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WITH TEN COLORED PLATES AND TWELVE WOOD ENGRAVINGS
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS, LIMITED
NEW YORK: 9 LAFAYETTE PLACE
LONDON AND MANCHESTER
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS, I
THE STORY OF THE MERCHANT AND THE GENIUS, 6
THE HISTORY OF THE FIRST OLD MAN AND THE HIND, II
THE HISTORY OF THE SECOND OLD MAN AND THE TWO
BLACK DOGS, 16
THE HISTORY OF THE FISHERMAN, .20
THE HISTORY OF THE GREEK KING AND DOUBAN THE
THE HISTORY OF THE HUSBAND AND THE PARROT, 29
THE HISTORY OF THE VIZIER WHO WAS PUNISHED, 30
THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG KING OF THE BLACK ISLES, 44
THE HISTORY OF THE THREE CALENDERS, SONS OF
KINGS, AND OF FIVE LADIES OF BAGDAD, 53
THE HISTORY OF THE FIRST CALENDER, THE SON OF
A KING, 69
THE HISTORY OF THE SECOND CALENDER, THE SON OF
A KING,. 75
THE HISTORY OF THE ENVIOUS MAN, AND OF HIM WHO
WAS ENVIED, .
THE HISTORY OF THE THIRD CALENDER, THE SON OF
A KING, 97
THE HISTORY OF ZOBEIDE, II
THE HISTORY OF AMINE, 126
THE HISTORY OF SINBAD, THE SAILOR, 134
THE HISTORY OF THE LITTLE HUNCHBACK, 7. .
THE STORY TOLD BY THE CHRISTIAN MERCHANT, 178
THE STORY TOLD BY THE PURVEYOR OF THE SULTAN
OF CASGAR, 190
THE STORY TOLD BY THE JEWISH PHYSICIAN, .204
THE STORY TOLD BY THE TAILOR, 215
THE HISTORY OF THE BARBER, 225
THE STORY OF THE BARBER'S FIRST BROTHER, .227
THE HISTORY OF THE BARBER'S SECOND BROTHER,. 231
THE HISTORY OF THE BARBER'S THIRD BROTHER, 236
THE HISTORY OF THE BARBER'S FOURTH BROTHER,. 240
THE HISTORY OF THE BARBER'S FIFTH BROTHER, 244
THE HISTORY OF THE BARBER'S SIXTH BROTHER, 251
THE HISTORY OF CAMARALZAMAN, PRINCE OF THE
ISLE OF THE CHILDREN OF KHALEDAN, AND OF
BADOURA, PRINCESS OF CHINA, 258
THE HISTORY OF NOUREDDIN AND THE BEAUTIFUL
THE HISTORY OF PRINCE ZEYN ALASNAM AND OF THE
KING OF THE GENII, 314
THE HISTORY OF ALADDIN, OR THE WONDERFUL LAMP, 327
THE ADVENTURES OF THE CALIPH HAROUN ALRA-
THE HISTORY OF BABA ABDALLA, THE BLIND MAN, 380
THE HISTORY OF SIDI NOUMAN, 385
THE HISTORY OF COGIA HASSAN ALHABBAL, 390
THE HISTORY OF ALI BABA, AND OF THE FORTY ROB-
BERS KILLED BY ONE SLAVE, 404
THE HISTORY OF ALI COGIA, A MERCHANT OF BAG-
THE STORY OF THE ENCHANTED HORSE, 436
THE HISTORY OF PRINCE AHMED AND THE FAIRY
THE STORY OF THE TWO SISTERS WHO WERE JEALOUS
OF THEIR YOUNGER SISTER, 491
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
T is written in the chronicles of the Sassanians-those
ancient monarchs of Persia, who extended their em-
pire over the continent and islands of India, beyond
the Ganges, and almost to China-that there once
lived an illustrious prince of that powerful house, who was as
much beloved by his subjects for his wisdom and prudence, as
he was feared by the surrounding states, from the report of his
bravery, and the reputation of his hardy and well-disciplined
army. He had two sons-the elder, called Schahriar, was en-
dowed with all the virtues of his father, nor was Schahzenan, the
younger, less deserving of praise.
This king, after a reign as glorious as it was long, sank into
the tomb of his ancestors, and Schahriar ascended the throne.
Although his brother was excluded by the laws of the empire,
from all share in the government, and became nothing more
than a subject, yet the exalted and magnificent situation of
Schahriar gave rise to no envious or discontented thoughts: his
whole endeavour was to please and make Schahriar happy. This
was by no means a difficult task. The sultan, who was always
fond of his brother, was delighted with his attention; and wish-
ing that he should partake of his own power and wealth, he
bestowed on him the kingdom of Great Tartary. Schahzenan
went immediately and took possession of his empire, and fixed
his residence at Samarcand, the chief city.
These two kings had been separated about ten years, when
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
Schahriar, ardently wishing to see his brother, determined tc
send an ambassador to him, with an invitation to his court. For
this purpose he fixed on his first vizier, who went with a splen-
did and appropriate retinue. When he approached Samarcand,
Schahzenan, being acquainted with his arrival, immediately
went out to meet him, with all his court most magnificently
dressed for the occasion; so great was the honour paid to the
minister of the sultan. The king of Tartary received him with
signs of great joy ; and instantly inquired after the sultan, his
brother. Having satisfied his curiosity, the vizier unfolded the
purpose of his embassy. Schahzenan, who was much affected at
the kindness and recollection of his brother, then addressed the
vizier in these words:-
"Sage vizier, the sultan, my brother, does me too much
honour; he could not propose anything more agreeable to me.
It is impossible that his wish to see me can exceed my anxious
desire of again beholding him; time has not weakened my
regard any more than his. My kingdom is tranquil, and I re-
quire only ten days to prepare for my departure : for this short
time you need not take the trouble to enter the city; pitch your
tents, and remain in this place : I will take care and order every
refreshment and accommodation for you and your whole train."
This was immediately done; and scarcely had the king returned
to his palace, when the vizier saw an immense quantity of all sorts
of provisions arrive, accompanied with rare and valuable presents.
In the meantime Schahzenan made every preparation for his
journey. He despatched with celerity his most pressing
business, established a regency to govern the kingdom during
his absence, putting a minister, on whose abilities and fidelity
he had the firmest reliance, at the head of it. At the end of ten
days everything wis ready; he took a tender leave of the
queen, his consort, and, accompanied by such officers as he had
appointed to attend him, left Samarcand in the evening. He
proceeded directly to a royal pavilion, which had been erected
near the vizier's tent. He remained in conversation with the
ambassador till midnight, when he retired to rest, and by day-
light on the following morning the cavalcade commenced its
march towards the capital of the Indies.
When Schahzenan approached the capital, he perceived the
sultan Schahriar and all his court coming out to greet him.
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
What joyful sensations arose in their breasts at this fraternal
meeting They alighted, and ran into each other's arms; and
after a thousand expressions of regard, they remounted, and
entered the city amidst the acclamations of the surrounding
multitude. The sultan conducted the king, his brother, to a
palace, which had been prepared for him. It communicated by
a garden with his own; and was even more magnificent, as it
was the spot where all the ftes and splendid entertainments of
the court were given; and it was now even increased in splen-
dour by new and brilliant ornaments.
Schahriar immediately left the king of Tartary, in order that he
might have time to bathe and change his dress; on his return from
the bath he went immediately to him again. They seated them-
selves on a sofa, and as the courtiers, through respect, stood
at a considerable distance, these two brothers conversed with
each other at their ease, after so long an absence; and seemed
even more united by affection than blood. They ate together at
supper, and after their repast, they again conversed, till Schah.
nar, perceiving he night far advanced, left his brother to repose
On the next morning, the sultan gave orders for a grand hunt-
ing party; and the following days he devoted to some magnifi-
cent entertainments calculated to amuse his royal visitor. But
amidst these festivities a circumstance occurred which threw a
gloom over all. The queen of Schahriar, to whom he was
tenderly attached, became suddenly and unaccountably changed
in her disposition towards him. Instead of shewing her former
affection for the sultan, she evinced the most supreme indiffer-
ence towards him; and so far did she carry this unnatural feel-
ing, that one day, in a moment of ungovernable fury, Schahriar
delivered her to his grand vizier, and commanded him to have
her strangled. This sentence was executed immediately; but
the indignant prince did not stop here. A species of mad hos-
tility towards the female sex generally seemed to have seized on
him, and he resolved for the future to have any lady whom he
might marry strangled on the day following the marriage. Hav-
ing enforced this cruel law upon himself, he swore to observe it
immediately on the departure of the king, his brother, who, hav-
ing vainly endeavoured to dissuade Schahriar from his sanguin-
ary resolution, took his leave, and returned to his own kingdom
loaded with the most magnificent presents.
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
When Schahzenan was gone, the sultan resolved to marry
again, and ordered his grand vizier to seek for him a wife, with
the full determination to carry out his cruel purpose.
Now the vizier, who was the unwilling agent of this horrid
injustice, had two daughters; the elder was called Scheherazade,
and the youngest Dinarzad& The latter was by no means defi-
cient in merit; but Scheherazade was possessed of a degree of
courage beyond her sex, joined to an extent of knowledge and
degree of penetration, that was truly astonishing. She had read
much, and was possessed of so great a memory that she never
forgot anything once learned. She had applied, also, with much
success, to philosophy, to medicine, to history, and to the arts;
and made better verses than the most celebrated poets of the
time. Besides this, her beauty was incomparable; and all these
valuable qualities were crowned by her virtuous disposition.
The vizier was passionately fond of so deserving a daughter
As they were conversing together one day, she addressed him
in these words : "I have a favour to ask of you, my father; and
I entreat you not to refuse me." I will not refuse you," replied
he, provided the request be just and reasonable." It is im-
possible," added Scheherazade, "to be more just, as you will
judge from the motives I have in making it. My design is to
put a stop to this dreadful barbarity which the sultan wishes to
exercise over the inhabitants of this city. I wish to dispel the
just apprehension which all mothers entertain for the safety of
their daughters." "Your intention, my child," said the vizier,
"is very laudable; but the evil which you wish to cure seems to
me without a remedy; how would you set about it ?" Since,"
replied Scheherazade, "the sultan has ordered you to procure
him a wife who is to be killed on the morning following that on
which he marries her, I conjure you, by the tender affection you
have for me, to procure me this honour of being married to
him." This speech filled the vizier with horror. "0 Heaven,"
cried he, eagerly, have you lost your senses, my daughter, that
you make me so dangerous a request ? Recollect to what your
indiscreet zeal exposes you." All the arguments used, however,
failed to divert the young lady from her purpose, and seeing her
inflexibility, her father gave a reluctant consent, and hastened
to apprise the sultan that he had found a wife for him in his
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS. 5
The sultan was much astonished at the sacrifice of the grand
vizier. "Is it possible," said he, "that you can give up your
own child ?" Sire," replied the vizier, she has herself made
dhe offer. The dreadful fate that hangs over her does not alarm
her; and she prefers, even to her existence, the honour of being
the consort of your majesty, even for so brief a period." "Vizier,"
said the sultan, do not deceive yourself with any hopes ; for
be assured, that in delivering Scheherazade into your charge
to-morrow, it will be with an order for her death; and if you
disobey, your own head will be the forfeit." "Although," an-
swered the vizier, my heart will be distracted at fulfilling your
majesty's commands, it is of no avail for human nature to
lament; although I am her father. I will answer for my fidelity."
Schahriar then accepted his minister's offer, and informed him
he would marry his daughter when he pleased.
When the grand vizier carried this intelligence to Schehera-
zad, she seemed as much rejoiced as if it had been of the most
pleasant character: she thanked her father for obliging her so
greatly; and observing him to be much afflicted, she consoled
him by saying, that she hoped he would be so far from repent-
inr her marriage with the sultan, that it would become a subject
of joy to him for the remainder of his life.
She now occupied herself with the manner in which she
should appear before the sultan; but before she went to the
palace, she called her sister, Dinarzade, aside, and said, I am in
great want of your assistance, my dear sister, in a very important
affair; and I hope you will not refuse me. My father is going
to conduct me to the palace to be married to the sultan. Do not
let this news alarm you, but attend rather to what I say. As
soon as I shall have presented myself before the sultan, I shall
entreat him to suffer you to sleep in a chamber close to ours. If
I obtain this favour, as I expect, remember to awaken me to-
morrow morning an hour before daybreak, and address some
such words as these to me :-' If you are not asleep, my sister, I
beg of you, till the morning appears, to recount to me one of
those delightful stories you know.' I will immediately begin to
tell one; and I flatter myself that by these means I shall free
the kingdom from the consternation in which it is thrown by
the cruel resolution of the sultan." Dinarzade promised to do
with pleasure what she required.
6 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
The sultan, when Scheherazad was presented to him, was
charmed with her beauty, and readily agreed to her wish re-
specting Dinarzad6, who, having awoke about an hour before
day, did not fail to do what her sister had ordered her. M)
dear sister," she said, "if you are not asleep, I entreat you, as it
will soon be light, to relate to me one of those delightful tales you
know. It will, alas, be the last time I shall receive that pleasure."
Instead of returning any answer to her sister, Scheherazade
addressed these words to the sultan :-" Will your majesty per-
mit me to indulge my sister in her request?" "Freely," re-
plied he.. Scheherazad& then desired her sister to attend, and,
addressing herself to the sultan, began as follows:-
THE STORY OF THE MERCHANT AND THE
HERE was formerly a merchant, who was possessed of
great wealth in land, merchandise, and ready money.
He had a numerous set of clerks, factors, and slaves;
and, from the great extent of his commercial-trans-
actions, he was from time to time obliged to take various journeys
in order to arrange his affairs in person with his correspondents.
Having one day an affair of great importance to settle at a con-
siderable distance from home, he mounted his horse, and with
only a sort of cloak-bag behind him, in which he had put a few
biscuits and dates, he began his journey. This provision was
absolutely necessary, as he was obliged to pass over a desert,
where it was impossible to procure any kind of food. He arrived
without any accident at the place of his destination; and having
finished his business, he set out on his return.
On the fourth day of his journey, he felt himself so incom-
moded by the sun, and the heated surface of the earth, that he
turned out of his road, in order to rest and refresh himself
under some trees, which he saw at a distance. At the foot of
a large walnut-tree he perceived a very transparent and cool
fountain. He immediately alighted, and tying his horse to a
branch of the tree, sat down on its bank, having first taken
some biscuits and dates from his little store. While he was
THE MERCHANT AND THE GENIUS.
thus satisfying his hunger, he amused himself with throwing
about the stones of the fruit with considerable velocity. When
he had finished his frugal repast, he washed his hands, his face,
and his feet, and repeated a prayer, like a good Mussulman.
He had hardly made an end, and was still on his knees, when
he saw a Genius, white with age, and of an enormous stature,
advancing towards him, with a scimitar in his hand; as soon
as he was close to him, he said, in a most terrible tone: Get
up, that I may kill thee with this scimitar, as thou hast caused
the death of my son." He accompanied these words with a
dreadful yelL The merchant, alarmed by the horrible figure of
this monster, as well as the words he heard, replied in trem-
bling accents: "Of what crime, my good lord, alas, can I have
been guilty towards you, to deserve the loss of life ?" I have
sworn to kill thee, as thou hast slain my son." "What !" an-
swered the merchant, "how can I have slain him ? I do not
know him, nor have I ever seen him?" "Didst thou not,"
replied the monster, "on thine arrival here, sit down, and take
some dates from thy wallet; and, after eating them, didst thou
not throw the stones about on all sides ? "This is all true,"
replied the merchant; I do not deny it." "Well, then," said
the other, I tell thee, thou hast killed my son; for while thou
wast throwing about the stones, my son passed by; one of
them struck him in the eye, and caused his death, and thus
hast thou slain my son." "Ah, sire, forgive me," cried the
merchant. I have neither forgiveness nor mercy," added the
monster; "and is it not just that he who has inflicted death
should suffer it ?" "I grant this; yet surely I have not done
so: and even if I have, I have done so innocently, and there-
fore I entreat you to pardon me, and suffer me to live." No, no,"
cried the Genius, still persisting in his resolution; I must destroy
thee, as thou hast done my son." At these words, he took the
merchant in his arms, and having thrown him with his face on
the ground, he lifted up his sabre in order to strike off his head.
The merchant in the meantime, bathed in tears, protested his
innocence, and lamenting his vife and children, tried the most
persuasive means to avert his fate. The Genius, still holding up
the sabre, waited, however, till he had ended his complaints,
though it altered not his purpose. "All thy lamentations are
in vain," he cried; were thine eyes to weep blood, it would not
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
prevent my killing thee, as thou hast slain my son." "Can
nothing, then," replied the merchant, soften you ? Must you
shed the blood of a poor innocent being?" "Yes," he added,
"I am resolved."
Scheherazade, at this instant, perceiving it was day, and
knowing that the sultan rose early to his prayers, and then to
hold a council, broke off. "What a wonderful story," said
Dinarzad&, "have you pitched upon!" "The conclusion,"
answered Scheherazade, "is still more surprising, as you would
confess, if the sultan would suffer me to live another day, and
in the morning permit me to continue the relation." Schahriar,
who had lstened with much pleasure to the narration, deter-
mined in his own mind to wait till to-morrow, intending to
order her execution after she had finished her story. Having
resolved to defer her death till the following day, he arose, and
having prayed, went to the council.
The grand vizier, in the meantime, was in a state of cruel sus-
pense. Unable to sleep, he passed the night in lamenting the
approaching fate of his daughter. Dreading, therefore, in this
melancholy situation, to meet the sultan, how great was his sur-
prise in seeing him enter the council-chamber without giving
nim the horrible orders he expected.
The sultan spent the day as usual, in regulating the affairs
of his kingdom, and on the approach of night retired with Sche-
herazade to his apartment. The next morning,* before the day
appeared, Dinarzad6 did not fail to remind her sister. "My
dear sister," she said, "if you are not asleep, I entreat you, be-
fore the morning breaks, to continue your story." The sultan
did notwait for Scheheranad to ask permission, but said, "Finish
the tale of the Genius and the merchant: I am curious to hear
the end of it." Scheherazade immediately went on as follows :-
When the merchant perceived that the Genius was about to
execute his purpose, he cried aloud, One word more, I entreat
you, have the goodness to grant me a little delay; give me
only time to go and take leave of my wife and children, and
divide my estates among them, as I have not yet made my will,
In the original work there are continual interruptions to the stories by the sup,
posed appearance of daylight, which obliged the sultan to rise, and attend to the
affairs of the state. As these interruptions would have recurred many hundred
times, and thus unpleasantly have broken in upon the unity and continued interest
O eamatial to tales of this nature, they have been omitted.
I ~ ~ "- -
THE MERCHANT AND THE3 GENIUS.
THE MERCHANT AND THE GENIUS.
that they may not be obliged to have recourse to any legal pro-
cess after my death ; and when I have done this, I promise to
return to this spot, and submit myself entirely to your pleasure."
"But if I grant you the respite you demand," replied the Genius,
"I fear you will not return." If my oath will assure you of
it," added the merchant, I swear that I will not fail to repair
hither.' "What length of time do you require?" said the
Genius. "It will take me a full year to arrange everything,
and enable me to bear with composure the loss of life. I there-
fore promise you, that you shall find me to-morrow twelvemonth
under these trees, waiting to deliver myself into your hands."
"Take Heaven to witness of the promise thou hast made me,"
said the other. Again I swear," replied he; and you may rely
on my oath." On this, the Genius left him near the fountain,
and immediately disappeared.
The merchant, having recovered from his fright, mounted his
horse, and continued his journey.-But if, on the one hand, he
rejoiced at escaping from the great peril he was in, he was, on
the other, much distressed when he recollected the fatal oath
he had taken. When he arrived at home, his wife and family
received him with signs of the greatest joy; but instead of re-
turning their embraces, he wept so bitterly, that they supposed
something very extraordinary had happened. His wife inquired
the cause of his tears, and of that grief which appeared so
violent.--" We were rejoicing," she said, "at your return, and
you alarm us all by the situation we see you in; explain, I
entreat you, the cause of your violent sorrow." Alas !" he re-
plied, "how should I feel otherwise, when I have only a year to
live ?" He then related to them what had passed, and that he
had given his word to return at the end of a year to receive
When they heard this melancholy tale, they were in despair.
The wife uttered the most lamentable groans, tearing her hair,
and beating her breast; the children made the house resound
with their grief; while the father, overcome by affection, mingled
his tears with theirs. In short, the whole was a most affecting
The next day, the merchant began to settle his affairs, and
first of all to pay his debts. He made many presents to his
different friends, and large donations to the poor. He set at
10 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
liberty many of his slaves of both sexes; divided his property
amonghis children; appointed guardians for such as were young;
and besides returning to his wife all the fortune she brought
him, he added as much more as the law would permit
The year soon passed away, and he was compelled to depart.
lie took in his wallet the garment he wished to be buried in;
but when he attempted to take leave of his wife and children,
his grief quite overcame him. They could not bear his loss,
and almost resolved to accompany him, and all perish together.
Compelled at length to tear himself away from objects so dear,
he addressed these words to them: In leaving you, my chil-
dren, I obey the command of Heaven-imitate me, and submit
with fortitude to this necessity. Remember, that to die is the
inevitable destiny of man." Having said this, he snatched him-
self away from them, and set out. He arrived at the destined
spot, on the very day he had promised. He got off his horse,
and seating himself by the side of the fountain, with such sor-
rowful sensations as may easily be imagined, he awaited the
arrival of the Genius.
While he was kept in this cruel suspense, there appeared an
old man leading a hind, who came near to him. Having saluted
each other, the old man said, May I ask of you, brother, what
brought you to this desert place, which is so full of evil Genii
that there is no safety ? From the appearance of these trees,
one might suppose it was inhabited ; but it is, in fact, a solitude,
where it is dangerous to stay long."
The merchant satisfied the old man's curiosity, and related his
adventure. He listened with astonishment to the account, and
having heard it, he said, Surely nothing in the world can be
more surprising! and you have kept your oath inviolable! In
truth, I should like to be a witness to your interview with the
Genius." Having said this, he sat down near the merchant, and
while they were talking, another old man, followed by two black
iogs, came in sight. As soon as he was near enough, he saluted
them, and inquired the reason of their stay in that place. The
first old man related the adventure of the merchant, exactly as
he had told it; and added, that this was the appointed day, and
that he was therefore determined to remain, in order to see the
The second old man, thinking it alsn very curious, resolved to
THE OLD MAN AND THE HIND. I
do the same; and sitting down, joined in the conversation. Ht
had hardly done so, when a third arrived, and addressing him-
self to the other two, asked why the merchant, who was with
them, appeared so melancholy. They related the cause, which
seemed to him so wonderful, that he also resolved to be witness
to what passed between the Genius and the merchant. He
therefore sat down with them for this purpose.
Soon they perceived, towards the plain, a thick vapour or
smoke, like a column of dust raised by the wind. This vapour
approached them, and then suddenly disappearing, they saw the
Genius, who, without noticing them, went towards the merchant
with his scimitar in his hand; and taking him by the arm,
" Get up," said he, "that I may kill thee, as thou hast slain my
son." Both the merchant and the three old men were struck
with terror; they began to weep and fill the air with their
When the old man, who conducted the hind, saw the Genius
lay hold of the merchant, and about to murder him without
mercy, he threw himself at the monster's feet, and, kissing them,
said, Prince of the Genii, I humbly entreat you to suspend
your rage, and do me the favour to listen to me. I wish to re-
late my own history, and that of the hind, which you see; and
if you find it more wonderful and surprising than the adventure
of this merchant whose life you wish to take, may I not hope
that you will at least remit a third part of the punishment of
this unfortunate man ?" After meditating some time, the Genius
answered, Well, then, I agree to it."
THE HISTORY OF THE FIRST OLD MAN
AND THE HIND.
AM now going, said he, to begin my tale, and I request
your attention. The hind, whom you see here, is my
cousin; nay, more, she is my wife. When I mal ried
her, she was only twelve years old, and she ought,
therefore, not only to look upon me as her relation and husband,
but even as her father.
IS THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
We lived together thirty years without having any children,
this, however, was no drawback upon my kindness and regard.
Still my desire of offspring was so great, that for this purpose,
and for this only, I purchased a female slave, who had a son of
great promise and expectation. Soon after my wife became in-
fected with jealousy, and consequently took a great aversion
to both mother and child; yet she so well concealed her senti-
ments, that I became acquainted with them, alas, too late.
In the meantime my son grew up; and he was about ten
)ears old when I was obliged to make a journey. I recom-
mended both the slave and the child to my wife before my
departure, as I had no distrust of her; and prayed her to take
great care of them during my absence, which would not be less
than a year. During this time, she endeavoured to satiate her
hatred. She applied herself to the study of magic; and when
she was sufficiently skilled in that diabolical art to execute the
horrible design she meditated, the wretch carried my son to a
distant place. When there, by her enchantments, she changed
him into a calf, gave him to my steward, and ordered him to
bring him up as a calf, which she said she had bought. She was
not, however, satisfied with this infamous action, but metamor
phosed the slave into a cow, which she also sent to my steward.
Immediately on my return, I inquired after my child and his
mother. "Your slave is dead," said she, and it is now more
than two months since I have beheld your son; nor do I know
what is become of him." I was sensibly affected at the death
of the slave; but as my son had only disappeared, I flattered
myself that he would soon be found. Eight months, however,
passed, and he did not return; nor could I learn any tidings of
him. In order to celebrate the festival of the great Bairam,
which was approaching, I ordered my steward to bring me the
fattest cow I possessed for a sacrifice. He obeyed my com-
mands, and the cow he brought me was my own slave, the un-
fortunate mother of my son. Having bound her, I was about to
make the sacrifice, when at the very instant she lowed most
sorrowfully, and the tears even fell from her eyes. This seemed
to me so extraordinary, that I could not but feel compassion for
her, and was unable to give the fatal blow. I therefore ordered
her to be taken away, and another brought.
My wife, who was present, seemed angry at my compassion,
THE OLD MAN AND THE HIND.
and opposed an order which defeated her malice. What are
you about, my husband?" said she, "why not sacrifice this
cow ? Your steward has not a more beautiful one, nor one mole
proper for the purpose." Wishing to oblige my wife, I again
approached the cow; and struggling with my pity, which sus-
pended the sacrifice, I was again going to give the mortal blow
when the victim a second time disarmed me by her redoubled
tears and meanings. I then delivered the instruments into the
hands of my steward. Take them," I cried, "and make the
sacrifice yourself; the lamentations and tears of the animal have
The steward was less compassionate, and sacrificed her. On
taking off the skin we found hardly anything but bones, though
she appeared very fat. Take her away," said I to the steward,
truly chagrined, I give her to you to do as you please with;
regale both yourself and whomsoever you wish; and if you have
a very fat calf, bring it in her place." I did not inquire what he
did with the cow, but he had not been gone long before I saw
a remarkably fine calf brought. Although I was ignorant that
this calf was my own son, yet I felt a sensation of pity arise in
my breast at first sight. As soon, also, as he perceived me, he
made so great an effort to come to me that he broke his cord.
He lay down at my feet, with his head on the ground, as if he
endeavoured to excite my compassion, and not have the cruelty
to take away his life: striving in this manner to make me com-
prehend that he was my son.
I was still more surprised and affected by this action than I
had been by the tears of the cow. I felt a kind of tender pity,
which interested me much for him; or, to speak more correctly,
my blood guided me to what was my duty. Go back," I
cried, and take all possible care of this calf, and in its room
bring another directly."
No sooner did my wife hear this than she exclaimed, "What
are you about, my husband ? clo not, I pray, sacrifice any other
than this."-" Wife," answered I, I will not sacrifice him; I
wish to favour him; do not you, therefore, oppose it." This
wicked woman, however, did not agree to my proposal; she
hated my son too much to suffer him to remain in safety; and
she continued to demand his sacrifice so obstinately, that I was
compelled to yield. I bound the calf, and taking the fatal knife,
14 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
was going to bury it in the throat of my son, when he turned
his eyes, filled with tears, so persuasively upon me, that I had
no power to execute my intention. The knife fell from my
hand, and I told my wife I was determined to have another calL
She tried every means to induce me to alter my mind; I con-
tinued firm, however, in my resolution, in spite of all she could
say; promising, for the sake of appeasing her, to sacrifice this
calf at the feast of Bairam on the following year.
The next morning my steward desired to speak with me in
private. I am come," said he, "to give you some information,
which, I trust, will afford you pleasure. I have a daughter, who
has some little knowledge of magic; and as I was bringing the
calf back yesterday, which you were unwilling to sacrifice, I
observed that she smiled at seeing it, and the next moment
began to weep. I inquired of her the cause of these two con-
trary emotions. 'My dear father,' she answered, 'that calf,
which you bring back, is the son of our master; I smiled with
joy at seeing him still alive, and wept at the recollection of his
mother, who was yesterday sacrificed in the shape of a cow
These two metamorphoses have been contrived by the enchant-
ments of our master's wife, who hated both the mother and the
child.' This," continued the steward, "is what my daughter
said, and I come to report it to you." Imagine, 0 Genius, my
surprise at hearing these words: I immediately set out with my
steward, to speak to his daughter myself. On my arrival, I
went first to the stable, where my son had been placed; he
could not return my caresses, but he received them in a way
which convinced me that he was really my son.
When the daughter of the steward made her appearance, 1
asked her if she could restore him to his former shape. "Yes,"
replied she, I can." Ah," exclaimed I, if you can perform
such a miracle, I will make you the mistress of all I possess."
She then answered with a smile, You are our master, and I
know how much we are bound to you; but I must mention,
that I can restore your son to his own form only on two condi-
tions; first, that you bestow him upon me for my husband, and,
secondly, that I may be permitted to punish her who changed
him into a calf." *" To the first," I replied, I agree with all
my heart; I will do still more, I will give you, for your own
separate use, a considerable sum of money, independent of what
THE OLD MAN AND THE HIND. 15
I destined for my son. In short, you shall perceive how I can
acknowledge the important service you do me. I agree also to
that which regards my wife; a person who has been capable ol
so criminal an action is worthy of punishment I abandon her
to you, do what you please with her; I only entreat you to
ipare her life." I will treat her, then," she said, in the same
marner as she has treated your son." To this I gave my con-
sent, provided she first restored my son to me.
The damsel then took a vessel full of water, and pronouncing
over it some words I did not understand, she thus addressed
herself to the calf: 0 calf, if thou hast been created by the
all-powerful Sovereign of the world, as thou now appearest, re-
tain that form; but if thou art a man, and hast been changed
by enchantment into a calf, resume, by permission of thy divine
Creator, thy natural figure!" In saying this, she threw the
water over him, and he instantly regained his own form.
My child! my dear child," I immediately exclaimed, and
embraced him with a transport I could not restrain; "it is the
Almighty who hath sent this damsel to us, to destroy the hor-
rible charm with which you were surrounded, and to avenge the
evil which has been done to you and your mother. I am sure
your gratitude will induce you to accept her for a wife, as I have
already promised for you." He joyfully consented; but before
they were united the damsel changed my wife into this hind,
which you see here. I wished her to have this form in pre-
ference to any other more unpleasant, that we might see her,
without repugnance, in our family.
Since this, my son has become a widower, and is now travel-
ling. Many years have passed since I have heard anything of
him; I have therefore now set out with a view to gain some
information; and as I did not like to trust my wife to the care
of any one during my search, I thought proper to carry her
along with me. This is the history of myself and this hind: can
anything be more wonderful? "I agree with you," said the
Genius, and in consequence, I grant a third of my pardon to
As soon as the first old man had finished his history, the
second, who led the two black dogs, said to the Genius, "I will
relate to you what has happened to me and these two dogs
which you sees and I am sure you will find my history still more
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
astonishing than that which you have heard. But when I have
told it, will you grant to this merchant another third of his
pardon ?" "Yes," answered the Genius," provided your history
surpasses that of the hind." This being settled, the second old
man began as follows:-
THE HISTORY OF THE SECOND OLD MAN AND
THE TWO BLACK DOGS.
EgREAT Prince of the Genii, you must know, that these
two black dogs, which you see here, and myself are
three brothers. Our father left us, when he died,
one thousand sequins each. With this sum we all
embarked in the same profession, namely, as merchants. Soon
after we had opened our warehouse, my eldest brother, who is
now one of these dogs, resolved to travel, and carry on his busi-
ness in foreign countries. With this view he sold all his goods,
and bought such other sorts of merchandise as were adapted to
the different countries he proposed visiting.
He set out, and was absent a whole year. At the end of this
time, a poor man, who seemed to me to be asking charity, pre-
sented himself at my warehouse. Heaven help you," said I.
And you also," answered he: "is it possible you do not know
me ?" On looking attentively at him, I recognized his person.
Ah, my brother," I cried, embracing him, how should I pos-
sibly know you in this state ?" I made him come in directly,
and inquired both after his health and the success of his voyage.
Do not ask me," he replied; "in beholding me you see the
whole. To enter into a detail of all the misfortunes that I have
suffered in the last year, and which have reduced me to the state
you see, would only be to renew my affliction."
I instantly shut up my shop, and neglecting everything else,
I took him to the bath, and dressed him in the best apparel my
wardrobe afforded. I examined the state of my business, and
finding by my accounts that I had just doubled my capital,
that is, that I was now worth two thousand sequins, I presented
THE OLD MAN AND THE TWO BLACK DOGS. I7
him with the half. Let this, my brother," I said, make you
forget your losses." He joyfully accepted the thousand sequins,
again settled his affairs, and we lived together as before.
Some time after this, my second brother, which is the othei
of these black dogs, wished also to dispose of his property. Both
his elder brother and myself tried everything in our power to
dissuade him from it, but in vain. He sold all, and with the
money he bought such merchandise as he wished for his journey.
He took his departure, and joined a caravan. At the end of a
year he also returned in the same condition as his brother had
done. I furnished him with clothes; and as I had gained
another thousand sequins, I gave them to him. He directly
bought a shop, and continued to exercise his business.
One day both my brothers came to me, and proposed that I
should make a voyage with them, for the purpose of traffic.
" You have travelled," said I, at once rejecting the scheme, and
what have you gained ? Who will insure that I shall be more
fortunate than you ?" In vain did they use every argument
they thought could induce me to try my fortune. I still refused
to consent to their design. They returned, however, so often to
the subject, that, after having withstood their solicitations for
five years, I at length yielded.
When it became necessary to prepare for the voyage, and we
were consulting on the sort of merchandise to be bought, I dis-
covered that they had consumed their capital, and that nothing
remained of the thousand sequins I had given to each. I did
not, however, reproach them; on the contrary, as my capital
was increased to six thousand sequins, I divided the half with
them, and said, We must, my brothers, risk only three thou-
sand sequins, and endeavour to conceal the other in some secure
place, that if our voyage be not more successful than those you
have already made, we shall, with this sum, be able to console
ourselves and begin our former profession. I will give one
thousand sequins to each, and keep one myself; and I will con-
ceal the other three thousand in a corner of my house." We
purchased our goods, embarked in a vessel, which we ourselves
freighted, and set sail with a favourable wind. After sailing
about a month, we arrived, without any accident, at a port,
where we landed, and had a most advantageous sale for our
merchandise. 'I, in particular, sold mine so well, that I gained
I THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
ten for one. We then purchased the produce of that country,
in order to traffic with it in our own.
About the time that we were ready to embark on our return
I accidentally met on the sea-shore a female, of a very fine figure,
but poorly dressed. She accosted me by kissing my hand, and
entreated me most earnestly to permit her to go with me, and
take her for my wife. I started many difficulties to such a plan;
but at length she said so much to persuade me that I ought not
to regard her poverty, and that I should be well satisfied with
her conduct, I was quite overcome. I directly procured proper
dresses for her, and after marrying her in drve form, she em-
barked with me, and we set sail.
During our voyage, I found my wife possessed of so many
good qualities, that I loved her every day more and more. In
the meantime, my two brothers, who had not traded so advan-
tageously as myself, and who were jealous of my prosperity,
began to feel exceedingly envious. They even went so far as to
conspire against my life; for one night, while my wife and I
were asleep, they threw us into the sea.
My wife proved to be a fairy, consequently possessed of super-
natural power; you may therefore imagine she was not hurt.
As for myself, I should certainly have perished without her aid.
I had hardly, however, fallen into the water before she took me
up, and transported me into an island. As soon as it was day,
the fairy thus addressed me :-" You may observe, my husband,
that in saving your life, I have not ill rewarded the good you
have done me. You must know that I am a fairy, and being
upon the shore when you were about to sail, I felt a great in-
clination for you. I wished to try the goodness of your heart,
and for this purpose I presented myself before you in the dis-
guise you saw. You acted most generously, and I am there-
fore delighted in finding an occasion of shewing my gratitude:
but I am enraged against your brothers, nor shall I be satisfied
till I have taken their lives."
I listened with astonishment to the discourse of the fairy, and
thanked her, as well as I was able, for the great obligation she
had conferred on me. "But, madam," said I to her, I must
entreat you to pardon my brothers; for although I have the
greatest reason to complain of their conduct, yet I am not so
cruel as to wish their destruction." I related to her what I had
THE OLD MAN AND THE TWO BLACK DOGS. 19
done for each of them, but my account only increased her anger.
"I must instantly fly after these ungrateful wretches," cried
she, "and bring them to a just punishment; I will sink their
vessel, and precipitate them to the bottom of the sea." No,
beautiful lady," replied I ; for Heaven's sake, moderate your
indignation, and do not execute so dreadful an intention; re-
member they are still my brothers, and that we are bound to
return good for evil."
I appeased the fairy by these words; and no sooner had I
pronounced them, than she transported me in an instant from
the island where we were to the top of my own house, which
was terraced, and then disappeared. I descended, opened the
doors, and dug up the three thousand sequins which I had hid-
den. I afterwards repaired to my shop, opened it, and received
the congratulations of the merchants in the neighbourhood on
my arrival When I returned home, I perceived these two black
dogs, which came towards me with a submissive air. I could
not imagine what this meant, but the fairy, who soon appeared,
satisfied my curiosity. My dear husband," said she, be not
surprised at seeing these two dogs in your house; they are your
brothers." My blood ran cold on hearing this, and I inquired
by what power they had been transformed into that state. "It
is I," replied the fairy, "who have done it ; at least it is one of
my sisters, to whom I gave the commission, and she has also
sunk their ship ; you will lose the merchandise it contained, but
I shall recompense you in some other way ; as to your brothers,
I have condemned them to remain under this form for ten years,
as a punishment for their perfidy." Then informing me where
I might hear of her, she disappeared.
The ten years are now completed, and I am travelling in
search of her. As I was passing this way, I met this merchant
and the good old man who is leading his hind, and here I staid.
This, 0 Prince of the Genii, is my history; does it not appear
to you of a most extraordinary nature? "Yes," replied the
Genius, "I confess it is most wonderful, and therefore I remit
the second third of the merchant's punishment."
When the second old man had finished his story, the third
began by asking the Genius, as the others had done, if he
would forgive the other third of the merchant's crime, provided
his history surpassed the other two in the singularity and un-
THE A.RABIAN NIGHTS.
commonness of its events: the Genius repeated his former
The third old man, sire, related his history to the Genius, and
it was so much beyond the others, from the variety of wonder-
ful adventures it contained, that the Genius was astonished.
He had no sooner heard the conclusion, than he said, "I grant
you the remaining third part of the merchant's pardon; and he
ought to be infinitely obliged to- you all for having freed him
from his dangerous situation by the relation of your adventures ;
for without your aid he would not now have been in this world."
Having said this, he disappeared, to the great joy of the whole
The merchant did not omit to bestow many thanks upon his
liberators. They rejoiced with him at being out of danger, and
then bidding him adieu, each went his own way. The merchant
returned home to his wife and children, and spent the remainder
of his days with them in tranquillity.
THE HISTORY OF THE FISHERMAN.
H EHERE was formerly an aged fisherman who was so
Vj, por.r that he could barely obtain food for himself, his
I i'c, and three children, of which his family consisted.
He went out early every morning to his employment;
and he had imposed a rule upon himself never to cast his nets
above four times a day.
One morning he set out before the moon had disappeared:
when he had got to the seashore, he undressed himself, and
threw his nets. In drawing them to land, he perceived a con-
siderable resistance, and began to imagine he should have an
excellent haul, at which he was much pleased. But the moment
after, finding that, instead of fish, he had got nothing but the
carcass of an ass in his nets, he was much vexed and afflicted at
having had so bad a draught. When he had mended his nets,
which the weight of the ass had torn in many places, he threw
them a second time. He again found considerable resistance in
drawing them up, and again he thought they were filled with fish;
how great then was his disappointment in discovering only a
large pannier or basket, filled with sand and mud. "0 fortune!"
he exclaimed, in the greatest affliction, and with a melancholy
voice, "cease to be enraged against me. Persecute not an
unfortunate being who thus supplicates thee to spare him. I
came from home to seek after life, and you announce my death.
I have no other trade by which I can subsist, and even with all
my care, I can hardly supply the most pressing wants of my
family. But wherefore should I complain of thee, who takest a
pleasure in abusing the virtuous, and leaving great men in
obscurity, while thou favourest the wicked, and exaltest those
who possess no virtue to recommend them ?"
Having thus vented his complaints, he angrily threw aside the
pannier, and washing his nets from the mud, he threw them a
third time. He brought up only stones, shells, and filth. It is
impossible to describe his despair, which almost deprived him
of his senses. The day now began to break, and, like a good
Mussulman, he did not neglect his prayers, to which he added
the following :-" Thou knowest, 0 Prophet, that I throw my
nets only four times a day; three times have I cast them into
the sea without any profit for my labour. Once more alone
remains; and I entreat thee to render the sea favourable, as
thou formerly didst to Moses."
When the fisherman had finished this prayer, he threw his
nets for the fourth time. Again he supposed he had caught a
great quantity of fish, as he drew them with as much difficulty
as before. He nevertheless found none; but discovered a vase
of yellow copper, which seemed, from its weight, to be filled
with something; and he observed that it was shut up and
fastened with lead, on which there was the impression of a seal.
" I will sell this to a founder," said he, with joy, and with the
money I shall get for it I will purchase a measure of corn."
He examined the vase on all sides; he shook it, in order to
discover whether its contents would rattle. He could hear
nothing; and this, together with the impression of the seal on
the lead, made him think it was filled with something valuable.
In order to find this out, he took his knife, and got it open
without much difficulty. He directly turned the top down-
wards, and was much surprised to find nothing come out; he
then set it down before him and while he was attentively
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
observing it, there issued from it so thick a smoke that he was
obliged to step back a few paces. This smoke, by degrees, rose
almost to the clouds, and spread itself over both the water and
the shore, appearing like a thick fog. The fisherman, as may
easily be imagined, was a good deal surprised at this sight.
When the smonke had all come out from the vase, it again
collected itself, and became a solid body, and then took the
shape of a Genius, twice as large as any of the giants. At the
appearance of so enormous a monster, the fisherman wished to
run away, but his fears were so great, he was unable to move.
"Solomon, Solomon," cried the Genius, "great prophet, par-
don, I pray. I never more will oppose thy will, but will obey
all thy commands."
The fisherman had no sooner heard these words spoken by
the Genius than he regained his courage, and said, "Proud
spirit, what is this thou sayest; Solomon has been dead more
than eighteen hundred years. Inform me, I pray, of thine his-
tory, and on what account thou wast shut up in this vase ? "
To this speech, the Genius, looking disdainfully at the fisher-
man, answered, Speak more civilly ; thou art very bold to call
me a proud spirit." "Perhaps, then," returned the fisherman,
"it will be more civil to call you an owl of good luck." I tell
thee," said the Genius, speak to me more civilly, before I kill
thee." "And for what reason, pray, will you kill me?" an-
swered the fisherman; "have you already forgotten that I have
set you at liberty ?" I remember it very well," returned he ;
"but that shall not prevent my destroying thee, and I will only
grant thee one favour." "And pray what is that ?" said the
fisherman. "It is," replied the Genius, "to permit thee to
choose the manner of thy death." "But in what," added the
other, "have I offended you? Is it thus thou wouldst recom
pense me for the good I have done thee ?" I can treat thee
no otherwise," said the Genius ; "and to convince thee of it,
attend to my history:-
I am one of those spirits who rebelled against the sovereignty
1f Heaven. All the other Genii acknowledged the great Solo-
mon, and submitted to him. Sacar and myself were the only
ones who were above humbling ourselves. In order to revenge
himself, this powerful monarch charged Assaf, the son of Barak-
hia, his first minister, to come and seize me. This was done,
THE FISHERMAN 23
and Assaf took and brought me, in spite of myself, before the
throne of the king, his master.
Solomon commanded me to quit my mode of life, acknow-
ledge his authority, and submit to his laws. I haughtily refused
to obey him, and rather exposed myself to his resentment than
take the oath of fidelity and submission which he required of
me. In order, therefore, to punish me, he enclosed me in this
copper vase; and, to prevent my forcing my way out, he put
upon the leaden cover the impression of his seal. This done,
he gave the vase to one of those Genii who obeyed him, and
ordered him to cast me into the sea; which, to my great sorrow,
was performed directly.
During the first period of my captivity, I swore that if any
one delivered me before the first hundred years were p.'ssed, I
would make him rich, even after his death. The time elapsed,
and no one assisted me: during the second century, I swore
that if any released me, I would discover to him all the trea-
sures of the earth; still I was not more fortunate. During the
third, I promised to make my deliverer a most powerful monarch,
to be always hovering near him, and to grant him every day any
three requests he chose. This age too, like the former, passed
away, and I remained in the same situation. Enraged, at last,
to be so long a prisoner, I swore that I would, without mercy, kill
whoever should in future release me, and that the only favour I
would grant him should be, to choose what manner of death he
pleased. Since, therefore, thou hast come here to-day, and hast
delivered me, fix upon whatever kind of death thou wilt."
The fisherman was much afflicted at this speech. How un-
fortunate," he exclaimed, am I, to come here and render so
great a service to such an ungrateful object Consider, I en-
treat you, your injustice, and revoke so unreasonable an oath."
" No," answered the Genius, "thy death is certain ; determine
only how I shall kill thee." The fisherman was in great distress
at finding him thus resolved on his death, not so much on his
own account as that of his three children, whose wretched state
he greatly deplored when they would be reduced by his death.
He still endeavoured to appease the Genius. "Alas !" he cried,
"have pity on me, in consideration of what I have done for
thee." I have already told thee," replhed the Genius, that it
is for that very reason that I am obliged to take thy life" It
34 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
is very strange," added the fisherman, that you are determined
to return evil for good. The proverb says that he who does
good to him that does not deserve it is always ill rewarded. I
did think, I own, that it was false, because nothing is more con-
trary to reason and the rights of society; yet I cruelly find it too
true." Let us lose no time," cried the Genius; "your argu-
ments will not alter my resolution. Make haste and tell me
how you wish to die."
Necessity is the spur to invention; and the fisherman thought
of a stratagem. Since then," said he, "I cannot escape death,
before I choose the sort of death, I conjure you answer me truly
to a question I am going to put to you." The Genius then said
to the fisherman, "Ask what thou wilt, and make haste."
The Genius had no sooner promised to speak the truth than
the fisherman said to him, I wish to know whether you really
were in that vase; dare you swear it by the great Prophet."
"Yes," answered the Genius, "I swear by the great Prophet
that I most certainly was." In truth," replied the fisherman,
" I cannot believe you. This vase cannot contain one of your
feet; how then can it hold your whole body ?" I swear to
thee, notwithstanding," replied he, "that I was there just as thou
seest me. Wilt thou not be] .eve me after the solemn oath I
have taken ?" No, truly," added the fisherman, I shall not
believe you unless I were to see it."
Immediately, the form of the Genius began to change into
smoke, and extended itself, as before, over both the shore and
the sea; and them; collecting itself, began to enter the vase, and
continued to do so, in a slow and equal manner, till nothing
remained without. A voice immediately issued forth, saying,
" Now then, thou incredulous fisherman, dost thou believe me
now I am in the vase ?" But, instead of answering the Genius,
he immediately took the leaden cover and put it on the vase.
"Genius," he cried, "it is now your turn to ask pardon, and
choose what sort of death is most agreeable to you. But no; it
is better that I should throw you again into the sea, and I will
build, on the very spot where you are cast, a house upon the
shore, in which I will live, to warn all fishermen that shall come
and throw their nets, not to fish up so wicked a Genius as thou
art, who makest an oath to kill the man who shall set thee at
THE GREEK KING AND THE PHYSICIAN.
At this offensive speech, the enraged Genius tried every
method to get out of the vase, but in vain; for the impression
of the seal of Solomon, the prophet, prevented him. Knowing
then that the fisherman had the advantage over him, he began
to conceal his rage. "Take care," said he, in a softened tone,
"what you are about, fisherman. Whatever I did was merely
in joke, and you ought not to take it seriously." "0 Genius,"
answered the fisherman, "you who were a moment ago the
greatest of all the Genii, are now the most insignificant; and do
not suppose that your flattering speeches will be of any use to
you. You shall assuredly return to the sea; and if you passed
all the time there which you have stated, you may as well remain
till the day of judgment I entreated you not to take my life.
and you rejected my prayers; I now reject yours, likewise."
The Genius tried every argument to move the fisherman's
pity, but in vain. I conjure you to open the vase," said he;
"if you give me my liberty again, you shall have reason to be
satisfied with my gratitude." You are too treacherous for me
to trust you," returned the fisherman; I should deserve to lose
my life if I had the imprudence to put it in your power a second
time. You would most likely treat me as a Greek king treated
Douban the physician. Listen, and I will tell you the story."
THE HISTORY OF THE GREEK KING AND
DOUBAN THE PHYSICIAN.
; NT the country of Zouman, in Persia, there lived a king,
I" i whose subjects were originally Greeks. This king
was sorely afflicted with a leprosy, and his physicians
had unsuccessfully tried every remedy they were ac-
quainted with, when a very ingenious physician, called Douban,
arrived at the court.
He had acquired his profound learning by studying different
authors in the Greek, Latin, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Syriac,
and Hebrew languages; and besides having a consummate
knowledge of philosophy, he was well acquainted with the good
and bad properties of all kinds of plants and drugs.
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS
As soon as he was informed of the king's illness, and that the
physicians had given him up, he dressed himself as neatly as
possible, and obtained permission to be presented to the king.
Sire," said he, I know that all the physicians who have
attended your majesty have been unaole to remove your leprosy;
but if you will do me the honour to ac ept of my services, I will
engage to cure you without either internal doses, or outward
applications." The king, pleased with this proposition, replied,
If you are really so skilful as you pretend, I promise to confer
affluence on you and your posterity ; and without reckoning the
presents you will have, you shall be my first favourite; but do
you assure me, then, that you will remove my leprosy without
making me swallow any potion, or applying any remedy exter-
nally ?" "Yes, sire," replied the physician, I flatter myself I
shall succeed; and to-morrow I will begin my operations."
Douban returned to his-house, and made a sort of racket or
bat, with a hollow in the handle, to admit the drug he meant to
use; that being done, he also prepared a sort of round ball, or
bowl, in the manner he intended, and the following day he pre-
sented himself before the king, and, prostrating himself at his
feet, kissed the ground.
Douban then arose, and having made a profound reverence,
told the king that he must ride on horseback to the place where
he was accustomed to play at bowls. The king did as he was
desired; and when he had reached the bowling-green, the phy-
sician approached him, and putting into his hand the bat which
he had prepared, Sire," said he, "exercise yourself with strik-
ing that bowl about with this bat till you find yourself in a
profuse perspiration. When the remedy I have enclosed in its
handle is warmed by your hand, it will penetrate through your
whole body; you may then leave off, for the drug will have
taken effect; and when you return to your palace, get into a
varm bath, and be well rubbed and washed; then go to bed,
and to-morrow you will be quite cured."
The king took the bat, and spurred his horse after the bowl
till he struck it; it was sent back again to him by the officers,
who were playing with him, and he struck it again; and thus
the game continued for a considerable time, till he found his
hand as well as his whole body in a perspiration, which made
the remedy in the bat operate as the physician had said; the
THE GREEK KING AND THE PHYSICIAN. 27
king then left the game, returned to the palace, bathed, and
observed very punctually all the directions that had been given
He soon found the good effects of the prescription; for when
he arose the next morning, he perceived with equal surprise and
joy that his leprosy was entirely cured, and that his body was
as clear as if he had never been attacked by that malady. As
soon as he was dressed, he went into the audience-room, where
he mounted his throne, and received the congratulations of all
his courtiers, who had assembled on that day partly to gratify
their curiosity and partly to testify their joy.
Douban entered, and went to prostrate himself at the foot of
the throne, with his face towards the ground. The king seeing
him, called to him, and made him sit by his side; and shewing
him to the assembly, gave him in that public way all the praise
he so well deserved ; nay, he did not stop here, for there being
a grand entertainment at court on that day, he placed him at
his own table to dine only with him.
The Greek king (proceeded the fisherman) was not satisfied
with admitting the physician to his own table; towards evening,
when the courtiers were about to depart, he put on him a long
rich robe resembling that which the courtiers usually wore in
his presence, and in addition made him a present of two thou-
sand sequins. The following days he did nothing but caress
him; in short, this prince, thinking he could never repay the
obligations he owed to so skilful a physician, was continually
conferring on him some fresh proof of his gratitude.
The king had a grand vizier, who was avaricious, envious, and
by nature capable of every species of crime. He observed, not
without pain, the presents which had been bestowed upon the
physician, whose great character and merit he was determined
to lessen and destroy in the mind of the king. To accomplish
this, he went to him, and said in private that he had some intel-
ligence of the greatest moment to communicate. The king
asked him what it was. Sire," replied he, it is very danger-
ous for a monarch to place any confidence in a man of whose
fidelity he is not assured. In overwhelming the physician
Douban with your favours, and bestowing all this kindness and
regard upon him, you know not but he may be a traitor, who
has introduced himself to the court in order to assassinate you."
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
" What is this you dare tell me ?" answered the king. Recol-
lect to whom you speak, and that you advance an assertion to
which I shall not easily give credit." Sire," added the vizier,
' I am accurately informed of what I have the honour to repre-
sent to you ; do not therefore continue to repose such a danger-
ous confidence in him. If your majesty is, as it were, in a
dream, it is time to awake; for I again repeat, that the phy-
sician Douban has not travelled from the farther part of Greece,
his own country, but for the horrible design I have mentioned."
"No, no, vizier," interrupted the king ;" I am sure this man,
whom you consider as a hypocrite and traitor, is one of the
most virtuous 'and best of men; there is no one in the world
whom I regard so much. You know by what remedy, or rather
by what miracle, he cured me of my leprosy; and if he had
sought my life, why did he thus save it. Cease then from
endeavouring to instil unjust suspicions, for instead of listening
to them, I now inform you that from this very day I bestow
upon him a pension of one thousand sequins a month for the
rest of his life. And were I to share all my riches, and even my
kingdoms with him, I could never sufficiently repay what he
has done for me. I see what it is, his virtue excites your envy;
but do not suppose that I shall suffer myself to be prejudiced
against him unjustly. I well remember what a vizier said to
King Sinbad his master, to prevent his giving orders for the
death of his son."
This very much excited the curiosity of the vizier. "I beg
your majesty will pardon me if I have the boldness to ask you
what it was that the vizier of King Sinbad said to his master, in
order to avert the death of his son." The Greek king had the
complaisance to satisfy him. This vizier," added he, after
hLving represented to King Sinbad that he ought to hesitate to
do a thing which was founded on the suggestion of a mother-in-
law, for fear she should repent, related the following story :"-
THE HUSBAND AND THE PARROT.
THE HISTORY OF THE HUSBAND AND THE
.-,-',HERE lived once a good man who had a beautiful
i w., of whom he was so passionately fcnd, that he
] could scarcely bear to have her out of his sight. One
day, when some particular business obliged him to
leave her, he went to a place where they sold all sorts of birds;
he purchased a parrot, which was not only highly accomplished
in the art of talking, but also possessed the rare gift of telling
everything that was done in its presence. The husband took it
home in a cage to his wife, and begged of her to keep it in her
chamber, and take great care of it during his absence; after this
he set out on his journey.
On his return, he did not fail to interrogate the parrot on
what had passed while he was away ; and the bird very expertly
related a few circumstances which occasioned the husband to
reprimand his wife. She supposed that some of her slaves had
exposed her, but they all assured her they were faithful, and
agreed in charging the parrot with the crime. Desirous of
being convinced of the truth of this matter, the wife devised a
method of quieting the suspicions of her husband, and at the
same time of revenging herself on the parrot, if he were the
culprit. The next time the husband was absent, she ordered
one of her slaves, during the night, to turn a handmill under the
bird's cage, and another to throw water over it like rain, and a
third to wave a looking-glass before the parrot by the light of a
candle. The slaves were employed the greatest part of the
night in doing what their mistress had ordered them, and suc-
ceeded to her satisfaction.
The following day, when the husband returned, he again ap-
plied to the parrot to be informed of what had taken place. The
bird replied, My dear master, the lightning, the thunder, and
the rain, have so disturbed me the whole night, that I cannot
tell you how much I have suffered." The husband, who knew
there had been no storm that night, became convinced that the
parrot did not always relate facts; and that having told an un-
truth in this particular, he had also deceived him with respect
to his wife: being therefore extremely enraged with it, he took
the bird out of the cage, and, dashing it on the floor, killed it
30 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
He, however, afterwards, learnt from his neighbours that the
poor parrot had told no falsehood in reference to his wife's con-
dact, which made him repent of having destroyed it.
"When the Greek king," said the fisherman to the Genius,
had fini'jhed the story of the parrot," he added, 'You, vizier,
through envy of Douban, who has done y au no evil, wish me to
order his death, but I will take good care lest, like the husband
who killed his parrot, I should afterwards repent.' "
The vizier was too desirous of the death of Douban to let it
rest here. Sire," replied he, "the loss of the parrot was of
little importance, nor do I think his master could long have re-
gretted it. But on what account should the dread of oppressing
the innocent prevent you from destroying this physician ? Is it
not a sufficient reason, that he is accused of attempting your
life, to authorise you to take away his? When the life of a
king is in question, a bare suspicion ought to be equal to a cer-
tainty ; and it is better to sacrifice the innocent than save the
guilty. But this, sire, by no means rests on an uncertainty
The physician Douban positively wishes to assassinate you. It
is not envy that makes me hostile to him, it is the interest alone
that I take in your majesty's preservation; it is my zeal which
induces me to give my advice on so important an occasion. If
my information is false, I deserve the same punishment that a
certain vizier underwent formerly." What had that vizier done
worthy of chastisement ?" said the Greek king. I will tell your
majesty," answered the vizier, if you will have the goodness to
THE HISTORY OF THE VIZIER WHO WAS
SHERE was formerly a king whose son was passion-
S. a'- :ly fond of hunting. His father, therefore, often
d u ilged him in this diversion ; but at the same time
gave positive orders to his grand vizier always to
acco mpany, and never lose sight of him.
One hunting morning, the prickers roused a stag, and the
THE VIZIER WHO WAS PUNISHED.
prince set off in pursuit, thinking that the vizier was following
him. He galloped so long and his eagerness carried him so far,
that he at last found himself quite alone. He immediately
stopped, and observing that he had lost his way, he endeavoured
to return back by the same, in order to join the vizier, who had
not been sufficiently attentive in following him. He was, how-
ever, unable to find it; and riding about on all sides, without
getting into the right track, he by chance met a lady, not ill
made, who was weeping most bitterly. The prince immediately
checked his horse, and inquired of her who she was, what she
did alone in that place, and whether he could assist her. I
am," she answered, the daughter of an Indian king. In riding
out into the country, I was overcome with sleep, and fell from
my horse. He has run away, and I know not what has become
of him." The young prince was sorry for her misfortune, and
proposed to take her up behind him, which she accepted.
As they passed by an old ruined building, the lady made some
excuse to alight; the prince therefore stopped, and suffered hei
to get down. He also alighted, and walked towards the building.
holding his horse by the bridle. Imagine then what was his
astonishment, when he heard the female pronounce these words
from within the walls: "Rejoice, my children, I have brought
you a very nice fat youth." And directly afterwards other voices
answered, Where is he, mamma ? Let us eat him instantly.
for we are very hungry."
The prince had heard enough to convince him of the danger
he was in: he plainly perceived that she, who represented her-
self as the daughter of an Indian king, was no other than the
wife of one of those savage demons called Ogres, who live in
desert places, and make use of a thousand wiles to surprise and
devour the unfortunate passengers. He trembled with fear, and
instantly mounted his horse.
The pretended princess at that moment made her appearance,
and finding she had failed in her scheme, Do not be afraid,"
she cried, "but tell me who you are, and what you are t~oking
for." I have lost my way," he replied, and am endeavouring
to find it." If you are lost," she said, recommend yoirplIf to
the Prophet, and he will deliver you from your difficulty."
The young prince could not believe that she spoke since-ly,
but that she considered him as already within her power : 'w
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
lifted up his hands therefore towards heaven, and said, "Cast
thine eyes upon me, 0 Prophet, and deliver me from this my
enemy !" At this prayer, the Ogre went back to the ruin, and
the prince rode off as fast as possible. He fortunately dis-
covered the right road, and arrived safely at home, and related
to his father, word for word, the great danger he had encountered
through the neglect of the grand vizier. The king was so
enraged at him, that he ordered this minister to be instantly
"Sire," continued the vizier of the Greek king, "to return to
the physician Douban; if you do not take care, the confidence
you place in him will turn out unfortunate. I well know that
he is a spy, sent by your enemies to attempt your majesty's life.
He has cured you, you say; but who can tell that ? He has
perhaps only cured you in appearance, and not radically; and
who can tell whether this remedy in the end will not produce
the most pernicious effects ?"
The Greek king was naturally rather weak, and had no*
penetration enough to discover the wicked intention of his
vizier, nor sufficient firmness to persist in his first opinion
This conversation staggered him. "You are right, vizier," said
he, he may be come for the express purpose of taking my life,
which he can easily accomplish, even by the mere smell of some
of his drugs. We must consider what is to be done in this
When the vizier perceived the king in the disposition he
wished, he said to him, The best and most certain means, sire,
to insure your repose, and put your person in safety, is instantly
to send to Douban, and on his appearance, order him to be
beheaded." "Indeed," replied the king, "I think I ought to
prevent his designs." Having said this, he called one of his
officers, and ordered him to find the physician, who, without
knowing what the king wished, hastened to the palace.
"Knowest thou," said the king, as soon as he saw him, why
I sent for thee here ?" "No, sire," answered Douban, "and I
wait till your majesty pleases to instruct me." I have ordered
thee to come," replied the king, to free myself from thy snares,
by taking thy life."
It is impossible to express the astonishment of Douban at
THE GREEK KING AND THE PHYSICIAN.
hearing the sentence of his death. "For what reason, sire,"
replied he, does your majesty condemn me to death ? What
crime have I been guilty of?" I have been well informed,"
added the king, that you are a spy, and that you have come to
my court in order to take away my life; but to prevent that, I
will first deprive you of yours. Strike," added he to an office
who was by, and deliver me from a treacherous wretch, who
has introduced himself here only to assassinate me."
At hearing this, the physician at once surmised that the
honours and riches which had been heaped upon him had
excited some enemies against him, and that the king, through
weakness, had suffered himself to be guided by them; nor was
he wrong. He began to repent having cured him; but that
feeling came too late. Is it thus," he cried, that you recom-
pense the good I have done you ?" The king, however, paid no
attention, and desired the officer, a second time, to execute his
orders. The physician had then recourse to prayers. "Ah,
sire," he cried, if you prolong my life, Heaven will prolong
yours; do not kill me, lest God should treat you after the same
"You see, then," said the fisherman, breaking off his story in
this place, and addressing himself to the Genius, that what has
passed between the Greek king and the physician Douban is
exactly the same as what has happened between us."
The Greek king, however, continued he, instead of regarding
the entreaties the physician urged in conjuring him to relent,
exclaimed, No, no, you must die, or you will take away my
life in a still more concealed manner than you have cured me."
Douban, in the meantime bathed in tears, complained much at
ending his important services so ill requited, and at last pre-
pared for death. The officer then put a bandage over his eyes,
tied his hands, and was going to draw his scimitar. The cour-
tiers, however, who were present, felt so much for him, that they
entreated the king to pardon him, assuring his majesty he was
not guilty, and that they would answer for his innocence. But
the king was inflexible, and spoke so peremptorily, that they
dared not reply.
The physician being on his knees, his eyes bandaged, and
ready to receive the stroke that was to terminate his existence,
once more addressed the king:--" Since your majesty, sire, will
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
not revoke the order for my death, I entreat you at least to give
me leave to return home to arrange my funeral, take a last fare-
well of my family, bestow some charity, and leave my books to
those who will know how to make a good use of them. There
is one of them which I wish to make a present to your majesty.
It is a very rare and curious work, and worthy of being kept
even in your treasury with the greatest care." What book
can there be," replied the king, "so valuable as you mention ?"
" Sire," answered the physician, it contains things of the most
curious nature, and one of the principal is, that when my head
shall be struck off, if your majesty will take the trouble to open
the book at the sixth leaf, and read the third line on the left-
hand page, my head will answer every question you wish to
ask." The king was so desirous of seeing such a wonderful
thing, that he put off his death till the next day, and sent him
home under a strong guard.
The physician then arranged all his affairs, and as the news
got abroad that an unheard-of prodigy was to happen after his
execution, the viziers, emirs, officers of the guard, in short all
the court, flocked the next day to the hall of audience to witness
such an extraordinary event.
Douban the physician appeared directly after, and advanced
to the foot of the throne with a very large volume in his hand.
He then placed it on a vase, and unfolded the cover in which
the book was wrapped; and in presenting it, he thus addressed
the king :-" If it be your pleasure, sire, receive this book; and
as soon as my head shall be struck off, order one of your officers
to place it on the vase upon the cover of the book; as soon as
it is there, the blood will cease to flow: then open the book, and
my head shall answer all your questions. But, sire," added
Douban, permit me once more to implore your mercy. Con-
sider, I beg of you, that I protest to you I am innocent." Thy
prayers," answered the king, are useless, and were it only to
hear thy head speak after thy death, I should wish for thy exe-
cution." In saying this, he took the book from the hands of
the physician, and ordered the officer to do his duty.
The head was so adroitly cut off, that it fell into the vase, and
it had hardly been on the cover an instant before the blood
stopped. Then, to the astonishment of the king, and all the
spectators, it opened its eyes, and said, Will your majesty now
THE FISHERMAN AND THE GENIUS.
open the book ?" The king did so; and finding that the first
leaf stuck to the second, he put his finger to his mouth, and
moistened it, in order to turn it over more easily. He went on
doing so till he came to the sixth leaf; and observing nothing
written upon the appointed page, Physician," said he to the
head, "there is no writing." "Turn over, then, a few more
leaves," replied the head. The king continued turning them
over, still putting his finger frequently to his mouth, till the
poison, in which each leaf had been dipped, began to produce
its effect. The prince then felt himself suddenly agitated in a
most extraordinary manner; his sight failed him, and he fell at
the foot of the throne in the greatest convulsions.
When the physician Douban, or rather his head, saw that the
poison had taken effect, and that the king had only a few minutes
to live, "Tyrant !" he exclaimed, "behold how those princes
are treated who abuse their power and sacrifice the innocent."
The head had no sooner repeated these words, than the king
expired; and, at the same time, the small portion of life that
remained in the head itself was wasted.
As soon as the fisherman had finished the history of the Greek
king and the physician Douban, he applied it to the Genius,
whom he still kept confined in the vase. If," said he, "the
Greek king had permitted Douban to live, Heaven would also
have bestowed the same benefit on him: but he rejected the
humble prayers of the physician. This, O Genius, is the case
with yourself. If I had been able to make you relent, and
could have obtained the favour I asked of you, I should have
pitied the state in which you now are; but since you persisted
in your determination to kill me, in spite of the obligation you
were under to me for setting you at liberty, I ought, in my turn,
to shew no mercy. In leaving you within this vase, and casting
you into the sea, I shall deprive you of the use of you existence
till the end of time. This is the revenge you yourself have taught
"Once more, my good friend," replied the Genius, "I entreat
you not to be guilty of so cruel an act; remember that revenge
is not a part of virtue; on the contrary, it is praiseworthy to
return good for evil. Do not, then, serve me, as Imma formerly
treated Ateca." "And how was that ?" asked the fisherman.
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
"If you wish to be informed of it, open this vase,' answered
the Genius: do you think that I am in the humour, while
confined in this narrow prison, to relate stories ? I will tell you
as many as you please when you shall have let me out." No,
no," said the fisherman, I will not release you; it is better for
me to cast you into the bottom of the sea." One word more,
fisherman," cried the Genius: I will teach you how to become
as rich as possible."
The hope of being no longer in want, at once disarmed the
fisherman. "I would listen to you," he cried, "if I had the
least ground to believe you; swear to me by the great Prophet
that you will faithfully observe what you say, and I will open
the vase. I do not believe that you will be sufficiently bold to
violate such an oath." The Genius did so; and the fisherman
immediately took off the covering. The smoke instantly issued
from it, and the first thing the Genius did, after he had re-
assumed his usual form, was to kick the vase into the sea, an
action which rather alarmed the fisherman. What do you
mean, 0 Genius, by this; do you not intend to keep the oath
you have taken? Or must I address the same words to you
which the physician Douban did to the Greek king-' Suffer
me to live, and Heaven will prolong your days ?'"
The fear expressed by him made the Genius laugh; "Be of
good heart, fisherman," answered he, I have thrown the vase
into the sea only for diversion, and to see whether you would be
alarmed: but to shew you that I intend to keep my word, take
your nets and follow me." They passed by the city and went
over the top of a mountain, from whence they descended into a
vast plain, which led them to a pond, situated between four
When they were arrived on the borders of the pond, the
Genius said to the fisherman, "Throw your nets, and catch
fish." The fisherman did not doubt that he should take some,
for he saw a great quantity in the pond; but how great was his
surprise at finding them of four different colours-white, red,
blue, and yellow. He threw his nets and caught four, one of
each colour. As he had never seen any similar to them, he
could hardly cease admiring them; and judging that he could
dispose of them for a considerable sum, he expressed great joy.
" Carry these fish to the palace," said the Genius, "and present
fHE FISHERMAN AND THE GENIUS. 37
them to the sultan, and he will give you more money than you
ever handled in all your life. You may come every day and
fish in this pond, but'beware of casting your nets more than
once each day: if you act otherwise, some evil will befall you;
therefore take care. This is my advice, and if you follow it
exactly you will do well." Having said this, he struck his foot
against the ground, which opened, and having sunk into it, the
earth closed as before.
SThe fisherman resolved to observe the advice and instructions
of the Genius in every point, and take care never to throw hif
nets a second time. He went back to the town very well satis-
fied with his success, and making a thousand reflections on his
adventure. He went directly and presented his fish at the
The sultan was surprised when he saw the four fish brought
him by the fisherman. He took them one by one, and ob-
served them most attentively; and after admiring them a
long time, he said to his first vizier, "Take these fish and
carry them to that excellent cook which the emperor of the
Greeks sent me; I think they must be equally good as they
The vizier took them, and delivered them himself into the
hands of the cook. Here are four fish," said he, "which have
been presented to the sultan; he commands you to dress them."
He then returned to the sultan his master, who desired him to
give the fisherman four hundred pieces of gold; which he faith-
fully executed. The fisherman, who was never before in posses-
sion of so large a sum of money at once, could not conceal his
joy, and thought it all a dream. He soon, however, proved it
to be a reality by the good purpose to which he applied the gold
in relieving the wants of his family.
As soon as the cook had cleaned the fish which the vizier had
brought, she put them in a vessel, with some oil, over the fire to
fry. When she thought they were sufficiently ,one on one side,
she turned them. She had hardly done so when, wonderful to
relate, the wall of the kitchen appeared to separate, and a beau-
tiful and majestic young damsel came out of the opening. She
was dressed in a satin robe, embroidered with flowers after the
Egyptian manner, and adorned with ear-rings and a necklace ol
large pearls, and gold bracelets set with rubies ; she held a rod
THE ARABIAN NIGH 1s.
of myrtle in her hand. Approaching the vessel, to the great as-
tonishment of the cook, who remained motionless at the sight.
and striking one of the fish with her rod, she said, Fish, fish,
art thou doing thy duty ?" The fish answering not a word,
she again repeated it, when the four fish all raised themselves
up, and said very distinctly, Yes, yes, if you reckon, we reckon ;
if you pay your debts, we pay ours ; if you fly, we conquer,
and are content." As soon as they had spoken these words,
the damsel overturned the vessel, and went back through the
wall, which immediately closed up, and was in the same state as
The cook, whom all these wonders alarmed, having in some
measure recovered from her fright, went to take up the fish,
which had fallen upon the hot ashes; but she found them
blacker and more burnt than the coals themselves, and not at
all in a state to send to the sultan. At this she was greatly dis-
tressed, and began to cry with all her might. Alas," said she,
"what will become of me ? I am sure, when I relate to the
sultan what I have seen, that he will not believe me. How en-
raged will he be with me "
While she was in this distress, the grand vizier entered, and
asked if the fish were ready. The cook then related all that had
taken place, at which, as we may naturally suppose, he was
much astonished: but without telling the sultan anything about
it, he invented some excuse which satisfied him. He then sent
directly for the fisherman; to whom, when he was come, he
said, "Bring me four more fish, like those you brought before,
for an accident has happened which prevents their being served
up to the sultan." The fisherman did not tell him what the
Genius had strictly advised him to do, but pleaded the length
of the way as an excuse for not being able to procure any more
that day; he promised, however, to bring them the next morn-
The fisherman, in order to be in time, set out before it was
day, and went to the pond. He threw his nets, and drawing
them out, found four more fish, like those he had taken the day
before, each of a different colour. He returned directly, and
brought them to the grand vizier by the time he had promised.
The minister took them, and carried them into the kitchen,
where he shut himself up with only the cook, who prepared to
THE FISHERMAN AND THE GENIUS.
dress them before him. She put them on the fire as she had
done the others on the preceding day. When they were dressed
on one side, she turned them, and immediately the wall of the
kitchen opened, and the same damsel appealed, with her myrtle
in her hand. She approached the vessel in which the fish were,
and striking one of them, addressed the same words to it she
had before done; when they all, raising their heads, made the
same answer. The damsel overturned the vessel with her rod
as she had done before, and went back through the opening in
the wall, where she had entered. The grand vizier witnessed
all that passed. This is very surprising," he cried, and too
extraordinary to be kept secret from the sultan's ears. I will my-
self go and inform him of this prodigy." He immediately, there-
fore, went, and gave an exact relation of all that had passed.
The sultan was much astonished, and became very anxious to
see this wonder. For this purpose he again sent for the fisher-
man: "Friend," said he to him, when he came, "canst thou
not bring me four more fish of different colours ?" If your
majesty," answered the fisherman, "will grant me three days, I
can promise to do so." He obtained the time he wished, and
went again, for the third time, to the pond. He was not less
successful than before, and he caught four fish of different
colours the first time he threw his nets. He neglected not to
carry them directly to the sultan, who expressed the greater
pleasure at seeing them, as he did not expect them so soon ;
and he ordered four hundred pieces of money to be given to the
As soon as the sultan had got the fish, he had them taken into
his own cabinet, together with the different things that were
necessary to dress them. Here he shut himself up with the
grand vizier, who began to cook them, and put them on the fire
in a proper vessel. As soon as they were done on one side, he
turned them on the other. The wall of the cabinet immediately
opened; but, instead of the beautiful damsel, there appeared a
black, who was in the habit of a slave. This black was very
large and gigantic, and held a large green rod in his hand. He
advanced to the vessel, and touching one of the fi.h with his
rod, he cried out in a terrible tone, Fish, fish, art thou doing
thy duty?" At these words, the fish lifted up their heads, and
answered, "Yes, yes, we are: if you reckon, we reckon; if you
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
pay your debts, we pay ours; if you fly, we conquer, and are
content." The fish had scarcely said this, when the black over-
turned the vessel into the middle of the cabinet, and reduced
the fish to the state of cinders. Having done so, he haughtily
retired through the opening of the wall, which instantly closed,
and appeared as perfect as before.
"After what I have seen," said the sultan to his grand vizier,
"it is in vain for me to think of remaining at ease. It is certain
that these fish signify something very extraordinary, which I
wish to discover." He sent for the fisherman, and when he
arrived, he said to him, "The fish thou hast brought me have
caused me great uneasiness ; where dost thou catch them ?" I
caught them, sire," answered he, in a pond, which is situated
in the midst of four small hills, beyond the mountain you may
see from hence." Do you know that pond ?" said the sultan
to the vizier. "No, sire," answered he; "I have never even
heard it mentioned, though I have hunted in the vicinity of the
mountain, and beyond it, near sixty years. The sultan asked
the fisherman about what distance the pond was from the palace;
he replied that it was not more than three hours' journey.
With this assurance, as there was still time to arrive there
before night, the sultan ordered his whole court to get ready,
while the fisherman served as a guide.
They all ascended the mountain, and in going down on the
other side, they were much surprised by the appearance of a
large plain, which no one had ever before remarked. They at
length arrived at the pond, which they found situated exactly
among four hills, as the fisherman had reported. Its water was
so transparent, that they remarked all the fish to be of the same
colours as those the fisherman had brought to the palace.
The sultan halted on the side of the pond ; and, after observing
the fish with signs of great admiration, he inquired of his emirs
and all his courtiers if it could be possible that they had never
seen this pond, which was so close to the city.-They all said
they had never heard it even mentioned. Since you all agree,
then," said he, "that you have never heard it spoken of, and
since I am not less astonished than you are at this novelty, I am
resolved not to return to my palace till I have discovered for
what reason this pond is now placed here, and why there are
fish of only four colours in it." After having thus spoken, he
THE FISHERMAN AND THE GENIUS.
ordered them to encamp around it; his own pavilion, and the
tehts of his immediate household, were pitched on the borders
of the pond.
When the day closed, the sultan retired to his pavilion, and
entered into a particular conversation with his vizier. "My
mind," said he, is much disturbed; this pond, suddenly placed
here; this black, who appeared to us in my cabinet; these fish,
too, whom we heard speak ; all this so much excites my curiosity
that I cannot conquer my impatience to be satisfied. It is on
this account that I am absolutely determined to execute the
design I meditate. I shall go quite alone from my camp, and
order you to keep my departure a profound secret. Remain in
my pavilion, and when my emirs and courtiers present them-
selves at the entrance to-morrow morning, send them away, and
say I have a slight indisposition, and wish to remain alone. You
will also continue to do so every day till my return."
The grand vizier endeavoured, by many arguments, to persuade
the sultan not to do as he intended. He represented the great
danger to which he exposed himself, and the unnecessary trouble
and difficulties he might thus encounter, and probably to no
purpose. All his eloquence, however, was exhausted, to no
effect; the sultan did not alter his resolution, but prepared to
set out. He put on a proper dress for walking, and armed
himself with a sabre; and as soon as he found that everything
in the camp was quiet, he departed, unaccompanied by any one.
He bent his course towards one of the small hills, which hc
ascended without much difficulty; and the descent on the other
side was still easier. He then pursued his way over a plain, till
the sun rose. He now perceived, in the distance before him, a
large building, the sight of which filled him with joy, from the
hopes of being able to gain some intelligence of what he wished
to know. When he came near, he remarked that it was a
magnificent palace, or rather a strong castle, built with polished
black marble, and covered with fine steel, so bright that it was
like a mirror. Delighted with having so soon met with some-
thing at least worthy his curiosity, he stopped opposite the
front, and considered it with much attention ; he then advanced
towards the folding-doors, one of which was open. Though he
might have gone in, he thought it better to knock At first, he
knocked gently, and waited some time; but, finding no one
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
appear, he thought they might not have heard; he therefore
knocked a second time, much louder ; still no one came. He
redoubled his efforts, but in vain. At this he was much asto-
nished, as he could not imagine that a castle so well built as that
was, could be deserted.-" If there be no person there," said the
sultan to himself, I have nothing to fear; and if there be any
one, I have arms to defend myself with."
At last he entered, and when he was in the vestibule, he called
out, Is there no one here to receive a stranger, who is in want
of refreshment on his journey?" He repeated it two or three
times, as loud as he could; still there was no answer. This
silence increased his astonishment. He passed on to a very
spacious court, and looking on all sides, he could not discover
a living creature. He then entered, and passed through some
large halls, the carpets of which were of silk, the recesses
and sofas entirely covered with the stuffs of Mecca, and the
curtains before the doors of the richest manufactures of India,
embroidered with gold and silver. He went on, and came to a
most wonderful saloon, in the midst of which there was a large
reservoir, with a lion of massive gold at each corner. Streams
of water issued from the mouths of the four lions, and in falling,
appeared to break in a thousand diamonds and pearls, which
formed a good addition to a fountain that sprung from the
middle of the basin, and rose almost to the top of a dome,
beautifully painted in the arabesque style.
The castle was surrounded on three sides by a garden, which
was embellished with all kinds of flowers, fountains, groves, and
many other beauties ; but what rendered this spot s.ill .-ore
enchanting was the multitude of birds, which filled the air with
the sweetest notes. This was their constant habitation, because
there were nets thrown entirely over the trees, which prevented
The sultan continued walking a long time from one apartment
to another, where everything was grand and magnificent. Being
rather fatigued, he sat down in an open cabinet, which looked
into the garden. Here he meditated upon all he had seen, or
might yet see, and was reflecting on the different objects, when
suddenly a plaintive voice, accompanied by the most heart-
rending cries, struck his ear. lie listened attentively, and dis-
tinctly heard these melancholy words: "0 fortune, thou hast
THE FISHERMAN AND THE GENIUS.
not suffered me long to enjoy my happy lot, but hast rendered
me the most wretched of men ; cease, I entreat thee, thus to
persecute me, and, by a speedy death, put an end to my suffer-
ings. Alas! is it possible I can still exist, after all the torments
I have suffered ?"
The sultan, much affected by these lamentable complaints,
immediately got up, and went towards the spot whence they
issued. He came to the entrance of a large hall; he drew the
door-curtain aside, and saw a young man seated upon a sort of
throne, raised a little from the ground. He appeared well made,
and was very richly dressed, but deep sorrow was impressed on
his countenance. The sultan approached, and saluted him. The
youth returned the compliment by bending his head very low.
but did not rise. I am sure, sir," said he to the sultan, I
ought to get up to receive you, and shew you all possible respect.
but a most powerful reason prevents me; you will not there-
fore, I trust, take it ill." I feel myself highly honoured, sir,"
replied the sultan, "by the good opinion you express of me.
Whatever may be your motive for not rising, I willingly receive
your apologies. Attracted by your complaints, and impelled by
your sufferings, I come to offer you my assistance. I trust I
shall be permitted to afford some consolation to you in your
misfortunes, and I will use all my endeavours to do so. I flatter
myself you will not object to relate the history of your sorrows
to me. But, in the first place, I beg of you to inform me what
that pond which is near this castle means, where there are fish
of four different colours; how, also, this castle came here, and
you thus in it and alone !"
Instead of answering these questions, the young man began
to weep most bitterly. How inconstant is fortune!" he cried;
"she delights in crushing those whom she has elevated. Who
can say they have ever enjoyed from her a life of calm and pure
The sultan, touched with compassion at his situation, re-
quested him again to relate the cause of such sorrow. "Alas,
my lord!" answered the youth, "can I be otherwise than
afflicted, or can these eyes ever cease from shedding tears ?"
At these words, he lifted up his robe, and the sultan perceived
he was a man only to his waist, and that from thence to his feet
he was changed into black marble.
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
You may easily imagine that the sultan was much surprised
when he saw the deplorable state of the young man. "What
you shew me," said he to him, "fills me with horror, but at the
same time excites my curiosity. I am impatient to learn your
history, which must, no doubt, be very singular; and I am per-
suaded that the pond and the fish have some connexion with
it. I entreat you, therefore, to relate it; and you may find
consolation by doing so, for the unhappy often experience some
relief in communicating their sorrows." I will not refuse you
this satisfaction," replied the young man, although I cannot
impart it without renewing the most poignant grief; but I must
forewarn you to prepare your ears and your mind, nay, even
your eyes, for what surpasses all conception."
THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG KING OF THE
i.- MUST first inform you (continued he) that my father,
who was called Mahmoud, was the king of this state.
It is the kingdom of the Black Isles, which takes
--'- its name from four small neighboring mountains,
that were formerly islands; and the capital where my father
resided was situated on the spot which is now occupied by that
pond. You will know how these changes took place as I proceed
with my history.
The king, my father, died at the age of seventy years, and I
Immediately ascended the throne. My first care was to marry,
and. I sought to unite myself in the royal dignities with my
cousin, a charming young lady, and about my own age, and
who had since her father's death, an event which took place
some years previously, resided in the palace. At first she was
inclined to return my love, but after a short time she displayed
an aversion towards me, and fixed her affections on a black
Indian, one of the original inhabitants of this country, as in-
famous as he w-s u-ly: indeed, so much had he offended
against the laws, that ne was in daily danger of being handed
over to the executioner.
THE KING OF THE BLACK ISLES. 45
One evening, having had previously an interview with the
lady, in which she avowed her preference for my rival, I was
walking in the neighbourhood of the palace when I heard her
footsteps. I moved out of the way and concealed myself till
she passed, having determined to watch her movements.
I followed her closely and stealthily, passing through several
doors, which opened by virtue of some magic words she pro-
nounced; the last she opened was that of the garden, which she
entered. I stopped at this door that she might not see me,
while she crossed a parterre; and following her with my eyes,
as well as the obscurity of the night would permit, I remarked
that she went into a little wood, the walks of which were en-
closed by a thick hedge. I repaired thither by another way,
and hiding myself behind the hedge of one of the paths, I per-
ceived that she was walking with the Indian. I did not fail to
listen attentively to their discourse, when I heard her say, I do
not deserve your reproaches. I will, if you wish it, before the sun
rises, change this great city and this beautiful palace into fright-
ful ruins, which shall be inhabited only by wolves, and owls, and
ravens. Shall I transport all the stones with which these walls
are so strongly built beyond Mount Caucasus, and farther than
the boundaries of the habitable world ? You have only to
speak, and all this place shall be transformed."
As the lady finished this speech, she and her companion, hav-
ing reached the end of the walk, turned to enter another, and
passed before me : I had already drawn my scimitar, and as the
man was next me, I struck him on the neck, and he fell. I be-
lieved I had killed him, and with this persuasion, I retired pre-
cipitately, without discovering myself.
Although the man's wound was mortal, my cousin yet con-
trived, by her enchantments, to preserve in him that kind of
existence which can be called neither dead nor alive. As I
traversed the garden to return to the palace, I heard her weeping
bitterly. She retired to her apartments, where, abandoning her-
self to her grief, she passed a whole year in mourning. At the
expiration of that time, she requested my permission to build a
mausoleum for herself in the centre of the palace, where she said
she wished to pass the remainder of her days. I did not refuse
her, and she erected a magnificent palace with a dome, which
may be seen from hence, and she called it the Palace of Tears.
46 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
When it was finished, she had her lover removed from the
place whither she had transported him on the night I wounded
him and brought to this mausoleum. She had till that period
preserved his life by giving him certain potions, which she
administered herself, and continued to give him daily after his
removal to the Palace of Tears.
All her enchantments, however, did not avail, for he was not
only unable to walk or stand, but had also lost the use of his
speech, and gave no signs of life but by looks. Although she
had only the consolation of seeing him and saying to him all the
tender things that her love inspired, yet she constantly paid him
two long visits every day. I was well acquainted with this cir-
cumstance, but I pretended to be ignorant of it.
Excited by my curiosity, I went one day to the Palace of
Tears to know what was the occupation of the princess, and con-
cealing myself in a part where I could see and hear what passed,
I heard her speaking in this manner to her lover: "How bitter the
affliction to me to see thee in this state i I feel as much as thy-
self the agonies thou endurest. I am ever speaking to thee, and
yet thou returnest no answer; how long will this distressing si-
lence continue ?"
This discourse, which was frequently interrupted by tears and
sobs, at length exhausted my patience. I could no longer we-
main in concealment, and approaching her, Madam," said I,
"you have wept enough; it is now time to have done with this
grief. You forget what you owe to yourself." "Sire," replied
she, "if you still retain any regard for me, I entreat you to leav,
me to my sorrows."
I endeavoured, but in vain, to bring her to a sense of her duty,
and finding that all my arguments only increased her obstinacy,
I at last desisted and left her. She continued to visit the Palace
of Tears every day; and for two years she was inconsolable.
I went a second time to the Palace of Tears, while she was
there. I hid myself as before, and heard her say, "It is now
three years that thou hast not spoken to me; why are you thus
ever silent ?"
I avow to you, my lord, that I was so enraged at these words,
that I suddenly shewed myself, and addressing myself to the
tomb, I said, "Why dost thou not, 0 tomb, swallow up this
monster, who is even disgusting to humnn nature?"
THE KING OF THE BLACK ISLES.
I had hardly finished these words, when the lady, who was
seated near the black, started up like a fury. Ah, wretch !"
said she to me, "it is thou who hast been the cause of m)
grief," and at the same instant she pronounced some words
which I did not understand, and added, By virtue of my en-
chantments, I command thee from this moment to become half
marble, and half man." Immediately, my lord, I was changed
to what you see me; already dead among the living, and living
among the dead.
As soon as this cruel enchantress, for she is unworthy of any
other name, had thus transformed me, and by means of her
magic had conveyed me to this apartment, she destroyed my
capital, which was both flourishing and well inhabited ; she
annihilated the palaces, public places, and markets ; turned the
whole place into a lake, or pond, and rendered the country, as
you may perceive, quite a desert. The four sorts of fish which
are in the pond are four different classes of inhabitants, who
professed different religions, and inhabited the capital The
white were Mussulmen; the red, Persians, who worship fire;
the blue, Christians; and the yellow, Jews; the four little hills
were four islands, whence the name of the kingdom originated.
I was informed of all this by the enchantress, who herself related
the effects of her rage. Nor was even this all; she did not
confine her fury to the destruction of my empire, and to my
enchantment, for she comes every day and gives me a hundred
blows with a thong, made of a bull's hide, upon my shoulders,
from whence she draws blood at every stroke. As soon as she
has finished this punishment, she covers me with a thick stuff
made of goat's hair, and puts a robe of rich brocade over it, not
for the sake of honouring, but of mocking me.-In saying this,
the young king of the Black Isles could not refrain from tears;
and the sultan's heart was so oppressed, he could not offer him
any consolation. The young king then, lifting up his eyes
towards heaven, exclaimed, I submit, 0 powerful Creator of
all things, to thy judgments, and to the decrees of thy providence.
Since it is thy pleasure, I patiently endure every evil; yet I
trust thy infinite goodness will one day recompense me."
Inform me," cried the sultan, affected by the recital of so
strange a story, and eager to avenge such injuries, "inform me
where this perfidious enchantress resides, and where aq$Q is her
48 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
lover, whom she by her enchantments keeps alive?" "My
lord," answered the prince, "he, as I have before mentioned, is
at the Palace of Tears, in a tomb formed like a dome; and this
palace has a communication with the castle on the side towards
the entrance. I cannot exactly tell you to what spot the en-
chantress has retired, but she visits the Palace of Tears every
day at sunrise, after having inflicted on me the sanguinary
punishment I related; and you may easily judge that I cannot
defend myself from such great cruelty."
No one, prince," replied the sultan, "deserves greater com-
miseration than yourself; nor can any one be more sensible of
your misfortune than I am. A more extraordinary fate can
never have happened to any; and they who may hereafter com-
pose your history, will be able to relate an event the most sur-
prising of any hitherto recorded. One thing only is wanting to
complete it, and that is for you to be revenged; nor will I leave
any thing untried to accomplish it." The sultan having first
informed the prince who he was, and the reason of his entering
the castle, consulted with him on the best means of affording
him a just revenge; and a plan occurred to the sultan, which he
directly communicated. They then agreed upon the steps it was
necessary to take in order to insure success ; and they deferred
the execution of the plan till the following day. In the mean-
time, as the night was far advanced, the sultan took some re-
pose. The young prince, as usual, passed his time in continual
watchfulness, for he was unable to sleep since his enchantment:
the hopes, however slight, which he cherished of being soon
relieved from his sufferings, constantly occupied his thoughts.
The sultan rose as soon as it was day; and having concealed
his robe and external dress, which might encumber him, he went
to the Palace of Tears. He found it illuminated by a multitude
of torches of white wax ; and a delicious perfume issuing from
various beautiful golden vases, regularly arranged, struck hi.
senses. As soon as he perceived the bed on which the Hlack
was laid, he drew his sabre. and destroyed, without resistance
the little remains of life in this wretch. He then dragged the
body into the court of the castle, and threw it into a well
Having done this, he returned, and lay down in the black's
place, hiding his sabre under the covering, and remained there
in order to complete what he projected. The enchantress
THE KING OF THE BLACK ISLS.
arrived soon after : her first business was to go into the apart-
ment where the king of the Black Isles was. She directly
stripped him, and, with unexampled barbarity, began to inflict
upon his shoulders the accustomed number of blows. The poor
prince filled the whole building with his cries, and conjured her
in the most pathetic manner to have pity on him: the wretch,
however, ceased not to beat him till she had completed the
hundred. As soon as she had finished, she threw the coarse
garment made of goat-skin over him, and then the robe of
brocade. She next went to the Palace of Tears ; and, on
entering, began to renew her lamentations.
The sultan then, pretending to awake from a profound sleep,
and imitating the language of the blacks, spoke in a solemn
tone. There is no might, or power, but in God alone, who is
all powerful." At these words the enchantress, to whom they
were unexpected, exclaimed, "Do you deceive me? is what I
hear true? Is it really you who speak ?" "The cries, the tears,
the groans of the king," answered the supposed black, whom
you every day beat with so much indignity and barbarity, con-
tinually prevent my rest; I should have been cured long since,
and recovered the use of my tongue, if you had disenchanted
him. This, and this only, is the cause of my silence, and of
which you so continually complain." Well, then," said the
enchantress, to satisfy you, I am ready to do what you com-
mand: do you wish him to re-assume his first form ?" "Yes,"
replied the sultan ; and hasten to set him free, that I may no
longer be disturbed by his cries."
The enchantress immediately went out from the Palace of
Tears; and taking a vessel of water, she pronounced over it
some words, which caused it instantly to boil, as if it had been
placed on a fire. She proceeded to the apartment where the
young king was. If the Creator of all things," said she, throw-
ing the water over him, hath formed thee as thou now art, or if
he is angry with thee, do not change; but if thou art in that
state by virtue of my enchantment, re-assume thy natural form,
and become the same as before." She had hardly concluded,
when the prince, recovering his first shape, rose up, with all
possible joy, and returned thanks to God. Go," said the
enchantress, addressing him, hasten from this castle, and never
return, lest it should cost thee thy life." The young king
go THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
yielded to necessity, and left her without replying a word. He
concealed himself in some secure spot, where he impatiently
waited the completion of the sultan's design, the commencement
of which had been so successful.
The enchantress then returned to the Palace of Tears; and
on entering, said to him whom she supposed to be the black,
" I have done what you ordered me: nothing, therefore, now
prevents your getting up." The sultan, still imitating the lan-
guage of the blacks, answered in rather a sharp tone, What
you have yet done is not sufficient for my cure. You have de-
stroyed only a part of the evil, but you must strike at the root."
" What do you mean by the root ?" answered she. "What can
I mean," he cried, but the city and its inhabitants, and the
four isles, which you have destroyed by your magic? Every
day towards midnight the fish constantly raise their heads out
of the pond, and call for vengeance. This is the real cause of
the delay of my recovery. Go quickly and re-establish every-
ching in its former state; and on thy return I will give you my
hand, and you shall assist me in rising."
The enchantress, exulting in the expectations these words
produced, exclaimed, "You shall soon then recover your health,
for I will instantly go and do what you have commanded." She
went the very next moment, and when she arrived on the bor-
der of the pond, she took a little water in her hand, and scat-
tered it about. She had no sooner done so, and pronounced
certain words over the fish and the pond, than the city instantly
appeared. The fish became men, women, and children; Maho-
metans, Christians, Persians, and Jews ; freemen or slaves; in
short, each took his natural form. The houses and shops be-
came filled with inhabitants, who found everything in the same
situation and order in which they were previous to the change.
The officers and attendants of the sultan, who were very nume-
rous, and who were encamped directly where the great place or
square happened to be, were astonished at finding themselves
on a sudden in the midst of a large, well-built, and inhabited
But to return to the enchantress. As soon as she had com-
pleted this change, she hastened back to the Palace of Tears.
I have done all you have required of me," said she ; arise, and
give me your hand." Come near, then," said the sultan, still
THE KING OF THE BLACK ISLES. 51
imitating the manner of the blacks. She did so. "Nearer
still," he cried. She obeyed. Then raising himself up, he
seized her so suddenly by the arms, that she had no opportunity
of recognizing who it was; and with one stroke of his sabre, he
smote her in twain, the pieces falling on each side of him. Hav-
ing done this, he left the carcase in the same place, and went to
seek for the prince of the Black Isles, who waited with tht
greatest impatience for him. Rejoice, prince," said he, em-
bracing him, you have nothing more to fear, for your cruel
enemy no longer exists."
The young prince thanked the sultan in a way which proved
that his heart was truly penetrated with gratitude ; and as a
reward for the important service he had rendered him, he
wished him a long life, and the greatest prosperity. May you
too live happily and at peace in your capital," replied the sultan
to him; and should you hereafter have a wish to visit mine,
which is so near, I shall receive you with the truest pleasure,
and you shall be as highly honoured and respected as in your
own." Powerful monarch," answered the prince, to whom I
am so much indebted, do you think you are very near your
capital ?" Certainly," replied the sultan, I think so, at least
that I am not more than four or five hours' journey." It is a
whole year's journey," added the prince, although I believe
you might come here in the time you mention, because mine
was enchanted; but since it is no longer so, things are changed.
This, however, shall not prevent my following you, were it neces-
sary to go to the very extremity of the earth. You are my libe-
rator; and to show you every mark of my gratitude, as long as I
live I shall freely accompany you, and resign my kingdom with-
The sultan was extremely surprised to find that he was so
distant from his dominions, and could not comprehend how it
happened; but the young king of the Black Isles convinced
him so fully of the possibility, that he no longer doubted it. It
matters not, then," resumed the sultan; the trouble of return-
ing to my dominions wih be sutriciently recompensed by the
satisfaction arising from having assisted you, and from having
acquired a son in you; for, as you will do me the honour to
accompany me, I shall look upon you as such; and having no
children of my own, I from this moment make you my heir and
52 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
successor." This interview between the sultan and the king of
the Blacl Isles was terminated by the most affectionate em-
braces, alter which the young prince prepared for his journey.
In three weeks he was ready to depart, greatly regretted by his
court and subjects, who received from his hands a near relation
of his as their king.
At length the sultan and the prince set out, with a hundred
camels laden with inestimable riches, which had been selected
from the treasury of the young king, who was accompanied by
fifty handsome nobles, well mounted and equipped. Their
journey was a pleasant one; and when the sultan, who had
despatched couriers to give notice of his arrival, and relate the
season of his delay, drew near to his capital, the principal
officers, whom he had left there, came to receive him, and to
assure him that his long absence had not occasioned any change
in his empire. The inhabitants, also, crowded to meet him, and
welcome him with acclamations and every demonstration of
joy, which lasted for several days.
The day after his arrival, the sultan assembled his courtiers,
and gave them an ample detail of the occurrences which, con-
trary to his wishes, had delayed his return; he then declared
to them his intention of adopting the king of the four Black
Isles, who had left a large kingdom to accompany and live with
him; and at last, to reward the fidelity with which they served
him, he bestowed presents on all, according to their rank and
With regard to the fisherman, as he had been the first cause
of the deliverance of the young prince, the sultan overwhelmed
him with rewards, and made him and his family happy and
comfortable for the rest of their days.
THE THREE CALENDERS AND FIVE LADIES.
THE HISTORY OF THE THREE CALENDERS, SONS
OF KINGS, AND OF FIVE LADIES OF BAGDAD.
.~? URING the reign of the Caliph Haroun Alraschid there
*i l,"i' lived at Bagdad a porter, who, notwithstanding his
Slow and laborious profession, was nevertheless a man
of wit and humour. One morning, when he was
standing with a large basket before him, in a place where he
usually waited for employment, a young lady of a fine figure,
covered with a large muslin veil, came up to him, and said with
a pleasing air, Porter, take up your basket and follow me."
The porter, delighted with these few words, pronounced in so
agreeable a manner, put it on his head and went after the lady
saying, Oh, happy day Oh, happy meeting!"
The lady stopped at a closed door, and knocked. A venerable
Christian with a long white beard opened it, and she put soni,
money into his hands without saying a single word; but the
Christian, who knew what she wanted, went in, and shortly after
brought out a large jar of excellent wine. Take this jar," said
the lady to the porter, and put it in the basket." This being
done, she desired him to follow her, and walked on; the porter
still exclaiming, "Oh, day of happiness! Oh, day of agree
able surprise and joy !"
The lady stopped at the shop of a seller of fruits and flowers,
where she chose various sorts of apples, apricots, peaches, lemons,
citrons, oranges, myrtles, sweet basil, lilies, jessamine, and some
other sweet-scented flowers and plants. She told the porter to
put all those things in his basket and follow her. Passing by a
butcher's shop, she ordered five and twenty pounds of his finest
meat to be weighed, which was also put into the porter's basket.
She then went into a druggist's, where she furnished herself
with all sorts of sweet-scented waters, with cloves, nutmeg,
pepper, ginger, a large piece of ambergris and several other
Indian spices, which completely filled the porter's basket, whom
she still ordered to follow her. He did so till they arrived at i
magnificent house, the front of which was ornamented with
handsome columns, and at the entrance was a door of ivory.
Here they stopped, and the lady gave a gentle knock at the
door. While they waited for it to be opened, the porter's mind
was filled with a thousand different thoughts. He was surprised
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
that a lady, dressed as this was, should perform the office of the
housekeeper, for he conceived it impossible for her to be a
slave. Her air was so noble that he supposed her free, if not a
person of distinction. He was wishing to ask her some ques-
dons concerning her quality and situation, but just as he was
preparing to speak, another female, who opened the door, ap-
peared to him so beautiful, that he was silent through astonish-
ment, or rather hewas so struck with the brilliancy of her charms,
that he was very near letting his basket and all that was in it
fall, so much did this object make him forget himself. He
thought he had never seen any beauty in his whole life that
equalled her who was before him. The lady'who had brought
the porter observed the disturbed state of his mind, and well
knew the cause of it. This discovery diverted her ; and she took
so much pleasure in examining the countenance of the porter,
that she forgot the door was open. Come in, sister," said the
beautiful portress. "What do you wait for? Don't you see
that this poor man is so heavily laden he can hardly bear it ?"
As soon as she and the porter were come in, the lady who
opened the door shut it ; and all three, after passing through a
handsome vestibule, crossed a very spacious court, surrounded
by an open gallery, or corridor, which communicated with many
magnificent apartments, all on the same floor. At the bottom of
this court there was a sort of cabinet richly furnished, with a throne
of amber in the middle, supported by four ebony pillars, enriched
with diamonds and pearls of an extraordinary size, and covered
with red satin, relieved by a bordering of Indian gold of admir-
able workmanship. In the middle of the court there was a large
basin lined with white marble, and full of the finest transparent
water, which rushed from the mouth of a lion of gilt bronze.
Although the porter was so laden, it did not prevent him from
admiring the magnificence of this house, and the neatness and
regularity with which everything was arranged; but what prin-
cipally attracted his attention was a third lady, who appeared
still more beautiful than the second, and who was seated on the
thione before mentioned. As soon as she perceived the other
two females, she came down from the throne and advanced
towards them. The porter conjectured from the looks and
behaviour of the two first ladies that this was the principal
personage; and he was not mistaken. This lady was called
THE THREE CALENDERS AND FIVE LADIES.
Zobeide, she who opened the door was called Safie, and the
name of the one who had been for the provisions was Aminr.
"You do not, my dear sisters," said Zobeide, accosting the
other two, "perceive that this man is almost fainting under his
load? Why do you not discharge him?" Amini and Safit
:hen took the basket, one before and the other behind ; Zobeidr
also assisted, and all three put it on the ground. They then
began to empty it, and when they had done, the agreeable
Amine took out her purse and rewarded the porter very liberally.
He was well satisfied with what he received, and was taking iup
his basket to go, but could not muster sufficient resolution, so
much was he delighted by the sight of three such rare beauties.
Zobeide at first thought the porter was waiting to get breath,
but observing him remain a long time, she asked him what he
waited for, and whether he was sufficiently paid. Give him
something more," added she, speaking to Amine, and let him
be satisfied." "Madam," answered the porter, "it is not that
which detains me; I am already almost too well paid for my
trouble. I know very well that I am guilty of an incivility in
staying where I ought not; but I hope you will have the good-
ness to pardon it, from the astonishment I experience in ob-
serving no man among three ladies of such uncommon beauty
A party of ladies without men is as melancholy and stupid as a
party of men without ladies." To this he added some plea-
santries in proof of what he advanced. He did not forget to
repeat what they say at Bagdad, that there was no comfort at
table unless there were four; and he concluded by saying, that
as there were three they had the greatest want of a fourth.
The ladies laughed heartily at the reasoning of the porter
Zobeide, however, then addressed him in a serious manner.
"You carry your fooleries, my friend, a little too far; but
though you do not deserve that I should enter into any explan-
ation with you, I will at once inform you, that we are three
sisters, who arrange all our affairs so secretly that no one knows
anything of them. We have too great reason to fear a discover)
to permit us to impart our arrangements; and an established
author, whom we have read, says: Keep thy own secret and
tell it to no one ; for he who reveals a secret is no longer master
of it. If thy own breast cannot.contain thy secret, how can the
breast of him to whom you intrust it ?'"
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
Ladies," replied the porter, from your appearance alone, I
thought you possessed a singular degree of merit; and I per- ,.
ceive that I am not mistaken. Although fortune has not been
so propitious to me as to bring me up to any profession superior
to the one I follow, yet I have cultivated my mind as much as
I was able, by reading books of science and history; and per-
mit me, I entreat, to say, that I also have read in another a
maxim, which I have always happily practised:-' Conceal thy
secret,' he says,' only from such as are known to be indiscreet,
and who will abuse thy confidence; but make no difficulty in
discovering it to prudent men, because they know how to keep
it.' The secret, then, with me, is as safe as locked up in a
cabinet, the key of which is lost, and the door sealed."
Zobeid& saw that the porter was not deficient in cleverness;
but thinking that he was desirous of being at the entertainment
they were going to have, she good-humouredly replied, "You
know that we are preparing to regale ourselves, and you must
also know we cannot do this but at a considerable expense; and
it would not be just that you should partake of the feast without
bearing part of the cost." The beautiful Safib was of the same
opinion as her sister. "My friend," she said to the porter,
"have you never heard the common saying-' If you bring
something, you shall return with something; if you bring
nothing, you shall carry nothing back ?'"
The porter would have been obliged to retire in confusion, in
spite of his rhetoric, had it not been for Amini, who took his
part very strongly. "My dear sisters," she said to Zobeide and
Safie, "I entreat you to permit him to remain with us. It is
unnecessary to tell you he will divert us, for you must see he is
capable of it. I assure you, that had it not been for his readi-
ness, quickness, and courage to follow me, I should not have
executed so many commissions in so short a time. Besides, if
I were to repeat to you all the amusing things he said to me on
the way, you would not be much surprised that I am become
At this speech of Amine's, the porter, in a transport of joy,
fell on his knees, and kissed the ground at the feet of this
charming female. "My dear lady," said he, raising himself,
" you have from this moment begun my happiness, and placed
it almost at its summit, by so generous an act, for which I can
THE THREE CALENDERS AND FIVE LADIES.
never sufficiently express my gratitude. In short, ladies," added
he, addressing the three sisters at once, do not suppose, be-
cause you have done me so great an honour, that I will abuse
it, and that I shall consider myself as a man who is worthy of
it; on the contrary, I shall ever regard myself as the humblest
of your slaves." In saying this, he wished to return the money
he had received; but the grave Zobeid ordered him to keep it.
" What we have once given," she said, as a recompense to
those who have rendered us any service never returns. But, in
agreeing that you should remain with us, it is not only on con-
dition that you keep the secret we are going to intrust you with,
but we also require that you shall strictly observe the rules of
propriety and decorum." While she was speaking, the beau-
tiful Amine took off her walking dress, and fastening her robe
to her girdle, in order to be more at liberty to prepare the table,
she placed on it various kinds of meat, and put some bottles of
wine and several golden cups upon a sideboard. This done,
the ladies seated themselves round the table, and made the
porter place himself by their side, who was delighted beyond
measure at finding himself at table with three persons of such
They had scarcely begun to eat, when Amine, who had placed
herself near the buffet, or sideboard, took a bottle and goblet,
and poured out some for herself. Having drank the first glass,
according to the Arabian custom, she then poured out one for
each of her sisters, who drank it, one after the other. Then,
filling the same goblet for the fourth time, she presented it to
the porter, who, in taking it, kissed her hand, and before he
drank it, he sung a song, the meaning of which was, that as the
wind carried with it the odour of any perfumed spot over which
it passed, so the wine which he was about to drink, coming from
her hand, acquired a more exquisite flavour than it naturally
possessed. This song pleased them very much, and they each
sung in their turn. In short, the whole company were in most
excellent spirits during the repast, which lasted a long time, and
was accompanied with everything that could render it agreeable.
The day began to close, when Safin, in the name of her sisters,
said to the porter, Arise, and go; it is time to retire." To
this the porter, not having resolution to quit them, answered,
"Ah, ladies! where would you command me to go, in the state
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
I am in? I am almost beside myself, from gazing on you, and
the good cheer you have given me; and I shall never find the
way to my own house. Allow me the night to recover myself
in; I will pass it wherever you please; but less time will not
restore me to the state I was in when I came here, and even
then I doubt I shall leave the better trt of myself behind."
Amine again took the part of the porter. He is right, my
sister," she exclaimed; "I am convinced of the propriety of his
demand. He has sufficiently diverted us; and if you wish to
believe me, or rather, if you love me, I am sure you will suffer
him to pass the evening with us." "We cannot refuse any
request of yours, my sister," replied Zobeide. Porter," she
added, addressing herself to him, "we wish to grant you even
this favour, but we must premise a fresh condition: whatever
we may do in your presence, with respect to yourself or any-
thing else, take great care that you do not ask the reason; for
in questioning us about things that do not at all concern you,
you may hear what will not please you. Take care, therefore,
and be not too curious in attempting to discover the motives of
Madam," replied the porter, I promise to observe the con-
ditions with so much exactitude that you shall have no reason
to reproach me with having infringed them, and even still less to
punish my indiscretion. My tongue shall be motionless, and my
eyes shall be like a mirror, that preserves no part of the objects
it receives." "To let you see," said Zobeide, with a serious air,
that what we require of you is not newly established among
us, observe what is written over the door, on the inside." The
porter went and read these words, which were written in large
letters of gold:-WHOEVER TALKS ABOUT WHAT DOES NOT CON-
CERN HIM, OFTEN HEARS WHAT DOES NOT PLEASE HIM He
came back directly, and said to the three sisters, I swear to
you, ladies, that you shall not hear me speak a word concerning
anything which does not regard me, and in which you have any
This being settled, Amine brought supper; and when she had
lighted up the hall with numerous candles, prepared with aloes
and ambergris, which scattered a very agreeable perfume, and
cast a brilliant light, she seated herself at the table, with her
sisters and the porter. They began to eat, drink, sing, and
THE THREE CALENDERS AND FIVE LADIES.
re:ite verses. The ladies took pleasure in making the porter
intoxicated, under the pretence of making him drink to their
health. Wit and repartee were not wanting, They were, at
length, all in the best humour, when they suddenly heard a
knocking at the gate. They instantly got up, and all ran to open
it; but Safie, to whom this office more particularly belonged,
was the most active. The other two, seeing her before them,
stopped, and waited till she came back to inform them who
could have any business with them at so late an hour. Safie
soon returned. "A charming opportunity, my sisters, offers
itself, to spend a great part of the night very pleasantly; and if
you are of the same opinion as I am, we will not let it escape us.
There are three calenders at the door; at least, they appear so
by their dress; but what will doubtless surprise you is, that
they are all three blind of the right eye, and have their heads,
beards, and eyebrows shaved. They say that they are only just
arrived at Bagdad, where they have never been before ; and, as
it is dark, and they know not where to lodge, they knocked at
our door, by chance; and entreat us, for the love of God, to
have the charity to take them in. They care not where we put
them, provided they are under cover; and will be satisfied even
with a stable. They are young and well made, and appear to
possess some spirit; but I cannot, without laughing, think of
their amusing and uniform figures."
Zobeide and Amin made some difficulty in agreeing to the
request of Safie to admit the strangers, and she herself well
knew the reason of it, but expressed so great a desire to have
her way, that they could not refuse her. Go," said Zobeide to
her, and let them come in; but do not fail to caution them
not to speak about what does not concern them, and make them
read the inscription over the inside of the door." At these
words, Safie joyfully ran to open the door, and soon returned,
accompanied by the three calenders.
On entering, they made a low bow to the sisters, who had
risen to receive them, and who obligingly told them they were
welcome, and that they were happy in being able to oblige them
and contribute towards lessening the fatigue of their journey.
They then invited their new guests to sit down with them
When the calenders were seated, the sisters helped them, and
the delighted Safie, in particular, took care to supply them with
00 THE ARABIAN NIG~ITS.
wine. When they had both eaten and drunk as much as they
wished, they intimated that they should be happy to give them
some music if they had any instruments, and would order them
to be brought. They accepted the offer with pleasure; and the
beautiful Safie immediately got up to inquire after some, and
returned the next moment, and offered them a flute of that
country, also another used in Persia, and a tambour de basque.
Each calender received from her hand that instrument he liked
best, and they all began to play a little air. The females were
acquainted with the words, which were very lively, and accom-
panied the air with their voices, frequently interrupting each
other with fits of laughter, from the nature of the words.
In the midst of this entertainment, and when the party were
highly delighted, they heard a knock at the door. Safi6 imme-
diately left off singing, and went to see who it was.
Now the Caliph Haroun Alraschid made it a practice to go
very often, during the night, through the city in disguise, in
order to discover whether everything was quiet. On this even-
mg, therefore, the caliph set out from his palace at his accus-
tomed hour, accompanied by Giafar, his grand vizier, and Mes-
rour, chief of his slaves, all three disguised as merchants. In
passing through the street where these ladies lived, the prince
heard the sound of the instruments, interrupted by laughter, and
said to his vizier, Go and knock at the door of that house,
where I hear so much noise; I wish to gain admittance, and
learn the cause of it." The vizier endeavoured to persuade the
caliph that they were only women who were making merry that
evening, and the wine seemed to have exhilarated their spirits;
and that they ought not to expose themselves where it was proba-
ble they might meet with some insult; besides, the time, he said,
was improper, and it was useless to disturb their amusements.
"Never mind," said the caliph; "knock, as I order you."
It was, then, the grand vizier Giafar who had knocked at the
door by order of the caliph, who wished not to be known.
SafiB opened it, and the vizier observed by the light of a candle
she carried that she was very beautiful He played his part
very well. He first made a most profound reverence, and then
with a respectful air he said, Madam, we are three merchants
of Moussoul, and arrived here about ten days ago with some
THE THREE CALENDERS AND FIVE LADIES.
Very rich merchandise, which we have deposited in a khan,
where we have taken up our lodging. We have been to spend
the day with a merchant of this city, who invited us to go to
see him. He treated us with a fine collation; and as the wine
we drank put us into a very good humour, he sent for a com-
pany of dancers. The night was already far advanced, and
while we were playing on our instruments, the others dancing,
and the whole company making a great noise, the watch hap-
pened to pass by, and obliged us to open the door. Some of the
company were arrested: we were, however, so fortunate as to
escape, by getting over a wall. But," added the vizier, "as we
are strangers, and have taken perhaps rather more wine than we
ought, we are afraid of meeting with a second party of the watch,
or perhaps the same, before we arrive at our khan, which is at a
considerable distance from hence. And we should even then get
there to no purpose, for the gate would be shut, and whoever
may come there, they will not open it till morning. This is the
reason, madam, that as we heard, in passing by, the sound of
instruments and voices, we thought all those who belonged to
the house were not yet retired; and we took the liberty to
knock to beg you to afford us a retreat till the morning. If we
appear to you worthy of taking a part in your amusements, we
will endeavour, as far as we are able, to contribute to it, in order
to repair the interruption we have caused; if not, do us at least
the favour to suffer us to pass the night under the cover of your
During this speech of Giafar, the beautiful Safib had an op-
portunity of examining the vizier and the two persons whom he
also called merchants, and judging from their countenances
that they were not common men, she said that she was not
mistress, but if they would give themselves a moment's patience
she would return and bring the answer. Safie went and related
all this to her sisters, who hesitated some time as to what they
ought to do. But they were naturally kind, and as they had
conferred the same favour on the three calenders, they resolved
to permit these also to come in. The caliph, the grand vizier,
and the chief of the slaves, being introduced by the beautiful
Safie, saluted the ladies and the calenders with great civility.
They, supposing them merchants, returned it in the same man-
ner; and Zobeide, as the principal person, with that grave and
02 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
serious air which so well suited her, said, "You are welcome,
but, in the first place, do not take it ill, if we ask of you one
favour." What favour," cried the vizier, "can we refuse to
such beautiful ladies ?" It is," replied Zobeid, to have only
eyes, and no speech; to forbear from asking questions about
what you may see, in order to learn the cause; and not to speak
about what does not concern you, for fear you should hear what
will not be pleasant to you." You shall be obeyed, madam,"
replied the vizier, "for we are neither censurers nor curious
imprudent persons. It is enough for us to attend to our own
business without meddling with what does not regard us."
After this, each seated himself, and the conversation became
general, and they drank to the health of the new guests.
While the vizier Giafar entertained them, the caliph ceased
not from admiring the extraordinary beauty, the great elegance,
the lively disposition and spirit of the ladies; while the appear-
ance of the three calenders, all blind of the right eye, surprised
him very much. He anxiously wished to learn the cause of this
singularity, but the conditions they had imposed upon him and
his companions prevented any inquiry. Besides all this, when he
reflected upon the richness of the services and furniture, with
the regularity and arrangement everywhere apparent, he could
hardly persuade himself it was not the effect of enchantment.
The conversation having fallen upon the various sorts of
amusement, and the different modes of enjoying life, the calen-
ders got up and danced in their peculiar way, which much
augmented the good opinion the ladies had already conceived
of them, and attracted also the applause and esteem of the
caliph and his company. As soon as the calenders had finished,
Zobeide got up, and taking Amine by the hand, said to her,
" Come, sister, the company shall not think that we will put
them under any restraint, nor shall their presence prevent us
from doing as we have always been accustomed." Amine, who
perfectly understood what her sister meant, got up, and took
away the dishes, tables, bottles, glasses, and also the instru-
ments on which the calenders had played. Nor did Safib
remain idle; she swept the hall, put everything in its proper
place, snuffed the candles, and added more aloe-wood and
ambergris. Having done this, she requested the three calen-
ders to sit on a sofa on one side, and the caliph and his com-
- .,, ;I ,',
THE THREE CALENDERS.
THE THREE CALENDERS AND FIVE LADIES.
pany on the other. Get up," said she then to the porter, look-
ing at him. and be ready to assist in whatever we want you;
a man like you, as strong as the house, ought never to remain
idle." The porter had slept till he was rather more sober; he
got up, therefore, very quickly, and after fastening his cloak to
his girdle, I am ready," he cried, to do anything you please."
" That is well," answered Safie, and you shall not remain long
with your arms crossed." A little while after, Amin6 came in
with a sort of seat, which she placed in the middle of the room.
She then went to the door of a closet, and having opened it,
she made a sign to the porter to approach. Come and assist
me," she cried. He did so, and went in with her, and returned
a moment after, followed by two black dogs, each of which had
a collar with a chain fastened to it, by which he held them.
He brought these dogs, which appeared to have been very ill-
used and beaten with a whip, into the middle of the room.
Zobeide, who was sitting between the calenders and the
caliph, then got up, and approaching to the porter in a very
grave manner, We must," cried she, with a deep sigh, "do
our duty." She then turned up her sleeves, so as to uncover
her arms up to the elbow, and after taking a whip which Safib
presented to her, "Porter," she said, take one of these dogs to
my sister Amine, and .then come to me with the other." The
porter did as he was ordered; and as he approached Zobeide,
the dog which he held immediately began to howl, and, turning
towards her, lifted up its head in a most supplicating manner.
But she, without regarding the melancholy expressions of the
dog, which must have excited pity, or its cries, which filled the
whole house, flogged it till she was out of breath, and when she
had not strength left to beat it any more, she threw away the
whip; then, taking the chain from the porter, she took up the
dog by the paws, and both looking at each other with a melan-
choly air, they mingled their tears together. Zobeide, after this,
took out her handkerchief, wiped the tears from its eyes, and
kissed it; then, returning the chain to the porter, she desired
him to lead that back from whence he had taken it, and bring
her the other.
The porter carried the one that had been beaten back to the
closet, and, in returning, took the other from the hands of
Amine, and presented it to Zobeide, who was waiting for it.
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
" Hold it as you did the first," said she; then, taking the whip,
she served this in the same manner. She then wept with it,
dried its tears, kissed it, and returned it to the porter, who was
saved the trouble of carrying it back to the closet by the agree-
able Amine, who took it herself.
The three calenders, as well as the caliph and his party, were
much astonished at this ceremony. They could not comprehend
why Zobeide, after having whipped with so much violence the
two dogs, which, according to the tenets of the Mussulman reli-
gion, are impure animals, should afterwards weep with them,
kiss them, and dry their tears. They conversed together about
it, and the caliph in particular was very desirous of knowing the
reason of an action which appeared to him so singular. He
made signs to the vizier to inquire, but he turned his head
another way, till at last, importuned by repeated signs, he
answered in the same manner, that it was not yet time to satisfy
Zobeide remained for some time in the middle of the room,
as if to rest from her fatigue in beating the two dogs. My
dear sister," said the beautiful Safie, "will you not return to
your place, that I may also perform my part?" "Yes," replied
Zobeide, and seated herself on the sofa, with the caliph, Giafar,
and Mesrour on her right hand, and the three calenders.and the
porter on her left.
The company continued for some time silent; at length Safie,
who had placed herself on the seat in the middle of the room,
said to Amine, "Sister, get up ; you understand what I mean."
Amine rose, and went into a different closet from that whence
the dogs were brought; she returned with a case, covered with
yellow satin, and richly ornamented with an embroidery of
green and gold. She opened it, and took out a lute, which she
presented to her sister. Safi took it, and after having tuned it,
began to accompany it with her voice; she sung an air, on the
torments of absence, in so agreeable a style that the caliph and
the rest of the company were enchanted. When she had finished,
as she had sung with a great deal of action as well as passion,
she offered the lute to Amine, saying,." Sister, my voice fails
me; do you take it, and oblige the c -npany by playing and
singing instead of me."
Amine, having played a little prelude, to hear if the instru
THE THREE CALENDERS AND FIVE LADIES.
ment was in tune, sung for scme time on the same subject; but
she became so affected by the words she uttered, that she had
not power to finish the air. Zobeide began to praise her sister;
"You have done wonders," said she ; "it is easy to perceive
that you feel the griefs you express." Amine had not time to
reply to this speech; she felt herself so oppressed at that moment
that she could think of nothing but giving herself air, and
opening her robe, she exposed a bosom, not white, as the
beautiful Amine ought to have had, but so covered with scars as
to create a species of horror in the spectators. This, however,
gave her no relief, and she fainted away.
Whilst Zobeide and Safie ran to assist their sister, one of the
calenders exclaimed, We had better have slept in the open air
than come here to witness such a spectacle."
The caliph, who heard him, drew near, and inquired what all
this meant. "We know no more than you," replied the calender.
"What," resumed the caliph, do not you belong to the house ?
Cannot you inform me about these two blaok dogs, and this lady
who appears to have been so ill-treated ?" "Sir," said the
calender, "we never were in this house before now, and entered
it only a few minutes sooner than you did." This increased the
astonishment of the caliph ; Perhaps," said he, "the man who
is with you can give you some information." The calendei
made signs to the porter to draw near, and asked him if he
knew why the black dogs had been beaten, and why the bosom
of Amine was so scarred. "Sir," replied the porter, "I swear
by the great Prophet, that if you know nothing of the matter,
we are all equally ignorant. It is true that I live in this
city; but before to-day I never entered this house; and if
you are surprised to see me here, I am not less so at being in
such company." .
The caliph and his party, as well as the calenders, thought
that the porter belonged to the family, and that he would have
been able to have informed them of what they wished so much
to know. The caliph, whatever might be the consequence,
resolved to satisfy his curiosity. "Attend to me," he said to
the rest; "we are seven men, and there are only three women;
let us, then, compel them to give us the information we request,
and if they refuse to comply with a good grace, we can force
them to it." The grand vizier, Giafar, opposed this plan, and
66 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
explained the consequences of it to the caliph, without dis-
covering to the calenders who he was, as he always addressed
him like a merchant. "Consider, sir, I beg," said he, "that
we have our reputation to preserve. You know on what con-
dition these ladies suffered us to become their guests, and we
accepted the terms. What will they say to us if we infringe the
The vizier now drew the caliph a little aside, and spoke to
him in a low voice: "The night, my lord, will not last long,
if your majesty will but have a little patience; I will then
come and bring these women before you, when on your throne,
and you may learn from them whatever you wish." Although
this advice was very judicious, the caliph said he would not
wait so long, but would that instant have the information he
wished. The next question was, who should first make the
inquiry. The caliph endeavoured to persuade the calenders
to speak first, but they excused themselves. At last they all
agreed that it should be the porter. He was preparing to utter
the fatal question, when Zobeide, after having assisted Amine,
who had recovered from her fainting, approached them. As
she had heard them speak in rather a loud and warm manner,
she said to them, "What are you talking of?-what is your
contest about ?"
The porter then addressed her as follows:-" These gentle-
men, madam, entreat you to have the goodness to explain to
them why you wept with those dogs, after having treated them
so ill; and how it has happened that the lady, who fainted, has
her bosom covered with scars. This, madam, is what I have
been required by them to ask of you."
At these words Zobeide, in the most haughty and fierce man-
ner, turned to the caliph and the calenders. Is it true, gentle-
men," she asked, "that you have commissioned this man to
require this information of me ?" They all answered it was,
except the vizier Giafar, who did not open his lips. Upon this
she replied to them in a tone, which shewed how much she was
offended, "Because we granted you the favour you requested of
us, and in order to prevent any cause of discontent, or dissatis-
faction on your parts, as we were alone, we made our acqui-
escence subject to one positive condition; that you should not
speak about what did not concern you, lest you should hear
THE THREE CALENDERS AND FIVE LADIES. 07
what would not please you-after having both received and
entertained you as well as we possibly could, you do not scruple
to break your word. This probably arises from the facility with
which we agreed to receive you; but that surely is no excuse;
and your conduct, therefore, cannot be considered as honour-
able." Having concluded her speech, she struck the floor with
her foot, and clapped her hands three times, and called out,
"Enter quickly!" A door immediately opened, and seven
strong powerful black slaves rushed in, with scimitars in their
hands, and each seized one of the company. They threw them
to the ground, drew them into the middle of the hall, and were
preparing to take off their heads.
We may easily conceive what was the alarm of the caliph.
He repented, but too late, at not having followed the advice of
his vizier. In the meantime, this unfortunate prince, Giafar,
Mesrour, the porter, and three calenders, were about to pay
with their lives for their indiscreet curiosity;, but before they
received the fatal stroke, one of the slaves said to Zobeide and
her sisters, High, powerful, and respected mistresses, do you
command us to cut their throats ?" Stop," answered ZobeidB,
"it is necessary first to interrogate them." Madam," cried the
affrighted porter, do not make me die for the crime of another.
I am innocent, and they only are guilty. I entreat you, madam,
not to punish me."
Zobeide, in spite of her anger, could not help laughing in-
wardly at the lamentations of the porter. But without paying
any attention to him, she addressed herself again to the others.
"Answer me," said she, "and tell me who you are; if not, you
have only an instant to live. I cannot believe that you are
honourable men, or persons of authority or distinction in what-
ever country you call your own. If that had been the case, you
would have paid more attention and more respect to us."
The caliph, being naturally impatient, suffered infinitely more
than the rest at finding his life depending upon the commands
of an offended and justly-irritated woman; but he began to con-
ceive there were some hopes when he found that she wished to
know who they all were, as he imagined she would by no means
take away his life when she should be informed of his rank. It
was for this reason that he whispered to his vizier, who was near
him, instantly to declare who he was. But this wise and pru-
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
dent minister, wishing to preserve the honour of his master, and
being unwilling to make public the great affront he had brought
upon himself, answered, "We suffer only what we deserve."
When, however, in obedience to the caliph, he wished to speak,
Zobeide would not give them time. She immediately addressed
herself to the three calenders, and observing that they were all
th-ee blind with one eye, she asked if they were brothers. "No,
madam," answered one of them for the rest, we are not brothers
by blood, but only in consequence of being calenders ; that is,
in pursuing and observing the same kind of life." Have you,"
said she, speaking to one of them in particular, "lost the sight
of one eye from your birth?" "No, indeed, madam," he an-
swered; "I became so through a most surprising adventure,
by the recital or perusal of which, were it written, every one
must derive advantage. After this misfortune, I shaved my
beard and eyebrows, and in taking up the habit I wear, became
Zobeide put the same question to the others, who returned
her the same answer as the first. But the last who spoke,
added, "To inform you, madam, that we are not common per-
sons, and in order that you should have some pity for us, we
must tell you that we are all the sons of kings. Although we
have never seen each other before this evening, we have had
sufficient time to become acquainted with this circumstance;
and I can assure you that the kings who were our parents have
made some noise in the world!"
During this speech Zobeide became less angry, and told the
slaves to set them at liberty, but at the same time to remain
where they were. "They," said she, "who shall recount their
history to me, and explain the motives which brought them to
this house, shall suffer no harm, but shall have permission to go
where they please ; but such as shall refuse to give us that
satisfaction shall not be spared." The three calender, the
caliph, the grand vizier Giafar, Mesrour, and the porter, were
all on the carpet in the middle of the hall before the three ladies,
who sat on a sofa, with the slaves behind them, ready to execute
any orders they might receive.
The porter, understanding that he had only to relate his his-
tory in order to be delivered from so great a danger, spoke first
"You are already acquainted, madam," he said, "with my his-
THE FIRST CALENDER. 69
tory, and what brought me to your house. What I have to re-
late, therefore, will soon be finished. Your sister engaged me
this morning at the place where I take my stand in quality of a
porter, by which I endeavour to gain a living. I followed her,
whilst she made various purchases, until I came here, where
you had the goodness to suffer me to remain till now, a favour
I shall never forget This is the whole of my history."
When the porter had concluded, Zobeide, very well satisfied
with him, said, Save thyself and begone, nor ever let us see
thee again." I beg of you, madam," replied he, "to let me
remain a little longer, and hear their histories, after they have
had the pleasure of hearing mine." In saying this, he took his
place at the end of the sofa, truly delighted at finding himself
free from the danger which so much alarmed him. One of the
calenders next spoke, and addressing himself to Zobeide as the
principal person who had commanded them to give an account
of themselves, began his history as follows.
THE HISTORY OF THE FIRST CALENDER, THE
SON OF A KING.
,. N order to inform you, madam, how I lost my right
*_ eye, and the reason that I have been obliged to take
*. the habit of a calender, I must begin by telling you
that I am the son of a king. My father had a
brother, who, like himself, was a monarch over a neighboring
state. This brother had two children, a son and a daughter, the
former of whom was near my age.
When I had gone through all my exercises, and the king, my
father, thought fit to allow me a certain degree of liberty, I went
regularly every year to see my uncle, and passed a month or two
at his court, after which I returned home. These visits pro-
duced between the prince, my cousin, and myself, the most inti-
mate friendship. The last time I saw him, he received me with
the demonstration of the greatest joy and tenderness, more so
indeed than ever ; and wishing one day to amuse me by some
great entertainment, he made extraordinary preparations for it,
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
We remained a long time at table, and after we had both supped,
"You can never, my cousin," he said to me, "possibly imagine
what has occupied my thoughts since your last journey. Since
you were here last, I have employed a great number of work-
men about the design I meditated. I have erected a building,
which is just finished, and we shall soon be able to lodge there :
you will not be sorry to see it, but you must first take an oath
that you will be both secret and faithful; these two things I
must require of you."
The friendship and familiarity in which we lived did not per-
mit me to refuse him anything; I took, therefore, without hesi-
tation, the oath he required. "Wait for me in this place," he
cried, "and I will be with you in a moment." He did not, in
fact, detain me long, but returned with a female in his hand, of
very great beauty, and most magnificently dressed.
He did not say who she was, nor did I think it right to in-
quire. We again sat down to the table with the lady, and re-
mained there some time, talking of different things, and drink-
ing bumpers to each other's health. The prince then said to
me, "We have no time to lose, oblige me by taking this
lady with you, and conduct her by such a way to a place where
you will see a tomb, newly erected, in the shape of a dome.
You will easily know it, as the door is open. Enter there to-
gether, and wait for me; I will return directly."
Faithful to my oath, I did not wish to know more. I pre-
sented my hand to the lady, and following the instructions
which the prince, my cousin, had given me, I conducted her
safely, by the light of the moon, without any mistake. We had
scarcely got to the tomb, when we saw the prince, who had fol-
lowed us, with a small vessel full of water, a hoe or spade, and
a small sack, in which there was some lime or mortar. The
spade served him to destroy the empty sepulchre, which was in
the middle of the tomb; he took the stones away, one by one,
and placed them in one corner. When he had taken them all
away, he made a hole in the ground, and I perceived a trap-door
under the sepulchre. He lifted it up, and discovered the begin-
ning of a winding staircase. My cousin then, addressing him-
self to the lady, said, This is the way, madam, that leads to the
place I have mentioned to you." At these words the lady ap-
proached and descended the stairs. The prince was just going
THE FIRST CALENDER.
to follow her, but first turning to me, I am infinitely obliged to
you, my cousin," said he, "for the trouble you have had; re-
ceive my best thanks, for it, and farewell." My dear cousin,"
I cried, "what does all this mean ?" That is of no conse-
quence," he answered; "you may return by the same way you
I was unable to learn anything more from him, and was
obliged to take my leave of him. In returning to my uncle's
palace, the vapour of the wine I had before drunk began to
affect my head. I nevertheless reached my apartment, and re-
tired to rest. On waking the next morning, I made many
reflections on the occurrences of the night before, and recalled
all the circumstances of so singular an adventure to my recollec-
tion. The whole appeared to me to be a dream. I was so much
persuaded of it, that I sent to know if the prince, my cousin,
was yet dressed. But when they brought me word that he had
not slept at home, nor did they know what was become of him,
and were very much distressed at it, I concluded that the
strange adventure of the tomb was too true. This afflicted me
very much, and keeping myself in private, I went secretly to the
public cemetery, or burial-place, where there were a great many
tombs similar to that which I had before seen. I passed the
day in examining them all, but was unable to discover the one
I searched for. I spent four days in the same useless pursuit.
It is necessary for me to inform you that the king, my uncle,
was absent during the whole of this time. He had been for some
time on a hunting party. I was very unwilling to wait for his
coming back, and having requested his ministers to make my
excuses for going, I set out on my return to my father's court,
from which I was not accustomed to make so long a stay. I left
my uncle's ministers very much distressed at not being able to
discover what was become of the prince; but as I could not
violate the oath I had taken to keep the secret, I dared not
lessen their anxiety by informing them of any part of what I
I arrived at the capital of my father, and, contrary to the
usual custom, I discovered at the gate of the palace a large
guard, by whom I was immediately surrounded. I demanded
the reason of this, when an officer answered, The army, prince,
has acknowledged the grand vizier as king in the room of your
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
father who is dead, and I arrest you as prisoner on behalf of the
new king." At these words the guards seized me, and con-
ducted me before the tyrant. Judge, madam, what was my
surprise and grief.
This rebellious vizier had conceived a strong hatred against
me, which he had for a long time cherished. The cause of it
was as follows :-When I was very young I was fond of shooting
with a cross-bow. One day I took one to the top of the palace,
and amused myself with it on the terrace. A bird happened to
fly before me; I shot at it but missed: and the arrow by chance
struck the vizier in the eye, and put it out, as he was taking the
air on the terrace of his own house. As soon as I was informed
of this accident, I went and made my apologies to him in per-
son. He did not, however, fail to preserve a strong resentment
against me, of which he gave every proof he could when any
opportunity occurred. When he now found me in his power,
he evinced it in the most barbarous manner. As soon as he
saw me he ran towards me in the utmost rage, and digging his
fingers into my right eye he tore it himself from the socket.
It was in this way that I became blind.
But the usurper did not confine his cruelty to this action
alone- He ordered me to be imprisoned in a sort of cage, and
to be carried in this manner to some distant place, where the
executioner, after cutting off my head, was to leave my body
exposed to the birds of prey. The executioner mounted his
horse, accompanied by another man, and carried me with him.
He did not stop till he came to a place proper for the execution
of his order. I made, however, so good a use of entreaties,
prayers, and tears, that I excited his compassion. "Go," said
he to me, "depart instantly out of the kingdom, and take care
never to return ; if you do, you will only encounter certain
destruction, and will be the cause of mine." I thanked him for
the favour he did me, and I was no sooner alone than I con-
soled myself for the loss of my eye, by reflecting that I had just
escaped from a greater misfortune.
In the state in which I was I could not get on very fast.
During the day I concealed myself in unfrequented and secret
places, and travelled by night as far as my strength would per-
mit me. At length I arrived in the country belonging to the
king, my uncle, and I proceeded directly to the capital.
THE FIRST CALENDER.
I gave a long detail of the dreadful cause of my return, and
of the miserable state in which he saw me. Alas cried he,
" was it not sufficient to lose my son ; but must I now learn the
death of a brother, whom I dearly loved, and find you in the
deplorable state to which you are reduced?" He informed me
of the distress he had suffered from not being able to learn any
tidings of his son, in spite of all the inquiries he had made, and
all the diligence he had used. The tears ran from the eyes of
this unfortunate father in giving me this account, and he ap-
peared to me so much afflicted that I could not resist his grief,
nor could I keep the oath I had pledged to my cousin. I then
related to the king everything that had formerly passed.
He listened to my recital and replied, I know that my son
built such a tomb, and I know very nearly the spot. Let us keep
the secret to ourselves, and endeavour to discover the place."
We disguised ourselves and went out by a gate that led into the
fields, and were soon fortunate enough to discover the object of
our search. I recognized the tomb, and found the iron trap-door,
which we had a difficulty in lifting up, but at length we succeeded
in raising it. My uncle first descended, and I followed. We
went down about fifty steps, and found ourselves in a sort of
ante-room; from this we passed on to one much larger, the roof
of which was supported by columns, and lighted by many lustres.
Opposite to us there was a raised sofa which was ascended by
some steps. The king went up and discovered the prince, his
son, quite dead and burnt and changed into a coal, as if he had
been thrown on to an immense fire and taken off before he was
After a short time my uncle cast his eyes on me and said,
" My dear nephew, if I have lost a son, I may find in you a
happy reparation of my loss." The reflections which arose on
the untimely end of the prince drew tears from us both.
I afterwards learnt that the magnificently dressed female who
had accompanied my cousin into the vault was a wicked sor-
ceress, who had inspired him with an affection for her, and who,
having lured him into the tomb, there effected his destruction.
We returned to the palace before our absence had been ob-
served, and shortly after we heard a confused noise of trumpets,
cymbals, drums, and other warlike instruments. A thick dust,
which obscured the air, soon informed us what it was, and
74 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
announced the arrival of a formidable army. It was the same
vizier who had dethroned my father, and taken possession of
his dominions, and who came now with a large number of troops
to seize those of my uncle.
This prince, who had only his usual guard, could not resist so
many enemies. They invested the city, and as the gates were
opened to them without resistance, they soon took possession of
it. They had not much difficulty to penetrate to the palace of
the king, who attempted to defend himself, but he was killed,
after having dearly sold his life. On my part, I fought for some
time, but seeing that I must surrender if I continued, I retired,
and had the good fortune to escape, and take refuge in the
house of an officer of the king, on whose fidelity I could depend.
Overcome with grief, and persecuted by fortune, I had re-
course to a stratagem, which was the last resource to preserve
my life. I shaved my beard and my eyebrows, and put on the
habit of a calender, under which disguise I left the city without
being recognized. After that it was no difficult matter to quit
the dominions of the king, my uncle, by unfrequented roads.
I avoided the towns till I arrived in the empire of the powerful
sovereign of all believers, the glorious and renowned caliph
Haroun Alraschid, when I ceased to fear. I considered what
was my best plan, and I resolved to come to Bagdad and
throw myself at the feet of this great monarch, whose generosity
is everywhere admired. I shall obtain compassion, thought I,
by the recital of a history so surprising as mine; he will no
doubt commiserate the fate of an unhappy prince, and I shall
not implore his assistance in vain.
At length, after a journey of several months, I arrived to-day
at the gates of the city; when the evening came on I entered,
and having rested a little time to rec over my spirits, and delibe-
rate which way I should turn my steps, this other calender, who
is next to me, arrived also. He saluted me, and I returned the
compliment: "You appear," said I, "a stranger like myself."
"You are not mistaken," returned he. At the very moment he
made this reply, the third calender, whom you see, came towards
us. He saluted us, and acquainted us that he, too, was a
Etlanger, and just arrived at Bagdad. Like brothers we united
together, and resolved never to separate.
But it was late, and we did not know where to go for a
THE SECOND CALENDER.
lodging, in a city where we never had been before. Our good
fortune, however, having conducted us to your door, we took the
liberty of knocking ; you have received us with so muchbenevo.
lence and charity that we cannot sufficiently thank you. This,
madam, is what you desired me to relate; this was the way in
which I lost my right eye ; this was the reason I have my beard
and eyebrows shaved, and why I am at this moment in your
Enough," said Zobeid ; "we thank you, and you may re-
tire whenever you please. The calender excused himself, and
entreated the lady to allow him to stay and hear the history of
his two companions, whom he could not well abandon, as well
as that of the three other persons of the party.
The history of the first calender appeared very surprising to
the whole company, and particularly to the caliph. The pre-
sence of the slaves, armed with their scimitars, did not prevent
him from saying in a whisper to the vizier, "As long as I can
remember, I never heard anything to compare with this history
of the calender, though I have been all my life in the habit of
hearing similar narratives." He had no sooner finished than
the second calender began, and addressing himself to Zobeid4
spoke as follows.
THE HISTORY OF THE SECOND CALENDER, THE
SON OF A KING.
'S' i'): obey your commands, madam, and to inform you by
S what strange adventure I lost my right eye, is to give
you an account of my whole life.
I was scarcely more than an infant when the king,
my father, (for I too am a prince by birth,) observing that I pos-
sessed great quickness of intellect, spared no pain in its cultiva-
tion. He collected from every part of his dominions whoever was
famous for science, and a knowledge of the fine arts, for the pur-
pose of instructing me. I no sooner knew how to read and write,
than 1 learnt by heart the whole of the Koran, that admirable
book, in which we find the basis, precepts, and regulations of ot;
76 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
religion. That my knowledge might not be shallow and super-
ficial, I perused the works of the most approved authors, who
have written on the same subject, and both explained and illus-
trated that book by their commentaries. There was, however,
one thing in which I most delighted, and at length excelled, and
that was in forming the characters of our Arabic language ; and
I surpassed all the writing masters of our kingdom, who had
acquired the greatest reputation.
Fame bestowed upon me even more honour than I deserved.
She was not satisfied with spreading a report of my talents
throughout the dominions of the king my father, but even car-
ried the account of them to the court of the Indies, whose
powerful monarch became so curious to see me, that he sent an
ambassador accompanied with the richest presents to my father,
to request me of him. This embassy, for many reasons, delighted
him. He was persuaded that it was the best possible thing for
a prince of my age to travel to foreign courts; and he was also
very well satisfied at forming a friendship with the sultan of India.
I set out with the ambassador, but with very few attendants, and
little baggage, on account of the length and difficulties of the
We had been about a month on our journey, when we saw in
the distance an immense cloud of dust, and soon after we dis-
covered fifty horsemen, well armed. They were robbers, who ap-
proached us at full speed. As we had ten horses laden with our
baggage, and the presents, which I was to make to the sultan,
in my father's name, and as our party consisted but of very few,
you may easily imagine that the robbers attacked us without
hesitation. Not being able to repel force by force, we told them
we were the ambassadors of the sultan of India, and we hoped
they would do nothing contrary to the respect they owed to
him. By this we thought we should preserve both our equi-
page and our lives ; but the robbers insolently answered, Why
do you wish us to respect the sultan your master ? We are not
his subjects, nor even within his realm." Having said this, they
immediately surrounded and attacked us on all sides. I de-
fended myself as long as I could, but finding that I was wounded
and seeing the ambassador and all our attendants overthrown,
I took advantage of the remaining strength of my horse, who
vas also wounded, and escaped from them. I pushed him on
THE SECOND CALENDER. 77
as far as he would carry me, he then suddenly fell under my
weight, quite dead from fatigue and the blood he had lost. I
disentangled myself as fast as possible, and observing that no
one pursued me, I supposed the robbers did not choose to ne-
glect the plunder they had acquired.
Imagine me then, madam, alone, wounded, destitute of every
help, and in a country where I was an entire stranger. I
walked on till I arrived at the foot of a mountain, on one side
of which I discovered a sort of cave. I went in, and passed the
night without any disturbance, after having eaten some fruits,
which I had gathered as I came along.
For some days following I continued my journey, until I
arrived at a very large city, well inhabited, and most delightfully
and advantageously situated, as several rivers flowed round it,
and caused a perpetual spring. The number of agreeable ob-
jects which presented themselves to my eyes, excited so great a
joy, that it suspended for a moment the poignant regret I felt at
finding myself in such a miserable situation. My whole face
as well as my hands and feet, were of a brown, tawny colour,
for the sun had quite burnt me ; and my slippers were so com-
pletely worn out by walking, that I was obliged to travel bare-
foot; besides this, my clothes were all in rags.
I entered the town in order to learn the language spoken, and
thence to find out where I was. I addressed myself to a tailor,
who was at work in his shop. He asked me who I was, where
I came from, and what had brought me to that place. I con-
cealed nothing from him, but informed him of every circum-
stance that had happened to me, and did not even hesitate at
discovering even my name. The tailor listened to me very at-
tentively; but when I had finished my narration, instead of
giving me any consolation, he augmented my troubles. "Take
care," said he to me, "that you do not place the same confidence
in any one else that you have in me, for the prince who reigns
in this kingdom is the greatest enemy of the king, your father;
and if he should be informed of your arrival in this city, I doubt
not but he will inflict some evil upon you." I readily believed
the sincerity of the tailor, when he told me the name of the
prince; but as the enmity between my father and him has no
connexion with my adventures, I shall not enter into any de.
tail of it.
78 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
I thanked the tailor for the advice he had given me, and told
him I should never forget the favour I received from him. He
brought me something to eat, and offered me even an apartment
at his house, which I accepted.
Some days after my arrival, the tailor, remarking that I was
tolerably recovered from the effects of my long and painful
journey, and being aware that most of the princes of our religion
had the precaution, in order to guard against any reverse of
fortune, to make themselves acquainted with some art or trade,
to assist them in case of want, asked me if I knew anything by
which I could acquire a livelihood, without being chargeable to
anybody. I told him that I was well versed in the science of
laws, both human and divine,-that I was a grammarian, a poet,
-and, above all, that I wrote remarkably well. "With all this,"
he replied, "you will not in this country procure a morsel of
bread; nothing is more useless here than this kind of know-
ledge. If you wish to follow my advice," he added, "you will
procure a short jacket; and as you are strong, and of a good
constitution, you may go into the neighboring forest, and
cut wood for fuel. You may then go and expose it for sale in
the market; and I assure you that you may acquire a small
income, but sufficient to enable you to live independently of
The fear of being known, and the necessity of supporting my-
self, determined me to pursue this plan, in spite of the degrada-
tion and pain which were attached to it.
The next day, the tailor brought me a hatchet and a cord, and
also a short jacket, and recommending me to some poor people
who obtained their livelihood in the same manner, he requested
them to take me with them. They conducted me to the forest,
and from this time I regularly brought back upon my head a
large bundle of wood, which I sold for a small piece of gold
money, current in that country. I soon acquired a considerable
sum, and was enabled to repay the tailor what he had expended
on my account.
I had passed more than a year in this mode of life, when
having one day gone deeper into the forest than usual, I came
to a very pleasant spot, where I began to cut my wood. In
cutting up the root of a tree, I discovered an iron ring fastened
to a trap-door of the same material. I immediately cleared
THE SECOND CALENDER. 79
away the earth that covered it, and on lifting it up, I perceived
a staircase, by which I descended with my hatchet in my hand.
When I got to the bottom of the stairs, I found myself in a vast
palace, which struck me very much by the great brilliancy with
which it was illuminated, as much so indeed as if it had been
built on the most open spot above ground. I went forward
along a gallery supported on columns of jasper, the bases and
capitals of which were of massive gold, but stopped suddenly on
beholding a lady, who appeared to have so noble and graceful
an air, and to possess such extraordinary beauty, that my atten-
tion was taken off from every other object, and my eyes fixed on
To prevent this beautiful lady from having the trouble of
coming to me, I made haste towards her; and while I was
making a most respectful reverence, she said to me, "Who are
you, a man or a genius ?" "I am a man, madam," I answered,
getting up, nor have I any commerce with genii." By what
adventure," replied she, with a deep sigh, "have you come here?
I have remained here more than twenty-five years, and dur-
ing the whole of that time I have seen no other man than your-
Her great beauty, which had already made a deep impression
on me, together with the mildness and good humour with which
she received me, made me bold enough to say, Before, madam,
I have the honour of satisfying your curiosity, permit me to tell
you that I feel highly delighted at this unexpected interview,
which offers me the means, both of consoling myself under the
affliction in which I am, and perhaps of making you happier
than you now are." I then faithfully related to her by what
strange accident she saw in me the son of a king, why I ap-
peared to her in that condition, and how accident had dis-
covered to me the entrance into the magnificent prison in which
I found her, and of which, from all appearance, she was heartily
tired. "Alas, prince," she replied, again sighing, "you may
truly say this rich and superb prison is unpleasing and weari-
some. The most enchanting spots cannot afford delight when
we are there against our wills. Is it possible you have never
heard any one speak of the great Epitimarus, king of the Ebony
Isle, a place so called from the great quantity of that precious
wood which it produces. I am the princess, his daughter.
o0 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
The king, my father, had chosen for my husband a prince,
who was my cousin; but on the very night of our nuptials, in
the midst of the rejoicings of the court and capital of the isle of
Ebony, and before I had been given to my husband, a genius
took me away. I fainted almost the same moment, and lost all
recollection ; and when I recovered my senses, I found myself
in this place, where I have been kept a prisoner for twenty-five
years. The genius wishes me to marry him, and every ten days
he visits me to urge his suit.
In the meantime, if I have any occasion for anything, I have
only to touch a talisman, which is placed at the entrance of my
chamber, and he appears. It is now four days since he was
here, and therefore it will be six days more before he again
makes his appearance. You therefore may remain five with me,
if it be agreeable to you, in order to keep me company; and I
will endeavour to regale and entertain you equal to your merit
I should have thought myself too happy to obtain so great a
favour by asking it, not to accept it after so obliging an offer.
The princess then conducted me to a bath, the most elegant,
convenient, and at the same time sumptuous, you can possibly
imagine. When I came out, I found, instead of my own dress,
another very rich one, which I put on, less for its magnificence
than to render myself more worthy of her notice.
The next day, in order to devise every method of entertaining
me, she produced, at dinner, a flask of very old wine, the finest
I ever tasted; and to please me, she drank several glasses with
me. I no sooner found my head rather heated with this agree-
able liquor, than I said, "Beautiful princess, you have been
buried here alive much too long; follow me, and go and enjoy
the brightness of the genuine day, of which for so many years
you have been deprived. Abandon this false though brilliant
light you have here. As for myself, I fear the genius so little
that I am determined to break his talisman in pieces, with the
magic spell that is inscribed upon it. Let him then come; I
will wait for him: and however brave, however formidable he
may be, I will make him feel the weight of my arm. I have
taken an oath to exterminate all the genii in the world, and he
shall be the first." The princess, who knew the consequence of
this conduct, conjured me not to touch the talisman. Alas !"
THE SECOND CALENDER 81
she cried, "it will be the means of destroying both you and my-
self. I am better acquainted with the dispositions of genii than .
you can be." The wine I had drunk prevented me from ac-
knowledging the propriety of her reasons; I kicked down the
talisman, and broke it in pieces.
This was no sooner done than the whole palace shook, as if
ready to fall to atoms, accompanied with a most dreadful noise
like thunder, and flashes of lightning, which heightened still
more the intermediate gloom. This formidable adventure in a
moment dissipated the fumes of the wine, and made me own,
though too late, the fault I had committed. "Princess," I ex-
claimed, "what does all this mean ?" Without thinking of her
own misfortune, she, in a fright, answered, "Alas, it is all over
with you, unless you save yourself by flight."
I followed her advice; and my fear was so great, that I for-
got my hatchet and my cord. I had hardly gained the stair-
case by which I descended, than the enchanted palace opened
to afford a passage to the genius. What has happened to you,
and why have you called me ?" he demanded of the princess, in
an angry tone. "A violent pain," replied the princess, "obliged
me to search after the bottle which you see; I drank two or
three glasses, and unfortunately making a false step I fell upon
the talisman, which I thus broke. There is no other cause."
At this answer the genius, in the utmost rage, exclaimed: "You
are both impudent and deceitful; how came this hatchet and
this cord here then ?" "I have never seen them," replied she,
"till this instant. Perhaps, in the haste and impetuosity with
which you came, you have taken them up in passing through
some place, and have brought them here, without observing
The genius replied only by reproaches and by blows, of
which I could plainly distinguish the sound. It distressed me
beyond measure to hear the cries and sobbing of the princess,
who was thus cruelly used. I had already taken off the habit
which she had made me put on, and resumed my own, which I
had carried to the staircase the day before, after I had been in
the bath. I proceeded therefore up the stairs, as I was the
more penetrated with grief and compassion on account of having
been the cause of such a misfortune : and as I should become
the most criminal and ungrateful of men in thus sacrificing the
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
most beautiful princess on earth to the barbarity of an impla-
cable genius. "It is true," said I to myself, "that she has
been a prisoner for five and twenty years; but, excepting
liberty, she had nothing to wish for, in order to be happy. My
conduct has put an end to her happiness, and raised the cruelty
of a merciless demon to its very summit." I then shut down the
trap-door, covered it over with the earth, and returned to the
city with a load of wood, which I collected, without even know-
ing what I was about, so much was I absorbed and afflicted at
what had happened.
My host, the tailor, expressed great joy at my return. "Your
absence," said he, "has caused me much uneasiness on account
of the secret of your birth, with which you have intrusted me.
I knew not what to think, and began to fear some one might
have recognized you. Heaven be praised that you are come
back." I thanked him much for his zeal and affection, but did
not inform him of anything that had happened; nor of the reason
why I returned without my hatchet and cord. I retired to my
chamber, where I reproached myself a thousand times for my
While I was abandoning myself to these afflicting thoughts,
the tailor entered my apartments and said that an old man,
whom he did not know, had brought my hatchet and cord, which
he had found on his way. "He has been informed by your
companions," added the tailor, "who went to cut wood with you,
that you live here. Come and speak to him, as he wishes to
deliver them into your own hands." At this speech I changed
colour, and trembled from head to foot. The tailor inquired the
cause, when suddenly the floor of my chamber opened. The
old man, who had not the patience to wait, appeared and pre-
sented himself to us with the hatchet and cord. This was in
fact the genius, who had stolen the beautiful princess of the
Isle of Ebony, and who had thus come in disguise, after having
treated her with the greatest barbarity. "I am a genius," he
said to us, a son of the daughter of Eblis, prince of the genii.
Is not this thy hatchet ?" added he, addressing me, and is not
this thy cord?"
The genius gave me no time to answer these questions; nor
indeed should I have been able to do so, as his dreadful presence
made me entirely forget myself. He took me by the middle of
THE ENVIOUS MAN.
my body, and dragging me out of the chamber, sprang into the
air, and carried me up towards heaven with so much force and
celerity, that I was sensible of the great height to which I had
ascended, before I was aware of the distance I had travelled in so
short a space of time. At length we alighted on the top of a moun-
tain, and the genius seizing his scimitar prepared to kill me.
".I have," said he, "slain the princess who dared to entertain
you in my subterranean palace, and now your time is come."
" Strike," said I, "I am ready to receive the mortal wound."
"No," replied he, I shall content myself with changing you
into a dog, an ass, a lion, or a bird. Make your choice; I wish
not to control you." These words gave me some hopes of
softening him; I said, Moderate, 0 powerful genius, your
wrath, and since you wish not to take my life, grant it me
in a generous manner. If you pardon me, I shall always re-
member your clemency, as one of the best of men pardoned
his neighbour, who bore him a most deadly envy." The genius
then asked me what had passed between these two neighbours,
when I told him, if he would have the patience to listen to me,
I would relate the history.
THE HISTORY OF THE ENVIOUS MAN, AND OF
HIM WHO WAS ENVIED.
l 7'iN a town of no inconsiderable importance, there were
..: -'.i two men, who lived next door to each other. One of
I them was so excessively envious of the other that the
latter resolved to change his abode, and go and
reside at some distance from him, supposing that nearness of
residence alone was the cause of his neighbour's animosity; for
although he was continually doing him some friendly office, he
perceived that he was not the less hated. He therefore sold his
house and the small estate he had there, and went to the capital
of the kingdom, which was at no great distance, and bought
a small piece of ground about half a league from the town, on
which there stood a very convenient house. He had also a
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
good garden and a moderate court, in which there was a deep
cistern, that was not now used.
The good man having made this purchase, put on the habit of
a dervise, in order to pass his life more quietly, and made, also,
many cells in his house, where he soon established a small com-
munity of dervises. The report of his virtue was soon mone
generally spread abroad, and failed not to attract the attention
and visits of great numbers of the principal inhabitants as well
as common people. At length he became honoured and noticed
by almost every one. They came from a great distance to
request him to offer up his prayers for them; and all who
remained in retirement with him published an account of the
blessings they thought they received from Heaven through his
The great reputation of this man at length reached the towr
from whence he came, and the envious man was so vexed that
he left his house and all his affairs with the determination to go
and destroy him. For this purpose he went to the convent of
dervises, whose chief, his former neighbour, received him with
every possible mark of friendship. The envious man told him
that he was come for the express design of communicating an
affair of great importance to him, and which he could only in-
form him of in private. In short," said he, in order that no
one may hear us, let us, I beg of you, walk in your court: and,
when night comes on, order all the dervises to their cells."
The chief of the dervises did as he requested.
When the envious man found himself alone with the good
man, he began to relate to him whatever came into his thoughts,
while they walked from one end of the court to the other, till
observing they were just at the edge of the well, he gave him a
push and threw him into it. No witness beheld this wicked
deed, and he directly went away, reached the gate of the house,
passed out unseen, and returned home well satisfied with his
journey, highly pleased that the object of his envy was at length
no more. In this, however, he was deceived.
Fortunately for the dervise, this well was inhabited by fairies
and genii, who were ready to assist him. They caught and
supported him in their arms in such a way that he received not
the least injury. He naturally supposed there was something
very extraordinary in having had such a fall as ought to have
THE ENVIOUS MAN. 85
cost him his life, and yet he could neither see nor perceive
anything. He soon after, however, heard a voice say, Do you
know anything of this man to whom we have been so service-
able?" when some other voices answered, No." The first then
replied, I will inform you. This man, with the most charitable
and benevolent intentions in the world, left the town where he
lived, and came to fix himself in this place, with the hopes of
being able to cure one of his neighbours of the envy and hatred
he had conceived against him. He soon became so universally
esteemed that the envious man could not endure it, and deter-
mined, therefore, to put an end to his existence. This design he
would have executed had it not been for the assistance we af-
forded this good man, whose reputation is so great that the
sultan, who resides in the neighboring town, was coming to
visit him to-morrow, in order to recommend the princess, his
daughter, to his prayers."
Another voice then asked what occasion the princess had for
the prayers of the dervise, to which the first answered, Are you
ignorant, then, that she is possessed by the power of the genius
Maimoun, the son of Dimdim, who has fallen in love with her ?
But I know how this good dervise can cure her. The thing is
by no means difficult, as I will inform you. In his monastery
there is a black cat, which has a white spot at the end of her
tail, about the size of a small piece of money. Let him only
pull out seven hairs from this white spot and burn them, and
then with the smoke perfume the head of the princess. From
that moment she will be so thoroughly cured, and free from
Maimoun, the son of Dimdim, that he will never again be able to
come near her."
The chief of the dervises did not lose a single syllable of this
conversation between the fairies and genii, who from this time
remained silent the whole night. The next morning, as soon
as the day began to break, and different objects became dis-
cernible, the dervise perceived, as the wall was decayed in
many places, a hole, by which he could get out without any
The other dervises, who were seeking after him, were delighted
at his appearance. He related to them, in a few words, the
cunning wickedness of the guest he had entertained the day
before, and then retired to his celL It was not long before the
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
black cat, which had been mentioned in the discourse of the
fairies and genii, came to him to be taken notice of as usual
He then took it up, and plucked out seven hairs from the white
.spot in its tail, and put them aside, in order to make use of
whenever he should have occasion for them.
The sun had not long risen above the horizon when the sultan,
who wished to neglect nothing from which he thought there was
any chance of curing the princess, arrived at the gate. He
ordered his guards to stop, and went in with the principal
officers who accompanied him. The dervises received him with
the greatest respect. The sultan directly took the chief aside,
and said to him, "Worthy sheikh, you are perhaps already
acquainted with the cause of my visit." If, sire," the dervise
modestly answered, "I do not deceive myself, it is the malady
of the princess that has been the occasion of my seeing you, an
honour of which I am unworthy." "It is so," replied the
sultan; and you will restore almost my life to me if, by means
of your prayers, I shall obtain the re-establishment of my
daughter's health." "If your majesty," answered the worthy
man, "will have the goodness to suffer her to come here, I
flatter myself that she shall return in perfect health."
The prince, transported with joy, immediately sent for his
daughter, who soon appeared, accompanied by a numerous train
of females, and veiled in such a manner that her face could not
be seen. The chief of the dervises made them hold a shovel
over the head of the princess, and he no sooner threw the seven
white hairs upon some burning coals, which he had ordered to be
brought in it, than the genius Maimoun, the son of Dimdim, ut-
tered a violent scream, and left the princess quite at liberty. In
the meantime nothing at all could be seen. The first thing she
did was to put her hand to the veil which covered her face, and
lift it up to see where she was. "Where am I ?" she cried;
Swho has brought me here ?" At these words the sultan could
not conceal his joy; he embraced his daughter, he kissed her
eyes, and then took the hand of the dervise and kissed that.
"Give me," said he to his officers, "your opinion; what return
does he deserve who has cured my daughter." They all an-
swered that he was worthy of her hand. This is the very thing
I was meditating," he cried, and from this moment I claim him
for my son-in-law."
THE SECOND CALENDER, 57
Soon after this the first vizier died, and the sultan immediately
advanced the dervise to the situation. The sultan himself after-
wards dying without any male issue, this excellent man was pro-
claimed sultan by the general voice of the different religious and
The good dervise, being thus raised to the throne of his
father-in-law, observed one day, as he was walking with his
courtiers, the envious man among the crowd who were in the
road. He called one of his viziers who accompanied him, told
him in a whisper to bring that man whom he pointed out to him,
and to be sure not to alarm him. The vizier obeyed; and when
the envious man was in the presence of the sultan, the latter
addressed him in these words :-" I am very happy, my friend,
to see you: go," said he, speaking to an officer, "and count out
directly from my treasury a thousand pieces of gold. Nay
more, deliver to him twenty bales of the most valuable mer-
chandise my magazines contain, and let a sufficient guard escort
him home." After having given the officer this commission, he
took his leave of the envious man, and continued his walk.
When I told this history to the genius who had assassmateo
the princess of the Isle of Ebony, I made the application to my-
self: 0 genius," I said to him, "you may observe how this
benevolent monarch acted towards the envious man, and was
not only satisfied in forgetting tnat he had attempted his life,
but even sent him back with every benefit and advantage I have
mentioned." In short, I employed all my eloquence to persuade
him to imitate so excellent an example, and to pardon me. But
to alter his resolution was impossible.
"All that I can do for you," he said, "is to spare your life;
yet do not flatter yourself that I shall suffer you to return safe
and well. I must, at least, make you feel what I can do by
means of my enchantments." At these words, he took up a
handful of earth, and pronouncing, or rather mtttermng, certain
words, of which I could not comprehend the meaning, threw it
over me : "Quit," he cried, "the figure of a man, and assume
that of an ape." He immediately disappeared, and I remained
quite alone, changed into an ape, overwhelmed with grief, in an
unknown country, and ignorant whether I was near the domino
Ions of the king, my father.
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
I descended the mountain and came to a flat, level country,
the extremity of which I did not reach till I had travelled a
month, when I arrived at the sea coast. There was at this time
a profound calm, and I perceived a vessel about half a league
from the shore. That I might not omit taking advantage of so
fortunate a circumstance, I broke off a large branch from a tree,
and dragged it after me to the sea side. I then got astride it,
with a stick in each hand by way of oar. In this manner I
rowed myself along towards the vessel, and when I was suffi-
ciently near to be seen, I presented a most extraordinary sight
to the sailors and passengers who were upon deck. They looked
at me with great admiration and astonishment. In the mean
time I got alongside, and taking hold of a rope, I climbed up to
the deck. But as I could not speak, I found myself in the
greatest embarrassment. And, in fact, the danger I now ran
was not less imminent that what I had before experienced when
I was in the power of the genius.
The merchants who were on board were both scrupulous and
superstitious, and thought that I should be the cause of some
misfortunes happening to them during their voyage if they re-
ceived me. I will kill him," cried one, with a blow of this
handspike." Let me shoot an arrow through his body," ex-
claimed another; "and then let us throw him into the sea,"
said a third. Nor would they have desisted from executing
their different threats if I had not run to the captain, and thrown
myself prostrate at his feet. In this supplicating posture I laid
hold of the bottom of his dress, and he was so struck with this
action, as well as with the tears that fell from my eyes, that he
took me under his protection, declaring he would make any one
repent who should offer me the least injury. He even caressed
and encouraged me. In order to make up for the loss of speech,
I in return showed him by means of signs how much I was ob-
liged to him.
The wind which succeeded this calm was not a strong, but it
was a favourable one. It did not change for fifty days, and we
then happily arrived in the harbour of a large, commercial, well-
built, and populous city. Here we cast anchor. This city was
of still more considerable importance, as it was the capital of a
powerful kingdom. Our vessel was immediately surrounded
with a multitude of small boats, filled with those who came