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 31 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 31 of 40)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


astir ;
And she's meet for no man save for him o And he's meet for no maid save

for her." 1

After this the Khwajah's daughter tarried with the King's son for
a term of six months ; but, from the night when he had abated her
pucelage, he never approached her at all, and she also on like wise
felt no lust of the flesh for him in any way nor did she solicit him
to love-liesse. 2 But when it was the seventh month, the youth
remembered his family and native land and he sought leave of her

1 [I read "al-Muhibbattu," fern, of " Muhibb," lover (in Tasawwuf particularly =
lover of God), and take the " lam taku taslah" in the second verse for the 3rd person
fern., translating : The loving maiden has come in obedience to the lover's call, proudly
trailing her skirts (" tajarru min al-Tihi Azyala-ha"), and she is meet, etc. ST.]

Again the work of Fate which intended to make the lovers man and wife and
probably remembered the homely old English proverb, "None misses a slice from a cut
loaf."



394 Supplemental Nights.

to travel but she said to him, " Why dost thou not tarry beside
us ? " Said he, " If in our life there be due length needs must we
forgather." Then asked she, " O my lord, who mayest thou be ? M
so he declared to her his pedigree and degree and the name of his
native country and she also informed him of her rank and lineage
and her patrial stead. Presently he farewelled her and mounting
his horse fared forth from her in early morning, - 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



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's son
farewelled the Merchant's daughter and fared forth from her in
early morning, seeking his folk and his natal land, and he drove
amiddlemost the wilds and the wolds. On this wise it was
with him ; but as regards the merchant, the father of the damsel,
he and the Darwaysh after consigning her to the cavern returned '
to his town and there spent six months in business as was his
ivont ; but on the seventh he called to mind his child and was
desolated by her absence because he had none other. So quoth
he to her mother, " I have an intent to visit the girl and look upon
her and see what may be her condition, for my heart is in sore
doubt on her account and I cannot but fancy that some unforeseen



The Merchant's Daughter and the Prince of Al-lrak. 305;

casualty hath brought calamity or that some wayfarer may have
visited her ; and my thoughts are occupied with her, so 'tis my
will to fare forth and see her." " Such act were advisable," quoth
the wife ; and so saying she fell to making him somewhat of pro-
vaunt amounting to some ten camel-loads. 1 Presently he led forth
with him a few of his negro slaves and set out to see his daughter
on the Jabal al-Sahab. So he dove into the depths of the desert
and cut across the dales and the hills and conjoined the
journeyings of night with day for a space of three months, and
about sunset-tide on the first of th fourth behold, a rider appeared
to him coming from the breast of the waste, nor had he with him
anyone. When the stranger drew near, the Khwajah saluted him
and his salam was returned by the horseman who happened to be
the Prince returning from the Merchant's daughter. Quoth the
Khwajah, " O Youth, dismount with us in this place and let us
twain, I and thou, night together and solace ourselves with con-
verse ; 2 then, when it shall be morning, each of us shall depart seek-
ing his own stead." Quoth the Prince, " No harm in that," and so
saying he sprang from the back of his steed and unbridled him and
suffered him to browse upon the grasses and greenery together
with the Khwajah's cattle. Hereat the two sat down together in
talk while the slaves slaughtered a lamb and flayed it, then, having
lighted a fire, they set the meat thereupon in a chauldron and
when it was cooked they fished it out with a flesh-hook and scored
it 3 and placed it in a mighty platter which they served up to their
lord and the King's son. Both ate of it after the measure of their
sufficiency and the remnants were borne off by the slaves for their
suppers. And when the time tor night-prayers came, the two



' A little matter of about a ton at the smallest computation of 200 Ibs. to each beast.

2 In text " Natawa.su sawiyah " [Clerical error for " natawanasu (riataanasii, the
rarely used 6th form of anisa) shuwayyah " = let us divert ourselves a little. ST.]

3 In text "salaku-hu wa nashalu-hu." The v/ "salk"= scoring the skin and the v'
"nashl"= drawing meat from the cooking-pot with its ringers or a flesh-hook or any-
thing but a ladle which would be " Gharf."



396 Supplemental Nights.

having made the Wuzu ablution performed the orisons obligatory
upon them, and anon sat down for evening converse, overtalking
the tidings of the world and its affairs, until quoth the Merchant
to the Prince, " O Youth, whence comest thou and whither art
thou wending?" Quoth the other, " Wallahi, O Khwajah, I have
a wondrous tale, nay a marvel of marvels which, were it graved
with needle-gravers upon the eye-corners were a warning to whoso
would be warned. And this it is, I am the King's son of Al-Irak
and my sire's prop and stay in the House of the World, and he
reared me with the fairest of rearing ; but when I had grown to
man's estate and had learnt the mysteries of venerie I longed one
chance day of the days to ride forth hunting and birding. So I
went for a horse (as was my wont) to the stables, where I found
yon stallion which is with me chained to four posts ; whereupon of
my ignorance, unknowing that none could approach him save
myself nor any avail to mount him, I went up to him and girthed
him, and he neither started nor moved at my gentling of him, for
this was existing in the purpose of Almighty Allah. Then I
mounted him and sought my suite without informing my sire and
rode forth the city with all my many, when suddenly the horse
snorted with his nostrils and neighed through his throttle and
buckjumped in air and bolted for the wilderness swift as bird in
firmament-plain, nor wist I whither he was intending. 1 He ceased
not running away with me the whole day till eventide when we
reached a lake in a grassy mead." (Now when the Khwajah
heard the words of the Prince his heart was heartened and
presently the other pursued), " So I took seat and ate some-
what of my vivers, my horse also feeding upon his fodder, and we
nighted in that spot and next morning I set out and stinted not
riding for a march of four months. But on the first of the fifth
I neared a towering mountain whose length and whose breadth

1 This account has been slightly abridged seeing that it is a twice-told tale.



The Merchant's Daughter and the Prince of Al-Irak. 397

had no bounds, and on its flanks I found leasows manifold with
trees and fruits and streams besprent and birds hymning the One,
the Omnipotent. So I was gladdened by the sight and dismounted
and unbridled my steed whom I allowed to browse the while I ate
of the fruits, and presently I fell to roaming about from site to site.
And when some time had passed I came to the mouth of a cavern
whence after a short delay on my part fared forth slave-girls under
the escort of a negro chattel. When they beheld me they rejoiced
in me, then going in they disappeared for an hour and anon
returned bringing a young lady as she was the moon of the four-
teenth night, who salam'd to me, and invited me to become her

guest and led me into the cave 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

&!)e Sfgljt f^un&retr anU Jptrst KTfgljt,

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
continued to the Merchant saying : The slave-girls invited me and
led me into the cave until I reached a Pavilion that was there. I
tarried beside them for a matter of some six months when I felt
desolate for my folk and my native land, so I craved leave to depart
from them and farewelled them and went forth, they sending me
away with highmost honour. But when bidding them good-bye,



398 Supplemental Nights.

I covenanted with them saying, an there be in life any length
needs must we forgather ; and with these words I left them, and
now 'tis some time since I journeyed thence when thou mettest me
in this place." Now the Merchant hearing his tale knew from the
beginning what had occurred there, and was certified of the saying
of the Voice, and judging from the tenor of the information said
in his mind, " There is no doubt or hesitation but that this be the
youth to whom was appointed my daughter, that of him she should
conceive in the way of unright and the Written * is now fulfilled."
So quoth the Merchant, " O Youth, where is thy town ? " and he
informed him thereof. Now the Prince knew not that he had come
upon the damsel's father by the road, whereas the Khwajah wotted
right well that this man had had to do with his daughter. As
soon as it was morning the twain farewelled each other and either
of them went his own way; but. the Khwajah fell into cark and
care such as cannot be conceived, and he fasted from food nor was
meat to him sweet nor was sleep. However, he ceased not travelling
till he arrived at the Jabal al-Sahab, when he approached the door
of the cave and rapped thereat. The handmaidens opened to him
and as soon as they saw his face they recognised him, and return-
ing to their lady informed her thereof: so she arose to seek him,
and presently met him and salam'd to him and kissed his hands
and walked by his side until she reached the Pavilion, where the
twain, he and she, went up, and she seated him and stood before
him in his suit and service. Hereat her father looked at her and
considered her and found her colour changed and her belly
grown big, and asked her, " What is to do with thee and what is't
hath altered thy complexion, for to-day I see thee heavy of body,
and no doubt some man has mixed 2 with thee ? " Now when she



1 "Written " either on the Preserved Tablet (vol. ii. 68) or on the sutures of the skull

(iii. 123)-

2 In Arab. " Khlat-kl insanun," meaning also to lie with : compare the Gr.
tiiywut, Lat. misceo. [The same word occurs presently in another tropical sense:



The Merchants Daughter and the Prince of Al- Irak. 399

heard the words of her father she understood and was certified
that he had compassed full knowledge concerning what had befallen
her, so she returned him nor answer nor address, and she was over-
whelmed with shame and confusion, and waxed changed and was
well nigh falling upon the floor. Presently she sat down in abash-
ment before her sire by reason of the bigness of her belly, but he
bowed in obedience before the power of Almighty Allah ; and
they two ceased not conversing until fall of night, when each and
every of the handmaids had sought her own chamber that she
might sleep therein. As soon as the Khwajah remained alone
with his daughter and without other being present he said to her,
" O my child, verily this matter was foredoomed to thee from the
Lord of the Heavens, and there is no Averter of whatso is fated ;
but do thou relate to me what befel between thee and the youth
who owneth the steed, and who is the King's son of Al-Irak."
Hereupon the girl was consterned and she could return no reply,
and presently when she recovered she said to her sire, " How shall
I relate to one who is already informed of all, first and last, and
thou declarest that the foredoomed must come to pass, nor can I
say thereanent a single word ? " And presently she resumed, " O
my father, verily the Youth promised me that an his life have
length he would certainly forgather with me, and I desire of thee
that when thou shalt return to thy country thou take me and carry
me in thy company to him, and reunite me with him and let me
meet his sire and ask him to keep his word, for I require none else
nor shall anyone ever unveil me in privacy. And in fine do thou
marry me to him. Now whatso hath betided me thou h'ast heard
it from the Voice, and thou hast wearied thy soul in transporting
me to this place, fearing for me the shifts of the days, and thou
hast contraried the power of Allah, nor hath this profited thee
aught, because the Destinies which be writ upon mankind from

" Khalata-hd al-Khajal wa 'l-Haya"= shame and abashment mixed with her, i.e.
suffused or overwhelmed her. Sx.J



4OO Supplemental Nights.

infinity and eternity must needs be carried out. All this was
determined by Allah, for that prosperity and adversity and bene-
faction and interdiction all be from the Almighty. Do thou
whatso I have said and that which is inscribed upon my forehead
shall be the quickening of me (Inshallah an so please God !),
since patience and longsuffering are better than restless thought."
When her father heard from her such words, he agreed with her in
all she had spoken to him, and as soon as it was morning he fell to
preparing for wayfare, he and his daughter and his handmaidens
and his negro-slaves ; and on the third day they loaded their loads
and set forth on return to their country and city. Then they con-
joined the travel of night and day and pushed forward on their
journey without stay or delay for a term of five months, until they
reached their home and settled them down therein. Such was
their case ; but as regards the King's son of Al-'Irak, after he had
met the girl's father on the road and had parted from him, without
recognising him withal, he strave for return to his own land and
behold, he wandered from the way and was confronted by a sea
dashing with clashing billows. So he was perplext as to his affair
and his judgment left him and his right wits, and he knew not
what he should do or whither he should wend, or what direction
he should take or what Allah had decreed for him - And Shah-
razad 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 ! "
Ouoth she, " And where is this compared with that I would relate
to you orLthe coming night an the King 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 Merchant's Daughter and the Prince of Al-Irak. 401

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
Prince came upon that sea he was perplext and wist not what to
do, so he leapt from the back of the Father of the Pigeon and set
his steed standing beside him that he might lean against his quar-
ter l when, of the excess of his night watching, he fell asleep and
was drowned in slumber. Then, by doom of Destiny the beast
shook his head and snorted and set off at full speed making for the
wild and the wold and was presently amiddlemost the waste. Now:
when some two-told hours of time had passed, the Prince shook
off his drowsihead and opened his eyes, but of his steed he could
see nor sign nor aught of visible trace. So he smote hand upon
hand and cried, " There is no Majesty and there is no Might save
in Allah, the Glorious, the Great," after which he took seat by the
side of the sea and sued comfort of Almighty Allah. On the next
day a ship suddenly sailed in and made fast to the shore, after which
a posse of Jews landed from her and as soon as they saw him they
fell upon him and seized him and pinioned him ; then, carrying
him perforce aboard, loaded his legs with irons. So quoth he to
himself, " Whenas Fate is so minded our eyes are blinded ; how-
ever, patience is fairest and of Allah must we ask aidance." Here-
upon the Jews again disembarked and filled their kegs with the water
of an adjoining rain-pool, after which they trooped aboard and
making sail voyaged over the billows of the ocean before them.
This lasted for a month, after which time they cast anchor
beside a harbour-town, and presently swarmed out to sell and to
buy, and there they delayed for a term of two months until they

''' / ' .'

1 In text " Istanade 'ala Shakkati-h." [" Istanada 'ala "is in the Vocabulista in Arabico
rendered by " recumbere " and " Shikkah" is a rug, while I can find no authority for
" Shakkah " as quarter." The passage may therefore mean he lay down on his rug. It
he had been leaning against the standing horse, it would on bolting have thrown him on
the ground and awaked him rudely. ST.]

VOL. V. C C



402 Supplemental Nights.

had finished their business and they had purchased them what
sufficed of provaunt. All this while the Prince lay bound in the
black hole deep down in the ship's hold, nor did anyone go near
him save a Jew, a man of a certain age. 1 And whenever he
entered that dismal place he heard the youth reciting from the
Koran and he would stand to hearken until his heart was softened
to the speaker and he would favour him in the matter of meat and
drink. When they cast anchor beside the second place, the King's
son asked the man, " What may be this port-city and what is her
name and the name of her ruler ? Would Heaven I wot an her
,lord be a King or a Governor under a royal hand ? " " Wherefore
askest thou ? " quoth the Jew, and quoth the other, " For nothing:
my only want is the city's name 2 and I would learn whether it
belong to Moslems or Jews or Nazarenes." " This be peopled by
Moslem folk," replied the Jew, " natheless can none carry tidings
of thee to her inhabitants. However, O Moslem, I feel a fondness
for thee and 'tis my intent when we reach the city of Andalus 3 to
give tidings of thee, but it must be on condition that thou accept
of me to thy company whenas Allah Almighty shall have delivered
thee." Said the Prince, " And what hindereth thee from Al-Islam
at this hour ? " and said the other, " I am forbidden by fear of the
ship's Captain. 4 " Replied the Prince, " Become a Moslem in
secret and wash and pray in privacy beside me here." So he
became of the True Believers at the hand of the King's son,
who presently asked him, " Say me, be there in this vessel any
Moslems save myself ? " " There are some twenty here," answered



1 " Rajul ikhtiyar," a polite term for an old man: See i. 55. In the speech of the
Badawin it means a man of substance and hospitality.

2 In Arab. " Wa lash : Muradi bas Ism al-Madinah." I seem to hear some Fellah
speaking to me from the door of his clay hut.

3 "Madinat al- Andalus " = usually Seville.

* In text " Kabdan," the usual form being " Kaplan," from the Ital. Capitano (iv. 85) :
here, however, we have the Turk, form as in " Kapudan-pasha "= Lord High Admiral
of ancient Osmanli-land.



The Merchants Daughter and the Prince of A I- Irak. 403

he, " and 'tis the design of the Captain to offer them up on
arrival at his own country and he shall devote them as victims
in the Greater Synagogue." Rejoined the other," Thou art now a
Moslem even as I am a Moslem, and it besitteth thou apprise me
of all and whatsoever befalleth in the ship, but first art thou
able to gar me forgather with the other True Believers ? " And
the man answered in the affirmative. Now after the ship had
sailed with them for ten days, the whilome Jew contrived to
bring him and the Moslem prisoners together and they were found
to number twenty, each and every in irons. But when it was the
Sabbath about undurn hour, all the Jews including the Captain fell
to wine-bibbing and therein exceeded until the whole of them
waxed drunken ; whereat the Prince and his convert arose, and
going to the armoury J and opening it found therein all manner war-
gear, even habergeons. So the Youth returned to the captives and
unbinding their bonds, led them to the cabin of weapons and said
to them, "Do each and every of you who shall find aught befitting
take it and let such as avail to wear coat of mail seize one of them
and don it." On this wise he heartened their hearts and cried to
them, '' Unless ye do the deeds of men you will be slaughtered with
the slaughtering of sheep, for at this moment 'tis their design on
reaching their own land to offer you up as corbans in their Greater
Synagogue. So be you on your guard and, if ye fall in this affair, 2
'tis fairer for you than to die with split weasands." So each of
them snatched up whatso of war gear suited him and one equipped
other and they heartened their hearts and all waxed eager for the
fray. Then sallied they forth, one and twenty in number, at a
single word, with the Takbi'r and the Tahh'l, 3 whilst the Jews who



1 Arab " Khaznat al-Silah." When Easterns, especially Maroccan Moslems and
Turkish Pilgrims, embark as passengers, their weapons are taken from them, ticketed and
placed in a safe cabin.

2 Arab. Waka'h" =an affair (of fight).

3 i.e. crying the war-cry, " Allaho Akbar"= God is most Great (vol. ii. 89, etc.) and
"LS ilaha ilia 'llah," the refrain of Unity : vol. ii 236.



404 Supplemental Nights.

formed the ship's crew were some one hundred and five. But
these were all drunken with wine and giddy of head, nor did
they recover until the weapons began to play upon their necks and
their backs, whereat they shook off their crapulence and learned
that the Moslems had gotten about them with their war-gear.
So they cried out to one another and became ware and the
liquor-fumes left their brains. Then they rushed for the armoury
but found that most of the weapons were with the Moslems, whom
the Prince was urging to derring-do of cut and thrust. Thus
were they departed into two portions and hardly had passed an
hour, an hour which would grey the hair of a little child, in fight

and fray and onset and retreat And Shahrazad was surprised

by the dawn of day, and fell silent and ceased saying her per-
mitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, <f How sweet and
tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delect-
able ! " 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



Cigf)t f^untireli anti Jfiftf) NtQfjt,



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
urged on his party and fortified their hearts to fight, nor had an
hour passed in battle and slaughter (and he smiting rightwards
and leftwards) when behold, he was encountered by the Captain
who sprang at him with his scymitar and designed to cut him
down. But he forestalled him with sway of sabre and smote him



The Merchant's Daughter and the Prince of Al-Irak. 405

a swashing stroke and an all-sufficient which share through his
joints and tare through his limbs ; and when the ship's crew saw
their Chief fall dead they gave in their submission 1 and throwing
down their weapons would have saved their lives. The Prince,



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 31 of 40)