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 5 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 5 of 40)
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in the valley and the mountains three days, but found no trace of
them ; whereupon they began the mourning ceremonies and, send-
ing for couriers, said to them, " Do ye disperse yourselves about
the cities and sconces and castles, and seek ye news of our King."
" Hearkening and obedience ! " cried the couriers, who dispersed
hither and thither each over one of the Seven Climes and sought
everywhere for Gharib. but found no trace of him. Now when the

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 39

tidings came to Ajib by his spies that his brother was lost and
there was no news of the missing, he rejoiced and going in to
King Ya'arub bin Kahtan, sought of him aid which he granted
and gave him two hundred thousand Amalekites, wherewith he
set out for Al-Yaman and sat down before the city of Oman.
Jamrkan and Sa'adan sallied forth and offered him battle, and
there were slain of the Moslems much folk, so the True Believers
retired into the city and shut the gates and manned the walls.
At this moment came up the two Marids Kaylajan and Kurajan
and, seeing the Moslem beleaguered waited till nightfall, when
they fell upon the miscreants and plied them with sharp swords
of the swords of the Jinn, each twelve cubits long, if a man smote
therewith a rock, verily he would cleave it in sunder. They
charged the Idolaters, shouting, " Allaho Akbar ! God is Most
Great ! He giveth aid and victory and forsaketh those who deny
the Faith of Abraham the Friend ! " and whilst they raged amongst
the foes, fire issued from their mouths and nostrils, and they made
great slaughter amongst them. Thereupon the Infidels ran out
of their tents offering battle but, seeing these strange things, were
confounded and their hair stood on end and their reason fled. So
they snatched up their arms and fell one upon other, whilst the
Marids shore off their heads, as a reaper eareth grain, crying,
" God is Most Great ! We are the lads of King Gharib, the
friend of Mura'ash, King of the Jinn ! " The sword ceased not
to go round amongst them till the night was half spent, when the
Misbelievers, imagining that the mountains were all Ifrits, loaded
their tents and treasure and baggage upon camels and made off;

and the first to fly was Ajib. And Shahrazad perceived the

dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Nofo fo&en a foas tf) &ix f^un&rrtu anfc 4Ftftg - tinr& Xffi&t,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Misbelievers made off and the first to fly was Ajib. Thereupon
the Moslems gathered together, marvelling at this that had
bedded the Infidels and fearing the tribesmen of the Jinn. But
the Marids ceased not from pursuit, till they had driven them far
away into the hills and wolds ; and but fifty thousand Rebels l of
two hundred thousand escaped with their lives and made for their

1 Arab. " Mariduna " = rebels (against Allah and bis orders)-

4o A If Laylah wa Laylah.

own land, wounded and sore discomfited. Then the two Jinns
returned and said to them, " O host of the Moslems, your lord
King Gharib and his brother Sahim salute you ; they are the
guests of Mura'ash, King of the Jann, and will be with you anon."
When Gharib's men heard that he was safe and well, they joyed
with exceeding joy and said to the Marids, "Allah gladden
you twain with good news, O noble spirits ! " So Kurajan and
Kaylajan returned to Mura'ash and Gharib ; and acquainted them
with that which had happened, whereat Gharib finding the two
sitting together felt heart at ease and said, "Allah abundantly
requite you ! " Then quoth King Mura'ash, " O my brother, I am
minded to show thee our country and the city of Japhet 1 son of
Noah (on whom be peace !) " Quoth Gharib, " O King, do what
seemeth good to thee." So he called for three noble steeds and
mounting, he and Gharib and Sahim, set out with a thousand
Marids, as they were a piece of a mountain cloven lengthwise.
They fared on, solacing themselves with the sight of valleys and
mountains, till they came to Jabarsd, 2 the city of Japhet son of
Noah (on whom be peace !) where the townsfolk all, great and
small, came forth to meet King Mura'ash and brought them into
the city in great state. Then Mura'ash went up to the palace of
Japhet son of Noah and sat down on the throne of his kingship,
which was of alabaster, ten stages high and latticed with wands of
gold wherefrom hung all manner coloured silks. The people of
the city stood before him and he said to them, " O seed of Yafis
bin Nuh, what did your fathers and grandfathers worship ? " They
replied, "We found them worshipping Fire and followed their
example, as thou well knowest." " O folk," rejoined Mura'ash,
" we have been shown that the fire is but one of the creatures of
Almighty Allah, Creator of all things ; and when we knew this,
we submitted ourselves to God, the One, the All-powerful, Maker

1 Arab. Yafis or Yafat. He had eleven sons and was entitled Abu al-Turk because
this one engendered the Turcomans as others did the Chinese, Scythians, Slaves (Saklab),
Gog, Magog, and the Muscovites or Russians. According to the Moslems there was a
rapid falling off in size amongst this family. Noah's grave at Karak (the Ruin) a
suburb of Zahlah, in La Brocquiere's "Valley of Noah, where the Ark was built," is
104 ft. 10 in. long by 8 ft. 8 in. broad. (N.B It is a bit of the old aqueduct which Mr.
Porter, the learned author of the " Giant Cities of Bashan," quotes as a "traditional
memorial of primeval giants " talibus carduis pascuntur asini !). Nabi Ham measures
only 9 ft. 6 in. between headstone and tombstone, being in fact about as long as his
father was broad.

* See Night dcliv., vol. vii., p. 43, infra.

The History of Gharib and his Brother A jib. 41

of night and day and the sphere revolving alway, Whom compre-
hendeth no sight, but Who comprehendeth all sights, for He is
the Subtle, the All-wise. So seek ye Salvation and ye shall be
saved from the wrath of the Almighty One and from the fiery
doom in the world to come." And they embraced Al-Islam with
heart and tongue. Then Mura'ash took Gharib by the hand and
showed him the palace and its ordinance and all the marvels it
contained, till they came to the armoury, wherein were the arms
of Japhet son of Noah. Here Gharib saw a sword hanging to a
pin of gold and asked, " O King, whose is that ? " Mura'ash
answered, " 'Tis the sword of Yafis bin Nuh, wherewith he was
Wont to do battle against men and Jinn. The sage Jardum forged
it and graved on its back names of might. 1 It is named Al-Mahik
the Annihilator for that it never descendeth upon a man, but
it annihilateth him, nor upon a Jinni, but it crusheth him ; and if
one smote therewith a mountain 'twould overthrow it." When
Gharib heard tell of the virtues of the sword, he said, " I desire to
look on this blade ; " and Mura'ash said, " Do as thou wilt." So
Gharib put out his hand, and, hending the sword, drew it from its
sheath ; whereupon it flashed and Death crept on its edge and
glittered; and it was twelve spans long and three broad. Now
Gharib wished to become owner of it, and King Mura'ash said,
" An thou canst smite with it, take it." " 'Tis well," Gharib replied,
and took it up, and it was in his hand as a staff; wherefore all
who were present, men and Jinn, marvelled and said, "Well done,
O Prince of Knights ! " Then said Mura'ash " Lay thy hand on
this hoard for which the Kings of the earth sigh in vain, and
mount, that I may show thee the city." Then they took horse
and rode forth the palace, with men and Jinns attending them on

foot, And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased

to say her permitted say.

ETofo to&en ft foas t&e &>tx f^un&rtfc antr jpiftB=fourt

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Gharib and King Mura'ash rode forth the palace of Japhet, with

1 According to Turcoman legends (evidently post-Mohammedan) Noah gave his son
Japhet a stone inscribed with the Greatest Name, and it had the virtue of bringing on or
driving off rain. The Moghuls long preserved the tradition and hence probably tho

42 A If Laylah zva Laylak.

men and Jinns attending them on foot, they passed through the
streets and thoroughfares of the town, by palaces and deserted
mansions and gilded doorways, till they issued from the gates
and entered gardens full of trees fruit-bearing and waters welling
and birds speaking and celebrating the praises of Him to whom
belong Majesty and Eternity ; nor did they cease to solace them-
selves in the land till nightfall, when they returned to the palace
of Japhet son of Noah and they brought them the table of food.
So they ate and Gharib turned to the King of the Jann and said
to him, " O King, I would fain return to my folk and my force ;
for I know not their plight after me." Replied Mura'ash, " By
Allah, O my brother, I will not part with thee for a full month,
till I have had my fill of thy sight." Now Gharib could not say
nay, so he abode with him in the city of Japhet, eating and
drinking and making merry, till the month ended, when Mura'ash
gave him great store of gems and precious ores, emeralds and
balass-rubies, diamonds and other jewels, ingots of gold and silver
and likewise ambergis and musk and brocaded silks and else of
rarities and things of price. Moreover he clad him and Sahim in
silken robes of honour gold-inwoven and set on Gharib's head a
crown jewelled with pearls and diamonds of inestimable value.
All these treasures he made up into even loads for him and,
calling five hundred Marids, said to them, " Get ye ready to
travel on the morrow, that we may bring King Gharib and Sahim
back to their own country." And they answered, " We hear and
we obey," So they passed the night in the city, purposing to
depart on the morrow, but, next morning, as they were about to
set forth behold, they espied a great host advancing upon the
city, with horses neighing and kettle-drums beating and trumpets
braying and riders filling the earth for they numbered threescore
and ten thousand Marids, flying and diving, under a King called
Barkan. Now this Barkan was lord of the City of Carnelian and
the Castle of Gold and under his rule were five hill-strongholds, in
each five hundred thousand Marids ; and he and his tribe
worshipped the Fire, not the Omnipotent Sire. He was a cousin
of Mura'ash, the son of his father's brother, and the cause of his
coming was that there had been among the subjects of King
Mura'ash a misbelieving Marid, who professed Al-Islam hypo-
critically, and he stole away from his people and made for the
Valley of Carnelian, where he went in to King Barkan and,
kissing the earth before him, wished him abiding glory and

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 43

prosperity. Then he told him of Mura'ash being converted to
Al-Islam, and Barkan said, " How came he to tear himself away
from his faith * ? " So the rebel told him what had passed and,
when Barkan heard it, he snorted and snarked and railed at Sun
and Moon and sparkling Fire, saying, " By the virtue of my faith,
I will surely slay mine uncle's son and his people and this mortal,
nor will I leave one of them alive ! " Then he cried out to the
legions of the Jinn and choosing of them seventy thousand
Marids, set out and fared on till he came to Jabarsa 2 the city of
Japhet and encamped before its gates. When Mura'ash saw this,
he despatched a Marid, saying, " Go to this host and learn all that
it wanteth and return hither in haste." So the messenger rushed
away to Barkan's camp, where the Marids flocked to meet him
and said to him, " Who art thou ? " Replied he, " An envoy from
King Mura'ash;" whereupon they carried him in to Barkan,
before whom he prostrated himself, saying, " O my lord, my
master hath sent me to thee, to learn tidings of thee." Quoth
Barkan, " Return to thy lord and say to him : This is thy
cousin Barkan, who is come to salute thee." - And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted

Noto tofjen a teas tfie &ix f^unfcretJ anto dFiftg=fiftf) Nt'o&t,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Marid-envoy of Mura'ash was borne before Barkan and said to
him, " O my lord, my master hath sent me to thee to learn tidings
of thee," Barkan replied, " Return to thy lord and say to him :
This is thy cousin Barkan who is come to salute thee ! " So the
messenger went back and told Mura'ash, who said to Gharib,
" Sit thou on thy throne whilst I go and salute my cousin and
return to thee." Then he mounted and rode to the camp of his
uncle's son. Now this was a trick s of Barkan, to bring Mura'ash
out and seize upon him, and he said to his Marids, whom he had
stationed about him, " When ye see me embrace him, 4 lay hold of

1 This expresses Moslem sentiment ; the convert to Al-Islam being theoretically
respected and practically despised. The Turks call him a " Burma "= twister, a
turncoat, and no one either trusts him or believes in his sincerity.

2 The name of the city first appears here : it is found also in the Bui. Edit., vol. ii.-
p. 132.

3 Arab. " ' Amala hilah, 1 ' a Syro- Egyptian vulgarism.

4 '.< his cousin, but he will not use the word.

44 A !f Laylak wa Laylah.

him and pinion him." And they replied, " To hear is to obey."
So, when King Mura'ash came up and entered Barkan's pavilion,
the owner rose to him and threw his arms round his neck ;
whereat the Jann fell upon Mura'ash and pinioned him and
chained him. Mura'ash looked at Barkan and said, "What
manner of thing is this ? " Quoth Barkan, " O dog of the Jann,
wilt thou leave the faith of thy fathers and grandfathers and enter
a faith thou knowest not ?" Rejoined Mura'ash, "O son of my
uncle, indeed I have found the faith of Abraham the Friend to be
the True Faith and all other than it vain." Asked Barkan, " And
who told thee of this ? " ; and Mura'ash answered, " Gharib, King
of Irak, whom I hold in the highest honour." By the right of the
Fire and the Light and the Shade and the Heat," cried Barkan,
" I will assuredly slay both thee and him ! " And he cast him
into gaol. Now when Mura'ash's henchman saw what had befallen
his lord, he fled back to the city and told the King's legionaries
who cried out and mounted. Quoth Gharib, "What is the
matter ? " And they told him all that had passed, whereupon he
cried out to Sahim, " Saddle me one of the chargers that King
Mura'ash gave me. Said Sahim, " O my brother, wilt thou do
battle with the Jinn ? " Gharib replied, " Yes, I will fight them
with the sword of Japhet son of Noah, seeking help of the Lord of
Abraham the Friend (on whom be the Peace !) ; for He is the
Lord of all things and sole Creator ! " So Sahim saddled him a
sorrel horse of the horses of the Jinn, as he were a castle strong
.among castles, and he armed and mounting, rode out with the
legions of the Jinn, hauberk'd cap-a-pie. Then Barkan and his
host mounted also and the two hosts drew out in lines facing each
other. The first to open the gate of war was Gharib, who drave
his steed into the mid-field and bared the enchanted blade,
whence issued a glittering light that dazzled the eyes of all the
Jinn and struck terror to their hearts. Then he played * with the
sword till their wits were wildered, and cried out, saying, " Allaho
Akbar ! I am Gharib, King of Irak. There is no Faith save the
Faith of Abraham the Friend ! " Now when Barkan heard
Gharib's words, he said, " This is he who seduced my cousin from
his religion ; so, by the virtue of my faith, I will not sit down on
my throne till I have decapitated this Gharib and suppressed his

1 Arab." La'ab," meaning very serious use of the sword: we still preserve the old

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 45

breath of life and forced my cousin and his people back to their
belief: and whoso baulketh me, him will I destroy." Then he
mounted an elephant paper-white as he were a tower plastered
with gypsum, and goaded him with a spike of steel which ran
deep into his flesh, whereupon the elephant trumpeted and made
for the battle-plain where cut and thrust obtain ; and, when he
drew near Gharib, he cried out to him, saying, " O dog of mankind,
what made thee come into our land, to debauch my cousin and his
folk and pervert them from one faith to other faith." Know that
this day is the last of thy worldly days." Gharib replied,
41 Avaunt, 1 O vilest of the Jann ! " Therewith Barkan drew a
javelin and making it quiver 2 in his hand, cast it at Gharib ; but
it missed him. So he hurled a second javelin at him ; but
Gharib caught it in mid-air and after poising it launched it at
the elephant. It smote him on the flank and came out on the
other side, whereupon the beast fell to the earth dead and Barkan
was thrown to the ground, like a great palm-tree. Before he
could stir, Gharib smote him with the flat of Japhet's blade on
the nape of the neck, and he fell upon the earth in a fainting-fit ;
whereupon the Marids swooped down on him and surrounding
him pinioned his elbows. When Barkan's people saw their
king a prisoner, they drove at the others, seeking to rescue him,
but Gharib and the Islamised Jinn fell upon them and gloriously
done for Gharib ! indeed that day he pleased the Lord who
answereth prayer and slaked his vengeance with the talisman-
sword ! Whomsoever he smote, he clove him in sunder and
before his soul could depart he became a heap of ashes in the
fire ; whilst the two hosts of the Jinn shot each other with flamy
meteors till the battle-field was wrapped in smoke. And Gharib
tourneyed right and left among the Kafirs who gave way before
him, till he came to King Barkan's pavilion, with Kaylajan and
Kurajan on his either hand, and cried out to them, " Loose your

lord 1 " So they unbound Mura'ash and broke his fetters and

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

1 Arab. " Ikhsa," from a root meaning to drive away a dog.

9 Arab. " Hazza-hu," the quivering motion given to the " Harbak " (a light throw
pear or javelin) before it leaves the hand.

A If Laylah wa Laylah.

ttfofo fofjen ft foas tfje &ix f^untartr an& ^tftg-stxtl)

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
King Gharib cried out to Kaylajan and Kurajan, saying, " Loose
your lord ! ", they unbound Mura'ash and broke his fetters, and
he said to them, " Bring me my arms and my winged horse.
Now he had two flying steeds, one of which he had given to
Gharib and the other he had kept for himself; and this he
mounted after he had donned his battle-harness. Then he and
Gharib fell upon the enemy, flying through the air on their winged
horses, and the true believing Jinn followed them, shouting
" Allaho Akbar God is Most Great ! "till plains and hills,
valleys and mountains re-worded the cry. The Infidels fled
before them and they returned, after having slain more than
thirty thousand Marids and Satans, to the city of Japhet, where
the two Kings sat down on their couches of estate and sought
Barkan, but found him not ; for after capturing him they were
diverted from him by stress of battle, where an Ifrit of his servants
made his way to him and loosing him, carried him to his folk,
of whom he found part slain and the rest in full flight. So he
flew up with the King high in air and sat him down in the City
of Carnelian and Castle of Gold, where Barkan seated himself on
the throne of his kingship. Presently, those of his people who
had survived the affair came in to him and gave him joy of his
safety ; and he said, " O folk, where is safety ? My army is slain
and they took me prisoner and have rent in pieces mine honour
among the tribes of the Jann." Quoth they, " O King, 'tis ever
thus that kings still afflict and are afflicted " Quoth he, " There
is no help but I take my wreak and wipe out my shame, else shall
I be for ever disgraced among the tribes of the Jann." Then he
wrote letters to the Governors of his fortresses, who came to him
right loyally and, when he reviewed them, he found three
hundred and twenty thousand fierce Marids and Satans ; who
said to him, " What is thy need ? " And he replied, " Get ye
ready to set out in three days' time ; " whereto they rejoined
" Harkening and obedience ! " On this wise it befel King
Barkan ; but as regards Mura'ash, when he discovered his
prisoner's escape, it was grievous to him and he said, " Had we
set an hundred Marids to guard him, he had not fled ; but
whither shall he go from us ? " Then said he to Gharfb, " Know,

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 47

my brother, that Barkan is perfidious and will never rest from
wreaking blood-revenge on us, but will assuredly assemble his
legions and return to attack us ; wherefore I am minded to fore-
stall him and follow the trail of his defeat, whilst he is yet
weakened thereby." Replied Gharib, " This is the right rede,
and will best serve our need ; " and Mura'ash, said, " Oh my
brother, let the Marids bear thee back to thine own country and
leave me to fight the battles of the Faith against the Infidels, that

1 may be lightened of my sin-load." But Gharib rejoined,
" By the virtue of the Clement, the Bountiful, the Veiler, I will
not go hence till I do to death all the misbelieving Jinn ; and
Allah hasten their souls to the fire and dwelling-place dire ;
and none shall be saved but those who worship Allah the One,
the Victorious ! But do thou send Sahim back to the city of
Oman, so haply he may be healed of his ailment." For Sahim
was sick. So Mura'ash cried to the Marids, saying, " Take ye
up Sahim and these treasures and bear them to Oman city."
And after replying, " We hear and we obey," they took them and
made for the land of men. Then Mura'ash wrote letters to all
his Governors and Captains of fortresses and they came to him
with an hundred and sixty thousand warriors. So they made
them ready and departed for the City of Carnelian and the Castle
of Gold, covering in one day a year's journey and halted in a
valley, where they encamped and passed the night. Next morning
as they were about to set forth, behold, the vanguard of Barkan's
army appeared, whereupon the Jinn cried out and the two hosts
met and fell each upon other in that valley. Then the
engagement was dight and there befel a sore fight as though an
earthquake shook the site and fair plight waxed foul plight.
Earnest came and jest took flight, and parley ceased 'twixt wight
and wight, 1 whilst long lives were cut short in a trice and the
Unbelievers fell into disgrace and despite ; for Gharib charged
them, proclaiming the Unity of the Worshipful, the All-might and
shore through necks and left heads rolling in the dust ; nor did
night betide before nigh seventy thousand of the Miscreants were
slain, and of the Moslemised over ten thousand Marids had fallen.
Then the kettle-drums beat the retreat, and the two hosts drew

apart, And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased

saying her permitted say.

Here the translator must either order the sequence of the sentences or follow the rhyme.

4$ A If Laylah wa Laylak.

Koto fofcen it foas t&e Sbfx ^untrreti anfc Jiftg - cbertt^

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
the two hosts drew apart, Gharib and Mura'ash returned to their
tents, after wiping their weapons, and supper being set before
them, they ate and gave each other joy of their safety, and the
loss of their Marids being so small. As for Barkan, he returned
to his tent, grieving for the slaughter of his champions, and said
to his officers, " O folk, an we tarry here and do battle with them
on this wise in three days' time we shall be cut off to the last
wight/' Quoth they, " And how shall we do, O King ? " Quoth
Barkan, " We will fall upon them under cover of night whilst they
are deep in sleep, and not one of them shall be left to tell the tale.
So take your arms and when I give the word of command, attack
and fall on your enemies as one." Now there was amongst
them a Marid named Jandal whose heart inclined to Al-Islam ;
so, when he heard the Kafirs' plot, he stole away from them and
going in to King Mura'ash and King Gharib, told the twain what
Barkan had devised ; whereupon Mura'ash turned to Gharib and
said to him, " O my brother, what shall we do ? " Gharib replied,
" To-night we will fall upon the Miscreants and chase them into
the wilds and the wolds if it be the will of the Omnipotent King."
Then he summoned the Captains of the Jann and said to them,
" Arm yourselves, you and yours ; and, as soon as 'tis dark, steal

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 5 of 40)