Supplemental Nights, Volume 3
Richard F. Burton

Part 9 out of 11

of the matter. He soon should try their skill in shooting, and he who proved
to be the ablest shooter of them should have the princess. So a mark was
raised and the eldest brother stepped forward with his bow and quiver. He
shot, and no great distance from the mark fell his arrow. After that stepped
forward the second brother, and his arrow well-nigh reached the mark. Last of
all stepped forward the third and youngest brother, and his arrow seemed to go
farther than the others, but in spite of continued search for many days it
could not be found. The king decided in this matter that his second son should
marry the princess They were married accordingly, and as the king, the father
of the princess, was dead, his daughter now succeeded him, and her husband
became king over his wife's inheritance. They are now out of this tale, as is
also the eldest brother, who settled in life abroad.

The youngest brother stayed at home with his father, highly displeased at the
decision the latter had given concerning the marriage of the princess. He was
wont to wander about every day where he fancied his arrow had fallen, and at
last he found it fixed in an oak in the forest, and saw that it had by far
outstripped the mark. He now called together witnesses to the place where the
arrow was, with the intention of bringing about some justice m his case. But
of this there was no chance, for the king said he could by no means alter his
decision. At this the king's son was so grieved that he went well-nigh out of
his wits. One day he busked for a journey, with the full intention of never
again setting foot m his country. He took with him all he possessed of fine
and precious things, nobody knowing his rede, not even his father, the king.

He went into a great forest and wandered about there many days, without
knowing whither he was going, and at last, yielding to hunger and weariness,
he found himself no longer equal to travelling; so he sat down under a tree,
thinking that his sad and sorrowful life would here come to a close. But after
he had sat thus awhile he saw ten people, all in fine attire and bright
armour, come riding towards the stone. On arriving there they dismounted, and
having greeted the king's son begged him to go with them, and mount the spare
horse they had with them, saddled and bridled in royal fashion. He accepted
this offer and mounted the horse, and after this they rode on their way till
they came to a large city. The riders dismounted and led the prince into the
town, which was governed by a young and beautiful maiden-queen. The riders led
the king's son at once to the virgin-queen, who received him with great
kindness. She told him that she had heard of all the ill-luck that had
befallen him and also that he had fled from his father. "Then," quoth she, "a
burning love for you was kindled in my breast and a longing to heal your
wounds. You must know that it was I who sent the ten riders to find you out
and bring you hither. I give you the chance of staying here; I offer you the
rule of my whole kingdom, and I will try to sweeten your embittered life;--
this is all that I am able to do." Although the prince was in a sad and gloomy
state of mind, he saw nothing better than to accept this generous offer and
agree to the marriage with the maiden-queen. A grand feast was made ready, and
they were married according to the ways of that country. And the young king
took at once in hand the government, which he managed with much ability.

Now the story turns homewards, to the old king. After the disappearance of his
son he became sad and weary of life, being, as he was, sinking in age. His
queen also had died sometime since. One day it happened that a wayfaring woman
came to the palace. She had much knowledge about many things and knew how to
tell tales.[FN#420] The king was greatly delighted with her story-telling and
she got soon into his favour. Thus some time passed. But in course of time the
king fell deeply in love with this woman, and at last married her and made her
his queen, in spite of strong dissent from the court. Shortly this new queen
began meddling in the affairs of the government, and it soon turned out that
she was spoiling everything by her redes, whenever she had the chance. Once it
happened that the queen spoke to the king and said, "Strange indeed it seems
to me that you make no inquiry about your youngest son's running away: smaller
faults have been often chastised than that. You must have heard that he has
become king in one of the neighbouring kingdoms, and that it is a common tale
that he is going to invade your dominions with a great army whenever he gets
the wished-for opportunity, in order to avenge the injustice he thinks he has
suffered in that bygone bridal question. Now I want you to be the first in
throwing this danger off-hand." The king showed little interest in the matter
and paid to his wife's chattering but little attention. But she contrived at
length so to speak to him as to make him place faith in her words, and he
asked her to give him good redes, that this matter might be arranged in such a
way as to be least observed by other folk. The queen said, "You must send men
with gifts to him and pray him to come to you for an interview, in order to
arrange certain political matters before your death, as also to strengthen
your friendship with an interchange of marks of kindred. And then I will give
you further advice as to what to do." The king was satisfied with this and
equipped his messengers royally.

Then the messengers came before the young king, saying they were sent by his
father, who wished his son to come and see him without delay. To this the
young king answered well, and lost no time in bushing his men and himself. But
when his queen knew this she said he would assuredly rue this journey. The
king went off, however, and nothing is said of his travels till he came to the
town where his father lived. His father received him rather coldly, much to
the wonder and amazement of his son. And when he had been there a short while
his father gave him a good chiding for having run away. "Thereby," said the
old king, "you have shown full contempt of myself and caused me such sorrow as
well-nigh brought me to the grave. Therefore, according to the law, you have
deserved to die; but as you have delivered yourself up into my power and are,
on the other hand, my son, I have no mind to have you killed. But I have three
tasks for you which you must have performed within a year, on pain of death.
The first is that you bring me a tent which will hold one hundred men but can
yet be hidden in the closed hand;[FN#421] the second, that you shall bring me
water that cures all ailments;[FN#422] and the third, that you shall bring me
hither a man who has not his like in the whole world." "Show me whither I
shall go to obtain these things," said the young king. "That you must find out
for yourself," replied the other.

Then the old king turned his back upon his son and went off. Away went also
the young king, no farewells being said, and nothing is told of his travels
till he came home to his realm. He was then very sad and heavy-minded, and the
queen seeing this asked him earnestly what had befallen him and what caused
the gloom on his mind. He declared that this did not regard her. The queen
answered, "I know that tasks must have been set you which it will not prove
easy to perform. But what will it avail you to sit sullen and sad on account
of such things? Behave as a man, and try if these tasks may not indeed be

Now the king thought it best tell the queen all that had happened and how
matters stood. "All this," said the queen, "is the rede of your stepmother,
and it would be well indeed if she could do you no more harm by it than she
has already tried to do. She has chosen such difficulties she thought you
would not easily get over, but I can do something here. The tent is in my
possession, so there is that difficulty over. The water you have to get is a
short way hence but very hard of approach. It is in a well and the well is in
a cave hellishly dark. The well is watched by seven lions and three serpents,
and from these monsters nobody has ever returned alive; and the nature of the
water is that it has no healing power whatever unless it be drawn when all
these monsters are awake. Now I will risk the undertaking of drawing the
water." So the queen made herself ready to go to the cave, taking with her
seven oxen and three pigs. When she came before the cave she ordered the oxen
to be killed and thrown before the lions and the pigs before the serpents. And
while these monsters tore and devoured the carcases the queen stepped down
into the well and drew as much water as she wanted. And she left the cave just
in time as the beasts finished devouring their bait. After this the queen went
home to the palace having thus got over the second trial.

Then she came to her husband and said, "Now two of the tasks are done, but the
third and indeed the hardest, of them is left. Moreover, this is one you must
perform yourself, but I can give you some hints as to whither to go for it. I
have got a half brother who rules over an island not far from hence. He is
three feet high, and has one eye in the middle of his forehead. He has a beard
thirty ells long, stiff and hard as a hog's bristles. He has a dog's snout and
cat's ears, and I should scarcely fancy he has his like in the whole world.
When he travels he flings himself forward on a staff of fifty ells' length,
with a pace as swift as a bird's flight. Once when my father was out hunting
he was charmed by an ogress who lived in a cave under a waterfall, and with
her he begat this bugbear. The island is one-third of my father's realm, but
his son finds it too small for him. My father had a ring the greatest gem,
which each of us would have, sister and brother, but I got it, wherefore he
has been my enemy ever since. Now I will write him a letter and send him the
ring in the hope that that will soften him and turn him in our favour. You
shall make ready to go to him, with a splendid suite, and when you come to his
palace-door you shall take off your crown and creep bareheaded over the floor
up to his throne. Then you shall kiss his right foot and give him the letter
and the ring. And if he orders you to stand up, you have succeeded in your
task; if not, you have failed."

So he did everything that he was bidden by the queen, and when he appeared
before the one-eyed king he was stupefied at his tremendous ugliness and his
bugbear appearance; but he plucked up courage as best he could and gave him
the letter and the ring. When the king saw the letter and the ring his face
brightened up, and he said, "Surely my sister finds herself in straits now, as
she sends me this ring." And when he had read the letter he bade the king, his
brother-in-law, stand up, and declared that he was ready to comply with his
sister's wish and to go off at once without delay. He seized his staff and
started away, but stopped now and then for his brother-in-law and his suite,
to whom he gave a good chiding for their slowness.[FN#423] They continued thus
their march until they came to the palace of the queen, the ugly king's
sister; but when they arrived there the one-eyed king cried with a roaring
voice to his sister, and asked her what she wished, as she had troubled him to
come so far from home. She then told him all the matter as it really was and
begged him to help her husband out of the trial put before him. He said he was
ready to do so, but would brook no delay.

Now both kings went off, and nothing is told of their journey until they came
to the old king. The young king announced to his father his coming and that he
brought with him what he had ordered last year. He wished his father to call
together a ting[FN#424] in order that he might show openly how he had
performed his tasks. This was done, and the king and the queen and other great
folk were assembled. First the tent was put forward and nobody could find
fault with it. Secondly the young king gave the wondrous healing water to his
father. The queen was prayed to taste it and see if it was the right water,
taken at the right time. She said that both things were as they should be.
Then said the old king, "Now the third and heaviest of all the tasks is left:
come, and have it off your hands quickly." Then the young king summoned the
king with one eye, and as he appeared on the ting he waxed so hideous that all
the people were struck with fright and horror, and most of all the king. When
this ugly monarch had shown himself for a while there he thrust his staff
against the breast of the queen and tilted her up into the air on the top of
it, and then thrust her against the ground with such force that every bone in
her body was broken. She turned at once into the most monstrous troll ever
beheld. After this the one eyed king rushed away from the ting and the people
thronged round the old king in order to help him, for he was in the very jaws
of death from fright. The healing water was sprinkled on him and refreshed

After the death of the queen, who was killed of course when she turned into a
troll, the king confessed that all the tasks which he had given his son to
perform were undeserved and that he had acted thus, egged on by the queen. He
called his son to him and humbly begged his forgiveness for what he had done
against him. He declared he would atone for it by giving into his hand all
that kingdom, while he himself only wished to live in peace and quiet for the
rest of his days. So the young king sent for his queen and for the courtiers
whom he loved most. And, to make a long story short, they gave up their former
kingdom to the king with one eye, as a reward, for his lifetime, but governed
the realm of the old king to a high age, in great glee and happiness,

The Two Sisters Who Envied Their Cadette--p. 313.

Legends of castaway infants are common to the folk-lore of almost all
countries and date far back into antiquity. The most usual mode of exposing
them--to perish or be rescued, as chance might direct--is placing them in a
box and launching them into a river. The story of Moses in the bulrushes,
which must of course be familiar to everybody, is not only paralleled in
ancient Greek and Roman legends (e.g. Perseus, Cyrus, Romulus), but finds its
analogue in Babylonian folk-lore.[FN#425] The leading idea of the tale of the
Envious Sisters, who substituted a puppy, a kitten, and a rat for the three
babes their young sister the queen had borne and sent the little innocents
away to be destroyed, appealing, as it does to the strongest of human
instincts, is the theme of many popular fictions from India to Iceland. With a
malignant mother-in-law in place of the two sisters, it is the basis of a
medi val European romance entitled "The Knight of the Swan," and of a similar
tale which occurs in "Dolopathus," the oldest version of the "Seven Wise
Masters," written in Latin prose about the year 1180: A king while hunting
loses his way in a forest and coming to a fountain perceives a beautiful lady,
whom he carries home and duly espouses much against the will of his mother,
Matabrun. Some time after, having to lead his knights and men-at-arms against
an enemy, he commits the queen, now far advanced in pregnancy to the care of
his mother, who undertakes that no harm shall befall her during his absence.
The queen is delivered at one birth of seven lovely children, six boys and one
girl, each of whom has a silver chain around its neck.[FN#426] The king's
mother plots with the midwife to do away with the babes and place seven little
dogs in bed beside the poor queen. She gives the children to one of her
squires, charging him either to slay them or cast them into the river. But
when the squire enters the forest his heart relents and laying the infants
wrapped in his mantle, on the ground, he returns and tells his mistress that
he has done her behest. When the king returns, the wicked Matabrun accuses his
wife to him of having had unnatural commerce with a dog, and shows him the
seven puppies. The scene which follows presents a striking likeness to that in
the Arabian story after the birth of the third child. King Oriant is full of
wrath, and at once assembles his counsellors, "dukes, earls knights and other
lords of the realm, with the bishop and prelate of the church," and having
stated the case, the bishop pleads in favour of the queen, and finally induces
him not to put her to death, but confine her in prison for the rest of her
life. Meanwhile the children are discovered by an aged hermit, who takes them
to his dwelling, baptises them and brings them up. After some years it happens
that a yeoman in the service of the king's mother, while hunting in the
forest, perceives the seven children with silver chains round their necks
seated under a tree. He reports this to Matabrun, who forthwith sends him back
to kill the children and bring her their silver chains. He finds but six of
them one being absent with the hermit, who was gone alms seeking; and, touched
by their innocent looks, he merely takes off the silver chains, whereupon they
become transformed into pretty white swans and fly away. How the innocence of
the queen is afterwards vindicated by her son Helyas--he who escaped being
changed into a swan--and how his brethren and sister are restored to their
proper forms would take too long to tell, and indeed the rest of the romance
has no bearing on the Arabian tale.[FN#427]

In another mediaeval work, from which Chaucer derived his Man of Law's Tale,
the Life of Constance, by Nicholas Trivet, an English Dominican monk, the
saintly heroine is married to a king, in whose absence at the wars his mother
plots against her daughter-in- law. When Constance gives birth to a son, the
old queen causes letters to be written to the king, in which his wife is
declared to be an evil spirit in the form of a woman and that she had borne,
not a human child, but a hideous monster. The king, in reply, commands
Constance to be tended carefully until his return. But the traitress contrives
by means of letters forged in the king's name to have Constance and her son
sent to sea in a ship, where she meets with strange adventures. Needless to
say, the old queen's wicked devices come to naught.

The story of the Envious Sisters as told by Galland was known in Italy (as Dr.
W. Grimm points out in the valuable notes to his K. u. H.M.) many generations
before the learned Frenchman was born, through the "Pleasant Nights" of
Straparola. That Galland took his story from the Italian novelist it is
impossible to believe, since, as Mr. Coote has observed, Straparola's work
"was already known in France for a couple of centuries through a popular
French translation," and Galland would at once have been an easily convicted
copyist. Moreover the story, imitated from Straparola, by Madame d'Aulnois,
under the title of "La Belie Etoile et Le Prince Cheri," had been published
before Galland's last two volumes appeared, and both those writers had the
same publisher. It is clear, therefore, that Galland neither invented the
story nor borrowed it from Straparola or Madame d'Aulnois. Whence, then, did
he obtain it?--that is the question. His Arabic source has not yet been
discovered, but a variant of the world-wide story is at the present day orally
current in Egypt and forms No. xi. of "Comes Arabes Modernes. Recueillis et
Traduits par Guillaume Spitta Bey" (Paris, 1883), of which the following is a


There was once a King who said to his vazr, "Let us take a walk through the
town during the night." In walking about they came to a house where they heard
people talking, and stopping before it they heard a girl say, "If the King
would marry me, I would make him a tart (or pie) so large that it would serve
for him and his army." And another said, "If the King would marry me, I would
make him a tent that would shelter him and his whole army." Then a third said,
"If the King would marry me, I would present him with a daughter and a son,
with golden hair, and hair of hyacinth colour alternately; if they should
weep, it would thunder, and if they should laugh, the sun and moon would
appear." The King on hearing these words went away, and on the following day
he sent for the three girls and made the contract of marriage with them. He
passed the first night with the one who had spoken first, and said to her,
"Where is the tart that would be sufficient for me and my army?" She answered
him, "The words of the night are greased with butter: when day appears they
melt away." The next night he slept with the second, saying to her, "Where is
the tent which would be large enough for me and my army?" She answered him,
"It was an idea that came into my mind." So the King ordered them to go down
into the kitchen among the slaves. He passed the third night with the tattle
one, saying, "Where are the boy and girl whose hair is to be like gold and
hyacinth?" She replied, "Tarry with me nine months and nine minutes." In due
time she became pregnant, and on the night of her confinement the midwife was
sent for. Then the other wife of the King went and met her in the street and
said to her, "When she has been delivered, how much will the King give you ?"
She answered, "He will issue orders to give me fifteen mahbbs.[FN#428] The
other said, "Behold, here are forty mahhbs from me. Take these two little
blind puppies, and when she has given birth to a son and a daughter, take them
and place them in a box and put these two puppies in their stead, and remove
the children." The midwife took the money and the little dogs and went away.
When the King's new wife was safely delivered, the midwife did according to
her agreement with the other wife of the King, and then went before him and
said, "I fear to speak." He answered, "Speak; I grant you pardon." Then said
she, "Your wife has been delivered of two dogs." Then the King gave orders,
saying, "Take and cover her with tar, and bind her to the staircase, and let
any who may go up or down spit upon her," which was done accordingly. And the
midwife carried away the children and threw them into the river.

Now there was a fisherman who lived on an island with his wife, and they had
no children. On the morrow he went to the water-side to fish and found a box
driven on to the shore He carried it home to his wife, and placing it between
them, he said, "Listen, my dear, I am going to make a bargain with you: if
this contains money, it will be for me, if it contains children, they will be
for you." She replied, "Very well, I am quite content." They then opened the
box and found in it a baby boy and girl. The baby boy had his finger in the
baby girl's mouth and the latter had her finger in his mouth, and they were
sucking one another's fingers. The woman took them out of the box and prayed
to Heaven, "Make milk come into my breasts, for the sake of these little
ones." And by the Almighty power the milk came into her breasts, and she
continued to bring them up until they had reached the age of twelve years.

One day the fisherman caught two large white fish, and the youth said to him,
"These two white fish are pretty, my father; I will take and sell them, or
carry them as a present to the King." So the boy took them and went away. He
sat down with them in the Fish Market: people gathered about him, and those
who did not look at the fish looked at the boy. The King also came past, and
seeing the two white fish and the boy he called to him saying, "What is the
price, my lad?" The boy answered, "They are a present for you, my prince."
Thereupon the King took him to the palace and said to him, "What is your
name?" and he replied, "My name is Muhammed, and my father is the fisherman
who lives on the island." Then the King gave him thirty mahbbs, saying, "Go
away, discreet one, and every day return here to my house." So the lad
returned home and gave the money to his father. The next morning two more
white fish were caught and Muhammed carried them to the King, who took him
into his garden and made him sit down opposite him. The King remained there
drinking his wine and looking on the beauty of the youth: love for the lad
entered his heart and he remained with him two hours.[FN#429] Then he gave
orders to provide the youth with a horse for his use in coming to and
returning from his house, and Muhammed mounted the horse and rode home.

When he visited the King the following day he was again led into the garden,
and the other wife of the King, looking from her window saw the lad and
recognised him. She at once sent for the old midwife, and said to her, "I bade
you kill the children, yet they are still living upon the earth." Replied the
old woman, "Have patience with me, O Queen for three days, and I will kill
him." Then she went away, and having procured a pitcher tied it to her girdle,
bewitched it, mounted on it, and struck it with a whip, and forthwith the
pitcher flew away with her and descended upon the island near the fisherman's
cottage.[FN#430] She found the young girl, Muhammed's sister, sitting alone,
and thus addressed her: "My dear, why are you thus alone and sad? Tell your
brother to fetch you the rose of Arab Zandyk, that it may sing to you and
amuse you, instead of your being thus lonely and low-spirited." When her
brother came home, he found her displeased and asked her, "Why are you vexed,
my sister?" She replied, "I should like the rose of Arab Zandyk, that it may
sing to me and amuse me." "At your command," said he; "I am going to bring it
to you."

He mounted his horse and travelled into the midst of the desert, where he
perceived an ogress seated and pounding wheat with a millstone on her arm.
Alighting, he came up to her and saluted her saying, "Peace be with you,
mother ogress." She replied, "If your safety did not prevail over your words,
I would eat the flesh from off your bones." Then she asked, "Where are you
going, Muhammed the Discreet?" He answered, "I am in quest of the singing rose
of Arab Zandyk." She showed him the way, saying, "You will find before the
palace a kid and a dog fastened, and before the kid a piece of meat and before
the dog a bunch of clover: lift the meat and throw it to the dog, and give the
clover to the kid.[FN#431] Then the door will open for you: enter and pluck
the rose; return immediately without looking behind you, because, if you do
so, you will be bewitched and changed into stone, like the enchanted ones who
are there." Muhammed the Discreet carefully followed the instructions of the
ogress: plucked the rose, went out by the door, put back the meat before the
kid and the clover before the dog, and carried the rose home to his sister.

Then he again went to the house of the King, who saluted him and said, "Where
hast thou been, discreet one? Why hast thou absented thyself so long from my
house?" And he answered, "I was sick, O King." Then the King took him by the
hand and entered the garden, and both sat down. The wife of the King saw them
seated together, and sending for the midwife she angrily asked, "Why do you
befool me, old woman?" She replied "Have patience with me for three days more,
O Queen." Then she mounted her pitcher and arriving at the house of the young
girl, she said, "Has thy brother fetched thee the rose?" "Yes," answered the
girl, "but it does not sing." Quoth the old woman, "It only sings with its
looking-glass," and then went away. When the youth returned he found his
sister vexed, and he asked, "Why are you so sad, my sister?" She replied, "I
should like the looking-glass of the rose, by means of which it sings." Quoth
he, "I obey your orders, and will bring it to you."

Muhammed the Discreet rode on till he came to the ogress, who asked him what
he wanted. "I wish," said he, "the looking-glass of the rose." "Well, go and
do with the dog and kid as you did before. When you have entered the garden
you will find some stairs go up them, and in the first room you come to you
will find the mirror suspended. Take it, and set out directly, without looking
behind you. If the earth shake with you, keep a brave heart, otherwise you
will have gone on a fruitless errand." He went and did according to the
instructions of the ogress. In taking away the mirror the earth shook under
him, but he made his heart as hard as an anvil and cared nothing for the
shaking. But when he brought the mirror to his sister and she had placed it
before the rose of Arab Zandyk, still the rose sang not.

When he visited the King, he excused his absence, saying, "I was led on a
journey with my father, but here am I, returned once more." The King led him
by the hand into the garden, and the wife of the King again perceiving him she
sent for the midwife and demanded of her, "Why do you mock me again, old
woman?" Quoth she, "Have patience with me for three days, O Queen; this time
will be the beginning and the end." Then she rode on her pitcher to the
island, and asked the young girl, "Has thy brother brought thee the mirror?"
"Yes, but still the rose sings not." "Ah, it only sings with its mistress, who
is called Arab Zandyk," and so saying she departed. Muhammed the Discreet on
his return home again found his sister disconsolate, and in answer to his
inquiries, she said, "I desire Arab Zandyk, mistress of the rose and of the
mirror, that I may amuse myself with her when you are absent."

He at once mounted his horse and rode on till he came to the house of the
ogress. "How fares it with you, mother ogress?" "What do you want now,
Muhammed the Discreet?" "I wish Arab Zandyk, mistress of the rose and of the
mirror." Quoth the ogress, "Many kings and pashas have not been able to bring
her: she hath changed them all into stone; and thou art small and poor--what
will become of thee?" "Only, my dear mother ogress show me the way, and I
shall bring her, with the permission of God." Said the ogress, "Go to the west
side of the palace; there you will find an open window. Bring your horse under
the window and then cry in a loud voice, 'Descend, Arab Zandyk!'" Muhammed the
Wary went accordingly, halted beneath the window, and cried out, "Descend,
Arab Zandyk!" She looked from her window scornfully and said," Go away, young
man." Muhammed the Discreet raised his eyes and found that half of his horse
was changed into stone. A second time cried he in a loud voice, "Descend, Arab
Zandyk!" She insulted him and said, "I tell you, go away, young man.' He
looked again and found his horse entirely enchanted and half of himself as
well. A third time he cried in a loud voice, "I tell you, descend, Arab
Zandyk!" She inclined herself half out of the window, and her hair fell down
to the ground. Muhammed the Discreet seized it, twined it round his hand
pulled her out, and threw her on the earth. Then said she, "Thou art my fate,
Muhammed the Wary; relinquish thy hold of my hair, by the life of thy father
the King." Quoth he "My father is a fisherman." "Nay," she replied, "thy
father is the King, by-and-by I will tell thee his history." Quoth he, "I will
leave hold of your hair when you have set at liberty the enchanted men." She
made a sign with her right arm and they were at once set free. They rushed
headlong towards Muhammed the Prudent to take her from him but some of them
said "Thanks to him who hath delivered us: do you still wish to take her from
him?" So they left him and went their several ways.

Arab Zandyk then took him by the hand and led him into her castle. She gave
her servants orders to build a palace in the midst of the isle of the
fisherman, which being accomplished, she took Muhammed the Discreet and her
soldiers and proceeded thither and then she said to him, "Go to the King, and
when he asks you where you have been reply, 'I have been preparing my nuptials
and invite you, with your army.'" He went to the King and spoke as Arab Zandyk
had instructed him, upon which the King laughed and said to his vazr, "This
young man is the son of a fisherman and comes to invite me with my army!"
Quoth the vazr, "On account of your love for him, command that the soldiers
take with them food for eight days, and we also will take our provender for
eight days." The King having issued orders to that effect, and all being
ready, they all set out and arriving at the house of the fisherman's son, they
found a large number of beautiful tents erected for the soldiers'
accommodation and the King was astonished. Then came the feasting--one dainty
dish being quickly followed by another still more delicious and the soldiers
said among themselves, "We should like to remain here for two years to eat
meat and not be obliged to eat only beans and lentils." They continued there
forty days until the nuptials were completed, well content with their fare.
Then the King departed with his army. The King sent a return invitation, and
Arab Zandyk commanded her soldiers to set out in order to precede her to the
capital. When the soldiers arrived they filled the town so that there was
scarcely sufficient house-room for them. Then Arab Zandyk set out accompanied
by Muhammed and his sister. They entered the royal palace, and as they
ascended the staircase, Arab Zandyk perceived the mother of Muhammed covered
with tar and in chains, so she threw over her a cashmere shawl and covered
her. The servants who were standing about said to Arab Zandyk, "Why do you
cover her with a shawl? Spit upon her when you go up and also when you come
down." She asked, "Why so?" Said they, "Because she gave birth to two dogs."
Then they went to the King and said, "A lady amongst the strangers has thrown
a cashmere shawl over her who is fastened to the staircase, and has covered
her without spitting upon her." The King went and met Arab Zandyk and asked,
"Why have you covered her?" Said she, "Give orders that she be conducted to
the bath, cleansed, and dressed in a royal robe, after which I will relate her
history." The King gave the required orders, and when she was decked in a
royal robe they conducted her into the divan. Then said the King to Arab
Zandyk, "Tell me now the history." Said she, "Listen, O King, the fisherman
will speak," and then Arab Zandyk said to the fisherman, "Is it true that your
wife gave birth to Muhammed and his sister at one time or at separate times?"
He replied, "My wife has no children." "Where, then did you get them?" Quoth
he, "I went one morning to fish, and found them in a box on the bank of the
river. I took them home, and my wife brought them up." Arab Zandyk then said,
"Hast thou heard, O King?" and turning to his wife, "Are these thy children, O
woman?" Said she, "Tell them to uncover their heads that I may see them." When
they uncovered their heads, they were seen to have alternately hair of gold
and hair of hyacinth. The King then asked her, "Are these thy children?" "Tell
them to weep: if it thunders and rains, they are my children, and if it does
not thunder or rain, they are not mine." The children wept, and it thundered
and rained. Then he asked her again, "Are these thy children?" And she said,
"Tell them to laugh: if the sun and moon appear, they are my children." They
told them to laugh, and the sun and moon appeared. Then he asked her once
more, "Are these thy children?" and she said, "They are my children!" Then the
King appointed the fisherman vazr of his right hand, and commanded that the
city be illuminated for forty whole days; on the last day he caused his other
wife and the old witch (the midwife) to be led out and burnt, and their ashes
to be dispersed to the winds.

The variations between this and Galland's story are very considerable, it must
be allowed, and though the fundamental outline is the same in both, they
should be regarded as distinct versions of the same tale, and both are
represented by Asiatic and European stories. Here the fairy Arab Zandyk plays
the part of the Speaking-Bird, which, however, has its equivalent in the
preceding tale (No. x.) of Spitta Bey's collection:

A man dies, leaving three sons and one daughter. The sons build a palace for
their sister and mother. The girl falls in love with some one who is not
considered as an eligible parti by the brothers. By the advice of an old
woman, the girl asks her brothers to get her the singing nightingale, in hope
that the bird would throw sand on them and thus send them down to the seventh
earth. The eldest before setting out on this quest leaves his chaplet with his
younger brother, saying that if it shrank it would be a token that he was
dead. Journeying through the desert some one tells him that many persons have
been lost in their quest of the singing nightingale: he must hide himself till
he sees the bird go into its cage and fall asleep, then shut the cage and
carry it off. But he does not wait long enough, and tries to shut the cage
while the bird's feet are still outside, so the bird takes up sand with its
feet and throws it on him, and he descends to the seventh earth. The second
brother, finding the chaplet shrunk, goes off in his turn, leaving his ring
with the youngest brother--if it contract on the finger it will betoken his
death. He meets with the same fate as his elder brother, and now the youngest,
finding the ring contract, sets out, leaving with his mother a rose, which
will fade if he dies. He waits till the singing nightingale is asleep, and
then shuts him in the cage. The bird in alarm implores to be set at liberty,
but the youth demands first the restoration of his brothers, and the bird
tells him to scatter on the ground some sand from beneath the cage, which he
does, when only a crowd of negroes and Turks (? Ttrs) appear, and confess
their failure to capture the singing nightingale. Then the bird bids him
scatter white sand, which being done, 500 whites and the two lost brothers
appear and the three return home with the bird, which sings so charmingly in
the palace that all the people come to listen to it outside.--The rest of this
story tells of the amours of the girl and a black, who, at her instigation,
kills her eldest brother, but he is resuscitated by the Water of Life.

Through the Moors, perhaps, the story found its way among the wandering tribes
(the Kabail) of Northern Africa, who have curiously distorted its chief
features, though not beyond recognition, as will be seen from the following
abstract of their version, from M. Riviere's collection of "Comes Populaires
de la Kabylie du Djurdjura" (Paris, 1882):


A man has two wives, one of whom is childless, the other bears in succession
seven sons and a daughter. The childless wife cuts off the little finger of
each and takes them one by one into the forest, where they are brought up. An
old woman comes one day and tells the daughter that if her brothers love her
they will give her a bat. The girl cries to her brothers for a bat, and one of
them consults an aged man, who sends him to the sea shore. He puts down his
gun under a tree, and a bat from above cries out, "What wild beast is this ?"
The youth replies, "You just go to sleep, old fellow." The bat comes down,
touches the gun and it becomes a piece of wood; touches the youth and he
becomes microscopic. This in turn happens to all the brothers, after which the
girl goes to the sea-shore, and when she is under the tree the bat calls out,
"What wild beast is this?" But she does not answer she waits till the bat is
asleep, then climbs the tree, and catching the "bird" (sic), asks it where her
brothers are, and on her promising to clothe the bat in silver and gold, the
creature touches the guns and the brothers, and they are restored to their
proper forms. The bat then conducts them to their father's house, where he
asks lodgings and is refused by the childless wife. The husband takes them in
however and kills a sheep for their entertainment. The childless wife poisons
the meat, and the bat warns the children, bidding them try a cock, a dog, and
a cat with it, which is done, and the animals die. The brothers now decline
the food and ask that their sister be allowed to prepare somewhat for them to
eat. Then the bat touches the eyes of the children, who immediately recognise
their parents, and great is the rejoicing. The childless wife is torn in
pieces by being dragged at the tail of a wild horse, and the bat, having been
dressed in silver and gold, is sent back to his tree.

Sir Richard has given (p. 313, note) some particulars of the version in Hahn's
collection of modern Greek tales, which generally corresponds with Galland's
story. There is a different version in M. Legrand's "Recueil de Contes
Populaires Grecs" (Paris, 1881), which combines incidents in the modern Arabic
story of Arab Zandyk with some of those in Galland and some which it has


Three daughters of an old woman disobey the order of the King, not to use a
light at night because of the scarcity of oil, and work on as usual. The King
in going round the town to see if his order is obeyed comes to their house,
and overhears the eldest girl express a wish that she were married to the
royal baker, so that she should have plenty of bread. The second wishes the
King's cook for her husband, to have royal meals galore. The youngest wishes
to have the King himself, saying she would bear him as children, "Sun,"
"Moon," and "Star." Next day the King sends for them and marries each as she
had wished. When the youngest brings forth the three children, in successive
years, her mother-in-law, on the advice of a "wise woman," (? the midwife)
substitutes a dog, a cat and a serpent, and causes the infants to be put in a
box and sent down the river, and the queen is disgraced.

An old monk, in the habit of going down to the river and taking one fish
daily, one day gets two fishes, and asks God the reason. In reply he is told
that he will henceforth have two mouths to feed. Presently, he finds the box
with the infant "Sun" in it and takes him home. Next year he gets one day
three fishes, and finds the infant "Moon", and the third year he has four
fishes one day and finds the baby-girl, "Star." When the children have grown
up the monk sends them to town in order that they should learn the ways of the
world. The eldest hearing a Jew offering a box for sale, saying, "Whoever buys
this box will be sorry for it, and he who does not buy it will be equally
sorry," purchases it and on taking it home finds his sister weeping for the
golden apple which the "wise woman" (who had found them out) told her she must
get. He opens the Jew's box and finds a green and winged horse in it. The
horse tells him how to get the golden apple from the forty guardian dragons.
They go and get it. After this the old woman comes again and tells the sister
that she must get the golden bough, on which all the birds in the world sing,
and this also is procured by the help of the green and winged horse. A third
time the old trot comes and says to the girl, "You must get Tzitzin na to
explain the language of birds." The eldest brother starts off on the horse,
and arriving at the dwelling of Tzitzin na he calls her name, whereupon he,
with the horse, is turned to stone up to the knees; and calling again on her
they become marble to the waist. Then the youth burns a hair he had got from
the monk, who instantly appears, calls out "Tzitzinaena," and she comes forth,
and with the water of immortality the youth and horse are disenchanted. After
the youth has returned home with Tzitzin na, the King sees the three children
and thinks them like those his wife had promised to bear him. He invites them
to dinner, at which Tzitzin na warns them of poisoned meats, some of which
they give to a dog they had brought with them, and the animal dies on the
spot. They ask the King to dine at their house and he goes. Tzitzin na by
clapping her hands thrice procures a royal feast for him; then, having induced
the King to send for his wife, she tells the whole story of the
mother-in-law's evil doings, and shows the King that "Sun," "Moon" and "Star"
are his own children. The King's mother and the old woman are torn to pieces.

In Albania, as might be expected, our story is orally current in a form which
resembles both the Greek version, as above, and the tale of Arab Zandyk, more
especially the latter; and it may have been derived from the Turks, though I
am not aware that the story has been found in Turkish. This is an abstract of
the second of M. Dozon's "Comes Albanais" (Paris, 1881), a most entertaining


There was a King who had three daughters. When he died, his successor
proclaimed by the crier an order prohibiting the use of lights during the
night of his accession. Having made this announcement, the King disguised
himself and went forth alone. After walking about from place to place he came
to the abode of the daughters of the late King, and going up close to it he
overheard their conversation. This is what the eldest was saying, "If the King
took me for his wife, I would make him a carpet upon which the whole of his
army could be seated and there would still be room to spare." Then said the
second, "If the King would take me for his wife, I would make him a tent under
which the whole army could be sheltered, and room would still remain." Lastly,
the youngest said, "If the King should espouse me, I would bring him a son and
a daughter with a star on their foreheads and a moon on their shoulders."

The King, who had not lost a word of this conversation, sent for the sisters
on the morrow and married all three.[FN#432] The eldest, as she had declared,
made a carpet on which the whole army was seated, and yet there was room to
spare. The second, in her turn, made a tent under which all the army found
shelter. As to the youngest, after a time, she grew great, and her confinement
approached. The day she was delivered the King was absent, and on his return
he inquired what she had given birth to. The two elder sisters replied, "A
little cat and a little mouse." On hearing this the King ordered the mother to
be placed upon the staircase, and commanded every one who entered to spit upon

Now she had given birth to a boy and a girl, but her two sisters, after having
shut them up in a box, sent them away by a servant to be exposed on the bank
of the river, and a violent wind afterwards arising, the box was drifted to
the other side. There was a mill on that side, where dwelt an old man and his
wife. The old man having found the box brought it home. They opened it, and
discovered the boy and girl, with a star on their foreheads and a moon on
their shoulders. Astonished thereat, they took them out and brought the
children up as well as they could.

Time passed away; the old woman died, and soon after came the turn of the old
man. Before dying he called the youth to him and said, "Know, my son, that in
such a place is a cave where there is a bridle which belongs to me. That
bridle is thine, but avoid opening the cave before forty days have elapsed, if
you wish the bridle to do whatever you command." The forty days having
expired, the young man went to the cave, and on opening it found the bridle.
He took it in his hand and said to it, "I want two horses," and in a moment
two horses appeared. The brother and sister mounted them, and in the twinkling
of an eye they arrived in their father's country. There the young man opened a
caf, and his sister remained secluded at home.

As the caf was the best in the country, the King came to hear of it, and when
he entered it he saw the youth, who had a star on his forehead. He thought him
so beautiful [and lingered so long] that he returned late to the palace, when
he was asked why he had tarried so late. He replied, that a young lad had
opened a caf, and was so beautiful that he had never seen his equal; and,
what was most extraordinary, there was a star on his brow. The sisters no
sooner heard these words of the King than they understood that he referred to
their younger sister's son. Full of rage and spite, they quickly devised a
plan of causing his death. What did they do? They sent to his sister an old
woman, who said to her, "Thy brother, O my daughter, can hardly love thee, for
he is all day at the caf and has a good time of it, while he leaves thee here
alone. If he truly loves thee, tell him to bring thee a flower from the Belle
of the Earth, so that thou too mayest have something to divert thyself with."
On returning home that evening the young man found his sister quite afflicted,
and asked the cause of her grief. "Why should I not grieve?" said she "You
leave me alone, secluded here, while you go about as your fancy directs. If
you love me, go to the Belle of the Earth and bring a flower, so that I too
may be amused." "Console yourself," replied he, and at once gave orders to the
bridle. An enormous horse appeared, which he mounted and set off.

As he journeyed, a lamia presented herself before him, and said, "I have a
great desire to eat thee, but thou also excitest pity, and so I leave thee thy
life." The young man then inquired of her how he could find the Belle of the
Earth. "I know nothing about it, my son," replied the lamia; "but go ask my
second sister." So he rode off and came to her, and she drew near, intending
to devour him, but seeing him so beautiful, she asked where he was going. He
told his story and said, "Do you know the way to the Belle of the Earth'" But
she in her turn sent him to her elder sister, who on seeing him rushed out to
eat him, but like the others, was touched by his comeliness and spared him;
and when he inquired after the Belle of the Earth, "Take this handkerchief,"
said she, "and when thou arrivest at her abode, use it to open the door.
Inside thou wilt see a lion and a lamb; throw brains to the lion and grass to
the lamb." So he went forward and did all the lamia advised. He tried the door
and it opened; threw brains to the lion and grass to the lamb, and they
allowed him to pass. He went in and pulled a flower, and he had no sooner done
so than he found himself at his own door.

Great was his sister's joy as she began playing with the flower. But on the
morrow the two sisters sent the old woman to her again. "Has he brought thee
the flower?" she asked. "Yes, he has." Thou art content," said the old hag;
"but if thou hadst the handkerchief of the Belle of the Earth, it would be
quite another thing." When her brother came home he found her in tears, and in
reply to his inquiries, "What pleasure," said she--"what pleasure can this
flower give me? So long as I have not the handkerchief of the Belle of the
Earth I shall not be happy." Then he, desirous that his sister should have no
cause for grief, mounted his horse, and in the same manner as he had obtained
the flower, possessed himself of the handkerchief and brought it home to his

On the morrow, when the young man had gone to his caf, the old witch again
visited his sister, who informed her that her brother had brought her the
handkerchief. "How happy," said the sorceress--"how happy thou art in having a
brother who brings thee whatever thou desirest! But if thou cost wish to spend
thy life like a pasha's wife, thou must also obtain the owner of that

To please his sister, the young man once more sets out, and coming to the
eldest of the lamiae and telling her his errand, "O my son," said she, "thou
canst go there, but as to carrying away the mistress of the handkerchief, that
is not so easy. However, try in some way to obtain possession of her ring, for
therein lies all her power." So he continues his journey, and after passing
the lion and the lamb he comes to the chamber of the Belle of the Earth. He
finds her asleep, and approaching her noiselessly draws the ring from her
finger, upon which she awakes and discovering that she had not her ring, there
was no alternative but to submit to his will. They set out together and in the
twinkling of an eye arrived at the young man's house. On perceiving them the
sister was overcome with joy.

It happened next day that the King again went to the caf, and on his return
home ordered supper to be prepared, saying that he had invited the young man
and all his friends. The sisters instructed the cooks to put poison in the
food, which they did accordingly. At nightfall the young man arrived,
accompanied by the Belle of the Earth, whom he had married, and his sister.
But none of them, notwithstanding the entreaties of the King, would touch any
food, for the Belle of the Earth had revealed to them that the meats were
poisoned: they merely ate a few mouthfuls out of the King's mess.

Supper over, the King invited each one to tell a story, and when it came to
the young man's turn, he recounted the whole story of his adventures. Then the
King recognised in him the son of his fairest wife, whom, deceived by the lies
of her sisters, he had exposed on the staircase. So he instantly ordered the
two sisters to be seized and cut to pieces, and he took back his wife. As for
the young man, he became his heir. He grew old and prospered.

The points of difference between, and the relative merits of, Galland's story
and Straparola's


and whence both were probably obtained, will be considered later on, as
several other versions or variants remain to be noticed or cited, before
attempting a comparative analysis, not the least interesting of which is a


In "Melusine," for 1878, colt 206 ff., M. Luzel gives a Breton version, under
the title of "Les Trois Filles du Boulanger; ou, L'Eau qui dense, la Pomme qui
chante, et l'Oiseau de Vrit," which does not appear to have been derived
from Galland's story, although it corresponds with it closely in the first
part. A prince overhears the conversation of three daughters of an old baker,
who is a widower. The eldest says that she loves the king's gardener, the
second, that she loves the king's valet, and the youngest says the prince is
her love, to whom she would bear two boys, each with a star of gold on his
brow, and a girl, with a star of silver. The father chides them for talking
nonsense and sends them to bed. The following day the prince sends for the
girls to come to the palace one after the other, and having questioned them,
tells the youngest that he desires to see her father. When she delivers the
royal message the old baker begins to shake in his shoes, and exclaims, "I
told you that your frivolous remarks would come to the ears of the prince, and
now he sends for me to have me punished, without a doubt." "No, no, dear
father; go to the palace and fear nothing." He goes, and, to be brief, the
three marriages duly take place. The sisters married to the royal gardener and
valet soon become jealous of the young queen, and when they find she is about
to become a mother they consult a fairy, who advises them to gain over the
midwife and get her to substitute a little dog and throw the child into the
river, which is done accordingly, when the first son with the gold star is
born. For the second son, a dog is also substituted, and the king, as on the
former occasion, says, "God's will be done: take care of the poor creature."
But when the little girl with the silver star is smuggled away and the king is
shown a third puppy as the queen's offspring, he is enraged. "They'll call me
the father of dogs!" he exclaims, "and not without cause." He orders the queen
to be shut up in a tower and fed on bread and water. The children are picked
up by a gardener, who has a garden close to the river, and brought up by his
wife as their own. In course of time the worthy couple die, and the king
causes the children to be brought to the palace (how he came to know of them
the story-teller does not inform us), and as they were very pretty and had
been well brought up, he was greatly pleased with them. Every Sunday they went
to grand mass in the church, each having a ribbon on the brow to conceal the
stars. All the folk were astonished at their beauty.

One day, when the king was out hunting, an old woman came into the kitchen of
the palace, where the sister happened to be, and exclaimed, "O how cold I am,"
and she trembled and her teeth chattered. "Come near the fire, my good
mother," said the little girl. "Blessings on you, my child! How beautiful you
are! If you had but the Water that dances, the Apple that sings, and the Bird
of Truth, you'd not have your equal on the earth." "Yes, but how to obtain
these wonders?" "You have two brothers who can procure them for you," and so
saying, the old woman went away. When she told her brothers what the old woman
had said, the eldest before setting out in quest of the three treasures leaves
a poignard which as long as it can be drawn out of its sheath would betoken
his welfare. One day it can't be drawn out, so the second brother goes off,
leaving with his sister a rosary, as in Galland. When she finds the beads
won't run on the string, she goes herself, on horseback, as a cavalier. She
comes to a large plain, and in a hollow tree sees a little old man with a
beard of great length, which she trims for him. The old man tells her that 60
leagues distant is an inn by the roadside; she may enter it, and having
refreshed herself with food and drink leave her horse there, and promise to
pay on her return After quitting the inn she will see a very high mountain, to
climb which will require hands and feet, and she'll have to encounter a
furious storm of hail and snow, it will be bitterly cold: take care and not
lose courage, but mount on. She'll see on either side a number of stone
pillars--persons like herself who have been thus transformed because they lost
heart. On the summit is a plain, bordered with flowers, blooming as in May.
She will see a gold seat under an apple-tree and should sit down and make it
appear as if asleep; presently the bird will descend from branch to branch and
enter the cage; quickly close it on the bird, for it is the Bird of Truth. Cut
a branch of the tree, with an apple on it, for it is the Apple that sings.
Lastly, there is also the fountain of water which dances: fill a flask from
the fountain and in descending the hill sprinkle a few drops of the water on
the stone pillars and the enchanted young princes and knights will come to
life again. Such were the instructions of the little old man, for which the
princess thanked him and went on her way. Arriving at the summit of the
mountain, she discovered the cage and sitting down under the tree feigned to
be asleep, when presently the merle entered and she at once rose up and closed
it. The merle, seeing that he was a prisoner, said, "You have captured me,
daughter of the King of France. Many others have tried to seize me, but none
has been able till now, and you must have been counselled by some one." The
princess then cut a branch of the tree with an apple on it, filled her flask
with water from the fountain that danced, and as she went down the hill
sprinkled a few drops on the stone pillars, which were instantly turned into
princes, dukes, barons, and knights, and last of all her two brothers came to
life, but they did not know her. All pressed about the princess, some saying,
"Give me the Water which dances," others, "Give me the Apple which sings," and
others, "Give me the Bird of Truth." But she departed quickly, carrying with
her the three treasures, and passing the inn where she had left her horse she
paid her bill and returned home, where she arrived long before her brothers.
When at length they came home she embraced them, saying, "Ah, my poor
brothers! How much anxiety you have caused me! How long your journey has
lasted! But God be praised that you are back here again." "Alas, my poor
sister, we have indeed remained a long time away, and after all have not
succeeded in our quest. But we may consider ourselves fortunate in having been
able to return." "How!" said the princess, "do you not bring me the Water
which dances, the Apple which sings, and the Bird of Truth?" "Alas! my poor
sister, a young knight who was a stranger to us carried them all away--curse
the rascal." The old king who had no children (or rather, who believed he had
none) loved the two brothers and the sister very much and was highly delighted
to see them back again. He caused a grand feast to be prepared, to which he
invited princes, dukes, marquises, barons, and generals. Towards the end of
the banquet the young girl placed on the table the Water, the Apple, and the
Bird, and bade each do its duty, whereupon the Water began to dance, and the
Apple began to sing, and the Bird began to hop about the table, and all
present, in ecstasy, mouth and eyes wide open, looked and listened to these
wonders. Never before had they seen such a sight. "To whom belong these
marvels?" said the king when at length he was able to speak. "To me, sire,"
replied the young girl. "Is that so?" said the King. "And from whom did you
get them?" "I myself procured them with much trouble," answered she. Then the
two brothers knew that it was their sister who had delivered them. As to the
king, he nearly lost his head in his joy and admiration. "My crown and my
kingdom for your wonders, and you yourself, my young girl, shall be my queen,"
he exclaimed. "Patience for a little, sire," said she, "until you have heard
my bird speak-- the Bird of Truth, for he has important things to reveal to
you. My little bird, now speak the truth." "I consent," replied the bird; "but
let no one go out of this room," and all the doors were closed. The old
sorceress of a midwife and one of the king's sisters- in-law were present, and
became very uneasy at hearing these words. "Come now, my bird," then said the
girl, "speak the truth," and this is what the bird said: "Twenty years ago,
sire, your wife was shut up in a tower, abandoned by everybody, and you have
long believed her to be dead. She has been accused unjustly." The old midwife
and the king's sister-in-law now felt indisposed and wished to leave the room.
"Let no one depart hence," said the king. "Continue to speak the truth, my
little bird." "You have had two sons and a daughter, sire," the bird went on
to say--"all three born of your lady, and here they are! Remove their bandages
and you will see that each of them has a star on the forehead." They removed
the bandages and saw a gold star on the brow of each of the boys and a silver
star on the girl's brow. "The authors of all the evil," continued the bird,
"are your two sisters-in-law and this midwife--this sorceress of the devil.
They have made you believe that your wife only gave birth to little dogs, and
your poor children were exposed on the Seine as soon as they were born. When
the midwife--that sorceress of hell--learned that the children had been saved
and afterwards brought to the palace, she sought again to destroy them.
Penetrating one day into the palace, disguised as a beggar, and affecting to
be perishing from cold and hunger, she incited in the mind of the princess the
desire to possess the Dancing-Water, the Singing Apple, and the Bird of Truth-
-myself. Her two brothers went, one after the other, in quest of these things,
and the sorceress took very good care that they should never return. Nor would
they have returned, if their sister had not succeeded in delivering them after
great toil and trouble." As the bird ended his story, the king became
unconscious, and when he revived he went himself to fetch the queen from the
tower. He soon returned with her to the festive chamber, holding her by the
hand. She was beautiful and gracious as ever, and having ate and drank a
little, she died on the spot. The king, distraught with grief and anger,
ordered a furnace to be heated, and threw into it his sister-in-law and the
midwife--"ce tison de l'enfer!" As to the princess and her two brothers, I
think they made good marriages all three, and as to the bird, they do not say
if it continues still to speak the truth;--"mats je prsume que oui, puisque
ce n'tait pas un homme!"

It would indeed be surprising did we not find our story popularly known
throughout Germany in various forms. Under the title of "The Three Little
Birds" a version is given in Grimm's K. u. H. M. (No. 96, vol. i. of Mrs.
Hunt's English translation), which reproduces the chief particulars of
Galland's tale with at least one characteristic German addition;


A king, who dwelt on the Keuterberg, was out hunting one day, when he was seen
by three young girls who were watching their cows on the mountain, and the
eldest, pointing to him, calls out to the two others, "If I do not get that
one, I'll have none;" the second, from another part of the hill, pointing to
the one who was on the king's right hand, cries "If I don't get that one, I'll
have none;" and the youngest, pointing to the one who was on the king's left
hand, shouts, "And if I don't get him, I'll have none." When the king has
returned home he sends for the three girls, and after questioning them as to
what they had said to each other about himself and his two ministers, he takes
the eldest girl for his own wife and marries the two others to the ministers.
The king was very fond of his wife, for she was fair and beautiful of face,
and when he had to go abroad for a season he left her in charge of the two
sisters who were the wives of his ministers, as she was about to become a
mother. Now the two sisters had no children, and when the queen gave birth to
a boy who "brought a red star into the world with him," they threw him into
the river, whereupon a little bird flew up into the air, singing:

"To thy death art thou sped,
Until God's word be said.
In the white lily bloom,
Brave boy, is thy tomb."

When the king came home they told him his queen had been delivered of a dog,
and he said, "What God does is well done." The same thing happens the two
following years: when the queen had another little boy, the sisters
substituted a dog and the king said "What God does is well done;" but when she
was delivered of a beautiful little girl, and they told the king she had this
time borne a cat, he grew angry and ordered the poor queen to be thrown into
prison. On each occasion a fisherman who dwelt near the river drew the child
from the water soon after it was thrown in, and having no children, his wife
lovingly reared them. When they had grown up, the eldest once went with some
other boys to fish, and they would not have him with them, saying to him, "Go
away, foundling." The boy, much grieved, goes to the fisherman and asks
whether he is a foundling, and the old man tells him the whole story, upon
which the youth, spite of the fisherman's entreaties, at once sets off to seek
his father. After walking for many days he came to a great river, by the side
of which was an old woman fishing. He accosted her very respectfully, and she
took him on her back and carried him across the water. When a year had gone
by, the second boy set out in search of his brother, and the same happened to
him as to the elder one. Then the girl went to look for her two brothers, and
coming to the water she said to the old woman, "Good day, mother. May God help
you with your fishing." (The brothers had said to her that she would seek long
enough before she caught any fish, and she replied, "And thou wilt seek long
enough before thou findest thy father"--hence their failure in their quest.)

When the old woman heard that, she became quite friendly, and carried her over
the water, gave her a wand, and said to her, "Go, my daughter, ever onwards by
this road and when you come to a great black dog, you must pass it silently
and boldly, without either laughing or looking at it. Then you will come to a
great high castle, on the threshold of which you must let the wand fall, and
go straight through the castle and out again on the other side. There you will
see an old fountain out of which a large tree has grown whereon hangs a bird
in a cage, which you must take down. Take likewise a glass of water out of the
fountain, and with these two things go back by the same way. Pick up the wand
again from the threshold and take it with you, and when you again pass by the
dog strike him in the face with it, but be sure that you hit him, and then
just come back here to me." The maiden found everything exactly as the old
woman had said, and on her way hack she found her two brothers who had sought
each other over half the world. They went together where the black dog was
lying on the road; she struck it in the face and it turned into a handsome
prince, who went with them to the river. There the old woman was still
standing. She rejoiced much to see them again, and carried them all over the
water, and then she too went away, for now she was freed. The others, however,
went to the old fisherman, and all were glad that they had found each other
again, and they hung the bird in its cage on the wall. But the second son
could not settle at home, and took his cross-bow and went a-hunting. When he
was tired he took his flute and played on it. The king happened to be also
hunting, and hearing the music went up to the youth and said, "Who has given
thee leave to hunt here?" "O. no one." "To whom dost thou belong, then?" "I am
the fisherman's son." "But he has no children." "If thou wilt not believe it,
come with me." The king did so, and questioned the fisherman, who told the
whole story, and the little bird on the wall began to sing:

"The mother sits alone
There in the prison small;
O King of the royal blood,
These are thy children all.

The sisters twain, so false,
They wrought the children woe,
There in the waters deep,
Where the fishers come and go."

Then the king took the fisherman, the three little children, and the bird back
with him to the castle, and ordered his wife to be taken out of prison and
brought before him. She had become very ill and weak, but her daughter gave
her some of the water of the fountain to drink and she became strong and
healthy. But the two false sisters were burnt, and the maiden was married to
the Prince.

Even in Iceland, as already stated, the same tale has long cheered the hardy
peasant's fire-side circle, while the "wind without did roar and rustle." That
it should have reached that out-of-the-way country through Galland's version
is surely inconceivable, notwithstanding the general resemblance which it
bears to the "Histoire des Surs jalouses de leur Cadette." It is found in
Powell and Magnsson's "Legends of Iceland," second series, and as that
excellent work is not often met with (and why so, I cannot understand),
moreover, as the story is told with much navet, I give it here in full:


Not very far from a town where dwelt the king lived once upon a time a farmer.
He was well to do and had three daughters; the eldest was twenty years of age,
the two others younger, but both marriageable. Once, when they were walking
outside their father's farm, they saw the king coming riding on horseback with
two followers, his secretary and his bootmaker. The king was unmarried, as
were also those two men. When they saw him, the eldest of the sisters said, "I
do not wish anything higher than to be the wife of the king's shoemaker." Said
the second, "And I of the king's secretary." Then the youngest said? "I wish
that I were the wife of the king himself." Now the king heard that they were
talking together, and said to his followers, "I will go to the girls yonder
and know what it is they were talking about. It seemed to me that I heard one
of them say, 'The king himself."' His followers said that what the girls had
been chattering about could hardly be of much importance. The king did not
heed this, however, but declared that they would all go to the girls and have
a talk with them. This they did. The king then asked what they had been
talking about a moment ago, when he and his men passed them. The sisters were
unwilling to tell the truth, but being pressed hard by the king, did so at
last. Now as the damsels pleased the king, and he saw that they were both
handsome and fair-spoken particularly the youngest of them, he said that all
should be as they had wished it. The sisters were amazed at this, but the
king's will must be done.

So the three sisters were married, each to the husband she had chosen. But
when the youngest sister had become queen, the others began to cast on her
looks of envy and hatred, and would have her, at any cost, dragged down from
her lofty position. And they laid a plot for the accomplishment of this their
will. When the queen was going to be confined for the first time, her sisters
got leave to act as her midwives. But as soon as the child was born they hid
it away, and ordered it to be thrown into a slough into which all the filth
was cast. But the man to whom they had entrusted this task could not bring
himself to do it, so put the child on the bank of the slough, thinking that
some one might find it and save its life. And so it fell out; for an old man
chanced to pass the slough soon afterwards and finding a crying child on the
bank, thought it a strange find, took it up and brought it to his home,
cherishing it as he could. The queen's sisters took a whelp and showed it to
the king as his queen's offspring. The king was grieved at this tale, but,
being as fond of the queen as of his own life, he restrained his anger and
punished her not.

At the second and third confinement of the queen her sisters played the same
trick: they exposed the queen's children in order to have them drowned in the
slough. The man however, always left them on the bank, and it so happened that
the same old earl always passed by and took up the children, and carried them
home, and brought them up as best he could. The queen's sisters said that the
second time the queen was confined she had given birth to a kitten, and the
third time, to a log of wood. At this the king waxed furiously wroth, and
ordered the queen to be thrown into the house where he kept a lion as he did
not wish this monster to fill his kingdom with deformities. And the sisters
thought that they had managed their boat well and were proud of their success.
The lion, however, did not devour the queen, but even gave her part of his
food and was friendly towards her and thus the queen lived with the lion, a
wretched enough life without anybody's knowing anything about it.

Now the story turns to the old man who fostered the king's children. The
eldest of these, a boy, he called Vilhjmr, the second, also a boy, Sigurdr;
the third child was a girl and her name was unknown. All that came to him, or
with whom he met, the old man would ask if they knew nothing of the children
he had found on the bank of the slough. But no one seemed to have the faintest
notion about their birth or descent. As the children grew up they were hopeful
and fine-looking. The earl had now waxed very old, and, expecting his end, he
gave the children this rede, always to ask every one to whom they spoke for
news of their family and birth, in order that they might perchance be able at
last to trace out the truth. He himself told them all he knew about the
matter. After this the old man died, and the children followed closely his
advice. Once there came to them an old man, of whom they asked the same
questions as of all others. He said he could not give them any hints on the
matter himself, but that he could point out one to them who was able to do so.
He told them that a short way from their farm was a large stone, whereupon was
always sitting a bird which could both understand and speak the tongue of men.
It would be best for them, he went on, to find this bird; but there was a
difficulty in the matter to be got over first, for many had gone there but
none had ever returned. He said that many king's children had gone to this
bird in order to know their future fate, but they had all come short in the
very thing needed. He told them that whosoever wanted to mount the stone must
be so steady as never to look back, whatever he might hear or see, or whatever
wonders seemed to take place around the rock. All who did not succeed in this
were changed into stones, together with everything they had with them. This
steadiness no one had had yet, but whosoever had it could easily mount the
rock, and having once done so would be able to quicken all the others who have
been turned to stone there. For the top of the rock was flat, and there was a
trap-door on it, wherein the bird was sitting. Underneath the trap-door was
water, the nature of which was that it would turn all the stones back to life
again. The old man ended by saying, "Now he who succeeds in getting to the top
is allowed by the bird to take the water and sprinkle the stone-changed folk,
and call them to life again, just as they were before." This the king's
children thought no hard task. The brothers, however, were the most outspoken
about the easiness of the thing. They thanked the old man much for his story
and took leave of him.

Not long after this, Vilhjmr, the eldest brother, went to the rock. But
before he left he said to his brother, that if three drops of blood should
fall on his knife at table while he was away, Sigurdr should at once come to
the rock, for then it would be sure that he fared like the others. So Vilhjmr
went away, following the old man's directions, and nothing further is told of
him for a while. But after three days, or about the time when his brother
should have reached the stone, three drops of blood fell upon Sigurdr's knife,
once, while at table. He was startled at this and told his sister that he must
needs leave her, in order to help his brother. He made the same agreement with
his sister as Vilhjmr had before made with him. Then he went away, and, to
make the story short, all came to the same issue with him as with his brother,
and the blood-drops fell on his sister's knife, at the time when Sigurdr
should have reached the stone.

Then the damsel went herself, to see what luck she might have. She succeeded
in finding the rock, and when she came there she was greatly struck with the
number of stones that surrounded it, in every shape and position. Some had the
form of chests, others of various animals, while some again were in other
forms. She paid no heed to all this, but going straight forward to the great
rock began climbing it. Then she heard, all of a sudden, behind her a loud
murmur of human voices, all talking, one louder than another, and amongst the
number she heard those of her brothers. But she paid no heed to this, and took
good care never to look back, in spite of all she heard going on behind her.
Then she got at last to the top of the rock, and the bird greatly praised her
steadiness and constancy and promised both to tell her anything she chose to
ask him and to assist her in every way he could. First, she would have the
surrounding stones recalled to their natural shapes and life. This the bird
granted her, pointing to one of the stones and saying, "Methinks you would
free that one from his spell, if you knew who he was." So the king's daughter
sprinkled water over all the stones and they returned to life again, and
thanked her for their release with many fair words. Next she asked the bird
who were the parents of herself and her brothers, and to whom they might trace
their descent. The bird said that they were the children of the king of that
country, and told her how the queen's sisters had acted by them at their
birth, and last of all told her how her mother was in the lion's den, and how
she was nearer dead than alive from sorrow and want of good food and comfort.

The stone which the bird had pointed out to the princess was a king's son, as
noble as he was handsome. He cast affectionate looks to his life-giver and it
was plain that each loved the other. It was he who had brought the greater
part of the chest-shaped stones thither, the which were coffers full of gold
and jewels. When the bird had told to every one that which each wanted to
know, all the company of the disenchanted scattered, the three children and
the wealthy prince going together. When they came home the first thing they
did was to break into the lion's den. They found their mother lying in a
swoon, for she had lost her senses on hearing the house broken into. They took
her away, and she soon afterwards recovered. Then they dressed her in fitting
attire, and taking her to the palace asked audience of the king. This granted,
Vilhjmr, Sigurdr, and their sister declared to the king that they were his
children and that they had brought with them their mother from the lion's den.
The king was amazed at this story and at all that had happened. The sisters of
the queen were sent for and questioned, and, having got into scrapes by
differing in accounts, confessed at last their misdeed and told the truth.
They were thrown before the same lion that the queen had been given to, and it
tore them to pieces immediately and ate them up, hair and all.

Now the queen took her former rank, and a banquet was held in joy at this
happy turn of affairs, and for many days the palace resounded with the glee of
the feast. And at the end of it the foreign prince wooed the king's daughter
and gained easily her hand, and thus the banquet was begun afresh and became
the young people's marriage-feast. Such glee has never been witnessed in any
other kingdom. After the feast the strange prince returned to his home with
his bride and became king after his father. Vilhjmr also married and took the
kingdom after his father. Sigurdr married a king's daughter abroad, and became
king after the death of his father-in-law; and all of them lived in luck and
prosperity. And now is the story ended.

From bleak Iceland to sunny India is certainly a "far cry," but we had already
got half-way thither in citing the Egypto-Arabian versions, and then turned
westwards and northwards. We must now, however, go all the way to Bengal for
our next form of the story, which is much simpler in construction than any of
the foregoing versions, and may be considered as a transition stage of the
tale in its migration to Europe. This is an abridgment of the story--not of
Envious Sisters but of jealous co-wives--from the Rev. Lal Bahari Day's
"Folk-Tales of Bengal,''[FN#434] a work of no small value to students of the
genealogy of popular fictions:


A certain King had six wives, none of whom had children, in spite of doctors
and all sorts of doctors' stuff. He was advised by his ministers to take a
seventh wife. There was in the city a poor woman who earned her livelihood by
gathering cow-dung from the fields kneading it into cakes, which, after drying
in the sun, she sold for fuel. She had a very beautiful daughter, who had
contracted friendship with three girls much above her rank namely, the
daughter of the King's minister, the daughter of a rich merchant, and the
daughter of the King's chaplain. It happened one day that all four were
bathing together in a tank near the palace, and the King overheard them
conversing as follows: Said the minister's daughter, "The man who marries me
won't need to buy me any clothes, for the cloth I once put on never gets
soiled, never gets old, and never tears." The merchant's daughter said, "And
my husband will also be a happy man, for the fuel which I use in cooking never
turns to ashes, but serves from day to day, and from year to year." Quoth the
chaplain's daughter, "My husband too will be a happy man, for when once I cook
rice it never gets finished; no matter how much we may eat, the original
quantity always remains in the pot."[FN#434] Then said the poor woman's
daughter, "And the man who marries me will also be happy, for I shall give
birth to twin children, a son and a daughter; the girl will be divinely
beautiful, and the boy will have a moon on his forehead and stars on the palms
of his hands."

The King didn't care to have any of the three young ladies, but resolved at
once to marry the fourth girl, who would present him with such extraordinary
twin children, notwithstanding her humble birth, and their nuptials were
celebrated in due form, much to the chagrin of his six wives. Some time after
the King had occasion to go for six months to another part of his dominions,
and when about to set out he told his new wife that he expected her to be
confined before the period of his absence was expired, and that he would like
to be present with her at the time, lest her enemies (her co-wives) might do
her some injury. So giving her a golden bell he bade her hang it in her room,
and when the pains of labour came on to ring it, and he would be with her in a
moment, no matter where he might be at the time; but she must only ring it
when her labour pains began. The six other wives had overheard all this, and
the day after the King had departed went to the new wife's room and affected
to admire the golden bell, and asked her where she got it and what was its
use. The unsuspecting creature told them its purpose, upon which they all
exclaimed that it was impossible the King could hear it ring at the distance
of hundreds of miles, and besides, how could the King travel such a distance
in the twinkling of an eye? They urged her to ring the bell and convince
herself that what the King had said to her was all nonsense. So she rang the
bell, and the King instantly appeared, and seeing her going about as usual, he
asked her why she had summoned him before her time. Without saying anything
about the six other wives, she replied that she had rung the bell merely out
of curiosity to know if what he had said was true. The King was angry, and,
telling her distinctly she was not to ring the bell until the labour pains
came upon her, went away again. Some weeks after the six wives once more
induced her to ring the bell, and when the King appeared and found she was not
about to be confined and that she had been merely making another trial of the
bell (for, as on the former occasion, she did not say that her co-wives had
instigated her), he was greatly enraged, and told her that even should she
ring when in the throes of childbirth he should not come to her, and then went
away. At last the day of her confinement arrived, and when she rang the bell
the King did not come.[FN#435] The six jealous wives seeing this went to her
and said that it was not customary for the ladies of the palace to be confined
in the royal apartments, and that she must go to a hut near the stables. They
then sent for the midwife of the palace, and heavily bribed her to make away
with the infant the moment it was born. The seventh wife gave birth, as she
had promised, to a son who had a moon on his forehead and stars on the palms
of his hands, and also to an uncommonly beautiful girl. The midwife had come
provided with a couple of newly-littered pups, which she set before the
mother, saying, "You have given birth to these," and took away the
twin-children in an earthen vessel, while the mother was insensible. The King,
though he was angry with his seventh wife, yet recollecting that she was to
give birth to an heir to his throne, changed his mind, and came to see her the
next morning. The pups were produced before the King as the offspring of his
new wife, and great was his anger and vexation. He gave orders that she should
be expelled from the palace, clothed in leather, and employed in the
market-place to drive away crows and keep off dogs, all of which was done

The midwife placed the vessel containing the twins along with the unburnt clay
vessels which a potter had set in order and then gone to sleep, intending to
get up during the night and light his furnace; in this way she thought the
little innocents would be reduced to ashes. It happened, however, that the
potter and his wife overslept themselves that night, and it was near daybreak
when the woman awoke and roused her husband. She then hastened to the furnace,
and to her surprise found all the pots thoroughly baked, although no fire had
been applied to them. Wondering at such good luck, she summoned her husband,
who was equally astonished and pleased, and attributed it all to some
benevolent deity. In turning over the pots he came upon the one in which the
twins were placed, and the wife looking on them as a gift from heaven (for she
had no children) carried them into the house and gave out to the neighbours
that they had been borne by herself. The children grew in stature and in
strength and when they played in the fields were the admiration of every one
that saw them. They were about twelve years of age when the potter died, and
his wife threw herself on the pyre and was burnt with her husband's body. The
boy with the moon on his forehead (which he always kept concealed with a
turban, lest it should attract notice) and his beautiful sister now broke up
the potter's establishment, sold his wheel and pots and pans, and went to the
bazar in the King's city, which they had no sooner entered than it was lit up
brilliantly. The shopkeepers thought them divine beings and built a house for
them in the bazar. And when they used to ramble about they were always
followed at a distance by the woman clothed in leather who was appointed by
the King to drive away the crows, and by some strange impulse, she also used
to hang about their house.

The youth presently bought a horse and went hunting in the neighbouring
jungles. It happened one day, while following the chase, that the King met
him, and, struck with his beauty, felt an unaccountable yearning for
him.[FN#436] As a deer went past the youth shot an arrow and in so doing his
turban fell off, on which a bright light, like that of the moon, was seen
shining on his forehead. When the King perceived this, it brought to his mind
the son with the moon on his forehead and stars on the palms of his hands who
was to have been born of his seventh queen, and would have spoken with the
youth, but he immediately galloped off. When the King reached home his six
wives observing his sadness asked him its cause, and he told them of the youth
he had seen in the forest with a moon on his forehead. They began to wonder if
the twins were not still alive, and sending for the midwife closely questioned
her as to the fate of the children. She stoutly declared that she had herself
seen them burnt to ashes, but she would find out who the youth was whom the
King had met while hunting. She soon ascertained that two strangers were
living in a house in the bazar which the shopkeepers had built for them, and
when she entered the house the girl was alone, her brother having gone into
the jungle to hunt. Pretending to be her aunt, the old woman said to her, "My
dear child, you are so beautiful, you require only the kataki[FN#437] flower
to properly set off your charms. You should tell your brother to plant a row
of that flower in your courtyard." "I never saw that flower," said the girl
"Of course not; how could you? It does not grow in this country, but on the
other side of the ocean. Your brother may try and get it for you, if you ask
him." This suggestion the old trot made in the hope that the lad would lose
his life in venturing to obtain the flower. When he returned and his sister
told him of the visit of their aunt and asked him to get her the kataki
flower, on which she had set her heart, he at once consented, albeit he
thought the woman had imposed upon his sister by calling herself their aunt.

Next morning he rode off on his fleet horse, and arriving on the borders of an
immense forest he saw a number of rkshas[FN#438] roaming about, he went
aside and shot with his arrows some deer and rhinoceroses and then approaching
the rkshass called out, "O auntie dear, your nephew is here." A huge
rkshas strode towards him and said, "O. you are the youth with the moon on
your forehead and stars on the palms of your hands. We were all expecting you,
but as you have called me aunt, I will not eat you. What is it you want? Have
you brought anything for me to eat?" The youth gave her the game he had
killed, and she began devouring it. After swallowing all the carcases she
said, "Well, what do you want?" He answered, "I want some kataki flowers for
my sister." She told him it would be very difficult for him to get them, as
they were guarded by seven hundred rkshasas, but if he was determined to
attempt it, he had better first go to his uncle on the north side of the
Jungle. He goes, and greets the rkshasa, calling him uncle, and having
regaled him with deer and rhinoceroses as he had done his "aunt," the rkshasa
tells him that in order to obtain the flower he must go through an
impenetrable forest of kachiri,[FN#439] and say to it "O mother kachiri, make
way for me, else I perish," upon which a passage will be opened for him. Next
he will come to the ocean, which he must petition in the same terms, and it
would make a way for him. After crossing the ocean he'll come to the gardens
where the kataki blooms. The forest opens a passage for the youth, and the
ocean stands up like two walls on either side of him, so that he passes over
dryshod.[FN#440] He enters the gardens and finds himself in a grand palace
which appeared unoccupied. In one of the apartments he sees a young damsel of
more than earthly beauty asleep on a golden bed, and going near discovers a
stick of gold lying near her head and a stick of silver near her feet. Taking
them in his hand, by accident the gold stick fell upon the feet of the
sleeping beauty, when she instantly awoke, and told him she knew that he was
the youth with the moon on his forehead and stars on the palms of his hands;
that the seven hundred rkshasas who guarded the kataki flowers were then out
hunting, but would return by sundown, and should they find him they'd eat him.
A rkshas had brought her from her father's palace, and is so fond of her
that she will not allow her to return home. By means of the gold and silver
sticks the rkshas kills her when she goes off in the morning, and by means
of them also she is revived when she comes back in the evening. He had better
flee and save his life. But the youth told her he would not go away without
the kataki flower, moreover, that he would take her also with him. They spent
the day in walking about the gardens, and when it was drawing near the time
for the return of the rkshasas, the youth concealed himself under a great
heap of the kataki flower which was in one of the rooms, having first "killed"
the damsel by touching her head with the golden stick. The return of the seven
hundred rkshasas was like the noise of a mighty tempest. One of them entered
the damsel's room and revived her, saying at the same time, "I smell a human
being!"[FN#441] The damsel replied, "How can a human being come to this
place?" and the rkshasa was satisfied. During the night the damsel worms out
of the rkshas who was her mistress the secret that the lives of the seven
hundred rkshasas depended on the lives of a male and female bee, which were
in a wooden box at the bottom of a tank, and that the only person who could
seize and kill those bees was a youth with a moon on his forehead and stars on
the palms of his hands--but there could be no such youth, and so their lives
were safe.[FN#442] When the rkshasas had all gone out as usual next morning,
the damsel, having been revived by the youth, told him how the demons could be
killed, and, to be brief, he was not slow to put her directions into practice.
After the death of the seven hundred rkshasas, the youth took some of the
kataki flowers and left the palace accompanied by the beautiful damsel, whose
name was Pushpavati. They passed through the ocean and forest of kachiri in
safety, and arriving at the house in the bazr the youth with the moon on his
forehead presented the kataki flower to his sister. Going out to hunt the next
day, he met the king, and his turban again falling off as he shot an arrow,
the King saw the moon on his forehead and desired his friendship. The youth
invited the King to his house, and he went thither at midday. Pushpavati then
told the King (for she knew the whole story from first to last) how his
seventh wife had been induced by his six other wives to ring the bell twice
needlessly; how she gave birth to a boy and a girl, and pups were substituted
for them, how the twins were miraculously saved and brought up in the house of
a potter, and so forth. When she had concluded the King was highly enraged,
and next day caused his six wicked wives to be buried alive. The seventh queen
was brought from the market-place and reinstated in the palace, and the youth
with a moon on his forehead and stars on the palms of his hands lived happily
with his beautiful twin-sister.

In two other Hind versions known to me--but the story is doubtless as widely
spread over India as we have seen it to be over Europe--only the leading idea
of Galland's tale reappears, though one of them suggests the romance of
"Helyas, the Knight of the Swan," namely, the story called "Truth's Triumph,"
in Miss Frere's "Old Deccan Days," p. 55 ff. Here a rj and his minister
walking together come to a large garden, where is a bringal- tree bearing 100
fruits but having no leaves, and the minister says to the rj that whosoever
should marry the gardener's daughter should have by her 100 boys and one girl.
The rj espoused the maiden, much to the vexation of the 12 wives he had
already, and then follows a repetition of the golden bell affair! as in the
Bengali version. Drapadi Bai, the gardener's daughter and the new rn, gives
birth "right off" to 100 sons and a daughter, all of whom are thrown by the
nurse on a dust-heap in which are a great number of rat-holes, the jealous
co-wives fully expecting that the voracious rodents would quickly eat them up.
The nurse tells the young rn that her children had turned into stones; such
is also the story the 12 co-wives tell the rj on his return, and he orders
the poor Drapadi Bai to be imprisoned for life. But the rats, so far from
devouring the children, nourished them with the utmost care. It comes to the
knowledge of the 12 co-wives that the children are still alive, they are
discovered and turned into crows--all save the little girl, who luckily
escapes the fate of her 100 brothers, gets married to a great rj, and has a
son named Ramchandra, who effected the restoration to human form of his
crow-uncles by means of magic water which he obtained from a rkshas.

The other story referred to is No. xx of Miss Stokes' "Indian Fairy Tales,"
which Mr. Coote could not have read, else he would not have been at the
trouble to maintain it was impossible that Galland derived his tale from it:
"so long," says he, "as that story remained in the country of its birth--
India--it was absolutely inaccessible to him, for great traveller as he was,
he never visited that far-off portion of the East." The fact is, this Hindu
story only resembles Galland's, and that remotely, in the opening portion
Seven daughters of a poor man played daily under the shady trees in the king's
garden with the gardener's daughter, and she used to say to them, "When I am
married I shall have a son--such a beautiful boy as he will be has never been
seen. He will have a moon on his forehead and a star on his chin," and they
all laughed at her. The king, having overheard what she so often repeated,
married her, though he had already four wives. Then follows the golden bell
affair again, with a kettledrum substituted. When the young queen is about to
be confined her co-wives tell her it is the custom to bind the eyes of women
in her condition, to which she submits, and after she has borne the wonderful
boy she promised to do, they tell her she has been delivered of a stone. The
king degraded her to the condition of a kitchen servant and never spoke to
her. The nurse takes the baby in a box and buries it in the jungle. But the
king's dog had followed her, and when she went off he took the box out of the
earth and swallowed the baby. Six months after the dog brings him up, caresses
him and swallows him again. He does likewise at the end of the year, and the
dog's keeper, having seen all told the four wives. They say to the king the
dog had torn their clothes, and he replies, he'll have the brute shot
to-morrow. The dog overhears this and runs off to the king's cow; he induces
her to save the child by swallowing him, and the cow consents. Next day the
dog is shot, and so on: the cow is to be killed and induces the king's horse
to swallow the child, and so on.--There may have been originally some mystical
signification attached to this part of the tale, but it has certainly no
connection with our story.[FN#443]

I had nearly omitted an Arabian version of the outcast infants which seems to
have hitherto escaped notice by story-comparers. Moreover, it occurs in a text
of The Nights, to wit, the Wortley-Montague MS., Nights 472-483, in the story
of Abou Neut and Abou Neeuteen = Ab Niyyet and Ab Niyyeteyn, according to
Dr. Redhouse; one of those translated by Jonathan Scott in vol. vi. of his
edition of the "Arabian Nights," where, at p. 227, the hero marries the King's
youngest daughter and the King in dying leaves him heir to his throne, a
bequest which is disputed by the husbands of the two elder daughters. The
young queen is brought to bed of a son, and her sisters bribe the midwife to
declare that she has given birth to a dog and throw the infant at the gate of
one of the royal palaces. The same occurs when a second son is born. But at
the third lying-in of the princess her husband takes care to be present, and
the beautiful daughter she brings forth is saved from the clutches of her
vindictive sisters. The two little princes are taken up by a gardener and
reared as his own children. In course of time, it happened that the King (Ab
Neeut) and his daughter visited the garden and saw the two little boys playing
together and the young princess felt an instinctive affection for them, and
the King, finding them engaged in martial play, making clay-horses, bows and
arrows, &c., had the curiosity to inquire into their history. The dates when
they were found agreed with those of the queen's delivery; the midwife also
confessed; and the King left the guilty parties to be punished by the pangs of
their own consciences, being convinced that envy is the worst of torments. The
two young princes were formally acknowledged and grew up to follow their
father's example.

We must go back to India once more if we would trace our tale to what is
perhaps its primitive form, and that is probably of Buddhist invention; though
it is quite possible this may be one of the numerous fiction which have been
time out of mind the common heritage of nearly all peoples, and some of which
the early Buddhists adapted to their own purposes. Be this as it may, in the
following tale, from Dr. Mitra's "Sanskrit Buddhist Literature of Nepl"
(Calcutta: 1882), pp. 65, 66, we seem to have somewhat like the germ of the
Envious Sisters:


King Brahmadatta picked up in Kampilla a destitute girl named Padmvati, who
scattered lotuses at every step she moved, and made her his favourite queen.
She was very simple-minded. Other queens used to play tricks upon her, and at
the time of her first delivery cheated her most shamefully. The wicked ladies
said to her on that occasion, "Dear Padma, you are a rustic girl; you do not
know how to give birth to a royal child. Let us help you." She yielded. They
covered her eyes, threw into the river the twin boys she had brought forth,
and smeared her face with blood. They deceived her by telling her that it was
only a lump of flesh that she had given birth to, and it had been thrown into
the river. At the same time they informed her husband that Padma had eaten up
her two new-born sons. The King enraged at her inhuman conduct, ordered her to
instant execution. But there was a shrewd man in the court who privately saved
her life. A divinity appeared to the King in a dream, and revealed the whole
truth to him. The King made a strict investigation in the harem, and found
that Padmvati had been perfectly innocent. He became disconsolate, and gave
vent to loud lamentations. Soon after some fishermen appeared at court and
presented the King with two infants, who betrayed their royal lineage by the
resemblance which their features bore to those of the King. They were reported
to have been found in a vessel floating on the river. The courtier who saved
Padma's life now wished to produce her before the King, but she refused to
return and proceeded to her father's hermitage. After the death of her father
she travelled through various places in the habit of a devotee; and in the
course of her peregrinations she stopped at Banres, from whence Brahmadatta
conducted her to his capital with great honour.

I am of opinion that this Buddhist tale is the original form of the "Envious
Sisters"-- that it ended with the restoration of the children and the
vindication of the innocence of their mother. The second part of our story has
no necessary connection with the first, the elements of which it is composed
being found in scores--nay, hundreds--of popular fictions in every country:
the quest of wonderful or magical objects; one brother setting out, and by
neglecting to follow the advice tendered him by some person he meets on his
way, he comes to grief; a second brother follows, with the same result; and it
is reserved for the youngest, and the least esteemed, to successfully
accomplish the adventure. In the second part of the "Envious Sisters," the
girl, the youngest of the three children, plays the part of the usual hero of
folk-tales of this class. There is, generally, a seemingly wretched old man--a
hideous, misshapen dwarf--or an ugly, decrepit old woman--who is treated with
rudeness by the two elder adventurers, so they do not speed in their
enterprise; but the youngest addresses the person in respectful terms--shares
his only loaf with him--and is rewarded by counsel which enables him to bring
his adventure to a successful end. In the "Envious Sisters," which I cannot
but think Galland has garbled from his original, the eldest clips the beard of
the hermit, and presumably the second does the same, since we are told he
found the hermit in the like condition (albeit, his beard had been trimmed but
a few days before). Each of them receives the same instructions. In a true
folk-tale the two elder brothers would treat the old man with contempt and
suffer accordingly, while the youngest would cut his nails and his beard, and
make him more comfortable in his person. We do not require to go to Asiatic
folk-lore for tales in which the elements of the second part of the "Envious
Sisters" are to be found. In the German story of the Fox's Brush there is a
quest of a golden bird. The first brother sets off in high hope, on the road
he sees a fox, who calls out to him not to shoot at it, and says that farther
along the road are two inns, one of which is bright and cheerful looking, and
he should not go into it, but rather into the other, even though it does not
look very inviting. He shoots at the fox and misses it, then continues his
journey, and puts up at the fine inn, where amidst riot and revel he forgets
all about the business on which he had set out. The same happens to the second
brother. But the youngest says to the fox that he will not shoot it and the
fox takes him on its tail to the small inn, where he passes a quiet night, and
in the morning is conveyed by the fox to the castle, wherein is the golden
bird in a wooden cage, and so on. Analogous stories to this are plentiful
throughout Europe and Asia; there is one, I think, in the Wortley Montague MS.
of The Nights.

In Straparoia's version of the "Envious Sisters," when the children's hair is
combed pearls and precious stones fall out of it, whereby their foster-parents
become rich; this is only hinted at in Galland's story: the boy's hair "should
be golden on one side and silvern on the other; when weeping he should drop
pearls in place of tears, and when laughing his rosy lips should be fresh as
the blossom new-blown," not another word is afterwards said of this, while in
the modern Arabic version the children are finally identified by their mother
through such peculiarities. The silver chains with which the children are born
in the romance of "Helyas, the Knight of the Swan," correspond with the "gold
star" etc. on the forehead in other stories. It only remains to observe that
the Bird of our tale who in the end relates the history of the children to
their father, is represented in the modern Arabic version by the fairy Arab
Zandyk in the modern Greek by Tzitzin na, and in the Albanian by the Belle of
the Earth.


The Tale of Zayn Al-asnam,

The Dream of Riches. In Croker's Irish Fairy Legends there is a droll version,
of this story, entitled "Dreaming Tim Jarvis." Honest Tim, we are told, "took
to sleeping, and the sleep set him dreaming, and he dreamed all night, and
night after night, about crock full of gold. . . . At last he dreamt that he
found a mighty great crock of gold and silver, and where, do you think ? Every
step of the way upon London Bridge itself! Twice Tim dreamt it, and three
times Tim dreamt the same thing; and at last he made up his mind to transport
himself, and go over to London, in Pat Mahoney's coaster and so he did!" Tim
walks on London Bridge day after day until he sees a man with great black
whiskers and a black cloak that reached down to the ground, who accosts him,
and he tells the strange man about his dream. "Ho! Ho!" says the strange man,
"is that all, Tim? I had a dream myself and I dreamed that I found a crock of
gold in the Fort field, on Jerry Driscoll's ground at Balledehob, and, by the
same token, the pit where it lay was close to a large furze bush, all full of
yellow blossom." Tim hastens back to his old place, sells his cabin and
garden, and buys the piece of waste ground so minutely described by the man
with black whiskers, finds the pit, jumps into it, and is among the fairies,
who give him leave to stuff his pockets with gold; but when he returns to
upper earth he discovers that he has got only a handful of small stones mixed
with yellow furze blossoms.

In a note appended to this tale, Croker cites the following from Grimm's
"Deutsche Sagan," vol. i. p. 290: A man once dreamed that if he went to
Regensburg and walked on the bridge he should become rich. He went
accordingly; and when he had spent near a fortnight walking backwards and
forwards on the bridge, a rich merchant came up to him wondering what he was
doing here every day, and asked him what he was looking for. He answered that
he had dreamed if he would go to the bridge of Regensburg he should become
rich. "Ha!" said the merchant, "what do you say about dreams?--Dreams are but
froth (Trume sind Schaume). I too have dreamed that there is buried under
yonder large tree (pointing to it) a great kettle full of money; but I gave no
heed to this, for dreams are froth." The man went immediately and dug under
the tree, and there he got a treasure, which made a rich man of him, and so
his dream was accomplished.--The same story is told of a baker's boy at
Lubeck, who dreamed that he should find a treasure on the bridge; there he met
a beggar, who said he had dreamed there was one under a lime-tree in the
churchyard of Mollen, but he would not take the trouble of going there. The
baker's boy went, and got the treasure.--It is curious to observe that all the
European versions of the story have reference to a bridge, and it must have
been brought westward in this form.

The Quest of the Image.--It has only now occurred to my mind that there is a
very similar story in the romance of the Four Dervishes ("Kissa-i-Chehr-
Darwesh"), a Persian work written in the 13th century, and rendered into Urd
about 80 years ago, under the title of "Bagh o Bahr" (Garden of Spring), of
which an English translation was made by L. F. Smith, which was afterwards
improved by Duncan Forbes. There the images are of monkeys--circumstance which
seems to point to an Indian origin of the story--but the hero falls in love
with the spotless girl, and the jinn-king takes possession of her, though he
is ultimately compelled to give her up.--The fact of this story of the quest
of the lacking image being found in the Persian language is another proof that
the tales in The Nights were largely derived from Persian story-books.

Aladdin; Or, the Wonderful Lamp.

There is a distorted reflection of the story in M. Rene Basset's recently
published "Contes Populaires Berbres," No. xxix., which is to this effect: A
taleb proclaims, "Who will sell himself for 100 mitqals?" One offers, the Kd
ratifies the sale; the (now) slave gives the money to his mother, and follows
the taleb. Away they go. The taleb repeats certain words, upon which the earth
opens, and he sends down the slave for "the candlestick, the reed, and the
box." The slave hides the box in his pocket and says he did not find it. They
go off, and after a time the slave discovers that his master has disappeared.
He returns home, hires a house, opens the box, and finds a cloth of silk with
seven folds; he undoes one of them, whereupon genii swarm about the room, and
a girl appears who dances till break of day. This occurs every night. The king
happens to be out on a nocturnal adventure, and hearing a noise, enters the
house and is amused till morning. He sends for the box to be brought to the
palace, gives the owner his daughter in marriage, and continues to divert
himself with the box till his death, when his son-in-law succeeds him on the

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.

My obliging friend, Mr. W. F. Kirby, who contributed to the 10th volume of Sir
Richard's Nights proper the very able Bibliographical Essay, has drawn my
attention to an analogue of this tale in Geldart's Folk-Lore of Modern Greece:
There were two brothers, one of whom was wealthy and had four children, who
were in feeble health, the other was poor and had seven children, who were in
robust health. The poor brother's wife, begging relief was allowed to come
twice a week to the house of the rich brother to bake bread. Her children were
starving, but the rich people gave the mother nothing for several days, and
all she could do was to wash the dough off her hands for the children, who
thrived, and the rich man, discovering the cause, made his wife compel the
poor woman to wash her hands before she left the house. The father found his
children crying for food, and pretended to go to the wood for herbs, but
really purposing to kill himself by falling from a crag. But seeing a great
castle, he determined first to ascertain what it was, so he went near, and
having climbed a tree, saw forty-nine dragons come out. When they were gone he
entered, and found a treasure, filled his bag and hurried away. On his return
home he found his wife weeping bitterly, but when he showed her the treasure,
she said the first thing was to buy oil to light a lamp to our Lady. Next day
they bought a house, and moved into it, but agreed only to buy what they
needed for each day's use and nothing they could do without. For two months
they went often to church and helped the poor, till, one day, the wife of the
rich man, who had met with losses lately, called for them and was hospitably
received. She heard the story of the treasure, and the poor man offered to
show his brother the place. The rich brother miscounted the dragons as they
left the castle, and the one left to watch killed and quartered him. Two days
afterwards his brother went to look for him, brought home the severed body,
and got a tailor to sew the quarters together. Next day the dragons called on
the tailor to make them coats and shoes (sic), and heard of his sewing
together the body. He showed them the house, and forty-eight dragons got into
chests, which the forty-ninth deposited with the poor man. The children,
playing about he chests, heard the dragons say, "Would that it were night,
that we might eat them all!" So the father took forty-eight spits and made
them red hot, and thrust them into the chests, and then said that a trick had
been played upon him, and sent his servant to throw them one by one into the
sea. As often as the servant returned he pretended to him that he did not
throw the chest far enough and it had come back and thus he disposed of the
whole number. In the morning when the last dragon came, the poor man told him
one chest was found open: he was seized with fear, pushed in and spitted like
the others and the poor man became the possessor of the dragons' castle.

There can be no doubt, I think, that this story owes nothing to Galland, but
that it is a popular Greek version of the original Asiatic tale, of which
Galland's "Ali Baba" is probably a fair reflection. The device of pretending
to the servant that the dragon he had thrown into the sea was returned has its
exact analogue in the humorous fabliau of "Les Trois Bossus," where a rustic
is made to believe that each of the hunchbacks had come back again, with the
addition that, on returning from the river the third time, he seizes the
lady's hunchbacked husband and effectually disposes of him.

The Tale of Prince Ahmad.

Though my paper on this tale is of considerable length, it would perhaps have
been deemed intolerably long had I cited all the versions of the first part--
the quest of the most wonderful thing--which are current in Europe, for it is
found everywhere, though with few variations of importance. There are two,
however, of which I may furnish the outlines in this place.

In the "Pentamerone" of Basile,[FN#444], a man sends his five sons into the
world to learn something. The eldest becomes a master-thief; the second has
learned the trade of shipwright; the third has become a skilful archer; the
fourth has found an herb which brings the dead to life, and the youngest has
learned the speech of birds. Soon after they have returned home, they set out
with their father to liberate a princess who had been stolen by a wild man,
and by the exercise of their several arts succeed in their adventure. While
they quarrel as to which of them had by his efforts done most to deserve the
princess for wife, the king gives her to the father, as the stock of all those

In the 45th of Laura Gonzenbach's "Sicilianische Mrchen," the king's daughter
is stolen by a giant and recovered by the seven sons of a poor woman. The
eldest can run like the wind, the second can hear, when he puts his ear to the
ground, all that goes on in the world; the third can with a blow of his fist
break through seven iron doors; the fourth is a thief; the fifth can build an
iron tower with a blow of his fist; the sixth is an unfailing shot, the
seventh has a guitar which can awaken the dead. Youths thus wonderfully
endowed figure in many tales, but generally as the servants of the hero.

By comparing the different European versions it will be found that some are
similar to the first part of the tale of Prince Ahmad, insomuch as the
brothers become possessed of certain wonderful things which are each
instrumental in saving the damsel's life; while others more closely approach
the oldest known form of the story, in representing the heroes as being
endowed with some extraordinary kind of power, by means of which they rescue
the damsel from a giant who had carried her off. It is curious to observe that
in the "Sindibd Nma" version the damsel is both carried off by a demon and
at death's door, which is not the case of any other Asiatic form of the story.

Arabian Nights, Volume 13

[FN#1] M. Zotenberg empowered me to offer his "Aladdin" to an
"Oriental" publishing-house well-known in London, and the result
was the "no-public" reply. The mortifying fact is that Oriental
studies are now at their nadir in Great Britain, which is
beginning to show so small in the Eastern World.

[FN#2] P.N. of a Jinni who rules the insect-kingdom and who is
invoked by scribes to protect their labours from the worm.

[FN#3] Both name and number suggest the "Calc. Edit." of 1814.
See "Translator's Foreword" vol. i., x)x.-xx. There is another
version of the first two hundred Nights, from the "Calc. Edit."
into Urdu by one Haydar Ali 1 vol. roy. 8vo lithog. Calc. 1263
(1846).-- R.F.B.

[FN#4] "Alf Leilah" in Hindostani 4 vols. in 2, royal 8vo,
lithographed, Lakhnau, 1263 (1846).--R. F. B.

[FN#5] This is the "Alif" (!) Leila, Tarjuma-i Alif (!) Laila
ba-Zuban-i-Urdu (Do Jild, baharft-i-Yurop), an Urdu translation
of the Arabian Nights, printed entirely in the Roman character,
etc., etc.--R.F.B.

[FN#6] i.e., The Thousand Tales.

[FN#7] From the MS, in the Bibliochque Nationale (Supplement
Arab. No. 2523) vol. ii., p. 82, verso to p. 94, verso. The
Sisters are called Dnrzd and Shahrzd, a style which I have
not adopted.

[FN#8] THe old versions read "Ornament (Adornment?) of the
Statues," Zierde der Pildsulen (Weil). I hold the name to be
elliptical, Zayn (al-Din = Adornment of The Faith and owner of)
al-Asnm = the Images. The omission of Al-Din in proper names is
very common; e.g., Fakhr (Al-Din) Al-Iftakhri (Iftikhr-al-Din)
and many others given by De Sacy (Chrest.i. 30, and in the
Treatise on Coffee by Abdal-Kdir). So Al-Kaml, Al-Imd, Al-Baha
are = Kamal al-Dn, etc. in Jbn Khallikan, iii 493. Sanam
properly = an idol is popularly applied to all artificial figures
of man and beast. I may note that we must not call the hero,
after Galland's fashion, unhappily adopted by Weil, tout
bonnement "Zayn."

[FN#9] Galland persistently writes "Balsorah," a European
corruption common in his day, the childhood of Orientalism in
Europe. The Hindostani versions have "Bansr," which is worse.

[FN#10] For notes on Geomancy (Zarb Raml) see vol. iii. 269.

[FN#11] THe Hindostani Version enlarges upon this:--"Besides
this, kings cannot escape perils and mishaps which serve as
warnings and examples to them when dealing their decrees."

[FN#12] In the XIXth century we should say "All the--ologies."

[FN#13] In the Hindostani Version he begins by "breaking the
seal which had been set upon the royal treasury."

[FN#14] "Three things" (says Sa'di in the Gulistan) "lack
permanency, Wealth without trading, Learning without disputation,
Government without justice." (chap. viii. max. 8). The
Bakhtiyr-nmeh adds that "Government is a tree whose root is
legal punishment (Siysat); its root-end is justice; its bough,
mercy; its flower, wisdom; its leaf, liberality; and its fruit,
kindness and benevolence. The foliage of every tree whose root
waxeth dry (lacketh sap) taketh a yellow tint and beareth no

[FN#15] For this word, see vol. ix. 108. It is the origin of the
Fr. "Douane" and the Italian "Dogana" through the Spanish Aduana
(Ad-Dwn) and the Provencal "Doana." Mnage derives it from the
Gr. {Greek} =a place where goods are received, and others from
"Doge" (Dux) for whom a tax on merchandise was levied at Venice.
Littr (s.v.) will not decide, but rightly inclines to the
Oriental origin.

[FN#16] A Hadis says, "The dream is the inspiration of the True
Believer;" but also here, as the sequel shows, the Prince
believed the Shaykh to be the Prophet, concerning whom a second
Hadis declares, "Whoso seeth me in his sleep seeth me truly, for
Satan may not assume my semblance." See vol. iv. 287. The dream
as an inspiration shows early in literature, e.g.

--{Greek} (Il. i. 63).
--{Greek} (Il. ii 55).

in which the Dream is {Greek}.

[FN#17] In the Hindostani Version he becomes a Pr = saint,
spiritual guide.

[FN#18] A favourite sentiment. In Sir Charles Murray's excellent
novel, "Hassan: or, the Child of the Pyramid," it takes the form,
"what's past is past and what is written is written and shall
come to pass."

[FN#19] In the H. V. the Prince digs a vat or cistern-shaped
hole a yard deep. Under the ringed slab he also finds a door
whose lock he breaks with his pickaxe and seeing a staircase of
white marble lights a candle and reaches a room whose walls are
of porcelain and its floor and ceiling are of crystal.

[FN#20] Arab. Khawbi (plur. of Khbiyah) large jars usually of
pottery. In the H. V. four shelves of mother o' pearl support ten
jars of porphyry rangeed in rows and the Prince supposes (with
Galland) that the contents are good old wine.

[FN#21] Arab. "'Atk": the superficial similiarity of the words
have produced a new noun in Arabic, e.g. Ab Antk = father of
antiquities, a vendor of such articles mostly modern, "brand-new
and intensely old."

[FN#22] In the text "Ashkhs" (plural of Shakhs) vulgarly used,
throughout India, Persia and other Moslem realms, in the sense of
persons or individuals. For its lit. sig. see vols. iii. 26; and
viii. 159. The H. V. follows Galland in changing to pedestals the
Arab thrones, and makes the silken hanging a "piece of white
satin" which covers the unoccupied base.

[FN#23] The blessed or well-omened: in these days it is mostly a
servile name, e.g. Sidi Mubrak Bombay. See vol. ix. 58,330.

[FN#24] In the test "Mn" for "Man," a Syro-Egyptian form common
throughout this MS.

[FN#25] "Ay Ni'am," an emphatic and now vulgar expression.

[FN#26] The MS. here has "'Imrah" = a building, probably a
clerical error for Maghrah," a cave, a souterrain.

[FN#27] Arab, "Zahab-raml," explained in "Alaeddin." So
Al-Mutanabbi sang:--

"I become not of them because homed in their ground: * Sandy
earth is the gangue wherein gold is found."

[FN#28] Walmah prop. = a marriage-feast. For the different
kinds of entertainments see vols. vi. 74; viii. 231.

[FN#29] Arab. Mukatta al-Yadayn, a servile posture: see vols.
iii. 218; ix. 320.

[FN#30] Here the Arabic has the advantage of the English;
"Shakhs" meaning either a person or an image. See supra, p. 11.

[FN#31] Arab. "Kawrij = one who uses the paddle, a paddler, a

[FN#32] In the Third Kalandar's Tale (vol. i. 143) Prince 'Ajb
is forbidden to call upon the name of Allah, under pain of
upsetting the skiff paddled by the man of brass. Here the detail
is omitted.

[FN#33] Arab. "Wahsh," which Galland translates "Tiger," and is
followed by his Hind. translator.

[FN#34] Arab. "Laffa 'l-isnayn bi-zulmati-h," the latter word =
Khurtm, the trunk of an elephant, from Zalm = the dewlap of
sheep or goat.

[FN#35] In the text "Ymin," a copyist's error, which can mean
nothing else but "Yasimn."

[FN#36] The H. V. rejects this detail for "a single piece of
mother-o'-pearl twelve yards long," etc. Galland has une seule
ecaille de poisson. In my friend M. Zotenberg's admirable
translation of Tabara (i. 52) we read of a bridge at Baghdad made
of the ribs of Og bin 'Unk (= Og of the Neck), the fabled King of

[FN#37] I have noted that this is the primitive attire of
Eastern man in all hot climates, and that it still holds its
ground in that grand survival of heathenry, the Meccan
Pilgrimage. In Galland the four strips are of taffetas jaune, the
Hind. "Taft."

[FN#38] The word is Hizm = girdle, sash, waist-belt, which
Galland turns into nappes. The object of the cloths edged with
gems and gums was to form a barrier excluding hostile Jinns: the
European magician usually drew a magic circle.

[FN#39] This is our corruption of the Malay Aigla = sandal wood.
See vol. ix. 150.

[FN#40] Lit. = the Day of Assembly, "Yaum al-Mahshar." These
lines were translated at Cannes on Feb. 22n, 1886, the day before
the earthquake which brought desolation upon the Riviera. It was
a second curious coincidence. On Thursday, July 10th, 1863--the
morning when the great earthquake at Accra laid in ruins the town
and the stout old fort built in the days of James II--I had been
reading the Koranic chapter entitled "Earthquakes" (No. XCIX.) to
some Moslem friends who had visited my quarters. Upwards of a
decade afterwards I described teh accident in "Ocean Highways"
(New Series, No. II., Vol. I, pp. 448-461), owned by Trubner &
Co., and edited by my friend Clements Markham, and I only regret
that this able Magazine has been extinguished by that dullest of
Journals, "Porceedings of the R. S. S. and monthly record of

[FN#41] Galland has un tremblement pareil celui qu'Israfyel
(Isrfl) doit causer le jour du jugement.

[FN#42] The idea is Lady M. W. Montague's ("The Lady's

In part she is to blame that has been tried:
He comes too near that comes to be denied.

As an unknown correspondent warns me the sentiment was probably
suggested by Sir Thomas Overbury ("A Wife." St. xxxvi):--

--In part to blame is she
Which hath without consent bin only tride:
He comes too near that comes to be denide.

[FN#43] These highly compromising magical articles are of many
kinds. The ballad of The Boy and the Mantle is familiar to all,
how in the case of Sir Kay's lady:--

When she had tane the mantle
With purpose for to wear;
It shrunk up to her shoulder
And left her backside bare.
Percy, Vol. I., i and Book III.

Percy derives the ballad from "Le COurt Mantel," an old French
piece and Mr. Evans (Specimens of Welsh Poetry) from an ancient
MS, of Tegan Earfron, one of Arthur's mistresses, who possessed a
mantle which would not fit immodest women. See also in Spenser,
Queen Florimel's Girdle (F.Q. iv. 5,3), and the detective is a
horn in the Morte d'Arthur, translated from the French, temp.
Edward IV., and first printed in A. D. 1484. The Spectator (No.


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