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 34 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 34 of 40)
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the Sultan's daughter, withal his heart and his tongue never
neglected to recite the Names of Allah or to sue aidance from
the Prince of the Hallows 2 who alone can reconcile with the

1 Sayf Kunuzi = a talismanic scymitar : see " Kanz," ix. 320.

2 In Arab. " Al-Kutb al-Ghauth" = lit. The pole-star of invocation for help; or
simply "Al-Ghauth" is the highest degree of sanctity in the mystic fraternity of
Tasawwuf. See v. 384; and Lane (A. N.) i. 232. Students who would understand















; '"f^

-



The Merchant's Daughter and the Prince of Al- Irak. 427

Almighty fiat the fates and affairs of God's servants. This lasted
for an hour until the first third of the night, when suddenly were
heard the bellowings as of wind and rumblings of thunder, and the
bride, perceiving all the portents which had occurred to others,
increased in weeping and wailing. Then lo and behold ! a wall
amiddlemost the chamber clave asunder, and there issued forth the
cleft a Basilisk x resembling a log of palm-tree, and he was blowing
like the storm-blast and his eyes were as cressets and he came on
wriggling and waving. But when the youth saw the monster he
sprang up forthright with stout heart that knew naught of startling
or affright, and cried out, " Protect me, O Chief and Lode-star of
the Hallows, for I have thrown myself upon thine honour and am
under thy safe-guard." So saying and setting hand on brand he
advanced and confronted the portent swiftlier than an eye-glance,
raising his elbow till the blackness of the armpit appeared ; and
he cried out with a loud outcry whereto the whole city re-echoed,
and which was audible even to the Sultan. Then he smote the
monster upon his neck 2 and caused head to fly from body for a
measure of some two spans. Hereupon the Basilisk fell dead, but
the youth was seized by a fainting-fit for the mighty stress of his
stroke, and the bride arose for the excess of her joy and threw
herself upon him and swooned away for a full-told hour. When
the couple recovered, the Princess fell to kissing his hands and feet
and wiping with her kerchief the sweat from his brow and saying
to him, " O my lord, and light of mine eyes, may none thy hand

these titles will consult vol. iii. chapt. 12 of The Dabistdn by Shaw and Troyer, Paris
and London, 1843. By the learned studies of Dr. Pertsch the authorship of this work
of the religious eclecticism of Akbar's reign, has been taken from the wrongful
claimant and definitively assigned to the legitimate owner, Mobed Shah. (See Z. d.
M. G. xvi. 224). It is regretable that the index of the translation is worthless as its
contents are valuable.

1 Arab. " Su'ubdn "= cockatrice, etc., vols. i. 172 ; vii. 322. Ibn Khaldun (vol. iii.
350) tells us that it was the tide of a famous and fatal necklace of rubies.

- In Ar. " Anakati-h." [This is a very plausible conjecture of the translator for the
word written in the text : " 'Anfakati-h " = the hair between the lower lips and the
chin, and then used for the chin itself. ST.]



428 Supplemental Nights,

ever foreslow nor exult over thee any foe," till he had recovered
his right senses and had regained his strength. Anon he arose,
and taking the Basilisk set it upon a large tray ; * then, letting
bring a skinful of water he cleaned away the blood. After this
the youth and the King's daughter sat down and gave each other
joy of their safety and straightway disappeared from them all traces
of distress. Presently the Bridegroom looked at his Bride and found
her like a pearl, so he caused her to laugh and disported with her and
excited her and she did on like wise and at last he threw her upon her
back and did away her maidenhead, whenas their gladness grew
and their pleasures were perfected and their joyance was enhanced
by the monster's death. They ceased not, the twain of them
toying and enjoying themselves until it was well nigh dawn and
sleep overcame them and they slumbered. But the Sultan during
that night could relish nor lying down nor sitting up, and as soon
as he heard the shout he cried, " The Youth is indeed dead and
this world hath fled ! There is no Majesty and there is no Might
save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great." About morning-tide he
prepared for him a shroud and mortuary perfumes, and all things
required, and despatched a party to dig a tomb for him who had
been slain by the side of his daughter, and he let make an iron
bier, after which he sent for the washers of the dead and summoned
them to his presence and lastly he awaited for his wife to seek her
daughter and bring him the tidings And Shahrazad was sur-
prised 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



1 In the text "Tisht" (a basin for the ewer), which I have translated tray: these
articles are often six feet in diameter.



The Merchants Daughter and the Prince of A I- Irak. 429



anfc

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

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

love and good will ! It hath reached me, O auspicious King,
the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan
sat until morning-tide expecting his wife to bring him tidings of
the youth that he might take him and bury him. But the Queen-
mother repaired to her daughter's apartment where she found the
door locked and bolted upon the couple ; so she knocked for them
whilst her eyes were tear-stained and she was wailing over the
loss of her daughter's love-Hesse. Hereat the Princess awoke
and she arose and opened the door when behold, she found her
mother weeping so she asked her, " What caused thee shed tears,
O Mother name, whilst my enjoyment hath been the completest ? "
Asked she, " And what hath joyed you ? " So the daughter led
her to the middlemost of the apartment where she found the
Basilisk (which was like the section of a palm-trunk) lying dead
upon a huge tray and she saw her son-in-law sleeping upon the
bedstead 1 and he was like a fragment of the moon on the
fourteenth night. The mother bowed head towards him and
kissed him upon the brow saying, " Verily and indeed thou
deservest safety ! " Then she went forth from him lullilooing
aloud and bade all the handmaids raise the cry of joy 2 and the



1 A neat touch of realism : the youth is worn out by the genial labours of the night
which have made the bride only the merrier and the livelier. It is usually the reverse
with the first post-nuptial breakfast : the man eats heartily and the woman can hardly
touch solid food. Is this not a fact according to your experience, Mesdames?

2 In text "Tazarghit" a scribal error for "Zaghrftah." In Mr. Doughty (ii. 621)
"Zalaghlt" for "Zagharit" and the former is erroneously called a "Syrian word."
The traveller renders it by " Lullul-lullul-lullul-!a." [Immediately before, however,



43. Supplemental Nights.

Palace was turned topsy-turvy with gladness and delight. When
the Sultan heard this he arose and asked " What may be the
news ? Are we in grief or in gladness ; " and so saying he went
forth when suddenly he was met by his wife in the highest delight
who took him and led him to the apartment of her daughter.
There he also espied the Basilisk stretched dead upon the tray
and the youth his son-in-law lying asleep upon the bedstead,
whereat from the stress of his joyance he fell to the floor in a
fainting-fit which lasted" an hour or so. But when he revived he
cried, " Is this wake or rather is't sleep ? " after which he arose
and bade the musicians of his band beat the kettledrums and
blow the shawms and the trumps and he commanded adorn the
city ; and the citizens did all his bidding. The decorations
remained during seven days in honour of the safety of the
Sultan's son-in-law, and increased were their joys and fell from
them all annoys, and the Sultan took to distributing and giving
alms and largessing and making presents to the Fakirs and the
miserable and he robed his nobles with honourable robes and
fed the captives and the prisoners one and all 1 ; and the naked
he clothed, and those anhungered he feasted in honour of his
daughter. Then said the Sultan, " By Allah, this youth deserveth
naught save that I make him my partner and share with him my
good, for he hath banished from us our dule and our dolours and
eke on account of himself and his own sake." After this he made
over to him half of his realm and his riches and the Sultan would
rule one day and his son-in-law the other and their joys endured
for the space of a full -told year. Then the Sovran was seized

the correct form " hiya tazaghritu," she was lulli-looing, had been used The word
occurs in numerous forms, differentiated by the interchange of the dental and palatal " t "
and of the liquid letters "r" and "1." Dozy gives : "Zaghrata," " Zaghlata " and
"Zalghata " for the verb, and " Zaghritah," "Zaghrutah" (both with pi. "Zagharit")
" Zalghutah," " Zalghatah " (both with pi. "Zalaghit "), and even a plural " Zaghalit "
for the noun. ST.]

1 In these cases usually an exception is made of brigands, assassins and criminals
condemned for felony. See Ibn Khaldun, iv. 189.



The Merchants Daughter and the Prince of Al-Irak. 431

of a sickness, so he bequeathed to his son-in-law all he had and
everything he owned ; and but a little time elapsed before his
malady increased day by day until he fared to the ruth of
Almighty Allah and the youth sat in his stead as Sovran and
Sultan. Such was his case ; but as regards the matter of his
sire, the King's son of Al-'Irak, when he promised his wife that
he would certainly go forth and travel and search for their son,
he ceased not wending through the regions for a length of nights
and days until Destiny threw him into such-and-such a city ; and
from the excess of what he had suffered of toil and travail he
tarried therein a time. Now the Shaykh of the Caravans (who had
found the babe in the tent and had taken him and had tended
and adopted him, and from whom the youth when grown to
man's estate had disappeared on the hunting excursion and
returned not to his parents) also set out a-seeking him and fell
diligently to searching for tidings of him and roaming from place
to place. Presently he was cast by doom of Destiny into the
same city ; and, as he found none to company with, he was
suddenly met on one of the highways by the youth's true father
and the twain made acquaintance and became intimate until they
nighted and morning'd in the same stead ; withal neither knew
what was his companion. But one night of the nights the two
sat down in talk and the true sire asked the adoptive father, " O
my brother, tell us the cause of thy going forth from thy country
and of thy coining hither ? " Answered his comrade, " By Allah,
O my brother, my tale is a wondrous and mine adventure is a
marvellous." Quoth he, " And how ? " and quoth the other, " I
was Shaykh of the Cafilahs on various trading journeys, and
during one of them I passed by a way of the ways where I found
a pavilion pitched at a forking of the roads. So I made for it and
dismounted my party in that place and I glanced at the tent but
we found none therein, whereupon I went forwards and entered it
,and saw a babe new-born strown upon his back and sucking his



43 2 Supplemental Nights.

fingers. 1 So I raised him between my hands and came upon a
purse of two hundred dinars set under his head ; and I took the
gold and carried it off together with the child." But when his
comrade, the true father, heard this tale from him he said to
himself, " This matter must have been after such fashion," and
he was certified that the foundling was his son, for that he had
heard the history told by the mother of the babe with the same
details essential and accidental. So he firmly believed 2 in these
words and rejoiced thereat, when his comrade continued, " And
after that, O my brother, I bore off that babe and having no
offspring I gave him to my wife who rejoiced therein and brought
him a wet-nurse to suckle him for the usual term. When he had
reached his sixth year I hired a Divine to read with him and teach
him writing and the art of penmanship 3 ; and, as soon as he saw
ten years, I bought him a horse of the purest blood, whereon he
learnt cavalarice and the shooting of shafts and the firing of bullets
until he attained his fifteenth year. Presently one day of the days
he asked to go a-hunting in the wilderness, but we his parents (for
he still held me to be his father and my wife his mother) forbade
him in fear of accidents ; whereupon he waxed sore sorrowful

and we allowed him leave to fare forth." And Shahrazad was

surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying



1 [In text : " biyarza' fi Asabi-hi " (see supra p. 409). This is, as far as I remember,
the only instance where in the MS. the aorist is preceded by th preposition " bi," a
construction now so common in the popular dialects. Strange as it may appear at first
sight, it has a deep foundation in the grammatical sentiment, if I may say so, of the
Arabic language, which always ascribed a more or less nominal character to the aorist .
Hence its inflection by Raf (u), Nasb (a) and Jazm (absence of final vowel), corre-
sponding to the nominative, accusative and oblique case of the noun. Moreover in the
old language itself already another preposition (" li ") was joined to the aorist. The
less surprising, therefore, can it be to find that the use of a preposition in connection
with it has so largely increased in the modern idiom, where it serves to mark this semi-
nominal character of the aorist, which otherwise would be lost in consequence of the
loss of the vowel terminations. This interesting subject deserves a fuller development,
but I must reserve it for another opportunity insha 'llah ! ST.]

2 [Again " yastanit "= he listened attentively ; comp. note p. 24. ST.]

3 In text " Zarb al-Akldm."



The Merc/iant's Daughter and the Prince of A I- Irak. 433

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



antr

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 benenting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the adop-
tive father pursued to his comrade, " So we permitted him to
hie a-hunting, and he farewelled us and went forth from us and
left us, whereat we fell to beweeping him ; and inasmuch as until
this present he hath not returned to us, I have set out to seek
him and here am I in this place searching for traces of him.
Peradventure may Allah Almighty deign unite me with him and
gar me forgather with him ; for, Walldhi ! from the hour he
went from us sleep hath done us no good nor have we found
relish in food." And when the speech was ended, quoth his
comrade, " O my brother, whenas he is not the son of thy loins
and he could prove himself perverse to thee, what must be the
condition in his regard of the father who begat him and the
mother who enwombed him ? " He replied, " Theirs must be
cark and care and misery beyond even mine ; ' and the other
rejoined, " By Allah, O my brother, verily the relation thou hast
related anent this child proveth that he is, by God, my child and
of mine own seed, for in sooth his mother gave birth to him in that
stead where she left him being unable to carry him with her >
but now she beweepeth the loss of him through the nights and
VOL. V. E E



434 Supplemental Nights.

the days." "O my brother," quoth the adoptive father, "we
twain, I and thou, will indeed make public search and open
inquiry for him through the lands, and Allah Almighty shall
guide us himwards." When morning came the pair went forth
together intending to journey from that city, but by doom of the
Decreer the Sultan on that very day set out to visit the gardens ;
and, when the travellers heard tidings thereof, one said to the
other, " Let us stay and solace ourselves with a sight of the royal
suite and after we will wend our ways." Said his comrade, " Tis
well." So they took their station to await the issuing forth of the
Sultan, who suddenly rode out amid his suite as the two stood
leaning beside the road and looking at the Sultan, when behold,
his glance fell upon the two men. He at once recognised the
father who had reared him, and when he gazed at the other
standing beside him his heart was opened to the love of him
albeit he weeted naught of their tie of blood nor believed that
any was his sire save the Shaykh who had adopted him. Accord-
ingly, after considering them he bade carry them both to the House
of Hospitality, so they led them thither and did his bidding.
Hereupon the twain said to themselves, " Wherefore hath the
Sultan made us his guests ? Nor he knoweth us nor we know
him and needs must this have a cause." But after leaving them
the King rode to the gardens where he tarried the whole day,
and when it was sunset he returned to his Palace, and at supper-
tide commanded the men be brought before him. They salam'd
to him and blessed him and he returned their salutations, and
bade them take seat at the trays whereat none other was present.
They obeyed his order much wondering thereat the while and
musing in their minds, " What condition is this ? " They ate till
they were satisfied, after which the food-trays were removed and
they washed their hands and drank coffee and sherbets ; then,
by command of the King, they sat down to converse when the
Sultan addressed them instead of the others, whereat they mar-



The Merchant's Daughter and the Prince of A I- Irak. 435

veiled self-communing and saying, "What can be the cause?"
But as soon as all the attendants had been dismissed to their
quarters and no one remained save the Sultan and his guests
(three in all and no more), and it was the first third of the
night, the King asked them, " Which of you availeth to tell a tale
which shall be a joyance to our hearts ? " The first to answer
him was the true father, who said : Wallahi ; O King of the Age,
there befel me an adventure which is one of the wonders of the
world, and 'tis this. I am son to a King of the Kings of the
earth who was wealthy of money and means, and who had the
goods of life beyond measure. He feared for my safety because
he had none other save myself, and one day of the days, when
I craved leave to go a-hunting in the wilderness, he refused me
in his anxiety for my safety. (Hereat, quoth the Sultan in him-
self, " By Allah, the story of this man is like my history !) ' So
quoth I : O King, unless I fare forth to sport, verily I will slay
myself, and quoth my sire : O my son, do thou go ride to the
chase, but leave us not long for the hearts of us two, I and thy
mother, will be engrossed by thee. Said I, " Hearing and obey-
ing," and I went down to the stable to take a steed ; and finding
a smaller stall wherein was a horse chained to four posts and, on
guard beside him two slaves who could never draw near him, I
approached him and fell to smoothing his coat. He remained
silent and still whilst I took his furniture and set it upon his
back, and girthed his saddle right tight and bridled him and
loosed him from the four posts, and during all this he never
started nor shied at me by reason of the Fate and Fortune writ
upon my forehead from the Secret World. Then I got him ready
and mounted him and went forth And Shahrazad was sur-
prised 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



Supplemental Nights.

relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to
survive ? " Now when it was the next night and that was



anfc

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 man who
was bespeaking the Sultan pursued to him, " Then I mounted him
and rode him over the gravelly ground without the city when
behold, he snorted and snarked and shook his crest and started at
speed and galloped with me and bolted, swiftly as though he were
a bird in the firmament of heaven." On this wise he fell to
recounting all that had befallen in the cave between him and the
Merchant's daughter and what had betided him by decree of Allah ;
how he had left her for his own land and how had her sire come
and carried her away ; also in what manner she had been delivered
of a son by him on the road and had left her babe-child in the tent
hoping that someone might find him and take him and tend him ;
and, lastly, how he had married the child's mother and what was
the cause of his going forth and his coming to that place that he
might seek his son. Hereupon the Sultan turned to his adoptive
father whom hitherto he had believed to be his real parent saying,
"And thou, the other, dost thou know any tale like that told to us
by thy comrade ? " So the Shaykh recounted to him the whole
history as hath before been set forth from incept to conclusion, nor
hid from him aught thereof. Then the Sultan declared himself to
his true sire, saying, " Thou art my father and there befel such
things and such," after which said his adoptive parent, " Wallahi,
O my son, verily none is thy father save this one from whose loins



The Merchant's Daughter and the Prince of Al-Irak. 437

thou art sprung, for I only found thee in the pavilion and took
thee and tended thee in my home. But this is thy very parent in
very deed." Hereat all the three fell upon one another's necks
and kissed one another and the Sultan cried, " Praise to Him who
hath united us after disunion ! " and the others related to him
anent his maternal grandfather how he was a Merchant, and
concerning his paternal grandsire how he was a Monarch. Anon
each of the two was ordered to revisit his own country and convey
his consort and his children ; and the twain disappeared for the
space of a year and a month and at length returned to the young
King. Hereupon he set apart for them palaces and settled them
therein and they tarried with him until such time as there came to
them the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of societies.



STORY OF THE YOUTH WHO WOULD
PUTTER HIS FATHER'S WIVES.



441



STORY OF THE YOUTH WHO WOULD PUTTER
HIS FATHER'S WIVES. 1

IT is related that there was a man who had a grown-up son, but
the youth was a ne'er-do-well, 2 and whatever wife his sire
wedded, the son would devise him a device to lie with her and
have his wicked will of her, and he so managed the matter that
his father was forced to divorce her. Now the man once married
a bride beautiful exceedingly and, charging her beware of his son,
jealously guarded her from him. - 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 surfer 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 not sleeping, 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 father



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 34 of 40)