Supplemental Nights, Volume 1
Richard F. Burton

Part 5 out of 6

wife, and the crone returned to her and found her changed of
colour, pale of complexion, dejected and heart-broken. So she
questioned her of the cause, and the wife told her how her
husband was angered against her on account of the burns in the
turband-cloth.[FN#494] Rejoined the old woman, "O my daughter, be
not chagrined; for I have a son, a fine-drawer, and he, by thy
life, shall fine-draw the holes and restore the turband-cloth as
it was." The wife rejoiced in her saying and asked her, "And when
shall this be?" The crone answered, "To-morrow, Inshallah--an it
please Allah the Most High--I will bring him to thee, at the time
of thy husband's going forth from thee, and he shall fine-draw it
and depart forthwith." Then she comforted her heart and going
away from her, returned to the young man and acquainted him with
what had passed. Now when the Draper saw the turband-cloth, he
determined to divorce his wife and waited only till he could
collect that which was obligatory on him of the contingent dowry
and what not else,[FN#495] for fear of her people. When the crone
arose in the morning, she took the young man and carried him into
the Draper's house. The wife opened the door to her and the
ill-omened old woman entered with him and said to the lady, "Go,
fetch that which thou wouldest have fine-drawn and give it to my
son." So saying, she bolted the door on her, whereupon the young
man raped[FN#496] her against her will and did his want of her
and went forth. Then cried the crone, "Know that this is my son
and that he loved thee with exceeding love and was like to lose
his life for longing after thee; so I devised for thee with this
device and came to thee with this turband-cloth, which is not thy
husband's, but my son's. Now have I won to my wish; so do thou
trust in me and I will put a sleight on thy husband for setting
thee right with him, and thou wilt be subject to me and to him
and to my son."[FN#497] And the wife replied, "'Tis well. Do so."
Presently the old woman returned to the lover and said, "Know
thou that I have engineered the affair for thee with her; and now
we must mend that we have marred. Hie thee and sit with the
Draper and mention to him the turband-cloth, saying, 'The turband
I bought of thee I chanced to burn in two places; so I gave it to
a certain old woman, to have fine-drawn, and she took it and went
away, and I know not her dwelling-place.'[FN#498] When thou seest
me pass by, rise and lay hold of me, and demand of me the cloth,
to the intent that I may arrange her affair with her spouse and
that matters go right with thee in her regard." Accordingly he
repaired to the Draper's shop and sat down by him and asked him,
"Thou knowest the turband-cloth I bought of thee?" "Yes."
"Knowest thou what is come of it?" "No." "After I bought it of
thee, I fumigated myself[FN#499] and it fortuned that the
turbandcloth was burnt in two places; so I gave it to a woman,
whose son, they said, was a fine-drawer, and she took it and
fared forth with it; and I know not her home." When the Draper
heard this, he was startled by the thought that he had suspected
his wife wrongfully, and marvelled at the story of the
turband-cloth, and his mind was made easy anent her. After a
short while up came the old woman, whereupon the young man sprang
to his feet and seizing her, demanded of her the turband-cloth.
Said she, "Know that I entered one of the houses and wuzu'd and
prayed in the prayerplace;[FN#500] and I forgot the turband-cloth
there and went out. Now I weet not the house in which I prayed,
nor have I been divinely directed[FN#501] thereto, and I go round
about every day till the night, so haply I may light on the
dwelling, for I know not its owner." When the Draper heard these
words, he said to the old woman, "Verily, Allah restoreth to thee
what thing thou hast lost. Be gladdened by good news, for the
turband-cloth is with me and in my house." And he arose
forthright and handed to her the turband-cloth, as it was, and
she handed it to the young man. Then the Draper made peace with
his wife and gave her raiment and jewellery, till she was content
and her heart was appeased.[FN#502] When the king heard his
Chamberlain's story, he was dazed and amazed and said to him,
"Abide on thy service and ear thy field for that the lion entered
it, but marred it not, and he will never more return thither."
[FN#503] Then he bestowed on him an honourable robe and made him
a costly present; and the man returned to his wife and people,
rejoicing, his heart having been set at rest concerning his wife.
"Nor" (continued the Wazir), "O King of the age, is this rarer or
stranger than the story of the beautiful wife, a woman gifted of
amorous grace, with the ugly Man, her husband." When King Shah
Bakht heard the Minister's speech, he deemed it delectable and it
pleased him; so he bade him hie to his house, and there he
tarried his day long.

The Twenty-fifth Night of the Month.

When the evening evened, the King summoned his Wazir and bade him
tell the tale. So he said, "'Tis well. Hear, O King,

The Tale of the Ugly Man and his Beautiful Wife.

There was once a man of the Arabs who had a number of children,
and amongst them a boy, never was seen a fairer than he of favour
nor a more complete in comeliness; no, nor a more perfect of
prudence. When he came to man's estate, his father married him to
his first cousin, the daughter of one of his paternal uncles, and
she excelled not in beauty, neither was she laudable for
qualities; wherefore she pleased not the youth, but he bore with
her for the sake of kinship. One day, he fared forth in quest of
certain camels[FN#504] of his which had strayed and hied him on
all his day and night till eventide, when he was fain to seek
hospitality in an Arab camp. So he alighted at one of the tents
of the tribesmen and there came forth to him a man short of
stature and foul of favour, who saluted him with the salam; and,
lodging him in a corner of the tent, sat entertaining him with
chat, the cheeriest that might be. When his food was dressed, the
Arab's wife brought it to the guest, and he looked at the
mistress of the tent and saw a semblance than which no seemlier
might be. Indeed, her beauty and loveliness, her symmetry and
perfect grace amazed him and he was struck with astonishment,
gazing now at her and then at her mate. When his looking grew
long, the man said to him, "Ho, thou son of the worthy! Busy
thyself with thine own business, for by me and this woman hangeth
a wondrous tale, which is even better than that thou seest of her
beauty; and I will tell it to thee when we have made a finish of
our food." So, when they had ended eating and drinking, the young
man asked his host for the story, and he said, "Know that in my
youth I was the same as thou seest me in the matter of
loathliness and foul favour; and I had brethren of the fairest of
the folk; wherefore my father preferred them over me and used to
show them kindness, to my exclusion, and made me serve in their
stead, like as a master employeth slaves. One day, a dromedary of
his strayed from the herd of camels, and he said to me, 'Go thou
forth in quest of her and return not but with her.' I replied,
'Send other than I of thy sons.' But he would not consent to this
and scolded me and insisted upon me, till the matter came to such
a pass with him that he took a thongwhip and fell to beating me.
So I arose and saddling a riding-camel, mounted her and sallied
forth at random, purposing to go out into the wolds and the wilds
and return to him never more. I fared on all my night and the
next day and coming at eventide[FN#505] to the encampment of this
my wife's people, alighted down with and became the guest of her
father, who was a Shaykh well stricken in years. Now when it was
the noon of night, I arose and went forth the tent at a call of
nature, and none knew of my case save this woman. The dogs
followed me as a suspected stranger and ceased not worrying
me[FN#506] till I fell on my back into a pit, wherein was water,
a deep hollow and a steep; and a dog of those dogs fell in with
me. The woman, who was then a girl in the bloom of youth, full of
strength and spirit, was moved to ruth on me, for the calamity
whereinto I was fallen, and coming to me with a rope, said to me,
'Catch hold of the rope,' So I hent it and clung to it and she
haled me up; but, when I was half-way up, I pulled her down and
she fell with me into the pit; and there we abode three days, she
and I and the hound. When her people arose in the morning and did
not see her, they sought her in the camp, but, finding her not
and missing me also, never doubted but she had fled with
me.[FN#507] Now she had four brothers, as they were Saker-hawks,
and they took horse and dispersed in search of us. When the day
yellowed on the fourth dawn, the dog began to bark and the other
hounds answered him and coming to the mouth of the pit, stood
howling to him. The Shaykh, my wife's father, hearing the howling
of the hounds, came up and standing at the brink of the hollow,
looked in and beheld a marvel. Now he was a brave man and a
sensible, an elder experienced in affairs, so he fetched a cord
and bringing forth the three, questioned us twain of our case. I
told him all that had betided and he fell a-pondering the affair.
Presently, her brothers returned, whereupon the old man
acquainted them with the whole case and said to them, 'O my sons,
know that your sister intended not aught but good, and if ye kill
this man, ye will earn abiding shame and ye will wrong him, and
wrong your own souls and eke your sister: for indeed there
appeareth no cause such as calleth for killing, and it may not be
denied that this accident is a thing whose like may well occur
and that he may easily have been the victim of suchlike chance.'
Then he addressed me and questioned me of my lineage; so I set
forth to him my genealogy and he, exclaiming, 'A man of her
match, honourable, understanding,' offered me his daughter in
wedlock. I consented to this and marrying her, took up my abode
with him and Allah hath opened on me the gates of weal and
wealth, so that I am become the richest in monies of the
tribesmen; and the Almighty hath stablished me in that which He
hath given me of His bounties." The young man marvelled at his
tale and lay the night with him; and when he arose in the
morning, he found his estrays. So he took them and returning to
his folk, acquainted them with what he had seen and all that had
befallen him. "Nor" (continued the Wazir) "is this stranger or
rarer than the story of the King who lost kingdom and wealth and
wife and children and Allah restored them to him and requited him
with a realm more magnificent than that which he had forfeited
and better and finer and greater of wealth and degree." The
Minister's story pleased the King and he bade him depart to his

The Twenty-sixth Night of the Month.

When came the night, the king summoned his Wazir and bade him
tell the story of the King who lost kingdom and wife and wealth.
He replied, "Hearing and obeying! Give ear, O sovran, to

The Tale of the King who lost Kingdom and Wife and Wealth
and Allah restored them to Him.[FN#508]

There was once a king of the kings of Hind, who was a model of
morals, praiseworthy in policy, lief of justice to his lieges,
lavish to men of learning and piety and abstinence and devoutness
and worship and shunning mischief-makers and froward folk, fools
and traitors. After such goodly fashion he abode in his kingship
what Allah the Most High willed of watches and days and
twelvemonths,[FN#509] and he married the daughter of his father's
brother, a beautiful woman and a winsome, endowed with brightness
and perfection, who had been reared in the king's house in
delicacy and delight. She bare him two sons, the most beauteous
that might be of boys, when came Destiny from whose decree is no
deliverance and Allah the Most High raised up against the King
another king, who came forth upon his realm, and was joined by
all the folk of the city that had a mind to lewdness and
frowardness. So he strengthened himself by means of them against
the King and compassed his kingdom, routing his troops and
killing his guards. The King took his wife, the mother of his
sons, and what he might of monies and saved his life and fled in
the darkness of the night, unknowing whither he should wend.
Whenas wayfare grew sore upon them, there met them highwaymen on
the way, who took all that was with them, so that naught remained
to each of them save a shirt and trousers; the robbers left them
without even provaunt or camels or other riding-cattle, and they
ceased not to fare on afoot, till they came to a copse, which was
an orchard of trees on the ocean shore.[FN#510] Now the road
which they would have followed was crossed by a sea-arm, but it
was shallow and scant of water; wherefore, when they reached that
place, the king took up one of his children and fording the water
with him, set him down on the further bank and returned for his
other son, whom also he seated by his brother. Lastly, returning
for their mother, he took her up and passing the water with her,
came to the place where he had left his children, but found them
not. Thereupon he looked at the midst of the island and saw an
old man and an old woman, engaged in making themselves a
reed-hut: so he set down his wife over against them and started
off in quest of his children, but none gave him news of them and
he went round about right and left, yet found not the whereabouts
they were. On this wise fared it with him; but as to the
children, they had entered the copse to make water, and they
found there a forest of trees, wherein, if a sturdy
horseman[FN#511] strayed, he might wander by the week, and never
know its first from its last. So the boys pushed into it and
wotted not how they should return and went astray in that wood,
for a purpose willed of Allah Almighty, whilst their father
sought them, but found them not. So he returned to their mother
and they abode weeping for their children; as for whom, when they
entered the forest, it swallowed them up and they fared at
hap-hazard, wandering in it many days, knowing not whence they
came or whither they went, till they issued forth, at another
side, upon the open country. Meanwhile, their parents, the king
and queen, tarried in the island, over against the old man and
his old woman, and ate of the fruits and drank of the rills that
were in it till, one day of the days, as they sat, behold, up
came a ship and made fast to the island-side, for provisioning
with water, whereupon they[FN#512] looked one at other and spoke.
The master of the craft was a Magian man and all that was
therein, both crew and goods, belonged to him, for he was a
trader and went round about the world. Now greed of gain deluded
the old man, the owner of the island, and he fared to the ship
and gave the Guebre news of the King's wife, setting out to him
her charms, till he made him long for her and his soul
moved[FN#513] him to practise treachery and cozenage upon her and
take her from her husband. Accordingly, he sent to her, saying,
"Aboard with us is a woman with child, and we dread lest she be
delivered this night: hast thou aught of skill in midwifery?" She
replied, "Yes." Now it was the last of the day; so he sent to her
to come up into the ship and deliver the woman, for that the
labour-pangs were come upon her; and he promised her clothes and
spendingmoney. Hereat, she embarked confidently, with heart at
ease for herself, and transported her gear to the ship; but no
sooner had she come thither than the sails were hoisted and the
canvas was loosed[FN#514] and the ship set sail. When the King
saw this, he cried out and his wife wept in the ship and would
have cast herself into the waves; but the Magian bade his men lay
hands on her. So they seized her and it was but a little while
ere the night darkened and the ship vanished from the King's
eyes; whereupon he fainted away for excess of weeping and
lamentation and passed his night bewailing his wife and his
children. And when the morning morrowed he began improvising
these couplets:--[FN#515]

"O World, how long, this spite, this enmity?
Say me, dost ever spare what spared can be?
And look! my friends have fared fain and free!
They went and went wi' them my dear delight
E'en from the day when friends to part were dight
And turbid made their lost life's clarity.
By Allah, ne'er I wist their worth aright
Nor ever wot I worth of friends unite
Till fared they, leaving flame in heart of me!

I'll ne'er forget them since what day each wight
Hied and withdrew fro' me his well-loved sight
And yet I weep this parting-blow to dree.
I vow an Heaven deign my friends return
And cry the crier in mine ears that yearn
"The far is near, right soon their sight shalt see!"
Upon their site my cheeks I'll place, to sprite
I'll say, "Rejoice, thy friends return to thee!"
Nor blame my heart when friends were lief to flee:
I rent my heart ere rent my raimentry."

He sat weeping for the severance of his wife and children till
the morning, when he went forth wandering at a venture, unweeting
what he should do, and ceased not walking along the sea-shore
days and nights, unknowing whither he went and taking no food
save the herbs of the earth and seeing neither man nor wildling
nor other living thing, till his wayfare brought him to a
mountain-top. He sojourned in the highland and abode awhile there
alone, eating of its fruits and drinking of its founts; then he
came down thence and trudged along the high road three days, when
he hit upon tilled fields and villages and gave not over going
till he made a great city on the shore of the salt sea and came
to its gate at the last of the day. The gatekeepers allowed him
no admission; so he spent his night anhungered, and when he arose
in the morning, he sat down hard by the portal. Now the king of
the city was dead and had left no son, and the citizens fell out
anent who should be ruler over them: and their words and redes
differed, so that civil war was like to befal them thereupon. But
it came to pass that, after long jangle, they agreed to leave the
choice to the late king's elephant and that he unto whom he
consented should be king and that they would not contest with him
the sway. So to this they sware and on the morrow, they brought
out their elephant and fared forth to a site within sight of the
city; nor was there man or woman but was present at that moment.
Then they adorned the elephant and raising the throne on his
back, gave him the crown in his trunk; and he went round about
examining the countenances of the folk, but stopped not over
against any of them till he came at last to the forlorn King, the
exile who had lost his children and his wife, when the beast
prostrated himself to him and placing the crown on his head, took
him up and set him upon his back. Thereupon the people all
prostrated themselves and gave mutual joy of this and the
drums[FN#516] of good tidings beat before him, and he entered the
city and went on till he reached the House of Justice and the
Audience-hall of the Palace and sat down upon the throne of the
kingdom, crown on head; whereat the lieges entered to
congratulate him and to bless him. Then he addressed himself, as
was his wont in the kingship, to forwarding the affairs of the
folk and ranging the troops according to their ranks and looking
into their affairs and those of all the Ryots. He also released
those who were in the dungeons and abolished the custom-dues and
gave honourable robes and lavished great gifts and bestowed
largesse and conferred favours on the Emirs and Wazirs and Lords
of the realm, and the Chamberlains'[FN#517] and Nabobs presented
themselves before him and did him homage. So the city people
rejoiced in him and said, "Indeed, this be none other than a King
of the greatest of the kings." And presently he assembled the
sages and the theologians and the sons of the Sovrans and
conversed with them and asked them subtile questions and
casuistical problems and talked over with them things manifold of
all fashions that might direct him to rectitude in the kingship;
and he questioned them also of mysteries and religious
obligations and of the laws of the land and the regulations of
rule and of that which it beseemeth the liege lord to do of
looking into the affairs of the lieges and repelling the foe and
fending off his malice with force and fight; so the subjects'
contentment redoubled and their exultation in that which Allah
Almighty had vouchsafed them of his kingship over them. On such
wise he upheld the ordinance of the realm, and the affairs abode
stablished upon the accepted custom and local usage. Now the late
king had left a wife and two daughters, and the people would fain
have married the Princess royal to the new king that the rule
might not pass clean away from the old rulers. Accordingly, they
proposed to him that he should wed her or the other of the
deceased king's daughters, and he promised them this, but he put
them off from him, of his respect for the covenant he had made
with his former wife, his cousin, that he would marry none other
than herself. Then he betook himself to fasting by day and
praying through the night, multiplying his alms-deeds and
beseeching Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) to reunite him
with his children and his wife, the daughter of his father's
brother. When a year had elapsed, there came to the city a ship,
wherein were many merchants and much merchandise. Now it was
their custom from time immemorial that the king, whenever a ship
made the port, sent to it such of his pages as he trusted in, who
took agency of the goods, to the end that they might be first
shown to the Sovran, who bought as much of them as befitted him
and gave the merchants leave to sell whatso he wanted not. So he
commissioned, according to his custom, a man who should fare to
the ship and seal up the bales and set over them one who could
watch and ward them. Meanwhile the Queen his wife, when the
Magian fled with her and proffered himself to her and lavished
upon her abounding wealth, rejected him and was like to kill
herself[FN#518] for chagrin at that which had befallen and for
concern anent her separation from her husband. She also refused
meat and drink and resolved to cast herself into the sea; but the
Magian chained her and straitened her and clothed her in a coat
of wool and said to her, "I will continue thee in wretchedness
and humiliation till thou obey me and accept me." So she took
patience and looked for the Almighty to deliver her from the hand
of that accursed; and she ceased not travelling with him from
country to country till he came with her in fine to the city
wherein her husband was king and his goods were put under seal.
Now the woman was in a chest and two youths of the late king's
pages, who were now in the new King's service, were those who had
been charged with the watch and ward of the craft and her
cargaison. When the evening evened on them, the twain began
talking and recounted that which had befallen them in their days
of childhood and the manner of the faring forth of their father
and mother from their country and kingdom when the wicked
overcame their realm, and how they had gone astray in the forest
and how Fate had severed them from their parents; for short, they
told their tale from first to last. When the woman heard their
talk, she knew that they were her sons and cried out to them from
the chest, "I am your mother, Such-an-one, and the token between
you twain and me is thus and thus." The young men knew the token
and falling upon the chest, brake the lock and brought out their
mother, who seeing them, strained them to her bosom, and they
fell upon her and fainted away, all three. When they came to
themselves, they wept awhile and the people assembled about them,
marvelling at that they saw, and questioned them of their case.
So the young Princes vied each with other who should be the first
to discover the story to the folk; and when the Magian saw this,
he came up, crying out, "Alack!" and "Ruin!" and said to them,
"Why and wherefore have ye broken open my chest? Verily, I had in
it jewels and ye have stolen them, and this damsel is my
slave-girl and she hath agreed with you both upon a device to
take my wealth." Then he rent his raiment and cried for aid,
saying, "I appeal to Allah and to the just King, so he may quit
me of these wrongous youths!" They both replied, "This is our
mother and thou stolest her:" whereupon words waxed manifold
between them and the folk plunged into talk with many a "he said"
and "'twas said" concerning their affair and that of the
pretended slave-girl, and the strife increased between them, so
that at last they carried them all four to the King's court. When
the two young men presented themselves between his hands and
stated their case to him and to the folk and the sovran heard
their speech, he knew them and his heart was like to fly for joy:
the tears poured from his eyes at their sight and the sight of
his wife, and he thanked Allah Almighty and praised Him for that
He had deigned reunite them. Then he bade the folk who were
present about him be dismissed and commanded the Magian and the
woman and the two youths be to morrow committed to his
armoury[FN#519] for the night, ordering that they should keep
guard over them all until the Lord should make the morning to
morrow, so he might assemble the Kazis and the Justiciaries and
Assessors and determine between them, according to Holy Law, in
the presence of the four judges. So they did this and the King
passed the night praying and praising Allah of All-might for that
which he had vouchsafed him of kingship and power and victory
over the wight who had wronged him and thanking Him who had
reunited him with his own. When the morning morrowed, he
assembled the Kazis and Deputies and Assessors[FN#520] and
summoning the Magian and the two youths and their mother,
questioned them of their case; whereupon the two young men began
and said, "We are the sons of King Such-an-one and foemen and
lewd fellows gat the mastery of our realm; so our sire fled forth
with us and wandered at haphazard, for fear of the foe." And they
recounted to him all that had betided them, from beginning to
end.[FN#521] Quoth he, "Ye tell a marvel-tale; but what hath Fate
done with your father?" Quoth they, "We know not how Fortune
dealt with him after our loss." And he was silent. Then he
bespake the woman, "And thou, what sayst thou?" So she set forth
to him her case and all that had betided her and her husband,
from the beginning of their hardships to the end, and recounted
to him their adventures up to the time when they took up their
abode with the old man and woman who dwelt on the sea-shore. Then
she reported that which the Magian had practised on her of fraud
and how he had carried her off in the craft and everything that
had betided her of humiliation and torment; all this while the
Kazis and judges and Deputies hearkening to her speech as they
had lent ear to the others' adventures. When the King heard the
last of his wife's tale, he said, "Verily, there hath betided
thee a mighty grievous matter; but hast thou knowledge of what
thy husband did and what came of his affair?" She replied, "Nay,
by Allah; I have no knowledge of him, save that I leave him no
hour unremembered in righteous prayer, and never, whilst I live,
will he cease to be to me the father of my children and my cousin
and my flesh and my blood." Then she wept and the King bowed his
head, whilst his eyes welled tears at her tale. Presently he
raised his head to the Magian and cried to him, "Say thy say,
thou also." So the Magian replied, "This is my slave-girl, whom I
bought with my money from such a land and for so many dinars, and
I made her my betrothed[FN#522] and loved her exceedingly and
gave my monies into her charge; but she falsed me in my substance
and plotted with one of my lads to slay me, tempting him by a
promise that she would kill me and become his wife. When I knew
this of her and was assured that she purposed treason against me,
I awoke from my dream of happiness and did with her that which I
did, fearing for my life from her craft and perfidy; for indeed
she is a trickstress with her tongue and she hath taught these
two youths this pretence, by way of sleight and of her guile and
her malice: so be you not deluded by her and by her talk." "Thou
liest, O accursed," cried the King and bade lay hands on him and
iron him. Then he turned to the two youths, his sons, and
strained them to his breast, weeping sore and saying, "O all ye
people who are present of Kazis and Assessors and Lords of the
land, know that these twain are my sons and that this is my wife
and the daughter of my father's brother; for that whilome I was
king in such a realm." And he recounted to them his history from
commencement to conclusion, nor is there aught of fruition in
repetition; whereupon the folk cried out with weeping and wailing
for the stress of what they heard of marvellous chances and that
wondrous story. As for the king's wife, he bade carry her into
his palace and lavished upon her and upon her sons all that
befitted and beseemed them of bounties, whilst the lieges flocked
to offer up prayers for him and give him joy of his reunion with
his wife and children. When they had made an end of blessings and
congratulations, they besought the king to hasten the punishment
of the Magian and heal their hearts with tormenting and abasing
him. So he appointed them for a day on which they should assemble
to witness his requitement and that which should betide him of
torment, and shut himself up with his wife and two sons and abode
thus private with them three days, during which they were veiled
from the folk. On the fourth day the King entered the Hammam, and
faring forth, sat down on the throne of his kingship, crown on
head, whereupon the folk came in to him, according to their
custom and after the measure of their several dignities and
degrees, and the Emirs and Wazirs entered, and eke the
Chamberlains and Nabobs and Captains of war and the Falconers and
Armbearers and Commanders of the body-guard. Then he seated his
two sons, one on his right and the other on his left hand, whilst
the subjects all stood before him and lifted up their voices in
thanksgiving to Allah the Most High and glorification of Him and
were instant in orisons for the king and in setting forth his
virtues and excellent qualities. He answered them with the most
gracious of answers and bade carry the Magian outside the city
and set him on a high scaffold which had been builded for him
there; and he said to the folk, "Behold, I will torture him with
torments of all kinds and fashions." Then he began telling them
that which he had wrought of villainy with his cousin-wife and
what he had caused her of severance between her and her husband
and how he had required her person of her, but she had sought
refuge for her chastity against him with Allah (to whom belong
honour and glory) and chose abasement rather than obedience to
him, despite stress of torture: neither recked she aught of that
which he lavished to her of monies and raiment, jewels and
ornaments. When the King had made an end of his story, he bade
the bystanders spit in the Magian's face and curse him; and they
did this. Then he bade cut out his tongue and on the next day he
bade lop off his ears and nose and pluck out both his eyes. On
the third day he bade hew off his hands and on the fourth his
feet; and they ceased not to dismember him, limb after limb, and
each member they cast into the fire, after its amputation, before
his face, till his soul departed, after he had endured torments
of all kinds and fashions. Then the King bade crucify his trunk
on the city wall for three days; after which he gave orders to
burn it and reduce its ashes to powder and scatter them abroad in
air. And when this was done, the King summoned the Kazi and the
Witnesses and commanded them marry the old king's daughter and
her sister to his own sons; so the youths wedded them, after the
King had made a bride-feast three days and displayed their brides
to them from nightfall to day-dawn. Then the two Princes went in
unto their brides and abated their maidenheads and loved them and
were vouchsafed issue by them. As for the King their sire, he
abode with his cousin-wife, their mother, what while Allah (to
whom be honour and glory) willed, and they rejoiced in reunion
each with other. The kingship endured unto them and high degree
and victory, and the sovran continued to rule with justice and
equity, so that the lieges loved him and prayed for him and for
his sons length of life and durance of days; and they lived the
most delightsome of existences till there came to them the
Destroyer of delights and Severer of societies, the Depopulator
of palaces and Garnerer of graves; and this is all that hath come
down to us of the story of the King and his Wife and Sons. "Nor,"
continued the Wazir, "if this story be a solace and a diversion,
is it pleasanter or more diverting than the tale of the Youth of
Khorasan and his mother and sister." When King Shah Bakht heard
this story, it pleased him and he bade the Minister hie away to
his own house.

The Twenty-seventh Night of the Month.

When evening came, the king Shah Bakht bade fetch the Wazir; so
he presented himself before him and the King ordered him to tell
the tale. So he said, "Hearkening and obedience. Give ear, O
sovran, to

The Tale of Salim, the Youth of Khorasan, and Salma, his

Know, O king (but Allah alone knoweth His secret purpose and is
versed in the past and the foredone among folk bygone) that there
was once, in the parts of Khorasan, a man of its affluent, who
was a merchant of the chiefest of the merchants[FN#523] and was
blessed with two children, a son and a daughter.[FN#524] He was
diligent exceedingly in rearing them and they were educated with
the fairest of education; for he used to teach the boy, who
taught his sister all that he learnt, so that, by means of her
brother, the damsel became perfect in the knowledge of the
Traditions of the Prophet and in polite letters. Now the boy's
name was Salim and that of the girl Salma. When they grew up and
were fully grown, their father built them a mansion beside his
own and lodged them apart therein and appointed them slave-girls
and servants to tend them and assigned to each of them pay and
allowances and all that they needed of high and low; meat and
bread; wine, dresses, and vessels and what not else. So Salim and
Salma abode in that palace, as they were one soul in two bodies,
and they used to sleep on one couch and rise amorn with single
purpose, while firmly fixed in each one's heart were fond
affection and familiar friendship for the other. One night, when
the half was spent, as Salim and Salma sat recounting and
conversing, they heard a noise on the ground floor; so they
looked out from a latticed casement which gave upon the gate of
their father's mansion and saw a man of fine presence, whose
clothes were hidden under a wide cloak. He came straight up to
the gate and laying hold of the door-ring, rapped a light rap;
whereupon the door opened and behold, out came their sister, with
a lighted taper, and after her their mother, who saluted the
stranger and embraced him, saying, "O dearling of my heart and
light of mine eyes and fruit of my vitals, enter." So he went in
and shut the door, whilst Salim and Salma abode amazed. The youth
turned to the girl and said to her, "O sister mine, how deemest
thou of this trouble and what advice hast thou to offer?" She
replied, "O my brother, indeed I know not what I shall say anent
the like of this; but he is not disappointed who divine direction
seeketh, nor doth he repent who counsel taketh. One getteth not
the better of the traces of burning by haste, and know that this
is an affliction that hath descended[FN#525] on us and a calamity
foreordained to us; so we have need of wise rede to do it away
and contrivance which shall wash our shame from our faces." And
they ceased not watching the gate till daybreak, when the young
man opened the door and their mother farewelled him; after which
he went his way and she entered, she and her handmaid. Hereat
said Salim to his sister, "Know thou I am resolved to slay this
man, an he return the next night, and I will say to the folk, He
was a robber, and none shall weet that which hath befallen. Then
I will address myself to the slaughter of whosoever knoweth what
is between the fellow and my mother." But Salma said, "I fear
lest an thou slay him in our dwelling-place and he be not
convicted of robberhood, suspicion and ill-fame will revert upon
ourselves, and we cannot be assured that he belongeth not to a
tribe whose mischief is to be feared and whose enmity is to be
dreaded, and thus wilt thou have fled from hidden shame to open
shame and to disgrace public and abiding." Asked Salim: "What
then is it thy rede to do?" And she answered, "Is there no help
but thou kill him? Let us not hasten unto slaughter, for that the
slaughter of a soul without just cause is a mighty grave matter."
When Shahban[FN#526] heard this, he said within himself, "By
Allah, I have indeed been hasty and reckless in the slaying of
women and girls, and Alhamdolillah--lauded be the Lord--who hath
occupied me with this damsel from the slaughter of souls, for
that the slaughter of souls is a grave matter and a grievous! By
the Almighty if Shah Bakht spare the Wazir, I will assuredly
spare Shahrazad!"[FN#527] Then he gave ear to the story and heard
her say to her sister:--Quoth Salma to Salim, "Hasten not to slay
him, but overthink the matter and consider the issue whereto it
may tend; for whoso considereth not of actions the end hath not
Fortune to friend." Then they arose on the morrow and busied
themselves with contriving how they should turn away their parent
from that man, and the mother forefelt mischief from them, for
what she saw in their eyes of change, she being wily and keen of
wit. So she took precaution for herself against her children and
Salma said to Salim, "Thou seest what we have fallen upon through
this woman, and very sooth she hath sensed our purpose and
wotteth that we have discovered her secret. So, doubtless, she
will plot against us the like of that which we plot for her; for
indeed up to now she had concealed her affair, and from this time
forth she will become harsh to us; wherefore, methinks, there is
a thing forewritten to us, whereof Allah (extolled and exalted be
He!) knew in His foreknowledge and wherein He carrieth out His
commandments." He asked, "What is that?" and she answered, "It is
that we arise, I and thou, and go forth this night from this land
and seek us a town wherein we may wone and witness naught of the
doings of yonder traitress; for whoso is absent from the eye is
absent from the heart, and quoth one of the poets in the
following couplet:[FN#528]--

'Tis happiest, best for thee, the place to leave, * For then no
eye can see, nor heart can grieve."

Quoth Salim to her,[FN#529] "'Tis for thee to decide and right is
thy rede; so let us do this, in the name of Allah the Almighty,
trusting in Him for guiding and grace." Accordingly they arose
and took the richest of their raiment and the lightest of that
which was in their treasuries of gems and things of price and
gathered together much matter. Then they equipped them ten mules
and hired them servants of other than the people of the country;
and Salim bade his sister Salma don man's dress. Now she was the
likest of all creatures to him, so that, when she was clad in
man's clothing, the folk knew no difference between them--
extolled be the perfection of Him who hath no like, there is no
god but He! Then he told her to mount a mare, whilst he himself
took another, and they set out under cover of the night; nor did
any of their family or household know of them. So they fared on
into Allah's wide world and gave not over going night and day for
a space of two months, at the end of which they came to a city on
the sea-shore of the land of Makran,[FN#530] by name Al-Sharr,
and it is the first city in Sind.[FN#531] They lighted down
within sight of the place and when they arose in the morning,
they saw a populous city and a goodly, seemly of semblance and
great, abounding in trees and rills and fruits and wide of
suburbs which stretched to the neighbouring villages. So the
young man said to his sister Salma, "Tarry thou here in thy
place, till I enter the city and make proof of it and its people
and seek us out a stead which we may buy and whereto we may
remove. An it befit us, we will make us a home therein, otherwise
will we take counsel of departing elsewhere." Quoth she, "Do
this, trusting in the bounty of Allah (to whom belong honour and
glory) and in His blessing." Accordingly he took a belt, wherein
were a thousand gold pieces, and girding it about his waist,
entered the city and ceased not going round about its streets and
bazars and gazing upon its houses and sitting with those of its
citizens whose aspect showed signs of worth and wealth, till the
day was half spent, when he resolved to return to his sister and
said to himself, "Needs must I buy what we may eat of
ready-cooked food; I and my sister." Hereupon he addressed a man
who sold roast meat and who was clean of person, albe foul in his
way of getting a living, and said to him, "Take the price of this
dishful and add thereto of fowls and chickens and what not else
is in your market of meats and sweetmeats and bread and arrange
it in the plates." So the Kitchener took the money and set apart
for him what he desired, then calling a porter, he laid it in the
man's crate, and Salim, after paying the price of provisions and
porterage in fullest fashion, was about to go away, when the Cook
said to him, "O youth, doubtless thou art a stranger?" He
replied, "Yes;" and the other rejoined, "'Tis reported in one of
the Traditions that the Apostle said, Loyal admonition is a part
of religion; and the wise and ware have declared counsel is of
the characteristics of True Believers. And verily that which I
have seen of thy ways pleaseth me and I would fain give thee a
warning." Rejoined Salim, "Speak out thy warning, and may Allah
strengthen thy purpose!" Then said the Cook, "Know, O my son,
that in this our city, when a stranger entereth and eateth of
flesh-meat and drinketh not old wine upon it, 'tis harmful to him
and disturbeth his body with disorders which be dangerous.
Wherefore, an thou have provided thee somewhat of wine it is
well, but, if not, haste to procure it, ere thou take the meat
and carry it away." Quoth Salim, "Allah requite thee with weal--
Canst thou shew me where liquor is sold?" and quoth the Cook,
"With me is all thou seekest. The youth asked, "Is there a way
for me to see it?" and the Cook sprang up and answered, "Pass
on." So he entered and the man showed him somewhat of wine; but
he said, "I desire better than this;" whereupon he opened a door
and entering, said to Salim, Come in, and follow me." Accordingly
Salim followed him till he brought him to an underground chamber
and showed him somewhat of wine that suited him. So he occupied
him with looking at it and taking him unawares, sprang upon him
from behind and threw him to the ground and sat upon his breast.
Then he drew a knife and set it to his jugular; whereupon there
betided Salim that wherewith Allah made him forget all that He
had decreed to him,[FN#532] and he cried to the Cook, "Why dost
thou this thing, O good fellow? Be mindful of the Almighty and
fear Him. Seest thou not I am a stranger man? And knowest thou
not I have behind me a forlorn defenceless[FN#533] woman?
Wherefore wilt thou kill me?" Quoth the Kitchener, "Needs must I
kill thee, so I may take thy money;" and quoth Salim, "Take my
money, but kill me not, neither enter into sin against me; and do
with me kindness, for indeed the taking of my coin is more venial
than the taking of my life." The Cook replied, "This is nonsense.
Thou canst not deliver thyself herewith, O youth, because in thy
deliverance is my destruction." Cried Salim, "I swear to thee and
give thee the bond of Allah (to whom belong honour and glory) and
His covenant, which He took of His prophets that I will not
discover thy secret; no, never." But the Kitchener replied,
"Away! Away! Alas! Alas! To this there is no path." However,
Salim ceased not to conjure him and humble himself to him and
weep, while the Cook persisted in his intent to cut his throat:
then he shed tears and recited these couplets;[FN#534]

"Haste not to that thou dost desire, for haste is still unblest;
* Be merciful to men, as thou on mercy reckonest:
For no hand is there but the hand of God is over it * And no
oppressor but shall be with worse than he opprest."

Quoth the Kitchener, "There is no help save that I slay thee, O
fellow; for an I spare thee, I shall myself be slain." But Salim
said, "O my brother, I will advise thee somewhat[FN#535] other
than this." Asked the Cook, "What is it? Say and be brief, ere I
cut thy throat;" and Salim answered, "Suffer me to live and keep
me as thy Mameluke, thy white slave, and I will work at a craft
of the skilled workmen, wherefrom there shall result to thee
every day two dinars." Quoth the Kitchener, "What is the craft?"
and quoth Salim, "The cutting of gems and jewels." When the man
heard this, he said to himself, "'Twill do me no hurt if I
imprison him and fetter him and bring him that whereat he may
work. An he tell truth, I will let him live, and if he prove a
liar, I will kill him." So he took a pair of stout shackles and
fitting them on Salim's legs, jailed him within his house and
charged a man to guard him. Then he asked him what tools he
needed for work; and Salim described to him whatso he required,
and the Cook went out from him awhile and brought him all he
wanted. Then Salim sat and wrought at his craft; and he used
every day to earn two dinars; and this was his wont and custom
with the Kitchener, who fed him not but half his fill. Thus befel
it with Salim; but returning to his sister Salma, she awaited him
till the last of the day, yet he appeared not; and she expected
him a second day and a third and a fourth, yet there came no news
of him. So she wept and beat hand on breast and bethought her of
her affair and her strangerhood and the disappearance of her
brother; and she improvised these couplets,--

"Salam t'you! Would I could see you again, * To the joy of my
heart and the coolth of my eyes:
You are naught but my hope and the whole of my hope * And under
my ribs[FN#536] love for you buried lies."

She tarried on this wise awaiting him till the end of the month,
but no tidings of him came nor happened she upon aught of his
trace; wherefore she was troubled with exceeding trouble and
sending her servants hither and thither in search of him, abode
in the sorest that might be of chagrin and concern. When it was
the beginning of the new month, she arose in the morning and
bidding one of her men cry her brother throughout the city, sat
to receive visits of condolence, nor was there any in town but
made act of presence to condole with her; and they were all sorry
for her, doubting not her being a man. When three nights had
passed over her with their days of the second month, she
despaired of him and her tears never dried: then she resolved to
take up her abode in that city, and making choice of a dwelling,
removed thither. The folk resorted to her from all parts, to sit
with her and hear her speech and witness her fine breeding; nor
was it but a little while ere the king died and the folk differed
anent whom they should invest with the kingship after him, so
that civil war was like to befal them. However, the men of
judgment and the folk of understanding and the people of
experience directed them to crown the youth who had lost his
brother, for that they still held Salma to be a man. They
consented to this one and all; and, betaking themselves to her,
offered the kingship.[FN#537] She refused, but they were urgent
with her, till she consented, saying within herself, "My sole
desire in the kingship is to find my brother." Then they seated
her upon the throne of the realm and set the crown upon her head,
after which she undertook the business of governance and
ordinance of affairs; and they rejoiced in her with the utmost
joy. On such wise fared it with her; but as for Salim he abode
with the Cook a whole year's space, bringing him two dinars a
day; and when his affair waxed longsome, the man felt for him and
pitied him. Presently he promised him release on condition that,
if he let him go, he should not discover his illdeeds to the
Sultan; for that it was his wont now and then to entrap a man and
carry him to his house and slay him and take his money and cook
his flesh and give it to the folk to eat.[FN#538] So he asked
him, "O youth, wilt thou that I release thee from this thy
misery, on condition that thou be reasonable and never discover
aught of thine affair?" Salim answered, "I will swear to thee by
whatsoever oath thou wilt administer that I will keep thy secret
and will not speak one syllable anent thee, what while l am in
the land of the living." Quoth the Kitchener, "I purpose to send
thee forth with my brother and cause thee voyage with him over
the sea, on condition that thou be to him a Mameluke, a boughten
slave; and when he cometh to the land of Hind, he shall sell thee
and thus wilt thou be delivered from prison and slaughter." And
quoth Salim, "'Tis well: be it as thou sayst, may Allah the Most
High requite thee with weal!" Accordingly the Cook equipped his
brother and freighting him a craft, stowed therein a cargaison of
merchandise. Then he committed Salim to him and they set out with
the ship. The Lord decreed them safety, so that they arrived at
the first city of Hind, which is known as AlMansurah,[FN#539] and
cast anchor there. Now the king of that city had died, leaving a
daughter and a widow who, being the quickest-witted of women and
cleverest of the folk of her day, gave out that the girl was a
boy, so that the kingship might be established unto them. The
troops and the Emirs gave credit that the case was as she
avouched and that the Princess was a Prince; wherefore they
obeyed her bidding and the Queenmother took order for the matter
and used to dress the girl in man's habit and seat her on the
throne of the kingship, so that the Lords of the land and the
chief officers of the realm used to go in to her and salute her
and do her service and depart, nothing doubting but she was a
boy. After this fashion they fared for months and years and the
Queen-mother ceased not to do thus till the Cook's brother came
to the town in his ship, and with him Salim. He landed with the
youth and displayed him for sale to the Queen who, when she saw
him, prognosticated well of him; presently she bought him and was
kind to him and entreated him with honour. Then began she to
prove him in his moral parts and make assay of him in his
affairs, and she found in him all that is in kings' sons of
understanding and fine breeding and good manners and qualities.
Thereupon she sent for him in private and said to him, "I am
minded to do thee a service, so thou canst keep a
secret."[FN#540] He promised her all that she desired and she
discovered to him her mystery in the matter of her daughter,
saying, "I will marry thee to her and commit to thee the
governance and constitute thee king and ruler over this city." He
thanked her and promised to carry out all she should order him,
and she said to him, "Go forth to such-an-one of the neighbouring
provinces privily." So he went forth and on the morrow she made
ready loads and gear and gifts and bestowed on him abundant
substance, all of which they loaded on the backs of
baggage-camels. Then she gave out among the folk that the nephew
of the king, the son of his brother, was come and bade the
Grandees and troops go forth to meet him in a body: she also
decorated the city in his honour and the kettle-drums of good
tidings beat for him whilst all the king's household went out and
dismounting before him, escorted him into, and lodged him with
the Queen-mother in the palace. Then she bade the Headmen of the
state attend his assembly; so they obeyed and witnessed of his
breeding and good parts that which amazed them and made them
forget the breeding of the kings who had preceded him. When they
were grown to like him, the Queenmother began sending privily for
the Emirs and Councillors, one by one, and swearing them to
conceal her project; and when she was assured of their
discretion, she discovered to them that the king had left naught
save a daughter and that she had done this only that she might
continue the kingship in his family and that the rule should not
go forth from them; after which she informed them that she was
minded to marry her daughter with her nephew, the new-comer; and
that he should be the holder of the kingship. They approved her
proposal and when she had discovered the secret to the last of
them and assured herself of their aid, she published the news
abroad and threw off all concealment. Then she sent for the Kazis
and Assessors, who drew up the contract of marriage between Salim
and the Princess, and they lavished gifts upon the soldiery and
overwhelmed them with largesse. The bride was incontinently
carried in procession to the young man and the kingship was
established to him. They tarried after this fashion a whole year
when Salim said to the Queen-mother, "Know that my life is not
pleasing to me nor can I abide with you in content till I get me
tidings of my sister and learn how her affair hath ended and how
she hath fared after me. So I will go forth and be absent from
you a year's space; then will I return to you, Inshallah--an it
please God the Most High--and I win of this that which I hope."
Quoth she, "I will not trust to thy word, but will go with thee
and help thee to whatso thou wishest and further thee myself
therein." Then she took a ship and loaded it with all manner
things of price, goods and monies and the like. Furthermore, she
appointed one of the Wazirs, a man in whom she trusted for his
conduct and contrivance, to rule the realm, saying to him, "Abide
in governance a full year and ordain all thou needest." Presently
the Queenmother and her daughter and son-in-law Salim went down
to the ship and sailed on till they made the land of Makran.
Their arrival there befel at the last of the day; so they nighted
in their ship, and when the morn was near to dawn, the young king
landed, that he might go to the Hammam, and walked marketwards.
As he drew near the bath, the Cook met him on the way and knew
him; so he seized him and pinioning him straitly, carried him to
his house, where he clapped the old fetters on his feet and cast
him back into his former place of durance vile.[FN#541] Salim,
finding himself in that sorry condition and considering that
wherewith he was afflicted of tribulation and the reverses of his
fair fortune, in that he had been a king and was now returned to
fetters and prison and hunger, wept and groaned and lamented and
improvised these couplets,

"My God, no patience now can aid afford; * Strait is my breast, O
Thou of Lords the Lord:
My God, who in resource like thine hath force? * And Thou, the
Subtle, dost my case record."

On this wise fared it with Salim; but as regards his wife and her
mother, when she awoke in the morning and her husband returned
not to her with break of dawn, she forebode all manner of
calamity and, straightway arising, she despatched her servants
and all who were with her in quest of her spouse; but they
happened not on any trace of him nor could they hear aught of his
news. So she bethought herself concerning the case and plained
and wept and groaned and sighed and blamed Fortune the fickle,
bewailing the changes of Time and reciting these

"God keep the days of love-delight! How passing sweet they were!
* How joyous and how solaceful was life in them whilere!
Would he were not, who sundered us upon the parting-day! * How
many a body hath he slain, how many a bone laid bare!
Sans fault of mine, my blood and tears he shed and beggared me *
Of him I love yet for himself gained nought thereby

When she had made an end of her verses, she considered her affair
and said within herself, "By Allah, all these things have betided
by the predestination of Almighty Allah and His decree and this
upon the forehead was written in lines." Then she landed and
walked on till she came to a spacious place, and an open, where
she asked of the folk and hired a house. Thither she transported
forthright all that was in the ship of goods and sending after
brokers, sold all that was with her. Presently she took part of
the price and began enquiring of the folk, so haply she might
scent out tidings of the lost one; and she addressed herself to
lavishing alms and preparing medicines for the sick, clothing the
naked and watering the dry ground[FN#543] of the forlorn. She
ceased not so doing a whole year, and little by little she sold
off her goods and gave charitable gifts to the sick and sorry;
whereby her report was bruited abroad in the city and the folk
abounded in her praise. All this while Salim lay in fetters and
strait prison, and melancholy gat hold of him by reason of that
whereinto he had fallen of this affliction. At last, when care
waxed on him and calamity grew longsome, he fell sick of a sore
sickness. Then the Kitchener, seeing his plight (and verily he
was like to sink for much suffering), loosed him from the fetters
and bringing him forth of the prison, committed him to an old
woman, who had a nose the bigness of a gugglet,[FN#544] and bade
her nurse him and medicine him and serve him and entreat him
kindly, so haply he might be made whole of that his sickness.
Accordingly the old woman took him and carrying him to her
lodging, began nursing him and giving him to eat and drink; and
when he was delivered of that torment, he recovered from the
malady which had afflicted him. Now the old woman had heard from
the folk of the lady who gave alms to the sick, and indeed the
news of her bounties reached both poor and rich; so she arose and
bringing out Salim to the door of her house, laid him upon a mat
and wrapped him in an Aba-gown and sat over against him.
Presently, it befel that the lady passed by them, and the old
woman seeing her rose to her and blessed her, saying, "O my
daughter, O thou to whom belong goodness and beneficence and
charity and almsdoing,[FN#545] know that this young man is a
foreigner, and indeed lack and lice and hunger and nakedness and
cold slay him." When the lady heard this, she gave her alms and
presented her with a part of that which was with her; and indeed
her charitable heart inclined to Salim, but she knew him not for
her spouse. The old woman received the alms from her and carrying
it to Salim, took part for herself and with the rest bought him
an old shirt,[FN#546] in which she clad him, after she had
stripped him of that he had on. Then she threw away the frock she
had taken from off him and arising forthwith, washed his body of
that which was thereon of grime and scented him with somewhat of
scent. She also bought chickens and made him broth; so he ate and
his life returned to him and he abode with her in all comfort of
condition till the morrow. Next morning the old woman said to
Salim, "When the lady cometh to thee, arise and buss her hand and
say to her, 'I am a homeless man and indeed cold and hunger kill
me;' so haply she may give thee somewhat that thou mayest expend
upon thy case." And he answered, "To hear is to obey." Then she
took him by the hand and carrying him without her house, seated
him at the door; and as he sat, behold, the lady came up to him,
whereupon the old woman rose to her and Salim kissed her hand
and, looking at her the while, blessed her. But when he saw her,
he knew her for his wife; so he shrieked and shed tears and
groaned and plained, at which she came up to him and threw
herself upon him; for indeed she knew him with all knowledge,
even as he knew her. So she hung to him and embraced him and
called to her serving-men and attendants and those who were about
her; and they took him up and carried him forth of that stead.
When the old woman saw this, she cried out to the Cook within the
house, and he said to her, "Fare thou before me." So she forewent
him and he ran after her and ceased not running till he overtook
the party and seizing Salim, exclaimed "What aileth you to take
my slave-lad?" Whereupon the Queen cried out at him, saying,
"Know that this is my husband, whom I had lost;" and Salim also
cried out, saying, "Mercy! Mercy! I appeal to Allah and to the
Sultan against this Satan!" Therewith a world of folk straightway
gathered together and loud rose the cries and the clamours
between them; but the most part of them said, "Carry their case
up to the Sultan." So they referred the matter to the king, who
was none other than Salim's sister Salma. Then they repaired to
the palace and the dragoman went in to Salma and said to her, "O
king of the age, here is a Hindi woman, who cometh from the land
of Hind, and she hath laid hands on a servant, a young man,
claiming him as her husband, who hath been lost to her these two
years, and she journeyed not hither save for his sake, and in
very sooth these many days she hath done almsdeeds in thy city.
And here is a fellow, a Kitchener, who declareth that the young
man is his slave."[FN#547] When the Queen heard these words, her
vitals quivered and she groaned from a grieving heart and called
to mind her brother and that which had betided him. Then she bade
those around her bring them between her hands, and when she saw
them, she knew her brother and was about to cry aloud; but her
reason restrained her; yet she could not prevent herself rising
up and sitting down.[FN#548] At last, however, she enforced her
soul to patience and said to them, "Let each and every of you
acquaint me with his case." So Salim came forward and kissing
ground before the king, lauded him and related to him his story
from first to last, until the time of their coming to that city,
he and his sister, telling him how he had entered the place and
had fallen into the hands of the Cook and that which had betided
him and whatso he had suffered from him of beating and collars,
of fetters and pinioning, till the man had made him his brother's
Mameluke, a boughten slave, and how the brother had sold him in
Hind and he had become king by marrying the Princess: and how
life was not lovesome to him till he should foregather with his
sister and now the same Cook bad fallen in with him a second time
and had pinioned and fettered him. Brief, he acquainted her with
that which had betided him of sickness and sorrow for the space
of a whole year. When he had made an end of his speech, his wife
straightways came forward and told her story, from incept to
termination, how her mother bought him[FN#549] from the Cook's
partner and the people of the kingdom came under his rule; nor
did she cease telling till she came, in her history, to that city
and acquainted the king with the manner of her meeting her
husband. When she had made an end of her adventure, the Kitchener
exclaimed, "Alack, what befals us from lying rascals. By Allah, O
king, this woman lieth against me, for this youth is my
rearling[FN#550] and he was born of one of my slave-girls. He
fled from me and I found him again." When the Queen heard the
last of the talk, she said to the Cook, "The decree between you
shall not be save in accordance with justice." Then she dismissed
all those who were present and turning to her brother, said to
him, "Indeed thy truth is stablished with me and the sooth of thy
speech, and praised be Allah who hath brought about reunion
between thee and thy wife! So now begone with her to thy country
and cease to seek thy sister Salma and depart in peace." But,
hearing this, Salim replied, "By Allah, by the might of the
All-knowing King, I will not turn back from seeking my sister
till I die or I find her, Inshallah!" Then he called his sister
to mind and improvised from a heart disappointed, troubled,
afflicted these couplets,

"O thou who blam'st me for my heart, in anger twitting me, *
Hadst tasted what my heart did taste, thou wouldst be
pitying me!
By Allah, O my chider for my sister leave, ah! leave * My heart
to moan its grief and feel the woes befitting me.
Indeed I grew to hold her dear privily, publicly; * And in my
bosom bides a pang at no time quitting me;
And in my vitals burns a flame that ne'er was equalled by * The
fire of hell and blazeth high to Death committing me."

Now when his sister Salma heard what he said, she could no longer
restrain her soul, but threw herself upon him and discovered to
him her case. When he knew her, he threw himself upon her
swooning awhile; after which he came to himself and cried,
"Lauded be the Lord, the Bountiful, the Beneficent!" Then they
plained each to other of that they had suffered from the pangs of
parting, whilst Salim's wife wondered at this and Salma's
patience and endurance pleased her. So she saluted her with the
Salam, and thanked her for her fair boons, saying, "By Allah, O
my lady, all that we are in of gladness never befel us save by
thy blessing; so praised be Allah who deigned vouchsafe us thy
sight!" Then they tarried all three, Salma, Salim and his wife,
in joy and happiness and delight three days, veiled from the
folk; and it was bruited abroad in the city that the king had
found his brother, who was lost for many a year, and had saved
him from the Cook's house. On the fourth day, all the troops and
the lieges assembled together to see the King and standing at his
gate, craved leave to enter. Salma bade admit them; so they
entered and paid her royal suit and service and gave her joy of
her brother's safe return. She bade them do homage to Salim, and
they consented and sware fealty to him; after which they kept
silence awhile, so they might hear what the king should command.
Then quoth Salma, "Ho, ye gathering of soldiers and subjects, ye
wot that ye forced me willy-nilly to accept the kingship and
besought me thereof and I consented to your desires anent my
being raised to rule over you; and I did this against my will;
for I would have you know that I am a woman and that I disguised
myself and donned man's dress, so peradventure my case might be
concealed when I lost my brother. But now Allah hath deigned
reunite me with my brother, and it is no longer lawful to me that
I be king and Sultan over the people, and I a woman; because
there is no Sultanate for women, whenas men are present.[FN#551]
For this reason, an it suit you, set my brother on the throne of
the kingdom, for this is he; and I will busy myself with the
worship of Allah the Most High and thanksgiving to Him for my
reunion with my brother. Or, an ye prefer it, take your kingship
and make whom ye will ruler and liege lord thereof." Upon this
the folk all cried out, saying, "We accept him to king over us;"
and they did him suit and service and gave him joy of the
kingship. So the preachers preached the sermon[FN#552] in his
name and the court-poets praised him; and he lavished largesse
upon the soldiery and the suite and overwhelmed them with favours
and bounties and was prodigal to the Ryots of justice and equity,
with goodly policy and polity. When he had effected this much of
his affect, he caused bring forth the Cook and his household to
the divan, but spared the old woman who had nursed him, because
she had been the cause of his deliverance. Then all assembled
without the town and he tormented the Cook and those who were
with him with all manner torments, after which he did him to die
by the foulest of deaths[FN#553] and burning him with fire,
scattered his ashes far and wide in the air. After this Salim
abode in the governance, invested with the Sultanate, and ruled
the people a whole year, when he returned to Al-Mansurah and
sojourned there another year. And he and his wife ceased not to
go from city to city and tarry in this a year and that a year,
till he was vouchsafed children and they grew up, whereupon he
appointed him of his sons, who was found fitting, to be his
deputy in one kingdom and he ruled in the other; and he lived, he
and his wife and children, what while Almighty Allah
willed.[FN#554] "Nor" (continued the Wazir), "O King of the age,
is this story rarer or stranger than the King of Hind and his
wronged and envied Minister." When the King heard this, his mind
was occupied,[FN#555] and he bade the Wazir hie to his own house.

The Twenty-eighth and Last Night of the Month.

When the evening evened, the King summoned the Minister and bade
him tell the story of the King of Hind and his Wazir. So he said,
"Hearkening and obedience. Give ear, O auspicious King, to

The Tale of the King of Hind and his Wazir.

There was once in the Hind-land a king illustrious of worth,
endowed with understanding and policy, and his name was Shah
Bakht. He had a Minister, a godly man and a sagacious, right
prudent in rede, conformable to him in governance and just in
judgment; for which cause his enviers were many and many were the
hypocrites who sought faults in him and set snares for him, so
that they insinuated into King Shah Bakht's eyes hatred against
him and sowed in his heart despite towards him; and plot followed
plot, and their rancour waxed until the king was brought to
arrest him and lay him in jail and to confiscate his wealth and
degrade him from his degree. When they knew that there was left
him no possession for which the king might lust, they feared lest
the sovran release him, by the influence of the Wazir's good
counsel upon the king's heart, and he return to his former case,
so should their machinations be marred and their degrees
degraded, for that they knew that the king would heed whatso he
had known from that man nor would forget aught wherewith he was
familiar in him. Now it came to pass that a certain person of
perverted belief[FN#556] found a way to the adorning of falsehood
with a semblance of fair-seeming and there proceeded from him
that whereby the hearts of the folk were occupied, and their
minds were corrupted by his lying tales; for that he made use of
Indian quiddities[FN#557] and forged them into proof for the
denial of the Maker the Creator, extolled be His might and
exalted be He and glorified and magnified above the speech of the
deniers. He avouched that it is the planets which order all
worldly affairs and he set down twelve mansions[FN#558] to twelve
Zodiacal signs and made each sign thirty degrees,[FN#559] after
the number of the days of the month, so that in twelve mansions
there are three hundred and sixty, after the number of the days
of the year; and he wrought a work, wherein he lied and was an
infidel and denied the Deity, be He for ever blessed! Then he
laid hold of the king's heart and the enviers and haters aided
him against the Minister and won the royal favour and corrupted
his intent against the Wazir, so that he got of him that which he
got and at last his lord banished him and thrust him away. By
such means the wicked man obtained that which he sought of the
Minister and the case was prolonged till the affairs of the
kingdom became disordered, by dint of ill government, and the
most part of the king's reign fell off from him and he came nigh
unto ruin. On this wise he was assured of the loyalty of his
whilome, sagacious Wazir and the excellence of his ordinance and
the rectitude of his rede. So he sent after him and brought him
and the wicked man before him and summoning to his presence the
Lords of his land and the Chiefs of his chieftainship, gave them
leave to talk and dispute and forbade the wicked man from his
perverted belief. [FN#560] Then arose that wise Minister and
skilful and praised Allah Almighty and lauded Him and glorified
Him and hallowed Him and attested His unity and disputed with the
miscreant and overcame him and silenced him; nor did he cease
from him till he compelled him to make confession of repentance
from that which he had misbelieved. Therewith King Shah Bakht
rejoiced with exceeding great joy and cried, "Praise be to the
Lord who hath saved me from this man and hath preserved me from
the loss of my kingship and my prosperity!" So the affair of the
Wazir returned to order and stablishment and the king restored
him to his place and raised him to higher rank. Lastly, he
assembled the folk who had striven against him and destroyed them
all, to the last man. "And how like" (continued the Wazir), "is
this story to that of myself and King Shah Bakht, with regard to
that which befel me of the changing of the King and his crediting
others against me; but now is the fairness of my fashion
fulfilled in thine eyes, for that Allah Almighty hath inspired
thee with wisdom and endowed thee with longanimity and patience
to hear from me whatso He allotted to those who forewent us, till
He hath shown forth my innocence and made manifest unto thee the
truth. For lo and behold! the days are now past, wherein it was
declared to the king that I should labour for the loss of my
soul,[FN#561] that is within the month; and lookye, the
probation-time is gone by, and past is the season of evil and it
hath ceased by the protection of the King and his good fortune."
Then he bowed his head and was silent. When King Shah Bakht heard
his Wazir's speech, he was abashed before him and confounded, and
he marvelled at the gravity of his intellect and his
long-suffering. So he sprang up to him and embraced him and the
Minister kissed his feet. Then the King called for a costly robe
of honour and cast it over Al-Rahwan and honoured him with the
highmost honour and showed him especial favour and restored him
to his degree and Wazirate. Furthermore he imprisoned those who
had devised his destruction with lies and leasing and gave him
full leave and license to pass judgment upon the Interpreter who
had expounded to him the dream. So the Wazir abode in the
ordering of the realm until Death came to them; "And this" (added
Shahrazad) "is all, O king of the age, that hath come down to us
of King Shah Bakht and his Wazir."


As for King Shahryar, he wondered at Shahrazad with the utmost
wonder and drew her near to his heart of his abounding affection
for her; and she was magnified in his eyes and he said within
himself, "By Allah, the like of this is not deserving of
slaughter, for indeed the time favoureth us not with her equal.
By the Almighty, I have been reckless of mine affair, and had not
the Lord overcome me with His ruth and put his one at my service
so she might recount to me instances manifest and cases truthful
and admonitions goodly and traits edifying, such as should
restore me to the right road, I had come to ruin! Wherefore to
Allah be the praise here for and I beseech the Most High to make
my end with her like that of the Wazir and Shah Bakht." Then
sleep overcame the king and glory be unto Him who sleepeth
not![FN#562] When it was the Nine hundred and thirtieth Night,
Shahrazad said, "O king, there is present in my thought a tale
which treateth of women's trickery and wherein is a warning to
whoso will be warned and an admonishment to whoso will be
admonished and whoso hath sight and insight; but I fear lest the
hearing of this belittle me with the liege-lord and lower my
degree in his esteem; yet I hope that this will not be, because
'tis a rare tale. Women are indeed mischief-makers; their craft
and their cunning may not be told nor may their wiles be known;
while men enjoy their company and are not instant to uphold them
in the right way, neither are they vigilant over them with all
vigilance, but relish their society and take whatso is winsome
and regard not that which is other than this. Indeed, they are
like unto the crooked rib, which an thou go about to straighten,
thou distortest it, and which an thou persist in straightening,
thou breakest it,[FN#563] so it behoveth the wise man to be
silent concerning them." Thereupon quoth Dinarzad, "O sister
mine, bring forth that which is with thee and that which is
present to thy mind of the story concerning the guile of women
and their wiles, and have no fear lest this lessen thee with the
king; for that women are, like jewels, of all kinds and colours.
When a gem falleth into the hand of an expert, he keepeth it for
himself and leaveth all beside it. Eke he preferreth some of
them over others, and in this he is like the potter,[FN#564] who
filleth his liln with all the vessels he hath moulded and under
them kindleth his fire. When the making is done and he taketh
out that which is in the kiln, he findeth no help for it but that
he must break some of them, whilst others are what the folk need
and whereof they make use, while yet others there are which
return to be as they were. So fear thou not nor deem it a grave
matter to adduce that which thou knowest of the craft of women,
for that in this is profit for all folk." Then said Shahrazad,
"Then relate, O king (but Allah alone knoweth the secret things)
the Tale of-

End of Volume 11

Arabian Nights, Volume 11

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

[FN#2] i.e., The Wag. See vol. i. 311: the old version calls
him "the Debauchee."

[FN#3] Arab. "Al-Fars"; a people famed for cleverness and
debauchery. I cannot see why Lane omitted the Persian, unless he
had Persian friends at Cairo.

[FN#4] i.e., the half he intended for spending-money.

[FN#5] i.e., "men," a characteristic Arab idiom: here it applies
to the sons of all time.

[FN#6] i.e., make much of thee.

[FN#7] In Lane the Caliph is accompanied by "certain of his

[FN#8] Arab. "Khubz Mutabbak," = bread baked in a platter,
instead of an oven, an earthen jar previously heated, to the
sides of which the scones or bannocks of dough are applied: "it
is lighter than oven-bread, especially if it be made thin and
leavened." See Al-Shakuri, a medical writer quoted by Dozy.

[FN#9] In other parts of The Nights Harun al-Rashid declines

[FN#10] The 'Allamah (doctissimus) Sayce (p. 212, Comparative
Philology, London, Trubner, 1885) goes far back for Khalifah = a
deputy, a successor. He begins with the Semitic (Hebrew?) root
"Khaliph" = to change, exchange: hence "Khaleph" = agio. From
this the Greeks got their {Greek} and Cicero his "Collybus," a

[FN#11] Arab. "Harfush" (in Bresl. Edit. iv. 138, "Kharfush"),
in popular parlance a "blackguard." I have to thank Mr.
Alexander J. Cotheal, of New York, for sending me a MS. Copy of
this tale.

[FN#12] Arab. "Ta'am," in Egypt and Somaliland = millet seed
(Holcus Sorghum) cooked in various ways. In Barbary it is
applied to the local staff of life, Kuskusu, wheaten or other
flour damped and granulated by hand to the size of peppercorns,
and lastly steamed (as we steam potatoes), the cullender-pot
being placed over a long-necked jar full of boiling water. It is
served with clarified butter, shredded onions and meat; and it
represents the Risotto of Northern Italy. Europeans generally
find it too greasy for digestion. This Barbary staff of life is
of old date and is thus mentioned by Leo Africanus in early sixth
century. "It is made of a lump of Dow, first set upon the fire,
in a vessel full of holes and afterwards tempered with Butter and
Pottage." So says good Master John Pory, "A Geographical
Historie of Africa, by John Leo, a Moor," London, 1600, impensis
George Bishop.

[FN#13] Arab. "Bi al-Salam" (pron. "Bissalam") = in the Peace
(of Allah).

[FN#14] And would bring him bad luck if allowed to go without

[FN#15] i.e., of the first half, as has been shown.

[FN#16] Arab. "Kumajah" from the Persian Kumash = bread
unleavened and baked in ashes. Egyptians use the word for
bannocks of fine flour.

[FN#17] Arab. "Kali," our "alcali" ; for this and other
abstergents see vol. i. 279.

[FN#18] These lines have occurred twice in vol. i. 117 (Night
xii.); I quote Mr. Payne.

[FN#19] Arab. "Ya 'llah, ya 'llah;" vulg. Used for "Look
sharp!" e.g., "Ya 'llah jari, ya walad" = Be off at once, boy."

[FN#20] Arab. "Banj akritashi," a term which has occurred

[FN#21] A natural clock, called West Africans Cokkerapeek =
Cock-speak. All the world over it is the subject of
superstition: see Giles's "Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio"
(i. 177), where Miss Li, who is a devil, hears a cock crow and

[FN#22] In Lane Al-Rashid "found at the door his young men
waiting for him and ordered them to convey Abu-l-Hasan upon a
mule and returned to the palace; Abu-l-Hasan being intoxicated
and insensible. And when the Khaleefah had rested himself in the
palace, he called for," etc.

[FN#23] Arab. "Kursi," Assyrian "Kussu" = throne; and "Korsai"
in Aramaic (or Nabathean as Al-Mas'udi calls it), the second
growth-period of the "Semitic" family, which supplanted Assyrian
and Babylonian, and became, as Arabic now is, the common speech
of the "Semitic" world.

[FN#24] Arab. "Makan mahjub," which Lane renders by "a private
closet," and Payne by a "privy place," suggesting that the Caliph
slept in a numero cent. So, when starting for the "Trakki
Campaign," Sir Charles Napier (of Sind), in his zeal for
lightening officers' baggage, inadvertently chose a water-closet
tent for his head-quarters--magno cum risu not of the staff, who
had a strange fear of him, but of the multitude who had not.

[FN#25] Arab. "Dar al-Salam," one of the seven "Gardens" into
which the Mohammedan Paradise is divided. Man's fabled happiness
began in a Garden (Eden) and the suggestion came naturally that
it would continue there. For the seven Heavens, see vol. viii.,

[FN#26] Branch of Pearl, see vol. ii. 57.

[FN#27] Arab. "Kahbah," the lowest word (vol. i. 70),
effectively used in contrast with the speaker's surroundings.

[FN#28] Arab. "Ya kabiri," = mon brave, my good man.

[FN#29] This exaggeration has now become familiar to English

[FN#30] Like an Eastern he goes to the water-closet the first
thing in the morning, or rather dawn, and then washes
ceremonially before saying the first prayer. In Europe he would
probably wait until after breakfast. See vol. iii. 242.

[FN#31] I have explained why an Eastern does not wash in the
basin as Europeans do in vol. i. p. 241.

[FN#32] i.e., He was confused that he forgot. All Moslems know
how to pray, whether they pray or not.

[FN#33] The dawn-prayer consists of only four inclinations
(raka'at); two "Farz" (divinely appointed), and two Sunnah (the
custom of the Apostle). For the Raka'ah see Lane, M.E. chapt.
iii.; it cannot be explained without illustrations.

[FN#34] After both sets of prayers, Farz and Sunnah, the Moslem
looks over his right shoulder and says, "The Peace (of Allah) be
upon you and the ruth of Allah," and repeats the words over the
left shoulder. The salutation is addressed to the Guardian Angels
or to the bystanders (Moslems), who, however, do not return it.

[FN#35] i.e., Ibrahim of Mosul the musician. See vol. iv. 108.

[FN#36] Arab. "Liyuth" plur. of "layth," a lion: here warriors
are meant.

[FN#37] The Abbasides traced their descent from Al-Abbas,
Mohammed's uncle, and justly held themselves as belonging to the
family of the Prophet. See vol. ii. 61.

[FN#38] Arab. "Nimshah" = "half-sword." See vol. ii. p. 193.

[FN#39] i.e., May thy dwelling-place never fall into ruin. The
prayer has, strange to say, been granted. "The present city on
the eastern bank of the Tigris was built by Haroun al-Rashid, and
his house still stands there and is an object of reverent
curiosity." So says my friend Mr. Grattan Geary (vol. i. p. 212,
"Through Asiatic Turkey," London: Low, 1878). He also gives a
sketch of Zubaydah's tomb on the western bank of the Tigris near
the suburb which represents old Baghdad; it is a pineapple dome
springing from an octagon, both of brick once revetted with white

[FN#40] In the Bresl. Edit. four hundred. I prefer the
exaggerated total.

[FN#41] i.e., the raised recess at the upper end of an Oriental
saloon, and the place of honour, which Lane calls by its Egyptian
name "Liwan." See his vol. i. 312 and his M.E. chapt. i.: also
my vol. iv. p. 71.

[FN#42] "Bit o'Musk."

[FN#43] "A gin," a snare.

[FN#44] "A gift," a present. It is instructive to compare Abu
al-Hasan with Sancho Panza, sprightly Arab wit with grave Spanish

[FN#45] i.e., he fell down senseless. The old version has "his
head knocked against his knees."

[FN#46] Arab. "Waddi" vulg. Egyptian and Syrian for the
classical "Addi" (ii. of Adu = preparing to do). No wonder that
Lane complains (iii. 376) of the vulgar style, abounding in

[FN#47] O Apple, O Repose o' Hearts, O Musk, O Choice Gift.

[FN#48] Arab. "Doghri," a pure Turkish word, in Egypt meaning
"truly, with truth," straightforwardly; in Syria = straight
(going), directly.

[FN#49] Arab. "Maristan," see vol. i. 288.

[FN#50] The scene is a rechauffe of Badr al-Din Hasan and his
wife, i. 247.

[FN#51] Arab. "Janzir," another atrocious vulgarism for
"Zanjir," which however, has occurred before.

[FN#52] Arab. "Arafshah."

[FN#53] In the "Mishkat al-Masabih" (ii. 341), quoted by Lane,
occurs the Hadis, "Shut your doors anights and when so doing
repeat the Basmalah; for the Devil may not open a door shut in
Allah's name." A pious Moslem in Egypt always ejaculates, "In
the name of Allah, the Compassionating," etc., when he locks a
door, covers up bread, doffs his clothes, etc., to keep off
devils and daemons.

[FN#54] An Arab idiom meaning, "I have not found thy good
fortune (Ka'b = heel, glory, prosperity) do me any good."

[FN#55] Arab. "Ya Nakbah" = a calamity to those who have to do
with thee!

[FN#56] Koran cxii., the "Chapter of Unity." See vol. iii. 307

[FN#57] See vol. iii. 222.

[FN#58] Here the author indubitably speaks for himself,
forgetting that he ended Night cclxxxi. (Bresl. Iv. 168), and
began that following with Shahrazad's usual formula.

[FN#59] i.e., "Delight of the vitals" (or heart).

[FN#60] The trick is a rechauffe of the trick played on Al-
Rashid and Zubaydah.

[FN#61] "Kalb" here is not heart, but stomach. The big toes of
the Moslem corpse are still tied in most countries, and in some a
sword is placed upon the body; but I am not aware that a knife
and sale (both believed to repel evil spirits) are so used in

[FN#62] The Moslem, who may not wear unmixed silk during his
lifetime, may be shrouded in it. I have noted that the
"Shukkah," or piece, averages six feet in length.

[FN#63] A vulgar ejaculation; the "hour" referring either to
birth or to his being made one of the Caliph's equerries.

[FN#64] Here the story-teller omits to say that Masrur bore
witness to the Caliph's statement.

[FN#65] Arab. "Wa kuntu raihah ursil warak," the regular Fellah

[FN#66] Arab. "'Irk al-Hashimi." See vol. ii. 19. Lane
remarks, "Whether it was so in Hashim himself (or only in his
descendants), I do not find; but it is mentioned amongst the
characteristics of his great-grandson, the Prophet."

[FN#67] Arab. "Bostan al-Nuzhah," whose name made the stake
appropriate. See vol. ii. 81.

[FN#68] Arab. "Tamasil" = generally carved images, which,
amongst Moslem, always suggest idols and idolatry.

[FN#69] The "Shubbak" here would be the "Mashrabiyah," or
latticed balcony, projecting from the saloon-wall, and containing
room for three or more sitters. It is Lane's "Mesrebeeyeh,"
sketched in M.E. (Introduction) and now has become familiar to

[FN#70] This is to show the cleverness of Abu al-Hasan, who had
calculated upon the difference between Al-Rashid and Zubaydah.
Such marvels of perspicacity are frequent enough in the folk-lore
of the Arabs.

[FN#71] An artful touch, showing how a tale grows by repetition.
In Abu al-Hasan's case (infra) the eyes are swollen by the

[FN#72] A Hadis attributed to the Prophet, and very useful to
Moslem husbands when wives differ overmuch with them in opinion.

[FN#73] Arab. "Masarat fi-ha," which Lane renders, "And she
threw money to her."

[FN#74] A saying common throughout the world, especially when
the afflicted widow intends to marry again at the first

[FN#75] Arab. "Ya Khalati" = O my mother's sister; addressed by
a woman to an elderly dame.

[FN#76] i.e., That I may put her to shame.

[FN#77] Arab. "Zalabiyah."

[FN#78] Arab. "'Ala al-Kaylah," which Mr. Payne renders by
"Siesta-carpet." Land reads "Kiblah" ("in the direction of the
Kiblah") and notes that some Moslems turn the corpse's head
towards Meccah and others the right side, including the face. So
the old version reads "feet towards Mecca." But the preposition
"Ala" requires the former sig.

[FN#79] Many places in this text are so faulty that translation
is mere guess-work; e.g. "Basharah" can hardly be applied to ill-

[FN#80] i.e. of grief for his loss.

[FN#81] Arab. "Tobani" which Lane renders "two clods." I have
noted that the Tob (Span. Adobe = Al-Tob) is a sunbaked brick.
Beating the bosom with such material is still common amongst
Moslem mourners of the lower class, and the hardness of the blow
gives the measure of the grief.

[FN#82] i.e. of grief for her loss.

[FN#83] Arab. "Ihtirak" often used in the metaphorical sense of
consuming, torturing.

[FN#84] Arab. "Halawat," lit.=a sweetmeat, a gratuity, a thank-

[FN#85] Bresl. Edit., vol. vi. Pp. 182-188, Nights ccccxxxii.-

[FN#86] "The good Caliph" and the fifth of the Orthodox, the
other four being Abu Bakr, Omar, Osman and Ali; and omitting the
eight intervening, Hasan the grandson of the Prophet included.
He was the 13th Caliph and 8th Ommiade A.H. 99-101 (=717-720) and
after a reign of three years he was poisoned by his kinsmen of
the Banu Umayyah who hated him for his piety, asceticism, and
severity in making them disgorge their ill-gotten gains. Moslem
historians are unanimous in his praise. Europeans find him an
anachorete couronne, a froide et respectable figure, who lacked
the diplomacy of Mu'awiyah and the energy of Al-Hajjaj. His
principal imitator was Al-Muhtadi bi'llah, who longed for a
return to the rare old days of Al-Islam.

[FN#87] Omar 'Adi bin Artah; governor of Kufah and Basrah under
"the good Caliph."

[FN#88] Jarir al-Khatafah, one of the most famous of the
"Islami" poets, i.e. those who wrote in the first century (A.H.)
before the corruption of language began. (See Terminal Essay, p.
230). Ibn Khallikan notices him at full length i. 294.

[FN#89] Arab. "Bakiyah," which may also mean eternal as opposed
to "Faniyah" = temporal. Omar's answer shows all the narrow-
minded fanaticism which distinguished the early Moslems: they
were puritanical as any Praise-God-Barebones, and they hated
"boetry and bainting" as hotly as any Hanoverian.

[FN#90] The Saturday Review (Jan. 2, '86), which has honoured me
by the normal reviling in the shape of a critique upon my two
first vols., complains of the "Curious word Abhak" as "a
perfectly arbitrary and unusual group of Latin letters." May I
ask Aristarchus how he would render "Sal'am" (vol ii. 24), which
apparently he would confine to "Arabic MSS."(!). Or would he
prefer A(llah) b(less) h(im) a(nd) k(eep) "W.G.B." (whom God
bless) as proposed by the editor of Ockley? But where would be
the poor old "Saturnine" if obliged to do better than the authors
it abuses?

[FN#91] He might have said "by more than one, including the
great Labid."

[FN#92] Fi-hi either "in him" (Mohammed) or "in it" (his

[FN#93] Chief of the Banu Sulaym. According to Tabari, Abbas
bin Mirdas (a well-known poet), being dissatisfied with the booty
allotted to him by the Prophet, refused it and lampooned
Mohammed, who said to Ali, "Cut off this tongue which attacketh
me," i.e. "Silence him by giving what will satisfy him."
Thereupon Ali doubled the Satirist's share.

[FN#94] Arab. "Ya Bilal": Bilal ibn Rabah was the Prophet's
freedman and crier: see vol. iii. 106. But bilal also signifies
"moisture" or "beneficence," "benefits": it may be intended for a
double entendre but I prefer the metonymy.

[FN#95] The verses of this Kasidah are too full of meaning to be
easily translated: it is fine old poetry.

[FN#96] i.e. of the Koraysh tribe. For his disorderly life see
Ibn Khallikan ii. 372: he died, however, a holy death, battling
against the Infidels in A.H. 93 (= 711-12), some five years
before Omar's reign.

[FN#97] Arab. "Bayn farsi-k wa 'l-dami" = lit. between faeces
and menses, i.e., the foulest part of his mistress's person. It
is not often that The Nights are "nasty"; but here is a case.
See vol. v. 162.

[FN#98] "Jamil the Poet," and lover of Buthaynah: see vol. ii.
102, Ibn Khallikan (i.331), and Al-Mas'udi vi. 381, who quotes
him copiously. He died A.H. 82 (= 701), or sixteen years before
Omar's reign.

[FN#99] Arab. "Safih" = the slab over the grave.

[FN#100] A contemporary and friend of Jamil and the famous lover
of Azzah. See vol. ii. 102, and Al-Mas'udi, vi. 426. The word
"Kuthayyir" means "the dwarf." Term. Essay, 231.

[FN#101] i.e. in the attitude of prayer.

[FN#102] In Bresl. Edit. "Al-Akhwass," clerical error, noticed
in Ibn Khallikan i. 526. His satires banished him to Dahlak
Island in the Red Sea, and he died A.H. 179 (= 795-96).

[FN#103] Another famous poet Abu Firas Hammam or Humaym (dimin.
Form), as debauched as Jarir, who died forty days before him in
A.H. 110 (= 728-29), as Basrah. Cf. Term. Essay, 231.

[FN#104] A famous Christian poet. See C. de Perceval, Journ.
Asiat. April, 1834, Ibn Khallikan iii. 136, and Term. Essay, 231.

[FN#105] The poet means that unlike other fasters he eats meat
openly. See Pilgrimage (i. 110), for the popular hypocrisy.

[FN#106] Arab. "Batha" the lowlands and plains outside the
Meccan Valley. See al-Mas'udi, vi. 157. Mr. (now Sir) W. Muir
in his Life of Mahomet, vol. i., p. ccv., remarks upon my
Pilgrimage (iii.252) that in placing Arafat 12 miles from Meccah,
I had given 3 miles to Muna, + 3 to Muzdalifah + 3 to Arafat = 9.
But the total does not include the suburbs of Meccah and the
breadth of the Arafat-Valley.

[FN#107] The words of the Azan, vol. i. 306.

[FN#108] Wine in Arabic is feminine, "Shamul" = liquor hung in
the wind to cool, a favourite Arab practice often noticed by the

[FN#109] i.e. I will fall down dead drunk.

[FN#110] Arab. "Aram," plur. of Irm, a beautiful girl, a white
deer. The word is connected with the Heb. Reem (Deut. xxxiii.
17), which has been explained unicorn, rhinoceros, and aurochs.
It is at the Ass. Rimu, the wild bull of the mountains, provided
with a human face, and placed at the palace-entrance to frighten
away foes, demon or human.

[FN#111] i.e. she who ensnares [all] eyes.

[FN#112] Imam, the spiritual title of the Caliph, as head of the
Faith and leader (lit. "foreman," Antistes) of the people at
prayer. See vol. iv. 111.

[FN#113] For Yamamah see vol. ii. 104. Omar bin Abd-al-Aziz was
governor of the province before he came to the Caliphate. To the
note on Zarka, the blue-eyed Yamamite, I may add that Marwan was
called Ibn Zarka, son of "la femme au drapeu bleu," such being
the sign of a public prostitute. Al-Mas'udi, v. 509.

[FN#114] Rain and bounty, I have said, are synonymous.

[FN#115] About L4.

[FN#116] i.e. what is thy news.

[FN#117] Bresl. Edit., vol. vi. pp. 188-9, Night ccccxxxiv.

[FN#118] Of this masterful personage and his energie indomptable
I have spoken in vol. iv. 3, and other places. I may add that he
built Wasit city A.H. 83 and rendered eminent services to
literature and civilization amongst the Arabs. When the Ommiade
Caliph Abd al-Malik was dying he said to his son Walid, "Look to
Al-Hajjaj and honour him for, verily, he it is who hath covered
for you the pulpits; and he is thy sword and thy right hand
against all opponents; thou needest him more than he needeth
thee, and when I die summon the folk to the covenant of
allegiance; and he who saith with his head--thus, say thou with
thy sword--thus" (Al-Siyuti, p 225) yet the historian simply
observes, "the Lord curse him."

[FN#119] i.e. given through his lieutenant.

[FN#120] "Necks" per synecdochen for heads. The passage is a
description of a barber-surgeon in a series of double-entendres
the "nose-pierced" (Makhzum) is the subject who is led by the
nose like a camel with halter and ring and the "breaker" (hashim)
may be a breaker of bread as the word originally meant, or
breaker of bones. Lastly the "wealth" (mal) is a recondite
allusion to the hair.

[FN#121] Arab. "Kadr" which a change of vowel makes "Kidr" = a
cooking-pot. The description is that of an itinerant seller of
boiled beans (Ful mudammas) still common in Cairo. The "light of
his fire" suggests a double-entendre some powerful Chief like
masterful King Kulayb. See vol. ii. 77.

[FN#122] Arab. "Al-Sufuf," either ranks of fighting-men or the
rows of thread on a loom. Here the allusion is to a weaver who
levels and corrects his threads with the wooden spate and shuttle
governing warp and weft and who makes them stand straight (behave
aright). The "stirrup" (rikab) is the loop of cord in which the
weaver's foot rests.

[FN#123] "Adab." See vols. i. 132, and ix. 41.

[FN#124] Bresl. Edit., vol. vi. pp. 189-191, Night ccccxxxiv.

[FN#125] Arab. "Za'mu," a word little used in the Cal., Mac. or
Bul. Edit.; or in the Wortley Montague MS.; but very common in
the Bresl. text.

[FN#126] More double-entendres. "Thou hast done justice"
('adalta) also means "Thou hast swerved from right;" and "Thou
hast wrought equitably" (Akasta iv. of Kast) = "Thou hast

[FN#127] Koran vi. 44. Allah is threatening unbelievers, "And
when they had forgotten their warnings We set open to them the
gates of all things, until, when they were gladdened," etc.

[FN#128] Arab. "Ta'dilu," also meaning, "Ye do injustice":
quoted from Koran iv. 134.

[FN#129] Arab. "Al-Kasituna," before explained. Koran lxxii.

[FN#130] Bresl. Edit. vol. vi. pp. 191-343, Nights ccccxxxv-
cccclxxxvii. This is the old Persian Bakhtyar Nameh, i.e., the
Book of Bakhtyar, so called from the prince and hero "Fortune's
Friend." In the tale of Jili'ad and Shimas the number of Wazirs
is seven, as usual in the Sindibad cycle. Here we have the full
tale as advised by the Imam al-Jara'i: "it is meet for a man
before entering upon important undertakings to consult ten
intelligent friends; if he have only five to apply twice to each;
if only one, ten times at different visits, and if none, let him
repair to his wife and consult her; and whatever she advises him
to do let him do the clear contrary" (quoting Omar), or as says
Tommy Moore,

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

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

[FN#131] In Chavis and Cazotte, the "kingdom of Dineroux
(comprehending all Syria and the isles of the Indian Ocean) whose
capital was Issessara." An article in the Edinburgh Review (July,
1886), calls the "Supplement" a "bare-faced forgery"; but
evidently the writer should have "read up" his subject before

[FN#132] The Persian form; in Arab. Sijistan, the classical
Drangiana or province East of Fars=Persia proper. It is famed in
legend as the feof of hero Rustam.

[FN#133] Arab. Rawi=a professional tale-teller, which Mr. Payne
justly holds to be a clerical error for "Rai, a beholder, one who

[FN#134] In Persian the name would be Bahr-i-Jaur="luck" (or
fortune, "bahr") of Jaur- (or Jur-) city.

[FN#135] Supply "and cared naught for his kingdom."

[FN#136] Arab. "Atraf," plur. of "Tarf," a great and liberal

[FN#137] Lit. "How was," etc. Kayf is a favourite word not only
in the Bresl. Edit., but throughout Egypt and Syria. Classically
we should write "Ma;" vulgarly "Aysh."

[FN#138] Karmania vulg. and fancifully derived from Kirman
Pers.=worms because the silkworm is supposed to have been bred
there; but the name is of far older date as we find the Asiatic
Aethiopians of Herodotus (iii. 93) lying between the Germanii
(Karman) and the Indus. Also Karmania appears in Strabo and Sinus
Carmanicus in other classics.

[FN#139] Arab. "Ka'id"; lit.=one who sits with, a colleague,
hence the Span. Alcayde; in Marocco it is=colonel, and is
prefixed e.g. Ka'id Maclean.

[FN#140] A favourite food; Al-Hariri calls the dates and cream,
which were sold together in bazars, the "Proud Rider on the
desired Steed."

[FN#141] In Bresl. Edit. vi. 198 by misprint "Kutru": Chavis and
Cazotte have "Kassera." In the story of Bihkard we find a P.N.

[FN#142] i.e. waylaying travellers, a term which has often

[FN#143] i.e. the royal favour.

[FN#144] i.e. When the fated hour came down (from Heaven).

[FN#145] As the Nights have proved in many places, the Asl
(origin) of a man is popularly held to influence his conduct
throughout life. So the Jeweller's wife (vol. ix.) was of servile
birth, which accounted for her vile conduct; and reference is
hardly necessary to a host of other instances. We can trace the
same idea in the sayings and folk-lore of the West, e.g. Bon sang
ne peut mentir, etc., etc.

[FN#146] i.e. "What deemest thou he hath done?"

[FN#147] The apodosis wanting "to make thee trust in him?"

[FN#148] In the Braj Bakha dialect of Hindi, we find quoted in
the Akhlak-i-Hindi, "Tale of the old Tiger and the Traveller":--

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

Ne'er shall his nature fall a man whate'er that nature be,
The Nim-tree bitter shall remain though drenched with Gur
and Ghi.

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

[FN#149] In Chavis and Cazotte "Story of Kaskas; or the
Obstinate Man." For ill-luck, see Miss Frere's "Old Deccan Days"
(p. 171), and Giles's "Strange Stories," &c. (p. 430), where the
young lady says to Ma, "You often asked me for money; but on
account of your weak luck I hitherto refrained from giving it."

[FN#150] True to life in the present day, as many a standing
hay-rick has shown.

[FN#151] The "Munajjim" is a recognised authority in Egyptian


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