Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 In the name of Allah, the merciful,...
 How Prince Adschib won his...
 The wonderful marriage of Bedreddin...
 The story of Sinbad the sailor
 The poor fisherman and the imprisoned...
 The story of Gulnare, the daughter...
 Perizade and the speaking bird
 Nazir and the magic chest
 Harun-el-Raschid and three one-eyed...
 Amin, the tool of destiny
 The princess in the subterranean...
 Back Cover

Title: Thousand and one nights
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087055/00001
 Material Information
Title: Thousand and one nights
Uniform Title: Arabian nights
Physical Description: 64 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 32 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Roenau, Ernst, 1888-
Wisotzki, Julius
Publisher: Julius Wisotzki
Place of Publication: Chicago
Publication Date: 19--]
Genre: fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: Pictures and drawings by Rosà ; to illustrate tales by Ernst Roenau.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087055
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002242301
oclc - 03674161
notis - ALJ3248

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page 1
    Title Page
        Page 2
    In the name of Allah, the merciful, the beneficent
        Page 3
        Page 4
    How Prince Adschib won his bride
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    The wonderful marriage of Bedreddin and Budur
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
    The story of Sinbad the sailor
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    The poor fisherman and the imprisoned Jinn
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    The story of Gulnare, the daughter of the ocean
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
    Perizade and the speaking bird
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    Nazir and the magic chest
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    Harun-el-Raschid and three one-eyed beggars
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    Amin, the tool of destiny
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    The princess in the subterranean palace
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text



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Now hast thy blaze of colour set, 0 Sun,
Which from truth's glazing light alone is won
And let bask in fairy starlight beams.
Descent lures us into the mine most rich,
Where on golden trees jewelled foliage gleams
In an enchanted sleep, waking from which,
It doth recount to us the fairest dreams.

Before our gaze we see at work displayed
Those spirits which to earth, to sea and air
By Solomon's stern edict banished were,
From them, who the Creator once betrayed,
The Caliph's pious faith guards us with care.
The splendid cities multitudes invade
A moving mass in gorgeous garb arrayed;
And now the boats are drawn into the river
And speeds the yatch like arrow from its quiver.
But woe, when with fierce breath the tempest rails,
And in its grasp the slender vessel breaks,
Until the mast with thund 'rous crashing breaks,
But ne'er our trust in God a moment fails.
A star appears, the billows sink to rest,
And rescue nears at Allah's kind behest.

Now in a breath comes change again, and love
Unites sweetly fair, and glows and pales by stages,
The youth to maiden doth more closely move.
Anon in fiery wrath fierce hatred rages
And host on host a murderous warfare wages,
The foe to Faith must die ere strife may cease,
Ere victory after combat bringest peace!
Ye nameless have suchwise, many-hued,
To us a treasure-trove of pictures brought,
Which of your age to draw ye understood.
It stands before us; what ye did, ye thought
Is known to us, can be destroyed by naught.
We hear ye, as your narratives ye told,
Your word spell-bound held hearers of old
And soon was multiplied a thousandfold.
So let me, conscious of my duty to
Posterity drink of your font anew,
That into dreams ye by my tales be lulled,
Which from a "Thousand Nights and One" are culled.

Fairy tales are but dreams which shine with the
light of longing into the darkness of life; and, as it
is the work of a dream to change into ever new
pictures the details of waking life and thought, like the
stones of a wonderful mosaic, it was repelling to me
to force the hues, colours and figures of the Arabian
Nights into the rigid form which a dream had given
them thousands of years ago. I think, however, that
the genuine sun of the colourful legend-loving East
shines in the tales I here tell, and I may well begin
them with the all-worthy time-honored phrase:

And when the night again united Sheherezade
and her royal spouse in the twilight of the bed-
chamber, she began in her tuneful voice this story:

Very many years ago a King ruled over the Island of Ebony to whom Heaven
was pleased to grant a son; but Fate had written down in the stars that his
young Queen should yield up her life in giving birth to her child. Adschib, for
so they called the boy, grew up slender and strong as the blade of a sword; wisdom
was on his lips when he began to lisp. But the King had an evil-minded Vizier who
envied the young prince the inheritance of so powerful a kingdom; therefore he
artfully persuaded the King to take his daughter to wife pretending that the boy needed
a mother. In truth, however, he inspired hatred in the heart of the new Queen against
the innocent lad so that when her own son was born she resolved in her mind to
get rid of him. So once when the King was away hunting she employed some slaves
whose souls were as black as their skins, to murder Adschib. But when his female
attendants, who dearly loved their young prince, saw the murderers creeping stealthily
along they became suspicious and held them back cunningly till their charge was
removed from all danger for they said to themselves: "though wicked people wish
to take his life the wild animals in the forests will do him no harm". And the child
was brought there; left alone he wandered onwards and onwards into its deepest
depth to escape the evil designs of his stepmother. He ate of the fruit of the trees,
drank of the fresh cool water of the running sources, slept on the soft bed of leaves
covering the ground. At last one day light broke through the trees. Adschib had
come to the end of the forest and now stood facing the wide unendless sea. A ship
was rocking on the waves. He looked around, not a soul was to be seen far and wide.
And now the boy could not but feel that Fate was calling him across the waters, and
springing in into the small vessel he put out to sea. A gentle wind urged the ship
forward, the dark forest grew fainter and fainter till it vanished entirely from sight;
and now he bent his gaze in the direction of the flying skiff. In heartfelt gratitude

he uttered the name of Allah his Protector and trusting in his All-merciful Power his
courage never slackened even when the sun disappeared in the sea or the dancing
images of the moon and stars tossed on the waves. When morning broke he saw
bathed in gold a rich land before him. Standing high above it was a wonderful castle
crowned with a glittering dome. Scarcely had the ship reached the shore when he
sprang quickly to the ground and unhesitatingly strode forward towards*it The astonished
guards led the boy, whose beauty and manliness they at once recognized, to the
governor of the castle. Too proud to tell of his birth and what had befallen him he
said he had escaped from a shipwreck in which all his companions had lost their
lives and begged the kind old man to give him shelter; and the greybeard took the
boy to his heart and loved him well. And in his house Adschib dwelt as if it were his
own home. All that a noble-minded man could give in knowledge and learning he
gave him and the boy grew up into a youth whose like could not be found in loftiness
of character, wisdom, bravery and strength. Now it happened that one day when he
was looking down from his casement he saw the King's daughter walking under the
blossoming trees of the garden, as if the Creator of all things had endowed the most
lovely blossom with pulsating life. And the fire of love flaming in his heart robbed
him of his senses so that he fell unconscious to the floor, and his foster-father finding
him in this lifeless state on his return home could but think that some evil' spirit
had killed his son; but soon perceiving signs of life he awakened him with sweet
scented spices and sprinkling with rose-water. But from this moment the youth was
distraught, body and soul wrestled in unsatisfied longings for his beloved one. Although
ignorant of the cause of Adschib's sickness the venerable old man sent for skilled
physicians, but none could advise or help. They only shook their heads, they could
do nothing. At last a Persian dervish who possessed the power of penetrating into
the hearts of men discovered the strongly guarded secret. On hearing this, filled with
grief, he took his son and rode with him far from the city to a lonely heath where
none could overhear them and said: "The cause of your sufferings has been revealed
to me, my lips fear to utter all the unendless tortures which will befall you if you
do not turn your thoughts from this unattainable desire. Learn: the princess is
no mortal, the queen of the fairies was her mother. Our King loved her and
married her and when she left him to return to her own country she told her
husband that the prince who was to woo and win her child had been chosen by
Destiny, and would come with marvelous signs from a distant land under another
sun, but that the most terrible of deaths awaited such as wantonly attempted to
approach the King's daughter. Follow the advice of one who has always sought to
lead you rightly, set spurs to your horse and flee as quickly as possible from this
kingdom. For though my heart bleeds to lose you I would sooner suffer the uncertainty
of your future than see you go to perdition before my very eyes." Saying this he
embraced Adschib and kissed him on the mouth and forehead, then overcome with
grief he sprang to horse and without uttering another word rode homewards. The

prince remained alone wrapped in pensive thought; he saw before him a land where
he could find peace and rest from his ceaseless longings and thither he turned his
horse's steps till the sound of the animal's neighing aroused him from his dreams.
Then, perceiving a shining object lying in the grass at his feet and stooping to
see what it was, a golden ring met his view. He picked it up, put it on his finger
and carelessly turned it round; at once the ground opened and a giant stood before
him. Quickly Adschib sought his sword but the monster in a humble voice said: "Fear
not, Lord of the Magic Ring, Sovereign of an army of spirits, I am come at your
behest, to fulfil your orders in all obedience, for you turned the ring." And the prince
forgetful of all warnings and counsels commanded: "Bring me to the princess of this
country!" Scarcely had he spoken the words when walls arose around him; and he
found himself in the midst of a lovely cool chamber filled with a darkness broken
only by a narrow shimmer of light falling through the heavy folds of a curtain.
Irresistibly it drew him onwards, he hurriedly raised the flowing drapery to find a way
into the light but started back in affright at the scene of dazzling splendour facing
him. Lying on a couch adorned with sparkling jewels and precious stones was the
maiden of his dreams, the most beautiful among kings' daughters. With charming
graciousness she beckoned him to her side but perceiving that he remained immovable
as if rooted to the spot, she said in soft tones: "My heart speaks that you are the
one my Mother destined for me as my husband' Yet you must pass through hard
trials to prove the nobility of your descent Therefore flee, Youth, to whom my heart
has gone forth since my eyes first met yours, if you do not feel that all the powers
on earth will be nought against your love, otherwise death in its most terrible form,
awaits you." At this the chains binding Adschib's limbs loosened; with noble pride he
advanced towards the Princess and said: "What are all the terrors of Dschehanna
to me, death itself has no fears if I may not possess you. Command and I will obey
your behests as quickly as thunder follows lightning." And now the King's daughter
rose and stood before him, and with eyes riveted on the boundless space she said
in solemn tones: "Come forth, O Mother, the hour has come to put the suitor to the
test!" Thereupon the chamber was filled with the darkness of night In its midst
appeared a shining figure surrounded by stars, and spoke: "Three miraculous deeds
must be performed by the one aspiring to your hand: First, he must conquer all the
enemies of this country who threaten it; second, he must build a palace surpassing
in beauty all others in the land, third, he must rule wisely, punish evil deeds and
bring together those long separated. But only one single day is granted for the
accomplishment of each of these deeds; during the nights following these days of
action he must not suffer his eyes to close in sleep, for sleep means death, watchful-
ness means to live ever after in bliss." With these words the apparition vanished
and the darkess lifted like smoke. Silently Adschib and the Princess looked into each
others eyes. At last the Prince began: "Now I feel that I am destined by Fate to
be your husband, for to me what has been ordained seems easy to accomplish. One

thing only I fear, namely, whether my will power be strong enough to enable me to
overcome exhaustion and prevent me from falling asleep." But the face of the Princess
lit up with joy as she answered: "Let me be the sharer of your toils, who for ever
wishes to share your happiness. Many gay-coloured word-pictures shall pass before
your eyes so that you will lose all desire for sleep." And happy in the certainty
of the blissfulness awaiting them they hastened to tell the King that the suitor for
his daughter's hand had come. Now during the time measured out for the Prince's
probation wonders happened which filled all with astonishment On the first day
Adschib at the head of the King's army went out to meet the mortal enemy of the
kingdom, vanquished his army and broke his power for ever. Towards midday he
planted fresh green woods whose meadows would never be destroyed by the foot of
the enemy, magic hands laid water conduits throughout the land, conquest-bringing
powers against all drought; on the second day with the help of the host of spirits
called up by the Magic Ring the Prince built a palace for himself set up on columns
with marble halls and domed in with a golden cupola, jewelled pictures adorned its
walls, the most costly of fabrics were thrown over the softest couches, the most
precious aromas of the earth perfumed the chambers; the third day he sat on the
seat of judgment, had his wicked step-mother and the vizier her father brought before
him in chains, and with every honour also his grey-haired father who because of
grief overwhelming him at the loss of his eldest-born son, had abdicated his throne
in favour of his son by his second wife; and the young king himself. To the two
sinners he meted out death for the crimes they had committed, his innocent brother,
however, he allowed to retain the throne, but as his vassal, and his father who had attained
happiness in the return of his son, he kept ever by him. And during the nights
in which he dared not close his eyes in sleep his gracious bride
related to him marvelous tales which kept him as awake as
in broad daylight It may have been, however, that his
eyes remained always open because she was
with him. The following are the
stories the princess told him:

Sthe magnificent city of Cairo it happened once that the; King's vizier died leaving
two sons behind him, Shemseddin and Nureddin by name, and because in wisdom
and in judgment they alone were worthy to take over the vizierate the King in
order not to wrong either of them appointed both to this office to act conjointly,
but by turns. They thought to woo the two most beautiful maidens in the land and
rejoiced of an evening in talking about their future and forming pictures of their
dreamed-of happiness. Already Nureddin saw himself the father of a handsome
stalwart son seeking for him the hand of the daughter of his brother. But they could
not agree as to the amount of dowry for Shemseddin would not content himself
with the thousand sequins offered. They bickered and quareled so long about this
that they finally parted in anger. Quickly Nureddin the younger of the brothers made
up his mind; that same evening he left his native city on a swift mule and rode
farther and farther through fruitful valleys and barren deserts, passing through cities
whose names he did not know till fate led him to Bassora. No sooner had he
dismounted at an inn than the vizier of the city learned of his presence and bade
him come to him, because he had recognized by his costly garments and his noble
bearing that the youth was something more than a merchant come to dispose of his
merchandise. But when he had heard from the mouth of Nureddin why he wandered
restlessly from city to city he spoke to him and said: "My son: do not unwisely
through your anger risk dangers which threaten all travelers Believe me your
countenance has filled my heart with love for you; therefore I will give you my
daughter to wife, and if Allah so wills it, you shall become vizier in my stead when
death calls me. Nureddin gladly consented and the marriage was celebrated in all

splendour; long days of untroubled happiness followed. In the meantime the brother
who had remained in Cairo had received knowledge of the disappearance of the
youth and he was bowed with deep sorrow. Everywhere he sent swift messengers
after him, but night veiled the direction in which he had gone and all was in vain.
Not long after Shemseddin led home the daughter of a high-born man and after the
unfathomable will of Allah who directs all things, it so happened that in the same night
in which the unveiling of his bride took place Nureddin first embraced his wife, and
that on the same day a charming girl-babe was born to Shemseddin, the wife of his
brother in Bassora bore a son, still more beautiful than poets have ever sung, and
they named him Bedreddin. And now the old vizier seeing the end of his days near-
ing led his son-in-law to the Sultan and after both had touched the earth with their
foreheads as a sign of submission, the old man began and said: "Look down in
clemency, O gracious Prince, on this youth, my son-in-law. He is the son of the
vizier of Egypt and endowed with the highest virtues. Therefore, give him my place,
for the evening of my life has broken in. The Sultan looked with favour on Nureddin
and raised him to the office of prime minister. As expected the old vizier soon
departed from the House of Life and passed in to the Palace of Eternity. And when
the days of mourning were over, Nureddin's life flowed easily in communion with
wife and child and in the performance of his duties till the hour of his departure
sounded. And now he called Bedreddin his son to his side and amidst tears took his
last leave of him. And he told him what had brought him to Bassora and his life there
and ordered him to write down what he said and he set his seal upon it Carefully the
youth folded the writing together and sewed it in his turban. Much good advice his father
still gave him and then the Gates of Paradise opened for him. And Bedreddin sorrowed
for his father and could not overcome his grief so that he never attended the Sultan's
councils. Angry at this the Sovereign deprived him of the inheritance of his father
and banished him from court, and in fear of the myrmidons of the Ruler the youth
fled the country carrying with him only a purse containing a thousand sequins all
he could save from his former riches. He rested at the grave of his father and wept
and lamented there till night fell and sleep overcame him. As he lay there, his beauty
enhanced by the light of the moon, a fairy caught sight of him and she could not
turn her eyes away. And she called the other spirits to look upon him. And there
was one among them who spoke and said: "Still more beautiful is the maiden I saw
today the daughter of the vizier of Egypt: this very hour she is to marry the ugly
groom of the king as a punishment because her father will not give her to the prince
as wife, for she has been promised to his brother's son." But the fairy answered:
"Even she cannot surpass this youth in gracious loveliness." And the spirit said: "Let
us transport the youth to Cairo so that we may compare them" And so it happened.
When they came to Cairo and set down the youth he awoke to find himself in a
dream. He stood in the midst of guests at a splendid marriage feast; more lovely was
the bride than words can picture but the bridegroom was a hunchbacked dwarf,

laughable to look at And when the fairy and the spirit saw that the bride and the
youth were created for one another in charm and beauty they caused the hunchback
to be locked up in a dark hole while Bedreddin entered the bridal chamber with the
daughter of his uncle, who had been determined for him by the will of their parents.
Following the counsel given to him by the spirit the youth said as they entered the
chamber: "Fear nothing, beloved, for they only threatened you in play: I am your
husband and you my gracious wife." And joy filled the heart of the maiden and in
fervent love she embraced Bedreddin and they slept side by side. And now the fairy and
the spirit took Bedreddin up intending to carry him home while he still slept. But as
they floated over Damascus in Syria the first call of the Muezzin announced the
coming day, and they were obliged to bring him to earth. And now he lay before
the gate of the city, sleeping and dreaming of his beloved till the people who had
crowded round him awoke him. Scoffed by all those to whom he told his story
he was finally adopted by a confectioner as his son and he remained with him. And
the same morning the Vizier of Egypt came troubled to his daughter and could not
comprehend what she related to him of the marriage night till he found the turban
which Bedreddin had laid aside and the purse with the thousand sequins beside it.
And when in the tarboush he discovered the writing which Nureddin had dictated to
his son he recognized the immensurable All-power of God who had brought about
that which he had determined with his dead brother, and there also were the thousand
sequins which he had scorned as dowry. Without loss of time he hurried to the
Sultan and told him what had happened, and he embraced the vizier and thanked Allah
for having frustrated his evil design. In vain, however, they awaited the return of the
husband who had vanished in the same mysterious manner in which he had come.
Buder, for such was the name of Bedreddin's wife, bore a son. Now it happened that
when playing with his companions they began to tease him because he had no father.
Crying he ran to his mother and asked why they mocked him. But she could not
answer him for her tears. It chanced, however, that just at this moment Shemseddin
entered the room and when he heard what had happened to the child he at once
resolved not to rest before the husband of his daughter was found. So he locked
up his house and went away with a big caravan taking with him his daughter and her
son. And they went first to Bassora to inquire after his son-in-law. After many many
days'journey they reached the city and found Nureddin's house and his wife who
since the flight of her son had wept for him every hour of the day and night When
she learned what had happened to Bedreddin and had pressed his wife and child to
her heart, she said: "I also will wander with you that I may see my son once again
before I die." So she joined the caravan and they wandered through the world in
search of Buder's husband. And they came to the rich city of Damascus and camped
before its gates to feast their eyes on the splendour of the palaces and mosques of
the city. The boy accompanied by his servant wandered through the street and squares
while Shemseddin accompanied by his wife and Bedreddin's mother made their

way to the Sultan to beg him to help them in their search. When the boy had been
gone some time, hunger began to trouble him, so he looked around to see where
he could appease it; and he saw the clean shop where sweatmeats were sold; a man
was standing at the door, and his heart went out to him. And the man looked at
the child and did not know why his blood coursed more quickly and his pulse beat
faster, and he called him and said: "Do me the honour of entering my house and
tasting of the good things there, which I myself have made." And when they crossed
the threshold he bade the boy and his servant sit down and placed a dish of sweet
pomegranate pips and almonds before him such as the boy had never before tasted.
And while they ate and drank sherbet with rosewater and musk, Bedreddin, for he
was the confectioner, could not take his eyes away from his son, nor the boy his
from his fathers face, although neither knew as yet that Fate had granted them the
long-desired happiness. And after they had eaten enough they went away, the master
of the shop following them with tearful eyes, When the boy arrived home he found
that his grandmother had also provided sweet pomegranate pips for him, but he would
have none of them and said: "They are not so good as those I ate at the confectioner's
in the bazaar." At this the grandmother was much surprised and said: "Only I and
my son can prepare pomegranates in this manner. Go and buy me some as quickly
as possible!" Scarcely had the boy returned and she had tasted of them when she
said: "Allah be thanked! My son is found!" Shemseddin, however, had a good
idea: He had Bedreddin seized the same night by his servants bandaged his eyes
and they all set off at a rapid pace for Cairo. And there he arranged
the sleeping chamber exactly as it was on the bridal night and
placed his sleeping prisoner in it. Buder awakened him with
her kisses so that he did not know whether all
that had happened in the meantime was
a bad dream till he learned the
truth from his little son.

When Harun-al-Raschid ruled over Believers there lived in Bagdad a poor man
who earned his bread by carrying loads on his head for which reason they
called him Sindbad the load-bearer. One very hot day he chanced to pass
a beautiful house with a broad seat in front of it so relieving himself of his burden
he sat himself down to rest. And he began to utter his thoughts aloud about riches and
poverty and the contrast between suffering and happiness. Just when he was getting
up to hurry on his way home a young boy came out of the house and in the name
of his master begged him to enter, an invitation which Sindbad gladly accepted. As
he went through the rooms guided by the boy, he was astonished at the splendour
and riches which he saw everywhere around him. At last they came to a magnificent
room in which a number of guests were assembled at table. An old man, evidently
the master of the house, bade the load-bearer seat himself with them and eat to his
heart's content, and as in a dream he took his place. When he had finished eating
his host asked him his name and profession. To his modest reply he was told laughingly:
"My name is also Sindbad, they have nicknamed me the Sailor because seven times
have I crossed the sea amidst dangers such as none can conceive and thereby have
amassed the riches which you see around you," and turning to his guests he continued:
"Attend all of you to the wonderful story of my journeyings. Again and again the
ocean lures on a merchant to load his ships and trust himself and his goods to the
waters, to exchange them for others in different lands and to buy and sell. Forgotten
were the risks and dangers of my former journeys and again I loaded a swift and beautiful
ship with my bales of merchandise and sailed with other merchants across the wide
open sea. Favorable winds carried us from island to island, from country to country,

everywhere we did a flourishing trade. One day we ran into a lonely island filled
with such glorious trees and harmonious birds that we were all tempted to land. I sat
down on the edge of a clear gushing fountain and gazed with intoxicated eyes at
the splendour around me, which Allah had created. The purling of the waters, the
rejoicing of the birds and the scent of the limes brought drowsiness upon me and
soon I lay dreaming in the soft grass. When I awoke night-had fallen, I looked around
me, not a person could be seen as far as my eyes could reach, I was alone; my
companions had returned to the ship forgetting all about me. Tearfully I threw myself
on the ground and ruefully lamented my foolishness in trusting myself again to the
sea after having experienced so many vicissitudes. At last gathering my courage together
I searched the island to see if I could find some means of escape, climbed a tall
tree and at some little distance spied what I at first took for an enormous dome.
Descending I went to examine it closer but could find no way inside, although it took
a hundred paces to go round it. I could not climb it from outside, it was too smooth.
I marveled what it was and just at that moment I heard a noise in the air and saw
a monstrous bird settling down upon it Then I remembered that I had once heard of
a bird called roc, as big as mountain, which fed its young with elephants; and it
was a roc which I now saw before me. But what astonished me far more was that
the dome was its egg and the bird was now sitting on it with outstretched wings.
As I saw no other way of getting away from the lonely island I summoned up my
courage and bound myself with my girdle to the roc's claws in order that when she
ascended at break of day she would carry me away with her. Watching and trembling
with fear I passed the night; as soon as the first rays of the rising sun reddened
the sky the roc with a terrible cry flew up to the clouds so high that the earth
vanished from my sight and I gasped for breath. Then, however, the bird flew
downwards; when the bird touched the earth I loosened my girdle, got safe away
and hid myself among the stones. I saw the roc seize a serpent twice as long and
thick as the trunk of a palm-tree and ascend with it into the air. Now I was alone
in a broad valley surrounded by mountains raging up to the heavens, the ground
was crowded with such a tremendous number of serpents that I shuddered with fright
Why I asked myself, had I left the peaceful island with its cool springs whose trees
offered me nourishment, to find a pitiless death here? Fearfully my eyes sought a safe
place where I could escape the vipers, but there seemed no salvation for me. Then
I realized something wonderful; although I was in a stony desert the rubble was
diamonds, diamonds of a surprising bigness. Not all the jewelers of the world would
have been able to cut and polish them and set them in rings and other ornaments,
even if they worked till the end of time. But what could I do with these precious
stones which could offer me no protection against inevitable death? No help against
the pangs of hunger and. the torments of thirst? Huddled up in a small cave and
with body and limbs trembling with fear at the ghastly serpents, I awaited the hour
of delivery for which I so earnestly beseeched God, when all of a sudden I saw an

enormous piece of flesh fall as of from the air and a giant bird swooping after it
And Allah enlightened my mind for now I knew that this place of terror in which
I now found myself had often been talked about before my incredulous ears. The
steep walls in which the valley was embedded were none other than the Diamond
Mountains from whose heights adventurous merchants were accustomed to cast down
the sheep they had slaughtered and skinned so cunningly in order that the points
of the diamonds might stick to them; then when the monstrous birds had seized
their prey and were carrying it to their aieries the men frightened them with terrible
noises so that they let it fall, after which they take away the precious stones
from the flesh. From this I saw a way for deliverance. When the next sheep fell
I would bind myself fast to it, trust myself for a second time to the wings of
the roc and again make a dangerous journey in the air. Hurriedly I picked up the
finest diamonds I could find and filled my pouch, the folds of my robe and my
turban with them. And in truth it did not last long before a dead animal fell.
Quickly I bound myself to it face downwards, twisted myself about till I got under
it and longingly awaited the approach of the bird. And already I was again
floating in the air, when the shrieking of men's voices and the clashing of arms
caused the bird to let go its booty. Happily for me it had not flown very
high, therefore my fall was a light one; I was again among human beings who
looked at me with astounded eyes as if I were a demon come in blood-reeking
clothes to destroy them. But on hearing my story they congratulated me at my
deliverance for "never", said they, "as long as the world had existed had any man
escaped living from the valley of serpents". They were just about returning to their
homes with their treasures and so I joined them. After hard journeys we at last
reached the seashore. A ship lay ready to take us back to the land of the Believers.
But I was not so soon to return to my native city. For a terrible storm came on
and as the towering, waves flooded the ship they dashed me overboard. However,
I soon rose to the surface but was unable to reach the ship although I swam for
my very life and struggled with the waves; but it pleased the Merciful All-powerful
to allow me to reach firm land. Exhausted I fell down and slept till I was awakened
by hunger. I rose' and plucked fruit from the trees, which was sweet and refreshing.
Invigorated I tried to find out where I was and if the place was inhabited when to
my great joy I saw a feeble old man sitting on the bank of a stream who begged
me with signs to carry him across on my shoulders. Willingly I took him on my
back and brought him to the other side; but instead of getting down he pressed his
legs round my neck tighter so that I could not throw him off; then I knew that it
was a dschinn who had made me his captive and I became unconscious from fear.
But the wicked man tortured and beat me till I came to my senses again. My life
was now to become a veritable martyrdom. Never had I even imagined that anyone
could be so cruel and malevolent as this creature who now held me in his thrall.
I was reduced to a mere beast of burden; there seemed no escape for me.

I served him a long long time like a horse, from whose back he could reach the finest
fruits on the trees. And he never ceased torturing me, even in his sleep he clung
tight to me. In vain I sought a means of getting away from him till one day I found
a heap of dry gourds and an idea came to my mind how I could outwit the old
man. I filled the hollow skins with the juices of all kinds of fruit, closed up the
openings and waited till the sun had fermented the liquid. Then I drank some and
let my tormenter see how the liquor strengthened and cheered me. He made me give
him some. Now happened what I intended, he never ceased drinking as long there was
a drop left. And as I expected the strong drink soon took effect and no longer having
control of himself he fell drunk from my shoulders. I hardly dared think that I was
free; now I held power over him. And in order to put an end for ever to his evil deeds.
I picked up the biggest stone I could find and slew him with it. Day after day I was
on the look out for a ship to carry me to the land of mortals; and finally the day
of my deliverance came. A sailing ship put in to shore, took me on board and
when I had told my adventures my hearers said: "No one has ever escaped living
from his thrall; it was the old man of the seas whom you killed and from whose
cruel deeds you have freed the world. Allah is great and praised be His
unboundless Powerl" Filled with joy after so much pain and suffering I was
happy in finding myself being carried with wind-swollen sails to the place of
my longings. Only one thing troubled me, that I was returning in poverty after
having left with so much riches. But Providence ordained that my heart should
be relieved of this care, for just as we were entering into an harbour to take in
water for the last part of our journey, a man came to me and called me by
name. And as I looked at him I saw that he was one of those with whom
I had escaped from the Diamond Mountain, and he told me that
all my riches were safe and so it happened that in spite
of all the misfortunes which had been sent me
I returned home laden with treasures, though
nothing makes me more glad than
thinking of my adventures.

0.-. Jr dv~ \,
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Avery very long time ago there lived in a city by the side of the sea a poor
fisherman who could barely maintain himself his wife and his two daughters
with the fish he caught in his net; each day he put aside a part of what Allah
granted him from the waters for his family, exchanging the rest for other nourishing
foods. Many years passed in this manner, the old man never forgot in his prayers to
offer his thanks in all humility to God and his Prophets for their continual goodness
to him. One day, however, he had no luck at all, for not a single fish, not even
the smallest of them, entered his net. When evening came he washed it carefully slung
it on his back together with his other implements and sorrowfully made his way home,
for he knew that his dear ones would have to go hungry that time. As he went along
and was just passing the baker's shop where he always got bread in exchange for his
fish; its owner perceiving that he did not stop as usual called him back. On hearing
why the fisherman had not come in that day the baker gave him the customary four
loaves of bread and ten sequins saying: "Let not this small debt trouble you in the
least, repay me when you can". The poor man tendering his heartfelt thanks hurried
joyfully to purchase vegetables, fruit, meat and other good things and full of happiness
trusted to the coming day, In the morning after having performed his ablutions and
offered up his prayers to Allah he made his way to another part of the shore and
again cast his net. In vain, it seemed as though the waters were deserted, for when
he drew it to land he found that again, there was nothing in it. Desperate at being
forced for a second time to return empty-handed he avoided passing the baker's shop
on his way home by taking a by-path. But the baker's son observing him called: "Dont

you want some fresh bread to-day?" In answer, the fisherman pointed to his empty
net. But the youth only smiled and drew him into the shop and asked: "May not your
friends help you? Why should you all go hungry to-day when to-morrow you may not
be able to carry the weight of your catch." So the old man again thankfully received
the bread and the ten sequins with which he bought other things to eat and returned
to his family. Long before sunrise he hurried to the shore and began his days work in
calling on God the All-Powerful. But alas! all his net caught was the carcass of an ass.
He cast it afresh. When he tried to pull it in he found it so heavy that he could not but
imagine that it contained an enormous plentitude. But to his intense disappointment he
saw that all it held was a very large and rusty pot filled with gravel and slime. "Only
with the Infinite, the All-merciful and All-powerful lies strength and power," he prayed
submissively; and he cast his net a third time into the waters, but it got entangled in
the creeping growth below the sea so that he was obliged to put off his clothes and dive
into the water to extricate it. The sun had already sunk deep into the west before he
could accomplish this. Then he saw a shining object between the meshes. "What can it
be ?" he asked himself. Hastily and with trembling fingers he untied the cords and soon
held a heavy copper flagon in his hands, which he thought he could sell for two pieces
of money. "But I wil first see what it contains", he said to himself, and shaking his head
doubtingly he examined closely some rough signs scratched on its tight-fitting leather
plug. Then with his knife he removed the plug carefully for he knew not that the im-
pression was the Seal of Solomon, the Master of all Spirits. He turned the mouth of the
vessel downwards to find out if anything was in it, to his intense astonishment there
issued from its opening a very thick smok which ascended in heavy clouds to the skies
and assumed the form of an Ivrit, a monster jinn; its legs stood firm as mountains on the
ground, its head reached the heavens and its fearful eyes shone down like two blood-red
suns on the terrified fisherman. "Pardon, pardon" sounded frightfully from the throat of
the terrible giant, then turning towards his deliverer he ordered him to prepare for death,
saying: "This is the reward which in my unendless captivity I have sworn to him who
should set me free". "So you would repay good by evil?" said the fisherman. "There
is no help for it" replied the jinn. "When because I refused to obey his behest Solomon,
the son of David, shut me up in this prison, and set his everlasting seal upon it,
vainly before he threw it into the waters I entreated suppliantly to him to set me at
liberty. In vain too I promised in my mind to open all the treasures of the earth to
the one who should deliver me from my prison, but when a hundred years had passed
by and none came to my aid, my heart hardened and I lessened the reward. Centuries
and centuries have rolled by since first the waves of the sea began to rush over my
head, now instead of requiting my liberator I thought only how to bring evil upon
him. You must give praise to Allah that you have saved me now before I could
devise something more terrible than death". Feeling that soft words would be of
no avail the fisherman sought escape through the only gift God had bestowed upon
him, one which had been denied the evil spirit, that of strategy. And so he began

"I know that you have resolved firmly on my death and I will yield myself to you to
do as you will. But before I leave this world I have one wish and that is to know
whether you were in truth imprisoned in this small flagon. To this the foolish monster
replied "I will prove to you that I have spoken truthfully, so that you will also believe
that I meant what I said when I promised you death" So saying, he dissolved himself
again into smoke, gradually reentered the vessel till the air became perfectly pure and
nothing more was to be seen of him. And now the fisherman speedily took up the plug
bearing the supreme seal of Solomon upon it and pressed it hard into the mouth of the
flagon, calling to the imprisoned spirit "You have indeed convinced me, now you may
kill me if you can'. 'The best possible thing I can do is to cast you into the sea from
which I took you". Then the jinn beseeched him to refrain from this and swore a solemn
oath that he would never do him evil if he would let him out-again. So believing him
the good fisherman set him free again. Upon which the spirit struck the vessel hard
with his right foot so that it sank into the earth and was never seen again. "You did
well", he said, "to trust to my oath and now I will reward you in a princely manner.
Follow mel" Then taking the fisherman's hand he led him to a stone wall close by.
Entering a gate in it they came to a place which had such an arid smell that it seemed
as if neither air nor sun had ever penetrated there, nor no man ever set his foot in it.
Nevertheless all around them glittered and shone within the vast hall in which they now
stood. For it was filled with an immense quantity of lambent gold and sparkling jewels,
such as the poor fisherman had never even dreamed of. "Take what you will", he
heard the spirit say; but in modest tones he answered "How can I venture even to
touch such treasures? Give me the smallest piece of these riches and I shall be
amply rewarded then for all I have done for you". To this the jinn replied smilingly:
"Your choice is no bad one!" And he gave him a red stone no bigger than a midge,
set in a plain circle. The fisherman was just about to thank him when to his great
surprise he found himself standing alone near his net and he would have thought
that he had been deceived by a lively dream had it not been for the ring on his
finger. Doubtingly he washed his net, rolled it up, put it on his back and with rapid
strides he went towards the city intending to sell his treasure to a goldsmith in the
bazaar. As he was hurrying along wrapped in thought he suddenly heard two crows
sitting on a tree talking to one another. Curious to know what they were saying he
stood still and listened: "Is there no help for the King's son?" said the female bird,
"must he die in the flower of his youth? And its mate answered "there is only one
means of saving his life". "Tell me more about it", requested his companion and the male
bird spoke and said: "A magician has heaped up a mountain of treasures and hidden
them by the side of the sea, among all these riches one small ring alone with a red
stone possesses the power of curing all ills. But the sea always floods the land taking
back in its ebb that of. which it has been robbed." So saying the birds flew away
while the fisherman as if deprived of his senses stood still on the same spot. He
now knew what he spirit meant by his gift. And taking courage he hurried forward

with rapid steps. Wailing and weeping filled the city, from the lips of the mourners
he learned how the young prince had been struck by a poisoned arrow at a play at
arms and that all the wise men and physicians alike were in a state of desperation
and cursed their insufficiency of knowledge to cure him. It was only with the greatest
difficulty that the fisherman could force his way through the crowd which became
more and more dense the nearer he came to the castle. But as soon as he approached
closer to the gates he called out in a loud voice: "Make room, make room, I am
come with Allah's help to heal the King's son!" At once way was made for him
through which with lowered looks, but with a rejoicing heart he hurried onwards.
Magnificently garbed men led him through immense rooms, his feet sinking into the
soft thick carpets as he went to the bed-side of the sick prince. Unconscious he lay
there on the pillows, the rattle in his throat being the only sign that there was still
life in him. Then taking the ring from his own hand the fisherman placed it on the
finger of the dying man; at this the prince opened his eyes and his breathing grew
stronger so that the fisherman had no longer the courage to remain there in his
soiled clothing exposed to the gaze of such high-born personages. So he slipped away.
None noticed his departure except the young prince who strong and well as if he
had never even been ill followed him on his way. And when they passed through many
narrow streets he saw him enter a poor hut where his wife and two young daughters
welcomed him joyously and sought to comfort him when he told them that he had
again returned empty-handed. But of his brave deed he said never a word. Then the
prince learned indeed how noble-minded a man the fisherman was. The next day
he returned accompanied by a brilliant suite of followers and begged
for the hand of one of his daughters in marriage, and he
made her happy and rich. And the second daughter
became the wife of the kind baker's son.
This was the reward the jinn paid for
his deliverance from prison.


None of the virgins of the surrounding countries and kingdoms appeared beautiful
enough to Shariman king of the white city for him to make her his queen;
but his councillors and friends were for ever and ever reminding him that he
should marry that a son might be born to him in the course of the right moon,
who in his turn would become the preserver of his people. One evening when the
King was sitting pondering about the matter on the terrace of his castle which
overlooked the sea, and the waves were plashing softly against the marble walls, he
suddenly saw a lovely maiden rise from the waters skim them with light feet, make
her way to the castle and ascend the steps till she stood still before him. The pale
moon shed its lustrous light on the pearls adorning her neck and hair which fell in
rich shining folds to her ankles, and then rested on her uncovered face as if allured
by the enrapturing beauty of her features. In speechless wonder the king looked at
her but his heart spoke in jubilating song Forthwith she addressed him in soft
tones: "Greetings and blessings upon you, Shariman! I have come from the depths
of the sea to beseech you to grant me your protection; my father was King of the
Realm below the waters, he lies slain and his army vanquished by the host of his
vassal Samandal, who has usurped the throne and would make me his wife." So
saying, she sank at Shariman's feet, who lifted her tenderly and spoke: "Allah be my
witness that my life is as nothing if I cannot serve thee." And he caused a splendid
set of rooms to be prepared for her reception, which she was now to make her
home. However, Gulnare for this was the name of the princess of the ocean, loved
Shariman at first sight, and he lost his heart to her the moment his eyes rested upon



her lovely form, and they were united happily in marriage. Their happiness seemed
perfect, yet it became still greater when a son was born to them whom they named
Bedr Basim, the laughing full moon. When the boy came into the world all Gulnare's
relations left their castles and palaces amidst the sea and entered Shariman's palace
laden with rich presents; but most wonderful of all was the gift they bestowed on the
child of descending into the depths of the waters and living there as if on earth.
When Bedr Basim was a year old and had learned how to walk and speak his father
showed him to his people and in solemn tones they swore to follow him as king
when his father was called hence. And the wise men of the country and the masters
of arms took his education in hand and a noble rivalry arose as to who among them
should best make of the boy a good and righteous prince. And when as Allah willed
the day came which called Shariman to the land of eternal life he was ready to
depart for he knew in his heart that all would be well. After the days of mourning
were over the chiefest men of the kingdom crowned Bedr Basim king in his father's
stead and annointed him with precious ointments; and he proved a wise and just ruler
and the country flourished under his sceptre. With motherly love Gulnare watched
over her son and often took counsel with her brother Salih regarding his welfare. It
came about one day that she questioned him about a wife for the young king. He
named all the princesses of the kingdoms of the earth and of the waters but to each
one she shook her head, till at last Salih said: "I only know of one more princess,
that is Dschauhare, the pearl of all maidens, the most beautiful of the beautiful. She
is the daughter of Samandel the most bitter of all our enemies. I can only advise you
to send an envoy to seek and find that star among the daughters of the viziers worthy
of Bedr Basim, because he never can become the husband of Dschauhare. Thus
speaking Salih bade his sister good bye and returned to his home while Gulnare
lost in thought remained in her chamber. Neither she nor the prince her brother had
perceived that Bedr Basim was lying asleep in the room where they were talking
and awakening was listening with a throbbing heart to what they were saying. What
he heard his uncle tell of Dschauhare kindled a burning flame of love in his soul
so that he at once resolved to risk his life to gain her for his queen. So he secretly
left his home in the guise of a hunter and descended to the kingdom of the sea.
Only by urging his strength to the utmost could he surmount the precipitous
mountains, cross the wild gorges and overcome all the fearful monsters besetting
his way. But he delayed not neither did he hesitate till he reached the court of
Samandal and learned where his daughter dwelt Her castle was guarded strictly,
it stood close to a dense forest but Bedr Basim vanquished the soldiers, broke
through the thick undergrowth in order to attain the castle when suddenly he saw
before him the most beauteous of all beauteous maidens framed in the blossoms of
delightful trees. His heart told him that it was Dschauhare the object of his soul's
desire, and while his looks spoke of burning love entreaty hers gave promise of its
fulfilment. In the meantime Gulnare had learned of her son's disappearance and had

sent emissaries throughout the wide world to search for his whereabouts. In despair
she went down to the bottom of the sea to beg help from her own people to find
her son. Just at that moment news came that a bold knight had penetrated the thick
forest in which Dschauhare dwelt in her impregnable castle and had won her love,
and that king Samandel had sallied forth at the head of a large army to punish the
transgressor. They at once knew that the stranger could be none other than Shariman's
son. Salih therefore lost no time in calling his men to arms in order that they might
gain the castle before the arrival of the sea-king and his host. The two armies met
in fierce battle before the forest Samandal was overcome and all his men killed, he
himself taken prisoner and brought before Gulnare and Salih in heavy chains. But
he had not lost his magic power and he transformed Bedr Basim into a bright-hued
parrot and set him on a palm tree far away in the east while his daughter Dschauhare
he changed into a bush of thorns on the very spot where she had first seen her lover.
Nothing could not induce Samandal to tell what he had done to the unfortunate pair,
and Gulnare lost all hopes of ever again seeing the laughing eyes of her beloved son.
The chief men in her kingdom begged her to rule as queen in his place until it
should please Allah to deliver him from the power of his enemies. But it so happened
that once a bird-catcher came to the forest where Bedr Basim was passing his parrot-
life and took him prisoner. Enchanted with its beauty he and brought him into the
city to sell. There he so much pleased an Emir who chanced to be in the bazaar that
he at once paid the large sum demanded without even bargaining about the price.
In his palace it was let free, his master rejoicing in the glory of the coloring of its
wings. But how great was the Emir's astonishment when the parrot at once flew on
to the table where they were sitting at dinner and carried off all the choicest morsels
in its beak, for he had never known that a bird could eat of such dishes. Then he
ordered an ennuch to bring his lady that she too might see this wonder. But no
sooner had she entered the room and caught sight of the parrot than she hastily
covered up her face, so that her husband being curious asked the reason of this, to
which she replied: "Are you not aware that it is forbidden to us women to appear
unveiled before strange men? And this bird is a man though he has been transformed
into a bird." And as the Emir refused to believe that what she said was true she related
to him the whole story of Bedr Basim and. how it came about that he was in this
shape, for she had penetrated into all the secrets of magic art. While the lady was telling
this story the bird nodded continually as if to testify to the truth of what she said. Then
the Emir beseeched her by the power of her art to deliver the king from his desperate
condition. So she had a cauldron brought to her, filled it with water and while it was
seething she chanted mysterious words to a strange melody until feather after feather
dropped from the bird till Bedr Basim appeared before them in all the strength of his
youthful beauty. And the Emir bowed his neck before his sovereign and his lady also.
But the king gently took her hand and thanked them in moved tones saying: "You have
rescued me from my fearful plight and endowed me with fresh life, but what is life to

me so long as I cannot share it with Dschauhare? Tell me only where I may find her
that she may be mine for ever and you shall be always nearest to share our happiness."
"I will not hide from thee," replied the Emir's lady, "that which alone can bring you
together again, only you and you unaided can set her free, for the force of true love
alone can save her. Therefore learn, she was transformed by the magic craft of her
father into a bush of thorns and awaits the coming of her lover to set her free. You
must go seek it, you will know at once which is the right one for on touching it at
its roots with your right foot the bush will immediately become covered with the
most beautiful blossoms. Then set fire to the stems and out of the flames Dschauhare
will stand forth in perfect happiness." Neither prayers nor entreaties could hold back
Bedre Basim even for a single minute. He at once said good bye and started on his
wanderings. His feet were sore from his ceaseless steps, for his longing was such that
he neither rested nor did he sleep. But in vain, for no thorn bush blossomed although
he set his right foot to every single one he came across. At last he came to the
garden which was at once the cradle of his happiness and the scene of his misfortunes.
Weeping he sat himself down on the spot where his beloved one had first appeared
to him, then raising his eyes he saw another thorn-bush before him and at once
set his foot to its roots. And it immediately blossomed with sweet-smelling
roses and ever and ever new buds opened from their chalices. But nevertheless
he did not dare at first to destroy such loveliness by fire. But calling to mind
what the Emir's lady had told him he applied a light to it. And as the flames
fled high up in the heavens Lo and behold Dshauhare stood forth from
the burning bush in all her chasteness and beauty. Laughing
and weeping she fell into her lover's arms. Blissfully they
returned home. Peace again reigned in the heart
of Gulnare and Salih and they willingly
gave over their regencies to the
rightful king and queen.

As the waves of the sea can lift a fragile craft on high or in their rage engulf
it in the folds of the waters, so it is with man's happiness, which either carries
him upwards to the regions of perpetual delight or drives him down to the
depths of despair, in unfathomable alternity. Ancient books tell us how a Shah of
Persia discarded his wife because calumny accused her of infidelity, so together with
her two small sons of so tender an age that they could bear no remembrance of
what had been, and her newly-born infant daughter and accompanied by a few
devoted followers, the unhappy queen and mother withdrew to a mountain top and
there dwelt in a desolate castle. Under her care and that of a faithful tutor the
children grew up in that knowledge befitting their former rank, nothing being hidden
from them except their kingly descent. They loved one another dearly while their
mother was all in all to them. So happy were they that they never thought to question
about the world without them, and the queen hid her grief in her bosom. One day
when the sons had grown into beautiful intrepid youths and Perizade into a lovely
maiden, mother and daughter sat talking together in the garden while the princes
had gone out hunting. Then the queen said to her child: "Listen and I will recount
you what I saw in my dream last night: Before me stood a very old man with
a long white beard who took me so tenderly by the hand that my soul was filled with
bliss, and he spoke to me in gentle words saying: "The hour of your departure has
come, you must leave your home and your children and retire to a nunnery standing
at the foot of a mountain capped with snow. There you shall remain in prayer until
the Speaking Bird bids you come forth again from your retirement" With this the
apparition vanished and I awoke to find myself surrounded with a transplendent light
like unto Paradise. "And I resolved in my heart to heed his bidding." Weeping Perizade

tried to hold back her mother, but in vain, and when the brothers at fall of twilight
returned they found their sister alone weeping sad tears. Sobbing she told them what
had happened.When the first night of sorrow had passed Perwis, the younger of the
brothers, said: "Grief without action can aid nothing. Let me go to seek the Speaking
Bird", to which Achmed, the elder one, replied. It is my right to go for I am the first-
born." And spite of the beseechings of his brother and sister he girded on his sword
and ordered his horse to be saddled. But before setting forth to the unknown land he
gave Perizade a hunting-knife and said to her: "as long as the steel remains bright and
untarnished, all will be well with me, but if blood drips from its blade then you will
mourn me as dead." On his way to find the Speaking Bird he met an ancient her mit
who in answer to his question said, "True it is that I can tell you what to do, but listen
to my warning. Many have already dared the way, but none has ever returned. For
terrible is the trial to those seeking to possess the marvelous bird." Undaunted the
prince entreated the hermit further. Upon which he gave the prince a ball saying: "Throw
this ball to earth and follow its rolling, you will soon perceive a vast field filled with
mighty black stones. You must cross this for behind lies the mountain where the bird
dwells, climb its steep acclivity. On your way upwards you will be threatened with
dangers on all sides. But if you reach the summit your desire is fulfilled; but beware of
turning your head a single second, lest you be changed into a black stone like all those
brave men who sought the prize but neglected to follow my advice. But the youth had
already thrown the ball and was now galloping full speed after it. And soon he came
to the field of dark stones, as the hermit had foretold, and behind it was the precipitous
mountain. Leaving his horse it in the valley he found his way through the maze of
black stones and began to climb the steep rocks. No sooner had he started when he
was beset on every side with noises interminable, shrieking, screeching, squealing,
squaling, threatening and clamouring, but still he continued steadily onward. But all
at once a sense of awesome fear overcame him and he looked back. And at that same
moment he was changed into a lifeless stone. In the meantime always and always
Perizade used to draw the knife from its sheath and rejoice in the brightness of its steel.
But at the very moment of Achmed's misfortune she saw a drop of blood dripping from
the blade to the ground. Bitterly weeping she hastened to tell Perwis. "Now it is my
duty," said he, "to avenge our brother's death and continue the search." And in spite
of her tears and supplications he held firmly to his purpose, kissed her and comforted
her saying: 'Take this string of pearls, as long as they remain lustrous all will be well
with me." And so Perwis started on his journey through the wide wide world in search of
the Speaking Bird; after some time he came to the hermit's hut where he sat guarding
the Mountain of Voices. And he related what had happened to Achmed, warned him
likewise, but the youth remained resolute. So the ancient man gave him a ball and told
him how he could attain the bird and the trials which would beset him on his way up
the mountain. Undaunted Perwis rode forward laughing at fear, but when a contemptuous
jeering and mocking met his ear he spiritidly drew his sword from his scabbard to slay

the insolent fellow. This forced him to look back and immediately he was transformed
into a black stone. And at this very moment Perizade's fears became certainty because
she saw that the pearls were dimmed. Filled with grief she put on boy's clothing,
mounted a fiery horse and started forth. Her milk-white steed soon brought her to the old
hermit's where he sat guarding the secret of the Speaking Bird. On learning the way and
the horrible sounds she would encounter she thanked the old man simply and asked
him whether it was forbidden for her to stop her ears with wax, to which he replied
that "her prudence would lead her to success". And he gave her his blessing and
she went onwards till she came to the field, crossed it and proceeded to ascend the
mountain. However, loud the vociferations, screechings and other noises may have
been, they could not affect her because of the wax in her ears, she attained the
hitherto unclimbed hieghts and saw a magnificent bird sitting on a branch of a tree.
She approached it and as she removed the stoppings in her ear she heard it speak
in human voice: "Hail to thee, Perizade, whose subject I now am for all times. Teach
me how best I may serve thee, trust in me," to which she answered: "Dear Bird, tell me
how I can bring my brothers back to life." "Nothing is easier" replied the winged sage,
"break off a small twig of this tree, take the small silver jug and, fill it with water;
then dip this twig in and with it sprinkle the stones. This will bring your brothers to
life and all the other enchanted youths as well." The maiden did as the bird told her.
Immediately a numerous array of richly-clothed knights stood before her, Achmed and
Perwis among them. They joyfully embraced their sister, then all descended to the
valley where their handsome caparisoned horses stood awaiting them impatiently. The
Speaking Bird now told Achmed to carry the vessel with the sparkling water and
his brother the twig, then soaring above the head of Perizade he guided the stately
cavalcade. They galloped forward as if in a whirlwind, none thought of casting a look
on the place where a backward glance had cost them so much suffering. When
evening drew near following the bird's advice they encamped. The bird then confided
to them the magic power of the twig which when set in the ground immediately
sprang into a mighty tree bearing the most delicious fruit and sending forth sweet
harmonies, while the sparkling water in the silver jug offered an inexhaustible source of
cool refreshing, fragrant drink At last they reached the chief city of Persia, there
they set up their tents and it was not long before the Shah heard of the presence
of the magnificent body of knights. Seized with the desire to salute their commander
accompanied by a splendid and stately suite he approached the strangers and was
received by Achmed and Perwis with due honours. From the first moment the Shah
felt himself drawn to the handsome youths and when on conversing with them he
learned to know their intelligence and understanding he proposed that they should
remain at his court at his most cherished guests. To this the brothers replied that
it was their sister who commanded and that their decisions depended on her will.
This greatly astonished the monarch and he left promising to return the next day
to receive her answer. When Perizade heard of this she questioned the Speaking Bird

who replied: "For this very reason alone have I led you hither, tell the Shah when
he comes to-morrow that you have none other wish than that of serving him. Ask
him to give you the favour of entertaining him that the light of his countenance
may fall upon you". On coming back the next day and hearing this the king rejoiced
greatly and bade the youth lead him to their sister. At the sight of her radiant
loveliness he could not help thinking that the sun's rays would pale before it. And
his astonishment was unbounded when the maiden showed him the sparkling water
flowing from a large fountain, for such the small silver vessel had now become, and
the harmonious tree with its plenty of fruit and heard the Speaking Bird praising
him in song. Perizade had prepared the most delicious meats for his entertainment:
tables were brought in and the Shah gladly took his place. Following the
bird's advice Perizade had privately ordered a dish of the sweetest apples seasoned
witl salt and when the Shah tasted of it in astonishment he asked what it was.
On learning from the Bird that it was salted apples, the monarch retorted: "Who
has ever heard of such a dish?" and the Bird spoke again saying: "Just as salt is ill
suited to sweet dishes, so is infidelity to fidelity. Listen! You are in the presence of
your own children and your wife who has never betrayed you even in thought,
is awaiting a short distance hence for new proofs your old love for her". At
this the scales fell from the eyes of the Shah, with jubilant joy he embraced
the dear ones so marvelously restored to him and together with them he hastened
to his wife whom he again took to his heart and reinstated as his queen with
the highest honours. But the wicked vizier for who had calumniated her
expiated his crime with his life. The young princes were appointed
to rule in place of the Shah their father, Perizade was
married to a most powerful and loving monarch,
while he himself passed the rest of his
days in happiness in the company
of his beloved consort

1 A


Many, many years ago a merchant died in Irak leaving his wealth and most
precious treasures to his 'only son Nazir. He, however, soon squandered all his
father's riches in leading a riotous life in company with his friends. One day
when they were sitting together chattering and discussing about the pleasures and
dangers of travelling, Nazir said jestingly: "Were it not for fear of mudlarks I would
leave this city this very moment". To this a stranger who in the meantime had made
one of them, retorted: "If that is the only thing which worries you, my friend, I think
I may be of service to you". In answer Nazir laughed heartily; but as he was returning
home the stranger followed him and whispered: "Come and see me to-morrow morning
and your wish will be fulfilled". And really when Nazir called on him early the next
day he found him in a workshop filled with woods of all kinds and shapes, with nails,
screws, clamps and bars of steel and brass and all sorts of other things necessary
for carpenters. As he entered the stranger cautiously closed the door and windows
to prevent any curious person from looking in and seeing what they were doing, and
turned up a flickering lamp. Then he asked the youth to kindly help him with his work
and soon Nazir saw before him a lidless chest with a seat in it covered with the
softest carpets. "You must wait here till nightfall lest any one may learn our secret",
said the man. So they remained together talking about many matters till darkness set
in. Then they carried the chest to an open space before the town, Nazir's heart beating
fast all the while in uneasy expectation. And now his eyes sighted a wonder such as,
till now, he had only pictured in his dreams, for the stranger sat down in the chest and
then showed him how on pressing a lever it could fly with its passenger high up into
the air and be directed at will through the ether. Yet it was not the intention of the
wizard, for such the stranger was, to give the magic box to the youth although the
laws of his art forced him to use a young man's help in building it But how great

was his amazement and his anger when he saw the young fellow whom he had
intended to kill, so that none in this world might know of his invention, take possession
of the craft and without stopping to say as much as good bye immediately touch the
lever and lift himself into the air where he rapidly disappeared among the clouds.
Cursing, the wizard swore to avenge himself. But Nazir only laughed merrily as he
soared away on the wings of the wind, leaving mountains and valleys far far below
him. Gaily Nazir followed the directions of the lever and flew the whole night long
and then a whole day and another night till he saw before him a vast rich plain
and a beautiful city in it containing many palaces. He then took a downward
course towards the forest On arriving safely there he hid the magic box among the
thick branches of a tree and walked on till he came to a field where was an old
peasant whom he asked to tell him the name of the beautiful city. The astonished
greybeard told him that it was Gasnar, the most splendid of all cities, famed all
over the world, and of its great King Behamen. "In truth my home lies at a great
distance from here", answered Nazir. "Therefore I should like to learn something more
about it: Who dwells in that castle yonder rising upwards like an inaccessible mountain
of shining marble?" "Stranger" the peasant replied "the king's daughter Shirin dwells
there, he has shut her up fast because an oracle announced to him that she would
be enticed by a dissolute young man. And in order to save the princess from such
a fate he had this inaccessible castle built for her and none but himself is entrusted with
the key. She lives there with her old nurse". Nazir thanked the old man and entered
the town to enjoy its beauty and seek adventures. But he was ever troubled by the fear
of losing his magic chest and the thought of the king's daughter. Therefore after a
short stay in the city he hurried back to the forest, threw himself down on the grass
and waited till the sun had sunk below the horizon. For he had made up his mind
what he was going to do. "If the necromancer spoke true, why should not I become
the princess's husband?' he asked himself. "And even though his prophecy be not written
down in the stars I will yet try my luck" Thus thinking he got into his bewitched
box and in less than no time found himself' on the roof of the well-guarded
mountain fastness. Lightly he vaulted a window balustrade and entered a room where
he saw sleeping before his eyes the most lovely of all maidens, caressed by the pale
moonlight Nothing could then have held back the audacious youth; he approached
her couch and stooping woke her with a burning kiss. Frightened she started up
from her slumber and uttered so loud a cry that her nurse came running into the
room to see what was the matter. But Nazir spoke in gentle tones: "Fear nothing,
loveliest of all princesses You know full well that no mortal man could venture to
cross the moat surrounding this castle, or evade its guards and climb its polished
marble walls. Only I and I alone could penetrate into this sanctuary for in me you
behold the prophet Mahomed. Entranced by your loveliness I prayed to Allah to permit
me to take you for my spouse. Thus I approach you under the protection of the Blessed
One." Nothing is more easy than to deceive a young girl when a young and fascinating

man seeks to beguile her, while the sight of a beloved young girl's happiness makes
blind the eyes of her faithful servant; Nazir soon conquered Shirin who was now
lying on his: breast Before dawn the youth got up and left her promising to come
back at dusk Many blissful nights followed. But the next time the King visited his
daughter he knew at once by the shining light in her eyes and her flaming cheeks
what had happened. Foaming with rage he searched through the whole castle, but in
vain, for some traces of the insolent intruder, and therefore resolved to await his arrival
at nightfall. Just at that moment a tremendous thunderstorm broke over the city and
when at the usual hour the youth appeared under the arch of the window, suddenly
tongues of blood-red lightning flashed forth accompanied by such a terrific noise of
thunder that Behamen sure of the heavenly sending of his daughter's lover, sank down at
Nazir's feet, begging for mercy. Upon which Nazir raised him with gracious condescension,
embraced him and assured him that such a true adherent of the Faith should receive the
protection of the All-knowing. And the King fell into the snare so cunningly prepared
for him by the quick-witted fellow. And soon another event happened which persuaded
the king that his son-in-law was none other than Mahomed himself, the prophet of Allah.
A neighboring king who had asked for Shirin's hand in marriage being met with a
disdainful refusal on the part of Behamen, in revenge raised a mighty army to attack
Gaznar. Now Nazir saw his chance of unfolding his great power. Trusting to his
magic chest he told Behamen that he would vanquish the enemy single-handed and
drive him away. When the host of the adversary sat before the city walls ready for
battle, Nazir hid himself unseen by night, penetrated into the king's tent and wounded
him mortally with a blow of his sword; then lifting himself high up into the air he
rained down heavy stones on the enemy, so that pale terror stalked through the camp
and they fled in mad haste. The astonishment of the garrison of Gaznar can be imagined,
when morning dawned and they saw the abandoned camp. They immediately pursued
the fleeing army and were lucky enough to seize an immense quantity of booty and
take the hostile king prisoner. Now Behamen wanted to celebrate the victory at the
same time as the marriage festivities of Nazir and Shirin, which followed hard upon
it, for he was convinced that the bridegroom was none other than Mahomed the
Holy Prophet who had been determined by destiny to become the husband of his
daughter, and that the eve of the sacred act should be the climax of the joyful merry-
makings. Nazir presumptuously invented a new wonder for the occasion, one that should
draw the hearts of the people still nearer to him. All his money being spent he got
Shirin to hand over to him some of her precious jewels under the pretext that he
wanted them for a sacrifical offering. In truth, however, he sold them and with the money
received purchased as many fireworks as his magic chest could carry, ascended with
it and then let them off to the intense astonishment of the people. He then descended
in the midst of the forest and again hid his craft in the dense foliage of the trees
so that none could find it Early the next morning he went to have a look at his
treasure but alas! instead of his magic chest he found only a heap of smouldering ashes.

Alarmed, he was quite incapable of realizing how such a misfortune could have happened.
But at last his desire for new adventures overcame his sadness and he thought to himself:
As long as I don't lose courage, nothing is lost As he was walking away, buried in deep
thought he felt all at once a hand on his shoulder and, bewildered, recognized the
wizard who had built the magic chest. His eyes were filled with a baleful light as he
asked Nazir what had become of it so that the youth could not doubt that the old
man had followed him to rob him of his prize. Little did the necromancer think that
he would again be done. Nazir still felt himself master of the game. He was quite
easy in his mind for he saw that he held the wicked sorcerer in the hollow of his
hand. Therefore he told him that the magic chest had stranded on the top of a high
mountain and that he had left it there not knowing how he could get it to work
afresh. The wizard ground his teeth in rage for he well knew that without the existence
of the hated youth he could not set it right again. So with forced amiability he gave
Nazir his belt to put on which was richly embroidered with strange signs, and
commanded him to turn his face in the direction where the damaged chest was lying
and call it to him with all his might, strength and will. Without a second's hesitation,
the cunning Nazir turned his face towards the castle of the princess and her father's
guards. All the while the sorcerer stood at his back holding in his hand a poisoned
dagger ready to kill him, at the very moment the magic chest attracted by the force
of Nazir's will descended to earth. But Nazir's thoughts were elsewhere. Strengthened by
the magic signs on the belt they brought the king's daughter to him, for she had been
carried hither from her closed chamber by fairies' hands, accompanied by king Behamen's
horsemen. The wizard was unable to make a single movement, while the princess threw
herself in her lover's arms. Nazir made a sign to the king's soldiers at which their
swords sprang out of their scabbards and cut the villian's head from off his
shoulders. Then Nazir and his bride were led back to the city in triumph.
There the Cadi united Shirin and the merchant's son in the
eternal ties of matrimony. All Nazir's desires found
fulfilment because he wore the magic belt.
How then could he and Schirin
lack purest happiness.


Once when Harun-El-Raschid was feeling heavy at heart he summoned to his
presence Dschaafar the Barmekide, his vizier, and Mesrur the bearer of his
sword of vengeance, to accompany him for the evening. They then put on
the garbs of merchants, as was the Califs wont whenever he desired to wander
unknown through the streets of Bagdad. It always did him a lot of good to see the
motley crowd and listen to the discourses of his people. This evening, too, he soon
became quite cheerful, so much so that he determined not to return to his palace
before experiencing some strange adventure or other. As they walked on they happened
to pass a house just at the very moment when a slave was opening the door to a
veiled lady followed by a porter carrying a heavy basket Quickly making up his
mind the Calif made a sign to Dschaafar, who then approached the doorkeeper and
said: "Allow me and my companions to pass the night here; we are merchants from
a far away country and being strangers know not where to find a roof to shelter us."
After scrutinizing them closely and being convinced that they were what they said,
he bade them enter the house. They soon found themselves in a large cool and airy
room the walls of which were richly decorated with wood-carvings; soft cushions
invited them to sit down. On looking round they observed that they were alone. The
door had closed behind them. They were prisoners. Already Mesrur was about to try
to force it open but Harun-El-Raschid held him back by the hem of his sleeve.
Obeying the Califs glance they all sat down on the cushions and as if they were fully
at ease, began talking about merchandise and prices, sea-faring and trading. At that
moment a curtain was moved aside to allow three men to enter. Their looks were
enough to startle anybody. They were clothed as dervishes and clean-shaven, but each

had lost his right eye. They sat down near the Calif and his companions and at once
tables were prepared by female slaves who brought in seemly dishes and sweet drinks.
Conversation became lively; the one-eyed men related of their long travels and strange
adventures and the Ruler of True Believers told them of the mosques and palaces
in Cairo and Alexandria and of the rare stuffs and silken tissues they had brought back
to Bagdad; Dschaafar and Mezrur confirming what he said. When they had satisfied
their hunger, one of the dervishes who seemed to be the oldest of the three, began:
"Give thanks to Allah for having watched over you all, Take heed: None of you
would have left this house alive if overcome by curiosity you would have ventured
to ask why each of us has but one eye. Now depart in peace Bewildered, Harun-
El-Raschid and his faithful followers left the house of mystery; but Mezrur returned
quickly with sheriffs and soldiers, had the three men put in fetters and thrown into
prison. On the early morning of the next day the Calif sat on his throne to judge
them. Dschaafar the Barmikide, stood at his left hand, while Mezrur leaning on his
terrible sword of office, took place at his right hand. The prisoners were led into court,
but fell on their faces when they saw who the merchants really were. Kissing the
floor in front of the Preserver of Faith they said: "Have pity on us, Most Merciful.
One. It is true we are guilty but our fate led us into disobedience; therefore we have
been punished, for it has cost us each the loss of his right eye." Gently the High
Judge replied: "Relate what has happened to you that you may enjoy our mercy
should your misfortunes prove a lesson to other men." Then the oldest of the three
advanced and spoke: "Listen, O, Calif I am the son of a merchant Whatever I desired
my father granted to me, and I received the pearl of all women for wife, but curiosity
was my bane. Next to my house was the king's palace. His queen was accustomed
to take fresh air of an evening on its flat roof The monarch had announced far and
wide that during this time every man was to keep within doors on pain of severe
bodily chastisement But I resolved just to glance at her from the terrace of my house,
to satisfy my curiosity. How could I know that the king's power was such that
it even dominated spirits. Hardly had I neared my wife and her slaves on my
roof garden in the certain hope of remaining unperceived, when an awful being
advanced to the ramparts of the castle and sent an arrow whizzing from his bow-string.
He had not aimed at me yet he sent forth his dart with so tremendous a force that
it entered my right eye and destroyed its sight. Already the king's minions had
arrived, and dragged me into his presence. My entreaties were of no avail. I was
banished from the kingdom and deprived of everything I possessed. Therefore I
shaved off my beard and wandered as a beggar through the world until I met these
two men who had suffered similar misfortunes. But with this my torments have not
ended for every night the demon still appears at night and tortures me with hard
blows." When he had finished speaking the second dervish stood up before the Calif
and began: "I too was once happy, magnanimous Prince, with my parents and
sitting at my teacher's feet imbibing wisdom. But Fate so willed it that I read

in an ancient book of the wonders of the Copper City and, overcome by curiosity,
I set forth to find it I was unfortunate enough to reach it and one evening, after long
wanderings, I stood before its gate. In answer to my knock a portress bade me enter
and I followed willingly. But what was my surprise on looking round to see none
but females. They received me amiably and led me to a beautiful palace, where day
and night I was surrounded by forty charming maidens. After we had spent a long
time together in peace and happiness they said one day: "A certain command obliges
us to go on a journey, but if you love us remain here till our return. You may enter
every room except the one studded with iron bands." I promised to do as they told
me. Already the last day of their absence had arrived when I was seized by an
irresistible longing to see what lay behind the forbidden door. So I opened it and
found myself in a garden of marvelous beauty such as one cannot even picture in dreams.
A superb black horse with a golden saddle and bridle came whinnying towards me.
Without stopping to think I vaulted into the saddle. The horse, however, would not move
at my behest: so I grew angry and touched it with the whip. At this it dealt me such a
fearful blow with its tail that it forced out my right eye and threw me on the ground.
Gone was the garden, the palace and the Copper City and I found myself lying in a field
of parched heather. So I too became a beggar and wandered from town to town till
I found these comrades and lived with them. Even now my punishment is not ended
for night after night the horse appears and lashes me with its tail." When this story
was ended the third dervish came forward, threw himself down on his face before the
Judge and began: 'The adventures I have gone through are not less astounding than
the ones you have just heard, 0 mighty Prince! My father was a vizier and it was
his heart's desire that I too might stand one day at the king's side as his councillor.
I yearned for adventures in unknown lands. So I ran away from home, boarded a ship
that was just about to leave the harbour, and rejoicing, I sailed away. With delight
I listened to what my fellow travellers related of the wonderful things and strange cities
they had seen and I never grew tired of questioning them. One of them, a very old man
with a long white beard, who had journeyed all over the world, told me that in his early
youth he had heard of a strange country where the philosopher's stone was to be found.
No human being had ever entered it, for its boundaries were watched by terrible devils
and horrible djins. I foolishly believed that I was just the one destined to find the
magic stone. And when the ship had reached its destination, I hired another craft
that brought me nearer to the place of my desire but could find none courageous
enough to sail with me, for the waters were of a blood-red colour and boiling in red
hot rage. So I proceeded alone. Suddenly the water narrowed and I now found myself
entering a huge cavern above the entrance of which I read the following, incised in golden
letters: "Beware of seeking to penetrate the mysteries hidden here, unholy one, lest you be
carried to perdition." I tried to direct my craft to the shore but a powerful force drew me
onwards towards the abyss. It grew darker and darker around me and now the roof of the
cavern through which I was passing became lower and lower the further I was carried in

to it, so that I was forced to throw myself on my back. At that moment I received
a terrible blow which cost me the loss of my right eye, and a ghastly voice called
to me: "Henceforth bear the mark of thy guilty' And an invisible demon drove me
farther and farther towards the outlet scourging me the whole way long till I found
myself together with my companions in suffering. And we resolved to try and
conciliate the demons who attached themselves to our heels. You are the first we
would have sacrificed for this purpose." Struck with amazement, everybody listened
to the dervishes' tales; but now Harun-El-Raschid stood up in all his kingly dignity
and said: "I will pardon you for we have eaten and drank with you; it was foolishness
alone which caused you to sin. More than this, I will free you from your torments
that you may live happily among us. But you must bear the marks of your curiosity
for ever." Thus speaking the Calif raised his right hand where the Seal of Solomon
was sparkling on his finger and called for the tormenting spirits. And the earth
trembled and there was a rolling of heavy thunder, then Ilfrit stood before them and
falling on his knees before the illustrious prince he said: "In three different shapes
I was sent forth to meet out the just penalty of curiosity; yet at the command of
your word the three transgressors shall henceforth live in peace and quietness." The
Calif bowed his head in assent and the hideous figure disappeared from their sight
as if in a whirlwind. The monarch then ordered the story of the three one-eyed
beggars to be written down in the book of memorable happenings so that those
who would might learn from it and out of the abundance of his riches he
helped the three rescued beggars and enabled them to return to their
own countries. And on that very same day they were seen
wandering happily through the gates of the city; but
they never omitted to proclaim the fame of
Harun-El-Raschid till death closed
their second eye for ever.


Chronicles of olden times tell us a strange tale, preserved to teach mankind that
never and never can the will of mortals be set against the ways of Providence.
It is the story of Amin, the Tool of Destiny. He was a careless youth who
had no love for honest work and only enjoyed roaming about in the streets and
squares of Cairo. As he had an engaging exterior, nobody could be really angry with
him. Once a rich merchant said to him: "In a few days when the autumn storms will
be over, I shall go on board my ship and sail to foreign countries to trade and on
my return home shall bring back most valuable merchandise. Come with me as my
servant and you will see that work always meets with rich reward." Amin did not
reflect much upon this offer, but consented without the least hesitation. He helped
the merchant to get everything ready for the journey and superintended the shipping
of the bales. In short, he hastened their departure for he was tempted by the stories
of the unknown far-off countries. And when they had weighed anchor and were drifting
on the ocean he felt himself the ruler of the world. They stopped at many cities on
their way and sold the goods at a big profit, and they shipped other sorts; they
landed on shores swarming with strange animals the sight of which excited wonder;
they came across peoples speaking unknown languages. No day resembled the previous
one and Amin wished that the journey would never come to an end. But God alone
knows the secrets of the sea and so it happened that raging storms forced them to
deviate from their course. When the waves had quietened again the Captain looked
uneasily around him and testingly put his hand into the water in which no fish were
to be seen. He consulted the stars but his knowledge failed him. Sleep vanished from
their eyes for fear had seized them and all on board were scouring the horizon for

signs of their approach to sheltering land. All at once they perceived a towering black
rock, the top of which shone brightly. But when the Captain saw it he tore his beard
and threw himself down on his face crying in despair: "Allah have mercy on usl
We are in the waters of the magnetic mountain which means certain perdition to all
ships. With magic power it attracts every bit of iron that comes near it so that the
ships fall to pieces and the water is covered with drifting planks. On its top resting
on columns, a huge copper dome rises above the statue of a horseman bearing
a lance. No human being has ever learnt what lies behind this but legend tells
of it" Now the current drew the ship towards the mountain with ever-increasing
rapidity, with loud whizzing noises the iron parts of the ship flew from the wood
and the merciless floods carried all the men down to the bottom of the sea, with
the exception of Amin who saved himself by seizing hold of a floating board. He
rowed onwards with his feet until he felt them touch the ground, then he waded
through the shallow waters and climbed the mountain that he might see the wonderful
horseman nearer, and perhaps from its summit discover some means of rescue. Worn
out from the hardships he had undergone and faint for want of rest, he sank down
before reaching its top and fell into a profound sleep not, however, before he had
addressed a short thanksgiving prayer to God for having granted him his life.
Then El-Hatif, the Summoner to Paradise, stood before him and spoke thus: 'The
will of the All-merciful has thrown thee here that thou mightest accomplish the word
ascribed to thee in the Book of Destiny. On awakening dig up the earth upon which
thy head now rests, there, you will find a brass bow and three leaden arrows on
which magic signs are engraved. Shoot at the horseman with these arrows and he
will fall down, for the power of the talisman in thy weapon is greater than his power
which causes the mountain to destroy all seafaring people. Then thou wilt see the
waters rise in foaming rage but fear nothing for as soon as the waves surge thy
feet a boat steered by a man of stone will approach thee. Entrust thyself to the boat
which will bring thee to a place from whence thou canst easily reach home but utter not
the name of God before him because he is one of the fallen Angels, and on hearing His
name will become dust" When Amin awoke he remembered vividly his vision. He did
as he had been bidden and found what he was told he should find. With the weapons
he destroyed the horseman, then he saw the sea rushing on towards him and the man
of stone with the boat took him on board. In deepest silence they glided over the
waters' surface. A day and a night passed and again the sun rose and went down.
And when it dawned in the east for the third time, Amin caught sight of the shores
of peace and in his joyful raptures he uttered that name which he was forbidden to
pronounce: "Allah is the only God and great is His power I None other can exist
beside Him!" Immediately boat and oarsman sank down into the waters and the
unfortunate Amin was again a plaything of the waves. He swam despairingly till his
strength gave way and just when he thought he was addressing his last prayers to
the Lord on High, a huge wave came and threw him on to the shore. So he. had

escaped for a second time from drowning. Looking around he saw that he was on
a small island in the midst of the wide wide ocean. It was rich in trees and flowers
but there was no spring to quench his thirst, no fruit to appease his hunger, and he
abandoned all hope of escape from certain death. "If only Allah would grant me a
sudden death," he spoke in his thoughts. All at once his eyes sighted a ship in the
far distance, which was rapidly approaching the island. So he climbed up a high tree
and hiding himself well among its dense branches he saw the ship run into land and
many slaves disembark from it and begin digging up the ground with spade and
shovels till they came to a trap door. They then fetched from the vessel abundant stores
of meats and drinks which they hid in the underground cavern. When they had finished
their work, a white-bearded man went on land leading a youth by the hand, whose
wonderful beauty put to shame the very flowers around him. Together they went
down into the cave and remained there some time. Then the old men returned alone
to the ship weeping bitterly while the slaves heaped earth upon the opening and
closed it from sight. Then they too went on board and the ship soon disappeared
in the blue distance. In Amin's heart his love of adventure tingled into fresh life, he
sprang from his hiding place to the ground and with his hands began to remove
the earth and ceased not till he came to the gap. To arrive below he had to descend
forty steps, then the space widened suddenly and he found himself standing in a
comfortable hall wherein hanging lamps sent forth sweet fragrance from the oil burning
in them; costly carpets covered the floor and a refreshing coolness filled the place.
Seated on a bed of soft cushions sat the youth whose face turned deadly pale as he
caught sight of Amin, who approached him with a modest mien saying: "Fear not,
noble youth, I am but a shipwrecked man brought hither by the seas. I will serve
you faithfully if you will grant me the favour of taking me back to the land of
mortals when you leave the solitude of this place. Tell me, however, why you must
dwell on this island and hide under the ground." On hearing these words the boy
felt glad to have found a companion and he bade Amin take place at his side. And
he told him his story saying." My name is Abdallah and I am the son of King Mensur
I was born to honours and happiness, one thing alone saddening the pleasant joy
of my youth; astrologers had predicted to my father that my life would end on the
day of the fifteenth anniversary of my birth. Only seven days are now wanting.
Therefore my father gave orders for the building of this underground cave, on this
remote island, and he has brought me hither himself, as you have seen, that I may
escape destiny. For how should a man at whose hands I am to meet death, get
here? Amin of Cairo is the only person I must fear." This recital made Amin
greatly unhappy and he prayed silently to the Lord to hold him from doing harm
to the pure high-minded prince. And he sore an oath to himself to watch over
the life of the youth till the day of menace had passed away and he could
return with him to his kingdom. And he bade him throw off all care and have
confidence in his faithful services. And so they both lived in perfect trust each of

the other and in intimate friendship. They forgot all about their troubles in the
enjoyment of thinking of a happy future when the days of trouble and anxiety would
have passed away and the ship anchor again on the shore to take them safely away.
And they planned that Amin was to become the Prince's vizier when his turn to
reign came. And so the hours slipped by till the day dawned which the astrologers
had read in the stars should be the prince's last Already it was nearing its end and
they sat down side by side to enjoy a merry meal. Just then the boy asked his friend
to divide a melon into two and put some sugar on it. Obligingly, Amin sprang to
his feet to fetch the knife but as he was returning his foot slipped and he fell down.
And as inexorable Fate had willed it in falling he accidentally thrust the knife through
the heart of the prince who expired at the same moment. With a look of horror
Amin saw what he had done unintentionally; fear and trembling shook him at the
thought of the dead boy's father who might arrive any moment and avenge his son.
Luckily he ran up the steps. Once again in the open air he rushed to the tree of
safety and hid himself in its thick branches, for already the long sought and now
dreaded ship was approaching swiftly. On landing, its occupants hurried to the cave
only to find the prince dead and the father then understood that destiny must be
fulfilled; that it cannot be thwarted by any human endeavours. Weeping and wailing
they carried the prince's lifeless body on board ship, grief hurrying them forward. Again
Amin lost all hope of ever being rescued. Deep oblivion overcame him; he never
knew how long he had lain unconscious. When, however, he came to his senses he soon
threw off all doubts and care; reflecting that fate had thrown him hither and thither
into the hands the Almighty against whose will man is nought. And he slept
peacefully in the subterranean chamber and ate from the remaining
dishes, and during the long days his eyes ranged the horizon.
Just as his provisions were at an end it happened
that a ship from Cairo came to the island and
brought Amin home for his hour of
destiny had not yet arrived.


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In those long past times when the Franks coming from the North invaded the realm
of the True Believers, the hosts of these devotees to Allah and Mahomed His
Prophet got ready to defend their country to the utmost Among them was the
old king of Scham, who called his men to arms to fight against the godless. But when
he was about to set out for the combat at the head of his army Kamar, his only
son, approached his royal father saying: "It is not your duty to battle for Allah. The
welfare of your kingdom requires your presence. Give me the right of leading your
knights in your place". At last after many and incessant prayers on the part of Kamar
the old king gave way though with a heavy heart Without loss of time the intrepid
young prince and his followers sprang into the saddle and galloped off at full speed.
They pursued the enemy, experienced more than a hundred adventures, while the
earth was strewn with the heads of the infidels; but many of Kamar's brave knights
had passed into the Gates of Paradise, so that now only a small army was left to
him to battle against another mighty host of unbelievers now rapidly advancing
towards them. Undauntedly Kamar rode forward and, addressing them, challenged
their bravest warrior to a single combat Upon this a man from among them rode
rapidly to the front He was twice as tall as any soldier present; his steed was as
big as a mountain. With lance at full tilt, the giant rushed onward to attack the
prince who quietly awaited his impetuous onslaught Then when the horses came
bounding together the fight began. Their finely-pointed lances were shattered to pieces
and the earth trembled under the force of the blows, yet Kamar did not waver and
stood firmly his ground. Then shining swords were brought to them but still the
giant Frank was not able to master the Moslem; he only tired himself and his horse

in fruitless assaults till Kamar saw his advantage and with a terrific plunge of his
sharp Jeman steel blade severed his enemy's right hand from his arm. Howling with
rage, the huge creature set spurs to his horse and fled back to his people. And again
Kamar's voice was heard ringing over the plain: "Send hither the strongest and
best man of your army that a single combat may decide between us". Once more
the lines of the hostile warriors opened to give way to a superb knight in glistening
armour, seated on a foaming snorting black stallion. The very sight of him was
enough to make a man tremble. But Kamar with a tremendous swing threw his
lance and struck his adversary on the breast, so that he reeled in his saddle and
would have sunk to he ground pierced to the heart had not his narrow-meshed shirt
of mail protected him. The prince now loosened his horse's bridle and dashed on
to meet the knight, encircling him by ever narrow and narrower turns till his enemy,
unhorsed, sank senseless to the ground. In the meanwhile the nightfall obliged both
parties to stop fighting and they camped in face of one another. Trusting to the
chivalrous honour of the Franks, the Moslems slept soundly after the heavy fatigue
of the day. But the infidels, breaking faith, suddenly attacked the dreaming sleepers
and massacred them to a man with the exception of the prince, who was left for
dead on the field. But when on reviving he found himself bereft of his companions,
horse, weapons and all he possessed, he grieved sorely that he was left alive. Painfully
he dragged himself forward till he reached the gates of the city, which he entered
unchallenged. He wandered through its streets not knowing what to do till a tailor
standing at his shop door took pity on him and gave him shelter. On hearing his
story the good man warned him, not to tell anybody of his high birth for the king
of this country was king Scham's mortal enemy. Prince Kamar remained in the
hospitable man's house till his wounds had healed and he had become strong again.
One day his host said to him: "Tell me how I may help you to earn a living?" But
when the prince had enumerated all the arts and knowledge he had acquired the
tailor shook his head replying. "All your chivalrous virtues and learned wisdom are
as nought in this place where money-making alone is valued". Then after pondering
a while the tailor gave Kamar an axe and some ropes saying: 'Take these and go
and join the woodcutters. By helping them you will earn enough money to keep
yourself and perhaps even be able to save a little so that you may return to your
home when the time comes for you to go from here". The prince did as the tailor
advised him. Now it happened one morning just as he was hewing out the root of
a tree he hit upon a copper ring. Divining at once its purpose he pulled with all his
might till the cover came up revealing steps leading into the bowels of the earth.
Then taking his axe he descended into the darkness. After a time he sighted a magnificent
castle the gate of which flew open at the first blow. Another few steps and he was
standing in a hall of dreamy beauty filled with a mysterious white transfulgent light
and supported by wonderful columns. Reclining on a couch was a maiden whose
loveliness outshone the radiance of the daughters of Paradise. At the first glance of

her all sadness and care vanished from Kamar's heart; he could not turn his eyes
away from her. At last the maiden looked at him and said in a sweet harmonious
voice: 'Who are you that has opened my prison gates? Are you a mortal or a spirit?
"To which the prince replied: "I am a human being as you are and am here to win
your love. Tell me therefore what has brought you to this inaccessible place. Fear
not, I have come to rescue you. I am Kamar, the son of a king." "I too am of noble
descent", said the maiden, "my father is the mighty king of Jeman. I lived happily
in his palace till one day when a horrible looking stranger came to my father's court
and sought for my hand in marriage. His demand met with scornful repulse. Then the
rejected suitor said in his wrath: "You will meet dire punishment for this, for I am
Dschardscharis, the son of Radschmies, the mighty Ifretl" And he swore a terrible
oath and uttered a terrible curse so that my father the king and all his people that
very moment became mere lifeless forms, as if hewn out of stone. And he seized me
with irresistible power and carried me off through the clouds. When I again awoke
to consciousness and was able to think I found myself here alone with my grief,
and no door has opened since to allow the light of day to pass. Invisible spirits
supply me with food and drink; they sing and play around me, but every day the
evil spirit who carried me off approaches and claims my love, in return for which he
promises that all my wishes shall find fulfilment I do not know how long I have
been pining in this dungeon. Today I had just determined to give way to save my
father and those others who belong to me. Then you appeared as if by a miracle
brought about by Allah in his mercy. I trust you for I know that you will vanquish
the miserable demon and.deliver me, your slave". When the princess had finished
speaking, Kamar putting his arms around her, stooped down and kissed her fervently,
and so gained that strength necessary to overcome the monster. Then he said: "These
Ifrets are afraid of but one thing, that is the name of Solomon the son of David:
and as I know all secrets I shall succeed in killing him". No sooner had he uttered
these words than the earth opened with a reverberating sound and the evil demon
stood before them. Boiling with rage he threw himself on the prince. But Kamar
brandished his axe and split his enemy's head into two. Immediately he changed into
a scorpion but Kamar in the shape of a serpent fought with the horrid creature that
had now become. The contest was fearful till the demon transformed itself into giant
eagle. A large pomegranate fell from a great height on to the marble floor, so
that it burst and all its seeds were scattered far around. Swiftly Kamar changed
himself into a cock and tried to gobble them up. But still the fight, which had
a trembling witness in the person of the princess, was not yet to come to an end
for the Ifret managed to hide well the single seed in which his life was concentrated,
so that the cock could not swallow it, when all at once it turned into a fiery flame
and Kamar followed suit This was the last magic trick the demon Ifret could perform.
Nothing was left of him except a small heap of ashes at Kamar's feet The prince then
raised his hand in praise of the Creator of the Universe and proclaimed Him who had

helped to his victory. He then led the princess out by the same way he had entered, upward
to the world of mortals from which she had been so long absent Then he asked her to give
him one of the many jewels she was wearing; this he sold- at once to a goldsmith in the
bazaar for ten thousand sequins. With the money he bought two swift horses and
all the princess required for the long journey they were now to make together. He
only stopped to say good bye to the tailor who had taken so kind an interest in
him and then together, he and the princess rode on till they reached Jeman, the place
of the princess longing. They arrived happily at their destination where at sight of
them the people were filled with joy and rapture. For now the monster was no more
of this earth the curse was lifted from the country and the poeple awoke from their
long sleep of enchantment and mankind was again blessed with the light of the sun,
The princess led Kamar to her father and told him everything that had happened
and what the prince had done for her. At once without loss of time the king ordered
the Cadi of the city to appear before his presence and write down the marriage
contract of his daughter and the prince. But when the young married couple had
passed many and many a happy day in peaceful bliss Kamar felt a longing to see
his home again. The king at once ordered a beautiful caravan to be got ready for
his son-in-law and daughter, and to the riches the prince was taking with
him he added the most precious jewels out of his own treasury.
They arrived safely in Kamar's native city bringing to his
family, who had mourned him as dead, the delight of
meeting again. And on the death of his father
Kamar ascended the throne and ruled
happily for many years.









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