Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 The fable of the ass, the ox, and...
 The story of the merchant and the...
 The history of the first old man...
 The history of the second old man...
 The history of the fisherman
 The history of the Greek king and...
 The history of the husband and...
 The history of the vizier who was...
 The history of the young king of...
 The history of the three calenders,...
 The history of the first calender,...
 The history of the second calender,...
 The history of the envious man...
 The history of the third calender,...
 The history of Zobeide
 The history of Amine
 The history of Sindbad the...
 The first voyage of Sinbad the...
 The second voyage of Sindbad the...
 The third voyage of Sindbad the...
 The fourth voyage of Sindbad the...
 The fifth voyage of Sindbad the...
 The sixth voyage of Sindbad the...
 The seventh and last voyage of...
 The three apples
 The history of the lady who murdered,...
 The history of Noureddin Ali and...
 The history of the little...
 The story told by the Christian...
 The story told by the purveyor...
 The story told by the Jewish...
 The story told by the tailor
 The history of the barber
 The story of the barber's first...
 The history of the barber's second...
 The history of the barber's third...
 The history of the barber's fourth...
 The history of the barber's fifth...
 The history of the barber's sixth...
 The history of Aboulhassan Ali...
 The history of the Amours of Camaralzaman,...
 The history of prince Amgiad and...
 The history of Noureddin and the...
 The history of Beder, prince of...
 The history of Ganem, son of Abou...
 The history of prince Zeyn Alasnam...
 The history of Codadad and his...
 The story of the sleeper awake...
 The history of Aladdin, or the...
 The adventures of the Caliph Haroun...
 The history of Baba Abdalla, the...
 The history of Sidi Nouman
 The history of Cogia Hassan...
 The history of Ali Baba, and the...
 The history of Ali Cogia, a merchant...
 The story of the enchanted...
 The history of prince Ahmed and...
 The story of the two sisters who...
 Back Cover

Group Title: Arabian nights' entertainments
Title: The Arabian nights' entertainments
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00065157/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Arabian nights' entertainments
Uniform Title: Arabian nights
Physical Description: ix, 796, 8 p., 5 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Dalziel, Thomas Bolton Gilchrist Septimus, 1823-1906 ( Illustrator )
King, Maud Gwendolen
Rives, Gwendolen Ella Rives Armstrong
Librairie Galignani (Firm) ( bsl )
George Routledge and Sons ( Publisher )
Dalziel Brothers
Camden Press ( Printer )
Publisher: George Routledge
Place of Publication: London ;
Glasgow ;
New York
Manufacturer: Dalziel Brothers ; Camden Press
Publication Date: 1889
Subject: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Arabs -- Folklore   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1889   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1889   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1889
Genre: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Glasgow
United States -- New York -- New York
Statement of Responsibility: with one hundred and fifty original illustrations drawn by Thomas B. Dalziel.
General Note: Bookseller's ticket of the Librairie Galignani Paris inside front cover.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
General Note: Illustrations engraved by Dalziel.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00065157
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002221264
notis - ALG1485
oclc - 47018941

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Half Title
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    The fable of the ass, the ox, and the labourer
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    The story of the merchant and the genius
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    The history of the first old man and the hind
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    The history of the second old man and the two black dogs
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    The history of the fisherman
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    The history of the Greek king and Douban the physician
        Page 28
        Page 29
    The history of the husband and the parrot
        Page 30
        Page 31
    The history of the vizier who was punished
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
    The history of the young king of the Black Isles
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    The history of the three calenders, sons of kings, and of five ladies of Bagdad
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    The history of the first calender, the son of a king
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
    The history of the second calender, the son of a king
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
    The history of the envious man and of him who was envied
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    The history of the third calender, the son of a king
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
    The history of Zobeide
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
    The history of Amine
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
    The history of Sindbad the sailor
        Page 111
        Page 112
    The first voyage of Sinbad the sailor
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
    The second voyage of Sindbad the sailor
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
    The third voyage of Sindbad the sailor
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
    The fourth voyage of Sindbad the sailor
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
    The fifth voyage of Sindbad the sailor
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
    The sixth voyage of Sindbad the sailor
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
    The seventh and last voyage of Sindbad the sailor
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
    The three apples
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
    The history of the lady who murdered, and of the young man her husband
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
    The history of Noureddin Ali and Bedreddin Hassan
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
    The history of the little hunchback
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
    The story told by the Christian merchant
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
    The story told by the purveyor of the sultan of Casgar
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
    The story told by the Jewish physician
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
    The story told by the tailor
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
    The history of the barber
        Page 226
    The story of the barber's first brother
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
    The history of the barber's second brother
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
    The history of the barber's third brother
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
    The history of the barber's fourth brother
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
    The history of the barber's fifth brother
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
    The history of the barber's sixth brother
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
    The history of Aboulhassan Ali Ebn Becar, and of Schemselnihar, the favourite of the Caliph Haroun Alraschid
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
    The history of the Amours of Camaralzaman, prince of the isle of the children of Khaledan, and of Badoura, princess of China
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
    The history of prince Amgiad and of prince Assad
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
    The history of Noureddin and the beautiful Persian
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 383
        Page 384
        Page 385
        Page 386
        Page 387
        Page 388
        Page 389
        Page 390
        Page 391
        Page 392
        Page 393
        Page 394
        Page 395
        Page 396
        Page 397
        Page 398
        Page 399
        Page 400
        Page 401
        Page 402
    The history of Beder, prince of Persia, and of Giauhare, princess of the kingdom of Samandal
        Page 403
        Page 404
        Page 405
        Page 406
        Page 407
        Page 408
        Page 409
        Page 410
        Page 411
        Page 412
        Page 413
        Page 414
        Page 415
        Page 416
        Page 417
        Page 418
        Page 419
        Page 420
        Page 421
        Page 422
        Page 423
        Page 424
        Page 425
        Page 426
        Page 427
        Page 428
        Page 429
        Page 430
        Page 431
        Page 432
        Page 433
        Page 434
        Page 435
        Page 436
        Page 437
        Page 438
        Page 439
        Page 440
        Page 441
        Page 442
        Page 443
        Page 444
        Page 445
        Page 446
        Page 447
    The history of Ganem, son of Abou Aibou, the slave of love
        Page 448
        Page 449
        Page 450
        Page 451
        Page 452
        Page 453
        Page 454
        Page 455
        Page 456
        Page 457
        Page 458
        Page 459
        Page 460
        Page 461
        Page 462
        Page 463
        Page 464
        Page 465
        Page 466
        Page 467
        Page 468
        Page 469
        Page 470
        Page 471
        Page 472
        Page 473
        Page 474
        Page 475
        Page 476
    The history of prince Zeyn Alasnam and of the king of the Genii
        Page 477
        Page 478
        Page 479
        Page 480
        Page 481
        Page 482
        Page 483
        Page 484
        Page 485
        Page 486
        Page 487
        Page 488
    The history of Codadad and his brothers, and of the princess of Deryabar
        Page 489
        Page 490
        Page 491
        Page 492
        Page 493
        Page 494
        Page 495
        Page 496
        Page 497
        Page 498
        Page 499
        Page 500
        Page 501
        Page 502
        Page 503
        Page 504
        Page 505
        Page 506
        Page 507
        Page 508
    The story of the sleeper awakened
        Page 509
        Page 510
        Page 511
        Page 512
        Page 513
        Page 514
        Page 515
        Page 516
        Page 517
        Page 518
        Page 519
        Page 520
        Page 521
        Page 522
        Page 523
        Page 524
        Page 525
        Page 526
        Page 527
        Page 528
        Page 529
        Page 530
        Page 531
        Page 532
        Page 533
        Page 534
        Page 535
        Page 536
        Page 537
        Page 538
        Page 539
        Page 540
        Page 541
        Page 542
        Page 543
        Page 544
        Page 545
        Page 546
        Page 547
        Page 548
        Page 549
        Page 550
        Page 551
        Page 552
        Page 553
        Page 554
        Page 555
        Page 556
        Page 557
        Page 558
    The history of Aladdin, or the wonderful lamp
        Page 559
        Page 560
        Page 561
        Page 562
        Page 563
        Page 564
        Page 565
        Page 566
        Page 567
        Page 568
        Page 569
        Page 570
        Page 571
        Page 572
        Page 573
        Page 574
        Page 575
        Page 576
        Page 577
        Page 578
        Page 579
        Page 580
        Page 581
        Page 582
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        Page 584
        Page 585
        Page 586
        Page 587
        Page 588
        Page 589
        Page 590
        Page 591
        Page 592
        Page 593
        Page 594
        Page 595
        Page 596
        Page 597
        Page 598
        Page 599
        Page 600
        Page 601
        Page 602
        Page 603
        Page 604
        Page 605
        Page 606
        Page 607
        Page 608
        Page 609
        Page 610
        Page 611
        Page 612
        Page 613
        Page 614
        Page 615
        Page 616
        Page 617
        Page 618
        Page 619
        Page 620
        Page 621
        Page 622
        Page 623
        Page 624
        Page 625
        Page 626
        Page 627
        Page 628
        Page 629
        Page 630
        Page 631
    The adventures of the Caliph Haroun Alraschid
        Page 632
        Page 633
        Page 634
    The history of Baba Abdalla, the blind man
        Page 635
        Page 636
        Page 637
        Page 638
        Page 639
        Page 640
        Page 641
    The history of Sidi Nouman
        Page 642
        Page 643
        Page 644
        Page 645
        Page 646
        Page 647
        Page 648
        Page 649
    The history of Cogia Hassan Alhabbal
        Page 650
        Page 651
        Page 652
        Page 653
        Page 654
        Page 655
        Page 656
        Page 657
        Page 658
        Page 659
        Page 660
        Page 661
        Page 662
        Page 663
        Page 664
        Page 665
        Page 666
        Page 667
    The history of Ali Baba, and the forty robbers killed by one slave
        Page 668
        Page 669
        Page 670
        Page 671
        Page 672
        Page 673
        Page 674
        Page 675
        Page 676
        Page 677
        Page 678
        Page 679
        Page 680
        Page 681
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        Page 683
        Page 684
        Page 685
        Page 686
        Page 687
        Page 688
        Page 689
        Page 690
        Page 691
    The history of Ali Cogia, a merchant of Bagdad
        Page 692
        Page 693
        Page 694
        Page 695
        Page 696
        Page 697
        Page 698
        Page 699
    The story of the enchanted horse
        Page 700
        Page 701
        Page 702
        Page 703
        Page 704
        Page 705
        Page 706
        Page 707
        Page 708
        Page 709
        Page 710
        Page 711
        Page 712
        Page 713
        Page 714
        Page 715
        Page 716
        Page 717
        Page 718
        Page 719
        Page 720
        Page 721
        Page 722
        Page 723
    The history of prince Ahmed and the fairy Pari-Banou
        Page 724
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Full Text

The Baldwin Library








~ 'Ls? ool









S -44---

With 240 Illustrations by E. H. WEHNERT.

With 290 Illustrations by A. W. BAYES.


HE wondrous Tales and Stories known as "The Arabian Nights'
Entertainments," or "The Thousand and One Nights," are of
great antiquity. They have been credibly traced to an Indian
or Persian origin, but were most probably translated into Arabic
4 at a very early period, and doubtless were largely mixed by the
Arabs with tales and anecdotes of themselves: forming then, as
they have since continued to do, one of the most fascinating col-
0*. elections possessed by a story-loving people,-a people, we are
told, "of the most ardent sensibility, the most brilliant imagina-
tion, naturally eloquent and poetic, and passionately fond of the
marvellous." These Stories display all the vividness of fancy, all
the marvellous flights of imagination, and all the extraordinary
descriptive power peculiar to Eastern peoples, amongst whom the
passion for story-telling existed from the earliest period, and has continued
to the present day. Story-tellers were to be met with almost everywhere-
amongst travellers by land or sea, in the barren deserts, on the fruitful plains,
or in the deepest solitudes; under the tent or in the cabin; in the villages,
the towns, and the cities; in all places of entertainment, amongst all classes,
from the wayfarers and wanderers, the dwellers in tents or hovels, to the
courts of the Kings, the Caliphs, or the Sultans. The capacity for com-
posing and relating such stories seems to have been not only a gift of nature,
but to have been required as a necessity, to afford entertainment or amuse-

vi Preface.

ment in the time of rest and leisure, or to break the monotony of the hours
of enforced idleness; to have been highly cultivated as an art, and to have
been a source of profit as well as pleasure, for we read that some reciters
or declaimers," as the "story-tellers" were called, "have at times gained
great repute, and made the fortunes of their families or their tribe."
The present carefully revised and profusely illustrated edition has been
produced in the hope that it may be found worthy to rank with its "thou-
sand and one" predecessors, and find favour with the tens of thousands of
readers who may yet be delighted by participating in the manifold pleasures

,1. a .|. a 1. 1 .1. a* .- a J6

r* r l- T T *


INTROD UCTION ....................................................................................... I
THE FABLE OF THE ASS, THE Ox, AND THE LABOURER .......................... IO

THE STORY OF THE MERCHANT AND THE GENIUS .......... ..................... .15
THE HISTORY OF THE FIRST OLD MAN AND THE HIND ........ ................. I
THE HISTORY OF THE FISHERMAN ......................................................... 25

THE HISTORY OF THE HUSBAND AND THE PARROT ................................. 30
THE HISTORY OF THE VIZIER WHO WAS PUNISHED ................................. 32

LADIES OF BAGDAD......... ............. .................................. ............. .... 48


THE H ISTORY OF ZOBEIDE ........................................................ ......... 97
THE H ISTORY OF A MINE ........................................... ........................ 104

THE H ISTORY OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR ................................................... III
THE FIRST VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR .......................................... 113
THE SECOND VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR ..................................... 116

THE THIRD VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR.......................................... 120
THE FOURTH VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR ....................................... 125
THE FIFTH VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR ................1.................... 30

Si11 (gContents.

THE SIXTH VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR ........................................ 134
THE THREE A PPLES ................... ........................ .......................... ... 143
M AN HER H USBAND ........................................................... ............ 146
THE HISTORY OF THE LITTLE HUNCHBACK ............................................ 178
THE STORY TOLD BY THE CHRISTIAN MERCHANT ................................... 83
THE STORY TOLD BY THE JEWISH PHYSICIAN ......................................... 205
THE STORY TOLD BY THE TAILOR ............................................................ 214
THE HISTORY OF THE BARBER .................. .......................................... 226
THE STORY OF THE BARBER'S FIRST BROTHER........................ ......... 227
THE HISTORY OF THE BARBER'S SECOND BROTHER.................................... 230
THE HISTORY OF THE BARBER'S THIRD BROTHER ................................... 234
THE HISTORY OF THE BARBER'S FOURTH BROTHER ............................... 238
THE HISTORY OF THE BARBER'S FIFTH BROTHER ........................... ........ 241
THE HISTORY OF THE BARBER'S SIXTH BROTHER .................................... 248

OF THE KINGDOM OF SAMANDAL .................................................... 403
DERYABAR ................................... ..................... ........ 489
THE STORY OF THE SLEEPER AWAKENED .............................. ................ 509
THE HISTORY OF ALADDIN, OR THE WONDERFUL LAMP ... ...................... 559
THE HISTORY OF BABA ABDALLA, THE BLIND MAN ............................... 635

Contents. ix

Page ^
THE HISTORY OF SIDI NOUMAN ............................................................ 642
THE HISTORY OF COGIA HASSAN ALHABBAL ........................................... 650
SLAVE .................................................... ................... .... ......... 668
TIE HISTORY OF ALI COGIA, A MERCHANT OF BAGDAD ....................... 692
THE STORY OF THE ENCHANTED HORSE ......... ....................................... 700
SIST ER ................................ .. .............. ...... ... ........... .. ........ 763






T is written (but to God alone belongeth true knowledge and
wisdom!) in the chronicles of the Sassanians those ancient
monarchs of Persia, who extended their empire over the con-
tinent and islands of India, beyond the Ganges, and almost
to China-that there once lived an illustrious prince of that
powerful house, who was as much beloved by his subjects for his
wisdom and prudence, as he was feared by the surrounding states,
from the report of his bravery and the reputation of his hardy and
well-disciplined army. He had two sons: the elder, called Schah-
riar, was endowed with all the virtues of his father, nor was
Schahzenan, the younger, less deserving of praise.
This king, after a reign as glorious as it was long, sank into the
tomb of his ancestors, and Schahriar ascended the throne. Al-
though his brother was excluded by the laws of the empire from
all share in the government, and became nothing more than a
subject, yet the exalted and magnificent situation of Schahriar
gave rise to no envious or discontented thoughts: his whole en-
deavour was to please and make Schahriar happy. This was by
no means a difficult task. The sultan, who was always fond of his brother, was
delighted with his attention, and wishing that he should partake of his own
power and wealth, he bestowed on him the kingdom of Great Tartary. Schah-
zenan went immediately and took possession of his empire, and fixed his resi-
dence at Samarcand, the chief city.
These two kings had been separated about ten years, when Schahriar, ardently
wishing to see his brother, determined to send an ambassador to him, with an
invitation to his court. For this purpose he fixed on his first vizier, who went
with a splendid and appropriate retinue. When he approached Samarcand,
Schahzenan, being acquainted with his arrival, immediately went out to meet
him, with all his court, most magnificently dressed for the occasion; so great was
the honour paid to the minister of the sultan. The King of Tartary received him
with signs of great joy, and instantly inquired after the sultan his brother.
Having satisfied his curiosity, the vizier unfolded the purpose of his embassy.
Schahzenan, who was much affected at the kindness and recollection of his bro-
ther, then addressed the vizier in these words:
"Sage vizier, the sultan my brother does me too much honour; he could not

2 The Arabian ANzghts.

propose anything more agreeable to me. It is impossible that his wish to see
me can exceed my anxious desire of again beholding him: time has not weak-
ened my regard any more than his. My kingdom is tranquil, and I require only
ten days to prepare for my departure: for this short time you need not take the
trouble to enter the city; pitch your tents and remain in this place; I will take
care and order every refreshment and accommodation for you and your whole
train." This was immediately done, and scarcely had the king returned to his
palace, when the vizier saw an immense quantity of all sorts of provisions arrive,
accompanied with rare and valuable presents.
In the meantime Schahzenan made every preparation for his journey. He dis-
patched with celerity his most pressing business, established a regency to govern
the kingdom during his absence, putting a minister, on whose abilities and fidelity
he had the firmest reliance, at the head of it. At the end of ten days everything
was ready; he took a tender leave of the queen his consort, and, accompanied
by such officers as he had appointed to attend him, left Samarcand in the evening.
He proceeded directly to a royal pavilion, which had been erected near the vizier's
tent. Schahzenan remained in conversation with the ambassador till about mid-
night; but, wishing once again to embrace his queen, whom he tenderly loved, he
returned privately to the palace, and went directly to her apartment. She, not
expecting his return, had received into her chamber one of the lowest officers of
the household.
The king, thinking how agreeably the queen, of whose affection he had no
doubt, would be surprised at his unexpected return, entered the chamber without
making any noise. Conceive, then, his astonishment, at seeing, by the lights
which are always hung in the royal apartments, another man in her room. He
stood for an instant motionless, almost doubting his own eyes. Being, however,
too certain of the truth, Have I, then," said he to himself, scarcely left my
palace, or gone from under the walls of Samarcand, before they dare thus to dis-
grace me? Wretch! your crime shall not go unrequited. As king, it is my duty
to punish the crimes that are committed within my states; as an offended hus-
band, I ought to sacrifice you to my just resentment." The unfortunate monarch,
yielding to his first fury, drew his scimitar, and, approaching the bed, with one
stroke changed their sleep into death; then, taking them up one after the other,
he threw them from the window into the fosse that surrounded the palace.
Having thus satisfied his revenge, he went from the city as he entered, and
retired to his pavilion. On his arrival, without relating what had passed to any
one, he ordered the tents to be struck, and began his journey. Everything was
soon ready, and it was scarcely daylight when they commenced their march to
the sound of drums and other instruments. The whole train were filled with joy,
except the king, who could think of nothing but his queen's infidelity, and he
became a prey to the deepest grief and melancholy during the whole journey.
When he approached the capital of the Indies, he perceived the sultan Schah-
riar and all his court coming out to greet him. What joyful sensations arose in
their breasts at this fraternal meeting! They alighted, and ran into each other's
arms; and after a thousand expressions of regard, they remounted and entered the
city amidst the acclamations of the surrounding multitude. The sultan conducted
the king his brother to a palace which had been prepared for him. It com-
municated by a garden with his own, and was even more magnificent, as it was
the spot where all the fetes and splendid entertainments of the court were given;
and it was now even increased in splendour by new and brilliant ornaments.
Schahriar immediately left the King of Tartary, in order that he might have
time to bathe and change his dress; on his return from the bath he went im-
mediately to him again. They seated themselves on a sofa, and as the courtiers
through respect, stood at a considerable distance, these two brothers conversed
with each other at their ease after so long an absence, and seemed even more

Int-od//ctio n. 3


united by affection than blood. They ate together at supper, and after their re-
past, they again conversed, till Schahriar, perceiving the night far advanced, left
his brother to repose.
The unfortunate Schahzenan retired to his couch; but if the presence of the
sultan had for a while suspended his grief, it now returned with redoubled force.
Instead of enjoying that rest he was so much in want of, the most agonizing re-
flections dwelt upon his mind. Every circumstance of his queen's infidelity pre-
sented itself to his imagination with such violence, that it almost deprived him
of his reason. Not being able to sleep, he arose, and giving way to these afflict-
ing thoughts, they made such a deep impression of sorrow on his countenance,
that the sultan could not fail of remarking it. What cause of complaint," thought
he, "can the King of Tartary have ? He cannot object to the reception I have
given him. I have received him as a brother, whom I tenderly love; and I
cannot reproach myself with anything. Perhaps he feels a regret at the distance
he is from his kingdom and his consort ? If that indeed afflicts him, I must
hasten the presents I am preparing for him, that he may set out, whenever he
pleases, on his return to Samarcand." This he immediately set about, and sent
a part of the presents even the next day. These were composed of everything
rare, singular, and valuable that India could produce. In the meantime the
sultan endeavoured to amuse his brother by every species of pleasure ; but the
most splendid entertainments and gayest fetes only served to increase his

4 The Arabian NVights.

Schahriar having one morning given orders for a grand hunting party, at the
distance of two days' journey from the city, in a part of the country where there
were plenty of stags, Schahzenan requested permission to remain in his palace,
excusing himself on account of a slight indisposition. The sultan, wishing to
please him, gave him his choice, and went with all his court to partake of the
sport. The King of Tartary was no sooner alone, than he shut himself up in his
apartment. He seated himself at a window that looked over the garden; the
view from thence, and the melody of multitudes of birds, which had chosen that
beautiful spot for their retreat, must have excited pleasing sensations in his
breast, if he had been capable of feeling them; but, totally absorbed and over-
whelmed with the dreadful recollection of the queen's infamous conduct, he more
frequently lifted his eyes to heaven, complaining of his wretched fate, than fixed
them on the beauties of the spot.
He remained thus occupied with his own melancholy thoughts, when his at-
tention was roused by the following event. A secret door of the sultan's palace
suddenly opened, and out came twenty females, in the midst of whom was the
sultana, who was easily distinguished by her majestic air. This princess, suppos-
ing the King of Tartary was engaged in the chase, approached without fear even
to the very windows of his apartments. The prince, wishing through curiosity to
observe them, placed himself at the window so as to see everything that passed,
without being at all seen. They who accompanied the sultana immediately
threw off the long robes in which they had first appeared, and which entirely hid
their faces and figures. How great was his astonishment, when he saw, in this
party, which he supposed to consist only of women, ten blacks, each of whom
selected a partner Nor did the sultana, on her part, remain long without her
lover. Clapping her hands, she called out, Masoud, Masoud !" and another
black instantly descended from a tree, and ran towards her.
Modesty will not allow us to enter into a detail of their conduct, nor is it
necessary. Schahzenan saw enough to convince him that his brother had no-
less reason to complain than himself. The amusements of this amorous party
lasted till midnight; they then bathed all together in the large pond which formed
one of the chief ornaments of the garden, and having put on their habits, they
returned to the palace by the same secret door, while Masoud, who had come
over the wall of the garden, escaped in the same way.
The whole of these transactions, which passed under his own eyes, caused
many reflections in the king's mind. How absurd," said he, "to think that my
misfortune is singular and uncommon It is the inevitable destiny of all hus-
bands, since even the sultan my brother, the sovereign of so many states, the
greatest monarch in the world, cannot avoid it. What weakness, then, in me to
be thus affected at my own lot, and remain a prey to melancholy it shall be so
no longer. The recollection of a misfortune, so common to all men, shall vex
me no more, nor disturb my repose." In short, from this moment he ceased to
repine. He had delayed going to supper till the whole of this extraordinary
scene was over; he then ordered it to be brought, and ate with a better appetite
than he had before done since his departure from Samarcand, and even enjoyed
the fine concert performed while he sat at table.
From this time he resumed his former good humour, and when he heard of
the sultan's return, he went and paid his respects to him, with an air of gaiety
and satisfaction. Schahriar, at first, took no notice of this change. He merely
hinted gently at the refusal of his brother to accompany him to the chase; and
without allowing him to reply, he gave him an account of the great number of
stags and other animals they had hunted, and the pleasure it had afforded.
Schahzenan, having listened with great attention, took his turn to speak. As
melancholy or chagrin no longer clouded his mind, his natural vivacity and wit.
became apparent in a thousand lively sallies.

Iit/roductio)n. e

The sultan, who expected to find him in the same state in which he had left
him, was delighted with his gaiety. I thank Heaven, my brother," he cried,
"for the happy change which has taken place during my absence. I am indeed
truly rejoiced at it; but I have one favour to request, and I trust you will not
refuse me." What can I refuse you? replied Schahzenan; you may com-
mand me in everything. Speak-I am impatient to know what it is you wish of
Since you have been at my court," resumed the sultan, "I have only seen
you a prey to the most gloomy melancholy, which I have tried, but in vain, to dis-
sipate by every species of amusement in my power. I thought that your grief
might arise from the distance you were from your kingdom; I imagined also
that love might have its share, and that the Queen of Samarcand, whom you had
selected for her incomparable beauty, was partly the cause. I know not whether
my conjectures were right or wrong, and it was for this very reason, and from
the fear of displeasing you, that I did not importune you. Soon after, without
my having in the least contributed to it, I find you, on my return from a hunting
party, in the highest spirits: your mind quite free from that dark cloud which
hung over it and prevented 'all enjoyment. Tell me, then, I entreat you, why
you were so melancholy, and why you are so no longer ?"
At this speech the King of Tartary mused for some time, meditating what to
answer. At length he said, You are my sultan and my master, yet do not, I
beg of you, compel me to give you the satisfaction you demand." Yes, yes, my
*brother," cried the sultan, "you must comply; I wish it, do not therefore refuse
me." Schahzenan could no longer resist his entreaties. Well, then, my brother "
said he, since you command it, you shall be satisfied." He then related the
infidelity of the Queen of Samarcand; and when he had finished his recital-
This," continued he, was the cause of my melancholy. Was it not a sufficient
one ?" 0 my brother," cried the sultan, in a voice that showed how much he
sympathized with him, "what a dreadful tale have you unfolded to me I With
what impatience have I listened to you I praise you for having punished the
wretches; and no one can reproach you for it, as it is only just. And I own
had I been in your place, I should perhaps have been less easily satisfied. I
should not have been contented with taking away the life of one woman, but
should have sacrificed a thousand to my resentment. I am not astonished at
your melancholy; the cause was too powerful and acute for you not to yield to
it. Heavens what an adventure Your fate surely is most singular, nor can have
ever happened to any one besides. Since, however, it has pleased God to afford
you consolation, and as I am sure that it is equally as well founded as was the
cause of your grief, inform me, I beg, of that also, and make me acquainted with
the whole."
Upon this point Schahzenan was more difficult than before, from the interest
his brother seemed to take in it; but he was obliged to comply with his earnest
request. I am going to obey you," said he, since you absolutely require it; yet
I fear my compliance will cause you more pain than even I have felt; but you
must attach the fault to yourself alone, since you compel me to reveal what I
wished to remain buried in eternal oblivion." "What you tell me," interrupted
Schahriar, only heightens my curiosity; hasten to discover this secret, whatever
may be its nature" The King of Tartary, being no longer able to prevent it,
detailed the whole that he had seen-the disguises of the blacks, the conduct of
the sultana and her women; nor was Masoud forgotten.-"After having witnessed
this infamous scene," continued he, I began to think that all women were natu-
rally of this disposition, and were unable to resist their inclinations. I was no
sooner of this opinion, than it appeared to me a great weakness in any man to
suffer his happiness to rest on their fidelity. This reflection produced many
others, and I was at length convinced that it was best to think of it no more. It

6 The Arabian Nights.

has cost me some trouble, but I have accomplished it; and if you are of my
opinion, you will follow my example."
Notwithstanding the excellence of this advice, the sultan was unable to follow
it. "What!" said he, furiously, "is it possible that the Sultana of the Indies is
capable of such base prostitution? No, no, brother, I cannot believe what you
told me, unless I were to see it myself. It is a deception; you must have been
imposed upon; and it is too important a matter not to require positive proof."
" If," replied Schahzenan, "'you wish to be witness to the fact, it will not be dif-
ficult to accomplish it. You have only to give orders for another hunting party,
and after we have both left the city, with the court in our train, we will remain in
our pavilions during the day; and at night we will return alone into my apart-
ment. I am too certain that you will, during the next day, observe what I have
before seen." The sultan approved of the plan, and immediately ordered the
party, so that the pavilions were erected that very day in the appointed place.
The two princes set out on the following morning with all their train. They
arrived at the camp, and remained there till night. Schahriar then called his
grand vizier, and, without discovering his intention, commanded him to take his
place during his absence, and to suffer no person to leave the camp upon any
account whatever. As soon as the sultan had given these orders, he and his
brother got on their horses, passed unknown through the camp, entered the city,
and went directly to the palace occupied by Schahzenan. They then retired to
rest, but rose early in the morning, and took their station at the same window
whence the King of Tartary had observed the former scene with the blacks.
They enjoyed the freshness of the morning, for the sun had not yet risen; and
during their conversation they frequently cast their eyes towards the secret door.
At length it was opened, and, to sum up all in a few words, the sultana, with her
women and the ten disguised blacks, instantly appeared as before, and having
called Masoud, the sultan was soon too fatally convinced of his disgraceful mis-
fortune. "0 God!" he cried, "what indignity, what horror! is it possible that
the wife of so powerful a sovereign as I am can be capable of such infamy?
What prince, after this, can dare to call himself happy ? Ah, my brother," added
he, embracing him, "let us renounce the world; fidelity is banished from it, and,
if it flatters us one moment, it betrays us the next. Let us leave our dominions,
and all the pomp that surrounds us, and in foreign kingdoms pass an obscure life,
and endeavour to conceal our disgrace." Schahzenan did not approve of this
plan; but seeing the agony in which his brother then was, he dared not oppose
it. I have no other will than yours, my brother," replied he, I am ready to
follow you wherever you please; but promise me that you will return whenever
you meet any one who shall be more unfortunate than we are." I do promise
you," replied the sultan," but I very much doubt whether we shall ever meet with
such a one." I am of a different opinion," added the King of Tartary, "and
our journey may be shorter than you expect." They then departed secretly from
the palace, and took a different road from that by which they came. They tra-
velled as long as it was light, and passed the first night under some trees. As
soon as the morning broke they got up, and resumed their journey, till they came
to a beautiful meadow near the sea-shore, along which, at certain distances, were
some very large and thick trees. They seated themselves under one of them to
rest and take some refreshment, during which the infidelity of their respective
queens became the subject of their discourse.
They had not long conversed together, when they heard a most horrible noise
very near them, towards the sea, and a sudden loud and lamentable cry, that
filled them with dread. The sea immediately began to open, and they observed
an immense black column rising out of it, whose top seemed lost in the clouds.
This sight redoubled their fears; they instantly got up, and climbed to the top of
a tree, which appeared likely to conceal them. They were scarcely got there,

Lintroduict/on. 7



when looking towards the spot from whence the noise came, and where the sea
had opened, they observed that the black column unfolded itself, as it were, and
approached the shore. For a moment they could not conceive what it was, but
it very soon became evident.
It was one of those wicked genii who are avowed enemies to mankind. He
was black and hideous, and in form like an immense giant. He carried on his
head a large glass case, secured by four locks of bright steel. With this he came
into the meadow, and set it down at the foot of the very tree in which the princes
were hidden. They, knowing the great danger they were in, gave themselves up
for lost.
This wicked genius then sat down near the case, and having opened it with four
keys, which were suspended from his girdle, a female, superbly dressed, of a fine
figure and incomparable beauty, immediately came out. The monster made her

8 The Arabian Nigfhts.

sit by his side, and casting an amorous look at her, he said, Lady, thou most
accomplished of all that are admired for their beauty, whom I carried away on
the very day of thy nuptials, and to whom I have ever since been constant, suffer
me to repose a few moments near thee; feeling myself overcome with sleep, I
sought this place to indulge in a little rest." Having said this, he let his immense
head fall on her lap; then stretching out his legs, which extended almost to the
sea, he immediately fell asleep, and began to snore, till the very shore echoed
with the noise.
The lady, raising her eyes by chance, perceived the princes in the tree, and
immediately made a sign with her hand for them to come down without making
any noise. When they found they were thus discovered, their fears became more
violent. They entreated her, by signs, to permit them to remain where they were;
but she, on the contrary, having gently lifted up the giant's head and placed it
softly on the ground, got up, and said to them in a low but animated voice,
Descend; it is absolutely necessary that you should come down to me." In
vain did they endeavour, by various methods, to make her comprehend how much
they dreaded her hideous companion. Come down," continued she, in the same
tone, "for if you hesitate, I will wake him, and bid him destroy you."
These words so much alarmed them that they began to descend, though with
all possible precaution. When they were on the ground, the lady took them by
the hand, and made a strange proposal to them. At first they refused her, but she
obliged them by fresh threats to comply with her wishes. Having gratified her,
she observed they had each a ring on their fingers, which she requested of them.
She had no sooner received them than, taking a small box out of a parcel that
contained her wardrobe, she drew from it a string of rings of various sorts, and,
showing it to the princes, said," Do you know what this means ?" We do not,"
they answered, but it remains for you to inform us." They are," she replied,
"the rings of all those on whom I have bestowed my favours. They are exactly
ninety-eight, and yours, which I have requested for that purpose, will make a hun-
dred, which I wished to accomplish. Observe," continued she, "the hundred
lovers that I have now had, in spite of all the precaution and vigilance of this
wretch, who never quits me. Let him shut me up in this glass case, and conceal
me at the bottom of the sea, if he pleases, I will not fail to make his caution use-
less. You may know by this that when once a female has formed any scheme,
neither husband nor lover can prevent its accomplishment. Men had better put
no restraint upon women, and it would be the means of preserving them chaste."
The lady, having said this, added their rings to the list. She then seated her-
self as before, replaced the head of the genius upon her lap, and made a sign to
the princes to depart.
They immediately retreated by the same road they came, and when they were
out of sight of the lady and her formidable companion, Schahriar said to Schah-
zenan, "What think you, brother, of this adventure which has happened to us ?
Has not this genius got a truly faithful mistress ? Do you not agree that nothing
can equal the malice of women ? I do," replied the King of Tartary, and
you must allow also that the genius has much more to complain of and is more
unfortunate than we are. Since, therefore, we have found what we were in search
of, let us return to our dominions, and not suffer this to prevent us from forming
a fresh marriage. With respect to myself, I know by what method I expect to
preserve inviolate the fidelity I think due to me. I will not now explain myself,
but you shall one day learn, and I have no doubt but you will follow my example."
The sultan was of the same opinion as his brother, and pursuing their journey,
they arrived towards the end of the third night at the camp.
The news of the sultan's return being known, the courtiers hastened early in
the morning to the royal pavilion. He received them in a more lively manner
than usual, and gratified all of them by his gracious reception. He then declared

Introduction. 9

that he should proceed no farther, and ordering them to mount, he immediately
set out on his return.
The sultan was no sooner arrived than he hastened to the apartments of the
sultana. He ordered her to be bound, and having delivered her to his grand
vizier, he commanded him to have her strangled. This sentence was executed
by him without inquiring into the crime for which she suffered. The indignant
prince did not stop here : he beheaded all the sultana's women with his own hand.
After this rigorous proceeding, being persuaded that a truly virtuous woman did
not exist, he resolved, in order to prevent a possibility of infidelity for the future,
to marry every night, and have his lady strangled in the morning. Having im-
posed this cruel law upon himself, he swore to observe it immediately upon the
departure of the king his brother, who soon after took his leave, and returned to
his own kingdom loaded with the most magnificent presents.
When Schahzenan was gone, the sultan failed not to order his grand vizier to
bring him the daughter of one of his generals. The vizier obeyed, and the sultan
having passed the night with her, delivered her into the hands of the vizier for
execution, and commanded him to procure another against the following night.
However repugnant these commands might be to the vizier, he was obliged to
submit. He then brought the sultan the daughter of a subaltern officer, who, as
usual, suffered death the next morning. The next was the daughter of a citizen.
And thus every day was a maiden married, and every day a wife sacrificed.
The report of this unexampled inhumanity spread a universal consternation
through the city. In one place a wretched father was in tears for the loss of
his daughter, in another the air resounded with the groans of tender mothers,
who dreaded lest the same fate should attend their offspring. In this manner,
instead of the praises and blessings with which till now they loaded their monarch,
all his subjects poured out imprecations on his head.
The grand vizier, who, as has been mentioned, was the unwilling agent of this
horrid injustice, had two daughters; the elder was called Scheherazade, and the
youngest Dinarzade. The latter was by no means deficient in merit, but Schehera-
zade was possessed of a degree of courage beyond her sex, joined to an extent of
knowledge and degree of penetration that was truly astonishing. She had read
much, and was possessed of so great a memory that she never forgot anything
once learned. She had applied also with much success to philosophy, to medi-
cine, to history, and to the arts, and made better verses than the most celebrated
poets of the time. Besides this, her beauty was incomparable; and all these
valuable qualities were crowned by her virtuous disposition.
The vizier was passionately fond of so deserving a daughter. As they were
conversing together one day, she addressed him in these words: "I have a favour
to ask of you, my father; and I entreat you not to refuse me." I will not refuse
you," replied he, provided the request be just and reasonable." It is impos-
sible," added Scheherazade, to be more just, as you will judge from the motives
I have in making it. My design is to put a stop to this dreadful barbarity which
the sultan exercises over the inhabitants of this city. I wish to dispel the just
apprehension which all mothers entertain for the safety of their daughters."
" Your intention, my child," said the vizier, is very laudable, but the evil which
you wish to cure seems to me without a remedy. How would you set about it ?"
" Since, by your means," replied Scheherazade, the sultan celebrates a fresh mar-
riage every day, I conjure you, by the tender affection you have for me, to procure
me the honour of his bed." This speech filled the vizier with horror. 0 God!"
cried he, eagerly, have you lost your senses, my daughter, that you make me so
dangerous a request? Do you know that the sultan has solemnly sworn he will
receive no one to his bed but for one night, and that he regularly orders her to be
carried to execution in the morning ? Can you then think of being allied to him ?
Recollect to what your indiscreet zeal exposes you." Yes, my father," replied

10o 1e Arabian Nights.

this virtuous damsel," I am aware of the danger I run, but it does not deter me
from my purpose. If I die, my death will be glorious; and if I succeed, I shall
render my country an important service." No, no," replied the vizier, do not
suppose that anything you can urge will induce me to comply with your wishes,
and put you in so dreadful a situation. Can I, alas! obey the sultan when he
orders me to plunge a poniard into your bosoni ? What horrible employment for
a father! If you do not yourself fear death, at least hesitate to inflict on me the
pain of being the wretched instrument, and imbruing my hand with your blood."
" Still, my father," said Scheherazade, I implore you to grant my request." Your
obstinacy," replied he, excites my anger: why can you wish thus to rush to your
own destruction? They who do not look forward to the end of a dangerous
enterprise know not how to bring it to a fortunate conclusion. The same thing
will, I fear, happen to you which did to the ass, who was well off, yet could not
keep so." "What happened to the ass ?" asked Scheherazade. Listen to me,"
answered the vizier, "and I will relate the story."

VERY rich merchant had several houses in the country,
where he bred a considerable number of cattle of various
0@ descriptions. It happened that he went to reside on one of
his estates, with his wife and children, for the purpose of
0 000l superintending some improvements. This merchant under-
S stood the language of beasts; but it was only on the condition
of not imparting what he heard to any one, under the penalty
of death. Consequently he was prevented from communi-
casting the knowledge he might thus acquire.
SHe had put by chance an ox and an ass into the same stall; and
being one day seated near them, he heard the ox say to the ass,
How happy do I think your lot when I consider the repose you
enjoy and the little labour you are required to perform. A servant
looks after you with great care, washes you, feeds you with fine
sifted barley, and gives you fresh and clean water; your greatest
task is to carry the merchant, our master, when he has occasion to
take a short journey: but for that your whole life would be passed
in idleness. How different now is the manner in which they treat me : my con-
dition is as unfortunate as yours is pleasant. It is scarcely midnight when they
yoke me to a plough, with which they make me turn up the ground the whole
day; while the labourer, who is constantly behind, continually urges me on with
his goad. The weight and force of the plough, too, chafes all the skin from my
neck. When I have worked from morning till night, they give me unwholesome
dirty beans, or even something worse; and to complete my misery, after having
been obliged to satisfy my hunger upon such uninviting food, I am compelled to
pass the night in a filthy stall. Have I not then reason to envy your lot?"
The ass suffered the ox to say what he pleased without interruption ; and when
he had finished, the former addressed him in these words : In truth, they are
not much out when they call you an idiot, since you pass your life just as they
please, and cannot take thought on your own behalf. What benefit, pray, do
you derive from all your indignities ? You even destroy yourself for the ease,
pleasure, and profit of those who do not thank you for it. Believe me, they would
not treat you thus if you possessed as much courage as strength. When they
come to tie you to the manger, what resistance, pray, do you ever make? Do
you ever put them in mind of your horns ? Do you ever show your anger by
stamping on the ground with your feet ? Why don't you terrify them with your

7te Ass, the Ox, and the Labourer. II

bellowing ? Nature has given you the means of making yourself respected, and
yet you neglect to use them. They bring you bad beans and chaff; well, do not
eat them, smell at them only, and leave them. Thus, if you follow my plans, you
will soon perceive a change, which you will thank me for." The ox took the
advice of the ass very kindly, and declared himself much obliged to him. My
dear companion," added he, I will not fail to do as you bid me, and you shall
see how I acquit myself." After this conversation, of which the merchant lost
not a word, they were silent.
Early the next morning the labourer came for the ox, and yoked him to the
plough, and set him to work as usual. The latter, who had not forgotten the
advice he had received, was very unruly the whole day; and at night, when the
labourer attempted to fasten him as usual to the stall, the malicious animal, instead
of turning his horns towards him for that purpose, began to be outrageous, and
ran roaring back; he even put down his horns to strike him; in short, he did
exactly as the ass had advised him. The day following, when the man came, he
found the manger still full of beans and chaff, and the ox lying on the ground,
with his legs stretched out, and making a strange groaning. The labourer thought
him very ill, and that it would be useless to take him to work; he therefore
immediately went and informed the merchant of it.
The latter perceived that the bad advice of the ass had been followed ; and in
order to punish him as he deserved, he told the labourer to go and take the ass
instead of the ox, and not fail to give him plenty of exercise. The man obeyed;
and the ass was obliged to drag the plough the whole day, which tired him the
more, because he was unaccustomed to it; besides which, he was so handsomely
beaten that he could scarcely support himself when he came back.
In the meantime the ox was very well satisfied; he ate all that was in his rack,
and rested the whole day. He was highly pleased with himself for having fol-
lowed the advice of the ass, and blessed him a thousand times for the good he had
procured him. As soon as he saw him return, he did not fail to repeat his thanks.
The ass was so enraged at the treatment he had experienced that he would not
answer a word. My own imprudence," said he to himself, has alone brought
this misfortune upon me. I lived happily, everything was pleasant, I had all I
wished for, and 1 may thank myself only for this reverse. If I cannot contrive
some trick to get out of this scrape, my destruction is inevitable." In saying this,
his strength was so much exhausted that he fell down in his stall, half dead.

Here the grand vizier said to Scheherazade," You are, my child, just like this
ass, and would expose yourself to destruction through a false idea of prudence
and rectitude. Trust to me, and remain here in safety, without seeking your own
ruin." Sir," replied Scheherazade, the example which you have brought does
not alter my resolution, and I shall not cease importuning you till I have obtained
from you the favour of presenting me to the sultan as his consort." The vizier,
finding her persist in her request, said, Well, then, since you will remain thus ob-
stinate, I shall be obliged to treat you as the merchant I mentioned did his wife."

Being told in what a miserable state the ass was, he was curious to know what
passed between him and the ox; after supper, therefore, he went out by moon-
light, accompanied by his wife, and sat down near them ; on his arrival, he heard
the ass say to the ox, "Tell me, brother, what do you mean to do when the
labourer brings you food to-morrow ?" "Mean to do ?" replied the ox, "why,
what you taught me. At first I shall begin to retreat, then put down my horns
as yesterday, and pretend to be ill and almost dying." "Take care," interrupted
the ass, "what you are about, lest you destroy yourself; for in coming home
yesterday evening, I heard the merchant, our master, say what made me tremble
for you." "What did you hear?" asked the latter; "conceal nothing from me.

a2 The Arabian Nights.

I entreat you." "Our master," replied the ass, addressed his labourer in these
,sad words : 'Since the ox can neither eat nor support himself, I wish him to be
killed to-morrow; we will give his flesh as an alms to the poor, for God's sake ;
and you shall carry his skin, which will be useful, to the currier; do not, there-
fore, fail to send for the butcher.' This is what I heard; and the interest I take
in your safety, and the friendship I have for you, induces me to mention it and
offer you my opinion on the subject. At first, when they bring you beans and
chaff, get up and begin eating directly. Our master by this will suppose that you
have recovered, and will, without doubt, revoke the sentence for your death; in
my opinion, if you act otherwise it is all over with you."
This speech produced the intended effect; the ox was much troubled, and
lowed with fear. The merchant, who had listened to everything with great
attention, burst into a fit of laughter that quite surprised his wife. Tell me,"
said she," what you laugh at, that I may join in it." Be satisfied," he answered,
at hearing me." No, no," she added, I wish to know the cause." That
satisfaction," replied the husband," I cannot afford you : I can only tell you that
I laughed at what the ass said to the ox; the rest is a secret which I must not
reveal." "And why not ?" asked his wife. Because, if I tell you, it will cost
me my life." "You trifle with me," added she : "this can never be true ; and if
you do not immediately inform me what you laughed at, I swear by Allah that
-we will live together no longer."
In saying this, she went back to the house in a pet, shut herself up, and cried
the whole night. Her husband slept alone; and finding that she continued in
the same state the next day, he said, How foolish it is to afflict yourself in this
way: the thing is not worth it, nor can it be of so much consequence to you to
know it as for me to keep it concealed. Think no more of it, then, I conjure you."
" I shall, however, so continue to think of it," replied she," that I shall not cease
to lament till my curiosity is satisfied." Do I not seriously tell you," added he,
"that if I were to yield to your foolish importunities, it would cost me my life ? "
" Whatever happens rests with God," said she; but I shall not alter my mind."
"I see very plainly," answered the merchant, it is not possible to make you
-submit to reason, and that your obstinacy will kill you ; therefore I will call your
children, that they may have the satisfaction of seeing you before you die." He
then ordered his family to be present, and sent also for the parents and other
relations of his wife; when they were all assembled, he explained to them his
motives for calling them together, and requested them to use all their influence
with his wife, and endeavour to convince her of the folly of her conduct. She
rejected them all, and said she had rather die than give up this point to her
husband. Each of her parents urged every argument and used every persuasion
in their power; they told her that what she wished to know could be of no con-
sequence to her; but they could make no impression either by their authority or
eloquence. When her children saw that nothing could alter her resolution, they
began to lament most bitterly; the merchant himself knew not what to do. A
little afterwards he was sitting by chance at the door of his house, considering
whether he should not even sacrifice himself, in order to save his wife, whom he
so tenderly loved.
This merchant, my child (continued the vizier, still addressing Scheherazade),
had fifty hens and only one cock, and also a very faithful dog. While he was
sitting at the door, meditating what plan to pursue, he saw the dog run towards
the cock, who was gallanting one of his hens, and address him in these words :
" You will not, 0 cock, be suffered to live long, if you are not ashamed of being thus
employed to-day." The latter, strutting up to the dog, haughtily answered, Who
shall prevent my doing what I please to-day as well as at other times ? "Are
you ignorant, then," replied the dog, "that our master is in great affliction ? His
wife wishes him to reveal a secret of such a nature, that the discovery will cost

The Ass, the Ox, and the Labourer. 13

him his life; and it is feared he will be unable to resist her importunities, as the
tears of one he so much loves afflict him to such a degree : we are all alarmed at
the dangerous situation he is in, while you, insulting our grief, have the imperti-
nence to divert yourself with your hens."
"Our master is a fool, then," replied the cock; "he has but one wife, and
cannot gain his point, while I have fifty, and do just as I please. Let him return
to his senses, and he will easily get out of the embarrassment he is in." What
would you do ?" said the dog. What ?" answered the cock; why, let him only
go into the room where his wife is, and, after shutting the door, take a good-sized
stick, and give her a smart thrashing. I will answer for it she will soon know
better, and not worry him to reveal what he ought to keep secret." The merchant
no sooner heard what the cock said, than he got up, and taking rather a large
stick, went to his wife, who was still weeping. Having shut the door, he applied
the remedy so effectually, that she soon exclaimed, "Enough, enough, my hus-
band leave me, and I will never ask the question more." On hearing this, and
believing that she repented of her ill-timed curiosity, he gave over beating her,
and opening the door, all her family came in, heartily glad at finding her more
rational; and congratulated her husband on the happy expedient he found out
for the purpose.

"You deserve, my daughter," added the grand vizier, "to be treated like the
merchant's wife."
Do not, sir," answered Scheherazade, think ill of me, if I still persist in my
sentiments. The history of this woman does not shake my resolution; I could
recount, on the other hand, many others which ought to persuade you not to
oppose my design. Pardon me, too, if I add, that your opposition will be useless;
for if paternal tenderness should refuse the request I make, I will present myself
to the sultan." At length the vizier, overcome by his daughter's firmness, yielded
to her entreaties; and, although he was much afflicted at not being able to con-
quer her resolution, he immediately went to Schahriar, and announced to him
that Scheherazade herself would be his bride on the following night.
The sultan was much astonished at the sacrifice of the grand vizier. "Is it
possible," said he, "that you can give up your own child ?" Sire," replied the
vizier, she has herself made the offer. The dreadful fate that hangs over her
does not alarm her; and she prefers, even to her existence, the honour of being
the consort of your majesty, though it be but for one night." Vizier," said the
sultan, do not deceive yourself with any hopes ; for be assured, that in delivering
Scheherazade into your charge to-morrow, it will be with an order for her death ;
and if you disobey, your own head will be the forfeit." Although," answered
the vizier, my heart will be distracted at fulfilling your majesty's commands, it
is of no avail for human nature to lament; although I am her father, I will answer
for the fidelity of this arm." Schahriar accepted his minister's offer, and informed
him he might bring his daughter when he pleased.
When the grand vizier carried this intelligence to Scheherazade, she seemed
as much rejoiced as if it had been of the most pleasant character: she thanked
her father for obliging her so greatly; and observing him to be much afflicted,
she consoled him by saying, that she hoped he would be so far from repenting
her marriage with the sultan, that it would become a subject of joy to him for
the remainder of his life.
She now occupied herself with the manner in which she should appear before
the sultan; but before she went to the palace, she called her sister, Dinarzade,
aside, and said, I am in great want of your assistance, my dear sister, in a very
important affair; and I hope you will not refuse me. My father is going to con-
duct me to the palace as the wife of the sultan. Do not let this news alarm you,
but attend rather to what I say. As soon as I shall have presented myself before

14 ihe Arabian Nzigjs.

beg of you, till the morning appears, to recount to me one of those delightful

stories you know.' I will immediately begin to tell one; and I flatter myself
that by these means I shall free the kingdom from the consternation in which it
is." Dinarzade promised to do with pleasure what she required.
When the hour of retiring approached, the grand vizier conducted Schehera-
zade to the palace, and after introducing her to the sultan's apartment, took his
leave. They were no sooner alone than the sultan ordered her to take off her
veil. He was charmed with her beauty; but perceiving her in tears, he de-
manded the cause of them. Sire," answered Scheherazade, I have a sister
whom I tenderly love, and whose attachment to me is equally strong; I earnestly
wish that she might be permitted to pass the night in this apartment, that we
may again see each other, and once more take a tender farewell. Will you then
consent that I shall have the consolation of giving her this last proof of my affec-
tion?" Schahriar having agreed to it, they sent for Dinarzade, who came
directly. The sultan passed the night with Scheherazade on an elevated couch,
as was the custom among the Eastern monarchs, and Dinarzade slept at the foot
of it on a mattress prepared for the purpose.
Dinarzade, having awoke about an hour before day, did not fail to do what her

The Story of the M1erchant and the Genius. 15

sister had ordered her. My dear sister," she said, "if you are not asleep, I
entreat you, as it will soon be light, to relate to me one of those delightful tales
you know. It will, alas! be the last time I shall receive that pleasure."
Instead of returning any answer to her sister, Scheherazade addressed these
words to the sultan: Will your majesty permit me to indulge my sister in her
request ?" "Freely," replied he. Scheherazade then desired her sister to attend,
and, addressing herself to the sultan, began as follows.


HERE was formerly, sire, a merchant, who was possessed
****. of great wealth, in land, merchandise, and ready money.
.. He had a numerous set of clerks, factors, and slaves;
i r and, from the great extent of his commercial transac-
S tions, he was from time to time obliged to take various
1 journeys, in order to arrange his affairs in person with his
**..$.' correspondents. Having one day an affair of great im-
portance to settle at a considerable distance from home,
She mounted his horse, and with only a sort of cloak-bag
a behind him, in which he had put a few biscuits and dates,
.S. he began his journey. This provision was absolutely
necessary, as he was obliged to pass over a desert, where
it was impossible to procure any kind of food. He arrived
without any accident at the place of his destination, and
having finished his business, he set out on his return.
On the fourth day of his journey he felt himself so in-
commoded by the sun and the heated surface of the earth,
that he turned out of his road, in order to rest and refresh
himself under some trees which he saw at a little distance.
At the foot of a large walnut-tree he perceived a very transparent and cool fountain.
He immediately alighted, and tying his horse to a branch of the tree, sat down
on its bank, having first taken some biscuits and dates from his little store. While
he was thus satisfying his hunger, he amused himself with throwing about the
stones of the fruit with considerable velocity. When he had finished his frugal
repast, he washed his hands, his face, and his feet, and repeated a prayer, like a
good Mussulman.
He had hardly made an end, and was still on his knees, when he saw a genius,
white with age and of an enormous stature, advancing towards him, with a sci-
mitar in his hand. As soon as he was close to him, he said in a most terrible
tone, Get up, that I may kill thee with this scimitar, as thou hast caused the
death of my son." He accompanied these words with a dreadful yell. The mer-
chant, alarmed by the horrible figure of this monster, as well as the words he
heard, replied in trembling accents, "Of what crime, my good lord, alas! can I
have been guilty towards you, to deserve the loss of life ?" I have sworn to
kill thee, as thou hast slain my son." "Good God answered the merchant,
"how can I have slain him ? I do not know him, nor have I ever seen him."
" Didst thou not," replied the monster," on thine arrival here, sit down, and take
some dates from thy wallet; and after eating them didst thou not throw the stones
about on all sides ?" This is all true," replied the merchant; I do not deny
it." Well, then," said the other, I tell thee thou hast killed my son; for while
thou wast throwing about the stones, my son passed by; one of them struck him
in the eye, and caused his death, and thus hast thou slain my son." Ah, sire,
forgive me," cried the merchant. I have neither forgiveness nor mercy," added
the monster: and is it not just that he who has inflicted death should suffer it ?"

16 The Arabian Night*s.

"I grant this; yet surely I have not done so; and even if I have, I have done so
innocently, and therefore I entreat you to pardon me, and suffer me to live." No,
no," cried the genius, still persisting in his resolution, "I must destroy thee, as
thou hast done my son." At these words, he took the merchant in his arms, and
having thrown him with his face on the ground, he lifted up his sabre, in order to
strike off his head.
The merchant, in the meantime, bathed in tears, protested his innocence, and
lamenting his wife and children, tried the most persuasive means to avert his fate.
The genius, still holding up the sabre, waited, however, till he had ended his
complaints, though it altered not his purpose. All thy lamentations are vain,"
he cried; "were thine eyes to weep blood, it would not prevent my killing thee,
as thou hast slain my son." Can nothing, then," replied the merchant, "soften
you ? Must you shed the blood of a poor innocent being ?" "Yes," he added,
"I am resolved."

Scheherazade, at this instant, perceiving it was day, and knowing that the sultan
rose early to his prayers, and then to hold a council, broke off. What a wonder-
ful story," said Dinarzad, have you pitched upon !" The conclusion," answered
Scheherazade, "is still more surprising, as you would confess, if the sultan would
suffer me to live another day, and in the morning permit me to continue the
relation." Schahriar, who had listened with much pleasure to the narration, de-
termined in his own mind to wait till to-morrow, intending to order her execution
after she had finished her story. Having resolved to defer her death till the
following day, he arose, and having prayed, went to the council.
The grand vizier, in the meantime, was in a state of cruel suspense. Unable
to sleep, he passed the night in lamenting the approaching fate of his daughter,
whose executioner he was compelled to be. Dreading, therefore, in this melan-
choly situation, to meet the sultan, how great was his surprise in seeing him
enter the council-chamber without giving him the horrible orders he expected!
The sultan spent the day as usual, in regulating the affairs of his kingdom, and
on the approach of night, retired with Scheherazade to his apartment. The next
morning, before the day appeared, Dinarzad6 did not fail to remind her sister:
"My dear sister," she said, "if you are not asleep, I entreat you, before the morn-
ing breaks, to continue your story." The sultan did not wait for Scheherazade to
ask permission, but said, Finish the tale of the genius and the merchant: I am
curious to hear the end of it."
[In the original work there are continual interruptions to the stories by the
su5pfosed appearance of daylight, which obliged the sultan to rise, and attend to
the affairs of the state. As these interruptions would have recurred many
hundred times, and thus unpleasantly have broken in upon the unity and con-
tinued interest so essential to tales of this nature, they have been omitted.]
Scheherazade immediately went on as follows :

When the merchant, sire, perceived that the genius was about to execute his
purpose, he cried aloud, "One word more, I entreat you; have the goodness to
grant me a little delay; give me only time to go and take leave of my wife and
children, and divide my estates among them, as I have not yet made my will,
that they may not be obliged to have recourse to any legal process after my death;
and when I have done this, I promise to return to this spot, and submit myself
entirely to your pleasure." But if I grant you the respite you demand," replied
the genius," I fear you will not return." If my oath will assure you of it," added
the merchant, "I swear by the God of heaven and earth, that I will not fail to
repair hither." "What length of time do you require?" said the genius. "It
will take me a full year to arrange everything, and enable me to bear with com-
posure the loss of life. I therefore promise you, that you shall find me to-morrow

1The Story of the Merchant and the Genius. 17

twelvemonth under these trees, waiting to deliver myself into your hands." "Take
thy God to witness of the promise thou hast made me," said the other. "Again
I swear," replied he, "and you may rely on my oath." On this the genius left
him near the fountain, and immediately disappeared.
The merchant, having recovered from his fright, mounted his horse, and con-
tinued his journey. But if, on the one hand, he rejoiced at escaping from the
great peril he was in, he was, on the other, much distressed when he recollected
the fatal oath he had taken. When he arrived at home, his wife and family
received him with signs of the greatest joy; but instead of returning their.em-
braces, he wept so bitterly, that they supposed something very extraordinary had
happened. His wife inquired the cause of his tears, and of that grief which
appeared so violent. "We were rejoicing," she said, at your return, and you
alarm us all by the situation we see you in; explain, I entreat you, the cause of
your violent sorrow." "Alas !" he replied, "how should I feel otherwise, when
I have only a year to live?" He then related to them what had passed, and
that he had given his word to return at the end of a year to receive his death.
When they heard this melancholy tale, they were in despair. The wife uttered
the most lamentable groans, tearing her hair and beating her breast; the chil.
dren made the house resound with their grief; while the father, overcome by
affection, mingled his tears with theirs. In short, the whole was a most affecting
The next day the merchant began to settle his affairs, and first of all to pay
his debts. He made many presents to his different friends, and large donations
to the poor. He set at liberty many of his slaves of both sexes; divided his
property among his children; appointed guardians for such as were young; and
besides returning to his wife all the fortune she brought him, he added as much
more as the law would permit.
The year soon passed away, and he was compelled to depart. He took in his
wallet the garment he wished to be buried in; but when he attempted to take
leave of his wife and children, his grief quite overcame him. They could not
bear his loss, and almost resolved to accompany him, and all perish together.
Compelled at length to tear himself away from objects so dear, he addressed
these words to them: In leaving you, my children, I obey the command of
God; imitate me, and submit with fortitude to this necessity. Remember that
to die is the inevitable destiny of man." Having said this, he snatched himself
,away from them, and set out. He arrived at the destined spot on the very day
he had promised. He got off his horse, and seating himself by the side of the
fountain, with such sorrowful sensations as may easily be imagined, he awaited
the arrival of the genius.
While he was kept in this cruel suspense, there appeared an old man leading
a hind, who came near to him. Having saluted each other, the old man said,
"May I ask of you, brother, what brought you to this desert place, which is so
full of evil genii that there is no safety ? From the appearance of these trees, one
might suppose it was inhabited; but it is, in fact, a solitude, where it is dangerous
to stay long."
The merchant satisfied the old man's curiosity, and related his adventure. He
listened with astonishment to the account, and having heard it, he said, Surely
nothing in the world can be more surprising; and you have kept your oath in-
violable. In truth I should like to be a witness to your interview with the genius."
Having said this, he sat down near the merchant, and while they were talking,
another old man, followed by two black dogs, came in sight. As soon as he was
near enough, he saluted them, and inquired the reason of their stay in that place.
The first old man related the adventure of the merchant, exactly as he had told
it; and added, that this was the appointed day, and that he was therefore
determined to remain in order to see the event.

18 The Arabian Nights.

The second old man, thinking it also very curious, resolved to do the same ;
and sitting down, joined in the conversation. He had hardly done so, when a
third arrived, and addressing himself to the other two, asked why the merchant,
who was with them, appeared so melancholy. They related the cause, which
seemed to him so wonderful, that he also resolved to be witness to what passed
between the genius and the merchant. He therefore sat down with them for
this purpose.
Soon they perceived, towards the plain, a thick vapour or smoke, like a column
of dust raised by the wind. This vapour approached them, and then suddenly
disappearing, they saw the genius, who, without noticing them, went towards the
merchant with his scimitar in his hand; and taking him by the arm, Get up,"
said he, that I may kill thee, as thou hast slain my son." Both the merchant
and the three old men were struck with terror; they began to weep and fill the
air with their lamentations.
When the old man, who conducted the hind, saw the genius lay hold of the
merchant, and about to murder him without mercy, he threw himself at the mon-
ster's feet, and, kissing them, said, Prince of the Genii, I humbly entreat you to
suspend your rage, and do me the favour to listen to me. I wish to relate my
own history, and that of the hind which you see; and if you find it more won-
derful and surprising than the adventure of this merchant, whose life you wish
to take, may I not hope that you will at least remit a third part of the punishment
of this unfortunate man?" After meditating some time, the genius answered,
"Well, then, I agree to it."


AM now going (said he) to begin my tale, and I request your
attention. The hind, whom you see here, is my cousin-nay,
more : she is my wife. When I first married her, she was only
twelve years old, and she ought, therefore, not only to look
upon me as her relation and husband, but even as her father.
We lived together thirty years without having any children;:
this, however, was no drawback upon my kindness and regard.
Still, my desire of offspring was so great, that for this purpose,
and for this only, I purchased a female slave, who bore me a son
of great promise and expectation. Soon after my wife became
infected with jealousy, and consequently took a great aversion to both mother
and child; yet she so well concealed her sentiments, that I became acquainted
with them, alas! too late.
In the meantime my son grew up; and he was about ten years old when I
Was obliged to make a journey. I recommended both the slave and the child to
my wife before my departure, as I had no distrust of her, and prayed her to take
great care of them during my absence, which would not be less than a year.
During this time she endeavoured to satiate her hatred. She applied herself to
the study of magic; and when she was sufficiently skilled in that diabolical art
to execute the horrible design she meditated, the wretch carried my son to a
distant place. When there, by her enchantments she changed him into a calf-
gave him to my steward, and ordered him to bring him up as a calf, which she
said she had bought. She was not, however, satisfied with this infamous action,
but metamorphosed the slave into a cow, which she also sent to my steward.
Immediately on my return I inquired after my child and his mother. "Your
slave is dead," said she," and it is now more than two months since I have beheld
your son, nor do I know what has become of him." I was sensibly affected at
the death of the slave; but as my son had only disappeared, I flattered myself

The History of the First Old Man and the Hind. 19


that he would soon be found. Eight months, however, passed, and he did not
return, nor could I learn any tidings of him. In order to celebrate the festival
of the great Bairam, which was approaching, I ordered my steward to bring me
the fattest cow I possessed for a sacrifice. He obeyed my commands, and the
cow he brought me was my own slave, the unfortunate mother of my son. Having
bound her, I was about to make the sacrifice, when at the very instant she lowed
most sorrowfully, and the tears even fell from her eyes., This seemed to me so
extraordinary, that I could not but feel compassion for her, and was unable to
give the fatal blow. I therefore ordered her to be taken away, and another
My wife, who was present, seemed angry at my compassion, and opposed an
order which defeated her malice. What are you about, my husband ?" said she
-" why not sacrifice this cow ? Your steward has not a more beautiful one, nor
one more proper for the purpose." Wishing to oblige my wife, I again approached
the cow; and struggling with my pity, which suspended the sacrifice, I was again
going to give the mortal blow, when the victim a second time disarmed me by

20 The Arabian Nights.

her redoubled tears and meanings. I then delivered the instruments into the
hands of my steward. "Take them," I cried, and make the sacrifice yourself;
the lamentations and tears of the animal have overcome me."
The steward was less compassionate, and sacrificed her. On taking off the
skin we found hardly anything but bones, though she appeared very fat. Take
her away," said I to the steward, truly chagrined, "I give her to you to do as
you please with: regale both yourself and whomsoever you wish; and if you
have a very fat calf, bring it in her place." I did not inquire what he did with the
cow, but he had not been gone long before I saw a remarkably fine calf brought.
Although I was ignorant that this calf was my own son, yet I felt a sensation of
pity arise in my breast at first sight. As soon, also, as he perceived me, he made
so great an effort to come to me that he broke his cord. He lay down at my
feet, with his head on the ground, as if he endeavoured to excite my compassion,
and not have the cruelty to take away his life; striving in this manner to make
me comprehend that he was my son.
I was still more surprised and affected by this action than I had been by the
tears of the cow. I felt a kind of tender pity, which interested me much for him;
or, to speak more correctly, my blood guided me to what was my duty. "Go
back," I cried, "and take all possible care of this calf, and in its room bring
another directly."
No sooner did my wife hear this than she exclaimed, What are you about,
my husband? Do not, I pray, sacrifice any other than this." Wife," answered
I, "I will not sacrifice him; I wish to favour him. Do not you, therefore,
oppose it." This wicked woman, however, did not agree to my proposal; she
hated my son too much to suffer him to remain in safety; and she continued to
demand his sacrifice so obstinately, that I was compelled to yield. I bound the
calf, and taking the fatal knife, was going to bury it in the throat of my son,
when he turned his eyes, filled with tears, so persuasively upon me, that I had
no power to execute my intention. The knife fell from my hand, and I told my
wife I was determined to have another calf. She tried every means to induce
me to alter my mind : I continued firm, however, in my resolution, in spite of all
she could say-promising, for the sake of appeasing her, to sacrifice this calf at
the feast of Bairam on the following year.
The next morning my steward desired to speak with me in private. I am
come," said he, to give you some information, which, I trust, will afford you
pleasure. I have a daughter, who has some little knowledge of magic; and as
I was bringing the calf back yesterday, which you were unwilling to sacrifice, I
observed that she smiled at seeing it, and the next moment began to weep. I
inquired of her the cause of these two contrary emotions. 'My dear father,' she
answered, 'that calf, which you bring back, is the son of our master; I smiled
with joy at seeing him still alive, and wept at the recollection of his mother, who
was yesterday sacrificed in the shape of a cow. These two metamorphoses have
been contrived by the enchantments of our master's wife, who hated both the
mother and the child.' This," continued the steward, "is what my daughter
said, and I come to report it to you." Imagine, 0 genius, my surprise at hearing
these words. I immediately set out with my steward, to speak to his daughter
myself. On my arrival, I went first to the stable, where my son had been placed;
he could not return my caresses, but he received them in a way which convinced
me that he was really my son.
When the daughter of the steward made her appearance, I asked her if she
could restore him to his former shape. "Yes," replied she, I can." Ah," ex-
claimed I, "if you can perform such a miracle, I will make you the mistress of
all I possess." She then answered with a smile, "You are our master, and I
know how much we are bound to you; but I must mention that I can restore
your son to his own form only on two conditions: first, that you bestow him

The History of the First Old Mlan and the Hind. 21


upon me for my husband; and, secondly, that I may be permitted to punish her
who changed him into a calf." "To the first," I replied, "I agree with all my
heart; I will still do more: I will give you, for your own separate use, a con-
siderable sum of money, independent of what I destined for my son. In short,
you shall perceive how I can acknowledge the important service you do me. 1
agree also to that which regards my wife: a person who has been capable of so
criminal an action is worthy of punishment. I abandon her to you-do what
you please with her; I only entreat you to spare her life." I will treat her,
then," she said, in the same manner as she has treated your son." To this 1
gave my consent, provided she first restored my son to me.
The damsel then took a vessel full of water, and pronouncing over it some words
I did not understand, she thus addressed herself to the calf: 0 calf, if thou hast
been created by the all-powerful Sovereign of the world as thou now appearest,
retain that form; but if thou art a man, and hast been changed by enchantment
into a calf, resume, by permission of thy divine Creator, thy natural figure!" In
saying this, she threw the water over him, and he instantly regained his own form.
My child! my dear child!" I immediately exclaimed, and embraced him with
a transport 1 could not restrain, it is the Almighty who hath sent this damsel to
us, to destroy the horrible charm with which you were surrounded, and to avenge
the evil which has been done to you and your mother. I am sure your gratitude
will induce you to accept her for a wife, as I have already promised for you." He
joyfully consented; but before they were united the damsel changed my wife into
this hind, which you see here. I wished her to have this form in preference to
any other more unpleasant, that we might see her without repugnance in our
Since this, my son has become a widower, and is now travelling. Many years
have passed since I have heard anything of him; I have therefore now set out
with a view to gain some information; and as I did not like to trust my wife to
the care of any one during my search, I thought proper to carry her along with
me. This is the history of myself and this hind: can anything be more wonder-
ful ?" I agree with you," said the genius, and in consequence, I grant a third
of my pardon to this merchant."

SAs soon'as the first old man, sire, had finished his history," continued the

22 The Arabian Nights.

sultana, "the second, who led the two black dogs, said to the genius,' I will relate
to you what has happened to me and these two dogs which you see, and I am
sure you will find my history still more astonishing than that which you have
heard. But when I have told it, will you grant to this merchant another third of
his pardon ?' 'Yes,' answered the genius, 'provided your history surpasses that
of the hind.' This being settled, the second old man began as follows."

REAT Prince of the Genii, you must know, that these two black
0 '0 dogs, which you see here, and myself, are three brothers. Our
Shfather left us, when he died, one thousand sequins each. With
0 this sum we all embarked in the same profession, namely, as
merchants. Soon after we had opened our warehouse, my eldest
brother, who is now one of these dogs, resolved to travel, and
carry on his business in foreign countries. With this view he
sold all his goods, and bought such other sorts of merchandise
as were adapted to the different countries he proposed visiting.
He set out, and was absent a whole year. At the end of this
\ time, a poor man, who seemed to me to be asking charity, pre-
Ssented himself at my warehouse. God help you,"-said I. "And
you also," answered he: "is it possible you do not know me ? "
On looking attentively at him, I recognized his person. "Ah, my brother," I cried,
embracing him, "how should I possibly know you in this state ?" I made him
come in directly, and inquired both after his health and the success of his voyage.
Do not ask me," he replied; in beholding me you see the whole. To enter
into a detail of all the misfortunes that I have suffered in the last year, and which
have reduced me to the state you see, would only be to renew my affliction."
I instantly shut up my shop, and neglecting everything else, I took him to the
bath, and dressed him in the best apparel my wardrobe afforded. I examined the
state of my business, and finding by my accounts that I had just doubled my
capital, that is, that I was now worth two thousand sequins, I presented him with
the half. Let this, my brother," I said, "make you forget your losses." He
joyfully accepted the thousand sequins, again settled his affairs, and we lived
together as before.
Some time after this, my second brother, which is the other of these black dogs,
wished also to dispose of his property. Both his elder brother and myself tried
everything in our power to dissuade him from it, but in vain. He sold all, and
with the money he bought such merchandise as he wished for his journey. He
took his departure and joined a caravan. At the end of a year he also returned
in the same condition as his brother had done. I furnished him with clothes;
and'as I had gained another thousand sequins, I gave them to him. He directly
bought a shop, and continued to exercise his business.
One day both my brothers came to me, and proposed that I should make a
voyage with them, for the purpose of traffic. You have travelled," said I, at
once rejecting the scheme, "and what have you gained ? Who will insure that
I shall be more fortunate than you? In vain did they use every argument they
thought could induce me to try my fortune; I still refused to consent to their
design. They returned, however, so often to the subject, that, after having with-
stood their solicitations for five years, I at length yielded.
When it became necessary to prepare for the voyage, and we were consulting
on the sort of merchandise to be bought, I discovered that they had consumed
their capital, and that nothing remained of the thousand sequins I. had given to

The History of the Second Old MAan and the Two Black Dogs. 23

each. I did not, however, reproach them; on the contrary, as my capital was
increased to six thousand sequins, I divided the half with them, and said, "We
must, my brothers, risk only three thousand sequins, and endeavour to conceal
the other in some secure place, that if our voyage be not more successful than
those you have already made, we shall, with this sum, be able to console ourselves
and begin our former profession. I will give one thousand sequins to each, and
keep one myself; and I will conceal the other three thousand in a corner of my
house." We purchased our goods, embarked in a vessel, which we ourselves
ifeighted, and set sail with a favourable wind. After sailing about a month, we
arrived, without any accident, at a port, where we landed, and had a most advan-
tageous sale for our merchandise. I, in particular, sold mine so well, that I gained
ten for one. We then purchased the produce of that country, in order to traffic
with it in our own.
About the time that we were ready to embark on our return I accidentally met
on the sea-shore a female, of a very fine figure, but poorly dressed. She accosted'
me by kissing my hand, and entreated me most earnestly to permit her to go with
me, and take her for my wife. I started many difficulties to such a plan; but at
length she said so much to persuade me that I ought not regard her poverty, and
that I should be well satisfied with her conduct, I was quite overcome. I directly
procured proper dresses for her, and after marrying her in due form, she embarked
with me, and we set sail.
During our voyage, I found my wife possessed of so many good qualities, that
I loved her every day more and more. In the meantime my two brothers, who
had not traded so advantageously as myself, and who were jealous of my pro-
sperity, began to feel exceedingly envious. They even went so far as to conspire
against my life; for one night, while my wife and I were asleep, they threw us
into the sea.
My wife proved to be a fairy, consequently possessed of supernatural power; you
may therefore imagine she was not hurt. As for myself, I should certainly have
perished without her aid. I had hardly, however, fallen into the water before she
took me up and transported me into an island. As soon as it was day the fairy
thus addressed me: You may observe, my husband, that in saving your life I
have not ill rewarded the good you have done me. You must know that I am a
fairy, and being upon the shore when you were about to sail, I felt a great inclina-
tion for you. I wished to try the goodness of your heart, and for this purpose I
presented myself before you in the disguise you saw. You acted most generously,
and I am therefore delighted in finding an occasion of showing my gratitude; but
I am enraged against your brothers, nor shall I be satisfied till I have taken their
I listened with astonishment to the discourse of the fairy, and thanked her as
well as I was able for the great obligation she had conferred on me. "But,
madam," said I to her, "I must entreat you to pardon my brothers; for although
I have the greatest reason to complain of their conduct, yet I am not so cruel as
to wish their destruction." I related to her what I had done for each of them,
btt my account only increased her anger. I must instantly fly after these un-
grateful wretches," cried she, "and bring them to a just punishment: I will sink
their vessel and precipitate them to the bottom of the sea." No, beautiful
lady," replied I; "for Heaven's sake, moderate your indignation, and do not exe-
cute so dreadful an intention; remember that they are still my brothers, and that
we are bound to return good for evil."
I appeased the fairy by these words, and no sooner had I pronounced them
than she transported me in an instant from the island where we were to the top
of my own house, which was terraced, and then disappeared. I descended,
opened the doors, and dug up the three thousand sequins which I had hidden. I
afterwards repaired to my shop, opened it, and received the congratulations of

24 The Arabian Niohts.

the merchants in the neighbourhood on my arrival. When I returned home, I
perceived these two black dogs, which came towards me with a submissive air.
I could not imagine what this meant; but the fairy, who soon appeared, satisfied
my curiosity. "My dear husband," said she, "be not surprised at seeing these
two dogs in your house: they are your brothers." My blood ran cold on hearing
this, and I inquired by what power they had been transformed into that state.
" It is I," replied the fairy, who have done it; at least it is one of my sisters, to
whom I gave the commission, and she has also sunk their ship. You will lose
the merchandise it contained, but I shall recompense you in some other way; as
to your brothers, I have condemned them to remain under this form for ten years
as a punishment for their perfidy." Then informing me where I might hear of
her, she disappeared.


"The ten years are now completed, and I am travelling in search of her. As I
was passing this way, I met this merchant and the good old man who is leading
his hind, and here I stayed. This, 0 Prince of the Genii, is my history; does
it not appear to you of a most extraordinary nature ?" Yes," replied the genius,
" I confess it is most wonderful, and therefore I remit the second third of the
merchant's punishment."
When the second old man had finished his story, the third began by asking the
genius, as the others had done, if he would forgive the other third of the mer-
chant's crime, provided his history surpassed the other two in the singularity and
uncommonness of its events. The genius repeated his former promise.
The third old man, sire, related his history to the genius, but as it has not yet
come to my knowledge, I cannot repeat it; but I know it was so much beyond
the others, from the variety of wonderful adventures it contained, that the genius
was astonished. He had no sooner heard the conclusion than he said, I grant
you the remaining third part of the merchant's pardon; and he ought to be infi-
nitely obliged to you all for having freed him from his dangerous situation by the
relation of your adventures; for without your aid he would not now have been in

The History of the .Fisherman. 25

this world." Having said this, he disappeared, to the great joy of the whole
The merchant did not omit to bestow many thanks upon his liberators. They
rejoiced with him at being out of danger, and then bidding him adieu, each went
his own way. The merchant returned home to his wife and children, and spent
the remainder of his days with them in tranquillity.

But, sire," added Sheherazade, however beautiful those tales which I have
related to your majesty may be, they are not equal to that of the fisherman."
Dinarzade, observing that the sultan made no answer, said," Since there is still
some time, my sister, pray recount his history; the sultan, I hope, will not object
to it." Schahriar consented to it, and Sheherazade went on. as follows.


HERE was formerly, sire, an aged fisherman, who was so
poor that he could barely obtain food for himself, his
| 7 wife, and three children, of which his family consisted.
H 'e went out early every morning to his employment, and
l he had imposed a rule upon himself never to cast his
.. eenets above four times a day.
** One morning he set out before the moon had disap-
peared; when he had got to the sea-shore, he undressed
09 himself and threw his nets. In drawing them to land, he
000 perceived a considerable resistance, and began to imagine
he should have an excellent haul, at which he was much
pleased. But the moment after, finding that, instead of fish, he had got nothing
but the carcase of an ass in his nets, he was much vexed and afflicted at having
had so bad a draught. When he had mended his nets, which the weight of the
ass had torn in many places, he threw them a second time. He again found
considerable resistance in drawing them up, and again he thought they were
filled with fish; how great, then, was his disappointment in discovering only a
large pannier, or basket, filled with sand and mud. O Fortune!" he exclaimed
in the greatest affliction, and with a melancholy voice, "cease to be enraged
against me. Persecute not an unfortunate being who thus supplicates thee to
spare him. I came from home to seek after life, and you announce my death.
I have no other trade by which I can subsist, and even with all my care I can
hardly supply the most pressing wants of my family. But wherefore should I
complain of thee, who takest a pleasure in abusing the virtuous and leaving great
men in obscurity, while thou favourest the wicked, and exaltest those who possess
no virtue to recommend them ?"
Having thus vented his complaints, he angrily threw aside the pannier, and
washing his nets from the mud, he threw them a third time. He brought up only
stones, shells, and filth. It is impossible to describe his despair, which almost
deprived him of his senses. The day now began to break, and, like a good
Mussulman, he did not neglect his prayers, to which he added the following:
" Thou knowest, O Lord, that I throw my nets only four times a day. Three times
have I cast them into the sea without any profit for my labour. Once more alone
remains, and I entreat Thee to render the sea favourable, as Thou formerly didst
to Moses."
When the fisherman had finished this prayer, he threw his nets for the fourth
time. Again he supposed he had caught a great quantity of fish, as he drew
them with as much difficulty as before. He nevertheless found none; but dis-
covered a vase of yellow copper, which seemed, from its weight, to be filled with

26 The Arabian Ni/hts.

something; and he observed that it was shut up and fastened with lead, on which
there was the impression of a seal. I will sell this to a founder," said he, with
joy, "and with the money I shall get for it I will purchase a measure of corn."
He examined the vase on all sides; he shook it, in order to discover whether
its contents would rattle. He could hear nothing; and this, together with the
impression of the seal on the lead, made him think it was filled with something
valuable. In order to find this out, he took his knife, and got it open without
much difficulty. He directly turned the top downwards, and was much surprised
to find nothing come out; he then set it down before him, and while he was
attentively observing it, there issued from it so thick a smoke that he was obliged
to step back a few paces. This smoke, by degrees, rose almost to the clouds, and
spread itself over both the water and the shore, appearing like a thick fog. The
fisherman, as may easily be imagined, was a good deal surprised at this sight.
When the smoke had all come out of the vase, it again collected itself, and be-
came a solid body, and then took the shape of a genius, twice as large as any of
the giants. At the appearance of so enormous a monster, the fisherman wished
to run away, but his fears were so great, he was unable to move.
"Solomon, Solomon," cried the genius, "great prophet of God! pardon, I
pray. I never more will oppose thy will, but will obey all thy commands."
The fisherman, sire, had no sooner heard these words spoken by the genius,
than he regained his courage, and said, Proud spirit, what is this thou sayest ?
Solomon, the prophet of the Most High, has been dead more than eighteen
hundred years. Inform me, I pray, of thine history, and on what account thou
wast shut up in this vase."
To this speech, the genius, looking disdainfully at the fisherman, answered,
"Speak more civilly; thou art very bold to call me a proud spirit." Perhaps,
then," returned the fisherman, "it will be more civil to call you an owl of good
luck." I tell thee," said the genius, speak to me more civilly, before I kill thee."
" And for what reason, pray, will you kill me ?" answered the fisherman; have
you already forgotten that I have set you at liberty?" I remember it very well,"
returned he ; "but that shall not prevent my destroying thee, and I will only grant
thee one favour." And pray what is that ?" said the fisherman. "It is," replied
the genius, to permit thee to choose the manner of thy death." "But in what,"
added the other, "have I offended you ? Is it thus thou wouldst recompense me
for the good I have done thee?" I can treat thee no otherwise," said the
genius; "and to convince thee of it, attend to my history.
I am one of those spirits who rebelled against the sovereignty of God. All
the other genii acknowledged the great Solomon, the prophet of God, and sub-
mitted to him. Sacar and myself were the only ones who were above humbling
ourselves. In order to revenge himself, this powerful monarch charged Assaf,
the son of Barakhia, his first minister, to come and seize me. This was done;
and Assaf took and brought me, in spite of myself, before the throne of the king
his master.
Solomon, the son of David, commanded me to quit my mode of life, acknow-
ledge his authority, and submit to his laws. I haughtily refused to obey him,
and rather exposed myself to his resentment than take the oath of fidelity and
submission which he required of me. In order, therefore, to punish me, he enclosed
me in this copper vase; and, to prevent my forcing my way out, he put upon the
leaden cover the impression of his seal, on which the great name of God is en-
graven. This done, he gave the vase to one of those genii who obeyed him, and
ordered him to cast me into the sea; which, to my great sorrow, was performed
During the first period of my captivity, I swore that if any one delivered me
before the first hundred years were passed, I would make him rich, even after his
death. The time elapsed, and no one assisted me. During the second century,

The History of the Fisherman. 27

I swore that if any released me, I would discover to him all the treasures of the
earth ; still I was not more fortunate. During the third, I promised to make my
deliverer a most powerful monarch, to be always hovering near him, and to grant
him every day any three requests he chose. This age too, like the former, passed
away, and I remained in the same situation. Enraged, at last, to be so long a
prisoner, I swore that I would, without mercy, kill whoever should in future release
me, and that the only favour I would grant him should be, to choose what manner
of death he pleased. Since, therefore, thou hast come here to-day, and hast
delivered me, fix upon whatever kind of death thou wilt."
The fisherman was much afflicted at this speech. How unfortunate," he
exclaimed, am I, to come here and render so great a service to such an ungrate-
ful object! Consider, I entreat you, your injustice, and revoke so unreasonable
an oath. Pardon me, and God will, in like manner, pardon you. If you gene-
rously suffer me to live, He will defend you from all attempts that may be made


against your life." "No," answered the genius, thy death is certain; determine
how I shall kill thee." The fisherman was in great distress at finding him thus
resolved on his death, not so much on his own account as that of his three chil-
dren, whose wretched state he greatly deplored when they would be reduced by
his death. He still endeavoured to appease the genius. "Alas!" he cried, have
pity on me, in consideration of what I have done for thee." I have already told
thee," replied the genius, "that it is for that very reason that I am obliged to
take thy life." It is very strange," added the fisherman, "that you are deter-
mined to return evil for good. The proverb says that he who does good to him
that does not deserve it is always ill rewarded. I did think, I own, that it was
false, because nothing is more contrary to reason and the rights of society; yet
I cruelly find it too true." "Let us lose no time," cried the genius; "your
arguments will not alter my resolution. Make haste and tell me how you wish
to die."
Necessity is the spur to invention; and the fisherman thought of a stratagem.
"Since, then," said he, I cannot escape death, I submit to the will of God ; but
before I choose the sort of death, I conjure you, by the great name of God, which
is graven upon the seal of the prophet Solomon, the son of David, answer me
truly to a question I am going to put to you." The genius trembled at this
adjuration, and felt that he should be compelled to answer positively. He then
said to the fisherman, Ask what thou wilt, and make haste."
The genius had no sooner promised to speak the truth than the fisherman said
to him, I wish to know whether you really were in that vase; dare you swear

23 The Arabian Nzghts.

it by the great name of God?" Yes," answered the genius, I swear by the
great name of God that I most certainly was." In truth," replied the fisherman,
" I cannot believe you. This vase cannot contain one of your feet; how then can
it hold your whole body ?" "I swear to thee, notwithstanding," replied he, "that
I was there just as thou seest me. Wilt thou not believe me after the solemn
oath I have taken ?" No, truly," added the fisherman, "I shall not believe you
unless I were to see it."
Immediately the form of the genius began to change into smoke, and extended
itself, as before, over both the shore and the sea; and then, collecting itself, began
to enter the vase, and continued to do so, in a slow and equal manner, till nothing
remained without. A voice immediately issued forth, saying Now then, thou
incredulous fisherman, dost thou believe me now I am in the vase ?" But, instead
of answering the genius, he immediately took the leaden cover, and put it on the
vase. Genius," he cried, it is now your turn to ask pardon, and choose what
sort of death is most agreeable to you. But no ; it is better that I should throw
you again into the sea, and I will build, on the very spot where you are cast, a
house upon the shore, in which I will live, to warn all fishermen that shall come
and throw their nets, not to fish up so wicked a genius as thou art, who makes
an oath to kill the man who shall set thee at liberty."
At this offensive speech the enraged genius tried every method to get out of
the vase, but in vain ; for the impression of the seal of Solomon, the prophet, the
son of David, prevented him. Knowing then that the fisherman had the advan-
tage over him, he began to conceal his rage. Take care," said he, in a softened
tone, "what you are about, fisherman. Whatever I did was merely in joke, and
you ought not to take it seriously." O genius," answered. the fisherman, "you
who were a moment ago the greatest of all the genii, are now the most insignificant;
and do not suppose that your flattering speeches will be of any use to you. You
shall assuredly return to the sea; and if you passed all the time there which you
have stated, you may as well remain till the day of judgment. I entreated you,
in the name of God, not to take my life, and you rejected my prayers; I now
reject yours, likewise."
The genius tried every argument to move the fisherman's pity, but in vain. I
conjure you to open the vase," said he; if you give me my liberty again, you
shall have reason to be satisfied with my gratitude." You are too treacherous
for me to trust you," returned the fisherman; I should deserve to lose my life
if I had the imprudence to put it in your power a second time. You would most
likely treat me as a Greek king treated Douban the physician. Listen, and I
will tell you the story."

*.. N the country of Zouman, in Persia, there lived a king, whose sub-
jects were originally Greeks. This king was sorely afflicted with a
leprosy, and his physicians had unsuccessfully tried every remedy
they were acquainted with, when a very ingenious physician, called
Douban, arrived at the court.
He had acquired his profound learning by studying different
authors in the Greek, Latin, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Syriac, and
Hebrew languages; and besides having a consummate knowledge
of philosophy, he was well acquainted with the good and bad pro-
perties of all kinds of plants and drugs.
As soon as he was informed of the king's illness, and that the physicians had
given him up, he dressed himself as neatly as possible, and obtained permission

The History of the Greek King, and Douban the Physician. 29

to be presented to the king. Sire," said he, I know that all the physicians
who have attended your majesty have been unable to remove your leprosy; but
if you will do me the honour to accept of my services, I will engage to cure you
without either internal doses or outward applications." The king, pleased with
this proposition, replied, If you are really so skilful as you pretend, I promise
to confer affluence on you and your posterity; and without reckoning the presents
you will have, you shall be my first favourite. But do you assure me, then, that
you will remove my leprosy without making me swallow any potion, or applying
any remedy externally?" Yes, sire," replied the physician," I flatter myself I
shall succeed, with the help of God; and to-morrow I will begin my operations."
Douban returned to his house, and made a sort of racket or bat, with a hollow
in the handle, to admit the drug he meant to use; that being done, he also pre-
pared a sort of round ball or bowl, in the manner he intended, and the following
day he presented himself before the king. and, prostrating himself at his feet,
kissed the ground.
Douban then arose, and having made a profound reverence, told the king that
he must ride on horseback to the place where he was accustomed to play at bowls.
The king did as he was desired; and when he had reached the bowling-green,
the physician approached him, and putting into his hand the bat which he had
prepared, Sire," said he, "exercise yourself with striking that bowl about with
this bat till you find yourself in a profuse perspiration. When the remedy I have
enclosed in its handle is warmed by your hand, it will penetrate through your
whole body; you may then leave off, for the drug will have taken effect; and
when you return to your palace, get into a warm bath, and be well rubbed and
washed ; then go to bed, and to-morrow you will be quite cured."
The king took the bat, and spurred his horse after the bowl till he struck it;
it was sent back again to him by the officers who were playing with him, and he
struck it again; and thus the game continued for a considerable time, till he
found his hand as well as his whole body in a perspiration, which made the
remedy in the bat operate as the physician had said; the king then left the game,
returned to the palace, bathed, and observed very punctually all the directions
that had been given him.
He soon found the good effects of the prescription; for when he arose the next
morning, he perceived with equal surprise and joy that his leprosy was entirely
cured, and that his body was as clear as if he had never been attacked by that
malady. As soon as he was dressed he went into the audience-room, where he
mounted his throne and received the congratulations of all his courtiers, who had
assembled on that day partly to gratify their curiosity and partly to testify their
Douban entered, and went to prostrate himself at the foot of the throne, with
his face towards the ground. The king, seeing him, called to him, and made
him sit by his side; and showing him to the assembly, gave him in that public
way all the praise he so well deserved; nay, he did not stop here, for there being
a grand entertainment at court on that day, he placed him at his own table to
dine only with him.
The Greek king (proceeded the fisherman) was not satisfied with admitting
the physician to his own table; towards evening, when the courtiers were about
to depart, he put on hirr a long rich robe resembling that which the courtiers
usually wore in his presence, and in addition, made him a present of two thou-
sand sequins. The following days he did nothing but caress him; in short, this
prince, thinking he could never repay the obligations he owed to so skilful a
physician, was continually conferring on him some fresh proof of his gratitude.
The king had a grand vizier, who was avaricious, envious, and by nature capable
uf every species of crime. He observed, not without pain, the presents which
had been bestowed upon the physician, whose great character and merit he was

30 The Arabian Nzghts.

determined to lessen and destroy in the mind of the king. To accomplish this,
he went to him, and said in private that he had some intelligence of the greatest
moment to communicate. The king asked him what it was. Sire," replied he,
" it is very dangerous for a monarch to place any confidence in a man of whose
fidelity he is not assured. In overwhelming the physician Douban with your
favours, and bestowing all this kindness and regard upon him, you know not but
he may be a traitor, who has introduced himself to the court in order to assassinate
you." What is this you dare tell me ?" answered the king. Recollect to whom
you speak, and that you advance an assertion to which I shall not easily give
credit." Sire," added the vizier, I am accurately informed of what I have the
honour to represent to you; do not, therefore, continue to repose such a dangerous
confidence in him. If your majesty is, as it were, in a dream, it is time to awake;
for I again repeat that the physician Douban has not travelled from the farther
part of Greece, his own country, but for the horrible design I have mentioned."
No, no, vizier," interrupted the king; I am sure this man, whom you con-
sider as a hypocrite and traitor, is one of the most virtuous and best of men; there
is no one in the world whom I regard so much. You know by what remedy, or
rather by what miracle, he cured me of my leprosy; and if he had sought my
life, why did he thus save it ? Cease then from endeavouring to instil unjust sus-
picions, for instead of listening to them, I now inform you, that from this very day
I bestow upon him a pension of one thousand sequins a month for the rest of his
life. And were I to share all my riches and even my kingdom with him, I could
never sufficiently repay what he has done for me. I see what it is: his virtue
excites your envy; but do not suppose that I shall suffer myself to be prejudiced
against him unjustly. I well remember what a vizier said to King Sinbad, his
master, to prevent his giving orders for the death of his son."
This very much excited the curiosity of the vizier. I beg your majesty will
pardon me if I have the boldness to ask you what it was that the vizier of King
Sinbad said to his master, in order to avert the death of his son." The Greek
king had the complaisance to satisfy him. This vizier," added he, after having
represented to King Sinbad that he ought to hesitate to do a thing which was
founded on the suggestion of a mother-in-law, for fear she should repent, related
the following story."


HERE lived once a good man who had a beautiful wife,
ease of whom he was so passionately fond that he could
f/ scarcely bear to have her out of his sight. One day,
i when some particular business obliged him to leave her,
-e *he went to a place where they sold all sorts of birds; he
S / purchased a parrot, which was not only highly accom-
pplished in the art of talking, but also possessed the rare
gift of telling everything that was done in its presence.
The husband took it home in a cage to his wife, and
a*V? begged of her to keep it in her chamber, and take great
care of it during his absence; after this he set out on his
On his return he did not fail to interrogate the parrot on what had passed while
he was away; and the bird very expertly related a few circumstances which
occasioned the husband to reprimand his wife. She supposed that some of her
slaves had exposed her, but they all assured her they were faithful, and agreed
in charging the parrot with the crime. Desirous of being convinced of the truth
of this matter, the wife devised a method of quieting the suspicions of her husband,

The History of the usbandan nd the Parrot. 31

and at the same time of revenging herself on the parrot, if he were the culprit.
The next time the husband was absent she ordered one of her slaves during the
night to turn a handmill under the bird's cage, and another to throw water over
it like rain, and a third to wave a looking-glass before the parrot by the light
of a candle. The slaves were employed the greatest part of the night in doing
what their mistress had ordered them, and succeeded to her satisfaction.


The following day, when the husband returned, he again applied to the parrot
to be informed of what had taken place. The bird replied, My dear master,
the lightning, the thunder, and the rain have so disturbed me the whole night,
that I cannot tell you how much I have suffered." The husband, who knew
there had been no storm that night, became convinced that the parrot did not
always relate facts, and that having told an untruth in this particular, he had also
deceived him with respect to his wife; being therefore extremely enraged with it,
he took the bird out of the cage, and, dashing it on the floor, killed it. He, how-
ever, afterwards learnt from his neighbours that the poor parrot had told no
falsehood in reference to his wife's conduct, which made him repent of having
destroyed it.

"When the Greek king," said the fisherman to the genius, "had finished the

32 The Arabian Niights.

story of the parrot, he added, 'You, vizier, through envy of Douban, who has
done you no evil, wish me to order his death; but I will take good care lest, like
the husband who killed his parrot, I should afterwards repent.'
The vizier was too desirous of the death of Douban to let it rest here. Sire,'
replied he, 'the loss of the parrot was of little importance, nor do I think his
master could long have regretted it. But on what account should the dread ol
oppressing the innocent prevent you from destroying this physician? Is it not
a sufficient reason that he is accused of attempting your life to authorize you to
take away his ? When the life of a king is in question, a bare suspicion ought to
be equal to a certainty ; and it is better to sacrifice the innocent than save the
guilty. But this, sire, by no means rests on an uncertainty. The physician
Douban positively wishes to assassinate you. It is not envy that makes me hos-
tile to him, it is the interest alone that I take in your majesty's preservation ; it
is my zeal which induces me to give my advice on so important an occasion. It
my information is false, I deserve the same punishment that a certain vizier
underwent formerly.' 'What had that vizier done worthy of chastisement ?' said
the Greek king. 'I will tell your majesty,' answered the vizier, 'if you will have
the goodness to listen.'"


HERE was formerly a king, whose son was passionately fond of
hunting. His father, therefore, often indulged him in this diver-
sion; but at the same time gave positive orders to his grand
vizier always to accompany and never lose sight of him.
One hunting morning the prickers roused a stag, and the
prince set off in pursuit, thinking that the vizier was following
him. He galloped so long, and his eagerness carried him so
far, that he at last found himself quite alone. He immediately
stopped, and observing that he had lost his way, he endeavoured to
return back by the same, in order to join the vizier, who had not
been sufficiently attentive in following him. He was, however, un-
able to find it; and riding about on all sides without getting into
the right track, he by chance met a lady, not ill made, who was
weeping most bitterly. The prince immediately checked his horse
and inquired of her who she was, what she did alone in that place,
and whether he could assist her. "I am," she answered, "the
A daughter of an Indian king. In riding out into the country, I was
overcome with sleep and fell from my horse. He has run away,
and I know not what has become of him." The young prince was sorry for her
misfortune, and proposed to take her up behind him, which she accepted.
As they passed by an old ruined building, the lady made some excuse to alight;
the prince therefore stopped, and suffered her to get down. He also alighted,
and walked towards the building, holding his horse by the bridle. Imagine then
what was his astonishment, when he heard the female pronounce these words
from within the walls: "Rejoice, my children, I have brought you a very nice fat
youth." And directly afterwards other voices answered, Where is he, mamma ?
Let us eat him instantly, for we are very hungry."
The prince had heard enough to convince him of the danger he was in: he
plainly perceived that she, who represented herself as the daughter of an Indian
king, was no other than the wife of one of those savage demons called ogres, who
live in desert places, and make use of a thousand wiles to surprise and devour
the unfortunate passengers. He trembled with fear, and instantly mounted his

The History of the Fisherman. 33

The pretended princess at that moment made her appearance, and finding she
had failed in her scheme, Do not be afraid," she cried, but tell me who you
are, and what you are looking for." I have lost my way," he replied, and am
endeavouring to find it." If you are lost," she said, "recommend yourself to
God, and He will deliver you from your difficulty."
The young prince could not believe that she spoke sincerely, but that she con-
sidered him as already within her power; he lifted up his hands therefore towards
heaven, and said, Cast thine eyes upon me, 0 all-powerful Lord, and deliver me
from this my enemy !" At this prayer the ogre went back to the ruin, and the
prince rode off as fast as possible. He fortunately discovered the right road, and
arrived safely at home, and related to his father, word for word, the great danger
he had encountered through the neglect of the grand vizier. The king was so
enraged at him that he ordered this minister to be instantly strangled.

Sire," continued the vizier of the Greek king, "to return to the physician
Douban: if you do not take care, the confidence you place in him will turn out
unfortunate. I well know that he is a spy, sent by your enemies to attempt your
majesty's life. He has cured you, you say; but who can tell that? He has per-
haps only cured you in appearance, and not radically; and who can tell whether
this remedy in the end will not produce the most pernicious effects ?"
The Greek king was naturally rather weak, and had not penetration enough to
discover the wicked intention of his vizier, nor sufficient firmness to persist in his
first opinion. This conversation staggered him. You are right, vizier," said he,
"he may be come for the express purpose of taking my life, which he can easily
accomplish, even by the mere smell of some of his drugs. We must consider
what is to be done in this conjuncture."
When the vizier perceived the king in the disposition he wished, he said to him,
"The best and most certain means, sire, to insure your repose, and put your
person in safety, is instantly to send to Douban, and on his appearance, order
him to be beheaded." Indeed," replied the king, I think I ought to prevent
his designs." Having said this, he called one of his officers, and ordered him
to find the physician, who, without knowing what the king wished, hastened to
the palace.
Knowest thou," said the king as soon as he saw him, why I sent for thee
here ?" No, sire," answered Douban, "and I wait till your majesty pleases to
instruct me." I have ordered thee to come," replied the king, to free myself
from thy snares, by taking thy life."
It is impossible to express the astonishment of Douban at hearing the sentence
of his death. For what reason, sire," replied he, does your majesty condemn
me to death ? What crime have I been guilty of?" I have been well informed:'
added the king, that you are a spy, and that you have come to my court in order
to take away my life; but to prevent that, I will first deprive you of yours. Strike,"
added he to an officer who was by, and deliver me from a treacherous wretch,
who has introduced himself here only to assassinate me."
At hearing this, the physician at once surmised that the honours and riches
which had been heaped upon him had excited some enemies against him, and
that the king, through weakness, had suffered himself to be guided by them;
nor was he wrong. He began to repent having cured him; but that feeling came
too late. Is it thus," he cried, "that you recompense the good I have done
you?" The king, however, paid no attention, and desired the officer, a second
time, to execute his orders. The physician had then recourse to prayers. Ah,
sire," he cried, "if you prolong my life, God will prolong yours; do not kill me,
lest God should treat you after the same manner."
You see, then," said the fisherman, breaking off the story in this place, and
addressing himself to the genius, "that what has passed between the Greek king

34 7he Arabian Nights.

and the physician Douban is exactly the same as what has happened between
The Greek king however (continued he) instead of regarding the entreaties the
physician urged in conjuring him, in the name of God, to relent, exclaimed, No,
no, you must die, or you will take away my life in a still more concealed manner
than you have cured me." Douban in the meantime, bathed in tears, complained
much at finding his important services so ill requited, and at last prepared for
death. The officer then put a bandage over his eyes, tied his hands, and was
going to draw his scimitar. The courtiers, however, who were present, felt so
much for him, that they entreated the king to pardon him, assuring his majesty
he was not guilty, and that they would answer for his innocence. But the king
was inflexible, and spoke so peremptorily, that they dared not reply.
The physician being on his knees, his eyes bandaged, and ready to receive the
stroke that was to terminate his existence, once more addressed the king : Since
your majesty, sire, will not revoke the order for my death, I entreat you at least
to give me leave to return home to arrange my funeral, take a last farewell of my
family, bestow some charity, and leave my books to those who will know how to
make a good use of them. There is one of them which I wish to make a present
to your majesty. It is a very rare and curious work, and worthy of being kept
even in your treasury with the greatest care." What book can there be," replied
the king, "so valuable as you mention ?" "Sire," answered the physician, it
contains things of the most curious nature, and one of the principal is, that when
my head shall be struck off, if your majesty will take the trouble to open the book
at the sixth leaf, and read the third line on the left-hand page, my head will
answer every question you wish to ask." The king was so desirous of seeing
such a wonderful thing, that he put off his death till the next day, and sent him
home under a strong guard.
The physician then arranged all his affairs, and as the news got abroad that an
unheard-of prodigy was to happen after his execution, the viziers, emirs, officers,
of the guard, in short, all the court, flocked the next day to the hall of audience
to witness such an extraordinary event.
Douban the physician appeared directly after, and advanced to the foot of the
throne with a very large volume in his hand. He then placed it on a vase, and
unfolded the cover in which the book was wrapped; and in presenting it, he thus
addressed the king: If it be your pleasure, sire, receive this book; and as soon
as my head shall be struck off, order one of your officers to place it on the vase
upon the cover of the book. As soon as it is there, the blood will cease to flow;
then open the book, and my head shall answer all your questions. But, sire,"
added Douban, "permit me once more to implore your mercy. Consider, I beg
of you in the name of God, that I protest to you I am innocent." Thy prayers,"
answered the king, are useless, and were it only to hear thy head speak after
thy death, I should wish for thy execution." In saying this, he took the book from
the hands of the physician, and ordered the officer to do his duty.
The head was so adroitly cut off that it fell into the vase, and it had hardly
been on the cover an instant before the blood stopped. Then, to the astonishment
of the king and all the spectators, it opened its eyes and said, Will your majesty
now open the book ? The king did so, and finding that the first leaf stuck to the
second, he put his finger to his mouth and moistened it, in order to turn it over
more easily. He went on doing so till he came to the sixth leaf, and observing
nothing written upon the appointed page," Physician," said he to the head, there
is no writing." Turn over, then, a few more leaves," replied the head. The
king continued turning them over, still putting his finger frequently to his mouth,
till the poison in which each leaf had been dipped began to produce its effect.
The prince then felt himself suddenly agitated in a most extraordinary manner:
his sight failed him, and he fell at the foot of the throne in convulsions.

I/e n story of the Fisherman. 35

When the physician Douban, or rather his head, saw that the poison had taken
effect, and that the king had only a few minutes to live, Tyrant," he exclaimed,
"behold how those princes are treated who abuse their power and sacrifice the
innocent. God sooner or later punishes their injustice and their cruelty." The
head had no sooner repeated these words than the king expired, and at the same
time the small portion of life that remained in the head itself was wasted.

Such, sire," continued Scheherazade, "was the end of the Greek king and the
physician Douban. I shall now return to the fisherman and the genius."

As soon as the fisherman had finished the history of the Greek king and the
physician Douban, he applied it to the genius, whom he still kept confined in the
vase. If," said he, "the Greek king had permitted Douban to live, God would
also have bestowed the same benefit on him; but he rejected the humble prayers
of the physician: God therefore punished him. This, O genius, is the case with
yourself. If I had been able to make you relent, and could have obtained the
favour I asked of you, I should have pitied the state in which you now are; but
since you persisted in your determination to kill me, in spite of the obligation
you were under to me for setting you at liberty, I ought in my turn to show no
mercy. In leaving you within this vase, and casting you into the sea, I shall
deprive you of the use of your existence till the end of time. This is the revenge
you yourself have taught me."
Once more, my good friend," replied the genius, I entreat you not to be
guilty of so cruel an act. Remember that revenge is not a part of virtue; on the
contrary, it is praiseworthy to return good for evil. Do not, then, serve me as Imma
formerly treated Ateca." And how was that ?" asked the fisherman. "If you
wish to be informed of it, open this vase," answered the genius. "Do you think
that I am in the humour, while confined in this narrow prison, to relate stories ?
I will tell you as many as you please when you shall have let me out." No,
no," said the fisherman, I will not release you; it is better for me to cast you
to the bottom of the sea." "One word more, fisherman," cried the genius: I
will teach you how to become as rich as possible."
The hope of being no longer in want at once disarmed the fisherman. "I
would listen to you," he cried, "if I had the least ground to believe you; swear
to me by the great name of God that you will faithfully observe what you say,
and I will open the vase. I do not believe that you will be sufficiently bold to
violate such an oath." The genius did so, and the fisherman immediately took
off the covering. The smoke instantly issued from it, and the first thing the
genius did after he had resumed his usual form was to kick the vase into the sea,
an action which rather alarmed the fisherman. What do you mean, O genius,
by this ? Do you not intend to keep the oath you have taken ? Or must I address
the same words to you which the physician Douban did to the Greek king:
' Suffer me to live, and God will prolong your days'?"
The fear expressed by him made the genius laugh. Be of good heart, fisher-
man," answered he; I have thrown the vase into the sea only for diversion and
to see whether you would be alarmed; but to show you that I intend to keep my
word, take your nets and follow me." They passed by the city and went over the
top of a mountain, from whence they descended into a vast plain, which led them
to a pond, situated between four small hills.
When they were arrived on the borders of the pond, the genius said to the
fisherman, "Throw your nets and catch fish." The fisherman did not doubt that
he should take some, for he saw a great quantity in the pond; but how great was
his surprise at finding them of four different colours-white, red, blue, and yellow!
He threw his nets and caught four, one of each colour. As he had never seen
.any similar to them, he could hardly cease admiring them; and judging that he

36 Tlhe Arabian Nights.

could dispose of them for a considerable sum, he expressed great joy. Carry
these fish to the palace," said the genius, "and present them to the sultan, and
he will give you more money than you ever handled in all your life. You may
come every day and fish in this pond, but beware of casting your nets more than
once each day: if you act otherwise, some evil will befall you; therefore take
care. This is my advice, and if you follow it exactly you will do well." Having
said this, he struck his foot against the ground, which opened, and having sunk
into it, the earth closed as before.

.. ..- -. ...... ..


The fisherman resolved to observe the advice and instructions of the genius.
in every point, and take care never to throw his nets a second time. He went
back to the town very well satisfied with his success, and making a thousand
reflections on his adventure. He went directly and presented his fish at the
sultan's palace.
I leave it to your majesty to imagine how much the sultan was surprised when
he saw the four fish brought him by the fisherman. He took them one by one,
and observed them most attentively; and, after admiring them a long time, he
said' to his first vizier, Take these fish and carry them to that excellent cook
which the Emperor of the Greeks sent me. I think they must be equally good as.
they are beautiful."
The vizier took them, and delivered them himself into the hands of the cook.
"Here are four fish," said he, "which have been presented to the sultan; he com-
mands you to dress them." He then returned to the sultan his master, who
desired him to give the fisherman four hundred pieces of gold, which he faith-
fully executed. The fisherman, who was never before in possession of so large
a sum of money at once, could not conceal his joy, and thought it all a dream.
He soon, however, proved it to be a reality by the good purpose to which he
applied the gold in relieving the wants of his family.

We must now, sire (continued Scheherazade), give some account of what passed

The History of the Fisherman. 37

in the sultan's kitchen, which we shall find in great confusion and difficulty. As
soon as the cook had cleaned the fish which the vizier had brought, she put
them in a vessel, with some oil, over the fire to fry. When she thought they were
sufficiently done on one side, she turned them. She had hardly done so when,
wonderful to relate, the wall of the kitchen appeared to separate, and a beautiful
and majestic young damsel came out of the opening. She was dressed in a satin
robe, embroidered with flowers after the Egyptian manner, and adorned with
ear-rings and a necklace of large pearls, and gold bracelets set with rubies ; she
held a rod of myrtle in her hand. Approaching the vessel, to the great astonish-
ment of the cook, who remained motionless at the sight, and striking one of, the
fish with her rod, she said, "Fish, fish, art thou doing thy duty ?" The fish
answering not a word, she again repeated it, when the four fish all raised them-
selves up, and said very distinctly, Yes, yes, if you reckon, we reckon; if you
pay your debts, we pay ours ; if you fly, we conquer and are content." As soon
as they had spoken these words, the damsel overturned the vessel, and went back
through the wall, which immediately closed up, and was in the same state as
The cook, whom all these wonders alarmed, having in some measure recovered
from her fright, went to take up the fish, which had fallen upon the hot ashes ;
but she found them blacker and more burnt than the coals themselves, and not
at all in a state to send to the sultan. At this she was greatly distressed, and
began to cry with all her might. "Alas!" said she, "what will become of me?
I am sure, when I relate to the sultan what I have seen, that he will not believe
me. How enraged also will he be with me !"
While she was in this distress, the grand vizier entered, and asked if the fish
were ready. The cook then related all that had taken place, at which, as we
may naturally suppose, he was much astonished; but without telling the sultan
anything about it, he invented some excuse which satisfied him. He then sent
directly for the fisherman; to whom, when he was come, he said, Bring me
four more fish, like those you brought before, for an accident has happened which
prevents their being served up to the sultan." The fisherman did not tell him
what the genius had strictly advised him to do, but pleaded the length of the way
as an excuse for not being able to procure any more that day; he promised,
however, to bring them the next morning.
The fisherman, in order to be in time, set out before it was day, and went to
the pond. He threw his nets, and drawing them out, found four more fish, like
those he had taken the day before, each of a different colour. He returned
directly, and brought them to the grand vizier by the time he had promised.
The minister took them, and carried them into the kitchen, where he shut him-
self up with only the cook, who prepared to dress them before him. She put
them on the fire as she had done the others on the preceding day. When they
were dressed on one side, she turned them, and immediately the wall of the
kitchen opened, and the same damsel appeared, with her myrtle in her hand.
She approached the vessel in which the fish were, and striking one of them, ad-
dressed the same words to it she had before done; when they all, raising their
heads, made the same answer. The damsel overturned the vessel with her rod
as she had done before, and went back through the opening in the wall where
she had entered. The grand vizier witnessed all that passed. This is very
surprising," he cried, and too extraordinary to be kept secret from the sultan's
ears. I will myself go and inform him of this prodigy." He immediately, there-
fore, went, and gave an exact relation of all that had passed.
The sultan was much astonished, and became very anxious to see this wonder.
For this purpose he again sent for the fisherman. Friend," said he to him, when
he came, "canst thou not bring me four more fish of different colours ?" If
your majesty," answered the fisherman, will grant me three days, I can promise

38 The Arabian NIights.

to do so." He obtained the time he wished, and went again, for the third time, to'
the pond. He was not less successful than before, and he caught four fish of
different colours the first time he threw his nets. He neglected not to carry them
directly to the sultan, who expressed the greater pleasure at seeing them, as he
did not expect them so soon, and he ordered four hundred pieces of money to
be given to the fisherman.
As soon as the sultan had got the fish, he had them taken into his own cabinet,
together with the different things that were necessary to dress them. Here he
shut himself up with the grand vizier, who began to cook them, and put them on
the fire in a proper vessel. As soon as they were done on one side, he turned
them on the other. The wall of the cabinet immediately opened; but, instead
of the beautiful damsel, there appeared a black, who was in the habit of a slave.
This black was very large and gigantic, and held a large green rod in his hand.
He advanced to the vessel, and touching one of the fish with his rod, he cried
out in a terrible tone, Fish, fish, art thou doing thy duty ?" At these words the
fish lifted up their heads, and answered, Yes, yes, we are; if you reckon, we
reckon; if you pay your debts, we pay ours; if you fly, we conquer and are con-
tent." The fish had scarcely said this when the black overturned the vessel into
the middle of the cabinet, and reduced the fish to the state of cinders. Having
done so, he haughtily retired through the opening of the wall, which instantly
closed and appeared as perfect as before.
After what I have seen," said the sultan to his grand vizier, "it is in vain for
me to think of remaining at ease. It is certain that these fish signify something
very extraordinary, which I wish to discover." He sent for the fisherman, and
when he arrived, he said to him, "The fish thou hast brought me have caused
me great uneasiness; where dost thou catch them?" "I caught them, sire,"
answered he, "in a pond which is situated in the midst of four small hills, beyond
the mountain you may see from hence." Do you know that pond ?" said the
sultan to the vizier. No, sire," answered he; I have never even heard it men-
tioned, though I have hunted in the vicinity of the mountain and beyond it near
sixty years." The sultan asked the fisherman about what distance the pond was
from the palace; he replied that it was not more than three hours' journey. With
this assurance, as there was still time to arrive there before night, the sultan
ordered his whole court to get ready, while the fisherman served as a guide.
They all ascended the mountain, and in going down on the other side, they.
were much surprised by the appearance of a large plain, which no one had ever
before remarked. They at length arrived at the pond, which they found situated
among four hills, exactly as the fisherman had reported. Its water was so trans-
parent that they remarked all the fish to be of the same colours as those the
fisherman had brought to the palace.
The sultan halted on the side of the pond, and, after observing the fish with
signs of great admiration, he inquired of his emirs and all his courtiers if it
could be possible that they had never seen this pond, which was so close to the
city. They all said they had never heard it even mentioned. Since you all
agree, then," said he, that you have never heard it spoken of, and since I am not
less astonished than you are at this novelty, I am resolved not to return to my
palace till I have discovered for what reason this pond is now placed here, and
why there are fish of only four colours in it." After having thus spoken, he
ordered them to encamp around it; his own pavilion and the tents of his imme-
diate household were pitched on the borders of the pond.
When the day closed the sultan retired to his pavilion, and entered into a par-
ticular conversation with his vizier. My mind," said he, is much disturbed:
this pond, suddenly placed here; this black, who appeared to us in my cabinet;
these fish, too, whom we heard speak; all this so much excites my curiosity that
I cannot conquer my impatience to be satisfied. It is on this account that I am

The History of the Fisherman. 39

absolutely determined to execute the design I meditate. I shall go quite alone
from my camp, and order you to keep my departure a profound secret. Remain
in my pavilion, and when my emirs and courtiers present themselves at the
entrance to-morrow morning, send them away, and say I have a slight indispo-
sition, and wish to remain alone. You will also continue to do so every day till
my return."
The grand vizier endeavoured, by many arguments, to persuade the sultan not
to do as he intended. He represented the great danger to which he exposed him-
self, and the unnecessary trouble and difficulties he might thus encounter, and
probably to no purpose. All his eloquence, however, was exhausted to no effect;
the sultan did not alter his resolution, but prepared to set out. He put on a
proper dress for walking and armed himself with a sabre; and as soon as he
found that everything in the camp was quiet, he departed, unaccompanied by
any one.
He bent his course towards one of the small hills, which he ascended without
much difficulty; and the descent on the other side was still easier. He then
pursued his way over a plain till the sun rose. He now perceived, in the distance
before him, a large building, the sight of which filled him with joy, from the hopes
of being able to gain some intelligence of what he wished to know. When he
came near, he remarked that it was a magnificent palace, or rather a strong castle,
luilt with polished black marble, and covered with fine steel, so bright that it was
like a mirror. Delighted with having so soon met with something at least worthy
his curiosity, he stopped opposite the front, and considered it with much atten-
tion; he then advanced towards the folding-doors, one of which was open. Though
he might have gone in, he thought it better to knock. At first he knocked gently
and waited some time, but finding no one appear, he thought they might not have
heard; he therefore knocked a second time much louder; still no one came. He
redoubled his efforts, but in vain. At this he was much astonished, as he could
not imagine that a castle so well built as that was could be deserted. "If there
be no person there," said the sultan to himself, "I have nothing to fear; and if
there be any one, I have arms to defend myself with."
At last he entered, and when he was in the vestibule, he called out, "Is there
no one here to receive a stranger, who is in want of refreshment on his journey?"
He repeated it two or three times as loud as he could, still there was no answer.
This silence increased his astonishment. He passed on to a very spacious court,
and looking on all sides, he could not discover a living creature. He then entered,
and passed through some large halls, the carpets of which were of silk, the
recesses and sofas entirely covered with the stuffs of Mecca, and the curtains
before the doors of the richest manufactures of India, embroidered with gold and
silver. He went on, and came to a most wonderful saloon, in the midst of which
there was a large reservoir, with a lion of massive gold at each corner. Streams
of water issued from the mouths of the four lions, and in falling appeared to
break in a thousand diamonds and pearls, which formed a good addition to a
fountain that sprang from the middle of the basin, and rose almost to the top of
a dome, beautifully painted in the arabesque style.
The castle was surrounded on three sides by a garden, which was embellished
with all kinds of flowers, fountains, groves, and many other beauties; but what
rendered this spot still more enchanting was the multitude of birds, which filled
the air with the sweetest notes. This was their constant habitation, because there
were nets thrown entirely over the trees, which prevented their escape.
The sultan continued walking a long time from one apartment to another, where
everything was grand and magnificent. Being rather fatigued, he sat down in
an open cabinet which looked into the garden. Here he meditated upon all he
had seen, or might yet see, and was reflecting on the different objects, when sud-
denly a plaintive voice, accompanied by the most heartrending cries, struck his

40 The Arabian N.ights.

ear. He listened attentively, and distinctly heard these melancholy words: 0
Fortune, thou hast not suffered me long to enjoy my happy lot, but hast rendered
me the most wretched of men ; cease, I entreat thee, thus to persecute me, and,
by a speedy death, put an end to my sufferings. Alas! is it possible I can still
exist, after all the torments I have suffered ?"
The sultan, much affected by these lamentable complaints, immediately got
up and went towards the spot whence they issued. He came to the entrance of
a large hall; he drew the door-curtain aside, and saw a young man seated upon
a sort of throne, raised a little from the ground. He appeared well made, and
was very richly dressed, but deep sorrow was impressed on his countenance. The
sultan approached and saluted him. The youth returned the compliment by
bending his head very low, but did not rise. I am sure, sir," said he to the
sultan, I ought to get up to receive you and show you all possible respect, but
a most powerful reason prevents me: you will not, therefore, I trust, take it ill."
" I feel myself highly honoured, sir," replied the sultan, "by the good opinion you
express of me. Whatever may be your motive for not rising, I willingly receive
your apologies. Attracted by your complaints, and impelled by your sufferings,
I come to offer you my assistance. I trust I shall be permitted to afford some
consolation to you in your misfortunes, and I will use all my endeavours to do
so. I flatter myself you will not object to relate the history of your sorrows to
me. But, in the first place, I beg of you to inform me what that pond which is
near the castle means, where there are fish of four different colours; how also
this castle came here, and you thus in it and alone?"
Instead of answering these questions, the young man began to weep most bit-
terly. How inconstant is Fortune he cried; she delights in crushing those
whom she has elevated. Who can say they have ever enjoyed from her a life of
calm and pure happiness ?"
The sultan, touched with compassion at his situation, requested him again to
relate the cause of such sorrow. "Alas, my lord !" answered the youth, "can I
be otherwise than afflicted, or can these eyes ever cease from shedding tears?"
At these words he lifted up his robe, and the sultan perceived he was a man only
to his waist, and that from thence to his feet he was changed into black marble.
You may easily imagine that the sultan was much surprised when he saw the
deplorable state of the young man. What you show me," said he to him, fills
me with horror, but at the same time excites my curiosity. I am impatient to
learn your history, which must, no doubt, be very singular ; and I am persuaded
that the pond and the fish have some connection with it. I entreat you, there-
fore, to relate it; and you may find consolation by doing so, for the unhappy
often experience some relief in communicating their sorrows." I will not refuse
you this satisfaction," replied the young man, "although I cannot impart it with-
out renewing the most poignant grief; but I must forewarn you to prepare your
ears and your mind, nay, even your eyes, for what surpasses all conception."


MUST first inform you (continued he) that my father, who was called
Mahmoud, was the king of this state. It is the kingdom of the Black
Isles, which takes its name from four small neighboring mountains,
that were formerly islands; and the capital where my father resided
was situated on the spot which is now occupied by that pond. You
will know how these changes took place as I proceed with my history.
The king my father died at the age of seventy years. I had no sooner taken
his place than I married, and the person whom I chose to partake of the royal
dignities with me was my cousin. I had every reason to be satisfied with the

The History of the Young King of the Black Isles. 41

proofs of affection I had received from her, and, on my part, I returned them
with equal tenderness. Our happy union continued for five years, when I began
to perceive that the queen, my cousin, no longer loved me.
One day after dinner, when she was gone to bathe, I felt myself inclined to
sleep, and threw myself on a sofa; two of her women, who happened to be in
the room, seated themselves, one at my head and the other at my feet, to fan


me, as well for the purpose of refreshing me, as to keep off the flies, which might
have disturbed my slumbers. They then, supposing me asleep, began to talk
softly, but I had only closed my eyes, and so overheard their whole conversation.
Is it not a pity," said one of them to the other, "that the queen does not love
our king, who is such an amiable prince?" "Surely it is," replied the other;
"and I cannot conceive why she goes out every night and leaves him : does he
not perceive it?" How should he perceive it ?" resumed the first; "she mixes
in his drink, every night, the juice of a certain herb, which makes him sleep all
night so profoundly, that she has time to go wherever she likes; and when at
break of day she returns to him, she awakes him by passing a particular scent
under his nose."
You may judge, my lord, of the surprise which this discourse occasioned, as
well as the sentiments with which it inspired me; nevertheless I had sufficient

42 The Arabian NiAkhts.

command over myself to suppress my emotions. I pretended to awake without
having heard the conversation.
The queen returned from the bath; we supped together, And before we went
to bed she presented me with a cup of water, which it was usual for me to take;
but instead of drinking it, I approached a window that was open, and threw it
out without her perceiving me. I then returned the cup into her own hands,
that she might suppose I had drunk the contents. We soon retired to rest, and
shortly after, supposing that I was asleep, although I was not, she got up with so
little precaution, that she said aloud, Sleep, and mayest thou never wake more."
She dressed herself quickly, and left the chamber.
The queen had no sooner quitted me than I got up, and dressed myself as
quickly as possible, and taking my scimitar, I followed her so closely, that I
heard her footsteps just before me, when regulating my steps by hers, I walked
softly for fear of being heard. She passed through several doors, which opened
by virtue of some magic words she pronounced; the last she opened was that
of the garden, which she entered. I stopped at this door, that she might not see
me, while she crossed a parterre; and following her with my eyes, as well as the
obscurity of the night would permit, I remarked that she went into a little wood,
the walks of which were enclosed by a thick hedge. I repaired thither by another
way, and hiding myself behind the hedge of one of the paths, I perceived that
she was walking with a man.
I did not fail to listen attentively to their discourse, when I heard what follows:
" I do not deserve," said the queen to her lover, your reproaches for my want
of diligence; you well know the reason of it; but if all the marks of love which
I have hitherto given you are not sufficient to persuade you of my sincerity, I am
ready to give you still more convincing proofs of it; you have only to command:
you know my power. I will, if you wish it, before the sun rises, change this
great city and this beautiful palace into frightful ruins, which shall be inhabited
only by wolves, and owls, and ravens. Shall I transport all the stones with
which these walls are so strongly built, beyond Mount Caucasus, and farther
than the boundaries of the habitable world ? You have only to speak, and all
this place shall be transformed."
As the queen finished this speech, she and her lover, having reached the end
of the walk, turned to enter another, and passed before me: I had already drawn
my scimitar, and as the lover was next me, I struck him on the neck, and he fell.
I believed I had killed him, and with this persuasion I retired precipitately,
without discovering myself to the queen, whom I wished to spare, as she was my
Although her lover's wound was mortal, she yet contrived by her enchantments
to preserve in him that kind of existence which can be called neither dead nor
alive. As I traversed the garden to return to the palace, I heard the queen
weeping bitterly, and judging of her grief by her cries, I was not sorry to have
left him alive. When I reached my chamber, I went again to bed, and feeling
satisfied with the punishment I had inflicted on the wretch who had offended
me, I fell asleep. On waking the next morning, I found the queen by my side :
I cannot say whether she was asleep or feigned it, but I got up without disturb-
ing her, and retired to my closet, where I finished dressing: I afterwards attended
the council; and on my return, the queen, dressed in mourning, her hair dis-
hevelled and torn, presented herself before me. Sire," said she, I come to
entreat your majesty not to be displeased at the state in which you now see me.
I have just received intelligence of three events, which occasion the grief I so
strongly feel, but can ill express." "What are these events, madam?" I inquired.
"The death of the queen, my beloved mother," replied she; that of the king
my father, who was killed in battle; and also of my brother, who fell down a


The History of the Young King of the Black Isles. 43

I was not sorry that she had invented this pretext to conceal the true cause of
her affliction, and I imagined that she did not suspect me of having been the
murderer of her lover. Madam," said I, I do not blame your sorrow; on the
contrary, I assure you that I am not insensible to the cause. I should be much
surprised if you were not affected by such a loss ; weep, for your tears are an
undoubted proof of your good heart. I hope, nevertheless, that time and reason
will restore to you your wonted cheerfulness."
She retired to her apartment, where, abandoning herself to her grief, she passed
a whole year in weeping and bewailing the fate of her lover. At the expiration
of that time, she requested my permission to build a mausoleum for herself in
the centre of the palace, where she said she wished to pass the remainder of her
days. I did not refuse her, and she erected a magnificent palace with a dome,
which may be seen from hence, and she called it the Palace of Tears.
When it was finished, she had her lover removed from the place whither she
had transported him on the night I wounded him, and brought to this mausoleum.
She had till that period preserved his life by giving him certain potions, which
she administered herself, and continued to give him daily after his removal to
the Palace of Tears.
All her enchantments, however, did not avail, for he was not only unable to
walk or stand, but had also lost the use of his speech, and gave no signs of life
but by looks. Although the queen had only the consolation of seeing him and
saying to him all the tender things that her love inspired, yet she constantly paid
him two long visits every day. I was well acquainted with this circumstance,
but I pretended to be ignorant of it.
Excited by my curiosity, I went one day to the Palace of Tears to know what
was the occupation of the princess, and concealing myself in a part where I could
see and hear what passed, I heard her speak in this manner to her lover: How
bitter the affliction to me to see thee in this state! I feel as much as thyself the
agonies thou endurest; but, dearest life, I am ever speaking to thee, and yet thou
returnest no answer: how long will this distressing silence continue ? Speak but
once, and I will be satisfied. Alas! these moments that I pass with thee, en-
deavouring to mitigate thy sufferings, are the happiest of my life. I cannot exist
away from thee, and I should willingly prefer the pleasure of seeing thee con-
tinually to the empire of the whole universe."
This discourse, which was frequently interrupted by tears and sobs, at length
exhausted my patience. I could no longer remain in concealment, and approach-
ing her, Madam," said I, you have wept enough; it is now time to have done
with a grief which dishonours us both: you forget what you owe to me, as well
as what you owe to yourself." Sire," replied she, if you still retain any regard
for me, I entreat you to leave me to my sorrows, which time can neither diminish
nor relieve."
I endeavoured, but in vain, to bring her to a sense of her duty; and finding
that all my arguments only increased her obstinacy, I at last desisted and left
her. She continued to visit her lover every day, and for two years she was in-
I went a second time to the Palace of Tears while she was there. I hid my-
self as before, and heard her say, "It is now three years that thou hast not
spoken to me, nor dost thou return the proofs of affection and fondness which
my complaints and sighs must convince thee I feel: is it from insensibility or
disdain ? Hast thou, 0 tomb, destroyed that excess of tenderness which he bore
me? Hast thou closed for ever those dear eyes, which beamed with love, and
formed all my pleasure? Ah, no! I cannot think it; rather let me say thou art
become the deposit of the rarest treasure the world ever saw."
I avow to you, my lord, that I was enraged at these words; for in truth this
cherished lover, this adored mortal, was not at all what you would imagine. He

44 Ihe Arabian Nigthts.

was a black Indian, one of the original inhabitants of this country. I was, as I
have said, so enraged at this speech, that I suddenly showed myself, and address-
ing myself in a similar manner to the tomb, I said, Why dost thou not, 0 tomb,
swallow up this monster, who is even disgusting to human nature? or rather,
why dost thou not consume both the lover and the mistress?"
I had hardly finished these words, when the queen, who was seated near the
black, started up like a fury. "Ah, wretch!" said she to me, "it is thou who
hast been the cause of my grief; think not that I am ignorant of it. I have
already dissembled too long. It was thy barbarous hand which reduced the
object of my affection to the miserable state he now is in; and hast thou the
cruelty to come and insult my despair?" Yes," cried I, interrupting her, and
transported with anger, I have chastised the monster as he deserved, and I
ought to treat thee in the same manner. I repent not having already done it,
for thou hast too long abused my goodness." In saying this, I drew my scimitar,
and raised my arm to punish her. Moderate thy rage," said she to me, with a
disdainful smile, and regarding my motions with a tranquil air, and at the same
instant she pronounced some words which I did not understand, and added, "By
virtue of my enchantments, I command thee from this moment to become half
marble and half man." Immediately, my lord, I was changed to what you see
me-already dead among the living, and living among the dead.
As soon as this cruel enchantress, for she is unworthy of bearing the title of
queen, had thus transformed me, and by means of her magic had conveyed me
to this apartment, she destroyed my capital, which was both flourishing and well
inhabited; she annihilated the palaces, public places, and markets; turned the
whole place into a lake or pond, and rendered the country, as you may perceive,
quite a desert. The four sorts of fish which are in the pond are four different
classes of inhabitants who professed different religions, and inhabited the capital.
The white were Mussulmans; the red, Persians, who worship fire; the blue,
Christians; and the yellow, Jews. The four little hills were four islands, whence
the name of the kingdom originated. I was informed of all this by the enchant-
ress, who herself related the effects of her rage. Nor was even this all: she did
not confine her fury to the destruction of my empire and to my enchantment, for
she comes every day and gives me a hundred blows with a thong, made of a
bull's hide, upon my shoulders, from whence she draws blood at every stroke.
As soon as she has finished this punishment, she covers me with a thick stuff
made of goats' hair, and puts a robe of rich brocade over it, not for the sake of
honouring but of mocking me.-In saying this, the young King of the Black Isles
could not refrain from tears; and the sultan's heart was so oppressed, he could
not offer him any consolation. The young king then, lifting up his eyes towards
heaven, exclaimed, I submit, 0 powerful Creator of all things, to Thy judg-
ments and to the decrees of Thy Providence. Since it is Thy pleasure, I
patiently endure every evil; yet I trust Thy infinite goodness will one day re-
compense me."
Inform me," cried the sultan, affected by the recital of so strange a story, and
eager to avenge such injuries, inform me where this perfidious enchantress re-
sides, and where also is this infamous paramour, whom she has entombed before
his death ?" My lord," answered the prince, "he, as I have before mentioned,
is at the Palace of Tears, in a tomb formed like a dome; and this palace has a
communication with the castle on the side towards the entrance. I cannot ex-
actly tell you to what spot the enchantress has retired; but she visits her lover
every day at sunrise, after having inflicted on me the sanguinary punishment I
related, and you may easily judge that I cannot defend myself from such great
cruelty. She always brings with her a sort of liquor, which is the only thing that
is able to keep him alive; and she never ceases to complain of the silence which
he has invariably kept since he was wounded."

The History of the Young King of the Black Isles. 45

"No one, prince," replied the sultan, "deserves greater commiseration than
yourself, nor can any one be more sensible of your misfortune than I am. A more
extraordinary fate can never have happened to any; and they who may hereafter
compose your history will be able to relate an event the most surprising of any
hitherto recorded. One thing only is wanting to complete it, and this is for you
to be revenged; nor will I leave anything untried to accomplish it." The sultan
having first informed the prince who he was, and the reason of his entering the
castle, consulted with him on the best means of affording him a just revenge, and
a plan occurred to the sultan, which he directly communicated. They then
agreed upon the steps it was necessary to take in order to insure success, and
they deferred the execution of the plan till the following day. In the meantime,
as the night was far advanced, the sultan took some repose. The young prince,
as usual, passed his time in continual watchfulness, for he was unable to sleep
since his enchantment: the hopes, however slight, which he cherished of being
soon relieved from his sufferings, constantly occupied his thoughts.
The sultan rose as soon as it was day; and having concealed his robe and ex-
ternal dress, which might encumber him, he went to the Palace of Tears. He
found it illuminated by a multitude of torches of white wax; and a delicious per-
fume issuing from various beautiful golden vases, regularly arranged, struck his
senses. As soon as he perceived the bed on which the black was laid, he drew
his sabre, and destroyed, without resistance, the little remains of life in this wretch.
He then dragged the body into the court of the castle, and threw it into a well.
Having done this, he returned, and lay down in the black's place, hiding his sabre
under the covering, and remained there in order to complete what he projected.
The enchantress arrived soon after : her first business was to go into the apart-
ment where the King of the Black Isles, her husband, was. She directly stripped
him, and, with unexampled barbarity, began to inflict upon his shoulders the ac-
acustomed number of blows. The poor prince filled the whole building with his
cries, and conjured her in the most pathetic manner to have pity on him: the
wretch, however, ceased not to beat him till she had completed the hundred.
" Thou hadst no compassion on my lover," said she, "expect, therefore, none from
me." As soon as she had finished, she threw the coarse garment made of goat-
skin over him, and then the robe of brocade. She next went to the Palace of
Tears, and, on entering, began to renew her lamentations. When she approached
the couch, where she thought her lover always remained, she exclaimed, What
cruelty to have thus destroyed the tranquil joy of so tender and fond a mistress
as I am! Cruel prince, thou reproachest me with being inhuman when I make
thee feel the effects of my resentment, and has not thy barbarity far exceeded my
revenge ? Hast thou not, traitor, in destroying almost the existence of so adorable
an object, equally destroyed mine ? Alas!" added she, addressing herself to the
sultan, whom she took for the black, wilt thou always, light of my life, preserve
this silence ? Art thou resolved to let me die without the consolation of hearing
thee again declare that thou lovest me? Utter at least one word, I conjure thee."
The sultan then, pretending to awake from a profound sleep, and imitating the
language of the blacks, answered the queen in a solemn tone. "There is no
might or power, but in God alone, who is all-powerful." At these words the en-
chantress, to whom they were unexpected, gave a violent scream through excess
of joy. My dear lord," she exclaimed, do you deceive me ? is what I hear true ?
Is it really you who speak ?" Wretched woman," replied the sultan, "art thou
worthy of an answer?" What!" cried the queen, "dost thou reproach me ?"
"The cries, the tears, the groans of thy husband," answered the supposed black,
"whom you every day beat with so much indignity and barbarity, continually pre-
vent my rest; I should have been cured long since, and recovered the use of my
tongue, if you had disenchanted him. This, and this only, is the cause of my
silence, and of which you so continually complain." "Well, then," said the en-

46 The Arabian Nights.

chantress, "to satisfy you, I am ready to do what you command: do you wish
him to re-assume his first form ?" Yes," replied the sultan; and hasten to set
him free, that I may no longer be disturbed by his cries."
The queen immediately went out from the Palace of Tears; and taking a vessel
of water, she pronounced over it some words, which caused it instantly to boil,
as if it had been placed on a fire. She proceeded to the apartment where the
young king her husband was. If the Creator of all things," said she, throwing
the water over him, hath formed thee as thou art, or if He is angry with thee, do
not change; but if thou art in that state by virtue of my enchantment, re-assume
thy natural form, and become the same as before." She had hardly concluded,
when the prince, recovering his first shape, rose up, with all possible joy, and
returned thanks to God. Go," said the enchantress, addressing him, hasten
from this castle, and never return, lest it should cost thee thy life." The young
king yielded to necessity, and left the queen without replying a word. He con-
cealed himself in some secure spot, where he impatiently awaited the completion
of the sultan's design, the commencement of which had been so successful.
The enchantress then returned to the Palace of Tears, and on entering, said
to him whom she supposed to be the black, "I have done, my love, what you
ordered me; nothing, therefore, now prevents your getting up, and affording me
the satisfaction I have so long been deprived of." The sultan, still imitating the
language of the blacks, answered in rather a sharp tone, What you have yet
done is not sufficient for my cure. You have destroyed only a part of the evil,
but you must strike at the root." "What do you mean by the root, my amiable
black ?" answered she. What can I mean," he cried, "but the city and its in-
habitants, and the four isles, which you have destroyed by your magic ? Every
day towards midnight the fish constantly raise their heads out of the pond, and
call for vengeance against us both. This is the real cause of the delay of my
recovery. Go quickly and re-establish everything in its former state, and on thy
return 1 will give you my hand, and you shall assist me in rising."
The queen, exulting in the expectations these words produced, joyfully ex-
claimed, You shall soon, then, my life, recover your health, for I will instantly
go and do what you have commanded." She went the very next moment, and
when she arrived on the border of the pond, she took a little water in her hand,
and scattered it about. She had no sooner done so, and pronounced certain
words over the fish and the pond, than the city instantly appeared. The fish
became men, women, and children Mahometans, Christians, Persians, and
Jews, freemen or slaves; in short, each took his form natural. The houses and
shops became filled with inhabitants, who found everything in the same situa-
tion and order in which they were previous to the change. The officers and
attendants of the sultan, who were very numerous, and who were encamped
directly where the great place or square happened to be, were astonished at find-
ing themselves on a sudden in the midst of a large, well-built, and inhabited city.
But to return to the enchantress. As soon as she had completed this change,
she hastened back to the Palace of Tears, to enjoy the reward of her labours.
" My dear lord," she cried on entering, I am returned to participate in the plea-
sure of your renewed health, for I have done all you have required of me; arise,
and give me your hand." "Come near, then," said the sultan, still imitating the
manner of the blacks. She did so. Nearer still," he cried. She obeyed. Then
raising himself up, he seized her so suddenly by the arms, that she had no oppor-
tunity of recognizing who it was; and with one stroke of his sabre he smote her
in twain, the pieces falling on each side of him. Having done this, he left the
carcase in the same place, and went to seek for the Prince of the Black Isles, who
waited with the greatest impatience for him.
Rejoice, prince," said he, embracing him, "you have nothing more to fear,
for your cruel enemy no longer exists."

The History of the Young King of the Black Isles. 47


The young prince thanked the sultan in a way which proved that his heart was
truly penetrated with gratitude; and as a reward for the important service he
had rendered him, he wished him a long life and the greatest prosperity. May
you too live happily and at peace in your capital," replied the sultan to him;
"and should you hereafter have a wish to visit mine, which is so near, I shall
receive you with the truest pleasure, and you shall be as highly honoured and
respected as in your own." "Powerful monarch," answered the prince, "to whom
I am so much indebted, do you think you are very near your capital ?" Cer-
tainly," replied the sultan, I think so--at least, that I am not more than four or
five hours' journey." "It is a whole year's journey," added the prince, although
I believe you might come here in the time you mention, because mine was en-
chanted; but since it is no longer so, things are changed. This, however, shall
not prevent my following you, were it necessary to go to the very extremity of
the earth. You are my liberator; and to show you every mark of my gratitude
as long as I live, I shall freely accompany you, and resign my kingdom without
The sultan was extremely surprised to find that he was so distant from his
dominions, and could not comprehend how it happened; but the young King of
the Black Isles convinced him so fully of the possibility, that he no longer doubted
it. It matters not, then," resumed the sultan ; the trouble of returning to my
dominions will be sufficiently recompensed by the satisfaction arising from having
assisted you, and from having acquired a son in you; for, as you will do me the
honour to accompany me, I shall look upon you as such; and having no children
of my own, I from this moment make you my heir and successor." This inter-
view between the sultan and the King of the Black Isles was terminated by the
most affectionate embraces, after which the young prince prepared for his journey.
In three weeks he was ready to depart, greatly regretted by his court and subjects,
who received from his hands a near relation of his as their king.

48 The Arabian Nights.

At length the sultan and the prince set out with a hundred camels laden with
inestimable riches, which had been selected from the treasury of the young king,
who was accompanied by fifty handsome nobles, well mounted and equipped.
Their journey was a pleasant one; and when the sultan, who had dispatched
couriers to give notice of his arrival, and relate the reason of his delay, drew near
to his capital, the principal officers, whom he had left there, came to receive him,
and to assure him that his long absence had not occasioned any change in his
empire. The inhabitants, also, crowded to meet him, and welcome him with
acclamations and every demonstration of joy, which lasted for several days.
The day after his arrival, the sultan assembled his courtiers, and gave them
an ample detail of the occurrences which, contrary to his wishes, had delayed his
return: he then declared to them his intention of adopting the King of the four
Black Isles, who had left a large kingdom to accompany and live with him; and
at last, to reward the fidelity with which they served him, he bestowed presents
on all, according to their rank and station.
With regard to the fisherman, as he had been the first cause of the
deliverance of the young prince, the sultan overwhelmed him with re-
S wards, and made him and his family happy and comfortable for the
rest of their days.


URING the reign of the Caliph Haroun Alraschid there lived at Bag-
t dad a porter, who, notwithstanding his low and laborious profession,
O + was nevertheless a man of wit and humour. One morning, when
3 he was standing with a large basket before him, in a place where he
Usually waited for employment, a young lady of a fine figure, covered
With a large muslin veil, came up to him, and said with a pleasing
a air, "Porter, take up your basket and follow me." The porter, de-
Slighted with these few words, pronounced in so agreeable a manner,
put it on his head, and went after the lady, saying, "Oh, happy day 1
Oh, happy meeting !"
The lady stopped at a closed door, and knocked. A venerable
Christian with a long white beard opened it, and she put some money
into his hands without saying a single word; but the Christian, who knew what
she wanted, went in, and shortly after brought out a large jar of excellent wine.
" Take this jar," said the lady to the porter, and put it in the basket." This
being done, she desired him to follow her, and walked on; the porter still
exclaiming, Oh, day of happiness Oh, day of agreeable surprise and joy !"
The lady stopped at the shop of a seller of fruits and flowers, where she chose
various sorts of apples, apricots, peaches, lemons, citrons, oranges, myrtles, sweet
basil, lilies, jessamine, and some other sweet-scented flowers and plants. She
told the porter to put all those things in his basket and follow her. Passing by
a butcher's shop, she ordered five and twenty pounds of his finest meat to be
weighed, which was also put into the porter's basket.
At another shop she bought some capers, tarragon, small cucumbers, parsley,
and other herbs, pickled in vinegar; at another, some pistachios, walnuts, hazel-
nuts, almonds, kernels of the pine, and other similar fruits; at a third she pur-
chased all sorts of almond patties. The porter, in putting all these things into
his basket, which began to fill it, said, My good lady, you should have told me
that you intended buying so many things, and I would have provided a horse,
or rather a camel, to carry them. I shall have more than I can lift if you add

T/e History of the Three Calenders, c. 49



much to what is already here." The lady laughed at this speech, and again
desired him to follow her.
She then went into a druggist's, where she furnished herself with all sorts of
sweet-scented waters, with cloves, nutmeg, pepper, ginger, a large piece of amber-
gris and several other Indian spices, which completely filled the porter's basket,
whom she still ordered to follow her. He did so till they arrived at a magnificent
house, the front of which was ornamented with handsome columns, and at the
entrance was a door of ivory. Here they stopped, and the lady gave a gentle
knock at the door. While they waited for it to be opened, the porter's mind was
filled with a thousand different thoughts. He was surprised that a lady, dressed
as this was, should perform the office of the housekeeper, for he conceived it
impossible for her to be a slave. Her air was so noble that he supposed her free,
if not a person of distinction. He was wishing to ask her some questions con-
cerning her quality and situation, but just as he was preparing to speak, another
female, who opened the door, appeared to him so beautiful, that he was silent
through astonishment, or rather he was so struck with the brilliancy of her charms,
that he was very near letting his basket and all that was in it fall, so much did
this object make him forget himself. He thought he had never seen any beauty
in his whole life that equalled her who was before him. The lady who had brought
the porter observed the disturbed state of his mind, and well knew the cause of
it. This discovery diverted her; and she took so much pleasure in examining

50 The Arabian Nights.

the countenance of the porter, that she forgot the door was open. Come in,
sister," said the beautiful portress. What do you wait for ? Don't you see that
this poor man is so heavily laden he can hardly bear it?"
As soon as she and the porter were come in, the lady who opened the door
shut it; and all three, after passing through a handsome vestibule, crossed a very
spacious court, surrounded by an open gallery, or corridor, which communicated
with many magnificent apartments, all on the same floor. At the bottom of this
court there was a sort of cabinet richly furnished, with a throne of amber in the
middle, supported by four ebony pillars, enriched with diamonds and pearls of
an extraordinary size, and covered with red satin, relieved by a bordering of
Indian gold of admirable workmanship. In the middle of the court there was a
large basin lined with white marble, and full of the finest transparent water, which
rushed from the mouth of a lion of gilt bronze.
Although the porter was so laden, it did not prevent him from admiring the
magnificence of this house, and the neatness and regularity with which every-
thing was arranged; but what principally attracted his attention was a third lady,
who appeared still more beautiful than the second, and who was seated on the
throne before mentioned. As soon as she perceived the other two females, she
came down from the throne and advanced towards them. The porter conjec-
tured from the looks and behaviour of the two first ladies that this was the prin-
cipal personage, and he was not mistaken. This lady was called Zobeide, she
who opened the door was called Safie, and the name of the one who had been
for the provisions was Amine.
You do not, my dear sisters," said Zobeide, accosting the other two, perceive
that this man is almost fainting under his load ? Why do you not discharge him ?"
Amine and Safie then took the basket, one before and the other behind; Zobeide
also assisted, and all three put it on the ground. They then began to empty it,
and when they had done, the agreeable Amine took out her purse and rewarded
the porter very liberally. He was well satisfied with what he received, and was
taking up his basket to go. but could not muster sufficient resolution, so much
was he delighted by the sight of three.such rare beauties, who now appeared tc
him equally charming; for Amine had also taken off her veil, and he found hei
quite as handsome as the others. The thing that puzzled him most was not seeing
any man in the house; and yet a great part of the provisions he brought, such as
dried fruits, cakes, and sweetmeats, were most adapted to those who wish to drink
much and feast.
Zobeide at first thought the porter was waiting to get breath, but observing him
remain a long time, she asked him what he waited for, and whether he was suffi-
ciently paid. Give him something more," added she, speaking to Amine, "and
let him be satisfied." Madam." answered the porter, "it is not that which de-
tains me; I am already almost too well paid for my trouble. I know very well
that I am guilty of an incivility in staying where I ought not; but I hope you will
have the goodness to pardon it, from the astonishment I experience in observing
no man among three ladies of such uncommon beauty. A party of ladies with-
out men is as melancholy and stupid as a party of men without ladies." To this
he added some pleasantries in proof of what he advanced. He did not forget to
repeat what they say at Bagdad, that there was no comfort at table unless there
were four; and he concluded by saying that as there were three, they had the
greatest want of a fourth.
The ladies laughed heartily at the reasoning of the porter. Zobeide, however,
then addressed him in a serious manner. You carry your fooleries, my friend,
a little too far; but though you do not deserve that I should enter into any expla-
nation with you, I will at once inform you that we are three sisters, who arrange
all our affairs so secretly that no one knows anything of them. We have too great
reason to fear a discovery to permit us to impart our arrangements, and an esta-

-/e 1History of the Three Calenders, &2sc. 51

blished author, whom we have read, says, Keep thy own secret and tell it to no
one; for he who reveals a secret is no longer master of it. If thy own breast
cannot contain thy secret, how can the breast of him to whom you entrust it ?'"
"Ladies," replied the porter, "from your appearance alone, I thought you
possessed a singular degree of merit, and I perceive that I am not mistaken.
Although fortune has not been so propitious to me as to bring me up to any pro-
fession superior to the one I follow, yet I have cultivated my mind as much as I
was able, by reading books of science and history; and permit me, I entreat, to
say, that I also have read in another a maxim, which I have always happily prac-
tised: Conceal thy secret,' he says, 'only from such as are known to be indis-
creet, and who will abuse thy confidence; but make no difficulty in discovering
it to prudent men, because they know how to keep it.' The secret, then, with me
is as safe as locked up in a cabinet, the key of which is lost and the door sealed."
Zobeide saw that the porter was not deficient in cleverness, but thinking that
he was desirous of being at the entertainment they were going to have, she good-
humouredly replied, You know that we are preparing to regale ourselves, and
you must also know we cannot do this but at a considerable expense; and it
would not be just that you should partake of the feast without bearing part of the
cost." The beautiful Safie was of the same opinion as her sister. My friend,"
she said to the porter, "have you never heard the common saying-' If you bring
something, you shall return with something; if you bring nothing, you shall carry
nothing back'?"
The porter would have been obliged to retire in confusion, in spite of his
rhetoric, had it not been for Amine, who took his part very strongly. "My dear
sisters," she said to Zobeide and Safie, I entreat you to permit him to remain
with us. It is unnecessary to tell you he will divert us, for you must see he is
capable of it. I assure you that had it not been for his readiness, quickness, and
courage to follow me, I should not have executed so many commissions in so
short a time. Besides, if I were to repeat to you all the amusing things he said
to me on the way, you would not be much surprised that I am become his advo-
At this speech of Amine's the porter, in a transport of joy, fell on his knees
and kissed the ground at the feet of this charming female. "My dear lady,"
said he, raising himself, "you have from this moment begun my happiness, and
placed it almost at its summit, by so generous an act, for which I can never
sufficiently express my gratitude. In short, ladies," added he, addressing the
three sisters at once, "do not suppose because you have done me so great an
honour that I will abuse it, and that I shall consider myself as a man who is
worthy of it; on the contrary, I shall ever regard myself as the humblest of your
slaves." In saying this, he wished to return the money he had received, but the
grave Zobeide ordered him to keep it. What we have once given," she said,
as a recompense to those who have rendered us any service, never returns. But,
in agreeing that you should remain with us, it is not only on condition that you
keep the secret that we are going to entrust you with, but we also require that you
shall strictly observe the rules of propriety and decorum." While she was speak-
ing, the beautiful Amin' took off her walking dress, and fastening her robe to her
girdle, in order to be more at liberty to prepare the table, she placed on it various
kinds of meat, and put some bottles of wine and several golden cups upon a side-
board. This done, the ladies seated themselves round the table, and made the
porter place himself by their side, who was delighted beyond measure at finding
himself at table with three persons of such extraordinary beauty.
They had scarcely begun to eat, when Amine, who had placed herself near the
buffet, or sideboard, took a bottle and goblet, and poured some wine for herself.
Having drank the first glass, according to the Arabian custom, she then poured
out one for each of her sisters, who drank it one after the other. Then, filling

52 The Arabian Nights.

the same goblet for the fourth time, she presented it to the porter, who in taking
it kissed her hand, and before he drank it he sang a song, the meaning of which
was that as the wind carried with it the odour of any perfumed spot over which
it passed, so the wine which he was about to drink, coming from her hand, ac-
quired a more exquisite flavour than it naturally possessed. This song pleased
them very much, and they each sang in their turn. In short, the whole company
were in most excellent spirits during the repast, which lasted a long time, and
was accompanied with everything that could render it agreeable.
The day began to close, when Safib, in the name of her sisters, said to the
porter, "Arise and go : it is time to retire." To this the porter, not having reso-
lution to quit them, answered, "Ah, ladies where would you command me to go
in the state I am in? I am almost beside myself from gazing on you and the good
cheer you have given me, and I shall never find the way to my own house. Allow
me the night to recover myself in; I will pass it wherever you please; but less
time will not restore me to the state I was in when I came here, and even then
I doubt I shall leave the better part of myself behind."
Amine again took the part of the porter. He is right, my sisters," she
exclaimed ;" I am convinced of the propriety of his demand. He has sufficiently
diverted us ; and if you wish to believe me, or rather, if you love me, I :am sure
you will suffer him to pass the evening with us." "We cannot refuse any request
of yours, my sister," replied Zobeidb. Porter," she added, addressing herself
to him, "we wish to grant you even this favour, but we must premise a fresh
condition : whatever we may do in your presence, with respect to yourself or
anything else, take great care that you do not ask the reason ; for in question-
ing us about things that do not at all concern you, you may hear what will not
please you. Take care, therefore, and be not too curious in attempting to dis-
cover the motives of our actions."
Madam," replied the porter, I promise to observe the conditions with so much
exactitude that you shall have no reason to reproach me with having infringed
them, and even still less to punish my indiscretion. My tongue shall be motion-
less, and my eyes shall be like a mirror, that preserves no part of the object it
receives." To let you see," said Zobeide, with a serious air, that what we
require of you is not newly established among us, observe what is written over
the door on the inside." The porter went and read these words, which were written
and said to the three sisters, "I swear to you, ladies, that you shall not hear me
speak a word concerning anything which does not regard me and in which you
have any interest."
This being settled, Amin6 brought supper; and when she had lighted up the
hall with numerous candles, prepared with aloes and ambergris, which scattered
a very agreeable perfume and cast a brilliant light, she seated herself at the table
with her sisters and the porter. They began to eat, drink, sing, and recite verses.
The ladies took pleasure in making the porter intoxicated, under the pretence of
making him drink to their health. Wit and repartee were not wanting. They were
at length all in the best humour, when they suddenly heard a knocking at the
gate. They instantly got up, and all ran to open it; but Safie, to whom this office
more particularly belonged, was the most active. The other two, seeing her be-
fore them, stopped, and waited till she came back to inform them who could have
any business with them at so late an hour. Safie soon returned. A charming
opportunity, my sisters, offers itself, to spend a great part of the night very
pleasantly; and if you are of the same opinion as I am, we will not let it escape us.
There are three calenders at the door ; at least, they appear so by their dress ;
but what will doubtless surprise you is, that they are all three blind of the right
eye, and have their heads, beards, and eyebrows shaved. They say that they are.

The History of the Three Calenders, &c. 53

only just arrived at Bagdad, where they have never been before; and, as it is
dark, and they know not where to lodge, they knocked at our door by chance,
and entreat us, for the love of God, to have the charity to take them in. They
care not where we put them, provided they are under cover, and will be satisfied
even with a stable. They are young and well made, and appear to possess some
spirit; but I cannot, without laughing, think of their amusing and uniform figures."
Safie could not indeed refrain from laughing most heartily at this moment, nor
could either her sisters or the porter do otherwise than join in it. Shall we,"
said she, "let them come in ? It is impossible but that, with such men as I have
described, we shall finish the day still better than we began it. They will divert
us very much, and they will be of no expense to us, since they only ask a lodging
for one night, and it is their intention to leave us as soon as it is day."
Zobeide and Amin6 made some difficulty in agreeing to the request of Safie,
and she herself well knew the reason of it, but expressed so great a desire to
have her way, that they could not refuse her. Go," said Zobeide to her, "and
let them come in; but do not fail to caution them not to speak about what does
not concern them, and make them read the inscription over the inside of the
door." At these words Safie joyfully ran to open the door, and soon returned,
accompanied by the three calenders.
On entering they made a low bow to the sisters, who had risen to receive them,
and who obligingly told them they were welcome, and that they were happy in
being able to oblige them and contribute towards lessening the fatigue of their
journey. They then invited their new guests to sit down with them. The mag-
nificence of the place and the kindness of the ladies gave the calenders a very
high idea of the beautiful hostess and her sisters; but before they took their
places, having by chance cast their eyes towards the porter, and observing that
he was dressed very like other calenders, from whom they differed in many points
of discipline, and whose beard and eyebrows were not shaved, one of them said,
"This man appears to be one of our Arabian brethren who revolted."
The porter, half asleep, and heated with the wine he had drunk, was much dis-
turbed at these words; and, without getting up, he said to the calenders, casting
at the same time a fierce look at them, Seat yourselves, and meddle not with
what does not concern you. Have you not read the inscription over the door ?
Do not pretend, then, to make the world live after your fashion, but live accord-
ing to ours." My good friend," replied the calender who had before spoken,
" do not be angry, for we should be very sorry to give you any cause; on the
contrary, we are ready to receive your commands." The dispute would not have
ended here had not the ladies interfered and pacified all parties.
When the. calenders were seated, the sisters helped them, and the delighted
Safib in particular took care to supply them with wine. When they had both
eaten and drunk as much as they wished, they intimated that they should be
happy to give them some music, if they had any instruments, and would order
them to be brought. They accepted the offer with pleasure, and the beautiful
Safie immediately got up to inquire after some, and returned the next moment,
.and offered them a flute of that country, also another used in Persia, and a tam-
bour de basque. Each calender received from her hand that instrument he liked
best, and they all began to play a little air. The females were acquainted with
Ithe words, which were lively, and accompanied the air with their voices, fre-
quently interrupting each other with fits of laughter from the nature of the words.
In the midst of this entertainment, and when the party were highly delighted,
they heard a knock at the door. Safie immediately left off singing, and went to
.see who it was.

But I must now inform you, sire (said Scheherazade to the sultan in this
place), that it is proper for your majesty to know how any one came to knock so

54 The Arabian Nirhts.

late at the door of this house. The Caliph Haroun Alraschid made it a practice
to go very often, during the night, through the city in disguise, in order to dis-
cover whether everything was quiet. On this evening, the caliph set out from
the palace at his accustomed hour, accompanied by Giafar, his grand vizier, and
Mesrour, chief of the eunuchs, all three disguised as merchants. In passing
through the streets where these ladies lived, the prince heard the sound of the
instruments, interrupted by laughter, and said to his vizier, Go and knock at the
door of that house, where I hear so much noise; I wish to gain admittance, and
learn the cause of it." The vizier endeavoured to persuade the caliph that they
were only women, who were making merry that evening, and the wine seemed to
have exhilarated their spirits, and that they ought not to expose themselves where
it was probable they might meet with some insult; besides, the time, he said, was
improper, and it was useless to disturb their amusements. "Never mind," said
the caliph; "knock, as I order you."
It was, then, the grand vizier Giafar who had knocked at the door by order of
the caliph, who wished not to be known. Safie opened it, and the vizier observed
by the light of a candle she carried that she was very beautiful. He played his
part very well. He first made a most profound reverence, and then, with a
respectful air, he said, Madam, we are three merchants of Moussoul, and ar-
rived here about ten days ago, with some very rich merchandise, which we have
deposited in a khan, where we have taken up our lodging. We have been to
spend the day with a merchant of this city, who invited us to go to see him. He
treated us with a fine collation; and as the wine we drank put us into a. very good
humour, he sent for a company of dancers. The night was already far advanced,
and while we were playing on our instruments, the others dancing, and the whole
company making a great noise, the watch happened to pass by, and obliged us to.
open the door. Some of the company were arrested; we were, however, so for-
tunate as to escape by getting over a wall. But," added the vizier, "as we are
strangers, and have taken perhaps rather more wine than we ought, we are afraid
of meeting with a second party of the watch, or perhaps the same, before we
arrive at our khan, which is at a considerable distance from hence. And we
should even then get there to no purpose, for the gate would be shut, and who-
ever may come there, they will not open it till morning. This is the reason, madam,
that as we heard, in passing by, the sound of instruments and voices, we thought
all those who belonged to the house were not yet retired; and we took the liberty
to knock, to beg you to afford us a retreat till the morning. If we appear to you
worthy of taking a part in your amusements, we will endeavour, as far as we are
able, to contribute to it, in order to repair the interruption we have caused; if not,
do us at least the favour to suffer us to pass the night under the cover of your
During this speech of Giafar the beautiful Safin had an opportunity of exam-
ining the vizier and the two persons, whom he also called merchants, and judging
from their countenances that they were not common men, she said that she was.
not mistress, but if they would give themselves a moment's patience, she would
return and bring the answer. Safie went and related all this to her sisters, who.
hesitated some time as to what they ought to do. But they were naturally kind,.
and as they had conferred the same favour on the three calenders, they resolved
to permit these also to come in. The caliph, the grand vizier, and the chief of
the eunuchs, being introduced by the beautiful Safie, saluted the ladies and the
calenders with great civility. They, supposing them merchants, returned it in
the same manner; and Zobeide, as the principal person, with that grave and
serious air which so well suited her, said, You are welcome; but in the first
place, do not take it ill if we ask of you one favour." What favour," cried the
vizier, "can we refuse to such beautiful ladies ? It is," replied Zobeide, "to.
have only eyes, and no speech; to forbear from asking questions about what you

The History of the Three Calenders, &'c. 55

may see, in order to learn the cause; and not to speak about what does not
concern you, for fear you should hear what will not be pleasant to you." You
shall be obeyed, madam," replied the vizier, "for we are neither censurers, nor
curious, imprudent persons. It is enough for us to attend to our own business,
without meddling with what does not regard us." After this, each seated himself,
and the conversation became general, and they drank to the health of the new
While the vizier Giafar entertained them, the caliph ceased not from admiring
the extraordinary beauty, the great elegance, the lively disposition and spirit of
the ladies; while the appearance of the three calenders, all blind of the right eye,
surprised him very much. He anxiously wished to learn the cause of this singu-
larity, but the condition they had imposed upon him and his companions prevented
any inquiry. Besides all this, when he reflected upon the richness of the services
and furniture, with the regularity and arrangement everywhere apparent, he could
hardly persuade himself it was not the effect of enchantment.
The conversation having fallen upon the various sorts of amusement, and the
different modes of enjoying life, the calenders got up and danced in their peculiar
way, which much augmented the good opinion the ladies had already conceived
of them, and attracted also the applause and esteem of the caliph and his company.
As soon as the calenders had finished, Zobeide got up, and taking Amine by the
hand, said to her, "Come, sister, the company shall not think that we will put
them under any restraint, nor shall their presence prevent us from doing as we
have always been accustomed." Amine, who perfectly understood what her sister
meant, got up and took away the dishes tables, bottles, glasses, and also the
instruments on which the calenders had played. Nor did Safie remain idle; she
swept the hall, put everything in its proper place, snuffed the candles, and added
more aloe-wood and ambergris. Having done this, she requested the three
calenders to sit on a sofa on one side, and the caliph and his company on the
other. Get up," said she then to the porter, looking at him, and be ready to
assist in whatever we want you: a man like you, as strong as the house, ought
never to remain idle." The porter had slept till he was rather more sober; he
got up, therefore, very quickly, and after fastening his cloak to his girdle, 1 am
ready," he cried, to do anything you please." That is well," answered SafiE,
"and you shall not remain long with your arms (rossed." A little while after,
Amine came in with a sort of seat, which she placed in the middle of the room.
She then went to the door of a closet, and having opened it, she made a sign to
the porter to approach. Come and assist me," she cried. He did so, and went
in with her, and returned a moment after, followed by two black dogs, each of
which had a collar with a chain fastened to it, by which he held them. He brought
these dogs, which appeared to have been very ill used and beaten with a whip,
into the middle of the room.
Zobeide, who was sitting between the calenders and the caliph, then got up,
and approaching to the porter in a very grave manner, We must," cried she,
with a deep sigh, do our duty." She then turned up her sleeves, so as to uncover
her arms up to the elbow, and after taking a whip which Safie presented to her,
" Porter," she said, take one of these dogs to my sister Amine, and then come
to me with the other." The porter did as he was ordered; and as he approached
Zobeide, the dog which he held immediately began to howl, and turning towards
her, lifted up its head in a most supplicating manner. But she, without regarding
the melancholy expressions of the dog. which must have excited pity, or its cries,
which filled the whole house, flogged it till she was out of breath, and when she
had not strength left to beat it any more, she threw away the whip; then, taking
the chain from the porter, she took up the dog by the paws, and both looking at
each other with a melancholy air, they mingled their tears together. Zobeide,
after this, took out her handkerchief, wiped the tears from its eyes, and kissed it;

56 The Arabiaan Nzghts.

then, returning the chain to the porter, she desired him to lead that back from
whence he had taken it, and bring her the other.
The porter carried the one that had been beaten back to the closet, and, in
returning, took the other from the hands of Amine, and presented it to Zobeide,
who was waiting for it. Hold it as you did the first," said she; then, taking
the whip, she served this in the same manner. She then wept with it, dried its
tears, kissed it, and returned it to the porter, who was saved the trouble of carry-
ing it back to the closet by the agreeable Amine, who took it herself.
The three calenders, as well as the caliph and his party, were much astonished
at this ceremony. They could not comprehend why Zobeide, after having
whipped with so much violence the two dogs, which, according to the tenets of
the Mussulman religion, are impure animals, should afterwards weep with them,
kiss them, and dry their tears. They conversed together about it, and the caliph
in particular was very desirous of knowing the reason of an action which to him
appeared so singular. He made signs to the vizier to inquire; but he turned his
head another way, till at last, importuned by repeated signs, he answered in the
same manner that it was not yet time to satisfy his curiosity.
Zobeide remained for some time in the middle of the room, as if to rest from
her fatigue in beating the two dogs. My dear sister," said the beautiful Safib,
"will you not return to your place, that I may also perform my part ?" Yes,"
replied Zobeide, and seated herself on the sofa, with the caliph, Giafar, and
Mesrour on her right hand, and the three calenders and the porter on her left.
The company continued for some time silent; at length Safie, who had placed
herself on the seat in the middle of the room, said to Amin, "' Sister, get up: you
understand what I mean." Amine rose, and went into a different closet from
that whence the dogs were brought; she returned with a case covered with yel-
low satin, and richly ornamented with an embroidery of green and gold. She
opened it, and took out a lute, which she presented to her sister. Safie took it,
and after having tuned it, began to accompany it with her voice: she sang an
air, on the torments of absence, in so agreeable a style that the caliph and the
rest of the company were enchanted. When she had finished, as she had sung
with a great deal of action as well as passion, she offered the lute to Amine, say-
ing, Sister, my voice fails me: do you take it, and oblige the company by play-
ing and singing instead of me."
Amine, having played a little prelude, to hear if the instrument was in tune,
sang for some time on the same subject; but she became so affected by the
words she uttered, that she had not power to finish the air. Zobeide began to
praise her sister. You have done wonders," said she: it is easy to perceive
that you feel the griefs you express." Amine had not time to reply to this speech;
she felt herself so oppressed at that moment that she could think of nothing but
giving herself air, and opening her robe, she exposed a bosom, not white, as the
beautiful Amine ought to have had, but so covered with scars as to create a
species of horror in the spectators. This, however, gave her no relief, and she
fainted away.
Whilst Zobeide and Safib ran to assist their sister, one of the calenders ex-
claimed, We had better have slept in the open air than come here to witness
such a spectacle."
The caliph, who heard him, drew near, and inquired what all this meant. "We
know no more than you," replied the calender. "What !" resumed the caliph,
"do not you belong to the house ? Cannot you inform me about these two black
dogs, and this lady who appears to have been so ill treated ?" Sir," said the
calender, we never were in this house before now, and entered it only a few
minutes sooner than you did." This increased the astonishment of the caliph.
" Perhaps," said he, the man who is with you can give you some information."
The calender made signs to the porter to draw near, and asked him if he knew

The History of the Three Calenders, &c. 57

why the black dogs had been beaten, and why the bosom of Amin6 was so
scarred. Sir," replied the porter," I swear by the great living God, that if you
know nothing of the matter, we are all equally ignorant. It is true that I live in
this city, but before to-day I never entered this house; and if you are surprised
to see me here, I am not less so at being in such company. What increases my
surprise," added he, is not to see any man with these ladies."
The caliph and his party, as well as the calenders, thought that the porter be-
longed to the family, and that he would have been able to have informed them
of what they wished so much to know. The caliph, whatever might be the con-
sequence, resolved to satisfy his curiosity. "Attend to me," he said to the rest:
" we are seven men, and there are only three women; let us, then, compel them
to give us the information we request, and if they refuse to comply with a good
grace, we can force them to it." The grand vizier Giafar opposed this plan, and
explained the consequences of it to the caliph, without discovering to the calen-
ders who he was, as he always addressed him like a merchant. Consider, sir,
I beg," said he, "that we have our reputation to preserve. You know on what
condition these ladies suffered us to become their guests, and we accepted the
terms. What will they say to us if we infringe the compact ? And we should be
still more to blame if any misfortune should happen to us in consequence of it.
It is not to be supposed that they would require such a promise from us, unless
they should be able to make us repent if we broke it."
The vizier now drew the caliph a little aside, and spoke to him in a low voice:
"The night, my lord, will not last long, if your majesty will but have a little pa-
tience. I will then come and bring these women before you, when upon your
throne, and you may learn from them whatever you wish." Although this advice
was very judicious, the caliph rejected it, and desired the vizier to be silent, and
said he would not wait so long, but would that instant have the information he
wished. The next question was, who should first make the inquiry. The caliph
endeavoured to persuade the calenders speak first, but they excused themselves.
At last they all agreed that it should be the porter. He was preparing to utter
the fatal question, when Zobeide, after having assisted Amine, who had recovered
from her fainting, approached them. As she had heard them speak in rather a
loud and warm manner, she said to them, "What are you talking of?--what is
your contest about ?"
The porter then addressed her as follows: These gentlemen, madam, entreat
you to have the goodness to explain to them why you wept with those dogs, after
having treated them so ill, and how it has happened that the lady who fainted
has her bosom covered with scars. This, madam, is what I have been required
by them to ask of you."
At these words Zobeide, in the most haughty and fierce manner, turned to the
caliph and the calenders. "Is it true, gentlemen," she asked," that you have
commissioned this man to require this information of me ?" They all answered
it was, except the vizier Giafar, who did not open his lips. Upon this she replied
to them, in a tone which showed how much she was offended, "Because we
granted you the favour you requested of us, and in order to prevent any cause of
discontent or dissatisfaction on your parts, as we were alone, we made our
acquiescence subject to one positive condition-that you should not speak about
what did not concern you, lest you should hear what did not please you. After
having both received and entertained you as well as we possibly could, you did
not scruple to break your word. This probably arises from the facility with
which we agreed to receive you; but that surely is no excuse, and your conduct,
therefore, cannot be considered as honourable." Having concluded her speech,
she struck the floor with her foot, and clapped her hands three times, and called
out, Enter quickly!" A door immediately opened, and seven strong powerful
black slaves rushed in with scimitars in their hands, and each seized one of the

5 8 Thc Arabiau Nig/ts.


company. They threw them to the ground, drew them into the middle of the hall,
and were preparing to take off their heads.
We may easily conceive what was the alarm of the caliph. He repented, but
too late, at not having followed the advice of his vizier. In the meantime this
unfortunate prince, Giafar, Mesrour, the porter, and three calenders, were about
to pay with their lives for their indiscreet curiosity; but before they received the
fatal stroke, one of the slaves said to Zobeide and her sisters," High, powerful, and
respected mistresses, do you command us to cut their throats?" "Stop," answered
Zobeid, it is necessary first to interrogate them." Madam," cried the affrighted
porter, "in the name of God do not make me die for the crime of another. I am
innocent, and they only are guilty. Alas!" he continued, weeping, "we were
passing the time so agreeably. These one-eyed calenders are the cause of this
misfortune; there is not even a city that would not be ruined by men of such ill-
favoured countenances. I entreat you, madam, not to confound the first with the
last, and remember, it is much more commendable to pardon a miserable wretch
like me, deprived of all assistance, than to overwhelm him with your power and
sacrifice him to your resentment."
Zobeide, in spite of her anger, could not help laughing inwardly at the lament-
ations of the porter. But without paying any attention to him, she addressed
herself again to the others. "Answer me," said she, "and tell me who you are;
if not, you have only an instant to live. I cannot believe that you are honour-
able men, or persons of authority or distinction in whatever country you call your
own. If that had been the case, you would have paid more attention and more
respect to us."
The caliph, being naturally impatient, suffered infinitely more than the rest, at
finding his life depending upon the commands of an offended and justly irritated
woman; but he began to conceive there were some hopes when he found that
she wished to know who they all were, as he imagined she would by no means
take away his life, when she should be informed of his rank. It was for this
reason that he whispered to his vizier, who was near him, instantly to declare who
he was. But this wise and prudent minister, wishing to preserve the honour of

The History of the First Calender. 59

his master, and being unwilling to make public the great affront he had brought
upon himself, answered, We suffer only what we deserve." When, however, in
obedience to the caliph, he wished to speak, Zobeide would not give him time.
She immediately addressed herself to the three calenders, and observing that
they were all three blind with one eye, she asked if they were brothers. No,
madam, "answered one of them for the rest, "we are not brothers by blood, but
only in consequence of being calenders; that is, in pursuing and observing the
same kind of life." Have you," said she, speaking to one of them in particular,
"lost the sight of one eye from your birth ?" No, indeed, madam," he answered;
I became so through a most surprising adventure, by the recital or perusal of
which, were it written, every one must derive advantage. After this misforttine,
I shaved my beard and eyebrows, and in taking up the habit I wear, became a
Zobeide put the same question to the others, who returned her the same answer
as the first. But the last who spoke added, To inform you, madam, that we
are not common persons, and in order that you should have some pity for us, we
must tell you that we are all the sons of kings. Although we have never seen
each other before this evening, we have had sufficient time to become acquainted
with this circumstance; and I can assure you that the kings who have given us
birth, have made some noise in the world."
During this speech Zobeide became less angry, and told the slaves to set them
at liberty, but at the same time to remain where they were. They," said she,
"who shall recount their history to me, and explain the motives which brought
them to this house, shall suffer no harm, but shall have permission to go where
they please; but such as shall refuse to give us that satisfaction shall not be
spared." The three calenders, the caliph, the grand vizier Giafar, the eunuch
Mesrour, and the porter were all on the carpet in the middle of the hall before
the three ladies, who sat on a sofa, with the slaves behind them, ready to execute
any orders they might receive.
The porter, understanding that he had only to relate his history in order to be
delivered from so great a danger, spoke first. "You are already acquainted,
madam," he said, "with my history and what brought me to your house. What
I have to relate, therefore, will soon be finished. Your sister engaged me this
morning at the place where I take my stand in quality of a porter, by which I
endeavour to gain a living. I followed her to a wine merchant's, to a herb-seller's,
to an orange merchant's, and to those who sell almonds, nuts, and other dried
fruits. We then went to a confectioner's and to a druggist's, from thence with
my basket on my head, as full as it well could be, I came here, where you have had
the goodness to suffer me to remain till now, a favour I shall never forget. This
is the whole of my history."
When the porter had concluded, Zobeide, very well satisfied with him, said,
SSave thyself and begone, nor ever let us see thee again." I beg of you, madam,"
replied he, "to let me remain a little longer. It would be unfair that I should not
hear their histories, after they have had the pleasure of hearing mine." In say-
ing this he took his place at the end of the sofa, truly delighted at finding himself
free from the danger which so much alarmed him. One of the calenders next
spoke, and addressing himself to Zobeide as the principal person, who had com-
manded them to give an account of themselves, began his history as follows.

N order to inform you, madam, how I lost my right eye, and the reason that
I have been obliged to take the habit of a calender, I must first begin by
telling you that I am the son of a king. My father had a brother who, like him-

6o The Arabian Nights.

self, was a monarch over a neighboring state. This brother had two children,
a son and a daughter, the former of whom was near my age.
When I had gone through all my exercises, and the king my father thought fit
to allow me a certain degree of liberty, I went regularly every year to see my
uncle, and passed a month or two at his court, after which I returned home.
These visits produced between the prince my cousin and myself, the most inti-
mate friendship. The last time I saw him, he received me with the demonstration
of the greatest joy and tenderness, more so indeed than ever; and wishing one
day to amuse me by some great entertainment, he made extraordinary preparations
for it. We remained a long time at table, and after we had both supped, "You
can never, my cousin," he said to me, possibly imagine what has occupied my
thoughts since your last journey. Since you were here last, I have employed a
great number of workmen about the design I meditated. I have erected a build-
ing, which is just finished, and we shall soon be able to lodge there: you will not
be sorry to see it, but you must first take an oath that you will be both secret and
faithful; these two things I must require of you."
The friendship and familiarity in which we lived did not permit me to refuse
him anything; I took, therefore, without hesitation, the oath he required. "Wait
for me in this place," he cried, "and I will be with you in a moment." He did
not, in fact, detain me long, but returned with a female in his hand, of very great
beauty, and most magnificently dressed.
He did not say who she was, nor did I think it right to inquire. We again
sat down to the table with the lady, and remained there some time, talking of
different things, and drinking bumpers to each other's health. The prince then
said to me, "We have no time to lose: oblige me by taking this lady with you,
and conduct her by such a way, to a place where you will see a tomb, newly
erected, in the shape of a dome. You will easily know it, as the door is open.
Enter there together, and wait for me; I will return directly."
Faithful to my oath, I did not wish to know more. I presented my hand to
the lady and following the instructions which the prince my cousin had given
me, I conducted her safely, by the light of the moon, without any mistake. We
had scarcely got to the tomb, when we saw the prince, who had followed us, with
a small vessel full of water, a hoe or spade, and a small sack, in which there was
some lime or mortar. The spade served him to destroy the empty sepulchre,
which was in the middle of the tomb ; he took the stones away one by one, and
placed them in one corner. When he had taken them all away, he made a hole
in the ground, and I perceived a trap-door under the sepulchre. He lifted it up,
and discovered the beginning of a winding staircase. My cousin, then addressing
himself to the lady, said, "This is the way, madam, that leads to the place I have
mentioned to you." At these words the lady approached and descended the
stairs. The prince was just going to follow her, but first turning to me, I am
infinitely obliged to you, my cousin," said he, "for the trouble you have had;
receive my best thanks for it, and farewell." My dear cousin," I cried, what
does all this mean ?" That is of no consequence," he answered; you may
return by the same way you came."
I was unable to learn anything more from him, and was obliged to take my
leave of him. In returning to my uncle's palace, the vapour of the wine I had
before drunk began to affect my head. I nevertheless reached my apartment,
and retired to rest. On waking the next morning, I made many reflections on
the occurrences of the night before, and recalled all the circumstances of so
singular an adventure to my recollection. The whole appeared to me to be a
dream. I was so much persuaded of it, that I sent to know if the prince my
cousin was yet dressed. But when they brought me word that he had not slept
at home, nor did they know what was become of him, and were very much dis-
tressed at it, I concluded that the strange adventure of the tomb was too true,

The History of the First Calender. 61

This afflicted me very much, and keeping myself in private, I went secretly to
the public cemetery, or burial-place, where there were a great many tombs
similar to that which I had before seen. I passed the day in examining them
all, but was unable to discover the one I searched for. I spent four days in the
same useless pursuit.
It is necessary for me to inform you, that the king my uncle was absent during
the whole of this time. He had been for some time on a hunting party. I was
very unwilling to wait for his coming back, and having requested his ministers
to make my excuses for going, I set out on my return to my father's court, from
which I was not accustomed to make so long a stay. I left my uncle's ministers
very much distressed at not being able to discover what was become of the
prince; but as I could not violate the oath I had taken to keep the secret, I
dared not lessen their anxiety by informing them of any part of what I knew.
I arrived at the capital of my father, and, contrary to the usual custom, I dis-
covered at the gate of the palace a large guard, by whom I was immediately
surrounded. I demanded the reason of this, when an officer answered, The
army, prince, has acknowledged the grand vizier as king in the room of your
father, who is dead, and I arrest you as prisoner on behalf of the new king." At
these words the guard seized me, and conducted me before the tyrant. Judge,
madam, what was my surprise and grief.
The rebellious vizier had conceived a strong hatred against me, which he had
for a long time cherished. The cause of it was as follows. When I was very
young I was fond of shooting with a crossbow. One day I took one to the top
of the palace, and amused myself with it on the terrace. A bird happened to fly
before me; I shot at it, but missed; and the arrow by chance struck the vizier
in the eye, and put it out, as he was taking the air on the terrace of his own
house. As soon as I was informed of this accident, 1 went and made my apologies
to him in person. He did not, however, fail to preserve a strong resentment
against me, of which he gave every proof he could when an opportunity occurred.
When he now found me in his power, he evinced it in the most barbarous manner.
As soon as he saw me he ran towards me in the utmost rage, and digging his
fingers into my right eye, he tore it himself from the socket. It was in this way
that I became blind.
But the usurper did not confine his cruelty to this action alone. He ordered
me to be imprisoned in a sort of cage, and to be carried in this manner to some
distant place, where the executioner, after cutting off my head, was to leave my
body exposed to the birds of prey. The executioner mounted his horse, accom-
panied by another man, and carried me with him. He did not stop till he came
to a place proper for the execution of his order. I made, however, so good a use
of entreaties, prayers, and tears, that I excited his compassion. Go," said he
to me, "depart instantly out of the kingdom, and take care never to return; if
you do you will only encounter certain destruction, and will be the cause of mine."
I thanked him for the favour he did me, and I was no sooner alone than I con-
soled myself for the loss of my eye, by reflecting that I had just escaped from a
greater misfortune.
In the state in which I was I could not get on very fast. During the day I
concealed myself in unfrequented and secret places, and travelled by night as far
as my strength would permit me. At length I arrived in the country belonging
to the king my uncle, and I proceeded directly to the capital.
I gave a long detail of the dreadful cause of my return, and of the miserable
state in which he saw me. "Alas cried he, was it not sufficient to lose my
son, but must I now learn the death of a brother, whom I dearly loved, and find
you in the deplorable state to which you are reduced ?" He informed me of the
distress he had suffered from not being able to learn any tidings of his son, in
spite of all the inquiries he had made and all the diligence he had used. The

62 Thc Arabian Nigh ts.



tears ran from the eyes of this unfortunate father in giving me this account, and
he appeared to me so much afflicted that I could not resist his grief, nor could I
keep the oath I had pledged to my cousin. I then related to the king everything
that had formerly passed.
He listened to me with some sort of consolation, and when I had finished, he
said, The recital, my dear nephew, you have given me affords me some little
hope. I well know that my son built such a tomb, and I know very nearly on
what spot. With the recollection, also, which you may have, I flatter myself we
may discover it. But since he has done all this so secretly, and required you
also to keep it unknown, I am of opinion that we two only should make the search,
in order to avoid its being generally known and talked of." He had also another
reason, which he did not inform me of, for wishing to keep this a secret. The
reason, as the conclusion of my history will show, was a very important one.
We each of us disguised ourselves, and went out by a garden gate which opened
into the fields. We were fortunate enough very soon to discover the object of
our search. I immediately recognized the tomb, at which I was the more rejoiced
as I had before searched for it so long to no purpose. We entered, and found
the iron trap-door shut down upon the opening to the stairs. We had great
difficulty in lifting it up, because the prince had cemented it down with the lime
and the water, which I mentioned his having carried: at last, however, we got it
up. My uncle was the first who descended, and I followed. We went down
about fifty steps, when we found ourselves at the bottom of the stairs in a sort of
anteroom, which was full of a thick smoke, very unpleasant to the smell, and
which obscured the light thrown from a very brilliant lustre.
From this antechamber we passed on to one much larger, the roof of which
was supported by large columns, and illuminated by many lustres. In the middle
there was a cistern, and on each side we observed various sorts of provisions.
We were much surprised at not seeing any one. Opposite to us there was a

The History of the First Calender. 63

raised sofa, to which they ascended by some steps, and beyond this there appeared
a very large bed, the curtains of which were drawn. The king went up, and un-
drawing them, discovered the prince his son and the lady close together, but
burnt and changed into a coal, as if they had been thrown on to an immense fire,
and had been taken off before they were consumed. What surprised me even
more than this sight itself was, that my uncle did not evince any sorrow or regret
at seeing his son in this horrid state. He spat in his face, and said in an enraged
manner, See what is the punishment of this world, but that of the next will be
eternal." Not satisfied with saying this, he pulled off his slipper and gave his
lifeless son a great blow on his cheek.
I cannot express the astonishment I felt at seeing the king my uncle treat his
son in that manner after his death. Sire," said I to him, however violent my
grief may be at seeing so heartrending an object, yet I cannot yield to it without
first inquiring of your majesty, what crime the prince my cousin can have com-
mitted, that his remains should deserve such treatment." The king thus replied:
" Nephew, I must inform you that my son, unworthy such a title, loved his sister
from his earliest years, and was equally beloved by her. I rather encouraged
their rising friendship, because I did not foresee the danger that was to ensue.
And who could have foreseen it? This affection increased with their years, and
reached to such a pitch that I dreaded the consequences. I applied the only
remedy then in my power. I severely reprimanded my son for his conduct, and
represented to him the horrors that would arise if he persisted in it, and the
eternal shame that would tarnish our family if he indulged himself in so criminal
a passion.
I talked to his sister in the same terms, and confined her, that she might have
no further communication with her brother. But the unhappy girl had tasted of
the poison, and all the obstacles that my prudence suggested only irritated her
My son, well persuaded that his sister continued to love him, prepared this
subterraneous asylum, under pretence of building a tomb, hoping some day to
find an opportunity of getting access to the object of his unholy passion, and
concealing her in this place. He chose the moment of my absence to force the
retreat of his sister, which is a circumstance that my honour will not allow me to
publish. After this criminal deed he shut himself up with her in this building,
which he furnished, as you perceive, with all sorts of provisions, to be able to
enjoy for a length of time his detestable amours, which must create horror in all
who hear of them. But God would not suffer such an abominable crime, and has
justly punished each of them." He wept bitterly on finishing these words, and I
mingled my tears with his.
Some time after he cast his eyes on me. But, my dear nephew," resumed he,
embracing me, "if I have lost an unworthy son, I may find in you a happy
reparation of my loss." The reflections which arose on the untimely end of the
prince, and the princess his daughter, again drew tears from us both.
We ascended the same staircase and quitted this dismal abode. We put the
iron trap-door in its place, and covered it with earth and the rubbish of the
building, to conceal, as much as possible, so dreadful an example of the wrath of
We returned to the palace before our absence had been observed, and shortly
after we heard a confused noise of trumpets, cymbals, drums, and other warlike
instruments. A thick dust, which obscured the air, soon informed us what it was
and announced the arrival of a formidable army. It was the same vizier who
had dethroned my father and taken possession of his dominions, and who came
now with a large number of troops to seize those of my uncle.
This prince, who had only his usual guard, could not resist so many enemies.
They invested the city, and as the gates were opened to them without resistance.

64 The Arabian Nighlts.

they soon took possession of it. They had not much difficulty to penetrate to
the palace of the king, who attempted to defend himself, but he was killed, after
having dearly sold his life. On my part, I fought for some time; but seeing that
I must surrender if I continued, I retired, and had the good fortune to escape,
and take refuge in the house of an officer of the king, on whose fidelity I could
Overcome with grief, and persecuted by fortune, I had recourse to a stratagem,
which was the last resource to preserve my life. I shaved my beard and my
eyebrows, and put on the habit of a calender, under which disguise I left the city
without being recognized. After that it was no difficult matter to quit the
dominions of the king my uncle, by unfrequented roads. I avoided the towns
till I arrived in the empire of the powerful sovereign of all believers, the glorious
and renowned Caliph Haroun Alraschid, when I ceased to fear. I considered
what was my best plan, and I resolved to come to Bagdad and throw myself at
the feet of this great monarch, whose generosity is everywhere admired. I shall
obtain compassion, thought I, by the recital of a history so surprising as mine;
he will no doubt commiserate the fate of an unhappy prince, and I shall not im-
plore his assistance in vain.
At length, after a journey of several months, I arrived to-day at the gates of
the city; when the evening came on I entered, and having rested a little time to
recover my spirits, and deliberate which way I should turn my steps, this other
calender, who is next to me, arrived also. He saluted me, and I returned the
compliment. "You appear," said I, "a stranger like myself." "You are not
mistaken," returned he. At the very moment he made this reply, the third
calender, whom you see, came towards us. He saluted us, and acquainted us
that he too was a stranger, and just arrived at Bagdad. Like brothers we united
together, and resolved never to separate.
But it was late, and we did not know where to go for a lodging, in a city where
we had never been before. Our good fortune, however, having conducted us to
your door, we took the liberty of knocking: you have received us with so much
benevolence and charity that we cannot sufficiently thank you. This, madam,
is what you desired me to relate; this was the way in which I lost my right eye;
this was the reason I have my beard and eyebrows shaved, and why I am at this
moment in your company.

"Enough," said Zobeide; "we thank you, and you may retire whenever you
please." The calender excused himself, and entreated the lady to allow him to
stay and hear the history of his two companions, whom he could not well aban-
don, as well as that of the three other persons of the party.
The history of the first calender appeared very surprising to the whole com-
pany, and particularly to the caliph. The presence of the slaves, armed with
their scimitars, did not prevent him from saying in a whisper to the vizier, "As
long as I can remember, I never heard anything to compare with this history of
the calender, though I have been all my life in the habit of hearing similar
narratives." He had no sooner finished than the second calender began, and,
addressing himself to Zobeide, spoke as follows.


O obey your commands, madam, and to inform you by what
strange adventures I lost my right eye, is to give you an account
of my whole life.
I was scarcely more than an infant when the king my father (for I too am a

7he History of the Second Calender. 65

prince by birth), observing that I possessed great quickness of intellect, spared
no pains in its cultivation. He collected from every part of his dominions who-
ever was famous for science and a knowledge of the fine arts, for the purpose of
instructing me. I no sooner knew how to read and write than I learnt by heart
the whole of the Koran, that admirable book, in which we find the basis, pre-
cepts, and regulations of our religion. That my knowledge might not be shallow
and superficial, I perused the works of the most approved authors who have
written on the same subject, and both explained and illustrated that book by
their commentaries. To this study I added an acquaintance with all the tradi-
tions received from the mouth of our prophet by those illustrious men who were
his contemporaries. Not satisfied with possessing a deep and extensive know-
ledge of our religion, I made also a particular study of our histories, and became
master of polite literature, of poetry and versification. I then applied myself to
geography and chronology, and became anxious to attain a knowledge of our
own language in its greatest purity; and all this without neglecting those exer-
cises which are so suited to a prince. There was, however, one thing in which
I most delighted, and at length excelled, and that was in forming the characters
of our Arabic language; and I surpassed all the writing masters of our kingdom
who had acquired the greatest reputation.
Fame bestowed upon me even more honour than I deserved. She was not
satisfied with spreading a report of my talents throughout the dominions of the
king my father, but even carried the account of them to the court of the Indies,
whose powerful monarch became so curious to see me, that he sent an ambas-
sador, accompanied with the richest presents to my father, to request me of him.
This embassy, for many reasons, delighted him. He was persuaded that it was
the best possible thing for a prince of my age to travel to foreign courts; and he
was also very well satisfied at forming a friendship with the Sultan of India. I
set out with the ambassador, but with very few attendants and little baggage, on
account of the length and difficulties of the way.
We had been about a month on our journey, when we saw in the distance an
immense cloud of dust, and soon after we discovered fifty horsemen, well armed.
They were robbers, who approached us at full speed. As we had ten horses
laden with our baggage, and the presents which I was to make to the sultan in
my father's name, and as our party consisted but of very few, you may easily
imagine that the robbers attacked us without hesitation. Not being able to repel
force by force, we told them we were the ambassadors of the Sultan of India,
and we hoped they would do nothing contrary to the respect they owed to him.
By this we thought we should preserve both our equipage and our lives; but the
robbers insolently answered, Why do you wish us to respect the sultan your
master? we are not his subjects, nor even within his realm." Having said this,
they immediately surrounded and attacked us on all sides. I defended myself
as long as I could; but finding that I was wounded, and seeing the ambassador
and all our attendants overthrown, I took advantage of the remaining strength
of my horse, who was also wounded, and escaped from them. I pushed him on
as far as he would carry me; he then suddenly fell under my weight, quite dead
from fatigue and the blood he had lost. I disentangled myself as fast as possible,
and observing that no one pursued me, I supposed the robbers did not choose
to neglect the plunder they had acquired.
Imagine me, then, madam, alone, wounded, destitute of every help, and in a
country where I was an entire stranger. I was afraid of regaining the great road,
from the dread of falling once more into the hands of the robbers. After having
bound up my wound, which was not dangerous, I walked on the rest of the day,
and in the evening I arrived at the foot of a mountain, on one side of which I
discovered a sort of cave. I went in, and passed the night without any disturb-
ance, after having eaten some fruits which I had gathered as I came along.

66 The Arabian Nights.

For some days following I continued my journey without meeting with any
place where I could rest; but at the end of about a month I arrived at a very
large city, well inhabited, and most delightfully and advantageously situated, as
several rivers flowed round it, and caused a perpetual spring. The number of
agreeable objects which presented themselves to my eyes excited so great a joy,
that it suspended for a moment the poignant regret I felt at finding myself in so
miserable a situation. My whole face, as well as my hands and feet, were of a
brown tawny colour, for the sun had
quite burnt me; and my slippers
were so completely worn out by
I walking, that I was obliged to travel
barefoot ; besides this, my clothes
were all in rags.
I entered the town in order to
learn the language spoken, and
thence to find out where I was. I
addressed myself to a tailor, who
was at work in his shop. On account
of my youth, and a certain manner
about me, which intimated 1 was
something better than I appeared,
he made me sit down near him. He
i c l, an asked me who I was, where I came
S from, and what had brought me to
i that place. I concealed nothing
from him, but informed him of
every circumstance that had hap-
pened to me, and did not even hesi-
tate at discovering my name. The
tailor listened to me very attentively;
but when I had finished my narra-
tion, instead of giving me any con-
solation, he augmented my troubles.
"Take care," said he to me, that
THE PRINCE'S CONDITION. you do not place the same confi-
dence in any one else that you have
in me, for the prince who reigns in
this kingdom is the greatest enemy of the king your father; and if he should be
informed of your arrival in this city, I doubt not but he will inflict some evil upon
you." I readily believed the sincerity of the tailor, when he told me the name
of the prince; but as the enmity between my father and him has no connection
with my adventures, I shall not, madam, enter into any detail of it.
I thanked the tailor for the advice he had given me, and told him that I placed
implicit faith in his good counsel, and should never forget the favour I received
from him. As he supposed I was not deficient in appetite, he brought me some-
thing to eat, and offered me even an apartment at his house, which I accepted.
Some days after my arrival, the tailor, remarking that I was tolerably reco-
vered from the effects of my long and painful journey, and being aware that most
of the princes of our religion had the precaution, in order to guard against any
reverse of fortune, to make themselves acquainted with some art or trade, to
assist them in case of want, asked me if I knew anything by which I could acquire
a livelihood, without being chargeable 4to anybody. I told him that I was well
versed in the science of laws, both human and divine; that I was a grammarian,
a poet, and, above all, that I wrote remarkably well. With all this," he replied,
"you will not in this country procure a morsel of bread; nothing is more useless

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The History of the Second Calender. 67

here 'han this kind of knowledge. If you wish to follow my advice," he added,
"you will procure a short jacket, and as you are strong and of good constitution,
you may go into the neighboring forest and cut wood for fuel. You may then
go and expose it for sale in the market, and I assure you that you may acquire a
small income, but sufficient to enable you to live independently of every one.
By these means you will be enabled to wait till Heaven shall become favourable
to you, and till the cloud of bad fortune which hangs over you, and obliges you
to conceal your birth, shall have blown over. I will furnish you with a cord and
hatchet." The fear of being known, and the necessity of supporting myself,
determined me to pursue this plan, in spite of the degradation and pain which
were attached to it.
The next day the- tailor brought me a hatchet and a cord, and also a short
jacket, and recommending me to some poor people who obtained their livelihood
in the same manner, he requested them to take me with them. They conducted
me to the forest, and from this time I regularly brought back upon my head a
large bundle of wood, which I sold for a small piece of gold money current in
:that country; for although the forest was not far off, wood was nevertheless dear
in that city, because there were few men who gave themselves the trouble of going
to cut it. I soon acquired a considerable sum, and was enabled to repay the
tailor what he had expended on my account.
I had passed more than a year in this mode of life when, having one day gone
deeper into the forest than usual, I came to a very pleasant spot, where I began
to cut my wood. In cutting up the root of a tree, I discovered an iron ring fas-
tened to a trap-door of the same material. I immediately cleared away the earth
that covered it, and on lifting it up I perceived a staircase, by which I descended,
with my hatchet in my hand. When I got to the bottom of the stairs, I found
'myself in a vast palace, which struck me very much by the great brilliancy with
which it was illuminated, as much so, indeed, as if it had been built on the most
open spot aboveground. I went forward along a gallery supported on columns
of jasper, the bases and capitals of which were of massive gold, but stopped sud-
denly on beholding a lady, who appeared to have so noble and graceful an air,
and to possess such extraordinary beauty, that my attention was taken off from
every other object, and my eyes fixed on her alone.
To prevent this beautiful lady from having the trouble of coming to me, I made
haste towards her; and while I was making a most respectful reverence, she said
to me, Who are you, a man or a genius ?" I am a man, madam," I answered,
:getting up," nor have I any commerce with genii." By what adventure," replied
she, with a deep sigh, "have you come here? I have remained here more than
twenty-five years, and during the whole of that time I have seen no other man
than yourself."
Her great beauty, which had already made a deep impression on me, together
with the mildness and good humour with which she received me, made me bold
enough to say, "Before, madam, I have the honour of satisfying your curiosity,
permit me to tell you that I feel highly delighted at this unexpected interview,
which offers me the means both of consoling myself under the affliction in which
I am, and perhaps of making you happier than you now are." I then faithfully
related to her by what strange accident she saw in me the son of a king, why I
appeared to her in that condition, and how accident had discovered to me the
-entrance into the magnificent prison in which I found her, and of which from all
appearance she was heartily tired. "Alas! prince," she replied, again sighing,
" you may truly say this rich and superb prison is unpleasing and wearisome. The
most enchanting spots cannot afford delight when we are there against our wills.
Is it possible you have never heard any one speak of the great Epitimarus, King
of the Ebony Isle, a place so called from the great quantity of that precious wood
which it produces? I am the princess his daughter.

68 The Arabian tNights.

"The king my father had chosen for my husband a prince, who was my cousin;
but on the very night of our nuptials, in the midst of the rejoicings of the court
and capital of the Isle of Ebony, and before I had been given to my husband,
a genius took me away. I fainted almost the same moment and lost all recol-
lection, and when I recovered my senses I found myself in this place. For a long
time I was inconsolable, but habit and necessity have reconciled me to the sight
and company of the genius. Twenty-five years have passed, as I have already:
told you, since I first was brought to this place, in which I must own that I have,
even by wishing, not only everything necessary for life, but whatever can satisfy
a princess who is fond of decoration and dress.
Every ten days," continued the princess, the genius comes and passes the
night here; he never sleeps here oftener, and gives as a reason that he is married
to another, who would be jealous of the infidelity of which he was guilty, should
it come to her knowledge. In the meantime, if I have any occasion for him, I
have only to touch a talisman, which is placed at the entrance of my chamber,
and he appears. It is now four days since he was here, and I have therefore to
wait six days more before he again makes his appearance. You therefore may
remain five with me, if it be agreeable to you, in order to keep me company; and
I will endeavour to regale and entertain you equal to your merit and quality."
I should have thought myself too happy to obtain so great a favour by asking
it not to accept it after so obliging an offer. The princess then conducted me to
a bath, the most elegant, convenient, and at the same time sumptuous you can
possibly imagine. When I came out, I found, instead of my own dress, another
very rich one, which I put on, less for its magnificence than to render myself
more worthy of her notice.
We seated ourselves on a sofa, covered with superb drapery, the cushions of
which were of the richest Indian brocade; she then set before me a variety of
the most delicate and rare dishes. We ate together, and passed the remainder
of the day very agreeably.
The next day, in order to devise every method of entertaining me, she pro-
duced at dinner a flask of very old wine, the finest I ever tasted; and to please.
me she drank several glasses with me.
I no sooner found my head rather heated with this agreeable liquor than I said!,
"Beautiful princess, you have been buried here alive much too long; follow me,
and go and enjoy the brightness of the genuine day, of which for so many years
you have been deprived. Abandon this false though brilliant light you have here."
" Let us talk no more, prince," she answered, smiling, on this subject. I value
not the most beautiful day in the world if you will pass nine with me here, and
give up the tenth to the genius." Princess," I replied, I see very well that it
is the dread you have of the genius which makes you hold this language. As for
myself, I fear him so little that I am determined to break his talisman in pieces,.
with the magic spell that is inscribed upon it. Let him then come; I will wait
for him, and however brave and however formidable he may be, I will make himl
feel the weight of my arm. I have taken an oath to exterminate all the genii in
the world, and he shall be the first." The princess, who knew the consequence
of this conduct, conjured me not to touch the talisman. "Alas !" she cried, "it
will be the means of destroying both you and myself. I am better acquainted
with the dispositions of genii than you can be." The wine I had drunk pre-
vented me from acknowledging the propriety of her reasons: I kicked down the
talisman and broke it in pieces.
This was no sooner done than the whole palace shook as if ready to fall to
atoms, accompanied with a most dreadful noise like thunder, and flashes of
lightning, which heightened still more the intermediate gloom. This formidable
adventure in a moment dissipated the fumes of the wine, and made me own,
though too late, the fault I had committed. "Princess," I exclaimed, "what does.

The History of the Second Calender. 69

all this mean ?" Without thinking of her own misfortune, and alarmed only for
me, she, in a fright, answered," Alas! it is all over with you, unless you save
yourself by flight."
I followed her advice ; and my fear was so great that I forgot my hatchet and
my cord. I had hardly gained the staircase by which I descended, than the
-enchanted palace opened to afford a passage to the genius. "What has hap-
pened to you, and why have you called me?" he demanded of the princess
in an angry tone. A violent pain," replied the princess, obliged me to search
after the bottle which you see; I drank two or three glasses, and unfortunately
making a false step, I fell upon the talisman, which 1 thus broke. There is no
other cause." At this answer the genius, in the utmost rage, exclaimed, You
.are both imprudent and deceitful: how came this hatchet and this cord here,
then ?" I have never seen them," replied she, till this instant. Perhaps, in
the haste and impetuosity with which you came, you have taken them up in pass-
ing through some place, and have brought them here without observing them."
The genius replied only by reproaches and blows, of which I couldly plainly
distinguish the sound. It distressed me beyond measure to hear the cries and
sobbing of the princess who was thus cruelly used. I had already taken off the
habit which she had made me put on, and resumed my own, which I had carried
to the staircase the day before, after I had been in the bath. I proceeded there-
fore up the stairs, as I was the more penetrated with grief and compassion on
account of having been the cause of such a misfortune, and as I should become
the most criminal and ungrateful of men in thus sacrificing the most beautiful
princess on earth to the barbarity of an implacable genius. "It is true," said I
to myself, that she has been a prisoner for five and twenty years ; but, except-
ing liberty, she had nothing to wish for in order to be happy. My conduct has
put an end to her happiness, and raised the cruelty of a merciless demon to its
very summit." I then shut down the trap-door, covered it over with the earth,
.and returned to the city with a load of wood, which I collected, without even
knowing what I was about, so much was I absorbed and afflicted at what had
My host, the tailor, expressed great joy at my return. "Your absence," said
he, has caused me much uneasiness on account of the secret of your birth, with
which you have entrusted me. I knew not what to think, and began to fear some
.one might have recognized you. God be praised that you are come back." I
thanked him much for his zeal and affection, but did not inform him of anything
that had happened, nor of the reason why I returned without my hatchet and
cord. I retired to my chamber, where I reproached myself a thousand times for
my great imprudence. "Nothing," I cried, "could have equalled the mutual
,happiness of the princess and myself, if I had been satisfied, and had not broken
:the talisman."
While I was abandoning myself t these afflicting thoughts, the tailor entered
Jmy apartment, and said that an old man, whom he did not know, had brought
,my hatchet and cord, which he had found on his way. He has been informed by
your companions," added the tailor, "who went to cut wood with you, that you
live here. Come and speak to him, as he wishes to deliver them into your own
hands." At this speech I changed colour, and trembled from head to foot. The
tailor inquired the cause, when suddenly the floor of my chamber opened. The
.old man, who had not the patience to wait, appeared, and presented himself to
us with the hatchet and cord. This was in fact the genius who had ravished the
beautiful princess of the Isle of Ebony, and who had thus come in disguise, after
having treated her with the greatest barbarity. I am a genius," he said to us.
" a son of the daughter of Eblis, Prince of the Genii. Is not this thy hatchet ?"
added he, addressing me, "and is not this thy cord ? "
The genius gave me no time to answer these questions ; nor indeed should I

70 The Arabian Nights.

have been able to do so, as his dreadful presence made me entirely forget myself.
He took me by the middle of the body, and dragging me out of the chamber,
sprang into the air, and carried me up towards heaven with so much force and
celerity that I was sensible of the great height to which I had ascended before
I was aware of the distance I had travelled in so short a space of time. He then
descended towards the earth, and having caused it to open by striking his foot
against it, he sank into it, and I instantly found myself in the enchanted palace,
and in the presence of the beautiful princess of the Isle of Ebony. But, alas !
what a sight It pierced my very inmost heart. She was naked and covered
with blood, and lying along the ground more dead than alive, with her face bathed
in tears.
Perfidious wretch !" said the genius, showing me to her, "is not this thy
lover ?" She cast her languid eyes upon me, and in a most sorrowful tone an-
swered, I know him not, nor have I ever seen him till this instant." "What!"
cried the genius, "dare you affirm you do not know him, although he is the cause
of your being treated, and justly, in the manner you have been ?" If I am ignorant
of him," replied she, do you wish that I should utter a falsehood, which would
prove his destruction?" "Well, then," exclaimed the genius, drawing his scimitar,
and presenting it to the princess, "if you have never seen him, take this scimitar
and cut off his head." How, alas !" she answered, can I execute what you
require of me? My strength is so exhausted that I cannot lift up my arm; and
even were I able, do you think I could put to death an innocent person whom I
do not know ?" "This refusal, then," added the genius, completely proves to,
me your crime." And then turning to me, he said, "Are you too unacquainted
with her ? "
I should have been the most ungrateful and most perfidious of men if I had
not preserved the same fidelity towards her which she had done for me ; I there-
fore said, "How should I know her, when this is the first time I have ever set
eyes upon her?" If that be true," he replied, "take the scimitar and cut off
her head. It is the price I set on your liberty, and the only way to convince me
you have never seen her before, as you affirm." With all my heart," I answered,.
and took the scimitar in my hand. Do not, however, imagine that I approached
the beautiful princess of the Isle of Ebony for the purpose of becoming the in-
strument of the barbarity of the genius ; I did it only to show her by my actions,,
as well as I could, that as she had the courage to sacrifice her life from love of
me, neither could I refuse to immolate myself also from the same motive. The:
princess comprehended my meaning, and, in spite of her pains and sufferings,
gave me to understand by her looks that she should willingly die, and was well
satisfied with knowing that I was equally ready. I then drew back, and throw-
ing the scimitar on the ground, said to the genius, I should be eternally con-
demned by all men if I had the cowardice to murder, I will not say a person
whom I do not know, but a lady such as I now see, in the state in which she is,;
ready to expire. You may treat me as you please, since I am in your power, but
I will never obey your barbarous commands."
I am well aware," said the genius, that both of you brave my rage and in-
sult my jealousy; but you shall find what I am capable of by the manner in
which I shall treat you." At these words the monster took up the scimitar, and
cut off one of the hands of the princess, who had barely time to bid me an eternal
farewell with the other, before the great loss of blood from her other wounds,
added to what flowed from the present, extinguished her life, not two moments
after the perpetration of this last cruelty; the sight of which made me faint.
When I returned to my senses, I complained to the genius for suffering me to
remain in expectation of death. "Strike!" I cried, I am ready to receive the
mortal wound, and expect it from you as the greatest favour you can bestow."
Instead, however, of doing so, he said, "Observe in what manner genii treat.

The History of the Envious MAan. 71


women whom they suspect of infidelity. She received you here; and if I were
convinced that she had done me any further wrong, I would this instant anni-
hilate you; but I shall content myself with changing you into a dog, an ass, a
lion, or a bird. Make your choice; I wish not to control you." These words
gave me some hopes of softening him; I said, Moderate, 0 powerful genius,
your wrath, and since you wish not to take my life, grant it me in a generous
manner. If you pardon me, I shall always remember your clemency, as one of
the best of men pardoned his neighbour, who bore him a most deadly envy."
The genius then asked me what had passed between these two neighbours, when
I told him, if he would have the patience to listen to me, I would relate the
IN a town of no inconsiderable importance there were two men, who lived next
door to each other. One of them was so excessively envious of the other, that
the latter resolved to change his abode, and go and reside at some distance from
him, supposing that nearness of residence alone was the cause of his neighbour's

72 The Arabiain Viguhts.

animosity; for although he was continually doing him some friendly office, he
perceived that he was not the less hated. He therefore sold his house and the
small estate he had there, and went to the capital of the kingdom, which was at
no great distance, and bought a small piece of ground about half a league from
the town, on which there stood a very convenient house. He had also a good
garden and a moderate court, in which there was a deep cistern, that was not
now used.
The good man having made this purchase, put on the habit of a dervise, in
order to pass his life more quietly, and made also many cells in his house, where
he soon established a small community of dervises. The report of his virtues
was soon more generally spread abroad, and failed not to attract the attention
and visits of great numbers of the principal inhabitants as well as common
people. At length he became honoured and noticed by almost every one. They
came from a great distance to request him to offer up his prayers for them; and
all who remained in retirement with him published an account of the blessings
they thought they received from Heaven through his means.
The great reputation of this man at length reached the town from whence he
came, and the envious man was so vexed that he left his house and all his affairs,
with the determination to go and destroy him. For this purpose he went to the
convent of the dervises, whose chief, his former neighbour, received him with
every possible mark of friendship. The envious man told him that he was come
for the express design of communicating an affair of great importance to him,
and which he could only inform him of in private. "In short," said he, "in
order that no one may hear us, let us, I beg of you, walk in' your court; and
when night comes on, order all the dervises to their cells." The chief of the
dervises did as he requested.
When the envious man found himself alone with the good man, he began to
relate to him whatever came into his thoughts, while they walked from one end
of the court to the other, till, observing they were just at the edge of the well,
he gave him a push and threw him into it. No witness beheld this wicked deed,
and he directly went away, reached the gate of the house, passed out unseen, and
returned home well satisfied with his journey, highly pleased that the object of
his envy was at length no more. In this, however, he was deceived.
Fortunately for the dervise, this well was inhabited by fairies and genii, who
were ready to assist him. They caught and supported him in their arms in such
a way that he received not the least injury. He naturally supposed there was
something very extraordinary in having had such a fall as ought to have cost him
his life, and yet he could neither see nor perceive anything. He soon after, how-
ever, heard a voice say, Do you know anything of this man to whom we have
been so serviceable?" when some other voices answered, "No." The first then
replied," I will inform you. This man, with the most charitable and benevolent
intentions in the world, left the town where he lived, and came to fix himself in
this place, with the hopes of being able to cure one of his neighbours of the envy
and hatred he had conceived against him. He soon became so universally es-
teemed that the envious man could not endure it, and determined, therefore, to
put an end to his existence. This design he would have executed had it not
been for the assistance we afforded this good man, whose reputation is so great
that the sultan, who resides in the neighboring town, was coming to visit him
to-morrow, in order to recommend the princess his daughter to his prayers."
Another voice then asked what occasion the princess had for the prayers of the
dervise; to which the first answered, "Are you ignorant, then, that she is pos-
sessed by the power of the genius Maimoun, the son of Dimdim, who has fallen
in love with her? But I know how this good dervise can cure her. The thing
is by no means difficult, as I will inform you. In his monastery there is a black
cat, which has a white spot at the end of her tail, about the size of a small piece

The History of the Envious Man. 73

of money. Let him only pull out seven hairs from this white spot, and burn them,
and then with the smoke perfume the head of the princess. From that moment
she will be so thoroughly cured, and free from Maimoun, the son of Dimdim, that
he will never again be able to come near her."
The chief of the dervises did not lose a single syllable of this conversation
between the fairies and the genii, who from this time remained silent the whole
night. The next morning, as soon as the day began to break, and different objects'
become discernible, the dervise perceived, as the wall was decayed in many
places, a hole, by which he could get out without any difficulty.
Tile other dervises, who were seeking after him, were delighted at his appear-
ance. He related to them, in a few words, the cunning wickedness of the guest
lie had entertained the day before, and then retired to his cell. It was not long
before the black cat, which had been mentioned in the discourse of the fairies
and genii, came to him to be taken notice of as usual. He then took it up, and
plucked out seven hairs from the white spot in its tail, and put them aside, in
order to make use of whenever he should have occasion for them.
The sun had not long risen above the horizon, when the sultan, who wished to
neglect nothing from which he thought there was any chance of curing the princess,
arrived at the gate. He ordered his guards to stop, and went in with the principal
officers who accompanied him. The dervises received him with the greatest
respect. The sultan directly took the chief aside, and said to him, "Worthy
sheikh, you are perhaps already acquainted with the cause of my visit." If,
sire," the dervise modestly answered, I do not deceive myself, it is the malady
of the princess that has been the occasion of my seeing you, an honour of which
I am unworthy." It is so," replied the sultan; "and you will restore almost my
life to me if, by means of your prayers, I shall obtain the re-establishment of my
daughter's health." If your majesty," answered the worthy man, will have the
goodness to suffer her to come here, I flatter myself that, with the help and favour
*of God, she shall return in perfect health."
The prince, transported with joy, immediately sent for his daughter, who soon
appeared, accompanied by a numerous train of females and eunuchs, and veiled
in such a manner that her face could not be seen. The chief of the dervises
made them hold a shovel over the head of the princess, and he no sooner threw
the seven white hairs upon some burning coals,.which he had ordered to b"
brought in it, than the genius Maimoun, the son of Dimdim, uttered a violent
scream, and left the princess quite at liberty. In the meantime nothing at all
could be seen. The first thing she did was to put her hand to the veil which
covered her face, and lift it up to see where she was. Where am I ?" she cried;
'" who has brought me here?" At these words the sultan could not conceal his
joy: he embraced his daughter, he kissed her eyes, and then took the hand of
the dervise and kissed that. Give me," said he to his officers, "your opinion:
what return does he deserve who has cured my daughter?" They all answered
that he was worthy of her hand. "This is the very thing I was meditating,"
he cried, and from this moment I claim him for my son-in-law."
Soon after this the first vizier died, and the sultan immediately advanced the
dervise to the situation. The sultan himself afterwards dying without any male
issue, this excellent man was proclaimed sultan by the general voice of the dif-
ferent religious and military orders.
The good dervise, being thus raised to the throne of his father-in-law, observed
one day, as he was walking with his courtiers, the envious man among the crowd
who were in the road. He called one of his viziers who accompanied him, told
him in a whisper to bring that man whom he pointed out to him, and to be sure
not to alarm him. The vizier obeyed; and when the envious man was in the
presence of the sultan, the latter addressed him in these words: I am very
happy, my friend, to see you: go," said he, speaking to an officer, "and count

74 The Arabian Vioghts.

out directly from my treasury a thousand pieces of gold. Nay, more, deliver to
him twenty bales of the most valuable merchandise my magazines contain, and
let a sufficient guard escort him home." After having given the officer this com-
mission, he took his leave of the envious man, and continued his walk.

When I had told this history to the genius who had assassinated the princess
of the Isle of Ebony, I made the application to myself: 0 genius," I said to
him, "you may observe how this benevolent monarch acted towards the envious
man, and was not only satisfied in forgetting that he had attempted his life, but
even sent him back with every benefit and advantage I have mentioned." In
short, I employed all my eloquence to persuade him to imitate so excellent an
example, and to pardon me. But to alter his resolution was impossible.
"All that I can do for you," he said, is to spare your life; yet do not flatter
yourself that I shall suffer you to return safe and well. I must, at least, make you
feel what I can do by means of my enchantments." At these words he violently
seized me, and carrying me through the vaulted roof of the subterranean palace,.
which opened at his approach, he elevated me so high that the earth appeared to
me onlylike a small white cloud. From this height he again descended as quick
as lightning, and alighted on the top of a mountain. On this spot he took up a
handful of earth, and pronouncing, or rather muttering, certain words, of which
I could not comprehend the meaning, threw it over me: Quit," he cried, "the
figure of a man, and assume that of an ape." He immediately disappeared, and
I remained quite alone, changed into an ape, overwhelmed with grief, in an un-
known country, and ignorant whether 1 was near the dominions of the king my
I descended the mountain and came to a flat, level country, the extremity of
which I did not reach till I had travelled a month, when I arrived at the sea-coast.
There was at this time a profound calm, and I perceived a vessel about half a
league from the shore. That I might not omit taking advantage of so fortunate
a circumstance, I broke off a large branch from a tree, and dragged it after me to
the sea-side. I then got astride it, with a stick in each hand by way of oar. In
this manner I rowed myself along towards the vessel, and when I was sufficiently
near to be seen, I presented a most extraordinary sight to the sailors and pas-
sengers who were upon deck. They looked at me with great admiration and
astonishment. In the meantime I got alongside, and taking hold of a rope, I
climbed up to the deck. But as I could not speak, I found myself in the greatest
embarrassment. And, in fact, the danger I now ran was not less imminent than
what I had before experienced when I was in the power of the genius.
The merchants who were on board were both scrupulous and superstitious, and
thought that I should be the cause of some misfortunes happening to them during
their voyage if they received me. "I will kill him," cried one, with a blow of
this handspike." Let me shoot an arrow through his body," exclaimed another.
"And then let us throw him into the sea," said a third. Nor would they have
desisted from executing their different threats if I had not run to the captain, and
thrown myself prostrate at his feet. In this supplicating posture I laid hold of
the bottom of his dress, and he was so struck with this action, as well as with the
tears that fell from my e)e;, that he took me under his protection, declaring he
would make any one repent who should offer me the least injury. He even
caressed and encouraged me. In order to make up for the loss of speech, I in
return showed him by means of signs how much I was obliged to him.
The wind which succeeded this calm was not a strong, but it was a favourable
one. It did not change for fifty days, and we then happily arrived in the harbour
of a large, commercial, well-built, and populous city. Here we cast anchor. The
city was of still more considerable importance, as it was the capital of a power-
ful kingdom. Our vessel was immediately surrounded with a multitude of small

The History of the Second Calender. 75

boats, filled with those who came either to congratulate their friends on their
arrival, or to inquire of whom and what they had seen in the country they had
come from-or simply from mere curiosity to see a ship which had arrived from
a distance.
Among the rest some officers came on board, who desired, in the name of the
sultan, to speak to the merchants that were with us. "The sultan, our sovereign,"
said one of them to the merchants who immediately appeared, has charged us
to express to you how much pleasure your arrival gives him, and entreats each
of you to take the trouble of writing upon this roll of paper a few lines. In order
to make you understand his motive for this, I must inform you that he had a first
vizier, who, besides his great abilities in the management of affairs, wrote in'the.


greatest perfection. This minister died a few days since. The sultan is very
much afflicted at it, and, as he values perfection in writing beyond everything,
he has taken a solemn oath to appoint any person to the same situation who.
shall write as well. Many have presented specimens of their abilities, but he
has not yet found any one throughout the empire whom he has thought worthy
to occupy the vizier's place."
Each of those merchants, who thought they could write well enough to aspire
to this high dignity, wrote whatever they thought proper. When they had done,
I advanced and took the paper from the hands of him who held it. Everybody,
and particularly the merchants who had written, thinking that I meant either to
destroy it or throw it into the water, instantly called out; but they were soon
satisfied when they saw me hold the paper very properly, and make a sign that
I also wished to write in my turn. Their fears were now changed to astonish-
ment. Yet as they had never seen an ape that could write, and as they could
not believe I was more skilful than others, they wished to take the roll from my-
hands; but the captain still continued to take my part. Suffer him to try," he
said, "let him write : if he only blots the paper, I promise you I will instantly
punish him; but if, on the contrary, he writes well, as I hope he will, for I have-

76 7he Arabian Nights.

never seen any ape more clever and ingenious, nor one who seemed so well to
understand everything, I declare that I will acknowledge him as my son. I once
had one who did not possess half so much ability as he does."
Finding that no one any longer opposed my design, I took the pen, and did
not leave off till I had given an example of six different sorts of writing used in
Arabia. Each specimen contained a distich, or impromptu stanza of four lines,
in praise of the sultan. My writing not only excelled that of the merchants, but
I dare say they had never seen any so beautiful, even in that country. When I
had finished, the officers took the roll, and carried it to the sultan.
The monarch paid no attention to any of the writing except mine, which
pleased him so much that he said to the officers, Take the finest and most
richly-caparisoned horse from my stable, and also the most magnificent robe of
brocade possible, in order to adorn the person of him who has written these six
varieties, and bring him to me." At this order of the sultan, the officers could
not forbear laughing, which irritated him so much that he would have punished
them, had they not said, "We entreat your majesty to pardon us ; these are not
written by a man, but by an ape." "What do you say ?" cried the sultan; "are
not these wonderful specimens of writing from the hand of a man?" No, sire,"
answered one of the officers; "we assure your majesty that we saw an ape write
them." This matter appeared too wonderful to the sultan for him not to be
desirous of seeing me. "Do as I command you," said he to them; "and hasten
to bring me this extraordinary ape."
The officers returned to the vessel, and showed their order to the captain, who
said the sultan should be obeyed. They immediately dressed me in a robe of
very rich brocade, and carried me on shore, where they set me on the horse of
the sultan, who was waiting in his palace for me, with a considerable number of
people belonging to the court, whom he had assembled to do me the more honour.
The march commenced, while the gate, streets, public buildings, windows, and
terraces of both the palaces and houses were all filled with an immense number
of persons, of every age and sex, whom curiosity had drawn together from all
quarters of the town, to see me, for the report was spread in an instant that the
sultan had chosen an ape for his grand vizier. After having afforded so un-
common a sight to all these people, who ceased not to express their surprise by
violent and continued shouting, I arrived at the sultan's palace.
I found the sultan seated on his throne, in the midst of the nobles of his court;
I made him three low bows, and the last time I prostrated myself, kissed the
earth by his feet. I then got up, and seated myself exactly like an ape. No part
of the assembly could withhold their admiration, nor did they comprehend how
it was possible for an ape to be so well acquainted with the form and respect
attached to sovereigns; nor was the sultan the least astonished. The whole
ceremony of audience would have been complete if I had only been able to add
speech to my actions; but apes never speak, and the advantage of having once
been a man did not now afford me that privilege.
The sultan took leave of the courtiers, and there remained with him only the
-chief of his eunuchs, a little young slave, and myself. He went from the hall of
audience into his own apartment, where he ordered some food to be served up.
While he was at table, he made me a sign to come and eat with him. As a mark
of my obedience, I got up, kissed the ground, and then seated myself at table;
I ate, however, with much modesty and forbearance.
Before they cleared the table, I perceived a writing-desk, which by a sign I
requested them to bring me; as soon as I had got it, 1 wrote upon a large peach
some lines of my own composition, which evinced my gratitude to the sultan.
His astonishment at reading them, after I presented the peach to him, was still
greater than before. When the things were taken away, they brought a particular
sort of liquor, of which he desired them to give me a glass. I drank it, and then


The History of the Second Calender. 77

wrote some fresh verses, which explained the state in which I now found myself
after so many sufferings. The sultan, having read these also, exclaimed, "A man
who should be capable of doing thus would be one of the greatest men that ever
lived." The prince then ordered a chess-board to be brought, and asked me by
a sign if I could play, and would engage with him. I kissed the ground, and
putting my hand on my head, I showed him I was ready to receive that honour..
He won the first game, but the second and the third were in my favour. Perceiving
that this gave him some little pain, I wrote a stanza to amuse him, and presented
it to him, in which I said that two powerful armed bodies fought the whole day
with the greatest ardour, but that they made p ace in the evening, and passed
the night very tranquilly upon the field of battle.
All these circumstances appearing to the sultan much beyond what he had ever
seen or heard of the address and ingenuity of apes, he wished to have more wit-
nesses of these prodigies. He had a daughter who was called the Queen of
Beauty; he therefore desired the chief of the eunuchs to fetch her. Go," said
he to him, "and bring your lady here: I wish her to partake of the pleasure I
enjoy." The chief of the eunuchs went and brought back the princess with him..
On entering, her face was uncovered, but she was no sooner within the apartment
than she instantly threw her veil over her, and said to the sultan, "Your majesty
must have forgotten yourself. I am surprised that you order me to appear before
men." What is this, my daughter ?" answered the sultan; it seems that you are
the person who has forgotten herself. There is no one here but the little slave,
the eunuch your governor, and myself, and we are always at liberty to see your
face. Why, then, do you put down your veil, and assert that I have done wrong
in ordering you to come here ?" Sire," replied the princess, your majesty will
be convinced I am not mistaken. The ape which you see there, although under
that form, is not an ape, but a young prince, the son of a great king. He has.
been changed into an ape by enchantment. A genius, the son of the daughter
of Eblis, has been guilty of this malicious action, after having cruelly killed the-
princess of the Isle of Ebony, daughter of King Epitimarus."
The sultan was astonished at this speech, and turning to me, asked, but no
longer by signs, whether what his daughter said was true. As I could not speak,.
I put my hand upon my head to show that she had spoken the truth. "How
came you to know, daughter," said the king, that this prince had been trans-
formed into an ape by means of enchantment?" Sire," replied the princess,
"' your majesty may recollect that when I first came from the nursery I had an
old woman as one of my attendants. She was very well skilled in magic, andt
taught me seventy rules of that science, by virtue of which I could instantly cause
your capital to be transported to the middle of the ocean, nay, beyond Mount
Caucasus. By means of this science I know every person who is enchanted the
moment I behold them; not only who they are, but by whom also they were
enchanted. Be not, therefore, surprised that I have at first sight discovered this.
prince, in spite of the charm, which prevented him from appearing in your eyes.
such as he really is." My dear daughter," answered the sultan, I did not:
think you were so skilful." "Sire," added the princess, "these things are curious,
and worthy of being known ; but I do not think it becomes me to boast of them."
"Since this is the case," replied the sultan, "you can perhaps dissolve the enchant-
ment of this prince." I can, sire," said she, "and restore him to his own form."
"Do so, then," interrupted the sultan, "for you cannot give me greater pleasure.
as I wish to have him for my grand vizier, and bestow you upon him for a wife.'r
" I am ready, sire," answered the princess, "to obey you in all things you please:
to command."
The Queen of Beauty then went to her apartment, and returned with a knife,
which had some Hebrew characters engraved on the blade. She desired the
sultan, the chief of the eunuchs, the little slave, and myself to go down into a

78 2The Arabia;n z ights.

secret court of the palace, and then, leaving us under a gallery which surrounded
the court, she went into the middle of it, where she described a large circle, and
traced several words, both in the ancient Arabic characters and those which are
called the characters of Cleopatra.
When she had done this, and prepared the circle in the manner she wished,
she went and placed herself in the midst of it, where she began making her
adjurations, and repeating some verses from the Koran. By degrees the air be-
came obscure, as if night was coming on and the whole world was vanishing. We
were seized with the greatest fright, and this was the more increased when we
saw the genius, the son of the daughter of Eblis, suddenly appear, in the shape
of an enormous lion.
The princess no sooner perceived this monster than she said to it, "Dog! in-
stead of cringing before me, how darest thou present thyself under this horrible
form, thinking to alarm me?" "And how darest thou," replied the lion," break the
treaty, which we have made and confirmed by a solemn oath, not to injure each
.other?" Ah, wretch!" added the princess, "thou art the person I am to reproach
on that account." Thou shalt pay dearly," interrupted the lion, "for the trouble
thou hast given me of coming here." In saying this, he opened his horrible jaws,
and advanced forward to devour her; but she, being on her guard, jumped back,
and had just time to pluck out a hair, and pronouncing two or three words, she
changed it into a sharp scythe, with which she immediately cut the lion in pieces,
through the middle.
The two parts of the lion directly disappeared, and the head only remained,
which changed into a large scorpion. The princess then took the form of a ser-
pent, and began a fierce combat with the scorpion, which, finding itself in danger
.of being defeated, changed into an eagle, and flew away. But the serpent then
became another eagle, black, and more powerful, and went in pursuit of it. We
now lost sight of them for some time.
Shortly after they had disappeared, the earth opened before us, and a black
and white cat appeared, the hairs of which stood quite on end, and which made
a most horrible mewing. A black wolf directly followed, and gave it no respite.
The cat, being hard pressed, changed into a worm, and, finding itself near a
pomegranate, which had fallen by accident from a tree that grew upon the bank
of a deep but narrow canal, instantly made a hole in it, and concealed itself there.
The pomegranate immediately began to swell, and became as large as a gourd,
which then rose up as high as the gallery, and rolled backwards and forwards
there several times; it then fell down to the bottom of the court, and broke into
many pieces.
The wolf in the meantime transformed itself into a cock, ran to the seeds of
the pomegranate, and began swallowing them, one after the other, as fast as
possible. When it could see no more, it came to us, with its wings extended
and making a great noise, as if to inquire of us whether there were any more
seeds. There was one lying on the border of the canal, which the cock, in going
back, perceived, and ran towards it as quick as possible; but at the very instant
in which its beak was upon it, the seed rolled into the canal and changed into a
small fish. The cock then flew into the canal, and, becoming a pike, pursued the
little fish. They were both two hours under water, and we knew not what was
become of them, when we heard the most horrible cries, that made us tremble.
Soon after, we saw the genius and the princess, all on fire. They threw the flames
against each other with their breath, and at last came to a close attack. Then the
fire increased, and everything about was encompassed with smoke and flame to a
great height. We were afraid, and not without reason, that the whole palace would
be burnt; but we soon had a much more dreadful cause of terror, for the genius,
having disengaged himself from the princess, came towards the gallery where
we were, and blew his flames all over us. This would have destroyed us if the

Ti/e history of the Second Calender. 79

princess, running to our assistance, had not compelled him by her cries to retreat
to a distance and guard himself against her. In spite, however, of all the haste
she made, she could not prevent the sultan from having his head singed and his
face scorched; the chief of the eunuchs too was stifled and consumed on the
spot; and a spark flew into my right eye and blinded me. Both the sultan and
myself expected to perish, when we suddenly heard the cry of "Victory, victory !"
and the princess immediately appeared to us in her own form, while the genius
was reduced to a heap of ashes.
The princess approached us, and in order to lose no time, she asked for a cup
full of water, which was brought by the young slave, whom the fire had not in-
jured. She took it, and after pronouncing some words over it, she threw some
of the water upon me, and said," If thou art an ape by enchantment, change thy
figure and take that of a man, which thou hadst before." She had hardly con-
cluded, when I again became a man, the same as before I was changed, except
with the loss of one eye.
I was preparing to thank the princess, but she did not give me time, before she
said to the sultan her father, I have gained, sire, the victory over the genius,
as your majesty may see, but it is a victory which has cost me dear. I have but
.a few moments to live, and you will not have the satisfaction of completing the
marriage you intended. The fire, in this dreadful combat, has penetrated my
body, and I feel that it will soon consume me. This would not have happened if I
had perceived the last seed of the pomegranate, when I was in the shape of a cock
and had swallowed it as I did the others. The genius had fled to it as his last
retreat, and on that depended the success of the combat, which would then have
been fortunate, and without danger to me. This omission obliged me to have
recourse to fire, and fight with that powerful weapon, between heaven and earth,
as you saw me. In spite of his dreadful power and experience, I convinced him
that my knowledge and art were greater than his. I have at length conquered and
reduced him to ashes, but I cannot avoid the death which I feel approaching."
The princess had no sooner finished this account of the battle, than the sultan,
in a tone of voice which showed how much he was agitated by this recital, an-
swered, You see, my daughter, the state in which your father is. Alas! 1 am
only astonished that I am still alive. The eunuch, your governor, is dead; and
the prince, whom you have delivered from enchantment, has lost an eye." He
could say no more, for his tears and sobs stopped his utterance. Both his
daughter and myself were extremely affected at his sufferings, and mingled our
tears with his.
While we were each of us indulging in this excess of sorrow, the princess sud-
denly exclaimed, I burn, I burn !" She perceived that the fire which consumed
her had at last seized her whole body, and she did not cease calling out, "I burn!"
till death put an end to her almost insupportable sufferings. The effect of this fire
was so extraordinary, that in a few minutes she was reduced, like the genius, to
a heap of ashes.
I need not say how much this dreadful and melancholy sight affected us. I
would rather have continued an ape or a dog my whole life, than have seen my
benefactress perish in such a horrid manner. The sultan, tco, on his part, was
beyond measure afflicted. It is almost impossible to conceive what lamentable
cries he uttered, beating himself at the same time most violently on his head and
breast, till at last, yielding to despair, he fainted, and I feared even his life would
fall a sacrifice.
In the meantime the cries of the sultan brought the eunuchs and officers to his as-
sistance, and they found great difficulty in recovering him. There was no occasion
for either the prince or myself giving them a very long detail of this adventure,
to convince them of the propriety of our sorrow; the two heaps of ashes to which
the princess and the genius had been reduced were quite sufficient. As the sultan

8o The A.rabial Ni/iXs.



could scarcely support himself, he was obliged to lean upon them in order to get
to his apartment.
As soon as the knowledge of an event so tragical was spread through the palace
and the city, every one lamented the melancholy fate of the princess, surnamed
the Queen of Beauty, and joined in the grief of the sultan. They put on mourning
for seven days, and performed many ceremonies; the ashes of the genius they
scattered in the wind, but collected those of the princess in a costly vase, and pre-
served them; this vase was then deposited in a superb mausoleum, which was
erected on the very spot where the ashes had been found.
The grief which preyed upon the sultan for the loss of his daughter was the
origin of a disease that confined him to his bed for a whole month. He had not
quite recovered his health, when he called me to him, and said, Listen, prince,
and attend to the order which I am going to give you ; if you fail to execute it,
your life will be the forfeit." I assured him I would obey. Resuming then the
discourse, he added, "I have always lived in a state of the greatest happiness,
nor has any unfortunate event ever occurred. Your arrival has destroyed this
enjoyment. My daughter is dead ; her governor is no more ; and I have escaped
with my life only by a miracle. You are the cause of all these misfortunes, for
which I am incapable of consolation. These are the reasons which induce me
to desire you would leave me in peace; but go immediately, for if you remain
any longer, it will be the cause of my death also, since I am persuaded your
presence is productive only of misfortune. This is all I have to say to you. Go,

The History of the Third Calender. 8i

and take care you never again appear in my kingdom; if you do, no consideration
shall prevent my making you repent of it." I wished to speak, but he prevented
me by uttering some angry words, and I was obliged to leave his palace.
Driven about, rejected and abandoned by every one, I knew not what was to
become of me. Before I left the city, I went into a bath, I got my beard and
eyebrows shaved, and put on the dress of a calender. I then began my journey,
lamenting less my own miserable condition than the death of the two beautiful
princesses, of which I had been the unhappy cause. I travelled through many
countries without making myself known; at last I resolved to visit Bagdad,'in
hopes of being able to present myself to the Commander of the Faithful, and
excite his compassion by the recital of so strange a history. I arrived here this
evening, and the first person I met was the calender, my brother, who has already
related his life. You are acquainted, madam, with the sequel, and how I came
to have the honour of being at your house.

When the second calender had finished his history, Zobeide, to whom he had
addressed himself, said, "You have done well, and I give you leave to go when-
ever you please." But instead of taking his departure, he entreated her to grant
him the same favour she had done the other calender, near whom he went and
took his place. Then the third calender, knowing it was his turn to speak, ad-
dressed himself like the others to Zobeide, and began his history as follows.


SHAT I am going to relate, most honourable lady, is of a very dif-
ferent nature from what you have already heard. The two princes
who have recited their histories, have each of them lost an eye,
as it were by destiny; while my loss has been in consequence of
my own fault, in wilfully seeking the cause of misfortune, as you
will find by what I am going to mention.
I am called Agib, and am the son of a king, whose name was Cassib.
After his death I took possession of his throne, and established my
I residence in the same city which he had made his capital. This city,
S which is situated on the sea-coast, has a remarkably handsome and
{ safe harbour, with an arsenal sufficiently extensive to supply an arma-
ment of a hundred and fifty vessels of war, always lying ready for ser-
vice on any occasion; and to equip fifty merchantmen, and as many
sloops and yachts, for the purpose of amusement and pleasure on the
water. My kingdom was composed of many beautiful provinces, and
also a number of considerable islands, almost all of which were situated
4 within sight of my capital.
The first thing I did was to visit the provinces; I then made them
arm and equip my whole fleet, and went round to all my islands, in
order to conciliate the affections of my subjects, and to confirm them in
their duty and allegiance. After having been at home some time, I went again;
and these voyages, by giving me some slight knowledge of navigation, infused
such a taste for it in my mind, that I resolved to go in search of discoveries
beyond my islands. For this purpose I equipped only ten ships, and embarking
in one of them, we set sail.
During forty days our voyage was prosperous; but on the night of the forty-
first the wind became adverse, and so violent, that we were driven at the mercy
of the tempest, and thought we should have been lost. At break of day, however,

82 The Arabian Nights.

the wind abated, the clouds dispersed, and the sun brought fine weather back
with it. We now landed on an island, where we remained two days, to take in
some provisions. Having done this, we again put to sea. After ten days' sail,
we began to hope to see land; for since the storm we had encountered, I had
altered my intention, and determined to return to my kingdom, but I then dis-
covered that my pilot knew not where we were. In fact, a sailor, on the tenth
day, who was ordered to the masthead for the purpose of making discoveries,
reported that to the right and left he could perceive only the sky and sea, which
bounded the horizon, but that straight before him he observed a great blackness.
At this intelligence the pilot changed colour, and throwing his turban on the
deck with one hand, he smote his face with the other, and then cried out, "Ah,
sire, we are lost Not one of us can possibly escape the danger in which we are;
and with all my experience, it is not in my power to insure the safety of a single
soul." Having said this, he began to weep like one who thought his destruction
inevitable, and his despair spread alarm and fear through the whole vessel. I
asked him what reason he had for this despair. "Alas, sire !" he answered," the
tempest which we have gone through has so driven us from our track, that by
midday to-morrow we shall find ourselves near that blackness, which is nothing
but a black mountain, consisting entirely of a mass of loadstone, that will soon
attract our fleet, on account of the bolts and nails in the ships. To-morrow, when
we shall come within a certain distance, the power of the loadstone will be so
violent, that all the nails will be drawn out and fastened to the mountain; our
ships will then fall in pieces and sink. As it is the property of a loadstone to
attract iron, and at the same time to increase its own power by this attraction,
the mountain towards the sea is entirely covered with nails, that belonged to the
infinite number of ships of which it has proved the destruction; and this at the
same time both preserves and augments its power or virtue.
"This mountain," continued the pilot, "is very steep, and on the summit there
is a large dome, made of fine bronze, which is supported upon columns of the
same metal. Upon the top of the dome there is also a bronze horse, with the
figure of a man upon it. A plate of lead covers his breast, upon which there are
some talismanic characters engraven; and there is a tradition, sire," added he,
that this statue is the principal cause of the loss of so many vessels and men,
and that it will never cease from being destructive to all who shall have the
misfortune to approach it until it be overthrown." The pilot having finished his
speech, renewed his tears, which excited those of the whole crew. As for myself,
I did not doubt that I was now approaching the end of my days. Every one
began to think of his own preservation, and to try every possible means conducive
to that end; and during the uncertainty of the event, they all appointed, by a
sort of will, the survivors, if any should be saved, the heirs of the rest.
The next morning we distinctly perceived the black mountain; and the idea
we had formed of it made it appear still more dreadful and horrid than it really
was. About midday we found ourselves so near it, that we began to perceive
what the pilot had foretold. We saw the nails, and every other piece of iron
belonging to the vessel, fly towards the mountain, against which, by the violence
of the magnetic attraction, they struck with a horrible noise. The vessel then
immediately fell to pieces, and sank to the bottom of the sea, which was so deep
in this place, that we could never discover the bottom by sounding. All my
people were lost; but God had pity upon me, and suffered me to save myself by
laying hold of a plank, which was driven by the wind directly to the foot of the
mountain. I did not experience the least harm, and had the good fortune to
land in a place where there were steps which led to the summit. I was much
rejoiced at the sight of these steps, for there was not the least piece of land, either
to the right or left, upon which I could have set my foot to save myself. I re-
turned thanks to God, and invoking His holy name, began to ascend the moun-

The History of the Third Calender. 83

tain. The path was narrow, and so steep and difficult, that had the wind been
at all violent, it must have blown me into the sea. 1 arrived at last at the sum-
mit without any accident, and entering the dome, I prostrated myself on the
ground, and offered my thanks to God for the favour He had shown me.


I passed the night under this dome ; and while I was asleep, a venerable old
man appeared to me, and said, Agib, attend : when you awake, dig up the earth
under your feet, and you will find a brazen bow with three leaden arrows, manu-
factured under certain constellations, in order to deliver mankind from many
evils which continually menace them. Shoot these three arrows at the statue :
the man will then fall into the sea, and the horse at your feet, which you must bury
in the same spot from whence you take the bow and arrows. This being finished,
the sea will begin to be agitated, and will rise as high as the foot of the dome at
the top of the mountain. When it shall have risen thus high, you will see a small
vessel come towards the shore, with only one man in it, who holds an oar in each
hand. This man will be of brass, but different from the one that was overthrown.
Embark with him without pronouncing the name of God, and let him conduct
you. In ten days he will have carried you into another sea, where you will find
the means of returning to your own country in safety-provided, as I have already
told you, you forbear from mentioning the name of God during the whole of your
Such was the discourse of the old man. As soon as I was awake, I got up,
much consoled by this vision, and did not fail doing as the old man had ordered
me. I uncovered the bow and the arrows, and shot them at the statue. With
the third arrow I overthrew the man, who fell into the sea, while the horse lay
at my feet. I buried it in the place where I found the bow and arrows, and
while I was doing this, the sea rose by degrees, till it reached the foot of the
dome on the summit of the mountain. I perceived a vessel at a distance coming
towards me. I offered my benedictions to God at thus seeing my dream in every
respect proving a reality. The vessel at length approached the land, and I saw
in it a man made of brass, as had been described. I embarked, and took parti-
cular care not to pronounce the name of God: I did not even utter a single word.
When I sat down, the brazen figure began to row from the mountain. He con-
tinued doing so without intermission till the ninth day, when I saw some islands,
which made me hope I should soon be free from every danger that I dreaded.
The excess of my joy made me forget the order that had been given me as a
security. Blessed be God !" I cried out; God be praised !"
I had hardly finished these words when both the vessel and brazen man sank

84 The Arabian Niglhts.

to the bottom. I remained in the water, and swam during the rest of the day
towards the nearest island. The night which came on was exceedingly dark,
and as I no longer knew where I was, I continued swimming at a venture. My
strength was at last quite exhausted, and I began to despair of being able to save
myself, when, the wind having much increased, a wave as large as a mountain
threw me upon a flat, shallow place, and on retiring left me there. I immediately
made haste to get farther on land, for fear another wave should come and carry
me back. The first thing I then did was to undress and wring the water out of
my clothes, and spread them upon the sand, which was still warm from the heat
of the preceding day.
The next morning, as soon as the sun had quite dried my dress, I put it on, and
began to reconnoitre, and tried to discover where I was. I had not walked far
before I found out I was upon a small desert island, very pleasant, and where
there were many sorts of fruit-trees, as well as others; but I observed that it was
at a considerable distance from the mainland, which rather lessened the joy I
felt at having escaped from the sea. I nevertheless trusted in God to dispose of
my fate according to His will. Soon afterwards I discovered a very small vessel,
which seemed to come full sail directly from the mainland, with her prow towards
the island where I was. As I had no doubt they were coming to anchor here, and
as I knew not what sort of people they might be, whether friends or enemies, 1
determined at first not to show myself. I got up, therefore, into a very thick
tree, from whence I could examine their countenances without danger. The vessel
soon sailed up a small creek or bay, where ten slaves landed, with a spade and
other instruments in their hands, for the purpose of digging the earth. They went
towards the middle of the island, where I observed them stop and dig up the
earth for some time, and by their actions they appeared to me to lift up a trap-
door. They immediately returned to the vessel, from which they landed various
kinds of provisions and furniture, and, each taking a load, they carried them to
the place where they had before dug up the ground. They then seemed to de-
scend, which made me conjecture there was a subterraneous place. I saw them
once more go to the vessel, and come back with an old man, who brought with
him a youth, seemingly well made, and about fourteen or fifteen years old. They
all descended at the spot where the trap-door had been lifted up. After they came
out again, they shut down the door and covered it with earth as before, and then
returned to the creek where their vessel lay; but I observed that the young man.
did not come back with them, whence I concluded that he remained in the sub,-
terraneous place.
This circumstance very much excited my astonishment.
The old man and the slaves then embarked, and, hoisting the sails, made way-
for the mainland. When I found the vessel had got so far off that I could not
be perceived by the crew, I came down from the tree, and went directly to the,
place where I had seen them dig away the earth. I now did the same thing, and
at last discovered a stone two or three feet square. I lifted it up, and found that
it concealed the entrance to a flight of stone stairs. I descended, and at the
bottom perceived that I was in a large chamber, the floor of which was covered
with a carpet, as was also a sofa and some cushions with a rich stuff, where I saw
a young man sitting down with a fan in his hand. I distinguished all these things,
by the light of two torches, as I did also the fruits and pots of flowers which were
near him. At the sight of me the young man was much alarmed; but, in order
to give him courage, I said to him on entering, Whoever you are, fear nothing,
sir: a king, and the son of a king, as I am, is not capable of doing you any injury.
On the contrary, you may esteem it as a most fortunate circumstance that I am
come here to deliver you from this tomb, where you seem to me to have been
buried alive, but for what reasons I am unable to tell. What, however, most em-
barrasses me (for I will not conceal that I have been a witness to everything that.

2he History of the Third Calender. 85

has passed since you landed on this island), and what I cannot understand is,
that you seem to have suffered yourself to have been buried here without making
any resistance."
The young man was much encouraged by this speech, and requested in a pleas-
ing manner that I would take a seat near him. As soon as I was seated, he said,
" 1 am about, prince, to inform you of a circumstance, the singular nature of
which will very much surprise you.
My father is a jeweller, who has acquired by his industry and great skill in
his profession a very large fortune. He has a great number of slaves and factors,
who make many voyages for him in his own vessels. He has also correspondents
in many courts, which he supplies with all the precious stones and jewels for
which they have occasion. He had been married a long time without having
any children when one night he dreamed that he should have a son, whose life,
however, would be but short. This dream, when he awoke, gave him great un-
easiness. Some time after this, my mother informed him that she was with child,
and the very time when she thought she had conceived agreed exactly with my
father's dream. At the end of nine months I was born, to the great joy of all the
family. My father having observed the moment of my birth with the greatest
exactness, consulted the astrologers, who answered, Your son will live without
any accident or misfortune till he is fifteen; but he will then run a great risk of
losing his life, and will not escape from it without much difficulty. If, however,
he should have the good fortune not to perish, his life will continue many years.
About this time, too,' they added,' the equestrian statue of brass, which stands
on the top of the loadstone mountain, will be overthrown by Prince Agib, the son
of King Cassib, and fall into the sea; and the stars also discover that, fifty days
afterwards, your son will be killed by that prince.'
"As this prediction agreed with my father's dream, he was very much struck
and afflicted by it. He did not, however, omit taking the greatest care of my
education till the present moment, which is the fifteenth year of my age. He was
yesterday informed that ten days ago the brazen figure was overthrown by the
prince whom I mentioned to you, and this intelligence cost him so many tears
and alarms that he hardly looks like the same man.
"Upon this prediction of the astrologers my father tried every means to deceive
my horoscope and preserve my life. For a long time past he has taken the pre-
caution to have this habitation built, in order to conceal me for the fifty days, after
he learned that the statue had been overthrown. It was on this account that, as
soon as he knew what had happened ten days since, he came here for the pur-
pose of concealing me during the forty days that remain; and he has promised
at the expiration of that time to come and take me back. As for myself," he
added, I have the best hopes, for I do not believe that Prince Agib will come
and look for me underground in the midst of a desert island. This, my lord, is
all I had to inform you of."
While the son of the jeweller was relating his history to me I inwardly laughed
at those astrologers who had predicted that I should take away his life; and I
felt myself so very unlikely to verify their prediction, that he had scarcely finished
speaking before I exclaimed with transport, "Have confidence, my dear sir, in the
.goodness of God, and fear nothing. Esteem it only as a debt you had to pay,
.and that from this hour you are free from it. I am delighted at finding myself
so fortunate as to be here, after having been shipwrecked, in order to guard you
against those who would attempt your life. I will not quit you for a moment
during the forty days which the vain and absurd conjectures of the astrologers
have made you apprehensive of. During this time I will render you every ser-
vice in my power, and afterwards I will take advantage, with your and your
father's permission, of embarking in your vessel, in order to return to the conti-
nent; and when I shall have got back to my kingdom, I shall never forget the

86 The Arabian Nig/hts.

obligation I am under to you, and will endeavour to prove my gratitude by every
means in my power."
I encouraged him by this discourse, and thus gained his confidence. I took
care, from the fear of alarming him, not to inform him that I was the very person
whom he dreaded, nor give him the least suspicion on the subject. We con-
versed about various things till night, and I easily discovered that the young man
possessed a sensible and well-informed mind. We ate together out of his store
of provisions, which were so abundant, that they would have lasted more than
the forty days, had there been other guests beside myself. We continued our
conversation some time after supper, and then retired to rest.
When he got up the next morning, I presented him with a basin and some
water. He washed himself, while I prepared the dinner, which I served up at
a proper time. After our repast, I invented a sort of game to amuse us, not only
during that day, but for the following. I prepared the supper in the same way
I had done the dinner; we then supped and retired to rest, the same as the
preceding day.
We had sufficient time to contract a friendship for each other. I perceived
that he had an inclination for me, and on my side the regard was so strong, that
I often said to myself, The astrologers, who have predicted to the father that
his son should be slain by my hands, were impostors, for it is impossible I could
commit so horrid a crime." In short, we passed thirty-nine days in the pleasant-
est manner possible in this subterraneous habitation.
At length the fortieth arrived. The youth, when he was getting up, said to me,
in a transport of joy which he could not restrain, Behold me now, prince, on
the fortieth day, and, thank God and your good society, I am not dead. My
father will not fail very soon to acknowledge his obligations, and furnish you with
every means and opportunity in his power which may be necessary for you to
return to your kingdom. But while we are waiting," added he, I beg of you to
have the goodness to warm some water, that I may wash my whole body in the
portable bath. I wish to cleanse myself and change my dress, in order to receive
my father with the greater propriety." I put the water on the fire, and when it
was just warm I filled the portable bath. The young man got in: I both washed
and rubbed him myself. He then got out, and went into the bed I had pre-
pared for him, and I threw the cover over him. After he had reposed himself
and slept for some time, he said to me, Oblige me, my prince, and bring me a
melon and some sugar. I want to eat something to refresh me."
I chose one of the melons which remained, and put it on a plate; and as I
could not find a knife to cut it, I asked the youth if he knew where there was
one. There is one," he replied, upon the cornice over my head." I looked
up and perceived one there; but I strained myself so much in endeavouring to
get it, that at the very moment I had it in my hand, my foot by some means got
so entangled in the covering of the bed, that I unfortunately fell down on the
young man, and pierced him to the heart with the knife. He expired the very
same instant.
At this sight I cried most bitterly; I beat my head and breast; I tore my
habit, and threw myself on the ground in grief and despair. "Alas !" I cried, a
few hours only remained for him to be out of the danger against which he sought
an asylum, and at the very moment I thought the danger past, I am become the
assassin, and have caused the prediction to come to pass. But I ask Thy par-
don, O Lord," I added, raising my head and hands towards heaven, and if I
am guilty of his death, I desire to live no longer."
After this misfortune death would have been very acceptable to me, and I
should have met it without dread. But we are neither afflicted with evil nor
blessed with good fortune always at the moment we may desire it.
In the meantime, reflecting that neither my tears nor sorrow could revive the

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Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs