Richard Francis Burton.

A plain and literal translation of the Arabian nights' entertainments, now entituled The book of the thousand nights and a night : with introduction, explanatory notes on the manners and customs of Moslem men, and a terminal essay upon the history of The nights (Volume 7) online

. (page 38 of 40)
Online LibraryRichard Francis BurtonA plain and literal translation of the Arabian nights' entertainments, now entituled The book of the thousand nights and a night : with introduction, explanatory notes on the manners and customs of Moslem men, and a terminal essay upon the history of The nights (Volume 7) → online text (page 38 of 40)
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And I said, " No harm can come to us now ; let us rather
abide here and repose and eat of these sheep and drink of this
wine, for long is the land. Accordingly we tarried there two
months, eating of the sheep and of the fruits of the island and
drinking the generous grape-juice till it so chanced one day, as we
sat upon the beach, we caught sight of a ship looming large in
the distance ; so we made signs for the crew and holla'd to them.
They feared to draw near, knowing that the island was inhabited
by a Ghul 2 who ate Adamites, and would have sheered off; but

1 Arab. Tdkah not " an aperture " as Lane has it, but an arched hollow in the wall.

2 In Tre'butien (ii. 168) the cannibal is called " Goul Eli-Fenioun " and Von Hammer
remarks, " There is no need of such likeness of name to prove that all this episode is a
manifest imitation of the adventures of Ulysses in Polyphemus' cave ; * * * and this
induces the belief that the Arabs have been acquainted with the poems of Homer."

362 A If Laylah wa Laylah.

we ran down to the marge of the sea and made signs to them,
with our turband-ends and shouted to them, whereupon one of the
sailors, who was sharp of sight, said to the rest, " Harkye,
comrades, I see these men formed like ourselves, for they have
not the fashion of Ghuls." So they made for us, little by little,
till they drew near us in the dinghy 1 and were certified that we
were indeed human beings, when they saluted us and we returned
their salam and gave them the glad tidings of the slaying of the
accursed, wherefore they thanked us. Then we carried to the
ship all that was in the cave of stuffs and sheep and treasure, to-
gether with a viaticum of the island-fruits, such as should serve us
days and months, and embarking, sailed on with a fair breeze
three days ; at the end of which the wind veered round against
us and the air became exceeding dark ; nor had an hour passed
before the wind drave the craft on to a rock, where it broke up
and its planks were torn asunder. 2 However, the Great God
decreed that I should lay hold of one of the planks, which I
bestrode, and it bore me along two days, for the wind had fallen
fair again, and I paddled with my feet awhile, till Allah the
Most High brought me safe ashore and I landed and came to this
city, where I found myself a stranger, solitary, friendless, not
knowing what to do ; for hunger was sore upon me and I was in
great tribulation. Thereupon I, O my brother, hid myself and
pulling off this my tunic, carried it to the market, saying in my
mind, " I will sell it and live on its price, till Allah accomplish to
me whatso he will accomplish." Then I took the tunic in my
hand and cried it for sale, and the folk were looking at it and
bidding for it, when, O my brother, thou earnest by and seeing me
commandedst me to the palace ; but thy pages arrested and thrust
me into the prison and there I abode till thou bethoughtest thee
of me and badst bring me before thee. So now I have told thee
what befel me, and Alhamdolillah Glorified be God for reunion !
Much marvelled the two Kings at Sa'id's tale and Taj al-Muluk

Living intimately with the Greeks they could not have ignored the Iliad and the Odyssey :
indeed we know by tradition that they had translations, now apparently lost. I cannot
however, accept Lane's conjecture that "the story of Ulysses and Polyphemus may
have been of Eastern origin." Possibly the myth came from Egypt, for I have shown
that the opening of the Iliad bears a suspicious likeness to the proem of Pentaur's

1 Arab. Shakhtur.

2 In the Bresl. Edit, the ship is not wrecked but lands Sa'id in safety.

Sayf al-Muluk and Badi'a al-Jamal. 363

having made ready a goodly dwelling for Sayf al-Muluk and his
Wazir, Daulat Khatun used to visit the Prince there and thank
him for his favours and talk with him. One day, he met her and
said to her, " O my lady, where is the promise thou madest me>
in the palace of Japhet son of Noah, saying : Were I with my
people, I would make shift to bring thee to thy desire ? " And
Sa'id said to her, " O Princess, I crave thine aid to enable him to
win his will." Answered she, " Yea, verily ; I will do my
endeavour for him, that he may attain his aim, if it please Allah
Almighty." And she turned to Sayf al-Muluk and said to him,
" Be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear." Then she
rose and going in to her mother, said to her, " Come with me
forthright and let us purify ourselves an'd make fumigations 1 that
Badi'a al-Jamal and her mother may come and see me and rejoice
in me." Answered the Queen, " With love and goodly gree ; "
and rising, betook herself to the garden and burnt off these
perfumes which she always had by her ; nor was it long before
Badi'a al-Jamal and her mother made their appearance. The
Queen of Hind foregathered with the other Queen and acquainted
her with her daughter's safe return, whereat she rejoiced ; and
Badi'a al-Jamal and Daulat Khatun foregathered likewise and
rejoiced in each other. Then they pitched the pavilions 2 and
dressed dainty viands and made ready the place of entertainment ;
whilst the two Princesses withdrew to a tent apart and ate together
and drank and made merry ; after which they sat down to converse,
and Badi'a al-Jamal said, " What hath befallen thee in thy stranger-
hood ? " Replied Daulat Khatun, " O my sister how sad is severance
and how gladsome is reunion ; ask me not what hath befallen me !
Oh, what hardships mortals suffer ! " cried she, " How so ? " and
the other said to her, " O my sister, I was inmured in the High-
builded Castle of Japhet son of Noah, whither the son of the Blue
King carried me off till Sayf al-Muluk slew the Jinni and brought
me back to my sire ; " and she told her to boot all that the Prince
had undergone of hardships and horrors before he came to the
Castle. 3 Badi'a al-Jamal marvelled at her tale and said, " By
Allah, O my sister, this is the most wondrous of wonders ! This

1 So in the Shah-nameh the Simurgh-bird gives one of her feathers to her protege Zal
which he will throw into the fire when she is wanted.

* Bresl. Edit. Al-Zardakhanat Arab. plur. of Zarad-Khanah, a bastard wordrrarmoury,
from Arab. Zarad (hauberk) and Pers. Khanah = house etc.

8 Some retrenchment was here found necessary to avoid " damnable iteration."

364 A If Laylah wa Laylah.

Sayf al-Muluk is indeed a man ! But why did he leave his father
and mother and betake himself to travel and expose himself to
these perils?" Quoth Daulat Khatun, " I have a mind to tell thee
the first part of his history ; but shame of thee hindereth me there-
from." Quoth Badi'a al-Jamal, " Why shouldst thou have shame
of me, seeing that thou art my sister and my bosom-friend and
there is muchel a matter between thee and me and I know thou
wiliest me naught but well ? Tell me then what thou hast to say
and be not abashed at me and hide nothing from me and have
no fear of consequences." Answered Daulat Khatun, " By Allah,
all the calamities that have betided this unfortunate have been on
thine account and because of thee ! " Asked Badi'a al-Jamal,
" How so, O my sister ? " ; and the other answered, " Know that
he saw thy portrait wrought on a tunic which thy father sent to
Solomon son of David (on the twain be peace !) and he opened it
not neither looked at it, but despatched it, with other presents and
rarities to Asim bin Safwan, King of Egypt, who gave it, still
unopened, to his son Sayf al-Muluk. The Prince unfolded the
tunic, thinking to put it on, and seeing thy portrait, became
enamoured of it ; wherefore he came forth in quest of thee, and
left his folk and reign and suffered all these terrors and hardships

on thine account." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day

and ceased to say her permitted say.

foljcn it foas tfjc Scbtn IDuntorrfc anfc Sbebmtp-fourtf)

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Daulat
Khatun related to Badi'a al-Jamal the first part of Sayf al-Muluk's
history ; how his love for her was caused by the tunic whereon
her presentment was wrought ; how he went forth, passion-dis-
traught, in quest of her ; how he forsook his people and his king-
dom for her sake and how he had suffered all these terrors and
hardships on her account. When Badi'a al-Jamal heard this, she
blushed rosy red and was confounded at Daulat Khatun and said,
" Verily this may never, never be ; for man accordeth not with
the Jann." Then Daulat Khatun went on to praise Sayf al-
Muluk and extol his comliness and courage and cavalarice, and
ceased not repeating her memories of his prowess and his ex-
cellent qualities till she ended with saying, "For the sake of
Almighty Allah and of me, O sister mine, come and speak with

Say/ al-Muluk and Bad? a al-Jamal. 365

him, though but one word ! '' But Badi'a al-Jamal cried, " By
Allah, O sister mine, this that thou sayest I will not hear, neither
will I assent to thee therein ; " and it was as if she heard naught
of what the other said and as if no love of Sayf al-Muluk and his
beauty and bearing and bravery had gotten hold upon her heart.
Then Daulat Khatun humbled herself and said, " O Badi'a al-
Jamal, by the milk we have sucked, I and thou, and by that
which is graven on the seal-ring of Solomon (on whom be peace !)
hearken to these my words for I pledged myself in the High-
builded Castle of Japhet, to show him thy face. So Allah upon
thee, show it to him once, for the love of me, and look thyself on
him ! " And she ceased not to weep and implore her and kiss her
hands and feet, till she consented and said, " For thy sake I will
show him my face once and he shall have a single glance." With
that Daulat Khatun's heart was gladdened and she kissed her
hands and feet. Then she went forth and fared to the great
pavilion in the garden and bade her slave-women spread it with
carpets and set up a couch of gold and place the wine-vessels in
order ; after which she went into Sayf al-Muluk and to his Wazir
Sa'id, whom she found seated in their lodging, and gave the Prince
the glad tidings of the winning of his wish, saying, " Go to the
pavilion in the garden, thou and thy brother, and hide yourselves
there from the eyes of men so none in the palace may espy you, till
I come to you with Badi'a al-Jamal." So they rose and repaired to
the appointed pavilion, where they found the couch of gold set and
furnished with cushions, and meat and wine ready served. So they
sat awhile, whilst Sayf al-Muluk bethought him of his beloved and
his breast was straitened and love and longing assailed him :
wherefore he rose and walked forth from the vestibule of the
pavilion. Sa'id would have followed him, but he said to him, " O
my brother, follow me not, but sit in thy stead till I return to
thee." So Sa'id abode seated, whilst Sayf al-Muluk went down
into the garden, drunken with the wine of desire and distracted for
excess of love-longing and passion-fire : yearning agitated him
and transport overcame him and he recited these couplets :

O passing Fair 1 I have none else but thee; o Pity this slave in thy

love's slavery !
Thou art my search, my joy and my desire ! o None save thyself shall

love this heart of me :

1 i.e. Badi'a al-Jamal.

366 A If Laylak wa Laylah.

Would Heaven I knew thou knewest of my wails o Night-long and eyelids

oped by memory.
Bid sleep to sojourn on these eyen-lids o Haply in vision I thy sight

shall see.
Show favour then to one thus love-distraught : o Save him from ruin by thy

cruelty !
Allah increase thy beauty and thy weal ; o And be thy ransom every

enemy !
So shall on Doomsday lovers range beneath o Thy flag, and beauties

'neath thy banner be.

Then he wept and recited these also :

That rarest beauty ever bides my foe o Who holds my heart and

lurks in secresy :
Speaking, I speak of nothing save her charms o And when I'm dumb in

heart-core woneth she.

Then he wept sore and recited the following :

And in my liver higher flames the fire ; o You are my wish and long-
some still I yearn :

To you (none other!) bend I and I hope o (Lovers long-suffering are!)
your grace to earn ;

And that you pity me whose frame by Love o Is waste and weak his
heart with sore concern :

Relent, be gen'rous, tender-hearted, kind : o From you I'll ne'er remove,

from you ne'er turn !

Then he wept and recited these also :

Came to me care when came the love of thee, o Cruel sleep fled me like

thy cruelty :
Tells me the messenger that thou art wroth : o Allah forefend what evils

told me he 1

Presently Sa'id waxed weary of awaiting him and going forth in
quest of him, found him walking in the garden, distraught 'and
reciting these two couplets :

By Allah, by th' Almighty, by his right 1 o Who read the Koran-
Chapter " Fsitir " 2 hight ;

Ne'er roam my glances o'er the charms I see ; o Thy grace, rare beauty, is
my talk by night.

1 Mohammed.

3 Koran xxxv. " The Creator " (Fatir) or the Angels, so called from the first verse.

Say/ al-Muluk and Bad? a al-Jamat. 367

So he joined him and the twain walked about the garden together
solacing themselves and ate of its fruits. Such was their case j 1 but
as regards the two Princesses, they came to the pavilion and enter-
ing therein after the eunuchs had richly furnished it, according to
command, sat down on the couch of gold, beside which was a
window that gave upon the garden. The castrates then set before
them all manner rich meats and they ate, Daulat Khatun feeding
her foster-sister by mouthfuls, 2 till she was satisfied ; when she
called for divers kinds of sweetmeats, and when the neutrals
brought them, they ate what they would of them and washed their
hands. After this Daulat Khatun made ready wine and its service,
setting on the ewers and bowls and she proceeded to crown the
cups and give Badi'a al-Jamal to drink, filling for herself after and
drinking in turn. Then Badi'a al-Jamal looked from the window
into the garden and gazed upon the fruits and branches that were
therein, till her glance fell on Sayf al-Muluk, and she saw him
wandering about the parterres, followed by Sa'id, and she heard
him recite verses, raining the while railing tears. And that glance

of eyes cost her a thousand sighs, And Shahrazad perceived

the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

jilofo fofjelt K foa0 t&E Ibebeu J^unfcwtr anfc

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Badi'a al-Jamal caught sight of Sayf al-Muluk as he wandered
about the garden, that glance of eyes cost her a thousand sighs,
and she turned to Daulat Khatun and said to her (and indeed the
wine sported with her senses), " O my sister, who is that young
man I see in the garden, distraught, love-abying, disappointed,
sighing ? " Quoth the other, " Dost thou give me leave to bring
him hither, that we may look on him ? "; and quoth the other, "An
thou can avail to bring him, bring him." So Daulat Khatun
called to him, saying, " O King's son, come up to us and bring us
thy beauty and thy loveliness!" Sayf al-Muluk recognised her

1 In the Bresl. Edit. (p. 263) Sayf al-Muluk drops asleep under a tree to the lulling
sound of a Sakiyah or water-wheel, and is seen by Badi'a al-Jamal, who falls in love
with him and drops tears upon his cheeks, etc. The scene, containing much recitation
is long and well told.

2 Arab. " Lukmah " = a bouchle of bread, meat, fruit or pastry, and especially applied
to the rice balled with the hand and delicately inserted into a friend's mouth.

Alf Laylah wa Laylah.

voice and came up into the pavilion ; but no sooner had he set
eyes on Badi'a al-Jamal, than he fell down in a swoon ; whereupon
Daulat Khatun sprinkled on him a little rose-water and he revived.
Then he rose and kissed ground before Badi'a al-Jamal who was
amazed at his beauty and loveliness ; and Daulat Khatun said to
her, " Know, O Princess, that this is Sayf al-Muluk, whose hand
saved me by the ordinance of Allah Almighty and he it is who
hath borne all manner burthens on thine account : wherefore I
would have thee look upon him with favour." Hearing this Badi'a
al-Jamal .laughed and said, "And who keepeth faith, that this
youth should do so ? For there is no true love in men." Cried
Sayf al-Muluk, " O Princess, never shall lack of faith be in me,
and all men are not created alike." And he wept before her and
recited these verses :

thou, Badi'a '1-Jama 1 !, show thou some clemency o To one those lovely eyes

opprest with witchery 1
By rights of beauteous hues and tints thy cheeks combine o Of snowy white

and glowing red anemone,
Punish not with disdain one who is sorely sick o By long, long parting waste

hath waxed this frame of me :
This is my wish, my will, the end of my desire, o And Union is my hope an

haply this may be I

Then he wept with violent weeping ; and love and longing got
the mastery over him and he greeted her with these couplets :

Peace be to you from lover's wasted love, o All noble hearts to noble favoiu

show :
Peace be to you ! Ne'er fail your form my dreams ; o Nor hall nor chamber

the fair sight forego !
Of you I'm jealous : none may name your name : o Lovers to lovers aye should

bend thee low :
So cut not off your grace from him who loves o While sickness wastes and

sorrows overthrow.

1 watch the flowery stars which frighten me ; o While cark and care mine

every night foreslow.
Nor Patience bides with me nor plan appears : o What shall I say when

questioned of my foe ?
God's peace be with you in the hour of need, .o Peace sent by lover patient

bearing woe I

Then for the excess of his desire and ecstasy he repeated these
couplets also :

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a al-Jamal. 369

If I to aught save you, O lords of me, incline ; o Ne'er may I win of you

my wish, my sole design !
Who doth comprise all loveliness save only you ? o Who makes the Doomsday

dawn e'en now before these eyne ?
Far be it Love find any rest, for I am one o Who lost for love of you

this heart, these vitals mine.

When he had made an end of his verses, he wept with sore weeping
and she said to him, " O Prince, I fear to grant myself wholly to
thee lest I find in thee nor fondness nor affection ; for oftentimes
man's fidelity is small and his perfidy is great and thou knowest
how the lord Solomon, son of David (on whom be the Peace !),
took Bilkis to his love but, whenas he saw another fairer than she,
turned from her thereto." Sayf al-Muluk replied, "O my eye and

my soul, Allah hath not made all men alike, and I, Inshallah,
will keep my troth and die beneath thy feet. Soon shalt thou see
what I will do in accordance with my words, and for whatso I say
Allah is my warrant." Quoth Badi'a al-Jamal, " Sit and be of
good heart and swear to me by the right of thy Faith and let us
covenant together that each will not be false to other ; and which-
ever of us breaketh faith may Almighty Allah punish ! " At
these words he sat down and set his hand in her hand and they
sware each to other that neither of them would ever prefer to the
other any one, either of man or of the Jann. Then they embraced
for a whole hour and wept for excess of their joy, whilst passion
overcame Sayf al-Muluk and he recited these couplets :

1 weep for longing love's own ardency o To her who claims the heart and

soul of me.
And sore's my sorrow parted long from you, o And short's my arm to reach

the prize I see ;
And mourning grief for what my patience marred o To Warner's eye unveiled

my secresy ;
And waxed strait that whilome was so wide o Patience nor force icmains nor

power to dree.
Would Heaven I knew if God will ever deign to join o Our lives, and from our

cark and care and grief set free !

After this mutual troth-plighting, Sayf al-Muluk arose and walked
in the garden and Badi'a al-Jamal arose also and went forth also
afoot followed by a slave-girl bearing somewhat of food and a

3/O A If Laylah wa Laylah,

flask 1 of wine. The Princess sat down and the damsel set the
meat and wine before her : nor remained they long ere they were
joined by Sayf al-Muluk, who was received with greeting and the
two embraced and sat them down. - And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

fofjen it foas ify Sbeben f^un&relr antr Soebtntg.stxtf) 3Ci'

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that having
provided food and wine, Badi'a al-Jamal met Sayf al-Muluk with
greetings, and the twain having embraced and kissed sat them
down awhile to eat and drink. Then said she to him, "O
King's son, thou must now go to the garden of Iram, where
dwelleth my grandmother, and seek her consent to our marriage.
My slave-girl Marjanah will convey thee thither and as thou farest
therein thou wilt see a great pavilion of red satin, lined with green
silk. Enter the pavilion heartening thyself and thou wilt see
inside it an ancient dame sitting on a couch of red gold set
with pearls and jewels. Salute her with respect and courtesy;
then look at the foot of the couch, where thou wilt descry
a pair of sandals 2 of cloth interwoven with bars of gold,
embroidered with jewels. Take them and kiss them and lay them
on thy head 3 ; then put them under thy right armpit and stand
before the old woman, in silence and with thy head bowed down.
If she ask thee, Who art thou and how earnest thou hither and
who led thee to this land ? And why hast thou taken up the
sandals ? make her no answer, but abide silent till Marjanah enter,
when she will speak with her and seek to win her aproof for thee
and cause her look on thee with consent; so haply Allah Almighty
may incline her heart to thee and she may grant thee thy wish."
Then she called the handmaid Marjanah hight and said to her,
" As thou lovest me, do my errand this day and be not neglectful
therein ! An thou accomplish it, thou shalt be a free woman for
the sake of Allah Almighty, and I will deal honourably by thee

1 Arab. " Salahiyah," also written Sarahiyah : it means an ewer-shaped glass-bottle.

* Arab " Sarmujah," of which Von Hammer remarks that the dictionaries ignore it ;
Dozy gives the forms Sarmuj, Sarmuz and Sarmuzah and explains them by " espece de
gue"tre, de sandale ou de mule, qu'on chausse par-dessus la botte."

3 In token of profound submission.

Sayf al-Muluk and Bad? a al-Jamal. 371

with gifts and there shall be none dearer to me than thou, nor will
I discover my secrets to any save thee. So, by my love for thee,
fulfil this my need and be not slothful therein." Replied
Marjanah, "O my lady and light of mine eyes, tell me what is it
thou requirest of me, that I may accomplish it with both mine
eyes." Badi'a rejoined, " Take this mortal on thy shoulders and
bear him to the bloom-garden of Iram and the pavilion of my
grandmother, my father's mother, and be careful of his safety.
When thou hast brought him into her presence and seest him take
the slippers and do them homage, and hearest her ask him,
saying : Whence art thou and by what road art come and who
led thee to this land, and why hast thou taken up the sandals and
what is thy need that I give heed to it ? do thou come forward in
haste and salute her with the salam and say to her : O my lady,
I am she who brought him hither and he is the King's son of
Egypt. 1 Tis he who went to the High-builded Castle and slew
the son of the Blue King and delivered the Princess Daulat Khatun
from the Castle of Japhet son of Noah and brought her back safe
to her father : and I have brought him to thee, that he may give
thee the glad tidings of her safety : so deign thou be gracious to
him. Then do thou say to her : Allah upon thee ! is not this
young man handsome, O my lady ? She will reply, Yes ; and do
rejoin : O my lady, indeed he is complete in honour and man-
hood and valour and he is lord and King of Egypt and compriseth
all praiseworthy qualities. An she ask thee, What is his need ?
do thou make answer, My lady saluteth thee and saith to thee,

1 Arab. "Misr" in Ibn Khaldun is a land whose people are settled and civilised
hence "Namsur" = we settle; and " Amsar " = settled provinces. Al-Misrayn was
the title of Basrah and Kufah the two military cantonments founded by Caliph Omar on
the frontier of conquering Arabia and conquered Persia. Hence " Tamsfr " = founding
such posts, which were planted in Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt. In these camps,
were stationed the veterans who had fought under Mohammed ; but the spoils of the
East soon changed them to splendid cities where luxury and learning flourished side by
side. Sprenger (Al-Mas'udi pp. 19, 177) compares them ecclesiastically with the

Online LibraryRichard Francis BurtonA plain and literal translation of the Arabian nights' entertainments, now entituled The book of the thousand nights and a night : with introduction, explanatory notes on the manners and customs of Moslem men, and a terminal essay upon the history of The nights (Volume 7) → online text (page 38 of 40)