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More tales from the Arabian nights, based on the translation from the Arabic online

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proposal, marry her therefore. I owe her a debt of
kindness for all her favours and affection, especially
as we are in her abode, and since we have been loaded
with the benefactions of her father."

So when Camaralzaman saw that the Queen Badoura
inclined to this, and was not jealous of the Princess Ha-
iatalnefous, he consented to the marriage. As for
King Armanos he went forth immediately and sat
upon his throne, and, having summoned all the Emirs,
and Viziers, and the lords of his empire, he acquainted
them with the story of Camaralzaman and his wife
the Princess Badoura, telling them that he desired to
marry his daughter Haiatalnefous to Camaralzaman,
and to appoint him King over them in the place of his

The Two Princes 89

wife, the Queen Badoura. And all present rejoiced
at this decision.

Then King Armanos summoned the Cadis and wit-
nesses, and the chief officers of the empire, and per-
formed Camaralzaman's contract of marriage to his
daughter Haiatalnefous. He also gave sumptuous ban-
quets, conferred costly robes of honour upon all the
Emirs and Viziers and chiefs and soldiers, bestowed
alms upon the poor and liberated all the prisoners.
The people rejoiced at the ascension of Prince Cam-
aralzaman, praying for the continuance of his glory
and prosperity, and felicity and honour.

As soon as he had become King over them, Camaral-
zaman remitted the customs-tax, and conducted him-
self in a praiseworthy manner toward his people. He
continued to reside with his wives in enjoyment and
happiness, behaving toward both of them with im-
partiality. Thus he remained for a length of time; his
anxieties and sorrows were forgotten, and he ceased to
think on his father, the Sultan Shah-Zeman, and the
glory and power he had enjoyed under him.


4> WFTER this Allah, (whose name be exalted!)

ft I blessed Camaralzaman with two sons, by his

Vvl two wives. They were like two shining moons;

+ 1 the elder of them was the son of Queen Ba-

I doura, and his name was Prince Amgiad; and

I I- the younger was the son of Haiatalnefous, and

his name was Prince Assad, and he was more lovely

than his brother Amgiad.

go Prince Camaralzaman

They were reared with magnificence and tenderness,
and instructed in all the sciences and arts. They
grew up to the age of seventeen, always in each other's
company, eating and drinking together, and never
separated. And when they had attained to manhood,
they were both endowed with every accomplishment.

Now it happened in accordance with the decrees of
Destiny, that two damsels of the King Camaralzaman's
household were jealous of the two Princes Amgiad
and Assad, and hated them exceedingly. They there-
fore agreed to destroy them, and on a day when the
King returned from the chase they approached him
weeping violently, and, kissing his hands, informed
him that his two sons were traitors. Each told the
same story and with tears besought the King to pro-
tect himself. And when Camaralzaman heard their
words the light became darkness before his face, and
he was violently enraged, and he arose with the inten-
tion of falling upon his two sons and killing them.
But his father-in-law, King Armanos, met him. He
was just then entering to salute the King, having heard
of his return from the chase; and he beheld him with
the drawn sword in his hand, and with blood dropping
from his nostrils because of the violence of his rage.
So he asked what troubled him, and Camaralzaman
acquainted him with the treachery of his two sons,
and said: "I am now going to kill them and make them
an example to all wrong doers." When King Armanos
heard the story of the King, he likewise became in-
censed against the Princes and said: "Righteous is
this punishment thou wouldst inflict, O my son, and
may Allah grant no blessing on sons who are traitors
to their own father! But, O my son, there is a proverb

The Two Princes 91

that saith 'He who considereth not the results of an
action, fortune will not attend him;' and these youths
are at least thy sons. It is not proper that thou shouldst
kill them with thine own hand, for so doing thou wilt
repent afterward of having put them to death, when
repentance will not avail. But send them with one of
thy memlooks, that he may kill them in the desert,
where thou canst not see them die."

So when Camaralzaman heard these words, he saw
them to be just. He therefore sheathed his sword,
and, returning, seated himself on the throne, and
summoned his treasurer, who was a very old man,
experienced in the management of affairs and the
vicissitudes of fortune. And he said to him: "Go, take
my sons, Amgiad and Assad, and bind their hands
firmly behind their backs, and place them upon a mule;
then mount thy horse, and go forth with them into
the desert and slaughter them."

The treasurer answered: "I hear and obey." He
arose immediately, and finding Amgiad and Assad,
laid hold of them, saying: "O my two sons, know that
I am a slave under command, and your father hath
given me an order; will ye then obey his command?"
They answered: "Yes." And the treasurer bound their
hands behind their backs, put them into two chests,
and, having placed them upon the back of a mule,
went forth with them from the city. He proceeded
with them over the desert until near noon, when
he halted in a waste and desolate place, and alight-
ing from his horse lifted the two chests from the back
of the mule, and opening them, took forth Amgiad and

When he gazed on their beauty and their innocent

92 Prince Camaralzaman

faces, he wept violently, then drew his sword and
said: "Verily, O my lords, it is painful to do an abom-
inable deed unto you, but I am a slave under command,
and your father, the King Camaralzaman, hath ordered
me to strike off your heads." And the youths replied:
"O Emir, do what the King hath commanded thee,
for we patiently submit to the will of Allah (to whom
be ascribed all might and glory!), and thou art absolved
from the guilt of shedding our blood."

The Princes then embraced each other, and bade
farewell; and Assad said to the treasurer: "By Allah
I conjure thee, O uncle, that thou make me not to
drink of the anguish of my brother, but kill me before
him." Amgiad also said to the treasurer what Assad
had said, and entreated him that he might die before
his brother, saying to him: "My brother is younger
than I; therefore make me not to taste of his affliction."
Then each of them wept most violently, and the treas-
urer wept also at witnessing their lamentation. And
the two brothers embraced each other again, and bade
farewell, one of them saying to the other: "Verily
this is all owing to the artifice of those two deceitful
women! There is no strength nor power but in Allah,
the High, the Great! Verily to Allah we belong, and
verily unto Him we return!" And Assad, embracing
his brother, uttered groans. And when Amgiad heard
the weeping of his brother he likewise wept and pressed
him to his bosom.

Then Amgiad said to the treasurer: "I implore thee
by the One, the Omnipotent, the King, the Protector,
that thou kill me before my brother Assad." But
Assad weeping said: "None shall be killed first but
myself!" So Amgiad said: "The best plan will be

The Two Prirces 93

this: that thou embrace me, and I embrace thee, so
that the sword may fall upon us anc kill us both with
one blow."

And when they had both embraced, face to face,
and clung together, the treasurer bound them, and
tied them with ropes, weeping as he did so. He then
drew his sword and said: "Verily, O my lords, it is
hard to kill you! Have ye any want? If so, I will
perform it. Or any commission? If so, I will execute
it. Or any message? If so, I will convey it." And
Amgiad answered: "We have no want to be performed;
but I charge thee to strike me with thy sword first so
that I may die before my brother. When thou hast
killed us return to the King and say: "Verily thy two
sons send thee their greetings, and say to thee: "Thou
knowest not whether we are innocent or guilty, yet
thou wouldst kill us ! Thou hast listened to the treach-
erous words of two women, and hast condemned us
without a hearing."

And when Amgiad had finished he embraced his
brother once more, and the treasurer drew his sword
and was about to strike them. But, lo, his horse
started away in fright over the desert. The steed was
worth a thousand pieces of gold, and upon him was a
magnificent saddle, worth a great sum of money.
So the treasurer threw the sword from his hand, and
ran after his horse. He continued following until the
horse entered a forest, and he entered after him. But
the horse pursued his way into the midst of the forest,
striking the ground with his hoofs, and the dust rose
high, while the animal snorted and neighed in his fury.

Now there was in that forest a terrible lion, of hideous
aspect, his eyes casting forth sparks, and his form

94 Prince Camaralzaman

striking terror int > the soul of the beholder. And the
treasurer looked and saw this lion approaching him,
and he found no way of escape not having a sword.
So he said to hrnself : "There is no strength nor power
but in Allah, the High, the Great! This calamity
hath befallen me in punishment for the crime that I
was about to commit against Amgiad and Assad!"

Meanwhile the heat became intense, and Amgiad
and Assad suffered from violent thirst, so that their
tongues hung out, and they prayed for water. But no
one was there to relieve them, and they said: "Would
we had been killed and were at ease from this! We
know not whither the horse hath run, and the treasurer
hath gone after it and left us bound to die here miserably
of thirst." And so saying Amigad shook himself, and
struggled to the right and left, until his bonds were
loosed, and he arose and loosed the bonds of his brother.
After which he took the Emir's sword, and said: "Let
us follow the treasurer, and see what hath happened to

So they followed the footsteps until they came to
the forest, then said Amgiad: "Stay here while I enter
this wild place, and examine it." But Assad replied:
"I will not suffer thee to enter alone, and we shall not
enter unless together, so if we escape we shall escape
together, and if we perish we shall perish together."
Accordingly they both entered, and found that the
lion had sprung upon the treasurer, who was lying
beneath him like a sparrow, but calling upon Allah,
and stretching out his hands to heaven. So when
Amgiad saw him, he took the sword and, rushing upon
the lion, thrust him through so that he died.

The Emir then arose and seeing Amgiad and Assad

The Two Princes 95

standing there, threw himself on his knees before them,
exclaiming: "O my lords, it was not just that I should
kill you! With my soul will I ransom you!" Then
rising he embraced them, and led them forth from the
forest saying: "Allah forbid that I should attempt to
injure you ! Hasten from this spot and journey to other
lands, for Allah's earth is wide! And know, O my lords,
that I shall miss you from my life!" Having said
this he and the two young men wept. Then the treas-
urer bade the youths farewell, and, mounting his horse,
returned to the city of the King.

Meanwhile Camaralzaman, having examined some
papers and letters brought him by the friends of his
two sons, had discovered the truth of the matter, and
that the stories of the two jealous women were lies,
and that his sons were not traitors to their father.
Thereupon he struck his hands together in grief, and
exclaimed: "Alas! I have slain my sons unjustly!"
then he began to slap his face, and cry out: "O my sons!
Oh, the length of my grief!" And he gave orders to
build two tombs, on which he inscribed the names of
his sons Amgiad and Assad, and he threw himself upon
the tomb of Amgiad, weeping, sighing, and lamenting,
and reciting verses, and then in like manner upon that
of Assad. He abandoned the society of his wives and
his friends, and, secluding himself, wept and mourned
for his murdered sons. Such was the case of King

Now, as to Amgiad and Assad, they proceeded over
the desert, eating of the herbs of the earth, and drinking
rain-water. At night one slept while the other watched
till midnight, then the latter slept and the former
watched. Thus they continued for the space of a

g 6 Prince Camaralzaman

whole month, until one day they saw before them a
mountain of black flint. A road led up the mountain,
and along this they pursued their way toward the sum-
mit. They continued to ascend for five days, without
reaching the top, and fatigue overtook them. And
Assad said to his brother: "Verily I can walk no further,
for I am reduced to excessive weakness." But Amgiad
answered: "O my brother, brace up thy nerves, perhaps
Allah will help us to reach a place of rest." They then
continued to ascend until Assad fell upon the ground
in a state of utmost fatigue. His brother Amgiad,
therefore, carried him, walking a while and resting a
while, until daybreak gleamed.

As the sun rose they reached the summit of the
mountain where they found to their surprise a small
pavilion near which was a gushing stream and on the
banks of which stood a pomegranate tree full of ripe
fruit. They scarcely believed the sight, and seating
themselves by the spring they ate of the pomegranates
and then laid themselves down and slept. When they
awoke they washed themselves at the spring, and ate
again of the pomegranates, and slept again until the
time of afternoon prayers. And thus they remained
resting and eating for the period of three days, until
Assad was able to proceed, after which they journeyed
over the top of the mountain, wearied with thirst,
and at last saw in the distance the walls of a city, vast
and wonderful to the sight.

Upon this they rejoiced and Amgiad said: "O my
brother, sit here while I go into yonder city and see
what kind of a place it is, that we may know where
we are in Allah's wide world. Had we not journeyed
over the top of the mountain we had not arrived at

The City of the Magians 97

this city in a whole year. Praise be to Allah, then, for
our safety ! " " Verily, O my brother," answered Assad,
"none shall go into this city but myself, for I have
not the strength to endure thine absence from me!"
So Amgiad said to him: "Go, and loiter not."


rSSAD, therefore, descended from the mountain-
side, taking with him some pieces of gold, and
leaving his brother to await his return. He
went and walked without stopping until he
entered the city. As he passed through the
streets there met him a very old man. His
long beard fell in two locks upon his breast, and in
his hand was a staff, and he was clad in rich garments,
while on his head was a large red turban. Assad won-
dering at his strange appearance, accosted him, saying:
"Which is the way to the market, O my master?"
The old man smiled gently and said: "Verily, O my
son, thou seemest to be a stranger! Whence comest
thou? and what dost thou desire from the market?"

"O uncle," answered Assad, "I have a brother whom
I have left on the mountain-side, and we are come from
a distant country. We have been travelling for three
months, and but to-day arrived at thy city. So I
came hither to buy some food, and to return with it
to my brother." "O my son," said the old man,
"know that I have made a banquet for my friends,
and have prepared the most delicious of viands. Ac-
company me to my abode, and I will give thee what-
ever thou desirest, and will take no money from thee.

98 Prince Camaralzaman

I will also tell thee all about this city, and its people.
Praise be to Allah, O my son, that I have met thee!
and that none but myself hath met thee!"

So Assad said: "Let us hasten then, for my brother
is waiting for me, and his heart is full of anxiety."
The old man took Assad's hand, and led him through
a narrow street, smiling and saying: "Extolled be the
perfection of Him who hath saved thee from the people
of this city!" He walked on with him until he entered
a spacious house; and followed him into an apartment
in which were sitting forty old men, arranged in a
circle, with a lighted fire in their midst.

The old men sitting around the fire, were worshipping
it, and prostrating themselves before it. When Assad
saw this his flesh quaked. Then the old man, his
guide, said: "O sheikhs of the Fire, how blessed a day
is this!" and he clapped his hands and called out:
"Come hither, O Gazban." and immediately there
entered a black slave of a grim visage, flat-nosed,
with bent figure and horrible shape. And at a sign
from the old man the slave seized Assad and bound
him hand and foot. Then said the old man: "Take
him down into the subterranean chamber and leave
him there, and tell the slave-girl to torture him by
night and day, and to give him a cake of bread by
night and a cake of bread by day, until the time comes
for us to voyage to the Blue Sea and the Mountain
of Fire, when we will slaughter him upon the mountain
as a sacrifice."

So the black slave took Assad down to the dungeon,
and delivered him to the slave-girl, who immediately
began to torture him, and beat him with whips so that
the blood flowed from wounds in his limbs, and he

The City of the Magians 99

fainted. Then she placed at his head a cake of bread
and a mug of salt water and went away. And the old
men said to one another: "When the Festival of Fire
arriveth we will sacrifice him upon the mountain to
propitiate the fire."

Assad recovered his senses at midnight, when he
found himself chained, and his wounds pained him
excessively. He wept violently, and thought upon
his former state and grandeur, and lamented and
groaned; then he perceived the cake of bread and the
mug of salt water, and ate a morsel and drank a little
water to stay his departing spirit. And when the
morning arrived, the slave-girl came down, and pulling
off his clothes, betook herself to beating him until he
fainted, when she threw him a cake of bread, and put
down a mug of salt water and left him with the blood
flowing from his wounds. And he lay chained, far
from his friends, thinking of his brother and of his
departed glory, lamenting, sighing and complaining,
pouring forth tears and reciting verses.

Meanwhile his brother Amgiad, sat expecting him
till mid-day, but when Assad returned not his fear and
loneliness became intense. "O my grief!" cried he,
"how fearful is this separation!" Then he descended
the mountain-side with the tears flowing down his
cheeks, and walked on until he reached the city. He
entered, and sought out the market-place. He asked
the inhabitants the name of the city, and they an-
swered: "This is the City of the Magians, and its people
worship fire, instead of the Almighty King." He
then asked the way to the Ebony Isles and they said:
"The distance between us and the Isles is a journey
of a year by land, and by sea of four months. The

ioo Prince Camaralzaman

King of the Isles is named Armanos, and he hath
appointed his son-in-law in his stead, whose name
is Camaralzaman. He is a person of great justice and
beneficence, and liberality and peace." And when
Amgiad heard the mention of his father, he wept and
sighed, and knew not whither to repair.

He bought some food, and finding a place to conceal
himself in, sat down to eat, but remembering Assad
he ate no more than enough to stay his departing spirit.
After which he arose and walked through the town,
trying to obtain tidings of his brother. He found a
Mohammetan tailor sitting in his shop; so he seated
himself by him, and related his story. The tailor
said to him: "If thy brother have fallen into the hand
of any Magian, thou mayest never see him again,
unless Allah save him." Then he added: "Wilt thou,
O my son, lodge with me?" And Amgiad answered:
"Yes." The Tailor rejoiced at this, and Amgiad con-
tinued to abide with him for some time and the tailor
taught him the art of sewing.

So Amgiad remained in the City of the Magians
making daily inquiry for his brother, but found him
not. Now it came to pass one day that Amgiad went
on an errand for the tailor to a spacious and beautiful
house in a handsome by-street. The owner was a
memlook, one of the grandees of the city, for he was
the King's Chief Equerry, and he had fitted up the
house for his pleasure. His name was Bahadir. He
was liberal-handed, a person of generosity and benef-
icence, and charity. And when he saw Amgiad and
observed his beauty and loveliness, his heart became
warm toward him, and he bestowed upon him a dress
of honour, and took him to be his boon companion.

The City of the Magians 101

And Amgiad continued to live with Bahadir in
pleasure and happiness, and in feasting and joy for
many months. And as Destiny had decreed, there was
upon a day a great celebration at the King's palace,
and there were present the Emirs and Viziers, and
other lords of the empire. And Bahadir went up
unto the King, taking with him Prince Amgiad, who
when he had kissed the ground before the throne, said:
"O King of the age, a most wonderful event, and an
extraordinary occurrence hath happened to me."
"Relate thy story," answered the King. And thereupon
Amgiad related to the King his story, acquainting him
with all that had befallen him and his brother from
beginning to end. And the King was filled with ut-
most wonder at hearing it, and he said: "O young man,
wilt thou be to me a Vizier?" And Amgiad answered:
"I hear and obey."

The King bestowed upon him and upon Bahadir
robes of honour, and gave Amgiad a handsome mansion,
with servants and officers, and conferred upon him
wealth and all that he needed, and ordered him to
continue his search for his brother Assad. So Amgiad
took his seat as Vizier, and exercised authority, and
administered justice, He also sent a crier through
the streets of the city, to cry for his brother, and for
many days the crier repeated his proclamation in the
great streets and the market-place; but heard no
tidings of Assad, nor discovered any traces of him.
Such was the case of Amgiad.

IO2 Prince Camaralzaman



S for Assad, the Magians continued to torture
him night and day, and evening and morning,
for the space of a whole year, until the Festival
of Fire drew near. Then the old man, whose
name was Bahram the Magian, prepared for
his voyage, and fitted out a ship, and, having
put Assad into a chest, and locked it, transported him
to the vessel. It happened at this time, that Prince
Amgiad, in accordance with Destiny, was standing and
gazing out at the sea, and he watched the sailors trans-
porting goods to the vessel of Bahram the Magian,
His heart throbbed at the sight, and he ordered his
young men to search the ship; so they went on board,
and searched the whole vessel, and found nothing; then
they returned and told this to Amgiad, and he thought
upon his brother, and wept.

Bahram the Magian went on board the ship, and
called out to the seamen, and ordered them to make
haste in loosing the sails. So they loosed and departed.
They continued their voyage days and nights, every
two days taking forth Assad and giving him a little
food and water, until they drew near to the Mountain
of Fire. But .a storm of wind arose against them,
and the sea became boisterous, so that the vessel
wandered from her course, and pursuing a wrong di-
rection, came to a city built upon the sea-shore, having
a castle with windows overlooking the sea. The ruler
of this city was the Queen Margiana.

The captain of the ship said to Bahram the Magian:

History of the Queen Margiana 103

"O my master, we have wandered from our course,
and we must enter the port of this city and take rest,
and after that let Allah do what he willeth. The
Queen Margiana is a faithful Mohammetan, and if
she know that we are Magians, she will seize our vessel
and kill us. What then shall we answer her if she
question us?" "I have this Mohammetan with us,"
Bahram answered, "so we will clothe him in the dress
of a memlook, and I will say to the Queen that I am
a buyer and seller of memlooks, and that I have sold
all except this one." And the captain said: "This
plan is a good one."

They arrived at the city, and slackened the sails,
and cast anchor, and, lo, the Queen Margiana came
down to them, attended by her troops, and, halting
by the ship, called out to the captain. He went on
shore, and kissed the ground before her and said:

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Online LibraryEdward William LaneMore tales from the Arabian nights, based on the translation from the Arabic → online text (page 7 of 19)