The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 3
Richard F. Burton

Part 1 out of 8

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This etext was scanned by JC Byers
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proofread by Doris Ringbloom, Sara Vazirian, Diane Doerfler,
Nancy Bloomquist, and JC Byers.

A Plain and Literal Translation
of the Arabian Nights Entertainments

Translated and Annotated by
Richard F. Burton

Privately Printed By The Burton Club

Inscribed to the Memory
A Friend
During A Friendship of Twenty-Six Years
Ever Showed Me The Most
Unwearied Kindness,
Richard Monckton Milnes
Baron Houghton.

Contents of the Third Volume

The Tale of King Omar Bin Al-Nu'uman and His Sons Sharrkan and
Zau Al-Makan (cont)
aa. Continuation of the Tale of Aziz and Azizah
b. Tale of the Hashish Eater
c. Tale of Hammad the Badawi
10. The Birds and Beasts and the Carpenter
11. The Hermits
12. The Water-Fowl and the Tortoise
13. The Wolf and the Fox
a. Tale of the Falcon and the Partridge
14. The Mouse and the Ichneumon
15. The Cat and the Crow
16. The Fox and the Crow
a. The Flea and the Mouse
b. The Saker and the Birds
c. The Sparrow and the Eagle
17. The Hedgehog and the Wood Pigeons
a. The Merchant and the Two Sharpers
18. The Thief and His Monkey
a. The Foolish Weaver
19. The Sparrow and the Peacock
20. Ali Bin Bakkar and Shams Al-Nahar
21. Tale of Kamar Al-Zaman

The Book Of The

When it was the One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Night

Shahrazad continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that
Aziz pursued to Taj al-Muluk: Then I entered the flower garden
and made for the pavilion, where I found the daughter of Dalilah
the Wily One, sitting with head on knee and hand to cheek. Her
colour was changed and her eyes were sunken; but, when she saw
me, she exclaimed, "Praised be Allah for thy safety!" And she was
minded to rise but fell down for joy. I was abashed before her
and hung my head; presently, however, I went up to her and kissed
her and asked, "How knewest thou that I should come to thee this
very night?" She answered, "I knew it not! By Allah, this whole
year past I have not tasted the taste of sleep, but have watched
through every night, expecting thee; and such hath been my case
since the day thou wentest out from me and I gave thee the new
suit of clothes, and thou promisedst me to go to the Hammam and
to come back! So I sat awaiting thee that night and a second
night and a third night; but thou camest not till after so great
delay, and I ever expecting thy coming; for this is lovers' way.
And now I would have thee tell me what hath been the cause of
thine absence from me the past year long?" So I told her. And
when she knew that I was married, her colour waxed yellow, and I
added, "I have come to thee this night but I must leave thee
before day." Quoth she, "Doth it not suffice her that she tricked
thee into marrying her and kept thee prisoner with her a whole
year, but she must also make thee swear by the oath of divorce,
that thou wilt return to her on the same night before morning,
and not allow thee to divert thyself with thy mother or me, nor
suffer thee to pass one night with either of us, away from her?
How then must it be with one from whom thou hast been absent a
full year, and I knew thee before she did? But Allah have mercy
on thy cousin Azizah, for there befel her what never befel any
and she bore what none other ever bore and she died by thy ill
usage; yet 'twas she who protected thee against me. Indeed, I
thought thou didst love me, so I let thee take thine own way;
else had I not suffered thee to go safe in a sound skin, when I
had it in my power to clap thee in jail and even to slay thee."
Then she wept with sore weeping and waxed wroth and shuddered in
my face with skin bristling[FN#1] and looked at me with furious
eyes. When I saw her in this case I was terrified at her and my
side muscles trembled and quivered, for she was like a dreadful
she Ghul, an ogress in ire, and I like a bean over the fire.
Then said she, "Thou art of no use to me, now thou art married
and hast a child; nor art thou any longer fit for my company; I
care only for bachelors and not for married men:[FN#2] these
profit us nothing Thou hast sold me for yonder stinking armful;
but, by Allah, I will make the whore's heart ache for thee, and
thou shalt not live either for me or for her!" Then she cried a
loud cry and, ere I could think, up came the slave girls and
threw me on the ground; and when I was helpless under their hands
she rose and, taking a knife, said, "I will cut thy throat as
they slaughter he goats; and that will be less than thy desert,
for thy doings to me and the daughter of thy uncle before me."
When I looked to my life and found myself at the mercy of her
slave women, with my cheeks dust soiled, and saw her sharpen the
knife, I made sure of death.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir
Dandan thus continued his tale to Zau al-Makan: Then quoth the
youth Aziz to Taj al-Muluk, Now when I found my life at the mercy
of her slave women with my cheeks dust soiled, and I saw her
sharpen the knife, I made sure of death and cried out to her for
mercy. But she only redoubled in ferocity and ordered the slave
girls to pinion my hands behind me, which they did; and, throwing
me on my back, she seated herself on my middle and held down my
head. Then two of them came up and squatted on my shin bones,
whilst other two grasped my hands and arms; and she summoned a
third pair and bade them beat me. So they beat me till I fainted
and my voice failed. When I revived, I said to myself, " 'Twere
easier and better for me to have my gullet slit than to be beaten
on this wise!" And I remembered the words of my cousin, and how
she used to say to me, "Allah, keep thee from her mischief!"; and
I shrieked and wept till my voice failed and I remained without
power to breathe or to move. Then she again whetted the knife
and said to the slave girls, "Uncover him." Upon this the Lord
inspired me to repeat to her the two phrases my cousin had taught
me, and had bequeathed to me, and I said, "O my lady, dost thou
not know that Faith is fair, Unfaith is foul?" When she heard
this, she cried out and said, "Allah pity thee, Azizah, and give
thee Paradise in exchange for thy wasted youth! By Allah, of a
truth she served thee in her life time and after her death, and
now she hath saved thee alive out of my hands with these two
saws. Nevertheless, I cannot by any means leave thee thus, but
needs must I set my mark on thee, to spite yonder brazen faced
piece, who hath kept thee from me." There upon she called out to
the slave women and bade them bind my feet with cords and then
said to them, "Take seat on him!" They did her bidding, upon
which she arose and fetched a pan of copper and hung it over the
brazier and poured into it oil of sesame, in which she fried
cheese.[FN#3] Then she came up to me (and I still insensible)
and, unfastening my bag trousers, tied a cord round my testicles
and, giving it to two of her women, bade them trawl at it. They
did so, and I swooned away and was for excess of pain in a world
other than this. Then she came with a razor of steel and cut off
my member masculine,[FN#4] so that I remained like a woman: after
which she seared the wound with the boiling and rubbed it with a
powder, and I the while unconscious. Now when I came to myself,
the blood had stopped; so she bade the slave girls unbind me and
made me drink a cup of wine. Then said she to me, "Go now to her
whom thou hast married and who grudged me a single night, and the
mercy of Allah be on thy cousin Azizah, who saved thy life and
never told her secret love! Indeed, haddest thou not repeated
those words to me, I had surely slit thy weasand. Go forth this
instant to whom thou wilt, for I needed naught of thee save what
I have just cut off; and now I have no part in thee, nor have I
any further want of thee or care for thee. So begone about thy
business and rub thy head[FN#5] and implore mercy for the
daughter of thine uncle!" Thereupon she kicked me with her foot
and I rose, hardly able to walk; and I went, little by little,
till I came to the door of our house. I saw it was open, so I
threw myself within it and fell down in a fainting fit; whereupon
my wife came out and lifting me up, carried me into the saloon
and assured herself that I had become like a woman. Then I fell
into a sleep and a deep sleep; and when I awoke, I found myself
thrown down at the garden gate,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir
Dandan pursued to King Zau al-Makan, The youth Aziz thus
continued his story to Taj al-Muluk: When I awoke and found
myself thrown down at the garden gate, I rose, groaning for pain
and misery, and made my way to our home and entering, I came upon
my mother weeping for me, and saying, "Would I knew, O my son, in
what land art thou?" So I drew near and threw myself upon her,
and when she looked at me and felt me, she knew that I was ill;
for my face was coloured black and tan. Then I thought of my
cousin and all the kind offices she had been wont to do me, and I
learned when too late that she had truly loved me; so I wept for
her and my mother wept also Presently she said to me, "O my son,
thy sire is dead." At this my fury against Fate redoubled, and I
cried till I fell into a fit. When I came to myself, I looked at
the place where my cousin Azizah had been used to sit and shed
tears anew, till I all but fainted once more for excess of
weeping; and I ceased not to cry and sob and wail till midnight,
when my mother said to me, "Thy father hath been dead these ten
days." "I shall never think of any one but my cousin Azizah,"
replied I; "and indeed I deserve all that hath befallen me, for
that I neglected her who loved me with love so dear." Asked she,
"What hath befallen thee?" So I told her all that had happened
and she wept awhile, then she rose and set some matter of meat
and drink before me. I ate a little and drank, after which I
repeated my story to her, and told her the whole occurrence;
whereupon she exclaimed, "Praised be Allah, that she did but this
to thee and forbore to slaughter thee!" Then she nursed me and
medicined me till I regained my health; and, when my recovery was
complete, she said to me, "O my son, I will now bring out to thee
that which thy cousin committed to me in trust for thee; for it
is thine. She swore me not to give it thee, till I should see
thee recalling her to mind and weeping over her and thy
connection severed from other than herself; and now I know that
these conditions are fulfilled in thee." So she arose, and
opening a chest, took out this piece of linen, with the figures
of gazelles worked thereon, which I had given to Azizah in time
past; and taking it I found written therein these couplets,

"Lady of beauty, say, who taught thee hard and harsh design, *
To slay with longing Love's excess this hapless lover thine?
An thou fain disremember me beyond our parting day, * Allah will
know, that thee and thee my memory never shall tyne.
Thou blamest me with bitter speech yet sweetest 'tis to me; *
Wilt generous be and deign one day to show of love a sign?
I had not reckoned Love contained so much of pine and pain; *
And soul distress until I came for thee to pain and pine
Never my heart knew weariness, until that eve I fell * In love
wi' thee, and prostrate fell before those glancing eyne!
My very foes have mercy on my case and moan therefor; * But thou,
O heart of Indian steel, all mercy dost decline.
No, never will I be consoled, by Allah, an I die, * Nor yet
forget the love of thee though life in ruins lie!"

When I read these couplets, I wept with sore weeping and buffeted
my face; then I unfolded the scroll, and there fell from it an
other paper. I opened it and behold, I found written therein,
'Know, O son of my uncle, that I acquit thee of my blood and I
beseech Allah to make accord between thee and her whom thou
lovest; but if aught befal thee through the daughter of Dalilah
the Wily, return thou not to her neither resort to any other
woman and patiently bear thine affliction, for were not thy fated
life tide a long life, thou hadst perished long ago; but praised
be Allah who hath appointed my death day before thine! My peace
be upon thee; preserve this cloth with the gazelles herein
figured and let it not leave thee, for it was my companion when
thou was absent from me;"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir
Dandan pursued to King Zau al-Makan, And the youth Aziz continued
to Taj al-Muluk: So I read what my cousin had written and the
charge to me which was, "Preserve this cloth with the gazelles
and let it not leave thee, for it was my companion when thou west
absent from me and, Allah upon thee! if thou chance to fall in
with her who worked these gazelles, hold aloof from her and do
not let her approach thee nor marry her; and if thou happen not
on her and find no way to her, look thou consort not with any of
her sex. Know that she who wrought these gazelles worketh every
year a gazelle cloth and despatcheth it to far countries, that
her report and the beauty of her broidery, which none in the
world can match, may be bruited abroad. As for thy beloved, the
daughter of Dalilah the Wily, this cloth came to her hand, and
she used to ensnare folk with it, showing it to them and saying,
'I have a sister who wrought this.' But she lied in so saying,
Allah rend her veil! This is my parting counsel; and I have not
charged thee with this charge, but because I know[FN#6] that
after my death the world will be straitened on thee and, haply,
by reason of this, thou wilt leave thy native land and wander in
foreign parts, and hearing of her who wrought these figures, thou
mayest be minded to fore gather with her. Then wilt thou
remember me, when the memory shall not avail thee; nor wilt thou
know my worth till after my death. And, lastly, learn that she
who wrought the gazelles is the daughter of the King of the
Camphor Islands and a lady of the noblest." Now when I had read
that scroll and understood what was written therein, I fell again
to weeping, and my mother wept because I wept, and I ceased not
to gaze upon it and to shed tears till night fall. I abode in
this condition a whole year, at the end of which the merchants,
with whom I am in this cafilah, prepared to set out from my
native town; and my mother counseled me to equip myself and
journey with them, so haply I might be consoled and my sorrow be
dispelled, saying, "Take comfort and put away from thee this
mourning and travel for a year or two or three, till the caravan
return, when perhaps thy breast may be broadened and thy heart
heartened." And she ceased not to persuade me with endearing
words, till I provided myself with merchandise and set out with
the caravan. But all the time of my wayfaring, my tears have
never dried; no, never! and at every halting place where we
halt, I open this piece of linen and look on these gazelles and
call to mind my cousin Azizah and weep for her as thou hast seen;
for indeed she loved me with dearest love and died, oppressed by
my unlove. I did her nought but ill and she did me nought but
good. When these merchants return from their journey, I shall
return with them, by which time I shall have been absent a whole
year: yet hath my sorrow waxed greater and my grief and
affliction were but increased by my visit to the Islands of
Camphor and the Castle of Crystal. Now these islands are seven
in number and are ruled by a King, by name Shahriman,[FN#7] who
hath a daughter called Dunya;[FN#8] and I was told that it was
she who wrought these gazelles and that this piece in my
possession was of her embroidery. When I knew this, my yearning
redoubled and I burnt with the slow fire of pining and was
drowned in the sea of sad thought; and I wept over myself for
that I was become even as a woman, without manly tool like other
men, and there was no help for it. From the day of my quitting
the Camphor Islands, I have been tearful eyed and heavy hearted,
and such hath been my case for a long while and I know not
whether it will be given me to return to my native land and die
beside my mother or not; for I am sick from eating too much of
the world. Thereupon the young merchant wept and groaned and
complained and gazed upon the gazelles; whilst the tears rolled
down his cheeks in streams and he repeated these two couplets,

"Joy needs shall come," a prattler 'gan to prattle: *
"Needs cease thy blame!" I was commoved to rattle:
'In time,' quoth he: quoth I ' 'Tis marvellous! *
Who shall ensure my life, O cold of tattle!'"[FN#9]

And he repeated also these,

"Well Allah weets that since our severance day *
I've wept till forced to ask of tears a loan:
'Patience! (the blamer cries): thou'lt have her yet!' *
Quoth I, 'O blamer where may patience wone?'"

Then said he, "This, O King! is my tale: hast thou ever heard
one stranger?" So Taj al-Muluk marvelled with great marvel at the
young merchant's story, and fire darted into his entrails on
hearing the name of the Lady Dunya and her loveliness.--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir
Dandan continued to Zau al-Makan: Now when Taj al-Muluk heard the
story of the young merchant, he marvelled with great marvel and
fire darted into his entrails on hearing the name of the Lady
Dunya who, as he knew, had embroidered the gazelles; and his love
and longing hourly grew, so he said to the youth, "By Allah, that
hath befallen thee whose like never befel any save thyself, but
thou hast a life term appointed, which thou must fulfil; and now
I would fain ask of thee a question." Quoth Aziz, "And what is
it?" Quoth he, "Wilt thou tell me how thou sawest the young lady
who wrought these gazelles?" Then he, "O my lord, I got me access
to her by a sleight and it was this. When I entered her city
with the caravan, I went forth and wandered about the garths till
I came to a flower garden abounding in trees, whose keeper was a
venerable old man, a Shaykh stricken in years. I addressed him,
saying, 'O ancient sir, whose may be this garden?' and he
replied, 'It belongs to the King's daughter, the Lady Dunya. We
are now beneath her palace and, when she is minded to amuse
herself, she openeth the private wicket and walketh in the garden
and smelleth the fragrance of the flowers.' So I said to him,
'Favour me by allowing me to sit in this garden till she come;
haply I may enjoy a sight of her as she passeth.' The Shaykh
answered, 'There can be no harm in that.' Thereupon I gave him a
dirham or so and said to him, Buy us something to eat.' He took
the money gladly and opened door and, entering himself, admitted
me into the garden, where we strolled and ceased not strolling
till we reached a pleasant spot in which he bade me sit down and
await his going and his returning. Then he brought me somewhat
of fruit and, leaving me, disappeared for an hour; but after a
while he returned to me bringing a roasted lamb, of which we ate
till we had eaten enough, my heart yearning the while for a sight
of the lady. Presently, as we sat, the postern opened and the
keeper said to me, 'Rise and hide thee.' I did so; and behold, a
black eunuch put his head out through the garden wicket and
asked, 'O Shaykh, there any one with thee?' 'No,' answered he;
and the eunuch said, 'Shut the garden gate.' So the keeper shut
the gate, and lo! the Lady Dunya came in by the private door.
When I saw her, methought the moon had risen above the horizon
and was shining; I looked at her a full hour and longed for her
as one athirst longeth for water. After a while she withdrew and
shut the door; whereupon I left the garden and sought my lodging,
knowing that I could not get at her and that I was no man for
her, more especially as I was become like a woman, having no
manly tool: moreover she was a King's daughter and I but a
merchant man; so; how could I have access to the like of her or--
to any other woman? Accordingly, when these my companions made
ready for the road, I also made preparation and set out with
them, and we journeyed towards this city till we arrived at the
place ere we met with thee. Thou askedst me and I have answered;
and these are my adventures and peace be with thee!" Now when Taj
al-Muluk heard that account, fires raged in his bosom and his
heart and thought were occupied love for the Lady Dunya; and
passion and longing were sore upon him. Then he arose and
mounted horse and, taking Aziz with him, returned to his father's
capital, where he settled him in a separate house and supplied
him with all he needed in the way of meat and drink and dress.
Then he left him and returned to his palace, with the tears
trickling down his cheeks, for hearing oftentimes standeth
instead of seeing and knowing.[FN#10] And he ceased not to be in
this state till his father came in to him and finding him wan
faced, lean of limb and tearful eyed, knew that something had
occurred to chagrin him and said, "O my son, acquaint me with thy
case and tell me what hath befallen thee, that thy colour is
changed and thy body is wasted. So he told him all that had
passed and what tale he had heard of Aziz and the account of the
Princess Dunya; and how he had fallen in love of her on hearsay,
without having set eyes on her. Quoth his sire, "O my son, she
is the daughter of a King whose land is far from ours: so put
away this thought and go in to thy mother's palace."--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Thirtieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir
Dandan continued to Zau al-Makan: And the father of Taj al-Muluk
spake to him on this wise, "O my son, her father is a King whose
land is far from ours: so put away this thought and go into thy
mother's palace where are five hundred maidens like moons, and
whichsoever of them pleaseth thee, take her; or else we will seek
for thee in marriage some one of the King's daughters, fairer
than the Lady Dunya." Answered Taj al-Muluk, "O my father, I
desire none other, for she it is who wrought the gazelles which I
saw, and there is no help but that I have her; else I will flee
into the world and the waste and I will slay myself for her
sake." Then said his father, "Have patience with me, till I send
to her sire and demand her in marriage, and win thee thy wish as
I did for myself with thy mother. Haply Allah will bring thee to
thy desire; and, if her parent will not consent, I will make his
kingdom quake under him with an army, whose rear shall be with me
whilst its van shall be upon him." Then he sent for the youth
Aziz and asked him, "O my son, tell me dost thou know the way to
the Camphor Islands?" He answered "Yes"; and the King said, "I
desire of thee that thou fare with my Wazir thither." Replied
Aziz, "I hear and I obey, O King of the Age!"; where upon the
King summoned his Minister and said to him, "Devise me some
device, whereby my son's affair may be rightly managed and fare
thou forth to the Camphor Islands and demand of their King his
daughter in marriage for my son, Taj al-Muluk." The Wazir
replied, "Hearkening and obedience." Then Taj al-Muluk returned
to his dwelling place and his love and longing redoubled and the
delay seemed endless to him; and when the night darkened around
him, he wept and sighed and complained and repeated this poetry,

"Dark falls the night: my tears unaided rail * And fiercest
flames of love my heart assail:
Ask thou the nights of me, and they shall tell * An I find aught
to do but weep and wail:
Night long awake, I watch the stars what while * Pour down my
cheeks the tears like dropping hail:
And lone and lorn I'm grown with none to aid; * For kith and kin
the love lost lover fail."

And when he had ended his reciting he swooned away and did not
recover his senses till the morning, at which time there came to
him one of his father's eunuchs and, standing at his head,
summoned him to the King's presence. So he went with him and his
father, seeing that his pallor had increased, exhorted him to
patience and promised him union with her he loved. Then he
equipped Aziz and the Wazir and supplied them with presents; and
they set out and fared on day and night till they drew near the
Isles of Camphor, where they halted on the banks of a stream, and
the Minister despatched a messenger to acquaint the King of his
arrival. The messenger hurried forwards and had not been gone
more than an hour, before they saw the King's Chamberlains and
Emirs advancing towards them, to meet them at a parasang's
distance from the city and escort them into the royal presence.
They laid their gifts before the King and became his guests for
three days. And on the fourth day the Wazir rose and going in to
the King, stood between his hands and acquainted him with the
object which induced his visit; whereat he was perplexed for an
answer inasmuch as his daughter misliked men and disliked
marriage. So he bowed his head groundwards awhile, then raised
it and calling one of his eunuchs, said to him, "Go to thy
mistress, the Lady Dunya, and repeat to her what thou hast heard
and the purport of this Wazir's coming." So the eunuch went forth
and returning after a time, said to the King, "O King of the Age,
when I went in to the Lady Dunya and told her what I had heard,
she was wroth with exceeding wrath and rose at me with a staff
designing to break my head; so I fled from her, and she said to
me 'If my Father force me to wed him, whomsoever I wed I will
slay.' Then said her sire to the Wazir and Aziz, "Ye have heard,
and now ye know all! So let your King wot of it and give him my
salutations and say that my daughter misliketh men and disliketh
marriage."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Thirty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King
Shahriman thus addressed the Wazir and Aziz, "Salute your King
from me and inform him of what ye have heard, namely that my
daughter misliketh marriage." So they turned away unsuccessful
and ceased not faring on till they rejoined the King and told him
what had passed; whereupon he commanded the chief officers to
summon the troops and get them ready for marching and
campaigning. But the Wazir said to him, "O my liege Lord, do not
thus: the King is not at fault because, when his daughter learnt
our business, she sent a message saying, 'If my father force me
to wed, whomsoever I wed I will slay and myself after him.' So
the refusal cometh from her." When the King heard his Minister's
words he feared for Taj al-Muluk and said, "Verily if I make war
on the King of the Camphor Islands and carry off his daughter,
she will kill herself and it will avail me naught." Then he told
his son how the case stood, who hearing it said, "O my father, I
cannot live without her; so I will go to her and contrive to get
at her, even though I die in the attempt, and this only will I do
and nothing else." Asked his father, "How wilt thou go to her?"
and he answered, "I will go in the guise of a merchant."[FN#11]
Then said the King, "If thou need must go and there is no help
for it, take with thee the Wazir and Aziz." Then he brought out
money from his treasuries and made ready for his son merchandise
to the value of an hundred thousand dinars. The two had settled
upon this action; and when the dark hours came Taj al-Muluk and
Aziz went to Aziz's lodgings and there passed that night, and the
Prince was heart smitten, taking no pleasure in food or in sleep;
for melancholy was heavy upon him and he was agitated with
longing for his beloved. So he besought the Creator that he
would vouch safe to unite him with her and he wept and groaned
and wailed and began versifying,

"Union, this severance ended, shall I see some day? * Then shall
my tears this love lorn lot of me portray.
While night all care forgets I only minded thee, * And thou didst
gar me wake while all forgetful lay."

And when his improvising came to an end, he wept with sore
weeping and Aziz wept with him, for that he remembered his
cousin; and they both ceased not to shed tears till morning
dawned, whereupon Taj al-Muluk rose and went to farewell his
mother, in travelling dress. She asked him of his case and he
repeated the story to her; so she gave him fifty thousand gold
pieces and bade him adieu; and, as he fared forth, she put up
prayers for his safety and for his union with his lover and his
friends. Then he betook himself to his father and asked his
leave to depart. The King granted him permission and, presenting
him with other fifty thousand dinars, bade set up a tent for him
without the city and they pitched a pavilion wherein the
travellers abode two days. Then all set out on their journey.
Now Taj al-Muluk delighted in the company of Aziz and said to
him, "O my brother, henceforth I can never part from thee."
Replied Aziz, "And I am of like mind and fain would I die under
thy feet: but, O my brother, my heart is concerned for my
mother." "When we shall have won our wish," said the Prince,
"there will be naught save what is well!" Now the Wazir continued
charging Taj al-Muluk to be patient, whilst Aziz entertained him
every evening with talk and recited poetry to him and diverted
him with histories and anecdotes. And so they fared on
diligently night and day for two whole months, till the way
became tedious to Taj al-Muluk and the fire of desire redoubled
on him; and he broke out,

"The road is lonesome; grow my grief and need, * While on my
breast love fires for ever feed:
Goal of my hopes, sole object of my wish! * By him who moulded
man from drop o' seed,
I bear such loads of longing for thy love, * Dearest, as weight
of al Shumm Mounts exceed:
O 'Lady of my World'[FN#12] Love does me die; * No breath of life
is left for life to plead;
But for the union hope that lends me strength, * My weary limbs
were weak this way to speed."

When he had finished his verses, he wept (and Aziz wept with him)
from a wounded heart, till the Minister was moved to pity by
their tears and said, "O my lord, be of good cheer and keep thine
eyes clear of tears; there will be naught save what is well!"
Quoth Taj al-Muluk, "O Wazir, indeed I am weary of the length of
the way. Tell me how far we are yet distant from the city."
Quoth Aziz, "But a little way remaineth to us." Then they
continued their journey, cutting across river vales and plains,
words and stony wastes, till one night, as Taj al-Muluk was
sleeping, he dreamt that his beloved was with him and that he
embraced her and pressed her to his bosom; and he awoke
quivering, shivering with pain, delirious with emotion, and
improvised these verses,

"Dear friend, my tears aye flow these cheeks adown, *
With longsome pain and pine, my sorrow's crown:
I plain like keening woman child bereft, *
And as night falls like widow dove I groan:
An blow the breeze from land where thou cost wone, *
I find o'er sunburnt earth sweet coolness blown.
Peace be wi' thee, my love, while zephyr breathes, *
And cushat flies and turtle makes her moan."

And when he had ended his versifying, the Wazir came to him and
said, "Rejoice; this is a good sign: so be of good cheer and keep
thine eyes cool and clear, for thou shalt surely compass thy
desire." And Aziz also came to him and exhorted him to patience
and applied himself to divert him, talking with him and telling
him tales. So they pressed on, marching day and night, other two
months, till there appeared to them one day at sunrise some white
thing in the distance and Taj al-Muluk said to Aziz, "What is
yonder whiteness?" He replied, "O my lord! yonder is the Castle
of Crystal and that is the city thou seekest." At this the Prince
rejoiced, and they ceased not faring forwards till they drew near
the city and, as they approached it, Taj al-Muluk joyed with
exceeding joy, and his care ceased from him. They entered in
trader guise, the King's son being habited as a merchant of
importance; and repaired to a great Khan, known as the Merchants'
Lodging. Quoth Taj al-Muluk to Aziz, "Is this the resort of the
merchants?"; and quoth he, "Yes; 'tis the Khan wherein I lodged
before." So they alighted there and making their baggage camels
kneel, unloaded them and stored their goods in the
warehouses.[FN#13] They abode four days for rest; when the Wazir
advised that they should hire a large house. To this they
assented and they found them a spacious house, fitted up for
festivities, where they took up their abode, and the Wazir and
Aziz studied to devise some device for Taj al-Muluk, who remained
in a state of perplexity, knowing not what to do. Now the
Minister could think of nothing but that he should set up as a
merchant on 'Change and in the market of fine stuffs; so he
turned to the Prince and his companion and said to them, "Know ye
that if we tarry here on this wise, assuredly we shall not win
our wish nor attain our aim; but a something occurred to me
whereby (if Allah please!) we shall find our advantage." Replied
Taj al-Muluk and Aziz, "Do what seemeth good to thee, indeed
there is a blessing on the grey beard; more specially on those
who, like thyself, are conversant with the conduct of affairs: so
tell us what occurreth to thy mind." Rejoined the Wazir "It is my
counsel that we hire thee a shop in the stuff bazar, where thou
mayst sit to sell and buy. Every one, great and small, hath need
of silken stuffs and other cloths; so if thou patiently abide in
thy shop, thine affairs will prosper, Inshallah! more by token
as thou art comely of aspect. Make, however, Aziz thy factor and
set him within the shop, to hand thee the pieces of cloth and
stuffs." When Taj al-Muluk heard these words, he said, 'This rede
is right and a right pleasant recking." So he took out a handsome
suit of merchant's weed, and, putting it on, set out for the
bazar, followed by his servants, to one of whom he had given a
thousand dinars, wherewith to fit up the shop. They ceased not
walking till they came to the stuff market, and when the
merchants saw Taj al-Muluk's beauty and grace, they were
confounded and went about saying, "Of a truth Rizwan[FN#14] hath
opened the gates of Paradise and left them unguarded, so that
this youth of passing comeliness hath come forth." And others,
"Peradventure this is one of the angels." Now when they went in
among the traders they asked for the shop of the Overseer of the
market and the merchants directed them thereto. So they delayed
not to repair thither and to salute him, and he and those who
were with him rose to them and seated them and made much of them,
because of the Wazir, whom they saw to be a man in years and of
reverend aspect; and viewing the youths Aziz and Taj al-Muluk in
his company, they said to one another, "Doubtless our Shaykh is
the father of these two youths." Then quoth the Wazir, "Who among
you is the Overseer of the market?" "This is he," replied they;
and behold, he came forward and the Wazir observed him narrowly
and saw him to be an old man of grave and dignified carriage,
with eunuchs and servants and black slaves. The Syndic greeted
them with the greeting of friends and was lavish in his
attentions to them: then he seated them by his side and asked
them, "Have ye any business which we[FN#15] may have the
happiness of transacting?" The Minister answered, "Yes; I am an
old man, stricken in years, and have with me these two youths,
with whom I have travelled through every town and country,
entering no great city without tarrying there a full year, that
they might take their pleasure in viewing it and come to know its
citizens. Now I have visited your town intending to sojourn here
for a while; so I want of thee a handsome shop in the best
situation, wherein I may establish them, that they may traffic
and learn to buy and sell and give and take, whilst they divert
themselves with the sight of the place, and be come familiar with
the usages of its people." Quoth the Overseer, "There is no harm
in that;" and, looking at the two youths, he was delighted with
them and affected them with a warm affection. Now he was a great
connoisseur of bewitching glances, preferring the love of boys to
that of girls and inclining to the sour rather than the sweet of
love. So he said to himself, "This, indeed, is fine game. Glory
be to Him who created and fashioned them out of vile
water!"[FN#16] and rising stood before them like a servant to do
them honour. Then he went out and made ready for them a shop
which was in the very midst of the Exchange; nor was there any
larger or better in the bazar, for it was spacious and handsomely
decorated and fitted with shelves of ivory and ebony wood. After
this he delivered the keys to the Wazir, who was dressed as an
old merchant, saying, "Take them, O my lord, and Allah make it a
blessed abiding place to thy two sons!" The Minister took the
keys and the three returning to the Khan where they had alighted,
bade the servants transport to the shop all their goods and
stuffs.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Thirty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Wazir took the shop keys, he went accompanied by Taj al-Muluk and
Aziz to the Khan, and they bade the servants transport to the
shop all their goods and stuffs and valuables of which they had
great store worth treasures of money. And when all this was duly
done, they went to the shop and ordered their stock in trade and
slept there that night. As soon as morning morrowed the Wazir
took the two young men to the Hammam bath where they washed them
clean; and they donned rich dresses and scented themselves with
essences and enjoyed themselves to the utmost. Now each of the
youths was passing fair to look upon, and in the bath they were
even as saith the poet,

"Luck to the Rubber, whose deft hand o'erdies *
A frame begotten twixt the lymph and light:[FN#17]
He shows the thaumaturgy of his craft, *
And gathers musk in form of camphor dight."[FN#18]

After bathing they left; and, when the Overseer heard that they
had gone to the Hammam, he sat down to await the twain, and
presently they came up to him like two gazelles; their cheeks
were reddened by the bath and their eyes were darker than ever;
their faces shone and they were as two lustrous moons or two
branches fruit laden. Now when he saw them he rose forthright
and said to them, "O my sons, may your bath profit you
always!"[FN#19] Where upon Taj al-Muluk replied, with the
sweetest of speech, "Allah be bountiful to thee, O my father; why
didst thou not come with us and bathe in our company?" Then they
both bent over his right hand and kissed it and walked before him
to the shop, to entreat him honourably and show their respect for
him, for that he was Chief of the Merchants and the market, and
he had done them kindness in giving them the shop. When he saw
their hips quivering as they moved, desire and longing redoubled
on him; and he puffed and snorted and he devoured them with his
eyes, for he could not contain himself, repeating the while these
two couplets,

"Here the heart reads a chapter of devotion pure; *
Nor reads dispute if Heaven in worship partner take:
No wonder 'tis he trembles walking 'neath such weight! *
How much of movement that revolving sphere must

Furthermore he said,

"I saw two charmers treading humble earth. *
Two I must love an tread they on mine eyes."

When they heard this, they conjured him to enter the bath with
them a second time. He could hardly believe his ears and
hastening thither, went in with them. The Wazir had not yet left
the bath; so when he heard of the Overseer's coming, he came out
and meeting him in the middle of the bath hall invited him to
enter. He refused, whereupon Taj al-Muluk taking him by the hand
walked on one side and Aziz by the other, and carried him into a
cabinet; and that impure old man submitted to them, whilst his
emotion increased on him. He would have refused, albeit this was
what he desired; but the Minister said to him, "They are thy
sons; let them wash thee and cleanse thee." "Allah preserve them
to thee!" exclaimed the Overseer, "By Allah your coming and the
coming of those with you bring down blessing and good luck upon
our city!" And he repeated these two couplets,

"Thou camest and green grew the hills anew; *
And sweetest bloom to the bridegroom threw,
While aloud cried Earth and her earth-borns too *
'Hail and welcome who comest with grace to endue.'"

They thanked him for this, and Taj al-Muluk ceased not to wash
him and to pour water over him and he thought his soul in
Paradise. When they had made an end of his service, he blessed
them and sat by the side of the Wazir, talking but gazing the
while on the youths. Presently, the servants brought them
towels, and they dried themselves and donned their dress. Then
they went out, and the Minister turned to the Syndic and said to
him, "O my lord! verily the bath is the Paradise[FN#21] of this
world." Replied the Overseer, "Allah vouchsafe to thee such
Paradise, and health to thy sons and guard them from the evil
eye! Do ye remember aught that the eloquent have said in praise
of the bath.?" Quoth Taj al-Muluk, "I will repeat for thee a pair
of couplets;" and he recited,

The life of the bath is the joy of man's life,[FN#22] *
Save that time is short for us there to bide:
A Heaven where irksome it were to stay; *
A Hell, delightful at entering-tide."

When he ended his recital, quoth Aziz, "And I also remember two
couplets in praise of the bath." The Overseer said, "Let me hear
them," so he repeated the following,

"A house where flowers from stones of granite grow, *
Seen at its best when hot with living lows:
Thou deem'st it Hell but here, forsooth, is Heaven, *
And some like suns and moons within it show."

And when he had ended his recital, his verses pleased the
Overseer and he wondered at his words and savoured their grace
and fecundity and said to them, "By Allah, ye possess both beauty
and eloquence. But now listen to me, you twain!" And he began
chanting, and recited in song the following verses,

"O joy of Hell and Heaven! whose tormentry *
Enquickens frame and soul with lively gree:
I marvel so delightsome house to view, *
And most when 'neath it kindled fires I see:
Sojourn of bliss to visitors, withal *
Pools on them pour down tears unceasingly."

Then his eye-sight roamed and browsed on the gardens of their
beauty and he repeated these two couplets,

"I went to the house of the keeper-man; *
He was out, but others to smile began:
I entered his Heaven[FN#23] and then his Hell;[FN#24] *
And I said 'Bless Malik[FN#25] and bless Rizwan.' "[FN#26]

When they heard these verses they were charmed, and the Over seer
invited them to his house; but they declined and returned to
their own place, to rest from the great heat of the bath. So
they took their ease there and ate and drank and passed that
night in perfect solace and satisfaction, till morning dawned,
when they arose from sleep and making their lesser ablution,
prayed the dawn- prayer and drank the morning draught.[FN#27] As
soon as the sun had risen and the shops and markets opened, they
arose and going forth from their place to the bazar opened their
shop, which their servants had already furnished, after the
handsomest fashion, and had spread with prayer rugs and silken
carpets and had placed on the divans a pair of mattresses, each
worth an hundred dinars. On every mattress they had disposed a
rug of skin fit for a King and edged with a fringe of gold; and
a-middlemost the shop stood a third seat still richer, even as
the place required. Then Taj al-Muluk sat down on one divan, and
Aziz on another, whilst the Wazir seated himself on that in the
centre, and the servants stood before them. The city people soon
heard of them and crowded about them, so that they sold some of
their goods and not a few of their stuffs; for Taj al-Muluk's
beauty and loveliness had become the talk of the town. Thus they
passed a trifle of time, and every day the people flocked to them
and pressed upon them more and more, till the Wazir, after
exhorting Taj al-Muluk to keep his secret, commended him to the
care of Aziz and went home, that he might commune with himself
alone and cast about for some contrivance which might profit
them. Meanwhile, the two young men sat talking and Taj al-Muluk
said to Aziz, "Haply some one will come from the Lady Dunya." So
he ceased not expecting this chance days and nights, but his
heart was troubled and he knew neither sleep nor rest; for desire
had got the mastery of him, and love and longing were sore upon
him, so that he renounced the solace of sleep and abstained from
meat and drink; yet ceased he not to be like the moon on the
night of fullness. Now one day as he sat in the shop, behold,
there came up an ancient woman.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Thirty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir
Dandan continued to Zau al-Makan: Now one day as Taj al-Muluk sat
in his shop, behold, there appeared an ancient woman, who came up
to him followed by two slave girls. She ceased not advancing
till she stood before the shop of Taj al-Muluk and, observing his
symmetry and beauty and loveliness, marvelled at his charms and
sweated in her petticoat trousers, exclaiming, "Glory to Him who
created thee out of vile water, and made thee a temptation to all
beholders!" And she fixed her eyes on him and said, "This is not
a mortal, he is none other than an angel deserving the highest
respect."[FN#28] Then she drew near and saluted him, whereupon he
returned her salute and rose to his feet to receive her and
smiled in her face (all this by a hint from Aziz); after which he
made her sit down by his side and fanned her with a fan, till she
was rested and refreshed. Then she turned to Taj al-Muluk and
said, "O my son! O thou who art perfect in bodily gifts and
spiritual graces; say me, art thou of this country?" He replied,
in voice the sweetest and in tone the pleasantest, "By Allah, O
my mistress, I was never in this land during my life till this
time, nor do I abide here save by way of diversion." Rejoined
she, "May the Granter grant thee all honour and prosperity! And
what stuffs hast thou brought with thee? Show me something
passing fine; for the beauteous should bring nothing but what is
beautiful." When he heard her words, his heart fluttered and he
knew not their inner meaning; but Aziz made a sign to him and he
replied, "I have everything thou canst desire and especially I
have goods that besit none but Kings and King's daughters; so
tell me what stuff thou wantest and for whom, that I may show
thee what will be fitting for him." This he said, that he might
learn the meaning of her words; and she rejoined, "I want a stuff
fit for the Princess Dunya, daughter of King Shahriman." Now when
the Prince heard the name of his beloved, he joyed with great joy
and said to Aziz, "Give me such a parcel." So Aziz brought it and
opened it before Taj al-Muluk who said to the old woman, "Select
what will suit her; for these goods are to be found only with
me." She chose stuffs worth a thousand dinars and asked, "How
much is this?"; and she ceased not the while to talk with him and
rub what was inside her thighs with the palm of her hand.
Answered Taj al-Muluk, "Shall I haggle with the like of thee
about this paltry price? Praised be Allah who hath acquainted me
with thee!" The old woman rejoined, "Allah's name be upon thee!
I commend thy beautiful face to the protection of the Lord of the
Daybreak.[FN#29] Beautiful face and eloquent speech! Happy she
who lieth in thy bosom and claspeth thy waist in her arms and
enjoyeth thy youth, especially if she be beautiful and lovely
like thyself!" At this, Taj al-Muluk laughed till he fell on his
back and said to himself, "O Thou who fulfillest desires human by
means of pimping old women! They are the true fulfillers of
desires!" Then she asked, "O my son, what is thy name?" and he
answered, "My name is Taj al-Muluk, the Crown of Kings." Quoth
she, "This is indeed a name of Kings and King's sons and thou art
clad in merchant's clothes." Quoth Aziz, "for the love his
parents and family bore him and for the value they set on him,
they named him thus." Replied the old woman, "Thou sayest sooth,
Allah guard you both from the evil eye and the envious, though
hearts be broken by your charms!" Then she took the stuffs and
went her way; but she was amazed at his beauty and stature and
symmetry, and she ceased not going till she found the Lady Dunya
and said to her, "O my mistress! I have brought thee some
handsome stuffs." Quoth the Princess, "Show me that same"; and
the old woman, "O apple of my eye, here it is, turn it over and
examine it." Now when the Princess looked at it she was amazed
and said, "O my nurse, this is indeed handsome stuff: I have
never seen its like in our city." "O my lady," replied the old
nurse, "he who sold it me is handsomer still. It would seem as
if Rizwan had left the gates of Paradise open in his
carelessness, and as if the youth who sold me this stuff had come
bodily out of Heaven. I would he might sleep this night with
thee and might lie between thy breasts.[FN#30] He hath come to
thy city with these precious stuffs for amusement's sake, and he
is a temptation to all who set eyes on him." The Princess laughed
at her words and said, "Allah afflict thee, O pernicious old hag!
Thou dotest and there is no sense left in thee." Presently, she
resumed, "Give me the stuff that I may look at it anew." So she
gave it her and she took it again and saw that its size was small
and its value great. It pleased her, for she had never in her
life seen its like, and she exclaimed, "By Allah, this is a
handsome stuff!" Answered the old woman, "O my lady, by Allah!
if thou sawest its owner thou wouldst know him for the handsomest
man on the face of the earth." Quoth the Lady Dunya, "Didst thou
ask him if he had any need, that he might tell us and we might
satisfy it?" But the nurse shook her head and said, "The Lord
keep thy sagacity! By Allah, he hath a want, may thy skill not
fail thee. What! is any man free from wants?" Rejoined the
Princess, "Go back to him and salute him and say to him, 'Our
land and town are honoured by thy visit and, if thou have any
need, we will fulfil it to thee, on our head and eyes.' " So the
old woman at once returned to Taj al-Muluk, and when he saw her
his heart jumped for joy and gladness and he rose to his feet
before her and, taking her hand, seated her by his side. As soon
as she was rested, she told him what Princess Dunya had said; and
he on hearing it joyed with exceeding joy; his breast dilated to
the full; gladness entered his heart and he said to himself,
"Verily, I have my need." Then he asked the old woman, "Haply
thou wilt take her a message from me and bring me her answer?";
and she answered, "I hear and I obey." So he said to Aziz, "Bring
me ink-case and paper and a brazen pen." And when Aziz brought
him what he sought, he hent the pen in hand and wrote these lines
of poetry,

"I write to thee, O fondest hope! a writ *
Of grief that severance on my soul cloth lay:
Saith its first line, 'Within my heart is [owe!' *
Its second, 'Love and Longing on me prey!'
Its third, 'My patience waste is, fades my life!' *
Its fourth, 'Naught shall my pain and pine allay!'
Its fifth, 'When shall mine eyes enjoy thy sight?' *
Its sixth, 'Say, when shall dawn our meeting-day?' "

And, lastly, by way of subscription he wrote these words. "This
letter is from the captive of captivation * prisoned in the hold
of longing expectation * wherefrom is no emancipation * but in
anticipation and intercourse and in unification * after absence
and separation. * For from the severance of friends he loveth so
fain * he suffereth love pangs and pining pain. *" Then his tears
rushed out, and he indited these two couplets,

"I write thee, love, the while my tears pour down; *
Nor cease they ever pouring thick and fleet:
Yet I despair not of my God, whose grace *
Haply some day will grant us twain to meet."

Then he folded the letter[FN#31] and sealed it with his signet
ring and gave it to the old woman, saying, "Carry it to the Lady
Dunya." Quoth she, "To hear is to obey;" whereupon he gave her a
thousand dinars and said to her, "O my mother! accept this gift
from me as a token of my affection." She took both from him and
blessed him and went her way and never stinted walking till she
went in to the Lady Dunya. Now when the Princess saw her she
said to her, "O my nurse, what is it he asketh of need that we
may fulfil his wish to him?" Replied the old woman, "O my lady,
he sendeth thee this letter by me, and I know not what is in it;"
and handed it to her. Then the Princess took the letter and read
it; and when she understood it, she exclaimed, "Whence cometh and
whither goeth this merchant man that he durst address such a
letter to me?" And she slapt her face saying, "'Whence are we
that we should come to shopkeeping? Awah! Awah! By the lord,
but that I fear Almighty Allah I had slain him;" and she added,
"Yea, I had crucified[FN#32] him over his shop door!" Asked the
old woman, "What is in this letter to vex thy heart and move thy
wrath on this wise? Doth it contain a complaint of oppression or
demand for the price of the stuff?" Answered the Princess, "Woe
to thee! There is none of this in it, naught but words of love
and endearment. This is all through thee: otherwise whence
should this Satan[FN#33] know me?" Rejoined the old woman, "o my
lady, thou sittest in thy high palace and none may have access to
thee; no, not even the birds of the air. Allah keep thee, and
keep thy youth from blame and reproach! Thou needest not care
for the barking of dogs, for thou art a Princess, the daughter of
a King. Be not wroth with me that I brought thee this letter,
knowing not what was in it; but I opine that thou send him an
answer and threaten him with death and forbid him this foolish
talk; surely he will abstain and not do the like again." Quoth
the Lady Dunya, "I fear that, if I write to him, he will desire
me the more." The old woman returned "When he heareth thy threats
and promise of punishment, he will desist from his persistence."
She cried, "Here with the ink case and paper and brazen pen;" and
when they brought them she wrote these couplets,

"O thou who for thy wakeful nights wouldst claim my love
to boon, * For what of pining thou must feel and
Dost thou, fond fool and proud of sprite, seek meeting with the
Moon? * Say, did man ever win his wish to take in arms the
I counsel thee, from soul cast out the wish that dwells
therein, * And cut that short which threatens thee with
sore risk oversoon:
An to such talk thou dare return, I bid thee to expect *
Fro' me such awful penalty as suiteth froward loon:
I swear by Him who moulded man from gout of clotted
blood,[FN#34] * Who lit the Sun to shine by day and lit
for night the moon,
An thou return to mention that thou spakest in thy pride, *
Upon a cross of tree for boon I'll have thee crucified!"

Then she folded the letter and handing it to the old woman said,
"Give him this and say him, 'Cease from this talk!' " "Hearkening
and obedience," replied she, and taking the letter with joy,
returned to her own house, where she passed the night; and when
morning dawned she betook herself to the shop of Taj al-Muluk
whom she found expecting her. When he saw her, he was ready to
fly[FN#35] for delight, and when she came up to him, he stood to
her on his feet and seated her by his side. Then she brought out
the letter and gave it to him, saying, "Read what is in this;"
adding "When Princess Dunya read thy letter she was angry; but I
coaxed her and jested with her till I made her laugh, and she had
pity on thee and she hath returned thee an answer." He thanked
her for her kindness and bade Aziz give her a thousand gold
pieces: then he perused the letter and understanding it fell to
weeping a weeping so sore that the old woman's heart was moved to
ruth for him, and his tears and complaints were grievous to her.
Presently she asked him, "O my son, what is there in this letter
to make thee weep?" Answered he, "She hath threatened me with
death and crucifixion and she forbiddeth me to write to her, but
if I write not my death were better than my life. So take thou
my answer to the letter and let her work her will." Rejoined the
old woman, "By the life of thy youth, needs must I risk my
existence for thee, that I may bring thee to thy desire and help
thee to win what thou hast at heart!" And Taj al-Muluk said,
"Whatever thou dost, I will requite thee for it and do thou weigh
it in the scales of thy judgement, for thou art experienced in
managing matters, and skilled in reading the chapters of the book
of intrigue: all hard matters to thee are easy doings; and Allah
can bring about everything." Then he took a sheet of paper and
wrote thereon these improvised couplets,

"Yestre'en my love with slaughter menaced me, *
But sweet were slaughter and Death's foreordained:
Yes, Death is sweet for lover doomed to bear *
Long life, rejected, injured and constrained:
By Allah! deign to visit friendless friend! *
Thy thrall am I and like a thrall I'm chained:
Mercy, O lady mine, for loving thee! *
Who loveth noble soul should be assained."

Then he sighed heavy sighs and wept till the old woman wept also
and presently taking the letter she said to him, "Be of good
cheer and cool eyes and clear; for needs must I bring thee to thy
wish."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Taj
al-Muluk wept the old woman said to him, "Be of good cheer and
cool eyes and clear; for needs must I bring thee to thy wish."
Then she rose and left him on coals of fire; and returned to
Princess Dunya, whom she found still showing on her changed face
rage at Taj al-Muluk's letter. So she gave her his second
letter, whereat her wrath redoubled and she said, "Did I not say
he would desire us the more?" Replied the old woman, "What thing
is this dog that he should aspire to thee?" Quoth the Princess,
"Go back to him and tell him that, if he write me after this, I
will cut off his head." Quoth the nurse, "Write these words in a
letter and I will take it to him that his fear may be the
greater." So she took a sheet of paper and wrote thereon these

"Ho thou, who past and bygone risks regardest with uncare! *
Thou who to win thy meeting prize dost overslowly fare!
In pride of spirit thinkest thou to win the star Soha[FN#36]? *
Albe thou may not reach the Moon which shines through
upper air?
How darest thou expect to win my favours, hope to clip *
Upon a lover's burning breast my lance like shape and rare?
Leave this thy purpose lest my wrath come down on thee some
day, * A day of wrath shall hoary turn the partings of
thy hair!"

Then she folded the letter and gave it to the old woman, who took
it and repaired to Taj al-Muluk. And when he saw her, he rose to
his feet and exclaimed, "May Allah never bereave me of the
blessing of thy coming!" Quoth she, "Take the answer to thy
letter." He took it and reading it, wept with sore weeping and
said, "I long for some one to slay me at this moment and send me
to my rest, for indeed death were easier to me than this my
state!" Then he took ink case and pen and paper and wrote a
letter containing these two couplets,

"O hope of me! pursue me not with rigour and disdain: *
Deign thou to visit lover wight in love of thee is drowned;
Deem not a life so deeply wronged I longer will endure; * My soul
for severance from my friend divorced this frame unsound."

Lastly he folded the letter and handed it to the old woman,
saying, "Be not angry with me, though I have wearied thee to no
purpose." And he bade Aziz give her other thousand ducats,
saying, "O my mother, needs must this letter result in perfect
union or utter severance." Replied she, "O my son, by Allah, I
desire nought but thy weal; and it is my object that she be
thine, for indeed thou art the shining moon, and she the rising
sun.[FN#37] If I do not bring you together, there is no profit in
my existence; and I have lived my life till I have reached the
age of ninety years in the practice of wile and intrigue; so how
should I fail to unite two lovers, though in defiance of right
and law?" Then she took leave of him having comforted his heart,
and ceased not walking till she went in to the Lady Dunya. Now
she had hidden the letter in her hair: so when she sat down by
the Princess she rubbed her head and said, "O my lady, maybe thou
wilt untwist my hair knot, for it is a time since I went to the
Hammam." The King's daughter bared her arms to the elbows and,
letting down the old woman's locks, began to loose the knot of
back hair; when out dropped the letter and the Lady Dunya seeing
it, asked, "What is this paper?" Quoth the nurse, "As I sat in
the merchant's shop, this paper must have stuck to me: give it to
me that I may return it to him; possibly it containeth some
account whereof he hath need." But the Princess opened it and
read it and, when she understood it, she cried out, "This is one
of thy manifold tricks, and hadst thou not reared me, I would lay
violent hands on thee this moment! Verily Allah hath afflicted
me with this merchant: but all that hath befallen me with him is
on thy head. I know not from what country this one can have
come: no man but he would venture to affront me thus, and I fear
lest this my case get abroad, more by token as it concerneth one
who is neither of my kin nor of my peers." Rejoined the old woman
"None would dare speak of this for fear of thy wrath and for awe
of thy sire; so there can be no harm in sending him an answer."
Quoth the Princess, "O my nurse, verily this one is a perfect
Satan! How durst he use such language to me and not dread the
Sultan's rage. Indeed, I am perplexed about his case: if I order
him to be put to death, it were unjust; and if I leave him alive
his boldness will increase." Quoth the old woman, "Come, write
him a letter; it may be he will desist in dread." So she called
for paper and ink case and pen and wrote these couplets,

"Thy folly drives thee on though long I chid, *
Writing in verse: how long shall I forbid?
For all forbiddal thou persistest more, *
And my sole grace it is to keep it hid;
Then hide thy love nor ever dare reveal, *
For an thou speak, of thee I'll soon be rid
If to thy silly speech thou turn anew, *
Ravens shall croak for thee the wold amid:
And Death shall come and beat thee down ere long, *
Put out of sight and bury 'neath an earthen lid:
Thy folk, fond fool! thou'lt leave for thee to mourn, *
And through their lives to sorrow all forlorn."

Then she folded the letter and committed it to the old woman, who
took it and returning to Taj al-Muluk, gave it to him. When he
read it, he knew that the Princess was hard hearted and that he
should not win access to her; so he complained of his case to the
Wazir and besought his counsel. Quoth the Minister, "Know thou
that naught will profit thee save that thou write to her and
invoke the retribution of Heaven upon her." And quoth the Prince,
"O my brother, O Aziz, do thou write to her as if my tongue
spake, according to thy knowledge." So Aziz took a paper and
wrote these couplets,

"By the Five Shaykhs,[FN#38] O Lord, I pray deliver me; *
Let her for whom I suffer bear like misery:
Thou knowest how I fry in flaming lowe of love, *
While she I love hath naught of ruth or clemency:
How long shall I, despite my pain, her feelings spare? *
How long shall she wreak tyranny o'er weakling me?
In pains of never ceasing death I ever grieve: *
O Lord, deign aid; none other helping hand I see.
How fain would I forget her and forget her love! *
But how forget when Love garred Patience death to dree?
O thou who hinderest Love to 'joy fair meeting tide *
Say! art thou safe from Time and Fortune's jealousy?
Art thou not glad and blest with happy life, while I *
From folk and country for thy love am doomed flee?"

Then Aziz folded the letter and gave it to Taj al-Muluk, who read
it and was pleased with it. So he handed it to the old woman,
who took it and went in with it to Princess Dunya. But when she
read it and mastered the meaning thereof, she was enraged with
great rage and said, "All that hath befallen me cometh by means
of this ill omened old woman!" Then she cried out to the damsels
and eunuchs, saying, "Seize this old hag, this accursed
trickstress and beat her with your slippers!" So they came down
upon her till she swooned away; and, when she came to herself,
the Princess said to her, "By the Lord! O wicked old woman, did
I not fear Almighty Allah, I would slay thee." Then quoth she to
them, "Beat her again" and they did so till she fainted a second
time, whereupon she bade them drag her forth and throw her
outside the palace door. So they dragged her along on her face
and threw her down before the gate; but as soon as she revived
she got up from the ground and, walking and sitting by turns,
made her way home. There she passed the night till morning, when
she arose and went to Taj al-Muluk and told them all that had
occurred. He was distressed at this grievous news and said, "O
my mother, hard indeed to us is that which hath befallen thee,
but all things are according to fate and man's lot." Replied she,
"Be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear, for I will
not give over striving till I have brought thee and her together,
and made thee enjoy this wanton who hath burnt my skin with
beating." Asked the Prince "Tell me what caused her to hate men;"
and the old woman answered, "It arose from what she saw in a
dream." "And what was this dream?" "'Twas this: one night, as she
lay asleep, she saw a fowler spread his net upon the ground and
scatter wheat grain round it. Then he sat down hard by, and not
a bird in the neighbourhood but flocked to his toils. Amongst
the rest she beheld a pair of pigeons, male and female; and,
whilst she was watching the net, behold, the male bird's foot
caught in the meshes and he began to struggle; whereupon all the
other birds took fright and flew away. But presently his mate
came back and hovered over him, then alighted on the toils
unobserved by the fowler, and fell to pecking with her beak and
pulling at the mesh in which the male bird's foot was tangled,
till she released the toes and they flew away together. Then the
fowler came up, mended his net and seated himself afar off.
After an hour or so the birds flew back and the female pigeon was
caught in the net; whereupon all the other birds took fright and
scurried away; and the male pigeon fled with the rest and did not
return to his mate, but the fowler came up and took the female
pigeon and cut her throat. The Princess awoke, troubled by her
dream, and said, 'All males are like this pigeon, worthless
creatures: and men in general lack grace and goodness to women.'"
When the old woman had ended her story, the Prince said to her,
"O my mother, I desire to have one look at her, though it be my
death; so do thou contrive me some contrivance for seeing her."
She replied, "Know then that she hath under her palace windows a
garden wherein she taketh her pleasure; and thither she resorteth
once in every month by the private door. After ten days, the
time of her thus going forth to divert herself will arrive; so
when she is about to visit the garden, I will come and tell thee,
that thou mayst go thither and meet her. And look thou leave not
the garden, for haply, an she see thy beauty and Loveliness, her
heart will be taken with love of thee, and love is the most
potent means of union." He said, "I hear and obey;" whereupon he
and Aziz arose and left the shop and, taking the old woman with
them, showed her the place where they lodged. Then said Taj al-
Muluk to Aziz, "O my brother, I have no need of the shop now,
having fulfilled my purpose of it; so I give it to thee with all
that is in it; for that thou hast come abroad with me and hast
left thy native land for my sake." Aziz accepted his gift and
then they sat conversing, while the Prince questioned him of the
strange adventures which had befallen him, and his companion
acquainted him with the particulars thereof. Presently, they
went to the Wazir and, reporting to him Taj al-Muluk's purpose,
asked him, "What is to be done?" "Let us go to the garden,"
answered he. So each and every donned richest clothes and went
forth, followed by three white slaves to the garden, which they
found thick with thickets and railing its rills. When they saw
the keeper sitting at the gate, they saluted him with the Salam
and he returned their salute. Then the Wazir gave him an hundred
gold pieces, saying, "Prithee, take this small sum and fetch us
somewhat to eat; for we are strangers and I have with me these
two lads whom I wish to divert."[FN#39] The Gardener took the
sequins and said to them, "Enter and amuse yourselves in the
garden, for it is all yours; and sit down till I bring you what
food you require." So he went to the market while the Wazir and
Taj al-Muluk and Aziz entered the garden. And shortly after
leaving for the bazar the Gardener returned with a roasted lamb
and cotton white bread, which he placed before them, and they ate
and drank; thereupon he served up sweetmeats, and they ate of
them, and washed their hands and sat talking. Presently the
Wazir said to the garth keeper, "Tell me about this garden: is it
thine or dost thou rent it?" The Shaykh replied, "It doth not
belong to me, but to our King's daughter, the Princess Dunya."
"What be thy monthly wages?" asked the Wazir and he answered,
"One diner and no more." Then the Minister looked round about the
garden and, seeing in its midst a pavilion tall and grand but old
and disused, said to the keeper, "O elder, I am minded to do here
a good work, by which thou shalt remember me. Replied the other,
"O my lord, what is the good work thou wouldest do?" "Take these
three hundred diners," rejoined the Wazir When the Keeper heard
speak of the gold, he said, "O my lord, whatso thou wilt, do!" So
the Wazir gave him the monies, saying, "Inshallah, we will make a
good work in this place!" Then they left him and returned to
their lodging, where they passed the night; and when it was the
next day, the Minister sent for a plasterer and a painter and a
skilful goldsmith and, furnishing them with all the tools they
wanted, carried them to the garden, where he bade them whitewash
the walls of the pavilion and decorate it with various kinds of
paintings. Moreover he sent for gold and lapis lazuli[FN#40] and
said to the painter, "Figure me on the wall, at the upper end of
this hall, a man fowler with his nets spread and birds falling
into them and a female pigeon entangled in the meshes by her
bill." And when the painter had finished his picture on one side,
the Wazir said, "Figure me on the other side a similar figure and
represent the she pigeon alone in the snare and the fowler
seizing her and setting the knife to her neck; and draw on the
third side wall, a great raptor clutching the male pigeon, her
mate, and digging talons into him." The artist did his bidding,
and when he and the others had finished the designs, they
received their hire and went away. Then the Wazir and his
companions took leave of the Gardener and returned to their
place, where they sat down to converse. And Taj al-Muluk said to
Aziz, "O my brother, recite me some verses: perchance it may
broaden my breast and dispel my dolours and quench the fire
flaming in my heart." So Aziz chanted with sweet modulation these

"Whate'er they say of grief to lovers came, *
I, weakling I, can single handed claim:
An seek thou watering spot,[FN#41] my streaming eyes *
Pour floods that thirst would quench howe'er it flame
Or wouldest view what ruin Love has wrought *
With ruthless hands, then see this wasted frame."

And his eyes ran over with tears and he repeated these couplets

"Who loves not swan-neck and gazelle-like eyes, *
Yet claims to know Life's joys, I say he lies:
In Love is mystery, none avail to learn *
Save he who loveth in pure loving wise.
Allah my heart ne'er lighten of this love, *
Nor rob the wakefulness these eyelids prize."

Then he changed the mode of song and sang these couplets:

"Ibn Sina[FN#42] in his Canon cloth opine *
Lovers' best cure is found in merry song:
In meeting lover of a like degree, *
Dessert in garden, wine draughts long and strong:
I chose another who of thee might cure *
While Force and Fortune aided well and long
But ah! I learnt Love's mortal ill, wherein *
Ibn Sina's recipe is fond and wrong."

After hearing them to the end, Taj al-Muluk was pleased with his
verses and wondered at his eloquence and the excellence of his
recitation, saying, "Indeed, thou hast done away with somewhat of
my sorrow." Then quoth the Wazir "Of a truth, there occurred to
those of old what astoundeth those who hear it told." Quoth the
Prince, "If thou canst recall aught of this kind, prithee let us
hear thy subtle lines and keep up the talk." So the Minister
chanted in modulated song these couplets,

"Indeed I deemed thy favours might be bought *
By gifts of gold and things that joy the sprite
And ignorantly thought thee light-o'-love, *
When can thy love lay low the highmost might;
Until I saw thee choosing one, that one *
Loved with all favour, crowned with all delight:
Then wot I thou by sleight canst ne'er be won *
And under wing my head I hid from sight
And in this nest of passion made my wone, *
Wherein I nestle morning, noon and night."

So far concerning them; but as regards the old woman she remained
shut up from the world in her house, till it befel that the
King's daughter was taken with a desire to divert herself in the
garden. Now she had never been wont so to do save in company
with her nurse; accordingly she sent for her and made friends
with her and soothed her sorrow, saying, "I wish to go forth to
the garden, that I may divert myself with the sight of its trees
and Fruits, and broaden my breast with the scent of its flowers."
Replied the old woman, "I hear and obey; but first I would go to
my house, and soon I will be with thee." The Princess rejoined,
"Go home, but be not long absent from me." So the old woman left
her and, repairing to Taj al-Muluk, said to him, "Get thee ready
and don thy richest dress and go to the garden and find out the
Gardener and salute him and then hide thyself therein." "To hear
is to obey" answered he; and she agreed with him upon a signal,
after which she returned to the Lady Dunya. As soon as she was
gone, the Wazir and Aziz rose and robed Taj al-Muluk in a
splendid suit of royal raiment worth five thousand diners, and
girt his middle with a girdle of gold set with gems and precious
metals. Then they repaired to the garden and found seated at the
gate the Keeper who, as soon as he saw the Prince, sprang to his
feet and received him with all respect and reverence, and opening
the gate, said, "Enter and take thy pleasure in looking at the
garden." Now the Gardener knew not that the King's daughter was
to visit the place that day; but when Taj al-Muluk had been a
little while there, he heard a hubbub and ere he could think, out
issued the eunuchs and damsels by the private wicket. The
Gardener seeing this came up to the Prince, informed him of her
approach and said to him, "O my lord, what is to be done? The
Princess Dunya, the King's daughter, is here." Replied the
Prince, "Fear not, no harm shall befal thee; for I will hide me
somewhere about the garden." So the Keeper exhorted him to the
utmost prudence and went away. Presently the Princess entered
the garden with her damsels and with the old woman, who said to
herself, "If these eunuchs stay with us, we shall not attain our
end." So quoth she to the King's daughter, "O my lady, I have
somewhat to tell thee which shall ease thy heart." Quoth the
Princess, "Say what thou hast to say." "O my lady, rejoined the
old woman, "thou hast no need of these eunuchs at a time like the
present; nor wilt thou be able to divert thyself at thine ease,
whilst they are with us; so send them away;" and the Lady Dunya
replied, "Thou speakest sooth" Accordingly she dismissed them and
presently began to walk about, whilst Taj al-Muluk looked upon
her and fed his eyes on her beauty and loveliness (but she knew
it not); and every time he gazed at her he fainted by reason of
her passing charms.[FN#43] The old woman drew her on by converse
till they reached the pavilion which the Wazir had bidden be
decorated, when the Princess entered and cast a glance round and
perceived the picture of the birds the fowler and the pigeon;
whereupon she cried, "Exalted be Allah! This is the very
counterfeit presentment of what I saw in my dream." She continued
to gaze at the figures of the birds and the fowler with his net,
admiring the work, and presently she said, "O my nurse, I have
been wont to blame and hate men, but look now at the fowler how
he hath slaughtered the she bird who set free her mate; who was
minded to return to her and aid her to escape when the bird of
prey met him and tore him to pieces." Now the old woman feigned
ignorance to her and ceased not to occupy her in converse, till
they drew near the place where Taj al-Muluk lay hidden.
Thereupon she signed to him to come out and walk under the
windows of the pavilion, and, as the Lady Dunya stood looking
from the casement, behold, her glance fell that way and she saw
him and noting his beauty of face and form, said to the old
woman, "O my nurse, whence cometh yonder handsome youth?" Replied
the old woman, "I know nothing of him save that I think he must
be some great King's son, for he attaineth comeliness in excess
and extreme loveliness." And the Lady Dunya fell in love with him
to distraction; the spells which bound her were loosed and her
reason was overcome by his beauty and grace; and his fine stature
and proportions strongly excited her desires sexual. So she
said, "O my nurse! this is indeed a handsome youth;" and the old
woman replied, "Thou sayest sooth, O my lady," and signed to Taj
al-Muluk to go home. And though desire and longing flamed in him
and he was distraught for love, yet he went away and took leave
of the Gardener and returned to his place, obeying the old woman
and not daring to cross her. When he told the Wazir and Aziz
that she had signed him to depart, they exhorted him to patience,
saying, "Did not the ancient dame know that there was an object
to be gained by thy departure, she had not signalled thee to
return home." Such was the case with Taj al-Muluk, the Wazir and
Aziz but as regards the King's daughter, the Lady Dunya, desire
and passion redoubled upon her; she was overcome with love and
longing and she said to her nurse, "I know not how I shall manage
a meeting with this youth, but through thee." Exclaimed the old
woman, "I take refuge with Allah from Satan the stoned! Thou who
art averse from men! How cometh it then that thou art thus
afflicted with hope and fear of this young man? Yet, by Allah,
none is worthy of thy youth but he." Quoth the Lady Dunya, "O my
nurse, further my cause and help me to foregather with him, and
thou shalt have of me a thousand diners and a dress of honour
worth as much more: but if thou aid me not to come at him, I am a
dead woman in very sooth." Replied the ancient dame, "Go to thy
palace and leave me to devise means for bringing you twain
together. I will throw away my life to content you both!" So the
Lady Dunya returned to her palace, and the old woman betook
herself to Taj al-Muluk who, when he saw her, rose to receive her
and entreated her with respect and reverence making her sit by
his side. Then she said, "The trick hath succeeded," and told
him all that had passed between herself and the Princess. He
asked her, "When is our meeting to be?"; and she answered,
"Tomorrow." So he gave her a thousand diners and a dress of like
value, and she took them and stinted not walking till she
returned to her mistress, who said to her, "O my nurse! what
news of the be loved?" Replied she, "I have learnt where he
liveth and will bring him to thee tomorrow." At this the Princess
was glad and gave her a thousand diners and a dress worth as much
more, and she took them and returned to her own place, where she
passed the night till morning. Then she went to Taj al-Muluk and
dressing him in woman's clothes, said to him, "Follow me and sway
from side to side[FN#44] as thou steppest, and hasten not thy
pace nor take heed of any who speaketh to thee." And after thus
charging him she went out, and the Prince followed her in woman's
attire and she continued to charge and encourage him by the way,
that he might not be afraid; nor ceased they walking till they
came to the Palace-gate. She entered and the Prince after her,
and she led him on, passing through doors and vestibules, till
they had passed seven doors.[FN#45] As they approached the
seventh, she said to him, "Hearten thy heart and when I call out
to thee and say, 'O damsel pass on!' do not slacken thy pace, but
advance as if about to run. When thou art in the vestibule, look
to thy left and thou wilt see a saloon with doors: count five
doors and enter the sixth, for therein is thy desire." Asked Taj
al-Muluk, "And whither wilt thou go?"; and she answered, "Nowhere
shall I go except that perhaps I may drop behind thee, and the
Chief Eunuch may detain me to chat with him." She walked on (and
he behind her) till she reached the door where the Chief Eunuch
was stationed and he, seeing Taj al-Muluk with her dressed as a
slave girl, said to the old woman, "What business hath this girl
with thee?" Replied she, "This is a slave girl of whom the Lady
Dunya hath heard that she is skilled in different kinds of work
and she hath a mind to buy her." Rejoined the Eunuch, "I know
neither slave girls nor anyone else; and none shall enter here
without my searching according to the King's commands."--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Thirty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Chamberlain Eunuch cried to the old woman, "I know neither slave
girl nor anyone else; and none shall enter here without my
searching him according to the King's commands." Then quoth she,
feigning to be angry, "I thought thee a man of sense and good
breeding; but, if thou be changed, I will let the Princess know
of it and tell her how thou hinderest her slave girl;" and she
cried out to Taj al-Muluk, saying, "Pass on, O damsel!" So he
passed on into the vestibule as she bade him, whilst the Eunuch
was silent and said no more. The Prince counted five doors and
entered the sixth where he found the Princess Dunya standing and
awaiting him. As soon as she saw him, she knew him and clasped
him to her breast, and he clasped her to his bosom. Presently
the old woman came in to them, having made a pretext to dismiss
the Princess's slave girls for fear of disgrace; and the Lady
Dunya said to her, "Be thou our door keeper!" So she and Taj al-
Muluk abode alone together and ceased not kissing and embracing
and twining leg with leg till dawn.[FN#46] When day drew near,
she left him and, shutting the door upon him, passed into another
chamber, where she sat down as was her wont, whilst her slave
women came in to her, and she attended to their affairs and
conversed with them. Then she said to them, "Go forth from me
now, for I wish to amuse myself in privacy." So they withdrew and
she betook herself to Taj al-Muluk, and the old woman brought
them food, of which they ate and returned to amorous dalliance
till dawn. Then the door was locked upon him as on the day
before; and they ceased not to do thus for a whole month. This
is how it fared with Taj al-Muluk and the Lady Dunya; but as
regards the Wazir and Aziz when they found that the Prince had
gone to the Palace of the King's daughter and there delayed all
the while, they concluded that he would never return from it and
that he was lost for ever; and Aziz said to the Wazir, "O my
father, what shall we do?" He replied, "O my son, this is a
difficult matter, and except we return to his sire and tell him,
he will blame us therefor." So they made ready at once and
forthright set out for the Green Land and the Country of the Two
Columns, and sought Sulayman Shah's capital. And they traversed
the valleys night and day till they went in to the King, and
acquainted him with what had befallen his son and how from the
time he entered the Princess's Palace they had heard no news of
him. At this the King was as though the Day of Doom had dawned
for him and regret was sore upon him, and he proclaimed a Holy
War[FN#47] throughout his realm. After which he sent forth his
host without the town and pitched tents for them and took up his
abode in his pavilion, whilst the levies came from all parts of
the kingdom; for his subjects loved him by reason of his great
justice and beneficence. Then he marched with an army walling
the horizon, and departed in quest of his son. Thus far
concerning them; but as regards Taj al-Muluk and the Lady Dunya
the two remained as they were half a year's time, whilst every
day they redoubled in mutual affection; and love and longing and
passion and desire so pressed upon Taj al Muluk, that at last he
opened his mind and said to her, "Know, O beloved of my heart and
vitals, that the longer I abide with thee, the more love and
longing and passion and desire increase on me, for that I have
not yet fulfilled the whole of my wish." Asked she, "What then
wouldst thou have, O light of my eyes and fruit of my vitals? If
thou desire aught beside kissing and embracing and entwining of
legs with legs, do what pleaseth thee; for, by Allah, no partner
hath any part in us."[FN#48] But he answered "It is not that I
wish: I would fain acquaint thee with my true story. Know, then,
that I am no merchant, nay, I am a King the son of a King, and my
father's name is the supreme King Sulayman Shah, who sent his
Wazir ambassador to thy father, to demand thee in marriage for
me, but when the news came to thee thou wouldst not consent."
Then he told her his past from first to last, nor is there any
avail in a twice told tale, and he added, "And now I wish to
return to my father, that he may send an ambassador to thy sire,
to demand thee in wedlock for me, so we may be at ease." When she
heard these words, she joyed with great joy because it suited
with her own wishes, and they passed the night on this
understanding. But it so befel by the decree of Destiny that
sleep overcame them that night above all nights and they remained
till the sun had risen. Now at this hour, King Shahriman was
sitting on his cushion of estate, with his Emirs and Grandees
before him, when the Syndic of the goldsmiths presented himself
between his hands, carrying a large box. And he advanced and
opening it in presence of the King, brought out therefrom a
casket of fine work worth an hundred thousand diners, for that
which was therein of precious stones, rubies and emeralds beyond
the competence of any sovereign on earth to procure. When the
King saw this, he marvelled at its beauty; and, turning to the
Chief Eunuch (him with whom the old woman had had to do), said to
him, "O Kafur,[FN#49] take this casket and wend with it to the
Princess Dunya." The Castrato took the casket and repairing to
the apartment of the King's daughter found the door shut and the
old woman lying asleep on the threshold; whereupon said he,
"What! sleeping at this hour?" When the old woman heard the
Eunuch's voice she started from sleep and was terrified and said
to him, "Wait till I fetch the key." Then she went forth and fled
for her life. Such was her case; but as regards the Epicene he,
seeing her alarm, lifted the door off its hinge pins,[FN#50] and
entering found the Lady Dunya with her arms round the neck of Taj
al-Muluk and both fast asleep. At this sight he was confounded
and was preparing to return to the King, when the Princess awoke,
and seeing him, was terrified and changed colour and waxed pale,
and said to him, "O Kafur, veil thou what Allah hath
veiled!"[FN#51] But he replied, "I cannot conceal aught from the
King"; and, locking the door on them, returned to Shahriman, who
asked him, "Hast thou given the casket to the Princess?" Answered
the Eunuch, "Take the casket, here it is for I cannot conceal
aught from thee. Know that I found a handsome young man by the
side of the Princess and they two asleep in one bed and in mutual
embrace." The King commanded them to be brought into the presence
and said to them, "What manner of thing is this?" and, being
violently enraged, seized a dagger and was about to strike Taj
al-Muluk with it, when the Lady Dunya threw herself upon him and
said to her father, "Slay me before thou slayest him." The King
reviled her and commended her to be taken back to her chamber:
then he turned to Taj al-Muluk and said to him, "Woe to thee!
whence art thou? Who is thy father and what hath emboldened thee
to debauch my daughter?" Replied the Prince, "Know, O King, that
if thou put me to death, thou art a lost man, and thou and all in
thy dominions will repent the deed." Quoth the King, "How so?";
and quoth Taj al-Muluk "Know that I am the son of King Sulayman
Shah, and ere thou knowest it, he will be upon thee with his
horse and foot." When King Shahriman heard these words he would
have deferred killing Taj al-Muluk and would rather have put him
in prison, till he should look into the truth of his words; but
his Wazir said to him, "O King of the Age, it is my opinion that
thou make haste to slay this gallows bird who dares debauch the
daughters of Kings." So the King cried to the headsman, "Strike
off his head; for he is a traitor." Accordingly, the herdsman
took him and bound him fast and raised his hand to the Emirs,
signing to consult them, a first and a second signal, thinking
thereby to gain time in this matter;[FN#52] but the King cried in
anger to him, "How long wilt thou consult others? If thou
consult them again I will strike off thine own head.;' So the
headsman raised his hand till the hair of his armpit showed' and
was about to smite his neck,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Thirty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
headsman raised his hand to smite off his head when behold, loud
cries arose and the folk closed their shops; whereupon the King
said to the headsman, "Wait awhile," and despatched one to learn
the news. The messenger fared forth and presently returned and
reported, "I saw an army like the dashing sea with its clashing
surge: and their horses curvetting till earth trembleth with the
tramp; and I know no more of them." When the King heard this, he
was confounded and feared for his realm lest it should be torn
from him; so he turned to his Minister and said, "Have not any of
our army gone forth to meet this army?" But ere he had done
speaking, his Chamberlains entered with messengers from the King
who was approaching, and amongst them the Wazir who had
accompanied Taj al-Muluk. They began by saluting the King, who
rose to receive them and bade them draw near, and asked the cause
of their coming; whereupon the Minister came forward from amongst
them and stood before him and said "Know that he who hath come
down upon thy realm is no King like unto the Kings of yore and
the Sultans that went before." "And who is he?" asked Shahriman,
and the Wazir answered, "He is the Lord of justice and loyalty,
the bruit of whose magnanimity the caravans have blazed abroad,
the Sultan Sulayman Shah, Lord of the Green Land and the Two
Columns and the Mountains of Ispahan; he who loveth justice and
equity, and hateth oppression and iniquity. And he saith to thee
that his son is with thee and in thy city; his son, his heart's
very core and the fruit of his loins, and if he find him in
safety, his aim is won and thou shalt have thanks and praise; but
if he have been lost from thy realm or if aught of evil have
befallen him, look thou for ruin and the wasting of thy reign!
for this thy city shall become a wold wherein the raven shall
croak. Thus have I done my errand to thee and peace be with
thee!" Now when King Shahriman heard from the messenger these
words, his heart was troubled and he feared for his kingdom: so
he cried out for his Grandees and Ministers, Chamberlains and
Lieutenants; and, when they appeared, he said to them, "Woe to
you! Go down and search for the youth." Now the Prince was still
under the headsman's hands, but he was changed by the fright he
had undergone. Presently, the Wazir, chancing to glance around,
saw the Prince on the rug of blood and recognised him; so he
arose and threw himself upon him, and so did the other envoys.
Then they proceeded to loose his bonds and they kissed his hands
and feet, whereupon Taj al-Muluk opened his eyes and, recognising
his father's Wazir and his friend Aziz, fell down a fainting for
excess of delight in them. When King Shahriman made sure that
the coming of this army was indeed because of this youth, he was
confounded and feared with great fear; so he went up to Taj al-
Muluk and, kissing his head, said to him, "O my son, be not wroth
with me, neither blame the sinner for his sin; but have
compassion on my grey hairs, and waste not my realm." Whereupon
Taj al-Muluk drew near unto him and kissing his hand, replied,
"No harm shall come to thee, for indeed thou art to me as my
father; but look that nought befal my beloved, the Lady Dunya!"
Rejoined the King, "O my lord! fear not for her; naught but joy
shall betide her;" and he went on to excuse himself and made his
peace with Sulayman Shah's Wazir to whom he promised much money,
if he would conceal from the King what he had seen. Then he bade
his Chief Officers take the Prince with them and repair to the
Hammam and clothe him in one of the best of his own suits and
bring him back speedily. So they obeyed his bidding and bore him
to the bath and clad him in the clothes which King Shahriman had
set apart for him; and brought him back to the presence chamber.
When he entered the King rose to receive him and made all his
Grandees stand in attendance on him. Then Taj al-Muluk sat down
to converse with his father's Wazir and with Aziz, and he
acquainted them with what had befallen him; after which they said
to him, "During that delay we returned to thy father and gave him
to know that thou didst enter the palace of the Princess and
didst not return therefrom, and thy case seemed doubtful to us.
But when thy sire heard of this he mustered his forces; then we
came to this land and indeed our coming hath brought to thee
relief in extreme case and to us great joy." Quoth he, "Good
fortune hath attended your every action, first and last." While
this was doing King Shahriman went in to his daughter Princess
Dunya, and found her wailing and weeping for Taj al-Muluk.
Moreover, she had taken a sword and fixed the hilt in the ground
and had set the point to the middle of her heart between her
breasts; and she bent over the blade saying, "Needs must I slay
myself and not survive my beloved." When her father entered and
saw her in this case, he cried out to her, saying, "O Princess of
kings' daughters, hold thy hand and have ruth on thy sire and the
folk of thy realm!" Then he came up to her and continued, "Let it
not be that an ill thing befal thy father for thy sake!" And he
told her the whole tale that her lover was the son of King
Sulayman Shah and sought her to wife and he added, "The marriage
waiteth only for thy consent." Thereat she smiled and said, "Did
I not tell thee that he was the son of a Sultan? By Allah, there
is no help for it but that I let him crucify thee on a bit of
wood worth two pieces of silver!" Replied the King, "O my
daughter, have mercy on me, so Allah have mercy on thee!"
Rejoined she, "Up with you and make haste and go bring him to me
without delay." Quoth the King, "On my head and eyes be it!"; and
he left her and, going in hastily to Taj al-Muluk, repeated her
words in his ear.[FN#53] So he arose and accompanied the King to
the Princess, and when she caught sight of her lover, she took
hold of him and embraced him in her father's presence and hung
upon him and kissed him, saying, "Thou hast desolated me by thine
absence!" Then she turned to her father and said, "Sawest thou
ever any that could do hurt to the like of this beautiful being,
who is moreover a King, the son of a King and of the free
born,[FN#54] guarded against ignoble deeds?" There upon King
Shahriman went out shutting the door on them with his own hand;
and he returned to the Wazir and to the other envoys of Sulayman
Shah and bade them inform their King that his son was in health
and gladness and enjoying all delight of life with his beloved.
So they returned to King Sulayman and acquainted him with this;
whereupon King Shahriman ordered largesse of money and vivers to
the troops of King Sulayman Shah; and, when they had conveyed all
he had commanded, he bade be brought out an hundred coursers and
an hundred dromedaries and an hundred white slaves and an hundred
concubines and an hundred black slaves and an hundred female
slaves; all of which he forwarded to the King as a present. Then
he took horse, with his Grandees and Chief Officers, and rode out
of the city in the direction of the King's camp. As soon as
Sultan Sulayman Shah knew of his approach, he rose and advanced
many paces to meet him. Now the Wazir and Aziz had told him all
the tidings, whereat he rejoiced and cried, "Praise be to Allah
who hath granted the dearest wish of my son!" Then King Sulayman
took King Shahriman in his arms and seated him beside himself on
the royal couch, where they conversed awhile and had pleasure in
each other's conversation. Presently food was set before them,
and they ate till they were satisfied; and sweetmeats and dried
fruits were brought, and they enjoyed their dessert. And after a
while came to them Taj al-Muluk, richly dressed and adorned, and
when his father saw him, he stood up and embraced him and kissed
him. Then all who were sitting rose to do him honour; and the
two Kings seated him between them and they sat conversing a
while, after which quoth King Sulayman Shah to King Shahriman, "I
desire to have the marriage contract between my son and thy
daughter drawn up in the presence of witnesses, that the wedding
may be made public, even as is the custom of Kings." "I hear and
I obey," quoth King Shahriman and thereon summoned the Kazi and
the witnesses, who came and wrote out the marriage contract
between Taj al-Muluk and the Lady Dunya. Then they gave
bakhshish[FN#55] of money and sweetmeats; and lavished incense
and essences; and indeed it was a day of joy and gladness and all
the grandees and soldiers rejoiced therein. Then King Shahriman
proceeded to dower and equip his daughter; and Taj al-Muluk said
to his sire, "Of a truth, this young man Aziz is of the generous
and hath done me a notable service, having borne weariness with
me; and he hath travelled with me and hath brought me to my
desire. He ceased never to show sufferance with me and exhort me
to patience till I accomplished my intent; and now he hath abided
with us two whole years, and he cut off from his native land. So
now I purpose to equip him with merchandise, that he may depart
hence with a light heart; for his country is nearhand." Replied
his father, "Right is thy rede;" so they made ready an hundred
loads of the richest stuffs and the most costly, and Taj al-Muluk
presented them with great store of money to Aziz, and farewelled
him, saying, "O my brother and my true friend! take these loads
and accept them from me by way of gift and token of affection,
and go in peace to thine own country." Aziz accepted the presents
and kissing the ground between the hands of the Prince and his
father bade them adieu. Moreover, Taj al-Muluk mounted and
accompanied him three miles on his homeward way as a proof of
amity, after which Aziz conjured him to turn back, saying, "By
Allah, O my master, were it not for my mother, I never would part
from thee! But, good my lord! leave me not without news of
thee." Replied Taj al-Muluk, "So be it!" Then the Prince returned
to the city and Aziz journeyed on till he came to his native
town; and he entered it and ceased not faring till he went in to
his mother and found that she had built him a monument in the
midst of the house and used to visit it continually. When he
entered, he saw her with hair dishevelled and dispread over the
tomb, weeping and repeating these lines,

"Indeed I'm strong to bear whate'er befal; *
But weak to bear such parting's dire mischance:
What heart estrangement of the friend can bear? *
What strength withstand assault of severance?"

Then sobs burst from her breast, and she recited also these

"What's this? I pass by tombs, and fondly greet *
My friends' last homes, but send they no reply:
For saith each friend, 'Reply how can I make *
When pledged to clay and pawned to stones I lie?
Earth has consumed my charms and I forget *
Thy love, from kith and kin poor banisht I.' "

While she was thus, behold, Aziz came in to her and when she saw
him, she fell down, fainting for very joy. He sprinkled water on
her face till she revived and rising, took him in her arms and
strained him to her breast, whilst he in like manner embraced
her. Then he greeted her and she greeted him, and she asked the
reason of his long absence, whereupon he told her all that had
befallen him from first to last and informed her how Taj al-Muluk
had given him an hundred loads of monies and stuffs. At this she
rejoiced, and Aziz abode with his mother in his native town,
weeping for what mishaps had happened to him with the daughter of
Dalilah the Wily One, even her who had castrated[FN#56] him.
Such was the case with Aziz; but as regards Taj al-Muluk he went
in unto his beloved, the Princess Dunya, and abated her
maidenhead. Then King Shahriman proceeded to equip his daughter
for her journey with her husband and father in law, and bade
bring them provaunt and presents and rarities. So they loaded
their beasts and set forth, whilst King Shahriman escorted them,
by way of farewell, three days' journey on their way, till King
Shah Sulayman conjured him to return. So he took leave of them
and turned back, and Taj al-Muluk and his wife and father fared
for wards night and day, with their troops, till they drew near
their capital. As soon as the news of their coming spread
abroad, the folk decorated for them the city,--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Thirty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Shah
Sulayman drew near his capital, the folk decorated the city for
him and for his son. So they entered in state and the King,
sitting on his throne with his son by his side, gave alms and
largesse and loosed all who were in his jails. Then he held a
second bridal for his son, and the sound of the singing women and
players upon instruments was never silent for a whole month, and
the tire women stinted not to adorn the Lady Dunya and display
her in various dresses; and she tired not of the displaying nor
did the women weary of gazing on her. Then Taj al-Muluk, after
having foregathered awhile with his father and mother, took up
his sojourn with his wife, and they abode in all joyance of life
and in fairest fortune, till there came to them the Destroyer of
all delights.[FN#57] Now when the Wazir Dandan had ended the tale
of Taj al-Muluk and the Lady Dunya, Zau al-Makan said to him, "Of
a truth, it is the like of thee who lighten the mourner's heart
and who deserve to be the boon companions of Kings and to guide
their policy in the right way." All this befel and they were
still besieging Constantinople, where they lay four whole years,
till they yearned after their native land; and the troops
murmured, being weary of vigil and besieging and the endurance of
fray and foray by night and by day. Then King Zau al-Makan
summoned Rustam and Bahram and Tarkash, and when they were in
presence bespoke them thus, "Know that we have lain here all
these years and we have not won to our wish; nay, we have but
gained increase of care and concern; for indeed we came, thinking
to take our man bote for King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and in so doing
my brother Sharrkan was slain; so is our sorrow grown to sorrows
twain and our affliction to afflictions twain. All this came of
the old woman Zat al-Dawahi, for it was she who slew the Sultan
in his kingdom and carried off his wife, the Queen Sophia; nor
did this suffice her, but she must put another cheat on us and
cut the throat of my brother Sharrkan and indeed I have bound
myself and sworn by the solemnest oaths that there is no help but
I take blood wit from her. What say ye? Ponder my address and
answer me." Then they bowed their heads and answered, "It is for
the Wazir Dandan to opine." So the Minister came forward and
said, "Know O King of the Age! it booteth us nought to tarry
here; and 'tis my counsel that we strike camp and return to our
own country, there to abide for a certain time and after that we
should return for a razzia upon the worshippers of idols."
Replied the King, "This rede is right, for indeed the folk weary
for a sight of their families, and I am an other who is also
troubled with yearning after my son Kanmakan and my brother 's
daughter Kuzia Fakan, for she is in Damascus and I know not how
is her case." When the troops heard this report, they rejoiced
and blessed the Wazir Dandan. Then the King bade the crier call
the retreat after three days. They fell to preparing for the
march, and, on the fourth day, they beat the big drums and
unfurled the banners and the army set forth, the Wazir Danden in
the van and the King riding in the mid battle, with the Grand
Chamberlain by his side; and all journeyed without ceasing, night
and day, till they reached Baghdad city. The folk rejoiced in
their return, and care and fear ceased from them whilst the stay
at homes met the absentees and each Emir betook him to his own
house. As for Zau al-Makan he marched up to the Palace and went
in to his son Kanmakan, who had now reached the age of seven; and
who used to go down to the weapon plain and ride. As soon as the
King was rested of his journey, he entered the Hammam with his
son, and returning, seated himself on his sofa of state, whilst
the Wazir Dandan took up his station before him and the Emirs and
Lords of the realm presented themselves and stood in attendance
upon him. Then Zau al-Makan called for his comrade, the Fireman,
who had befriended him in his wanderings; and, when he came into
presence, the King rose to do him honour and seated him by his
side. Now he had acquainted the Wazir with all the kindness and
good turns which the Stoker had done him; and he found that the
wight had waxed fat and burly with rest and good fare, so that
his neck was like an elephant's throat and his face like a
dolphin's belly. Moreover, he was grown dull of wit, for that he
had never stirred from his place; so at first he knew not the
King by his aspect. But Zau al-Makan came up to him smiling in
his face, and greeted him after the friendliest fashion, saying,
"How soon hast thou forgotten me?" With this the Fireman roused
himself and, looking steadfastly at Zau al-Makan, made sure that
he knew him; whereupon he sprang hastily to his feet and
exclaimed, "O my friend, who hath made thee Sultan?" Then Zau al-
Makan laughed at him and the Wazir, coming up to him expounded
the whole story to him and said, "In good sooth he was thy
brother and thy friend; and now he is King of the land and needs
must thou get great good of him. So I charge thee, if he say,
'Ask a boon of me,' ask not but for some great thing; for thou
art very dear to him." Quoth the Fireman, "I fear lest, if I ask
of him aught, he may not choose to give it or may not be able to
grant it." Quoth the Wazir, "Have no care; whatsoever thou askest
he will give thee." Rejoined the Stoker, "By Allah, I must at
once ask of him a thing that is in my thought: every night I
dream of it and implore Almighty Allah to vouchsafe it to me."
Said the Wazir, "Take heart; by Allah, if thou ask of him the
government of Damascus, in place of his brother, he would surely
give it thee and make thee Governor." With this the Stoker rose
to is feet and Zau al-Makan signed to him to sit; but he refused,
saying, "Allah forfend! The days are gone by of my sitting in
thy presence.' Answered the Sultan, "Not so, they endure even
now. Thou west in very deed the cause that I am at present alive
and, by Allah, whatever thing most desired thou requirest of me,
I will give that same to thee. But ask thou first of Allah, and
then of me!" He said, "O my lord, I fear" "Fear not," quoth the
Sultan He continued, "I fear to ask aught and that thou shouldst
refuse it to me and it is only" At this the King laughed and
replied, "If thou require of me the half of my kingdom I would
share it with thee: so ask what thou wilt and leave talking."
Repeated the Fireman "I fear" "Don't fear," quoth the King. He
went on, "I fear lest I ask a thing and thou be not able to grant
it." Upon this the Sultan waxed wroth and cried, "Ask what thou
wilt." Then said he, "I ask, first of Allah and then of thee,
that thou write me a patent of Syndicate over all the Firemen of
the baths in the Holy City, Jerusalem." The Sultan and all
present laughed and Zau al-Makan said, "Ask something more than
this." He replied, "O my lord, said I not I feared that thou
wouldst not choose to give me what I should ask or that thou be
not able to grant it?" Therewith the Wazir signed him with his
foot once and twice and thrice, and every time he began, "I ask
of thee" Quoth the Sultan, "Ask and be speedy." So he said, "I
ask thee to make me Chief of the Scavengers in the Holy City of
Jerusalem, or in. Damascus town." Then all those who were
present fell on their backs with laughter and the Wazir beat him;
whereupon he turned to the Minister and said to him, "What art
thou that thou shouldest beat me? 'Tis no fault of mine: didst
thou not thyself bid me ask some important thing?" And he added,
"Let me go to my own land." With this, the Sultan knew that he
was jesting and took patience with him awhile; then turned to him
and said, "O my brother, ask of me some important thing,
befitting our dignity." So the Stoker said, "O King of the Age, I
ask first of Allah and then of thee, that thou make me Viceroy of
Damascus in the place of thy brother;" and the King replied,
"Allah granteth thee this." Thereupon the Fireman kissed ground
before him and he bade set him a chair in his rank and vested him
with a viceroy's habit. Then he wrote him a patent and sealed it
with his own seal, and said to the Wazir Dandan, "None shall go
with him but thou; and when thou makest the return journey, do
thou bring with thee my brother's daughter, Kuzia Fakan."
"Hearken ing and obedience," answered the Minister; and, taking
the Fire man, went down with him and made ready for the march.
Then the King appointed for the Stoker servants and suite, and
gave him a new litter and a princely equipage and said to the
Emirs, "Whoso loveth me, let him honour this man and offer him a
handsome present." So each and every of the Emirs brought him his
gift according to his competence; and the King named him Zibl
Khan,[FN#58] and conferred on him the honourable surname of al-
Mujahid.[FN#59] As soon as the gear was ready, he went up with
the Wazir Dandan to the King, that he might take leave of him and
ask his permission to depart. The King rose to him and embraced
him, and charged him to do justice between his subjects and bade
him make ready for fight against the Infidels after two years.
Then they took leave of each other and the King,[FN#60] the
Fighter for the Faith highs Zibl Khan, having been again exhorted
by Zau al-Makan to deal fairly with his subjects, set out on his
journey, after the Emirs had brought him Mamelukes and eunuchs,
even to five thousand in number, who rode after him. The Grand


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