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Title: The Arabian Nights Entertainments vol. 4

Author:  Anon.

Release Date: May, 2004  [EBook #5667]
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[This file was first posted on August 5, 2002]

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*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, THE ARABIAN NIGHTS ENTERTAINMENTS VOL. 4 ***




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                    The "Aldine" Edition of

               The Arabian Nights Entertainments
                                
                   Illustrated by S. L. Wood

              FROM THE TEXT OF DR. JONATHAN SCOTT

                        In Four Volumes
                                
                            Volume 4
                                
                                
                             London
                      Pickering and Chatto
                              1890





                     Contents of Volume IV.

The Story of the Enchanted Horse
The Story of Prince Ahmed, and the Fairy Perie Banou
The Story of the Sisters Who Envied Their Younger Sister
Story of the Three Sharpers and the Sultan
     The Adventures of the Abbdicated Sultan
     History of Mahummud, Sultan of Cairo
     Story of the First Lunatic
     Story of the Second Lunatic
     Story of the Retired Sage and His Pupil, Related to the
          Sultan by the Second Lunatic
     Story of the Broken-backed Schoolmaster
     Story of the Wry-mouthed Schoolmaster
     Story of the Sisters and the Sultana Their Mother
Story of the Bang-eater and the Cauzee
     Story of the Bang-eater and His Wife
The Sultan and the Traveller Mhamood Al Hyjemmee
     The Koord Robber
     Story of the Husbbandman
     Story of the Three Princes and Enchanting Bird
     Story of a Sultan of Yemen and His Three Sons
     Story of the First Sharper in the Cave
     History of the Sultan of Hind
Story of the Fisherman's Son
Story of Abou Neeut and Abou Neeuteen; Or, the Well-intentioned
     and the Double-minded
Adventure of a Courtier, Related by Himself to His Parton, an
Ameer of Egypt
Story of the Prince of Sind, and Fatima, Daughter of Amir Bin
Naomaun
Story of the Lovers of Syria; Or, the Heroine
Story of Hyjauje, the Tyrannical Gtovernor of Coufeh, and the
Young Syed
Story of Ins Alwujjood and Wird Al Ikmaun, Daughter of Ibrahim,
     Vizier to Sultan Shamikh
The Adventures of Mazin of Khorassaun
Story of the Sultan the Dervish, and the Barber's Son
Adventures of Aleefa Daughter of Mherejaun Sultan of Hind, and
     Eusuff, Son of Sohul, Sultan of Sind
Adventures of the Three Princes, Sons of the Sultan of China
Story of the Good Vizier Unjustly Imprisoned
Story of the Lady of Cairo and Her Four Gallants
     The Cauzee's Story
Story of the Merchant, His Daughter, and the Prince of Eerauk
Adventures of the Cauzee, His Wife, &c
     The Sultan's Story of Himself
Conclusion





               THE STORY OF THE ENCHANTED HORSE.



The Nooroze, or the new day, which is the first of the year and
spring, is observed as a solemn festival throughout all Persia,
which has been continued from the time of idolatry; and our
prophet's religion, pure as it is, and true as we hold it, has
not been able to abolish that heathenish custom, and the
superstitious ceremonies which are observed, not only in the
great cities, but celebrated with extraordinary rejoicings in
every little town, village, and hamlet.

But the rejoicings are the most splendid at the court, for the
variety of new and surprising spectacles, insomuch that strangers
are invited from the neighbouring states, and the most remote
parts, by the rewards and liberality of the sovereign, towards
those who are the most excellent in their invention and
contrivance. In short, nothing in the rest of the world can
compare with the magnificence of this festival.

One of these festival days, after the most ingenious artists of
the country had repaired to Sheerauz, where the court then
resided, had entertained the king and all the court with their
productions, and had been bountifully and liberally rewarded
according to their merit and to their satisfaction by the
monarch; when the assembly was just breaking up, a Hindoo
appeared at the foot of the throne, with an artificial horse
richly caparisoned, and so naturally imitated, that at first
sight he was taken for a living animal.

The Hindoo prostrated himself before the throne; and pointing to
the horse, said to the emperor, "Though I present myself the last
before your majesty, yet I can assure you that nothing shewn to-
day is so wonderful as this horse, on which I beg your majesty
would be pleased to cast your eyes." "I see nothing more in the
horse," said the emperor, "than the natural resemblance the
workman has given him; which the skill of another workman may
possibly execute as well or better."

"Sir," replied the Hindoo, "it is not for his outward form and
appearance that I recommend my horse to your majesty's
examination as wonderful, but the use to which I can apply him,
and which, when I have communicated the secret to them, any other
persons may make of him. Whenever I mount him, be it where it
may, if I wish to transport myself through the air to the most
distant part of the world, I can do it in a very short time.
This, sir, is the wonder of my horse; a wonder which nobody ever
heard speak of, and which I offer to shew your majesty, if you
command me."

The emperor of Persia, who was fond of every thing that was
curious, and notwithstanding the many prodigies of art he had
seen had never beheld or heard of anything that came up to this,
told the Hindoo, that nothing but the experience of what he
asserted could convince him: and that he was ready to see him
perform what he had promised.

The Hindoo instantly put his foot into the stirrup, mounted his
horse with admirable agility, and when he had fixed himself in
the saddle, asked the emperor whither he pleased to command him.

About three leagues from Sheerauz there was a lofty mountain
discernible from the large square before the palace, where the
emperor, his court, and a great concourse of people, then were.
"Do you see that mountain?" said the emperor, pointing to it; "it
is not a great distance from hence, but it is far enough to judge
of the speed you can make in going and returning. But because it
is not possible for the eye to follow you so far, as a proof that
you have been there, I expect that you will bring me a branch of
a palm-tree that grows at the bottom of the hill."

The emperor of Persia had no sooner declared his will than the
Hindoo turned a peg, which was in the hollow of the horse's neck,
just by the pummel of the saddle; and in an instant the horse
rose off the ground and carried his rider into the air with the
rapidity of lightning to such a height, that those who had the
strongest sight could not discern him, to the admiration of the
emperor and all the spectators. Within less than a quarter of an
hour they saw him returning with the palm branch in his hand; but
before he descended, he took two or three turns in the air over
the spot, amid the acclamations of all the people; then alighted
on the spot whence he had set off, without receiving the least
shock from the horse to disorder him. He dismounted, and going up
to the throne, prostrated himself, and laid the branch of the
palm-tree at the feet of the emperor.

The emperor, who had viewed with no less admiration than
astonishment this unheard-of sight which the Hindoo had
exhibited, conceived a great desire to have the horse; and as he
persuaded himself that he should not find it a difficult matter
to treat with the Hindoo, for whatever sum of money he should
value it at, began to regard it as the most valuable thing in his
treasury. "Judging of thy horse by his outward appearance," said
he to the Hindoo, "I did not think him so much worth my
consideration. As you have shewn me his merits, I am obliged to
you for undeceiving me; and to prove to you how much I esteem it,
I will purchase him of you, if he is to be sold."

"Sir," replied the Hindoo, "I never doubted that your majesty,
who has the character of the most liberal prince on earth, would
set a just value on my work as soon as I had shewn you on what
account he was worthy your attention. I also foresaw that you
would not only admire and commend it, but would desire to have
it. Though I know his intrinsic value, and that my continuing
master of him would render my name immortal in the world; yet I
am not so fond of fame but I can resign him, to gratify your
majesty; however, in making this declaration, I have another to
add, without which I cannot resolve to part with him, and perhaps
you may not approve of it.

"Your majesty will not be displeased," continued the Hindoo, "if
I tell you that I did not buy this horse, but obtained him of the
inventor, by giving him my only daughter in marriage, and
promising at the same time never to sell him; but if I parted
with him to exchange him for something that I should value beyond
all else."

The Hindoo was proceeding, when at the word exchange, the emperor
of Persia interrupted him. "I am willing," said he, "to give you
whatever you may ask in exchange. You know my kingdom is large,
and contains many great, rich, and populous cities; I will give
you the choice of which you like best, in full sovereignty for
life."

This exchange seemed royal and noble to the whole court; but was
much below what the Hindoo had proposed to himself, who had
raised his thoughts much higher. "I am infinitely obliged to your
majesty for the offer you make me," answered he, "and cannot
thank you enough for your generosity; yet I must beg of you not
to be displeased if I have the presumption to tell you, that I
cannot resign my horse, but by receiving the hand of the princess
your daughter as my wife: this is the only price at which I can
part with my property."

The courtiers about the emperor of Persia could not forbear
laughing aloud at this extravagant demand of the Hindoo; but the
prince Firoze Shaw, the eldest son of the emperor, and
presumptive heir to the crown, could not hear it without
indignation. The emperor was of a very different opinion, and
thought he might sacrifice the princess of Persia to the Hindoo,
to satisfy his curiosity. He remained however undetermined,
considering what he should do.

Prince Firoze Shaw, who saw his father hesitated what answer to
make, began to fear lest he should comply with the Hindoo's
demand, and regarded it as not only injurious to the royal
dignity, and to his sister, but also to himself; therefore to
anticipate his father, he said, "Sir, I hope your majesty will
forgive me for daring to ask, if it is possible your majesty
should hesitate about a denial to so insolent a demand from such
an insignificant fellow, and so scandalous a juggler? or give him
reason to flatter himself a moment with being allied to one of
the most powerful monarchs in the world? I beg of you to consider
what you owe to yourself, to your own blood, and the high rank of
your ancestors."

"Son," replied the emperor of Persia, "I much approve of your
remonstrance, and am sensible of your zeal for preserving the
lustre of your birth; but you do not consider sufficiently the
excellence of this horse; nor that the Hindoo, if I should refuse
him, may make the offer somewhere else, where this nice point of
honour may be waived. I shall be in the utmost despair if another
prince should boast of having exceeded me in generosity, and
deprived me of the glory of possessing what I esteem as the most
singular and wonderful thing in the world. I will not say I
consent to grant him what he asked. Perhaps he has not well
considered his exorbitant demand: and putting my daughter the
princess out of the question, I may make another agreement with
him that will answer his purpose as well. But before I conclude
the bargain with him, I should be glad that you would examine the
horse, try him yourself, and give me your opinion."

As it is natural for us to flatter ourselves in what we desire,
the Hindoo fancied, from what he had heard, that the emperor was
not entirely averse to his alliance, and that the prince might
become more favourable to him; therefore, he expressed much joy,
ran before the prince to help him to mount, and shewed him how to
guide and manage the horse.

The prince mounted without the Hindoo's assisting him; and no
sooner had he got his feet in both stirrups, but without staying
for the artist's advice, he turned the peg he had seen him use,
when instantly the horse darted into the air, quick as an arrow
shot out of a bow by the most adroit archer; and in a few moments
the emperor his father and the numerous assembly lost sight of
him. Neither horse nor prince were to be seen. The Hindoo,
alarmed at what had happened, prostrated himself before the
throne, and said, "Your majesty must have remarked the prince was
so hasty, that he would not permit me to give him the necessary
instructions to govern my horse. From what he saw me do, he was
ambitious of shewing that he wanted not my advice. He was too
eager to shew his address, but knows not the way, which I was
going to shew him, to turn the horse, and make him descend at the
wish of his rider. Therefore, the favour I ask of your majesty
is, not to make me accountable for what accidents may befall him;
you are too just to impute to me any misfortune that may attend
him."

This address of the Hindoo much surprised and afflicted the
emperor, who saw the danger his son was in to be inevitable, if,
as the Hindoo said, there was a secret to bring him back,
different from that which carried him away; and asked, in a
passion, why he did not call him the moment he ascended?

"Sir," answered the Hindoo, "your majesty saw as well as I with
what rapidity the horse flew away. The surprise I was then, and
still am in, deprived me of the use of my speech; but if I could
have spoken, he was got too far to hear me. If he had heard me,
he knew not the secret to bring him back, which, through his
impatience, he would not stay to learn. But, sir," added he,
"there is room to hope that the prince, when he finds himself at
a loss, will perceive another peg, and as soon as he turns that,
the horse will cease to rise, and descend to the ground, when he
may turn him to what place he pleases by guiding him with the
bridle."

Notwithstanding all these arguments of the Hindoo, which carried
great appearance of probability, the emperor of Persia was much
alarmed at the evident danger of his son. "I suppose," replied
he, "it is very uncertain whether my son may perceive the other
peg, and make a right use of it; may not the horse, instead of
lighting on the ground, fall upon some rock, or tumble into the
sea with him?"

"Sir," replied the Hindoo, "I can deliver your majesty from this
apprehension, by assuring you, that the horse crosses seas
without ever falling into them, and always carries his rider
wherever he may wish to go. And your majesty may assure yourself,
that if the prince does but find out the other peg I mentioned,
the horse will carry him where he pleases. It is not to be
supposed that he will stop any where but where he can find
assistance, and make himself known."

"Be it as it may," replied the emperor of Persia, "as I cannot
depend upon the assurance you give me, your head shall answer for
my son's life, if he does not return safe in three days' time, or
I should hear that he is alive." He then ordered his officers to
secure the Hindoo, and keep him close prisoner; after which he
retired to his palace in affliction that the festival of Nooroze
should have proved so inauspicious. 

In the mean time the prince was carried through the air with
prodigious velocity; and in less than an hour's time had ascended
so high, that he could not distinguish any thing on the earth,
but mountains and plains seemed confounded together. It was then
he began to think of returning, and conceived he might do this by
turning the same peg the contrary way, and pulling the bridle at
the same time. But when he found that the horse still rose with
the same swiftness, his alarm was great. He turned the peg
several times, one way and the other, but all in vain. It was
then he grew sensible of his fault, in not having learnt the
necessary precautions to guide the horse before he mounted. He
immediately apprehended the great danger he was in, but that
apprehension did not deprive him of his reason. He examined the
horse's head and neck with attention, and perceived behind the
right ear another peg, smaller than the other. He turned that
peg, and presently perceived that he descended in the same
oblique manner as he had mounted, but not so swiftly.

Night had overshadowed that part of the earth over which the
prince was when he found out and turned the small peg; and as the
horse descended, he by degrees lost sight of the sun, till it
grew quite dark; insomuch that, instead of choosing what place he
would go to, he was forced to let the bridle lie upon the horse's
neck, and wait patiently till he alighted, though not without the
dread lest it should be in the desert, a river, or the sea.

At last the horse stopped upon some solid substance about
midnight, and the prince dismounted very faint and hungry, having
eaten nothing since the morning, when he came out of the palace
with his father to assist at the festival. He found himself to be
on the terrace of a magnificent palace, surrounded with a
balustrade of white marble, breast high; and groping about,
reached a staircase, which led down into an apartment, the door
of which was half open.

Few but prince Firoze Shaw would have ventured to descend those
stairs dark as it was, and in the danger he exposed himself to
from friends or foes. But no consideration could stop him. "I do
not come," said he to himself, "to do anybody harm; and
certainly, whoever meets or sees me first, and finds that I have
no arms in my hands, will not attempt any thing against my life,
before they hear what I have to say for myself." After this
reflection, he opened the door wider, without making any noise,
went softly down the stairs, that he might not awaken anybody;
and when he came to a landing-place on the staircase, found the
door of a great hall, that had a light in it, open.

The prince stopped at the door, and listening, heard no other
noise than the snoring of some people who were fast asleep. He
advanced a little into the room, and by the light of a lamp saw
that those persons were black eunuchs, with naked sabres laid by
them; which was enough to inform him that this was the guard-
chamber of some sultan or princess; which latter it proved to be.

In the next room to this the princess lay, as appeared by the
light, the door being open, through a silk curtain, which drew
before the door-way, whither prince Firoze Shaw advanced on tip-
toe, without waking the eunuchs. He drew aside the curtain, went
in, and without staying to observe the magnificence of the
chamber, gave his attention to something of greater importance.
He saw many beds; only one of them on a sofa, the rest on the
floor. The princess slept in the first, and her women in the
others.

This distinction was enough to direct the prince. He crept softly
towards the bed, without waking either the princess or her women,
and beheld a beauty so extraordinary, that he was charmed, and
inflamed with love at the first sight. "O heavens!" said he to
himself, "has my fate brought me hither to deprive me of my
liberty, which hitherto I have always preserved? How can I avoid
certain slavery, when those eyes shall open, since, without
doubt, they complete the lustre of this assemblage of charms! I
must quickly resolve, since I cannot stir without being my own
murderer; for so has necessity ordained."

After these reflections on his situation, and on the princess's
beauty, he fell on his knees, and twitching gently the princess's
sleeve, pulled it towards him. The princess opened her eyes, and
seeing a handsome man on his knees, was in great surprise; yet
seemed to shew no sign of fear.

The prince availed himself of this favourable moment, bowed his
head to the ground, and rising said, "Beautiful princess, by the
most extraordinary and wonderful adventure, you see at your feet
a suppliant prince, son of the emperor of Persia, who was
yesterday morning in his court, at the celebration of a solemn
festival, but is now in a strange country, in danger of his life,
if you have not the goodness and generosity to afford him your
assistance and protection. These I implore, adorable princess,
with confidence that you will not refuse me. I have the more
ground to persuade myself, as so much beauty and majesty cannot
entertain inhumanity."

The personage to whom prince Firoze Shaw so happily addressed
himself was the princess of Bengal, eldest daughter of the Rajah
of that kingdom, who had built this palace at a small distance
from his capital, whither she went to take the benefit of the
country air. After she had heard the prince with all the candour
he could desire, she replied with equal goodness, "Prince, you
are not in a barbarous country; take courage; hospitality,
humanity, and politeness are to be met with in the kingdom of
Bengal, as well as in that of Persia. It is not merely I who
grant you the protection you ask; you not only have found it in
my palace, but will meet it throughout the whole kingdom; you may
believe me, and depend on what I say."

The prince of Persia would have thanked the princess for her
civility, and had already bowed down his head to return the
compliment; but she would not give him leave to speak.
"Notwithstanding I desire," said she, "to know by what miracle
you have come hither from the capital of Persia in so short a
time; and by what enchantment you have been able to penetrate so
far as to come to my apartment, and to have evaded the vigilance
of my guards; yet, as it is impossible but you must want some
refreshment, and regarding you as a welcome guest, I will waive
my curiosity, and give orders to my women to regale you, and shew
you an apartment, that you may rest yourself after your fatigue,
and be better able to satisfy my curiosity."

The princess's women, who awoke at the first words which the
prince addressed to the princess, were in the utmost surprise to
see a man at the princess's feet, as they could not conceive how
he had got thither, without waking them or the eunuchs. They no
sooner comprehended the princess's intentions, than they were
ready to obey her commands. They each took a wax candle, of which
there were great numbers lighted up in the room; and after the
prince had respectfully taken leave, went before and conducted
him into a handsome chamber; where, while some were preparing the
bed, others went into the kitchen; and notwithstanding it was so
unseasonable an hour, they did not make prince Firoze Shaw wait
long, but brought him presently a collation; and when he had
eaten as much as he chose, removed the trays, and left him to
taste the sweets of repose.

In the mean time, the princess of Bengal was so struck with the
charms, wit, politeness, and other good qualities which she had
discovered in her short interview with the prince, that she could
not sleep: but when her women came into her room again asked them
if they had taken care of him, if he wanted any thing; and
particularly, what they thought of him?

The women, after they had satisfied her as to the first queries,
answered to the last: "We do not know what you may think of him,
but, for our parts, we are of opinion you would be very happy if
your father would marry you to so amiable a youth; for there is
not a prince in all the kingdom of Bengal to be compared to him;
nor can we hear that any of the neighbouring princes are worthy
of you."

This flattering compliment was not displeasing to the princess of
Bengal; but as she had no mind to declare her sentiments, she
imposed silence, telling them that they talked without
reflection, bidding them return to rest, and let her sleep.

The next day the princess took more pains in dressing and
adjusting herself at the glass than she had ever done before. She
never tired her women's patience so much, by making them do and
undo the same thing several times. She adorned her head, neck,
arms, and waist, with the finest and largest diamonds she
possessed. The habit she put on was one of the richest stuffs of
the Indies, of a most beautiful colour, and made only for kings,
princes, and princesses. After she had consulted her glass, and
asked her women, one after another, if any thing was wanting to
her attire, she sent to know, if the prince of Persia was awake;
and as she never doubted but that, if he was up and dressed, he
would ask leave to come and pay his respects to her, she charged
the messenger to tell him she would make him the visit, and she
had her reasons for this.

The prince of Persia, who by the night's rest had recovered the
fatigue he had undergone the day before, had just dressed
himself, when he received the princess of Bengal's compliments by
one of her women. Without giving the lady who brought the message
leave to communicate it, he asked her, if it was proper for him
then to go and pay his respects to the princess; and when the
lady had acquitted herself of her errand, he replied, "It shall
be as the princess thinks fit; I came here to be solely at her
pleasure."

As soon as the princess understood that the prince of Persia
waited for her, she immediately went to pay him a visit. After
mutual compliments, the prince asking pardon for having waked the
princess out of a profound sleep, and the princess inquiring
after his health, and how he had rested, the princess sat down on
a sofa, as did also the prince, though at some distance, out of
respect.

The princess then resuming the conversation, said, "I would have
received you, prince, in the chamber in which you found me last
night; but as the chief of my eunuchs has the liberty of entering
it, and never comes further without my leave, from my impatience
to hear the surprising adventure which procured me the happiness
of seeing you, I chose to come hither, that we may not be
interrupted; therefore I beg of you to give me that satisfaction,
which will highly oblige me."

Prince Firoze Shaw, to gratify the princess of Bengal, began with
describing the festival of the Nooroze, and mentioned the shows
which had amazed the court of Persia, and the people of Sheerauz.
Afterwards he came to the enchanted horse; the description of
which, with the account of the wonders which the Hindoo had
performed before so august an assembly, convinced the princess
that nothing of that kind could be imagined more surprising in
the world. "You may well think, charming princess," continued the
prince of Persia, "that the emperor my father, who cares not what
he gives for any thing that is rare and curious, would be very
desirous to purchase such a curiosity. He asked the Hindoo what
he would have for him; who made him an extravagant reply, telling
him, that he had not bought him, but taken him in exchange for
his only daughter, and could not part with him but on the like
condition, which was to have his consent to marry the princess my
sister.

"The crowd of courtiers, who stood about the emperor my father,
hearing the extravagance of this proposal, laughed loudly; I for
my part conceived such great indignation, that I could not
disguise it; and the more, because I saw that my father was
doubtful what answer he should give. In short, I believe he would
have granted him what he asked, if I had not represented to him
how injurious it would be to his honour; yet my remonstrance
could not bring him entirely to quit his design of sacrificing
the princess my sister to so despicable a person. He fancied he
should bring me over to his opinion, if once I could comprehend,
as he imagined he did, the singular worth of this horse. With
this view he would have me mount, and make a trial of him myself.

"To please my father, I mounted the horse, and as soon as I was
upon his back, put my hand on a peg, as I had seen the Hindoo do
before, to make the horse mount into the air, without stopping to
take instructions of the owner for his guidance or descent. The
instant I touched the peg, the horse ascended, as swift as an
arrow shot out of a bow, and I was presently at such a distance
from the earth that I could not distinguish any object. From the
swiftness of the motion I was for some time unapprehensive of the
danger to which I was exposed; when I grew sensible of it, I
endeavoured to turn the peg the contrary way. But the experiment
would not answer my expectation, for still the horse rose, and
carried me a greater distance from the earth. At last I perceived
another peg, which I turned, and then I grew sensible that the
horse descended towards the earth, and presently found myself so
surrounded with darkness, that it was impossible for me to guide
the machine. In this condition I laid the bridle on his neck, and
trusted myself to the will of God to dispose of my fate.

"At length the horse stopped, I got off his back, and examining
whereabouts I might be, perceived myself on the terrace of this
palace, and found the door of the staircase half open. I came
softly down the stairs, and seeing a door open, put my head into
the room, perceived some eunuchs asleep, and a great light in an
adjoining chamber. The necessity I was under, notwithstanding the
inevitable danger to which I should be exposed, if the eunuchs
had waked, inspired me with the boldness, or rather rashness, to
cross that room to get to the other.

"It is needless," added the prince, "to tell you the rest, since
you are not unacquainted with all that passed afterwards. But I
am obliged in duty to thank you for your goodness and generosity,
and to beg of you to let me know how I may shew my gratitude.
According to the law of nations I am already your slave, and
cannot make you an offer of my person; there only remains my
heart: but, alas! princess, what do I say? My heart is no longer
my own, your charms have forced it from me, but in such a manner,
that I will never ask for it again, but yield it up; give me
leave, therefore, to declare you mistress both of my heart and
inclination."

These last words of the prince were pronounced with such an air
and tone, that the princess of Bengal never doubted of the effect
she had expected from her charms; neither did she seem to resent
the precipitate declaration of the prince of Persia. Her blushes
served but to heighten her beauty, and render her more amiable in
his eyes.

As soon as she had recovered herself, she replied, "Prince, you
have given me sensible pleasure, by telling me your wonderful
adventure. But, on the other hand, I can hardly forbear
shuddering, when I think on the height you were in the air; and
though I have the good fortune to see you here safe and well, I
was in pain till you came to that part where the horse
fortunately descended upon the terrace of my palace. The same
thing might have happened in a thousand other places. I am glad
that chance has given me the preference to the whole world, and
of the opportunity of letting you know, that it could not have
conducted you to any place where you could have been received
with greater pleasure.

"But, prince," continued she, "I should think myself offended, if
I believed that the thought you mentioned of being my slave was
serious, and that it did not proceed from your politeness rather
than from a sincerity of sentiment; for, by the reception I gave
you yesterday, you might assure yourself you are here as much at
liberty as in the midst of the court of Persia.

"As to your heart," added the princess, in a tone which shewed
nothing less than a refusal, "as I am persuaded that you have not
lived so long without disposing of it, and that you could not
fail of making choice of a princess who deserves it, I should be
sorry to give you an occasion to be guilty of infidelity to her."

Prince Firoze Shaw would have protested that when he left Persia
he was master of his own heart: but, at that instant, one of the
princess's ladies in waiting came to tell that a collation was
served up.

This interruption delivered the prince and princess from an
explanation, which would have been equally embarrassing to both,
and of which they stood in need. The princess of Bengal was fully
convinced of the prince of Persia's sincerity; and the prince,
though the princess had not explained herself, judged
nevertheless from some words she had let fall, that he had no
reason to complain.

As the lady held the door open, the princess of Bengal said to
the prince, rising off her seat, as he did also from his, "I am
not used to eat so early; but as I fancied you might have had but
an indifferent supper last night, I ordered breakfast to be got
ready sooner than ordinary." After this compliment she led him
into a magnificent hall, where a cloth was laid covered with
great plenty of choice and excellent viands; and as soon as they
were seated, many beautiful slaves of the princess, richly
dressed, began a most agreeable concert of vocal and instrumental
music, which lasted the whole time of eating.

This concert was so sweet and well managed, that it did not in
the least interrupt the prince and princess's conversation. The
prince served the princess with the choicest of every thing, and
strove to outdo her in civility, both by words and actions, which
she returned with many new compliments: and in this reciprocal
commerce of civilities and attentions, love made a greater
progress in both than a concerted interview would have promoted.

When they rose, the princess conducted the prince into a large
and magnificent saloon, embellished with paintings in blue and
gold, and richly furnished; there they both sat down in a
balcony, which afforded a most agreeable prospect into the palace
garden, which prince Firoze Shaw admired for the vast variety of
flowers, shrubs, and trees, which were full as beautiful as those
of Persia, but quite different. Here taking the opportunity of
entering into conversation with the princess, he said, "I always
believed, madam, that no part of the world but Persia afforded
such stately palaces and beautiful gardens; but now I see, that
other great monarchs know as well how to build mansions suitable
to their power and greatness; and if there is a difference in the
manner of building, there is none in the degree of grandeur and
magnificence."

"Prince," replied the princess of Bengal, "as I have no idea of
the palaces of Persia, I cannot judge of the comparison you have
made of mine. But, however sincere you seem to be, I can hardly
think it just, but rather incline to believe it a compliment: I
will not despise my palace before you; you have too good an eye,
too good a taste not to form a sound judgment. But I assure you,
I think it very indifferent when I compare it with the king my
father's, which far exceeds it for grandeur, beauty, and
richness; you shall tell me yourself what you think of it, when
you have seen it: for since a chance has brought you so nigh to
the capital of this kingdom, I do not doubt but you will see it,
and make my father a visit, that he may pay you all the honour
due to a prince of your rank and merit."

The princess flattered herself, that by exciting in the prince of
Persia a curiosity to see the capital of Bengal, and to visit her
father, the king, seeing him so handsome, wise, and accomplished
a prince, might perhaps resolve to propose an alliance with him,
by offering her to him as a wife. And as she was well persuaded
she was not indifferent to the prince, and that he would be
pleased with the proposal, she hoped to attain to the utmost of
her wishes, and preserve all the decorum becoming a princess, who
would appear resigned to the will of her king and father; but the
prince of Persia did not return her an answer according to her
expectation.

"Princess," he replied, "the preference which you give the king
of Bengal's palace to your own is enough to induce me to believe
it much exceeds it: and as to the proposal of my going and paying
my respects to the king your father, I should not only do myself
a pleasure, but an honour. But judge, princess, yourself, would
you advise me to present myself before so great a monarch, like
an adventurer, without attendants, and a train suitable to my
rank?"

"Prince," replied the princess, "let not that give you any pain;
if you will but go, you shall want no money to have what train
and attendants you please: I will furnish you; and we have
traders here of all nations in great numbers, and you may make
choice of as many as you please to form your household."

Prince Firoze Shaw penetrated the princess of Bengal's intention,
and this sensible mark of her love still augmented his passion,
which, notwithstanding its violence, made him not forget his
duty. Without any hesitation he replied, "Princess, I should most
willingly accept of the obliging offer you make me, for which I
cannot sufficiently shew my gratitude, if the uneasiness my
father must feel on account of my absence did not prevent me. I
should be unworthy of the tenderness he has always had for me, if
I should not return as soon as possible to calm his fears. I know
him so well, that while I have the happiness of enjoying the
conversation of so lovely a princess, I am persuaded he is
plunged into the deepest grief, and has lost all hopes of seeing
me again. I trust you will do me the justice to believe, that I
cannot, without ingratitude, and being guilty of a crime,
dispense with going to restore to him that life, which a too long
deferred return may have endangered already.

"After this, princess," continued the prince of Persia, "if you
will permit me, and think me worthy to aspire to the happiness of
becoming your husband, as my father has always declared that he
never would constrain me in my choice, I should find it no
difficult matter to get leave to return, not as a stranger, but
as a prince, to contract an alliance with your father by our
marriage; and I am persuaded that the emperor will be overjoyed
when I tell him with what generosity you received me, though a
stranger in distress."

The princess of Bengal was too reasonable, after what the prince
of Persia had said, to persist any longer in persuading him to
pay a visit to the raja of Bengal, or to ask any thing of him
contrary to his duty and honour. But she was much alarmed to find
he thought of so sudden a departure; fearing, that if he took his
leave of her so soon, instead of remembering his promise, he
would forget when he ceased to see her. To divert him from his
purpose, she said to him, "Prince, my intention of proposing a
visit to my father was not to oppose so just a duty as that you
mention, and which I did not foresee. But I cannot approve of
your going so soon as you propose; at least grant me the favour I
ask of a little longer acquaintance; and since I have had the
happiness to have you alight in the kingdom of Bengal, rather
than in the midst of a desert, or on the top of some steep craggy
rock, from which it would have been impossible for you to
descend, I desire you will stay long enough to enable you to give
a better account at the court of Persia of what you may see
here."

The sole end the princess had in this request was, that the
prince of Persia, by a longer stay, might become insensibly more
passionately enamoured of her charms; hoping thereby that his
ardent desire of returning would diminish, and then he might be
brought to appear in public, and pay a visit to the Rajah of
Bengal. The prince of Persia could not well refuse her the favour
she asked, after the kind reception she had given him; and
therefore politely complied with her request; and the princess's
thoughts were directed to render his stay agreeable by all the
amusements she could devise.

Nothing went forward for several days but concerts of music,
accompanied with magnificent feasts and collations in the
gardens, or hunting-parties in the vicinity of the palace, which
abounded with all sorts of game, stags, hinds, and fallow deer,
and other beasts peculiar to the kingdom of Bengal, which the
princess could pursue without danger. After the chase, the prince
and princess met in some beautiful spot, where a carpet was
spread, and cushions laid for their accommodation. There resting
themselves, after their violent exercise, they conversed on
various subjects. The princess took pains to turn the
conversation on the grandeur, power, riches, and government of
Persia; that from the prince's replies she might have an
opportunity to talk of the kingdom of Bengal, and its advantages,
and engage him to resolve to make a longer stay there; but she
was disappointed in her expectations.

The prince of Persia, without the least exaggeration, gave so
advantageous an account of the extent of the kingdom of Persia,
its magnificence and riches, its military force, its commerce by
sea and land with the most remote parts of the world, some of
which were unknown even to him; the vast number of large cities
it contained, almost as populous as that which the emperor had
chosen for his residence, where he had palaces furnished ready to
receive him at all seasons of the year; so that he had his choice
always to enjoy a perpetual spring; that before he had concluded,
the princess found the kingdom of Bengal to be very much inferior
to that of Persia in a great many respects. When he had finished
his relation, he begged of her to entertain him with a
description of Bengal.

The princess after much entreaty gave prince Firoze Shaw that
satisfaction; but by lessening a great many advantages the
kingdom of Bengal was well known to have over that of Persia, she
betrayed the disposition she felt to accompany him, so that he
believed she would consent at the first proposition he should
make; but he thought it would not be proper to make it till he
had shewed her so much deference as to stay with her long enough
to make the blame fall on herself, in case she wished to detain
him from returning to his father.

Two whole months the prince of Persia abandoned himself entirely
to the will of the princess of Bengal, yielding to all the
amusements she contrived for him, for she neglected nothing to
divert him, as if she thought he had nothing else to do but to
pass his whole life with her in this manner. But he now declared
seriously he could not stay longer, and begged of her to give him
leave to return to his father; repeating again the promise he had
made her to come back soon in a style worthy of her and himself,
and to demand her in marriage of the Rajah of Bengal.

"And, princess," observed the prince of Persia, "that you may not
suspect the truth of what I say; and that by my asking this
permission you may not rank me among those false lovers who
forget the object of their affection as soon as absent from them;
to shew that my passion is real, and not feigned, and that life
cannot be pleasant to me when absent from so lovely a princess,
whose love to me I cannot doubt is mutual; I would presume, were
I not afraid you would be offended at my request, to ask the
favour of taking you along with me."

As the prince saw that the princess blushed at these words,
without any mark of anger, he proceeded, and said, "Princess, as
for my father's consent, and the reception he will give you, I
venture to assure you he will receive you with pleasure into his
alliance; and as for the Rajah of Bengal, after all the love and
tender regard he has always expressed for you, he must be the
reverse of what you have described him, an enemy to your repose
and happiness, if he should not receive in a friendly manner the
embassy which my father will send to him for his approbation of
our marriage."

The princess returned no answer to this address of the prince of
Persia; but her silence, and eyes cast down, were sufficient to
inform him that she had no reluctance to accompany him into
Persia. The only difficulty she felt was, that the prince knew
not well enough how to govern the horse, and she was apprehensive
of being involved with him in the same difficulty as when he
first made the experiment. But the prince soon removed her fear,
by assuring her she might trust herself with him, for that after
the experience he had acquired, he defied the Hindoo himself to
manage him better. She thought therefore only of concerting
measures to get off with him so secretly, that nobody belonging
to the palace should have the least suspicion of their design.

The next morning, a little before day-break, when all the
attendants were asleep, they went upon the terrace of the palace.
The prince turned the horse towards Persia, and placed him where
the princess could easily get up behind him; which she had no
sooner done, and was well settled with her arms about his waist,
for her better security, than he turned the peg, when the horse
mounted into the air, and making his usual haste, under the
guidance of the prince, in two hours time the prince discovered
the capital of Persia.

He would not alight at the great square from whence he had set
out, nor in the palace, but directed his course towards a
pleasure-house at a little distance from the capital. He led the
princess into a handsome apartment, where he told her, that to do
her all the honour that was due to her, he would go and inform
his father of their arrival, and return to her immediately. He
ordered the housekeeper of the palace, who was then present, to
provide the princess with whatever she had occasion for.

After the prince had taken his leave of the princess, he ordered
a horse to be saddled, which he mounted, after sending back the
housekeeper to the princess, with orders to provide her
refreshments immediately, and then set forwards for the palace.
As he passed through the streets he was received with
acclamations by the people, who were overjoyed to see him again.
The emperor his father was giving audience, when he appeared
before him in the midst of his council. He received him with
ecstacy, and embracing him with tears of joy and tenderness,
asked him, what was become of the Hindoo's horse.

This question gave the prince an opportunity of describing the
embarrassment and danger he was in when the horse ascended into
the air, and how he had arrived at last at the princess of
Bengal's palace, the kind reception he had met with there, and
that the motive which had induced him to stay so long with her
was the affection she had shewn him; also, that after promising
to marry her, he had persuaded her to accompany him into Persia.
"But, sir," added the prince, "I felt assured that you would not
refuse your consent, and have brought her with me on the
enchanted horse, to a palace where your majesty often goes for
your pleasure; and have left her there, till I could return and
assure her that my promise was not in vain."

After these words, the prince prostrated himself before the
emperor to obtain his consent, when his father raised him up,
embraced him a second time, and said to him, "Son, I not only
consent to your marriage with the princess of Bengal, but will go
and meet her myself, and thank her for the obligation I in
particular have to her, and will bring her to my palace, and
celebrate your nuptials this day."

The emperor now gave orders for his court to make preparations
for the princess's entry; that the rejoicings should be announced
by the royal band of military music, and that the Hindoo should
be fetched out of prison and brought before him. When the Hindoo
was conducted before the emperor, he said to him, "I secured thy
person, that thy life, though not a sufficient victim to my rage
and grief, might answer for that of the prince my son, whom,
however, thanks to God! I have found again: go, take your horse,
and never let me see your face more."

As the Hindoo had learned of those who brought him out of prison
that prince Firoze Shaw was returned with a princess, and was
also informed of the place where he had alighted and left her,
and that the emperor was making preparations to go and bring her
to his palace; as soon as he got out of the presence, he
bethought himself of being revenged upon the emperor and the
prince. Without losing any time, he went directly to the palace,
and addressing himself to the keeper, told him, he came from the
prince of Persia for the princess of Bengal, and to conduct her
behind him through the air to the emperor, who waited in the
great square of his palace to gratify the whole court and city of
Sheerauz with that wonderful sight.

The palace-keeper, who knew the Hindoo, and that the emperor had
imprisoned him, gave the more credit to what he said, because he
saw that he was at liberty. He presented him to the princess of
Bengal; who no sooner understood that he came from the prince of
Persia than she consented to what the prince, as she thought, had
desired of her.

The Hindoo, overjoyed at his success, and the ease with which he
had accomplished his villany, mounted his horse, took the
princess behind him, with the assistance of the keeper, turned
the peg, and instantly the horse mounted into the air.

At the same time the emperor of Persia, attended by his court,
was on the road to the palace where the princess of Bengal had
been left, and the prince of Persia was advanced before, to
prepare the princess to receive his father; when the Hindoo, to
brave them both, and revenge himself for the ill-treatment he had
received, appeared over their heads with his prize.

When the emperor of Persia saw the ravisher, he stopped. His
surprise and affliction were the more sensible, because it was
not in his power to punish so high an affront. He loaded him with
a thousand imprecations, as did also all the courtiers, who were
witnesses of so signal a piece of insolence and unparalleled
artifice and treachery.

The Hindoo, little moved with their curses, which just reached
his ears, continued his way, while the emperor, extremely
mortified at so great an insult, but more so that he could not
punish the author, returned to his palace in rage and vexation.

But what was prince Firoze Shaw's grief at beholding the Hindoo
hurrying away the princess of Bengal, whom he loved so
passionately that he could not live without her! At a spectacle
so little expected he was confounded, and before he could
deliberate with himself what measures to pursue, the horse was
out of sight. He could not resolve how to act, whether he should
return to his father's palace, and shut himself in his apartment,
to give himself entirely up to his affliction, without attempting
to pursue the ravisher. But as his generosity, love, and courage,
would not suffer this, he continued on his way to the palace
where he had left his princess.

When he arrived, the palace-keeper, who was by this time
convinced of his fatal credulity, in believing the artful Hindoo,
threw himself at his feet with tears in his eyes, accused himself
of the crime, which unintentionally he had committed, and
condemned himself to die by his hand. "Rise," said the prince to
him, "I do not impute the loss of my princess to thee, but to my
own want of precaution. But not to lose time, fetch me a
dervish's habit, and take care you do not give the least hint
that it is for me."

Not far from this palace there stood a convent of dervishes, the
superior of which was the palace-keeper's particular friend. He
went to his chief, and telling him that a considerable officer at
court and a man of worth, to whom he had been very much obliged
and wished to favour, by giving him an opportunity to withdraw
from some sudden displeasure of the emperor, readily obtained a
complete dervish's habit, and carried it to prince Firoze Shaw.
The prince immediately pulled off his own dress, put it on, and
being so disguised, and provided with a box of jewels, which he
had brought as a present to the princess, left the palace,
uncertain which way to go, but resolved not to return till he had
found out his princess, and brought her back again, or perish in
the attempt.

But to return to the Hindoo; he governed his enchanted horse so
well, that he arrived early next morning in a wood, near the
capital of the kingdom ot Cashmeer. Being hungry, and concluding
the princess was so also, he alighted in that wood, in an open
part of it, and left the princess on a grassy spot, close to a
rivulet of clear fresh water.

During the Hindoo's absence, the princess of Bengal, who knew
that she was in the power of a base ravisher, whose violence she
dreaded, thought of escaping from him, and seeking out for some
sanctuary. But as she had eaten scarcely any thing on her arrival
at the palace, was so faint, that she could not execute her
design, but was forced to abandon it and stay where she was,
without any other resource than her courage, and a firm
resolution rather to suffer death than be unfaithful to the
prince of Persia. When the Hindoo returned, she did not wait to
be entreated, but ate with him, and recovered herself enough to
answer with courage to the insolent language he now began to hold
to her. After many threats, as she saw that the Hindoo was
preparing to use violence, she rose up to make resistance, and by
her cries and shrieks drew towards them a company of horsemen,
which happened to be the sultan of Cashmeer and his attendants,
who, as they were returning from hunting, happily for the
princess of Bengal, passed through that part of the wood, and ran
to her assistance, at the noise she made.

The sultan addressed himself to the Hindoo, demanded who he was,
and wherefore he ill. treated the lady? The Hindoo, with great
impudence, replied, "That she was his wife, and what had any one
to do with his quarrel with her?"

The princess, who neither knew the rank nor quality of the person
who came so seasonably to her relief, told the Hindoo he was a
liar; and said to the sultan, "My lord, whoever you are whom
Heaven has sent to my assistance, have compassion on a princess,
and give no credit to that impostor. Heaven forbid that I should
be the wife of so vile and despicable a Hindoo! a wicked
magician, who has forced me away from the prince of Persia, to
whom I was going to be united, and has brought me hither on the
enchanted horse you behold there."

The princess of Bengal had no occasion to say more to persuade
the sultan of Cashmeer that what she told him was truth. Her
beauty, majestic air, and tears, spoke sufficiently for her.
Justly enraged at the insolence of the Hindoo, he ordered his
guards to surround him, and strike off his head: which sentence
was immediately executed.

The princess, thus delivered from the persecution of the Hindoo,
fell into another no less afflicting. The sultan conducted her to
his palace, where he lodged her in the most magnificent
apartment, next his own, commanded a great number of women slaves
to attend her, and ordered a guard of eunuchs. He led her himself
into the apartment he had assigned her; where, without giving her
time to thank him for the great obligation she had received, he
said to her, "As I am certain, princess, that you must want rest,
I will take my leave of you till to-morrow, when you will be
better able to relate to me the circumstances of this strange
adventure;" and then left her.

The princess of Bengal's joy was inexpressible at finding herself
delivered from the violence of the Hindoo, of whom she could not
think without horror. She flattered herself that the sultan of
Cashmeer would complete his generosity by sending her back to the
prince of Persia when she should have told him her story, and
asked that favour of him; but she was much deceived in these
hopes; for her deliverer had resolved to marry her himself the
next day; and for that end had ordered rejoicings to be made by
day-break, by beating of drums, sounding of trumpets, and other
instruments expressive of joy; which not only echoed through the
palace, but throughout the whole city.

The princess of Bengal was awakened by these tumultuous concerts;
but attributed them to a very different cause from the true one.
When the sultan of Cashmeer, who had given orders that he should
be informed when the princess was ready to receive a visit, came
to wait upon her; after he had inquired after her health, he
acquainted her that all those rejoicings were to render their
nuptials the more solemn; and at the same time desired her assent
to the union. This declaration put her into such agitation that
she fainted away. 

The women-slaves, who were present, ran to her assistance; and
the sultan did all he could to bring her to herself, though it
was a long time before they succeeded* But when she recovered,
rather than break the promise she had made to prince Firoze Shaw,
by consenting to marry the sultan of Cashmeer, who had proclaimed
their nuptials before he had asked her consent, she resolved to
feign madness. She began to utter the most extravagant
expressions before the sultan, and even rose off her seat as if
to attack him; insomuch that he was greatly alarmed and
afflicted, that he had made such a proposal so unseasonably.

When he found that her frenzy rather increased than abated, he
left her with her women, charging them never to leave her alone,
but to take great care of her. He sent often that day to inquire
how she did; but received no other answer than that she was
rather worse than better. At night she seemed more indisposed
than she had been all day, insomuch that the sultan deferred the
happiness he had promised himself.

The princess of Bengal continued to talk wildly, and shew other
marks of a disordered mind, next day and the following; so that
the sultan was induced to send for all the physicians belonging
to his court, to consult them upon her disease, and to ask if
they could cure her.

The physicians all agreed that there were several sorts and
degrees of this disorder, some curable and others not; and told
the sultan, that they could not judge of the princess of Bengal's
unless they might see her; upon which the sultan ordered the
eunuchs to introduce them into the princess's chamber, one after
another, according to their rank.

The princess, who foresaw what would happen, and feared, that if
she let the physicians feel her pulse, the least experienced of
them would soon know that she was in good health, and that her
madness was only feigned, flew into such a well-dissembled rage
and passion, that she appeared ready to injure those who came
near her; so none of them durst approach her.

Some who pretended to be more skilful than the rest, and boasted
of judging of diseases only by sight, ordered her some potions,
which she made the less difficulty to take, well knowing she
could be sick or well at pleasure, and that they could do her no
harm.

When the sultan of Cashmeer saw that his court physicians could
not cure her, he called in the most celebrated and experienced of
the city, who had no better success. Afterwards he sent for the
most famous in the kingdom, who met with no better reception than
the others from the princess, and what they prescribed had no
effect. Afterwards he dispatched expresses to the courts of
neighbouring sultans, with the princess's case, to be distributed
among the most famous physicians, with a promise of a munificent
reward to any of them who should come and effect her cure.

Various physicians arrived from all parts, and tried their skill;
but none could boast of better success than their predecessors,
or of restoring the princess's faculties, since it was a case
that did not depend on medicine, but on the will of the princess
herself.

During this interval Firoze Shaw, disguised in the habit of a
dervish, travelled through many provinces and towns, involved in
grief; and endured excessive fatigue, not knowing which way to
direct his course, or whether he might not be pursuing the very
opposite road from what he ought, in order to hear the tidings he
was in search of. He made diligent inquiry after her at every
place he came to; till at last passing through a city of
Hindoostan, he heard the people talk much of a princess of
Bengal, who ran mad on the day of the intended celebration of her
nuptials with the sultan of Cashmeer. At the name of the princess
of Bengal, and supposing that there could exist no other princess
of Bengal than her upon whose account he had undertaken his
travels, he hastened towards the kingdom of Cashmeer, and upon
his arrival at the capital took up his lodging at a khan, where
the same day he was informed of ihe story of the princess, and
the fate of the Hindoo magician, which he had so richly deserved.
From the circumstances, the prince was convinced that she was the
beloved object he had sought so long.

Being informed of all these particulars, he provided himself
against the next day with a physician's habit, and having let his
beard grow during his travels, he passed the more easily for the
character he assumed, went to the palace, impatient to behold his
beloved, where he presented himself to the chief of the officers,
and observed modestly, that perhaps it might be looked upon as a
rash undertaking to attempt the cure of the princess, after so
many had failed; but that he hoped some specifics, from which he
had experienced success, might effect the desired relief. The
chief of the officers told him he was welcome, that the sultan
would receive him with pleasure, and that if he should have the
good fortune to restore the princess to her former health, he
might expect a considerable reward from his master's liberality:
"Stay a moment," added he, "I will come to you again
immediately."

Some time had elapsed since any physician had offered himself;
and the sultan of Cashmeer with great grief had begun to lose all
hope of ever seeing the princess restored to health, that he
might marry, and shew how much he loved her. He ordered the
officer to introduce the physician he had announced.

The prince of Persia was presented, when the sultan, without
wasting time in superfluous discourse, after having told him the
princess of Bengal could not bear the sight of a physician
without falling into most violent transports, which increased her
malady, conducted him into a closet, from whence, through a
lattice, he might see her without being observed.

There Firoze Shaw beheld his lovely princess sitting melancholy,
with tears in her eyes, and singing an air in which she deplored
her unhappy fate, which had deprived her, perhaps, for ever, of
the object she loved so tenderly.

The prince was sensibly affected at the melancholy condition in
which he found his dear princess, but he wanted no other signs to
comprehend that her disorder was feigned, or that it was for love
of him that she was under so grievous an affliction. When he came
out of the closet, he told the sultan that he had discovered the
nature of the princess's complaint, and that she was not
incurable; but added withal, that he must speak with her in
private, and alone, as, notwithstanding her violent agitation at
the sight of physicians, he hoped she would hear and receive him
favourably.

The sultan ordered the princess's chamber door to be opened, and
Firoze Shaw went in. As soon as the princess saw him (taking him
by his habit to be a physician), she rose up in a rage,
threatening him, and giving him the most abusive language. He
made directly towards her, and when he was nigh enough for her to
hear him, for he did not wish to be heard by any one else, said
to her, in a low voice, "Princess, I am not a physician, but the
prince of Persia, and am come to procure you your liberty."

The princess, who knew the sound of the voice, and the upper
features of his face, notwithstanding he had let his beard grow
so long, grew calm at once, and a secret joy and pleasure
overspread her face, the effect of seeing the person so much
desired so unexpectedly. Her agreeable surprise deprived her for
some time of the use of speech, and gave Firoze Shaw time to tell
her as briefly as possible, how despair had seized him when he
saw the Hindoo carry her away; the resolution he afterwards had
taken to leave every thing to find her out, and never to return
home till he had regained her out of the hands of the perfidious
wretch; and by what good fortune, at last, after a long and
fatiguing journey, he had the satisfaction to find her in the
palace of the sultan of Cashmeer. He then desired the princess to
inform him of all that happened to her, from the time she was
taken away, till that moment when he had the happiness to
converse with her, telling her, that it was of the greatest
importance to know this, that he might take the most proper
measures to deliver her from the tyranny of the sultan of
Cashmeer.

The princess informed him how she was delivered from the Hindoo's
violence by the sultan, as he was returning from hunting; how she
was alarmed the next day, by a declaration he had made of his
precipitate design to marry her, without even the ceremony of
asking her consent; that this violent and tyrannical conduct put
her into a swoon; after which she thought she had no other way
than what she had taken, to preserve herself for a prince to whom
she had given her heart and faith; or die, rather than marry the
sultan, whom she neither loved, nor could ever love.

The prince of Persia then asked her, if she knew what became of
the horse, after the death of the Hindoo magician. To which she
answered, that she knew not what orders the sultan had given; but
supposed, after the account she had given him of it, he would
take care of it as a curiosity.

As Firoze Shaw never doubted but that the sultan had the horse,
he communicated to the princess his design of making use of it to
convey them both into Persia; and after they had consulted
together on the measures they should take, they agreed that the
princess should dress herself the next day, and receive the
sultan civilly, but without speaking to him.

The sultan of Cashmeer was overjoyed when the prince of Persia
stated to him what effect his first visit had had towards the
cure of the princess. On the following day, when the princess
received him in such a manner as persuaded him her cure was far
advanced, he regarded him as the greatest physician in the world;
and seeing her in this state, contented himself with telling her
how rejoiced he was at her being likely soon to recover her
health. He exhorted her to follow the directions of so skilful a
physician, in order to complete what he had so well begun; and
then retired without waiting for her answer.

The prince of Persia, who attended the sultan of Cashmeer out of
the princess's chamber, as he accompanied him, asked if, without
failing in due respect, he might inquire, how the princess of
Bengal came into the dominions of Cashmeer thus alone, since her
own country was far distant? This he said on purpose to introduce
some conversation about the enchanted horse, and to know what was
become of it.

The sultan, who could not penetrate into the prince's motive,
concealed nothing from him; but informed him of what the princess
had related, when he had delivered her from the Hindoo magician:
adding, that he had ordered the enchanted horse to be kept safe
in his treasury as a great curiosity, though he knew not the use
of it.

"Sir," replied the pretended physician, "the information which
your majesty has given your devoted slave affords me a means of
curing the princess. As she was brought hither on this horse, and
the horse is enchanted, she hath contracted something of the
enchantment, which can be dissipated only by a certain incense
which I am acquainted with. If your majesty would entertain
yourself, your court, and the people of your capital, with the
most surprising sight that ever was beheld, let the horse be
brought into the great square before the palace, and leave the
rest to me. I promise to show you, and all that assembly, in a
few moments time, the princess of Bengal completely restored in
body and mind. But the better to effect what I propose, it will
be requisite that the princess, should be dressed as
magnificently as possible, and adorned with the most valuable
jewels your majesty may possess." The sultan would have
undertaken much more difficult things to have arrived at the
enjoyment of his desires, which he expected soon to accomplish.

The next day, the enchanted horse was, by his order, taken out of
the treasury, and placed early in the great square before the
palace. A report was spread through the town that there was
something extraordinary to be seen, and crowds of people flocked
thither from all parts, insomuch that the sultan's guards were
placed to prevent disorder, and to keep space enough round the
horse.

The sultan of Cashmeer, surrounded by all his nobles and
ministers of state, was placed on a scaffold erected on purpose.
The princess of Bengal, attended by a number of ladies whom the
sultan had assigned her, went up to the enchanted horse, and the
women helped her to mount. When she was fixed in the saddle, and
had the bridle in her hand, the pretended physician placed round
the horse at a proper distance many vessels full of lighted
charcoal, which he had ordered to be brought, and going round
them with a solemn pace, cast in a strong and grateful perfume;
then collected in himself, with downcast eyes, and his hands upon
his breast, he ran three times about the horse, making as if he
pronounced some mystical words. The moment the pots sent forth a
dark cloud of pleasant smell, which so surrounded the princess,
that neither she nor the horse could be discerned, watching his
opportunity, the prince jumped nimbly up behind her, and reaching
his hand to the peg, turned it; and just as the horse rose with
them into the air, he pronounced these words, which the sultan
heard distinctly, "Sultan of Cashmeer, when you would marry
princesses who implore your protection, learn first to obtain
their consent."

Thus the prince delivered the princess of Bengal, and carried her
the same day to the capital of Persia, where he alighted in the
square of the palace, before the emperor his father's apartment,
who deferred the solemnization of the marriage no longer than
till he could make the preparations necessary to render the
ceremony pompous and magnificent, and evince the interest he took
in it.

After the days appointed for the rejoicings were over, the
emperor of Persia's first care was to name and appoint an
ambassador to go to the Rajah of Bengal with an account of what
had passed, and to demand his approbation and ratification of the
alliance contracted by this marriage; which the Rajah of Bengal
took as an honour, and granted with great pleasure and
satisfaction.





            THE STORY OF PRINCE AHMED, AND THE FAIRY
                          PERIE BANOU.



There was a sultan who had peaceably filled the throne of India
many years, and had the satisfaction in his old age to have three
sons the worthy imitators of his virtues, who, with the princess
his niece, were the ornaments of his court. The eldest of the
princes was called Houssain, the second Ali, the youngest Ahmed,
and the princess his niece Nouronnihar.

The princess Nouronnihar was the daughter of the younger brother
of the sultan, to whom in his lifetime he had allowed a
considerable revenue. But that prince had not been married long
before he died, and left the princess very young. The sultan, in
consideration of the brotherly love and friendship that had
always subsisted between them, besides a great attachment to his
person, took upon himself the care of his daughter's education,
and brought her up in his palace with the three princes; where
her singular beauty and personal accomplishments, joined to a
lively wit and irreproachable virtue, distinguished her among all
the princesses of her time.

The sultan, her uncle, proposed to marry her when she arrived at
a proper age, and by that means to contract an alliance with some
neighbouring prince; and was thinking seriously on the subject,
when he perceived that the three princes his sons loved her
passionately. This gave him much concern, though his grief did
not proceed from a consideration that their passion prevented his
forming the alliance he designed, but the difficulty he foresaw
to make them agree, and that the two youngest should consent to
yield her up to their eldest brother. He spoke to each of them
apart; and remonstrated on the impossibility of one princess
being the wife of three persons, and the troubles they would
create if they persisted in their attachment. He did all he could
to persuade them to abide by a declaration of the princess in
favour of one of them; or to desist from their pretensions, to
think of other matches which he left them free liberty to choose,
and suffer her to be married to a foreign attachment. But as he
found them obstinate, he sent for them all together, and said,
"My children, since I have not been able to dissuade you from
aspiring to marry the princess your cousin; and as I have no
inclination to use my authority, to give her to one in preference
to his brothers, I trust I have thought of an expedient which
will please you all, and preserve harmony among you, if you will
but hear me, and follow my advice. I think it would not be amiss
if you were to travel separately into different countries, so
that you might not meet each other: and as you know I am very
curious, and delight in every thing that is rare and singular, I
promise my niece in marriage to him who shall bring me the most
extraordinary rarity; chance may lead you to form your own
judgment of the singularity of the things which you bring, by the
comparison you make of them, so that you will have no difficulty
to do yourselves justice by yielding the preference to him who
has deserved it; and for the expense of travelling, I will give
each of you a sum suited to your rank, and for the purchase of
the rarity you shall search after; which shall not be laid out in
equipage and attendants, as much display, by discovering who you
are, would not only deprive you of the liberty to acquit
yourselves of your charge, but prevent your observing those
things which may merit your attention, and may be most useful to
you."

As the three princes were always submissive and obedient to the
sultan's will, and each flattered himself fortune might prove
favourable to him, and give him possession of the princess
Nouronnihar, they all consented to the proposal. The sultan gave
them the money he promised; and that very day they issued orders
for the preparations for their travels, and took leave of their
father, that they might be ready to set out early next morning.
They all went out at the same gate of the city, each dressed like
a merchant, attended by a trusty officer, habited as a slave, and
all well mounted and equipped. They proceeded the first day's
journey together; and slept at a caravanserai, where the road
divided into three different tracks. At night when they were at
supper together, they all agreed to travel for a year, to make
their present lodging their rendezvous; and that the first who
came should wait for the rest; that as they had all three taken
leave together of the sultan, they might return in company. The
next morning by break of day, after they had embraced and wished
each other reciprocally good success, they mounted their horses,
and took each a different road.

Prince Houssain, the eldest brother, who had heard wonders of the
extent, power, riches, and splendour of the kingdom of Bisnagar,
bent his course towards the Indian coast; and after three months'
travelling, joining himself to different caravans, sometimes over
deserts and barren mountains, and sometimes through populous and
fertile countries, arrived at Bisnagar, the capital of the
kingdom of that name, and the residence of its maharajah. He
lodged at a khan appointed for foreign merchants; and having
learnt that there were four principal divisions where merchants
of all sorts kept their shops, in the midst of which stood the
castle, or rather the maharajah's palace, on a large extent of
ground, as the centre of the city, surrounded by three courts,
and each gate distant two leagues from the other, he went to one
of these quarters the next day.

Prince Houssain could not view this quarter without admiration.
It was large, divided into several streets, all vaulted and
shaded from the sun, but yet very light. The shops were all of
the same size and proportion; and all who dealt in the same sort
of goods, as well as all the artists of the same profession,
lived in one street.

The number of shops stocked with all kinds of merchandizes, such
as the finest linens from several parts of India, some painted in
the most lively colours, and representing men, landscapes, trees,
and flowers; silks and brocades from Persia, China, and other
places; porcelain from Japan and China; foot carpets of all
sizes; surprised him so much, that he knew not how to believe his
eyes: but when he came to the shops of the goldsmiths and
jewellers (for those two trades were exercised by the same
merchants), he was in a kind of ecstasy, at beholding such
prodigious quantities of wrought gold and silver, and was dazzled
by the lustre of the pearls, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and
other precious stones exposed to sale. But if he was amazed at
seeing so many treasures in one place, he was much more surprised
when he came to judge of the wealth of the whole kingdom, by
considering, that except the brahmins, and ministers of the
idols, who profess a life retired from worldly vanity, there was
not an Indian, man or woman, through the extent of the kingdom,
but wore necklaces, bracelets, and ornaments about their legs and
feet, made of pearls, and precious stones, which appeared with
the greater lustre, as they were blacks, which colour admirably
set off their brilliancy.

Another object which prince Houssain particularly admired was the
great number of flower-sellers who crowded the streets; for the
Indians are such great lovers of flowers that not one will stir
without a nosegay of them in his hand, or a garland of them on
his head; and the merchants keep them in pots in their shops, so
that the air of the whole quarter, however extensive, is
perfectly perfumed.

After prince Houssain had passed through that quarter, street by
street, his thoughts fully employed on the riches he had seen, he
was much fatigued; which a merchant perceiving, civilly invited
him to sit down in his shop. He accepted his offer; but had not
been seated long, before he saw a crier pass with a piece of
carpeting on his arm, about six feet square, and crying it at
thirty purses. The prince called to the crier, and asked to see
the carpeting, which seemed to him to be valued at an exorbitant
price, not only for the size of it, but the meanness of the
materials. When he had examined it well, he told the crier that
he could not comprehend how so small a piece of carpeting, and of
so indifferent an appearance, could be set at so high a price.

The crier, who took him for a merchant, replied, "Sir, if this
price seems so extravagant to you, your amazement will be greater
when I tell you, I have orders to raise it to forty purses, and
not to part with it under." "Certainly," answered prince
Houssain, "it must have something very extraordinary in it, which
I know nothing of." "You have guessed right, sir," replied the
crier, "and will own it when you come to know, that whoever sits
on this piece of carpeting may be transported in an instant
wherever he desires to be, without being stopped by any
obstacle."

At this account, the prince of the Indies, considering that the
principal motive of his tour was to carry the sultan his father
home some singular rarity, thought that he could not meet with
any which would afford him more satisfaction. "If the carpeting,"
said he to the crier, "has the virtue you attribute to it, I
shall not think forty purses too much; but shall make you a
present besides.' "Sir," replied the crier, "I have told you the
truth; and it will be an easy matter to convince you of it, as
soon as you have made the bargain for forty purses, on condition
I shew you the experiment. But as I suppose you have not so much
with you, and to receive them, I must go with you to the khan
where you lodge; with the leave of the master of this shop we
will go into the back warehouse, where I will spread the
carpeting; and when we have both sat down, and you have formed
the wish to be transported into your apartment at the khan, if we
are not conveyed thither, it shall be no bargain, and you shall
be at your liberty. As to your present, as I am paid for my
trouble by the seller, I shall receive it as a favour, and feel
much obliged by your liberality."

On this assurance of the crier, the prince accepted the
conditions, and concluded the bargain; then having obtained the
master's leave, they went into his back-shop, where they both sat
down on the carpeting; and as soon as the prince had formed his
wish to be transported into his apartment at the khan, he in an
instant found himself and the crier there: as he wanted not a
more convincing proof of the virtue of the carpeting, he counted
to the crier forty purses of gold, and gave him twenty pieces for
himself.

In this manner prince Houssain became the possessor of the
carpeting, and was overjoyed that at his arrival at Bisnagar he
had found so rare a curiosity, which he never doubted must of
course gain him the possession of Nouronnihar. In short, he
thought it impossible for the princes, his younger brothers, to
meet with any thing to be compared with ir. It was in his power,
by sitting on this carpeting, to be at the place of rendezvous
that very day; but as he would be obliged to wait there for his
brothers, as they had agreed, and as he was desirous of seeing
the maharajah of Bisnagar and his court, and to inform himself of
the strength, laws, customs, and religion of the kingdom, he
chose to make a longer abode in this capital, and to spend some
months in satisfying his curiosity.

It was the custom of the maharajah of Bisnagar to give all
foreign merchants access to his person once a week; so that in
his assumed character prince Houssain saw him often: and as this
prince was of an engaging presence, sensible and accomplished, he
distinguished himself among the merchants,  and was preferred
before them all by the maharajah, who addressed himself to him to
be informed of the person of the sultan of the Indies, and of the
government, strength, and riches of his dominions.

The rest of his time the prince employed in viewing what was most
remarkable in and about the city; and among the objects which
were most worthy of admiration, he visited a temple remarkable
for being built all of brass. It was ten cubits square, and
fifteen high; but its greatest ornament was an idol of the height
of a man, of massive gold; its eyes were two rubies, set so
artificially, that it seemed to look at those who viewed it, on
which side soever they turned: besides this, there was another
not less curious, in the environs of the city, in the midst of a
lawn of about ten acres, which was like a delicious garden full
of roses and the choicest flowers, surrounded by a low wall,
breast high, to keep out the cattle. In the midst of this lawn
was raised a terrace, a man's height, and covered with such
beautiful cement, that the whole pavement seemed to be but one
single stone, most highly polished. A temple was erected in the
middle of this terrace, having a spire rising about fifty cubits
high from the building, which might be seen for several leagues
round. The temple was thirty cubits long, and twenty broad; built
of red marble, highly polished. The inside of the spire was
adorned with three compartments of fine paintings: and there was
not a part in the whole edifice but what was embellished with
paintings, or relievos, and gaudy idols from top to bottom.

Every night and morning there were superstitious ceremonies
performed in this temple, which were always succeeded by sports,
concerts of music, dancing, singing, and feasts. The brahmins of
the temple, and the inhabitants of this suburb, had nothing to
subsist on but the offerings of pilgrims, who came in crowds from
the most distant parts of the kingdom to perform their vows.

Prince Houssain was also spectator of a solemn festival, which
was celebrated every year at the court of Bisnagar, at which all
the governors of provinces, commanders of fortified places, all
heads and magistrates of towns, and the brahmins most celebrated
for their learning, were usually present; and some lived so far
off, that they were four months in coming. This assembly,
composed of such innumerable multitudes of Hindoos encamped in
variously coloured tents, on a plain of vast extent, was a
splendid sight, as far as the eye could reach. In the centre of
this plain was a square of great length and breadth, closed on
one side by a large scaffolding of nine stories, supported by
forty pillars, raised for the maharajah and his court, and those
strangers whom he admitted to audience once a week: within, it
was adorned and furnished magnificently with rich carpets and
cushions; and on the outside were painted landscapes, wherein all
sorts of beasts, birds, and insefts, even flies and gnats, were
drawn very naturally. Other scaffolds of at least four or five
stories, and painted almost all with the same fanciful
brilliancy, formed the other three sides. But what was more
particular in these scaffolds, they could turn, and make them
change their fronts so as to present different decorations to the
eye every hour.

On each side of the square, at some little distance from each
other, were ranged a thousand elephants, sumptuously caparisoned,
each having upon his back a square wooden stage, finely gilt,
upon which were musicians and buffoons. The trunks, ears, and
bodies of these elephants were painted with cinnabar and other
colours, representing grotesque figures.

But what prince Houssain most of all admired, as a proof of the
industry, address, and inventive genius of the Hindoos, was to
see the largest of these elephants stand with his four feet on a
post fixed into the earth, and standing out of it above two feet,
playing and beating time with his trunk to the music. Besides
this, he admired another elephant as large as the former, placed
upon a plank, laid across a strong beam about ten feet high, with
a sufficiently heavyweight at the other end, which balanced him,
while he kept time, by the motions of his body and trunk, with
the music, as well as the other elephant. The Hindoos, after
having fastened on the counterpoise, had drawn the other end of
the board down to the ground, and made the elephant get upon it.

Prince Houssain might have made a longer stay in the kingdom and
court of Bisnagar, where he would have been agreeably diverted by
a great variety of other wonders, till the last day of the year,
whereon he and his brothers had appointed to meet. But he was so
well satisfied with what he had seen, and his thoughts ran so
much upon the object of his love, that after such success in
meeting with his carpet, reflecting on the beauty and charms of
the princess Nouronnihar increased every day the violence of his
passion, and he fancied he should be the more easy and happy the
nearer he was to her. After he had satisfied the master of the
khan for his apartment, and told him the hour when he might come
for the key, without mentioning how he should travel, he shut the
door, put the key on the outside, and spreading the carpet, he
and the officer he had brought with him sat down upon it, and as
soon as he had formed his wish, were transported to the
caravanserai at which he and his brothers were to meet, and where
he passed for a merchant till their arrival.

Prince Ali, the second brother, who had designed to travel into
Persia, in conformity with the intention of the sultan of the
Indies, took that road, having three days after he parted with
his brothers joined a caravan; and in four months arrived at
Sheerauz, which was then the capital of the empire of Persia; and
having in the way contracted a friendship with some merchants,
passed for a jeweller, and lodged in the same khan with them.

The next morning, while the merchants opened their bales of
merchandises, prince Ali, who travelled only for his pleasure,
and had brought nothing but necessaries with him, after he had
dressed himself, took a walk into that quarter of the town where
they sold precious stones, gold and silver works, brocades,
silks, fine linens, and other choice and valuable articles, and
which was at Sheerauz called the bezestein. It was a spacious and
well-built street, arched over, within the arcades of which were
shops. Prince Ali soon rambled through the bezestein, and with
admiration judged of the riches of the place by the prodigious
quantities of the most precious merchandises exposed to view.

But among the criers who passed backwards and forwards with
several sorts of goods, offering to sell them, he was not a
little surprised to see one who held in his hand an ivory tube,
of about a foot in length, and about an inch thick, which he
cried at forty purses. At first he thought the crier mad, and to
inform himself, went to a shop, and said to the merchant who
stood at the door, "Pray, sir, is not that man" (pointing to the
crier, who cried the ivory tube at forty purses) "mad? If he is
not, I am much deceived." "Indeed, sir," answered the merchant,
"he was in his right senses yesterday; and I can assure you he is
one of the ablest criers we have, and the most employed of any,
as being to be confided in when any thing valuable is to be sold;
and if he cries the ivory tube at forty purses, it must be worth
as much or more, on some account or other which does not appear.
He will come by presently, when we will call him, and you shall
satisfy yourself: in the mean time sit down on my sofa, and rest
yourself."

Prince Ali accepted the merchant's obliging offer, and presently
afterwards the crier arrived. The merchant called him by his
name, and pointing to the prince, said to him, "Tell that
gentleman, who asked me if you were in your right senses, what
you mean by crying that ivory tube, which seems not to be worth
much, at forty purses? I should indeed be much amazed myself, if
I did not know you were a sensible man." The crier, addressing
himself to prince Ali, said, "Sir, you are not the only person
that takes me for a madman, on account of this tube; you shall
judge yourself whether I am or no, when I have told you its
property; and I hope you will value it at as high a price as
those I have shewed it to already, who had as bad an opinion of
me as you have.

"First, sir," pursued the crier, presenting the ivory tube to the
prince, "observe, that this tube is furnished with a glass at
both ends; by looking through one of them, you will see whatever
object you wish to behold." "I am," said the prince, "ready to
make you all proper reparation for the reflection I have cast
upon you, if you can make the truth of what you advance appear;
and" (as he had the ivory tube in his hand, after he had looked
at the two glasses), he said, "shew me at which of these ends I
must look, that I may be satisfied." The crier presently shewed
him, and he looked through; wishing, at the same time, to see the
sultan his father, whom he immediately beheld in perfect health,
sitting on his throne, in the midst of his council. Next, as
there was nothing in the world so dear to him, after the sultan,
as the princess Nouronnihar, he wished to see her; and instantly
beheld her laughing, and in a gay humour, with her women about
her.

Prince All wanted no other proof to persuade him that this tube
was the most valuable article, not only in the city of Sheerauz,
but in all the world; and believed, that if he should neglect to
purchase it, he should never meet with an equally wonderful
curiosity. He said to the crier, "I am very sorry that I have
entertained so erroneous an opinion of you, but hope to make
amends by buying the tube, for I should be sorry if any body else
had it; so tell me the lowest price the owner has fixed; and do
not give yourself any farther trouble to hawk it about, but go
with me and I will pay you the money." The crier assured him,
with an oath, that his last orders were to take no less than
forty purses; and if he disputed the truth of what he said, he
would carry him to his employer. The prince believed him, took
him to the khan where he lodged, told him out the money, and
received the tube.

Prince Ali was overjoyed at his purchase; and persuaded himself,
that as his brothers would not be able to meet with any thing so
rare and admirable, the princess Nouronnihar must be the
recompense of his fatigue and travels. He thought now of only
visiting the court of Persia incognito, and seeing whatever was
curious in and about Sheerauz, till the caravan with which he
came might be ready to return to the Indies. He satisfied his
curiosity, and when the caravan took its departure, the prince
joined the former party of merchants his friends, and arrived
happily without any accident or trouble, further than the length
of the journey and fatigue of travelling, at the place of
rendezvous, where he found prince Houssain, and both waited for
prince Ahmed.

Prince Ahmed took the road of Samarcand, and the day after his
arrival, went, as his brothers had done, into the bezestein;
where he had not walked long before he heard a crier, who had an
artificial apple in his hand, cry it at five-and-thirty purses.
He stopped the crier, and said to him, "Let me see that apple,
and tell me what virtue or extraordinary property it possesses,
to be valued at so high a rate?" "Sir," replied the crier, giving
it into his hand, "if you look at the mere outside of this apple
it is not very remarkable; but if you consider its properties,
and the great use and benefit it is of to mankind, you will say
it is invaluable, and that he who possesses it is master of a
great treasure. It cures all sick persons of the most mortal
diseases, whether fever, pleurisy, plague, or other malignant
distempers; for even if the patient is dying, it will recover him
immediately, and restore him to perfect health: and this merely
by the patient's smelling to it."

"If one may believe you," replied prince Ahmed, "the virtues of
this apple are wonderful, and it is indeed invaluable: but what
ground has the purchaser to be persuaded that there is no
exaggeration in the high praises you bestow on it?" "Sir,"
replied the crier, "the truth is known by the whole city of
Samarcand; but without going any farther, ask all these merchants
you see here, and hear what they say; you will find several of
them will tell you they had not been alive this day had they not
made use of this excellent remedy; and that you may the better
comprehend what it is, I must tell you it is the fruit of the
study and experience of a celebrated philosopher of this city,
who applied himself all his lifetime to the knowledge of the
virtues of plants and minerals, and at last attained to this
composition, by which he performed such surprising cures, as will
never be forgotten; but died suddenly himself, before he could
apply his own sovereign remedy; and left his wife and a great
many young children behind in very indifferent circumstances,
who, to support her family, and to provide for her children, has
resolved to sell it."

While the crier was detailing to prince Ahmed the virtues of the
artificial apple, many persons came about them, and confirmed
what he declared; and one amongst the rest said he had a friend
dangerously ill, whose life was despaired of; which was a
favourable opportunity to shew the experiment. Upon which prince
Ahmed told the crier he would give him forty purses for the apple
if it cured the sick person by smelling to it.

The crier, who had orders to sell it at that price, said to
prince Ahmed, "Come, sir, let us go and make the experiment, and
the apple shall be yours; and I say this with the greater
confidence, as it is an undoubted fact that it will always have
the same effect, as it already has had whenever it has been
applied to save from death so many persons whose lives were
despaired of." In short, the experiment succeeded; and the
prince, after he had counted out to the crier forty purses, and
had received the apple from him, waited with the greatest
impatience for the departure of a caravan for the Indies. In the
mean time he saw all that was curious at and about Samarcand, and
principally the valley of Sogd, which is reckoned by the Arabians
one of the four paradises of this world, for the beauty of its
fields, gardens, and palaces, and for its fertility in fruit of
all sorts, and all the other pleasures enjoyed there in the fine
season.

Ahmed joined himself to the first caravan that set out for the
Indies, and notwithstanding the inevitable inconveniences of so
long a journey, arrived in perfect health at the caravanserai,
where the princes Houssain and Ali waited for him.

Ali, who had arrived some time before Ahmed, asked Houssain how
long he had been there? who told him, "Three months;" to which he
replied, "Then certainly you have not been very far." "I will
tell you nothing now," said prince Houssain, "of where I have
been, but only assure you, I was above three months travelling to
the place I went to." "But then," replied prince Ali, "you made a
short stay there." "Indeed, brother," said prince Houssain, "you
are mistaken; I resided at one place above four months, and might
have stayed longer." "Unless you flew back," returned Ali again,
"I cannot comprehend how you can have been three months here, as
you would make me believe."

"I tell you the truth," added Houssain, "and it is a riddle which
I shall not explain to you, till our brother Ahmed joins us; when
I will let you know what rarity I have purchased in my travels. I
know not what you have got, but believe it to be some trifle,
because I do not perceive that your baggage is increased." "And
pray what have you brought?" demanded prince Ali, "for I can see
nothing but an ordinary piece of carpeting, with which you cover
your sofa; and therefore I think I may return your raillery; and
as you seem to make what you have brought a secret, you cannot
take it amiss that I do the same with respect to what I have
procured."

"I consider the rarity I have purchased," replied Houssain, "to
excel all others whatever, and should not make any difficulty to
shew it you, and make you allow that it is so, and at the same
time tell you how I came by it, without being in the least
apprehensive that what you have got is to be preferred to it: but
it is proper that we should wait till our brother Ahmed arrives,
when we may communicate our good fortune to each other."

Prince All would not enter into a dispute with prince Houssain on
the preference he gave his rarity, but was persuaded, that if his
perspective glass was not preferable, it was impossible it should
be inferior to it; and therefore agreed to stay till prince Ahmed
arrived, to produce his purchase.

When prince Ahmed joined his brothers, they embraced with
tenderness, and complimented each other on the happiness of
meeting together at the same place they had set out from.
Houssain, as the eldest brother, then assumed the discourse, and
said to them, "Brothers, we shall have time enough hereafter to
entertain ourselves with the particulars of our travels. Let us
come to that which is of the greatest importance for us to know;
and as I do not doubt you remember the principal motive which
engaged us to travel, let us not conceal from each other the
curiosities we have brought, but shew them, that we may do
ourselves justice beforehand, and judge to which of us the sultan
our father may give the preference.

"To set the example," continued Houssain, "I will tell you, that
the rarity which I have brought from the kingdom of Bisnagar is
the carpeting on which I sit, which looks but ordinary, and makes
no shew; but when I have declared its virtues, you will be struck
with admiration, and confess you never heard of any thing like
it. Whoever sits on it, as we do, and desires to be transported
to any place, be it ever so far distant, he is immediately
carried thither. I made the experiment myself, before I paid the
forty purses, which I most readily gave for it; and when I had
fully satisfied my curiosity at the court of Bisnagar, and wished
to return here, I made use of no other conveyance than this
wonderful carpet for myself and servant, who can tell you how
long we were on our journey. I will shew you both the experiment
whenever you please. I expect now that you should tell me whether
what you have brought is to be compared with this carpet."

Here prince Houssain finished his commendations of the excellency
of his carpet; and prince Ali, addressing himself to him, said,
"I must own, brother, that your carpet is one of the most
surprising curiosities, if it has, as I do not doubt, the
property you speak of. But you must allow that there may be other
rarities, I will not say more, but at least as wonderful, in
another way; and to convince you there are, here is an ivory
tube, which appears to the eye no more a prodigy than your
carpet; it cost me as much, and I am as well satisfied with my
purchase as you can be with yours; and you will be so just as to
own that I have not been imposed upon, when you shall know by
experience, that by looking at one end you see whatever object
you wish to behold. I would not have you take my word," added
prince Ali, presenting the tube to him; "take it, make trial of
it yourself."

Houssain took the ivory tube from prince Ali, and put that end to
his eye which Ali directed, with an intention to see the princess
Nouronnihar; when Ali and prince Ahmed, who kept their eyes fixed
upon him, were extremely surprised to see his countenance change
in such a manner, as expressed extraordinary alarm and
affliction. Prince Houssain did not give them time to ask what
was the matter, but cried out, "Alas! princes, to what purpose
have we undertaken such long and fatiguing journeys, but with the
hopes of being recompensed by the possession of the charming
Nouronnihar, when in a few moments that lovely princess will
breathe her last. I saw her in her bed, surrounded by her women
and eunuchs, all in tears, who seem to expect her death. Take the
tube, behold yourselves the miserable state she is in, and mingle
your tears with mine."

Prince Ali took the tube out of Houssain's hand, and after he had
seen the same object with sensible grief, presented it to Ahmed,
who took it, to behold the melancholy sight which so much
concerned them all.

When prince Ahmed had taken the tube out of Ali's hands, and saw
that the princess Nouronnihar's end was so near, he addressed
himself to his two brothers, and said, "Princes, the princess
Nouronnihar, equally the object of our vows, is indeed just at
death's door; but provided we make haste and lose no time, we may
preserve her life." He then took the artificial apple out of his
bosom, and shewing it to his brothers, resumed, "This apple cost
me as much and more than either the carpet or tube. The
opportunity which now presents itself to shew you its wonderful
property makes me not regret the forty purses I gave for it. But
not to keep you longer in suspense, it has this virtue; if a sick
person smells to it, though in the last agonies, it will restore
him to perfect health immediately. I have made the experiment,
and can show you its wonderful effect on the person of the
princess Nouronnihar, if we hasten to assist her."

"If that be all," replied prince Houssain, "we cannot make more
dispatch than by transporting ourselves instantly into her
chamber by means of my carpet. Come, lose no time, sit down, it
is large enough to hold us all: but first let us give orders to
our servants to set out immediately, and join us at the palace."

As soon as the order was given, the princes Ali and Ahmed sat
down by Houssain, and as their interest was the same, they all
framed the same wish, and were transported instantaneously into
the princess Nouronnihar's chamber.

The presence of the three princes, who were so little expected,
alarmed the princess's women and eunuchs, who could not
comprehend by what enchantment three men should be among them;
for they did not know them at first; and the eunuchs were ready
to fall upon them, as people who had got into a part of the
palace where they were not allowed to come; but they presently
found their mistake.

Prince Ahmed no sooner saw himself in Nouronnihar's chamber, and
perceived the princess dying, but he rose off the carpet, as did
also the other two princes, went to the bed-side, and put the
apple to her nostrils. The princess instantly opened her eyes,
and turned her head from one side to another, looking at the
persons who stood about her; she then rose up in the bed, and
asked to be dressed, with the same freedom and recollection as if
she had awaked out of a sound sleep. Her women presently informed
her, in a manner that shewed their joy, that she was obliged to
the three princes her cousins, and particularly to prince Ahmed,
for the sudden recovery of her health. She immediately expressed
her joy at seeing them, and thanked them all together, but
afterwards prince Ahmed in particular. As she desired to dress,
the princes contented themselves with telling her how great a
pleasure it was to them to have come soon enough to contribute
each in any degree towards relieving her from the imminent danger
she was in, and what ardent prayers they had offered for the
continuance of her life; after which they retired.

While the princess was dressing, the princes went to throw
themselves at the sultan their father's feet; but when they came
to him, they found he had been previously informed of their
unexpected arrival by the chief of the princess's eunuchs, and by
what means the princess had been so suddenly cured. The sultan
received and embraced them with the greatest joy, both for their
return, and the wonderful recovery of the princess his niece,
whom he loved as if she had been his own daughter, and who had
been given over by the physicians. After the usual compliments,
the princes presented each the rarity which he had brought:
prince Houssain his carpet, prince Ali his ivory tube, and prince
Ahmed the artificial apple; and after each had commended his
present, as he put it into the sultan's hands, they begged of him
to pronounce their fate, and declare to which of them he would
give the princess Nouronnihar, according to his promise.

The sultan of the Indies having kindly heard all that the princes
had to say in favour of their rarities, without interrupting
them, and being well informed of what had happened in relation to
the princess Nouronnihar's cure, remained some time silent,
considering what answer he should make. At last he broke silence,
and said to them in terms full of wisdom, "I would declare for
one of you, my children, if I could do it with justice; but
consider whether I can? It is true, Ahmed, the princess my niece
is obliged to your artificial apple for her cure: but let me ask
you, whether you could have been so serviceable to her if you had
not known by Ali's tube the danger she was in, and if Houssain's
carpet had not brought you to her so soon? Your tube, Ali,
informed you and your brothers that you were likely to lose the
princess your cousin, and so far she is greatly obliged to you.
You must also grant, that the knowledge of her illness would have
been of no service without the artificial apple and the carpet.
And as for you, Houssain, the princess would be very ungrateful
if she did not show her sense of the value of your carpet, which
was so necessary a means towards effecting her cure. But
consider, it would have been of little use, if you had not been
acquainted with her illness by Ali's tube, or if Ahmed had not
applied his artificial apple. Therefore, as neither the carpet,
the ivory tube, nor the artificial apple has the least preference
to the other articles, but as, on the contrary, their value has
been perfectly equal, I cannot grant the princess to any one of
you; and the only fruit you have reaped from your travels is the
glory of having equally contributed to restore her to health.

"As this is the case," added the sultan, "you see that I must
have recourse to other means to determine me with certainty in
the choice I ought to make; and as there is time enough between
this and night, I will do it to-day. Go and procure each of you a
bow and arrow, repair to the plain where the horses are
exercised; I will soon join you, and will give the princess
Nouronnihar to him who shoots the farthest.

"I do not, however, forget to thank you all in general, and each
in particular, for the present you have brought me. I have many
rarities in my collection already, but nothing that comes up to
the miraculous properties of the carpet, the ivory tube, and the
artificial apple, which shall have the first places among them,
and shall be preserved carefully, not only for curiosity, but for
service upon all proper occasions."

The three princes had nothing to object to the decision of the
sultan. When they were dismissed his presence, they each provided
themselves with a bow and arrow, which they delivered to one of
their officers, and went to the plain appointed, followed by a
great concourse of people.

The sultan did not make them wait long for him: as soon as he
arrived, prince Houssain, as the eldest, took his bow and arrow,
and shot first. Prince Ali shot next, and much beyond him; and
prince Ahmed last of all; but it so happened, that nobody could
see where his arrow fell; and notwithstanding all the search made
by himself and all the spectators, it was not to be found. Though
it was believed that he had shot the farthest, and had therefore
deserved the princess Nouronnihar, it was however necessary that
his arrow should be found, to make the matter more evident and
certain; but notwithstanding his remonstrances, the sultan
determined in favour of prince Ali, and gave orders for
preparations to be made for the solemnization of the nuptials,
which were celebrated a few days after with great magnificence.

Prince Houssain would not honour the feast with his presence; his
passion for the princess Nouronnihar was so sincere and ardent,
that he could scarcely support with patience the mortification of
seeing her in the arms of prince Ali: who, he said, did not
deserve her better nor love her more than himself. In short, his
grief was so violent and insupportable, that he left the court,
and renounced all right of succession to the crown, to turn
dervish, and put himself under the discipline of a famous chief,
who had gained great reputation for his exemplary life; and had
taken up his abode, and that of his disciples, whose number was
great, in an agreeable solitude.

Prince Ahmed, urged by the same motive, did not assist at prince
Ali and the princess Nouronnihar's nuptials, any more than his
brother Houssain, yet did not renounce the world as he had done.
But as he could not imagine what could have become of his arrow,
he resolved to search for it, that he might not have any thing to
reproach himself with. With this intent he went to the place
where the princes Houssain's and Ali's were gathered up, and
proceeding straight forwards from thence looked carefully on both
sides as he advanced. He went so far, that at last he began to
think his labour was in vain; yet he could not help proceeding
till he came to some steep craggy rocks, which would have obliged
him to return, had he been ever so desirous to continue his
course.

As he approached these rocks, he perceived an arrow, which he
took up, looked earnestly at it, and was in the greatest
astonishment to find it was the same he had shot. "Certainly,"
said he to himself, "neither I, nor any man living, could shoot
an arrow so far; and finding it laid flat, not sticking into the
ground, he judged that it had rebounded from the rock. There must
be some mystery in this, said he to himself again, and it may be
to my advantage. Perhaps fortune, to make amends for depriving me
of what I thought the greatest happiness of my life, may have
reserved a greater blessing for my comfort."

As these rocks were full of sharp points and indentures between
them, the prince meditating, entered into one of the cavities,
and looking about, beheld an iron door, which seemed to have no
lock. He feared it was fastened; but pushing against it, it
opened, and discovered an easy descent, which he walked down with
his arrow in his hand. At first he thought he was going into a
dark place, but presently a light quite different from that which
he had quitted succeeded; and entering into a spacious square,
he, to his surprise, beheld a magnificent palace, the admirable
structure of which he had not time to look at: for at the same
instant, a lady of majestic air, and of a beauty to which the
richness of her habit and the jewels which adorned her person
added no advantage, advanced, attended by a troop of ladies, or
whom it was difficult to distinguish which was the mistress, as
all were so magnificently dressed.

As soon as Ahmed perceived the lady, he hastened to pay his
respects; and the lady seeing him coming, prevented him.
Addressing him first, she said, "Come near, prince Ahmed, you are
welcome."

It was with no small surprise that the prince heard himself named
in a palace he had never heard of, though so nigh to his father's
capital, and he could not comprehend how he should be known to a
lady who was a stranger to him. At last he returned the lady's
compliment, by throwing himself at her feet, and rising up, said
to her, "Lady, I return you a thousand thanks for the assurance
you give me of welcome to a place where I had reason to believe
my imprudent curiosity had made me penetrate too far. But may I,
without being guilty of rudeness, presume to inquire by what
adventure you know me? and how you who live in the same
neighbourhood should be so little known by me?" "Prince," said
the lady, "let us go into the hall; there I will gratify you in
your request more commodiously for us both."

After these words, the lady led prince Ahmed into the hall, the
noble structure of which, displaying the gold and azure which
embellished the dome, and the inestimable richness of the
furniture, appeared so great a novelty to him, that he could not
forbear his admiration, but exclaimed, that he had never beheld
its equal. "I can assure you," replied the lady, "that this is
but a small part of my palace, as you will judge when you have
seen all the apartments." She then sat down on a sofa; and when
the prince at her entreaty had seated himself by her, she
continued, "You are surprised, you say, that I know you, and am
not known by you; but you will be no longer surprised when I
inform you who I am. You cannot be ignorant, as the Koran informs
you, that the world is inhabited by genii as well as men: I am
the daughter of one of the most powerful and distinguished of
these genii, and my name is Perie Banou; therefore you ought not
to wonder that I know you, the sultan your father, the princes
your brothers, and the princess Nouronnihar. I am no stranger to
your loves or your travels, of which I could tell you all the
circumstances, since it was I myself who exposed to sale the
artificial apple which you bought at Samarcand, the carpet which
prince Houssain purchased at Bisnagar, and the tube which prince
Ali brought from Sheerauz. This is sufficient to let you know
that I am not unacquainted with every thing that relates to you.
I have to add, that you seemed to me worthy of a more happy fate
than that of possessing the princess Nouronnihar; and that you
might attain to it, I was present when you drew your arrow, and
foresaw it would not go beyond prince Houssain's. I seized it in
the air, and gave it the necessary motion to strike against the
rocks near which you found it. It is in your power to avail
yourself of the favourable opportunity which presents itself to
make you happy."

As the fairy Perie Banou pronounced the last words with a
different tone, and looked at the same time tenderly at the
prince, with downcast eyes and a modest blush upon her cheeks, it
was not difficult for him to comprehend what happiness she meant.
He reflected that the princess Nouronnihar could never be his,
saw that Perie Banou excelled her infinitely in beauty and
accomplishments, and, as far as he could conjecture by the
magnificence of the palace, in immense riches. He blessed the
moment that he thought of seeking after his arrow a second time,
and yielding to his inclination, which drew him towards the new
objeft which had fired his heart: he then replied, "Should I, all
my life, have the happiness of being your slave, and the admirer
of the many charms which ravish my soul, I should think myself
the happiest of men. Pardon the presumption which inspires me to
ask this favour, and do not refuse to admit into your court a
prince who is entirely devoted to you."

"Prince," answered the fairy, "as I have been, long my own
mistress, and have no dependence on a parent's consent, it is not
as a slave that I would admit you into my court, but as master of
my person, and all that belongs to me, by pledging your faith to
me, and taking me as your wife. I hope you will not think it
indecorous, that I anticipate you in this proposal. I am, as I
said, mistress of my will; and must add, that the same customs
are not observed among fairies as with human-kind, in whom it
would not have been decent to have made such advances: but it is
what we do, and we suppose we confer obligation by the practice."

Ahmed made no answer to this declaration, but was so penetrated
with gratitude, that he thought he could not express it better
than by prostration to kiss the hem of her garment; which she
would not give him time to do, but presented her hand, which he
kissed a thousand times, and kept fast locked in his. "Well,
prince Ahmed," said she, "will you pledge your faith to me, as I
do mine to you?" "Yes, madam," replied the prince, in an ecstacy
of joy. "What can I do more fortunate for myself, or with greater
pleasure? Yes, my sultaness, I give it you with my heart without
the least reserve." "Then," answered the fairy, "you are my
husband, and I am your wife. Our fairy marriages are contracted
with no other ceremonies, and yet are more firm and indissoluble
than those among men, with all their formalities. But as I
suppose," pursued she, "that you have eaten nothing to-day, a
slight repast shall be served up for you while preparations are
making for our nuptial feast this evening, and then I will shew
you the apartments of my palace."

Some of the fairy's women who came into the hall with them, and
guessed her intentions, went immediately out, and returned with
some excellent viands and wines.

When Ahmed had refreshed himself, the fairy led him through all
the apartments, where he saw diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and all
sorts of fine jewels, intermixed with pearls, agate, jasper,
porphyry, and all kinds of the most precious marbles; not to
mention the richness of the furniture, which was inestimable; the
whole disposed in such elegant profusion, that the prince
acknowledged there could not be any thing in the world equal to
it. "Prince," said the fairy, "if you admire my humble abode so
much, what would you say to the palaces of the chiefs of our
genii, which are much more beautiful, spacious, and magnificent?
I could also shew you my garden; but we will leave that till
another time. Night draws near, and it will be time to go to
supper."

The next hall which the fairy led the prince into, where the
cloth was laid for the feast, was the only apartment he had not
seen, and it was not in the least inferior to the others. At his
entrance, he admired the infinite number of wax candles perfumed
with amber, the multitude of which, instead of being confused,
were placed with so just a symmetry, as to form an agreeable and
pleasant light. A large beaufet was set out with all sorts of
gold plate, so finely wrought, that the workmanship was much more
valuable than the weight of the gold. Several bands of beautiful
women richly dressed, and whose voices were ravishing, began a
concert, accompanied by the most harmonious instruments he had
ever heard. When they were seated, the fairy took care to help
prince Ahmed to the most delicious meats, which she named as she
invited him to eat of them, and which the prince had never heard
of, but found so exquisite, that he commended them in the highest
terms, saying, that the entertainment which she gave him far
surpassed those among men. He found also the same excellence in
the wines, which neither he nor the fairy tasted till the dessert
was served up, which consisted of the choicest sweetmeats and
fruits.

After the dessert, the fairy Perie Banou and prince Ahmed rose
and repaired to a sofa, with cushions of fine silk, curiously
embroidered with all sorts of large flowers, laid at their backs.
Presently after a great number of genii and fairies danced before
them to the chamber where the nuptial bed was prepared; and when
they came to the entrance, divided themselves into two rows, to
let them pass, after which they made obeisance and retired.

The nuptial festivity was renewed the next day; or rather, every
day following the celebration was a continued feast, which the
fairy Perie Banou knew how to diversify, by new delicacies, new
concerts, new dances, new shows, and new diversions; which were
all so gratifying to his senses, that Ahmed, if he had lived a
thousand years among men, could not have experienced equal
enjoyment.

The fairy's intention was not only to give the prince convincing
proofs of the sincerity of her love, by so many attentions; but
to let him see, that as he had no pretensions at his father's
court, he could meet with nothing comparable to the happiness he
enjoyed with her, independently of her beauty and attractions,
and to attach him entirely to herself. In this attempt she
succeeded so well, that Ahmed's passion was not in the least
diminished by possession; but increased so much, that if he had
been so inclined, it was not in his power to forbear loving her.

At the end of six months, prince Ahmed, who always loved and
honoured the sultan his father, felt a great desire to know how
he was; and as that desire could not be satisfied without his
absenting himself, he mentioned his wish to the fairy, and
requested she would give him leave to visit the sultan.

This request alarmed the fairy, and made her fear it was only an
excuse to leave her. She said to him, "What disgust can I have
given to you to ask me this permission? Is it possible you should
have forgotten that you have pledged your faith to me, or have
you ceased to love one who is so passionately fond of you? Are
not the proofs I have repeatedly given you of my affection
sufficient?"

"My queen," replied the prince, "I am perfectly convinced of your
love, and should be unworthy of it, if I did not testify my
gratitude by a reciprocal affection. If you are offended at the
permission I solicit, I entreat you to forgive me, and I will
make all the reparation in my power. I did not make the request
with any intention of displeasing you, but from a motive of
respect towards my father, whom I wish to free from the
affliction in which my so long absence must have overwhelmed him,
and which must be the greater, as, I have reason to presume, he
believes that I am dead. But since you do not consent that I
should go and afford him that comfort, I will deny myself the
pleasure, as there is nothing to which I would not submit to
please you."

Ahmed did not dissemble, for he loved her at heart as much as he
had assured her by this declaration; and the fairy expressed her
satisfaction. But as he could not absolutely abandon his design,
he frequently took an opportunity to speak to her of the great
qualifications of the sultan his father: and above all, of his
particular tenderness towards himself, in hopes he might at
length be able to move her.

As the prince had supposed, the sultan of the Indies, in the
midst of the rejoicings on account of the nuptials of prince Ali
and the princess Nouronnihar, was sensibly afflicted at the
absence of the other two princes his sons, though it was not long
before he was informed of the resolution Houssain had taken to
forsake the world, and the place he had chosen for his retreat.
As a good father, whose happiness consists in seeing his children
about him, especially when they are deserving of his tenderness,
he would have been better pleased had he stayed at his court,
near his person; but as he could not disapprove of his choice of
the state of perfection which he had entered, he supported his
absence more patiently. He made the most diligent search after
Ahmed, and dispatched couriers to all the provinces of his
dominions, with orders to the governors to stop him, and oblige
him to return to court: but all the pains he took had not the
desired success, and his affliction, instead of diminishing,
increased. He would make it the subject of his conversation with
his grand vizier; and would say to him, "Vizier, thou knowest I
always loved Ahmed the most of all my sons; and thou art not
insensible of the means I have in vain used to find him out. My
grief is so heavy, I shall sink under it, if thou hast not
compassion on me; if thou hast any regard for the preservation of
my life, I conjure thee to assist and advise me."

The grand vizier, no less attached to the person of the sultan
than zealous to acquit himself well of the administration of the
affairs of state, considering how to give his sovereign some
ease, recollected a sorceress, of whom he had heard wonders, and
proposed to send for and consult her. The sultan consented, and
the grand vizier, upon her arrival, introduced her into the
presence.

The sultan said to the sorceress, "The affliction I have been in
since the marriage of my son prince Ali to the princess
Nouronnihar, my niece, on account of the absence of prince Ahmed,
is so well known, and so public, that thou canst be no stranger
to it. By thy art and skill canst thou tell me what is become of
him? If he be alive, where he is? what he is doing? and if I may
hope ever to see him again?" To this the sorceress replied, "It
is impossible, sir, for me, however skilful in my profession, to
answer immediately the questions your majesty asks; but if you
allow me till to-morrow, I will endeavour to satisfy you." The
sultan granted her the time, and permitted her to retire, with a
promise to recompense her munificently, if her answer proved
agreeable to his hopes.

The sorceress returned the next day, and the grand vizier
presented her a second time to the sultan. "Sir," said she,
"notwithstanding all the diligence I have used in applying the
rules of my art to obey your majesty in what you desire to know,
I have not been able to discover any thing more than that prince
Ahmed is alive. This is certain, and you may depend upon it; but
as to where he is I cannot discover."

The sultan of the Indies was obliged to remain satisfied with
this answer; which left him in the same uneasiness as before as
to the prince's situation.

To return to prince Ahmed. He so often entertained the fairy
Perie Banou with talking about his father, though without
speaking any more of his desire to visit him, that she fully
comprehended what he meant; and perceiving the restraint he put
upon himself, and his fear of displeasing her after her first
refusal, she inferred, from the repeated proofs he had given her,
that his love for her was sincere; and judging by herself of the
injustice she committed in opposing a son's tenderness for his
father, and endeavouring to make him renounce that natural
affecion, she resolved to grant him the permission which she knew
he so ardently desired. One day she said to him, "Prince, the
request you made to be allowed to go and see the sultan your
father gave me apprehension that it was only a pretext to conceal
inconstancy, and that was the sole motive of my refusal; but now,
as I am fully convinced by your actions and words that I can
depend on your honour and the fidelity of your love, I change my
resolution, and grant you the permission you seek, on condition
that you will first swear to me that your absence shall not be
long. You ought not to be uneasy at this condition, as if I asked
it out of distrust. I impose it only because I know that it will
give you no concern, convinced, as I have already told you I am,
of the sincerity of your love."

Prince Ahmed would have thrown himself at the fairy's feet to
shew his gratitude, but she prevented him. "My sultaness," said
he, "I am sensible of the great favour you grant me; but want
words to express my thanks. Supply this defect, I conjure you, by
your own feelings, and be persuaded I think much more. You may
believe that the oath will give me no uneasiness, and I take it
more willingly, since it is not possible for me to live without
you. I go, but the haste I will make to return shall shew you,
that it is not the fear of being foresworn, but my inclination,
which is to live with you for ever, that urges me; and if with
your consent I now and then deprive myself of your society, I
shall always avoid the pain a too long absence would occasion
me."

"Prince," replied Perie Banou, delighted with his sentiments, "go
when you please; but do not take it amiss that I give you some
advice how you shall conduct yourself. First, I do not think it
proper for you to inform your father of our marriage, neither of
my quality, nor the place of our residence. Beg of him to be
satisfied with knowing that you are happy, that you want nothing
from him, and let him know that the sole end of your visit is to
make him easy respecting your fate."

Perie Banou then appointed twenty horsemen, well mounted and
equipped, to attend him. When all was ready, prince Ahmed took
his leave of the fairy, embraced her, and renewed his promise to
return soon. A charger, which was most richly caparisoned, and as
beautiful a creature as any in the sultan of the Indies' stables,
was brought to him, which he mounted with extraordinary grace,
which gave great pleasure to the fairy; and after he had bidden
her adieu, he set forward on his journey.

As it was no great distance to his father's capital, prince Ahmed
soon arrived there. The people, rejoiced to see him again,
received him with acclamations, and followed him in crowds to the
palace. The sultan received and embraced him with great joy;
complaining at the same time, with a fatherly tenderness, of the
affliction his long absence had occasioned; which, he said, was
the more distressing, as fortune having decided in favour of
prince Ali his brother, he was afraid he might have committed
some act of despair.

"Sir," replied prince Ahmed, "I leave it to your majesty to
consider, if after having lost the princess Nouronnihar, who was
the only object of my desires, I could bear to be a witness of
Ali's happiness. If I had been capable of such unworthy apathy,
what would the court and city have thought of my love, or what
your majesty? Love is a passion we cannot suppress at our will;
while it lasts, it rules and governs us in spite of our boasted
reason. Your majesty knows, that when I shot my arrow, the most
extraordinary accident that ever befell mortal happened to me,
for surely it was such, that in so large and level a plain as
that where the horses are exercised, it should not be possible to
find my arrow. I lost your decision in my favour, which was as
much due to my love, as to that of the princes my brothers.
Though thus vanquished by the caprice of fate, I lost no time in
vain complaints; but to satisfy my perplexed mind, upon what I
could not comprehend, I left my attendants, and returned alone to
look for my arrow. I sought all about the place where Houssain's
and Ali's arrows were found, and where I imagined mine must have
fallen, but all my labour was in vain. I was not discouraged, but
continued my search in a direct line, and after this manner had
gone above a league, without being able to meet with any thing
like an arrow, when I reflected that it was not possible that
mine should have flown so far. I stopped, and asked myself
whether I was in my right senses, to flatter myself with having
had strength to shoot an arrow so much farther than any of the
strongest archers in the world were able to do. After I had
argued thus with myself, I was ready to abandon my enterprise;
but when on the point of putting my resolution in execution, I
found myself drawn forward against my will; and after having gone
four leagues, to that part of the plain where it is bounded by
rocks, I perceived an arrow. I ran, took it up, and knew it to be
the same which I had shot. Far from thinking your majesty had
done me any injustice in declaring for my brother Ali, I
interpreted what had happened to me quite otherwise, and never
doubted there was a mystery in it to my advantage; the discovery
of which I ought not to neglect, and which I found out without
going from the spot. But as to this mystery I beg your majesty
will not be offended if I remain silent, and that you will be
satisfied to know from my own mouth that I am happy, and content
with my fate.

"In the midst of my happiness, the only thing that troubled me,
or was capable of disturbing me, was the uneasiness I feared your
majesty would experience on account of my leaving the court, and
your not knowing what was become of me. I thought it my duty to
satisfy you in this point. This was the only motive which brought
me hither; the only favour I ask of your majesty is to give me
leave to come occasionally to pay you my duty, and inquire after
your health."

"Son," answered the sultan of the Indies, "I cannot refuse you
the permission you ask, but I should much rather you would
resolve to stay with me. At least tell me where I may hear of
you, if you should fail to come, or when I may think your
presence necessary." "Sir," replied the prince, "what your
majesty requires is part of the mystery I spoke of. I beg of you
to allow me to remain silent on this head; for I shall come so
frequently where my duty calls, that I am afraid I shall sooner
be thought troublesome than be accused of negligence, when my
presence may be necessary."

The sultan of the Indies pressed Ahmed no more, but said to him,
"Son, I wish to penetrate no farther into your secrets, but leave
you at your liberty. I can only tell you, that you could not have
done me greater pleasure than by your presence, having restored
to me the joy I have not felt for a long time; and that you shall
always be welcome when you can come, without interrupting your
business or your pleasure."

Prince Ahmed stayed but three days at his father's court, and on
the fourth returned to the fairy Perie Banou, who received him
with the greater joy, as she did not expect him so soon. His
expedition made her condemn herself for suspecting his want of
fidelity. She never dissembled, but frankly owned her weakness to
the prince, and asked his pardon. So perfect was the union of the
two lovers, that they had but one will.

A month after prince Ahmed's return from visiting his father, as
the fairy had observed that since the time when he gave her an
account of his journey, and his conversation with his father, in
which he asked his permission to come and see him from time to
time, he had never spoken of the sultan, whereas before he was
frequently mentioning him, she thought he forebore on her
account, and therefore took an opportunity to say to him one day,
"Tell me, prince, have you forgotten the sultan your father? Do
not you remember the promise you made to pay your duty to him
occasionally? I have not forgotten what you told me at your
return, and put you in mind of it, that you may acquit yourself
of your promise when you may feel inclined."

"Madam," replied Ahmed, with equal animation, "as I know I am not
guilty of the forgetfulness you lay to my charge, I rather choose
to be thus reproached, however undeservedly, than expose myself
to a refusal, by manifesting a desire for what it might have
given you pain to grant." "Prince," said the fairy, "I would not
have you in this affair have so much consideration for me, since
it is a month since you have seen the sultan your father. I think
you should not be longer in renewing your visits. Pay him one to-
morrow, and after that, go and visit once a month, without
speaking to me, or waiting for my permission. I readily consent
to such an arrangement."

Prince Ahmed went the next morning with the same attendants as
before, but much more magnificently mounted, equipped, and
dressed, and was received by the sultan with the same joy and
satisfaction. For several months he constantly paid him visits,
and always in a richer and more brilliant equipage.

At last the sultan's favourites, who judged of prince Ahmed's
power by the splendour of his appearance, abused the privilege
the sultan accorded them of speaking to him with freedom, to make
him jealous of his son. They represented that it was but common
prudence to discover where the prince had retired, and how he
could afford to live so magnificently, since he had no revenue
assigned for his expenses; that he seemed to come to court only
to insult him, by affecting to shew that he wanted nothing from
his father to enable him to live like a prince; and that it was
to be feared he might court the people's favour and dethrone him.

The sultan of the Indies was so far from thinking that prince
Ahmed could be capable of so wicked a design, that he said to
them in displeasure, "You are mistaken, my son loves me, and I am
the more assured of his tenderness and fidelity, as I have given
him no reason to be disgusted."

At these words, one of the favourites took an opportunity to say,
"Your majesty, in the opinion of the most sensible people, could
not have taken a better method than you did with the three
princes, respecting their marriage with the princess Nouronnihar;
but who knows whether prince Ahmed has submitted to his fate with
the same resignation as prince Houssain? May not he imagine that
he alone deserved her; and that your majesty, by leaving the
match to be decided by chance, has done him injustice?

"Your majesty may say," added the malicious favourite, "that
prince Ahmed has manifested no appearance of dissatisfaction;
that our fears are vain; that we are too easily alarmed, and are
to blame in suggesting to you suspicions of this kind, which may,
perhaps, be unfounded, against a prince of your blood. But, sir,"
pursued the favourite, "it may be also, that these suspicions are
well grounded. Your majesty must be sensible, that in so nice and
important an affair you cannot be too much on your guard, and
should take the safest course. Consider, it is the prince's
interest to dissemble, amuse, and deceive you; and the danger is
the greater, as he resides not far from your capital; and if your
majesty give but the same attention that we do, you may observe
that every time he comes his attendants are different, their
habits new, and their arms clean and bright, as if just come from
the maker's hands; and their horses look as if they had only been
walked out. These are sufficient proofs that prince Ahmed does
not travel far, so that we should think ourselves wanting in our
duty did we not make our humble remonstrances, in order that, for
your own preservation and the good of your people, your majesty
may take such measures as you shall think advisable."

When the favourite had concluded these insinuations, the sultan
said, "I do not believe my son Ahmed is so wicked as you would
persuade me he is; however, I am obliged to you for your advice,
and do not doubt that it proceeds from good intention and loyalty
to my person."

The sultan of the Indies said this, that his favourites might not
know the impressions their observations had made on his mind. He
was, however, so much alarmed by them, that he resolved to have
prince Ahmed watched, unknown to his grand vizier. For this end
he sent for the sorceress, who was introduced by a private door
into his closet. "You told me the truth," said he, "when you
assured me my son Ahmed was alive, for which I am obliged to you.
You must do me another kindness. I have seen him since, and he
comes to my court every month; but I cannot learn from him where
he resides, and do not wish to force his secret from him; but
believe you are capable of satisfying my curiosity, without
letting him, or any of my court, know any thing of the discovery.
You know that he is at this time with me, and usually departs
without taking leave of me, or any of my court. Place yourself
immediately upon the road, and watch him so as to find out where
he retires, and bring me information."

The sorceress left the sultan, and knowing the place where prince
Ahmed had found his arrow, went immediately thither, and
concealed herself near the rocks, so as not to be seen.

The next morning prince Ahmed set out by daybreak, without taking
leave either of the sultan or any of his court, according to
custom. The sorceress seeing him coming, followed him with her
eyes, till suddenly she lost sight of him and his attendants.

The steepness of the rocks formed an insurmountable barrier to
men, whether on horseback or on foot, so that the sorceress
judged that the prince retired either into some cavern, or some
subterraneous place, the abode of genies or fairies. When she
thought the prince and his attendants must have far advanced into
whatever concealment they inhabited, she came out of the place
where she had hidden herself, and explored the hollow way where
she had lost sight of them. She entered it, and proceeding to the
spot where it terminated after many windings, looked carefully on
all sides. But notwithstanding all her acuteness she could
perceive no opening, nor the iron gate which prince Ahmed had
discovered. For this door was to be seen by or opened to none but
men, and only to those whose presence was agreeable to the fairy
Perie Banou, but not at all to women.

The sorceress, who saw it was in vain for her to search any
farther, was obliged to be satisfied with the insufficient
discovery she had made, and returned to communicate it to the
sultan. When she had told him what she had explored, she added,
"Your majesty may easily understand, after what I have had the
honour to tell you, that it will be no difficult matter to obtain
you the satisfaction you desire concerning prince Ahmed's
conduct. To do this, I only ask time, that you will have
patience, and give me leave to act, without inquiring what
measures I design to take."

The sultan was pleased with the conduct of the sorceress, and
said to her, "Do you as you think fit; I will wait patiently the
event of your promises:" and to encourage her, he presented her
with a diamond of great value, telling her, it was only an
earnest of the ample recompense she should receive when she
should have performed the important service which he left to her
management.

As prince Ahmed, after he had obtained the fairy Perie Banou's
leave, never failed once a month to visit his father, the
sorceress knowing the time, went a day or two before to the foot
of the rock where she had lost sight of him and his attendants,
and waited there to execute the project she had formed.

The next morning prince Ahmed went out as usual at the iron gate,
with the same attendants as before, passed the sorceress, and
seeing her lie with her head on the rock, complaining as if she
was in great pain, he pitied her, turned his horse, and asked
what he could do to relieve her?

The artful sorceress, without lifting up her head, looked at the
prince in such a manner as to increase his compassion, and
answered in broken accents and sighs, as if she could hardly
breathe, that she was going to the city; but in the way was taken
with so violent a fever, that her strength failed her, and she
was forced to stop and lie down where he saw her, far from any
habitation, and without any hopes of assistance.

"Good woman," replied the prince, "you are not so far from help
as you imagine. I will assist you, and convey you where you shall
not only have all possible care taken of you, but where you will
find a speedy cure: rise, and let one of my people take you
behind him."

At these words, the sorceress, who pretended sickness only to
explore where the prince resided, and his situation, did not
refuse the charitable offer, and to shew her acceptance rather by
her actions than her words, made many affected efforts to rise,
pretending that the violence of her illness prevented her. At the
same time, two of the prince's attendants alighting, helped her
up, and placed her behind another. They mounted their horses
again, and followed the prince, who turned back to the iron gate,
which was opened by one of his retinue. When he came into the
outward court of the fairy's palace, without dismounting himself,
he sent to tell her he wanted to speak with her.

The fairy came with all imaginable haste, not knowing what had
made prince Ahmed return so soon; who, not giving her time to
ask, said, "My princess, I desire you would have compassion on
this good woman," pointing to the sorceress, who was taken off
the horse by two of his retinue; "I found her in the condition
you see her, and promised her the assistance she requires. I
recommend her to your care, and am persuaded that you, from
inclination, as well as my request, will not abandon her."

The fairy, who had her eyes fixed on the pretended sick woman all
the time the prince was speaking, ordered two of her women to
take her from the men who supported her, conduct her into an
apartment of the palace, and take as much care of her as they
would of herself.

Whilst the two women were executing the fairy's commands, she
went up to prince Ahmed, and whispering him in the ear, said,
"Prince, I commend your compassion, which is worthy of you and
your birth. I take great pleasure in gratifying your good
intention; but permit me to tell you I am afraid it will be but
ill rewarded. This woman is not so sick as she pretends to be;
and I am much mistaken if she is not sent hither on purpose to
occasion you great trouble. But do not be concerned, let what
will be devised against you; be persuaded that I will deliver you
out of all the snares that shall be laid for you. Go and pursue
your journey."

This address of the fairy's did not in the least alarm prince
Ahmed. "My princess," said he, "as I do not remember I ever did,
or designed to do, any body injury, I cannot believe any one can
have a thought of injuring me; but if they have, I shall not
forbear doing good whenever I have an opportunity." So saying, he
took leave of the fairy, and set forward again for his father's
capital, where he soon arrived, and was received as usual by the
sultan, who constrained himself as much as possible, to disguise
the anxiety arising from the suspicions suggested by his
favourites.

In the mean time, the two women to whom Perie Banou had given her
orders conveyed the sorceress into an elegant apartment, richly
furnished. They first set her down upon a sofa, with her back
supported by a cushion of gold brocade, while they made a bed on
the same sofa, the quilt of which was finely embroidered with
silk, the sheets of the finest linen, and the coverlid cloth of
gold. When they had put her into bed (for the old sorceress
pretended that her fever was so violent she could not help
herself in the least), one of the women went out, and returned
soon with a china cup in her hand, full of a certain liquor,
which she presented to the sorceress, while the other helped her
to sit up. "Drink this," said the attendant, "it is the water of
the fountain of lions, and a sovereign remedy against fevers. You
will find the effeft of it in less than an hour's time."

The sorceress, the better to dissemble, took it, after a great
deal of entreaty, as if she did it with reluctance. When she was
laid down again, the two women covered her up: "Lie quiet," said
she, who brought her the china cup, "and get a little sleep, if
you can: we will leave you, and hope to find you perfectly
recovered when we return an hour hence."

The sorceress, who came not to act a sick part long, but to
discover prince Ahmed's retreat, being fully satisfied in what
she wanted to know, would willingly have declared that the potion
had then had its effeft, so great was her desire to return to the
sultan, to inform him of the success of her commission: but as
she had been told that the potion did not operate immediately,
she was forced to wait the women's return.

The two women came again at the time they had mentioned, and
found the sorceress seated on the sofa; who, when she saw them
open the door of the apartment, cried out, "O the admirable
potion! it has wrought its cure much sooner than you told me it
would, and I have waited with impatience to desire you to conduct
me to your charitable mistress, to thank her for her kindness,
for which I shall always feel obliged; but being thus cured as by
a miracle, I would not lose time, but prosecute my journey."

The two women, who were fairies as well as their mistress, after
they had told the sorceress how glad they were that she was cured
so soon, walked before her, and conducted her through several
apartments, all more superb than that wherein she had lain, into
a large hall, the most richly and magnificently furnished of all
the palace.

Perie Banou was seated in this hall, upon a throne of massive
gold, enriched with diamonds, rubies, and pearls of an
extraordinary size, and attended on each hand by a great number
of beautiful fairies, all richly dressed. At the sight of so much
splendour, the sorceress was not only dazzled, but so struck,
that after she had prostrated herself before the throne, she
could not open her lips to thank the fairy, as she had proposed.
However, Perie Banou saved her the trouble, and said, "Good
woman, I am glad I had an opportunity to oblige you, and that you
are able to pursue your journey. I will not detain you; but
perhaps you may not be displeased to see my palace: follow my
women, and they will shew it you."

The old sorceress, who had not power nor courage to say a word,
prostrated herself a second time, with her head on the carpet
that covered the foot of the throne, took her leave, and was
conducted by the two fairies through the same apartments which
were shewn to prince Ahmed at his first arrival, and at sight of
their uncommon magnificence she made frequent exclamations. But
what surprised her most of all was, that the two fairies told
her, that all she saw and so much admired was a mere sketch of
their mistress's grandeur and riches; for that in the extent of
her dominions she had so many palaces that they could not tell
the number of them, all of different plans and architecture, but
equally magnificent. In speaking of many other particulars, they
led her at last to the iron gate at which prince Ahmed had
brought her in; and after she had taken her leave of them, and
thanked them for their trouble, they opened it, and wished her a
good journey.

After the sorceress had gone a little way, she turned to observe
the door, that she might know it again, but all in vain; for, as
was before observed, it was invisible to her and all other women.
Except in this circumstance, she was very well satisfied with her
success, and posted away to the sultan. When she came to the
capital, she went by many by-ways to the private door of the
palace. The sultan being informed of her arrival, sent for her
into his apartment, and perceiving a melancholy hang upon her
countenance, thought she had not succeeded, and said to her, "By
your looks, I guess that your journey has been to no purpose, and
that you have not made the discovery I expected from your
diligence." "Sir," replied the sorceress, "your majesty must give
me leave to represent that you ought not to judge by my looks
whether or no I have acquitted myself well in the execution of
the commands you were pleased to honour me with; but by the
faithful report I shall make you of all that has happened to me,
and by which you will find that I have not neglected any thing
that could render me worthy of your approbation. The melancholy
you observe proceeds from another cause than the want of success,
which I hope your majesty will have ample reason to be satisfied
with. I do not tell you the cause; the relation I shall give will
inform you."

The sorceress now related to the sultan of the Indies how,
pretending to be sick, prince Ahmed compassionating her, had her
carried into a subterraneous abode, and presented and recommended
her to a fairy of incomparable beauty, desiring her by her care
to restore her health. She then told him with how much
condescension the fairy had immediately ordered two women to take
care of her, and not to leave her till she was recovered; which
great condescension, said she, could proceed from no other
female, but from a wife to a husband. Afterwards the old
sorceress failed not to dwell on her surprise at the front of the
palace, which she said had not its equal for magnificence in the
world. She gave a particular account of the care they took of
her, after they had led her into an apartment; of the potion they
made her drink, and of the quickness of her cure; which she had
pretended as well as her sickness, though she doubted not the
virtue of the draught; the majesty of the fairy seated on a
throne, brilliant with jewels, the value of which exceeded all
the riches of the kingdom of the Indies, and all the other
treasures beyond computation contained in that vast palace.

Here the sorceress finishing the relation of the success of her
commission, and continuing her discourse, said, "What does your
majesty think of these unheard-of riches of the fairy? Perhaps
you will say, you are struck with admiration, and rejoice at the
good fortune of prince Ahmed your son, who enjoys them in common
with the fairy. For my part, sir, I beg of your majesty to
forgive me if I take the liberty to say that I think otherwise,
and that I shudder when I consider the misfortunes which may
happen to you from his present situation. And this is the cause
of the melancholy which I could not so well dissemble, but that
you soon perceived it. I would believe that prince Ahmed, by his
own good disposition, is incapable of undertaking anything
against your majesty; but who can answer that the fairy, by her
attractions and caresses, and the influence she has over him, may
not inspire him with the unnatural design of dethroning your
majesty, and seizing the crown of the Indies? This is what your
majesty ought to consider as of the utmost importance."

Though the sultan of the Indies was persuaded that prince Ahmed's
natural disposition was good, yet he could not help being moved
at the representations of the old sorceress, and said, "I thank
you for the pains you have taken, and your wholesome caution. I
am so sensible of its great importance that I shall take advice
upon it."

He was consulting with his favourites, when he was told of the
sorceress's arrival. He ordered her to follow him to them. He
acquainted them with what he had learnt, communicated to them the
reason he had to fear the fairy's influence over the prince, and
asked them what measures they thought most proper to be taken to
prevent so great a misfortune as might possibly happen. One of
the favourites, taking upon himself to speak for the rest, said,
"Your majesty knows who must be the author of this mischief. In
order to prevent it, now he is in your court, and in your power,
you ought not to hesitate to put him under arrest; I will not say
take away his life, for that would make too much noise; but make
him a close prisoner." This advice all the other favourites
unanimously applauded.

The sorceress, who thought it too violent, asked the sultan leave
to speak, which being granted, she said, "I am persuaded it is
the zeal of your counsellors for your majesty's interest that
makes them propose arresting prince Ahmed. But they will not take
it amiss if I offer to your and their consideration, that if you
arrest the prince you must also detain his retinue. But they are
all genies. Do they think it will be so easy to surprise, seize,
and secure their persons? will they not disappear, by the
property they possess of rendering themselves invisible, and
transport themselves instantly to the fairy, and give her an
account of the insult offered her husband? And can it be supposed
she will let it go unrevenged? Would it not be better, if by any
other means which might not make so great a noise, the sultan
could secure himself against any ill designs prince Ahmed may
have, and not involve his majesty's honour? If his majesty has
any confidence in my advice, as genies and fairies can do things
impracticable to men, he will rather trust prince Ahmed's honour,
and engage him by means of the fairy to procure certain
advantages, by flattering his ambition, and at the same time
narrowly watching him. For example; every time your majesty takes
the field, you are obliged to be at a great expense, not only in
pavilions and tents for yourself and army, but likewise in mules
and camels, and other beasts of burden, to carry their baggage.
Request the prince to procure you a tent, which can be carried in
a man's hand, but so large as to shelter your whole army.

"I need say no more to your majesty. If the prince brings such a
tent, you may make other demands of the same nature, so that at
last he may sink under the difficulties and the impossibility of
executing them, however fertile in means and inventions the
fairy, who has enticed him from you by her enchantments, may be;
so that in time he will be ashamed to appear, and will be forced
to pass the rest of his life with the fairy, excluded from any
commerce with this world; when your majesty will have nothing to
fear from him, and cannot be reproached with so detestable an
action as the shedding of a son's blood, or confining him for
life in a prison."

When the sorceress had finished her speech, the sultan asked his
favourites if they had any thing better to propose; and finding
them all silent, determined to follow her advice, as the most
reasonable and most agreeable to his mild manner of government.

The next day when the prince came into his father's presence, who
was talking with his favourites, and had sat down by him, after a
conversation on different subjects, the sultan, addressing
himself to prince Ahmed, said, "Son, when you came and dispelled
those clouds of melancholy which your long absence had brought
upon me, you made the place you had chosen for your retreat a
mastery. I was satisfied with seeing you again, and knowing that
you were content with your condition, sought not to penetrate
into your secret, which I found you did not wish I should. I know
not what reason you had thus to treat a father, who ever was and
still continues anxious for your happiness. I now know your good
fortune. I rejoice with you, and much approve of your conduct in
marrying a fairy so worthy of your love, and so rich and powerful
as I am informed she is. Powerful as I am, it was not possible
for me to have procured for you so great a match. Now you are
raised to so high a rank, as to be envied by all but a father, I
not only desire to preserve the good understanding which has
hitherto subsisted between us, but request that you will use your
influence with your wife, to obtain her assistance when I may
want it. I will therefore make a trial of your interest this day.

"You are not insensible at what a great expense, not to say
trouble to my generals, officers, and myself, every time I take
the field, they provide tents, mules, camels, and other beasts of
burden, to carry them. If you consider the pleasure you would do
me, I am persuaded you could easily procure from the fairy a
pavilion that might be carried in a man's hand, and which would
extend over my whole army; especially when you let her know it is
for me. Though it may be a difficult thing to procure, she will
not refuse you. All the world knows fairies are capable of
executing most extraordinary undertakings."

Prince Ahmed never expected that the sultan his father would have
made a demand like this, which appeared to him so difficult, not
to say impossible. Though he knew not absolutely how great the
power of genii and fairies was, he doubted whether it extended so
far as to furnish such a tent as his father desired. Moreover, he
had never asked any thing of the fairy Perie Banou, but was
satisfied with the continual proofs she had given him of her
passion, and had neglected nothing to persuade her that his heart
perfectly corresponded without any views beyond maintaining
himself in her good graces: he was therefore in the greatest
embarrassment what answer to make. At last he replied, "If, sir,
I have concealed from your majesty what has happened to me, and
what course I took after finding my arrow, the reason was, that I
thought it of no great importance to you to be informed of such
circumstances; and though I know not how this mystery has been
revealed to you, I cannot deny but your information is correct. I
have married the fairy you speak of. I love her, and am persuaded
she loves me in return. But I can say nothing as to the influence
your majesty believes I have over her. It is what I have not yet
proved, nor thought of trying, but could wish you would dispense
with my making the experiment, and let me enjoy the happiness of
loving and being beloved, with all that disinterestedness I had
proposed to myself. However, the demand of a father is a command
upon every child, who, like me, thinks it his duty to obey him in
every thing. And though it is with the greatest reluctance, I
will not fail to ask my wife the favour your majesty desires, but
cannot promise you to obtain it; and if I should not have the
honour to come again to pay you my respecls, it will be the sign
that I have not been able to succeed in my request: but
beforehand, I desire you to forgive me, and consider that you
yourself have reduced me to this extremity."

"Son," replied the sultan of the Indies, "I should be sorry that
what I ask should oblige you to deprive me of the gratification
of seeing you as usual. I find you do not know the power a
husband has over a wife; and yours would shew that her love to
you was very slight, if, with the power she possesses as a fairy,
she should refuse so trifling a request as that I have begged you
to make. Lay aside your fears, which proceed from your believing
yourself not to be loved so well as you love her. Go; only ask
her. You will find the fairy loves you better than you imagine;
and remember that people, for want of requesting, often lose
great advantages. Think with yourself, that as you love her, you
could refuse her nothing; therefore, if she loves you, she will
not deny your requests."

All these representations of the sultan of the Indies could not
satisfy prince Ahmed, who would rather he had asked anything else
than, as he supposed, what must expose him to the hazard of
displeasing his beloved Perie Banou; and so great was his
vexation that he left the court two days sooner than he used to
do.

When he returned, the fairy, to whom he always before had
appeared with a gay countenance, asked him the cause of the
alteration she perceived in his looks; and finding that instead
of answering he inquired after her health, to avoid satisfying
her, she said to him, "I will answer your question when you have
answered mine." The prince declined a long time, protesting that
nothing was the matter with him; but the more he denied the more
she pressed him, and said, "I cannot bear to see you thus: tell
me what makes you uneasy, that I may remove the cause, whatever
it may be; for it must be very extraordinary if it is out of my
power, unless it be the death of the sultan your father; in that
case, time, with all that I will contribute on my part, can alone
comfort you."

Prince Ahmed could not long withstand the pressing instances of
the fairy. "Madam," said he, "God prolong the sultan my father's
life, and bless him to the end of his days. I left him alive and
in perfect health; therefore that is not the cause of the
melancholy you perceive in me. The sultan, however, is the
occasion of it, and I am the more concerned because he has
imposed upon me the disagreeable necessity of importuning you.
You know the care I have at your desire taken to conceal from him
the happiness I have enjoyed in living with you, and of having
received the pledge of your faith after having pledged my love to
you. How he has been informed of it I cannot tell."

Here the fairy interrupted prince Ahmed, and said, "But I know.
Remember what I told you of the woman who made you believe she
was sick, on whom you took so much compassion. It is she who has
acquainted your father with what you have taken so much care to
hide from him. I told you that she was no more sick than you or
I, and she has made it appear so; for, in short, after the two
women, whom I charged to take care of her, had given her the
water sovereign against all fevers, but which however she had no
occasion for, she pretended that it had cured her, and was
brought to take her leave of me that she might go the sooner to
give an account of the success of her undertaking. She was in so
much haste, that she would have gone away without seeing my
palace if I had not, by bidding my two women shew it her, given
her to understand that it was worth her seeing. But proceed and
tell me what is the necessity your father has imposed on you to
be so importunate, which, be persuaded, however, you can never be
to your affectionate wife."

"Madam," pursued prince Ahmed, "you may have observed that
hitherto I have been content with your love, and have never asked
you any other favour: for what, after the possession of so
amiable a wife, can I desire more? I know how great your power
is, but I have taken care not to make proof of it to please
myself. Consider then, I conjure you, that it is not myself, but
the sultan my father, who, indiscreetly as I think, asks of you a
pavilion large enough to shelter him, his court, and army, from
the violence of the weather, when he takes the field, and which a
man may carry in his hand. Once more remember it is not I, but
the sultan my father who asks this favour."

"Prince," replied the fairy smiling, "I am sorry that so trifling
a matter should disturb and make you so uneasy as you appear. I
see plainly two things have contributed towards it: one is, the
law you have imposed on yourself, to be content with loving me,
being beloved by me, and deny yourself the liberty of soliciting
the least favour that might try my power. The other, I do not
doubt, whatever you may say, was, that you thought that what your
father asked was out of my power. As to the first, I commend you,
and shall love you the better, if possible, for it; and for the
second, I must tell you that what the sultan your father requests
is a trifle; as upon occasion I can do him more important
service. Therefore be easy in your mind, and persuaded that far
from thinking myself importuned I shall always take real pleasure
in performing whatever you can desire." Perie Banou then sent for
her treasurer, to whom, when she came, she said, "Noor-Jehaun"
(which was her name), "bring me the largest pavilion in my
treasury." Noor-Jehaun returned presently with a pavilion, which
could not only be held, but concealed in the palm of the hand,
when it was closed, and presented it to her mistress, who gave it
prince Ahmed to look at.

When prince Ahmed saw the pavilion, which the fairy called the
largest in her treasury, he fancied she had a mind to banter him,
and his surprise soon appeared in his countenance; which Perie
Banou perceiving, she burst out a laughing. "What! prince," cried
she, "do you think I jest with you? You will see that I am in
earnest. Noor-Jehaun," said she to her treasurer, taking the tent
out of prince Ahmed's hands, "go and set it up, that he may judge
whether the sultan his father will think it large enough."

The treasurer went out immediately with it from the palace, and
carried it to such a distance, that when she had set it up, one
end reached to the palace. The prince, so far from thinking it
small, found it large enough to shelter two armies as numerous as
that of the sultan his father; and then said to Perie Banou, "I
ask my princess a thousand pardons for my incredulity: after what
I have seen, I believe there is nothing impossible to you." "You
see," said the fairy, "that the pavilion is larger than your
father may have occasion for; but you are to observe that it has
one property, that it becomes larger or smaller, according to the
extent of the army it is to cover, without applying any hands to
it."

The treasurer took down the tent again, reduced it to its first
size, brought it and put it into the prince's hands. He took it,
and without staying longer than till the next day, mounted his
horse, and went with the usual attendants to the sultan his
father.

The sultan, who was persuaded that such a tent as he had asked
for was beyond all possibility, was in great surprise at the
prince's speedy return. He took the tent, but after he had
admired its smallness, his amazement was so great that he could
not recover himself when he had set it up in the great plain
before-mentioned, and found it large enough to shelter an army
twice as large as he could bring into the field. Regarding this
excess in its dimension as what might be troublesome in the use,
prince Ahmed told him that its size would always be
proportionable to his army.

To outward appearance the sultan expressed great obligation to
the prince for so noble a present, desiring him to return his
thanks to the fairy; and to shew what a value he set upon it,
ordered it to be carefully laid up in his treasury. But within
himself he felt greater jealousy than his flatterers and the
sorceress had suggested to him; considering, that by the fairy's
assistance the prince his son might perform things infinitely
above his own power, notwithstanding his greatness and riches;
therefore, more intent upon his ruin, he went to consult the
sorceress again, who advised him to engage the prince to bring
him some of the water of the fountain of lions.

In the evening, when the sultan was surrounded as usual by all
his court, and the prince came to pay his respects among the
rest, he addressed himself to him in these words: "Son, I have
already expressed to you how much I am obliged for the present of
the tent you have procured me, which I esteem the most valuable
curiosity in my treasury: but you must do one thing more, which
will be no less agreeable to me. I am informed that the fairy
your spouse makes use of a certain water, called the water of the
fountain of lions, which cures all sorts of fevers, even the most
dangerous; and as I am perfectly well persuaded my health is dear
to you, I do not doubt but you will ask her for a bottle of that
water, and bring it me as a sovereign remedy, which I may use as
I have occasion. Do me this important service, and complete the
duty of a good son towards a tender father."

Prince Ahmed, who believed that the sultan his father would have
been satisfied with so singular and useful a tent as that which
he had brought, and that he would not have imposed any new task
upon him which might hazard the fairy's displeasure, was
thunderstruck at this new request, notwithstanding the assurance
she had given him of granting him whatever lay in her power.
After a long silence, he said, "I beg of your majesty to be
assured, that there is nothing I would not undertake to procure
which may contribute to the prolonging of your life, but I could
wish it might not be by the means of my wife. For this reason I
dare not promise to bring the water. All I can do is, to assure
you I will request it of her; but it will be with as great
reluctance as I asked for the tent."

The next morning prince Ahmed returned to the fairy Perie Banou,
and related to her sincerely and faithfully all that had passed
at his father's court from the giving of the tent, which he told
her he received with the utmost gratitude, to the new request he
had charged him to make. He added: "But, my princess, I only tell
you this as a plain account of what passed between me and my
father. I leave you to your own pleasure, whether you will
gratify or reject this his new desire. It shall be as you
please."

"No, no," replied the fairy, "I am glad that the sultan of the
Indies knows that you are not indifferent to me. I will satisfy
him, and whatever advice the sorceress may give him (for I see
that he hearkens to her counsel), he shall find no fault with you
or me. There is much wickedness in this demand, as you will
understand by what I am going to tell you. The fountain of lions
is situated in the middle of a court of a great castle, the
entrance into which is guarded by four fierce lions, two of which
sleep alternately, while the other two are awake. But let not
that frighten you. I will supply you with means to pass by them
without danger."

The fairy Perie Banou was at that time at work with her needle;
and as she had by her several clues of thread, she took up one,
and presenting it to prince Ahmed, said, "First take this clue of
thread, I will tell you presently the use of it. In the second
place, you must have two horses; one you must ride yourself, and
the other you must lead, which must be loaded with a sheep cut
into four quarters, that must be killed to-day. In the third
place, you must be provided with a bottle, which I will give you,
to bring the water in. Set out early to-morrow morning, and when
you have passed the iron gate throw before you the clue of
thread, which will roll till it reaches the gates of the castle.
Follow it, and when it stops, as the gates will be open, you will
see the four lions. The two that are awake will, by their
roaring, wake the other two. Be not alarmed, but throw each of
them a quarter of the sheep, and then clap spurs to your horse,
and ride to the fountain. Fill your bottle without alighting, and
return with the same expedition. The lions will be so busy eating
they will let you pass unmolested."

Prince Ahmed set out the next morning at the time appointed him
by the fairy, and followed her directions punctually. When he
arrived at the gates of the castle, he distributed the quarters
of the sheep among the four lions, and passing through the midst
of them with intrepidity, got to the fountain, filled his bottle,
and returned safe. When he had got a little distance from the
castle gates, he turned about; and perceiving two of the lions
coming after him, drew his sabre, and prepared himself for
defence. But as he went forwards, he saw one of them turn out of
the road at some distance, and shewed by his head and tail that
he did not come to do him any harm, but only to go before him,
and that the other stayed behind to follow. He therefore put his
sword again into its scabbard. Guarded in this manner he arrived
at the capital of the Indies; but the lions never left him till
they had conducted him to the gates of the sultan's palace; after
which they returned the way they had come, though not without
alarming the populace, who fled or hid themselves to avoid them,
notwithstanding they walked gently and shewed no signs of
fierceness.

A number of officers came to attend the prince while he
dismounted, and conduct him to the sultan's apartment, who was at
that time conversing with his favourites. He approached the
throne, laid the bottle at the sultan's feet, kissed the rich
carpet which covered the footstool, and rising, said, "I have
brought you, sir, the salutary water which your majesty so much
desired to store up among other rarities in your treasury; but at
the same time wish you such health as never to have occasion to
make use of it."

After the prince had concluded his compliment, the sultan placed
him on his right hand, and said, "Son, I am much obliged to you
for this valuable present; as also for the great danger you have
exposed yourself to on my account (which I have been informed of
by the sorceress, who knows the fountain of lions); but do me the
pleasure, continued he, to inform me by what address, or rather
by what incredible power, you have been preserved."

"Sir," replied prince Ahmed, "I have no share in the compliment
your majesty is pleased to make me; all the honour is due to the
fairy my spouse, and I take no other merit than that of having
followed her advice." Then he informed the sultan what that
advice was, by the relation of his expedition, and how he had
conducted himself. When he had done, the sultan, who shewed
outwardly all the demonstrations of joy, but secretly became more
and more jealous, retired into an inward apartment, whence he
sent for the sorceress.

The sorceress, on her arrival, saved the sultan the trouble of
telling her of the success of prince Ahmed's journey, which she
had heard before she came, and therefore was prepared with a new
request. This she communicated to the sultan, who declared it the
next day to the prince, in the midst of all his courtiers, in
these words: "Son, I have one thing yet to ask of you; after
which, I shall expect nothing more from your obedience, nor your
interest with your wife. This request is, to bring me a man not
above a foot and a half high, whose beard is thirty feet long,
who carries upon his shoulders a bar of iron of five hundred
weight, which he uses as a quarter-staff, and who can speak."

Prince Ahmed, who did not believe that there was such a man in
the world as his father had described, would gladly have excused
himself; but the sultan persisted in his demand, and told him the
fairy could do more incredible things.

Next day the prince returned to the subterraneous kingdom of
Perie Banou, to whom he related his father's new demand, which,
he said, he looked upon to be a thing more impossible than the
two first. "For," added he, "I cannot imagine there is or can be
such a man in the world; without doubt he has a mind to try
whether I am silly enough to search, or if there is such a man he
seeks my ruin. In short, how can we suppose that I should lay
hold of a man so small, armed as he describes? what arms can I
use to reduce him to submission? If there are any means, I beg
you will tell me how I may come off with honour this time also."

"Do not alarm yourself, prince," replied the fairy: "you ran a
risk in fetching the water of the fountain of the lions for your
father; but there is no danger in finding this man. It is my
brother Schaibar, who is so far from being like me, though we
both had the same father, that he is of so violent a nature, that
nothing can prevent his giving bloody marks of his resentment for
a slight offence; yet, on the other hand, is so liberal as to
oblige any one in whatever they desire. He is made exactly as the
sultan your father has described him; and has no other arms than
a bar of iron of five hundred pounds weight, without which he
never stirs, and which makes him respected. I will send for him,
and you shall judge of the truth of what I tell you; but prepare
yourself not to be alarmed at his extraordinary figure." "What!
my queen," replied prince Ahmed, "do you say Schaibar is your
brother? Let him be ever so ugly or deformed I shall be so far
from being frightened at his appearance, that I shall love and
honour him, and consider him as my nearest relation."

The fairy ordered a gold chafing-dish to be set with a fire in it
under the porch of her palace, with a box of the same metal: out
of the latter she took some incense, and threw it into the fire,
when there arose a thick cloud of smoke.

Some moments after, the fairy said to prince Ahmed, "Prince,
there comes my brother; do you see him?" The prince immediately
perceived Schaibar, who was but a foot and a half high, coming
gravely with his heavy bar on his shoulder; his beard thirty feet
long, which supported itself before him, and a pair of thick
moustaches in proportion, tucked up to his ears, and almost
covering his face: his eyes were very small, like a pig's, and
deep sunk in his head, which was of an enormous size, and on
which he wore a pointed cap: besides all this, he had a hump
behind and and before.

If prince Ahmed had not known that Schaibar was Perie Banou's
brother, he would not have been able to behold him without fear;
but knowing who he was, he waited for him with the fairy, and
received him without the least concern.

Schaibar, as he came forwards, looked at the prince with an eye
that would have chilled his soul in his body, and asked Perie
Banou, when he first accosted her, who that man was? To which she
replied, "He is my husband, brother; his name is Ahmed; he is a
son of the sultan of the Indies. The reason why I did not invite
you to my wedding was, I was unwilling to divert you from the
expedition you were engaged in, and from which I heard with
pleasure you returned victorious; on his account I have taken the
liberty now to call for you."

At these words, Schaibar, looking at prince Ahmed with a
favourable eye, which however diminished neither his fierceness
nor savage look, said, "Is there any thing, sister, wherein I can
serve him? he has only to speak. It is enough for me that he is
your husband, to engage me to do for him whatever he desires."
"The sultan his father," replied Perie Banou, "has a curiosity to
see you, and I desire he may be your guide to the sultan's
court." "He needs but lead the way; I will follow him," replied
Schaibar. "Brother," resumed Perie Banou, "it is too late to go
to-day, therefore stay till to-morrow morning; and in the mean
time, as it is fit you should know all that has passed between
the sultan of the Indies and prince Ahmed since our marriage, I
will inform you this evening."

The next morning, after Schaibar had been informed of all that
was proper for him to know, he set out with prince Ahmed, who was
to present him to the sultan. When they arrived at the gates of
the capital, the people, as soon as they saw Schaibar, ran and
hid themselves in their shops and houses, shutting their doors,
while others taking to their heels, communicated their fear to
all they met, who stayed not to look behind them; insomuch, that
Schaibar and prince Ahmed, as they went along, found all the
streets and squares desolate, till they came to the palace, where
the porters, instead of preventing Schaibar from entering, ran
away too; so that the prince and he advanced without any obstacle
to the council-hall, where the sultan was seated on his throne
and giving audience. Here likewise the officers, at the approach
of Schaibar, abandoned their posts, and gave them free
admittance.

Schaibar, carrying his head erect, went fiercely up to the
throne, without waiting to be presented by prince Ahmed, and
accosted the sultan of the Indies in these words: "You have asked
for me," said he; "see, here I am, what would you have with me?"

The sultan, instead of answering, clapped his hands before his
eyes, and turned away his head, to avoid the sight of so terrible
an object. Schaibar was so much provoked at this uncivil and rude
reception, after he had given him the trouble to come so far,
that he instantly lifted up his iron bar, saying, "Speak, then;"
let it fall on his head, and killed him, before prince Ahmed
could intercede in his behalf. All that he could do was to
prevent his killing the grand vizier, who sat not far from him on
his right hand, representing to him that he had always given the
sultan his father good advice. "These are they then," said
Schaibar, "who gave him bad;" and as he pronounced these words,
he killed all the other viziers on the right and left, flatterers
and favourites of the sultan, who were prince Ahmed's enemies.
Every time he struck he crushed some one or other, and none
escaped but those who, not rendered motionless by fear, saved
themselves by flight.

When this terrible execution was over, Schaibar came out of the
council-hall into the court-yard with the iron bar upon his
shoulder, and looking at the grand vizier, who owed his life to
prince Ahmed, said, "I know there is here a certain sorceress,
who is a greater enemy of the prince my brother-in-law than all
those base favourites I have chastised; let her be brought to me
immediately." The grand vizier instantly sent for her, and as
soon as she was brought, Schaibar, knocking her down with his
iron bar, said, "Take the reward of thy pernicious counsel, and
learn to feign sickness again;" he left her dead on the spot.

After this he said, "This is not yet enough; I will treat the
whole city in the same manner, if they do not immediately
acknowledge prince Ahmed my brother-in-law as sultan of the
Indies." Then all who were present made the air ring with the
repeated acclamations of "Long life to sultan Ahmed;" and
immediately after, he was proclaimed through the whole
metropolis. Schaibar caused him to be clothed in the royal
vestments, installed him on the throne, and after he had made all
swear homage and fidelity, returned to his sister Perie Banou,
whom he brought with great pomp, and made her to be owned
sultaness of the Indies.

As for prince Ali and princess Nouronnihar, as they had no
concern in the conspiracy, prince Ahmed assigned them a
considerable province, with its capital, where they spent the
rest of their lives. Afterwards he sent an officer to Houssain,
to acquaint him with the change, and make him an offer of any
province he might choose; but that prince thought himself so
happy in his solitude, that he desired the officer to return his
brother thanks for the kindness he designed him, assuring him of
his submission; but that the only favour he desired was, to be
indulged with leave to live retired in the place he had chosen
for his retreat.





           THE STORY OF THE SISTERS WHO ENVIED THEIR
                        YOUNGER SISTER.



There was an emperor of Persia named Khoosroo Shaw, who, when he
first came to his crown, in order to obtain a knowledge of
affairs, took great pleasure in night adventures, attended by a
trusty minister. He often walked in disguise through the city,
and met with many adventures.

After the ceremonies of his father's funeral-rites and his own
inauguration were over, the new sultan, as well from inclination
as duty, went out one evening attended by his grand vizier,
disguised like himself, to observe what was transacting in the
city. As he was passing through a street in that part of the town
inhabited only by the meaner sort, he heard some people talking
very loud; and going close to the house whence the noise
proceeded, and looking through a crack in the door, perceived a
light, and three sisters sitting on a sofa, conversing together
after supper. By what the eldest said, he presently understood
the subjeft of their conversation was wishes: "For," said she,
"since we have got upon wishes, mine shall be to have the
sultan's baker for my husband, for then I shall eat my fill of
that bread, which by way of excellence is called the sultan's:
let us see if your tastes are as good as mine." "For my part,"
replied the second sister, "I wish I was wife to the sultan's
chief cook, for then I should eat of the most excellent dishes;
and as I am persuaded that the sultan's bread is common in the
palace, I should not want any of that; therefore you see,"
addressing herself to her eldest sister, "that I have a better
taste than you."

The youngest sister, who was very beautiful, and had more charms
and wit than the two elder, spoke in her turn: "For my part,
sisters," said she, "I shall not limit my desires to such
trifles, but take a higher flight; and since we are upon wishing,
I wish to be the emperor's queen consort. I would make him father
of a prince, whose hair should be gold on one side of his head,
and silver on the other; when he cried, the tears from his eyes
should be pearl; and when he smiled, his vermilion lips should
look like a rose-bud fresh blown."

The three sisters' wishes, particularly that of the youngest,
seemed so singular to the sultan, that he resolved to gratify
them in their desires; but without communicating his design to
his grand vizier, he charged him only to take notice of the
house, and bring the three sisters before him the following day.

The grand vizier, in executing the emperor's orders, would but
just give the sisters time to dress themselves to appear before
him, without telling them the reason. He brought them to the
palace, and presented them to the emperor, who said to them, "Do
you remember the wishes you expressed last night, when you were
all in so pleasant a mood? Speak the truth; I must know what they
were."

At these unexpected words of the emperor, the three sisters were
much confounded. They cast down their eyes and blushed, and the
colour which rose in the cheeks of the youngest quite captivated
the emperor's heart. Modesty, and fear lest they might have
offended the emperor by their conversation, kept them silent. The
emperor perceiving their confusion, said, to encourage them,
"Fear nothing, I did not send for you to distress you; and since
I see that is the effect of the question I asked, without my
intending it, as I know the wish of each, I will relieve you from
your fears. You," added he, "who wished to be my wife shall have
your desire this day; and you," continued he, addressing himself
to the two elder sisters, "shall also be married to my chief
baker and cook."

As soon as the sultan had declared his pleasure, the youngest
sister, setting her eldest an example, threw herself at the
emperor's feet, to express her gratitude. "Sir," said she, "my
wish, since it is come to your majesty's knowledge, was expressed
only in the way of conversation and amusement. I am unworthy of
the honour you do me, and supplicate your pardon for my
presumption." The two other sisters would have excused themselves
also; but the emperor interrupting them, said, "No, no; it shall
be as I have declared; every one's wish shall be fulfilled."

The nuptials were all celebrated that day, as the emperor had
resolved, but in a different manner. The youngest sister's were
solemnized with all the rejoicings usual at the marriages of the
emperors of Persia; and those of the other two sisters according
to the quality and distinction of their husbands; the one as the
sultan's chief baker, and the other as head cook.

The two elder felt strongly the disproportion of their marriages
to that of their younger sister. This consideration made them far
from being content, though they were arrived at the utmost height
of their late wishes, and much beyond their hopes. They gave
themselves up to an excess of jealousy, which not only disturbed
their joy, but was the cause of great troubles and afflictions to
the queen consort their younger sister. They had not an
opportunity to communicate their thoughts to each other on the
preference the emperor had given her, but were altogether
employed in preparing themselves for the celebration of their
marriages. Some days afterwards, when they had an opportunity of
seeing each other at the public baths, the eldest said to the
other, "Well, what say you to our sister's great fortune? Is not
she a fine person to be a queen!" "I must own," said the other
sister, "I cannot conceive what charms the emperor could discover
to be so bewitched by the young gipsy. Was it a reason sufficient
for him not to cast his eyes on you, because she was somewhat
younger? You were as worthy of his bed; and in justice he ought
to have preferred you."

"Sister," said the elder, "I should not have regretted if his
majesty had but pitched upon you; but that he should choose that
hussy really grieves me. But I will revenge myself; and you, I
think, are as much concerned as me; therefore I propose that we
should contrive measures, and act in concert in a common cause:
communicate to me what you think the likeliest way to mortify
her, while I, on my side, will inform you what my desire of
revenge shall suggest to me."

After this wicked agreement, the two sisters saw each other
frequently, and consulted how they might disturb and interrupt
the happiness of the queen. They proposed a great many ways, but
in deliberating about the manner of executing them, found so many
difficulties, that they durst not attempt them. In the mean time,
they often went together to make her visits with a detestable
dissimulation, and every time shewed her all the marks of
affection they could devise, to persuade her how overjoyed they
were to have a sister raised to so high a fortune. The queen, on
her part, constantly received them with all the demonstrations of
esteem they could expect: from a sister who was not puffed up
with her high dignity, and loved them as cordially as before.

Some months after her marriage, the queen found herself to be
with child. The emperor expressed great joy, which was
communicated to all the court, and spread throughout the empire
of Persia. Upon this news the two sisters came to pay their
compliments, and proffered their service to deliver her, desiring
her, if not provided with a midwife, to accept of them.

The queen said to them most obligingly, "Sisters, I should desire
nothing more, if it was absolutely in my power to make the
choice. I am however obliged to you for your good-will, but must
submit to what the emperor shall order on this occasion. Let your
husbands employ their friends to make interest, and get some
courtier to ask this favour of his majesty; and if he speaks to
me about it, be assured that I shall not only express the
pleasure he does me, but thank him for making choice of you."

The two husbands applied themselves to some courtiers their
patrons, and begged of them to use their interest to procure
their wives the honour they aspired to. Those patrons exerted
themselves so much in their behalf, that the emperor promised
them to consider of the matter, and was as good as his word; for
in conversation with the queen, he told her, that he thought her
sisters were the most proper persons to assist her in her labour;
but would not name them before he had asked her consent. The
queen, sensible of the deference the emperor so obligingly paid
her, said to him, "Sir, I was prepared to do as your majesty
might please to command. But since you have been so kind as to
think of my sisters, I thank you for the regard you have shewn
them for my sake; and therefore I shall not dissemble, that I had
rather have them than strangers."

The emperor named the queen's two sisters to be her midwives; and
from that time they went frequently to the palace, overjoyed at
the opportunity they should have of executing the detestable
wickedness they had meditated against the queen.

When the queen's time was up she was safely delivered of a young
prince, as bright as the day; but neither his innocence nor
beauty could move the cruel hearts of the merciless sisters. They
wrapped him up carelessly in his cloths, and put him into a
basket, which they abandoned to the stream of a small canal, that
ran under the queen's apartment, and declared that she was
delivered of a little dead dog, which they produced. This
disagreeable intelligence was announced to the emperor, who
became so angry at the circumstance, that he was likely to have
occasioned the queen's death, if his grand vizier had not
represented to him, that he could not, without injustice, make
her answerable for the caprices of nature.

In the mean time, the basket in which the little prince was
exposed was carried by the stream beyond a wall, which bounded
the prospect of the queen's apartment, and from thence floated
with the current down the gardens. By chance the intendant of the
emperor's gardens, one of the principal and most considerable
officers of the kingdom, was walking in the garden by the side of
this canal, and perceiving a basket floating, called to a
gardener, who was not far off, to bring it to shore, that he
might see what it contained. The gardener, with a rake which he
had in his hand, drew the basket to the side of the canal, took
it up, and gave it to him.

The intendant of the gardens was extremely surprised to see in
the basket a child, which, though he knew it could be but just
born, had very fine features. This officer had been married
several years, but though he had always been desirous of having
children, Heaven had never blessed him with any. This accident
interrupted his walk: he made the gardener follow him with the
child; and when he came to his own house, which was situated at
the entrance into the gardens of the palace, went into his wife's
apartment. "Wife," said he, "as we have no children of our own,
God has sent us one. I recommend him to you; provide him a nurse,
and take as much care of him as if he were our own son; for, from
this moment, I acknowledge him as such." The intendant's wife
received the child with great joy, and took particular pleasure
in the care of him. The intendant himself would not inquire too
narrowly whence the child came. He saw plainly it came not far
off the queen's apartment; but it was not his business to examine
too closely into what had passed, nor to create disturbances in a
place where peace was so necessary.

The following year the queen consort was brought to bed of
another prince, on whom the unnatural sisters had no more
compassion than on his brother; but exposed him likewise in a
basket, and set him adrift in the canal, pretending this time
that the sultaness was delivered of a cat. It was happy also for
this child that the intendant of the gardens was walking by the
canal side, who had it carried to his wife, and charged her to
take as much care of it as of the former; which was as agreeable
to her inclination as it was to that of the intendant.

The emperor of Persia was more enraged this time against the
queen than before, and she had felt the effects of his anger if
the grand vizier's remonstrances had not prevailed.

The third time the queen lay in she was delivered of a princess,
which innocent babe underwent the same fate as the princes her
brothers; for the two sisters being determined not to desist from
their detestable schemes, till they had seen the queen their
younger sister at least cast off, turned out, and humbled,
exposed this infant also on the canal. But the princess, as well
as the two princes her brothers, was preserved from death by the
compassion and charity of the intendant of the gardens.

To this inhumanity the two sisters added a lie and deceit as
before. They produced a piece of wood, and affirmed it to be a
false birth of which the queen had been delivered.

Khoosroo Shaw could no longer contain himself, when he was
informed of the new extraordinary birth. "What!" said he; "this
woman, unworthy of my bed, will fill my palace with monsters, if
I let her live any longer! No, it shall not be; she is a monster
herself, and I must rid the world of her." He pronounced sentence
of death, and ordered the grand vizier to see it executed.

The grand vizier and the courtiers who were present cast
themselves at the emperor's feet, to beg of him to revoke the
sentence. "Your majesty, I hope, will give me leave," said the
grand vizier, "to represent to you, that the laws which condemn
persons to death were made to punish crimes; the three
extraordinary labours of the queen are not crimes; for in what
can she be said to have contributed towards them? Many other
women have had, and have the same every day, and are to be
pitied, but not punished. Your majesty may abstain from seeing
her, but let her live. The affliction in which she will spend the
rest of her life, after the loss of your favour, will be a
punishment sufficiently distressing."

The emperor of Persia considered with himself, and reflecting
that it was unjust to condemn the queen to death for what had
happened, said, "Let her live then; I will spare her life; but it
shall be on this condition, that she shall desire to die more
than once every day. Let a wooden shed be built for her at the
gate of the principal mosque, with iron bars to the windows, and
let her be put into it, in the coarsest habit; and every
Mussulmaun that shall go into the mosque to prayers shall spit in
her face. If any one fail, I will have him exposed to the same
punishment; and that I maybe punctually obeyed, I charge you,
vizier, to appoint persons to see this done."

The emperor pronounced his sentence in such a tone that the grand
vizier durst not further remonstrate; and it was executed, to the
great satisfaction of the two envious sisters. A shed was built,
and the queen, truly worthy of compassion, was put into it, and
exposed ignominiously to the contempt of the people; which usage,
as she did not deserve it, she bore with a patient resignation
that excited the admiration as well as compassion of those who
judged of things better than the vulgar.

The two princes and the princess were, in the mean time, nursed
and brought up by the intendant of the gardens and his wife with
all the tenderness of a father and mother; and as they advanced
in age, they all shewed marks of superior dignity, but the
princess in particular, which discovered itself every day by
their docility and inclinations above trifles, different from
those of common children, and by a certain air which could only
belong to exalted birth. All this increased the affeftions of the
intendant and his wife, who called the eldest prince Bahman, and
the second Perviz, both of them names of the most ancient
emperors of Persia, and the princess, Perie-zadeh, which name
also had been borne by several queens and princesses of the
kingdom.

As soon as the two princes were old enough, the intendant
provided proper masters to teach them to read and write; and the
princess their sister, who was often with them, shewing a great
desire to learn, the intendant, pleased with her quickness,
employed the same master to teach her also. Her emulation,
vivacity, and piercing wit, made her in a little time as great a
proficient as her brothers.

From that time the brothers and sister had the same masters in
geography, poetry, history, and even the secret sciences; and
made so wonderful a progress, that their tutors were amazed, and
frankly owned that they could teach them no farther. At the hours
of recreation, the princess learned to sing and play upon all
sorts of instruments; and when the princes were learning to ride
she would not permit them to have that advantage over her, but
went through all the exercises with them, learning to ride also,
to bend the bow, and dart the reed or javelin, and often-times
outdid them in the race, and other contests of agility.

The intendant of the gardens was so overjoyed to find his adopted
children so accomplished in all the perfections of body and mind,
and that they so well requited the expense he had been at in
their education, that he resolved to be at a still greater: for
as he had till then been content only with his lodge at the
entrance of the garden, and kept no country house, he purchased a
country seat at a short distance from the city, surrounded by a
large tract of arable land, meadows, and woods. As the house was
not sufficiently handsome nor convenient, he pulled it down, and
spared no expense in building a mansion more magnificent. He went
every day to hasten, by his presence, the great number of workmen
he employed; and as soon as there was an apartment ready to
receive him, passed several days together there when his presence
was not necessary at court; and by the same exertions, the
interior was furnished in the richest manner, answerably to the
magnificence of the edifice. Afterwards he made gardens,
according to a plan drawn by himself. He took in a large extent
of ground, which he walled round, and stocked with fallow deer,
that the princes and princess might divert themselves with
hunting when they chose.

When this country seat was finished and fit for habitation, the
intendant of the gardens went and cast himself at the emperor's
feet, and after representing how long he had served, and the
infirmities of age which he found growing upon him, begged he
would permit him to resign his charge into his majesty's
disposal, and retire. The emperor gave him leave, with the more
pleasure because he was satisfied with his long services, both in
his father's reign and his own; and when he granted it, asked
what he should do to recompense him? "Sir," replied the intendant
of the gardens, "I have received so many obligations from your
majesty and the late emperor your father of happy memory, that I
desire no more than the honour of dying in your favour."

He took his leave of the emperor, and retired with the two
princes and the princess to the country retreat he had built. His
wife had been dead some years, and he himself had not lived above
six months with them before he was surprised by so sudden a
death, that he had not time to give them the least account of the
manner in which he had discovered them.

The princes Bahman and Perviz, and the princess Perie-zadeh, who
knew no other father than the intendant of the emperor's gardens,
regretted and bewailed him as such, and paid all the honours in
his funeral obsequies which love and filial gratitude required of
them. Satisfied with the plentiful fortune he had left them, they
lived together in perfect union, free from the ambition of
distinguishing themselves at court, or aspiring to places of
honour and dignity, which they might easily have obtained.

One day when the two princes were hunting, and the princess had
remained at home, a religious old woman came to the gate, and
desired leave to go in to say her prayers, it being then the
hour. The servants asked the princess's permission, who ordered
them to shew her into the oratory, which the intendant of the
emperor's gardens had taken care to fit up in his house, for want
of a mosque in the neighbourhood. She bade them also, after the
good woman had finished her prayers, shew her the house and
gardens, and then bring her to her.

The old woman went into the oratory, said her prayers, and when
she came out two of the princess's women invited her to see the
house and gardens; which civility she accepted, followed them
from one apartment to another, and observed, like a person who
understood what belonged to furniture, the nice arrangement of
every thing. They conducted her also into the garden, the
disposition of which she found so well planned, that she admired
it, observing that the person who had formed it must have been an
excellent master of his art. Afterwards she was brought before
the princess, who waited for her in the great hall, which in
beauty and richness exceeded all that she had admired in the
other apartments.

As soon as the princess saw the devout woman, she said to her,
"My good mother, come near and sit down by me. I am overjoyed at
the happiness of having the opportunity of profiting for some
moments by the good example and conversation of such a person as
you, who have taken the right way by dedicating yourself to the
service of God. I wish every one were as wise."

The devout woman, instead of sitting on a sofa, would only sit
upon the edge of one. The princess would not permit her to do so,
but rising from her seat,'and taking her by the hand, obliged her
to come and sit by her. The good woman, sensible of the civility,
said, "Madam, I ought not to have so much respect shewn me; but
since you command, and are mistress of your own house, I will
obey you." When she had seated herself, before they entered into
any conversation, one of the princess's women brought a little
low stand of mother of pearl and ebony, with a china dish full of
cakes upon it, and many others set round it full of fruits in
season, and wet and dry sweetmeats.

The princess took up one of the cakes, and presenting her with
it, said, "Eat, good mother, and make choice of what you like
best; you had need to eat after coming so far." "Madam," replied
the good woman, "I am not used to eat such delicacies; but will
not refuse what God has sent me by so liberal a hand as yours."

While the devout woman was eating, the princess ate a little too,
to bear her company, and asked her many questions upon the
exercise of devotion which she practised, and how she lived: all
which she answered with great modesty. Talking of several things,
at last she asked her what she thought of the house, and how she
liked it.

"Madam," answered the devout woman, "I must certainly have very
bad taste to disapprove any thing in it, since it is beautiful,
regular, and magnificently furnished with exactness and judgment,
and all its ornaments adjusted in the best manner. Its situation
is an agreeable spot, and no garden can be more delightful; but
yet if you will give me leave to speak my mind freely, I will
take the liberty to tell you, that this house would be
incomparable if it had three things which are wanting to complete
it.""My good mother," replied the princess Perie-zadeh,"what are
those? I conjure you, in God's name, to tell me what they are: I
will spare nothing to get them, if it be possible."

"Madam," replied the devout woman, "the first of these three
things is the speaking bird, so singular a creature, that it
draws round it all the singing birds of the neighbourhood, which
come to accompany his song. The second is the singing tree, the
leaves of which are so many mouths, which form an harmonious
concert of different voices, and never cease. The third is the
yellow water of a gold colour, a single drop of which being
poured into a vessel properly prepared, it increases so as to
fill it immediately, and rises up in the middle like a fountain,
which continually plays, and yet the basin never overflows."

"Ah! my good mother," cried the princess, "how much am I obliged
to you for the knowledge of these curiosities! They are
surprising, and I never before heard there were such wonderful
rarities in the world; but as I am persuaded that you know, I
expect that you should do me the favour to inform me where they
are to be found."

"Madam," replied the good woman, "I should be unworthy the
hospitality you have with so much goodness shewn me, if I should
refuse to satisfy your curiosity in that point; and am glad to
have the honour to tell you, that these curiosities are all to be
met with in the same spot on the confines of this kingdom,
towards India. The road to it lies before your house, and whoever
you send needs but follow it for twenty days, and on the
twentieth let him only ask the first person he meets where the
speaking bird, singing tree, and yellow water are, and he will be
informed." After saying this, she rose from her seat, took her
leave, and went her way.

The princess Perie-zadeh's thoughts were so taken up with what
the devout woman had told her of the speaking bird, singing tree,
and yellow water, that she never perceived her departure, till
she wanted to ask her some question for her better information;
for she thought that what she had told her was not a sufficient
reason for exposing herself by undertaking a long journey,
possibly to no purpose. However, she would not send after her,
but endeavoured to remember all she had told her; and when she
thought she had recollected every word, took real pleasure in
thinking of the satisfaction she should have if she could get
these wonderful curiosities into her possession; but the
difficulties she apprehended, and the fear of not succeeding,
made her very uneasy.

She was absorbed in these thoughts when her brothers returned
from hunting; who, when they entered the great hall, instead of
finding her lively and gay, as she used to be be, were amazed to
see her so pensive, and hanging down her head as if something
troubled her.

"Sister," said prince Bahman,"what is become of all your mirth
and gaiety? Are you not well? or has some misfortune befallen
you? Has any body given you reason to be so melancholy? Tell us,
that we may know how to act, and give you some relief. If any one
has affronted you, we will resent his insolence."

The princess remained in the same posture some time without
answering; but at last lifted up her eyes to look at her
brothers, and then held them down again, telling them nothing
disturbed her.

"Sister," said prince Bahman, "you conceal the truth from us;
there must be something of consequence. It is impossible we could
observe so sudden a change if nothing was the matter with you.
You would not have us satisfied with the evasive answer you have
given: do not conceal any thing, unless you would have us suspect
that you renounce the strict union which has hitherto subsisted
between us from our infancy."

The princess, who had not the smallest intention to offend her
brothers, would not suffer them to entertain such a thought, but
said, "When I told you nothing disturbed me, I meant nothing that
was of importance to you; but to me it is of some consequence;
and since you press me to tell you by our strict union and
friendship, which are so dear to me, I will. You think, and I
always believed so too, that this house was so complete that
nothing was wanting. But this day I have learned that it wants
three rarities, which would render it so perfect that no country
seat in the world could be compared with it. These three things
are, the speaking bird, the singing tree, and the yellow water.
After she had informed them wherein consisted the excellency of
these rarities, "A devout woman," added she, "has made this
discovery to me, told me the place where they are to be found,
and the way thither. Perhaps you may imagine these things to be
trifles, and of little consequence to render our house complete,
that without these additions it will always be thought
sufficiently elegant with what it already contains, and that we
can do without them. You may think as you please; but I cannot
help telling you that I am persuaded they are absolutely
necessary, and I shall not be easy without them. Therefore,
whether you value them or not, I desire you to consider what
person you may think proper for me to send in search of the
curiosities I have mentioned."

"Sister," replied prince Bahman, "nothing can concern you in
which we have not an equal interest. It is enough that you have
an earnest desire for the things you mention to oblige us to take
the same interest; but if you had not, we feel ourselves inclined
of our own accord and for our own individual satisfaction. I am
persuaded my brother is of the same opinion, and therefore we
ought to undertake this conquest; for the importance and
singularity of the undertaking deserve that name. I will take
that charge upon myself; only tell me the place, and the way to
it, and I will defer my journey no longer than till to-morrow."

"Brother," said prince Perviz, "it is not proper that you, who
are the head and director of our family, should be absent. I
desire my sister would join with me to oblige you to abandon your
design, and allow me to undertake it. I hope to acquit myself as
well as you, and it will be a more regular proceeding." "I am
persuaded of your good-will, brother," replied prince Bahman,
"and that you would succeed as well as myself in this journey;
but I have resolved, and will undertake it. You shall stay at
home with our sister, and I need not recommend her to you." He
spent the remainder of the day in making preparations for his
journey, and informing himself from the princess of the
directions which the devout woman had left her.

The next morning Bahman mounted his horse, and Perviz and the
princess embraced, and wished him a good journey. But in the
midst of their adieus, the princess recollected what she had not
thought of before. "Brother," said she, "I had quite forgotten
the accidents which attend travellers. Who knows whether I shall
ever see you again? Alight, I beseech you, and give up this
journey. I would rather be deprived of the sight and possession
of the speaking bird, singing tree, and yellow water, than run
the risk of never seeing you more."

"Sister," replied Bahman, smiling at the sudden fears of the
princess, "my resolution is fixed, but were it not, I should
determine upon it now, and you must allow me to execute it. The
accidents you speak of befall only those who are unfortunate; but
there are more who are not so. However, as events are uncertain,
and I may fail in this undertaking, all I can do is to leave you
this knife."

Bahman, pulling a knife from his vestband, and presenting it in
the sheath to the princess, said, "Take this knife, sister, and
give yourself the trouble sometimes to pull it out of the sheath:
while you see it clean as it is now, it will be a sign that I am
alive; but if you find it stained with blood, then you may
believe me dead, and indulge me with your prayers."

The princess could obtain nothing more of Bahman. He bade adieu
to her and prince Perviz for the last time, and rode away. When
he got into the road he never turned to the right hand nor to the
left, but went direftly forward towards India. The twentieth day
he perceived on the road side a hideous old man, who sat under a
tree some small distance from a thatched house, which was his
retreat from the weather.

His eye-brows were as white as snow, as was also the hair of his
head; his whiskers covered his mouth, and his beard and hair
reached down to his feet. The nails of his hands and feet were
grown to an extensive length; a flat broad umbrella covered his
head. He had no clothes, but only a mat thrown round his body.

This old man was a dervish, for many years retired from the
world, to give himself up entirely to the service of God; so that
at last be became what we have described.

Prince Bahman, who had been all that morning very attentive to
see if he could meet with any body who could give him information
of the place he was in search of, stopped when he came near the
dervish, alighted, in conformity to the directions which the
devout woman had given the princess Perie-zadeh, and leading his
horse by the bridle, advanced towards him, and saluting him,
said, "God prolong your days, good father, and grant you the
accomplishment of your desires."

The dervish returned the prince's salutation, but so
unintelligibly that he could not understand one word he said:
prince Bahman perceiving that this difficulty proceeded from the
dervish's whiskers hanging over his mouth, and unwilling to go
any farther without the instructions he wanted, pulled out a pair
of scissors he had about him, and having tied his horse to a
branch of the tree, said, "Good dervish, I want to have some talk
with you: but your whiskers prevent my understanding what you
say: and if you will consent, I will cut off some part of them
and of your eye-brows, which disfigure you so much that you look
more like a bear than a man."

The dervish did not oppose the offer; and when the prince had cut
off as much hair as he thought fit, he perceived that the dervish
had a good complexion, and that he did not seem so old as he
really was. "Good dervish," said he, "if I had a glass I would
shew you how young you look: you are now a man, but before nobody
could tell what you were."

The kind behaviour of prince Bahman made the dervish smile, and
return his compliment. "Sir," said he, "whoever you are, I am
obliged by the good office you have performed, and am ready to
shew my gratitude by doing any thing in my power for you. You
must have alighted here upon some account or other. Tell me what
it is, and I will endeavour to serve you."

"Good dervish," replied prince Bahman, "I am in search of the
speaking bird, the singing tree, and the yellow water; I know
these three rarities are not far from hence, but cannot tell
exactly the place where they are to be found; if you know, I
conjure you to shew me the way, that I may not lose my labour
after so long a journey."

The prince, while he spoke, observed that the dervish changed
countenance, held down his eyes, looked very serious, and instead
of making any reply, remained silent; which obliged him to say to
him again, "Good father, I fancy you heard me; tell me whether
you know what I ask you, that I may not lose my time, but inform
myself somewhere else."

At last the dervish broke silence. "Sir," said he to prince
Bahman, "I know the way you ask of me; but the regard which I
conceived for you the first moment I saw you, and which is grown
stronger by the service you have done me, kept me in suspense,
whether I should give you the satisfaction you desire." "What
motive can hinder you?" replied the prince; "and what
difficulties do you find in so doing?" "I will tell you," replied
the dervish; "the danger you are going to expose yourself to is
greater than you may suppose. A number of gentlemen of as much
bravery and courage as you can possibly possess have passed this
way, and asked me the same question. When I had used all my
endeavours to persuade them to desist, they would not believe me;
at last, I yielded, to their importunities; I was compelled to
shew them the way, and I can assure you they have all perished,
for I have not seen one come back. Therefore, if you have any
regard for your life, take my advice, go no farther, but return
home."

Prince Bahman persisted in his resolution. "I will not suppose,"
said he to the dervish, "but that your advice is sincere. I am
obliged to you for the friendship you express for me; but
whatever may be the danger, nothing shall make me change my
intention: whoever attacks me, I am well armed, and can say I am
as brave as any one." "But they who will attack you are not to be
seen," replied the dervish; "how will you defend yourself against
invisible persons?" "It is no matter," answered the prince; "all
you say shall not persuade me to do any thing contrary to my
duty. Since you know the way, I conjure you once more to inform
me."

When the dervish found he could not prevail upon prince Bahman,
and that he was obstinately bent to pursue his journey
notwithstanding his friendly remonstrance, he put his hand into a
bag that lay by him and pulled out a bowl, which he presented to
him. "Since I cannot prevail on you to attend to my advice," said
he, "take this bowl; when you are on horseback throw it before
you, and follow it to the foot of a mountain, where it will stop.
As soon as the bowl stops, alight, leave your horse with the
bridle over his neck, and he will stand in the same place till
you return. As you ascend you will see on your right and left a
great number of large black stones, and will hear on all sides a
confusion of voices, which will utter a thousand injurious abuses
to discourage you, and prevent your reaching the summit of the
mountain. Be not afraid; but above all things, do not turn your
head to look behind you; for in that instant you will be changed
into such a black stone as those you see, which are all youths
who have failed in this enterprise. If you escape the danger of
which I give you but a faint idea, and get to the top of the
mountain, you will see a cage, and in that cage is the bird you
seek; ask him which are the singing tree and the yellow water,
and he will tell you. I have nothing more to say; this is what
you have to do, and the danger you have to avoid; but if you are
prudent, you will take my advice, and not expose your life.
Consider once more while you have time that the difficulty is
almost insuperable."

"I am obliged to you for your repeated advice," replied prince
Bahman, after he had received the bowl, "but cannot follow it.
However, I will endeavour to conform myself to that part of it
which bids me not look behind me as I shall ascend the mountain,
and I hope to come and see you again soon, and thank you when I
have obtained what I am seeking." After these words, to which the
dervish made no other answer than that he should be overjoyed to
see him again, the prince mounted his horse, took his leave of
the dervish with a respectful salute, and threw the bowl before
him.

The bowl rolled away unceasingly with as much swiftness as when
prince Bahman first hurled it from his hand, which obliged him to
put his horse to the same pace to avoid losing sight of it, and
when it had reached the foot of the mountain it stopped. The
prince alighted from his horse, laid the bridle on his neck; and
having first surveyed the mountain, and seen the black stones,
began to ascend; but had not gone four steps, before he heard the
voices mentioned by the dervish, though he could see nobody. Some
said, "Where is that fool going? where is he going? what would he
have? do not let him pass." Others, "Stop him, catch him, kill
him;" and others with a voice like thunder, "Thief! assassin!
murderer!" while some in a gibing tone cried, "No, no, do not
hurt him; let the pretty fellow pass, the cage and bird are kept
for him."

Notwithstanding all these troublesome voices, prince Bahman
ascended with courage and resolution for some time, but the
voices redoubled with so loud a din near him, both behind and
before, that at last he was seized with dread, his legs trembled
under him, he staggered, and finding that his strength failed
him, he forgot the dervish's advice, turned about to run down the
hill, and was that instant changed into a black stone; a
metamorphosis which had happened to many before him, who had
attempted the ascent. His horse likewise underwent the same
change.

From the time of prince Bahman's departure, the princess Perie-
zadeh always wore the knife and sheath in her girdle, and pulled
it out several times in a day, to know whether her brother was
alive. She had the consolation to understand he was in perfect
health, and to talk of him frequently with prince Perviz, who
sometimes prevented her by asking her what news.

On the fatal day that prince Bahman was transformed into a stone,
as prince Perviz and the princess were talking together in the
evening, as usual, the prince desired his sister to pull out the
knife to know how their brother did. The princess readily
complied, and seeing the blood run down the point was seized with
so much horror that she threw it down. "Ah! my dear brother,"
cried she, "I have been the cause of your death, and shall never
see you more! Why did I tell you of the speaking bird, singing
tree, and yellow water; or rather, of what importance was it to
me to know whether the devout woman thought this house ugly or
handsome, or complete or not? I wish to Heaven she had never
addressed herself to me? Deceitful hypocrite!" added she, "is
this the return you have made for the kind reception I gave you?
Why did you tell me of a bird, a tree, and a water, which,
imaginary as I am persuaded they are, by my dear brother's death,
yet disturb me by your enchantment?"

Prince Perviz was as much afflicted at the death of prince Bahman
as the princess; but not to waste time in needless regret, as he
knew that she still passionately desired possession of the
speaking bird, the singing tree, and the golden water, he
interrupted her, saying, "Sister, our regret for our brother is
vain and useless; our grief and lamentations cannot restore him
to life; it is the will of God, we must submit to it, and adore
the decrees of the Almighty without searching into them. Why
should you now doubt of the truth of what the holy woman told
you? do you think she spoke to you of three things that were not
in being? and that she invented them on purpose to deceive you,
who had given her no cause to do so, but received her with so
much goodness and civility? Let us rather believe that our
brother's death is owing to some error on his part, or some
accident which we cannot conceive. It ought not therefore to
prevent us from pursuing our object. I offered to go this
journey, and am now more resolved than ever; his example has no
effect upon my resolution; to-morrow I will depart."

The princess did all she could to dissuade prince Perviz,
conjuring him not to expose her to the danger of losing two
brothers; but he was obstinate, and all the remonstrances she
could urge had no effeft upon him. Before he went, that she might
know what success he had, he left her a string of a hundred
pearls, telling her, that if they would not run when she should
count them upon the string, but remain fixed, that would be a
certain sign he had undergone the same fate as his brother; but
at the same time told her he hoped it would never happen, but
that he should have the happiness to see her again to their
mutual satisfaction.

Prince Perviz, on the twentieth day after his departure, met the
same dervish in the same place as his brother Bahman had done
before him. He went diredly up to him, and after he had saluted,
asked him, if he could tell him where to find the speaking bird,
the singing tree, and the golden water? The dervish urged the
same difficulties and remonstrances as he had done to prince
Bahman, telling him, that a young gentleman, who very much
resembled him, was with him a short time before; that, overcome
by his importunity and pressing instances, he had shewn him the
way, given him a guide, and told him how he should act to
succeed; but that he had not seen him since, and doubted not but
he had shared the same fate as all other adventurers.

"Good dervish," answered prince Perviz, "I know whom you speak
of; he was my elder brother, and I am informed of the certainty
of his death, but know not the cause." "I can tell you," replied
the dervise; "he was changed into a black stone, as all I speak
of have been; and you must expeft the same transformation, unless
you observe more exaftly than he has done the advice I gave him,
in case you persist in your resolution, which I once more entreat
you to renounce."

"Dervish," said prince Perviz, "I cannot sufficiently express how
much I am obliged for the concern you take in my life, who am a
stranger to you, and have done nothing to deserve your kindness:
but I thoroughly considered this enterprise before I undertook
it, and I cannot now relinquish it: therefore I beg of you to do
me the same favour you have done my brother. Perhaps I may have
better success in following your direftions." "Since I cannot
prevail with you," said the dervish, "to give up your obstinate
resolution, if my age did not prevent me, and I could stand, I
would get up to reach you a bowl I have here, which will shew you
the way."

Without giving the dervish time to say more, the prince alighted
from his horse and went to the dervish, who had taken a bowl out
of his bag, in which he had a great many, and gave it him, with
the same directions he had given prince Bahman; and after warning
him not to be discouraged by the voices he should hear without
seeing any body, however threatening they might be, but to
continue his way up the hill till he saw the cage and bird, he
let him depart.

Prince Perviz thanked the dervish, and when he had remounted, and
taken leave, threw the bowl before his horse, and spurring him at
the same time, followed it. When the bowl came to the bottom of
the hill it stopped, the prince alighted, and stood some time to
recollect the dervish's directions. He encouraged himself, and
began to walk up with a resolution to reach the summit; but
before he had gone above six steps, he heard a voice, which
seemed to be near, as of a man behind him, say in an insulting
tone, "Stay, rash youth, that I may punish you for your
presumption."

Upon this affront the prince, forgetting the dervish's advice,
clapped his hand upon his sword, drew it, and turned about to
revenge himself; but had scarcely time to see that nobody
followed him before he and his horse were changed into black
stones.

In the mean time the princess Perie-zadeh, several times a day
after her brother's departure, counted her chaplet. She did not
omit it at night, but when she went to bed put it about her neck;
and in the morning when she awoke counted over the pearls again
to see if they would slide.

The day that prince Perviz was transformed into a stone, she was
counting over the pearls as she used to do, when all at once they
became immoveably fixed, a certain token that the prince her
brother was dead. As she had determined what to do in case it
should so happen, she lost no time in outward demonstrations of
grief, which she concealed as much as possible; but having
disguised herself in man's apparel, armed and equipped, she
mounted her horse the next morning, having told her servants she
should return in two or three days, and took the same road her
brothers had done.

The princess, who had been used to ride on horseback in hunting,
supported the fatigue of so long a journey better than most
ladies could have done; and as she made the same stages as her
brothers, she also met with the dervish on the twentieth day.
When she came near him, she alighted off her horse, leading him
by the bridle, went and sat down by the dervish, and after she
had saluted him, said, "Good dervish, give me leave to rest
myself; and do me the favour to tell me if you have not heard
that there are somewhere in this neighbourhood a speaking bird, a
singing tree, and golden water."

"Princess," answered the dervish, "for so I must call you, since
by your voice I know you to be a woman disguised in man's
apparel, I thank you for your compliment, and receive the honour
you do me with great pleasure. I know the place well where these
things are to be found: but what makes you ask me this question?"

"Good dervish," replied the princess, "I have had such a
flattering relation of them given me, that I have a great desire
to possess them." "Madam," replied the dervish, "you have been
told the truth. These curiosities are more singular and
surprising than they have been represented to you: but you have
not been made acquainted with the difficulties which must be
surmounted in order to obtain them. If you had been fully
informed of these, you would not have undertaken so troublesome
and dangerous an enterprise. Take my advice, go no farther,
return, and do not urge me to contribute towards your ruin."

"Good father," said the princess, "I have travelled a great way,
and should be sorry to return without executing my design. You
talk of difficulties, and danger of life; but you do not tell me
what those difficulties are, and wherein the danger consists.
This is what I desire to know, that I may consider and judge
whether I can trust my courage and strength to brave them."

The dervish repeated to the princess what he had said to the
princes Bahman and Perviz, exaggerating the difficulties of
climbing up to the top of the mountain, where she was to make
herself mistress of the bird, which would inform her of the
singing tree and golden water. He magnified the noise and din of
the terrible threatening voices which she would hear on all sides
of her, without seeing any body, and the great number of black
stones, alone sufficient to strike terror. He entreated her to
reflect that those stones were so many brave gentlemen, so
metamorphosed for having omitted to observe the principal
condition of success in the perilous undertaking, which was not
to look behind them before they had got possession of the cage.

When the dervish had done, the princess replied, "By what I
comprehend from your discourse, the difficulties of succeeding in
this affair are, first, the getting up to the cage without being
frightened at the terrible din of voices I shall hear; and
secondly, not to look behind me: for this last, I hope I shall be
mistress enough of myself to observe it. As to the first, I own
that those voices, such as you represent them to be, are capable
of striking terror into the most undaunted; but as in all
enterprises and dangers every one may use stratagem, I desire to
know of you if I may use any in one of so great importance." "And
what stratagem is it you would employ?" said the dervish. "To
stop my ears with cotton," answered the princess, "that the
voices, however loud and terrible, may make the less impression
upon my imagination, and my mind remain free from that
disturbance which might cause me to lose the use of my reason."

"Princess," replied the dervish, "of all the persons who have
addressed themselves to me for information, I do not know that
ever one made use of the contrivance you propose. All I know is,
that they all perished. If you persist in your design, you may
make the experiment. You will be fortunate if it succeeds; but I
would advise you not to expose yourself to the danger."

"My good father," replied the princess, "nothing can hinder my
persisting in my design. I am sure my precaution will succeed,
and am resolved to try the experiment. Nothing remains for me but
to know which way I must go; I conjure you not to deny me the
favour of that information." The dervish exhorted her again, for
the last time, to consider well what she was going to do; but
finding her resolute, he took out a bowl, and presenting it to
her, said, "Take this bowl; mount your horse again, and when you
have thrown it before you, follow it through all its windings,
till it stops at the bottom of the mountain, there alight, and
ascend the hill. Go; you know the rest."

After the princess had thanked the dervish, and taken her leave
of him, she mounted her horse, threw the bowl before her, and
followed it till it stopped at the foot of the mountain.

The princess alighted, stopped her ears with cotton; and after
she had well examined the path leading to the summit, began with
a moderate pace, and walked up with intrepidity. She heard the
voices, and perceived the great service the cotton was to her.
The higher she went, the louder and more numerous the voices
seemed; but they were not capable of making any impression upon
her. She heard a great many affronting speeches and raillery very
disagreeable to a woman, which she only laughed at. "I mind not,"
said she to herself, "all that can be said, were it worse; I only
laugh at them, and shall pursue my way. At last she got so high,
that she could perceive the cage and the bird, which endeavoured,
with the voices, to frighten her, crying in a thundering tone,
notwithstanding the smallness of its size, "Retire, fool, and
approach no nearer."

The princess, encouraged by this object, redoubled her speed, and
by effort gained the summit of the mountain, where the ground was
level; then running directly to the cage, and clapping her hand
upon it, cried, "Bird, I have you, and you shall not escape me."

While Perie-zadeh was pulling the cotton out of her ears, the
bird said to her, "Heroic princess, be not angry with me for
joining with those who exerted themselves to preserve my liberty.
Though in a cage, I was content with my condition; but since I am
destined to be a slave, I would rather be yours than any other
person's, since you have obtained me so courageously. From this
instant, I swear inviolable fidelity, and an entire submission to
all your commands. I know who you are; you do not: but the time
will come when I shall do you essential service, which I hope you
will think yourself obliged to me for. As a proof of my
sincerity, tell me what you desire, and I am ready to obey you."

The princess's joy was the more inexpressible, because the
conquest she had made had cost her the lives of two beloved
brothers, and given her more trouble and danger than she could
have imagined, notwithstanding what the dervish had represented
to her. "Bird," said she, "it was my intention to have told you
that I wish for many things which are of importance; but I am
overjoyed that you have shewn your good-will and prevented me. I
have been told that there is not far off a golden water, the
property of which is very wonderful; before all things, I ask you
to tell me where it is." The bird shewed her the place, which was
just by, and she went and filled a little silver flagon which she
had brought with her. She returned to the bird and said, "Bird,
this is not enough; I want also the singing tree; tell me where
it is." "Turn about," said the bird, "and you will see behind you
a wood, where you will find this tree." The princess went into
the wood, and by the harmonious concert she heard soon knew the
tree among many others, but it was very large and high. She came
back to the bird, and said to it, "Bird, I have found the singing
tree, but I can neither pull it up by the roots, nor carry it."
The bird replied, "It is not necessary that you should take it up
by the roots; it will be sufficient to break off a branch, and
carry it to plant in your garden; it will take root as soon as it
is put into the earth, and in a little time will grow to as fine
a tree as that you have seen."

When the princess had obtained possession of the three things
which the devout woman had told her of, and for which she had
conceived so great a desire, she said again to the bird, "Bird,
what you have yet done for me is not sufficient. You have been
the cause of the death of my two brothers, who must be among the
black stones which I saw as I ascended the mountain. I wish to
take them home with me."

The bird seemed reluctant to satisfy the princess in this point,
and indeed made some difficulty to comply. "Bird," said the
princess, "remember you told me that you were my slave. You are
so; and your life is in my disposal." "That I cannot deny,"
answered the bird; "but although what you now ask is more
difficult than all the rest, yet I will do it for you. Cast your
eyes around," added he, "and look if you can see a little
pitcher." "I see it already," said the princess. "Take it then,"
said he, "and as you descend the mountain, sprinkle a little of
the water that is in it upon every black stone."

The princess took up the pitcher accordingly, carried with her
the cage and bird, the flagon of golden water, and the branch of
the singing tree, and as she descended the mountain, threw a
little of the water on every black stone, which was changed
immediately into a man; and as she did not miss one stone, all
the horses, both of the princes her brothers, and of the other
gentlemen, resumed their natural forms. She instantly recognized
Bahman and Perviz, as they did her, and ran to embrace her. She
returned their embraces, and expressed her amazement. "What do
you here, my dear brothers?" said she; they told her they had
been asleep. "Yes," replied she, "and if it had not been for me,
perhaps you might have slept till the day of judgment. Do not you
remember that you came to fetch the speaking bird, the singing
tree, and the yellow water? and did not you see, as you came
along, the place covered with black stones? Look and see if there
be any now. The gentlemen and their horses who surround us, and
you yourselves, were these black stones. If you desire to know
how this wonder was performed," continued she, shewing the
pitcher, which she set down at the foot of the mountain, having
no further use for it, "it was done by virtue of the water which
was in this pitcher, with which I sprinkled every stone. After I
had made the speaking bird (which you see in this cage) my slave,
by his directions I found out the singing tree, a branch of which
I have now in my hand; and the yellow water, which this flagon is
filled with; but being still unwilling to return without taking
you with me, I constrained the bird, by the power I had over him,
to afford me the means. He told me where to find this pitcher,
and the use I was to make of it."

The princes Bahman and Perviz learnt by this relation the
obligation they had to the princess their sister; as did all the
other gentlemen, who were collected round, and expressed to the
princess, that, far from envying her happiness in the conquest
she had made, and which they all had aspired to, they thought
they could not any otherwise acknowledge the favour she had done
them, or better express their gratitude to her for restoring them
to life again, than by declaring themselves all her slaves, and
that they were ready to obey her in whatever she should command.

"Gentlemen," replied the princess, "if you had given any
attention to my words you might have observed that I had no other
intention in what I have done than to recover my brothers;
therefore, if you have received any benefit, you owe me no
obligation, and I have no further share in your compliment than
your politeness towards me, for which I return you my thanks. In
other respects, I regard each of you individually as free as you
were before your misfortunes, and I rejoice with you at the
happiness which has accrued to you by my means. Let us however
stay no longer in a place where we have nothing to detain us; but
mount our horses, and return to our respective homes."

The princess took her horse, which stood in the place where she
had left him.--Before she mounted, prince Bahman desired her to
give him the cage to carry. "Brother," replied the princess, "the
bird is my slave, and I will carry him myself; if you will take
the pains to carry the branch of the singing tree, there it is;
only hold the cage while I get on horseback." When she had
mounted her horse; and prince Bahman had given her the cage, she
turned about and said to prince Perviz, "I leave the flagon of
golden water to your care, if it will not be too much trouble for
you to carry it." Prince Perviz took charge of it with pleasure.

When Bahman, Perviz, and all the gentlemen had mounted their
horses, the princess waited for some of them to lead the way. The
two princes paid that compliment to the gentlemen, and they again
to the princess, who, finding that none of them would accept of
the honour, but that it was reserved for her, addressed herself
to them and said, "Gentlemen, I expect that some of you should
lead the way;" to which one who was nearest to her, in the name
of the rest, replied, "Madam, were we ignorant of the respect due
to your sex, yet after what you have done for us there is no
deference we would not willingly pay you, notwithstanding your
modesty; we entreat you no longer to deprive us of the happiness
of following you."

"Gentlemen," said the princess, "I do not deserve the honour you
do me, and accept it only because you desire it." At the same
time she led the way, and the two princes and the gentlemen
followed.

This illustrious company called upon the dervish as they passed,
to thank him for his reception and wholesome advice, which they
had all found to be sincere. But he was dead: whether of old age,
or because he was no longer necessary to shew the way to the
obtaining the three rarities which the princess Perie-zadeh had
secured, did not appear. They pursued their route, but lessened
in their numbers every day. The gentlemen who, as we said before,
had come from different countries, after severally repeating
their obligations to the princess and her brothers, took leave of
them one after another as they approached the road they had come.

As soon as the princess reached home, she placed the cage in the
garden; and the bird no sooner began to warble than he was
surrounded by nightingales, chaffinches, larks, linnets,
goldfinches, and every species of birds of the country. And the
branch of the singing tree was no sooner set in the midst of the
parterre, a little distance from the house, than it took root,
and in a short time became a large tree, the leaves of which gave
as harmonious a concert as those of the tree from which it was
gathered. A large basin of beautiful marble was placed in the
garden; and when it was finished, the princess poured into it all
the yellow water from the flagon, which instantly increased and
swelled so much that it soon reached up to the edges of the
basin, and afterwards formed in the middle a fountain twenty feet
high, which fell again into the basin perpetually without running
over.

The report of these wonders was presently spread abroad, and as
the gates of the house and those of the gardens were shut to
nobody, a great number of people came to admire them.

Some days after, when the princes Bahman and Perviz had recovered
from the fatigue of their journey, they resumed their former way
of living; and as their usual diversion was hunting, they mounted
their horses and went for the first time since their return, not
to their own demesne, but two or three leagues from their house.
As they pursued their sport, the emperor of Persia came in
pursuit of game upon the same ground. When they perceived by the
number of horsemen in different places that he would soon be up,
they resolved to discontinue their chase, and retire to avoid
encountering him; but in the very road they took they chanced to
meet him in so narrow a way that they could not retreat without
being seen. In their surprise they had only time to alight, and
prostrate themselves before the emperor, without lifting up their
heads to look at him. The emperor, who saw they were as well
mounted and dressed as if they had belonged to his court, had the
curiosity to see their faces. He stopped, and commanded them to
rise. The princes rose up, and stood before him with an easy and
graceful air, accompanied with respeftful modest countenances.
The emperor took some time to view them before he spoke: and
after he had admired their good air and mien, asked them who they
were, and where they lived.

"Sir," said prince Bahman, "we are the sons of the late intendant
of your majesty's gardens: and live in a house which he built a
little before he died, till we should be fit to serve your
majesty, and ask of you some employ when opportunity offered."

"By what I perceive," replied the emperor, "you love hunting."
"Sir," replied prince Bahman, "it is our common exercise, and
what none of your majesty's subjects who intend to bear arms in
your armies ought, according to the ancient custom of the
kingdom, to neglect." The emperor, charmed with so prudent an
answer, said, "Since it is so, I should be glad to see your
expertness in the chase; choose your own game.

The princes mounted their horses again, and followed the emperor;
but had not gone far before they saw many wild beasts together.
Prince Bahman chose a lion, and prince Perviz a bear; and pursued
them with so much intrepidity, that the emperor was surprised.
They came up with their game nearly at the same time, and darted
their javelins with so much skill and address, that they pierced,
the one the lion, and the other the bear, so effectually, that
the emperor saw them fall one after the other. Immediately
afterwards prince Bahman pursued another bear, and prince Perviz
another lion, and killed them in a short time, and would have
beaten out for fresh game, but the emperor would not let them,
and sent to them to come to him. When they approached he said,
"If I would have given you leave, you would soon have destroyed
all my game: but it is not that which I would preserve, but your
persons; for I am so well assured your bravery may one time or
other be serviceable to me, that from this moment your lives will
be always dear to me."

The emperor, in short, conceived so great a kindness for the two
princes, that he invited them immediately to make him a visit: to
which prince Bahman replied, "Your majesty does us an honour we
do not deserve; and we beg you will excuse us."

The emperor, who could not comprehend what reason the princes
could have to refuse this token of his favour, pressed them to
tell him why they excused themselves. "Sir," said prince Bahman,
"we have a sister younger than ourselves, with whom we live in
such perfect union, that we undertake nothing before we consult
her, nor she any thing without asking our advice." "I commend
your brotherly affection," answered the emperor. "Consult your
sister, meet me here tomorrow, and give me an answer."

The princes went home, but neglected to speak of their adventure
in meeting the emperor, and hunting with him, and also of the
honour he had done them, by asking them to go home with him; yet
did not the next morning fail to meet him at the place appointed.
"Well," said the emperor, "have you spoken to your sister? And
has she consented to the pleasure I expect of seeing you?" The
two princes looked at each other and blushed. "Sir," said prince
Bahman, "we beg your majesty to excuse us: for both my brother
and I forgot." "Then remember to-day," replied the emperor, "and
be sure to bring me an answer to-morrow."

The princes were guilty of the same fault a second time, and the
emperor was so good-natured as to forgive their negligence; but
to prevent their forgetfulness the third time, he pulled three
little golden balls out of a purse, and put them into prince
Bahman's bosom. "These balls," said he, smiling, "will prevent
your forgetting a third time what I wish you to do for my sake;
since the noise they will make by falling on the floor, when you
undress, will remind you, if you do not recollect it before." The
event happened just as the emperor foresaw; and without these
balls the princes had not thought of speaking to their sister of
this affair. For as prince Bahman unloosed his girdle to go to
bed the balls dropped on the floor, upon which he ran into prince
Perviz's chamber, when both went into the princess Perie-zadeh's
apartment, and after they had asked her pardon for coming at so
unseasonable a time, they told her all the circumstances of their
meeting the emperor.

The princess was somewhat surprised at this intelligence. "Your
meeting with the emperor," said she, "is happy and honourable,
and may in the end be highly advantageous to you, but it is very
disagreeable and distrustful to me. It was on my account, I know,
you refused the emperor, and I am infinitely obliged to you for
doing so. I know by this your affection is equal to my own, since
you would rather be guilty of incivility towards the emperor than
violate the brotherly union we have sworn to each other. You
judge right, for if you had once gone you would insensibly have
been engaged to leave me, to devote yourselves to him. But do you
think it an easy matter absolutely to refuse the emperor what he
seems so earnestly to desire? Monarchs will be obeyed in their
desires, and it may be dangerous to oppose them; therefore, if to
follow my inclination I should dissuade you from shewing the
complaisance he expects from you, it may expose you to his
resentment, and may render myself and you miserable. These are my
sentiments: but before we conclude upon any thing let us consult
the speaking bird, and hear what he says; he is penetrating, and
has promised his assistance in all difficulties."

The princess sent for the cage, and after she had related the
circumstances to the bird in the presence of her brothers, asked
him what they should do in this perplexity? The bird answered,
"The princes your brothers must conform to the emperor's
pleasure, and in their turn invite him to come and see your
house."

"But, bird," replied the princess, "my brothers and I love one
another, and our friendship is yet undisturbed. Will not this
step be injurious to that friendship?" "Not at all," replied the
bird; "it will tend rather to cement it." "Then," answered the
princess, "the emperor will see me." The bird told her it was
necessary he should, and that everything would go better
afterwards.

Next morning the princes met the emperor hunting, who, at as
great a distance as he could make himself be heard, asked them if
they had remembered to speak to their sister? Prince Bahman
approached, and answered, "Sir, your majesty may dispose of us as
you please; we are ready to obey you; for we have not only
obtained our sister's consent with great ease, but she took it
amiss that we should pay her that deference in a matter wherein
our duty to your majesty was concerned. But if we have offended,
we hope you will pardon us." "Do not be uneasy on that account,"
replied the emperor; "so far from taking amiss what you have
done, I highly approve of your conduct, and hope you will have
the same deference and attachment to my person, if I have ever so
little share in your friendship." The princes, confounded at the
emperor's goodness, returned no other answer but a low obeisance,
to shew the great respect with which they received it.

The emperor, contrary to his usual custom, did not hunt long that
day. Presuming that the princes possessed wit equal to their
courage and bravery, he longed with impatience to converse with
them more at liberty. He made them ride on each side of him, an
honour which, without speaking of the principal courtiers who
accompanied him, was envied by the grand vizier, who was much
mortified to see them preferred before him.

When the emperor entered his capital, the eyes of the people, who
stood in crowds in the streets, were fixed upon the two princes
Bahman and Perviz; and they were earnest to know who they might
be, whether foreigners or natives.

All, however, agreed in wishing that the emperor had been blessed
with two such handsome princes, and said, "He might have had
children as old, if the queen, who had suffered the punishment of
her misfortune, had been more fortunate in her lyings-in."

The first thing that the emperor did when he arrived at his
palace was to conduct the princes into the principal apartments;
who praised without affectation, like persons conversant in such
matters, the beauty and symmetry of the rooms, and the richness
of the furniture and ornaments. Afterwards a magnificent repast
was served up, and the emperor made them sit with him, which they
at first refused; but finding it was his pleasure, they obeyed.

The emperor, who had himself much learning, particularly in
history, foresaw that the princes, out of modesty and respect,
would not take the liberty of beginning any conversation.
Therefore, to give them an opportunity, he furnished them with
subjects all dinner-time. But whatever subject he introduced,
they shewed so much wit, judgment, and discernment, that he was
struck with admiration. "Were these my own children," said he to
himself, "and I had improved their talents by suitable education,
they could not have been more accomplished or better informed."
In short, he took such great pleasure in their conversation, that
after having sat longer than usual he led them into his closet,
where he pursued his conversation with them, and at last said, "I
never supposed that there were among my subjects in the country
youths so well brought up, so lively, so capable; and I never was
better pleased with any conversation than yours: but it is time
now we should relax our minds with some diversion; and as nothing
is more capable of enlivening the mind than music, you shall hear
a vocal and instrumental concert which may not be disagreeable to
you."

The emperor had no sooner spoken for them than the musicians, who
had orders to attend, entered, and answered fully the
expectations the princes had been led to entertain of their
abilities. After the concerts, an excellent farce was acted, and
the entertainment was concluded by dancers of both sexes.

The two princes seeing night approach, prostrated themselves at
the emperor's feet; and having first thanked him for the favours
and honours he had heaped upon them, asked his permission to
retire; which was granted by the emperor, who, in dismissing
them, said, "I give you leave to go; but remember I brought you
to the palace myself only to shew you the way; you will be always
welcome, and the oftener you come the greater pleasure you will
do me."

Before they went out of the emperor's presence, prince Bahman
said, "Sir, may we presume to request that your majesty will do
us and our sister the honour to pass by our house, and rest and
refresh yourself after your fatigue, the first time you take the
diversion of hunting in that neighbourhood? It is not worthy your
presence; but monarchs sometimes have vouchsafed to take shelter
in a cottage." "My children," replied the emperor; "your house
cannot be otherwise than beautiful, and worthy of its owners. I
will call and see it with pleasure, which will be the greater for
having for my hosts you and your sister, who is already dear to
me from the account you give me of the rare qualities with which
she is endowed; and this satisfaction I will defer no longer than
to-morrow. Early in the morning I will be at the place where I
shall never forget that I first saw you. Meet me, and you shall
be my guides."

When the princes Bahman and Perviz had returned home, they gave
the princess an account of the distinguished reception the
emperor had given them; and told her that they had invited him to
do them the honour, as he passed by, to call at their house; and
that he had appointed the next day.

"If it be so," replied the princess, "we must think of preparing
a repast fit for his majesty; and for that purpose I think it
would be proper we should consult the speaking bird, he will tell
us perhaps what meats the emperor likes best." The princes
approved of her plan, and after they had retired she consulted
the bird alone. "Bird," said she, "the emperor will do us the
honour to-morrow to come and see our house, and we are to
entertain him; tell us what we shall do to acquit ourselves to
his satisfaction."

"Good mistress," replied the bird, "you have excellent cooks, let
them do the best they can; but above all things, let them prepare
a dish of cucumbers stuffed full of pearls, which must be set
before the emperor in the first course before all the other
dishes."

"Cucumbers stuffed full of pearls!" cried princess Perie-zadeh,
with amazement; "surely, bird, you do not know what you say; it
is an unheard-of dish. The emperor may admire it as a piece of
magnificence, but he will sit down to eat, and not to admire
pearls; besides, all the pearls I possess are not enough for such
a dish."

"Mistress," said the bird, "do what I say, and be not uneasy
about what may happen. Nothing but good will follow. As for the
pearls, go early to-morrow morning to the foot of the first tree
on your right hand in the park, dig under it, and you will find
more than you want."

That night the princess ordered a gardener to be ready to attend
her, and the next morning early led him to the tree which the
bird had told her of, and bade him dig at its foot. When the
gardener came to a certain depth, he found some resistance to the
spade, and presently discovered a gold box about a foot square,
which he shewed the princess. "This," said she, "is what I
brought you for; take care not to injure it with the spade."

When the gardener took up the box, he gave it into the princess's
hands, who, as it was only fastened with neat little hasps, soon
opened it, and found it full of pearls of a moderate size, but
equal, and fit for the use that was to be made of them. Very well
satisfied with having found this treasure, after she had shut the
box again she put it under her arm, and went back to the house,
while the gardener threw the earth into the hole at the foot of
the tree as it had been before.

The princes Bahman and Perviz, who, as they were dressing
themselves in their own apartments, saw the princess their sister
in the garden earlier than usual, as soon as they could get out
went to her, and met her as she was returning, with a gold box
under her arm, which much surprised them. "Sister," said Bahman,
"you carried nothing with you when we saw you before with the
gardener, and now we see you have a golden box: is this some
treasure found by the gardener, and did he come and tell you of
it?"

"No, brother," answered the princess; "I took the gardener to the
place where this casket was concealed, and shewed him where to
dig: but you will be more amazed when you see what it contains."

The princess opened the box, and when the princes saw that it was
full of pearls, which, though small, were of great value; they
asked her how she came to the knowledge of this treasure?
"Brothers," said she, "if nothing more pressing calls you
elsewhere, come with me, and I will tell you." "What more
pressing business," said prince Perviz, "can we have than to be
informed of what concerns us so much? We have nothing to do to
prevent our attending you." The princess, as they returned to the
house, gave them an account of her having consulted the bird, as
they had agreed she should, and the answer he had given her; the
objection she had raised to preparing a dish of cucumbers stuffed
full of pearls, and how he had told her where to find this box.
The princes and princess formed many conjectures to penetrate
into what the bird could mean by ordering them to prepare such a
dish; and after much conversation, though they could not by any
means guess at his reason, they nevertheless agreed to follow his
advice exactly.

As soon as the princess entered the house, she called for the
head cook; and after she had given him directions about the
entertainment for the emperor, said to him, "Besides all this,
you must dress an extraordinary dish for the emperor's own
eating, which nobody else must have any thing to do with besides
yourself. This dish must be of cucumbers stuffed with these
pearls;" and at the same time she opened him the box, and shewed
him the pearls.

The chief cook, who had never heard of such a dish, started back,
and shewed his thoughts by his looks; which the princess
penetrating, said, "I see you take me to be mad to order such a
dish, which you never heard of, and which one may say with
certainty was never made. I know this as well as you; but I am
not mad, and give you these orders with the most perfect
recollection. You must invent and do the best you can, and bring
me back what pearls are left." The cook could make no reply, but
took the box and retired: and afterwards the princess gave
directions to all the domestics to have every thing in order,
both in the house and gardens, to receive the emperor.

Next day the two princes went to the place appointed; and as soon
as the emperor of Persia arrived the chase began, which lasted
till the heat of the sun obliged him to leave off. While prince
Bahman stayed to conduit the emperor to their house, prince
Perviz rode before to shew the way, and when he came in sight of
the house, spurred his horse, to inform the princess Perie-zadeh
that the emperor was approaching; but she had been told by some
servants whom she had placed to give notice, and the prince found
her waiting ready to receive him.

When the emperor had entered the court-yard, and alighted at the
portico, the princess came and threw herself at his feet, and the
two princes informed him she was their sister, and besought him
to accept her respects.

The emperor stooped to raise her, and after he had gazed some
time on her beauty, struck with her fine person and dignified
air, he said, "The brothers are worthy of the sister, and she
worthy of them; since, if I may judge of her understanding by her
person, I am not amazed that the brothers would do nothing
without their sister's consent; but," added he, "I hope to be
better acquainted with you, my daughter, after I have seen the
house."

"Sir," said the princess, "it is only a plain country residence,
fit for such people as we are, who live retired from the great
world. It is not to be compared with houses in great cities, much
less with the magnificent palaces of emperors." "I cannot
perfectly agree with you in opinion," said the emperor very
obligingly, "for its first appearance makes me suspect you;
however, I will not pass my judgment upon it till I have seen it
all; therefore be pleased to conduct me through the apartments."

The princess led the emperor through all the rooms except the
hall; and, after he had considered them very attentively and
admired their variety, "My daughter," said he to the princess,
"do you call this a country house? The finest and largest cities
would soon be deserted, if all country houses were like yours. I
am no longer surprised that you take so much delight in it, and
despise the town. Now let me see the garden, which I doubt not is
answerable to the house."

The princess opened a door which led into the garden; and the
first object which presented itself to the emperor's view was the
golden fountain. Surprised at so rare an object, he asked from
whence that wonderful water, which gave so much pleasure to
behold, had been procured; where was its source; and by what art
it was made to play so high, that he thought nothing in the world
was to be compared to it? He said he would presently take a
nearer view of it.

The princess then led him to the spot where the harmonious tree
was planted; and there the emperor heard a concert, different
from all he had ever heard before; and stopping to see where the
musicians were, he could discern nobody far or near; but still
distinctly heard the music, which ravished his senses. "My
daughter," said he to the princess, "where are the musicians whom
I hear? Are they under ground, or invisible in the air? Such
excellent performers will hazard nothing by being seen; on the
contrary, they would please the more."

"Sir," answered the princess smiling, "they are not musicians,
but the leaves of the trees your majesty sees before you, which
form this concert; and if you will give yourself the trouble to
go a little nearer, you will be convinced, and the voices will be
the more distinct."

The emperor went nearer, and was so charmed with the sweet
harmony, that he would never have been tired with hearing it, but
that his desire to have a nearer view of the fountain of yellow
water forced him away. "Daughter," said he, "tell me, I pray you,
whether this wonderful tree was found in your garden by chance,
or was a present made to you, or have you procured it from some
foreign country? It must certainly have come from a great
distance, otherwise, curious as I am after natural rarities, I
should have heard of it. What name do you call it by?"

"Sir," replied the princess, "this tree has no other name than
that of the singing tree, and is not a native of this country. It
would at present take up too much time to tell your majesty by
what adventures it came here; its history is connected with the
yellow water, and the speaking bird, which came to me at the same
time, and which your majesty may see after you have taken a
nearer view of the golden water. But if it be agreeable to your
majesty, after you have rested yourself, and recovered the
fatigue of hunting, which must be the greater because of the
sun's intense heat, I will do myself the honour of relating it to
you."

"My daughter," replied the emperor, "my fatigue is so well
recompensed by the wonderful things you have shewn me, that I do
not feel it the least. I think only of the trouble I give you.
Let us finish by seeing the yellow water. I am impatient to see
and admire the speaking bird."

When the emperor came to the yellow water, his eyes were fixed so
steadfastly upon the fountain, that he could not take them off.
At last, addressing himself to the princess, he said, "As you
tell me, daughter, that this water has no spring or
communication, I conclude that it is foreign, as well as the
singing tree."

"Sir," replied the princess, "it is as your majesty conjectures;
and to let you know that this water has no communication with any
spring, I must inform you that the basin is one entire stone, so
that the water cannot come in at the sides or underneath. But
what your majesty will think most wonderful is, that all this
water proceeded but from one small flagon, emptied into this
basin, which increased to the quantity you see, by a property
peculiar to itself, and formed this fountain." "Well," said the
emperor, going from the fountain, "this is enough for one time. I
promise myself the pleasure to come and visit it often; but now
let us go and see the speaking bird."

As he went towards the hall, the emperor perceived a prodigious
number of singing birds in the trees around, filling the air with
their songs and warblings, and asked, why there were so many
there, and none on the other trees in the garden? "The reason,
sir," answered the princess, "is, because they come from all
parts to accompany the song of the speaking bird, which your
majesty may see in a cage in one of the windows of the hall we
are approaching; and if you attend, you will perceive that his
notes are sweeter than those of any of the other birds, even the
nightingale."

The emperor went into the hall; and as the bird continued
singing, the princess raised her voice, and said, "My slave, here
is the emperor, pay your compliments to him." The bird left off
singing that instant, when all the other birds ceased also, and
it said, "The emperor is welcome; God prosper him, and prolong
his life." As the entertainment was served on the sofa near the
window where the bird was placed, the sultan replied, as he was
taking his seat, "Bird, I thank you, and am overjoyed to find in
you the sultan and king of birds."

As soon as the emperor saw the dish of cucumbers set before him,
thinking it was stuffed in the best manner, he reached out his
hand and took one; but when he cut it, was in extreme surprise to
find it stuffed with pearls. "What novelty is this?" said he "and
with what design were these cucumbers stuffed thus with pearls,
since pearls are not to be eaten?" He looked at the two princes
and princess to ask them the meaning: when the bird interrupting
him, said, "Can your majesty be in such great astonishment at
cucumbers stuffed with pearls, which you see with your own eyes,
and yet so easily believe that the queen your wife was delivered
of a dog, a cat, and a piece of wood?" "I believed these things,"
replied the emperor, "because the midwives assured me of the
facts." "Those midwives, sir," replied the bird, "were the
queen's two sisters, who, envious of her happiness in being
preferred by your majesty before them, to satisfy their envy and
revenge, have abused your majesty's credulity. If you interrogate
them, they will confess their crime. The two brothers and the
sister whom you see before you are your own children, whom they
exposed, and who were taken in by the intendant of your gardens,
who provided nurses for them, and took care of their education."

This speech of the bird's presently cleared up the emperor's
understanding. "Bird," cried he, "I believe the truth which you
discover to me. The inclination which drew me to them told me
plainly they must be my own blood. Come then, my sons, come, my
daughter, let me embrace you, and give you the first marks of a
father's love and tenderness." The emperor then rose, and after
having embraced the two princes and the princess, and mingled his
tears with theirs, said, "It is not enough, my children; you must
embrace each other, not as the children of the intendant of my
gardens, to whom I have been so much obliged for preserving your
lives, but as my own children, of the royal blood of the monarchs
of Persia, whose glory, I am persuaded, you will maintain."

After the two princes and princess had embraced mutually with new
satisfaction, the emperor sat down again with them, and finished
his meal in haste; and when he had done, said, "My children, you
see in me your father; to-morrow I will bring the queen your
mother, therefore prepare to receive her."

The emperor afterwards mounted his horse, and returned with
expedition to his capital. The first thing he did, as soon as he
had alighted and entered his palace, was to command the grand
vizier to seize the queen's two sisters. They were taken from
their houses separately, convicted, and condemned to be
quartered; which sentence was put in execution within an hour.

In the mean time the emperor Khoosroo Shaw, followed by all the
lords of his court who were then present, went on foot to the
door of the great mosque; and after he had taken the queen out of
the strict confinement she had languished under for so many
years, embracing her in the miserable condition to which she was
then reduced, said to her with tears in his eyes, "I come to
entreat your pardon for the injustice I have done you, and to
make you the reparation I ought; which I have begun, by punishing
the unnatural wretches who put the abominable cheat upon me; and
I hope you will look upon it as complete, when I present to you
two accomplished princes, and a lovely princess, our children.
Come and resume your former rank, with all the honours which are
your due." All this was done and said before great crowds of
people, who flocked from all parts at the first news of what was
passing, and immediately spread the joyful intelligence through
the city.

Next morning early the emperor and queen, whose mournful
humiliating dress was changed for magnificent robes, went with
all their court to the house built by the intendant of the
gardens, where the emperor presented the princes Bahman and
Perviz, and the princess Perie-zadeh, to their enraptured mother.
"These, much injured wife," said he, "are the two princes your
sons, and this princess your daughter; embrace them with the same
tenderness I have done, since they are worthy both of me and
you." The tears flowed plentifully down their cheeks at these
tender embraces, especially the queen's, from the comfort and joy
of having two such princes for her sons, and such a princess for
her daughter, on whose account she had so long endured the
severest afflictions.

The two princes and the princess had prepared a magnificent
repast for the emperor and queen, and their court. As soon as
that was over, the emperor led the queen into the garden, and
shewed her the harmonious tree and the beautiful effect of the
yellow fountain. She had seen the bird in his cage, and the
emperor had spared no panegyric in his praise during the repast.

When there was nothing to detain the emperor any longer, he took
horse, and with the princes Bahman and Perviz on his right hand,
and the queen consort and the princess at his left, preceded and
followed by all the officers of his court, according to their
rank, returned to his capital. Crowds of people came out to meet
them, and with acclamations of joy ushered them into the city,
where all eyes were fixed not only upon the queen, the two
princes, and the princess, but also upon the bird, which the
princess carried before her in his cage, admiring his sweet
notes, which had drawn all the other birds about him, which
followed him, flying from tree to tree in the country, and from
one house-top to another in the city. The princes Bahman and
Perviz, and the princess Perie-zadeh, where at length brought to
the palace with this pomp, and nothing was to be seen or heard
all that night but illuminations and rejoicings both in the
palace and in the utmost parts of the city, which lasted many
days, and were continued throughout the empire of Persia, as
intelligence of the joyful event reached the several provinces.





           STORY OF THE SULTAN OF YEMEN AND HIS THREE
                             SONS.



There was in the land of Yemen (Arabia Felix) a sultan, under
whom were three tributary princes. He had four children, three
sons and a daughter. He possessed greater treasures than could be
estimated, as well as innumerable camels, horses, and flocks of
sheep; and was held in awe by all contemporary sovereigns.

After a long and prosperous reign, age brought with it infirmity,
and he at length became incapable of appearing in his hall of
audience; upon which he commanded his sons to his presence, and
said to them, "My wish is to divide among you, before my death,
all my possessions, that you may be satisfied, and live in
unanimity and brotherly affection with each other, and in
obedience to my dying commands." They exclaimed, "To hear is to
obey."

The sultan then said, "My will is, that the eldest be sovereign
in my room; that the second possess my treasures; and the third
every description of animals. Let no, one encroach upon another,
but all assist each other." He then caused them to sign an
agreement to abide by his bequests, and shortly afterwards was
received into the mercy of the Almighty; upon which his sons
prepared what was suitable to his dignity for his funeral. They
washed the corpse, enshrouded it, prayed over it, and having
committed it to the earth, returned to their palaces; where the
viziers, officers of state, and inhabitants of the metropolis,
high and low, rich and poor, attended to console with them on the
loss of their father. The news of the death of the sultan was
soon spread abroad into all the provinces, and deputations from
every city came to condole with the princes.

After these ceremonies, the eldest prince demanded that he should
be inaugurated sultan in the room of the deceased monarch,
agreeably to his will; but this was not possible, as each of the
other brothers was ambitious of being sovereign. Contention and
disputes now arose between them for the government, till at
length the elder brother, wishing to avoid civil war, said, "Let
us go and submit to the arbitration of one of the tributary
sultans, and to let him whom he adjudges the kingdom peaceably
enjoy it." To this they assented, as did also the viziers; and
they departed, unattended, towards the capital of one of the
tributary sultans.

When the princes had proceeded about half way on their journey,
they reached a verdant spot, abounding in herbage and flowers,
with a clear rivulet running through it, the convenience of which
made them halt to refresh themselves. They sat down and were
eating, when one of the brothers casting his eyes on the grass,
said, "A camel has lately passed this way loaded, half with
sweetmeats and half with grain." "True," cried another, "and he
was blind of one eye." "Yes," exclaimed the third, "and he had
lost his tail." They had scarcely concluded their remarks, when
the owner of the camel came up to them (for he had heard what
they had said, and was convinced, as they had described the beast
and his load, that they must have stopped him), crying out, that
they had stolen his camel. "We have not seen him," answered the
princes, "nor touched him." "By Allah!" replied he, "none but you
can have taken him; and if you will not deliver him up, I will
complain of you to the sultan." They rejoined, "It is well; let
us go to the sultan."

When all four had reached the palace, information was given of
the arrival of the princes, and they were admitted to an
audience, the owner of the camel following, who bawled out,
"These men, my lord, by their own confession, have stolen my
property, for they described him and the load he carried."

The man then related what each of the princes, had said; upon
which the sultan demanded if it was true. They answered, "My
lord, we have not seen the camel; but we chanced, as we were
sitting on the grass taking some refreshment, to observe that
part of the pasture had been grazed; upon which we supposed that
the camel must have been blind of an eye, as the grass was only
eaten on one side. We then observed the dung of a camel in one
heap on the ground, which made us agree that its tail must have
been cut off, as it is the custom for camels to shake their
tails, and scatter it abroad. On the grass where the camel had
lain down, we saw on one side flies collected in great numbers,
but none on the other: this made us conclude that one of the
panniers must have contained sweets, and the other only grain."
Upon hearing the above, the sultan said to the complainant,
"Friend, go and look for thy camel, for these observations do not
prove the theft on the accused, but only the strength of their
understandings and penetration."

The sultan now ordered apartments for the princes, and directed
that they should be entertained in a manner befitting their rank;
after which he left them to their repose. In the evening, when
the usual meal was brought in, the elder prince having taken up a
cake of bread, said, "This bread, I am sure, was made by a sick
woman." The second, on tasting some kid, exclaimed, "This kid was
suckled by a bitch:" and the third cried out, "Certainly this
sultan must be illegitimate." At this instant the sultan, who had
been listening, entered hastily, and exclaimed, "Wherefore utter
ye these affronting speeches?" "Inquire," replied the princes,"
into what you have heard, and you will find all true."

The sultan now retired to his haram, and on inquiry, found that
the woman who had kneaded the bread was sick. He then sent for
the shepherd, who owned that the dam of the kid having died, he
had suckled it upon a bitch. Next, in a violent passion, he
proceeded to the apartments of the sultana mother, and
brandishing his cimeter--threatened her with death, unless she
confessed whether he was son to the late sultan or not.

The sultana was alarmed, and said, "To preserve my life, I must
speak truth. Know then that thou art the son of a cook. Thy
father had no male offspring, at which he was uneasy: on the same
day myself and the wife of the cook lay in, I of a daughter and
she of a son. I was fearful of the coolness of the sultan, and
imposed upon him the son of the cook for his own: that son art
thou, who now enjoyest an empire."

The spurious sultan left the sultana in astonish, ment at the
penetration of the brothers, whom he summoned to his presence,
and inquired of them on what grounds they had founded their just
suspicions respecting the bread, the kid, and himself." "My
lord," replied the elder prince," when I broke the cake, the
flour fell out in lumps; and hence I guessed that she who made it
had not strength to knead it sufficiently, and must have been
unwell." "It is as thou hast said," replied the sultan." The fat
of the kid," continued the second brother," was all next the
bone, and the flesh of every other animal but the dog has it next
the skin. Hence my surmise that it must have been suckled by a
bitch." "Thou wert right," answered the sultan; "but now for
myself."

"My reason for supposing thee illegitimate," said the youngest
prince, "was, because thou didst not associate with us, who are
of the same rank with thyself. Every man has properties which he
inherits from his father, his grandfather, or his mother. From
his father, generosity, or avarice; from his grandfather, valour
or cowardice; from his mother, bashfulness or impudence." "Thou
hast spoken justly," replied the sultan; "but why came ye to ask
judgment of me, since ye are so much better able to decide
difficult questions than myself? Return home, and agree among
yourselves." The princes did so; and obeyed the will of their
father.





              STORY OF THE THREE SHARPERS AND THE
                            SULTAN.




Three very ingenious sharpers who associated together, being much
distressed, agreed, in hopes of obtaining immediate relief, that
they would go to the sultan, and pretend each to superior ability
in some occupation. Accordingly they proceeded to the metropolis,
but found admission to the presence difficult; the sultan being
at a garden palace surrounded by guards, who would not let them
approach. Upon this they consulted, and agreed to feign a
quarrel, in hopes that their clamour would draw the notice of the
sultan. It did so: he commanded them to be brought before him,
inquired who they were, and the cause of their dispute. "We were
disputing," said they, "concerning the superiority of our
professions; for each of us possesses complete skill in his own."
"What are your professions?" replied the sultan. "I am," said
one, "O sovereign, a lapidary of wonderful skill." "I fear thou
art an astonishing rascal," exclaimed the sultan.

"I am," said the second sharper, "a genealogist of horses." "And
I," continued the third, "a genealogist of mankind, knowing every
one's true descent; an art much more wonderful than that of
either of my companions, for no one possesses it but myself, nor
ever did before me." The sultan was astonished, but gave little
credit to their pretensions: yet he said to himself, "If these
men speak truth, they are worthy of encouragement. I will keep
them near me till I have occasion to try them; when, if they
prove their abilities, I will promote them; but if not, I will
put them to death." He then allotted them an apartment, with an
allowance of three cakes of bread and a mess of pottage daily;
but placed spies over them, fearing lest they might escape.

Not long after this, a present of rarities was brought to the
sultan, among which were two precious stones; one of them
remarkably clear in its water, and the other with a flaw. The
sultan now bethought himself of the lapidary, and sent for him to
his presence, when he gave him the clear jewel to examine, and
demanded what he thought it was worth.

The sharper took the stone, and with much gravity turned it
backwards and forwards in his hands, examining it with minute
attention on every part; after which he said, "My lord, this
jewel has a flaw in the very centre of it." When the sultan heard
this, he was enraged against the sharper, and gave orders to
strike off his head; saying, "This stone is free from blemish,
and yet thou pretendest it hath a flaw." The executioner now
advanced, laid hold of the sharper, bound him, and was going to
strike, when the vizier entered, and seeing the sultan enraged,
and the sharper under the cimeter, inquired the cause. Being
informed, he advanced towards the sultan, and said, "My lord, act
not thus, but first break the stone: should a flaw appear in it,
the words of this man are true; but if it be found free from
blemish, put him to death." The sultan replied, "Thy advice is
just:" and broke it in two with his mace. In the middle he found
a flaw, at which he was astonished, and exclaimed to the sharper,
"By what means couldst thou discover the blemish?" He replied,
"By the acuteness of my sight." The sultan then released him, and
said, "Take him back to his companions, allow him a mess of
pottage to himself, and two cakes of bread."

Some time after this a tribute came from one of the provinces,
part of which consisted of a beautiful black colt, in colour
resembling the hue of the darkest night. The sultan was delighted
with the animal, and spent whole days in admiring him. At length
he bethought himself of the sharper who had pretended to be a
genealogist of horses, and commanded him to his presence. When he
appeared, the sultan said, "Art thou a judge of horses?" He
replied, "Yes, my lord: "upon which the sultan exclaimed," It is
well! but I swear by him who appointed me guardian of his
subjects, and said to the universe, Be! and it was, that should I
find untruth in thy declaration, I will strike off thy head." The
man replied, "To hear is to submit." After this they brought out
the colt, that he might examine him.

The sharper desired the groom to mount the colt and pace him
before him, which he did backwards and forwards, the fiery animal
all the while plunging and rearing. At length the genealogist
said, "It is enough:" and turning to the sultan exclaimed, "My
lord, this colt is singularly beautiful, of true blood by his
sire, his paces exquisite and proportions just; but in him there
is one blemish; could that be done away, he would be all
perfection; nor would there be upon the face of the earth his
equal among all the various breeds of horses." "What can that
blemish be?" said the sultan. "His sire," rejoined the
genealogist, "was of true blood, but his dam of another species
of animal; and, if commanded, I will inform you." "Speak," said
the sultan. "The dam of this beautiful colt," continued the
genealogist, "was a buffalo."

When the sultan heard this he flew into a rage, and commanded an
executioner to strike off the head of the sharper; exclaiming,
"Thou accursed dog! how could a buffalo bring forth a colt?" "My
lord," replied the sharper, "the executioner is in attendance;
but send for the person who presented the colt, and inquire of
him the truth. If my words prove just, my skill will be
ascertained; but if what I have said be false, then let my head
pay the forfeit for my tongue." Upon this the sultan sent for the
master of the colt to attend his presence.

When the master of the colt appeared before him, the sultan
inquired whether it was purchased of another person, or had been
bred by himself? To which the man replied, "My lord, I will
relate nothing but the truth. The production of this colt is
surprising. His sire belonged to me, and was of the true breed of
sea-horses: he was always kept in an enclosure by himself, as I
was fearful of his being injured; but it happened one day in the
spring, that the groom took him for air into the country, and
picqueted him in the plain. By chance a cow-buffalo coming near
the spot, the stallion became outrageous, broke his heel-ropes,
joined the buffalo, which after the usual period of gestation,
produced this colt, to our great astonishment."

The sultan was surprised at this relation. He commanded the
genealogist to be sent for, and upon his arrival said, "Thy words
have proved true, and thy wonderful skill in the breed of horses
is ascertained; but by what mark couldst thou know that the dam
of this colt was a buffalo?" The man replied, "My lord, the mark
is visible in the colt itself. It is not unknown to any person of
observation, that the hoof of a horse is nearly round, but the
hoof of a buffalo thick and longish, like this colt's: hence I
judged that the dam must certainly have been a buffalo." The
sultan now dismissed him graciously, and commanded that he should
be allowed daily a mess of pottage, and two cakes of bread.

Not long after this the sultan bethought himself of the third
sharper, who pretended that he was the genealogist of man, and
sent for him to the presence. On his appearance he said, "Thou
canst trace the descent of man?" "Yes, my lord," replied the
genealogist. Upon this the sultan commanded an eunuch to take him
into his haram, that he might examine the descent of his
favourite mistress. Upon his introduction, he looked at the lady
on this side and on that, through her veil, till he was
satisfied, when he came out; and the sultan exclaimed, "Well,
what hast thou discovered in my mistress?" He replied, "My lord,
she is all perfect in elegance, beauty, grace, stature, bloom,
modesty, accomplishments, and knowledge, so that every thing
desirable centres in herself; but still there is one point that
disgraces her, from which if she was free, it is not possible she
could be excelled in anything among the whole of the fair sex."
When the sultan had heard this, he rose up angrily, and drawing
his cimeter, ran towards the genealogist, intending to strike off
his head.

Just as he was going to strike, some of the attendants said, "My
lord, put not the man to death before thou art convinced of his
falsehood." Upon which the sultan exclaimed, "What fault appeared
to thee in my mistress?" "O sultan," replied the man, "she is, as
to herself, all perfect; but her mother was a rope-dancer." Upon
this the sultan immediately sent for the father of the lady, and
said, "Inform me truly who was the mother of thy daughter, or I
will put thee to death." "Mighty prince," replied the father,
"there is no safety for man but in the truth. Her mother was a
rope-dancer, whom I took when very young from a company of
strolling mummers, and educated. She grew up most beautiful and
accomplished: I married her, and she produced me the girl whom
thou hast chosen."

When the sultan heard this, his rage cooled, but he was filled
with astonishment; and said to the genealogist, "Inform me what
could shew thee that my mistress was the daughter of a rope-
dancer?" "My lord," replied the man, "this cast of people have
always their eyes very black, and their eyebrows bushy; such are
hers: and from them I guessed her descent." The sultan was now
convinced of his skill, dismissed him graciously, and commanded
that he should be allowed a mess of pottage and three cakes of
bread daily, which was done accordingly.

Some time after this the sultan reflected on the three sharpers,
and said to himself, "These men have proved their skill in
whatever I have tried them. The lapidary was singularly excellent
in his art, the horse genealogist in his, and the last has proved
his upon my mistress. I have an inclination to know my own
descent beyond a doubt." He then ordered the genealogist into his
presence, and said, "Dost thou think thou canst prove my
descent?" "Yes, my lord," replied the man, but on condition that
you spare my life after I shall have informed you; for the
proverb says, When the sultan is present, beware of his anger,
as there is no delay when he commands to strike.'" "There shall
be safety for thee," exclaimed the sultan," in my promise, an
obligation that can never be forfeited."

"O sultan," continued the genealogist, "when I shall inform thee
of thy parentage and descent, let not there be any present who
may hear me." "Wherefore?" replied the sultan. "My lord,"
answered the sharper, "you know the attributes of the Deity
should be veiled in mystery." The sultan now commanded all his
attendants to retire, and when they were alone, the genealogist
advanced and said, "Mighty prince, thou art illegitimate, and the
son of an adulteress."

As soon as the sultan heard this, his colour changed, he turned
pale, and fainted away. When he was recovered, he remained some
time in deep contemplation, after which he exclaimed, "By him who
constituted me the guardian of his people, I swear that if thy
assertion be found true I will abdicate my kingdom, and resign it
to thee, for royalty cannot longer become me; but should thy
words prove void of foundation, I will put thee to instant
death." "To hear is to assent," replied the sharper.

The sultan now arose, entered the haram, and bursting into his
mother's apartment with his cimeter drawn, exclaimed, "By him who
divided the heavens from the earth, shouldst thou not answer
faithfully to what I shall inquire, I will cut thee to pieces
with this cimeter." The queen, trembling with alarm, said, "What
dost thou ask of me?" "Inform me," replied the sultan, "of whom
am I the son?" "Since truth only can save me," cried the
princess, "know that thou art the offspring of a cook. My husband
had no children either male or female, on which account he became
sad, and lost his health and appetite. In a court of the haram we
had several sorts of birds, and one day the sultan fancying he
should relish one of them, ordered the cook to kill and dress it.
I happened then to be in the bath alone.

"As I was in the bath," continued the sultana, "I saw the cook
endeavouring to catch the birds. At that instant it occurred to
my mind from the instigation of Satan, that if I bore not a son,
after the death of the sultan my influence would be lost. I
tempted the man, and thou art the produce of my crime. The signs
of my pregnancy soon appeared; and when the sultan was informed
of them, he recovered his health, and rejoiced exceedingly, and
conferred favours and presents on his ministers and courtiers
daily, till the time of my delivery. On that day he chanced to be
upon a hunting excursion at a country palace; but when
intelligence was brought him of the birth of a son, he instantly
returned to me, and issued orders for the city to be decorated,
which was done for forty days together, out of respect to the
sultan. Such was my crime, and such was thy birth."

The sultan now returned to the adventurer, and commanded him to
pull off his clothes, which he did; when the sultan, disrobing
himself, habited him in the royal vestments, after which he said,
"Inform me whence thou judgest that I was a bastard?"

"My lord," replied the adventurer, "when each of us shewed our
skill in what was demanded, you ordered him only an allowance of
a mess of pottage and three cakes of bread. Hence I judged you to
be the offspring of a cook, for it is the custom of princes to
reward the deserving with wealth and honours, but you only
gratified us with victuals from your kitchen." The sultan
replied, "Thou hast spoken truly." He then made him put on the
rest of the royal robes and ornaments, and seated him upon the
throne; after which he disguised himself in the habit of a
dervish, and wandered from his abdicated dominions. When the
lucky adventurer found himself in possession of the throne, he
sent for his companions; and finding they did not recognize him
in his royal habiliments, dismissed them with liberal presents,
but commanded them to quit his territories with the utmost
expedition, lest they should discover him. After this, with a
satisfied mind, he fulfilled the duties of his new station with a
liberality and dignity that made the inhabitants of the
metropolis and all the provinces bless him, and pray for the
prolongation of his reign.





The Adventures of the Abdicated Sultan.



The abdicated prince, disguised as a dervish, did not cease
travelling in a solitary mood till he came to the city of Cairo,
which he perceived to be in repose and security, and well
regulated. Here he amused himself with walking through several
streets, till he had reached the royal palace, and was admiring
its magnificent architecture and extent, and the crowds passing
in and out, when the sultan with his train appeared in sight
returning from a hunting excursion, upon which he retired to one
side of the road. The sultan observing his dignified demeanour,
commanded one of his attendants to invite him to the palace, and
entertain him till he should inquire after him.

When the sultan had reposed himself from the fatigue of his
exercise, he sent for the supposed dervish to his presence, and
said, "From what kingdom art thou arrived?" He answered, "I am,
my lord, a wandering dervish." "Well," replied the sultan, "but
inform me on what account thou art come here." On which he said,
"My lord, this cannot be done but in privacy." "Let it be so,"
rejoined the sultan; and rising up, led him into a retired
apartment of the palace. The supposed dervish then related what
had befallen him, the cause of his having abdicated his kingdom,
and taken upon himself the character of a religious. The sultan
was astonished at his self-denial, and exclaimed, "Blessed be his
holy name, who exalteth and humbleth whom he will by his almighty
power; but my history is more surprising than thine. I will
relate it to thee, and conceal nothing."





History of Mahummud, Sultan of Cairo.



At my first outset in the world I was an indigent man, and
possessed none of the conveniences of life, till at length I
became possessed of ten pieces of silver, which I resolved to
expend in amusing myself. With this intention, I one day walked
into the principal market, intending first to purchase somewhat
delicate to feast upon. While I was looking about me, a man
passed by, with a great crowd following and laughing at him, for
he led in an iron chain a monstrous baboon, which he cried for
sale at the price of ten pieces of silver. Something
instinctively impelled me to purchase the creature, so I paid him
the money, and took my bargain to my lodging; but on my arrival,
was at a loss how to procure a meal for myself or the baboon.
While I was considering what I should do, the baboon having made
several springs, became suddenly transformed into a handsome
young man, beautiful as the moon at the fourteenth night of its
appearance, and addressed me, saying, "Shekh Mahummud, thou hast
purchased me for ten pieces of silver, being all thou hadst, and
art now thinking how thou canst procure food for me and thyself."
"That is true," replied I; "but in the name of Allah, from whence
dost thou come?" "Ask no questions," replied my companion, "but
take this piece of gold, and purchase us somewhat to eat and
drink." I took the gold, did as he had desired, and we spent the
evening merrily together in feasting and conversation, till it
was time to repose.

In the morning the young man said, "My friend, this lodging is
not fitting for us; go, and hire a better." "To hear is to obey,"
replied I, and departed to the principal serai, where I hired an
upper apartment, to which we removed. He then gave me ten
deenars, with orders to purchase carpets and cushions, which I
did, and on my return found before him a package, containing
princely vestments. These he gave to me, desiring that I would go
to the bath, and, after bathing, put them on. I obeyed his
commands, dressed myself, and found in each pocket a hundred
deenars. I was not a little proud of my improved appearance in
the rich robes. On my return, he praised my figure, and seated me
by him, when we refreshed ourselves, and chatted on various
subjefls. At length he gave me a bundle, desiring that I would
present it to the sultan, and at the same time demand his
daughter in marriage for myself, assuring me that my request
would meet a ready compliance.

The young man commanded a slave he had bought to attend me, who
carried the bundle, and I set out for the palace; near which I
found a great crowd of grandees, officers, and guards, who seeing
me so richly habited, inquired respectfully what I wanted. Upon
my replying that my business was with the sultan, they informed
the ushers, who introduced me to the presence. I made the
customary obeisance, and the sultan returned my salute; after
which I presented the bundle before him, saying, "Will my lord
accept this trifle, becoming my humble situation to offer, but
certainly not worthy the royal dignity to receive?" The sultan
commanded the package to be opened; when, lo! it contained a
complete dress of royal apparel, richer than had ever been before
seen, at which the sultan was astonished, and exclaimed,
"Heavens! I have nothing like this, nor ever possessed so
magnificent a suit; it shall be accepted: but inform me, Shekh,
what thou requirest in return for so valuable an offering."
"Mighty sovereign," replied I, "my wish is to become thy relation
by espousing that precious gem of the casket of beauty, thy
incomparable daughter."

When the sultan had heard this request, he turned towards his
vizier and said, "Advise me how I should act in this affair."
Upon which the minister replied, "Shew him, my lord, your most
valuable diamond, and inquire if he has any one equally precious
to match it as a marriage present for your daughter." The sultan
did so; when I said, "If I present two, will you give me your
daughter?" To which he assented, and I took my leave, carrying
with me the diamond, to shew the young man as a model. Upon my
arrival at our serai, I informed him of what passed, when he
examined the diamond, and said, "The day is now far spent, but
tomorrow I will procure ten like it, which thou shalt present to
the sultan." Accordingly in the morning he walked out, and in the
space of an hour returned with ten diamonds, which he gave me,
and I hastened with them to the sultan. When he beheld the
precious stones he was enraptured at their brilliancy, and again
consulted his vizier how he should act in this business. "My
lord," replied the minister, "you only required one diamond of
the Shekh, and he has presented you with ten: it is therefore
incumbent upon you to give him your daughter."

The sultan now sent for the cauzees and effendis, who drew up the
deed of espousals, which they gave me, when I returned to our
serai, and shewed it to the young man, who said, "It is well; go
and complete thy marriage; but I entreat that thou wilt not
consummate thy nuptials till I shall give thee permission." "To
hear is to obey," replied I. When it was night I entered the
princess's apartment, but sat down at a distance from her, and
did not speak till morning, when I bade her farewell, and took my
leave for the day. I observed the same conduct the second night
and the third, upon which, offended at my coldness, she
complained to her mother, who informed the sultan of my
affronting behaviour.

The sultan sent for me to his presence, and with much anger
threatened, if I should continue my coldness to the princess
another evening, that he would put me to death. Upon this I
hastened to inform my friend at the serai, who commanded, that
when I should next be alone with my wife I should demand of her a
bracelet which she wore upon her right arm, and bring it to him,
after which I might consummate my nuptials. I replied, "To hear
is to obey;" and the next evening, when I entered the apartment,
said to my wife, "If thou desirest that we should live happily
together, give me the bracelet on thy right arm." She did so
immediately, when I carried it to the young man, and, returning
to the palace, slept, as I supposed, with the princess till
morning. Guess, however, what was my surprise, when on awaking I
found myself lying in my first humble lodging, stripped of my
rich vestments, and saw on the ground my former mean attire;
namely, an old vest, a pair of tattered drawers, and a ragged
turban, as full of holes as a sieve. When I had somewhat
recovered my senses, I put them on and walked out in a melancholy
mood, regretting my lost happiness, and not knowing what I should
do to recover it. As I strolled towards the palace, I beheld
sitting in the street a fortune-teller, who had some written
papers before him, and was casting omens for the bystanders. I
advanced, and made him a salute, which he returned kindly; and
after looking attentively in my face, exclaimed, "What! has that
accursed wretch betrayed thee, and torn thee from thy wife?" I
replied, "Yes." Upon this he desired me to wait a little, and
seated me by him. When his employers were departed, he said, "My
friend, the ape which you purchased for ten pieces of silver, and
who soon after was transformed into a young man, is not of human
race, but a genie deeply in love with the princess whom you
married. However, he could not approach her while she wore the
bracelet, containing a powerful charm, upon her right arm, and
therefore made use of thee to obtain it. He is now with her, but
I will soon effect his destruction, that genii and men may be
secure from his wickedness, for he is one of the rebellious and
accursed spirits who disobeyed our lord Solomon, son of David."

After this, the fortune-teller wrote a note, which having sealed
and directed, he gave it to me, saying, "Go to a certain spot,
wait there, and observe those who may approach. Fortify thy mind,
and when thou shall see a great personage attended by a numerous
train, present to him this letter, when he will accomplish thy
desires." I took the note, immediately departed for the place to
which the fortune-teller had direfted me, and after travelling
all night and half the next day reached it, and sat down to wait
for what might happen. The evening shut in, and about a fourth
part of the night had passed, when a great glare of lights
appeared advancing towards me from a distance; and as it shone
nearer, I perceived persons carrying flambeaux and lanterns, also
a numerous train of attendants, as if belonging to some mighty
sultan. My mind was alarmed, but I recovered myself, and resolved
to stay where I was. A great concourse passed by me, marching two
and two, and at length there appeared a sultan of the genii,
surrounded by a splendid attendance; upon which I advanced as
boldly as I could, and having prostrated myself, presented the
letter, which he opened, and read aloud, as follows:

"Be it known unto thee, O sultan of the genii, that the bearer of
this is in distress, from which thou must relieve him by
destroying his enemy. Shouldst thou not assist him, beware of thy
own safety. Farewell."

When the sultan of the genii had read the note, he called out to
one of his messengers, who immediately attended before him, and
commanded him to bring into his presence without delay the genie
who had enchanted the daughter of the sultan of Cairo. "To hear
is to obey," replied the messenger, and instantly disappearing,
was absent for about an hour, when he returned with the criminal,
and placed him before the sultan of the genii, who exclaimed,
"Accursed wretch, hast thou ill-treated this man?"

"Mighty sovereign," replied the genie, "my crime proceeded from
love of the princess, who wore a charm in her bracelet which
prevented my approaching her, and therefore I made use of this
man. He procured me the charm, and I now have her in my power;
but I love her tenderly, and have not injured her." "Return the
bracelet instantly," replied the sultan of the genii, "that the
man may recover his wife, or I will command an executioner to
strike off thy head." The offending genie, who was of an accursed
and obstinate race, upon hearing these words was inflamed with
passion, and insolently cried out, "I will not return the
bracelet, for no one shall possess the princess but myself."
Having said thus, he attempted to fly away, but in vain.

The sultan of the genii now commanded his attendants to bind the
criminal in chains, which they did, and having forced the
bracelet from him, struck off his head. The sultan then presented
me the charm, which was no sooner in my hand than all the genii
vanished from my sight, and I found myself dressed as before, in
the rich habit given me by the pretended young man. I proceeded
to the city, which I entered, and when I came near the palace was
recognized by the guards and courtiers, who cried out in raptures
of joy, "Our lost prince is at length returned." They paid their
respects, and I entered the apartment of the princess, whom I
found in a deep sleep, in which state she had been ever since my
departure. On my replacing the bracelet on her arm, she awoke.
After this we lived together in all happiness till the death of
her father, who appointed me his successor, having no son, so
that I am what I am.



When the sultan of Cairo had finished his narrative, the
abdicated prince expressed his surprise at his adventures: upon
which the sultan said, "Wonder not, my brother, at the
dispensations of the Almighty, for he worketh in secret, and when
he pleaseth revealeth his mysteries. Since thou hast quitted thy
kingdom, if thou choosest, thou shalt be my vizier, and we will
live together as friends and brothers." "To hear is to obey,"
replied the prince. The sultan then constituted him vizier,
enrobed him in a rich uniform, and committed to him his seal, the
inkstand, and other insignia of office, at the same time
conferring upon him a magnificent palace, superbly furnished with
gorgeous carpets, musnuds, and cushions: belonging to it were
also extensive gardens. The vizier entered immediately upon his
new office; held his divans regularly twice every day, and judged
so equitably on all appeals brought before him, that his fame for
justice and impartiality was soon spread abroad; insomuch, that
whoever had a cause or dispute willingly referred it to his
decision, and was satisfied with it, praying for his life and
prosperity. In this state he remained for many years, the
sovereign pleased with him, and he happy under the protection of
the sultan of Cairo, so that he did not regret his abdicated
kingdom.

It happened one evening that the mind of the sultan was
depressed, upon which he sent for the vizier, who attended; when
he said, "Vizier, my mind is so uneasy that nothing will amuse
me." "Enter then," replied the minister, "into thy cabinet, and
look at thy jewels, the examination of which may perhaps
entertain thee." The sultan did so, but it had no effect on his
lassitude; when he said, "Vizier, this dispiritedness will not
quit me, and nothing gives me pleasure within my palace; let us,
therefore, walk out in disguise." "To hear is to obey," replied
the vizier. They then retired into a private chamber, and putting
on the habits of dervishes of Arabia, strolled through the city
till they reached a hospital for lunatics, which they entered.
Here they beheld two men, one reading and the other listening to
him; when the sultan said to himself, "This is surprising;" and
addressed the men, saying, "Are you really mad?" They replied,
"We are not mad, but our stories are so wonderful, that were they
recorded on a tablet of adamant, they would remain for examples
to them who would be advised." "Let us hear them," said the
sultan; upon which, the man who had been reading exclaimed, "Hear
mine first!" and thus began.





Story of the First Lunatic.



I was a merchant, and had a warehouse in which were Indian goods
of all sorts, and of the highest value, and I bought and sold to
great advantage. One day as I was sitting in my warehouse,
according to custom, busy in buying and selling, an old woman
came in, telling her beads, and greeted me. I returned her
salute, when she sat down, and said, "Sir, have you any choice
Indian cloths?" "Yes, my mistress," replied I, "of all sorts that
you can possibly wish for." "Bring them," said she. I showed her
a piece of great value, with which she was highly pleased, and
inquired the price. "Five hundred deenars," replied I: she took
out her purse, paid me the money, and went away with the cloth;
upon which I had a profit of one hundred and fifty deenars. She
returned the next day, bought another piece, paid for it, and, in
short, did the same for fifteen days successively, paying me
regularly for each purchase. On the sixteenth day she came to my
shop as usual, chose the cloth and was going to pay me, but
missed her purse; upon which she said, "Sir, I have unfortunately
left my purse at home." "Mistress," replied I, "it is of no
consequence; take the cloth, and if you return, well, if not, you
are welcome to this trifle:" she would not take it: I pressed
her, but in vain. Much friendly argument passed between us, till
at length she said, "Sir, you contradict, and I contradict, but
we shall never agree unless you will favour me by accompanying me
to my house to receive the value of your goods; so lock up your
warehouse, lest any thing should be lost in your absence."
Accordingly I fastened my doors, and accompanied her; we walked
on conversing, till we came near her house, when she pulled out a
handkerchief from her girdle, and said, "My desire is to tie this
over thy eyes." "On what account?" replied I. "Because," said
she, "in our way are several houses, the gates of which are open,
and the women sitting in their balconies, so that possibly thy
eyes may glance upon some one of them, and thy heart be
distracted with love; for in this part are many beautiful
damsels, who would fascinate even a religious, and therefore I am
alarmed for thy peace."

Upon this I said to myself, "This old woman advises me properly,"
and I consented to her demand; when she bound the handkerchief
over my eyes, and we proceeded till we arrived at her house. She
knocked at the door, which was opened by a damsel, and we
entered. The old lady then took the handkerchief from my eyes,
when I looked around me, and perceived that I was in a mansion
having several quadrangles, highly ornamented, and resembling the
palaces of the sultan.

The old lady now desired me to retire into a room, which I did,
and there beheld heaped together all the pieces of cloth which
she had purchased of me, at which I was surprised, but still more
so when two damsels beautiful as resplendent moons approached,
and having divided a piece of cloth into halves, each took one,
and wrapped it round her hand. They then sprinkled the floor with
rose water and other scents, wiping it with the cloth, and
rubbing it till it became bright as silver; after which they
withdrew into an adjoining room, and brought out at least fifty
stools, which they set down, and placed over each a rich
covering, with cushions of tissue. They then fetched a large
stool of gold, and having put upon it a carpet and cushions of
gold brocade, retired. Not long after this, there descended from
the staircase by two and two, as many damsels in number as the
stools; upon each of which one sat down. At last descended a lady
attended by ten damsels, who placed herself upon the larger
stool. When I beheld her, my lord, my senses forsook me, and I
was in raptures at her beauty, her stature, and elegance, as she
chatted and laughed with her companions.

At length she exclaimed, "My dear mother!" when the old woman
entered; to whom she said, "Hast thou brought the young man?" She
replied, "Yes, my daughter, he is ready to attend thee." Upon
which the lady said, "Introduce him to me." When I heard this I
was alarmed, and said to myself, "There is no refuge but in the
most high God; doubtless she has discovered my being here, and
will command me to be put to death." The old woman came to me,
and leading me by the hand, took me before the lady seated on the
golden stool, who, on seeing me, smiled, made a graceful salute,
and waved her hand for a seat to be brought, which was done, and
placed close to her own. She then commanded me to sit down, which
I did with much confusion.

When I was seated, the lady began to chat and joke with me,
saying, "What think you of my appearance and my beauty, do you
judge me worthy of your affection? shall I be your partner and
you mine?" When I had heard these words, I replied, "How, dear
lady, dare I presume, who am not worthy to be your servant, to
arrive at such an honour?" Upon this, she said, "Young man, my
words have no evasion in them; be not discouraged, or fearful of
returning me an answer, for my heart is devoted to thy love." I
now perceived, my lord, that the lady was anxious to marry me;
but could not conceive on what account, or who could have given
her intelligence concerning me. She continued to shew me so many
pleasing attentions, that at length I was emboldened to say,
"Lady, if your words to me are sincere, according to the proverb,
no time is so favourable as the present." "There cannot," said
she," be a more fortunate day than this for our union." Upon this
I replied, "My dear lady, how can I allot for you a proper
dowry?" "The value of the cloth you intrusted to the old lady,
who is my mother," answered she, "is sufficient." "That cannot be
enough," rejoined I. "Nothing more shall be added," exclaimed the
lady; "and my intention is this instant to send for the cauzee
and witnesses, and I will choose a trustee, that they may unite
us without delay. We will celebrate our nuptials this very
evening, but upon one condition." "What is that?" replied I. She
answered, "That you bind yourself not to address or hold
conversation with any woman but myself." My lord, I was eager to
be in possession of so beautiful a woman, and therefore said to
her, "I agree, and will never contradict thee either by my words
or actions." She then sent for the cauzee and witnesses, and
appointed a trustee, after which we were married. After the
ceremony, she ordered coffee and sherbet, gave money to the
cauzee, a dress of honour to her trustee, and they departed.

I was lost in astonishment, and said to myself, "Do I dream, or
am I awake?" She now commanded her damsels to empty the warm
bath, fill it afresh, and prepare cloths and necessaries for
bathing. When they had done as she desired, she ordered the
eunuchs in waiting to conduct me to the hummaum, and gave them a
rich dress. They led me into an elegant apartment, difficult for
speech to describe. They spread many-coloured carpets, upon which
I sat down and undressed; after which I entered the hummaum, and
perceived delightful odours from sandal wood, of comorin, and
other sweets diffusing from every part. Here they seated me,
covered me with perfumed soaps, and rubbed me till my body became
bright as silver; when they brought the basins, and I washed with
warm water, after which they gave me rose-water, and I poured it
over me. They next brought in sweet-smelling salves, which I
rubbed over me, and then repaired to the hummaum, where I found a
royal dress, in which the eunuchs arrayed me; and after perfuming
me with incense of sandal wood, brought in confections, coffee,
and sherberts of various sorts, with which I refreshed myself. I
then left the bath with my attendants, who shewed me into the
grand hall of the palace, which was spread with most magnificent
carpets, stools, and cushions. Here the lady met me, attired in a
new habit, more sumptuous than I had seen her in before.

When I beheld my bride, she appeared to me, from the richness of
her ornaments, like a concealed treasure from which the talisman
had just been removed. She sat down by me, and smiled so
fascinatingly upon me, I could no longer contain my rapture. In a
short time she retired, but soon returned again in a dress richer
than her last. I again embraced her, and in short, my lord, we
remained together for ten days in the height of happiness and
enjoyment. At the end of this period I recollected my mother, and
said to my wife, "It is so long since I have been absent from
home, and since my mother has not seen me, that I am certain she
must be anxious concerning me. Will you permit me to visit her
and look after my warehouse?" "There can be no impediment,"
replied she; "you may visit your mother daily, and employ
yourself in your warehouse, but the old woman must conduct you
and bring you back;" to which I assented.

The old lady then came in, tied a handkerchief over my eyes,
conducted me to the spot where she had first blindfolded me, and
said, "You will return here about the time of evening prayer, and
will find me waiting." I left her, and repaired to my mother,
whom I found in great affliction at my absence, and weeping
bitterly. Upon seeing me, she ran and embraced me with tears of
joy. I said, "Weep not, my dear mother, for my absence has been
owing to the highest good fortune." I then informed her of my
lucky adventure, when she exclaimed, "May Allah protect thee, my
son, but visit me at least every two days, that my affection for
thee may be gratified." I then went to my warehouse, and employed
myself as usual till evening, when I returned to the place
appointed, where I found the old lady, who blindfolded me as
before, and conducted me to the palace of my wife, who received
me with fondness. For three months I continued to go and come in
this manner, but I could not help wishing to know whom I had
married, and wondering at the affluence, splendour, and
attendance that appeared around her.

At length I found an opportunity of being in private with one of
her black slaves, and questioned her concerning her mistress. "My
lord," replied she, "the history of my mistress is wonderful; but
I dare not relate it, lest she should put me to death." Upon
this, I assured her, that if she would inform me, no one should
know it but myself, and I took an oath of secrecy, when she began
as follows:

"My mistress one day went to a public bath, intending to amuse
herself, for which purpose she made such preparations of
delicacies and rarities, as were worth a camel's load of
treasure, and when she left the hummaum, made an excursion to a
garden, where a splendid collation was laid out. Here she
continued enjoying herself till evening, when she ordered her
retinue to make ready for departure, and the fragments of the
entertainment to be distributed among the poor. On her return,
she passed through the street in which is your warehouse. It was
upon a Friday, when you were sitting in conversation with a
friend, arrayed in your best attire. She beheld you, her heart
was stricken with love, but no one perceived her emotion.
However, she had no sooner reached her palace than she became low
and melancholy, and her appetite failed her. At length she took
to her bed, her colour left her, sleep forsook her, and she
became very weak. Upon this her mother went to call in a
physician, that he might consider what might be the cause of her
daughter's indisposition; but on the way she met a skilful old
lady, with whom she returned home.

"The old lady on feeling the pulse of her patient, and after
asking several questions, could perceive in her no bodily ailment
or pain; upon which she judged she was in love, but did not
venture to speak to her before her mother of her suspicions. She
took leave, and said, By God's blessing thou wilt soon recover;
I will return tomorrow, and bring with me an infallible
medicine.' She then took her mother aside, and said, My good
lady, be not angry at what I shall remark, but thy daughter has
no bodily disorder; she is in love, and there can be no cure for
her but by a union with her beloved.' The mother, on the
departure of the old lady, repaired to her daughter, and with
much difficulty, after twenty days of denial (for my mistress's
modesty was hurt), obtained from her a description of your
person, and the street in which you lived; upon which she behaved
to you in the manner you are well acquainted with, brought you
here, and you know what followed. Such is her history," concluded
the black slave, "which you must not reveal." "I will not,"
replied I; and after this I continued to live very happily with
my wife, going daily to see my mother, to attend in my warehouse,
and return in the evening, conducted as usual by the old lady my
mother-in-law.

One day, after the expiration of some months, as I was sitting in
my warehouse, a damsel came into the street with the image of a
cock, composed of jewelry. It was set with pearls, diamonds, and
other precious stones, and she offered it to the merchants for
sale; when they began bidding for it at five hundred deenars, and
went to nine hundred and fifty; all which I observed in silence
and did not interfere by speaking or bidding. At length the
damsel came up to me, and said, "My lord, all the merchants have
increased in bidding for my precious toy, but you have neither
bidden, nor taken any notice of me." "I have no occasion for it,"
replied I. "Nay," exclaimed she, "but you must bid something
more." "Since I must," I answered, "I will give fifty deenars
more, which will be just a thousand." She accepted the price, and
I went into my warehouse to fetch the money to pay her, saying to
myself, "I will present this curiosity to my wife, as it may
please her." When I was going to pay the money, the damsel would
not take it, but said, "My lord, I have a request to make, which
is, that I may snatch one kiss from your cheek as the price of my
jewelry, for I want nothing else." Upon this, I thought to
myself, a single kiss of my cheek is an easy price for the value
of a thousand deenars, and consented; when she came up to me and
gave me a kiss, but at the same time a most severe bite; left the
piece of jewelry, and went away with the greatest haste.

In the evening I repaired to the house of my wife, and found the
old lady waiting as usual at the accustomed spot. She tied the
handkerchief over my eyes, and when she had conducted me home,
took it off. I found my wife sitting upon her golden stool, but
dressed in scarlet, and with an angry countenance; upon which I
said to myself, "God grant all may be well." I approached her,
took out the toy set with diamonds and rubies (thinking that on
sight of it her ill-humour would vanish), and said, "My mistress,
accept this, for it is curious, and I purchased it for thee." She
took it into her hand, and examined it on all sides; after which
she exclaimed, "Didst thou really purchase this on my account?"
"By heavens," replied I, "I bought it for thy sake, for a
thousand deenars." Upon this she frowned angrily upon me, and
exclaimed, "What means that wound upon thy cheek?" I was
overwhelmed with confusion.

While I was in this state, she called out to her attendants, who
immediately descended the staircase, carrying the headless corpse
of a young girl, the head placed upon the middle of the body. I
looked, and knew it to be the head of the damsel who had sold me
the piece of jewelry for a kiss, and had bitten my cheek. My wife
now exclaimed, "I had no occasion for such baubles, for I have
many of them; but I wished to know if thou wert so faithful to
thy agreement with me, as not to address another woman than
myself, and sent the girl to try thee. Since thy promise has been
broken, begone, and return no more."

When my wife had finished her speech, the old woman took me by
the hand, tied the handkerchief over my eyes, and conducted me to
the usual spot, when she said, "Begone!" and disappeared. I was
so overcome by the sad adventure, and the loss of my wife, that I
ran through the streets like one frantic, crying, "Ah, what
beauty, what grace, what elegance did she possess!" upon which,
the people, supposing me distracted, conducted me to this
hospital, and bound me in fetters, as you see.

When the sultan had heard the young man's story, he was much
affected, inclined his head for some instants in deep thought,
then said to his vizier, "By Allah, who has intrusted me with
sovereignty, if thou dost not discover the lady who married this
young man, thy head shall be forfeited." The vizier was alarmed,
but recovering himself, replied, "Allow me three days to search,"
to which the sultan consented. The vizier then took with him the
young man, and for two days was at a loss how to find out the
house. At length he inquired if he should know the spot where the
handkerchief was tied over his eyes, and the gateway at which it
was taken off, of both which the youth professed to be certain.
He conducted the minister to the street where he was blindfolded,
and they reached a gateway, at which the vizier knocked. It was
opened by the domestics, who knowing the vizier, and seeing the
young man with him, were alarmed, and ran to communicate the
quality of the visitants to their mistress. She desired to know
the commands of the vizier, who informed her, that it was the
sultan's pleasure she should be reconciled to her husband; to
which she replied, "Since the sultan hath commanded, my duty is
obedience." The young man was reunited to his wife, who was the
daughter of a former sultan of Cairo.

Such were the adventures of the young man who was reading in the
hospital. We now recite those of the youth who was listening to
him. Upon the sultan's inquiring his story, he began as follows.





Story of the Second Lunatic.



My lord, I was by profession a merchant, and on my commencing
business the youngest of my trade, having but just entered my
sixteenth year. As I was one day busy in my warehouse, a damsel
entering, put into my hands a packet, which, on opening, I found
to contain several copies of verses in praise of myself, with a
letter expressive of ardent affection for my person. Supposing
them meant only as banter, I foolishly flew into a passion,
seized the bearer, and beat her severely. On her departure, I
reflected on my improper behaviour, dreaded lest she should
complain to her relations, and that they might revenge themselves
upon me by some sudden assault. I repented of what I had done,
but alas! it was when repentance would not avail.

Ten days had passed, when, as I was sitting in my warehouse as
usual, a young lady entered most superbly dressed, and
odoriferously perfumed. She resembled in brightness the moon on
its fourteenth night, so that when I gazed upon her my senses
forsook me, and I was incapable of attention to any thing but
herself. She addressed me, saying, "Young man, have you in your
warehouse any female ornaments?" to which I replied, "Of all
sorts, my lady, that you can possibly require." Upon this she
desired to see some bracelets for the ankles, which I shewed her,
when holding out her foot, she desired me to try them on. I did
so. After this, she asked for a necklace, and opening her veil,
made me tie it on. She then chose a pair of bracelets, and
extending her hands, desired me to put them on her wrists, which
I did; after which, she inquired the amount of the whole, when I
exclaimed, "Fair lady, accept them as a present, and inform me
whose daughter thou art." She replied, "I am the daughter of the
chief magistrate;" when I said, "My wish is to demand thee in
marriage of thy father." She consented that I should, but
observed, "When you ask me of my father, he will say, I have only
one daughter, who is a cripple, and wretchedly deformed. Do thou,
however, reply, that thou art willing to accept her, and if he
remonstrates, still insist upon wedding her." I then asked when I
should make my proposals. She replied, "The best time to visit my
father is on the Eed al Koorbaun, which is three days hence, as
thou wilt then find with him all his relations and friends, and
our espousals will add to his festivity."

Agreeably to the lady's instructions, on the third day following
I repaired with several of my friends to the house of the chief
magistrate, and found him sitting in state, receiving the
compliments of the day from the chief inhabitants of the city. We
made our obeisance, which he graciously noticed, received us with
kindness, and entered familiarly into conversation. A collation
was brought in, the cloth spread, and we partook with him of the
viands, after which we drank coffee. I then stood up, saying, "My
lord, I am desirous of espousing the chaste lady your daughter,
more precious than the richest gem."

When the chief magistrate heard my speech, he inclined his head
for some time towards the earth in deep thought, after which he
said, "Son, my daughter is an unfortunate cripple, miserably
deformed." To this I replied, "To have her for my wife is all I
wish." The magistrate then said, "If thou wilt have a wife of
this description, it must be on condition that she shall not be
taken from my house, that thou shalt consummate the marriage
here, and abide with me." I replied, "To hear is to obey;"
believing that she was the beautiful damsel who had visited my
warehouse, and whose charms I had so rapturously beheld. In
short, the nuptial ceremony was performed, when I said to myself,
"Heavens! is it possible that I am become master of this
beautiful damsel, and shall possess her charms!"

When night set in, the domestics of the chief magistrate
introduced me into the chamber of my bride. I ran eagerly to gaze
upon her beauty, but guess my mortification when I beheld her a
wretched dwarf, a cripple, and deformed, as her father had
represented. I was overcome with horror at the sight of her,
distracted with disappointment, and ashamed of my own foolish
credulity, but I dared not complain, as I had voluntarily
accepted her as my wife from the magistrate: I sat down silently
in one corner of the chamber, and she in another, for I could not
bring myself to approach her, as she was disgusting to the sight
of man, and my soul could not endure her company.

At day-break I left the house of my father-in-law, repaired to my
warehouse, which I opened, and sat down much distressed in mind,
with my head dizzy, like one suffering from intoxication, when
lo! who should appear before me but the lady who had put upon me
so mortifying a trick. She entered, and paid me the customary
salute. I was enraged, and began to abuse her, saying, "Wherefore
hast thou put upon me such a stratagem?" when she replied,
"Wretch, recollect the day that I brought thee a packet, in
return for which you seized, beat, reviled, and drove me
scornfully away. In retaliation for such treatment, I have taken
revenge by giving thee such a delectable bride." I now fell at
her feet, entreated her forgiveness, and expressed my repentance;
upon which, smiling upon me, she said, "Be not uneasy, for as I
have plunged thee into a dilemma, I will also relieve thee from
it. Go to the aga of the leather-dressers, give him a sum of
money, and desire him to call thee his son; then repair with him,
attended by his followers and musicians, to the house of the
chief magistrate. When he inquires the cause of their coming, let
the aga say,  My lord, we are come to congratulate thy son-in-
law, who is my beloved child, on his marriage with thy daughter,
and to rejoice with him.' The magistrate will be furiously
enraged, and exclaim, Dog, is it possible that, being a leather-
dresser, thou durst marry the daughter of the chief magistrate?'
Do thou then reply, My lord, my ambition was to be ennobled by
your alliance, and as I have married your lordship's daughter,
the mean appellation of leather-dresser will soon be forgotten
and lost in the glorious title of the son-in-law of your
lordship; I shall be promoted under your protection, and purified
from the odour of the tan-pit, so that my offspring will smell as
sweet as that of a syed."

I did as the lady had directed me, and having bribed the chief of
the leather-dressers, he accompanied me with the body of his
trade, and a numerous party of musicians, vocal and instrumental,
to my father-in-law's house, before which they began to sing and
dance with great clamour every now and then crying out, "Long
live our noble kinsman! Long live the son-in-law of the chief
magistrate!" The magistrate inquired into the cause of our
intrusive rejoicing, when I told him my kinsfolk were
congratulating me upon my alliance with his illustrious house,
and come to thank him for the honour he had done the whole body
of leather-dressers in my person. The chief magistrate on hearing
this was passionately enraged, and abused me; but reflecting that
without my consent the supposed disgrace of his noble house could
not be done away, he became calm, and offered me money to divorce
his daughter. At first I pretended unwillingness, but at length
affecting to be moved by his earnest entreaties, accepted forty
purses of gold, which he gave me to repudiate my deformed wife,
and I returned home with a lightened heart. The day following,
the lady came to my warehouse, when I thanked her for having
freed me from my ridiculous marriage, and begged her to accept of
me as a husband. To this she consented, but said she was, she
feared, too meanly born for me to marry, as her father was but a
cook, though of eminence in his way, and very rich. I replied,
"Even though he were a leather-dresser, thy charms would grace a
throne." In short, my lord, we were married, and have lived
together very happily from the day of our union to the present
time.



Such is my story, but it is not so surprising as that of the
learned man and his pupil, whose adventures were among the
miracles of the age, which I will relate.





 Story of the retired Sage and his Pupil, related to the Sultan
                     by the Second Lunatic,



There was a learned and devout sage, who in order to enjoy his
studies and contemplations uninterrupted, had secluded himself
from the world in one of the cells of the principal mosque of the
city, which he never left but upon the most pressing occasions.
He had led this retired life some years, when a boy one day
entered his cell, and earnestly begged to be received as his
pupil and domestic. The sage liked his appearance, consented to
his request, inquired who were his parents, and whence he came;
but the lad could not inform him, and said, "Ask not who I am,
for I am an orphan, and know not whether I belong to heaven or
earth." The shekh did not press him, and the boy served him with
the most undeviating punctuality and attention for twelve years,
during which he received his instructions in every branch of
learning, and became a most accomplished youth. At the end of the
twelve years, the youth one day heard some young men praising the
beauty of the sultan's daughter, and saying that her charms were
unequalled by those of all the princesses of the age. This
discourse excited his curiosity to behold so lovely a creature.
He repaired to his master, saying, "My lord, I understand that
the sultan hath a most beautiful daughter, and my soul longs
ardently for an opportunity of beholding her, if only for an
instant." The sage exclaimed, "What have such as we to do, my
son, with the daughters of sovereigns or of others? We are a
secluded order, and should refrain ourselves from associating
with the great ones of this world." The old man continued to warn
his pupil against the vanities of the age, and to divert him from
his purpose; but the more he advised and remonstrated, the more
intent the youth became on his object, which affected his mind so
much, that he grew very uneasy, and was continually weeping.

The sage observing his distress was afflicted at it, and at
length said to the youth, "Will one look at the princess satisfy
thy wishes?" "It shall," replied the pupil. The sage then
anointed one of his eyes with a sort of ointment; when lo! he
became to appearance as a man divided into half, and the sage
ordered him to go and hop about the city. The youth obeyed his
commands, but he had no sooner got into the street than he was
surrounded by a crowd of passengers, who gazed with astonishment
at his appearance. The report of so strange a phenomenon as a
half man soon spread throughout the city, and reached the palace
of the sultan, who sent for the supposed monster to the presence.
The youth was conveyed to the palace, where the whole court gazed
upon him with wonder; after which he was taken into the haram, to
gratify the curiosity of the women. He beheld the princess, and
was fascinated by the brilliancy of her charms, insomuch, that he
said to himself, "If I cannot wed her, I will put myself to
death."

The youth being at length dismissed from the palace, returned
home; his heart tortured with love for the daughter of the
sultan. On his arrival, the sage inquired if he had seen the
princess. "I have," replied the youth, "but one look is not
enough, and I cannot rest until I shall sit beside her, and feast
my eyes till they are wearied with gazing upon her." "Alas! my
son," exclaimed the old man, "I fear for thy safety: we are
religious men, and should avoid temptations; nor does it become
us to have any thing to do with the sultan." To this the youth
replied, "My lord, unless I shall sit beside her, and touch her
neck with my hands, I shall, through despair, put myself to
death."

At these words, the sage was alarmed for the safety of his pupil,
and said to himself, "I will, if possible, preserve this amiable
youth, and perchance Allah may gratify his wishes." He then
anointed both his eyes with an ointment, which had the effect of
rendering him invisible to human sight. After this, he said, "Go,
my son, and gratify thy wishes, but return again, and be not too
long absent from thy duty."

The youth hastened towards the royal palace, which he entered
unperceived, and proceeded into the haram, where he seated
himself near the daughter of the sultan. For some time he
contented himself with gazing on her beauty, but at length
extending his hands, touched her softly on the neck. As soon as
she felt his touch, the princess, alarmed, shrieked out
violently, and exclaimed, "I seek refuge with Allah, from Satan
the accursed." Her mother and the ladies present, affrighted at
her outcries, eagerly inquired the cause; when she said, "Eblees,
or some other evil spirit, hath this instant touched me on the
neck."

Upon this, the mother was alarmed and sent for her nurse, who,
when informed of what had happened, declared, "That nothing was
so specific to drive away evil spirits as the smoke of camel's
hair;" a quantity of which was instantly brought, and being set
fire to, the smoke of it filled the whole apartment, and so
affected the eyes of the young man, that they watered
exceedingly, when he unthinkingly wiped them with his
handkerchief, so that with his tears the ointment was soon washed
off.

The ointment was no sooner wiped away from his eyes than the
young man became visible, and the princess, her mother, and the
ladies, all at once uttered a general cry of astonishment and
alarm; upon which the eunuchs rushed into the apartment. Seeing
the youth, they surrounded him, beat him unmercifully, then bound
him with cords, and dragged him before the sultan, whom they
informed of his having been found in the royal haram. The sultan,
enraged, sent for an executioner, and commanded him to seize the
culprit, to clothe him in a black habit patched over with flame
colour, to mount him upon a camel, and after parading with him
through the streets of the city, to put him to death.

The executioner took the young man, dressed him as he had been
directed, placed him upon the camel, and led him through the
city, preceded by guards and a crier, who bawled out, "Behold the
merited punishment of him who has dared to violate the sanctuary
of the royal haram." The procession was followed by an
incalculable crowd of people, who were astonished at the beauty
of the young man, and the little concern he seemed to feel at his
own situation.

At length the procession arrived in the square before the great
mosque, when the sage, disturbed by the noise and concourse of
the people, looked from the window of his cell, and beheld the
disgraceful situation of his pupil. He was moved to pity, and
instantly calling upon the genii (for by his knowledge of magic
and every abstruse science he had them all under his control),
commanded them to bring him the youth from the camel, and place
in his room, without being perceived, some superannuated man.
They did so, and when the multitude saw the youth, as it were,
transformed into a well-known venerable shekh, they were stricken
with awe, and said, "Heavens! the young man turns out to be our
reverend chief of the herb-sellers;" for the old man had long
been accustomed to dispose of greens and sugarcane at the college
gate near the great mosque, and was the oldest in his trade.

The executioner, on beholding the change of appearance in his
prisoner, was confounded. He returned to the palace with the old
man upon the camel, and followed by the crowd. He hastened or
contrive my death." to the sultan, and said, "My lord, the young
man is vanished, and in his room became seated upon the camel
this venerable shekh, well known to the whole city." On hearing
this, the sultan was alarmed, and said to himself, "Whoever has
been able to perform this, can do things much more surprising He
may depose me from my kingdom,

The sultan's fears increased so much, that he was at a loss how
to act. He summoned his vizier, and said, "Advise me what to do
in the affair of this strange youth, for I am utterly
confounded." The vizier for some time inclined his head towards
the ground in profound thought, then addressing the sultan, said,
"My lord, no one could have done this but by the help of genii,
or by a power which we cannot comprehend, and he may possibly, if
irritated, do you in future a greater injury respecting your
daughter. I advise, therefore, that you cause it to be proclaimed
throughout the city, that whoever has done this, if he will
appear before you shall have pardon on the word of a sultan,
which can never be broken. Should he then surrender himself,
espouse him to your daughter, when perhaps his mind may be
reconciled by her love. He has already beheld her, and seen the
ladies of the haram, so that nothing can save your honour but his
union with the princess."

The sultan approved the advice of his vizer, the proclamation was
issued, and the crier proceeded through several streets, till at
length he reached the square of the great mosque. The pupil
hearing the proclamation, was enraptured, and running to his
patron, declared his intention of surrendering himself to the
sultan. "My son," said the sage, "why shouldst thou do so? Hast
thou not already suffered sufficiently?" The youth replied,
"Nothing shall prevent me." Upon which the sage exclaimed, "Go
then, my son, and my midnight prayers shall attend thee."

The youth now repaired to the hummaum, and having bathed, dressed
himself in his richest habit; after which he discovered himself
to the crier, who conducted him to the palace. He made a profound
obeisance to the sultan, at the same time uttering an eloquent
prayer for his long life and prosperity. The sultan was struck
with his manly beauty, the gracefulness of his demeanour, and the
propriety of his delivery, and said, "Young stranger, who art
thou, and from whence dost thou come?" "I am," replied the youth,
"the half man whom you saw, and have done what you are already
acquainted with."

The sultan now requested him to sit in the most honourable place,
and entered into conversation on various subjects. He put to him
several difficult questions in science, to which the youth
replied with such judgment, that his abilities astonished him,
and he said to himself, "This young man is truly worthy of my
daughter." He then addressed him, saying, "Young man, my wish is
to unite thee to my daughter, for thou hast already seen her,
also her mother, and after what has passed no one will marry
her." The youth replied, "I am ready in obedience, but must
advise with my friends." "Go then," said the sultan, "consult
with thy friends, and return quickly."

The young man repaired to the sage, and having informed him of
what had passed between himself and the sultan, signified his
wish to marry the princess, when the shekh replied, "Do so, my
son; there can be in the measure no crime, as it is a lawful
alliance." "But I wish," said the youth, "to invite the sultan to
visit you." "By all means," answered the sage. "My lord,"
rejoined the pupil, "since I first came, and you honoured me in
your service, I have beheld you in no other residence but this
confined cell, from which you have never stirred night or day.
How can I invite the sultan here?" "My son," exclaimed the shekh,
"go to the sultan, rely upon Allah, who can work miracles in
favour of whom he chooseth, and say unto him, My patron greets
thee, and requests thy company to an entertainment five days
hence.' "The youth did as he was directed, and having returned to
his master, waited upon him as before, but anxiously wishing for
the fifth day to arrive.

On the fifth day, the sage said to his impatient pupil, "Let us
remove to our own house, that we may prepare for the reception of
the sultan, whom you must conduct to me." They arose, and walked,
till on coming to a ruinous building about the middle of the
city, the walls of which were fallen in heaps, the shekh said,
"My son, this is my mansion, hasten and bring the sultan." The
pupil, in astonishment, exclaimed, "My lord, this abode is a heap
of ruins, how can I invite the sultan here, it would only
disgrace us?" "Go," repeated the sage, "and dread not the
consequences." Upon this the youth departed, but as he went on
could not help saying to himself, "Surely my master must be
insane, or means to make a jest of us." When he had reached the
palace he found the sultan expecting him; upon which he made his
obeisance, and said, "Will my lord honour me by his company?"

The sultan arose, mounted his horse, and attended by his whole
court, followed the youth to the place chosen by the venerable
shekh. It now appeared a royal mansion, at the gates of which
were ranged numerous attendants in costly habits, respectfully
waiting. The young man, at sight of this transformed appearance,
was confounded in such a manner that he could hardly retain his
senses. He said to himself, "It was but this instant that I
beheld this place a heap of ruins, yet now it is a palace far
more magnificent than any belonging to this sultan. I am
astonished, but must keep the secret to myself."

The sultan alighted, as did also his courtiers, and entered the
palace. They were surprised and delighted at the splendour of the
first court, but much more so at the superior magnificence of a
second; into which they were ushered, and introduced into a
spacious hall, where they found the venerable shekh sitting to
receive them. The sultan made a low obeisance; upon which the
sage just moved his head, but did not rise. The sultan then sat
down, when the shekh greeted him, and they entered into
conversation on various subjects; but the senses of the sultan
were confounded at the dignified demeanour of his host, and the
splendid objects around him. At length the shekh desired his
pupil to knock at a door and order breakfast to be brought in,
which he did: when lo! the door opened, and there entered a
hundred slaves, bearing upon their heads golden trays, on which
were placed dishes of agate, cornelian, and other stones, filled
with various eatables, which they arranged in order before the
sultan. He was astonished, for he had nothing so magnificent in
his own possession. He then partook of the sumptuous collation,
as did also the venerable shekh, and all the courtiers, till they
were satisfied; after which they drank coffee and sherbets of
various sorts, when the sultan and the sage conversed on
religious and literary subjects, and the former was edified by
the remarks of the latter.

When it was noon the shekh again desired his pupil to knock at
another door, and order dinner to be brought in. He had no sooner
done so, than immediately a hundred slaves, different from the
former, entered, bearing trays of the richest viands. They spread
the cloth before the sultan, and arranged the dishes, which were
each thickly set with precious stones, at which he was more
astonished than before. When all had eaten till they were
satisfied, basins and ewers, some of gold and others of agate,
were carried round, and they washed their hands; after which the
shekh said to the sultan, "Have you fixed what my son must give
as the dower of your daughter?" To this, the sultan replied, "I
have already received it." This he said out of compliment; but
the shekh replied, "My lord, the marriage cannot be valid without
a dower." He then presented a vast sum of money, with many
jewels, for the purpose to his pupil; after which he retired with
the sultan into a chamber, and arrayed him in a splendid habit;
rich dresses were also given to each of his attendants according
to their rank. The sultan then took leave of the shekh, and
returned with his intended son-in-law to the palace.

When evening arrived the young man was introduced into the
apartment of the princess, which he found spread with the richest
carpets, and perfumed with costly essences, but his bride was
absent: at which he was somewhat surprised, but supposed her
coming was put off till midnight, for which he waited with
impatience. Midnight came, but no bride appeared; when a thousand
uneasy sensations afflicted his mind, and he continued in
restless anxiety till morning: nor were the father and mother of
the princess less impatient; for supposing she was with her
husband, they waited anxiously, and were mortified at the delay.

At daylight, the mother, unable to bear longer suspense, entered
the chamber; when the young man, rather angrily, inquired what
had delayed the coming of his bride. "She entered before thee,"
replied the mother. "I have not seen her," answered the
bridegroom. Upon this the sultana shrieked with affright, calling
aloud on her daughter, for she had no other child but her. Her
cries alarmed the sultan, who rushing into the apartment, was
informed that the princess was missing, and had not been seen
since her entrance in the evening. Search was now made in every
quarter of the palace, but in vain; and the sultan, sultana, and
the bridegroom, were involved in the deepest distress.

To account for the sudden disappearance of the princess, be it
known, that a genie used often to divert himself with visiting
the haram of the sultan; and happening to be there on the
marriage night, was so captivated by the charms of the bride,
that he resolved to steal her away. Accordingly, having rendered
himself invisible, he waited in the nuptial chamber, and upon her
entering bore her off, and soared into the air. At length he
alighted with his prey in a delightful garden, far distant from
the city; placed the princess in a shady arbour, and set before
her delicious fruits; but contented himself with gazing upon her
beauty.

The young bridegroom, when recovered from his first alarm,
bethought himself of his tutor, and, together with the sultan,
repaired to the palace where the splendid entertainment had been
given. Here they found every thing in the same order as on the
day of festivity, and were kindly received by the venerable
shekh; who on hearing of the loss of the princess, desired them
to be comforted. He then commanded a chafing-dish of lighted
charcoal to be set before him, and after some moments of
contemplation, cast into it some perfumes, over which he
pronounced incantations. He had scarcely ended them, when lo! the
earth shook, whirlwinds arose, lightnings flashed, and clouds of
dust darkened the air, from which speedily descended winged
troops, bearing superb standards and massive spears. In the
centre of them appeared three sultans of the genii, who bowing
low before the shekh, exclaimed all at once, "Master, hail! we
are come to obey thy commands."

The shekh now addressed them, saying, "My orders are, that you
instantly bring me the accursed spirit who hath carried off the
bride of my son;" when the genii replied, "To hear is to obey:"
and immediately detached fifty of their followers to reconduct
the princess to her chamber, and drag the culprit to the presence
of the sage. These commands were no sooner issued than they were
performed. Ten of the genii carefully conveyed the bride to her
apartment, while the rest having seized the offending genie,
dragged him before the sage, who commanded the three sultans to
burn him to ashes, which was executed in an instant. All this was
done in the presence of the sultan, who was wrapt in
astonishment, and viewed with awe the tremendously gigantic
figures of the genii, wondering at the submissive readiness with
which they obeyed the commands of the venerable shekh. When the
offending genie was consumed to ashes, the shekh renewed his
incantations; during which the sultans of the genii, with their
followers, bowed themselves before him, and when he had ended,
vanished from sight.

The sultan and the bridegroom having taken leave of the shekh,
returned to the palace, where all was now gladness for the safe
return of the princess. The marriage was consummated, and the
young man was so happy with his bride, that he did not quit the
haram for seven days. On the eighth, the sultan ordered public
rejoicings to be made, and invited all the inhabitants of the
city to feast at the royal cost; causing it to be proclaimed,
that no one, either rich or poor, should for three days presume
to eat at home, light a fire, or burn a lamp in his own house,
but all repair to the nuptial festival of the daughter of the
sultan. Ample provision was made for all comers in the courts of
the palace, and the officers of the household attended day and
night to serve the guests according to their quality. During one
of the nights of this grand festival, the sultan being anxious to
know if his proclamation was generally obeyed, resolved to walk
through the city in disguise. Accordingly he and his vizier, in
the habit of dervishes of Persia, having quitted the palace
privately, began their excursion, and narrowly examined several
streets. At length they came to a close alley, in one of the
houses of which they perceived a light, and heard the sound of
voices. When they had reached the door, they heard a person say
to another, "Our sultan understands not how to treat properly,
nor is he liberal, since the poor have it not in their option to
partake of the costly feast he has prepared for his daughter's
nuptials. He should have distributed his bounty among the
wretched, who dare not presume to enter the palace in their
ragged garments, by sending it to their home."

The sultan, upon hearing this, said to the vizier, "We must enter
this house;" and knocked at the door, when a person cried out,
"Who is there?" "Guests," replied the sultan. "You shall be
welcome to what we have," answered the person, and opened the
door. On entering, the sultan beheld three mean-looking old men,
one of whom was lame, the second broken-backed, and the third
wry-mouthed. He then inquired the cause of their misfortunes; to
which they answered, "Our infirmities proceeded from the weakness
of our understandings." The sultan upon this replied in a whisper
to his vizier, that at the conclusion of the festival he should
bring the three men to his presence, in order that he might learn
their adventures.

When they had tasted of their homely fare, the sultan and vizier
rose up, and having presented the three maimed companions with a
few deenars, took leave and departed. They strolled onwards. It
was now near midnight when they reached a house in which, through
a lattice, they could perceive three girls with their mother
eating a slender meal; during which, at intervals, one of them
sung, and the other two laughed and talked. The sultan resolved
to enter the house, and commanded the vizier to knock at the
door, which he did; when one of the sisters cried out, "Who
knocks at our door at this advanced time of night?" "We are two
foreign dervishes," replied the vizier; to which the ladies
answered, "We are women of virtue, and have no men in our house
to whom you can be introduced: repair to the festival of the
sultan, who will entertain you!" "Alas!" continued the vizier,
"we are strangers unacquainted with the way to the palace, and
dread lest the magistrate of the police should meet and apprehend
us. We beg that you will afford us lodging till daylight: we will
then depart, and you need not apprehend from us any improper
behaviour."

When the mother of the ladies heard this she pitied the
strangers, and commanded them to open the door: upon which the
sultan and vizier having entered, paid their respects and sat
down; but the former, on observing the beauty of the sisters and
their elegant demeanour, could not contain himself, and said,
"How comes it that you dwell by yourselves, have no husbands or
any male to protect you?" The younger sister replied,
"Impertinent dervish, withhold thy inquiries! our story is
surprising; but unless thou wert sultan, and thy companion
vizier, you could not appreciate our adventures." The sultan upon
this remark became silent on the subject, and they discoursed
upon indifferent matters till near daylight, when the pretended
dervishes took a respectful leave, and departed. At the door the
sultan commanded the vizier to mark it, so that he might know it
again, being resolved, when the nuptial festivities should be
concluded, to send for the ladies and hear their story.

On the last evening of the festival the sultan bestowed dresses
of honour on all his courtiers; and on the following day, affairs
returning to their usual course, he commanded his vizier to bring
before him the three maimed men, and ordered them to relate the
cause of their misfortunes, which they did as follows.





Story of the Broken-backed Schoolmaster.



Formerly, O mighty sultan, was a schoolmaster, and had under my
tuition nearly seventy scholars, of whose manners I was as
careful as of their learning: so much did I make them respect me,
that whenever I sneezed they laid down their writing boards,
stood up with arms crossed, and with one voice exclaimed, "God
have mercy upon our tutor!" to which I replied, "May he have
mercy upon me and you, and all who have children." If any one of
the boys did not join in this prayer, I used to beat him
severely. One fine afternoon my scholars requested leave to visit
a certain garden some distance from the town, which I granted;
and they clubbed their pittances to purchase sweetmeats and
fruits. I attended them on this excursion, and was as much
delighted as themselves with the pleasure they enjoyed, and their
childish gambols. When evening approached we returned homewards,
and on the way, my boys having fatigued themselves with play, as
well as eaten much sweets and fruit, were seized with extreme
thirst, of which they heavily complained. At length we reached a
draw-well, but, alas! it had no bucket or cord. I pitied their
situation, and resolved, if possible, to relieve them. I
requested them to give me their turbans, which I tied to each
other; but as they were altogether not long enough to reach the
water, I fixed one of the turbans round my body, and made them
let one down into the well, where I filled a small cup I had with
me, which they drew up repeatedly till their thirst was
satisfied. I then desired them to draw me up again, which they
attempted; and I had reached nearly the mouth of the well, when I
was unfortunately seized with a fit of sneezing; upon which the
boys mechanically, as they had been accustomed to do in school,
one and all let go their hold, crossed their arms, and exclaimed,
"God have mercy upon our venerable tutor!" while I tumbled at
once to the bottom of the well, and broke my back. I cried out
from the agony of pain, and the children ran on all sides for
help. At length some charitable passengers drew me out, and
placing me upon an ass, carried me home; where I languished for a
considerable time, and never could recover my health sufficiently
again to attend to my school. Thus did I suffer for my foolish
pride: for had I not been so tenacious of respect from my
scholars, they would not upon my sneezing have let go their hold
and broken my back.



When the broken-backed schoolmaster had finished his story, the
old man with the wry-mouth thus began:





Story of the Wry-mouthed Schoolmaster.



I also, O sultan, was a schoolmaster; and so strict with my
pupils, that I allowed them no indulgence, but even kept them to
their studies frequently after the usual hours. At length, one
more cunning than the rest resolved, in revenge, to play me a
trick. He instructed the lads as they came into school to say to
me, "Dear master, how pale you look!" Not feeling myself ill, I,
though surprised at their remarks, did not much regard them on
the first day; but a second, and so on to a fifth passing, on
each of which all the pupils on entrance uttered the same
exclamation, I began to think some fatal disorder had seized me,
and resolved, by way of prevention, to take physic. I did so the
following morning, and remained in my wife's apartments; upon
which the unlucky lads, clubbing their pittances together to the
amount of about a hundred faloose, requested my acceptance of the
money as an offering for my recovery; and I was so pleased with
the present that I gave them a holiday. The receipt of cash in so
easy a manner was so agreeable to me, that I feigned illness for
some days; my pupils made an offering as usual, and were allowed
to play. On the tenth day the cunning urchin who had planned the
scheme came into my chamber, as customary, with an offering of
faloose. I happened then to have before me a boiled egg, which,
upon seeing him enter, I clapped into my mouth, supposing, that
if he perceived me well enough to eat he might not give me the
money. He, however, observed the trick, and coming up to me with
affected condolence, exclaimed, "Dear master, how your cheeks are
swelled!" at the same time pressing his hands upon my face. The
egg was boiling hot, and gave me intolerable pain, while the
young wit pretended compassionately to stroke my visage. At
length, he pressed my jaws together so hard that the egg broke,
when the scalding yolk ran down my throat, and over my beard:
upon which the artful lad cried out in seeming joy, "God be
praised, my dear master, that the dreadful imposthume has
discharged itself; we, your pupils, will all return thanks for
your happy recovery." My mouth was contracted by the scald in the
manner you behold, and I became so ridiculed for my folly, that I
was obliged to shut up my school.



The sultan having heard the other man's story, which was of but
little interest, dismissed the three foolish schoolmasters with a
present, commanded the vizier to go and recognize the house of
the three ladies and their mother, it being his intention to
visit them again in disguise and hear their adventures. The
vizier hastened to the street, but to his surprise and
mortification found all the houses marked in the same manner, for
the youngest sister having overheard the sultan's instructions,
had done this to prevent a discovery of their residence. The
vizier returned to the sultan, and informed him of the trick
which had been played. He was much vexed, but the circumstance
excited his curiosity in a greater degree. At length the vizier
bethought himself of a stratagem, and said, "My lord, let a
proclamation be issued for four days successively throughout the
city, that whoever presumes after the first watch of the night to
have a lamp lighted in his house, shall have his head struck off,
his goods confiscated, his house razed to the ground, and his
women dishonoured. It is possible, as these ladies did not regard
your proclamation at the nuptials of the princess, they may
disobey this, and by that means we may discover their residence."

The sultan approved the contrivance of the vizier, caused the
proclamation to be made, and waited impatiently for the fourth
night, when he and his minister having disguised themselves as
before, proceeded to the street in which the ladies lived. A
light appeared only in one house, which it being now tolerably
certain was that they were in quest of, they knocked at the door.

Immediately on their knocking the youngest sister called out,
"Who is at the door?" and they replied, "We are dervishes, and
entreat to be your guests." She exclaimed, "What can you want at
such a late hour, and where did you lodge last night?" They
answered, "Our quarters are at a certain serai, but we have lost
our way, and are fearful of being apprehended by the officers of
police. Let your kindness then induce you to open the door, and
afford us shelter for the remainder of the night: it will be a
meritorious act in the eye of heaven." The mother overhearing
what was said, ordered the door to be opened.

When they were admitted, the old lady and her daughters rose up,
received them respectfully, and having seated them, placed
refreshments before them, of which they partook, and were
delighted with their treatment. At length the sultan said,
"Daughters, you cannot but know of the royal proclamation; how
comes it that you alone of all the inhabitants of the city have
disobeyed it by having lights in your house after the first watch
of the night?" Upon this the youngest sister replied, "Good
dervish, even the sultan should not be obeyed but in his
reasonable commands, and as this proclamation against lighting
our lamps is tyrannical, it ought not to be complied with,
consistently with the law of scripture; for the Koraun says,
Obedience to a creature in a criminal matter, is a sin against
the Creator.' The sultan (may God pardon him!) acts against
scripture, and obeys the dictates of Satan. We three sisters,
with our good mother, make it a rule to spin every night a
certain quantity of cotton, which in the morning we dispose of,
and of the price of our labour we lay out a part in provisions,
and the remainder in a new supply of materials for working to
procure us a subsistence."

The sultan now whispered to his vizier, saying, "This damsel
astonishes me by her answers; endeavour to think of some question
that may perplex her." "My lord," replied the vizier, "we are
here in the characters of strangers and dervishes as their
guests: how then can we presume to disturb them by improper
questions?" The sultan still insisted upon his addressing them:
upon which, the vizier said to the ladies, "Obedience to the
sultan's orders is incumbent upon all subjects." "It is true he
is our sovereign," exclaimed the youngest sister, "but how can he
know whether we are starving or in affluence?" "Suppose," replied
the vizier, "he should send for you to the presence, and question
you concerning your disobedience to his commands, what could you
advance in excuse for yourselves?" "I would say to the sultan,"
rejoined she, "Your majesty has acted in contradiction to the
divine law.'"

The vizier upon this turned towards the sultan, and said in a
whisper, "Let us leave off disputing further with this lady on
points of law or conscience, and inquire if she understands the
fine arts." The sultan put the question; upon which she replied,
"I am perfect in all:" and he then requested her to play and
sing. She retired immediately, but soon returning with a lute,
sat down, tuned it, and played in a plaintive strain, which she
accompanied with the following verses:

"It is praiseworthy in subjects to obey their sovereigns, but his
reign will continue long who gains their affections by kindness.
Be liberal in thy manners, and he who is dependent upon thee will
pray for thy life, for the free man alone can feel gratitude. To
him who confers gifts man will ever resort, for bounty is
fascinating. Sadden not with denial the countenance of the man of
genius, for the liberal mind is disgusted at stinginess and
haughty demeanour. Not a tenth part of mankind understand what is
right, for human nature is ignorant, rebellious, and ungrateful."

When the sultan had heard these verses, he remained for some time
immersed in thought; then whispering his vizier, said, "This
quotation was certainly meant in allusion to ourselves, and I am
convinced they must know that I am their sultan, and thou vizier,
for the whole tenor of their conversation shews their knowledge
of us." He then addressed the lady, saying, "Your music, your
performance, your voice, and the subject of your stanzas have
delighted me beyond expression." Upon this she sang the following
verse:

"Men endeavour to attain station and riches during an age of toil
and oppression, while, alas! their accounts to heaven and their
graves are decreed from their very birth."

The sultan, from the purport of these last verses, was more
assured than ever that she knew his quality. She did not leave
off singing and playing till day-light, when she retired, and
brought in a breakfast, of which the sultan and the vizier
partook; after which she said, "I hope you will return to us this
night at the conclusion of the first watch, and be our guests."
The sultan promised, and departed in admiration at the beauty of
the sisters, their accomplishments, and graceful manners; saying
to the vizier, "My soul is delighted with the charms of these
elegant women."

The following evening the sultan and vizier, disguised as usual,
repaired to the house of the sisters, taking with them some
purses of deenars, and were received with the same respectful
welcome. Being seated, supper was set before them, and after it
basins and ewers to wash their hands. Coffee was then served up,
and conversation on various subjects amused them till the prayer
time of the first watch; they then arose, performed their
ablutions, and prayed. When, their devotions were ended, the
sultan presented a purse of a thousand deenars to the youngest
sister, and said, "Expend this upon your necessary occasions."
She took the purse with a profound obeisance, kissed his hands,
and was convinced, as she had before suspected, that he must be
the sultan; at the same time hinting privately to her mother and
sisters the quality of their guests, and prostrating herself
before him.

The other ladies upon this arose, and followed the example of
their sister; when the sultan said aside to his vizier, "They
certainly know us:" and then turning to the ladies, addressed
them saying, "We are merely dervishes, and you pay us a respect
only due to sovereigns; I beseech you refrain." The youngest
sister again fell at his feet, and repeated the following verse:

"May prosperous fortune daily accompany thee in spite of the
malice of the envious! May thy days be bright and those of thy
enemies gloomy!"

"I am convinced thou art the sultan, and thy companion thy
vizier." The sultan replied, "What reason have you for such a
supposition?" She answered, "From your dignified demeanour and
liberal conduct, for the signs of royalty cannot be concealed
even in the habit of a recluse."

The sultan replied, "You have indeed judged truly, but inform me
how happens it, that you have with you no male protectors?" She
answered, "My lord the sultan, our history is so wonderful, that
were it written on a tablet of adamant it might serve as an
example in future ages to such as would be advised." The sultan
requested her to relate it, which she did in the following
manner.





Story of the Sisters and the Sultana their Mother.



We are not, my lord the sultan, natives of this city, but of
Eerauk, of which country our father was sovereign, and our mother
his sultana the most beautiful woman of her time, insomuch that
her fame was celebrated throughout distant regions. It chanced
that in our infancy our father the sultan marched upon a hunting
excursion throughout his dominions, for some months, leaving his
vizier to conduct affairs at the capital. Not long after the
departure of the sultan, our mother, taking the air on the roof
of the palace, which adjoined that of the vizier, who was then
sitting upon his terrace, her image was reflected in a mirror
which he held in his hand. He was fascinated with her beauty, and
resolved, if possible, to seduce her to infidelity and compliance
with his wishes.

The day following he sent the female superintendant of his haram
with a package, containing a most superb dress, and many
inestimable jewels, to the sultana, requesting her acceptance of
them, and that she would allow him to see her either at the
palace or at his own house. My mother, when the old woman was
admitted into her apartments, received her with kindness,
supposing that she must be intrusted with some confidential
message from the vizier respecting the affairs of her husband, or
with letters from him.

The old woman having paid her obeisance, opened the bundle, and
displayed the rich dress and dazzling jewels; when my mother,
admiring them much, inquired the value, and what merchant had
brought them to dispose of. The wretched old woman, supposing
that the virtue of the sultana would not be proof against such a
valuable present, impudently disclosed the passion of the vizier:
upon which my mother, indignant with rage at this insult offered
to her virtue and dignity, drew a sabre, which was near, and
exerting all her strength, struck off the head of the procuress,
which, with the body, she commanded her attendants to cast into
the common sewer of the palace.

The vizier finding his messenger did not return, the next day
despatched another, to signify that he had sent a present to the
sultana, but had not heard whether it had been delivered. My
mother commanded the infamous wretch to be strangled, and the
corpse to be thrown into the same place as that of the old woman,
but she did not make public the vizier's baseness, hoping that he
would reform. He, however, continued every day to send a female
domestic, and my mother to treat her in the same way as the
others till the sultan's return; but my mother, not wishing to
destroy the vizier, and still trusting that he would repent of
his conduct, for in other respects he was a faithful and prudent
minister, kept his treachery a secret from my father.

Some years after this, the sultan my father resolved on a
pilgrimage to Mecca, and having, as before, left the vizier in
charge of his kingdom, departed. When he had been gone ten days,
the vizier, still rapturously in love, and yet presumtuously
hoping to attain his wishes, sent a female domestic, who, being
admitted into the apartment of the sultana, said, "For Heaven's
sake have compassion on my master, for his heart is devoted to
love, his senses are disturbed, and his body is wasted away. Pity
his condition, revive his heart, and restore his health by the
smiles of condescension."

When my mother heard this insolent message, she in a rage
commanded her attendants to seize the unfortunate bearer, and
having strangled her, to leave the carcase for public view in the
outer court of the palace, but without divulging the cause of her
displeasure. Her orders were obeyed. When the officers of state
and others saw the body they informed the vizier, who, resolving
to be revenged, desired them for the present to be silent, and on
the sultan's return he would make known on what account the
sultana had put to death his domestic, of which they could bear
testimony.

When the time of the sultan's return from Mecca approached, and
the treacherous vizier judged he was on his march, he wrote and
despatched to him the following letter:

"After prayers for thy health, be it known, that since thy
absence the sultana has sent to me five times, requesting
improper compliances, to which I would not consent, and returned
for answer, that however she might wish to abuse my sovereign, I
could not do it, for I was left by him guardian of his honour and
his kingdom: to say more would be superfluous."

The messenger reached the sultan's camp when distant eight days'
journey from the city, and delivered the letter. On reading it
the countenance of my father became pale, his eyes rolled with
horror, he instantly ordered his tents to be struck, and moved by
forced marches till he arrived within two days' journey of his
capital. He then commanded a halting day, and despatched two
confidential attendants with orders to conduct our innocent and
unfortunate mother, with us three sisters, a day's distance from
the city, and then to put us to death. They accordingly dragged
us from the haram, and carried us into the country; but on
arriving at the spot intended for our execution, their hearts
were moved with compassion, for our mother had conferred many
obligations on these men and their families. They said one to
another, "By heavens, we cannot murder them!" and informed us of
what the vizier had written to our father: upon which the sultana
exclaimed, "God knows that he hath most falsely accused me;" and
she then related to them all that she had done, with the
strictest fidelity.

The men were moved even to tears at her misfortunes, and said,
"We are convinced that thou hast spoken truly." They then caught
some fawns of the antelope, killed them, and having required an
under garment from each of us, dipped it in the blood, after
which they broiled the flesh, with which we satisfied our hunger.
Our preservers now bade us farewell, saying, "We intrust you to
the protection of the Almighty, who never forsaketh those who are
committed to his care;" and then departed from us. We wandered
for ten days in the desert, living on such fruits as we could
find, without beholding any signs of population, when, at length,
fortunately we reached a verdant spot, abounding in various sorts
of excellent vegetables and fruits. Here also was a cave, in
which we resolved to shelter ourselves till a caravan might pass
by. On the fourth day of our arrival one encamped near our
asylum. We did not discover ourselves, but when the caravan
marched, speedily followed its track at some distance, and after
many days of painful exertion reached this city, where, having
taken up our lodging in a serai, we returned thanks to the
almighty assister of the distressed innocent for our miraculous
escape from death and the perils of the desert.



We must now quit for awhile the unfortunate sultana and her
daughters, to learn the adventures of the sultan her husband. As
he drew near his capital, the treacherous vizier, attended by the
officers of government and the principal inhabitants of the city,
came out to meet him; and both high and low congratulated his
safe return from the sacred pilgrimage.

The sultan, as soon as he had alighted at his palace, retired
with the vizier alone, and commanded him to relate the
particulars of the atrocious conduct of his wife; upon which he
said, "My lord, the sultana in your absence despatched to me a
slave, desiring me to visit her, but I would not, and I put the
slave to death that the secret might be hidden; hoping she might
repent of her weakness, but she did not, and repeated her wicked
invitation five times. On the fifth I was alarmed for your
honour, and acquainted you of her atrocious behaviour."

The sultan, on hearing the relation of the vizier, held down his
head for some time in profound thought, then lifting it up,
commanded the two attendants whom he had despatched with orders
to put his wife and children to death to be brought before him.
On their appearance, he said, "What have you done in execution of
the charge I gave you?" they replied, "We have performed that
which you commanded to be done, and as a testimony of our
fidelity, behold these garments dyed with the blood of the
offenders!" The sultan took the garments; but the recollection of
his beauteous consort, her former affectionate endearments, of
the happiness he had enjoyed with her, and of the innocence of
his guiltless children, so affected his mind, that he wept
bitterly and fainted away. On his recovery he turned to the
vizier, and said, "Is it possible thou canst have spoken the
truth?" He replied, "I have."

The sultan, after a long pause, again said to the two attendants,
"Have you really put to death my innocent children with their
guilty mother?" They remained silent. The sultan exclaimed, "Why
answer ye not, and wherefore are ye silent?" They replied, "My
lord, the honest man cannot support a lie, for lying is the
distinction of traitors." When the vizier heard these words his
colour changed, his whole frame was disordered, and a trembling
seized him, which the sultan perceiving, he said to the
attendants, "What mean you by remarking that lying is the
distinction of traitors? Is it possible that ye have not put them
to death? Declare the truth instantly, or by the God who hath
appointed me guardian of his people, I will have you executed
with the most excruciating torments."

The two men now fell at the feet of the sultan, and said, "Dread
sovereign, we conveyed, as thou commandest us, the unfortunate
sultana and thy daughters to the middle of the desert, when we
informed them of the accusation of the vizier and thy orders
concerning them. The sultana, after listening to us with
fortitude, exclaimed, There is no refuge or asylum but with the
Almighty; from God we came, and to God we must return; but if you
put us to death, you will do it wrongfully, for the treacherous
vizier hath accused me falsely, and he alone is guilty.' She then
informed us of his having endeavoured to corrupt her by rich
presents, and that she had put his messengers to death."

The sultan at these words exclaimed in agony, "Have ye slain
them, or do they yet live?" "My lord," replied the attendants,
"We were so convinced of the innocence of the sultana, that we
could not put her to death. We caught some fawn antelopes, killed
them, and having dipped these garments belonging to the abused
mother and your children in their blood, dressed the flesh, and
gave it to our unfortunate mistress and thy daughters, after
which we said to them, We leave you in charge of a gracious God
who never deserts his trust; your innocence will protect you.' We
then left them in the midst of the desert, and returned to the
city."

The sultan turned in fury towards the vizier, and exclaimed,
"Wretched traitor! and is it thus thou hast estranged from me my
beloved wife and innocent children?" The self-convicted minister
uttered not a word, but trembled like one afflicted with the
palsy. The sultan commanded instantly an enormous pile of wood to
be kindled, and the vizier, being bound hand and foot, was forced
into an engine, and cast from it into the fire, which rapidly
consumed him to ashes. His house was then razed to the ground,
his effefts left to the plunder of the populace, and the women of
his haram and his children sold for slaves.

We now return to the three princesses and their mother. When the
sultan had heard their adventures, he sympathized with their
misfortunes, and was astonished at the fortitude with which they
had borne their afflictions, saying to his vizier, "How sad has
been their lot! but blessed be Allah, who, as he separateth
friends, can, when he pleaseth, give them a joyful meeting." He
then caused the sultana and the princesses to be conveyed to his
palace, appointed them proper attendants and apartments suitable
to their rank, and despatched couriers to inform the sultan their
father of their safety. The messengers travelled with the
greatest expedition, and on their arrival at the capital, being
introduced, presented their despatches. The sultan opened them,
and began to read; but when he perceived the contents, was so
overcome with joy, that, uttering a loud exclamation of rapture,
he fell to the ground and fainted away. His attendants were
alarmed, lifted him up, and took means for his recovery. When he
was revived, he informed them of his sultana and daughters being
still alive, and ordered a vessel to be prepared to convey them
home.

The ship was soon ready, and being laden with every necessary for
the accommodation of his family, also rich presents for the
friendly sultan who had afforded them protection, sailed with a
favourable wind, and speedily arrived at the desired haven.

The commander of the vessel was welcomely received by the sultan,
who issued orders for his entertainment and that of his whole
crew at the royal cost, and at the expiration of three days the
sultana and her daughters, being anxious to return home after so
long an absence, and that so unfortunate, took leave and
embarked. The sultan made them valuable presents, and the wind
being fair they set sail. For three days the weather was
propitious, but on the evening of the last a contrary gale arose,
when they cast anchor, and lowered their topmasts. At length the
storm increased to such violence that the anchor parted, the
masts fell overboard, and the crew gave themselves over for lost.
The vessel was driven about at the mercy of the tempest till
midnight, all on board weeping and wailing, when at length she
struck upon the rocks, and went to pieces. Such of the crew whose
deaths were decreed perished, and those whose longer life was
predestined escaped to shore, some on planks, some on chests, and
some on the broken timbers of the ship, but all separated from
each other.

The sultana mother was tossed about till daylight on a plank,
when she was perceived by the commander of the vessel, who with
three of his crew had taken to the ship's boat. He took her in,
and after three days' rowing they reached a mountainous coast, on
which they landed, and advanced into the country. They had not
proceeded far when they perceived a great dust, which clearing
up, displayed an approaching army. To'their joyful surprise it
proved to be that of the sultan, who, after the departure of the
vessel, dreading lest an accident might happen, had marched in
hopes of reaching the city where they were before his wife and
daughters should sail, in order to conduct them home by land. It
is impossible to describe the meeting of the sultan and his
consort, but their joy was clouded by the absence of their
daughters, and the dreadful uncertainty of their fate. When the
first raptures of meeting were over, they wept together, and
exclaimed, "We are from God, and to God we must return." After
forty days' march they arrived at their capital, but continually
regretting the princesses, saying, "Alas, alas! most probably
they have been drowned, but even should they have escaped to
shore, perhaps they may have been separated; and ah! what
calamities may have befallen them!" Constantly did they bemoan
together in this manner, immersed in grief, and taking no
pleasure in the enjoyments of life.

The youngest princess, after struggling with the waves till
almost exhausted, was fortunately cast ashore on a pleasant
coast, where she found some excellent fruits and clear fresh
water. Being revived, she reposed herself awhile, and then walked
from the beach into the country; but she had not proceeded far,
when a young man on horseback with some dogs following him met
her, and upon hearing that she had just escaped shipwreck,
mounted her before him, and having conveyed her to his house,
committed her to the care of his mother. She received her with
compassionate kindness, and during a whole month assiduously
attended her, till by degrees she recovered her health and
beauty.

The young man was legal heir to the kingdom, but his succession
had been wrested from him by a usurper, who, however, dying soon
after the arrival of the princess, he was reinstated in his
rights and placed on the throne, when he offered her his hand;
but she said, "How can I think of marriage while I know not the
condition of my unfortunate family, or enjoy repose while my
mother and sisters are perhaps suffering misery? When I have
intelligence of their welfare I will be grateful to my
deliverer."

The young sultan was so much in love with the princess, that the
most distant hope gave him comfort, and he endeavoured to wait
patiently her pleasure; but the nobles of the country were
anxious to see him wedded, he being the last of his race, and
importuned him to marry. He promised to conform to their wishes,
but much time elapsing, they became importunate and discontented,
when his mother, dreading a rebellion, earnestly entreated the
princess to consent to a union as the only measure that could
prevent disturbances. The princess, who really loved her
preserver, was unwilling to endanger the safety of one to whom
she owed such important obligations, and at length consented,
when the marriage was celebrated with the greatest pomp and
rejoicings. At the expiration of three years the sultana was
delivered of two sons, whose birth added to the felicity of the
union.

The second princess, after being long driven about by the waves
upon a plank, was at length cast on shore near a large city,
which she entered, and was fortunately compassionated by a
venerable matron, who invited her to her house, and adopted her
as a daughter in the room of her own, who had lately died. Here
she soon recovered her health and beauty. It chanced that the
sultan of this city, who was much beloved for his gentle
government and liberality, was taken ill, and not withstanding
the skill of the most celebrated physicians, daily became worse,
insomuch that his life was despaired of, to the general grief of
the people. The princess having heard her venerable protectress
lament the danger of the sultan, said, "My dear mother, I will
prepare a dish of pottage, which, if you will carry to the
sultan, and he can be prevailed upon to eat it, will, by the
blessing of Allah, recover him from his disorder." "I fear,"
replied the matron, "I shall hardly be allowed admittance to the
palace, much less to present him the pottage." "You can but try,"
answered the princess;" and even the attempt at a good action is
acceptable to God." "Well,"rejoined the old woman,  "prepare your
pottage, my dear daughter, and I will endeavour to get
admission."

The princess prepared the dish of pottage, composed of various
minerals, herbs, and perfumes, and when it was ready the old
woman took it to the sultan's palace. The guards and eunuchs
inquired what she had brought, when she said, "A dish of pottage,
which I request you will present to the sultan, and beg him to
eat as much of it as he can, for by God's help it will restore
him to health." The eunuchs introduced her into the chamber of
their sick sovereign, when the old woman taking off the cover of
the dish, such a grateful perfume exhaled from the contents as
revived his spirits. Being informed what the venerable matron had
brought, he thanked her and tasted the pottage, which was so
agreeably flavoured that he ate part of it with an appetite to
which he had been long a stranger. He then presented the bearer
with a purse of deenars, when she returned home, informed the
princess of her welcome reception, and of the present she had
received.

The sultan had no sooner eaten part of the pottage than he felt
an inclination to repose, and sunk into a refreshing sleep, which
lasted for some hours. On his awakening he found himself
wonderfully revived, and having a desire afresh to eat, finished
the whole. He now wished for more, and inquired after the old
woman, but none of his attendants could inform him where she
lived. However, in the evening she brought another mess, which
the princess had prepared, and the sultan ate it with renewed
appetite; after which, though before quite helpless, he was now
able to sit up and even to walk. He inquired of the old woman if
it was her own preparation; to which she replied,"No, my lord,
but my daughter dressed it, and entreated me to bring it." The
sultan exclaimed, "She cannot be thy own daughter, as her skill
shews her of much higher quality." He then made her a present,
and requested that she would bring him every morning a fresh
supply, to which she said, "To hear is to obey;" and retired.

The princess sent regularly for seven mornings successively a
dish of pottage, and the sultan as regularly presented her
adopted mother with a purse of deenars; for such was the rapidity
of his recovery, that at the expiration of the sixth day he was
perfectly well, and on the seventh he mounted his horse and
repaired to his country palace to make the absolution of health
and enjoy the fresh air. During her visits he had questioned the
old lady concerning her adopted daughter, and she so described
her beauty, virtues, and accomplishments, that his heart was
smitten, and he became anxious to see her.

The sultan, in order to gratify his curiosity, disguised himself
one day in the habit of a dervish, and repairing to the house of
the old woman, knocked at the door. On being questioned what he
wanted, he replied, "I am a wandering dervish, a stranger in this
city, and distressed with hunger." The old woman being fearful of
admitting an unknown person, would have sent him away, but the
princess exclaimed, "Hospitality to strangers is incumbent upon
us, especially to the religious poor." Upon this he was admitted,
and the princess having seated him respectfully, set victuals
before him, of which he ate till he was satisfied, and having
washed, rose up, thanked the old woman and her supposed daughter
for their bounty, and retired, but his sight was fascinated with
her beauty, and his heart devoted to her love.

The sultan on his return to the palace sent for the old woman,
and on her arrival presented her with a rich dress and valuable
jewels, desiring that she would give them to her daughter, and
prevail upon her to put them on. The old lady promised obedience,
and as she walked homewards, said to herself, "If this adopted
daughter of mine is wise, she will comply with the sultan's
desires, and put on the dress, but if she does not, I will expel
her from my house." When she reached home, she displayed the
superb habit and the dazzling ornaments; but the princess at
first refused to accept them, till at length, moved by the
entreaties of her protectress, whom she could not disoblige, she
put them on, and the old lady was delighted with her appearance.

The sultan, who had slipped on a female dress, having covered
himself with a close veil, followed the old woman to her house,
and listened at the door to know if the daughter would accept his
present. When he found that she had put on the dress, he was
overcome with rapture, and hastening back to his palace, sent
again for the old lady, to whom he signified his wish to marry
her daughter. When the princess was informed of the offer she
consented, and the sultan, attended by a splendid cavalcade,
conducted her that evening to his palace, where the cauzee united
them in marriage. A general feast was made for all the
inhabitants of the city for seven days successively, and the
sultan and the princess enjoyed the height of felicity. In the
course of five years the Almighty blessed them with a son and two
daughters.

The eldest princess on the wreck of the ship having clung to a
piece of timber, was after much distress floated on shore, where
she found a man's habit, and thinking it a safe disguise for the
protection of her honour, she dressed herself in it, and
proceeded to a city which appeared near the coast. On her
entrance she was accosted by a maker of cotton wallets for
travelling, who observing that she was a stranger, and supposing
her a man, asked if she would live with him, as he wanted an
assistant. Being glad to secure any asylum, she accepted his
offer of maintenance, and daily wages of half a dirhem. He
conducted her to his house, and treated her with kindness. The
next day she entered upon her business, and so neat was the work
she executed, that in a short time her master's shop was more
frequented than any other.

It happened that the shop was situated near the palace of the
sultan. One morning the princess his daughter looking through the
lattice of a balcony beheld the seeming young man at work, with
the sleeves of his vest drawn up to his shoulder: his arms were
white and polished as silver, and his countenance brilliant as
the sun unobscured by clouds. The daughter of the sultan was
captivated in the snare of love.

The sultan's daughter continued gazing at the supposed young man
till he withdrew from work, when she retired to her apartment;
but so much was she fascinated by his charms, that she became
restless, and at length indisposed. Her nurse who attended her
felt her pulse, and asked her several questions, but could find
no symptoms of bodily illness upon her. She said, "My dear
daughter, I am convinced that nothing has afflicted thee but
desire of some youth with whom thou art in love."The princess
exclaimed," My dear mother, as thou hast discovered my secret,
thou wilt, I trust, not only keep it sacred, but bring to me the
man I love."The nurse replied," No one can keep a secret closer
than myself, so that you may safely confide it to my care."The
princess then said," Mother, my heart is captivated by the young
man who works in the shop opposite my windows, and if I cannot
meet him I shall die of grief."

The nurse replied, "My dear mistress, he is the most beautiful
youth of the age, and the women of the whole city are distracted
with his charms; yet he is so bashful as to answer no advances,
and shrinks from notice like a school-boy, but I will endeavour
to overcome his shyness, and procure you a meeting." Having said
thus, she went immediately to the wallet-maker's, and giving him
a piece of gold, desired he would let his assistant accompany her
home with two of his best wallets. The man was pleased with her
generosity, and selecting his choicest manufacture, commanded his
journeyman to accompany the nurse.

The old woman led the disguised princess through by-paths to a
private passage of the palace, and introduced her into the
apartments of the daughter of the sultan, who received her
supposed beloved with emotions of joy too violent to be
concealed. Pretending to admire the goods, she asked some
questions, and giving him twenty pieces of gold, desired him to
return with more goods on the following evening, to which the
seeming journeyman replied, "To hear is to obey."

The disguised princess on her return home delivered the twenty
pieces of gold to her employer, who was alarmed, and inquired
from whence they came: upon which she informed him of her
adventure, when the   wallet-maker was in greater terror than
before, and said to himself, "If this intrigue goes on, the
sultan will discover it, I shall be put to death, and my family
ruined on account of this young man and his follies." He then
besought him not to repeat his visit, but he answered, "I cannot
forbear, though I dread my death may be the consequence." In
short, the disguised princess went every evening with the old
nurse to the apartments of the sultan's daughter, till at length
the sultan one night suddenly entered, and perceiving, he
supposed, a man with the princess, commanded him to be seized and
bound hand and foot.

The sultan then sent for an executioner, resolved to put the
culprit to death. The executioner on his arrival seized the
disguised princess; but what was the surprise of all present,
when, on taking off the turban and vest, they discovered her sex.
The sultan commanded her to be conducted to his haram, and
inquired her story, when having no resource but the truth, she
related her adventures.

When the princess had informed the sultan of the treachery of the
vizier, the consequent conduct of her father, the distress of her
mother, her sisters and herself, their being relieved, and her
escape from shipwreck, with what had happened since, he was
filled with wonder and compassion, and ordered his daughter to
accommodate her in the haram. The love of the latter was now
changed to sincere friendship, and under her care and attentions
the unfortunate princess in a few months recovered her former
beauty. It chanced that the sultan visiting his daughter was
fascinated with the charms of the princess, but unwilling to
infringe the rules of hospitality concealed his love, till at
length he became dangerously ill, when the daughter suspecting
the matter, prevailed upon him to reveal the cause of his
complaint. She then informed her friend, and entreated her to
accept her father in marriage; but the princess said, at the same
time weeping bitterly, "Misfortune hath separated me from my
family; I know not whether my sisters, my father and my mother,
are living, or, if so, what is their condition. How can I be
happy or merry, while they are perhaps involved in misery?"

The daughter of the sultan did not refrain from comforting the
unfortunate princess, at the same time representing the hopeless
condition of her father, till at length she consented to the
marriage. This joyful intelligence speedily revived the love-lorn
sultan, and the nuptials were celebrated with the utmost joy and
magnificence.

The aged sultan and sultana continued to lament the loss of their
daughters for some years, when at length the former resolved to
travel in search of them, and having left the government in
charge of his wife, departed, attended only by his vizier. They
both assumed the habit of dervishes, and after a month's
uninterrupted travelling reached a large city extending along the
sea coast, close upon which the sultan of it had erected a
magnificent pleasure house, where the pretended dervishes beheld
him sitting in one of the pavilions with his two sons, one six
and the other seven years old. They approached, made their
obeisance, and uttered a long invocation, agreeably to the usage
of the religious, for his prosperity. The sultan returned their
compliment, desired them to be seated, and having conversed with
them till evening, dismissed them with a present, when they
repaired to a caravanserai, and hired an apartment. On the
following day, after amusing themselves with viewing the city,
they again repaired to the beach, and saw the sultan sitting with
his children, as before. While they were admiring the beauty of
the strufture, the younger prince, impelled by an unaccountable
impulse, came up to them, gazed eagerly at them, and when they
retired followed them to their lodging, which they did not
perceive till he had entered with them and sat down. The old
sultan was astonished at the child's behaviour, took him in his
arms, kissed and fondled him, after which he desired him to
return to his parents, but the boy insisted upon staying, and
remained four days, during which the pretended dervishes did not
stir from their caravanserai.

The sultan missing his son, supposed that he had gone to his
mother, and she imagined that he was still with his father; but
on the latter entering the haram the loss was discovered.
Messengers were despatched every way, but no tidings of the boy
could be obtained. The miserable parents now supposed that he had
fallen into the sea and was drowned. Nets were dragged, and
divers employed for three days, but in vain. On the fifth day
orders were issued to search every house in the city, when the
infant prince was at length discovered at the caravanserai in the
apartment of the pretended dervishes, who were ignominiously
dragged before the sultan.

The sultan was transported with joy at the recovery of his son,
but supposing the dervishes had meant to steal him away, he
ordered them instantly to be put to death. The executioners
seized them, bound their hands behind them, and were going to
strike, when the child with loud outcries ran up, and clinging to
the knees of the elder victim could not be forced away. The
sultan was astonished, and ordering the execution for the present
to be delayed, went and informed the mother of the child of his
wonderful behaviour.

The sultana, on hearing it, was no less surprised than the
sultan, and felt a curiosity to hear from the dervish himself on
what account he had enticed away her son. She said, "It is truly
extraordinary that the boy should express such affection for a
strange dervish. Send for him to your closet, and order him to
relate his adventures, to which I will listen from behind a
curtain."

The sultan sent for the supposed dervish, and commanding all his
attendants to retire, withdrew with him into his closet, and
desired him to be seated; after which he said, "Wicked dervish,
what could have induced thee to entice away my son, or to visit
my kingdom?" He replied, "Heaven knows, O sultan, I did not
entice him. The boy followed me to my lodging, when I said,  My
son, return to thy father,' but he would not; and I remained in
continual dread till what was decreed occurred." The sultan was
softened, spoke kindly to him, and begged him to relate his
adventures, when the pretended dervish wept, and said, "My
history is a wonderful one. I had a friend whom I left as my
agent and guardian to my family, while I was performing a
pilgrimage to Mecca; but had scarcely left my house ten days,
when accidently seeing my wife he endeavoured to debauch her, and
sent an old woman with a rich present to declare his adulterous
love. My wife was enraged, and put the infamous messenger to
death. He sent a second, and a third, whom she also killed.

These last words were scarcely spoken, when the sultana bursting
from her concealment ran up to the dervish, fell upon his neck,
and embraced him: upon which, the sultan her husband was enraged,
put his hand to his cimeter, and exclaimed, "What means this
shameless behaviour?" The sultana, at once laughing and crying
with rapture, informed him that the supposed dervish was her
father: upon which the sultan also fell at his feet and welcomed
him. He then ordered the other dervish his vizier to be released,
commanded royal robes to be brought for his father-in-law, and a
suite of apartments in the palace to be prepared for his
reception, with an attendance befitting his dignity.

When the old sultan had spent some time with his youngest
daughter thus happily recovered, he became anxious to search
after the others, and signified his intention of departing; but
his son-in-law declared that he would accompany him on the
expedition with a number of his nobles, and an army, lest some
fatal accident might occur from his being unattended.
Preparations were accordingly made for march, the two sultans
encamped without the city, and in a few days began their
expedition, which proved successful to their wishes. The aged
monarch having recovered his children retired to his own kingdom,
where he reigned prosperously till the angel of death summoned
him to Paradise.





            STORY OF THE BANG-EATER AND THE CAUZEE.



In a certain city there was a vagabond fellow much addicted to
the use of bang, who got his livelihood by fishing. When he had
sold the product of his day's labour, he laid part of it out in
provisions and part in bang, with which (his day's, work over) he
solaced himself till he became intoxicated, and such was his
constant practice. One night, having indulged more than ordinary,
his senses were unusually stupefied; and in this, condition he
had occasion to come down into the square in which was his
lodging. It happened to be the fourteenth night of the moon, when
she shone uncommonly bright, and shed such a lustre upon the
ground, that the bang-eater from the dizziness of his head
mistook the bright undulations of her reflection on the pavement
for water, and fancied he was upon the brink of the river. He
returned to his chamber, and brought down his line, supposing
that he should catch his usual prey.

The bang-eater threw out his line, made of strong cord, and
baited on several hooks with bits of flesh, into the square, when
a dog, allured by the scent, swallowed one of the pieces, and
feeling pain from the hook which stuck in his throat, pulled
strongly at the cord. The bang-eater, supposing he had caught a
monstrous fish, lugged stoutly, but in vain. The dog, agonized by
the hook, resisted; at the same time yelping hideously, when the
bang-eater, unwilling to quit his prey, yet fearing he should be
dragged into the imaginary river, bellowed aloud for help. The
watch came up, seized him, and perceiving him intoxicated,
carried him bound to the cauzee.

It happened that the cauzee often privately indulged himself with
bang. Seeing the intoxicated situation of the fisherman, he
pitied his condition, and ordered him to be put into a chamber to
sleep off his disorder; at the same time saying to himself, "This
is a man after my own heart, and to-morrow evening I will enjoy
myself with him." The fisherman was well taken care of during the
day, and at night the cauzee sent for him to his apartment;
where, after eating, they took each a powerful dose of bang,
which soon operating upon their brains, they began to sing,
dance, and commit a thousand extravagancies.

The noise which they made attracted the notice of the sultan, who
with his vizier was traversing the city, disguised as merchants.
Finding the doors open, they entered, and beheld the cauzee and
his companion in the height of their mirth, who welcomed them,
and they sat down. At length, after many ridiculous tricks, the
fisherman starting up, exclaimed, "I am the sultan!" "And I,"
rejoined the cauzee, "am my lord the bashaw!" "Bashaw!" continued
the fisherman, "if I choose I can strike off thy head." "I know
it," returned the cauzee, "but at present I am not worth
beheading; give me first a rich government, that I may be worth
punishing." "Thou sayest true," answered the fisherman; "I must
make thee fat before thou wilt be fit for killing."

The sultan laughed at their extravagancies, and said to his
vizier, "I will amuse myself with these vagabonds to-morrow
evening:" then rising up, he and his minister departed.

The next evening the cauzee and the fisherman indulged themselves
as before, and while they were making merry, the sultan and his
vizier entered, but in different disguises from those they had
worn on the former night. They brought with them a strong
confection of opium, which they presented to their hosts, who,
highly delighted, greedily devoured it, and such were the effects
that they became madder than ever. At length, the fisherman
starting up, exclaimed, "The sultan is deposed, and I am
sovereign in his stead." "Suppose the sultan should hear thee,"
replied the prince. "If he opposes me," cried the fisherman, "I
will order my bashaw to strike off his head; but I will now
punish thee for thy insolent question." He then ran up and seized
the sultan by the nose, the cauzee at the same time attacking the
vizier: it was with difficulty that they made their escape from
the house.

The sultan, notwithstanding his tweak by the nose, resolved to
divert himself further with the bang-eaters, and the next evening
putting on a fresh disguise, repaired to the cauzee's house with
his vizier; where he found the happy companions in high glee.
They had taken it into their heads to dance, which they did with
such vehemence, and for so long a time, that at length they fell
down with fatigue. When they had rested a little, the fisherman
perceiving the sultan, said, "Whence comest thou?" "We are
strangers," replied the sultan, "and only reached this city to-
night; but on our way through the streets, hearing your mirth, we
made bold to enter, that we might participate it with you. Are ye
not, however, fearful lest the sultan should hear you on his
rounds, and punish you for an infringement of the laws?" "How
should the sultan hear us?" answered the fisherman; "he is in his
palace, and we in our own house, though, perhaps, much merrier
than he, poor fellow, with the cares of state upon his mind,
notwithstanding his splendour."

"How comes it," rejoined the sovereign, "that you have not
visited the sultan? for you are merry fellows, and I think he
would encourage you." "We fear," replied the fisherman, "his
guards would beat us away." "Never mind thern," said the sultan;
"if you choose I will give you a letter of recommendation, which
I am sure he will pay attention to, for we were intimate when
youths." "Let us have it," cried the fisherman. The sultan wrote
a note, directed to himself, and departed.

In the morning the cauzee and the fisherman repaired to the
palace, and delivered the note to one of the guards, who, on
sight of it, placed it on his head, prostrated himself to the
ground, and then introduced them to the sultan. Having read the
letter, the sultan commanded them to be led into separate
apartments, and to be treated respectfully. At noon a handsome
collation was served up to each, and at sunset a full service,
after which they were presented with coffee. When about two hours
of the night had passed, the sultan ordered them into his
presence, and on their making their obeisance returned their
salutes, and desired them to be seated, saying, "Where is the
person who gave you this letter?"

"Mighty sultan," replied the fisherman, "two men who last night
visited our house inquired why we did not repair to your majesty,
and partake of your bounty. We replied, that we feared the guards
would drive us away; when one of them gave us this note, saying,
Fear not; take this recommendation to the sultan, with whom in
my youth I was intimate.' We followed his direction, and have
found his words to be true. We inquired whence they came; but
they would not tell us more than that they were strangers in this
city." "It is,"continued the sultan, "absolutely necessary that
you should bring them to my presence, for it is long since I have
beheld my old friends." "Permit us then to return home, where
they may possibly visit us again," said the fisherman, "and we
will oblige them to come with us." "How can you do that, "replied
the sultan, "when the other evening you could not prevent your
guest escaping, though you had him by the nose?"

The poor fisherman, and his companion the cauzee, were now
confounded at the discovery that it was the sultan himself who
had witnessed their intoxication and ridiculous transports. They
trembled, turned pale, and fell prostrate to the ground, crying,
"Pardon, pardon, gracious sovereign, for the offences we have
committed, and the insult which in our madness we offered to the
sacred person of your majesty."

The sultan, after laughing heartily at their distress, replied,
"Your pardon is granted, for the insult was involuntary, though
deserved, as I was an impertinent intruder on your privacy; make
yourselves easy, and sit down; but you must each of you relate to
me your adventures, or some story that you have heard." The
cauzee and the fisherman, having recovered from their confusion,
obeyed the commands of the sultan, and being seated, the latter
related the following tale.





Story of the Bang-eater and His Wife.



There lived formerly, near Bagdad, a half-witted fellow, who was
much addicted to the use of bang. Being reduced to poverty, he
was obliged to sell his stock. One day he went to the market to
dispose of a cow; but the animal being in bad order, no one would
bid for it, and after waiting till he was weary he returned
homewards. On the way he stopped to repose himself under a tree,
and tied the cow to one of the branches while he ate some bread,
and drank of an infusion of his beloved bang, which he always
carried with him. In a short time it began to operate, so as to
bereave him of the little sense he possessed, and his head was
filled with ridiculous reveries. While he was musing, a magpie
beginning to chatter from her nest in the tree, he fancied it was
a human voice, and that some woman had asked to purchase his cow:
upon which he said, "Reverend mother of Solomon, dost thou wish
to buy my cow?" The bird croaked again. "Well," replied he," what
wilt thou give if I will sell her a bargain." The bird repeated
her croak. "Never mind," said the foolish fellow, "for though
thou hast forgotten to bring thy purse, yet, as I dare say thou
art an honest woman, and hast bidden me ten deenars, I will trust
thee with the cow, and call on Friday for the money." The bird
renewed her croaking, which he fancied to be thanks for his
confidence; so leaving the cow tied to the branch of the tree, he
returned home exulting in the good bargain he had made for the
animal.

When he entered the house, his wife inquired what he had gotten
for the cow; to which he replied, that he had sold her to an
honest woman named Am Solomon, who had promised to pay him on the
next Friday ten pieces of gold. The wife was contented, and when
Friday arrived, her idiot of a husband having, as usual, taken a
dose of bang, repaired to the tree, and hearing the bird
chattering, as before, said, "Well, my good mother, hast thou
brought the gold?" The bird croaked. Supposing the imaginary
woman refused to pay him, he became angry, and threw up his
spade, which frightening the bird, it flew from the nest, and
alighted on a heap of soil at some distance. He fancied that Am
Solomon had desired him to take his money from the heap, into
which he dug with his spade, and found a brazen vessel full of
gold coin. This discovery convinced him he was right, and being,
notwithstanding his weakness, naturally honest, he only took ten
pieces; then replacing the soil, said, "May Allah requite thee
for thy punctuality, good mother!" and returned to his wife, to
whom he gave the money, informing her at the same time of the
great treasure his friend Am Solomon possessed, and where it was
concealed. The wife waited till night, when she went and brought
away the pot of gold; which her husband observing, said, "It is
dishonest to rob one who has paid us so punctually, and if thou
dost not return it to its place, I will inform the (walee)
officer of police."

The wife laughed at his folly; but fearing the ill consequences
of his executing his threat, she planned a stratagem to prevent
them. Going to the market, she purchased some broiled meat and
fish ready dressed, which she brought privately home, and
concealed in the house. At night, the husband having regaled
himself with his beloved bang, retired to sleep off his
intoxication; but about midnight she strewed the provisions she
had brought at the door, and awakening her partner, cried out, in
pretended astonishment, "Dear husband, a most wonderful
phenomenon has occurred; there has been a violent storm while you
slept, and, strange to tell, it has rained pieces of broiled meat
and fish, which now lie at the door!" The husband, still in a
state of stupefaction from the bang, got up, went to the door,
and seeing the provisions, was persuaded of the truth of his
wife's story. The fish and flesh were gathered up, and he partook
with much glee of the miraculous treat; but he still threatened
to inform the walee of her having stolen the treasure of the good
old woman Am Solomon.

In the morning the foolish bang-eater actually repaired to the
walee, and informed him that his wife had stolen a pot of gold,
which she had still in her possession. The walee upon this
apprehended the woman, who denied the accusation, when she was
threatened with death. She then said, "My lord, the power is in
your hands; but I am an injured woman, as you wili find by
questioning my unfortunate husband; who, alas! is deranged in his
intellects. Ask him when I committed the theft." The walee did
so; to which he replied, "It was on the evening of that night on
which it rained broiled flesh and fish ready dressed." "Wretch!"
exclaimed the walee, "dost thou dare to utter falsehoods before
me? Who ever saw it rain any thing but water?" "As I hope for
life, my lord," replied the bang-eater, "I speak the truth; for
my wife and myself ate of the fish and flesh which fell from the
clouds." The woman being appealed to, denied the assertion of her
husband.

The walee being now convinced that the man was crazy, released
his wife, and sent the husband to the madhouse; where he remained
some days, till the wife, pitying his condition, contrived to get
him released by the following stratagem. She visited her husband,
and desired him when any one inquired of him if he had seen it
rain flesh and fish, to answer, "No: who ever saw it rain any
thing but water?" She then informed the keeper that he was come
to his senses, and desired him to put the question. On his
answering properly he was released.

The fisherman had not long been in the service of the sultan,
when walking one day near the house of a principal merchant, his
daughter chanced to look through a window, and the buffoon was so
struck with her beauty that he became devoted to love. Daily did
he repair to the same spot for weeks together in hopes of once
seeing her, but in vain; for she did not again appear at the
window. At length, his passion had such an effect upon him that
he fell sick, kept his bed, and began to rave, exclaiming, "Ah!
what charming eyes, what a beautiful complexion, what a graceful
stature has my beloved!" In this situation he was attended by an
old woman, who, compassionating his case, desired him to reveal
the cause of his uneasiness.

"My dear mother," replied he, "I thank thee for thy kindness; but
unless thou canst asssist me I must soon die." He then related
what he had seen, and described to her the house of the merchant.
When she said, "Son, be of good cheer; for no one could so
readily have assisted thee in this dilemma as myself. Have
patience, and I will speedily return with intelligence of thy
beloved." Having spoken thus, she departed, and upon reaching her
own house disguised herself as a devotee. Throwing over her
shoulders a coarse woollen gown, holding in one hand a long
string of beads, in the other a walking staff, she proceeded to
the merchant's house, at the gate of which she cried, "God is
God, there is no God but God; may his holy name be praised, and
may God be with you," in a most devout tone.

The merchant's daughter, on hearing this devout ejaculation, came
to the door, saluted the old woman with great respect, and said,
"Dear mother, pray for me:" when she exclaimed, "May Allah
protect thee, my beloved child, from all injury!" The young lady
then introduced her into the house, seated her in the most
honourable place, and with her mother sat down by her. They
conversed on religious subjects till noon, when the old woman
called for water, performed her ablutions, and recited prayers of
an unusual length: upon which the mother and daughter remarked to
one another that the aged matron must certainly be a most
religious character. When prayers were ended, they set a
collation before her; but she declined partaking, saying, "I am
to day observing a fast." This increased their respect and
admiration of her sanctity, so that they requested her to remain
with them till sunset, and break her fast with them, to which she
consented. At sunset she prayed again, after which she ate a
little, and then uttered many pious exhortations. In short, the
mother and daughter were so pleased with her, that they invited
her to stay all night. In the morning, she rose early, made her
ablutions, prayed for a considerable time, and concluded with a
blessing upon her entertainers in learned words, which they could
not understand. When she rose up, they supported her by the arms
respectfully, and entreated her longer stay; but she declined it,
and having taken leave, departed; promising, however, with the
permission of Allah, to make them soon another visit.

On the second day following, the old woman repaired again to the
merchant's house, and was joyfully received by the mother and
daughter; who, kissing her hands and feet, welcomed her return.
She behaved the same as before, and inspired them with stronger
veneration for her sandity. Her visits now grew frequent, and she
was always a welcome guest in the merchant's family. At length,
one evening she entered, and said, "I have an only daughter,
whose espousals are now celebrating, and this night the bride
goes in state to her husband's house. My desire is that my good
young lady should attend the ceremony, and receive the benefit of
my prayers." The mother replied, "I am unwilling to let her go,
lest some accident should befall her:" upon which the pretended
religious exclaimed, "What canst thou fear, while I and other
devout women shall be with her?" The daughter expressing great
eagerness to attend the nuptials, her mother at length consented.

When the merchant's daughter had adorned herself in her richest
habit, she accompanied the old woman; who, after leading her
through several streets, conducted her to the lodging of the late
fisherman, but now favourite to the sultan, who was eagerly
expecting her arrival. The young lady was astonished on her
entrance at beholding a comely looking man; who, she saw, could
hardly restrain his raptures at the sight of her. Her first alarm
was great at finding herself betrayed into such a snare by the
hypocritical beldam; but having naturally much presence of mind,
she concealed her fears, and considered how she might escape. She
sat down, and after looking round the apartment affected to
laugh, saying to the gallant, "It is commonly usual when a lover
invites his mistress to his house to have an entertainment
prepared; for what is love without the accompaniment of a feast?
If you wish, therefore, that I should spend the evening here, go
and bring in some good cheer, that our joy may be complete. I
will with my good mother wait your return."

The gallant, rejoiced at her commands, exclaimed, "Thou hast
spoken truly, and to hear is to obey;" after which, he went
towards the market to order a splendid entertainment. When he was
gone, the young lady locked the door after him, and thanking the
old woman for introducing her to so handsome a lover, threw her
off her guard, while she walked about the apartment meditating
her escape. At length she found in one corner of it a sharp
sabre, and drawing up her sleeve to her elbow, she grasped the
weapon, which she struck with such force at her false friend, who
was reclining on a sofa, as to cleave the head of the abandoned
procuress in two, and she fell down weltering in her blood, to
rise no more.

The merchant's daughter now searched the room, and finding a rich
dress which the favourite usually wore when he visited the
sultan, rolled it up in a bundle, and carrying it under her veil,
unlocked the door, and hastened homewards. Luckily she reached
her father's house without interruption. Her mother welcomed her
with joy; but on perceiving the bundle, said, "My dear daughter,
what can have been given thee at the nuptials of a poor
religious?" The daughter, whose mind had been over agitated with
her late adventure, was not able to answer; her spirits sunk at
the recollection of her narrow escape, and she fainted away. The
mother shrieked aloud with affright, which brought in her husband
and attendants, who used various means for the young lady's
recovery; and at length, having regained her senses, she related
what had passed. The merchant having cursed the memory of the old
woman for her hypocritical deception, comforted his virtuous
daughter, and taking up the dress which he knew, and to whom it
belonged, hastened to make his complaint to the sultan.

When the sultan had heard the complaint of the merchant, he was
enraged against his unworthy favourite, and commanded him to be
apprehended; but he could no where be found, for having on his
return home seen the old woman weltering in her blood, he guessed
what had happened; and apprehensive of being called to an
account, putting on a mean disguise, made his escape from the
city. Fortunately for him a caravan was just taking its
departure, and with it he travelled for five days successively,
with a mind tortured by disappointed love, and the fear of
discovery. At length the caravan passed the confines of his late
master, and encamped before a large city, which he entered, and
having hired a room at a caravanserai, he resolved to repose, and
seek out for some employment less dangerous than making love, or
serving princes.

When he had rested himself for some days, he repaired to a
market, where labourers stood to be hired; and had not waited
long, when a woman coming up asked if he wanted work, to which he
replied in the affirmative. She then said, "Part of the wall
round the court of my house is so much decayed, that I must have
it taken down and rebuilt, and if thou art willing to undertake
the job I will employ thee." On his consenting, she led him to
her house, and shewing him the wall, gave him a pick-axe,
directing him as he went on to place the stones in one heap and
the rubbish in another. He replied, "To hear is to obey." She
then brought him some provision and water, when he refreshed
himself, and having thanked God that he had escaped, and was able
to get his living, began his task, which he continued till
sunset. His employer paid him ten pieces of silver for his day's
work, and he returned contented to his lodging.

The following morning he again went to labour, and was treated
with the same kindness as before. About noon, as he was stocking
up the foundation of the wall he found a copper vessel, which
upon examination proved to be full of golden coin. He carried the
vessel to his lodging, where he counted the money, upwards of a
hundred deenars, and returned to his work. As he was coming home
in the evening, he saw a crowd following a man who carried upon
his head a large chest, which he offered for sale at a hundred
deenars, but refused to mention the contents.

The fisherman was seized with an irresistible impulse to purchase
the chest, and having a small silver coin of not more value than
a silver penny, said to himself, "I will try my fate, possibly it
may contain something valuable; but if not, I will disregard the
disappointment;" ordered it to be conveyed to his lodging, and
paid the price demanded. He then locked his door and opened the
chest, when, to his astonishment, he beheld in it a beautiful
girl very richly dressed, but apparently lifeless. However, on
putting his hand to her mouth, he perceived that she breathed,
and was only in a deep sleep, from which he endeavoured to awake
her, but in vain. He then took her out of the chest, laid her
gently on his carpet, and continued to gaze at her charms; till
at length about midnight she awoke, and in an exclamation of
alarm and surprise exclaimed, "Gracious Allah, where am I?"

When the lady's first alarm had subsided, she asked the fisherman
how he had brought her to his lodging, and on being informed of
the circumstances her mind became easy; for he behaved towards
her with respectful attention. Concealing for the present her
condition and adventures, she said, "This lodging is too mean, on
the morrow you must hire a better. Serve me with fidelity, do as
I desire, and you shall be amply rewarded." The fisherman, who,
cautioned by his last love adventure, was fearful of taking
liberties, and awed by her dignified demeanour, made a profound
obeisance, and professed himself her slave. He set before her the
best refreshments he could procure, and when she had supped left
her, and retired to sleep in a separate chamber.

Early the next morning he went and hired a decent house, to which
he conveyed her in a covered litter, and did not cease to attend
upon her in all her commands for twenty days, she supplying him
with money to purchase necessaries.

It is proper now to mention, that the lady bought by the
fisherman in the chest was the favourite mistress of the sultan:
having deserted for her all his other women, they had become
envious; but the sultana, who, before the arrival of Koout al
Koolloob (for such was her name) had presided over the haram, was
more mortified than the rest, and had resolved to effect her
removal. For this a favourable opportunity soon occurred, owing
to the sultan's departure for twenty days upon a hunting
excursion. In a day or two after his absence, the sultana invited
Koout al Koolloob to an entertainment, and having mixed a strong
soporific in some sherbet, presented it her to drink. The effect
of the potion was instantaneous, and she sunk into a trance; when
the sultana putting her into the chest, commanded it to be given
to a broker, and sold without examination of the contents, for a
hundred deenars; hoping, that whoever might be the purchaser, he
would be so fascinated with the charms of the beautiful Koout al
Koolloob, as to enjoy his good fortune in secrecy; and that she
should thus get rid of a rival without the crime of
assassination.

When the sultan returned from his excursion, immediately on
entering the palace he inquired for his favourite; when the
sultana entering with affected sadness, said, "Alas! my lord, the
beautiful and affectionate Koout al Koolloob, unable to bear the
pangs of absence, three days after your departure fell sick, and
having lingered for seven days, was gathered to the mercy of the
Almighty." The sultan, on hearing this, burst into an agony of
grief, and exclaimed, "There is no asylum or refuge but with God;
from God we came, and to God we must return." He was overcome
with affliction, and remained the whole night involved in
melancholy. In the morning he sent for his vizier, and commanded
him to look out for a spot on the bank of the river for the
erection of a building in which he might sit retired, and
meditate on his beloved Koout al Koolloob.

The vizier replied, "To hear is to obey;" and taking with him an
architect, fixed upon a pleasant spot, on which he ordered him to
mark out a space of ninety yards in length and seventy in breadth
for the intended building. The necessary materials, of stone and
marbles, were soon collected, and the work was begun upon; which
the minister for two days superintended in person. On the third
the sultan came to view the progress. He approved of the plan,
and said, "It is truly beautiful; but, alas! only worthy of the
residence of Koout al Koolloob;" after which he wept bitterly.
Seeing the distress of the sultan, his vizier said, "My lord, be
resigned under distress; for the wise have written, Be moderate
when prosperity occurs, and when calamity afflicts thee exercise
patience.'"

The sultan replied, "It is true, O vizier, that resignation is
praiseworthy, and impatience blamable; for a poet has justly
said, Be calm under adversity; for calmness can alone extricate
from danger.' To affliction joy often succeeds, and after trouble
we generally enjoy repose; but, alas! human nature cannot divest
itself of feeling; and Koout al Koolloob was so dear to me, and
so delighted my soul, that I dread I shall never find another
mistress her equal in beauty and accomplishments." The vizier
consoled his master, and at length prevailed upon him to submit
to his misfortune with some degree of resignation.

The sultan and vizier daily repaired to view the progress of the
new edifice, the report of which had spread through the city, and
at length reached Koout al Koolloob, who said to the fisherman,
"We are every day expending our money, and getting nothing:
suppose, therefore, you seek employment in the building which the
sultan is erecting. Report says that he is liberal, so that
possibly advantage may accrue. "The fisherman replied, "My dear
mistress, how shall I bear the least absence from you?" for he
loved her, and she perceiving it, often dreaded that he would
have made advances; but the remembrance of what he had endured
from the conduct of the merchant's daughter had made him
cautious. She replied, "Dost thou really love me?" "Canst thou
doubt it?" answered he; "thou art my life, and the light of my
eyes!" "If so," exclaimed she, "take this necklace, and when you
think of me as you are working, look at it, and it will console
you till your return home."

The fisherman obeyed the commands of Koout al Koolloob, repaired
to the spot where the edifice was erecting, and beheld the sultan
and vizier observing the workmen. The former inquired if he
wanted employment, to which he replied in the affirmative, and
was hired. He began his labour; but so much was his mind engaged
with his mistress, that every now and then, dropping his
implements, he drew out the necklace, and looking upon it heaved
a deep sigh, which the sultan observing, said to his vizier,
"This man, perchance, is more unhappy than myself; let us call
him to us, and inquire into his circumstances." The vizier
brought him to the presence, and desired him to tell honestly why
he had sighed so deeply. "Alas!" replied he, "I am absent from my
beloved, who gave me this necklace to look at whenever I might
think upon her; and my mind is so taken up with her, that I
cannot help laying down my tools, and admiring it constantly."

When the sultan saw the necklace, he recollected that it was one
which he had purchased for Koout al Koolloob for a thousand
deenars. He concealed his agitation, and said, "To whom does this
necklace belong?" "To my slave," replied the labourer, "whom I
purchased for a hundred deenars." "Canst thou admit us to thy
lodging," rejoined the sultan, "that we may see her?" "I dread,"
answered the labourer, "that her modesty may be offended; but I
will consult her, and if she assents, I will invite you to my
lodging." "That is but just," said the sultan, "and no more than
what is proper."

The labourer at sunset returned home, and informed Koout al
Koolloob of his adventure, when she desired him on the morrow to
purchase what was requisite for a decent entertainment, at the
same time giving him five deenars. In the morning he bought what
she had desired, and going to his work, informed the sultan and
vizier that they were welcome to his homely fare, and to see his
slave; or rather, said he, "My divinity, for as such I have at
humble distance adored her."

The sultan and vizier accompanied the labourer to his house where
they were astonished to find prepared an elegant collation, of
which they partook; after which they drank sherbet and coffee.
The sultan then desired to see his slave, who just made her
appearance, but retired immediately. However, the sultan knew
her; and said to the labourer, "Wilt thou dispose of this
damsel?" "I cannot, my lord," replied the labourer, "for my soul
is wholly occupied with her love, though as yet unreturned." "May
thy love be rewarded!" exclaimed the sultan; "but bring her with
thee at sunset to the palace." "To hear is to obey," replied the
labourer.

At sunset the labourer conducted his slave to the palace, when
the eunuchs attended, and would have led her into the haram; but
he clung round her, and exclaimed, "She is my beloved, and I
cannot part with her." Upon this the sultan related the
circumstances of his having lost her; and requested him to give
her up. Knowing that he durst not oppose the sovereign, he
submitted to his commands with resignation, when the sultan
presented him with fifteen hundred deenars, and a beautiful
slave, also a rich dress, at the same time receiving him among
the most distinguished of his officers. So well did he conduct
himself in his new station, that in a short time he was promoted
to the rank of prime minister, and fulfilled the duties of it
with such ability and integrity, that he became celebrated by the
title of the Just Vizier.

Such was the celebrity of the vizier's decisions, that in a short
time appeals were made from the most distant provinces to his
judgment. One of the most remarkable cases was the following. Two
women belonging to one man conceived on the same day, and were
delivered, one of a boy, the other of a girl, at the same time,
and in one apartment. The female infant died, when each laid
claim to the male child. The magistrates, unable to decide
between the mothers, referred the decision to the just vizier;
who, on hearing the circumstances, commanded two eggs to be
brought, and the contents to be drawn out without breaking the
shells; after which he ordered them to be filled with milk from
the breast of each woman. This being done, he placed the shells
in separate scales, and finding one outweigh the other, declared
that she whose milk was heaviest must be the mother of the male
child; but the other woman was not satisfied with this decision,
and still affirmed she was the mother of the boy.

The vizier, vexed at her obstinacy, now commanded the infant to
be cut in two; when she, whom he had said was the mother, fell
into agonies, and besought its life; but the other was unmoved,
and assented to the death of the child. He then ordered her to be
severely punished, and committed the boy to its afflicted mother.
On being asked on what proofs he had grounded his decision, he
replied, "On two: the first, because the milk of a woman having
produced a male child is always heavier than that of the mother
of a female infant: the second, because the pretended mother
consented to the boy's death; and I supposed it impossible for a
woman to agree to the destruction of her offspring, which is a
part of herself."





            THE SULTAN AND THE TRAVELLER MHAMOOD AL
                           HYJEMMEE.



There was a sultan, who one evening being somewhat low-spirited,
sent for his vizier, and said, "I know not the cause, but my mind
is uneasy, and I want something to divert it." "If so," replied
the vizier, "I have a friend, named Mhamood al Hyjemmee, a
celebrated traveller, who has witnessed many wonderful
occurrences, and can relate a variety of astonishing narratives.
Shall I send for him to the presence?" "By all means," answered
the sultan, "that I may hear his relations." The minister
departed, and informed his friend that the sultan desired to see
him. "To hear is to obey," replied Mhamood, and hastened with the
vizier to the palace.

When they had entered the palace, Mhamood made the obeisance
usual to the caliphs, and uttered a poetical invocation for the
prosperity of the sultan, who returned his salute; and after
desiring him to be seated, said, "Mhamood, my mind is uneasy, and
as I hear you are acquainted with many curious events, I wish you
to relate some of them to amuse me." Mhamood replied, "To hear is
to obey;" and thus began an adventure of his own.





The Koord Robber.



Some years ago I took a journey from my own country to the land
of Yemen, accompanied by a slave, who was a lad of much ready
wit, and who carried a wallet containing a few necessaries. As we
were entering a town, a rascally koord snatched the wallet from
his hands, and asserted that it was his own, which we had stolen
from him: upon which, I called out to some passengers to assist
me in the recovery of my property, and they helped me to carry
the sharper before the cauzee, to whom I complained of his
assault. The magistrate asked the koord what he had to allege in
his defence; to which he replied, "My lord, I lost this wallet
some days since, and found it in possession of the complainant,
who pretends that it is his own, and will not resign it." "If it
be thine," rejoined the cauzee, "describe to me what it contains,
when I shall be satisfied that thou speakest the truth."

The koord assented, and with a loud voice cried out, "In this
wallet, my lord, are two chests, in which are collyrium for the
eyes, a number of rich napkins, drinking vessels of gold, lamps,
cooking utensils, dishes, basins, and ewers; also bales of
merchandize, jewels, gold, silks, and other precious articles,
with a variety of wearing apparel, carpets, cushions, eating
cloths, and other things too tedious to enumerate; besides, I can
bring a number of my brother koords to testify to the truth of
what I have said, and that the wallet is mine."

When the koord had finished, the cauzee smiled, and asked me and
my slave what we could describe to be in the wallet: upon which,
my slave said, "My lord, there is nothing in it of what the koord
has mentioned, for it contains only both worlds, with all their
lands, seas, cities, habitations, men, animals, and productions
of every kind." The cauzee laughed, and turning to the koord,
said, "Friend, thou hast heard what has past; what further canst
thou say?" "The bag is mine," continued the koord: upon which,
the cauzee ordered it to be emptied; when, lo! there were found
in it some cakes of bread, a few limes, a little pepper, and a
cruet of oil. Seeing this, the koord exclaimed, "Pardon me, my
lord the cauzee, I have been mistaken, the wallet is not mine;
but I must away and search for the thief who has stolen my
valuable property." Having said this, he ran off, leaving the
cauzee, myself, and the spectators bursting with laughter at his
impudent knavery.

The sultan was much diverted with the relation of Mhamood, and
requested him to relate another story, which he did as follows.





Story of the Husbandman.



A certain husbandman having reared some choice vegetables and
fruits earlier than usual, resolved to present them to the
sultan, in hopes of receiving a handsome present. He accordingly
loaded his ass and set off for the capital, on the road to which
he met the sultan, whom he had never before seen; and who being
on a hunting excursion had separated from his attendants. The
sultan inquired where he was going, and what he carried. "I am
repairing," said the husbandman, "to our lord the sultan, in
hopes that he will reward me with a handsome price for my fruits
and vegetables, which I have reared earlier than usual." "What
dost thou mean to ask him?" replied the sultan. "A thousand
deenars," answered the husbandman; "which if he refuses to give,
I will demand five hundred; should he think that sum too much, I
will come down to two hundred; and if he declines to give so
much, I will ask thirty deenars, from which price I will not
depart."

The sultan now left the husbandman, and hastening to the city,
entered the palace, where the latter soon after arrived with his
fruits, and was introduced to the presence. Having made his
obeisance, the sultan returning his salute, said, "Father, what
hast thou brought with thee?" "Fruits, reared earlier than
usual," answered the husbandman: to which the sultan replied,
"They are acceptable," and uncovering them, sent a part by the
eunuchs into his haram, and distributed the rest to his
courtiers, excepting a few which he ate himself, talking all the
while to the countryman, whose sensible remarks gave him much
pleasure. He presented him with two hundred deenars, and the
ladies of the haram sent him a present of half that sum. The
sultan then desired him to return home, give the money to his
family, and come back with speed, as he wished to enjoy his
conversation. The husbandman having replied, "To hear is to
obey," blessed the sultan for his bounty, and hastening home gave
the deenars to his wife, informing her that he was invited to
spend the evening at court, and took his leave. It was sunset
when he arrived at the palace, and the sultan being at his
evening meal invited him to partake. When they were satisfied,
they performed their ablutions, and having said the evening
prayer, and read a portion of the Koraun, the sultan, desiring
him to be seated, commanded the husbandman to relate him some
narrative. The husbandman being seated, thus began.





Story of the Three Princes and Enchanting Bird.



It has been lately related that there was formerly a sovereign of
the East who had three sons, the eldest of whom had heard some
traveller describe a particular country where there was a bird
called Bulbul al Syach, who transformed any passenger who came
near him into stone. The prince resolved to see this wonderful
bird; and requested leave to travel from his father, who
endeavoured in vain to divert him from his purpose. He took
leave, and on his departure, pulling off a ring set with a
magical gem, gave it to his second brother, saying, "Whenever you
perceive this ring press hard upon your finger, be assured that I
am lost beyond recovery." Having begun his journey, he did not
cease travelling till he reached the spot where was the bird's
cage, in which it used to pass the night, but in the daytime it
flew about for exercise and food.

It was the custom of the bird to return about sunset to the cage;
when, if it perceived any person near, it would cry out in a
plaintive tone, "Who will say to a poor wanderer, Lodge? who will
say to an unhappy Bulbul, Lodge?" and if the person replied,
"Lodge, poor bird!" it immediately hovered over his head, and
scattering upon him some earth from its bill, the person became
transformed into a stone. Such proved the fate of the unfortunate
prince.

The transformation of the eldest prince had no sooner taken place
than the ring pressed hard upon the finger of the second, who
exclaimed, "Alas! alas! my brother is lost; but I will travel,
and endeavour to find out his condition." It was in vain that the
sultan his father, and the sultana his mother, remonstrated. He
departed after he had delivered the magical ring to his younger
brother, and journeyed till he reached the cage of the bird; who
having ensnared him to pronounce the word lodge, scattered some
earth upon his head, when he, also, immediately became
transformed into stone.

At this instant the youngest prince was sitting at a banquet with
his father; when the ring pressed so hard to his finger, as to
put him to much pain. He rose up, and exclaimed, "There is no
refuge or asylum but with God; for his we are, and to him we must
return." The sultan, upon this, inquired the cause of his grief;
when he said, "My brother has perished."

The old sultan was loudly lamenting the loss of his two children,
when the youngest continued, "I will travel and learn the fate of
my brothers." "Alas!" said the father, "is it not enough that I
have lost them, but thou also wilt rush into destruction? I
entreat thee not to leave me." "Father," replied the prince,
"fate impels me to search for my brothers, whom, perhaps, I may
recover; but if I fail, I shall only have done my duty." Having
said this, he departed, in spite of the tears and lamentations of
his parents, and travelled till he had reached the residence of
the bird; where he found his brothers transformed into images of
stone. At sunset the bird began its usual tone; but the prince
suspecting some deceit, forbore to speak, till at length the
Bulbul retired to his cage, and fell asleep; when watching the
opportunity, the prince darted upon it, and fastened the door.
The bird awoke at the noise, and seeing himself caught, said,
"Thou hast won the prize, O glorious son of a mighty sultan!" "If
so," exclaimed the prince, "inform me by what means thou hast
enchanted so many persons as I see around me changed into images
of marble, and how I may release them from their unhappy state."
"Behold," replied the bird, "yonder two heaps of earth, one white
and the other blue. The blue enchants, and the other will recover
from transformation."

The prince immediately took up handfuls of the white earth, and
scattering it over the numerous images, they instantly became
animated and restored to all their functions. He embraced his two
brothers, and received their thanks; also those of the sons of
many sultans, bashaws, and great personages, for giving them new
life. They informed him that near the spot was a city, all the
inhabitants of which had been, like them, transformed into stone.
To this he repaired, and having relieved them from their
enchantment, the people out of gratitude made him rich presents,
and would have chosen him for their sovereign, but he declined
their offer, and resolved to conduct his brothers in safety to
their father.

The two elder princes, notwithstanding they owed the restoration
of their lives to their brother, became envious of the valuable
presents he had received, and of the fame he would acquire at
home for his achievement. They said to one another, "When we
reach the capital the people will applaud him, and say, Lo! the
two elder brothers have been rescued from destruction by the
youngest.'"

The youngest prince being supplied with horses, camels, and
carriages, for himself and companions, began his march homewards,
and proceeded by easy stages towards the capital of his father;
within one day's journey of which was a reservoir of water lined
with marble. On the brink of this he ordered his tents to be
pitched, resolving to pass the night and enjoy himself in
feasting with his brothers. An elegant entertainment was
prepared, and he sat with them till it was time to repose; when
they retired to their tents, and he lay down to sleep, having on
his finger a ring, which he had found in the cage of the Bulbul.

The envious brothers thinking this a fit opportunity to destroy
their generous preserver, arose in the dead of night, and taking
up the prince, cast him into the reservoir, and escaped to their
tents undiscovered. In the morning they issued orders of march,
the tents were struck, and the camels loaded; but the attendants
missing the youngest prince, inquired after him; to which the
brothers replied, that being asleep in his tent, they were
unwilling to disturb him. This satisfied them, and having pursued
their march they reached the capital of their father, who was
overjoyed at their return, and admired the beauty of the Bulbul,
which they had carried with them; but he inquired with eagerness
what was become of their brother.

The brothers replied, "We know nothing of him, and did not till
now hear of his departure in search of the bird, which we have
brought with us." The sultan dearly loved his youngest son; and
on hearing that his brothers had not seen him, beat his hands
together, exclaiming, "Alas! alas! there is no refuge or asylum
but with the Almighty, from whom we came, and to whom we must
return."

We must now return to the youngest brother. When he was cast into
the reservoir he awoke, and finding himself in danger, exclaimed,
"I seek deliverance from that God who relieveth his servants from
the snares of the wicked." His prayer was heard, and he reached
the bottom of the reservoir unhurt; where he seated himself on a
ledge, when he heard persons talking. One said to another, "Some
son of man is near." "Yes," replied the other, "he is the
youngest son of our virtuous sultan; who, after having delivered
his two brothers from enchantment, hath been treacherously cast
into this reservoir." "Well," answered the first voice, "he may
easily escape, for he has a ring upon his finger, which if he
will rub a genie will appear to him and perform whatever he may
command."

The prince no sooner heard these words than he rubbed his hand
over the ring, when a good genie appearing, said, "Prince, what
are thy commands?"

"I command," replied the prince, "that thou instantly prepare me
tents, camels, domestics, guards, and every thing suitable to my
condition." "All is ready," answered the genie; who, at the same
instant taking him from the ledge, conducted him into a splendid
encampment, where the troops received him with acclamations. He
ordered signals of march to be sounded, and proceeded towards the
capital of his father. When he had arrived near the city, he
commanded his tents to be pitched on the plain. Immediately his
orders were obeyed, the tents were raised (a most magnificent one
for himself), before which the servants raised a gorgeous awning,
and sprinkled water to lay the dust. The cooks lighted their
fires, and a great smoke ascended, which filled the plain.

The inhabitants of the city were astonished at the approach of
the army, and when they saw the encampment pitched, supposed it
to be that of a powerful enemy preparing for assaulting them.
Intelligence of this unexpected host was conveyed to the sultan;
who, on hearing it, instead of alarm, felt a pleasure which he
could not account for, and said, "Gracious Allah! my heart is
filled with delight; but why I know not." Immediately he
commanded his suite to attend, and repaired to the encampment of
his son, to whom he was introduced; but the prince being habited
very richly, and differently from what he had seen him in, was
not known by the sultan.

The prince received his father with the honours due to his rank,
and when they were seated, and had entered into conversation,
said, "What is become of thy youngest son?" The words were
scarcely uttered, when the old sultan fell fainting to the earth.
On his recovery, he exclaimed, "Alas! my son's imprudence led him
to travel, and he has fallen a prey to the beasts of the forest."
"Be comforted," replied the prince; "the disasters of fortune
have not reached thy son, for he is alive and in health." "Is it
possible?" cried the sultan; "ah! tell me where I shall find
him!" "He is before thee," replied the prince: upon which, the
sultan looking more closely, knew him, fell upon his neck, wept,
and sunk to the earth overpowered with ecstacy.

When the sultan had recovered, he desired his son to relate his
adventures, which he did from first to last. Just as he had
finished the elder brothers arrived, and seeing him in such
splendour, hung down their heads, abashed and unable to speak;
but yet more envious than ever. The old sultan would have put
them to death for their treachery, but the youngest prince said,
"Let us leave them to the Almighty, for whoever commits sin will
meet its punishment in himself."

When the husbandman had concluded the above story, the sultan was
so highly pleased that he presented him with a large sum of
money, and a beautiful slave, inquiring at the same time if he
could divert him with another story, to which he replied in the
affirmative.

On another night, when the sultan and the countryman had sat down
to converse, the former desired him to relate some ancient story,
when the latter began as follows.





Story of a Sultan of Yemen and his three Sons.



It has been related, that in the kingdom of Yemen there was a
sultan who had three sons, two of whom were born of the same
mother, and the third of another wife, with whom becoming
disgusted from some caprice, and having degraded her to the
station of a domestic, he suffered her and her son to live
unnoticed among the servants of the haram. The two former, one
day, addressed their father, requesting his permission to hunt:
upon which he presented them each with a horse of true blood,
richly caparisoned, and ordered proper domestics to attend them
to the chase.

When they had departed, the unfortunate youngest brother repaired
to his unhappy mother, and expressed his wishes to enjoy, like
the elder princes, the pleasures of the field. "My son," replied
she, "it is not in my power to procure thee a horse or other
necessaries." Upon this he wept bitterly; when she gave him some
of her silver ornaments, which he took, and having sold them,
with the price purchased a foundered steed. Having mounted it,
and provided himself with some bread, he followed the track of
his brothers for two days, but on the third lost his way. After
wandering two days more he beheld upon the plain a string of
emeralds and pearls, which shone with great lustre. Having taken
it up, he wreathed it round his turban, and returned homewards
exulting in his prize; but when he had arrived near the city his
brothers met him, pulled him from his horse, beat him, and forced
it from him. He excelled them both in prowess and vigour, but he
was fearful of the sultan's displeasure, and his mother's safety,
should he punish his insulters. He therefore submitted to the
indignity and loss, and retired.

The two cowardly princes entered the palace, and presented the
string of jewels to the sultan; who, after admiring it, said, "I
shall not rest satisfied till the bird arrives to whom this
certainly must have belonged:" upon which the brothers replied,
"We will travel in search of it, and bring it to our august
father and sultan."

Preparations being made, the brothers departed, and the youngest
prince having mounted his lame steed followed them. After three
days' journey he reached an arid desert, which having passed over
by great exertion, he arrived almost exhausted at a city; which
on entering he found resounding with the shrieks of lamentation
and woe. At length he met with a venerable old man, to whom
having made a respectful salute, he inquired of him the cause of
such universal mourning. "My son," replied the old man, "on a
certain day during the last forty-three years, a terrible monster
has appeared before our city, demanding a beautiful virgin to be
delivered up to him, threatening to destroy it in case of
refusal. Unable to defend ourselves, we have complied with his
demand, and the damsels of the city have drawn lots for the
dreadful sacrifice; but this year the chance has fallen upon the
beautiful daughter of our sultan. This is the day of the
monster's usual arrival, and we are involved in universal
lamentation for her unhappy fate."

When the young prince heard the above, he, under the direction of
the old man, repaired to the place of the monster's resort,
resolved to conquer him or die. Scarcely had he reached it, when
the princess approached it, splendidly habited, but with a
dejected head, and drowned in tears. He made a respeftful salute,
which she returned, saying, "Hasten, young man, from this spot,
for a monster will soon appear, to whom, by my unhappy fate, I am
destined. Should he discover thee, he will tear thee in pieces."
"Princess," replied he, "I know the circumstance, and am resolved
to become a ransom for thy beauty."

The prince had hardly uttered these words, when a column of dust
arose; from which with dreadful howlings and fury the monster
issued, lashing his gigantic sides with his thick tail. The
princess shrieked, and wept in the agonies of fear; but the
prince drawing his sabre, put himself in the way of the savage
monster; who, enraged, snorted fire from his wide nostrils, and
made a spring at the prince. The gallant youth with wonderful
agility evaded his talons, and darting from side to side of the
monster, watched his opportunity, till rushing upon him, he cleft
his head asunder just between his eyes, when the huge creature
fell down and growled his last in a tremendous roar.

The princess, on seeing the monster expire, ran to her deliverer,
wiped the dust and sweat from his face with her veil, uttering
grateful thanks, to which he replied, "Return to thy lamenting
parents;" but she would not, and said, "My lord, and light of my
eyes, thou must be mine and I thine." "That is perhaps
impossible," rejoined the prince; and hastening from her, he
returned to the city, where he took up his lodging in an obscure
corner. She now repaired to the palace. On her entrance, the
sultan and her mother were astonished, and inquired in alarm the
cause of her return; fearing that she had escaped from the
monster, who would in revenge destroy the city.

The princess related the story of her deliverance by a handsome
youth: upon which, the sultan, with his attendants, and most of
the inhabitants of the place, repaired to view the monster, whom
they found extended dead on the earth. The whole city was now
filled with grateful thanksgivings and universal rejoicing. The
sultan, eager to shew his gratitude to the gallant youth, said to
the princess, "Shouldst thou know thy deliverer wert thou to see
him again?" "Certainly!" replied she; for love had impressed his
image on her mind too strongly to be ever erased.

The sultan, upon this, issued a proclamation, commanding every
male in the city to pass under the windows of his daughter's
apartment; which was done successively for three days; but she
did not recognize her beloved champion. The sultan then inquired
if all the men of the city had obeyed his commands, and was
informed that all had done so, except a young man at a certain
serai, who was a foreigner, and therefore had not attended. The
sultan ordered him to appear; and he had no sooner approached the
window than the princess threw down upon his head an embroidered
handkerchief, exclaiming, "This is our deliverer from the fangs
of the monster."

The sultan now ordered the young prince to be introduced to his
presence, to which he advanced, making the obeisances customary
to royal personages in a graceful manner. "Art thou the destroyer
of the monster?" exclaimed the sultan. "I am," answered the
prince. "Tell me how I can reward thee?" replied the sultan. "My
request to God and your majesty," answered the prince, "is, that
the princess thy daughter may be given me in marriage." "Rather
ask me a portion of my treasures," rejoined the sultan. Upon
this, the officers of the court observed, that as he had saved
the princess from death, he was worthy of her; and the sultan at
length consenting, the marriage knot was tied. The young prince
received his bride, and the nuptials were consummated. Towards
the close of night he arose, and having taken off her ring, put
his own in its room on her finger, and wrote upon the palm of her
hand, "I am called Alla ad Deen, the son of a potent sultan, who
rules in Yemen; if thou canst come to me there, well; otherwise
remain with thy father."

When the prince had done as above related, he left his bride
asleep, and quitting the palace and city, pursued his travels;
during which he married another wife, whom he had saved from an
elephant in a similar way: he left her in the same manner as the
first.

When the prince had left his second wife, he proceeded in search
of the bird to whom the string of emeralds and pearls had
belonged, and at length reached the city of its mistress, who was
daughter to the sultan, a very powerful monarch. Having entered
the capital, he walked through several streets, till at last he
perceived a venerable old man, whose age seemed to be, at least,
that of a hundred years, sitting alone. He approached him, and
having paid his respects, sat down, and entering into
conversation, at length said, "Canst thou, my uncle, afford me
any information respecting a bird, whose chain is composed of
pearls and emeralds, or of its mistress?"

The old man remained silent, involved in thought, for some
instants; after which, he said, "My son, many sultans and princes
have wished to attain this bird and the princess, but failed in
the attempt; however, do thou procure seven lambs, kill them,
flay and cut them up into halves. In the palace are eight courts,
at the gates of seven of which are placed two hungry lions; and
in the latter, where the princess resides, are stationed forty
slaves. Go, and try thy fortune."

The prince having thanked the old man, took his leave, procured
the lambs, cut them up as directed, and towards midnight, when
the step of man had ceased from passing, repaired to the first
gate of the palace, before which he beheld two monstrous lions,
their eyes flaming like the mouth of a lighted oven. He cast
before each half a lamb, and while they were devouring it passed
on. By the same stratagem he arrived safely into the eighth
court: at the gate of which lay the forty slaves sunk in profound
sleep. He entered cautiously, and beheld the princess in a
magnificent hall, reposing on a splendid bed; near which hung her
bird in a cage of gold wire strung with valuable jewels. He
approached gently, and wrote upon the palm of her hand, "I am
Alla ad Deen, son of a sultan of Yemen. I have seen thee
sleeping, and taken away thy bird. Shouldst thou love me, or wish
to recover thy favourite, come to my father's capital." He then
departed from the palace, and having reached the plain, stopped
to repose till morning.

The prince being refreshed, at day-light having invoked Allah to
protect him from discovery, travelled till sunset, when he
discovered an Arab encampment, to which he repaired and requested
shelter. His petition was readily attended to by the chief; who
seeing him in possession of the bird, which he knew, said to
himself, "This hyoung man must be a favourite of heaven, or he
could not have obtained a prize for which so many potent sultans,
princes, and viziers, have vainly fallen sacrifices." He
entertained him with hospitality, but asked no questions, and in
the morning dismissed him with prayers for his welfare, and a
present of a beautiful horse. Alla ad Deen having thanked his
generous host took leave, and proceeded unceasingly till he
arrived within sight of his father's capital. On the plain he was
again overtaken by his two brothers, returning from their
unsuccessful expedition, who seeing the bird and splendid cage in
his possession, dragged him suddenly from his horse, beat him
cruelly, and left him. They entered the city, and presenting the
cage to their father, framed an artful tale of danger and escapes
that they had undergone in procuring it; on hearing which, the
sultan loaded them with caresses and praises, while the
unfortunate Alla ad Deen retired bruised and melancholy to his
unhappy mother.

The young prince informed his mother of his adventures,
complained heavily of his loss, and expressed his resolves to be
revenged upon his envious brothers. She comforted him, entreated
him to be patient, and wait for the dispensations of Allah; who,
in proper season, would shew his power in the revealment of
justice. We now return to the princess who had lost her bird.

When she awoke in the morning, and missed her bird, she was
alarmed; but on perceiving what was written upon her palm still
more so. She shrieked aloud; her attendants ran in, and finding
her in a frantic state, informed the sultan; who, anxious for her
safety, hastened to the apartment. The princess being somewhat
recovered, related the loss of her bird, shewed the writing on
her hand, and declared that she would marry no one but him who
had seen her asleep. The sultan finding remonstrances vain,
agreed to accompany his daughter in search of the prince, and
issued orders for his army to prepare for a march to Yemen.

When the troops were assembled, the sultan conducted his daughter
to the camp, and on the day following marched; the princess with
her ladies being conveyed in magnificent equipages. No halt was
made till the army arrived near the city, where Alia ad Deen had
delivered the daughter of its sultan by killing the elephant. A
friendly ambassador being dispatched to request permission to
encamp and purchase a supply of provisions, he was honourably
received, and the sultan of the city proceeded in great pomp to
visit his brother monarch, who then informed him of the object of
his expedition. This convinced the other sultan that the stealer
of the bird must also have been the deliverer of his daughter,
and he resolved to join in the search. Accordingly, after three
days of splendid entertainments and rejoicings, the two sultans,
with the two princesses, and their united forces, moved towards
Yemen. Their route lay through the capital, the daughter of whose
sultan Alla ad Deen had saved from the fangs of the savage
monster.

On the arrival of the allies at this city an explanation similar
to the last took place, and the third sultan resolved to
accompany them in search of the husband of his daughter, who
readily agreed to join the other princesses. They marched; and on
the route the princess who had lost her bird was fully informed
by the others of the beauty, prowess, and manly vigour of Alla ad
Deen; which involved her more than ever in anxious impatience to
meet him. At length, by continued and uninterrupted movements,
the three sultans reached Yemen, and pitched their encampments
about sunset on a verdant plain well watered, near the capital.

It was with much dread and apprehension that the sultan of Yemen
beheld such a numerous host encamped so near his residence; but
he concealed his fears, and gave proper orders for securing it
from surprise during the night. With the morning his alarms were
removed, as the allied sultans dispatched an ambassador with rich
presents, assurances that they had no hostile intentions, and a
request that he would honour them by a visit to their camp, and
furnish it with supplies. The sultan complied with the
invitation, and the suite being prepared, he proceeded, attended
by all his courtiers in the highest magnificence, to the
encampment; where he was received with due honours. At the
outposts the three sultans met him, and after the usual greetings
of ceremony conducted him to a splendid tent made of crimson
velvet, the fringes and ropes of which were composed of gold
threads, the pins of solid silver, and the lining of the richest
silver tissue, embroidered with flowers of raised work in silks
of all colours, intermixed with foils and gold. It was covered
with superb carpets, and at the upper end on a platform spread
with gold brocade were placed four stools, the coverings of
which, and the cushions, were magnificent beyond description,
being made of Persian velvet, fringed and flowered with costly
pearls.

When the four sultans were seated, and some conversation had
taken place, in which the latter was informed of the occasion of
the others having marched into his country, the cloth was spread,
and a magnificent entertainment served up in dishes of agate,
crystal, and gold. The basins and ewers for washing were of pure
gold set with jewels. Such was the richness of every thing, that
the sultan with difficulty refrained from shewing his surprise,
and inwardly exclaimed, "By Allah, till now I never have beheld
such a profusion of splendour, elegance, and valuable furniture!"
When the meal was ended, coffee, various sorts of confections,
and sherbets were brought in; after which the company conversed.
The three sultans inquired of their royal guest if he had any
children, to which he replied that he had two sons.

The sultans then requested that he would send for them: upon
which, their father dispatched a messenger to summon them to his
presence. They repaired to the camp, mounted on chargers richly
caparisoned, and most splendidly dressed. On their entering the
tent, the princesses, who were seated in a recess concealed from
view by blinds of gold wire, gazed eagerly at them; and she who
had lost her bird inquired of the other two if either of them was
their husband. They replied in the negative, remarking that he
was of personal beauty, and dignified appearance, far superior to
these princes. The three sultans, also, questioned their
daughters on the subject, and received similar answers.

The sultans, upon this, inquired of the father of the princes if
he had any other sons; to which he replied that he had one; but
that he had long rejected him, and also his mother, from notice;
and that they lived among the domestics of the palace. The
sultans entreated to see him, and he was introduced, but in a
mean habit. The two princesses whom he had delivered from the
monsters and married immediately recognized him, and exclaimed
together, "This is truly our beloved husband!" He was then
embraced by the sultans, and admitted to his wives; who fell upon
his neck in transports of joy and rapture, kissing him between
his eyes, while the princess who had lost the bird prostrated
herself before him, covered with a veil, and kissed his hand.

After this scene the young prince returned to his father, and the
other sultans, who received him respectfully, and seated him by
them, at which the father was astonished; but more so, when,
turning to his brothers, he addressed them, saying, "Which of you
first found the string of emeralds and pearls?" To this they made
no reply: when he continued, "Who of you killed the monster,
destroyed the elephant, or, fortifying his mind, dared to enter
the palace of this sultan, and bring away the cage with the bird?
When you both, coward-like, rushed upon me, robbed me of my
prizes, and wounded me, I could easily have overcome you; but I
felt that there was a season appointed by Providence for justice
upon you and my wretched father, who rejected my mother and
myself, depriving us of our just claims." Having thus spoken, he
drew his sabre, and rushing upon the two guilty princes struck
them dead, each at one blow. He would, in his rage, have attacked
his father; but the sultans prevented him, and having reconciled
them, the old sultan promised to leave him his heir, and to
restore his mother to her former rank and consequence. His
nuptials with the third princess were then celebrated; and their
fathers, after participating for forty days in the magnificent
entertainments given on the occasion, took leave, and returned to
their several kingdoms. The old sultan finding himself, from age,
incapable of the cares of government, resigned the throne to his
son, whose authority was gladly submitted to by the people, who
admired his prowess and gallantry.

Some time after his accession to the kingdom, attended only by
some select courtiers, and without the cumbrous appendages of
royalty, he left his capital upon a hunting excursion. In the
course of the sport, passing over a desert plain, he came to a
spot where was the opening of a cave, into which he entered, and
observed domestic utensils and other marks of its being
inhabited; but no one was then within it.

The curiosity of the sultan being excited, he resolved to wait
until the owners of the cave should appear, and cautioned his
attendants not to mention his rank. He had not sat long, when a
man was seen advancing with a load of provisions and two skins of
water. On his coming to the mouth of the cave, the sultan
addressed him, saying, "Whence comest thou, where art thou going,
and what dost thou carry?" "I am," replied the man, "one of three
companions, who inhabit this cave, having fled from our city to
avoid imprisonment, and every ten days one of us goes to purchase
provisions: to-day was my turn, and my friends will be here
presently." "What was the cause of your flight?" rejoined the
sultan. "As to that," answered the man, "it can only be
communicated by the relation of our adventures, which are
curious, and if you wish to hear them, stay with us to-night, and
we will each, in our turn, relate his own story."

The sultan upon this, said to himself, "I will not move from this
spot until I have heard their adventures;" and immediately
dispatched his attendants, excepting a few, with orders to bring
from the city some necessaries for the night. "For," thought he,
"hearing these stories will be pleasanter than hunting, as they
may, perhaps, inform my mind." He remained in the cave with his
few followers; and soon after arrived the two other inmates, who
were succeeded by the sultan's messengers with the requisites for
a substantial repast, of which all partook without ceremony. When
it was finished, the sultan desired the owners of the cave to
relate their adventures; and they replied, "To hear is to obey:"
the first beginning as follows.





Story of the First Sharper in the Cave.



My father died when I was a youth, leaving my mother and myself
with little property, but an old she-goat, which we sold, and
with the price bought a calf, and nourished her as well as we
could for a whole year; when my mother desired me to go and
dispose of her in the market. Accordingly I went, and soon
perceived that there was not a fatter or finer beast in the
market. The company of butchers, composed of forty persons, fixed
their eyes upon the calf, and supposing me an ignorant lad,
resolved to have her for little or nothing, and feast themselves
upon her flesh. After concerting among themselves, one of them
coming up, said, "My lad, dost thou mean to sell this she-goat?"
"Goat!" replied I, "it is a calf." "Nay," answered he, "surely
thou must be blind or under enchantment; but, old as the goat is,
if thou wilt sell it, I will give thee a koorsh for her." I
angrily refused, and he went away; when presently up came
another; and, in short, in regular succession the whole forty,
the last of whom was the chief of the butchers. I perceived the
connivance to cheat me, and resolving to be revenged, said, "I am
convinced I am deceived, so you shall have the goat, if such she
is, for the koorsh, provided you let me have her tail." This was
agreed to, and it being cut off, I delivered my calf to the chief
of the butchers, received the money, and returned home.

On my arrival at home, my mother asked if I had sold the calf; to
which I replied, "Yes, for a koorsh, and her tail into the
bargain." She thought me stupid or mad, and inquired what I would
do with the latter. I answered, "I will be amply revenged on the
sharpers, who pretended that my calf was a she-goat, and force
from them, at least, a thousand times the price they gave me."
After this, I skinned the tail, cut the leather into thongs, and
twisted them into a whip with hard thick knots. I then disguised
myself in female attire, taking pains to make myself look as
handsome as possible with the assistance of my mother, who put
soorma into my eyelids, and arranged my eyebrows, stained my
hands with hinna, and directed me how to ogle and smile. In
short, as I was then a beardless lad, and reckoned comely, I
appeared as a very desirable maiden in my disguise.

On my arrival at the house of the chief of the butchers, I found
him sitting with his companions in the court. The whole of my
calf had been cooked in various ways, and they were just going to
spread the cloth and feast upon it. On my entrance I made a
profound salutation: upon which they all rose up to return it,
and having *teated me welcomely, whispered one to another,
saying, "By Allah, this will be a night of glorious festivity,
illumined by so much beauty! however, our chief must have the
preference, this night shall be his; after which we will all cast
lots for his turn of enjoyment."

When we had feasted on my calf, and the night was far advanced,
the butchers took leave, departed to their homes, and I remained
alone with the chief, who began to entertain me with amusing
conversation. Observing a rope hanging from the ceiling of an
apartment, I, as if ignorant of its purpose, inquired the use of
it; when the venerable chief of the butchers informed me it was
for suspending animals to cut up; also, occasionally his
dependants, whose crimes required the punishment of flogging.
Upon this I expressed a great desire to be tied with the rope,
drawn up, and swung for amusement. "My dear lady," replied he,
"the cord will hurt thy delicate skin; but thou shall put it
round me, draw me up, and see the use without injuring thyself."

I consented to the wish of the chief butcher, placed the cord
under his arms, and drew him up till the ends of his toes
scarcely touched the ground. I then secured the rope, and for
some moments kept running playfully round him, and tickling his
sides, which made him laugh with delight. At length, tired of his
posture, he desired me to release him; but I refused, saying, "My
dear chief, I have not yet finished my amusement;" after which I
tore the clothes from his back, as if in merriment. When I had
done this, I pulled out my whip, which was well knotted, saying,
"This is the tail of a she-goat, and not of a calf." The butcher
now began to be somewhat alarmed, asking me who I was, and whence
I came? to which I replied, "I am the owner of the fat calf, of
which thou and thy villanous companions so rascally cheated me."
I then bared my arm to my elbow, and so belaboured his back and
sides with my whip that he roared in agony; nor did I leave off
till his skin was completely flayed, and he fainted from the
pain. After this I searched the apartment, found a bag containing
three hundred deenars, some handsome dresses, and other valuable
articles, all of which I bundled up, and carried off; leaving the
chief of the butchers, suspended, to his fate. When I had reached
home, I gave my prize to my mother, saying, "This is only part of
the value of my calf, which I have just received of the
purchaser."

Early in the morning the butchers repaired, as usual, to the
residence of their chief, and finding the door of the court-yard
locked, joked one with another, saying, "Our old gentleman has
been so fatigued with his happiness that he sleeps longer than
ordinary." They waited till near noon, when they called out for
admittance; but receiving no answer, became apprehensive of some
disaster, and forcing the door, found their chief suspended,
almost lifeless, and his scars dropping blood. To their inquiries
into the cause of his doleful situation, he replied, "That
pretended vixen was no woman, but a brawny youth, the owner of
the calf; who, in return for our roguery, has flogged me thus,
and carried off all he could find in my chamber worth having."
The butchers vowed revenge, saying, "We will seize and put him to
death;" but their chief requested them for the present to be
patient, and carry him to a warm bath, that he might wash and get
his wounds dressed.

I observed the chief butcher enter the bathing house alone, while
his followers waited at the gate: upon which I went to a
slaughter-house, poured over my back the blood of a sheep, dabbed
it with plaisters of cotton, and leaning on a crutch, as if in
agony of pain, repaired to the bath. At first the butchers
refused me admittance, saying their chief was within; but on my
entreating their compassion for my miserable condition, they at
length permitted me to enter. Passing through the different
rooms, I came to the bath, in which I found the unfortunate chief
washing his scars. I pulled out my whip, and having said to him,
"Shekh, this is the tail of my calf!" flogged him again so
severely that he fainted; after which I made my escape by another
entrance to the hummaum, which opened into a different street.

The butchers growing impatient at the long stay of their chief in
the bath, at length entered, and found him in extreme agony. He
informed them of this second revenge of the owner of the calf,
and requested that he would take him into the country, pitch a
tent for his reception, and remain to guard him till he should be
cured of his wounds. They did so; but I watched their motions,
and disguising myself, repaired in the evening towards the tent.
Here I found a Bedouin Arab, whom I bribed with a piece of gold
to cry out, "I am the owner of the calf, and will have the life
of your chief!" cautioning him at the same time, after he had so
exclaimed, to make his escape as quickly as possible from the
butchers, who would pursue him. "I shall not heed them," replied
he, "though they may be mounted on the fleetest coursers."

Having said this, the Bedouin went up close to the tents, bawling
out vociferously, as I had direfted him: upon which all the
butchers started up and pursued him, but in vain, to a great
distance. I then entered the tent in which the chief was reposing
alone, and pulling out my whip, once more flogged him till he
roared with agony. When I was tired I bundled up such articles as
I could lay my hands on; and returning home, presented them to my
mother, saying, "Here is the balance of the price of our calf."

The butchers having attempted to overtake the Bedouin, till they
were wearied with running, but in vain, returned to their chief,
whom they found in a fainting fit from the pain of his wounds.
Having sprinkled water on his face, they recovered him so far
that he was able to inform them of what had happened; and to
request them to convey him once more to his own house, to give
out that he was dead of his wounds, and make a mock funeral;
when, possibly, the owner of the calf, believing him departed
this life, might cease to torment him.

The butchers obeyed the commands of their chief, and reporting
that he was dead, laid him in a litter, and marched in mournful
procession towards the burying ground, followed by a great
concourse of people. Mixing with the crowd, in disguise, I at
length stooped under the litter, and giving the chief, who lay
extended in a winding sheet, a smart poke with a pointed stick,
up he jumped, to the astonishment of the beholders; who cried
out, "A miracle! a miracle! the dead is raised to life!" while I
made my escape in the throng; but being fearful that the many
tricks I had played, especially this last, might excite inquiry,
and lead to a discovery, I fled from the city, and resolved to
remain in this cave till curiosity should subside.

The sultan exclaimed, "These adventures are surprising;" when the
second inhabitant of the cave said, "My lord, my story is much
more wonderful than the last; for I contrived not only to be dead
and buried, but to escape from the tomb." "Possibly," said the
sultan, "thy adventures may have been stranger than those of this
man; but if any of you are acquainted with the memoirs of ancient
monarchs, I could wish you to relate them; however, at present, I
must take you with me to the palace, that I may make you
welcome." When the men heard this proposition, they were alarmed,
and cried out, "What, my lord, would you carry us to the city
from which we have escaped to save our lives?" "Fear not,"
replied he, "I am the sultan, and was amusing myself with hunting
when I chanced to discover your cave." They bowed themselves
before him, and exclaimed, "To hear is to obey;" after which they
attended him to the city. On their arrival, the sultan ordered
them proper apartments and suitable entertainment, and invested
each of them with a rich habit. For some days they remained
enjoying themselves; when, at length, one evening the sultan
commanded them to his presence, and requested a narrative, when
one of them related the following story.





History of the Sultan of Hind.



In ancient days there lived a sultan of Hind, than whom no prince
of the age was greater in extent of territory, riches, or force;
but Heaven had not allotted to him offspring, either male or
female: on which account he was involved in sorrow. One morning,
being even more melancholy than usual, he put on a red habit, and
repaired to his divan; when his vizier, alarmed at the robes of
mourning, said, "What can have occasioned my lord to put on this
gloomy habit?" "Alas!" replied the sultan, "my soul is this
morning overclouded with melancholy." "Repair then to the
treasury," said the vizier, "and view thy wealth; as, perhaps,
the lustre of gold, and the brilliant sparkling of jewels, may
amuse thy senses and disperse thy sorrow." "Vizier," answered the
sultan, "this world to me is all vanity; I regard nothing but the
contemplation of the Deity: yet how can I be relieved from
melancholy, since I have lived to this age and he has not blessed
me with children, either sons or daughters, who are the ornaments
of manhood in this world?"

The sultan had scarcely ceased speaking, when a human figure of a
dusky hue appeared before him, and said, "My sovereign, here is a
confection left me by my ancestors, with an assurance, that
whoever might eat of it would have offspring." The sultan eagerly
took the confection, and by the blessing of Allah, one of the
ladies of his haram conceived that very night. When her pregnancy
was made known to him, the sultan was overjoyed, distributed
large sums in charity to the poor, and every day comforted the
distressed by his bounty.

When the sultana had gone her full time, she was delivered of a
son beautiful in aspect, and of graceful person; at which the
sultan became overjoyed, and on that day set apart one half of
his treasures for the use of the infant prince, who was intrusted
to the charge of experienced nurses. After he had thrived
sufficiently at the breast he was weaned, and at six years of age
put under the care of learned tutors, who taught him to write, to
read the Koran, and instructed him in the other several branches
of literature. When he had completed his twelfth year, he was
accomplished in horsemanship, archery, and throwing the lance,
till at length he became a distinguished cavalier, and excelled
the most celebrated equestrians.

The young prince being on a certain day hunting in the vicinity
of the capital, there suddenly appeared soaring and wheeling in
the air a bird, whose plumage was of the most beautiful and
glossy green. The prince let fly an arrow, but without effect,
and the bird suddenly disappeared. It was in vain that he turned
his eye to all quarters, in hopes of again discovering his
wished-for prey, for the bird had flown out of sight, and the
prince after searching in all directions till the close of day,
returned vexed and much disappointed to his father's palace. On
his entrance, the sultan and sultana perceiving his countenance
gloomy, inquired the cause of his melancholy, when he informed
them of the bird: upon which, they said, "Dear son, the creaures
of the Almighty are innumerably diversified; and, doubtless,
there are many birds as beautiful, and wonderfully more so than
this, whose escape you so much regret." "It may be so," replied
the prince; "but unless I shall be able to take this, which has
so captivated my fancy, I will abstain from food."

On the following morning the prince repaired again to the chase,
and having reached the same spot on the plain, to his great joy
beheld the green bird. Having taken a cautious aim, he let fly an
arrow; but she evaded it, and soared before him in the air. The
prince spurred his courser and followed, keeping his desired prey
in sight unceasingly till sunset; when both himself and his horse
being exhausted he gave up the pursuit, and returned towards the
city. As he was riding slowly, and almost fainting with hunger
and fatigue, there met him a venerable looking personage, who
said, "Prince, both thyself and thy charger seem exhausted; what
can have been the cause of such over exercise?" "Father,"
answered the prince, "I have been pursuing, but in vain, a
beautiful green bird, on which I had set my mind." "Son," replied
the sage, "if thou wert to follow it for a whole year's journey,
thy pursuit would be useless; for thou couldst never take it.
This bird comes from a city in the country of Kafoor, in which
are most delightful gardens abounding in such birds as this, and
many other species still more beautiful, some of which sing
enchantingly, and others talk like human beings; but, alas thou
canst never reach that happy spot. Give up then all thoughts of
the bird, and seek some other objeft for a favourite that thou
mayst enjoy repose, and no longer vex thyself for
impossibilities." When the prince heard this from the old man, he
exclaimed, "By Allah! nothing shall prevent me from visiting the
charming country thou hast mentioned;" and leaving the sage, he
rode homewards, his mind wholly taken up in meditating on the
land of Kafoor.

When the prince had reached the palace, the sultan perceiving his
disordered state, inquired the adventures of the day; and being
informed of his fruitless pursuit, and the remarks of the old
man, said, "My son, discharge this idle chimera from thy mind,
nor perplex thyself longer, since he who wishes for an
impossibility may pine himself to death, but can never gain his
desires: calm then thy soul, nor vex thyself longer in vain." "By
Allah!" answered the prince, "my soul, O my father, is captivated
with the desire of possessing this bird more strongly than ever,
from the words of the venerable old man; nor is it possible I can
enjoy repose till I have travelled to the island of Kafoor, and
beheld the gardens containing such a wonderful feathered
species." "Alas! my dear son," exclaimed the sultan, "think how
afflicting must be to myself and thy mother thy absence from our
sight, and for our sakes give up such a fruitless expedition."

The prince, notwithstanding the remonstrances of his father,
continued obstinate, and said, "My travelling is inevitable:
grant me then permission, or I will put myself to death." "If
so," exclaimed the affrighted sultan, "there is no refuge or help
but from the omnipotent Allah: well has the proverb remarked,
that the nestling would not be restrained from the air, when
suddenly the raven pounced upon it and bore it away. Heaven guard
my son from the consequences of his imprudence." Having said
thus, the sultan commanded preparations for the requisites of
travel, and ordered a force to accompany the headstrong prince;
who, having taken leave of his afflicted parents, began his
expedition towards the country of Kafoor.

The prince pursued his journey without any extraordinary
adventure for a whole month, and at the expiration of it arrived
at a spot from which branched out three roads. At the junction of
them was erected a lofty pyramid, each face fronting one of the
roads. On one face was inscribed, "This is named the Path of
Safety:" on the second, "This is called the Way of Repentance:"
and on the third, "Whoever follows this road will not probably
return." "I will pursue this last," said the prince to himself,
and accordingly striking into it, proceeded onwards for twenty
days, at the end of which he encamped near a desolated city,
crumbling into ruin, wholly destitute of inhabitants. He
commanded his attendants, as no provisions could be found in the
city, to kill five sheep of the flocks he had brought with him,
and dress them for their refreshment in various ways. When all
were ready, and the simmaut was spread out, having performed his
ablutions, he sat down with his principal followers.

The prince and his company had scarcely seated themselves, when,
lo! there advanced from the desolated city a Genie, whom the
prince seeing, stood up, and thus accosted, "Hail! and welcome to
the sovereign of the Aoon, friendly to his brethren, and ruler of
this extensive desert." He then addressed him, flatteringly, in
fluent language and eloquent expression. The hair of this Oone
Genie hung shaggily over his eyes, and flowed in matted tresses
upon his shoulders. The prince took out a pair of scissors, and
having condescendingly cut his hair, pared his nails, and washed
him, seated him at the cloth, and placed before him the dish
dressed peculiarly for himself.

The Oone ate, and was delighted with the affability of the
prince, whom he addressed, saying, "By Allah, O Mahummud, son of
a sultan! I am doomed to death by thy arrival here; but what, my
lord, was thy object in coming?" Upon this the prince informed
him of his having seen the bird, his vain attempts to take her,
the account he had received from the old man, and his resolution,
in consequence of his information, to penetrate to the kingdom of
Kafoor, to visit the gardens, and bring away some of the
wonderful birds.

When the Oone heard this, he said, "O son of a sultan, that
country to thee is impenetrable, thou canst not reach it; for the
distance from hence is a journey of three hundred years to the
most laborious traveller; how then canst thou hope to arrive at
it, much more return? But, my son, the good old proverb remarks,
that kindness should be returned with kindness, and evil with
evil, and that none are so cruel or so benevolent as the
inhabitants of the desert. As thou hast treated me kindly, so,
God willing, shalt thou have a return for thy goodness; but thou
must leave here thy attendants and thy effects. Thou and I only
will go together, and I will accomplish thy wish in gratitude for
what thou hast done for me." The prince immediately retired from
his encampment with the Oone, who said, "Mount upon my
shoulders."

The prince obeyed the commands of the Oone, who having first
stopped his rider's ears with cotton, mounted into the air, and
after soaring for some hours descended; when the prince found
himself in the island of Kafoor, and near the desired garden.
Having alighted from the shoulders of the generous Oone, he
examined the spot, beheld groves, blooming shrubs, flowers
bordering clear streams, and beautiful birds chanting various
melodies. The Oone said, "Behold the object, of thy search, enter
the garden!" Upon this the prince left him, passed the gate,
which was open, and entered. He walked on every quarter, and
depending from the branches of flowering shrubs saw cages holding
a variety of beautiful birds, two birds in each cage.

The prince took down a large cage, and having examined the birds,
placed in it such as pleased him to the number of six, with which
he was preparing to leave the garden; when at the gate a watchman
met him, who cried out loudly, "A robber! a robber!" Instantly
numerous guards rushing out, seized the prince, bound, and
carried him before the sultan, to whom they complained, saying,
"We found in the garden this young man, carrying off a cage with
six birds. He must certainly be a robber."

The sultan addressed the prince, saying, "What induced thee,
youthful stranger, to violate my property, trespass on the
garden, and attempt stealing these birds?" The prince returned no
answer: upon which the sultan exclaimed, "Young man, thou art
verging upon death; yet still, if thy soul is bent upon having
these birds, bring me from the Black Island some bunches of
grapes, which are composed of emeralds and diamonds, and I will
give thee six birds in addition to those thou hast stolen."
Having said this, the sultan released the prince, who repaired to
his generous friend the Oone, whom he informed of the unlucky
conclusion of his adventure. "Our task is an easy one," answered
the Oone; "mount upon my shoulders."

The prince did as he was desired, and after two hours flight the
Oone descended and alighted, when the prince found himself in the
Black Island. He immediately advanced towards the garden in which
was the fruit composed of emeralds and diamonds. On the way a
monster met him of terrible appearance.

The monster sprung at the prince, who, with surprising agility,
drawing his sword, wounded the furious beast on the forehead with
such effect, that, uttering a dreadful groan, he fell dead at his
feet. It happened, by divine decree, that the sultan's daughter
looking from a window of the haram, beheld the combat, and,
stricken with the manly beauty and prowess of the prince,
exclaimed, "Who can withstand thy courage, or who resist thy all
conquering charms?" But he did not see the princess, or hear her
applause.

The prince, after having slain the monster, proceeded to the
garden, the gate of which he found open, and on entering,
perceived variety of artificial trees composed of precious
stones. Among them was one resembling the vine, the fruits of
which were of emeralds and diamonds. He plucked off six bunches,
and was quitting the garden when a sentinel met him; who, being
alarmed, cried out, "A robber! a robber!" The guards rushed out,
and having bound him, carried him before the sultan, saying, "My
lord, we found this youth stealing the fruit from the garden of
jewels."

The sultan was enraged, and on the point of ordering him to be
put to death, when a number of persons entered, crying out, "Good
tidings to our sovereign." "On what account?" exclaimed the
sultan. "The horrible monster," replied they, "who used annually
to appear and devour our sons and daughters, we have just now
found dead and cloven in two." The sultan was so rejoiced at this
happy event, that he refrained from the blood of the prince, and
exclaimed, "Whoever has destroyed this monster let him come to
me, and I swear by Allah, who has invested me with royalty, that
I will give him my daughter in marriage; and whatever else he may
desire, even to the half of my empire."

Upon the sultan's declaration being proclaimed, several young men
appeared, pretending that they had killed the monster, and gave
various accounts of the combat, which made the prince smile. "By
Allah! it is strange," said the sultan, "that a youth in such a
perilous situation should be so unconcerned as to smile." While
the sultan was ruminating on this occurrence, a eunuch entered
from the haram, requesting that he would come and speak to the
princess his daughter, who had business of importance to
communicate; upon which the sultan arose, and retired from the
hall of audience.

When the sultan had entered the princess's apartment, he said,
"What can have happened which has occasioned you to send for me
so suddenly?" She replied, "Is it thy wish to know who slew the
monster, and to reward the courageous hero?" "By Allah," answered
the sultan, "who created subjects and their sovereigns, if I can
discover him, my first offer to him shall be to espouse thee,
whatever be his condition, or though he dwell in the most distant
region." The princess rejoined, "No one slew the monster but the
youth who entered the garden of gems, and was bearing off the
fruit, whom thou wast just now on the point of putting to death."

When the sultan heard the above from his daughter, he returned to
the divan, and calling the prince before him, said, "Young man, I
grant thee thy pardon; art thou he who destroyed the monster?" "I
am," replied the prince. The sultan would instantly have summoned
the cauzee to perform the espousals; but the prince said, "I have
a friend to consult; permit me to retire, and I will soon
return." The sultan consented, saying, "Thy request is but
reasonable; but come back quickly." The prince having repaired to
his friend the Oone, informed him of what had happened to him,
and of the offer of the sultan's daughter in marriage: upon which
the Oone said, "Accept the princess; but on condition that, if
you marry her, you shall be allowed to carry her to your own
kingdom." The prince having returned to the sultan, proposed his
terms, which were readily agreed to, and the nuptials were
celebrated with the most splendid magnificence. After abiding in
the palace of the sultan for a month and three days, he requested
permission to depart with his bride towards his own country,
which was granted.

On the departure of the prince, his father-in-law presented him
with a hundred bunches of the grapes composed of emeralds and
diamonds, and he repaired to his friend the Oone; who, having
first stopped their ears with cotton, mounted them upon his
shoulders, and soaring into the air, after two hours descended
near the capital of the island of Kafoor. The prince, taking four
bunches of the jewelled fruit, hastened to the palace, and laid
them before the sultan; who, in astonishment, exclaimed, "Surely,
this young stranger must be a powerful magician, or how could he
have travelled the distance of three hundred years' journey, and
have accomplished his purpose in less time than three months!
Such an action is truly miraculous. Hast thou, indeed, young
man," said the sultan, "been at the Black Island?" "I have,"
answered the prince. "Describe it to me," replied the sultan,
"its appearance, its buildings, its gardens, and rivers." The
prince having answered all his queries, the sultan said, "Noble
youth, you may assuredly ask of me whatever you wish!" "I want
nothing but the birds," rejoined the prince. "They are thine,"
returned the sultan; "but annually on a certain day, and this is
it, there descends from yonder mountain a monstrous vulture,
which tears in pieces our men, women, and children; and having
flown away with them in his gigantic talons devours their flesh.
I have a beautiful daughter, whom, if thou canst overcome this
calamitous monster, I will give to thee in marriage."

The prince replied, "I will consult my friend;" and then returned
to the Oone, whom he informed of the offer; but he had scarcely
done speaking, when, lo! the vulture appeared: upon which the
Oone, ascending into the air, attacked the monster, and after a
fierce combat, tore him into halves; after which he descended to
the prince, and said, "Go to the sultan, and acquaint him that
his destructive enemy is slain."

The prince did as he was directed: upon which the sultan with his
train, and an immense crowd of the inhabitants of the city, came
out on horseback, and beheld the monstrous vulture, stretched
dead on the ground, torn in halves. The sultan then conducted the
prince of Hind to the palace; where his marriage with the
princess was instantly celebrated, amid the highest festivity and
rejoicings; and after remaining a full month at the sultan's
court, he requested leave to depart; when his father-in-law
presented him with ten cages, in each of which were four of the
beautiful birds of variously coloured plumage, and dismissed him,
after an affectionate farewell, with his daughter.

The prince having departed from the sultan repaired to his
faithful friend the Oone, who welcomed his return; and having
mounted him upon his back with his two brides, his jewel fruit,
and the cages, immediately ascended into the air, from whence,
after soaring for some hours, he gradually descended, and
alighted near the ruined city, where the prince had left his
tents, cattle, and followers, whom he found anxiously expecting
his arrival. The friendly Oone had scarcely set him down, when he
said to the prince, "My young friend Mahummud, the obligation
already conferred upon me by thy coming here was great; but I
have one more favour to request." "What can that be?" replied the
prince. "That thou leave not this spot," continued the Oone,
"until thou hast washed my corpse, enshrouded, and laid it in the
grave." Having said thus, the Oone suddenly uttered one loud
groan, and instantly his soul took its flight from the body. The
astonished prince stood for some time overpowered with sorrow;
but at length recovering himself, he, with the assistance of his
domestics, washed the corpse, wrapped it in a winding sheet, and
having prayed over it, deposited it in the earth.

The funeral ceremonies of his friend being over, he commenced his
march homewards, and after three days arrived in sight of the
inscribed pyramid, near which he perceived an extensive
encampment, which, on reconnoitring, he found to be that of his
father. The aged sultan, unable to bear the absence of his son,
had marched from his capital in hopes of overtaking him; but on
his arrival at the junction of the three ways, being confounded
at the sight of the inscriptions, he had halted, not knowing
where to proceed. Great was his joy on discovering the prince
advancing towards that face of the pyramid on which was engraved,
"Whoever travels this road will probably never return." When the
raptures of meeting and mutual congratulations were over, the
prince informed the sultan of his wonderful and successful
adventures, which overpowered him with astonishment and joy.
After reposing a few days, they proceeded towards the capital of
the sultan; where tidings having arrived of their approach, the
inhabitants ornamented the city with silks, carpets, and
transparent paintings; and the nobles and respectable persons
issued forth with splendid trains to meet and congratulate their
sovereign and the prince, who entered in triumphal procession,
amid the greatest rejoicings and prayers for their welfare and
prosperity.





                 STORY OF THE FISHERMAN'S SON.



A fisherman's son having in company with his father caught a
large fish, the latter proposed to present it to the sultan, in
hopes of receiving a great reward. While he was gone home to
fetch a basket, the son, moved by compassion, returned the fish
into the water; but fearful of his father's anger, fled from his
country, and repaired to a distant city, where he was entertained
by a person as a servant. Strolling one day in the market, he saw
a Jew purchase of a lad a cock at a very high price, and send it
by his slave to his wife, with orders to keep it safely till his
return home. The fisherman's son supposing that as the Jew gave
so great a price for the cock it must possess some extraordinary
property, resolved to obtain it; and, accordingly, having bought
two large fowls, carried them to the Jew's wife, whom he informed
that her husband had sent him for the cock, which he had
exchanged for the fowls. She gave it him; and he having retired,
killed the bird, in whose entrails he found a magical ring; which
being rubbed by his touch, a voice proceeded from it demanding
what were the commands of its possessor, which should be
immediately executed by the genii who were servants of the ring.
The fisherman's son was rejoiced at his good fortune, and while
meditating what use he should make of his ring, passed by the
sultan's palace, at the gates of which were suspended many human
heads. He inquired the reason, and was informed that they were
those of unfortunate princes, who having failed in performing the
conditions on which the sultan's daughter was offered them in
marriage, had been put to death. Hoping to be more fortunate than
them by the aid of his ring, he resolved to demand the princess's
hand. He rubbed the ring, when the voice asked his commands: upon
which he required a rich dress, and it was instantly laid before
him. He put it on, repaired to the palace, and being introduced
to the sultan, demanded his daughter to wife. The sultan
consented, on condition that his life should be forfeited unless
he should remove a lofty and extensive mound of sand that lay on
one side of the palace, which must be done before he could wed
the princess. He accepted the condition; but demanded an interval
of forty days to perform the task. This being agreed to, he took
his leave, and having repaired to his lodging, rubbed his ring,
commanded the genii to remove the mound, and erect on the space
it covered a magnificent palace, and to furnish it suitably for a
royal residence. In fifteen days the task was completed; he was
wedded to the princess, and declared heir to the sultan. In the
mean while, the Jew whom he had tricked of the cock and the
magical ring resolved to travel in search of his lost prize, and
at last arrived at the city, where he was informed of the
wonderful removal of the mound, and the ereftion of the palace.
He guessed that it must have been done by means of his ring, to
recover which he planned the following stratagem. Having
disguised himself as a merchant, he repaired to the palace, and
cried for sale valuable jewels. The princess hearing him, sent an
attendant to examine them and inquire their price, when the Jew
asked in exchange only old rings. This being told to the
princess, she recollected that her husband kept an old shabby
looking ring in his writing stand, and he being asleep, she took
it out, and sent it to the Jew; who, knowing it to be the one he
had so long sought for, eagerly gave for it all the jewels in his
basket. He retired with his prize, and having rubbed the ring,
commanded the genii to convey the palace and all its inhabitants,
excepting the fisherman's son, into a distant desert island,
which was done instantly. The fisherman's son, on awaking in the
morning, found himself lying on the mound of sand, which had
reoccupied its old spot. He arose, and in alarm lest the sultan
should put him to death in revenge for the loss of his daughter,
fled to another kingdom as quickly as possible. Here he endured a
disconsolate life, subsisting on the sale of some jewels, which
he happened to have upon his dress at his flight. Wandering one
day through a town, a man offered him for sale a dog, a cat, and
a rat, which he purchased, and kept, diverting his melancholy
with their tricks, and uncommon playfulness together. These
seeming animals proved to be magicians; who, in return for his
kindness, agreed to recover for their master his lost prize, and
informed him of their intention. He eagerly thanked them, and
they all set out in search of the palace, the ring, and the
princess. At length they reached the shore of the ocean, after
much travel, and descried the island on which it stood, when the
dog swam over, carrying on his back the cat and the rat. Being
landed, they proceeded to the palace; when the rat entered, and
perceived the Jew asleep upon a sofa, with the ring laid before
him, which he seized in his mouth, and then returned to his
companions. They began to cross the sea, as before, but when
about half over the dog expressed a wish to carry the ring in his
mouth. The rat refused, lest he should drop it; but the dog
threatened, unless he would give it him, to dive and drown them
both in the sea. The rat, alarmed for his life, complied with his
demand: but the dog missed his aim in snatching at the ring,
which fell into the ocean. They landed, and informed the
fisherman's son of his loss: upon which he, in despair, resolved
to drown himself; when suddenly, as he was going to execute his
purpose, a great fish appearing with the ring in his mouth, swam
close to shore, and having dropped it within reach of the
despairing youth, miraculously exclaimed, "I am the fish which
you released from captivity, and thus reward you for your
generosity." The fisherman's son, overjoyed, returned to his
father-in-law's capital, and at night rubbing the ring, commanded
the genii to convey the palace to its old site. This being done
in an instant, he entered the palace, and seized the Jew, whom he
commanded to be cast alive into a burning pile, in which he was
consumed. From this period he lived happily with his princess,
and on the death of the sultan succeeded to his dominions.





             STORY OF ABOU NEEUT AND ABOU NEEUTEEN;
            OR, THE WELL-INTENTIONED AND THE DOUBLE-
                            MINDED.



A person named Abou Neeut, or the well-intentioned, being much
distressed in his own country, resolved to seek a better
livelihood in another. Accordingly he took with him all he
possessed, being only one single sherif, and began his journey.
He had not travelled far when there overtook him a man, who
entertained him with his conversation; in the course of which it
appeared that his name was Abou Neeuteen, or double-minded. Being
upon the same scheme, they agreed to seek their fortunes
together, and it was settled that Abou Neeut should be the purse-
bearer of the common stock. The other possessed ten sherifs.

After some days of toilsome journey they reached a city; on
entering which, a beggar accosted them, crying out, "Worthy
believers, disburse your alms and ye shall be rewarded ten-fold."
Upon this, Abou Neeut gave him a sherif; when his companion,
enraged at what he thought prodigality, demanded back his money,
which was given him, and he marched off leaving his new friend
without any thing. Abou Neeut, resigned to his fate, and relying
on Providence, proceeded to a mosque to pay his devotions, hoping
to meet some charitable person who would relieve his necessities;
but he was mistaken. For a night and day he remained in the
mosque, but no one offered him charity. Pressed by hunger, he in
the dusk of evening stole out, and wandered with fainting steps
through the streets. At length perceiving a servant throwing the
fragments from an eating cloth, he advanced, and gathering them
up, sat down in a corner, and gnawed the bones and half-eaten
morsels with eagerness; after which, lifting up his eyes towards
heaven, he thanked God for his scanty meal. The servant, who had
observed his motions, was surprised and affected at his wretched
condition and devotion, of which he informed his master; who,
being a charitable man, took from his purse ten sherifs, which he
ordered the servant to give to Abou Neeut.

The servant, through avarice, having retained one sherif as a
perquisite, delivered the rest to Abou Neeut; who, having counted
the money, thanked God for his bounty; but said, agreeably to the
scriptural declaration he ought to have had ten-fold for the
sherif he had given to the beggar. The master of the servant
overhearing this, called Abou Neeut up stairs; and having seated
him, inquired his story, which he faithfully related to his host,
who was a capital merchant, and was so much pleased at his pious
simplicity, that he resolved to befriend him, and desired him to
abide for the present in his house.

Abou Neeut had resided some days with his friendly host, when the
season arrived at which the merchant, who was punctual in
discharging the duties of religion, having examined his stock,
set apart the tenth of it in kind, and bestowed it upon his
guest, whom he advised to open a shop and try his fortune in
trade. Abou Neeut did so, and was so successful, that in a few
years he became one of the most reputable merchants in the place.

At the end of this period, sitting one day in his warehouse, he
saw in the streets wretchedly habited, lean, and with eyes sunken
and dim, his old companion Abou Neeuteen, begging alms of
passengers with the importunate cry of distress. Abou Neeut
compassionating his miserable situation, ordered a servant to
call him to him; and on his arrival, having seated him, sent for
refreshments to relieve his immediate want. He then invited him
to spend the night at his house; and in the evening, having shut
up his warehouse, conducted him home, where a bath was made warm
for him, and when he had bathed, he was presented with a change
of handsome apparel. Supper was served, and when they had eaten
till they were satisfied they conversed on several subjects. At
length Abou Neeut exclaimed, "Dost thou not recollect me, my
brother?" "No, by Allah, most liberal host," replied the other;
"but who art thou?" "I was," answered Abou Neeut, "the companion
of thy travel at such a period; but my disposition is still
unchanged, nor have I forgotten our old connection. Half of what
I possess is thine."

Having said this, Abou Neeut balanced his accounts, and gave half
of his property to his distressed fellow traveller; who with it
stocked a warehouse, and traded for himself with good success.
For some time the two friends lived near each other in great
repute, when Abou Neeuteen growing restless, requested Abou Neeut
to quit their present abode, and travel for recreation and
profit. "My dear friend," replied Abou Neeut, "why should we
travel? have we not here affluence and ease, and what more can we
enjoy in any part of the world?" This remonstrance had no effect
on Abou Neeuteen, who became so importunate, that at length his
kind friend yielded to his whim; they loaded an ample stock of
merchandize on mules and camels, and departed for the city of
Moussul.

After travelling ten days, they one evening encamped near a deep
well, round which they took up their lodging. In the morning Abou
Neeut, by his own desire, was let down into the well, more
readily to fill the water bags for the use of the caravan, men
and cattle, little apprehending what was by Providence decreed to
befall him; for his ungrateful friend, who envied his prosperity,
and coveted his wealth, having loaded the beasts, cut the rope at
the top of the well, and leaving him to his fate, departed.

Abou Neeut remained all day without food, but humbly putting his
trust in Allah for deliverance. About the middle of the following
night he overheard two Afreets in conversation with each other,
when one said, "I am now perfectly happy: for at length I have
possessed the beautiful princess of Moussul, and no one can drive
me away, unless by sprinkling the infusion of wormwood under her
feet on a Friday during divine service in the great mosque, a
recipe which will hardly be found out." "I," continued the other
Afreet, "have been as fortunate as yourself: for I am in
possession of such a hidden treasure of gold and jewels, under
the mound near Moussul, as cannot be computed, the talisman of
which cannot be opened to any one unless by killing on the mound
a white cock, and pouring over it the blood; which secret I
judge, will not be found out by man." Having said this, the
Afreets took their flight from the well.

Abou Neeut treasured up in his mind the conversation of the
Afreets, and at day-light was happily delivered from the well by
the arrival of a caravan, some of the followers of which were let
down to fill water, and having discovered him, charitably drew
him up, and gave him some refreshments. When he was somewhat
revived by them, they inquired by what accident he had remained
in the well; and he, concealing the treachery of his ungrateful
companion, informed them that having reposed to sleep on the edge
he had fallen in, and not being missed at the time by his fellow
travellers, the caravan had proceeded on its journey. He then
begged leave to accompany his generous deliverers to Moussul, to
which they agreed, and liberally furnished him with a conveyance.

On entering the city Abou Neeut perceived all the people in
motion, and on inquiring the reason, was informed that they were
hastening to the great square before the palace, to see the
beheading of a physician, who had failed in attempting to expel
an evil spirit that had long possessed the daughter of the
sultan, and that such had been the fate of many unhappy men who
had tried their skill upon the unfortunate princess. Upon this
intelligence he hastened with all speed to the palace, and having
obtained admission to the sultan, made the usual prostrations;
after which he offered to expel the evil spirit, and begged as
part of his reward the sparing of the life of the unsuccessful
physician. To this the sultan for the present agreed; but
declared, that should Abou Neeut fail in his undertaking, he
would execute them together, as ignorant pretenders in their art.
Abou Neeut then begged that the trial of his skill might be
deferred till the Friday, which he requested of the sultan might
be solemnly observed, as the devout prayers of all true believers
would draw down a blessing on his operations. The sultan
consented; the unfortunate physician was released from the
executioner, and commanded to be kept in the palace, in which
Abou Neeut had also an apartment allotted him. Proclamation was
then made through the city for the strict celebration of the
approaching sabbath, under pain of the royal displeasure on those
who should neglect it.

Friday being arrived, and the whole city assembled at prayers,
Abou Neeut prepared his infusion of wormwood, as the Afreet had
mentioned. Being introduced into the apartment of the princess,
who lay in a melancholy stupor, he poured the infusion upon her
feet, when a loud yell was heard near her, and she starting up,
as if from sleep, called upon her attendants to assist her in
rising. News was immediately conveyed to the sultan of the
princess's recovery, and he came overjoyed to witness her
returned senses. He commanded public rejoicings to be made, large
sums to be distributed in alms, and desired Abou Neeut to demand
what he chose in reward for his important service, at the same
time ordering the unsuccessful physician to be set at liberty,
with a handsome present.

Abou Neeut, who had been captivated by the beauty of the
princess, asked, as his reward, her hand in marriage: upon which
the sultan consulted with his viziers, who advised him to dismiss
the petitioner for the present, with orders to return in the
morning, when he should receive the sultan's decision on a
request which demanded much consideration. When Abou Neeut had
retired, the viziers represented to the sultan, that it was
fitting the husband of his daughter should at least possess great
wealth: for though Abou Neeut had expelled the evil spirit, yet
if he could not support her in a manner becoming her rank, he was
not worthy to marry her. They, therefore, advised him to select a
number of his most valuable jewels, to shew them to Abou Neeut,
and demand as a dowry for the princess some of equal estimation;
which if he could produce he was ready to receive him as his son-
in-law; but if not, he must accept a compensation for his
services more suited to his condition than the royal alliance.

On Abou Neeut's appearance at court the next morning the sultan
displayed the jewels, and made the proposal advised by his
viziers; when looking with the utmost indifference upon the
brilliant stones before him, he assured the sultan that he would
the next day present him with ten times the number, of superior
value and lustre; which declaration astonished the whole court,
as it was known that no prince possessed richer gems than those
in possession of the sultan of Moussul.

Abou Neeut having taken leave of the sultan proceeded to the
poultry market, and having purchased a cock entirely white and
free from blemish, brought it to his lodgings, where he continued
till the rising of the moon, when he walked out of the city
alone, and speeded to the mound of blueish earth mentioned by the
Afreet of the well to contain the invaluable hidden treasure.
Being arrived at the mound, he ascended it, cut the throat of the
cock, whose blood began to flow, when, lo! the earth shook, and
soon made an opening, through which, to his great satisfaction,
he perceived such heaps of inestimable precious stones, of all
sorts, as are not to be adequately described, Abou Neeut now went
back to the city, where, having procured ten camels, with two
panniers on each, he returned and loaded them with his treasure,
which he conveyed to his lodging, having first filled up the
cavity of the mound.

In the morning Abou Neeut repaired with his. loaded camels to the
palace, and entering the court of the divan, in which the sultan
sat expecting him, after a profound obeisance, cried out,
"Descend for a moment, my lord, and examine the dowry of the
princess." The sultan, arising from his throne, came down the
steps of the hall, and the camels being made to kneel, he
examined the panniers, and was so astonished at the richness of
their contents, being jewels far surpassing his own in size and
lustre, that he exclaimed, "By Allah! if the treasuries of all
the sultans of the world were brought together they could not
afford gems equal to these." When somewhat recovered from his
surprise, he inquired of his viziers how he should now act
towards Abou Neeut; when they all unanimously cried out, "By all
means give him your daughter." The marriage was then immediately
celebrated with great splendour, and Abou Neeut conducted himself
so well in his high station, that the sultan his father-in-law
committed to him the giving public audience in his stead, and the
decision of all appeals, three days in each week.

Some time had elapsed after his elevation, when Abou Neeut one
day giving audience in the magnificent hall of one of his country
palaces, beheld a man among the crowd of a sorrowful aspect,
dressed in a wretched habit, who cried, "O true believers, O
charitable gentlemen, relieve the distressed!" Abou Neeut
commanded one of his mace-bearers to bring him to his presence,
and on his appearance recognized his treacherous companion who
had left him in the well. Without making himself known, or
betraying any emotion but that of compassion, he ordered
attendants to conduct him to the warm bath; in which being
refreshed, he was arrayed in a magnificent habit, and again
brought to the divan. Abou Neeut having retired with him into a
closet, said, "Knowest them me not, my old friend?" "No, by
Allah," replied the other. "Know then," returned he, "that I am
Abou Neeut, thy benefactor and companion, whom you treacherously
left in the well." He then related all his adventures, concluding
them with an assurance, that so far from resenting his treachery,
he regarded his conduit as the impulse of fate, and as the means
by which he, himself, had attained his present dignity and
affluence, which he would share with him. The envious heart of
Abou Neeuteen was unconquerable; and instead of thanking the
noble-minded Abou Neeut for his forgiveness and liberality, he
exclaimed, "Since the well has been to thee so fortunate, why
should it not prove so also to me?" Having said this, he hastily
rose up and quitted Abou Neeut, who would not punish such
rudeness, even without taking leave.

Abou Neeuteen hastened with all speed to the well, and having
descended by a rope, sat down, impatiently expecting the arrival
of the Afreets, who about midnight alighted, and resting
themselves on the terrace above, began to inquire each other's
adventures. "Since we met last," said one, "I have been rendered
miserable; for a cunning Mussulmaun found out the secret of
overpowering me, and has married my princess, nor can I revenge
myself, for he is under the protection of a converted genie, whom
the prophet has appointed to watch over him. "I," continued the
other Afreet, "have been equally unfortunate with thyself; for
the same man who has wedded thy mistress discovered my hidden
treasure, and keeps it in spite of my attempts to recover it: but
let us fill up this abominable well, which must have been the
cause of all our disasters." Having said thus, the two Afreets
immediately hurled the terrace and large stones into the well,
which crushed the ungrateful and envious Abou Neeuteen to atoms.
Some days after this, the good Abou Neeut, finding he did not
return, repaired to the well, and seeing it fallen in, ordered it
to be cleared; when the discovery of the body proved to him that
the malicious spirit of the wretch had been the cause of his own
destruction. He with reverence exclaimed, "There is no refuge but
with the Almighty; may he preserve us from envy, which is
destructive to the envious alone!"

Abou Neeut returned to the capital, where, not long after, his
father-in-law the sultan dying, left him heir to his kingdom. His
succession was disputed by the husbands of the two elder sisters
of his wife; but the ministers and people being in favour of the
sultan's will, they resigned their pretensions and submitted to
his authority. His wife being brought to bed of a son, her
sisters bribed the midwife to pretend that the sultana had
produced a dog. They did the same by another son. At the third
lying-in of the sultana Abou Neeut resolved to be present, and a
beautiful princess appeared. The two infant princes having been
thrown at the gate of one of the royal palaces, were taken up by
the gardener and his wife, who brought them up as their own. Abou
Neeut in visiting the garden with his daughter, who shewed an
instinctive affection for them, from this, and their martial play
with each other (having made horses of clay, bows and arrows,
&c.), was induced to inquire of the gardener whether they were
really his own children. The gardener upon this related the
circumstance of his having found them exposed at the gate of the
palace, and mentioned the times, which agreed exactly with those
of the sultana's delivery. Abou Neeut then questioned the
midwife, who confessed the imposition and wickedness of the
sisters, whom he left to be punished by the pangs of their own
consciences, convinced that envy is its own severest tormentor.
The young princes were acknowledged; and the good Abou Neeut had
the satisfaction of seeing them grow up to follow his example.





              ADVENTURE OF A COURTIER, RELATED BY
           HIMSELF TO HIS PATRON, AN AMEER OF EGYPT.



It is related by an historian that there was an ameer of the land
of Egypt, whose mind being one night unusually disturbed, he sent
for one of his courtiers, a convivial companion, and said to him,
"To-night my bosom, from what cause I know not, is uncommonly
restless, and I wish thee to divert me by some amusing
narrative." The courtier replied, "To hear is to obey: I will
describe an adventure which I encountered in the youthful part of
my life."

When a very young man I was deeply in love with a beautiful Arab
maiden, adorned by every elegance and grace, who resided with her
parents; and I used frequently to visit their camp, for her
family was one of the desert tribes. One day my mind felt
uncommonly anxious concerning her, and I resolved to seek relief
by a visit; but when I reached the spot found neither my beloved
nor any of her kindred. I questioned some passengers, who
informed me that the family had removed their encampment from
scarcity of forage for their herds and camels. I remained for
some time on the ground; but observing no signs of their return,
my impatience of absence became intolerable, and my love
compelled me to travel in search of my charmer. Though the shades
of evening were falling, I replaced the saddle upon my camel, put
on my vestments, and girding on my sabre proceeded. I had
advanced some distance, when the night became dismally black, and
from the darkness I now sunk into sands and hollows, and now
ascended declivities, while the yells of wild beasts resounded on
every quarter. My heart beat with apprehension, and my tongue did
not cease to repeat the attributes of the Almighty, our only
defender in time of need. At length stupor overcame my senses,
and I slept; while my camel quitted the track, and wandered from
the route I had meant to pursue all night. Suddenly my head was
violently intercepted by the branch of a tree, and I was awakened
by the blow, which gave me infinite pain. As I recovered myself I
beheld trees, verdure sprinkled with flowers, and a clear
rivulet; also a variety of birds, whose notes were melodiously
sweet. I alighted from my camel, and laid the bridle on my arm,
as the underwood of the thicket was closely entwined.

I did not cease leading my camel till I was out of the thicket,
when I remounted; but at a loss which way to go, and unknowing
where Providence might direct me, I reached the desert, and cast
my eyes over the expanse; when, lo! at length a smoke appeared in
the midst of it. I whipped my camel, and at length reached a
fire, and near it observed a handsome tent, before which was a
standard planted, surrounded by spears, horses picketted, and
camels grazing. I said to myself, "What can mean this tent, which
has a grand appearance, in so solitary a plain?" I then went to
the rear of the tent, and exclaimed, "Health to you, O
inhabitants of this tent, and may the Almighty to you be
merciful!" Upon this there advanced from it a youth, seemingly
about nineteen, who appeared graceful as the rising moon, and
valour and benevolence gleamed upon his aspect. He returned my
salutation, and said, "Brother Arab, perchance thou hast missed
thy way." I answered, "Yes, shew it, and may God requite thee!"
upon which he replied, "My dwelling, brother Arab, is at present
in this wild spot; but the night is dreary, and shouldst thou
proceed there is no surety against wild beasts tearing thee in
pieces. Lodge, then, at present with me in safety, and repose,
and when day shall appear I will direct thee on thy way." I
alighted, when he took my camel, picketted her, and gave her
water and fodder. He then retired for a while; but returned with
a sheep, which he killed, flayed, and cut up; then lighted a
fire, and when it was of a proper glow broiled part of the sheep,
which he had previously seasoned with sundry dried herbs, seeds,
and spices, and when ready presented his cookery to me.

During his hospitalities I observed that my kind host sometimes
beat his breast and wept, from which I guessed that he was in
love, and a wanderer, like myself. My curiosity was raised; but I
said within myself, "I am his guest, why should I intrude upon
him by painful questions?" and refrained from inquiry. When I had
eaten as much as sufficed me, the youth arose, went into his
tent, and brought out a basin and ewer, with a napkin embroidered
with silk and fringed with gold; also a cruet of rose water, in
which musk had been infused. I was astonished at his proceedings,
and the politeness of his demeanour, and exclaimed inwardly, "How
wonderful is the abode of so accomplished a personage in this
wild desert." We made our ablutions, and conversed awhile upon
various subjects; after which my gentle host went to his tent,
from whence he brought out a piece of red silk damask, which he
divided between us, saying, "Brother Arab, go into my tent and
choose thy place of repose, for last night and to-day great must
have been thy hardship and fatigue."

I entered the tent, and in one partition of it found a mattress
of green damask: upon which, having pulled off my upper garments,
I lay down, and slept so soundly that I never enjoyed, before or
since, so refreshing a repose. At length I awoke, when night was
far advanced, and became involved in thought respecting my
hospitable host; but knew not what to conjecture, and was sinking
again into slumber, when, lo! gentle murmurs struck my ears, than
which I never heard sound more soft or tenderly affecting. I
lifted up the curtain of my partition, and looked around, when I
beheld a damsel more beautiful than any I had ever seen, seated
by the generous owner of the tent. They wept and complained of
the agonies of love, of separation and interruptions to their
desire of frequent meetings. Then I said within myself, "There is
a wonderfully dignified appearance in this amiable youth, yet he
lives alone, and I have seen no other tent on the plain. What can
I conjecture, but that this damsel must be a daughter of one of
the good genii, who has fallen in love with him, and upon her
account he has retired to this solitary spot?" Respect for their
love made me drop the curtain; I drew the coverlid over me, and
again fell asleep.

When the morning dawned I awoke, dressed, and having performed my
ablutions and prayers, said to the young man, who had already
risen, "Brother Arab, if in addition to thy hospitalities already
shewn thou wilt put me in my way, my obligations will be
complete. "He looked kindly, and said, "If convenient, my
brother, let me entertain thee as my guest for three days." I
could not refuse his hospitable request, and abode with him. On
the third day I ventured to inquire his name and family, when he
replied, "I am of the noble tribe of Azzra," and I discovered
that he was the son of my father's brother. "Son of my uncle,"
exclaimed I, "what can have induced thee to court the seclusion
of this desert spot, and to quit thy kinsmen, neighbours, and
dependents?"

Upon hearing these words, the eyes of the youth became suffused
with tears, he sighed, and said, "Ah! my cousin, I passionately
admired the daughter of my uncle, and was so devoted to her love
that I asked her in marriage; but he refused me, and wedded her
to another of our tribe richer than myself, who carried her to
his abode. When she was thus torn from me, despair agitated my
soul, I quitted my relations, friends, and companions, became
enamoured of solitude, and retired to this lonely spot."

When he had finished his communication, I said, "But where is the
abode of thy beloved and thy successful rival?" He replied, "Near
the summit of yonder mountain, from whence, as frequently as
opportunity will allow, in the stillness of night, when sleep
hath overpowered the eyes of the village, she ventures to my
tent, and we enjoy the company of each other; but believe me, my
brother, our passion is innocent as devotional love. Hence I
dwell here in the manner you have witnessed, and while she visits
me delightful will pass the hours, until Allah shall execute his
appointed decrees, and reward our constancy in this world, or
consign us to the grave together."

When the unfortunate youth had concluded his narration, at which
I was affected with sincere compassion for his circumstances, an
eager desire to relieve the lovers from their oppressors occupied
my mind, and after much consideration I addressed him thus: "If
thou choosest, I think I can point out a plan which, under the
blessing of Allah, may end the sufferings of thyself and thy
beloved." He replied, "O son of my uncle, reveal it to me!" and I
continued, saying, "When night shall arrive, and the damsel
cometh, let us seat her upon my camel; for she is sure-footed and
swift of pace; do thou then mount thy steed, and I will accompany
you upon one of your camels. We will travel all night, and ere
morning shall have passed the forest, when you will be safe, and
thy heart will be rendered happy with thy beloved. The land of
God is wide enough to afford us an asylum; and by Heaven I swear,
that while life remains I will be thy friend." The youth replied,
"Son of my uncle, I will consult upon thy plan with my beloved,
for she is prudent and well-informed."

When night had shut in, and the usual hour of the damsel's coming
approached, my kind host impatiently expefted her arrival; but in
vain, for she did not appear. He rose, stood in the doorway of
the tent, opened his mouth, and drew in the exhalations of the
gale, then returned, sat down pensively for a few minutes, and at
last bursting into tears, exclaimed, "Ah! my cousin, there are no
tidings of the daughter of my uncle, some, mishap must have
befallen her. Remain here while I go in search of intelligence."
Having said thus, he took up his sabre, his lance, and departed.

When somewhat more than an hour had elapsed, I heard his
footstep, and soon perceived him advancing, bearing something
bulky in his arms, while he called loudly upon me in a
distressful tone. I hastened towards him, and upon my arrival he
exclaimed, "Alas, alas! the beloved daughter of my uncle is no
more, and I bear her remains. She was hastening, as usual, to my
tent, when suddenly a lion sprung upon her in the path, and tore
her in pieces. These relics are all that remain of my beloved."
He then laid them down, and, lo! the thigh bones of the damsel
and part of her ribs. He wept piteously, and said, "Remain here
till I return;" after which he departed with the swiftness of an
arrow. In about an hour he returned, and in his hand was the head
of the lion, which he threw down, and asked eagerly for water,
which I brought him. He then washed his hands, cleansed the mouth
of the lion, which he rapturously kissed, and wept bitterly for
some moments. He then exclaimed, "By Allah, I conjure thee, O son
of my uncle, and by the ties of relationship between us, that
thou observe my will; for within this hour I shall follow my
beloved; be thou our mourner, and bury her remains with mine in
the same grave." Having said this, he retired into the sleeping
partition of the tent; where he remained at his devotions for an
hour, then came out, beat his breast, sighed deeply, and at
length heaved his expiring groan, saying, "I come, I come, my
beloved, I come!" and his pure soul took flight for the mansions
of Paradise.

When I beheld his corpse, sad indeed was my condition, and from
excess of sorrow I found it difficult to perform my promise; but
at length I arose, washed, enshrouded, and laid the remains of
these constant lovers in the same grave, near which I remained
for three days in prayer and lamentation; after which I departed
homewards: but have not failed annually to visit the spot, to
bedew their grave with my tears, and pray for the mercy of Allah
to their souls and my own errors.





            STORY OF THE PRINCE OF SIND, AND FATIMA,
                 DAUGHTER OF AMIR BIN NAOMAUN.



Some ages back a certain sultan of Sind had a son by a concubine,
who behaved so rudely to his sultana, that she became dispirited
and lost her health, which her favourite woman observing,
resolved by stratagem to get rid of the prince. She advised her
mistress, when he might next insult her, to say to him, "That he
would never appear becoming his rank till he was beloved by
Fatima, daughter of a sultan named Amir bin Naomaun." The queen
having followed the woman's directions, the prince resolved to
travel to the country of the princess, and demand her in
marriage. Accordingly, having obtained the consent of the sultan
his father, he departed with an attendance suitable to his rank.
After marching for some time he entered a desert, which was
covered with a numberless flight of locusts, that had fallen
exhausted for want of food. Pitying their distress, he ordered
meal to be spread on the ground, when the locusts having
refreshed themselves flew away. Some days after this incident he
reached a thick forest crowded with elephants, and herds of wild
animals of every description; but as they did not attempt to
attack him, and were in a starving condition, he ordered some of
his cattle to be killed, and distributed to them for food. Having
satisfied themselves they retired, shewing every sign that
dumbness would allow of being pleased with his kind treatment. On
his march onwards the prince met a venerable old man, of whom he
inquired the route to the territories of Amir bin Naomaun, and
was informed that they were at no great distance; but only to be
entered by a range of rugged and steep mountains composed of
iron-stone, and next to impassable; also, that should he succeed
in overcoming this difficulty, it was in vain to hope to attain
the princess. The prince inquiring the reason, the old man
continued, "Sultan Amir bin Noamaun has resolved that no one
shall wed his daughter unless he can perform three tasks which he
will impose, and these are of so difficult a nature as not to be
executed by the labour or ingenuity of man, and many unhappy
princes have lost their heads in the attempt; for he puts them to
death instantly on failure: be advised, therefore, and give up so
fruitless an expedition." The prince, instead of listening to the
admonition of the old man, resolved to proceed; and having
requested his prayers and benedictions, continued his march. In a
short time, having entered the passes of the mountains, he
discovered vast caverns inhabited by a species of genii, who were
employed in working upon masses of iron-stone, which they dug
from the rock. The prince having entertained them with a
hospitable feast, they, in return, shewed him the easiest route
through the stupendous mountains, and he at length arrived in
safety before the capital of sultan Amir bin Naomaun, to whom he
sent an envoy, requesting leave to encamp on the plain, and to
offer himself as a candidate for the beautiful princess his
daughter. The sultan, in reply, acceded to his petition, and
invited him to the palace; where, in the evening, he was led into
a court, in which was placed an immense vessel filled with three
kinds of grain mixed together, which (as his first task towards
obtaining the princess) he was to separate entirely from each
other, and put into three heaps; which if not accomplished before
sunrise, he was then to forfeit his head in punishment for his
temerity. It being now too late to recede, the prince resigned
himself to Providence; and the gates of the court being locked
upon him, he prayed to Allah, and began to separate the grains;
but finding his progress vain, his spirits deserted him about
midnight, and he left off his fruitless labour in despair,
endeavouring to reconcile himself to death. While he was praying
for fortitude to bear him up in his last moments, a voice was
heard, saying, "Be comforted, and receive the reward of thy
charity to famished insects." Immediately after this the heavens
were obscured, as if by thick clouds, which descended on the
court, when, lo! this phenomenon proved to be myriads of locusts;
who, alighting on the vessel, in a few hours emptied it of all
the grain, which they disposed of, each in its kind, in three
several heaps, and having given a general buzzing of salutation,
took flight, and vanished into the air. The prince was overjoyed
at the miraculous accomplishment of his task by the grateful
locusts, and having offered up thanks to Allah and the prophet
for his deliverance from impending destruction, composed himself
to rest, doubting not but that they would assist him to overcome
the two remaining labours. Great was the surprise of the sultan
Amir bin Naomaun, when, on coming at daylight to the court, he
beheld his intended victim in a profound sleep, and the grain in
three separate heaps, neatly piled up in the form of domes. The
prince awaking, saluted him, and demanded to be informed of his
next task; but the sultan put him off to the evening, until when
he entertained him at the palace with a most magnificent feast;
and his obdurate heart was so softened by the noble address and
demeanour of his guest, that he wished he might be able to
overcome the remaining impositions and become his son-in-law. The
princess, also, who had the curiosity to look at him through the
blinds of her apartments, was so fascinated with his appearance
that she prayed for his success.

When night had set in, the prince was conducted to an open plain
in front of the palace, in the centre of which was a large
reservoir full of clear water, which the sultan commanded him to
drain off before sunrise, or forfeit his life. The prince
remained alone on the brink of the reservoir with rather somewhat
more hope of success than he had felt of overcoming his task of
the preceding night; nor was he disappointed, for about midnight
a voice was heard exclaiming, "Prince, benevolence is never
unrequited:" and, lo! the plain was filled with elephants,
rhinoceroses, camels, dromedaries, lions, tigers, and every
species of wild beasts, in such immense droves as could not be
numbered, who, advancing in turn to the reservoir, drank in such
quantity that it, at length, was completely emptied, and became
as dry as if just finished. The beasts then expressing pleasure
by their varying natural noises at having served their benefadlor
departed, and left him to enjoy the deliverance from the labour
imposed upon him.

The prince, now more assured than ever that he was the favourite
of Allah and the prophet, after offering up prayers with a
relieved heart, slept comfortably in a building creeled on the
margin of the reservoir, and was only awakened by the call of the
sultan at sun-rise, who was more astonished at the accomplishment
of this labour than the former, though certainly each was equally
difficult. He conducted the prince to his palace, and the day was
spent in the highest festivity.

At the approach of night the prince was conducted to his third
task, which was to complete and fit up before daylight from a
vast mass of planks of the choicest timber ready stored the
doors, windows, and balconies of an unfinished palace, much
larger than that which the sultan inhabited. The prince at the
apprehension of the consequences of failure was somewhat alarmed;
but the recollection of his former aids supported him, and after
offering up his devotions he sat down, composedly waiting for the
decision of Providence on his fate. His resignation was accepted,
for at midnight he was roused from his contemplations by the
sounds of sawing, planing, hammering, nailing, and the songs of
happy work-men. Looking up he perceived his friends of the iron
mountains; who, all saluting him, cried out, "Prince, set your
heart at rest, for we are come to repay you for your hospitable
feast." Before daylight the palace was fitted up in a manner more
elegant than can be described, and every door, window, and
balcony painted with the most brilliant colours, flowered with
silver and gold. The grateful labourers of the iron mountains
having finished their work, respectfully saluted the prince and
departed.

The prince having taken a grateful leave of his useful friends,
walked through the palace, and was eagerly employed in admiring
its elegance and the magnificence of their finishing hand, when
the sultan Amir bin Naomaun, who from his apartments at sun-rise
had observed the miraculous completion, appeared, having hastened
to examine the superb workmanship, and to congratulate his son-
in-law, for as such he now acknowledged him, and as the favoured
of Allah, and of the last of prophets. He conducted the prince to
the palace, and the most magnificent preparations being made, the
nuptials with his daughter were celebrated in the new edifice,
where the bride and bridegroom enjoyed themselves for three
months, at the expiration of which the prince begged permission
to return to his father's dominions, which he reached just in
time to release him from the attack of an inimical sultan, who
had invaded the country, and laid close siege to his capital. His
father received him with rapture, and the prince having made an
apology to the sultana for his former rude behaviour, she
received his excuses, and having no child of her own readily
adopted him as her son; so that the royal family lived henceforth
in the utmost harmony, till the death of the sultan and sultana,
when the prince succeeded to the empire.





             STORY OF THE LOVERS OF SYRIA; OR, THE
                            HEROINE.



There formerly dwelt in the city of Damascus two brothers, one
poor and the other rich, the former of whom had a son, and the
latter a daughter. The poor man dying left his son, just emerging
from infancy, to the protection of his wealthy uncle, who behaved
to his unfortunate charge with paternal tenderness, till the
youth, who had exchanged vows of love with his cousin, requested
her in marriage; when the father refused, and expelled him from
his house. The young lady, however, who ardently loved him,
agreed to elope, and having one night escaped from her father's
dwelling, repaired to the object of her affection; who, having
had notice of her intentions, had prepared two horses and a mule
to carry their baggage. They travelled all night, and by morning
reached a sea-port, where they found a ship ready to sail, in
which, having secured a passage, the lady immediately embarked;
but the lover remained on shore to dispose of the horses and
mule. While he was seeking for a purchaser in the market, a fair
wind sprung up, and the master of the ship having weighed anchor,
hoisted sail and departed: the lady in vain entreating him to
wait the return of her beloved, or send her on shore, for he was
captivated with her beauty. Finding herself thus ensnared, as she
was a woman of strong mind, instead of indulging in unavailing
complaint, she assumed a satisfied air; and as the only way to
preserve her honour, received the addresses of the treacherous
master with pretended complacency, and consented to receive him
as a husband at the first port at which the ship might touch.
With these assurances he was contented, and behaved to her with
honourable deference, and affectionate respect. At length the
vessel anchored near a city, to which the captain went to make
preparations for his marriage; but the lady, while he was on
shore, addressed the ship's crew, setting forth with such force
his treacherous conduct to herself, and offering such rewards if
they would convey her to her lover at the port they had left,
that the honest sailors were moved in her favour, agreed to obey
her as their mistress, and hoisting sail, left the master to
shift for himself. After some days of favourable weather, a
contrary gale blowing hard, the vessel was driven far out of her
course, and for shelter obliged to anchor in the first haven that
offered, which proved to be that of a large city, the capital of
a potent sultan, whose officers came on board to examine the
vessel, and inquire into her cargo and destination. These men, to
their great surprise, finding it commanded by a lady of exquisite
beauty, reported her charms to the sultan, who resolved to
possess them, and sent her an offer of marriage; to which she
seemingly consented, and the sultan commanded the most splendid
preparations to be made for the nuptials. When all was ready, he
sent onboard the vessel the daughter of his vizier, with other
ladies, thirty-nine in number, magnificently attired, to wait
upon his bride, and attend her on shore. They were graciously
received by the politic lady, and invited to refresh themselves
in the grand cabin, which she had elegantly adorned with costly
hangings, and prepared in it a superb collation, to which they
sat down. She then dismissed the boats in which they came,
sending a message to the sultan that she should entertain the
ladies on board till the next morning, when she would repair on
shore and conclude their marriage. She behaved towards her new
guests with such winning affability, that they one and all
admired their expected sultana, and partook of the entertainment
with the highest satisfaction; but what was their surprise when,
in the middle of the night, she commanded the crew to weigh
anchor, having first warned them, on pain of her displeasure and
immediate death, to keep silence, and raise no alarm in the
harbour. The vessel sailed, and put to sea without being
molested, when the intrepid commandress consoled the affrighted
ladies, related to them her own adventures, and assured them that
when she should have rejoined her lover, they should, if they
chose it, be honourably restored to their homes; but in the mean
time she hoped they would contentedly share her fortunes. This
behaviour, by degrees, so won upon their minds, that the ladies
forgot their sorrows, became pleased with their situation, and in
a short time were so attached to their new mistress, that they
would not have left her had it been in their power. After some
weeks sail, it became necessary to steer towards the first coast
that should present itself, to lay in a supply of fresh water and
provisions, and land appearing, the vessel anchored, when the
lady with her companions went on shore. Here they were surrounded
by forty robbers, who threatened to take them prisoners; when the
heroic lady, desiring her friends to conceal their fears, assumed
a smiling countenance, and addressing the chief of the banditti,
assured him there would be no occasion for force, as she and her
companions were ready to share their love, being women who were
above the prejudices of their sex, and had devoted themselves to
pleasure, in search of which they roved on board their vessel
from one coast to another, and would now stay with them as long
as they might wish for their company. This declaration suiting
the depraved minds of the robbers, they laid aside their fierce
looks and warlike weapons, bringing abundance of all sorts of
provisions to regale their expected mistresses, with whom they
sat down to a plentiful repast, which was heightened by a store
of wines which the lady had brought in her boats from the ship.
Mirth and jollity prevailed; but the fumes of the liquors, in
which the politic lady had infused strong opiates, suddenly
operated upon their senses, and they fell down one and all in a
state of stupefaction. She then with her companions drew the
sabres of their brutal admirers and put them all to death
excepting the chief, whom they bound hand and foot with strong
cords, and after cutting off his beard and mustachios, tied his
own cimeter round his neck, leaving him to feel mortification
worse than death on the recovery of his senses, namely, the sight
of his slaughtered fellows, and regret at the loss of his
imagined happiness. The ladies then stripped the caves of the
robbers of the vast wealth which they had hoarded up from their
plunders, and having carried it on board their boats, with a
stock of water and provisions, returned to the ship, weighed
anchor, and sailed triumphant and rejoicing from such a dangerous
coast. After some weeks' sail they again descried land, to which
they approached, and discovered a spacious harbour, round which
rose a vast city, the buildings of which were sublimely lofty,
adorned with flights of marble steps to the water's edge, and
crowned with domes and minarets topped with pinnacles of gold.
The enterprising lady having anchored, clothed herself and her
companions in magnificent male habits; after which she ordered
the boats to be hoisted out, and they were rowed ashore by part
of their crew richly dressed. On landing, they found all the
inhabitants of the city in mourning, and making doleful
lamentation for their late sultan, who had died only a few days
before. The gallant appearance of a stranger so nobly attended
created much surprise, and intelligence of the arrival was
instantly conveyed to the vizier, who acted as regent till the
eleftion of a new monarch, which ceremony was just on the point
of taking place. The minister, who thought he perceived in such a
critical arrival the work of fate, immediately waited on the now
supposed prince, whom he invited to be present at the election;
at the same time informing him that when in this kingdom a sultan
died without issue, the laws appointed that his successor should
be chosen by the alighting of a bird on his shoulder, which bird
would be let fly among the crowd assembled in the square before
the palace. The seeming prince accepted the invitation, and with
the disguised ladies was conducted to a gorgeous pavilion, open
on all sides, to view the ceremony. The ominous bird being
loosened from his chain, soared into the air to a great height,
then gradually descending, flew round and round the square
repeatedly, even with the faces of the spectators. At length it
darted into the pavilion, where the lady and her companions were
seated, fluttered around her head, and at length rested upon her
shoulder, giving at the same time a cry of exultation, stretching
its neck, and flapping its wings. Immediately upon this, the
viziers and courtiers bowed themselves to the ground, and the
assembled crowd prostrated themselves on the earth, crying out,
"Long live our glorious sultan, the chosen of Providence, the
elecled by the decrees of fate!" The disguised lady was instantly
conducted to the palace, seated on a splendid throne, and
proclaimed amidst the acclamations of the people, sovereign of an
extensive empire; nor were the abilities of her mind unequal to
the task of government. In a few days the vizier offered to the
supposed sultan his daughter in marriage; and his offer being
accepted, the nuptials were celebrated with the utmost
magnificence; but what was the astonishment of the bride, when,
instead of being caressed, the sultan on retiring with her became
cold and reserved, rose from her, and spent the night in prayer.
In the morning the sultana was questioned by her mother; who, on
her relating the behaviour of the husband, observed, that
possibly from his youth he might be over reserved; but that love
would naturally in time operate its effect. Several evenings past
in the same manner, when the bride, mortified at such coldness,
could no longer restrain herself, and said, "Why, my lord, if you
disliked me, did you take me to wife? but if you love not as
other men, tell me so, and I will suffer my misfortune in
silence." The lady, moved by this remonstrance, replied, "Most
virtuous princess, would that for your sake I were of the sex you
suppose me; but, alas! I am like you a woman, disappointed in
love." She then related to her the wonderful adventures she had
undergone since leaving her father's house, at which the vizier's
daughter was so affected that she vowed for her a lasting
friendship, agreed to keep her secret, and live with her till
such times as chance should restore her lover. In return for this
kindness the lady promised that should the object of her
affections ever arrive, he should marry them both, and that she
should have the precedence in the ceremony of union. The two
friends having thus agreed, the vizier's daughter regained her
cheerfulness, and means were taken to convince her father,
mother, and friends of the consummation of the nuptials. From
this time they lived in perfect happiness together, one
exercising the authority of sultan to the satisfaction of the
subject, and the other acting the part of a satisfied and
obedient wife; but still both were anxious to meet their mutual
husband. As the capital of the kingdom was a mart for most
nations of the world, the pretended sultan formed the following
stratagem for discovering her beloved, not doubting but that he
would travel over all parts of the world in search of the object
of his affection. She erected a most magnificent caravanserai,
furnished with baths hot and cold, and every convenience for the
weary traveller. When it was finished, she issued a proclamation,
that sojourners from all parts should be welcome to lodge in it,
and be provided with every necessary till they could accommodate
themselves in the city, or pursued, if only travellers, their
journey to another part. Over the gate of this edifice she placed
an exact statue of herself, and gave orders to the guards that
whatever stranger, on looking at it, should shew signs of
agitation, or utter words signifying that he knew the original,
should be immediately seized and confined in the palace. Many
weeks had not passed when the father of this enterprising lady,
who had travelled many thousands of miles in search of his
daughter, arrived at the gate, and on seeing the statue,
exclaimed, "Alas! alas! how like my poor, lost child!" He wds
immediately carried to the palace, lodged in a magnificent
apartment, treated with the highest respect; but kept in complete
ignorance as to the cause of his confinement and his future fate.
Not long after this, his disconsolate nephew, who, on the
departure of the treacherous captain, had wandered from city to
city in hopes of finding his mistress, arrived, and repaired to
the caravanserai.

On sight of the statue his feelings overcame him; he sighed and
fainted: when he was taken up by the guards and lodged in the
palace, where being come to himself, he was astonished at the
repect and attention paid him by the domestics, and the splendid
manner in which he was entertained; but it was in vain that he
inquired the cause of his detention, the only answer he could get
being, "Have patience, my lord, and repose yourself till
Providence shall free you from our confinement." Soon after this
the master of the ship, who had visited port after port in hopes
of recovering his vessel, reached the city, and hearing of the
hospitality with which all strangers were received at the
caravanserai of the sultan, repaired to the gateway; but no
sooner had he cast his eyes on the statue, than he exclaimed,
"Ah! how like to the artful yet virtuous woman who cheated me of
my property by stealing my ship." Immediately he was seized by
the guards, and conveyed to the palace, but treated with
kindness. Many days had not succeeded to this event, when the
sultan and the vizier, whose daughter with the thirty-nine ladies
had been so artfully carried away from them by the enterprising
heroine of this history, made their appearance at the gateway of
the caravanserai, and on beholding the statue, cried out, "Surely
this is the likeness of her who deprived us of our children; ah!
that we could find her and be revenged on her hypocrisy!" On
saying this they were apprehended and taken to the palace, where
they were conducted to apartments suitable to their rank. In a
few days afterwards the chief of the banditti, who, burning with
the ireful resolution of revenging the deaths of his associates,
had travelled from place to place in hopes of finding the object
of his fury, arrived at the gateway, and observing the statue,
roared out in a rage, "Surely this is the resemblance of my
tormenter; oh! that I could meet thy original, so that I might
have the satisfaction of making her blood atone for the murder of
my friends!" Instantly, as he had spoken, the guards at the gate
rushing upon him, bound him hand and foot, conveyed him to the
palace, where he was confined in a loathsome dungeon, and fed on
the coarsest viands.

The pretended sultan having now all the parties in her power, one
morning ascended her throne in full audience, and commanded them
to be brought before her. When they had made their obeisance, she
commanded them to relate the cause of their having journeyed to
her capital; but the royal presence rendered them incapable of
uttering a word: upon which she exclaimed, "Since you cannot
speak, I will;" and then discovered to their astonished minds the
adventures of each, which had occasioned their travelling. She
then discovered herself, and fell upon the necks of her father
and lover, with whom she retired into the private apartments. The
sultan and his vizier were made happy in the company of the
daughter of the latter and the other ladies. The master of the
ship, as his troubles had atoned for his irregular behaviour, was
received into favour, and had his vessel restored; but the savage
chief of the banditti was put to death, by being cast into a
burning pile, that no further injury might be offered to mankind.
In a few days, the most magnificent preparations being made, the
double nuptials of the heroic lady and her friend the vizier's
daughter were celebrated with her constant lover, to whom she
resigned her throne, and the happy wives lived together in
felicity, undisturbed by jealousy of the husband's attention to
either, so equally did they share his love. The sultan and
vizier, after being long entertained at the court, took leave,
and returned, under an escort, to their own country; but the
daughter and the thirty-nine ladies could not be prevailed upon
to accompany them, only to visit and bid farewell to their
parents, for such was their attachment to their gallant mistress,
that they came back immediately, and were espoused to the
principle nobles of her court. Years of unusual happiness passed
over the heads of the fortunate adventurers of this history,
until death, the destroyer of all things, conducted them to a
grave which must one day be the resting-place for ages of us all,
till the receiving angel shall sound his trumpet.





           STORY OF HYJAUJE, THE TYRANNICAL GOVERNOR
                 OF COUFEH, AND THE YOUNG SYED.




As Hyjauje (the Ommiad caliph) was was one day seated in his hall
of audience, surrounded by his nobles and dependents, tremblingly
awaiting his commands, for his countenance resembled that of an
enraged lion, there suddenly entered, unceremoniously, into the
assembly a beardless youth of noble but sickly aspect, arrayed in
tattered garments, for misfortune had changed his original
situation, and poverty had withered the freshness of his opening
youth. He made the customary obeisance to the governor, who
returned his salute, and said, "Who art thou, boy? what hast thou
to say, and wherefore hast thou intruded thyself into the company
of princes, as if thou wert invited? who art thou, and of whom
art thou the son?" "Of my father and mother," replied the youth.
"But how earnest thou here?" "In my clothes." "From whence?"
"From behind me." "Where art thou going?" "Before me." "Upon what
dost thou travel?" "Upon the earth" Hyjauje, vexed at the
pertness of the youth, exclaimed, "Quit this trifling, and inform
me whence thou comest." "From Egypt." "Art thou from Cairo?" "Why
askest thou?" said the boy?" "Because," replied Hyjauje, "her
sands are of gold, and her river Nile miraculously fruitful; but
her women are wanton, free to every conqueror, and her men
unstable." "I am not from thence, but from Damascus," cried the
youth." "Then," said Hyjauje, "thou art from a most rebellious
place, filled with wretched inhabitants, a wavering race, neither
Jews nor Christians." "But I am not from thence," replied the
youth, "but from Khorassan." "That is a most impure country,"
said Hyjauje, "whose religion is worthless, for the inhabitants
are of all barbarians the most savage. Plunderers of flocks, they
know not mercy, their poor are greedy, and their rich men
misers." "I am not of them," cried the youth, "but of Moussul."
"Then," exclaimed Hyjauje, "thou art of an unnatural and
adulterous race, whose youths are catamites, and whose old men
are obstinate as asses." "But I am from Yemen," said the boy. "If
so," answered the tyrant, "thou belongest to a comfortless
region, where the most honourable profession is robbery, where
the middling ranks tan hides, and where a wretched poor spin wool
and weave coarse mantles." "But I am from Mecca," said the boy."
"Then," replied Hyjauje, "thou comest from a mine of
perverseness, stupidity, ignorance, and slothfulness; for from
among its people God raised up his prophet, whom they
disbelieved, rejected, and forced away to a strange nation, who
loved, venerated, and assisted him in spite of the men of Mecca.
But whence comest thou, youth? for thy pertness is become
troublesome, and my inclination leads me to punish thee for thy
impertinence." "Had I been assured that thou durst kill me,"
cried the youth, "I should not have appeared before thee; but
thou canst not." "Woe to thee, rash boy," exclaimed Hyjauje; "who
is he that can prevent my executing thee instantly?" "To thee be
thy woe," replied the youth: "he can prevent thee who directs man
and his inmost thoughts, and who never falsifieth his gracious
promises." "He it is," cried the tyrant, "who instigates me to
put thee to death." "Withhold thy blaspheming," replied the
youth; "it is not God, but Satan that prompts thy mind to my
murder, and with God I hope for refuge from the accursed: but
know, that I am from the glorious Medina, the seat of religion,
virtue, respectability, and honour, descended of the race of Bin
Ghalib, and family of Ali, son of Abou Talib, whom God has
glorified and approved, and will protect all his posterity, which
you would extirpate; but you cannot root it out, for it will
flourish even to the last day of the existence of this world."

The tyrant was now overcome with rage, and commanded the youthful
Syed to be slain; but his nobles and officers interceded for him,
saying, while they bowed their necks before him, "Pardon, pardon;
behold our heads and our lives a ransom for his! For God's sake
accept our intercession, O ameer, for this youth is not deserving
of death." "Forbear your entreaties," exclaimed the tyrant, "for
were an angel to cry from Heaven, Do not slay him!' I would not
attend." Upon this the young Syed said, "Thou ravest, O Hyjauje;
who art thou that an angel should be commissioned for thy sake?"
The tyrant, struck with his magnanimity, became calm, and
commanding the executioner to release the youth, said, "For the
present I forbear, and will not kill thee unless thy answers to
my further questions shall deserve it." They then entered on the
following dialogue; Hyjauje hoping to entrap him in discourse.

Hyjauje. How can the creature approach the perfection of the
Almighty?

Syed. By prayer, by fasting, by the commanded alms, by
pilgrimage, and fighting for the cause of God.

H. I serve him by shedding the blood of infidel man. You pretend
that Hassan and Houssain, your ancestors, were descendants of the
prophet; but how can that be, when God has declared in the Koran
Mahummud was not of your obstinate race; but the prophet of God,
and last of divine messengers?

S. Hear the answer to that in the verse following it. "Hath not a
prophet come unto you of your own nation? Receive him, and from
what he hath forbidden be forbidden." Surely, then, God hath
forbidden the shedding of the blood of him whom he sanctified.

H. Thou hast spoken justly, young man; but inform me what God
hath daily and nightly commanded us as obligatory to do?

S. To pray five times.

H. What to observe in each year?

S. To keep the month of Ramzaun as a fast.

H. What to perform in the course of life?

S. To make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the temple of God.

H. Truly said; but what hath mostly dignified and enlightened
Arabia?

S. The tribe of Koreish.

H. Wherefore?

S. Because of our holy prophet's being a member of it.

H. Who were the most skilful in horsemanship in all Arabia, the
most valiant, and of best conduct in war?

S. The tribe of Hashim.

H. Why think you so?

S. Because my grandfather Imaum Ali, son of Abou Talib, was one
of it.

H. What tribe of Arabs is most famous for benevolence, and
celebrated for liberality?

S. The family of Tai.

H. Wherefore?

S. Because Hatim belonged to it.

H. Which of the tribes have been most disgraceful to Arabia, and
most oppressive to its inhabitants?

S. The tribe of Sukkeef.

H. Why so?

S. Because thou belongest to it.

The tyrant could scarcely now contain his anger; but said, hoping
to cut the youth off from reply, "Tell me, is the Capricorn of
the heavens male or female?" To which he answered, "Shew me its
tail, that I may inform thee." The tyrant laughed, and continued
his questions as follows:

H. Wert thou ever in love?

S. Yes, completely immersed in it.

H. With whom?

S. With my God, who will, I trust, pardon me for my errors, and
deliver me from thee this day.

H. Knowest thou thy God?

S. Yes.

H. By what means?

S. By the scriptures, which he caused to descend to his prophet.

H. Dost thou guard the Koran?

S. Does it fly from me, that I should guard it?

H. What dost thou learn from it?

S. That God commanded its rules to be obeyed.

H. Hast thou read and understood it?

S. Yes.

H. If so, tell me, first, What passage in it is most sublime.
Secondly, Which most commanding. Thirdly, Which most just.
Fourthly, Which most alarming. Fifthly, Which most encouraging.
Sixthly, That which Jews and Christians both believe in.
Seventhly, That in which God has spoken purely of himself; that
where he speaks of the angels; that in which he mentions the
prophets; that where he alludes to those destined to Paradise;
and that in which he speaks of those devoted to hell; that which
includes ten points; and that which Eblis the accursed delivered.

S. By God's help I will answer thee. The most sublime passage is
the Koorsee: the most commanding, "God insisteth on justice:" the
most just, "Whoever diminishes the least of a measure, God will
requite him doubly, and the same to whoever addeth the least:"
the most alarming, "All expect to enter Paradise:" the most
encouraging, "O my servants, who have mortified yourselves,
despair not of the mercy of God!" that in which are ten points,
"God created the heavens and the earth, the revolutions of night
and day; also, the firmament over the waters that it might profit
man:" that which is believed alike by jews and christians, "The
Jew saith that the Christian is in error, and the Christian saith
that the Jew is mistaken, they both believe so; and both are in
error:" that in which God hath spoken purely of himself, "I have
not created genii and men but to worship me:" that in which he
speaks of the angels, "They said, we have no knowledge, but what
thou hast taught us; for thou only art wise and all-knowing:"
that which speaks of the prophets, "How could we deliver you a
verse without the order of God, on whom the faithful will rely:"
that which mentions the devoted to hell, "God hath cast us down
from heaven, for we were transgressors:" that which describes the
blessed, "Praised be God, who hath divested us of all sorrow, for
our Lord is merciful and gracious:" that which satan spoke, "None
will profit by thy mercy but thy servants the blessed."

Hyjauje involuntarily exclaimed, "Praised be God, who giveth
wisdom to whom it pleaseth him; but I have found none so learned
of such tender age." Having thus spoken, he put many other
questions to the youth in every science, and he answered them so
readily that the tyrant was overcome with admiration, and offered
him a residence at his court; but the young man declined it, and
requested his dismission, which he granted, conferring upon him a
beautiful female slave richly habited, a thousand pieces of gold,
and a steed elegantly caparisoned. The courtiers were astonished
at the bounty of the tyrant, which he perceiving, said, "Be not
surprised, for the advice he hath given me was worthy of reward,
and Cursed is he who doth not requite a sincere adviser,'
declareth our sacred Koran."






              STORY OF INS AL WUJJOOD AND WIRD AL
             IKMAUM, DAUGHTER OF IBRAHIM, VIZIER TO
                        SULTAN SHAMIKH.



Many ages past there was a very powerful sultan who had a vizier
named Ibrahim, and this minister had a daughter the most
beautiful of her sex and accomplished of her age, so that she
became distinguished by the appellation of Wird al Ikmaum, or the
rose among flowers. It was the custom of sultan Shamikh to hold
annually a general assembly of all the nobles of his kingdom, and
persons eminent for science or the arts, during which they were
magnificently entertained at the royal expense. The former
displayed their prowess in martial exercises before the
sovereign, and the latter the productions of their genius and
skill; when valuable prizes were bestowed by the arbitration of
appointed judges on those who deserved them. On one of the days
of this festival, the vizier's daughter from a latticed balcony
of the palace, in which she sat to view the sports, was so struck
with the manly figure and agility of a young nobleman named Ins
al Wujjood (or the perfection of human nature), that love took
possession of her mind. She pointed him out to a female
confidant, and gave her a letter to convey to the object of her
affections. The young nobleman, who had heard her praises, was
enraptured by his good fortune, and the next day, having obtained
as full a sight of her beauties as could be had through the
golden wires of the balcony, retired overcome by love. Letters
now passed daily, and almost hourly, between them; but they were
impatient (or a meeting, which was at length planned; but the
note fixing the place and time was unfortunately dropped by the
confidant and carried to the vizier; who, alarmed for the honour
of his family, sent his daughter the same night to a far distant
castle belonging to himself, and situated on an island in a vast
lake, surrounded by mountainous deserts thinly inhabited. The
unfortunate lady was obliged to submit to her fate, but before
her departure contrived to write on the outside of her balcony
the following words, "They are carrying me off, but I know not
where." In the morning her lover repairing, as usual, in hopes of
seeing his mistress in the balcony, read the unwelcome
intelligence, which for a time deprived him of his senses. When
somewhat recovered he resolved to leave the court, though then
the chief favourite of the sultan, and go in search of his
beloved. Having put on the habit of a wandering devotee, he, on
the following evening, quitted the city, and recommending himself
to Providence, set out, but knew not whither. Many weeks did he
travel, but could find no traces of his beloved object; when
suddenly, passing through a thick forest, there met him a
monstrous lion, from whom he thought it impossible to escape, and
having uttered a prayer for the happiness of his beloved, and
repeated the testimony of martyrdom, he resigned himself to his
fate, and waited the spring of his expected devourer. What was
his surprise when the majestic animal, instead of making him his
prey, on approaching close to him, having looked compassionately
in his face, licked his hands, and turning round, walked gently
onwards, moving his head, as if to signify the youth should
follow him. Ins al Wujjood did so, and was conducted through the
forest by the lion; who, ascending a high mountain, suddenly
stopped at the entrance of a cave, to which was a door of iron,
then moving his head, and once more licking the hands of his
companion, the generous animal left him, and retired back to the
woods. The youth now went to the cave, and having knocked at the
door, it was opened by a venerable hermit, who bade him welcome,
brought him warm water to wash his feet, and set before him
refreshments of various kinds. When he had eaten, he inquired the
cause of his coming to such a desolate country; and Ins al
Wujjood having related his adventures, the old man exclaimed,
"Thou art a favourite of Heaven, or the lion would have devoured
thee; despair not, therefore, of success, for my mind presages
that thou wilt be happy, nor shalt thou want my assistance." Ins
al Wujjood having thanked him for his hospitality and generous
offers, the hermit informed him, that for nearly twenty years
past he had not beheld a human face till a few days prior to his
coming, when, wandering over the mountains, he had seen an
encampment on the margin of the great lake below, in which
appeared a crowd of men and women, some very richly habited, part
of whom had embarked on board a stately yacht, and the remainder
having taken leave of them, struck their tents, and returned by
the road they had come. "Most probably," said the hermit, "the
yacht may have conveyed thy mistress to the castle which stands
on an island in the middle of the lake, and if so thou shalt soon
be safely landed: for the rest Providence must be thy guide. I
will this night remember thee in my prayers, and meditate on what
can be done for thy benefit." Having said this, the hermit
conducted the wanderer to a chamber, and left him to his repose.

The beautiful Wird al Ikmaum during this time remained
overwhelmed with uneasiness in her confinement, and it was in
vain that her attendants tried to amuse her. She wandered
melancholy through the magnificent gardens of the castle, the
groves of which were filled with every variety of birds, whose
harmony was delightful; but the soft cooing of the turtle dove
and the plaintive note of the lovelorn nightingale alone caught
her attention. To these she would listen for hours together,
reclined on a mossy bank, and fancy their pensive strains the
language of her beloved. Such was her daily employment, nor would
she quit the garden till forced by her attendants to take shelter
from the falling dews of night. We now return to her lover.

Fatigue and the consoling assurances of the friendly hermit had
greatly composed the mind of Ins al Wujjood, who enjoyed a
refreshing sleep, nor did he awake till the sun was mounted high
in the heavens, when he joined his venerable host in his
devotions; after which they partook of a repast of bread, milk,
and fresh fruits. This ended, the old man requested him to fetch
from the forest a bundle of the filaments of palm bark, which,
when brought to him, he plaited into a, shape resembling a little
boat, and giving it to Ins al Wujjood, said, "Repair to the lake,
and put this into the water, when it will become instantly large
enough to hold thee, then embark in it, and trust to Heaven for
the rest. Farewell!"

Ins al Wujjood having taken leave of his venerable friend the
hermit, with many thanks, did as he had been commanded, and soon
arrived on the margin of the lake, into which he launched his.
little vessel, when, to his great surprise, it instantaneously
became a handsome boat with the sails set. He got into it, and a
fair wind springing up was soon out of sight of land. For some
days he was wafted over the deep; but at length the shore of an
island appeared, on which he landed, and made his boat fast to
the trunk of a large tree. He then walked into the country, and
found it beautifully interspersed with green meadows, clear
streams, and shady groves of bending fruit trees, on the branches
of which all sorts of birds were warbling in their different
strains. Having refreshed himself with several fruits, he
proceeded onwards, and at length came in sight of a superb
edifice, to the gateway of which he advanced; but found it
locked. For three days he waited in hopes of seeing some of its
inhabitants, but in vain. However on the fourth morning the gate
was opened by a man, who seeing Ins al Wujjood, advanced towards
him, and inquired who he was, whence he came, and what was his
reason for waiting at the gate. "I am of Ispahaun," replied Ins
al Wujjood, "and was shipwrecked in a trading voyage upon this
coast, to the shore of which I alone of all my companions had the
good fortune to escape." Upon hearing this the man burst into
tears, embraced him, and said, "May God preserve thee from future
calamities! I am also a native of Ispahaun, where also dwelt my
cousin, whom I dearly loved, and by whom I was beloved. At this
happy period of my youth a nation stronger than ours made war
against us, overcame us, and among other captives forced me from
my country; after which they sold me as a slave to my present
master: but come, my dear countryman, enter the palace, and
repose thyself in my apartment, where we will endeavour to
console each other under our misfortunes till Providence shall
restore us to our homes."

Ins al Wujjood gladly accepted such a friendly invitation, and on
entering the court beheld a lofty and wide-spreading tree, from
the branches of which were suspended several golden cages, each
inhabited by a beautiful bird, and each striving to rival the
other in melody, as if in welcome of his approach. He inquired of
his host to whom the splendid edifice belonged, and was informed
to the vizier of sultan Shamikh; who, to secure his daughter from
the vicissitudes of fortune, had lodged her here, and only
visited her annually to inquire after her health, and bring the
necessary supplies for her convenience and the support of her
attendants in the castle. Upon hearing the above circumstances,
Ins al Wujjood was nearly overcome with ecstacy; but restraining
his feelings, exclaimed to himself, "At length I have reached the
abode of my beloved, and may hope for success;" which was yet,
however, afar off. His charming mistress, little thinking that
her lover was so near, and weary of absence and the solitude of
her abode, had that very evening resolved to escape from
confinement. In the darkness of night she accordingly let herself
down from the battlements by a silken rope, which she had twisted
from slips of various robes, and reached the ground unhurt. With
haste she fled towards the sea shore, where she perceived a
fishing boat, the owner of which, though at first alarmed,
supposing her, from her dazzling appearance (for she was covered
with jewels), to be an ensnaring genie, at length, on her
assurances that she was really a woman, admitted her into his
vessel. She thanked him for his kindness, which she rewarded by
the gift of many rich jewels, and requested to be conveyed across
the lake. The fisherman hoisted sail, and for some hours the wind
was prosperous; but now a heavy tempest arose, which tossed them
constantly in imminent danger for three days, and drove them far
from their intended course. At length the gale subsided, the sea
became assuaged, and land appeared. As they approached the shore
a stately city rose to their view, the buildings of which seemed
unusually magnificent. Under the terrace of the sultan's palace
they safely, at last, cast anchor; and it chanced that the
prince, who was named Dara, was then sitting with his daughter in
a balcony to enjoy the fresh sea breeze, and the view of the
extensive harbour, crowded with the vessels of every country.
Perceiving the boat, the sultan commanded his officers to bring
the master and his crew to the presence. Great was his surprise
at the introduction of the beautiful Wird al Ikmaum. From her
rich dress, dignified air, and demeanour, he concluded her to be
of superior rank, and having seated her near his daughter, he
graciously requested to be informed of the name of her country,
and the cause of her having travelled to his capital; to which
she replied in eloquent language, giving a summary detail of all
her adventures. The sultan consoled her by encouraging assurances
of his protection, promised to exert his authority to effect a
union with her beloved, and immediately dispatched his vizier
with costly presents to sultan Shamikh, requesting him to send
Ins al Wujjood to his court.

The vizier, after a prosperous voyage, having reached the capital
of sultan Shamikh, presented his offerings, and made known the
request of his master; to which the sultan replied, That nearly a
year had elapsed since Ins al Wujjood had, to his great regret,
absented himself from his court, nor had any tidings been
obtained of the place of his retirement; but that he would order
his vizier to accompany the ambassador in search of his retreat,
being willing to oblige his master the sultan to the utmost of
his power. Accordingly, after a repose of some days, the two
viziers departed in search of Ins al Wujjood, but without knowing
where to bend their journey. At length they reached the shore of
the ocean of Kunnooz, on which they embarked in a hired vessel,
and sailed to the mountainous island of Tukkalla, of which the
vizier of sultan Shamikh gave to his companion the following
account. "This island was some ages back inhabited by genii; a
princess of whom became violently enamoured of a handsome young
man, a son of an ameer of the city of Misr, or Cairo, whom she
beheld in her flight sleeping in his father's garden in the heat
of the day. She sat down by him, and having gently awoke him, the
youth, on looking up, to his astonishment and rapture saw a most
beautiful damsel who courted his addresses: he was not backward
in offering them; and mutual protestations of love and constancy
took place. After some hours of happiness the genie princess took
an affectionate leave, promising soon to visit him again, and
vanished from sight. The youth remained musing on his fortunate
adventure till the dews of night began to fall, when his parents,
fearful of some injury, sent attendants to conduct him to their
palace, but he refused to go; and talked, as it appeared to them,
so incoherently concerning his beloved, that they thought him
distracted; seized him roughly, and forced him homewards. His
father and mother were alarmed: it was in vain that they courted
him to partake of refreshment; he was sullen and gloomy, and at
length abruptly retired to his chamber, where he remained in
restless anxiety all night, waiting impatiently for morning, that
he might revisit the happy spot where his charmer had promised
again to meet him.

"At early dawn the ameer's son repaired to the garden, and was
soon gratified with the sight of his beloved; but while they were
exchanging mutual protestations of regard, the mother of the
genie princess, who had suspected from her daughter's conduct
that she was carrying on some intrigue, and had followed her in
the air unperceived, suddenly appeared. Rushing upon the lovers,
she seized her daughter by the hair, beat, and abused her in the
harshest language for having disgraced the honour of the genii by
an amour with a wretched son of mortality: to all which the genie
princess replied, that her remonstrances were vain; she had fixed
her affections, and would rather be torn into a thousand pieces
than desert the object of her heart. The mother upon this finding
the case desperate, and being herself softened by the uncommon
beauty of the youth, who had fallen at her feet, entreating mercy
for his beloved, at length relented, and agreed to sanctify their
loves by her consent to theii marriage. It was accordingly
celebrated; and this island, which after the name of the genie
princess was called Tukkalla, was fixed upon for the place of
their residence. Its magnificent palace still remains, after the
lapse of many ages, and is at present in my possession. Here 1
hope to meet my only daughter, whom I brought to reside in it
nearly a year ago, to secure her from the attempts of a young
courtier, on whom she had, against my consent, fixed her
affections."

The two viziers now disembarked, and proceeded up the island; but
what was the astonishment and mortification of Ibrahim on
learning, when he arrived at the palace, that his daughter had
escaped, nor had the attendants heard of her since her departure,
though they had repeatedly searched every quarter of the island.
Perceiving among his attendants whom he had left at the palace a
strange young man of pallid countenance, wasted frame, and
melancholy air, the vizier inquired how he had come among them;
and received for reply, that he was a shipwrecked merchant of
Ispahaun, whom they had taken in for the sake of charity. Ibrahim
now requested of the vizier of sultan Dara that he would return
to his master, and inform him of their vain search after Ins al
Wujjood; at the same time desiring him to receive into his suite
the supposed merchant as far as the city of Ispahaun, which lay
in his route. To this the vizier of sultan Dara consented: and
the two ministers having taken a friendly leave of each other
separated, and departed for their several capitals.

The vizier of sultan Dara, in the course of the journey, became
so pleased with the agreeable manners of the supposed merchant,
that he often conversed with him familiarly; and at length the
young man, emboldened by his condescending attention, ventured to
inquire the cause of his travels to regions so distant from his
own country: upon which he was informed of the arrival of the
beautiful Wird al Ikmaum at the court of sultan Dara; of the
compassion of that sultan for her misfortunes; his generous
protection; and his own fruitless mission in search of her lover
Ins al Wujjood. A this happy intelligence, the latter, overcome
with ecstacy, could no longer contain himself, but discovered who
he was; and the vizier was also overjoyed at knowing, when least
expected, that he had found the despaired of object of his long
journey. He embraced the young man, congratulated him upon the
speedy termination of absence from his beloved, and the happy
union which awaited him. He then made him an inmate of his own
tents, supplied him with rich attire, and every necessary
becoming the condition of a person for whose fortunes he knew his
sovereign to be so highly concerned. Ins al Wujjood, now easy in
mind, and renovated by the happy prospects before him, daily
recovered health and strength, so that by the time of their
arrival at the capital of sultan Dara he had regained his
pristine manliness and vigour.

When the vizier waited upon his master the sultan Dara to
communicate his successful commission, the sultan commanded the
youth to his presence. Ins al Wujjood performed the usual
obeisance of kissing the ground before the throne, with the
graceful demeanour of one who had been used to a court. The
sultan graciously returned his salutation, and commanded him to
be seated; after which he requested him to relate his adventures,
which he did in eloquent language, interspersing in his narrative
poetical quotations, and extempore verses applicable to the
various incidents and situations. The sultan was charmed with his
story; and when he had finished its relation, sent for a cauzee
and witnesses to tie the marriage knot between the happy Ins al
Wujjood and the beautiful Wird al Ikmaum; at the same time
dispatching a messenger to announce the celebration of the
nuptials to sultan Shamikh and Ibrahim his vizier, who were
bewailing their supposed irrecoverable losses; one that of his
favourite, and the latter that of his daughter. Sultan Dara
detained the happy couple at his court for some time, after which
he dismissed them with valuable presents to their own country,
which they reached in safety, and were received with the most
heart-felt rejoicings by the sultan and the repentant vizier, who
now recompensed them by his kindness for the former cruelty of
his behaviour towards them; so that in favour with the sultan,
and happy in their own family, the lovers henceforth enjoyed
every earthly felicity, sweetened by the reflection on past
distresses, till the angel of death summoned them to submit to
the final destination of mortality.





             THE ADVENTURES OF MAZIN OF KHORASSAUN.



In ancient days there resided in the city of Khorassaun a youth
named Mazin, who, though brought up by his mother, a poor widow,
to the humble occupation of a dyer, was so celebrated for his
personal accomplishments and capacity as to become the admiration
of crowds, who daily flocked to his shop to enjoy the pleasure of
his conversation. This young man was as good as he was able, nor
did flattery take away his humility, or make him dissatisfied
with his laborious occupation, which he followed with industry
unceasing, and maintained his mother and himself decently from
the fruits of his labour. So delicate was his taste in the choice
of colours, that veils, turbans, and vests of Mazin's dyeing were
sought after by all the young and gay of Khorassaun; and many of
the females would often cast a wishful glance at him from under
their veils as they gave him their orders. Mazin, however, was
destined by fate not always to remain a dyer, but for higher
fortunes and surprising adventures.

As he was one day busy in his occupation, a man of Hijjem came to
his shop, and after looking at him earnestly for some moments,
exclaimed, "Alas, that such a noble youth should be confined to
drudge at so mean an employment!" "I thank you, father, for your
compassion," replied Mazin, "but honest industry can never be
disgraceful." "True," said the old man of Hijjem, "yet if
Providence puts affluence and distinction in our way, should we
refuse it?" "By no means," said Mazin; "canst thou point me out
the way to it without making me forfeit my integrity? If so, I
assure thee I am not so fond of my trade but I would be glad to
live at ease in an honest manner without it; for I should like to
enjoy leisure to follow my studies, which have already gained me
some little celebrity." "Son," said the Hijjemmee, "thy wishes
shall be satisfied: thou hast no father, but I will be one to
thee; from this instant I adopt thee as my son. I possess the art
of transmuting common metals into gold: be ready at thy shop
early in the morning, when I will meet thee. Farewell!" Having
thus said, the old man took leave.

Mazin's curiosity and ambition were raised: he shut up his shop
sooner than usual, and returned with a full heart to his mother,
to whom he communicated the offered kindness of the Hijjemmee.
The good woman, after some moments of reflection, said, "Son, I
fear some evil lurks under this apparent kindness, for we live in
wicked days, when men profess more than they mean to do for the
sake of attaining an object; be cautious then, and do not till
thou hast proof of his sincerity regard his offcis. We have at
present all we want, and what can riches give more?" Mazin agreed
to the propriety of his mother's advice, and promised to be wary.
They ate their usual cheerful meal, and retired to rest; but the
young man could sleep but little, and he longed with impatience
for the morning that was to put him into possession of the art of
transmuting metals into gold.

The morning arrived, and Mazin repaired impatiently to his shop,
where he had soon after the satisfaction of seeing his adopted
father, who came bearing in his hands a crucible. "Welcome, son!"
"Welcome, father!" was the mutual salutation; after which the
Hijjemmee desired Mazin to kindle a fire: he did so, when the old
man inquired of Mazin if he had any old metal, iron, brass,
copper, &c. Mazin produced some pieces of an old pot of the
latter metal, which were put into the crucible. When melted, the
Hijiemmee took from his turban a paper containing powder of a
yellowish hue, which he threw into the crucible, over which he
repeated some cabalistic words while he stirred the melting
metal. At length he took it from the fire, and to his
astonishment Mazin beheld a large lump of pure gold, which the
Hijicminee desired him to carry to a goldsmith's and get it
exchanged for coin He did did so, and received a handsome sum,
with which he returned to his adopted father.

"Well, my son, "said the Hijjemmee," art thou now convinced of my
skill, and my sincerity in offering to promote thy fortunes?" "I
am," said Mazin," and am ready to follow wherever thou choosest,
in hopes of learning this invaluable secret" "That shall soon be
thine," replied the transmuter of metals;" I will sup with thee
this evening, and in the privacy of retirement give thee the
necessary instruction." Mazin, overjoyed, immediately shut up his
shop, and with his adopted father repaired to his own house,
where he seated him in his best apartment. He then went to his
mother, desiring that she would go and spend the night at a
neighbour's, shewing her the gold which his broken copper had
procured, as a proof of the sincerity of his new friend. The old
lady no longer doubted upon such evidence, and cheerfully took
leave and departed to a friend's house.

Mazin next went to a cook's shop, from which he returned laden
with every sort of refreshment, nor was wine forgotten, though
forbidden to the faithful. The adopted father and son ate
heartily, at the same time pushing about the spirit-stirring
liquor, till at last Mazin, who had not been used to drink wine,
became intoxicated. The wily magician, for such in fact was his
pretended friend, watching his opportunity, infused into the
goblet of his unsuspecting host a certain potent drug, which
Mazin had scarcely drunk oft, when he fell back upon his cushion
totally insensible, the treacherous wizard tumbled him into a
large chest, and shutting the lid, locked it. He then ransacked
the apartments of the house of every thing portable worth having,
which, with the gold, he put into another chest, then fetching in
porters, he made them take up the chests and follow him to the
seaside, where a vessel waited his orders to sail, and embarked
with the unfortunate Mazin and his plunder. The anchor was
weighed, and the wind being fair, the ship was soon out of sight
of the land

Mazin's mother early in the morning returning to her house found
the door open, her son missing, and the rooms ransacked of all
her valuables. She gave a loud shriek, tore her hair, beat her
bosom, and threw herself on the ground, crying out for her son,
who she thought must have been murdered by the treacherous
magician, against whose professions she had warned him to be
cautious, till the sight of the transmuted gold had deceived her,
as well as the unfortunate victim of his accursed arts. Some
neighbours hearing her lamentations rushed in, lifted her from
the ground, and inquired the cause of her distress; which, when
informed of, they endeavoured to alleviate by every consolation
in their power, but in vain: the afflicted old lady was not to be
comforted. She commanded a tombstone to be raised in the court-
yard, over which she sat night and day bewailing her son, taking
scarcely food sufficient to preserve her miserable existence.

The infidel Hijjemmee, who was a wicked magician and a worshipper
of fire, by name Bharam, hated the true believers, one of whom
annually for several years past he had inveigled by his offers of
instructing in the science of transmuting metals into his power;
and after making him subservient to his purposes in procuring the
ingredients necessary for his art, had treacherously put him to
death, lest the secret should be divulged: such was now his
intention towards the unfortunate Mazin.

On the evening of the second day after the sailing of the vessel,
Bharam thought proper to awaken his victim to a sense of his
misery. He opened the chest, which had been placed in his cabin,
and poured a certain liquid down the throat of Mazin, who
instantly sneezed several times; then opening his eyes, gazed for
some minutes wildly around him. At length, seeing the magician,
observing the sea, and feeling the motion of the ship, his mind
surmised to him the misfortune which had happened; and he guessed
his having fallen into the snares of the treacherous Bharam,
against which his mother had warned him, but in vain. Still,
being a virtuous Mussulmaun, he would not complain against the
decrees of Heaven; and instead of lamentation uttered the
following verse of the sacred Koran: "There is no support or
refuge but from the Almighty, whose we are, and to whom we must
return. Deal gently with me, O my God, in the dictates of thy
omnipotence; and make me resigned under thy chastening, O Lord of
all being."

Having finished the above prayer, Mazin turning humbly towards
his accursed betrayer, said in a supplicating tone, "What hast
thou done, my father? didst thou not promise me enjoyment and
pleasure?" The magician, after striking him, with a scowling and
malignant sneer, exclaimed, "Thou dog! son of a dog! my pleasure
is in thy destruction. Nine and thirty such ill-devoted wretches
as thyself have I already sacrificed, and thou shalt make the
fortieth victim to my enjoyment, unless thou wilt abjure thy
faith, and become, like me, a worshipper of the sacred fire, in
which case thou shalt be my son, and I will teach thee the art of
making gold." "Cursed be thou, thy religion, and thy art,"
exclaimed the enraged Mazin: "God forbid that for the pleasures
of this world I should apostatize from our holy prophet, and give
up the glorious rewards reserved in certain store for his
faithful disciples. Thou mayest indeed destroy my body, but my
soul despises thy torments" "Vile dog!" roared out the now
furious sorcerer," I will try thy constancy." He then called in
his slaves, who held Mazin on the floor of the cabin while their
abominable master beat him with a knotted whip till he was
covered with a gore of blood, but the resolute youth, instead of
complaining, uttered only prayers to Heaven for divine support
under his pangs, and strength of fortitude to acquire the glory
of martyrdom. At length the magician, exhausted by his cruel
exercise, desisted, and making his slaves load his unfortunate
victim with heavy fetters, chained him down with only a coarse
mat to lie upon in a dark closet, in which was placed some
stinking water and coarse bread, just sufficient to keep up his
miserable existence. Mazm's courage was not to be overcome He
washed his wounds, and comforted himself with the hope that if he
died he should enjoy the blisses of Paradise, or if Providence
had decreed his continuance in life, that the same Providence
would present a mode of relief from his present and future
afflictions. In this assurance he took a little of his wretched
fare, and in spite of the agony of his wounds fell asleep, but
only to awake to fresh misery In the morning he was again
persecuted by his cruel tormentor, who for three months daily
harassed him with blows, with rcvilings, and every sort of insult
that malice could invent or cruelty devise.

Hitherto the wind had been fair, and the vessel had nearly
reached the desired haven, when suddenly it changed, and a most
tremendous storm arose The waves threatened to swallow up or dash
the vessel in pieces, so that all gave themselves over for lost.
At this crisis the sailors, who believed that the tempest was
sent by Heaven as a judgment for their suffering the unfortunate
Mazin to be so cruelly tormented, went in a body to the accursed
Bharam, and accused him of having brought down the wrath of God
upon the crew by his persecution of the young Mussulmaun; at the
same time threatening to cast him overboard if he did not
instantly release the youth from his confinement. To show the
seriousness of their resolves, the sailors seized the slaves who
had been the instruments of the magician's cruelty, and threw
them into the sea, which so alarmed the treacherous Bharam that
he immediately released Mazin from his chains, fell at his feet,
begging pardon for his hard usage, and promising if they escaped
the storm to conduct him safely to his own country, and fulfil
his promise of instruct ing him in the secret of making gold.
Wonderful to relate! But no sooner was Mazin freed from his
fetters than the violence of the tempest lessened, by degrees the
winds subsided, the waves abated their swell, and the sea no
longer threatened to overwhelm them: in a few hours all was calm
and security, and a prosperous gale enabled the shattered vessel
to resume her course.

The sailors now regarding Mazin as one immediately befriended by
Heaven, treated him with the greatest respect and attention; and
the hypocritical magician pretending sorrow for his late
cruelties, strove to procure his forgiveness and good opinion by
every art of flattery and affected contrition; which had such an
effect on the ingenuous youth that he forgot his treachery, again
believed his fair promises and assurances that the torments he
had undergone had only been inflicted as trials of his constancy
and belief in the true religion, virtues necessary to be proved
before the grand secret of transmuting metals could be trusted to
his keeping.

The remainder of the voyage was prosperous and happy, and at the
expiration of three months more the vessel anchored on the wished
for coast, which was rocky, and the beach strewed with pebbles of
every colour. The magician having given orders to the master of
the vessel to wait a month for their return, disembarked with
Mazin, and they proceeded together into the country. When they
had got out of sight of the ship the magician sat down, and
taking from his vestband a small drum, began to beat upon it with
two sticks, when instantly a whirlwind arose, and a thick column
of dust rolled towards them from the desert. Mazin was alarmed,
and began to repent having left the vessel; when the magician,
seeing his colour change, desired him to calm his apprehensions,
for which there was no cause, that he had only to obey his orders
and be happy. He had scarcely spoken when the wind ceased, the
dust dispersed, and three camels stood before them, one of which
was laden with water and provisions; the others were bridled and
very richly caparisoned. Bharam having mounted one, and, at his
desire, Mazin the other, they travelled without ceasing, except
to take the necessary refreshment and repose, for seven days and
nights successively over a wild and sandy desert.

On the eighth morning they reached a beautifully fertile tract,
delightfully watered by clear streams; the ground verdant, shaded
by spreading trees laden with fruit, on whose branches various
birds warbled melodiously, and beneath them antelopes and other
forest animals sported unmolested. At the end of a thick avenue
rose to view a capacious dome of blue and green enamel, resting
upon four columns of solid gold, each pillar exceeding in value
the treasures of the sovereigns of Persia and Greece. They
approached the dome, stopped their camels and dismounted, and
turned the animals to graze. This splendid building was
surrounded by a delightful garden, in which the now happy Mazin
and the magician reposed themselves all that day and night. At
some distance from this enchanting spot appeared a stupendous
fabric, whose numerous turrets and lofty pinnacles glittered to
the eye, and denoted a palace of uncommon magnificence, so that
the curiosity of Mazin was raised, and he could not help
inquiring of his companion to whom such a superb edifice might
belong. The magician, rather roughly, desired him for the present
to ask no questions concerning a place which belonged to his most
bitter enemies, who were evil genii, and of whom at a proper time
he would give him the history. Mazim was silent, but from the
magician's manner he began to forbode some new treachery.

In the morning Bharam beat his magical drum, and the three camels
appealed, when Mazim and his companion mounted, pursuing their
journey in the same manner as before for seven days, with a speed
more resembling flight than the pace of travel, for their camels
were supernatural. On the eighth morning the magician inquired of
Mazim what he saw on the horizon. "I behold," said he, "to
appearance, a range of thick black clouds extending from east to
west." "They are not clouds," replied Bharam," but lofty
mountains, called the Jubbal al Sohaub, or mountains of clouds,
from their cloud-like appearance, on their summit lies the object
of our journey, which with thy assistance we shall soon obtain,
and return to our vessel more enriched than all the sovereigns of
the world, but thou must be sure to obey me in whatever I may
command. "Mazin promised to do so, but his heart trembled within
him as he beheld the gloomy prospect before him, and recollected
the boast which the accursed magician had made of his having
sacrificed thirty-nine youthful victims on these mountains, and
also his threat on board the ship to make the fortieth offering
of himself. He repented of having trusted himself from the
vessel, but it was now too late to recede. He resigned himself to
the same Providence who had relieved his sufferings in his
voyage, and concealed, as well as he could, his uneasiness from
the magician, who now endeavoured to sooth and flatter him with
artful promises and caresses.

For four days longer they pursued their route, when it was
stopped by the black mountains, which formed, as it were, a wall
inaccessible, for the precipices were perpendicular, as if
scarped by art, and their tremendous height cast a dark and
gloomy shade to a vast distance. They now dismounted, and turned
their camels to graze, when the magician took out of his package
three loaves and a sum of water, after which he lighted a fire;
then having beat his talismanic drum, the camels again appeared,
tne smallest of which he killed, embowelled, and carefully flayed
off the skin, the inside of which he washed with water. Having
done thus, he addressed Mazin, saying, "My son, the task must now
be thine to crown our labours with success. Enter this skin, with
these loaves and this water bag for thy sustenance while thou
remainest on the summit of the mountain. Be not afraid, for no
harm can happen I will sew up the skin, leaving room enough for
the admission of air. By and by a roc will descend, and seizing
it in her talons carry thee easily through the air. When she
shall have alighted on the table-land of the mountain, rip open
the stitches of the skin with thy dagger, and the roc on seeing
thee will be instantly scared, and fly far away. Then arise,
gather as much as possible of a black dust which thou wilt find
thickly strewed on the ground; put it into this bag, and throw it
down to me, after which I will contrive an easy means for thy
descent, and when thou hast rejoined me we will return to our
vessel, and I will convey thee safely back to thy own country.
The dust, which has the quality of transmuting metals into gold,
we will share between us, and shall each have enough to rival all
the treasuries on earth."

Mazim finding it in vain to oppose, allowed himself to be sewn up
in the camel's skin with the loaves and water, recommending
himself by mental prayer to the protection of Allah and his
prophet. The magician having finished his work retired to some
distance, when, as he had said, a monstrous roc, darting from a
craggy precipice, descended with the rapidity of lightning,
grasped the skin in her widely extended talons, and soaring
swifter than the eagle soon alighted on the table-land of the
mountain; when Mazin, feeling himself on the ground, ripped the
stitches of his dangerous enclosure, and the roc being alarmed,
uttered a loud scream and flew away. Mazin now arose, and walked
upon the surface of the mountain, which he found covered with
black dust; but he beheld also the skeletons of the young men
whom the accursed Bharam, after they had served his purpose, had
left to perish. His blood became chilled with horror at the view,
as he apprehended the same unhappy fate: he however filled his
bag with the black powder, and advanced to the edge of a
precipice, from which he beheld the magician eagerly looking
upwards to discover him. Mazin called out; and when the hypocrite
saw him, he began dancing and capering for joy, at the same time
exclaiming, "Welcome, welcome, my son! my best friend, beloved
child! all our dangers are now over, throw me down the bag." "I
will not," said Mazin," but will give it thee when thou hast
conveyed me safely from this perilous summit." "That is not in my
power," answered Bharam, "till I shall have the bag: cast it
down, and I swear by the fire which I worship immediately to
procure thee a safe descent. "Mazin, relying on his oath, and
seeing no other chance of escape, cast down the bag; which having
taken up, the accursed sorcerer mounted his camel and was
departing. The unhappy Mazin in agony called after him, saying,
"Surely thou wilt not forfeit thy oath, nor leave me to perish!"
"Perish thou must, Mussulmaun dog!" exclaimed the treacherous
magician, "that my secret may be kept, nor can thy boasted
prophet save thee from destruction; for around thee are mountains
impassable, and below a fathomless sea. I have obtained what I
wished, and leave thee to thy fate." Having said thus he speeded
onwards, and was soon out of sight.

Mazin was now in an agony of despair, not a ray of hope comforted
his mind; he beat his bosom, threw himself on the ground amid the
mouldering skeletons of the former victims to the treachery of
the magician, and lay for some time in a state of insensibility.
At length the calls of hunger and thirst forced him back to a
sense of wretched existence; and the love of life, however
miserable, made him have recourse to his water and his loaves.
Being somewhat revived, religion came to his aid, and he began to
pray for resignation to submit to the decrees of Heaven, however
painful. He then walked to the edge of the mountain overhanging
the sea, which he observed to wash the base of the rock without
any beach, at sight of which a desperate chance of escape struck
his mind: this was, to throw himself from the precipice into the
ocean, in hopes, should he survive the fall and rise to the
surface, he might reach land. He commended himself to God, shut
his eyes, held in his breath, and giving a desperate spring,
plunged headlong into the dreadful abyss, which providentially
received him unhurt, and a friendly wave drove him on shore;
where, however, he remained some minutes in a lifeless stupor,
owing to the rapidity of his descent from the brain-sickening
precipice.

When his senses returned Mazin looked wildly around him, at first
scarcely able to bear the light from the recollection of the
dizzy eminence from which he had plunged; and an uneasy interval
elapsed before he could persuade himself that the certainty of
death was past. Convinced at length of this, he prostrated
himself to the earth, and exclaimed, "In God alone is our refuge
and support! I thought I should have perished, but his providence
has sustained me." He then wept exceedingly, entreated
forgiveness of his offences, read several passages from the
Koran, which he had preserved in his vestband, repeated the whole
of his rosary, and besought the intercession of the prophet for
his deliverance from future dangers. After this he walked onwards
till evening, the fruits of the forest his food, his drink the
water of the streams, and his resting place the green turf. Such
was his progress, that after three days he reached the spot under
the mountain where he had been taken up by the roc in the camel's
skin. He now recognized the road he had come; and after measuring
back his steps for nine days, beheld on the last the superb
palace, concerning which he had inquired of the magician, who had
informed him it was inhabited by evil genii, his most bitter
enemies.

For some time Mazin hesitated whether he should advance to the
gates of the palace; but considering that no greater calamity
could happen to him than he had already endured, he contemned
danger, and boldly advanced to a grand lodge built of white
marble exquisitely polished. He entered, and beheld on one of the
raised platforms which skirted the passage into the court two
beautiful damsels playing at the game of chess; one of whom on
beholding him exclaimed, "Surely, sister, this is the young man
who passed this way about a month ago with Bharam the magician?"
"I am he!" exclaimed Mazin, at the same time throwing himself at
her feet, "and entreat your hospitable protection." The lady,
raising him from the ground, said, "Stranger, you resemble so
much a once beloved brother, that I feel inclined to adopt thee
as such, if my sister will also agree to do so." The other lady
readily assented. They then embraced Mazin, seated him between
them, and requested to be informed of his adventures, of which he
gave them a true narration.

When Mazin had concluded his story, the ladies expressed
compassion for his misfortunes, and the strongest resentment
against the accursed magician, whom they vowed to punish by a
tormenting death for having had the insolence to accuse them of
being evil genii. They then proceeded to acquaint him with the
cause of their residence in this secluded palace, saying,
"Brother, for as such we shall henceforward regard you, our
father is a most potent sultan of a race of good genii, who were
converted by Solomon, the son of David, to the true faith; we are
seven daughters by the same mother; but for some cause which we
do not know the sultan our father, being fearful of our becoming
connected with mankind, has placed us in this solitary spot. This
palace was erected by genii for our accommodation; the meadows
and forests around it are delightful, and we often amuse
ourselves with field sports, there being plenty of every sort of
game, as you must have observed. When we want horses or camels we
have only to beat a small magical drum, and they instantly attend
our call, ready caparisoned. Our five sisters are at present at
the chase, but will soon return. Set thy heart at rest, forget
thy misfortunes, which are now at an end, and thou shall live
with us in ease and pleasure."

The five sisters soon returned, and Mazin's adventures being
recounted to them they also adopted him as their brother; and he
continued with these ladies, who strove to divert him all in
their power by repeated rounds of amusements: one day they
hunted, another hawked, another fished, and their indoor
pleasures were varied and delightful; so that Mazin soon
recovered his health, and was happy to the extent of his wishes.
A year had elapsed, when Mazin one day riding out for his
amusement to the enamelled dome supported on four golden columns,
perceived under it the accursed magician, and with him a youth,
whom, like himself, he had inveigled into his snares, and devoted
also to destruction. The rage of Mazin was kindled at the sight;
he drew his sabre, and rushing unperceived behind the sorcerer,
who was in the act of flaying a camel for the purposes already
described, seized him by his hair, and exclaimed, "Wretch! the
judgment of Heaven at length hath overtaken thee, and soon shall
thy impure soul be plunged into that fire thou hast blasphemously
adored." The magician struggled, but in vain. He then implored
for mercy and forgiveness; but Mazin, convinced by experience
that he deserved none, struck off his head at one blow. Then
informing the intended viftim, who stood near gazing with
astonishment, of the wicked arts of the accursed Bharam, and of
his own narrow escape from almost certain destruction, he advised
the young man to remount his camel, and return to the spot where
he had disembarked from the vessel, which would safely convey him
back to his own country. The youth, having thanked him for his
deliverance, took his leave; and Mazin returned to the palace,
carrying with him the head of the magician as a trophy of his
victory. He was highly applauded for his prowess by the sisters,
who rejoiced in the destruction of so cruel an enemy to mankind.

Many days had not elapsed after this event, when one morning
Mazin and the sisters sitting together in a gallery of the
palace, observed a thick cloud of dust rising from the desert and
approaching towards them. As it came nearer they perceived
through it a troop of horsemen; upon which the sisters, desiring
Mazin to retire into an inner chamber, went to the gateway to
inquire who the strangers might be. They were servants of the
genie sultan, father to the ladies, and sent by him to conduct
them to his presence, in order to attend the nuptials of a near
relation. Upon this summons the sisters prepared for the journey,
and at the end of three days departed, assuring Mazin that they
would return in a month. At taking leave they gave him the keys
of every apartment in the palace, telling him that he might open
every door except one, which to enter might be attended with
unpleasant consequences, and therefore had better be avoided.
Mazin promised to observe their caution; and for many days was so
well amused in examining the magnificent rooms and curiosities of
the palace, that he did not feel a wish to transgress till the
forbidden door alone remained unopened. Having then nothing to
divert him, he could not resist the impulse of curiosity, but
unlocked the door, which opened on a marble staircase by which he
ascended to the terraced roof of the palace, from whence a most
delightful prospect feasted his sight. On one side his eye was
arrested by an extensive garden, in the centre of which, under
shady trees, was a basin of clear water, lined with gems of every
colour and description. He resolved to visit this enchanting
object; and descending the staircase, explored his way through a
long arcade, which led him at length into the garden, in which he
diverted himself with the scenery it afforded for some time. He
then retired to an alcove on the margin of the basin, and sat
down; but had not rested many moments, when to his astonishment
he beheld descending from the sky a company of beautiful damsels,
whose robes of light green silk floating in the air seemed their
only support. Alarmed at such a preternatural appearance, he
retired to the end of the alcove, from whence he watched their
motions. They alighted on the brink of the water, and having
thrown off their robes, stood to the enraptured view of Mazin in
native loveliness. Never had he beheld such enchanting beauty;
but one even more exquisitely charming than the rest attracted
his gaze, and from the instant fixed the affections of his heart.
They now plunged into the basin, where for some time they amused
themselves by swimming, every now and then playfully dashing the
water over themselves and at each other. When satiated with
frolic they came out of the water, sat for some time on the
verdant margin, then dressed themselves, and adjusting their
robes to the air, soared aloft, and were soon far from the sight
of the enamoured Mazin, who followed them till his eyes could
stretch no farther; then despairing of ever again beholding the
object of his affections, he fainted on the grass, and it was
some time before he recovered his senses. He returned melancholy
to the palace, and spent the night in reposeless agitation.

The following morning the seven sisters returned; and she who had
first welcomed him to their abode, and had ever since retained
for Mazin the purest affection, ran with eagerness to inquire
after his health. Great was her affliction on beholding him upon
his bed, pale, and apparently in a state of rapid decay. After
many kind questions, to which he returned no answers, she
entreated earnestly, by the vow of brotherly and sisterly
adoption which had past between them, that he would inform her of
the cause ot his unhappy dejection; assuring him that she would
use every exertion to remove it, and gratify his wishes, be they
what they might, however difficult to be obtained. Mazin upon
this, in a feeble tone, related his adventure in the garden; and
declared that unless the beautiful (he supposed celestial) damsel
could be obtained for him he must die of grief. The sister bade
him be comforted, for in a short time his desires should be
satisfied, which revived his spirits, and he accompanied his kind
hostess to welcome home her sisters, who received him with their
usual hospitality, but were grieved and alarmed at the sad
alteration in his appearance, of which they inquired the reason,
and were informed that it was the effect of absence from his
generous patronesses.

The next morning the sisters went upon a hunting excursion for
ten days, only one (his kindest friend) remained in the palace,
under pretence of attending Mazin, whose health, she said, was
too delicate to bear the exercise of the chase. When the others
were departed, she informed Mazin that the beautiful beings he
had seen in the garden were of a race of genie much more powerful
than her own, that they inhabited a country surrounded by seas
and deserts not to be approached by human exertion, that the
ladies he beheld were sisters to the queen of these genii, whose
subjects were entirely female, occasionally visited by male
genii, with whom they were in alliance for the sake of
population, and to whom all the males were sent away as soon as
born. She further told him, that these females had the power,
from their silken robes, of soaring through the air with a flight
an hundred times swifter than that of any bird, that they were
fond of recreating in verdant spots, and bathing in the clearest
waters, and that the garden he had seen them in was a favourite
place of their resort, so that they would probably soon visit it
again. "Possibly," continued she, "they may recreate themselves
there to-day; we will be on the watch, and if they appear, you
must fix your eye on your favourite, mark where she places her
robes, and while they are in the water seize and conceal them,
for deprived of these she cannot fly away, and you may make her
your prisoner. Bring her to the palace, and endeavour by
tenderness and endearing attention to gain her affection and
consent to marriage; but remember when she is in your power to
keep her robes from her, for should she regain possession of them
she would certainly return to the Flying Islands, and you would
see her no more."

Mazin and his adopted sister now repaired to the garden, and
seated themselves in the alcove, nor had they been there long
when the fair genii appeared as before, descended on the margin
of the basin, and all having undressed, each laying her robes by
themselves, rushed playfully into the water, in which they began
to swim, dive, and besprinkle playfully each other. Mazin, whose
eager eye had ardently watched his beloved, swiftly, but
cautiously, snatching up the robes of his mistress, conveyed them
to the alcove unobserved by the fair bathers; who, when they had
sufficiently amused themselves, quitted the water, and ascending
the bank, began to dress; but how can we describe the distressful
confusion of the unhappy genie whose robes had been stolen? Big
tears rolled down her beautiful cheeks, she beat her bosom, tore
her hair, and uttered loud shrieks, while her sisters, instead of
consoling her, were concerned only for their own safety, and
dressing themselves with confused haste, bade her farewell,
mounted into the air, and disappeared. On their departure, Mazin
and his adopted sister approached, and saluting the disconsolate
genie endeavoured to console her, but for the present in vain,
her mind being intent only on the sad captivity she thought
awaited her, and the loss of her native country and relations.
They led her gently to the palace, and Mazin, retiring
respectfully, left her to the care of his adopted sister, who by
a thousand endearments and attentions so gained upon her, that in
two days the genie began to recover her spirits, and consented to
receive Mazin as her husband, when the ladies should return from
the chase. On their arrival at the palace they were informed by
their sisters of what had happened, and introduced to the fair
stranger; who, diverted by their company and attentions, now
scarcely regretted her captivity. Preparations were made for the
nuptials, and in a short time Mazin was made happy in the
possession of his beloved genie. A round of festivities succeeded
their marriage, and the seven sisters strove with each other who
should by invention of new amusements make their residence among
them most delightful to the happy pair Mazin, however, now began
to think of his mother and his native city with fond regret, and
at length begged leave of his kind patronesses to return home, to
which request they, from admiration of his filial love, though
unwilling to part, consented, and a day was fixed for his
departure. The time being arrived, the sisters beat their magical
drum, when several camels appeared at the gates of the palace
heavily laden with the richest goods, a large sum of money,
valuable jewels, and refreshments for the journey, led by proper
attendants. One camel carried a splendid litter for the
conveyance of his wife, and another was richly caparisoned for
the use of Mazin, who, having taken an affectionate leave of his
generous benefactresses, whom he promised to revisit at some
future time, departed, and pursued the route back towards the sea
shore, where he had disembarked with the magician. On the journey
nothing remarkable occurred, and on their arrival at the coast
they found a vessel ready to receive them, when the wind proving
fair, a short time carried them safely to Bussorah, where Mazin
had the satisfaction of finding his mother alive, though greatly
wasted with constant grief and lamentation for his loss. To
describe the joy of their meeting is impossible, for never was
there more tender affeftion between parent and child than
subsisted between Mazin and his mother. She seemed to gain new
life from his recovery, and again to grow young. The fair genie,
who was now in the way of being a mother, appeared perfectly
contented in her situation, and Mazin, so unexpectedly restored
to his country, was happy in the possession of all he wished; for
the generous sisters had bestowed such wealth upon him, that, in
addition to the domestic felicity he enjoyed, he was now one of
the richest persons in all Bussorah.

Three years had rolled away in undisturbed happiness, during
which the fair genie had borne him two sons, when Mazin thought
it grateful to perform his promise to the seven sisters, the
benevolent foundresses of his good fortune. Having accordingly
made preparations for his journey, he committed his wife's native
robes to the care of his mother, giving her the key of a secret
recess in which he had lodged them, but with a strict charge not
to let the genie put them on, lest an irresistible impulse might
inspire her to fly away to her own country; for though in general
she had seemed contented, he had heard her now and then express a
wish to be again with her own friends and species. The mother
promised obedience, and Mazin having taken an affectionate leave
of her, his wife and children, with assurances of speedy return,
embarked on board a vessel and pursued his voyage, which was
uncommonly prosperous. On his landing he found camels waiting his
arrival on the beach, for the genie ladies, by magic arts, knew
of his coming, and had stationed them for his conveyance to their
palace, which he reached in safety, and was received with the
most aftectionate welcomes and hospitality.

Some time after the departure of Mazin, his wife requested her
mother-in-law's permission to amuse herself at a public bath, and
the old lady willingly accompanied her and the children to the
most celebrated humnaum in the city, which was frequented by the
ladies and those of the chief personages of the court, the caliph
Haroon al Rusheed then happening to be at Bussorah. When they
reached the bath there were then in it some of the principal
female slaves, attendants of Zobeide, who, on the entrance of
Mazin's wife, were struck with her uncommon beauty, and instantly
collecting round her, rapturously gazed upon her as she was
undressing.

The slaves of Zobeide did not cease to admire Mazin's wife till
she left the hummaum, and even followed her till she entered her
own house, when dusk had begun to gloom, and they became
apprehensive of their mistress's being displeased at their long
absence, and so it happened.

Upon entering into her presence, Zobeide exclaimed, "Where have
ye loitered, and what has been the cause of your unusually long
stay at the hummaum?" Upon which they looked confusedly at each
other, and remained silent. The sultana then said in anger,
"Instantly inform me of the cause of your delay!" when they
related the wonderful beauty of Mazin's wife, and dwelt so much
upon her charms, that Zobeide was overcome by curiosity to behold
them. On the follow ing day she sent for the mother of Mazin, who
obeyed the summons with fear and trembling, wondering what could
have made the caliph's consort desirous of seeing a person of her
inferior rank.

Mazin's mother prostrated herself, and kissed the feet of the
sultana, who graciously raising her, said, "Am Mazin, our wish is
that you introduce to me your son's wife, of whose beauty I have
heard such a description, that I long to behold her."

When the mother of Mazin heard these words, her heart sunk within
her, she trembled, but dared not refuse the command of Zobeide,
and she said, "To hear is to obey!" after which she took leave,
with the usual ceremony of prostration before the throne of the
sultana.

When the mother of Mazin left the princess Zobeide she returned
towards her own house; and when she had reached it. entered to
her son's wife, and said, "Our sultana Zobeide hath invited thee
to an entertainment." The wife of Mazin was delighted, instantly
rose up, arrayed herself in the richest apparel she was mistress
of, and dressed her two children in their choicest garments and
ornaments Then with them, the mother of her husband, and a black
slave, she proceeded, till they reached the palace of the
princess Zobeide, which they entered, and found her sitting in
impatient expectation. They kissed the ground be fore her, and
prayed for her prosperity.

When the sultana Zobeide beheld the wife of Mazin her senses were
confounded, her heart fluttered, she was astonished at her
beauty, elegance, graceful stature, and blooming complexion, and
exclaimed, "Gracious heaven! Where could such a form as this have
been created?" Then she seated her guests, and ordered a
collation to be brought in, which was done immediately, when they
ate and were satisfied, but Zobeide could not keep her eyes from
the wife of Mazin of Bussorah. She kissed her, and questioned her
concerning what had befallen herself and her husband. Her
astonishment was redoubled on the relation of their adventures.

The wife of Mazin then said, "My princess, if you are thus
surprised, though you have not seen me in my native robes, how
would you be delighted at my appearance in them! If, therefore,
you wish to gratify your curiosity by beholding a miracle, you
must command the mother of my husband to bring my country dress.
"Upon this Zobeide commanded the mother of Mazin to fetch the
flying robes, and as she dared not disobey the sultana of the
caliph, she went home, and speedily returned with them. Zobeide
took them into her hands, examined them, and was surprised at
their fashion and texture. At length she gave them to the wife of
Mazin.

When the wife of Mazin had received the robes, she unfolded them,
and going into the open court of the palace, arrayed herself in
them, then taking her children in her arms, mounted with them
suddenly into the air. When she had ascended to about the height
of sixty feet, she called out to the mother of her husband,
saying, "Give my adieu, dear mother, to my lord, and tell him,
should ardent love for me affect him he may come to me in the
islands of Waak al Waak." After this speech she soared towards
the clouds, till she was hidden from their eyes, and speeded to
her own country.

When the mother of Mazin beheld her in the air, she beat her
cheeks, scattered dust upon her head, and cried aloud to the
princess Zobeide, "This is thy mischief." Zobeide was not able to
answer or reprove her boldness from the excess of her sorrow and
regret, which made her repent, when repentance could not avail.
The old lady returned in despair to her own habitation.

Thus it happened to the persons above mentioned, but how was it
with the affairs of Mazin? He did not cease travelling for some
time, till he arrived at the palace of the seven sisters, and
paid his respefts. They were rejoiced at his arrival, and
inquired after his wife, when he informed them she was well, and
that God had blessed him with two children, both sons, which
added to their satisfaction. He remained with them for some time,
after which he entreated their permission to depart. They took a
tender leave of him, when he bade them farewell, and returned
towards his own country; nor did he halt till he arrived in
safety at Bussorah. When he entered his house he found his mother
alone, mournfully weeping and lamenting what had happened in his
absence. Seeing her in this state, he inquired the cause, upon
which she informed him of all that had occurred, from the
beginning to the conclusion.

When Mazin had heard the unwelcome intelligence, he cried out in
an agony of distress for the loss of his wife and children, fell
fainting to the ground, and forgot his own existence. His mother,
on beholding his condition, beat her cheeks, and sprinkled water
upon his face till he came to himself, when he wept and said to
his mother, "Inform me what my wife may have spoken on her
departure." She repeated her farewell words: upon hearing which
his distress and ardent longing for his wife and children was
redoubled. He remained mournfully at home for the space of ten
days, after which he resolved upon the journey to the islands of
Waak al Waak, distant from Bussorah one hundred and fifty years
of travel.

Mazin departed from his mother after he had taken leave and
entreated her prayers for his success, but the aged matron was so
affected that she ordered her tomb to be prepared, and did
nothing but weep and lament night and day for her son, who did
not halt till he had reached the palace of the seven sisters.
When they saw him they were surprised, and said to one another,
"There must be some urgent cause for his returning so speedily."
They saluted him, and inquired after his affairs: upon which he
informed them of the desertion of his wife, what she had said at
going away, and of his resolves to travel to the islands of Waak
al Waak. The seven ladies replied, "This expedition is impossible
to be accomplished either by thee or any of thy race; for these
islands are distant a hundred and fifty years' journey, so that
thou canst not live to reach them." Mazin exclaimed, "My
attempting it, however, is incumbent upon me, though I may perish
on the road: if God has decreed my reunion with my wife I shall
meet her again; but if not, I shall die and be received into the
mercy of the Almighty." The sisters did not cease to importune
him to lay aside the journey, but it was impossible for him to
obey them or remain at ease; upon which their grief for his
situation increased. They knew that the distance was such as he
could never overcome by human aid, or rejoin his wife, but they
respected his ardent love for her and his children.

On this account they consulted with one another how to assist him
on the journey. He remained with them a month, but unable to
repose or enjoy their entertainments. The sisters had two uncles,
one named Abd al Kuddoos, and the other Abd al Sulleeb, who lived
at three months distance from them, to whom they wrote in
recommendation of Mazin as follows.

"The bearer is our friend Mazin of Bussorah. If you can direct
him how to reach the islands of Waak al Waak, assist him; but if
not, prevent him from proceeding, lest he plunge himself into
destruction. At present he will not attend to our advice or
reproofs, from excess of love to his wife and children, but
through you there may finally occur to him safety and success."

When they had sealed this letter they gave it to Mazin, and
bestowed also upon him, of water and provisions, what would
suffice for three months' consumption, laden upon camels, and a
steed for his conveyance, upon which he took leave of them with
many thanks, fully resolved to pursue his journey to the islands
of Waak al Waak.

With much pain and difficulty he pursued his journey, nor had he
any pleasure either in eating or drinking during the three months
of his pilgrimage. At length he reached a verdant pasturage, in
which was a variety of flowers, flocks of sheep, and cattle
feeding. It was indeed a paradise upon earth. In one part of it
he perceived a pleasant eminence on which were buildings: he
advanced to them, and entered a court. Within it he beheld a
venerable looking personage, his beard flowing to his middle,
whom he saluted; when the sage returned his compliments, welcomed
him with respectful demeanour, and congratulated him on his
arrival. He seated him, and laid before him a collation, of which
they both ate till they were satisfied.

Mazin lodged with him that night, and in the morning the sage
inquired of him his situation, and the reason of his coming to
such a sequestered spot.

Mazin informed him; and, behold! this personage was Abd al
Kuddoos; who, when he heard his guest mention particulars of his
brother's children, redoubled his attentions to him, and said,
"Did they give you any letter?" Mazin replied, "Yes." He eagerly
exclaimed, "Give it to me." He gave it him, when he opened it,
read it to himself, and considered the contents word byword.

Abd al Kuddoos gazed earnestly at Mazin; reflected on his
adventures, at which he was astonished; and how he had plunged
himself into danger and difficulty in such a wild pursuit. He
then said to him, "My son, my advice is, that thou return by the
way which thou hast come, and no longer vex thy soul on account
of impossibilities, for this business thou canst not accomplish.
I will write to the daughters of my brother what shall make thee
happy with them, and restore thy peace. Return then to them, and
perplex not thyself farther, for between this spot and the
islands of Waak al Waak is the distance of a hundred and fifty
years' journey. On the way also are numerous perils, for in it
are the abodes of genii, the haunts of wild beasts, and monstrous
serpents, and some parts also where food cannot be had or thirst
be gratified. Have compassion then, my son, upon thyself, and
rush not on destruction."

Abd al Kuddoos continued to dissuade him from his resolution
during three days, but he would not hear advice or reproof. On
the third he prepared to depart, being sufficiently refreshed;
upon which the old man, seeing his steadiness, arose, kindled a
fire, cast into it some perfumes, and uttered incantations, to
Mazin unintelligible; when suddenly appeared a genie, in stature
forty cubits; he was one of the subdued spirits of our lord
Solomon. He muttered and growled, saying, "For what, my lord,
hast thou summoned me here? shall I tear up this eminence by the
roots, and hurl it beyond the mountains of Kaaf?"

Abd al Kuddoos replied, "God be merciful to thee; I have occasion
for thee, and request that thou wilt accomplish my wish in one
day:" upon which the genie answered, "To hear is to obey."

Abd al Kuddoos then said to the genie, "Take up this young man,
and convey him to my brother Abd al Sullecb." He consented,
though the distance was a common journey of seventy years. The
genie advanced, seized Mazin, and placing him upon his shoulders,
soared with him through the air from morning till sunset, when he
descended before Abd al Sulleeb, paid his respects, and informed
him of the commands of his brother Abd al Kuddoos. Upon this he
greeted Mazin, who presented him the letter from the daughters of
his brother, which he opened and read. When he had examined the
contents, he was astonished at the circumstances which had
befallen Mazin, his arrival with him, and his resolve to
penetrate to the islands of Waak al Waak. He then said to him,
"My son, I advise that thou vex not thyself with these
difficulties and dangers, for thou canst never attain thy object,
or reach these islands."

Mazin now began to despair, and at the remembrance of his wife
and children to weep bitterly, insomuch that he fainted, which,
when Abd al Sulleeb beheld, his heart sympathized with his
unhappy condition. He perceived that he would not return from his
pursuit, or be controlled, and therefore thought it best to
assist his progress towards the islands. Going into another
apartment, he kindled a fire, over which he sprinkled some
perfumes, and uttered incantations; when, lo! ten genii presented
themselves before him, and said, "Inform us, my lord, what thou
desirest, and we will bring it thee in an instant." He replied,
"May God be gracious unto you!" and related to them the story of
Maxin, his wife, and children.

When the ten genii had heard the narration, they exclaimed, "This
affair is wonderful and miraculous; however, we will take and
convey him safely over the mountains and deserts, to the extent
of our country and dominion, and leave him there, but cannot
promise further assistance, as we dare not pass a step beyond our
own territories, for the land belongs to others. In it are
innumerable horrors, and we dread the inhabitants." Mazin having
heard what they said, exclaimed, "I accept your offer with
gratitude."

The ten genii now took up Mazin, soared with him through tnc air
for a night and day, till they came to the limits of their
territories, and then set him down in a country called the land
of Kafoor, took, their leaves, and vanished from his sight. He
walked onwards, and did not neglect to employ his tongue in
prayer, beseeching from God deliverance and the attainment of his
wishes. Often would he exclaim, "O God, deliverer from bondage,
who canst guide in safety over mountains, who feedest the wild
beasts of the forest, who decreest life and death, thou canst
grant me if thou choosest relief from all my distress, and free
me from all my sorrows."

In this manner did he travel onwards during ten days; on the last
of which he beheld three persons contending with each other, each
man trying to kill his fellow. He was astonished at their
conduit, but advanced towards them. Upon his approach they
desisted from combat, and one and all exclaimed, "We will be
judged before his young man, and whoever contradicts his opinion
shall be deemed in the wrong." To this they agreed, and coming up
to Mazin, demanded from him a just arbitration in their dispute.
They then displayed before him a cap, a small copper drum, and a
wooden ball, saying, "We are three brothers, by the same father
and mother, who are both received into the mercy of God, leaving
behind them these articles. They are three, and we are three; but
a dispute hath fallen out among us respecting their allotment, as
each of us says, I will have the cap.' Our contention made us
proceed to blows, but now we are desirous that thou shouldst
arbitrate between us, and allot an article to each of us as thou
shall judge best, when we will rest satisfied with thy decision,
but should either contradict it he shall be adjuged an offender."

When Mazin heard the above he was surprised, and said to himself,
"These articles arc so paltry and of such trifling value as not
to be worth an arbitration; for surely this shabby cap, the drum,
and the wooden ball, cannot be worth altogether more than half a
deenar; but I will inquire farther about them." He then said, "My
brethren, wherein lies the value of these three things about
which you were contending, for to me they appear of very little
worth." They replied, "Dear uncle, each of them has a property
worth treasuries of wealth, and to each of them belongs a tale so
wonderful, that wert thou to write it on a tablet of adamant it
would remain an example for those who will be admonished."

Mazin then requested that they would relate to him the stories of
the three articles, when they said, "The eldest brother shall
first deliver the account of one, its properties, what can be
gained from them, and we will not conceal any thing from thee."

"This cap," said the elder brother, "is called the cap of
invisibility, by which, whoever possesseth it may become
sovereign of the world. When he puts it on, he may enter where he
pleases, for none can perceive him, either genii or men, so that
he may convey away whatever he chooses, unseen, in security. He
may enter the cabinets of kings and statesmen, and hear all they
converse upon respecting political intrigues. Does he covet
wealth, he may visit the royal treasuries, and plunder them at
his pleasure; or does he wish for revenge, he can kill his enemy
without being detected. In short, he may act as he pleases
without fear of discovery.'

Mazin now said to himself, "This cap can become nobody but me, to
whom it will be most advantageous in the object of my expedition.
Perhaps it may conduct me to my wife and children, and I may
obtain from its possession all I wish. It is certainly one of the
wonders of the world and rarities of the age, not to be found
among the riches of kings of the present day." When he had
ruminated thus, he said, "I am acquainted with the properties of
the cap, what are those of the drum?"

The second brother began, saying, "Whoever has this drum in his
possession, should he be involved in a difficult situation, let
him take it out of its case, and with the sticks gently beat upon
the characters engraven on the copper; when, if his mind be
collected and his courage firm, there will appear to him
wonderful matters. The vurtue of it consists in the words
inscribed upon it, which were written by our lord Solomon Bin
David in talismanic characters, each of which has control over
certain spirits and princes of the genii, and a power that cannot
be described in speech. Hence, whoever is master of this drum may
become superior to all the monarchs of the present day, for, on
his beating it in the manner alreadv described, when he is
pressed for help, all the princes of the genii, with their sons,
will appear also their troops and followers, ready to obey his
commands. Whatever he may order them to execute they will perform
by virtue of the talisman of our lord Solomon Bin David."

When Mazin of Bussorah had heard the above, he said to himself,
"This drum is fitting only for me, as I have much more need of it
than the brothers. It will protect me from all evil in the
islands of Waak al Waak, should I reach them, and meet with my
wife and children. It is true, if I take only the cap I may be
able to enter all places, but this drum will keep injury from me,
and with it I shall be secure from all enemies' After this, he
said, "I have been informed of the virtues of the cap, and the
properties of the drum, there now only remains the account of the
wooden ball, that I may give judgment between you, therefore let
the third brother speak. He an swercd, "To hear is to obey."

The third brother said, "My dear uncle, whoever possesses this
ball will find in it wonderful properties, for it brings distant
parts near, and makes near distant, it shortens long joumeys, and
lengthens short ones If any person wish to perform one of two
hundred years in two days, let him take it from its case, then
lay it upon the ground and mention what place he desires to go,
it will instantly be in motion, and rush over the earth like the
blast of the stormy gale. He must then follow it till he arrives
at the place desired, which he will have the power to do with
ease."

When the youth had concluded his description of the virtue of the
wooden ball, Mazin resolved within himself to take this also from
the brothers, and said, "If your wish be that I should arbitrate
between you, I must first prove the virtues of these three
articles, and afterwards let each take that which may fall to him
by decision." The three brothers exclaimed, "We have heard, and
we consent; act as thou thinkest best, and may God protect thee
in thy undertakings!" Mazin then put on the cap, placed the drum
under his vestband, took up the ball and placed it on the ground,
when it speeded before him swiftly as the gale. He followed it
till it came to the gate of a building which it entered, and
Mazin also went in with it. The brothers ran till they were
fatigued, and cried out, "Thou hast sufficiently tried them;" but
in vain, for by this time there was between him and them the
distance of ten years' journey. Mazin now rested, took the drum
in his hands, rubbed his fingers over the talismanic characters,
hesitated whether he should strike them with the sticks, then
labored lightly upon them, when, lo! a voice exclaimed, "Mazin,
thou hast gained thy desires.

"Thou wilt not, however," continued the voice, "arrive at thy
object till after much trouble, but take care of the ball in this
spot, for thou art at present in the land of the evil genii."
Upon this, Mazin took up the ball and concealed it in his
clothes; but he was overcome with astonishment at hearing words
without seeing the speaker, and exclaimed, "Who art thou, my
lord?" "I am," replied the voice, "one of the slaves of the
characters which thou seest engraved upon the drum, and
unremittingly in attendance; but the other servants will not
appear except the drum be beaten loudly, when three hundred and
sixty chiefs will attend thy commands, each of whom has under his
authority ten thousand genii, and every individual of them
numerous followers."

Mazin now inquired the distance of the islands of Waak al Waak;
to which the voice replied, "Three years' journey:" upon which he
struck the ball before him, and followed it. He next arrived in a
region infested by serpents, dragons, and ravenous beasts, in the
mountains of which were mines of copper. He now again tabored
gently upon the drum, when the voice exclaimed, "I am ready to
obey thy commands."

"Inform me," said Mazin, "what is the name of this country?" "It
is called," answered the voice, "the Land of Dragons and Ravenous
Animals. Be careful then of thyself, and make no delay, nor
regard fatigue, for these mountains are not to be passed without
a chance of trouble from the inhabitants, who are genii, and in
their caves are furious wild beasts." Upon this he struck the
ball afresh, and followed it unceasingly, till at length he
reached the sea shore, and perceived the islands of Waak al Waak
at a distance, whose mountains appeared of a fiery red, like the
sky gilded by the beams of the setting sun. When he beheld them
he was struck with awe and dread; but recovering, he said to
himself, "Why should I be afraid? since God has conducted me
hither, he will protect me; or, if I die, I shall be relieved
from my troubles, and be received into the mercy of God." He then
gathered some fruits, which he ate, drank some water, and having
performed his devotions, laid himself down to sleep, nor did he
awake till the morning.

In the morning Mazin had recourse to his drum, which he rubbed
gently, when the voice inquired his commands. "How am I," said
he, "to pass this sea, and enter the islands?" "That is not to be
done," replied the voice, "without the assistance of a sage who
resides in a cell on yonder mountains, distant from hence a day's
journey, but the ball will conduct thee there in half an hour.
When you reach his abode, knock softly at the door, when he will
appear, and inquire whence you come, and what you want. On
entering he will receive thee kindly, and desire thee to relate
thy adventures from beginning to end. Conceal nothing from him,
for he alone can assist thee in passing the sea "

Mazin then struck the ball, and followed it till he arrived at
the abode of the hermit, the gate of which he found locked He
knocked, when a voice from within said, "Who is at the gate?" "A
guest," replied Mazin upon which the sage arose and opened the
door, admitted him, and entertained him kindly for a whole night
and day, after which Mazin ventured to inquire how he might pass
the sea The sage replied, "What occasions thy searching after
such an object?" Mazin answered, "My lord, I intend to enter the
islands, and with that view have I travelled far distant from my
own country." When the sage heard this, he stood up before him,
took a book, opened it, and read in it to himself for some time,
every now and then casting a look of astonishment upon Mazin. At
length he raised his head and said, "Heavens! what troubles,
disasters, and afflictions in exile have been decreed to this
youth in the search of his object!" Upon this Mazin exclaimed,
"Wherefore, my lord, did you look at the book and then at me so
earnestly?" The sage replied, "My son, I would instruct thee how
to reach the islands, since such is thy desire, but thou canst
not succeed in thy desires till after much labour and
inconvenience. However, at present relate to me thy adventures
from first to last" Mazin rejoined, "My story, my lord, is such a
surprising one, that were it engraven on tablets of adamant, it
would be an example for such as would take warning."

When he had related his story from beginning to end, the sage
exclaimed, "God willing thou wilt attain thy wishes:" upon which
Mazin inquired concerning the sea surrounding the islands, and
how he could overcome such an impediment to his progress; when
the sage answered, "By God's permission, in the morning we will
repair to the mountains, and I will shew thee the wonders of the
seas."

When God permitted morning to dawn the hermit arose, took Mazin
with him, and they ascended the mountains, till they reached a
structure resembling a fortress, which they entered, and
proceeded into the inmost court, in which was an immense colossal
statue of brass, hollowed into pipes, having in the midst of it a
reservoir lined with marble, the work of magicians. When Mazin
beheld this he was astonished, and began to tremble with fear at
the vastness of the statue, and what miraculous power it might
contain. The hermit now kindled a fire, threw into it some
perfumes, and muttered some unintelligible words, when suddenly
dark clouds arose, from which burst out eddies of tempestuous
wind, lightnings, claps of thunder, groans, and frightful noises,
and in the midst of the reservoir appeared boiling waves, for it
was near the ocean surrounding the islands. The hermit did not
cease to utter his incantations, until the hurricane and noises
had subsided by his authority, for he was more powerful than any
of the magicians, and had command over the rebellious genii. He
now said to Mazin, "Go out, and look towards the ocean
surrounding the islands."

Mazin repaired to the summit of the mountain, and looked towards
the sea, but could not discover the smallest trace of its
existence: upon which he was astonished at the miraculous power
of the hermit. He returned to him, exclaiming, "I can behold no
remains of the ocean, and the islands appear joined to the main
land;" when the sage said, "My son, place thy reliance on God and
pursue thy object," after which he vanished from sight.

Mazin now proceeded into the islands, and did not stop till he
had reached a verdant spot watered by clear rivulets, and shaded
by lofty trees. It was now sunrise, and among the wonders which
he beheld was a tree like the weeping willow, on which hung, by
way of fruit, beautiful damsels, who exclaimed, "Praised be God
our creator, and former of the islands of Waak al Waak." They
then dropped from the tree and expired. At sight of this prodigy
his senses were confounded, and he exclaimed, "By heavens, this
is miraculously surprising!" When he had recovered himself, he
roamed through the groves, and admired the contrivances of the
Almighty till sunset, when he sat down to rest.

He had not sat long when there approached towards him a
masculinely looking old woman of disagreeable countenance, at
sight of whom Mazin was alarmed. The matron guessing that he was
in fear of her, said to him, "What is thy name, what are thy
wants? art thou of this country? Inform me; be not afraid or
apprehensive, for I will request of God that I may be the means
of forwarding thy wishes." On hearing these words the heart of
Mazin was encouraged, and he rerelated to her his adventures from
first to last. When she had heard them, she knew that he must be
husband to the sister of her mistress, who was queen of the
islands of Waak al Waak, and said, "Thy object is a difficult
one, but I will assist thee all in my power."

The old woman now conducted Mazin through by-paths to the capital
of the island, and led him unperceived in the darkness of night,
when the inhabitants had ceased to pass through the streets, to
her own house. She then set before him refreshments, and having
eaten and drunk till he was satisfied, he praised God for his
arrival; when the matron informed him concerning his wife, that
she had endured great troubles and afflictions since her
separation, and repented sincerely of her flight. Upon hearing
this, Mazin wept bitterly, and fainted with anguish. When revived
by the exertions of the old woman, she comforted him by promises
of speedy assistance to complete his wishes, and left him to his
repose.

Next morning the old woman desiring Mazin to wait patiently for
her return, repaired to the palace, where she found the queen and
her sisters in consultation concerning the wife of Mazin, and
saying, "This wretch hath espoused a man, by whom she has
children, but now she is returned, we will put her to death after
divers tortures." Upon the entrance of the old lady they arose,
saluted her with great respect, and seated her, for she had been
their nurse. When she had rested a little, she said, "Were you
not conversing about your unfortunate sister? but can ye reverse
the decrees of God?" "Dear nurse," replied they, "no one can
avoid the will of heaven, and had she wedded one of our own
nature there would have been no disgrace, but she has married a
human being of Bussorah, and has children by him, so that our
species will despise us, and tauntingly say, Your sister is a
harlot.' Her death is therefore not to be avoided." The nurse
rejoined, "If you put her to death your scandal will be greater
than hers, for she was wedded lawfully, and her offspring is
legitimate; but I wish to see her." The eldest sister answered,
"She is now confined in a subterraneous dungeon;" upon which the
nurse requested permission to visit her, which was granted, and
one of the sisters attended to conduct her to the prison.

The nurse, on her arrival at the prison, found the wife of Mazin
in great distress from the cruelty of her sisters. Her children
were playing about her, but very pallid, from the closeness of
their confinement. On the entrance of the nurse she stood up,
made her obeisance, and began to weep, saying, "My dear nurse, I
have been long in this dungeon, and know not what in the end may
be my fate." The old woman kissed her cheeks, and said, "My dear
daughter, God will bring thee relief, perchance on this very
day."

When the wife of Mazin heard this, she said, "Good heavens! your
words, my dear nurse, recall a gleam of comfort that last night
struck across my mind from a voice, which said, Be comforted, O
wife of Mazin, for thy deliverance is near.'" Upon this the old
woman replied, "Thou shalt indeed be comforted, for thy husband
is at my abode, and will speedily release thee." The unfortunate
prisoner, overcome with joy, fainted away, but was soon restored
by the nurse's sprinkling water upon her face, when she opened
her eyes and said, "I conjure thee by heaven, my dear nurse,
inform me if thou speakest truth, or dissemblest." "I not only
speak truth," answered the nurse, "but by God's help thou shalt
meet thy husband this day." After this she left her.

The nurse, upon her return home, inquired of Mazin if he had
skill to take his wife away, provided he was admitted into the
dungeon at night. He replied, "Yes." When night was set in, she
conducted him to the spot where she was confined, left him near
the gate, and went her way. He then put on his cap of
invisibility, and remained unperceived all night by any one.
Early in the morning the queen, his wife's eldest sister,
advanced, opened the gate of the prison, and entered, when he
followed unseen behind her, and seated himself in a corner of the
apartment. The queen went up to her sister, and beat her cruelly
with a whip, while her children wept around her, till the blood
appeared upon her body, when she left her hanging by her hair
from a pillar, went out, and locked the door of the dungeon.
Mazin now arose, unloosed his wife's hair, and pulling off the
cap, appeared before her, when she exclaimed, "From whence didst
thou come?" They then embraced each other, and he said. "Ah, why
didst thou act thus, leave me in such affliction, and plunge
thyself into such distress, which, indeed, thy conduct hath
almost deserved?" "It is true," replied she; "but what is past is
past, and reproach will not avail, unless thus canst effect our
escape:" upon which he exclaimed, "Does thy inclination really
lead thee to accompany me to my own country?" She answered,

"Yes; do with me what thou choosest."

They remained in endearment with their children until evening,
when the keeper of the dungeon approaching, Mazin put on his cap
of invisibility. The keeper having set down the provisions for
the night, retired into a recess of the dungeon and fell asleep;
when Mazin and his family sat down and refreshed themselves.
Perceiving the keeper asleep, Mazin tried the door and found it
unlocked; upon which, he, with his wife and children, left the
prison, and travelled as quickly as possible all night. When the
queen, in the morning, was informed of her sister's escape she
was enraged, and made incantations, on which seven thousand genii
attended, with whom she marched out in pursuit, resolved to cut
the fugitives in pieces.

Mazin, looking behind him, perceived a cloud of dust, and soon
appeared the forces of his wife's sister, who cried out on seeing
him, with dreadful howls, "Where will ye go, ye wretches, ye
accursed? where can ye hide yourselves?" Upon this Mazin took out
his drum, and beat it violently, when, lo! there appeared before
him legions of genii, in number more than could be reckoned, and
they fought with the armies of the queen, who was taken prisoner,
with her principal attendants.

When the wife of Mazin beheld her sister in this distress her
compassion was moved towards her, and she said to her husband,
"Hurt not my sister, nor use her ill, for she is my elder:" upon
which he treated her respectfully, and commanded tents to be
pitched for her and her court.

Peace being established, the sisters took an affectionate leave,
and Mazin, with his family, departed for the residence of Abd al
Sulleeb, which they speedily reached with the assistance of the
genii, and the directing ball. The old man received him kindly,
and inquired his adventures, when he related them to him; at
which he was surprised, especially at the account of the cap, the
drum, and the ball; of which last Mazin begged his acceptance,
being now near home, and having no farther occasion for its use.
Abd al Sulleeb was much pleased, and entertained him
magnificently for three days, when Mazin wishing to depart, the
old man presented him with rich gifts, and dismissed him.

Mazin was continuing his route, when suddenly a band of a hundred
banditti appeared, resolved to plunder and put him and his
companions to death, with which design they kept advancing. Mazin
called out to them, "Brother Arabs, let the covenant of God be
between you and me, keep at a distance from me." When they heard
this they increased their insolence, surrounded him, and supposed
they should easily seize all that he had; but especially when
they beheld his wife, and the beauty she was endowed with, they
said one to another, "Let us put him to death, and not suffer him
to live." Each man resolved within himself, saying," I will seize
this damsel, and not take the plunder."

When Mazin saw that they were bent upon attacking him, to seize
his wife and plunder his effects, he took out his drum and beat
upon it in a slight manner, when, behold! ten genii appeared
before him, requiring his commands. He replied, "I wish the
dispersion of yonder horsemen;" upon which one of the ten
advanced among the hundred banditti, and uttered such a
tremendous yell as made the mountains reverberate the sound.
Immediately as he sent forth the yell, the banditti, in alarm,
dispersed themselves among the rocks, when such as fell from
their horses' backs fled on foot; so that they lost their
reputation, and were ridiculed among the chiefs of the Abbasside
tribes. Mazin now pursued his journey, and did not halt till he
had reached the abode of Abd al Kuddoos, who advanced to meet him
and saluted him, but was astonished when he beheld his company,
and the wealth he had obtained. Mazin related what had befallen
him, of dangers, and hunger, and thirst; his safe arrival in the
islands of Waak al Waak; the deliverance of his wife from prison,
and the defeat of the army sent to oppose his return. He
mentioned also the reconciliation between the sisters of his
wife, and whatever had happened to him from first to last.

Abd al Kuddoos was greatly astonished at these adventures, and
said to Mazin of Bussorah, "Truly, my son, these events are most
surprising, and can have never occurred to any but thyself."
Mazin remained three days to repose himself, and was treated with
hospitality and respect until the fourth, when he resolved to
continue his journey, and took leave. He proceeded towards his
own country, and did not halt on the way till he arrived with the
seven sisters, the owners of the palace, who had so much
befriended him.

When Mazin of Bussorah arrived near the palace of the seven
sisters, they came out to meet him, saluted him and his wife, and
conducted them within; but they were astonished at his return,
and at first could scarcely believe his success, wondering that
he had not perished on the road, or been torn in pieces by the
wild beasts of the desert; for they had regarded it as impossible
that he should ever reach the islands of Waak al Waak.

When they were seated, they requested him to relate to them all
that had befallen him, which he did from first to last, and they
were more than ever astonished at his uncommon adventures. After
this they introduced a collation, and spread the cloth, when they
ate till they were satisfied, and then wrote a letter and
dispatched it to the mother of Mazin, congratulating her on the
health of her son, and his safe return with his wife and
children.

Mazm remained with the ladies a month, enjoying himself in
feasting and amusements, after which he begged permission to
depart to his own country, for his heart was anxious for his
mother. They dismissed him, and he travelled unceasingly till he
arrived at Bussorah. He entered the city at sunset, and proceeded
to his own house, when his mother came out, saluted him, and
embraced him. She had erected her tomb in the court of her house,
and had wept night and day till she became blind, but when the
letter arrived from the sisters, from the rapture of joy her
sight returned unto her again. She beheld the children of her
son, embraced them, and that night was to her as an eed or
festival.

When God had caused the morning to dawn, the chief personages of
Bussorah visited Mazin to congratulate him on his return, and the
principal ladies came to his mother, and rejoiced with her on the
safety of her son. At length intelligence of it reached the
caliph Haroon al Rusheed, who sent for Mazin to his presence.
Having entered the audience chamber, he made the usual obeisance,
when the caliph returned his salute, and commanded him to sit.
When he was seated, the caliph demanded that he should relate the
whole of what had befallen him, to which he answered, "To hear is
to obey."

Mazin then recited his adventures from the time the fire-
worshipper who had stolen him from his mother by his stratagems,
the mode of his coming to the palace of the seven ladies, the
manner in which he obtained his wife, her flight from the palace
of the empress Zobeide, his journey to the islands of Waak al
Waak, also the dangers and difficulties he had encountered from
first to last. The caliph was astonished, and said, "The
substance of these adventures must not be lost or concealed, but
shall be recorded in writing." He then commanded an amanuensis to
attend, and seated Mazin of Bussorah by him, until he had taken
down his adventures from beginning to end.





           STORY OF THE SULTAN, THE DERVISH, AND THE
                         BARBER'S SON.



In the capital of a sultan named Rammaud lived a barber, who had
a son growing up to manhood, possessing great accomplishments of
mind and person, and whose wit and humour drew numerous customers
to his shop. One day a venerable dervish entering it, sat down,
and calling for a looking glass, adjusted his beard and whiskers,
at the same time asking many questions of the young man; after
which he laid down a sherif, rose up, and departed. The next day
he came again, and for several days following, always finishing
his visit by leaving a piece of gold upon the looking-glass, to
the great satisfaction of the barber, who from his other
customers never usually received more than sonic coppers of
little value; but though he liked the gold, his suspicions were
raised against the generous donor, supposing him to be a
necromancer, who had some evil design against his son, whom,
therefore, he cautioned to be upon his guard. The visits of the
dervish were continued as usual for some time; when one day he
found the barber's son alone in the shop, and was informed that
his father had gone to divert himself with viewing some
experiments which the sultan was making of the mixture of various
metals, being an adept in chemistry, and eager in search of the
philosopher's stone. The dervish now invited the young man to
accompany him to the spot where the experiments were making, and
on their arrival they saw a vast furnace, into which the sultan
and his attendants cast pieces of metal of various sorts. The
dervish having taken a lump of ore from his wallet threw it into
the furnace; then addressing the young barber, said, "I must for
the present bid you farewell, as I have a journey to take; but if
the sultan should inquire after me, let him know I am to be found
in a certain city, and will attend his summons." Having said
this, the dervish presented the barber's son with a purse of
gold, took his leave, and the youth returned home. Great was the
surprise of the sultan, when the metals in the furnace were all
melted, to find them converted into a mass of solid gold, which
proved, on assay, to be of the purest quality. Every one was
questioned as to what he had cast into the furnace, when there
appeared no reason to suppose the transmutation could have been
effected by such an accidental mixture of metals. At length it
was remarked, that a dervish, accompanying the barber's son, had
cast in a lump of ore, and immediately disappeared. Upon this the
sultan summoned the youth to his presence, and inquiring after
his companion, was informed of the place of his residence, and of
what, on his departure, he had said to him. The sultan was
overjoyed at the welcome intelligence, and dispatched the young
man, with an honourable attendance, to conduct the venerable
dervish to his presence, where being arrived, he was received
with the most distinguishing attention, and the barber's son was
promoted to high office. After some days, the sultan requested
the dervish to instruct him in the transmutation of metals, which
he readily did, as well as in many other occult mysteries; which
so gratified his royal patron, that he trusted the administration
of government to his care. This disgusted the ministers and
courtiers, who could not bear to be controlled by a stranger, and
therefore resolved to effect his ruin. By degrees they persuaded
their credulous master that the dervish was a magician, who would
in time possess himself of his throne, and the sultan, alarmed,
resolved to put him to death. With this intention, calling him to
the presence, he accused him of sorcery, and commanded an
executioner to strike off his head. "Forbear awhile," exclaimed
the dervish, "and let me live till I have shown you the most
wonderful specimen of my art." To this the sultan consented, when
the dervish, with chalk, drew a circle of considerable extent
round the sultan and his attendants, then stepping into the
middle of it, he drew a small circle round himself, and said,
"Now seize me if you can;" and immediately disappeared from
sight. At the same instant, the sultan and his courtiers found
themselves assaulted by invisible agents, who, tearing off their
robes, whipped them with scourges till the blood flowed in
streams from their lacerated backs. At length the punishment
ceased, but the mortification of the sultan did not end here, for
all the gold which the dervish had transmuted returned to its
original metals. Thus, by his unjust credulity, was a weak prince
punished for his ungrateful folly. The barber and his son also
were not to be found, so that the sultan could gain no
intelligence of the dervish, and he and his courtiers became the
laughingstock of the populace for years after their merited
chastisement.





               ADVENTURES OF ALEEFA, DAUGHTER OF
           MHEREJAUN, SULTAN OF HIND, AND EUSUFF, SON
                   OF SOHUL, SULTAN OF SIND.



Mherejaun, sultan of Hind, was many years without any progeny,
and immersed in melancholy at the thought of his kingdom's
passsing to another family. One evening, while indulging his
gloomy thoughts, he dropped into a doze, from which he was roused
by a voice exclaiming, "Sultan, thy wife this night shall
conceive. If she bears a son, he will increase the glory of thy
house; but if a daughter, she will occasion thee disgrace and
misfortune." In due time the favourite sultana was delivered of a
daughter, to the great mortification of the parents, who would
have destroyed her had not her infant smiles diverted their
anger. She was brought up in the strictest privacy, and at the
end of twelve years the sultan had her conveyed to a strong
citadel erected in the middle of a deep lake, hoping in such a
confinement to prevent her from fulfilling the prediction which
had been made concerning her. Nothing could excel the
magnificence of her abode, where she was left only with female
attendants of the highest accomplishments, but no male was
allowed to approach even the borders of the lake, except when
supplies were conveyed for the use of its fair inhabitants, who
were then restricted to their apartments. The gate of the citadel
was entrusted to the care of an old lady, the princess's nurse.
For three years the fair Aleefa lived happy in her splendid
prison, but the decree of fate was not to be overcome, and an
event predestined by heaven overturned the cautious project of
sultan Mherejaun.

Eusuff, a dissipated young prince, son to the sultan of Sind,
having offended his father, fled from his court, and with a few
attendants reached the borders of the lake, in his way to seek an
asylum in the territories of Mherejaun. Curious to know who
inhabited the citadel in the midst of it, he swam over the lake,
and landed at the gate, which he found shut, but no one answered
his loudest call for admission. Upon this he wrote a note,
requesting compassion to a helpless stranger, and having fixed it
to an arrow, shot it over the battlements. It luckily for him
fell at the feet of the princess, then walking in one of the
courts of her palace. She prevailed upon her nurse to open the
gate, and at sight of Eusuff fell in love with him, as he did
with her. He was admitted, and the tenderest interviews took
place between them. Joy and pleasure prevailed in the citadel,
while the piince's attendants remained, expecting his return, on
the banks of the lake.

After some time, sultan Sohul wishing to be reconciled to his
son, and having learnt the route he had taken, dispatched his
nephew named Yiah to assure him of forgiveness, and invite him to
return to Sind. Yiah arriving at the lake, was informed by
Eusuff's attendants that the prince had entered the citadel,
since which they had not seen or heard anything of him. Yiah,
upon this, penned a note expressive of the sultan's forgiveness,
and his wish to see the prince, which he fixed to an arrow and
shot it into the palace, in the garden of which it fell, as
Eusuff and Aleefa were walking for their amusement. The prince,
on reading the note, overcome with joy at the intelligence of his
father's forgiveness of his errors, resolved to return home and
pay his duty to his parents. He communicated his design to the
princess, who was plunged into the deepest sorrow at the thought
of his departure, but he comforted her by assurances of his
speedy return, declaring that nothing but filial duty could have
torn him from her, even for a moment. She now implored him to to
take her with him, but Eusuff prudently represented that such a
step could only disgrace her fame and enrage her father, who, on
discovery of her flight, would invade the kingdom of Sind with
his powerful armies, and a scene of unnecessary bloodshed would
ensue. On the contrary, it they waited patiently, sultan
Mherejaun might be prevailed upon to consent to their union; but,
in the mean time, he would visit her often, while their meetings
might, through the fidelity of their mutual attendants, be kept
secret. Aleefa, though unwilling, was obliged to acknowledge the
justice of his reasoning, and consented to his departure; but on
his taking leave, with tears and embraces entreated him not to be
long absent, which he promised, and with truth, for his love was
sincere, and it was with difficulty he submitted to the call of
duty to a forgiving parent.

Eusuff having swam the lake with his bow and quiver upon his
head, as before, rejoined his companions, who rejoiced to see
him. He was received by his cousin Yiah with transports of
affection, and informed of what had happened since his departure
from court; after which the prince related his love adventure
with the fair Aleefa, at the same time requesting his secrecy,
and that he would charge the same on his attendants, as to his
having been in the citadel, which he should earnestly beg also of
his companions to observe. After a night's repose the two princes
marched towards Sind, and when within a day's distance from the
capital, dispatched a courier to give notice of their approach.
Sultan Sohul, overcome with joy at the recovery of his son,
having commanded the city to be ornamented and splendid
entertainments to be made for his triumphal entry, with his whole
court in their most magnificent array advanced to meet him. The
prince, on seeing his father's train, dismounted, fell on his
face, then running up, eagerly embraced the stirrup of the old
sultan, who threw himself upon his neck in a transport of joy,
and wept over him with tears of affectionate rapture. A horse
sumptuously caparisoned was now brought for the prince's
mounting, and the father and son rode side by side into the city,
amid the acclamations of all ranks of people; while, as they
proceeded, basins full of silver and gold, coined for the
occasion, were showered amongst the assembled crowds in the
streets. It is impossible to describe the tender interview
between the prince and the queen his mother, whose heart had been
nearly broken on the flight of her son, or the glad transports of
Eusuff's own ladies, who were in number three wives and forty
concubines. Suffice it to say, that all was joy and pleasure in
the palace, except in the breast of Eusuff; who mingled with the
satisfaction of return to his family an ardent desire to meet
again the beautiful Aleefa, so that the caresses of his women
gave him no pleasure; and when he retired to his apartment, he
did not, as was usual, call any of them to his presence, but
passed the night alone, thinking of his beloved. Morning invited
him to new scenes of festivity, prepared by his happy parents,
who little suspected how soon they were again to lose their son.

Eusuff having sacrificed a few days (to him long as the eve of
dissolution) to his sense of duty, could no longer restrain his
impatience, but with a faithful slave named Hullaul, mounted on a
favourite courser behind him, left the palace undiscovered in the
darkness of night, and speeded with the swiftness of the gale
towards the citadel of Aleefa. Being arrived on the banks of the
lake, he secured his saddle and bridle among some bushes, and was
carried with his attendant safely through the water by his noble
steed. Unbounded was the joy of the princess at again meeting her
faithful lover, nor was his rapture less than hers. Having
committed Hullaul to the care of the ladies of Aleefa, they
retired to their apartment. Thirty days rolled on almost
unpcrceived by Eusuff, who forgot his parents, his family, and
country, in the delights of love.

On the thirtieth evening, as Eusuff and Aleefa were viewing the
beautiful prospect from the terrace of the palace, they perceived
a boat sailing towards it, which, as it drew nearer, the princess
knew to belong to her father the sultan Mherejaun; upon which she
requested her lover to keep himself concealed from view, while
she received the persons in the vessel. Eusuff accordingly
withdrew into a chamber, the lattice of which looked upon the
lake; but how can we express his indignant surprise, and furious
jealousy, when he beheld landing from the boat two handsome young
men, into the arms of one of whom Aleefa threw herself with eager
transport, and after mutual embraces they withdrew together into
the palace. Without considering that his supposed rival might be
a near relation to the princess, as he in fact was, being her
first cousin, who had been brought up with her till her
confinement to the lake; EusufF suffered himself to be overcome
by unworthy suspicion, and resolved to quit for ever a faithless
mistress. Having written an angry letter upraiding her with
falsehood, and bidding her farewell, he with his attendant
Hullaul mounted his courser; then delivering his note to one of
the females, to be given to the princess, he swam over the lake
and speeded rapidly to his own country, where he was once more
joyfully received by his parents and family; and in order to
forget the charms of Aleefa, he indulged himself in mirth and
pleasure with his lately forsaken ladies, who, delighted with the
long-wished-for return of his affection, strove with each ether
who should please him best.

The unsuspecting Aleefa was engaged with her cousin Sohaul and
Ali Bin Ibrahim, a faithful eunuch who was his attendant, asking
a thousand questions and listening to the news of her father's
court, when Eusuff's letter was put into her hands. Rising up,
she withdrew into a closet, opened it, and was mnch vexed at its
ungrateful contents; but knowing herself innocent, and trusting
that her lover would return when convinced of his mistake, she
composed her mind as firmly as she, could till the departure of
her cousin, who after some days took leave and returned to the
capital of Mherejaun, leaving behind him the eunuch, to the great
satisfaction of the princess, who hoped to make him the mediator
between her and her beloved. Nor was she mistaken. When unfolding
to him the whole of her adventures with Eusuff, he agreed to be
the bearer of a letter, and explain to him the cause of his
needless suspicion. Having swam the lake with the fair Aleefa's
packet wrapped in his clothes upon his head, the faithful Ah in
twenty days reached the city of Sind, and demanding an audience
in private, which was readily granted, delivered his commission
to the prince. Eusuff, whose anger was now calmed, and who had
already begun to feel uneasy at absence from the still reigning
favourite of his heart, on perusing her letter was overcome with
joy. He listened eagerly to the account of his fancied rival by
the eloquent Ali Bin Ibrohim, to whom he expressed his conviction
of her constancy, his own sorrow for his unreasonable desertion
of her, and his intention of departing to visit her the next
night, till when he desired the eunuch to repose himself after
his fatigue. Ali Bin Ibrahim was then lodged, by the prince's
orders, in one of the most splendid apartments of the palace, and
respectfully waited upon by the domestics of his court. The night
following, EusufF having ordered his favourite Hullaul to make
preparations, departed from Sind as before, with the eunuch
mounted on a second courser. They in a few days reached the
borders of the lake, swam over, and to the great joy of the once
more happy Aleefa arrived at the citadel. The recollection of the
pains of absence added a zest to the transports of reunion, and
the lovers were, if possible, more delighted with each other than
before their separation. The faithful Ali Bin Ibrahim was now
dismissed with invaluable presents of precious stones, and
returned to the court of Mherejaun, the time for his stay at the
citadel of the lake being expired. On his arrival, the sultan,
anxious for intelligence of his daughter's health, took him into
his closet, and while he was questioning him, by some accident
the eunuch's turban unfortunately falling off, the precious
stones, which, with a summary of the adventures of Eusuff and
Aleefa, and his own embassy to Sind, were wrapped in the folds,
tumbled upon the floor. The sultan knew the jewels, and examining
the turban, to make farther discoveries, found the paper, which
he eagerly read; and furious was his wrath, when from the
contents it appeared that all his caution to guard against the
decrees of heaven had been vain, that the princess had been
seduced, and his house dishonoured. He sternly inquired of the
trembling Ali if Eusuff was yet with his daughter, and was
answered in the affirmative, when he immediately gave orders for
vessels to be prepared for his departure, hoping to take him
prisoner, and at the same time commanded his army to march along
the banks of the lake and encamp opposite the citadel. The
unfortunate eunuch was thrown into a dungeon and loaded with
heavy chains, after he had been bastinadoed almost to death; but
still faithful to the lovers, he prevailed upon his gaoler by a
large bribe during the night to permit him to dispatch a note by
a trusty messenger to the princess, apprising her of the
misfortune which had happened, in hopes that she would have time
to escape with Eusuff towards his own country before her father's
arrival. Fortunately for the lovers, this information reached
them the next morning, when they consulted what measures to
pursue, and it was agreed, that instead of both quitting the
citadel, only Eusuff and Hullaul should return to Sind, as the
princess was unequal to such a rapid journey, but that in order
to ensure her safety, the slaves should, on the sultan's arrival,
assure him that she had gone off with her lover, when he would
either return home or pursue the prince with his army; who,
however, mounted as he was on so swift a courser, could not be
overtaken. It was also settled that Eusuff, on his arrival in his
own country, should send an embassy to Mherejaun, declaring his
marriage with Aleefa, and requesting pardon, and leave to pay his
duty as his son-in-law. This stratagem had in part its effect,
but no precaution could ward off the fulfilment of the prediction
at the princess's birth, which was that she should occasion the
disgrace and death of her father.

Mherejaun armed at the citadel a few hours after Eusuff's escape,
and was informed by her attendants that she had also accompanied
him in his flight; upon which the enraged sultan, hurried on by
fate, without stopping to search the palace in which his daughter
was concealed, hastened to join his troops on the banks of the
lake, and with a vast army pursued the Sindian prince, who,
however, reached his capital in safety. On his arrival, having
informed his father of his adventures, the old sultan, eager to
gratify his son, approved of his additional marriage with the
fair Aleefa, and dispatched an embassy to Mherejaun, who by this
time was in the territory of Sind, laying it waste with fire and
sword, no troops scarcely being opposed to his sudden invasion.
He received the ambassador with mortifying haughtiness, bidding
him return to his master, and imform him that he never would
forgive the seduction of his daughter, in revenge for which he
had taken a solemn oath to overturn the kingdom of Sind, raze the
capital, and feast his eyes with the blood of the old sultan and
his son. On receipt of this ungracious reply to his proposals,
the sultan and Eusuff had no alternative but to oppose so
inveterate a foe. They collected their troops, by whom they were
much beloved, and marched to meet the enemy, whom, after an
obstinate battle, they defeated, and Mherejaun was slain in the
action. It is impossible to resist the decrees of heaven. From
God we came, and to God we must return.

Eusuff, after the action, behaved with the greatest humility to
the conquered, and had the body of the unfortunate Mherejaun
embalmed and laid in a splendid litter, in which it was conducted
by a numerous escort, in respectful solemnity, to the capital of
Hind, and deposited with funeral pomp, becoming the rank of the
deceased, in a magnificent mausoleum, which had been erected by
himself, as is customary among the sovereigns of Asia. The
prince, at the same time, dispatched letters of condolence to the
mother of Aleefa, lamenting the fate of Mherejaun, whom he had
been, much against his will, necessitated to oppose in battle,
and expressing his ardent love for her daughter, a marriage with
whom was his highest hope, as it was his first wish to console
the mother of his beloved in her misfortunes.

The sultana, who had received intelligence of the decisive
victory and the death of her husband, and who expected, instead
of such conduct, to see the victor besieging her capital, felt
some alleviation of her sorrow in the prospect of saving her
people from destruction, by consenting to an union between Eusuff
and Aleefa. Her answer accordingly was favourable, upon which the
prince of Sind repaired to the lake, and conducting his willing
bride to the capital of Hind, at the expiration of the stated
time of mourning for Mherejaun, their nuptials were celebrated
with all possible magnificence, amid the united acclamations of
the subjects, who readily acknowledged his authority, and had no
cause to repent of their submission to his yoke. His next care
was to inform the caliph Mamoon, who was then commander of the
faithful at Bagdad, of the events which had happened,
accompanying his petition with a great sum of money, and
offerings of all the rarities the countries of Hind and Sind
afforded; among which were ten beautiful slaves, highly
accomplished in singing, dancing, and a talent for poetry. They
recited extempore verses before the caliph, but the subject of
each was so expressive of their wish to return to their beloved
sovereign, and delivered in so affecting a manner, that Mamoon,
though delighted with their wit and beauty, sacrificed his own
pleasure to their feelings, and sent them back to Eusuff by the
officer who carried the edict, confirming him in his dominions,
where the prince of Sind and the fair Aleefa continued long, amid
a numerous progeny, to live the protectors of their happy
subjects.





            ADVENTURES OF THE THREE PRINCES, SONS OF
                      THE SULTAN OF CHINA.



A sultaness of China being seized with an alarming illness was
given over by the physicians, who declared her case incurable by
any other means than the water of life, which they feared it was
next to impossible to obtain before nature would be exhausted;
the country in which, if anywhere, it was to be found, being so
very distant. Such, however, was the affection of the sultaness's
three sons, that in hopes of saving their mother they resolved to
go in search of the precious medicine, and departed immediately
in the route pointed out by the physicians. After travelling
without success to their inquiries through divers countries, they
agreed to separate, in hopes that one of them at least might be
fortunate enough to procure the wished-for miraculous liquid, and
return home in time to save their mother. Having taken an
affectionate farewell, each pursued his journey alone. The
*eldest prince, after a fatiguing walk (for the brothers had
thought it prudent to lay aside their dignity, and as safest to
disguise themselves in mean habits) over a wild country, arrived
at last within sight of a large city, inhabited by blasphemous
Jews, near which, in a superb synagogue, he laid himself down on
a carpet to repose, being quite exhausted with toil and hunger.
He had not rested long, when a Jew rabbi entering the building,
the prince begged for the love of God a little refreshment; but
the wicked infidel, who hated true believers, instead of
relieving, cruelly put him to death with his sabre, and wrapping
the corpse in a mat, threw it into a corner of the synagogue. By
ill fortune, on the day following the second prince arrived, and
was treated in the same manner by the barbarous Jew, and on the
next came also the youngest brother to the same place, where he
was met by the base assassin, who would have killed him also, had
not the extraordinary beauty of the young prince struck his
covetous mind with the idea of making him a slave, and selling
him for a large sum of money. Speaking therefore to him in a kind
manner he brought him refreshments, and inquired if he was
willing to be his servant, and employ himself in cleaning the
synagogue and lighting the lamps; to which the prince, being in
an exhausted condition, seemingly assented, seeing no other means
of present support, but secretly resolved to escape when
recovered from his fatigue. The Jew now took him to his house in
the city, and showed him, apparently, the same tenderness as he
used towards his own children. The next day the prince repaired
to his allotted task of cleaning the synagogue, where, to his
grief and horror, he presently discovered the bodies of his
unfortunate brothers. While he lamented their unhappy fate with
showers of tears, the recollection of his own perilous situation,
in the power of their murderer, filled his mind with terror; but
after the agonies of thought were over, the natural courage of a
princely heart rose in his bosom, and he meditated how to revenge
the death of his brothers on the savage infidel. An opportunity
happened that same night. The prince having composed his mind,
finished his work, and when the Jew arrived to examine it,
dissembled so well, that no appearance of his inward melancholy
was displayed. The Jew applauded his diligence, and taking him
home, made him sit down to supper with himself and family,
consisting of a wife and two young lads. It being the middle of
summer, and the weather sultry, they retired to sleep on the open
terrace of the house, which was very lofty. In the dead of night,
when the Jew and his family were fast locked in the arms of
slumber, the prince, who had purposely kept himself awake, seized
the sabre of the treacherous infidel, and with a dexterous blow
struck off his head; then snatching up the two children, hurled
them headlong from the terrace, so that their brains were dashed
out on the stone pavement of the court below. He then uplifted
the sabre to destroy the Jew's wife, but the thought that she
might be of use to him withheld his hand. He awoke her gently,
commanded her to make no noise, and follow him down stairs,
where, by degrees, he informed her of his adventures, the
discovery he had made of the murder of his brothers, and his
revenge on her treacherous husband and ill-fated children, whom,
however, he would not have destroyed had he not been apprehensive
of their cries alarming the neighbourhood. The Moosulmaun woman,
for such she secretly was, did not regard the death of the wicked
Jew, who had married her against her will, and often used her
with great harshness, and her sorrows for the children were
softened by the salvation of her own life. She also felt
sentiments of tenderness towards the prince, whose injuries in
the murder of his unfortunate brothers had compelled him to
revenge, and felt herself obliged to his mercy in letting her
live. She now informed him that in the Jew's laboratory were many
valuable medicines, and among them the very water of life he was
in search of; which intelligence was most gratifying to the
prince, who offered to take the woman under his protection, and
she willingly consented to accompany him to a country inhabited
by true believers. Having packed up the medicines, with some
valuable jewels, and put them, with various refreshments and
necessaries, on two camels, they mounted and left the city
undiscovered, nor did any accident occur on their journey; but on
reaching the capital of China, the prince found that his father
was dead, while his mother, contrary to expectation, lingered in
painful existence. The ministers, who had with difficulty, in
hopes of the three brothers' arrival, kept the next relations of
the throne from disputing their right to ascend it, were rejoiced
at his return; and on being informed of the untimely end of the
two elder princes, immediately proclaimed him sultan. His first
care was to administer comfort and relief to his afflicted
mother, on whom the water of life had an instantaneous effect;
his next, to regulate the affairs of his government, which he did
with such ability, justice, and moderation, that he became
endeared to his subjects, and an example to other sovereigns.

As the sultan, some time after his accession, was one day amusing
himself in the chase, he saw a venerable Arab, accompanied by his
daughter, travelling on horseback. By accident the young female's
veil being blown aside, displayed such beauty to the eyes of the
sultan, as instantly fascinated his heart, and made him wish to
have her for his sultana. He immediately made offers to her
father of his alliance; but great was his mortification and
surprise when the Arab rejected them, saying, "That he had sworn
not to give his daughter to any one who was not master of some
useful trade, by which a livelihood might be earned." "Father,"
replied the sultan, "what occasion is there that I should learn a
mean occupation, when I have the wealth of a kingdom at my
command?" "Because," rejoined the Arab, "such are the
vicissitudes of the world, that you may lose your kingdom and
starve, if not able to work in some way for your living." The
sultan, unlike some princes, who would have seized the lady and
punished the Arab for his freedom, felt the force of his remark,
applauded his wisdom, and requested that he would not betroth her
to another, as he was resolved to make himself worthy of becoming
his son-in-law by learning some handicraft, till when he hoped
they would accept of an abode near the palace. To this the old
man readily consented; and in a short time the sultan, eager to
possess his bride, became such an adept in the handicraft of
making ornamental mats for sofas and cushions of cane and reeds,
that the Arab agreed to the nuptials, which were celebrated with
all possible splendour and rejoicing, while the subjects admired
more than ever the justice and moderation of their sovereign; so
true is it, that, unless in depraved states, a good prince makes
a good people.

Some years rolled on in uninterrupted felicity to the sultan and
his beloved partner. It was the custom of the former frequently
to visit in the disguise of a dervish the various quarters of the
city, by which means he learnt the opinions of the people, and
inspected the conduct of the police. One day in an excursion of
this sort he passed by a cook's shop, and being hungry, stepped
in to take some refreshment. He was, with seeming respect,
conducted to a back room spread with flowered carpeting, over
which was a covering of muslin transparently fine. Pulling off
his slippers, he entered the room and sat down upon a neat
musnud, but to his surprise and terror it instantly sunk under
him, and he found himself at the bottom of a dark vault, where by
a glimmering light he could discern several naked bodies of
unfortunate persons who had been murdered, and presently
appeared, descending from a narrow staircase, a black slave of
savage countenance, who, brandishing a huge cimeter, cried out,
"Wretch, prepare thyself to die!" The sultan was alarmed, but his
presence of mind did not forsake him. "What good," said he, "will
my death do you or your employers? I have nothing about me but
the humble habit I wear; but if you spare my life, I possess an
art that will produce your employers considerable wealth." Upon
this, the slave going to the master of the house informed him of
what the supposed dervish had said, when the treacherous cook
came to inquire after the promised riches. "Give me only some
reeds and canes, varnished of different colours," said the
sultan, "and I will make a mat, which if you carry to the palace
and present to the vizier, he will purchase it for a thousand
pieces of gold." The desired articles were furnished, and the
sultan setting to work, in a few days finished a mat, in which he
ingeniously contrived to plait in flowery characters, known only
to himself and his vizier, the account of his situation. When
finished, he gave it to his treacherous host, who admired the
beauty of the workmanship, and not doubting of the reward,
carried it to the palace, where he demanded admission, saying he
had a curiosity to offer for sale. The vizier, who was then
giving audience to petitioners, commanded him to be brought in;
but what was his astonishment when the mat was unfolded, to see
pourtrayed upon it the imminent danger of the sultan, whom he
supposed to be in his haram, and whose absence the sultana had,
in order to prevent confusion, commanded to be kept secret,
hoping for his speedy return. The vizier instantly summoning his
guards seized the villanous cook, and proceeding to his house,
released the sultan from his confinement. The house was razed to
the ground, and the abominable owner, with his guilty family, put
to death. The sultan exultingly felt the use of having learnt a
useful art, which had been the means of saving his life.





               STORY OF THE GOOD VIZIER UNJUSTLY
                          IMPRISONED.



A certain vizier, though perfectly loyal and of the strictest
integrity, having been falsely accused by his enemies, was,
without due examination of the charges brought against him,
thrown into prison, where, by orders from the sultan, he was
confined to a gloomy dungeon, and allowed only bread and water
for his daily food. In this wretched abode he lay for seven
years, at the expiration of which, the sultan his master, who was
in the habit of walking about the city in disguise to amuse
himself, chanced to pass by the house of his injured minister,
dressed as a dervish. To his surprise he saw it open, and a crowd
of domestics busy in cleaning the apartments, and preparing for
the reception of the owner, who, they said, had commanded them by
a messenger from the prison to put things in order, as he should
that day be restored to the sultan's favour, and return home. The
sultan, who, so far from intending to release the unfortunate
vizier, had almost erased the remembrance of him from his mind,
was astonished at the report of the domestics, but thought his
long confinement might possibly have disturbed the brain of his
prisoner, who in his madness might have fancied his deliverance
to be at hand. He resolved however to go and visit the prison
disguised as he was, and see the vizier. Having purchased a
quantity of bread and cakes, he proceeded to the gaol, and
requested, under pretence of fulfilling a vow he had made to feed
the prisoners, to be admitted, and allowed to distribute his
charity among them. The gaoler granted his request, and permitted
him to visit the different cells. At length he came to that of
the vizier, who was employed earnestly at his devotions, which on
the entrance of the supposed dervish he suspended, and inquired
his business. "I come," said he, "for though unknown to you I
have always prayed for your welfare, to congratulate you on your
approaching deliverance, which I understand you have announced to
your domestics, but fear without foundation, not having heard of
any orders for the purpose from the sultan." "That may be true,
charitable dervish," said the vizier, "but depend upon it before
night I shall be released and restored to office." "I wish it may
be so," replied the sultan; "but upon what ground do you build an
expectation, the gratification of which appears to me so
improbable?" "Be seated, good dervish, and I will tell you,"
rejoined the vizier, and began as follows: "Know then, my friend,
experience has convinced me that the height of prosperity is
always quickly succeeded by adverse fortune, and the depth of
affliction by sudden relief. When I was in office, beloved by the
people for my lenient administration, and distinguished by the
sultan, whose honour and advantage were the constant objects of
my care, and for whose welfare I have never ceased to pray even
in this gloomy dungeon, I was one evening taking the air upon the
river in a splendid barge with some favourite companions. As we
were drinking coffee, the cup I held in my hand, which was made
of a single emerald of immense value, and which I highly prized,
slipped from it and fell into the water; upon which I ordered the
barge to be stopped, and sent for a diver, to whom I promised an
ample reward should he recover the cup. He undressed, and desired
me to point out the place at which it fell; when I, having in my
hand a rich diamond ring, heedlessly, in a fit of absence, threw
it into that part of the river. While I was exclaiming against my
own stupidity, the diver made a plunge towards where I had cast
the ring, and in less than two minutes reappeared with the
coffee-cup in his hand, when to my great surprise within it I
found also my ring. I rewarded him liberally, and was exulting in
the recovery of my jewels, when it suddenly struck my mind, that
such unusual good fortune must speedily be followed by some
disaster. This reflection made me melancholy, and I returned home
with a foreboding sadness, nor without cause, for that very night
my enemies accused me falsely of treason to the sultan, who
believed the charge, and next morning I was hurried to this
gloomy cell, where I have now remained seven years with only
bread and water for my support. God, however, has given me
resignation to his decrees, and this day an accident occurred
which makes me confident of release before night, and restoration
to the sultan's favour, which, as I have always done, I will
endeavour to deserve. You must know, venerable dervish, that this
morning I felt an unconquerable longing to taste a bit of flesh,
and earnestly entreated my keeper, giving him at the same time a
piece of gold, to indulge my wish. The man, softened by the
present, brought me a stew, on which I prepared to make a
delicious meal; but while, according to custom before eating, I
was performing my ablutions, guess my mortification, when a huge
rat running from his hole leaped into the dish which was placed
upon the floor. I was near fainting with agony at the sight, and
could not refrain from tears; but at length recovering from the
poignancy of disappointment, the rays of comfort darted upon my
mind, and I reflected that as disgrace and imprisonment had
instantaneously followed the fortunate recovery of my cup and
ring, so this mortification, a greater than which could not have
happened, would be immediately succeeded by returning prosperity.
In this conviction I prevailed on the gaoler to order my
domestics to make ready my house and expect my return."

The disguised sultan, who, while the vizier was speaking, felt
every word impress him more and more with the conviction of his
innocence, had much difficulty to support his assumed character;
but not choosing his visit to the prison should be known at
present, he restrained his feelings, and when the minister had
finished took his leave, saying, he hoped his presage would be
fulfilled. He then returned undiscovered to the palace, and
entering his cabinet, resumed his usual habit; after which he
issued orders for the release of the vizier, sending him a robe
of honour and splendid attendants to escort him to court, at the
same time condemning to confiscation and imprisonment his
malicious accusers. On his arrival, the sultan received the
vizier with the most gracious distinction; and having presented
him with the canopy of state, the seal and the inkstand set with
rich jewels, the insignia of office, conducted him to a private
chamber, where falling upon his neck he embraced him, and
requesting him to forget past oppression, informed him of his
disguised visit to the prison; after which he dismissed him to
his own palace.





            STORY OF THE LADY OF CAIRO AND HER FOUR
                           GALLANTS.



A virtuous lady of Cairo, who seldom left her house but upon
urgent business, one day returning from the bath, passed by the
tribunal of the cauzee just as it was breaking up, when the
magistrate perceived her, and struck with her dignity and
elegance of gait, from which he judged of her beauty, called her
to him, and in a soft whisper expressed his desire of a private
interview. The lady being resolved to punish him for his unworthy
conduct, seemingly consented, and desired him to repair to her
house that evening, which he gladly promised. She then pursued
her route homewards, but was on the way accosted by three other
men, who made her similar proposals, all which she accepted, and
fixed that evening for receiving their visits. The first of these
gallants was the customs tax-collector of Cairo, the second the
chief of the butchers, and the third a rich merchant.


When the lady returned to her house she informed her husband of
what had happened, and begged him to permit her to execute a
stratagem that she had formed to punish their insolence, which
would not only afford himself and her much laughable amusement,
but solid advantage, as doubtless the lovers would each bring
with him a handsome present. The husband, who knew he could trust
the virtue of his wife, readily consented, and the lady having
prepared a handsome entertainment, adorned herself in her richest
apparel, and seated herself to receive her guests. Evening had
just shut in, when the venerable cauzee having finished his
sunset devotions, impatiently repaired first to his mistress and
knocked at the door, which the lady opened and led him upstairs,
where he presented her with a rosary of valuable pearl; after
which she made him undress, and in place of his robes put on a
loose vest of yellow muslin, and a parti-coloured cap, her
husband all the while looking at them through the door of a
closet, and ready to burst his sides with laughter as he beheld
the tender grimaces of the enamoured magistrate. The happiness of
the venerable gallant was however soon changed to frightful
alarm, for he had scarcely sat down and begun to partake of some
refreshment, when a loud rap was heard at the door; upon which
the lady starting up in well-affected terror, cried out,
"Mahummud protect us! for this is my husband's knock, and if he
finds you here, he will put us both to death." The cauzee's heart
sank within him, and he became more dead than alive; but the lady
somewhat revived him by thrusting him into her bed-chamber,
desiring him to remain still, as possibly a way might be found
for his escape. He gladly retired, secretly vowing that if spared
from his present threatening distress, Satan should no more tempt
him to make love or break the sacred law.

The lady having disposed of the cauzee, hastened to the door,
where she found the expecting tax-collector, who brought with
him, as a present, a set of jewels. She shewed him upstairs, took
off his rich clothes, and made him put on a crimson vest, and a
green cap with black spots. He had scarcely sat down when the
door again resounded, and she played over the same game as she
had done with the cauzee, who on his also entering the bed-
chamber was somewhat pleased at seeing a brother magistrate in
the same ridiculous plight with himself. The venerable lovers
condoled by signs with each other, but dared not speak for fear
of discovery. The chief of the butchers, on his arrival, was next
ushered up stairs, and his present received, then made to undress
and put on a blue vest with a scarlet cap, ornamented with sea
shells and bits of tinsel; but he had scarce time to finish, when
a fourth loud rap was heard at the door, the scene of alarm was
renewed, and the frightened gallant hurried into the room to keep
company with his rivals. Now appeared the respectable merchant,
who presented the cunning lady with several rich veils, pieces of
silk, and embroidered muslins, after which he was asked to
undress and enrobe himself in a sky coloured vest and a cap
striped with red and white; which he had hardly put on when a
thundering knock at the gate put an end to his transports, and
the wife pretending great alarm, as it was her husband's rap,
forced him into the bed-chamber, where, to his surprise he
discovered three of his intimate acquaintance.

The husband, who had left his hiding place and knocked at the
door, now entered, and after saluting his wife, sat down, when
having partaken of the refreshments provided for the gallants,
the happy couple entered into conversation loud enough to be
overheard by the wretched inamorati, who were quaking for fear of
discovery. "Light of my eyes," said the husband, "didst thou meet
with any thing amusing to-day in thy visit to the bath? and if
so, divert me with an account of it." "I did, indeed," said the
lady, "for I met with four antic creatures, whom" (at hearing
this the unfortunate lovers gave themselves over for lost) "I had
a great inclination to bring home with me" (here they recovered a
little from their alarm) "to divert us, but fearful of your
displeasure I did not; however, if agreeable, we can send for
them to-morrow." The frighted gallants now indulged some hope of
escape through the kindness of their cunning mistress, and began
to breathe a little freer, but very short was the suspension of
their fears. "I am sorry thou didst not bring them," said the
husband, "because business will to-morrow call me from home, and
I shall be absent for some days." Upon this, the lady laughing,
said, "Well, then, you must know that in fact I have brought
them, and was diverting myself with them when you came in, but
fearful you might suspect something wrong I hurried them into our
bed-chamber, in order to conceal them till I had tried your
temper, hoping, should you not be in good humour, to find some
means of letting them out undiscovered." It is impossible to
describe the alarm into which the wretched gallants were now
plunged, especially when the husband commanded his wife to bring
them out one by one, saying, "Let each entertain us with a dance
and then recite a story, but if they do not please me, I will
strike off their heads." "Heaven protect us," said the cauzee,
"how can men of our gravity dance? but there is no resisting the
decrees of fate, nor do I see any chance of escape from this
artful baggage and her savage husband but by performing as well
as we can." His companions were of the same opinion, and mustered
what courage they could to act as they should be ordered.

The wife now entered the chamber, and putting a tambourine into
the cauzee's hands, led him out and began to play a merry tune
upon her lute, to which the affrighted magistrate danced with a
thousand antics and grimaces like an old baboon, beating time
with the tambourine, to the great delight of the husband, who
every now and then jeeringly cried out, "Really wife, if I did
not know this fellow was a buffoon, I should take him for our
cauzee; but God forgive me, I know our worthy magistrate is
either at his devotions, or employed in investigating cases for
to-morrow's decision." Upon this the cauzee danced with redoubled
vigour, and more ridiculous gestures, in hopes of evading
discovery. At length he was overpowered by such unusual exercise;
but the husband had no mercy upon his sufferings, and made him
continue capering by threatening the bastinado, till the tired
judge was exhausted, and fainted upon the floor in a bath of
perspiration, when they held him up, and pouring a goblet of wine
down his throat it somewhat revived him. He was now suffered to
breathe a little, and something given him to eat, which, with a
second cup of liquor, recovered his strength. The husband now
demanded his story; and the cauzee, assuming the gesture of a
coffee-house droll, began as follows.





The Cauzee's Story.



A young tailor, whose shop was opposite the house of an officer,
was so attracted from his work by the appearance of a beautiful
young lady, his wife, in her balcony, that he became desperately
in love, and would sit whole days waiting her coming, and when
she showed herself make signs of his passion. For some time his
ridiculous action diverted her, but at length she grew tired of
the farce she had kept up by answering his signals, and of the
interruption it gave to her taking the fresh air, so that she
resolved to punish him for his presumption, and oblige him to
quit his stall. Having laid her plan, one day when her husband
was gone out for a few hours she dispatched a female slave to
invite the tailor to drink coffee. To express the rapture of the
happy snip is impossible. He fell at the feet of the slave, which
he kissed as the welcome messengers of good tidings, gave her a
piece of gold, and uttered some nonsensical verses that he had
composed in praise of his beloved; then dressing himself in his
best habit, he folded his turban in the most tasty manner, and
curled his mustachios to the greatest advantage, after which he
hastened exultingly to the lady's house, and was admitted to her
presence. She sat upon a rich musnud, and gracefully lifting up
her veil welcomed the tailor, who was so overcome that he had
nearly fainted away with excess of rapture. She desired him to be
seated, but such was his bashfulness that he would not approach
farther than the corner of the carpet. Coffee was brought in, and
a cup presented him; but not being used to such magnificence and
form, and his eyes, also, being staringly fixed on the beauties
of the lady, instead of carrying the cup to his mouth, he hit his
nose and overthrew the liquid upon his vest. The lady smiled, and
ordered him another cup; but while he was endeavouring to drink
it with a little more composure, a loud knock was heard at the
door, and she starting up, cried out with great agitation, "Good
heavens! this is my husband's knock; if he finds us together he
will sacrifice us to his fury!" The poor tailor, in terror, fell
flat upon the carpet, when the lady and her slave threw some cold
water upon his face, and when a little recovered hurried him away
to a chamber, into which they forced him, and desired him to
remain quiet, as the only means of saving his life. Here he
remained quivering and trembling, more alive than dead, but
perfectly cured of his love, and vowing never again to look up at
a balcony.

When the tailor was disposed of, the lady again sat down upon her
stool, and ordered her slave to open the gate. Upon her husband's
entering the room he was surprised at beholding things set out
for an entertainment, and inquired who had been with her; when
she replied tartly, "A lover." "And where is he now?" angrily
replied the officer. "In yonder chamber, and if you please you
may sacrifice him to your fury, and myself afterwards." The
officer demanded the key, which she gave him; but while this was
passing, the agony of the unfortunate tailor was worse than
death; he fully expecting every moment to have his head struck
off: in short, he was in a most pitiable condition. The officer
went to the door, and had put the key into the lock, when his
wife burst suddenly into a fit of laughter: upon which he
exclaimed angrily, "Who do you laugh at?" "Why, at yourself, to
be sure, my wise lord," replied the lady; "for who but yourself
could suppose a woman serious when she told him where to find out
a concealed lover? I wanted to discover how far jealousy would
carry you, and invented this trick for the purpose," The officer,
upon this, was struck with admiration of his wife's pleasantry
and his own credulity, which so tickled his fancy that he laughed
immoderately, begged pardon for his foolish conduct, and they
spent the evening cheerfully together; after which, the husband
going to the bath, his wife charitably released the almost dead
tailor, and reproving him for his impertinence, declared if he
ever again looked up at her balcony she would contrive his death.
The tailor, perfectly cured of love for his superior in life,
made the most abject submission, thanked her for his deliverance,
hurried home, prayed heartily for his escape, and the very next
day took care to move from so dangerous a neighbourhood.

The husband and wife were highly diverted with the cauze's story,
and after another dance permitted him to depart, and get home as
well as he could in his ridiculous habit. How he got there, and
what excuse he was able to make for so unmagisterial an
appearance, we are not informed; but strange whispers went about
the city, and the cauzee's dance became the favourite one or the
strolling drolls, whom he had often the mortification of seeing
taking him off as he passed to and from the tribunal, and not
unfrequently in causes of adultery the evidences and culprits
would laugh in his face. He, however, never again suffered Satan
to tempt him, and was scarcely able to look at a strange woman,
so great was his fear of being led astray.

When the cauzee was gone, the lady, repairing to the apartment,
brought out the grave tax-collector, whom her husband addressed
by name, saying, "Venerable sir, how long have you turned droll?
can you favour me with a dance?" The tax-collector made no reply,
but began capering, nor was he permitted to stop till quite
tired. He was then allowed to sit, some refreshment was given
him, and when revived he was desired to tell a story: knowing
resistance vain, he complied. After having finished he was
dismissed, and the other gallants were brought in and treated in
a like manner.





            STORY OF THE MERCHANT, HIS DAUGHTER, AND
                     THE PRINCE OF EERAUK.



A certain rich merchant was constantly repining, because
Providence had not added to his numerous blessings that of a
child to inherit his vast wealth. This want destroyed the power
of affluence to make him happy, and he importuned heaven with
unceasing prayers. At length one evening, just as he had
concluded his devotions, he heard a voice, saying, "Thy request
has been heard, and thou wilt have a daughter, but she will give
thee much uneasiness in her fourteenth year by an amour with the
prince of Eerauk, and remember there is no avoiding the decrees
of fate."

The merchant's wife that same night conceived, and at the usual
time brought forth a daughter, who grew up an exquisite beauty.
No pains were spared in her education, so that at thirteen she
became most accomplished, and the fame of her charms and
perfections was spread throughout the city. The merchant enjoyed
the graces of his child, but at the same time his heart was heavy
with anxiety for her fate, whenever he called to mind the
prediction concerning her; so that at length he determined to
consult a celebrated dervish, his friend, on the possible means
of averting the fulfilment of the prophecy. The dervish gave him
but little hopes of being able to counteract the will of heaven,
but advised him to carry the beautiful maiden to a sequestered
mansion, situated among unfrequented mountains surrounding it on
all sides, and the only entrance to which was by a dark cavern
hewn out of the solid rock, which might be safely guarded by a
few faithful domestics. "Here," said the dervish, "your daughter
may pass the predicted year, and if any human care can avail she
may be thus saved from the threatened dishonour; but it is in
vain for man to fight against the arms of heaven, therefore
prepare thy mind for resignation to its decrees."

The merchant followed the advice of his friend, and having made
the necessary preparations, accompanied by him, and attended by
some white and black slaves of both sexes, arrived, after a
month's journey, with his daughter, at the desired mansion; in
which having placed her, he, after a day's repose, took his
departure homewards with the dervish. Ample stores of all
necessaries for her accommodation had been laid in, and slaves
male and female were left for her attendance and protection. Not
many days, had elapsed when an incident occurred, clearly proving
the emptiness of human caution against the predestination of
fate. The prince of Eerauk being upon a hunting excursion outrode
his attendants, and missing his way, reached the gate of the
cavern leading to the mansion, which was guarded by two black
slaves, who seeing a stranger, cried out to him to withdraw. He
stopped his horse, and in a supplicating tone requested
protection and refreshment for the night, as he had wandered from
the road, and was almost exhausted from weariness and want of
food. The slaves were moved by the representation of his
distress, as well as awed by his noble appearance, and
apprehending no danger from a single person, conducted him
through the cavern, into the beautiful valley, in which stood the
mansion. They then informed their mistress of his arrival, who
commanded him to be introduced into an apartment, in which an
elegant entertainment was provided, where she gave him the most
hospitable reception. To become known to each other was to love;
nor was it long ere the prediction respecting the merchant's
daughter proved fully verified. Some months passed in mutual
happiness; when the prince, becoming anxious to return to his
friends, took leave of his mistress, promising when he had seen
his family to visit her again, and make her his wife.

On his way he met the merchant, who was coming to see his
daughter. Halting at the same spot they fell into conversation,
in which each inquired after the other's situation, and the
prince, little aware to whom he was speaking, related his late
adventure. The merchant, convinced that all his caution had been
vain, concealed his uneasiness, resolved to take his daughter
home, make the best of what had happened, and never again to
struggle against fate. On his arrival at the cavern he found his
daughter unwell; and before they reached their own abode she was
delivered of a male infant, who, to save her credit, was left
exposed in a small tent with a sum of money laid under its
pillow, in hopes that the first passenger would take the child
under his care. It so happened, that a caravan passing by, the
leader of it, on examining the tent and seeing the infant, took
it up, and having no children adopted it as his own. The prince
of Eerauk having seen his parents, again repaired to visit his
beautiful mistress, and on his journey to the cavern once more
met the merchant, who, at his daughter's request, was travelling
towards Eerauk to acquaint him with her situation. The prince,
overjoyed, accompanied the merchant home, married the young lady,
and with her parents returned to his dominions. Their exposed
son, after long inquiry, was discovered, and liberal rewards
bestowed on the leader of the caravan, who at his own request was
permitted to reside in the palace of Eerauk, and superintend the
education of his adopted son.





            ADVENTURES OF THE CAUZEE, HIS WIFE, &c.



In the capital of Bagdad there was formerly a cauzee, who filled
the seat of justice with the purest integrity, and who by his
example in private life gave force to the strictness of his
public decrees. After some years spent in this honourable post,
he became anxious to make the pilgrimage to Mecca; and having
obtained permission of the caliph, departed on his pious journey,
leaving his wife, a beautiful woman, under the protection of his
brother, who promised to respect her as his daughter. The cauzee,
however, had not long left home, when the brother, instigated by
passion, made love to his sister-in-law, which she rejected with
scorn; being, however, unwilling to expose so near a relative to
her husband, she endeavoured to divert him from his purpose by
argument on the heinousness of his intended crime, but in vain.
The abominable wretch, instead of repenting, a gain and again
offered his love, and at last threatened, if she would not accept
his love, to accuse her of adultery, and bring upon her the
punishment of the law. This threat having no effect, the
atrocious villain suborned evidences to swear that they had seen
her in the act of infidelity, and she was sentenced to receive
one hundred strokes with a knotted whip, and be banished from the
city. Having endured this disgraceful punishment, the unhappy
lady was led through Bagdad by the public executioner, amid the
taunts and scorns of the populace; after which she was thrust oat
of the gates and left to shift for herself. Relying on
Providence, and without complaining of its decrees, she resolved
to travel to Mecca, in hopes of meeting her husband, and clearing
her defamed character to him, whose opinion alone she valued.
When advanced some days on her journey she entered a city, and
perceived a great crowd of people following the executioner, who
led a young man by a rope tied about his neck. Inquiring the
crime of the culprit, she was informed that he owed a hundred
deenars, which being unable to pay, he was sentenced to be hung,
such being the punishment of insolvent debtors in that city. The
cauzee's wife, moved with compassion, immediately tendered the
sum, being nearly all she had, when the young man was released,
and falling upon his knees before her, vowed to dedicate his life
to her service. She related to him her intention of making the
pilgrimage to Mecca, upon which the young man requested to
accompany and protect her, to which she consented. They set out
on their journey; but had not proceeded many days, when the youth
forgot his obligations, and giving way to impulse, insulted his
benefactress by offering her his love. The unfortunate lady
reasoned with him on the ingratitude of his conduct, and the
youth seemed to be convinced and repentant, but revenge rankled
in his heart. Some days after this they reached the sea-shore,
where the young man perceiving a ship, made a signal to speak
with it, and the master letting down his boat sent it to land;
upon which the young man going on board the vessel, informed the
master that he had for sale a handsome female slave, for whom he
asked a thousand deenars. The master, who had been used to
purchase slaves upon that coast, went on shore, and looking at
the cauzee's wife, paid the money to the wicked young man, who
went his way, and the lady was carried on board the ship,
supposing that her companion had taken the opportunity of easing
her fatigue, by procuring her a passage to some sea-port near
Mecca: but her persecution was not to end here. In the evening
she was insulted by attentions of the master of the vessel, who
being surprised at her coolness, informed her that he had
purchased her as his slave for a thousand deenars. The
unfortunate lady told him that she was a free woman, but this had
no effect on the brutish sailor, who finding tenderness
ineffectual proceeded to force and blows in order to reduce her
to submit to his authority. Her strength was almost exhausted,
when suddenly the ship struck upon a rock, the master was hurried
upon deck, and in a few moments the vessel went to pieces.
Providentially the virtuous wife laying hold of a plank was
wafted to the shore, after being for several hours buffeted by
the waves. Having recovered her senses she walked inland, and
found a pleasant country abounding in fruits and clear streams,
which satisfied her hunger and thirst. On the second day she
arrived at a magnificent city, and on entering it was conducted
to the sultan, who inquiring her story, she informed him that she
was a woman devoted to a religious life, and was proceeding on
the pilgrimage to Mecca, when her vessel was shipwrecked on his
coast, and whether any of the crew had escaped she knew not, as
she had seen none of them since her being cast ashore on a plank;
but as now the hopes of her reaching the sacred house were cut
off, if the sultan would allot her a small hut, and a trifling
pittance for her support, she would spend the remainder of her
days in prayers for the prosperity of himself and his subjects.

The sultan, who was truly devout, and pitied the misfortune of
the lady, gladly acceded to her request, and allotted a pleasant
garden-house near his palace for her residence, at which he often
visited her, and conversed with her on religious topics, to his
great edification and comfort, for she was sensibly pious. Not
long after her arrival, several refractory vassals who had for
years withheld their usual tribute, and against whom the good
sultan, unwilling to shed blood, though his treasury much felt
the defalcation, had not sent a force to compel payment,
unexpectedly sent in their arrears; submissively begged pardon
for their late disobedience, and promised in future to be loyal
in their duty. The sultan, who attributed this fortunate event to
the successful prayers of his virtuous guest, mentioned his
opinion to his courtiers in full divan, and they to their
dependents. As, according to the proverb, the sheep always follow
their leader, so it was in the present instance. All ranks of
people on every emergency flocked to beg the prayers and counsel
of the sultan's favourite devotee; and such was their efficacy,
that her clients every day became more numerous, nor were they
ungrateful; so that in a short time the offerings made to her
amounted in value to an incalculable sum. Her reputation was not
confined to the kingdom of her protector, but spread gradually
abroad through all the countries in the possession of true
believers, who came from all parts of Asia to solicit her
prayers. Her residence was enlarged to a vast extent, in which
she supported great numbers of destitute persons, as well as
entertained the crowds of poor people who came in pilgrimage to
so holy a personage as she was now esteemed. But we must now
return to her pious husband.

The good cauzee having finished the ceremonies of his pilgrimage
at Mecca, where he resided one year, and visited all the holy
spots around, returned to Bagdad: but dreadful was his agony and
grief when informed that his wife had played the harlot, and that
his brother, unable to bear the disgrace of his family, had left
the city, and had not been heard of since. This sad intelligence
had such an effect upon his mind, that he resolved to give up
worldly concerns, and adopt the life of a wandering religious, to
move from place to place, from country to country, and visit the
devotees celebrated for sanctity in each. For two years he
travelled through various kingdoms, and at length hearing of his
wife's fame, though he little supposed the much-talked-of female
saint stood in that relation to himself, he resolved to pay his
respects to so holy a personage. With this view he journeyed
towards the capital of the sultan her protector, hoping to
receive benefit from her pious conversation and prayers.

The cauzee on his way overtook his treacherous brother, who,
repenting of his wicked life, had turned mendicant, and was going
to confess his sins, and ask the prayers for absolution of the
far-famed religious woman. Time and alteration of dress, for they
were both habited as dervishes, caused the brothers not to know
each other. As fellow travellers they entered into conversation;
and finding they were both bound the same way, agreed to continue
their journey together. They had not proceeded many days when
they came up with a driver of camels, who informed them that he
was upon the same errand as themselves, having been guilty of a
horrid crime, the reflection upon which tormented his conscience,
and made life miserable; that he was going to confess his sins to
the pious devotee, and consult her on whatever penance could
atone for his villany, of which he had heartily repented, and
hoped to obtain the mercy of heaven by a sincere reformation of
life. The crime of this wretch was no less than murder; the
circumstances of which we forgot to detail in its proper place.
The cauzee's wife immediately after her expulsion from Bagdad,
and before she had met the young man who sold her for a slave,
had taken shelter in the hut of a camel breeder, whose wife owed
her great obligations, and who received her with true hospitality
and kindness; consoling her in her misfortunes, dressing her
wounds, and insisting on her stay till she should be fully
recovered of the painful effects of her unjust and disgraceful
punishment; and in this she was seconded by the honest husband.
With this humble couple, who had an infant son, she remained some
time, and was recovering her spirits and beauty when the wicked
camel breeder, first mentioned, arrived on a visit to her host;
and being struck with her beauty made love to her, which she
mildly but firmly rejected, informing him that she was a married
woman. Blinded by passion, the wretch pressed his addresses
repeatedly, but in vain; till at length, irritated by refusal, he
changed his love into furious anger, and resolved to revenge his
disappointed lust by her death. With this view he armed himself
with a poniard; and about midnight, when the family were asleep,
stole into the chamber where she reposed, and close by her the
infant son of her generous host. The villain being in the dark
made a random stroke, not knowing of the infant, and instead of
stabbing the object of his revenge, plunged his weapon into the
bosom of the child, who uttered loud screams; upon which the
assassin, fearful of detection, ran away, and escaped from the
house. The cauzee's wife awaking in a fright, alarmed her unhappy
hosts, who, striking a light, came to her assistance; but how can
we describe their agonizing affliction when they beheld their
beloved child expiring, and their unfortunate guest, who had
swooned away, bathed in the infant's blood. From such a scene we
turn away, as the pen is incapable of description. The unhappy
lady at length revived, but their darling boy was gone for ever.
Some days after this tragical event she began her pilgrimage,
and, as above stated, reached the city where she released the
young man from his cruel creditors, and was shortly afterwards
ungratefully sold by him as a slave. But to return to the good
cauzee and his wicked companions.

They had not travelled far when they overtook a young man, who
saluted them, and inquired their course; of which being informed,
he begged to join in company, saying, that he also was going to
pay his respects to the celebrated religious, in hopes that by
her prayers he might obtain pardon of God for a most flagitious
ingratitude; the remorse for which had rendered him a burthen to
himself ever since the commission of the crime. The four pilgrims
pursued their journey, and a few days afterwards overtook the
master of a vessel, who told them he had some time back suffered
shipwreck; since which he had undergone the severest distress,
and was now going to request the aid of the far-famed woman,
whose charities and miraculous prayers had been noised abroad
through all countries. The companions then invited him to join
them, and they proceeded on the pilgrimage together, till at
length they reached the capital of the good sultan who protected
the cauzee's wife.

The five pilgrims having entered the city, repaired immediately
to the abode of the respected devotee; the courts of which were
crowded with petitioners from all parts, so that they could with
difficulty gain admission. Some of her domestics seeing they were
strangers newly arrived, and seemingly fatigued, kindly invited
them, into an apartment, and to repose themselves while they
informed their mistress of their arrival; which having done, they
brought word that she would see them when the crowd was
dispersed, and hear their petitions at her leisure. Refreshments
were then brought in, of which they were desired to partake, and
the pilgrims having make their ablutions, sat down to eat, all
the while admiring and praising the hospitality of their pious
hostess; who, unperceived by them, was examining their persons
and features through the lattice of a balcony, at one end of the
hall. Her heart beat with joyful rapture when she beheld her long
lost husband, whose absence she had never ceased to deplore, but
scarcely expected ever to meet him again; and great was her
surprise to find him in company with his treacherous brother, her
infamous intending assassin, her ungrateful betrayer the young
man, and the master of the vessel to whom he had sold her as a
slave. It was with difficulty she restrained her feelings; but
not choosing to discover herself till she should hear their
adventures, she withdrew into her chamber, and being relieved by
tears prostrated herself on the earth, and offered up
thanksgivings to the protector of the just, who had rewarded her
patience under affliction by succeeding blessings, and at length
restored to her the partner of her heart. Having finished her
devotions, she sent to the sultan requesting him to send her a
confidential officer, who might witness the relations of five
visitors whom she was going to examine. On his arrival she placed
him where he could listen unseen; and covering herself with a
veil, sat down on her stool to receive the pilgrims, who being
admitted, bowed their foreheads to the ground; when requesting
them to arise, she addressed them as follows: "You are welcome,
brethren, to my humble abode, to my counsel and my prayers,
which, by God's mercy, have sometimes relieved the repentant
sinner; but as it is impossible I can give advice without hearing
a case, or pray without knowing the wants of him who entreats me,
you must relate your histories with the strictest truth, for
equivocation, evasion, or concealment, will prevent my being of
any service; and this you may depend upon, that the prayers of a
liar tend only to his own destruction." Having said this, she
ordered the cauzee to remain, but the other four to withdraw; as
she should, to spare their shame before each other, hear their
cases separately. The good cauzee having no sins to confess
related his pilgrimage to Mecca; the supposed infidelity of his
wife; and his consequent resolve to spend his days in visiting
sacred places and holy personages, among whom she stood so
famous, that to hear her edifying conversation, and entreat the
benefit of her prayers for his unhappy wife, was the object of
his having travelled to her sacred abode. When he had finished
his narrative the lady dismissed him to another chamber, and
heard one by one the confessions of his companions; who not
daring to conceal any thing, related their cruel conduct towards
herself, as above-mentioned; but little suspecting that they were
acknowledging their guilt to the intended victim of their evil
passions. After this the cauzee's wife commanded the officer to
conduct all five to the sultan, and inform him of what he had
heard them confess. The sultan, enraged at the wicked behaviour
of the cauzee's brother, the camel-driver, the young man, and the
master of the vessel, condemned them to death; and the
executioner was preparing to put the sentence in force, when the
lady arriving at the presence demanded their pardon; and to his
unspeakable joy discovered herself to her delighted husband. The
sultan complying with her request, dismissed the criminals; but
prevailed on the cauzee to remain at his court, where for the
remainder of his life this upright judge filled the high office
of chief magistrate with honour to himself, and satisfaction to
all who had causes tried before him; while he and his faithful
partner continued striking examples of virtue and conjugal
felicity. The sultan was unbounded in his favour towards them,
and would often pass whole evenings in their company in friendly
conversation, which generally turned upon the vicissitudes of
life, and the goodness of Providence in relieving the sufferings
of the faithful, by divine interposition, at the very instant
when ready to sink under them and overwhelmed with calamity. "I
myself," said the sultan, "am an example of the protection of
heaven, as you, my friends, will learn from my adventures." He
then began as follows.





The Sultan's Story of Himself.



Though now seated on a throne, I was not born to such exalted
rank, but am the son of a rich merchant in a country far distant
from this which I now govern. My father brought me up to his own
profession; and by instruction and example encouraged me to be
virtuous, diligent, and honest. Soon after I had attained to the
age of manhood death snatched away this valuable parent, who in
his last moments gave me instructions for my future conduct; but
particularly requested that nothing might ever prevail upon me to
take an oath, though ever so just or necessary to my concerns. I
assured him it would not: soon after which he breathed his last,
leaving me, my mother, and sister in sincere grief for his loss.
After the funeral I examined his property, and found myself in
possession of a vast sum of money, besides an ample stock in
trade, two-thirds of which I immediately paid to my mother and
sister, who retired to a house which they purchased for
themselves. Many weeks had not elapsed when a merchant set up a
claim on my father's estate for a sum of money equal to nearly
the whole that I possessed: I asked him for his bond, but he had
none, yet swore solemnly to the justice of his demand. I had no
doubt of the falsity of his oath, but as I had promised never to
swear, I could not disprove it by mine, and therefore was obliged
to pay the money, which I did entirely from my own share, not
choosing to distress my mother and sister by lessening theirs.
After this, other unjust demands were preferred, and I paid them,
rather than falsify my promise to my father, though by so doing I
became reduced to the most abject poverty, as still I would not
trouble my mother. At length I resolved to quit my native city,
and seek for subsistence in a distant country as clerk to a
merchant, or in any other way that might offer. I accordingly set
out alone, and had travelled some days, when in passing over a
sandy desert I met a venerable looking personage dressed in
white, who kindly accosting me, inquired the object of my
journey: upon which I related my story. The old man blessed me,
highly praised the steadfastness of my adherence to the promise I
had made to a dying father; and said, "My son, be not dismayed,
thy virtuous conduct has been approved by our holy prophet, who
has interceded for thee at the throne of bounty: follow me, and
reap the reward of thy sufferings." I did as he desired; and we,
after some time, reached this city, which was then wholly
depopulated, and even this palace in a state of decay. On our
entrance my venerable guide bade me welcome, saying, "Here heaven
has decreed thee to reign, and thou wilt soon become a powerful
sultan." He then conducted me to the palace, and we descended
from one of the apartments into a vault, where to my astonishment
I beheld vast heaps of gold and silver ingots, large bags of
coins of the same metals, and several rich chests filled with
jewels of inestimable value, of all which he saluted me master. I
was overcome with astonishment; but said, "Of what use is all
this wealth in a depopulated city? and how can I be a sultan
without subjects?" The old man smiled, and said, "Have patience,
my son; this evening a numerous caravan will arrive here composed
of emigrants, who are in search of a settlement, and they will
elect thee their sovereign." His words proved true; the caravan
arrived, when the old man invited them to inhabit the city; his
offer was gladly accepted, and by his direction they declared me
their sultan. My protector remained with me a whole year, during
which he gave me instructions how to govern, and I became what I
am. Heaven has prospered my endeavours to do good: the fame of my
liberality, justice, and clemency soon spread abroad; the city
was soon filled by industrious inhabitants, who repaired the
decayed buildings, and erected new ones. The country round became
well cultivated, and our port was filled with vessels from every
quarter. I shortly after sent for my family, for I had left
behind me a wife and two sons; and you may guess from your own
joy at meeting after long separation what must have been mine on
such an occasion. My venerable patron, at the expiration of the
year, one day thus addressed me: "My son, as my mission is
completed I must now leave you; but be not alarmed, for provided
thou continuest to act as thou hast begun, we shall meet again.
Know that I am the prophet Khizzer, and was sent by heaven to
protect thee. Mayest thou deserve its blessings!" Having said
this he embraced me in his arms, and then vanished, how I know
not, from my sight. For some time I continued rapt in
astonishment and wonder, which at length gave place to
reverential awe and gratitude to heaven; by degrees I recovered
myself, and bowed down with fervent devotion. I have endeavoured
to follow the admonitions of my holy adviser. It is unnecessary
to say more; you see my state and the happiness I enjoy.





                          CONCLUSION.



The sultan of the Indies could not but admire the prodigious and
inexhaustible memory of the sultaness his wife, who had
entertained him so many nights with such a variety of interesting
stories.

A thousand and one nights had passed away in these innocent
amusements, which contributed so much towards removing the
sultan's unhappy prejudice against the fidelity of women. His
temper was softened. He was convinced of the merit and great
wisdom of the sultaness Scheherazade. He remembered with what
courage she had offered to be his wife, without fearing the death
to which she knew she exposed herself, as so many sultanesses had
suffered within her knowledge.

These considerations, and the many other good qualities he knew
her to possess, induced him at last to forgive her. "I see,
lovely Scheherazade," said he, "that you can never be at a loss
for these little stories, which have so long diverted me. You
have appeased my anger. I freely renounce the law I had imposed
on myself. I restore your sex to my favourable opinion, and will
have you to be regarded as the deliverer of the many damsels I
had resolved to sacrifice to my unjust resentment."

The sultaness cast herself at his feet, and embraced them
tenderly with all the marks of the most lively and perfect
gratitude.

The grand vizier was the first who learned this agreeable
intelligence from the sultan's own mouth. It was instantly
carried to the city, towns, and provinces; and gained the sultan,
and the lovely Scheherazade his consort, universal applause, and
the blessings of all the people of the extensive empire of the
Indies.





End of Volume 4.






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