The Arabian Nights Entertainments vol. 1

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The "Aldine" Edition of

The Arabian Nights Entertainments

Illustrated by S. L. Wood


In Four Volumes

Volume 1

Only 500 copies of the Small Paper Edition are printed
for America, of which this is No. 217

Pickering and Chatto

The Publishers' Preface.

This, the "Aldine Edition" of "The Arabian Nights
Entertainments," forms the first four volumes of a proposed
series of reprints of the Standard works of fiction which have
appeared in the English language.

It is our intention to publish the series in an artistic way,
well illustrating a text typographically as perfect as possible.
The texts in all cases will be carefully chosen from approved

The series is intended for those who appreciate well printed and
illustrated books, or who are in want of a handy and handsome
edition of such works to place upon their bookshelves.

The exact origin of the Tales, which appear in the Arabic as "The
Thousand and One Nights," is unknown. The Caliph Haroon al
Rusheed, who, figures in so lifelike a manner in many of the
stories, was a contemporary of the Emperor Charlemagne, and there
is internal evidence that the collection was made in the Arabic
language about the end of the tenth century.

They undoubtedly convey a picturesque impression of the manners,
sentiments, and customs of Eastern Mediaeval Life.

The stories were translated from the Arabic by M. Galland and
first found their way into English in 1704, when they were
retranslated from M. Galland's French text and at once became
exceedingly popular.

This process of double translation had great disadvantages; it
induced Dr. Jonathan Scott, Oriental Professor, to publish in
1811, a new edition, revised and corrected from the Arabic.

It is upon this text that the present edition is formed.

It will be found free from that grossness which is unavoidable in
a strictly literal translation of the original into English; and
which has rendered the splendid translations of Sir R. Burton and
Mr. J. Payne quite unsuitable as the basis of a popular edition,
though at the same time stamping the works as the two most
perfect editions for the student.

The scholarly translation of Lane, by the too strict an adherence
to Oriental forms of expression, and somewhat pedantic rendering
of the spelling of proper names, is found to be tedious to a very
large number of readers attracted by the rich imagination,
romance, and humour of these tales.

The Arabian Nights Entertainments.

The chronicles of the Sassanians, ancient kings of Persia, who
extended their empire into the Indies, over all the adjacent
islands, and a great way beyond the Ganges, as far as China,
acquaint us, that there was formerly a king of that potent
family, who was regarded as the most excellent prince of his
time. He was as much beloved by his subjects for his wisdom and
prudence, as he was dreaded by his neighbours, on account of his
velour, and well-disciplined troops. He had two sons; the elder
Shier-ear, the worthy heir of his father, and endowed with all
his virtues; the younger Shaw-zummaun, a prince of equal merit.

After a long and glorious reign, this king died; and Shier-ear
mounted his throne. Shaw-zummaun, being excluded from all share
in the government by the laws of the empire, and obliged to live
a private life, was so far from envying the happiness of his
brother, that he made it his whole business to please him, and in
this succeeded without much difficulty. Shier-ear, who had
naturally a great affection the prince his brother, gave him the
kingdom of Great Tartary. Shaw-zummaun went immediately and took
possession of it, and fixed the seat of his government at
Samarcand, the metropolis of the country.

After they had been separated ten years, Shier-ear, being very
desirous of seeing his brother, resolved to send an ambassador to
invite him to his court. He made choice of his prime vizier for
the embassy, and sent him to Tartary, with a retinue answerable
to his dignity. The vizier proceeded with all possible expedition
to Samarcand. When he came near the city, Shaw-zummaun was
informed of his approach, and went to meet him attended by the
principal lords of his court, who, to shew the greater honour to
the sultan's minister, appeared in magnificent apparel. The king
of Tartary received the ambassador with the greatest
demonstrations of joy; and immediately asked him concerning the
welfare of the sultan his brother. The vizier having acquainted
him that he was in health, informed him of the purpose of his
embassy. Shaw-zummaun was much affected, and answered: "Sage
vizier, the sultan my brother does me too much honour; nothing
could be more agreeable to me, for I as ardently long to see him
as he does to see me. Time has not diminished my friendship more
than his. My kingdom is in peace, and I want no more than ten
days to get myself ready to return with you. There is therefore
no necessity for your entering the city for so short a period. I
pray you to pitch your tents here, and I will order everything
necessary to be provided for yourself and your attendants." The
vizier readily complied; and as soon as the king returned to the
city, he sent him a prodigious quantity of provisions of all
sorts, with presents of great value.

In the meanwhile, Shaw-zummaun prepared for his journey, gave
orders about his most important affairs, appointed a council to
govern in his absence, and named a minister, of whose wisdom he
had sufficient experience, and in whom he had entire confidence,
to be their president. At the end of ten days, his equipage being
ready, he took leave of the queen his wife, and went out of town
in the evening with his retinue. He pitched his royal pavilion
near the vizier's tent, and conversed with him till midnight.
Wishing once more to see the queen, whom he ardently loved, he
returned alone to his palace, and went directly to her majesty's
apartments. But she, not expecting his return, had taken one of
the meanest officers of her household to her bed.

The king entered without noise, and pleased himself to think how
he should surprise his wife who he thought loved him with
reciprocal tenderness. But how great was his astonishment, when,
by the light of the flambeau, he beheld a man in her arms! He
stood immovable for some time, not knowing how to believe his own
eyes. But finding there was no room for doubt, "How!" said he to
himself, "I am scarcely out of my palace, and but just under the
walls of Samarcand, and dare they put such an outrage upon me?
Perfidious wretches! your crime shall not go unpunished. As a
king, I am bound to punish wickedness committed in my dominions;
and as an enraged husband, I must sacrifice you to my just
resentment." The unfortunate prince, giving way to his rage, then
drew his cimeter, and approaching the bed killed them both with
one blow, their sleep into death; and afterwards taking them up,
he threw them out of a window into the ditch that surrounded the

Having thus avenged himself, he returned to his pavilion without
saying one word of what had happened, gave orders that the tents
should be struck, and everything made ready for his journey. All
was speedily prepared, and before day he began his march, with
kettle-drums and other instruments of music, that filled everyone
with joy, excepting the king; he was so much afflicted by the
disloyalty of his wife, that he was seized with extreme
melancholy, which preyed upon his spirits during the whole of his

When he drew near the capital of the Indies, the sultan Shier-ear
and all his court came out to meet him. The princes were
overjoyed to see one another, and having alighted, after mutual
embraces and other marks of affection and respect, remounted, and
entered the city, amidst the acclamations of the people. The
sultan conducted his brother to the palace provided for him,
which had a communication with his own by a garden. It was so
much the more magnificent as it was set apart as a banqueting-
house for public entertainments, and other diversions of the
court, and its splendour had been lately augmented by new

Shier-ear immediately left the king of Tartary, that he might
give him time to bathe, and to change his apparel. As soon as he
had done, he returned to him again, and they sat down together on
a sofa or alcove. The courtiers out of respect kept at a
distance, and the two princes entertained one another suitably to
their friendship, their consanguinity, and their long separation.
The time of supper being come, they ate together, after which
they renewed their conversation, which continued till Shier-ear,
perceiving that it was very late, left his brother to repose.

The unfortunate Shaw-zummaun retired to bed. Though the
conversation of his brother had suspended his grief for some
time, it returned again with increased violence; so that, instead
of taking his necessary rest, he tormented himself with the
bitterest reflections. All the circumstances of his wife's
disloyalty presented themselves afresh to his imagination, in so
lively a manner, that he was like one distracted. being able to
sleep, he arose, and abandoned himself to the most afflicting
thoughts, which made such an impression upon his countenance, as
it was impossible for the sultan not to observe. "What," said he,
"can be the matter with the king of Tartary that he is so
melancholy? Has he any cause to complain of his reception? No,
surely; I have received him as a brother whom I love, so that I
can charge myself with no omission in that respect. Perhaps it
grieves him to be at such a distance from his dominions, or from
the queen his wife? If that be the case, I must forthwith give
him the presents I designed for him, that he may return to
Samarcand." Accordingly the next day Shier-ear sent him part of
those presents, being the greatest rarities and the richest
things that the Indies could afford. At the same time he
endeavoured to divert his brother every day by new objects of
pleasure, and the most splendid entertainments. But these,
instead of affording him ease, only increased his sorrow.

One day, Shier-ear having appointed a great hunting-match, about
two days journey from his capital, in a place that abounded with
deer, Shaw-zummaun besought him to excuse his attendance, for his
health would not allow him to bear him company. The sultan,
unwilling to put any constraint upon him, left him at his
liberty, and went a-hunting with his nobles. The king of Tartary
being thus left alone, shut himself up in his apartment, and sat
down at a window that looked into the garden. That delicious
place, and the sweet harmony of an infinite number of birds,
which chose it for their retreat, must certainly have diverted
him, had he been capable of taking pleasure in anything; but
being perpetually tormented with the fatal remembrance of his
queen's infamous conduct, his eyes were not so much fixed upon
the garden, as lifted up to heaven to bewail his misfortune.

While he was thus absorbed in grief, a circumstance occurred
which attracted the whole of his attention. A secret gate of the
sultan's palace suddenly opened, and there came out of it twenty
women, in the midst of whom walked the sultaness, who was easily
distinguished from the rest by her majestic air. This princess
thinking that the king of Tartary was gone a-hunting with his
brother the sultan, came with her retinue near the windows of his
apartment. For the prince had so placed himself that he could see
all that passed in the garden without being perceived himself. He
observed, that the persons who accompanied the sultaness threw
off their veils and long robes, that they might be more at their
ease, but he was greatly surprised to find that ten of them were
black men, and that each of these took his mistress. The
sultaness, on her part, was not long without her gallant. She
clapped her hands, and called "Masoud, Masoud," and immediately a
black descended from a tree, and ran towards her with great

Modesty will not allow, nor is it necessary, to relate what
passed between the blacks and the ladies. It is sufficient to
say, that Shaw-zummaun saw enough to convince him, that his
brother was as much to be pitied as himself. This amorous company
continued together till midnight, and having bathed together in a
great piece of water, which was one of the chief ornaments of the
garden, they dressed themselves, and re-entered the palace by the
secret door, all except Masoud, who climbed up his tree, and got
over the garden wall as he had come in.

These things having passed in the king of Tartary's sight, filled
him with a multitude of reflections. "How little reason had I,"
said he, "to think that none was so unfortunate as myself? It is
surely the unavoidable fate of all husbands, since even the
sultan my brother, who is sovereign of so-many dominions, and the
greatest prince of the earth, could not escape. Such being the
case, what a fool am I to kill myself with grief? I am resolved
that the remembrance of a misfortune so common shall never more
disturb my peace."

From that moment he forbore afflicting himself. He called for his
supper, ate with a better appetite than he had done since his
leaving Samarcand, and listened with some degree of pleasure to
the agreeable concert of vocal and instrumental music that was
appointed to entertain him while at table.

He continued after this very cheerful; and when he was informed
that the sultan was returning, went to meet him, and paid him his
compliments with great gaiety. Shier-ear at first took no notice
of this alteration. He politely expostulated with him for not
bearing him company, and without giving him time to reply,
entertained him with an account of the great number of deer and
other game they had killed, and the pleasure he had received in
the chase. Shaw-zummaun heard him with attention; and being now
relieved from the melancholy which had before depressed his
spirits, and clouded his talents, took up the conversation in his
turn, and spoke a thousand agreeable and pleasant things to the

Shier-ear, who expected to have found him in the same state as he
had left him, was overjoyed to see him so cheerful: "Dear
brother," said he, "I return thanks to heaven for the happy
change it has wrought in you during my absence. I am indeed
extremely rejoiced. But I have a request to make to you, and
conjure you not to deny me."I can refuse you nothing," replied
the king of Tartary; "you may command Shaw-zummaun as you please:
speak, I am impatient to know what you desire of me." "Ever since
you came to my court," resumed Shier-ear, "I have found you
immersed in a deep melancholy, and I have in vain attempted to
remove it by different diversions. I imagined it might be
occasioned by your distance from your dominions, or that love
might have a great share in it; and that the queen of Samarcand,
who, no doubt, is an accomplished beauty, might be the cause. I
do not know whether I am mistaken in my conjecture; but I must
own, that it was for this very reason I would not importune you
upon the subject, for fear of making you uneasy. But without
myself contributing anything towards effecting the change, I find
on my return that your mind is entirely delivered from the black
vapour which disturbed it. Pray do me the favour to tell me why
you were so melancholy, and wherefore you are no longer so."

The king of Tartary continued for some time as if he had been
meditating and contriving what he should answer; but at last
replied, "You are my sultan and master; but excuse me, I beseech
you, from answering your question." "No, dear brother," said the
sultan, "you must answer me, I will take no denial." Shaw-
zummaun, not being able to withstand these pressing entreaties,
replied, "Well then, brother, I will satisfy you, since you
command me ;" and having told him the story of the queen of
Samarcand's treachery "This," said he, "was the cause of my
grief; judge whether I had not sufficient reason for my

"O! my brother," said the sultan, (in a tone which shewed what
interest he took in the king of Tartary's affliction), "what a
horrible event do you tell me! I commend you for punishing the
traitors who offered you such an outrage. None can blame you for
what you have done. It was just; and for my part, had the case
been mine, 1 should scarcely have been so moderate. I could not
have satisfied myself with the life of one woman; I should have
sacrificed a thousand to my fury. I now cease to wonder at your
melancholy. The cause was too afflicting and too mortifying not
to overwhelm you. O heaven! what a strange adventure! Nor do I
believe the like ever befell any man but yourself. But I must
bless God, who has comforted you; and since I doubt not but your
consolation is well-grounded, be so good as to inform me what it
is, and conceal nothing from me." Shaw-zummaun was not so easily
prevailed upon in this point as he had been in the other, on his
brother's account. But being obliged to yield to his pressing
instances, answered, "I must obey you then, since your command is
absolute, yet I am afraid that my obedience will occasion your
trouble to be greater than my own. But you must blame yourself,
since you force me to reveal what I should otherwise have buried
in eternal Oblivion." "What you say," answered Shier-ear, "serves
only to increase my curiosity. Discover the secret, whatever it
be." The king of Tartary being no longer able to refuse, related
to him the particulars of the blacks in disguise, of the
ungoverned passion of the sultaness, and her ladies; nor did he
forget Masoud. After having been witness to these infamous
actions, he continued, "I believed all women to be naturally
lewd; and that they could not resist their inclination. Being of
this opinion, it seemed to me to be in men an unaccountable
weakness to place any confidence in their fidelity. This
reflection brought on many others; and in short, I thought the
best thing I could do was to make myself easy. It cost me some
pains indeed, but at last I grew reconciled; and if you will take
my advice, you will follow my example."

Though the advice was good, the sultan could not approve of it,
but fell into a rage. "What!" said he, "is the sultaness of the
Indies capable of prostituting herself in so base a manner! No,
brother, I cannot believe what you state unless I beheld it with
my own eyes. Yours must needs have deceived you; the matter is so
important that I must be satisfied of it myself." "Dear brother,"
answered Shaw-zummaun, "that you may without much difficulty.
Appoint another hunting-match, and when we are out of town with
your court and mine, we will rest under our tents, and at night
let you and I return unattended to my apartments. I am certain
the next day you will see a repetition of the scene." The sultan
approving the stratagem, immediately appointed another hunting-
match. And that same day the tents were pitched at the place

The next day the two princes set out with all their retinue; they
arrived at the place of encampment, and stayed there till night.
Shier-ear then called his grand vizier, and, without acquainting
him with his design, commanded him during his absence to suffer
no person to quit the camp on any presence whatever. As soon as
he had given this order, the king of Grand Tartary and he took
horse, passed through the camp incognito, returned to the city,
and went to Shaw-zummaun's apartment. They had scarcely placed
themselves in the window whence the king of Tartary had beheld
the scene of the disguised blacks, when the secret gate opened,
the sultaness and her ladies entered the garden with the blacks,
and she having called to Masoud, the sultan saw more than enough
fully to convince him of his dishonour and misfortune.

"Oh heavens!" he exclaimed, "what indignity! What horror! Can the
wife of a sovereign be capable of such infamous conduct? After
this, let no prince boast of being perfectly happy. Alas! my
brother," continued he, embracing the king of Tartery, "let us
both renounce the world, honour is banished out of it; if it
flatter us one day, it betrays us the next. Let us abandon our
dominions, and go into foreign countries, where we may lead an
obscure life, and conceal our misfortunes." Shaw-zummaun did not
at all approve of this plan, but did not think fit to contradict
Shierear in the heat of his passion. "Dear brother," he replied,
"your will shall be mine. I am ready to follow you whithersoever
you please: but promise me that you will return, if we meet with
any one more unhappy than ourselves." "To this I agree," said the
sultan, "but doubt much whether we shall." "I am not of your
opinion in this," replied the king of Tartary; "I fancy our
journey will be but short." Having thus resolved, they went
secretly out of the palace. They travelled as long as day-light
continued; and lay the first night under trees. They arose about
break of day, went on till they came to a fine meadow on the
seashore, that was be-sprinkled with large trees They sat down
under one of them to rest and refresh themselves, and the chief
subject of their conversation was the infidelity or their wives.

They had not rested long, before they heard a frightful noise
from the sea, and a terrible cry, which filled them with fear.
The sea then opened, and there arose something like a great black
column, which reached almost to the clouds. This redoubled their
terror, made them rise with haste, and climb up into a tree m
bide themselves. They had scarcely got up, when looking to the
place from whence the noise proceeded, and where the sea had
opened, they observed that the black column advanced, winding
about towards the: shore, cleaving the water before it. They
could not at first think what this could mean, but in a little
time they found that it was one of those malignant genies that
are mortal enemies to mankind, and are always doing them
mischief. He was black and frightful, had the shape of a giant,
of a prodigious stature, and carried on his head a large glass
box, fastened with four locks of fine steel. He entered the
meadow with his burden, which he laid down just at the foot of
the tree where the two princes were concealed, who gave
themselves over as lost. The genie sat down by his box, and
opening it with four keys that he had at his girdle, there came
out a lady magnificently appareled, of a majestic stature, and
perfect beauty. The monster made her sit down by him, and eyeing
her with an amorous look, said, "Lady, nay, most accomplished of
all ladies who are admired for their beauty, my charming
mistress, whom I carried off on your wedding-day, and have loved
so constantly ever since, let me sleep a few moments by you; for
I found myself so very drowsy that I came to this place to take a
little rest." Having spoken thus, he laid down his huge head upon
the lady's knees, and stretching out his legs, which reached as
far as the sea, he fell asleep presently, and snored so loud that
he made the shores echo.

The lady happening at this time to look up, saw the two princes
in the tree, and made a sign to them with her hand to come down
without making any noise. Their fear was extreme when they found
themselves discovered, and they prayed the lady, by other signs,
to excuse them. But she, after having laid the monster's head
softly on the ground, rose up and spoke to them, with a low but
eager voice, to come down to her; she would take no denial. They
informed her by signs that they were afraid of the genie, and
would fain have been excused. Upon which she ordered them to come
down, and threatened if they did not make haste, to awaken the
genie, and cause him to put them to death.

These words so much intimidated the princes, that they began to
descend with all possible precaution lest they should awake the
genie. When they had come down, the lady took them by the hand,
and going a little farther with them under the trees, made them a
very urgent proposal. At first they rejected it, but she obliged
them to comply by her threats. Having obtained what she desired,
she perceived that each of them had a ring on his finger, which
she demanded. As soon as she had received them, she pulled out a
string of other rings, which she shewed the princes, and asked
them if they knew what those jewels meant? "No," said they, "we
hope you will be pleased to inform us." "These are," she replied,
"the rings of all the men to whom I have granted my favours.
There are fourscore and eighteen, which I keep as memorials of
them; and I asked for yours to make up the hundred. So that I
have had a hundred gallants already, notwithstanding the
vigilance of this wicked genie, who never leaves me. He may lock
me up in this glass box and hide me in the bottom of the sea; but
I find methods to elude his vigilance. You may see by this, that
when a woman has formed a project, there is no husband or lover
that can prevent her from putting it in execution. Men had better
not put their wives under such restraint, as it only serves to
teach them cunning." Having spoken thus to them, she put their
rings on the same string with the rest, and sitting down by the
monster, as before, laid his head again upon her lap, end made a
sign to the princes to depart.

They returned immediately the way they had come, and when they
were out of sight of the lady and the genie Shier-ear said to
Shaw-zummaun "Well, brother, what do you think of this adventure?
Has not the genie a very faithful mistress? And do you not agree
that there is no wickedness equal to that of women?" "Yes,
brother," answered the king of Great Tartary; "and you must also
agree that the monster is more unfortunate, and more to be pitied
than ourselves. Therefore, since we have found what we sought
for, let us return to our dominions, and let not this hinder us
from marrying. For my part, I know a method by which to preserve
the fidelity of my wife inviolable. I will say no more at
present, but you will hear of it in a little time, and I am sure
you will follow my example." The sultan agreed with his brother;
and continuing their journey, they arrived in the camp the third
night after their departure.

The news of the sultan's return being spread, the courtiers came
betimes in the morning before his pavilion to wait his pleasure.
He ordered them to enter, received them with a more pleasant air
than he had formerly done, and gave each of them a present. After
which, he told them he would go no farther, ordered them to take
horse, and returned with expedition to his palace.

As soon as he arrived, he proceeded to the sultaness's apartment,
commanded her to be bound before him, and delivered her to his
grand vizier, with an order to strangle her, which was
accordingly executed by that minister, without inquiring into her
crime. The enraged prince did not stop here, but cut off the
heads of all the sultaness's ladies with his own hand. After this
rigorous punishment, being persuaded that no woman was chaste, he
resolved, in order to prevent the disloyalty of such as he should
afterwards marry, to wed one every night, and have her strangled
next morning. Having imposed this cruel law upon himself, he
swore that he would put it in force immediately after the
departure of the king of Tartary, who shortly took leave of him,
and being laden with magnificent presents, set forward on his

Shaw-zummaun having departed, Shier-ear ordered his grand vizier
to bring him the daughter of one of his generals. The vizier
obeyed. The sultan lay with her, and putting her next morning
into his hands again in order to have her strangled, commanded
him to provide him another the next night. Whatever reluctance
the vizier might feel to put such orders in execution, as he owed
blind obedience to the sultan his master, he was forced to
submit. He brought him then the daughter of a subaltern, whom he
also put to death the next day. After her he brought a citizen's
daughter; and, in a word, there was every day a maid married, and
a wife murdered.

The rumour of this unparalleled barbarity occasioned a general
consternation in the city, where there was nothing but crying and
lamentation. Here, a father in tears, and inconsolable for the
loss of his daughter; and there, tender mothers dreating lest
their daughters should share the same fate, filling the air with
cries of distress and apprehension. So that, instead of the
commendation and blessings which the sultan had hitherto received
from his subjects, their mouths were now filled with

The grand vizier who, as has been already observed, was the
unwilling executioner of this horrid course of injustice, had two
daughters, the elder called Scheherazade, and the younger
Dinarzade. The latter was highly accomplished; but the former
possessed courage, wit, and penetration, infinitely above her
sex. She had read much, and had so admirable a memory, that she
never forgot any thing she had read. She had successfully applied
herself to philosophy, medicine, history, and the liberal arts;
and her poetry excelled the compositions of the best writers of
her time. Besides this, she was a perfect beauty, and all her
accomplishments were crowned by solid virtue.

The vizier loved this daughter, so worthy of his affection. One
day, as they were conversing together, she said to him, "Father,
I have one favour to beg of you, and most humbly pray you to
grant it." "I will not refuse," answered he, "provided it be just
and reasonable." "For the justice of it," resumed she, "there can
be no question, and you may judge of this by the motive which
obliges me to make the request. I wish to stop that barbarity
which the sultan exercises upon the families of this city. I
would dispel those painful apprehensions which so many mothers
feel of losing their daughters in such a fatal manner." "Your
design, daughter," replied the vizier "is very commendable; but
the evil you would remedy seems to me incurable. How do you
propose to effect your purpose?" "Father," said Scheherazade,
"since by your means the sultan makes every day a new marriage, I
conjure you, by the tender affection you bear me, to procure me
the honour of his bed." The vizier could not hear this without
horror. "O heaven!" he replied in a passion, "have you lost your
senses, daughter, that you make such a dangerous request? You
know the sultan has sworn, that he will never lie above one night
with the same woman, and to command her to be killed the next
morning; would you then have me propose you to him? Consider well
to what your indiscreet zeal will expose you." "Yes, dear
father," replied the virtuous daughter, "I know the risk I run;
but that does not alarm me. If I perish, my death will be
glorious; and if I succeed, I shall do my country an important
service." "No, no," said the vizier "whatever you may offer to
induce me to let you throw yourself into such imminent danger, do
not imagine that I will ever consent. When the sultan shall
command me to strike my poniard into your heart, alas! I must
obey; and what an employment will that be for a father! Ah! if
you do not dread death, at least cherish some fears of afflicting
me with the mortal grief of imbuing my hands in your blood."
"Once more father," replied Scheherazade, "grant me the favour I
solicit." "Your stubbornness," resumed the vizier "will rouse my
anger; why will you run headlong to your ruin? They who do not
foresee the end of a dangerous enterprise can never conduct it to
a happy issue. I am afraid the same thing will happen to you as
befell the ass, which was well off, but could not remain so."
"What misfortune befell the ass?" demanded Scheherazade. "I will
tell you," replied the vizier, "if you will hear me."

The Ass, the Ox, and the Labourer.

A very wealthy merchant possessed several country-houses, where
he kept a large number of cattle of every kind. He retired with
his wife and family to one of these estates, in order to improve
it under his own direction. He had the gift of understanding the
language of beasts, but with this condition, that he should not,
on pain of death, interpret it to any one else. And this hindered
him from communicating to others what he learned by means of this

He kept in the same stall an ox and an ass. One day as he sat
near them, and was amusing himself in looking at his children who
were playing about him, he heard the ox say to the ass,
"Sprightly, O! how happy do I think you, when I consider the ease
you enjoy, and the little labour that is required of you. You are
carefully rubbed down and washed, you have well-dressed corn, and
fresh clean water. Your greatest business is to carry the
merchant, our master, when he has any little journey to make, and
were it not for that you would be perfectly idle. I am treated in
a very different manner, and my condition is as deplorable as
yours is fortunate. Daylight no sooner appears than I am fastened
to a plough, and made to work till night, which so fatigues me,
that sometimes my strength entirely fails. Besides, the labourer,
who is always behind me, beats me continually. By drawing the
plough, my tail is all flayed; and in short, after having
laboured from morning to night, when I am brought in they give me
nothing to eat but sorry dry beans, not so much as cleansed from
dirt, or other food equally bad; and to heighten my misery, when
I have filled my belly with such ordinary stuff, I am forced to
lie all night in my own dung: so that you see I have reason to
envy your lot."

The ass did not interrupt the ox; but when he had concluded,
answered, "They that called you a foolish beast did not lie. You
are too simple; you suffer them to conduct you whither they
please, and shew no manner of resolution. In the mean time, what
advantage do you reap from all the indignities you suffer." You
kill yourself for the ease, pleasure, and profit of those who
give you no thanks for your service. But they would not treat you
so, if you had as much courage as strength. When they come to
fasten you to the stall, why do you not resist? why do you not
gore them with your horns, and shew that you arc angry, by
striking your foot against the ground? And, in short, why do not
you frighten them by bellowing aloud? Nature has furnished you
with means to command respect; but you do not use them. They
bring you sorry beans and bad straw; eat none of them, only smell
and then leave them. If you follow my advice, you will soon
experience a change, for which you will thank me."

The ox took the ass's advice in very good part, and owned he was
much obliged to him. "Dear Sprightly," added he, "I will not fail
to do as you direct, and you shall see how I will acquit myself."
Here ended their conversation, of which the merchant lost not a

Early the next morning the labourer went for the ox. He fastened
him to the plough and conducted him to his usual work. The ox,
who had not forgotten the ass's counsel, was very troublesome and
untowardly all that day, and in the evening, when the labourer
brought him back to the stall, and began to fasten him, the
malicious beast instead of presenting his head willingly as he
used to do, was restive, and drew back bellowing; and then made
at the labourer, as if he would have gored him with his horns. In
a word, he did all that the ass had advised him. The day
following, the labourer came as usual, to take the ox to his
labour; but finding the stall full of beans, the straw that he
had put in the night before not touched, and the ox lying on the
ground with his legs stretched out, and panting in a strange
manner, he believed him to be unwell, pitied him, and thinking
that it was not proper to take him to work, went immediately and
acquainted his master with his condition. The merchant perceiving
that the ox had followed all the mischievous advice of the ass,
determined to punish the latter, and accordingly ordered the
labourer to go and put him in the ox's place, and to he sure to
work him hard. The labourer did as he was desired. The ass was
forced to draw the plough all that day, which fatigued him so
much the more, as he was not accustomed to that kind of labour;
besides he had been so soundly beaten, that he could scarcely
stand when he came back.

Meanwhile, the ox was mightily pleased; he ate up all that was in
his stall, and rested himself the whole day. He rejoiced that he
had followed the ass's advice, blessed him a thousand times for
the kindness he had done him, and did not fail to express his
obligations when the ass had returned. The ass made no reply, so
vexed was he at the ill treatment he had received; but he said
within himself, "It is by my own imprudence I have brought this
misfortune upon myself. I lived happily, every thing smiled upon
me; I had all that I could wish; it is my own fault that I am
brought to this miserable condition; and if I cannot contrive
some way to get out of it, I am certainly undone." As he spoke,
his strength was so much exhausted that he fell down in his
stall, as if he had been half dead.

Here the grand vizier, himself to Scheherazade, and said,
"Daughter, you act just like this ass; you will expose yourself
to destruction by your erroneous policy. Take my advice, remain
quiet, and do not seek to hasten your death." "Father," replied
Scheherazade, "the example you have set before me will not induce
me to change my resolution. I will never cease importuning you
until you present me to the sultan as his bride." The vizier,
perceiving that she persisted in her demand, replied, "Alas!
then, since you will continue obstinate, I shall be obliged to
treat you in the same manner as the merchant whom I before
referred to treated his wife a short time after."

The merchant understanding that the ass was in a lamentable
condition, was desirous of knowing what passed between him and
the ox, therefore after supper he went out by moonlight, and sat
down by them, his wife bearing him company. After his arrival, he
heard the ass say to the ox "Comrade, tell me, I pray you, what
you intend to do to-morrow, when the labourer brings you meat?"
"What will I do?" replied the ox, "I will continue to act as you
taught me. I will draw back from him and threaten him with my
horns, as I did yesterday: I will feign myself ill, and at the
point of death." "Beware of that," replied the ass, "it will ruin
you; for as I came home this evening, I heard the merchant, our
master, say something that makes me tremble for you." "Alas! what
did you hear?" demanded the ox; "as you love me, withhold nothing
from me, my dear Sprightly." "Our master," replied the ass,
"addressed himself thus to the labourer: ‘Since the ox does not
eat, and is not able to work, I would have him killed to-morrow,
and we will give his flesh as an alms to the poor for God's sake,
as for the skin, that will be of use to us, and I would have you
give it the currier to dress; therefore be sure to send for the
butcher.' This is what I had to tell you," said the ass. "The
interest I feel in your preservation, and my friendship for you,
obliged me to make it known to you, and to give you new advice.
As soon as they bring you your bran and straw, rise up and eat
heartily. Our master will by this think that you are recovered,
and no doubt will recall his orders for killing you; but, if you
act otherwise, you will certainly be slaughtered."

This discourse had the effect which the ass designed. The ox was
greatly alarmed, and bellowed for fear. The merchant, who heard
the conversation very attentively, fell into a loud fit of
laughter. His wife was greatly surprised, and asked, "Pray,
husband, tell me what you laugh at so heartily, that I may laugh
with you." "Wife," replied he, "you must content yourself with
hearing me laugh." "No," returned she, "I will know the reason."
"I cannot afford you that satisfaction," he, "and can only inform
you that I laugh at what our ass just now said to the ox. The
rest is a secret, which I am not allowed to reveal." "What,"
demanded she "hinders you from revealing the secret?" "If I tell
it you," replied he, "I shall forfeit my life." "You only jeer
me," cried his wife, "what you would have me believe cannot be
true. If you do not directly satisfy me as to what you laugh at,
and tell me what the ox and the ass said to one another, I swear
by heaven that you and I shall never bed together again."

Having spoken thus, she went into the house, and seating herself
in a corner, cried there all night. Her husband lay alone, and
finding next morning that she continued in the same humour, told
her, she was very foolish to afflict herself in that manner; that
the thing was not worth so much; that it concerned her very
little to know while it was of the utmost consequence to him to
keep the secret: "therefore," continued he, "I conjure you to
think no more of it." "I shall still think so much of it,"
replied she, "as never to forbear weeping till you have satisfied
my curiosity." "But I tell you very seriously," answered he,
"that it will cost me my life if I yield to your indiscreet
solicitations." "Let what will happen," said she, "I do insist
upon it." "I perceive," resumed the merchant, "that it is
impossible to bring you to reason, and since I foresee that you
will occasion your own death by your obstinacy, I will call in
your children, that they may see you before you die." Accordingly
he called for them, and sent for her father and mother, and other
relations. When they were come and had heard the reason of their
being summoned, they did all they could to convince her that she
was in the wrong, but to no purpose: she told them she would
rather die than yield that point to her husband. Her father and
mother spoke to her by herself, and told her that what she
desired to know was of no importance to her; but they could
produce no effect upon her, either by their authority or
intreaties. When her children saw that nothing would prevail to
draw her out of that sullen temper, they wept bitterly. The
merchant himself was half frantic, and almost ready to risk his
own life to save that of his wife, whom he sincerely loved.

The merchant had fifty hens and one cock, with a dog that gave
good heed to all that passed. While the merchant was considering
what he had best do, he saw his dog run towards the cock as he
was treading a hen, and heard him say to him: "Cock, I am sure
heaven will not let you live long; are you not ashamed to ad thus
to-day?" The cock standing up on tiptoe, answered fiercely: "And
why not to-day as well as other days?" "If you do not know,"
replied the dog, "then I will tell you, that this day our master
is in great perplexity. His wife would have him reveal a secret
which is of such a nature, that the disclosure would cost him his
life. Things are come to that pass, that it is to be feared he
will scarcely have resolution enough to resist his wife's
obstinacy; for he loves her, and is affected by the tears she
continually sheds. We are all alarmed at his situation, while you
only insult our melancholy, and have the impudence to divert
yourself with your hens."

The cock answered the dog's reproof thus: "What, has our master
so little sense? he has but one wife, and cannot govern her, and
though I have fifty, I make them all do what I please. Let him
use his reason, he will soon find a way to rid himself of his
trouble." "How?" demanded the dog; "what would you have him do?"
"Let him go into the room where his wife is," resumed the cock,
"lock the door, and take a stick and thrash her well; and I will
answer for it, that will bring her to her senses, and make her
forbear to importune him to discover what he ought not to
reveal." The merchant had no sooner heard what the cock said,
than he took up a stick, went to his wife, whom he found still
crying, and shutting the door, belaboured her so soundly, that
she cried out, "Enough, husband, enough, forbear, and I will
never ask the question more." Upon this, perceiving that she
repented of her impertinent curiosity, he desisted; and opening
the door, her friends came in, were glad to find her cured of her
obstinacy, and complimented her husband upon this happy expedient
to bring his wife to reason.

"Daughter," added the grand vizier, "you deserve to be treated as
the merchant treated his wife."

"Father," replied Scheherazade, "I beg you would not take it ill
that I persist in my opinion. I am nothing moved by the story of
this woman. I could relate many, to persuade you that you ought
not to oppose my design. Besides, pardon me for declaring, that
your opposition is vain; for if your paternal affection should
hinder you from granting my request, I will go and offer myself
to the sultan." In short, the father, being overcome by the
resolution of his daughter, yielded to her importunity, and
though he was much grieved that he could not divert her from so
fatal a resolution, he went instantly to acquaint the sultan,
that next night he would bring him Scheherazade.

The sultan was much surprized at the sacrifice which the grand
vizier proposed to make. "How could you", said he, "resolve to
bring me your own daughter?" "Sir," answered the vizier, "it is
her own offer. The sad destiny that awaits her could not
intimidate her; she prefers the honour of being your majesty's
wile for one night, to her life." "But do not act under a
mistake, vizier," said the sultan; "to-morrow. when I place
Scheherazade in your hands, I expect you will put her to death;
and if you fail, I swear that your own life shall answer." "Sir,"
rejoined the vizier "my heart without doubt will be full of grief
to execute your commands; but it is to no purpose for nature to
murmur. Though I am her father, I will answer for the fidelity of
my hand to obey your order." Shier-ear accepted his minister's
offer, and told him he might bring his daughter when he pleased.

T'he grand vizicr went with the intelligence to Schcherazade, who
received it with as much joy as if it had been the most agreeable
information she could have received. She thanked her father for
having so greatly obliged her; and perceiving that he was
overwhelmed with grief, told him for his consolation, that she
hoped he would never repent of having married her to the sultan;
and that, on the contrary, he should have reason to rejoice at
his compliance all his days.

Her business now was to adorn herself to appear before the
sultan; but before she went, she took her sister Dinarzade apart,
and said to her, "My dear sister, I have need of your assistance
in a matter of great importance, and must pray you not to deny it
me. My father is going to conduct me to the sultan; do not let
this alarm you, but hear me with patience. As soon as I am in his
presence, I will pray him to allow you to lie in the bride-
chamber, that I may enjoy your company this one night more. If I
obtain that favour, as I hope to do, remember to awake me to-
morrow an hour before day, and to address me in these or some
such words: ‘My sister, if you be not asleep, I pray you that
till day-break, which will be very shortly, you will relate to me
one of the entertaining stories of which you have read so many.'
I will immediately tell you one; and I hope by this means to
deliver the city from the consternation it is under at present."
Dinarzade answered that she would with pleasure act as she
required her.

The grand vizier conducted Schcherazade to the palace, and
retired, after having introduced her into the sultan's apartment.
As soon as the sultan was left alone with her, he ordered her to
uncover her face: he found her so beautiful that he was perfectly
charmed; but perceiving her to be in tears, demanded the reason.
"Sir," answered Scheherazade, "I have a sister who loves me
tenderly, and I could wish that she might be allowed to pass the
night in this chamber, that I might see her, and once more bid
her adieu. Will you be pleased to allow me the consolation of
giving her this last testimony of my affection?" Shier-ear having
consented, Dinarzade was sent for, who came with all possible

An hour before day, Dinarzade failed not to do as her sister had
ordered. "My dear sister," cried she, "if you be not asleep, I
pray that until daybreak, which will be very shortly, you will
tell me one of those pleasant stories you have read. Alas! this
may perhaps be the last time that I shall enjoy that pleasure."

Scheherazade, instead of answering her sister, addressed herself
to the sultan: "Sir, will your majesty be pleased to allow me to
afford my sister this satisfaction?" "With all my heart," replied
the sultan. Scheherazade then bade her sister attend, and
afterwards, addressing herself to Shier-ear, proceeded as


There was formerly a merchant who possessed much property in
lands, goods, and money, and had a great number of clerks,
factors, and slaves. He was obliged from time to time to visit
his correspondents on business; and one day being under the
necessity of going a long journey on an affair of importance, he
took horse, and carried with him a wallet containing biscuits and
dates, because he had a great desert to pass over, where he could
procure no sort of provisions. He arrived without any accident at
the end of his journey; and having dispatched his affairs, took
horse again, in order to return home.

The fourth day of his journey, he was so much incommoded by the
heat of the sun, and the reflection of that heat from the earth,
that he turned out of the road, to refresh himself under some
trees. He found at the root of a large tree a fountain of very
clear running water. Having alighted, he tied his horse to a
branch, and sitting down by the fountain, took some biscuits and
dates out of his wallet. As he ate his dates, he threw the shells
carelessly in different directions. When he had finished his
repast, being a good Moosulmaun, he washed his hands, face, and
feet, and said his prayers. Before he had finished, and while he
was yet on his knees, he saw a genie, white with age, and of a
monstrous bulk, advancing towards him with a cimeter in his hand.
The genie spoke to him in a terrible voice: "Rise, that I may
kill thee with this cimeter, as thou hast killed my son;" and
accompanied these words with a frightful cry. The merchant being
as much alarmed at the hideous shape of the monster as at his
threatening language, answered him, trembling, "Alas! my good
lord, of what crime can I be guilty towards you, that you should
take away my life?" "I will," replied the genie, "kill thee, as
thou hast killed my son." "Heavens," exclaimed the merchant, "how
could I kill your son? I never knew, never saw him." "Did not you
sit down when you came hither?" demanded the genie: "did you not
take dates out of your wallet, and as you ate them, did not you
throw the shells about in different directions?" "I did all that
you say," answered the merchant, "I cannot deny it." "If it be
so," resumed the genie, "I tell thee that thou hast killed my
son; and in this manner: When thou wert throwing the shells
about, my son was passing by, and thou didst throw one into his
eye, which killed him; therefore I must kill thee." "Ah! my lord!
pardon me!" cried the merchant. "No pardon," exclaimed the genie,
"no mercy. Is it not just to kill him that has killed another?"
"I agree it is," replied the merchant, "but certainly I never
killed your son; and if I have, it was unknown to me, and I did
it innocently; I beg you therefore to pardon me, and suffer me to
live." "No, no," returned the genie, persisting in his
resolution, "I must kill thee, since thou hast killed my son."
Then taking the merchant by the arm, he threw him with his face
on the ground, and lifted up his cimeter to cut off his head.

The merchant, with tears, protested he was innocent, bewailed his
wife and children, and supplicated the genie, in the most moving
expressions. The genie, with his cimeter still lifted up, had the
patience to hear his unfortunate victims to the end of his
lamentations, but would not relent. "All this whining," said the
monster, "is to no purpose; though you should shed tears of
blood, they should not hinder me from killing thee, as thou hast
killed my son." "What!" exclaimed the merchant, "can nothing
prevail with you? Will you absolutely take away the life of a
poor innocent?" "Yes," replied the genie, "I am resolved."

As soon as she had spoken these words, perceiving it was day, and
knowing that the sultan rose early in the morning to say his
prayers, and hold his council, Scheherazade discontinued her
story. "Dear sister," said Dinarzade, "what a wonderful story is
this!" "The remainder of it," replied Scheherazade "is more
surprising, and you will be of this opinion, if the sultan will
but permit me to live over this day, and allow me to proceed with
the relation the ensuing night." Shier-ear, who had listened to
Scheherazade with much interest, said to himself, "I will wait
till to-morrow, for I can at any time put her to death when she
has concluded her story." Having thus resolved not to put
Scheherazade to death that day, he rose and went to his prayers,
and to attend his council.

During this time the grand vizier was in the utmost distress.
Instead of sleeping, he spent the night in sighs and groans,
bewailing the lot of his daughter, of whom he believed he should
himself shortly be the executioner. As, with this melancholy
prospect before him, he dreaded to meet the sultan, he was
agreeably surprised when he found the prince entered the council
chamber without giving him the fatal orders he expected.

The sultan, according to his custom, spent the day in regulating
his affairs; and when the night had closed in, retired with
Scheherazade. The next morning before day, Dinarzade failed not
to call to her sister: "My dear sister, if you be not asleep, I
pray you till day-break, which is very near, to go on with the
story you began last night." The sultan, without waiting for
Scheherazade to ask his permission, bade her proceed with the
story of the genie and the merchant; upon which Scheherazade
continued her relation as follows. [FN: In the original work
Scheherazade continually breaks off to ask the sultan to spare
her life for another day, that she may finish the story she is
relating. As these interruptions considerably interfere with the
continued interest of the stories, it has been deemed advisable
to omit them.]

When the merchant saw that the genie was going to cut off his
head, he cried out aloud to him, "For heaven's sake hold your
hand! Allow me one word. Have the goodness to grant me some
respite, to bid my wife and children adieu, and to divide my
estate among them by will, that they may not go to law after my
death. When I have done this, I will come back and submit to
whatever you shall please to command." "But," said the genie, "if
I grant you the time you ask, I doubt you will never return?" "If
you will believe my oath," answered the merchant, "I swear by all
that is sacred, that I will come and meet you here without fail."
"What time do you require then?" demanded the genie. "I ask a
year," said the merchant; "I cannot in less settle my affairs,
and prepare myself to die without regret. But I promise you, that
this day twelve months I will return under these trees, to put
myself into your hands." "Do you take heaven to be witness to
this promise?" said the genie. "I do," answered the merchant,
"and you may rely on my oath." Upon this the genie left him near
the fountain, and disappeared.

The merchant being recovered from his terror, mounted his horse,
and proceeded on his journey, glad on the one hand that he had
escaped so great a danger, but grieved on the other, when he
reflected on his fatal oath. When he reached home, his wife and
children received him with all the demonstrations of perfect joy.
But he, instead of returning their caresses, wept so bitterly,
that his family apprehended something calamitous had befallen
him. His wife enquire reason of his excessive grief and tears;
"We are all overjoyed," said she, "at your return; but you alarm
us by your lamentations; pray tell us the cause of your sorrow."
"Alas!" replied the husband, "I have but a year to live." He then
related what had passed betwixt him and the genie, and informed
her that he had given him his oath to return at the end of the
year, to receive death from his hands.

When they heard this afflicting intelligence, they all began to
lament in the most distressing manner. His wife uttered the most
piteous cries, beat her face, and tore her hair. The children,
all in tears, made the house resound with their groans; and the
father, not being able to resist the impulse of nature, mingled
his tears with theirs: so that, in a word, they exhibited the
most affecting spectacle possible.

On the following morning the merchant applied himself to put his
affairs in order; and first of all to pay his debts. He made
presents to his friends, gave liberal alms to the poor, set his
slaves of both sexes at liberty, divided his property among his
children, appointed guardians for such of them as were not of
age; and after restoring to his wife all that was due to her by
their marriage contract, he gave her in addition as much as the
law would allow him.

At last the year expired, and he was obliged to depart. He put
his burial clothes in his wallet; but when he came to bid his
wife and children adieu, their grief surpassed description. They
could not reconcile their minds to the separation, but resolved
to go and die with him. When, however, it became necessary for
him to tear himself from these dear objects, he addressed them in
the following terms: "My dear wife and children, I obey the will
of heaven in quitting you. Follow my example, submit with
fortitude to this necessity, and consider that it is the destiny
of man to die." Having thus spoken, he went out of the hearing of
the cries of his family; and pursuing his journey, arrived on the
day appointed at the place where he had promised to meet the
genie. He alighted, and seating himself down by the fountain,
waited the coming of the genie, with all the sorrow imaginable.
Whilst he languished under this painful expectation, an old man
leading a hind appeared and drew near him. After they had saluted
one another, the old man said to him, "Brother, may I ask why you
are come into this desert place, which is possessed solely by
evil spirits, and where consequently you cannot be safe? From the
beautiful trees which are seen here, one might indeed suppose the
place inhabited; but it is in reality a wilderness, where it is
dangerous to remain long."

The merchant satisfied his curiosity, and related to him the
adventure which obliged him to be there. The old man listened
with astonishment, and when he had done, exclaimed, "This is the
most surprising thing in the world! and you are bound by the most
inviolable oath. However, I will be witness of your interview
with the genie." He then seated himself by the merchant, and they
entered into conversation.

"But I see day," said Scheherazade, "and must leave off; yet the
best of the story is to come." The sultan resolving to hear the
end of it, suffered her to live that day also.

The next morning Dinarzade made the same request to her sister as
before: "My dear sister," said she, "if you be not asleep, tell
me one of those pleasant stories that you have read." But the
sultan, wishing to learn what followed betwixt the merchant and
the genie, bade her proceed with that, which she did as follows.

Sir, while the merchant and the old man who led the hind were
conversing, they saw another old man coming towards them,
followed by two black dogs; after they had saluted one another,
he asked them what they did in that place? The old man with the
hind told him the adventure of the merchant and genie, with all
that had passed between them, particularly the merchant's oath.
He added, that it was the day agreed on, and that he was resolved
to stay and see the issue.

The second old man thinking it also worth his curiosity, resolved
to do the same, and took his seat by them. They had scarcely
begun to converse together, when there arrived a third old man
leading a mule. He addressed himself to the two former, and asked
why the merchant who sat with them looked so melancholy? They
told him the reason, which appeared to him so extraordinary, that
he also resolved to witness the result; and for that purpose sat
down with them.

In a short time they perceived a thick vapour, like a cloud of
dust raised by a whirlwind, advancing towards them. When it had
come up to them it suddenly vanished, and the genie appeared;
who, without saluting them, went to the merchant with a drawn
cimeter, and taking him by the arm, said, "Get thee up, that I
may kill thee, as thou didst my son." The merchant and the three
old men began to lament and fill the air with their cries.

When the old man who led the hind saw the genie lay hold of the
merchant, and about to kill him, he threw himself at the feet of
the monster, and kissing them, said to him, "Prince of genies, I
most humbly request you to suspend your anger, and do me the
favour to hear me. I will tell you the history of my life, and of
the hind you see; and if you think it more wonderful and
surprising than the adventure of the merchant, I hope you will
pardon the unfortunate man a third of his offence." The genie
took some time to deliberate on this proposal, but answered at
last, "Well then, I agree."

The Story of the First Old Man and the Hind.

I shall begin my story then; listen to me, I pray you, with
attention. This hind you see is my cousin; nay, what is more, my
wife. She was only twelve years of age when I married her, so
that I may justly say, she ought to regard me equally as her
father, her kinsman, and her husband.

We lived together twenty years, without any children. Her
barrenness did not effect any change in my love; I still treated
her with much kindness and affection. My desire of having
children only induced me to purchase a slave, by whom I had a
son, who was extremely promising. My wife being jealous,
cherished a hatred for both mother and child, but concealed her
aversion so well, that I knew nothing of it till it was too late.

Mean time my son grew up, and was ten years old, when I was
obliged to undertake a long journey. Before I went, I recommended
to my wife, of whom I had no mistrust, the slave and her son, and
prayed her to take care of them during my absence, which was to
be for a whole year. She however employed that time to satisfy
her hatred. She applied herself to magic, and when she had learnt
enough of that diabolical art to execute her horrible design, the
wretch carried my son to a desolate place, where, by her
enchantments, she changed him into a calf, and gave him to my
farmer to fatten, pretending she had bought him. Her enmity did
not stop at this abominable action, but she likewise changed the
slave into a cow, and gave her also to my farmer.

At my return, I enquired for the mother and child. "Your slave,"
said she, "is dead; and as for your son, I know not what is
become of him, I have not seen him this two months." I was
afflicted at the death of the slave, but as she informed me my
son had only disappeared, I was in hopes he would shortly return.
However, eight months passed, and I heard nothing of him. When
the festival of the great Bairam was to be celebrated, I sent to
my farmer for one of the fattest cows to sacrifice. He
accordingly sent me one, and the cow which was brought me proved
to be my slave, the unfortunate mother of my son. I bound her,
but as I was going to sacrifice her, she bellowed piteously, and
I could perceive tears streaming from her eyes. This seemed to me
very extraordinary, and finding myself moved with compassion, I
could not find in my heart to give her a blow, but ordered my
farmer to get me another.

My wife, who was present, was enraged at my tenderness, and
resisting an order which disappointed her malice, she cried out,
"What are you doing, husband? Sacrifice that cow; your farmer has
not a finer, nor one fitter for the festival." Out of deference
to my wife, I came again to the cow, and combating my compassion,
which suspended the sacrifice, was going to give her the fatal
blow, when the victim redoubling her tears, and bellowing,
disarmed me a second time. I then put the mallet into the
farmer's hands, and desired him to take it and sacrifice her
himself, for her tears and bellowing pierced my heart.

The farmer, less compassionate than myself; sacrificed her; but
when he flayed her, found her to be nothing except bones, though
to she seemed very fat. "Take her yourself," said I to him,
"dispose of her in alms, or any way you please: and if you have a
very fat calf, bring it me in her stead." I did not enquire what
he did with the cow, but soon after he had taken her away, he
returned with a fat calf. Though I knew not the calf was my son,
yet I could not forbear being moved at the sight of him. On his
part, as soon as he beheld me, he made so great an effort to come
near me, that he broke his cord, threw himself at my feet, with
his head against the ground, as if he meant to excite my
compassion, conjuring me not to be so cruel as to take his life;
and did as much as was possible for him, to signify that he was
my son.

I was more surprised and affected with this action, than with the
tears of the cow. I felt a tender pity, which interested me on
his behalf, or rather, nature did its duty. "Go," said I to the
farmer, "carry home that calf, take great care of him, and bring
me another in his stead immediately."

As soon as my wife heard me give this order, she exclaimed, "What
are you about, husband? Take my advice, sacrifice no other calf
but that." "Wife," I replied, "I will not sacrifice him, I will
spare him, and pray do not you oppose me." The wicked woman had
no regard to my wishes; she hated my son too much to consent that
I should save him. I tied the poor creature, and taking up the
fatal knife, was going to plunge it into my son's throat, when
turning his eyes bathed with tears, in a languishing manner,
towards me, he affected me so much that I had not strength to
kill him. I let the knife fall, and told my wife positively that
I would have another calf to sacrifice, and not that. She used
all her endeavours to persuade me to change my resolution; but I
continued firm, and pacified her a little, by promising that I
would sacrifice him against the Bairam of the following year.

The next morning my farmer desired to speak with me alone. "I
come," said he, "to communicate to you a piece of intelligence,
for which I hope you will return me thanks. I have a daughter
that has some skill in magic. Yesterday, as I carried back the
calf which you would not sacrifice, I perceived she laughed when
she saw him, and in a moment after fell a weeping. I asked her
why she acted two such opposite parts at one and the same time. ‘
rather,' replied she, ‘ the calf you bring back is our landlord's
son; I laughed for joy to see him still alive, and wept at the
remembrance of the sacrifice that was made the other day of his
mother, who was changed into a cow. These two metamorphoses were
made by the enchantments of our master's wife, who hated both the
mother and son.' This is what my daughter told me," said the
farmer, "and I come to acquaint you with it."

I leave you to judge how much I was surprised. I went immediately
to my farmer, to speak to his daughter myself. As soon as I
arrived, I went forthwith to the stall where my son was kept; he
could not return my embraces, but received them in such a manner,
as fully satisfied me he was my son.

The farmer's daughter then came to us: "My good maid," said I,
"can you restore my son to his former shape?" "Yes," she replied,
"I can." "Ah!" said I, "if you do, I will make you mistress of
all my fortune." She answered me, smiling, "You are our master,
and I well know what I owe to you; but I cannot restore your son
to his former shape, except on two conditions: the first is, that
you give him to me for my husband; and the second, that you allow
me to punish the person who changed him into a calf." "As to the
first," I replied, "I agree with all my heart: nay, I promise you
more, a considerable fortune for yourself, independently of what
I design for my son: in a word, you shall see how I will reward
the great service I expect from you. As to what relates to my
wife, I also agree; a person who has been capable of committing
such a criminal action, justly deserves to be punished. I leave
her to your disposal, only I must pray you not to take her life."
"I am going then," answered she, "to treat her as she treated
your son." "To this I consent," said I, "provided you first of
all restore to me my son."

The damsel then took a vessel full of water, pronounced over it
words that I did not understand, and addressing herself to the
calf, "O calf, if thou west created by the almighty and sovereign
master of the world such as thou appearest at this time, continue
in that form; but if thou be a man, and art changed into a calf
by enchantment, return to thy natural shape, by the permission of
the sovereign Creator." As she spoke, she threw water upon him,
and in an instant he recovered his natural form.

"My son, my dear son," cried I, immediately embracing him with
such a transport of joy that I knew not what I was doing, "it is
heaven that hath sent us this young maid, to remove the horrible
charm by which you were enchanted, and to avenge the injury done
to you and your mother. I doubt not but in acknowledgment you
will make your deliverer your wife, as I have promised." He
joyfully consented; but before they married, she changed my wife
into a hind; and this is she whom you see here. I desired she
might have this shape, rather than another less agreeable, that
we might see her in the family without horror.

Since that time, my son is become a widower, and gone to travel.
It being now several years since I heard of him, I am come abroad
to inquire after him; and not being willing to trust anybody with
my wife, till I should return home, I thought fit to take her
everywhere with me.

"This is the history of myself and this hind: is it not one of
the most wonderful and surprising?" "I admit it is," said the
genie, "and on that account forgive the merchant one third of his

When the first old man had finished his story, the second, who
led the two black dogs, addressed the genie, and said: "I am
going to tell you what happened to me, and these two black dogs
you see by me; and I am certain you will say, that my story is
yet more surprising than that which you have just heard. But when
I have done this, I hope you will be pleased to pardon the
merchant another third of his offence." "I will," replied the
genie, "provided your story surpass that of the hind." Then the
second old man began in this manner--

The Story of the Second old Man and the Two Black Dogs.

Great prince of genies, you must know that we are three brothers,
the two black dogs and myself. Our father, when he died, left
each of us one thousand sequins. With that sum, we all became
merchants. A little time after we had opened shop, my eldest
brother, one of these two dogs, resolved to travel and trade in
foreign countries. With this view, he sold his estate, and bought
goods suited to the trade intended to follow.

He went away, and was absent a whole year. At the expiration of
this time, a poor man, who I thought had come to ask alms,
presented himself before me in my shop. I said to him, "God help
you." He returned my salutation, and continued, "Is it possible
you do not know me?" Upon this I looked at him narrowly, and
recognised him: "Ah, brother," cried I, embracing him, "how could
I know you in this condition?" I made him come into my house, and
asked him concerning his health and the success of his travels.
"Do not ask me that question," said he; "when you see me, you see
all: it would only renew my grief, to relate to you the
particulars of the misfortunes I have experienced since I left
you, which have reduced me to my present condition."

I immediately shut up my shop, and taking him to a bath, gave him
the best clothes I had. Finding on examining my books, that I had
doubled my stock, that is to say, that I was worth two thousand
sequins, I gave him one half; "With that," said I, "brother, you
may make up your loss." He joyfully accepted the present, and
having repaired his fortunes, we lived together, as before.

Some time after, my second brother, who is the other of these two
dogs, would also sell his estate. His elder brother and myself
did all we could to divert him from his purpose, but without
effect. He disposed of it, and with the money bought such goods
as were suitable to the trade which he designed to follow. He
joined a caravan, and departed. At the end of the year he
returned in the same condition as my other brother. Having myself
by this time gained another thousand sequins, I made him a
present of them. With this sum he furnished his shop, and
continued his trade.

Some time after, one of my brothers came to me to propose that I
should join them in a trading voyage; I immediately declined.
"You have travelled," said I, "and what have you gained by it?
Who can assure me, that I shall be more successful than you have
been?" It was in vain that they urged open me all the
considerations they thought likely to gain me over to their
design, for I constantly refused; but after having resisted their
solicitations five whole years, they importuned me so much, that
at last they overcame my resolution. When, however, the time
arrived that we were to make preparations for our voyage, to buy
the goods necessary to the undertaking, I found they had spent
all, and had not one dirrim left of the thousand sequins I had
given to each of them. I did not, on this account, upbraid them.
On the contrary, my stock being still six thousand sequins, I
shared the half of it with them, telling them, "My brothers, we
must venture these three thousand sequins, and hide the rest in
some secure place: that in case our voyage be not more successful
than yours was formerly, we may have wherewith to assist us, and
to enable us to follow our ancient way of living." I gave each of
them a thousand sequins, and keeping as much for myself, I buried
the other three thousand in a corner of my house. We purchased
goods, and having embarked them on board a vessel, which we
freighted betwixt us, we put to sea with a favourable wind.

After two months sail, we arrived happily at port, where we
landed, and had a very good market for our goods. I, especially,
sold mine so well, that I gained ten to one. With the produce we
bought commodities of that country, to carry back with us for

When we were ready to embark on our return, I met on the sea-
shore a lady, handsome enough, but poorly clad. She walked up to
me gracefully, kissed my hand, besought me with the greatest
earnestness imaginable to marry her, and take her along with me.
I made some difficulty to agree to this proposal; but she urged
so many things to persuade me that I ought not to object to her
on account of her poverty, and that I should have all the reason
in the world to be satisfied with her conduct, that at last I
yielded. I ordered proper apparel to be made for her; and after
having married her, according to form, I took her on board, and
we set sail. I found my wife possessed so many good qualities,
that my love to her every day increased. In the mean time my two
brothers, who had not managed their affairs as successfully as I
had mine, envied my prosperity; and suffered their feelings to
carry them so far, that they conspired against my life; and one
night, when my wife and I were asleep, threw us both into the

My wife proved to be a fairy, and, by consequence, a genie, so
that she could not be drowned; but for me, it is certain I must
have perished, without her help. I had scarcely fallen into the
water, when she took me up, and carried me to an island. When day
appeared, she said to me, "You see, husband, that by saving your
life, I have not rewarded you ill for your kindness to me. You
must know, that I am a fairy, and being upon the sea-shore, when
you were going to embark, I felt a strong desire to have you for
my husband; I had a mind to try your goodness, and presented
myself before you in disguise. You have dealt generously by me,
and I am glad of an opportunity of returning my acknowledgment.
But I am incensed against your brothers, and nothing will satisfy
me but their lives."

I listened to this discourse with admiration; I thanked the fairy
the best way I could, for the great kindness she had done me;
"But, Madam," said I, "as for my brothers, I beg you to pardon
them; whatever cause of resentment they have given me, I am not
cruel enough to desire their death." I then informed her what I
had done for them, but this increased her indignation; and she
exclaimed, "I must immediately pursue those ungrateful traitors,
and take speedy vengeance on them. I will destroy their vessel,
and sink them into the bottom of the sea." "My good lady,"
replied I, "for heaven's sake forbear; moderate your anger,
consider that they are my brothers, and that we ought to return
good for evil."

I pacified her by these words; and as soon as I had concluded,
she transported me in a moment from the island to the roof of my
own house, which was terraced, and instantly disappeared. I
descended, opened the doors, and dug up the three thousand
sequins I had formerly secreted. I went afterwards to my shop,
which I also opened; and was complimented by the merchants, my
neighbours, upon my return. When I went back to my house, I
perceived there two black dogs, which came up to me in a very
submissive manner: I could not divine the meaning of this
circumstance, which greatly astonished me. But the fairy, who
immediately appeared, said, "Husband, be not surprised to see
these dogs, they are your brothers." I was troubled at this
declaration, and asked her by what power they were so
transformed. "I did it," said she, "or at least authorised one of
my sisters to do it, who at the same time sunk their ship. You
have lost the goods you had on board, but I will compensate you
another way. As to your two brothers, I have condemned them to
remain five years in that shape. Their perfidiousness too well
deserves such a penance." Having thus spoken and told me where I
might hear of her, she disappeared.

The five years being now nearly expired, I am travelling in quest
of her; and as I passed this way, I met this merchant, and the
good old man who led the hind, and sat down by them. This is my
history, O prince of genies! do not you think it very
extraordinary?" "I own it is," replied the genie, "and on that
account I remit the merchant the second third of the crime which
he has committed against me."

As soon as the second old man had finished, the third began his
story, after repeating the request of the two former, that the
genie would pardon the merchant the other third of his crime,
provided what he should relate surpassed in singularity of
incidents the narratives he had already heard. The genie made him
the same promise as he had given the others.

The third old man related his story to the genie; and it exceeded
the two former stories so much, in the variety of wonderful
adventures, that the genie was astonished; and no sooner heard
the conclusion, than he said to the old man, "I remit the other
third of the merchant's crime on account of your story. He is
greatly obliged to all of you, for having delivered him out of
his danger by what you have related, for to this he owes his
life." Having spoken thus he disappeared, to the great
contentment of the company.

The merchant failed not to make due acknowledgment to his
deliverers. They rejoiced to see him out of danger; and bidding
him adieu, each of them proceeded on his way. The merchant
returned to his wife and children, and passed the rest of his
days with them in peace.


There was an aged fisherman, who was so poor, that he could
scarcely as much as would maintain himself, his wife, and three
children. He went every day to fish betimes in the morning; and
imposed it as a law upon himself, not to cast his nets above four
times a-day. He went one morning by moon-light, and coming to the
seaside, undressed himself, and cast in his nets. As he drew them
towards the shore, he found them very heavy, and thought he had a
good draught of fish, at which he rejoiced; but in a moment
after, perceiving that instead of fish his nets contained nothing
but the carcass of an ass, he was much vexed.

When the fisherman had mended his nets, which the carcass of the
ass had broken in several places, he threw them in a second time;
and when he drew them, found a great deal of resistance, which
made him think he had taken abundance of fish; but he found
nothing except a basket full of gravel and slime, which grieved
him extremely. "O fortune!" cried he, with a lamentable tone, "be
not angry with me, nor persecute a wretch who prays thee to spare
him. I came hither from my house to seek for my livelihood, and
thou pronouncest against me a sentence of death. I have no other
trade but this to subsist by: and notwithstanding all my care, I
can scarcely provide what is absolutely necessary for my family.
But I am to blame to complain of thee; thou takest pleasure to
persecute honest people, and to leave great men in obscurity,
while thou shewest favour to the wicked, and advancest those who
have no virtue to recommend them."

Having finished this complaint, he fretfully threw away the
basket, and washing his nets from the slime, cast them the third
time; but brought up nothing, except stones, shells, and mud. No
language can express his disappointment; he was almost
distracted. However, when day began to appear, he did not forget
to say his prayers, like a good Moosulmaun, and he added to them
this petition: "Lord, thou knowest that I cast my nets only four
times a day; I have already drawn them three times, without the
least reward for my labour: I am only to cast them once more; I
pray thee to render the sea favourable to me, as thou didst to
Moses "

The fisherman having finished this prayer, cast his nets the
fourth time; and when he thought it was proper, drew them as
formerly, with great difficulty; but instead of fish, found
nothing in them but a vessel of yellow copper, which from its
weight seemed not to be empty; and he observed that it was shut
up and sealed with lead, having the impression of a seal upon it.
This turn of fortune rejoiced him; "I will sell it," said he, "to
the founder, and with the money buy a measure of corn." He
examined the vessel on all sides, and shook it, to try if its
contents made any noise, but heard nothing. This circumstance,
with the impression of the seal upon the leaden cover, made him
think it inclosed something precious. To try this, he took a
knife, and opened it with very little labour. He turned the mouth
downward, but nothing came out; which surprised him extremely. He
placed it before him, but while he viewed it attentively, there
came out a very thick smoke, which obliged him to retire two or
three paces back.

The smoke ascended to the clouds, and extending itself along the
sea and upon the shore formed a great mist, which we may well
imagine filled the fisherman with astonishment. When the smoke
was all out of the vessel, it re-united and became a solid body,
of which was formed a genie twice as high as the greatest of
giants. At the sight of a monster of such an unwieldy bulk, the
fisherman would fain have fled, but was so frightened, that he
could not move.

"Solomon," cried the genie immediately, "Solomon, the great
prophet, pardon, pardon; I will never more oppose your will, I
will obey all your commands."

When the fisherman heard these words of the genie, he recovered
his courage, and said to him, "Thou proud spirit, what is it you
say? It is above eighteen hundred years since the prophet Solomon
died, and we are now at the end of time. Tell me your history,
and how you came to be shut up in this vessel."

The genie turning to the fisherman, with a fierce look, said.
"Thou must speak to me with more respect; thou art a presumptuous
fellow to call me a proud spirit." "Very well," replied the
fisherman, "shall I speak to you more civilly, and call you the
owl of good luck?" "I say," answered the genie, "speak to me more
respectfully, or I will kill thee." "Ah!" replied the fisherman,
"why would you kill me? Did I not just now set you at liberty,
and have you already forgotten my services?" "Yes, I remember
it," said the genie, "but that shall not save thy life: I have
only one favour to grant thee." "And what is that?" asked the
fisherman. "It is," answered the genie, "to give thee thy choice,
in what manner thou wouldst have me put thee to death." "But
wherein have I offended you?" demanded the fisherman. "Is that
your reward for the service I have rendered you?" "I cannot treat
thee otherwise," said the genie; "and that thou mayest know the
reason, hearken to my story."

"I am one of those rebellious spirits that opposed the will of
heaven; nearly all the other genies owned Solomon, the great
prophet, and yielded to his authority. Sabhir and I were the only
two that would never be guilty of a mean submission: and to
avenge himself, that great monarch sent Asaph, the son of
Barakhia, his chief minister, to apprehend me. That was
accordingly done. Asaph seized my person, and brought me by force
before his master's throne.

"Solomon, the son of David, commanded me to acknowledge his
power, and to submit to his commands: I bravely refused, and told
him, I would rather expose myself to his resentment, than swear
fealty as he required. To punish me, he shut me up in this copper
vessel; and that I might not break my prison, he himself stamps
upon this leaden cover, his seal with the great name of God
engraver upon it. He then gave the vessel to one of the genies
who had submitted, with orders to throw me into the sea, which to
my sorrow were executed.

"During the first hundred years of my imprisonment, I swore that
if any one should deliver me before the expiration of that
period, I would make him rich, even after his death: but that
century ran out, and nobody did me that good office. During the
second, I made an oath, that I would open all the treasures of
the earth to any one that might set me at liberty; but with no
better success. In the third, I promised to make my deliverer a
potent monarch, to be always near him in spirit, and to grant him
every day three requests, of what nature soever they might be:
but this century passed as well as the two former, and I
continued in prison. At last being angry, or rather mad, to find
myself a prisoner so long, I swore, that if afterwards any one
should deliver me, I would kill him without mercy, and grant him
no other favour but to choose the manner of his death; and
therefore, since thou hast delivered me to-day, I give thee that

This discourse afflicted the fisherman extremely: "I am very
unfortunate," cried he, "to come hither to do such a kindness to
one that is so ungrateful. I beg you to consider your injustice,
and revoke such an unreasonable oath; pardon me, and heaven will
pardon you; if you grant me my life, heaven will protest you from
all attempts against your own." "No, thy death is resolved on,"
said the genie, "only choose in what manner you will die." The
fisherman perceiving the genie to be resolute, was extremely
grieved, not so much for himself, as on account of his three
children; and bewailed the misery they must be reduced to by his
death. He endeavoured still to appease the genie, and said,
"Alas! be pleased to take pity on me, in consideration of the
service I have done you." "I have told thee already," replied the
genie, "it is for that very reason I must kill thee." "That is
strange," said the fisherman, "are you resolved to reward good
with evil? The proverb says, ‘That he who does good to one who
deserves it not is always ill rewarded.' I must confess, I
thought it was false; for certainly there can be nothing more
contrary to reason, or the laws of society. Nevertheless, I find
now by cruel experience that it is but too true." "Do not lose
time," interrupted the genie; "all thy reasonings shall not
divert me from my purpose: make haste, and tell me what kind of
death thou preferest?"

Necessity is the mother of invention. The fisherman bethought
himself of a stratagem. "Since I must die then," said he to the
genie, "I submit to the will of heaven; but before I choose the
manner of my death, I conjure you by the great name which was
engraver upon the seal of the prophet Solomon, the son of David,
to answer me truly the question I am going to ask you."

The genie finding himself obliged to a positive answer by this
adjuration, trembled; and replied to the fisherman, "Ask what
thou wilt, but make haste."

The fisherman then said to him, "I wish to know if you were
actually in this vessel: Dare you swear it by the name of the
great God?" "Yes," replied the genie, "I do swear by that great
name, that I was." "In good faith," answered the fisherman, "I
cannot believe you; the vessel is not capable of holding one of
your size, and how should it be possible that your whole body
should lie in it?" "I swear to thee, notwithstanding," replied
the genie, "that I was there just as you see me here: Is it
possible, that thou cost not believe me after the solemn oath I
have taken?" "Truly not I," said the fisherman; "nor will I
believe you, unless you go into the vessel again."

Upon which the body of the genie dissolved and changed itself
into smoke, extending as before upon the sea shore; and at last,
being collected, it began to re-enter the vessel, which it
continued to do by a slow and equal motion, till no part remained
out; when immediately a voice came forth, which said to the
fisherman, "Well now, incredulous fellow, I am in the vessel, do
not you believe me now?"

The fisherman, instead of answering the genie, took the cover of
lead, and having speedily replaced it on the vessel, "Genie,"
cried he, "now it is your turn to beg my favour, and to choose
which way I shall put you to death; but not so, it is better that
I should throw you into the sea, whence I took you: and then I
will build a house upon the shore, where I will reside and give
notice to all fishermen who come to throw in their nets, to
beware of such a wicked genie as thou art, who hast made an oath
to kill him that shall set thee at liberty."

The genie, enraged at these expressions, struggled to set himself
at liberty; but it was impossible, for the impression of
Solomon's seal prevented him. Perceiving that the fisherman had
got the advantage of him, for he thought fit to dissemble his
anger; "Fishermen," said he, "take heed you do not what you
threaten; for what I spoke to you was only by way of jest." "O
genie!" replied the fisherman, "thou who wast but a moment ago
the greatest of all genies, and now art the least of them, thy
crafty discourse will signify nothing, to the sea thou shalt
return. If thou hast been there already so long as thou hast told
me, thou may'st very well stay there till the day of judgment. I
begged of thee in God's name not to take away my life, and thou
didst reject my prayers; I am obliged to treat thee in the same

The genie omitted nothing that he thought likely to prevail with
the fisherman: "Open the vessel," said he, "give me my liberty,
and I promise to satisfy thee to thy own content." "Thou art a
traitor," replied the fisherman, "I should deserve to lose my
life, if I were such a fool as to trust thee: thou wilt not fail
to treat me in the same manner as a certain Grecian king treated
the physician Douban. It is a story I have a mind to tell thee,
therefore listen to it."

The Story of the Grecian King and the Physician Douban.

There was in the country of Yunaun or Greece, a king who was
leprous, and his physicians had in vain endeavoured his cure;
when a very able physician, named Douban, arrived at his court.

This physician had learnt the theory of his profession in Greek,
Persian, Turkish, Arabic, Latin, Syriac, and Hebrew books; he was
an experienced natural philosopher, and fully understood the good
and bad qualities of plants and drugs. As soon as he was informed
of the king's distemper, and understood that his physicians had
given him over, he found means to present himself before him. "I
know," said he, after the usual ceremonials, "that your majesty's
physicians have not been able to heal you of the leprosy; but if
you will accept my service, I will engage to cure you without
potions, or external applications."

The king listened to what he said, and answered, "If you be able
to perform what you promise, I will enrich you and your
posterity. Do you assure me that you will cure my leprosy without
potion, or applying any external medicine?" "Yes, Sire," replied
the physician, "I promise myself success, through God's
assistance, and to-morrow, with your majesty's permission, I will
make the trial."

The physician returned to his quarters, made a hollow mace, and
at the handle he put in his drugs; he made also a ball in such a
manner as suited his purpose, with which next morning he
presented himself before the king, and falling down at his feet,
kissed the ground.

The physician Douban rose up, and after a profound reverence,
said to the king, he judged it meet that his majesty should take
horse, and go to the place where he used to play at mall. The
king did so, and when he arrived there, the physician came to him
with the mace, and said, "Exercise yourself with this mace, and
strike the ball until you find your hands and body perspire. When
the medicine I have put up in the handle of the mace is heated
with your hand, it will penetrate your whole body; and as soon as
you perspire, you may leave off the exercise, for then the
medicine will have had its effect. Immediately on your return to
your palace, go into the bath, and cause yourself to be well
washed and rubbed; then retire to bed, and when you rise to-
morrow you will find yourself cured."

The king took the mace, and struck the ball, which was returned
by his officers who played with him; he played so long, that his
hands and his whole body were in a sweat, and then the medicine
shut up in the handle of the mace had its operation, as the
physician had said. Upon this the king left off play, returned to
his palace, entered the bath, and observed very exactly his
physician had prescribed to him.

The next morning when he arose, he perceived with equal wonder
and joy, that his leprosy was cured, and his body as clean as if
it had never been affected. As soon as he was dressed, he came
into the hall of audience, where he ascended his throne, and
shewed himself to his courtiers: who, eager to know the success
of the new medicine, came thither betimes, and when they saw the
king perfectly cured, expressed great joy. The physician Douban
entering the hall, bowed himself before the throne, with his face
to the ground. The king perceiving him, made him sit down by his
side, presented him to the assembly, and gave him all the
commendation he deserved. His majesty did not stop here: but as
he treated all his court that day, made him eat at his table
alone with him.

The Grecian king was not satisfied with having admitted the
physician Douban to his table, but caused him to be clad in a
rich robe, ordered him two thousand pieces of gold, and thinking
that he could never sufficiently acknowledge his obligations to
him, continued every day to load him with new favours. But this
king had a vizier, who was avaricious, envious, and naturally
capable of every kind of mischief. He could not behold without
envy the presents that were given to the physician, whose other
merits had already begun to make him jealous, and he therefore
resolved to lessen him in the king's esteem. To effect this, he
went to the king, and told him in private, that he had some
information of the greatest consequence to communicate. The king
having asked what it was? "Sire," said he, "it is highly
dangerous for a monarch to confide in a man whose fidelity he has
never tried. Though you heap favours upon the physician Douban,
your majesty does not know that he is a traitor, sent by your
enemies to take away your life." "From whom," demanded the king,
"have you the suggestion which you dare pronounce? Consider to
whom you are speaking, and that you are advancing what I shall
not easily believe." "Sire," replied the vizier, "I am well
informed of what I have had the honour to reveal to your majesty;
therefore do not rest in dangerous security: if your majesty be
asleep, be pleased to awake; for I once more repeat, that the
physician Douban left his native country, and came to settle
himself at your court, for the sole purpose of executing the
horrible design which I have intimated."

"No, no, vizier," interrupted the king; "I am certain, that this
physician, whom you suspect to be a villain and a traitor, is one
of the best and most virtuous of men. You know by what medicine,
or rather by what miracle, he cured me of my leprosy: If he had
had a design upon my life, why did he save me then? He needed
only to have left me to my disease; I could not have escaped it,
as life was fast decaying. Forbear then to fill me with unjust
suspicions: instead of listening to you, I tell you, that from
this day forward I will give that great man a pension of a
thousand pieces of gold per month for his life; nay, though I
were to share with him all my riches and dominions, I should
never pay him sufficiently for what he has done. I perceive it to
be his virtue that raises your envy; but do not think I will be
unjustly prejudiced against him. I remember too well what a
vizier said to king Sinbad, his master, to prevent his putting to
death the prince his son."

What the Grecian king said about king Sinbad raised the vizier's
curiosity, who said, "I pray your majesty to pardon me, if I have
the boldness to ask what the vizier of king Sinbad said to his
master to divert him from putting the prince his son to death."
The Grecian king had the condescension to satisfy him: "That
vizier," said he, "after having represented to king Sinbad, that
he ought to beware, lest on the accusation of a mother-in-law he
should commit an action of which he might afterwards repent, told
him this story."

The Story of the Husband and the Parrot.

A certain man had a beautiful wife, whom he loved so dearly, that
he could scarcely allow her to be out of his sight. One day, some
urgent affairs obliging him to go from home, he went to a place
where all sorts of birds were sold, and bought a parrot, which
not only spoke well, but could also give an account of every
thing that was done in its presence. He brought it in a cage to
his house, desired his wife to put it in his chamber, and take
care of it during his absence, and then departed.

On his return, he questioned the parrot concerning what had
passed while he was from home, and the bird told him such things
as gave him occasion to upbraid his wife. She concluded some of
her slaves had betrayed her, but all of them swore they had been
faithful, and agreed that the parrot must have been the tell-

Upon this, the wife began to devise how she might remove her
husband's jealousy, and at the same time revenge herself on the
parrot. Her husband being gone another journey, she commanded a
slave in the night-time to turn a hand-mill under the parrot's
cage; she ordered another to sprinkle water, in resemblance of
rain, over the cage; and a third to move a looking-glass,
backward and forward against a candle, before the parrot. The
slaves spent a great part of the night in doing what their
mistress desired them, and acquitted themselves with much skill.

Next night the husband returned, and examined the parrot again
about what had passed during his absence. The bird answered,
"Good master, the lightning, thunder, and rain so much disturbed
me all night, that I cannot tell how much I suffered." The
husband, who knew that there had been neither thunder, lightning,
nor rain in the night, fancied that the parrot, not having spoken
truth in this, might also have lied in the other relation; upon
which he took it out of the cage, and threw it with so much force
to the ground that he killed it. Yet afterwards he understood
from his neigbours, that the poor parrot had not deceived him in
what it had stated of his wife's base conduct, made him repent
that he had killed it.

When the Grecian king had finished the story of the parrot, he
added, "And you, vizier, because of the hatred you bear to the
physician Douban, who never did you any injury, you would have me
cut him off; but I will beware lest I should repent as the
husband did after killing his parrot."

The mischievous vizier was too desirous of effecting the ruin of
the physician Douban to stop here. "Sir," said he, "the death of
the parrot was but a trifle, and I believe his master did not
mourn for him long: but why should your fear of wronging an
innocent man, hinder your putting this physician to death? Is it
not sufficient justification that he is accused of a design
against your life? When the business in question is to secure the
life of a king, bare suspicion ought to pass for certainty; and
it is better to sacrifice the innocent than to spare the guilty.
But, Sir, this is not a doubtful case; the physician Douban has
certainly a mind to assassinate you. It is not envy which makes
me his enemy; it is only my zeal, with the concern I have for
preserving your majesty's life, that makes me give you my advice
in a matter of this importance. If the accusation be false, I
deserve to be punished in the same manner as a vizier formerly
was." "What had the vizier done," demands the Grecian king, "to
deserve punishment?" "I will inform your majesty," said the
vizier, "if you will be pleased to hear me."

The Story of the Vizier that was Punished.

There was a king who had a son that loved hunting. He allowed him
to pursue that diversion often; but gave orders to his grand
vizier always to attend him.

One hunting day, the huntsman having roused a deer, the prince,
who thought the vizier followed him, pursued the game so far, and
with so much earnestness, that he separated himself from the
company. Perceiving he had lost his way he stopped, and
endeavoured to return to the vizier; but not knowing the country
he wandered farther.

Whilst he was thus riding about, he met on his way a handsome
lady, who wept bitterly. He stopped his horse, and enquired who
she was, how she came to be alone in that place, and what she
wanted. "I am," replied she, "the daughter of an Indian king. As
I was taking the air on horseback, in the country, I grew sleepy,
and fell from my horse, who is run away, and I know not what is
become of him." The young prince taking compassion on her,
requested her to get up behind him, which she willingly did.

As they were passing by the ruins of a house, the lady expressed
a desire to alight. The prince stopped, and having put her down,
dismounted himself, and went near the building, leading his horse
after him. But you may judge how much he was surprised, when he
heard the pretended lady utter these words: "Be glad, my
children, I bring you a young man for your repast;" and other
voices, which answered immediately, "Where is he, for we are very

The prince heard enough to convince him of his danger. He
perceived that the lady, who called herself the daughter of an
Indian king, was one of those savage demons, called Gholes, who
live in desolated places, and employ a thousand wiles to surprise
passengers, whom they afterwards devour. The prince instantly
remounted his horse, and luckily escaped.

The pretended princess appeared that very moment, and perceiving
she had missed her prey, exclaimed, "Fear nothing, prince: Who
are you? Whom do you seek?" "I have lost my way," replied he,
"and am endeavouring to find it." "If you have lost your way,"
said she, "recommend yourself to God, he will deliver you out of
your perplexity."

After the counterfeit Indian princess had bidden the young prince
recommend himself to God, he could not believe she spoke
sincerely, but thought herself sure of him; and therefore lifting
up his hands to heaven, said, "Almighty Lord, cast shine eyes
upon me, and deliver me from this enemy." After this prayer, the
ghole entered the ruins again, and the prince rode off with all
possible haste. He happily found his way, and arrived safe at the
court of his father, to whom he gave a particular account of the
danger he had been in through the vizier's neglect: upon which
the king, being incensed against that minister, ordered him to be
immediately strangled.

"Sir," continued the Grecian king's vizier, "to return to the
physician Douban, if you do not take care, the confidence you put
in him will be fatal to you; I am very well assured that he is a
spy sent by your enemies to attempt your majesty's life. He has
cured you, you will say: but alas! who can assure you of that? He
has perhaps cured you only in appearance, and not radically; who
knows but the medicine he has given you, may in time have
pernicious effects?"

The Grecian king was not able to discover the wicked design of
his vizier, nor had he firmness enough to persist in his first
opinion. This discourse staggered him: "Vizier," said he, "thou
art in the right; he may be come on purpose to take away my life,
which he may easily do by the smell of his drugs."

When the vizier found the king in such a temper as he wished,
"Sir," said he, "the surest and speediest method you can take to
secure your life, is to send immediately for the physician
Douban, and order his head to be struck off." "In truth," said
the king, "I believe that is the way we must take to frustrate
his design." When he had spoken thus, he called for one of his
officers, and ordered him to go for the physician; who, knowing
nothing of the king's purpose, came to the palace in haste.


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