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 24 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 24 of 40)
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belongs to Lane, M.E. ii. 16. and to Bocthor. In Schiaparelli's Vocabulista and the
Muhi't the form " Khuzri" is also given with the same meaning. ST.]

2 [In text " Farariji," as if the pi. of" Farriij "= chicken were " Fararij " instead of
" Fararij." In modern Egyptian these nouns of relation from irregular plurals to desig-
nate tradespeople not only drop the vowel of the penultimate but furthermore, shorten
that of the preceding syllable, so that " Farariji " becomes ' ' Fararjf ." Thus " Sanadiki,"
a maker of boxes, becomes " Sanadki," and " Dakhakhinf, a seller of tobacco brands,"
" Dakhakhnf," See Spitta Bey's Grammar, p. 118. ST.]

3 In the Arab. " Al-Majur," for " Maajiir " = a vessel, an utensil.

4 In text, "shaklaba" here = " shakala " = he weighed out (money, whence the Heb.
Shekel), he had to do with a woman.

6 [The trade of the man is not mentioned here, p. 22 of the 5th vol. of the MS,
probably through negligence of the copyist, but it only occurs as far lower down as
p. 25. ST.]



292 Supplemental Nights.

than the first two and asked him, " What hast thou brought with
thee ? " "A somewhat of pomegranates," answered he ; so she
took them from him and led him to a secret place where she left
him and changed her dress and adorned herself and perfumed
herself and Kohl'd l her eyes. After that she returned to the
pomegranate-man and fell a-toying with him and he toyed with
her and she hugged him and he hugged her and at last he rogered
and had his wicked will of her and went his ways. . Hereupon the
woman doffed her sumptuous dress and garbed herself in her every-
day garment. All this and the husband was looking on through
the chinks of the door behind which he was lurking and listening
to whatso befel, and when all was ended he went forth softly and
waited awhile and anon returned home. Hereupon the wife arose
and her glance falling upon her husband she noted him and accosted
him and salam' d to him and said," Hast thou not been absent atall ?"
Said he, " O Woman, there befel me a tale on the way which may
not be written on any wise, save with foul water upon disks of dung, 2
and indeed I have endured sore toil and travel, and had not Allah
(be He praised and exalted !) saved me therefrom, I had never

returned.". Quoth his wife, "What hath befallen thee?"

And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent,
and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dun-
yazad, " 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



1 A certain reviewer proposes "stained her eyes with Kohl," showing that he had
never seen the Kohl-powder used by Asiatics.

2 [" Bi-Ma al-fasfkh 'ala Akras al-Jullah." " Ma al-Fasfkh " = water of salt-fish,
I would translate by " dirty brine " and " Akras al-Jullah " by " dung-cakes," meaning
the tale should be written with a filthy fluid for ink upon a filthy solid for paper, more
expressive than elegant. ST.]



The Whorish Wife who Vaunted her Virtue. 293



anfc jptftp - fift^ Jiigfjt,



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 wife asked
the husband saying, '* What hath befallen thee on thy way ? "
And he answered, ''O Woman, when I went forth the town and
took the road, behold, a basilisk issued from his den and coming
to the highway stretched himself therealong, so I was unable to
step a single footstep ; and indeed, O Woman, his length was that
of yon sugar cane, brought by the Costermonger and which thou
placedst in the corner. Also he had hair upon his head like
the feathers of the pigeon-poults presented to thee by the
Poulterer-man, and which thou hast set under the vessel ; and
lastly, O Woman, his head was like the pomegranates which thou
tookest from the Market Gardener l and carriedst within the house."
Whenas the wife heard these words, she lost command of herself
and her right senses went wrong and she became purblind and
deaf, neither seeing nor hearing, because she was certified that her
spouse had sighted and eye-witnessed what she had wrought of
waywardness and frowardness. Then the man continued to her,
" O Whore ! O Fornicatress, O Adulteress. How durst thou say to
me, ' There is not amongst womankind my better in nobility
and purity ? ' and this day I have beheld with my own eyes
what thy chastity may be. So do thou take thy belongings

1 " Al-Janinati ; or, as Egyptians would pronounce the word " Al-Ganfnati " [Other
Egyptian names for gardener are "Janainf," pronounced "Ganainf," " Bustanjf," pro-
nounced " Bustangi," with a Turkish termination to a Persian noun, and " Bakhsha-
wangi," for " Baghchawanjf," where the same termination is pleonastically added to
a Persian word, which in Persian and Turkish already means "gardener." ST.]



294 Supplemental Nights.

and go forth from me and be off with thyself to thine own
folk." And so saying he divorced her with the triple divorce and
thrust her forth the house. Now when the Emir heard the afore-
told tale from his neighbour, he rejoiced therein ; this being was a
notable wile of the guiles of womankind which they are wont to
work with man for " Verily great is their craft." ' And presently
he dismissed the fourth lover, his neighbour, even as he had freed
the other three, and never again did such trouble befal him and
his wife, or from Kazi or from any other. 2 And to the same pur-
port (quoth Shahrazad), to wit, the slights and snares of the sex,
they also tell the tale of



1 A Koranic quotation from "Joseph," chap. xii. 28: Sale has " for verily your
cunning is great," said by Potiphar to his wife.

2 I have inserted this sentence, the tale being absolutely without termination. So in
the Mediaeval Lat. translations the MSS. often omit " explicit capitulum (primum).
Sequitur capitulum secundum,' 1 this explicit being a sine qua non.



CCELEBS THE DROLL AND HIS WIFE AND
HER FOUR LOVERS.



297



CCELEBS THE DROLL AND HIS WIFE AND
HER FOUR LOVERS.

THERE lived at the Court of a certain King a man wherewith he
was wont to jest and this droll was unmated. So one day of the
days the Sultan said to him, " O Man, thou art a bachelor, so
suffer us to marry thee," and said the buffoon, " No, O King of
the Age ; allow me to remain in single blessedness, for in woman-
kind there is no rest and they work many a wile, and indeed I fear
lest haply we fall upon one who shall be of the fornicatresses, the
adulteresses." Quoth the King, " There is no help but that thou
wed ; " and quoth the Droll, " Tis well, O King of the Age."
Hereupon the Sultan sent to summon the Wazir and bade him
betroth the man to a woman of righteous conduct and come of
decent folk. Now the Minister had with him an old nurse, and he
commanded her to find a match for the Sultan's Jester ; where-
upon she rose and went out from him and engaged for the man a
beautiful woman. And presently the marriage-tie was tied between
these twain and he went in unto the bride and she tarried with him
a while of time even half a year or may be seven months. Now
one day of the days the King's Jester went forth his house ere the
dawn-prayer had been called on some business for the Sultan,
intending to return before rise of sun. Such was the case with
him ; but as regards his wife, she had known when yet unmarried
four men who to her were the liefest of her companions and who,
during the earlier days of her wedding, had not been able to
possess her. However, on the morning when her husband fared
forth from her before the call to dawn-prayers, each and every of
these four favoured lovers made up their minds to visit their play-



298 Supplemental Nights.

mate. Now one of them was a Pieman * and the second was an
Herbalist, 2 the third was a Flesher and the fourth was the Shaykh
of the Pipers. 3 When the Droll went forth from his wife behold,
the Pieman came and rapped at the door, whereat she opened to
him and said, " Thou hast come betimes," and said he, " I have
minced the meat and I desired to work it up when I found that
the hour was too early and that no one was in the market. So I
said to myself: Up with thee and go to Such-and-such a woman."
" 'Tis well," quoth she ; but when they desired to make merry
together, of a sudden the door was knocked ; so quoth he to her,
" Who is this ? " and quoth she to him, " I know not, but do thou
hie and hide thee in yonder closet." He did her bidding, where-
upon she went forth and threw open the door when behold, it was
the Herbalist and she said to him, " This is a time betimes." Said
he, " By Allah, I was nighting in the garden and I have brought
these sweet-scented herbs, and as the hour was over-early I said to
myself: Go thou to Such-and-such a woman and make merry,
thou and she, for a wee." So she let him in ; but hardly had he
settled himself in his seat when suddenly the door was again
rapped and he asked her, " Who is this ? " and she answered, " I
know not, but do thou hie and hide thee in yonder closet." So he
went in and found the Pieman there seated and said to him,
" What thing mayest thou be ? " 4 and said the other, " I and thou
are each like other." Meanwhile the woman had gone forth and
opened the door when behold, she was met by the Flesher whom

1 In text " Fatairi " = a maker of " Fatirah " = pancake, or rather a kind of pastry
rolled very thin, folded over like a napkin, saturated with butter and eaten with sugar or
honey poured over it.

2 In Arab. " Nayizati," afterwards " Nuwayzati," and lastly "Rayhdnf" (p. 34)
= a man who vends sweet and savoury herbs. We have neither the craft nor the article,
so I have rendered him by " Herbalist."

3 In text a" Mihtar"= a prince, a sweeper, a scavenger; the Pers. " Mihtar," still
used in Hindostani. [In Quatremere's Histoire des Sultans Mamlouks " Mihtir " occurs
also in the sense of superintendent, of head-equerry, and of chief of a military band.
See Dozy Supp. s. v. ST.]

* " Am'aysh" for " man," decidedly not complimentary, " What (thing) art thou ?"



Calebs the Droll and his Wife^and her Four Lovers. 299

she led within and then said to him, "This is a time betimes."
Quoth he, " By Allah, I arose from sleep and slaughtered a ram !
and prepared the flesh for selling when I found that the hour was
over-early and said I to myself : Take thee a piece of mutton-
flesh and go thou in to a certain person and enjoy yourselves, thou
and she, until the Bazar shall have opened," But hardly had he
taken seat when came a fourth knock at the door, and as he heard
this he was wonderstruck ; so she said to him, " Fear not, but hie
thee and hide thee within yonder closet." Accordingly he went
in and found the Pieman and the Herbalist there sitting and he
salam'd to the twain who returned his salute ; then he asked them,
" What hath brought you hither ? " and they answered, " That
which brought us brought also thee." He took seat with them
while the woman went and threw open the door and behold, she
was met by her friend the Shaykh of the Pipers belonging to the
Sultan, so she brought him in and said to him, " Indeed thy time
is betimes." Said he, " Wallahi, I went forth my home intending
to fare and prepare the band 2 in the Royal Palace when I found
the hour was over-early, so said I to myself: Hie thee to a certain
person and make ye merry, thou and she, until the sun shall rise
and thou art bound to wend palacewards." " 'Tis well," quoth
she and seated him and designed to take seat beside him when
behold, came a rap at the door and he cried, " Who is that ? " and
she replied, " Allah only is Omniscient, but haply 'tis my husband."
So he was startled and afeard, and when she whispered to him,
" Up and enter yon closet," he did her bidding and found
a-facing him therein the Pieman and the Herbalist and the Flesher
va whom he said, " Peace be upon you," and when they returned
his greeting he asked them, " Ye, who brought you ? " They

1 Arab. " Kabsh." Amongst the wilder tribes of the East ram's mutton is preferred
because it gives the teeth more to do : on the same principle an old cock is the choicest
guest-gift in the way of poultry.

2 " Naubah," lit. = a period, keeping guard ; and here a band of pipes and kettle-
drums playing before the doors of a great man at certain periods.



3OO Supplemental Nights.

answered him saying, "That which brought us also brought thee."
After this he sat beside them and the four remained seated in the
closet and huddled together, whilst each addressed himself saying,
" What now wilt thou do ? " Meanwhile the woman suddenly
went forth and opened the door when behold, it was her mate the
Droll who walked in and took seat ; whereupon she asked him
" And thou, why hast thou come at such hour ? 'tis not often thy
wont to return early from the King's presence. Haply thou art
unwell, for thy custom is not to appear until near supper-tide and
now thou hast forestalled our meeting-time and hast returned
a-morn. I suspect that he hath bespoken thee concerning some
matter of urgent matters that thou comest home at this hour ; but
haply thou wilt finish off such business and hie thee back to the
Sultan." Quoth he, " By Allah, O Woman, when I fared forth
hence and went to the King I found that he had many and
important affairs to settle, so he said : Hie thee to thy home and

abide therein, nor return to me till after the third day." 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 com-
pared 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

fyty &ebm 3unUtrtr nnfc ^iftg-eiQfjtlj JJt'$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
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 when the King's Jester went in



Ccelebs the Droll and His Wife and her Four Lovers 301

to his wife she said, " Thou, wherefore hast thou come so early ? "
and said he, " By Allah, the Sultan hath much and important
business and said to me : Hie thee home, and tarry there and
return not to me save after the third day." Now when the four
men who were closeted together heard these words they were per-
plext as to their affair, and said one to other, " What shall we
do ? Indeed we are unable to sit out three days in this stead."
Hereupon the Pieman said to them, " Nay, rather let us play a
prank whereby we may escape," and said they, " What may be
the device thou wouldest devise ? " Quoth he, " Whatso I do that do
ye look upon and then act in like guise," and so speaking he arose
and taking his minced meat fell to sticking it upon his skin until
he was like a leper covered with sores. 1 Then he went forth the
closet to the husband of his mistress, and cried, " The Peace be
upon you ! " The man returned his salute and asked him, " What
art thou ?'" to which he made answer, " I am the Prophet Job the
Ulcered, where is the way out of this ? " " Here," cried the Jester,
upon which Job passed out of the door and went about his business
and on such wise made his escape. Next the Herbalist stood up and
opening his basket brought out fragrant herbs and fell to scattering
them over his sconce and about it and over his ears, 2 till such
time as all his face was hidden in greens, after which he also went
out and accosting the house-master said, " The Peace be upon you ! "
And when the man returned the salam he asked him, '' Hath Job
the Ulcered passed by thee on this path ? " " Indeed he hath," said
the other; "but what mayst thou be?" "I am Al-Khizr, the
Green Prophet" (upon whom be The Peace), 3 and so saying he
brushed by the Droll and passed through the door. Now when the

1 In text " Al-Mubtali."

2 Arab. " Hawwalin " ; the passage is apparently corrupt. [" Hawalfn " is clerical
error for either " hawala " = all around, or " Hawdlf = surroundings, surrounding parts,
and "AudaV is pi. of the popular " Widn " or " Wudn " for the literary " Uzn,"
ear. ST.]

3 The exclamation would be uttered hy the scribe or by Shahrazad. I need hardly
remind the reader that " Khizr" is the Green Prophet and here the Prophet of greens.



3O2 Supplemental Nights.

second lover had gone forth and escaped, the Flesher arose and
donning the ram's skin set its horns upon his head and began
crawling out of the closet upon all fours, hands and knees, until he
stood before the husband of his beloved, and said to him, " The
Peace be upon you !" <: And upon you be The Peace," returned
the other, " What mayst thou be ? " " I am Iskandar, Lord of the
Two Horns," cried the other ; " say me, have there passed by thee
Job the Ulcered and Al-Khizr the Green Prophet (upon whom be
The Peace) ? " Quoth the house-master, " They went by this place
and forewent thee." So the third lover passed through the door-
way and escaped, and presently the Shaykh of the Pipers rose to
his feet and applying the mouthpiece of his pipe to his lips went
up to his mistress's mate and said, " The Peace be upon you ! " and
on the man returning his salam, asked him, " Hath it so happened
that Job the Ulcered and Al-Khizr the Green Prophet and Iskandar
Lord of the Two Horns passed this way ? " " They have," answered
the other, " What art thou ? " Cried he, " I am Israfi'l, 1 and 'tis
my design forthright to blow the Last Trump." Hereupon the Droll
straightway arose and laid hands upon him crying, " Yallah,
Yallah, 2 O my brother, blow not at all until we shall have gone, I and
thou, to the Sultan." So saying he took him by the hand and
fared forth with him and ceased not faring until he had carried him
into the presence, when the King asked, " Wherefore hast thou
arrested this man ? " Answered he, " O King of the Age, this is
our Lord Israfil and 'twas his intent to blow the Last Trump, so I
forbade him therefrom until such time as I had brought him for
thee to look upon, lest haply he might so have done without thy
knowledge, and said I to myself: By Allah, better set him before
the Sultan ere he sound his Trumpet. Furthermore I do pray for



1 For "IsraYil" = Raphael, the Archangel who will blow the last trump, see vol.
ii. 287.

2 Gen. meaning "Look sharp," here syn. with "Allah ! Allah ! "= I conjure thee by
God. Vol. i. 346.



Coelebs the Droll and his Wife and her Four Lovers. 303

thy welfare, O King of the Age, inasmuch as thou hast married me
to this dame because I had fear of her lest she company with strange
men. But I found her a saintly woman who admitted none of man-
kind save that to-day when I went forth from thee at morning-
tide I turned me homewards and going into my house caught with
her three Prophets and one Archangel and this is he who intended
to blow the Last Trump." Hereupon quoth the Sultan to him, " O
Man, art thou Jinn-mad ? How canst thou have found with thy
spouse any of the Prophets as thou sayest ? " And quoth he, " By
Allah, O King of the Age, whatso hath befallen me that I have
reported to thee nor have I hidden from thee aught." The King
asked, " Which was he of the Prophets thou foundest beside thy
wife ? " and he answered, " The Prophet Job (on whom be The
Peace) and after him came forth to me from a closet the Prophet
Al-Khizr (on whom be The Peace !), and after him Iskandar Lord of
the Two Horns (on whom be The Peace !) and lastly this the fourth
is the Archangel Israfil." The Sultan marvelled at his words, and
exclaimed " Laud to the Lord ! Verily this man whom thou
entitlest Israfil is naught but the Shaykh of my Pipers." " I wist
naught, O King of the Age," said the other, " but I have related to
thee what hath occurred and what I beheld and eyewitnessed."
Hereupon the Sultan understood that the wife had friends who
forgathered with her, and who had served her husband with such
sleight, so he said to the musician, " O man, unless thou tell me
truly what happened I will cut off thy head." Thereupon the
Shaykh of the Pipers arose, and kissing ground before the
Sultan, said to him, " O King of the Age, give me promise of
immunity and I will relate to thee all that befel." Quoth the
King, " 'Tis upon condition that thou tell no lies ;-" and quoth the
other, " O King of the Age, verily, I will shun leasing." J So
the King gave him a pledge of safety, and the Shaykh described

1 A Persian would say, " I am a Irani but Wallahi indeed I am not lying."



304 Supplemental Nights.

everything that had been done and kept nothing back, and when
the King heard the story and the trick which had been wrought
by the woman's friends he marvelled thereat and cried, " Allah
kill all womankind, 1 the fornicatresses, the adulteresses, the
traitresses ! " After which he despatched a posse of the Cham-
berlains to bring into his presence the four persons.

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 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

t&ty. &cben f^un&reD ana bixt(et& JLigK

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 King
despatched a posse of his Chamberlains to bring into his presence
the four persons who were lovers to the Droll's wife, and he found
the first to be a Pieman who had claimed the rank of our lord Job
(on whom be The Peace !) and the second to be a Market-Gardener

1 [This sentence of wholesale extermination passed upon womankind, reminds me of
the Persian lines which I find quoted in 'Abdu '1-JalU's History of the Barmicides:

Agar nek budi Zan u Ray-i-Zan
Zan-ra Ma-zan Nam budf, na Zan

and which I would render Anglice :

If good there were in Woman and her way,
Her name would signify '''Slay not" not "Slay.

"Zan" as noun = woman ; as imp. of " zadan " = strike, kill, whose negative is
"ma-zan." - ST.]



Coelebs the Droll and Ins Wife and her Four Lovers. 305

who sold savoury herbs and all manner fragrant growths, and he
had made himself out to be Al-Khizr (on whom be The Peace !),
and the third to be a Butcher who had passed himself off as
Iskandar, Lord of the Two Horns (on whom be The Peace !) ;
whilst the fourth, whom the Jester had brought, and who declared
that he was the Archangel Israfil, and was about to blow the Last
Trump, proved to be the Shaykh of the Pipers. Now when the
four were before the King he gave orders to castrate them all save
the Shaykh, 1 this being the award of him who lewdly frequenteth
the women of the royal household. Hereupon they gelded them,
and each one who was made a eunuch died without stay and
delay ; and the Droll divorced his wife and sent her about her
business. I have also by me (said Shahrazad) another tale con-
cerning the wiles of womankind, and it is that of



1 In the text the Shaykh, to whom " Aman" was promised, is also gelded, probably
by the neglect of the scribe.



THE GATE-KEEPER OF CAIRO AND THE
CUNNING SHE-THIEF-



309



THE GATE-KEEPER OF CAIRO AND THE CUNNING

SHE-THIEF. 1

IT is related that in Misr of Kahir there was a man who had
reached the age of fourscore and ten years, and he was a chief-
Watchman of the ward in the service of the Wali ; a brave man
withal, and one not wont to be startled or afeard. Now one night
as he was going around about the city with the Chief of Police,



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 24 of 40)