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GIFT OF

SEELET W. MIDI)

and

GEORGE I. COCHRAN MEYER ELSASSER
DR. JOHN R. HAYNES WILLIAM I.. HONNOLD
JAMES R. MARTIN MRS. JOSEPH K. SARTORI

/ the

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
SOUTHERN BRANCH




JOHN FISKE















23




THE CARAVAN.



ARABIAN DAYS'



ENTERTAINMENTS



C.B



fr0m



BY



HERBERT PELHAM CURTIS.



BOSTON:
PHILLIPS, SAMPSON AND COMPANY,

13 WIHTEB STEEBT.

1858.

85042



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by

HERBERT PELIIAM CURTIS,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts.



nonART * HOB n 1X8,

XVtv Eoxlfcnd Tjp n>l Sterroljjw: Fou
BOBTOM.



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2.2.93



PREFACE.



THE Translator submits the following stories to the
public, with a conviction that they will be found to afford
amusement to a wide and very varied circle of readers.
They are a connected series of tales, written by no
means solely for children, but suited as well for readers
of a larger growth and maturer intellect.

The popularity attained by them in Germany has
been and still is immense, and it is believed that an
examination will show this popularity to be well de-
served

Three or four of these stories, only, have already
appeared in this country in sundry magazines ; but it is
thought that the present is the only complete and per-
fect translation of them which has ever been made in
any language. A French version of Part Third was
published in Paris, with excellent illustrations, in 1857.



IV PREFACE.

The Translator ventures to suggest that the interest
of these tales will be inci*eased by reading each Part <-on-
tinuously. The various stories are so closely connected
with the narrative which unites them, that, though each
is a whole in itself, much will be gained, he believes, by
attention to this recommendation.



CONTENTS.



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.

INTRODUCTION, 7

THE CARAVAN, 14

THE CALIPH STORK, 18

THE SPECTRAL SHIP, 32

THE SEVERED HAND 46

FATIMA'S RESCUE, 66

LITTLE MUCK, 88

THE FALSE PRINCE, 110

THE SHEIK OF ALEXANDRIA AND HIS SLAVES, . . 140

NOSEY, THE DWARF, 150

ABNER, THE JEW, 189

THE YOUNG ENGLISHMAN, 203

THE STORY OF ALMANSOR, 234

THE TAVERN IN SPESSART 251

THE PROPHECY OF THE SILVER FLORIN, 258

THE COLD HEART. Part I., 284

SAID'S ADVENTURES, 316

THE CAVERN OF STEENFOLL, 367

THE COLD HEART. Part H 399

1*



INTRODUCTION.



PRINCESS FAIRY-STORY IN MASQUERADE.

IN a fair and distant empire, on whose gardens of
perennial verdure report says the sun never sets, has
reigned from the beginning of time to the present day
the lovely Queen Phantasy. For countless centuries
has she scattered unmeasured blessings over her peo-
ple, and been loved, honored and adoi'ed, by all who
knew her. But the heart of this queen was too large
to permit her to confine her benevolence within her
own domains. In her royal attire of eternal youth and
beauty she was wont to descend from her lofty realm
to this earth ; for she had heard it said that here dwelt
beings, called Men, who dragged on painfully a life of
labor and struggle. To these wretched creatures she
brought the finest treasures of her empire ; and ever
since this beautiful queen traversed the dreary plains
of Earth have men become joyous over their labor, light-
hearted in their desolate misery.

To cheer mankind, she sent down her children, also,
no less lovely and amiable than their royal mother.
After one of these missions, Fairy-Story, her eldest
daughter, came back from the earth. Her mother saw



8 ARABIAN DAYS' ENTERTAINMENTS.

<*

that Fairy-Story was sad, and thought she noticed that
her daughter had been weeping.

"What grieves you, dearest Fairy-Story?" said the
queen. " Ever siuce your journey you have been sad
and miserable ; will you not confide to your mother the
cause of your unhappiness ? "

" Alas ! dear mother," replied Fairy-Story, " I should
keep silence, spite of your inquiry, did I not feel that
my wrongs were no less yours."

" Speak," answered the beautiful Queen Phantasy.
" Sorrow, my daughter, is a burthen weighing heavily
on the lonely, but easily sustained by two sympathiz-
ing, loving souls."

" It is your will," answered Fairy-Story ; " therefore
hearken. You know how gladly I mingle with man-
kind, and with what pleasure I seat myself in the cot-
tages of the poor, to beguile their hours of leisure after
their daily toil. They have ever hitherto fondly greeted
me when I came, and looked after me with smiles and
love when I went away. But it is so no longer."

" Poor Fairy-Story ! " sighed the queen, stroking her
daughter's tearful cheek ; " may not this change be
mere imagination ? "

"Believe me, I know too well," answered Fairy-
Story, " that I am loved no longer. Wherever I go I
meet cold looks ; nowhere is pleasure shown at my
approach ; even the children, who used once to love me
BO fondly, now scoff at me, and scornfully turn their
backs."

The queen leaned her brow upon her hand, and sank
into deep thought.

" And why is it," at length inquired she, " that men
have so much changed ? "

" Alas ! they have appointed a body of watchful offi-



INTBODUCTION. 9

cers, who examine with sharp attention and carefully
test everything which comes from youi realm,
queen ! Now-a-days, if any stranger makes his appear-
ance, with credentials not in accordance with their laws
of taste, they raise a furious outcry, and either strike
him dead on the spot, or calumniate him so much with
mankind, who believe every word they say, that he can
no longer win men's love. Ah, how happy are my
brothers, the Dreams ! They glide joyously and lightly
to the earth, caring nothing for the vigilant watchmen,
visit the human race in their slumbers, and weave
enchanting pictures before their mental vision."

" Your brothers are merry and light of foot," said the
queen ; " but you have no cause to envy them, my dar-
ling. I know the officers you speak of well. Mankind
are not so much in error to commission them ; for they
have been visited lately by many an empty, impudent
fellow, who pretended to have come directly from my
fairy realm, and yet at best has merely obtained a fleet-
ing glimpse of us from some distant mountain summit."

"But why do they make me, your only daughter,
suffer for these impostors' sins ? " wept Fairy-Story.
" Ah ! if you only knew how they have treated me !
They laughed at me as an old maid, and threatened, the
next time I came, not to admit me to their dwellings."

" What, a daughter of mine ! not admit her ! " ex-
claimed the queen ; and anger deepened the rose in her
cheeks. " But I see clearly whence this comes ; your
wicked aunt has calumniated us ! "

" What ! Aunt Fashion ? Impossible ! " cried Fairy-
Story. " She has always been so friendly to us ! "

" I know her, the traitress ! " answered the queen.
" But make another attempt, in. spite of her, dearest.
Who would do good, must not be idle."



10 ARABIAN DAYS' ENTERTAINMENTS.

" Alas ! mother, if they should expel or malign me,
so that men will no longer receive me ; or if they should
make me stand in a corner, lonely and disgraced ! "

" My darling, if the old, deceived by your Aunt Fash-
ion, estimate you beneath your merits, turn your
thoughts to the young. They are my favorites ; to
them I send my fairest visions through your brothers,
the Dreams ; nay, I have often visited them myself, to
fondle and caress them. My name, indeed, they have
never heard ; but they know me well, and I have seen
them laughing with pleasure to see my stars by night,
and clapping their hands with glee when my shining
flocks draw slowly towards the zenith in the morning's
light. As they grow up they love me still, for I help
the sweet young girls to weave their pretty garlands,
and the noisy lads become silent when I seat myself at
their side on some lofty peak, and, from the cloud-land
of the azure hills around, cause lofty towers and palaces
to rise before their sight, or paint squadrons of bold
knights, or trains of weary pilgrims, in the crimson glo-
ries of the west."

" 0, the dear children ! " cried the excited Fairy-
Story. " Yes, I will return to Earth once more and
visit the children 1 "

"Ay, dearest daughter," said the queen, "go to
them. I will give you a beautiful dress, so that you
may please the younger folks, and not be pushed out of
doors by the old ones. I will give you the robe of
an Almanac."

" An Almanac, mother ! 0, I should blush to be
dressed so magnificently before people ! "

The queen made a sign, and her attendant ladies
brought an Almanac's superb apparel. It was brilliant



INTRODUCTION. 11

with gleaming colors, and beautiful figures were woven
in its fabric.

The ladies of the court arranged the fair maiden's
long locks, bound sandals of gold on her feet, and
arrayed her rapidly in the handsome robe.

The modest Fairy-Story dared not raise her eyes, but
her mother gazed at her with delight, and clasped her
in her arms. " Go," she said to her darling daughter,
" go, arid carry my blessing with you. If they despise
and reject you, come back to me, and be patient. Per-
haps later generations, more true in their allegiance to
nature, will hereafter gladly open their hearts to your
appeals."

So spoke Queen Phantasy, and Fairy-Story descended
to this earth. She approached with a beating heart the
place where the learned sentinels dwelt, and, sinking
her head upon her bosom, drew her robe closer about
her, and with hesitating steps approached the door.

" Halt ! " cried a deep, harsh voice. " Turn out the
guard ! Here comes a new Almanac ! "

Fairy-Story trembled in her shoes. Several old men,
of forbidding aspect, started forward. They held point-
ed feathers in their hands, and levelled them at Fairy-
Story. One of the guard stepped up to her, and with
ungentle hand took her by the chin. " Hold up your
head, Sir Almanac," he cried, " so that we can look in
your face, and see whether you are good for anything! "

Fairy-Story with a deep blush lifted her head, and
lowered her dark, beautiful eyes.

" Fairy-Story ! " cried the watchmen, laughing
heartily. " Fairy-Story 1 A new marvel ! How came
you by that dress? "

" My mother gave it me," answered Fairy-Story.

" So ! you would smuggle yourself among us in mas-



12 ARABIAN DAYS' ENTERTAINMENTS.

querade ! Ha! impossible! Away with you! pack
off at once! begone!" cried the watchmen, with one
voice, poising their sharpened quills.

" But I came only to see the children," sobbed Fairy-
Story. " Surely, you will not refuse me this ? "

"The mob of such visitors is too large already," said
one of the watchmen. " They only teach our children
nonsense."

" Let us see what she knows," spoke another.

"Yes," they cried, "tell us what you know; but
make haste, for we have little time to waste."

Fairy-Story raised her hand, and wrote many signs
in the air with her fore-finger. At once gay images
were seen to pass along ; caravans, fine horses, count-
less tents on sandy deserts ; birds and ships on stormy
seas ; lonely woods ; populous streets and squares ;
battles and peaceful emigrations ; all these hovered
around the watchmen in living, brilliant, animated
throngs.

Fairy-Story, in the zeal with which she had conjured
up these scenes, had not perceived that the watchmen
at the gate had dropped one after another into deep
sleep. She was about to summon up more visions,
when a courteous gentleman approached her, and took
her hand. " Look, sweet Fairy-Story ! " said he, point-
ing to the sleepers ; "your lovely pictures are not for
such as these. Slip quickly through the gate while
they remain unconscious of your movements, and follow
out your own plans, unmolested and at peace. I will
lead you to my children, and give you a quiet, easy
corner in my house ; there you shall live and carry out
your wishes in your own charming way ; and when
my sons and daughters have studied their daily tasks,



INTEODUCTION. 13

they shall come with their playmates and listen to your
teachings. Will you come ? "

" 0, willingly ; most willingly ! " answered Fairy-
Story. " 0, how earnestly will I strive to amuse their
hours of leisure ! "

Her new friend smiled kindly, and helped her to step
softly over the feet of the slumbering sentinels. Fairy-
Story looked behind her with a joyous laugh, and
slipped quickly into the house.
2



^M to

forward

ar could

venture

-ere his

such



THE CARAVAN.



ONCE on a time a great caravan was passing through
the desert. Over the vast plain, where nothing was
visible on every side but sand and sky, could be heard
already in the far distance the bells of the camels and
the tinkling of the horses' silver chains. A dense cloud
of dust concealed their position; but, as often as a
breeze lifted the dusty veil, gleaming arms and bril-
liant costumes glittered on the sight.

This appearance the caravan presented to a man who

was approaching it from the side. He rode a superb

Arabian horse, covered with a saddle-cloth of leopard's

skin, and silver bells hung from its straps of scarlet

leather. On the horse's head waved a plume of heron's

"others. The rider had an air of great nobility and

Tor, and his dress corresponded in magnificence

' beauty of his steed. A white turban, richly

vith gold, protected his head ; his coat and his

t sers were of a brilliant crimson ; and a curved

, with a richly-embossed and jewelled hilt, hung

side. He had pressed his turban low over his

lurehead; and his black eyes, gleaming from under

massive eyebrows, with his long beard and high,

arched nose, gave him a bold and martial aspect.

When the horseman came within fifty paces of the
head of the caravan, his steed bounded forward, and he



THE CARAVAN, 15

reached in a few moments the van of the procession. It
was such an unusual event to see a single horseman thus
journeying across the desert, that the guard, fearing a
surprise, levelled their long lances. " What ! " cried
the rider, observing the hostile character of his recep-
tion, " think you a single man will attack your cara-
van ?" The guard, ashamed of their fears, swung their
lances back over their shoulders, while their captain
rode up to the stranger, and demanded his business.

" Who is the owner of this caravan ? " inquired the
knight.

"It belongs to no one man," was the answer, "but
to several merchants, who are returning from Mecca to
their native country, and whom we are escorting
through the desert to protect them from ruffians."

" Then lead me to these merchants," demanded the
stranger.

"That is impossible at this moment," answered the
captain ; "for we must advance without delay, and the
merchants are behind us at least a league ; but if you
will ride on with us till we halt for our noon-day rest, I
will then do what you ask."

The stranger made no reply ; but, filling a long pipe,
which had been till now tied to his saddle, began to
smoke in long, steady pulls, meanwhile riding forward
near the leader of the vanguard. The latter could
make nothing of the new arrival. He did not venture
plumply to demand his name ; and, skilful as were his
efforts to open a conversation, the stranger, to all such
observations as " You smoke good tobacco," or " Your
horse steps well," answered merely with a short "Ay,
ay." At length they reached the place selected for
their noon-day halt. The leader posted his men as sen-
tinels, himself remaining with the stranger, to wait till



16 ARABIAN DAYS' ENTERTAINMENTS.

the caravan came up. Thirty camels, heavily laden,
passed by, accompanied by armed keepers. Behind
these, mounted on beautiful horses, came the five mer-
chants to whom the caravan belonged. Four of them
were men of advanced age, and of grave and dignified
aspect; but the fifth seemed much younger, as well as
gayer and more animated, than the others. A large
number of camels and pack-horses closed the proces-
sion.

Tents were now pitched, and the camels and horses
picketed outside. A large tent of blue silk was erected
in the centre, to which the captain of the guard con-
ducted the stranger. Passing the curtain of the tent,
they saw the five merchants seated on cushions
wrought with gold, and partaking of rich viands and
sherbets handed them by black slaves. " Whom do you
bring us ? " cried the youngest merchant to the cap-
tain. Before the captain could answer, the stranger
interrupted him : " My name is Selim Baruch, and I
came from Bagdad. On my way to Mecca I was cap-
tured by a horde of robbers, and three days since
escaped from their imprisonment. The Prophet permit-
ted me to hear your caravan bells in the far distance,
and therefore I came. Let me travel in your company.
You will be extending your protection to no unworthy
person, and when we reach Bagdad I will amply reward
your courtesy, for I am the nephew of the grand
vizier."

The oldest of the merchants took upon himself to
reply. " Selim Baruch," said he, " be welcome. It
gives us great pleasure to be of service to you. First
of all, sit down and eat with us."

Selim Baruch took his seat with the merchants, and
ate and drank. After the repast was ended, the slaves



THE CARAVAN. 17

cleared away the relics, and brought in long pipes and
Turkish sherbet. The merchants sat a long while in
silence, blowing out volumes of blue smoke, and watch-
ing it float, rise and vanish in the air. The youngest at
length broke silence: "Thus have we sat," said he,
" for three days, on horseback or at table, without find-
ing means to amuse our tedious hours. I sufler greatly
from ennui, for I am accustomed after dinner to see
dancing, or listen to song and music. Know you not
some way, my friend, by which we can make the time
pass more swiftly ? "

The four elder merchants smoked on, in thoughtful
silence, while the stranger replied: "With your per-
mission, I will make a proposal. I suggest that at
every halting-place one of us shall narrate his adven-
tures or tell some story to the others. This would
cause our time to slip away agreeably."

" Selim Baruch, you have said well," said Achmed,
the oldest of the merchants. " Let us adopt the sug-
gestion."

" I am rejoiced to have pleased you," said Selim ;
" and that you may see I mean only to be fair, I will
begin myself."

The five merchants pressed eagerly around him,
placing him in their midst. The slaves re-filled the
cups, loaded afresh their masters' pipes, and brought in
hot coals to light them with. Selim cleared his voice
with a deep draught of sherbet, brushed away his long
moustache from before his mouth, and said: "Listen
now to the history of Caliph Stork."
2*






18 ARABIAN DAYS' ENTERTAINMENTS.



THE HISTORY OF CALIPH STORK.



ONCE upon a time, the Caliph Chasid, of Bagdad, was
sitting comfortably of a lovely afternoon on his sofa.
He had been snoozing a little, for the weather was
warm, and he was looking all the brighter for his brief
slumber. He was smoking a long rosewood pipe, and
drinking occasionally a little coffee, brought him by a
slave, and stroked incessantly his flowing beard as if he
felt particularly well and happy. In short, the caliph
was evidently in excellent spirits. He was particularly
accessible on these occasions, though his disposition
was at all times mild and affable, and this was the hour
invariably selected by his grand vizier, Mansour, to visit
him. Sure enough, he made his appearance at the
usual time, but, contrary to his general custom, looking
very thoughtful and meditative. The caliph took his
pipe a moment from his mouth, and said : " What
makes you so pensive to-day, grand vizier ? "

The grand vizier crossed his arms over his breast,
made his obeisance before his master, and answered :
" My lord and master, whether I appear pensive I know
not ; but at the castle gate stands a pedler, who offers
for sale such beautiful wares, that it vexes me to have
so little superfluous money."

The caliph, who had for some time past been wish-
ing to do a kindness to his grand vizier, sent his
black slave down to bring up the pedler. He soon
came back, bringing him with him. The pedler was a
little thick-set fellow, of dark complexion and ragged
attire. He carried a box stored with all sorts of wares,



THE HISTORY OF CALIPH STORK. 19

pearls and rings, richly-ornamented pistols, cups,
combs, and many other articles. The caliph and his
vizier looked the collection through, and the caliph
selected at length a pair of beautiful pistols for himself,
and another for Mansour, and a comb for the vizier's
wife. As the pedler was about to shut his box, the
caliph caught sight of a little drawer, and inquired
whether he had any wares in that also. The pedler
drew it out, and showed in it a box containing a blackish
powder, and a paper with some strange writing upon
it, which neither the caliph nor Mansour could read.
" I obtained these things some time ago/' said the ped-
ler, " from a merchant, who found them in the street, in
Mecca. I do not know what they mean. They are at
your service for a small sum, for I can do nothing with
them." The caliph, who delighted to collect old manu-
scripts in his library, although unable to read, bought
the box and the writing, and dismissed the pedler. The
caliph, however, thought he would like mightily to
know what the writing meant, and asked the vizier if
he knew nobody who could decipher it. " Most excel-
lent lord and master," answered the vizier, "there is a
man living in the great mosque, who is called Selim the
Wise, and he is said to understand all languages. Let
him be summoned ; perhaps he can interpret these mys-
terious characters."

The learned Selim was speedily summoned. " Se-
lim," said the caliph, " they tell me you are very wise;
take a peep at this writing, and see whether you can
read it. If you can, you shall receive a new suit of
clothes ; if you cannot, you shall have twelve blows on
your back, and five-and-twenty on your feet, because
men call you Selim the Wise without reason."

Selim prostrated himself humbly, .and said: "My



20 ARABIAN DAYS' ENTEBTAIKMENTS.

lord, thy will is law." He pored a long while over the
writing, and suddenly exclaimed: "This is Latin, my
lord, or I '11 consent you shall hang me ! "

" Tell us what it means," replied the caliph, "if it is
Latin."

Selim began to translate : " Man, who findest this,
praise Allah for his goodness. Whoever snuffs of the
powder in this box, and at the same time says, in a low
tone, ' Mutabor,' can change himself into any animal he
chooses, and will also understand the language of
brutes. Should he wish to return to his human form
again, let him bow thrice towards the east, and repeat
the same word. But when he is transformed, let him
beware lest he laugh ; for, should he do so, the magic
word will instantly vanish from his memory, and he
will remain an animal forever."

When Selim the Wise had read this, the caliph was
enchanted beyond measure, lie bound the learned
man by an oath not to divulge the secret, gave him a
beautiful robe, and sent him away. To his grand
vizier he said: "This I call a good bargain, Mansourl
How delightful it will be to become beasts ! Come
here early to-morrow. We will go out into the fields
together, snuff a little at my box, and then overhear
whatever is said, whether in the air, the water, the
woods, or the meadows. Praises to Allah ! there are
plenty of brutes in my dominions."

n .

THE Caliph Chasid had scarcely dressed and break-
fasted the next morning, before the grand vizier made
his appearance. The caliph stowed away the box of
magic powder in his girdle, and, giving orders to his
escort to remain Behind, he and the grand vizier started



THE HISTORY OP CALIPH STORK. 21

off on their excursion alone. They first traversed the
vast gardens of the palace, seeking in vain for any
living thing on which to prove their power. The vizier
at last suggested that they should go further away to a
certain ditch, where he had often noticed storks, which,
by the gravity of their demeanor and the noise they
made, had frequently excited his curiosity.

The caliph assented, and both went to the ditch. As
they came to the edge they perceived a stork walking
solemnly up and down, on the look-out for frogs, and
occasionally muttering something in a low tone to him-
self. At the same time they saw far up in the air
another stork hovering down upon the place.

" I will wager my beard, most noble master," said
the grand vizier, " that these two spindle-shanks will



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