SUPPLEMENTAL NIGHTS To The Book Of The Thousand And One Nights With Notes Anthropological And Explanatory By Richard F. Burton VOLUME SIX Privately Printed By The Burton Club I Inscribe This Final Volume to The Many Excellent Friends who lent me their valuable aid in copying and annotating The Thousand Nights and a Night
Contents of the Sixteenth Volume.
1. The Say of Haykar the Sage 2. The History of Al-Bundukani or, The Caliph Harun Al-Rashid and the Daughter of King Kisra 3. The Linguist-Dame, the Duenna and the King's Son 4. The Tale of the Warlock and the Young Cook of Baghdad 5. The Pleasant History of the Cock and the Fox 6. History of What Befel the Fowl-let with the Fowler 7. The Tale of Attaf The Tale of Attaf by Alexander J. Cotheal 8. History of Prince Habib and what Befel Him with the Lady Durrat Al-Ghawwas a. The History of Durrat Al-Ghawwas
Notes on the Stories Contained in Volume XVI, by W. F. Kirby Index to the Tales and Proper Names Index to the Variants and Analogues Index to the Notes of W. A. Clouston and W. F. Kirby Alphabetical Table of Notes (Anthropological, &c.) Additional Notes on the Bibliography of the Thousand and One Nights, by W. F. Kirby The Biography of the Book and Its Reviewers Reviewed Opinions of the Press
The Translator's Foreword.
This volume has been entitled "THE NEW ARABIAN 1 NIGHTS," a name now hackneyed because applied to its contents as far back as 1819 in Henry Weber's "Tales of the East" (Edinburgh, Ballantyne).
The original MS. was brought to France by Al-Kahin Diyanisias Shawish, a Syrian priest of the Congregation of St. Basil, whose name has been Frenchified to Dom Dennis (or Denys) Chavis. He was a student at the European College of Al-Kadis Ithanasius (St. Athanasius) in Rumiyah the Grand (Constantinople) and was summoned by the Minister of State, Baron de Breteuil, to Paris, where he presently became "Teacher of the Arabic Tongue at the College of the Sultan, King of Fransa in Baris (Paris) the Great." He undertook (probably to supply the loss of Galland's ivth MS. volume) a continuation of The Nights (proper), and wrote with his own hand the last two leaves of the third tome, which ends with three instead of four couplets: thus he completed Kamar al-Zaman (Night cclxxxi.- cccxxix.) and the following tales:—
The History of the Sleeper and the Waker (Nights cccxxx.-ccclxxix.). The History of Warlock and the Cook (ccclxxx.-cd.). The History of the Prisoner in the Bimaristan or Madhouse (cd.-cdxxvii.). The History of Ghanim the Thrall o' Love (cdxxviii.-cdlxxiv.). The History of Zayn al-Asnam and the King of the Jann (cdlxxv.-cdxci.). The History of Alaeddin (cdxcii.-dlxix.), and The History of Ten Wazirs (dlxx.).
The copy breaks off at folio 320, r in the middle of Night dcxxxi., and the date (given at the end of Night cdxxvii., folio 139) is Shubat (February), A.D. 1787. This is the MS. numbered Supplement Arabe, No. 1716.
In Paris, Dom Chavis forgathered with M. Cazotte, a litterateur of the category "light," an ingenieux ecrivain, distinguished for "gaiety, delicacy, wit and Attic elegance," and favorably known for (inter alia) his poem "Olivier," his "Diable Amoureux," "The Lord Impromptu," and a travesty of The Nights called "The Thousand and One Fopperies." The two agreed to collaborate, the Syrian translating the Arabic into French, and the Parisian metamorphosing the manner and matter to "the style and taste of the day"; that is to say, working up an exaggerated imitation, a caricature, of Galland. The work appeared, according to Mr. A. G. Ellis, of the British Museum, who kindly sent me these notes, in Le Cabinet des Fees, ou Collection choisie des Contes des Fees, et autres contes merveilleux, ornes de figures. Tome trente-huitieme (quarante-unieme). A Geneve, chez Barde, Manget et Compagnie, Imprimeurs-Libraires. Et se trouve a Paris Rue et Hotel Serpente. 1788-89, 8 [FN#1] . The half-title is Les Veilliees Persanes, and on the second title- page is Les Veilliees du Sultan Schahriar, avec la Sultane Scheherazade; Histoires incroyables, amusantes, et morales, traduites de l'Arabe par M. Cazotte et D. Chavis. Faisant suite aux mille et une Nuits. Ornees de I2 belles gravures. Tome premier ( quatrieme) a Geneve, chez Barde, Manget et Comp' 1793. This 8vo[FN#2] bears the abridged title, La Suite des mille et une Nuits, Contes Arabes, traduits par Dom Chavis et M. Cazotte. The work was printed with illustrations at Geneva and in Paris, MDCCLXXXVIII., and formed the last four volumes (xxxviii.- xli.) of the great Recueil, the Cabinet des Fees, published at Geneva from A.D. 1788 to 1793.
The following is a complete list of the histories, as it appears in the English translation, lengthily entitled, "Arabian Tales; or, a Continuation of the Arabian Nights Entertainments. Consisting of Stories Related by the Sultana of the Indies to divert her Husband from the Performance of a rash vow; Exhibiting A most interesting view of the Religion, Laws, Manners, Customs, Arts, and Literature of the Nations of the East, And Affording a rich Fund of the most pleasing Amusement, which fictitious writings can supply. In Four Volumes newly translated from the original Arabic into French By Dom Chavis a native Arab and M. Cazotte, Member of the Academy of Dijon. And translated from the French into English By Robert Heron. Edinburgh: Printed for Bell and Bradfute, J. Dickson, E. Balfour, and P. Hill, Edinburgh, and G. G. J. and J. Robinson, London MDCCXCIl."
1. The Robber-Caliph; or, adventures of Haroun-Alraschid, with the Princess of Persia and the fair Zutulbe.[FN#3] 2. The Power of Destiny, or, Story of the Journey of Giafar to Damascus comprehending the Adventures of Chebib (Habib) and his family. 3. The Story of Halechalbe (Ali Chelebi) and the Unknown Lady; or, the Bimaristan. 4. The Idiot; or, Story of Xailoun.[FN#4] 5. The Adventures of Simustafa (="Si" for Sidi "Mustafa") and the Princess Ilsatilsone (Lizzat al-Lusun = Delight of Tongues?). 6. Adventures of Alibengiad, Sultan of Herat, and of the False Birds of Paradise. 7. History of Sankarib and his two Viziers. 8. History of the Family of the Schebandad (Shah-bander = Consul) of Surat. 9. The Lover of the Stars: or, Abil Hasan's Story. 10. History of Captain Tranchemont and his Brave Companions: Debil Hasen's Story. 11. The Dream of Valid Hasan. 12-23. Story of Bohetzad and his Ten Viziers (with eleven subsidiary tales).[FN#5] 24. Story of Habib and Dorathal-Goase (=Durrat al-Ghawwas the Pearl of the Diver); or, the Arabian Knight. 25. Story of Illabousatrous (?) of Schal-Goase, and of Camarilzaman. 26. Story of the Lady of the Beautiful Tresses. 27. The History of Habib and Dorathal-Goase; or, the Arabian Knight continued. 28. History of Maugraby (Al Magnrabi=the Moor); or, the Magician. 29. History of Halaiaddin ('Ala al-Din, Alaeddin, Aladdin), Prince of Persia. 30. History of Yemaladdin (Jamal al-Din), Prince of Great Katay. 31. History of Baha-Ildur, Prince of Cinigae. 32. History of Badrildinn (Badr al-Din), Prince of Tartary. 33. History of the Amours of Maugraby with Auhata al-Kawakik ( = Ukht al-Kawakib, Sister of the Planets), daughter of the King of Egypt. 34. History of the Birth of Maugraby.
Of these thirty four only five (MS. iv., vi., vii., xxvii. and xxxii.) have not been found in the original Arabic.
Public opinion was highly favourable to the "Suite" when first issued. Orientalism was at that time new to Europe, and the general was startled by its novelties, e.g. by "Women wearing drawers and trousers like their husbands, and men arrayed in loose robes like their wives, yet at the same time cherishing, as so many goats, each a venerable length of beard." (Heron's Preface.) They found its "phaenomena so remote from the customs and manners of Europe, that, when exhibited as entering into the ordinary system of human affairs, they could not fail to confer a considerable share of amusive novelty on the characters and events with which they were connected." (Ditto, Preface.) Jonathan Scott roundly pronounced the continuation a forgery. Dr. Patrick Russell (History of Aleppo, vol. i. 385) had no good opinion of it, and Caussin de Perceval (pere, vol. viii., p. 40-46) declared the version eloignee du gout Orientale; yet he re-translated the tales from the original Arabic (Continues, Paris, 1806), and in this he was followed by Gauttier, while Southey borrowed the idea of his beautiful romance, "Thalaba the Destroyer," now in Lethe from the "History of Maughraby." Mr. A. G. Ellis considers these tales as good as the old "Arabian Nights," and my friend Mr. W. F. Kirby (Appendix to The Nights, vol. x. p. 418), quite agrees with him that Chavis and Cazotte's Continuation is well worthy of republication in its entirety. It remained for the Edinburgh Review, in one of those ignorant and scurrilous articles with which it periodically outrages truth and good taste (No. 535, July, 1886), to state, "Cazotte published his Suite des Mille et une Nuits, a barefaced forgery, in 1785." A barefaced forgery! when the original of twenty eight tales out of thirty four are perfectly well known, and when sundry of these appear in MSS. of "The Thousand Nights and a Night."
The following is a list of the Tales (widely differing from those of Chavis and Cazotte) which appeared in the version of Caussin de Perceval.
Les Mille et une Nuits Contes Arabes, Traduits en Francais Par M. Galland, Membre de l'Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Professeur de Langue Arabe au College Royal, Continues Par M. Caussin de Perceval, Professeur de Langue Arabe au College Imperial. Tome huitieme. a Paris, chez Le Normant, Imp.-Libraire, Rue des Pretres Saint-Germain-l 'Auxerrois. 1806.
1. Nouvelles aventures du calife Haroun Alraschid; ou histoire de la petite fille de Chosroes Anouschirvan. Gauttier, Histoire du Khalyfe de Baghdad: vol. vii. II7.) 2. Le Bimaristan, ou histoire du jeune Marchand de Bagdad et de la dame inconnue. 3. Le medecin et le jeune traiteur de Bagdad 4. Histoire du Sage Hicar. (Gauttier, Histoire du Sage Heycar, vii. 313.) 5. Histoire du roi Azadbakht, ou des dix Visirs. 6. Histoire du marchand devenu malheureux. 7. Histoire du imprudent et de ses deux enfants. 8. Histoire du d' Abousaber, ou de l'homme patient. 9. Histoire du du prince Behezad. 10. Histoire du roi Dadbin, ou de la vertueuse Aroua. 11. Histoire du Bakhtzeman. 12. Histoire du Khadidan. 13. Histoire du Beherkerd. 14. Histoire du Ilanschah et d'Abouteman. 15. Histoire du Ibrahim et de son fils. 16. Histoire du Soleiman-schah. 17. Histoire du de l'esclave sauve du supplice.
18. Attaf ou l'homme genereux. (Gauttier, Histoire de l'habitant de Damas, vii. 234.) 19. Histoire du Prince Habib et de Dorrat Algoase. 20. Histoire du roi Sapor, souverain des iles Bellour; de Camar Alzemann, fille du genie Alatrous, et Dorrat Algoase. (Gauttier, vii. 64.) 21. Histoire de Naama et de Naam. 22. Histoire du d'Alaeddin. 23. Histoire du d'Abou Mohammed Alkeslan. 24. Histoire du d'Aly Mohammed le joaillier, ou du faux calife.
I need hardly offer any observations upon these tales, as they have been discussed in the preceding pages.
By an error of the late M. Reinaud (for which see p. 39 His toire d' 'Ala al-Din by M. H. Zotenberg, Paris, Imprimerie Na tionale, MDCCCLXXXVIII.) the MS. Supplement Arabe, No. I7I6, in the writing of Dom Chavis has been confounded with No. 1723, which is not written by the Syrian priest but which contains the originals of the Cazotte Continuation as noted by M. C. de Perceval (Les Mille et une Nuits, etc., vol. viii. Pref. p. I7, et seqq.) It is labelled Histoires tirees la plupart des Mille et une Nuits Supplement Arabe Volume de 742 pages. The thick quarto measures centimetres 20 long by I6 wide; the binding is apparently Italian and the paper is European, but the filegrane or water- mark, which is of three varieties, a coronet, a lozenge-shaped bunch of circles and a nondescript, may be Venetian or French. It contains 765 pages, paginated after European fashion, but the last eleven leaves are left blank reducing the number written to 742; and the terminal note, containing the date, is on the last leaf. Each page numbers IS lines and each leaf has its catchword (mot de rappel). It is not ordered by "karras" or quires; but is written upon 48 sets of 4 double leaves. The text is in a fair Syrian hand, but not so flowing as that of No. 1716, by Shawish himself, which the well-known Arabist, Baron de Slane, described as Bonne ecriture orientale de la fin du XVIII Siecle. The colophon conceals or omits the name of the scribe, but records the dates of incept Kanun IId. (the Syrian winter month January) A.D. 1772; and of conclusion Naysan (April) of the same year. It has head-lines disposed recto and verve, e.g.,
Haykar —————————— Al-Hakim,
and parentheses in the text after European fashion with an imperfect list at the beginning. A complete index is furnished at the end. The following are the order and pagination of the fourteen stories:—
1. The King of Persia and his Ten Wazirs . . . . . .pp. 1 to 62 2. Say of the Sage Haykar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .140 3. History of King Sabur and the Three Wise Men. . . . . . .183 4. The Daughter of Kisra the King (Al Bundukani) . . . . . .217 5. The Caliph and the Three Kalandars. . . . . . . . . . . .266 6. Julnar the Sea born . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .396 7. The Duenna, the Linguist-dame and the King's Son. . . . .476 8. The Tale of the Warlock and the young Cook of Baghdad . .505 9. The Man in the Bimaristan or Madhouse . . . . . . . . . .538 10. The Tale of Attaf the Syrian. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .588 11. The History of Sultan Habib and Durrat al-Ghawwas . . . .628 12. The Caliph and the Fisherman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686 13. The Cock and the Fox. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .718 14. The Fowl-let and the Fowler . . . . . . . 725 to 739 (finis)
Upon these tales I would be permitted to offer a few observetions. No. i. begins with a Christian formula:—"In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost" (Ruhu'l-Kudus); and it is not translated, because it is a mere replica of the Ten Wazirs (Suppl. vol. i. 55-151). The second, containing "The Sage Haykar," which is famous in folk-lore throughout the East, begins with the orthodox Moslem "Bismillah," etc. "King Sapor" is prefaced by a Christian form which to the Trinitarian formula adds, "Allah being One"; this, again, is not translated, because it repeats the "Ebony Horse" (vol. v. 1). No iv., which opens with the Bismillah, is found in the Sabbagh MS. of The Nights (see Suppl. vol. iii.) as the Histoire de Haroun al-Raschid et de la descendante de Chosroes. Albondoqani (Nights lxx.-lxxvii.). No. v., which also has the Moslem invocation, is followed by the "Caliph and the Three Kalandars," where, after the fashion of this our MS., the episodes (vol. i., 104-130) are taken bodily from "The Porter and the Three Ladies of Baghdad" (i. 82), and are converted into a separate History. No. vi. has no title to be translated, being a replica of the long sea-tale in vol. vii., 264. Nos. vii., viii., ix., x. and xi. lack initiatory invocation betraying Christian or Moslem provenance. No. viii. is the History of Si Mustafa and of Shaykh Shahab al- Din in the Turkish Tales: it also occurs in the Sabbagh MS. (Nights ccclxxxvi.-cdviii.). The Bimaristan (No. ix.), alias Ali Chalabi (Halechalbe), has already appeared in my Suppl. vol. iv. 35. No. xii., "The Caliph and the Fisherman," makes Harun al-Rashid the hero of the tale in "The Fisherman and the Jinni" (vol. i. 38); it calls the ensorcelled King of the Black Islands Mahmud, and his witch of a wife Sitt al-Muluk, and it also introduces into the Court of the Great Caliph Hasan Shuman and Ahmad al-Danaf, the prominent personages in "The Rogueries of Dalilah" (vol. vii. 144) and its sister tale (vii. 172). The two last Histories, which are ingenious enough, also lack initial formulae.
Dr. Russell (the historian of Aleppo) brought back with him a miscellaneous collection comprising—
Al-Bundukani, or the Robber Caliph; The Power of Destiny (Attaf the Syrian); Ali Chelebi, or the Bimaristan; King Sankharib and the Sage Haykar; Bohetzad (Azadbakht) and the Ten Wazirs; and, lastly, Habib, or the Arabian Knight.
The Encyclopedia Britannica (ixth edit. of MDCCCLXXVI.), which omits the name of Professor Galland, one of the marking Orientalists in his own day, has not ignored Jacques Cazotte, remarkable for chequered life and noble death. Born in 1720, at Dijon, where his father was Chancellor for the Province of Burgundy, he studied with the Jesuits at home; and, having passed through the finishing process in Paris, he was introduced to public life by the Administration de la Marine. He showed early taste for poetry as well as prose, and composed songs, tales, and an opera—"The Thousand and One Fopperies." His physique is described as a tall figure, with regular features, expressive blue eyes, and fine hair, which he wore long. At twenty seven he became a commissary in the office and was presently sent as Comptroller to the Windward Islands, including the French Colony Martinique, which then as now was famous for successful woman- kind. At these head-quarters he became intimate with Pere Lavalette, Superior of the S. J. Mission, and he passed some years of a pleasant and not unintellectual career. Returning to Paris on leave of absence he fell in with a country-woman and an old family friend, Madame La Poissonnier, who had been appointed head nurse to the Duke of Burgundy; and, as the child in her charge required lulling to sleep, Cazotte composed the favourite romances (ballads), Tout au beau milieu des Ardennes, and Commere II faut chauffer le lit. These scherzi, however, brought him more note than profit, and soon afterwards he returned to Martinique.
During his second term of service Cazotte wrote his heroic comic- poem, the Roman d'Olivier, in twelve cantos, afterwards printed in Paris (2 vols. 8vo, 1765); and it was held a novel and singular composition. When the English first attacked (in 1759) Saint Pierre of Martinique, afterwards captured by Rodney in 1762, the sprightly litterateur showed abundant courage and conduct, but over-exertion injured his health, and he was again driven from his post by sickness. He learned, on landing in France, that his brother, whilome Vicar-General to M. de Choiseul, Bishop of Chalons-sur-Marne, had died and left him a fair estate, Pierry, near Epernay; he therefore resigned his appointment and retired with the title "Commissary General to the Marine." But presently he lost 50,000 ecus—the whole fruit of his economies—by the speculations of Pere Lavalette, to whose hands he had entrusted his estates, negroes, and effects at Martinique. These had been sold and the cheques had been forwarded to the owner: the S. J., however, refused to honour them. Hence the scandal of a law-suit in which Cazotte showed much delicacy and regard for the feelings of his former tutors.
Meanwhile Cazotte had married Elizabeth Roignon, daughter to the Chief Justice of Martinique; he returned to the Parisian world with some eclat and he became an universal favourite on account of his happy wit and humour, his bonhomie, his perfect frankness, and his hearty amiability. The vogue of "Olivier" induced him to follow it up with Le Diable Amoureux, a continuation or rather parody of Voltaire's Guerre civile de Geneve: this work was so skilfully carried out that it completely deceived the world; and it was followed by sundry minor pieces which were greedily read. Unlike the esprits forts of his age, he became after a gay youth- tide an ardent Christian; he made the Gospel his rule of life; and he sturdily defended his religious opinions; he had also the moral courage to enter the lists with M. de Voltaire, then the idol-in-chief of the classes and the masses.
In later life Cazotte met Dom Chavis, who was translating into a curious jargon (Arabo-Franco-Italian) certain Oriental tales; and, although he was nearing the Psalmist's age-term of man, he agreed to "collaborate." The Frenchman used to take the pen at midnight when returning from "social pleasures," and work till 4-5 a.m. As he had prodigious facility and spontaneity he finished his part of the task in two winters. Some of the tales in the suite, especially that of "Maugraby," are attributed wholly to his invention; and, as a rule, his aim and object were to diffuse his spiritual ideas and to write treatises on moral perfection under the form of novelle.
Cazotte, after a well-spent and honourable life, had reason to expect with calmness "the evening and ending of a fine day." But this was not to be; the Great Revolution had burst like a hurricane over the land, and he was doomed to die a hero's death. His character was too candid, and his disposition too honest, for times which suggested concealment. He had become one of the Illuminati, and La Harpe ascribed to him the celebrated prophecy which described the minutest events of the Great Revolution. A Royalist pur sang, he freely expressed his sentiments to his old friend Ponteau, then Secretary of the Civil List. His letters came to light shortly after the terrible day, August IO, 1792: he was summarily arrested at Pierry and brought to Paris, where he was thrown into prison. On Sept. 3, when violence again waxed rampant, he was attacked by the patriot-assassins, and was saved only by the devotion of his daughter Elizabeth, who threw herself upon the old man crying, "You shall not reach my father's heart before piercing mine." The courage of the noble pair commanded the admiration of the ruffians, and they were carried home in triumph.
For a few weeks the family remained unmolested, but in those days "Providence" slept and Fortune did not favour the brave. The Municipality presently decreed a second arrest, and the venerable litterateur, aged seventy two, was sent before the revolutionary tribunal appointed to deal with the pretended offences of August 10. He was subjected to an interrogatory of thirty-six hours, during which his serenity and presence of mind never abandoned him and impressed even his accusers. But he was condemned to die for the all-sufficient reason:—"It is not enough to be a good son, a good husband, a good father, one must also prove oneself a good citizen." He spent his last hours wit'. his confessor, wrote to his wife and children, praying his family not to beweep him, not to forget him, and never to offend against their God; and this missive, with a lock of his hair for his beloved daughter, he finally entrusted to the ghostly father. Upon the scaffold he turned to the crowd and cried, "I die as I have lived, truthful and faithful to my God and my King." His venerable head, crowned with the white honours of age, fell on Sept. 25, 1792.
Cazotte printed many works, some of great length, as the OEuvres Morales, which filled 7 vols. 8vo in the complete edition of 1817; and the biographers give a long list of publications, besides those above-mentioned, romantic, ethical, and spiritual, in verse and in prose. But he wrote mainly for his own pleasure, he never sought fame, and consequently his reputation never equalled his merit. His name, however, still smells sweet, passing sweet, amid the corruption and the frantic fury of his day, and the memory of the witty, genial, and virtuous litterateur still blossoms in the dust.
During my visit to Paris in early 1887, M. Hermann Zotenberg was kind enough to show me the MS., No. 1723, containing the original tales of the "New Arabian Nights." As my health did not allow me sufficient length of stay to complete my translation, Professor Houdas kindly consented to copy the excerpts required, and to explain the words and phrases which a deficiency of dictionaries and vocabularies at an outlandish port-town rendered unintelligible to me.
In translating a MS., which has never been collated or corrected and which abounds in errors of omission and commission, I have been guided by one consideration only, which is, that my first and chiefest duty to the reader is to make my book readable at the same time that it lays before him the whole matter which the text offered or ought to have offered. Hence I have not hesitated when necessary to change the order of the sentences, to delete tautological words and phrases, to suppress descriptions which are needlessly reiterated, and in places to supply the connecting links without which the chain of narrative is weakened or broken. These are liberties which must be allowed, unless the translator's object be to produce a mutilated version of a mutilation.
Here also I must express my cordial gratitude to Mr. Alexander J. Cotheal, Consul-General for Nicaragua, in New York. This distinguished Arabist not only sent to me across the seas his MS. containing, inter alia, "The Tale of Attaf," he also under took to translate it for my collection upon my distinct assurance that its many novelties of treatment deserved an especial version. Mr. W. F. Kirby has again conferred upon my readers an important service by his storiological notes. Lastly, Dr. Steingass has lent me, as before, his valuable aid in concluding as he did in commencing this series, and on putting the colophon to
The Sixteenth Volume of The Thousand Nights and a Night.
RICHARD F. BURTON
United Service Club, August 1st, 1888.
Supplemental Nights To The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night
The Say of Haykar the Sage.[FN#6]
In the name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate, the Eternal One, the Termless, the Timeless, and of Him aidance we await. And here we begin (with the assistance of Allah Almighty and his fair furtherance) to invite the Story of Haykar the Sage, the Philosopher, the Wazir of Sankharib[FN#7] the Sovran, and of the son of the wise man's sister Nadan[FN#8] the Fool.
They relate that during the days of Sankharib the King, lord of Asur[FN#9] and Naynawah,[FN#10] there was a Sage, Haykar hight, Grand Wazir of that Sovran and his chief secretary, and he was a grandee of abundant opulence and ampliest livelihood: ware was he and wise, a philosopher, and endowed with lore and rede and experience. Now he had interwedded with threescore wives, for each and every of which he had builded in his palace her own bower; natheless he had not a boy to tend, and was he sore of sorrow therefor. So one day he gathered together the experts, astrologers and wizards, and related to them his case and complained of the condition caused by his barrenness. They made answer to him, "Get thee within and do sacrifice to the Godheads and enquire of them and implore their favour when haply shall they vouchsafe unto thee boon of babe." He did whatso they bade and set corbans and victims before the images and craved their assistance, humbling himself with prayer and petition; withal they vouchsafed to him never a word of reply. So he fared forth in distress and disappointment and went his ways all disheartened. Then he returned in his humiliation to Almighty Allah[FN#11] and confided his secret unto Him and called for succour in the burning of his heart, and cried with a loud voice saying, "O God of Heaven and Earth, O Creator of all creatures, I beg Thee to vouchsafe unto me a son wherewith I may console my old age and who may become my heir, after being present at my death and closing my eyes and burying my body." Hereat came a Voice from Heaven which said, "Inasmuch as at first thou trustedst in graven images and offeredst to them victims, so shalt thou remain childless, lacking sons and daughters. However, get thee up and take to thee Nadan, thy sister's child; and, after taking this nephew to son, do thou inform him with thy learning and thy good breeding and thy sagesse, and demise to him that he inherit of thee after thy decease." Hereupon the Sage adopted his nephew Nadan, who was then young in years and a suckling, that he might teach him and train him; so he entrusted him to eight wet-nurses and dry-nurses for feeding and rearing, and they brought him up on diet the choicest with delicatest nurture and clothed him with sendal and escarlate[FN#12] and dresses dyed with Alkermes,[FN#13] and his sitting was upon shag-piled rugs of silk. But when Nadan grew great and walked and shot up even as the lofty Cedar[FN#14] of Lebanon, his uncle taught him deportment and writing and reading[FN#15] and philosophy and the omne scibile. Now after a few days Sankharib the King looked upon Haykar and saw how that he had waxed an old old man, so quoth he to him, "Ho thou excellent companion,[FN#16] the generous, the ingenious, the judicious, the sagacious, the Sage, my Secretary and my Minister and the Concealer of my secrets and the Councillor of my kingdom, seeing how so it be that thou art aged and well shotten in years and nigh unto thy death and decease, so tell me[FN#17] who shall stand in my service after thy demise?" Made answer Haykar, "O my lord the King, may thy head live for ever and aye! that same shall be this Nadan, son to my sister, whom I have taken to myself as mine own child and have reared him and have taught him my learning and my experience, all thereof." "Bring him to the presence," quoth the King, "and set him between my hands, that I look upon him; and, if I find him fitting, I will stablish him in thy stead. Then do thou wend thy ways and off-go from office that thou take thy rest and tend thine old age, living the lave of thy life in the fairest of honour." Hereupon Haykar hied him home and carried his nephew Nadan before the King, who considered him and was pleased with the highmost of pleasure and, rejoicing in him, presently asked the uncle, "Be this thine adopted son, O Haykar? I pray Allah preserve him; and, even as thou servedst my sire Sarhadun[FN#18] before me, even so shall this thy son do me suite and service and fulfil my affairs and my needs and my works, to the end that I may honour him and advance him for the sake of thee." Thereat Haykar prostrated himself before the presence and said, "May thy head live, O my lord, for evermore! I desire of thee to extend the wings of thy spirit over him for that he is my son, and do thou be clement to his errings, so that he may serve thee as besitteth." The King forthwith made oath that he would stablish the youth amongst the highmost of his friends and the most worshipful of his familiars and that he should abide with him in all respect and reverence. So Haykar kissed the royal hands and blessed his lord; then, taking with him Nadan his nephew, he seated him in privacy and fell to teaching him by night as well as by day, that he might fill him with wisdom and learning rather than with meat and drink; and he would address him in these terms.[FN#19] "O dear my son,[FN#20] if a word come to thine ears, suffer it to die within thy heart nor ever disclose it unto other, lest haply it become a live coal[FN#21] to burn up thy tongue and breed pain in thy body and clothe thee in shame and gar thee despised of God and man. O dear my son, an thou hear a report reveal it not, and if thou behold a thing relate it not. O dear my son, make easy thine address unto thine hearers, and be not hasty in return of reply. O dear my son, desire not formal beauty which fadeth and vadeth while fair report endureth unto infinity. O dear my son, be not deceived by a woman immodest of speech lest her snares waylay thee[FN#22] and in her springes thou become a prey and thou die by ignominious death. O dear my son, hanker not after a woman adulterated by art, such as clothes and cosmetics, who is of nature bold and immodest, and beware lest thou obey her and give her aught that is not thine and entrust to her even that which is in thy hand, for she will robe thee in sin and Allah shall become wroth with thee. O dear my son, be not like unto the almond-tree[FN#23] which leafeth earlier than every growth and withal is ever of the latest to fruit; but strive to resemble the mulberry-tree which beareth food the first of all growths and is the last of any to put forth her foliage.[FN#24] O dear my son, bow thy head before thine inferior and soften thine utterance and be courteous and tread in the paths of piety, and shun impudence and louden not thy voice whenas thou speakest or laughest; for, were a house to be builded by volume of sound, the ass would edify many a mansion every day.[FN#25] O dear my son, the transport of stones with a man of wisdom is better than the drinking of wine with one blamed for folly. O dear my son, rather pour out thy wine upon the tombs of the pious than drain it with those who give offence by their insolence. O dear my son, cleave to the sage that is Allah- fearing and strive to resemble him, and approach not the fool lest thou become like unto him and learn his foolish ways. O dear my son, whenas thou affectest a friend or a familiar, make trial of him and then company with him, and without such test nor praise him nor divulge thy thoughts unto one who is other than wise. O dear my son, as long as thy boot is upon thy leg and foot, walk therewith over the thorns and tread a way for thy sons and thy sons' sons; and build thee a boat ere the sea break into billows and breakers and drown thee before thou find an ark of safety. O dear my son, when the richard eateth a snake, folks shall say that 'tis of his subtilty; but when a pauper feedeth upon it, the world shall declare 'tis of his poverty. O dear my son, be content with thy grade and thy good, nor covet aught of thy fellow. O dear my son, be not neighbourly with the ignorant nor do thou break with him bread, and joy not in the annoy of those about thee and when thy foe shall maltreat thee meet him with beneficence. O dear my son, fear the man who feareth not Allah and hold him in hate. O dear my son, the fool shall fall when he trippeth; but the wise man when he stumbleth shall not tumble and if he come to the ground he shall rise up quickly, and when he sickeneth he shall readily heal himself, whereas to the malady of the ignorant and the stupid there is no remedy. O dear my son, when a man lesser than thyself shall accost thee, prevent him in standing respectfully before him, and if he suffice thee not the Lord shall suffice thee in his stead. O dear my son, spare not blows to thy child,[FN#26] for the beating of the boy is like manuring to the garden and binding to the purse-mouth and tethering to the cattle and locking to the door. O dear my son, withhold thy child from wickedness, and discipline him ere he wax great and become contumacious to thee, thus belittling thee amongst thine equals and lowering thy head upon the highways and in the assemblies, and thou be described as an aider in his wrongous works. O dear my son, let no word escape thy lips without consulting thy heart; nor stand up between two adversaries, for out of converse with the wicked cometh enmity, and from enmity is bred battle, and from battle ariseth slaughter, when thy testimony shall be required; nay, do thou fly therefrom and be at rest. O dear my son, stand not up against one stronger than thyself; but possess thy soul in patience and and long-suffering and forbearance and pacing the paths of piety, for than this naught is more excellent. O dear my son, exult not over the death of thy enemy by cause that after a little while thou shalt become his neighbour. O dear my son, turn thou a deaf ear to whoso jeereth thee, and honour him and forego him with the salam-salutation. O dear my son, whenas the water shall stand still in stream and the bird shall fly sky-high and the black raven shall whiten and myrrh shall wax honey-sweet, then will the ignorant and the fool comprehend and converse. O dear my son, an thou would be wise restrain thy tongue from leasing and thy hand from thieving and thine eyes from evil glancing; and then, and then only, shalt thou be called a sage. O dear my son, suffer the wise man strike thee with his staff rather than the fool anoint thee with his sweetest unguent.[FN#27] O dear my son, be thou humble in thy years of youth, that thou may be honoured in thine old age. O dear my son, stand not up against a man in office and puissance nor against a river in its violence, and haste not in matters of marriage; for, an this bring weal, folk will not appraise thee and if ill they will abuse thee and curse thee. O dear my son, company with one who hath his hand fulfilled and well-furnisht and associate not with any whose hand is fist-like and famisht. O dear my son, there be four things without stability: a king and no army,[FN#28] a Wazir in difficulty for lack of rede; amongst the folks villainy and over the lieges tyranny. Four things also may not be hidden; to wit, the sage and the fool, the richard and the pauper."[FN#29] Now when Haykar had made an end of these injunctions and instances addrest to Nadan his nephew, he fondly deemed in mind that the youth would bear in memory all his charges, and he wist not that the clean contrary thereof to him would become manifest. After this the older Minister sat in peace at home and committed to the younger all his moneys and his negro slaves and his concubines; his horses and camels, his flocks and herds, and all other such whereof he was seized. Also bidding and forbiddal were left in the youth's hand and he was promoted and preferred by the monarch like his maternal uncle and even more, whilst the ex-Wazir took his rest in retirement, nor was it his habit to visit the King save once after a while, when he would fare forth to salute him with the salam and forthwith return home. But when Nadan made sure of all commandment being in his own hand, he jeered in public at his uncle and raised his nose at him and fell to blaming him whenever he made act of presence and would say, "Verily Haykar is in age and dotage and no more he wotteth one thing from other thing." Furthermore he fell to beating the negro slaves and the handmaidens, and to vending the steeds and dromedaries and applied him wilfully to waste all that appertained to his uncle who, when he saw this lack of ruth for the chattels and the household, incontinently drove him ignominiously from his place. Moreover he sent to apprize the King thereof; to wit, that he would assuredly[FN#30] resume all his belongings and provision; and his liege, summoning Nadan, said to him, "So long as Haykar, shall be in life, let none lord it over his household or meddle with his fortune." On this wise the youth's hand was stayed from his uncle and from all his good and he ceased to go in to him and come out from him, and even to accost him with the salam. Presently Haykar repented of the pains and the trouble he had taken with Nadan and he became perplext exceedingly. Now the youth had a younger brother, Naudan[FN#31] hight, so Haykar adopted him in lieu of the other and tendered him and honoured him with highmost honour and committed to him all his possessions and created him comptroller of his household and of his affairs. But when the elder brother beheld what had betided him, he was seized with envy and jealousy and he fell to complaining before all who questioned him, deriding his benefactor; and he would say, "Verily my maternal uncle hath driven me from his doors and hath preferred my brother before me; but, an Almighty Allah empower me, I will indeed cast him into doom of death." Hereat he fell to brooding over the ruin of his relative, and after a long while he went, one day of the days, and wrote a letter to Akhyash Abna Shah,[FN#32] physician to the King of Persia and 'Ajam or Barbaria-land, and the following were its contents. "All salams that befit and greetings that are meet from part of Sankharib, King of Assyria and Niniveh, and from his Wazir and Secretary Haykar unto thee, O glorious monarch, and salutations be betwixt me and thee. And forthright, when this missive shall have reached thee, do thou arise in haste and come to meet me and let our trysting-place be the Buk'at Nisrin, the Lowland of the Eglantine[FN#33] of Assyria and Niniveh, that I may commit to thee the kingdom sans fight or fray." Furthermore he wrote a second letter in Haykar's name to Pharaoh,[FN#34] lord of Misraim,[FN#35] with this purport:[FN#36]—"Greetings between me and thee, O mighty potentate; and do thou straightway, on receipt of this epistle, arise and march upon the Buk'at Nisrin to the end that I make over to thee the kingdom without battle or slaughter." Now Nadan's handwriting was the likest to that of his mother's brother. Then he folded the two missives and sealed them with Haykar's signet and cast them into the royal palace, after which he went and indited a letter in the King's name to his uncle, saying.—"All salutations to my Wazir and Secretary and Concealer of my secret, Haykar; and do thou forthright on receipt of this present levy thy host and all that be under thee with arms and armour complete, and march them to meet me on fifth-day[FN#37] at the Buk'at Nisrin. Moreover, when thou see me approach thee make thy many prepare for mimic onset as they were my adversaries and offer me sham fight; for that messengers from Pharaoh, King of Egypt, have been sent to espy the strength of our armies. Accordingly, let them stand in fear of us, for that they be our foes and our haters." Presently, sealing this epistle, he sent it to Haykar by one of the royal pages and himself carrying the other letters he had addressed to the Persian and the Egyptian, he laid them before the King and read them aloud and showed their seals. But when Sankharib heard their contents he marvelled with mighty great marvel and raged with exceeding rage and cried out, saying, "What is it I have done unto Haykar that he should write such a writ to mine adversaries? Is this my reward for all the benefits I have lavished upon Haykar?" The other replied, "Be not grieved, O King, and sorrow not, nor be thou an-angered: rather let us fare on the morrow to the Buk'at Nisrin and look into the matter, whether it be fact or falsehood." So when Thursday came, Nadan arose, and taking the King and his Wazirs and army-officers marched them over the wastes to the Lowland of the Eglantine, and arrived there Sankharib, the Sovran, looked upon Haykar and saw his host aligned in battle against himself. And when the ex-Minister beheld his King approaching, he bade his host stir for battle and prepare to smite the opposing ranks; to wit, those of his liege lord, even as he had been commanded by royal rescript, nor did he ken what manner of pit had been digged for him by Nadan. But seeing this sight the monarch was agitated and consterned and raged with mighty great wrath. Then quoth Nadan, "Seest thou, O King, what this sorry fellow hath done? But chafe not, neither be thou sorrowful, but rather do thou retire to thy palace, whither I will presently bring to thee Haykar pinioned and bearing chains; and I will readily and without trouble fend off from thee thy foe." So when Sankharib hied him home in sore anger with that which his ancient Minister had done, Nadan went to his uncle and said, "Indeed the King hath rejoiced with exceeding joy, and thanketh thee for acting as he bade thee, and now he hath despatched me to order that thy men be bidden to wend their ways, and that thou present thyself before him pinioned and fettered to the end that thou be seen in such plight of the envoys sent by Pharaoh concerning whom and whose master our Monarch standeth in fear." "To hear is to obey!" replied Haykar, and forthwith let pinion his arms and fetter his legs; then, taking with him Nadan, his nephew, he repaired to the presence, where he found the King perusing the other forged letter also sealed with the ministerial signet. When he entered the throne-room he prostrated himself, falling to the ground upon his face, and the Sovran said to him, "O Haykar, my Viceregent and Secretary and Concealer of my secret and Councillor of my kingdom, say me, what have I wrought thee of wrong that thou shouldst requite me with such hideous deed?" So saying he showed him the two papers written in the handwriting and sealed with the seal of the accused who, when he looked upon them, trembled in every limb, and his tongue was knotted for a while, nor could he find power to speak a word, and he was reft of all his reason and of his knowledge. Wherefor he bowed his brow groundwards and held his peace. But when the King beheld this his condition, he bade them slay him by smiting his neck without the city, and Nadan cried aloud, "O Haykar, O blackavice, what could have profited thee such trick and treason that thou do a deed like this by thy King?"[FN#38] Now the name of the Sworder was Abu Sumayk the Pauper,[FN#39] and the monarch bade him strike the neck of Haykar in front of the Minister's house-door and place his head at a distance of an hundred ells from his body.[FN#40] Hearing this Haykar fell prone before the King and cried, "Live thou, O my lord the King, for ever and aye! An thou desire my death be it as thou wilt and well I wot that I am not in default and that the evil-doer exacteth according to his ill- nature.[FN#41] Yet I hope from my lord the King and from his benevolence that he suffer the Sworder make over my corpse to my menials for burial, and so shall thy slave be thy sacrifice." Hereat the Monarch commanded the Headsman do as he was desired, and the man, accompanied by the royal pages, took Haykar, whom they had stripped of his outer raiment, and led him away to execution. But when he was certified of coming death, he sent tidings thereof to his wife, Shaghaftini[FN#42] hight, adding, "Do thou forthright come forth to meet me escorted by a thousand maiden girls, whom thou shalt habit in escarlate and sendal, that they may keen over me ere I perish; moreover dispread for the Headsman and his varlets a table of food and bring an abundance of good wine that they may drink and make merry."[FN#43] Haykar's wife presently obeyed his orders for she also was ware and wise, sharp-witted, experienced and a compendium of accomplishments and knowledge. Now when the guards[FN#44] and the Sworder and his varlets came to Haykar's door, they found the tables laid out with wine and sumptuous viands; so they fell to eating and drinking till they had their sufficiency and returned thanks to the housemaster.[FN#45] Thereupon Haykar led the Headsman aside into privacy and said to him, "O Abu Sumayk,[FN#46] what while Sarhadun the King, sire of Sankharib the King, determined to slay thee, I took thee and hid thee in a place unknown to any until the Sovran sent for thee. Moreover I cooled his temper every day till he was pleased to summon thee, and when at last I set thee in his presence he rejoiced in thee. Therefore do thou likewise at this moment bear in mind the benefits I wrought thee, and well I wot that the King will repent him for my sake and will be wroth with exceeding wrath for my slaughter, seeing that I be guiltless; so when thou shalt bring me alive before him thy degree shall become of the highest. For know thou that Nadan my nephew hath betrayed me and devised for me this ill device; and I repeat that doubtless my lord will presently rue my ruin. Learn, too, that beneath the threshold of my mansion lieth a souterrain whereof no man is ware: so do thou conceal me therein with the connivance of my spouse Shaghaftini. Also I have in my prison a slave which meriteth doom of death:[FN#47] so bring him forth and robe him in my robes; then bid the varlets (they being drunken with wine) do him die, nor shall they know whom they have slain. And lastly command them to remove his head an hundred cubits from his body and commit the corpse unto my chattels that they inter it. So shalt thou store up with me this rich treasure of goodly deeds." Hereupon the Sworder did as he was bidden by his ancient benefactor, and he and his men repairing to the presence said, "Live thy head, O King, for ever and aye!"[FN#48] And after this Shaghaftini, the wife of Haykar, brought meat and drink to her husband down in the Matamor,[FN#49] and every Friday she would provide him with a sufficiency for the following week without the weeting of anyone. Presently the report was spread and published and bruited abroad throughout Assyria and Niniveh how Haykar the Sage had been done to die and slain by his Sovran; and the lieges of all those regions, one and all, keened[FN#50] for him aloud and shed tears and said, "Alas for thee, O Haykar, and alack for the loss of thy lore and thy knowledge! Woe be to us for thee and for thy experience! Where now remaineth to find thy like? where now shall one intelligent, understanding and righteous of rede resemble thee and stand in thy stead?" Presently the King fell to regretting the fate of Haykar whereof repentance availed him naught: so he summoned Nadan and said to him, "Fare forth and take with thee all thy friends to keen and make ceremonious wailings for thy maternal uncle Haykar and mourn, according to custom, in honour of him and his memory." But Nadan, the fool, the ignorant, the hard of heart, going forth the presence to show sorrow at his uncle's house, would neither mourn nor weep nor keen; nay, in lieu thereof he gathered together lewd fellows and fornicators who fell to feasting and carousing. After this he took to himself the concubines and slaves belonging to his uncle, whom he would scourge and bastinado with painful beating; nor had he any shame before the wife of his adopted father who had entreated him as her son; but solicited her sinfully to lie with him. On the other hand Haykar, who lay perdu in his Silo, ever praised Allah the Compassionate,[FN#51] and returned thanks unto Him for saving his life and was constant in gratitude and instant in prayer and in humbling himself before God. At times after due intervals the Sworder would call upon him to do him honour due and procure him pleasure, after which he would pray for his release and forthright gang his gait. Now when the bruit spread abroad over all the lands how that Haykar the Wise had been done to die, the rulers everywhere rejoiced, exulting in the distress of King Sankharib who sorely regretted the loss of his Sage. Presently, awaiting the fittest season, the Monarch of Misraim arose and wrote a writ to the Sovran of Assyria and Niniveh of the following tenor:—"After salams that befit and salutations that be meet and congratulations and veneration complete wherewith I fain distinguish my beloved brother Sankharib the King, I would have thee know that I am about to build a bower in the air between firmament and terra firma; and I desire thee on thy part to send me a man which is wise, a tried and an experienced, that he may help me to edify the same: also that he make answer to all the problems and profound questions I shall propose, otherwise thou shalt deposit with me the taxes in kind[FN#52] of Assyria and Niniveh and their money-tributes for three years." Then he made an end of his writ and, sealing it with his signet-ring, sent it to its destination. But when the missive reached Sankharib, he took it and read it, he and his Wazirs and the Lords of his land; and all stood perplext thereat and sore confounded; whilst the King waxed furious with excessive fury, and he was distraught as to what he should do and how he should act. Anon, however, he gathered together all the Shaykhs and Elders and the Olema and doctors of law and the physicists and philosophers and the charmers[FN#53] and the astrologers and all such persons which were in his realm, and he let read the epistle of Pharaoh in their presence. Then he asked them, saying, "Who amongst you shall repair to the court of Pharaoh, lord of Misraim, and reply to his interrogations?" But they cried, "O our lord the King, do thou know there be no one who can loose the knot of these difficulties save only thy Wazir Haykar; and now that none shall offer an answer save Nadan, the son of his sister, whom he hath informed with all his subtilty and his science. Therefore, do thou summon him and haply he shall unravel for thee a tangled skein so hard to untwist." Sankharib did as they advised, and when Nadan appeared in the presence said to him, "Look thou upon this writ and comprehend its contents." But when the youth read it he said to the Sovran, "O my lord the King, leave alone this folk for they point to impossibilities: what man can base a bower upon air between heaven and earth?" As soon as King Sankharib heard these words of Nadan, he cried out with a mighty outcry and a violent; then, stepping down from his throne, he sat upon ashes[FN#54] and fell to beweeping and bewailing the loss of Haykar and crying, "Alas, for me and woe worth the day for thee, O Caretaker of my capital and Councillor of my kingdom! Where shall I find one like unto thee, O Haykar? Harrow now for me, O Haykar, Oh Saviour of my secret and Manifester of my moot-points, where now shall I fare to find thee? Woe is me for sake of thee whom I slew and destroyed at the word of a silly boy! To him indeed who could bring Haykar before me or who could give me the glad tidings of Haykar being on life, I would give the half of my good; nay, the moiety of my realm. But whence can this come? Ah me, O Haykar; happy was he who looked upon thee in life that he might take his sufficiency of thy semblance and fortify himself[FN#55] therefrom. Oh my sorrow for thee to all time! Oh my regret and remorse for thee and for slaying thee in haste and for not delaying thy death till I had considered the consequence of such misdeed." And the King persisted in weeping and wailing night and day on such wise. But when the Sworder[FN#56] beheld the passion of his lord and his yearning and his calling upon Haykar, he came to the presence and prostrated himself and said, "O my lord, bid thy varlets strike off my head!" Quoth the Monarch, "Woe to thee, what be thy sin?" and quoth the Headsman, "O my lord, what slave ever contrarieth the command of his master let the same be slain, and I verily have broken thy behest." The King continued, "Fie upon thee,[FN#57] O Abu Sumayk, wherein hast thou gainsaid me?" and the other rejoined, "O my lord, thou badest me slay the Sage Haykar; but well I wotted that right soon indeed thou wouldst regret the death of him, and the more so for that he was a wronged man; accordingly I fared forth from thee and hid him in a place unbekncwn to any and I slew one of his slaves in his stead. And at this moment Haykar is alive and well; and if thou bid me, I will bring him before thee when, if thou be so minded, do thou put me to death, otherwise grant me immunity." Cried the King, "Fie upon thee, O Abu Sumayk, how durst thou at such time make mock of me, I being thy lord?" but the Sworder replied, "By thy life and the life of thy head, O my lord, I swear that Haykar is alive and in good case!" Now when the Monarch heard these words from the Sworder and was certified by him of the matter, he flew for very gladness and he was like to fall a-swoon for the violence of his joy. So he bade forthright Haykar be brought to him and exclaimed to the Sworder, "O thou righteous slave an this thy say be soothfast, I am resolved to enrich thee and raise thy degree amongst all my companions;" and so saying and rejoicing mightily he commanded the Sworder set Haykar in the presence. The man fared to the Minister's house forthright, and opening the souterrain went downstairs to the tenant whom he found sitting and praising Allah and rendering to Him thanksgivings; so he cried out and said, "O Haykar, the blessedest of bliss hath come to thee, and do thou go forth and gladden thy heart!" Haykar replied, "And what is to do?" whereat the man told him the whole tale, first and last, of what had befallen his lord at the hands of Pharaoh; then, taking him, led him to the presence. But when Sankharib considered him, he found him as one clean wasted by want; his hair had grown long like the pelts of wild beasts and his nails were as vulture's claws and his members were meagre for the length of time spent by him in duresse and darkness, and the dust had settled upon him and changed his colour which had faded and waxed of ashen hue. So his lord mourned for his plight and, rising up in honour, kissed him and embraced him and wept over him saying, "Alhamdolillah—laud to the Lord—who hath restored thee to me on life after death!" Then he fell to soothing his sorrows and consoled him, praying pardon of him the while; and after bestowing robes of honour upon the Sworder and giving him due guerdon and lavishing upon him abundant good, he busied himself about the recovery of Haykar, who said, "O my lord the King, may thy head live for ever and aye! All this wrong which befel me is the work of the adulterines, and I reared me a palm-tree against which I might prop me, but it bent and brought me to the ground: now, however, O my lord and master, that thou hast deigned summon me before thee, may all passion pass away and dolour depart from thee!" "Blessed and exalted be Allah," rejoined Sankharib, "who hath had ruth upon thee, and who, seeing and knowing thee to be a wronged man, hath saved thee and preserved thee from slaughter.[FN#58] Now, however, do thou repair to the Hammam and let shave thy head and pare thy nails and change thy clothes; after which sit at home in ease for forty days' space that thy health be restored and thy condition be righted and the hue of health return to thy face; and then (but not till then) do thou appear before me." Hereupon the King invested him with sumptuous robes, and Haykar, having offered thanks to his liege lord, fared homewards in joyaunce and gladness frequently ejaculating, "Subhana 'llahu ta'ala God Almighty be glorified!" and right happy were his household and his friends and all who had learned that he was still on life. Then did he as the King had bidden him and enoyed his rest for two-score days, after which he donned his finest dress and took horse, followed and preceded by his slaves, all happy and exulting, and rode to Court, while Nadan the nephew, seeing what had befallen, was seized with sore fear and affright and became perplexed and unknowing what to do. Now, when Haykar went in and salamed to the King, his lord seated him by his side and said, "O my beloved Haykar, look upon this writ which was sent to me by the King of Misraim after hearing of thy execution; and in very deed they, to wit he and his, have conquered and chastised and routed most of the folk of our realm, compelling them to fly for refuge Egyptwards in fear of the tax-tribute which they have demanded of us." So the Minister took the missive and, after reading and comprehending the sum of its contents, quoth he to the King, "Be not wroth, O my lord: I will repair in person to Egypt and will return a full and sufficient reply to Pharaoh, and I will explain to him his propositions and will bring thee from him all the tax-tribute he demandeth of thee: moreover, I will restore all the lieges he hath caused fly this country and I will humiliate every foe of thee by aidance of Almighty Allah and by the blessings of thy Majesty." Now when the Sovran heard this answer, he rejoiced and his heart was gladdened; whereupon he gifted Haykar with a generous hand and once more gave immense wealth to the Sworder. Presently the Minister said, "Grant me a delay of forty days that I ponder this matter and devise a sufficient device." As soon as Sankharib granted him the required permission he returned homewards and, summoning his huntsmen, bade them catch for him two vigorous young vultures;[FN#59] and, when these were brought, he sent for those who twist ropes and commanded them make two cords of cotton each measuring two thousand ells. He also bade bring him carpenters and ordered them to build for him two coffers of large size, and as soon as his bidding was done he chose out two little lads, one hight Binuhal and the other Tabshalim.[FN#60] Then every day he would let slaughter a pair of lambs and therewith feed the children and the vultures, and he mounted those upon the back of these, binding them tight, and also making fast the cords to the legs of the fowls. He would then allow the birds to rise little by little, prolonging the flight every day to the extent of ten cubits, the better to teach and to train them; and they learnt their task so well that in a short time they would rise to the full length of the tethers till they soared in the fields of air with the boys on their backs, after which he would let hale them down. And when he saw them perfect in this process, he taught the lads to utter loud shouts what while they reached the full length of the cords and to cry out, "Send us stones and mud[FN#61] and slaked lime that we may build a bower for King Pharaoh, inasmuch as we now stand here all the day idle!" And Haykar ceased not to accustom them and to instruct them until they became dexterous in such doings as they could be. Then he quitted them and presenting himself before King Sankharib said, "O my lord, the work is completed even as thou couldst desire; but do thou arise and come with me that I may show thee the marvel." Thereupon the King and his courtiers accompanied Haykar to a wide open space outside the city whither he sent for the vultures and the lads; and after binding the cords he loosed them to soar as high as the lanyards allowed in the firmament-plain, when they fell to outcrying as he had taught them. And lastly he haled them in and restored them to their steads. Hereat the King wondered, as did all his suite, with extreme wonderment, and kissing his Minister between his eyes, robed him in an honourable robe and said to him, "Go forth in safety, O my beloved, and boast of my realm, to the land of Egypt[FN#62] and answer the propositions of Pharaoh and master him by the power of Almighty Allah;" and with these words farewelled him. Accordingly Haykar took his troops and guards, together with the lads and the vultures, and he fared forth intending for Egypt where on arrival he at once made for the royal Palace. And when the folk of the capital understood that Sankharib the King had commissioned a man of his notables to bespeak their Sovran the Pharaoh, they entered and apprized their liege lord who sent a party of his familiars summoning him to the presence. Presently Haykar the Sage entered unto Pharaoh; and after prostration as befitteth before royalty said, "O my lord, Sankharib the King greeteth thee with many salutations and salams; and hath sent me singlehanded sans other of his slaves, to the end that I answer thy question and fulfil whatso thou requirest and I am commanded to supply everything thou needest; especially inasmuch as thou hast sent to the Monarch my master for the loan of a man who can build thee a bower between firmament and terra firma; and I, by the good aidance of Allah Almighty and of thine august magnanimity, will edify that same for thee even as thou desirest and requirest. But this shall be upon the condition stablished concerning the tax-tribute of Misraim for three years, seeing that the consent of the Kings be their fullest securities. An thou vanquish me and my hand fall short and I fail to answer thee, then shall my liege lord send thee the tax-tribute whereof thou speakest; but if I bring thee all thou needest, then shalt thou forward to my lord the tax-tribute thou hast mentioned and of him demanded." Pharaoh, hearing these words, marvelled and was perplexed at the eloquence of his tongue and the sweetness of his speech and presently exclaimed, "O man, what may be thy name?" The other replied, "Thy slave is hight Abikam;[FN#63] and I am an emmet of the emmets under Sankharib the King." Asked Pharaoh, "Had not thy lord one more dignified of degree than thou, that he sent unto me an ant to answer me and converse with me?" and Haykar answered, "I humbly hope of the Almighty that I may satisfy all which is in thy heart, O my lord; for that Allah is with the weakling the more to astounding the strangling." Hereat Pharaoh gave orders to set apart for Abikam his guest an apartment, also for the guards and all that were with him and provide them with rations and fodder of meat and drink, and whatso was appropriate to their reception as properest might be. And after the usual three days of guest-rite[FN#64] the King of Egypt donned his robes of brightest escarlate; and, having taken seat upon his throne, each and every Grandee and Wazir (who were habited in the same hue) standing with crossed arms and feet joined,[FN#65] he sent a summons to produce before him Haykar, now Abikam hight. Accordingly he entered and prostrated in the King's presence and stood up to receive the royal behest, when Pharaoh after a long delay asked him, "O Abikam, whom do I resemble and what may these my Lords and Ministers represent?" Hereto the envoy answered saying, "O my lord, thou favourest Bel the idol[FN#66] and thy chief-cains favour the servitors thereof!" Then quoth the King, "Now do thou depart and I desire thee on the morrow come again." Accordingly Abikam, which was Haykar, retired as he was ordered, and on the next day he presented himself before Pharaoh and after prostrating stood between his hands. The King was habited in a red coat of various tincts and his mighty men were garbed in white, and presently he enquired saying, "O Abikam, whom do I resemble and what may these my Lords and Ministers represent?" He replied, "O my lord, thou art like unto the sun and thy nobles are like the rays thereof!" Then quoth the King, "Do thou retire to thy quarters and tomorrow come hither again." So the other fared forth and Pharaoh commanded and charged his head men to don pure white, himself doing the same; and, having taken seat upon his throne, he bade Abikam be brought into the presence and when he appeared asked him, "Whom do I resemble, and what may these my Grandees represent?" He replied, "O my lord, thou favourest the moon and thy servitors and guards favour the stars and planets and constellations." Then quoth the King, "Go thou until the morrow when do thou come hither again;" after which he commanded his Magnates to don dresses of divers colours and different tincts whilst he wore a robe of ruddy velvet. Anon he seated him upon his throne and summoned Abikam, who entered the presence and prostrated and stood up before him. The King for a fourth time asked him, "O Abikam, whom do I resemble and what may these my guards represent?" and he answered, "O my lord, thou art like the auspicious month Naysan,[FN#67] and thy guards and grandees are like the white chamomile[FN#68] and his bloom." Hearing these words Pharaoh rejoiced with extreme joy and said, "O Abikam, thou hast compared me first with Bel the idol, secondly with the sun and thirdly with the moon and lastly with the auspicious month Naysan, and my lords with the chamomile and his flower. But say me now unto what likenest thou Sankharib thy lord, and what favour his Grandees?" Haykar made answer, "Heaven forfend I mention my liege lord the while thou sittest on thy throne; but rise to thy feet, and I will inform thee what my Master representeth and what his court most resembleth." Pharaoh, struck with astonishment at such heat of tongue and valiancy of speech, arose from his seat and stood facing Haykar and presently said, "Now tell me that I may learn what thy lord resembleth and what his Grandees represent." The other made reply, "My lord resembleth the God of Heaven, and his lords represent the Lightning and Thunder. An it be his will the winds do blow and the rains do fall; and, when he deign order, the leven playeth and the thunder roareth and at his behest the sun would refuse light and the moon and stars stand still in their several courses. But he may also command the storm-wind to arise and downpours to deluge when Naysan would be as one who beateth the bough[FN#69] and who scattereth abroad the blooms of the chamomile." Pharaoh hearing these words wondered with extreme wonderment, then raging with excessive rage he cried, "O man, tell me the real truth and let me know who thou art in very sooth." "I am Haykar," quoth the other, "Chief Secretary and especial to Sankharib the King; also his Wazir and Councillor of his kingdom and Keeper of his secret." "Thou statest fact, O Sage," quoth Pharaoh, "and this thy say is veridical: yet have we heard that Haykar is dead indeed, withal here art thou alive and alert." The Minister replied, "Yea, verily that was the case, but Alhamdolillah—Glory to God, who knoweth all hidden things, my master had in very deed doomed me die believing the reports of certain traitors, but my Lord preserved me and well done to him who relieth upon the Almighty!" Then quoth Pharaoh, "Go forth and on the morrow do thou return hither and say me somewhat no man hath ever heard, nor I nor my Grandees nor any of the folk in my kingdom and my capital." Accordingly Haykar hied him home and penned a paper wherein he said as follows: "From Sankharib, King of Assyria and Naynawah, to Pharaoh King of Misraim:—Peace be upon thee, O my brother! As well thou wottest, brother needeth brother and the Kings require the aidance of other Kings and my hope from thee is that thou wilt lend[FN#70] me the loan of nine hundred-weight[FN#71] of gold which I require to expend on the pay and allowances due to certain of my soldiery wherewith to provide for them the necessaries of life." After this he folded the writ and despatched it by a messenger on the next day to Pharaoh, who perused it and was perplext and exclaimed, "Verily and indeed never till now have I heard a saying like unto this at all, nor hath anyone ever spoken[FN#72] to me after such fashion!" Haykar replied, "'Tis fact, and 'tis well an thou own thee debtor of such sum to my lord the King." Pharaoh accepted this resolving of his proposition and said, "O Haykar, 'tis the like of thee who suiteth the service of the Kings, and blessed be Allah who perfected thee in wisdom and adorned thee with philosophy[FN#73] and knowledge. And now remaineth to us only one need of thee; to wit, that thou build us a bower between firmament and terra firma." Haykar replied, "Hearkening and obeying! I will edify it for thee e'en as thou wishest and thou choosest; but do thou get ready for me gypsum lime and ashlar- stone and brick-clay and handicraftsmen, while I also bring architects and master masons and they shall erect for thee whatso thou requirest." So King Pharaoh gat ready all this and fared forth with his folk to a spacious plain without the city whither Haykar and his pages had carried the boys and the vultures; and with the Sovran went all the great men of his kingdom and his host in full tale that they might look upon the wonder which the Envoy of Assyria was about to work. But when they reached the place appointed, Haykar brought out of their boxes the vultures and making fast the lads to their backs bound the cords to the legs of the birds and let them loose, when they soared firmament- wards till they were poised between heaven and earth. Hereat the lads fell to crying aloud, "Send up to us the stones and the mud and the slaked lime that we may build a bower for King Pharaoh, forasmuch as here we stand the whole day idle." At this were agitated all present, and they marvelled and became perplext; and not less wondered the King and the Grandees his lieges, while Haykar and his pages fell to buffeting the handicraftsmen and to shouting at the royal guards, saying, "Provide the workmen with that they want, nor hinder them from their work!" Whereupon cried Pharaoh, "O Haykar, art thou Jinn-mad? Who is ever able to convey aught of these matters to so far a height?" But he replied to the King, "O my lord, how shall we build a bower in the lift on other wise? And were the King my master here he would have edified two such edifices in a single day." Hearing this quoth Pharaoh to him, "Hie thee, O Haykar, to thy quarters, and for the present take thy rest, seeing that we have been admonished anent the building of the bower; but come thou to me on the morrow." Accordingly, Haykar fared to his lodging, and betimes on the next day presented himself before Pharaoh, who said to him, "O Haykar, what of the stallion of thy lord which, when he neigheth in Assyria and Nineveh, his voice is heard by our mares in this place so that they miscarry?"[FN#74] Hereat Haykar left the King and faring to his place took a tabby-cat and tying her up fell to flogging her with a sore flogging until all the Egyptians heard her outcries and reported the matter to the Sovran. So Pharaoh sent to fetch him and asked, "O Haykar, for what cause didst thou scourge this cat and beat her with such beating, she being none other but a dumb beast?"[FN#75] He replied, "O my lord the King, she hath done by me a wrongous deed and she hath amply merited this whipping and these stripes." The King asked, "And what may be this deed she did?" whereto Haykar made answer, "Verily my master Sankharib the King had given me a beautiful cock who had a mighty fine voice and a strong, and he knew the hours of darkness and announced them. But as he was in my mansion this mischief- making tabby fared there and fell upon him last night and tare off his head; and for this cause when she returned to me I took to punishing her with such blows and stripes." Pharaoh rejoined, "O Haykar, indeed I see thou art old and doting! Between Misraim and Nineveh lie eight hundred and sixty parasangs; so how could this cat have covered them in one night and have torn off thy chanticleer's head and have returned by morning to Egypt?" He replied, "O my lord, seeing that between Egypt and Assyria is such interval how then can the neighing of my lord the King's stallion reach unto Nile-land and be heard by your mares so that here they miscarry?" When Pharaoh had pondered these words, he knew that the envoy had returned him a full and sufficient reply, so quoth he, "O Haykar, 'tis my desire that thou make for me two ropes of sand;" and quoth the other, "Do thou prescribe that they bring me a cord from thy stores that I twist one like it." So when they had done as he bade, Haykar fared forth arear of the palace and dug two round borings equal to the thickness of the cord; then he collected sand from the river-bed and placed it therein, so that when the sun arose and entered into the cylinder, the sand appeared in the sunlight like unto ropes.[FN#76] Thereupon quoth he to Pharaoh, "Command thy slaves take up these ropes and I will twist thee as many of them as thou willest." Quoth Pharaoh, "O Haykar, we have before our eyes a millstone which is broken; and I require of thee that thou sew up the rent." Accordingly the Envoy looked about him and, seeing there another stone, said to Pharaoh, "O my lord, here am I a stranger man nor have I with me aught of darning-gear; but I would have thee bid thy confidants amongst the cobblers to provide me out of this other stone with shoemaker's awls and needles and scissors wherewith I may sew up for thee the breach in yon millstone." Hereat Pharaoh the King fell a-laughing, he and his Grandees, and cried, "Blessed be Allah, who hath vouchsafed to thee all this penetration and knowledge;" then, seeing that the Envoy had answered all his questions and had resolved his propositions he forthright confessed that he was conquered and he bade them collect the tax-tribute of three years and present it to him together with the loan concerning which Haykar had written and he robed him with robes of honour, him and his guards and his pages; and supplied him with viaticum, victual and moneys for the road, and said to him, "Fare thee in safety, O honour of thy lord and boast of thy liege: who like unto thee shall be found as a Councillor for the Kings and the Sultans? And do thou present my salam to thy master Sankharib the Sovran saying, 'Excuse us for that which we forwarded to thee, as the Kings are satisfied with a scanting of such acknowledgment.'"[FN#77] Haykar accepted from him all this; then, kissing ground before him, said, "I desire of thee, O my lord, an order that not a man of Assyria and Nineveh remain with thee in the land of Egypt but fare forth it with me homewards." Hereupon Pharaoh sent a herald to make proclamation of all whereof Haykar had spoken to him, after which the envoy farewelled the King and set out on his march intending for the realm of Assyria and Nineveh and bearing with him of treasures and moneys a mighty matter. When the tidings of his approach came to the ears of Sankharib, the King rode forth to meet his Minister, rejoicing in him with joy exceeding and received him lovingly and kissed him, and cried, "Well come and welcome and fair welcome to my sire and the glory of my realm and the vaunt of my kingdom: do thou require of me whatso thou wantest and choosest, even didst thou covet one-half of my good and of my government." The Minister replied, "Live, O King, for ever; and if thou would gift me bestow thy boons upon Abu Sumayk, the Sworder, whose wise delay, furthered by the will of Allah Almighty, quickened me with a second life." "In thine honour, O my beloved," quoth the King, "I will do him honour;" and presently he fell to questioning his envoy concerning what had befallen him from Pharaoh and how the Lord of the Misraim had presented him with the tax-tribute and moneys and gifts and honourable robes; and lastly, he asked anent the instances and secrets which ended the mission. So Haykar related all that had betided, whereat Sankharib rejoiced with mighty great joy; and, when the converse was concluded, the King said to him, "O Haykar, take unto thee everything thou wishest and wantest of all this, for 'tis in the grasp of thy hand." Haykar answered, "Live, O King, for ever and aye; naught do I require save thy safety and the permanency of thy rule: what shall I do with moneys and such like? But an thou deign largesse me with aught, make over to me in free gift Nadan, my sister's son, that I requite him for that he wrought with me: and I would that thou grant me his blood and make it lawfully my very own." Sankharib replied, "Take him, for I have given to thee that same." So Haykar led his nephew to his home[FN#78] and bound his hands in bonds and fettered his feet with heavy chains; then he beat him with a severe bastinado and a torturing upon his soles and calves, his back, his belly and his armpits; after which bashing he cast him into a black hole adjoining the jakes. He also made Binuhal guardian over him and bade him be supplied day by day with a scone of bread and a little water; and whenever the uncle went in to or came forth from the nephew he would revile Nadan and of his wisdom would say to him, "O dear my son, I wrought with thee all manner of good and kindly works and thou didst return me therefor evil and treason and death. O dear my son, 'tis said in saws, 'Whoso heareth not through his ears, through the nape of his neck shall he hear.'"[FN#79] Hereat quoth Nadan, "O my uncle, what reason hast thou to be wroth with me?" and quoth Haykar, "For that I raised thee to worship and honour and made thee great after rearing thee with the best of rearing and I educated thee so thou mightest become mine heir in lore and contrivance and in worldly good. But thou soughtest my ruin and destruction and thou desiredst for me doom of death; however, the Lord, knowing me to be a wronged man, delivered me from thy mischief, for God hearteneth the broken heart and abaseth the envious and the vain-glorious. O dear my son,[FN#80] thou hast been as the scorpion who when she striketh her sting[FN#81] upon brass would pierce it. O dear my son, thou hast resembled the Sajalmah-bird[FN#82] when netted in net who, when she cannot save herself alive, she prayeth the partridges to cast themselves into perdition with her. O dear my son, thou hast been as the cur who, when suffering cold entereth the potter's house to warm himself at the kiln, and when warmed barketh at the folk on such wise that they must beat him and cast him out, lest after barking he bite them. O dear my son, thou hast done even as the hog who entered the Hammam in company with the great; but after coming out he saw a stinking fosse a-flowing[FN#83] and went and therein wallowed. O dear my son, thou hast become like the old and rank he-goat who when he goeth in leadeth his friends and familiars to the slaughter-house and cannot by any means come off safe or with his own life or with their lives. O dear my son, a hand which worketh not neither plougheth, and withal is greedy and over-nimble shall be cut off from its armpit. O dear my son, thou hast imitated the tree whom men hew down, head and branch, when she said, 'Had not that in your hands been of me,[FN#84] indeed ye would not have availed to my felling.' O dear my son, thou hast acted as did the she-cat to whom they said, 'Renounce robbing that we make thee collars of gold and feed thee with sugar and almond cake!' But she replied, 'As for me, my craft is that of my father and my mother, nor can I ever forget it.' O dear my son, thou art as a dragon mounted upon a bramble-bush, and the two a-middlemost a stream, which when the wolf saw he cried, 'A mischief on a mischief and let one more mischievous counsel the twain of them.' O dear my son, with delicate food I fed thee and thou didst not fodder me with the driest of bread; and of sugar and the finest wines I gave thee to drink, while thou grudgedst to me a sup of cold water. O dear my son, I taught thee and tendered thee with the tenderest of tending and garred thee grow like the lofty cedar of Lebanon, but thou didst incriminate me and confine me in fetters by thine evil courses.[FN#85] O dear my son, I nourished a hope that thou wouldst build me a strong tower wherein I might find refuge from mine adversary and foil my foes; but thou hast been to me as a burier, a grave-digger, who would thrust me into the bowels of the earth: however, my Lord had mercy upon me. O dear my son, I willed thee well and thou rewardedst me with ill-will and foul deed; wherefore, 'tis now my intent to pluck out thine eyes and hack away thy tongue and strike off thy head with the sword-edge and then make thee meat for the wolves; and so exact retaliation from thine abominable actions." Hereupon Nadan made answer and said to Haykar his uncle, "Do with me whatso thy goodness would do and then condone thou to me all my crimes, for who is there can offend like me and can condone like thee? And now I pray thee take me into thy service and suffer me to slave in thy house and groom thy horses, even to sweeping away their dung, and herd thy hogs; for verily I am the evil-doer and thou art the beneficent; I am the sinner and thou art the pardoner." "O dear my son," rejoined Haykar, "Thou favourest the tree which, albe planted by the side of many waters, was barren of dates and her owner purposed to hew her down, when she said, 'Remove me unto another stead where if I fruit not then fell me.' But he rejoined, 'Being upon the water-edge thou gavest ne'er a date, so how shalt thou bear fruit being in other site?' O dear my son, better the senility of the eagle than the juvenility of the raven. O dear my son, they said to the wolf, 'Avoid the sheep lest haply the dust they raise in flight may do thee a damage;' but Lupus made answer, 'Verily their dust is a powder good for the eyes.' O dear my son, they brought the wolf to school that he might learn to read; but, when quoth they to him, 'Say A, B, C, D,'[FN#86] quoth he, 'Lamb, Sheep, Kid, Goat,[FN#87] even as within my belly.' O dear my son, they set the ass's head beside a tray of meats, but he slipped down and fell to rolling upon his back, for his nature (like that of others) may never be changed. O dear my son, his say is stablished who said, 'When thou hast begotten a child assume him to be thy son, and when thou hast reared a son assume him to be a slave.'[FN#88] O dear my son, whoso doeth good, good shall be his lot; and whoso worketh evil, evil shall befal him; for that the Lord compensateth mankind according to conduct. O dear my son, wherewith shall I bespeak thee beyond this my speech? and verily Allah knoweth concealed things and wotteth all secret and hidden works and ways and He shall requite thee and order and ordain between me and thee and shall recompense thee with that thou deservest." Now when Nadan heard these words from his uncle Haykar, his body began to swell and become like a blown-up bag and his members waxed puffy, his legs and calves and his sides were distended, then his belly split asunder and burst till his bowels gushed forth and his end (which was destruction) came upon him; so he perished and fared to Jahannam-fire and the dwelling-place dire. Even so it is said in books:—"Whoever diggeth for his brother a pit shall himself fall into it and whoso setteth up a snare for his neighbour shall be snared therein." And this much know we anent the Say of Haykar the Sage, and magnification be to Allah for ever and ever Amen.
THE HISTORY OF AL-BUNDUKANI OR, THE CALIPH HARUN AL-RASHID AND THE DAUGHTER OF KING KISRA.
In the name of Allah the Compassionating, the Compassionate, we here indite, by the aidance of the Almighty and His furtherance, the History of the Caliph Harun Al-Rashid and of the Daughter of Kisra the King.[FN#90]
It is related (but Allah is all-knowing of His secrets and all- kenning in whatso hath passed and preceded and preterlapsed of the annals of folk),[FN#91] that the Caliph (by whom I mean Harun al-Rashid) was sitting on the throne of his kingdom one chance day of the days which happened to be the fete of 'Arafat.[FN#92] And as he chanced to glance at Ja'afar the Barmaki, he said to him, "O Wazir, I desire to disguise myself and go down from my palace into the streets and wander about the highways of Baghdad that I may give alms to the mesquin and miserable and solace myself with a sight of the folk: so do thou hie with me nor let any know of our faring forth." "With love and good will," quoth Ja'afar. So his lord arose and passed from the audience-room into the inner palace where the two donned disguise and made small their sleeves and breasts[FN#93] and issued forth to circle about the thorough-fares of Baghdad and her market-streets, distributing charity to the poor and the paupers, until the last of the day. And whilst so doing, the Commander of the Faithful chanced to espy a woman seated at the head of a highway who had extended the hand of beggary, showing at the same time her wrist and crying, "Give me somewhat for the sake of Allah Almighty!" Hereat he considered her nicely and saw that her palm and her wrist were like whitest crystal and yet more brilliant in brightness. So he wondered thereat, and presently pulling a dinar from his breast-pocket he handed it to Ja'afar and said, "Bestow it upon yonder woman." The Minister took the ducat and leaving his lord went up to her and placed it in her palm; and, when she closed her fingers thereupon, she felt that the coin was bigger than a copper or a silverling, so she looked thereat and saw that it was of gold. Hereupon she called after Ja'afar who had passed onwards, saying, "Ho, thou fair youth!" and when he came back to her she continued, "The dinar wherewith thou hast gifted me, is it for Allah's sake or for other service?" Said he, "'Tis not from me, nay 'twas given by yonder Youth who sent it through me." "Ask him," she rejoined, "and tell me what may be his purport." Ja'afar hied him back to the Caliph and reported her words, whereat his lord commanded him, "Go back and say thou to her 'tis for Almighty Allah's sake." The Minister did his master's bidding when she replied "His reward be upon the Almighty." Then the Wazir returned and reported the woman's prayer to the Commander of the Faithful, who cried, "Hie thee to her and enquire an she be married or virginal; and, if she be unwedded, do thou ask her an she be willing to wive with me."[FN#94] So Ja'afar fared to her and questioned her, whereat she answered, "A spinster." Quoth he, "The Youth who sent the dinar to thee desireth to mate with thee;" and quoth she, "An he can pay me my dower and my money down,[FN#95] I will become his bride." Hereat Ja'afar said in his thought, "whence can the Prince of True Believers find her dower and her money down? Doubtless we shall have to ask a loan for him;"[FN#96] and presently he enquired of her what might be the amount of both. Replied she, "As for the pin-money, this shall be the annual revenue of Ispahan, and the income of Khorasan-city shall form the settlement." So Ja'afar wagged his head and going back to the Commander of the Faithful repeated her terms; wherewith Harun was satisfied and bespake him, "Hie thee to her and say, 'He hath accepted this and thou hast professed thyself contented.'" Hearing his words she rejoined, "What be his worth, yonder man, and how may he attain unto such sum?" and he retorted, "Of a truth he is the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid." When this reply reached her ears she veiled her hands and feet crying, "To Allah be laud and gratitude;" adding to Ja'afar, "An he be the Prince of True Believers, I am satisfied therewith." Accordingly the Wazir returned to the Caliph and reported her consent, whereafter the twain repaired homewards and the Caliph despatched to her a duenna and a train of handmaidens who went and bore her to the Hammam within the palace and bathed her. Then they brought her out and robed her in sumptuous raiment, such as becometh the women of the Kings, and ornaments and jewellery and what not: after which they led her to a fine apartment which was set apart and private for her wherein also were meat and drink and furniture, arras[FN#97] and curtains and all necessaries of such sort. In fine they fared to the Caliph and apprized him of what they had done and he presently gave command to summon the four Kazis who wrote her marriage-lines. When it was night he paid her the first visit and taking seat opposite her he asked, "Daughter of whom mayst thou be amongst the folk that thou demandedst of me this dower?" "Allah advance in honour the Commander of the Faithful," answered she; "verily thy hand-maid is of the seed of Kisra Anushirwan; but the shifts of time and tide brought me down and low down." Replied he, "They relate that thine ancestor, the Chosroe, wronged his lieges with mighty sore wronging;"[FN#98] and she rejoined, "Wherefor and because of such tyranny over the folk hath his seed come to beg their bread at the highway-heads." Quoth he, "They also make mention of him that in after-times he did justice to such degree that he decided causes between birds and beasts;" and quoth she, "Wherefor hath Allah exalted his posterity from the highway-head and hath made them Harim to the Prince of True Believers." Hearing this the Caliph was wroth with mighty great wrath[FN#99] and sware that he would not go in unto her for full told year, and arising forthright went forth from her. But when the twelvemonth had passed and the fete-day of Arafat came round again, the Commander of the Faithful donned disguise and taking with him Ja'afar and Masrur the Eunuch, strolled out to wander about the streets of Baghdad and her highways. And as they walked along, the Caliph looked about him and beheld a booth wherein a man was turning out Katifah-cakes[FN#100] and he was pleased to admire his dexterity to such degree that, returning to the Palace, he sent him one of his Eunuchs with the message, "The Prince of True Believers requireth of thee an hundred pancakes, and let each one of them, when filled and folded, fit into the hollow of a man's hand." So the Castrato went and gave the order as we have related and paid the price and, when the pastrycook had made his requirement, he carried it away to the presence. Then the Caliph took seat and bade bring sugar and pistachios and all other such needs wherewith he fell to stuffing the pancakes with his own hands and placing in each and every a golden dinar. When this was done he despatched the same Eunuch to Kisra's daughter with the message, "This night the Commander of the Faithful proposeth to visit thee, the year of his oath having expired, and he sendeth to thee saying, 'What is it thy heart coveteth that he may forward it to thee?'" The Castrato set forth upon this errand and received for all reply, "Say him my heart desireth naught, for that all I require is with me nor is there aught of deficiency." Accordingly, he returned and repeated her words to the Caliph who bade him fare forth again to her and say the same to her a second time, whenas she, "Let him send me a thousand dinars and a duenna in whom he confideth, so that I may disguise myself and go down with her and distribute gold to the mean and the mesquin." Presently back came the slave bearing this reply, whereat the Caliph ordered the moneys be sent to her and the woman required; and the twain, Princess and duenna, went forth and threaded the lanes of Baghdad and her great thoroughfares whilst the young lady distributed her charity to the Fakirs and the paupers. But when all the gold with her had been expended and naught of it remained, they turned homewards making for the Palace; and, the day being sultry, drowthiness befel the young lady. So she said to her companion, "O mother mine, I am athirst and want a draught of water to drink;" and said the other, "We will call aloud to the Water-carrier[FN#101] who shall give thee thy need." Replied the Princess, "Drinking from the Waterman's jar will not be pleasant to my heart; nor will I touch it, for 'tis like the whore[FN#102] whereinto some man goeth every hour: let the draught of water be from a private house and suffer that it be given by way of kindness." Hereupon the old woman looked in front of her and saw a grand gateway with a door of sandal-wood over which a lamp hung by a silken cord[FN#103] and a curtain was drawn across it and it had two benches of marble, the whole under the charge of a goodly concierge. Then quoth she, "From this house I will ask a drink for thee." So the two women went forward and stood before the door and the duenna advancing rapped a light rap with the ring, when behold, the entrance was opened and came forth a young man in youthful favour fair and robed in raiments pure and rare and said, "'Tis well!" Hereat the governante addressed him, "O my son, indeed this my daughter is athirst and I crave of thy kindness that thou give her a draught of water, seeing that she will not drink from the Watercarrier." He replied, "With love and goodwill;" and going within brought out what was required and handed the cup to the old woman. She took it and passed it on to her mistress and the young lady turning her face to the wall raised her veil and drank her sufficiency without showing a single feature.[FN#104] After this she returned the cup to the old woman who took it and handed it back to the young man saying, "Allah requite thee with all of weal, O my son!" whereto he replied, "Health to you and healing!"[FN#105] And the two went their