
pavilion in the garden, thou and thy brother, and hide yourselves 
there from the eyes of men so none in the palace may espy you, till 
I come to you with Badi'a al-Jamal." So they rose and repaired to 
the appointed pavilion, where they found the couch of gold set and 
furnished with cushions, and meat and wine ready served. So they 
sat awhile, whilst Sayf al-Muluk bethought him of his beloved and 
his breast was straitened and love and longing assailed him : 
wherefore he rose and walked forth from the vestibule of the 
pavilion. Sa'id would have followed him, but he said to him, " O 
my brother, follow me not, but sit in thy stead till I return to 
thee." So Sa'id abode seated, whilst Sayf al-Muluk went down 
into the garden, drunken with the wine of desire and distracted for 
excess of love-longing and passion-fire : yearning agitated him 
and transport overcame him and he recited these couplets : 

O passing Fair * I have none else but thee ; o Pity this slave in thy 

love's slavery ! 
Thou art my search, my joy and my desire 1 o None save thyself shall 

love this heart of me : 

1 i.t. Badi'a al-Jamal. 

366 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Would Heaven I knew thou knewest of my wails o Night-long and eyelids 

oped by memory. 
Bid sleep to sojourn on these eyen-lids o Haply in vision I thy sight 

shall see. 
Show favour then to one thus love-distraught : o Save him from ruin by thy 

cruelty ! 
Allah increase thy beauty and thy weal ; o And be thy ransom every 

enemy ! 
So shall on Doomsday lovers range beneath o Thy flag, and beauties 

'neath thy banner be. 

Then he wept and recited these also : 

That rarest beauty ever bides my foe o Who holds my heart and 

lurks in secresy : 
Speaking, I speak of nothing save her charms o And when I'm dumb in 

heart-core woneth she. 

Then he wept sore and recited the following : 

And in my liver higher flames the fire ; o You are my wish and long- 
some still I yearn : 

To you (none other!) bend I and I hope o (Lovers long-suffering are!) 
your grace to earn ; 

And that you pity me whose frame by Love o Is waste and weak his 
heart with sore concern : 

Relent, be gen'rous, tender-hearted, kind : o From you I'll ne'er remove, 
from you ne'er turn ! 

Then he wept and recited these also : 

Came to me care when came the love of thee, o Cruel sleep fled me like 

thy cruelty : 
Tells me the messenger that thou art wroth : o Allah forefend what evils 

told me he ! 

Presently Sa'id waxed weary of awaiting him and going forth in 
quest of him, found him walking in the garden, distraught 'and 
reciting these two couplets : 

By Allah, by th' Almighty, by his right 1 o Who read the Koran - 

Chapter "Fdtir" 2 hight ; 
Ne'er roam my glances o'er the charms I see ; o Thy grace, rare beauty, is 

my talk by night. 

1 Mohammed. 

2 Koran xxxv. " The Creator " (Fatir) or the Angels, so called from the first verse. 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad fa al-Jamai. 367 

So he joined him and the twain walked about the garden together 
solacing themselves and ate of its fruits. Such was their case ; l but 
as regards the two Princesses, they came to the pavilion and enter- 
ing therein after the eunuchs had richly furnished it, according to 
command, sat down on the couch of gold, beside which was a 
window that gave upon the garden. The castrates then set before 
them all manner rich meats and they ate, Daulat Khatun feeding 
her foster-sister by mouthfuls, 2 till she was satisfied ; when she 
called for divers kinds of sweetmeats, and when the neutrals 
brought them, they ate what they would of them and washed their 
hands. After this Daulat Khatun made ready wine and its service, 
setting on the ewers and bowls and she proceeded to crown the 
cups and give Badi'a al-Jamal to drink, filling for herself after and 
drinking in turn. Then Badi'a al-Jamal looked from the window 
into the garden and gazed upon the fruits and branches that were 
therein, till her glance fell on Sayf al-Muluk, and she saw him 
wandering about the parterres, followed by Sa'id, and she heard 
him recite verses, raining the while railing tears. And that glance 

of eyes cost her a thousand sighs, And Shahrazad perceived 

the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Jiofo fofjeh (t foaa tje &cbw f^untoefc anfc Sbefontg-fiftf) 

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Badi'a al-Jamal caught sight of Sayf al-Muluk as he wandered 
about the garden, that glance of eyes cost her a thousand sighs, 
and she turned to Daulat Khatun and said to her (and indeed the 
wine sported with her senses), " O my sister, who is that young 
man I see in the garden, distraught, love-abying, disappointed, 
sighing ? " Quoth the other, " Dost thou give me leave to bring 
him hither, that we may look on him ?"; and quoth the other, "An 
thou can avail to bring him, bring him." So Daulat Khatun 
called to him, saying, " O King's son, come up to us and bring us 
thy beauty and thy loveliness!" Sayf al-Muluk recognised her 

1 In the Bresl. Edit. (p. 263) Sayf al-Muluk drops asleep under a tree to the lulling 
sound of a Sakiyah or water-wheel, and is seen by Badi'a al-Jamal, who falls in love 
with him and drops tears upon his cheeks, etc. The scene, containing much recitation 
is long and well told. 

? Arab. " Lukmah " =a bouchte of bread, meat, fruit or pastry, and especially applied 
to the rice balled with the hand and delicately inserted into a friend's mouth. 

368 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

voice and came up into the pavilion ; but no sooner had he set 
eyes on Badi'a al-Jamal, than he fell down in a swoon ; whereupon 
Daulat Khatun sprinkled on him a little rose-water and he revived. 
Then he rose and kissed ground before Badi'a al-Jamal who was 
amazed at his beauty and loveliness; and Daulat Khatun said to 
her, " Know, O Princess, that this is Sayf al-Muluk, whose hand 
saved me by the ordinance of Allah Almighty and he it is who 
hath borne all manner burthens on thine account : wherefore I 
would have thee look upon him with favour." Hearing this Badi'a 
al-Jamal laughed and said, " And who keepeth faith, that this 
youth should do so ? For there is no true love in men." Cried 
Sayf al-Muluk, " O Princess, never shall lack of faith be in me, 
and all men are not created alike." And he wept before her and 
recited these verses : 

thou, Badf a 'l-Jama*!, show thou some clemency o To one those lovely eyes 

opprest with witchery I 
By rights of beauteous hues and tints thy cheeks combine o Of snowy white 

and glowing red anemone, 
Punish not with disdain one who is sorely sick o By long, long parting waste 

hath waxed this frame of me : 
This is my wish, my will, the end of my desire, o And Union is my hope an 

haply this may be ! 

Then he wept with violent weeping ; and love and longing got 
the mastery over him and he greeted her with these couplets : 

Peace be to you from lover's wasted love, o All noble hearts to noble favouf 

Peace be to you ! Ne'er fail your form my dreams ; o Nor hall nor chamber 

the fair sight forego ! 
Of you I'm jealous : none may name your name : o Lovers to lovers aye should 

bend thee low : 
So cut not off your grace from him who loves o While sickness wastes and 

sorrows overthrow. 

1 watch the flowery stars which frighten me j o While cark and care mine 

every night foreslow. 
Nor Patience bides with me nor plan appears : o What shall I say when 

questioned of my foe ? 
God's peace be with you in the hour of need, .o Peace sent by lover patient 

bearing woe I 

Then for the excess of his desire and ecstasy he repeated these 
couplets also : 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a al-Jamal. 369 

If I to aught save you, O lords of me, incline ; o Ne'er may I win of you 

my wish, my sole design ! 
Who doth comprise all loveliness save only you ? o Who makes the Doomsday 

dawn e'en now before these eyne ? 
Far be it Love find any rest, for I am one * Who lost for love of you 

this heart, these vitals mine. 

When he had made an end of his verses, he wept with sore weeping 
and she said to him, " O Prince, I fear to grant myself wholly to 
thee lest I find in thee nor fondness nor affection ; for oftentimes 
man's fidelity is small and his perfidy is great and thou knowest 
how the lord Solomon, son of David (on whom be the Peace!), 
took Bilkis to his love but, whenas he saw another fairer than she, 
turned from her thereto." Sayf al-Muluk replied, "O my eye and 

my soul, Allah hath not made all men alike, and I, Inshallah, 
will keep my troth and die beneath thy feet. Soon shalt thou see 
what I will do in accordance with my words, and for whatso I say 
Allah is my warrant." Quoth Badi'a al-Jamal, " Sit and be of 
good heart and swear to me by the right of thy Faith and let us 
covenant together that each will not be false to other ; and which- 
ever of us breaketh faith may Almighty Allah punish ! " At 
these words he sat down and set his hand in her hand and they 
sware each to other that neither of them would ever prefer to the 
other any one, either of man or of the Jann. Then they embraced 
for a whole hour and wept for excess of their joy, whilst passion 
overcame Sayf al-Muluk and he recited these couplets s 

1 weep for longing love's own ardency o To her who claims the heart and 

soul of me. 
And sore's my sorrow parted long from you, o And short's my arm to reach 

the prize I see ; 
And mourning grief for what my patience marred o To blarneys eye unveiled 

my secresy ; 
And waxed strait that whilome was so wide o Patience nor force remains nor 

power to dree. 
Would Heaven I knew if God will ever deign to join o Our lives, and from our 

cark and care and grief set free ! 

After this mutual troth-plighting, Sayf al-Muluk arose and walked 
in the garden and Badi'a al-Jamal arose also and went forth also 
afoot followed by a slave-girl bearing somewhat of food and a 

3/O A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

flask 1 of wine. The Princess sat down and the damsel set the 
meat and wine before her : nor remained they long ere they were 
joined by Sayf al-Muluk, who was received with greeting and the 

two embraced and sat them down. And Shahrazad perceived 

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

Nofo fo&en it foag t&e >eben ^untafc anfc >ebentg.stxtf) !tf{$t, 

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that having 
provided food and wine, Badi'a al-Jamal met Sayf al-Muluk with 
greetings, and the twain having embraced and kissed sat them 
down awhile to eat and drink. Then said she to him, " O 
King's son, thou must now go to the garden of Iram, where 
dwelleth my grandmother, and seek her consent to our marriage. 
My slave-girl Marjdnah will convey thee thither and as thou farest 
therein thou wilt see a great pavilion of red satin, lined with green 
silk. Enter the pavilion heartening thyself and thou wilt see 
inside it an ancient dame sitting on a couch of red gold set 
with pearls and jewels. Salute her with respect and courtesy; 
then look at the foot of the couch, where thou wilt descry 
a pair of sandals 2 of cloth interwoven with bars of gold, 
embroidered with jewels. Take them and kiss them and lay them 
on thy head 3 ; then put them under thy right armpit and stand 
before the old woman, in silence and with thy head bowed down. 
If she ask thee, Who art thou and how earnest thou hither and 
who led thee to this land ? And why hast thou taken up the 
sandals ? make her no answer, but abide silent till Marjanah enter, 
when she will speak with her and seek to win her aproof for thee 
and cause her look on thee with consent; so haply Allah Almighty 
may incline her heart to thee and she may grant thee thy wish." 
Then she called the handmaid Marjanah hight and said to her, 
" As thou lovest me, do my errand this day and be not neglectful 
therein ! An thou accomplish it, thou shalt be a free woman for 
the sake of Allah Almighty, and I will deal honourably by thee 

1 Arab. ' Salabiyah," also written Sarahiyah : it means an ewer-shaped glass-bottle. 

2 Arab " Sarmujah," of which Von Hammer remarks that the dictionaries ignore it ; 
Dozy gives the forms Sarmuj, Sarmuz and Sarmuzah and explains them by " espece de 
guetre, de sandale ou de mule, qu'on chausse par-dessus la botte." 

3 In token of profound submission. 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad fa al-Jamal. 371 

with gifts and there shall be none dearer to me than thou, nor will 
I discover my secrets to any save thee. So, by my love for thee, 
fulfil this my need and be not slothful therein." Replied 
Marjanah, " O my lady and light of mine eyes, tell me what is it 
thou requirest of me, that I may accomplish it with both mine 
eyes." Badi'a rejoined, " Take this mortal on thy shoulders and 
bear him to the bloom-garden of Iram and the pavilion of my 
f grandmother, my father's mother, and be careful of his safety. 
When thou hast brought him into her presence and seest him take 
the slippers and do them homage, and hearest her ask him, 
saying : Whence art thou and by what road art come and who 
led thee to this land, and why hast thou taken up the sandals and 
what is thy need that I give heed to it ? do thou come forward in 
haste and salute her with the salam and say to her : O my lady, 
I am she who brought him hither and he is the King's son of 
Egypt. 1 Tis he who went to the High-builded Castle and slew 
the son of the Blue King and delivered the Princess Daulat Khatun 
from the Castle of Japhet son of Noah and brought her back safe 
to her father : and I have brought him to thee, that he may give 
thee the glad tidings of her safety : so deign thou be gracious to 
him. Then do thou say to her : Allah upon thee ! is not this 
young man handsome, O my lady ? She will reply, Yes ; and do 
rejoin : O my lady, indeed he is complete in honour and man- 
hood and valour and he is lord and King of Egypt and compriseth 
all praiseworthy qualities. An she ask thee, What is his need ? 
do thou make answer, My lady saluteth thee and saith to thee, 

1 Arab. " Misr" in Ibn Khaldun is a land whose people are settled and civilised 
hence " Namsur"=:we settle; and " Amsar":= settled provinces. Al-Misrayn was 
the title of Basrah and Kufah the two military cantonments founded by Caliph Omar on, 
the frontier of conquering Arabia and conquered Persia. Hence " Tamsir " = founding 
such posts, which were planted in Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt. In these camps 
were stationed the veterans who had fought under Mohammed ; but the spoils of the 
East soon changed them to splendid cities where luxury and learning flourished side by 
side. Sprenger (Al-Mas'udi pp. 19, 177) compares them ecclesiastically with the 
primitive Christian Churches such as Jerusalem, Alexandria and Antioch. But the 
Moslems were animated with an ardent love of liberty and Kufah under Al-Hajjaj the 
masterful, lost 100,000 of her turbulent sons without the thirst for independence being 
quenched. This can hardly be said of the Early Christians who, with the exception of 
a few staunch-hearted martyrs, appear in history as pauvres diables and poules mouille'es, 
ever oppressed by their own most ignorant and harmful fancy that the world was about 
to end. 

372 A If Laytah wa Laylak. 

how long shall she sit at home, a maid and unmarried > Indeed, 
the time is longsome upon her for she is as a magazine wherein 
wheat is heaped up. 1 What then is thine intent in leaving her 
without a mate and why dost thou not marry her in thy lifetide 
and that of her mother, like other girls ? If she say, How shall 
we do to marry her ? An she have any one in mind, let her tell 
us of him, and we will do her will as far as may be ! do thou 
make answer, O my lady, thy daughter saith to thee, " Ye were 
minded aforetime to marry me to Solomon (on whom be peace !) 
and portrayed him my portrait on a tunic. But he had no lot in 
me ; so he sent the tunic to the King of Egypt and he gave it to 
his son, who saw my portrait figured thereon and fell in love with 
me ; wherefore he left his father and mother's realm and turning 
away from the world and whatso is therein, went forth at a 
venture, a wanderer, love-distraught, and hath borne the utmost 
hardships and honors for my sake of me." Now thou seest his 
beauty and loveliness, and thy daughter's heart is enamoured of 
him ; so, if ye have a mind to marry her, marry her to this young 
man and forbid her not from him for he is young and passing 
comely and King of Egypt, nor wilt thou find a goodlier than he ; 
and if ye will not give her to him, she will slay herself and marry 
none neither man nor Jinn." " And," continued Badi'a al-Jamal, 
" Look thou, O Marjanah, ma mie? how thou mayst do with my 
grandmother, to win her consent, and beguile her with soft words, 
so haply she may do my desire." Quoth the damsel, " O my 
lady, upon my head and eyes will I serve thee and do what shall 
content thee." Then she took Sayf al-Muluk on her shoulders 
and said to him, " O King's son, shut thine eyes." He did so and 
she flew up with him into the welkin ; and after awhile she said 
to him, " O King's son, open thine eyes." He opened them and 
found himself in a garden, which was none other than the garden 
of Iram; and she showed him the pavilion and said, " O Sayf 
al-Muluk, enter therein ! " Thereupon he pronounced the name 
of Allah Almighty and entering cast a look upon the garden, 

1 i.e. Waiting to be sold and wasting away in single cursedness. 

2 Arab. "Ya dadati": dadat is an old servant-woman or slave, often applied to a 
nurse, like its conjener the Pers. Dada, the latter often pronounced Daddeh, as Daddeh 
Bazm-aia in the Kuisum-nameh (Atkinson's "Customs of the Women of Persia,' 
London, 8vo. 1832). 

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad fa al-Jamal. 373 

when he saw the old Queen sitting on the couch, attended by her 
waiting women. So he drew near her with courtesy and reverence 
and taking the sandals bussed them and did as Badi'a al-Jamal 
had enjoined him. Quoth the ancient dame, " Who art thou and 
what is thy country ; whence comest thou and who brought thee 
hither and what may be thy wish ? Wherefore dost thou take the 
sandals and kiss them and when didst thou ask of me a favour 
which I did not grant?" With this in came Marjanah 1 and 
saluting her reverently and worshipfully, repeated to her what 
Badi'a al-Jamal had told her ; which when the old Queen heard, 
she cried out at her and was wroth with her and said, " How shall 

there be accord between man and Jinn ? " And Shahrazad 

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

1 Marjanah has been already explained. D'Herbelot derives from it the Romance 
name Morgante la Dtconvenue, here confounding Morgana with Urganda ; and Keltic 
scholars make Morgain=Mor Gwynn-the white maid (p. 10, Keightley's Faiiy 
Mythology, London, Whittaker, 1833). 




Aetf AMIR BIN MARWAN . . 142 
Abu al-Hamlat = father of assaults, 

etc 149 

Abu AH al-Husayn the Wag . .130 
Abu al-Sakha = father of munificence 133 
Account asked from outgoing 

Governors 102 

' of them will be presently 

given =r we leave them for the 

present 157 

Acids applied as counter-inebriants . 32 
Address without vocative particle 

more emphatic . . . . 125 
Addressing by the name not courteous 1 14 
Adolescent (un, aime toutes les femmes) 299 
Affirmative and negative particles . 195 
Africa (suggested derivation of the 

name) ... . .60 
Agha (A1-) = chief police officer . 156 
Ahassa bi'1-shurbah = " he smelt a 

rat" 144 

Ajal = yes verily . . . .19$ 
'Ajwah = dates pressed into a solid 

mass and deified ... 14 
Akakir = drugs, spices . . . 147 
Akhlat (town in Armenia) . . 88 
Akik (al-) two of the name . . 140 
Akyal, title of the Himyarite Kings 60 
Ala Kulli hal = in any case . . 272 
Ala raghm = in spite of . . .121 
Alas for his chance of escaping = 

there is none . . . .183 
AH Zaybak = Mercury AH . .172 
'AH al-Muluk =r high among the 

Kings . . . . -354 


Alif, Ha, Wa" w as tests of calligraphy 1 1 2 
Alhambra = (Dar) al-Hamra", the 

Red , 49 

Allah confound the far One (hard 

swearing) . . . . .155 

succour the Caliph against thee 159 

~ is All-knowing . . . 209 

Allaho akbar, the Arab slogan-cry . 8 
'Amala hilah for tricking a Syro- 

Egyptian vulgarism ... 43 

Amam-ak = before thee . . 94 

'Amariyah (Pr. N. of town) . . 353 

Amend her case = bathe her etc. . 266 
Amsar ( pi. of Misr ) = settled 

provinces . . . * . 371 

Ansar = Medinite auxiliaries . . 92 
Ape see Cynocephalus 
Apes (remnant of some ancient 

tribe) 346 

Arabian Night converted into an 

Arabian Note . . . . 314 

Ardashir = Artaxerxes . . . 209 

Asaf (Solomon's Wazir) . . . 318 
Ashab (division of) . . . .92 

Ashab al-Ziya' = Feudatories . . 327 
'Ashirah = clan . . . .121 

'Asim = defending .... 314 
Askar jarrar= drawing (conquering) 

army ...... 85 

Asma'f ( A1-) author of Antar . .no 

Atmar rags (for travelling clothes) 118 
Avaunt = Ikhsa, be chased like a 

dog 45 

Aywa (*llahi) =yes, by Allah . . 195 

Aywan (saloon with estrades) , . 347 

A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

Azarbija*n = Kohistan . . . 104 
Azdashir misprint for Ardashfr . . 209 
Azrak = blue-eyed (so is the falcon) 164 

BAB = gate (for chapter, etc.) . . 3 
Badr Basi'm (Pr. N.) = Full moon 

smiling . 274 

Bakkal = green-grocer, etc. . . 295 
Bn =: myrobalan . . . 247 

Banner in sign of Investiture . . 101 
Banu Tamim (tribe) . * .125 

Barfd = Post 340 

Batshat al-Kubra = the great disaster 

(battle of Badr) .... 55 
Battash al-Akran = he who assaults 

his peers . . . . . 55 
Batanah = lining .... 330 
Battles described 6l 

Bead thrown into a cup (signal of 

delivery) . . . . . 324 
Beast with two backs (Eastern view of) 35 
Bir (A1-) al-Mu'utallal =the Ruined 

Well 346 

Blessings at the head of letters . . 133 
Blue eyes == blind with cataract, or 

staring, glittering, hungry . .164 
Bow a cowardly weapon . . .123 
Breslau edition quoted 168; 172; 173; 

177; 202; 316; 321; 324; 326; 327; 

329; 341; 342; 343; 350; 353; 
354 ; 363 ; 367- 

Bride of the Hoards . . .147 
Bridle (not to be committed to an- 

Bulak ed. quoted . . .173 
Burdah = plaid of striped stuff 


Burckhardt quoted . . 91 ; 93 ; 156 
Byron (depreciated where he ought 
to be honoured most) . . . 268 

CALIPHS: Hisham . ... 104 

i Wah'd bin Sahl . . IO 6 

Mahdi(Al-) . . . ,36 

Canton (city of) .... 334 
Capotes melancoliques . . .190 
Chaste forbearance towards a woman 

frequently causes love . .189 
Chawashiyah = Chamberlains . 327 
Coffer (Ar. Tabik, Tabiit) . . 350 
'* Compelleth " in the sense of 

burdeneth" . . . .285 

Conjugal affection (striking picture of) 243 
Copa d'agua excuse for a splendid 

banquet 168 

Colocasia (Ar. Kallakds) . . .151 
Combat reminding of that of Rustam 

and Sohrdb .... 89 

Conjunctive in Africans seldom white 184 

Connection (tribal seven degrees of) . 121 
Converts theoretically respected and 

practically despised . . 43 

Creases in the stomach insisted upon 130 

Cross-bows 62 

Cuirasses against pleasure, cobwebs 

against infection . . . .190 
Cundums (French letters) . .190 
Cynocephalus (kills men and rapes 

women) 344 

DAKKAH = long wooden bench etc. n I 
Damsel of the tribe = daughter of 

the chief 95 

Daulat = fortune, empire, kingdom 

(Pr.N.) 347 

Deposits are not lost with Him r= 

He disappointeth not etc . . 334 
Devotees (white woollen raiment of). 214 
Dimdgh =r brain, meninx (for head) 178 
Dirhams (50,000 = about .1,250) . 105 
Diwan al-Barid = Post Office . 340 
Dogs (in Eastern cities) . . . 2O2 
Donanma (rejoicings for the preg- 
nancy of a Sultana) . . . 324 
Donkey-boy like our " post-boy" of 

any age ...... 160 

Donning woman's attire in token of 

defeat 1 88 

Doors (pulled up = raised from the 

lower hinge-pins) . . . 352 
Drinking before or after dinner or 

both 132 

Drugs (is this an art of ?) . . . 147 

Drunk with the excess of his beauty. 162 
Drunken habits of Central African 



"EARLY to bed" etc. 
version of the same) . 
Elephant-faced Vetala . 
Elephants frighting horses 
Eli-Fenioun = Polyphemus 
Euphemism of speech 


. 217 


. 61 

. . 361 

. 134. 142 



Euphuistic speech . y ' 2 $5 
Eyes " sunk " into the head for our 

" starting '' from it . 36 
(plucking or tearing out of, a 

Persian practice). . . . 359 

Fagfur (Mosl. title for the Emperor 

of China) 335 

Fakfh = divine . . . .325 
Falastfn, degraded to " Philister" . 101 
Farais (pi. of farfsah) =. shoulder- 
muscles 219 

Faranik (A1-) letter-carrier . . 340 
Farashah, noun of unity of Fardsh = 

butterfly, moth .... 305 

Farikf, adjective of Mayyafarikin . I 

Faris = rider, knight . . . 314 
Farrash, a man of general utility, 

tent-pitcher etc. 4 

Father of Bitterness = the Devil . 1 16 
Fa"tihah quoted . . . .286 

Fatir = creator (chapter of the Koran) 366 

Fatis = carrion, corps cr^ve . . 181 

Faylasufiyah = philosopheress. . 145 

Fayyaz (al-) = the overflowing. . 99 

Fazl = grace, exceeding goodness . 220 

Fearing for the lover first . . 256 
Fee delicately offered . . .162 
Fi al-Kamar in the moonshine 
(perhaps allusion to the Comorin 

islands) 269 

Fig = anus 151 

Fights frequent at funerals or wedding 

processions . . . .190 
Fillets hung on trees to denote an 

honoured tomb .... 96 

Fikh = theology .... 325 

Fire-arms mentioned ... 62 

Flirtation impossible in the East . 181 
Floor (sitting upon the, sign of 

deepest dejection) . . .314 

Foot (prehensile powers of the Eastern) 1 79 
Fortalice of fruits (Ar. Hisn al- 

Fakihah) 75 

French letters (all about them). . 190 

Fumigations to cite Jinnis etc. . 363 

Fiitah = napkin, waistcloth . . 345 

GALAKTOPHAGI prefer sour milk to 

sweet . . . . . 360 

Garden (in the Prophet's tomb at Al- 

Medinah) . ;'. . . ' . 91 

Generosity (peculiar style of) . 323 
Ghandur = a gallant . , ...- ': 181 
Ghurab al-Bayn = Raven of the 

Wold. . . . . . . 226 

" Gift from me to," tc. = " I leave 

it to you, sir" .... 292 
Giraffe, one of the most timid of the 

antelope tribe . . . 54 

unfit for riding ... 62 

Girding the sovereign (found in the 

hieroglyphs) .... 328 
Gloom =. black hair of youth . . 277 
Glooms gathering and full moons 

dawning for hands and eyes . 247 
Gold (when he looked upon it, his 

life seemed a light thing to him) . 240 
Grapes (bunch of, weighing twenty 

pounds, no exaggeration) . . 358 
Grim joke (showing elation of spirits) 324 
Ground (really kissed) . . .257 

Guest-rite 121 

(must be fed before his errand 

is asked) 319 

HABB AL-'UBB (a woman's orna- 
ment) 205 

Hadas = surmise .... 302 
Hail within sight of the Equator 336 

Hajah r= a needful thing (for some* 

what) 349 

Hajar-coinage (?) . . . .95 
Hajjaj (al-) bin Yusufal-Thakifl . 97 
Hakim = ruler, not to be con- 
founded with Hakim, a doctor, 

etc .29 

Halawat =. sweets .... 205 
Halumma = bring ! . . . 117 
Hallaling, = Anglo-Indian term for 
the Moslem rite of killing ani- 
mals for food .... 9 
Hammal al-Hatabi= one who carries 

fuel-sticks 59 

Harbak =r javelin .... 45 
Harrakat = carracks (also used for 

cock-boat) 336 

Hasab wa Nasal inherited degree 

and acquired dignity . . . 279 
Hatim = broken wall (at Meccah) . 219 


A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Hatim (Pr. N.) = black crow . . 350 

Hazza-hu = he made it quiver . 45 

Henna-flower (its spermatic odour) . 250 
Heroes and heroines of love-tales 

are bonnes fourchettes . . 300 

Hind bint Asma and the poet Jarir . 96 
Hisham (Caliph) . . . .104 

Hisn al-Fakihah = Fortalice of fruits 75 

Hiss = (sensual) perception . . 302 

Hobbling a camel (how done) . . 119 
Hubkah = doubling of a woman's 

waistcloth 1 80 

Hullah = dress . l8o 
Humility of the love-lorn Princess 
artfully contrasted with her for- 
mer furiosity . . .261 

sect 125 

Ibrik =: ewer ..... 146 

Ibrfsam = raw silk, floss . . 352 

Ihtilam = wet dreams . . . 183 

Ijtila = displaying of the bride . 198 

Iksah = plait, etc 150 

Iliad and Pentaur's Epic . . . 362 
Incuriousness of the Eastern story- 
teller 57 

Indian realm 336 

Infidel should not be killed unless 
refusing to become a Moslem or 

a tributary 64 

Irak for al-Irak in verse ... 20 

Iran r= hearse, Moses' ark . . 207 
Ishk 'Uzrl = platoniclove . .121 

JABABIRAH = tyrants, giants . . 84 
Jabarsa, the city of Japhet . 40, 43 
Jabir Atharat al-Kiram = Repairer 

of the Slips of the Generous . loo 
Jaland, not Julned . . . .16 
Jamil bin Ma'amar al-Uzrf (poet) . 117 
Jan-Shah = Life King ... 82 
Japhet (Ar> Yafis or Yafat) . . 40 

his sword . .41 

Jauharah (Pr. N. = jewel) . . 307 
Jawamard for Jawan-mard, un gio- 

vane, a brave . . . 17 

Jazirah (al-) =: Mesopotamia . . 100 

Insula for Peninsula . . 333 

Jilbab = habergeon, buff jacket . 56 

Julnar = Pers. Gul-i-anar (pom- 

granate flower) .... 268 

Ka'ah = mess-room, barracks . 167 
Kaaunahu huwa as he (was) he . 233 
Ka'ak al' I'd = buns (cake ?) . . 196 
KaH) = heel, ankle ; fortune . . 177 
Ka' ka'at =: jangling noise . . 21 

Kalak = raft 342 

Kamarlyah =r moon -like. . . 202 
Kamin al-Bahrayn = Ambuscade of 

the two seas .... 353 
Karaj (town in Persian Irak) . . 77 
Karizan (al-) z= the two mimosa 

gatherers ..... 93 
Karr aynan =: keep thine eye cool . 229 
Kasid = Anglo-Indian Cossid . . 77 
Kasr al-Mashid =. high-built Castle 346 
Kataba (for tattooing) . . . 250 
Kawwad = leader (for pimp) . . 98 
Kayf halak = how de doo ? . . 336 
Kaza, Kismat and " Providence" . 135 
"Key" = fee paid on the keys 

being handed to a lodger . .212 
Khadd =. cheek . . . .277 
Khafiyah = concealed j Khainah = 

perfidy 320 

Khal'a al-'izar = stripping of jaws or 

side-beard 248 

Khalbus =r buffoon . . . . 195 
Khali'a (A1-) = the Wag. . .130 
Khanakah == Dervishes' convert . 177 
Khatun = lady ; Pr. N. . . . 146 
Khazra (al-) = the Green, palace of 

Mu'awiyah .... 124 
Khirad Shah = King Intelligence ; 

Pr. N 73 

Khishkhanah = cupboard . . 199 
Kirat (bean of Abrus precatorius) . 289 
Kisas (A1-) = lex talionis . .170 
"Kiss ground" not to be taken 

literally 2IO 

Kitf al-Jamal = Camel shoulder- 
blade. . . . .167 
Knife, *' bravest of arms" . .123 
Koran quoted (iii. II ; i. 42 ; viii. 9) 55 

(cxi.) 59 

(xxxiii.) ... 92 

(xx. 102) .... 164 

(xii. 31) . . . .213 

(li. 286) . . . .285 



Koran quoted (ii. 61 ; xxii. 44) . 346 

(xxxv.) . . . .366 

Kudrat = Omnipotence . . . 135 
Kulzum (A1-), old name of Suez- 

town 348 

Kumayt (A1-) = bay horse with 

black points . . . .128 
Kumasrd (Kummasra) = pear . . 357 
Kursi = stool 311 

LA'AB = sword-play ... 44 
Lib (old Pers. for Sun) . . . 296 
Laban = sweet milk . . . 360 
Lakit = foetus, foundling, contemp- 
tible fellow 145 

Lane quoted, 95 j 96; in; 113; 118; 

119; 123; 124; 135; 136; 139; 144 j 

172 ; 182 j 195 ; 196 ; 209 ; 269 j 275 ; 

280; 282 ; 303 ; 309 ; 314; 328; 361 
Laun = colour, hue (for dish) , . 185 
Laylat ams = yesternight . . 186 
Legs making mute the anklets . . 131 
Letter toren tears a kingdom . . 2 
Letters (French) . . . .190 
Listening not held dishonourable . 279 
Liwa" = Arab Tempe* . . .11$ 
Liwan = Aywdn (saloon with 

estrades) 347 

Lukmah = bouche'e, mouthful . . 367 

MAGAZINE (as one wherein wheat 

is heaped up = unmarried) . 372 

Majajah = saliva .... 280 

Mahd = wild cattle .... 280 
Malih Kawi = very handsome 

(Cairene vulgarism) . , .150 

Mafarik (A1-) = partings of the hair 222 

Mace, a dangerous weapon . . 24 
Mahaya = Ma al-Hayat = aqua 

v t 132 

Mahdf (A1-), Caliph, . . . .136 
Mahr = marriage dowry, settle- 
ment 126 

Malik al-Nasfr (Saladin) . . . 142 

Manjani'ka"t = mangonels . . 335 

Mariduna = Rebels against Allah . 39 
Marsin = myrtle . , . .290 
Marwdn bin al-Hakam (Governor of 

Al- Medinah) .... 125 

Masculine for feminine . . . 140 

Maskharah = masker (buffoon) . 195 

Maut = death . . . .147 

Mayazib (pi. of mlzab) = gargoyles 136 

Maydanal-Ffl. . . . . 326 

Maysum's song . . " *- . 97 

Mayyafarikin capital of Dfyar Bakr . I 
Mercury Ali (his story sequel to that 

ofDalflah) 172 

Metamorphosis (terms of). . . 294 
Milk-drinking races prefer the 

soured milk to the sweet . . 360 
Mirbad (al-), market place at Bas- 

sorah 130 

Misr, Masr = Capital (applied to 

Memphis, Fostat and Cairo) . 172 

(for Egypt) . . . .370 

Mohammed (Allah's right hand) . 366 
Mohammed bin Sulayman al-Rabi'f 

(Governor of Bassorah) . .130 
Mohr = signet .... 329 
Monsters (abounding in Persian litera- 
ture) 339 

Morosa voluptas . . . .132 
Mosque al-Ahzab = Mosque of the 

troops . . . . .92 
MS. copy of The Nights (price of 

one in Egypt) . . . .312 
Mu'attik al-Rikab = Liberator of 

Necks 331 

Muhajirun =: companions in Mo- 
hammed's flight .... 92 
Mu'in al-Dln == Aider of the Faith . 354 
Mujauhar = damascened. . . 84 
Mulabbas =3 drage'es . . . 205 
Muuadamah =. table-talk . . 309 
Munawwarah (al-) =z The Illumined 

(Title of al-Medinah) . . . 95 
Musafahah = putting palm to palm 52 
Musdhikah '= tribadism . . . 132 
Musamarah = night-talk by moon- 
light 217 

Musquito caught between the toes . 179 

Musran (A1-) = guts . . . 190 
Mutanakkir = disguised, proud, 

reserved ..... 101 

Muunah = provisions . . . 232 

NAB (pi. Anyab) = canine tooth, 

tusk 339 

Nafsi = my soul for ' the flesh " . 1 18 

Na'i al-maut = messenger of death . 226 
Naked == without veil or upper 

clothing i I 

Alf Laylah wa Laylah* 

Names frequently do not appear till 

near the end of a tale . . 43 ; 274 

Naming a girl by name offensive . 286 

Ni'am = yes in answer to a negative 195 

Night (its last the bitter parting) . 243 

Nitah = a woman's waist cloth . 180 
Nostrils (his life-breath was in his = 

his heart was in his mouth). . 258 
Nostrums for divining the sex of the 

unborn child .... 268 
Nurayn = two lights (town in 

Turkestan) .... 88 

OFFERINGS (pious) = ex votos etc. . 150 
" Old maids " ignored in the East . 286 
" Old Man of the Sea " (a Marid or 

evil Jinn) 338 

Oman with its capital Maskat = 

Omana Moscha .... 24 
Opening doors without a key is the 

knavish trick of a petty thief . 182 

PAYNE quoted 16; 18; 57 ; 123; 277 ; 


Pearls (fresh from water) . . 240 

Pencilling the eyes with kohl . . 250 
Pens (gilded) = reeds washed with 

gold 112 

Pilgrimage quoted (iii. 90) . . 34 

0-377) 9 

(iii. 191) .... 21 

(i. 14) .... 80 

(ii. 62 ; 69) . . . .91 

(ii. 130 ; 138; 325) . . 92 

( 3) 95 

(iii. 336) . . . .104 

('i. 300) . . . .124 

(iii. 164) . . .136 

(ii. 24) .... j 40 

(i. 59) 171 

(i. 120) . . . .172 

(i. 124) . . . .177 

(iii. 66) . 181 

(ii. 52-54) . . . .202 

(i. 62) 212 

(iii. 165) . . . .219 

Police-master legally answerable for 

losses 161 

Pomgranate = female parts . . 151 
Pnn'cess English, Princess French 245 

Proportion of horse and foot in Arab 

and Turcoman armies ... I 

Protestants (four great Sommith} . 124 

Pun . . . . 53 ; 288 ; 307 

Ra'ad Shah, Pr.N. = thunder-king. 55 
Rabbati = my she- Lord, applied to 

the fire 36 

Rahim, Rihm = womb for uterine 

relations 123 

Raiment of devotees (white wool) . 214 
Ramlah (half-way house between 

Jaffa and Jerusalem) . . . 103 
Rayah Kaimah = pennon flying (not 

"beast standing") . . . 118 

" Renowning it " (na'i've style of) . 347 

Repentence acquits the penitent . 72 
Repetition . . . .293; 301 
Riding on men as donkeys (facetious 

exaggeration of African practice) . 357 

Rock (falling upon a ship) . . 295 

Ruba' al-Kharab = the waste quarter 80 

Rubbama =. perhaps, sometimes . 218 

Rudaynian lance (like a) . . . 265 
Rumourers (the two) = basin and 

ewer 146 

Rutub (applying to pearls) = fresh 

from water. .... 240 

SABA = the Biblical Sheba . . 316 
Sabaj (a black shell) . . .131 
Safwan r= clear, cold . . .314 

Sa'ik = the Striker . 35 

Saja'-assonance bald in translation . 2 

answerable for galimatias . 36 

Salat mamliikfyah = praying without 

ablution 148 

Salatah (how composed) . . . 132 
Salih (Pr. N.) = righteous, pious. 

just 314 

Samandal (A1-) = Salamander. . 280 
Samar = night-story . . .312 
Samawah (A1-) visitation place in 

Babylonian Irak . -93 

Samfr = night-talker . . .217 
Sana'a" (famed for leather and other 

work) 130 

Sandals (kissed and laid on the head 

in token of submission) . . 370 
Sarmujah = sandals, leggings, 

slippers ...... 370 



Satl = kettle, bucket (situla ?) . 182 
Saudawi = of a melancholic tempera- 
ment 228 

Sawik =a parched corn . . . 303 
Sayf (<T<os) al-Muluk = Sword of the 

Kings 325 

Seal-ring of Solomon (oath by) . 317 

Set-off for abuse of women . . 130 

Shahyal bin Sharukh (Pr. N.) . . 331 

Shakhtur = dinghy . . , 362 
Shammara = he tucked up (sleeve 

or gown) 133 

Shara (A1-), mountain in Arabia . 23 

Shara' = holy law .... 170 
Sharit = chopper, sword . .178 
Shaykh attended by a half-witted 

lunatic . . . . .152 

Shaykh of the Sea (-board) . . 357 
Shazarwan = Pers. Shadurwin, 

palace, cornice, etc. . . .51 

Sibawayh (Grammarian) . . . 233 
Side-muscles (her quiver = she trem- 
bles in every nerve) . . .219 
Slave (Moslemah can compel an 
infidel master who has attempted 

her seduction to sell her) . . 203 

Sleeping with a sword between them 352 
Shower (how delightful in rainless 

lands) ..... 141 

Shum (a tough wood used for staves) 354 

Shubash = Bravo! . . . 195 
Slave-girls (newly bought pretentious 

and coquettish) .... 266 

Solomon (oath by his seal-ring) . 317 
Street cries of Cairo. . . .172 

Style of a Cairene public scribe . 134 

Subhat-hu = in company with*him . 262 
Sulami (not Sulaymi) = of the tribe 

Banu Sulaym. .... 93 
Sulayman bin Abd al-Malik (Caliph) 99 
Sulaymanfyah = Afghans . .171 
Surahiyah (vulg. Sulahiyah = glass- 
bottle) 370 

Su'uban = " basilisk," large serpent 322 
Sword (between two sleepers repre- 
sents only the man's honour) . 353 



i So 

= coffer . 
Tabut = bier, ark, etc. 

(coffer) . 

Taghadda = he dined al-bayn = parting bird . . 226 
Takah = arched hollow in the wall, 

niche. . . . * -' . 361 
Takht, a seat " from a throne to a 

saddle 55 

(more emphatical than Sarfr) 328 

Taklid = baldricking, not girding a 

sword ..... 3 

Takh'yah = onion-sauce . . . 322 

Takwim = Tacuino (for Almanac) . 296 
Tamsfr (derived from Misr) = found- 
ing a military cantonment) . -371 

Tasumah = sandal, slipper . . 197 

Taverns 324 

Tayr = any flying thing, bird . . 227 

Tawilan jiddan, now a Cairenism . 13 

Tazrib = quilting .... 330 
" Tell the truth ! " way of taking an 

Eastern liar . . . .183 

Tent (how constructed) . . . 109 
"There is no Majesty," etc., as 

ejaculation of impatience . 73 

Third = Tuesday .... 349 

Timsah = crocodile . . . 343 

Tongue (my, is under thy feet) . 239 

'Use = breast-pocket . . . 205 
Union opposed to " Severance" . 120 
" Use this " (i.e. for thy daily ex- 
penses) 29$ 

Uzrah = Azariah . ... .158 

VILE WATER (Koranic term for 

semen) 213 

Violent temper (frequent amongst 

Eastern princesses) . . . 254 

Virginity of slave-girls (respected by 
the older slave-trader, rarely by 

the young) . . . . . 267 

Visits to the tombs . . . .124 

WAHK, WAHAK =: Lasso . . 61 
Wahtah = quasi-epileptic fit . .127 
Walid bin Sahl (Caliph) . . .106 

Ward Shah = Rose King. . . 70 

Wars (al-) = carthamus tinctorius . 93 

Wayha-k equivalent to Wayla-k . 127 

Weapons carried under the thigh . 56 

magic 59 

new forms of .62 


Alf Laylah wa Laytafi. 

" Whatso thou wouldest do that do " 

= Do what thou wilt . . . 324 
"Where lies China-land ?" = it is 

a far cry to Lock Awe . . 344 
"Who art thou?" etc. (meaning 

" you are nobodies ") . . . 286 
" Whoso loveth me, let him bestow 

largesse upon this man " . -323 
Women (blue-eyed of good omen) 164 

Ya Dftdatf = ma mie " . . . 372 
Yafis, Yafat = Japhet ... 40 
Yaji miat khwanjah = near an hun- 
dred chargers .... 345 
Ya Khawand = O Master . . 315 
Yakhni = stew, broth . .186 

Ya Saki'al-Wajh = O false facet . 353 

Yd Usta (for Ust&z) = O my Master 192 

Yusuf (Grand Vizier, and his pelisse) 323 

ZABBAH = wooden bolt . . . 182 

Zalabiyah bi-'Asal = honey fritters 164 
Zalzal son of Muzalzil = Earthquake 

son of Ennosigaius jg 
Zardah = rice dressed with honey 

and saffron . . . .18^ 

Zardakhanah = Zarad (Ar. for 
hauberk) - Khanah (Pers. for 

house) 363 

Zarraf = giraffe 54 
Zawiyah = corner (for cell, oratory) 328 
Zurk = blue-eyed, dim-sighted, pur- 
blind 164 

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