When it was the Five Hundred and Eighteenth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "King Kafid delivered the answering letter to the messenger who carried it to King Teghmus and delivered it, after kissing the ground between his hands. Then he reported all that he had seen, saying, 'O King of the age, I espied warriors and horsemen and footmen beyond count nor can I assist thee to the amount.' When Teghmus read the reply and comprehended its contents, he was with furious rage enraged and bade his Wazir Ayn Zar take horse and fall upon the army of Kafid with a thousand cavaliers, in the middle watch of the night when they would easily ride home and slay all before them. Ayn Zar replied, 'I hear and I obey,' and at once went forth to do his bidding. Now King Kafid had a Wazir, Ghatrafn[FN#554] by name, whom he bade take five thousand horse and attack the host of King Teghmus in like manner. So Ghatrafan did his bidding and set out on his enterprise marching till midnight. Thus the two parties met halfway and the Wazir Ghatrafan fell upon the Wazir, Ayn Zar. Then man cried out against man and there befell sore battle between them till break of day, when Kafid's men were routed and fled back to their King in confusion. As Kafid saw this, he was wroth beyond measure and said to the fugitives, 'Woe to you! What hath befallen you, that ye have lost your captains?' and they replied, 'O King of the age, as the Wazir Ghatrafan rode forth to fall upon King Teghmus, there appeared to us halfway and when night was half over, the Wazir, Ayn Zar, with cavaliers and champions, and we met on the slopes of Wady Zahran; but ere we were where we found ourselves in the enemy's midst, eye meeting eye; and we fought a fierce fight with them from midnight till morning, many on either side being slain. Then the Wazir and his men fell to shouting and smiting the elephants on the face till they took fright at their furious blows, and turning tail to flee, trampled down the horsemen, whilst none could see other for the clouds of dust. The blood ran like a rain torrent and had we not fled, we had all been cut off to the last man.' When King Kafid heard this, he exclaimed, 'May the sun not bless you and may he be wroth with you and sore be his wrath!' Meanwhile Ayn Zar, the Wazir, returned to King Teghmus and told him what had happened. The King gave him joy of his safety and rejoiced greatly and bade beat the drums and sound the trumpets, in honour of the victory; after which he called the roll of his troops and behold, two hundred of his stoutest champions had fallen. Then King Kafid marched his army into the field and drew them out ordered for battle in fifteen lines of ten thousand horses each, under the command of three hundred captains, mounted on elephants and chosen from amongst the doughtiest of his warriors and his champions. So he set up his standards and banners and beat the drums and blew the trumpets whilst the braves sallied forth, offering battle. As for King Teghmus, he drew out his troops line after line and lo! there were ten of ten thousand horses each, and with him were an hundred champions, riding on his right hand and on his left. Then fared forward to the fight each renowned knight, and the hosts clashed together in their might, whilst the earth for all its wideness was straitened because of the multitude of the cavaliers and ears were deafened by drums and cymbals beating and pipes and hautboys sounding and trumpets blaring and by the thunder of horse-tramp and the shouting of men. The dust arched in canopy over their heads and they fought a sore fight from the first of the day till the fall of darkness, when they separated and each army drew off to its own camp."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Nineteenth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "each army drew off to its own camp. Then King Kafid called the roll of his troops and, finding that he had lost five thousand men, raged with great rage; and King Teghmus mustered his men and seeing that of them were slain three thousand riders, the bravest of his braves, was wroth with exceeding wrath. On the morrow King Kafid again pushed into the plain and did duty as before, while each man strove his best to snatch victory for himself; and Kafid cried out to his men, saying, 'Is there any of you will sally forth into the field and open us the chapter of fray and fight?' And behold came out from the ranks a warrior named Barkayk, a mighty man of war who, when he reached the King, alighted from his elephant and kissing the earth before him, sought of him leave to challenge the foe to combat singular. Then he mounted his elephant and driving into mid-field, cried out, 'Who is for duello, who is for derring do, who is for knightly devoir?' When King Teghmus heard this, he said to his troops, 'Which of you will do single battle with this sworder?' And behold, a cavalier came out from the ranks, mounted on a charger, mighty of make, and driving up to the King kissed the earth before him and craved his permission to engage Barkayk. Then he mounted again and charged at Barkayk, who said to him, 'Who art thou and what art thou called, that thou makest mock of me by coming out against me and challenging me, alone?' 'My name is Ghazanfar[FN#555] son of Kamkhl,' replied the Kabul champion; and the other, 'I have heard tell of thee in my own country; so up and do battle between the ranks of the braves!' Hearing these words Ghazanfar drew a mace of iron from under his thigh and Barkayk took his good sword in hand, and they laid on load till Barkayk smote Ghazanfar on the head with his blade, but the morion turned the blow and no hurt befell him therefrom; whereupon Ghazanfar, in his turn, dealt Barkayk so terrible a stroke on the head with his mace, that he levelled him down to his elephant's back and slew him. With this out sallied another and crying to Ghazanfar, 'Who be thou that thou shouldst slay my brother?'; hurled a javelin at him with such force that it pierced his thigh and nailed his coat of mail to his flesh. Then Ghazanfar, feeling his hurt, hent his sword in hand and smote at Barkayk's brother and cut him in sunder, and he fell to the earth, wallowing in his life blood, whilst the challenger of Kabul galloped back to King Teghmus. Now when Kafid saw the death of his champions, he cried out to his troops, saying, 'Down with you to the plain and strike with might and main!' as also did King Teghmus, and the two armies fought the fiercest of fights. Horse neighed against horse and man cried out upon man and brands were bared, whilst the drums beat and the trumpets blared; and horseman charged upon horseman and every brave of renown pushed forward, whilst the faint of heart fled from the lunge of lance and men heard nought but slogan-cry and the clash and clang of armoury. Slain were the warriors that were slain[FN#556] and they stayed not from the mellay till the decline of the sun in the heavenly dome, when the Kings drew off their armies and returned each to its own camp.[FN#557] Then King Teghmus took tally of his men and found that he had lost five thousand, and four standards had been broken to bits, whereat he was sore an-angered; whilst King Kafid in like manner counted his troops and found that he had lost six hundred, the bravest of his braves, and nine standards were wanting to the full tale. The two armies ceased joining battle and rested on their arms three days' space, after which Kafid wrote a letter and sent it by messenger to a King called Fakun al-Kalb (with whom he claimed kinship by the spindle side): and this kinsman forthwith mustered his men and marched to meet the King of Hind."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twentieth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "King Fakun mustered his men and marched to meet the King of Hind: and whileas King Teghmus was sitting at his pleasance, there came one in to him and said, 'I see from afar a cloud of dust spireing high in air and overspreading the lift.' So he commanded a company to fare forth and learn the meaning of this; and, crying, 'To hear is to obey,' they sallied out and presently returned and said to him, 'O King, when we drew near the cloud of dust, the wind rent it and it lifted and showed seven standards and under each standard three thousand horse, making for King Kafid's camp.' Then King Fakun joined himself to the King of Hind and saluting him, asked, 'How is it with thee, and what be this war in which thou arrest?'; and Kafid answered, 'Knowest thou not that King Teghmus is my enemy and the murtherer of my father and brothers? Wherefore I am come forth to do battle with him and take my brood wreak on him.' Quoth Fakun, 'The blessing of the sun be upon thee!'; and the King of Hind carried King Fakun al-Kalb to his tent and rejoiced in him with exceeding joy. Such was the case of the two hostile Kings; but as regards King Janshah, he abode two months shut up in his palace, without seeing his father or allowing one of the damsels in his service to come in to him; at the end of which time he grew troubled and restless and said to his attendants, 'What aileth my father that he cometh not to visit me?' They told him that he had gone forth to do battle with King Kafid, whereupon quoth Janshah, 'Bring me my steed, that I may go to my sire.' They replied, 'We hear and obey,' and brought his horse; but he said in himself, 'I am taken up with the thought of myself and my love and I deem well to mount and ride for the city of the Jews, where haply Allah shall grant me the boon to meet the merchant who hired me for the ruby business and may be he will deal with me as he dealt before, for none knoweth whence good cometh.' So he took with him a thousand horse and set out, the folk saying, 'At last Janshah hath fared forth to join his father in the field, and to fight by his side;' and they stinted not pushing on till dusk, when they halted for the night in a vast meadow. As soon as he knew that all his men were asleep, the Prince rose privily and girding his waist, mounted his horse and rode away intending to make Baghdad, because he had heard from the Jews that a caravan came thence to their city once in every two years and he made up his mind to journey thither with the next cafilah. When his men awoke and missed the Prince and his horse, they mounted and sought him right and left but, finding no trace of him, rejoined his father and told him what his son had done; whereat he was wroth beyond measure and cast the crown from his head, whilst the sparks were like to fly from his mouth, and he said 'There is no Majesty and there is no Might but in Allah! Verily I have lost my son, and the enemy is still before me.' But his Wazirs and vassals said to him, 'Patience, O King of the age! Patience bringeth weal in wake.' Meanwhile Janshah, parted from his lover and pained for his father, was in sore sorrow and dismay, with heart seared and eyes tear-bleared and unable to sleep night or day. But when his father heard the loss his host had endured, he declined battle, and fled before King Kafid, and retiring to his city, closed the gates and strengthened the walls. Thereupon King Kafid followed him and sat down before the town; offering battle seven nights and eight days, after which he withdrew to his tents, to tend his wounded while the citizens defended themselves as they best could, fortifying the place and setting up mangonels and other engines on the walls. Such was the condition of the two Kings, and war raged between them for a space of seven years."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twenty-first Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "Kings Teghmus and Kafid continued in this condition for seven years; but, as regards Janshah, he rode through wild and wold and when ever he came to a town he asked anent Takni, the Castle of Jewels, but none knew of it and all answered, 'Of a truth we never heard of such place, not even by name.' At last he happened to enquire concerning the city of the Jews from a merchant who told him that it was situated in the extreme Orient, adding, 'A caravan will start this very month for the city of Mizrakn in Hind; whither do thou accompany us and we will fare on to Khorasan and thence to the city of Shima'n and Khwrazm, from which latter place the City of the Jews is distant a year and three months' journey.' So Janshah waited till the departure of the caravan, when he joined himself thereto and journeyed, till he reached the city of Mizrakan whence, after vainly asking for Takni, the Castle of Jewels, he set out and enduring on the way great hardships and perils galore and the extreme of hunger and thirst, he arrived at the town of Shima'un. Here he made enquiry for the City of the Jews, and they directed him to the road thither. So he fared forth and journeyed days and nights till he came to the place where he had given the apes the slip, and continued his journey thence to the river, on the opposite bank of which stood the City of the Jews. He sat down on the shore and waited till the Sabbath came round and the river dried up by decree of Allah Almighty, when he crossed over to the opposite bank and, entering the city, betook himself to the house wherein he had lodged on his former journey. The Jew and his family saluted him and rejoiced in his return and, setting meat and drink before him, asked, 'Where hast thou been during thine absence?'; and he answered, 'In the kingdom of Almighty Allah!'[FN#558] He lay with them that night and on the morrow he went out to solace himself with a walk about the city and presently heard a crier crying aloud and saying, 'O folk, who will earn a thousand gold pieces and a fair slave-girl and do half a day's work for us?' So Janshah went up to him and said, 'I will do this work.'[FN#559] Quoth the crier, 'Follow me,' and carrying him to the house of the Jew merchant, where he had been afore time, said, 'This young man will do thy need.' The merchant not recognising him gave him welcome and carried him into the Harim, where he set meat and drink before him, and he ate and drank. Then he brought him the money and formally made over to him the handsome slave-girl with whom he lay that night. As soon as morning dawned, he took the diners and the damsel and, committing them to his Jew host with whom he had lodged afore time, returned to the merchant, who mounted and rode out with him, till they came to the foot of the tall and towering mountain, where the merchant, bringing out a knife and cords, said to Janshah, 'Throw the mare.' So he threw her and bound her four legs with the cords and slaughtered her and cut off her head and four limbs and slit her belly, as ordered by the Jew; whereupon quoth he, 'Enter her belly, till I sew it up on thee; and whatsoever thou seest therein, tell me of it, for this is the work whose wage thou hast taken.' So Janshah entered the mare's belly and the merchant sewed it up on him; then, withdrawing to a fair distance, hid himself. And after an hour a great bird swooped down from the lift and, snatching up the carcass in his pounces soared high toward the sky. Then he perched upon the mountain peak and would have eaten the prey, but Janshah sensing his intent took out his knife and slit the mare's belly and came forth. The bird was scared at his sight and flew away, and Janshah went up to a place whence he could see below, and looking down, espied the merchant standing at the foot of the mountain, as he were a sparrow. So he cried out to him, 'What is thy will, O merchant?' Replied the Jew, 'Throw me down of the stones that lie about thee, that I may direct thee in the way down.' Quoth Janshah, 'Thou art he who didst with me thus and thus five years ago, and through thee I suffered hunger and thirst and sore toil and much trouble; and now thou hast brought me hither once more and thinkest to destroy me. By Allah, I will not throw thee aught!' So saying, he turned from him and set out for where lived Shaykh Nasr, the King of the Birds."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twenty-second Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "Janshah took the way for where lived Shaykh Nasr, the King of the Birds. And he ceased not faring on many days and nights, tearful-eyed and heavy-hearted; eating, when he was anhungered, of the growth of the ground and drinking, when he thirsted, of its streams, till he came in sight of the Castle of the lord Solomon and saw Shaykh Nasr sitting at the gate. So he hastened up to him and kissed his hands; and the Shaykh saluted him and bade him welcome and said to him, 'O my son, what aileth thee that thou returnest to this place, after I sent thee home with the Princess Shamsah, cool of eyes and broad of breast?' Janshah wept and told him all that had befallen him and how she had flown away from him, saying, 'An thou love me, come to me in Takni, the Castle of Jewels;' at which the old man marvelled and said, 'By Allah, O my son, I know it not, nor, by the virtue of our lord Solomon, have I ever in my life heard its name!' Quoth Janshah, 'What shall I do? I am dying of love and longing.' Quoth Shaykh Nasr, 'Take patience until the coming of the birds, when we will enquire at them of Takni, the Castle of Jewels; haply one of them shall wot thereof.' So Janshah's heart was comforted and, entering the Palace, he went straight to the chamber which gave upon the Lake in which he had seen the three maidens. After this he abode with Shaykh Nasr for a while and, one day as he was sitting with him, the Shaykh said, 'O my son, rejoice for the time of the birds' coming draweth nigh.' Janshah gladdened to hear the news; and after a few days the birds began to come and Shaykh Nasr said to him, 'O my son, learn these names[FN#560] and address thyself with me to meet the birds.' Presently, the fowls came flying up and saluted Shaykh Nasr, kind after kind, and he asked them of Takni, the Castle of Jewels, but they all made answer, 'Never heard we of such a place.' At these words Janshah wept and lamented till he swooned away; whereupon Shaykh Nasr called a huge volatile and said to him, 'Carry this youth to the land of Kabul,' and described to him the country and the way thither. Then he set Janshah on the bird's back, saying, 'Be careful to sit straight and beware of leaning to either side, else thou wilt be torn to pieces in the air; and stop thine ears from the wind, lest thou be dazed by the noise of the revolving sphere and the roaring of the seas.' Janshah resolved to do his bidding and the bird took flight high in sky and flew with him a day and a night, till he set him down by the King of the Beasts, whose name was Shh Badr, and said to his rider, 'We have gone astray from the way directed by Shaykh Nasr.' And he would have taken him up again and flown on with him; but Janshah said, 'Go thy ways and leave me here; till I die on this spot or I find Takni, the Castle of Jewels, I will not return to my country.' So the fowl left him with Shah Badri, King of the Beasts and flew away. The King thereupon said to him, 'O my son, who art thou and whence comest thou with yonder great bird?' So Janshah told him his story from beginning to end, whereat Shah Badri marvelled and said, 'By the virtue of the lord Solomon, I know not of this castle; but if any one of the beasts my subjects know it, we will reward him bountifully and send thee by him thither.' Hereat Janshah wept bitterly but presently he took patience and abode with Shah Badri, and after a short time the King of the Beasts said to him, 'O my son, take these tablets and commit to memory that which is therein; and when the beasts come, we will question them of the Castle of Jewels.' "—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twenty-third Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "the King of the Beasts said to Janshah, 'Commit to memory what is in these tablets; and whenas the beasts come, we will ask them anent that castle.' He did as the King bade him, and before long, up came the beasts, kind after kind, and saluted Shah Badri who questioned them of Takni, the Castle of Jewels, but they all replied, 'We know not this castle, nor ever heard we of it.' At this Janshah wept and lamented for that he had not gone with the bird that brought him from Shaykh Nasr's castle; but Shah Badri said to him, 'Grieve not, O my son, for I have a brother, King Shimkh highs, who is older than I; he was once a prisoner to King Solomon, for that he rebelled against him; nor is there among the Jinn one elder than he and Shaykh Nasr. Belike he knoweth of this castle; at any rate he ruleth over all the Jinn in this country side.' So saying he set Janshah on the back of a beast and gave him a letter to his brother, commending him to his care. The beast set off with the Prince forthwith and fared on days and nights, till it came to King Shimakh's abiding place. And when it caught sight of the King it stood still afar off, whereupon Janshah alighted and walked on, till he found himself in the presence. Then he kissed hands and presented his brother's letter. The King read the missive and, having mastered the meaning, welcomed the Prince, saying, 'By Allah, O my son, in all my born days I never saw nor heard of this castle!' adding (as Janshah burst into tears), 'but tell me thy story and who and whence thou art and whither thou art bound.' So Janshah related to him his history from beginning to end, at which Shimakh marvelled and said, 'O my son, I do not believe that even the lord Solomon ever saw this castle or heard thereof; but O my son,[FN#561] I know a monk in the mountains, who is exceeding old and whom all birds and beasts and Jann obey; for he ceased not his conjurations against the Kings of the Jann, till they submitted themselves to him in their own despite, by reason of the might of his oaths and his magic; and now all the birds and the beasts are his servants. I myself once rebelled against King Solomon and he sent against me this monk, the only being who could overcome me with his craft and his conjurations and his gramarye; then he imprisoned me, and since that time I have been his vassal. He hath travelled in all countries and quarters and knoweth all ways and regions and places and castles and cities; nor do I think there is any place hidden from his ken. So needs must I send thee to him; haply he may direct thee to the Castle of Jewels; and, if he cannot do this, none can; for all things obey him, birds and beasts and the very mountains and come at his beck and call, by reason of his skill in magic. Moreover, by the might of his egromancy he hath made a staff, in three pieces, and this he planteth in the earth and conjureth over it; whereupon flesh and blood issue from the first piece, sweet milk from the second and wheat and barley from the third; then he withdraweth the staff and returneth to his place which is highs the Hermitage of Diamonds. And this magical monk is a cunning inventor and artificer of all manner strange works; and he is a crafty warlock full of guiles and wiles, an arch deceiver of wondrous wickedness, who hath mastered every kind of magic and witchcraft. His name is Yaghms and to him I must needs send thee on the back of a big bird with four wings,'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twenty-fourth Night,
She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "Shimakh said to Janshah, 'I must needs send thee to the monk Yaghmus on the back of a big bird with four wings, each measuring thirty Hshimi[FN#562] cubits in length; and it hath feet like those of an elephant, but it flieth only twice a year.' And there was with King Shimakh an officer, by name Timshun, who used every day to carry off two Bactrian[FN#563] camels from the land of Irak and cut them up for the bird that it might eat them. So King Shimakh bade the fowl take up Janshah and bear him to the cell of the hermit Yaghmus; and it rose into the air and flew on days and nights, till it came to the Mountain of the Citadels and the Hermitage of Diamonds where Janshah alighted and going up to the hermitage, found Yaghmus the Monk at his devotions. So he entered the chapel and, kissing the ground stood respectfully before the hermit. When Yaghmus saw him, he said, 'Welcome, O my son, O parted from thy home and garred ferforth to roam! Tell me the cause of thy coming hither.' So Janshah wept and acquainted him with all that had befallen him from beginning to end and that he was in quest of the Castle of Jewels. The Monk marvelled greatly at his story and said, 'By Allah, O my son, never in my life heard I of this castle, nor ever saw I one who had heard of it or had seen it, for all I was alive in the days of Noah, Allah's Prophet (on whom be peace!),[FN#564] and I have ruled the birds and beasts and Jinn ever since his time; nor do I believe that Solomon David son himself knew of it. But wait till the birds and beasts and chiefs of the Jann come to do their homage to me and I will question them of it; peradventure, some one of them may be able to give us news of it and Allah Almighty shall make all things easy to thee.' So Janshah homed with the hermit, until the day of the assembly, when all the birds and beasts and Jann came to swear fealty; and Yaghmus and his guest questioned them anent Takni, the Castle of Jewels; but they all replied, 'We never saw or heard of such a place.' At this, Janshah fell a weeping and lamenting and humbled himself before the Most High; but, as he was thus engaged, behold, there flew down from the heights of air another bird, big of bulk and black of blee, which had tarried behind the rest, and kissed the hermit's hands. Yaghmus asked it of Takni, the Castle of Jewels, and it answered, saying 'O Monk, when I and my brothers were small chicks we abode behind the Mountain Kaf on a hill of crystal, in the midst of a great desert; and our father and mother used to set out for it every morning and in the evening come back with our food. They went out early one day, and were absent from us a sennight and hunger was sore upon us; but on the eighth day they returned, both weeping, and we asked them the reason of their absence. Quoth they: 'A Marid swooped down on us and carried us off in his claws to Takni, the Castle of Jewels, and brought us before King Shahlan, who would have slain us; but we told him that we had left behind us a brood of fledgelings; so he spared our lives and let us go. And were my parents yet in the bonds of life they would give thee news of the castle.' When Janshah heard this, he wept bitter tears and said to the hermit, 'Prithee bid the bird carry me to his father and mother's nest on the crystal hill, behind the Mountain Kaf.' So the hermit said, 'O bird, I desire thee to obey this youth in whatsoever he may command thee.' 'I hear and obey thy bidding,' replied the fowl; and, taking Janshah on its back, flew with him days and nights without ceasing till it set him down on the Hill of Crystal and there alighted. And having delayed there a resting while, it again set him on its back and flew off and ceased not flying for two whole days till it reached the spot where the nest was."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twenty-fifth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "the fowl ceased not flying with Janshah two full days; till it reached the spot where the nest was, and set him down there and said, 'O Janshah, this is where our nest was.' He wept sore and replied, 'I pray thee bear me farther on to where thy parents used to forage for food.' The bird consented; so it took him up again and flew on with him seven nights and eight days, till it set him down on the top of a high hill Karmus highs and left him there saying, 'I know of no land behind this hill.' Then it flew away and Janshah sat down on the hill-top and fell asleep. When he awoke, he saw a something gleaming afar off as it were lightning and filling the firmament with its flashings; and he wondered what this sheen could be without wotting that it was the Castle he sought. So he descended the mountain and made towards the light, which came from Takni, the Castle of Jewels, distant two months' journey from Karms, the hill whereon he had alit, and its foundations were fashioned of red rubies and its buildings of yellow gold. Moreover, it had a thousand turrets builded of precious metals, and stones of price studded and set in the minerals brought from the Main of Murks, and on this account it was named the Castle of Jewels, Takni. It was a vast great castle and the name of its king was King Shahlan, the father of the lady Shamsah and her sisters. Such was the case with Janshah; but as regards Princess Shamsah, when she fled from Janshah, she made straight for the Castle of Jewels and told her father and mother all that had passed between the Prince and herself; how he had wandered the world and seen its marvels and wonders and how fondly he loved her and how dearly she loved him. Quoth they, 'Thou hast not dealt righteously with him, as Allah would have thee deal.' Moreover King Shahlan repeated the story to his guards and officers of the Marids of the Jinn and bade them bring him every mortal they should see. For the lady Shamsah had said to her parents, 'Janshah loveth me with passionate love and forsure he will follow me; for when flying from his father's roof I cried to him, 'An thou love me, seek me at Takni, the Castle of Jewels!' Now when Janshah beheld that sheen and shine, he made straight for it wishing to find out what it might be. And as chance would have it, Shamsah had that very day despatched a Marid on an occasion in the direction of the hill Karmus, and on his way thither he caught sight of a man, a mortal; so he hastened up to him and saluted him. Janshah was terrified at his sight, but returned his salam, and the Marid asked, 'What is thy name?' and he answered, 'My name is Janshah, and I have fallen madly in love with a Jinniyah known as Princess Shamsah, who captivated me by her beauty and loveliness; but despite my dear love she fled from the palace wherein I placed her and behold, I am here in quest of her.' Herewith he wept with bitter weeping. The Marid looked at him and his heart burned with pity on hearing the sad tale, and he said, 'Weep not, for surely thou art come to thy desire. Know that she loveth thee fondly and hath told her parents of thy love for her, and all in yonder castle love thee for her sake; so be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool of tear.' Then he took him on his shoulders and made off with him to the Castle of Jewels, Takni. Thereupon the bearers of fair tidings hastened to report his coming and when the news reached Shamsah and her father and mother, they all rejoiced with exceeding joy, and King Shahlan took horse and rode out, commanding all his guards and Ifrits and Marids honourably to meet the Prince."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twenty-sixth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "King Shahlan commanded all his guards and Ifrits and Marids to meet the Prince; and, as soon as he came up with him, he dismounted and embraced him, and Janshah kissed his hand. Then Shahlan bade put on him a robe of honour of many coloured silk, laced with gold and set with jewels, and a coronet such as man never saw, and, mounting him on a splendid mare of the steeds of the Kings of the Jinn, took horse himself and, with an immense retinue riding on the right hand and the left, brought him in great state to the Castle. Janshah marvelled at the splendour of this edifice, with its walls builded of rubies and other jewels and its pavement of crystal and jasper and emerald, and fell a weeping at the memory of his past miseries; but the King and Queen, Shamsah's mother, wiped away his tears and said, 'Now no more weeping and be of good cheer, for thou hast won to thy will.' Then Shahlan carried him into the inner court of the Castle, where he was received by a multitude of beautiful damsels and pages and black Jinn-slaves, who seated him in the place of honour and stood to do him service, whilst he was lost in amazement at the goodliness of the place, and its walls all edified of precious metals and jewels of price. Presently King Shahlan repaired to his hall of audience, where he sat down on his throne and, bidding the slave-girls and the pages introduce the Prince, rose to receive him and seated him by his side on the throne. Then he ordered the tables to be spread and they ate and drank and washed their hands; after which in came the Queen Shamsah's mother, and saluting Janshah, bade him welcome in these words, 'Thou hast come to thy desire after weariness and thine eyes shall now sleep after watching; so praised be Allah for thy safety!' Thus saying, she went away and forthwith returned with the Princess Shamsah, who saluted Janshah and kissed his hands, hanging her head in shame and confusion before him and her parents, after which as many of her sisters as were in the palace came up to him and greeted him in like manner. Then quoth the Queen to him, 'Welcome, O my son, our daughter Shamsah hath indeed sinned against thee, but do thou pardon her misdeed for our sakes.' When Janshah heard this, he cried out and fell down fainting, whereat the King marvelled and they sprinkled on his face rose water mingled with musk and civet, till he came to himself and, looking at Princess Shamsah, said, 'Praised be Allah who hath brought me to my desire and hath quenched the fire of my heart!' Replied she, 'May He preserve thee from the Fire!, but now tell me, O Janshah, what hath befallen thee since our parting and how thou madest thy way to this place; seeing that few even of the Jann ever heard of Takni, the Castle of Jewels; and we are independent of all the Kings nor any wotteth the road hither.' Thereupon he related to her every adventure and peril and hardship he had suffered and how he had left his father at war with King Kafid, ending with these words, 'And all for thy sake, my lady Shamsah!' Quoth the Queen, 'Now hast thou thy heart's desire, for the Princess is thy handmaid, and we give her in free gift to thee.' Janshah joyed exceedingly at these words and the Queen added, 'Next month, if it be the will of Almighty Allah, we will have a brave wedding and celebrate the marriage festival and after the knot is tied we will send you both back to thy native land, with an escort of a thousand Marids of our body-guard, the least of whom, an thou bid him slay King Kafid and his folk, would surely destroy them to the last man in the twinkling of an eye. Furthermore if it please thee we will send thee, year after year, a company of which each and every can so do with all thy foes.'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twenty-seventh Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "the lady Shamsah's mother ended with saying, 'And if it so please thee we will send thee, year after year, a company of which each and every can destroy thy foes to the last man.' Then King Shahlan sat down on his throne and, summoning his Grandees and Officers of state, bade them make ready for the marriage- festivities and decorate the city seven days and nights. 'We hear and we obey,' answered they and busied themselves two months in the preparations, after which they celebrated the marriage of the Prince and Princess and held a mighty festival, never was there its like. Then they brought Janshah in to his bride and he abode with her in all solace of life and delight for two years, at the end of which time he said to her, 'Thy father promised to send us to my native land, that we might pass one year there and the next here.' Answered she, I hear and obey,' and going in to King Shahlan at nightfall told him what the Prince had said. Quoth he, 'I consent; but have patience with me till the first of the month, that I may make ready for your departure.' She repeated these words to her husband and they waited till the appointed time, when the King bade his Marids bring out to them a great litter of red gold, set with pearls and jewels and covered with a canopy of green silk, purfled in a profusion of colours and embroidered with precious stones, dazzling with its goodliness the eyes of every beholder. He chose out four of his Marids to carry the litter in whichever of the four quarters the riders might choose. Moreover, he gave his daughter three hundred beautiful damsels to wait upon her and bestowed on Janshah the like number of white slaves of the sons of the Jinn. Then the lady Shamsah took formal leave of her mother and sisters and all her kith and kin; and her father fared forth with them. So the four Marids took up the litter, each by one corner, and rising under it like birds in air, flew onward with it between earth and heaven till mid-day, when the King bade them set it down and all alighted. Then they took leave of one another and King Shahlan commended Shamsah to the Prince's care, and giving them in charge to the Marids, returned to the Castle of Jewels, whilst the Prince and Princess remounted the litter, and the Marids taking it up, flew on for ten whole days, in each of which they accomplished thirty months' journey, till they sighted the capital of King Teghmus. Now one of them knew the land of Kabul; so when he saw the city, he bade the others let down the litter at that populous place which was the capital."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twenty-eighth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "the Marid guards let down the litter at the capital of King Teghmus who had been routed and had fled from his foes into the city, where he was in sore straits, King Kafid having laid close siege to him. He sought to save himself by making peace with the King of Hind, but his enemy would give him no quarter; so seeing himself without resource or means of relief, he determined to strangle himself and to die and be at rest from this trouble and misery. Accordingly he bade his Wazirs and Emirs farewell and entered his house to take leave of his Harim; and the whole realm was full of weeping and wailing and lamentation and woe. And whilst this rout and hurly-burly was enacting, behold, the Marids descended with the litter upon the palace that was in the citadel, and Janshah bade them set it down in the midst of the Divan. They did his bidding and he alighted with his company of handmaids and Mamelukes; and, seeing all the folk of the city in straits and desolation and sore distress, said to the Princess, 'O love of my heart and coolth of mine eyes, look in what a piteous plight is my sire!' There upon she bade the Marid guard fall upon the beleaguering host and slay them, saying, 'Kill ye all, even to the last man;' and Janshah commanded one of them, by name Kartash,[FN#565] who was exceeding strong and valiant, to bring King Kafid to him in chains. So they set down the litter and covered it with the canopy; then, having waited till midnight, they attacked the enemy's camp one of them being a match for ten; or at least for eight. And while these smote the foes with iron maces, those mounted their magical elephants and soared high in the lift, and then swooping down and snatching up their opponents, tare them to pieces in mid air. But Karatash made straight for Kafid's tent where he found him lying in a couch; so he took him up, shrieking for fear, and flew with him to Janshah, who bade the four Marids bind him on the litter and hang him high in the air over his camp, that he might witness the slaughter of his men. They did as the Prince commanded them and left Kafid, who had swooned for fear, hanging between earth and air and buffeting his face for grief. As for King Teghmus, when he saw his son, he well-nigh died for excess of joy and, crying with a loud cry, fell down in a swoon. They sprinkled rose-water on his face, till he came to himself, when he and his son embraced and wept with sore weeping; for he knew not that the Jinn guard were battling with King Kafid's men. Then Princess Shamsah accosted the King and kissing his hand, said to him, 'Sire, be pleased to go up with me to the palace-roof and witness the slaughter of thy foes by my father's Marids.' So he went up to the terrace-roof and sitting down there with his daughter-in-law, enjoyed watching the Marids do havoc among the besiegers and break a way through the length and breadth of them. For one of them smote with his iron mace upon the elephants and their riders and pounded them till man was not to be distinguished from beast; whilst another shouted in the faces of those who fled, so that they fell down dead; and the third caught up a score of horsemen, beasts and all; and, towering with them high in air, cast them down on earth, so that they were torn in pieces. And this was high enjoyment for Janshah and his father and the lady Shamsah."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twenty-ninth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "King Teghmus and his son and daughter-in-law went up to the terrace roof and enjoyed a prospect of the Jinn-guards battling with the beleaguering host. And King Kafid (still hanging between heaven and earth) also saw the slaughter of his troops and wept sore and buffeted his face; nor did the carnage cease among the army of Hind for two whole days, till they were cut off even to the last man. Then Janshah commanded a Marid, by name Shimwl, chain up King Kafid with manacles and fetters, and imprison him in a tower called the Black Bulwark. And when his bidding was done, King Teghmus bade beat the drums and despatched messengers to announce the glad news to Janshah's mother, informing her of his approach; whereupon she mounted in great joy and she no sooner espied her son than she clasped him in her arms and swooned away for stress of gladness. They sprinkled rose-water on her face, till she came to herself, when she embraced him again and again wept for excess of joy. And when the lady Shamsah knew of her coming, she came to her and saluted her; and they embraced each other and after remaining embraced for an hour sat down to converse. Then King Teghmus threw open the city gates and despatched couriers to all parts of the kingdom, to spread the tidings of his happy deliverance; whereupon all his princely Vassals and Emirs and the Grandees of the realm flocked to salute him and give him joy of his victory and of the safe return of his son; and they brought him great store of rich offerings and curious presents. The visits and oblations continued for some time, after which the King made a second and a more splendid bride-feast for the Princess Shamsah and bade decorate the city and held high festival. Lastly they unveiled and paraded the bride before Janshah, with apparel and ornaments of the utmost magnificence, and when her bridegroom went in to her he presented her with an hundred beautiful slave-girls to wait upon her. Some days after this, the Princess repaired to the King and interceded with him for Kafid, saying, 'Suffer him return to his own land, and if henceforward he be minded to do thee a hurt, I will bid one of the Jinn-guard snatch him up and bring him to thee.' Replied Teghmus, 'I hear and I obey,' and bade Shimwal bring him the prisoner, who came manacled and fettered and kissed earth between his hands. Then he commanded to strike off his chains and, mounting him on a lame mare, said to him, 'Verily Princess Shamsah hath interceded for thee: so begone to thy kingdom, but if thou fall again to thine old tricks, she will send one of the Marids to seize thee and bring thee hither.' Thereupon King Kafid set off home wards, in the sorriest of plights,"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Thirtieth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "King Kafid set off homewards in the sorriest of plights, whilst Janshah and his wife abode in all solace and delight of life, making the most of its joyance and happiness. All this recounted the youth sitting between the tombs unto Bulukiya, ending with, 'And behold, I am Janshah who witnessed all these things, O my brother, O Bulukiya!' Then Bulukiya who was wandering the world in his love for Mohammed (whom Allah bless and keep!) asked Janshah, 'O my brother, what be these two sepulchres and why sittest thou between them and what causeth thy weeping?' He answered, 'Know, O Bulukiya, that we abode in all solace and delight of life, passing one year at home and the next at Takni, the Castle of Jewels, whither we betook not ourselves but in the litter borne by the Marids and flying between heaven and earth.' Quoth Bulukiya, 'O my brother, O Janshah, what was the distance between the Castle and thy home?' Quoth he, 'Every day we accomplished a journey of thirty months and the time we took was ten days. We abode on this wise a many of years till, one year we set out for the Castle of Jewels, as was our wont, and on the way thither alighted from the litter in this island to rest and take our pleasure therein. We sat down on the riverbank and ate and drank; after which the Lady Shamsah, having a mind to bathe, put off her clothes and plunged into the water. Her women did likewise and they swam about awhile, whilst I walked on along the bank of the stream leaving them to swim about and play with one another. And behold, a huge shark of the monsters of the deep seized the Princess by the leg, without touching any of the girls; and she cried out and died forthright, whilst the damsels fled out of the river to the pavilion, to escape from the shark. But after awhile they returned and taking up her corpse carried her to the litter. Now when I saw her dead, I fell down fainting and they sprinkled water on my face, till I recovered and wept over her. Then I despatched the Jinn-guards to her parents and family, announcing what had befallen her; and in the shortest time they came to the spot and washed her and shrouded her, after which they buried her by the river-side and made mourning for her. They would have carried me with them to their own country; but I said to King Shahlan, 'I beseech thee to dig me a grave beside her tomb, that, when I die, I may be buried by her side in that grave.' Accordingly, the King commanded one of his Marids to do as I wished, after which they departed and left me here to weep and mourn for her till I die. And this is my story and the cause of my sojourn between these two tombs.' And he repeated these two couplets,[FN#566]
'The house, sweet heart, is now no home to me * Since thou art gone, nor neighbour neighbourly, The friend whilom I took to heart, no more * Is friend, and brightest lights lose brilliancy.'
But when Bulukiya heard out Janshah's tale he marvelled,"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-first Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "when Bulukiya heard out Janshah's tale he wondered and exclaimed, 'By Allah, methought I had indeed wandered over the world and compassed it about; but now I forget all I have seen after listening to these adventures of thine!' He was silent a while and then resumed, 'I beg thee, of thy favour and courtesy, to direct me in the way of safety.' So Janshah directed him into the right road, and Bulukiya farewelled him and went his ways." All this the Serpent-queen related to Hasib Karim al-Din, and he asked her, "But how knowest thou of these things?"; and she answered, "O Hasib, thou must ken that I had occasion, some five- and-twenty years ago, to send one of my largest serpents to Egypt and gave her a letter for Bulukiya, saluting him. So she went there willingly for she had a daughter in the land called Bint Shumukh[FN#567]; and after asking anent Bulukiya she found him and gave him my missive. He read it and replied to the messenger snake, 'Thou comest from the Queen of the Serpents whom I am minded to visit for I have an occasion to her.' She replied, 'I hear and obey.' Then she bore him to her daughter of whom she took leave and said to her companion, 'Close thine eyes.' So he closed them and opening them again, behold, he found himself on the mountain where I now am. Then his guide carried him to a great serpent, whom he saluted; whereupon quoth she, 'Didst thou deliver the missive to Bulukiya?'; and she replied, 'Even so; and he hath accompanied me and here he standeth.' Presently Bulukiya asked after me, the Serpent-queen, and the great serpent answered, 'She hath gone to the mountain Kaf with all her host, as is her wont in winter; but next summer she will come hither again. As often as she goeth thither, she appointeth me to reign in her room, during her absence; and if thou have any occasion to her, I will accomplish it for thee.' Said he, 'I beg thee to bring me the herb, which whoso crusheth and drinketh the juice thereof, sickeneth not neither groweth grey nor dieth.' 'I will not bring it,' said the serpent, 'till thou tell me what befell thee since thou leftest the Queen of the Serpents, to go with Affan in quest of King Solomon's tomb.' So he related to her all his travels and adventures, together with the history of Janshah, and said at last, 'Grant me my request, that I may return to mine own country.' Replied the serpent, 'By the virtue of the lord Solomon, I know not where is to be found the herb whereof thou speakest.' Then she bade the serpent which had brought him thither, carry him back to Egypt: so the messenger obeyed her and said to him, 'Shut thine eyes!' He did so and, opening them again, found himself on the mountain Mukattam.[FN#568] When I returned from the mountain Kaf (added the Queen) the serpent, my deputy, informed me of Bulukiya's visit and gave me his salutations and repeated to me his story and his meeting with Janshah. And this, O Hasib, is how I came to know the adventures of Bulukiya and the history of Janshah." Thereupon Hasib said to her, "O Queen, deign recount to me what befell Bulukiya as regards his return to Egypt." She replied, "Know, O Hasib, that when he parted from Janshah he fared on nights and days till he came to a great sea; so he anointed his feet with the juice of the magical herb and, walking over the face of the waters, sped onwards till he came to an island abounding in trees and springs and fruits, as it were the Garden of Eden. He landed and walked about, till he saw an immense tree, with leaves as big as the sails of a ship. So he went up to the tree and found under it a table spread with all manner meats, whilst on a branch of the branches sat a great bird, whose body was of pearls and leek- green emeralds, its feet of silver, its beak of red carnelian and its plumery of precious metals; and it was engaged in singing the praises of Allah the Most High and blessing Mohammed (on whom be benediction and peace!)"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-second Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "when Bulukiya landed and walked about the island he found therein many marvels, especially a bird whose body was of pearls and leek green emeralds and its plumery of precious metals; and it was engaged in singing the praises of Allah the Most High and blessing Mohammed (upon whom be benediction and peace!). Seeing this he said, 'Who and what art thou?' Quoth the bird, 'I am one of the birds of Eden and followed Adam when Allah Almighty cast him out thence. And know, O my brother, that Allah also cast out with him four leaves of the trees of the garden to cover his nakedness withal, and they fell to the ground after awhile. One of them was eaten by a worm, and of it came silk: the gazelles ate the second and thence proceeded musk, the third was eaten by bees and gave rise to honey, whilst the fourth fell in the land of Hind and from it sprang all manner of spices. As for me, I wandered over the face of earth till Allah deigned give me this island for a dwelling-place, and I took up my abode here. And every Friday from night till morning the Saints and Princes[FN#569] of the Faith flock to this place and make pious visitation and eat from this table spread by Allah Almighty; and after they have eaten, the table is taken up again to Heaven: nor doth the food ever waste or corrupt.' So Bulukiya ate his fill of the meats and praised the Great Creator. And presently, behold, there came up Al-Khizr[FN#570] (with whom be peace!), at sight of whom Bulukiya rose and saluting him, was about to withdraw, when the bird said to him, 'Sit, O Bulukiya, in the presence of Al-Khizr, on whom be peace!' So he sat down again, and Al-Khizr said to him, 'Let me know who thou art and tell me thy tale.' Thereupon Bulukiya related to him all his adventures from beginning to end and asked, 'O my lord, how far is it hence to Cairo?' 'Five and ninety years' journey,' replied the Prophet; whereupon Bulukiya burst into tears; then, falling at Al-Khizr's feet, kissed them and said to him, 'I beseech thee deliver me from this strangerhood and thy reward be with Allah, for that I am nigh upon death and know not what to do.' Quoth Al-Khizr, 'Pray to Allah Almighty that He permit me to carry thee to Cairo, ere thou perish.' So Bulukiya wept and humbled himself before Allah who granted his prayer, and by inspiration bade Al-Khizr bear him to his people. Then said the Prophet, 'Lift thy head, for Allah hath heard thy prayer and hath inspired me to do what thou desires; so take fast hold of me with both thy hands and shut thine eyes.' The Prince did as he was bidden and Al-Khizr stepped a single step forwards, then said to him, 'Open thine eyes!' So Bulukiya opened his eyes and found himself at the door of his palace at Cairo. He turned, to take leave of Al-Khizr, but found no trace of him."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-third Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "when Bulukiya, standing at the gate of his palace, turned to take leave of Al-Khizr, he found no trace of him and entered the palace. When his mother saw him, she cried with a loud cry and swooned away for excess of joy, and they sprinkled water upon her face. After awhile she came to herself and embraced her son and wept with sore weeping, whilst Bulukiya wept and laughed by turns. Then all his friends and kindred came and gave him joy of his safe return, and the news was noised abroad in the land and there came to him presents from all parts. Moreover, they beat the drums and blew the flutes and rejoiced mightily. Then Bulukiya related to them his adventures ending with recounting how Al-Khizr had set him down at his palace door, whereat they marvelled exceedingly and wept, till all were a-weary of weeping." Hasib wondered at the Queen's tale and shed many tears over it; then he again besought her to let him return to his family; but she said, "I fear me, O Hasib, that when thou gettest back to thy country thou wilt fail of thy promise and prove traitor to thine oath and enter the Hammam." But he swore to her another solemn oath that he would never again enter the baths as long as he lived; whereupon she called a serpent and bade her carry him up to the surface of the earth. So the serpent took him and led him from place to place, till she brought him out on the platform-edge of an abandoned cistern and there left him. Upon this he walked to the city and, coming to his house by the last of the day, at the yellowing of the sun, knocked at the door. His mother opened it and seeing her son screamed out and threw herself upon him and wept for excess of joy. His wife heard her mother-in-law weeping; so she came out to her and seeing her husband, saluted him and kissed his hands; and each rejoiced in other with exceeding joy of all three. Then they entered the house and sat down to converse and presently Hasib asked his mother of the woodcutters, who had left him to perish in the cistern. Quoth she, "They came and told me that a wolf had eaten thee in the Wady. As for them, they are become merchants and own houses and shops, and the world is grown wide for them. But every day they bring me meat and drink, and thus have they done until the present time." Quoth Hasib, "To-morrow do thou go to them and say, "My son Hasib Karim al-Din hath returned from his travels; so come ye to meet him and salute him." Accordingly, when morning dawned, she repaired to the woodcutters' houses and delivered to them her son's message, which when they heard, they changed colour, and saying, "We hear and obey," gave her each a suit of silk, embroidered with gold, adding, "Present this to thy good son[FN#571] and tell him that we will be with him to-morrow." She assented and returning to Hasib gave him their presents and message. Meanwhile, the woodcutters called together a number of merchants and, acquainting them with all that had passed between themselves and Hasib, took counsel with them what they should do. Quoth the merchants, "It behoveth each one of you to give him half his monies and Mamelukes." And they all agreed to do this; so on the next day, each of them took half his wealth and, going in to Hasib, saluted him and kissed his hands. Then they laid before him what they had brought, saying, "This is of thy bounties, and we are in thy hands." He accepted their peace- offering and said, "What is past is past: that which befell us was decreed of Allah, and destiny doeth away with dexterity." Quoth they, "Come, let us walk about and take our solace in the city and visit the Hammam." Quoth he, "Not so: I have taken an oath never again to enter the baths, so long as I live." Rejoined they, at least come to our homes that we may entertain thee." He agreed to this, and went to their houses and each of them entertained him for a night and a day; nor did they cease to do thus for a whole sennight, being seven in number. And now Hasib was master of monies and houses and shops, and the merchants of the city foregathered with him and he told them all that had befallen him. He became one of the chiefs of the guild and abode on this wise awhile, till it happened one day, as he was walking about the streets, that he passed the door of a Hammam, whose keeper was one of his companions. When the bathman, who was standing without, caught his eye he ran up to him and saluted him and embraced him, saying, "Favour me by entering the bath and there wash and be rubbed that I may show thee hospitality." Hasib refused, alleging that he had taken a solemn oath never again to enter the Hammam; but the bathman was instant with him, saying, "Be my three wives triply divorced, can thou enter not and be washed!" When Hasib heard him thus conjure him, he was confounded and replied, "O my brother, hast thou a mind to ruin my house and make my children orphans and lay a load of sin upon my neck?" But his friend threw himself at his feet and kissed them, saying, "My happiness dependeth upon thy entering, and be the sin on the neck of me!" Then all the servants of the bath set upon Hasib and dragging him in pulled off his clothes. But hardly had he sat down against the wall and begun to pour water on his head when a score of men accosted him, saying, "Rise, O man, and come with us to the Sultan, for thou art his debtor." Then they despatched one of them as messenger to the Sultan's Minister, who straightway took horse and rode, attended by threescore Mamelukes, to the baths, where he alighted and going in to Hasib, saluted him and said, "Welcome to thee!" Then he gave the bathman an hundred diners and, mounting Hasib on a horse he had brought with him, returned with him and all his men to the Sultan's palace. Here he bade them aid Hasib to dismount and, after seating him comfortably, set food before him; and when they had eaten and drunken and washed their hands, the Wazir clad him in two dresses of honour each worth five thousand diners and said to him, "Know that Allah hath been merciful to us in sending thee; for the Sultan is nigh upon death by leprosy, and the books tell us that his life is in thy hands. Then, accompanied by a host of Grandees, he took him wondering withal and carried him through the seven doorways of the palace, till they came to the King's chamber. Now the name of this King was Karazdn, King of Persia and of the Seven Countries, and under his sway were an hundred sovereign princes sitting on chairs of red gold, and ten thousand valiant captains, under each one's hand an hundred deputies and as many headsmen armed with sword and axe. They found the King lying on his bed with his face swathed in a napkin, and groaning for excess of pain. When Hasib saw this ordinance, his wit was dazed for awe of the King; so he kissed the ground before him, and prayed a blessing on him. Then the Grand Wazir, whose name was Shamhr, rose and welcoming Hasib, seated him on a high chair at the King's right hand."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-fourth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir Shamhur rose to Hasib and seated him on a chair at the right hand of King Karazdan; after which he called for food and the tables were laid. And when they had eaten and drunken and washed their hands, Shamhur stood up (while all present also stood to do him honour) and, approaching Hasib said to him, "We are all thy servants and will give thee whatsoever thou askest, even were it one half the kingdom, so thou wilt but cure the King." Saying this, he led him by the hand to the royal couch, and Hasib, uncovering the King's face, saw that he was at last fatal stage of the disease; so he wondered at their hoping for a cure. But the Wazir kissed his hand and repeated his offers and ended with saying, "All we want of thee is to heal our King:" so he said to the Wazir, "True that I am the son of Allah's prophet, Daniel, but I know nothing of his art: for they put me thirty days in the school of medicine and I learnt nothing of the craft. I would well I knew somewhat thereof and might heal the King." Hearing this, the Grand Wazir said, "Do not multiply words upon us; for though we should gather together to us physicians from the East and from the West, none could cure the King save thou." Answered Hasib, "How can I make him whole, seeing I know neither his case nor its cure?" Quoth the Minister, "His healing is in thy hands," and quoth Hasib, "If I knew the remedy of his sickness, I would heal him." Thereupon the Wazir rejoined, "Thou keenest a cure right well; the remedy of his sickness is the Queen of the Serpents, and thou knowest her abiding-place and hast been with her." When Hasib heard this, he knew that all this came of his entering the Baths, and repented whenas repentance availed him naught; then said he, "What is the Queen of the Serpents? I know her not nor ever in all my life heard I of this name." Retorted the Wazir, "Deny not the knowledge of her, for I have proof that thou knowest her and hast passed two years with her." Repeated Hasib, "Verily, I never saw her nor even heard of her till this moment;" upon which Shamhur opened a book and, after making sundry calculations, raised his head and spake as follows. "The Queen of the Serpents shall foregather with a man who shall abide with her two years; then shall he return from her and come forth to the surface of the earth, and when he entereth the Hammam bath his belly will become black." Then said he, "Look at thy belly." So Hasib looked at his own belly and behold, it was black: but he persisted in his denial and said, "My belly was black from the day my mother bare me." Said the Wazir, "I had stationed three Mamelukes at the door of every Hammam, bidding them note all who entered and let me know when they found one whose belly was black: so, when thou enteredst, they looked at thy belly and, finding it black, sent and told me, after we had well-nigh lost hope of coming upon thee. All we want of thee is to show us the place whence thou camest out and after go thy ways; for we have those with us who will take the Queen of the Serpents and fetch her to us." Then all the other Wazirs and Emirs and Grandees flocked about Hasib who sorely repented of his misdeed; and they conjured him, till they were weary, to show them the abode of the Queen; but he ceased not saying, "I never saw nor heard of the matter." Then the Grand Wazir called the hangman and bade him strip Hasib and beat him a sore beating; and so they did till he saw death face to face, for excess of pain, and the Wazir said, "We have proof that thou knowest the abiding-place of the Queen of the Serpents: why wilt thou persist in denial? Show us the place whence thou camest out and go from us; we have with us one who will take her, and no harm shall befall thee." Then he raised him and bade give him a dress of honour of cloth of red gold, embroidered with jewels, and spoke him fair till Hasib yielded and said, "I will show you the place." At this the Wazir rejoiced with great joy and took horse with all his many and rode, guided by Hasib, and never drew rein till they came to the mountain containing the cavern wherein he had found the cistern full of honey. There all dismounted and followed him as he entered, sighing and weeping, and showed them the well whence he had issued; whereupon the Wazir sat down thereby and, sprinkling perfumes upon a chafing-dish, began to mutter charms and conjurations; for he was a crafty magician and diviner and skilled in spiritual arts. He repeated three several formulas of conjuration and between each threw fresh incense upon the fire, crying out and saying, "Come forth, O Queen of the Serpents!;" when behold, the water of the well sank down and a great door opened in the side, from which came a mighty noise of crying like unto thunder, so terrible that they thought the well had caved in and all present fell down fainting; nay, some even died for fright. Presently, there issued from the well a serpent as big as an elephant, casting out sparks, like red hot coals, from its eyes and mouth and bearing on its back a charger of red gold, set with pearls and jewels, in the midst whereof lay a serpent from whose body issued such splendour that the place was illumined thereby; and her face was fair and young and she spoke with most eloquent tongue. The Serpent-queen turned right and left, till her eyes fell upon Hasib, to whom said she "Where is the covenant thou madest with me, and the oath thou swearest to me, that thou wouldst never again enter the Hammam-bath? But there is no fighting against Fate nor hath any ever fled from that which is written on his forehead. Allah hath appointed the end of my life for thy hand to hend, and it is His will that slain I be and King Karazdan be healed of his malady." So saying, she wept with sore weeping and Hasib wept to see her weep. As for the abominable Wazir Shamhur; he put out his hand to lay hold of her; but she said to him, "Hold thy hand, O accursed, or I will blow upon thee and reduce thee to a heap of black ashes." Then she cried out to Hasib, saying, "Draw near me and take me in thine hand and lay me in the dish that is with you: then set it on thy head, for my death was fore-ordained, from Eternity without beginning,[FN#572] to be at thy hand, and thou hast no power to avert it." So he took her and laid her in the dish, and put it on his head, when the well returned to its former state. Then they set out on their return to the city, Hasib carrying the dish on his head, and when they were half-way behold, the Queen of the Serpents said to him privily, "Hearken, O Hasib, to my friendly counsel, for all thou hast broken faith with me and been false to thine oath, and hast done this misdeed, but it was fore-ordained from all eternity." He replied "To hear is to obey," and she continued, "It is this: when thou comest to the Wazir's house, he will bid thee behead me and cut me in three; but do thou refuse saying, 'I know not how to slaughter[FN#473]' and leave him to do it with his own hand and to work his wicked will. When he hath cut my throat and divided my body into three pieces there will come a messenger, to bid him to the King, so he will lay my flesh in a cauldron of brass and set it upon a brasier before going to the presence and he will say to thee, 'Keep up the fire under the cauldron till the scum rise; then skim it off and pour it into a phial to cool. Wait till it cool and then drink it, so shall naught of malady or pain be left in all thy body. When the second scum riseth, skim it off and pour it into a phial against my return from the King, that I may drink it for an ailment I have in my loins.' Then will he give thee the phials and go to the King, and when he is gone, do thou light the fire and wait till the first scum rise and set it in a phial; keep it by thee but beware of drinking it, or no good will befall thee. When the second scum riseth, skim it off and put it in a second phial and drink it down as soon as it cools. When the Wazir returneth and asketh thee for the second phial, give him the first and note what shall befall him;"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-fifth Night,
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Serpent-queen charged Hasib not to drink of the first scum and carefully to keep the second, saying, "When the Wazir returneth from the King and asketh for the second phial, give him the first and note what shall befall him; then drink the contents of the second phial and thy heart will become the home of wisdom. After this take up the flesh and, laying it in a brazen platter, carry it to the King and give him to eat thereof. When he hath eaten it and it hath settled in his stomach, veil his face with a kerchief and wait by him till noontide, when he will have digested the meat. Then give him somewhat of wine to drink and, by the decree of Allah Almighty, he will be healed of his unhealth and be made whole as he was. And give thou ear to the charge wherewith I charge thee; and keep it in thy memory with carefullest keeping." They ceased not faring till they came to the Wazir's house, and he said to Hasib, "Come in with me!" So he went in and the troops dispersed and fared each his own way; whereupon Hasib set down the platter and the Wazir bade him slay the Queen of the Serpents; but he said, "I know not how to slaughter and never in my born days killed I aught. An thou wilt have her throat cut, do it with thine own hand." So the Minister Shamhur took the Queen from the platter and slew her, seeing which Hasib wept bitter tears and the Wazir laughed at him, saying, "O weak of wits, how canst thou weep for the killing of a worm?" Then he cut her in three and, laying the pieces in a brass cauldron, set it on the fire and sat down to await the cooking of the flesh. And whilst he was sitting, lo! there came a slave from the King, who said to him, "The King calls for thee without stay or delay," and he answered saying, "I hear and I obey." So he gave Hasib two phials and bade him drink the first scum and keep the second against his return,[FN#574] even as the Queen of the Serpents had foretold; after which he went away with repeated charges and injunctions; and Hasib tended the fire under the cauldron till the first scum rose, when he skimmed it off and, setting it in one of the phials, kept it by him. He then fed the fire till the second scum rose; then he skimmed it off and, putting it in the other phial kept it for himself. And when the meat was done, he took the cauldron off the fire and sat awaiting the Wazir who asked him on return, "What hast thou done?" and answered Hasib, "I did thy bidding to the last word." Quoth the Wazir, "What hast thou done with the first phial?" "I drank its contents but now," replied Hasib, and Shamhur asked, "Thy body feeleth it no change?"; whereto Hasib answered, "Verily, I feel as I were on fire from front to foot." The villain Wazir made no reply hiding the truth but said, "Hand me the second phial, that I may drink what is therein, so haply I may be made whole of this ailing in my loins." So Hasib brought him the first phial and he drank it off, thinking it contained the second scum; but hardly had he done drinking when the phial fell from his hand and he swelled up and dropped down dead; and thus was exemplified in him the saying; "Whoso for his brother diggeth a pit, he shall be the first to fall into it." Now when Hasib saw this, he wondered and feared to drink of the second phial; but he remembered the Serpent-queen's injunction and bethought him that the Wazir would not have reserved the second scum for himself, had there been aught of hurt therein. So he said, "I put my trust in Allah,'[FN#575] and drank off the contents of the phial. No sooner had he done so, than the Most Highest made the waters of wisdom to well up in his heart and opened to him the fountains of knowledge, and joy and gladness overcame him. Then he took the serpent's flesh from the cauldron and, laying it on a platter of brass, went forth from the Wazir's house. On his way to the palace he raised his eyes and saw the seven Heavens and all that therein is, even to the Lote-tree, beyond which there is no passing,[FN#576] and the manner of the revolution of the spheres. Moreover, Allah discovered to him the ordinance of the planets and the scheme of their movements and the fixed stars; and he saw the contour of the land and sea, whereby he became informed with geometry, astrology and astronomy and mathematics and all that hangeth thereby; and he understood the causes and consequences of eclipses of the sun and moon. Then he looked at the earth and saw all minerals and vegetables that are therein and thereon; and he learned their properties, and their virtues, so that he became in an instant versed in medicine and chemistry and natural magic and the art of making gold and silver. And he ceased not carrying the flesh till he came to the palace, when he went in to King Karazdan, and kissing the ground before him, said, "May thy head survive thy Wazir Shamhur!" The King was mightily angered at the news of the Grand Wazir's death and wept for him, whilst his Emirs and his Grandees and officers also wept. Then said Karazdan, "He was with me but now, in all health, and went away to fetch me the flesh of the Queen of the Serpents, if it should be cooked; what befell him that he is now dead, and what accident hath betided him?" So Hasib told him the whole truth how the Minister had drunk the contents of the phial and had forthwith swelled out and died. The King mourned for his loss with mourning sore and said to Hasib, "What shall I do without Shamhur?" and Hasib answered "Grieve not, O King of the age; for I will cure thee within three days and leave no whit of disease in thy body." At this the King's breast waxed broad and he said, "I wish to be made whole of this affliction, though after a long term of years." So Hasib set the platter before the King and made him eat a slice of the flesh of the Serpent-queen. Then he covered him up and, spreading a kerchief over his face, bade him sleep and sat down by his side. He slept from noonday till sundown, while his stomach digested the piece of flesh, and presently he awoke. Hasib gave him somewhat of wine to drink and bade him sleep again; so he slept till the morning and when dawn appeared, Hasib repeated the treatment making him eat another piece of the flesh; and thus he did with him three days following, till he had eaten the whole, when his skin began to shrink and scale off and he perspired, so that the sweat ran down from his head to his heels. Therewith he became whole and there abode in him no trace of the disease, which when Hasib saw, he said, "There is no help for it but thou go to the Hammam." So he carried him to the bath and washed his body; and when he came forth, it was like a wand of silver and he was restored to health, nay, sounder than he was before he fell ill. Thereupon he donned his richest robes and, seating himself on his throne, deigned make Hasib sit beside him. Then he bade the tables be spread and they ate and washed their hands; after which he called for the service of wine and both drank their fill. Upon this all his Wazirs and Emirs and Captains and the Grandees of his realm and the notables of the lieges came in to him and gave him joy of his recovery; and they beat the drums and adorned the city in token of rejoicing. Then said the King to the assembly, "O Wazirs and Emirs and Grandees, this is Hasim Karim al-Din, who hath healed me of my sickness, and know all here present that I make him my Chief Wazir in the stead of the Wazir Shamhur."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-sixth Night,
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth King Karazdan to his Ministers and high lords, "He who healed me of my sickness is none other than Hasib Karim al-Din here present. Therefore I make him my Chief Wazir in the stead of the Wazir Shamhur; and whoso loveth him loveth me, and whoso honoureth him honoureth me, and he who obeyeth him obeyeth me." "Hearkening and obedience," answered they and all rising flocked to kiss Hasib's hand and salute him and give him joy of the Wazirate. Then the King bestowed on him a splendid dress of gold brocade, set with pearls and gems, the least of which was worth five thousand gold pieces. Moreover, he presented to him three hundred male white slaves and the like number of concubines, in loveliness like moons, and three hundred Abyssinian[FN#577] slave-girls, beside five hundred mules laden with treasure and sheep and oxen and buffaloes and bulls and other cattle beyond count; and he commanded all his Wazirs and Emirs and Grandees and Notables and Mamelukes and his subjects in general to bring him gifts. Presently Hasib took horse and rode, followed by the Wazirs and Emirs and lords and all the troops, to the house which the King had set apart for him, where he sat down on a chair; and the Wazirs and Emirs came up to him and kissed hands and gave him joy of his Ministership, vying with one another in suit and service. When his mother and his household knew what had happened, they rejoiced with exceeding joy and congratulated him on his good fortune; and his quondam comrades the woodcutters also came and gave him joy. Then he mounted again and, riding to the house of the late Wazir Shamhur, laid hands on all that was therein and transported it to his own abode. On this wise did Hasib, from a dunsical know-nothing, unskilled to read writing, become, by the decree of Allah Almighty, an adept in every science and versed in all manner of knowledge, so that the fame of his learning was blazed abroad over the land and he became renowned as an ocean of lore and skill in medicine and astronomy and geometry and astrology and alchemy and natural magic and the Cabbala and Spiritualism and all other arts and sciences. One day, he said to his mother, "My father Daniel was exceeding wise and learned; tell me what he left by way of books or what not!" So his mother brought him the chest and, taking out the five leaves which had been saved when the library was lost, gave them to him saying, "These five scrolls are all thy father left thee." So he read them and said to her, "O my mother, these leaves are part of a book: where is the rest?" Quoth she, "Thy father made a voyage taking with him all his library and, when he was shipwrecked, every book was lost save only these five leaves. And when he was returned to me by Almighty Allah he found me with child and said to me: 'Haply thou wilt bear a boy; so take these scrolls and keep them by thee and whenas thy son shall grow up and ask what his father left him, give these leaves to him and say, 'Thy father left these as thine only heritance. And lo! here they are.' " And Hasib, now the most learned of his age, abode in all pleasure and solace, and delight of life, till there came to him the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of societies.[FN#578] And yet, O King, is not this tale of Bulukiya and Janshah more wondrous than the adventures of
End of Volume V.
Arabian Nights, Volume 5 Footnotes
[FN#1] This tale (one of those translated by Galland) is best and fullest in the Bresl. Edit. iii. 329.
[FN#2] Europe has degraded this autumnal festival, the Sun-fte Mihrgn (which balanced the vernal Nau-roz) into Michaelmas and its goose-massacre. It was so called because it began on the 16th of Mihr, the seventh month; and lasted six days, with feasts, festivities and great rejoicings in honour of the Sun, who now begins his southing-course to gladden the other half of the world.
[FN#3] "Hind" is an Indian Moslem as opposed to "Hind," a pagan, or Gentoo.
[FN#4] The orig. Persian word is "Shh-pr"=King's son: the Greeks (who had no sh) (preferred ); the Romans turned it into Sapor and the Arabs (who lack the p) into Sbr. See p. x. Hamz ispahanensis Annalium Libri x.: Gottwaldt, Lipsi mdcccxlviii.
[FN#5] The magic horse may have originated with the Hindu tale of a wooden Garuda (the bird of Vishnu) built by a youth for the purpose of a vehicle. It came with the "Moors" to Spain and appears in "Le Cheval de Fust," a French poem of the thirteenth Century. Thence it passed over to England as shown by Chaucer's "Half-told tale of Cambuscan (Janghz Khan?) bold," as
"The wondrous steed of brass On which the Tartar King did ride;"
And Leland (Itinerary) derives "Rutlandshire" from "a man named Rutter who rode round it on a wooden horse constructed by art magic." Lane (ii. 548) quotes the parallel story of Cleomades and Claremond which Mr. Keightley (Tales and Popular Fictions, chapt. ii) dates from our thirteenth century. See Vol. i., p. 160.
[FN#6] All Moslems, except those of the Mliki school, hold that the maker of an image representing anything of life will be commanded on the Judgment Day to animate it, and failing will be duly sent to the Fire. This severity arose apparently from the necessity of putting down idol-worship and, perhaps, for the same reason the Greek Church admits pictures but not statues. Of course the command has been honoured with extensive breaching: for instance all the Sultans of Stambul have had their portraits drawn and painted.
[FN#7] This description of ugly old age is written with true Arab verve.
[FN#8] Arab. "Badinjn": Hind. Bengan: Pers. Bdingn or Badiljn; the Mala insana (Solanum pomiferum or S. Melongena) of the Romans, well known in Southern Europe. It is of two kinds, the red (Solanum lycopersicum) and the black (S. Melongena). The Spaniards know it as "berengeria" and when Sancho Panza (Part ii. chapt. 2) says, "The Moors are fond of egg-plants" he means more than appears. The vegetable is held to be exceedingly heating and thereby to breed melancholia and madness; hence one says to a man that has done something eccentric, "Thou hast been eating brinjalls."
[FN#9] Again to be understood Hibernice "kilt."
[FN#10] i.e. for fear of the evil eye injuring the palace and, haply, himself.
[FN#11] The "Sufrah" before explained acting provision-bag and table-cloth.
[FN#12] Eastern women in hot weather, lie mother-nude under a sheet here represented by the hair. The Greeks and Romans also slept stripped and in medival England the most modest women saw nothing indelicate in sleeping naked by their naked husbands. The "night-cap" and the "night-gown" are comparatively modern inventions.
[FN#13] Hindu fable turns this simile into better poetry, "She was like a second and a more wondrous moon made by the Creator."
[FN#14] "Sun of the Day."
[FN#15] Arab. "Shirk"=worshipping more than one God. A theological term here most appropriately used.
[FN#16] The Bul. Edit. as usual abridges (vol. i. 534). The Prince lands on the palace-roof where he leaves his horse, and finding no one in the building goes back to the terrace. Suddenly he sees a beautiful girl approaching him with a party of her women, suggesting to him these couplets,
"She came without tryst in the darkest hour, * Like full moon lighting horizon's night: Slim-formed, there is not in the world her like * For grace of form or for gifts of sprite: 'Praise him who made her from semen-drop,' * I cried, when her beauty first struck my sight: I guard her from eyes, seeking refuge with * The Lord of mankind and of morning-light."
The two then made acquaintance and "follows what follows."
[FN#17] Arab. "Aksirah," explained (vol. i., 75) as the plur. of Kisr.
[FN#18] The dearest ambition of a slave is not liberty but to have a slave of his own. This was systematised by the servile rulers known in history as the Mameluke Beys and to the Egyptians as the Ghuzz. Each had his household of servile pages and squires, who looked forward to filling the master's place as knight or baron.
[FN#19] The well-known capital of Al-Yaman, a true Arabia Felix, a Paradise inhabited by demons in the shape of Turkish soldiery and Arab caterans. According to Moslem writers Sana'a was founded by Shem son of Noah who, wandering southward with his posterity after his father's death, and finding the site delightful, dug a well and founded the citadel, Ghamdn, which afterwards contained a Mason Carre rivalling (or attempting to rival) the Meccan Ka'abah. The builder was Surahbl who, says M.C. de Perceval coloured its four faces red, white, golden and green; the central quadrangle had seven stories (the planets) each forty cubits high, and the lowest was a marble hall ceiling'd with a single slab. At the four corners stood hollow lions through whose mouths the winds roared. This palatial citadel-temple was destroyed by order of Caliph Omar. The city's ancient name was Azal or Uzal whom some identify with one of the thirteen sons of Joktan (Genesis xi. 27): it took its present name from the Ethiopian conquerors (they say) who, seeing it for the first time, cried "Haz Sana'ah!" meaning in their tongue, this is commodious, etc. I may note that the word is Kisawahili (Zanzibarian) e.g. "Ymbo sn—is the state good?" Sana'a was the capital of the Tabbi'ah or Tobba Kings who judaized; and the Abyssinians with their Negush made it Christian while the Persians under Anushirwn converted it to Guebrism. It is now easily visited but to little purpose; excursions in the neighborhood being deadly dangerous. Moreover the Turkish garrison would probably murder a stranger who sympathised with the Arabs, and the Arabs kill one who took part with their hated and hateful conquerors. The late Mr. Shapira of Jerusalem declared that he had visited it and Jews have great advantages in such travel. But his friends doubted him.
[FN#20] The Bresl. Edit. (iii. 347) prints three vile errors in four lines.
[FN#21] Alcove is a corruption of the Arab. Al-Kubbah (the dome) through Span. and Port.
[FN#22] Easterns as a rule sleep with head and body covered by a sheet or in cold weather a blanket. The practice is doubtless hygienic, defending the body from draughts when the pores are open; but Europeans find it hard to adopt; it seems to stop their breathing. Another excellent practice in the East, and indeed amongst barbarians and savages generally, is training children to sleep with mouths shut: in after life they never snore and in malarious lands they do not require Outram's "fever-guard," a swathe of muslin over the mouth. Mr. Catlin thought so highly of the "shut mouth" that he made it the subject of a book.
[FN#23] Arab. "Hanzal"=coloquintida, an article often mentioned by Arabs in verse and prose; the bright coloured little gourd attracts every eye by its golden glance when travelling through the brown-yellow waste of sand and clay. A favourite purgative (enough for a horse) is made by filling the inside with sour milk which is drunks after a night's soaking: it is as active as the croton-nut of the Gold Coast.
[FN#24] The Bresl. Edit. iii. 354 sends him to the "land of Sn" (China).
[FN#25] Arab. "Y Kisrawi!"=O subject of the Kisr or Chosro; the latter explained in vol.i.,75.[Volume 1, Footnote # 128] "Fars" is the origin of "Persia"; and there is a hit at the prodigious lying of the modern race, whose forefathers were so famous as truth-tellers. "I am a Persian, but I am not lying now," is a phrase familiar to every traveller.
[FN#26] There is no such name: perhaps it is a clerical error for "Har jh"(a man of) any place. I know an Englishman who in Persian called himself "Mirza Abdullah-i-Hchmakni"Master Abdullah of Nowhere.
[FN#27] The Bresl. Edit. (loc. cit.) gives a comical description of the Prince assuming the dress of an astrologer-doctor, clapping an old book under his arm, fumbling a rosary of beads, enlarging his turband, lengthening his sleeves and blackening his eyelids with antimony. Here, however, it would be out of place. Very comical also is the way in which he pretends to cure the maniac by "muttering unknown words, blowing in her face, biting her ear," etc.
[FN#28] Arab. "Sar'a"=falling sickness. Here again we have in all its simplicity the old nursery idea of "possession" by evil spirits.
[FN#29] Arab. "Nafaht"=breathings, benefits, the Heb. Neshamah opp. to Nephesh (soul) and Ruach (spirit). Healing by the breath is a popular idea throughout the East and not unknown to Western Magnetists and Mesmerists. The miraculous cures of the Messiah were, according to Moslems, mostly performed by aspiration. They hold that in the days of Isa, physic had reached its highest development, and thus his miracles were mostly miracles of medicine; whereas, in Mohammed's time, eloquence had attained its climax and accordingly his miracles were those of eloquence, as shown in the Koran and Ahds.
[FN#30] Lit. "The rose in the sleeves or calyces." I take my English equivalent from Jeremy Taylor, "So I have seen a rose newly springing from the clefts of its hood," etc.
[FN#31] These lines are from the Bresl. Edit. (v. 35). The four couplets in the Mac. Edit. are too irrelevant.
[FN#32] Polo, which Lane calls "Goff."
[FN#33] Arab. "Muffawak"=well-notched, as its value depends upon the notch. At the end of the third hemistitch Lane's Shaykh very properly reads "baghtatan" (suddenly) for "burhatan"=during a long time.
[FN#34] "Uns" (which the vulgar pronounce Anas) "al- Wujud"=Delight of existing things, of being, of the world. Uns wa jud is the normal pun=love-intimacy and liberality; and the caranomasia (which cannot well be rendered in English) re-appears again and again. The story is throughout one of love; hence the quantity of verse.
[FN#35] The allusion to a "written N" suggests the elongated not the rounded form of the letter as in Night cccxxiv.
[FN#36] The fourteenth Arabic letter in its medial form resembling an eye.
[FN#37] This is done by the man passing his fingers over the brow as if to wipe off perspiration; the woman acknowledges it by adjusting her head-veil with both hands. As a rule in the Moslem East women make the first advances; and it is truly absurd to see a great bearded fellow blushing at being ogled. During the Crimean war the fair sex of Constantinople began by these allurements but found them so readily accepted by the Giaours that they were obliged to desist.
[FN#38] The greatest of all explorers and discoverers of the world will be he who finds a woman confessing inability to keep a secret.
[FN#39] The original is intensely prosaicand so am I.
[FN#40] Arab. "Sunnat," the practice of the Prophet. For this prayer and other silly and superstitious means of discovering the "right direction" (which is often very wrongly directed) see Lane, M.E. chapt. xi.
[FN#41] Arab. "Bahr (sea or river) al-Kunuz": Lane (ii. 576) ingeniously identifies the site with the Upper Nile whose tribes, between Assouan (Syene) and Wady al-Subu'a are called the "Kunuz"lit. meaning "treasures" or "hoards." Philae is still known as the "Islet of Anas (for Uns) al-Wujud;" and the learned and accurate Burckhardt (Travels in Nubia p. 5) records the local legend that a mighty King called Al-Wujud built the Osirian temples. I can give no information concerning Jabal al-Sakla (Thakla), the Mount of the woman bereft of children, beyond the legend contained in Night ccclxxix.
[FN#42] A religious mendicant (lit. a pauper), of whom there are two great divisions. The Shara'i acts according to the faith: the others (La Shara'i, or irreligious) are bound by no such prejudices and are pretty specimens of scoundrels. (Pilgrimage i.22.)
[FN#43] Meaning his lips and palate were so swollen by drought.
[FN#44] It is a pious act in time of mortal danger to face the Kiblah or Meccan temple, as if standing in prayer.
[FN#45] Still the belief of the Badawi who tries to work upon the beast's compassion: "O great King I am a poor man, with wife and family, so spare me that Allah spare thee!" and so forth. If not famished the lion will often stalk off looking behind him as he goes; but the man will never return by the same path; "for," says he, "haply the Father of Roaring may repent him of a wasted opportunity." These lion-tales are very common, witness that of Androcles at Rome and a host of others. Una and her lion is another phase. It remained for M. Jules Gerard, first the chasseur and then the tueur, du lion, to assail the reputation of the lion and the honour of the lioness.
[FN#46] Abu Haris=Father of spoils: one of the lion's hundred titles.
[FN#47] "They" again for "she."
[FN#48] Jaxartes and Oxus. The latter (Jayhun or Amu, Oxus or Bactros) is famous for dividing Iran from Turan, Persia from Tartaria. The lands to its north are known as Ma wara al-Nahr (Mawerannahar) or "What is behind the stream,"=Transoxiana and their capitals were successively Samarcand and Bokhara.
[FN#49] Arab. "Dani was gharib"=friend and foe. The lines are partly from the Mac. Edit. and partly from the Bresl. Edit., v. 55.
[FN#50] Arab. "Wa Rahmata-hu!" a form now used only in books.
[FN#51] Before noted. The relationship, like that of foster- brother, has its rights, duties and privileges.
[FN#52] Arab. "Istikharah," before explained as praying for direction by omens of the rosary, opening the Koran and reading the first verse sighted, etc., etc. At Al-Medinah it is called Khirah and I have suggested (Pilgrimage, ii. 287) that it is a relic of the Azlam or Kidah (divining arrows) of paganism. But the superstition is not local: we have the Sortes Virgilianae (Virgil being a magician) as well as Coranicae.
[FN#53] Arab. "Wujud al-Habib," a pun, also meaning, "Wujud my beloved."
[FN#54] Arab. "Khilal," as an emblem of attenuation occurring in Al-Hariri (Ass. of Alexandria, etc.); also thin as a spindle (Maghzal), as a reed, and dry as a pair of shears. In the Ass. of Barka'id the toothpick is described as a beautiful girl. The use of this cleanly article was enjoined by Mohammed:—"Cleanse your mouths with toothpicks; for your mouths are the abode of the guardian angels; whose pens are the tongues, and whose ink is the spittle of men; and to whom naught is more unbearable than remains of food in the mouth." A mighty apparatus for a small matter; but in very hot lands cleanliness must rank before godliness.
[FN#55] The sense is ambiguous. Lane renders the verse:—"Thou resemblest it (rose) not of my portion" and gives two explanations "because HE is of my portion," or, "because HIS cheek cannot be rosy if MINE is not." Mr. Payne boldly translates
"If the rose ape his cheek, 'Now God forfend,' I say, 'That of my portion aught to pilfer thou shouldst try'."
[FN#56] Arab. "lif" (not "fibres which grow at the top of the trunk," Lane ii. 577); but the fibre of the fronds worked like the cocoa-nut fibre which forms the now well-known Indian "coir." This "lif" is also called "filfil" or "fulfil" which Dr. Jonathan Scott renders "pepper" (Lane i. 8) and it forms a clean succedaneum for one of the uncleanest articles of civilisation, the sponge. It is used in every Hammam and is (or should be) thrown away after use.
[FN#57] Arab. "Shinf;" a course sack, a "gunny-bag;" a net compared with such article.
[FN#58] The eunuch tells him that he is not a "Sandali"=one whose penis and testes are removed; and consequently the highest valued. There are many ways of making the castrato; in some (as here) only the penis is removed, in other the testes are bruised or cut off; but in all cases the animal passion remains, for in man, unlike other animals, the fons veneris is the brain. The story of Abelard proves this. Juvenal derided the idea of married eunuchs and yet almost all of these neutrals have wives with whom they practise the manifold plaisirs de la petite oie (masturbation, tribadism, irrumation, tete-beche, feuille-de- rose, etc.), till they induce the venereal orgasm. Such was the account once given to me by a eunuch's wife; and I need hardly say that she, like her confrerie, was to be pitied. At the critical moment she held up a little pillow for her husband to bite who otherwise would have torn her cheeks or breasts.
[FN#59] In real life the eunuch, as a rule, avoids all allusion to his misfortune, although the slave will often describe his being sold merrily enough.