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 6 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 6 of 40)
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out of your tents on foot, hundreds after hundreds, and lie in
ambush among the mountains ; and when ye see the enemy
engaged among the tents, do ye fall upon them from all quarters.
Hearten your hearts and rely on your Lord, and ye shall certainly
conquer ; and behold, I am with you ! " So, as soon as it was
dark night, the Infidels attacked the camp, invoking aid of the
fire and light ; but when they came among the tents, the Moslems
fell upon them, calling for help on the Lord of the Worlds and
saying, "O Most Merciful of Mercifuls, O Creator of all createds ! "
till they left them like mown grass, cut down and dead. Nor did
morning dawn before the most part of the unbelievers were species
without souls and the rest made for the wastes and marshes, whilst
Gharib and Mura'ash returned triumphant and victorious ; and,
making prize of the enemy's baggage, they rested till the morrow,
when they set out for the City of Carnelian and Castle of Gold.
As for Barkan, when the battle had turned against him and most

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 49

of his lieges were stain, he fled through the dark with the remnant
of his power to his capital where he entered his palace and
assembling his legionaries said to them, " O folk, whoso hath
aught of price, let him take it and follow me to the Mountain
Kaf, to the Blue King, lord of the Pied Palace ; for he it is who
shall avenge us." So they took their women and children and
goods and made for the Caucasus-mountain. Presently Mura'ash
and Gharib arrived at the City of Carnelian and Castle of Gold to
find the gates open and none left to give them news ; whereupon
they entered and Mura'ash led Gharib that he might show him
the city, whose walls were builded of emeralds and its gates of
red carnelian, with studs of silver, and the terrace-roofs of its houses
and mansions reposed upon beams of lign-aloes and sandal-wood.
So they took their pleasure in its streets and alleys, till they
came to the Palace of Gold and entering passed through seven
vestibules, when they drew near to a building, whose walls were of
royal balass-rubies and its pavement of emerald and jacinth. The
two Kings were astounded at the goodliness of the place and fared
on from vestibule to vestibule, till they had passed through the
seventh and happened upon the inner court of the palace wherein
they saw four dai'ses, each different from the others, and in the
midst a jetting fount of red gold, compassed about with golden
lions, 1 from whose mouths issued water. These were things to
daze man's wit. The estrade at the upper end was hung and
carpeted with brocaded silks of various colours and thereon stood
two thrones of red gold, inlaid with pearls and jewels. So
Mura'ash and Gharib sat down on Barkan's thrones and held

high state in the Palace of Gold. And Shahrazad perceived the

dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Nofo fo&w it foas t&e &>fx ^un&reb antr $tfx&*\$ih Nfgfrt,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that
Mura'ash and Gharib took seat on Barkan's thrones and held
high state. Then said Gharib to Mura'ash, " What thinkest thou
to do?" And Mura'ash replied, "O King of mankind, I have
despatched an hundred horse to learn where Barkan is, that we

1 Possibly taken from the Lions' Court in the Alhambra = (Dar) Al-hamrd, the Red


5O A If Laylah wet Laylah.

may pursue him." Then they abode three days in the palace, till
the scouting Marids returned with the news that Barkan had fled
to the Mountain Kaf and craved protection of the Blue King who
granted it ; whereupon quoth Mura'ash to Gharib, " What sayest
thou, O my brother ? " and quoth Gharib, " Except we attack
them they will attack us." So they bade the host make ready for
departure and after three days, they were about to set out with
their troops, when the Marids, who had carried Sahim and the
presents back to Oman, returned and kissed ground before Gharib.
He questioned them of his people and they replied, " After the
last affair, thy brother Ajib, leaving Ya'arub bin Kahtan, fled, to
the King of Hind and, submitting his case, sought his protection.
The King granted his prayer and writing letters to all his
governors, levied an army as it were the surging sea, having
neither beginning nor end, wherewith he purposeth to invade
Al-Irak and lay it waste." When Gharib heard this, he said,
Perish the Misbelievers ! Verily, Allah Almighty shall give the
victory to Al-Islam and I will soon show them hew and foin."
Said Mura'ash, " O King of humans, by the virtue of the Mighty
Name, 1 must needs go with thee to thy kingdom and destroy
thy foes and bring thee to thy wish." Gharib thanked him and
they rested on this resolve till the morrow, when they set out,
intending for Mount Caucasus and marched many days till they
reached the City of Alabaster and the Pied Palace. Now this
city was fashioned of alabaster and precious stones by Bdrik bin
Faki', father of the Jinn, and he also founded the Pied Palace,
which was so named because edified with one brick of gold
alternating with one of silver, nor was there builded aught like it
in all the world. When they came within half a day's journey of
the city, they halted to take their rest, and Mura'ash sent out to
reconnoitre a scout who returned and said, " O King, within the
City of Alabaster are legions of the Jinn, for number as the leaves
of the trees or as the drops of rain." So Mura'ash said to Gharib,
11 How shall we do, O King of Mankind ? " He replied, " O King,
divide your men into four bodies and encompass with them the
camp of the Infidels ; then, in the middle of the night, let them
cry out, saying; -God is Most Great! and withdraw and watch
what happeneth among the tribes of the Jinn." So Mura'ash did
as Gharib counselled and the troops waited till midnight, when
they encircled the foe and shouted " Allaho Akbar ! Ho for the
Faith of Abraham the Friend, on whom be the Peace ! " The

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 5 1

Misbelievers at this cry awoke in affright and snatching up their
arms, fell one upon other till the morning, when most part of them
were dead bodies and but few remained. Then Gharib cried out
to the True Believers, saying, " Up and at the remnant of the
Kafirs ! Behold I am with you, and Allah is your helper ! " So
the Moslems drave at the enemy and Gharib bared his magical
blade Al-Mahik and fell upon the foe, lopping off noses and
making heads wax hoary and whole ranks turn tail. At last
he came up with Barkan and smote him and bereft him of life
and he fell down, drenched in his blood. On like wise he did
with the Blue King, and by undurn-hour not one of the Kafirs
was left alive to tell the tale. Then Gharib and Mura'ash entered
the Pied Palace and found its walls builded of alternate courses
of gold and silver, with door-sills of crystal and keystones of
greenest emerald. In its midst was a fountain adorned with bells
and pendants and figures of birds and beasts spouting forth water,
and thereby a dais l furnished with gold-brocaded silk, bordered
or embroidered with jewels : and they found the treasures of the
palace past count or description. Then they entered the women's
court, where they came upon a magnificent serraglio and Gharib
saw, among the Blue King's woman-folk a girl clad in a dress
worth a thousand dinars, never had he beheld a goodlier. About
her were an hundred slave-girls, upholding her train with golden
hooks, and she was in their midst as the moon among stars.
When he saw her, his reason was confounded and he said to
one of the waiting-women, " Who may be yonder maid ? " Quoth
they, " This is the Blue King's daughter, Star o' Morn." - And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

jtfofo fofjen t't foas t&e Jbfc f^untKelr an& 4Fiftg-n{At&

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Gharib asked the slave-women saying, " Who may be yonder

1 Arab. " Shazarwan " from Pers. Shadurwan, a palace, cornice, etc. That of the
Meccan Ka'abah is a projection of about a foot broad in pent house shape sloping down-
wards and two feet above the granite pavement : its only use appears in the large brass
rings welded into it to hold down the covering. There are two breaks in it, one under
the doorway and the other opposite Ishmael's tomb ; and pilgrims are directed during
circuit to keep the whole body outside it.

52 A If Laylah wa Laylah.

maid,'* they replied, " This is Star o' Morn, daughter to the Blue
King." Then Gharib turned to Mura'ash and said to him, " O
King of the Jinn, I have a mind to take yonder damsel to wife."
Replied Mura'ash, " The palace and all that therein is, live stock
and dead, are the prize of thy right hand ; for, hadst thou not
devised a stratagem to destroy the Blue King and Barkan, they
had cut us off to the last one : wherefore the treasure is thy
treasure and the folk thy thralls." Gharib thanked him for his
/air speech and going up to the girl, gazed steadfastly upon her
and loved her with exceeding love, forgetting Fakhr Taj the
iPrincess and even Mahdiyah. Now her mother was the Chinese
King's daughter whom the Blue King had carried off from her
palace and perforce deflowered, and she conceived by him and
bare this girl, whom he named Star o' Morn, by reason of her
beauty and loveliness ; for she was the very Princess of the Fair.
Her mother died when she was a babe of forty days, and the
nurses and eunuchs reared her, till she reached the age of seven-
teen ; but she hated her sire and rejoiced in his slaughter. So
Gharib put his palm to hers * and went in unto her that night and
found her a virgin. Then he bade pull down the Pied Palace
and divided the spoil with the true-believing Jinn, and there fell
to his share one-and-twenty thousand bricks of gold and silver and
money and treasure beyond speech and count. Then Mura'ash
took Gharib and showed him the Mountain Kaf and all its
marvels ; after which they returned to Barkan's fortress and dis-
mantled it and shared the spoil thereof. Then they repaired to
Mura'ash's capital, where they tarried five days, when Gharib
sought to revisit his native country and Mura'ash said, "O
King of mankind, I will ride at thy stirrup and bring thee to
thine own land." Replied Gharib, " No, by the virtue of Abraham
the Friend, I will not suffer thee to weary thyself thus, nor will
I take any of the Jinn save Kaylajan and Kurajan." Quoth the
King, "Take with thee ten thousand horsemen of the Jinn, to
perve thee ; " but quoth Gharib, " I will take only as I said to
thee." So Mura'ash bade a thousand Marids carry him to his
native land, with his share of the spoil ; and he commanded
Kaylajan and Kurajan to follow him and obey him ; and they
answered, " Hearkening and obedience." Then said Gharib to
the Marids, " Do ye carry the treasure and Star o' Morn ; " for

1 The " Musafahah " before noticed, vol. vi., p. 287.

The History of Gharib and his Brother A jib. 53

he himself thought to ride his flying steed. But Mura'ash said
to him, " This horse, O my brother, will live only in our region,
and, if it come upon man's earth, 'twill die : but I have in my
stables a sea-horse, whose fellow is not found in Al-Irak, no, nor
in all the world is its like." So he caused bring forth the horse,
and when Gharib saw it, it interposed between him and his wits. 1
Then they bound it and Kaylajan bore it on his shoulders and
Kurajan took what he could carry. And Mura'ash embraced
Gharib and wept for parting from him, saying, "O my brother,
if aught befal thee wherein thou art powerless, send for me and
I will come to thine aid with an army able to lay waste the
whole earth and what is thereon." Gharib thanked him for his
kindness and zeal for the True Faith and took leave of him ;
whereupon the Marids set out with Gharib and his goods; and,
after traversing fifty years' journey in two days and a night,
alighted near the city of Oman and halted to take rest. Then
Gharib sent out Kaylajan, to learn news of his people, and he
returned and said, " O King, the city is beleaguered by a host
of Infidels, as they were the surging sea, and thy people are
fighting them. The drums beat to battle and Jamrkan goeth
forth as champion in the field." When Gharib heard this, he
cried aloud, " God is Most Great ! " and said to Kaylajan, " Saddle
me the steed and bring me my arms and spear; for to-day the
valiant shall be known from the coward in the place of war and
battle-stead. So Kaylajan brought him all he sought and Gharib
armed and belting in baldrick Al-Mahik, -mounted the sea-horse
and made toward the hosts. Quoth Kaylajan and Kurajan to
him, " Set thy heart at rest and let us go to the Kafirs and scatter
them abroad in the wastes and wilds till, by the help of Allah,
the All-powerful, we leave not a soul alive, no, not a blower of
the fire." But Gharib said " By the virtue of Abraham the Friend,
I will not let you fight them without me and behold, I mount ! "
Now the cause of the coming of that great host was right mar-
vellous. 2 And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased

to say her permitted say.

1 i.e. He was confounded at its beauty.

2 Arab. " 'Ajib," punning upon the nam.

54 A If Laylah wa Laylah.

Nofo tofjen ft teas tfje Sbfa f^untrttto antr

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Gharib had bidden Kaylajan go and learn news of his people, the
Jinn fared forth and presently returning said, "Verily around thy
city is a mighty host !" Now the cause of its coming was that
Ajib, having fled the field after Ya'arub's army had been put to
the rout, said to his people, " O folk, if we return to Ya'arub bin
Kahtan, he will say to us : But for you, my son and my people
had not been slain ; and he will put us to death, even to the last
man. Wherefore, methinks we were better go to Tarkandn, King
of Hind, and beseech him to avenge us." Replied they, " Come,
let us go thither ; and the blessing of the Fire be upon thee ! "
So they fared days and nights till they reached King Tarkanan's
capital city and, after asking and obtaining permission to present
himself, Ajib went in to him and kissed ground before him.
Then he wished him what men use to wish to monarchy and
said to him, " O King, protect me, so may protect thee the
sparkling Fire and the Night with its thick darkness ! " Tarkanan
looked at Ajib and asked, " Who art thou and what dost thou
want ? " ; to which the other answered, " I am Ajib King of
Al-Irak ; my brother hath wronged me and gotten the mastery
of the land and the subjects have submitted themselves to him.
Moreover, he hath embraced the faith of Al-Islam and he ceaseth
not to chase me from country to country ; and behold, I am come
to seek protection of thee and thy power." When Tarkanan
heard Ajib's words, he rose and sat down and cried, " By the
virtue of the Fire, I will assuredly avenge thee and will let none
serve other than my goddess the Fire ! " And he called aloud to
his son, saying, " O my son, make ready to go to Al-Irak and lay
it waste and bind all who serve aught but the Fire and torment
them and make example of them ; yet slay them not, but bring
them to me, that I may ply them with various tortures and make
them taste the bitterness of humiliation and leave them a warning
to whoso will be warned in this our while." Then he chose out
to accompany him eighty thousand fighting men on horseback and
the like number on giraffes, 1 besides ten thousand elephants,

1 Arab. "Zarraf" (whence our word) from "Zarf"= walking hastily : the old
" cameleopard " which originated the nursery idea of its origin. It is one of the most,
timid of the antelope tribe and unfit for riding.

The History of Ghartt and his Brother Ajib. 55

bearing on their backs seats 1 of sandal-wood, latticed with golden
rods, plated and studded with gold and silver and shielded with
pavoises of gold and emerald ; moreover he sent good store of
war-chariots, in each eight men fighting with all kinds of weapons.
Now the Prince's name was Ra'ad Shah, 3 and he was the champion
of his time, for prowess having no peer. So he and his army
equipped them in ten day's time, then set out, as they were a bank
cf clouds, and fared on two months' journey, till they came upon
Oman city and encompassed it, to the joy of Ajib, who thought
himself assured of victory. Jamrkan and Sa'adan and all their
fighting-men sallied forth into the field of fight whilst the kettle-
drums beat to battle and the horses neighed. At this moment up
came King Gharib, who, as we have said, had been warned by
Kaylajan ; and he urged on his destrier and entered among the
Infidels waiting to see who should come forth and open the chapter
of war. Then out rushed Sa'adan the Ghul and offered combat,
whereupon there issued forth to him one of the champions of
Hind ; but Sa'adan scarce let him take stand in front ere he smote
him with his mace and crushed his bones and stretched him on the
ground ; and so did he with a second and a third, till he had slain
thirty fighting men. Then there dashed out at him an Indian
cavalier, by name Battash al-Akrdn, 3 uncle to King Tarkanan
and of his day the doughtiest man, reckoned worth five thousand
horse in battle-plain and cried out to Sa'adan, saying, " O thief of
the Arabs, hath thy daring reached that degree that thou shouldst
slay the Kings of Hind and their champions and capture their
horsemen ? But this day is the last of thy worldly days." When
Sa'adan heard these words, his eyes waxed blood-red and he
drave at Battash and aimed a stroke at him with his club ; but he
evaded it and the force of the blow bore Sa'adan to the ground ;

1 Arab. " Takht," a useful word, meaning even a saddle. The usual term is " Haudaj "
= the Anglo-Indian " howdah."

2 "Thunder-King," Arab, and Persian.

8 i.e. " He who violently assaults his peers " (the best men of the age). Batshat al-
Kubra = the Great Disaster, is applied to the unhappy " Battle of Bedr " (Badr) on
Ramazan 17, A.H. 2 ( = Jan. 13, 624) when Mohammed was so nearly defeated that the
Angels were obliged to assist him (Koran, chapts. iii. II ; i. 42; viii. 9). Mohammed
is soundly rated by Christian writers for beheading two prisoners Utbah ibn Rabi'a who
had once spat on his face and Nazir ibn Haris who recited Persian romances and pre-
ferred them to the "foolish fables of the Koran." What would our forefathers have
done to a man who spat in the face of John Knox and openly preferred a French play to
the Pentateuch ?

$6 A If Laylah wa Laylqk.

and before he could recover himself, the Indians pinioned him and
haled him off to their tents. Now when Jamrkan saw his comrade
a prisoner, he cried out, saying, " Ho for the Faith of Abraham
the Friend ! " and clapping heel to his horse, ran at Battash.
They wheeled about awhile, till Battash charged Jamrkan and
catching him by his jerkin 1 tare him from his saddle and cast him
to the ground ; whereupon the Indians bound him and dragged him
away to their tents. And Battash ceased not to overcome all who
came out to him, Captain after Captain till he had made prisoners
of four-and-twenty Chiefs of the Moslems, whereat the True
Believers were sore dismayed. When Gharib saw what had
befallen his braves, he drew from beneath his knee 2 a mace of gold
weighing six-score pounds which had belonged to Barkan King of
the Jann - And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

to&en ft toa* tfje Sbuc f^unfcwtJ anti &ixtp=first

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Gharib beheld what had befallen his braves he drew forth a golden
mace which had belonged to Barkan King of the Jann and clapped
heel to his sea-horse, which bore him like the wind-gust into mid-
field. Then he let drive at Battash, crying out, " God is Most
Great! He giveth aid and victory and He abaseth whoso reject
the Faith of Abraham the Friend ! " and smote him with the mace,
whereupon he fell to the ground and Gharib, turning to the
Moslems, saw his brother Sahim and said to him, " Pinion me this
hound.'* When Sahim heard his brother's words, he ran to
Battash and bound him hard and fast and bore him off, whilst the
Moskm braves wondered who this knight could ' be and the
Indians said one to other, " Who is this horseman which came out
from among them and hath taken our Chief prisoner ? " Mean-
while Gharib continued to offer battle and there issued forth to
him a captain of the Hindfs whom he felled to earth with his mace,
and Kaylajan and Kurajan pinioned him and delivered him over
to Sahim ; nor did Gharib leave to do thus, till he had taken

.* Arab. "Jilbdb" either habergeon (mail-coat) or the buff -jacket worn under it.
* A favourite way, rough and ready, of carrying Hght weapons ; often alluded to in
The Nights. So Khusrawan in An tar carried " under his thighs four small darls, each
like a blazing flame."

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 57

prisoner two-and-fifty of the doughtiest Captains of the army of
Hind. Then the day came to an end and the kettle-drums beat
the retreat ; whereupon Gharib left the field and rode towards the
Moslem camp. The first to meet him was Sahim, who kissed his
feet in the stirrups and said, "May thy hand never wither,
O champion of the age ! Tell us who thou art among the braves."
So Gharib raised his vizor of mail and Sahim knew him and cried
out, saying, " This is your King and your lord Gharib, who is come
back from the land of the Jann ! " When the Moslems heard
Gharib's name, they threw themselves off their horses' backs, and,
crowding about him, kissed his feet in the stirrups and saluted
him, rejoicing in his safe return. Then they carried him into the
city of Oman, where he entered his palace and sat down on the
throne of his kingship, whilst his officers stood around him in the
utmost joy. Food was set on and they ate, after which Gharib
related to them all that had betided him with the Jinn in Mount
Kaf, and they marvelled thereat with exceeding marvel and
praised Allah for his safety. Then he dismissed them to their
sleeping-places ; so they withdrew to their several lodgings, and
when none abode with him but Kaylajan and Kurajan, who never
left him, he said to them, " Can ye carry me to Cufa that I may
take my pleasure in my Harim, and bring me back before the end
of the night ? " They replied, " O our lord, this thou askest is
easy." Now the distance between Cufa and Oman is sixty days'
journey for a diligent horseman, and Kaylajan said to Kurajan," I
will carry him going and thou coming back." So he took up
Gharib and flew off with him, in company with Kurajan ; nor was
an hour past before they set him down at the gate of his palace,
in Cufa. He went in to his uncle Al-Damigh, who rose to him
and saluted him ; after which quoth Gharib, " How is it with my
wives Fakhr Taj 1 and Mahdiyah ?" Al-Damigh answered, " They
are both well and in good case." Then the eunuch went in and
acquainted the women of the Harim with Gharib's coming, whereat
they rejoiced and raised the trill of joy and gave him the reward
for good news. Presently in came King Gharib, and they rose
and saluting him, conversed with him, till Al-Damigh entered,

1 Mr. Payne very reasonably supplants here and below Fakhr Taj (who in Night
dcxxxiv. is left in her father's palace and who is reported to be dead in Night dclxvii.) by
Star o* Morn. But the former is also given in the Bui. Edit. (ii. 148), so the story-
teller must have forgotten all about her. I leave it as a model specimen of Eastern

58 A If Laylah wa Lay la k.

when Gharib related to them all that had befallen him in the land
of the Jinn, whereat they all marvelled. Then he lay with Fakhr
Taj till near daybreak, when he took leave of his wives and his
uncle and mounted Kurajan's back, nor was the darkness dispelled
before the two Marids set him down in the city of Oman. Then
he and his men armed and he bade open the gates when, behold,
up came a horseman from the host of the Indians, with Jamrkan
and Sa'adan and the rest of the captive captains whom he had
delivered, and committed them to Gharib. The Moslems, rejoicing
in their safety, donned their mails and took horse, while the kettle
drums beat a point of war ; and the Miscreants also drew up in

line. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to

say her permitted say.

ttfofo fo&en it foas t&e &tx ^untrrefc anfc &txtgzstcontr tfig&t,

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 6 of 40)