The Arabian Nights Entertainments vol. 1

Part 4 out of 7

Seeing that God had increased my small stock, I projected a
voyage, to embark some of it in a commercial speculation. To this
end, I went with my two sisters to Bussorah, where I bought a
ship ready fitted for sea, and laded her with such merchandise as
I had carried with me from Bagdad. We set sail with a fair wind,
and soon cleared the Persian gulf; when we had reached the open
sea, we steered our course to the Indies; and the twentieth day
saw land. It was a very high mountain, at the bottom of which we
perceived a great town: having a fresh gale, we soon reached the
harbour, and cast anchor.

I had not patience to wait till my sisters were dressed to go
along with me, but went ashore alone in the boat. Making directly
to the gate of the town, I saw there a great number of men upon
guard, some sitting, and others standing with sticks in their
hands; and they had all such dreadful countenances that I was
greatly alarmed; but perceiving they remained stationary, and did
not so much as move their eyes, I took courage, and went nearer,
when I found they were all turned into stones. I entered the town
and passed through several streets, where at different intervals
stood men in various attitudes, but all motionless and petrified.
In the quarter inhabited by the merchants I found most of the
shops shut, and in such as were open I likewise found the people

Having reached a vast square, in the heart of the city, I
perceived a large folding gate, covered with plates of gold,
which stood open; a curtain of silk stuff seemed to be drawn
before it: a lamp hung over the entrance. After I had surveyed
the building, I made no doubt but it was the palace of the prince
who reigned over that country: and being much astonished that I
had not met with one living creature, I approached in hopes to
find some. I lifted up the curtain, and was surprised at
beholding no one but the guards in the vestibule all petrified;
some standing, some sitting, and some lying.

I came to a large court, where I saw before me a stately
building, the windows of which were inclosed with gates of messy
gold: I concluded it to be the queen's apartments. I entered; and
in a large hall I found several black eunuchs turned into stone.
I went from thence into a room richly furnished, where I
perceived a lady in the same situation. I knew it to be the
queen, by the crown of gold on her head, and a necklace of pearls
about her neck, each of them as large as a nut; I approached her
to have a nearer view of it, and never beheld a finer objets.

I stood some time admiring the riches and magnificence of the
room; but above all, the carpet, the cushions, and the sofas,
which were all ornamented with Indian stuff of gold, and
representations of men and beasts in silver, admirably executed.

I quitted the chamber where the petrified queen was, and passed
through several other apartments and closets richly furnished,
and at last came into a large room, where there was a throne of
massive gold, raised several steps above the floor, and enriched
with large enchased emeralds, and upon the throne there was a bed
of rich stuff embroidered with pearls. What surprised me most was
a sparkling light which came from above the bed. Being curious to
know whence it proceeded, I ascended the steps, and lifting up my
head, saw a diamond as large as the egg of an ostrich, lying upon
a low stool; it was so pure, that I could not find the least
blemish in it, and it sparkled with so much brilliancy, that when
I saw it by day-light I could not endure its lustre.

At the head of the bed there stood on each side a lighted
flambeau, but for what use I could not comprehend; however, it
made me imagine that there was some living creature in this
place; for I could not believe that the torches continued thus
burning of themselves. Several other rarities detained my
curiosity in this room, which was inestimable in value, were it
only for the diamond I mentioned.

The doors being all open, or but half shut, I surveyed some other
apartments, that were as beautiful as those I had already seen. I
looked into the offices and store-rooms, which were full of
riches. In short, the wonders that everywhere appeared so wholly
engrossed my attention, that I forgot my ship and my sisters, and
thought of nothing but gratifying my curiosity. In the mean time
night came on, which reminded me that it was time to retire. I
proposed to return the way I had entered, but I could not find
it; I lost myself among the apartments; and perceiving I was come
back again to the large room, where the throne, the couch, the
large diamond, and the torches stood, I resolved to take my
night's lodging there, and to depart the next morning early, to
get aboard my ship. I laid myself down upon a couch, not without
some dread to be alone in a desolate place; and this fear
hindered my sleep.

About midnight I heard a voice like that of a man reading the
Koraun, after the same manner, and in the same tone as it is read
in our mosques. Being extremely glad to hear it, I immediately
arose, and taking a torch in my hand, passed from one chamber to
another on that side from whence the sound proceeded. I came to
the closet-door, and stood still, not doubting that it came from
thence. I set down my torch upon the ground, and looking through
a window, found it to be an oratory. It had, as we have in our
mosques, a niche, to direct us whither we are to turn to say our
prayers: there were also lamps hung up, and two candlesticks with
large tapers of white wax burning.

I saw a little carpet laid down like those we have to kneel upon
when we say our prayers, and a comely young man sat on this
carpet reading with great devotion the Koraun, which lay before
him on a desk. At this sight I was transported with admiration. I
wondered how it came to pass that he should be the only living
creature in a town where all the people were turned into stones,
and I did not doubt but there was something in the circumstance
very extraordinary.

The door being only half shut, I opened it, went in, and standing
upright before the niche, I repeated this prayer aloud: "Praise
be to God, who has favoured us with a happy voyage, and may he be
graciously pleased to protect us in the same manner, until we
arrive again in our own country. Hear me, O Lord, and grant my

The young man turned his eyes towards me, and said, "My good
lady, pray let me know who you are, and what has brought you to
this desolate city? And, in return, I will you who I am, what has
happened to me, why the inhabitants of this city are reduced to
the state you see them in, and why I alone am safe in the midst
of such a terrible disaster."

I told him in a few words whence I had come, what had made me
undertake the voyage, and how I safely arrived at the port after
twenty days' sailing; when I had done, I prayed him to perform
his promise, and told him how much I was struck by the frightful
desolation which I had seen in the city.

"Lady," said the young man, "have patience for a moment." At
these words he shut the Koraun, put it into a rich case, and laid
it in the niche. I took that opportunity to observe him, and
perceiving in him so much good nature and beauty, I felt emotions
I had never known before. He made me sit down by him, and before
he began his discourse, I could not forbear saying, with an air
that discovered the sentiments I felt, "Amiable sir, dear object
of my soul, I can scarcely have patience to wait for an account
of all these wonderful objects that I have seen since I came into
your city; and my curiosity cannot be satisfied too soon:
therefore pray, sir, let me know by what miracle you alone are
left alive among so many persons that have died in so strange a

"Madam," said the young man, "by the prayer you just now
addressed to him, you have given me to understand that you have a
knowledge of the true God. I will acquaint you with the most
remarkable effect of his greatness and power. You must know, that
this city was the metropolis of a mighty kingdom, over which the
sultan my father reigned. That prince, his whole court, the
inhabitants of the city, and all his other subjects, were magi,
worshippers of fire, and of Nardoun, the ancient king of the
giants, who rebelled against God.

"But though I was born of an idolatrous father and mother, I had
the good fortune in my youth to have a governess who was a good
Moosulmaun. ‘Dear prince,' would she oftentimes say, ‘there is
but one true God; take heed that you do not acknowledge and adore
any other.' She taught me to read Arabic, and the book she gave
me to study was the Koraun. As soon as I was capable of
understanding it, she explained to me all the passages of this
excellent book, and infused piety into my mind, unknown to my
father or any other person. She happened to die, but not before
she had perfectly instructed me in all that was necessary to
convince me of the truth of the Moosulmaun religion. After her
death I persisted with constancy in the belief of its divinity:
and I abhor the false god Nardoun, and the adoration of fire.

"About three years and some months ago, a thundering voice was
suddenly sounded so distinctly, through the whole city, that
nobody could miss hearing it. The words were these: ‘Inhabitants,
abandon the worship of Nardoun, and of fire, and worship the only
God who shews mercy.'

"This voice was heard three years successively, but no one was
converted. On the last day of that year, at four o'clock in the
morning, all the inhabitants were changed in an instant into
stone, every one in the condition and posture they happened to be
in. The sultan, my father, shared the same fate, for he was
metamorphosed into a black stone, as he is to be seen in this
palace, and the queen, my mother, had the like destiny.

"I am the only person who did not suffer under that heavy
judgment, and ever since I have continued to serve God with more
fervency than before. I am persuaded, dear lady, that he has sent
you hither for my comfort, for which I render him infinite
thanks; for I must own that this solitary life is extremely

All these expressions, and particularly the last, greatly
increased my love for him. "Prince," said I, "there is no doubt
but Providence has brought me into your port, to afford you an
opportunity of withdrawing from this dismal place. The ship I
came in may serve in some measure to convince you that I am in
some esteem at Bagdad, where I have left considerable property;
and I dare engage to promise you sanctuary there, until the
mighty commander of the faithful, vicegerent to our prophet whom
you acknowledge, shew you the honour that is due to your merit.
This renowned prince lives at Bagdad, and as soon as he is
informed of your arrival in his capital, you will find that it is
not in vain to implore his assistance. It is impossible you can
stay any longer in a city where all the objects you behold must
renew your grief: my vessel is at your service, where you may
absolutely command as you shall think fit." He accepted the
offer, and we conversed the remainder of the night concerning our

As soon as it was day we left the palace, and went aboard my
ship, where we found my sisters, the captain, and the slaves, all
much troubled at my absence. After I had presented my sisters to
the prince, I told them what had hindered my return the day
before, how I had met with the young prince, his story, and the
cause of the desolation of so fine a city.

The seamen were taken up several days in unlading the merchandize
I brought with me, and embarking in its stead all the precious
things in the palace, such as jewels, gold, and money. We left
the furniture and goods, which consisted of an infinite quantity
of plate, &c., because our vessel could not carry it, for it
would have required several vessels more to convey to Bagdad all
the riches that we might have chosen to take with us.

After we had laden the vessel with what we thought most
desirable, we took such provisions and water aboard as were
necessary for our voyage (for we had still a great deal of those
provisions left that we had taken in at Bussorah); at last we set
sail with a wind as favourable as we could wish.

The young prince, my sisters and myself, enjoyed ourselves for
some time very agreeably. But alas! this good understanding did
not last long, for my sisters grew jealous of the friendship
between the prince and myself, and maliciously asked me one day,
what we should do with him when we came to Bagdad? I perceived
immediately that they put this question on purpose to discover my
inclinations; therefore, resolving to put it off with a jest, I
answered, "I will take him for my husband;" and upon that,
turning myself to the prince, said, "Sir, I humbly beg of you to
give your consent, for as soon as we come to Bagdad I desire to
offer you my person to be your slave, to do you all the service
that is in my power, and to resign myself wholly to your

The prince replied, "I know not, madam, whether you be in jest or
no; but for my part, I seriously declare before these ladies,
your sisters, that from this moment I heartily accept your offer,
not with any intention to have you as a slave, but as my lady and
mistress: nor will I pretend to have any power over your
actions." At these words my sisters changed colour, and I could
perceive afterwards that they did not love me as before.

We entered the Persian gulf, and had come within a short distance
of Bussorah (where I hoped, considering the fair wind, we might
have arrived the day following), when in the night, while I was
asleep, my sisters watched their opportunity, and threw me
overboard. They did the same to the prince, who was drowned. I
floated some minutes on the water, and by good fortune, or rather
miracle, I felt ground. I went towards a dark spot, that, by what
I could discern, seemed to be land, and proved to be a flat on
the coast, which, when day appeared, I found to be a desert
island, lying about twenty miles from Bussorah. I soon dried my
clothes in the sun, and as I walked along I found several kinds
of fruit, and likewise fresh water, which gave me some hopes of
preserving my life.

I had just laid myself down to rest in a shade, when I perceived
a very large winged serpent coming towards me, with an irregular
waving movement, and hanging out its tongue, which induced me to
conclude it had received some injury. I instantly arose, and
perceived that it was pursued by a larger serpent which had hold
of its tail, and was endeavouring to devour it. This perilous
situation of the first serpent excited my pity, and instead of
retreating I assumed courage to take up a stone that lay near me,
and to throw it with all my strength at the other, which I hit
upon the head and killed. The other, finding itself at liberty,
took wing and flew away. I looked after it for some time till it
disappeared. I then sought another shady spot for repose, and
fell asleep.

Judge what was my surprise when I awoke, to see standing by me a
black woman of lively and agreeable features, who held in her
hand two bitches of the same colour, fastened together. I sat up,
and asked her who she was? "I am," said she, "the serpent whom
you lately delivered from my mortal enemy. I did not know in what
way I could better requite the important services you have
rendered me than by what I have just done. The treachery of your
sisters was well known to me, and to avenge your wrongs, as soon
as I was liberated by your generous assistance, I called together
several of my companions, fairies like myself, conveyed into your
storehouses at Bagdad all the lading of your vessel, and
afterwards sunk it.

"These two black bitches are your sisters, whom I have
transformed into this shape. But this punishment will not
suffice; and my will is that you treat them hereafter in the way
I shall direst."

As soon as she had thus spoken the fairy took me under one of her
arms, and the two bitches under the other, and conveyed us to my
house in Bagdad; where I found in my storehouses all the riches
with which my vessel had been laden. Before she left me, she
delivered to me the two bitches, and said, "If you would not be
changed into a similar form, I command you, in the name of him
that governs the sea, to give each of your sisters every night
one hundred lashes with a rod, as the punishment of the crime
they have committed against yourself, and the young prince, whom
they have drowned." I was forced to promise obedience. Since that
time I have whipped them every night, though with regret, whereof
your majesty has been a witness. My tears testify with how much
sorrow and reluctance I perform this painful duty; and in this
your majesty may see I am more to be pitied than blamed. If there
be any thing else relating to myself that you desire to know, my
sister Amene will give you full information in the relation of
her story.

After the caliph had heard Zobeide with much astonishment, he
desired his grand vizier to request Amene to acquaint him
wherefore her breast was disfigured with so many scars.

Amene addressed herself to the caliph, and began her story after
this manner:

The Story of Amene.

Commander of the faithful, to avoid repeating what your majesty
has already heard in my sister's story, I shall only add, that
after my mother had taken a house for herself to live in, during
her widowhood, she gave me in marriage, with the portion my
father left me, to a gentleman who had one of the best estates in
the city.

I had scarcely been a year married when I became a widow, and was
left in possession of all my husband's property, which amounted
to 90,000 sequins. The interest of this money was sufficient to
maintain me very honourably. When the first six months of my
mourning was over, I caused to be made for me ten different
dresses, of such magnificence that each came to a thousand
sequins; and at the end of the year I began to wear them.

One day, while I was alone engaged in my domestic affairs, I was
told that a lady desired to speak to me. I gave orders that she
should be admitted. She was a person advanced in years; she
saluted me by kissing the ground, and said to me kneeling, "Dear
lady, excuse the freedom I take to trouble you, the confidence I
have in your charity makes me thus bold. I must acquaint your
ladyship that I have an orphan daughter, who is to be married
this day. She and I are both strangers, and have no acquaintance
in this town; which much perplexes me, for we wish the numerous
family with whom we are going to ally ourselves to think we are
not altogether unknown and without credit: therefore, most
beautiful lady, if you would vouchsafe to honour the wedding with
your presence, we shall be infinitely obliged, because the ladies
of our country, when informed that a lady of your rank has strewn
us this respect, will then know that we are not regarded here as
unworthy and despised persons. But, alas! madam, if you refuse
this request, how great will be our mortification! we know not
where else to apply."

This poor woman's address, which she spoke with tears, moved my
compassion. "Good woman," said I, "do not afflict yourself, I
will grant you the favour you desire; tell me whither I must go,
and I will meet you as soon as I am dressed." The old woman was
so transported with joy at my answer, that she kissed my feet
before I had time to prevent her. "My compassionate lady," said
she, rising, "God will reward the kindness you have shewed to
your servants, and make your heart as joyful as you have made
theirs. You need not at present trouble yourself; it will be time
enough for you to go when I call for you in the evening. So
farewell, madam, till I have the honour to see you again."

As soon as she was gone, I took the suit I liked best, with a
necklace of large pearls, bracelets, pendents for my ears, and
rings set with the finest and most sparkling diamonds; for my
mind presaged what would befall me.

When the night closed in, the old woman called upon me, with a
countenance full of joy. She kissed my hands, and said, "My dear
lady, the relations of my son-in-law, who are the principal
ladies of the city, are now met together; you may come when you
please; I am ready to conduct you." We immediately set out; she
walked before me, and I was followed by a number of my women and
slaves properly dressed for the occasion. We stopt in a wide
street, newly swept and watered, at a spacious gate with a lamp,
by the light of which I read this inscription in golden letters
over the entrance: "This is the everlasting abode of pleasure and
joy." The old woman knocked, and the gate was opened immediately.

I was conducted towards the lower end of the court, into a large
hall, where I was received by a young lady of admirable beauty.
She drew near, and after having embraced me, made me sit down by
her upon a sofa, on which was raised a throne of precious wood
set with diamonds. "Madam," said she, "you are brought hither to
assist at a wedding; but I hope it will be a different wedding
from what you expected. I have a brother, one of the handsomest
men in the world: he is fallen so much in love with the fame of
your beauty, that his fate depends wholly upon you, and he will
be the unhappiest of men if you do not take pity on him. He knows
your quality, and I can assure you he is in no respect unworthy
of your alliance. If my prayers, madam, can prevail, I shall join
them with his, and humbly beg you will not refuse the proposal of
being his wife."

After the death of my husband I had not thought of marrying
again. But I had no power to refuse the solicitation of so
charming a lady. As soon as I had given consent by my silence,
accompanied with a blush, the young lady claps her hands, and
immediately a closet-door opened, out of which came a young man
of a majestic air, and so graceful a behaviour, that I thought
myself happy to have made so great a conquest. He sat down by me,
and I found from his conversation that his merits far exceeded
the eulogium of his sister.

When she perceived that we were satisfied with one another, she
claps her hands a second time, and out came a Cauzee, who wrote
our contract of marriage, signed it himself, and caused it to be
attested by four witnesses he brought along with him. The only
condition that my new husband imposed upon me was, that I should
not be seen by nor speak to any other man but himself, and he
vowed to me that, if I complied in this respect, I should have no
reason to complain of him. Our marriage was concluded and
finished after this manner; so I became the principal actress in
a wedding to which I had only been invited as a guest.

About a month after our marriage, having occasion for some
stuffs, I asked my husband's permission to go out to buy them,
which he granted; and I took with me the old woman of whom I
spoke before, she being one of the family, and two of my own
female slaves.

When we came to the street where the merchants reside, the old
woman said, "Dear mistress, since you want silk stuffs, I must
take you to a young merchant of my acquaintance, who has a great
variety; and that you may not fatigue yourself by running from
shop to shop, I can assure you that you will find in his what no
other can furnish." I was easily persuaded, and we entered a shop
belonging to a young merchant who was tolerably handsome. I sat
down, and bade the old woman desire him to shew me the finest
silk stuffs he had. The woman desired me to speak myself; but I
told her it was one of the articles of my marriage contract not
to speak to any man but my husband, which I ought to keep.

The merchant shewed me several stuffs, of which one pleased me
better than the rest; but I bade her ask the price. He answered
the old woman, "I will not sell it for gold or money, but I will
make her a present of it, if she will give me leave to kiss her
cheek." I ordered the old woman to tell him, that he was very
rude to propose such a freedom. But instead of obeying me, she
said, "What the merchant desires of you is no such great matter;
you need not speak, but only present him your cheek." The stuff
pleased me so much, that I was foolish enough to take her advice.
The old woman and my slaves stood up, that nobody might see, and
I put up my veil; but instead of kissing me, the merchant bit me
so violently as to draw blood.

The pain and my surprise were so great, that I fell down in a
swoon, and continued insensible so long, that the merchant had
time to escape. When I came to myself, I found my cheek covered
with blood: the old woman and my slaves took care to cover it
with my veil, that the people who came about us could not
perceive it, but supposed I had only had a fainting fit.

The old woman who accompanied me being extremely troubled at this
accident, endeavoured to comfort me. "My dear mistress," said
she, "I beg your pardon, for I am the cause of this misfortune,
having brought you to this merchant, because he is my countryman:
but I never thought he would be guilty of such a villainous
action. But do not grieve; let us hasten home, I will apply a
remedy that shall in three days so perfectly cure you, that not
the least mark shall be visible." The fit had made me so weak,
that I was scarcely able to walk. But at last I got home, where I
again fainted, as I went into my chamber. Meanwhile, the old
woman applied her remedy; I came to myself, and went to bed.

My husband came to me at night, and seeing my head bound up,
asked me the reason. I told him I had the head-ache, which I
hoped would have satisfied him, but he took a candle, and saw my
cheek was hurt: "How comes this wound?" said he. Though I did not
consider myself as guilty of any great offence, yet I could not
think of owning the truth. Besides, to make such an avowal to a
husband, I considered as somewhat indecorous; I therefore said,
"That as I was going, under his permission, to purchase some silk
stuff, a porter, carrying a load of wood, came so near to me, in
a narrow street, that one of the sticks grazed my cheek; but had
not done me much hurt." This account put my husband into a
violent passion. "This act," said he, "shall not go unpunished. I
will to-morrow order the lieutenant of the police to seize all
those brutes of porters, and cause them to be hanged." Fearful of
occasioning the death of so many innocent persons, I said, "Sir,
I should be sorry so great a piece of injustice should be
committed. Pray refrain; for I should deem myself unpardonable,
were I to be the cause of so much mischief." "Then tell me
sincerely," said he, "how came you by this wound." "I answered,
"That it was occasioned by the inadvertency of a broom-seller
upon an ass, who coming behind me, while he was looking another
way, his ass came against me with so much violence, that I fell
down, and hurt my cheek upon some glass." "If that is the case,"
said my husband, "to-morrow morning, before sun-rise, the grand
vizier Jaaffier shall be informed of this insolence, and cause
all the broom-sellers to be put to death." "For the love of God,
Sir," said I, "let me beg of you to pardon them, for they are not
guilty." "How, madam," he demanded, "what then am I to believe?
Speak, for I am resolved to know the truth from your own mouth."
"Sir," I replied, "I was taken with a giddiness, and fell down,
and that is the whole matter."

At these words my husband lost all patience. "I have," said he,
"too long listened to your falsehoods." As he spoke he clapped
his hands, and in came three slaves: "Pull her out of bed," said
he, "and lay her in the middle of the floor." The slaves obeyed,
one holding me by the head, another by the feet; he commanded the
third to fetch a cimeter, and when he had brought it, "Strike,"
said he, "cut her in two, and then throw her into the Tygris.
This is the punishment I inflict on those to whom I have given my
heart, when they falsify their promise." When he saw that the
slave hesitated to obey him, "Why do you not strike?" said he.
"What do you wait for?"

"Madam," said the slave then, "you are near the last moment of
your life, consider if you have any thing to dispose of before
you die." I begged permission to speak one word, which was
granted me. I lifted up my head, and casting an affectionate look
on my husband, said, "Alas! to what a condition am I reduced!
must I then die in the prime of my youth!" I could say no more,
for my tears and sighs choked my utterance. My husband was not at
all moved, but, on the contrary, went on to reproach me; and it
would have been in vain to attempt a reply. I had recourse to
intreaties and prayers; but he had no regard to them, and
commanded the slaves to proceed to execution. The old woman, who
had been his nurse, came in just at that moment, fell down upon
her knees, and endeavoured to appease his wrath. "My son," said
she, "since I have been your nurse and brought you up, let me beg
the favour of you to grant me her life. Consider, that he who
kills shall be killed, and that you will stain your reputation,
and forfeit the esteem of mankind. What will the world say of
such sanguinary violence?" She spoke these words in such an
affecting manner, accompanied with tears, that she prevailed upon
him at last to abandon his purpose,

"Well then," said he to his nurse, "for your sake I will spare
her life; but she shall bear about her person some marks to make
her remember her offence." When he had thus spoken, one of the
slaves, by his order, gave me upon my sides and breast so many
blows, with a little cane, that he tore away both skin and flesh,
which threw me into a swoon. In this state he caused the same
slaves, the executioners of his fury, to carry me into a house,
where the old woman took care of me. I kept my bed four months;
at last I recovered: the scars which, contrary to my wish, you
saw yesterday, have remained ever since.

As soon as I was able to walk, and go abroad, I resolved to
retire to the house which was left me by my first husband, but I
could not find the site whereon it had stood. My second husband,
in the heat of his resentment, was not satisfied with the
demolition of that, but caused every other house in the same
street to be razed to the ground. I believe such an act of
violence was never heard of before; but against whom could I
complain? The perpetrator had taken good care to conceal himself.
But suppose I had discovered him, is it not easily seen that his
conduct must have proceeded from absolute power? How then could I
dare to complain?

Being left thus destitute and helpless, I had recourse to my dear
sister Zobeide, whose adventures your majesty has just heard. To
her I made known my misfortune; she received me with her
accustomed goodness, and advised me to bear my ambition patience.
"This is the way of the world," said she, "which either robs us
of our property, our friends, or our lovers; and some. times of
all together." In confirmation of her remark, she at the same
time gave me an account of the loss of the young prince,
occasioned by the jealousy of her two sisters. She told me also
by what accident they were transformed into bitches: and in the
last place, after a thousand testimonials of her love towards me,
she introduced me to my youngest sister, who had likewise taken
sanctuary with her after the death of her mother.

Having returned our grateful acknowledgments to God for having
thus brought us together, we resolved to preserve our freedom,
and never again to separate. We have now long enjoyed this
tranquil life. As it was my business to manage the affairs of the
house, I always took pleasure in going myself to purchase what we
wanted. I happened to go abroad yesterday for this purpose, and
the things I bought I caused to be carried home by a porter, who
proving to be a sensible and jocose fellow, we kept with us for a
little diversion. Three calenders happened to come to our door as
it began to grow dark, and prayed us to give them shelter till
the next morning We admitted them upon certain conditions which
they agreed to observe; and after we had made them sit at table
with us, they in their own way entertained us with a concert of
music. At this time we heard knocking at our gate. This proceeded
from three merchants of Moussol, men of good appearance, who
begged the same favour which the calenders had obtained before.
We consented upon the same conditions, but neither of them kept
their promise. Though we had power, as well as justice on our
side, to punish them, yet we contented ourselves with demanding
from them the history of their lives; and afterwards confined our
revenge to dismissing them, after they had done, and denying them
the asylum they requested.

The caliph was well pleased to be thus informed of what he
desired to know; and publicly expressed his admiration of what he
had heard.

The caliph having satisfied his curiosity, thought himself
obliged to shew his generosity to the calender princes, and also
to give the three ladies some proof of his bounty. He himself,
without making use of his minister, the grand vizier, spoke to
Zobeide. "Madam, did not this fairy, that shewed herself to you
in the shape of a serpent, and imposed such a rigorous command
upon you, tell you where her place of abode was? Or rather, did
she not promise to see you, and restore those bitches to their
natural shape?"

"Commander of the faithful," answered Zobeide, "I forgot to tell
your majesty that the fairy left with me a bundle of hair,
saying, that her presence would one day be of use to me; and
then, if I only burnt two tufts of this hair, she would be with
me in a moment, though she were beyond mount Caucasus." "Madam,"
demanded the caliph, "where is the bundle of hair?" She answered,
"Ever since that time I have been so careful of it, that I always
carry it about me." Upon which she pulled it out, opened the case
which contained it, and shewed it to him. "Well then," said the
caliph, "let us bring the fairy hither; you could not call her in
a better time, for I long to see her."

Zobeide having consented, fire was brought in, and she threw the
whole bundle of hair into it. The palace at that instant began to
shake, and the fairy appeared before the caliph in the form of a
lady very richly dressed.

"Commander of the faithful," said she to the prince, "you see I
am ready to receive your commands. The lady who gave me this call
by your order did me essential service. To evince my gratitude, I
revenged her of her sisters' inhumanity, by changing them to
bitches; but if your majesty commands me, I will restore them to
their former shape."

"Generous fairy," replied the caliph, "you cannot do me a greater
pleasure; vouchsafe them that favour, and I will find some means
to comfort them for their hard penance. But besides, I have
another boon to ask in favour of that lady, who has had such
cruel usage from an unknown husband. As you undoubtedly know all
things, oblige me with the name of this barbarous wretch, who
could not be contented to exercise his outrageous and unmanly
cruelty upon her person, but has also most unjustly taken from
her all her substance. I only wonder how such an unjust and
inhuman action could be performed under my authority, and even in
my residence, without having come to my knowledge."

"To oblige your majesty," answered the fairy, "I will restore the
two bitches to their former state, and I will so cure the lady of
her scars, that it shall never appear she was so beaten; and I
will also tell you who it was that abused her."

The caliph sent for the two bitches from Zobeide's house, and
when they came, a glass of water was brought to the fairy by her
desire. She pronounced over it some words which nobody
understood; then throwing some part of it upon Amene, and the
rest upon the bitches, the latter became two ladies of surprising
beauty, and the scars that were upon Amene disappeared. After
which the fairy said to the caliph, "Commander of the faithful, I
must now discover to you the unknown husband you enquire after.
He is very nearly related to yourself, for it is prince Amin,
your eldest son, who falling passionately in love with this lady
from the fame of her beauty, by stratagem had her brought to his
house, where he married her. As to the blows he caused to be
given her, he is in some measure excusable; for the lady his
spouse had been a little too easy, and the excuses she had made
were calculated to lead him to believe she was more faulty than
she really was. This is all I can say to satisfy your curiosity."
At these words she saluted the caliph, and vanished.

The prince being filled with admiration, and having much
satisfaction in the changes that had happened through his means,
acted in such a manner as will perpetuate his memory to all ages.
First, he sent for his son Amin, told him that he was informed of
his secret marriage, and how he had ill-treated Amene upon a very
slight cause. Upon this the prince did not wait for his father's
commands, but received her again immediately.

After which the caliph declared that he would give his own heart
and hand to Zobeide, and offered the other three sisters to the
calenders, sons of sultans, who accepted them for their brides
with much joy. The caliph assigned each of them a magnificent
palace in the city of Bagdad, promoted them to the highest
dignities of his empire, and admitted them to his councils.

The chief Cauzee of Bagdad being called, with witnesses, wrote
the contracts of marriage; and the caliph in promoting by his
patronage the happiness of many persons who had suffered such
incredible calamities, drew a thousand blessings upon himself.


In the reign of the same caliph Haroun al Rusheed, whom I have
already mentioned, there lived at Bagdad a poor porter called
Hindbad. One day, when the weather was excessively hot, he was
employed to carry a heavy burden from one end of the town to the
other. Being much fatigued, and having still a great way to go,
he came into a street where a refreshing breeze blew on his face,
and the pavement was sprinkled with rose-water. As he could not
desire a better place to rest and recruit himself, he took off
his load and sat upon it, near a large mansion.

He was much pleased that he stopped in this place; for the
agreeable smell of wood of aloes, and of pastils that came from
the house, mixing with the scent of the rose-water, completely
perfumed and embalmed the air. Besides, he heard from within a
concert of instrumental music, accompanied with the harmonious
notes of nightingales, and other birds, peculiar to the climate.
This charming melody, and the smell of several sorts of savoury
dishes, made the porter conclude there was a feast, with great
rejoicings within. His business seldom leading him that way, he
knew not to whom the mansion belonged; but to satisfy his
curiosity, he went to some of the servants, whom he saw standing
at the gate in magnificent apparel, and asked the name of the
proprietor. "How," replied one of them, "do you live in Bagdad,
and know not that this is the house of Sinbad, the sailor, that
famous voyager, who has sailed round the world?" The porter, who
had heard of this Sinbad's riches, could not but envy a man whose
condition he thought to be as happy as his own was deplorable:
and his mind being fretted with these reflections, he lifted up
his eyes to heaven, and said loud enough to be heard, "Almighty
creator of all things, consider the difference between Sinbad and
me! I am every day exposed to fatigues and calamities, and can
scarcely get coarse barley-bread for myself and my family, whilst
happy Sinbad profusely expends immense riches, and leads a life
of continual pleasure. What has he done to obtain from thee a lot
so agreeable? And what have I done to deserve one so wretched?"
Having finished his expostulation, he struck his foot against the
ground, like a man absorbed in grief and despair.

Whilst the porter was thus indulging his melancholy, a servant
came out of the house, and taking him by the arm, bade him follow
him, for Sinbad, his master, wanted to speak to him.

Sir, your majesty may easily imagine, that the repining Hindbad
was not a little surprised at this compliment. For, considering
what he had said, he was afraid Sinbad had sent for him to punish
him: therefore he would have excused himself, alleging, that he
could not leave his burden in the middle of the street. But
Sinbad's servants assured him they would look to it, and were so
urgent with him, that he was obliged to yield.

The servants brought him into a great hall, where a number of
people sat round a table, covered with all sorts of savoury
dishes. At the upper end sat a comely venerable gentleman, with a
long white beard, and behind him stood a number of officers and
domestics, all ready to attend his pleasure. This personage was
Sinbad. The porter, whose fear was increased at the sight of so
many people, and of a banquet so sumptuous, saluted the company
trembling. Sinbad bade him draw near, and seating him at his
right hand, served him himself, and gave him excellent wine, of
which there was abundance upon the sideboard.

When the repast was over, Sinbad addressed his conversation to
Hindbad; and calling him brother, according to the manner of the
Arabians, when they are familiar one with another, enquired his
name and employment.

"My lord," answered he, "my name is Hindbad." "I am very glad to
see you," replied Sinbad; "and I daresay the same on behalf of
all the company: but I wish to hear from your own mouth what it
was you lately said in the street." Sinbad had himself heard the
porter complain through the window, and this it was that induced
him to have him brought in.

At this request, Hindbad hung down his head in confusion, and
replied, "My lord, I confess that my fatigue put me out of
humour, and occasioned me to utter some indiscreet words, which I
beg you to pardon." "Do not think I am so unjust," resumed
Sinbad, "as to resent such a complaint. I consider your
condition, and instead of upbraiding, commiserate you. But I must
rectify your error concerning myself. You think, no doubt, that I
have acquired, without labour and trouble, the ease and
indulgence which I now enjoy. But do not mistake; I did not
attain to this happy condition, without enduring for several
years more trouble of body and mind than can well be imagined.
Yes, gentlemen," he added, speaking to the whole company, "I can
assure you, my troubles were so extraordinary, that they were
calculated to discourage the most covetous from undertaking such
voyages as I did, to acquire riches. Perhaps you have never heard
a distinct account of my wonderful adventures, and the dangers I
encountered, in my seven voyages; and since I have this
opportunity, I will give you a faithful account of them, not
doubting but it will be acceptable."

As Sinbad wished to relate his adventures chiefly on the porter's
account, he ordered his burden to be carried to the place of its
destination, and then proceeded.

The First Voyage.

I inherited from my father considerable property, the greater
part of which I squandered in my youth in dissipation; but I
perceived my error, and reflected that riches were perishable,
and quickly consumed by such ill managers as myself. I farther
considered, that by my irregular way of living I wretchedly
misspent my time; which is, of all things, the most valuable. I
remembered the saying of the great Solomon, which I had
frequently heard from my father; That death is more tolerable
than poverty. Struck with these reflections, I collected the
remains of my fortune, and sold all my effects by public auction.
I then entered into a contract with some merchants, who traded by
sea. I took the advice of such as I thought most capable of
assisting me: and resolving to improve what money I had, I went
to Bussorah, and embarked with several merchants on board a ship
which we had jointly fitted out.

We set sail, and steered our course towards the Indies, through
the Persian gulf, which is formed by the coasts of Arabia Felix
on the right, and by those of Persia on the left, and, according
to common opinion is seventy leagues wide at the broadest place.
The eastern sea, as well as that of the Indies, is very spacious.
It is bounded on one side by the coasts of Abyssinia, and is
4,500 leagues in length to the isles of Vakvak. At first I was
troubled with the sea-sickness, but speedily recovered my health,
and was not afterwards subject to that complaint.

In our voyage we touched at several islands, where we sold or
exchanged our goods. One day, whilst under sail, we were becalmed
near a small island, but little elevated above the level of the
water, and resembling a green meadow. The captain ordered his
sails to be furled, and permitted such persons as were so
inclined to land; of this number I was one.

But while we were enjoying ourselves in eating and drinking, and
recovering ourselves from the fatigue of the sea, the island on a
sudden trembled, and shook us terribly.

The trembling of the island was perceived on board the ship, and
we were called upon to re-embark speedily, or we should all be
lost; for what we took for an island proved to be the back of a
sea monster. The nimblest got into the sloop, others betook
themselves to swimming; but for myself I was still upon the back
of the creature, when he dived into the sea, and I had time only
to catch hold of a piece of wood that we had brought out of the
ship to make a fire. Meanwhile, the captain, having received
those on board who were in the sloop, and taken up some of those
that swam, resolved to improve the favourable gale that had just
risen, and hoisting his sails pursued his voyage, so that it was
impossible for me to recover the ship.

Thus was I exposed to the mercy of the waves. I struggled for my
life all the rest of the day and the following night. By this
time I found my strength gone, and despaired of saving my life,
when happily a wave threw me against an island, The bank was high
and rugged; so that I could scarcely have got up, had it not been
for some roots of trees, which fortune seemed to have preserved
in this place for my safety. Having reached the land, I lay down
upon the ground half dead, until the sun appeared. Then, though I
was very feeble, both from hard labour and want of food, I crept
along to find some herbs fit to eat, and had the good luck not
only to procure some, but likewise to discover a spring of
excellent water, which contributed much to recover me. After this
I advanced farther into the island, and at last reached a fine
plain, where at a great distance I perceived a horse feeding. I
went towards it, fluctuating between hope and fear, for I knew
not whether in advancing I was more likely to endanger or to
preserve my life. As I approached, I perceived it to be a very
fine mare, tied to a stake. Whilst I was admiring its beauty, I
heard from beneath the voice of a man, who immediately appeared,
and asked me who I was? I related to him my adventure, after
which, taking me by the hand, he led me into a cave, where there
were several other people, no less amazed to see me than I was to
see them.

I partook of some provisions which they offered me. I then asked
them what they did in such a desert place? to which they
answered, that they were grooms belonging to Maha-raja, sovereign
of the island; that every year, at the same season, they brought
thither the king's mares, and fastened them as I had seen, until
they were covered by a sea-horse, who afterwards endeavoured to
destroy the mares; but was prevented by their noise, and obliged
to return to the sea. The mares when in foal were taken back, and
the horses thus produced were kept for the king's use, and called
seahorses. They added, that they were to return home on the
morrow, and had I been one day later, I must have perished,
because the inhabited part of the island was at a great distance,
and it would have been impossible for me to have got thither
without a guide.

While they entertained me thus, the horse came out of the sea, as
they had told me, covered the mare, and afterwards would have
devoured her; but upon a great noise made by the grooms, he left
her, and plunged into the sea.

Next morning they returned with their mares to the capital of the
island, took me with them, and presented me to the Maha-raja. He
asked me who I was, and by what adventure I had come into his
dominions? After I had satisfied him, he told me he was much
concerned for my misfortune, and at the same time ordered that I
should want nothing; which commands his officers were so generous
and careful as to see exactly fulfilled.

Being a merchant, I frequented men of my own profession, and
particularly enquired for those who were strangers, that
perchance I might hear news from Bagdad, or find an opportunity
to return. For the Maha-raja's capital is situated on the sea-
coast, and has a fine harbour, where ships arrive daily from the
different quarters of the world. I frequented also the society of
the learned Indians, and took delight to hear them converse; but
withal, I took care to make my court regularly to the Maha-raja,
and conversed with the governors and petty kings, his
tributaries, that were about him. They put a thousand questions
respecting my country; and I being willing to inform myself as to
their laws and customs, asked them concerning every thing which I
thought worth knowing.

There belongs to this king an island named Cassel. They assured
me that every night a noise of drums was heard there, whence the
mariners fancied that it was the residence of Degial. I
determined to visit this wonderful place, and in my way thither
saw fishes of 100 and 200 cubits long, that occasion more fear
than hurt; for they are so timorous, that they will fly upon the
rattling of two sticks or boards. I saw likewise other fish about
a cubit in length, that had heads like owls.

As I was one day at the port after my return, a ship arrived, and
as soon as she cast anchor, they began to unload her, and the
merchants on board ordered their goods to be carried into the
customhouse. As I cast my eye upon some bales, and looked to the
name, I found my own, and perceived the bales to be the same that
I had embarked at Bussorah. I also knew the captain; but being
persuaded that he believed me to be drowned, I went, and asked
him whose bales these were? He replied, that they belonged to a
merchant at Bagdad, called Sinbad, who came to sea with him; but
one day, being near an island, as was supposed, he went ashore,
with several other passengers, upon this island, which was only a
monstrous fish, that lay asleep upon the the sur-face of the
water: but as soon as he felt the heat of the fire they had
kindled upon his back, to dress some victuals, began to move, and
dived under water. Most of the persons who were upon him
perished, and among them the unfortunate Sinbad. Those bales
belonged to him, and I am resolved to trade with them until I
meet with some of his family, to whom I may return the profit. "I
am that Sinbad," said I, "whom you thought to be dead, and those
bales are mine."

When the captain heard me speak thus, "Heavens!" he exclaimed,
"whom can we trust in these times? There is no faith left among
men. I saw Sinbad perish with my own eyes, as did also the
passengers on board, and yet you tell me you are that Sinbad.
What impudence is this? To look on you, one would take you to be
a man of probity, and yet you tell a horrible falsehood, in order
to possess yourself of what does not belong to you." "Have
patience," replied I; "do me the favour to hear what I have to
say." "Very well," said he, "speak, I am ready to hear you." Then
I told him how I had escaped, and by what adventure I met with
the grooms of Maha-raja, who had brought me to his court.

His confidence began to abate upon this declaration, and he was
at length persuaded that I was no cheat: for there came people
from his ship who knew me, paid me great compliments, and
expressed much joy at seeing me alive. At last he recollected me
himself, and embracing me, "Heaven be praised," said he, "for
your happy escape. I cannot express the joy it affords, me; there
are your goods, take and do with them as you please." I thanked
him, acknowledged his probity, and in requital, offered him part
of my goods as a present, which he generously refused.

I took out what was most valuable in my bales, and presented them
to the Maha-raja, who, knowing my misfortune, asked me how I came
by such rarities. I acquainted him with the circumstance of their
recovery. He was pleased at my good luck, accepted my present,
and in return gave me one much more considerable. Upon this, I
took leave of him, and went aboard the same ship, after I had
exchanged my goods for the commodities of that country. I carried
with me wood of aloes, sandal, camphire, nutmegs, cloves, pepper,
and ginger. We passed by several islands, and at last arrived at
Bussorah, from whence I came to this city, with the value of
l00,000 sequins. My family and I received one another with all
the transports of sincere affection. I bought slaves of both
sexes, and a landed estate, and built a magnificent house. Thus I
settled myself, resolving to forget the miseries I had suffered,
and to enjoy the pleasures of life.

Sinbad stopped here, and ordered the musicians to proceed with
their concert, which the story had interrupted. The company
continued enjoying themselves till the evening, and it was time
to retire, when Sinbad sent for a purse of 100 sequins and giving
it to the porter, said, "Take this, Hindbad, return to your home,
and come back to-morrow to hear more of my adventures." The
porter went away, astonished at the honour done, and the present
made him. The account of this adventure proved very agreeable to
his wife and children, who did not fail to return thanks to God
for what providence had sent him by the hand of Sinbad.

Hindbad put on his best apparel next day, and returned to the
bountiful traveller, who received him with a pleasant air, and
welcomed him heartily. When all the guests had arrived, dinner
was served, and continued a long time. When it was ended, Sinbad,
addressing himself to the company, said, "Gentlemen, be pleased
to listen to the adventures of my second voyage; they deserve
your attention even more than those of the first." Upon which
every one held his peace, and Sinbad proceeded.

The Second Voyage.

I designed, after my first voyage, to spend the rest of my days
at Bagdad, as I had the honour to tell you yesterday; but it was
not long ere I grew weary of an indolent life. My inclination to
trade revived. I bought goods proper for the commerce I intended,
and put to sea a second time with merchants of known probity. We
embarked on board a good ship, and after recommending ourselves
to God, set sail. We traded from island to island, and exchanged
commodities with great profit. One day we landed in an island
covered with several sorts of fruit-trees, but we could see
neither man nor animal. We went to take a little fresh air in the
meadows, along the streams that watered them. Whilst some
diverted themselves with gathering flowers, and other fruits, I
took my wine and provisions, and sat down near a stream betwixt
two high trees, which formed a thick shade. I made a good meal,
and afterwards fell asleep. I cannot tell how long I slept, but
when I awoke the ship was gone.

I was much alarmed at finding the ship gone. I got up and looked
around me, but could not see one of the merchants who landed with
me. I perceived the ship under sail, but at such a distance, that
I lost sight of her in a short time.

I leave you to guess at my melancholy reflections in this sad
condition: I was ready to die with grief. I cried out in agony;
beat my head and breast, and threw myself upon the ground, where
I lay some time in despair, one afflicting thought being
succeeded by another still more afflicting. I upbraided myself a
hundred times for not being content with the produce of my first
voyage, that might have sufficed me all my life. But all this was
in vain, and my repentance too late.

At last I resigned myself to the will of God. Not knowing what to
do, I climbed up to the top of a lofty tree, from whence I looked
about on all sides, to see if I could discover any thing that
could give me hopes. When I gazed towards the sea I could see
nothing but sky and water; but looking over the land I beheld
something white; and coming down, I took what provision I had
left, and went towards it, the distance being so great, that I
could not distinguish what it was.

As I approached, I thought it to be a white dome, of a prodigious
height and extent; and when I came up to it, I touched it, and
found it to be very smooth. I went round to see if it was open on
any side, but saw it was not, and that there was no climbing up
to the top as it was so smooth. It was at least fifty paces

By this time the sun was about to set, and all of a sudden the
sky became as dark as if it had been covered with a thick cloud.
I was much astonished at this sudden darkness, but much more when
I found it occasioned by a bird of a monstrous size, that came
flying toward me. I remembered that I had often heard mariners
speak of a miraculous bird called Roc, and conceived that the
great dome which I so much admired must be its egg. In short, the
bird alighted, and sat over the egg. As I perceived her coming, I
crept to the egg, so that I had before me one of the legs of the
bird, which was as big as the trunk of a tree. I tied myself
strongly to it with my turban, in hopes that the roc next morning
would carry me with her out of this desert island. After having
passed the night in this condition, the bird flew away as soon as
it was daylight, and carried me so high, that I could not discern
the earth; she afterwards descended with so much rapidity that I
lost my senses. But when I found myself on the ground, I speedily
untied the knot, and had scarcely done so, when the roc, having
taken up a serpent of a monstrous length in her bill, flew away.

The spot where it left me was encompassed on all sides by
mountains, that seemed to reach above the clouds, and so steep
that there was no possibility of getting out of the valley. This
was a new perplexity: so that when I compared this place with the
desert island from which the roc had brought me, I found that I
had gained nothing by the change.

As I walked through this valley, I perceived it was strewed with
diamonds, some of which were of a surprising bigness. I took
pleasure in looking upon them; but shortly saw at a distance such
objects as greatly diminished my satisfaction, and which I could
not view without terror, namely, a great number of serpents, so
monstrous, that the least of them was capable of swallowing an
elephant. They retired in the day-time to their dens, where they
hid themselves from the roc their enemy, and came out only in the

I spent the day in walking about in the valley, resting myself at
times in such places as I thought most convenient. When night
came on, I went into a cave, where I thought I might repose in
safety. I secured the entrance, which was low and narrow, with a
great stone to preserve me from the serpents; but not so far as
to exclude the light. I supped on part of my provisions, but the
serpents, which began hissing round me, put me into such extreme
fear, that you may easily imagine I did not sleep. When day
appeared, the serpents retired, and I came out of the cave
trembling. I can justly say, that I walked upon diamonds, without
feeling any inclination to touch them. At last I sat down, and
notwithstanding my apprehensions, not having closed my eyes
during the night, fell asleep, after having eaten a little more
of my provision. But I had scarcely shut my eyes, when something
that fell by me with a great noise awaked me. This was a large
piece of raw meat; and at the same time I saw several others fall
down from the rocks in different places.

I had always regarded as fabulous what I had heard sailors and
others relate of the valley of diamonds, and of the stratagems
employed by merchants to obtain jewels from thence; but now I
found that they had stated nothing but truth. For the fact is,
that the merchants come to the neighbourhood of this valley, when
the eagles have young ones, and throwing great joints of meat
into the valley, the diamonds, upon whose points they fall, stick
to them; the eagles, which are stronger in this country than any
where else, pounce with great force upon those pieces of meat,
and carry them to their nests on the precipices of the rocks to
feed their young: the merchants at this time run to their nests,
disturb and drive off the eagles by their shouts, and take away
the diamonds that stick to the meat.

Until I perceived the device I had concluded it to be impossible
for me to get from this abyss, which I regarded as my grave; but
now I changed my opinion, and began to think upon the means of my

I began to collect together the largest diamonds I could find,
and put them into the leather bag in which I used to carry my
provisions. I afterwards took the largest of the pieces of meat,
tied it close round me with the cloth of my turban, and then laid
myself upon the ground with my face downward, the bag of diamonds
being made fast to my girdle.

I had scarcely placed myself in this posture when the eagles
came. Each of them seized a piece of meat, and one of the
strongest having taken me up, with the piece of meat to which I
was fastened, carried me to his nest on the top of the mountain.
The merchants immediately began their shouting to frighten the
eagles; and when they had obliged them to quit their prey, one of
them came to the nest where I was. He was much alarmed when he
saw me; but recovering himself, instead of enquiring how I came
thither began to quarrel with me, and asked, why I stole his
goods? "You will treat me," replied I, "with more civility, when
you know me better. Do not be uneasy, I have diamonds enough for
you and myself, more than all the other merchants together.
Whatever they have they owe to chance, but I selected for myself
in the bottom of the valley those which you see in this bag." I
had scarcely done speaking, when the other merchants came
crowding about us, much astonished to see me; but they were much
more surprised when I told them my story. Yet they did not so
much admire my stratagem to effect my deliverance, as my courage
in putting it into execution.

They conducted me to their encampment, and there having opened my
bag, they were surprised at the largeness of my diamonds, and
confessed that in all the courts which they had visited they had
never seen any of such size and perfection. I prayed the
merchant, who owned the nest to which I had been carried (for
every merchant had his own), to take as many for his share as he
pleased. He contented himself with one, and that too the least of
them; and when I pressed him to take more, without fear of doing
me any injury, "No," said he, "I am very well satisfied with
this, which is valuable enough to save me the trouble of making
any more voyages, and will raise as great a fortune as I desire."

I spent the night with the merchants, to whom I related my story
a second time, for the satisfaction of those who had not heard
it. I could not moderate my joy when I found myself delivered
from the danger I have mentioned. I thought myself in a dream,
and could scarcely believe myself out of danger.

The merchants had thrown their pieces of meat into the valley for
several days. And each of them being satisfied with the diamonds
that had fallen to his lot, we left the place the next morning,
and travelled near high mountains, where there were serpents of a
prodigious length, which we had the good fortune to escape. We
took shipping at the first port we reached, and touched at the
isle of Roha, where the trees grow that yield camphire. This tree
is so large, and its branches so thick, that one hundred men may
easily sit under its shade. The juice, of which the camphire is
made, exudes from a hole bored in the upper part of the tree, is
received in a vessel, where it thickens to a consistency, and
becomes what we call camphire; after the juice is thus drawn out,
the tree withers and dies.

In this island is also found the rhinoceros, an animal less than
the elephant, but larger than the buffalo. It has a horn upon its
nose, about a cubit in length; this horn is solid, and cleft
through the middle, upon this may be seen white lines,
representing the figure of a man. The rhinoceros fights with the
elephant, runs his horn into his belly, and carries him off upon
his head but the blood and the fat of the elephant running into
his eyes, and making him blind, he falls to the ground; and then,
strange to relate! the roc comes and carries them both away in
her claws, for food for her young ones.

I pass over many other things peculiar to this island, lest I
should be troublesome to you. Here I exchanged some of my
diamonds for merchandize. From hence we went to other islands,
and at last, having touched at several trading towns of the
continent, we landed at Bussorah, from whence I proceeded to
Bagdad. There I immediately gave large presents to the poor, and
lived honourably upon the vast riches I had brought, and gained
with so much fatigue.

Thus Sinbad ended the relation of the second voyage, gave Hindbad
another hundred sequins, and invited him to come the next day to
hear the account of the third. The rest of the guests returned to
their homes, and came again the following day at the same hour,
and one may be sure the porter did not fail, having by this time
almost forgotten his former poverty. When dinner was over, Sinbad
demanded attention, and gave them an account of his third voyage,
as follows.

The Third Voyage.

I soon lost in the pleasures of life the remembrance of the
perils I had encountered in my two former voyages; and being in
the flower of my age, I grew weary of living without business,
and hardening myself against the thought of any danger I might
incur, went from Bagdad to Bussorah with the richest commodities
of the country. There I embarked again with some merchants. We
made a long voyage, and touched at several ports, where we
carried on a considerable trade. One day, being out in the main
ocean, we were overtaken by a dreadful tempest, which drove us
from our course. The tempest continued several days, and brought
us before the port of an island, which the captain was very
unwilling to enter; but we were obliged to cast anchor. When we
had furled our sails, the captain told us, that this, and some
other neighbouring islands, were inhabited by hairy savages, who
would speedily attack us; and. though they were but dwarfs, yet
our misfortune was such, that we must make no resistance, for
they were more in number than the locusts; and if we happened to
kill one of them, they would all fall upon us and destroy us.

This account of the captain, continued Sinbad put the whole
company into great consternation and we soon found that what he
had told us was but too true; an innumerable multitude of
frightful savages, about two feet high, covered all over with red
hair, came swimming towards us, and encompassed our ship. They
spoke to us as they came near, but we understood not their
language; they climbed up the sides of the ship with such agility
as surprised us. We beheld all this with dread, but without
daring to defend ourselves, or to divert them from their
mischievous design. In short, they took down our sails, cut the
cable, and hauling to the shore, made us all get out, and
afterwards carried the ship into another island from whence they
had come. All voyagers carefully avoided the island where they
left us, it being very dangerous to stay there, for a reason you
shall presently hear; but we were forced to bear our affliction
with patience.

We went forward into the island, where we gathered some fruits
and herbs to prolong our lives as long as we could; but we
expected nothing but death. As we advanced, we perceived at a
distance a vast pile of building, and made towards it. We found
it to be a palace, elegantly built, and very lofty, with a gate
of ebony of two leaves, which we forced open. We entered the
court, where we saw before us a large apartment, with a porch,
having on one side a heap of human bones, and on the other a vast
number of roasting spits. We trembled at this spectacle, and
being fatigued with travelling, fell to the ground, seized with
deadly apprehension, and lay a long time motionless.

The sun set, and whilst we were in the lamentable condition I
have described, the gate of the apartment opened with a loud
crash, and there came out the horrible figure of a black man, as
tall as a lofty palm-tree. He had but one eye, and that in the
middle of his forehead, where it looked as red as a burning coal.
His fore-teeth were very long and sharp, and stood out of his
mouth, which was as deep as that of a horse. His upper lip hung
down upon his breast. His ears resembled those of an elephant,
and covered his shoulders; and his nails were as long and crooked
as the talons of the greatest birds. At the sight of so frightful
a giant, we became insensible, and lay like dead men.

At last we came to ourselves, and saw him sitting in the porch
looking at us. When he had considered us well, he advanced
towards us, and laying his hand upon me, took me up by the nape
of my neck, and turned round as a butcher would do a sheep's
head. After having examined me, and perceiving me to be so lean
that I had nothing but skin and bone, he let me go. He took up
all the rest one by one, and viewed them in the same manner. The
captain being the fattest, he held him with one hand, as I would
do a sparrow, and thrust a spit through him; he then kindled a
great fire, roasted, and ate him in his apartment for his supper.
Having finished his repast, he returned to his porch, where he
lay and fell asleep, snoring louder than thunder. He slept thus
till morning. As to ourselves, it was not possible for us to
enjoy any rest, so that we passed the night in the most painful
apprehension that can be imagined. When day appeared the giant
awoke, got up, went out, and left us in the palace.

When we thought him at a distance, we broke the melancholy
silence we had preserved the whole of the night, and filled the
palace with our lamentations and groans. Though we were several
in number, and had but one enemy, it never occurred to us to
effect our deliverance by putting him to death. This enterprize
however, though difficult of execution, was the only design we
ought naturally to have formed.

We thought of several other expedients, but determined upon none;
and submitting ourselves to what it should please God to order
concerning us, we spent the day in traversing the island,
supporting ourselves with fruits and herbs as we had done the day
before. In the evening we sought for some place of shelter, but
found none; so that we were forced, whether we would or not, to
return to the palace.

The giant failed not to return, and supped once more upon one of
our companions, after which he slept, and snored till day, and
then went out and left us as before. Our situation appeared to us
so dreadful, that several of my comrades designed to throw
themselves into the sea, rather than die so painful a death; and
endeavoured to persuade the others to follow their example. Upon
which one of the company answered, "That we were forbidden to
destroy ourselves: but even if that were not the case, it was
much more reasonable to devise some method to rid ourselves of
the monster who had destined us to so horrible a fate."

Having thought of a project for this purpose, I communicated it
to my comrades, who approved it. "Brethren," said I, "you know
there is much timber floating upon the coast; if you will be
advised by me, let us make several rafts capable of bearing us,
and when they are done, leave them there till we find it
convenient to use them. In the mean time, we will carry into
execution the design I proposed to you for our deliverance from
the giant, and if it succeed, we may remain here patiently
awaiting the arrival of some ship to carry us out of this fatal
island; but if it happen to miscarry, we will take to our rafts,
and put to sea. I admit that by exposing ourselves to the fury of
the waves, we run a risk of losing our lives; but is it not
better to be buried in the sea than in the entrails of this
monster, who has already devoured two of our number?" My advice
was approved, and we made rafts capable of carrying three persons
on each.

We returned to the palace towards the evening, and the giant
arrived shortly after. We were forced to submit to seeing another
of our comrades roasted. But at last we revenged ourselves on the
brutish giant in the following manner. After he had finished his
cursed supper, he lay down on his back, and fell asleep. As soon
as we heard him snore, according to his custom, nine of the
boldest among us, and myself, took each of us a spit, and putting
the points of them into the fire till they were burning hot, we
thrust them into his eye all at once, and blinded him. The pain
made him break out into a frightful yell: he started up, and
stretched out his hands, in order to sacrifice some of us to his
rage: but we ran to such places as he could not reach; and after
having sought for us in vain, he groped for the gate, and went
out, howling in agony.

We quitted the palace after the giant, and came to the shore,
where we had left our rafts, and put them immediately to sea. We
waited till day, in order to get upon them, in case the giant
should come towards us with any guide of his own species, but we
hoped if he did not appear by sun-rising, and gave over his
howling, which we still heard, that he would prove to be dead;
and if that happened to be the case, we resolved to stay in that
island, and not to risk our lives upon the rafts: but day had
scarcely appeared, when we perceived our cruel enemy, accompanied
with two others almost of the same size, leading him; and a great
number more coming before him at a quick pace.

We did not hesitate to take to our rafts, and put to sea with all
the speed we could. The giants, who perceived this, took up great
stones, and running to the shore, entered the water up to the
middle, and threw so exactly, that they sunk all the rafts but
that I was upon; and all my companions, except the two with me,
were drowned. We rowed with all our might, and got out of the
reach of the giants. But when we got out to sea, we were exposed
to the mercy of the waves and winds, and tossed about, sometimes
on one side, and sometimes on another, and spent that night and
the following day under the most painful uncertainty as to our
fate; but next morning we had the good fortune to be thrown upon
an island, where we landed with much joy. We found excellent
fruit, which afforded us great relief, and recruited our

At night we went to sleep on the sea-shore but were awakened by
the noise of a serpent of surprising length and thickness, whose
scales made a rustling noise as he wound himself along. It
swallowed up one of my comrades, notwithstanding his loud cries,
and the efforts he made to extricate himself from it; dashing him
several times against the ground, it crushed him, and we could
hear it gnaw and tear the poor wretch's bones, though we had fled
to a considerable distance. The following day, to our great
terror, we saw the serpent again, when I exclaimed, "O heaven, to
what dangers are we exposed! We rejoiced yesterday at having
escaped from the cruelty of a giant and the rage of the waves,
now are we fallen into another danger equally dreadful."

As we walked about, we saw a large tall tree upon which we
designed to pass the following night, for our security; and
having satisfied our hunger with fruit, we mounted it according.
Shortly after, the serpent came hissing to the foot of the tree;
raised himself up against the trunk of it, and meeting with my
comrade, who sat lower than I, swallowed him at once, and went

I remained upon the tree till it was day, and then came down,
more like a dead man than one alive, expecting the same fate with
my two companions. This filled me with horror, and I advanced
some steps to throw myself into the sea; but the natural love of
life prompting us to prolong it as long as we can, I withstood
this dictate of despair, and submitted myself to the will of God,
who disposes of our lives at his pleasure.

In the mean time I collected together a great quantity of small
wood, brambles, and dry thorns, . and making them up into
faggots, made a wide circle with them round the tree, and also
tied some of them to the branches over my head. Having done this,
when the evening came, I shut myself up within this circle, with
the melancholy satisfaction, that I had neglected nothing which
could preserve me from the cruel destiny with which I was
threatened. The serpent failed not to come at the usual hour, and
went round the tree, seeking for an opportunity to devour me, but
was prevented by the rampart I had made; so that he lay till day,
like a cat watching in vain for a mouse that has fortunately
reached a place of safety. When day appeared, he retired, but I
dared not to leave my fort until the sun arose.

I felt so much fatigued by the labour to which it had put me, and
suffered so much from his poisonous breath, that death seemed
more eligible to me than the horrors of such a state. I came down
from the tree, and, not thinking of the resignation I had the
preceding day resolved to exercise, I ran towards the sea, with a
design to throw myself into it.

God took compassion on my hopeless state; for just as I was going
to throw myself into the sea, I perceived a ship at a
considerable distance. I called as loud as I could, and taking
the linen from my turban, displayed it, that they might observe
me. This had the desired effect; the crew perceived me, and the
captain sent his boat for me. As soon as I came on board, the
merchants and seamen flocked about me, to know how I came into
that desert island; and after I had related to them all that had
befallen me, the oldest among them said to me, they had several
times heard of the giants that dwelt in that island, that they
were cannibals, and ate men raw as well as roasted; and as to the
serpents, they added, that there were abundance in the island
that hid themselves by day, and came abroad by night. After
having testified their joy at my escaping so many dangers, they
brought me the best of their provisions; and the captain, seeing
that I was in rags, was so generous as to give me one of his own
suits. We continued at sea for some time, touched at several
islands, and at last landed at that of Salabat, where sandal wood
is obtained, which is of great use in medicine. We entered the
port, and came to anchor. The merchants began to unload their
goods, in order to sell or exchange them. In the mean time, the
captain came to me, and said, "Brother, I have here some goods
that belonged to a merchant, who sailed some time on board this
ship, and he being dead, I design to dispose of them for the
benefit of his heirs, when I find who they are." The bales he
spoke of lay on the deck, and shewing them to me, he said, "There
are the goods; I hope you will take care to sell them, and you
shall have factorage." I thanked him for thus affording me an
opportunity of employing myself, because I hated to be idle.

The clerk of the ship took an account of all the bales, with the
names of the merchants to whom they belonged. And when he asked
the captain in whose name he should enter those he had given me
the charge of; "Enter them," said the captain, "in the name of
Sinbad." I could not hear myself named without some emotion; and
looking stedfastly on the captain, I knew him to be the person
who, in my second voyage, had left me in the island where I fell
asleep, and sailed without me, or sending to see for me. But I
could not recollect him at first, he was so much altered since I
had seen him.

I was not surprised that he, believing me to be dead, did not
recognize me. "Captain," said I, "was the merchant's name, to
whom those bales belonged, Sinbad?" "Yes," replied he, "that was
his name; he came from Bagdad, and embarked on board my ship at
Bussorah. One day, when we landed at an island to take in water
and other refreshments, I knew not by what mistake, I sailed
without observing that he did not re-embark with us; neither I
nor the merchants perceived it till four hours after. We had the
wind in our stern, and so fresh a gale, that it was not then
possible for us to tack about for him." "You believe him then to
be dead?" said I. "Certainly," answered he. "No, captain," I
resumed; "look at me, and you may know that I am Sinbad, whom you
left in that desert island."

The captain, continued Sinbad, having considered me attentively,
recognized me. "God be praised," said he, embracing me; "I
rejoice that fortune has rectified my fault. There are your
goods, which I always took care to preserve." I took them from
him, and made him the acknowledgments to which he was entitled.

From the isle of Salabat, we went to another, where I furnished
myself with cloves, cinnamon, and other spices. As we sailed from
this island, we saw a tortoise twenty cubits in length and
breadth. We observed also an amphibious animal like a cow, which
gave milk; its skin is so hard, that they usually make bucklers
of it. I saw another, which had the shape and colour of a camel.

In short, after a long voyage, I arrived at Bussorah, and from
thence returned to Bagdad, with so much wealth that I knew not
its extent. I gave a great deal to the poor, and bought another
considerable estate in addition to what I had already.

Thus Sinbad finished the history of his third voyage; gave
another hundred sequins to Hindbad, invited him to dinner again
the next day, to hear the story of his fourth voyage. Hindbad and
the company retired; and on the following day, when they
returned, Sinbad after dinner continued the relation of his

The Fourth Voyage.

The pleasures and amusements which I enjoyed after my third
voyage had not charms sufficient to divert me from another. My
passion for trade, and my love of novelty, again prevailed. I
therefore settled my affairs, and having provided a stock of
goods fit for the traffic I designed to engage in, I set out on
my journey. I took the route of Persia, travelled over several
provinces, and then arrived at a port, where I embarked. We
hoisted our sails, and touched at several ports of the continent,
and some of the eastern islands, and put out to sea: we were
overtaken by such a sudden gust of wind, as obliged the captain
to lower his yards, and take all other necessary precautions to
prevent the danger that threatened us. But all was in vain our
endeavours had no effect; the sails were split in a thousand
pieces, and the ship was stranded; several of the merchants and
seamen were drowned and the cargo was lost.

I had the good fortune, with several of the merchants and
mariners, to get upon some planks, and we were carried by the
current to an island which lay before us. There we found fruit
and spring water, which preserved our lives. We staid all night
near the place where we had been cast ashore, without consulting
what we should do; our misfortune had so much dispirited us that
we could not deliberate.

Next morning, as soon as the sun was up, we walked from the
shore, and advancing into the island, saw some houses, which we
approached. As soon as we drew near, we were encompassed by a
great number of negroes, who seized us, shared us among them, and
carried us to their respective habitations.

I, and five of my comrades, were carried to one place; here they
made us sit down, and gave us a certain herb, which they made
signs to us to eat. My comrades not taking notice that the blacks
ate none of it themselves, thought only of satisfying their
hunger, and ate with greediness. But I, suspecting some trick,
would not so much as taste it, which happened well for me; for in
little time after, I perceived my companions had lost their
senses, and that when they spoke to me, they knew not what they

The negroes fed us afterwards with rice, prepared with oil of
cocoa-nuts; and my comrades, who had lost their reason, ate of it
greedily. I also partook of it, but very sparingly. They gave us
that herb at first on purpose to deprive us of our senses, that
we might not be aware of the sad destiny prepared for us; and
they supplied us with rice to fatten us; for, being cannibals,
their design was to eat us as soon as we grew fat. This
accordingly happened, for they devoured my comrades, who were not
sensible of their condition; but my senses being entire, you may
easily guess that instead of growing fat, as the rest did, I grew
leaner every day. The fear of death under which I laboured,
turned all my food into poison. I fell into a languishing
distemper, which proved my safety; for the negroes, having killed
and eaten my companions, seeing me to be withered, lean, and
sick, deferred my death.

Meanwhile I had much liberty, so that scarcely any notice was
taken of what I did, and this gave me an opportunity one day to
get at a distance from the houses, and to make my escape. An old
man, who saw me, and suspected my design, called to me as loud as
he could to return; but instead of obeying him, I redoubled my
speed, and quickly got out of sight. At that time there was none
but the old man about the houses, the rest being abroad, and not
to return till night, which was usual with them. Therefore, being
sure that they could not arrive time enough to pursue me, I went
on till night, when I stopped to rest a little, and to eat some
of the provisions I had secured; but I speedily set forward
again, and travelled seven days, avoiding those places which
seemed to be inhabited, and lived for the most part upon cocoa-
nuts, which served me both for meat and drink. On the eighth day
I came near the sea, and saw some white people like myself,
gathering pepper, of which there was great plenty in that place.
This I took to be a good omen, and went to them without any

The people who gathered pepper came to meet me as soon as they
saw me, and asked me in Arabic who I was, and whence I came? I
was overjoyed to hear them speak in my own language, and
satisfied their curiosity, by giving them an account of my
shipwreck, and how I fell into the hands of the negroes. "Those
negroes," replied they, "eat men, and by what miracle did you
escape their cruelty?" I related to them the circumstances I have
just mentioned, at which they were wonderfully surprised.

I staid with them till they had gathered their quantity of
pepper, and then sailed with them to the island from whence they
had come. They presented me to their king, who was a good prince.
He had the patience to hear the relation of my adventures, which
surprised him; and he afterwards gave me clothes, and commanded
care to be taken of me.

The island was very well peopled, plentiful in everything, and
the capital a place of great trade. This agreeable retreat was
very comfortable to me after my misfortunes, and the kindness of
this generous prince completed my satisfaction. In a word, there
was not a person more in favour with him than myself; and,
consequently, every man in court and city sought to oblige me; so
that in a very little time I was looked upon rather as a native
than a stranger.

I observed one thing, which to me appeared very extraordinary.
All the people, the king himself not excepted, rode their horses
without saddle, bridle, or stirrups. This made me one day take
the liberty to ask the king how it came to pass? His majesty
answered, that I talked to him of things which nobody knew the
use of in his dominions.

I went immediately to a workman, and gave him a model for making
the stock of a saddle. When that was done, I covered it myself
with velvet and leather, and embroidered it with gold. I
afterwards went to a smith, who made me a bit, according to the
pattern I shewed him, and also some stirrups. When I had all
things completed, I presented them to the king, and put them upon
one of his horses. His majesty mounted immediately, and was so
pleased with them, that he testified his satisfaction by large
presents. I could not avoid making several others for the
ministers and principal officers of his household, who all of
them made me presents that enriched me in a little time. I also
made some for the people of best quality in the city, which
gained me great reputation and regard.

As I paid my court very constantly to the king, he said to me one
day, "Sinbad, I love thee; and all my subjects who know thee,
treat thee according to my example. I have one thing to demand of
thee, which thou must grant." "Sir," answered I, "there is
nothing but I will do, as a mark of my obedience to your majesty,
whose power over me is absolute." "I have a mind thou shouldst
marry," replied he, "that so thou mayst stay in my dominions, and
think no more of thy own country." I durst not resist the
prince's will, and he gave me one of the ladies of his court,
noble, beautiful, and rich. The ceremonies of marriage being
over, I went and dwelt with my wife, and for some time we lived
together in perfect harmony. I was not, however, satisfied with
my banishment, therefore designed to make my escape the first
opportunity, and to return to Bagdad; which my present
settlement, how advantageous soever, could not make me forget.

At this time the wife of one of my neighbours, with whom I had
contrasted a very strict friendship, fell sick, and died. I went
to see and comfort him in his affliction, and finding him
absorbed in sorrow, I said to him as soon as I saw him, "God
preserve you and grant you a long life." "Alas!" replied he, "how
do you think I should obtain the favour you wish me? I have not
above an hour to live." "Pray," said I, "do not entertain such a
melancholy thought; I hope I shall enjoy your company many
years." "I wish you," he replied, "a long life; but my days are
at an end, for I must be buried this day with my wife. This is a
law which our ancestors established in this island, and it is
always observed inviolably. The living husband is interred with
the dead wife, and the living wife with the dead husband. Nothing
can save me; every one must submit to this law."

While he was giving me an account of this barbarous custom, the
very relation of which chilled my blood, his kindred, friends,
and neighbours, came in a body to assist at the funeral. They
dressed the corpse of the woman in her richest apparel, and all
her jewels, as if it had been her wedding-day; then they placed
her on an open coffin, and began their march to the place of
burial. The husband walked at the head of the company, and
followed the corpse. They proceeded to a high mountain, and when
they had reached the place of their destination, they took up a
large stone, which covered the mouth of a deep pit, and let down
the corpse with all its apparel and jewels. Then the husband,
embracing his kindred and friends, suffered himself to be put
into another open coffin without resistance, with a pot of water,
and seven small loaves, and was let down in the same manner. The
mountain was of considerable length, and extended along the sea-
shore, and the pit was very deep. The ceremony being over, the
aperture was again covered with the stone, and the company

It is needless for me to tell you that I was a most melancholy
spectator this funeral, while the rest were scarcely moved, the
custom was to them so familiar. I could not forbear communicating
to the king my sentiment respecting the practice: "Sir," I said,
"I cannot but feel astonished at the strange usage observed in
this country, of burying the living with the dead. I have been a
great traveller, and seen many countries, but never heard of so
cruel a law." "What do you mean, Sinbad?" replied the king: "it
is a common law. I shall be interred with the queen, my wife, if
she die first." "But, Sir," said I, "may I presume to ask your
majesty, if strangers be obliged to observe this law?" "Without
doubt," returned the king (smiling at the occasion of my
question), "they are not exempted, if they be married in this

I returned home much depressed by this answer; for the fear of my
wife's dying first, and that I should be interred alive with her,
occasioned me very uneasy reflections. But there was no remedy; I
must have patience, and submit to the will of God. I trembled
however at every little indisposition of my wife. Alas! in a
little time my fears were realized, for she fell sick, and died.

Judge of my sorrow; to be interred alive, seemed to me as
deplorable a termination of life as to be devoured by cannibals.
It was necessary, however, to submit. The king and all his court
expressed their wish to honour the funeral with their presence,
and the most considerable people of the city did the same. When
all was ready for the ceremony, the corpse was put into a coffin,
with all her jewels and her most magnificent apparel. The
procession began, and as second actor in this doleful tragedy, I
went next the corpse, with my eyes full of tears, bewailing my
deplorable fate. Before we reached the mountain, I made an
attempt to affect the minds of the spectators: I addressed myself
to the king first, and then to all those that were round me;
bowing before them to the earth, and kissing the border of their
garments, I prayed them to have compassion upon me. "Consider,"
said I, "that I am a stranger, and ought not to be subject to
this rigorous law, and that I have another wife and children in
my own country." Although I spoke in the most pathetic manner, no
one was moved by my address; on the contrary, they ridiculed my
dread of death as cowardly, made haste to let my wife's corpse
into the pit, and lowered me down the next moment in an open
coffin, with full of water and seven loaves. In short, the fatal
ceremony being performed, they covered over the mouth of the pit,
notwithstanding my grief and piteous lamentations.

As I approached the bottom, I discovered by the aid of the little
light that came from above the nature of this subterranean place,
it seemed an endless cavern, and might be about fifty fathom
deep. I was annoyed by an insufferable stench proceeding from the
multitude of bodies which I saw on the right and left; nay, I
fancied that I heard some of them sigh out their last. However,
when I got down, I immediately left my coffin, and getting at a
distance from the bodies, held my nose, and lay down upon the
ground, where I stayed a considerable time, bathed in tears. At
last, reflecting on my melancholy case, "It is true," said I,
"that God disposes all things according to the degrees of his
providence; but, unhappy Sinbad, hast thou any but thyself to
blame that thou art brought to die so strange a death? Would to
God thou hadst perished in some of those tempests which thou hast
escaped! then thy death had not been so lingering, and so
terrible in all its circumstances. But thou hast drawn all this
upon thyself by thy inordinate avarice. Ah, unfortunate wretch!
shouldst thou not rather have remained at home, and quietly
enjoyed the fruits of thy labour?"

Such were the vain complaints with which I filled the cave,
beating my head and breast out of rage and despair, and
abandoning myself to the most afflicting thoughts. Nevertheless,
I must tell you, that instead of calling death to my assistance
in that miserable condition, I felt still an inclination to live,
and to do all I could to prolong my days. I went groping about,
with my nose stopped, for the bread and water that was in my
coffin, and took some of it. Though the darkness of the cave was
so great that I could not distinguish day and night, yet I always
found my coffin again, and the cave seemed to be more spacious
and fuller of bodies than it had appeared to be at first. I lived
for some days upon my bread and water, which being all spent, I
at last prepared for death.

As I was thinking of death, I heard the stone lifted up from the
mouth of the cave, and immediately the corpse of a man was let
down When reduced to necessity, it is natural to come to extreme
resolutions. While they let down the woman I approached the place
where her coffin was to be put, and as soon as I perceived they
were again covering the mouth of the cave, gave the unfortunate
wretch two or three violent blows over the head, with a large
bone; which stunned, or, to say the truth, killed her. I
committed this inhuman action merely for the sake of the bread
and water that was in her coffin, and thus I had provision for
some days more. When that was spent, they letdown another dead
woman, and a living man; I killed the man in the same manner,
and, as there was then a sort of mortality in the town, by
continuing this practice I did not want for provisions.

One day after I had dispatched another woman, I heard something
tread, and breathing or panting as it walked. I advanced towards
that side from whence I heard the noise, and on my approach the
creature puffed and blew harder, as if running away from me. I
followed the noise, and the thing seemed to stop sometimes, but
always fled and blew as I approached. I pursued it for a
considerable time, till at last I perceived a light, resembling a
star; I went on, sometimes lost sight of it, but always found it
again, and at last discovered that it came through a hole in the
rock, large enough to admit a man.

Upon this, I stopped some time to rest, being much fatigued with
the rapidity of my progress: afterwards coming up to the hole, I
got through, and found myself upon the sea shore. I leave you to
guess the excess of my joy: it was such, that I could scarcely
persuade myself that the whole was not a dream.

But when I was recovered from my surprise, and convinced of the
reality of my escape, I perceived what I had followed to be a
creature which came out of the sea, and was accustomed to enter
the cavern and feed upon the bodies of the dead.

I examined the mountain, and found it to be situated betwixt the
sea and the town, but without any passage to or communication
with the latter; the rocks on the sea side being high and
perpendicularly steep. I prostrated myself on the shore to thank
God for this mercy, and afterwards entered the cave again to
fetch bread and water, which I ate by daylight with a better
appetite than I had done since my interment in the dark cavern

I returned thither a second time, and groped among the coffins
for all the diamonds, rubies,, pearls, gold bracelets, and rich
stuffs I could find; these I brought to the shore, and tying them
up neatly into bales, with the cords that let down the coffins, I
laid them together upon the beach, waiting till some ship might
appear, without fear of rain, for it was then the dry season.

After two or three days, I perceived a ship just come out of the
harbour, making for the place where I was. I made a sign with the
linen of my turban, and called to the crew as loud as I could.
They heard me, and sent a boat to bring me on board, when they
asked by what misfortune I came thither; I told them that I had
suffered shipwreck two days before, and made shift to get ashore
with the goods they saw. It was fortunate for me that these
people did not consider the place where I was, nor enquire into
the probability of what I told them; but without hesitation took
me on board with my goods. When I came to the ship, the captain
was so well pleased to have saved me, and so much taken up with
his own affairs, that he also took the story of my pretended
shipwreck upon trust, and generously refused some jewels which I
offered him.

We passed by several islands, and among others that called the
isle of Bells, about ten days' sail from Serendib, with a regular
wind, and six from that of Kela, where we landed. This island
produces lead mines, Indian canes, and excellent camphire.

The king of the isle of Kela is very rich and powerful, and the
isle of Bells, which is about two days journey in extent, is also
subject to him. The inhabitants are so barbarous that they still
eat human flesh. After we had finished our traffic in that
island, we put to sea again, and touched at several other ports;
at last I arrived happily at Bagdad with infinite riches, of
which it is needless to trouble you with the detail. Out of
gratitude to God for his mercies, I contributed liberally towards
the support of several mosques, and the subsistence of the poor,
gave myself up to the society of my kindred and friends, enjoying
myself with them in festivities and amusements.

Here Sinbad finished the relation of his fourth voyage, which
appeared more surprising to the company than the three former. He
made a new present of one hundred sequins to Hindbad, whom he
requested to return with the rest next day at the same hour to
dine with him, and hear the story of his fifth voyage. Hindbad
and the other guests took their leave and retired. Next morning
when they all met, they sat down at table, and when dinner was
over, Sinbad began the relation of his fifth voyage as follows.

The Fifth Voyage.

The pleasures I enjoyed had again charms enough to make me forget
all the troubles and calamities I had undergone, but could not
cure me of my inclination to make new voyages. I therefore bought
goods, departed with them for the best sea-port; and there, that
I might not be obliged to depend upon a captain, but have a ship
at my own command, I remained till one was built on purpose, at
my own charge. When the ship was ready, I went on board with my
goods; but not having enough to load her, I agreed to take with
me several merchants of different nations with their merchandize.

We sailed with the first fair wind, and after a long navigation
the first place we touched at was a desert island, where we found
an egg of a roe, equal in size to that I formerly mentioned.
There was a young roc it just ready to be hatched, and its bill
had begun to appear.

The merchants whom I had taken on board, and who landed with me,
broke the egg with hatchets, and made a hole in it, pulled out
the young roc piecemeal, and roasted it. I had earnestly
intreated them not to meddle with the egg, but they would not
listen to me.

Scarcely had they finished their repast, when there appeared in
the air at a considerable distance from us two great clouds. The
captain whom I had hired to navigate my ship, knowing by
experience what they meant, said they were the male and female
roc that belonged to the young one, and pressed us to re-embark
with all speed, to prevent the misfortune which he saw would
otherwise befall us. We hastened on board, and set sail with all
possible expedition.

In the mean time, the two roes approached with a frightful noise,
which they redoubled when they saw the egg broken, and their
young one gone. They flew back in the direction they had come,
and disappeared for some time, while we made all the sail we
could to endeavour to prevent that which unhappily befell us.

They soon returned, and we observed that each of them carried
between its talons stones, or

rather rocks, of a monstrous size. When they came directly over
my ship, they hovered, and one of them let fall a stone, but by
the dexterity of the steersman it missed us, and falling into the
sea, divided the water so that we could almost see the bottom.
The other roe, to our misfortune, threw his messy burden so
exactly upon the middle of the ship, as to split it into a
thousand pieces. The mariners and passengers were all crushed to
death, or sunk. I myself was of the number of the latter; but as
I came up again, I fortunately caught hold of a piece of the
wreck, and swimming sometimes with one hand, and sometimes with
the other, but always holding fast my board, the wind and the
tide favouring me, I came to an island, whose shore was very
steep. I overcame that difficulty, however, and got ashore.

I sat down upon the grass, to recover myself from my fatigue,
after which I went into the island to explore it. It seemed to be
a delicious garden. I found trees everywhere, some of them
bearing green, and others ripe fruits, and streams of fresh pure
water running in pleasant meanders. I ate of the fruits, which I
found excellent; and drank of the water, which was very light and

When night closed in, I lay down upon the grass in a convenient
spot, but could not sleep an hour at a time, my mind being
apprehensive of danger. I spent best part of the night in alarm,
and reproached myself for my imprudence in not remaining at home,
rather than undertaking this last voyage. These reflections
carried me so far, that I began to form a design against my life;
but daylight dispersed these melancholy thoughts. I got up, and
walked among the trees, but not without some fears.

When I was a little advanced into the island, I saw an old man,
who appeared very weak and infirm. He was sitting on the bank of
a stream, and at first I took him to be one who had been
shipwrecked like myself. I went towards him and saluted him, but
he only slightly bowed his head. I asked him why he sat so still,
but instead of answering me, he made a sign for me to take him
upon my back, and carry him over the brook, signifying that it
was to gather fruit.

I believed him really to stand in need of my assistance, took him
upon my back, and having carried him over, bade him get down, and
for that end stooped, that he might get off with ease; but
instead of doing so (which I laugh at every time I think of it)
the old man, who to me appeared quite decrepid, clasped his legs
nimbly about my neck, when I perceived his skin to resemble that
of a cow. He sat astride upon my shoulders, and held my throat so
tight, that I thought he would have strangled me, the
apprehension of which make me swoon and fall down.

Notwithstanding my fainting, the ill-natured old fellow kept fast
about my neck, but opened his legs a little to give me time to
recover my breath. When I had done so, he thrust one of his feet
against my stomach, and struck me so rudely on the side with the
other, that he forced me to rise up against my will. Having
arisen, he made me walk under the trees, and forced me now and
then to stop, to gather and eat fruit such as we found. He never
left me all day, and when I lay down to rest at night, laid
himself down with me, holding always fast about my neck. Every
morning he pushed me to make me awake, and afterwards obliged me
to get up and walk, and pressed me with his feet. You may judge
then, gentlemen, what trouble I was in, to be loaded with such a
burden of which I could not get rid.

One day I found in my way several dry calebashes that had fallen
from a tree. I took a large one, and after cleaning it, pressed
into it some juice of grapes, which abounded in the island;
having filled the calebash, I put it by in a convenient place,
and going thither again some days after, I tasted it, and found
the wine so good, that it soon made me forget my sorrow, gave me
new vigour, and so exhilarated my spirits, that I began to sing
and dance as I walked along.

The old man, perceiving the effect which this liquor had upon me,
and that I carried him with more ease than before, made me a sign
to give him some of it. I handed him the calebash, and the liquor
pleasing his palate, he drank it all off. There being a
considerable quantity of it, he became drunk immediately, and the


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