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Full text of "Stories from the Arabian nights"

From the Hooks of 



Qec&riQiWocdr) 



^ a dvaJbj5yyIiqbt^ 




PRINCESS SCHEHERAZADE, THE HEROINE OF 

THE THOUSAND-ANDONE NIGHTS, RANKS AMONG THE 

GREAT STORYTELLERS OF THE WORLD 



Published by Hodder and Stoughton, Limited, 
for Boots Pure Drug Co., Ltd., Nottingham. 



Printed and Bound by Tinting & Co. Ltd., 

Liverpool, London and Prescot, 

with Illustrations Printed by 

Hy. Stone & Son Ltd., Banbury. 




CONTENTS 

PAGE 

ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES ... 15 

THE STORY OF THE WICKED HALF-BROTHERS . 43 

THE STORY OF THE PRINCESS OF DERYABAR . 57 

THE STORY OF THE MAGIC HORSE .... 79 

THE FISHERMAN AND THE GENIE . . . .109 

THE STORY OF THE KING OF THE EBONY ISLES . 125 

THE HISTORY OF BADOURA, PRINCESS OF CHINA, 

AND OF CAMARALZAMAN, THE ISLAND PRINCE 141 

7 



8 CONTENTS 

PAGE 

SINDBAD THE SAILOR 203 

THE FIRST VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SALLOR . 205 

THE SECOND VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR . 211 

THE THIRD VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR . 219 

THE FOURTH VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR. 225 

THE FIFTH VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR . 233 

THE SIXTH VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR . 241 

THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR 247 

ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP . . .255 




ILLUSTRATIONS 

SCHEHERAZADE, THE HEROINE OF THE THOUSAND 

AND ONE NIGHTS Frontispiece 

ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES 

PAGE 

THEIR CHIEF IN A LOW BUT DISTINCT VOICE UTTERED 

THE TWO WORDS, "OPEN SESAME!" ... 17 
THIS WAY AND THAT SHE LED HIM BLINDFOLD . 25 

THE STORY OF THE WICKED HALF-BROTHERS 

PIROUZE, THE FAIREST AND MOST HONOURABLY BORN 45 
THE LADY ADVANCED TO MEET HIM ... 51 

THE STORY OF THE PRINCESS OF DERYABAB 

A CITY AMONG THE ISLES NAMED DERYABAR . 61 



THE PRINCESS OF DERYABAR 

v 



10 ILLUSTRATIONS 

THE STORY OF THE MAGIC HORSE 

PAGE 

AT SO ARROGANT A CLAIM ALL THE COURTIERS BURST 

INTO LOUD LAUGHTER 81 

TILL THE TALE OF HER MIRROR CONTENTED HER . 89 
SHE GAVE ORDERS FOR THE BANQUET TO BE 

SERVED 97 

THE FISHERMAN AND THE GENIE 

NO SOONER HAD THE MONARCH SEEN THEM, SO 
STRANGE OF FORM AND SO BRILLIANT AND 
DIVERSE IN HUE 113 

THEREUPON THE DAMSEL UPSET THE PAN INTO 

THE FIRE 119 

THE STORY OF THE KING OF THE EBONY ISLES 

SUPPOSING ME ASLEEP, THEY BEGAN TO TALK . 127 
GREAT WAS THE ASTONISHMENT OF THE VIZIER 

AND THE SULTAN'S ESCORT 188 



THE HISTORY OF BADOURA, PRINCESS OF CHINA, 
AND OF CAMARALZAMAN, THE ISLAND PRINCE 

PRINCESS BADOURA 149 

THE FINAL MARRIAGE PROCESSION .... 171 



ILLUSTRATIONS 11 



SINDBAD THE SAILOR 

PAGE 

THE ROKH 218 

THE EPISODE OF THE OLD MAN OF THE SEA. . 285 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 

ALADDIN IN THE CAVE 265 

THE LADY BEDR-EL-BUDUR AND THE WICKED 
MAGICIAN 801 




— fifc..i— 



ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES 



ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES 

In a town in Persia lived two brothers named Cassim 
and Ali Baba, between whom their father at his death 
had left what little property he possessed equally divided. 
Cassim, however, having married the heiress of a rich 
merchant, became soon after his marriage the owner of a 
fine shop, together with several pieces of land, and was 
in consequence, through no effort of his own, the most 
considerable merchant in the town. Ali Baba, on the 
other hand, was married to one as poor as himself, and 
having no other means of gaining a livelihood he used 
to go every day into the forest to cut wood, and 
lading therewith the three asses which were his sole 
stock-in-trade, would then hawk it about the streets for 
sale. 

One day while he was at work within the skirts of the 
forest, Ali Baba saw advancing towards him across the 
open a large company of horsemen, and fearing from their 
appearance that they might be robbers, he left his asses 
to their own devices and sought safety for himself in the 
lower branches of a large tree which grew in the close 
overshadowing of a precipitous rock. 

Almost immediately it became evident that this very 
rock was the goal toward which the troop was bound, for 
having arrived they alighted instantly from their horses, 
and took down each man of them a sack which seemed 
by its weight and form to be filled with gold. There could 



16 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

no longer be any doubt that they were robbers. Ali Baba 
counted forty of them. 

Just as he had done so, the one nearest to him, who 
seemed to be their chief, advanced toward the rock, and 
in a low but distinct voice uttered the two words, M Open 
Sesame ! " Immediately the rock opened like a door, the 
captain and his men passed in, and the rock closed behind 
them. 

For a long while Ali Baba waited, not daring to descend 
from his hiding-place lest they should come out and catch 
him in the act ; but at last, when the waiting had grown 
almost unbearable, his patience was rewarded, the door 
in the rock opened, and out came the forty men, their 
captain leading them. When the last of them was through, 
" Shut, Sesame ! " said the captain, and immediately the 
face of the rock closed together as before. Then they all 
mounted their horses and rode away. 

As soon as he felt sure that they were not returning 
Ali Baba came down from the tree and made his way at 
once to that part of the rock where he had seen the captain 
and his men enter. And there at the word " Open, 
Sesame ! " a door suddenly revealed itself and opened. 

Ali Baba had expected to find a dark and gloomy 
cavern. Great was his astonishment therefore when he 
perceived a spacious and vaulted chamber lighted from 
above through a fissure in the rock ; and there spread 
out before him lay treasures in profusion, bales of mer- 
chandise, silks, carpets, brocades, and above all gold and 
silver lying in loose heaps or in sacks piled one upon 
another. He did not take long to consider what he should 
do. Disregarding the silver and the gold that lay loose, 
he brought to the mouth of the cave as many sacks of 
gold as he thought his three asses might carry ; and having 
loaded them on and covered them with wood so that they 



ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES 19 

might not be seen, he closed the rock by the utterance of 
the magic words which he had learned, and departed for 
the town, a well-satisfied man. 

When he got home he drove his asses into a small 
court, and shutting the gates carefully he took off the 
wood that covered the bags and carried them in to his 
wife. She, discovering them to be full of gold, feared that 
her husband had stolen them, and began sorrowfully to 
reproach him ; but Ali Baba soon put her mind at rest 
on that score, and having poured all the gold into a great 
heap upon the floor he sat down at her side to consider 
how well it looked. 

Soon his wife, poor careful body, must needs begin 
counting it over piece by piece. Ali Baba let her go on 
for awhile, but before long the sight set him laughing. 
" Wife," said he, " you will never make an end of it that 
way. The best thing to do is to dig a hole and bury it, 
then we shall be sure that it is not slipping through our 
fingers." " That will do well enough," said his wife, 
" but it would be better first to have the measure of it. 
So while you dig the hole I will go round to Cassim's and 
borrow a measure small enough to give us an exact reckon- 
ing. "Do as you will," answered her husband, " but see 
that you keep the thing secret." 

Off went Ali Baba's wife to her brother-in-law's house. 
Cassim was from home, so she begged of his wife the loan 
of a small measure, naming for choice the smallest. This 
set the sister-in-law wondering. Knowing Ali Baba's 
poverty she was all the more curious to find out for what 
kind of grain so small a measure could be needed. So 
before bringing it she covered all the bottom with lard, 
and giving it to Ali Baba's wife told her to be sure and 
be quick in returning it. The other, promising to restore 
it punctually, made haste to get home ; and there finding 



20 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

the hole dug for its reception she started to measure the 
money into it. First she set the measure upon the heap, 
then she filled it, then she carried it to the hole ; and so 
she continued till the last measure was counted. Then, 
leaving Ali Baba to finish the burying, she carried back 
the measure with all haste to her sister-in-law, returning 
thanks for the loan. 

No sooner was her back turned than Cassim's wife 
looked at the bottom of the measure, and there to her 
astonishment she saw sticking to the lard a gold coin. 
" What ? " she cried, her heart filled with envy, " is Ali 
Baba so rich that he needs a measure for his gold ? Where, 
then, I would know, has the miserable wretch obtained it ? " 

She waited with impatience for her husband's return, 
and as soon as he came in she began to jeer at him. " You 
think yourself rich," said she, " but Ali Baba is richer. 
You count your gold by the piece, but Ali Baba does not 
count, he measures it ! In comparison to Ali Baba we 
are but grubs and groundlings 1 " 

Having thus riddled him to the top of her bent in 
order to provoke his curiosity, she told him the story of the 
borrowed measure, of her own stratagem, and of its result. 

Cassim, instead of being pleased at Ali Baba's sudden 
prosperity, grew furiously jealous ; not a wink could he 
sleep all night for thinking of it. The next morning before 
sunrise he went to his brother's house. " Ali Baba," said 
he, " what do you mean by pretending to be poor when 
all the time you are scooping up gold by the quart ? " 
" Brother," said Ali Baba, " explain your meaning." 
" My meaning shall be plain 1 " cried Cassim, displaying 
the tell-tale coin. " How many more pieces have you 
like this that my wife found sticking to the bottom of 
the measure yesterday ? " 

Ali Baba, perceiving that the intervention of wives had 



ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES 21 

made further concealment useless, told his brother the 
true facts of the case, and offered him, as an inducement 
for keeping the secret, an equal share of the treasure. 

" That is the least that I have the right to expect," 
answered Cassim haughtily. " It is further necessary that 
you should tell me exactly where the treasure lies, that I 
may, if need be, test the truth of your story, otherwise I 
shall find it my duty to denounce you to the authorities." 

Ali Baba, having a clear conscience, had little fear of 
Cassim's threats ; but out of pure good nature he gave 
him all the information he desired, not forgetting to instruct 
him in the words which would give him free passage into 
the cave and out again. 

Cassim, who had thus secured all he had come for, lost 
no time in putting his project into execution. Intent on 
possessing himself of all the treasures which yet remained, 
he set off the next morning before daybreak, taking with 
him ten mules laden with empty crates. Arrived before 
the cave, he recalled the words which his brother had 
taught him ; no sooner was " Open, Sesame ! " said than 
the door in the rock lay wide for him to pass through, and 
when he had entered it shut again. 

If the simple soul of Ali Baba had found delight in 
the riches of the cavern, greater still was the exultation 
of a greedy nature like Cassim's. Intoxicated with the 
wealth that lay before his eyes, he had no thought but to 
gather together with all speed as much treasure as the 
ten mules could carry ; and so, having exhausted himself 
with heavy labour and avaricious excitement, he suddenly 
found on returning to the door that he had forgotten the 
key which opened it. Up and down, and in and out 
through the mazes of his brain he chased the missing word. 
Barley, and maize, and rice, he thought of them all : but 
of sesame* never once, because his mind had become dark 



22 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

to the revealing light of heaven. And so the door stayed 
fast, holding him prisoner in the cave, where to his fate, 
undeserving of pity, we leave him. 

Toward noon the robbers returned, and saw, standing 
about the rock, the ten mules laden with crates. At this 
they were greatly surprised, and began to search with 
suspicion amongst the surrounding crannies and under- 
growth. Finding no one there, they drew their swords 
and advanced cautiously toward the cave, where, upon the 
captain's pronouncement of the magic word, the door 
immediately fell open. Cassim, who from within had 
heard the trampling of horses, had now no doubt that the 
robbers were arrived and that his hour was come. Resolved 
however to make one last effort at escape, he stood ready 
by the door ; and no sooner had the opening word been 
uttered than he sprang forth with such violence that he 
threw the captain to the ground. But his attempt was 
vain ; before he could break through he was mercilessly 
hacked down by the swords of the robber band. 

With their fears thus verified, the robbers anxiously 
entered the cave to view the traces of its late visitant. 
There they saw piled by the door the treasure which Cassim 
had sought to carry away ; but while restoring this to 
its place they failed altogether to detect the earlier loss 
which Ali Baba had caused them. Reckoning, however, 
that as one had discovered the secret of entry others also 
might know of it, they determined to leave an example 
for any who might venture thither on a similar errand ; 
and having quartered the body of Cassim they disposed 
it at the entrance in a manner most calculated to strike 
horror into the heart of the beholder. Then, closing the 
door of the cave, they rode away in the search of fresh 
exploits and plunder. 

Meanwhile Cassim's wife had grown very uneasy at 



ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES 23 

her husband's prolonged absence ; and at nightfall, unable 
to endure further suspense, she ran to Ali Baba, and telling 
him of his brother's secret expedition, entreated him to 
go out instantly in search of him. 

Ali Baba had too kind a heart to refuse or delay comfort 
to her affliction. Taking with him his three asses he set 
out immediately for the forest, and as the road was familiar 
to him he had soon found his way to the door of the cave. 
When he saw there the traces of blood he became filled 
with misgiving, but no sooner had he entered than his 
worst fears were realized. Nevertheless brotherly piety 
gave him courage. Gathering together the severed remains 
and wrapping them about with all possible decency, he 
laid them upon one of the asses ; then bethinking him 
that he deserved some payment for his pains, he loaded 
the two remaining asses with sacks of gold, and covering 
them with wood as on the first occasion, made his way 
back to the town while it was yet early. Leaving his 
wife to dispose of the treasure borne by the two asses, 
he led the third to his sister-in-law's house, and knocking 
quietly so that none of the neighbours might hear, was 
presently admitted by Morgiana, a female slave whose 
intelligence and discretion had long been known to him. 
" Morgiana," said he, " there's trouble on the back of 
that ass. Can you keep a secret ? " And Morgiana's 
nod satisfied him better than any oath. " Well," said 
he, " your master's body lies there waiting to be pieced, 
and our business now is to bury him honourably as though 
he had died a natural death. Go and tell your mistress 
that I want to speak to her." 

Morgiana went in to her mistress, and returning presently 
bade Ali Baba enter. Then leaving him to break to his 
sister-in-law the news and the sad circumstances of his 
brother's death, she, with her plan already formed, 



24 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

hastened forth and knocked at the door of the nearest 
apothecary. As soon as he opened to her she required 
of him in trembling agitation certain pillules efficacious 
against grave disorders, declaring in answer to his questions 
that her master had been taken suddenly ill. With these 
she returned home, and her plan of concealment having 
been explained and agreed upon, much to the satisfaction 
of Ali Baba, she went forth the next morning to the same 
apothecary, and with tears in her eyes besought him to 
supply her in haste with a certain drug that is given to 
sick people only in the last extremity. Meanwhile the 
rumour of Cassim's sickness had got abroad ; Ali Baba 
and his wife had been seen coming and going, while Mor- 
giana by her ceaseless activity had made the two days' 
pretended illness seem like a fortnight : so when a sound 
of wailing arose within the house all the neighbours con- 
cluded without further question that Cassim had died a 
natural and honourable death. 

But Morgiana had now a still more difficult task to 
perform, it being necessary for the obsequies that the 
body should be made in some way presentable. So at a 
very early hour the next morning she went to the shop 
of a certain merry old cobbler, Baba Mustapha by name, 
who lived on the other side of the town. Showing him a 
piece of gold she inquired whether he were ready to earn 
it by exercising his craft in implicit obedience to her 
instructions. And when Baba Mustapha sought to know 
the terms, " First," said she, " you must come with your 
eyes bandaged ; secondly, you must sew what I put 
before you without asking questions ; and thirdly, when 
you return you must tell nobody." 

Mustapha, who had a lively curiosity into other folk's 
affairs, boggled for a time at the bandaging, and doubted 
much of his ability to refrain from question ; but having 



ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES 27 

on these considerations secured the doubling of his fee, 
he promised secrecy readily enough, and taking his 
cobbler's tackle in hand submitted himself to Morgiana's 
guidance and set forth. This way and that she led him 
blindfold, till she had brought him to the house of her 
deceased master. Then uncovering his eyes in the pres- 
ence of the dismembered corpse, she bade him get out 
thread and wax and join the pieces together. 

Baba Mustapha plied his task according to the com- 
pact, asking no question. When he had done, Morgiana 
again bandaged his eyes and led him home, and giving 
him a third piece of gold the more to satisfy him, she bade 
him good-day and departed. 

So in seemliness and without scandal of any kind we *e 
the obsequies of the murdered Cassim performed. And 
when all was ended, seeing that his widow was desolate 
and his house in need of a protector, Ali Baba with brotherly 
piety took both the one and the other into his care, marry- 
ing his sister-in-law according to Moslem rule, and remov- 
ing with all his goods and newly acquired treasure to the 
house which had been his brother's. And having also 
acquired the shop where Cassim had done business, he 
put ini d it his own son, who had already served an appren- 
ticeship to the trade. So, with his fortune well established, 
let us now leave Ali Baba, and return to the robbers' cave. 

Thither, at the appointed time, came the forty robbers, 
bearing in hand fresh booty ; and great was their con- 
sternation to discover that not only had the body of 
Cassim been removed, but a good many sacks of gold as 
well. It was no wonder that this should trouble them, 
for so long as anyone could command secret access, the 
cave was useless as a depository for their wealth. The 
question was, What could they do to put an end to their 
present insecurity ? After long debate it was agreed that 



28 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

one of their number should go into the town disguised as 
a traveller, and there, mixing with the common people, 
learn from their report whether there had been recently 
any case in their midst of sudden prosperity or sudden 
death. If such a thing could be discovered, then they 
made sure of tracking the evil to its source and imposing 
a remedy. 

Although the penalty for failure was death, one of the 
robbers at once boldly offered himself for the venture, 
and having transformed himself by disguise and received 
the wise counsels and commendations of his fellows, he 
set out for the town. 

Arriving at dawn he began to walk up and down the 
streets and watch the early stirring of the inhabitants. 
So, before long, he drew up at the door of Baba Mustapha, 
who, though old, was already seated at work upon his 
cobbler's bench. The robber accosted him. " I wonder,'* 
said he, " to see a man of your age at work so early. Does 
not so dull a light strain your eyes ? " " Not so much 
as you might think," answered Baba Mustapha. " Why, 
it was but the other day that at this same hour I saw well 
enough to stitch up a dead body in a place where it was 
certainly no lighter." " Stitch up a dead body 1 " cried 
the robber in pretended amazement, concealing his joy 
at this sudden intelligence. " Surely you mean in its 
winding sheet, for how else can a dead body be stitched ? " 
" No, no," said Mustapha ; " what I say I mean ; but 
as it is a secret, I can tell you no more." The robber 
drew out a piece of gold. " Come," said he, " tell me 
nothing you do not care to ; only show me the house 
where lay the body that you stitched." Baba Mustapha 
eyed the gold longingly. " Would that I could," he 
replied ; M but alas ! I went to it blindfold." " Well," 
said the robber, " I have heard that a blind man remembers 



ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES 29 

his road ; perhaps, though seeing you might lose it, blind- 
fold you might find it again." Tempted by the offer of a 
second piece of gold, Baba Mustapha was soon persuaded 
to make the attempt. " It was here that I started," said 
he, showing the spot, " and I turned as you see me now." 
The robber then put a bandage over his eyes, and walked 
beside him through the streets, partly guiding and partly 
being led, till of his own accord Baba Mustapha stopped. 
" It was here," said he. " The door by which I went in 
should now lie to the right. And he had in fact come 
exactly opposite to the house which had once been Cassim's, 
where Ali Baba now dwelt. 

The robber, having marked the door with a piece of 
chalk which he had provided for the purpose, removed 
the bandage from Mustapha's eyes, and leaving him to his 
own devices returned with all possible speed to the cave 
where his comrades were awaiting him. 

Soon after the robber and cobbler had parted, Mor- 
giana happened to go out upon an errand, and as she 
returned she noticed the mark upon the door. " This," 
she thought, " is not as it should be ; either some trick 
is intended, or there is evil brewing for my master's house." 
Taking a piece of chalk she put a similar mark upon the 
five or six doors lying to right and left ; and having done 
this she went home with her mind satisfied, saying nothing. 

In the meantime the robbers had learned from their 
companion the success of his venture. Greatly elated at 
the thought of the vengeance so soon to be theirs, they 
formed a plan for entering the city in a manner that should 
arouse no suspicion among the inhabitants. Passing in 
by twos and threes, and by different routes, they came 
together to the market-place at an appointed time, while 
the captain and the robber who had acted as spy made 
their way alone to the street in which the marked door 



30 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

was to be found. Presently, just as they had expected, 
they perceived a door with the mark on it. " That is 
it ! " said the robber ; but as they continued walking so 
as to avoid suspicion, they came upon another and another, 
till, before they were done, they had passed six in succes- 
sion. So alike were the marks that the spy, though he 
swore he had made but one, could not tell which it was. 
Seeing that the design had failed, the captain returned to 
the market-place, and having passed the word for his 
troop to go back in the same way as they had come, he 
himself set the example of retreat. 

When they were all reassembled in the forest, the 
captain explained how the matter had fallen, and the spy, 
acquiescing in his own condemnation, kneeled down and 
received the stroke of the executioner. 

But as it was still necessary for the safety of all that 
so great a trespass and theft should not pass unavenged, 
another of the band, undeterred by the fate of his comrade, 
volunteered upon the same conditions to prosecute the 
quest wherein the other had failed. Coming by the same 
means to the house of Ali Baba, he set upon the door, at a 
spot not likely to be noticed, a mark in red chalk to dis- 
tinguish it clearly from those which were already marked 
in white. But even this precaution failed of its end. 
Morgiana, whose eye nothing could escape, noticed the 
red mark at the first time of passing, and dealt with it 
just as she had done with the previous one. So when the 
robbers came, hoping this time to light upon the door 
without fail, they found not one but six all similarly 
marked with red. 

When the second spy had received the due reward of 
his blunder, the captain considered how by trusting to 
others he had come to lose two of his bravest followers, 
so the third attempt he determined to conduct in person. 



ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES 31 

Having found his way to Ali Baba's door, as the two 
others had done by the aid of Baba Mustapha, he did 
not set any mark upon it, but examined it so carefully 
that he could not in future mistake it. He then returned 
to the forest and communicated to his band the plan 
which he had formed. This was to go into the town in 
the disguise of an oil-merchant, bearing with him upon 
nineteen mules thirty-eight large leather jars, one of which, 
as a sample, was to be full of oil, but all the others empty. 
In these he purposed to conceal the thirty-seven robbers 
to which his band was now reduced, and so to convey 
his full force to the scene of action in such a manner as 
to arouse no suspicion till the signal for vengeance should 
be given. 

Within a couple of days he had secured all the mules 
and jars that were requisite, and having disposed of his 
troop according to the pre-arranged plan, he drove his 
train of well-laden mules to the gates of the city, through 
which he passed just before sunset. Proceeding thence 
to Ali Baba's house, and arriving as it fell dark, he was 
about to knock and crave a lodging for the night, when he 
perceived Ali Baba at the door enjoying the fresh air after 
supper. Addressing him in tones of respect, " Sir," said 
he, " I have brought my oil a great distance to sell to- 
morrow in the market ; and at this late hour, being a 
stranger, I know not where to seek for a shelter. If it is 
not troubling you too much, allow me to stable my beasts 
here for the night." 

The captain's voice was now so changed from its accus- 
tomed tone of command, that Ali Baba, though he had 
heard it before, did not recognize it. Not only did he 
grant the stranger's request for bare accommodation, but 
as soon as the unlading and stabling of the mules had 
been accomplished, he invited him to stay no longer in 



'62 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

the outer court but enter the house as his guest. The 
captain, whose plans this proposal somewhat disarranged, 
endeavoured to excuse himself from a pretended reluctance 
to give trouble ; but since Ali Baba would take no refusal 
he was forced at last to yield, and to submit with apparent 
complaisance to an entertainment which the hospitality 
of his host extended to a late hour. 

When they were about to retire for the night, Ali 
Baba went into the kitchen to speak to Morgiana ; and 
the captain of the robbers, on the pretext of going to look 
after his mules, slipped out into the yard where the oil- 
jars were standing in line. Passing from jar to jar he 
whispered into each, " When you hear a handful of pebbles 
fall from the window of the chamber where I am lodged, 
then cut your way out of the jar and make ready, for the 
time will have come." He then returned to the house, 
where Morgiana came with a light and conducted him to 
his chamber. 

Now Ali Baba, before going to bed, had said to Mor- 
giana, " To-morrow at dawn I am going to the baths ; 
let my bathing-linen be put ready, and see that the cook 
has some good broth prepared for me against my return." 
Having therefore led the guest up to his chamber, Mor- 
giana returned to the kitchen and ordered Abdallah the 
cook to put on the pot for the broth. Suddenly while 
she was skimming it, the lamp went out, and, on searching, 
she found there was no more oil in the house. At so late 
an hour no shop would be open, yet somehow the broth 
had to be made, and that could not be done without a 
light. " As for that," said Abdallah, seeing her perplexity, 
" why trouble yourself ? There is plenty of oil out in the 
yard." " Why, to be sure ! " said Morgiana, and sending 
Abdallah to bed so that he might be up in time to wake 
his master on the morrow, she took the oil-can herself 



ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES 33 

and went out into the court. As she approached the jar 
which stood nearest, she heard a voice within say, " Is 
it time ? " 

To one of Morgiana's intelligence an oil- jar that spoke 
was an object of even more suspicion than a chalk-mark 
on a door, and in an instant she apprehended what danger 
for her master and his family might lie concealed around 
her. Understanding well enough that an oil- jar which 
asked a question required an answer, she replied quick 
as thought and without the least sign of perturbation, 
" Not yet, but presently." And thus she passed from jar 
to jar, thirty-seven in all, giving the same answer, till she 
came to the one which contained the oil. 

The situation was now clear to her. Aware of the 
source from which her master had acquired his wealth, 
she guessed at once that, in extending shelter to the oil- 
merchant, Ali Baba had in fact admitted to his house the 
robber captain and his band. On the instant her resolu- 
tion was formed. Having filled the oil-can she returned 
to the kitchen ; there she lighted the lamp and then, 
taking a large kettle, went back once more to the jar 
which contained the oil. Filling the kettle she carried it 
back to the kitchen, and putting under it a great fire of 
wood had soon brought it to the boil. Then taking it in 
hand once more, she went out into the yard and poured 
into each jar in turn a sufficient quantity of the boiling 
oil to scald its occupant to death. 

She then returned to the kitchen, and having made 
Ali Baba's broth, put out the fire, blew out the lamp, and 
sat down by the window to watch. 

Before long the captain of the robbers awoke from the 
short sleep which he had allowed himself, and finding that 
all was silent in the house, he rose softly and opened the 
window. Below stood the oil- jars ; gently into their 

4 



34 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

midst he threw the handful of pebbles agreed on as a 
signal ; but from the oil- jars came no answer. He threw 
a second and a third time ; yet though he could hear the 
pebbles falling among the jars, there followed only the 
silence of the dead. Wondering whether his band had 
fled leaving him in the lurch, or whether they were all 
asleep, he grew uneasy, and descending in haste, made 
his way into the court. As he approached the first jar a 
smell of burning and hot oil assailed his nostrils, and 
looking within he beheld in rigid contortion the dead body 
of his comrade. In every jar the same sight presented 
itself, till he came to the one which had contained the 
oil. There, in what was missing, the means and manner 
of his companions' death were made clear to him. Aghast 
at the discovery and awake to the danger that now threat- 
ened him, he did not delay an instant, but forcing the 
garden-gate, and thence climbing from wall to wall, he 
made his escape out of the city. 

When Morgiana, who had remained all this time on 
the watch, was assured of his final departure, she put her 
master's bath-linen ready and went to bed well satisfied 
with her day's work. 

The next morning Ali Baba, awakened by his slave, 
went to the baths before daybreak. On his return he 
was greatly surprised to find that the merchant was gone, 
leaving his mules and oil- jars behind him. He inquired 
of Morgiana the reason. " You will find the reason," said 
she, " if you look into the first jar you come to." Ali 
Baba did so, and, seeing a man, started back with a cry. 
" Do not be afraid," said Morgiana, " he is dead and harm- 
less ; and so are all the others whom you will find if you 
look further." 

As Ali Baba went from one jar to another, finding 
always the same sight of horror within, his knees trembled 



ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES 85 

under him ; and when he came at last to the one empty 
oil- jar, he stood for a time motionless, turning upon Mor- 
giana eyes of wonder and inquiry. " And what," he said 
then, " has become of the merchant ? " " To tell you 
that," said Morgiana, " will be to tell you the whole story ; 
you will be better able to hear it if you have your broth 
first." 

But the curiosity of Ali Baba was far too great : he 
would not be kept waiting. So without further delay she 
gave him the whole history, so far as she knew it, from 
beginning to end ; and by her intelligent putting of one 
thing against another, she left him at last in no possible 
doubt as to the source and nature of the conspiracy which 
her quick wits had so happily defeated. " And now, dear 
master," she said in conclusion, " continue to be on your 
guard, for though all these are dead, one remains alive ; 
and he, if I mistake not, is the captain of the band, and 
for that reason the more formidable and the more likely 
to cherish the hope of vengeance." 

When Morgiana had done speaking Ali Baba clearly 
perceived that he owed to her not merely the protection 
of his property but life itself. His heart was full of 
gratitude. " Do not doubt," he said, " that before I die 
I will reward you as you deserve ; and as an immediate 
proof from this moment I give you your liberty.' 

This token of his approval filled Morgiana's heart with 
delight, but she had no intention of leaving so kind a 
master, even had she been sure that all danger was now 
over. The immediate question which next presented itself 
was how to dispose of the bodies. Luckily at the far end 
of the garden stood a thick grove of trees, and under 
these Ali Baba was able to dig a large trench without 
attracting the notice of his neighbours. Here the remains 
of the thirty-seven robbers were laid side by side, the 



36 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

trench was filled again, and the ground made level. As 
for the mules, since Ali Baba had no use for them, he 
sent them, one or two at a time, to the market to be sold. 

Meanwhile the robber captain had fled back to the 
forest. Entering the cave he was overcome by its gloom 
and loneliness. " Alas ! " he cried, " my comrades, part- 
ners in my adventures, sharers of my fortune, how shall 
I endure to live without you ? Why did I lead you to a 
fate where valour was of no avail, and where death turned 
you into objects of ridicule ? Surely had you died sword 
in hand my sorrow had been less bitter ! And now what 
remains for me but to take vengeance for your death and 
to prove, by achieving it without aid, that I was worthy 
to be the captain of such a band 1 " 

Thus resolved, at an early hour the next day, he 
assumed a disguise suitable to his purpose, and going to 
the town took lodging in a khan. Entering into conversa- 
tion with his host he inquired whether anything of interest 
had happened recently in the town ; but the other, though 
full of gossip, had nothing to tell him concerning the 
matter in which he was most interested, for Ali Baba, 
having to conceal from all the source of his wealth, had 
also to be silent as to the dangers in which it involved 
him. 

The captain then inquired where there was a shop for 
hire ; and hearing of one that suited him, he came to 
terms with the owner, and before long had furnished it 
with all kinds of rich stuffs and carpets and jewellery 
which he brought by degrees with great secrecy from the 
cave. 

Now this shop happened to be opposite to that which 
had belonged to Cassim and was now occupied by the son 
of Ali Baba ; so before long the son and the new-comer, 
who had assumed the name of Cogia Houssain, became 



ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES 87 

acquainted ; and as the youth had good looks, kind 
manners, and a sociable disposition, it was not long before 
the acquaintance became intimate. 

Cogia Houssain did all he could to seal the pretended 
friendship, the more so as it had not taken him long to 
discover how the young man and AH Baba were related ; 
so, plying him constantly with small presents and acts of 
hospitality, he forced on him the obligation of making 
some return. 

Ali Baba's son, however, had not at his lodging suffi- 
cient accommodation for entertainment ; he therefore told 
his father of the difficulty in which Cogia Houssain's 
favours had placed him, and Ali Baba with great willing- 
ness at once offered to arrange matters. " My son," said 
he, " to-morrow being a holiday, all shops will be closed ; 
then do you after dinner invite Cogia Houssain to walk 
with you ; and as you return bring him this way and beg 
him to come in. That will be better than a formal invita- 
tion, and Morgiana shall have a supper prepared for you." 

This proposal was exactly what Ali Baba's son could 
have wished, so on the morrow he brought Cogia Houssain 
to the door as if by accident, and stopping, invited him 
to enter. 

Cogia Houssain, who saw his object thus suddenly 
attained, began by showing pretended reluctance, but Ali 
Baba himself coming to the door, pressed him in the most 
kindly manner to enter, and before long had conducted 
him to the table, where food stood prepared. 

But there an unlooked-for difficulty arose. Wicked 
though he might be, the robber captain was not so impious 
as to eat the salt of the man he intended to kill. He 
therefore began with many apologies to excuse himself; 
and when Ali Baba sought to know the reason, '* Sir," 
said he, "I am sure that if you knew the cause of my 



38 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

resolution you would approve of it. Suffice it to say that 
I have made it a rule to eat of no dish that has salt in it. 
How then can I sit down at your table if I must reject 
everything that is set before me?" 

44 If that is your scruple," said Ali Baba, " it shall 
soon be satisfied," and he sent orders to the kitchen that 
no salt was to be put into any of the dishes presently to 
be served to the newly arrived guest. " Thus," said he 
to Cogia Houssain, " I shall still have the honour, to which 
I have looked forward, of returning to you under my own 
roof the hospitality you have shown to my son." 

Morgiana, who was just about to serve supper, received 
the order with some discontent. " Who," she said, " is 
this difficult person that refuses to eat salt ? He must 
be a curiosity worth looking at." So when the saltless 
courses were ready to be set upon the table, she herself 
helped to carry in the dishes. No sooner had she set eyes 
on Cogia Houssain than she recognized him in spite of 
his disguise ; and observing his movements with great 
attention she saw that he had a dagger concealed beneath 
his robe. " Ah ! " she said to herself, " here is reason 
enough ! For who will eat salt with the man he means 
to murder ? But he shall not murder my master if I 
can prevent it." 

Now Morgiana knew that the most favourable oppor- 
tunity for the robber captain to carry out his design would 
be after the courses had been withdrawn, and when Ali 
Baba and his son and guest were alone .together over their 
wine, which indeed was the very project that Cogia Hous- 
sain had formed. Going forth, therefore, in haste, she 
dressed herself as a dancer, assuming the head-dress and 
mask suitable for the character. Then she fastened a silver 
girdle about her waist, and hung upon it a dagger of the 
same material. Thus equipped, she said to Abdallah the 



ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES 39 

cook, " Take your tabor and let us go in and give an 
entertainment in honour of our master's guest." 

So Abdallah took his tabor, and played Morgiana into 
the hall. As soon as she had entered she made a low- 
curtsy, and stood awaiting orders. Then Ali Baba, seeing 
that she wished to perform in his guest's honour, said 
kindly, " Come in, Morgiana, and show Cogia Houssain 
what you can do." 

Immediately Abdallah began to beat upon his tabor 
and sing an air for Morgiana to dance to ; and she, advanc- 
ing with much grace and propriety of deportment, began 
to move through several figures, performing them with the 
ease and facility which none but the most highly practised 
can attain to. Then, for the last figure of all, she drew 
out the dagger and, holding it in her hand, danced a dance 
which excelled all that had preceded it in the surprise 
and change and quickness and dexterity of its movements. 
Now she presented the dagger at her own breast, now at 
one of the onlookers ; but always in the act of striking 
she drew back. At length, as though out of breath, she 
snatched his instrument from Abdallah with her left hand, 
and, still holding the dagger in her right, advanced the 
hollow of the tabor toward her master, as is the custom 
of dancers when claiming their fee. Ali Baba threw in a 
piece of gold ; his son did likewise. Then advancing it 
in the same manner toward Cogia Houssain, who was 
feeling for his purse, she struck under it, and before he 
knew had plunged her dagger deep into his heart. 

Ali Baba and his son, seeing their guest fall dead, cried 
out in horror at the deed. " Wretch ! " exclaimed Ali 
Baba, " what ruin and shame hast thou brought on us ? " 
" Nay," answered Morgiana, " it is not your ruin but your 
life that I have thus secured ; look and convince yourself 
what man was this which refused to eat salt with you ! " 



40 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

So saying, she tore off the dead robber's disguise, showing 
the dagger concealed below, and the face which her master 
now for the first time recognized. 

Ali Baba's gratitude to Morgiana for thus preserving 
his life a second time, knew no bounds. He took her in 
his arms and embraced her as a daughter. " Now," said 
he, " the time is come when I must fulfil my debt ; and 
how better can I do it than by marrying you to my son ? " 
This proposition, far from proving unwelcome to the 
young man, did but confirm an inclination already formed. 
A few days later the nuptials were celebrated with great 
joy and solemnity, and the union thus auspiciously com- 
menced was productive of as much happiness as lies within 
the power of mortals to secure. 

As for the robbers' cave, it remained the secret posses- 
sion of Ali Baba and his posterity ; and using their good 
fortune with equity and moderation, they rose to high 
office in the city and were held in great honour by all 
who knew them. 



THE STORY OF THE WICKED HALF-BROTHERS 



THE STORY OF THE WICKED HALF-BROTHERS 

In the city of Harran there once lived a King who 
had every happiness which life and fortune could bestow 
save that he lacked an heir. Although, according to royal 
custom, he had in his household fifty wives, fair to look 
upon and affectionate in disposition, and though he con- 
tinually invoked on these unions the blessing of Heaven, 
still he remained childless ; for which cause all his joy 
was turned to affliction, and his wealth and power and 
magnificence became as of no account. 

Now one night as he slept there appeared before him 
an old man of venerable appearance who, addressing him 
in mild accents, spoke thus : " The prayer of the faithful 
among fifty has been heard. Arise, therefore, and go 
into the gardens of your palace and cause the gardener 
to bring you a pomegranate fully ripe. Eat as many of 
the seeds as you desire children, and your wish shall be 
fulfilled." 

Immediately upon awaking the King remembered the 
dream, and going down into the gardens of the palace he 
took fifty pomegranate seeds, and counting them one by 
one ate them all. So in due course, according to the 
promise of his dream, each of his wives gave birth to a 
son, all about the same time. To this, however, there 
was an exception, for one of the fifty whose name was 
Pirouze, the fairest and the most honourably born, she 
alone, as time went on, showed no sign of that which wa i 

43 



44 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

expected of her. Then was the King's anger kindled 
against her because in her alone the promise of his dream 
was not fulfilled ; and deeming such a one hateful in the 
eyes of Heaven he was minded to put her to death. His 
vizier, however, dissuaded him. " Time alone can show," 
said he, " whether her demerits are so great as you now 
suppose. Let her go back to her own people, and remain 
in banishment until the will of Heaven shall declare itself, 
and if within due time she give birth to a son then can 
she return to you with all honour." So the King did as 
his vizier advised, and sent Pirouze back to her own 
country to the court of the Prince of Samaria ; and there 
before long she who had seemed barren had the joy of 
becoming a mother and gave birth to a son whom she 
named Codadad, that is to say, " the Gift of God." Never- 
theless, because the King of Harran had put upon her 
so public a disgrace, the Prince of Samaria would send 
no word to him of the event ; so the young Prince was 
brought up at his uncle's court, and there he learned to 
ride and to shoot and to perform such warlike feats as 
become a prince, and in all that country he had no equal 
for accomplishment or courage. 

Now one day, when Codadad had reached the age of 
eighteen, word came to him that his father the King of 
Harran was engaged in war and surrounded by enemies ; 
so the Prince said to his mother, " Now is it time that I 
should go and prove myself worthy of my birth and the 
equal of my brethren ; for here in Samaria all is peace 
and indolence, but in Harran are hardship and dangers, 
and great deeds waiting to be done." And his mother 
said to him, " O my son, since it seems good to thee, go ; 
but how wilt thou declare thyself to thy father, or cause 
him to believe thy word, seeing that he is ignorant of 
thy birth ? " Codadad answered, " I will so declare myself 




PIROUZ&, THE FAIREST AND MOST HONOURABLY BORN 
{Pagt 43) 



THE WICKED HALF-BROTHERS 47 

by my deeds that before my father knows the truth he 
shall wish that it were true." 

So he departed and came in princely arms to the city 
of Harran, and there offered his service to the King against 
all his enemies. Now, no sooner had the King looked 
upon the youth than his heart was drawn toward him 
because of his beauty and the secret ties of blood, but 
when he asked from what country he came, Codadad 
answered, " I am the son of an emir of Cairo, and wherever 
there is war I go to win fame, nor do I care in what cause 
I fight so long as I be proved worthy." 

The Prince was not slow in making his valour known ; 
before long he had risen to the command of the whole 
army, not only over the heads of his brethren but also 
of the more experienced officers. And thereafter, when 
peace was re-established, the King, finding Codadad as 
prudent as he was valiant, appointed him governor to 
the young Princes. 

Now this act, though justified by merit, could not fail 
to increase the hatred and jealousy which Codadad's 
brethren had long felt towards him. " What ? " they 
cried, " shall this stranger not only steal from us the first 
place in the King's favour, but must we also be in obedi- 
ence to his ruling and judgment ? Surely if we do so we 
are no sons of a King." 

So they conspired together how best to be rid of him. 
One said, " Let us fall upon him with our swords." " No, 
no," said another, " for so doing we shall but bring punish- 
ment upon ourselves. But let us so arrange matters as 
to draw on him the weight of the King's anger ; thus 
shall our vengeance be made both safe and complete." 

To this the other Princes agreed ; so forming a design 
which seemed favourable to their end they approached 
Codadad, and besought his permission to go forth together 



48 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

on a hunting expedition, promising to return the same 
day. Codadad, deeming the request reasonable, immedi- 
ately granted it : the brothers departed, but they did not 
return. 

On the third day the King made inquiry as to the 
reason of their absence. Codadad replied that they were 
gone on a hunting expedition but had promised to return 
much sooner. Another day passed and the King grew 
anxious ; yet another, and he became furious ; and all 
his wrath was directed against Codadad. " O traitor," 
he cried, " why hast thou neglected thy trust and allowed 
my sons to go anywhere unaccompanied by thee ? Now 
go instantly and search for them, and if thou find them 
not, be assured that on thy head shall fall the penalty." 

At these words the Prince was filled with sudden fore- 
boding, for he knew that the brothers had no love for 
him, and well could he see now the danger into which 
he had fallen. All he could do, however, was to obey ; 
so furnishing himself with arms and a horse good for 
travelling, he set out in search of his brethren. 

After some days employed in a fruitless quest he came 
to a desolate tract in the midst of which stood a castle 
of black marble. As he approached he beheld at an upper 
window a damsel of marvellous beauty, with torn garments, 
dishevelled hair, and a countenance expressive of the most 
lively affliction, who immediately that she set eyes on 
him wrung her hands and waived him away crying, " Oh, 
fly, fly from this place of death and the monster which 
inhabits it ! For here lives a black giant which feeds on 
human flesh, seizing all he can find. Even now in his 
dungeons you may hear the cries of those whom for his 
next meal he will devour." 

" Madam," replied the Prince, " for my safety you 
need have no care. Only be good enough to inform me 



THE WICKED HALF-BROTHERS 49 

who you are and how you came to be in your present 
plight." " I come from Cairo," she replied, " where my 
birth gives me rank. And as I was travelling from thence 
on my road to Bagdad this monstrous negro suddenly fell 
upon us, and having slain my escort brought me hither 
a captive, to endure, if Heaven refuses me succour, 
things far worse than death. But though I know my 
own peril I will not see others perish in a vain attempt 
to rescue me, therefore once more I entreat you to fly 
ere it be too late." 

But even as she spoke, the negro, a horrible and 
gigantic monster of loathsome appearance, came in sight 
moving rapidly toward the palace. No sooner had he 
caught sight of the Prince than he rushed upon him with 
growls of fury, and drawing his scimitar aimed at him a 
blow which, had it found him, must there and then have 
ended the fight. The Prince, however, swerved nimbly 
under the stroke, and reaching his farthest, wounded the 
giant in the knee ; then wheeling his charger about before 
the negro could turn on his maimed limb he attacked him 
from the rear, and with one fortunate blow brought him 
to earth. Instantly, before the giant could gather up his 
huge length and regain his vantage, Codadad spurred 
forward and with a single sweep of his sword smote off 
his head. 

Meanwhile, all breathless above, the lady had leaned 
watching the contest. Now, seeing that victory was 
secured, she gave free vent to her joy and gratitude. " O 
prince of men ! " she cried, " now is revealed to me the 
high rank to which thou wast born. Finish, then, thy 
work ; take from the girdle of yonder wretch the keys of 
the castle and come quickly to the release of me and my 
fellow-prisoners." 

The Prince did according to her directions ; as he 



50 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

opened the gates and entered the forecourt the lady 
advanced to meet him, ready, had he permitted it, to 
throw herself in gratitude at his feet. And now, as he 
beheld near at hand the beauty which had charmed him 
from a distance, Codadad realized how great had been 
his fortune, and with his whole heart rejoiced at the 
deliverance of one in whose nature so much virtue and 
grace seemed blended. 

But while he was thus lost in the contemplation of 
her loveliness there arose from the basement of the castle 
a dreadful sound of crying and lamentation. " What is 
that ? " inquired the Prince. "It is the cry of the pris- 
oners," replied the lady, " to whom, I doubt not, the 
opening of the gates has betokened the monster's return. 
Come, therefore, quickly and relieve them of their misery." 
And so saying she pointed to the door which led to the 
place of confinement. 

Thither, accompanied by the lady, went Codadad with 
all speed. Descending by a dark stair he came upon a 
vast cavern dimly lighted, around the walls of which a 
hundred prisoners lay chained. Instantly he set to work 
to loose their bonds, informing them at the same time of 
the death of their captor and of their freedom from 
all further danger. At these unexpected tidings the 
captives raised a cry of joy and thanksgiving ; but 
great as was their surprise at such unlooked-for 
deliverance, greater still was that of the Prince when, 
on bringing them to the light, he discovered that forty- 
nine of the hundred whom he had released were his 
own brethren. 

The Princes received the cordial embraces of their 
deliverer with little embarrassment, for the disaster into 
which they had fallen had caused them almost entirely 
to forget their original intent. Satisfied with expressing in 




LADY ADVANCED TO 

(Pug* 60) 



THE WICKED HALF-BROTHERS 53 

proper terms their obligation and gratitude toward Coda- 
dad, they now joined eagerly in his survey of the castle ; 
there upon examination they found an extraordinary 
variety and wealth of booty, consisting for the most part 
of merchandise which the negro had pillaged from passing 
caravans, some of it actually belonging to those whom 
Codadad had so recently rescued. 

The Prince accordingly ordered the merchants each to 
take what he recognized as his own ; and this being done 
he divided the rest equally between them. The question 
then arose how they should remove their plunder from a 
place so desolately situated, where it would seem impossible 
to procure means of conveyance ; but on a further search 
they found not only the camels of the merchants, but also 
the horses on which the Princes of Harran had ridden ; 
and as, at their approach, the black slaves who were in 
charge of the stables fell into headlong flight, Codadad 
and his companions found themselves left in undis- 
puted possession. The merchants therefore loaded their 
camels, and with renewed protestations of gratitude 
departed on the several roads by which their avocations 
called them. 

When they were gone Codadad' s next care was to 
inquire of the lady in what direction she wished to travel, 
promising that he and the Princes would conduct her 
in safety to any place she might name. The lady 
replied, thanking him for his generous offer. " But 
wherever I go," said she, " it cannot be to my own 
country, for not only is it too far distant, but cruel misfor- 
tune has separated me from it for ever. And since you 
have put me under so great an obligation, let me now 
confess the truth which before I thought it prudent to 
conceal. My dignity of rank is far higher than that to 
which I recently laid claim ; in me you behold a King's 



54 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

daughter, and if it will interest you to hear the story of 
my misfortunes, I shall be happy to recount it." Assured 
of the lively sympathy of her auditors she began as 
follows : 



THE STORY OF THE PRINCESS OF DERYABAR 



THE STORY OF THE PRINCESS OF DERYABAR 

My father was the King of a city among the isles 
named Deryabar, and I was his only child ; for, in spite 
of his many prayers directed to that end, Heaven had 
not granted him a son. And for this cause, though he 
bestowed upon my education all imaginable care, the sight 
of me remained displeasing to him. In order the better 
to forget his sorrow he spent his days in hunting, and so 
he chanced on the event which led to all our misfortunes. 
For one day, as he was riding unattended in the forest, 
night overtook him and he knew not which way to turn. 
Presently in the distance he perceived a light, and advanc- 
ing towards it he came upon a hut within which a mon- 
strous negro stood basting an ox that roasted before the 
fire. In the farther corner of the hut lay a beautiful 
woman with hands bound, and a face betokening the 
deepest affliction, while at her feet a young child, between 
two and three years of age, stretched up its arms and 
wailed without ceasing. 

At this sight my father was filled with compassion, 
but his desire to effect her rescue was restrained for a 
while by fear that a failure might only make matters 
worse. In the meantime the giant, having drained a 
pitcher of wine, sat down to eat. Presently he turned 
himself about and addressed the lady. " Charming Prin- 
cess," said he, " why will you not accept the good things 
which are within your reach ? Only yield to me the love 

-7 57 



58 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

that I demand and you will find in me the gentlest and 
most considerate of lords." To these advances, however, 
the lady replied with resolution and courage. " Vile 
monster," she cried, " every time I look at you does but 
increase my hatred and loathing toward you. Unchange- 
able as the foulness of your appearance is the disgust 
with which you inspire me!" 

These words of violent provocation were no sooner 
uttered than the negro, beside himself with rage, drew his 
sword, and seizing the lady by the hair, lifted her from 
the ground in preparation for the blow that would have 
ended all. Whereupon, seeing that not a moment was 
to be lost, my father drew his bow and let fly an arrow 
with so good an aim that, pierced to the heart, the giant 
fell dead. Immediately entering the hut my father raised 
the lady from the swoon into which she had fallen, and 
severing her bonds gave her the needed reassurance that 
all danger was now over. Before long he learned in 
answer to his inquiries that she had been wife to a chief 
of the Saracens, in whose service the slain giant had, 
on account of his great strength, occupied a position 
of trust. This, however, he had shamelessly betrayed ; 
for having conceived a violent passion for his master's 
wife, he first persuaded the chief into an expedition which 
terminated in his death, and then returning in haste 
carried away by force not only the lady but her child 
also. From this degrading bondage my father's act had 
now saved her ; but though thus relieved of immediate 
danger, the wife of the Saracen chief was both solitary 
and friendless, for not only was she too far removed from 
her own land to return to it unaided, but she had small 
hope, should she ever arrive there, of securing for her son 
his rightful inheritance. This being the case my father, 
moved with compassion, determined to adopt the child as 



THE PRINCESS OF DERYABAR 59 

his own ; and as the lady gratefully accepted his proposal, 
the next day, as soon as it was light, he returned to Deryabar 
bringing with him mother and son. 

Thus it came about that the son of a Saracen chief 
was brought up in my father's palace like a Prince of the 
blood royal ; and so, on attaining to manhood, having 
both grace and good looks to recommend him, he came 
to forget the comparative lowliness of his origin, and aspir- 
ing to become my father's heir, had the presumption to 
demand my hand in marriage. 

A claim so audacious merited the severest punishment, 
yet my father merely remarked that he had other views 
concerning me, and with so lenient a rebuke would have 
passed the matter by. His refusal, however, excited in 
the proud youth the liveliest resentment ; seeing that he 
could not obtain his ambition by fair means he immedi- 
ately entered into conspiracy, and having treacherously 
slain my father, caused himself to be made King in his 
place. Fresh from this monstrous crime he renewed his 
suit for my hand, and was preparing to enforce it by 
violence, when the vizier, who alone of all my father's 
court had remained faithful to his memory, found means 
to convey me from the palace to a sailing vessel which 
was leaving harbour the same night. 

Here for a time I seemed to have reached safety, but 
when we had been only three days at sea a violent storm 
arose, and the ship, driving helplessly before it, struck 
upon a rock and went down leaving as sole survivor the 
one who least wished to be spared. How I was saved I 
know not, nor how long I lay unfriended by the desolate 
shore upon which I had been cast ; but scarcely had the 
consciousness of life returned to me when I heard a multi- 
tudinous sound of swift galloping ; and presently, feeling 
myself lifted by men's hands, I turned and saw halting 



60 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

near me a troop of Arab horsemen, and at their head a 
youth royally arrayed and beautiful as the morning. 
Thus when my fortunes were at their lowest I beheld him 
whom Heaven had sent not only to afford me that deliver- 
ance of which I stood so much in need, but also to restore 
me to the rank due to my birth. For let me confess that 
after this young Prince had succoured me with the most 
tender solicitude, conducting me in all honour to his own 
palace and there lodging me under his mother's protection, 
I experienced towards him a feeling of duty and gratitude 
such as would have made his lightest wish my law. When 
therefore with an ardent and ever-increasing devotion he 
desired me to become his bride, I could not, upon the 
completion of my recovery, refuse him the happiness he 
sought. 

But the festivities of our marriage were scarcely ended, 
when suddenly by night the city in which we dwelt was 
attacked by a band of travelling marauders. The attack 
was so unexpected and so well planned that the town 
was stormed and the garrison cut to pieces before any 
news of the event had reached the palace. Under cover 
of darkness we managed to escape, and fleeing to the sea- 
shore took refuge on a small fishing boat, in which we 
immediately put out to sea, hoping to find in the rude 
winds and waves a safer shelter than our own walls had 
afforded us. 

For two days we drifted with wind and tide, not 
knowing any better direction in which to turn ; upon the 
third we perceived with relief a ship bearing down upon 
us, but as we watched its approach our satisfaction was 
soon changed to apprehension and dread, for we saw 
clearly that those on board were neither fishermen nor 
traders, but pirates. With rude shouts they boarded our 
small barque, and seizing my husband and myself carried 




A CITY AMONG THE ISLES NAMED DERYABAB 
(Pag* 57) 



THE PRINCESS OF DERYABAR 63 

us captive to their own vessel. Here the one who was 
their leader advanced towards me and pulled aside my 
veil ; whereupon a great clamour instantly arose among 
the crew, each contending for the possession of me. The 
dispute upon this point grew so warm that presently they 
fell to fighting ; and a bitter and deadly conflict was 
maintained till at last only a single pirate was left. This 
one, who now regarded himself as my owner, proceeded 
to inform me of what was to be my fate. " I have," he 
said, " a friend in Cairo who has promised me a rich 
reward if I can supply him with a slave, more beautiful 
than any of those that his harem now contains. The 
distinction of earning me this reward shall be yours 
But tell me," he went on, turning towards the place 
where my husband stood bound, " who is this youth that 
accompanies you ? Is he a lover or a brother, or only a 
servant ? " " Sir," said I, " he is my husband." " In 
that case," he replied, " out of pity we must get rid of 
him, for I would not afflict him needlessly with the sight 
of another's happiness." And so saying, he took my 
husband, all bound as he was, and threw him into the sea. 
So great was my grief at the sight of this cruel deed, 
that had I not been bound myself I should undoubtedly 
have sought the same end to my sufferings. But for the 
sake of future profit the pirate took the most watchful 
care of me, not only so long as we were on board the ship 
but also when, a few days later, we came to port and 
there joined ourselves to a large caravan which was about 
to start on the road to Cairo. While thus travelling in 
apparent safety, we were suddenly attacked by the terrible 
negro who lately owned this castle. After a long and 
dubious conflict the pirate, and all who stood by him, 
were slain, while I and those of the merchants who had 
remained timorously looking on were seized, and brought 



64 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

hither as prisoners destined as it seemed for a fate far 
more lingering and terrible. The rest of my story, brave 
Prince, I need not here recount, since the shaping of it 
was so largely in your own hands, and since to you alone 
is owed the happiness of its conclusion. 

When the Princess of Deryabar had thus finished the 
tale of her wanderings, Codadad hastened to assure her 
how deep was his sympathy in all her misfortunes. " But 
if you will allow yourself," he continued, "to be guided 
by me, your future life shall be one of safety and tranquil- 
lity. You have but to come as my bride, and the King 
of Harran will offer you an honourable welcome to his 
court ; while, as regards myself, my whole life shall be 
devoted to securing for you that happiness which your 
grace and noble qualities prove that you deserve. And 
that you may not regard this proposal as too presump- 
tuous, I have now to inform you, and also these Princes, 
concerning my birth and rank. For I, too, am a son of 
the King of Harran, born to him at the court of Samaria 
by his wife the Princess Pirouze, whom he had sent unjustly 
into banishment." 

This declaration on the part of Codadad so accorded 
with the inclinations of the Princess that she at once 
yielded her consent, and as the castle was full of provisions 
suitable for the occasion, preparations were made first to 
solemnize the marriage, and then for all together to set 
forth on the return journey to Harran. As for the Princes, 
though they received Codadad's news with every outward 
protestation of joy, they were in fact more filled with 
apprehension and jealousy than before, for they could not 
but fear that his favour with the King would be greatly 
increased and become far more dangerous to their interests 
when the true facts of his birth were revealed. No sooner, 



THE PRINCESS OF DERYABAR 65 

therefore, had Codadad and the Princess passed to their 
nuptials, than his brethren entered into a conspiracy to 
slay him ; and at the first halt upon the homeward journey, 
taking advantage of the lack of protection which a tent 
affords, they came upon their brother by night, and 
stabbing him in a hundred places as he lay asleep, left 
him for dead in the arms of his bride. They then broke 
up the camp and returned with all haste to the city of 
Harran, where, with a falsely invented tale, they excused 
themselves to the King for their long absence. 

In the meantime Codadad lay so spent by loss of blood 
that there remained in him no sign of life. The Princess 
his wife, distraught with grief, had already given him up 
for dead. " O Heaven," she cried, bathing his body with 
her tears, " why am I thus ever condemned to bring on 
others disaster and death, and why for a second time have 
I been deprived of the one I was about to love ? " 

As thus she continued to cry in piteous lamentation, 
and to gaze on the senseless form lying before her, she 
thought that she perceived on the lips a faint motion of 
breath. At once her hope revived, and springing to her 
feet she ran instantly in the direction of the nearest 
village, hoping to find there a surgeon or one that had skill 
in the binding of wounds. Returning after a time with 
the aid that she had summoned she found to her grief 
the place where Codadad had lain left vacant, nor was 
there any trace or indication of the fate which had over- 
taken him. 

Overwhelmed by this final catastrophe, and believing 
that some wild beast must have devoured him, she suffered 
herself to be led away by the surgeon, who, in pity for 
one so greatly afflicted, placed her under the shelter of 
his own roof, and lavished upon her every mark of con- 
sideration and respect. So, when she had sufficiently 



66 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

recovered from her griefs to find utterance, he gathered 
from her own lips all the circumstances of her story, her 
name and rank, the high and valiant deeds of the Prince 
her husband, and the base ingratitude of his brethren. 
And perceiving that her grief and sufferings had so robbed 
her of the desire of life that without some end on which 
to direct her will she would presently pass into a decline, 
the surgeon endeavoured to arouse her to the pursuit of 
that just vengeance which the murder of her husband had 
earned. " Do not," he said, " let the death of so noble a 
Prince become a benefit to his enemies. Let us go together 
to the King of Harran, and make known to him the guilt 
of these wicked brethren. For surely the name of Coda- 
dad should live in story ; but if you, whose honour he 
saved, now sink under your affliction his name perishes 
with you, and you have not retrieved your debt." 

These words roused the Princess from her deep des- 
pondency ; forming her resolution on the surgeon's advice, 
she arose instantly and prepared herself for the journey, 
and with such haste and diligence did she pursue her 
project that within two days she and her companion 
arrived at the city of Harran. 

Here strange news awaited them ; for at all the cara- 
vanseri it was told how lately there had come to the city 
an exiled wife of the King, Princess Pirouze by name, in- 
quiring for news of her lost son ; and how, as now appeared, 
this son had already been under a feigned designation at 
his father's court, and after performing many exploits and 
deeds of heroism had disappeared none knew whither. 
Forty-nine sons had the King by different wives, but all 
these, it was declared, he would willingly put to death so 
only that Codadad might be restored to him. 

Now when the Princess of Deryabar heard this, she 
said, " I will go to the Queen Pirouze and make known to 



THE PRINCESS OF DERYABAR 67 

her the fate of her son, and when we have wept together 
and drawn comfort from each other in our grief then we 
will go before the King, and demand vengeance on the 
murderers." But the surgeon said, " Have a care what 
you do ; for if the Princes of Harran learn of your arrival, 
they will not rest till they have done to you as they did 
to your husband. Let us therefore proceed with secrecy, 
so as to ensure safety, and do you on no account let your 
presence here be known till the King has been thoroughly 
informed of the whole matter." Then leaving the Princess 
in a place discreetly chosen, he went forth into the streets 
and began to direct his steps towards the palace. Pres- 
ently he was met by a lady mounted upon a mule richly 
caparisoned, and behind her followed a great troop of 
guards and attendants. As she approached the populace 
ran out of their houses and stood in rows to see her go 
by, and when she passed all bowed down with their faces 
to the earth. The surgeon inquired of a beggar standing 
near whether this was one of the King's wives. " Yes, 
brother," replied the beggar, " and the best of them all ; 
for she is the mother of Prince Codadad, whom, now that 
he is lost, all hold in love and reverence. And thus each 
day she goes to the mosque to hear the prayers which 
the King has ordered for her son's safe return." 

Seeing his course now clear the surgeon went and stood 
at the door of the mosque, waiting the Queen's departure, 
and when she came forth with all her attendants he plucked 
one of them by the sleeve and said to him, " If the Queen 
would have news of her son, Prince Codadad, let her send 
for the stranger who will be found waiting at the door 
of her palace." So, as soon as Pirouze had returned to 
her apartments, the slave went in and gave his mistress 
the message. Then she sent in all haste and caused the 
surgeon to be brought before her. And the surgeon pros- 



68 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

trated himself and said, " O Queen, let not the grief of 
the tidings which I bear be visited upon me but on them 
that were the cause of it." And she answered him, " Have 
peace, and say on ! " So he told her, as has been here 
set forth, the full story of all the courage and prowess of 
Codadad, and of his generosity towards his brethren, also 
of his marriage to the Princess of Deryabar and of what 
followed after. But when he came to speak of the slaying 
of her son, the tender mother, as though receiving in her 
own body the strokes of the murderers, fell forward upon 
the ground, and there for a while lay motionless without 
sign of life. When however the surgeon, aided by her 
women, had restored her to consciousness, then Pirouze, 
putting aside all personal grief, set her mind upon the 
accomplishment of the duty which now lay before her. 
" Go instantly," she said, " and tell the Princess of Dery- 
abar that the King will shortly receive her with all the 
honour due to her rank. As for yourself, be assured that 
your services will be remembered." 

Hardly had the surgeon departed, when the King 
himself entered, and the sight of his Queen's deep affliction 
at once informed him that something dreadful must have 
occurred. " Alas," she cried, " our son no longer exists, 
nor is it even possible to pay to his body those last rites 
which were due to his rank and virtue, for stricken by 
treacherous hands and left to perish unprotected he has 
fallen a prey to wild beasts so that not a trace of him 
remains." She then proceeded to inform her husband 
of all the horrible circumstances which the surgeon had 
narrated. 

But before she had ended the King became so trans- 
ported with rage and grief that he could no longer delay 
the setting in motion of his just vengeance. Repairing in 
haste to the hall of audience, where courtiers and suitors 




THE PBINCESS DERYABAB 



THE PRINCESS OF DERYABAR 71 

stood waiting, he summoned to him his grand vizier with 
so much fury of countenance that all trembled for their 
lives. " Go instantly," he cried, " arrest all the Princes, 
and convey them under a strong guard to the prison 
assigned for murderers ! " The vizier, not daring to 
question an order so terribly uttered, went forth and ful- 
filled the King's command with all speed. On his return 
to the palace for the presentation of his report, a further 
order almost equally surprising awaited him. The King 
described to him a certain inn lying in a poor quarter of 
the city. " Go thither," said he, " take with you slaves 
and high attendants, a white mule from the royal stables, 
and a guard of honour, and bring hither with all the 
respect due to her rank the young Princess whom you 
shall find there." 

The vizier, with revived spirits, went forth to fulfil this 
second mission, so much more agreeable to him than the 
first ; and presently there arose from the streets leading 
to the palace the acclamations of the populace because of 
the magnificence and splendour which announced the 
arrival of the unknown Princess. The King, as a token 
of respect, stood waiting at the palace gates to receive 
her, and taking her hand he led her to the apartments of 
the Queen Pirouze. Here at the meeting of mother and 
wife a scene of the most tender and heart-rending affliction 
took place. The King himself was so moved by it that 
he had not the heart to refuse to them any request. So 
when they came and besought for the absent those funeral 
honours which under other circumstances would have been 
his due, he gave orders for a dome of marble to be erected 
on the plain by which the city of Harran lies surrounded. 
And with such speed was the work put in hand, and so 
large was the number of men employed upon it, that 
within three days the entire building was completed. 



72 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

On the day following the obsequies began. All was 
done with the greatest solemnity and splendour. First 
came the King attended by his vizier and all the officers 
and lords of his palace ; and entering the tomb, in which 
lay an effigy of Codadad, they seated themselves on carpets 
of mourning bordered with gold. Then followed the 
chiefs of the army mounted upon horses and bewailing 
the loss of him who had led them to victory ; behind these 
came old men upon black mules, with long robes and 
flowing beards ; and after these maidens on white horses, 
with heads unveiled, bearing in their hands baskets of 
precious stones. Now when these had approached and 
compassed the dome three times about, then the King 
rose up to speak the dismissal of the dead. Touching 
with his brow the tomb whereon the effigy lay, he cried 
in a loud voice, " O my dear son, O light of mine eyes, 
O joy that is lost to me for ever." After him all the 
lords and the chiefs and the elders came and prostrated 
themselves in like manner ; and when the ceremony was 
ended the doors of the tomb were shut and all the people 
returned to the city. 

Now after this there was prayer and fasting in the 
mosque for eight days, and on the ninth the King gave 
orders that the Princes were to be beheaded. But mean- 
while the neighbouring powers, whose arms the King of 
Harran had defeated, as soon as they heard that Codadad 
was dead, banded themselves together in strong alliance, 
and with a great host began to advance upon the city. 
Then the King caused the execution to be postponed, 
and making a hasty levy of his forces went forth to meet 
the enemy in the open plain. And there battle was joined 
with such valour and determination on both sides that 
for a time the issue remained doubtful. Nevertheless, 
because the men of Harran were fewer in number, they 



THE PRINCESS OF DERYABAR 73 

began to be surrounded by their enemies ; but at the very 
moment when all seemed lost they saw in the distance a 
large body of horsemen advancing at the charge ; and 
while both combatants were yet uncertain of their purpose, 
these fell furiously and without warning upon the ranks 
of the allies, and throwing them into sudden disorder, 
drove them in rout from the field. 

With the success of their arms thus established the 
two leaders of the victorious forces advanced to meet each 
other in the presence of the whole army, and great was 
the joy and astonishment of the King when he discovered 
in the leader of the lately arrived troop his lost son Coda- 
dad. The Prince, for his part, was equally delighted to 
find in his father's welcome the recognition for which he 
had yearned. 

When the long transport of their meeting embrace was 
over, the Prince, as they began to converse, perceived 
with surprise how much was already known to the King 
of past events. " What ? " he inquired, " has one of my 
brothers awakened to his guilt, and confessed that which 
I had meant should ever remain a secret ? " " Not so," 
replied the King, " from the Princess of Deryabar alone 
have I learned the truth. For she it was who came to 
demand vengeance for the crime which your brothers 
would still have concealed." 

At this unlooked-for news of the safety of the Princess 
and of her arrival at his father's court, Codadad's joy was 
beyond words, and greatly was it increased when he heard 
of his mother's reinstatement in the King's favour with 
the honour and dignity due to her rank. He now began 
to perceive how events had shaped themselves in his 
absence, and how the King had already become informed 
of the bond that existed between them. As for the rest 
of his adventures, together with the circumstance which 

9 



74 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

had led to his disappearance and supposed death, they 
were soon explained. For when the Princess had left 
Codadad in her desperate search for aid, there chanced 
that way a travelling pedlar ; and he, rinding the youth 
apparently deserted and dying of his wounds, took pity 
on him, and placing him upon his mule bore him to his 
own house. There with medicinal herbs and simple arts 
unknown in the palaces of kings he had accomplished a 
cure which others would have thought impossible, so that 
in a short time Codadad's strength was completely restored. 
Thereupon the Prince, impatient for reunion with those 
whom he loved, bestowed on the pedlar all the wealth 
that he possessed, and immediately set forth toward the 
city of Harran. 

On the road news reached him of the fresh outbreak 
of hostilities, followed by the invasion of his father's terri- 
tory. Passing from village to village he roused and armed 
the inhabitants, and by the excellence of his example made 
such soldiers of them that they were able in the fortunate 
moment of their arrival to decide the issue of the conflict 
and give victory to the King's arms. 

" And now, sire," said the Prince in conclusion, " I 
have only one request to make : since in the event all 
things have turned out so happily, I beg you to pardon 
my brothers in order that I may prove to them in the 
future how groundless were the resentment and jealousy 
that they felt toward me." 

These generous sentiments drew tears from the King's 
eyes and removed from his mind all doubt as to the wisdom 
of the resolution he had been forming. Immediately 
before the assembled army he declared Codadad his heir, 
and, as an act of grace to celebrate his son's return, gave 
orders for the Princes to be released. He then led 
Codadad with all speed to the palace, where Pirouze 



THE PRINCESS OF DERYABAR 75 

and her daughter-in-law were anxiously awaiting them. 
In the joy of that meeting the Prince and his wife 
were repaid a thousandfold for all the griefs and hard- 
ships they had undergone : and their delight in each 
other's society remained so great that in all the world 
no happiness has been known to equal it. The Princes 
half died of shame when the means by which their pardon 
had been procured was revealed to them ; but before long 
the natural insensibility of their characters reasserted itself 
and they recovered. 



THE STORY OF THE MAGIC HORSE 



THE STORY OF THE MAGIC HORSE 

In the land of the Persians there lived in ancient times 
a King who had three daughters and an only son of such 
beauty that they drew the eyes of all beholders like moon- 
rise in a clear heaven. Now it was the custom in that 
country for a great festival to be held at the new year, 
during which people of all grades, from the highest to the 
lowest, presented themselves before the King with offer- 
ings and salutations. So it happened that on one of these 
days there came to the King as he sat in state three sages, 
masters of their craft, bringing gifts for approval. The 
first had with him a peacock of gold which was so con- 
structed that at the passing of each hour it beat its wings 
and uttered a cry. And the King, having proved it, 
found the gift acceptable and caused the inventor thereof 
to be suitably rewarded. The second had made a trumpet 
so that if placed over the gates of a city it blew a blast 
against any that sought to enter ; and thus was the city 
held safe from surprise by an enemy. And when the King 
had found that it possessed that property, he accepted it, 
bestowing on its maker a rich reward. 

But the gift of the third sage, who was an Indian, 
appeared more prodigious than all, for he had brought 
with him a horse of ivory and ebony, for which he claimed 
that, at the will of its owner, or of anyone instructed in 
the secret, it would rise above the earth and fly, arriving 
at distant places in a marvellously short space of time. 

79 



80 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

The King, full of wonder at such a statement, and eager to 
test it, was in some doubt as to how he might do so, for 
the Indian was unwilling to part with the secret until 
secure of the reward which in his own mind he had fixed 
on. Now it happened that at a distance of some three 
leagues from the city there stood a mountain the top of 
which was clearly discernible to all eyes ; so, in order that 
the Indian's word might be proved, the King, pointing 
to it, said, " Go yonder, and bring back to me while I 
wait the branch of a palm-tree which grows at the foot of 
that mountain ; then I shall know that what you tell me 
is true." 

Instantly the Indian set foot in the stirrup and vaulted 
upon his charger, and scarcely had he turned a small peg 
which was set in the pommel of the saddle, when the horse 
rose lightly into the air and bore him away at wondrous 
speed amid the shouts of the beholders ; and while all 
were still gazing, amazed at so sudden a vanishing, he 
reappeared high overhead, bearing the palm branch, and 
descending into their midst alighted upon the very spot 
from which he had started, where, prostrating himself, he 
laid the branch at the King's feet. 

The King was so delighted when the wonderful pro- 
perties of the horse had been thus revealed to him, that, 
eager to possess it, he bade the Indian name his own 
reward, declaring that no price could be too great. Then 
said the sage, " Since your Majesty so truly appreciates 
the value of my invention, I do not fear that the reward 
I ask for will seem too high. Give me in marriage the 
hand of the fairest of your three daughters, and the horse 
shall be yours." 

At so arrogant a claim all the courtiers burst into loud 
laughter ; the King alone, consumed with the desire of 
possessing the wonderful treasure, hesitated as to what 




AT SO ARROGANT A CLAIM ALL THE COURTIERS BURST INTO LOUD LAUGHTER 
{Page 80) 



10 



THE MAGIC HORSE 83 

answer he should give. Then the King's son, Prince 
Firouz Schah, seeing his father lend ear to so shameful a 
proposal, became moved with indignation. Determined 
to defend his sister's honour and his own, he addressed 
the King. " Pardon me, sire," said he, " if I take the 
liberty of speaking. But how shall it be possible for one 
of the greatest and most powerful monarchs to ally him- 
self to a mere nobody ? I entreat you to consider what 
is due not to yourself alone but to the high blood of your 
ancestors and of your children." 

" My son," replied the King of Persia, " what you say 
is very true, so far as it goes ; but you do not sufficiently 
consider the value of so incomparable a marvel as this 
horse has proved itself to be, or how great would be my 
chagrin if any other monarch came to possess it. And 
though I have not yet agreed to the Indian's proposal, 
I cannot incontinently reject it. But first I must be 
satisfied that the horse will obey other hands besides 
those of its inventor, else, though I become its possessor, 
I may find it useless." 

The Indian, who had stood aside during this discussion, 
was now full of hope, for he perceived that the King had 
not altogether rejected his terms, and nothing seemed 
likelier than that the more he became familiar with the 
properties of the magic horse the more would he wish to 
possess it. When, therefore, the King proposed that the 
horse should be put to a more independent trial under 
another rider, the Indian readily agreed ; the more so 
when the Prince himself, relinquishing his apparent opposi- 
tion, came forward and volunteered for the essay. 

The King having consented, the Prince mounted, and 
eager in his design to give his father opportunity for cooler 
reflection, he did not wait to hear all the Indian's instruc- 
tions, but turning the peg, as he had seen the other do 



84 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

when first mounting, caused the horse to rise suddenly in 
the air, and was carried away out of sight in an easterly 
direction more swiftly than an arrow shot from a bow. 

No sooner had the horse and its rider disappeared than 
the King became greatly concerned for his son's safety ; 
and though the sage could justly excuse himself on the 
ground that the young Prince's impatience had caused him 
to cut short the instructions which would have ensured 
his safe return, the King chose to vent upon the Indian 
the full weight of his displeasure ; and cursing the day 
wherein he had first set eyes on the magic horse, he caused 
its maker to be thrown into prison, declaring that if the 
Prince did not return within a stated time the life of the 
other should be forfeit. 

The Indian had now good cause to repent of the 
ambition which had brought him to this extremity, for 
the Prince, of whose opposition to his project he had been 
thoroughly informed, had only to prolong his absence to 
involve him in irretrievable ruin. But on the failure of 
arrogant pretensions the sympathy of the judicious is 
wasted ; let us return therefore to Prince Firouz Schah, 
whom we left flying through the air with incredible 
swiftness on the back of the magic steed. 

For a time, confident of his skill as a rider and undis- 
mayed either by the speed or altitude of his flight, the 
Prince had no wish to return to the palace ; but presently 
the thought of his father's anxiety occurred to him, and 
being of a tender and considerate disposition he immedi- 
ately endeavoured to divert his steed from its forward 
course. This he sought to do by turning in the contrary 
direction the peg which he had handled when mounting, 
but to his astonishment the horse responded by rising still 
higher in the air and flying forward with redoubled swift- 
ness. Had courage then deserted him, his situation might 



THE MAGIC HORSE 85 

have become perilous ; but preserving his accustomed 
coolness he began carefully to search for the means by 
which the speed of the machine might be abated, and 
before long he perceived under the horse's mane a smaller 
peg, which he had no sooner touched than he felt himself 
descending rapidly toward the earth, with a speed that 
lessened the nearer he came to ground. 

As he descended, the daylight in which hitherto he 
had been travelling faded from view, and he passed within 
a few minutes from sunset into an obscurity so dense that 
he could no longer distinguish the nature of his environ- 
ment, till, as the horse alighted, he perceived beneath 
him a smooth expanse ending abruptly on all sides at an 
apparent elevation among the objects surrounding it. 

Dismounting he found himself on the roof of a large 
palace, with marble balustrades dividing it in terraces, and 
at one side a staircase which led down to the interior. 
With a spirit ever ready for adventure Prince Firouz 
Schah immediately descended, groping his way through 
the darkness till he came to a landing on the farther side 
of which an open door led into a room where a dim light 
was burning. 

The Prince paused at the doorway to listen, but all 
he could hear was the sound of men breathing heavily in 
their sleep. He pushed the door and entered ; and there 
across an inner threshold he saw black slaves lying asleep, 
each with a drawn sword in his hand. Immediately he 
guessed that something far more fair must lie beyond ; 
so, undeterred by the danger, he advanced, and stepping 
lightly across their swords passed through silken hangings 
into the inner chamber. Here he perceived, amid sur- 
roundings of regal magnificence, a number of couches, one 
of which stood higher than the rest. Upon each of these a 
fair damsel lay asleep ; but upon that which was raised 



86 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

above its fellows lay a form of such perfect and enchanting 
beauty that the Prince had no will or power to turn away 
after once beholding it. Approaching the sleeper softly, 
he kneeled down and plucked her gently by the sleeve ; 
and immediately the Princess — for such if rank and beauty 
accorded she needs must be — opened to him the depths of 
her lustrous eyes and gazed in quiet amazement at the 
princely youth whose handsome looks and reverent 
demeanour banished at once all thought of alarm. 

Now it so happened that a son of the King of India 
was at that time seeking the hand of the Princess in 
marriage ; but her father, the King of Bengal, had rejected 
him owing to his ferocious and disagreeable aspect. When 
therefore the Princess saw one of royal appearance kneel- 
ing before her she supposed he could be no other than the 
suitor whom she knew only by report, and shedding upon 
him the light of her regard, " By Allah," she said, smiling, 
" my father lied in saying that good looks were lacking 
to thee I " 

Prince Firouz Schah, perceiving from these words and 
the glance which accompanied them, that her disposition 
towards him was favourable, no longer feared to acquaint 
her with the plight in which he found himself ; while the 
Princess, for her part, listened to the story of his adven- 
tures with lively interest, and learned, not without secret 
satisfaction, that her visitor possessed a rank and dignity 
equal to her own. 

Meanwhile the maidens who were in attendance on the 
Princess had awakened in dismay to the unaccountable 
apparition of a fair youth kneeling at the feet of their 
mistress, and, dreading discovery by the attendants, were 
all at a loss what to do. The Princess, however, seeing 
that they were awake, called them to her with perfect 
composure and bade them go instantly and prepare an 



THE MAGIC HORSE 87 

mner chamber where the Prince might sleep and recover 
from the fatigues of his journey ; at the same time she 
gave orders for a rich banquet to be prepared against the 
time when he should be ready to partake of it. Then 
when her visitor had retired, she arose and began to adorn 
herself in jewels and rich robes and to anoint her body 
with fragrance, giving her women no rest till the tale of 
her mirror contented her ; and when all had been done 
many times over, and the last touch of art added to her 
loveliness, she sent to inquire whether the Prince had yet 
awaked and were ready to receive her. 

Upon the receipt of that message the Prince rose 
eagerly, and dressing in haste, although it was scarcely 
yet day, heard everywhere within the palace sounds of 
preparation for the feast that was being got ready in his 
honour. 

Before long the Princess herself entered to inquire how 
he had slept, and being fully assured on that score, she 
gave orders for the banquet to be served. Everything 
was done in the greatest magnificence, but the Princess 
was full of apologies, declaring the entertainment unworthy 
of so distinguished a guest. " You must pardon me, 
Prince," she said, " for receiving you with so little state, 
and after so hasty a preparation ; but the chief of the 
eunuchs does not enter here without my express permis- 
sion, and I feared that elsewhere our conversation might 
be interrupted." 

Prince Firouz Schah was now convinced that the 
inclinations of the Princess corresponded with his own; 
but though her every word and movement increased the 
tenderness of his passion, he did not forget the respect 
due to her rank and virtue. One of her women attendants, 
however, seeing clearly in what direction matters were 
tending, and fearing for herself the results of a sudden 



88 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

discovery, withdrew secretly, saying nothing to the rest, 
and running quickly to the chief of the guards she cried, 
"0 miserable man, what sorry watch is this that thou 
hast kept, guarding the King's honour ; and who is this 
man or genie that thou hast admitted to the presence of 
our mistress ? Nay, if the matter be not already past 
remedy the fault is not thine ! " 

At these words he quickly leapt up in alarm, and going 
secretly he lifted the curtain of the inner chamber, and 
there beheld at the Princess's side a youth of such fair 
and majestical appearance that he durst not intrude 
unbidden. He ran shrieking to the King, and as he went 
he rent his garments and threw dust upon his head. " O 
sire and master," he cried, " come quickly and save thy 
daughter, for there is with her a genie in mortal form and 
like a king's son to look upon, and if he have not already 
carried her away, make haste and give orders that he be 
seized, lest thou become childless." 

The King at once arose and went in great haste and 
fear to his daughter's palace. There he was met by certain 
of her women, who, seeing his alarm, said, " O sire, have 
no fear for the safety of thy daughter ; for this young man 
is as handsome of heart as of person, and as his conduct 
is chaste, so also are his intentions honourable." 

Then the King's wrath was cooled somewhat ; but 
since much remained which demanded explanation he drew 
his sword and advanced with a threatening aspect into 
the room where his daughter and the Prince still sat 
conversing. Prince Firouz Schah, observing the new-comer 
advance upon him in a warlike attitude, drew his own 
sword and stood ready for defence ; whereupon the King, 
seeing that the other was the stronger, sheathed his weapon, 
and with a gesture of salutation addressed him courteously. 
" Tell me, fair youth," he said, " whether you are man or 




TILL THE TALE OP HER MIRROR CONTENTED HER 
(P<V« 87) 



11 



THE MAGIC HORSE 91 

devil, for though in appearance you are human, how else 
than by devilry have you come here ? " 

" Sire," replied the youth, " but for the respect that 
is owing to the father of so fair a daughter, I, who am a 
son of kings, might resent such an imputation. Be assured, 
however, that by whatever means I have chosen to arrive, 
my intentions now are altogether human and honourable ; 
for I have no other or dearer wish than to become your 
son-in-law through my marriage with this Princess in 
whose eyes it is my happiness to have found favour." 

" What you tell me," answered the King, " may be 
all very true ; but it is not the custom for the sons of 
kings to enter into palaces without the permission of their 
owners, coming, moreover, unannounced and with no 
retinue or mark of royalty about them. How, then, shall 
I convince my people that you are a fit suitor for the hand 
of my daughter ? " 

" The proof of honour and kingship," answered the 
other, " does not rest in splendour and retinue alone, 
though these also would be at my call had I the patience 
to await their arrival from that too distant country where 
my father is King. Let it suffice if I shall be able to prove 
my worth alone and unaided, in such a manner as to satisfy 
all." " Alone and unaided ? " said the King ; " how 
may that be ? " "I will prove it thus," answered the 
Prince. " Call out your troops and let them surround 
this palace ; tell them that you have here a stranger, of 
whom nothing is known, who declares that if you will not 
yield him the hand of your daughter in marriage he will 
carry her away from you by force. Bid them use all 
means to capture and slay me, and if I survive so unequal 
a contest, judge then whether or no I am fit to become 
your son-in-law." 

The King immediately accepted the proposal, agreeing 



92 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

to abide by the result ; yet was he grieved that a youth 
of such fair looks and promise should throw away his life 
in so foolhardy an adventure. As soon as day dawned 
he sent for his vizier and bade him cause all the chiefs of 
his army to assemble with their troops and companies, 
till presently there were gathered about the palace forty 
thousand horsemen and the same number of foot ; and 
the King gave them instructions, saying, " When the 
young man of whom I have warned you comes forth and 
challenges you to battle, then fall upon and slay him, for 
in no wise must he escape." He then led the Prince to 
an open space whence he could see the whole army drawn 
up in array against him. " Yonder," said the King, 
pointing, " are those with whom you have to contend ; 
go forth and deal with them as seems best to you." 

" Nay," answered the Prince, " these are not fair 
conditions, for yonder I see horsemen as well as foot ; 
how shall I contend against these unless I be mounted ? " 
The King at once offered him the best horse in his stables, 
but the Prince would not hear of it. "Is it fair," he 
said, " that I should trust my life under such conditions 
to a horse that I have never ridden ? I will ride no horse 
but that upon which I came hither." 

"Where is that?" inquired the King. "If it be 
where I left it," answered the Prince, "it is upon the 
roof of the palace." 

All who heard this answer were filled with laughter 
and astonishment, for it seemed impossible that a horse 
could have climbed to so high a roof. Nevertheless the 
King commanded that search should be made, and there, 
sure enough, those that were sent found the horse of ebony 
and ivory standing stiff and motionless. So though it 
still seemed to them but a thing for jest and mockery 
obeying the King's orders they raised it upon their 



THE MAGIC HORSE 93 

shoulders, and bearing it to earth carried it forth into the 
open space before the palace where the King's troops 
were assembled. 

Then Prince Firouz Schah advanced, and leaping upon 
the horse he cried defiance to the eighty thousand men 
that stood in battle array against him. And they, on 
their part, seeing the youth so hardily set on his own 
destruction, drew sword and couched spear, and came all 
together to the charge. The Prince waited till they were 
almost upon him, then turning the peg which stood in 
the pommel of his saddle he caused the horse to rise sud- 
denly in the air, and all the foremost ranks of the enemy 
came clashing together beneath him. At that sight the 
King and all his court drew a breath of astonishment, 
and the army staggered and swung about this way and 
that, striking vainly up at the hoofs of the magic horse 
as it flew over them. Then the King, full of dread lest 
this should indeed be some evil genie that sought to carry 
his daughter away from him, called to his archers to shoot, 
but before they could make ready their bows Prince Firouz 
Schah had given another turn to the peg, and immediately 
the horse sprang upward and rose higher than the roof 
of the palace, so that all the arrows fell short and rained 
destruction on those that were below. 

Then the Prince called to the King, " O King of Bengal, 
have I not now proved myself worthy to be thy son-in- 
law, and wilt thou not give me the hand of thy daughter 
in marriage ? " But the King's wrath was very great, 
for he had been made foolish in the eyes of his people, 
and panic had broken the ranks of his army and many 
of them were slain ; and by no means would he have for 
his son-in-law one that possessed such power to throw 
down the order and establishment of his kingdom. So 
he cried back to the Prince, saying, " O vile enchanter, 



94 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

get hence as thou valuest thy life, for if ever thou darest 
to return and set foot within my dominions thy death 
and not my daughter shall be thy reward ! " Thus he 
spoke in his anger, forgetting altogether the promise he 
had made. 

Now it should be known that all this time the Princess 
had been watching the combat from the roof of the palace ; 
and as her fear and anxiety for the Prince had in the 
first instance been great, so now was she overjoyed when 
she saw him rise superior to the dangers which had threat- 
ened him. But as soon as she heard her father's words 
she became filled with fresh fear lest she and her lover 
were now to be parted ; so as the Prince came speeding 
by upon the magic horse she stretched up her arms to 
him, crying, " O master of the flying bird, leave me not 
desolate, for if thou goest from me now I shall die." 

No sooner did Prince Firouz Schah hear those words 
than he checked his steed in its flight, and swooping low 
he bore down over the palace roof, and catching the 
Princess up in his arms placed her upon the saddle before 
him ; and straightway at the pressure of its rider the horse 
rose under them and carried them away high in air, so 
that they disappeared forthwith from the eyes of the 
King and his people. 

But as they travelled the day grew hot and the sun 
burned fiercely upon them ; and the Prince looking down 
beheld a green meadow by the side of a lake : so he said, 
" O desire of my heart, let us go down into yonder meadow 
and seek rest and refreshment, and there let us wait till 
it is evening, so that we may come unperceived to my 
father's palace, and when I have brought thee thither 
safely and secretly, then will I make preparation so that 
thou mayest appear at my father's court in such a manner 
as befits thy rank." 



THE MAGIC HORSE 95 

So the Princess consenting, they went down and sat 
by the lake and solaced themselves sweetly with love till 
it was evening. Then they rose up and mounted once 
more upon the magic horse and came by night to the 
outskirts of the city where dwelt the King of Persia. Now 
in the garden of the summer palace which stood without 
the walls all was silence and solitude, and coming thither 
unperceived the King's son led the Princess to a pavilion, 
the door of which lay open, and placing before it the 
magic horse he bade her stay within and keep watch till 
his messenger should come to take her to the palace which 
he would cause to be prepared for her. 

Leaving her thus safely sheltered, the Prince went into 
the city to present himself before the King his father ; 
and there he found him in deep mourning and affliction 
because of his son's absence; and his father seeing him, 
rose up and embraced him tenderly, rejoicing because of 
his safe return, and eager to know in what way he had 
fared. And the Prince said, " O my father, if it be thy 
good will and pleasure, I have come back to thee far richer 
than I went. For I have brought with me the fairest 
Princess that the eyes of love have ever looked upon, and 
she is the daughter of the King of Bengal ; and because 
of my love for her and the great service which she rendered 
me when I was a stranger in the midst of enemies, there- 
fore have I no heart or mind or will but to win your con- 
sent that I may marry her." And when the King heard 
that, and of all that the Princess had done, and of how 
they had escaped together, he gave his consent willingly, 
and ordered that a palace should be immediately got 
ready for her reception that she might on the next day 
appear before the people in a manner befitting her rank. 

Then while preparation was going forward, the Prince 
sought news concerning the sage, for he feared that the 



96 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

King might have slain him. " Do not speak of him," 
cried the King. " Would to Heaven that I had never 
set eyes on him or his invention, for out of this has arisen 
all my grief and lamentation. Therefore he now lies in 
prison awaiting death." 

" Nay," said the Prince, " now surely should he be 
released and suitably rewarded, seeing that unwittingly 
he hath been the cause of my fortune ; but do not give 
him my sister in marriage." 

So the King sent and caused the Indian to be brought 
before him clad in a robe of rank. And the King said to 
him, " Because my son, whom thy vile invention carried 
away from me, hath returned safe and sound, therefore 
will I spare thy life. And for the reward of thine ingenuity 
I give thee this robe of honour ; but now take thy horse, 
whatever it may be, and go, nor ever appear in my sight 
again. And if thou wilt marry, seek one of thine own 
rank, but do not aspire to the daughters of kings." 

When the Indian heard that, he dissembled his rage, 
and bowing himself to the earth departed from the King's 
presence. And, as he went everywhere in the palace ran 
the tale how the King's son had returned upon the magic 
horse bringing with him a Princess of most marvellous 
beauty, and how they had alighted in the gardens of the 
summer palace that lay outside the walls. 

Now when this was told him the Indian at once saw 
his opportunity, and going forth from the city in haste 
he arrived at the summer palace before the messenger 
with the appointed retinue which the Prince and the King 
were sending. So coming to the pavilion in the garden 
he found the Princess waiting within, and before the door 
the horse of ivory and ebony. Then was his heart uplifted 
for joy, the more so when he perceived how far the damsel 
exceeded in loveliness all that had been told of her. Enter- 




1HB 

SHE GAVE ORDERS FOR THE BANQUET TO 

(Page 87) 



1'2 



THE MAGIC HORSE 99 

ing the chamber where she sat he kissed the ground at 
her feet ; and she, seeing one that wore a robe of office 
making obeisance before her, spake to him without fear, 
saying, " Who art thou ? " 

The sage answered, " O moon of beauty, I am but the 
dust which lies upon the road by which thou art to travel. 
Yet I come as a messenger from the King's son who hath 
sent me to bring thee with all speed to a chamber in the 
royal palace where he now awaits thee." 

Now the Indian was of a form altogether hideous and 
abominable. The Princess looked at him, therefore, in 
surprise, saying, " Could not the King's son find anyone 
to send to me but thee ? " The sage laughed, for he read 
the meaning of her words. " O searcher of hearts," he 
said, " do not wonder that the Prince hath sent to thee a 
man whose looks are unattractive, for because of his love 
toward thee he is grown exceeding jealous. Were it other- 
wise, I doubt not that he would have chosen the highest 
and most honourable in the land ; but, being what I am, 
he has preferred to make me his messenger." 

When the Princess heard that, she believed him, and 
because her impatience to be with her lover was great, 
she yielded herself willingly into his hands. Then the 
sage mounted upon the horse and took up the damsel 
behind him ; and having bound her to his girdle for safety, 
he turned the pin so swiftly that immediately they rose 
up into the air far above the roof of the palace and in 
full view of the royal retinue which was even then 
approaching. 

Now because his desire to be with his beloved was so 
strong, the Prince himself had come forth before all others 
to meet her ; and when he saw her thus carried away 
captive, he uttered a loud cry of lamentation, and stretched 
out his hands toward her. The cry of her lover reached 



100 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

the ears of the Princess, and looking down she saw with 
wonder his gestures of grief and despair. So she said to 
the Indian, " O slave, why art thou bearing me away 
from thy lord, disobeying his command ? " The sage 
answered, " He is not my lord, nor do I owe him any duty 
or obedience. May Heaven repay on him all the grief 
he has brought on me, for I was the maker of this horse 
on which he won thee, and because he stole it from me I 
was cast into prison. But now for all my wrongs I will 
take full payment, and will torture his heart as he hath 
tortured mine. Be of good cheer, therefore, for doubt not 
that presently I shall seem a more desirable lover in thine 
eyes than ever he was." 

On hearing these words the Princess was so filled with 
terror and loathing that she endeavoured to cast herself 
from the saddle ; but the Indian having bound her to his 
girdle, no present escape from him was possible. 

The horse had meanwhile carried them far from the 
city of the King of Persia, and it was yet an early hour 
after dawn when they arrived over the land of Cashmire. 
Assured that he was now safe from pursuit, and perceiving 
an uninhabited country below him, the Indian caused the 
horse to descend on the edge of a wood bordered by a 
stream. Here he made the Princess dismount, and was 
proceeding to force upon her his base and familiar atten- 
tions, when the cries raised by the Princess drew to that 
spot a party of horsemen who had been hunting in the 
neighbourhood. The leader of the party, who chanced to 
be no other than the Sultan of that country, seeing a fair 
damsel undergoing ill-treatment from one of brutish and 
malevolent aspect, rode forward and demanded of the 
Indian by what right he so used her. The sage boldly 
declared that she was his wife and that how he used her 
was no man's business but his own. The damsel, how- 



THE MAGIC HORSE 101 

ever, contradicted his assertion with indignation and scorn, 
and so great were her beauty and the dignity of her bear- 
ing that her statement of the case had only to be heard 
to be believed. The Sultan therefore ordered the Indian 
to be bound and beaten, and afterwards to be led away 
to the adjacent city and there cast into the deepest dun- 
geon. As for the Princess and magic horse, he caused 
them to be brought to the palace, and there for the damsel 
he provided a magnificent apartment with slaves and 
attendants such as befitted her rank ; but the horse, 
whose properties remained secret, since no other use 
for it could be discovered, was placed in the royal 
treasury. 

Now though the Princess was full of joy over her 
escape from the Indian, and of gratitude to her deliverer, 
she could not fail to read in the Sultan's manner towards 
her the spell cast by her beauty. And, in fact, no later 
than the next day, awakened by sounds throughout the 
whole city of tumult and rejoicing, and inquiring as to 
the reason, she was informed that these festivities were 
the prelude to her own nuptials with the Sultan which 
were to be celebrated that very day before sundown. 

At this news her consternation was so great that she 
immediately swooned away, and remained for a long while 
speechless. But no sooner had she recovered possession 
of her faculties than her resolution was formed, and when 
the Sultan entered, as is customary on such occasions, to 
present his compliments and make inquiries as to her 
health, she fell into an extravagance of attitude and speech, 
so artfully contrived that all who beheld her became con- 
vinced of her insanity. And the more surely to effect her 
purpose, and at the same time to relieve her feelings, she 
made a violent attack upon the Sultan's person ; nor did 
she desist until she had brought him to recognize that all 



102 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

hopes for the present consummation of the nuptials were 
useless. 

On the following day also, and upon every succeeding 
one, the Princess showed the same violent symptoms when- 
ever the Sultan approached her. It was in vain that all 
the wisest physicians in the country were summoned into 
consultation. While some declared that her malady was 
curable, others, to whose word the Princess by her actions 
lent every possible weight, declared that it was incurable ; 
and in no case was any remedy applied that did not seem 
immediately to aggravate the disorder. 

And here for a while we must leave the Princess and 
return to Prince Firouz Schah, whose affliction no words 
can describe. Unable to endure the burden of his beloved 
one's absence in the splendours of his father's palace, or 
to leave her the victim of fate without an attempt at 
rescue, he put on the disguise of a travelling dervish, and 
departing secretly from the Persian court set out into the 
world to seek for her. 

For many months he travelled without clue or tidings 
to guide him ; but as Heaven ever bestows favour on 
constancy in love, so it led him at last to the land of 
Cashmire, and to the city of its Sultan. Now as he drew 
near to it by the main road, he fell into conversation with a 
certain merchant, and inquired of him as to the city and 
the life and conditions of its inhabitants. And the mer- 
chant looked at him in surprise, saying, " Surely you have 
come from a far country not to have heard of the strange 
things which have happened here, for everywhere in these 
regions and among all the caravans goes the story of the 
strange maiden, and the ebony horse, and the waiting 
nuptials." 

Now when the Prince heard that, he knew that the 
end of his wanderings was in sight : so looking upon the 



THE MAGIC HORSE 108 

city with eyes of gladness, " Tell me," he said, "for I 
know none of these things." So the merchant told him 
truly all that has here been narrated; and having ended 
he said, " O dervish, though you are young, you have in 
your eyes the light of wisdom ; and if you have also in 
your hands the power of healing, then I tell you that in 
this city fortune awaits you, for the Sultan will give even 
the half of his kingdom to any man that shall restore 
health of mind to this damsel." 

Then the King's son felt his heart uplifted within him, 
howbeit he knew well that the fortune he sought would 
not be of the Sultan's choosing ; so parting from the 
merchant, he put on the robe of a physician, and went 
and presented himself at the palace. 

The Sultan was glad at his coming, for though many 
physicians had promised healing and had all failed, still 
each new arrival gave him fresh hopes. Now as the sight 
of a physician seemed ever greatly to increase the Princess's 
malady, the Sultan led him to a small closet or balcony, 
that thence he might look upon her unperceived. So 
Prince Firouz Schah, having travelled so many miles in 
search of her, saw his beloved seated in deep despondency 
by the side of a fountain ; and ever with the tears falling 
down from her eyes she sighed and sang. Now when he 
heard her voice and the words, and beheld the soft grief 
of her countenance, then the Prince knew that her disorder 
was only feigned ; and he went forth and said to the Sultan, 
M This malady is curable ; but for the cure something is 
yet lacking. Let me go in and speak with the damsel 
alone, and on my life I promise that if all be done accord- 
ing to my requirements, before this time to-morrow the 
cure shall be accomplished." 

At these words the Sultan rejoiced greatly, and he 
ordered the doors of the Princess's chamber to be opened 



104 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

to the physician. So Firouz Schah passed in, and he and 
his beloved were alone together. Now because of his grief 
and wanderings and the growth of his beard, the face of 
the Prince was so changed that the Princess did not know 
him ; but seeing one before her in the dress of a physician 
she rose up in pretended frenzy and began to throw herself 
about with violence, until from utter exhaustion she fell 
prostrate. Thereupon the Prince drew near, and called 
her gently by name ; and immediately when she heard 
his voice she knew him, and uttered a loud cry. Then the 
King's son put his mouth to her ear and said, " O tempta- 
tion of all hearts, now spare my life and have patience, 
for surely I am come to save thee ; but if the Sultan learn 
who I am we are dead, thou and I, because his jealousy 
is great." So she replied, saying, " O thou that bringest 
me life, tell me what I shall do ? " The Prince said, 
" When I depart hence let it appear that I have restored 
to thee the possession of thy faculties ; howbeit the full 
cure is to come after. Therefore when the Sultan comes 
to thee, be sad and meek and do not repulse him as thou 
hast done aforetime. Yet have no fear but that I will 
keep thee safe from him to the last." And so saying he 
left the Princess and returned to the Sultan, and said to 
him, "Go in and see whether the cure be not already at 
work ; but approach not near to her, for though the genie 
that possessed her is bound he is not yet cast forth : 
nevertheless to-morrow before noon the remedy shall be 
complete." 

So the Sultan went and found her even as he had been 
told; and with joy and gratitude he returned to Firouz 
Schah, saying, " Truly thou art a healer and the rest are 
but bunglers and fools. Now, therefore, give orders and 
all shall be done according to thy will. Doubt not that 
thy reward shall be great." 



THE MAGIC HORSE 105 

Then the Prince said, " Let the horse of ivory and 
ebony which was with her at the first be brought forth 
and set again in the place where it was found, and let 
the damsel also be brought and put into my hand ; and 
it shall be that when I have set her upon the horse, then 
the evil genie that held her shall be suddenly loosed, 
passing from her into that which was aforetime his place 
of bondage. So shall the remedy be complete, and the 
Princess find joy in her lord before the eyes of all." 

Now when the Sultan heard that, the mystery of the 
ebony horse seemed plain to him, and its use manifest. 
Therefore he gave orders that with all speed the thing 
should be done as the physician of the Princess required 
it. 

So early on the morrow they brought the horse from 
the royal treasury, and the Princess from her chamber, 
and carried them to the place where they were first found ; 
and all about, a great crowd of the populace was gathered 
to behold the sight. Then Prince Firouz Schah took the 
Princess and set her upon the horse, and leaping into the 
saddle before her he turned the pin of ascent, and immedi- 
ately the horse rose with a great sound into the air, and 
hung above the heads of the affrighted populace. And 
the King's son leaned down from the saddle and cried in a 
loud voice, " O Sultan of Cashmire, when you wish to 
espouse Princesses which seek your protection, learn first 
to obtain their consent." And so saying he put the horse 
to its topmost speed, and like an arrow on the wind he 
and the Princess were borne away, and passed and vanished, 
and were no more seen in that land. 

But in the city of the King of Persia great joy and 
welcome and thanksgiving awaited them ; and there with- 
out delay the nuptials were solemnized, and through all 
the country the people rejoiced and feasted for a full 



106 



THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 



month. But because of the grief and affliction that it had 
caused him the King broke the ebony horse and destroyed 
its motions. As for the maker thereof, the Sultan of 
Cashmire caused him to be put to a cruel death : and 
thus is the story of the sage and his invention brought 
to a full ending. 



THE FISHERMAN AND THE GENIE 



THE FISHERMAN AND THE GENIE 

There was once an old fisherman who lived in great 
poverty with a wife and three children. But though 
poorer than others he ever toiled in humble submission to 
the decrees of Providence, and so, at the same hour each 
day, he would cast his net four times into the sea, and 
whatever it brought up to him therewith he rested content. 

One day, having cast for the first time, he found his 
net so heavy that he could scarcely draw it in ; yet when 
at last he got it to shore all that it contained was the 
carcass of an ass. 

He cast a second time, and found the draught of the 
net even heavier than before. But again he was doomed 
to disappointment, for this time it contained nothing but 
a large earthenware jar full of mud and sand. His third 
attempt brought him only a heap of broken old bottles 
and potsherds : fortune seemed to be against him. Then, 
committing his hope to Providence, he cast for the fourth 
and last time ; and once more the weight of the net was 
so great that he was unable to haul it. When at last he 
got it to land, he found that it contained a brazen vessel, 
its mouth closed with a leaden stopper, bearing upon it 
the seal of King Solomon. 

The sight cheered him. " This," thought he, " I can 
sell in the market, where I may get for it enough to buy a 
measure of corn ; and, if one is to judge by weight, what 
lies within may prove yet more valuable." 

109 



110 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

Thus reckoning, he prised out the stopper with his 
knife, and turning the vessel upside down looked for the 
contents to follow. Great was his astonishment when 
nothing but smoke came out of it. The smoke rose in a 
thick black column and spread like a mist between earth 
and sky, till presently, drawing together, it took form ; 
and there in its midst stood a mighty Genie, whose brows 
touched heaven while his feet rested upon ground. His 
head was like a dome, his hands were like flails, and his 
legs like pine-trees ; his mouth was black as a cavern, 
his nostrils were like trumpets, his eyes blazed like torches, 
and his wings whirled round and over him like the simoom 
of the desert. 

At so fearful a sight all the fisherman's courage oozed 
out of him ; but the Genie, perceiving him, cried with a 
loud voice, " O Solomon, Prophet of God, slay me not, 
for never again will I withstand thee in word or deed." 

" Alas ! " said the fisherman, " I am no prophet ; and 
as for Solomon, he has been dead for nearly two thousand 
years. I am but a poor fisherman whom chance has 
knocked by accident against thy door." 

" In that case," answered the Genie, " know that 
presently thou wilt have to die." 

44 Heaven forbid ! " cried the fisherman ; 44 or, at least, 
tell me why ! Surely it might seem that I had done thee 
some service in releasing thee." 

44 Hear first my story," said the Genie, " then shalt 
thou understand." 

44 Well, if I must ! " said the fisherman, resigning him- 
self to the inevitable ; 44 but make it short, for truly I 
have small stomach left in me now for the hearing ol 
tales." 

44 Know, then," said the Genie, 44 that I am one of 
those spirits which resisted the power and dominion of 



THE FISHERMAN AND THE GENIE HI 

Solomon ; and when, having brought into submission all 
the rest of my race, he could not make me yield to him 
either reverence or service, he caused me to be shut up 
in this bottle, and sealing it with his own seal cast it down 
into the depths of the sea. 

" Now when I had lain there prisoner for a hundred 
years, I swore in my heart that I would give to the man 
that should release me all the treasures attainable in 
heaven or earth. But when none came to earn so great a 
reward in all the hundred years that followed, then I swore 
that I would give to my liberator earthly riches only ; 
and when this gift also had lain despised for yet another 
hundred years, then would I promise no more than the 
fulfilment of three wishes. But thereafter finding that 
all promises and vows were vain, my heart became con- 
sumed with rage, and I swore by Allah that I would only 
grant to the fool that should release me his own choice 
of the most cruel form of death by which he should die. 
Now therefore accept that mercy which I still offer and 
choose thy penalty ! " 

When the fisherman heard this he gave himself up 
for lost, yet he did not the less continue by prayer and 
supplication to entreat the Genie from his purpose. But 
when he found that there was no heart left in him to be 
moved, then for the first time he bestirred his wits, and 
remembering how that which is evil contains far less 
wisdom than that which is good, and so falls ever the 
more readily into the trap prepared for it, he spoke thus : 
" O Genie, since thou art determined on my death, there 
is yet a certain thing touching thine honour that I would 
first know. So, by the Ineffable Name, which is the seal 
of Solomon, I will ask thee one question, and do thou 
swear to answer it truly." 

The Genie was ready enough to give the oath as desired. 



112 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

Then said the fisherman, " How is it that one so great 
as thou art, whose feet o'er-step the hills and whose head 
out-tops the heaven — how can such an one enter into so 
small a vessel to dwell in it ? Truly, though mine eyes 
tell me I have seen it, I cannot any longer believe so great 
a marvel." 

44 What ? " cried the Genie, " dost thou not believe 
what I have already told thee ? " 

" Not till I have seen it done can I believe it," said 
the fisherman. 

Thereupon, without more waste of words, the Genie, 
drawing his limbs together and folding himself once more 
in a thick veil of smoke, descended from his vast altitude 
into the narrow neck of the brazen vessel till not one shred 
or film of him remained to view. Then the fisherman 
with a quick hand replaced the leaden stopper, and laughing, 
cried to the Genie, 44 Choose now, thou in thy turn, by 
what manner of death thou wilt die." 

The Genie, hearing himself thus mocked, made violent 
efforts to escape ; but the power of the seal of Solomon 
held him fast, and the fisherman, ceasing not all the while 
to revile him for the treachery and baseness which were 
now to receive their due reward, began to carry the vessel 
back to the sea's brink. 44 Now," said he, 44 thou shalt 
return to the place whence I drew thee. And here on the 
shore I will build myself a hut, and to every fisherman 
that comes near I will say, 4 Look that you fish not in 
these waters, for herein lies bound a wicked genie that has 
sworn to put to a cruel death whoever dares to release 
him.' " 

44 Nay, nay," cried the Genie, * 4 1 did not mean what 
I said. Ask of me now, and I will give you all the treasures 
that the world contains, or that your heart can find in 
it to desire, if only you will set me free I 




SO STRANGE OF FORM AND SO BRILLIANT AND DIVERSE IN HTTK 
(Page 116) 

14 



THE FISHERMAN AND THE GENIE 115 

The fisherman, being of a mild spirit and with no heart 
for revenge, sat down to consider what he should do, and 
all the while the imprisoned Genie continued to appeal to 
him for compassion with loud promise and lamentation. 
So, at last, the fisherman, having the fear of God before 
his eyes, after he had extracted from the Genie a most 
solemn vow to leave him unharmed, drew out the stopper 
of lead and released him. 

No sooner was he out and restored to his true form 
than the Genie, turning himself about, lifted his foot and 
with his full strength smote the brazen vessel far out to 
sea ; and the fisherman, beholding that act, began to 
repent him of his mercy and to tremble again for dear 
life. 

But the Genie, seeing his fear, broke into huge laughter, 
and striding on ahead of him cried, " Come, fisherman, and 
follow me, for now I will lead you to fortune ! " 

Meekly at his heels went the old fisherman, and leaving 
behind them the habitations of men they ascended a 
mountain and entered upon a desert tract guarded by 
four hills, in the centre of which lay a broad lake. Here 
the Genie stopped, and pointing to a place where fish 
were swimming in abundance bade the fisherman cast in 
his net. The fisherman did as he was told, and when he 
drew in his net he found that it contained four fish each 
of a different colour, a red, a white, a blue, and a yellow : 
never in his life had he seen the like of them. The Genie 
bade him take and offer them to the Sultan, assuring him 
that if he did so they should bring him both fortune and 
honours. Then he struck the ground with his foot, and 
immediately the earth opened its mouth and swallowed 
him as the dry desert swallows the rain. 

The fisherman, wondering no less at his safe deliverance 
than at the marvel of these occurrences, made his way 



116 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

in haste to the city ; and there presenting himself at the 
palace he begged that the four fish might be laid at the 
Sultan's feet, as a humble offering from the poorest of 
his subjects. 

No sooner had the monarch seen them, so strange of 
form and so brilliant and diverse in hue, than his longing 
to taste of them became strongly awakened ; so by the 
hand of his vizier, he sent them to the cook to be pre- 
pared forthwith for the royal table. As for the poor 
fisherman, he received no fewer than four hundred pieces 
of gold from the Sultan's bounty, and returned to his 
family rejoicing in an affluence which surpassed his utmost 
expectations. 

The cook meanwhile, proud of an opportunity to exhibit 
her culinary skill on dainties so rare, scaled and cleaned 
the fish and laid them in a frying-pan over the fire. But 
scarcely had she done so when the wall of the kitchen 
divided, and there issued forth from it a damsel of moon- 
like beauty richly apparelled, holding a rod of myrtle in 
her hand. With this she struck the fish that lay in the 
frying-pan, and cried : 

*' O fish of my pond, 
Are ye true to your bond ? " 

And immediately the four fishes lifted their heads from 
the frying fat and answered : 

" Even so, the bond holds yet ; 
Paid by thee, we pay the debt. 
With give and take is the reckoning met." 

Thereupon the damsel upset the pan into the fire and 
retired through the wall in the same way that she had 
come, leaving the four fish all charred to a cinder. 

The cook, beholding her labour thus brought to naught, 
began to weep and bewail herself, expecting no less than 



THE FISHERMAN AND THE GENIE 117 

instant dismissal, and was still loud in her lamentations 
when the vizier arrived to see if the fish were ready. 

On hearing her account of what had occurred, the 
vizier was greatly astonished, but feared to bring so strange 
a report to the Sultan's ears while the cravings of the 
royal appetite were still unsatisfied ; so recalling the 
fisherman by a swift messenger, he bade him procure in 
all haste four more fish of the same kind, promising to 
reward him according to the speed with which he accom- 
plished the task. So spurred, and by the additional 
favour of fortune, the fisherman fulfilled his mission in an 
astonishingly short space of time ; but no sooner was the 
second lot of fish placed upon the fire in the vizier's pres- 
ence than once again the wall opened, and the damsel 
appearing as before, struck the frying-pan with her rod, 
and cried : 

" O fish of my pond, 
Are ye true to your bond ? " 

And immediately the fish stood up on their tails in the 
frying fat and replied : 

"Even so, the bond holds yet; 
Paid by thee, we pay the debt. 
With give and take is the reckoning met." 

Whereupon she upset the pan into the fire and departed 
as she had come. 

The vizier, perceiving that so strange an event might 
no longer be kept from the royal knowledge, went and 
informed the Sultan of all that had occurred ; and the 
monarch as soon as he had heard the tale, now rendered 
more eager for the satisfaction of his eyes than he had 
previously been for the indulgence of his appetite, sent 
for the fisherman, and promised him yet another four 
hundred pieces of gold if he could within a given time 



118 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

procure four more fishes similar to those he had already 
brought on the previous occasions. 

If the fisherman had been prompt at the vizier's bid- 
ding, he made even greater speed to fulfil the royal com- 
mand, and before the day was over — this time in the 
presence of the Sultan himself — four fish, of four diverse 
colours like to the first, were cleaned and laid into the 
pan ready for frying. But scarcely had they touched the 
fat when the wall opened in a clap like thunder, and there 
came forth with a face of rage a monstrous negro the size 
of a bull, holding in his hand the rod of myrtle. With 
this he struck the frying-pan, and cried in a terrible voice : 

* O fish from the pond, 
Are ye true to your bond ? " 

And when the fish had returned the same answer that 
the others had made before them, without more ado the 
negro overturned the pan upon the fire and departed as 
he had come. 

When the Sultan's eyes had seen that marvel he said 
to his vizier, " Here is mystery set before us ! Surely 
these fish that talk have a past and a history. Never 
shall I rest satisfied until I have learned it." So causing 
the fisherman to be brought before him, he inquired whence 
the fish came. The fisherman answered, " From a lake 
between four hills upon the mountain overlooking the 
city." The Sultan inquired how many days' journey it 
might be, and the fisherman replied that it was but a 
matter of a few hours going and returning. Then to the 
Sultan and his court it seemed that the old man was 
mocking them, for none had heard tell of any lake lying 
among the hills so near to that city ; and the fisherman, 
seeing his word doubted, began to fear that the Genie 
was playing him a trick ; for if the lake were now suddenly 




DAMSEL UPSET THE PAN 
{Page lie) 



THE FISHERMAN AND THE GENIE 121 

to vanish away, he might find his fortunes more undone 
at the end than at the beginning. 

Yet the Sultan, though his vizier and all his court 
sought to dissuade him, was firmly resolved on putting 
the matter to the proof ; so he gave orders that an escort 
and camping tents should be immediately got ready, and, 
with the fisherman to guide, set forth to find the place 
that was told of. 

And, sure enough, when they had ascended the 
mountain which all knew, they came upon a desert 
tract on which no man had previously set eyes; and 
there in its midst lay the lake filled with four kinds 
of fish, and beyond it stretched a vast and unknown 
country. 

At this sight, so mysterious and unaccountable, of a 
strange region lying unbeknownst at the gates of his own 
capital, the monarch was seized with an overwhelming 
desire to press forward in solitary adventure to the dis- 
covery of its secret. To the cautious counsels of his vizier 
he turned a deaf ear ; but since it would not be safe for 
his subjects to know of his departure on an errand so 
perilous, it was given out that he had been stricken by 
sudden sickness. The door of the royal tent was closed, 
and at the dead of night the Sultan, admitting none but 
the vizier into his confidence, set out secretly on his 
adventure. 

Journeying by night and resting by day, he arrived 
on the third morning within sight of a palace of shining 
marble which, with its crowd of domes and minarets, 
stood solitary among the hills. No sign of life was about 
it, and when he drew near and knocked at the gates none 
came to answer him. Then, finding the doors unfastened, 
he took courage and entered ; and advancing through 
chambers where gold lay as dust, and by fountains wherein 



122 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

pearls lay poured out like water, he found only solitude 
to greet him. 

Wandering without aim among innumerable treasures 
unguarded and left to waste, the Sultan grew weary, and 
sat down in an embrasure to rest. Then it seemed to 
him that not far off he could hear a sorrowful voice chant 
verses of lamentation. Following the sounds with wonder 
he came to a curtained doorway, and passing through 
found himself in the presence of a fair youth richly dressed, 
seated upon a couch and bearing upon his countenance 
tokens of extreme grief and despondency. To the Sultan's 
proffered greeting the youth returned salutation, but did 
not stir from his seat. " Pardon me," he said, " for not 
rising ; but my miserable condition makes it impossible." 
Having said this he again broke into doleful lamentation ; 
and when the Sultan inquired as to the cause of so many 
tears, " See for yourself," he cried, " what I am now made 
into ! " And lifting the skirt of his robe he revealed 
himself all stone from his waist to the soles of his feet, 
while from the waist upwards he was as other men. Then 
as he observed upon his visitor's countenance the expres- 
sion of a lively curiosity and astonishment, " Doubtless," 
he went on, " as you now know the secret of my miserable 
condition you will wish also to hear my story." And he 
related it as follows : 



THE STORY OF THE KING OF THE EBONY ISLES 



THE STORY OF THE KING OF THE EBONY ISLES 

" My father was King of the city which once stood 
about this palace. He was lord also of the Ebony Isles 
that are now the four hills which you passed on your way 
hither. When I succeeded to the throne upon his death, 
I took to wife my own cousin, the daughter of my uncle 
with whom I lived for five years in the utmost confidence 
and felicity, continually entertained by the charm of her 
conversation and the beauty of her person, and happy in 
the persuasion that she found in me an equal satisfaction. 

" One day, however, it chanced, in the hour before 
dinner when the Queen was gone to bathe and adorn 
herself, that I lay upon a couch beside which two female 
slaves sat fanning me ; and they, supposing me to be 
asleep, began to talk concerning me and their mistress. 
4 Ah 1 ' said one, 4 how little our lord knows where our 
mistress goes to amuse herself every night while he lies 
dreaming ! ' * How should he know ? ' returned the other, 
* seeing that the cup of wine which she gives him each 
night contains a sleeping-draught, that causes him to sleep 
sound however long she is absent. Then at daybreak 
when she returns she burns perfumes under his nostrils, 
and he waking and finding her there guesses nothing. 
Pity it is that he cannot know of her treacherous ways, 
for surely it is a shame that a king's wife should go abroad 
and mix with base people.' 

" Now when I heard this the light of day grew dark 

125 



126 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

before my eyes ; but I lay on and made no sign, awaiting 
my wife's return. And she coming in presently, we sat 
down and ate and drank together according to custom ; 
and afterwards, when I had retired and lain down, she 
brought me with her own hands the cup of spiced wine, 
inviting me to drink. Then I, averting myself, raised it 
to my lips, but instead of drinking, poured it by stealth 
into my bosom, and immediately sank down as though 
overcome by its potency, feigning slumber. Straightway 
the Queen rose up from my side, and having clothed herself 
in gorgeous apparel and anointed herself with perfumes, 
she made her way secretly from the palace, and I with 
equal secrecy followed her. 

" Soon passing by way of the narrower streets, we 
arrived before the city gates ; and immediately at a word 
from her the chains fell and the gates opened of their own 
accord, closing again behind us as soon as we had passed. 
At last she came to a ruined hut, and there entering I 
saw her presently with her veil laid aside, seated in familiar 
converse with a monstrous negro, the meanest and most 
vile of slaves, offering to him in abject servility dainties 
which she had carried from the royal table, and bestowing 
upon him every imaginable token of affection and regard. 

" At this discovery I fell into a blind rage, and drawing 
my sword I rushed in and struck the slave from behind a 
blow upon the neck that should have killed him. Then 
believing that I had verily slain him, and before the 
Queen found eyes to realize what had befallen, I departed 
under cover of night as quickly as I had come, and returned 
to the palace and my own chamber. 

" On awaking the next morning I found the Queen 
lying beside me as though nothing had happened, and at 
first I was ready to believe it had all been an evil dream ; 
but presently I perceived her eyes red with weeping, her 




SUPPOSING AIE ASLEEP, THEY BEGAN TO TALK 
{Page 126) 



THE KING OF THE EBONY ISLES 129 

hair dishevelled, and her face torn by the passion of a 
grief which she strove to conceal. Having thus every 
reason to believe that my act of vengeance had not fallen 
short of its purpose, I held my tongue and made no sign. 

" But the same day at noon, while I sat in council, 
the Queen appeared before me clad in deep mourning, 
and with many tears informed me how she had received 
sudden news of the death of her father and mother and 
two brothers, giving full and harrowing details of each 
event. Without any show of incredulity I heard her tale ; 
and when she besought my permission to go into retire- 
ment and mourn in a manner befitting so great a calamity, 
I bade her do as she desired. 

" So for a whole year she continued to mourn in a 
privacy which I left undisturbed; and during that time 
she caused to be built a mausoleum or Temple of Lamenta- 
tion — the same whose dome you see yonder — into which 
she withdrew herself from all society ; while I, believing 
the cause of my anger removed and willing to humour 
the grief which my act had caused her, waited patiently 
for her return to a sane and reasonable state of mind. 

" But, as I learned too late, matters had not so fallen : 
for though in truth the negro was grievously wounded, 
being cut through the gullet and speechless, it was not 
the will of Heaven that he should die; and the Queen 
having by her enchantments kept him in a sort of life, no 
sooner was the mausoleum finished than she caused him 
to be secretly conveyed thither, and there night and day 
tended him, awaiting his full recovery. 

" At length, when two years were over and her mourn- 
ing in no wise abated, my curiosity became aroused ; so 
going one day to the Temple of Lamentation I entered 
unannounced, and placing myself where I might see and 
not be seen, there I discovered her in an abandonment of 

16 



130 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

fond weeping over her miserable treasure whose very life 
was a dishonour to us both. But no sooner in my just 
resentment had I started to upbraid her, than she — as 
now for the first time realizing the cause of her companion's 
misfortune — began to heap upon me terms of the most 
violent and shameful abuse; and when, carried beyond 
myself, I threatened her with my sword, she stood up 
before me, and having first uttered words of unknown 
meaning, she cried : 

' Be thou changed in a moment's span ; 
Half be marble, and half be man ! ' 

And at the word I became even as you see me now — 
dead to the waist, and above living yet bound. Yet even 
so her vengeance was not satisfied. Having reduced me 
to this state, she went on to vent her malice upon the 
city and islands over which I ruled, and the unfortunate 
people who were my subjects. Thus by her wicked 
machinations the city became a lake and the islands about 
it the four hills which you have seen ; as for the inhabi- 
tants, who were of four classes and creeds, Moslems, 
Christians, Jews and Persians, she turned them into fish 
of four different colours : the white are the Moslems, the 
red are Persian fire-worshippers, the yellow are Jews, and 
the blue Christians. And now having done all this she 
fails not every day to inflict upon me a hundred lashes 
with a whip which draws blood at every stroke : and when 
these are accomplished she covers my torn flesh with hair- 
cloth and lays over it these rich robes in mockery. Of a 
surety it is the will of Heaven that I should be the most 
miserable and despised of mortals ! " 

Thus the youth finished his story, nor when he had 
ended could he refrain from tears. The Sultan also was 
greatly moved when he heard it, and his heart became 



THE KING OF THE EBONY ISLES 131 

full of a desire to avenge such injuries upon the doer of 
them. " Tell me," he said, " where is now the monster 
of iniquity ? " " Sir," answered the youth, " I doubt not 
she is yonder in the mausoleum with her companion, for 
thither she goes daily so soon as she has measured out 
to me my full meed of chastisement : and as for this day 
my portion has been served to me, I am quit of her till 
to-morrow brings the hour of fresh scourgings." 

Now when this was told him the Sultan saw his way 
plain. "Be of good cheer," he said to the youth, " and 
endure with a quiet spirit yet once more the affliction she 
causes thee ; for at the price of that single scourging I 
trust, by the will of Heaven, to set thee free." 

So on the morrow the Sultan lay in close hiding until 
sounds reached him which told that the whippings had 
begun ; then he arose and went in haste to the mausoleum, 
where amid rich hangings and perfumes and the illumina- 
tion of a thousand candles, he found the black slave 
stretched mute upon a bed, awaiting in great feebleness 
the recovered use of his sawn gullet. Quickly, with a 
single sword-stroke, the avenger took from him that poor 
remnant of life which enchantment alone had made 
possible : then having thrown the body into a well in 
the courtyard below, he lay down in the dead man's place, 
drawing the coverlet well over him. Soon after, fresh 
from her accustomed task of cruelty, the enchantress 
entered, and falling upon her knees beside the bed she 
cried, " Has my lord still no voice wherewith to speak to 
his servant ? Surely, for lack of that sound, hearing lies 
withered within me ! " Then the Sultan, taking to him- 
self the thick speech of a negro, said, " There is no strength 
or power but in God alone ! " 

On hearing those words, believing that her companion's 
speech was at last restored to him, the Queen uttered a 



132 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

cry of joy. But scarcely had she begun to lavish upon 
him the tokens of her affection when the pretended negro 
broke out against her in violent abuse. " What ! " he 
cried, " dost thou expect favour at my hands, when it is 
because of thee that for two years I have lain dumb and 
prostrate ? How darest thou speak to me or look for any 
recompense save death ! Nay ! " he went on in answer 
to her astonished protests, " have not the cries and tears 
and groans of thy husband kept me continually from rest : 
and has not Heaven smitten me for no other reason than 
because thou wouldst not cease from smiting him ? So 
has the curse which thou didst seek to lay upon him fallen 
doubly upon me." 

" Alas ! " cried the enchantress, " have I unknowingly 
caused thee so great an ill ? If it be so, then let my lord 
give command, and whatever be his desire it shall be 
satisfied." 

Then said the Sultan, " Go instantly and release thy 
husband from spell and torment : and when it is done, 
return hither with all speed." 

Thus compelled, in great fear and bewilderment and 
sorely against her will, the Queen sped to the chamber 
in the palace where her husband lay spell-bound. Taking 
a vessel of water she pronounced over it certain words 
which caused it instantly to boil as though it had been 
set on a fire : then throwing the water over him, she 
cried : 

** Spell be loosed, and stone grow warm, 
Yield back flesh to the human form." 

And immediately on the word his nature came to him 
again, and he leaped and stood upon his feet. But the 
Queen's hatred towards him was by no means abated. 
" Go hence quickly," she cried, " since a better will than 
mine releases thee 1 But if thou tarry or if thou return 



THE KING OF THE EBONY ISLES 135 

thou shalt surely die ! " Thankful for his deliverance the 
youth stayed not to question, but departing went and hid 
himself without, while the Queen returned in haste to the 
mausoleum where her supposed lover awaited her. There, 
eager for restoration to favour, she informed him of what 
she had done, supposing that to be all. 

" Nay," said the other, still speaking with the thick 
voice of a negro ; " though thou hast lopped the branch 
of the evil thou hast not destroyed the root. For every 
night I hear a jumping of fishes in the lake that is between 
the four hills, and the sound of their curses on thee and 
me comes to disturb my rest. Go instantly and restore 
all things to their former state, then come back and give 
me thy hand and I shall rise up a sound man once more." 

Rejoicing in that promise and the expectations it held 
out to her of future happiness, the Queen went with all 
speed to the border of the lake. There taking a little 
water into her hand, and uttering strange words over it, 
she sprinkled it this way and that upon the surface of the 
lake and the roots of the four hills, and immediately where 
had been the lake a city appeared, and instead of fishes 
inhabitants, and in place of the four hills four islands. 
As for the palace, it stood no longer removed far away 
into the desert but upon a hill overlooking the city. 

Great was the astonishment of the vizier and the Sul- 
tan's escort which had lain encamped beside the lake to 
find themselves suddenly transported to the heart of a 
populous city, with streets and walls and the hum of 
reawakened life around them ; but a greater and more 
terrible shock than this awaited the Queen upon her return 
to the mausoleum to enjoy the reward of her labours. 
" Now," she cried, " let my lord arise, since all that he 
willed is accomplished ! " 

" Give me thy hand ! " said the Sultan, still in a voice 



136 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

of disguise ; " come nearer that I may lean on thee ! " 
And as she approached he drew forth his sword which had 
lain concealed beside him in the bed, and with a single 
blow cleft her wicked body in twain. 

Then he rose and went quickly to where in hiding lay 
the young King her husband, who learned with joy of the 
death of his cruel enemy. He thanked the Sultan with 
tears of gratitude for his deliverance, and invoked the 
blessings of Heaven upon him and his kingdom. " On 
yours too," said the Sultan, " let peace and prosperity 
now reign ! And since your city is so near to mine, come 
with me and be my guest that we may rejoice together 
in the bonds of friendship." 

" Nay," answered the young King, " that would I do 
willingly, but your country lies many a day's journey 
from my own. I fear the breaking of the spell which held 
me and my subjects has brought you farther than you 
wished." 

It was in fact true that the Ebony Isles had now 
returned to the place from which they had originally come. 
The Sultan put a smiling face upon the matter : "I can 
well put up with the tedium of my journey," said he, " if 
only you will be my companion. Nay, let me speak 
frankly to one whose demeanour in affliction has won my 
heart ; I am childless and have no heir. Come with me 
and be my son, and when I am dead unite our two kingdoms 
under a single ruler." The young King, who had con- 
ceived for his deliverer an equal affection, could not with- 
stand so noble and generous an offer ; and so with a free 
exchange of hearts on both sides the matter was arranged. 

After a journey of some months the Sultan arrived 
again at his own capital, where he was welcomed with 
great rejoicings by the people, who had long mourned over 
his strange and unexplained absence. 



THE KING OF THE EBONY ISLES 137 

As for the old fisherman who had been the immediate 
cause of the young King's deliverance, the Sultan loaded 
him with honours and gave his daughters in marriage to 
sons of the blood royal, so that they all continued in perfect 
happiness and contentment to the end of their days. 




17 



THE HISTORY OF BADOURA, PRINCESS OF CHINA, 
AND OF CAMARALZAMAN, THE ISLAND PRINCE 



THE HISTORY OF 
BADOURA, PRINCESS OF CHINA, 
AND OF CAMARALZAMAN, THE ISLAND PRINCE 

The story of Aboulhassan, the Prince of Persia, had 
come to an end and the light of morning was full. 
Then said Dinarzade, " Another story, O sister, another 
story ! " Scheherazade made answer, " If my Lord will 
suffer me to live for another day, there is yet one more tale 
that I could tell. The history of Prince Camaralzaman 
and of his bride Badoura is far more entrancing than that 
which I have just given ; but it is too long to be told now." 

Then she was silent ; and Shahriar could not bring 
himself to order her death till he had heard that story 
also. So once more he let his oath stay unfulfilled and de- 
ferred sentence ; and the next night, wakened in the 
small hours towards dawn, Scheherazade, opening a 
mouth of loveliness and filling it with wise and sweet 
words, took up the thread of her tale and began : 

O King, live for ever ! About twenty days' sail from 
the coast of Persia there lies in the open sea an island 
which is called Khaledan, a country wealthy and pros- 
perous and containing many large and well-inhabited 
towns. Its ruler in ancient times was a king named 
Shahzaman. As a reward for his many virtues, he had 
gathered about him a large and well-proportioned house- 
hold, four wives, the daughters of kings, and sixty concu- 
bines ; but, in spite of so generous a provision for that 
which only Heaven can bestow, he had no son ; and as 

141 



142 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

time went on, and he grew old, his bones wasted, and 
his heart became filled with affliction ; and he said to his 
Vizier, " Now in a little while I shall die ; then will my 
name perish, and my Kingdom pass to others, for I have 
not a son to come after me. Tell me, is there anything 
I can do to avert so great a calamity ? " 

His Vizier answered, " When human means fail, it 
is then that we must rely on Heaven, for often these 
evils are sent to remind us of our dependence on Him 
who alone holds power. Fast, therefore, and pray, and 
perform ablutions, and when that is done make a great 
banquet, and call to it the poor and needy ; it may 
be that among them will be found one pure and righteous 
soul whose blessing will thus descend on thee, for the 
fulfilment of thy desire." 

The King did as his Vizier advised : he made a great 
feast, and called to it all whose poverty might give virtue 
to their petition : and bidding them pray that he might 
have a son, caused meat to be set before them ; so they 
did eat and were filled. 

This holy act had the desired effect ; one of the 
King's four Queens immediately conceived, and in course 
of time presented him with a son as fair as a full moon 
on a cloudless night. When the midwives and nurses 
carried him to his father, the King seeing his beauty 
and transported with joy at the event, named him Camar- 
alzaman, that is to say Moon of the Age ; and he sent 
out orders, on pain of death to any who disobeyed, that 
for seven days the drums were to beat and every house 
in the city to be decorated in sign of thanksgiving. Never 
were such rejoicings heard. 

The Prince was reared and educated with all care 
and magnificence until he attained the age of fifteen. 
For the polish of his manners and the enlightenment 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 143 

of his brain the wisest and most accomplished men in 
the Kingdom were chosen ; and since from the first 
he displayed a modest and docile disposition, combined 
with a fine understanding, he became, as he approached 
the years of manhood, the most virtuous and eligible heir 
to a throne that monarch or people could find it in their 
hearts to desire. 

He was of surpassing comeliness and grace, perfect 
in form and stature ; and his father loved him so tenderly 
that he could scarcely bear to be away from him either 
by night or day. This devotion to his son was, indeed, 
so excessive, that the King himself was perturbed by it, 
for always accompanying it was a terror lest the Prince 
might die. 

One day he said to his Grand Vizier, " How came it 
that my happiness in the possession of such a son gives 
me anxiety rather than rest ? When I was childless I 
was miserable, and now that the desire of my heart 
has been satisfied, I am full of dread lest he also should 
die childless and my hope of posterity fail ? Calamities 
and accidents come when we least expect them, and 
so it seems to me now that the Prince being vigorous and 
strong is in greater danger of death than I who am near 
the grave. For him a thousand perils are waiting, while 
I have nothing to fear but old age. If, therefore, I may 
not see my son married in my own lifetime I shall die in 
a state more miserable than that which I endured before 
he was born." 

His Vizier said, " The Prince is still full young, but 
nothing forbids that he should marry if, by the will of 
Allah, we can find one worthy of him." 

" As for that," said the King, " Heaven cannot have 
willed to send into the world a form of beauty and of 
virtue so pre-eminent without also providing a fitting 



144 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

match for it. Doubt not, if the Prince himself is willing, 
that some maiden not too far beneath him will be found 
capable of sustaining the honour." 

So Shahzaman sent for his son, and Camaralzaman 
came and stood before him, and when he saw the King 
seated in state upon his throne, though not having his 
lords round him, the Prince bade reverence take the place 
of love, and with his head bowed down toward the ground 
waited in submission for the royal word to be spoken. 

Thus he stood before his father humbly as a stranger ; 
for never before had the King so received him, and he 
wondered why he had been summoned, and in his heart 
there was a fear. 

The King perceiving his reserve said to him, " My 
son, can you now guess for what reason I have sent for 
you ? " But the Prince answered, " My lord, I would 
not so presume ; for it is not in the power of one so young 
as I am to fathom the thoughts of the hearts of Kings. 
Only when I hear the true reason from your Majesty's 
lips will my brain become enlightened." 

So he spoke, with all the decorum, and deference, 
and virtue, and prudent modesty which had been instilled 
in him by the preceptors of his youth ; and Shahzaman, 
his father, loved him for it, and said in his heart, " Never 
was King blessed with such a son as I." 

Then he said to the Prince, " What thou lackest in 
years of man's estate thou hast already gained in wisdom 
and understanding ; therefore as a man I speak to thee. 
Know, then, it is my wish that thou shouldst marry, so 
that before my days are ended I may rejoice in the assur- 
ance of my posterity." 

When Camaralzaman heard these words he no longer 
hung his head, but stood up straight ; and as he made 
answer to the King his face flushed and his eyes grew 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 145 

bright ; and said he, " O my father, is it into bondage you 
would deliver me ere I become a man ? Lo, here am I, 
the son of Kings, and all my life till now have I been 
free, and my soul has been free within me, because I 
have not gone in the way of women nor inclined my 
heart toward them ; but if I marry, then by their cunning 
and guile will my soul and my freedom be taken from 
me. Far rather would I drink the cup of death." 

When King Shahzaman heard that, the light of day 
darkened before him, for never until now had his son 
gone against his wish or disobeyed his word. But, because 
he loved the youth very tenderly, he forgave him and 
thought not at this time to punish him ; for he said to 
himself, " At present he is full young, and excess of virtue 
hath caused his manhood to slumber." So he forbore, and 
waited till another year should have passed, and withdrew 
not from his son the light and favour of his countenance. 

So Camaralzaman continued in undisturbed life to 
receive the instructions of his preceptors, and every day 
he increased in beauty and comeliness of form, in modesty 
of mind, and in grace of manner and in elegance of de- 
portment. Added to which, he became accomplished in 
verse, and eloquence, and rhetoric and the divine sciences, 
so that the flower of his form and the honey of his under- 
standing made together a thing of inconceivable loveliness 
and attraction. Even as a magical willow-branch bearing 
peach-blossom and fruit at one season, so was he. 

Now when another year was completed, his father 
having once more consulted with the Grand Vizier, sent 
for him again, and said, " This time, O my son, listen to 
my word, and obey ; for now have thy years touched 
manhood, and unless thou beget children thy virtue 
and wisdom are wasted. Therefore if thou wilt marry her 
whom I shall now choose for thee, I will also make thee 

18 



146 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

ruler over all my dominions ; so with mine eyes shall I 
see my kingdom and my posterity established, and 
rejoice in thee before I die." 

But the Prince had listened so well to the preceptors 
set over him to guard his virtue, and had pondered 
so deeply the books which wise men had written in their 
old age, when delight had fled from them and when all 
that they had done in the past seemed only to be vanity, 
that his mind, even though his heart softened to his 
father's request, remained as aforetime. Therefore, abas- 
ing himself in fear and reverence at the King's feet, 
he said, " O my father, not so can I find happiness, or 
strength, or wisdom wherewith to rule others, seeing 
that if I marry I cease to be ruler of myself. In all 
things outward it is Allah's will that I should obey you ; 
but in this which comes from within and concerns myself 
alone, I can obey the voice of no man, however wise he 
may be. Yet, by all the seers and poets and sooth- 
sayers is the same thing told, that woman is a calamity, 
and that from her spring all the weaknesses and afflictions 
of men." And so saying with sweetness, and modulation 
of tone, and grace of gesture, Camaralzaman began to 
recite to his father all the words of the poets ; and there 
was not a poet who had written poetry in his old age 
whose verses did not bear out the contention. 

So when the King had heard the verses of the poets 
and the words of the ancients arrayed against him, he 
returned no answer ; for he said to himself : "I doubt 
not but that before another year shall have run that 
voice within will have spoken differently to my son than 
it speaks now, and the words of the sages will have far less 
weight with him then than the glance of some woman's 
eye." Once more, therefore, letting his tenderness extin- 
guish his resentment, he forgave the Prince's disobedience 
and received him back into his favour. 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 147 

But to his Grand Vizier Shahzaman said, " Now twice, 
O Vizier, have I come to thee for advice, and what profit 
has it been ? When I consulted thee first as to marrying 
my son thy word was for it ; yet no sooner did I mention 
it to him than his mind rebelled. This time also, it 
was on thy advice that I sought to bribe him by the 
offer of power ; but when I offered him the Crown, so 
little did he care that he seemed almost not to have 
heard me. What better advice, then, wilt thou give me 
now so that my patience may be rewarded and my heart 
obtain its desire ? " 

The Vizier answered, " O King, thy son hath presumed 
on thy forbearance, knowing well thy tenderness, and 
when thou hast spoken with him it hath been privately 
and as a father. But when a year hence the time comes 
to speak with him again on this matter, then speak not to 
him privately any more, but before all the people, with 
the emirs and the viziers and the troops standing by. 
Then he will no longer dare to oppose thee, since to do so 
before all those witnesses would be an offence treasonable 
and worthy of death." 

So the King accepted the advice of his Vizier, and 
when another year had gone by he summoned the Prince 
to his presence on a day of festival, when all about him 
were the dignitaries and chamberlains of his court, the 
viziers of the provinces, and the emirs of neighbouring 
states who paid tribute to Shahzaman as their Sultan. 
Thus he sat in all his power and splendour, and Camaralza- 
man came in and drew near, and stood before him, being 
then in his eighteenth year, with the early bloom of 
manhood beginning to show upon his cheek. Allah, who 
loves to give beauty to virtue, had clothed him in come- 
liness and crowned his features with joy ; his eyes were 
like pools of deep water and their glances flashed like 



148 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

a fountain in the sun ; and from head to foot whether he 
moved or stood he was perfect in dignity and grace. 

As he approached, thrice he bent and kissed the ground 
in sign of obedience and reverence, and thereafter stood 
upright, with hands folded behind his back, waiting to 
hear the King's pleasure. 

Shahzaman spoke. " Once more, O my son, I have 
sent for thee to declare my will. Twice ere this have I 
been tender and patient, not forcing an inclination that 
was not ripe. But now thou art come to man's estate, 
and the season of waiting is ended. Therefore my com- 
mand is that thou marry a daughter of kings, whom 
presently I shall choose for thee ; so shall I have joy in 
thee before I die, seeing the establishment of my posterity." 

When Camaralzaman heard these words he shut fast 
his lips and stood speechless for a while. But as his 
eye fell on all those lords assembled as witnesses as to 
what he should say, wrath kindled in his blood and the 
fire of youth mounted to his brain and he spoke swiftly 
and unadvisedly. 

" Surely," he said, " thou art a man of great age 
and little sense thus to talk, having already been answered ! 
Twice before hast thou asked me, and twice have I refused. 
Thinkest thou with all these cooks to make a better broth 
of me, having thyself failed ? I swear now that rather than 
marry I will drink the cup of perdition and die : for no 
man shall possess himself of my body to give it to another 
while my will is contrary ! " And so saying Camaralza- 
man unclasped his hands from behind his back, and 
rolling up his sleeves stood before his father all quivering 
with anger. 

Greatly was Shahzaman, the King, disturbed at 
receiving so public an affront from the son whom he 
loved so tenderly. For a moment he sat speechless, seeing 




PRINCESS BADOURA 
(Pag* HI) 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 151 

in the eyes of those around him the reflection of his 
humiliation and shame ; then his energy returned to 
him, and rising from his throne he uttered so terrible a 
cry of wrath that at once Camaralzaman became conscious 
of the enormity of his offence, and his hasty anger departed 
leaving only contrition and fear. 

Then, at the King's command, the memlooks came 
and seized him, and having first bound his hands, dragged 
him before the throne. 

The extremity of Shahzaman's wrath now broke 
into words, and while the Prince stood speechless before 
him, his head bowed down and with drops of anguish 
upon his brow, he loaded him with a volume of abuse 
which did not spare even the Queen's unblemished reputa- 
tion. " Woe to thee," he cried, " baseborn child of 
iniquity and deceit ! Is it thus that a King is to be 
answered in the presence of his people ? Is it thus that a 
son nurtured in the tenderest affection casts insult on 
the head of his father ? Had such language been uttered 
by one of the common people, it had been less disgraceful 
and more pardonable than coming from thee." 

Then he commanded the memlooks to take him away 
and imprison him in the deepest dungeon of the castle, 
which had long stood neglected and empty. 

Servants of the Prince hearing of that order went in 
haste and prepared the chamber for his reception ; they 
swept the walls of its cobwebs, and wiped the damp 
from the floors ; they placed in it a bedstead, and on it 
laid a mattress and a leather covering and cushions ; 
they also provided a large lantern and a candle, for even 
in the daytime the place was dark. To this dungeon 
came Camaralzaman escorted by his guard, and when all 
had been made secure and a eunuch set outside to keep 
watch, there they left him. 



152 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

Camaralzaman threw himself upon the couch weeping, 
for bitterly now did he repent of his injurious conduct 
to his father ; yet even in his affliction he ceased not to 
inveigh against marriage. " Malediction upon women ! " 
he cried, " alas, why were they invented to give sting 
to the affections and divide father and son ! Had Allah 
refrained from creating women, certainly I should not have 
been here ! " 

Thus in his misfortune did Camaralzaman find truths 
to comfort him. Meanwhile the King, his father, was 
suffering an equal affliction, and lacking the philosophy 
of youth he sought to find comfort in laying the blame 
for all that had happened upon the Grand Vizier. " See, 
O Vizier ! " he cried, " what comes of taking counsel with 
thee ! Thou alone hast been the cause of my son's 
undoing ; for had I spoken to him privately on this matter 
as aforetime, he would not have answered me otherwise 
than as a son should and in such manner as would have 
made forgiveness possible. Now, therefore, since we are 
brought to this pass by the foolishness of thy wisdom, it is 
for thee to devise means by which we may find a remedy." 

The Vizier replied : " O King, let the Prince stay 
where he is for another fifteen days, so shall he have time 
to cool himself. I doubt not that thereafter his mind 
toward marriage will be all that your heart can desire. 
Better to him then will seem the bride's chamber than the 
stone walls of his prison." 

Shahzaman took the Vizier's advice and slept on it, 
or rather slept not at all, for the loss of his son so troubled 
him that he lay awake all night tossing restlessly from 
side to side and longing for the light of day. 

Far better did Camaralzaman fare ; for when night 
came the eunuch brought lantern and candle, and having 
prepared a table set food before him. The Prince ate 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 153 

little and thought much, sorrow for his ill-conduct having 
severed his appetite in half, and when he had finished 
he called for water and washed his hands from all taint of 
food ; then he performed the ablution preparatory to 
prayer, and recited with his accustomed regularity the 
prayers of sunset and nightfall. After that he sat upon 
the couch reciting extracts from the Koran : he recited 
the chapters from "The Cow" and "The Family of 
Emran " and " The Two Preventives " ; and having done 
all these things he commended his soul to Allah and 
laid himself down upon the couch, whereon was a mattress 
of figured satin showing its pattern on both sides and 
stuffed abundantly with ostrich plumes. And when sleep 
drew near he took off his outer raiment and clothed 
himself in a fine shirt of waxed linen, and wrapped about 
his head a kerchief of blue muslin so that he seemed 
like the moon on its fourteenth night. Then with the 
lantern at his feet and the candle at his head, he covered 
himself with the sheet and fell into the sleep of the just 
from which he awakened not till after the third hour, 
knowing naught of the hidden event which then awaited 
him, or what Allah, who knoweth all secrets, had decreed 
should befall. 

Now in the floor of this dungeon was an old well 
malodorous and foul through long disuse ; and in this 
well dwelt a female Genie or Efreet, named Meymooneh, 
a monster of bad ancestry and of tremendous power to 
set evil above good. Toward midnight, when the hour 
for her nightly wanderings had come, Meymooneh rose up 
like a bubble from the bottom of the well and lifting her 
head over the brim saw a light which had not been there 
formerly and under it a couch whereon lay someone asleep. 

Full of wonder, she drew up her feet to earth, and 
advancing, cautiously turned back the coverlet from 

19 



154 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

the sleeper's face. Thereafter she stood for a whole 
hour lost in wonder and astonishment at the beauty 
which she found there : perfect in all its lines and colour 
and texture was the loveliness of the sleeping youth, and 
there arose from his body an odour like fragrant musk. 
Meymooneh snuffed at it, and her heart became enlarged, 
lifting her thoughts toward Heaven. " Blessed be Allah ! " 
she cried, " surely He must be good to have created this 
thing." And as she continued to gaze, her mind acquired 
a benevolence which had long since been strange to it. 
" By Allah," she said, "in no way will I injure him ; 
rather will I watch over and protect him from any that 
may seek to do him harm." And so saying she stooped 
over the youth and kissed him between the eyes. 

Then elated of heart she spread her wings and smiting 
the earth with her heel sprang upward and floated away 
into space, till the heavens about her were clear. As 
she rose up through clouds she heard above her head a 
napping of wings, and there passed one she knew by 
his tail to be Dahnash, an Efreet greatly inferior in power 
to herself. After him she went like a hawk, pounced 
and caught him by the scruff. 

Dahnash, perceiving into whose clutches he had 
fallen, quivered through all his members, and imploring 
pardon for his existence cried, " I conjure thee by 
the Most High Name and the sign on the Seal of Solomon 
that this time and for the present thou shouldst release 
me. So will I go upon my errand and return presently." 

Then said Meymooneh, " By the high oath which 
thou hast sworn, what errand art thou after ? " 

Dahnash answered, " I have seen once with mine 
eyes that which should make the wicked virtuous, and 
the foul-minded clean ; therefore I am in haste to make 
known the story of it to others less virtuous than 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 155 

thou art ; so that they too may see it and find reward." 
" Though I am more virtuous than thou art," replied 
Meymooneh, " yet shalt thou tell me thy story, else I 
will pluck off every scale from thy body and every feather 
from thy wings and throw thee to the bottomless pit. 
And if what thou tellest be not true then also shalt thou 
fare as I have said." 

Then said Dahnash, " O Meymooneh, if my word be not 
true, invent for me what tortures thou wilt and I will 
accept them. I am come to-night from the farthest isles 
of China, which are the dominions of King Gaiour, who is 
lord also of the Seas and of the Seven Palaces. There 
have I seen the Princess, his daughter, for whom also 
these palaces were built ; surely there is none like 
her in all the world ! Her hair is as dark as the night 
of separation and exile, and her face is like the dawn 
when lovers meet to embrace ; her nose hath both point 
and edge, and her cheeks are like petals of anemone 
filled with wine. When she speaks, wisdom flows from 
her tongue ; and when she moves, her feet faint with 
delight under the burden of the loveliness laid on them. 
The King's love for her is so great that there is no limit 
to what he will bestow on her if only it may add to her 
happiness ; therefore in her honour hath he built the 
seven palaces : the first is of crystal, the second of marble, 
the third of steel, the fourth of onyx, the fifth silver, 
the sixth is of inlaid gold, and the seventh of all manner 
of jewels. Also these palaces are most sumptuously 
furnished, and around them lie gardens embellished 
with everything that can soothe the senses and delight 
the eye. Yet all this is but as a shade when the beauty 
of the Princess shines in the midst of it. Because the 
fame of her incomparable loveliness has gone far and 
wide, many kings and powerful princes come to demand 



156 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

her hand in marriage. But so tender is the King's love 
for her, that in all these years without her free consent 
he has married her to none. Many a time has he 
sought to persuade her, but it is all in vain. ■ For 
where,' says the Princess, 4 shall I have honour and 
freedom such as I enjoy now ? Here I sit at thy side 
in council and am a ruler over men ; but if I marry 
then will my husband rule me.' And now there has 
come to the court of King Gaiour, another monarch, so 
dreaded and so powerful that his suit cannot be refused. 
Nevertheless the Princess, whose name is Badoura, will 
not consent ; and having threatened to kill herself rather 
than submit, the King now treats her as insane in order 
to excuse himself, and hath shut her up in one of her 
palaces with ten old women to look after her. There 
she has been confined for a whole year, but the imprison- 
ment has done nothing either to change her will or diminish 
the enchantment of her beauty. So to-night when I 
saw her lying asleep every evil thought and passion died 
within me, for so holy is her beauty that I respected 
her even as I respect myself. Come, Meymooneh, and 
you shall see what is indeed a miracle and a wonder ! " 

So far had Dahnash proceeded, when Meymooneh 
impatiently interrupted him. First, she cuffed him over 
the head, and then spitting in his face cried with 
laughter, " O fool, what eyes have you to behold beauty, 
or what tongue to tell of it ? This Princess that you 
speak of is, I doubt not, a poor insignificant creature 
not worth looking at. What would you say, then, if I 
showed you my own beloved ? Little talk would there be 
then of this fine Princess of yours ; you would have but 
to look at him once and you would go crazy with jealousy." 

Dahnash replied humbly, " O Mistress of language 
and of facts, far be it from me to deny beauty that you 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 157 

yourself have verified ; but neither can I deny that which 
I, in turn, have beheld and think to be incomparable. 
All I can ask, therefore, is that you should accompany me 
to the bedchamber of this adorable Princess, where 
she now lies sleeping, and judge for yourself." 

44 Not so," answered Meymooneh, " wherefore should 
I travel to the far ends of China merely to prove thy 
folly and thy falsehood ? Here close at hand is the 
tower wherein my beloved lies prisoner ; come, then, and 
see for yourself the face of him whose loveliness even 
in sleep puts all other beauty to scorn." 

So they descended, and passing through the roof 
and floors of the tower came to the dungeon below, 
where Camaralzaman lay sleeping. There by the bedside 
Meymooneh put forth her hand and drew back the sheet ; 
and Dahnash gazed with awe and remained silent, for 
doubt swayed him. Nevertheless after a while he said, 
44 O Meymooneh, though my word may seem hard to 
believe, yet do I still say that she whom I saw is fairer 
than this youth ; and needs must it be so, since the 
fairest woman is by her sex made fairer than the fairest 
man. But for that, these two whom we contend over 
might be twin flowers from the same stem, so like are 
they." 

When Meymooneh heard that she struck him a hard 
blow over the head with her wing, crying, 44 Go, accursed 
one, fly back to China, lift up thy beloved and bring 
her quickly to this place ; so when we see them side by 
side shall it be manifest which one is the more beautiful. 
Then if I am right thou shalt pay forfeit to me, and if 
thou art right I will pay." 

Then with inconceivable swiftness Dahnash departed ; 
and within an hour returned bearing the Princess in his 
arms. She was clad in a gown of finest silk with two 



158 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

borders of gold, and when the Efreet laid her upon the 
bed beside Camaralzaman, the two proved to be so alike 
that they might have been twin brother and sister. 
Nevertheless Meymooneh and Dahnash continued to say 
each to each, " My beloved is more beautiful than thine." 
Nor was agreement possible between them. 

Therefore after much strife, wherein Dahnash, though 
physically worsted, stuck to his opinion, they determined 
to refer the matter to an arbitrator, and by his sentence 
to abide. 

Then Meymooneh struck the ground with her foot 
and cried " Kashkash ! " Instantly the earth opened 
and there arose from it an Efreet hideous to look upon ; 
he was blind of an eye, and lame of a leg, and upon his 
back he carried a hump bigger than the rest of his body ; 
and when he saw Meymooneh he prostrated himself 
before her, saying, " O Mistress and daughter of Kings, 
what dost thou require of me ? " 

Meymooneh told him of the contention that had 
arisen between them, and showing him the Prince and 
Princess lying side by side called on him to say which 
was the more beautiful of the two. 

But Kashkash, having considered them for a while 
with great attention, replied, " When mortals are endowed 
with such beauty as these, then only themselves can 
decide. Let us, then, awake them each in turn, and 
the one that draws from the other the most violent 
protestations of love and admiration shall be esteemed 
the more beautiful." 

This proposal was approved both by Meymooneh and 
Dahnash. 

Thereupon Meymooneh transformed herself into a 
flea, and leaping upon Camaralzaman' s neck bit him in a 
soft place. The youth put up his hand and rubbed 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 159 

to allay the smarting ; then moving sideways he touched 
something that stirred, and starting up saw by his side a 
maiden of most marvellous beauty. 

No sooner had he beheld her than all his reasons 
against marriage were confounded and put to flight ; 
and he said within his heart, " What God desireth will 
come to pass, and what He desireth not will not happen." 
Then taking the Princess by the hand, he endeavoured 
gently to rouse her, and ceasing not to invoke her with 
words and kisses of tenderness, he would infallibly have 
awakened her had not Dahnash bound her by a spell. 

Then, seeing how fast she slept, " What ! " cried the 
Prince, " must the love of Camaralzaman admit an 
impediment such as this ? Awake, O beloved ! " Carried 
away by his words he was tempted for a moment to assail 
her rudely, but then the nobility of his nature reasserted 
itself and respect for her beauty and innocence constrained 
him. Then he bethought himself, and said, " Doubtless 
this is the honourable maiden to whom the King, my 
father, intended to marry me. Oh, why, instead of 
argument, did he not show me her face ? So would none 
of this trouble have come about ! " 

Then perceiving upon the Princess's finger a ring, he 
drew it off and exchanged it for his own, saying, " Since I 
may not yet possess myself of the owner I will take this." 
And having so done, he turned his back to her and slept. 

Then Meymooneh, jealous of the testimony which 
Camaralzaman had given to the Princess's beauty, trans- 
formed herself again into a flea, and entering beneath 
the clothes of Badoura, the beloved of Dahnash, bit her 
sharply ; whereupon she opened her eyes and sat up ; 
and there at her side beheld a youth snoring in his sleep, 
with eyelashes shading roseate cheeks and a mouth like 
the seal of Solomon. No sooner had she seen him than 



160 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

her heart was filled with contending emotions. " Oh 
me ! " she cried, " what disgrace is this that has come upon 
me to be lying in the same bed with a stranger ? But, 
by Allah, he is so beautiful that I have much ado not to 
love him to distraction. Nay, if this be the Prince 
who came demanding my hand in marriage of my father, 
I would have been willing to marry him ten times over 
had I but known beforehand." 

So saying she seized Camaralzaman by the arm and 
shook him so violently that, saving for the enchantment, 
he must surely have awakened. 

Thereat she lost patience. " Self-satisfied youth," 
she cried, " is this the way to behave to a Princess upon 
the night of her bridal ? What ? has so much beauty 
made thee proud ? " Then as love began to devour 
her heart, " O my lord," she cried, " light of mine eyes, 
and moon of my existence, arise, awake out of sleep ! " 
And forthwith seizing his hand she began kissing it. 
While she was doing so she saw her ring upon his little 
finger, and uttered a cry of astonishment ; while even 
greater became her amaze when she found upon her 
own hand a strange ring. This, she thought, must 
surely mean that she had become wedded to him in 
her sleep, so putting away all false modesty and fear 
she lay down again by his side, and fell fast asleep. 

Then Meymooneh and Dahnash, seeing how evenly 
between the pair the balance of love and admiration 
was divided, composed their difference ; and Dahnash, 
taking the sleeping Princess upon his shoulder, carried 
her back to China. 

When Camaralzaman awoke the next morning to 
find no maiden at his side, he supposed that the King, 
his father, had caused her to be carried away secretly, 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 161 

in order that thereby his desire for her might be increased. 
So he called to the slave who guarded him and said, " Tell 
me of the lady who slept with me last night : how came 
she, and who brought her ? " 

The slave replied, " O Prince, there was no lady ; how 
could any lady get in while I slept all night across 
the doorway, and had the key ? " 

This answer so infuriated the Prince that he fetched 
the slave a buffet which knocked him over ; then tying 
him to the well rope he let him down into the well, though 
it was the middle of winter ; and this he continued to 
do, now up, now down, saying as he did so, " When 
thou hast told me the truth I will let thee go." 

After a while the unfortunate slave, at the last gasp for 
wretchedness, cried, " O Prince, restore to me my life and 
I will tell thee all." 

So Camaralzaman drew him up and laid him to drain 
upon the floor. 

Then the eunuch, with shiverings and chattering of 
teeth, said, " Alas, Master, in my present plight I have 
not tongue nor wits to tell thee the whole story. Suffer 
me to go hence and get dry, then will I return." So 
Camaralzaman let him go. 

Off ran the eunuch, and without stopping came 
even as he was into the presence of Shahzaman, the 
King. Shahzaman was complaining to the Grand Vizier 
of the misery he had endured and the restless night 
he had passed, when the slave entered all a-drench with 
wetness and forthwith uttered his tidings. " O King," 
he cried, " insanity hath seized on thy son, and thus hath 
he done to me ! He saith there hath been a lady in his 
bed, when there hath been no lady ; and because I can- 
not tell him how she came or how she went, or where now 
he can find her, see from what a drowning I have escaped ! " 

20 



162 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

When the King heard these words his sorrow for 
his son and his wrath against the Vizier knew no bounds. 
" Go, accursed," he cried, " this is thy doing. Go to 
the Prince and discover the true cause of his malady ; 
then come again and tell me." 

So the Vizier hastened, treading upon his skirts as 
he went forth in fear of the King's anger, and coming 
to the tower found the Prince not mad at all, but seated 
upon the couch reciting verses from the Koran with the 
utmost composure. 

" O Prince," cried the Vizier, " the mere sight of 
thee relieves me of affliction ; but so have I the more 
reason to complain of that vile slave who attends on 
thee, and hath said shameful things concerning thee to 
thy father, the King." 

" I also," answered the Prince, " have great reason to 
complain of him ; but let that be for a while, and tell me 
now what has become of the lady who slept with me last 
night ? For I know my father must have sent her to me 
for a just purpose, and to cure me of my folly : which 
indeed she hath done. So let that sweet remedy return 
to me and you shall find me sane." 

" Of a truth, Prince," replied the Vizier, " the King, 
thy father, sent no lady to thee, and all that thou sayest 
now is mystery. Bethink thee, shut in here a prisoner, 
how canst thou have seen any lady with thine eyes except 
in a dream ? " 

" O ill-omened old man," cried the Prince, " thou wilt 
be saying next that I saw her only with my ears ! " And 
approaching the Vizier he seized him by the beard, which 
was long, and twisting it this way and that, cried, " Tell 
me the truth, or I will treat thee as I did the slave ! " 

Then the Vizier, to save himself from further ill- 
treatment, replied even as the slave had done, and said, 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 163 

" O Prince, I am not free to reveal the secrets of my 
master, but I will take to him any message wherewith 
you may be pleased to entrust me." 

" Go, then," answered the Prince, " and tell my father 
that I repent of my former words and will marry the lady 
he sent to me last night, but no other, though he should 
put me to a thousand deaths ! " 

So the Vizier, as soon as Camaralzaman had let go 
of his beard, returned in haste to the King and said to 
him, " O my lord, what the slave says is true ; the Prince 
hath been seized with insanity of the most violent kind ; 
yea, he heareth with his eyes, and seeth with his ears, and 
declareth a lady hath slept with him, whom he will marry 
and no other." 

Then Shahzaman went himself to see the Prince and 
to learn the truth of this matter, for he doubted the 
Vizier's word. And when he came to the prison, his son 
received him with so much respect, and contrition and 
devotion, that he turned upon the Vizier with eyes of 
anger and reproach, crying, " O wretch, why hast thou 
afflicted me with lies ? " But the Vizier only shook his 
head sorrowfully, waiting for the truth to reveal itself. 

Then said the King, " O my son, what day of the 
week is it ? " Camaralzaman answered, " To-day is 
Saturday, to-morrow is Sunday, the next day is Monday, 
then comes Tuesday, then Wednesday, then Thursday and 
then Friday." 

" Praise be to Allah ! " cried the King, " my son 
is not mad, for he knows the days of the week." Then 
he said to Camaralzaman, " Tell me, my son, who is 
this lady who, you say, slept with you last night ; for 
truly I know nothing about her." 

" O my lord," replied the Prince, " I pray that you 
cease to mock me, for though I have deserved it through my 



164 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

folly, yet now am I ready and eager to marry this lady 
whom you have chosen for me, since her beauty delights 
me, and her manners, even in her sleep, fascinate me." 

On hearing these words the King was as much aston- 
ished as the Vizier had been ; but the countenance 
of his son was so full of ingenuousness and truth that 
he was not as incredulous as the others had been be- 
fore him. " I swear to you, my son," said he, " that I 
know nothing of this matter. What my Vizier has told 
you, he invented to appease your anger. But now tell 
me everything, just as it happened, for whether it be 
true or no, this event has given me cause for rejoicing." 

Then the Prince sat down by his father's side and 
told him everything, and when he had finished he showed 
him the ring for proof that his tale was true ; and the King 
was so convinced by his son's manner and by all the inci- 
dents of the story, that he had not a word to say against it. 

Therefore was his heart uplifted, and he said to Camaral- 
zaman, " Though all these things be mysteries in the 
hands of Allah, so deep that we may not fathom them, 
yet now hast thou convinced me that thou art not as was 
said of thee. Keep, therefore, that precious mind to which 
Heaven hath given light, and possess thyself in patience 
till the mystery hath resolved itself." 

But Camaralzaman replied, " Alas, O my father, 
to what term of imprisonment dost thou now condemn 
me ? for if thou canst not find for me this maiden who 
hath ravished my heart, surely I shall die of anguish. 
So great is my love and my distraction that I cannot wait 
for her even an hour." 

Upon this the King smote his palms together, and 
cried, " Now are we in the hands of Allah, where no 
mortal power can avail 1 " Then he took his son gently 
by the hand and led him back to the palace : and there 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 165 

the Prince threw himself down upon a bed of sickness, 
too weak to rise or look up : and Shahzaman seated 
himself at his side, mourning and weeping for his grief, 
and leaving him neither by day nor night. 

But after a while his Vizier came to him and said, 
" O King of the Age, how long shall thy people seek for 
thee, and not find thee ? Thy troops murmur that 
they have none to lead them to the field, and in the city 
corruption grows rife because the seat of judgment stays 
empty. This sickness into which the Prince has fallen 
comes only from grief ; and as his grief increases thine, 
so does thine give nourishment to his. Therefore I 
entreat your Majesty to provide some better relief for the 
complaint both of the Prince and of the people. Here 
in the city his spirits languish and his strength returns 
not ; but take him to the palace which is upon the shore 
looking toward the islands ; there shall his soul, on the 
days when thou art absent, find peace and refreshment. 
And do thou, O King, on two days in each week return 
to the affairs of state, which need thy presence, to give 
audiences and to hold councils, else out of these two 
evils which are upon us there may grow a greater." 

So Shahzaman did as his Vizier advised him, and 
caused the Prince to be carried, all wasted as he was 
with grief, to a pavilion which was upon the shore, and 
there on the days when affairs of state caused the King to 
be absent Camaralzaman lay and looked out over the sea. 

While these things were happening in the land of 
Khaledan, Dahnash had conveyed the Princess of China 
safely back to her own bed. There the next morning 
she awoke, unstained by travel and with her raiment 
undisturbed ; nor was she conscious that she had been 
anywhere but where she now was. No sooner, therefore, 



166 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

did she perceive on looking to left and right that the 
youth who had lain in her bosom was no longer near her 
than her heart became agitated and her reason confounded, 
and she uttered a loud cry. 

All her women came running ; and her nurse, who 
was the chief, inquired what misfortune had befallen 
her. The Princess, who continued to search among the bed- 
clothes, said, " Vexatious and contrary old woman, what 
have you done with the beautiful youth who slept last night 
in my bosom, or how comes it that I have mislaid him ? " 

At these words the nurse was shocked in her morals 
and confounded in her understanding, and she answered, 
" O mistress, what mean these disgraceful words ! Surely 
thy bosom is guiltless of any such deed, and no youth, 
whether beautiful or otherwise, has been near thee." 

„ Badoura answered, " He had black eyes and a lovely 
face, and a mouth like the seal of Solomon, and his eye- 
brows were joined where I kissed them ; and he was here 
sleeping at my side from nightfall to nigh upon daybreak." 

" Princess," answered her nurse, " thou hast had 
an unpermissible dream and art talking nonsense. No 
such young man hath been near thee, nor would I have 
permitted it." 

Then the Princess lifting her hand in anger saw upon 
it the ring which Camaralzaman had given her in exchange 
for her own, and cried to her nurse, " Woe to thee, O 
deceitful ! Have I also dreamed this ring which is not 
mine and lost that which belonged to me ? " And so 
saying she started to belabour her nurse so unmercifully, 
that she would assuredly have killed her had not all the 
other women and the eunuchs lifted up their voices in 
lamentation ; whereupon the Princess, who greatly dis- 
liked loud noises, desisted. 

So the nurse, escaping from her vengeance, fled and 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 167 

acquainted the King with all that had happened and 
with the story which the Princess had told her. 

The King came in haste and found that which till now 
he had only pretended concerning his daughter apparently 
come true. For excess of reason had fled to her brain, 
and rushing this way and that she was searching for her 
beloved in every cupboard, and under every article of 
furniture, crying, " Where is the beautiful youth who 
slept in my bosom last night ? He belongs to me ; he 
is mine. If I do not find him I shall die." 

When her father saw and heard this he inquired no 
further, but ordered the slaves and eunuchs to seize her, 
and bind her with chains lest she should do herself or 
others an injury. 

So they put a chain about her neck and fastened her 
to a window of the palace looking toward the sea, that 
so by the will of Allah her thoughts might have rest 
and her reason be restored. And the King, loving her 
tenderly and greatly distressed at the condition she had 
fallen into, caused a proclamation to be issued to all 
sages, astrologers, and men skilled in such matters, saying, 
" Whosoever shall cure my daughter of her present 
malady, to him will I give her hand in marriage together 
with the half of my kingdom ; and whoso fails to cure 
her, having offered, his head will I strike off and set it 
above the gates of my palace as a warning to others." 
This he continued to do till forty of the wisest physicians 
and astrologers had lost their heads. Then the supply 
failed ; and the Princess, whom the offer of any husband 
other than the one she sighed for threw into paroxysms of 
wrath, was as far from a cure at the end as at the beginning. 
Thus she remained for the space of three years, sitting 
at a window with a chain about her neck and looking out 
over the sea. 



168 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

Now the nurse of the Princess Badoura had a son 
named Marzavan, who was a great traveller. He was 
foster-brother to the Princess ; when they were children 
she had been to him as his own sister ; and the two loved 
each other tenderly. So on the day when he returned 
from his travels he went to the palace to get tidings of 
the Princess, and there over the gates were ranged the 
heads of the forty wise men. This surprised him greatly, 
and when on inquiring into the matter he learned the 
cause, he heard also of the unhappy state into which the 
Princess had fallen. The news troubled him far more 
deeply than the death of forty wise men who had been 
found foolish, but, unwilling to trust to the judgment of 
others in such a case, being himself also well skilled in 
medicine, he besought his mother to obtain for him an 
interview with the Princess. 

This was a difficult matter, for the door of the chamber 
was strictly guarded, and no one had access to it except 
the nurse herself. So urgent, however, was her son's 
entreaty, that at last she consented and set about finding 
the means. To this end she said to the eunuch who 
was on guard at the door, " You know well my devotion 
to the Princess, and my desire to do anything that may 
alleviate her affliction, therefore I am come to ask you 
for a favour. I have a daughter whom my mistress 
from her earliest childhood, when I nursed them together, 
has ever regarded with the tenderest affection. She has 
lately married, and the Princess, hearing of this event, 
has expressed a wish to see her. Allow this to be ; and 
do not doubt that Heaven will reward you for your 
goodness." 

The eunuch readily consented in spite of the strict- 
ness of his orders. " Let her come at night," he said, 
"or bring her yourself, after the King has retired : 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN -169 

then the door shall be open and no one need know of 
it." 

Accordingly, the next night, the nurse disguised 
Marzavan in woman's attire, and taking his hand in hers 
led him to the palace. The eunuch let them pass without 
suspicion ; but as soon as they were in the Princess's 
presence, and the door shut behind them, the nurse said, 
" O mistress, I have brought gladness to you to-night ; 
for this is no woman but my son Marzavan, who, having 
returned from his travels, wished greatly to see you." 

No sooner did the Princess hear the name of Marzavan 
than she sprang joyfully forward, the full length of her 
chain, and being held back by it, she stretched her hands 
toward him, crying, " O brother, come to me ! " When 
Marzavan beheld her in that unhappy plight, then for 
weeping he could not look at her, but turned away his 
head and covered his eyes. Then said Badoura, " Dost 
thou also think that I am mad like the rest of them ? 
Nay, hear my story and be undeceived, for it is true." 

Then she told Marzavan everything ; and he, per- 
ceiving that she was in love, doubted no longer, for 
he knew that such passion and such a desire for beauty 
could arise neither out of madness nor of a dream. So 
when she besought his aid he pondered deeply what 
he might do, and then said, " O sister, have patience 
yet a little while, and I will go search through the world 
for thy missing friend. Be assured that if he lives I will 
find him." Then they embraced as brother and sister 
in full affection ; and Marzavan departed. 

The next day he set out once more upon his travels, 
and continued to journey from city to city, and island to 
island for the space of some months. At first, wherever 
he went, he heard men speaking of the beauty of the 
Princess Badoura and of the strange malady that afflicted 

21 



170 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

her ; but presently, as he changed from country to country, 
her name ceased to be upon men's lips, and he heard 
instead of one by name Camaralzaman, a prince of the 
Islands of Khaledan, who for three years had suffered 
from a grievous affliction of body and a desolation of 
spirit to which there seemed no remedy. 

Marzavan did not delay when he heard that story ; 
but inquiring for the nearest route he took ship and sailed 
from the city of Torf, where these tidings had first reached 
him, to the islands of Khaledan, a whole month's voyage ; 
and all the way he was glad so that his heart sang. But 
on the day when the ship approached the dominions 
of Shahzaman, there arose a great storm which broke 
the mast and carried away the sail and capsized the vessel. 

Marzavan, thrown overboard with the rest, was 
caught by a strong current and carried shorewards ; 
and as fate would have it, since the destiny of all are 
in the hands of the Most High, the current bore him 
toward that part of the coast where stood the palace 
of the King ; and there at that time, in the pavilion 
looking toward the sea, sat Shahzaman attended by his 
Vizier ; and the head of Camaralzaman lay upon his 
lap ; and a eunuch was whisking the flies from him. 

The Vizier, looking out from the terrace, saw in the 
water below him the shipwrecked Marzavan, tossed 
this way and that and unable to land ; so his heart was 
moved with pity and he came running to the King and 
crying, " Permit me, O my lord, to open the gates of the 
court and put forth my hand to save yonder man who is 
now drowning. For since a just action is never with- 
out reward, it may be he shall bring us good." 

Shahzaman replied, " Thou art the cause of all our 
trouble, and I doubt not that coming by thy hand this 
drowning man will bring us more. Yet I cannot forbid 




THE FINAL MARRIAGE PROCESSION 
{Page 196) 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 173 

thee to save his life : only be sure that he comes not 
near us to spy upon my son in his affliction and report 
it to others. If he do, his head and thine shall be forfeit." 

So the Vizier ran, and opening the gates of the court 
leaned down, and caught Marzavan by the hair and 
drew him up to dry land. And Marzavan came forth 
from the sea all lost to consciousness, his stomach 
filled with water and his eyes protruding. The Vizier 
waited till his spirit had returned to him ; then he took 
from him his clothes and clad him in others and put on 
his head the turban of an attendant and said to him, 
" Now, as I have saved thy life, do my bidding and save 
mine also. Cast down thine eyes, speak not, look not 
into any chamber as we go, but follow closely where I 
lead lest worse befall thee." 

Then said Marzavan, " What is this peril that I am 
not to see ? " 

The Vizier answered, "It is the King's son, who 
is sorely afflicted for the loss of a fair damsel that came 
to him but once and is gone again, none knows where. 
That is the story, and on pain of death all who hear it 
must believe it." And the Vizier sighed heavily, for 
at this time life was hard to him and belief difficult. 

When the half-drowned Marzavan heard that, his 
heart went up like a singing bird, and he skipt at the 
Vizier's heels like a squirrel. And when they came by 
the chamber where Camaralzaman was lying, with the 
King seated beside him, then Marzavan turned swiftly 
and went in and stood before him ; and no sooner had 
he seen the Prince than, with an exclamation of joy, 
he cried : " Extolled be the perfection of him who hath 
given beauty its pair ! Lo, the eyes are hers, the com- 
plexion is hers, the lips and the cheeks are hers ! " 

At these words the knees of the Vizier went from 



174, THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

under him, and he prayed succour of death : but on the 
heart of Camaralzaman there descended a coolness and a 
refreshment, and turning his tongue in his mouth, he 
signalled with his hand to Shahzaman to make the 
young man sit down. 

The King, seeing the look of joy upon his son's face, 
easily forgave the intrusion which had earned death ; 
and having placed Marzavan in the seat at the Prince's 
side, he bade him recount his history and whence and 
why he came. 

So Marzavan told of the country from which he had 
come and of its King and people, and of all the events 
of his journey, but of the real cause which had brought 
him he said nothing. And the Prince listened and waited, 
for he saw that something was concealed : and all the 
while, since hope had returned to him, his countenance 
grew bright and his strength of body increased. So 
presently he made a sign for his father to raise him to a 
sitting posture ; and the King, full of joy, lifted him, 
and placed cushions behind him and under him. Thus 
after three years of lying down did Camaralzaman sit 
up. So after a while Shahzaman, seeing how by the con- 
versation of Marzavan the Prince was restored to health, 
went away and left them ; and the Vizier departed also. 

Then, seeing that they were alone, Marzavan spoke 
low in the ear of Camaralzaman saying, " O Prince, thy 
sorrow is at an end ; for she whom thou lovest is the 
Princess Badoura, daughter of the King of China and my 
own foster-sister : and I am come through the world 
seeking thee because of my devotion to her, who, for love 
of thee, now lieth in chains. All that hath happened 
unto thee with thy father hath happened to her also 
with her father, yea, and worse things also." So he went 
on and told him all. 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 175 

Now when Camaralzaman had heard the story of 
the Princess, and of her sufferings and constancy, and of 
all the useless cures for her malady that had been tried, 
his heart was divided in its joy by an overflowing of 
sorrow, even as a rich country is divided and broken 
by a stream when it floods its banks ; and he said to 
Marzavan, " Alas ! how may I bring her the true cure, 
seeing that we dwell in such different parts of the world, 
and my father will not suffer me to be out of his sight 
even for one day ? " 

Marzavan answered, " For thy health's sake he will 
allow thee that one, and it shall suffice. For to-morrow 
thou shalt say to him, c Let me go out into the hills for a 
day and a night, that I may hunt and recover my strength,' 
and surely he shall not deny it to thee. And when thou 
hast found that for which thou art in search, I know that 
thou wilt return to him. But we will take with us two 
spare horses and saddlebags, with money sufficient for 
our journey, and when we have started upon our way 
I will provide, so that we may not be pursued and over- 
taken." 

At these words the Prince rejoiced greatly, and it 
all came about even as Marzavan had planned. For on 
the morrow the King, rejoicing that his son's health was 
so quickly restored, granted him the permission he sought, 
saying only, " Be not absent, my son, longer than one 
night, for while thou art away from me I have no joy 
left." Camaralzaman answered, " The night of sorrow 
will end, then shall I return." So he took leave of his 
father and departed. 

For the whole of that day until the evening Camaralza- 
man and Marzavan went in the direction they had chosen, 
setting their faces for the open country and the seaport 
lying beyond. And when it was night they ate and drank, 



176 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

fed their beasts, and rested for a while ; then they re- 
mounted and journeyed on. At daybreak they came 
to a spacious tract of forest ; there Marzavan took one 
of the led horses and killed it, stripping the flesh from its 
bones ; next he took the garments which Camaralzaman 
had worn on the previous day, and after tearing them 
this way and that daubed them with blood. 

Camaralzaman inquired why he did this : and Marzavan 
answered, " When we return not great search will be 
made for thee, and I doubt not, if it went far enough, 
we should be overtaken. But when the searchers come 
upon this they will suppose that a wild beast has fallen 
upon thee and devoured thee ; and that I, fearing 
the King's wrath, have fled away. Doubtless the news 
will bring great sorrow to thy father's heart ; but when 
thou returnest with thine errand safely accomplished, 
he shall be recompensed with joy." 

The Prince sorrowfully commended the plan which 
Marzavan had devised for the safety of their enterprise ; 
and so they continued upon their way unmolested, and 
after much travelling by land and water, and many 
adventures not to be told of here, they arrived at the 
capital of the dominions of King Gaiour, where the 
Princess Badoura lay in captivity. 

Marzavan did not take Camaralzaman to his own 
house, but to a public khan, where for three days they 
remained recovering from the fatigues of their jour- 
ney. Then, having clothed the Prince in the garb of a 
merchant-doctor with all the signs and instruments of 
his calling, he conducted him to the gates of the palace ; 
standing before which Camaralzaman began, on the 
instructions of Marzavan, to cry in a loud voice, " Look 
at me, for I am learned ! Marvel at me, for I am wise ! 
I am the healer, the calculator, the astrologer ; I know 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 177 

the cause of all maladies and their cure. If anyone, 
be he king or peasant, is in affliction, let him come to 
me!" 

The people were greatly astonished to hear once more 
an astrologer so bold of tongue ; and pitying him for 
his youth and wondering at the beauty of his form, they 
pointed to the heads which were over the palace gates, 
saying, " While there is time save thyself ; for if the 
King hear thee thy head will be joined to those." 

Nevertheless Camaralzaman continued to cry with 
a loud voice ; till at last the King heard him, and 
said to his Vizier, " Go down, and bring this astrologer 
in." 

So the Vizier went out and fetched him, and Camaralza- 
man came and bowed himself before the King. And 
when the King looked at him, his heart also was moved 
with pity toward the stranger, as the heart of the people 
had been, because of his youth and the beauty of his 
form. And he said to him, " My son, comply not with 
my conditions ; for I have bound myself with an oath, 
and whoso goes in to visit my daughter but cannot cure 
her, his head must I strike off ; and of a truth you have 
but to look over my palace gate to see that her malady 
is obstinate. Nevertheless if you can cure her she is 
yours, and the half of my kingdom is yours also." 

Camaralzaman said, " To those conditions, O King, I 
am agreed!" Then the King, sighing heavily, sent 
for the eunuch and bade him conduct the astrologer to 
the apartment of the Princess. 

The eunuch led the way ; but when they were come 
to the corridor wherein Badoura's chamber was situated, 
so great was the joy of the Prince that he hastened and 
went before ; and the eunuch called after him, " Tarry, 
good sir, and be not so hasty before the event, for I alone 

-2 



178 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

have the key that shall bring thee to thy death ! Never 
was any other astrologer in such haste to depart from life 
as thou." 

" Friend," answered Camaralzaman, " they had not 
such science as I have to make them glad : for they could 
not tell what the end would be, but I know it already, 
nay, even without entering that door of which thou 
hast the key I can cure the Princess of her malady." 

The eunuch, astonished to be met with so much 
confidence, ceased from his taunts, and admitted the 
Prince to the antechamber. " If thou canst do that," 
he said, " thou art indeed the wonder of the world. Truly 
were I only permitted to see such a marvel accomplished, 
I should account myself rich." 

Thereupon Camaralzaman seated himself against the 
curtain which divided the outer from the inner chamber 
and wrote the following prescription : 

" He whom estrangement hath afflicted is cured when 
the vow of the beloved is accomplished ; and the heart of 
exile findeth restoration in union with that which was 
lost. Love alone can heal those whom love hath perse- 
cuted." 

Underneath this prescription he added the following 
words : 

" From the distracted, the passionate, the perplexed, 
the famished with longing, the captive of transport and 
ardent desire, Camaralzaman, son of Shahzaman, King 
of Khaledan, to the peerless one of her age, the pre- 
eminent among Hooris, the Princess Badoura, daughter of 
Gaiour, King of the Isles of China and lord of the seven 
Palaces. Behold the slave of the ring who, sleepless and 
inflamed by love, now awaits the call of his Beloved." 

Then, having enclosed the ring which at their first 
meeting he had exchanged for his own, he sealed the 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 179 

missive, and putting it into the hands of the eunuch 
bade him carry it to his mistress. 

No sooner had the Princess Badoura received the 
missive and the ring than she knew at once from whom 
it came. Whereupon joy overthrew her reason, and leap- 
ing up in a transport of exultation she pressed her 
feet against the wall, and breaking the chains which 
bound her ran forth and threw herself into the arms 
of Camaralzaman. 

Speechless with joy she kissed him without ceasing ; 
even as a pigeon when it feeds its young, so upon the 
lips of Camaralzaman fell the kisses of the Princess Badoura. 
Then came the nurse, crying aloud for gladness to behold 
the joy of her mistress and the healing of her malady 
accomplished ; and presently after her came the King. 
For to him had run the eunuch in swift haste bring- 
ing tidings of the event — how that without entering 
her chamber the astrologer had cured her. " What ? " 
cried the King, " can such news be true ? " " O my 
lord," answered the eunuch, " let thine own eyes look 
upon her and be blest ; for she hath broken her chains 
of iron, and coming forth to the astrologer she falleth 
upon him and kisseth him, and never will she let him 

go-" 

So Gaiour the King came and found it even as the 
eunuch had said. Full of joy to behold so sweet a sight, 
he embraced first the Princess and then the Prince, 
thanking him with tears of gratitude for the debt which 
he owed him. And when he inquired further and learned 
of Camaralzaman his name, and his true rank, and of the 
country from which he came, with all the strange story 
of his love and the grief of his separation, then his satis- 
faction and delight knew no bounds. And so on that 
very day the nuptials were celebrated, and word of 



180 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

rejoicing went forth through the whole of the King's 
dominions. 

The hearts of Prince Camaralzaman and his bride 
were now so full of happiness that for many months they 
wist not the passing of time, and waking or sleeping it 
seemed to them as one day. But while their joy thus 
decked itself in the colours of immortality, the Prince 
one night had a dream, wherein he beheld his father 
Shahzaman, lying as at the point of death. And in his 
dream it seemed that he heard him say, " O my son, whom 
in thy grief I so tenderly cherished, wherefore hast thou 
acted thus, leaving me in my old age to die alone?" 

So sharp was the sting of that dream upon his conscience 
that, sighing, the Prince woke ; and his wife hearing 
him made inquiry as to his grief. " Alas ! " answered 
Camaralzaman, " in my happiness with thee I had for- 
gotten my father." And thereupon he recounted his 
dream. So the next day the Princess Badoura went 
to her father, and having told him all, besought leave 
for Camaralzaman to return for a while to his own land 
so that he might comfort his father in his old age. 

The King readily granted his daughter's request. 
Then said Badoura, " If my husband goes I must go too." 
" Why so ? " inquired her father. " Because," said she, 
44 if you separate us there is no power in the world that 
shall keep me alive." 

Now the King had learned during the years of his 
daughter's captivity, that anything which she said she 
meant. Therefore with much grief and reluctance at 
being so compelled, he granted her request ; and having 
accorded them permission to be absent for a whole year, 
he made preparation for their departure. In order that 
they might appear at the court of Shahzaman in the 
splendour that became their rank, he presented them 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 181 

with many changes of costly apparel, and having provided 
a large train of horses, dromedaries, and attendants, he 
bade them an affectionate farewell, and with many tears 
watched them depart. 

For a whole month Camaralzaman and his bride 
travelled in comfort and luxury by the route that they 
had chosen, and greatly was the Prince's heart rejoiced 
by the thought of seeing his father once more and presenting 
to his eyes the lovely and innocent cause of all their 
past affliction. Therefore, early and late they journeyed 
on, only stopping to rest at night and during the heat of 
each day. 

And so it chanced that one day, about noon, they 
came to a spacious meadow shaded by trees, and there 
at the Prince's command the tents were pitched ; and the 
Princess went into her pavilion and lay down to sleep. 

Now when she lay down, the heat being very great, 
she took off her outer robe and her girdle. And the 
Prince, coming in later, saw the girdle lying, and knotted 
within its folds a large stone, red as blood, inscribed 
with strange characters which, in the darkness of the 
tent, he could not read. Being curious, therefore, to see 
what words were upon this talisman which the Princess 
carried so secretly in her apparel, he unfastened the knot, 
and taking the stone went forth from the tent to examine it. 

Scarcely had he done so when, with a strange cry, a 
bird swooped down from the tree above his head, caught up 
the stone in its beak, and flew away with it. Camaralza- 
man, fearing to lose what, for all he knew, might be a 
precious talisman, ran after the bird, throwing up his 
arms, shouting and endeavouring in all possible ways 
to make it let go the stone. But the bird flew on from 
tree to tree, and from valley to valley, never so fast 
that Camaralzaman could not keep pace with it, but 



182 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

never coming within his reach, or letting go of the talis- 
man. So the flight went on and so the chase continued, 
till several hours had passed and it began to grow dark. 
Then the bird, uttering once more its strange cry, went 
up to the topmost branch of a high tree and settled itself 
to roost. 

The pursuit had now led Camaralzaman so far and 
in so many directions, that he no longer knew which 
way to turn. So, commending himself to Allah, he 
lay down at the foot of the tree and slept. 

In the morning, with a loud rustling of feathers, 
the bird awakened him, and still carrying the stone 
in its beak, sprang out of the tree and continued its 
flight. And as Camaralzaman rose and followed, it 
presently became apparent that at whatever rate he went, 
the bird went too ; so when he ran the bird flew fast, 
and when he could run no more it waited for him, flying 
from point to point and never disappearing from view. 

44 By Allah ! " cried Camaralzaman, 4 ' this is wonderful ! 
This chase will lead me either to great fortune or to death." 
So without giving up he went on ; and thus he followed 
the bird for ten days, living upon roots and drinking 
of the streams that he crossed ; and every night he slept 
at the foot of some tree while the bird perched in its 
topmost branches. 

Thus on the tenth day he was brought to the outskirts 
of a large city. Then, like a flash, the bird flew over it 
and disappeared ; and Camaralzaman following, footsore 
and weary, came to the city gates and passed through. 
Here for some time he wandered, solitary and without 
hope, not knowing what to do nor of whom to seek aid ; 
and coming presently to the other side of the city, he 
found there a harbour with much shipping and mer 
chandise, and people plying their trade and talking in 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 183 

many languages. And as he walked along the shore, still 
uncertain what course to pursue, he came upon an old 
man working in a garden of flowers ; and when he halted 
the old man looked up. 

The gardener, seeing a stranger at his gate, came 
forward, and saluting him in the name of Allah, bade 
him come in. " I see by your dress," said he, " that 
you are a Mussulman as I also am ; and great is your 
good fortune to have escaped until now the wrath of the 
inhabitants, for they are unbelievers and idolaters, and 
fierce is their hatred for those who are of the true faith. 
Therefore come quickly into my house, and disguise 
yourself; else is your life not safe." 

Camaralzaman was thankful to have found a friend 
in such a moment of need ; and after his host had supplied 
him with food and drink and made him rest for a while, 
then without concealment he confided to him the whole 
of his story. Greater than ever had now become his 
longing to reach the island of Khaledan, for there not 
only did he hope to find his father still alive, but to be 
reunited with his wife, the Princess Badoura. Inquiring 
therefore of the old gardener, he learned that there were 
two routes ; the longer being for the greater part of the 
way by land — a year's journey, and the shorter by sea. 
11 But if," said the gardener, " you would go by sea, then 
you must wait for the merchant ship which sails every 
year to the Island of Ebony, for through that country 
lies your way. Had you but come a few days earlier, 
you would have been in time ; but now the ship has left the 
harbour and will not return for another year. If you 
decide upon this course, then while you wait my house 
is open to you, and if you are willing to share my work 
and be my assistant, you shall also have a fair share of 
the profits." 



184 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

Camaralzaman gladly accepted the proposition, for 
better by far is work, however hard or humble it may be, 
than the idleness of unavailing regret. So for a whole 
year he lived with the old gardener as if he had been his 
son, wearing a blue smock down to his knees, working with 
a hoe, tending plants, tilling the soil, and carrying its 
produce for sale to the market. And every day he 
looked out over the sea for the merchant vessel which 
was to arrive and bear him back to his own country and 
to the arms of his beloved. 

Now turn we to the Princess Badoura, whom we 
left lying asleep in her tent. When she awoke she inquired 
after her husband, the Prince, but he was not to be found ; 
some had seen him go into the tent, but no one had seen 
him come out. Then, as she put on her dress, she noticed 
that the knot in her girdle had been untied and that the 
stone was missing. " Alas, O Beloved, what hast thou 
done ? " she cried. " Ignorant of its virtues thou hast 
taken from me the talisman which unites us ; now surely 
if thou hast lost it we shall be separated for ever." And 
as time went on her distress and her certainty of mis- 
fortune became greater ; for she knew that had not the 
Prince already lost the talisman its infallible virtues 
would by now have brought him back to her. Knowing 
therefore that if the talisman were indeed lost, he also 
was lost to her, and that when found, he would return 
to her again, she made no useless delay in proceeding to 
her destination. Yet was there now great peril if the 
absence of the Prince were discovered, lest she and her 
women and all the wealth which her father had bestowed 
on her might fall a prey to the men who formed their 
escort. For this reason she concealed the matter from 
all but her women, and having dressed herself in some of 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 185 

her husband's clothes, and put into her litter a girl 
slave wearing the royal veil, she went forth from her 
tent and gave orders for the camp to be struck and their 
journey resumed. So, for many days she continued to 
travel by land and sea, till she came before a city set on a 
height with a great harbour lying below ; and when she 
inquired its name of the inhabitants they said to her, 
" This is the city of Ebony, wherein dwells King Amanos, 
and he has a beautiful daughter whose name is Hayatelne- 
foos." 

Presently word went to the palace that a stranger 
prince of very noble appearance, accompanied by a large 
retinue, had arrived in the harbour and was seeking 
admission to the city. Whereupon the King sent in haste 
certain high dignitaries of his court to give welcome and to 
conduct the supposed Prince into his presence. And 
no sooner had he beheld the noble appearance of his 
guest and the graciousness of her bearing than he gave 
orders for a great banquet to be prepared, appointed 
that she should be lodged in the palace, and extended to 
her for three days an entertainment of the most royal 
magnificence. 

During the whole of these festivities the Princess 
bore herself exactly as Camaralzaman would have done, 
doing honour to that rank and name which for her own 
protection she had assumed. Therefore the heart of 
King Amanos was drawn greatly towards her, and when 
she began to speak of departure, he said, " Wherefore, 
O Prince, shouldst thou seek to leave a country where 
happiness and power can be thine ? For behold, I am 
an old man and childless, save for one daughter, whose 
beauty and perfection resemble thine. But, for me, the 
cares of state have become too heavy a burden, and I 
sigh to be released from them. Remain with us, therefore, 

28 



186 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

and I will give to thee even now the hand of my daughter 
and the sceptre and rule of my kingdom." 

At this proposal, so generously expressed, the face 
of Badoura became covered with bashfulness, for strange 
indeed to a woman was this offer of a kingdom and a 
bride. Yet at her father's court she had long since become 
learned in the affairs of state, and to rule a kingdom had 
ever been her desire ; moreover, since by the loss of the 
talisman she and her husband seemed destined to eternal 
separation, there was no cause that she could see why 
her life should not thus be dedicated ; there was also 
some peril in a refusal, which the King would be certain 
to take as an affront both to himself and his daughter. 
So after pondering the matter for a while she lifted her 
head and spoke to the King as follows : 

" O King, if I delayed for one moment my acceptance 
of so splendid an offer, it was only a knowledge of unworthi- 
ness which held me back. Yet to delay longer might 
seem to throw a doubt on the discretion of your royal 
mind. Beset by these two dangers I place myself entirely 
in your Majesty's hands ; and if I may have your promise 
of the guidance and counsel which I shall constantly 
need, then I will unreservedly accept your Majesty's 
proposal. To hear is to obey." 

The marriage being thus agreed on, the nuptial cere- 
mony was fixed for the following day. The pretended 
Prince, putting a bold face upon the matter, informed 
the officers of her escort of the coming event, saying 
also that the Princess Badoura had given it her approval. 
As for her women, their silence was already assured since, 
as partners to the deception, their very lives depended on 
it. 

So on the morrow King Amanos gathered together 
his emirs, viziers, and captains, and having presented 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 187 

to them the Princess Badoura as his destined son-in-law 
and heir, he placed her upon the throne and gave orders 
for the nuptial ceremony to commence. And when the 
day of rejoicings was ended, the Princess Badoura was 
conducted to the bridal chamber. 

But no sooner did Badoura find herself by the side 
of the beautiful Princess Hayatelnefoos than the thought 
of her beloved Camaralzaman overwhelmed her with 
grief, and committing herself to prayer and recitation, 
she continued at her devotions till the bride lay fast 
asleep. And thus she did the next night and on the night 
following. 

Finding herself thus neglected by the husband of 
whom she had received such glowing reports, the Princess 
Hayatelnefoos was filled with a depression of spirit which 
immediately became visible in her looks ; and when her 
father, King Amanos, discerning his daughter's grief, 
inquired what was amiss, she informed him that her 
husband, whom she already loved most tenderly, had 
conceived for her an aversion so intense that to avoid 
all intimacy of conversation he committed himself to 
prayer, and thus continued till weariness and sleep 
overcame her. 

At this news the countenance of King Amanos was 
darkened, and he said to his daughter, " If the Prince 
does not treat thee with the respect due from a husband 
to a wife, he shall be divested of his royal dignity and 
banished from my kingdom." 

This threat so afflicted the heart of Hayatelnefoos, 
to whom the thought of separation from her husband 
was already unbearable, that on their next meeting she 
confided to Badoura her grief, informing her also of 
the King's words and of the danger that threatened her. 

Then said Badoura, " O amiable and charming Princess, 



188 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

though thou canst not be my wife thou canst be my 
friend. Hear first my story, and then, if thou art unable 
to pardon me thou canst at least have the satisfaction of 
depriving me of life." And forthwith she proceeded to 
give the full story of her adventures. 

When she had finished, Hayatelnefoos replied, " 
Princess, I should indeed be unworthy of your confidence, 
if such a tale of misfortune had failed to win not only my 
pity, but my devotion. Henceforth we two are of one 
mind, and will have between us but one heart and one 
desire for the preservation of thy life and honour and the 
restoration of thy husband." 

Thereupon the two Princesses embraced with the 
tenderest affection, and from that day on, concealing 
from all others the true facts, they lived together in the 
greatest amity and concord ; while the Princess Badoura 
continued in her husband's name to rule over the city 
of Ebony, giving law and justice to all. 

Prince Camaralzaman, meanwhile, was living with 
the old gardener, tilling the soil, and carrying each 
day fruit and vegetables to the market. The time 
was now near for the merchant vessel which he was 
awaiting to return ; but having lost the talisman of 
which he had come in quest, he had little hope of a 
successful issue to the adventure. So one day, when 
the inhabitants of the city were making holiday and all 
the markets were closed, the Prince, released from labour, 
sat in deep dejection of spirit under the trees of the 
garden away from the sound of festival, when suddenly 
he heard a strange cry of birds and in the leaves overhead 
he saw one furiously attacking another with beak and 
claw. So desperate was the fight, that before many minutes 
were over one of the birds fell dead at his feet, and the 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 189 

conqueror, uttering a loud cry of triumph, flew swiftly away. 

But hardly had it disappeared, when two other birds 
of larger size came flying into the garden, and making 
straight for the murdered body they bowed their heads 
over it, crying lamentably and seeking with the warmth 
of their breasts to restore it to life. Presently, when all 
their efforts proved vain, they scooped a grave with their 
claws, and having laid therein the slaughtered bird, they 
covered it with earth and immediately soared upward 
and disappeared. 

Camaralzaman sat weeping ; for the mourning of 
these birds reminded him in some way of the grief and 
separation he himself had endured, and as little could 
he hope for the return of his lost happiness as they for 
the revival of their dead comrade. As he was thus 
thinking, once again came the strange cry he had heard 
before, and looking up he saw the two birds flying 
back carrying the murderer in their claws. No sooner 
had they alighted above the grave than falling upon 
their captive they tore out his heart and entrails, and 
having drained out his blood as an offering to the slain, 
they left the body lying, and flew away. 

All this while Camaralzaman had looked on in wonder ; 
and surely it seemed to him that if, in the lower order 
of creation such miracles of devotion and service were 
wrought, humanity had no cause for despair. And even 
as he so thought, he saw in the torn body of the bird 
something that shone brightly, and coming nearer he 
recognized it as the talisman which he had taken from 
his wife's girdle. 

Instantly all life became changed to him ; seizing the 
stone he wiped it of blood and pressed it a thousand 
times to his lips. " Now at last," he cried, " I believe 
and know that my beloved is to be restored to me!" 



190 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

So sure was he his good fortune had now returned 
to him that, unable to remain idle and inactive, he seized 
a hoe, and started to break up the ground at the foot 
of the tree under which he had been standing. At the 
third stroke the earth gave baek a hollow and metallic 
sound. Quickly removing the soil he discovered a trap- 
door, which, when it was opened, disclosed an aperture 
and a narrow flight of steps. Descending these he found 
himself in a deep cellar lined with jars, twenty in all, 
filled with red gold. 

Contentment now took hold of his spirit, and having 
returned to the garden he replaced the trap and con- 
tinued at his work until in the evening the old gardener 
returned from the festivities. 

On seeing him the old man said, " Rejoice, my son, 
I bring you good tidings. The ship which you have 
so long waited for is now in the harbour, and in three 
days will be ready once more to set sail." 

This news so delighted Camaralzaman that taking 
the old man's hand he kissed it saying, " I too have 
tidings for you of a happy kind." And leading the 
gardener to the tree he lifted the trap, and disclosed 
to his astonished eyes the gold that lay stored below. 

" Well," said the gardener, "I am glad that my 
poor plot of ground should have yielded thee such rich 
fruit. Take it, my son, and Heaven prosper thee by its 
aid till thou come once more to thine own land and the 
heart of thy beloved." 

" Not so," replied Camaralzaman, " I will take nothing 
if I may not share it equally with thee." 

So it was agreed. Then said the gardener, " My 
son, hast thou thought how to convey safely so much 
gold on a voyage where thou wilt be alone in the hands 
of strangers ? Surely if they find thee possessed of such 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 191 

wealth they will kill thee for the sake of it. Hearken, 
therefore, to what I shall advise. From this country 
we send olives into all parts of the world, and many ships 
go laden with them. Fill for thyself, therefore, fifty 
jars from the olive-trees which are in this garden, and 
at the bottom of each jar lay a portion of the gold : 
so shall it be safe, and no man will know of it." 

So the Prince did as the gardener advised ; and 
fearing lest, while on the voyage, he himself might be 
robbed, he put the talisman along with the gold in one 
of the olive jars, marking it with a number so that 
he might know it again. Then he made a bargain with 
the owner of the vessel, and on the third day the seamen 
came and carried away the jars and stowed them on 
board. And the captain said to Camaralzaman, who 
had accompanied them, " Do not be long in returning, 
for the wind is fair and I only wait for you to set sail." 

So Camaralzaman hastened back to say farewell to 
the old gardener and to thank him for all that he had 
done ; but when he arrived at the house he found the 
old man so stricken with grief at his departure that 
he was already at the point of death. Camaralzaman 
therefore sat down by his bed and tended him, holding 
him by the hand and speaking many comfortable words ; 
and toward evening, having made his profession of faith, 
as all good Mussulmans do, the old man let fall his head and 
expired. 

Camaralzaman closed his eyes, wrapped his body for 
burial, and having dug a grave in the garden, interred it. 
Then he went down in haste to the shore and found 
that the vessel had gone. 

Once again, therefore, despair returned to him, for 
now a second time the talisman was lost, and he had 
no hope of recovering it. Also he must needs wait another 



192 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

year before the ship could return and take him upon 
his way. So going to the landlord of the garden he 
became a tenant in the place of his dead friend, and 
hiding what remained of the gold in fifty other olive 
jars, he set to work once more as a gardener until the 
time should once more come round for him to embark. 

Meantime, under a favourable wind, the ship arrived 
at the island of Ebony ; and it so happened that as it 
came into the harbour the Princess Badoura was looking 
out of one of the palace windows toward the sea. No 
sooner did her eyes rest upon the sails of that ship than her 
heart became uplifted with joy. " Surely," she said to 
herself, " either my beloved is there on board or it brings 
news of him." 

So going down to the shore, accompanied by her 
emirs and attendants, she caused the master of the vessel 
to be summoned before her and inquired of him what 
merchandise he had brought. " O King," replied the 
captain, " I have spices, drugs, aromatic scents, and 
sweet ointments ; I have also rich fabrics and metal- 
work ; and in addition to all these things I have olives 
such as are not to be found in any other country, and 
these, since I came by them fortunately, I can let you 
have cheap." 

On hearing this a desire for the olives took hold of 
the Princess and she said, " What quantity have you 
brought?" "Fifty jars," answered the master; "that 
is all I have." "Well," said the Princess, "I will take 
fifty." And she paid him for them the price that he 
asked — a thousand pieces of silver. 

Now presently, when the olives had been conveyed 
to the palace, there came upon the Princess a strange 
desire to taste that which she had just purchased so she 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 198 

gave orders for one of the jars to be opened and the 
contents to be poured into a dish ; and as the attendant 
poured, first came olives and then a heap of red gold. 

Then said Badoura to the Princess Hayatelnefoos, 
who alone was with her, " That is gold ! " So she 
examined further and in every jar found gold in equal 
quantity. Presently as she emptied one of the jars, 
along with the gold came the talisman which Camaralzaman 
had concealed there ; and no sooner did the Princess 
Badoura see it than she knew it again ; and she showed 
it to Hayatelnefoos, saying, " Lo, this is the stone whose 
loss hath caused our separation ; now, finding it again, 
I know that my beloved will be restored to me." 

Then she sent in haste and caused the master of the 
vessel to be brought before her, and she said to him, 
" Whence had yon these olives ? Tell me the truth, or 
you shall die ! " 

Thereupon the master being smitten in his conscience 
dropped to earth and lay there, crying, " Alas, I had them 
of a poor man who brought them himself to the vessel 
but did not return at the appointed time ; therefore I 
sailed without him. Be assured, O King, that all the 
money I got for them shall be honestly paid to him.'* 

Then said Badoura, "As to that I care not. But 
go back straightway to that country from which you 
came and find the man and bring him to me, for he is a 
malefactor against the laws of this kingdom, for he hath 
stolen from me a precious thing dearer than life itself; 
therefore is his life forfeit. And if you fail to bring him, 
then all the merchandise which you have now brought I 
will hold, and no ship or merchandise of yours shall ever 
enter this port again. But if you bring him safely, I 
will reward you abundantly." 

The master therefore, being so compelled, left his 

24 



194 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

merchandise in bond and returned with all haste to the 
port from which he had set out, and there coming with 
his men to the house of Camaralzaman, he knocked ; and 
no sooner had the Prince opened than, seizing him, they 
carried him off, and bestowed him on board the vessel 
as a prisoner. 

Camaralzaman said to them, " Masters, why are 
you treating me thus ? " They answered, " Thou art 
an offender and malefactor against the King of the Ebony 
Isles, son to the King Amanos, and hast stolen his wealth ; 
yea, a precious thing hast thou stolen from him, and 
now he requires it of thee ! " 

" Well," said Camaralzaman, " this is the first that I 
have heard of it." 

So they bore him away, and after they had sailed for 
some while they came again to the city of Ebony, and 
word was sent to the palace that the master of the vessel 
had returned bringing the King his prisoner. 

Then Badoura gave orders, and Camaralzaman, still 
in his workman's dress, his body wasted with grief, 
and his face and hands soiled with the defilements of 
his long voyage, came and stood before her. As soon 
as she saw him her heart leapt with joy, but she 
feared to reveal herself, for how would it appear to her 
emirs and chamberlains were she before all eyes 
to throw herself into the arms of a common gardener. 
Therefore, retaining her disguise, she spoke to him as a 
King should do to a peasant, and in a man's voice. And 
Camaralzaman, fearful of the unknown charge which 
was to be brought against him, stood before her with 
bowed head and did not look up. 

The Princess asked him but a few questions, of 
the country from which he had come, of the time that 
he had lived there, and what calling he had followed. 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 195 

Then she said to him, " Be assured that if thou art innocent 
of that which is charged against thee, thine honour and 
integrity shall be made known to all. Even now if 
thou wilt confess to have taken a thing which is not thine 
and wilt restore it to me, I am willing to pardon thee, 
seeing that it was done without thought of evil." But 
Camaralzaman hearing these words knew not what they 
meant, for his thoughts were all astray and he did not 
dream that it was of himself and of the talisman that she 
spoke. 

Then Badoura ordered an officer of her household to 
take charge of the prisoner and treat him with all care ; 
and having recompensed the master of the vessel and 
set free his merchandise, she went in to Hayatelnefoos, 
and told her of all that had come about. And she said to 
her, " O bosom-friend and comforter of my heart, be 
sure that what brings happiness to me shall bring it to 
thee also ; for no fortune shall Heaven send me, nor any 
bliss, however great, that I am not ready to share equally 
with thee." Then speaking of Camaralzaman she said, 
" So great a distance divides in men's eyes what seems 
his present lot from ours, that it were peril to be sudden 
in this matter lest the truth of our story should not be 
believed. Therefore we must wait till of his own natural 
nobleness he shall have raised himself in the eyes of 
all." And to this plan Queen Hayatelnefoos agreed. 

So the next day Badoura gave orders to conduct 
Camaralzaman to the bath ; then she caused him to be 
clad in an emir's robes and brought forth where all might 
see ; and lo ! as a willow branch after rain or the planet 
of love shining at dusk, so seemed he then to the eyes of 
all. 

Then again she caused him to be brought before 
her in the Hall of Judgment and pronounced him clear 



196 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

of all that had been charged against him. " For that 
which was precious to me," she said, " has been restored ; 
and other hands held it from me, not thine. Therefore 
as thou hast been proved true I will appoint thee to high 
honour." Then addressing the emirs and councillors 
who were gathered about her she said, " My lords, this 
Camaralzaman whom to-day I admit to my Councils 
is not unworthy of the high post which I confer on him ; 
for not only have I tested him as ye have seen on an 
accusation whereof he is innocent, but he is a man of 
approved valour, of grace, and learning, being also a 
descendant of kings." 

Great was Camaralzaman's astonishment at finding his 
name and lineage known to the King of the Ebony Isles ; 
but not daring to question how his good fortune had 
come about he prostrated himself before the throne, 
saying, " O King, only by thy favour have I been raised 
to this honour, and by that alone can I either deserve 
or maintain it." So the Council ended, and Camaralzaman 
was conducted to a large and sumptuous abode with 
slaves and attendants to wait upon him, and everything 
that his heart could desire save only his beloved Princess. 

After a few days Badoura, wishing to find occasion 
for Camaralzaman's more frequent presence, appointed 
him to the office of Grand Treasurer, and thereafter 
scarcely a day passed that she did not bestow on him 
fresh honours ; while Camaralzaman, for his part, wonder- 
ing why such high favours were shown him, served the 
King diligently, and was greatly respected not only by 
all the emirs and officials of the Court, but by the common 
people, who swore by his life, and would have asked 
no better than for such an one as he to be their ruler. 

So time went on, and ever did the wonder of Camaralza- 
man increase why he alone had been chosen for such 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 197 

great honours. And because this thing seemed to him 
without reason, he came at last to fear it. Furthermore, 
for loss of his beloved, restlessness and the desire for 
travel filled his heart, and in no one place could he find 
happiness. So one day coming to the King — that is to 
say to Badoura — he spoke as follows : " O King of the 
Age, so great is the favour that thou hast shown me, that 
I know well it cannot last. Suffer me therefore to depart 
before I have outstayed my welcome ; so shall my gratitude 
be undiminished and the nature of thy regard for me 
unchanged." 

When Badoura heard these words she smiled on him 
and said : "If indeed it is thy will to depart, then must 
thou take and cast away once more — yea, lose utterly — this 
stone whose virtue brought thee back to me, and by 
which, while it is in my possession, our lives are bound." 
So saying she reached out and put the talisman in his 
hand. 

When Camaralzaman beheld the stone once more 
his wonder was beyond words. " O King," he cried, 
" whence came this to thee ? For herein lies the cause of 
all my afflictions and separation from one whom I loved 
as my own soul." 

" Surely," answered Badoura, " none can part from 
that talisman without estrangement and separation. 
And since now I have parted from it to thee, our separation 
must infallibly begin from this hour. Therefore the 
King of the Ebony Isles thou shalt see no more." 

So saying she passed out of the chamber, and Camaral- 
zaman stood and wondered, not knowing what to think. 

Then Badoura went in haste to a closet, and there 
she put on the dress and the girdle which she had worn 
on the day of separation ; and taking from her head 
the man's turban, she spread her hair and put on a head- 



198 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

dress of fine gold delicately wrought. So she returned 
to him, and when Camaralzaman saw her he uttered 
a cry and ran into her arms and held her with kisses as if 
he could never let her go. And when at last he spoke 
of things other than his joy — " How," he inquired, " has 
the King accomplished this miracle ? Surely when he 
spoke I understood nothing of what he said." 

Badoura smiled as she answered : " When the King 
put the talisman into thy hand, then did his kingship 
cease, and he returned once more to his true form. 

my lord, look upon thy king, who is now become thy 
slave. Surely hadst thou loved me a little more thou 
wouldst have known me." 

Then she told Camaralzaman of all that had happened 
to her from first to last ; and on the morrow she went 
to King Amanos, and to him also made her story plain. 
Nor would she allow that any deception had been used, 
" For truly," she said, " I and my beloved are one ; and 

1 did but come before and prepare for him the place which 
he was destined to fill. Therefore when I married thy 
daughter, it was Camaralzaman who married her ; and 
when I accepted of thee the crown, it was Camaralzaman 
who accepted it. Give me leave, therefore, O King, who 
hast been to me as a father, to show my beloved to the 
Queen whom I have won for him, and to the people over 
whom, in his name, I have ruled." 

Greatly was King Amanos astonished to hear a woman 
utter such words ; and the wonder of Camaralzaman was 
scarcely less. Yet, as she had brought fortune and 
happiness to both alike, they consented to do her will ; 
and so it was agreed. 

Therefore from that day on did Camaralzaman take 
up the power and authority which Badoura had attained 
for him, rejoicing also in the domestic felicity of two 



PRINCESS BADOURA AND CAMARALZAMAN 199 

wives, the one as beautiful as the other, each without 
jealousy, and having no wish or thought out of which 
estrangement could arise. 

Doubtless it was the perfect happiness in which 
he thus dwelt which caused Camaralzaman to forget alto- 
gether the object for which his journey had been begun. 
No second dream of his father, the King Shahzaman, ever 
came to remind him of his neglected purpose, while to the 
dominions of King Gaiour of China he had no wish to 
return. 

Epilogue 

" This, O King, is the story of Prince Camaralzaman 
and of the Princess Badoura from the time of their 
falling in love until the day when all their wanderings 
of separation were ended. A year later the two Queens 
each presented him with a son almost upon the same 
day. And the birth of these Princes was celebrated 
with every kind of festivity and rejoicing." 

As Scheherazade concluded her story the light of 
dawn grew full. For a thousand and one nights she had 
given entertainment to her lord, saving at the same 
time the lives of her fellow-women. During this period 
she had borne the King three children, all with so 
strong a resemblance to their father that even he could 
find no cause in them for casting suspicion upon his 
wife's virtue. 

So the tale being ended Scheherazade rose, and having 
kissed the ground at the King's feet, said, " O King 
of the Age, perfect and incomparable, lo in dust and 
ashes I thy slave come to present to thee a petition." 
And the King said, " Ask, and it shall be granted thee." 

Then Scheherazade called to her attendants and said 
M Brine in the children ! " So they brought the children 



200 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

quickly ; one of them walked, one crawled, and one lay at 
the breast. 

So she set them before the King, and said, " These 
children are thine and mine. In pain I bore them, 
having little hope of any joy that they might bring me ; 
for under sentence of death I brought them into the world, 
and though thrice I have been a mother thou hast not yet 
pardoned me. Say, therefore, O King, when is my death 
to be ; or, if it is not to be, then let my suspense be 
ended." 

At these words the King wept ; and embracing his 
children tenderly, cried : " O Scheherazade, by Allah I swear 
to thee that before the coming of these children thou wast 
pardoned already. Nor shall the death of such an one as 
thou be laid to my charge when Kings come before God to 
be judged." 

Then Scheherazade fell down and kissed his feet and 
his hands, crying, " God give thee a long life, and power 
and strength, and dominion and majesty to the world's 
end." 

Joy of that news spread through the palace, and 
thence to the city and all the people ; and the night 
of rejoicing that followed was a night not to be reckoned 
among lives, for its colour was as the rainbow in its 
promise over young fields of corn, and its light whiter 
than the face of day. 



SINDBAD THE SAILOR 



25 



SINDBAD THE SAILOR 

In the time of Harun-Er-Rashid there was, in Baghdad, 
a rich merchant named Sindbad the Sailor, the source of 
whose wealth was a mystery. It seemed to be inexhaus- 
tible. For long seasons he kept open house, and his 
entertainments were the most magnificent of all save 
only those of Er-Rashid himself. All that riches could 
buy seemed at his disposal, and he lavished the good things 
of this life upon his guests. Pages, slaves and attendants 
there were in great number ; his garden was spacious 
and beautiful, and his house was filled with every costly 
luxury. 

This Sindbad the Sailor has a story to tell — the story 
of his life — but he never told it to any until, one day, 
there came to him one Sindbad the Landsman, a man of 
poor and humble birth. This man pleased him greatly 
and he was struck with the happy conceit that, now 
Sindbad the Sailor was at last confronted with Sindbad 
the Landsman, it would be no bad thing were he to 
narrate the story of his life. 

Accordingly Sindbad the Sailor held seven receptions 
on Severn different days, and, although on each occasion a 
multitude of guests was assembled to listen, he failed not to 
address his words from first to last to his simple listener, 
Sindbad the Landsman. 



203 



THE FIRST VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR 

My father was a merchant of high rank and rich 
possessions. He died when I was but a child, leaving 
me all his wealth. When I reached manhood's estate I 
used my inheritance with no thought for the morrow, 
living in a sumptuous manner and consorting with the 
richest young men of Baghdad. I continued this life 
for many years until, at last, when reason prevailed with me 
to mend my plan, I found with dismay that I had sunk to 
poverty. And then it was that I arose and sold what 
goods remained to me for three thousand pieces of silver, 
and girded myself, resolving to travel to other lands and 
rebuild my fortune by the wit of my mind and the 
labour of my hands. 

With a part of my hoard I bought merchandise for ex- 
change in far lands, and also such things as I should require 
in my travels. Thus prepared I set sail with a company of 
merchants in a ship bound for the city of El-Basrah. For 
many days and nights we sailed upon the sea, visiting 
islands ; and everywhere we bartered, and bought and 
sold. At length we came to an island unlike the others. 
It seemed like a garden that had floated from off the 
sides of Paradise and established itself in the sea. And 
here our ship cast anchor and we landed. 

When all had eaten of the food prepared the shore 
became a gay scene of sport and play, in which I engaged 
to the full. But, suddenly, a cry from the master of the 

205 



206 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

ship put an end to our gaiety. Standing at the side 
of the vessel he called loudly, " Hear me, and may God 
preserve you I Hasten back and leave everything ; save 
yourselves from sudden death, for this that ye think is 
an island is not such. It is a mighty fish lying entranced 
in sleep on the surface of the sea since times of old, and 
trees have grown upon it ; but your fires and your frolick- 
ing have awakened it, and lo ! it moves ; and, if it sink 
into the sea, ye will assuredly be drowned. Hasten 
then, and save yourselves ! " 

At this we all, with one accord, left everything and 
fled for the ship, hoping to escape with our lives. While 
we were making for safety the island moved with a great 
turmoil and sank behind us in the sea, and the waves 
leapt against each other above it. For a time I gave 
myself up as lost, for I was drawn down fathoms deep ; 
but, by God's grace, I rose again to the surface, and 
to my hand was one of the large wooden bowls which 
some of the passengers had taken on shore for the purpose 
of washing. This I seized, and established myself in 
it, and thus combated the leaping waves, steadying 
myself with my hands and feet. In vain I called 
on the master of the ship. He heard me not. He had 
spread his sails and pursued his way, thinking that 
none beside those who had been taken up were left 
alive. 

Astride my wooden bowl I gazed longingly at the ship 
until it was out of sight. Then I prepared for death as the 
night was closing around me. Perchance I swooned, for I 
remembered naught else until I found myself stranded 
upon a mountainous island. There were trees over- 
hanging, and I grasped a drooping bough and drew 
myself up from the fretting wave. My limbs were be- 
numbed, and, on looking at my legs, I saw the marks 



SINDBAD THE SAILOR 207 

made by the nibbling teeth of fish, and marvelled at my 
salvation from death. 

Staggering forward, I flung myself high on the beach 
like one dead, and so I remained until the dawn of the 
next day. 

And it chanced, as I took my way to and fro in the 
island, revelling in the sight of things that God had set 
there, that on a day when the sea was sounding loudly 
on the shore I beheld something in the distance which 
excited my curiosity. It seemed like a wild animal of 
gigantic size, and, as I approached, I feared it was some 
fabulous beast of the sea. But, as I drew still nearer, I 
was overcome with amazement to see a beautiful mare 
standing high, with mane and tail floating on the breeze. 
She was tethered to a stake on the shore, and, at sight 
of me, she screamed loudly and stamped her forefeet on 
the sand ; but, ere I turned to flee, I beheld a man come 
forth from a cave near by, and he ran after me, calling on 
me to give an account of myself and my presence in that 
place. Thereupon I laid my story before him, sparing 
no detail, even to the wooden bowl by means of which 
and the grace of God I had come thither. 

Gladness seized him at my recital, and he took my 
hand. Saying, " Come with me ! " he led me into his 
cave and set food before me. I ate until I was satisfied ; 
and, being at my ease, I repeated my story more minutely, 
and he wondered thereat. Then I said, " Thou hast the 
truth of my adventures upon the sea ; now I pray thee, 
O my master, tell me who thou art, that thou dwellest 
hidden in a cave while thy mare is tethered on the shore." 
He was in no way displeased at my curiosity, but answered 
me in plain words. " I am one of the grooms of the 
King El-Mihraj," he said, " and the others are scattered 
about the island. For, look you, friend, it is the time 



208 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

of the new moon, when the sea-horse cometh up out of 
the sea ; and it is our plan to bring our best mares hither 
and tether them by the shore so that they may lure the 
sea-horses into our hands." 

While I was wondering at the manner of this cunning 
device a magnificent sea-horse rose from the waves, shaking 
the foam from its crest and neighing loudly. As it 
approached, my companion drew me into the cave and 
placed himself at the opening with a long coil of 
thick cord in his hand. Presently by means of this he 
leashed the sea-horse with great dexterity, and fettered 
him, and subdued him. Then, with the mare and the sea- 
horse, he led me to his companions, who, when they had 
heard my story, were all of one mind that I should accom- 
pany them to the city of the King. So they mounted me on 
one of the mares and I rode with them to the King's palace. 

As soon as we had arrived at the palace gates they went 
in to the King and informed him of my strange adventures ; 
whereupon he sent for me, and they led me before him. 
He greeted me very courteously and bade me tell him my 
story, which, when he had heard it, filled him with amaze- 
ment, so that he cried, " By Allah ! my son, of a truth 
thou art favoured by fate ; for how else couldst thou 
escape so great a peril ? Praise God for thy deliverance ! " 
And he made much of me and caused me to be treated 
with honour ; and he appointed me master of the harbour 
and comptroller of the shipping. 

My condition then was no longer that of a wayfarer. 
I rose day by day to a higher and a higher place in the 
King's favour, and he took me into his council in all affairs 
of State. Yet my thoughts turned ever to Baghdad, the 
Abode of Peace. At last, weary of the wonders of that 
island, I stood one day on the seashore when a great ship 
drew near and a number of merchants landed from it. 



SINDBAD THE SAILOR 209 

The sailors brought forth their merchandise, and, 
when I had made an account of it, I inquired of the 
master of the ship if that were the whole of his cargo. 
" All, O my master," he replied ; " all save some bales 
whose owner was drowned on our voyage hither ; but 
even these, being in my charge, I desire to sell on behalf 
of his family in Baghdad." " Sayest thou so ? " I cried. 
" Tell me, I pray thee, the name of the owner of these 
goods." And he replied, " His name was Sindbad the 
Sailor, and he was drowned on our way hither." 

When I heard this I regarded him more closely and 
recognized him. Then I cried out, " O my master, I am 
he ; and they are my goods that are in thy hold." And 
then it was that he and many of the merchants regarded 
me with fixed looks and recognized me. 

Mindful of the King I served, I at once opened my 
bales, and, selecting the most costly articles, went in to 
him and laid them at his feet, telling him how I had 
regained the goods of which they were a part. And the 
King wondered greatly at my good fortune and graciously 
accepted my gifts. He also showed me great favour and 
honour in that he bestowed upon me gifts in return for 
mine. 

Then, having sold my remaining goods at a profit, I 
bought largely of the merchandise of the city. And soon 
thereafter I set sail with the others for Baghdad. 

Our voyage was fortunate, and, with the aid of favour- 
able winds, we reached the city of El-Basrah in safety. 
Thence I repaired to Baghdad, and my family and my 
friends gave me a joyous welcome. And when I had sold 
my merchandise I set up a large establishment, sparing no 
cost. And I bought land and houses, and gathered 
round me wealthy companions, in whose society I soon 
forgot the dangers and terrors I had suffered in other lands. 

26 



THE SECOND VOYAGE OF SINDBAD 
THE SAILOR 

As I related yesterday, I was living here in Baghdad 
in the midst of every delight, surrounded by companions 
after my own heart. But a time came when the wan- 
dering spirit seized me again and I longed for the sight, 
even for the perils, of other and unknown lands. 

The step was quickly taken. Having collected 
suitable merchandise I repaired to the river, and, without 
a word to anyone, embarked on a new ship finely rigged 
and manned by a large crew. Together with a goodly 
party of merchants I sailed away, and we passed over 
the deep from island to island and from sea to sea, with 
fair winds filling the sails. And at every place at which 
we cast anchor we bought and sold and bartered. So 
we continued until we came to an uninhabited island 
of great beauty. Selecting a rare spot on the bank of 
a stream, I sat apart, meditating upon the wonderful 
works of the Omnipotent One. There the soft zephyrs 
singing in the trees, and the stream murmuring at my 
feet, lulled me to slumber ; and, when I awoke later, I 
looked forth upon the sea and lo, the ship was far out 
on the wall of the ocean sloping to the sky. They had 
forgotten me and I was left alone upon the island. 

Despair fell upon me as I gazed around and realized 
that I was desolate. 

At last I climbed to the top of a high tree, and, 
211 



212 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

looking forth in every direction, saw only sky and sea 
and trees and watercourses. As I gazed, however, my 
eye reverted again and again to an object in a distant 
part of the island. It was round and white, and of 
enormous size. This aroused my curiosity and I resolved 
to find out what it was. Having marked its position I 
descended from the tree and made my way towards it. 
When I reached it I found to my astonishment that it 
was a gigantic dome, white and shining. My first 
thought was to walk round it to ascertain if there were 
some door or opening, but none could I find in its whole 
circumference, which was about fifty paces. 

While I was meditating on some means to gain an 
entrance to this strange structure, behold, the sky dark- 
ened ; and on looking towards the sinking sun, I saw it 
was hidden by a great black cloud — an unwonted thing, 
as it was the summer season. While I continued to gaze 
the object drew rapidly nearer, and now I could discern 
in it the shape of a monstrous bird approaching swiftly 
through the air ; and this it was that blotted out the 
sun. 

Marvelling greatly I recalled a story told by travellers 
about certain islands where was found a bird of immense 
size called the rokh, which fed its young on elephants. 
It was then I knew the great white dome I had discovered 
was one of this bird's eggs — at which, not the least of the 
Creator's works, I wondered greatly. Then, while I so 
wondered, the giant bird alighted over the egg, and, 
crouching down, spread its wings and brooded over it, 
and composed itself to sleep. 

Here, thought I, was a chance of escaping from the 
island. Unfolding my turban I twisted it into a rope, 
and bound one end of it tightly about my waist ; then I 
approached the great bird cautiously, and fastened the 



SINDBAD THE SAILOR 215 

other end securely to one of its feet ; but it was not until 
morning that the bird awoke, and, with a loud cry, rose 
from the egg f bearing me aloft. Higher and higher it 
soared, until I thought it must reach the stars ; then, 
gradually, in vast circles, it descended, and finally came 
to earth on a high table-land. In great fear lest the 
bird should discover my presence I made haste to loose 
the turban from its foot, and, having done so, I crept 
away, trembling in every limb. Then, as I watched the 
bird from a distance, I observed it pick something from the 
ground and soar away with it clutched in its talons ; and 
I looked again and saw that it was an enormous serpent 
twisting and writhing in the grasp of the bird as it flew 
swiftly towards the sea. And at this strange thing I 
wondered greatly as I folded my turban. 

But what desert place had I come to by this daring 
misadventure ? On the one side of the table-land was a 
deep valley, and, on the other, a steep mountain which no 
foot of man could climb. Had I only remained in the 
island I should at least have had fruit to eat and water 
to drink, but here was nothing but desolation, from which 
I had no hope of escape. There was no course but to 
descend into the valley ; and this I did, little caring whither 
I went. 

Now, I had not walked therein but a few furlongs when 
I observed that the ground I trod was strewn with diamonds 
of large size, but — and this gave me cause for wild alarm — 
coiled here and there amongst the stones were gigantic 
serpents such as the one I had seen the bird bear away 
in its talons. As soon as I was aware of these sleeping 
serpents, which were of the same hue as the ground whereon 
they lay, I stepped warily lest I should awaken them and 
be devoured. 

In this way was I proceeding down that valley, my 



216 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

flesh quaking and my knees a-tremble, when suddenly the 
flayed carcass of a slaughtered beast fell with a great noise 
before me. This aroused great wonder in my mind and also 
called to my recollection a story I had heard in my youth 
from a merchant traveller who had visited lands whence 
none else had ever come to deny the truth of it — a story 
confirmed by others who claimed a reputation for wide 
knowledge, and feared to lose it. It was this— that 
in a far land, where diamonds are as thickly strewn 
as the venomous serpents and other deadly perils which 
render it difficult to come at them, the daring merchants 
who seek these precious stones employ a cunning stratagem. 
They take a beast and slaughter it on the heights above 
the valley, and, having skinned it and lacerated the 
flesh, they throw it down. And, when it reaches the 
bottom of the valley whereon the diamonds lie, the 
stones adhere to the moist flesh. From the depths of the 
sky descends the watching vulture of the giant kind, and 
this bird, seizing the carcass in its talons, soars with it 
to the mountain tops ; whereupon the merchants spring 
out and frighten the bird away with loud cries, and 
then take the stones adhering to the meat and bear them 
to their own country. I had my whole life long regarded 
this story with a half-shut eye, but now, beholding the 
slaughtered beast before me, and guessing full well the 
meaning of its presence there, I said within myself, 
" By Allah ! no marvel is past belief, for here is the 
verification . " I surveyed the carcass and, having measured 
in a glance the distance to the mountains whence it had 
descended, I gazed into the blue sky in whose depths 
lurked the watching vulture. A plan of escape then 
came to me and I hastened to put it into operation. 
First I gathered as many diamonds as I could well 
dispose within my garments. Then, unfolding my turban, 



SINDBAD THE SAILOR 217 

I approached the slaughtered beast, and, lying on my 
back, drew it over me and bound myself firmly to it. 

I had not lain long in that position, with the heavy 
weight of the beast upon me, when a monstrous vulture 
came out of the sky, and, seizing upon the carcass with a 
loud scream, gripped it in its powerful talons and rose up 
and away with it and me. And it rose higher and higher 
with a mighty flapping of its wings, until at last it alighted 
on a broad ledge near the summit of the mountain — a 
place which, judging by the bleached bones lying on every 
hand, was the favourite feeding-place of these birds. 
This was clearly known to the merchant who had cast 
the carcass down, for, no sooner had the vulture deposited 
his burden and started to tear at the flesh, than he sprang 
out with loud cries and scared it away. 

Half smothered by the weight of the slaughtered beast 
I lost no time in freeing myself, and soon I struggled to my 
feet and stood there with my clothes stained and polluted 
with its blood. When the merchant saw me his fear was 
great ; but his disappointment was even greater when, his 
fear mastered by the lust of gain, he turned the carcass 
over and found no diamonds sticking to the flesh. Pitying 
him in his sad case — for he was smiting hand on hand 
and calling out against fate — I advanced and said, " Curse 
not fate, nor fear me, for I am of thy kind, and I bear 
with me an abundance of these stones the loss of which 
thou lamentest ; and they are of the largest that a man 
can carry upborne by a vulture's wings. Of these will I 
give unto thee ; therefore forget thy fear and bury thy 
cl isappointment . ' ' 

On hearing this the merchant thanked me and prayed 
fervently for me and my family ; and he ceased not to 
pray for the prolongation of my life until I had bestowed 
upon him the largest diamonds I could find within my 



218 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

garments. While he was thanking me for this there came 
his companions, each of whom had cast down a carcass ; 
and, when they had heard the story of my escape, they 
congratulated me and bade me come with them, for they 
said, " By Allah ! thou art greatly favoured by fate, 
since none but thee hath been in that valley and escaped 
to tell the tale." 

I continued with my companions for some space, 
journeying from island to island and exchanging the 
diamonds we had acquired for rich merchandise. And, 
in passing through many countries unheard of in this 
city, I separated from them and went my way, coming 
at length to El-Basrah with a princely cargo of goods. 
Thence I journeyed to Baghdad, the Abode of Peace, 
and rejoined my family. Wealth I had in abundance, 
and I resorted to my former life of luxury, bestowing gifts 
and alms, wearing rich apparel, and eating and drinking 
with my companions. 



THE THIRD VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR 

Having rested for a space in Baghdad, where I lived 
surrounded by every happiness and delight, I began again 
to experience that restless desire for travel and commerce 
which had drawn me forth on my former voyages. When 
the desire grew so great that I could no longer with- 
stand it, I set out with a large stock of merchandise and 
arrived at the city of El-Basrah, where I took ship, 
together with a goodly company of merchants, and others 
of high standing and repute. 

For many days we sailed outwards, buying and selling 
among the islands ; until, one day, while we were in the 
midst of the ocean, a storm descended upon us and blew 
the ship out of its course. The wind continued from one 
quarter with great violence, and for a day and night 
we were hurled before it. When morning came it abated 
and the master of the ship looked forth on every hand to 
ascertain where we were. Suddenly he uttered a loud 
cry and plucked his beard. " God preserve us ! " he 
said. "The gale hath driven us to an evil fate. See! 
yonder is the Mountain of Apes ! None hath ever come 
near it and escaped." 

We looked and beheld a high mountain on an island, 
and, while we were gazing at it, and wondering where 
lay the danger at so great a distance, behold, the sea 
around us was swarming with apes which had swum out 
from the island. They were hideous black beasts, not of 

219 



220 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

large size, but of malignant aspect ; and so great was 
their number that we were powerless to stand against 
them. They climbed up the sides of the ship and seized 
upon the ropes, which they severed with their sharp teeth so 
the sails were powerless and the vessel drifted with tide 
and wind to the shore. There we were seized by the apes and 
set on the land, after which they returned to the ship 
and bent fresh ropes and set the sails and departed over the 
sea we knew not whither. But we ceased to wonder at 
the manner of their going, for we were in a desperate 
plight, since all sailors feared the Mountain of Apes 
and no ship would ever approach the island to rescue 
us. 

In our wanderings through the island, eating of its 
fruits and drinking of its streams, we came at length to an 
open space in which stood a house of gigantic size. The 
walls and the folding doors of ebony were very lofty, 
and, when we walked into an immense apartment — for 
the doors were open — we found everything within it of a 
corresponding size. The cooking utensils were large 
enough to cook an ox whole, and, on the couch at the 
upper end, a hundred men might sit with comfort. 
But no occupant could we find, so we seated ourselves 
and rested for a while, and then we slept. 

It was about sunset when we were awakened suddenly 
by a loud noise and a trembling of the earth ; and lo, we 
beheld coming from the farther end of the apartment a 
gigantic being in the shape of a man. His skin was 
black, and his eyes blazed like fire ; two gleaming tusks 
protruded from his great mouth, his enormous ears drooped 
to his shoulders, and his nails were like the sharp claws 
of a beast of prey. We were stricken with great fear 
at the approach of this frightful being so that we could 
neither move nor cry out while he advanced to the couch 



SINDBAD THE SAILOR 221 

and disposed his huge limbs thereon. Then, on turning 
his head, he caught sight of us and arose and came 
towards us. As I was nearest to his hand he seized 
me, and, taking me from the ground, turned me over and 
over in his palm, feeling my limbs to see if they were fat. 
But, by the grace of God (whose name be exalted 1) I 
was lean and wasted with fatigue and affliction ; so he 
set me down and seized another, whom he turned over 
and felt in the same manner. He, too, was lean, and 
he let him go ; but he took one after another until he 
came to the master of the ship — a big man and fat. With 
him he was satisfied. Then, seeing what he was about to 
do, we hid our eyes, and did not look again until the 
ogre, having cooked and eaten our master, threw his bones 
upon a heap of others on one side of the apartment. 
Afterwards he arose and laid himself down upon the 
couch and slept, and his snoring was like the roll of 
thunder. 

One said, "By Allah! by Allah! let us kill him!" 
and he proposed a plan. " Listen, O my brothers ! " I 
said on hearing this ; " if we seek to kill him let us first 
prepare some rafts on which to escape, for we may fail of 
our purpose ; and on these rafts we can at worst be 
drowned, which is better than being roasted." They 
answered me, " Thou art right ! " So we set to work and 
gathered stout pieces of wood and carried them to the 
seashore, where we constructed rafts and stowed food 
upon them in readiness for a hasty departure. Then 
we returned to the giant's house to carry out our plan. 

The sound of his snoring told us he still slept, so we 
took two sharp-pointed iron spits and heated the points 
red-hot in the fire. Then we approached him cautiously, 
and, at a given signal, thrust the red-hot points one into 
each of his eyes, and bore upon the spits with our combined 



222 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

weight. He arose with a mighty roar, and we fled right 
and left ; for, his sight being destroyed, we feared his 
blind rage. He searched for us, but, not finding us, he 
groped for the door, and went forth uttering loud cries 
which shook the earth. 

In great haste, and lashed by mortal fear, we gained 
the seashore and launched the rafts ; but, scarcely had 
we gained the water, when we saw the ogre approaching, 
led by a female more gigantic and more hideous than 
himself. We swam out, pushing the rafts before us ; 
but they hurled great rocks after us, and many of our 
number were killed. Three alone, including myself, 
escaped, and, after much stress and peril, reached another 
island, and there, when night came on, we slept, but only 
to awaken to fresh terrors. Lo ! in the act of coiling 
round us was a serpent of enormous size, its folds con- 
tracting and its head raised to strike. At sight of this, 
another and myself were more nimble than our companion, 
for we sprang clear of the serpent's embrace while he was 
seized in the huge jaws and slowly swallowed with a 
horrible crackling of bones. And we mourned our com- 
panion and went thenceforth in fear for ourselves. Dread- 
ing to sleep again on the ground we climbed a high tree, 
and, binding ourselves each in a safe position with our 
turbans, we slept fitfully. But alas ! God hath given to 
all serpents the wisdom of the Evil One. That night the 
serpent mounted the tree, and, seizing my companion, 
proceeded to swallow him, while I looked on in helpless 
fear. Then, in descending the tree, it coiled its vast 
bulk round the trunk and I heard my companion's bones 
crack within its paunch. 

When morning had come I descended from the tree 
feeling that my safest course was to drown myself in the 
waves, for where else could I hide that the serpent could 



SINDBAD THE SAILOR 223 

not find me ? But life is sweet, and I pondered long 
upon a cunning plan to protect myself. Then, repairing 
to the seashore, I selected some pieces of wood from the 
raft, and took them to a dry place. Towards evening, 
when I had eaten of the fruits of the island and drunk 
of its streams, I bound a long piece of wood crosswise 
upon the soles of my feet and another crosswise upon my 
head ; I secured a wide flat piece to my right side, another 
to my left side, and another to the front of my body ; 
and there, having thrust my arms under the side pieces, 
I lay encased. And, as the evening wore on, the serpent 
saw me, and drew near ; but it could not swallow me 
because of the pieces of wood. All through the night it 
tried to come at me, attempting in all ways to effect its 
purpose ; but in every way it failed, while I lay like a 
dead man, gazing in speechless horror at the terrible 
creature. And it ceased not in its efforts to engulf me 
till morning broke, when it went its way consumed with 
rage and vexation. Then I freed myself from the pieces 
of wood and arose, trembling in every limb, but thanking 
God for my deliverance ; for, look you, I was sorely tried 
by what I had endured from that serpent. 

Not many hours later I had the good fortune to espy 
a ship far out upon the sea, and, as it was making as if to 
pass a headland of the island somewhat closely, I ran 
with all speed and established myself on the farthest point. 
There I waved my unfolded turban to attract the notice 
of those on the vessel. At last they saw me, and came 
and took me on board. 

The master of the ship, seeing me without merchan- 
dise, came to me, and, taking compassion upon my poor 
condition, told me of some goods in the hold which belonged 
to a man whom they had lost during the voyage. He 
offered me these goods to sell so that, when an account 



224 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

had been rendered to the owner's family in Baghdad, there 
would be a recompense for my trouble and service. I 
thanked him gladly for this, and he ordered the goods to be 
brought up. And lo ! when I saw the bales, I knew them, 
and showed how they were marked with the name of 
Sindbad the Sailor. Then, seeing that they were per- 
plexed, I shouted in my excitement, " Do you not hear 
me ? / am Sindbad the Sailor, and these are my 
goods ! " 

The remainder of this, my third voyage, was occupied 
in buying and selling among the islands on the way to 
El-Basrah, whence, in good time, laden with wealth and 
rich merchandise, I proceeded to Baghdad to dwell in 
peace again, surrounded by my family and friends. Here, 
for a season, charmed with every delight, I forgot the 
perils and horrors I had endured. But the longing for 
travel and adventure found me out again, impelling me 
to undertake a fourth voyage ; and the events of this — 
more marvellous than those of the preceding voyages, O 
Sindbad the Landsman — I will narrate to you to-morrow. 



THE FOURTH VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR 

Led by the desire to associate with other races, and 
to buy and sell for gain — for the soul is prone to evil— 
I departed from Baghdad with many precious bales, and 
set sail from El-Basrah in a large ship on which a com- 
pany of other merchants embarked in like fashion. 

For many days we had a pleasant journey among the 
islands, and all went well with us until, on reaching the 
wider sea beyond, a mighty wind came up against us. 
The sails were rent, the masts were blown away, we sprang 
a leak, and slowly the vessel began to sink. We gave 
ourselves up for lost, and, indeed, when the waves passed 
over us and we sank, many perished. But, in the seeth- 
ing turmoil, it was my good fortune to be cast against a 
broad plank, which I seized and held. Others were 
struggling for life near by and I was able to draw some 
of them to me. Sore buffeted as we were by wind and 
wave we mounted that plank and sat astride of it. At 
dawn on the following day the sea cast us like dead men 
upon an island, where, for many hours, we lay exhausted. 

That night we slept upon the shore, and in the morn- 
ing we arose strengthened and invigorated. When we 
had broken our fast we set ourselves to explore the island, 
and had not gone far in this before we came to a great 
building. As we stood at the door of this, wondering 
who dwelt within, a party of naked men came out, and 
without a word, seized us and led us into a spacious 

28 225 



226 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

apartment, where we found ourselves standing before their 
King. He commanded us to be seated, and they brought 
us food of a strange kind, such as we had never seen. 
My companions ate largely of this, but my stomach revolted 
at it and I ate but little — a thing which preserved me from 
a terrible fate. For, as my companions ate, they became 
mad with a ravenous hunger, and ate more and more. 
Presently they were given coco-nut oil to drink, and, 
when they had swallowed it, their eyes rolled in their 
heads, and they continued to eat it a frenzy horrible to 
behold. 

I was consumed with fear at these things and said 
within myself, "This is a tribe of the Magi and their King 
is a ghoul ! " As I observed them attentively I remem- 
bered a story of these people : how they seize on travellers 
and set this loathsome food before them to eat, and give 
them the oil to drink, so that they swell out and eat more 
and more until they are fattened to an enormous degree 
and their minds are rendered like those of idiots ; where- 
upon, in due time, they kill and roast them and serve 
them up as food to their King. 

As for myself, as soon as I observed that I was a 
failure in that I would not fatten, and that none took 
heed of me nor marked my coming or my going, I arose 
in the night and crept away among the trees surrounding 
the King's dwelling. Then, when morning came, I went 
forth with a heart of fear, knowing not what fresh terror 
I should encounter. In my wanderings back and forth 
I came about midday to a stretch of green pasture, where 
I beheld with sorrow my late companions grazing on all 
fours, and fattening like beasts for the slaughter, while 
the beastherd sat upon a rock and piped on an oaten 
reed. I breathed a silent farewell to them as to those I 
should never see again, and turned sadly away. 



SINDBAD THE SAILOR 227 

Journeying in this way I came at length to a grove 
of pepper trees, and there were men at work in it, gather- 
ing the berries. Their aspect seemed to me to be peace- 
able, so I exposed myself, and they approached me and 
pressed upon me, asking my name and whence I had 
come, for my aspect excited their curiosity. 

When they had finished their work at the setting of 
the sun they took me with them to the seashore, and I 
accompanied them in their vessel to an island, not far 
distant, where they brought me to their King. And, 
there, before them and his court, at his command I nar- 
rated my adventures since leaving Baghdad, at which his 
interest was kindled, and he bade me sit with him and 
eat. And I did so gladly, for my body was thin and 
meagre, and my vigour was sorely wanting. After that, 
having shown my gratitude to the King and offered praise 
to God for His saving grace, I rose, and, with the King's 
permission, went forth into his city. It was a well- 
conditioned, flourishing place, thronged with buyers and 
sellers ; and there was an abundance of food and rich 
merchandise. 

As day followed day and time drew on I had cause 
to rejoice at my arrival in that city, for I found favour 
with the King, and he magnified me over his people and 
his great men. 

I was yet to learn that he had a further favour in 
store. One day, while I was sitting at his right hand 
discussing affairs of state, he looked at me intently and 
said, " I would marry thee to a woman of high rank among 
us — one possessed of great beauty and wealth — so that 
thou mayest continue to dwell with us in pleasure and 
comfort and with a good heart. Thus shalt thou advan- 
tage greatly and receive every good thing at my hands ; 
wherefore, refuse me not, nor oppose my wish." 



228 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

I remained silent, for I was overwhelmed by his pro- 
posal and the stress of bashfulness it brought to my face. 
Seeing this, he rallied me and said, " Art thou dumb ? 
Is not thy heart with us ? " Then of a sudden I replied, 
44 O King ! Thy words took away my breath. As thou 
commandest, so I obey." 

Pleased at my compliance the King immediately 
ordered his officials to bring the lady and the witnesses, 
and forthwith I was married to her with the King's bless- 
ing and the acclamation of all his Court. She was of 
surpassing loveliness, and she brought me a dowry of 
abundant wealth and possessions. But there is no strength 
nor power but in God, and He orders the fates of men 
as He will. On an evil day a great fear suddenly came 
to me by reason of a thing which I will make known to 
you. 

A companion of mine suffered a bereavement in that 
his wife died ; whereupon I went to him, and mourned 
with him, saying, " Take heart, O brother ; God will fill 
her place to thee with one far better." But he continued 
to weep, saying, " Alas ! How can I marry another when 
this very day I depart this life ? " " Nay," said I, " that 
is not within reason, for thou art in good health and not 
like to die." He then raised his head and dried his tears, 
and said to me very slowly, " Hear me, O my brother ! 
Knowest thou not that, to-day, they will bury my wife, 
and that they will bury me also in the same tomb with 
her ? For such is our custom. When husband or wife 
is buried the other must be buried also, so that neither 
may continue to enjoy life alone." 

44 By Allah I " said I, smiting palm on palm, 44 this 
custom is wholly vile, and it toucheth me closely." 

And on my return I went in to the King with grief 
and fear gnawing at my heart. 44 O King ! " I said, 4C Tell 



SINDBAD THE SAILOR 229 

me why is this : that ye bury the living with the dead ? " 
Said he, " O my son, it is the custom of our country and 
has descended to us from our ancestors : husband and 
wife are one, in death as in life." And I answered him 
with a question that concerned me nearly. " O my lord," 
I said, " and the stranger that sojourneth with thee : if 
his wife die, do ye treat him in like manner ? " " Yea," 
he replied, " in like manner." Then I departed from him 
in grief and mourning lest I should perchance be bereft of 
my wife. In vain did I say to myself, "Be comforted ! 
Maybe thou wilt die before her — none knoweth." In 
vain did I give myself up to my manifold occupations. 
The fear was not to be dispelled. 

And, within a short time, what I had feared came to 
pass. My wife was stricken with a fever, and, when I 
had reason to hope she would recover, she suddenly 
relapsed and died. My grief at this was overwhelming, 
but, as if to add to it, there came many to condole with 
me on her death and to mingle their tears with mine for 
that I should soon be departing this life. The King him- 
self came and commiserated with me on my most unhappy 
fate. And he said, " There is no strength nor power in 
any but God. Farewell, O my son 1 " 

And they prepared my wife for burial, arraying her 
in her richest garments and her finest jewels. But, when 
they carried her to the burial place and cast her down 
into the pit, and all my companions pressed upon me to 
bid me farewell, my gorge rose and I cried out upon them 
that their custom was vile. Loudly I spoke my bitter 
mind on the abominable nature of this thing ; they would 
not listen, but took me by force and lowered me into the 
pit, together with seven cakes and a pitcher of water. 
And when I had reached the floor of a vast cavern they 
called down to me : " Untie the ropes that we may draw 



230 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

them up ! " I answered, " Draw me up with them ! " 
" Nay, nay," they replied, " we do but follow our custom." 
" To the ravens with you and your custom ! " I retorted, 
for I had no stomach for this proceeding. Then, as I 
steadily refused to loose the ropes, they at last threw 
them down upon me, and, having closed the mouth of 
the pit, went their way. 

Now was I in worse plight than I had ever been. On 
that cavern floor there were the bodies and bleached bones 
of those that had died a natural death cheek by jowl with 
those who had perished in the fulfilment of this abominable 
custom. And I said to myself, " Better to remain single 
and live, than to marry and be buried alive." 

Nevertheless, knowing not night from day, I kept 
myself from death by eating sparingly of the cakes and 
drinking some of the water, for I was in no mood to die 
in so vile a manner after having come through great perils 
by mountain and sea. At length, when I had eaten all 
the cakes and drunk all the water, and hunger and thirst 
began to cry out within me, I arose and wandered to and 
fro in the cavern, stumbling and falling over dead bodies 
and biting the dust of bones that had crumbled long since. 
By dint of much groping in the dark I at length found 
the wall of the cavern, and, selecting therein a cavity 
free from bones and corpses, I stretched myself and 
slept. 

I was awakened later as if by hunger and thirst knocking 
at the door ; and, while I sat in gloom thinking of the 
plenty in Baghdad — fool that I was to leave it ! — I heard 
a sudden noise. Looking forth from my cavity, I saw 
that the stone had been removed from the opening of 
the cavern and a dead body was being lowered. It was 
the body of a man and after him was let down the living 
body of his wife. She was weeping and wailing for him 



SINDBAD THE SAILOR 281 

and for herself. Then the mouth of the cavern was closed 
again and all was dark and silent save for the wailing of 
the woman echoing through the cavern. " Alas ! " she 
cried, " that I should die this lingering death ! Had I 
the means to end my life, then would I do it. Would 
that there were one here to slay me!" 

When I heard this I remembered that I had never 
been able to resist the pleadings of a woman. So I arose, 
and, taking a stout leg-bone in my hand, I slew her 
according to her desire. And I took her seven cakes 
and the pitcher of water, which she would no longer 
need, and, retiring to my cavity, I ate and drank. This 
thing occurred many times during my sojourn in that 
cavern, for a number of married men and women chanced 
to die. And, though they did not always cry out for me to 
slay them, I knew their prayer beforehand and answered 
it speedily. Thus the cakes and the water bequeathed 
to me stayed my spirit and I continued to live. 

Time passed slowly, but yet it passed. I had no other 
means of measuring it except to call an hour a day and 
a day a year. And I was weary to death of it all when an 
unwonted thing occurred. I was awakened suddenly 
from sleep by a noise at the far end of the cavern. Then 
I heard footsteps as of some beast. I arose, and, arming 
myself with a stout bone, advanced upon the intruder ; 
but it heard me and fled from me, and I could not come 
at it. Yet, as I followed its footsteps, I saw its form 
darken a pin-spot of daylight at the end of a crevice of 
the cavern. This gave me a glimmer of hope, for, where 
that beast had passed, I myself might pass, and so gain 
the outer air. Over jagged points of rock I clambered 
towards that opening, now losing sight of it, and now 
gaining view of it again, until at last I reached it and found 
that it was indeed a communication with the outer country. 



232 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

With some difficulty I forced my way through it and 
climbed down by a perilous pathway to the seashore. 

I had escaped from the sepulchre of the living and 
the dead, and I praised God for the sight of the sky and 
the sea ; but, when I had looked into my position and 
found behind me an impassable precipice, before me the 
wide stretching sea, and above me the dome of heaven, 
I sat down on the shore with my head on my knees and 
said within myself, " There is no way out ! I cannot 
scale the sheer cliff, neither can I tread the fishes' path- 
ways in the sea, nor walk in the tracks made by birds in 
the air. There is no way out ! " 

But God, in His infinite mercy, willed it otherwise, for 
one day, sitting sadly on the shore as was my wont, I 
espied a vessel on the sea. Hope surged high within my 
breast and I arose and stripped myself of a white garment 
and mounted it on a staff and ran wildly to and fro, 
waving it above me. And, when my signal was observed, 
the vessel stayed its course and sent a boat ashore. 

Our journey from that place, where I had suffered so 
much, took us from island unto island towards the city of 
El-Basrah. As we proceeded, the places where we cast 
anchor grew more and more familiar to me, and, as of 
old, I bought and sold as merchants do. At length 
we arrived at the city of El-Basrah. There, in the bosom 
of my family, and surrounded by my companions, I 
returned to my former habit of life. 



THE FIFTH VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR 

Looking back from the position of safety and comfort 
to which I had returned I came in time to make light 
of the perils I had encountered and the sufferings I 
had endured. And, moreover I had conceived the 
wish to become the owner of a ship, for thus the gain 
accruing from a voyage to other lands would be so much 
greater. 

Having considered the matter deeply, I arose from my 
life of luxury and ease and departed with many bales of 
merchandise for the city of El-Basrah. There in the river 
I found at length a splendid vessel, which I purchased. 
I found a master and a crew, over whom I set my own 
trusty servants ; and, having secured a goodly company 
of merchants as passengers, I embarked their bales and 
mine, and we set sail. We worked our way outwards, 
calling at island after island, and doing the usual business 
that merchants find in those places, until one day we came 
to a large uninhabited island. 

Here, while I was engaged in matters concerning the 
vessel, the merchants landed and, as I afterwards learned, 
they found there the great egg of a rokh, such as I had 
met with on a former voyage. Mistaking it for a deserted 
structure, and, failing to find an entrance, they had 
amused themselves by casting stones at it, so that it 
broke ; whereupon a young rokh came forth from the 
shell. And they set upon this monstrous chicken in 

29 238 



284 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

its helpless condition, and slew it, and brought great 
slabs of its flesh back to the ship. 

The vengeance of the rokh was sudden and dire. 
When it saw that its egg had been broken and its young 
one destroyed it flew above us, looking down at the 
ship and shrieking in a voice that filled the sky. On 
this it was joined by its mate, and the two circled round 
us, their hoarse cries of rage falling like thunder on the 
sea. In great fear I bade the master and the sailors 
hoist the sails and seek safety in flight. 

Then, as soon as we began to draw off from the island, 
the rokhs left us and flew inland, so that we thought we 
had made good our escape. But soon they reappeared 
and came after us, each bearing in its talons a huge mass 
of rock. One of them flew above us and dropped the 
rock, so that we saw death descending upon us. But 
the great mass missed the ship by a narrow space. Then 
the other rokh dropped the rock from its talons, and 
fate ordained that it struck the ship astern with a mighty 
crash. Amid cries of fear and despair we sank into the 
sea, and all seemed lost. 

When my mind returned to me, I found myself on 
the shore of an island sitting upon a plank, which, it 
seemed, had borne me hither. That I had fought against 
wind and wave I knew, for I was wellnigh exhausted. 
I could do nothing more than drag myself painfully 
to a sheltered spot, where I rested and slept. 

When I arose later in the day, I was refreshed ; and, 
having found both fruit and water, I ate and drank and 
my strength returned to me. I went forth upon the island, 
and to and fro in it, but I found no other's footprint 
on the shore, nor any sign of human habitation from coast 
to coast. But that there was a dweller there I was soon 
to learn, and to my cost. 




THE EPISODE OF THE OLD MAN OF THE SEA 

(Page 237) 



SINDBAD THE SAILOR 237 

It was on the following day towards evening, when I 
was walking among the trees, that I came upon an old 
man sitting on the bank of a stream. He was a comely 
old man, with flowing silver locks and an ample white 
beard. He was clothed, from the waist downward, with 
the leaves of trees threaded together. As I regarded him 
for some moments I felt that his whole aspect betokened 
a disposition of simplicity and mild benevolence. Advanc- 
ing upon the bank I spoke to him, but he shook his head 
sadly and sighed ; and I saw that his speech was 
gone. Then he made signs with his hands as if to say, 
" Mount me upon thy neck and carry me across the 
stream." 

I felt kindly disposed towards this mild and gentle 
old man, and wished to do him a service ; so I mounted 
him upon my neck and took him across the stream. 
" Now," I said, " thou canst dismount when it pleaseth 
thee ! " But, instead of dismounting, he wound his legs 
still more closely round my neck, and pressed his feet 
into my chest, so that i cried out with pain and rage 
and attempted to throw him from my shoulders. But 
my frantic efforts were in vain ; he stuck like a leech, 
and I could not dislodge him. Indeed, he clung so tight 
that he nearly throttled me, and I fell to the ground 
exhausted. Then he belaboured me sorely with his feet 
until I arose with him again, and, in this way, he compelled 
me to obey him. 

For many days I was ridden hither and thither at 
the will of this obstinate old fellow, who, though he could 
not torment me with speech, was truculent enough in 
his manner. And I reproached myself for having desired 
to do him a service, saying constantly in my mind, " By 
Allah 1 never again while living will I do a service to 
any I " 



238 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

At length one day the old man guided and belaboured 
me into a space on the island where pumpkins grew in 
abundance. While he was eating some of these I took 
others that were ripe, and, having cleaned out the seeds 
and coarse matter through a small aperture, filled them 
with the juice of grapes ; then I filled up the apertures 
and laid the pumpkins in the sun. Thus in a few days 
I procured pure wine, and, every day thereafter, while 
the old man on my neck ate of the pumpkins, I drank 
of the wine until I became intoxicated, and laughed and 
sang and danced about with him among the trees. And 
when, with fist and heel, he desired to know the cause of 
this, I showed him the wine that I had made. Seeing 
that its effect upon me was so agreeable he sought to 
achieve the same happy result by drinking largely of it 
himself, so that he grew hilarious and broke a pumpkin 
over my head, rocking and rolling in his seat with laughter. 
Then, as he continued to drink, he gradually lost control 
of his limbs and lolled from side to side; whereupon I 
grasped his feet and unwound them from my neck and 
threw him on the ground. And so at last, to rid the 
earth of such a monster, I slew him, and left him there 
for the vultures. 

After this, happiness returned to me and I went about 
the island like one relieved of a heavy burden, as indeed 
I had been. And day by day I sat by the sea watching 
for a vessel. But I lived upon the island many days 
before at last I saw a ship approach and cast anchor off 
the shore. When the passengers had landed I ran towards 
them and welcomed them, answering their many questions 
respecting my condition. They listened to my story with 
great amazement. Then some one said, " This old man 
of whom thou speakest is surely he whom they call the 
Old Man of the Sea. He hath ridden many to death, and 



SINDBAD THE SAILOR 289 

none hath escaped but thee. Therefore, praise God for 
thy deliverance." 

They took me to the ship and set food before me, and, 
after I had eaten, they brought me some clean clothes and 
I clad myself decently. As the ship set sail for El-Basrah 
my thoughts went before it to Baghdad, The Abode of 
Peace. 

Once more in the lap of luxury, and reposing in the 
bosom of my family, I returned to my former life of 
revelry and ease, and soon forgot the hardships I had 
endured. 



THE SIXTH VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR 

On a day when I was living happily in Baghdad, having 
forgotten the perils and dangers of my former voyages, 
I was sitting at ease in my garden when a party of mer- 
chants came to me, and their tales of travel aroused 
within my bosom a great longing to engage again in the 
hazardous delights of those things. I pondered long 
upon the matter, and, though I had said within myself, 
" Never will I set forth again," I found that my mind was 
made up in spite of me. Therefore I set about collecting 
merchandise, and, having packed a goodly number of 
bales, I departed for El-Basrah, where I took ship with 
a company of merchants and others of high repute. 

The outward voyage was pleasant and fortunate, and 
we did as others do, buying and selling and amusing 
ourselves in different cities. But there came a day of 
disaster, when the master of the ship suddenly discovered 
that we had wandered from our course, and had lost our 
reckoning. He plucked his beard and smote his breast, 
and cried out in despair that we had sailed into an unknown 
sea, where dire perils awaited us. And so it proved, for 
not long afterwards, while we were sailing in a calm sea, a 
sudden wind burst upon us and, before the sails could 
be loosed, the rudder was broken and the ship drifted 
and was driven at last upon the sides of a high mountain 
rising up to heaven. She was dashed to pieces by the 
violence of the waves, and, from that terrible wreck, few 



242 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

survived. There were some others besides myself who 
clung to the sides of the mountain, and, by tooth and 
nail, climbed to a place of safety. 

Little by little, when the tide receded, we made our 
way down among the crags until we came to a strip of sea- 
shore, and from this point we could see that the island was 
of large size, its interior being sheltered from storms by 
the front of the mountain. But what took our wonder was 
this : on the seashore was amassed the wealth of a thousand 
wrecks. And this was not all, for, when we proceeded 
through the island, we found a spring of pure ambergris 
overflowing into the sea ; and by this the whales are 
attracted, but when they have swallowed it and dived to 
the depths of the sea it turns in their stomachs and they 
eject it, so that it rises to the surface in solid lumps such 
as are found by sailors. But the ambergris that is cast 
about the opening of the spring melts in the heat of the 
sun, and its perfume is blown about the island, wafted 
sweet upon the breeze like fragrant musk. 

When we had explored the island and wondered at the 
many strange things it contained, we searched among the 
wreckage on the shore and found some few barrels of 
preserved meats, and on these we stayed our hunger. 
With the provisions on the shore and the fruit we secured 
on the island we were in no danger of starvation, but a 
kind of fever seized upon our company and one after 
another sickened and died. This was a time of stress 
and despair. Day after day the living buried the dead 
until there was only one left, and that one was I. 

But God in His mercy led my footsteps forth and I 
roamed in the island, restless for the end. In my wander- 
ings I came to a river gushing forth out of the side of a 
mountain, and, after flowing for a space between banks of 
verdure in a valley, entering again another mountain. 



SINDBAD THE SAILOR 243 

Having followed it to this point, I sat down upon a bank 
against the mountain wall and pondered. And I said 
within myself, " This river flowing through caverns within 
the mountain must have an opening somewhere, perchance 
in a fertile country where people dwell. " For a long time 
I turned the chances of this within my mind and at last 
decided to build a raft and commit myself upon it to the 
current ; for at most it were better to die that way than 
in my present desolation. 

By means of ropes and wreckage from the seashore my 
raft was soon constructed, and in its construction I omitted 
not to measure it according to the width of the river. 
Then, full of a wild hope that I might at length reach an 
inhabited region, I stowed upon it rich goods from the 
shore, ambergris from the spring, and the rarest jewels I 
could find in the beds of the watercourses. As I set 
myself upon the raft and launched it, I said, " If I perish, 
I perish ; but if I come to the haunts of men, I come to 
them rich in precious things." 

No sooner had I entered into the aperture of the 
mountain than I was suddenly encased in darkness, and, 
having no choice which way I went, flung myself flat on 
the raft lest my head should be shattered against the roof 
of the tunnel. Like this I floated on, sometimes feeling 
there was a wide space around me, and sometimes clinging 
to the raft lest some narrowing of the passage should sweep 
me to destruction. And all this time my terror was so 
acute that at last I swooned and lay face downward on 
the raft, the plaything of fate and the sport of the rushing 
current. 

When I awoke I found myself in the open air. The 
sun was shining above and the birds were singing in the 
trees around me. I was still lying on the raft, which 
was tied to a stake on the shore of a beautiful lake. As 



244 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

soon as I had raised myself and looked about me a number 
of dark-skinned people gathered round and questioned me 
in an unknown tongue ; but I shook my head, understand- 
ing nothing of what they said. At last one advanced 
from among them, and, addressing me in Arabic, said 
" Peace be with thee, brother ! " Then I seized him 
joyfully by the hand and greeted him, but I was weary 
and hungry and could give no account of myself because 
of my utter exhaustion. Seeing my state he called for 
food and wine, and they hastened to set them before me. 

So they took me, with the raft and all the riches I had 
laid upon it, and led me before their King ; and, from his 
state and magnificence, I knew that I beheld the King of 
Sarandib, whose name and power and learning are known 
through all the earth. He saluted me in the custom of 
my own people, addressing me in Arabic which fell easily 
from his tongue. 

I was greatly moved at his words, and, begging his 
acceptance of a gift at my hands, I took the rarest jewels 
from the raft, together with a quantity of ambergris and 
aloes-wood, and laid them at his feet. He graciously 
accepted my present and immediately established me in a 
position of honour, bidding me dwell with him in his 
palace. I accepted his hospitality and remained in 
his land in great happiness and honour. 

But, on a day when I ascended the high mountain and 
looked far out across the sea, I seemed to hear the voice of 
my own land calling to me. Then, with that far call still 
in my ears, I went in to the King and asked him to let me 

go- 

When I was about to depart the King called me to 
him and handed me a letter written on fine parchment. 
This he asked me to give into the hands of the Khalifeh, 
Harun-Er-Rashid, The substance of the letter was this : 



SINDBAD THE SAILOR 245 

— " The King of Sarandib sends greeting. Peace be on 
thee, O Brother, from the King of Sarandib, who com- 
mands a thousand elephants, and in whose palace are 
ten thousand jewels. By the bearer of this we send thee 
a gift, for we have a deep affection for thee. The gift is 
all too trifling, but we beseech thee to accept it graciously 
and reply to us. Peace be upon thee I " The present 
with which I was entrusted was a goblet of ruby, the 
inside of which was set with sparkling diamonds and 
priceless pearls — truly a kingly gift. 

Having bade farewell to the King and such of his 
people that I had associated with I embarked in a large 
ship which was bound for El- Basrah. In good time 
we reached that port and I journeyed up the river to 
Baghdad. 

My first thought was to deliver the letter and the gift 
into the hands of the Khalifeh. So I lost no time in 
approaching him and fulfilling my pledge to the King of 
Sarandib. He was greatly pleased with the letter, and, 
when he saw the sparkling goblet of ruby and precious 
stones, he was filled with delight. 

He then thanked me for my faithful service and 
bestowed rich gifts upon me, and bade me seek my own 
house in peace and content. There in the bosom of my 
family I lived at ease, having put behind me the perils 
of travel and set fixedly before me the determination 
never to seek them again 



THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR 

While I was sitting one day thinking on this and 
saying within myself, " I am here in the Abode of Peace 
and Allah be praised ! I shall never quit it for the haunts 
of trouble " ; lo ! there came a messenger summoning me 
to the Khalifeh. I arose and followed him, and presently 
I was before his majesty, saluting him and kissing the 
ground. " Welcome, O Sindbad ! " he said. " Know 
that I have a matter of importance for thee to execute." 
" Sire," I answered, " I am thy slave." 

Then the Khalifeh unfolded to me his wish : which 
was that I should go to the King of Sarandib bearing a 
letter and a gift. 

It was not for me to disobey the command of the Prince 
of the Faithful, and I bowed my head in submission. 
I took from his hands the account of the items composing 
the gift, together with a letter and a sum of money for 
my expenses ; and, bidding him farewell, went forth, 
saying to myself that fate was against me. 

The Khalifeh's gift to the King of Sarandib was one of 
great magnificence. First there was a splendid white 
horse, the equal of which was not to be found in the length 
and breadth of Arabia. Its saddle and trappings were 
adorned with gold and set with brilliant jewels. Then, in 
addition to this, there were a priceless robe, fit for the king 
of all the earth ; a great quantity of rich stuffs from Egypt 
and Greece, and a wonderful crystal goblet of such a kind 

247 



248 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

that a man's whole lifetime would be required to make 
it. 

With all these things I embarked upon a large vessel 
and set sail from El-Basrah with a company of merchants. 
We journeyed for long days and nights until at length 
we came to the island of Sarandib. There I went in 
to the King in his palace, and he gave me a joyous 
welcome. 

After some days of pleasure and happiness in his 
land, I made known to him my desire to depart speedily 
to my own country, but it was with difficulty that I 
obtained his permission. At last he allowed me to go, 
bearing friendly messages to the Khalifeh ; and I set 
sail for my own land, glad that I was now free to return 
to the life to which I had vowed myself. 

But we had not been many days on our course when, 
as we were passing near an island, a fleet of boats put off 
from the shore and surrounded us. They were manned 
by a host of men clad in suits of mail. They looked 
more like demons than men and were armed with swords 
and daggers. They drew in on us and attacked us, slaying 
those who offered resistance, and taking the rest prisoners. 
They towed the ship to the island and took all the merchan- 
dise in the hold. Then they led us away to be sold as slaves. 

It fell to my lot that I was purchased by a rich man 
of gentle mien. He took me to his house, gave me food 
and drink, clothed me well and treated me in a friendly 
fashion. Somewhat comforted I rested, giving my hands 
to light tasks about his house. After some days he called 
me to him and said, "Art thou skilled in any art or 
trade ? " I answered him that I was a merchant, and 
was skilled only in the art of buying and selling. " Canst 
thou not use the bow ? " he asked. Now, I was skilled 
in archery, and I offered to give him proof in the matter. 



SINDBAD THE SAILOR 249 

He then placed a bow and arrow in my hands and I 
pierced a mark at fifty paces. " It is well," he said ; " thou 
art skilled." 

The next day he sat me behind him on an elephant, 
and, at nightfall, we journeyed to a place where there were 
some high trees. One of these he bade me climb and 
sit there with arrow on bowstring till the elephants came 
at dawn, when I was to shoot ; and, if I was so fortunate 
as to kill one, I was to run to him in all haste and inform 
him of it. He then went away on his elephant, leaving 
me in the tree, full of terror. 

When at last the sun rose, a great number of elephants 
came straying about among the trees, and when one came 
beneath mine I sent my arrows at him. Late in the 
morning a well-aimed shaft pierced the brain of a mon- 
strous beast, and, with loud roarings, he fell and died. 
At evening time, when the other elephants had retired 
from the spot, I descended from the tree and ran with 
all haste to my master, who rejoiced at my news and 
sent his slaves to bring the beast in. 

Day after day I continued at this sport, each day 
securing at least one elephant. But a day came when 
trouble gathered round that tree in which I sat. It 
appeared in the form of countless elephants of large size 
and ferocious aspect. One who seemed to be king among 
them led the others to my tree. After he had thundered 
round it many times until the whole world trembled, 
he made a dash at it, and, winding his trunk round it, 
tore it up by the roots and threw it down. When, half 
stunned, I found my way out from among the broken 
branches, the great elephant came upon me bellowing 
loudly, and, seizing me with his trunk, bore me aloft. In 
this manner he led the whole herd of elephants in a wild 
stampede that made the earth shake ; and they ceased 

81 



250 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

not in their career until they came to a valley in which 
were a great number of elephants' bones and teeth and 
tusks. On a heap of these the king-elephant set me 
down very gently ; and, after that, he and the others 
turned and walked away, leaving me there. 

I looked about in the valley and saw a wealth of 
gleaming white tusks on every hand, and I said within 
myself, " The elephants liked not the death of one of their 
number every day, and they have done this to show how 
I may come by an abundance of tusks without further 
slaughter." 

Then I found my way back over a great distance to 
the abode of my master. He welcomed me as one returned 
from the dead, for, when he had found the tree torn up 
by the roots, he had concluded that the elephants had 
made an end of me. I told him what had befallen me and 
described the position of the valley where the tusks lay. 
When he heard this he was greatly excited and lost no 
time in mounting me behind him on an elephant and setting 
forth to find the spot where so much wealth was stored. 
We reached the valley without mishap and I showed my 
master the ivory, at sight of which his joy knew no bounds. 
We then laded the elephant with as much as he could 
carry and returned with it to the house. 

This adventure of mine placed me in a most favourable 
light in my master's eyes ; and, because I had been the 
means of revealing to him a source of enormous wealth, 
he set me free and gave me permission to return to my 
own country. He was even better than his word, for, 
not many days later, he set me on board a vessel bound 
for El-Basrah and presented me with a large sum of money 
for my passage and expenses, together with many bales 
of merchandise. And my return journey was very 
fortunate. The traffic I did at the different cities on the 



SINDBAD THE SAILOR 251 

way brought me great profit, and I bought many rare 
things suitable for gifts. 

On my arrival at Baghdad I went in to the Khalifeh 
and told him all that had befallen me ; and he was so 
astonished thereat, and so delighted at my return, that 
he commanded his scribes to write my story in letters of 
gold. And he said to me " Sindbad, my son ; thou 
hast done well, and now thou shalt have the wish of 
thine heart and keep thy vow ; for, unless thou so desirest, 
thou shalt go forth no more upon the sea." 
* * * * * 

This, O Sindbad the Landsman, is the end of the story 
of my voyages ; and now, as I have conceived an affection 
for thee, thou shalt dwell with me and be my boon com- 
panion ; and we shall pass our lives together in a state 
of the utmost joy and happiness, strengthened by God 
(whose name be exalted !) the Great ! the Omnipotent 
Creator of sea and land 1 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 

Once upon a time, in a far city of Cathay, there dwelt 
a poor tailor who had an only son named Aladdin. This 
boy was a born ne'er-do-well, and persistently resisted 
all his father's efforts to teach him a trade by means of 
which he would be able in future to earn a livelihood. 
Aladdin would sooner play at knuckle-bones in the gutter 
with others as careless as himself than he would set his 
mind to honest business ; and, as to obeying his parents 
in the smallest matter, it was not in his nature. Such 
was this boy Aladdin, and yet — so remarkable is the 
favour of fate — he was strangely predestined for great 
things. 

Stricken with grief because of the waywardness and idle 
conduct of his son the father fell ill and died, and the 
mother found great difficulty in supporting herself, to 
say nothing of the worthless Aladdin as well. While she 
wore the flesh off her bones in the endeavour to obtain a 
meagre subsistence Aladdin would amuse himself with his 
fellow urchins of the street, only returning home to his 
meals. In this way he continued until he was fourteen 
years of age, when his extraordinary destiny took him 
by the hand, and led him, step by step, through adventures 
so wonderful that words can scarce describe them. 

One day he was playing in the gutter with his ragged 
companions, as was his wont, when a Moorish Dervish 
came by, and, catching sight of Aladdin's face, suddenly 



256 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

stopped and approached him. This Dervish was a sorcerer 
who had discovered many hidden secrets by his black 
art ; in fact, he was on the track of one now ; and, by 
the look on his face as he scrutinized Aladdin's features, 
it seemed that the boy was closely connected with his 
quest. 

The Dervish beckoned to one of the urchins and asked 
him who Aladdin was, who his father was, and indeed all 
about him. Having thus learned the whole history of the 
boy and his family the Dervish gave his informer some 
coins and sent him away to spend them. Then he 
approached Aladdin and said to him, " Boy, I seem to 
recognize in thee a family likeness. Art thou not the 
tailor's son ? " Aladdin answered him that he was, and 
added that his father was dead. 

On hearing this the Dervish cried out with grief and 
embraced Aladdin, weeping bitterly. The boy was sur- 
prised at this and inquired the cause of such sorrow. 
" Alas ! " replied the Dervish with tears running down his 
cheeks, " my fate is an unhappy one Boy, I have come 
from a distant country to find my brother, to look upon 
his face again, and to cheer and comfort him ; and now 
thou tellest me he is dead." He took Aladdin's face in 
his hands and gazed searchingly upon it as he continued : 
" Boy, I recognize my brother's features in thine ; and, 
now that he is dead, I will find comfort in thee." 

Aladdin looked up at him in wonder, for he had never 
been told that he had an uncle ; indeed, he was inclined to 
doubt the truth of the matter ; but, when the Dervish 
took ten pieces of gold from his purse and placed them 
in his hand, all doubt was out of the question, and he 
rejoiced at having found so rich an uncle The Dervish 
then asked him concerning his mother and begged him 
to show him the way to her house. And, when Aladdin 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 257 

had showed him, he gave the boy more gold and said, 
44 Give this to thy mother with my blessing, and say 
that her brother-in-law, who has been absent forty years, 
has returned and will visit her to-morrow to weep with 
her over the place where his brother is buried." With 
this he departed, and Aladdin ran to his mother to tell 
her the news. 

On the morrow the Dervish sought Aladdin in the 
street where he had seen him the day before, and found 
him there among his disreputable friends. Taking him 
aside he kissed him and embraced him ; then, placing 
ten gold pieces in his hand, he said, 44 Hasten now to 
thy mother and give her these gold pieces and say that 
her brother-in-law would come to sup at her house this 
night." 

So Aladdin left him and ran home to his mother with 
the gold pieces and the message. Then the widow busied 
herself and prepared for the coming of this new-found 
relative. She bought rich food, and borrowed from the 
neighbours such dishes, utensils and napery as she required. 
When the supper was ready, and the widow was about to 
send Aladdin to hasten the guest, the Dervish entered, 
followed by a slave bearing fruit and wine, which he set 
down, and then went his way. The Dervish, weeping 
bitterly, saluted the widow and immediately fell to asking 
questions about the departed. 

Then, when he was comforted and they all sat at 
supper together, the Dervish turned to Aladdin and asked 
him if he knew any art or trade. At this Aladdin hung 
his head, and, as he was too ashamed to answer, his mother 
dried her tears and answered for him. 44 Alack ! " she 
said, 44 he is nothing but an idler. He spends his time as 
thou didst find him, playing with ragamuffins in the street, 

and is never at home except at meal times. And I — I 

32 r 



258 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

am an old woman and ugly through toil and hardship, and 
grief at his behaviour. O my brother-in-law 1 It is 
he who should provide for me, not I for him." 

" I am grieved to hear this of thee," said the Dervish, 
turning to Aladdin ; "for thou art no longer a child. 
Wouldst thou like to be a merchant ? " he asked. " If 
so I will give thee a shop with all kinds of merchandise, 
and thou shalt buy and sell and get gain, and rise to a 
position of importance." 

At this Aladdin clapped his hands with glee, and his 
mother was rejoiced. And she chid her boy for his own 
good, and counselled him straitly to obey his uncle in 
all things. The Dervish also gave Aladdin much sound 
advice on the conduct of trade, so that the boy's head 
was bursting with buying and selling, and he could not 
sleep that night for dreams of rich stuffs, and bales of 
merchandise. At last, when the Dervish arose and took 
his departure, promising to return for Aladdin on the 
morrow and take him to buy his merchant's dress, the 
wizard felt that he had proved himself undoubtedly 
the best of brothers-in-law, and the best of uncles. 

True to his word the Dervish came on the morrow, 
and Aladdin, holding him affectionately by the hand, went 
with him forth to the market. There they entered a 
shop full of the finest materials, and the Dervish asked 
to be shown some dresses such as a wealthy merchant 
might wear. The owner of the shop laid a great variety 
before him and the Dervish said, " Now, my son, choose 
what dress you like." This delicate favour of choice 
pleased Aladdin greatly, for it seemed that he had now at 
last reached the age of discretion. He picked out one that 
he liked, and the Dervish paid the price without any 
attempt at bargaining. Then they went together to the 
Hammam, and, when they had bathed and rested, Aladdin 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 259 

clothed himself in his new dress and came forth in great 
delight, kissing his uncle's hand and thanking him again 
and again. 

After they had rested the Dervish suggested a walk, 
and he led Aladdin through garden after garden until 
they came to the confines of the city, beyond which 
stood a high hill. " Shall we return, my uncle ? " said 
Aladdin, who was in no mood for climbing the hill. " There 
are no more gardens outside the city." " Nay," replied 
the Dervish, "on the hill-side is the loveliest garden of all. 
Bear up, my son, and be a man ; we shall soon be there." 
And, as they went, he beguiled the boy with anecdotes, 
so that Aladdin forgot both the length of the way and his 
weariness. 

At last they came to a place on the hill-side where the 
Dervish paused and looked about him, saying to himself, 
" This is the spot I have journeyed so far to find." But to 
Aladdin he said, " Rest here awhile, O my son, and, 
when thou art refreshed, gather some wood and we will 
make a fire ; then, if thou wish to see a most wonderful 
thing, I will show thee that which will take thy breath 
away." 

At this Aladdin's curiosity was excited, and, with no 
thought of resting, he began at once to gather wood. 
When he had collected a sufficient quantity the Dervish 
lighted the fire, and, taking from his wallet a little box, 
drew some fine powder from it and scattered it over the 
fire, uttering an incantation. Immediately, amid rum- 
blings of thunder, the earth reeled and opened. At 
this Aladdin fled in terror, but the Dervish, powerless to 
effect his purpose without the boy's aid, flew after him 
in a rage, and smote him over the head, so that he fell to 
the ground stunned. 

When, presently, he regained his senses, he sat up and 



260 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

cried out, " What have I done, O my uncle, that thou 
shouldst strike me ? " " Nay, my son," replied the Der- 
vish, " I intended not to hurt thee. Come, now, be a 
man, and obey my wishes if thou wouldst see the wonderful 
things that I will show thee." With such words as these 
he banished Aladdin's fears and smoothed him over. Then 
he directed him to the opening in the earth, where there 
was revealed a slab of marble with a brass ring let into it. 
The Dervish stooped and began to draw figures upon the 
ground, saying as he did so, " Obey me, Aladdin, in all 
that I say, for so thou shalt become richer than all the 
kings of the earth. Know, O my son, that beyond that 
slab of stone lies vast treasure which none but thee can 
acquire and live. Therefore, advance, my son, and take 
the brass ring in thy hand and lift the slab from its 
place ; for it is predestined that thou art the only one 
on this earth that hath the power to do this thing." 
And Aladdin, stirred to great wonder by the words of 
the Dervish, would have done his bidding with alacrity, 
but, on looking at the marble slab, he saw that it was far 
too heavy for him. 

" Never can I raise that alone, O my uncle," he said. 
" Wilt thou not help me ? " " Nay," answered the Der- 
vish, " it will yield to no hand but thine. Grasp the ring 
and repeat the names of as many of thine ancestors as 
thou canst remember, beginning with thy father and 
mother ; for thine ancestors are my ancestors, O my son ! 
By this the stone will come away quite easily in thy hand 
as if it were a feather. Am I not thine uncle, and have 
I not said it ? And did I not cleave the hill-side with my 
incantations ? Wherefore, pluck up courage, and forget 
not that all the riches beyond that stone are for thee." 

Thus encouraged Aladdin advanced to the stone, 
repeating the names of all the ancestors he could remember ; 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 261 

and, taking hold of the ring, lifted the heavy slab from 
its place with perfect ease, and threw it aside. Then 
within the aperture lay revealed a stairway of twelve 
steps leading into a passage. 

While Aladdin was gazing at this wonder the Dervish 
took a ring from his finger and placed it upon the middle 
finger of the boy's right hand, saying impressively as he 
did so, " Listen to me, O my son ! fear nothing in what 
I am about to bid thee do, for this ring will be thy pro- 
tection in all dangers and against all evils. If thou 
shouldst find thyself in evil case thou hast only to — 
but of that I will tell thee presently. What is more 
important now is this. In order to come at the treasure, 
O my son, steady thyself and listen attentively, and 
see to it that thou fail not a word of these my instructions. 
Go down the steps and traverse the passage to the end, 
where thou wilt find a chamber divided into four parts, 
each containing four vessels of gold. Touch not these on 
thy life, for if so much as the fringe of thy robe cometh 
in contact with any of them, thou wilt immediately be 
turned into stone. Linger not to gaze upon them, but 
pass right through to the end, where thou wilt find a 
door. Open this, repeating again the names of thine 
ancestors, when lo, thou wilt behold a beautiful garden 
before thee. Take the pathway that is ready for thy feet 
and proceed forty-nine cubits until thou comest to an 
alcove, where is set a stairway of forty-nine steps. Look 
not to ascend that stairway : it is not for thee nor me ; 
but direct thine attention to a lamp hanging above the 
alcove. Take it from its fastening, and pour out the oil 
therein ; then put it in thy breast securely, and retrace 
thy steps to me. Is it clear to thee, my son ? " 

" O my uncle, it is quite clear," replied Aladdin, and he 
repeated the instructions he had received. " Pull thy 



262 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

wits together then, my son," said the Dervish, well 
pleased ; " and descend, for verily thou art a man of 
mettle, and not a child. Yea, thou, and thou only, art 
the rightful owner of all this great treasure. Come 
now ! " 

Filled with courage from the wizard's words, and 
enticed by the dazzle of untold riches, Aladdin descended 
the twelve steps and passed through the fourfold chamber 
with the utmost care lest he should touch any of the golden 
jars therein with so much as the fringe of his garment. 
When he came to the door at the far end he paused to 
repeat the names of his ancestors, and opened it ; then, 
lo, before him lay a beautiful garden where the trees 
were laden with many coloured fruit, while sweet-voiced 
birds sang in the branches. He took the pathway that 
lay before his feet, and, as he followed it, he looked up 
and noticed that the trees bore, not fruit as he had sup- 
posed, but sparkling jewels flashing with many colours. 

But Aladdin, though dazzled by the glitter, thought 
these sparkling things were but coloured glass ; and it was 
for such that he plucked them with boyish delight until 
his pockets were full. " These are lovely things to 
play with," he said, and proceeded to fill his girdle also. 

As he made his way along the garden path, plucking 
the bright jewels as he went, he caught sight of the alcove 
at the far end, and, remembering his uncle's instructions, 
hastened towards it. There was the stairway of forty- 
nine steps, and there, hanging from a crystal beam, was 
the Lamp. He paused, looking up at it. How should 
he reach it ? His uncle had said that the stairway was 
neither for Aladdin nor for himself, and yet he saw at a 
glance that the only way of reaching the Lamp was by 
mounting seven steps of the 'stairway. He hesitated, 
then, concluding that the Lamp was the whole object of 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 263 

his quest, and that he must reach it at all costs, he ventured. 
With some misgivings he mounted the seven steps and, 
reaching out, took the Lamp from its fastening and des- 
cended with it. Then, emptying out the oil, he placed 
it securely in his bosom, saying, " Now, as my uncle said 
to me, with this Lamp in my bosom all is mine ! " 

As Aladdin was returning along the pathway among 
the trees, laden with the precious jewels, fear assailed him 
lest his uncle would be angry at his delay, for it was borne 
in upon him that no great delight can come to a mortal 
without his having to suffer for it. Whereupon he has- 
tened his footsteps, and, passing through the fourfold 
chamber without touching the golden jars — for the fear of 
that was still upon him — he arrived quickly at the foot 
of the stairway of twelve steps. Heavily weighted as he 
was with the jewels and the Lamp he proceeded to mount 
the stairs at a run. But the jewels grew heavier, and the 
Lamp weighed upon his bosom, so that he was exhausted 
by the time he was half-way up. Kneeling on the seventh 
step he looked up and saw the Dervish urging him on with 
the greatest impatience. 

" Bear with me, O my uncle," he said. " I am heavily 
weighted and am out of breath. I will soon come to 
thee." Then he climbed three steps and one step more, and 
sank exhausted before the last, which was far higher than 
the others. The jewels and the Lamp oppressed him with 
heaviness and he could not mount that last step. " O 
my uncle, give me thy hand and help me up," he cried. 
But the wizard dare not touch him, for so the spell of 
fate was worded and he must abide by it. " Nay," he 
called down, " thou art man enough ! It is the Lamp 
that hampers thee. Reach up and place it on the ledge 
here ; then thou canst mount easily thyself." 

The Dervish held out his hand expectantly for the 



264 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

Lamp and his eyes glittered. Aladdin saw the evil light 
in them, and, having some mother wit, replied, " O my 
uncle, the Lamp is no weight at all ; it is simply that I am 
exhausted and this step is too high for me. Give me 
thy hand and help me up." " Give me the Lamp ! " 
cried the Dervish, holding his hand out for it, and beginning 
to rage. " Place it on the ledge before thee, and then I 
will help thee up." " Nay," returned Aladdin, growing 
obstinate, " if thou wilt not give me thy hand I will not 
give thee the Lamp, for it is in my thoughts that thou 
wantest the Lamp more than thou wantest me." 

This enraged the Dervish to a point beyond control, 
and he said within himself, " If I get not the Lamp then 
may it perish with him ! " And, taking a box from his 
wallet, he threw some powder on the embers of the fire, 
muttering curses and incantations as he did so. Imme- 
diately a flame shot up, and its many tongues went hither 
and thither, licking the air. The earth shuddered and 
groaned with a hollow thunder ; then the marble slab 
closed of itself over the aperture, the hill-side rushed 
together above it, and all was as before, save that Aladdin 
was sealed within that cavern without hope of escape. 

Long and loud did Aladdin call to his supposed uncle 
to save him from a living death ; but there was no answer 
to his cries, and, at last, when he was almost exhausted, 
he took counsel of himself and plainly saw the truth of the 
matter. The Dervish was no uncle of his, but a cunning 
wizard who had made a catspaw of him to secure treasure 
which, by the laws of magic and destiny, he was powerless 
to come at in any other way. The whole thing, from the 
very beginning, was a trick ; and he saw it clearly now that 
it was too late. The way out was sealed, and the darkness 
pressed heavily upon him. Frantic with the desire to 
escape from this dungeon he thought of the garden and the 




ALADDIN IN THE CAVE 
(Pane 283) 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 267 

stairway in the alcove ; but, when he had groped his 
way to the end of the passage, he found the door closed, 
and all his efforts failed to open it. The names of his 
ancestors were of no avail against the magic of the Dervish 
At this he wept loudly, and continued to weep throughout 
the night, until his rage and despair were spent. At last 
he sank down exhausted on the lowest step of the stairway 
by which he had first descended, and, feeling himself 
utterly abandoned by man, he raised his hands to God, 
praying for deliverance from his calamity. 

Now, while he was holding his hands in supplication, 
he felt the ring upon his middle finger — the ring which 
the Dervish had placed there saying, " In whatever 
difficulty thou mayst find thyself this ring will be thy 
protection ; thou hast only to— but of that I will tell thee 
later." The Dervish had perhaps given him the ring 
to gain his confidence, and had purposely omitted to 
reveal its secret. But now, in answer to Aladdin's prayer, 
the power of the ring was revealed as if by the merest 
chance ; for, when he felt the ring, he looked at it ; and, 
seeing a light from the jewel therein, he breathed upon it 
and rubbed it with his palm to increase its lustre. No 
sooner had he done this when, lo, the Slave of the Ring 
appeared, and gathered shape before him, first in a lumin- 
ous haze, and then, gradually, in clearer and clearer 
contour. 

" Ask what thou wilt, and it shall be done," said 
the apparition ; "for know that I am the Slave of the 
Ring and the slave of him on whose finger my master placed 
the ring." 

Aladdin, seeing before him an Efrite after the order of 
those invoked by the Lord Suleiman, was terrified, and his 
tongue clave to the roof of his mouth, so that he could not 
speak. But the Efrite reassured him with kindly speech. 



268 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

" Thou hast only to ask," he said, " and thy wish will be 
fulfilled ; for, since my master's ring is on thy hand, I am 
thy servant." 

At this Aladdin took heart, and, having considered 
his wish, resolved to put the matter to the test. " O 
Slave of the Ring ! " he said, " my wish is that thou take 
me from this dungeon and place me in the light of day 
where the sun shines and the breezes blow — if indeed 
it is day, for here have I been for many, many hours." 

Scarcely had he spoken the words when there was a 
clap of thunder. The cavern opened, and, by some 
mysterious power, he was conveyed through the opening. 
Then, when he sat up and looked around him, he was in 
the light of day upon the hill-side, and everything was 
as it had been when he and the Dervish had first reached 
the spot. 

Aladdin marvelled greatly at this, and said within 
himself, " I wonder if it was all a dream ! " But, when 
he looked at the ring upon his finger and felt the Lamp 
and the jewel-fruit he had gathered from the trees in 
the garden, he knew it was not a dream. Besides, there 
was the spot where the fire had been ; and it was now 
but a heap of grey ashes on the ground. Turning himself 
about, he saw the path by which they had ascended, and 
the gardens stretching below. Nothing had changed. 
The side of the hill which the Dervish by his magic had 
opened for his entrance, and the Slave of the Ring had 
now closed up behind him, was as it had been when he first 
saw it. 

Seeing that he was safe and sound in the outer world, 
Aladdin fell on his knees and gave thanks to the most High 
for his deliverance from a terrible death. Then straight- 
way he arose and took the path that led down the hill- 
side and through the gardens of the city in the direction 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 269 

of his home. At length, with wearied body, but elated 
mind, he reached the doorway of his dwelling, and, enter- 
ing, found his mother weeping. 

" Where hast thou been, my son ? " she cried. " All 
night long I lay awake, anxious for thee ; and now it is 
again near nightfall, and thou comest like one about to 
die. Where hast thou been, and where is thine uncle ? " 

But Aladdin could not answer her. What with utter 
weariness, and the joy of gaining his home once more, he 
fell in a swoon at her feet. Quickly she dashed water on 
his face and restored him. Then, when she had made 
him eat, she inquired gently what had befallen him. 

" O my mother," said Aladdin, " how much thou 
art to blame ! Thou gavest me over to a devil of a sorcerer 
who tried, by his evil arts, to compass my ruin." And 
thus, having vented his anger at the false conduct of the 
Dervish, he proceeded to tell his mother, first about the 
lamp and the jewel-fruit, then about all that had hap- 
pened on the hill-side, from the opening of the earth 
by a magic spell, to the closing of it again, and his sub- 
sequent escape through the Slave of the Ring. 

Then Aladdin took the Lamp and the precious stones 
from his bosom and placed them before his mother, albeit 
neither knew why the Lamp had been so coveted by 
the Dervish, or that the stones were more valuable than 
any possessed by kings. 

Now, neither Aladdin nor his mother had rested for 
two days and two nights, so that, exhausted at length 
with weeping and with heaping maledictions on the 
Dervish, they slept ; and, when they awoke, it was about 
noon of the following day. Aladdin's first words on 
pulling his wits together were to the effect that he was 
hungry. " Nay, O my son," replied his mother, " there 
is nothing to eat in the house, for thou didst eat yesterday 



270 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

all that there was. But stay, 1 have some spinning that 
is ready for the market. I will take and sell it and buy 
some food." 

She was busying herself about this when Aladdin 
suddenly called out to her, " Mother ! bring me the Lamp, 
and I will take and sell that ; it will fetch more than the 
spinning." Now, although Aladdin and his mother knew 
that the Dervish had greatly coveted the Lamp, they 
both imagined that he had some strange reason of his 
own for this ; and, as the Lamp was an article that 
would command a ready sale, the mother quickly agreed 
to Aladdin's proposal and brought the Lamp to him in 
answer to his call. On regarding it closely, however, she 
observed that it was very dirty. Well knowing that it 
would fetch a better price if it were clean and bright, 
she set to work to polish it with some fine sand ; when 
lo, as soon as she started to rub the Lamp, the air before 
her danced and quivered and a chill gasp of wind smote 
her in the face. Then, looking up, she saw, towering 
above her, a being monstrous and terrible, with a fierce 
face in which gleamed fiery eyes beneath frowning brows. 
She gazed at this apparition in fear and astonishment, for 
she knew it was surely a powerful Efrite such as were 
under the power of the Lord Suleiman. Then the being 
spoke : " Thou hast invoked me ; what is thy wish ? " 
But she only gazed at him, dumb with terror. Again 
the awful being spoke : " Thou hast summoned me, for 
I am the Slave of the Lamp which is in thy hand. What 
is thy desire ? " At this the poor woman could no 
longer endure her fear, and, with a cry, she fell in a 
swoon. 

Aladdin had heard the Efrite's words and had hastened 
to his mother's side. He had already seen the power of 
the Slave of the Ring, and he guessed that now the Slave 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 271 

of the Lamp had appeared, and was ready to do the 
bidding of the one who held the Lamp. So he quickly 
took it from his mother's hand, and, standing before the 
Efrite, plucked up courage and said, " I desire food, O 
Slave of the Lamp ! the finest food that ever was set before 
a king." 

No sooner had he spoken than the Efrite vanished, but 
only to reappear immediately, bearing a rich tray of solid 
silver, on which were twelve golden dishes with fruits and 
meats of various kinds. There were also flagons of wine 
and silver goblets. As Aladdin stared in amazement at 
this magnificent repast the Efrite set the tray down before 
him and vanished in a flash. Then Aladdin turned to his 
mother and dashed cold water on her face, and held 
perfumes to her nostrils until she regained consciousness 
and sat up. And when she beheld the sumptuous repast 
set out upon the golden dishes she was greatly astonished, 
and imagined that the Sultan had sent it from his palace. 
But Aladdin, who was very hungry, fell to eating heartily ; 
and, while persuading his mother to eat, he would tell her 
nothing. 

It was not until they had satisfied their hunger, and 
placed the remainder aside for the morrow, that Aladdin 
informed her what had happened. Then she questioned 
him, saying, " O my son, was not this the same Efrite that 
appeared to thee when thou wast in the cavern ? " " Nay," 
he answered. "' That was the Slave of the Ring ; this 
was the Slave of the Lamp." " At all events," said she, 
" it was a terrible monster that nearly caused my death 
through fear. Promise me, O my son, that thou wilt have 
naught further to do with the Ring and the Lamp. Cast 
them from thee, for the Holy Prophet hath told us to have 
no traffic with devils." 

" Nay, nay, O my mother," protested Aladdin ; "it 



272 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

were wiser to keep them, for did not the Slave of the Ring 
deliver me from death ? and has not the Slave of the 
Lamp brought us delicious food when we were hungry ? " 
" That may be so," replied his mother, " but hear my 
words, my son ; no good thing can come of these dealings 
with accursed spirits, and it were better for thee to have 
died in the cavern than to invoke their aid." And thus 
she pleaded with him to cast away the Ring and the 
Lamp, for she was sore afraid of the power of the Evil 
One. But Aladdin would not undertake to do this, 
although, in respect for her wishes, he agreed to conceal 
the objects so that she might never need to look upon 
them. He also agreed to invoke neither of the Ef rites 
again, unless it were a case of dire necessity. And with 
this his mother had to rest content. 

Mother and son continued to live on the food that 
remained, until, in a few days, it was all gone. Then 
Aladdin took up one of the dishes from the tray, and, 
not knowing that it was of pure gold, went out to sell 
it and buy food with the proceeds. In the market he 
came to the shop of a Jew — a man of exceeding vile 
methods of buying and selling ; and he showed the dish 
to him. This Jew, as soon as he saw the dish, knew it for 
pure gold and glanced sharply at Aladdin to find whether 
he knew its value. Then, preferring that others might 
call him a rogue rather than that the event might prove 
him a fool in his own eyes, he took a single gold piece 
from his pocket and handed it to Aladdin. 

As for Aladdin, he hastened home and gave the gold 
piece to his mother, begging her to buy food with it. She 
did so, and they ate, and were comforted. And so, from 
day to day, they lived on the proceeds of one dish after 
another, which the unregenerate Hebrew bought at cheaper 
and cheaper prices, saying always that the metal was 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 273 

inferior and that the demand for such goods was not what 
it used to be. And, when at last the dishes were all sold, 
Aladdin, who, in deference to his mother's wishes, had 
concealed the Lamp and the Ring against a necessitous 
occasion, brought forth the former and rubbed it, for so, 
he concluded, was the Slave invoked. His conclusion 
was right, for no sooner had he rubbed the Lamp than 
the Efrite suddenly appeared before him, immense and 
of terrible aspect. 

" What is thy wish, O my master ? " said the Efrite ; 
" for I am the Slave of the Lamp and of him who holds it." 
" My wish," answered Aladdin, " is that you bring me 
another tray of food similar to the one you brought 
before." Immediately the Efrite vanished, and, in a 
moment, appeared again, bearing a tray of food exactly 
similar to the one he had brought before. He set this 
down before Aladdin and then disappeared. 

And they ate and drank and were merry, the food 
lasting them some days. Then, when the food was all 
gone, Aladdin proceeded to dispose of the dishes as before. 
Taking one of them he went forth to find the Jew, but it 
chanced that on his way he passed the shop of a fair- 
dealing man — that is to say, not a Jew — who had no vile 
methods of buying and selling, but was just, and feared 
God. When this man saw Aladdin passing he called to 
him, and told him that he had frequently seen him selling 
things to the Jew, and warned him about it. 

Then Aladdin showed him the dish of gold and he took 
it, and weighed it on the scales. " My son," he said, 
" here is the price if thou wouldst sell." 

He counted out seventy gold pieces and handed them 
to Aladdin, who took them and thanked the merchant 
heartily for his honest exposure of the Jew's wickedness. 
And thereafter he brought the remaining dishes, and at 

3-4 



274 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

last the tray, to that merchant, and received from him 
their full value ; so that Aladdin and his mother were 
placed above want and in a comfortable position for people 
of their station in life. 

During this time Aladdin had changed his ways greatly. 
He no longer consorted with the ragamuffins of the street 
but selected for his friends men of standing and integrity. 
Often he would watch the jewellers at their work, and 
the goods they handled ; and, through knowledge thus 
acquired, he began to suspect that the jewel-fruit he had 
gathered in the garden of the cavern was not glass, as he 
had imagined, but real gems. By this and that, and by 
comparing and asking questions, he came at length to the 
certainty that he actually possessed the richest jewels in 
all the earth. The smallest among them was bigger and 
more sparkling by far than the largest and finest he could 
see in any jeweller's shop. 

One day he was in the jewellers' market, taking note 
of things, when a herald came by, crying to all people : 
" Take heed ! By command of the Sultan, King of 
the Age and Lord of the Earth, let all doors be closed, 
and let none come forth from shop or dwelling on pain of 
instant death, for the Sultan's daughter, Bedr-el-Budur 
cometh to the bath 1 Take heed ! " 

Now, on hearing this, a great longing arose in Aladdin's 
breast to look upon the face of Bedr-el-Budur, the Sultan's 
daughter. ** All people extol her loveliness," he said to 
himself ; " and I — even if I die for it — I will look upon her 
face ; for something — I know not what — impels me to 
gaze on Bedr-el-Budur the beautiful." 

Hastening to the Hammam he secreted himself behind 
the door so that, unobserved himself, he might see her 
when she came in. And presently the Sultan's daughter 
arrived ; and, as she entered, she lifted the veil from 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 275 

her face, so that Aladdin saw her features clearly. 

What a wondrous beauty was there ! The witchery 
of her eyes ! The ivory of her skin I The jet of her 
glossy tresses ! These, and the swaying of her graceful 
body as she walked, caused Aladdin's heart to turn to 
water and then to spring wildly into flame. 

Like one walking in a dream Aladdin went home and 
sat him down in dejection of spirit. For a long time he 
answered not his mother's questions as to what ailed him, 
but continued like one who had beheld a vision so lovely 
that it had deprived him of his senses. At last, however, 
he looked up, and said, " O my mother, know that until 
to-day I had believed that all women were of thy fashion 
of face, but now I find they are not ; for to-day I saw the 
Sultan's daughter, and she is more beautiful than all others 
on earth." And Aladdin told her how he had hidden 
behind the door of the Hammam, so that, when Bedr-el- 
Budur had entered and lifted her veil, he had seen her 
clearly ; and how, on that, a great love had leapt up 
in his heart and filled him to the exclusion of all else. 
41 And there is no rest for me," he concluded, " until 
I win the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, and make her my wife." 

At these daring words Aladdin's mother regarded him 
sharply, with fear on her face. " Art thou mad, my 
son ? " she cried. " Nay, O my mother," he answered, 
" I am not mad. But, as I risked my life to see her, so 
will I risk it again to win her; for, without her, life is of 
no account to me. I will go to the Sultan and ask him 
to give me the lovely Bedr-el-Budur for my lawful wife." 

Seeing his determination his mother was sore afraid, 
and knew not what to do. For a long time she reasoned 
with him anxiously, pointing out what a scandal it would 
be for the son of a poor tailor to aspire to the Sultan's 
daughter. 



276 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

These arguments, and more, his mother put before 
him ; but Aladdin shook his head at all of them, and 
remained firm in his determination. " And further, O 
my mother," he said, " I wish now that thou go thyself 
to the Sultan and put my request to him, for am I not thy 
child ? And is it not thy duty to perform this office for 
me?" 

" O my son," she cried in despair, " wilt thou bring 
me into thy madness ? I, a poor woman, of humble birth, 
to go in to the Sultan and demand the princess for my 
son 1 Besides, O my son, how shall I even gain access 
to the Sultan's presence for this purpose without bearing a 
rich gift to offer him ? " 

" Mother," answered Aladdin, " thy words have served 
me well, for they have called to my recollection a thing 
which, through excess of love for the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, 
I had forgotten. Thou sayest that thou canst not approach 
the Sultan without a rich gift. Then, O my mother, if I 
place in thy hands an offering richer than any King in 
the world can make to any other, wilt thou carry out my 
desire ? " 

Thinking his words were wild as the wind, and that he 
could produce no such offering, his mother agreed ; but, 
remembering the Slave of the Lamp, and what had already 
been done in that way, she stipulated with Aladdin that 
she would carry out his wish only on condition that it 
required no further invoking of the Efrite. Aladdin 
assured her on this and asked her to fetch him a china 
bowl. Wondering greatly she arose, and brought the bowl 
to him. Then Aladdin emptied into it all the sparkling 
jewels which he carried within his garments, and, when 
they were heaped together in the bowl they shone with 
a dazzling splendour. But, since he realized that it was 
not impossible that the project might fail, and that he 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 277 

might have to seek to the Slave of the Lamp for advice 
and help in difficulty, he spoke to his mother on the 
matter. " O my mother," he said, " it was the condition 
of thy promise that I should not invoke the Slave of the 
Lamp in the furtherance of this my desire ; yet it must 
be understood between us that if thou make a blunder — 
which thou needst not do — then, to extricate us from a 
dire calamity, I am free to rub the Lamp and see what 
its Slave can do for our salvation." 

His mother assented to this, for she knew, if she failed 
with the Sultan, all was lost ; and, in such case, even 
the aid of a demon would be acceptable. 

When morning dawned Aladdin's mother arose and 
prepared herself for the visit to the palace, and, wrapping 
the bowl of jewels in a cloth, went forth early. When the 
audience was full the Sultan came in and seated himself 
on the royal divan. All bowed down before him, and 
then stood waiting with folded arms for his permission 
to be seated. And, when he gave permission, all sat 
down in their due order of precedence. Then he listened 
to their petitions in the same order, and gave his decisions, 
until the hour grew late, and the audience was declared 
closed. The Sultan arose and went into the palace, and 
the princes, with the nobles and the people, went their 
ways. Among them went Aladdin's mother, thinking 
to herself that this would be a matter of many days. 
And every day thereafter she stood in the audience 
with the bowl of jewels under her arm and heard the 
petitions, but dared not for very timidity address the 
Sultan. And in this way she continued for a whole 
month, while Aladdin was nursing his impatient soul and 
waiting on the issue. 

Now the Sultan, being observant, had noticed the 
woman present herself constantly at the levee. So he 



278 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

commanded the Vizier to see to it that, should the woman 
present herself again, she be instantly brought before 
him. 

And it came according to the Sultan's command to 
the Grand Vizier ; for one day the Sultan saw her waiting 
in the audience chamber and ordered the Vizier to bring 
her forward that he might consider her affair. 

Now, at last, she was face to face with the Sultan, 
making obeisance to him and kissing the ground at his 
feet. " I have seen thee here, O woman, for many days," 
said the Sultan ; " and thou hast not approached me. If 
thou hast a wish that I can grant, lay it before me." At 
this she kissed the ground again, and prayed fervently for 
the prolongation of his life. Then she said, " O King of 
all the Ages, I have a request ; but, peace be on thee, it is 
a strange one I Wherefore I claim thy clemency before 
I state it." 

These words whetted the Sultan's curiosity, and, as he 
was a man of great gentleness, he spoke her softly in 
reply, and not only assured her of his clemency but ordered 
all others present to withdraw, saving only the Grand 
Vizier, so that he might hear her petition in secret. 

" Now, woman," said the Sultan, turning to her, 
" make thy petition, and the peace and protection of 
God be on thee." " Thy forgiveness, also, O King," she 
said. " God forgive thee if there is aught to forgive," 
he replied. And at this Aladdin's mother unfolded the 
tale of her son's exceeding love for Bedr-el-Budur, the 
Sultan's daughter : how life had become intolerable to 
him because of this, and how his only thought was to 
win the Lady Bedr-el-Budur for his wife, or die — either of 
grief, or by the Sultan's anger. Wherefore, his life being 
in the balance in any case, she had come as a last resort 
to beg the Sultan to bestow his daughter on her son. 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 279 

And she concluded by beseeching the Sultan not to 
punish either her or her son for this unparalleled hardihood. 

The Sultan looked at the Grand Vizier, whose face 
was of stone — for the Lady Bedr-el-Budur had already 
been promised to his son. " What say est thou ? " said 
the Sultan, regarding him with merriment in his eyes. 
But the Grand Vizier only cast a contemptuous look 
at Aladdin's mother, and answered him : " O King of the 
Age ! Thou knowest how to deal with this petition." 
At this the Sultan laughed outright, and, turning a kindly 
face to the humble suppliant, observed her minutely. 
" What is that bundle thou hast under thine arm ? " he 
said at last, remembering that she had brought it with 
her on every occasion. 

Aladdin's mother, greatly relieved to see the Sultan 
laughing, unfolded the wrappings of the bowl and handed 
it to him. As soon as he took it in his hand, and saw the 
size and splendid sparkle of the jewels, the Sultan laughed 
no longer, but gazed at them, speechless with wonder and 
admiration. Then at length, he handed the bowl to the 
Grand Vizier, saying, " Upon my oath, this is a marvellous 
thing ! Tell me, O Vizier, have I in my treasury a single 
jewel that will compare with even the smallest of 
these ? " 

The Grand Vizier also was taken aback by their 
dazzling loveliness and beauty. He would have lied, 
saying they were glass or crystal, but the stones themselves 
flashed back the purposed lie in his teeth. All he could 
reply was, " Never, O my lord the King, have I beheld the 
like of these ; nor is there one in thy treasury that could 
equal the beauty of the smallest of them." And, saying 
his, the Vizier turned very pale, for neither he nor his 
son could approach the Sultan with such a gift. And it 
was as he had feared, and as Aladdin had prophesied : 



280 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

the Sultan required to know nothing further than what 
was before him in the bowl. 

" O Vizier," said the Sultan. " What sayest thou ? 
The man who sends me this kingly gift is worthy of my 
daughter. I, the Sultan, King of the Age, having power 
over all men, do withdraw my former promise to thee to 
bestow her on thy son. Bedr-el-Budur, the one beautiful 
jewel in the treasury of my heart, is my gift in return 
to the man who has sent me these priceless jewels." 

The Grand Vizier bit his lips and pondered awhile. 
Then he spoke. " Peace be on thee, O King of all the 
Earth. But is not thy promise worth most of all ? Thou 
didst pledge me thy daughter for my son, and with that 
pledge I went, thinking that the whole earth and all 
therein were not its value. Wherefore, O King, I pray 
that thou wilt allow this matter time. If thou wilt 
pledge this foster-mother of a prince that thou wilt comply 
with her request in three months' time, then it seems to me 
that, by so doing, thou wilt cement the good feeling 
and loosen the griefs of all parties concerned. And in 
the meantime — yea, I have good reason for saying it — 
there will come before thee, O King of the Age, a gift 
compared to which this thou hast seen is but dross." 

The Sultan weighed the Grand Vizier's words in his 
mind, and accordingly, he said to the woman, " Tell thy 
son that he hath my royal assent, and that I will give 
him my daughter in marriage ; but, as every woman 
knows, these things cannot be hastened, for there are 
garments and necessaries to be prepared ; wherefore thy 
son (on whom be peace) must abide in patience, for, let 
us say, three months. At the end of that time he may 
approach me for the fulfilment of my promise." 

Satisfied with this, Aladdin's mother thanked and 
blessed the Sultan, and, buoyed up with a burden of 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 281 

delight, almost flew back to her house. There Aladdin 
was awaiting for her, and, when he saw her hastening, 
and noticed that she had returned without the bowl of 
jewels, his heart rose high to meet her. 

Then she related to him the details of the interview, 
laying stress upon the fact that, although the Sultan 
had been moved at the sight of the jewels to make immedi- 
ate arrangements for the marriage, a private word from 
the Grand Vizier had led him to delay the ceremony for 
three months. " Take heed, my son ! " she concluded. 
" The Grand Vizier hath a motive for this counsel of 
delay. He is thine enemy. I saw it in his face. Beware 
of him ! " 

Aladdin was greatly relieved by her news. He felt 
like one jerked out of the grave ; and, where the Sultan 
was favourable to his suit, he was in no mood to fear a 
Grand Vizier. " Nay, nay," he said, " the jewels have 
the eye of the Sultan more than the Grand Vizier hath his 
ear. Fear nothing, O my mother ! The Sultan's word is 
good, and I rest content to wait ; though I know not how 
such a long time as three months can be got into the 
calendar." 

Two of these long, weary months went by, and Aladdin 
nursed his soul in patience. Then a thing happened 
which gave him seriously to think. On a day in the 
first week of the third month his mother went forth into 
the market place about sunset to buy oil, and she saw 
that all the shops were closed, and the people were adorning 
their windows with bright garlands as if for some festivity. 
She wondered greatly at this, thinking the Sultan had 
either changed his birthday or that another child had 
been born to him. Yet she had gleaned nothing of any 
great event from the gossip of her neighbours. Having, 
after much difficulty, found an oil shop open, she bought 

86 



282 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

her oil, and questioned the man. " Uncle," she said ; 
" what is abroad in the city that the people close their 
shops and place candles and garlands in their windows ? " 
" Thou art evidently a stranger," replied the man. " Nay, 
I am of this city," said she. " Then must thou cleanse 
thine ears," he retorted. " Hast thou not heard that 
the Grand Vizier's son is to take to himself this evening 
the beautiful Bedr-el-Budur ? Surely, woman, thou hast 
been sleeping all day on thine ears, for the news went 
abroad early this morning. The Vizier's son is at the 
Hammam, and these soldiers and officials you see in the 
streets are waiting to escort him to the palace. And, 
look you, you are fortunate to get oil to-day, for all 
those who purvey oil to the Grand Vizier and his house- 
hold have closed their shops as a mark of respect." 

Aladdin's mother went home in a state of great con- 
sternation. Though her feet hastened, her heart lagged 
behind her, for she knew not how to tell her son the 
terrible news. She was afraid that after his joy at the 
Sultan's promise, and his patient waiting, this blow would 
send him from his mind. Then she contrived it in her 
thoughts that it was best to provoke her son's anger against 
the Sultan, rather than his grief at the loss of Bedr-el- 
Budur. Accordingly, as soon as she entered the house and 
found him sitting thinking, as was his wont of late, she 
said, " O my son, there is no faith nor trust but in God. 
Said I not to thee that the Grand Vizier was thine enemy ? 
Out on him and the Sultan, for their word is but hot 
wind, and there is no faith in the promise of a King." 
" I see by thy face and by thy speech," said Aladdin, " that 
thou hast some bad news. What is it, O my mother ? " 

Then his mother told how that the Sultan had violated 
his covenant, and how the marriage of the Lady Bedr- 
el-Budur to the Grand Vizier's son was to take place 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 288 

that very evening. For this she heaped abuse upon the 
Grand Vizier, saying that it was only the worst of men 
that could so lead the Sultan to break his promise. When 
she had told all, and Aladdin understood how the matter 
lay, he arose, more in anger than in grief, and cried out 
against the Grand Vizier and cursed all the parties con- 
cerned in the affair. But presently he remembered that, 
when all seemed lost, he still had the Lamp, and that was 
something in time of trouble and difficulty. 

With this he arose and retired to his own chamber, 
where he brought out the Lamp. Then, having considered 
well the manner of his wish, he rubbed it. Immediately 
the Efrite stepped out of the unseen and stood before 
him, saying, " Thou hast invoked me : what is thy desire ? 
I am the Slave of the Lamp in thy hand and am here to do 
thy bidding." And Aladdin answered : " Know, O Slave 
of the Lamp, that the Sultan promised me his daughter 
for my wife, but he has broken his word, and this night 
she is to be united with the Grand Vizier's son ; wherefore 
I wish that, as soon as the pair retire, thou take them 
up, with the couch whereon they lie, and bring them hither 
to me." " I hear and obey," said the Slave of the Lamp, 
and immediately vanished. 

Aladdin waited expectantly for some time, for he 
guessed that the moment would not be long delayed when 
the wedded pair would retire from the ceremonies. And 
his guess was right, for when he had waited a little longer, 
suddenly a cold blast of air swept through the chamber ; 
the wall opened and there appeared the Efrite bearing in 
his arms the wedded pair upon the nuptial couch. They 
had been transported in the twinkling of an eye, and, 
when the Efrite had set the couch down at Aladdin's feet, 
they were both stupefied with astonishment at this 
proceeding. 



284 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

" Take that scurvy thief," said Aladdin to the Efrite, 
pointing to the Vizier's son, " and bind him and lodge him 
in the wood-closet for the night." And the Efrite did so. 
He took up the Vizier's son in one hand, and, reaching 
with the other for cords, drew them from the invisible and 
bound the miscreant securely. Then he placed him in the 
wood-closet and blew an icy blast upon him to comfort 
him. Returning to Aladdin he said, " It is done, O Master 
of the Lamp ! Is there aught else thou dost desire ? " 
" Naught but this," replied Aladdin. " In the morning, 
when the Sultan is proceeding towards their chamber 
to wish them long life and happiness, convey them back 
thither in a state of sleep so that the Sultan's knock at 
their door may wake them." " I will obey," said the 
Efrite, and, in a moment, the air closed over him and he 
was gone. 

And Aladdin smiled to himself to think that this thing 
had been done. Then he turned to the Lady Bedr-el- 
Budur, who was sitting weeping on the couch. " O 
lovely one," said he, " weep not ; for I would not hurt one 
hair of thy head, nor sully thine honour in any way. 
Know that I love thee too much to harm thee ; but, since 
thy father the Sultan promised me thee, and has violated 
his word, I am determined that none other shall call thee 
his. Rest in peace, lovely lady ; for neither am I thy 
husband nor the thief of thy husband's honour. Where- 
fore, weep not, but rest in peace." 

So saying he took a sword that hung on the wall of 
his chamber, and, having placed it by her side in token of 
security, he stretched himself upon the couch so that they 
lay with the sword between them. Thus they passed the 
night. The Sultan's daughter wept the long night through, 
and Aladdin could not close his eyes for thinking of his 
unfortunate rival's condition in the wood-closet. Towards 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 285 

morning Bedr-el-Budur, utterly exhausted with weeping, 
fell asleep ; and, as Aladdin gazed upon her, he saw that 
indeed her loveliness was rare ; and, the more he gazed, 
the more he thought of the unhappy fate of the Vizier's 
son. Never was a man so badly treated as to be bound 
fast on his wedding night and laid in a wood-closet in 
deadly fear of the dreadful apparition that had placed 
him there. 

In the morning, while Bedr-el-Budur still slept, the 
Slave of the Lamp appeared according to Aladdin's com- 
mand. " O my master," he said, " the Sultan hath left 
his couch and is about to knock at the door of the bridal 
chamber. I am here to perform thy bidding on the 
instant." " So be it," answered Aladdin. " Convey 
them together on the couch back to their place." And 
scarcely had he spoken when the Efrite vanished and 
reappeared with the Vizier's son, whom he quickly un- 
bound and laid upon the couch beside the sleeping Bedr- 
el-Budur. Then, lifting the couch with the two upon 
it, he vanished, and Aladdin knew that, before the Sultan 
had knocked at the door of the bridal chamber, every- 
thing would be as it had been. Everything ? No, not 
everything ; for the Lady Bedr-el-Budur must awake as 
from a terrible nightmare ; and, as for the Vizier's son, 
would he sing a song to the Sultan about spending the 
night in the wood-closet ? Aladdin pondered over this 
and decided that nothing less than a repetition of the 
affair would wring the truth from either of them. 

At this moment the Sultan knocked at the door of the 
bridal chamber in the palace, and the Vizier's son, still 
cold from the wood-closet, arose and opened to him. The 
Sultan advanced to the couch, and kissed his daughter, 
and asked her if she was happy and content. By way of 
answer she glared at him in sullen silence, for she had not 



286 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

forgotten, in dreams or in waking, what had happened 
to her. The Sultan, not understanding what had befallen, 
and feeling annoyed, turned and left the chamber to lay 
the matter before the Queen, to whose ear their daughter's 
tongue might the more easily be loosed. So he came to 
the Queen and told her how Bedr-el-Budur had received 
him, concluding his recital with the remark, " Thus it 
is ; there is trouble behind the door of that bridal chamber." 

But the Queen smiled at his serious fears and answered 
him : " O my lord the King, thou knowest little of the 
heart of a woman. When it is happiest, a trifle makes it 
sad ; and, when it would send tears of laughter and joy 
to the eyes, it sometimes turns perverse against itself for 
very gladness, and sends tears of pain instead. Where- 
fore, be not angry with her, but let me go and see her. 
She will surely confide in me." 

So saying, she arose and robed herself, and went to 
the bridal chamber. At first sight of her daughter's 
dejected attitude and pained expression she imagined 
that some lovers' quarrel over a mere trifle had occurred ; 
but when she kissed her, wishing her good morning, and 
Bedr-el-Budur answered no word to her salutation, she 
began to think that some grave trouble rested on her 
daughter's mind. And it was not until she had coaxed 
her, and used every argument known to a mother, that 
she received an answer to her questions. "Be not angry 
with me, O my mother," said Bedr-el-Budur at last, rais- 
ing her sad beautiful eyes, " but know that a terrible 
thing has happened — a thing which I hardly dare tell 
thee lest thou think I have lost my reason. Scarcely 
had we retired, O my mother, when there suddenly 
appeared a huge black shape — terrible, horrific in aspect ; 
and this — I know not what nor who — lifted the couch 
whereon we lay and conveyed us in a flash to some dark 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 267 

and vile abode of the common people." And then to her 
mother's astonished ears she unfolded the tale of all that 
had happened during the night till, suddenly, in the 
morning, she awoke to find the monstrous shape replacing 
them in the bridal chamber at the moment her father the 
Sultan had knocked at the door. " And that, O my 
mother," she concluded, " is why I could not answer my 
father, for I was so bewildered and stricken with unhap- 
piness that I thought that I was mad ; though, now I 
have thought about the affair from beginning to end, I 
know that I have my wits like any other." 

" Truly, O my daughter," said the Queen with great 
concern, " if thou were to tell this story to thy father he 
would say thou wert mad. Wherefore, I counsel thee, 
child, tell it to him not ; neither to him nor to any other 
one." " Nay, O my mother," answered Bedr-el-Budur, 
" dost thou doubt me ? I have told thee the plain truth, 
and, if thou doubt it, ask my husband if my tale be true or 
not." But the Queen replied, " Sweep these fancies from 
thy mind, O my daughter ; and arise and robe thyself to 
attend the rejoicings which this day have been prepared 
in the city in thine honour. For the whole people is in 
glad array, and the drums will beat and music will delight 
the ears of all ; and the musicians will sing thy praises 
and all will wish thee long life and happiness." 

Leaving Bedr-el-Budur, then, with her tirewomen, the 
Queen sought the Sultan, and begged him not to be angry 
with their daughter, for she had been distressed with 
unhappy dreams. Then she sent for the Vizier's son to 
come to her secretly, and, when he stood before her, she 
related to him what Bedr-el-Budur had told her, and asked 
him if it were true or if he knew aught of it. " Nay," he 
answered, for he had thought the matter over and feared 
that the truth might rob him of his bride ; besides, his 



288 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

acquaintance with the wood-closet seemed to him discredit- 
able, and he felt little inclined to boast of it. " Nay, 
my lady the Queen," said he ; " I know naught of these 
things beyond what thou hast told me." 

From this there was no doubt left in the Queen's mind 
that her daughter had suffered from a nightmare so vivid 
that she had been unable easily to cast it from her. Never- 
theless, she felt assured that, as the day wore on, with 
its gaieties and rejoicings, Bedr-el-Budur would be enabled 
to rid herself of these troublous imaginings of the night, 
and resume her former self. 

At e -entime, when the wild rejoicing of the city had 
fatigued itself against replenishment by wine, Aladdin 
retired to his chamber and rubbed the Lamp. Immedi- 
ately the Slave appeared and desired to know his wish. 
" O Slave of the Lamp," said Aladdin, "do as thou didst 
last night. See to it that thou convey the bridal pair 
hither again as man and maid at the eleventh hour of their 
innocence." The Slave of the Lamp vanished in a 
moment, and Aladdin sat for a long time ; yet he was 
content, for he knew that the wily Efrite was but waiting 
his opportunity. At length the monster reappeared before 
him, bearing in his arms the bridal couch with the pair 
upon it, weeping and wringing their hands in excess of 
grief and terror. And, at Aladdin's word the Slave took 
the Vizier's son as before and put him to bed in the wood- 
closet, where he remained, bound fast in an icy chill. 
And when it was morning, and the Sultan was about 
to knock at the door of the bridal chamber in the palace, 
the Slave of the Lamp appeared and conveyed the bride 
and the bridegroom swiftly back to their place. 

The Sultan had come to wish his daughter good 
morning, and to see also if she would behave towards 
him as on the former occasion. 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 289 

Then Bedr-el-Budur wept and supplicated him, and 
told him what had befallen on the second night as on the 
first. 

The Sultan repaired immediately to the Grand Vizier 
and told him all ; and asked him whether he had received 
the same version of this matter from his son. But the 
Grand Vizier shook his head in the manner of one who 
might be lying and might not. " Then," said the Sultan, 
"go at once and question him, for it may be that my 
daughter hath seen visions and dreamed dreams ; albeit, 
I am unable to disbelieve the truth of her story." 

So the Grand Vizier went and inquired of his son, 
and presently returned to the Sultan in great perplexity 
of face, for his son, whatever he had admitted before, 
had now confessed to everything, even to the wood- 
closet. And, moreover he had begged and implored his 
father to obtain his release from this most unhappy 
marriage, since it was better to be without a bride and 
sleep in peace than to have one and perish with cold 
in a wood-closet. Thus it was with the Vizier's son. 

" O King of the Age," said the Grand Vizier, who 
could not see his way to conceal the truth, " my son telleth 
the same tale as thy daughter, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur. 
Wherefore I beseech thee that thou set a guard this night, 

so that " " Nay," broke in the Sultan angrily ; "it 

is an unhappy marriage and bodes no good. Thou didst 
persuade me that my promise to that woman in respect 
of her son was not binding, but these unhappy events 
and ill-omened affairs make me think thou wast mistaken. 
Abide not another night, for worse may happen. Go 
forth, O Vizier, and proclaim the marriage annulled. Bid 
the people cease to rejoice, and command all to go their 
own ways and comport themselves as if the marriage had 
not been." 



290 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

At this the Grand Vizier bowed his head and went 
forth exceeding wroth, and proclaimed the annulment of 
the marriage to all the people. 

Whether the Sultan had swiftly forgotten, or tardily 
remembered, his pledge, Aladdin troubled not to inquire. 
He waited patiently until the three months had expired, 
and then sent his mother to demand of the Sultan the 
fulfilment of his promise. 

The Sultan, who had not now the bowl of jewels 
before him to blind his vision, regarded her intently, 
and saw that she was of humble state. " What is thy 
thought on this, O Vizier ? " he said. " My word is my 
word, and I regret that thou shouldst have explained it 
away ; yet it seems to me that this woman is not of the 
kind that could mother-in-law my daughter. Hast thou 
a plan which is not a trick ? If thou hast, whisper it in 
mine ear." 

The Grand Vizier was pleased to hear the Sultan 
appealing to his ready wit in this way. " O King of the 
Age," he said, " thy pledge holds good, as ever it did ; 
yea, as good as marriage vows. But verily, if this common 
woman's son desireth thy daughter for his wife, there 
should be a settlement befitting such a suit. Wherefore 
ask of him forty bowls of gold filled with jewels of the 
same blood and tincture as the woman brought at first, 
with forty female slaves to carry them, and a fitting 
retinue of forty. This thing, which is a Sultan's right to 
ask, it seemeth to me he cannot contrive to execute, and 
thus thou shalt be free of him." 

" By Allah I " said the Sultan, " thou art of ready 
wit, O Vizier ! Truly a marriage settlement is needed." 
Then, turning to Aladdin's mother, he said : " O woman ! 
know that when one asketh the daughter of the Sultan 
one must have standing, for so it is in royal circles ; and, 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 291 

to prove that standing, the suitor must show that he is 
able to provide for the Sultan's daughter and keep her in 
that state to which she has been accustomed. Wherefore 
he must bring to me forty golden bowls filled with jewels 
such as thou didst bring, with forty beautiful female 
slaves to carry them and forty black slaves as a retinue. 
Coming like this, thy son may claim my daughter, for the 
Sultan's word is the Sultan's word." 

A sad woman then was Aladdin's mother. She re- 
turned to her son sick at heart. " O my son," she ex- 
claimed, weeping, " said I not to thee that the Grand 
Vizier was thine enemy? The Sultan remembered his 
pledge, but the Vizier — may his bones rot ! — spake in 
his ear, and the outcome is this : forty golden bowls 
of jewels, forty female slaves to carry them, and forty 
slaves as an escort. With this dowry, O my son, thou 
mayest approach the Sultan and claim his daughter as 
thy bride." 

Loudly Aladdin laughed to scorn. And when his 
mother had brought him food, and he had eaten, he arose 
and went into his chamber. There he brought out 
the Lamp, and, sitting down, he rubbed it. Immediately 
the Slave appeared. 

In less than an hour he returned and led before Aladdin 
forty beautiful maidens, each carrying a golden bowl of 
jewels on her head, and each accompanied by a magnificent 
black slave. And when Aladdin's mother saw this array 
she knew that it was done by the Lamp, and she blessed 
it for her son's sake. Then said Aladdin, " O my mother, 
behold, the dowry is ready according to the Sultan's 
requirement. It is for thee to take it to him, to show 
him what is in my power, and also that no time hath 
been lost in complying with his request." 

Then the maids, with the golden bowls of precious 



292 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

stones, arrayed themselves in the street outside the house, 
and by each maid stood a slave. Thus, led by Aladdin's 
mother, they proceeded to the Sultan's palace ; and the 
people crowded in the streets to see this unwonted sight, 
for the maids were richly dressed, and all, with the sun 
shining on their raiment and flashing in the jewels they 
bore, made a magnificent spectacle. Never had the people 
seen such jewels, never such beauteous damsels, never 
such magnificent slaves. 

Thus, in due course, came Aladdin's mother before the 
Sultan, leading the cortege into the Audience Hall. 
The maidens took the bowls of jewels from their head and 
set them on the ground. Then they made obeisance, 
they and the slaves prostrating themselves before the 
Sultan ; and, having done this, they all arose and stood 
before him in humble reverence. And, when the Sultan's 
gaze at last left the beauteous damsels and fell upon the 
bowls of jewels at their feet, he was beside himself with 
wonder and admiration. When he found words, he com- 
manded that the whole cortege should present itself, 
with the jewels, to the Lady Bedr-i !-Budur in her palace. 
Then he added to Aladdin's mother : " Tell thy son he 
need fear not but that I shall keep my promise ; but bid 
him come hither to me with all haste, so that I may 
look upon his face and accept him as my son-in-law ; 
for the marriage shall be this very night." 

The Grand Vizier turned white with rage — whiter than 
his false heart had ever been, even when a boy. After 
a dagger-thrust of glances between them, Aladdin's 
mother made obeisance to the Sultan and thanked him. 
Then, with contempt for the Grand Vizier written plainly 
on her face, she withdrew, and returned home, walking on 
the air. 

Now Aladdin, when he saw his mother returning swift- 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 293 

footed and on wings of joy, knew that good tidings came 
with her. But, before he could speak, his mother burst in 
upon him and embraced him, crying, " O my son ! thy 
heart's wish is fulfilled. This very night thou art to wed 
the Sultan's daughter, and so it is proclaimed before all 
the world." Then did Aladdin rejoice that his expecta- 
tions were fulfilled, and was continuing to rejoice when his 
mother addressed him suddenly. " Nay," she said, " I 
have not told thee all. The Sultan bids thee go to him 
immediately, for he desires to see his son-in-law. But 
how shalt thou approach the Sultan in thy merchant's 
garments ? However, I have done all I can for thee, and 
it is now thine own affair." 

So saying, she withdrew to rest a little, and Aladdin, 
having blessed her, retired to his chamber and brought 
forth the Lamp. With a set purpose in his mind, he 
rubbed it, and at once the Slave appeared. " Thou 
knowest me : what is thy desire ? " "I wish," answered 
Aladdin, " that thou take me to a bath which hath no equal 
in all the kingdoms, and provide me there with a change of 
raiment of resplendent glory, richer than any the Sultan 
has ever worn." 

No sooner had he spoken than the Efrite bore him away 
in his arms, and deposited him in a bath the like of which 
no King could compass nor any man describe. Then 
he sought the jewelled hall and found there, in place of his 
merchant's garb, a set of robes that exceeded all imagin- 
ation. At the door of the bath, he was met by the Efrite 
in waiting, who took up and bore him in a flash to his 
home. 

" Hast thou still some further need ? " asked the Slave 
of the Lamp, about to vanish. " Yea," replied Aladdin. 
" Bring me here a Chief of Memluks with forty-eight in 
his train — twenty-four to precede me and twenty-four to 



294 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

follow after ; and see that they have splendid horses and 
equipments, so that not even the greatest in the world can 
say, • This is inferior to mine.' For myself I want a 
stallion such as cannot be equalled among the Arabs, 
and his housings must be for value such as one could 
purchase only in dreams. And to each memluk give a 
thousand gold pieces, and to the Chief Memluk ten thou- 
sand ; for we go to the Sultan's palace and would scatter 
largesse on the way. Wait ! Also twelve maidens of 
unequalled grace and loveliness in person to attire and 
accompany my mother to the Sultan's presence. And 
look you ! whatever of grace and beauty is lacking in 
my person supply it to me on my natural plan of being. 
See to it, O Slave of the Lamp ! " 

"It is already done," said the Slave of the Lamp ; 
and, vanishing on the instant, he reappeared at once 
at the doorway of the house, leading a noble white 
stallion gorgeously equipped, while behind came the 
twelve damsels and forty-nine memluks on magnificent 
chargers. 

Now, when the Sultan had received word that Aladdin 
was coming, he informed his nobles and grandees of the 
meaning of this thing ; so that, when Aladdin arrived, 
there was a vast concourse of people, and all the stateliest 
of the land were there awaiting his entry. As the sun 
rises in glory upon a waiting world, so came Aladdin 
to the palace. At the door of the Hall of Audience he 
dismounted, while hands held his stirrup that had never 
performed such an office before. 

The Sultan was seated on his throne, and, immediately 
he saw Aladdin, he arose and descended and took him to 
his breast, forbidding all ceremony on so great an occasion. 
Then he led him up affectionately, and placed him on his 
right hand. In all this Aladdin forgot not the respect due 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 295 

to kings. Forbidden to be too humble, he was not too 
lofty in his bearing. He spoke : 

" O my lord the Sultan ! King of the Earth and 
Heaven's Dispenser of all Good ! Truly thou hast treated 
me graciously in bestowing upon me thy daughter the 
Lady Bedr-el-Budur. Hear me yet further, for I have a 
request to make. Grant me a site whereon to build a 
palace, unworthy as it may prove, for the comfort and 
happiness of thy daughter, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur ? " 

Then the Sultan conversed with Aladdin and was 
greatly charmed with his courtliness and eloquence. 
Anon he ordered the musicians to play, and together they 
listened to the music in the utmost content. Finally he 
arose, and, taking Aladdin by the hand, led him forth 
into the palace banqueting hall, where a splendid supper 
was awaiting them with the lords of the land standing 
ready in their proper order of degree. Yet above them 
all sat Aladdin, for he was at the Sultan's right hand. 
And, while they ate, the music played and a merry wit 
prevailed ; and the Sultan drew nearer to Aladdin in 
their talk, and saw, from his grace, his manner of speech, 
and his complaisance, that indeed he must have been brought 
up and nurtured among kings. Then, while they con- 
versed, the Sultan's heart went out with joy and satis- 
faction to Aladdin, and the whole assemblage saw that 
it was not as it had been with the Vizier's son. 

The Grand Vizier himself would have retired early had 
it not been that his presence was required for the marriage 
ceremony. As soon as the banquet was over and the tables 
cleared away, the Sultan commanded the Vizier to summon 
the Kadis and the witnesses, and thus the contract be- 
tween Aladdin and the Lady Bedr-el-Budur was duly 
executed. Then, without a warning word, Aladdin arose 
to depart. " Wherefore, my son ? " said the Sultan. 



296 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

" Thy wedding is duly contracted and the festivities are 
about to begin." 

" Yea, O my lord the King," replied Aladdin ; " and 
none rejoiceth at that more than I ; but, if it please thee, it 
is my thought to build a palace for the Lady Bedr-el- 
Budur ; and if my love and longing for her be anything, 
thou mayest rest assured that it will be completed so 
quickly as to amaze thee." At this the Grand Vizier 
tugged the Sultan's sleeve, but received no attention. 
"It is well," said the Sultan to Aladdin ; " choose what 
site seemeth best to thee and follow thine own heart 
in the matter. See ! this open space by my palace ! 
What thinkest thou, my son?" " O King," replied 
Aladdin, " I cannot thank thee enough, for it is the 
summit of my felicity to be near thee." 

Then Aladdin left the palace in the same royal manner 
as he had approached it, with his memluks preceding and 
following ; and again the people praised and blessed him 
as he passed. When he reached his house he left all other 
affairs in the hands of his Chief Memluk with certain 
instructions, and went into his chamber. There he took 
the Lamp and rubbed it. The Slave appeared on the 
instant and desired to know his pleasure. " O Slave," 
answered Aladdin, " I have a great task for thee. I 
desire thee to build for me in all haste a palace on the open 
space near the Sultan's Serai — a palace of magnificent 
design and construction, and filled with rare and costly 
things. And let it be incomplete in one small respect, 
so that, when the Sultan offers to complete it to match 
the whole, all the wealth and artifice at his command 
will not suffice for the task." " O my master," replied 
the Efrite, " it shall be done with all speed. I will return 
when the work is finished." With this he vanished. 

It was an hour before dawn when the Slave of the 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 297 

Lamp returned to Aladdin, and, awakening him from 
sleep, stood before him. " Master of the Lamp," he 
said, " the palace is built as thou didst command." " It 
is well, O Slave of the Lamp," answered Aladdin ; " and 
I would inspect thy work." No sooner had he spoken 
than he found himself being borne swiftly through the 
air in the arms of the Efrite, who set him down almost 
immediately within the palace. 

Most excellently had the Slave done his work. Por- 
phyry, jasper, alabaster and other rare stones had been 
used in the construction of the building. The floors were 
of mosaics the which to match would cost much wealth 
and time in the fashioning, while the walls and ceilings, 
the doors and the smallest pieces of detail were all such 
that even the imagination of them could come only 
to one dissatisfied with the palaces of kings. When 
Aladdin had wondered at all this, the Slave led him 
into the Treasury, and showed him countless bars of 
gold and silver and gems of dazzling brilliance. Thence 
to the banqueting hall, where the tables were arrayed 
in a manner to take one's breath away ; for every dish 
and every flagon was of gold or silver, and all the goblets 
were crusted with jewels. But, when the Slave led him 
farther and showed him a pavilion with twenty-four 
niches thickly set with diamonds and emeralds and rubies, 
he fairly lost his wits. And the Slave took him to one 
niche and showed him how his command had been carried 
out in that this was the one small part of the palace that 
was left incomplete in order to tempt and tax the Sultan 
to finish it. 

When Aladdin had viewed the whole palace, and seen 
the numerous slaves and beautiful maidens therein, he 
asked yet one thing more of the Efrite. " O Slave of the 
Lamp," he said, " the work is wonderful, yet it still 

87 



298 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

lacketh an approach from the Sultan's palace. I desire, 
therefore, a rich carpet laid upon the intervening space, 
so that the Lady Bedr-el-Budur may come and go upon 
a splendid pathway of brocade worked with gold and 
inwrought with precious stones." " I hear and obey," 
said the Slave, and vanished. Presently he returned and 
led Aladdin to the steps of the palace. " O my lord," 
he said, " what thou didst command is done." And he 
pointed to a magnificent carpet extending from palace 
to palace. The gold and the precious stones in the brocade 
gleamed and sparkled in the stars' last rays before the 
rise of dawn. When Aladdin had gazed upon it and 
wondered at it, the Efrite carried him in the twinkling of 
an eye back to his own home. 

Shortly afterwards, when the dawn had arisen, the 
Sultan opened his eyes, and, looking forth from his window, 
beheld a magnificent structure where the day before had 
been an open space. Doubting the evidence of his 
senses, he turned himself about and rubbed his eyes and 
looked again. There, undoubtedly, was a palace more 
splendid and glorious than any he had ever seen ; and there, 
leading to it, was a carpet the like of which he had never 
trod. The news of it spread through the palace like 
wildfire. The Grand Vizier came rushing to the Sultan, 
and, finding him at the window, had no need to tell him 
the cause of his excitement. " What say est thou, O 
Vizier ? " said the Sultan. " Yonder stands a palace 
surpassing all others. Truly Aladdin is worthy of my 
daughter, since at his bidding such a royal edifice arises 
in a single night." 

Then the Vizier's envy found vent. " O King," he 
said, " thinkest thou that such a thing as this could be 
done save by the vilest of sorcery ? Riches and jewels 
and costly attire are in the hands of mortals, but this — 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 299 

this is impossible ! " " Impossible ? " said the Sultan. 
" Behold ! " — and he pointed towards the palace — " there 
it stands in the light of day, and thou sayest it is impossible. 
Verily, O Vizier, it seems thy wits are turned with envy 
at the wealth of Aladdin. Prate not to me of sorcery. 
There are few things beyond the power of a man in whose 
treasury are such jewels as those sent me by Aladdin." 
At this the Grand Vizier was silent ; indeed, his excess 
of envy wellnigh choked him, for he saw that the Sultan 
loved Aladdin greatly. 

Now when Aladdin awoke in the morning and knew 
that he must set forth for the palace where the nobles and 
grandees were already assembling for the wedding cele- 
bration, he took the Lamp and rubbed it. The Slave 
appeared on the instant and desired to know his wish. 
" O Slave of the Lamp," said Aladdin, " this is my wedding 
day and I go to the Sultan's palace. Wherefore I shall 
need ten thousand gold pieces." 

When all was ready Aladdin mounted his steed and 
rode through the city while the memluks before and behind 
distributed largesse all the way. And the people were 
loud in their praises of his dignity and grace and loved 
him greatly for his generosity. Anon the palace was 
reached and there the high officials, who were looking 
for Aladdin and his train, hastened to inform the Sultan 
of his approach. On this the Sultan arose, and, going 
out to the gates of the palace to meet him, embraced 
and kissed him. 

Anon the Sultan commanded the wedding banquet 
to be served. And, when it was all ready, Aladdin sat 
on the right hand of the Sultan ; and they, with all the 
nobles and foremost in the land, ate and drank. On 
every hand were honour and good will for Aladdin. 

When the banquet was over Aladdin repaired with his 



300 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

memluks to his palace to make ready for the reception of 
his bride, Bedr-el-Budur. And, as he went, all the 
people thronged him, shouting, " God give thee happiness ! 
God bless thy days ! " And he scattered gold amongst 
them. 

Bedr-el-Budur, watching him from a window in her 
father's palace, felt her heart turn over and over in her 
bosom, and then, saying within herself, " He is my husband 
and none other," she renounced herself to the exquisite 
joy of sudden love. 

At eventime the Sultan commanded an escort to con- 
duct the Lady Bedr-el-Budur to her husband's abode. 
On this the Captains of guards, the officers of state and 
nobles, well equipped, were mounted in readiness and 
waiting at the door of Bedr-el-Budur's apartments. 
Presently, preceded by female slaves and eunuchs bearing 
lighted tapers set in jewelled candlesticks, came forth a 
vision of loveliness. Bedr-el-Budur, aflame with love for 
Aladdin, appeared on the threshold like a pure white 
bird about to fly into space. All too slow was the pro- 
cession that escorted her to Aladdin's palace. The stately 
pomp and splendour accorded not with the beating of her 
heart. She saw not Aladdin's mother nor the beauteous 
damsels, nor the mounted guards, nor the emirs, nor the 
nobles — her only thought was Aladdin, for her heart 
was consumed with love. 

Thus from the Seraglio to Aladdin's palace, where 
Bedr-el-Budur, as one floating in a dream, was taken 
to her apartments and arrayed for presentation to the 
Court assembled. And of all that Court and multitude 
of people the only one who had no voice was Aladdin, 
for, when he looked upon his bride in her surpassing 
loveliness, he was reft of speech or thought, and stood 
silent before a joy too great for tongue to tell. 




THE LADY BEDR-EL-BUDUB 
(Page 292) 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 303 

At last, when the presentation was over, Aladdin 
sought the bridal chamber where he found his mother 
with Bedr-el-Budur. And there, in the apartment all 
sparkling with gold and precious stones, his mother 
unveiled her and Aladdin gazed into her eyes and took 
no thought for the lustre of jewels. And while his mother 
went into raptures over the splendour of the palace, 
Aladdin and Bedr-el-Budur exchanged one look of love 
— a thing which none could purchase with all the treasures 
of the earth. And so it was with Aladdin and his bride. 

Great was the Sultan's wonder and admiration when 
he saw the architecture and masonry of the structure, for, 
even without, it was all of the rarest and most costly stone 
inwrought with gold and silver and fashioned with con- 
summate skill ; but when he entered and viewed the 
entrance hall his breath was snatched away from him, for 
he had never seen anything so magnificent in his life. 
At length, finding speech, he turned to the Grand Vizier 
and said, " Verily, this is the greatest wonder of all. Hast 
thou ever, from first to last, beheld a palace like this ? " 
" O King of the Age," replied the Vizier gravely, " there 
hath never been the like of this among the sons of men. 
It would take ten thousand workmen ten thousand days 
to construct it ; wherefore, as I told thy Felicity, its 
completion in a single night is the work of sorcery." At 
this the Sultan was not pleased. " Verily, O Vizier," he 
replied, " thou hast an envious heart, and thou speakest 
foolishly with thy mouth." 

At this moment Aladdin approached the Sultan to 
conduct him through the rooms of the palace. And, as 
they went from one to another, the Sultan was simply 
astounded at the wealth of metal and precious stones on 
every hand, and at the workmanship thereof. As for the 
Vizier, he had said all he had to say, and followed sullenly, 



304 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

nursing an evil heart. At length they came to the kiosk, 
which was a crowning work of jewel-clusters so rich and 
splendid that the Treasuries of the earth must have been 
emptied to fill them. The Sultan nearly went from his 
wits in the effort to calculate the fabulous wealth of this 
apartment alone. For relief he turned this way and that, 
gazing upon the niches, which were the most precious and 
wonderful of all. And in this way he came at length to 
the niche that had been left incomplete. This gave 
him speech. " Alas ! " he said, relieved to find a flaw, 
" this niche, at least, is imperfect." Then, turning to 
Aladdin, he inquired the reason of it. " Yea, O my lord," 
answered Aladdin, " woe unto it ; it is indeed unfinished, 
for the workmen clamoured to be allowed to prepare 
themselves for the wedding festivities and I had not the 
heart to say them nay. So they left it as thou seest 
it." Then, while Aladdin stood by observing intently 
the effect of his words, the Sultan stroked his beard in 
contemplation. " O my son," he said presently, " the 
thought has come to me to complete it myself." " On 
the head and eye, O King ! " cried Aladdin. " And may 
thy life be prolonged ! If thou wilt honour me thus it 
will be a fitting perpetuation of thy memory in the palace 
of thy daughter." At this, the Sultan, vastly pleased, 
summoned his jewellers and artificers, and, empowering 
them to draw on the Royal Treasury for all they might 
require, he commanded them to complete the niche. 

Scarcely had the Sultan finished his directions in this 
matter when Bedr-el-Budur came to greet him. And his 
heart leapt with joy at her radiant face when he looked 
upon her. Then, when she had confided to him how happy 
she was, Aladdin led them into the banqueting hall, where 
all was ready. 

When the Sultan's soul was wellnigh weary with 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 305 

excess of enjoyment he rose, and, bethinking himself of 
the unfinished niche, repaired to the kiosk to see how his 
workmen had progressed with their task. And when he 
came to them and inspected their work he saw that they 
had completed only a small portion and that neither 
the execution nor the material, which was already ex- 
hausted, could compare with that of the other niches. 
Seeing this he bethought him of his reserve Treasury and 
the jewels Aladdin had given him. Wherefore he com- 
manded the workmen to draw upon these and continue 
their work. This they did, and, in due course, the Sultan 
returned to find that the work was still incomplete. 
Determined to carry out his design at whatever cost the 
Sultan commanded his officials to seize all the jewels they 
could lay their hands on in the kingdom. Even this 
was done, and lo, still the niche was unfinished. 

It was not until late on a day thereafter that Aladdin 
found the jewellers and goldsmiths adding to the work 
the last stones at their command. " Hast thou jewels 
enough ? " he asked of the chief artificer. " Nay, O my 
master," he replied sadly. " We have used all the jewels 
in the Treasuries ; yea, even in all the kingdom, and yet 
the work is only half finished." 

" Take it all away ! " said Aladdin. " Restore the 
jewels to their rightful owners." So they undid their 
work and returned the jewels to the Treasuries and to the 
people from whom they had been taken. And they went 
in to the Sultan and told him. Unable to learn from them 
the exact reason for this, the Sultan immediately called 
for his attendants and his horses and repaired to Aladdin's 
palace. 

Meanwhile, Aladdin himself, as soon as the workmen 

had left, retired to a private chamber ; and, taking out the 

Lamp, rubbed it. " Ask what thou wilt," said the Slave, 
as 



306 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

appearing on the instant. " I desire thee to complete 
the niche which was left incomplete," answered Aladdin. 
" I hear and obey," said the Slave, and vanished. In a 
very short space of time he returned, saying, " O my 
master, the work is complete." Then Aladdin arose and 
went to the kiosk, and found that the Slave had spoken 
truly ; the niche was finished. As he was examining it, 
a memluk came to him and informed him that the Sultan 
was at the gates. At this Aladdin hastened to meet 
him. " O my son," cried the Sultan as Aladdin greeted 
him, " why didst thou not let my jewellers complete the 
niche in the kiosk ? Wilt thou not have the palace 
whole ? " And Aladdin answered him, " O my lord, I 
left it unfinished in order to raise a doubt in thy mind 
and then dispel it ; for, if thy Felicity doubted my ability 
to finish it, a glance at the kiosk as it now stands will 
make the matter plain." And he led the Sultan to 
the kiosk and showed him the completed niche. 

The Sultan's astonishment was now greater than ever, 
that Aladdin had accomplished in so short a space that 
which he himself could command neither workmen nor 
jewels sufficient to accomplish in many months. It filled 
him with wonder. He embraced Aladdin and kissed him, 
saying there was none like him in all the world. Then, 
when he had rested awhile with his daughter Bedr-el- 
Budur, who was full of joy and happiness, the Sultan 
returned to his own palace. 

As the days passed by Aladdin's fame went forth 
through all the land. 

Now it chanced that the Sultan's enemies from distant 
parts invaded his territory and rode down against him. 
The Sultan assembled his armies for war and gave the chief 
command to Aladdin, whose skill and prowess had found 
great favour in his eyes. And Bedr-el-Budur wept when 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 807 

Aladdin went forth to the wars, but great was her delight 
when he returned victorious, having routed the enemy in 
a great battle with terrible slaughter. 

Now the fame of Aladdin penetrated even to distant 
parts, so that his name was heard even in the land of the 
Moors, where the accursed Dervish dwelt. This sorcerer 
had not yet made an end of lamenting the loss of the Lamp 
just as it seemed about to pass into his hands. And, 
while he lamented, he cursed Aladdin in his bitter rage, 
saying within himself. " 'Tis well that ill-omened mis- 
creant is dead and buried, for, if I have not the Lamp, 
it is at least safe, and one day I may come by it." But 
when he heard the name " Aladdin," and the fame attached 
to it, he muttered to himself, " Can this be he ? And 
hath he risen to a high position through the Lamp and 
the Slave of the Lamp ? " Then he rose and drew a 
table of magic signs in the sand in order to find if the 
Aladdin of Destiny were indeed alive upon the earth. 
And the figures gave him what he feared. Aladdin was 
alive and the Lamp was not in the cavern where by his 
magic he had first discovered it. At this a great fear 
struck him to the heart, and he wondered that he had 
lived to experience it, for he knew that at any moment 
Aladdin, by means of the Slave of the Lamp, might 
slay him for revenge. Wondering that this had not 
occurred to Aladdin's mind he hastened to draw another 
table ; by which he saw that Aladdin had acquired 
great possessions and had married the Sultan's daughter. 
At this his rage mastered his fear and he cursed Aladdin 
with fury and envy. But, though his magic was great, it 
could not cope with that which slumbered in the Lamp, 
and his curses missed their mark, only to abide the time 
when they might circle back upon him. Meanwhile, in 
great haste, he arose and journeyed to the far land of 



808 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

Cathay, fearing every moment that Aladdin would bethink 
him of revenge by means of the Slave of the Lamp. Yet 
he arrived safely at the City of the Sultan and rested at 
an inn where he heard naught but praises of Aladdin's 
generosity, his bravery in battle, his beautiful bride Bedr- 
el-Budur and his magnificent palace. 

Taking his instruments of divination, he soon learned 
that the Lamp was not on Aladdin's person, but in the 
palace. At this he was overjoyed, for he had a plan to 
get possession of it. Then he went out into the market 
and bought a great number of new lamps, which he put 
in a basket and took back to the inn. When evening 
was drawing nigh, he took the basket and went forth in 
the city — for such was his plan — crying, " New lamps 
for old ! Who will exchange old lamps for new ? " And 
the people hearing this, laughed among themselves, saying 
he was mad ; and none brought an old lamp to him in 
exchange for a new one, for they all thought there was 
nothing to be gained out of a madman. But when the 
Dervish reached Aladdin's palace he began to cry more 
lustily, " New lamps for old ! Who will exchange 
old lamps for new ? " And he took no heed of the 
boys who mocked him and the people who thronged 
him. 

Now Fate so willed it that, as he came by, Bedr-el- 
Budur was sitting at a window of the kiosk ; and, when she 
heard the tumult and saw the pedlar about whom it 
turned, she bade her maid go and see what was the matter. 
The girl went, and soon returned, saying, " O my lady, 
it is a poor pedlar who is asking old lamps for new ones ; 
and the people are mocking him, for without a doubt he is 
mad." " It seems proof enough," answered Lady Bedr- 
el-Budur, laughing. " ' Old wine for new ' I could under- 
stand, but * old lamps for new ' is strange. Hast thou not 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 809 

an old lamp so that we might test him and see whether his 
cry be true or false ? " 

Now the damsel had seen an old lamp in Aladdin's 
apartment, and hastened to acquaint her mistress with this. 
" Go and bring it ! " said the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, who 
had no knowledge whatever of the Lamp and its wonderful 
virtues. So the maid went and brought the Lamp, little 
knowing what woe she was working Aladdin. Then the 
Lady Bedr-el-Budur called one of the memluks and handed 
him the Lamp, bidding him go down to the pedlar and 
exchange it for a new one. Presently he returned, bearing 
a new lamp, and, when the Princess took it and saw that 
it was a far better one than the old one, she laughed and 
said, " Verily this man is mad ! A strange trade, and one 
that can bring him small profit. But his cry is true, 
therefore take him this gold to cover his losses." And she 
gave the memluk ten gold pieces, and bade him hasten. 
But the memluk returned anon with the ten pieces, saying 
that the pedlar had disappeared, having left all his new 
lamps with the people. The Lady Bedr-el-Budur won- 
dered at this, but knew not, nor guessed the terrible 
consequences of her act. 

As for the Dervish, as soon as he had got the Lamp, he 
recognized it. Placing it in his bosom, he left all else and 
ran, which to the people was only a further proof of his 
madness. On and on he ran, through the city and its out- 
skirts, until he came to the desert, where at last he was 
alone. Then, and not till then, he took the Lamp from 
his bosom and rubbed it. In a flash appeared the Slave of 
the Lamp. "What is thy wish? I am the Slave of 
the Lamp which is in thy hands." And the Dervish 
replied, " I desire thee to take the palace of Aladdin, with 
all it contains, and convey it to the land of the Moors 
in Africa, and set it down upon the open space within the 



310 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

gardens of my dwelling in that land. Take me also with 
it. I have spoken." " O my master," said the Slave, 
" in the twinkling of an eye it is done. If thou cares t 
to close thine eyes for one moment, when thou openest 
them thou wilt find thyself within the palace, in thy 
garden in the land of the Moors." And ere the Dervish 
could say, " I have closed my eye and opened it again," 
he found that it was even so, as the Slave had said. The 
palace and all in it were in his own garden, in his own 
country, with the sun of Africa shining in upon him. 

Now the Lady Bedr-el-Budur was within the palace, 
but Aladdin was not. He had not yet returned from the 
chase. This thing had taken place after nightfall, so 
that as yet none had perceived it. But at the hour of the 
rising of the full moon, the Sultan looked forth from a 
window to admire Aladdin's palace in its silver light ; 
what was his surprise to find that there was no palace 
there ! All was bare and open space just as it had been 
before this wonderful palace was built. " By Allah ! " 
he cried in distress and alarm. " Can it be that the Vizier 
was right, and that this splendid thing was but the fabric 
of sorcery, built in a single night and dissolved in a moment 
like a dream on waking ? And my daughter, where is 
she ? Oh woe ! oh woe ! " And the Sultan wrung his 
hands in grief. Then presently he summoned the Grand 
Vizier, and bade him look forth at the palace of Aladdin. 
And when the Vizier looked forth and saw no splendid 
edifice giving back the rays of the moon, but all as bare 
as it had been before, he turned to the Sultan, his face 
pale and twitching with excitement. " O King of the 
Age," he said, " doth thy Felicity now believe that the 
palace and all Aladdin's wealth were the work of sorcery ? " 
And the Sultan did not reply, but beat his breast and 
plucked his beard ; for, apart from sorcery, it was enough 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 311 

for him to know that Aladdin's palace was! gone and his 
daughter with it. " Where is Aladdin ? " he demanded 
at last in wrath. " At the chase," replied the Vizier. 
44 Then I command thee to have him brought before me 
at once, pinioned and shackled." 

A glad man then was the Vizier. With all alacrity he 
issued the Sultan's commands to the captains, who went 
forth with their soldiers to find and seize Aladdin. It 
was a difficult task for them, for they all loved him greatly ; 
and, when they came upon him, they asked his forgive- 
ness, yet took him and led him bound and manacled before 
the Sultan. But the Sultan, being filled with rage at the 
loss of his daughter, no sooner set eyes on Aladdin among 
his captors than he ordered him to the executioner. 
Now when this came to the ears of the people, they sur- 
rounded the palace and barred its gates and doors, and 
raised a great clamour without, so that the Sultan sent 
his Grand Vizier to ascertain the cause. 

Meanwhile on the scaffold the executioner had spread 
the mat of death and Aladdin was kneeling thereon blind- 
folded, ready for the blow. The executioner walked round 
him thrice and then turned towards the Sultan, who stood 
at a window and awaited his command to strike. At this 
moment the cries of the people grew louder and fiercer 
and the Sultan beheld them scaling the walls of the palace. 
Then fear gat hold of him for the issue, and he signalled 
to the executioner to stay his hand, and bade the Vizier 
proclaim to the people that Aladdin was pardoned. 

As soon as Aladdin was freed from his chains he begged 
speech of the Sultan, and said to him, " O my lord, I 
thank thee for thy clemency, though I know not yet 
wherein my offence lay." So the Vizier took Aladdin to 
the window and bade him look forth. Utter amazement 
fell upon Aladdin when he saw that his palace had com- 



312 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

pletely disappeared, leaving no vestige to mark the spot 
where it had stood. He was so dazed and bewildered 
that he turned in silence and walked back into the Sultan's 
presence like one in a dream. " Well," said the Sultan, 
" where is thy palace ? And, what is more to me, where 
is my daughter ? " And Aladdin shook his head sorrow- 
fully and spread his hands in helpless despair ; but 
made no other reply, for he was dumbfounded. Again 
the Sultan spoke : "It was my thought to set thee free 
so that thou mayest search for my daughter and restore 
her to me. For this purpose I grant thee a delay of forty 
days, and, if in that time thou canst not find her, then, by 
Allah ! I will cut off thy head." And Aladdin answered 
him, " O King of the Age, if I find her not within forty 
days then I no longer wish to have a head left upon my 
body." 

And Aladdin went forth sad and dejected. The cries 
of joy with which the people greeted him fell like lead on 
his aching heart. He escaped from their good will and 
wandered in the city like one distraught, greeting none, 
nor raising his eyes to any greeting. For two days he 
neither ate nor drank for grief at what had happened. 
Finally he wandered beyond the confines of the city 
into the desert. There, on the bank of a dark pool, he 
resolved to drown himself and so end his misery. But 
being devout and fearing God, he must first perform his 
ablutions. So he stooped and took water in his hands 
and rubbed them together, when lo ! a strange thing hap- 
pened ; for as his hands came together, he chanced to 
rub the ring which was on one of his fingers. In a flash 
the Slave of the Ring appeared and standing before him, 
said, " O my master, what is thy desire ? " Aladdin then 
was seized with great joy, and he cried, " O Slave, I desire 
my palace and my wife." " Alas ! " answered the Slave, 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 818 

" that I cannot bring about, for this matter is protected 
by the Slave of the Lamp who hath put a seal upon it." 
" Then," urged Aladdin, " since thou canst not bring the 
palace and my wife to me, transport me to the palace 
wherever it may be upon the earth." " On the head and 
the eye," replied the Slave, and immediately Aladdin 
found himself borne swiftly through the air and set down 
by his palace in the land of the Moors. Although the 
night had fallen he could recognize it without difficulty, 
and close at hand was the window of his wife's chamber. 
Great joy at this exhausted what little strength remained 
to him — for he had neither eaten nor slept for many 
days — and, overcome with fatigue and weakness, he threw 
himself down beneath a tree hard by and slept. 

Awakened at dawn by the singing of birds in the 
garden, Aladdin arose, and, having bathed in a stream, 
recited the morning prayer, after which he returned and 
sat beneath the window of Bedr-el-Budur's apartment. 
Now the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, filled with grief at her 
separation from her husband and her father, could neither 
sleep nor eat by reason of her keen distress. Each day 
when dawn leapt into the sky she would arise and sit at 
her window and weep. And on this morning she came as 
usual, but did not weep, for she saw Aladdin sitting on 
the ground outside. And they both cried out and flew 
to one another ; and their greeting was full of joy. She 
opened a side door for him, bidding him enter, for she 
knew it was not the time for the accursed Dervish to 
come to see her as was his daily wont. Then, when 
they had embraced and kissed and shed tears of joy, 
Aladdin said to her, " O my beloved, before all else 
answer me one question : in my apartment there was an 
old copper lamp which " " Alas," broke in Bedr-el- 
Budur, " that lamp was the cause of it all, for the man 

30 



314 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

who obtained it by a stratagem told me of its virtues, 
and how he had achieved this thing by its aid." And 
immediately Aladdin heard this he knew that it was 
indeed the Dervish who had worked this woe upon him. 

" Tell me, how doth this accursed man treat thee ? " 
he asked. " He cometh once a day," she replied, " and 
he would fain win my love and console me for thy loss, 
for he saith the Sultan, my father, hath struck off thy 
head, and at the best thou wert of poor family and stole 
thy wealth from him. But he gets no word from me, 
only tears and lamentations." And Aladdin embraced 
her again and comforted her for what she had suffered. 
" Tell me," he asked again presently, " where doth this 
accursed keep the Lamp ? " " Always in his bosom," 
she replied, " where he guards it with the greatest care 
and none knows of it but me." Aladdin was overjoyed 
when he heard this, for he thought he saw a way to obtain 
the Lamp. " Listen, my beloved," he said, " I will leave 
thee now and return shortly in disguise. Bid thy maid 
stand by the side door to let me in. Then I will tell 
thee my plan to slay this accursed one and take the 
Lamp." 

Then Aladdin went forth upon the road that led to the 
city, and he had not journeyed far before he met a poor 
peasant proceeding to his daily toil. Stopping him he 
offered to exchange his own costly garments for those the 
peasant was wearing. But the man demurred, whereat 
Aladdin set upon him and effected the exchange by force. 
Then, leaving the peasant battered and bruised but 
dressed like a prince, he went on into the city, and, coming 
to the market, purchased some powder of benj, which is 
called " the son of an instant," for it stupefies in a moment. 
With this he returned to the palace, and, when he came 
to the side door where the maid was waiting, she recognized 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 815 

him and opened immediately. Very soon he was exposing 
his plan to Bedr-el-Budur. 

" O my beloved," he said, " I wish thee to attire 
thyself gaily, and adorn thyself with jewels in the sparkle 
of which no grief can live ; and, when the accursed cometh, 
greet him with a smile and a look from thy lovely eyes. 
Then invite him to sup with thee, and, when thou hast 
aroused a blinding passion in his bosom, he will forget 
the Lamp which lieth there. See," he drew forth the 
powder, " this is benj, the ' son of an instant.' It cannot 
be detected in red wine. Thou knowest the rest : pledge 
him in a cup and see to it that the benj is in his and not in 
thine. Thou canst do this ? " 

" Yea," replied Bedr-el-Budur. " It is difficult, but 
I will dare all for thee ; and well I know that this accursed 
wretch deserves not to live." And on this assurance 
Aladdin withdrew to a private chamber and sat him 
down to wait. He realized his extreme danger, for he 
knew that if the Dervish so much as suspected his existence 
in the flesh a rub of the Lamp and a word to the Slave 
would bring him instant death ; but he did not know that 
Bedr-el-Budur, having learnt the virtues of the Lamp, 
had exacted a pledge from the Dervish that he would 
make no further use of it until she had given him her final 
decision as to whether she would come to him of her own 
free will and accord, which she maintained was a better 
thing than subsequently to be compelled by the abominable 
power of sorcery. 

When the Dervish appeared, she sat weeping as usual, 
and it was not until, in his protestations of love, he said 
words that were suitable to her purpose that she paused 
and half dried her tears as if it needed little more to make 
her weigh his petition with care Observing this he drew 
near and sat by her side, and now, though no longer 



816 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

weeping, she had not yet found words for him. He 
took her hand, but she snatched it away crying, " No, it 
cannot be ! Never can I forget Aladdin ! " He pleaded 
with her, and his passion made him eloquent. She 
pushed him away petulantly. " Nay, nay," she cried, 
" I cannot resign my heart to thee at will. Give me, I 
pray thee, a little space of time — two days ; one day — I 
may decide in one, if weeping do not kill me." The 
Dervish smote his breast. " Think, O Lovely One, how 
I have waited to win thee as man wins woman, when 
in a moment I could call thee mine by other means." 
And his hand moved to his bosom where lay the Lamp. 
" Stay ! " she cried, rising and standing before him. 
" Thy pledge ! Abide thou in patience. I will come to 
thee in one hour." 

So she went, leaving the Dervish in an ecstasy of doubt. 
At the expiration of the hour the door opened and she 
stood before him a vision of loveliness in resplendent 
attire bedecked with priceless jewels. A smile was on 
her face and her answer to him was in her eyes. She 
seated herself by his side and said boldly, " Thou seest 
how it is with me. My tears for Aladdin — who is dead 
— flowed till the hour was half spent ; then, I know 
not why, they changed to tears of joy for thee, who art 
alive. Then I arose and arrayed myself gladly and came 
to thee. Yet even now I am not wholly thine, for tears 
— now grief now joy, I know not which — contend in mine 
eyes for him or thee. Wherefore come not too near me 
lest what thou hast won be forfeited. Perchance if we 
sup together with a jar of the red wine of thine own 
country — nay, go not thyself for the wine," said Bedr-el- 
Budur, be-thinking her of the Lamp. " Do not leave 
me. One of my slave girls will go." 

While she was gone Bedr-el-Budur pretended to busy 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 817 

herself issuing orders to the household about the prepara- 
tion of supper. And under cover of this she sought and 
found Aladdin. "It is well," she said as he held her 
to his heart and pressed his lips to hers. " But, O my 
beloved," he replied, " art thou sure that the Lamp is in 
his bosom ? " "I will go and see," she answered. And 
she returned to the Dervish and, approaching him shyly, 
began to doubt the truth of this great thing — his love for 
her. As she did this she placed her hands on his shoulders 
and looked into his eyes ; whereat the Dervish drew her 
close to him and she felt the Lamp in his bosom. Imme- 
diately she wrenched herself free and left him with a 
glance in which disdain and love were kindly mixed, 
"It is so," she said on returning to Aladdin, " the Lamp 
is in his bosom, and, since he embraced me — I could not 
help it nor could I endure it, beloved — it is a wonder the 
Slave of the Lamp did not appear to see how I tore myself 
away, I was pressed so close." 

Meanwhile the slave girl returned with the wine, and, 
supper being ready, Bedr-el-Budur invited the Dervish to 
sit by her at the table. And when they had eaten some- 
what, she paused and questioned him with a glance. It 
was for him to call for wine, and he did so. Immediately 
a slave girl filled their goblets, and they drank ; and 
another and another until the distance between them was 
melted, and they became, so to speak, the best of boon 
companions. 

At length, when the supper was drawing to an end, 
and the wits of the Dervish were well mastered by wine, 
Bedr-el-Budur leaned towards him in an unbending mood. 
" This wine of thine has set me on fire, beloved ! " she 
said. " But one more cup and then, if I say thee nay, 
do not believe me, for thou hast kept thy pledge and 
hast won me as man wins woman. And this shall be a 



318 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

loving cup, for it is the fashion in my country for the lovei 
to take the loved one's cup and drink it." " O lovely one 
of my eye," he replied, " I will honour thy custom, since 
thou hast so greatly honoured me." 

At this Bedr-el-Budur took his cup and filled it for 
herself, while a slave girl, who knew what to do as well 
as she hated the Dervish, handed him the cup which, 
though it contained the benj, she had just filled as if for 
her mistress. She even had to be told twice that it was not 
for her mistress but for the guest. So the Dervish took 
it, and looked into the eyes of Bedr-el-Budur brimming 
with love. They drank, and immediately the Dervish 
fell senseless at her feet, while the cup, flung from his 
nerveless hand, clattered across the floor. 

In the space of moments Aladdin was on the spot. 
Bedr-el-Budur's arms were round his neck, and she was 
sobbing on his breast, while the Dervish lay stretched 
helpless before them. And when he had comforted her 
she went, and the slave girls with her. Then Aladdin 
locked the door, and, approaching the Dervish, drew the 
Lamp from his bosom. This done, he stood over him 
and swore a fearful oath, then, without further shrift, 
he drew his sword and hewed off his head, after which 
he drove the point of the sword through his heart, for 
only in this way can a wizard be warned off the realm of 
mortals. 

Once in possession of the Lamp Aladdin lost no time 
He rubbed it and immediately the Slave appeared. "I 
am here, O my master ; what is thy wish ? " " Thou 
knowest," replied Aladdin. " Bear this palace and all 
that is in it to the Land of Cathay and set it down on the 
spot from which thou didst take it at the command of 
that." He pointed to the dismembered wizard. " It 
is well," said the Slave, who served the living and not the 



ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP 319 

dead ; "I hear and obey, on the head and the eye." 
Then Aladdin returned to Bedr-el-Budur, and, in the 
space of one kiss of love, the palace with all therein was 
carried swiftly back to the original site from which it had 
been taken. 

Now the Sultan was in grievous mood ever since the 
loss of his daughter — the apple of his eye. All night long 
he would weep, and, arising at dawn, would look forth on 
the empty space where once had stood Aladdin's palace. 
Then his tears would flow as from a woman's eyes, for 
Bedr-el-Budur was very dear to him. But, when he looked 
forth one morning and saw the palace standing as it had 
stood, he was rapt with joy. Instantly he ordered his 
horse, and, mounting, rode to the gates. Aladdin came 
out to greet him, and, taking him by the hand with never 
a word, led him towards the apartments of Bedr-el-Budur. 
She too, radiant with joy, was running to meet him. Like 
a bird of the air she flew to his arms, and for some moments 
neither of them could say a word for very happiness. 
Then in a torrent of words, she told him all about the 
accursed Dervish ; how by his sorcery he had conveyed 
the palace to Africa, and how Aladdin had slain him, thus 
releasing the spell and restoring everything to its place. 
But not a word did she say about the Lamp and its virtues. 
Then they arose and went to the chamber which contained 
the trunk and severed head of the Dervish. And, by 
the Sultan's orders, these remains of the Sorcerer were 
burnt to ashes and scattered to the four winds of heaven. 

And so Aladdin was restored to the Sultan's favour, 
and he and the Lady Bedr-el-Budur dwelt together in the 
utmost joy and happiness. 

THE END.