THE BOOK OF THE THOUSAND NIGHTS AND A NIGHT A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights Entertainments
Translated and Annotated by Richard F. Burton
Inscribed to the Memory of My Lamented Friend John Frederick Steinhaeuser, (Civil Surgeon, Aden) who A Quarter of a Century Ago Assisted Me in this Translation.
"To the pure all things are pure" (Puris omnia pura) - Arab Proverb.
"Niuna corrotta mente intese mai sanamente parole." - "Decameron" - conclusion.
"Erubuit, posuitque meum Lucretia librum Sed coram Bruto. Brute! reced, leget. - Martial.
"Miculx est de ris que de larmes escripre, Pour ce que rire est le propre des hommes." - Rabelais.
"The pleasure we derive from perusing the Thousand and One Stories makes us regret that we possess only a comparatively small part of these truly enchanting fictions." - Crichton's "History of Arabia."
Contents of the First Volume
Introduction Story Of King Shahryar and His Brother a. Tale of the Bull and the Ass 1. Tale of the Trader and the Jinni a. The First Shaykh's Story b. The Second Shaykh's Story c. The Third Shaykh's Story 2. The Fisherman and the Jinni a. Tale of the Wazir and the Sage Duban ab. Story of King Sindibad and His Falcon ac. Tale of the Husband and the Parrot ad. Tale of the Prince and the Ogress b. Tale of the Ensorcelled Prince 3. The Porter and the Three Ladies of Baghdad a. The First Kalandar's Tale b. The Second Kalandar's Tale ba. Tale of the Envier and the Envied c. The Third Kalandar's Tale d. The Eldest Lady's Tale e. Tale of the Portress Conclusion of the Story of the Porter and the Three Ladies 4. Tale of the Three Apples 5. Tale of Nur Al-din Ali and his Son 6. The Hunchback's Tale a. The Nazarene Broker's Story b. The Reeve's Tale c. Tale of the Jewish Doctor d. Tale of the Tailor e. The Barber's Tale of Himself ea. The Barber's Tale of his First Brother eb. The Barber's Tale of his Second Brother ec. The Barber's Tale of his Third Brother ed. The Barber's Tale of his Fourth Brother ee. The Barber's Tale of his Fifth Brother ef. The Barber's Tale of his Sixth Brother The End of the Tailor's Tale
The Translator's Foreword.
This work, labourious as it may appear, has been to me a labour of love, an unfailing source of solace and satisfaction. During my long years of official banishment to the luxuriant and deadly deserts of Western Africa, and to the dull and dreary half clearings of South America, it proved itself a charm, a talisman against ennui and despondency. Impossible even to open the pages without a vision starting into view; with out drawing a picture from the pinacothek of the brain; without reviving a host of memories and reminiscences which are not the common property of travellers, however widely they may have travelled. From my dull and commonplace and "respectable" surroundings, the Jinn bore me at once to the land of my pre-direction, Arabia, a region so familiar to my mind that even at first sight, it seemed a reminiscence of some by gone metem-psychic life in the distant Past. Again I stood under the diaphanous skies, in air glorious as aether, whose every breath raises men's spirits like sparkling wine. Once more I saw the evening star hanging like a solitaire from the pure front of the western firmament; and the after glow transfiguring and transforming, as by magic, the homely and rugged features of the scene into a fairy land lit with a light which never shines on other soils or seas. Then would appear the woollen tents, low and black, of the true Badawin, mere dots in the boundless waste of lion tawny clays and gazelle brown gravels, and the camp fire dotting like a glow worm the village centre. Presently, sweetened by distance, would be heard the wild weird song of lads and lasses, driving or rather pelting, through the gloaming their sheep and goats; and the measured chant of the spearsmen gravely stalking behind their charge, the camels; mingled with bleating of the flocks and the bellowing of the humpy herds; while the reremouse flitted overhead with his tiny shriek, and the rave of the jackal resounded through deepening glooms, and—most musical of music—the palm trees answered the whispers of the night breeze with the softest tones of falling water.
And then a shift of scene. The Shaykhs and "white beards" of the tribe gravely take their places, sitting with outspread skirts like hillocks on the plain, as the Arabs say, around the camp fire, whilst I reward their hospitality and secure its continuance by reading or reciting a few pages of their favourite tales. The women and children stand motionless as silhouettes outside the ring; and all are breathless with attention; they seem to drink in the words with eyes and mouths as well as with ears. The most fantastic flights of fancy, the wildest improbabilities, the most impossible of impossibilities, appear to them utterly natural, mere matters of every day occurrence. They enter thoroughly into each phase of feeling touched upon by the author: they take a personal pride in the chivalrous nature and knightly prowess of Taj al-Muluk; they are touched with tenderness by the self sacrificing love of Azizah; their mouths water as they hear of heaps of untold gold given away in largesse like clay; they chuckle with delight every time a Kazi or a Fakir—a judge or a reverend—is scurvily entreated by some Pantagruelist of the Wilderness; and, despite their normal solemnity and impassibility, all roar with laughter, sometimes rolling upon the ground till the reader's gravity is sorely tried, at the tales of the garrulous Barber and of Ali and the Kurdish Sharper. To this magnetising mood the sole exception is when a Badawi of superior accomplishments, who sometimes says his prayers, ejaculates a startling "Astagh-faru'llah"—I pray Allah's pardon!—for listening, not to Carlyle's "downright lies," but to light mention of the sex whose name is never heard amongst the nobility of the Desert.
Nor was it only in Arabia that the immortal Nights did me such notable service: I found the wildlings of Somali land equally amenable to its discipline; no one was deaf to the charm and the two women cooks of my caravan, on its way to Harar, were in continently dubbed by my men "Shahrazad" and "Dinazad."
It may be permitted me also to note that this translation is a natural outcome of my Pilgrimage to Al-Medinah and Meccah. Arriving at Aden in the (so called) winter of 1852, I put up with my old and dear friend, Steinhaeuser, to whose memory this volume is inscribed; and, when talking over Arabia and the Arabs, we at once came to the same conclusion that, while the name of this wondrous treasury of Moslem folk lore is familiar to almost every English child, no general reader is aware of the valuables it contains, nor indeed will the door open to any but Arabists. Before parting we agreed to "collaborate" and produce a full, complete, unvarnished, uncastrated copy of the great original, my friend taking the prose and I the metrical part; and we corresponded upon the subject for years. But whilst I was in the Brazil, Steinhaeuser died suddenly of apoplexy at Berne in Switzerland and, after the fashion of Anglo India, his valuable MSS. left at Aden were dispersed, and very little of his labours came into my hands.
Thus I was left alone to my work, which progressed fitfully amid a host of obstructions. At length, in the spring of 1879, the tedious process of copying began and the book commenced to take finished form. But, during the winter of 1881-82, I saw in the literary journals a notice of a new version by Mr. John Payne, well known to scholars for his prowess in English verse, especially for his translation of "The Poems of Master Francis Villon, of Paris." Being then engaged on an expedition to the Gold Coast (for gold), which seemed likely to cover some months, I wrote to the "Athenaeum" (Nov. 13, 1881) and to Mr. Payne, who was wholly unconscious that we were engaged on the same work, and freely offered him precedence and possession of the field till no longer wanted. He accepted my offer as frankly, and his priority entailed another delay lasting till the spring of 1885. These details will partly account for the lateness of my appearing, but there is yet another cause. Professional ambition suggested that literary labours, unpopular with the vulgar and the half educated, are not likely to help a man up the ladder of promotion. But common sense presently suggested to me that, professionally speaking, I was not a success, and, at the same time, that I had no cause to be ashamed of my failure. In our day, when we live under a despotism of the lower "middle class" Philister who can pardon anything but superiority, the prizes of competitive services are monopolized by certain "pets" of the Mediocratie, and prime favourites of that jealous and potent majority—the Mediocnties who know "no nonsense about merit." It is hard for an outsider to realise how perfect is the monopoly of common place, and to comprehend how fatal a stumbling stone that man sets in the way of his own advancement who dares to think for himself, or who knows more or who does more than the mob of gentlemen employee who know very little and who do even less.
Yet, however behindhand I may be, there is still ample room and verge for an English version of the "Arabian Nights' Entertainments."
Our century of translations, popular and vernacular, from (Professor Antoine) Galland's delightful abbreviation and adaptation (A.D. 1704), in no wise represent the eastern original. The best and latest, the Rev. Mr. Foster's, which is diffuse and verbose, and Mr. G. Moir Bussey's, which is a re- correction, abound in gallicisms of style and idiom; and one and all degrade a chef d'oeuvre of the highest anthropological and ethnographical interest and importance to a mere fairy book, a nice present for little boys.
After nearly a century had elapsed, Dr. Jonathan Scott (LL.D. H.E.I.C.'s S., Persian Secretary to the G. G. Bengal; Oriental Professor, etc., etc.), printed his "Tales, Anecdotes, and Letters, translated from the Arabic and Persian," (Cadell and Davies, London, A.D. 1800); and followed in 1811 with an edition of "The Arabian Nights' Entertainments" from the MS. of Edward Wortley Montague (in 6 vols., small 8vo, London: Longmans, etc.). This work he (and he only) describes as "Carefully revised and occasionally corrected from the Arabic." The reading public did not wholly reject it, sundry texts were founded upon the Scott version and it has been imperfectly reprinted (4 vole., 8vo, Nimmo and Bain, London, 1883). But most men, little recking what a small portion of the original they were reading, satisfied themselves with the Anglo French epitome and metaphrase. At length in 1838, Mr. Henry Torrens, B.A., Irishman, lawyer ("of the Inner Temple") and Bengal Civilian, took a step in the right direction; and began to translate, "The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night," (1 vol., 8vo, Calcutta: W. Thacker and Co.) from the Arabic of the AEgyptian (!) MS. edited by Mr. (afterwards Sir)William H. Macnaghten. The attempt, or rather the intention, was highly creditable; the copy was carefully moulded upon the model and offered the best example of the verbatim et literatim style. But the plucky author knew little of Arabic, and least of what is most wanted, the dialect of Egypt and Syria. His prose is so conscientious as to offer up spirit at the shrine of letter; and his verse, always whimsical, has at times a manner of Hibernian whoop which is comical when it should be pathetic. Lastly he printed only one volume of a series which completed would have contained nine or ten.
That amiable and devoted Arabist, the late Edward William Lane does not score a success in his "New Translation of the Tales of a Thousand and One Nights" (London: Charles Knight and Co., MDCCCXXXIX.) of which there have been four English editions, besides American, two edited by E. S. Poole. He chose the abbreviating Bulak Edition; and, of its two hundred tales, he has omitted about half and by far the more characteristic half: the work was intended for "the drawing room table;" and, consequently, the workman was compelled to avoid the "objectionable" and aught "approaching to licentiousness." He converts the Arabian Nights into the Arabian Chapters, arbitrarily changing the division and, worse still, he converts some chapters into notes. He renders poetry by prose and apologises for not omitting it altogether: he neglects assonance and he is at once too Oriental and not Oriental enough. He had small store of Arabic at the time—Lane of the Nights is not Lane of the Dictionary—and his pages are disfigured by many childish mistakes. Worst of all, the three handsome volumes are rendered unreadable as Sale's Koran by their anglicised Latin, their sesquipedalian un English words, and the stiff and stilted style of half a century ago when our prose was, perhaps, the worst in Europe. Their cargo of Moslem learning was most valuable to the student, but utterly out of place for readers of "The Nights;" re-published, as these notes have been separately (London, Chatto, I883), they are an ethnological text book.
Mr. John Payne has printed, for the Villon Society and for private circulation only, the first and sole complete translation of the great compendium, "comprising about four times as much matter as that of Galland, and three times as much as that of any other translator;" and I cannot but feel proud that he has honoured me with the dedication of "The Book of The Thousand Nights and One Night." His version is most readable: his English, with a sub-flavour of the Mabinogionic archaicism, is admirable; and his style gives life and light to the nine volumes whose matter is frequently heavy enough. He succeeds admirably in the most difficult passages and he often hits upon choice and special terms and the exact vernacular equivalent of the foreign word, so happily and so picturesquely that all future translators must perforce use the same expression under pain of falling far short. But the learned and versatile author bound himself to issue only five hundred copies, and "not to reproduce the work in its complete and uncastrated form." Consequently his excellent version is caviaire to the general—practically unprocurable.
And here I hasten to confess that ample use has been made of the three versions above noted, the whole being blended by a callida junctura into a homogeneous mass. But in the presence of so many predecessors a writer is bound to show some raison d'etre for making a fresh attempt and this I proceed to do with due reserve.
Briefly, the object of this version is to show what "The Thousand Nights and a Night" really is. Not, however, for reasons to be more fully stated in the Terminal Essay, by straining verbum reddere verbo, but by writing as the Arab would have written in English. On this point I am all with Saint Jerome (Pref. in Jobum) "Vel verbum e verbo, vel sensum e sensu, vel ex utroque commixtum, et medic temperatum genus translationis." My work claims to be a faithful copy of the great Eastern Saga book, by preserving intact, not only the spirit, but even the mecanique, the manner and the matter. Hence, however prosy and long drawn out be the formula, it retains the scheme of The Nights because they are a prime feature in the original. The Rawi or reciter, to whose wits the task of supplying details is left, well knows their value: the openings carefully repeat the names of the dramatic personae and thus fix them in the hearer's memory. Without the Nights no Arabian Nights! Moreover it is necessary to retain the whole apparatus: nothing more ill advised than Dr. Jonathan Scott's strange device of garnishing The Nights with fancy head pieces and tail pieces or the splitting up of Galland's narrative by merely prefixing "Nuit," etc., ending moreover, with the ccxxxivth Night: yet this has been done, apparently with the consent of the great Arabist Sylvestre de Sacy (Paris, Ernest Bourdin). Moreover, holding that the translator's glory is to add something to his native tongue, while avoiding the hideous hag like nakedness of Torrens and the bald literalism of Lane, I have carefully Englished the picturesque turns and novel expressions of the original in all their outlandishness; for instance, when the dust cloud raised by a tramping host is described as "walling the horizon." Hence peculiar attention has been paid to the tropes and figures which the Arabic language often packs into a single term; and I have never hesitated to coin a word when wanted, such as "she snorted and sparked," fully to represent the original. These, like many in Rabelais, are mere barbarisms unless generally adopted; in which case they become civilised and common currency.
Despite objections manifold and manifest, I have preserved the balance of sentences and the prose rhyme and rhythm which Easterns look upon as mere music. This "Saj'a," or cadence of the cooing dove, has in Arabic its special duties. It adds a sparkle to description and a point to proverb, epigram and dialogue; it corresponds with our "artful alliteration" (which in places I have substituted for it) and, generally, it defines the boundaries between the classical and the popular styles which jostle each other in The Nights. If at times it appear strained and forced, after the wont of rhymed prose, the scholar will observe that, despite the immense copiousness of assonants and consonants in Arabic, the strain is often put upon it intentionally, like the Rims cars of Dante and the Troubadours. This rhymed prose may be "un English" and unpleasant, even irritating to the British ear; still I look upon it as a sine qua non for a complete reproduction of the original. In the Terminal Essay I shall revert to the subject.
On the other hand when treating the versical portion, which may represent a total of ten thousand lines, I have not always bound myself by the metrical bonds of the Arabic, which are artificial in the extreme, and which in English can be made bearable only by a tour de force. I allude especially to the monorhyme, Rim continuat or tirade monorime, whose monotonous simplicity was preferred by the Troubadours for threnodies. It may serve well for three or four couplets but, when it extends, as in the Ghazal-cannon, to eighteen, and in the Kasidah, elegy or ode, to more, it must either satisfy itself with banal rhyme words, when the assonants should as a rule be expressive and emphatic; or, it must display an ingenuity, a smell of the oil, which assuredly does not add to the reader's pleasure. It can perhaps be done and it should be done; but for me the task has no attractions: I can fence better in shoes than in sabots. Finally I print the couplets in Arab form separating the hemistichs by asterisks.
And now to consider one matter of special importance in the book- -its turpiloquium. This stumbling-block is of two kinds, completely distinct. One is the simple, naive and child like indecency which, from Tangiers to Japan, occurs throughout general conversation of high and low in the present day. It uses, like the holy books of the Hebrews, expressions "plainly descriptive of natural situations;" and it treats in an unconventionally free and naked manner of subjects and matters which are usually, by common consent, left undescribed. As Sir William Jones observed long ago, "that anything natural can be offensively obscene never seems to have occurred to the Indians or to their legislators; a singularity (?) pervading their writings and conversation, but no proof of moral depravity." Another justly observes, Les peuples primitifs n'y entendent pas malice: ils appellent les choses par leurs noms et ne trouvent pas condamnable ce qui est naturel. And they are prying as children. For instance the European novelist marries off his hero and heroine and leaves them to consummate marriage in privacy; even Tom Jones has the decency to bolt the door. But the Eastern story teller, especially this unknown "prose Shakespeare," must usher you, with a flourish, into the bridal chamber and narrate to you, with infinite gusto, everything he sees and hears. Again we must remember that grossness and indecency, in fact les turpitudes, are matters of time and place; what is offensive in England is not so in Egypt; what scandalises us now would have been a tame joke tempore Elisoe. Withal The Nights will not be found in this matter coarser than many passages of Shakespeare, Sterne, and Swift, and their uncleanness rarely attains the perfection of Alcofribas Naiser, "divin maitre et atroce cochon." The other element is absolute obscenity, sometimes, but not always, tempered by wit, humour and drollery; here we have an exaggeration of Petronius Arbiter, the handiwork of writers whose ancestry, the most religious and the most debauched of mankind, practised every abomination before the shrine of the Canopic Gods.
In accordance with my purpose of reproducing the Nights, not virginibus puerisque, but in as perfect a picture as my powers permit, I have carefully sought out the English equivalent of every Arabic word, however low it may be or "shocking" to ears polite; preserving, on the other hand, all possible delicacy where the indecency is not intentional; and, as a friend advises me to state, not exaggerating the vulgarities and the indecencies which, indeed, can hardly be exaggerated. For the coarseness and crassness are but the shades of a picture which would otherwise be all lights. The general tone of The Nights is exceptionally high and pure. The devotional fervour often rises to the boiling point of fanaticism. The pathos is sweet, deep and genuine; tender, simple and true, utterly unlike much of our modern tinsel. Its life, strong, splendid and multitudinous, is everywhere flavoured with that unaffected pessimism and constitutional melancholy which strike deepest root under the brightest skies and which sigh in the face of heaven: —
Vita quid est hominis? Viridis floriscula mortis; Sole Oriente oriens, sole cadente cadens.
Poetical justice is administered by the literary Kazi with exemplary impartiality and severity; "denouncing evil doers and eulogising deeds admirably achieved." The morale is sound and healthy; and at times we descry, through the voluptuous and libertine picture, vistas of a transcendental morality, the morality of Socrates in Plato. Subtle corruption and covert licentiousness are utterly absent; we find more real"vice" in many a short French roman, say La Dame aux Camelias, and in not a few English novels of our day than in the thousands of pages of the Arab. Here we have nothing of that most immodest modern modesty which sees covert implication where nothing is implied, and "improper" allusion when propriety is not outraged; nor do we meet with the Nineteenth Century refinement; innocence of the word not of the thought; morality of the tongue not of the heart, and the sincere homage paid to virtue in guise of perfect hypocrisy. It is, indeed, this unique contrast of a quaint element, childish crudities and nursery indecencies and "vain and amatorious" phrase jostling the finest and highest views of life and character, shown in the kaleidoscopic shiftings of the marvellous picture with many a "rich truth in a tale's presence", pointed by a rough dry humour which compares well with "wut; "the alternations of strength and weakness, of pathos and bathos, of the boldest poetry (the diction of Job) and the baldest prose (the Egyptian of today); the contact of religion and morality with the orgies of African Apuleius and Petronius Arbiter—at times taking away the reader's breath—and, finally, the whole dominated everywhere by that marvellous Oriental fancy, wherein the spiritual and the supernatural are as common as the material and the natural; it is this contrast, I say, which forms the chiefest charm of The Nights, which gives it the most striking originality and which makes it a perfect expositor of the medieval Moslem mind.
Explanatory notes did not enter into Mr. Payne's plan. They do with mine: I can hardly imagine The Nights being read to any profit by men of the West without commentary. My annotations avoid only one subject, parallels of European folklore and fabliaux which, however interesting, would overswell the bulk of a book whose speciality is anthropology. The accidents of my life, it may be said without undue presumption, my long dealings with Arabs and other Mahommedans, and my familiarity not only with their idiom but with their turn of thought, and with that racial individuality which baffles description, have given me certain advantages over the average student, however deeply he may have studied. These volumes, moreover, afford me a long sought opportunity of noticing practices and customs which interest all mankind and which "Society" will not hear mentioned. Grate, the historian, and Thackeray, the novelist, both lamented that the begueulerie of their countrymen condemned them to keep silence where publicity was required; and that they could not even claim the partial licence of a Fielding and a Smollett. Hence a score of years ago I lent my best help to the late Dr. James Hunt in founding the Anthropological Society, whose presidential chair I first occupied (pp. 2-4 Anthropologia; London, Balliere, vol. i., No. I, 1873). My motive was to supply travellers with an organ which would rescue their observations from the outer darkness of manuscript, and print their curious information on social and sexual matters out of place in the popular book intended for the Nipptisch and indeed better kept from public view. But, hardly had we begun when "Respectability," that whited sepulchre full of all uncleanness, rose up against us. "Propriety" cried us down with her brazen blatant voice, and the weak kneed brethren fell away. Yet the organ was much wanted and is wanted still. All now known barbarous tribes in Inner Africa, America and Australia, whose instincts have not been overlaid by reason, have a ceremony which they call "making men." As soon as the boy shows proofs of puberty, he and his coevals are taken in hand by the mediciner and the Fetisheer; and, under priestly tuition, they spend months in the "bush," enduring hardships and tortures which impress the memory till they have mastered the "theorick and practick" of social and sexual relations. Amongst the civilised this fruit of the knowledge tree must be bought at the price of the bitterest experience, and the consequences of ignorance are peculiarly cruel. Here, then, I find at last an opportunity of noticing in explanatory notes many details of the text which would escape the reader's observation, and I am confident that they will form a repertory of Eastern knowledge in its esoteric phase. The student who adds the notes of Lane ("Arabian Society," etc., before quoted) to mine will know as much of the Moslem East and more than many Europeans who have spent half their lives in Orient lands. For facility of reference an index of anthropological notes is appended to each volume.
The reader will kindly bear with the following technical details. Steinhaeuser and I began and ended our work with the first Bulak ("Bul.") Edition printed at the port of Cairo in A.H. 1251 = A.D. 1835. But when preparing my MSS. for print I found the text incomplete, many of the stories being given in epitome and not a few ruthlessly mutilated with head or feet wanting. Like most Eastern scribes the Editor could not refrain from "improvements," which only debased the book; and his sole title to excuse is that the second Bulak Edition (4 vols. A.H. 1279 = A.D. 1863), despite its being "revised and corrected by Sheik Mahommed Qotch Al- Adewi," is even worse; and the same may be said of the Cairo Edit. (4 vols. A.H. 1297 = A. D. 1881). The Calcutta ("Calc.") Edition, with ten lines of Persian preface by the Editor, Ahmed al-Shirwani (A.D. 1814), was cut short at the end of the first two hundred Nights, and thus made room for Sir William Hay Macnaghten's Edition (4 vols. royal 4to) of 1839-42. This ("Mac."), as by far the least corrupt and the most complete, has been assumed for my basis with occasional reference to the Breslau Edition ("Bres.") wretchedly edited from a hideous Egyptian MS. by Dr. Maximilian Habicht (1825-43). The Bayrut Text "Alif-Leila we Leila" (4 vols. at. 8vo, Beirut, 1881-83) is a melancholy specimen of The Nights taken entirely from the Bulak Edition by one Khalil Sarkis and converted to Christianity; beginning without Bismillah, continued with scrupulous castration and ending in ennui and disappointment. I have not used this missionary production.
As regards the transliteration of Arabic words I deliberately reject the artful and complicated system, ugly and clumsy withal, affected by scientific modern Orientalists. Nor is my sympathy with their prime object, namely to fit the Roman alphabet for supplanting all others. Those who learn languages, and many do so, by the eye as well as by the ear, well know the advantages of a special character to distinguish, for instance, Syriac from Arabic, Gujrati from Marathi. Again this Roman hand bewitched may have its use in purely scientific and literary works; but it would be wholly out of place in one whose purpose is that of the novel, to amuse rather than to instruct. Moreover the devices perplex the simple and teach nothing to the learned. Either the reader knows Arabic, in which case Greek letters, italics and "upper case," diacritical points and similar typographic oddities are, as a rule with some exceptions, unnecessary; or he does not know Arabic, when none of these expedients will be of the least use to him. Indeed it is a matter of secondary consideration what system we prefer, provided that we mostly adhere to one and the same, for the sake of a consistency which saves confusion to the reader. I have especially avoided that of Mr. Lane, adopted by Mr. Payne, for special reasons against which it was vain to protest: it represents the debased brogue of Egypt or rather of Cairo; and such a word as Kemer (ez-Zeman) would be utterly un- pronounceable to a Badawi. Nor have I followed the practice of my learned friend, Reverend G. P. Badger, in mixing bars and acute accents; the former unpleasantly remind man of those hateful dactyls and spondees, and the latter should, in my humble opinion, be applied to long vowels which in Arabic double, or should double, the length of the shorts. Dr. Badger uses the acute symbol to denote accent or stress of voice; but such appoggio is unknown to those who speak with purest articulation; for instance whilst the European pronounces Mus-cat', and the Arab villager Mas'-kat; the Children of the Waste, "on whose tongues Allah descended," articulate Mas-kat. I have therefore followed the simple system adopted in my "Pilgrimage," and have accented Arabic words only when first used, thinking it unnecessary to preserve throughout what is an eyesore to the reader and a distress to the printer. In the main I follow "Johnson on Richardson," a work known to every Anglo-Orientalist as the old and trusty companion of his studies early and late; but even here I have made sundry deviations for reasons which will be explained in the Terminal Essay. As words are the embodiment of ideas and writing is of words, so the word is the spoken word; and we should write it as pronounced. Strictly speaking, the e-sound and the o-sound (viz. the Italian o-sound not the English which is peculiar to us and unknown to any other tongue) are not found in Arabic, except when the figure Imalah obliges: hence they are called "Ya al-Majhul" and "Waw al-Majhul" the unknown y (i) and u. But in all tongues vowel-sounds, the flesh which clothes the bones (consonants) of language, are affected by the consonants which precede and more especially which follow them, hardening and softening the articulation; and deeper sounds accompany certain letters as the sad ( ) compared with the sin ( ). None save a defective ear would hold, as Lane does, "Maulid" ( = birth-festival) "more properly pronounced 'Molid.'" Yet I prefer Khokh (peach) and Jokh (broad cloth) to Khukh and Jukh; Ohod (mount) to Uhud; Obayd (a little slave) to Ubayd; and Hosayn (a fortlet, not the P. N. Al-Husayn) to Husayn. As for the short e in such words as "Memluk" for "Mamluk" (a white slave), "Eshe" for "Asha" (supper), and "Yemen" for "Al- Yaman," I consider it a flat Egyptianism, insufferable to an ear which admires the Badawi pronunciation. Yet I prefer "Shelebi" (a dandy) from the Turkish Chelebi, to "Shalabi;" "Zebdani" (the Syrian village) to "Zabdani," and "Fes and Miknes" (by the figure Imalah) to "Fas and Miknas,", our "Fez and Mequinez."
With respect to proper names and untranslated Arabic words I have rejected all system in favour of common sense. When a term is incorporated in our tongue, I refuse to follow the purist and mortify the reader by startling innovation. For instance, Aleppo, Cairo and Bassorah are preferred to Halab, Kahirah and Al-Basrah; when a word is half naturalised, like Alcoran or Koran, Bashaw or Pasha, which the French write Pacha; and Mahomet or Mohammed (for Muhammad), the modern form is adopted because the more familiar. But I see no advantage in retaining,, simply because they are the mistakes of a past generation, such words as "Roc" (for Rikh),), Khalif (a pretentious blunder for Kalifah and better written Caliph) and "genie" ( = Jinn) a mere Gallic corruption not so terrible, however, as "a Bedouin" ( = Badawi).). As little too would I follow Mr. Lane in foisting upon the public such Arabisms as "Khuff" (a riding boot), "Mikra'ah" (a palm rod) and a host of others for which we have good English equivalents. On the other hand I would use, but use sparingly, certain Arabic exclamations, as "Bismillah" ( = in the name of Allah!) and "Inshallah" ( = if Allah please!), (= which have special applications and which have been made familiar to English ears by the genius of Fraser and Morier.
I here end these desultory but necessary details to address the reader in a few final words. He will not think lightly of my work when I repeat to him that with the aid of my annotations supplementing Lane's, the student will readily and pleasantly learn more of the Moslem's manners and customs, laws and religion than is known to the average Orientalist; and, if my labours induce him to attack the text of The Nights he will become master of much more Arabic than the ordinary Arab owns. This book is indeed a legacy which I bequeath to my fellow countrymen in their hour of need. Over devotion to Hindu, and especially to Sanskrit literature, has led them astray from those (so called) "Semitic" studies, which are the more requisite for us as they teach us to deal successfully with a race more powerful than any pagans—the Moslem. Apparently England is ever forgetting that she is at present the greatest Mohammedan empire in the world. Of late years she has systematically neglected Arabism and, indeed, actively discouraged it in examinations for the Indian Civil Service, where it is incomparably more valuable than Greek and Latin. Hence, when suddenly compelled to assume the reins of government in Moslem lands, as Afghanistan in times past and Egypt at present, she fails after a fashion which scandalises her few (very few) friends; and her crass ignorance concerning the Oriental peoples which should most interest her, exposes her to the contempt of Europe as well as of the Eastern world. When the regrettable raids of 1883-84, culminating in the miserable affairs of Tokar, Teb and Tamasi, were made upon the gallant Sudani negroids, the Bisharin outlying Sawakin, who were battling for the holy cause of liberty and religion and for escape from Turkish task-masters and Egyptian tax-gatherers, not an English official in camp, after the death of the gallant and lamented Major Morice, was capable of speaking Arabic. Now Moslems are not to be ruled by raw youths who should be at school and college instead of holding positions of trust and emolument. He who would deal with them successfully must be, firstly, honest and truthful and, secondly, familiar with and favourably inclined to their manners and customs if not to their law and religion. We may, perhaps, find it hard to restore to England those pristine virtues, that tone and temper, which made her what she is; but at any rate we (myself and a host of others) can offer her the means of dispelling her ignorance concerning the Eastern races with whom she is continually in contact.
In conclusion I must not forget to notice that the Arabic ornamentations of these volumes were designed by my excellent friend Yacoub Artin Pasha, of the Ministry of Instruction, Cairo, with the aid of the well-known writing artist, Shayth Mohammed Muunis the Cairene. My name, Al-Hajj Abdullah ( = the Pilgrim Abdallah) was written by an English calligrapher, the lamented Professor Palmer who found a premature death almost within sight of Suez.
RICHARD F. BURTON
Wanderers' Club, August 15, 1885.
The Book Of The THOUSAND NIGHTS AND A NIGHT
(ALF LAYLAH WA LAYLAH.)
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate!
PRAISE BE TO ALLAH * THE BENEFICENT KING * THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE * LORD OF THE THREE WORLDS * WHO SET UP THE FIRMAMENT WITHOUT PILLARS IN ITS STEAD * AND WHO STRETCHED OUT THE EARTH EVEN AS A BED * AND GRACE, AND PRAYER-BLESSlNG BE UPON OUR LORD MOHAMMED * LORD OF APOSTOLIC MEN * AND UPON HIS FAMILY AND COMPANION TRAIN * PRAYER AND BLESSINGS ENDURING AND GRACE WHICH UNTO THE DAY OF DOOM SHALL REMAIN * AMEN! * O THOU OF THE THREE WORLDS SOVEREIGN!
And afterwards. Verily the works and words of those gone before us have become instances and examples to men of our modern day, that folk may view what admonishing chances befel other folk and may therefrom take warning; and that they may peruse the annals of antique peoples and all that hath betided them, and be thereby ruled and restrained:—Praise, therefore, be to Him who hath made the histories of the Past an admonition unto the Present! Now of such instances are the tales called "A Thousand Nights and a Night," together with their far famed legends and wonders. Therein it is related (but Allah is All knowing of His hidden things and All ruling and All honoured and All giving and All gracious and All merciful [FN#1]) that, in tide of yore and in time long gone before, there was a King of the Kings of the Banu Sasan in the Islands of India and China, a Lord of armies and guards and servants and dependents.[FN#2] He left only two sons, one in the prime of manhood and the other yet a youth, while both were Knights and Braves, albeit the elder was a doughtier horseman than the younger. So he succeeded to the empire; when he ruled the land and forded it over his lieges with justice so exemplary that he was beloved by all the peoples of his capital and of his kingdom. His name was King Shahryar[FN#3], and he made his younger brother, Shah Zaman hight, King of Samarcand in Barbarian land. These two ceased not to abide in their several realms and the law was ever carried out in their dominions; and each ruled his own kingdom, with equity and fair dealing to his subjects, in extreme solace and enjoyment; and this condition continually endured for a score of years. But at the end of the twentieth twelvemonth the elder King yearned for a sight of his younger brother and felt that he must look upon him once more. So he took counsel with his Wazir[FN#4] about visiting him, but the Minister, finding the project unadvisable, recommended that a letter be written and a present be sent under his charge to the younger brother with an invitation to visit the elder. Having accepted this advice the King forthwith bade prepare handsome gifts, such as horses with saddles of gem encrusted gold; Mamelukes, or white slaves; beautiful handmaids, high breasted virgins, and splendid stuffs and costly. He then wrote a letter to Shah Zaman expressing his warm love and great wish to see him, ending with these words, "We therefore hope of the favour and affection of the beloved brother that he will condescend to bestir himself and turn his face us wards. Furthermore we have sent our Wazir to make all ordinance for the march, and our one and only desire is to see thee ere we die; but if thou delay or disappoint us we shall not survive the blow. Wherewith peace be upon thee!" Then King Shahryar, having sealed the missive and given it to the Wazir with the offerings aforementioned, commanded him to shorten his skirts and strain his strength and make all expedition in going and returning. "Harkening and obedience!" quoth the Minister, who fell to making ready without stay and packed up his loads and prepared all his requisites without delay. This occupied him three days, and on the dawn of the fourth he took leave of his King and marched right away, over desert and hill' way, stony waste and pleasant lea without halting by night or by day. But whenever he entered a realm whose ruler was subject to his Suzerain, where he was greeted with magnificent gifts of gold and silver and all manner of presents fair and rare, he would tarry there three days,[FN#5] the term of the guest rite; and, when he left on the fourth, he would be honourably escorted for a whole day's march. As soon as the Wazir drew near Shah Zaman's court in Samarcand he despatched to report his arrival one of his high officials, who presented himself before the King; and, kissing ground between his hands, delivered his message. Hereupon the King commanded sundry of his Grandees and Lords of his realm to fare forth and meet his brother's Wazir at the distance of a full day's journey; which they did, greeting him respectfully and wishing him all prosperity and forming an escort and a procession. When he entered the city he proceeded straightway to the palace, where he presented himself in the royal presence; and, after kissing ground and praying for the King's health and happiness and for victory over all his enemies, he informed him that his brother was yearning to see him, and prayed for the pleasure of a visit. He then delivered the letter which Shah Zaman took from his hand and read: it contained sundry hints and allusions which required thought; but, when the King had fully comprehended its import, he said, "I hear and I obey the commands of the beloved brother!" adding to the Wazir, "But we will not march till after the third day's hospitality." He appointed for the Minister fitting quarters of the palace; and, pitching tents for the troops, rationed them with whatever they might require of meat and drink and other necessaries. On the fourth day he made ready for wayfare and got together sumptuous presents befitting his elder brother's majesty, and stablished his chief Wazir viceroy of the land during his absence. Then he caused his tents and camels and mules to be brought forth and encamped, with their bales and loads, attend ants and guards, within sight of the city, in readiness to set out next morning for his brother's capital. But when the night was half spent he bethought him that he had forgotten in his palace somewhat which he should have brought with him, so he re turned privily and entered his apartments, where he found the Queen, his wife, asleep on his own carpet bed, embracing with both arms a black cook of loathsome aspect and foul with kitchen grease and grime. When he saw this the world waxed black before his sight and he said, "If such case happen while I am yet within sight of the city what will be the doings of this damned whore during my long absence at my brother's court?" So he drew his scymitar and, cutting the two in four pieces with a single blow, left them on the carpet and returned presently to his camp without letting anyone know of what had happened. Then he gave orders for immediate departure and set out at once and began his travel; but he could not help thinking over his wife's treason and he kept ever saying to himself, "How could she do this deed by me? How could she work her own death?," till excessive grief seized him, his colour changed to yellow, his body waxed weak and he was threatened with a dangerous malady, such an one as bringeth men to die. So the Wazir shortened his stages and tarried long at the watering stations and did his best to solace the King. Now when Shah Zaman drew near the capital of his brother he despatched vaunt couriers and messengers of glad tidings to announce his arrival, and Shahryar came forth to meet him with his Wazirs and Emirs and Lords and Grandees of his realm; and saluted him and joyed with exceeding joy and caused the city to be decorated in his honour. When, however, the brothers met, the elder could not but see the change of complexion in the younger and questioned him of his case whereto he replied, "Tis caused by the travails of wayfare and my case needs care, for I have suffered from the change of water and air! but Allah be praised for reuniting me with a brother so dear and so rare!" On this wise he dissembled and kept his secret, adding, "O King of the time and Caliph of the tide, only toil and moil have tinged my face yellow with bile and hath made my eyes sink deep in my head." Then the two entered the capital in all honour; and the elder brother lodged the younger in a palace overhanging the pleasure garden; and, after a time, seeing his condition still unchanged, he attributed it to his separation from his country and kingdom. So he let him wend his own ways and asked no questions of him till one day when he again said, "O my brother, I see thou art grown weaker of body and yellower of colour." "O my brother," replied Shah Zaman "I have an internal wound:"[FN#6] still he would not tell him what he had witnessed in his wife. Thereupon Shahryar summoned doctors and surgeons and bade them treat his brother according to the rules of art, which they did for a whole month; but their sherbets and potions naught availed, for he would dwell upon the deed of his wife, and despondency, instead of diminishing, prevailed, and leach craft treatment utterly failed. One day his elder brother said to him, "I am going forth to hunt and course and to take my pleasure and pastime; maybe this would lighten thy heart." Shah Zaman, however, refused, saying, "O my brother, my soul yearneth for naught of this sort and I entreat thy favour to suffer me tarry quietly in this place, being wholly taken up with my malady." So King Shah Zaman passed his night in the palace and, next morning, when his brother had fared forth, he removed from his room and sat him down at one of the lattice windows overlooking the pleasure grounds; and there he abode thinking with saddest thought over his wife's betrayal and burning sighs issued from his tortured breast. And as he continued in this case lo! a pastern of the palace, which was carefully kept private, swung open and out of it came twenty slave girls surrounding his bother's wife who was wondrous fair, a model of beauty and comeliness and symmetry and perfect loveliness and who paced with the grace of a gazelle which panteth for the cooling stream. Thereupon Shah Zaman drew back from the window, but he kept the bevy in sight espying them from a place whence he could not be espied. They walked under the very lattice and advanced a little way into the garden till they came to a jetting fountain amiddlemost a great basin of water; then they stripped off their clothes and behold, ten of them were women, concubines of the King, and the other ten were white slaves. Then they all paired off, each with each: but the Queen, who was left alone, presently cried out in a loud voice, "Here to me, O my lord Saeed!" and then sprang with a drop leap from one of the trees a big slobbering blackamoor with rolling eyes which showed the whites, a truly hideous sight.[FN#7] He walked boldly up to her and threw his arms round her neck while she embraced him as warmly; then he bussed her and winding his legs round hers, as a button loop clasps a button, he threw her and enjoyed her. On like wise did the other slaves with the girls till all had satisfied their passions, and they ceased not from kissing and clipping, coupling and carousing till day began to wane; when the Mamelukes rose from the damsels' bosoms and the blackamoor slave dismounted from the Queen's breast; the men resumed their disguises and all, except the negro who swarmed up the tree, entered the palace and closed the postern door as before. Now, when Shah Zaman saw this conduct of his sister in law he said in himself, "By Allah, my calamity is lighter than this! My brother is a greater King among the kings than I am, yet this infamy goeth on in his very palace, and his wife is in love with that filthiest of filthy slaves. But this only showeth that they all do it[FN#8] and that there is no woman but who cuckoldeth her husband, then the curse of Allah upon one and all and upon the fools who lean against them for support or who place the reins of conduct in their hands." So he put away his melancholy and despondency, regret and repine, and allayed his sorrow by constantly repeating those words, adding, " 'Tis my conviction that no man in this world is safe from their malice!" When supper time came they brought him the trays and he ate with voracious appetite, for he had long refrained from meat, feeling unable to touch any dish however dainty. Then he returned grateful thanks to Almighty Allah, praising Him and blessing Him, and he spent a most restful night, it having been long since he had savoured the sweet food of sleep. Next day he broke his fast heartily and began to recover health and strength, and presently regained excellent condition. His brother came back from the chase ten days after, when he rode out to meet him and they saluted each other; and when King Shahryar looked at King Shah Zaman he saw how the hue of health had returned to him, how his face had waxed ruddy and how he ate with an appetite after his late scanty diet. He wondered much and said, "O my brother, I was so anxious that thou wouldst join me in hunting and chasing, and wouldst take thy pleasure and pastime in my dominion!" He thanked him and excused himself; then the two took horse and rode into the city and, when they were seated at their ease in the palace, the food trays were set before them and they ate their sufficiency. After the meats were removed and they had washed their hands, King Shahryar turned to his brother and said, "My mind is overcome with wonderment at thy condition. I was desirous to carry thee with me to the chase but I saw thee changed in hue, pale and wan to view, and in sore trouble of mind too. But now Alham-dolillah—glory be to God!—I see thy natural colour hath returned to thy face and that thou art again in the best of case. It was my belief that thy sickness came of severance from thy family and friends, and absence from capital and country, so I refrained from troubling thee with further questions. But now I beseech thee to expound to me the cause of thy complaint and thy change of colour, and to explain the reason of thy recovery and the return to the ruddy hue of health which I am wont to view. So speak out and hide naught!" When Shah Zaman heard this he bowed groundwards awhile his head, then raised it and said, "I will tell thee what caused my complaint and my loss of colour; but excuse my acquainting thee with the cause of its return to me and the reason of my complete recovery: indeed I pray thee not to press me for a reply." Said Shahryar, who was much surprised by these words, "Let me hear first what produced thy pallor and thy poor condition." "Know, then, O my brother," rejoined Shah Zaman, "that when thou sentest thy Wazir with the invitation to place myself between thy hands, I made ready and marched out of my city; but presently I minded me having left behind me in the palace a string of jewels intended as a gift to thee. I returned for it alone and found my wife on my carpet bed and in the arms of a hideous black cook. So I slew the twain and came to thee, yet my thoughts brooded over this business and I lost my bloom and became weak. But excuse me if I still refuse to tell thee what was the reason of my complexion returning." Shahryar shook his head, marvelling with extreme marvel, and with the fire of wrath flaming up from his heart, he cried, "Indeed, the malice of woman is mighty!" Then he took refuge from them with Allah and said, "In very sooth, O my brother, thou hast escaped many an evil by putting thy wife to death,[FN#9] and right excusable were thy wrath and grief for such mishap which never yet befel crowned King like thee. By Allah, had the case been mine, I would not have been satisfied without slaying a thousand women and that way madness lies! But now praise be to Allah who hath tempered to thee thy tribulation, and needs must thou acquaint me with that which so suddenly restored to thee complexion and health, and explain to me what causeth this concealment." "O King of the Age, again I pray thee excuse my so doing!" "Nay, but thou must." "I fear, O my brother, lest the recital cause thee more anger and sorrow than afflicted me." "That were but a better reason," quoth Shahryar, "for telling me the whole history, and I conjure thee by Allah not to keep back aught from me." Thereupon Shah Zaman told him all he had seen, from commencement to con elusion, ending with these words, "When I beheld thy calamity and the treason of thy wife, O my brother, and I resected that thou art in years my senior and in sovereignty my superior, mine own sorrow was belittled by the comparison, and my mind recovered tone and temper: so throwing off melancholy and despondency, I was able to eat and drink and sleep, and thus I speedily regained health and strength. Such is the truth and the whole truth." When King Shahryar heard this he waxed wroth with exceeding wrath, and rage was like to strangle him; but presently he recovered himself and said, "O my brother, I would not give thee the lie in this matter, but I cannot credit it till I see it with mine own eyes." "An thou wouldst look upon thy calamity," quoth Shah Zaman, "rise at once and make ready again for hunting and coursing.[FN#10] and then hide thyself with me, so shalt thou witness it and thine eyes shall verify it." "True," quoth the King; whereupon he let make proclamation of his in tent to travel, and the troops and tents fared forth without the city, camping within sight, and Shahryar sallied out with them and took seat amidmost his host, bidding the slaves admit no man to him. When night came on he summoned his Wazir and said to him, "Sit thou in my stead and let none wot of my absence till the term of three days." Then the brothers disguised themselves and returned by night with all secrecy to the palace, where they passed the dark hours: and at dawn they seated themselves at the lattice overlooking the pleasure grounds, when presently the Queen and her handmaids came out as before, and passing under the windows made for the fountain. Here they stripped, ten of them being men to ten women, and the King's wife cried out, "Where art thou, O Saeed?" The hideous blackamoor dropped from the tree straightway; and, rushing into her arms without stay or delay, cried out, "I am Sa'ad al Din Saood!"[FN#11] The lady laughed heartily, and all fell to satisfying their lusts, and remained so occupied for a couple of hours, when the white slaves rose up from the handmaidens' breasts and the blackamoor dismounted from the Queen's bosom: then they went into the basin and, after performing the Ghusl, or complete ablution, donned their dresses and retired as they had done before. When King Shahryar saw this infamy of his wife and concubines he became as one distraught and he cried out, "Only in utter solitude can man be safe from the doings of this vile world! By Allah, life is naught but one great wrong." Presently he added, "Do not thwart me, O my brother, in what I propose;" and the other answered, "I will not." So he said, "Let us up as we are and depart forthright hence, for we have no concern with Kingship, and let us overwander Allah's earth, worshipping the Almighty till we find some one to whom the like calamity hath happened; and if we find none then will death be more welcome to us than life." So the two brothers issued from a second private postern of the palace; and they never stinted wayfaring by day and by night, until they reached a tree a middle of a meadow hard by a spring of sweet water on the shore of the salt sea. Both drank of it and sat down to take their rest; and when an hour of the day had gone by: lo! they heard a mighty roar and uproar in the middle of the main as though the heavens were falling upon the earth; and the sea brake with waves before them, and from it towered a black pillar, which grew and grew till it rose skywards and began making for that meadow. Seeing it, they waxed fearful exceedingly and climbed to the top of the tree, which was a lofty; whence they gazed to see what might be the matter. And behold, it was a Jinni,[FN#12] huge of height and burly of breast and bulk, broad of brow and black of blee, bearing on his head a coffer of crystal. He strode to land, wading through the deep, and coming to the tree whereupon were the two Kings, seated himself beneath it. He then set down the coffer on its bottom and out it drew a casket, with seven padlocks of steel, which he unlocked with seven keys of steel he took from beside his thigh, and out of it a young lady to come was seen, white-skinned and of winsomest mien, of stature fine and thin, and bright as though a moon of the fourteenth night she had been, or the sun raining lively sheen. Even so the poet Utayyah hath excellently said:—
She rose like the morn as she shone through the night * And she gilded the grove with her gracious sight: From her radiance the sun taketh increase when * She unveileth and shameth the moonshine bright. Bow down all beings between her hands * As she showeth charms with her veil undight. And she foodeth cities[FN#13] with torrent tears * When she flasheth her look of levee light.
The Jinni seated her under the tree by his side and looking at her said, "O choicest love of this heart of mine! O dame of noblest line, whom I snatched away on thy bride night that none might prevent me taking thy maidenhead or tumble thee before I did, and whom none save myself hath loved or hath enjoyed: O my sweetheart! I would fief sleep a little while." He then laid his head upon the lady's thighs; and, stretching out his legs which extended down to the sea, slept and snored and sparked like the roll of thunder. Presently she raised her head towards the tree top and saw the two Kings perched near the summit; then she softly lifted off her lap the Jinni's pate which she was tired of supporting and placed it upon the ground; then standing upright under the tree signed to the Kings, "Come ye down, ye two, and fear naught from this Ifrit."[FN#14] They were in a terrible fright when they found that she had seen them and answered her in the same manner, "Allah upon thee[FN#15] and by thy modesty, O lady, excuse us from coming down!" But she rejoined by saying, "Allah upon you both, that ye come down forthright, and if ye come not, I will rouse upon you my husband, this Ifrit, and he shall do you to die by the illest of deaths;" and she continued making signals to them. So, being afraid, they came down to her and she rose be fore them and said, "Stroke me a strong stroke, without stay or delay, otherwise will I arouse and set upon you this Ifrit who shall slay you straightway." They said to her, "O our lady, we conjure thee by Allah, let us off this work, for we are fugitives from such and in extreme dread and terror of this thy husband. How then can we do it in such a way as thou desires"?" "Leave this talk: it needs must be so;" quoth she, and she swore them by Him[FN#16] who raised the skies on high, without prop or pillar, that, if they worked not her will, she would cause them to be slain and cast into the sea. Whereupon out of fear King Shahryar said to King Shah Zaman, "O my brother, do thou what she biddeth thee do;" but he replied, "I will not do it till thou do it before I do." And they began disputing about futtering her. Then quoth she to the twain, "How is it I see you disputing and demurring; if ye do not come forward like men and do the deed of kind ye two, I will arouse upon you the If rit." At this, by reason of their sore dread of the Jinni, both did by her what she bade them do; and, when they had dismounted from her, she said, "Well done!" She then took from her pocket a purse and drew out a knotted string, whereon were strung five hundred and seventy[FN#17] seal rings, and asked, "Know ye what be these?" They answered her saying, "We know not!" Then quoth she; "These be the signets of five hundred and seventy men who have all futtered me upon the horns of this foul, this foolish, this filthy Ifrit; so give me also your two seal rings, ye pair of brothers." When they had drawn their two rings from their hands and given them to her, she said to them, "Of a truth this If rit bore me off on my bride night, and put me into a casket and set the casket in a coffer and to the coffer he affixed seven strong padlocks of steel and deposited me on the deep bottom of the sea that raves, dashing and clashing with waves; and guarded me so that I might remain chaste and honest, quotha! none save himself might have connexion with me. But I have lain under as many of my kind as I please, and this wretched Jinni wotteth not that Des tiny may not be averted nor hindered by aught, and that whatso woman willeth the same she fulfilleth however man nilleth. Even so saith one of them.—
Rely not on women; * Trust not to their hearts, Whose joys and whose sorrows * Are hung to their parts! Lying love they will swear thee * Whence guile ne'er departs: Take Yusuf[FN#18] for sample * 'Ware sleights and 'ware smarts! Iblis[FN#19] ousted Adam * (See ye not?) thro' their arts.
And another saith:—
Stint thy blame, man! 'Twill drive to a passion without bound; * My fault is not so heavy as fault in it hast found. If true lover I become, then to me there cometh not * Save what happened unto many in the bygone stound. For wonderful is he and right worthy of our praise * Who from wiles of female wits kept him safe and kept him sound."
Hearing these words they marvelled with exceeding marvel, and she went from them to the Ifrit and, taking up his head on her thigh as before, said to them softly, "Now wend your ways and bear yourselves beyond the bounds of his malice." So they fared forth saying either to other, "Allah! Allah!" and, "There be no Majesty and there be no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great; and with Him we seek refuge from women's malice and sleight, for of a truth it hath no mate in might. Consider, O my brother, the ways of this marvellous lady with an Ifrit who is so much more powerful than we are. Now since there hath hap pened to him a greater mishap than that which befel us and which should bear us abundant consolation, so return we to our countries and capitals, and let us decide never to intermarry with womankind and presently we will show them what will be our action." Thereupon they rode back to the tents of King Shahryar, which they reached on the morning of the third day; and, having mustered the Wazirs and Emirs, the Chamberlains and high officials, he gave a robe of honour to his Viceroy and issued orders for an immediate return to the city. There he sat him upon his throne and sending for the Chief Minister, the father of the two damsels who (Inshallah!) will presently be mentioned, he said, "I command thee to take my wife and smite her to death; for she hath broken her plight and her faith." So he carried her to the place of execution and did her die. Then King Shahryar took brand in hand and repairing to the Serraglio slew all the concubines and their Mamelukes.[FN#20] He also sware himself by a binding oath that whatever wife he married he would abate her maidenhead at night and slay her next morning to make sure of his honour; "For," said he, "there never was nor is there one chaste woman upon face of earth." Then Shah Zaman prayed for permission to fare homewards; and he went forth equipped and escorted and travelled till he reached his own country. Mean while Shahryar commanded his Wazir to bring him the bride of the night that he might go in to her; so he produced a most beautiful girl, the daughter of one of the Emirs and the King went in unto her at eventide and when morning dawned he bade his Minister strike off her head; and the Wazir did accordingly for fear of the Sultan. On this wise he continued for the space of three years; marrying a maiden every night and killing her the next morning, till folk raised an outcry against him and cursed him, praying Allah utterly to destroy him and his rule; and women made an uproar and mothers wept and parents fled with their daughters till there remained not in the city a young person fit for carnal copulation. Presently the King ordered his Chief Wazir, the same who was charged with the executions, to bring him a virgin as was his wont; and the Minister went forth and searched and found none; so he returned home in sorrow and anxiety fearing for his life from the King. Now he had two daughters, Shahrazad and Dunyazad hight,[FN#21] of whom the elder had perused the books, annals and legends of preceding Kings, and the stories, examples and instances of by gone men and things; indeed it was said that she had collected a thousand books of histories relating to antique races and departed rulers. She had perused the works of the poets and knew them by heart; she had studied philosophy and the sciences, arts and accomplish meets; and she was pleasant and polite, wise and witty, well read and well bred. Now on that day she said to her father, "Why do I see thee thus changed and laden with cark and care? Concerning this matter quoth one of the poets.—
Tell whoso hath sorrow * Grief never shall last: E'en as joy hath no morrow * So woe shall go past."
When the Wazir heard from his daughter these words he related to her, from first to last, all that had happened between him and the King. Thereupon said she, "By Allah, O my father, how long shall this slaughter of women endure? Shall I tell thee what is in my mind in order to save both sides from destruction?" "Say on, O my daughter," quoth he, and quoth she, "I wish thou wouldst give me in marriage to this King Shahryar; either I shall live or I shall be a ransom for the virgin daughters of Moslems and the cause of their deliverance from his hands and thine."[FN#22] "Allah upon thee!" cried he in wrath exceeding that lacked no feeding, "O scanty of wit, expose not thy life to such peril! How durst thou address me in words so wide from wisdom and un far from foolishness? Know that one who lacketh experience in worldly matters readily falleth into misfortune; and whoso considereth not the end keepeth not the world to friend, and the vulgar say:- -I was lying at mine ease: nought but my officiousness brought me unease." "Needs must thou," she broke in, "make me a doer of this good deed, and let him kill me an he will: I shall only die a ransom for others." "O my daughter," asked he. "and how shall that profit thee when thou shalt have thrown away thy life?" and she answered, "O my father it must be, come of it what will!" The Wazir was again moved to fury and blamed and reproached her, ending with, "In very deed—I fear lest the same befal thee which befel the Bull and the Ass with the Husband man." "And what," asked she, "befel them, O my father?" Whereupon the Wazir began the
Tale of the Bull[FN#23] and the Ass.
Know, O my daughter, that there was once a merchant who owned much money and many men, and who was rich in cattle and camels; he had also a wife and family and he dwelt in the country, being experienced in husbandry and devoted to agriculture. Now Allah Most High had endowed him with under standing the tongues of beasts and birds of every kind, but under pain of death if he divulged the gift to any. So he kept it secret for very fear. He had in his cow house a Bull and an Ass each tethered in his own stall one hard by the other. As the merchant was sitting near hand one day with his servants and his children were playing about him, he heard the Bull say to the Ass, "Hail and health to thee O Father of Waking![FN#24] for that thou enjoyest rest and good ministering; all under thee is clean swept and fresh sprinkled; men wait upon thee and feed thee, and thy provaunt is sifted barley and thy drink pure spring water, while I (unhappy creature!) am led forth in the middle of the night, when they set on my neck the plough and a something called Yoke; and I tire at cleaving the earth from dawn of day till set of sun. I am forced to do more than I can and to bear all manner of ill treatment from night to night; after which they take me back with my sides torn, my neck flayed, my legs aching and mine eyelids sored with tears. Then they shut me up in the byre and throw me beans and crushed straw,[FN#25] mixed with dirt and chaff; and I lie in dung and filth and foul stinks through the livelong night. But thou art ever in a place swept and sprinkled and cleansed, and thou art always lying at ease, save when it happens (and seldom enough!) that the master hath some business, when he mounts thee and rides thee to town and returns with thee forthright. So it happens that I am toiling and distress while thou takest thine ease and thy rest; thou sleepest while I am sleepless; I hunger still while thou eatest thy fill, and I win contempt while thou winnest good will." When the Bull ceased speaking, the Ass turned to wards him and said, "O Broad o' Brow,[FN#26] 0 thou lost one! he lied not who dubbed thee Bull head, for thou, O father of a Bull, hast neither forethought nor contrivance; thou art the simplest of simpletons,[FN#27] and thou knowest naught of good advisers. Hast thou not heard the saying of the wise:—
For others these hardships and labours I bear * And theirs is the pleasure and mine is the care; As the bleacher who blacketh his brow in the sun * To whiten the raiment which other men wear.[FN#28]
But thou, O fool, art full of zeal and thou toilest and moilest before the master; and thou tearest and wearest and slayest thy self for the comfort of another. Hast thou never heard the saw that saith, None to guide and from the way go wide? Thou wendest forth at the call to dawn prayer and thou returnest not till sundown; and through the livelong day thou endurest all manner hardships; to wit, beating and belabouring and bad language. Now hearken to me, Sir Bull! when they tie thee to thy stinking manger, thou pawest the ground with thy forehand and rashest out with thy hind hoofs and pushest with thy horns and bellowest aloud, so they deem thee contented. And when they throw thee thy fodder thou fallest on it with greed and hastenest to line thy fair fat paunch. But if thou accept my advice it will be better for thee and thou wilt lead an easier life even than mine. When thou goest a field and they lay the thing called Yoke on thy neck, lie down and rise not again though haply they swinge thee; and, if thou rise, lie down a second time; and when they bring thee home and offer thee thy beans, fall backwards and only sniff at thy meat and withdraw thee and taste it not, and be satis fied with thy crushed straw and chaff; and on this wise feign thou art sick, and cease not doing thus for a day or two days or even three days, so shalt thou have rest from toil and moil." When the Bull heard these words he knew the Ass to be his friend and thanked him, saying, "Right is thy rede;" and prayed that all blessings might requite him, and cried, "O Father Wakener![FN#29] thou hast made up for my failings." (Now[FN#30] the merchant, O my daughter, understood all that passed between them.) Next day the driver took the Bull, and settling the plough on his neck,[FN#31] made him work as wont; but the Bull began to shirk his ploughing, according to the advice of the Ass, and the ploughman drubbed him till he broke the yoke and made off; but the man caught him up and leathered him till he despaired of his life. Not the less, however, would he do nothing but stand still and drop down till the evening. Then the herd led him home and stabled him in his stall: but he drew back from his manger and neither stamped nor ramped nor butted nor bellowed as he was wont to do; whereat the man wondered. He brought him the beans and husks, but he sniffed at them and left them and lay down as far from them as he could and passed the whole night fasting. The peasant came next morning; and, seeing the manger full of beans, the crushed straw untasted and the ox lying on his back in sorriest plight, with legs outstretched and swollen belly, he was concerned for him, and said to himself, "By Allah, he hath assuredly sickened and this is the cause why he would not plough yesterday." Then he went to the merchant and reported, "O my master, the Bull is ailing; he refused his fodder last night; nay more, he hath not tasted a scrap of it this morning." Now the merchant farmer understood what all this meant, because he had overheard the talk between the Bull and the Ass, so quoth he, "Take that rascal donkey, and set the yoke on his neck, and bind him to the plough and make him do Bull's work." Thereupon the ploughman took the Ass, and worked him through the live long day at the Bull's task; and, when he failed for weakness, he made him eat stick till his ribs were sore and his sides were sunken and his neck was hayed by the yoke; and when he came home in the evening he could hardly drag his limbs along, either fore hand or hind legs. But as for the Bull, he had passed the day lying at full length and had eaten his fodder with an excellent appetite, and he ceased not calling down blessings on the Ass for his good advice, unknowing what had come to him on his ac count. So when night set in and the Ass returned to the byte the Bull rose up before him in honour, and said, "May good tidings gladden thy heart, O Father Wakener! through thee I have rested all this day and I have eaten my meat in peace and quiet." But the Ass returned no reply, for wrath and heart burning and fatigue and the beating he had gotten; and he repented with the most grievous of repentance; and quoth he to himself: "This cometh of my folly in giving good counsel; as the saw saith, I was in joy and gladness, nought save my officiousness brought me this sadness. But I will bear in mind my innate worth and the nobility of my nature; for what saith the poet?
Shall the beautiful hue of the Basil[FN#32] fail * Tho' the beetle's foot o'er the Basil crawl? And though spider and fly be its denizens * Shall disgrace attach to the royal hall? The cowrie,[FN#33] I ken, shall have currency * But the pearl's clear drop, shall its value fall?
And now I must take thought and put a trick upon him and return him to his place, else I die." Then he went aweary to his manger, while the Bull thanked him and blessed him. And even so, O my daughter, said the Wazir, thou wilt die for lack of wits; therefore sit thee still and say naught and expose not thy life to such stress; for, by Allah, I offer thee the best advice, which cometh of my affection and kindly solicitude for thee." "O my father," she answered, "needs must I go up to this King and be married to him." Quoth he, "Do not this deed;" and quoth she, "Of a truth I will:" whereat he rejoined, "If thou be not silent and bide still, I will do with thee even what the merchant did with his wife." "And what did he?" asked she. "Know then, answered the Wazir, that after the return of the Ass the merchant came out on the terrace roof with his wife and family, for it was a moonlit night and the moon at its full. Now the ter race overlooked the cowhouse and presently, as he sat there with his children playing about him, the trader heard the Ass say to the Bull, "Tell me, O Father Broad o' Brow, what thou purposest to do to morrow?" The Bull answered, "What but continue to follow thy counsel, O Aliboron? Indeed it was as good as good could be and it hath given me rest and repose; nor will I now depart from it one little: so, when they bring me my meat, I will refuse it and blow out my belly and counterfeit crank." The Ass shook his head and said, "Beware of so doing, O Father of a Bull!" The Bull asked, "Why," and the Ass answered, "Know that I am about to give thee the best of counsel, for verily I heard our owner say to the herd, If the Bull rise not from his place to do his work this morning and if he retire from his fodder this day, make him over to the butcher that he may slaughter him and give his flesh to the poor, and fashion a bit of leather[FN#34] from his hide. Now I fear for thee on account of this. So take my advice ere a calamity befal thee; and when they bring thee thy fodder eat it and rise up and bellow and paw the ground, or our master will assuredly slay thee: and peace be with thee!" Thereupon the Bull arose and lowed aloud and thanked the Ass, and said, "To morrow I will readily go forth with them;" and he at once ate up all his meat and even licked the manger. (All this took place and the owner was listening to their talk.) Next morning the trader and his wife went to the Bull's crib and sat down, and the driver came and led forth the Bull who, seeing his owner, whisked his tail and brake wind, and frisked about so lustily that the merchant laughed a loud laugh and kept laughing till he fell on his back. His wife asked him, "Whereat laughest thou with such loud laughter as this?"; and he answered her, "I laughed at a secret something which I have heard and seen but cannot say lest I die my death." She returned, "Perforce thou must discover it to me, and disclose the cause of thy laughing even if thou come by thy death!" But he rejoined, "I cannot re veal what beasts and birds say in their lingo for fear I die." Then quoth she, "By Allah, thou liest! this is a mere pretext: thou laughest at none save me, and now thou wouldest hide somewhat from me. But by the Lord of the Heavens! an thou disclose not the cause I will no longer cohabit with thee: I will leave thee at once." And she sat down and cried. Whereupon quoth the merchant, "Woe betide thee! what means thy weeping? Bear Allah and leave these words and query me no more questions." "Needs must thou tell me the cause of that laugh," said she, and he replied, "Thou wottest that when I prayed Allah to vouchsafe me understanding of the tongues of beasts and birds, I made a vow never to disclose the secret to any under pain of dying on the spot." "No matter," cried she, "tell me what secret passed between the Bull and the Ass and die this very hour an thou be so minded;" and she ceased not to importune him till he was worn out and clean distraught. So at last he said, "Summon thy father and thy mother and our kith and kin and sundry of our neighbours," which she did; and he sent for the Kazi[FN#35] and his assessors, intending to make his will and reveal to her his secret and die the death; for he loved her with love exceeding because she was his cousin, the daughter of his father's brother, and the mother of his children, and he had lived with her a life of an hundred and twenty years. Then, having assembled all the family and the folk of his neighbourhood, he said to them, "By me there hangeth a strange story, and 'tis such that if I discover the secret to any, I am a dead man." Therefore quoth every one of those present to the woman, "Allah upon thee, leave this sinful obstinacy and recognise the right of this matter, lest haply thy husband and the father of thy children die." But she rejoined, "I will not turn from it till he tell me, even though he come by his death." So they ceased to urge her; and the trader rose from amongst them and repaired to an out house to per form Wuzu ablution,[FN#36] and he purposed thereafter to return and to tell them his secret and to die. Now, daughter Shahrazad, that mer chant had in his out houses some fifty hens under one cock, and whilst making ready to farewell his folk he heard one of his many farm dogs thus address in his own tongue the Cock, who was flapping his wings and crowing lustily and jumping from one hen's back to another and treading all in turn, saying "O Chanti clear! how mean is thy wit and how shameless is thy conduct! Be he disappointed who brought thee up![FN#37] Art thou not ashamed of thy doings on such a day as this!" "And what," asked the Rooster, "hath occurred this day?" when the Dog answered, "Doss thou not know that our master is this day making ready for his death? His wife is resolved that he shall disclose the secret taught to him by Allah, and the moment he so doeth he shall surely die. We dogs are all a mourning; but thou clappest thy wings and clarionest thy loudest and treadest hen after hen. Is this an hour for pastime and pleasuring? Art thou not ashamed of thyself?"[FN#38] "Then by Allah," quoth the Cock, "is our master a lack wit and a man scanty of sense: if he cannot manage matters with a single wife, his life is not worth prolonging. Now I have some fifty Dame Partlets; and I please this and provoke that and starve one and stuff another; and through my good governance they are all well under my control. This our master pretendeth to wit and wisdom, and he hath but one wife, and yet knoweth not how to manage her." Asked the Dog, "What then, O Cock, should the master do to win clear of his strait?" "He should arise forthright," answered the Cock, "and take some twigs from yon mulberry tree and give her a regular back basting and rib roasting till she cry:—I repent, O my lord! I will never ask thee a question as long as I live! Then let him beat her once more and soundly, and when he shall have done this he shall sleep free from care and enjoy life. But this master of ours owns neither sense nor judgment." "Now, daughter Shahrazad," continued the Wazir, "I will do to thee as did that husband to that wife." Said Shahrazad, "And what did he do?" He replied, "When the merchant heard the wise words spoken by his Cock to his Dog, he arose in haste and sought his wife's chamber, after cutting for her some mulberry twigs and hiding them there; and then he called to her, "Come into the closet that I may tell thee the secret while no one seeth me and then die." She entered with him and he locked the door and came down upon her with so sound a beating of back and shoulders, ribs, arms and legs, saying the while, "Wilt thou ever be asking questions about what concerneth thee not?" that she was well nigh senseless. Presently she cried out, "I am of the repentant! By Allah, I will ask thee no more questions, and indeed I repent sincerely and wholesomely." Then she kissed his hand and feet and he led her out of the room submissive as a wife should be. Her parents and all the company rejoiced and sadness and mourn ing were changed into joy and gladness. Thus the merchant learnt family discipline from his Cock and he and his wife lived together the happiest of lives until death. And thou also, O my daughter!" continued the Wazir, "Unless thou turn from this matter I will do by thee what that trader did to his wife." But she answered him with much decision, "I will never desist, O my father, nor shall this tale change my purpose. Leave such talk and tattle. I will not listen to thy words and, if thou deny me, I will marry myself to him despite the nose of thee. And first I will go up to the King myself and alone and I will say to him:—I prayed my father to wive me with thee, but he refused being resolved to disappoint his lord, grudging the like of me to the like of thee." Her father asked, "Must this needs be?" and she answered, "Even so." Hereupon the Wazir being weary of lamenting and contending, persuading and dissuading her, all to no purpose, went up to King Shahryar and after blessing him and kissing the ground before him, told him all about his dispute with his daughter from first to last and how he designed to bring her to him that night. The King wondered with exceeding wonder; for he had made an especial exception of the Wazir's daughter, and said to him, "O most faithful of Counsellors, how is this? Thou wottest that I have sworn by the Raiser of the Heavens that after I have gone in to her this night I shall say to thee on the morrow's morning:—Take her and slay her! and, if thou slay her not, I will slay thee in her stead without fail." "Allah guide thee to glory and lengthen thy life, O King of the age," answered the Wazir, "it is she that hath so determined: all this have I told her and more; but she will not hearken to me and she persisteth in passing this coming night with the King's Majesty." So Shahryar rejoiced greatly and said, "'Tis well; go get her ready and this night bring her to me." The Wazir returned to his daughter and reported to her the command saying, "Allah make not thy father desolate by thy loss!" But Shah razed rejoiced with exceeding joy and get ready all she required and said to her younger sister, Dunyazad, "Note well what directions I entrust to thee! When I have gone in to the King I will send for thee and when thou comest to me and seest that he hath had his carnal will of me, do thou say to me:—O my sister, an thou be not sleepy, relate to me some new story, delectable and delightsome, the better to speed our waking hours;" and I will tell thee a tale which shall be our deliverance, if so Allah please, and which shall turn the King from his blood thirsty custom." Dunyazad answered "With love and gladness." So when it was night their father the Wazir carried Shahrazad to the King who was gladdened at the sight and asked, "Hast thou brought me my need?" and he answered, "I have." But when the King took her to his bed and fell to toying with her and wished to go in to her she wept; which made him ask, "What aileth thee?" She replied, "O King of the age, I have a younger sister and fief would I take leave of her this night before I see the dawn." So he sent at once for Dunyazad and she came and kissed the ground between his hands, when he permitted her to take her seat near the foot of the couch. Then the King arose and did away with his bride's maidenhead and the three fell asleep. But when it was midnight Shahrazad awoke and signalled to her sister Dunyazad who sat up and said, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, recite to us some new story, delightsome and delectable, wherewith to while away the waking hours of our latter night."[FN#39] "With joy and goodly gree," answered Shahrazad, "if this pious and auspicious King permit me." "Tell on," quoth the King who chanced to be sleepless and restless and therefore was pleased with the prospect of hearing her story. So Shahrazad rejoiced; and thus, on the first night of the Thousand Nights and a Night, she began with the
TALE OF THE TRADER AND THE JINNI.
It is related, O auspicious King, that there was a merchant of the merchants who had much wealth, and business in various cities. Now on a day he mounted horse and went forth to re cover monies in certain towns, and the heat sore oppressed him; so he sat beneath a tree and, putting his hand into his saddle bags, took thence some broken bread and dry dates and began to break his fast. When he had ended eating the dates he threw away the stones with force and lo! an Ifrit appeared, huge of stature and brandishing a drawn sword, wherewith he approached the mer chant and said, "Stand up that I may slay thee, even as thou slewest my son!" Asked the merchant, "How have I slain thy son?" and he answered, "When thou atest dates and threwest away the stones they struck my son full in the breast as he was walking by, so that he died forthwith."[FN#40] Quoth the merchant, "Verily from Allah we proceeded and unto Allah are we re turning. There is no Majesty, and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! If I slew thy son, I slew him by chance medley. I pray thee now pardon me." Rejoined the Jinni, "There is no help but I must slay thee." Then he seized him and dragged him along and, casting him to the earth, raised the sword to strike him; whereupon the merchant wept, and said, "I commit my case to Allah," and began repeating these couplets:—
Containeth Time a twain of days, this of blessing that of bane * And holdeth Life a twain of halves, this of pleasure that of pain. See'st not when blows the hurricane, sweeping stark and striking strong * None save the forest giant feels the suffering of the strain? How many trees earth nourisheth of the dry and of the green * Yet none but those which bear the fruits for cast of stone complain. See'st not how corpses rise and float on the surface of the tide * While pearls o'price lie hidden in the deepest of the main! In Heaven are unnumbered the many of the stars * Yet ne'er a star but Sun and Moon by eclipse is overta'en. Well judgedst thou the days that saw thy faring sound and well * And countedst not the pangs and pain whereof Fate is ever fain. The nights have kept thee safe and the safety brought thee pride * But bliss and blessings of the night are 'genderers of bane!
When the merchant ceased repeating his verses the Jinni said to him, "Cut thy words short, by Allah! needs must I slay thee." But the merchant spake him thus, "Know, O thou Ifrit, that I have debts due to me and much wealth and children and a wife and many pledges in hand; so permit me to go home and dis charge to every claimant his claim; and I will come back to thee at the head of the new year. Allah be my testimony and surety that I will return to thee; and then thou mayest do with me as thou wilt and Allah is witness to what I say." The Jinni took sure promise of him and let him go; so he returned to his own city and transacted his business and rendered to all men their dues and after informing his wife and children of what had betided him, he appointed a guardian and dwelt with them for a full year. Then he arose, and made the Wuzu ablution to purify himself before death and took his shroud under his arm and bade farewell to his people, his neighbours and all his kith and kin, and went forth despite his own nose.[FN#41] They then began weeping and wailing and beating their breasts over him; but he travelled until he arrived at the same garden, and the day of his arrival was the head of the New Year. As he sat weeping over what had befallen him, behold, a Shaykh,[FN#42] a very ancient man, drew near leading a chained gazelle; and he saluted that merchant and wishing him long life said, "What is the cause of thy sitting in this place and thou alone and this be a resort of evil spirits?" The merchant related to him what had come to pass with the Ifrit, and the old man, the owner of the gazelle, wondered and said, "By Allah, O brother, thy faith is none other than exceeding faith and thy story right strange; were it graven with gravers on the eye corners, it were a warner to whoso would be warned." Then seating himself near the merchant he said, "By Allah, O my brother, I will not leave thee until I see what may come to pass with thee and this Ifrit." And presently as he sat and the two were at talk the merchant began to feel fear and terror and exceeding grief and sorrow beyond relief and ever growing care and extreme despair. And the owner of the gazelle was hard by his side; when behold, a second Shaykh approached them, and with him were two dogs both of greyhound breed and both black. The second old man after saluting them with the salam, also asked them of their tidings and said "What causeth you to sit in this place, a dwelling of the Jann?"[FN#43] So they told him the tale from beginning to end, and their stay there had not lasted long before there came up a third Shaykh, and with him a she mule of bright bay coat; and he saluted them and asked them why they were seated in that place. So they told him the story from first to last: and of no avail, O my master, is a twice told tale! There he sat down with them, and lo! a dust cloud advanced and a mighty send devil appeared amidmost of the waste. Presently the cloud opened and behold, within it was that Jinni hending in hand a drawn sword, while his eyes were shooting fire sparks of rage. He came up to them and, haling away the merchant from among them, cried to him, "Arise that I may slay thee, as thou slewest my son, the life stuff of my liver."[FN#44] The merchant wailed and wept, and the three old men began sighing and crying and weeping and wailing with their companion. Presently the first old man (the owner of the gazelle) came out from among them and kissed the hand of the Ifrit and said, "O Jinni, thou Crown of the Kings of the Jann! were I to tell thee the story of me and this gazelle and thou shouldst consider it wondrous wouldst thou give me a third part of this merchant's blood?" Then quoth the Jinni "Even so, O Shaykh ! if thou tell me this tale, and I hold it a marvellous, then will I give thee a third of his blood." Thereupon the old man began to tell
The First Shaykh's Story.
Know O Jinni! that this gazelle is the daughter of my paternal uncle, my own flesh and blood, and I married her when she was a young maid, and I lived with her well nigh thirty years, yet was I not blessed with issue by her. So I took me a concubine[FN#45] who brought to me the boon of a male child fair as the full moon, with eyes of lovely shine and eyebrows which formed one line, and limbs of perfect design. Little by little he grew in stature and waxed tall; and when he was a lad fifteen years old, it became needful I should journey to certain cities and I travelled with great store of goods. But the daughter of my uncle (this gazelle) had learned gramarye and egromancy and clerkly craft[FN#46] from her childhood; so she bewitched that son of mine to a calf, and my handmaid (his mother) to a heifer, and made them over to the herdsman's care. Now when I returned after a long time from my journey and asked for my son and his mother, she answered me, saying "Thy slave girl is dead, and thy son hath fled and I know not whither he is sped." So I remained for a whole year with grieving heart, and streaming eyes until the time came for the Great Festival of Allah.[FN#47] Then sent I to my herdsman bidding him choose for me a fat heifer; and he brought me one which was the damsel, my handmaid, whom this gazelle had ensorcelled. I tucked up my sleeves and skirt and, taking a knife, proceeded to cut her throat, but she lowed aloud and wept bitter tears. Thereat I marvelled and pity seized me and I held my hand, saying to the herd, "Bring me other than this." Then cried my cousin, "Slay her, for I have not a fatter nor a fairer!" Once more I went forward to sacrifice her, but she again lowed aloud upon which in ruth I refrained and commanded the herdsman to slay her and flay her. He killed her and skinned her but found in her neither fat nor flesh, only hide and bone; and I repented when penitence availed me naught. I gave her to the herdsman and said to him, "Fetch me a fat calf;" so he brought my son ensorcelled. When the calf saw me, he brake his tether and ran to me, and fawned upon me and wailed and shed tears; so that I took pity on him and said to the herdsman, "Bring me a heifer and let this calf go!" Thereupon my cousin (this gazelle) called aloud at me, saying, "Needs must thou kill this calf; this is a holy day and a blessed, whereon naught is slain save what be perfect pure; and we have not amongst our calves any fatter or fairer than this!" Quoth I, "Look thou upon the condition of the heifer which I slaughtered at thy bidding and how we turn from her in disappointment and she profited us on no wise; and I repent with an exceeding repentance of having killed her: so this time I will not obey thy bidding for the sacrifice of this calf." Quoth she, "By Allah the Most Great, the Compassionating, the Compassionate! there is no help for it; thou must kill him on this holy day, and if thou kill him not to me thou art no man and I to thee am no wife." Now when I heard those hard words, not knowing her object I went up to the calf, knife in hand—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.[FN#48] Then quoth her sister to her, "How fair is thy tale, and how grateful, and how sweet and how tasteful!" And Shahrazad answered her, "What is this to that I could tell thee on the coming night, were I to live and the King would spare me?" Then said the King in himself, "By Allah, I will not slay her, until I shall have heard the rest of her tale." So they slept the rest of that night in mutual em brace till day fully brake. Then the King went forth to his audience hall[FN#49] and the Wazir went up with his daughter's shroud under his arm. The King issued his orders, and promoted this and deposed that, until the end of the day; and he told the Wazir no whit of what had happened. But the Minister wondered thereat with exceeding wonder; and when the Court broke up King Shahryar entered his palace.