Supplemental Nights, Volume 2
by Richard F. Burton
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And when the chamberlain took the youth into his own house, he said to him, "O youth, knowest thou not that the harem of the king is the sanctuary of security? What great treachery is this that thou hast perpetrated?" The youth replied, "That queen is my mother, and I am her true son. Because of her natural delicacy, she said not to the king that she had a son by another husband. And when yearning came over her, she contrived to bring me here from Roum; and while the king was engaged in the chase, maternal love stirred in her, and she called me to her and embraced me." On hearing this, the chamberlain said to himself, "What is passing in his mother's breast? What have I not done I can yet do, and it were better that I preserve this youth some days, for such a rose may not be wounded through idle words, and such a bough may not be broken by a breath. For some day the truth of this matter will be disclosed, and it will become known to the king when repentance may be of no avail." So he went before the king and said, "That which was commanded have I fulfilled." On hearing this the king's wrath was to some extent removed but his trust in the Kaysar's daughter was departed; while she, poor creature, was grieved and dazed at the loss of her son.

Now in the palace-harem there was an old woman, who said to the queen, "How is it that I find thee sorrowful?" And the queen told the whole story, concealing nothing. This old woman was a heroine in the field of craft, and she answered, "Keep thy mind at ease; I will devise a stratagem by which the heart of the king will be pleased with thee, and every grief he has will vanish from his heart." The queen said that, if she did so, she should be amply rewarded. One day the old woman, seeing the king alone, said to him, "Why is thy former aspect altered? And why are there traces of care and anxiety visible on thy countenance?" The king then told her all. Then said the old woman, "I have an amulet of the charms of Sulayman, in the Syriac language, and in the writing of the jinn (genii). When the queen is asleep, do thou place it on her breast, and whatever it may be, she will tell the truth of it. But take care, fall not asleep, but listen well to what she says." The king wondered at this and said, "Give me that amulet, that the truth of this matter may be learned." So the old woman gave him the amulet, and then went to the queen and explained what she had done, and said, "Do thou feign to be asleep, and relate the whole of thy story faithfully."

When a watch of the night was past, the king laid the amulet upon his wife's breast, and she thus began: "By a former husband I had a son, and when my father gave me to this king, I was ashamed to say I had a tall son. When my yearning passed all bounds, I brought him here by an artifice. One day that the king was gone to the chase I called him into the house, when, after the way of mothers, I took him in my arms and kissed him. This reached the king's ears; he unwittingly gave it another construction, and cut off the head of that innocent boy, and withdrew from me his own heart. Alike is my son lost to me and the king angry." When the king heard these words he kissed her and exclaimed, "O my life, what an error is this thou hast committed? Thou hast brought calumny upon thyself, and hast given such a son to the winds, and hast made me ashamed!" Straightway he called the chamberlain, and said, "That boy whom thou hast killed is the son of my beloved and the darling of my beauty! Where is his grave, that we may make there a guest-house?" The chamberlain said, "That youth is yet alive. When the king commanded his death, I was about to kill him, but he said, 'That queen is my mother. Through modesty before the king, she revealed not the secret that she has a tall son. Kill me not; it may be that some day the truth will become known, and repentance profiteth not, and regret is useless." The king commanded them to bring the youth; so they brought him forthwith. And when the mother saw the face of her son, she thanked God and praised the Most High, and became one of the Muslims, and from the sect of unbelievers came into the faith of Islam. And the king favoured the chamberlain in the highest degree, and they passed the rest of their lives in comfort and ease.

FIRUZ AND HIS WIFE.—Vol. XI. p. 125.

This tale, as Sir R. F. Burton remarks, is a rechauffe of that of the King and the Wazir's Wife in the "Malice of Women," or the Seven Wazirs (vol. vi. 129); and at p. 308 we have yet another variant.[FN#488] it occurs in all the Eastern texts of the Book of Sindibad, and it is commonly termed by students of that cycle of stories "The Lion's Track," from the parabolical manner in which the husband justifies his conduct before the king. I have cited some versions in the Appendix to my edition of the Book of Sindibad (p. 256 ff.), and to these may be added the following Venetian variant, from Crane's "Italian Popular Tales," as an example of how a story becomes garbled in passing orally from one generation unto another generation.

A king, averse from marriage, commanded his steward to remain single. The latter, however, one day saw a beautiful girl named Vigna and married her secretly. Although he kept her closely confined in her chamber, the king became suspicious, and sent the steward on an embassy. After his departure the king entered the apartment occupied by him, and saw his wife asleep. He did not disturb her, but in leaving the room accidentally dropped one of his gloves on the bed. When the husband returned he found the glove, but kept a discreet silence, ceasing, however, all demonstration of affection, believing his wife had been unfaithful. The king, desirous to see again the beautiful woman, made a feast and ordered the steward to bring his wife. He denied that he had one, but brought her at last, and while every one else was talking gaily at the feast she was silent. The king observed it and asked the cause of her silence, and she answered with a pun on her own name, "Vineyard I was, and Vineyard I am. I was loved and no longer am. I know not for what reason the Vineyard has lost its season." Her husband, who heard this, replied, "Vineyard thou wast, and Vineyard thou art: the Vineyard lost its season, for the lion's claw." The king, who understood what he meant, answered, "I entered the Vineyard; I touched the leaves; but I swear by my crown that I have not tasted the fruit." Then the steward understood that his wife was innocent, and the two made peace, and always after lived happy and contented.

So far as I am aware, this tale of "The Lion's Track" is not popularly known in any European country besides Italy; and it is not found in any of the Western versions of the Book of Sindibad, generally known under the title of the "History of the Seven Wise Masters," how, then, did it reach Venice, and become among the people "familiar in their mouths as household words?" I answer, that the intimate commercial relations which long existed between the Venetian Republic and Egypt and Syria are amply sufficient to account for the currency of this and scores of other Eastern tales in Italy. This is not one of those fictions introduced into the south of Europe through the Ottomans, since Boccaccio has made use of the first part of it in his "Decameron," Day I. nov. 5; and it is curious to observe that the garbled Venetian popular version has preserved the chief characteristic of the Eastern story—the allegorical reference to the king as a lion and his assuring the husband that the lion had done no injury to his "Vineyard."


While the frame-story of this interesting group is similar to that of the Ten Wazirs (vol. i. p. 37), insomuch as in both a king's favourite is sentenced to death in consequence of the false accusations of his enemies, and obtains a respite from day to day by relating stories to the king, there is yet a very important difference: Like those of the renowned Shahrazad, the stories which Al-Rahwan tells have no particular, at least no uniform, "purpose," his sole object being to prolong his life by telling the king an entertaining story, promising, when he has ended his recital, to relate one still "stranger" the next night, if the king will spare his life another day. On the other hand, Bakhtyar, while actuated by the same motive, appeals to the king's reason, by relating stories distinctly designed to exhibit the evils of hasty judgements and precipitate conduct—in fact, to illustrate the maxim,

Each order given by a reigning king, Should after long reflection be expressed; For it may be that endless woe will spring From a command he paused not to digest.

And in this respect they are consistent with the circumstances of the case, like the tales of the Book of Sindibad, from which the frame of the Ten Wazirs was imitated, and in which the Wazirs relate stories showing the depravity and profligacy of women and that no reliance should be placed on their unsupported assertions, and to these the lady opposes equally cogent stories setting forth the wickedness and perfidy of men. Closely resembling the frame-story of the Ten Wazirs, however, is that of a Tamil romance entitled, "Alakeswara Katha," a copy of which, written on palm leaves, was in the celebrated Mackenzie collection, of which Dr. H. H. Wilson published a descriptive catalogue; it is "a story of the Raja of Alakespura and his four ministers, who, being falsely accused of violating the sanctity of the inner apartments, vindicate their innocence and disarm the king's wrath by relating a number of stories." Judging by the specimen given by Wilson, the well-known tale of the Lost Camel, it seems probable that the ministers' stories, like those of Bakhtyar, are suited to their own case and illustrate the truth of the adage that "appearances are often deceptive." Whether in the Siamese collection "Nonthuk Pakkaranam" (referred to in vol. i. p. 127) the stories related by the Princess Kankras to the King of Pataliput (Palibothra), to save her father's life, are similarly designed, does not appear from Benfey's notice of the work in his paper in "Orient and Occident," iii. 171 ff. He says that the title of the book, "Nonthuk Pakkaranam," is taken from the name of a wise ox, Nonthuk, that plays the principal part in the longest of the tales, which are all apparently translated from the Sanskrit, in which language the title would be Nandaka Prakaranam, the History of Nandaka.

Most of the tales related by the wazir Al-Rahwan are not only in themselves entertaining, but are of very considerable importance from the story-comparer's point of view, since in this group occur Eastern forms of tales which were known in Italy in the 14th century, and some had spread over Europe even earlier. The reader will have seen from Sir R. F. Burton's notes that not a few of the stories have their parallels or analogues in countries far apart, and it is interesting to find four of them which properly belong to the Eastern texts of the Book of Sindibad, with the frame-story of which that of this group has so close an affinity.


"Quoth she, I have a bangle; sell it and buy seed pearls with the price; then round them and fashion them into great pearls."

For want of a more suitable place, I shall here reproduce an account of the "Method of making false pearls" (nothing else being meant in the above passage), cited, from Post. Com. Dict. In vol. xxvi. Of Rees' Cyclopaedia," London, 1819:

"Take of thrice distilled vinegar two pounds, Venice turpentine one pound, mix them together into a mass and put them into a cucurbit, fit a head and receiver to it, and after you have luted the joints set it when dry on a sand furnace, to distil the vinegar from it; do not give it too much heat, lest the stuff swell up. After this put the vinegar into another glass cucurbit in which there is a quantity of seed pearls wrapped in a piece of thin silk, but so as not to touch the vinegar; put a cover or head upon the cucurbit, lute it well and put it in bal. Mariae, where you may let it remain a fortnight. The heat of the balneum will raise the fumes of the vinegar, and they will soften the pearls in the silk and bring them to the consistence of a paste, which being done, take them out and mould them to what bigness, form, and shape you please. Your mould must be of fine silver, the inside gilt; you must also refrain from touching the paste with your fingers, but use silver-gilt utensils, with which fill your moulds. When they are moulded, bore them through with a hog's bristle or gold wire, and then tread them again on gold wire, and put them into a glass, close it up, and set them in the sun to dry. After they are thoroughly dry, put them in a glass matrass into a stream of running water and leave them there twenty days; by that time they will contract the natural hardness and solidity of pearls. Then take them out of th matrass and hang them in mercurial water, where they will moisten, swell, and assume their Oriental beauty; after which shift them into a matrass hermitically closed to prevent any water coming to them, and let it down into a well, to continue there about eight days. Then draw the matrass up, and in opening it you will find pearls exactly resembling Oriental ones." (Here follows a recipe for making the mercurial water used in the process, with which I need not occupy more space.)

A similar formula, "To make of small pearls a necklace of large ones," is given in the "Lady's Magazine" for 1831, vol. iv., p. 119, which is said to be extracted from a scarce old book. Thus, whatever mystery may surround the art is Asiatic countreis there is evidently none about it in Europe. The process appears to be somewhat tedious and complicated, but is doubtless profitable.

In Philostratus' Life of Appolonius there is a curious passage about pearl-making which has been generally considered as a mere "traveller's tale": Apollonious relates that the inhabitants of the shores of the Red Sea, after having calmed the water by means of oil, dived after the shell-fish, enticed them with some bait to open their shells, and having pricked the animals with a sharp-pointed instrument, received the liquor that flowed from them in small holes made in an iron vessel, in which is hardened into real pearls.—It is stated by several reputable writers that the Chinese do likewise at the present day. And Sir R. F. Burton informs me that when he was on the coast of Midian he found the Arabs were in the habit of "growing" pearls by inserting a grain of sand into the shells.


The diverting adventures related in the first part of this tale should be of peculiar interest to the student of Shakspeare as well as to those engaged in tracing the genealogy of popular fiction. Jonathan Scott has given—for reasons of his own—a meagre abstract of a similar tale which occurs in the "Bahar-i- Danish" (vol. iii. App., p. 291), as follows:


A young man, being upon business in a certain city, goes on a hunting excursion, and, fatigued with the chase, stops at a country house to ask refreshment. The lady of the mansion receives him kindly, and admits him as her lover. In the midst of their dalliance the husband comes home, and the young man had no recourse to escape discovery but to jump into a basin which was in the court of the house, and stand with head in a hollow gourd that happened to be in the water. The husband, surprised to see the gourd stationary in the water, which was itself agitated by the wind, throws a stone at it, when the lover slips from beneath it and holds his breath till almost suffocated. Fortunately, the husband presently retires with his wife into an inner room of the house, and thus the young man was enabled to make good his escape.

The next day he relates his adventure before a large company at a coffee-house. The husband happens to be one of the audience, and, meditating revenge, pretends to admire the gallantry of the young man and invites him to his home. The lover accompanies him, and on seeing his residence is overwhelmed with confusion; but, recovering himself, resolves to abide all hazards, in hopes of escaping by some lucky stratagem. His host introduces him to his wife, and begs him to relate his merry adventure before her, having resolved, when he should finish, to put them both to death. The young man complies, but with an artful presence of mind exclaims at the conclusion, "Glad was I when I awoke from so alarming a dream." The husband upon this, after some questions, is satisfied that he had only told his dream, and, having entertained him nobly, dismisses him kindly.

This story is told in an elaborate form by Ser Giovanni Fiorentino, in "Il Pecorone" (The Big Sheep, or, as Dunlop has it, The Dunce), which was begun in 1378 but not published till 1554 (at Milan). It is the second novel of the First Day and has been thus translated by Roscoe:


There were once two very intimate friends, both of the family of Saveli, in Rome; the name of one of whom was Bucciolo; that of the other Pietro Paolo, both of good birth and easy circumstances. Expressing a mutual wish to study for a while together at Bologna they took leave of their relatives and set out. One of them attached himself to the study of the civil law, the other to that of the canon law, and thus they continued to apply themselves for some length of time. But the subject of Decretals takes a much narrower range than is embraced by the common law, so Bucciolo, who pursued the former, made greater progress than did Pietro Paolo, and, having taken a licentiate's degree, he began to think of returning to Rome. "You see, my dear fellow student," he observed to his friend Paolo, "I am now a licentiate, and it is time for me to think of moving homewards." "Nay, not so," replied his companion; "I have to entreat you will not think of leaving me here this winter. Stay for me till spring, and we can return together. In the meantime you may pursue some other study, so that you need not lose any time;" and to this Bucciolo at length consented, promising to await his relative's own good time.

Having thus resolved, he had immediate recourse to his former tutor, informing him of his determination to bear his friend company a little longer, and entreating to be employed in some pleasant study to beguile the period during which he had to remain. The professor begged him to suggest something he should like, as he should be very happy to assist him in its attainment. "My worthy tutor," replied Bucciolo, "I think I should like to learn the way in which one falls in love, and the best manner to begin." "O very good!" cried the tutor, laughing. "You could not have hit upon anything better, for you must know that, if such be your object, I am a complete adept in the art. To lose no time, in the first place go next Sunday to the church of the Frati Minori (Friars Minor of St. Francis), where all the ladies will be clustered together, and pay proper attention during service in order to discover if any one of them in particular happens to please you. When you have done this, keep your eye upon her after service, to see the way she takes to her residence, and then come back to me. And let this be the first lesson—the first part—of that in which it is my intention to instruct you." Bucciolo went accordingly, and taking his station the next Sunday in the church, as he had been directed, his eyes, wandering in every direction, were fixed upon all the pretty women in the place, and upon one in particular, who pleased him above all the rest. She was by far the most beautiful and attractive lady he could discover, and on leaving church he took care to obey his master and follow her until he had made himself acquainted with her residence. Nor was it long before the young lady began to perceive that the student was smitten with her; upon which Bucciolo returned to his master and informed him of what he had done. "I have," said he, "learned as much as you ordered me, and have found somebody I like very well." "So far, good," cried the professor, not a little amused at the sort of science to which his pupil had thus seriously devoted himself— "so far, good! And now observe what I have next to say to you: Take care to walk two or three times a day very respectfully before her house, casting your eyes about you in such a way that no one may catch you staring in her face; look in a modest and becoming manner, so that she cannot fail to notice and be struck with it. And then return to me; and this, sir, will be the second lesson in this gay science."

So the scholar went and promenaded with great discretion before the lady's door, who observed that he appeared to be passing to and fro out of respect to one of the inhabitants. This attracted her attention, for which Bucciolo very discreetly expressed his gratitude by looks and bows, which being as often returned, the scholar began to be aware that the lady liked him. He immediately went and told the professor all that had passed, who replied, "Come, you have done very well. I am hitherto quite satisfied. It is now time for you to find some way of speaking to her, which you may easily do by means of those gipsies who haunt the streets of Bologna, crying ladies' veils, purses and other articles for sale. Send word by her that you are the lady's most faithful, devoted servant, and that there is no one in the world you so much wish to please. In short, let her urge your suit, and take care to bring the answer to me as soon as you have received it. I will then tell you how you are to proceed."

Departing in all haste, he soon found a little old pedlar woman, quite perfect in the trade, to whom he said he should take it as a particular favour if she would do one thing, for which he would reward her handsomely. Upon this she declared her readiness to serve him in anything he pleased. "For you know," she added, "it is my business to get money in every way I can." Bucciolo gave her two florins, saying, 'I wish you to go for me to-day as far as the Via Maccarella, where resides a young lady of the name of Giovanna, for whom I have the very highest regard. Pray tell her so, and recommend me to her most affectionately, so as to obtain for me her good graces by every means in your power. I entreat you to have my interest at heart, and to say such pretty things as she cannot refuse to hear." "O leave that to me, sir," said the little old woman, "I will not fail to say a good word for you at the proper time." "Delay not," said Bucciolo, "but go now, and I will wait for you here;" and she set off at once, taking her basket of trinkets under her arm. On approaching the place, she saw the lady before the door, enjoying the air and curtseying to her very low, "Do I happen to have anything here you would fancy?" she said, displaying her wares. "Pray, take something, madam—whatever pleases you best." Veils, stays, purses, and mirrors were now spread in the most tempting way before the lady's eyes. Out of all these things her attention seemed to be most attracted by a beautiful purse, which, she observed, if she could afford, she should like to purchase. "Nay, madam," exclaimed the crone, "do not think anything about the price—take anything yo please, since they are all paid for already, I assure you." Surprised at hearing this, and perceiving the very respectful manner of the speaker, the lady rejoined, "Do you know what you are saying? What do you mean by that?" The old woman, pretending now to be much affected, said, "Well, madam, if it must be so, I shall tell you. It is very true that a young gentleman of the name of Bucciolo sent me hither; one who loves you better than all the world besides. There is nothing he would not do to please you, and indeed he appears to very wretched because he cannot speak to you, and he is so very good, that it is quite a pity. I think it will be the death of him, and then he is such a fine—such an elegant—young man, the more is the pity!" on hearing this, the lady, blushing deeply, turned sharply round upon the little old woman, exclaiming, "O you wicked creature! were it not for the sake of my own reputation, I would give you such a lesson that you should remember it to the latest day of your life! A pretty story to come before decent people with! Are you not ashamed of yourself to let such words come out of your mouth?" then seizing an iron bar that lay across the doorway, "Ill betide you, little wretch!" she cried, as she brandished it. "If you ever come this way again, depend on it, you will never go back alive!" the trembling old trot, quickly bundling up her wares, scampered off, in dread of feeling that cruel weapon on her shoulders, nor did she think of stopping till she had reached the place where Bucciolo stood waiting her return. Eagerly inquiring the news and how she succeeded, "O very badly—very badly," answered the crone. "I was never in such a fright in all my life. Why, she will neither see nor listen to you, and if I had not run away, I should have felt the weight of a great iron bar upon my shoulders. For my own part, I shall go there no more; and I advise you, signor, to look to yourself how you proceed in such affairs in future."

Poor Bucciolo became quite disconsolate, and returned in all haste to acquaint the professor with this unlucky result. But the professor, not a whit cast down, consoled him, saying, "Do not despair; a tree is not levelled at a single stroke, you know. I think you must have a repetition of your lesson to-night. So go and walk before her door as usual; notice how she eyes you, and whether she appears angry or not, and then come back again to me." Bucciolo accordingly proceeded without delay to the lady's house. The moment she perceived him she called her maid and said to her, "Quick, quick—hasten after the young man—that is he, and tell him from me that he must come and speak with me this evening without fail—without fail." The girl soon came up with Bucciolo and thus addressed him: "My lady, signor, my lady, Giovanna, would be glad of your company this evening, she would be very glad to speak with you." Greatly surprised at this, Bucciolo replied, "Tell your lady I shall be most happy to wait upon her," so saying, he set off once more to the professor, and reported the progress of the affair. But this time the master looked a little more serious; for, from some trivial circumstances put together, he began to entertain suspicions that the lady was (as it really turned out) no other than his own wife. So he rather anxiously inquired of Bucciolo whether he intended to accept the invitation. "To be sure I do," replied his pupil. "Then," said the professor, "promise that you will come here before you set off." "Certainly I will," answered Bucciolo readily, and took his leave.

Now Bucciolo was far from suspecting that the lady bore so near a relationship to his respected tutor, although the latter began to be rather uneasy as to the result, feeling some twinges of jealousy which were by no means pleasant. For he passed most of his winter evenings at the college where he gave lectures, and not unfrequently remained there for the night. "I should be sorry," said he to himself, "if this young gentleman were learning these things at my expense, and I must therefore know the real state of the case." In the evening his pupil called according to promise, saying, "Worthy master, I am now ready to go." "Well, go," replied the professor; "but be wise, Signor Bucciolo—be wise and think more than once what you are about." "Trust me for that," said the scholar, a little piqued: "I shall go well provided, and not walk into the mouth of danger unarmed." And away he went, furnished with a good cuirass, a rapier, and a stiletto in his belt. He was no sooner on his way than the professor slipped out quietly after him, dogging his steps closely, until, trembling with rage, he saw him stop at his own house-door, which, on a smart tap being given, was quickly opened by the lady herself and the pupil admitted. When the professor saw that it was indeed his own wife, he was quite overwhelmed and thought, "Alas, I fear this young fellow has learned more than he confesses at my expense;" and vowing to be revenged, he ran back to the college, where arming himself with sword and dagger, he then hastened to his house in a terrible passion. Arriving at his own door, he knocked loudly, and the lady, sitting before the fire with Bucciolo, instantly knew it was her husband, so taking hold of Bucciolo, she concealed him hurriedly under a heap of damp clothes lying on a table near the window for ironing, which done, she ran to the door and inquired who was there. "Open quickly," exclaimed the professor. "You vile woman, you shall soon know who is here!" On opening the door, she beheld him with a drawn sword, and cried in well-affected alarm, "O my dearest life, what means this?" "You know very well what it means," said he. "The villain is now in the house." "Good Heaven! what is that you say?" exclaimed the lady. "Are you gone out of your wits? Come and search the house, and if you find anybody, I will give you leave to kill me on the spot. What! do you think I should now begin to misconduct myself as I never before did - as none of my family ever did before? Beware lest the Evil One should be tempting you, and, suddenly depriving you of your senses, draw you to perdition!" But the professor, calling for candles, began to search the house from the cellar upwards—among the tubs and casks—in every place but the right place—running his sword through the beds and under the beds, and into every inch of the bedding—leaving no corner or crevice of the whole house untouched. The lady accompanied him with a candle in her hand, frequently interrupting him with, "Say your beads—say your beads, good signor; it is certain that the Evil One is dealing with you, for were I half so bad as you esteem me, I would kill myself with my own hands. But I entreat you not to give way to this evil suggestion: oppose the adversary while you can." Hearing these virtuous observations of his wife, and not being able to discover any one after the strictest search, the professor began to think that he must, after all, be possessed, and presently extinguished the lights and returned to the college. The lady, on shutting the door after him, called out to Bucciolo to come from his hiding place, and then, stirring the fire, began to prepare a fine capon for supper, with some delicious wines and fruits. And thus they regaled themselves, highly entertained with each other, nor was it their least satisfaction that the professor had just left them, apparently convinced that they had learned nothing at his expense.

Proceeding to the college the next morning, Bucciolo, without the least suspicion of the truth, informed his master that he had something for his ear which he was sure would make him laugh. "How so?" demanded the professor. "Why," said his pupil, "you must know that last night, just as I had entered the lady's house, who should come in but her husband, and in such a rage! He searched the whole house from top to bottom, without being able to find me. I lay under a heap of newly-washed clothes, which were not half dry. In short, the lady placed her part so well that the poor gentleman forthwith took his leave, and we afterwards ate a fine capon for supper and drank such wines—and with such zest! It was really one of the pleasantest evenings I ever spent in my life. But I think I'll go and take a nap, for I promised to return this evening about the same hour." "Then be sure before you go," said the professor, trembling with suppressed rage, "be sure to come and tell me when you set out." "O certainly," responded Bucciolo, and away he went. Such was now the unhappy tutor's condition as to render him incapable of delivering a single lecture during the whole day, and such was his extreme vexation and eagerness for evening, that he spent his time in arming himself with sword and dagger and cuirass, meditating only upon deeds of blood. At the appointed time came Bucciolo, with the utmost innocence, saying, "My dear master, I am going now." "Yes, go," replied the professor, "and come back to-morrow morning, if you can, and tell me how you have fared." "I intend doing so," said Bucciolo, and departed at a brisk pace for the house of the lady.

Armed cap-a-pie, the professor ran out after him, keeping pretty close to his heels, with the intention of catching him just as he entered. But the lady, being on the watch, opened the door suddenly for the pupil and shut it in her husband's face. The professor began to knock and to call out with a furious noise. Extinguishing the light in a moment, the lady placed Bucciolo behind the door, and throwing her arms round her husband's neck as he entered, motioned to her lover while thus she held his enemy to make his escape, and he, upon the husband's rushing forward, slipped out from behind the door unperceived. She then began to scream as loud as she could, "Help! Help! The professor has gone mad! Will nobody help me?" for he was in an ungovernable rage, and she clung faster to him than before. The neighbors running to her assistance and seeing the peaceable professor armed with deadly weapons, and his wife crying out, "Help, for the love of Heaven!—too much study hath driven him mad!"{ they readily believed such to be the fact. "Come, good signor," they said, "what is all this about? Try to compose yourself—nay, do not struggle so hard, but let us help you to your couch." "How can I rest, think you," he replied, "while this wicked woman harbours paramours in my house? I saw him come in with my own eyes." "Wretch that I am!" cried his wife. "inquire of all my friends and neighbors whether any one of them ever saw anything the least unbecoming in my conduct." The whole party entreated the professor to lay such thoughts aside, for there was not a better lady breathing, or one who set a higher value upon her reputation. "But how can that be," said he, "when I saw him enter the house, and he is in it now?" in the meanwhile the lady's two brothers arrived, when she began to weep bitterly, exclaiming, "O my dear brothers, my poor husband has gone mad, quite mad—and he even says there is a man in the house. I believe he would kill me if he could; but you know me too well to listen for a moment to such a story," and she continued to weep.

The brothers then accosted the professor in no gentle terms: "We are surprised, signor—we are shocked to find that you dare bestow such epithets on our sister. What can have led you, after living so amicably together, to bring these charges against her now?" "I can only tell you," answered the professor, "that there is a man in the house. I saw him enter." "Then come, and let us find him. Show him to us," retorted the incensed brothers, "for we will sift this matter to the bottom. Show us the man, and we will then punish her in such a way as will satisfy you." One of the brothers, taking his sister aside, said, "First tell me, have you really got any one hidden in the house? Tell the truth." "Heavens!" cried his sister, "I tell you, I would rather suffer death. Should I be the first to bring a scandal on our house? I wonder you are not ashamed to mention such a thing." Rejoiced to hear this, the brothers, directed by the professor, at once commenced a search. Half frantic, he led them at once to the great bundle of linen, which he pierced through and through with his sword, firmly believing that he was killing Bucciolo, all the while taunting him at every blow. "There! I told you," cried his wife, "that he was mad. To think of destroying your own property thus! It is plain he did not help to get them up," she continued, whimpering—"all my best clothes!"

Having now sought everywhere in vain, one of the brothers observed, "He is indeed mad," to which the other agreed, while he again attacked the professor in the bitterest terms: "You have carried matters too far, signor; your conduct to our sister is shameful, and nothing but insanity can excuse it." Vexed enough before, the professor upon this flew into a violent passion, and brandished his naked sword in such a way that the others were obliged to use their sticks, which they did so very effectively that, after breaking them over his head, they chained him down like a maniac upon the floor, declaring he had lost his wits by excessive study, and taking possession of his house, they remained with their sister all night. next morning they sent for a physician, who ordered a couch to be placed as near as possible to the fire, that no one should be allowed to speak or reply to the patient, and that he should be strictly dieted until he recovered his wits; and this regimen was diligently enforced.[FN#489]

A report immediately spread through Bologna that the good professor had become insane, which caused very general regret, his friends observing to each other, "It is indeed a bad business; but I suspected yesterday how it was—he could scarcely get a word out as he was delivering his lecture, did you not perceive?" "Yes," said another, "I saw him change colour, poor fellow." And by everybody, everywhere, it was decided that the professor was mad. In this situation numbers of his scholars went to see him, and among the rest Bucciolo, knowing nothing of what had happened, agreed to accompany them to the college, desirous of acquainting his master with last night's adventure. What was his surprise to learn that he had actually taken leave of his senses, and being directed on leaving the college to the professor's house, he was almost panic-struck on approaching the place, beginning to comprehend the whole affair. Yet, in order that no one might be led to suspect the truth, he walked into the house along with the rest, and on reaching a certain apartment which he knew, he beheld his poor tutor almost beaten to a mummy, and chained down upon his bed, close to the fire. His pupils were standing round condoling with him and lamenting his piteous case. At length it came to Bucciolo's turn to say something to him, which he did as follows: "My dear master, I am truly concerned for you as if you were my own father, and if there is anything in which I can be of service to you, command me as your own son." To this the poor professor only replied, "No, Bucciolo, depart in peace, my pupil; depart, for you have learned much, very much, at my expense." Here his wife interrupted him: "You see how he wanders—heed not what he says—pay no attention to him, signor." Bucciolo, however, prepared to depart, and taking a hasty leave of the professor, he proceeded to the lodging of his friend Pietro Paolo, and said to him, "Fare you well. god bless you, my friend. I must away; and I have lately learned so much at other people's expense that I am going home." So saying, he hurried away, and in due course arrived in safety in Rome.

The affliction of the professor of Giovanni's sprightly tale will probably be considered by most readers as well-merited punishment; the young gallant proved an apt scholar in the art of love, and here was the inciter to evil repaid with the same coin!

Straparola also tells the story, but in a different form, in his "Pleasant Nights" (Piacevoli Notti), First Day, second novella; and his version is taken into a small collection entitled "Tarlton's Newes out of Purgatorie," first published in or before 1590—a catchpenny tract in which, of course, Dick Tarlton had never a hand, any more than he had in the collection of jests which goes under his name.


In Pisa, a famous city of Italye, there lived a gentleman of good lineage and landes, feared as well for his wealth, as honoured for his vertue, but indeed well thought on for both; yet the better for his riches. This gentleman had one onelye daughter, called Margaret, who for her beauty was liked of all, and desired of many. But neither might their sutes nor her owne prevaile about her father's resolution, who was determyned not to marrye her, but to such a man as should be able in abundance to maintain the excellency of her beauty. Divers young gentlemen proffered large feoffments, but in vaine, a maide shee must bee still: till at last an olde doctor in the towne, that professed phisicke, became a sutor to her, who was a welcome man to her father, in that he was one of the wealthiest men in all Pisa; a tall stripling he was and a proper youth, his age about foure score, his heade as white as milke, wherein for offence sake there was left never a tooth. But it is no matter, what he wanted in person he had in the purse, which the poore gentlewoman little regarded, wishing rather to tie herself to one that might fit her content, though they lived meanly, then to him with all the wealth in Italye. But shee was yong, and forcst to follow her father's direction, who, upon large covenants, was content his daughter should marry with the doctor, and whether she likte him or no, the match was made up, and in short time she was married. The poore wench was bound to the stake, and had not onely an olde impotent man, but one that was so jealous, as none might enter into his house without suspition, nor shee doo any thing without blame; the least glance, the smallest countenance, any smile was a manifest instance to him that she thought of others better than himselfe. Thus he himselfe lived in a hell, and tormented his wife in as ill perplexitie.

At last it chaunced that a young gentleman of the citie, coming by her house, and seeing her looke out at her window, noting her rare and excellent proportion, fell in love with her, and that so extreamelye, as his passions had no meanes till her favour might mittigate his heart sicke discontent. The yong man that was ignorant in amorous matters, and had never beene used to courte anye gentlewoman, thought to reveale his passions to some one freend that might given him counsaile for the winning of her love, and thinking experience was the surest maister, on a daye seeing the olde doctor walkinge in the churche that was Margaret's husband, little knowing who he was, he thought this the fittest man to whom he might discover his passions, for that hee was olde and knew much, and was a phisition that with his drugges might helpe him forward in his purposes, so that seeing the olde man walke solitary, he joinde unto him, and after a curteous salute, tolde him that he was to impart a matter of great import to him, wherein, if hee would not onely be secrete, but indevour to pleasure him, his pains should bee every way to the full considered. You must imagine, gentleman, quoth Mutio, for so was the doctor's name, that men of our profession are no blabs, but hold their secrets in their hearts bottome, and therefore reveale what you please, it shall not onely be concealed, but cured, if either my art or counsaile may doo it. Upon this, Lyonell, so was the young gentleman called, told and discourst unto him from point to point, how he was falne in love with a gentlewoman that was married to one of his profession, discovered her dwelling and the house, for that he was unacquainted with the woman, and a man little experienced in love matters, he required his favour to further him with his advice. Mutio at this motion was stung to the hart, knowing it was his wife hee was fallen in love withall, yet to conceale the matter, and to experience his wive's chastity, and that if she plaide false, he might be revenged on them both, he dissembled the matter, and answered that he knewe the woman very well, and commended her highly: but said she had a churle to her husband, and therefore he thought shee would bee the more tractable: Trye her, man, quoth hee, fainte harte never wonne faire lady, and if shee will not be brought to the bent of your bowe, I will provide such a potion as shall dispatch all to your owne content: and to give you further instructions for oportunitie, knowe that her husband is foorth every after-noone from three till sixe. Thus farre I have advised you, because I pitty your passions, as my selfe being once a lover, but now I charge thee reveale it to none whomsoever, least it doo disparage my credit to meddle in amorous matters.

The yong gentleman not onely promised all carefull secrecy, but gave him harty thanks for his good counsell, promising to meete him there the next day, and tell him what newes. Then hee left the old man, who was almost mad for feare his wife any way should play false; he saw by experience brave men came to besiege the castle, and seeing it was in woman's custodie, and had so weeke a governor as himselfe, he doubted it would in time be delivered up: which feare made him almost franticke, yet he drivde of the time great torment, till he might heare from his rival. Lionello he hastes him home and sutes him in his braverye, and goes downe toward the house of Mutio, where he sees her at the windowe whome he courted with a passionate looke, with such humble salute and shee might perceive how the gentleman was affectionate. Margaretta, looking earnestlye upon him, and noting the perfection of his proportion, accounted him in her eye the flower of all Pisa, thinkte herselfe fortunate if shee might have him for her freend, to supply the defaultes that she found in Mutio. Sundry times that afternoone he past by her window, and he cast not up more loving lookes, than he received gratious favours, which did so incourage him that the next daye betweene three and sixe hee went to her house, and knocking at the doore, desired to speake with the mistris of the house, who hearing by her maid's description what he was, commaunded him to come in, where she intertained him with all courtesie.

The youth that never before had given the attempt to court a ladye, began his exordium with a blushe; and yet went forward so well, that hee discourst unto her howe hee loved her, and that if it might please her to accept of his service, as of a freende ever vowde in all dutye to bee at her commaunde, the care of her honour should bee deerer to him than his life, and hee would be ready to prise her discontent with his bloud at all times. The gentlewoman was a little coye, but, before they part, they concluded that the next daye at foure of the clock hee should come thither and eate a pound of cherries, which was resolved on with a succado des labras, and so with a loath to depart they tooke their leaves. Lionello as joyfull a man as might be, hyed him to the church to meete his olde doctor, where he found him in his olde walke: What newes, syr, quoth Mutio, how have you sped? Even as I can wishe, quoth Lionello, for I have been with my mistrisse, and have found her so tractable, that I hope to make the olde peasant, her husband, looke broadheaded by a paire of browantlers. How deepe this strooke into Mutio's hart, let them imagine that can conjecture what jealousie is; insomuch that the olde doctor askte when should be the time. marry, quoth Lionello, at foure of the clocke in the afternoone, and then Maister Doctor, quoth hee, will I dub the old squire knight of the forked order.

Thus they past on in that, till it grew late, and then Lyonello went home to his lodging and Mutio to his house, covering all his sorrows with a merrye countenance, with full resolution to revenge them both the next daye with extremitie. He past the night as patiently as he could, and the next daye, after dinner, awaye hee went, watching when it should bee foure of the clocke. At the hour justly came Lyonello and was intertained with all curtesie; but scarce had they kist, ere the maid cryed out to her mistresse that her maister was at the doore; for he hasted, knowing that a horne was but a litle while in grafting. Margaret, at this alarum, was amazed, and yet for a shift chopt Lionello into a great driefatte[FN#491] full of feathers,[FN#492] and sat her downe close to her woorke. By that came Mutio in blowing, and as though hee came to looke somewhat in haste, called for the keyes of his chamber, and looked in everye place, searching so narrowlye in everye corner of the house, that he left not the very privie unsearcht. Seeing he could not finde him, hee said nothing, but fayning himselfe not well at ease, staide at home, so that poor Lionello was faine to staye in the drifatte till the old churle was in bed with his wife; and then the maide let him out at a backe doore, who went home with a flea in his eare to his lodging.

Well, the next day he went againe to meete his doctor, whome he founde in his wonted walke. What newes? Quoth Mutio, how have you sped? A poxe of the olde slave, quoth Lyonello; I was no sooner in and had given my mistresse one kisse, but the jelous asse was at the doore; the maide spied him, and cryed her maister; so that the poore gentlewoman, for very shifte, was faine to put me in a driefatte of feathers that stoode in an olde chamber, and there I was faine to tarry while[FN#493] he was in bed and a-sleepe, and then the maide let me out, and I departed. But it is no matter; 'twas but a chaunce, and I hope to crye quittance with him ere it be long. As how? Quoth Mutio. Marry, thus, quoth Lionello: shee sent me woord by her maide this daye that upon Thursday next the olde churle suppeth with a patient of his a mile out of Pisa, and then I feare not but to quitte[FN#494] him for all. It is well, quoth Mutio; fortune bee your frende. I thanke you, quoth Lionello: and so, after a little more prattle, they departed.

To bee shorte, Thursdaye came, and about sixe of the clocke, foorth goes Mutio no further than a freendes house of his, from whence he might descrye who went into his house; straight hee saw Lionello enter in, and after goes hee, insomuche that hee was scarcelye sitten downe, before the mayde cryed out againe, my maister comes. The goodwife, that before had provided for after- claps,[FN#495] had found out a privie place between two seelings of a plauncher,[FN#496] and there she thrust Lionello, and her husband came sweting. What news, quoth shee, drives you home againe so soone, husband? Marry, sweete wife, quoth he, a fearfull dream that I had this night, which came to my remembrance, and that was this: me thought there was a villaine that came secretlye into my house, with a naked poinard in his hand, and hid himselfe, but I could not finde the place; with that mine nose bled, and I came back; and, by the grace of God, I will seeke every corner in the house for the quiet of my minde. Marry, I pray you doo, husband, quoth she. With that he lockt in all the doors, and began to search every chamber, every hole, every chest, every tub, the very well; he stabd every feather bed through, and made havocke like a mad man, which made him thinke all was in vaine; and hee began to blame his eies that thought they saw that which they did not. Upon this he rest halfe lunaticke, and all night he was very wakefull, that towards the morning he fell into a dead sleepe, and then was Lionello conveighed away.

In the morning when Mutio wakened, hee thought how by no meanes hee should be able to take Lionello tardy: yet he laid in his head a most dangerous plot; and that was this: Wife, quoth he, I must the next Monday ride to Vycensa, to visit an olde patient of mine; till my returne, which will be some ten dayes, I will have thee staye at our little graunge house in the countrey. Marry, very well content, quoth she. With that he kist her, and was verye pleasant, as though he had suspected nothing, and away hee flings to the church, where he meetes Lionello. What, sir, quoth he, what news? is your mistresse yours in possession? No, a plague of the olde slave, quoth hee. I think he is either a witch or els woorkes by magick; for I can no sooner enter into the doores, but he is at my backe, and so he was againe yesternight; for I was not warm in my seate before the maide cryed, my maister comes; and then was the poore soule faine to conveigh me betweene two seelings of a chamber, in a fit place for the purpose, wher I laught hartely to myself too see how he sought every corner, ransakt every tub, and stabd every feather bed, but in vaine; I was safe enough until the morning, and then, when he was fast asleepe, I lept out. Fortune frownes on you, quoth Mutio. I,[FN#497] but I hope, quoth Lionello, this is the last time, and now shee will begin to smile; for on Monday next he rides to Vicensa, and his wife lyes at the grange house a little (out) of the towne, and there in his absence I will revenge all forepast misfortunes. God sent it be so, quoth Mutio; and so took his leave.

These two lovers longd for Monday, and at last it came. Early in the morning Mutio horst himselfe and his wife, his maide and a man, and no more, and away he rides to his grange house, wher, after he had brok his fast, he took his leave, and away towards Vincensa. He rode not far ere, by a false way, he returned into a thicket, and there, with a company of cuntry peasants, lay in an ambuscade to take the young gentleman. In the afternoon comes Lionello galloping, and as soon as he came within sight of the house, he sent back his horse by his boy, and went easily afoot, and there, at the very entry, was entertained by Margaret, who led him up the staires, and convaid him into her bedchamber, saying he was welcome into so mean a cottage. But, quoth she, now I hope fortun shall not envy the purity of our loves. Alas! alas! mistris, cried the maid, heer is my maister, and 100 men with him, with bils and staves. We are betraid, quoth Lionel, and I am but a dead man. Feare not, quoth she, but follow me: and straight she carried him downe into a low parlor, where stoode an olde rotten chest full of writinges; she put him into that, and covered him with olde papers and evidences, and went to the gate to meet her husband.

Why, Signor Mutio, what meanes this hurly burly? quoth she. Vile and shameless strumpet as thou art, thou shalt know by and by, quoth he. Where is thy love? All we have watcht him and seen him enter in. Now, quoth he, shall neither thy tub of feathers or thy seeling serve, for perish he shall with fire, or els fall into my handes. Doo thy worst, jealous foole, quoth she, I ask thee no favour. With that, in a rage, he beset the house round, and then set fire on it. Oh, in what perplexitie was poore Lionello in that he was shut in a chest, and the fire about his eares! and how was Margaret passionat, that knew her lover was in such danger! Yet she made light of the matter, and, as one in a rage, called her maid to her and said: Come on, wench, seeing thy maister, mad with jealousie, hath set the house and al my living on fire, I will be revenged on him: help me heer to lift this old chest where all his writings and deeds are; let that burne first, and as soon as I see that on fire I will walke towards my freends, for the olde foole will be beggard, and I will refuse him. Mutio, that knew al his obligations and statutes lay there, puld her back and had two of his men carry the chest into the field, and see it were safe, himselfe standing by and seeing his house burned downe sticke and stone. Then, quieted in his mind, he went home with his wife and began to flatter her, thinking assuredly that he had burnt her paramour, causing his chest to be carried in a cart to his house in Pisa. Margaret, impatient, went to her mother's and complained to her and her brethren of the jealousie of her husband, who maintaned her it to be true, and desired but a daies respite to proove it.

Wel, hee was bidden to supper the next night at her mother's, she thinking to make her daughter and him freends againe. In the meane time he to his woonted walk in the church, and there, praeter expectationem, he found Lionello walking. Wondring at this, he straight enquires what newes. What newes, Maister Doctor, quoth he, and he fell in a great laughing; in faith yesterday, I scapt a scouring, for syrrha, I went to the grange- house, where I was appointed to come, and I was no sooner gotten up to the chamber, but the magicall villeine, her husband, beset the house with bils and staves, and that he might be sure no seeling nor corner should shrowde me, he set the house on fire, and so burnt it downe to the ground. Why, quoth Mutio, and how did you escape? Alas, quoth he, wel fare a woman's wit; she conveighed me into an old chest full of writings, which she knew her husband durst not burne, and so I was saved and brought to Pisa, and yesternight, by her maide, let home to my lodging. This, quoth he, is the pleasantest jest that ever I heard; and upon this I have a sute to you: I am this night bidden foorth to supper, you shall be my guest, onely I will crave so much favour, as after supper for a pleasant sporte, to make relation what successe you have had in your loves. For that I will not sticke, quoth he, and so he conveyed Lionello to his mother-in-law's house with him, and discovered to his wive's brethren who he was, and how at supper he would disclose the whole matter; For, quoth he, he knowes not that I am Margaret's husband. At this all the brethren bad him welcome, and so did the mother to, and Margaret, she was kept out of sight. Supper time being come they fell to their victals, and Lionello was carrowst unto by Mutio, who was very pleasant, to drawe him into a merry humour, that he might to the ful discourse the effect and fortunes of his love. Supper being ended, Mutio requested him to tel to the gentlemen what had hapned between him and his mistresse. Lionello, with a smiling countenance, began to describe his mistresse, the house and street where she dwelt, how he fell in love with her, and how he used the councell of this doctor, who in all his affaires was his secretarye. Margaret heard all this with a great feare, and when he came to the last point, she caused a cup of wine to be given him by one of her sisters, wherein was a ring that he had given Margaret. As he had told how he had escapt burning, and was ready to confirme all for a troth, the gentlewoman drunke to him, who taking the cup and seeing the ring, having a quick wit and a reaching head, spide the fetch, and perceived that all this while this was his lover's husband to whome hee had revealed these escapes; at this drinking the wine and swallowing the ring into his mouth he went forward. Gentlemen, quoth he, how like you of my loves and my fortunes? Wel, quoth the gentlemen; I pray you is it true? As true, quoth he, as if I would be so simple as to reveal what I did to Margaret's husband; for, know you, gentlemen, that I knew this Mutio to be her husband whom I notified to be my lover; and for that he was generally known throughout Pisa to be a jealous fool, therefore, with these tales I brought him into paradice, which are follies of mine owne braine; for, trust me, by the faith of a gentleman, I never spake to the woman, was never in her companye, neyther doo I know her if I see her. At this they all fell in a laughing at Mutio, who was ashamde that Lionello had so scoft him. But all was well; they were made friends, but the jest went so to his hart that he shortly after died, and Lionello enjoyed the ladye.

Ser Giovanni's story, Roscoe observes, is "curious as having through the medium of translation suggested the idea of those amusing scenes in which the renowned Falstaff acquaints Master Ford, disguised under the name of Brooke, with his progress in the good graces of Mrs. Ford. The contrivances likewise by which he eludes the vengeance of the jealous husband are similar to those recounted in the novel, with the addition of throwing the unweildy knight into the river. Dunlop says that the same story has been translated is a collection entitled 'The Fortunate, Deceived, and Unfortunate Lovers,' and that Shakspeare may probably also have seen it in 'Tarlton's Newes out of Purgatorie,' where the incidents related in the Lovers of Pisa are given according to Straparola's story. Moliere made a happy use of it in his 'Ecole des Femmes,' where the humour of the piece turns upon a young gentleman confiding his progress in the affections of a lady to the ear of her guardian, who believed he was on the point of espousing her himself." Two other French plays were based upon the story, one of which was written by La Fontaine under the title of "La Maitre en Droit." Readers of "Gil Blas" will also recollect how Don Raphael confides to Balthazar the progress of his amour with his wife, and expresses his vexation at the husband's unexpected return.

It is much to be regretted that nothing is known as to the date and place of the composition of the Breslau edition of The Nights, which alone contains this and several other tales found in the collections of the early Italian novelists.


Although we may find, as already stated, the direct source of this tale in the forty-sixth chapter of Al-Mas'udi's "Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems," which was written about A.D. 943, yet there exists a much older version—if not the original form—in a Sanskrit collection entitled, "Vetalapanchavinsati," or Twenty- five Tales of a Vampyre. This ancient work is incorporated with the "Katha Sarit Sagara," or Ocean of the Streams of Story, composed in Sanskrit verse by Somadeva in the 11th century, after a similar work, now apparently lost, entitled "Vrihat Katha," or Great Story, written by Gunadhya, in the 6th century.[FN#498] In the opinion of Benfey all the Vampyre Tales are of Buddhist extraction (some are unquestionably so), and they probably date from before our era. As a separate work they exist, more or less modified, in many of the Indian vernaculars; in Hindi, under the title of "Baital Pachisi"; in Tamil, "Vedala Kadai"; and there are also versions in Telegu, Mahratta, and Canarese. The following is from Professor C. H. Tawney's complete translation of the "Katha Sarit Sagara" (it is the 8th recital of the Vetala):


There is a great tract of land assigned to Brahmans in the country of Anga, called Vrikshaghata. In it there lived a rich sacrificing Brahman named Vishnusvamin. And he had a wife equal to himself in birth. And by her he had three sons born to him, who were distinguished for preternatural acuteness. In course of time they grew up to be young men. One day, when he had begun a sacrifice, he sent those three brothers to the sea to fetch a turtle. So off they went, and when they had found a turtle, the eldest said to his two brothers, "Let one of you take the turtle for our father's sacrifice; I cannot take it, as it is all slippery with slime." When the eldest said this, the two younger ones answered him, "If you hesitate about taking it, why should not we?" When the eldest heard that, he said, "You two must take the turtle; if you do not, you will have obstructed your father's sacrifice, and then you will certainly sink down to hell." When he told the younger brother's this, they laughed and said to him, "If you see our duty so clearly, why do you not see that your own is the same?" Then the eldest said, "What, do you not know how fastidious I am? I am very fastidious about eating, and I cannot be expected to touch what is repulsive." The middle brother, when he heard this speech of his, said to his brother, "Then I am a more fastidious person than you, for I am a most fastidious connoisseur of the fair sex." When the middle one said this, the eldest went on to say, "Then let the younger of you two take the turtle." Then the youngest brother frowned, and in his turn said to the two elder, "You fools, I am very fastidious about beds; so I am the most fastidious of the lot."

So the three brothers fell to quarrelling with one another, and being completely under the dominion of conceit, they left that turtle and went off immediately to the court of the king of that country, whose name was Prasenajit, and who lived in a city named Vitankapura, in order to have the dispute decided. There they had themselves announced by the warder, and went in, and gave the king a circumstantial account of their case. The king said, "Wait here, and I will put you all in turn to the proof;' so they agreed and remained there. And at the time that the king took his meal, he had them conducted to a seat of honour, and given delicious food fit for a king, possessing all the six flavours. And while all were feasting around him, the Brahman who was fastidious about eating along of the company did not eat, but sat there with his face puckered up with disgust. The king himself asked the Brahman why he did not eat his food, though it was sweet and fragrant, and he slowly answered him, "I perceive in this food an evil smell of the reek from corpses, so I cannot bring myself to eat it, however delicious it may be." When he said this before the assembled multitude, they all smelled it by the king's orders, and said, "This food is prepared from white rice and is good and fragrant." But the Brahman who was so fastidious about eating would not touch it, but stopped his nose. Then the king reflected, and proceeded to inquire into the matter, and found out from his officers that the food had been made from rice which had been grown in a field near the burning ghat of a certain village. Then the king was much astonished, and, being pleased, he said to him, "In truth you are very particular as to what you eat; so eat of some other dish."

And after they had finished their dinner, the king dismissed the Brahmans to their apartments and sent for the loveliest lady of his court. And in the evening he sent that fair one, all whose limbs were of faultless beauty, splendidly adorned, to the second Brahman, who was so squeamish about the fair sex. And that matchless kindler of Cupid's flame, with a face like the full moon of midnight, went, escorted by the king's servants, to the chamber of the Brahman. But when she entered, lighting up the chamber with her brightness, that gentleman who was so fastidious about the fair sex felt quite faint, and stopping his nose with his left hand, said to the king's servants, "Take her away; if you do not, I am a dead man: a smell comes from her like that of a goat." When the king's servants heard this, they took the bewildered fair one to their sovereign, and told him what had taken place. And the eking immediately had the squeamish gentleman sent for, and said to him, "How can this lovely woman, who has perfumed herself with sandal-wood, camphor, black aloes, and other splendid scents, so that she diffuses exquisite fragrance through the world, smell like a goat?" But though the king used this argument to the squeamish gentleman he stuck to his point; and then the king began to have his doubts on the subject, and at last, by artfully framed questions, he elicited from the lady herself that, having been separated in her childhood from her mother and nurse, she had been brought up on goat's milk.

Then the king was much astonished, and praised highly the discernment of the man who was fastidious about the fair sex, and immediately had given to the third Brahman, who was fastidious about beds, in accordance with his taste, a bed composed of seven mattresses placed upon a bedstead. White smooth sheets and coverlets were laid upon the bed, and the fastidious man slept upon it in a splendid room. But, before half a watch of the night had passed, he rose up from that bed, with his hand pressed to his side, screaming in an agony of pain. And the king's officers, who were there, saw a red crooked mark on his side, as if a hair had been pressed deep into it. And they went and told the king, and the king said to them, "Look and see if there is not something under the mattress." So they went and examined the bottom of the mattresses one by one, and they found a hair in the middle of the bedstead underneath them all. And they took it and showed it to the king, and they also brought the man who was fastidious about beds, and when the king saw the state of his body, he was astonished. And he spent the whole night in wondering how a hair could make so deep an impression on his skin through seven mattresses.[FN#499]

And the next morning the king gave three hundred thousand gold pieces to those fastidious men, because they were persons of wonderful discernment and refinement. And they remained in great comfort in the king's court, forgetting all about the turtle, and little did they reck of the fact that they had incurred sin by obstructing their father's sacrifice.[FN#500]

The story of the brothers who were so very "knowing" is common to most countries, with occasional local modifications. It is not often we find the knowledge of the "quintessence of things" concentrated in a single individual, as in the case of the ex- king of our tale, but we have his exact counterpart—and the circumstance is significant—in No. 2 of the "Cento Novelle Antiche," the first Italian collection of short stories, made in the 13th century, where a prisoner informs the king of Greece that a certain horse has been suckled by a she-ass, that a jewel contains a flaw, and that the king himself is a baker. Mr. Tawney, in a note on the Vetala story, as above, refers also to the decisions of Hamlet in Saxo Grammaticus, 1839, p. 138, in Simrock's "Quellen des Shakespeare," I, 81-85; 5, 170; he lays down that some bread tastes of blood (the corn was grown on a battlefield); that some liquor tastes of iron (the malt was mixed with water taken from a well in which some rusty swords had lain); that some bacon tastes of corpses (the pig had eaten a corpse); lastly, that the king is a servant and his wife a serving-maid. But in most versions of the story three brothers are the gifted heroes.

In "Melusine"[FN#501] for 5 Nov. 1885, M. Rene Basset cites an interesting variant (in which, as is often the case, the "Lost Camel" plays a part, but are not concerned about it at present) from Radloff's "Proben der Volksliteratur der turkischen Stamme des Sud-Siberiens," as follows:


Meat and bread were set before the three brothers, and the prince went out. The eldest said, "The prince is a slave;" the second, "This is dog's flesh;" the youngest, "This bread has grown over the legs of a dead body." The prince heard them. He took a knife and ran to find his mother. "Tell me the truth," cried he- -"were you unfaithful to my father during his absence? A man who is here has called me a slave." "My son," replied she, "If I don't tell the truth, I shall die; if I tell it, I shall die. When thy father was absent, I gave myself up to a slave." The prince left his mother and ran to the house of the shepherd: "The meat which you have cooked to-day—what is it? Tell the truth, otherwise I'll cut your head off." "Master, if I tell it, I shall die; if I don't I shall die. I will be truthful. It was a lamb whose mother had no milk; on the day of its birth, it was suckled by a bitch: that is to-day's ewe." The prince left the shepherd and ran to the house of the husbandman: "Tell the truth, or else I'll cut off your head. Three young men have come to my house, I have placed bread before them, and they say that the grain has grown over the limbs of a dead man." "I will be frank with you. I ploughed with my plough in a place where were (buried) the limbs of a man; without knowing it, I sowed some wheat, which grew up." the prince quitted his slave and returned to his house, where were seated the strangers. He said to the first, "Young man, how do you know that I am a slave?" "Because you went out as soon as the repast was brought in." He asked the second, "How do you know that the meat which was served was that of a dog?" "Because it has a disagreeable taste like the flesh of a dog." Then to the third: "How come you to know that this bread was grown over the limbs of a dead person?" "What shall I say? It smells of the limbs of a dead body; that is why I recognised it. If you do not believe me, ask your slave; he will tell you that what I say is true."

In the same paper (col. 516) M. Rene Basset cites a somewhat elaborate variant, from Stier's "Ungarische Sagen und Marchen," in which, once more, the knowledge of the "quintessence of things" is concentrated in a single individual.


A clever Magyar is introduced with his companions in disguise into the camp of the king of the Tatars, who is menacing his country. The prince, suspicious, causes him to be carefully watched by his mother, a skilful sorceress. They brought in the evening's repast. "What good wine the prince has!" said she. "Yes," replied one, "but it contains human blood." The sorceress took not of the bed from whence these words proceeded, and when all were asleep she deftly cut a lock of hair from him who had spoken, crept stealthily out of the room, and brought this mark to her son. the strangers started up, and when our hero discovered what had been done to him, he cut a lock from all, to render his decision impossible. When they came to dinner, the king knew not from whom the lock had been taken. The following night the mother of the prince again slipped into the room, and said, "What good bread has the prince of the Tatars!" "Very good," replied one, "it is made with the milk of a woman." When all were asleep, she cut a little off the moustache of him who was lying in the bed from which the voice proceeded. This time the Magyars were still more on the alert, and when they were apprised of the matter, they all cut a little from their moustaches, so that next morning the prince found himself again foiled. The third night the old lady hid herself, and said in a loud voice, "What a handsome man is the prince of the Tatars!" "Yes," said one, "but he is a bastard." When all were asleep, the old lady made a mark on the visor of the helmet of the one from whence had come the words, and then acquainted her son of what she had done. In the morning the prince perceived that all the helmets were similarly marked.[FN#502] At length he refrained, and said, "I see that there is among you a master greater than myself; that is why I desire very earnestly to know him. He may make himself known; I should like to see and know this extraordinary man, who is more clever and powerful than myself." The young man started up from his seat and said, "I have not wished to be stronger or wiser than yourself. I have only wished to find out what you had preconcerted for us. I am the person who has been marked three nights." "It is well, young man. But prove now your words: How is there human blood in the wine?" "Call your butler and he will tell you." The butler came in trembling all over, and confessed that when he corked the wine he had cut his finger with the knife, and a drop of blood had fallen into the cask. "But how is there woman's milk in the bread?" asked the king. "Call the bakeress," he replied, "and she will tell it you." When they questioned her, she confessed that she was kneading the bread and at the same time suckling her baby, and that on pressing it to her breast some milk flowed and was mixed with the bread. The sorceress, the mother of the king, when they came to the third revelation of the young man, confessed in her turn that the king was illegitimate.

Mr. Tawney refers to the Chevalier de Mailly's version of the Three Princes of Serendip (Ceylon): The three are sitting at table, and eating a leg of lamb, sent with some splendid wine from the table of the emperor Bahram. The eldest maintains that the wine was made of grapes that grew in a cemetery; the second, that the lamb was brought up on dog's milk; while the third asserts that the emperor had put to death the son of the wazir. And that the latter is bent on vengeance. All these statements turn out to be well-grounded. Mr. Tawney also refers to parallel stories in the Breslau edition of The Nights; namely, in Night 458, it is similarly conjectured that the bread was baked by a sick woman; that the kid was suckled by a bitch, and that the sultan is illegitimate; and in Night 459, a gem-cutter guesses that a jewel has an internal flaw, a man skilled in the pedigrees of horses divines that a horse is the offspring of a female buffalo, and a man skilled in human pedigrees that the mother of the favourite queen was a rope-dancer. Similar incidents occur in "The Sultan of Yemen and his Three Sons," one of the Additional Tales translated by Scott, from the Wortley-Montague MS., now in the Bodleian Library, and comprised in vol. vi. of his edition of "The Arabian Nights Entertainments," published at London in 1811.

An analogous tale occurs in Mr. E. J. W. Gibb's recently- published translation of the "History of the Forty Vezirs (the Lady's Fourth Story, p. 69 ff.), the motif of which is that "all things return to their origin:"


There was in the palace of the world a king who was very desirous of seeing Khizr[FN#503] (peace on him!), and he would even say, "If there be any one who will show me Khizr, I will give him whatsoever he may wish." Now there was at that time a man poor of estate, and from the stress of his poverty he said to himself, "Let me go and speak to the king, that if he provide for me during three years, either I will be dead, or the king will be dead, or he will forgive me my fault, or I shall on somewise win to escape, and in this way shall I make merry for a time." so he went to the king and spake these words to him.[FN#504] the king said, "An thou show him not, then I will kill thee," and that poor man consented. Then the king let give him much wealth and money, and the poor man took that wealth and money and went to his house. Three years he spent in merriment and delight, and he rested at ease till the term was accomplished. At the end of that time he fled and hid himself in a trackless place and he began to quake for fear. Of a sudden he saw a personage with white raiment and shining face, who saluted him. The poor man returned the salutation, and the radiant being asked, "Why art thou thus sad?" but he gave no answer. Again the radiant being asked him and sware to him, saying, "Do indeed tell to me thy plight, that I may find thee some remedy." So that hapless one narrated his story from its beginning to its end, and the radiant being said, "Come, I will go with thee to the king, and I will answer for thee." So they arose.

Now the king wanted that hapless one, and while they were going some of the king's officers who were seeking met them, and they straightway seized the poor man and brought him to the king. Quoth the king, "Lo, the three years are accomplished; come now, and show me Khizr." The poor man said, "My king, grace and bounty are the work of kings—forgive my sin." Quoth the king, "I made a pact; till I have killed thee, I shall not have fulfilled it." And he looked to his chief vezir and said, "How should this be done?" quoth the vezir, "This man should be hewn in many pieces and then hung up on butchers' hooks, that others may see and lie not before the king." Said that radiant being, "True spake the vezir;—all things return to their origin." Then the king looked to the second vezir and said, "What sayest thou?" he replied, "This man should be boiled in a cauldron." Said that radiant being, "True spake the vezir;—all things return to their origin." The king looked to the third vezir and said, "What sayest though?" the vezir replied, "This man should be hewn in small pieces and baked in an oven." Again said that elder, "True spake the vezir;—all things return to their origin." Then quoth the king to the fourth vezir, "Let us see what sayest thou?" The vezir replied, "O king, the wealth thou gavest this poor creature was for the love of Khizr (peace on him!). he, thinking to find him, accepted it; now that he has not found him he seeks pardon. This were befitting, that thou set free this poor creature for love of Khizr." Said that elder, "True spake the vezir;—all things return to their origin." Then the king said to the elder, "O elder, my vezirs have said different things contrary the one to the other, and thou hast said concerning each of them, 'True spake the vezir; - all things return to their origin.' What is the reason thereof?" that elder replied, "O king, thy first vezir is a butcher's son; therefore did he draw to his origin. Thy second vezir is a cook's son, and he likewise proposed a punishment as became his origin. Thy third vezir is a baker's son; he likewise proposed a punishment as became his origin. But thy fourth vezir is of gentle birth; compassion therefore becomes his origin, so he had compassion on that hapless one, and sought to do good and counselled liberation. O king, all things return to their origin."[FN#505] And he gave the king much counsel, and at last said, "Lo, I am Khizr," and vanished.[FN#506]

The discovery of the king's illegitimate birth, which occurs in so many versions, has its parallels in the story of the Nephew of Hippocrates in the "Seven Wise Masters," and the Lady's 2nd Story in Mr. Gibb's translation of the "Forty Vezirs." The extraordinary sensitiveness of the third young Brahman, in the Vetala story, whose side was scratched by a hair that was under the seventh of the mattresses on which he lay, Rohde (says Tawney), in his "Greichische Novellistik," p. 62, compares with a story told by Aelian of the Sybarite Smindyrides, who slept on a bed of rose-leaves and got up in the morning covered with blisters. He also quotes from the Chronicle of Tabari a story of a princess who was made to bleed by a rose-leaf lying in her bed.[FN#507]

The eleventh recital of the Vetala is about a king's three sensitive wives: As one of the queens was playfully pulling the hair of the king, a blue lotus leaped from her ear and fell on her lap; immediately a would was produced on the front of her thigh by the blow, and the delicate princess exclaimed, "Oh! oh!" and fainted. At night, the second retired with the king to an apartment on the roof of the palace exposed to the rays of the moon, which fell on the body of the queen, who was sleeping by the king's side, where it was exposed by her garment blowing aside; immediately she woke up, exclaiming, "Alas! I am burnt," and rose up from the bed rubbing her limbs. The king woke up in a state of alarm, crying out, "What is the meaning of this?" then he got up and saw that blisters had been produced on the queen's body. In the meanwhile the king's third wife heard of it and left her palace to come to him. And when she got into the open air, she heard distinctly, as the night was still, the sound of a pestle pounding in a distant house. The moment the gazelle- eyed one heard it, she said, "Alas! I am killed," and she sat down on the path, shaking her hands in an agony of pain. Then the girl turned back, and was conducted by her attendants to her own chamber, where she fell on her bed and groaned. And when her weeping attendants examined her, they saw that her hands were covered with bruises, and looked like lotuses upon which black beetles had settled.

To this piteous tale of the three very sensitive queens Tawney appends the following note: Rohde, in his "Greichische Novellistik," p. 62, compares with this a story told by Timaeus, of a Sybarite who saw a husbandman hoeing a field, and contracted rupture from it. Another Sybarite, to whom he told the tale of his sad mishap, got ear-ache from hearing it. Oesterley, in his German translation of the Baital Pachisi, points out that Grimm, in his "Kindermarchen," iii. p. 238, quotes a similar incident from the travels of the Three sons of Giaffar: out of four princesses, one faints because a rose-twig is thrown into her face among some roses; a second shuts her eyes in order not to see the statue of a man; a third says, "Go away; the hairs in your fur cloak run into me;" and the fourth covers her face, fearing that some of the fish in a tank may belong to the male sex. He also quotes a striking parallel from the "Elites des contes du Sieur d'Onville:" Four ladies dispute as to which of them is the most delicate. One has been lame for three months owing to a rose-leaf having fallen on her foot; another has had three ribs broken by a sheet in her bed having been crumpled; a third has held her head on one side for six weeks owing to one half of her head having three more hairs on it than the other; a fourth has broken a blood-vessel by a slight movement, and the rupture cannot be healed without breaking the whole limb.[Poor things!]


In the Persian tales of "The Thousand and One Days," a young prince entered his father's treasury one day, and saw there a little cedar chest "set with pearls, diamonds, emeralds, and topazes;" on opening it (for the key was in the lock) he beheld the picture of an exceedingly beautiful woman, with whom he immediately fell in love. Ascertaining the name of the lady from an inscription on the back of the portrait, he set off with a companion to discover her, and having been told by an old man at Baghdad that her father at one reigned in Ceylon, he continued his journey thither, encountering many unheard-of adventures by the way. Ultimately he is informed that the lady with whose portrait he had become enamoured was one of the favourites of King Solomon. One should suppose that his would have effectually cured the love-sick prince; but no: he "could never banish her sweet image from his heart."[FN#508]

Two instances of falling in love with the picture of a pretty woman occur in the "Katha Sarit Sagara." In Book ix., chap. 51, a painter shows King Prithvirupa the "counterfeit presentment" of the beauteous Princess Rapalata, and "as the king gazed on it his eye was drowned in that sea of beauty her person, so that he could not draw it out again. For the king, whose longing was excessive, could not be satisfied with devouring her form, which poured forth a stream of the nectar of beauty, as the partridge cannot be satisfied with devouring the moonlight." In Book xii., chap. 100, a female ascetic shows a wandering prince the portrait of the Princess Mandaravati, "and Sundarasena when he beheld that maiden, who, though she was present there only in a picture, seemed to be of romantic beauty and like a flowing forth of joy, immediately felt as if he had been pierced with the arrows of the god of the flowery bow [i.e. Kama]." In chapter 35 of Scott's translation of the "Bahar-i-Danish," Prince Ferokh-Faul opens a volume, "which he had scarcely done when the fatal portrait of the fair princess who, the astrologers had foretold, was to occasion him so many perils, presented itself to his view. He instantly fainted, when the slave, alarmed, conveyed intelligence of his condition to the sultan, and related the unhappy cause of the disorder." In Gomberville's romances of Polexandre, the African prince, Abd-el-Malik, falls in love with the portrait of Alcidiana, and similar incidents occur in the romance of Agesilaus of Colchos and in the Story of the Seven Wazirs (vol. vi.); but why multiply instances? Nothing is more common in Asiatic fictions.


In addition to the versions of this amusing story referred to on p. 157—all of which will be found in the second volume of my work on "Popular Tales and Fictions," pp. 212-228—there is yet another in a Persian story-book, of unknown date, entitled, "Shamsa u Kuhkuha," written by Mirza Berkhorder Turkman, of which an account, together with specimens, is given in a recently- published little book (Quaritch), "Persian Portraits, a sketch of Persian History, Literature, and Politics," by Mr. F. F. Arbuthnot, author of "Early Ideas: a Group of Hindoo Stories."

This version occurs in a tale of three artful wives—or, to employ the story-teller's own graphic terms, "three whales of the sea of fraud and deceit: three dragons of the nature of thunder and the quickness of lightning; three defamers of honour and reputation; namely, three men-deceiving, lascivious women, each of whom had from the chicanery of her cunning issued the diploma of turmoil to a hundred cities and countries, and in the arts of fraud they accounted Satan as an admiring spectator in the theatre of their stratagems.[FN#509] One of them was sitting in the court of justice of the kazi's embrace; the second was the precious gem of the bazaar-master's diadem of compliance; and the third was the beazle and ornament of the signet-ring of the life and soul of the superintendent of police. They were constantly entrapping the fawns of the prairie of deceit within the grasp of cunning, and plundered the wares of the caravans of tranquillity of hearts of strangers and acquaintances, by means of the edge of the scimitar of fraud. One day this trefoil of roguery met at the public bath, and, according to their homogeneous nature they intermingled as intimately as the comb with the hair; they tucked up their garment of amity to the waist of union, entered the tank of agreement, seated themselves in the hot-house of love, and poured from the dish of folly, by means of the key of hypocrisy, the water of profusion upon the head of intercourse; they rubbed with the brush of familiarity and the soap of affection the stains of jealousies from each other's limbs. After a while, when they had brought the pot of concord to boil by the fire of mutual laudation, they warmed the bath of association with the breeze of kindness, and came out. In the dressing-room all three of them happened simultaneously to find a ring, the gem of which surpassed the imagination of the jeweler of destiny, and the like of which he had never beheld in the storehouse of possibility. In short, these worthy ladies contended with each other for possession of the ring, until at length the mother of the bathman came forward and proposed that they should entrust the ring to her in the meanwhile, and it should be the prize of the one who most cleverly deceived and befooled her husband, to which they all agreed, and then departed for their respective domiciles.[FN#510]

Mr. Arbuthnot's limits pertained only of abstracts of the tricks played upon their husbands by the three ladies—which the story- teller gives at great length—and that of the kazi's wife is as follows:

The kazi's wife knows that a certain carpenter, who lived close to her, was very much in love with her. She sends her maid to him with a message to say that the flame of his love had taken effect upon her heart, and that he must make an underground passage between his house and her dwelling, so that they might communicate with each other freely by means of the mine. The carpenter digs the passage, and the lady pays him a visit, and says to him, "To-morrow I shall come here, and you must bring the kazi to marry me to you." The next day the kazi goes to his office; the lady goes to the carpenter's house, and send him to bring her husband, the kazi, to marry them. The carpenter fetches him, and, as the kazi hopes for a good present, he comes willingly enough, but is much surprised at the extreme likeness between the bride and his own wife. The more he looks at her, the more he is in doubt; and at last, offering an excuse to fetch something, he rushes off to his own house, but is forestalled by his souse, who had gone thither by the passage, and on his arrival is lying on her bed. The kazi makes some excuses for his sudden entry into her room, and, after some words, goes back to the carpenter's house; but his wife had preceded him, and is sitting in her place. Again he begins the ceremony, but is attracted by a black mole on the corner of the bride's lip, which he could have sworn was the same as that possessed by his wife. Making more excuses, and in spite of the remonstrances of the carpenter, he hurries back to his house once more; but his wife had again got there before him, and he finds her reading a book, and much astonished at his second visit. She suggests that he is mad, and he admits that his conduct is curious, and returns to the carpenter's house to complete the ceremony. This is again frequently interrupted, but finally he marries his own wife to the carpenter, and, having behaved in such an extraordinary manner throughout, is sent off to a lunatic asylum.

For the tricks of the two other ladies, and for many other equally diverting tales, I refer the reader to Mr. Arbuthnot's pleasing and instructive little book, which is indeed an admirable epitome of the history and literature of Persia, and one which was greatly wanted in these days, when most men, "like the dogs in Egypt for fear of the crocodiles, must drink of the waters of information as they run, in dread of the old enemy Time."

I have discussed the question of the genealogy of this tale elsewhere, but, after a somewhat more minute comparative analysis of the several versions, am disposed to modify the opinion which I then entertained. I think we must consider as the direct or indirect source of the versions and variants the "Miles Gloriosus" of Plautus, the plot of which, it is stated in the prologue to the second act, was taken from a Greek play. It is, however, not very clear whether Berni adapted his story from Plautus or the "Seven Wise Masters"; probably from the former, since in both the lady is represented, to the captain and the cuckold, as a twin sister, while in the S. W. M. the crafty knight pretends that she is his leman, come from Hungary with tidings that he may now with safety return home. On the other hand, in the S. W. M., as in Plautus, the lovers make their escape by sea, an incident which Berni has altered to a journey by land—no doubt, in order to introduce further adventures for the development of his main plot. But then we find a point of resemblance between Berni and the S. W. M., in the incident of the cuckold accompanying the lovers part of their way—in the latter to the sea-shore; while in Plautus the deceived captain remains at home to prosecute an amour and get a thrashing for his reward (in Plautus, instead of a wife, it is the captain's slave- girl). It is curious that amidst all the masquerade of the Arabian story the cuckold's wife also personates her supposititious twin-sister, as in Plautus and Berni. In Plautus the houses of the lover and the captain adjoin, as is also the case in the modern Italian and Sicilian versions; while in Berni, the S. W. M., the Arabian, and the Persian story cited in this note they are at some distance. With these resemblances and variations it is not easy to say which version was derived from another. Evidently the Arabian story has been deliberately modified by the compiler, and he has, I think, considerably improved upon the original: the ludicrous perplexity of the poor fuller when he awakes, to find himself apparently transformed into a Turkish trooper, recalls the nursery rhyme of the little woman "who went to market her eggs for to sell," and falling asleep on the king's highway a pedlar cut off her petticoats up to the knees, and when she awoke and saw her condition she exclaimed, "Lawk-a-mercy me, this is none of I!" and so on. And not less diverting is the pelting the blockhead receives from his brother fullers—altogether, a capital story.

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