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 28 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 28 of 40)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


and that was



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 more that
man cried to the lover " Come," the faster did he run away ; so
the Fellah returned and said, " He misliketh to come and he hath
fled." Hereupon he took seat together with the scald-head and
the neighbours to dine off the scones of hand-rubbed grain, and
the wife served to them whatso she had made for her lover's eating
and she would not touch aught thereof but left it for her spouse
and for his servant and for the neighbours. On the following day
the Fellah went forth betimes to plough whilst the boy, delaying
purposely at home, hid himself behind the door when behold, the
lover entered to her, and she said, " 'Tis my desire that we forge a
story whereby to slay my husband and Master Scald-head the
servant." Quoth he, " How wilt thou slay them ? " and quoth
she, " I will buy for them poison and make it up in cooked food, so
they may devour it together and perish together ; after which we
will abide, I and thou, making merry, nor shall the dead disturb
us any more." He rejoined, " Do what thou wiliest," and all this
whilst the boy stood listening to them behind the door. But as
soon as the lover went forth the house, the lad arose and retired ;
then, donning Jews' garb he shouldered a pair of saddle-bags and
went about crying, " Ho ! Aloes good for use. Ho ! Pepper 1 good



1 The cries of an itinerant pedlar hawking about woman's wares. See Lane (M. E.)
chapt. xiv. " Flfl'a" (a scribal error ?) may be " Filfil "= pepper or palm-fibre. See



35 2 Supplemental Nights.

for use. Ho ! Kohl good for use. Ho ! Tutty good for use ! "
Now when the woman saw him she came forth the house and
hailed him, " Ho thou the Jew ! " and said he to her, " Yes, O my
lady." Then said she, <f Hast thou with thee aught of poison ? "
and said he, " How, O my lady ? Have I not with me poison of
the hour ? ! and whoever shall eat thereof in a mess of sweet milk 2
and rice and clarified butter shall die within that time." " Do
thou take this dinar," continued she, " and give me somewhat of
it ; " but he rejoined, " I do not trade for moneys, and I will sell it
only for ornaments of precious metal." Hereupon she pulled off
one of her anklets and handed it to him and he, who had provided
himself with half a loaf of Egyptian sugar, 3 gave her the moiety
thereof, saying, " Use it with sweet milk and rice and clarified
butter." She took it in high glee, and arising milked the she-
buffalo, after which she boiled the loaf-sugar in the milk and then
threw it into a sufficiency of the rice and the clarified butter,
fancying the while that she was cooking a mortal meal, 4 and lastly
she ladled out the mess into a large platter. Now when it was
sunset-time her husband returned from the field and was met about
half-way by the boy who told him all that he had overheard and
how he had sold her the sugar for one of her anklets, saying,
" This be poison." Then he charged him that, as soon as both of
them should have swallowed the mess of milk and rice and clarified
butter, they fall down and feign dead. So master and servant

Index, vol, v. p. 493, " Tutty," in low-Lat. " Tutia," probably from the Pers. "Tutiyah,"
is protoxide of zinc, found native in Iranian lands, and much used as an eye-wash.

1 In text "Samm Sa'ah."

2 " Laban halib," a trivial form = " sweet milk ; " " Laban " being the popular word
for milk artificially soured. See vols. vi. 201 ; vii. 360.

3 In text " Nisf ra'as Sukkar Misri." " Sukkar " (from Pers. " Shakkar," whence the
Lat. Saccharum) is the generic term, and Egypt preserved the fashion of making loaf-
sugar (Raas Sukkar) from ancient times. " Misri " here = local name, but in India it
is applied exclusively t sugar-candy, which with Giir (molasses) was the only form used
throughout the country some 40 years ago. Strict Moslems avoid Europe-made white
sugar because they are told that it is refined with bullock's blood, and is therefore
unlawful to Jews and the True Believers.

* Lit. " that the sugar was poison."



The Fellah and his Wicked Wife. 353

agreed upon this plan. And when the Fellah entered the hut she
served to them the platter which contained their supper, and they
ate the whole thereof, she sifting by intent upon their action and
expecting their death. But they served her with a sleight; for
suddenly the Fellah changed countenance and made as though he
waxed ill and faint, and fell upon the ground like one in the last
agony, and shortly after the boy rolled upon the floor on similar
wise. Whenas she considered them she exclaimed, " May Allah
have no mercy upon you ; the wretches are dead ! " Hereupon
she went out and called aloud to her lover, and as he was coming
cried, " Hie thee hither and enjoy the sight of these dead ones ; "
so he hastened up to them, and seeing them stretched upon the
floor said, " They're dead." Presently quoth she, " We two, I and
thou, will now make merry ; " and so saying she withdrew with
him into another hut, intending at once to sleep together. Here-
upon the husband arose and went in to them and smote the lover
with a quarter-staff upon the neck and broke in his back bone, 1
after which he turned to the wicked woman his wife and struck
her and split open her head, and left the twain stone dead. And
as soon as it was midnight he wrapped them in a single sheet and
carried them forth outside the village, and after choosing a place, 2
dug a hole and thrust them therein. And ever after that same
Fellah had rest from his wife, and he bound himself by a strong



1 In text " Kata'a Judur-ha" (for "hu"). [I refer the pronoun in "Judur-ha" to
"Rakabah," taking the ""roots of the neck," to mean the spine. ST.]

2 In text " Fahata " for " Fahasa " (?) or perhaps a. clerical error for '< Fataha " = he
opened (the ground). [" Fahata," probably a vulgarisation of " fahatha" (fahasa) = to
investigate, is given by Bocthor with the meaning of digging, excavating. Nevertheless
I almost incline to the reading "fataha," which, however, I would pronounce with
Tashdid over the second radical, and translate : "he recited a ' Fatihah ' for them," the
usual prayer over the dead before interment. The dative " la-hum," generally employed
with verbs of prayer, seems to favour this interpretation. It is true I never met with
the word in this meaning, but it would be quite in keeping with the spirit of the language,
and in close analogy with such expressions as " kabbara," he said "Allahu akbar,"
"Hallala," ne pronounced the formula of unity, and a host of others. Here it would,
in my opinion, wind up the tale with a neat touch of peasant's single-mindedness and
loyal- adherence to the injunctions of religion even under provoking circumstances. ST.]

VOL. V.



354 Supplemental Nights,

oath not to interwed with womankind never no more. 1 And
now (quoth Shahrazad) I will recount to you another tale touching
the wiles of women ; and thereupon she fell to relating the
adventure of



1 In the MS. we have only " Ending. And it is also told," etc. I again supply the
connection.



THE WOMAN WHO HUMOURED HER LOVER
AT HER HUSBAND'S EXPENSE.



357



THE WOMAN WHO HUMOURED HER LOVER AT
HER HUSBAND'S EXPENSE. 1

THERE was a man in Cairo and he had a wife who ever boasted of
her gentle blood and her obedience and her docility and her fear of
the Lord. Now she happened to have in the house a pair of fatted
ganders 2 and she also had a lover whom she kept in the back-
ground. Presently the man came to visit her and seeing beside
her the plump birds felt his appetite sharpened by them, so he said
to her, " O Such-an-one, needs must thou let cook these two geese
with the best of stuffing so that we may make merry over them,
for that my mind is bent upon eating goose-flesh." Quoth she,
" 'Tis right easy ; and by thy life, O So-and-so, I will slaughter
them and stuff them and thou shalt take them and carry them
home with thee and eat them, nor shall this pimp my husband
taste of them or even smell them." " How wilt thou do ? " asked
he, and she answered, "I will serve him a sleight shall enter into
his brains and then give them to thee, for none is dear to me as
thyself, O thou light of mine eyes ; whereas this pander my mate
shall not touch a bittock thereof." Upon this agreement the lover
went from her and when her husband returned at sunset-tide she
said to him, " Ho Man, how canst thou ever call thyself a man
when thou never invitest anybody to thy house and no day of the
days thou sayest me : I have a guest coming to us ; even as
another would do ; and folk surely will talk of thee and declare

1 Scott does not translate this tale, but he has written on the margin (MS. vi. 101),
"A story which bears a strong resemblance to that I have read (when a boy) of the
Parson's maid giving the roasted goose to 'her Lover and frightening away the guests,
lest he should geld them."

2 In text "Zakarayn Wizz (ganders) siman" ; but afterwards " Wizzatayn" = geese.



Supplemental Nights.

thou art a miser and unknowing the ways of generosity." " O
Woman," said he, " this were for me an easy business and
to-morrow morning (Inshallah !) I will buy for thee flesh and rice
and thou shalt let cook for us or dinner or supper, whereto I will
invite one of my intimates." Quoth she to him, " Nay, O Man ;
rather do thou buy for me a pound of mince-meat ; then slaughter
the two geese and I will stuff them and fry them, for that nothing
is more savoury to set before guests." Said he, " Upon my head
and mine eye be it ! " and as soon as it was dawn he slaughtered
the geese and went forth and bought a Rotolo of meat which he
minced and took all was required of rice and hot spices and what not
else. These he carried home to his wife and said to her, " Do thou
finish off thy cooking before midday when I will bring my guests,"
and presently he fared forth from her. Then she arose and cleaned
out the geese and stuffed them with minced meat and a portion of
rice and almonds and raisins ; * and fried them until they were well
cooked ; after which she sent for her lover and as soon as he came
she and he made merry together, and she gave him the geese which

he took up and left her. 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

^ije 2?ebcn ^tmtireli antJ lEig&tg-first tfig&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

1 These dried fruits to which pistachios are often added, form the favourite " filling"
of lamb and other meats prepared in " pulao " (pilaff).



Woman who Humoured her Lover at her Husband'* Expense. 359

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 woman
gave to her lover the geese which she had fried and he took the
t.wain and fared away with them. Now when it was noon suddenly
her husband came home accompanied by a friend and knocked at
the door ; so she arose and opened to him and admitted them.
Then she asked, " And hast thou brought only one man ? l hie thee
forth and fetch at least two or better still three." " 'Tis well," said
he and went off to do her bidding. Then the woman accosted
the guest who came first and cried, " Oh the pity of it ! By Allah
thou art lost and the Ld Haul of Allah 2 is upon thee and doubtless
thou hast no children." Now when the man heard these words he
exclaimed, "Why, O Woman ?" for indeed fear and affright had
sunk deep into his heart. She rejoined, " Verily my husband hath
not brought thee hither save with the intention of cutting off thy.
precious stones the honours of thy yard 3 and of gelding thee to a
Castrato; and heigho and alas for thee whether thou die or
whether thou live, and Oh the pity of it for thee ! " Now when
the man heard this speech, he arose in haste and hurry and rushed
Dut by the door when behold, the husband came bringing with him
two of his familiars. So the wife met him at the entrance and
said to him, " O Man, O miserablest of men, O thou disappointed,
O thou dissatisfied, 4 thou hast brought to me a fellow which

1 " Anta jdib(un) bas rajul (an) wahid (an) " - veritable and characteristic peasant's
iargon.

2 i.*. it is a time when men should cry for thy case. " Ld Haula"= there is no
Majesty, etc. An ejaculation of displeasure, disappointment, despair.

3 In text " Mahashima-k "= good works, merits; in a secondary sense beard and
mustachios. The word yard (etymologically a rod) is medical English, and the young
student is often surprised to see, when a patient is told to show his yard, a mere inchleS
of shrunken skin. [" Mahashim," according to Bocthor, is a plural without singular,
meaning: les parties de la generation. Pedro de Alcala gives "Hashshum," pi.
" Hashashim," for the female parts, and both words are derived from the verb " hasham,
yahshfm," he put to shame. ST.]

4 Characteristic words of abuse, " O thou whose fate is always to fail, O thou whose
Jot is ever subject to the accidents of Fortune ! "



360 Supplemental Nights.

was a thief, a ne'er-do-well like unto thyself." " How so ? " asked
he, and she answered, " The man stole the two geese and stole
away." Thereupon the husband went out and catching sight of the
guest running off shouted to him, " Come back ! Come back ! even
although thou bring only one with thee and take the other." Cried
the man in reply, " An thou catch me do thou take thee the two."
But the house-master meant the two geese whilst the man who was
running away thought only of himself, saying in his mind, " This
one speaketh of my ballocks, meaning that he will take only one

X

of my stones * and leave me the other." So he ceased not running
and the other followed after him, but being unable to catch him
he returned to his guests and served them with somewhat of bread
and so forth, whilst the woman kept blaming him and knagging
about the matter of the geese which she said had been carried off,
but which had been given by her to her lover. The husband en-
joined her to silence ; however she would not hold her peace 2 and
on this wise he was balked of the meal to feed his wife's friend.
And now (quoth Shahrazad) I will relate to you somewhat of the
wiles of an honest woman, and thereupon she fell to recounting
the adventure of



1 Arab. " Bayzah "= an egg, a testicle. See " Bayza'ani," vol. ii. 55.

2 Here the text ends with the tag, " Concluded is the story.of the Woman with her
Husband and her Lover. It is related of a man which was a Kazi," etc. I have supplied
what the writer should have given.



THE KAZI SCHOOLED BY HIS WIFE.



THE KAZI SCHOOLED BY HIS WIFE.

IT is related of a man which was a Kazi that he had a wife of the
virtuous and the righteous and of the charitable and the pitiful to
the orphan and the pauper ; and the same was beautiful exceedingly.
Her husband held and was certified anent womankind that all and
every were like unto his spouse ; so that when any male masculant
came into his court 1 complaining about his rib he would deliver
his decision that the man was a wrongdoer and that the woman
was wronged. On such wise he did because he saw that his wife
was the pink of perfection and he opined that the whole of her sex
resembled her, and he knew naught of the wickedness and de-
bauchery of the genus and their sorcery and their contrariety and the
cunning contrivance wherewith they work upon men's wits. He
abode all careless of such matters, in consequence of the virtues of
his spouse, until one chance day of the days when suddenly a man
came to him with a grievance about his better half and showed
how he had been evil entreated by her and how her misconduct
vvas manifest and public. But when the man laid his case before
the Kazi and enlarged upon his charge, the Judge determined that
he was in tort and that his wife was in the right ; so the com-
plainant went forth the court as one deaf and blind who could
neither hear nor see. Moreover he was perplexed as to his affair,
unknowing what he should do in the matter of his helpmate and
wherefore the Kazi had determined contrary to justice that he had



1 The "Mahkamah" (Place of Judgment), or Kazi's Court, at Cairo is mostly
occupied with matrimonial disputes, and is fatally famous for extreme laxness in the
matter of bribery and corruption. During these days it is even worse than when Lane
described it, M.E. chapt. iv.



364 Supplemental Nights.

ill-used his spouse. Now as to the Kazi's wife none could for-
gather with her ; J so the plaintiff was distraught and confounded
when he was met unexpectedly on the way by one who asked him*
" What may be thy case, O certain person, and how hath it befallen
thee with the Kazi in the matter of thy rib ? " " He hath given
sentence," quoth the man, " that I am the wrong-doer and that
she is the wronged, and I know not how I shall act." Whereupon
quoth the other, " Return and take thy station hard by the entrance
to the Judge's Harem and place thyself under the protection of its
inmates." The man did as his friend advised him and knocked,
when a handmaiden came out and he said to her, " O Damsel, 'tis
my desire that thou send me hither thy lady, so I may bespeak her
with a single word." She went in and informed her mistress 2 who
rose and humoured him, and standing veiled behind the door
asked, " What is to do with thee, O man ? " " O my lady," said
he, " I place myself under thy ward and thine honour, so thou
enable me to get justice of my wife and overcome her and prevai)
over her, for in very deed she hath wronged me and disgraced me,
I came to complain of her ill-conduct before His Honour our lord
the Kazi, yet he hath determined that I am the wrong-doer and
have injured her while she is the wronged. I know not what I
shall do with him, and sundry of the folk have informed me that
thou art of the beneficent ; so I require that thou charge for me
the Judge to deliver according to Holy Law his decree between
me- and my mate." Quoth she, " Go thou and take thy rest, nor
do thou return to him until he shall have sent after thee, and fear
not aught from him at all." " Allah increase thy weal, O my
lady," quoth he, and he left her and went about his business pon-
dering his case and saying to himself in mind, " Oh would Heaven

1 The first idea of an Eastern would be to appeal from the Kazi to the Kazi's wife,
bribing her if he failed to corrupt the husband ; and he would be wise in his generation
as the process is seldom known to fail.

2 In Arab. "Sitta-ha" : the Mauritanians prefer " Sidah," and the Arabian Arabs
" Kabfrah '' = the first lady, Madame Mtre.



TJie Kazi Schooled by his Wife. 365

I wot whether the Kazi's wife will protect me and deliver me from
this fornicatress, this adulteress, who hath outraged me and carried
away my good and driven me forth from her." Now when it was
night-tide and the Judge was at leisure from his commandments,
he went into his Harem, and it was his wife's custom whenever he
returned home to meet him at the middle doorway. But as on
that occasion she failed so to do, he walked into the apartment
wherein she woned and found her at prayers ; then he recalled to
mind the contention of the man who had come to him with a

grievance against his spouse 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 on the
coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive ? " Now when
it was the next night and that was

Ww &cbm f^tmtKEU anfc (Sigfitg-tijirti Jligln,

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
Kazi went in to his wife whom he found praying, he recalled to
mind the matter of the man who had come to him with a con-
tention against his spouse and he said in his thought, " Verily nor
hurting nor harming ever cometh from womankind and indeed
this liar complaineth of his wife falsely ;" for it was still in his
mind that all of the contrary sex are as virtuous as his lady. But
when she had done with her devotions, she rose up to him and
served him and set before him, she and her handmaidens, the tray



366 Supplemental Nights.

of food and she sat down at meat with him as was her wont. Now
amongst the dishes was a charger containing two chickens, so said
she to her husband, " By Allah, O my lord, do thou buy for us
to-morrow a couple of geese that I may let stuff them, for my
heart is set upon eating of their, meat." Said he, " O my lady,
to-morrow (Inshallah ! an it be the will of the Almighty) I will
send to the Bazar and let buy for thee two geese of the biggest
and the fattest and the Eunuchs shall slaughter them and thou
shalt use them as thou will." Accordingly, at dawn-tide tha
Judge sent to buy two plump birds and bade the Eunuchs cut
their throats and the handmaidens gutted them and stuffed them
and cooked them with rice over and above the usual food. There*
upon the Kazi's wife arose and proceeded to work her contrivance..
She had bought two sparrows which the hunter had trapped ; and
she bade kill and dress them and place them upon the rice instead
of the geese and awaited the even-tide when her husband would
return to supper. Then they spread the tables whereupon was
placed a covered platter under which he supposed stood the geese ;
so he took ib off and behold, he found the two sparrows. Hereat
he was perplext and said to his wife, "Allaho Akbar God is
most Great where be the geese ? " and said she to him, " Whatso
thou broughtest here it be 1 before thee upon the dish." " These
be two sparrows," quoth he, and quoth she, " I wot not." So the
Judge arose displeased 2 with his wife and going to her home
fetched her father and as she saw him coming, she stood up and
whipping off the two small birds placed the big ones in their
stead ; and he uncovered the plate and found the geese. So he
said to his son-in-law, " Thou declarest that these be sparrows
but indeed they are geese ; " for he also was deceived and went
forth in displeasure with the Judge, after which the Kazi followed

in his footstep and soothed him and invited him to meat but he

;__ . '

1 In text " Ahu 'inda-k," pure Fellah speech.
-^ In text here and below " Maghbun " usually = deceived, cajoled ^



The Kazi Schooled by his Wife. 367

would not return with him. Hereupon the husband padlocked
the door but, before he had entered, the wife had substituted the
birdies for the big birds and when her mate sat down to meat and
would fain have eaten he uncovered the platter and beheld the
two sparrows. Seeing this he was like to go out of his mind and he
cried aloud, " Wallahi ! indeed this be a portentous calamity," and
he went forth, trotting in his haste, until he met his father-in-law
upon the way. Then he cried upon him and said, " Come and
look at the two geese which were in the platter." " Wherefore ? "
asked the other and answered he, " Because I found them changed
to two sparrows." Hereupon the father returned with him to the
house and walked up to the table whence the lady, during her
husband's absence, had removed the birdies and replaced the birds
in lieu of them. So the father took off the cover and rinding
before him the pair of geese said to his son-in-law, " Be these
two geese ? consider them well whether they be sparrows or not."
" Two geese," said the other and said the sire, " Then why dost



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 28 of 40)