Bagh O Bahar, Or Tales of the Four Darweshes
Mir Amman of Dihli

Part 1 out of 5

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Translated from the Hindustani of Mir Amman of Dihli

By Duncan Forbes, LL.D.,

_Professor of Oriental Languages in King's College, London; Member
of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, author of
several works on the Hindustani and Persian Languages._



The _Bagh O Bahar_, or "Garden and Spring," has, for the last half
century, been held as a classical work throughout our Indian empire. It
highly deserves this distinguished fate, as it contains various modes
of expression in correct language; and displays a great variety of
Eastern manners and modes of thinking. It is an excellent introduction
not only to the colloquial style of the _Hindustani_ language, but
also to a knowledge of its various idioms and popular phrases.

The tale itself is interesting, if we bear in mind the fact, that no
Asiatic writer of romance or history has ever been consistent, or free
from fabulous credulity. The cautious march of undeviating truth, and
a careful regard to _vraisemblance_, have never entered into their
plan. Wildness of imagination, fabulous machinery, and unnatural
scenes ever pervade the compositions of Oriental authors,--even in
most serious works on history and ethics. Be it remembered, that
_jinns_, demons, fairies, and angels, form a part of the _Muhammadan_
creed. The people to this day believe in the existence of such beings
on the faith of the _Kur,an_; and as they are fully as much attached
to their own religion as we are to ours, we ought not to be surprised
at their credulity.

I have rendered the translation as literal as possible, consistent
with the comprehension of the author's meaning. This may be considered
by some a slavish and dull compliance; but in my humble opinion we
ought, in this case, to display the author's own thoughts and ideas;
all we are permitted to do, is to change their garb. This course has
one superior advantage which may compensate for its seeming dulness; we
acquire an insight into the modes of thinking and action of the people,
whose works we peruse through the medium of a literal translation,
and thence many instructive and interesting conclusions may be drawn.

To the present edition numerous notes are appended; some, with a
view to illustrate certain peculiarities of the author's style, and
such grammatical forms of the language as might appear difficult to a
beginner; others, which mainly relate to the manners and customs of the
people of the East, may appear superfluous to the Oriental scholar who
has been in India; but in this case, I think it better to be redundant,
than risk the chance of being deficient. Moreover, as the book may
be perused by the curious in Europe, many of of whom know nothing of
India, except that it occupies a certain space in the map of the world,
these notes were absolutely necessary to understand the work. Finally,
as I am no poet, and have a most thorough contempt for the maker of
mere doggerel rhymes, I have translated the pieces of poetry, which
are interspersed in the original, into plain and humble prose.


_July_, 1857.


_Which was Presented to the Gentlemen Managers of the College [of
Fort William]._

May God preserve the gentlemen of great dignity, and the appreciators
of respectable men. This exile from his country, on hearing the command
[issued by] proclamation, [1] hath composed, with a thousand labours
and efforts, the "Tale of the Four Darweshes," [entitled] the _Bagh
O Bahar_ [2] [i.e. Garden and Spring,] in the _Urdu, e Mu'alla_
[3] tongue. By the grace of God it has become refreshed from the
perusal of all the gentlemen [4] [of the college]. I now hope I may
reap some fruit from it; then the bud of my heart will expand like a
flower, according to the word of _Hakim Firdausi_, [5] who has said
[of himself] in the _Shahnama_,

"Many sorrows I have borne for these thirty years;
But I have revived Persia by this Persian [History.] [6]
I having in like manner polished the _Urdu_ tongue,
Have metamorphosed _Bengal_ into _Hindustan_." [7]

You gentlemen are yourselves appreciators of merit. There is no need
of representation [on my part]. O God! may the star of your prosperity
ever shine!


"_The Name of God, Most Merciful and Gracious_."

The pure God! what an [excellent] Artificer he is! He who, out of a
handful of dust, hath created such a variety of faces and figures
of earth. Notwithstanding the two colours [of men], one white and
one black, yet the same nose and ears, the same hands and feet,
He has given to all. But such variety of features has He formed,
that the form and shape of one [individual] does not agree with the
personal appearance of another. Among millions of created beings,
you may recognise whomsoever you wish. The sky is a bubble in the
ocean of his [eternal] unity; and the earth is as a drop of water
in it; but this is wonderful, that the sea beats its thousands of
billows against it, and yet cannot do it any injury. The tongue of
man is impotent to sound the praise and eulogy of Him who has such
power and might! If it utter any thing, what can it say? It is best
to be silent on a subject concerning which nothing can be said.


"From earth to heaven, He whose work this is,
If I wish to write his praise, then what power have I;
When the prophet himself has said, 'I do not comprehend Him.'
After this, if any one pretends to it, he is a great fool.
Day and night the sun and moon wander through their course, and behold
his works--
Yea, the form of every individual being is a sight of surprise:
He, whose second or equal is not, and never will be;
No such a unique Being, Godhead is every way fit.
But so much I know, that He is the Creator and Nourisher.
In every way his favour and beneficence are upon me."

And blessings on his friend, for whose sake He created the earth and
heavens, and on whom He bestowed the dignity of prophet.


"The pure body of _Mustafa_ is an emanation of Divine light,
For which reason, it is well known that his body threw no shadow. [8]
Where is my capacity, that I should sufficiently speak his praise;
Only with men of eloquence this is an established rule." [9]

And blessings and salvation be on his posterity, who are the twelve
_Imams_. [10]


"The praise of God and the eulogy of the prophet having here ended;
Now I begin that which is requisite to be done.
O God! for the sake of the posterity of thy prophet, [11]
Render this my story acceptable to the hearts of high and low."

The reasons for compiling this work are these, that in the year of the
_Hijra_, 1215, A.D. 1801, corresponding to the [12] _Fasli_ year 1207,
in the time of his Excellency the noble of nobles, Marquis Wellesley,
Lord Mornington, Governor-general, (in whose praise the judgment is at
a loss, and the understanding perplexed, and in whom God has centred
all the excellent qualities that great men ought to possess. In short,
it was the good fortune of this country that such a chief came here,
from whose happy presence multitudes enjoy ease and happiness. No one
can now dare to injure or wrong another; and the tiger and the goat
drink at the same _ghat_; [13] and all the poor bless him and live,)
[14] the pursuit of learning came into vogue, and the gentlemen of
dignity perceived that by acquiring the _Urdu_ tongue, they might
hold converse with the people of India, and transact with perfect
accuracy the affairs of the country; for this reason many books were
compiled during this same year, according to orders.

To those gentlemen who are learned, and speak the language of
_Hindustan,_ [15] I address myself, and say, that this "Tale of the
Four Darwesh" was originally composed by _Amir Khusru,_ [16] of _Dihli_
[17] on the following occasion; the holy _Nizamu-d-Din Auliya_,
surnamed _Zari-Zar-bakhsh_, [18] who was his spiritual preceptor,
(and whose holy residence was near _Dilli_, three _Kos_ [19] from the
fort, beyond the red gate, and outside the _Matiya_ gate, near the red
house), fell ill; and to amuse his preceptor's mind, _Amir Khusru_ used
to repeat this tale to him, and attend him during his sickness. God,
in the course of time, removed his illness; then he pronounced
this benediction on the day he performed the ablution of cure: [20]
"That whoever will hear this tale, will, with the blessing of God,
remain in health:" since which time this tale, composed in Persian,
has been extensively read.

Now, the excellent and liberal gentleman, the judge of respectable
men, Mr. John Gilchrist, (may his good fortune ever increase as
long as the _Jamuna_ and _Ganges_ flow!) with kindness said to me,
"Translate this tale into the pure _Hindustani_ tongue, which the
_Urdu_ people, both _Hindus_ and _Musalmans_, high and low, men,
women and children, use to each other." In accordance with his
honour's desire, I commenced translating it into this same dialect,
just such as any one uses in common conversation.

But first this guilty being, _Mir Amman_, of _Dilli_, begs to relate
his own story: "That my forefathers, from the time of King _Humayun_,
served every king, in regular descent, with zeal and fidelity; and they
[21] also (i.e. the kings), with the eye of protection, ever justly
appreciated and rewarded our services. _Jagirs_, titles and rewards,
were plentifully bestowed on us; and we were called hereditary [22]
vassals, and old servants; so that these epithets were enrolled
in the royal archives. [23] When such a family (owing to which all
other families were prosperous) dwindled to such a point! which is too
well [24] known to require mention, then _Suraj Mal_, the _Jat_, [25]
confiscated our _Jagir_, and _Ahmad Shah_ the _Durrani_, [26] pillaged
our home. Having sustained such various misfortunes, I abandoned that
city, which was my native land, and the place of my birth. Such a
vessel, whose pilot was such a king, was wrecked; and I began to sink
in the sea of destitution! a drowning person catches at a straw,
and I sustained life for some years in the city of _'Azim-abad_,
[27] experiencing both good and bad fortune there. At length I left
it also--the times were not propitious; leaving my family there,
I embarked alone in a boat, and came in quest of a livelihood [28]
to Calcutta, the chief of cities. I remained unemployed for some time,
when it happened that _Nawwab Dilawar Jang_ sent for me, and appointed
me tutor to his younger brother, _Mir Muhammad Kazim Khan_. I stayed
with him nearly two years; but saw not my advantage [in remaining there
any longer.] Then, through the assistance of _Mir Bahadur 'Ali Munshi_,
I was introduced to Mr. John Gilchrist (may his dignity be lasting.) At
last, by the aid of good fortune, I have acquired the protection of
so liberal a person, that I hope better days; if not, even, this is
so much gain, that I have bread to eat, and having stretched my feet,
I repose in quiet; and that ten persons in my family, old and young,
are fed; and bless that patron. May God accept [their prayers!]

"The account of the _Urdu_ tongue I have thus heard from my
ancestors;--that the city of _Dilli_, according to the opinion of
the _Hindus_, was founded in the earliest times, [29] and that their
_Rajas_ and subjects lived there from the remotest antiquity, and
spoke their own peculiar _Bhakha_. [30] For a thousand years past,
the _Musalmans_ have been masters there. _Mahmud_ of _Ghazni_ [31] came
[there first]; then the _Ghori_ and _Lodi_ [32] became kings; owing to
this intercourse, the languages of the _Hindus_ and _Musalmans_ were
partially blended together. At last _Amir Taimur_ [33] (in whose family
the name and empire remain to this day), conquered _Hindustan_. From
his coming and stay, the _bazar_ of his camp was settled in the city;
for which reason the _bazar_ of the city was called _Urdu_. [34] Then
King _Humayun_, annoyed by the _Pathans_, went abroad [to Persia]; and
at last, returning from thence, he punished the surviving [_Pathans_],
and no rebel remained to raise strife or disturbance.

When King _Akbar_ ascended the throne, then all tribes of people, from
all the surrounding countries, hearing of the goodness and liberality
of this unequalled family, flocked to his court, but the speech and
dialect of each was different. Yet, by being assembled together,
they used to traffic and do business, and converse with each other,
whence resulted the common _Urdu_ language. When his majesty _Shahjahan
Sahib Kiran_ [35] built the auspicious fort, and the great mosque, [36]
and caused the walls of the city to be built; and inlaid the peacock
throne [37] with precious stones, and erected his tent, made of gold
and silver brocade; and _Nawwab' Ali Mardan Khan_ cut the canal [38]
[to _Dilli_]; then the king, being pleased, made great rejoicings, and
constituted the city his capital. Since that time it has been called
_Shajahan-abad_, (although the city of _Dilli_ is distinct from it,
the latter being called the old city, and the former the new,) and
to the bazar of it was given the title of _Urdu-e Mu'alla_. [39]

From the time of _Amir Taimur_ until the reign of _Muhammad Shah_,
and even to the time of _Ahmad Shah_, and _Alamgir_ the Second, the
throne descended lineally from generation to generation. In the end,
the _Urdu_ language, receiving repeated polish, was so refined, that
the language of no city is to be compared to it; but an impartial
judge is necessary to examine it. Such a one God has at last, after
a long period, created in the learned, acute and profound Mr. John
Gilchrist, who from his own judgment, genius, labour and research,
has composed books of rules [for the acquisition of it]. From this
cause, the language of _Hindustan_ has become general throughout the
provinces, and has been polished anew; otherwise no one conceives
his own turban, language and behaviour, to be improper. If you ask
a countryman, he censures the citizen's idiom, and considers his own
the best; "well, the learned only know [what is correct]." [40]

When _Ahmad Shah Abdali_, came from _Kabul_ and pillaged the city of
_Dilli, Shah 'Alam_ was in the east. [41] No master or protector of the
country remained, and [42] the city became without a head. True it is,
that the city only flourished from the prosperity of the throne. All at
once it was overwhelmed with calamity: its principal inhabitants were
scattered, and fled wherever they could. To whatever country they went,
their own tongue was adulterated by mixing with the people there; and
there were many who, after an absence of ten to five years, from some
cause or other, returned to _Dilli_, and stayed there. How can they
speak the pure language of _Dilli_? somewhere or other they will slip;
but the person who bore all misfortunes, and remained fixed at _Dilli_
and whose five or ten anterior generations lived in that city, and who
mixed in the company of the great, and the assemblies and processions
of the people, who strolled in its streets for a length of time,
and even after quitting it, kept his language pure from corruption,
his style of speaking will certainly be correct. This humble being
[viz. _Mir Amman_], wandering through many cities, and viewing their
sights, has at last arrived at this place.


I now commence my tale; pay attention to it, and be just to its
merits. In the "Adventures of the Four Darwesh, [43]" it is thus
written, and the narrator has related, that formerly in the Empire of
_Rum_ [44] there reigned a great king, in whom were innate justice
equal to that of _Naushirwan_, [45] and generosity like that of
_Hatim_. [46] His name was _Azad-Bakht_, and his imperial residence
was at Constantinople, [47] (which they call Istambol.) In his reign
the peasant was happy, the treasury full, the army satisied, and the
poor at ease. They lived in such peace and plenty, that in their
homes the day was a festival, and the night was a _shabi barat_
[48]. Thieves, robbers, pickpockets, swindlers, and all such as
were vicious and dishonest, he utterly exterminated, and no vestige
of them allowed he to remain in his kingdom. [49] The doors of the
houses were unshut all night, and the shops of the _bazar_ remained
open. The travellers and wayfarers chinked gold as they went along,
over plains and through woods; and no one asked them, "How many teeth
have you in your mouth," [50] or "Where are you going?"

There were thousands of cities in that king's dominions, and many
princes paid him tribute. Though he was so great a king, he never for
a moment neglected his duties or his prayers to God. He possessed
all the necessary comforts of this world; but male issue, which is
the fruit of life, was not in the garden of his destiny, for which
reason he was often pensive and sorrowful, and after the five [51]
regulated periods of prayer, he used to address himself to his Creator
and say, "O God! thou hast, through thy infinite goodness blest thy
weak creature with every comfort, but thou hast given no light to
this dark abode. [52] This desire alone is unaccomplished, that I
have no one to transmit my name and support my old age. [53] Thou hast
everything in thy hidden treasury; give me a living and thriving son,
that my name and the vestiges of this kingdom may remain."

In this hope the king reached his fortieth year; when one day he had
finished his prayers in the Mirror Saloon, [54] and while telling his
beads, he happened to cast his eyes towards one of the mirrors, and
perceived a white hair in his whiskers, which glittered like a silver
wire; on seeing it, the king's eyes filled with tears, and he heaved a
deep sigh, and then said to himself, "Alas! thou hast wasted thy years
to no purpose, and for earthly advantages thou hast overturned the
world. And all the countries thou hast conquered, what advantage are
they to thee? Some other race will in the end squander these riches.

Death hath already sent thee a messenger; [55] and even if thou
livest a few years, the strength of thy body will be less. Hence,
it appears clearly from this circumstance, that it is not my destiny
to have an heir to my canopy and throne. I must one day die, and
leave everything behind me; so it is better for me to quit them now,
and dedicate the rest of my days to the adoration of my Maker."

Having in his heart made this resolve, he descended to his lower
garden. [56] Having dismissed his courtiers, he ordered that no one
should approach him in future, but that all should attend the Public
Hall of Audience, [57] and continue occupied in their respective
duties. After this speech the king retired to a private apartment,
spread the carpet of prayer, [58] and began to occupy himself in
devotion: he did nothing but weep and sigh. Thus the king, _Azud
Bakhht_ passed many days; in the evening he broke his fast with a
date and three mouthfuls of water, and lay all day and night on the
carpet of prayer. Those circumstances became public, and by degrees
the intelligence spread over the whole empire, that the king having
withdrawn his hand from public affairs, had become a recluse. In every
quarter enemies and rebels raised their heads, and stepped beyond the
bounds [of obedience]; whoever wished it, encroached on the kingdom,
and rebelled; wherever there were governors, in their jurisdictions
great disturbance took place; and complaints of mal-administration
arrived at court from every province. All the courtiers and nobles
assembled, and began to confer and consult.

At last it was agreed, "that as his Highness the _Wazir_ is wise and
intelligent, and in the king's intimacy and confidence, and is first in
dignity, we ought to go before him, and hear what he thinks proper to
say on the occasion," All the nobles went to his Highness the _Wazir_,
and said: "Such is the state of the king and such the condition of the
kingdom, that if more delay takes place, this empire, which has been
acquired with such trouble, will be lost for nothing, and will not be
easily regained." The _Wazir_ was an old, faithful servant, and wise;
his name was _Khiradmand,_ a name self-significant. [59] He replied,
"Though the king has forbidden us to come into his presence, yet go
you: I will also go--may it please God that the king be inclined to
call me to his presence." After saying this, the _Wazir_ brought
them all along with him as far as the Public Hall of Audience,
and leaving them there, he went into the Private Hall of Audience,
[60] and sent word by the eunuch [61] to the royal presence, saying,
"this old slave is in waiting, and for many days has not beheld the
royal countenance; he is in hopes that, after one look, he may kiss
the royal feet, then his mind will be at ease." The king heard this
request of his _Wazir_, and inasmuch as his majesty knew his length
of services, his zeal, his talents, and his devotedness, and had
often followed his advice, after some consideration, he said, "call
in _Khiradmand_." As soon as permission was obtained, the _Wazir_
appeared in the royal presence, made his obeisance, and stood with
crossed arms. [62] He saw the king's strange and altered appearance,
that from extreme weeping and emaciation his eyes were sunk in their
sockets, [63] and his visage was pale.

_Khiradmand_ could no longer restrain himself, but without choice,
ran and threw himself at [the king's] feet. His majesty lifted up
the _Wazir's_ head with his hands, and said, "There, thou hast at
last seen me; art thou satisfied? Now go away, and do not disturb
me more--do thou govern the empire." _Khiradmand_, on hearing this,
gnashing his teeth, wept said, "This slave, by your favour and welfare,
can always possess a kingdom; but ruin is spread over the empire from
your majesty's such sudden seclusion, and the end of it will not be
prosperous. What strange fancy has possessed the royal mind! If to this
hereditary vassal your majesty will condescend to explain yourself, it
will be for the best--that I may unfold whatever occurs to my imperfect
judgment on the occasion. If you have bestowed honours on your slaves,
it is for this exigency, that your majesty may enjoy yourself at your
ease, and your slaves regulate the affairs of the state; for if your
imperial highness is to bear this trouble, which God forbid! of what
utility are the servants of the state?" The king replied, "Thou sayest
true; but the sorrow which preys on my mind is beyond cure.

"Hear, O _Khiradmand!_ my whole age has been passed in this vexatious
career of conquest, and I am now arrived at these years; there is
only death before me; I have even received a message from him, for my
hairs are turned white. There is a saying; 'We have slept all night,
and shall we not awake in the morning?' Until now I have not had a
son, that I might be easy in mind; for which reason my heart is very
sorrowful, and I have utterly abandoned everything. Whoever wishes,
may take the country and my riches. I have no use for them. Moreover,
I intend some day or other, to quit everything, retire to the woods and
mountains, and not show my face to any one. In this manner I will pass
this life of [at best but] a few days' duration. If some spot pleases
me, I shall sit down on it; and by devoting my time in prayers to God,
perhaps my future state will be happy; this world I have seen well,
and have found no felicity in it." After pronouncing these words,
the king heaved a deep sigh, and became silent.

_Khiradmand_ had been the _Wazir_ of his majesty's father, and when
the king was heir-apparent he had loved him; moreover, he was wise
and zealous. He said (to _Azad Bakht_,) "It is ever wrong to despair
of God's grace; He who has created the eighteen thousand species
of living beings [64] by one fiat, can give you children without
any difficulty. Mighty sire, banish these fanciful notions from
your mind, or else all your subjects will be thrown into confusion,
and this empire,--with what trouble and pains your royal forefathers
and yourself have erected it!--will be lost in a moment, and, from
want of care, the whole country will be ruined; God forbid that you
should incur evil fame! Moreover, you will have to answer to God,
in the day of judgment, when he will say, 'Having made thee a king,
I placed my creatures under thy care; but thou hadst no faith in my
beneficence, and thou hast afflicted thy subjects [by abandoning thy
charge.'] What answer will you make to this accusation? Then even your
devotion and prayers will not avail you, for the heart of man is the
abode of God, and kings will have to answer only for the justice [65]
of their conduct. Pardon your slave's want of respect, but to leave
their homes, and wander from forest to forest, is the occupation of
hermits, [66] but not that of kings. You ought to act according to
your allotted station: the remembering of God, and devotion to him,
are not limited to woods or mountains: your majesty has undoubtedly
heard this verse, 'God is near him, and he seeks him in the wilderness;
the child is in his arms, and there is a proclamation [of its being
lost] throughout the city.'

"If you will be pleased to act impartially, and follow this slave's
advice, in that case the best thing is, that your Majesty should
keep God in mind every moment, and offer up to him your prayers. No
one has yet returned hopeless from his threshold. In the day, arrange
the affairs of state, and administer justice to the poor and injured;
then the creatures of God will repose in peace and comfort under the
skirt of your prosperity. Pray at night; and after beseeching blessings
for the pure spirit of the Prophet, solicit assistance from recluse
_Darweshes_ and holy men, [who are abstracted from worldly objects
and cares;] bestow daily food on orphans, prisoners, poor parents
of numerous children, and helpless widows. From the blessings of
these good works and benevolent intentions, if God please, it is to
be fervently hoped that the objects and desires of your heart will
all be fulfilled, and the circumstances for which the royal mind is
afflicted, will likewise be accomplished, and your noble heart will
rejoice! Look towards the favour of God, for he can in a moment do
what he wishes." At length, from such various representations on the
part of _Khiradmand_ the _Wazir, Azad Bakht's_ heart took courage,
and he said, "Well, what you say is true; let us see to this also;
and hereafter, the will of God be done."

When the king's mind was comforted, he asked the _Wazir_ what the other
nobles and ministers were doing, and how they were. He replied, that
"all the pillars of state are praying for the life and prosperity
of your majesty; and from grief for your situation, they are all
in confusion and dejected. Show the royal countenance to them, that
they may be easy in their minds. Accordingly, they are now waiting
in the _Diwani Amm_." On hearing this, the king said, "If God please,
I will hold a court to-morrow: tell them all to attend." _Khiradmand_
was quite rejoiced on hearing this promise, and lifting up his hands,
blessed the king, saying, "As long as this earth and heaven exist,
may your majesty's crown and throne remain. Then taking leave [of the
king,] he retired with infinite joy, and communicated these pleasing
tidings to the nobles. All the nobles returned to their homes with
smiles and gladness of heart. The whole city rejoiced, and the subjects
became boundless [in their transports at the idea] that the king would
hold a general court the next day. In the morning, all the servants of
state, noble and menial, and the pillars of state, small and great,
came to the court, and stood each according to his respective place
and degree, and waited with anxiety to behold the royal splendour.

When one _pahar_ [67] of the day had elapsed, all at once the
curtain drew up, and the king, having ascended, seated himself on the
auspicious throne. The sounds of joy struck up in the _Naubat-Khana_,
[68] and all the assembly offered the _nazars_ [69] of congratulation,
and made their obeisance in the hall of audience. Each was rewarded
according to his respective degree and rank, and the hearts of all
became joyful and easy. At midday [70] his majesty arose and retired
to the interior of the palace; and after enjoying the royal repast,
retired to rest. From that day the king made this an established rule,
viz., to hold his court every morning, and pass the afternoons in
reading and in the offices of devotion; and after expressing penitence,
and beseeching forgiveness from God, to pray for the accomplishment
of his desires.

One day, the king saw it written in a book, that if any one is so
oppressed with grief and care as not to be relieved by [any human]
contrivance, he ought to commit [his sorrows] to Providence, visit
the tombs of the dead, and pray for the blessing of God on them, [71]
through the mediation of the Prophet; and conceiving himself nothing,
keep his heart free from the thoughtlessness of mankind; weep as a
warning to others, and behold [with awe] the power of God, saying,
"Anterior to me, what mighty possessors of kingdoms and wealth have
been born on earth! but the sky, involving them all in its revolving
circle, has mixed them with the dust." It is a bye-word, that, "on
beholding the moving handmill, _Kabira_, [72] weeping, exclaimed,
'Alas! nothing has yet survived the pressure of the two millstones.'"

"Now, if you look [for those heroes], not one vestige of them
remains, except a heap of dust. All of them, leaving their riches
and possessions, their homes and offsprings, their friends and
dependants, their horses and elephants, are lying alone! All these
[worldly advantages] have been of no use to them; moreover, no one by
this time, knows even their names, or who they were; and their state
within the grave cannot be discovered; (for worms, insects, ants, and
snakes have eaten them up;) or [who knows] what has happened to them,
or how they have settled their accounts with God? After meditating on
these words in his mind, he should look on the whole of this world
as a perfect farce; then the flower of his heart will ever bloom,
and it will not wither in any circumstance." When the king read this
admonition in the book, he recollected the advice of _Khiradmand_
the _Wazir_, and found that they coincided. He became anxious in his
mind to put this in execution; "but to mount on horseback, [said his
majesty to himself,] and take a retinue with me, and go like a king,
is not becoming; it is better to change my dress, and go at night
and alone to visit the graves of the dead, or some godly recluse,
and keep awake all night; perhaps by the mediation of these holy men,
the desires of this world and salvation in the next, may be obtained."

Having formed this resolution, the king one night put on coarse and
soiled clothes, and taking some money with him, he stole silently out
of the fort, and bent his way over the plain; proceeding onwards,
he arrived at a cemetery, and was repeating his prayers with a
sincere heart. At that time, a fierce wind continued blowing,
and might be called a storm. Suddenly the king saw a flame at a
distance which shone like the morning star; he said to himself,
"In this storm and darkness this light cannot shine without art,
or it may be a talisman; for if nitre and sulphur be sprinkled in
the lamp, around the wick, then let the wind be ever so strong,
the flame will not be extinguished--or may it not be the lamp of
some holy man which burns? Let it be what it may, I ought to go and
examine it; perhaps by the light of this lamp, the lamp of my house
also may be lighted, [73] and the wish of my heart fulfilled." Having
formed this resolution, the king advanced in that direction; when
he drew near, he saw four erratic _fakirs_, [74] with _kafnis_ [75]
on their bodies, and their head reclined on their knees; sitting in
profound silence, and senselessly abstracted. Their state was such as
that of a traveller, who, separated from his country and his sect,
friendless and alone, and overwhelmed with grief, is desponding and
at a loss. In the same manner sat these four _Fakirs_, like statues,
[76] and a lamp placed on a stone burnt brightly; the wind touched it
not, as if the sky itself had been its shade, [77] so that it burnt
without danger [of being extinguished.]

On seeing this sight, _Azad Bakht_ was convinced [and said to himself]
that "assuredly thy desires will be fulfilled, by the blessing
[resulting from] the footsteps of these men of God; and the withered
tree of thy hopes shall revive by their looks, and yield fruit. Go into
their company, and tell thy story, and join their society; perhaps
they may feel pity for thee, and offer up for thee such a prayer as
may be accepted by the Almighty." Having formed this determination,
he was about to step forward, when his judgment told him, O fool,
do not be hasty! Look a little [before thee.] What dost thou know
as to who they are, from whence they have come, and where they are
going? How can we know but they may be _Devs_ [78] or _Ghuls_ [79]
of the wilderness, who, assuming the appearance of men, are sitting
together? In every way, to be in haste, and go amongst them and
disturb them, is improper. At present, hide thyself in some corner,
and learn the story of these _Darweshes_." At last the king did so,
and hid himself in a corner with such silence, that no one heard
the sound of his approach; he directed his attention towards them to
hear what they were saying amongst themselves. By chance one of the
_Fakirs_ sneezed, and said, "God be praised." [80] The other three
_Kalandars_, [81] awakened by the noise he made, trimmed the lamp;
the flame was burning bright, and each of them sitting on his mattrass,
lighted their _hukkas_, [82] and began to smoke. One of these _Azads_
[83] said, "O friends in mutual pain, and faithful wanderers over
the world! we four persons, by the revolution of the heavens, and
changes of day and night, with dust on our heads, have wandered for
some time, from door to door. God be praised, that by the aid of our
good fortune, and the decree of fate, we have to-day met each other
on this spot. The events of to-morrow are not in the least known,
nor what will happen; whether we remain together, or become totally
separated; the night is a heavy load, [84] and to retire to sleep so
early is not salutary. It is far better that we relate, each on his
own part, the events which have passed over our heads in this world,
without admitting a particle of untruth [in our narrations;] then
the night will pass away in words, and when little of it remains,
let us retire to rest." They all replied, "O leader, we agree to
whatever you command. First you begin your own history, and relate
what you have seen; then shall we be edified."


The first _Darwesh_, sitting at his ease, [85] began thus to relate
the events of his travels:

"Beloved of God, turn towards me, and hear this helpless one's
Hear what has passed over my head with attentive ears,
Hear how Providence has raised and depressed me.
I am going to relate whatever misfortunes I have suffered; hear
the whole narrative."

O my friends, the place of my birth, and the country of my
forefathers, is the land of Yaman; [86] the father of this wretch was
_Maliku-t-Tujjar_, [87] a great merchant, named _Khwaja Ahmad_. At
that time no merchant or banker was equal to him. In most cities
he had established factories and agents, for the purchase and sale
(of goods); and in his warehouses were _lakhs_ of _rupis_ in cash,
and merchandise of different countries. He had two children born to
him; one was this pilgrim, who, clad in the _kafni_ [88] and _saili_,
[89] is now in your presence, and addressing you, holy guides; the
other was a sister, whom my father, during his life time, had married
to a merchant's son of another city; she lived in the family of her
father-in-law. In short, what bounds could be set to the fondness
of a father, who had an only son, and was so exceedingly rich! This
wanderer received his education with great tenderness under the shadow
of his father and mother; and began to learn reading and writing,
and the science and practice of the military profession; and likewise
the art of commerce, and the keeping of accounts. Up to [the age of]
fourteen years, my life passed away in extreme delight and freedom
from anxiety; no care of the world entered my heart. All at once,
even in one year, both my father and mother died by the decree of God.

I was overwhelmed with such extreme grief, that I cannot express [its
anguish.] At once I became an orphan! No elder [of the family] remained
to watch over me. From this unexpected misfortune I wept night and day;
food and drink were utterly disregarded. In this sad state I passed
forty days: on the fortieth day, [90] [after the death of my parents,]
my relations and strangers of every degree assembled [to perform the
rites of mourning.] When the _Fatiha_ [91] for the dead was finished,
they tied on this pilgrim's head the turban of his father; [92]
they made me understand, that, "In this world the parents of all have
died, and you yourself must one day follow the same path. Therefore,
have patience, and look after your establishment; you are now become
its master in the room of your father; be vigilant in your affairs
and transactions." After consoling me [in this friendly manner,]
they took their leave. All the agents, factors and employes [of my
late father] came and waited on me; they presented their _nazars_,
and said, "Be pleased to behold with your own auspicious eye the cash
in the coffers, and the merchandise in the warehouses." When all at
once my sight fell on this boundless wealth, my eyes expanded. I gave
orders for the fitting up of a _diwan-khana_; [93] the _farrashes_
[94] spread the carpets, and hung up the _pardas_ [95] and magnificent
_chicks_. [96] I took handsome servants into my service; and caused
them to be clothed in rich dresses out of my treasury. This mendicant
had no sooner reposed himself in [the vacant] seat [of his father]
than he was surrounded by fops, coxcombs, "thiggars [97] and sornars,"
liars and flatterers, who became his favourites and friends. I began
to have them constantly in my company. They amused me with the gossip
of every place, and every idle, lying tittle tattle; they continued
urging me thus. "In this season of youth, you ought to drink [98] of
the choicest wines, and send for beautiful mistresses to participate
in the pleasures thereof, and enjoy yourself in their company."

In short, the evil genius of man is man: my disposition changed from
listening constantly [to their pernicious advice.] Wine, dancing,
and gaming occupied my time. At last matters came to such a pitch,
that, forgetting my commercial concerns, a mania for debauchery
and gambling came over me. My servants and companions, when they
perceived my careless habits, secreted all they could lay hand on;
one might say a systematic plunder took place. No account was kept of
the money which was squandered; from whence it came, or where it went:

"When the wealth comes gratuitously, the heart has no mercy on
it." [99]

Had I possessed even the treasures of _Karun_, [100] they would
not have been sufficient to supply this vast expenditure. In the
course of a few years such became all at once my condition, that,
a bare skull cap for my head, and a rag about my loins, were all that
remained. Those friends who used to share my board, and [who so often
swore] [101] to shed their blood by the spoonful for my advantage,
disappeared; yea, even if I met them by chance on the highway, they
used to withdraw their looks and turn aside their faces from me;
moreover, my servants, of every description, left me, and went away;
no one remained to enquire after me, and say, "what state is this
you are reduced to?" I had no companion left but my grief and regret.

I now had not a half-farthing's worth of parched grain [to grind
between my jaws,] and give a relish to the water I drank: I endured
two or three severe fasts, but could no longer bear [the cravings
of] hunger. From necessity, covering my face with the mask of
shamelessness, I formed the resolution of going to my sister; but
this shame continued to come into my mind, that, since the death of
my father, I had kept up no friendly intercourse with her, or even
written her a single line; nay, further, she had written me two or
three letters of condolence and affection, to which I had not deigned
to make any reply in my inebriated moments of prosperity. From this
sense of shame my heart felt no inclination [to go to my sister,]
but except her house, I had no other [to which I could resort.] In
the best way I could, on foot, empty-handed, with much fatigue and
a thousand toils, having traversed the few [intervening] stages, I
arrived at the city where my sister lived, and reached her house. My
sister, seeing my wretched state, invoked a blessing upon me, embraced
me with affection, and wept bitterly; she distributed [the customary
offerings to the poor] on the occasion of my safe arrival, such as
oil, vegetables, and small coins, [102] and said to me, "Though my
heart is greatly rejoiced at this meeting, yet, brother, in what sad
plight do I see you?" I could make her no reply, but shedding tears,
I remained silent. My sister sent me quickly to the bath, after
having ordered a splendid dress to be sewn for me. I having bathed
and washed, put on these clothes. She fixed on an elegant apartment,
near her own, for my residence. I had in the morning _sharbat_, [103]
and various kinds of sweetmeats for my breakfast; in the afternoon,
fresh and dried fruits for my luncheon; and at dinner and supper she
having procured for me _pulaos_, [104] _kababs_, [105] and bread of the
most exquisite flavour and delicious cookery; she saw me eat them in
her own presence; and in every manner she took care of me. I offered
thousands upon thousands of thanksgivings to God for enjoying such
comfort, after such affliction [as I had suffered.] Several months
passed in this tranquillity, during which I never put my foot out of
my apartment.

One day, my sister, who treated me like a mother, said to me, "O
brother, you are the delight of my eyes, and the living emblem of the
dead dust of our parents; by your arrival the longing of my heart is
satisfied; whenever I see you, I am infinitely rejoiced; you have made
me completely happy; but God has created men to work for their living,
and they ought not to sit idle at home. If a man becomes idle and stays
at home, the people of the world cast unfavourable reflections on him;
more especially the people of this city, both great and little, though
it concerns them not, will say, on your remaining [with me and doing
nothing,] 'That having lavished and spent his father's worldly wealth,
he is now living on the scraps from his brother-in-law's board.' This
is an excessive want of proper pride, and will be our ridicule, and
the subject of shame to the memory of our parents; otherwise I would
keep you near my heart, and make you shoes of my own skin, and have
you wear them. Now, my advice is that you should make an effort at
travelling; please God the times will change, and in place of your
present embarrassment and destitution, gladness and prosperity may be
the result." On hearing this speech my pride was roused; I approved
of her advice, and replied, very well, you are now in the place of
my mother, and I will do whatever you say. Having thus received my
consent, she went into the interior of her house, and brought out, by
the assistance of her female slaves and servants, fifty _toras_ [106]
of gold and laid them before me, saying, "A caravan of merchants is on
the point of setting out for Damascus. [107] Do you purchase with this
money some articles of merchandise. Having put them under the care
of a merchant of probity, take from him a proper receipt for them:
and do you also proceed to Damascus. When you arrive there in safety,
receive the amount sales of your goods, and the profit which may accrue
[from your merchant,] or sell them yourself [as may be most convenient
or advantageous."] I took the money and went to the _bazar_; [108]
and having bought articles of merchandise, I delivered them over in
charge to an eminent merchant, and set my mind at ease on receiving a
satisfactory receipt from him. The merchant embarked with the goods
on board a vessel, and set off by sea, [109] and I prepared to go
by land. When I took leave of my excellent sister, she gave me a
rich dress and a superb horse with jewelled harness; she put some
sweetmeats in a leather bag and hung it to the pummel of my saddle,
and she suspended a flask of water from the crupper; she tied a sacred
rupee on my arm, [110] and having marked my forehead with _tika_, [111]
"Proceed," said she, suppressing her tears, "I have put thee under the
protection of God; thou showest thy back in going, in the same happy
state show me soon your face." I also said, after repeating the prayer
of welfare, "God be your protector also. I obey your commands." Coming
out from thence, I mounted my horse, and having placed my reliance
on the protection of the Almighty, I set forward, and throwing two
stages into one, I soon reached the neighbourhood of Damascus.

In short, when I arrived at the city gate, the night was far advanced,
and the door-keepers and guards had shut them. I made much entreaty,
and added, "I am a traveller, who has come a long journey, at a great
rate; if you would kindly open the gates, I could get into the city
and procure some refreshment for myself and my horse." They rudely
replied from within, "There is no order to open the gates at this
hour; why have you come so late in the night?" When I heard this
plain answer of theirs, I alighted from my horse under the walls of
the city, and spreading my housing, I sat down; but to keep awake,
I often rose up and walked about. When it was exactly midnight, [112]
there was a dead silence. What do I see but a chest descending slowly
from the walls of the fortress! When I beheld this [strange sight], I
was filled with surprise, thinking what talisman is this! perhaps God,
taking pity on my perplexity and my misfortunes, has sent me here some
bounty from his hidden treasure. When the chest rested on the ground, I
approached it with much fear, and perceived it was of wood. Instigated
by curiosity, I opened it; I beheld in it a beautiful lovely woman (at
the sight of whom the senses would vanish), wounded and weltering in
her blood, with her eyes closed, and in extreme agonies. By degrees
her lips moved, and these sounds issued slowly from her mouth, "O
faithless wretch! O barbarous tyrant! Is this deed which thou hast
done, the return I merited for all my affection and kindness! Well,
well! give me another blow [and complete thy cruelty]: I entrust to God
the executing of justice between myself and thee." After pronouncing
these words, even in that insensible state, she drew the end of her
_dopatta_ [113] over her face; she did not look towards me.

Gazing on her, and hearing her exclamations, I became torpid. It
occurred to me, what savage tyrant could wound so beautiful a
lady! what [demon] possessed his heart, and how could he lift
his hand against her! she still loves him, [114] and even in this
agony of death, she recollects him! I was muttering this to myself;
the sound reached her ear; drawing at once her veil from her face,
she looked at me. The moment her looks met mine, I nearly fainted,
and my heart throbbed with difficulty; I supported myself by a strong
effort, and taking courage, I asked her, "tell me true, who art you,
and what sad occurrence is this I see; if you will explain it, then it
will give ease to my heart." On hearing these words, though she had
scarce strength to speak, yet she slowly uttered, "I thank you! how
can I speak? my condition, owing to my wounds, is what you see; I
am your guest for a few moments only; when my spirit shall depart,
then, for God's sake, act like a man, and bury unfortunate me in some
place, in this chest; then I shall be freed from the tongue of the
good and bad, and you will earn for yourself a future reward." After
pronouncing these words, she became silent.

In the night I could apply no remedy; I brought the chest near me, and
began to count the _gharis_ [115] of the remaining night. I determined,
when the morning came, to go into the city and do all in my power
for the cure [of this beautiful woman]. The short, remaining night
became so heavy [116] a load, that my heart was quite restless. At
last, after suffering much uneasiness, the morning approached--the
cock crowed, and the voices of men were heard. After performing
the morning prayer, I inclosed the chest in a coarse canvas sack,
and just as the gates opened, I entered the city. I began to inquire
of every man and shop-keeper where I could find a mansion for hire;
and after much search, I found a convenient, handsome house, which I
rented. The first thing I did, was to take that beautiful woman out
of the chest, and lay her on a soft bed made up of flocks of cotton,
which I had removed to a corner. I then placed a trusty person near
her, and went in search of a surgeon. I wandered about, asking of
every one I met who was the cleverest surgeon in the city, and where
he lived. One person said, "There is a certain barber who is unique
in the practice of surgery, and the science of physic; and in these
arts is quite perfect. If you carry a dead person to him, by the help
of God, he will apply such remedies as will bring him to life. He
dwells in this quarter [of the city,] and his name is _'Isa_." [117]

On hearing this agreeable intelligence, I went in search of him, and
after several inquiries, I found out his abode from the directions
I had received. I saw a man with a white beard sitting under the
portico of his door, and several men were grinding materials for
plasters beside him. For the sake of complimenting him, I made him
a respectful _salam_, [118] and said,--"having heard of your name
and excellent qualities, I am come [to solicit your assistance.] The
case is this: I set out from my country for the purpose of trade,
and took my wife with me, from the great affection I had for her;
when I arrived near this city, I halted at a little distance, as the
evening had set in. I did not think it safe to travel at night in an
unseen country; I therefore rested under a tree on the plains. At the
last quarter of the night, I was attacked by robbers; they plundered
me of all the money and the property they could find, and wounded my
wife, from avidity for her jewels. I could make no resistance, and
passed the remainder of the night as well as I could. Early in the
morning I came into this city, and rented a house; leaving her there,
I am come to you with all speed. God has given you this perfection
in your profession; favour this [unfortunate] traveller, and come to
his humble dwelling; see my wife, and if her life should be saved,
then you will acquire great fame, and I will be your slave as long
as I live." _'Isa_, the surgeon, was very humane and devout; he took
pity on my misfortune, and accompanied me to my house. On examining
the wounds, he gave me hopes, and said, "By the blessing of God, this
lady's wounds will be cured in forty days; and I will then cause to
be administered to her the ablution of cure."

In short, the good man having thoroughly washed all the wounds with the
decoction of _nim_, [119] he cleansed them; those that he found fit for
stitching, he sewed up; and on the others he laid lint and plasters,
which he took out of his box, and tied them up with bandages, and
said with much kindness, "I will continue to call morning and evening;
be thou careful that she remain perfectly quiet, so that the stitches
may not give way; let her food be chicken broth administered in small
quantities at a time, and give her often the spirit of _Bed-Mushk_,
[120] with rose water, so that her strength may be supported." After
giving these directions, he took his leave. I thanked him much with
joined hands, [121] and added, "From the consolation you have bestowed,
my life also has been restored; otherwise, I saw nothing but death
before me; God keep you safe." And after giving him _'Itr_ [122]
and _betel_, I took leave of him. Night and day I attended on that
beautiful lady with the utmost solicitude; rest to myself I renounced
as impious, and in the threshold of God I daily prayed for her cure.

It came to pass that the merchant [who had charge of my merchandise,]
arrived, and delivered over to me the goods I had entrusted to
his care. I sold them as occasion required, and began to spend the
amount in medicines and remedies. The good surgeon was regular in his
attendance, and in a short time all the wounds filled up, and began
to heal; a few days after she performed the ablution of cure. Joy of
a wonderful nature arose [in my heart]! A rich _khil'at_, [123] and
[a purse of] gold pieces I laid before _'Isa_, the surgeon. I ordered
elegant carpets to be spread for that fair one [124], and caused her
to sit upon the _masnad_. [125] I distributed large sums to the poor
[on the joyous occasion,] and that day I was as happy as if I had
gained possession of the sovereignty of the seven climes. [126] On
that beautiful lady's cure, such rosy, pure colour appeared in her
complexion, that her face shone like the sun, and sparkled with the
lustre of the purest gold. I could not gaze on her without being
dazzled with her beauty. [127] I devoted myself entirely to her
services, and zealously performed whatever she commanded. In the
full pride of beauty and consciousness of high rank, if ever she
condescended to cast a look on me, she used to say, "Take care, if
my good opinion is desirable to you, then never breathe a syllable in
my affairs; whatever I order, perform without objection; never utter
a breath in my concerns, otherwise you will repent." It appeared,
however, from her manners, that the return due to me for my services
and obedience, was fully impressed on her mind. I also did nothing
without her consent, and executed her commands with implicit obedience.

A certain space of time passed away in this mystery and submission--I
instantly procured for her whatever she desired. I spent all the money
I had from the sale of my goods, both principal and interest. In
a foreign country [where I was unknown], who would trust me? that
by borrowing, affairs might go on. At last, I was distressed for
money, even for our daily expenses, and thence my heart became much
embarrassed. With this anxious solicitude I pined daily, and the
colour fled from my face; but to whom could I speak [for aid]? What
my heart suffered, that it must suffer. "The grief of the poor man
[preys] on his own soul." [128] One day the beautiful lady, from
her own penetration, perceived [my distressed state] and said, "O
youth! my obligations [to you] for the services [you have rendered]
me are engraven on my heart as indelible as on stone; but their return
I am unable to make at present. If there be any thing required for
necessary expenses, do not be distressed on that account, but bring me
a slip of paper, pen, and ink." I was then convinced that this fair
lady must be a princess of some country, or else she would not have
addressed me with such boldness and haughtiness. I instantly brought
her the writing materials, [129] and placed them before her--she having
written a note in a fair hand, delivered it to me, and said, "There
is a _Tirpauliya_ [130] near the fort; in the adjoining street is a
large mansion, and the master of that house is called _Sidi Bahar_;
[131] go and deliver this note to him."

I went according to her commands, and by the name and address she had
given me, I soon found out the house; by the porter I sent word of
the circumstance [of my having brought] a letter. The moment he heard
[my message,] a handsome young negro, with a flashy turban on his
head, came out to me; though his colour was dark, his countenance was
full of animation. He took the note from my hand, but said nothing,
asked no questions, and at the same pace [without a pause] entered
the house. In a short time he came out, accompanied by slaves, who
carried on their heads eleven sealed trays covered with brocade. He
told the slaves, "Go with this young man, and deliver these trays." I,
having made my salutation, took my leave of him, and brought [the
slaves with their burdens] to our house. I dismissed the men from
the door, and carried in the trays entrusted to me to the presence
of the fair lady. On seeing them she said, "Take these eleven bags
of gold pieces and appropriate the money to necessary expenses;
God is most bountiful." I took the gold, and began to lay it out in
immediate necessaries. Although I became more easy in my mind, yet
this perplexity continued in my heart. "O God, [said I to myself,]
what a strange circumstance is this! that a stranger, whose person
is unknown to me, should, on the mere sight of a bit of paper, have
delivered over to me so much money without question or inquiry. I
cannot ask the fair lady to explain the mystery, as she has beforehand
forbidden me." Through fear, I was unable to breathe a syllable.

Eight days after this occurrence, the beloved fair one thus addressed
me:--"God has bestowed on man the robe of humanity which may not be
torn or soiled; and although tattered clothes are no disparagement to
his manhood, yet in public, in the eyes of the world he has no respect
paid to him [if shabbily clothed]. So take two bags of gold with thee,
and go to the _chauk_, [132] to the shop of _Yusuf_ the merchant,
and buy there some sets of jewels of high value, and two rich suits
of clothes, and bring them with thee." I instantly mounted my horse,
and went to the shop described. I saw there a handsome young man,
clothed in a saffron-coloured dress, seated on a cushion; his beauty
[133] was such, that a whole multitude stopped in the street from
his shop as far as the _bazar_ to gaze at him. I approached him with
perfect pleasure, having made my "_salam 'alaika_." I sat down, and
mentioned the articles required. My pronunciation was not like that
of the inhabitants of that city. The young merchant replied with great
kindness, "Whatever you require is ready, but tell me, sir, from what
country are you come, and what are the motives of your stay in this
foreign city? If you will condescend to inform me on these points,
it will not be remote from kindness." It was not agreeable to me to
divulge my circumstances, so I made up some story, took the jewels
and the clothes, paid their price, and begged to take my leave. The
young man seemed displeased and said, "O sir, if you wished to be so
reserved, it was not necessary to show such warmth of friendly greeting
in your first approach. Amongst well-bred people these [134] amicable
greetings are of much consideration." He pronounced this speech with
such elegance and propriety, that it quite delighted my heart, and I
did not think it courteous to be unkind and leave [135] him so hastily;
therefore, to please him, I sat down again and said, I agree to your
request with all my heart, [136] and am ready [to obey your commands.]

He was greatly pleased with my compliance, and smiling he said,
"If you will honour my poor mansion [with your company] to-day, then
having a party of pleasure, we shall regale our hearts for some hours
[in good cheer and hilarity."] I had never left the fair lady alone
[since we first met,] and recollecting her solitary situation,
I made many excuses, but that young man would not accept any; at
last, having extorted from me a promise to return as soon as I had
carried home the articles I had purchased, and having made me swear
[to that effect,] he gave me leave to depart. I, having left the
shop, carried the jewels and the clothes to the presence of the fair
lady. She asked the price of the different articles, and what passed
at the merchant's. I related all the particulars of the purchase,
and the teasing invitation I had received from him. She replied, "It
is incumbent on man to fulfil whatever promise he may make; leave me
under the protection of God, and fulfil your engagement; the law of
the prophet requires we should accept the offers of hospitality." I
said, "My heart does not wish to go and leave you alone, but such are
your orders, and I am forced to go; until I return, my heart will be
attached to this very spot." Saying this, I went to the merchant's:
he, seated on a chair, was waiting for me. On seeing me, he said,
"Come, good sir, you have made me wait long." [137]

He instantly arose, seized my hand, and moved on; proceeding along,
he conducted me to a garden; it was a garden of great beauty; in
the basons and canals fountains were playing; fruits of various
kinds were in full bloom, and the branches of the trees were bent
down with their weight; [138] birds of various species were perched
on the boughs, and sung their merry notes, and elegant carpets were
spread in every apartment [of the grand pavilion which stood in the
centre of the garden]. There on the border of the canal, we sat down
in an elegant saloon; he got up a moment after and went out, and
then returned richly dressed. On seeing him, I exclaimed, "Praised
be the Lord, may the evil eye be averted!" [139] On hearing this,
exclamation, he smiled, and said, "It is fit you, too, should change
your dress." To please him, I also put on other clothes. The young
merchant, with much sumptuousness, prepared an elegant entertainment,
and provided every article of pleasure that could be desired; he was
warm in his expressions of attachment to me, and his conversation was
quite enchanting. At this moment a cupbearer appeared with a flask
[of wine] and a crystal cup, and delicious meats of various kinds were
served up. The salt-cellars were set in order, and the sparkling cup
began to circulate. When it had performed three or four revolutions,
four young dancing boys, very beautiful, with loose, flowing tresses,
entered the assembly, and began to sing and play. Such was the
scene, and such the melody, that had _Tan-Sen_ [140] been present
at that hour, he would have forgot his strains; and _Baiju-Ba,ora_
[141] would have gone mad. In the midst of this festivity, the young
merchant's eyes filled suddenly with tears, and involuntarily two or
three drops trickled down [his cheeks]; he turned round and said to me,
"Now between us a friendship for life is formed; to hide the secrets of
our hearts is approved by no religion. I am going to impart a secret
to you, in the confidence of friendship and without reserve. If you
will give me leave I will send for my mistress into our company,
and exhilarate my heart [with her presence]; for in her absence,
I cannot enjoy any pleasure."

He pronounced these words with such eager desire, that though I had
not seen her, yet my heart longed for her. I replied, your happiness
is essential to me, what can be better [than what you propose]; send
for her without delay; nothing, it is true, is agreeable without the
presence of the beloved one. The young merchant made a sign towards
the _chick_ and shortly a black woman, as ugly as an ogress, on seeing
whom one would die without [the intervention of] fate, approached the
young man and sat down. I was frightened at her sight, and said within
myself, is it possible this she-demon can be beloved by so beautiful
a young man, and is this the creature he praised [142] so highly,
and spoke of with such affection! I muttered the form of exorcism,
[143] and became silent. In this same condition, the festive scene
of wine and music continued for three days and nights; on the fourth
night, intoxication and sleep gained the victory; I, in the sleep
of forgetfulness, involuntarily slumbered; next morning the young
merchant wakened me, and made me drink some cups of a cooling and
sedative nature. He said to his mistress, "To trouble our guest any
longer would be improper."

He then took hold of both my hands, and we stood up. I begged leave to
depart; well pleased [with my complaisance], he gave me permission [to
return home]. I then quickly put on my former clothes, and bent my way
homewards, waited on the angelic lady. But it had never before occurred
in my case, to leave her by herself and remain out all night. I was
quite ashamed of myself for being absent three days [and nights], and
I made her many apologies, and related the whole circumstances of the
entertainment, and his not permitting me [to come home sooner]. She
was well acquainted with the manners of the world, and smiling said,
"What does it signify, if you had to remain to oblige your friend;
I cheerfully pardon you, where is the blame on your part; when a man
goes on occasions of this sort to any person's house, he returns when
the other pleases to let him. But you having eaten and drunk at his
entertainments for nothing, will you remain silent, or give him a
feast in return? Now I think it proper you should go to the young
merchant, and bring him with you, and feast him two-fold greater
than he did you. Give yourself no concern about the materials [for
such an entertainment]; by the favour of God, all the requisites will
soon be ready, and in an excellent style, the hospitable party will
obtain splendour." According to her desire, I went to the jeweller,
and said to him, "I have complied with your request most cheerfully,
now do you also in the way of friendship, grant my request." He said,
"I will obey you with heart and soul."

Then I said, "If you will honour your humble servant's house with a
visit, it will be the essence of condescension. That young man made
many excuses and evasions, but I would not give up the point. When [at
length] he consented, I brought him with me to my house; but on the way
I could not avoid making the reflection, that "if I had had the means,
I could receive my guest in a style which would be highly gratifying
to him. Now I am taking him with me, let us see what will be the
result." Absorbed in these apprehensions, I drew near my house. Then
how was I surprised to see a great crowd and bustle at the door; the
street had been swept and watered; silver mace and club bearers [144]
were in waiting. I wondered greatly [at what I saw], but knowing it
to be mine own house, I entered, and perceived that elegant carpets
befitting every apartment, were spread in all directions, and rich
_masnads_ were laid out. _Betel_ boxes, _gulab-pashes, 'itr-dans,
pik-duns_ [145] flower pots, narcissus-pots, were all arranged in
order. In the recesses of the walls, various kinds of oranges and
confectionery of various colours were placed. On one side variegated
screens of _talk_, with lights behind them were displayed, and on
the other side tall branches of lamps in the shape of cypresses
and lotuses, were lighted up. In the hall and alcove camphorated
candles were placed in golden candlesticks, and rich glass shades were
placed over thorn; every attendant waited at his respective post. In
the kitchen the pots continued jingling; and in the _abdar-khana_
[146] there was a corresponding preparation; jars of water, quite
new, stood on silver stands, with percolators attached, and covered
with lids. Further on, on a platform, were placed spoons and cups,
with salvers and covers; _kulfis_ [147] of ice were arranged, and
the goglets [148] were being agitated in saltpetre.

In short, every requisite becoming a prince was displayed. Dancing
girls and boys, singers, musicians and buffoons, in rich apparel,
were in waiting, and singing in concert. I led the young merchant in,
and seated him on the _masnad_; [149] I was all amazement [and said
to myself] "O God, in so short a time how have such preparations been
made?" I was staring around and walking about in every direction,
but I could nowhere perceive a trace of the beautiful lady; searching
for her, I went into the kitchen, and I saw her there, with an upper
garment on her neck, slippers on her feet, and a white handkerchief
thrown over her head, plain and simply dressed, and without any jewels.

"She on whom God hath bestowed beauty has no need of ornaments;
Behold how beautiful appears the moon, without decorations."

She was busily employed in the superintendence of the feast, and was
giving directions for the eatables, saying, "have a care that [this
dish] may be savoury, and that its moisture, its seasoning and its
fragrance, may be quite correct." In this toil that rose-like person
was all over perspiration.

I approached her with reverence, and having expressed my admiration of
her good sense, and the propriety of her conduct, I invoked blessings
upon her. On hearing my compliments, she was displeased, and said,
"various deeds are done on the part of human beings which it is not
the power of angels [to perform]: what have I done that thou art so
much astonished? Enough, I dislike much talk; but say, what manners is
this to leave your guest alone, and amuse yourself by staring about;
what will he think of your behaviour? return quickly to the company,
and attend to your guest, and send for his mistress, and make her sit
by him." I instantly returned to the young merchant, and shewed him
every friendly attention. Soon after, two handsome slaves entered
with bottles of delicious wine, and cups set with precious stones,
and served us the liquor. In the meantime, I then observed to the
young merchant, I am in every way your friend and servant; it were
well that your handsome mistress, to whom your heart is attached,
should honour us with her presence; it will be perfectly agreeable to
me, and if you please, I will send a person to call her. On hearing
this, he was extremely pleased, and said, "Very well, my dear friend,
yon have [by your kind offer] spoken the wish of my heart." I sent a
eunuch [to bring her]. When half the night was past, that foul hag,
mounted on an elegant _chaudol,_ [150] arrived like an unexpected evil.

To please my guest I was compelled to advance, and receive her with
the utmost kindness, and place her near the young man. On seeing her,
he became as rejoiced as if he had received all the delights of the
world. That hag also clung round the neck of that angelic youth. The
[ludicrous] sight appeared, in plain truth, such as when over the
moon of the fourteenth night, an eclipse comes. As many people as
were in the assembly began to put their fore-fingers between their
teeth, [151] saying [to themselves] "How could such a hag subdue the
affections of this young man!" The eyes of all were turned in that
direction. Disregarding the amusements of the entertainment, they
began to attend only to this strange spectacle. Some apart observed, "O
friends, there is an antagonism between love and reason! what judgment
cannot conceive, this cursed love will show. You must behold _Laili_
with the eyes of _Majnun._ [152] All present exclaimed, "Very true,
that is the fact."

According to the directions of the lady, I devoted myself to
attending on my guests; and although the young merchant pressed me
to eat and drink equally with himself, yet I refrained from fear of
the fair [one's displeasure], and did not give myself up to eating
and drinking, or the pleasures of the entertainment. I pleaded the
duties of hospitality as my excuse for not joining him [in the good
cheer]. In this scene of festivity three nights and days passed
away. On the fourth night, [153] the young merchant said to me with
extreme fondness, "I now beg to take my leave; for your good sake I
have utterly neglected my affairs these three days, and have attended
you. Pray do you also sit near me for a moment, and rejoice my heart,"
I in my own heart imagined that "if I do not comply with his request
at this moment, then he will be grieved; and it is necessary I should
please my new friend and guest;" on which account I replied, "it is
a pleasure to me to obey the command of your honour;" for "a command
is paramount to ceremony" [154]. On hearing this, the young merchant
presented me a cup of wine, and I drank it off; then the cup moved in
such quick successive rounds, that in a short time all the guests in
the assembly became inebriated and stupefied; I also became senseless.

When the morning came, and the sun had risen the height of two spears,
[155] my eyes opened, but I saw nothing of the preparations, the
assembly, or the beautiful lady--only the empty house remained--but
in a corner [of the hall] something lay folded up in a blanket;
I unfolded it, and saw the corpses of the young merchant and of his
[black] woman, with their heads severed from their bodies. On seeing
this sight, my senses forsook me, and my judgment was of no avail [in
explaining to me] what this was and what had happened. I was staring
about me, in every direction with amazement, when I perceived a eunuch
(whom I had seen in the preparations of the entertainment). I was
somewhat comforted on seeing him, and asked him an explanation of
these strange events. He replied briefly, "What good will it do thee
to hear an explanation of what has happened, that thou askest it?"

I also reflected in my mind, that what he said was true; however,
after a short pause, I said to the eunuch, well, do not tell it to
me; but inform me in what apartment is the beloved lady. He answered,
"Certainly; whatever I know I will relate to thee; but [I am surprised]
that a man like thee, possessed of understanding, should, without her
ladyship's permission, and without fear or ceremony, have indulged
in a wine-drinking party after an intimacy of only a few days. [156]
What does all this mean?"

I became much ashamed of my folly [and felt the justice] of the
eunuch's reprobation. I could make no other reply than to say,
"indeed I have been guilty, pardon me." At last the eunuch, becoming
gracious, pointed out the beloved lady's abode, and took his leave;
he himself went to bury the two beheaded bodies. I was free from any
participation in that crime, and was anxious to meet the beautiful
lady. After a painful and difficult search, I arrived at eventide
in that street, [where she then was] according to (the eunuch's)
direction; and in a corner near the door I passed the whole night
in a state of agitation. I did not hear the sound of any person's
footsteps, nor did any bne ask me about my affairs. In this forlorn
state the morning came; when the sun rose, the lovely fair one looked
at me from a window in the balcony of the house. My heart only knows
the state of joy I felt at that moment. I praised the goodness of God.

In the meanwhile, an eunuch came up to me, and said, "Go and
stay in this [adjoining] mosque; perhaps your wishes may, in that
place, be accomplished, and you may yet gain the desires of your
heart." According to his advice I got up from the place [where
I had passed the night], and went to the mosque; but my eyes
remained fixed in the direction of the door of the house, to see
what might appear from behind the curtain of futurity. 1 waited for
the arrival of evening with the anxiety of a person who keeps the
fast [of _Ramazan_]. [157] At last the evening came, and the heavy
day was removed from my heart. All at once the same eunuch who had
given me the directions to find out the lady's house, came to the
mosque. After finishing the evening prayer, having come up to me,
that obliging person, who was in all my secrets, gave me much comfort,
and taking me by the hand, led me along with him, proceeding onwards
at last having made me sit down in a small garden, he said: "Stay here
until your desire [of seeing your mistress] be accomplished." Then he
himself having taken his leave, went, perhaps, to impart my wishes to
the beautiful lady. I amused myself with admiring the beauty of the
flowers of the garden, and the brightness of the full moon, and the
play of the fountains in the canals and rivulets, a display like that
of the mouths of _Sawan_ and _Bhadon_; but when I beheld the roses,
I thought of the beautiful rose-like angel, and when I gazed on the
bright moon, I recollected her moon-like face. All these delightful
scenes without her were so many thorns in my eyes.

At last God made her heart favourable to me. After a little while
that lovely fair one entered from the [garden] door adorned like the
full moon, wearing a rich dress, enriched with pearls, and covered
from head to feet with an embroidered veil; she stepped along the
garden walk, and stood [at a little distance from me]. By her coming,
the beauties of that garden, and the joy of my heart revived. After
strolling for a few minutes about the garden, she sat down in the
alcove on a richly-embroidered _masnad_. I ran, and like the moth
that flutters around the candle, offered my life as a sacrifice to
her, and like a slave stood before her with folded arms. At this
moment the eunuch appeared, and began to plead for my pardon and
restoration to her favour. Addressing myself to him, I said, I am
guilty, and culpable; whatever punishment is fixed on me, let it be
executed. The lady, though she was displeased, said with _hauteur_,
"The best thing that can be done for him now is that he should receive
a hundred bags of gold pieces, and having got his property all right,
let him return to his native country."

On hearing these words, I became a block of withered wood; if any
one had cut my body, not a drop of blood would have issued; all the
world began to appear dark before my sight; a sigh of despair burst
involuntarily from my heart, and the tears flowed from my eyes. I had
at that time no hope from any one except God; driven to utter despair,
I ventured to say, "Well, [cruel fair,] reflect a moment, that if to
this unfortunate wretch there had been a desire for worldly wealth,
he would not have devoted his life and property to you. Are the
acknowledgments due to my services, and my having devoted my life
to you, flown all of a sudden from this world, that you have shown
such disfavour to a wretch like me? It is all well; to me life is
no longer of any use; to the helpless, half-dead lover there is no
resource against the faithlessness of the beloved one."

On hearing these words, she was greatly offended, and frowning with
anger, she exclaimed, "Very fine indeed! What, thou art my lover! Has
the frog then caught cold? [158] O fool, for one in thy situation to
talk thus is an idle fancy; little mouths should not utter big words:
no more--be silent--repeat not such presumptuous language; if any other
had dared to behave so improperly, I vow to God, I would have ordered
his body to be cut in pieces, and given to the kites [of the air];
but what can I do?--Your services ever come to my recollection. Thou
hadst best now take the road [to thy home;] thy fate had decreed
thee food and drink only until now in my house!" I then weeping,
said, if it has been written in my destiny that I am not to attain
the desires of my heart, but to wander miserably through woods and
over mountains, then I have no remedy left. On hearing these words,
she became vexed and said, "These hints and this flattering nonsense
are not agreeable to me; go and repeat them to those who are fit to
hear them." Then getting up in the same angry mood, she returned to
her house. I beseeched her to hear me, but she disregarded what I
said. Having no resource, I likewise left the place, sad and hopeless.

In short, for forty days this same state of things continued. When I
was tired of pacing the lanes of the city, I wandered into the woods,
and when I became restless there, I returned to the lanes of the
city like a lunatic. I thought not of nourishment during the day,
or sleep at night; like a washerman's dog, that belongs neither to
the house nor the _ghat_ [159] The existence of man depends on eating
and drinking; he is the worm of the grain. Not the least strength
remained in my body. Becoming feeble, I went and lay down under the
wall of the same mosque; when one day the eunuch aforementioned came
there to say his Friday prayers, and passed near me; I was repeating
at the time, slow from weakness, this verse:

"Give me strength of mind to bear these pangs of the heart, or
give me death;
Whatever may have been written in my destiny, O God! let it come

Though in appearance my looks were greatly altered, and my face was
such that whoever had seen me formerly would not have recognised me
to be the same person; yet the eunuch, hearing the sounds of grief,
looked at me, and regarding me with attention, pitied me, and with
much kindness addressed me, saying, "At last to this State thou hast
brought thyself." I replied, what was to occur has now happened;
I devoted my property to her welfare, and I have sacrificed my life
likewise; such has been her pleasure; then what shall I do?

On hearing this, he left a servant with me, and went into the mosque;
when he finished his prayers, and [heard] the _Khutba_, [160] he
returned to me, and putting me into a _miyana_ [161] had me carried
along to the house of that indifferent fair, and placed me outside the
_chik_ [of her apartment]. Though no trace of my former self remained,
yet as I had been for a long while constantly with the lovely fair one,
[she must have recognised me]; however, though knowing me perfectly,
she acted as a stranger, and asked the eunuch who I was. That excellent
man replied, "This is that unfortunate, ill-fated wretch who has fallen
under the displeasure and reprehension of your highness; for this
reason his appearance is such; he is burning with the fire of love; how
much soever he endeavours to quench the flame with the water of tears,
yet it burns with double force. Nothing is of the least avail; moreover
he is dying with the shame of his fault." The fair lady jocosely
said, "Why dost thou tell lies? I received from my intelligencers,
[162] many days ago, the news of his arrival in his own country;
God knows who this is of whom you speak." Then the eunuch, putting
his hands together, said, "If security be granted to my life, [163]
then I will be so bold as to address your highness." She answered,
"Speak; your life is secure." The eunuch said, "Your highness is
by nature a judge of merit; for God's sake lift up the screen from
between you, and recognise him, and take pity on his lamentable
condition. Ingratitude is not proper. Now whatever compassion you
may feel for his present condition is amiable and meritorious--to
say more would be [to outstep] the bounds of respect; whatever your
highness ordains, that assuredly is best."

On hearing this speech [of the eunuch], she smiled and said, "Well,
let him be who he will, keep him in the hospital; when he gets well,
then his situation shall be inquired into." The eunuch answered,
"If you will condescend to sprinkle rose-water on him with your own
royal hands, and say a kind word to him, then there may be hopes
of his living; despair is a bad thing; the world exists through
hope." Even on this, the fair one said nothing [to console me]. Hearing
this dialogue, I also continued becoming more and more tired of
existence. I fearlessly said, "I do not wish to live any longer on
these terms; my feet are hanging in the grave, and I must soon die;
my remedy is in the power of your highness; whether you may apply
it or not, that you only know." At last the Almighty [164] softened
the heart of that stony-hearted one; she became gracious and said,
"Send immediately for the royal physicians." In a short time they came
and assembled [around me]; they felt my pulse and examined my urine
with much deliberation; at last it was settled in their praegnosis,
that "this person is in love with some one; except the being united
with the beloved object, there is no other cure; whenever he possesses
her he will be well." When from the declaration of the physicians my
complaint was thus confirmed, the fair lady said, "Carry this young
man to the warm bath, and after bathing him and dressing him in fine
clothes, bring him to me." They instantly carried me out, and after
bathing me and clothing me well, they led me before the lovely angel;
then that beautiful creature said with kindness, "Thou hast constantly,
and for nothing, got me censured and dishonoured; now what more dost
thou wish? Whatever is in thy heart, speak it out quite plainly?"

O, _Darweshes!_ [165] at that moment my emotions were such that
[I thought] I should have died with joy, and- swelled so greatly
with pleasure, that my _jama_ [166] could hardly contain me,
and my countenance and appearance became changed; I praised God,
and said to her, this moment all the art of physic is centered in
you, who have restored a corpse like me to life with a single word;
behold, from that time to this, what a change has taken place in my
circumstances [by the kindness you have shewn]." After saying this,
I went round her three times, [167] and standing before her, I said,
"your commands are that I should speak whatever I have in my heart;
this boon is more precious to your slave than the empire of the seven
climes; then be generous and accept this wretch! keep me at your feet
and elevate me," On hearing this ejaculation, she became thoughtful
for a moment; then regarding me askance, she said, "Sit down; your
services and fidelity have been such that whatever you say becomes you;
they are also engraven on my heart. Well; I comply with your request."

The same day, in a happy hour, and under a propitious star the _kazi_
[168] quite privately performed the marriage rites. After so much
trouble and afflictions, God shewed me this happy day, when I gained
the desires of my heart; but in the same degree that my heart wished
to possess this angelic lady, it felt equally anxious and uneasy to
know the explication of those strange events [which had occurred];
for, up to that day I knew nothing about who she was; or who was
that brown, handsome negro, who on seeing a bit of paper, delivered
to me so many bags of gold; and how that princely entertainment was
prepared in the space of one _pahar_; and why those two innocent
persons were put to death after the entertainment; and the cause
of the anger and ingratitude she showed me after all my services
and kindnesses; and then all at once to elevate this wretch [to
the height of happiness.]. In short, I was so anxious to develop
these strange circumstances and doubts, that for eight days after
the marriage ceremonies, notwithstanding my great affection for her,
I did not attempt to consummate the rites of wedlock. I merely slept
with her at night, and got up in the morning "re non effecta."

One morning I desired an attendant to prepare some warm water in order
that I might bathe. [169] The princess smiling, said, "Where is the
necessity for the hot water?" I remained silent; but she was perplexed
[to account] for my conduct; moreover, in her looks the signs of anger
were visible; so much so, that she one day said to me, "Thou art indeed
a strange man; at one time so warm before, and now so cold! what do
people call this [conduct]? If you had not manly vigour, then why did
you form so foolish a wish? I then having become fearless, replied,
"O, my darling, justice is a positive duty; no person ought to deviate
from the rules of justice. She replied, "What further justice remains
[to be done]? whatever was to happen has taken place." I answered,
in truth, that which was my most earnest wish and desire I have
gained; but, my heart is uneasy with doubts, and the man whose mind
is filled with suspicions is ever perplexed; he can do nothing, and
becomes different from other human creatures. I had determined within
myself that after this marriage, which is my soul's entire delight,
I would question your highness respecting sundry circumstances which
I do not comprehend, and which I cannot unravel; that from your own
blessed lips I might hear their explanation; then my heart would be at
ease." The lovely lady frowning, said, "How pretty! you have already
forgotten [what I told you]; recollect, many times I have desired you
not to search into my concerns, or to oppose what I say; and is it
proper in you to take, contrary to custom, such liberties?" I laughing
replied, as you have pardoned me much greater liberties, forgive this
also. That angelic fair, changing her looks and getting warm, became a
whirlwind of fire, and said; "You presume too much; go and mind your
own affairs; what advantage can you derive from [the explanation of)
these circumstances?" I answered, "the greatest shame in this world
is the exposure of our person; but we are conversant with one another
[in that respect], hence as you have thought it right to lay aside
this repugnance with me, then why conceal any other secrets from me?"

Her good sense made her comprehend my hint, and she said, "This is
true; but I am very apprehensive if I, wretched, should divulge
my secrets; it may be the cause of great trouble." I answered,
what strange apprehensions you form! do not conceive in your heart
such an idea of me, and relate without restraint all the events of
your life; never, never, shall they pass from my breast to my lips;
what possibility, then, of their reaching the ear of another?" When
she perceived that, without satisfying my curiosity she should have
no rest, being without resource, she said, "Many evils attend the
explanation of these matters, but you are obstinately bent upon
it. Well, I must please you; for which reason I am going to relate
the events of my past life--take care; it is equally necessary for you
to conceal them [from the world]; my information is on this condition."

In short, after many injunctions, she began the relation [of her life]
as follows:--"The unfortunate wretch before you is the daughter of the
King of Damascus; he is a great sovereign among sultans; he never had
any child except me. From the day I was born I was brought up with
great delicacy and tenderness, in joy and happiness under the eye
of my father and mother. As I grew up I became attached to handsome
and beautiful women; so that I kept near my person the most lovely
young girls of noble families, and of my own age; and handsome female
servants of the like age, in my service. I ever enjoyed the amusements
of dancing and singing, and never had a care about the good or evil
of the world. Contemplating my own condition thus free from care,
except the praises of God, nothing else occupied my thoughts.

"It so happened that my disposition became suddenly of itself so
changed, that I lost all relish for the company of others, nor did the
gay assembly afford me any pleasure; my temper became melancholic,
and my heart sad and confused; no one's presence was agreeable to
me, nor did my heart feel inclined for conversation. Seeing this sad
condition of mine, all the female servants were overwhelmed with sorrow
and fell at my feet [begging to know the cause of my gloom]. This
faithful eunuch, who has long been in my secrets, and from whom no
action of my life is concealed, seeing my melancholy, said, 'If the
princess would drink a little of the exhilarating lemonade, [170]
it is most probable that her cheerful disposition would be restored;
and gladness return to her heart.' On hearing him say so, I had a
desire [to taste it], and ordered some to be prepared immediately.

"The eunuch went out [to make it up], and returned, accompanied by a
young boy, who brought a goblet of the lemonade, carefully prepared and
cooled in ice. I drank it, and perceived it produced the good effect
ascribed to it; for this piece of service I bestowed on the eunuch
a rich _khil'at_, [171] and desired him to bring me a goblet of the
same every day at the same hour. From that day it became a regular
duty, that the eunuch came, accompanied by the boy who brought the
lemonade, and I drank it. When its inebriating quality took effect,
I used in the elevation of my spirits to jest and laugh with the boy,
and beguile my time. When his timidity wore off, he began to utter very
agreeable speeches, and related many pleasant anecdotes; moreover,
he began to heave sighs and sobs. His face was handsome and worth
seeing; I began to like him beyond control. I, from the affections
of my heart, and the relish I felt for his playful humour, every
day gave him rewards and gratuities; but the wretch always appeared
before me in the same clothes that he had been accustomed to wear,
and they even were dirty and soiled.

"One day I said to him, you have received a good deal [of money] from
the treasury, but your appearance is as wretched as ever; what is the
cause of it? have you spent the money, or do you amass it?" When the
boy heard these encouraging words, and found that I enquired into
his condition, he said with tears in his eyes, 'Whatever you have
bestowed on this slave, my preceptor has taken from me; he did not
give me one _paisa_ [172] for myself; with what shall I make up other
clothes, and appear better dressed before you? it is not my fault,
and I cannot help it.' At this humble statement of his, I felt pity
for him; I instantly ordered the eunuch to take charge of the boy from
that day, to educate him under his own eye, and give him good clothes,
and not to allow him to play and skip about with other boys; moreover,
that my wish was, he should be taught a respectful mode of behaviour,
to fit him for my own princely service, and to wait on me. The eunuch
obeyed my orders, and perceiving how my inclinations leaned, he took
the utmost care of him. In a little time, from ease and good living,
his colour and sleekness changed greatly, like a snake's throwing
off its slough; I restrained my inclinations as much as I could, but
the [handsome] form of that rogue [173] was so engraven on my heart,
that I fondly wished to keep him clasped to my bosom, and never take
my eyes off him for a moment.

"At last, I made him enter into my companionship, and dressing him in
a variety of rich clothes and all kinds of jewels, I used to gaze at
him. In short, by being always with me, my longing eyes were satisfied
and my heart comforted; I every moment complied with his wants and
wishes; at last, my condition was such, that if on any urgent occasion
he was absent for a moment from my sight, I became quite uneasy. In a
few years he became a youth, and the down appeared on his cheeks; his
body and limbs were well formed! then there began to be a talk about
him out of doors among the courtiers. The guards of all descriptions
began to forbid him from coming and going within the palace. At length,
his entrance into it was quite stopped, and without him I had no rest;
a moment [of absence on his part,] was an age [of pain on mine]. When
I heard these tidings of despair, I was as distracted as if the
day of judgment had burst over me; and such was my condition that I
could not speak a word [to express my wishes]: nor yet could I live
separated from him. I had no means of relief; O God, what could I do;
a strange kind of uneasiness came over me, and in consequence of my
distraction I addressed myself to the same eunuch [who was in all my
secrets], and said to him, 'I wish to take care of this youth. In
fact, the best plan is for you to give him a thousand gold pieces,
to set him up in a jeweller's shop in the _chauk_, that he may from
the profit of his trade live comfortably; and to build him a handsome
house near my residence; to buy him slaves, and hire him servants and
fix their pay, that he may in every way live at his ease.' The eunuch
furnished him with a house, and set up a jeweller's shop for him to
carry on the traffic, and prepared everything that was requisite. In a
short time, his shop became so brilliant and showy, that whatever rich
_khil'ats_ or superb jewels were required for the king and his nobles,
could only be procured there; and by degrees his shop so flourished,
that all the rarities of every country were to be found there; and
the daily traffic of all other jewellers became languid in comparison
with his. In short, no one was able to compete with him in the city,
nor was his equal [to be found] in any other country.

"He made a great deal of money [174] by his business; but [grief
for his] absence daily preyed on my mind, and injured my health;
no expedient could be hit upon by which I might see him, and console
my heart. At last, for the purpose of consultation, I sent for the
same experienced eunuch, and said to him, 'I can devise no plan by
which I may see the youth for a moment, and inspire my heart with
patience. There remains only this method, which is to dig a mine from
his house and join the same to the palace.' I had no sooner expressed
my wish, than such a mine was dug in a few days, so that on the
approach of evening the eunuch used to conduct the young man through
that same passage, in silence and secrecy [to my apartment]. We used
to pass the whole night in eating and drinking, and every enjoyment;
I was delighted to meet him, and he was rejoiced to see me. When the
morning star appeared, and the _muwazzin_ [175] gave notice [of the
time for morning prayers], the eunuch used to lead the youth by the
same way to his house. No fourth person had any knowledge of these
circumstances; [it was known] only to the eunuch and two nurses who
had given me milk, and brought me up.

"A long period passed in this manner; but it happened one day that when
the eunuch went to call him, according to custom, then he perceived
that the youth was sitting sorrowful and silent. The eunuch asked him,
'Is all well to-day? why are you so sad? Come to the princess; she has
sent for you.' The youth made no reply whatever, nor did he move his
tongue. The eunuch returned alone with a similar face, and mentioned
to me the young man's condition. As the devil was about to ruin me,
even after this conduct I could not banish him from my heart; if I
had known that my love and affection for such an ungrateful wretch
would have at last rendered me infamous and degraded, and would have
destroyed my fame and honour; then I should have at that moment
shrunk back from such a proceeding, and should have done penance;
I never again should have pronounced his name, neither should I have
devoted my heart to the shameless [fellow]. But it was to happen so;
for this reason I took no heed of his improper conduct, and his not
coming I imagined to be the affectation and airs of those [who are
conscious of being] beloved; its consequences I have sadly rued, and
thou art now also informed of these events without hearing or seeing
them; or else where were you, and where was I? Well, what has happened
is past. Bestowing not a thought on the conceited airs of that ass,
I again sent him word by the eunuch, saying, 'if thou wilt not come
to me now, by some means or other I will come to thee; but there is
much impropriety in my coming there;--if this secret is discovered,
thou wilt have cause to rue it; so do not act in a manner that will
have no other result than disgrace; it is best that thou comest quickly
[to me], otherwise imagine me arrived [near thee]. When he received
this message, and perceived that my love for him was unbounded,
he came with disagreeable looks and affected airs.

"When he sat down by me, I asked him, 'what is the cause of your
coolness and anger to-day; you never showed so much insolence
and disrespect before, you always used to come without making any
excuses.' To this he replied, 'I am a poor nameless wretch; by your
favour, and owing to you, I am arrived to such power, and with much
ease and affluence I pass my days. I ever pray for your life and
prosperity; I have committed this fault in full reliance on your
highness's forgiveness, and I hope for pardon. As I loved him from
my soul and heart, I accepted his well-turned apology, and not only
overlooked his knavery, but even asked him again with affection,
what great difficulty has occurred that you are so thoughtful?
mention it, and it shall be instantly removed.'

"In short, in his humble way, he replied, 'Everything is difficult to
me; before your highness, all is easy,' At last, from the purport of
his discourse and conversation, it appeared that an elegant garden,
with a grand house in it, together with reservoirs, tanks and wells,
of finished masonry, was for sale, situated in the centre of the
city and near his house; and that with the garden a female slave was
to be sold, who sung admirably and understood music perfectly. But
they were to be sold together, and not the garden alone, 'like the
cat tied to the camel's neck;' [176] and that whoever purchased
the garden must also buy the slave; the best of it was, the price
of the garden was five thousand rupees, and the price of the slave
five hundred thousand. [He concluded saying], 'Your devoted slave
cannot at present raise so large a sum.' I perceived that his heart
was greatly bent on buying them, and that for this reason he was
thoughtful, and embarrassed in mind; although he was seated near me,
yet his looks were pensive and his heart sad: as his happiness every
hour and moment was dear to me, I that instant ordered the eunuch to
go in the morning and settle the price of the garden and the slave,
get their bills of sale drawn up, and deliver them to this person,
and pay the price to their owner from the royal treasury.

"On hearing this order, the young man thanked me, tears of joy
came upon his face; and we passed the night as usual in laughing
and delight; in the morning he took leave. The eunuch, agreeably
to my orders, bought and delivered over to him the garden and the
slave. The youth continued his visits at night, according to custom
[and retired in the morning]. One day in the season of spring, when
the whole place was indeed charming, the clouds were gathering low,
and the rain drizzling fell, the lightning also continued to flash
[through the murky clouds], and the breeze played gently [through
the trees]--in short, it was a delightful scene. When in the _taks_
[177] the liquors of various colours, arranged in elegant phials,
fell upon my sight; my heart longed to take a draught. After I
had drank two or three cupfulls, instantly the idea of the newly
purchased garden struck me. An irrepressible desire arose within me,
when in that state, that for a short time I should enjoy a walk in that
[garden]. When the stream of misfortune flows against us, we struggle
in vain against the tide. [178] I involuntarily took a female servant
with me, and went to the young man's house by the way of the mine;
from thence I proceeded to the garden, and saw that the delightful
place was in truth equal to the Elysian fields. As the raindrops fell
on the fresh green leaves of the trees, one might say they were like
pearls set in pieces of emerald, and the carnation of the flowers,
in that cloudy day, appeared as beautiful as the ruddy crepuscle
after the setting sun; the basons and canals, full of water, seemed
like sheets of mirrors, over which the small waves undulated.

"In short, I was strolling about in every direction in that garden,
when the day vanished and the darkness of night became conspicuous. At
that moment, the young man appeared on a walk [in the garden]; and on
seeing me, he approached with respect and great warmth of affection,
and taking my hand in his, led me to the pavilion. [179] On entering
it, the splendour of the scene made me entirely forget all the beauty
of the garden. The illuminations within were magnificent; on every
side, gerandoles, in the shape of cypresses, and various kinds of
lights in variegated lamps were lighted up; even the _shabi barat_,
with all its moonlight and its illuminations, would appear dark
[in comparison to the brightness which shone in the pavilion]; on
one side, fire-works [180] of every description were displayed.

"In the meantime, the clouds dispersed, and the bright moon appeared
like a lovely mistress clothed in a lilac-coloured robe, who suddenly
strikes our sight. It was a scene of great beauty; as the moon burst
forth, the young man said, 'Let us now go and sit in the balcony which
overlooks the garden.' I had become so infatuated, that whatever the
wretch proposed I implicitly obeyed; now he led me such a dance, that
he dragged me up [to the balcony.] That building was so high, that all
the houses of the city and the lights of the _bazar_, appeared as if
they were at the foot of it. I was seated in a state of delight, with
my arms round the youth's neck; meanwhile, a woman, quite ugly, without
form or shape, entered as it were from the chimney, with a bottle of
wine in her hand; I was at that time greatly displeased at her sudden
entrance, and on seeing her looks, my heart became alarmed. Then,
in confusion, I asked the young man, 'who is this precious hag;
from whence have you grubbed her up?' Joining his hands together, he
replied, 'This is the slave who was bought with the garden through your
generous assistance.' I had perceived that the simpleton had bought
her with much eager desire, and perhaps his heart was fixed on her;
for this reason, I, suppressing my inward vexation, remained silent;
but my heart from that moment was disturbed and displeasure affected
my temper; moreover, the wretch had the impudence to make this harlot
our cup-bearer. At that moment I was drinking my own blood with rage,
and was as uneasy as a parrot shut up in the same cage with a crow:
I had no opportunity of going away, and did not wish to stay. To
shorten the story, the wine was of the strongest description, so
that on drinking it a man would become a beast. She plied the young
man with two or three cups in succession of that fiery liquor, and
I also bitterly swallowed half a cupfull at the importunity of the
youth; at last, the shameless harlot likewise got beastly drunk,
and took very unbecoming liberties with that vile youth; and the
mean wretch also, in his intoxication, having become regardless,
began to be disrespectful, and behave indecently.

"I was so much ashamed, that had the earth opened at the moment I
would have willingly jumped into it; but in consequence of my passion
for him, I, infatuated, even after all these circumstances, remained
silent. However, he was completely a vile wretch, and did not feel the
value of my forbearance. In the fervour of intoxication, he drank off
two cups more, so that his little remaining sense vanished, and he
completely drove from his heart all respect for me. Without shame,
and in the rage of lust, the barefaced villain consummated before
me his career of infamous indecency with his hideous mistress, who,
in that posture, began to play off all the blandishments of love, and
kissing and embracing took place between the two. In that faithless
man no sense of honour remained; neither did modesty exist in that
shameless woman; 'As the soul is, so are the angels.' [181] My state
[of mind] at the time was like that of a songstress who having [lost
the musical time,] sings out of tune. I was invoking curses on myself
for having come there, saying that I was properly punished for my
folly. At last, how could I bear it? I was on fire from head to foot,
and began to roll on live coals. In my rage and wrath I recollected
the proverb, that 'It is not the bullock that leaps, but the sack;
[182] whoever has seen a sight like this?' in saying this to myself,
I came away thence.

"That drunkard in the depravity of his heart thought, if I was
offended now, what then would be his treatment the next day, and
what a commotion I should raise. So he imagined it best to finish
my existence [whilst he had me in his power.] Having formed this
resolution in his mind with the advice of the hag, he put his _patka_
[183] round his neck and fell at my feet, and taking off his turban
from his head, began to supplicate [my forgiveness] in the humblest
manner. My heart was infatuated towards him; whithersoever he turned
I turned; and like the handmill I was entirely under his control. I
implicitly complied with all he desired; some way or other he pacified
me, and persuaded me to retake my seat. He again took two or three
cupfulls of the fiery liquor, and he induced me to drink some also. I,
in the first place, was already inflamed with rage, and secondly,
after drinking such strong liquor I soon became quite senseless--no
recollection remained. Then that unfeeling, ungrateful, cruel wretch
wounded me with his sword; yea, further, he thought he had completely
killed me. At that moment, my eyes opened, and I uttered these words,
'Well, as I have acted, so I have been rewarded; but do thou screen
thyself from the consequences of shedding unjustly my blood. Let it
not so happen that some tyrant should seize thee; do thou wash off
my blood from thy garment; what has happened is past.'

"Do not divulge this secret to any one; I have not been wanting to
thee even with loss of life. Then placing him under the protection
of God's mercy, I fainted [from the loss of blood], and knew nothing
of what afterwards happened. Perhaps, that butcher, conceiving me
dead, put me into the chest, and let me down over the walls of the
fortress, the same as you yourself saw, I wished no one ill; but these
misfortunes were written in my destiny, and the lines of fate cannot
be effaced. My eyes have been the cause of all these calamities: if
I had not had a strong desire to behold beautiful persons, then that
wretch would not have been my bane. [184] God so ordained that He made
thee arrive there; and, He made thee the means of saving my life. After
undergoing these disgraces, I am ashamed to reflect that I should yet
live and show my face to any one. But what can I do? the choice of
death is not in our hands; God, after killing me, hath restored me to
life; let us see what is written in my future fate. In all appearance,
your exertions and zeal have been of use, so that I have been cured
of such wounds. Thou hast been ready to promote my wishes with thy
life and property, and whatever were thy means, thou hast offered
[them cheerfully]. In those days, seeing thee without money and sad,
I wrote the note to _Sidi Bahar_, who is my cashier. In that note, I
mentioned that I was in health and safety in such a place, and I said,
"convey the intelligence of me unfortunate to my excellent mother."

"The _Sidi_ sent by thee those trays of gold for my expenses; and
when I sent thee to the shop of _Yusuf_ the merchant, to purchase
_khil'ats_ and jewels, I felt confident that the weakminded wretch, who
soon becomes friends with every one, conceiving you a stranger, would
certainly form an intimacy with you, and indulging his conceit, invite
you to a feast and entertainment. This stratagem of mine turned out
right, and he did exactly what I had imagined in my heart. Then, when
you promised him to return, and came to me and related the particulars
of his insisting upon it, I was heartily pleased with the circumstance;
for I knew that if you went to his house, and there ate and drank,
you would invite him in return, and that he would eagerly come; for
this reason, I sent thee back quickly to him. After three days, when
you returned from the entertainment, and, quite abashed, made me many
apologies for staying away so long, to make you easy in your mind,
I replied, 'it is of no consequence; when he gave you leave then you
came away; but to be without delicacy is not proper, and we should not
bear another's debt of gratitude without an idea of paying it; now do
you go and invite him also, and bring him along with you.' When you
went away to his house, I saw that no preparations could be got ready
for the entertainment at our house, and if he should all at once come,
what could I do? but it fortunately happened that from time immemorial,
the custom of this country has been for the kings to remain out for
eight months in the year, to settle the affairs of the provinces, and
collect the revenues, and for four months, during the rains, to stay
[in the city] in their auspicious palaces. In those days, the king,
this unfortunate wretch's father, had gone into the provinces some
two or four months previously to arrange the affairs of the kingdom.

"Whilst you were gone to bring the young merchant [to the
entertainment], _Sidi Bahar_ imparted the particulars of my present
situation to the queen (who is the mother of me impure). Again I,
ashamed of my guilty conduct, went to the queen and related to her
all that happened to me. Although she, from motherly affection and
good sense, had used every means to conceal the circumstance of
my disappearance, saying, 'God knows what may be the end of it;'
she conceived it wrong to make public my disgrace for the present,
and for my sake she had concealed my errors in her maternal breast;
but she had all along been in search of me.

"When she saw me in this condition, and heard all the circumstances
[of my misfortune], her eyes filled with tears, and she said,
'O unfortunate wretch! thou hast knowingly destroyed the honour and
glory of the throne; a thousand pities that thou hadst not perished
also; if instead of thee I had been brought to bed of a stone, I
should have been patient; even now [it is not too late to] repent;
whatever was in thy unfortunate fate has happened; what wilt thou do
next? Wilt thou live or die?' I replied, with excessive shame, that
in this worthless wretch's fate it was so written, that I should live
in such disgrace and distress after escaping such various dangers; it
would have been better to have perished; though the mark of infamy is
stamped on my forehead, yet I have not been guilty of such an action
as can disgrace my parents.

"The great pain I now feel is, that those base wretches should escape
my vengeance, and enjoy their crime in each other's company, whilst
I have suffered such affliction from their hands: it is a pity that
I can do nothing [in order to punish them]. I hope one favour [from
your majesty], that you would order your steward to prepare all the
necessary articles for an entertainment at my house, that I may, under
the pretence of an entertainment, send for those two wretches, and
punish them for their deeds and also inflict vengeance for myself. In
the same manner that he lifted his hand upon me and wounded me, may
I be enabled to cut them to pieces; then my heart will be soothed;
otherwise I must continue glowing in this fire of resentment, and
ultimately I must be burnt to cinders. On hearing this speech, my
excellent mother became kind from maternal fondness, and concealed
my guilt in her own breast, and sent all the necessaries for the
entertainment by the same eunuch who is in my secrets. Every necessary
attendant came also, and each was ready in his own appropriate
occupation. In the time of evening, you brought the [base villain
who is now dead]; I wished the harlot should likewise come.

"For this reason I earnestly desired you to send for her; when she
also came and the guests were assembled, they all became thoroughly
intoxicated and senseless by drinking largely of wine; you also got
drunk along with them, and lay like a corpse. I ordered a _Kilmakini_
[185] to cut off both their heads with a sword; she instantly drew
her sword and cut off both their heads, and dyed their bodies with
their blood. The cause of my anger towards thee was this, that I
had given thee permission for the entertainment, but not to become an
associate in wine-drinking, with people thou hadst only known for a few
days. Assuredly this folly on thy part was anything but pleasing to
me; for when you drank till you became senseless, then what hopes of
aid from you remained? But the claims of thy services so cling around
my neck, that, notwithstanding such conduct, I forgive thee. And now,
behold, I have related to thee all my adventures from the beginning to
the end; do you yet desire in your heart any other [explanations]? In
the same manner that I have, in compliance with your wishes, granted
all you requested, do you also in like manner perform what I desire;
my advice on this occasion is, that it is no longer proper either
for you or me to remain in this city. Henceforward you are master."

O devoted to God! [186] the princess having spoken thus far, remained
silent. I, who with heart and soul considered her wishes paramount to
everything, and was entangled in the net of her affections, replied,
"whatever you advise, that is best, and I will without hesitation carry
the same into effect." When the princess found me obedient, and her
servant, she ordered two swift and high-mettled horses (which might
vie with the wind in speed), to be brought from the royal stables,
and kept in readiness. I went and picked out just such beautiful and
high spirited horses as she required, and had them saddled and brought
[to our house]. When a few hours of the night remained, the princess
put on men's clothes, and arming herself with the five weapons, [187]
mounted on one of the horses; I got on the other, completely armed,
and we set out in the same direction.

When night was over, and the dawn began to appear, we arrived on the
banks of a certain lake; alighting from our horses, we washed our
hands and faces; having breakfasted in great haste, we mounted again
and set off. Now and then the princess spoke, and said, "I have for
your sake left fame, honour, wealth, country and parents all behind me;
now, may it not so happen, that you also should behave to me like that
faithless savage." Sometimes I talked of different matters to beguile
the journey, and sometimes replied to her questions and doubts, saying
"O princess, all men are not alike; there must have been some defect
in that base villain's parentage, that by him such a deed was done;
but I have sacrificed my wealth and devoted my life to you, and you
have dignified me in every way. I am now your slave without purchase,
and if you should make shoes of my skin and wear them, I will not
complain." Such conversation passed between us, and day and night
to travel onward was our business. If through fatigue we sometimes
dismounted somewhere, we then used to hunt down the beasts and birds of
the woods, and having lawfully slain them, and applied salt from the
salt-cellar, and having struck fire with steel [188] (from a flint),
we used to broil and eat them. The horses we let loose [to graze],
and they generally found sufficient to satisfy their hunger from the
grass and leaves.

One day we reached a large even plain, where there was no trace of
any habitation, and where no human face could be seen; even in this
[solitary and dreary scene], owing to the princess's company, the day
appeared festive and the nights joyful. Proceeding on our journey,
we came suddenly to a large river, the sight of which would appal
the firmest heart. [189] As we stood on its banks, as far as the eye
could reach, nothing was to be seen but water; no means of crossing
was to be found. O God [cried I], how shall we pass this sea! we stood
reflecting on this sad obstacle for a few moments, when the thought
came into my mind to leave the princess there, and to go in search
of a boat; and that until I could find some means to pass over, the
princess would have time to rest. Having formed this plan, I said,
"O princess, if you will allow me, I will go and look out for a ferry
or ford." She replied, "I am greatly tired, and likewise hungry and
thirsty; I will rest here a little, whilst thou findest out some
means to pass over [the river]."

On that spot was a large _pipal_ [190] tree, forming a canopy [of
such extent], that if a thousand horsemen sheltered themselves under
its wide-spread branches, they would be protected from the sun and
rain. Leaving there the princess, I set out, and was looking all around
to find somewhere or other on the ground, or the river, some trace of
a human being. I searched much, but found the same nowhere. At last,
I returned hopeless, but did not find the princess under the tree; how
can I describe the state of my mind at that moment! my senses forsook
me, and I became quite distracted. Sometimes I mounted the tree,
and looked for her in every individual leaf and branch; sometimes,
letting go my hold, I fell on the ground, and went round the roots
of the tree as one who performs the _tasadduk_ [191]. Sometimes I
wept and shrieked at my miserable condition; now I ran from west
to east, then from north to south. In short, I searched everywhere,
[192] but could not find any trace of the rare jewel [I had lost];
when, at last, I found I could do nothing, then weeping and throwing
dust over my head, I looked for her everywhere.

This idea came into my mind, that perhaps some of the _jinns_ had
carried her away, and had inflicted on me this wound; or else that
some one had followed her from her country, and finding her alone, had
persuaded her to return to Damascus. Distracted with these fancies,
I threw off and cast away my clothes, and becoming a naked _fakir_,
I wandered about in the kingdom of Syria from morn until eve, and
at night lay down to rest in any place [I could find]. I wandered
over the whole region, but could find no trace of my princess, nor
hear any thing of her from any one, nor could I ascertain the cause
of her disappearance. Then this idea came into my mind, that since
I could find no trace of that beloved one, even life itself was a
weariness. I perceived a mountain in some wilderness; I ascended it,
and formed the design of throwing myself headlong [from its summit],
that I might end my wretched existence in a moment, by dashing my
head to pieces against the stones, then would my soul be freed from
a state of affliction.

Having formed this resolution within myself, I was on the point of


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