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 29 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 29 of 40)
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thou come to me a second and a several time and bring me hither
and complain of my daughter ? " Hereupon he left him and went
forth an-angered and the Judge came up with him at the doorway
and soothed him and conjured him to return. Meanwhile the
lady arose and whipping off the geese set the two birdies in lieu
thereof and covered them up ; and as soon as the Kazi returned
and sat down to meat he removed the cover from the platter and
found the two sparrows. Hereat he shrieked aloud and arose and
went forth the door and cried, " Ho Moslems, come ye to my
help ! " * Now when the people of the quarter heard the outcry,
they gathered together about the house, when the lady seized the
occasion to carry off the two birdies and to set in lieu of them the

1 He began to fear sorcery, Satan, etc. " Muslimina" is here the reg. Arab. plur. of
"Muslim " = a. True Believer. "Musulman" (our "Mussalman" too often made plur.
by " Mussalmen ") is corrupted Arab, used in Persia, Turkey and India by. the best
writers as Sa'adi ; the plur. is Musulmanan " and the Hind. fem. is Musalmani. Francois
Pyrard, before alluded to, writes (i. 261) " Mousellirnan, that is, the faithful "



368 Supplemental Nights.

two geese. Asked they, " What is to do with thee, O our lord the
Kazi, and what hath befallen thee ? " and he answered, " I bought
two geese for our supper and now I find them turned into two
sparrows ; " and so saying he led the Notables of the quarter into
his house and showed them the dish. They uncovered it and
found therein two geese, so they exclaimed, " These be two geese
which thou callest sparrows : " and so saying they left him and
went their ways. He followed them making excuses and was
absent for a while, when his wife took the birds and set the
birdies in place of them and when the Kazi returned and pro-
ceeded to sit down at meat he uncovered the platter and behold,
thereon stood the two sparrows. So he smote hand upon hand
crying, " These be two sparrows without doubt or hesitation ; "
whereat his wife arose and called out with a loud voice, " O ye
Moslems, help ye a Moslemah." 1 So the folk ran to her aidance
and asked her saying, " What is to do, O our lady ? " and she
answered, " Verily my calamity is grievous and there is no Majesty
and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great. My
husband the Kazi hath gone Jinn-mad and do you of your grace
and benevolence lay hold of him and carry him to the Maristan.

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, u 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

Qty &eben f^un&r& anti St'gf)tB=fiftf) KTtgtt,

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

1 In the text " help ye the Moslems."



The Kazi Schooled by his Wife. 369

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 Judge's
wife cried upon the folk of the quarter, " Do ye of your grace and
benevolence to us seize the Kazi and carry him to the Maristan
that they may confine him therein until he return to his reason
and regain his right mind/' Hereupon they laid hands upon him
and bore him to the Bedlam and imprisoned him therein amongst
the maniacs, and it was certified to all the folk that their Kazi had
been suddenly struck by insanity and that they had confined him
in the madhouse. Now all this was of the cunning contrivance of
his wife, that she might make manifest to him concerning woman-
kind how none of mankind can prevail over them. But after the
lapse of three days which the Judge passed in the Bedlam, his
wife went in to him bringing a somewhat of food and set meat
before him and asked him saying, " What was it thou foundest on
the platter ? " Answered he, " Two sparrows," and continued she,
" Recover thy senses and thy right mind and see here am I who
have made thee out mad for thy confusion between two geese and
two sparrows. Now whenever any man cometh to thee complaining
of his wife (and thou unknowing aught of the couple and of their
circumstances), thou determinest that the male is the evil-doer
and withal thou wottest not that women are often the worst of
wrongers and that men are sorely wronged by them. And in the
matter now in hand, the whole of the folk declare that the Kazi is
a wrong-doer to his wife, and no one knoweth that thou art really
the wronged and I the wronger. Indeed sooth did he say who
said, "Alas for those who be gaoled wrongfully!" So do thou
never decide aught thou knowest not. However, thou hast approved
to thyself that I am true and loyal to thee and thou makest all
the folk like one to other, but this is a sore injury to some. In the
present case do thou send for the man who is wronged and let
VOL. V. A A



370 Supplemental Nights.

bring him to thy presence and bid his wife be also present and do
him justice of her." After this she removed her husband from the
Maristan and went her ways, and the Kazi did with the man as
his lady had charged him do and whenever a plaintiff came before
him with a grievance against his wife he would decide that the
man was the wronged and the woman was the wronger, and he
ceased not doing after this fashion for a while of time. And now
(quoth Shahrazad) I will relate to you another history o
womankind and this is the tale of



THE MERCHANT'S DAUGHTER AND THE
PRINCE OF AL-IRAK.



373



THE MERCHANT'S DAUGHTER AND THE PRINCE

OF AL-IRAK i

WHILOME there was, men say, a Khwajah, a merchant man who
was lord of money and means and estates and endowments and
appanages, withal he had no seed, or son or daughter, and there-
fore he sued Almighty Allah that he might be blessed with even
a girl-child to inherit his good and keep it together. Suddenly
he heard a Voice bespeak him in dreamery saying, " Ho Such-
an-one, Predestination overcometh Prudence and resignation to
the trials sent by Allah is foremost and fairest." Hearing this
he arose without stay or delay and casually 2 slept with his wife
who, by decree of the Decreer and by allowance of Allah
Almighty, conceived that very night. When she became preg-
nant and the signs of gestation showed in her, the merchant
rejoiced and distributed and doled and did alms-deeds ; and, as
soon as her tale of days was fulfilled, there befel her what befalleth
womankind of labour-pangs, and parturition came with its madding
pains and the dolours of delivery, after which she brought forth
a girl-babe moulded in mould of beauty and loveliness and show-

-/

ing promise of brilliance and stature and symmetric grace. Now
on the night after the birth and when it was the middle thereof,
the Merchant was sitting at converse beside his wife and suddenly
he again heard the Voice announcing to him that his daughter was



1 Again the old, old story of the " Acrisian maid," and a prose variant of " Yusuf and
Al-Hayfa" for which see vol. v. p. 123. I must note the difference of treatment and
tnay observe that the style is rough and the incidents are unfinished, but it has the stuff
of an excellent tale.

2 In text " Min ghayr Wa'ad"= without appointment, sans premeditation, a phrase
before noticed.



374 Supplemental Nights.

fated to become a mother in illicit guise by the son of a King who
reigned in the region Al-Irak. He turned him towards the sound
but could see no man at such time, and presently he reflected that
between his city and the capital of the King's son in Al-Irak was
a distance of six months and a moiety. Now the night wherein the
Merchant's wife became a mother was the same when the King's wife
of Al-Irak bare a boy-heir, and the Merchant, albe he wist naught
thereof, was seized with trembling and terror at the words of the
Voice and said in himself, " How shall my daughter forgather with
the King's son in question when between us and him is a travel of
six months and a half? What can be such case ? But haply this
Voice is of a Satan ! ' : As soon as it was morning-tide the father
summoned astrologers and men who compute horoscopes and scribes
who cast lotSj 1 and when they presented themselves he informed
them that a daughter had been added to his household and his aim
was to see what the prognostic 2 might be. Hereupon all and
every wrought at his art and mystery, and it was shown that the
Merchant's daughter would become a mother by the son of a King
and this would be in the way of unright : but so far from informing
him of this or suffering him to learn concerning of her circumstance
they said, " The future none wotteth it save Allah Almighty and
our craft at times proveth soothfast and at times falsifieth us.'*
However the Khwajah's heart was on no wise satisfied and he
ceased not to suffer patiently nor did rest repose him nor were meat
and sleep to him sweet for the space of two years, during which his
daughter was suckled and in due time was weaned. The father
never ceased pondering how he should act towards his child and
at sundry times he would say, " Let us slay her and rest from
her," and at other times he would exclaim, " Let us remove her to a
stead where none shall approach her or of man-kind or of Jinn-



1 In text, " Al-Mukawwamina wa Arbabu '1-Aklam," the latter usually meaning
" Scribes skilled in the arts of caligraphy."

2 In text "Zarb al-Fal "= casting lots for presage, see vol. v. 136.



The Merchanfs Daughter and the Prince of Al-Irak. 375

kind." Withal did none point out a path to pursue nor did any
guide him to any course of the courses he might adopt Now one
day of the days he fared forth his house unknowing whither he
should wend and he stinted not wending until he found himself
without the town, - 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 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 Sovran suffer me to survive ? " Now
when it was the next night 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 Khwajah
stinted not wending until he found himself without the town,
where he was expectedly met by a wight in Darwaysh-garb to
whom he salam'd and by whom he was saluted. Presently the
holy man turned to the merchant and seeing him changed of
colour and conduct asked him, "What is with thee to do, and what
ill hast thou to rue that thy case and complexion are so changed
to view ? " " O Fakir," answered the other, " verily a matter of
marvel hath betided me and I know not how to act therein."
Quoth the ghostly man, " And what may that be ? " whereupon
the Merchant related to him all his affair first and last, and how
he had heard a Voice saying to him, "In very deed thy daughter
shall conceive after unlawful fashion by the King's son of Al-
Irak." The Darwaysh was surprised on hearing these words



37$ Siipplemental Nights.

from him and said in his thought, " There is no averting of
adversity foredoomed and Allah will do whatso he will ; " pre-
sently adding, " O Khwajah, in yonder direction riseth a mountain
Jabal al-Sahab ! hight, which is impenetrable or to mankind or to
Jinn-kind ; but given thou avail to reach it thou wilt find therein
and about the middle combe thereof a vast cavern two miles in
breadth by an hundred long. Here, an thou have in thee force
and thou attain thereto and lodge thy daughter, haply shall Allah
Almighty conserve and preserve the maid from what evils thou
heardest the Voice declare to thee for her destiny : however, thou
shalt on no wise reach those highlands until thou shalt have
expended thereon a matter of much money. Moreover at the
head and front of that cave 2 is an inner crevice which, extending
to the mountain-top, admitteth daylight into its depths and dis-
playeth a small pavilion by whose side be five-fold pleasaunce-
gardens with flowers and fruits and rills and trees besprent and
birds hymning Allah, the One, the Omnipotent. Now an thou
avail to convey thy daughter to that place, she shall dwell there
secure, safe-guarded." As soon as the Khwajah heard those
words from the Fakir, there faded from his heart whatso there
was of thought and forethought and cark and care and he took
the hand of the Religious whom he led to his home and honoured
him and robed him, for that he had indicated such place of pro-
tection. When the maiden reached the age of five and had waxed
killing in beauty, her father brought her a learned Divine with
whom she began reading and who taught her the Koran and
writing and the art of caligraphy ; 3 and when she had seen the



1 " The Mount of Clouds."

2 In the margin is written "Kbb," possibly "Kubb" for "Kubbah" = a vault, a
cupola. [I take " Kubba" for the passive of the verb " Kabba"= he cat, and read
" Fajwatun " for " Fajwatan "= and in that cave there is a spot in whose innermost part
from the inside a crevice is cut which," etc. ST.!

3 " Zarb al-Aklam," before explained: in a few pages we shall come upon "San'at
al-Aklam."



The Merchants Daughter and the Prince of A I- Irak. 377

first decade, she fell to studying astrology and astronomy and the
aspect of the Heavens. Such was her case ; but as regards that
of her sire the Merchant, from the hour he forgathered with the
Darwaysh he ceased not to hold him in his heart and presently he
proposed to take him and travel with him to the mountain afore-
mentioned. So they set out together and when they reached it
they found it a site right strong as though fortified, and entering
the antre they fell to considering it right and left till they
reached its head where they came upon the little pavilion. After
all this quoth the Fakir, " Indeed such stead shall safe-guard thy
daughter from the shifts of the Nights and the Days ; " withal
was he unknowing that the Decreed be determined and must per-
force be done, albeit Doom be depending from the skirts of the
clouds. 1 And the Religious ceased not showing the site until he
caused his companion enter the parterres, which he found as they
had been described to him with flowers and fruits and streams and
trees besprent and birds hymning the One, the Omnipotent. As
soon as they had finished solacing themselves with the sights, they
fared back to their town where, during their absence-term, the
damsel's mother had made ready for them viaticum and presents,
and by the time the twain returned they found ready to hand
everything of travel-gear and all the wants of wayfare. So they
equipped themselves and set forth, taking with them the maiden
together with five white slave-girls and ten negresses and as many
sturdy black chattels who loaded the packs upon the mules' and
the camels' backs. Then they fell to cutting across the wilds and
wolds, each and everyone intent upon ministering to the maiden,
and they ceased not faring until they drew near the mountain, and
they took station by the cavern-door. Here they unloaded the
bales and burthens and transported them to the pavilion within
the cave, after which the Merchant's daughter went in and as she

1 A pun upon the name of the Mountain.



37$ Supplemental Nights.

walked forwards fell to gazing, rightwards and leftwards, until such
time as she had reached the pavilion. Presently she found ir
poikilate of corners and columns, and she was assured that the
distance of that mountain from her father's town measured the
march of a full-told month. And whenas she had taken seat and
had settled in that pavilion, her father considered the unapproach-
able nature of the place and waxed contented of heart and his
mind became right of rede, because he was certified of his daughter
that she was safe from the tricks of Time and every trickster. 1 So
he tarried beside her for a decade of days, after which hefarewelled
her and wended him home, leaving the damsel in the mountain-
cave. Thus fared it with these ; but as regards the case of the
Prince of Al-Irak, his father who owned no issue, or man-child or
^irl-child, lay sleeping one night of the nights whenj lo and behold !
he heard the words, " All things befal by Fate and Fortune." Hereat
he arose from slumber being sore startled and cried, " Laud to the
Lord whom I have heard say 2 that all things depend upon Doom
and Destiny." On the next night he slept with his spouse who by
leave of Almighty Allah forthright conceived. When her pregnancy
became manifest the Sovran rejoiced and he scattered and largessed
and doled alms-deeds to the widows and paupers and the mean
and miserable ; and he sued the Creator on high saying, " O Lord
vouchsafe to me a man-boy which may succeed me in the reign,
and deign Thou make him a child of life. 3 But when the Queen's
time had sped she was seized by labour-pangs and delivery-pains,
after which she bare a babe Glory be to God who created him
and confirmed what He had wrought in the creation of that child
who was like unto a slice of the moon ! They committed him to
the wet-nurses who fell to suckling him and tending him aftd
fondling him till the milk-term was completed, and when his age



1 In text " Wa kulli Tank "= Night-traveller, magician, morning-star.

2 i.e. In Holy Writ the Koran and the Ahadis.

Waiad al-Hayah " for " Hayat ; " i.e. let him be long-lived.



The Merchanfs Daughter and the Prince of Al-Irak. 379

had reached the sixth year, his father brought for him a Divine
perfect in knowledge of all the sciences, spiritual and temporal,
and the craft of penmanship and what not. Accordingly, the boy
began to read and study under his learner until he had excelled
him in every line of lore, and he became a writer deft, doughty in
all the arts and sciences : withal his sire knew not that was doomed

to him of dule and dolours. 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

fjt &eben f^untaeD antJ jEttnettetf) ttftg&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 the Prince
became a penman doughty in all knowledge, withal he wist not
that was written for him of dule and dolours. This lasted until
his tenth year, and the old King rejoiced in him and caused him
to back steeds until he had mastered all of horsemanship, and he
waxed accomplished in hunting and birding and he had attained
the bourne of omnis res scibilis. Every morning he would super-
intend the governance of his sire in the office of Commandments
and direct him to affairs wherein lay rede that was right until,
one day of the days, his parent said to him " O my son, do thou
rule for a day and I will govern on the next." " O rny father,"
said he, " I am young of years nor is it meet that I meddle with



380 Supplemental Nights.

public matters or sit in thy Divan." Now when he reached the
age of fourteen and had entered upon man's estate and had waxed
perfect in the words of ordinance and had become complete and
sanspareil in beauty and loveliness, the King resolved upon
marrying him, but he consented not, nor did his heart incline to
womankind for the being in the All-Knowledge of Almighty
Allah all that was foredoomed to him from Time beginningless.
Presently on a chance day his nature longed for the hunt and
chase, and he asked leave of his sire who consented not, fearing
for his safety ; but he said in himself, " An I go not I will slay
myself ; " J and so he privily apprized of his intent a party of
his dependents who, all and every, prepared to ride forth with
him into the Desert. Now the King had in his stables a stallion,
known as Abu Hamdmah, 2 which was kept alone in a smaller
stall, and he was chained by four chains to a like number of
posts 3 and was served by two grooms who never could draw
nigh to him or let him loose ; nor could any, save only his lord,
approach him with bridle or saddle or aught of horse-gear. But-
when the Prince had designed to fare forth a-hunting and
a-birding, he went in to his father's steed Abu Hamamah by hest
of Allah Almighty's might over him and for what was hidden to
him in the Future, and found him chained and tethered ; and, as the
horse pleased him and affected his fancy, he approached him and
gentled him with caressing hands. The stallion also at that time
under decree of Destiny was influenced by the Lord and directed
towards the Prince for the sake of that which was hidden from
him in the World of Secrets. So he continued to gentle the



1 This and other incidents appear only at the latter end of the tale, p. 221.

2 i.e. " Father of a Pigeon," i.e. surpassing in swiftness the carrier-pigeon.

3 " Bi-sab'a Sikak = lit. "with seven nails; " in the MS. vol. vi. p. 133, 1. 2, and
p. 160, 1. 4, we have "four Sikak," and the word seems to mean posts or uprights
whereto the chains were attached. [" Sakk," pi. "Sikak " and " Sukuk," is nail, and
" Sikkah," pi. "Sikak," has amongst many other meanings that of "an iron post or
stake (Bocthor : piquet de fer). ST.]



The Merchants' Daughter and the Prince of Al-Irak. 381

animal and to caress him and to make much of him, and he was
ever the more pleased with him, and said to himself, "Verily my
riding forth to the hunt and chase shall not be save upon this
stallion;" and he ceased not pacing and pressing around him,
soothing him the while, until the steed showed subjection and
neither started nor lashed-out nor indeed moved a limb, but stood
like a man obedient and dependent. And when the youth's
glance wandered around he saw beside the stallion a closet, and
as he neared it and opened it he found therein all manner harness
and equipments, such as a saddle complete with its girths and
shovel-stirrups and bit and bridle, 1 whilst on every side was gear
of warfare enfolded in the furniture, such as scymitar and dagger ; ?
and a pair of pistols. So he wondered at this circumstance of
the horse how that none could draw near him or place upon him
that harness, and he likewise marvelled at the subjection of the
steed to himself. Hereupon he carried the furniture from the
closet and going forth with it walked up to the Father of a
Pigeon, which was somewhat fearful of him and affrighted, and he
uplifted the saddle and threw it upon his back, and girthed him
tight and bridled him with the bit, when the horse became
adorned as a bride who is displayed upon her throne. Now the
King's son at times enquired of himself saying, " An I loose this
horse from his chains he will start away from me ; " and at other
times quoth he, " At this hour the stallion will not think of bolting
from me," and on this wise he abode between belief and unbelieJ
in his affair. And he stinted not asking of himself until his suite
was a-weary of waiting and of looking at him, so they sent to him
praying that he would hurry, and he said in his thought, " I place



1 In text " Al-Lijam w' al-Bilam "= the latter being a " Tabi' " or dependent word
used only for jingle. [The Muhit explains " Bilam" by " Kimam at-Thaur " = muzzle
of a bull, and Bocthor gives as equivalent for it the French "cavecon" (English
"cavesson," nose-band for breaking horses in). Here, I suppose, it means the head-
stall of the bridle. ST.]

2 In Arab. " Al-Sayfu w'-al Kalanj."



382 Supplemental Nights.



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 29 of 40)