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 16) online

. (page 10 of 40)
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 16) → online text (page 10 of 40)
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IO4 Supplemental Nights.

returned his salam, asked him, " Hast thou brought to me the
required tidings, O Ja'afar ? " The Wazir answered, " Yes, O my
lord, the news hath become manifest and 'tis certified to me that
this is a private matter ; and had not the Creator favoured me by
forgathering with the young lady in her substance and accidence and
had I not met her at a term not appointed, I should have been done
to die." Quoth the Caliph, " And who is she that I may requite her
for her deeds and for what she hath practised upon Manjab, who
verily deserveth not that which hath betided him, although he may
have been somewhat in fault." Then Ja'afar came forward and craved
pardon from the Caliph in token of honour for his sister's sake, and
quoth his lord, " O Ja'afar, thou hast declared that she it is with
whom thou hast forgathered." Quoth Ja'afar, " O Prince of True
Believers, the same is my sister Budur." But when the Caliph
heard these words, he asked, " O Ja'afar, and why did thy sister
do such deed ?" and the Wazir answered, "Whatso is fated shall
take place nor shall any defer the predestined nor forbid it when
decreed, nor hasten it when forbidden. This thing which hath
happened was of no profit to anyone and whatever thou shalt
ordain that shall be done." Thereat Manjab after saluting the
Caliph, accompanied Ja'afar to the house of his sister, and when
they went in the Wazir made peace between the two, and the Caliph
largessed the youth with most sumptuous presents. Now the
Caliph every year at times appointed was accustomed to go by
night in disguise to the house of Manjab accompanied by Ja'afar
for the sake of hearing music, and one night of the nights he said
to the youth, " Alhamdolillah Glory be to God O Manjab, that I
have caused reunion between thee and Budur, thy beloved ; but I
desire that thou tell me some tale which shall be rare and shall
broaden my breast." The youth replied, " Hearing and obeying,"

And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell

silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister
Dunyazad, " How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how



The Darwaysh and the Barber's Boy and the Greedy Sultan* 105

enjoyable and delectable ! " Quoth she, " And where is this com-
pared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the
King suffer me to survive ? " Now when it was the next night,
and that was

I)e &tx l^untiretr an* jpiftp.-first J2t'gi)t,

DUNYAZAD said to her, " Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou
be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short

the watching of this our latter night ! " She replied : With

love and goodwill ! It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and
of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the King and
Caliph, Harun al-Rashid, bade the youth Manjab tell him some
tale of the Kings of old and he replied, " Hearkening and
obedience, O Prince of True Believers ; " and thereupon he fell
recounting the

STORY OF THE DARWAYSH AND THE BARBER'S BOY
AND THE GREEDY SULTAN.

IT is related (but Allah is All-knowing of hidden things and All-
wise !) that in the days of a King called Dahmar 1 there was a
barber who had in his booth a boy for apprentice and one day
of the days there came in a Darwaysh man who took seat and
turning to the lad saw that he was a model of beauty and love-
liness and stature and symmetric grace. So he asked him for a
mirror and when it was brought he took it and considered his face
therein and combed his beard, after which he put hand in pouch
and pulling out an Ashrafi of gold set it upon the looking-glass

1 Scott, in the "Story of the Sultan, the Dirveshe, and the Barber's son" (vi. 348),
calls the King " Rammaud." The tale is magical and Rosicrusian, laid somewhat upon
the lines of " The Physician Diiban" ; i. 45.



IO6 Supplemental Nights.

which he gave back to the boy. 1 Hereupon the barber turned
towards the beggar and wondered in himself and said, " Praise be
to Allah, albeit this man be a Fakir yet he placeth a golden piece
upon the mirror, and surely this is a marvellous matter." Here-
upon the Darwaysh went his ways, and on the following day he
suddenly made his appearance and entering the booth called for a
looking-glass from the barber's prentice and when it was handed
to him combed his beard after he had looked at his features
therein ; then, bringing forth an Ashrafi, he set it upon the mirror
and gave it back to the boy ; and the barber marvelled yet the
more to see the Fakir rising up and wending his ways. 2 The
beggar ceased not coming every day and gazing at himself in the
glass and laying down his ducat, whereat the barber said to him-
self, " By Allah, indeed this Darwaysh must have some object of
his own and haply he is in love with the lad my prentice and I
fear from the beggar lest he seduce the boy and take him away
from me." Hereat he cried, " O boy, when the Darwaysh shall
come to thee draw thou not anear him ; and when he demandeth
the looking-glass give it not to him ; for I myself will do so." On
the third day behold, the Fakir appeared according to his custom
and asked for the mirror from the boy who wittingly disregarded
him, whereupon he turned towards him and waxed wroth 3 and
was like to slay him.' The apprentice was terrified at his rage
and gave him the looking-glass whilst he was still an-angered ;
\

1 This is the custom among Eastern Moslems : the barber, after his operations are
Over, presents his hand-mirror for the patient to see whether all be satisfactory, saying
at the same time " Na'iman " = may it be pleasurable to thee ! The customer answers
" Allah bring thee pleasure," places the fee upon the looking-glass and returns it to the
shaver. For "Na'iman " see vol. ii. 5.

2 The least that honest Figaro expected to witness was an attempt upon the boy's
chastity.

3 In text "Tazaghzagha," gen. = he spoke hesitatingly, he scoffed. [I read the
words in the text : " Tazaghghara fihi." The Kamiis gives " Zaghara-hu "= he seized
it by force, he took hold of him with violence, and this present fifth form, although not
given in the Dictionaries, has doubtlessly the same meaning. Popularly we may render
it : he pitched into him. ST.]



. The Darwaysh and the Barber's Boy and the Greedy Sultan. 107

but when the man had reviewed himself therein and had combed
his beard and had finished his need, he brought out ten dinars of

\

gold and setting them upon the mirror handed them to the lad.
Seeing this the barber wondered anew with extreme wonderment,
saying to himself, " By Allah, this Darwaysh cometh daily and
layeth down an Ashrafi, but this day he hath given ten gold

k.

pieces ; withal there accrueth not to me from my shop even half
a piastre of daily wage. However, O Boy, when the man shall

(

come hither, as is his wont, do thou spread for him a prayer-rug
in the inner room of the shop, lest the people seeing his constant
visits should have ill suspicions of us." " Yes !" said the lad.
So when it was the next day the Fakir came and went into the
ben whither he was shown by the boy, and he followed him till

they were in the innermost of the booth. . Now the heart of

*

this Religious hung to the love of the barber's boy for that he had
of beauty and perfection and he continued frequenting the shop
every day whilst the lad ceased not spreading the rug and
receiving upon the mirror ten Ashrafis. Hereat the barber and
his apprentice rejoiced till one day of the days when the
Darwaysh came to the shaving-shop, as was his wont, where he
met none but only the boy nor was there any other in sight. So
he asked concerning his employer and the other answered, " O
uncle, my master hath gone forth to solace himself with seeing
the casting of the cannon ; for this day the Sultan and the Wazir
and the Lords of the land will all be present thereat." Said he,
" O my son, go thou with us and we will also enjoy the spectacle
and return before the rest of the folk, ere thy master can be
back, and we will enjoy ourselves and make merry and look at
the sport before I set out upon my journey, for 'tis my intention
this day to go forth about noontide." Quoth the lad, " 'Tis well
O uncle ; " and arising he locked the shop-door and walked with
the Darwaysh till they reached the spot where the cannon were
being cast. There they found the Sultan and the Wazirs and the



io8 Supplemental Nights.

Chamberlains and the Lords of the land and the Grandees of the
realm all standing in a body until presently the workmen took the
crucibles 1 from off the fire. Now the first who went up to them
was the Sultan and he found them full of molten brass : so he
put his hand into his pocket and drew it forth full of gold which
he cast into the melting pots. Then the Grand Wazir walked
forward and did as the King had done and all the Notables who
were present threw cash into the crucibles, bar-silver and piastres
and dollars. Thereat the Darwaysh stepped out of the crowd
and brought from his cowl a reed used as an e"tui 2 wherefrom he drew
a spoon-like ear-picker and cast into one of the crucibles a some-
thing of powder like grain. 3 This he did to each one of the melting
pots ; after which he disappeared from the eyes of the folk and
taking the boy with him returned to the booth and opened it and
said to him, " O my child, when the Sultan shall send after thee
and shall question thee concerning me, do thou tell him that I
am in such a town where shouldst thou come to seek me thou
shalt find me sitting beside the gate." Then he farewelled the
boy, the barber's apprentice, and set forth seeking that city. Such

si

was the case with these twain ; but as regards the matter of the
King, he ceased not standing there until they had brought the
crucibles to the cannon-moulds and when the folks designed to
pour out their contents they found all therein pure gold. Then

1 In the text " Kazanat " (plur. of " Kazan "), afterwards written " Kazat " (a clerical
error ?). They are opposed to the " Kawalib " = moulds. [See note to p. 24. ST.]

2 " Akhraja min Kulahi-hi (Kulah ?) busah."

3 " Akhaza min-ha 'ala ma' lakati '1-Hilal shay misl al-Jinnah."

[I have no doubt that " Kulah " is meant for " Kulah/" a Dervish's cap. "Busah '
puzzles me. I am inclined to take it for z. reed used as a case or sheath, as we shall see
p. 263 of the MS. prince Yusuf use a " Kasabah " or reed to enclose a letter in it.
" Mi'lakat (popular corruption for ' Mil'akat ') al-Hilal" may be the spoon or hollow
part of an ear-picker, Hilal being given by Bocthor as equivalent for " cure-oreille."
Lastly for "al-Jinnah" I would read "al-Habbah "= grain. The article before the
word may indicate that a particular grain is meant perhaps " al-Habbat al-halwah " =
anise seed, or that it stands for " al-Hubbah," according to Lempriere (A Tour to
Marocco, London 1791, p. 383) a powder employed by the ladies of Marocco to produce
embonpoint . ST.]



The Darwaysh and the Barber s Boy and the Greedy Sultan. 109

quoth the Sultan to the Wazir and the Notables of his realm,
" Who was it threw aught into the crucibles and what stranger man
happened to be here ? " Quoth they, " We beheld a Darwaysh
man who took some powder and fell to casting thereof a some-
what into the crucibles." Hereupon enquiries were made of the
bystanders and they gave information how that same Darwaysh
was inclined to the barber's apprentice who lived in such a quarter.
Hereupon the Sultan ordered one of his Chamberlains to bring

the boy, And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day

and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth
her sister Dunyazad, l< How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and
how enjoyable and delectable ! " Quoth she, " And where is this
compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an
the King suffer me to survive ? " Now when it was the next night
and that was

TOe gbfx f^unUreU auto jpiftg-tfjtrti Jligfjt,

DUNYAZAD said to her, " Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the
watching of this our latter night ! " She replied : With love
and good will ! It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan
sent one of his Chamberlains to the boy, the apprentice of the
barber, whom they sought for and brought into the presence and
placed between the royal hands ; and he on entering kissed ground
and deprecated and prayed for his liege lord with prayers fit for
the Caliphs. The Sovran returned his salam and questioned him
concerning the Darwaysh who had been with him and he replied,
"O King of the Realm, he charged me saying that he was faring
for and would be found in such a city." Hereupon the Sultan
commanded the lad go forth and bring him, and was answered,



1 IO Supplemental Nights.

41 Hearkening and obedience ;" so he appointed for him an especial
ship and gifted him with various presents and the boy set sail and
voyaged for a short while till he reached the port-town in question.
Here he landed and made for the city-gate and as he entered it
behold, he came face to face with the Darwaysh who was
sitting upon a raised bench, and when he beheld him he salam'd
to him and told him what had taken place. The Fakir at
once arose, and without resisting the lad, went down to
the ship and they shook out the sails and the two voyaged
together until they reached the city of the Sultan. Here the
twain went in to him and kissed ground between his hands and
salam'd to him and their greeting was answered. Now as to the
lad, the King largessed him largely and raised his degree to
Governor and despatched him to one of his provinces therein to
rule ; ] but as for the Darwaysh, he remained beside King Dahmar
the first day and the second until the seventh ; after which quoth
the Sovran, " Tis my desire that thou teach me the art and
mystery of making gold ; " whereto the other replied, " Hearing
and obeying, O our lord the Sultan." Presently the Darwaysh
arose ; and, bringing a brazier, 2 ranged thereupon the implements
of his industry and lighted a fire thereunder ; then, fetching a
portion of lead and a modicum of tin and a quant, sufif. of copper,
the whole weighing about a quintal, he fanned the flame that was
beneath the crucible until the metal was fluid as water. And
while the Sultan was sitting and looking on and considering the
operation, the Fakir brought out something from a casket and taking
a pinch of it on the ear-picker besprinkled therewith the lead and
copper and the tin which presently became virgin gold. He
repeated this feat once or twice before the King who after that

1 So even in our clay Mustafa bin Ism'ail who succeeded " General Khayru '1-Din "
as Prime Minister to " His Highness Mohammed al-Sadik, Bey of Tunis," began life
as apprentice to a barber, became the varlet of an officer, rose to high dignity and
received decorations from most of the European powers.

2 In text " Wijak," a stove, a portable hearth.



The Darwaysh and the Barber's Boy and the Greedy Sultan. \ 1 1

fell to working as the Religious had wrought and turned out in
his presence the purest gold. So the Sultan rejoiced and was
wont to sit before the Darwaysh whatever time his heart chose L
and there and then he gathered together ignoble metals and
besprinkled them with the powder 2 which had been given to him
by the Fakir and all came out of the noblest gold. Now one night
of the nights, as the Sultan was sitting in his Harem and would
have worked as he had wrought in the presence of the Darwaysh,
nothing went right with him ; whereat he was exceedingly sorrowful
and said, " I have neither magnified nor minished aught, so how
is this case?" 3 As soon as it was morning he forgathered with
the Fakir and worked in his presence and produced virgin gold ;
so in his surprise he said, " Wallahi, 'tis indeed most marvellous
that whatso I work alone cometh not right and when I have
wrought in presence of the Darwaysh it succeedeth and turneth to
gold." After this the Sultan never transmuted metals save in the
presence of the Fakir, until one day of the days when his breast
was narrowed and he sought recreation in the gardens. Accord-
ingly he rode forth, he and the Lords of the land, taking also the
Darwaysh with him and he went to the riverside, the Monarch pre-
ceding and the Mendicant following together with the suite. And as
the King rode along with a heavy hand upon the reins he grasped
them strongly and his fist closed upon them; but suddenly he relaxed
his grip when his seal-ring flew from his little finger and fell into
the water, where it sank to the bottom. Seeing this the Sultan
drew bridle and halted and said, " We will on no wise remove from
this place till such time as my seal-ring shall be restored to me."
So the suke dismounted, one and all, and designed plunging into



1 [In the text: "Wa sara kulla-md tastari nafsuhu yak'ad kuddama M-Darwish,"

I would translate : and each time his heart chose (8th form of " Sarw ") he used
to sit before the Darwaysh), etc. ST.]

2 In text " Darin " for " Zarin " = what is powdered, collyrium.

3 The King failed because his " Niyat " or intention was not pure ; that is, he worked
for wealth and not, as the Darwaysh had done, for the good of his brother man.



112 Supplemental Nights.

the stream, when behold, the Fakir finding the King standing
alone and in woeful plight by cause of his signet asked him
saying, " What is to do with thee, O King of the Age, that I find
thee here halted ? " He replied, " Verily my signet-ring of King-
ship ! hath dropped from me into the river somewhere about this
place." Quoth the Darwaysh, " Be not grieved, O our lord ;" after
which he brought out from his breast pocket a pencase, and having
drawn from it a bit of bees' wax, he fashioned it into the form of
a man and cast it into the water. Then he stood gazing thereat
when, lo and behold ! the Figure came forth the river with the seal-
ring hanging to its neck and sprang upon the saddle-bow in front
of the Sultan. The King would have taken his signet when the
Form jumped off and approached the Darwaysh who hent the
ring in hand and rubbed it and the Figure at once became wax as
it had been. Hereupon the Darwaysh restored it to his pencase
and said to the Sovran, " Now do thou ride on ! " All this and the
Lords of the land sat gazing upon the Darwaysh and what he had
done ; after which the whole party fared forwards till they reached
the gardens, where they dismounted and took seat and fell to
conversing together. They enjoyed themselves that day and when
evening fell they remounted and sought their homes, and the
Darwaysh returned to the apartment which had been set apart
for him. But presently the Grandees of the realm forgathered
with the Sultan and said to him s " O King of the Age, yon Dar-
waysh requireth of thee exceeding caution seeing that he, whenso
he ever will, availeth to slay everyone in the Palace, and after
doing thee die can raise himself to rule in thy stead." " How
so ? " quoth the King, and quoth they, " In that 'twere easy for
him to make Figures of wax and cause them prevail over thee
and over us, so that they may kill us and he may succeed thee as



1 For the importance attached to this sign of sovereignty see in my Pilgrimage
(ii. 218-19) the trouble caused by the loss of the Prophet's seal-ring (Khdtim} at
Al-Madinah,



The Darwaysh and the Barber's Boy and the Greedy Sultan. 113

Sultan ; nor would this be aught of inconvenience to him." Now
when the King heard these words he was afeared and cried, " By
Allah, sooth ye speak, and this is. the right rede and one which
may not be blamed indeed ! " presently adding, " And how shall
we manage with this Darwaysh ? " Said they, " Do thou send for
him and summon him and slay him forthright ; and better 'twere
that thou kill him ere he kill thee ; J and if he say thee I will go
and return, suffer him not depart." The Sultan acted after their

counsel and sending to fetch the Fakir And Shahrazad was

surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her
permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, " How sweet
and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and
delectable ! " Quoth she, " And where is this compared with that
I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer
me to survive ? " Now when it was the next night and that was



anlr

DUNYAZAD said to her, " Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou
be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short

the watching of this our latter night ! " She replied : With

love and good will ! It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan
sent after the Darwaysh and bade him be brought into the presence
and set between his hands, when he said to him, " O Darwaysh, do
thoa know 'tis mine aim and intention to slay thee : say me then,
hast thou any charge thou wouldst send to thy family ? " Quoth
the Religious, " Wherefore shouldst thou kill me, O our lord, and
what of ill deeds hath proceeded from me that thou shouldst

1 The text is somewhat doubtful " Min kuddam-ak." [Perhaps it means only
" from before thee," i.e. in thy presence, without letting him out of sight and thereby
giving him a chance of escape. ST.]

VOL. V. TT



114 Supplemental Nights.

destroy me therefor, and do thou make me aware of my sin, and
then if I merit death kill me or decree to me banishment." Quoth
the King, " There is no help but that I slay thee," 1 and the Dar-
waysh fell to gentling him but it availed him naught ; so as soon
as he was certified that the Sultan would not release him or dismiss
him, he arose and drew a wide ring upon the ground in noose shape
and measuring some fifteen ells, within which he described a lesser
circle. Then he stood up before the Sovran and said, " O King of
the Age, verily this greater circle is the dominion belonging to thee,
whilst the lesser round is mine own realm." So saying he moved
from his place and stepped forwards and passing into the smaller
ring quoth he, " An thy reign, O King of the Age, be not ample for
me I will inhabit my own ; " and forthright upon entering the
lesser circle he vanished from the view of those present. Cried
the Sultan to the Lords of the land, " Seize him " ; but they availed
not to find him, and after going forth in search they returned and
reported that they could light upon no one. Then said the Sovran,
" He was beside me in this place and passed into the smaller ring ;
so do ye seek for him again ; " and accordingly they went forth
once more but could not see a trace of him. Hereupon the Sultan
repented and cried, " There is no Majesty and there is no Might
save in Allah the Glorious, the Great : verily we have exceeded in
the matter of this Darwaysh and we have hearkened to the words
of hypocrites who caused us to fall into trouble by obeying them
in all they said to me against him. However, whatso they did to
me that will I do unto them." And as soon as it was morning-
tide and the Lords of the land forgathered in the Divan, the Sultan
commanded to slay those who had counselled him to kill the Dar-
waysh, and some of them were done to death and others of them
were banished the country. 2 Now when the Caliph Harun al-



1 This especially is on the lines of "The Physician Duban" ; vol. i. 45.

In text " Wa min-hum man faha," evidently an error of the scribe for " Man nafa-
hir." Scott (vi. 351), after the fashion of the " Improver-school," ends the tale, which is



Night Adventure of Harun al-Rashid & the Youth Manjab. \ 15

Rashid heard this narrative from Manjab, he wondered with
extreme wonderment and said to him, " By Allah, O Manjab, thou
deservest to be a cup-companion of the Kings : " so he created
him from that moment his Equerry in honour to the Grand Wazir
Ja'afar the Barmaki, whereof he had become brother-in-law. Now
after some time Al-Rashid asked from Manjab a tale concerning the
wiles of womankind, and when the youth hung his head ground-

,i

wards and blushed before him, Harun said to him, " O Manjab,
verily the place of the Kings in privacy is also the place for laying
aside gravity." Said Manjab, " O Prince of True Believers, to-
morrow night (Inshallah !) I will tell thee a tale in brief concerning



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 16) → online text (page 10 of 40)