Richard Francis Burton.

The book of the thousand nights and a night; a plain and literal translation of the Arabian nights' entertainments, with introd., explanatory notes on the manners and customs of Moslem men and a terminal essay upon the history of the nights (Volume 5) online

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Online LibraryRichard Francis BurtonThe book of the thousand nights and a night; a plain and literal translation of the Arabian nights' entertainments, with introd., explanatory notes on the manners and customs of Moslem men and a terminal essay upon the history of the nights (Volume 5) → online text (page 1 of 41)
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NY PUBLIC LIBRARY THE BRANCH LIBRARIES



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398.2 ARABIAN HIGH' 1^9095 //

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MID-MANHATTAN LIBRARY
History & Social Science Department

8 East 40th Street
New York, N. Y. 10016













l*-TO THE PURE ALL THINGS ARE PURE"

(Paris omnia para)

Arab Proverb.

*Niuna corrotta mente intese mai sanamente parole."

"Decameron " conclusion.



"Erubuit, posuitque meum Lucretia librum

Sed coram Bruto. Brute I recede, leget. "

Martiat.



" Mieulx est de ris que de larmes escripre,

Pour ce que rire est le propre des hommes. "

RABSL.AIS.



*'The pleasure we derive from perusing the Thousand-and-Ona
Stories makes us regret that we possess only a comparatively small
liwoe truly enchanting fictions."

CRICHTOH'S "History of Arabia*




PLAIN AND LITERAL TRANSLATION OF Till-.



ARABIAN NIGHTS' ENTERTAINMENTS, NOW



ENTITULED



THE BOOK OF THE



Cftoustonir




antr at $tjjfrt



WITH INTRODUCTION EXPLANATORY NOTES ON THE
MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF MOSLEM MEN AND A
TERMINAL ESSAY UPON THE HISTORY OF



NIGHTS



VOLUME V



BY



RICHARD F. BURTON







PRINTED BY THE BURTON CLUB FOR PRIVATE
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY






Shammar Edition

Limited to one thousand numbered sets,
of which this is



Number_ or









A
v-



To DOCTOR GEORGE BIRD.

MY DEAR BIRD,

This is not a strictly medical work, although in places
treating of subjects which may modestly be called hygienic. I inscribe
it to you because your knowledge of Egypt will enable you to appre-
ciate its finer touches ; and for another and a yet more cogent
reason, namely, that you are one of my best and oldest friends.

Ever yours sincerely.

RICHARD F. BURTON.



ATHENAEUM CLUB, October 20, 1885.



C,1210



CONTENTS OF THE FIFTH VOLUME.



FACB

THE EBONY HORSE .... i

(Lane, Vol. II., Chapl. XVII. Story of the Magic Hortt: pp. $17545-,)

UNS AL-WUJUD AND THE WAZIR'S DAUGHTER ROSE-IN-HOOD 32
(Chapt. XVIII. Story of Urn el-Wujood and El-Ward fi-l-Akmam: p. 549 .)

ABU NOWAS WITH THE THREE BOYS AND THE CALIPH

HARDN AL-RASHID .... 64

ABDALLAH BTN MA'AMAR WITH THE MAN OF BASSORAH AND

HIS SLAVE-GIRL . 69

(Anecdote of a Man and his Slave Girl : p. 578. )

THE LOVERS OF THE BANU OZRAH . . . 70
(Anecdote of Two Victims of Love: p. $79-)

THE WAZIR OF AL-YAMAN AND HIS YOUNG BROTHER . . 71

THE LOVES OF THE BOY AND GIRL AT SCHOOL .... 73

(Love in a School : p. 580.^

AL-MUTALAMMIS AND HIS WIFE UMAYMAH 74

HARUN AL-RASHID AND ZUBAYDAH IN THE BATH ... 75

HARUN AL-RASHID AND THE THREE POETS 77

MUS'AB BIN AL-ZUBAYR AND AYISHAH HIS WIFE . . 79

ABU AL-ASWAD AND HIS SLAVE-GIRL . . . . 80

HARUN AL-RASHID AND THE TWO SLAVE-GIRLS . . Si



viii Contents.

HARUN AL-RASHID AND THE THREE SLAVE-GIRLS . . 81

THE MILLER AND HIS WIFE ......... 82

(Lane, Vol. II. Anecdote of a Faithless Wife : p. 582.^

THE SIMPLETON AND THE SHARPER ...... 83

(Anecdote of a Simpleton and a Sharper : p. 582.^

THE KAZI ABU YUSUF WITH HARUN AL-RASHID AND

QUEEN ZUBAYDAH .......... 85

THE CALIPH AL HAKIM AND THE MERCHANT .... 86
(Anecdote of El- Hakim bi-amri-llah and a Merchant of Cairo: p. 583 .)

KING KISRA ANUSHIRWAN AND THE VILLAGE DAMSEL . . 87
(Anecdote of Anooshirwan : p. 884.^

THE WATER-CARRIER AND THE GOLDSMITH'S WIFE ... 89
KHUSRAU AND SHIRIN AND THE FISHERMAN .... 9!
(Anecdote of Khusrow and Sheereen and a Fisherman : p. 585.^

YAHYA BIN KHALID AND THE POOR MAN ..... 92

(Anecdote of Yahya el-Barmekee : p. 586.^

MOHAMMED AL-AMIN AND THE SLAVE-GIRL ..... 93
(Mohammad el-Emeen and the Slave-Girl El-Bedr el-Kcbeer: p. 587.^

THE SONS OF YAHYA BIN KHALID AND SAID BIN SALIM . . 94
(Anecdote of El~Fadl and Jo? afar the Barmekce : p. 588.^

THE WOMAN'S TRICK AGAINST HER HUSBAND .... 96
(Anecdote of a Deceitful Wife : p.



THE DEVOUT WOMAN AND THE TWO WICKED ELDERS . . 97

JA'AFAR THE BARMECIDE AND THE OLD BADAWI ... 98

OMAR BIN AL-KHATTAB AND THE YOUNG BADAWI ... 99

(Anecdote of a Homicide : p. 589.^

AL-MAAMUN AND THE PYRAMIDS OF EGYPT ..... 105

THE THIEF AND THE MERCHANT ....... 107

(Anecdote of an Impudent Thief : p. 592.^

MASRUR THE EUNUCH AND 1BN AL-KARIBI ..... 109

(Compact of flfesroor with Ibtt el-Karibee : p.



Contents. ix

THE DEVOTEE PRINCE in

(Lane t Vol. II. Anecdote of a Devotee Son of Harun er-Rasheed: p. 595.^

THE SCHOOLMASTER WHO FELL IN LOVE BY REPORT . . 117

THE FOOLISH DOMINIE . . . 118

THE ILLITERATE WHO SET UP FOR A SCHOOLMASTER . . 119
(Anecdote of an Illiterate Schoolmaster : p. $99-J

THE KING AND THE VIRTUOUS WIFE . . . 121

ABD AL-RAHMAN THE MAGHRIBI'S STORY OF THE RUKH. . 122

(The Rukh: p. 6<X>.J

ADI BIN ZAYD AND THE PRINCESS HIND 124

DI'IBIL AL-KHUZA'I WITH THE LADY AND MUSLIM BIN

AL-WALID 127

ISAAC OF MOSUL AND THE MERCHANT .... .129

THE THREE UNFORTUNATE LOVERS 133

HOW ABU HASAN BRAKE WIND 135

THE LOVERS OF THE BANU TAYY 137

(Result of Restraint upon Two Lovers : p. 6oi.J

THE MAD LOVER 138

(Anecdote of a Distracted Lover: p. 602. )

THE PRIOR WHO BECAME A MOSLEM 141

(The Converted Prior : p. 603.^

THE LOVES OF ABU ISA AND KURRAT AL-AYN . . . 145

(Aboo 'Esa and Kurrat el-Eyn : p. 606.^

AL-AMIN AND HIS UNCLE IBRAHIM BIN AL-MAHDI ... 152

AL-FATH BIN KHAKAN AND AL-MUTAWAKKIL . . 153

THE MAN'S DISPUTE WITH THE LEARNED WOMAN CONCERN-
ING THE RELATIVE EXCELLENCE OF MALE AND FEMALE'. 154

ABU SUWAYD AND THE PRETTY OLD WOMAN .... 163
VOL, V. b



x Contents.

ALI BIN TAHIR AND THE GIRL MUUNIS 164

THE WOMAN WHO HAD A BOY AND THE OTHER WHO HAD

A MAN TO LOVER 165

ALI THE CAIRENE AND THE HAUNTED HOUSE IN BAGHDAD . 166
(Lane, Vol. II. , Chapt. XIX. Story of "Alee of Cairo : p. 609.)

THE PILGRIM MAN AND THE OLD WOMAN 186

(Anecdote of a Townsman and a Bedauuccyeh: p. 635.^

ABU AL-HUSN AND HIS SLAVE-GIRL TAWADDUD .... 189

THE ANGEL OF DEATH WITH THE PROUD KING AND THE

DEVOUT MAN 240

THE ANGEL OF DEATH AND THE RICH KING 248

THE ANGEL OF DEATH AND THE KING OF THE CHILDREN

OF ISRAEL . 250

(A Tyrannical King and the Angel of Death : p. 636.^

ISKANDAR ZU AL-KARNAYN AND A CERTAIN TRIBE OF POOR

FOLK 252

THE RIGHT1OUSNESS OF KING ANUSHIRWAN . . .254
THE JEWISH KAZI AND HIS PIOUS WIFE 256

THE SHIPWRECKED WOMAN AND HER CHILD . . .259
THE PIOUS BLACK SLAVE 261

THE DEVOUT TRAY-MAKER AND HIS WIFE . .264

(Advantages of Piety and Industry : p. 637.^

AL-HAJJAJ BIN YUSUF AND THE PIOUS MAN 269

THE BLACKSMITH WHO COULD HANDLE FIRE WITHOUT

HURT . 271

THE DEVOTEE TO WHOM ALLAH GAVE A CLOUD FOR

SERVICE AND THE DEVOUT KING . . 274



Contents. xi

THE MOSLEM CHAMPION AND THE CHRISTIAN DAMSEL . . 277
(Lane, Vol. II. Anecdote of a Moslem Warrior and a Christian Maiden : p, 639. J

THE CHRISTIAN KING'S DAUGHTER AND THE MOSLEM . . 283

THE PROPHET AND THE JUSTICE OF PROVIDENCE . . .286
(The Justice of Providence : p.



THE FERRYMAN OF THE NILE AND THE HERMIT . . .238
THE ISLAND KING AND THE PIOUS ISRAELITE .... 290
ABU AL-HASAN AND ABU JA'AFAR THE LEPER . . . 294

THE QUEEN OF THE SERPENTS ........ 298

a. THE ADVENTURES OF BULUKIVA ....... 304.

if. THE STORY OF JANSHAH ....... 329



The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night.



THE EBONY HORSE. 1

THERE was once in times of yore and ages long gone before, a
great and puissant King, of the Kings of the Persians, Sabur by
name, who was the richest of all the Kings in store of wealth and
dominion and surpassed each and every in wit and wisdom. He
was generous, open handed and beneficent, and he gave to those
who sought him and repelled not those who resorted to him ; and
he comforted the broken-hearted and honourably entreated those
who fled to him for refuge. Moreover, he loved the poor and was
hospitable to strangers and did the oppressed justice upon the
oppressor. He had three daughters, like full moons of shining
light or flower-gardens blooming bright ; and a son as he were the
moon ; and it was his wont to keep two festivals in the twelvemonth,
those of the Nau-Roz, or New Year, and Mihrgan the Autumnal
Equinox, 2 on which occasions he threw open his palaces and gave
largesse and made proclamation of safety and security and pro-
moted his chamberlains and viceroys ; and the people of his realm
came in to him and saluted him and gave him joy of the holy
day, bringing him gifts and servants and eunuchs. Now he loved
science and geometry, and one festival-day as he sat on his kingly
throne there came in to him three wise men, cunning artificers
and past masters in all manner of craft and inventions, skilled in
making things curious and rare, such as confound the wit ; and
versed in the knowledge of occult truths and perfect in mysteries
and subtleties. And they were of three different tongues and
countries, the first a Hindi or Indian, 3 the second a Roumi or
Greek and the third a Farsi or Persian. The Indian came
forwards and, prostrating himself before the King, wished him joy
of the festival and laid before him a present befitting his dignity ;
that is to say, a man of gold, set with precious gems and jewels



1 This tale (one of those translated, by Galland) is best and fullest in the Bresl. Edit,
'iii. 329-

2 Europe has degraded this autumnal festival, the Sun-fete Mihrgan (which balanced
the vernal Nau-roz) into Michaelmas and its goose-massacre. It was so called because
it began on the i6th of Mihr, the seventh month ; and lasted six days, with feasts,
festivities and great rejoicings in honour of the Sun, who now begins his southing-course
to gladden the other half of the world.

8 " Hindi " is an Indian Moslem as opposed to " Hindu," a pagan, or Gestoo.
VOL. V. A



2 Alf Laylak wa Laylah.

of price and bending in hand a golden trumpet. When Sabur 1
saw this, he asked, " O sage, what is the virtue of this figure ?" ;
and the Indian answered, " O my lord, if this figure be set at
the gate of thy city, it will be a guardian over it ; for, if an
enemy enter the place, it will blow this clarion against him
and he will be seized with a palsy and drop down dead. Much
the King marvelled at this and cried, "By Allah, O sage, an this
thy word be true, I will grant thee thy wish and thy desire."
Then came forward the Greek and, prostrating himself before the
King, presented him with a basin of silver, in whose midst was
a peacock of gold, surrounded by four-and-twenty chicks of the
same metal. Sabur looked at them and turning to the Greek,
said to him, " O sage, what is the virtue of this peacock ? " " O
my lord," answered he, "as often as an hour of the day or night
passeth, it pecketh one of its young and crieth out and flappeth
its wings, till the four-and-twenty hours are accomplished ;
and when the month cometh to an end, it will open its mouth
and thou shalt see the crescent therein." And the King said,
" An thou speak sooth, I will bring thee to thy wish and thy
desire." Then came forward the Persian sage and, prostrating
himself before the King, presented him with a horse 2 of the
blackest ebony-wood inlaid with gold and jewels, and ready
harnessed with saddle, bridle and stirrups such as befit Kings ;
which when Sabur saw, he marvelled with exceeding marvel and
was confounded at the beauty of its form and the ingenuity of its
fashion. So he asked, " What is the use of this horse of wood, and
what is its virtue and what the secret of its movement ?" ; and the

1 The orig. Persian word is " Shah-pur" King's son : the Greeks (who had no sK)
(preferred 2atop > the Romans turned it into Sapor and the Arabs (who lack the /)
into Sabur. See p. x. Hamzae Ispahanensis Annalium Libri x. : Gottwaldt, Lipsix
mdcccxlviii.

* The magic horse may have originated with the Hindu tale of a wooden Garuda (the
bird of Vishnu) built by a youth for the purpose of a vehicle. It came with the " Moors "
to Spain and appears in " Le Cheval de Fust," a French poem of the thirteenth
Century. Thence it passed over to England as shown by Chaucer's " Half-told tale of
Cambuscan (Janghlz Khan ?) bold," as

The wondrous steed of brass

On which the Tartar King did ride ;

And Leland (Itinerary) derives "Rutlandshire" from "a man named Rutter who rode
round it on a wooden horse constructed by art magic." Lane (ii. 548) quotes the
parallel story of Cleomades and Claremond which Mr. Keightley (Tales and Popular
Fictions, chapt. ii) dates from our thirteenth century. See Vol. i., p. 160.



The Ebony Horse. $

Persian answered, " O my lord, the virtue of this horse is that, if
one mount him, it will carry him whither he will and fare with its
rider through the air and cover the space of a year in a single
day." The King marvelled and was amazed at these three
wonders, following thus hard upon one another on the same day,
and turning to the sage, said to him, " By Allah the Omnipotent,
and our Lord the Beneficent, who created all creatures and feedeth
them with meat and drink, an thy speech be veritable and the
virtue of thy contrivance appear, I will assuredly give thee what-
soever thou lustest for and will bring thee to thy desire and thy
wish !" Then he entertained the sages three days, that he might
make triai of their gifts ; after which they brought the figures
before him and each took the creature he had wroughten and
showed him the mystery of its movement. The trumpeter blew the
trump; the peacock pecked its chicks and the Persian sage mounted
the ebony horse, whereupon it soared with him high in air and
descended again. When King Sabur saw all this, he was amazed
and perplexed and felt like to fly for joy and said to the three
sages, " Now I am certified of the truth of your words and it
behoveth me to quit me of my promise. Ask ye, therefore, what
ye will, and I will give you that same." Now the report of the
King's daughters had reached the sages, so they answered, "If the
King be content with us and accept of our gifts and allow us to
prefer a request to him, we crave of him that he give us his three
daughters in marriage, that we may be his sons-in-law ; for that the
stability of Kings may not be gainsaid." Quoth the King, " I grant
you that which you wish and you desire," and bade summon the
Kazi forthright, that he might marry each of the sages to one of
his daughters. Now it fortuned that the Princesses were behind
a curtain, looking on; and when they heard this, the youngest
considered her husband to be and behold, he was an old man. 2 an
hundred years of age, with hair frosted, forehead drooping, eye-
brows mangy, ears slitten, beard and mustachios stained and



1 All Moslems, except those of the Maliki school, hold that the maker of an image
representing anything of life will be commanded on the Judgement Day to animate
it, and failing will be duly sent to the Fire. This severity arose apparently from the
necessity of putting down idol-worship and, perhaps, for the same reason the Greek
Church admits pictures but not statues. Of course the command has been honoured
with extensive breaching : for instance all the Sultans of Stambulhave had their portraits
drawn and painted.

2 This description of ugly old age is written with true Arab verve.



4 Aif Laylah wet, Laylah.

dyed ; eyes red and goggle ; cheeks bleached and hollow ; fiabby
nose like a brinjall, or egg-plant 1 ; face like a cobbler's apron, teeth
overlapping and lips like camel's kidneys, loose and pendulous ; in
brief a terror, a horror, a monster, for he was of the folk of his time
the unsightliest and of his age the frightfullest ; sundry of his
grinders had been knocked out and his eye-teeth were like the
tusks of the Jinni who frighteneth poultry in hen-houses. Now
the girl was the fairest and most graceful of her time, more elegant
than the gazelle however tender, than the gentlest zephyr blander
and brighter than the moon at her full ; for amorous fray right
suitable ; confounding in graceful sway the waving bough and
outdoing in swimming gait the pacing roe ; in fine she was fairer
and sweeter by far than all her sisters. So, when she saw her
suitor, she went to her chamber and strewed dust on her head and
tore her clothes and fell to buffeting her face and weeping and
wailing. Now the Prince, her brother, Kamar al-Akmdr, or the
Moon of Moons hight, was then newly returned from a journey
and, hearing her weeping and crying came in to her (for he loved
%er with fond affection, more than his other sisters) and asked her,
" What aileth thee ? What hath befallen thee ? Tell me and
conceal naught from me." So she smote her breast and answered,
'O my brother and my dear one, I have nothing to hide. If the
palace be straitened upon thy father, I will go out ; and if he be
resolved upon a foul thing, I will separate myself from him, though
_he consent not to make provision for me ; and my Lord will
provide." Quoth he, " Tell me what meaneth this talk and what
hath straitened thy breast and troubled thy temper." " O my
brother and my dear one," answered the Princess, " Know that my
father hath promised me in marriage to a wicked magician who
brought him, as a gift, a horse of black wood, and hath bewitched
him with his craft and his egromancy ; but, as for me, I will none
of him, and would, because of him, I had never come into this
world ! " Her brother soothed her and solaced her, then fared to
his sire and said, " What be this wizard to whom thou hast given



1 Arab. " Badinjan" : Hind. Bengan : Pers. Badingdn or Badiljan ; the Mala insana
(Solantim pomiferum or 5. Alelongena) of the Romans, well known in Southern Europe.
It is of two kinds, the red (Solatium lycopenicum] and the black (S. Melongena}. The
Spaniards know it as " berengeria" and when Sancho Panza (Part ii. chapt. 2) says,
"The Moors are fond of egg-plants" he means more than appears. The vegetable is
held to be exceedingly healing and thereby to breed melancholia and madness ; hence
one says to_a man that has done something eccentric, " Thou hast been eating








!



'



The Ebony Horse. $

my youngest sister in marriage, and what is this present which he
hath brought thee, so that thou hast killed } my sister with chagrin ?
It is not right that this should be." Now the Persian was standing
by and, when he heard the Prince's words, he was mortified and
filled with fury and the King said, " O my son, an thou sawest
this horse, thy wit would be confounded and thou wouldst be
amated with amazement." Then he bade the slaves bring the
horse before him and they did so ; and, when the Prince saw it, it
pleased him. So (being an accomplished cavalier) he mounted it
forthright and struck its sides with the shovel-shaped stirrup-irons ;
but it stirred not and the King said to the Sage, " Go show him its
movement, that he also may help thee to win thy wish." Now
the Persian bore the Prince a grudge because he willed not he
should have his sister ; so he showed him the pin of ascent on
the right side of the horse and saying to him, " Trill this," left
him. Thereupon the Prince trilled the pin and lo ! the horse
forthwith soared with him high in ether, as it were a bird, and
gave not overflying till it disappeared from men's espying, whereat
the King was troubled and perplexed about his case and said to
the Persian, " O sage, look how thou mayst make him descend."
But he replied, " O my lord, I can do nothing, and thou wilt
never see him again till Resurrection-day, for he, of his ignorance
and pride, asked me not of the pin of descent and I forgot
to acquaint him therewith." When the King heard this, he was
enraged with sore rage ; and bade bastinado the sorcerer and clap
.him in jail, whilst he himself cast the crown from his head and beat
his face and smote his breast. Moreover, he shut the doors of
his palaces and gave himself up to weeping and keening, he and
his wife and daughters and all the folk of the city ; and thus their
joy was turned to annoy and their gladness changed into sore
affliction and sadness. Thus far concerning them ; but as regards
the Prince, the horse gave not over soaring with him till he drew
near the sun, whereat he gave himself up for lost and saw death
in the skies, and was confounded at his case, repenting him of
having mounted the horse and saying to himself, " Verily, this was
a device of the Sage to destroy me on account of my youngest
sister ; but there is no Majesty and there is no Might save in
Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! I am lost without recourse; but I
wonder, did not he who made the ascent-pin make also a descent-



Again to be understood Hibcrnice " kilt."



6 AIJ Laylah wa Laylah.

pin?" Now he was a man of wit and knowledge and intelli-
gence ; so he fell to feeling all the parts of the horse, but saw
nothing save a screw, like a cock's head, on its right shoulder and
the like on the left, when quoth he to himself, " I see no sign save
these things like buttons." Presently he turned the right-hand
pin, whereupon the horse flew heavenwards with increased speed.
So he left it and looking at the sinister shoulder and finding
another pin, he wound it up and immediately the steed's upwards
motion slowed and ceased and it began to descend, little by little,
towards the face of the earth, while the rider became yet more

cautious and careful of his life. And Shahrazad perceived the

dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

jfltofo fofjen it ^as t&c tlfjrce f^imfctcU anto jFtftD-etgfjtf) Jltgfjt,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Prince wound up the sinister screw, the steed's upward motion
slowed and ceased, and it began to descend, little by little,
towards the earth while the rider became yet more cautious and
careful of his life. And when he saw this and knew the uses of
the horse, his heart was filled with joy and gladness and he thanked
Almighty Allah for that He had deigned deliver him from de-
struction. Then he began to turn the horse's head whithersoever
he would, making it rise and fall at pleasure, till he had gotten
complete mastery over its every movement. He ceased not to
descend the whole of that day, for that the steed's ascending flight
had borne him afar from the earth ; and, as he descended, he
diverted himself with viewing the various cities and countries over
which he passed and which he knew not, never having seen them
in his life. Amongst the rest, he descried a city ordered after the
fairest fashion in the midst of a verdant and riant land, rich in
trees and streams, with gazelles pacing daintily over the plains ;
whereat he fell a-musing and said to himself, " Would I knew the
name of yon town and in what land it is ! " And he took to
circling about it and observing it right and left. By this time, the
day began to decline and the sun drew near to its downing; and
he said in his mind, " Verily I find no goodlier place to night in
than this city ; so I will lodge here and early on the morrow I will
return to my kith and kin and my kingdom ; and tell my father
and family what hath passed and acquaint him with what mine



Ebony Horse. J

eyes have seen." Then he addressed himself to seeking a place
wherein he might safely bestow himself and his horse and where
none should descry him, and presently behold, he espied a-middle-
most of the city a palace rising high in upper air surrounded by a
great wall with lofty crenelles and battlements, guarded by forty
black slaves, clad in complete mail and armed with spears and
swords, bows and arrows. Quoth he, " This is a goodly place,"
and turned the descent-pin, whereupon the horse sank down
with him like a weary bird, and alighted gently on the terrace-
roof of the palace. So the Prince dismounted and ejaculating
" Alhamdolillah" praise be to Allah 1 he began to go round
about the horse and examine it, saying, " By Allah, he who
fashioned thee with these perfections was a cunning craftsman,
and if the Almighty extend the term of my life and restore me
to my country and kinsfolk in safety and reunite me with my
father, I will assuredly bestow upon him all manner bounties and
benefit him with the utmost beneficence." By this time night had
overtaken him and he sat on the roof till he was assured that all
in the palace slept ; and indeed hunger and thirst were sore upon
him, for that he had not tasted food nor drunk water since he
parted from his sire. So he said within himself, " Surely the like of
this palace will not lack of victual ; " and, leaving the horse above,
went down in search of somewhat to eat. Presently, he came to
a staircase and descending it to the bottom, found himself in a
court paved with white marble and alabaster, which shone in the
light of the moon. He marvelled at the place and the goodliness



Online LibraryRichard Francis BurtonThe book of the thousand nights and a night; a plain and literal translation of the Arabian nights' entertainments, with introd., explanatory notes on the manners and customs of Moslem men and a terminal essay upon the history of the nights (Volume 5) → online text (page 1 of 41)