SUPPLEMENTAL NIGHTS To The Book Of The Thousand And One Nights With Notes Anthropological And Explanatory By Richard F. Burton VOLUME THREE Privately Printed By The Burton Club To Henry Edward John, Lord Stanley of Alderley This The Most Innocent Volume of the Nights is Inscribed by His Old Companion, The Author.
Contents of the Thirteenth Volume.
1. The Tale of Zayn Al-Asnam 2. Alaeddin; or, The Wonderful Lamp 3. Khudadad and His Brothers a. History of the Princess of Daryabar 4. The Caliph's Night Adventure a. The Story of the Blind Man, Baba Abdullah b. History of Sidi Nu'uman c. History of Khwajah Hasan Al-Habbal 5. Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves 6. Ali Khwajah and the Merchant of Baghdad 7. Prince Ahmad and the Fairy Peri-Banu 8. The Two Sisters Who Envied Their Cadette
APPENDIX: VARIANTS AND ANALOGUES of the Tales in Volume XIII. By W. A. Clouston.
The Tale of Zayn Al-Asnam Alaeddin; or, The Wonderful Lamp Khudadad and His Brothers The Story of the Blind Man, Baba Abdullah History of Sisi Nu'uman History of Khwajah Hasan Al-Habbal Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Ali Khwajah and the Merchant of Baghdad Prince Ahmad and the Fairy Peri-Banu The Two Sisters Who Envied Their Cadette
The Tale of Zayn Al-Asnam Alaeddin; or, The Wonderful Lamp Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Prince Ahmad and the Fairy Peri-Banu
The Translator's Foreword.
The peculiar proceedings of the Curators, Bodleian Library, 1 Oxford, of which full particulars shall be given in due time, have dislocated the order of my volumes. The Prospectus had promised that Tome III. should contain detached extracts from the MS. known as the Wortley-Montague, and that No. IV. and part of No. V. should comprise a reproduction of the ten Tales (or eleven, including "The Princess of Daryabar"), which have so long been generally attributed to Professor Galland. Circumstances, however, wholly beyond my control have now compelled me to devote the whole of this volume to the Frenchman's stories.
It will hardly be doubted that for a complete recueil of The Nights a retranslation of the Gallandian histoires is necessary. The learned Professor Gustav Weil introduced them all, Germanised literally from the French, into the Dritter Band of his well-known version—Tausend und eine Nacht; and not a few readers of Mr. John Payne's admirable translation (the Villon) complained that they had bought it in order to see Ali Baba, Aladdin, and others translated into classical English and that they much regretted the absence of their old favourites.
But the modus operandi was my prime difficulty. I disliked the idea of an unartistic break or change in the style, ever
"Tachnat de rendre mien cet air d'antiquite,"
and I aimed at offering to my readers a homogeneous sequel. My first thought for securing uniformity of treatment was to tender the French text into Arabic, and then to retranslate it into English. This process, however, when tried was found wanting; so I made inquiries in all directions for versions of the Gallandian histories which might have been published in Persian, Turkish, or Hindustani. Though assisted by the Prince of London Bibliopoles, Bernard Quaritch, I long failed to find my want: the vernaculars in Persian and Turkish are translated direct from the Arabic texts, and all ignore the French stories. At last a friend, Cameron McDowell, himself well known to the world of letters, sent me from Bombay a quaint lithograph with quainter illustrations which contained all I required. This was a version of Totaram Shayan (No. III.), which introduced the whole of the Gallandian Tales: better still, these were sufficiently orientalised and divested of their inordinate Gallicism, especially their lonesome dialogue, by being converted into Hindustani, the Urdu Zaban (camp or court language) of Upper India and the Lingua Franca of the whole Peninsula.
During one of my sundry visits to the British Museum, I was introduced by Mr. Alexander G. Ellis to Mr. James F. Blumhardt, of Cambridge, who pointed out to me two other independent versions, one partly rhymed and partly in prose.
Thus far my work was done for me. Mr. Blumhardt, a practical Orientalist and teacher of the modem Prakrit tongues, kindly undertook, at my request, to English the Hindustani, collating at the same time, the rival versions; and thus, at a moment when my health was at its worst, he saved me all trouble and labour except that of impressing the manner with my own sign manual, and of illustrating the text, where required, with notes anthropological and other.
Meanwhile, part of my plan was modified by a visit to Paris in early 1887. At the Bibliotheque Nationale I had the pleasure of meeting M. Hermann Zotenberg, keeper of Eastern manuscripts, an Orientalist of high and varied talents, and especially famous for his admirable Chronique de Tabari. Happily for me, he had lately purchased for the National Library, from a vendor who was utterly ignorant of its history, a MS. copy of The Nights, containing the Arabic originals of Zayn al-Asnam and Alaeddin. The two volumes folio are numbered and docketed Supplement Arabe, Nos. 2522-23;" they measure 31 cent. by 20; Vol. i. contains 411 folios (822 pages) and Vol. ii. 402 (pp. 804); each page numbers fifteen lines, and each folio has its catchword. The paper is French, English and Dutch, with four to five different marks, such as G. Gautier; D. and C. Blaew; Pro Patra and others. The highly characteristic writing, which is the same throughout the two folios, is easily recognised as that of Michel (Mikhail) Sabbagh, the Syrian, author of the Colombe Messagere, published in Paris A.D. 1805, and accompanied by a translation by the celebrated Silvestre de Sacy (Chrestomathie iii. 365). This scribe also copied, about 1810, for the same Orientalist, the Ikhwan al-Safa.
I need say nothing more concerning this MS., which M. Zotenberg purposes to describe bibliographically in volume xxviii. of Notices et extraits des Manuscrits de la Bibliotheque rationale publies par l'Academie des inscriptions et belles lettres. And there will be a tirage a part of 200-300 copies entitled Histoire d' 'Ala al-Din ou La Lampe Merveilleuse, Texte Arabe, publie par H. Zotenberg, Paris, Imprimerie Nationale, 1888; including a most important contribution:—Sur quelques Manuscrits des Mille et une Nuits et la traduction de Galland.[FN#1]
The learned and genial author has favoured me with proof sheets of his labours: it would be unfair to disclose the discoveries, such as the Manuscript Journals in the Bibliotheque Nationale (Nos. 15277 to 15280), which the illustrious Garland kept regularly till the end of his life, and his conversations with "M. Hanna, Maronite d'Halep," alias Jean Dipi (Dippy, a corruption of Diab): suffice it to say that they cast a clear and wholly original light upon the provenance of eight of the Gallandian histories. I can, however, promise to all "Aladdinists" a rich harvest of facts which wholly displace those hitherto assumed to be factual. But for the satisfaction of my readers I am compelled to quote the colophon of M. Zotenberg's great "find" (vol. ii.), as it bears upon a highly important question.
"And the finishing thereof was during the first decade of Jamadi the Second, of the one thousand and one hundred and fifteenth year of the Hegirah (= A.D. 1703) by the transcription of the neediest of His slaves unto Almighty Allah, Ahmad bin Mohammed al-Taradi, in Baghdad City: he was a Shafi'i of school, and a Mosuli by birth, and a Baghdadi by residence, and he wrote it for his own use, and upon it he imprinted his signet. So Allah save our lord Mohammed and His Kin and Companions and assain them! Kabikaj."[FN#2]
Now as this date corresponds with A.D. 1703, whereas Galland did begin publishing until 1705-1705 the original MS. of Ahmad al- Taradi could not have been translated or adapted from the French; and although the transcription by Mikhail Sabbagh, writing in 1805-10, may have introduced modification borrowed from Galland, yet the scrupulous fidelity of his copy, shown by sundry marginal and other notes, lays the suspicion that changes of importance have been introduced by him. Remains now only to find the original codex of Al-Taradi.
I have noticed in my translation sundry passages which appear to betray the Christian hand; but these are mostly of scanty consequence in no wise affecting the genuineness of the text.
The history of Zayn al Asnam was copied from the Sabbagh MS. and sent to me by M. Houdas, Professeur d'Arabe vulgaire a l'Ecole des langues orientales vivantes; an Arabist, whose name is favourably quoted in the French Colonies of Northern Africa M. Zotenberg kindly lent me his own transcription of Alaeddin before sending it to print; and I can only regret that the dilatory proceedings of the Imprimerie Nationale, an establishment supported by the State, and therefore ignoring the trammels of private industry, have prevented my revising the version now submitted to the public. This volume then begins with the two Gallandian Tales, "Zeyn Alasnam" and "Aladdin," whose Arabic original was discovered by M. Zotenberg during the last year: although separated in the French version, I have brought them together for the sake of uniformity. The other eight (or nine, including the Princess of Daryabar), entitled History of Khudadad and his Brothers, and the Princess of Daryabar;
History of Khudadad and his Brothers, and the Princess of Daryabar; History of the Blind Man, Baba Abdullah; History of Sidi Nu'uman; History of Khwajah Hasan al-Habbal; History of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves; History of Ali Khwajah and the Merchant of Baghdad; History of Prince Ahmad and the Fairy Peri-banu; History of the two Sisters who envied their Cadette,
are borrowed mainly from the Indian version of Totaram Shayan.
And here I must quote the bibliographical notices concerning the sundry versions into Urdu or Hindustani which have been drawn up with great diligence by Mr. Blumhardt.
"The earliest attempt to translate the Arabian Nights was made by Munshi Shams al-Din Ahmad Shirwani. A prose version of the first two hundred Nights made by him 'for the use of the College at Fort St. George' was lithographed at Madras in the year A.H. 1252 (A.D. 1836) and published in 8vo volumes (pp. 517, 426) under the title 'Hikayat ool jaleeah'[FN#3] (Hikayat al-jalilah). The translation was made from an Arabic original but it does not appear what edition was made use of. The translator had intended to bring out a version of the entire work, but states in his preface that, being unable to procure the Arabic of the other Nights, he could not proceed with the translation, and had to be content to publish only two hundred Nights. This version does not appear to have become popular, for no other edition seems to have been published. And the author must not be confounded with Shaykh Ahmad Shirwani, who, in A.D. 1814, printed an Arabic edition of the Arabian Nights Entertainments (Calcutta, Pereira) which also stopped at No. CC.
"The next translation was made by Munshi al-Karim, likewise in prose. From the preface and colophon to this work it appears that 'Abd al-Karim obtained a copy of Edward Foster's English version of the Arabian Nights, and after two years' labour completed a translation of the whole work in A.H. 1258 (A.D. 1842). It was lithographed at the Mustafai Press at Kanpur (Cawnpore) in the year A.H. 1263 (A.D. 1847) and published in four vols., in two royal 8vos, lithographed; each containing two Jilds (or parts, pp. 276, 274; 214 and 195).
"A second edition appeared from the same press in A.H. 1270 (A.D. 1853) also in two vols. 8vo of two Jilds each (pp. 249, 245; 192, 176). Since then several other editions have been published at Cawnpore, at Lakhnau[FN#4] and also at Bombay. This translation is written in an easy fluent style, omitting all coarseness of expression or objectionable passages, in language easily understood, and at the same time in good and elegant Hindustani. It is therefore extremely popular, and selections from the 4th Jild have been taken as text books for the Indian Civil Service examinations. A Romanised Urdu version of the first two Jilds according to Duncan Forbes' system of transliteration, was made 'under the superintendence of T. W. H. Tolbort,' and published under the editorship of F. Pincott in London, by W. H. Allen and Co. in 1882.[FN#5] There has been no attempt to divide this translation into Nights: there are headings to the several tales and nothing more. To supply this want, and also to furnish the public with a translation closer to the original, and one more intelligible to Eastern readers, and in accordance with Oriental thought and feeling, a third translation was taken in hand by Totaram Shayan, at the instance of Nawal Kishore, the well-known bookseller and publisher of Lucknow. The first edition of this translation was lithographed at Lucknow in the year A.H. 1284 (A.D. 1868) and published in a 4to vol. of 1,080 pages under the title of Hazar Dastan.[FN#6] Totaram Shayan has followed 'Abd al-Karim's arrangement of the whole work into four Jilds, each of which has a separate pagination (pp. 304; 320, 232, and 224.) The third Jild has 251 Nights: the other three 250 each. The translation is virtually in prose, but it abounds in snatches of poetry, songs and couplets taken from the writings of Persian poets, and here and there a verse-rendering of bits of the story. This translation, though substantially agreeing in the main with that of 'Abd al-Karim, yet differs widely from it in the treatment. It is full of flowery metaphors and is written in a rich, ornate style full of Persian and Arabic words and idioms, which renders it far less easy to understand than the simple language of 'Abd al-Karim. Some passages have been considerably enlarged and sometimes contain quite different reading from that of 'Abd al-Karim with occasional additional matter. In other places descriptions have been much curtailed so that although the thread of the story may be the same in both translations it is hard to believe that the two translators worked from the same version. Unfortunately Totaram Shayan makes no mention at Ali the source whence he made his translation whether English or Arabic. This translation reached its fourth edition in 1883, and has been published with the addition of several badly executed full-page illustrations evidently taken from English prints.
"Yet another translation of The Nights has been made into Hindustani, and this a versified paraphrase, the work of three authors whose takhallus or noms de plume, were as follows: "Nasim" (Muhammad Asghar Ali Khan), translator of the first Jild, "Shayan" (Totaram Shayan), who undertook the second and third Jilds, and "Chaman" (Shadi Lal) by whom the fourth and last Jild was translated. The work is complete in 1,244 pages 4to, and was lithographed at Lucknow; Jilds i.-iii. in A.H. 1278 (A.D. 1862) and Jild iv. in 1285 (A.D. 1869). This translation is also divided into Nights, differing slightly from the prose translation of Totaram Shayan, as the first Jild has 251 Nights and the others 250 each."
And now I have only to end this necessarily diffuse Foreword with my sincerest thanks to Mr. Clouston, the Storiologist, who has brought his wide experience of Folk-lore to bear upon the tales included in my Third Supplemental Volume; and to Dr. Steingass, who during my absence from England kindly passed my proofs through the press.
RICHARD F. BURTON.
Sauerbrunn-Rohitsch, Styria. September 15, '87.
Supplemental Nights To The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night
When it was the Four Hundred and Ninety-seventh Night,[FN#7]
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, tell us one of thy fair tales, so therewith we may cut short the waking hours of this our night;" and Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will! I will relate to you
THE TALE OF ZAYN AL-ASNAM.[FN#8]
It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that in Bassorah-city[FN#9] reigned a puissant Sultan, who was opulent exceedingly and who owned all the goods of life; but he lacked a child which might inherit his wealth and dominion. So, being sorely sorrowful on this account, he arose and fell to doing abundant alms-deeds to Fakirs and the common poor, to the Hallows and other holy men and prayed their recourse to Allah Almighty, in order that the Lord (to whom belong Might and Majesty!) might of His grace bless him with issue. And the Compassionate accepted his prayer for his alms to the Religious and deigned grant his petition; and one night of the nights after he lay with the Queen she went away from him with child. Now as soon as the Sultan heard of the conception he rejoiced with exceeding great joyance, and when the days of delivery drew near he gathered together all the astrologers and sages who strike the sand-board,[FN#10]and said to them, "'Tis our desire that ye disclose and acquaint us anent the birth which is to be born during the present month whether it shall be male or female, and what shall befal it from the shifts of Time, and what shall proceed from it." Thereupon the geomantists struck their sand-boards and the astrophils ascertained their ascendants and they drew the horoscope of the babe unborn, and said to the sovran, "O King of the Age and Lord of the Time and the Tide, verily the child to which the Queen shall presently give birth will be a boy and 't will be right for thee to name him Zayn al-Asnam—Zayn of the Images." Then spake the geomantists, saying, "Know then, Ho though the King, that this little one shall approve him when grown to man's estate valiant and intelligent; but his days shall happen upon sundry troubles and travails, and yet if he doughtily fight against all occurrence he shall become the most opulent of the Kings of the World." Exclaimed the Sultan, "An the child approve himself valorous, as ye have announced, then the toil and moil which shall be his lot may be held for naught, inasmuch as calamities but train and strengthen the songs of the Kings."[FN#11] Shortly after this the Queen gave birth to a man-child, and Glory be to Him who fashioned the babe with such peerless beauty and loveliness! The King named his son Zayn al-Asnam, and presently he became even as the poets sang of one of his fellows in semblance,
"He showed; and they cried, 'Be Allah blest!'* And who made him and formed him His might attest! This be surely the lord of all loveliness; * And all others his lieges and thralls be confest."
Then Zayn al-Asnam grew up and increased until his age attained its fifteenth year, when his sire the Sultan appointed for him an experienced governor, one versed in all the sciences and philosophies;[FN#12] who fell to instructing him till such times as he waxed familiar with every branch of knowledge, and in due season he became an adult. Thereupon the Sultan bade summon his son and heir to the presence together with the Lords of his land and the Notables of his lieges and addressed him before them with excellent counsel saying, "O my son, O Zayn al-Asnam, seeing that I be shotten in years and at the present time sick of a sickness which haply shall end my days in this world and which anon shall seat thee in my stead, therefore, I bequeath unto thee the following charge. Beware, O my son, lest thou wrong any man, and incline not to cause the poor complain; but do justice to the injured after the measure of thy might. Furthermore, have a care lest thou trust to every word spoken to thee by the Great; but rather lend thou ever an ear unto the voice of the general; for that thy Grandees will betray thee as they seek only whatso suiteth them, not that which suiteth thy subjects." A few days after this time the old Sultan's distemper increased and his lifeterm was fulfilled and he died; whereupon his son, Zayn al-Asnam, arose and donned mourning-dress for his father during six days; and on the seventh he went forth to the Divan and took seat upon the throne of his Sultanate. He also held a levee wherein were assembled all the defenders of the realm, and the Ministers and the Lords of the land came forward and condoled with him for the loss of his parent and wished him all good fortune and gave him joy of his kingship and dominion and prayed for his endurance in honour and his permanence in prosperity. —And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Ninety-eighth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, tell us one of thy fair tales, so therewith we may cut short the waking hours of this our night;" and quoth Shahrazad:—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Zayn al-Asnam seeing himself in this high honour and opulence[FN#13] and he young in years and void of experience, straightway inclined unto lavish expenditure and commerce with the younglings, who were like him and fell to wasting immense wealth upon his pleasures; and neglected his government, nor paid aught of regard to his subjects.[FN#14] Thereupon the Queen-mother began to counsel him, and forbid him from such ill courses, advising him to abandon his perverse inclinations and apply his mind to rule and commandment, and to further the policy of his kingdom, lest the lieges repudiate him and rise up against him and depose him. But he would on no wise hearken to a single of her words and persisted in his ignorant folly; whereat the folk murmured, inasmuch as the Lords of the land had put forth their hands to tyranny and oppression when they saw the King lacking in regard for his Ryots. And presently the commons rose up against Zayn al-Asnam and would have dealth harshly with him had not his mother been a woman of wits and wisdom and contrivance, dearly loved of the general. So she directed the malcontents aright and promised them every good: then she summoned her son Zayn al-Asnam and said to him, "Behold, O my child, that which I foretold for thee, to wit that thou wastest thy realm and lavishest thy life to boot by persevering in what ignorance thou art; for that thou hast placed the governance of thy Kingdom in the hands of inexperienced youth and hast neglected the elders and hast dissipated thy moneys and the moneys of the monarchy, and thou hast lavished all thy treasure upon wilfulness and carnal pleasuring." Zayn al-Asnam, awaking from the slumber of negligence, forthright accepted his mother's counsel and, faring forth at once to the Diwan,[FN#15] he entrusted the management of the monarchy to certain old officers, men of intelligence and experience. But he acted on this wise only after Bassorah-town was ruined, inasmuch as he had not turned away from his ignorant folly before he had wasted and spoiled all the wealth of the Sultanate, and he had become utterly impoverished. Thereupon the Prince fell to repenting and regretting that which had been done by him, until the repose of sleep was destroyed for him and he shunned meat and drink; nor did this cease until one night of the nights which had sped in such grief and thoughtfulness and vain regret until dawn drew nigh and his eyelids closed for a little while. Then an old and venerable Shaykh appeared to him in a vision[FN#16] and said to him, "O Zayn al-Asnam, sorrow not; for after sorrow however sore cometh naught but joyance; and, would'st thou win free of this woe, up and hie thee to Egypt where thou shalt find hoards of wealth which shall replace whatso thou hast wasted and will double it more than twofold." Now when the Prince was aroused from his sleep he recounted to his mother all he had seen in his dream; but his parent began to laugh at him, and he said to her, "Mock me not: there is no help but that I wend Egypt-wards." Rejoined she, "O my son, believe not in swevens which be mere imbroglios of sleep and lying phantasies;" and retorted saying, "In very sooth my vision is true and the man whom I saw therein is of the Saints of Allah and his words are veridical." Then on a night of the nights mounting horse alone and privily, he abandoned his Kingdom; and took the highway to Egypt; and he rode day and night until he reached Cairo-city. He entered it and saw it to be a mighty fine capital; then, tethering his steed he found shelter in one of its Cathedral-mosques, and he worn out by weariness; however, when he had rested a little he fared forth and bought himself somewhat of food. After eating, his excessive fatigue caused him fall asleep in the mosque; nor had he slept long ere the Shaykh[FN#17] appeared to him a second time in vision and said to him, "O Zayn al-Asnam,"—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Four Hundred and Ninety-ninth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, tell us one of thy fair tales, so therewith we may cut short the waking hours of this our night," and quoth Shahrazad:—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Shaykh again appeared to the Prince in a vision and said to him, "O Zayn al-Asnam, though hast obeyed me in whatso I bade thee and I only made trial of thee to test an thou be valiant or a craven. But now I wot thy worth, inasmuch as thou hast accepted my words and thou hast acted upon my advice: so do thou return straightway to thy capital and I will make thee a wealthy ruler, such an one that neither before thee was any king like unto thee nor shall any like unto thee come after thee." Hereat Zayn al-Asnam awoke and cried "Bismillah,—in the name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate—what be this Shaykh who verily persecuted me until I travelled to Cairo; and I having faith in him and holding that he was either the Apostle (whom Allah save and assain!) or one of the righteous Hallows of God; and there is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! By the Lord, but I did right well in not relating my dream to any save to my mother, and in warning none of my departure. I had full faith in this oldster; but now, meseemeth, the man is not of those who know the Truth (be He extolled and exalted!); so by Allah I will cast off all confidence in this Shaykh and his doings." With this resolve the Prince slept that night in the Mosque and on the morrow took horse and after a few days of strenuous travel arrived at his capital Bassorah. Herein he entered by night, and forthright went in to his mother who asked him, "Say me, hast thou won aught of whatso the Shaykh promised thee?" and he answered her by acquainting her with all his adventure. Then she applied her to consoling and comforting him, saying, "Grieve not, O my son; if Almighty Allah have apportioned unto thee aught thou shalt obtain it without toil and travail.[FN#18] But I would see thee wax sensible and wise, abandoning all these courses which have landed thee in poverty, O my son; and shunning songstresses and commune with the inexperienced and the society of loose livers, male and female. All such pleasures as these are for the sons of the ne'er-do-well, not for the scions of the Kings thy peers." Herewith Zayn al-Asnam sware an oath to bear in mind all she might say to him, never to gainsay her commandments, nor deviate from them a single hair's breadth; to abandon all she should forbid him, and to fix his thoughts upon rule and goverance. Then he addrest himself to sleep, and as he slumbered, the Shaykh appeared to him a third time in vision, and said, "O Zayn al-Asnam, O thou valorous Prince; this very day, as soon as thou shalt have shaken off thy drowsiness, I will fulfil my covenant with thee. So take with thee a pickaxe, and hie to such a palace of thy sire, and turn up the ground, searching it well in such a place where thou wilt find that which shall enrich thee." As soon as the Prince awoke, he hastened to his mother in huge joy and told her his tale; but she fell again to laughing at him, and saying, "O my child, indeed this old man maketh mock of thee and naught else; so get thyself clear of him." But Zayn al-Asnam replied, "O mother mine, verily this Shaykh is soothfast and no liar: for the first time he but tried me and now he proposeth to perform his promise." Whereto his mother, "At all events, the work is not wearisome; so do thou whatso thou willest even as he bade thee. Make the trial and Inshallah—God willing—return to me rejoicing; yet sore I fear lest thou come back to me and say, 'Sooth thou hast spoken in thy speech, O my mother!" However Zayn al-Asnam took up a pickaxe and, descending to that part of the palace where his sire lay entombed, began to dig and to delve; nor had he worked a long while[FN#19] ere, lo and behold! there appeared to him a ring bedded in a marble slab. He removed the stone and saw a ladder-like flight of steps whereby he descended until he found a huge souterrain all pillar'd and propped with columns of marble and alabaster. And when he entered the inner recesses he saw within the cave-like souterrain a pavilion which bewildered his wits, and inside the same stood eight jars[FN#20] of green jasper. So he said in his mind, "What may be these jars and what may be stored therein?"—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the full Five Hundredth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, tell us one of thy fair tales, so therewith we may cut short the waking hours of this our night," and quoth Shahrazad:—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when Zayn al-Asnam saw the jars, he came forwards and unlidding them found each and every full of antique[FN#21] golden pieces; so he hent a few in hand seen and going to his mother gave of them to her saying, "Hast thou seen, O my mother?" She marvelled at the matter and made answer, "Beware, O my son, of wasting this wealth as thou dissipatedst otheraforetime;" whereupon her son sware to her an oath saying, "Have no care, O my mother, nor be thy heart other than good before me; and I desire that thou also find satisfaction in mine actions." Presently she arose and went forth with him, and the twain descended into the cavern-like souterrain and entered the pavilion, where the Queen saw that which wildereth the wits; and she made sure with her own eyes that the jars were full of gold. But while they enjoyed the spectacle of the treasure behold, they caught sight of a smaller jar wondrously wrought in green jasper; so Zayn al-Asnam opened it and found therein a golden key; whereupon quoth the Queen-mother, "O my son, needs must this key have some door which it unlocketh." Accordingly they sought all about the souterrain and the pavilion to find if there be a door or aught like thereto, and presently, seeing a wooden lock fast barred, they knew wherefor the key was intended. Presently the Prince applied it and opened the lock, whereupon the door of a palace gave admittance, and when the twain entered they found it more spacious than the first pavilion and all illumined with a light which dazed the sight; yet not a wax-candle lit it up nor indeed was there a recess for lamps. Hereat they marvelled and meditated and presently they discovered eight images[FN#22] of precious stones, all seated upon as many golden thrones, and each and every was cut of one solid piece; and all the stones were pure and of the finest water and most precious of price. Zayn al-Asnam was confounded hereat and said to his mother, "Whence could my sire have obtained all these rare things?" And the twain took their pleasure in gazing at them and considering them and both wondered to see a ninth throne unoccupied, when the Queen espied a silken hanging whereon was inscribed, "O my son, marvel not at this mighty wealth which I have acquired by sore stress and striving travail. But learn also that there existeth a Ninth Statue whose value is twenty-fold greater than these thou seest and, if thou would win it, hie thee again to Cairo-city. There thou shalt find a whilome slave of mine Mubarak[FN#23] hight and he will take thee and guide thee to the Statue; and 'twill be easy to find him on entering Cairo: the first person thou shalt accost will point out the house to thee, for that Mubarak is known throughout the place." When Zayn al-Asnam had read this writ he cried: "O my mother, 'tis again my desire to wend my way Cairo-wards and seek out this image; so do thou say how seest thou my vision, fact or fiction, after thou assuredst me saying, 'This be an imbroglio of sleep?' However, at all events, O my mother, now there is no help for it but that I travel once more to Cairo." Replied she, "O my child, seeing that thou be under the protection of the Apostle of Allah (whom may He save and assain!) so do thou fare in safety, while I and thy Wazir will order thy reign in thine absence till such time as thou shalt return." Accordingly the Prince went forth and gat him ready and rode on till he reached Cairo where he asked for Mubarak's house. The folk answered him saying, "O my lord, this be a man than whom none is wealthier or greater in boon deeds and bounties, and his home is ever open to the stranger." Then they showed him the way and he followed it till he came to Mubarak's mansion where he knocked at the door and a slave of the black slaves opened to him.—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and First Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, tell us one of thy fair tales, so therewith we may cut short the waking hours of this our night;" and quoth Shahrazad:—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Zayn al-Asnam knocked at the door when a slave of Mubarak's black slaves came out to him and opening asked him, "Who[FN#24] art thou and what is it thou wantest?" The Prince answered, "I am a foreigner from a far country, and I have heard of Mubarak thy lord that he is famed for liberality and generosity; so that I come hither purposing to become his guest." Thereupon the chattel went in to his lord and, after reporting the matter to him, came out and said to Zayn al-Asnam, "O my lord, a blessing hath descended upon us by thy footsteps. Do thou enter, for my master Mubarak awaiteth thee." Therewith the Prince passed into a court spacious exceedingly and all beautified with trees and waters, and the slave led him to the pavilion wherein Mubarak was sitting. As the guest came in the host straightway rose up and met him with cordial greeting and cried, "A benediction hath alighted upon us and this night is the most benedight of the nights by reason of thy coming to us! So who are thou, O youth, and whence is thine arrival and whither is thine intent?" He replied, "I am Zayn al-Asnam and I seek one Mubarak, a slave of the Sultan of Bassorah who deceased a year ago, and I am his son." Mubarak rejoined, "What sayest thou? Thou the son of the King of Bassorah?" and the other retorted, "Yea, verily I am his son."[FN#25] Quoth Mubarak, "In good sooth my late lord the King of Bassorah left no son known to me! But what may be thine age, O youth?" "Twenty years or so," quoth the Prince, presently adding, "But thou, how long is it since thou leftest my sire?" "I left him eighteen years ago," said the other; "but, O my shild Zayn al-Asnam, by what sign canst thou assure me of thy being the son of my old master, the Sovran of Bassorah?" Said the Prince, "Thou alone knowest that my father laid out beneath his palace a souterrain,[FN#26] and in this he placed forty jars of the finest green jasper, which he filled with pieces of antique gold, also that within a pavilion he builded a second palace and set therein eight images of precious stones, each one of a single gem, and all seated upon royal seats of placer-gold.[FN#27] He also wrote upon a silken hanging a writ which I read and which bade me repair to thee and thou wouldst inform me concerning the Ninth Statue whereabouts it may be, assuring me that it is worth all the eight." Now when Mubarak heard these words, he fell at the feet of Zayn al-Asnam and kissed them exclaiming, "Pardon me, O my lord, in very truth thou art the son of my old master;" adding, presently, "I have spread, O my lord, a feast[FN#28] for all the Grandess of Cairo and I would that thy Highness honour it by thy presence." The Prince replied, "With love and the best will." Thereupon Mubarak arose and forewent Zayn al-Asnam to the saloon which was full of the Lords of the land there gathered together, and here he seated himself after stablishing Zayn al-Asnam in the place of honour. Then he bade the tables be spread and the feast be served and he waited upon the Prince with arms crossed behind his back[FN#29] and at times falling upon his knees. So the Grandees of Cairo marvelled to see Mubarak, one of the great men of the city, serving the youth and wondered with extreme wonderment, unknowing whence the stranger was.—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Second Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, tell us one of thy fair tales, so therewith we may cut short the waking hours of this our night," and quoth Shahrazad:—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Mubarak fell to waiting upon Zayn al-Asnam the son of his old lord, and the Grandees of Cairo there sitting marvelled to see Mubarak, one of the great men of the city, serving the youth and wondered with extreme wonderment, unknowing whence the stranger was. After this they ate and drank and supped well and were cheered till at last Mubarak turned towards them and said, "O folk, admire not that I wait upon this young man with all worship and honour, for that he is the son of my old lord, the Sultan of Bassorah, who bought me with his money and who died without manumitting me. I am, therefore, bound to do service to his son, this my young lord, and all that my hand possesseth of money and munition belongeth to him nor own I aught thereof at all, at all." When the Grandees of Cairo heard these words, they stood up before Zayn al-Asnam and salamed to him with mighty great respect and entreated him with high regard and blessed him. Then said the Prince, "O assembly, I am in the presence of your worships, and be ye my witnesses. O Mubarak, thou art now freed and all thou hast of goods, gold and gear erst belonging to us becometh henceforth thine own and thou art endowed with them for good each and every. Eke do thou ask whatso of importance thou wouldst have from me, for I will on no wise let or stay thee in thy requiring it." With this Mubarak arose and kissed the hand of Zayn al-Asnam and thanked him for his boons, saying, "O my lord, I wish for thee naught save thy weal, but the wealth that is with me is altogether overmuch for my wants." Then the Prince abode with the Freedman four days, during which all the Grandees of Cairo made act of presence day by day to offer their salams as soon as they heard men say, "This is the master of Mubarak and the monarch of Bassorah." And whenas the guest had taken his rest he said to his host, "O Mubarak, my tarrying with thee hath been long; whereto said the other, "Thou wottest, O my lord, that the matter whereinto thou comest to enquire is singular-rare, but that it also involveth risk of death, and I know not if thy valour can make the attainment thereto possible to thee." Rejoined Zayn al-Asnam, "Know, O Mubarak, that opulence is gained only by blood; nor cometh aught upon mankind save by determination and predestination of the Creator (be He glorified and magnified!); so look to thine own stoutness of heart and take thou no thought of me." Thereupon Mubarak forthright bade his slaves get them ready for wayfare; so they obeyed his bidding in all things and mounted horse and travelled by light and dark over the wildest of wolds, every day seeing matters and marvels which bewildered their wits, sights they had never seen in all their years, until they drew near unto a certain place. There the party dismounted and Mubarak bade the negro slaves and eunuchs abide on the spot saying to them, "Do ye keep watch and ward over the beasts of burthen and the horses until what time we return to you." After this the twain set out together afoot and quoth the Freedman to the Prince, "O my lord, here valiancy besitteth, for that now thou art in the land of the Image[FN#30] thou camest to seek." And they ceased not walking till they reached a lake, a long water and a wide, where quoth Mubarak to his companion, "Know, O my lord, that anon will come to us a little craft bearing a banner of azure tinct and all its planks are of chaunders and lign-aloes of Comorin, the most precious of woods. And now I would charge thee with a charge the which must thou most diligently observe." Asked the other, "Thou wilt see in that boat a boatman[FN#31] whose fashion is the reverse of man's; but beware, and again I say beware, lest thou utter a word, otherwise he will at once drown us.[FN#32] Learn also that this stead belongeth to the King of the Jinns and that everything thou beholdest is the work of the Jann."—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Third Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, tell us one of thy fair tales, so therewith we may cut short the waking hours of this our night," and quoth Shahrazad:—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Mubarak and Zayn al-Asnam came upon a lake where, behold, they found a little craft whose planks were of chaunders and lign-aloes of Comorin and therein stood a ferryman with the head of an elephant while the rest of his body wore the semblance of a lion.[FN#33] Presently he approached them and winding his trunk around them[FN#34] lifted them both into the boat and seated them beside himself: then he fell to paddling till he passed through the middle of the lake and he ceased not so doing until he had landed them on the further bank. Here the twain took ground and began to pace forwards, gazing around them the while and regarding the trees which bore for burthen ambergris and lign-aloes, sandal, cloves, and gelsamine,[FN#35] all with flowers and fruits bedrest whose odours broadened the breast and excited the sprite. There also the birds warbled, with various voices, notes ravishing and rapturing the heart by the melodies of their musick. So Mubarak turned to the Prince and asked him saying, "How seest thou this place, O my lord?" and the other answered, "I deem, O Mubarak, that in very truth this be the Paradise promised to us by the Prophet (whom Allah save and assain!)." Thence they fared forwards till they came upon a mighty fine palace all builded of emeralds and rubies with gates and doors of gold refined: it was fronted by a bridge one hundred and fifty cubits long to a breadth of fifty, and the whole was one rib of a fish.[FN#36] At the further end thereof stood innumerous hosts of the Jann, all frightful of favour and fear-inspiring of figure and each and every hent in hand javelins of steel which flashed to the sun like December leven. Thereat quoth the Prince to his companion, "This be a spectacle which ravisheth the wits;" and quoth Mubarak, "It now behoveth that we abide in our places nor advance further lest there happen to us some mishap; and may Allah vouchsafe to us safety!" Herewith he brought forth his pouch four strips of a yellow silken stuff and zoning himself with one threw the other over his shoulders;[FN#37] and he gave the two remaining pieces to the Prince that he might do with them on like wise. Next he dispread before either of them a waist shawl[FN#38] of white sendal and then he pulled out of his poke sundry precious stones and scents and ambergris and eagle-wood;[FN#39] and, lastly, each took his seat upon his sahs, and when both were ready Mubarak repeated the following words to the Prince and taught him to pronounce them before the King of the Jann, "O my lord, Sovran of the Spirits, we stand within thy precincts and we throw ourselves on thy protection;" whereto Zayn al-Asnam added, "And I adjure him earnestly that he accept of us." But Mubarak rejoined, "O my lord, by Allah I am in sore fear. Hear me! An he determine to accept us without hurt or harm he will approach us in the semblance of a man rare of beauty and comeliness but, if not, he will assume a form frightful and terrifying. Now an thou see him in his favourable shape do thou arise forthright and salam to him and above all things beware lest thou step beyond this thy coth." The Prince replied, "To hear is to obey," and the other continued, "And let thy salam to him be thy saying, O King of the Sprites and Sovran of the Jann and Lord of Earth, my sire, the whilome Sultan of Bassorah, whom the Angel of Death hath removed (as is not hidden from thy Highness) was ever taken under thy protection and I, like him, come to thee sueing the same safeguard."—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Fourth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, tell us one of thy fair tales, so therewith we may cut short the waking hours of this our night," and quoth Shahrazad:—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Mubarak fell to lessoning Zayn al-Asnam how he should salute the King of the Jinns, and pursued, "Likewise, O my lord, if he hail us with gladsome face of welcome he will doubtless say thee, 'Ask whatso thou wantest of me!' and the moment he giveth thee his word do thou at once prefer thy petition saying, O my lord, I require of thy Highness the Ninth Statue than which is naught more precious in the world, and thou didst promise my father to vouchsafe me that same." And after this Mubarak instructed his master how to address the King and crave of him the boon and how to bespeak him with pleasant speech. Then he began his conjurations and fumigations and adjurations and recitations of words not understanded of any and but little time elapsed before cold rain down railed and lightning flashed and thunder roared and thick darkness veiled earth's face. Presently came forth a mighty rushing wind and a voice like an earthquake, the quake of earth on Judgment Day.[FN#40] The Prince, seeing these horrors and sighting that which he had never before seen or heard, trembled for terror in every limb; but Mubarak fell to laughing at him and saying, "Fear not, O my lord: for that which thou dreadest is what we seek, for to us it is an earnest of glad tidings and success; so be thou satisfied and hold thyself safe."[FN#41] After this the skies waxed clear and serene exceedingly while perfumed winds and the purest scents breathed upon them; nor did a long time elapse ere the King of the Jann presented himself under the semblance of a beautiful man who had no peer in comeliness save and excepting Him who lacketh likeness and to Whom be honour and glory! He gazed at Zayn al-Asnam with a gladsome aspect and a riant, whereat the Prince arose forthright and recited the string of benedictions taught to him by his companion and the King said to him with a smiling favour, "O Zayn al-Asnam, verily I was wont to love thy sire, the Sultan of Bassorah and, when he visited me ever, I used to give him an image of those thou sawest, each cut of a single gem; and thou also shalt presently become to me honoured as thy father and yet more. Ere he died I charged him to write upon the silken curtain the writ thou readest and eke I gave promise and made covenant with him to take thee like thy parent under my safeguard and to gift thee as I gifted him with an image, to wit, the ninth, which is of greater worth than all those viewed by thee. So now 'tis my desire to stand by my word and to afford thee my promised aid."—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Fifth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, tell us one of thy fair tales, so therewith we may cut short the waking hours of this our night," and quoth Shahrazad:—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Lord of the Jann said to the Prince, "I will take thee under my safeguard and the Shaykh thou sawest in thy swevens was myself and I also 'twas who bade thee dig under thy palace down to the souterrain wherein thou sawest the crocks of gold and the figures of fine gems. I also well know wherefore thou art come hither and I am he who caused thee to come and I will give thee what thou seekest, for all that I would not give it to thy sire. But 'tis on condition that thou return unto me bringing a damsel whose age is fifteen, a maiden without rival or likeness in loveliness; furthermore she must be a pure virgin and a clean maid who hath never lusted for male nor hath ever been solicited of man;[FN#42] and lastly, thou must keep faith with me in safeguarding the girl whenas thou returnest hither and beware lest thou play the traitor with her whilst thou bringest her to me." To this purport the Prince sware a mighty strong oath adding, "O my lord, thou hast indeed honoured me by requiring of me such service, but truly 'twill be right hard for me to find a fair one like unto this; and, grant that I find one perfectly beautiful and young in years after the requirement of thy Highness, how shall I weet if she ever longed for mating with man or that male ever lusted for her?" Replied the King, "Right thou art, O Zayn al-Asnam, and verily this be a knowledge whereunto the sons of men may on no wise attain. However, I will give thee a mirror[FN#43] of my own whose virtue is this. When thou shalt sight a young lady whose beauty and loveliness please thee, do thou open the glass,[FN#44] and, if thou see therein her image clear and undimmed, do thou learn forthright that she is a clean maid without aught of defect or default and endowed with every praiseworthy quality. But if, contrariwise, the figure be found darkened or clothed in uncleanness, do thou straightway know that damsel is sullied by soil of sex. Shouldst thou find her pure and gifted with all manner good gifts, bring her to me but beware not to offend with her and do villainy, and if thou keep not faith and promise with me bear in mind that thou shalt lose thy life." Hereupon the Prince made a stable and solemn pact with the King, a covenant of the sons of the Sultans which may never be violated.—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Sixth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, tell us one of thy fair tales, so therewith we may cut short the waking hours of this our night," and quoth Shahrazad:—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Prince Zayn al-Asnam made a stable and trustworthy compact to keep faith with the King of the Jann and never to play traitor thereto, but to bring the maid en tout bien et tout honneur to that potentate who made over to him the mirror saying, "O my son, take this looking-glass whereof I bespake thee and depart straightway." Thereupon the Prince and Mubarak arose and, after blessing him, fared forth and journeyed back until they made the lakelet, where they sat but a little ere appeared the boat which had brought them bearing the Jinni with elephantine head and leonine body, and he was standing up ready for paddling.[FN#45] The twain took passage with him (and this by command of the King of the Jann) until they reached Cairo and returned to their quarters, where they abode whilst they rested from the travails of travel. Then the Prince turned to his companion and said, "Arise with us and wend we to Baghdad[FN#46]-city that we may look for some damsel such as the King describeth!" and Mubarak replied, "O my lord, we be in Cairo, a city of the cities, a wonder of the world, and here no doubt there is but that I shall find such a maiden, nor is there need that we fare therefor to a far country." Zayn al-Asnam rejoined, "True for thee, O Mubarak, but what be the will and the way whereby to hit upon such a girl, and who shall go about to find her for us?" Quoth the other, "Be not beaten and broken down, O my lord, by such difficulty: I have by me here an ancient dame (and cursed be the same!) who maketh marriages, and she is past mistress in wiles and guiles; nor will she be hindered by the greatest of obstacles."[FN#47] So saying, he sent to summon the old trot, and informed her that he wanted a damsel perfect of beauty and not past her fifteenth year, whom he would marry to the son of his lord; and he promised her sumptuous Bakhshish and largesse if she would do her very best endeavour. Answered she, "O my lord, be at rest: I will presently contrive to satisfy thy requirement even beyond thy desire; for under my hand are damsels unsurpassable in beauty and loveliness, and all be the daughters of honourable men." But the old woman, O Lord of the Age, knew naught anent the mirror. So she went forth to wander about the city and work on her well-known ways.—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Seventh Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, tell us one of thy fair tales, so therewith we may cut short the waking hours of this our night," and quoth Shahrazad:—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the old woman went forth to work on her well-known ways, and she wandered about town to find a maiden for the Prince Zayn al-Asnam. Whatever notable beauty she saw she would set before Mubarak; but each semblance as it was considered in the mirror showed exceedingly dark and dull, and the inspector would dismiss the girl. This endured until the crone had brought to him all the damsels in Cairo, and not one was found whose reflection in the mirror showed clear-bright and whose honour was pure and clean, in fact such an one as described by the King of the Jann. Herewith Mubarak, seeing that he had not found one in Cairo to please him, or who proved pure and unsullied as the King of the Jann had required, determined to visit Baghdad: so they rose up and equipped them and set out and in due time they made the City of Peace where they hired them a mighty fine mansion amiddlemost the capital. Here they settled themselves in such comfort and luxury that the Lords of the land would come daily to eat at their table, even the thirsty and those who went forth betimes,[FN#48] and what remained of the meat was distributed to the mesquin and the miserable; also every poor stranger lodging in the Mosques would come to the house and find a meal. Therefore the bruit of them for generosity and liberality went abroad throughout the city and won for them notable name and the fairest of fame; nor did any ever speak of aught save the beneficence of Zayn al-Asnam and his generosity and his opulence. Now there chanced to be in one of the cathedral-mosques and Imam,[FN#49] Abu Bakr hight, a ghostly man passing jealous and fulsome, who dwelt hard by the manion wherein the Prince and Mubarak abode; and he, when he heard of their lavish gifts and alms deeds, and honourable report, smitten by envy and malice and hatred, fell to devising how he might draw them into some calamity that might despoil the goods they enjoyed and destroy their lives, for it is the wont of envy to fall not save upon the fortunate. So one day of the days, as he lingered in the Mosque after mid-afternoon prayer, he came forwards amidst the folk and cried, "O ye, my brethren of the Faith which is true and who bear testimony to the unity of the Deity, I would have you to weet that housed in this our quarter are two men which be strangers, and haply ye have heard of them how they lavish and waste immense sums of money, in fact moneys beyond measure, and for my part I cannot but suspect that they are cutpurses and brigands who commit robberies in their own country and who came hither to expend their spoils."—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Eighth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, tell us one of thy fair tales, so therewith we may cut short the waking hours of this our night," and quoth Shahrazad:—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Imam in his jealousy of Zayn al-Asnam and Mubarak said to the congregation, "Verily they be brigands and cutpurses;" adding, "O believers of Mohammed, I counsel you in Allah's name that ye guard yourselves against such accurseds; for haply the Caliph shall in coming times hear of these twain and ye also shall fall with them into calamity.[FN#50] I have hastened to caution you, and having warned you I wash my hands of your business, and after this do ye as ye judge fit." All those present replied with one voice, "Indeed we will do whatso thou wishest us to do, O Abu Bakr!" But when the Imam heard this from them he arose and, bringing forth ink-case and reed-pen and a sheet of paper, began inditing an address to the Commander of the Faithful, recounting all that was against the two strangers. However, by decree of Destiny, Mubarak chanced to be in the Mosque amongst the crowd when he heard the address of the blameworthy Imam and how he purposed applying by letter to the Caliph. So he delayed not at all but returned home forthright and, taking an hundred dinars and packing up a parcel of costly clothes, silverwrought all, repaired in haste to the reverend's quarters and knocked at the door. The preacher came and opened to him, but sighting Mubarak he asked him in anger, "What is't thou wantest and who art thou?" Whereto the other answered, "I am Mubarak and at thy service, O my master the Imam Abu Bakr; and I come to thee from my lord the Emir Zayn al-Asnam who, hearing of and learning thy religious knowledge and right fair repute in this city, would fain make acquaintance with thy Worship and do by thee whatso behoveth him. Also he hath sent me to thee with these garments and this spending-money, hoping excuse of thee for that this be a minor matter compared with your Honour's deserts; but, Inshallah, after this he will not fail in whatever to thee is due." As soon as Abu Bakr saw the coin and gold[FN#51] and the bundle of clothes, he answered Mubarak saying, "I crave pardon, O my lord, of thy master the Emir for that I have been ashamed of waiting upon him and repentance is right hard upon me for that I have failed to do my devoir by him; wherefore I hope that thou wilt be my deputy in imploring him to pardon my default and, the Creator willing, to-morrow I will do what is incumbent upon me and fare to offer my services and proffer the honour which beseemeth me." Rejoined Mubarak, "The end of my master's wishes is to see thy worship, O my lord Abu Bakr, and be exalted by thy presence and therethrough to win a blessing." So saying he bussed the reverend's hand and returned to his own place. On the next day, as Abu Bakr was leading the dawn-prayer of Friday, he took his station amongst the folk amiddlemost the Mosque and cried, "O, our brethren the Moslems great and small and folk of Mohammed one and all, know ye that envy falleth not save upon the wealthy and praiseworthy and never descendeth upon the mean and miserable. I would have you wot, as regards the two strangers whom yesterday I misspake, that one of them is an Emir high in honour and son of most reputable parents, in lieu of being (as I was informed by one of his enviers) a cutpurse and a brigand. Of this matter I have made certain that 'tis a lying report, so beware lest any of you say aught against him or speak evil in regard to the Emir even as I heard yesterday; otherwise you will cast me and cast yourselves into the sorest of calamities with the Prince of True Believers. For a man like this of exalted degree may not possibly take up his abode in our city of Baghdad unbeknown to the Caliph."—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Ninth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, tell us one of thy fair tales, so therewith we may cut short the waking hours of this our night," and quoth Shahrazad:—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Abu Bakr the Imam uprooted on such wise from the minds of men the evil which he had implanted by his own words thrown out against the Emir Zayn al-Asnam. But when he had ended congregational prayers and returned to his home, he donned his long gaberdine[FN#52] and made weighty his skirts and lengthened his sleeves, after which he took the road to the mansion of the Prince; and, when he went in, he stood up before the stranger and did him honour with the highmost distinction. Now Zayn al-Asnam was by nature conscientious albeit young in years; so he returned the Imam Abu Bakr's civilities with all courtesy and, seating himself beside him upon his high-raised divan, bade bring for him ambergris'd[FN#53] coffee. Then the tables were spread for breakfast and the twain ate and drank their sufficiency, whereafter they fell to chatting like boon companions. Presently the Imam asked the Prince, saying, "O my lord Zayn al-Asnam, doth thy Highness design residing long in this our city of Baghdad?" and the other answered, "Yes indeed,[FN#54] O our lord the Imam; 'tis my intention to tarry here for a while until such time as my requirement shall be fulfilled." The Imam enquired, "And what may be the requirement of my lord the Emir? Haply when I hear it I may devote my life thereto until I can fulfil it." Quoth the Prince, "My object is to marry a maiden who must be comely exceedingly, aged fifteen years; pure, chaste, virginal, whom man hath never soiled and who during all her days never lusted for male kind: moreover, she must be unique for beauty and loveliness." The Imam rejoined, "O my lord, this be a thing hard of finding indeed, hard exceedingly; but I know a damsel of that age who answereth to thy description. Her father, a Wazir who resigned succession and office of his own freewill, now dwelleth in his mansion jealously overwatching his daughter and her education; and I opine that this maiden will suit the fancy of thy Highness, whilst she will rejoice in an Emir such as thyself and eke her parents will be equally well pleased." The Prince replied, "Inshallah, this damsel whereof thou speakest will suit me and supply my want, and the furtherance of my desire shall be at thy hands. But, O our lord the Imam, 'tis my wish first of all things to look upon her and see if she be pure or otherwise; and, as regarding her singular comeliness, my convicion is that thy word sufficeth and thine avouchment is veridical. Of her purity, however, even thou canst not bear sure and certain testimony in respect to that condition." Asked the Imam, "How is it possible for you, O my lord the Emir, to learn from her face aught of her and her honour; also whether she be pure or not: indeed, if this be known to your Highness you must be an adept in physiognomy.[FN#55] However, if your Highness be willing to accompany me, I will bear you to the mansion of her sire and make you acquainted with him, so shal he set her before you."—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Tenth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, tell us one of thy fair tales, so therewith me may cut short the waking hours of this our night," and quoth Shahrazad: —It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Imam Abu Bakr took the Prince and passed with him into the mansion of the Wazir; and, when they entered, both salam'd to the housemaster and he rose and received them with greetings especially when he learned that an Emir had visited him and he understood from the Imam that Zayn al-Asnam inclined to wed his daughter. So he summoned her to his presence and she came, whereupon he bade her raise her face-veil; and, when she did his bidding, the Prince considered her and was amazed and perplexed at her beauty and loveliness, he never having seen aught that rivalled her in brightness and brilliancy. So quoth he in his mind, "Would to Heaven I could win a damsel like this, albeit this one be to me unlawful." Thinking thus he drew forth the mirror from his pouch and considered her image carefully when, lo and behold! the crystal was bright and clean as virgin silver and when he eyed her semblance in the glass he saw it pure as a white dove's. THen sent he forthright for the Kazi and witnesses and they knotted the knot and wrote the writ and the bride was duly throned. Presently the Prince took the Wazir his father-in-law into his own mansion, and to the young lady he sent a present of costly jewels and it was a notable marriage-festival, none like it was ever seen; no, never. Zayn al-Asnam applied himself to inviting the folk right royally and did honour due to Abu Bakr the Imam, giving him abundant gifts, and forwarded to the bride's father offerings of notable rarities. As soon as the wedding ended, Mubarak said to the Prince, "O my lord, let us arise and wend our ways lest we lose our time in leisure, for that we sought is now found." Said the Prince, "Right thou art;" and, arising with his companion, the twain fell to equipping them for travel and gat ready for the bride a covered litter[FN#56] to be carried by camels and they set out. Withal Mubarak well knew that the Prince was deep in love to the young lady. So he took him aside and said to him, "O my lord Zayn al-Asnam, I would warn thee and enjoin thee to keep watch and ward upon thy senses and passions and to observe and preserve the pledge by thee plighted to the King of the Jann." "O Mubarak," replied the Prince, "an thou knew the love-longing and ecstasy which have befallen me of my love to this young lady, thou wouldst feel ruth for me! indeed I never think of aught else save of taking her to Bassorah and of going in unto her." Mubarak rejoined. "O my lord, keep thy faith and be not false to thy pact, lest a sore harm betide thee and the loss of thy life as well as that of the young lady.[FN#57] Remember the oath thou swarest nor suffer lust[FN#58] to lay thy reason low and despoil thee of all thy gains and thine honour and thy life." "Do thou, O Mubarak," retorted the Prince, "become warden over her nor allow me ever to look upon her."—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Eleventh Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, tell us one of thy fair tales, so therewith we may cut short the waking hours of this our night," and quoth Shahrazad:—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Mubarak, after warning Zayn al-Asnam to protect the virgin-bride against himself, fell also to defending her as his deputy: also he prevented the Prince from even looking upon her. They then travelled along the road unto the Island of the Jann, after[FN#59] they had passed by the line leading unto Misr.[FN#60] But when the bride saw that the wayfare had waxed longsome nor had beheld her bridegroom for all that time since the wedding-night, she turned to Mubarak and said, "Allah upon thee; inform me, O Mubarak, by the life of thy lord the Emir, have we fared this far distance by commandment of my bridegroom Prince Zayn al-Asnam?" Said he, "Ah, O my lady, sore indeed is thy case to me, yet must I disclose to thee the secret thereof which be this. Thou imaginest that Zayn al-Asnam, the King of Bassorah, is thy bridegroom; but, alas! 'tis not so. He is no husband of thine; nay, the deed he drew up was a mere pretext in the presence of thy parents and thy people; and now thou art going as a bride to the King of the Jann who required thee of the Prince." When the young lady heard these words, she fell to shedding tears and Zayn al-Asnam wept for her, weeping bitter tears from the excess of his love and affection. Then quoth the young lady, "Ye have nor pity in you nor feeling for me; neither fear ye aught of Allah that, seeing in me a stranger maiden ye cast me into a calamity like this. What reply shall ye return to the Lord on the Day of Reckoning for such treason ye work upon me?" However her words and her weeping availed her naught, for that they stinted not wayfaring with her until they reached the King of the Jann, to whom they forthright on arrival made offer of her. When he considered the damsel she pleased him, so he turned to Zayn al-Asnam and said to him, "Verily the bride thou broughtest me is exceeding beautiful and passing of loveliness; yet lovelier and more beautiful to me appear thy true faith and the mastery of thine own passions, thy marvellous purity and valiance of heart. So hie thee to thy home and the Ninth Statue, wherefor thou askedst me, by thee shall be found beside the other images, for I will send it by one of my slaves of the Jann." Hereupon Zayn al-Asnam kissed his hand and marched back with Mubarak to Cairo, where he would not abide long with his companion, but, as soon as he was rested, of his extreme longing and anxious yearning to see the Ninth Statue, he hastened his travel homewards. Withal he ceased not to be thoughtful and sorrowful concerning his maiden-wife and on account of her beauty and loveliness, and he would fall to groaning and crying, "O for my lost joys whose cause wast thou, O singular in every charm and attraction, thou whom I bore away from thy parents and carried to the King of the Jann. Alas, and woe worth the day!"—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twelfth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, tell us one of thy fair tales, so therewith we may cut short the waking hours of this our night," and quoth Shahrazad:—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Zayn al-Asnam fell to chiding himself for the deceit and treason which he had practised upon the young lady's parents and for bringing and offering her to the King of the Jann. Then he set out nor ceased travelling till such time as he reached Bassorah, when he entered his palace; and, after saluting his mother, he apprised her of all things that had befallen him. She replied, "Arise, O my son, that we may look upon the Ninth Statue, for I rejoice with extreme joy at its being in our possession." So both descended into the pavilion where stood the eight images of precious gems and here they found a mighty marvel. 'Twas this. In lieu of seeing the Ninth Statue upon the golden throne, they found seated thereon the young lady whose beauty suggested the sun. Zayn al-Asnam knew her at first sight and presently she addressed him saying, "Marvel not for that here thou findest me in place of that wherefor thou askedst; and I deem that thou shalt not regret nor repent when thou acceptest me instead of that thou soughtest." Said he, "No, by Allah, O life-blood of my heart, verily thou art the end of every wish of me nor would I exchange thee for all the gems of the universe. Would thou knew what was the sorrow which surcharged me on account of our separation and of my reflecting that I took thee from thy parents by fraud and I bore thee as a present to the King of the Jann. Indeed I had well nigh determined to forfeit all my profit of the Ninth Statue and to bear thee away to Bassorah as my own bride, when my comrade and councillor dissuaded me from so doing lest I bring about my death and thy death." Nor had Zayn al-Asnam ended his words ere they heard the roar of thunderings that would rend a mount and shake the earth, whereat the Queen-mother was seized with mighty fear and affright. But presently appeared the King of the Jinns who said to her, "O my lady, fear not! 'Tis I, the protector of thy son whom I fondly affect for the affection borne to me by his sire. I also am he who manifested myself to him in his sleep; and my object therein was to make trial of his valiance and to learn an he could do violence to his passions for the sake of his promise, or whether the beauty of this lady would so tempt and allure him that he could not keep his promise to me with due regard."—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Thirteenth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, tell us one of thy fair tales, so therewith we may cut short the waking hours of this our night," and quoth Shahrazad:—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the King of the Jann said to the Queen-mother, "Indeed Zayn al-Asnam hath not kept faith and covenant with all nicety as regards the young lady, in that he longed for her to become his wife. However, I am assured that this lapse befel him from man's natural and inherent frailty albeit I repeatedly enjoined him to defend and protect her until he concealed from her his face. I now accept[FN#61] this man's valour and bestow her upon him to wife, for she is the Ninth Statue by me promised to him and she is fairer than all these jewelled images, the like of her not being found in the whole world of men save by the rarest of chances." Then the King of the Jann turned to the Prince and said to him, "O Emir Zayn al-Asnam, this is thy bride: take her and enjoy her upon the one condition that thou love her only nor choose for thyself another one in addition to her; and I pledge myself that her faith theewards will be of the fairest." Hereupon the King of the Jann disappeared and the Prince, gladdened and rejoicing, went forth with the maiden and for his love and affection to her he paid to her the first cermonious visit that same night[FN#62] and he made bride-feasts and banquets throughout his realm and in due time he formally wedded her and went in unto her. Then he stablished himself upon the throne of his kingship and ruled it, bidding and forbidding, and his consort became Queen of Bassorah. His mother left this life a short while afterwards and they both mourned and lamented their loss. Lastly he lived with his wife in all joyance of life till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Separator of societies.—And Shahrazad ceased to say her pleasant[FN#63] say. Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, how rare is thy tale and delectable!" whereto quoth Shahrazad, "And what is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night concerning Alaeddin[FN#64] and the Enchanted Lamp, an this my lord the King leave me on life?" The King said to himself, "By Allah, I will not slay her until she tell me the whole tale."
When it was the Five Hundred and Fourteenth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad,[FN#65] to Shahrazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales;" and Shahrazad began to relate the story of
ALAEDDIN; OR, THE WONDERFUL LAMP.
It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that there dwelt in a city of the cities of China a man which was a tailor, withal a pauper, and he had one son, Alaeddin hight. Now this boy had been from his babyhood a ne'er-do-well, a scapegrace; and, when he reached his tenth year, his father inclined to teach him his own trade; and, for that he was over indigent to expend money upon his learning other work or craft or apprenticeship, he took the lad into his shop that he might be taught tailoring. But, as Alaeddin was a scapegrace and a ne'er-do-well and wont to play at all times with the gutter boys of the quarter, he would not sit in the shop for a single day; nay, he would await his father's leaving it for some purpose, such as to meet a creditor, when he would run off at once and fare forth to the gardens with the other scapegraces and low companions, his fellows. Such was his case; counsel and castigation were of no avail, nor would he obey either parent in aught or learn any trade; and presently, for his sadness and sorrowing because of his son's vicious indolence, the tailor sickened and died. Alaeddin continued in his former ill courses and, when his mother saw that her spouse had deceased, and that her son was a scapegrace and good for nothing at all[FN#66] she sold the shop and whatso was to be found therein and fell to spinning cotton yarn. By this toilsome industry she fed herself and found food for her son Alaeddin the scapegrace who, seeing himself freed from bearing the severities of his sire, increased in idleness and low habits; nor would he ever stay at home save at meal-hours while his miserable wretched mother lived only by what her hands could spin until the youth had reached his fifteenth year.—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Fifteenth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when Alaeddin had come to his fifteenth year, it befel, one day of the days, that as he was sitting about the quarter at play with the vagabond boys behold, a Darwaysh from the Maghrib, the Land of the Setting Sun, came up and stood gazing for solace upon the lads and he looked hard at Alaeddin and carefully considered his semblance, scarcely noticing his companions the while. Now this Darwaysh was a Moorman from Inner Marocco and he was a magician who could upheap by his magic hill upon hill, and he was also an adept in astrology. So after narrowly considering Alaeddin he said in himself, "Verily, this is the lad I need and to find whom I have left my natal land." Presently he led one of the children apart and questioned him anent the scapegrace saying, "Whose[FN#67] son is he?" And he sought all information concerning his condition and whatso related to him. After this he walked up to Alaeddin and drawing him aside asked, "O my son, haply thou art the child of Such-an-one the tailor?" and the lad answered, "Yes, O my lord, but 'tis long since he died." The Maghrabi,[FN#68] the Magician, hearing these words threw himself upon Alaeddin and wound his arms around his neck and fell to bussing him, weeping the while with tears trickling adown his cheeks. But when the lad saw the Moorman's case he was seized with surprise thereat and questioned him, saying, "What causeth thee weep, O my lord: and how camest thou to know my father?" "How canst thou, O my son," replied the Moorman, in a soft voice saddened by emotion, "question me with such query after informing me that thy father and my brother is deceased; for that he was my brother-german and now I come from my adopted country and after long exile I rejoiced with exceeding joy in the hope of looking upon him once more and condoling with him over the past; and now thou hast announced to me his demise. But blood hideth not from blood[FN#69] and it hath revealed to me that thou art my nephew, son of my brother, and I knew thee amongst all the lads, albeit thy father, when I parted from him, was yet unmarried."—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,
When it was the Five Hundred and Sixteenth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Maghrabi, the Magician, said to the tailor's orphan, "O my son Alaeddin and I have now failed in the mourning ceremonies and have lost the delight I expected from meeting thy father, my brother, whom after my long banishment I had hoped to see once more ere I die; but far distance wrought me this trouble nor hath the creature aught of asylum from the Creator or artifice against the commandments of Allah Al-mighty." Then he again clasped Alaeddin to his bosom crying, "O my son, I have none to condole with now save thyself; and thou standest in stead of thy sire, thou being his issue and representative and 'whoso leaveth issue dieth not,'[FN#70] O my child!" So saying, the Magician put hand to purse and pulling out ten gold pieces gave them to the lad asking, "O my son, where is your house and where dwelleth she, thy mother, and my brother's widow?" Presently Alaeddin arose with him and showed him the way to their home and meanwhile Quoth the Wizard, "O my son, take these moneys and give them to thy mother, greeting her from me, and let her know that thine uncle, thy father's brother, hath reappeared from his exile and that Inshallah God willing on the morrow I will visit her to salute her with the salam and see the house wherein my brother was homed and look upon the place where he lieth buried." Thereupon Alaeddin kissed the Maghrabi's hand, and, after running in his joy at fullest speed to his mother's dwelling, entered to her clean contrariwise to his custom, inasmuch as he never came near her save at meal-times only. And when he found her, the lad exclaimed in his delight, "O my mother, I give thee glad tidings of mine uncle who hath returned from his exile and who now sendeth me to salute thee." "O my son," she replied, "meseemeth thou mockest me! Who is this uncle and how canst thou have an uncle in the bonds of life?" He rejoined, "How sayest thou, O my mother, that I have nor living uncles nor kinsmen, when this man is my father's own brother? Indeed he embraced me and bussed me, shedding tears the while, and bade me acquaint thee herewith." She retorted, "O my son, well I wot thou haddest an uncle, but he is now dead nor am I ware that thou hast other eme."—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,
When it was the Five Hundred and Seventeenth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Maroccan Magician fared forth next morning and fell to finding out Alaeddin, for his heart no longer permitted him to part from the lad; and, as he was to-ing and fro-ing about the city-highways, he came face to face with him disporting himself, as was his wont, amongst the vagabonds and the scapegraces. So he drew near to him and, taking his hand, embraced him and bussed him, then pulled out of his poke two dinars and said, "Hie thee to thy mother and give her these couple of ducats and tell her that thine uncle would eat the evening-meal with you; so do thou take these two gold pieces and prepare for us a succulent supper. But before all things show me once more the way to your home." "On my head and mine eyes be it, O my uncle," replied the lad and forewent him, pointing out the street leading to the house. Then the Moorman left him and went his ways and Alaeddin ran home and, giving the news and the two sequins to his parent, said, "My uncle would sup with us." So she arose straightway and going to the market-street bought all she required; then, returning to her dwelling she borrowed from the neighbours whatever was needed of pans and platters and so forth and when the meal was cooked and supper time came she said to Alaeddin "O my child, the meat is ready but peradventure thine uncle wotteth not the way to our dwelling; so do thou fare forth and meet him on the road." He replied, "To hear is to obey," and before the twain ended talking a knock was heard at the door. Alaeddin went out and opened when, behold, the Maghrabi, the Magician, together with an eunuch carrying the wine and the dessert fruits; so the lad led them in and the slave went about his business. The Moorman on entering saluted his sister-in-law with the salami then began to shed tears and to question her saying, "Where be the place whereon my brother went to sit?" She showed it to him, whereat he went up to it and prostrated himself in prayer[FN#71] and kissed the floor crying, "Ah, how scant is my satisfaction and how luckless is my lot, for that I have lost thee, O my brother, O vein of my eye!" And after such fashion he continued weeping and wailing till he swooned away for excess of sobbing and lamentation; wherefor Alaeddin's mother was certified of his soothfastness. So coming up to him she raised him from the floor and said, "What gain is there in slaying thyself?"—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was ad the Five Hundred and Eighteenth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin's mother began consoling the Maghrabi, the Magician, and placed him upon the divan; and, as soon as he was seated at his ease and before the food-trays were served up, he fell to talking with her and saying, "O wife of my brother, it must be a wonder to thee how in all thy days thou never sawest me nor learnedst thou aught of me during the life-time of my brother who hath found mercy.[FN#72] Now the reason is that forty years ago I left this town and exiled myself from my birth-place and wandered forth over all the lands of Al-Hind and Al-Sind and entered Egypt and settled for a long time in its magnificent city,[FN#73] which is one of the world-wonders, till at last I fared to the regions of the Setting Sun and abode for a space of thirty years in the Maroccan interior. Now one day of the days, O wife of my brother, as I was sitting alone at home, I fell to thinking of mine own country and of my birth place and of my brother (who hath found mercy); and my yearning to see him waxed excessive and I bewept and bewailed my strangerhood and distance from him. And at last my longings drave me home-wards until I resolved upon travelling to the region which was the falling- place of my head[FN#74] and my homestead, to the end that I might again see my brother. Then Quoth I to myself, 'O man,[FN#75] how long wilt thou wander like a wild Arab from thy place of birth and native stead? Moreover, thou hast one brother and no more; so up with thee and travel and look upon him[FN#76] ere thou die; for who wotteth the woes of the world and the changes of the days? 'Twould be saddest regret an thou lie down to die without beholding thy brother and Allah (laud be to the Lord!) hath vouchsafed thee ample wealth; and belike he may be straitened and in poor case, when thou wilt aid thy brother as well as see him.' So I arose at once and equipped me for wayfare and recited the Fatihah; then, whenas Friday prayers ended, I mounted and travelled to this town, after suffering manifold toils and travails which I patiently endured whilst the Lord (to whom be honour and glory!) veiled me with the veil of His protection. So I entered and whilst wandering about the streets, the day before yesterday, I beheld my brother's son Alaeddin disporting himself with the boys and, by God the Great, O wife of my brother, the moment I saw him this heart of mine went forth to him (for blood yearneth unto blood!), and my soul felt and informed me that he was my very nephew. So I forgot all my travails and troubles at once on sighting him and I was like to fly for joy; but, when he told me of the dear one's departure to the ruth of Allah Almighty, I fainted for stress of distress and disappointment. Perchance, however, my nephew hath informed thee of the pains which prevailed upon me; but after a fashion I am consoled by the sight of Alaeddin the legacy bequeathed to us by him who hath found mercy for that 'whoso leaveth issue is not wholly dead.'"[FN#77]—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Nineteenth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Maghrabi, the Magician, said to Alaeddin's mother, "Whoso leaveth issue is not wholly dead." And when he looked at his sister-in-law she wept at these his words; so he turned to the lad that he might cause her forget the mention of her mate, as a means of comforting her and also of completing his deceit, and asked him, saying, "O my son Alaeddin what hast thou learned in the way of work and what is thy business? Say me, hast thou mastered any craft whereby to earn a livelihood for thyself and for thy mother?" The lad was abashed and put to shame and he hung down his head and bowed his brow groundwards; but his parent spake out, "How, forsooth? By Allah, he knoweth nothing at all, a child so ungracious as this I never yet saw; no, never! All the day long he idleth away his time with the sons of the quarter, vagabonds like himself, and his father (O regret of me!) died not save of dolour for him. And I also am now in piteous plight: I spin cotton and toil at my distaff, night and day, that I may earn a couple of scones of bread which we eat together. This is his condition, O my brother-in-law; and, by the life of thee, he cometh not near me save at meal-times and none other. Indeed, I am thinking to lock the house-door nor ever open to him again but leave him to go and seek a livelihood whereby he can live, for that I am now grown a woman in years and have no longer strength to toil and go about for a maintenance after this fashion. O Allah, I am compelled to provide him with daily bread when I require to be provided!" Hereat the Moorman turned to Alaeddin and said, "Why is this, O son of my brother, thou goest about in such ungraciousness? 'tis a disgrace to thee and unsuitable for men like thyself. Thou art a youth of sense, O my son, and the child of honest folk, so 'tis for thee a shame that thy mother, a woman in years, should struggle to support thee. And now that thou hast grown to man's estate it becometh thee to devise thee some device whereby thou canst live, O my child. Look around thee and Alhamdolillah—praise be to Allah—in this our town are many teachers of all manner of crafts and nowhere are they more numerous; so choose thee some calling which may please thee to the end that I establish thee therein; and, when thou growest up, O my son, thou shalt have some business whereby to live. Haply thy father's industry may not be to thy liking; and, if so it be, choose thee some other handicraft which suiteth thy fancy; then let me know and I will aid thee with all I can, O my son." But when the Maghrabi saw that Alaeddin kept silence and made him no reply, he knew that the lad wanted none other occupation than a scapegrace-life, so he said to him, "O son of my brother, let not my words seem hard and harsh to thee, for, if despite all I say, thou still dislike to learn a craft, I will open thee a merchant's store[FN#78] furnished with costliest stuffs and thou shalt become famous amongst the folk and take and give and buy and sell and be well known in the city." Now when Alaeddin heard the words of his uncle the Moorman, and the design of making him a Khwajah[FN#79]—merchant and gentleman,—he joyed exceedingly knowing that such folk dress handsomely and fare delicately. So he looked at the Maghrabi smiling and drooping his head groundwards and saying with the tongue of the case that he was content.—And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.