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 9 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 9 of 40)
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his reason. Then he asked them, " O folk, what countrymen are
ye and what is your Faith?;" and they answered, "We are from
Karaj l and we worship an idol called Minkash." Cried Gharib,
" Perdition to you and your idol ! O dogs, none is worthy of worship
save Allah who created all things, who saith to a thing Be ! and
it becometh." When they heard this, they rose up and fell upon
him in great wrath and would have seized him. Now he was
without weapons, but whomsoever he struck, he smote down and
deprived of life, till he had felled forty men, after which they over-
came him by force of numbers and bound him fast, saying, " We
will not slay him save in our own land, that we may first show him
to our King." Then they sailed on till they came to the city of
Karaj. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

1 A town in Persian Irak, unhappily far from the " Salt sea.'

78 Alf Laylah wa Lay/aft.

tofim ft foas tfje >ix $^unfcre& anfc Ibebtntp-tfjhft ftfigtt,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
the ship's crew seized Gharib and bound him fast they said, " We
will not slay him save in our own land. Then they sailed on till
they came to the city of Karaj, the builder whereof was an
Amalekite, fierce and furious ; and he had setup at each gate of the
city a magical figure of copper which, whenever a stranger entered,
blew a blast on a trumpet, that all in the city heard it and fell
upon the stranger and slew him, except they embraced their creed.
When Gharib entered the city, the figure stationed at the gate
blew such a horrible blast that the King was affrighted and going
into his idol, found fire and smoke issuing from its mouth, nose
and eyes. Now a Satan had entered the belly of the idol and
speaking as with its tongue, said, " O King, there is come to thy
city one hight Gharib, King of Al-Irak, who biddeth the folk quit
their belief and worship his Lord ; wherefore, when they bring him
before thee, look thou spare him not." So the King went out
and sat down on his throne ; and presently, the sailors brought in
Gharib and set him before the presence, saying, " O King, we
found this youth shipwrecked in the midst of the sea, and he is a
Kafir and believeth not in our gods." Then they told him all
that had passed and the King said, " Carry him to the house of
the Great Idol and cut his throat before him, so haply our god
may look lovingly upon us." But the Wazir said, " O King, it
befitteth not to slaughter him thus, for he would die in a moment :
better we imprison him and build a pyre of fuel and burn him
with fire." Thereupon the King commanded to cast Gharib into
gaol and caused wood to be brought, and they made a mighty
pyre and set fire to it, and it burnt till the morning. Then the
King and the people of the city came forth and the Ruler sent to
fetch Gharib ; but his lieges found him not ; so they returned and
told their King who said, " And how made he his escape ? "
Quoth they, " We found the chains and shackles cast down and
the doors fast locked/' Whereat the King x marvelled and asked,
" Hath this fellow to Heaven up flown or into the earth gone
down?;" and they answered, "We know not." Then said the
King, " I will go and question my God, and he will inform me
whither he is gone." So he rose and went in, to prostrate himself
to his idol, but found it not and began to rub his eyes and say,

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 79

" Am I in sleep or on wake ? " Then he turned to his Wazir
and said to him, " Where is my God and where is my prisoner ?
By my faith, O dog of Wazirs, haddest thou not counselled me to
burn him, I had slaughtered him ; for it is he who hath stolen my
god and fled ; and there is no help but I take blood-wreak of
him ! " Then he drew his sword and struck off the Wazir's head.
Now there was for Gharib's escape with the idol a strange cause
and it was on this wise. When they had shut him up in a cell
adjoining the doomed shrine under which stood the idol, he rose
to pray, calling upon the name of Almighty Allah and seeking
deliverance of Him, to whom be honour and glory ! The Marid
who had charge of the idol and spoke in its name, heard him
and fear got hold upon his heart and he said, " O shame upon me !
Who is this seeth me while I see him not ? " So he went in
to Gharib and throwing himself at his feet, said to him, " O my"
Lord, what must I say that I may become of thy company
and enter thy religion ?" Replied Gharib, " Say : There is no
god but the God and Abraham is the Friend of God." So the
Marid pronounced the profession of Faith and was enrolled among
the people of felicity. Now his name was Zalzal, son of
Al-Muzalzil, 1 one of the Chiefs of the Kings of the Jinn. Then
he unbound Gharib and taking him and the idol, made for the
higher air. - And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

foljen it teas t&e Sbfc f^ttntafc anfc SbrientB-fouttfj

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Marid took up Gharib and the idol and made for the higher air.
Such was his case ; but as regards the King, when his soldiers
saw what had befallen and the slaughter of the Wazir they
renounced the worship of the idol and drawing their swords, slew
the King ; after which they fell on one another, and the sword
went round amongst them three days, till there abode alive but
two men, one of whom prevailed over the other and killed him.
Then the boys attacked the survivor and slew him and fell to
fighting amongst themselves, till they were all killed ; and the
women and girls fled to the hamlets and forted villages ; wherefore
the city became desert and none dwelt therein but the owl.

1 " Earthquake son of Ennosigaius " (the Earthquake-maker).

8o A If Laylah iva Laylah.

Meanwhile, the Marid Zalzal flew with Gharib towards his own
country, the Island of Camphor and the Castle of Crystal and
the Land of the Enchanted Calf, so called because its King
Al-Muzalzil, had a pied calf, which he had clad in housings brocaded
with red gold, and worshipped as a god. One day the King and
his people went in to the calf and found him trembling ; so the
King said, " O my God, what hath troubled thee ? " whereupon
the Satan in the calf s belly cried out and said, " O Muzalzil,
verily thy son hath deserted to the Faith of Abraham the Friend,
at the hands of Gharib Lord of Al-Irak ; " and went on to tell
him all that had passed from first to last. When the King heard
the words of his calf he was confounded and going forth, sat
down upon his throne. Then he summoned his Grandees who
came in a body, and he told them what he had heard from the
idol, whereat they marvelled and said, " What shall we do, O
King ? " Quoth he, " When my son cometh and ye see him
embrace him, do ye lay hold of him." And they said,
" Hearkening and obedience ! " After two days came Zalzal and
Gharib, with the King's idol of Karaj, but no sooner had they
entered the palace-gate than the Jinn seized on them and
carried them before Al-Muzalzil, who looked at his son with
eyes of ire and said to him, " O dog of the Jann, hast thou
left thy Faith and that of thy fathers and grandfathers ? " Quoth
Zalzal, " I have embraced the True Faith, and on like wise do
thou (Woe be to thee!) seek salvation and thou shalt be saved
from the wrath of the King Almighty in sway, Creator of Night
and Day." Therewith his father waxed wroth and said, " O son
of adultery, dost confront me with these words ? " Then he bade
clap him in prison and turning to Gharib, said to him, " O
wretch of a mortal, how hast thou abused my son's wit and
seduced him from his Faith ? " Quoth Gharib, " Indeed, I have
brought him out of wrongousness into the way of righteousness,
out of Hell into Heaven and out of unfaith to the True Faith."
Whereupon the King cried out to a Marid called Sayyar, saying,
" Take this dog and cast him into the Wady of Fire, that he may
perish." Now this valley was in the " Waste Quarter 1 " and
was thus named from the excess of its heat and the flaming of its
fire, which was so fierce that none who went down therein could

1 Arab. " Ruba'al-Kharab " or Ruba'al-Khalf (empty quarter), the great central
wilderness of Arabia covering some 50,000 square miles and still left white on our
maps (Pilgrimage, i. 14).

The History of Gharib and his Brother Ajib. 8 1

live an hour, but was destroyed ; and it was compassed about
by mountains high and slippery wherein was no opening. So
Sayyar took up Gharib and flew with him towards the Valley
of Fire, till he came within an hour's journey thereof, when being
weary, he alighted in a valley full of trees and streams and fruits,
and setting down from his back Gharib chained as he was, fell
asleep for fatigue. When Gharib heard him snore, he strove with
his bonds till he burst them ; then, taking up a heavy stone,
he cast it down on the Marid's head and crushed his bones, so

that he died on the spot. Then he fared on into the valley.

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

Jiofo fo&en ft foas t&e &ix f^tm&rtlr an* Sbctent^fiftf)

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Gharib
after killing the Marid fared on into the valley and found him-
self in a great island in mid-ocean, full of all fruits that lips
and tongue could desire. So he abode alone on the island,
drinking of its waters and eating of its fruits and of fish that
he caught, and days and years passed over him, till he had
sojourned there in his solitude seven years. One day, as he sat, be-
hold, there came down on him from the air two Marids, each carry-
ing a man ; and seeing him they said, " Who art thou, O fellow,
and of which of the tribes art thou ? " Now they took him for a
Jinni, because his hair was grown long ; and he replied, saying,
" I am not of the Jann," whereupon they questioned him, and he
told them all that had befallen him. They grieved for him and
one of the Ifrits said, "Abide thou here till we bear these two
lambs to our King, that he may break his fast on the one and
sup on the other, and after we will come back and carry thee to
chine own country." He thanked them and said, " Where be the
lambs ? " Quoth they, " These two mortals are the lambs." And
Gharib said, " I take refuge with Allah the God of Abraham the
Friend, the Lord of all creatures, who hath power over every-
thing ! " Then the Marids flew away and Gharib abode awaiting
them two days, when one of them returned, bringing with him a
suit of clothes wherewith he clad him. Then he took him up and
flew with him sky-high out of sight of earth, till Gharib heard
the angels glorifying God in heaven, and a flaming shaft issued

82 A If Laylak iva Laylah.

from amongst them and made for the Marid, who fled from it
towards the earth. The meteor pursued him, till he came within
a spear's cast of the ground, when Gharib leaped from his
shoulders and the fiery shaft overtook the Marid, who became a
heap of ashes. As for Gharib, he fell into the sea and sank two
fathoms deep, after which he rose to the surface and swam for
two days and two nights, till his strength failed him and he made
certain of death. But, on the third day as he was despairing
he caught sight of an island steep and mountainous; so he swam
for it and landing, walked on inland, where he rested a day and a
night, feeding on the growth of the ground. Then he climbed to the
mountain top, and, descending the opposite slope, fared on two days
till he came in sight of a walled and bulwarked city, abounding in
trees and rills. He walked up to it ; but, when he reached the
gate, the warders seized on him, and carried him to their Queen,
whose name was Jan Shah. 1 Now she was five hundred years
old, and every man who entered the city, they brought to her
and she made him sleep with her, and when he had done his
work, she slew him and so had she slain many men. When she
saw Gharib, he pleased her mightily; so she asked him, "What be
thy name and Faith and whence comest thou ? " and he answered
" My name is Gharib King of Irak, and I am a Moslem." Said
she, " Leave this Creed and enter mine and I will marry thee
and make thee King." But he looked at her with eyes of ire and
cried, " Perish thou and thy faith ! " Cried she, " Dost thou
blaspheme my idol, which is of red carnelian, set with pearls and
gems?" And she called out to her men, saying, " Imprison him
in the house of the idol ; haply it will soften his heart." So they
shut him up in the domed shrine and locking the doors upon him,

went their way. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day

and ceased to say her permitted say.

fofan it foas tfje jbix f^un&rrtr anfc bfbentp=sfxt5 Nfg&t,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
they took Gharib, they jailed him in the idol's domed shrine ; and
locking the doors upon him, went their way. As soon as they
were gone, Gharib gazed at the idol, which was of red carnelian,

1 Pers. " Life King," women also assume the title of Shah.

The History of Gkarib and his Brother Ajib. 83

with collars of pearls and precious stones about its neck, and
presently he went close to it and lifting it up, dashed it on the
ground and brake it in bits ; after which he lay down and slept
till daybreak. When morning morrowed, the Queen took seat on
her throne and said, " O men, bring me the prisoner." So they
opened the temple doors and entering, found the idol broken in
pieces, whereupon they buffeted their faces till the blood ran
from the corners of their eyes. Then they made at Gharib to
seize him ; but he smote one of them with his fist and slew him,
and so did he with another and yet another, till he had slain
five-and-twenty of them and the rest fled and went in to Queen
Jan Shah, shrieking loudly. Quoth she, " What is the matter ? "
and quoth they, " The prisoner hath broken thine idol and slain
thy men," and told her all that had passed. When she heard this,
she cast her crown to the ground and said, " There is no worth
left in idols ! " Then she mounted amid a thousand fighting-men
and rode to the temple, where she found Gharib had gotten him a
sword and come forth and was slaying men and overthrowing
warriors. When she saw his prowess, her heart was drowned in
the love of him and she said to herself, " I have no need of the
idol and care for naught save this Gharib, that he may lie in my
bosom the rest of my life." Then she cried to her men, " Hold
aloof from him and leave him to himself!"; then, going up to
him she muttered certain magical words, whereupon his arm
became benumbed, his forearm relaxed and the sword dropped
from his hand. So they seized him and pinioned him, as he
stood confounded, stupefied. Then the Queen returned to her
palace, and seating herself on her seat of estate, bade her people
withdraw and leave Gharib with her. When they were alone, she
said to him, " O dog of the Arabs, wilt thou shiver my idol and
slay my people ? " He replied, " O accursed woman, had he been
a god he had defended himself?" Quoth she, " Stroke me and I
will forgive thee all thou hast done." But he replied, saying,
" I will do nought of this." And she said, " By the virtue of my
faith, I will torture thee with grievous torture ! " So she took
water and conjuring over it, sprinkled it upon him and he became
an ape. And she used to feed and water and keep him in a
closet, appointing one to care for him ; and in this plight he abode
two years. Then she called him to her one day and said to him,
" Wilt thou hearken to me ? " And he signed to her with his
head, " Yes." So she rejoiced and freed him from the enchant-

84 Alf Laylah wa Laylah.

ment. Then she brought him food and he ate and toyed with
her and kissed her, so that she trusted in him. When it was
night she lay down and said to him, " Come, do thy business."
He replied, "'Tis well;" and, mounting on her breast, seized her
by the neck and brake it, nor did he arise from her till life had
left her. Then, seeing an open cabinet, he went in and found
there a sword of damascened J steel and a targe of Chinese iron ;
so he armed himself cap-a-pie and waited till the day. As soon
as it was morning, he went forth and stood at the gate of the
palace. When the Emirs came and would have gone in to do their
service to the Queen, they found Gharib standing at the gate, clad
in complete war-gear ; and he said to them, " O folk, leave the
service of idols and worship the All-wise King, Creator of Night
and Day, the Lord of men, the Quickener of dry bones, for He
made all things and hath dominion over all." When the Kafirs
heard this, they ran at him, but he fell on them like a rending
lion and charged through them again and again, slaying of them

much people ; And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and

ceased saying her permitted say.

fofjen tt teas rtj* &tx l^unbrtfc anb Sbebnts=Sbenrt) Ntg&t,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
the Kafirs fell upon Gharib, he slew of them much people ; but,
when the night came, they overcame him by dint of numbers and
would have taken him by strenuous effort, when behold, there
descended upon the Infidels a thousand Marids, under the
command of Zalzal, who plied them with the keen sabre and
made them drink the cup of destruction, whilst Allah hurried
their souls to Hell-fire, till but few were left of the people of Jan
Shah to tell the tale and the rest cried out, " Quarter ! Quarter ! "
and believed in the Requiting King, whom no one thing diverteth
from other thing, the Destroyer of the Jababirah 2 and Extermi-
nator of the Akdsirah, Lord of this world and of the next. Then

1 Arab. " Mujauhar " : the watery or wavy mark upon Eastern blades is called the
" jauhar," lit. =jewel. The peculiarity is also called water and grain, which gives
rise to a host otdouble-entendres, puns, paronomasias and conceits more or less frigid.

* Etymologically meaning tyrants or giants ; and applied to great heathen conquerors
like Nimrod and the mighty rulers of Syria, the Anakim, Giants and other peoples of
Hebrew fable. The Akasirah are the Chosroes before noticed.

The History of Gharib and his Brother A jib. 85

Zalzal saluted Gharib and gave him joy of his safety ; and
Gharib said to him, " How knowest thou of my case ? " and he
replied, " O my lord, my father kept me in prison two years, after
sending thee to the Valley of Fire ; then he released me, and I
abode with him another year, till I was restored to favour with
him, when I slew him and his troops submitted to me. I ruled
them for a year's space till, one night, I lay down to sleep,
having thee in thought, and saw thee in a dream, fighting against
the people of Jan Shah ; wherefore I took these thousand Marids
and came to thee." And Gharib marvelled at this happy con-
juncture. Then he seized upon Jan Shah's treasures and those of
the slain and appointed a ruler over the city; after which the
Marids took up Gharib and the monies and he lay the same night
in the Castle of Crystal. He abode Zalzal's guest six months,
when he desired to depart ; so Zalzal gave him rich presents and
despatched three thousand Marids, who "brought the spoils of
Karaj-city and added them to those of Jan Shah. Then Zalzal
loaded forty thousand Marids with the treasure and himself
taking up Gharib, flew with his host towards the city of Isbanir
al-Madain where they arrived at midnight. But as Gharib
glanced around he saw the walls invested on all sides by a
conquering army, 1 as it were the surging sea, so he said to Zalzal,
" O my brother, what is the cause of this siege and whence came
this army ? " Then he alighted on the terrace-roof of his palace
and cried out, saying, ' Ho, Star o' Morn ! Ho, Mahdiyah ! "
Whereupon the twain started up from sleep in amazement and
said, " Who calleth us at this hour ? " Quoth he, " 'Tis I, your
lord, Gharib, the Marvellous One of the deeds wondrous." When
the Princesses heard their lord's voice, they rejoiced and so did
the women and the eunuchs. Then Gharib went down to them
and they threw themselves upon him and lullilooed with cries of
joy, so that all the palace rang again and the Captains of the
army awoke and said, " What is to do ? " So they made for the
palace and asked the eunuchs, " Hath one of the King's women
given birth to a child ? " ; and they answered, " No ; but rejoice
ye, for King Gharib hath returned to you." So they rejoiced,
and Gharib, after salams to the women came forth amongst his
comrades, who threw themselves upon him and kissed his hands

1 Arab. " Askar jarrdr " lit. " drawing ": so in Egyptian slang " Nas jarrir " folk
who wish to draw your money out of your pocket, greedy cheats.

86 A If Laylak wa Laylak.

and feet, returning thanks to Almighty Allah and praising Him.
Then he sat down on his throne, with his officers sitting about
him, and questioned them of the beleaguering army. They
replied, "O King, these troops sat down before the city three
days ago and there are amongst them Jinns as well as men ; but
we know not what they want, for we have had with them neither
battle nor speech." And presently they added, " The name of
the commander of the besieging army is Murad Shah and he hath
with him an hundred thousand horse and three thousand foot,
besides two hundred tribesmen of the Jinn." Now the manner

of his coming was wondrous. And Shahrazad perceived the

dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Sfofo fo|)*n it foas t&e &tx f^tinUtetf anlJ Sbentpxfgf)t!)

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the cause
of this army coming upon Isbanir city was wondrous. When
the two men, whom Sabur had charged to drown his daughter
Fakhr Taj, let her go, bidding her flee for her life, she went forth
distracted, unknowing whither to turn and saying, "Where is
thine eye, O Gharib, that thou mayst see my case and the misery
I am in ? " ; and wandered on from country to country, and
valley to valley, till she came to a Wady abounding in trees and
streams, in whose midst stood a strong-based castle and a lofty-
builded as it were one of the pavilions of Paradise. So she betook
herself thither and entering the fortilice, found it hung and car-
peted with stuffs of silk and great plenty of gold and silver vessels ;
and therein were an hundred beautiful damsels. When the
maidens saw Fakhr Taj, they came up to her and saluted her,
deeming her of the virgins of the Jinn, and asked her of her
case. Quoth she, " I am daughter to the Persians' King;" and
told them all that had befallen her ; which when they heard, they
wept over her and condoled with her and comforted her, saying,
" Be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear, for here
shalt thou have meat and drink and raiment, and we all are thy
handmaids." She called down blessings on them and they
brought her food, of which she ate till she was satisfied. Then
quoth she to them, " Who is the owner of this palace and lord
over you girls ? " and quoth they, " King Salsal, son of Dal, is
our master ; he passeth a night here once in every month and

The History of Gkarib and his Brother Ajib. 87

fareth in the morning to rule over the tribes of the Jahn." So
Fakhr Taj took up her abode with them and after five days she
gave birth to a male child, as he were the moon. They cut his
navel cord and kohFd his eyes then they named him Murad Shah,
and he grew up in his mother's lap. After a while came King
Salsal, riding on a paper-white elephant, as he were a tower
plastered with lime and attended by the troops of the Jinn. He
entered the palace, where the hundred damsels met him and
kissed ground before him, and amongst them Fakhr Taj. When
the King saw her, he looked at her and said to the others, " Who
is yonder damsel ? " ; and they replied, " She is the daughter of
Sabur, King of the Persians and Turks and Daylamites." Quoth he,
"Who brought her hither?" So they repeated to him her story;
whereat he was moved to pity for her and said to her, " Grieve
not, but take patience till thy son be grown a man, when I will
go to the land of the Ajams and strike off thy father's head from
between his shoulders and seat thy son on the throne in his
stead." So she rose and kissed his hands and blessed him. Then
she abode in the castle and her son grew up and was reared with
the children of the King. They used to ride forth together
a-hunting and birding and he became skilled in the chase of wild
beasts and ravening lions arid ate of their flesh, till his heart

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 9 of 40)