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THE text of the present selection from the ARABIAN
NIGHTS is that of Galland, 1821, slightly abridged and
edited. The edition is designed virginibus fuerisque.
THE KING OF PERSIA AND THE PRINCESS OF THE SEA I
PRINCE BEDER AND THE PRINCESS GIAUHARA (A Sequel to the Foregoing) 19
THE THREE PRINCES AND PRINCESS NOURONNIHAR 63
PRINCE AHMED AND THE FAIRY (A Sequel to the Foregoing) 82
PRINCE CAMARALZAMAN AND THE PRINCESS OF CHINA 113
THE LOSS OF THE TALISMAN (A Sequel to the Foregoing) 152
THE STORY OF ZOBEIDE 177
THE STORY OF THE KING'S SON 188
THE FIRST VOYAGE OF SINBAD THE SAILOR 212
THE SECOND VOYAGE OF SINBAD THE SAILOR 218
THE THIRD VOYAGE OF SINBAD THE SAILOR 225
THE FOURTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD THE SAILOR 234
THE FIFTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD THE SAILOR 244
THE SIXTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD THE SAILOR 251
THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD THE SAILOR 260
FULL PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS.
THE SULTAN'S DAUGHTER CONTENDS WITH THE GENIE FRONTISPIECE
KING SALEH AND PRINCE BEDER PAGE 16
DANHASCH CARRIES OFF THE PRINCESS BADOURA 122
ZOBEIDE AND THE SERPENTS 189
SINBAD'S SHIP IS PURSUED BY THE ROCS 246
GULNARE, ROSE OF THE SEA I
THE KING OF SAMANDAL 29
THE WHITE BIRD 36
HE SAW A CRIER PASS BY WITH A PIECE OF CARPET 67
PRINCE AHMED AND THE APPLE 79
PRINCE AHMED FINDS HIS ARROW 83
THE FOUNTAIN OF LIONS 107
THE ASTROLOGER J36
A BIRD DARTED DOWN AND SNATCHED THE TALISMAN AWAY FROM HIM 154
PRINCE CAMARALZAMAN TENDERLY EMBRACED HIS DEAR PRINCESS 174
THE ENCHANTED PALACE OPENED AND MADE A PASSAGE FOR THE GENIE 196
I TOOK THE PEN AND WROTE SIX SORTS OF HANDS 202
SINBAD IN THE EAGLE S NEST 222
SINBAD ESCAPES FROM THE CAVE 242
THE OLD MAN OF THE SEA 247
AN ELEPHANT UPROOTS THE TREE SINBAD IS IN 264
THE whole of the illustrations, head and tail-pieces and initials in this volume,
together with the design for the cover, are by MR. J. D. BATTEN. The photo-
gravure reproductions have been executed and printed by the SWAN ELECTRIC
ENGRAVING COMPANY ; the remainder of the illustrations are from zincographs by
Messrs. WATERLOW & SONS, except that facing page 196 and the title page, which
are in Dallastype, by Mr. D. C. DALLAS.
THE KING OF PERSIA AND
THE PRINCESS OF THE SEA.
HERE WAS ONCE A KING OF
PERSIA, who at the beginning of
his reign had distinguished himself
by many glorious and successful
conquests, and had afterwards en-
joyed such profound peace and tran-
quillity as rendered him the happiest
of monarchs. His only occasion for
regret was that he had no heir to
succeed him in the kingdom after
his death. One day, according to
the custom of his royal predecessors during their residence in the
capital, he held an assembly of his courtiers, at which all the
ambassadors and strangers of renown at his court were present.
2 9, The King of Persia
Among these there appeared a merchant from a far-distant country,
who sent a message to the king craving an audience, as he wished
to speak to him about a very important matter. The king gave
orders for the merchant to be instantly admitted; and when the
assembly was over, and all the rest of the company had retired,
the king inquired what was the business which had brought him
to the palace.
'Sire,' replied the merchant, 'I have with me, and beg your
majesty to behold, the most beautiful and charming slave it would be
possible to find if you searched every corner of the earth; if you will
but see her, you will surely wish to make her your wife.'
The fair slave was, by the king's commands, immediately brought
in, and no sooner had the king beheld a lady whose beauty and grace
surpassed anything he had ever imagined, than he fell passionately in
love with her, and determined to marry her at once. This was done.
So the king caused, the fair slave to be lodged in the next finest
apartment to his own, and gave particular orders to the; matrons
and the women-slaves appointed to attend her, that they should dress
her in the richest robe they could find, and carry her the finest pearl
necklaces, the brightest diamonds, and other the richest precious
stones, that she might choose those she liked best.
The King of Persia's capital was situated in an island; and his-
palace, which was very magnificent, was built upon the sea-shore;
his window looked towards the sea; and the fair slave's, which was
pretty near it, had also the same prospect, and it was the more
pleasant on account of the sea's beating almost against the foot
of the wall.
At the end of three days the fair slave, magnificently dressed, was
alone in her chamber, sitting upon a sofa, and leaning against one of
the windows that faced the sea, when the king, being informed that
he might visit her, came in. The slave hearing somebody walk in
the room, immediately turned her head to see who it was. She knew
and the Princess of the Sea
him to be the king; but without showing the least surprise, or so
much as rising from her seat to salute or receive him, she turned back
to the window again as if he had been the most insignificant person
in the world.
The King of Persia was extremely surprised to see a slave of
so beauteous a form so very ignorant of the world. He attributed
this to the narrowness of her education, and the little care that had
been taken to instruct her in the first rules of civility. He went
to her at the window, where, notwithstanding the coldness and
indifference with which she had just now received him, she suffered
herself to be admired, kissed, and embraced as much as he pleased,
but answered him not a word.
'My dearest life,' said the king, 'you neither answer, nor by any
visible token give me the least reason to believe that you are
listening to me. Why will you still keep to this obstinate silence,
which chills me? Do you mourn for your country, your friends, or
your relations,? Alas! is not the King of Persia, who loves and
adores you, capable of comforting, and making you amends for the
loss of everything in the world ?'
But the fair slave continued her astonishing reserve; and keeping
her eyes still fixed upon the ground, would neither look at him
nor utter a word; but after they had dined together in absolute
silence, the king went to the: women whom he had assigned to
the fair slave as her attendants, and asked them if they had ever
heard her speak.
One of them presently made answer, 'Sire, we have neither seen
her open her lips, nor heard her speak -any more than your majesty
has just now; we have rerfdered her our services; we have combed
and dressed her hair, put on her clothes, and waited upon her in her
chamber; but she has never opened her lips, so much as to say,
That is well, or, I like this. We have often asked, Madam, do you
want anything? 'Is there anything you wish for? Do but ask and
The King of Persia
command us: but we have never been able to draw a word from
her. We cannot tell whether her silence proceeds from pride, sorrow,
stupidity, or dumbness; and this is all we can inform your majesty.'
The King of Persia was more astonished at hearing this than
he was before: however, believing the slave might have some reason
for sorrow, he endeavoured to divert and amuse her, but all in
vain. For a whole year she never afforded him the pleasure of
a single word.
At length, one day there were great rejoicings in the capital,
because to the king and his silent slave-queen there was born a
son and heir to the kingdom. Once more the king endeavoured
to get a word from his wife. 'My queen,' he said, 'I cannot divine
what your thoughts are; but, for my own part, nothing would be
wanting to complete my happiness and crown my joy but that you
should speak to me one single word, for something within me
tells me you are not dumb: and I beseech, I conjure you, to break
through this long silence, and speak but one word to me; and
after that I care not how soon I die.'
At this discourse the fair slave, who, according to her usual
custom, had hearkened to the king with downcast eyes, and had
given him cause to believe not .only that she was dumb, but that she
had never laughed in her life, began to smile a little. The King of
Persia perceived it with a surprise that made him break forth into an
exclamation of joy ; and no longer doubting but that she was going
to speak, he waited for that happy moment with an eagerness and
attention that cannot easily be expressed.
At last the fair slave, breaking her long-kept silence, tlii ad-
dressed herself to the king: 'Sire,' said she, 'I have so many things
to say to your majesty, that, having once broken !silence, I know not
where to begin. However, in the first place, I think myself in duty
bound to thank you for all the favours and honours you have been
pleased to confer upon me, and to implore. Heaven to bless and
and the Princess of the Sea
prosper you, to prevent the wicked designs of your enemies, and not
to suffer you to die after hearing me speak, but to grant you a long
life. Had it never been my fortune to have borne a child, I was
resolved (I beg your majesty to pardon the sincerity of my intention)
never to have loved you, as well as to have kept an eternal silence;
but now I love you as I ought to do.'
The King of Persia, ravished to hear the fair slave speak,
embraced her tenderly. Shining light 'of my eyes,' said he, 'it is
impossible for me to receive a greater joy than what you have now
The King of Persia, in the transport of his joy, said no more
to the fair slave. He left her, but in such a manner as made her
perceive that his intention was speedily to return: and being willing
that his joy should be made public, he sent in all haste for the
grand vizier. As soon as he came, he ordered him to distribute a
thousand pieces of gold among the holy men of his religion, who
had made vows of poverty; as also among the hospitals and the
poor, by way of returning thanks to Heaven: and his will was
obeyed by the direction of that minister.
After the King of Persia had given this order, he returned to the
fair slave again. 'Madam,' said he, 'pardon me for leaving you so
abruptly, but I hope you will indulge, me with some conversation,
since I am desirous to know several *things of great consequence.
Tell me, my dearest soul, what were the powerful reasons that
induced you to persist in that obstinate silence for a whole year
together, though you saw me, heard me talk to you, and ate and
drank with me every day.'
To satisfy the King of Persia's curiosity, 'Think,' replied the
queen, 'whether or no to be a slave, far from my own country, with-
out any hopes of ever seeing it again,-to have -a heart torn with
grief at being separated for ever from my mother, my brother, my
friends, and my acquaintance,-are not these sufficient reasons for
The King of Persia
my keeping a silence your majesty has thought so strange and
unaccountable ? The love of our native country is as natural to
us as that of our parents; and the loss of liberty is insupportable to
every one who is not wholly destitute of common sense, and knows
how to set a value on it.'
'Madam,' replied the king, 'I am convinced of the truth of
what you say; but till this moment I was of opinion that a person
beautiful like yourself, whom her evil destiny had condemned to
be a slave, ought to think herself very happy in meeting with a
king for her master.'
'Sire,' replied the fair slave, 'whatever the slave is, there is no
king on earth who can tyrannise over her will. But when this very
slave is in nothing inferior to the king that bought her, your majesty
shall then judge yourself of her misery, and her sorrow, and to what
desperate attempts the anguish of despair may drive her.'
The King of Persia, in great astonishment, said 'Madam, can it be
possible that you are of royal blood? Explain the whole secret to
me, I beseech you, and no longer increase my impatience. Let me
instantly know who are your parents, your brothers, your sisters, and
your relations; but, above all, what your name is.'
'Sire,' said the fair slave, 'my name is Gulnare, Rose of the Sea;
and my father, who is now dead, was one of the most potent
monarchs of the ocean. When he died, he left his kingdom to a
brother of mine, named Saleh, and to the queen, my mother, who is
also a princess, the daughter of another powerful monarch of the sea.
We enjoyed a profound peace'and tranquillity through the whole
kingdom, till a neighboring prince, envious of our happiness, invaded
our dominions with a mighty army; and penetrating as far as our
capital, made himself master of it; and we had but just time enough
to save ourselves in an impenetrable and inaccessible place, with a
few trusty officers who did not forsake us in our distress.
'In this retreat my brother contrived all manner of ways to drive
and the Princess of the Sea
the unjust invader from our dominions. One day Sister," said he,
" I may fail in the attempt I intend to make to recover my kingdom;
and I shall be less concerned for my own disgrace than for what may
possibly happen to you. To prevent it, and to secure you from all
accident, I would fain see you married first: but in the miserable
condition of our affairs at present, I see no probability of matching
you to any of the princes of the sea; and therefore I should be very
glad if you would think of marrying some of the princes of the earth
I am ready to contribute all that lies in my power towards it; and I
am certain there is not one of them, however powerful, but would be
proud of sharing his crown with you."
'At this discourse of my brother's, I fell into a violent passion.
"Brother," said I, "you know that I am descended, as well as you, by
both father's and mother's side, from the kings and queens of the sea,
without any mixture of alliance with those of the earth; therefore I
do not intend to marry below myself, any more than they did. The
condition to which we are reduced shall never oblige me to alter my
resolution ; and if you perish in the execution of your design, I am
prepared to fall with you, rather than to follow the advice I so little
expected from you."
'My brother, who was still earnest for the marriage, however im-
proper for me, endeavoured to make me believe that there were kings
of the earth who were nowise inferior to those of the sea. This put
me into a more violent passion, which occasioned him to say several
bitter words that stung me to the quick. He left me as much dis-
satisfied with myself as he could possibly be with me; and in this
peevish mood I gave a si:ring from the bottom of the sea up to the
island of the moon.
'Notwithstanding the violent displeasure that made me cast
myself upon that island, I lived content in retirement. But in spite
of all my precautions, a person of distinction, attended by his,
servants, surprised me sleeping, and carried me to his own house, and
The King of Persia
wished me to marry him. When he saw that fair means would not
prevail upon me, he attempted to make use of force; but I soon
made him repent of his insolence. So at last he resolved to sell me ;
which he did to that very merchant who brought me hither and sold
me to your majesty. This man was a very prudent, courteous,
humane person, and during the whole of the long journey, never
gave me the least reason to complain.
'As for your majesty,' continued Queen Gulnare, 'if you had
not shown me all the respect you have hitherto paid, and given
me such undeniable marks of your affection that I could no longer
doubt of it, I hesitate not to tell you plainly that I should not have
remained with you. I would have thrown myself into the sea out of
this very window, and I would have gone in search of my mother,
my brother, and the rest of my relations ; and, therefore, I hope you
will no longer look upon me as a slave, but as a princess worthy.
of your alliance.'
After this manner Queen Gulnare discovered herself to the
King of Persia, and finished her story. 'My charming, my adorable
queen,' cried he, 'what wonders have I heard! I must ask a
thousand questions concerning those strange and unheard-of things
which you have related to me. I beseech you to tell me more about
the kingdom and people of the sea, who are altogether unknown to
me. I have heard much talk, indeed, of the inhabitants of the sea,
but I always looked upon it as nothing but a tale or fable; but, by
what you have told me, I am convinced there is nothing more true;
and I have a very good proof of it in your own person, who are one
of them, and are pleased to condescend to be my wife; which is an
honour no other inhabitant on the earth can boast of besides myself.
There is one thing yet which puzzles me; therefore I must beg the
favour of you to explain it; that is, I cannot comprehend how it is
possible for you to live or move in the water without being drowned.
There are very few amongst us who have the .art of staying under
and the Princess of the Sea
water; and they would surely perish, if, after a certain time, they did
not come up again.'
'Sire,' replied Queen Gulnare, 'I shall with pleasure satisfy the
King of Persia. We can walk at the bottom of the sea with as
much ease as you can upon land; and we can breathe in the water as
you do in the air; so that instead of suffocating us, as it does you, it
absolutely contributes to the preservation of- our lives. What is yet
more remarkable is, that it never wets our clothes; so that when we
have a mind to visit the earth, we have no occasion to dry them. Our
common language is the same as that of the writing engraved
.upon the seal of the great prophet Solomon, the son of David.
'I must not forget to tell you, further, that the water does not in
the least hinder us from seeing in the sea; for we can open our eyes
without any inconvenience; and as we have quick, piercing sight, we
can discern any object as clearly in the deepest part of the sea as
upon land. We have also there a succession of day and night; the
moon affords us her light, and even the planets and the stars appear
visible to us. I have already spoken of our kingdoms; but as the sea
is much more spacious than the earth, so there are a greater number
of them, and of greater extent. They are divided into provinces;
and in each province there are several great cities, well peopled. In
short, there are an infinite number of nations, differing in manners
and customs, just as upon the earth.
'The palaces of the kings and princes are very sumptuous and
magnificent. Some of them are of marble of various colours ; others
of rock-crystal, with which the sea abounds, mother of pearl, coral,
and of other materials more valuable; gold, silver, and all sorts of
precious stones are more plentiful there than on earth. I say nothing
of the pearls, since the largest that ever were seen upon earth would
not be valued amongst us; and none but the very lowest rank of
citizens would wear them.
'As we can transport ourselves whither we please in the twinkling
The King of Persia
of an eye, we have no occasion for any carriages or riding-horses;
not but what the king has his stables, and his stud of sea-horses; but
they are seldom made use of, except upon public feasts or rejoicing
days. Some, after they have trained them, take delight in riding
them, and show their skill and dexterity in races; others put them to
chariots of mother-of-pearl, adorned with an infinite number of shells
*of all sorts, of the brightest colours. These chariots are open; and in
the middle there is a throne upon which the king sits, and shows
himself to his subjects. The horses are trained up to draw by them-
selves; so that there is no occasion for a charioteer to guide them. I
pass over a thousand other curious particulars relating to these
marine countries, which would be very entertaining to your majesty;
but you must permit me to defer it to a future leisure, to speak of
something of much greater consequence. I should like to send for
my mother and my cousins, and at the same time to desire the king
my brother's company, to whom I have a great desire to be reconciled.
They will be very glad to see me again, after I have related my story
to them, and when they understand I am wife to the mighty king of
Persia. I beseech your majesty to give me leave to send for them: I
am sure they will be happy to pay their respects to you; and I
venture to say you will be extremely pleased to see them.'
'Madam,' replied the King of Persia, 'you are mistress; do what-
ever you'please; I will endeavour to receive them with all the honours
they deserve. But I would fain know how you -would acquaint them
with what you desire, and when they will arrive, that I may give
orders to make preparation for their reception, and go myself in
person to meet them.'
'Sire,' replied the Queen Gulnare; 'there is no need of these
ceremonies; they will be here in a moment; and if your Majesty
will but look through the lattice, you shall see the manner of
Queen Gulnare then ordered one of her women to bring her a
and the Princess of the Sea
N I I
brazier with a little fire. After that she bade her retire, and shut the
door. When she was alone, she took a piece of aloes out of a box,
and put it into the brazier. As soon as she saw the smoke rise, she
repeated some words unknown to the King of Persia, who from a
recess observe with great attention all that she did. She had no
sooner ended, than the sea began to be disturbed. At length the
sea opened at some distance; and presently there rose out of it a
tall, handsome young man, with moustaches of a sea-green colour;
a little behind him, a lady, advanced in years, but of a majestic air,
attended by five young ladies, nowise inferior in beauty to the Queen
Queen Gulnare.immediately went to one of the windows, and saw
the king her brother, the queen her mother, and the rest of her
relations, who at the same time perceived her also. The company
came forward, borne, as it were, upon the surface of the waves.
When they came to the edge, they nimbly, one after another, sprang
up to the window, from whence Queen Gulnare had retired to
make room for them. King Saleh, the queen her mother, and the
rest of her relations, embraced her tenderly, with tears in their eyes,
on their first entrance.
After Queen Gulnare had received them with all imaginable
honour, and made them sit downupon a sofa, the queen her mother
addressed herself to her: 'Daughter,' said she, 'I am overjoyed to
see you again after so long an absence; and I am confident that
your brother and your relations are no less so. Your leaving us
without acquainting anybody with it involved us in inexpressible
concern; and it is impossible to tell you how many tears we have
shed upon that account. We know of no other reason that could
induce you to take such a surprising step, but what your brother
told us of the conversation that passed between him and you. The
advice he gave you seemed to him- at that time very advantageous
for settling you handsomely in the world, and very suitable to the
12 u The King of Persia
then posture of our affairs. It you had not approved of his proposal,
you ought not to have been so much alarmed; and, give me leave to
tell you, you took the thing in a quite different light from what you
ought to have done. But no more of this; we and you ought now
to bury it for ever in oblivion : give us an account of all that has
happened to you since we saw you last, and of your present situation;
but especially let us know if you are satisfied.'
Queen Gulnare immediately threw herself at her mother's feet;
and -after rising and kissing her hand, 'I own,' said she, 'I have been
guilty of a very great fault, and I am indebted to your goodness for
the pardon which you are pleased to grant me.' She then related
the whole of what had befallen her since she quitted the sea.
As soon as she had acquainted them with her having been sold
to the King of Persia, in whose palace she was at present; 'Sister,'
said the king her brother, 'you now have it in your power to free
yourself. Rise, and return with us into my kingdom, that I have
reconquered from the proud usurper who had made himself master
The King of Persia, who heard these words from the recess where
he was concealed, was in the utmost alarm. 'Ah !' said he to him-
self, 'I am ruined; and if my queen, my Gulnare, hearkens to this
advice, and leaves me, I shall surely die.' But Queen Gulnare soon
put him out of his fears.
'Brother,' said she, smiling, 'I can scarce forbear being angry
with you for advising me to break the engagement I have made with
the most puissant and most renowned monarch in the world. I do
not speak here of an engagement between a slave and her master;
it would be easy to return the ten thousand pieces of gold that I cost
him; but I speak now of a contract between a wife and a husband;
and a. wife who has not the least reason to complain. He is a
religious, wise; and temperate king. I am his wife, and he has
declared me Queen of Persia, to share with him in. his councils.
and the Princess of the Sea 13
Besides, I have a child, the little Prince Beder. I hope then
neither my mother, nor you, nor any of my cousins, will disapprove
of the resolution or the alliance I have made, which will be an equal
honour to the kings of the sea and the earth. Excuse me for
giving you the trouble of coming hither from the bottom of the
deep, to communicate it to you, and for the pleasure of seeing-you
after so long a separation.'
'Sister,' replied King Saleh, 'the proposal I made you of going
back with us into my kingdom was only to let you see how
much we all love you, and how much I in particular honour you,
and that nothing in the world is so dear to me as your happiness.'
The queen confirmed what her son had just spoken, and
addressing herself to Queen Gulnare, said, 'I am very glad to hear
you are pleased; and I have nothing else to add to what your
brother has just said to you. I should have been the first to have
condemned you, if you had not expressed all the gratitude you owe
to a monarch that loves you so passionately, and has done such great
things for you.'
When the King of Persia, who was still in the recess, heard this
he began to love her more than ever, and resolved to express his
gratitude in every possible way.
Presently Queen Gulnare clapped her hands, and in came some of
her slaves, whom she had ordered to bring in a meal: as soon as it
was served up, she invited the queen her mother, the king her
brother, and her cousins, to sit down and take part of it. They
began to reflect, that without asking leave, they had got into the
palace of a mighty king, who had never seen nor heard of them, and
that it would be a great piece of rudeness to eat at his table without
him. This reflection raised a blush in their faces; in their emotion
their eyes glowed like fire, and they breathed flames at their mouths
This unexpected sight put the King of Persia, who was totally
The King of Persia
ignorant of the cause of it, into a dreadful consternation.. Queen
Gulnare suspecting this, and understanding the intention of. her
relations, rose from her seat, and told them she would be back in a
moment. She went directly to the recess, and recovered the King of
Persia from his surprise.
Sir,' said she, 'give me leave to assure you of the sincere friend-
ship that the queen my mother and the king my brother are pleased
to honour you with: they earnestly desire to see you, and tell you
so themselves: I intended to have some conversation with them
by ordering a banquet for them, before I introduced them to your
majesty, but they are very impatient to pay their respects to you:
and therefore I desire your majesty would be pleased to walk in, and
*honour them with your presence.'
Madam,' said the King of Persia, 'I should be very glad to
salute persons that have the honour to be so nearly related to you,
but I am afraid of the flames that they breathe at their mouths
'Sir,' replied the queen, laughing, 'you need not in the least
be afraid of those flames, which are nothing but a sign of their
unwillingness to eat in your palace, without your honouring them
with your presence, and eating with them.'
The King of Persia, encouraged by these words, rose up, and came
out into the room with his Queen Gulnare. She pre-ented him to the
queen her mother, to the king her brother, and to her other relations,
-who instantly threw' themselves at his feet, with their faces to the
ground. The King of Persia ran to them, and lifting them up,
embraced them one after another. After they were all seated, King
-Saleh began: 'Sir,' said he to the King of Persia,'we are at a loss
for. words to express our joy to think that the queen my sister should
:have the happiness of falling under the protection of so powerful
a monarch. We can assure you she is not unworthy of the high rank
you have been pleased to raise her to ; and we have always had so
and the Princess of the Sea 15
much love and tenderness for her, that we could never think of
parting with her to any .of the puissant, princes of the sea, who
often demanded her in marriage before she came of age: Heaven
has reserved her for you, Sir, and we have no better way of returning
thanks to it for the favour it has done her, than by beseeching it
to grant your majesty a long and happy life with her, and to
crown you with prosperity and satisfaction.'
'Certainly,' replied the King of -Persia, 'I cannot sufficiently
thank either the queen her mother, or you, Prince, or your whole
family, for the generosity with which you have consented to receive
me into an alliance so glorious to me as yours.' So saying, he -in-
vited them to take part of the luncheon, and he and his queen sat
down at the. table with them. After it was over, the King of Persia
conversed with them till it was very late; and when they thought
it time to retire, he waited upon them himself to the several rooms
he had ordered to be prepared for them.
Next day, as the-King of Persia, Queen Gulnare, the queen, her
mother, King Saleh her brother, and the princesses their relations,
were discoursing together in her majesty's room, the nurse came
in .with the young Prince Beder in her arms.: King Saleh no sooner
saw him, than he ran to embrace him; and taking.him in his arms,
fell to kissing and caressing him with the.greatest demonstration
-of tenderness. He took several turns with him about the room,
dancing and tossing him about, when all of a sudden, through
a transport of joy, the window being, open, he sprang out, and
plunged with him into the sea.
The King of Persia, who expected no such sight, set up a hideous
cry, verily believing that he should either see the dear prince his son
.no more, or else that he should see him. drowned; and he nearly died
of grief and affliction. .'Sir,'.said .Queen Gulnare (with a quiet and
undisturbed countenance, the better to comfort him), 'let. your
-majesty fear nothing; "the young prince is my son as well as yours,
1 6 The King of Persia
and I do not love him less than you do. You see I am not alarmed;
neither in truth ought I to be so. He runs no risk, and you will soon
see the king his uncle appear with him again, and bring him back
safe and sound. For he will have the same advantage his uncle
and I have, of living equally in, the sea and upon the land.' The
queen his mother and the princesses his relations confirmed the
same thing; yet all they said had no effect on the king's fright,
from which he could not recover till he saw Prince Beder appear
again before him.
The sea at length became troubled, when immediately King
Saleh arose with the young prince in his arms, and holding him
up in the air, he re-entered at the same window he went out at. The
King of Persia being overjoyed to see Prince Beder again, and
astonished that he was as calm as before'he lost sight of him, King
Saleh said, 'Sir, was not your majesty in a great fright, when you
first saw me plunge into the sea with the prince my nephew?'
'Alas! Prince,' answered the King of Persia, 'I cannot express
my concern. I thought him lost from that very moment, and. you
now restore life to me by bringing him again,'
'I ih.:..uh' as much,' replied King Saleh, 'though you had not
the least reason-to apprehend any danger; for, before I plunged into
the sea with him I pronounced over him certain mysterious words,
which were engraven on the seal of the great Solomon, the son of
David. We do the same to all those children that are born in the
regions at the bottom of the sea, by virtue of which they receive the
same privileges that we have over those people who inhabit the earth.
From what your majesty .has observed, you may easily see what
advantage your son Prince Beder has acquired by his birth, for as
long as he lives, and as often as he pleases, he will be at liberty
to plunge into the sea, and traverse the vast empires it contains
in its bosom.'
Having so sppoken, King Saleh, who had restored Prince Beder
.- ',, *' -
" I ~ I t'* I'1! ,"
'.i .l ,
",- .,.. 1 .
It~ ~ ~ F i' rt II ~~$ ~ -
2~ h bIL Q~ I on ~ LJr
I.. a r
and the Princess of the Sea s 17
to his nurse's arms, opened a box he had fetched from his palace
in the little time he had disappeared. It was filled with three
hundred diamonds, as large as pigeons' eggs, a like number of rubies
of extraordinary size, as many emerald wands, each half a foot long,
and thirty strings or necklaces of pearl, consisting each of ten
feet. 'Sir,' said he to the King of Persia, presenting him with this
box, 'when I was first summoned by the queen my sister, I knew
not what part of the earth she was in, or that she had the honour
to be married to so great a monarch. This made us come empty
handed. As we cannot express how much we have been obliged
to your majesty, I beg you to accept this small token of grati-
tude, in acknowledgment of the manry particular favours you have
been pleased to show her.'
It is impossible to express how greatly the King of Persia was
surprised at the sight of so much riches, enclosed in so little compass.
'What! Prince,' cried he, ''do you call so inestimable a present a
small token ofyour gratitude ? I declare once more, you have never
been in the least obliged to me, neither the queen your mother nor
yo u. Madam,' continued he, turning to Gulnare, 'the king your
brother has put me into the greatest confusion; and I' would
beg of him to permit me to refuse his present, were I not afraid of
disobliging him; 'do you therefore endeavour to obtain his leave
that I may be excused accepting it.'
'Sir,' replied King Saleh, 'I am not at all surprised that your
majesty thinks this present To extraordinary. I know you are not
accustomed -upon earth to see precious stones of this quality and
quantity: but if you knew, as I do, the mines whence these je;,, els
were taken, and that it is in my power to form a treasure greater than
thoie of all the kings of the earth, you would wo\:.der we should
shave the boldness to make you a present of so small a value. I
beseech you, therefore, not to regard it in that light, but on account
of the sincere friendship which obliges us to offer it to you not to
i8 4 The King of Persia
give us the mortification of refusing it.' This obliged the King of
Persia to accept the present, for which he returned many thanks
both to King Saleh and the queen his mother.
A few days after, King Saleh gave the King of Persia to under,
stand that the queen his mother, the princesses his relations and
himself, could have no greater pleasure' than to spend their whole
lives at his court; but that having been so long absent from their
own kingdom, where their presence was absolutely necessary, they
begged of him not to take it ill if they took leave of him and Queen
Gulnare. The King of Persia assured them he was very sorry that
it was not in his power to return their visit in their own dominions;
but he added, 'As I am verily persuaded you will not forget Queen
Gulnare, but come and see her now and then, I hope I shall have the
honour to see you again more than once.'
Many tears were shed on both sides upon their separation. King
Saleh departed first but the queen his mother, and the princesses
his relations, were fain to force themselves in a manner from the
embraces of. Queen Gulnare, who could not prevail upon herself
to let them go. This royal company were no sooner out of sight
than the King of Persia said to Queen Gulnare, 'Madam, I should
have looked with suspicion upon the person that had pretended
to pass those off upon me for true wonders, of which I myself
have been an eye-witness from the time I have been honoured
with your illustrious family at my court. But I cannot ,refine to
believe my own eyes; and shall remember it as long as I live, and
never cease to bless Heaven for sending you to me, instead of to.
any other prince.'
PRINCE BEDER AND
THE PRINCESS GIAUHARA.
S.- OUNG PRINCE BEDER was
S brought up and educated in the
k L palace under the care of the King
S and Queen of Persia. He gave them
Great pleasure as, he advanced in
S years by his agreeable manners, and
Sby the justness of whatever he said;
SKing Saleh his uncle, the queen his.
grandmother, and the princesses his
-. relations, came from time to time to
see him. He was easily taught to
read and write, and was instructed in all the sciences that became
a prince of his rank.
When he arrived at the age of fifteen he was very wise and
prudent. The king, who had almost from his cradle discovered in
him these virtues so necessary for a .monarch, and who moreover
began to perceive the infirmities of old age coming upon himself
every- day, would not wait till death gave him possession of the
throne, but purposed to resign it to him. He had no great difficulty
to make his council consent to it; and the people heard this with so
much the more joy, because they considered Prince Beder worthy to
govern them. They saw that he treated all mankind with that
goodness which invited them to approach him; that he heard
Prince Beder and
favourably all who had anything to say to him; that h"e answered
everybody with a goodness that was peculiar to him; and that he
refused nobody anything that had the least appearance of justice.
The day for the ceremony was appointed. In the midst of the
whole assembly, which was larger than usual, the King of Persia,
then sitting on his throne, came down from it, took the crown from
off his head, put it on that of Prince Beder, and having seated
him in his place, kissed his hand, as a token that he resigned his
authority to him. After which he took his place among the crowd of
viziers and emirs below the throne.
Hereupon the viziers, emirs, and other principal officers, came
immediately and threw themselves at the new king's feet, taking each
the oath of fidelity according to their rank. Then the grand vizier
made a report of various important matters, on which the young king
gave judgment with admirable prudence and sagacity that surprised
all the council. He next turned out several governors convicted of
mal-administration, and put others in their place, with wonderful and
just discernment. He at length left the council, accompanied by the
late king his father, and went to see his mother, Queen Gulnare. The
queen no sooner saw him coming with his crown upon his head, than
she ran to him, and embraced him with tenderness, wishing him a
long and prosperous reign.
The first year of his reign King Beder acquitted himself of all his
royal functions with great care. Above all, he took care to inform
himself of the state of his affairs, and all that might in' any way
contribute towards the happiness of his people. Next year, having
left the administration to his council, under the direction of the old
king his father, he went out of his capital, under pretext of diverting
himself with hunting; but his real intention was to visit- all the
provinces of his kingdom, that he might reform all abuses there,
establish good order and discipline everywhere, and take from all ill-
minded princes, his neighbours, any opportunities of attempting any
the Princess ,Giauhara
thing against the security and tranquillity of his subjects, by showing.
himself-on his frontiers.
It required no less than a whole year for this young king to carry
out his plans. Soon after his return, the old king his father fell so
dangerously ill that he knew at once he should never recover. He
waited for his last moment with great tranquillity,.and his only care
was to recommend the ministers and other lords of his son's court to
remain faithful to him: and there was not one but willingly renewed
his oath as freely as at first. He died, at length, to the great grief
of King Beder and Queen Gulnare, who caused his corpse to be
borne to a stately mausoleum, worthy of his rank and dignity.
The funeral ended, King Beder found no difficulty in complying
with that ancient custom in Persia to mourn for the dead a whole
month, and not to be seen by anybody during all that time. He
would have mourned the death. of his father his whole life, had it
been right for a great prince thus to abandon himself to grief.
During this interval the queen, mother to Queen Gulnare; and
King Saleh, together with the princesses their relations, arrived at
the Persian court, and shared their affliction, before they offered
When the month was expired, the king could not refuse
admittance to the grand vizier and the other lords of his court,
who besought him to lay aside his mourning, to show himself
to his subjects, and take upon him the administration of affairs
He showed such great reluctance at their request, that the
grand vizier was forced to take upon himself to say to him; 'Sir,
neither our tears nor yours are capable' of restoring life to the
good king your father, though we should lament him all our days.
He has undergone the common law of all men, which subjects
them to pay the indispensable tribute' of death. Yet we cannot
say absolutely that he is dead, since we see him in your sacred
Prince Beder and
person. He did not himself doubt, when he was dying, but that
he should revive in you, and to your majesty it belongs to show
that he was not deceived.'
King Beder could no longer oppose such pressing entreaties:
he laid aside his mourning; and after he had resumed the royal
habit and ornaments, he began to provide for the necessities of his
kingdom and subjects with the same care as before his father's
death. He acquitted himself with universal approbation: and as
he was exact in maintaining the ordinances of his predecessor, the
people did not feel they had changed their sovereign.
King Saleh, who had returned to his dominions in the sea
with the queen his mother and the' princesses, no sooner saw that
King Beder had resumed the government, at the end of the month
than he came alone to visit him; and King Beder and Queen
Gulnare were overjoyed to see him.
SOne evening when they rose from table, they talked of various
matters. King Saleh began with the praises of the king his nephew,
and expressed to the queen his sister how glad he was to see
him govern so prudently, all of which had acquired him great
reputation, not among his neighbours only, but more remote
princes. King Beder, who could not bear to hear himself so well
spoken of, and not being willing, through good manners, to
interrupt the king his uncle, turned on one side to sleep, leaning
his head against -a cushion that was behind him.
'Sister,' said King Saleh, 'I wonder you have not thought of
marrying him ere this: if I mistake not, he is in his twentieth
year; and, at that age, no prince like him ought to be suffered .to
be without a wife. 'I will think of a wife for him myself, since you
will not, and marry him to some princess of our lower world that
may be worthy of him.'
'Brother,' replied Queen Gulnare, I have never thought of it to
this very moment, and I am, glad you have spoken of it to me. I
the Princess Giauhara 4 23
like your proposing one of our princesses; and I desire you to name
one so beautiful and accomplished that the king my son may be
obliged to love her.'
I know one that will suit,' replied King Saleh, softly; 'but I see
many difficulties to be surmounted, not on the lady's part, as I hope,
but on that of her father. I need only mention to you the Princess
Giauhara, daughter of the king of Samandal.'
'What ?' replied Queen Gulnare, 'is not the Princess Giauhara
yet married? I remember to have seen her before I left your
palace; she was then about eighteen months old, and surprisingly
beautiful, ahd must needs be the wonder of the world. The few
years she is older than the king my son ought not to prevent us from
doing our utmost to bring it about. Let me but know the difficulties
that are to be surmounted, and we will surmount them.'
'Sister,' replied King Saleh, 'the greatest difficulty is, that the
King of Samandal is insupportably vain, looking upon all others as
his inferiors.: it is not likely we shall easily get him to enter into this
alliance. For my part, I will go to him in person, and demand of
him the princess his daughter; and, in case he refuses her, we will
address ourselves elsewhere, where we shall be more favourably heard.
For this reason, as you may perceive,' added he, 'it is as well for the
king my nephew not to know anything of our design, lest he should
fall in love with the Princess Giauhara, till we have got the consent
of the King of Samandal, in case, after all, we should not be able
to obtain her for him.' They discoursed a little longer upon this
point, and, before they parted, agreed that King Saleh should
forthwith return to his own dominions, and demand the Princess
Giauhara of the King of Samandal her father, for the King of
Persia his nephew;
Now King Beder had heard what they said, and he immediately
fell in love with the Princess Giauhara without having even seen her,
and he lay awake thinking all night. Next day King Saleh took
24 9s Prince Beder and
leave of Queen Gulnare and the king his nephew. The.young king,
who knew the eking his uncle would not have departed so soon but
to go and promote his happiness without loss of time, changed
colour when he heard him mention his departure. He resolved to
desire his uncle to bring the princess away with him: but only
asked him to stay with him one day more, that they might hunt
together. The day for hunting was fixed, and King Beder had
many opportunities of being alone with his uncle, but he had not
the courage to open his mouth. In the heat of the chase, when
King Saleh was separated from him, and not one of his officers and
attendants was near, he alighted near a rivulet; and having tied
his horse to a tree, which, with several others growing along the
banks, afforded a very pleasing shade, he laid himself down on
the grass. He remained a good while absorbed in thought, without
speaking a word.
King Saleh, in the meantime, missing the king his nephew;
began to be much concerned to know what had become of him.
He therefore left his company to go in search of him, and at length
perceived him at a distance. He had observed the. day before,
and more plainly that day, that he was not so lively as he used
to be; and that if he was asked a question, he either answered
not at all, or nothing to the 'purpose. As soon as King Saleh
saw him lying in that disconsolate posture, he immediately guessed
he had heard what passed between: him and Queen Gulnare. He
hereupon alighted at some distance from him, and having tied
his horse to a tree, came upon him so softly, that he heard him
say to himself:
'-Amiable princess of the kingdom of Samandal, I would this
moment go and offer you my heart, if I knew where to find you.'
King Saleh would hear no more; he advanced immediately,
and showed .himself to King Beder. 'From what I see, nephew,'
said- he, 'you heard what the queen your mother and I said the
the Princess Giauhara X 25
other day of the Princess Giauhara. It was not our intention you
should have known anything, and we thought you were asleep.'
'My dear uncle,' replied King Beder, 'I heard every word, but
was ashamed to disclose to you my weakness. I beseech you to
pity me, and not wait to procure me the consent of the divine
Giauhara till you have gained the consent of the King of Samandal
that I may marry his daughter.'
These words of the King of Persia greatly embarrassed King
Saleh. He represented to him how difficult it was, and that he
could not well do it without carrying him along with him; which
might be of dangerous consequence, since his presence was so
absolutely necessary in his kingdom. He begged him to wait
But these reasons were not sufficient to satisfy the King of Persia.
'Cruel Uncle,' said he, I find you do not love me so much as
you pretended, and that you had rather see me die than grant the
first request I ever made you.'
'I am ready to convince your majesty,' replied King Saleh, 'that
I would do anything to serve you; but as for carrying you along
with me, I cannot do that till I have spoken to the queen your
mother. What would she say of you and me? If she consents, I
am ready to do all you would have me, and I will join my
entreaties to yours.'
'If you do really love me,' replied the King of Persia impatiently,
'as you would have me believe you do, you must return to your
kingdom immediately, and carry me along with you.'
SKing Saleh, finding himself obliged to yield to his nephew,
drewr from his finger a, ring, on which were engraven the same
mysterious names that were upon Solomon's seal, that had
wrought so many wonders by their virtue. 'Here, take this ring,'
said he, 'put it upon your finger, and fear neither the waters of the
sea, nor their depth.'
The King of Persia took the ring, and when he had put it on his
Prince Beder and
finger, King Saleh said to him,' Do as I do.' At the same time they
both mounted lightly up into the air, and made towards the sea
which was not far distant, whereinto they both plunged.
The sea-king was' not long in getting to his palace with the King
of Persia, whom he immediately carried to the queen's apartment,
and presented him to her. The King of Persia kissed the queen
his grandmother's hands, and she embraced him with great joy.
'I do not ask you how you are,' said she to him; 'I see you are
very well, and I am. rejoiced. at it; but I desire to know how is
my daughter, your mother, Queen Gulnare ?
The King of Persia told her thequeen his mother was in perfect
health. Then the queen presented him to the princesses; and
while he was in conversation with them, she left him, and went
with King Saleh, who told her how the King of Persia was fallen
in love with the Princess Giauhara, and that he had brought hirt
along with him, without being able to hinder it.
Although King Saleh was, to do him justice, perfectly innocent,
yet the queen, could hardly forgive his indiscretion in mentioning
the Princess Giauhara before him. 'Your imprudence is not to be
forgiven,' said she to him: 'can you think that the King of Samandal,
whose character is so well known, will have greater consideration
for you than the many other kings he has refused his daughter
to with such.evident contempt? Would you have him send you
away with the same confusion ?'
'Madam,' replied King Saleh, 'I have already told you it was
contrary to my intention that the king, my nephew, should hear
what I related of the Princess Giauhara to' the queen mj sister.
The fault is committed; I will therefore do all that I can to remedy
it. I hope, madam, you will approve of my resolution to go
myself and wait upon the King of Samandal, with a rich ,present
of precious stones, and demand of him the princess, his daughter,
for the. King of Persia, your grandson. I have some reason to
the Princess Giauhara 27
believe he will not refuse me,' but wil. be pleased' at an
alliance with one of the greatest potentates of the earth.'
'It were to have been wished,' replied the queen, 'that we had
not been under a necessity 'of making this demand, since the
success of our attempt is not so certain as we could desire;'but
since my grandson's peace and content depend upon it, I freely
give my consent. But, above all, I charge you, since you well
know the temper of the King of Samandal, that you take care to
speak to him with due respect, and in a manner that cannot
possibly offend him.'
The queen prepared the present herself, composed of diamonds,
rubies, emeralds, and strings of pearl; all of which she put into a
very neat and very. rich box. Next morning, King Saleh took
leave of her majesty and the King of Persia, and departed with a
chosen and small troop of officers and other attendants. He soon
arrived at the kingdom and the palace of the King of Samandal,
who rose from his throne as soon as he perceived him; and King
Saleh, forgetting his character for some moments, though
knowing whom he had to deal with, prostrated himself at his feet,
wishing him the accomplishment of all his desires.- The
King of Samandal immediately stooped to raise him up, and
after he had placed him on his left hand, he told him he was
welcome, and asked him if there was anything he could do to
'Sir,' answered King Saleh, 'though I should have no other
motive than that of paying my respects to the most potent, most
prudent, and most valiant prince in the world, feeble would be
my expressions how much I honour your majesty.' Having spoken
these words, he took the box of jewels from one of his servants
and having opened it, presented it to the king, imploring him to
accept it for his sake.
'Prince,' replied the King of Samandal, 'you would not make
Prince Beder and
me such a present unless you had a request to propose. If
there be anything in my power, you may freely command it, and
I shall feel the greatest pleasure in granting it. Speak,' and tell
me frankly wherein I can serve you.'
'I must own,' replied King Saleh, 'I have a boon to ask of
your majesty; and I shall take care to ask nothing but what is
in your power to grant. The thing depends so absolutely on
yourself, that it would be to no purpose to ask it of any other.
I ask it then with all possible earnestness, and I beg of you not
to refuse it me.'
'If it be so,' replied the King of Samandal, 'you have nothing
to do but acquaint me what it is, and you shall see after what
manner I can oblige when it is in my power.'
'Sir,' said King Saleh, 'after the confidence your majesty has
been pleased to encourage me to put in your goodwill, I will not
dissemble any longer. I came to beg of you to honour our
house with your alliance by the marriage of your honourable
daughter the Princess Giauhara, and to strengthen the good under-
standing that has so long subsisted between our two crowns.'
At these words the King of Samandal burst out laughing,
falling back in his throne against a cushion- that supported him,
and with an imperious and scornful air, said to King Saleh: 'King
Saleh, I have always hitherto thought you a prince of great sense;
but what you say convinces me how much I was mistaken. Tell
me, I beseech you, where was your discretion, when you imagined to
yourself so great an absurdity as you have just now proposed to
me? Could you conceive a thought only of aspiring in marriage
to a princess, the daughter of so great and powerful a king as I am?
You ought to have considered better beforehand the great distance
between us, and not run the risk of losing in a moment the esteem
I always had for your person.'
King Saleh was extremely nettled at this affronting answer,
the Princess Giauhara 29
--------------------; ----- --
and had much ado to restrain his resentment; however, he replied,
with all possible moderation, 'God reward your majesty as you
deserve! I have the honour to inform you, I do not demand the
princess your daughter in marriage for myself; had I done so your
majesty and the princess ought to have been so far from being
offended, that you should have thought it an honour done to both.
Your majesty well knows I am one of the kings of the sea as well
as yourself; that the kings, my ancestors, yield not in antiquity to
any other royal families; and that the kingdom I inherit from them
is no less potent and flourishing than it has ever been. If your
majesty had not interrupted me, you had soon understood that the
favour I ask of you was not for myself, but for the young King of
Persia, my nephew, whose power and grandeur, no less than his
Prince Beder and
personal good qualities, cannot be unknown to you. Everybody
acknowledges the Princess Giuahara to be the most beautiful person
in the world: but it is no less true that the young King of Persia,
my nephew, is the best and most accomplished prince on the land.
Thus the favour that is asked being likely to redound both to
the honour of your majesty and the princess your daughter, you
ought not to doubt that your consent to an alliance so equal will
be unanimously approved in all the kingdoms of the sea. The
princess is worthy of the King of Persia, and the King of Persia is
no less worthy of her. No king or prince in the world can dispute
her with him.'
The King of Samandal would not have let King Saleh go on so
long after this rate, had not the rage he put him in deprived him of
all power of speech. It was some time before he could find his
tongue, so much was he transported with passion. At length, how-
ever, he broke into outrageous language, unworthy of a great king.
'Dog!' cried he, 'dare you talk to me after this manner, and so
much as mention my daughter's name in my presence? Can
you think the son of your sister Gulnare worthy to come in
competition with my daughter? Who are you? Who was your
father?' Who is your sister? And who your nephew ? Was
not his father, a dog, and a son of a dog, like you ? Guards, seize
the. insolent wretch, and cut off his head.'
The few officers that were about the King of Samandal were
immediately going to obey his orders, when King Saleh, who was
nimble and vigorous, got from them before they could draw their
sabres; and having- -reached the palace gate, he there found a
thousand men of his relations and friends, well armed and equipped,
who had just arrived. The queen his mother having considered the
small number of attendants he took with him, and, moreover, fore-
seeing the bad reception he would probably have from the King of
Samandal, had sent these tr:,Lop.; to protect and defend him in
the Princess Giauhara ci 31
- ...-- ...-------; I-* -
case of danger, 'ordering them to make haste. Those of his
relations who were at the head of this troop had reason to rejoice
at their seasonable arrival, when they beheld him and his attendants
come running in great disorder and pursued. 'Sir,' cried his friends,
the moment he joined them, 'what is the matter? We are ready to
revenge you: you need only command us.'
King Saleh related his case to them in as few words as he could,
and putting himself at the head of a large troop, he, while some
seized on the gates, re-entered the palace as before. The few
officers and guards who had pursued him being soon dispersed,
he re-entered the King of Samandal's apartment, who, being
abandoned by his attendants, was soon seized. King, Saleh left
sufficient guards to secure 'his person,. and then went from
apartment to apartment, in search of the Princess Giauhara. But
that princess, on the first alarm, had, together with her women,
sprung up to the surface of the sea, and escaped to a desert island.
While this, was passing in the palace of the King of Samandal,
those of King Saleh's attendants who had fled at the first menaces
of that king put the queen mother into terrible consternation upon
relating the danger her son was in. King Beder, who was by at
that time, was the more concerned, in that he looked upon himself
as the principal author of all the mischief: therefore, not caring
to abide in the queen's presence any longer, he darted up from
the bottom of the sea ; and, not knowing how to find his way to the
kingdom of Persia, he happened to light on the island where the
Princess Giauhara had taken refuge.
The prince, not. a little disturbed in mind, went and seated
himself under the shade of a large tree. Whilst he was endeavouring
to recover himself, he heard somebody talking, but was too far
off to understand what was said. He arose and advanced softly
towards the place v.hence the sound came, where, among the
branches, he perceived a most beautiful lady. 'Doubtless,' said
Prince Beder and
he, within himself, stopping and considering her with great attention,
' this must be the Princess Giauhara, whom fear has obliged to
abandon her father's palace.' This said, he came forward, and
approached the princess with profound reverence. 'Madam,' said
he, 'a greater happiness could not have befallen me than this
opportunity to offer you my most humble services. I beseech
you, therefore, madam, to accept them, it being impossible that
a lady in this solitude should not want assistance.'
'True, my lord,' replied Giauhara very sorrowfully, 'it is not. a
little extraordinary for a lady of my rank to be in this situation.
I am a princess, daughter of the King of Samandal, and my name
is Giauhara. I was in my father's palace, when all of a sudden I
heard a dreadful noise: news was immediately brought me that
King Saleh, I know not for what reason, had forced his way into
the palace, seized the king my father, and murdered all the guards
that made any resistance. I had only time to save myself, and
escaped hither from his violence.'
At these words of the princess, King Beder began to be
concerned that he had quitted his grandmother so hastily, without
staying to hear from her an explanation of the news that had
been brought her. But he was, on the other hand, overjoyed to
find that the king, his uncle, had rendered himself master of the
King of Samandal's person, not doubting but that he would consent
to give up the princess for his liberty. 'Adorable princess,' continued
he, 'your concern is most just, but it is easy to put an end both
to that and to your father's captivity. You will.agree with me when
I tell you that I am Beder, King of Persia, and King Saleh is my
uncle; I assure you, madam,, he has no design to seize upon the
king your father's dominions; his only intent is to obtain his
consent -that I may have the honour and happiness of being his .son-
in-law. I had already given my heart to your and now, far from
repenting of what I have done, I beg of you to be assured that I
the Princess Giauhara 33
will love you as long as I live. Permit me, then, beauteous
princess! to have the honour to go and present you to the king
my. uncle; and the king your father shall no sooner have
consented to our marriage, than King Saleh will leave him
sovereign of his dominions as before.'
This declaration of King Beder did not produce the effect he
expected. When the princess heard from his own mouth that he
had been the occasion of the ill-treatment her father had suffered,
of the grief and fright she had endured, and especially the
necessity she was reduced to of flying her country, she looked
upon him as an enemy with whom she ought to have nothing
whatever to do.
King Beder, believing himself arrived at the very pinnacle
of happiness, stretched forth his hand, and taking that of the princess,
stooped down to kiss it, when she, pushing him back, said,
'Wretch, quit that form of a man, and take that of a white bird,
with a red bill and feet.' Upon her pronouncing these words, King
Beder was immediately changed into a bird of that sort, to his
great surprise and mortification. (Take him,' said she to one of her
women, 'and carry him to the Dry Island.' This island was only
one frightful rock, where there was not a drop of water to be had.
The waiting-woman took the bird, and in executing her princess's
orders had compassion on King Beder's destiny. 'It would be a great
pity,' said she to herself, 'to let a prince, so worthy to live, die of
hunger and thirst. The princess, so good and gentle, will, it may
be, repent of this cruel order when she comes to herself: it were
better that I carried him to a place where he may die a natural
death.' She accordingly carried him to a well-frequented island,.
and left him in a charming plain, planted with all sorts of fruit-
trees, and watered by several rivulets.
Let us return to King Saleh. After he had sought a good.
while for the Princess Giauhara, and ordered others to seek for her,
Prince Beder and
to no purpose; he. caus;dd the King df Samandal. to be shut up'inr
his" own palace;, under a2. strong, guard ; and. having, :given the
necessary orders for :goverfiirig the kingdom 'in 'his absence, -he
returned to give the 'queen -his mother ^an account of 'what he
had done. The first thing he'.asked upon his- arrival' was "of the
whereabouts of the king::his" nephew,, ahd he learned.: .ithi great
surprise and vexation'that he had disappeared.;
'News being brought' me,'. said'the qieen, of the danger youi
were- in at the palace of the King of Samandal, whilst I. was tgivifig
orders to send other troops::to. avenge you, he -disappeared.- He
must have been. frightened..at hearing of your. being ..in'so' great
danger, and did not think himself in sufficient safety withus:'
This news exceedingly. Afflicfed..King' Salehi i h.: how. reipented
of his being so easily wrouight upon by King 'Beder as ,to carry -iim
away with him'without his mother's consent, Whist he:was in this
,suspense about his nephew,.he left his kingdom under the adrninis-
tration of his mother, and -went' to govefn that of the King of
Samandal, whom' he continued' to keep -unde'r great :vigilance,
-thoigh with all due respect :to. his rank.
The same day that'. King Saleh: returned' to-the .kingdom of
Samandal, Queen-. Gulnare, mother: to. King Beder,..arrived at the
court of the queen her. fi-,ther:. The: princess., was hnot :at all
surprised to find her spri.did not return'the same. day he set' out, it
being not uncommon for himN to go further, than .he.proposed iii'-the
heat of the chase; but'when she saw' that he returned neither the next
day, nor:'the day after .she .began to be alarmed. This alarm 'was
increased when the officers,, who had accompanied: the king, and
were obliged to return ,after they had for a long time- sought i .vaiai
for. both him and his..t'icle, care" and:told her majeSty. they intst
of necessity have come to some harm, or be together: in some,
place whichl.they cduld: nit "gue's, since; they could:hear tro tidings
pf them. .Their horses,: indeed, thy., had' found, .but tas. foi :their
the Princess Giauhara A 35
persons, they, knew not- where to look for them.- The queen,
hearing, this, -had resolved to dissemble and conceal her affliction,
bidding the officers to search once more with their utmost diligence;
-but in the mean' time, saying nothing to anybody, she plunged into
the sea, to satisfy herself as to the suspicion she had that King Saleh
must have carried away, his nephew along with him.
SThis great, queen would have been, more affectionately received
by the queen her -mother, had' she not, ..upon first sight of her,
guessed the occasion.. of -her. coming. Daughter,' said she; 'I
plainly perceive you are not come hither to visit me; you. come to
inquire after the king your- son;- and. the only news I can tell -you
will atu nlmnt both.your grief and mine. I no sooner saw-him arrive
in our territories,- than I rejoiced; yet, when I came to understand
he had come away. without-your knowledge, I began to share with
you the .concern, you must needs feel.' Then she. related to her
with- what zeal, King Saleh. went to demand the Princess Giauhara
in marriage for King Beder, and- what-had happened, till her son
disappeared. I have sent diligently after him,' added she,- 'and
the king my- son, who is but just gone to govern the kingdom of
Samandal, has dope all that lay in his power. All our endeavours
have hitherto proved` unsu;cc-ts:Fl, but we must hope nevertheless
to see him again, perhaps when we. least expect it.
Queen Gulnare was not satisfied with this hope; she looked upon
the king her dear son as lost, and lamented him bitterly, laying
all the blame upon the kinghlis uncle. The queen her mother made
her consider the -necessity opf not yielding too much, to. her griet.
'The king your brother,' said she, 'ought not, it is true, to have
talked: to. you- so, imprudently. about that. marriage, nor -ever have
consented to carry away the king my-grandson, without acquainting
you first; yet, 'since it is not certain that the King of Persia is
absolutely lost, you ought to neglect nothing to preserve his kingdom
for him: lose, then, no more-time, but return to your capital; your
36 6 Prince Beder and.
presence there will be necessary, and it will not be hard for you
to preserve the public peace, by causing it to be published that the
"King of Persia was gone to visit his grandmother.'
Queen Gulnare yielded. She took leave of the queen her
mother, and was back in the palace of the capital of Persia before
she had been missed. She immediately despatched persons to
recall the officers she had sent after the king, and to tell them she
knew where his majesty was, and that they should soon see him
again. She also governed with the prime minister and council as
quietly as if the king had been present.
To return to King Beder, whom the Princess Giauhara's waiting-
woman had carried and left in the island before mentioned; that
monarch was not a little surprised when he found himself alone, and
under the form of a bird. He felt yet more unhappy that he
knew not where he was, nor in what part of the world the kingdom
of Persia lay. He was forced to remain where he was, and live
upon such food as birds of his kind were wont to eat, and to pass
the night on a tree,
A few days after, a peasant that was skilled in taking birds \\ ith
nets chanced to come to the place where he was ; when perceiving
so fine a bird, the like of which he had never seen before, he began
greatly to rejoice. He employed all his art to catch him, and at
length succeeded. Overjoyed at so great a prize, which he looked
upon as of'more- worth than all the other birds, because so rare,
he shut it up in a cage, and carried it to the city. As soon as he was
come into the market, a citizen stopt him, and asked him how much
he wanted for that bird.
Instead of. answering, the peasant asked tlie citizen what he
would do with him in case he should' buy. him ? 'What wouldst
thou have me to do with him,' answered the citizen, 'but roast and
eat him?' -
/ -If that be the. case,' replied the peasant, I suppose you
THE WHITE BIRD.
the Princess Giauhara
would think me very well paid if you gave me the smallest
piece of silver for him. I set a much higher value upon him, and
you should not have him for a piece of gold. Although I am
advanced in years, I never saw such a bird in my life. I intend
to make a present of him to the king; he will know the value of
him better than you.'
Without staying any longer in the market, the peasant went
directly to the palace, and placed himself exactly before the king's
apartment. His majesty, being at a window where he could see all-
that passed in the court, no sooner cast his eyes on this beautiful
bird, than he sent an officer to buy it for him. The officer, going to
the peasant, asked him how much he wanted for that bird. 'If it be
for his majesty,' answered the peasant, I humbly beg of him to
accept it of me as a present, and I desire you to carry it to him.'.
The officer took the bird to the king, who found it so great a rarity,
that he ordered the same officer to take ten pieces of gold, and carry
them to the peasant, who departed very well satisfied. The king
ordered the bird to be put into a magnificent cage, and gave it seed
and water in rich vessels.
His majesty being then ready to go hunting, had not time to,
consider the bird, therefore had it brought to him as soon as he came.
back.. The officer brought the cage, and the king, that he might
better see the bird, took it out himself, and perched it upon his hand.
Looking earnestly at it, he asked the officer if he had seen it eat.
'Sir,'replied the officer, 'your majesty may observe the vessel with
his food is still full, and he has not touched any of it.' Then the
king ordered him meat of various sorts, that he might take what
he liked best.
The table being spread, and dinner served up just as the king
had given these orders, the bird, flapping his wings, hopped off
the king's hand, and flew on to the table, where he began to peck
the bread and victuals, sometimes on one plate, and sometimes on
Prince Beder and,
another. The' king was so surprised, that' he immediately sent
the officer to desire the queen to come and see this wonder. The
officer related it to her majesty, arid 'shecame forthwith: but she
no sooner saw the bird, than she covered her face with her veil,
and would have retired. The king, surprised at her proceeding,'
asked the reason of it.
'Sir,' answered the queen, 'your majesty will no longer be
surprised when you understand that this bird is not, as you take
it, a bird, but a man.'
'Madam,' said the king, more astonished than before, 'you are
making fun of me; you shall never persuade me that a bird
can be a man.'
'Sir,' replied the queen,' far be it from me to make fun of your
majesty; nothing is more certain thanrwhat I have had the honour
to tell you. I can assure your. majesty it is the King of Persia,
named Beder, son of the celebrated Gulnare, princess of one of
the largest kingdoms of the sea, nephew of -Saleh, king of that
kingdom, and grandson of Queen: Farasche, mother of Gulnare and
Saleh; and it was the Princess Giauharai daughter-of the King
of Samandal, who thus metamorphosed him into a bird.' That
the king might no longer doubt of what she affirmed, she told'
him the whole story, how and for 'what;-reason the Princess
Giauhara had. thus revenged herself for the ill-treatment of King:
Saleh towards the king of Samandal, her father.
The king had less difficulty in believing this assertion of the
queen in that he knew her to be a skilful magician, one of the
greatest in the world." And: as she knew everything w\hih took
place, he was always by her means timely informed of the designs
of the kings: his n eighbouurs against him, and' prxever, ted thenn. His
majesty. had 'compassion on the King 'bf Persia, and earnestly
besought .his queen to break :the enchantment, that he migh-t'
return to his 'own 'form. :: .'
the Princess Giauhara sa 39-
.The queen consented to it with :great' willingness. 'Sir,' said
she'to. the king, 'be pleased to take the bird into your room,' and
I will' show you a king worthy 6f the consideration you have for
him.'. The bird, which had-ceased eating, aid: attended to what:
the kin ig rid-queen said, vould not give his majesty the trouble;
to. take hir,-but hopped' into the room before him; and the queen
came ini soon after, with at vessel full 'of water: in her hand. Shed
pronounced: over the 'e-Cel some words unknown to the king, till the
water) began to: boil, when she took .some of it in her hand, and,
sprinikling-'a little upon the bird, said, By virtue of these holy and-
mysterious, words I have just pronounced,-quit that form of a bird,
and :reasstLme that which thou hast -eceived from:thy Creator.'
-The wordss \\ere'scarcely out'of..the:-qu~eri's mnuth, when, instead-
of a bird, the king saw a young prince. King Beder immediately,
fell :on 'his knees, anrid.'thanked God: for the favour that had been
bestowed .upon him. Then he" took- the. king's hand, who helped
him": up, 3and .kissed .it' in ..token of gratitude; but the king
embraced. him with, great' joy, --e -'would,'then' have made his'
acknowledgments: to the. queeni but she- had already retired to her;
apartment. The king made him sit.-at, the' table. with him, 'aid,-
after dinner was over, prayed. him to. relate ho-w the Princess
Giauhara could have had.. thee inhumaini'ity to *transform into a bird
so amiable a, prince as:hewas ;: and >the King of Persia immediately
told him. .When he had done, the king, provoked at the proceeding
of the princess, could not help blamifig her. 'If was commendable,'
said he, fin the Princess of Samrandal t. feel lurt at'the king'her
father's.: ill-treatment; but to carry" her -vengeance so far, and
especially against a prince who..was nof gguilty; was what she will'
never be able to justify herself for. >But let :us.have done 'with;
this. discourse, and tell. me: I .beseech you, in what: I' can further"
Sir,' answered King 3Beder,; my obligatiofi to your. majesty is'
40 Prince Beder and
so great, that I ought to .remain with you all my life to testify
my gratitude; but since your majesty sets no limits to your
generosity, I entreat you to grant me one of your ships to trans-
port me to Persia, where I fear my absence, which has been but
too long, may have occasioned some disorder, and that the queen
my mother, from whom I concealed my departure, may be dead
of grief, under the uncertainty whether I am alive or dead.'
The king granted what he desired with the best grace
imaginable, and immediately gave orders for equipping one of his
largest ships, and the best sailer in his numerous fleet. The
ship was soon furnished with all its crew, provisions, and am-
munition; and as soon as 'the wind. became fair, King Beder
embarked, after having taken leave of the king, and thanked him
for all his favours.
The ship sailed before the wind for ten days; on the eleventh
day the wind changed, and becoming very violent, there followed a
furious tempest. The ship was not only driven out of its course,
but so violently tossed, that all its masts went by the board; and
driving along at the pleasure of the wind, it at length struck
against a rock and split open.
The greater part of the people were instantly drowned. Some
few were saved by swimming, and others by getting on pieces
of the wreck. King Beder was among the latter, and, after
having been tossed about for some time by the waves and currents,
he at length perceived himself near the sh6re, and not far from
a city that seemed large. He exerted his remaining strength
to reach the land, 'and was at length fortunate to come so
near as to be able to touch the ground with his feet. He ifnme-
diately abandoned'his piece of wood, which had been of so great
service to him; but when he came hear the shore he was greatly
surprised to see -horses, camels, mules, asses, oxen, cows, bulls, .and
other animals crowding to the shore to oppose his landing. He
the Princess Giauhara
had the utmost difficulty to conquer their obstinacy and force his
way; but at length he succeeded, and sheltered himself among
the rocks till he had recovered his breath, and dried his clothes
in the sun.
When the prince advanced to enter the city, he met with the
same opposition from these animals, who seemed to want to make
him understand that it was dangerous to proceed.
King Beder, however, got into the city soon after, and saw many
fair and spacious streets, but was surprised to find no man there.
This made him think it was not without cause that so many animals
had opposed his passage. Going forward, nevertheless, he observed
several shops open, which gave him reason to believe the place was
not so destitute of inhabitants as he .imagined. He approached one
of these shops, where several sorts of fruits were exposed to sale, and
saluted very courteously an old man that was sitting there.
The old,man, who was busy about something, lifted up his head,.
and seeing a youth' 'h-.: bad an appearance of grandeur, started, and
asked him whence he came, and what business had brought him
there. King Beder satisfied him in a few words; and the old man.
further asked him if he had met anybody on the road. 'You are the.
first person I have seen,' answered the king; 'and I cannot compre-
hend how so fine and large a city comes to be without inhabitants.'
'Come in, sir; stay no longer upon the threshold,' replied the
old man, 'or peradventure some misfortune may happen to you.. I
will satisfy your curiosity at leisure, and give you the reason why
it is necessary you should take this precaution.'
King Beder would not be bidden twice: he entered the shop, and
sat down by the old man 'The latter knew he must want food, there-
fore immediately presented him with what was necessary to recover
his strength; and although King Beder was very anxious to know
why he had taken the precaution to make him enter the shop,
the old man nevertheless .would not tell him anything till he had.
Prince Beder. and
done eating, for fear the 'sad 'things he,had to relate might'take"
away his appetite. At last he. said. to him, 'You'`have great reason-
to thank God you got .hither. without. -any misfortune.'
'Alas! why?' replied king Beder, very much surprised- -and'
-'.Because,' answered he, 'this city is called the City of Enchantments;:
and is governed not by a king, but by a queen,.who is a notorious
and.dangerous sorceress. You will be convinced of this,' added he,
'.when you know that these hor;es, mules, and other animals that you
have seen" are so. many men, like you and me, whom she has trans-
formed by her, diabolical art. .And'. when young men like you enter
the city, she has persons stationed to stop and bring them,, either by
fair means or force, before her. .-She receives them .in'the most:
obliging manner; she caresses, them, regales .them, and lodges theri
magnificently. But she.does not suffer them long to. enj.jo thi: happi-
ness.. There. is not. one" of them.: whom she has not. transformed: into
some animal or bird at.the end of forty.days. You told me.all these
animals opposed your-landinig and entering the city... This was;
the- only way they could make you comprehend the 'danger you..
were going to expose yourself to, and: they did all in their power
to. save you.'
*This account exceedingly afflicted the young Kinig of .Persia.:
'Alas!' cried he, 'to what extremities .has my ill-fortune' reduced
me!.' I am hardly 'freed from one enchantment, which' I look-
back- upon: with horJor, but I find'. myself exposed .to another
much more terrible.' '.This gave him'occasion to. relate his st,:i'y
to the old. man more at .length,: and to acquaint him with his.birth,
quality,, his falling 'in. love .with the Princess. of Samandal, and
her.:cruelty in changing him into. a bird .the very mnom~nlt he had
seen .her, and 'declared his love to her./. :
'lVhien the prince came to speak, of his good fortune ..in finding
a.queen ho .,br'oke the:' enchantment; the::old man, to.encourage.
the Princess Giauhara 43
him, said, 'Notwithstanding all I told. you of the magic queen,
that ought not to give you the least disquiet, since I am generally
beloved throughout the city, and- am not unknown to the queen
herself, who has' much respect for me; therefore it was singularly
fortunate that you addressed yourself to me rather than elsewhere.
'You are secure in. my house, where I advise you to continue, if
you think fit; and provided you do not stray from hence, I dare
assure you you will have- no just cause to complain; so that you
are under no sort of constraint whatsoever.'
King Beder thanked the old man for his kind reception, and,
the protection he was pleased so readily to afford him. He sat
down at the entrance of the shop, where he no sooner appeared
than his youth and handsome looks drew the eyes of all that passed
that: way. Many stopped and complimented the old man on his
having acquired so fine a slave, as they imagined the king to be;
and they were the more surprised, because they could 'not com-
prehend how so' beautiful a youth could escape the. queen's.
knowledge. 'Believe not,' said the old man, 'that this is a slave;
you all know that I- am not rich enough. He is my nephew, son
of a brother of mine that is dead; and as I had no children of
my own, I sent for him to.keep me company.'
They congratulated his good fortune in having so fine a young
man for his relation; but could, not help telling him they feared
the queen would take him from him. 'You know her well,' said
they, 'and you cannot be ignorant of the danger to which you are
exposed, after all :the examples you have seen. How grieved
Would you be if she should serve him as she has done so many
others that we know of!'
'I am obliged to you,' replied the old man, 'for your good
Will- towards me, arid I heartily thank you for your care;..but I shall
never entertain :the least thought that the queen will do me any
injury, after all the kindness she has-professed for me.- -In case
44 la Prince Beder and
she happens to hear of this young man, and speaks to me about
him, I doubt not she will cease to think of him, so soon as she
comes to know he is my nephew.'
The old man was exceedingly glad to hear the commendations
they bestowed on the young King of Persia. He became as
fond of him as if he had been his own son. They had lived
about a month together, when, King Beder sitting at the shop-
door, after his ordinary manner, Queen Labe (so was this magic
queen named) happened to come by with great pomp. The
young king no sooner perceived the guards coming before her,
than he arose, and, going into the shop, asked the old man what
all that show meant. 'The queen is coming by,' answered he,
'but stand still and fear nothing.'
The queen's guards, clothed in purple uniform, and well armed
and mounted, marched in four files, with their sabres drawn, to
the number of a thousand, and every one. of their officers, as, they
passed by the shop, saluted the old man: then followed a like
'number habited in brocaded silk, and better mounted, whose officers
did the old man the like honour. Next came as many young
ladies on foot, equally beautiful, richly dressed, and set off with
precious stones. They marched gravely, with half pikes in their
hands; and in the midst of them appeared'Queen Labe, on a horse
glittering with diamonds, with a golden saddle, and a harness ot
inestimable value. All the young ladies saluted the -old man as
they passed by him; and the queen, struck with the gc-.od mien
of King Beder, stopped as soon as she came before the shop.
'Abdallah' (so was the old man named), said she to him, 'tell me,
I beseech thee, does that beautiful and charming slave belong to
thee ? and is it long that thou hast been in possession of him ?'
Abdallah, before he answered the queen, threw hiinmelf on the.
ground, and rising, again, said, 'Madam, it is my nephew, son of
a brother I had, who has not long been dead. Having no children,-I
the Princess Giauhara
look upon him as my son, and sent for him' to come arid comfort
me, intending to leave him what I have when I die.'
Queen Labe, who had never yet seen any one to compare with
King Beder, thought immediately of getting the old mari to abandon
him to her. 'Father,' quoth she, 'will you not oblige me so far
as to make me a present of this young man? IDo'not refuse me,
I conjure you; and I swear by the fire and the liglit, I will make
him so great and powerful that no individual in the world ever
arrived at such good fortune. Although my purpose were to do
evil to all mankind, yet he shall be the sole exception. I trust
you will grant me what I desire, more on the account of the
friendship I know you have for me, than for the esteem you know
I always had, and shall ever have for you.'
'Madam,' replied the good Abdallah, 'I am infinitely obliged
to your majesty for all your kindness, and the honours you propose
to do my nephew. He is not worthy to approach so great a
queen, and I hunibly beseech your majesty to excuse him.'
'Abdallah,' replied the queen, 'I all along flattered myself you
loved me; and I could never have thought you would have given
me so evident a token of your slighting my request. But I here
swear once more by the fire and light, and even by whatsoever
is most sacred in my religion, that I will pass on no farther
till I have conquered your obstinacy. I understand very well
what raises your apprehensions; but I promise you shall never
have any occasion to repent having obliged me in so sensible
Old Abdallah was exceedingly grieved, both on his own account
and King Beder's, for being in a manner forced to obey the queen.
'Madam,'. replied he, 'I would riot willingly have your .majesty
entertain an ill opinion of the respect I have for you, and my zeal
always to do whatever I can to oblige you. I put, entire confidence
in your royal word, and I do not in the least doubt but you will
Prince Beder' and
keep it. I only beg of' your majesty to delay doing this great
honour to my nephew till-you shall again pass this *way.'-
'That; shall be to-morrow,' said the queen, who inclined her
head,-as a token of being pleased, and so went forward towards
her palace. -
When Queen Labe and all her attendants were out of sight, the
good Abdallali said to King Beder, 'Son, (for so he was, wont to
call him, for. fear' of some time or other betraying him when he
spoke of him in .public), 'it has not been iti my power, as you
may have observed, to refuse the queen what she demanded of
me with so great earnestness, for fear I might force her to employ
her magic .both. against you and myself openly or secretly, and
treat you, as much from: resentment to you as to me, with more
signal cruelty than all those she has, had in her power before.
But I haye some reason to believe she will treat'yoi well, as she
promised, on. account of that particular esteem she professes for
me. This you may have seen-by the respect shown, and the. honours
paid me by all her court.' She v',jould be a fiendish creature indeed,
if she should deceive me; but she shall not deceive me unrevenged;
for I know how to- be even 'with her.'
These assurances, which appearedd very 'doubtful,. were.. not
sufficient to raise King Beder's spirits. 'After all you have told
me; of this queen's v.i'ckednie-: .' replied he,. 'you cannot wonder
if -I am somewhat fearful to approach her : I might, it may be, make
little of all you could tell me of her, did I.not know, by experience
what it is to be at the mercy of a sorceress. The condition I was
in; through the ienc-:hiaitmennt "of the Princess Giauhata, and from
w'heni:e I was- delivered only to -enter 'almost immediately into
another, has made me- l:c:,k upon such a fate .ivith ho'rro.:.
'Son,' replied old' Abdallah, 'do not'. afflict yoiir-elfr;, for tl-.l:oulh
I -must own: there is; no great faith to be ,put in. the pr.:lmises
and oaths :of so perfdio:iis 'a queen, .yet I miut ,-\ ithal: tell you
the Princess Giauhara 47
that her power extends- not to me. : She knows it well herself; and
that is the reason, and no other, that she pays me such great respect.
I .can quickly hinder-her, from doing, you the, least harm, if she
should be perfidious enough to attempt it. You may depend upon
me; and, provided you follow exactly the advice shall give you
before I hand you over to her, she shall have- -no more power
over you than she has over- me.'
,The magic- queen .did not .-fail to pass by the old man's.shop
the next .day, with the same pomp as the day before; and, Abdallah
waited for her with great: respect. .'Father,' cried she, stopping just
before him, 'you may judge of my impatience to have .your nephew
with-me, by my punctual coming to put you in mind of your promise.
I know you are a man of. your word, and I cannot think you, will
break it with me.'
Abdallah, who fell on his face as soon 'as he saw the queen
approaching, rose-up when she had done, speaking; and,'as he
wanted nobody to hear what he had a mind to-say to her, he
advanced with great respect as .far as her horse's head, and then
said .softly, 'Powerful queen! I am persuaded your, majesty "will
not be offended at my seeming unwillingness to trust my nephew
with you yesterday, since you cannot be ignorant of the reasons
I had for it; but I implore you -to lay aside the secrets of
that art which you. possess in so wonderful a .degree, -I regard
my nephew as my own son; ,and your .majesty would'*reduce
me to despair if you should deal with him as you have done
'I promise you I will not,' replied the-:queen ; 'and l once
more repeat the oath I made yesterday, that: neither you 'nor your
nephew shall have any cause to be offended with me. I. see plainly,'
.added, she, 'you are not yetwell eni:ugh acquainted with me; you
never saw me yet but through a vel;' but as I find your nephew
worthy of my friendship, I will shpw you' I-am not in anyway
48 Prince Beder and
unworthy of his.' With that she threw off her veil and showed King
Beder, who came near her with Abdallah, incomparable beauty.
But King Beder was little charmed. 'It is not enough,' said he
within himself, 'to be beautiful; one's actions ought to correspond.'
Whilst King Beder was making these reflections, with his
eyes fixed on Queen Labe, the old man turned towards him, and
taking him by the arm, presented him to her majesty. 'Here
he is, madam,' said he,'and I beg of your majesty once more to
remember he is my nephew, and to let him come and see me some-
times.' The queen promised he should; and to give a further
mark of her gratitude, she caused a bag of a thousand pieces ot
geld to be given him. He excused himself at first from receiving
them, but she insisted absolutely upon it, and he- could not refuse
her. She had caused a horse to be brought (as richly harnessed
as her own) for the King of Persia.
When King Beder was mounted,: he would have taken his
place behind the queen, but she would not suffer him, and made
him ride on her left hand. She looked at Abdallah, and after
having made him an inclination with her head, she set forward
on her march.
Instead of observing a satisfaction in the people's faces at the
sight of their sovereign, King Beder took notice that they looked
at her with contempt, and even cursed her. 'The sorceress,' said
some, 'has got. a new subjectto exercise her wickedness upon:
will Heaven never deliver the world from her tyranny-?' 'Poor
stranger!' cried out others, 'thou art much, deceived if thou
thinkest thine happiness will last long. It is only to render 'thy
fall most terrible that thou art raised so high.' This talk gave
King Beder to understand that Abdallah had. told him nothing
but, the truth of Queen Labe: but as it now depended no longer.
on himself to escape the mischief, he committed himself to divine
Providence and the will of. Heaven re:-pectiing his-fate.
the Princess Giauhara 49
,The, magic queen arrived at her palace; she alighted, and
giving her hand to King Beder, entered with him, accompanied
by her women and the ufficers-. She herself showed him all her
apartments, where there was nothing to be seen but massy gold;
precious stones, and furniture of wonderful magnificence. Then she
led him out into a balcony, from whence he observed a garden
of surprising beauty. King Beder commended all he saw, but so
that he might not be discovered to be any other than old Abdallah's
nephew. They discoursed of indifferent matters, till the queen
was informed that dinner was upon the table.
The queen and King -Beder arose,-and sat down at. the. table,
which.was. of ma-ys) gold, and'.the dishes: of the same metal. They
began to eat, but drank hardly at all till the dessert came, when the
queen caused a cup to. be filled for her with excellent wine. She
took it and: drank to King Beder's health; and then, without
putting it out of her hand, caused it to be filled again, and pre-
sented it to him. .- ing Beder received it with profound respect,
and by a:very low bow signified to her majesty that he; in return
drank, to; her health.
At the same time ten: of Queen Labe's women entered with
musical instruments, with which they made: an. agreeable concert.
At length both began so to be. heated with. wine, that. King Beder
forgot he had to do: with a magic, queen, and looked upon her
only as the most beautiful queen h-e ever saw.
Next morning the women whohad. served the king pre-ented him
with fine linen and a magnificent robe. The: queen likewise, who was
more splendidly dressed than the: day before, came: to receive him,
and, they went together to. her apartments, where they had a good
repast brought them, and spent the remainder of the day in walking
in the garden, and in various other amusements.
Queen Labe treated King Beder after this manner for forty days, as
she:had been accustomed to do to all the others. The fortieth night
50 Prince Beder and
she arose without making any noise and came into his room; but he
was awake, and perceiving she had some design upon him, watched
all her motions. She opened a chest, from whence she took a little
box full of ascertain yellow powder; taking some of the powder, she
laid a train of it across the chamber, and it immediately flowed in a
rivulet of water, to the great astonishment of King Beder. He
trembled with fear, but still pretended to sleep, that the sorceress
might not discover he was awake.
Queen Labe next took up some of the water in a vessel, and
poured it into a basin, where there was flour, with which she made
a paste, and kneaded it for a long time: then she mixed with it
certain drugs, which she took from different boxes, and made a cake,
which she put into a covered baking-pan. As she had taken care
first of all to make a good fire, she took some of the coals, and set
the pan upon them ; and while the cake was baking, she put up the
vessels and boxes in their places again; and on her pronouncing
certain words, the rivulet, which ran along the end of the room,
appeared no more. When the cake was baked, she took it off the
coals, and carried it into her room, without the least suspicion that
he had seen anything of what she had done,
King Beder, whom the pleasures and amusements of a court
had made forget his good host Abdallah, began now to think of
him again, and believed he had more than ordinary occasion for his
advice, after all he had seen the queen do that night, As soon as
he was up, therefore, he expressed a great desire to go and see his
uncle, and begged her majesty to permit him. 'What! my dear
Beder,' cried the queen, 'are you then already tired, I will not say
with living in so superb a palace as mine is, where you must find
so many pleasures, but with the company of a queen who is so
fond of you as I am.?'
'Great queen !' answered King Beder, 'how can I be tired ot
so many favours and.graces as your majesty perpetually heaps upon
the Princess Giauhara A 51
me? I must own, however, it is partly for this reason, that, my
uncle loving me so tenderly, as I well know he does, and I having
been absent from him now forty days, without once seeing him, I
would not give him reason to think that I consent to remain longer
without seeing him.'
'Go,' said the queen, 'you have my consent; but do not be
long before you return.' This said, she ordered him a horse richly
caparisoned, and he departed.
Old Abdallah was overjoyed to see King Beder; he embraced
him tenderly, and King Beder did the same. As soon as they had
sat down, 'Well,' said Abdallah to the king, 'how have you been,
and how have you passed your time with that infidel sorceress?'
'Hitherto,' answered King Beder, 'I must needs own she has
been extraordinarily kind to me, but I observed something last night
which gives me just reason to suspect that all her kindness hitherto
is but dissimulation.' He related to Abdallah how and after what
manner he had seen her make the cake; and then added, 'Hitherto,
I must needs confess I had almost forgotten, not only you, but all
the advice you gave me concerning the wickedness of this queen;
but this last action of hers gives me reason to fear she does not
intend to observe any of her promises or solemn oaths to you. I
thought of you immediately, and I esteem myself happy in that
I have obtained permission to come to you.'
'You are not mistaken,' replied old Abdallah with a smile,
which showed he did not -himself believe she would have acted
otherwise, 'nothing is capable of obliging a treacherous person to
amend. But fear nothing. I know the way to make the mischief
she intends for you fall upon herself. You are alarmed in time;
and you could not have done better than to have recourse to me.
It is her ordinary practice to keep her lovers only forty days, and
after that time, instead of sending them home, to turn them into
animals, to stock her forests and parks; but I thought of measures
5 2 Prince Beder and
yesterday to prevent her doing you the same harm. The earth
has borne this monster long enough, and it is now high time she
should be treated as she deserves.'
So saying, Abdallah put two cakes into King Beder's hands,
bidding him keep them to make use of as he should direct. 'You
told me,' continued he, 'the sorceress made a cake last night; it was
for you to eat, depend upon it; but take great care you do not touch
it. Nevertheless, do not refuse to receive it when she offers it you;
but instead of tasting it, break off part of one of the two I shall
give you, unobserved, and eat that. As soon as she thinks you have
swallowed it, she will not fail to attempt transforming you into
some animal,-but she will not succeed; when she sees that she will
immediately turn the thing into a joke, as if what she had done
was only to frighten you. But she will conceal a mortal grief
in her heart, and think she omitted something in the composition
of her cake. As for the other cake, y ju hall make a present of
it to her and press her to eat it; which she will not refuse to do,
were it only to convince you she does not mistrust you, though
she has given you so much reason to mistrust her. When she has
eaten of it,, take. a little, water. in the hollow of your hand, and
throwing it, in her face, say, "Quit that form you, now wear, and
take that of such and such an animal" as ycu think fit; which
done, come to me with the animal, and I will tell you what you
shall do afterwards.'
King Beder thanked Abdallah in the most expre-si e terms, and
took his leave of him and returned to the palace. Upon his. arrival,
he understood that the queen waited for him with great impatience
in the garden. IHe; went to.her, and. she no, sooner perceived him,
than she came in great haste to meet him.. 'IMy dear Beder!'
said she, 'it seems ages since. I have been separated from you.
If you had stayed ever so .little longer, I was preparing to come
and fetch you.'
the Princess Giauhara
'Madam,' replied King Beder, 'I can assure your majesty I
was no less impatient to rejoin you; but I could not refuse to
stay a little longer with an uncle that loves me, and had not seen
me for so long a time. He would have kept me still longer, but
I tore myself away from him, to come where love calls me. Of
all he prepared for me, I have only brought away this cake, which
I desire your majesty to accept.' King Beder had wrapped up one
of the two cakes in a handkerchief very neatly, took it out, and
presented it to the queen, saying, 'I beg your majesty to accept it.'
I do accept it with all my-heart,' replied the queen, 'and will
eat it with pleasure for your and your good uncle's sake; but before
I taste it, I desire you for my sake to eat a piece of this, which
I have made for you during your absence.'
'Fair queen,' answered King Beder, receiving it with great respect,
I cannot sufficiently acknowledge the favour you do me.'
King Beder then artfully substituted in the place of the queen's
cake the other which 61d Abdallah had given him, and having broken
off a pie e, he put it in his mouth, and cried, while he was eating,
'Ah! queen, I never tasted anything so charming in my life.'
Being near a cascade, as the sorceress saw him swallow one bit of
the cake, and ready to eat another, she took a little water in the
palm of her hand, throwing it in the king's face, said, 'Wretch!
quit that form of a man, and take that of a vile horse, blind
These words not having the desired effect, the sorceress was
strangely surprised to find King Beder still in the same form, and
that he only started for fear. Her cheeks reddened; and as she
saw that she had missed her aim, 'Dear Beder,' cried she, 'this is
nothing; recover yourself. I did not intend you any harm; I only
did it to see what you would say.'
: 'Powerful queen,' replied King Beder, 'persuaded as I am -that
what your mrjesty did was only to divert yourself, yet I could not
Prince Beder and
help being surprised. But, madam,' continued he, 'let us drop this,
and since I have eaten your cake, would you do me the favour
to taste mine ? '
Queen Labe, who could not better justify herself than by show-
ing this mark of confidence in the King of Persia, broke off a
piece of his cake, and ate it. She had no sooner swallowed it
than she appeared much troubled, and remained as it were motion-
less. King Beder lost no time, but took water out of the same
basin, and throwing it 'in her face, cried, 'Abominable sorceress!
quit that form of a woman, and be turned instantly into a mare.'
The same instant Queen Labe was transformed into a very
beautiful mare; and her confusion' was so great to find herself in
that condition, that she shed tears in great abundance, which perhaps
no mare before had ever been known to do. She bowed her head
to the feet of King Beder, thinking to .move him to compassion;
but though he could have been so moved, it was absolutely out
of his power to.repair the mischief he had done. He led her into
the stable belonging to the palace, and put her into the tiands of
a groom, to bridle and saddle; but of all the bridles which the
groom tried upon her, not one would fit her. This made him cause
two horses to be saddled, one for the groom, and the other for
himself; and the groom led the mare after him to old Abdallah's,
Abdallah, seeing at a distance King Beder coming with the
mare, doubted not. but he had done what he advised him.
'Hateful sorceress!' said he immediately to himself in a transport
of joy, 'Heaven has at length punished thee as thou deservest'
King Beder alighted at Abdallah's door, and entered the shop,
embracing and 'thanking him for all the signal services he had
done him. He related to him the whole matter, and told him
that he could find no bridle fit for the mare. Abdallah, who had
one for every horse, bridled the mare himself, and as soon as
King Beder had sent back the groom with the two horses, he
the Princess Giauhara
said to him, 'My lord, you have no reason to stay any longer in
this city: mount the mare, and return to your kingdom. I have
but one thing more to recommend to you; and that is, if you
should. ever happen to part with the mare, be sure not to give
up the bridle.' King Beder promised to remember it; and having
taken leave of the good old man, he departed.
The young King of Persia no sooner got out of the city, than
he began to reflect with joy on the deliverance he had had, and
that he had the sorceress in his power, who had given him so
much cause to tremble. Three days after he arrived at a great
city, where, entering the suburbs, he met a venerable old man.
'Sir,' said the- old man, stopping him, 'may I presume to ask from
what part of the world you come?' The king stopped to tell
him, and as they were discoursing together, an old woman came
up; who, st.:,ppini. likewise, wept and sighed bitterly at the sight
of the mare.
King Beder and the old'man left off disdoursing, to look at
the old woman, whom the king asked what cause she had to
lament so much, 'Alas! sir,' replied she, 'it is because your mare
resembles, so perfectly one my' son had, which I still mourn the
loss of on his account. I should think yours were the same, did
I not know she was dead. Sell her to me, I beseech you: I will
give you more than she is worth, and thank you too.'
'Good woman,' replied King Beder, 'I am heartily sorry I
cannot comply with your request: my mare is not to be sold.'
S'Alas! sir,' continued the old woman, 'do not refuse me this
favour. My son and I will certainly die with grief if you do not
'Good mother,' replied the king, 'I would grant it with all my
heart, if I was disposed to part with so good a beast; but if I
were so disposed, I believe you would hardly give a thousand
pieces of gold for her, and I could not sell her for less.'
56 Prince Beder and
'Why should I not give so much?' replied the old woman: 'if
that be the lowest price, you need only say you will take it, and
I will fetch you the money.'
King Beder, seeing the old woman so poorly dressed, could
not imagine she could find the money; therefore to try her, he
said, 'Go, fetch me the money, and the mare is yours.' The old
woman immediately unloosed a purse she had fastened to her
girdle, ard desiring him to alight, bade him tell over the money,
and in case he found it came short of the sum demanded, she
said her house was not far off, and she could quickly fetch the rest.
The surprise of King Beder, at the sight of this purse, was
not small. :'Good woman,' said he, 'do you not perceive I
have been bantering you all this while? I assure you my mare
is not to be sold.'
The old man, who had been witness to all that was said, now
began to speak. 'Son,' quoth he to King Beder, 'it is necessary
you should know one thing, which I; find you are ignorant of;
and that is, that in this city it is not permitted to any one to
tell a lie, on any account whatsoever, on pain of death. You
cannot refuse taking this good woman's money, and delivering
your mare, when she gives you the sum according to the agree-
ment; and this you had better do without any noise, than expose
yourself to what may happen.'
King Beder, sorely afflicted to find himself thus trapped by his
rash -offer, alighted with great regret. The old woman stood ready
to seize the bridle, arid immediately unbridled the mare, and
taking some water in her hand, from a stream that ran in the
middle of the street, she threw' it in the mare's face, uttering these
words, 'Daughter- quit that strange shape, and re-assume thine
own.' The transformation was effected in a moment, and King
Beder, who swooned as soon as he saw' Queen Labe appear, would
have fallen to the ground, if the old man had not caught him.
the Princess Giauhara
The old woman, who was mother to Queen Labe, and had
instructed her in all her magic secrets, had no sooner embraced
her daughter, than to show her fury, she whistled. Immediately
rose a genie of gigantic form and stature. This genie took King
Beder on one shoulder, and the old woman with the magic queen
on the other, and transported them in a. few minutes to the palace
of Queen Labe .in the City of Enchantments.
The magic queen immediately fell upon King Beder, 'Is it
thus, ungrateful wretch,' said she, 'that thou and thy unworthy
uncle repay me for all the kindnesses I have done for you?
I shall soon make you both feel what you deserve.' She said no
more, but taking water in her hand, threw it in his face with these
words, 'Come out of that shape, and take that of a vile owl.' These
words were .followed by the effect, and immediately she commanded
one of her women to shut up the owl in a cage, and give him neither
meat nor drink.
The woman took- the cage, and without regarding what the
queen ordered, gave him both meat and drink; and being old
Abdallah's friend, she sent him word privately how the queen
had treated his nephew, and of her design to destroy both him
and King Beder, that he might give orders to prevent it and
Abdallah knew no common measures would do with Queen
Labe: he therefore did but whistle after a certain manner, and
there immediately arose a vast giant, with four wings, who, pre-
senting himself before him, asked, what he wanted. 'Lightning,'
said Abdallah to him (for so was the genie called), 'I command
you to preserve the life of King Beder, son of Queen Gulnare.
Go to the palace of the magic queen, and transport immediately
to the capital of Persia the compassionate woman who has the
cage in custody, so that. she may inform Queen Gulnare of the
danger the king her son is in, and the occasion he has for her
Prince Beder and
assistance. Take care not to frighten her. when you come before
her and tell her from me what she ought to do.'
Lightning immediately disappeared, and got in an instant
to the palace of the magic queen. He instructed the woman, lifted
her up into the air, and transported her to the capital of Persia,
where he placed her on the terrace near the apartment where Queen
Gulnare was. She went downstairs to the apartment, and she
there found Queen Gulnare and Queen Farasche her mother
lamenting their misfortunes. She made them a profound obeisance
and they soon understood the great need that King Beder was in
of their assistance.
Queen Gulnare was so overjoyed at the news, that rising from
her seat, she went and embraced the good woman, telling her how
much she was obliged to her for the service she had done.
Then immediately going out, she commanded the trumpets to
sound, and the drums to beat, to acquaint the city that the King
of Persia would suddenly return safe to his kingdom. She then
went again, and found King Saleh her brother, whom Queen Farasche
had caused to come speedily thither by a certain fumigation.
'Brother,' said she to him, 'the king your nephew, my dear son,
is in the City of Enchantments, under the power of Queen Labe
Both you and I must go to deliver him, for there is no time to
King Saleh forthwith assembled a powerful body of his marine
troops, who soon rose out of the sea. He also called to his assistance
the genies, his allies, who appeared with a much more numerous
army than his own. As soon as the two armies were joined, he put
himself at the head of them, with Queen Farasche, Queen Gulnare,
and the princesses. They then lifted themsel es uip into the air, and
soon poured down-on the palace and City of Enchantments, where
the magic queen, her mother, and all the adorers of 'fire, were
destroyed in an instant. ..
the Princess Giauhara' c 59
Queen Gulnare had ordered the woman who brought her the
news of Queen Labe's transforming and imprisoning her son to
follow her closely, and bade her go, and in the confusion, seize the
cage, and bring it to her. This order was executed as she wished,
and Queen Gulnare was no sooner in possession of the cage than she
opened it and took out the owl, saying, as she sprinkled a little
water upon him, 'My dear son, quit that strange form, and resume
thy natural one of a man.'
In a moment Queen Gulnare no more saw the hideous owl, but
King Beder her son.. She immediately embraced him with an
excess of joy. She could not find in her heart to let him go; and
Queen Farasche was obliged to force him from her in her turn.
After her, he was likewise embraced by the king his uncle and
Queen Gulnare's first care was to look out for old Abdallah, to
whom she had been indebted for the recovery of" the King of Persia.
When he was brought to her, she said, 'My obligations to you, sir,
have been so great, that there is nothing in my power that I would
not freely do for you, as a token of my acknowledgment. Do but
tell me in what I can serve you.'
Great queen,' replied Abdallah,' if 'the lady whom I sent to your
majesty will but consent to the marriage I offer her, and the King of
Persia will give me leave to reside at his court, I will spend the
remainder of my days in his service.'
Then the queen turned to the lady, who 'was present, and
finding that she was not averse to the match proposed, she caused
them to join hands, and the King of Persia and she took care
of their welfare.
This marriage occasioned the King of Persia to speak thus to
the queen: 'Madam,' said he, 'I am heartily glad of this match
which your majesty has just made. There remains one more, which
I desire you to think of.'
Prince Beder and
Queen Gulnare did not at first comprehend what marriage he
meant; but after a little considering, she said, 'Of yours, you
mean, son ? I consent to it with all my heart.' Then turning, and
looking on her brother's sea attendants, and the genies who were
still present, 'Go,' said she, 'and traverse both sea and land, to
find out the most lovely and amiable princess, worthy of the king
my son, and come and tell us.'
'Madam,' replied King Beder, 'it is to no purpose for them to
take all that pains. You have no doubt heard that I have already
given my heart to the Princess of Samandal. I have seen her, and
do not repent of the present I then made her. In a word, neither
earth nor sea, in my opinion, can furnish a princess like her. It is
true that she treated me in a way that would have extinguished any
affection less strong than mine. But I hold her excused; she could
not treat me with less rigour, after I had had the king her father
imprisoned. But it may be the King of Samandal has changed
his mind; and his daughter the princess may consent to love me
when she sees her father has agreed to it.'
'Son,' replied Queen Gulnare, 'if only the Princess Giauhara
can make you happy, it is not my design to oppose you. The
king your uncle need only have the King of Samandal brought,
and we shall soon see whether he be still of the same untract-
Strictly as the King of Samandal had been kept during his
captivity by King Saleh's orders, yet he always had great respect
shown him, and was become very familiar with the officers who
guarded him. King Saleh caused a chafing-dish of coals to be
brought, into which he threw a certain composition, uttering at
the 'same time some mysterious words. As soon as the smoke
began to arise, the palace shook, and immediately the King of
Samandal, with King Saleh's officer-, appeared. The King of
Persia cast himself at the King of Samandal's feet, and kneeling
the Princess Giauhara
said, 'It is no longer King Saleh that demands of your majesty
the honour of your alliance for the King of Persia; it is the King
of Persia himself that humbly begs that boon; and I am sure
your majesty will not persist in being the cause of the death of
a king who can no longer live if he does not share life with the
amiable Princess Giauhara.'
The King of Samandal did not long suffer the King of Persia
to remain at his feet. He embraced him and obliging him to rise,
said, 'I should be very sorry to have contributed in the least to
the death of a monarch who is so worthy to live. If it be true
that so precious a life cannot be preserved without my daughter, live,
sir,' said he, 'she is yours. She has always been obedient to my
will, and I cannot think she will now oppose it.' Speaking these
words, he ordered one of his officers, whom King Saleh had
permitted to be about him, to go and look for the Princess Giauhara,
and bring her to him immediately.
The princess had remained where the King of Persia had left her.
The officer soon perceived her, and brought her with her women.
The King of Samandal embraced her, and said, 'Daughter, I have
provided a husband for you; it is the King of Persia you see there,
the most accomplished monarch at present in the universe. The
preference he has given you over all other Princesses obliges us both
to express our gratitude.'
'Sir,' replied the Princess Giauhara, 'your majesty well knows
I never have presumed to disobey your will in anything; I shall
always be ready to obey you; and I hope the King of Persia will
forget my ill-treatment of him, and consider it was duty, not
inclination, that forced me to it.'
The wedding was celebrated in the palace of the City of
Enchantments, with the greater solemnity in that all the lovers
of the magic queen, who resumed their original forms as soon as
ever that queen ceased to live, came to return their thanks to the
62 Prince Beder
King of Persia, Queen Gulnare, and King Saleh. They were all
sons of kings or princes, or persons of high rank.
King Saleh at length conducted the King of Samandal to his
dominions, and put him in possession of them. The King of Persia
returned to his capital with Queen Gulnare, Queen Farasche, and
the princesses; and Queen Farasche and the princesses continued
there till King Saleh came to reconduct them to his kingdom under
the waves of the sea.
THE THREE PRINCES AND
THE PRINCESS NOURONNIHAR.
S.,. ; ... HERE WAS ONCE A SULTAN
OF INDIA who had three sons.
These, with the princess his niece, were
the ornaments of his court. The eldest
# I'of the princes was called Houssain, the
second Ali, the youngest Ahmed, and
Sthe princess his niece, Nouronnihar.
,l The Princess Nouronnihar was the
daughter of the younger brother of
the sultan, to whom the sultan in his
lifetime allowed a considerable revenue.
But that prince had not been married long before he died, and left
the princess very young. The sultan, out of brotherly love and
friendship, took upon himself the care of his niece's education,
and brought her up in his palace with the three princes, where
her singular beauty and personal accomplishments, joined to a
sprightly disposition and irreproachable conduct, distinguished her
among all the princesses of her time.
The sultan, her uncle, proposed to get her married, when she
arrived at a proper age, to some neighboring prince, and was
thinking seriously about it, when he perceived that the three
princes his sons had all fallen in love with her. He was very much
concerned, owing to the difficulty he foresaw whether the two
The Three Princes and
younger would consent to yield to their elder brother. He spoke
to each of them apart; and after having remonstrated on the
impossibility of one princess being the wife of three persons, and
the troubles they would create if they persisted, he did all he could
to persuade them to abide by a declaration of the princess in favour
of one of them; or to suffer her to be married to a foreign prince.
But as he found them. obstinate, he sent for them all together,
and said to them, 'Children, since I have not been able to persuade
you no longer to aspire to marry the princess your cousin; and
as I have no inclination to force her to. marry any of you, I have
thought of a plan which will please you all, and preserve union
among you, if you will but follow my advice. I think it would
be best, if every one travelled separately into a different country,
so that you might not meet each other: and as you know I
delight in every thing that is rare and' singular, I promise my
niece in marriage to him that shall bring me the most extra-
ordinary curiosity; and for travelling expeInses, I will give each
of you a sum befitting your' rank and the purchase of the
curiosity you search.'
As the three. princes were always submissive and obedient to
the sultan's will, and each flattered himself that fortune would
'favour him, they all consented. The, sultan, gave them the -money
he promised; and that very day they issued orders. in preparation
for their travels, and took leave of the -sultan, that they might, be
ready-to set out early the- next nmorninrg. They all went out at
the same gate of the city, each dressed like a merchant, attellded
by a trusty officer dressed like a-slave, all well mounted and
equipped. They wet the first- day's journey together; and
slept at the first inn, where the road divided into :three, different
tracks.. At night when. they were at supper together; they .agreed
to travel for a year, and to, make' that inn their rendezvous; that
'the First that- came -should wait- fr the rest; that as. they had all
the Princess Nouronnihar
three taken leave together of the sultan, they should all return
together. The next morning by break of day, after they had
embraced and wished each other good success, they mounted their
horses, and each took a different road.
Prince Houssain, the eldest brother, who had heard wonders
of the extent, strength, riches, and splendour of the kingdom of
Bisnagar, bent his course towards the Indian coast; and, after
three months travelling with different caravans, sometimes over
deserts and barren mountains, and- sometimes through populous
and fertile countries, he arrived at Bisnagar, the capital of the
kingdom of that name and the residence of its king. He lodged
at a khan appointed for foreign merchants; and having learnt that
there were four principal quarters where merchants of all sorts
kept their shops, in the midst of which stood the castle, or rather
the king's palace, as the centre of the city, surrounded by three
courts, and. each gate two leagues distant from the other, he went
to one of these quarters-the next day.
Prince Houssain could not see this quarter without admiration.
It was large, and divided into several streets, all vaulted and shaded
from the sun, and yet very light. The shops were all of the same
size and proportion; and all that dealt in the same sort of mer-
chandise, as well as the craftsmen, lived in one street.
The multitude of shops stocked with the finest linens from
several parts of India, some painted in the brightest colours, with
men, landscapes, trees; and flowers ; silks and brocades from Persia,
China, and other places; porcelain from Japan and China, foot
carpets of all sizes,-all this surprised him so much that he knew not
how to believe his own eyes; but when he came to the shops of the
goldsmiths and jewellers .(for those twb trades were exercised by the
same merchants), he was dazzled by the lustre of the pearls, diamonds,
rubies, emeralds, and other precious stones exposed for sale. But if
he was amazed at seeing so many :ichec in one place, he was much
The Three Princes- and
more surprised when he came to judge of the wealth of the whole
kingdom by considering that except the Brahmins and ministers of
the idols, who profess a life retired from worldly vanity, there was not
an Indian, man or woman, through the extent of that kingdom, who
did not wear necklaces, bracelets, and ornaments about their legs and
feet, made of pearls and other precious stones.
Another thing Prince Houssain particularly admired was the
great number of rose-sellers, who crowded the streets ; for the Indians
are such lovers of that flower, that not one will stir without a nosegay
in his hand, or a garland on his head; and the merchants keep them
in pots in their shops, so that the air of the whole quarter, however
large, is perfectly perfumed.
After Prince Houssain had run through the quarter, street by
street, his thoughts fully occupied by. the riches he had seen, he was
very much tired, and a merchant civilly invited.him.to sit down in his
shop. He accepted the offer; but had not been seated long before
he saw a crier pass by with a piece of carpet on his arm, about six
feet square, and cry it at thirty purses. The prince called to the crier,
and asked to see the carpet, which seemed to him to be valued at an
exorbitant price, not only for its size, but the meanness of the stuff.
When he had examined it well, he told the cri,:r that he could not
comprehend how so small and poor a piece could be priced so-high.
The crier, who took him for a merchant, replied, 'Sir, if- this price
seems so extravagant to you,' your amazement will be-greater when I
tell you I have orders to raise it to forty purses, and not to part with
it for less.'
Certainly,' answered Prince Houssain, 'it must have something
very extraordinary about it, which I know nothing of.'
You have guessed right, sir,' replied the crier, 'and will own
as much when you come to know that whoever sits on this piece of
carpet may be transported in an instant wherever he desires to go
without being stopped by any obstacle.'
the- Princess Nouronnihar
At this the Prince of the Indies, considering that the principal
motive of his journey was to carry some singular curiosity home to
the sultan his father, thought that he could not meet with anything
which could give him more satisfaction. 'If the carpet,' said he to
the crier, 'has the virtue you assign it, I shall not think forty purses
too much but shall make you a present besides.'
68 A The Three Princes and
'Sir,' replied the crier,' I have told you the truth; and it will be
an easy matter to convince you of it, as soon as you have made the
bargain for forty purses, by experiment. But as I suppose you have
not so much with you, and that I must go with you to the khan
where you lodge, with the leave of the master of the shop we will go
into his back shop, and I will spread the carpet; and when we have
both sat down, and you have formed the wish to be transported into
your room at the khan, if we are not transported thither it shall be
no bargain. As to your present, as I am paid for my trouble by
the seller, I shall receive it as a favour, and be very much obliged
to you for it.'
The prince accepted the conditions, and concluded the bargain;
and having obtained the master's leave, they went into his back shop;
they both sat down on the carpet, and as soon as the prince wished
to be transported into his -room at the khan, he found himself and
the crier there, and as he wanted no more coniincing proof of the
virtue of the:carpet, he counted to the crier forty purses of gold, and
gave him twenty pieces for himself.
In this manner Prince Houssain became the po:.sse- Sr of the
carpet, and '\,'is overjoyed that on his arrival at Bi:na4ari he had
found so rare a treasure, which he never doubted would cgain him the
Princess Nr.ulIrnnihar. In- short he looked upon it as an impossible
thing for the princes, his i:Iunger brothers, to.: meet with anything to
compare wIith it. It was in his power, by -itting on this carpet, to be
at the place of rende.ivoiu that very day ; but as he was obliged to
wait for his brothers, as they had agreed, and as he was curious to
see the King of lii-na:.ar and his court, and to learn about the l.-.is,
customs, and rel.iion of the kiingdo:m. lie chose to make a longer
It was a custom of the King of Bisnagar to:' give audience to
all Strange m- rcl:ants once a week; and Prince Hoiussain, \vho
remained .... -i::/., -aa him often; and aS lie was hands.ome, clever.
the Princess Nouronnihar
and extremely polite, he easily distinguished himself among the
merchants, and was preferred before them all by the sultan, who
asked him about the Sultan of the Indies, and the government,
strength, and riches of his dominions.
The rest of his time the prince spent in seeing what was most
remarkable in and about the city; and among other things he
visited a temple, all built of brass. It was ten cubits square, and
fifteen high; and the greatest ornament to it was an idol of the
height of a man, of massy gold : its eyes were two rubies, set so
artificially, that it seemed to look at those who looked at it, on
whichever side they turned. Besides this,, there was another not
less curious, in a village in the midst of a plain of about ten acres,
which was a delicious garden, full of roses and the choicest flowers,
surrounded with a small wall breast high, to keep the cattle out.
In the midst of this plain was raised a terrace, a man's height,
so nicely paved that the whole pavement seemed to be but one
single stone. A temple 'was erected in the middle of this terrace,
with a dome about fifty cubits high, which might be seen for
several leagues round. It was thirty cubits long, and twenty broad,
built of red marble, highly polished. The inside of the dome was
adorned with three rows of fine p-intini-gi, in good taste: and
there was not a place in the whole temple but was embellished
with paintings, .bas-reliefs, and figures of idols -from top to bottom.
Every night and Inllrring there were, cciemni:ri>es performed in
this temple, which were al!avis succecdedd by slprts, concerts,
dancing,. -.inging, and feasts: The minister;. of' the temple and
the inhabitants of the place had ino-thing to lil.e on but the offerings
of pilgrims, who came in crowds from the most distant parts of
the kingdom to perform their vo\is.
Prince Houtsain was al].o spectator of a solemn feast,, which
was celebr.ited every year at the court of Binagar at which all
the go.vernmorsi cIf pr oinces, c.:mmaiinlers of foitiFed places, all the
The Three Princes and
governors and judges of towns, and the Brahmins most celebrated
for their learning, were obliged to be present; and some lived
so far off that they were four months in coming. This assembly,
composed of innumerable multitudes of Indians, met in a plain
of vast extent, as far as the eye could reach. In the centre of
this plain was a square of great length and breadth, closed on
one side by a large scaffolding of nine stories, supported by forty
pillars, raised for the king and his court, and those strangers whom
he admitted to audience once a week. Inside, it was adorned and
furnished magnificently; and on the outside were painted fine land-
scapes, wherein all sorts of beasts, birds, and insects, even flies
and gnats, were drawn as naturally as possible. Other scaffolds of
at least four or five' stories, and painted almost all alike, formed
the other three sides.
On each side of the square, at some little distance from each
other, were ranged a thousand elephants, sumptuously harnessed,
each having upon his back a square wooden castle, finely gilt,
in which were musicians and actors. The trunks, ears, and bodies
of these elephants- were painted with cinnabar and other colours,
representing grotesque figures.
But what Prince. Houssain most of all admired was to see the
largest of these elephants stand with his four feet on a post fixed into
the earth, two feet high, playing and beating time with his trunk
to the music. Besides this, he admired another elephant as big,
standing on a 'j>.ard, which was laid across a, strong beam about
ten feet high, with a great weight at the other end which balanced
him, while he kept time -, ith the music by the mnr:.tio.ii of his body
Prince Houssain might lavie made a longer stay in the kingdom
and court of Bisnagar, where he i.ouild have seen o-their ,:.nders, till
the last day of the year, whereon he and his brother hlud appointed
to meet. But he was.. -.0 % ell sati-ied with iwhat he had -ceen, and his
the Princess Nouronnihar K 7
thoughts ran so much upon the Princess Nouronnihar, that he fancied
he should be the more easy and happy the nearer he was to her.
After he had paid the master of the khan for his apartment, and told
him the hour when he might come for' the key, without telling him
how he should go, he shut the door, put the key ofn the outside, and
spreading the carpet, he and the officer he had brought with him sat
down on it, and, as soon as he had wished, were transported to the inn
at which he and his brothers were to meet, where he passed for a
merchant till they came.
Prince Ali,'the second brother, travelled into Persia, with a caravan,
and after four.months' travelling-arrived at Schiraz, which was then
the capital of the kingdom of Persia, and having on the way made
friends with some merchants, passed for a jie 1,--ll.r and lodged in the
same khan with them.
j The next morning, while the merchants were openiri their bales
of merchandise, Prince Ali took a walk into that quarter of the town
where they sold precious stones, gold and silver -work, brocades, silks,
fine linens, and other choice and valuable merchandise, which was at
Schiraz called the bezestein. It was a spacious and well-built place,
arched co. .r, and .-ipp.:rted by large pillars; along the .wall, within
and with.:ut, were shops. Prince Ali soon r.imnbled lIhrough the
bezestein, and with admiration judged of the riches of the place
by the pirCdi-i..-u quantities of most precious n-ericlandi-e there
exposed to view. -
But among all tlih cri;rs; \l hIo pa'ssd back'-wards and forwards with
several sorts of things t.:. sell, he was not a little surprised to see one.
who held in hii hand an i',ory tube about a !o:ot in length and about
an inch thick, and cried it at thirty purjes. At first he thought the
c:rier madr and to ni;rak siire, went to a :sh:.;p, and said to the.merchant,
who sto',d at the dor. 'iPay, sir, is n-:,t that man mad? If he is not,
I am very mniich deci'-n: d.'
'Inide:ed, sir, ians-veied the -rchaint,' he \wa in his right senses
The Three Princes and
yesterday, and I can assure you he is one of the ablest criers we
have, and the most employed of any when anything valuable is to
be sold; and if he cries the ivory tube at thirty purses, it must be
worth as much, or more, for some reason or other which does not
appear. He will "come by presently, and we will call him; in the
meantime sit down on my sofa and rest yourself.'
Prince Ali accepted the merchant's obliging offer, and presently
the crier passed by. The merchant called him by his name; and
pointing to the prince, said to him, 'Tell that gentleman, who asked
me if you were in your right senses, what you mean by crying that
ivory tube, which seems not to be worth much, at thirty purses : I
should be very much amazed myself, if I did not know you were a
The crier, addressing himself to Prince Ali, said, Sir, you are not
the only person that takes me for a madman on account of this
tube; you shall judge yourself whether I am or no, when I have told
you its peculiarity. First, sir,' pursued the crier, presenting the ivory
tube to the prince, 'observe that this tube is furniL-hed with a glass at
both ends; by looking through one of them you see iwhate\er object
you wish to behold.'
'I am,' said the prince, 'ready to make you all proper reparation
for the scandal I have throi-wn on you, if you will make the truth
of what you say appear'; and:as he had the iv\ory tube in hii hand.
he said, Shoti me at which of the:e ends I must look.' The crier
showed hiin, and he looked through, wishing at the same time to see
the sultan, his father. He innmmediately beheld him in perfect health,
sitting on his throne, in the midit of his council. Afterwards, as
there iwa-s nothing in the world io. dear to him, after the :ultan, as the
Princess Nouronnihar, he w ished to see her, and saw her laughing,
and in a plea-anit hum.ouir, with her women about her.
Prince All n-eedd no other proof to per'S.uade him that this tube
\ias the mot valuable, thing, not only in the city of Schiraz, but in
the Princess Nouronnihar
all the world; and he believed that, if he should neglect it, he would
never meet again with such another rarity. He said to the crier, 'I
am very sorry that I should have entertained so bad an opinion of
you, but hope to make you amends by buying the tube, so tell me the
lowest price the seller has fixed upon it. Come with me, and I will
pay you the money.' The crier assured him that his last orders were
to take no less than forty purses; and, if he disputed the truth of
what he said, he would take him to his employer. The prince
believed him, took him to the khan where he lodged, counted out
the money, and received the tube.
Prince Ali was overjoyed at his bargain; and persuaded himself
that, as his brothers would not be able to meet with anything so rare
and marvellous, the Princess Nouronnihar would be his wife. He
thought now of visiting the court of Persia incognito, and seeing
whatever was curious in and about Schiraz, till the caravan with
which he came returned back to the Indies. -When the caravan was
ready to set out, the 'prince.joined them, and arrived without any
accident or trouble at the place of rendezvous, where he found Prince
Houssain, and both waited for Prince Ahmed.
Prince Ahmed took the road to Samarcand; and the day after
his arrival there went, as his .brothers had done, into the bezestein.
He had not walked long before he .heard a crier, who had an
artificial apple in his hand, cry it at five-and-thirty purses. He
stopped the crier, and said to him, Let me see that apple, and
tell me .,hat virtue or extraordinary pIr.op'rty it has, to be valued
at so. high a rate,'
'Sir,' said the crier; -putting it into his hand, 'if you look at
the outside of this apple. it is very ordinary; but if you consider
the. great use and benefit it is to mankind, you will say it is
invaluable. He u ho possesses it is master of a great treasure. It
cures all sick persons o.f the most mc;rtal diseases, fever, pleurisy,
plague, or other rnalig-nant distempers; and, if the patient is dying,
The Three Princes and
it will immediately restore him to perfect health; and this is done
after the easiest manner in the world, merely by the patient smelling
'If one may believe you,' replied Prince Ahmed, 'the virtues of
this apple are wonderful, and it is indeed valuable: but what ground
has a plain man like myself, who may wish to become the purchaser,
to be persuaded that there is no deception or exaggeration in the
high praise you bestow on it ?'
'Sir,' replied the crier, 'the thing is known and averred by the
whole city of Samarcand; but, without going any further, ask all
these merchants you see here, and hear what they say; several of
them would not have been alive this day if they had not made use
.of this excellent remedy. It is the result of the study and experience
of a celebrated philosopher of this city, who applied himself all his
life to the knowledge of plants and minerals, and at last performed
such surprising cures in this city as will never be forgotten ; but he
died suddenly himself, before he could apply his own sovereign
remedy, and left his wife and a great many young children behind
him in very indifferent circumstances; to support her family, and
provide for her children, she has resolved to sell it.'
While the crier was telling Prince Ahrned the virtues of the
artificial apple, a great many persons came about them, and con-
irrmed what he said; and one among the rest said he had a friend
dangerously ill. whose life. \al: despaired of, w.hilch was a favourable
,:'ppdrtunity to show Prinre Ahmne3d the experiment. Upc-oi which
Prince Ahmed told the crier he would give him fort.: pur-e. if he
cured the sick person by letting hirn sriell at it.
The crier, who had crders tc. -ell it at that, price, s .id to Prince
MAhrned, 'Come, .sir, let us ,o and make the experiment, and the apple
shall be your ; it is an undoubted fact that it i ill always have
the -ame eftct as it already ha; had in reco:,ering from death rnany
sick person- whose life wa l despaired :,f.'
the Princess Nouronnihar 7 75
The'experiment succeeded, and the prince, after he had counted
out to the crier forty purses, and the other had delivered the apple to
him, waited with the greatest impatience' for the first caravan that
should return to the Indies. In the meantime he saw all that was
curious in and about Samarcand, especially the valley of Sogda, so
called from .the river which waters it, and. is reckoned by the Arabians
to be one of the four paradises of this world, for the beauty of its
fields and gardens and fine palaces, and for its fertility in fruit of all
sorts, and all the other pleasures enjoyed there in the fine season.
At last Prince Ahmed joined the first caravan that returned to
the Indies, and arrived in perfect health at the inn where the Princes
Houssain and Ali were waiting for him.
SPrince Ali, who was there some time before Prince Ahmed,
asked Prince Houssain, who got there first, how long he had
been there; he told him three months: to which he replied, 'Then
certainly you have not been very. far.'
I will tell you nothing now,' said Prince Houssain, 'but only
assure you I was more than three months travelling to the place
I went to.'
'But then,' replied Prince Ali, 'you made a short stay there.'
'Indeed, brother,' said Prince Houssain, 'you are mistaken: I
resided at one place over four or five months, and might have
'Unless you flew back,' replied Prince Ali again, 'I cannot
c-niprehiienrd how you can have been. three months here, as you
would make me believe.'
'I tell you the truth,' added Prince Houssain, 'and it is a riddle
which I shall not explain till our brother Ahmed comes; then' I
will let you know what curiosity I h..i-e brought home from my
travels. I know not what .n have gut, but belel..- it to be some
trile, because I do not se.v that your baggage is increased.'
'And pr,- v. hat ha:e \y:.u br.iught ?'* replied Prince Ali, 'for
The Three Princes and
I can see nothing but an ordinary piece of carpet, with which you
cover your sofa, and as you seem to make what you have brought
a secret, you cannot take it amiss that I do the same.'
'I consider the rarity which I have purchased,' replied Prince
Houssain, 'to excel all others whatever, and should not have
any objection to show it you, and make you agree that it is so,
and at the same time tell you how I came by it, without being
in the least apprehensive that what you have got is better. But
we ought to wait till our brother Ahmed arrives, that we may
all communicate our good fortune to each other.'
Prince Ali would not enter into a dispute with Prince Houssain,
but was persuaded that, if his perspective glass were not preferable,
it was impossible it should be inferior, and therefore agreed to
wait till Prince Ahmed arrived, to produce his purchase.
When Prince Ahmed came, they embraced' and complimented
each other on the happiness of meeting together at the place they
set out from. Then Prince Houssain, as the elder brother, said,
'Brothers, we shall have time enough hereafter to entertain ourselves
with the particulars of our travels: let us come to that which is
of the greatest importance for us to know; let us not conceal
from each other the curiosities we have brought home, but show
them, that we may do ourselves, justice beforehand and see to
which of us the sultan our father may give the preference.
'To set the example,' continued Prince Houssain, 'I \\ill tell
you that the rarity which I have brought from my travels to the
kingdom of Bisnagar, is the carpet on which I sit, which looks but
ordinary and makes no show; but, when I have. declared its virtues
to you, you will be struck with admiration, and I ill confess you
never heard of anything like it. Whoever sits .on it as we do,
and desires to be transported to any place, be it ever. so far off,
is immediately, carried thither. I made the exi:.erimn:iit myself
before I paid down the forty purses, and when I had fully :.sti-lfed
the Princess Nouronnihar
my curiosity at the court of Bisnagar, and had a mind to return,
I made use of no other meansthan this wonderful. carpet for myself
and servant, who can tell you how long. we were coming hither.
I will show you both the experiment whenever you please. I
expect you to tell me whether what you have brought is to be
compared to this carpet.'
Here Prince Houssain ended, and Prince Ali said, 'I must
own, brother, that your carpet is one of the .most surprising
things imaginable, if it has, as I do not doubt in the least, that
property you speak of. But you must allow that there may be
other things, I will not say more, but at least as wonderful, in
another way; and to convince you there are, here is an ivory tube,
which appears to the eye no more a rarity than your carpet. It cost
me as much, and I am as well satisfied with my purcha-e as you
can be with yours ; and you will be so just as to own that I have not
been cheated, when you know by experience that by looking at one
end-you see whatever you wish to behold. Take it,' added Prince
Ali, presenting the tube to him, 'make trial of it yourself.'
Prince Houssain' took the -ivory tube from Prince Ali, and clapped
that.end to his eye which Prince Ali showed him, to see the Princess
Noiur.nntlhar, and to know how she was, when Prince Ali and Prince
Ahmed, who kept their eyes fixed upon him, were extremely surprised
to see his countenance change sIJddcnInly with extraordinary pain
and grief. Prince Houssain would not give them time to ask
what was the matter, but cried out, 'Alas! princes, to what
purpose have, we und-ertalkn lon-I1 and fatiguing j:.iurney\ ? In a
few moments our lovely princess will breathe her last. I saw her
in her bed, -urrlo.!nded by her women and attendants, who were
all in tears. Take the tube, behlIld for your-elves the miserable
state she i in.'
Prince Ali t,:.\ok the tube ouit of Prince Hc.uisain's hand and after
he had looked, presented it t.o Prince Ahmed.
78 The Three Princes and
When Prince Ahmed saw that the Princess Nouronnihar's end
was so near, he addressed himself to his two brothers, and said,
'Princes, the Princess Nouronnihar, the object of all our vows, is
indeed at death's door; but provided we make haste and lose no
time, we may preserve her life.' Then he took out the artificial
apple, and showing it to the princes his brothers, said to them,
'This apple which you see here cost as much as either the
carpet or tube. The opportunity now presents itself to show you
its wonderful virtue. Not to keep you longer in suspense, if a sick
person smells it, though in the last agonies, it restores him to
perfect health immediately. I have made' the experiment, and
can show you its wonderful effect on the Princess Nouronnihar, if
we make all haste to assist her.'
'If that is all,' replied Prince Houssain, 'we cannot make more
haste than by transporting ourselves instantly into her room by the
means of my carpet. Come, lose no time; sit down on it by me; it
is large enough to hold us all three: but first let us give orders to our
servants to set out immediately, and join us at. the palace.'
As soon as the order was given, Prince Ali and Prince Ahmed
went and sat down by Prince Houssain, and all three framed
the same wish, and were transported into the Princess Nouron-
The presence of the three princes, who were so little expected.
frightened the princess's women and attendants, who could not
comprehend by what enchantment three men should be among
them; for they did not know them at first, and the attendants were
ready to fall upon them, as people who had got into a part of the
palace where they were not allowed to come; but they presently
recollected and found their mistake.
Prince Ahmed -no sooner saw himself in Nour.innihar's room, and
perceived the'priiliess dying, than he rose off the tapestry, as did also
the other t\wo princes, and went to the bed-side, and put the apple
the Princess Nouronnihar
under her nose. Some moments after, the princess opened her eyes,
and turned her head from one side to another, looking at the persons
who stood about her; she then rose up in the bed, and asked to be
dressed, just as if she had awaked out of a sound sleep. Her women
informed her, in a manner that showed their joy, that she was obliged
to the three princes her cousins, and particularly to Prince Ahmed,.
for. the sudden recovery of her health. She immediately expressed
her joy to see them, and thanked them all together, and afterwards.
Prince Ahmed in particular, and they then retired.
While the princess was dressing, the princes went to throw
themselves at the sulcan their father's feet, and pay their respects t6-
him. The sultan received and embraced them with the greatest joy,
both for their.return and fo:r the oonderfiul recovery of the princess.
his niece, whom he loved as if she had been his own daughter,.
and who had been given \oer by the physiciainr. After the usuaL
'The Three Princes and
compliments, the princes presented each the curiosity which he had
brought: Prince Houssain his carpet, which he had taken care not, to
leave behind him in the princess's chamber; Prince Ali his ivory
tube, and Prince Ahmed the artificial apple; and after each had
commended his present, when they put it into the sultan's hands,
they begged him to pronounce their fate, and.declare to which of
them he would give the Princess Nouronnihar for a wife, according
to his promise.
The Sultan of the Indies having kindly, heard all that the princes
had to say, without interrupting them, and being well informed of
what had happened in relation to the Princess Nourohnihar's cure,
remained some time silent, as if he were thirinig what answer he
should make. At last he broke silence, aid said to them in terms
full of wisdom, 'I would declare for one of you, my children, with
a great deal of pleasure, if I could do so with justice ; but consider
whether I" can. It is true, Prince Ahmed, the princes; :my niece is
obliged to your artificial apple for her cur.- but let me ask you,
whether you could have been so serviceable to her if '.ou had not
known by Prince Ali's tube the danger she was in. and if Prince
Houssain's carpet had not '-.rought you to her s:o soon?
'Your tube, Prince Ali, informed you and 'ouri brothers that you
were likely to lose the princess your cousin,, and.so far she is greatly
obliged to you. You must also grant that that kno \ledge. would
have been of no ieriC:e without the artificial apple and: the carpet.
'And for you, Prince H-lou-sain, consider that it iv-ould have been
of little tie if youi had not been acquainted with the princess's illness
by Prince Ali's tube, and Prince Ahmned had not applied his artificial
apple. Therefi;-re, as neither the carpet, the ivory tube, nor the
artificial apple has the least preference one over the other, but. on the
contrary, there is a perfect equality, I cannot grant the princess to any
one of you, and the only fruit you have reaped frornm your travels is
the glory ofl having equally contributed to restore her to health.
the Princess Nouronnihar
'If this be true,' added the sultan, 'you see that I must have
recourse to other means to determine with certainty in the choice I
ought to make among you, and as there is time enough between this
and night, I will do it to-day. Go, and get each of you a bow and
arrow, and repair to the great plain outside the city, where the horses
are exercised. I will soon come to you, and I declare I will give the
Princess Nouronnihar to him that shoots the farthest.
'I do not, however, forget to thank you all in general, and
each in particular, for the presents you brought me. I have a
great many rarities in my museum already, but nothing that comes
up to the carpet, the ivory tube, and the artificial .apple, which
shall have the first place among them, and shall be preserved
carefully, not only for show, but to make an. advantageous use
of them upon all occasions.'
The three princes had nothing to say against the decision of
the sultan. When they were out of his presence, they each provided
themselves -. ith a bow and arrow, which they delivered to one of
their officers, and went to the plain appointed, followed by a great
concourse of people.
The sultan did not make.them wait long; and as soon as he
arrived, Prince Houssain, as, the eldest, took his bow and arrow,
and shot first. Prince Ali shot next, and much beyond him; and
' Prince Ahmed last of all; but it so happened, that nobody could
see where his arrow fell; and, notwithstanding all the search of
himself and everybody else, it was not to be found far or near.
And though it was believed that he shot the farthest, and that he
therefore deserved the Princess Nouronnihar, it was necessary that
his arrow should be found, to make the matter evident.and certain;
so, notwithstanding his remonstrances, the sultan determined in
favour of Prince Ali, and gave orders for prepaiatiojn to be made
for the wedding, which was c.leblrated a few days afterwards.with
AND THE FAIRY.
RINCE HOUSSAIN would not honour
the feast with his .presence; he could
scarcely endure to see the princess in
the arms of Prince Ali, who, he said, did
not deserve her better or love her more
than himself. He left the court, and,
renouncing all right of succession to the
crown, turned dervish, and put himself
under the discipline of a famous sheik,
who had gained a reputation for his
exemplary life, and had taken up his abode, together with his
disciples, whose number was great, in an agreeable s-:.litude.
Prince Ahmed did not assist at Prince Ali's and the Princess
Nour,:nniha'3s eJdiniLg, any more than. his brother Houssain, but
did not renounce the world as he had done.- He could nc.t imagine
what had become of his arrow, so he stole away from "his attendant.Z,
and resolved to search for it, that he might not have anything to
reproach himself with. With this intenti.-,n, he went to the place
where the Princes Houssain's and Ali's \%,re gathered up. and going
straight Forward from thence, looked carefully on both side, of
him. He went so far, that at last he began to think his labroiur
was in vain; yet he.could not help going Ilorwards, till he came
and the Fairy a 83
to some steep, craggy rocks, which would have obliged him to
return, had he been ever so anxious to proceed. They were situated
in a barren country, about four leagues distant from whence he
set out. When Prince Ahmed came near these rocks, he
perceived an arrow, which he picked up, looked earnestly
at it, and was in the greatest astonishment to find it was
the same he shot. 'Cer-
tainly,' said he to himself,
'neither I nor any man
living could shoot an
arrow so far'; and find-
ing it laid flat, not
4 sticking into the ground,
he judged that it had
rebounded from the rock.
S'There must be some
mystery in this,' said he
to himself again, 'and it
may be to my advantage.
Perhaps fortune, to make
SK me amends for depriving
me of what I thought
the greatest happiness
of my life, may have
reserved a greater bless-
ing for my comfort.'
As these rocks were full
of sharp points and
crevices between them, the prince, full of these thoughts, entered
a cavity, and looking about, cast his eyes on an iron door,
which seemed to have no lock. He feared it was fastened;
but pushing against it, it opened, and discovered an easy descent,
84 0 Prince Ahmed
but no steps. He walked down with his arrow in his hand. At
first he thought he was going into a dark place, but presently a quite
different light succeeded that which he .had come out of. Coming
upon a spacious square, fifty or sixty paces distant, he perceived a
magnificent palace; but he had not time to look at it, for at the same
moment a lady of majestic air, and of a beauty to which the richness
of her clothes and the jewels which adorned her person added nothing,
advanced as far as the porch, attended by a troop of ladies, 6f whom
it 'vas difficult to distinguish which was the mistress.
As soon as Prince Ahmed perceived the lady, he hastened to pay
his respects; and the lady, on her part, seeing him coming, was.
beforehand with him. Raising her voice, she said, 'Come near,
Prince Ahmed; you are welcome.'
It was no small surprise to the prince to hear himself named in a
palace he had never heard of, though so near his father's capital, and
he could not comprehend how he should be known to a lady who
was a stranger to him. At last he returned the lady's salutation, by
throwing himself at her feet, and rising ujp again, said to her,
'Madam, I return you a thousand thanks for welcoming me to a
place where I had reason to believe my imprudent curiosity had
made me penetrate too far. .But, madam, may I, without being
guilty of rudeness, presume to ask you how you know me ? and
why you, who live in the same nieighb:,iiur1' :,:d 'ho'uld be so little
known by me?'
'Prince,' said the lady, 'let us go into the hall; there I will'
gratify your request.'
After these words, the lady led .Prince Ahmed into the hall,
the noble structure of which, and the gold and azure \' -ich em-
bellished the dome, and the inestimable richness of the furnitulie,
appeared to him so wonderful that he had never in his life
beheld anything" like it, and believed that nothing was to be
'comnpared to it. 'I can assure you,'. replied :the lady, 'that this is
and the Fairy S 85
but a small part of my palace, and you will say so when you
have seen all the apartments.' Then she sat down on a sofa; and
when the prince at her entreaty had seated himself, she said, 'You
are surprised, you say, that I should know you, and not be known
by you; but you will no longer be surprised when I inform you
who I am. You cannot be ignorant that the world is inhabited
by geries as well as men: I am the daughter of one of the most
powerful and distinguished of these genies, and my name is Pari
Banou: therefore I know you, the sultan your father, the princes
your brothers, and the Princess Nouronnihar. I am no stranger
to your love or your travels, of which I could tell you all the
circumstances, since it was I myself who exposed for sale the
artificial apple which you bought at Samarcand, the carpet which
Prince Houssain met with at Bisnagar, and the tube which Prince
Ali brought from Schiraz. This is sufficient to let you know that
I am not unacquainted with anything that relates to you. The
only thing I have to add is, that you seemed to me worthy of a
still better fortune than that of marrying the Princess Nouronnihar.
I was present when you drew your arrow, and foresaw it would
not go beyond Prince Houssain's. I took it in the air, and made
it strike against the rocks near which you found it. It is in your
power to avail yourself of this favourable opporttuniity.'
As the fairy Pari Banou pronounced these words Prince Ahmed
began to consider that the Princess Nouronnihar could never be his,
and that the fairy Pari Banou excelled her infinitely in beauty and
agreeableness, and, so far as he could judge from the magnificence of
the palace where she resided, in immense riches. 'Madam,' replied
he, 'should I, all my life, have had the happine-s of being your slave,
I should think myself the happiest of men. Pardon me my boldness,
and do not refuse to admit into your court a prince who is entirely
devoted to you.'
'Prince,' answered the fairy, 'as I have been a long time my own
86 B- Prince Ahmed
mistress, and am not dependent on my parents' consent, it is not as a
slave that I would admit you into my court, but as my husband,
pledging your faith to me. I am, as I said, mistress here; and must
add, that the same customs are not observed among fairies as among
Prince Ahmed made no answer, but was so full of gratitude that
he thought he could not express it better than by coming to kiss the
hem of her garment. .'Then,' answered the fairy, 'you are my
husband, and I am your wife. But as I suppose,' continued she, 'that
you have eaten nothing to-day, a slight repast shall be served up for
you while preparations are making for our wedding feast this
evening, and then I will show you the apartments of my palace, and
you shall judge if this hall is the smallest part of it.'
Some of the fairy's women who came into the hall with them, and
guessed her intentions, immediately went out, and returned presently
with some excellent meat and wine.
When Prince Ahmed had eaten and drunk as much as he
wanted, the fairy Pari Banou took him .through all :the rooms, where
he saw diamonds, rubies, emeralds,- and all sorts of fine jewels,
intermixed with pearls, agate, jasper, porphyry, and all kinds of the
most precious marbles; not to mention the richness of the furniture,
everything was in such profusion,. that the prince acknowledged that
there could not be anything in the world that could- come.up to it.
'Prince,' said the fairy, 'if you admire so much my palace, which is
indeed very beautiful, what would you say to the palaces of the chiic-
of our gehies, which are: much m6re beautiful, spaici-,us, and mag-
nificent ? I could also charm you with my garden; but we will
leave that till another time. Night draws near, and it will be time
The next hall. into .which the fairy:led the prince, w\hele the
cloth was laid for the feast, was the only room the prince had
not seen, and it was not -in the least ilnFeiit:r to the either' -He
and the Fairy v 87
admired the infinite number of wax candles .perfumed with amber
which formed an agreeable.and pleasant sight. A large sideboard
was set out with all sorts of gold plate, so finely wrought that
the workmanship was much more valuable than the weight of
the gold. Several beautiful women .richly dressed, whose voices
were ravishing, began a concert, accompanied with all kinds of
the most harmonious instruments he had ever heard. When they
had sat down to table, the fairy Pari Banou took care to help.
Prince Ahmed to most delicious meats, which .the prince had
never heard of, but -found so nice that he commended them in
the highest terms, saying that they far surpassed those among
men. He found also.the same excellence in the wines, which
neither he nor the fairy tasted till the dessert was served up, which
consisted of the choicest sweetmeats and fruits.
After the dessert, the fairy Pari Banou and Prince Ahmed rose
from the table, which was immediately carried away, and sat on
a sofa with cushions -of fine silk, curiously embroidered with all.
sorts of large fl:.\, ers, at their backs, and a great number of genie
and fairies danced before them.
The days following the wedding were a continual feast, which
the' fairy Pari Banou, who could do it with the utmost ease, knew
how to diversify by new dishes, new concerts, new dances, new
shows, and new diversions; which were all so extraordinary, that
Prince Ahmed, if he had lived a thousand years among men,
could not have imagined.
At the end of six months, Prince. Ahmed, who always loved
and honoured the sultan his father, felt a great desire to know
how he was; and as that desire could not be satisfied without
his absenting himself to go and hear it in pers:rn, he mentioned it
to the fairy, and desired she would give him leave.
This discourse alarmed the fairy, and made her fear it was
onlv- an excuse to leave her;
88 & Prince Ahmed
'My queen,' replied the prince, 'if you are offended at the leave I
asked, I entreat you to forgive me, and -I will make all the reparation
I can. I did not do it with any intention of displeasing you, but
from a motive of respect towards my father, whom I wish to free
from the affliction in which my long absence must have overwhelmed
him; indeed I have reason to think he believes me dead.'
'Prince,' said she, 'I am so fully convinced that I can depend
upon your sincerity, that I grant you leave to go, on condition
that your absence shall not be long.'
Prince Ahmed would have thrown himself at the fairy's feet,
to show his gratitude; but she prevented him.
'Prince,' said she, 'go when you please; but first do not take
it amiss if I give you some advice how you shall conduct yourself
where you are going. First, I do not think it proper for you to
tell the sultan your father of our marriage, nor what I am, nor the
place where you are settled. Beg him to be satisfied with knowing
that you are happy, and that you desire no more; and let him
know that the sole end of your visit is to make him easy about
She appointed twenty horsemen, well mounted and equipped, to
attend him. When all was ready, Prince Ahmed took leave of the
fairy, embraced her, and renewed his promise to return soon. Then
his horse, which was as beautiful a creature as' any in the Sultan
of the Indies' stables, was-brought, and he mounted him with an
extraordinary grace, which gave great pleasure to the fiiry, and
after he had iid her: a last adieu, set out on his journey.
As it was not a great -,ay to his father's capital. Prince Ahmed
soon arrived there. The people, glad to see him agaiin, received
him with acclamations, and followed him in crowds to the sultan's
palace. The sultan received and embraced him with great joy;
complainiing at the same time with a fatherly tenderne-s, of the
affliction his long absence had been to him;' ,hi:h he -aid was
and the Fairy l 89
the more grievous, since as fortune had decided in favour of Prince
Ali his brother, he was afraid he might have committed some act
'Sir,' replied Prince Ahmed, 'your majesty knows that when I
shot my arrow the most extraordinary thing that ever befell anybody
happened to me, that in so large and level a plain it should not be
possible to find my arrow. Though thus -vanquished, I lost no
time in vain complaints; but to satisfy my perplexed mind,.I gave
my attendants the slip, and returned back again alone to look for
my arrow. I sought all about the place where Prince Houssain's
and Prince Ali's arrows were found, and where I imagined mine
must have fallen; but all my labour was in vain, until after having
gone four leagues, to that part of the plain where it is bounded
by rocks, I perceived an arrow. I ran. and took it up, and knew
it to be the same which I had shot. Far from thinking your
majesty had done me any injustice in declaring for my brother
Prince Ali, I interpreted what had happened to me quite otherwise,
and never doubted but there was a mystery in it to my advantage;
the discovery of which I ought not to neglect, and which I found
out without going further from. the spot. But as to this mystery,
I beg your majesty to let me remain silent, and that you will be
satisfied to know from 'my own mouth that I am happy and con-
tented. This was the only motive which brought me hither; the
only favour I ask of your majesty is to give me leave to come often
and- pay you my respects, and inquire after your health.'
'Son,' answered the Sultan of the Indies, 'I cannot. refuse you the
leave you ask me; but I would much rather you would resolve to
stay with me. At least tell me where I may hear of you, if: yu
should fail to come, or when I may tlink your presence necessary.'
'Sir,' replied Prince Ahined, 'w\hat your majesty asks of me is part
of the mystery I spoke of. I beg of you to give me leave to' remain
silent on this head; for I shall come so freLquently i-ihere my duty