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to-morrow as the king hath said.


BETWEEN BANQUETS


9. Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when
Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he stood not up, nor moved
for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai.

10. Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent
and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife.

11. And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of
his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and
how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.

12. Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in
with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and
to-morrow am I invited unto her also with the king.

13. Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew
sitting at the king's gate.

14. Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a
gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to-morrow speak thou unto the
king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with
the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused
the gallows to be made.



CHAPTER VI

BETWEEN BANQUETS (CONTINUED)


1. On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the
book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.

2. And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and
Teresh, two of the king's chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who
sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.

3. And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai
for this? Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, There
is nothing done for him.

4. And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the
outward court of the king's house, to speak unto the king to hang
Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.

5. And the king's servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the
court. And the king said, Let him come in.

6. So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto
the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his
heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself?

7. And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to
honour,

8. Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and
the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set
upon his head:

9. And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the
king's most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the
king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street
of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man
whom the king delighteth to honour.

10. Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and
the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that
sitteth at the king's gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast
spoken.

11. Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and
brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed
before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth
to honour.

12. And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hasted to his
house mourning, and having his head covered.

13. And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that
had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him,
If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to
fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before
him.

14. And while they were yet talking with him, came the king's
chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had
prepared.



CHAPTER VII

ESTHER'S BANQUET: HAMAN HANGED


1. So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen.

2. And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet
of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted
thee: and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the
half of the kingdom.

3. Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in
thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at
my petition, and my people at my request:

4. For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and
to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held
my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage.

5. Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who
is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?

6. And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then
Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.

7. And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into
the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to
Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him
by the king.

8. Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the
banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was.
Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house?
As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face.

9. And Harbona, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold
also the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai,
who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then
the king said, Hang him thereon.

10. So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for
Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified.



CHAPTER VIII

THE JEWS PERMITTED TO DEFEND THEMSELVES


1. On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews'
enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for
Esther had told what he was unto her.

2. And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and
gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.

3. And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his
feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the
Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews,

4. Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther
arose, and stood before the king,

5. And said, If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his
sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in
his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the
son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which
are in all the king's provinces:

6. For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people?
or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?

7. Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai
the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they
have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews.

8. Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and
seal it with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the
king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.

9. Then were the king's scribes called at that time in the third month,
that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it
was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and
to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which
are from India unto Ethiopia, a hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto
every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people
after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and
according to their language.

10. And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the
king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on
mules, camels, and young dromedaries:

11. Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather
themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay,
and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that
would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of
them for a prey,

12. Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon
the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.

13. The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every
province was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be
ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.

14. So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being
hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was
given at Shushan the palace.

15. And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel
of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of
fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.

16. The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.

17. And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's
commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast
and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the
fear of the Jews fell upon them.



CHAPTER IX

THE JEWS DEFEND THEMSELVES


1. Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth
day of the same, when the king's commandment and his decree drew near to
be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to
have power over them; (though it was turned to the contrary, that the
Jews had rule over them that hated them,)

2. The Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all
the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their
hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them fell upon
all people.

3. And all the rulers of the provinces, and the lieutenants, and the
deputies, and officers of the king, helped the Jews; because the fear of
Mordecai fell upon them.

4. For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his fame went out
throughout all the provinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and
greater.

5. Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword,
and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that
hated them.

6. And in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred
men.

7. And Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha,

8. And Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha,

9. And Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vajezatha,

10. The ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews,
slew they; but on the spoil laid they not their hand.

11. On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the
palace was brought before the king.

12. And the king said unto Esther the queen, The Jews have slain and
destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and the ten sons of
Haman; what have they done in the rest of the king's provinces? now what
is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: or what is thy request
further? and it shall be done.

13. Then said Esther, If it please the king, let it be granted to the
Jews which are in Shushan to do to-morrow also according unto this day's
decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged upon the gallows.

14. And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given at
Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons.

15. For the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together on
the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at
Shushan; but on the prey they laid not their hand.

16. But the other Jews that were in the king's provinces gathered
themselves together, and stood for their lives, and had rest from their
enemies, and slew of their foes seventy and five thousand, but they laid
not their hands on the prey,

17. On the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day
of the same rested they, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.

18. But the Jews that were at Shushan assembled together on the
thirteenth day thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the
fifteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and
gladness.

19. Therefore the Jews of the villages, that dwelt in the unwalled
towns, made the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and
feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another.


THE FEAST OF PURIM


20. And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews
that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far,

21. To establish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth
day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly,

22. As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the
month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning
into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy,
and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.

23. And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had
written unto them;

24. Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all
the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast
Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them;

25. But when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letters that
his wicked device, which he devised against the Jews, should return upon
his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.

26. Wherefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur.
Therefore for all the words of this letter, and of that which they had
seen concerning this matter, and which had come unto them,

27. The Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon
all such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that
they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according
to their appointed time every year;

28. And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every
generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these
days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of
them perish from their seed.

29. Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the
Jew, wrote with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim.

30. And he sent the letters unto all the Jews, to the hundred twenty and
seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and
truth,

31. To confirm these days of Purim in their times appointed, according
as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had enjoined them, and as they
had decreed for themselves and for their seed, the matters of the
fastings and their cry.

32. And the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it
was written in the book.



CHAPTER X

MORDECAI PRIME MINISTER


1. And the king Ahasuerus laid a tribute upon the land, and upon the
isles of the sea.

2. And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration
of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him, are they
not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and
Persia?

3. For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among
the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the
wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.




II. THE HISTORY OF ALI BABA AND THE FORTY ROBBERS[*]

[* From "The Arabian Nights."]

AUTHOR UNKNOWN


[_Setting_. This story, like "Esther," takes place in Persia. The
stories of "The Arabian Nights" as a whole probably originated in India,
were modified and augmented by the Persians, and had the finishing
touches put upon them by the Arabians. Bagdad on the Tigris is the city
that figures most prominently in the stories, and the good caliph Haroun
Al-Raschid (or Alraschid), who ruled from 786 to 809, A.D., is the
monarch most often mentioned.

"A goodly place, a goodly time,
For it was in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid."

However old the germs of the stories are, the form in which we have them
hardly antedates the year 1450. The absence of all mention of coffee and
tobacco precludes, at least, a date much later. They began to be
translated into the languages of Europe during the reign of Queen Anne
and, with the exception of the Old Testament, have been the chief
orientalizing influence in modern literature. The setting of "Ali Baba"
shows the four characteristics of all these Perso-Arabian tales: it has
to do with town life, not country life; it presupposes one faith, the
Mohammedan; it shows a fondness for magic; and it takes for granted an
audience interested not in moral or ethical distinctions but in
story-telling for story-telling's sake.

_Plot_. The plot of the short story as a distinct type of literature has
been said to show a steady progress from the impossible through the
improbable and probable to the inevitable. When we say of a story that
the conclusion is inevitable we mean that, with the given background and
characters, it could not have ended in any other way, just as, with a
given multiplier and multiplicand, one product and only one is possible.
This cannot be said of "Ali Baba," because the five parts are not linked
together in a logical sequence as are the events in "The Gold-Bug," or
by any controlling idea of reform such as we find in "A Christmas
Carol," or by any underlying moral purpose like that which gives unity
and dignity to "The Great Stone Face." These Perso-Arabian tales, in
other words, are stories of random incident, loosely but charmingly
told, with always the note of strangeness and unexpectedness. The
incidents, however, reflect accurately the manners and customs of time
and place. We do not believe that a door ever opened to the magic of
mere words, but we do believe and cannot help believing that the author
tells the truth when he writes of leather jars full of oil, of bands of
mounted robbers, of a poor man who could support himself by hauling wood
from the free-for-all forest, of slavery from which one might escape by
notable fidelity, of funeral rites performed by the imaum and other
ministers of the mosque, and of the unwillingness of an assassin to
attempt the life of a man with whom he had just eaten salt. Fancy, it is
true, mingles with fact in "The Arabian Nights," but it does not replace
fact.

_Characters_. Morgiana is the leading character. She furnishes all the
brains employed in the story. The narrator praises her "courage" twice,
but she had more than courage. Fidelity, initiative, and resourcefulness
must also be put among her assets. We can hardly imagine her as acting
from Esther's high motive, but she lived up to the best standards of
conduct that she knew. Whoever serves as a model for his own time may
serve as a model for ours. Duties change, but duty remains.]



I

CASSIM, ALI BABA'S BROTHER, DISCOVERED AND KILLED BY THE ROBBERS


There once lived in a town of Persia two brothers, one named Cassim and
the other Ali Baba. Their father divided his small property equally
between them. Cassim married a very rich wife, and became a wealthy
merchant. Ali Baba married a woman as poor as himself, and lived by
cutting wood and bringing it upon three asses into the town to sell.

One day, when Ali Baba had cut just enough wood in the forest to load
his asses, he noticed far off a great cloud of dust. As it drew nearer,
he saw that it was made by a body of horsemen, whom he suspected to be
robbers. Leaving the asses, he climbed a large tree which grew on a high
rock, and had branches thick enough to hide him completely while he saw
what passed beneath. The troop, forty in number, all well mounted and
armed, came to the foot of the rock on which the tree stood, and there
dismounted. Each man unbridled his horse, tied him to a shrub, and hung
about his neck a bag of corn. Then each of them took off his saddle-bag,
which from its weight seemed to Ali Baba full of gold and silver. One,
whom he took to be their captain, came under the tree in which Ali Baba
was concealed; and, making his way through some shrubs, spoke the words:
"Open, Sesame."[*] As soon as the captain of the robbers said this, a
door opened in the rock, and after he had made all his troop enter
before him, he followed them, when the door shut again of itself.

[* Sesame (pronounced _séssamy_), a small grain.]

The robbers stayed some time within, and Ali Baba, fearful of being
caught, remained in the tree. At last the door opened again, and the
captain came out first, and stood to see all the troop pass by him. Then
Ali Baba heard him make the door close by saying: "Shut, Sesame." Every
man at once bridled his horse, fastened his wallet, and mounted again.
When the captain saw them all ready, he put himself at their head, and
they returned the way they had come.

Ali Baba watched them out of sight, and then waited some time before
coming down. Wishing to see whether the captain's words would have the
same effect if he should speak them, he found the door hidden in the
shrubs, stood before it, and said: "Open, Sesame." Instantly the door
flew wide open.

Instead of a dark, dismal cavern, Ali Baba was surprised to see a large
chamber, well lighted from the top, and in it all sorts of provisions,
rich bales of silk, brocade and carpeting, gold and silver ingots in
great heaps, and money in bags.

Ali Baba went boldly into the cave, and collected as much of the gold
coin, which was in bags, as he thought his asses could carry. When he
had loaded them with the bags, he laid wood over them so that they could
not be seen, and, passing out of the door for the last time, stood
before it and said: "Shut, Sesame." The door closed of itself, and he
made the best of his way to town.

When he reached home, he carefully closed the gate of his little yard,
threw off the wood, and carried the bags into the house. They were
emptied before his wife, and the great heap of gold dazzled her eyes.
Then he told her the whole adventure, and warned her, above all things,
to keep it secret.

Ali Baba would not let her take the time to count it out as she wished,
but said: "I will dig a hole and bury it."

"But let us know as nearly as may be," she said, "how much we have. I
will borrow a small measure, and measure it, while you dig a hole."

Away she ran to the wife of Cassim, who lived near by, and asked for a
measure. The sister-in-law, knowing Ali Baba's poverty, was curious to
learn what sort of grain his wife wished to measure out, and artfully
managed to put some suet in the bottom of the measure before she handed
it over. Ali Baba's wife wanted to show how careful she was in small
matters, and, after she had measured the gold, hurried back, even while
her husband was burying it, with the borrowed measure, never noticing
that a coin had stuck to its bottom.

"What," said Cassim's wife, as soon as her sister-in-law had left her,
"has Ali Baba gold in such plenty that he measures it? Whence has he all
this wealth?" And envy possessed her breast.

When Cassim came home, she said to him: "Cassim, you think yourself
rich, but Ali Baba is much richer. He does not count his money; he
measures it." Then she explained to him how she had found it out, and
they looked together at the piece of money, which was so old that they
could not tell in what prince's reign it was coined.

Cassim, since marrying the rich widow, had never treated Ali Baba as a
brother, but neglected him. Now, instead of being pleased, he was filled
with a base envy. Early in the morning, after a sleepless night, he went
to him and said: "Ali Baba, you pretend to be wretchedly poor, and yet
you measure gold. My wife found this at the bottom of the measure you
borrowed yesterday."

Ali Baba saw that there was no use of trying to conceal his good
fortune, and told the whole story, offering his brother part of the
treasure to keep the secret.

"I expect as much," replied Cassim haughtily; "but I must know just
where this treasure is and how to visit it myself when I choose.
Otherwise I will inform against you, and you will lose even what you
have now."

Ali Baba told him all he wished to know, even to the words he must speak
at the door of the cave.

Cassim rose before the sun the next morning, and set out for the forest
with ten mules bearing great chests which he meant to fill. With little
trouble he found the rock and the door, and, standing before it, spoke


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