Dave East has found peace in his life thanks to Islam. The Harlem rapper spoke about his conversion in a new video from the “I Am Def Jam” series.
“I was incarcerated for a little while in Baltimore, and my celly was Muslim,” he said to XXLMag.
“I was watching him pray every day, and his outlook on getting out of that situation was a lot more positive than the other dudes that were Muslim in the jail.”
That example motivated East to seek out the teachings of Islam. He said the religion helped him develop a better attitude. He explained:
“Islam really brought a discipline to my life that I didn’t really have before.”
“My old mindset was if they ain’t helping me, I ain’t helping them, but you can’t live a life that way. It’s about what you can do, not how people with you.”
Like many Muslims, East is frustrated by the misguided perceptions of Islam. He wishes more people had a better understanding of his religion.
“Islam has a negative outlook on it around the world based on what the media tries to show,” East said.
“They not showing the peace. Deep down in my heart and what I’ve seen and what I’ve been around, there is nothing better than Islam.”
In a video to VIBE, he explained that when the cameras stop flashing and it’s time to wind down at home, the History channel and Islam are what helps ease his mind, body, and soul from the industry chaos.
Dave’s strong Muslim faith has guided him through life’s hurdles when there was no one to call on but Allah. Click here to know about Islam and here to read the Qur’ān to really know what brings peace to the heart, mind, and soul.
(SOUTH KOREAN POP SINGER ” JIHYE MOON ” CONVERTED TO ISLAM AFTER READING THE HOLY QUR’AN
Netizens Shocked, a Pretty South Korean Girl Group Converted to Islam
Beritahati.com, South Korea – A beautiful girl group from South Korea (ROK), Ayana Moon warm now be discussed in social media. Yes, the beautiful girl appeared to have become converts (people who are new to Islam).
Echoes of her name began to be heard and make a scene the nitizen when he uploaded photos of hijab on her Instagram account @xolovelyayana.
The white girl uploading dozens of photos that most selfie picture himself wearing the hijab. With white wrapped with a scarf Korea girl’s beauty became more visible.
After investigation, it turned out Ayana converted to Islam while attending high school in Korea.
According to her, in Korea, Islam is a minority religion, but the people do not care about Islam or hate it. Only a few people know much about Islam.
As reported by the Emirates247, Ayana calls himself the only Muslim in the family. Nevertheless, she was happy and proud of the hood as well as its status as Muslims in the country’s ginseng.
For information, there is only one percent of the Korean population to embrace Islam than 50 million inhabitants.
Asked about the attitude of Koreans toward Islam, Ayana said if they do not care about Islam.
Although there may be some who hate, Ayana ensure they will not insult or attack.
Now, the girl was born December 28, 1995 she is continuing education at the International Islamic University of Malaysia to increase knowledge about Islam
An anonymous letter is calling for attacks on Muslims and their places of worship on 3rd April
An anonymous letter circulating in the UK, is calling for attacks on the Muslims. The attackers will earn points based on different…
Muslims observe shutdown in Kishtwar to mourn Kashmir civilian killings
The region looked largely deserted with little or no vehicular movement as Indian authorities imposed severe restrictions on residents following a strike call by the region’s Kashmiri pro-independence leaders.
The streets were wound in loops of barb wires, with checkpoints and barricades at regular intervals to prevent any demonstrations against the killings that took place on Sunday.
Dozens killed in Boko Haram attacks in northeast Nigeria
Over a dozen people were killed in a suspected Boko Haram attack in villages in northeastern Nigeria, the army said Monday.
Army spokesman Onyema Nwachukwu said 15 people, including a soldier, had been killed and 83 injured in villages Sunday.
‘Anas said: “I have never witnessed a day better or brighter than that day on which the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came to us; and I have never witnessed a more awful or darker day than that one on which the Messenger of Allah died on.”
The Start of the Disease
On Monday the 29th of Safar in the eleventh year of Hijrah, he participated in funeral rites in al-Baqi’. On the way back he had a headache, his temperature rose so high that the heat effect could be felt over his headband. He led the Muslims in prayer for eleven days though he was sick. The total number of his sick days were either thirteen of fourteen.
The Last Week
When his sickness grew severe he asked his wives: “Where shall I stay tomorrow?” or “Where shall I stay?” They understood what he wanted. So they allowed him to stay wherever he wished. He moved to ‘A’ishah’s room leaning – while he was walking – on al-Fadl ibn al-‘Abbas and ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. Head banded as he was, he dragged his feet till he came into her abode. It was there that he spent the last week of his life.
During that period, ‘A’ishah used to recite al-Mu’awwidhat (Chapters 113 and 114 of the Qur’an) and other supplications which he has already taught her.
Five Days Before Death
On Wednesday, five days before he died the Prophet’s temperature rose so high signalling the severness of his disease. He fainted and suffered from pain. “Pour out on me seven Qirab (water skin pots) of various water wells so that I may go out to meet people and talk to them.” So they seated him in a container (usually used for washing) and poured out water on him till he said: “That is enough. That is enough.”
Then he felt well enough to enter the Mosque. He entered it band-headed, sat on the pulpit and made a speech to the people who were gathering together around him. He said: “The curse of Allah falls upon the Jews and Christians for they have made their Prophets’ tombs places of worship.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, 1/62; Muwatta’ Imam Malik, p. 360] Then he said: “Do not make my tomb a worshipped idol.” [Muwatta’ Imam Malik, p. 65]
Then he offered himself and invited the people to repay any injuries he might have inflicted on them, saying:
“He whom I have ever lashed his back, I offer him my back so that he may avenge himself on me. He whom I have ever blasphemed his honour, here I am offering my honour so that he may avenge himself.”
Then he descended, and performed the noon prayer. Again he returned to the pulpit and sat on it. He resumed his first speech about enmity and some other things. A man then said: “You owe me three Dirhams.” The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Fadl, pay him the money.” He went on saying:
“I admonish you to be good to al-Ansar (the Helpers). They are my family and with them I found shelter. They have acquitted themselves credibly of the responsibility that fell upon them and now there remains what you have to do. You should fully acknowledge and appreciate the favour that they have shown, and should overlook their faults.”
In another version: “The number of believers would increase, but the number of Helpers would decrease to the extent that they would be among men as salt in the food. So he who from among you occupies a position of responsibility and is powerful enough to do harm or good to the people, he should frilly acknowledge and appreciate the favour that these benefactors have shown and overlook their faults.”
And said: “Allah, the Great, has given a slave of His the opportunity to make a choice between whatever he desires of Allah’s provisions in this world, and what He keeps for him in the world, but he has opted for the latter.”
Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri said: “Upon hearing that, Abu Bakr cried and said: ‘We sacrifice our fathers and mothers for your sake.’ We wondered why Abu Bakr said such a thing. People said: ‘Look at that old man! The Messenger of Allah says about a slave of Allah who was granted the right between the best fortunes of this world and the bounty of Allah in the Hereafter, but he says: We sacrifice our fathers and mothers for your sake!’ It was later on that we realized what he had aimed at. The Messenger of Allah was the slave informed to choose. We also acknowledged that Abu Bakr was the most learned among us.” [Mishkat al-Masabih, 2/546]
Then the Messenger of Allah said:
“The fellow I feel most secure in his company is Abu Bakr. If I were to make friendship with any other one than Allah, I would have Abu Bakr a bosom friend of mine. For him I feel affection and brotherhood of Islam. No gate shall be kept open in the Mosque except that of Abu Bakr’s.”
Four Days Before His Death
On Thursday, four days before the death of the Messenger of Allah he said to people — though he was suffering from a severe pain: “Come here. I will cause you to write something so that you will never fall into error.” Upon this ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab said: “The Prophet of Allah is suffering from acute pain and you have the Qur’an with you; the Book of Allah is sufficient unto you.” Others however wanted the writing to be made. When Muhammad heard them debating over it, he ordered them to go away and leave him alone. [Sahih al-Bukhari, 2/637]
That day he recommended three things:
- Jews, Christians and polytheists should be expelled out of Arabia.
- He recommended that delegations should be honoured and entertained, in a way similar to the one he used to do.
- As for the third — the narrator said that he had forgotten it. It could have been adherence to the Holy Book and the Sunnah. It was likely to be the accomplishment and the mobilization of Usamah’s army, or it could have been performance of prayers and being attentive to slaves.
In spite of the strain of disease and suffering from pain, the Prophet used to lead all the prayers till that Thursday — four days before he died. On that day he led the sunset prayer and recited:
“By the winds (or angels or the Messengers of Allah) sent forth one after another.”
In the evening he grew so sick that he could not overcome the strain of disease or go out to enter the Mosque. ‘A’ishah said: The Prophet asked: “Have the people performed the prayer?” “No. They haven’t. They are waiting for you.” “Put some water in the washing pot.” Said he. We did what he ordered. So he washed and wanted to stand up, but he fainted. When he came round he asked again “Have the people prayed?” Then the sequence of events took place again and again for the second and the third times from the time he washed to the time he fainted after his attempts to stand up. Therefore he sent to Abu Bakr to lead the prayer himself. Abu Bakr then led the prayer during those days [Sahih al-Bukhari, 1/99]. They were seventeen prayers in the lifetime of Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Three or four times ‘A’ishah talked to the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to exempt Abu Bakr from leadership in prayer lest people should despair of him, but he refused and said: “You (women) are like the women who tried to entice Joseph (Yusuf) into immorality. Convey my request to Abu Bakr to lead the prayer.”
A Day or Two Prior to Death
On Saturday or on Sunday, the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam felt that he was well enough to perform the prayer; so he went out leaning on two men in order to perform the noon prayer. Abu Bakr, who was then about to lead the prayer withdrew when he saw him coming; but the Prophet made him a gesture to stay where he was and said: “Seat me next to him.” They seated him on the left hand side of Abu Bakr. The Prophet led the prayer, and Abu Bakr followed him and raised his voice at every ‘Allahu Akbar’ (i.e. Allah is the Greatest) the Prophet said, so that the people may hear clearly. [Sahih al-Bukhari, 1/98,99]
A Day Before His Death
On Sunday, a day before he died, the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam set his slaves free, paid as a charity the seven dinars he owned and gave his weapons as a present to the Muslims. So when night fell ‘A’ishah had to borrow some oil from her neighbour to light her oil-lantern. Even his armour was mortgaged as a security with a Jew for thirty sa’ (a cubic measure) of barley.
The Last Day Alive
In a narration by ‘Anas ibn Malik, he said: “While the Muslims were performing the dawn prayer on Monday — led by Abu Bakr, they were surprised to see the Messenger of Allah raising the curtain of ‘A’ishah’s room. He looked at them while they were praying aligned properly and smiled cheerfully. Seeing him, Abu Bakr withdrew to join the lines and give way to him to lead the prayer. For he thought that the Prophet wanted to go out and pray.” ‘Anas said: “The Muslims, who were praying, were so delighted that they were almost too enraptured at their prayers. The Messenger of Allah made them a gesture to continue their prayer, went into the room and drew down the curtain.” [ibid. 21640]
The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not live for the next prayer time.
When it was daytime, the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam called Fatimah and told her something in a secret voice that made her cry. Then he whispered to her something else which made her laugh. ‘A’ishah enquired from her after the Prophet’s death, as to this weeping and laughing to which Fatimah replied:
“The first time he disclosed to me that he would not recover from his illness and I wept. Then he told me that I would be the first of his family to join him, so I laughed.”
He gave Fatimah glad tidings that she would become the lady of all women of the world [Rahmatul li’l-Alamin, 1/282]. Fatimah witnessed the great pain that afflicted her father. So she said: “What great pain my father is in!”. To these words, the Prophet remarked:
“He will not suffer any more when today is over.”
He asked that al-Hasan and al-Husayn be brought to him. He kissed them and recommended that they be looked after. He asked to see his wives. They were brought to him. He preached them and told them to remember Allah. Pain grew so much severe that the trace of poison he had at Khaybar came to light. It was so sore that he said to ‘A’ishah: “I still feel the painful effect of that food I tasted at Khaybar. I feel as if death is approaching.” [ibid, 2/637] He ordered the people to perform the prayers and be attentive to slaves. He repeated it several times. [ibid. 2/637]
The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Breathes His Last
When the pangs of death started, ‘A’ishah leant him against her. She used to say: One of Allah’s bounties upon me is that the Messenger of Allah died in my house, while I am still alive. He died between my chest and neck while he was leaning against me. Allah has mixed his saliva with mine at his death. For ‘Abdur-Rahman – the son of Abu Bakr – came in with a siwak (i.e. the root of a desert plant used for brushing teeth) in his hand, while I was leaning the Messenger of Allah against me. I noticed that he was looking at the siwak, so I asked him – for I knew that he wanted it — “Would you like me to take it for you?” He nodded in agreement. I took it and gave it to him. As it was too hard for him, I asked him “Shall I soften it for you?” He nodded in agreement. So I softened it with my saliva and he passed it (on his teeth).
In another version it is said: “So he brushed (istanna) his teeth as nice as he could.” There was a water container (rakwa) available at his hand with some water in. He put his hand in it and wiped his face with it and said:
“There is no god but Allah. Death is full of agonies.”
As soon as he had finished his Siwak, brushing, he raised his hand or finger up, looked upwards to the ceiling and moved his lips. So ‘A’ishah listened to him. She heard him say: “With those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace with the Prophets and the Truthful (as-Siddiqin), the martyrs and the good doers. O Allah, forgive me and have mercy upon me and join me to the Companionship on high.” [ibid, 2/638-641] Then at intervals he uttered these words: “The most exalted Companionship on high. To Allah we turn and to Him we turn back for help and last abode.” This event took place at high morning time on Monday, the 12th of Rabi’ al-Awwal, in the eleventh year of hijrah. He was sixty-three years and four days old when he died.
The Companions’ Concern over the Prophet’s Death
The great (loss) news was soon known by everybody in Madinah. Dark grief spread on all areas and hoirizons of Madinah. ‘Anas said: “I have never witnessed a day better or brighter than that day on which the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came to us; and I have never witnessed a more awful or darker day than that one on which the Messenger of Allah died on.” [Mishkat al-Masabih, 2/547]
When he died, Fatimah said: “O Father, whom his Lord responded to his supplication! O Father, whose abode is Paradise. O Father, whom I announce his death to Gabriel.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, 2/641]
‘Umar, who was so stunned that he almost lost consciousness and stood before people addressing them: “Some of the hypocrites claim that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam died. The Messenger of Allah did not die, but went to his Lord in the same way as Moses ibn ‘Imran did. He stayed away for forty nights, but finally came back though they said he had been dead. By Allah, the Messenger of Allah will come back and he will cut of the hands and legs of those who claim his death.” [Ibn Hisham, 2/655]
Abu Bakr’s Attitude
Abu Bakr left his house at as-Sunh and came forth to the Mosque on a mare-back. At the Mosque, he dismounted and entered. He talked to nobody but went on till he entered ‘A’ishah’s abode, and went directly to where the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was. The Prophet was covered with a Yemeni mantle. He uncovered his face and tended down, kissed him and cried. Then he said: “I sacrifice my father and mother for your sake. Allah, verily, will not cause you to die twice. You have just experienced the death that Allah had ordained.”
Then he went out and found ‘Umar talking to people. He said: “‘Umar, be seated.” ‘Umar refused to do so. People parted ‘Umar and came towards Abu Bakr, who started a speech saying:
“And now, he who worships Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Muhammad is dead now. But he who worships Allah, He is Ever Living and He never dies. Allah says: ‘Muhammad is no more than a Messenger, and indeed (many) Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels (as disbelievers)? And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah, and Allah will give reward to those who are grateful.’ [Al-Qur’an 3:144]“
Ibn ‘Abbas said: “By Allah it sounded as if people had never heard such a Qur’anic verse till Abu Bakr recited it as a reminder. So people started reciting it till there was no man who did not recite it.”
Ibn al-Musayyab said that ‘Umar had said: “By Allah as soon as I heard Abu Bakr say it, I fell down to the ground. I felt as if my legs had been unable to carry me so I collapsed when I heard him say it. Only then did I realize that Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had really died.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, 2/640,641]
Burial and Farewell Preparations to His Honourable Body
Dispute about who would succeed him broke out even before having the Messenger of Allah’s body prepared for burial. Lots of arguments, discussions, dialogues took place between the Helpers and Emigrants in the roofed passage (portico) of Banu Sa’ida. Finally they acknowledged Abu Bakr as a Caliph. They spent the whole Monday there till it was night. People were so busy with their arguments that it was late night — just about dawn of Tuesday — yet his blessed body was still lying on his bed covered with an inked-garment. He was locked in the room.
On Tuesday, his body was washed with his clothes on. He was washed by al-‘Abbas, ‘Ali, al-Fadl and Qathm — the two sons of al-‘Abbas, as well as Shaqran — the Messenger’s freed slave, ‘Usamah ibn Zayd and Aws ibn Khawli. Al-‘Abbas, al-Fadl and Qathm turned his body round, whereas ‘Usamah and Shaqran poured out water. ‘Ali washed him and Aws leant him against his chest.
They shrouded him in three white Sahuli cotton cloth which had neither a headcloth [Sahih al-Bukhari, 1/169, Sahih Muslim, 1/306] nor a casing and inserted him in.
A sort of disagreement arose with regard to a burial place. Abu Bakr said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah say: ‘A dead Prophet is buried where he dies.’ ” So Abu Talhah lifted the bed on which he died, dug underneath and cut the ground to make the tomb.
People entered the room ten by ten. They prayed for the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The first to pray for him were people of his clan. Then the Emigrants, then the Helpers. Women prayed for him after men. The young were the last to pray.
This process took Tuesday long and Wednesday night (i.e. the night which precedes Wednesday morning). ‘A’ishah said: “We did not know that the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was being buried till we heard the sound of tools digging the ground at the depth of Wednesday night.” [Mukhtasar Sirat ar-Rasul, p.471; Ibn Hisham, 2/649-665; Talqih Fuhum Ahlul-Athar, p. 38, 39; Rahmatul li’l-Alamin 1/277-286]
From Ar-Rahiq al-Makhtum
THE STORY OF THE MERCHANT AND THE GENIE
There was formerly, sire, a merchant, who was possessed of great wealth, in land, merchandise, and ready money. Having one day an affair of great importance to settle at a considerable distance from home, he mounted his horse, and with only a sort of cloak-bag behind him, in which he had put a few biscuits and dates, he began his journey. He arrived without any accident at the place of his destination; and having finished his business, set out on his return.
On the fourth day of his journey he felt himself so incommoded by the heat of the sun that he turned out of his road, in order to rest under some trees by which there was a fountain. He alighted, and tying his horse to a branch of the tree, sat down on its bank to eat some biscuits and dates from his little store. When he had satisfied his hunger he amused himself with throwing about the stones of the fruit with considerable velocity. When he had finished his frugal repast he washed his hands, his face, and his feet, and repeated a prayer, like a good Mussulman.
He was still on his knees, when he saw a genie, white with age and of an enormous stature, advancing toward him, with a scimitar in his hand. As soon as he was close to him he said in a most terrible tone: “Get up, that I may kill thee with this scimitar, as thou hast caused the death of my son.” He accompanied these words with a dreadful yell.
The merchant, alarmed by the horrible figure of this giant, as well as by the words he heard, replied in trembling accents: “How can I have slain him? I do not know him, nor have I ever seen him.”
“Didst thou not,” replied the giant, “on thine arrival here, sit down, and take some dates from thy wallet; and after eating them, didst thou not throw the stones about on all sides?”
“This is all true,” replied the merchant; “I do not deny it.”
“Well, then,” said the other, “I tell thee thou hast killed my son; for while thou wast throwing about the stones, my son passed by; one of them struck him in the eye, and caused his death, and thus hast thou slain my son.”
“Ah, sire, forgive me,” cried the merchant.
“I have neither forgiveness nor mercy,” replied the giant; “and is it not just that he who has inflicted death should suffer it?”
“I grant this; yet surely I have not done so: and even if I have, I have done so innocently, and therefore I entreat you to pardon me, and suffer me to live.”
“No, no,” cried the genie, still persisting in his resolution, “I must destroy thee, as thou hast killed my son.”
At these words, he took the merchant in his arms, and having thrown him with his face on the ground, he lifted up his saber, in order to strike off his head.
Schehera-zade, at this instant perceiving it was day, and knowing that the sultan rose early to his prayers, and then to hold a council, broke off.
“What a wonderful story,” said Dinar-zade, “have you chosen!”
“The conclusion,” observed Schehera-zade, “is still more surprising, as you would confess if the sultan would suffer me to live another day, and in the morning permit me to continue the relation.”
Schah-riar, who had listened with much pleasure to the narration, determined to wait till to-morrow, intending to order her execution after she had finished her story.
He arose, and having prayed, went to the council.
The grand vizier, in the meantime, was in a state of cruel suspense. Unable to sleep, he passed the night in lamenting the approaching fate of his daughter, whose executioner he was compelled to be. Dreading, therefore, in this melancholy situation, to meet the sultan, how great was his surprise in seeing him enter the council chamber without giving him the horrible order he expected!
The sultan spent the day, as usual, in regulating the affairs of his kingdom, and on the approach of night, retired with Schehera-zade to his apartment.
On the next morning, the sultan did not wait for Schehera-zade to ask permission to continue her story, but said, “Finish the tale of the genie and the merchant. I am curious to hear the end of it.” Schehera-zade immediately went on as follows:
When the merchant, sire, perceived that the genie was about to execute his purpose, he cried aloud: “One word more, I entreat you; have the goodness to grant me a little delay; give me only one year to go and take leave of my dear wife and children, and I promise to return to this spot, and submit myself entirely to your pleasure.”
“Take Allah to witness of the promise thou hast made me,” said the other.
“Again I swear,” replied he, “and you may rely on my oath.”
On this the genie left him near the fountain, and immediately disappeared.
The merchant, on his reaching home, related faithfully all that had happened to him. On hearing the sad news, his wife uttered the most lamentable groans, tearing her hair and beating her breast; and his children made the house resound with their grief. The father, overcome by affection, mingled his tears with theirs.
The year quickly passed. The good merchant having settled his affairs, paid his just debts, given alms to the poor, and made provision to the best of his ability for his wife and family, tore himself away amid the most frantic expressions of grief; and mindful of his oath, he arrived at the destined spot on the very day he had promised.
While he was waiting for the arrival of the genie, there suddenly appeared an old man leading a hind, who, after a respectful salutation, inquired what brought him to that desert place. The merchant satisfied the old man’s curiosity, and related his adventure, on which he expressed a wish to witness his interview with the genie. He had scarcely finished his speech when another old man, accompanied by two black dogs, came in sight, and having heard the tale of the merchant, he also determined to remain to see the event.
Soon they perceived, toward the plain, a thick vapor or smoke, like a column of dust raised by the wind. This vapor approached them, and then suddenly disappearing, they saw the genie, who, without noticing the others, went toward the merchant, scimitar in hand. Taking him by the arm, “Get up,” said he, “that I may kill thee, as thou hast slain my son.”
Both the merchant and the two old men, struck with terror, began to weep and fill the air with their lamentations.
When the old man who conducted the hind saw the genie lay hold of the merchant, and about to murder him without mercy, he threw himself at the monster’s feet, and, kissing them, said, “Lord Genie, I humbly entreat you to suspend your rage, and hear my history, and that of the hind, which you see; and if you find it more wonderful and surprising than the adventure of this merchant, whose life you wish to take, may I not hope that you will at least grant me one half part the blood of this unfortunate man?”
After meditating some time, the genie answered, “Well then, I agree to it.”
THE HISTORY OF THE FIRST OLD MAN AND THE HIND
The hind, whom you, Lord Genie, see here, is my wife. I married her when she was twelve years old, and we lived together thirty years, without having any children. At the end of that time I adopted into my family a son, whom a slave had borne. This act of mine excited against the mother and her child the hatred and jealousy of my wife. During my absence on a journey she availed herself of her knowledge of magic to change the slave and my adopted son into a cow and a calf, and sent them to my farm to be fed and taken care of by the steward.
Immediately on my return I inquired after my child and his mother.
“Your slave is dead,” said she, “and it is now more than two months since I have beheld your son; nor do I know what has become of him.”
I was sensibly affected at the death of the slave; but as my son had only disappeared, I flattered myself that he would soon be found. Eight months, however, passed, and he did not return; nor could I learn any tidings of him. In order to celebrate the festival of the great Bairam, which was approaching, I ordered my bailiff to bring me the fattest cow I possessed, for a sacrifice. He obeyed my commands. Having bound the cow, I was about to make the sacrifice, when at the very instant she lowed most sorrowfully, and the tears even fell from her eyes. This seemed to me so extraordinary that I could not but feel compassion for her, and was unable to give the fatal blow. I therefore ordered her to be taken away, and another brought.
My wife, who was present, seemed very angry at my compassion, and opposed my order.
I then said to my steward, “Make the sacrifice yourself; the lamentations and tears of the animal have overcome me.”
The steward was less compassionate, and sacrificed her. On taking off the skin we found hardly anything but bones, though she appeared very fat.
“Take her away,” said I to the steward, truly chagrined, “and if you have a very fat calf, bring it in her place.”
He returned with a remarkably fine calf, who, as soon as he perceived me, made so great an effort to come to me that he broke his cord. He lay down at my feet, with his head on the ground, as if he endeavored to excite my compassion, and to entreat me not to have the cruelty to take away his life.
“Wife,” said I, “I will not sacrifice this calf, I wish to favor him. Do not you, therefore, oppose it.”
She, however, did not agree to my proposal; and continued to demand his sacrifice so obstinately that I was compelled to yield. I bound the calf, and took the fatal knife to bury it in his throat, when he turned his eyes, filled with tears, so persuasively upon me, that I had no power to execute my intention. The knife fell from my hand, and I told my wife I was determined to have another calf. She tried every means to induce me to alter my mind; I continued firm, however, in my resolution, in spite of all she could say; promising, for the sake of appeasing her, to sacrifice this calf at the feast of Bairam on the following year.
The next morning my steward desired to speak with me in private. He informed me that his daughter, who had some knowledge of magic, wished to speak with me. On being admitted to my presence, she informed me that during my absence my wife had turned the slave and my son into a cow and calf, that I had already sacrificed the cow, but that she could restore my son to life if I would give him to her for her husband, and allow her to visit my wife with the punishment her cruelty had deserved. To these proposals I gave my consent.
The damsel then took a vessel full of water, and pronouncing over it some words I did not understand, she threw the water over the calf, and he instantly regained his own form.
“My son! My son!” I exclaimed, and embraced him with transport. “This damsel has destroyed the horrible charm with which you were surrounded. I am sure your gratitude will induce you to marry her, as I have already promised for you.”
He joyfully consented; but before they were united the damsel changed my wife into this hind, which you see here.
Since this, my son has become a widower, and is now traveling. Many years have passed since I have heard anything of him. I have, therefore, now set out with a view to gain some information; and as I did not like to trust my wife to the care of any one during my search, I thought proper to carry her along with me. This is the history of myself and this hind. Can anything be more wonderful?
“I agree with you,” said the genie, “and in consequence, I grant to you a half of the blood of this merchant.”
As soon as the first old man had finished, the second, who led the two black dogs, made the same request to the genie for a half of the merchant’s blood, on the condition that his tale exceeded in interest the one that had just been related. On the genie signifying his assent, the old man began.
THE HISTORY OF THE SECOND OLD MAN AND THE TWO BLACK DOGS
Great Prince of the genies, you must know that these two black dogs, which you see here, and myself, are three brothers. Our father, when he died, left us one thousand sequins each. With this sum we all embarked in business as merchants. My two brothers determined to travel, that they might trade in foreign parts. They were both unfortunate, and returned at the end of two years in a state of abject poverty, having lost their all. I had in the meanwhile prospered. I gladly received them, and gave them one thousand sequins each, and again set them up as merchants.
My brothers frequently proposed to me that I should make a voyage with them for the purpose of traffic. Knowing their former want of success, I refused to join them, until at the end of five years I at length yielded to their repeated solicitations. On consulting on the merchandise to be bought for the voyage, I discovered that nothing remained of the thousand sequins I had given to each. I did not reproach them; on the contrary, as my capital was increased to six thousand sequins, I gave them each one thousand sequins, and kept a like sum myself, concealing the other three thousand in a corner of my house, in order that if our voyage proved unsuccessful we might be able to console ourselves and begin our former profession.
We purchased our goods, embarked in a vessel, which we ourselves freighted, and set sail with a favorable wind. After sailing about a month, we arrived, without any accident, at a port, where we landed, and had a most advantageous sale for our merchandise. I, in particular, sold mine so well that I gained ten for one.
About the time that we were ready to embark on our return, I accidentally met on the seashore a female of great beauty, but very poorly dressed. She accosted me by kissing my hand, and entreated me most earnestly to permit her to be my wife. I stated many difficulties to such a plan; but at length she said so much to persuade me that I ought not to regard her poverty, and that I should be well satisfied with her conduct, I was quite overcome. I directly procured proper dresses for her, and after marrying her in due form, she embarked with me, and we set sail.
During our voyage I found my wife possessed of so many good qualities that I loved her every day more and more. In the meantime my two brothers, who had not traded so advantageously as myself, and who were jealous of my prosperity, began to feel exceedingly envious. They even went so far as to conspire against my life; for one night, while my wife and I were asleep, they threw us into the sea. I had hardly, however, fallen into the water, before my wife took me up and transported me to an island. As soon as it was day she thus addressed me:
“You must know that I am a fairy, and being upon the shore when you were about to sail, I wished to try the goodness of your heart, and for this purpose I presented myself before you in the disguise you saw. You acted most generously, and I am therefore delighted in finding an occasion of showing my gratitude, and I trust, my husband, that in saving your life I have not ill rewarded the good you have done me. But I am enraged against your brothers, nor shall I be satisfied till I have taken their lives.”
I listened with astonishment to the discourse of the fairy, and thanked her, as well as I was able, for the great obligation she had conferred on me.
“But, madam,” said I to her, “I must entreat you to pardon my brothers.”
I related to her what I had done for each of them, but my account only increased her anger.
“I must instantly fly after these ungrateful wretches,” cried she, “and bring them to a just punishment; I will sink their vessel, and precipitate them to the bottom of the sea.”
“No, beautiful lady,” replied I, “for heaven’s sake moderate your indignation, and do not execute so dreadful an intention; remember, they are still my brothers, and that we are bound to return good for evil.”
No sooner had I pronounced these words, than I was transported in an instant from the island, where we were, to the top of my own house. I descended, opened the doors, and dug up the three thousand sequins which I had hidden. I afterward repaired to my shop, opened it, and received the congratulations of the merchants in the neighborhood on my arrival. When I returned home I perceived these two black dogs, which came toward me with a submissive air. I could not imagine what this meant, but the fairy, who soon appeared, satisfied my curiosity.
“My dear husband,” said she, “be not surprised at seeing these two dogs in your house; they are your brothers.”
My blood ran cold on hearing this, and I inquired by what power they had been transformed into that state.
“It is I,” replied the fairy, “who have done it, and I have sunk their ship; for the loss of the merchandise it contained I shall recompense you. As to your brothers, I have condemned them to remain under this form for ten years, as a punishment for their perfidy.”
Then informing me where I might hear of her, she disappeared.
The ten years are now completed, and I am traveling in search of her. This, O Lord Genie, is my history; does it not appear to you of a most extraordinary nature?
“Yes,” replied the genie, “I confess it is most wonderful, and therefore I grant you the other half of this merchant’s blood,” and having said this, the genie disappeared, to the great joy of the merchant and of the two old men.
The merchant did not omit to bestow many thanks upon his liberators, who, bidding him adieu, proceeded on their travels. He remounted his horse, returned home to his wife and children, and spent the remainder of his days with them in tranquillity.
In the reign of the Caliph Haroun-al-Raschid, there lived at Bagdad a poor porter called Hindbad. One day, when the weather was excessively hot, he was employed to carry a heavy burden from one end of the town to the other. Having still a great way to go, he came into a street where a refreshing breeze blew on his face, and the pavement was sprinkled with rose water. As he could not desire a better place to rest, he took off his load, and sat upon it, near a large mansion.
He was much pleased that he stopped in this place; for the agreeable smell of wood of aloes, and of pastils, that came from the house, mixing with the scent of the rose-water, completely perfumed the air. Besides, he heard from within a concert of instrumental music, accompanied with the harmonious notes of nightingales. This charming melody, and the smell of savoury dishes, made the porter conclude there was a feast within. His business seldom leading him that way, he knew not to whom the mansion belonged; but to satisfy his curiosity he went to some of the servants, whom he saw standing at the gate in magnificent apparel, and asked the name of the proprietor. “How,” replied one of them, “do you live in Bagdad, and know not that this is the house of Sinbad the sailor, that famous voyager, who has sailed round the world?” The porter, who had heard of this Sinbad’s riches, lifted up his eyes to Heaven, and said, loud enough to be heard: “Almighty creator of all things, consider the difference between Sinbad and me! I am every day exposed to fatigues and calamities, and can scarcely get barley-bread for myself and my family, whilst happy Sinbad expends immense riches and leads a life of pleasure. What has he done to obtain a lot so agreeable? And what have I done to deserve one so wretched?”
Whilst the porter was thus indulging his melancholy, a servant came out of the house, and taking him by the arm, bade him follow him, for Sinbad, his master, wanted to speak to him.
The servants brought him into a great hall, where a number of people sat round a table, covered with all sorts of savoury dishes. At the upper end sat a venerable gentleman, with a long white beard, and behind him stood a number of officers and domestics, all ready to attend his pleasure. This personage was Sinbad. The porter, whose fear was increased at the sight of so many people, and of a banquet so sumptuous, saluted the company trembling. Sinbad bade him draw near, and seating him at his right hand, served him himself, and gave him a cup of excellent wine.
When the repast was over, Sinbad addressed his conversation to Hindbad, and inquired his name and employment. “My lord,” answered he, “my name is Hindbad.” “I am very glad to see you,” replied Sinbad; “but I wish to hear from your own mouth what it was you lately said in the street.” Sinbad had himself heard the porter complain through the window, and this it was that induced him to have him brought in.
At this request, Hindbad hung down his head in confusion, and replied: “My lord, I confess that my fatigue put me out of humour, and occasioned me to utter some indiscreet words, which I beg you to pardon.” “Do not think I am so unjust,” resumed Sinbad, “as to resent such a complaint, but I must rectify your error concerning myself. You think, no doubt, that I have acquired, without labour and trouble, the ease which I now enjoy. But do not mistake; I did not attain to this happy condition, without enduring for several years more trouble of body and mind than can well be imagined. Yes, gentlemen,” he added, speaking to the whole company, “I can assure you my troubles were so extraordinary, that they were calculated to discourage the most covetous from undertaking such voyages as I did, to acquire riches. Perhaps you have never heard a distinct account of my wonderful adventures; and since I have this opportunity, I will give you a faithful account of them, not doubting but it will be acceptable.”
THE FIRST VOYAGE
“I inherited from my father considerable property, the greater part of which I squandered in my youth in dissipation; but I perceived my error, and reflected that riches were perishable, and quickly consumed by such ill managers as myself, I further considered, that by my irregular way of living I wretchedly misspent my time; which is, of all things, the most valuable. Struck with these reflections, I collected the remains of my fortune, and sold all my effects by public auction. I then entered into a contract with some merchants, who traded by sea. I took the advice of such as I thought most capable, and resolving to improve what money I had, I embarked with several merchants on board a ship which we had jointly fitted out.
“We set sail, and steered our course toward the Indies through the Persian Gulf, which is formed by the coasts of Arabia Felix on the right, and by those of Persia on the left. At first I was troubled with sea-sickness, but speedily recovered my health, and was not afterward subject to that complaint.
“In our voyage we touched at several islands, where we sold or exchanged our goods. One day, whilst under sail, we were becalmed near a small island, but little elevated above the level of the water, and resembling a green meadow. The captain ordered his sails to be furled, and permitted such persons as were so inclined to land; of which number I was one.
“But while we were enjoying ourselves in eating and drinking, and recovering ourselves from the fatigue of the sea, the island on a sudden trembled, and shook us terribly.
“The motion was perceived on board the ship, and we were called upon to re-embark speedily, or we should all be lost; for what we took for an island proved to be the back of a sea monster. The nimblest got into the sloop, others betook themselves to swimming; but for myself, I was still upon the back of the creature when he dived into the sea, and I had time only to catch hold of a piece of wood that we had brought out of the ship. Meanwhile, the captain, having received those on board who were in the sloop, and taken up some of those that swam, resolved to improve the favourable gale that had just risen, and hoisting his sails, pursued his voyage, so that it was impossible for me to recover the ship.
“Thus was I exposed to the mercy of the waves all the rest of the day and the following night. By this time I found my strength gone, and despaired of saving my life, when happily a wave threw me against an island. The bank was high and rugged; so that I could scarcely have got up, had it not been for some roots of trees, which chance placed within reach. Having gained the land, I lay down upon the ground half dead, until the sun appeared. Then, though I was very feeble, both from hard labour and want of food, I crept along to find some herbs fit to eat, and had the good luck not only to procure some, but likewise to discover a spring of excellent water, which contributed much to recover me. After this I advanced farther into the island, and at last reached a fine plain, where at a great distance I perceived some horses feeding. I went toward them, and as I approached heard the voice of a man, who immediately appeared, and asked me who I was. I related to him my adventure, after which, taking me by the hand, he led me into a cave, where there were several other people, no less amazed to see me than I was to see them.
“I partook of some provisions which they offered me. I then asked them what they did in such a desert place, to which they answered, that they were grooms belonging to the Maha-raja, sovereign of the island, and that every year, at the same season they brought thither the king’s horses for pasturage. They added, that they were to return home on the morrow, and had I been one day later, I must have perished, because the inhabited part of the island was at a great distance, and it would have been impossible for me to have got thither without a guide.
“Next morning they returned to the capital of the island, took me with them, and presented me to the Maha-raja. He asked me who I was, and by what adventure I had come into his dominions. After I had satisfied him, he told me he was much concerned for my misfortune, and at the same time ordered that I should want nothing; which commands his officers were so generous as to see exactly fulfilled.
“Being a merchant, I frequented men of my own profession, and particularly inquired for those who were strangers, that perchance I might hear news from Bagdad, or find an opportunity to return. They put a thousand questions respecting my country; and I, being willing to inform myself as to their laws and customs, asked them concerning everything which I thought worth knowing.
“There belongs to this king an island named Cassel. They assured me that every night a noise of drums was heard there, whence the mariners fancied that it was the residence of Degial. I determined to visit this wonderful place, and in my way thither saw fishes of one hundred and two hundred cubits long, that occasion more fear than hurt, for they are so timorous, that they will fly upon the rattling of two sticks or boards. I saw likewise other fish about a cubit in length, that had heads like owls.
“As I was one day at the port after my return, a ship arrived, and as soon as she cast anchor, they began to unload her, and the merchants on board ordered their goods to be carried into the custom-house. As I cast my eye upon some bales, and looked to the name, I found my own, and perceived the bales to be the same that I had embarked at Bussorah. I also knew the captain; but being persuaded that he believed me to be drowned, I went, and asked him whose bales these were. He replied that they belonged to a merchant of Bagdad, called Sinbad, who came to sea with him; but had unfortunately perished on the voyage, and that he had resolved to trade with the bales, until he met with some of his family, to whom he might return the profit. ‘I am that Sinbad,’ said I, ‘whom you thought to be dead, and those bales are mine.’
“When the captain heard me speak thus, ‘Heavens!’ he exclaimed, ‘whom can we trust in these times? There is no faith left among men. I saw Sinbad perish with my own eyes, as did also the passengers on board, and yet you tell me you are that Sinbad. What impudence is this? You tell a horrible falsehood, in order to possess yourself of what does not belong to you.’ ‘Have patience,’ replied I; ‘do me the favour to hear what I have to say.’ Then I told him how I had escaped, and by what adventure I met with the grooms of the Maha-raja, who had brought me to his court.
“The captain was at length persuaded that I was no cheat; for there came people from his ship who knew me, and expressed much joy at seeing me alive. At last he recollected me himself, and embracing me, ‘Heaven be praised,’ said he, ‘for your happy escape. I cannot express the joy it affords me; there are your goods, take and do with them as you please.’ I thanked him, acknowledged his probity, and offered him part of my goods as a present, which he generously refused.
“I took out what was most valuable in my bales, and presented them to the Maha-raja, who, knowing my misfortune, asked me how I came by such rarities. I acquainted him with the circumstance of their recovery. He was pleased at my good luck, accepted my present, and in return gave me one much more considerable. Upon this, I took leave of him, and went aboard the same ship, after I had exchanged my goods for the commodities of that country. I carried with me wood of aloes, sandal, camphire, nutmegs, cloves, pepper, and ginger. We passed by several islands, and at last arrived at Bussorah, from whence I came to this city, with the value of one hundred thousand sequins. My family and I received one another with sincere affection. I bought slaves and a landed estate, and built a magnificent house. Thus I settled myself, resolving to forget the miseries I had suffered, and to enjoy the pleasures of life.”
Sinbad stopped here, and ordered the musicians to proceed with their concert, which the story had interrupted. The company continued enjoying themselves till the evening, when Sinbad sent for a purse of a hundred sequins, and giving it to the porter, said: “Take this, Hindbad, return to your home, and come back to-morrow to hear more of my adventures.” The porter went away, astonished at the honour done, and the present made him. The account of this adventure proved very agreeable to his wife and children, who did not fail to return thanks to God for what providence had sent them by the hand of Sinbad.
Hindbad put on his best apparel next day, and returned to the bountiful traveller, who welcomed him heartily. When all the guests had arrived, dinner was served. When it was ended, Sinbad, addressing himself to the company, said, “Gentlemen, be pleased to listen to the adventures of my second voyage; they deserve your attention even more than those of the first.” Upon this every one held his peace, and Sinbad proceeded.
THE SECOND VOYAGE
“I designed, after my first voyage, to spend the rest of my days at Bagdad, but it was not long ere I grew weary of an indolent life. My inclination to trade revived. I bought goods proper for the commerce I intended, and put to sea a second time with merchants of known probity. We embarked on board a good ship, and after recommending ourselves to God, set sail. We traded from island to island, and exchanged commodities with great profit. One day we landed on an island covered with several sorts of fruit-trees, but we could see neither man nor animal. We went to take a little fresh air in the meadows, along the streams that watered them. Whilst some diverted themselves with gathering flowers, and others fruits, I took my wine and provisions, and sat down near a stream betwixt two high trees which formed a thick shade. I made a good meal, and afterward fell asleep. I cannot tell how long I slept, but when I awoke the ship was gone.
“I got up and looked around me, but could not see one of the merchants who landed with me. I perceived the ship under sail, but at such a distance, that I lost sight of her in a short time.
“In this sad condition, I was ready to die with grief. I cried out in agony, and threw myself upon the ground, where I lay some time in despair. I upbraided myself a hundred times for not being content with the produce of my first voyage, that might have sufficed me all my life. But all this was in vain, and my repentance came too late.
“At last I resigned myself to the will of God. Not knowing what to do, I climbed up to the top of a lofty tree, from whence I looked about on all sides, to see if I could discover anything that could give me hopes. When I gazed toward the sea I could see nothing but sky and water; but looking over the land I beheld something white; and coming down, I took what provision I had left, and went toward it, the distance being so great that I could not distinguish what it was.
“As I approached, I thought it to be a white dome, of a prodigious height and extent; and when I came up to it, I touched it, and found it to be very smooth. I went round to see if it was open on any side, but saw that it was not, and that there was no climbing up to the top, as it was so smooth. It was at least fifty paces round.
“By this time the sun was about to set, and all of a sudden the sky became as dark as if it had been covered with a thick cloud. I was much astonished at this sudden darkness, but much more when I found it occasioned by a bird of a monstrous size, that came flying toward me. I remembered that I had often heard mariners speak of a miraculous bird called the roc, and conceived that the great dome which I so much admired must be its egg. As I perceived the roc coming, I crept close to the egg, so that I had before me one of the bird’s legs, which was as big as the trunk of a tree. I tied myself strongly to it with my turban, in hopes that next morning she would carry me with her out of this desert island. After having passed the night in this condition, the bird flew away as soon as it was daylight, and carried me so high, that I could not discern the earth; she afterward descended with so much rapidity that I lost my senses. But when I found myself on the ground, I speedily untied the knot, and had scarcely done so, when the roc, having taken up a serpent of a monstrous length in her bill, flew away.
“The spot where she left me was encompassed on all sides by mountains, that seemed to reach above the clouds, and so steep that there was no possibility of getting out of the valley. This was a new perplexity: so that when I compared this place with the desert island from which the roc had brought me I found that I had gained nothing by the change.
“As I walked through this valley, I perceived it was strewed with diamonds, some of which were of a surprising bigness. I took pleasure in looking upon them; but shortly saw at a distance such objects as greatly diminished my satisfaction, namely, a great number of serpents, so monstrous, that the least of them was capable of swallowing an elephant. They retired in the daytime to their dens, where they hid themselves from the roc, their enemy, and came out only in the night.
“I spent the day in walking about in the valley, resting myself at times in such places as I thought most convenient. When night came on, I went into a cave, where I thought I might repose in safety. I secured the entrance with a great stone to preserve me from the serpents; but not so far as to exclude the light. I supped on part of my provisions, but the serpents, which began hissing round me, put me into such extreme fear, that I could not sleep. When day appeared, the serpents retired, and I came out of the cave trembling. I can justly say, that I walked upon diamonds, without feeling any inclination to touch them. At last I sat down, and notwithstanding my apprehensions, not having closed my eyes during the night, fell asleep, after having eaten a little more of my provision. But I had scarcely shut my eyes, when something that fell by me with a great noise awaked me. This was a large piece of raw meat; and at the same time I saw several others fall down from the rocks in different places.
“I had always regarded as fabulous what I had heard sailors and others relate of the valley of diamonds, and of the stratagems employed by merchants to obtain jewels from thence; but now I found that they had stated nothing but truth. For the fact is, that the merchants come to the neighbourhood of this valley when the eagles have young ones; and, throwing great joints of meat into the valley, the diamonds upon whose points they fall stick to them; the eagles, which are stronger in this country than anywhere else, pounce with great force upon those pieces of meat, and carry them to their nests on the rocks to feed their young; the merchants at this time run to the nests, drive off the eagles by their shouts, and take away the diamonds that stick to the meat.
“Until I perceived the device I had concluded it to be impossible for me to leave this abyss, which I regarded as my grave; but now I changed my opinion, and began to think upon the means of my deliverance. I began to collect the largest diamonds I could find, and put them into the leather bag in which I used to carry my provisions. I afterward took the largest of the pieces of meat, tied it close round me with the cloth of my turban, and then laid myself upon the ground with my face downward, the bag of diamonds being made fast to my girdle.
“I had scarcely placed myself in this posture when the eagles came. Each of them seized a piece of meat, and one of the strongest having taken me up, with the piece of meat to which I was fastened, carried me to his nest on the top of the mountain. The merchants immediately began their shouting to frighten the eagles; and when they had obliged them to quit their prey, one of them came to the nest where I was. He was much alarmed when he saw me; but recovering himself, instead of inquiring how I came thither, began to quarrel with me, and asked, why I stole his goods. ‘You will treat me,’ replied I, ‘with more civility when you know me better. Do not be uneasy, I have diamonds enough for you and myself, more than all the other merchants together. What ever they have, they owe to chance, but I selected for myself in the bottom of the valley those which you see in this bag.’ I had scarcely done speaking, when the other merchants came crowding about us, much astonished to see me; but they were much more surprised when I told them my story.
“They conducted me to their encampment, and there having opened my bag, they were surprised at the largeness of my diamonds, and confessed that in all the courts which they had visited they had never seen any of such size and perfection. I prayed the merchant who owned the nest to which I had been carried (for every merchant had his own), to take as many for his share as he pleased. He contented himself with one, and that the least of them; and when I pressed him to take more, ‘No,’ said he, ‘I am very well satisfied with this, which is valuable enough to save me the trouble of making any more voyages, and will raise as great a fortune as I desire.’
“I spent the night with the merchants, to whom I related my story a second time, for the satisfaction of those who had not heard it. I could not moderate my joy when I found myself delivered from the danger I have mentioned. I thought myself in a dream, and could scarcely believe myself out of danger.
“The merchants had thrown their pieces of meat into the valley for several days, and each of them being satisfied with the diamonds that had fallen to his lot, we left the place the next morning and travelled near high mountains, where there were serpents of a prodigious length, which we had the good fortune to escape. We took shipping at the first port we reached, and touched at the isle of Roha, where the trees grow that yield camphire. This tree is so large, and its branches so thick, that one hundred men may easily sit under its shade. The juice of which the camphire is made exudes from a hole bored in the upper part of the tree, is received in a vessel, where it thickens to a consistency, and becomes what we call camphire; after the juice is thus drawn out, the tree withers and dies.
“In this island is also found the rhinoceros, an animal less than the elephant, but larger than the buffalo. It has a horn upon its nose, about a cubit in length; this horn is solid, and cleft through the middle. The rhinoceros fights with the elephant, runs his horn into his belly, and carries him off upon his head; but the blood and the fat of the elephant running into his eyes, and making him blind, he falls to the ground; and then, strange to relate! the roc comes and carries them both away in her claws, for food for her young ones.
“In this island I exchanged some of my diamonds for merchandise. From hence we went to other ports, and at last, having touched at several trading towns of the continent, we landed at Bussorah, from whence I proceeded to Bagdad. There I immediately gave large presents to the poor, and lived honourably upon the vast riches I had gained with so much fatigue.”
Thus Sinbad ended his relation, gave Hindbad another hundred sequins, and invited him to come the next day to hear the account of the third voyage.
THE THIRD VOYAGE
“I soon lost the remembrance of the perils I had encountered in my two former voyages,” said Sinbad, “and being in the flower of my age, I grew weary of living without business, and went from Bagdad to Bussorah with the richest commodities of the country. There I embarked again with some merchants. We made a long voyage and touched at several ports, where we carried on a considerable trade. One day, being out in the main ocean, we were overtaken by a dreadful tempest, which drove us from our course. The tempest continued several days, and brought us before the port of an island, which the captain was very unwilling to enter, but we were obliged to cast anchor. When we had furled our sails, the captain told us that this, and some other neighbouring islands, were inhabited by hairy savages, who would speedily attack us; and, though they were but dwarfs, yet we must make no resistance, for they were more in number than the locusts; and if we happened to kill one of them they would all fall upon us and destroy us.
“We soon found that what he had told us was but too true; an innumerable multitude of frightful savages, about two feet high, covered all over with red hair, came swimming towards us, and encompassed our ship. They spoke to us as they came near, but we understood not their language and they climbed up the sides of the ship with such agility as surprised us. They took down our sails, cut the cables, and hauling to the shore, made us all get out, and afterward carried the ship into another island, from whence they had come.
“We went forward into the island, where we gathered some fruits and herbs to prolong our lives as long as we could; but we expected nothing but death. As we advanced, we perceived at a distance a vast pile of buildings, and made toward it. We found it to be a palace, elegantly built, and very lofty, with a gate of ebony, which we forced open. We entered the court, where we saw before us a large apartment, with a porch, having on one side a heap of human bones, and on the other a vast number of roasting spits. We trembled at this spectacle, and being fatigued with travelling, fell to the ground, seized with deadly apprehension, and lay a long time motionless.
“The sun set, the gate of the apartment opened with a loud crash, and there came out the horrible figure of a black man, as tall as a lofty palm-tree. He had but one eye, and that in the middle of his forehead, where it looked as red as a burning coal. His fore-teeth were very long and sharp, and stood out of his mouth, which was as deep as that of a horse. His upper lip hung down upon his breast. His ears resembled those of an elephant, and covered his shoulders; and his nails were as long and crooked as the talons of the greatest birds. At the sight of so frightful a giant we became insensible, and lay like dead men.
“At last we came to ourselves, and saw him sitting in the porch looking at us. When he had considered us well, he advanced toward us, and laying his hand upon me, took me up by the nape of my neck, and turned me round as a butcher would do a sheep’s head. After having examined me, and perceiving me to be so lean that I had nothing but skin and bone, he let me go. He took up all the rest one by one, and viewed them in the same manner. The captain being the fattest, he held him with one hand, as I would do a sparrow, and thrust a spit through him; he then kindled a great fire, roasted, and ate him in his apartment for his supper. Having finished his repast, he returned to his porch, where he lay and fell asleep, snoring louder than thunder. He slept thus till morning. As to ourselves, it was not possible for us to enjoy any rest, so that we passed the night in the most painful apprehension that can be imagined. When day appeared the giant awoke, got up, went out, and left us in the palace.
“When we thought him at a distance, we broke the melancholy silence we had preserved the whole of the night, and filled the palace with our lamentations and groans.
“We spent the day in traversing the island, supporting ourselves with fruits and herbs as we had done the day before. In the evening we sought for some place of shelter, but found none; so that we were forced, whether we would or not, to go back to the palace.
“The giant failed not to return, and supped once more upon one of our companions, after which he slept and snored till day, and then went out and left us as before. Our situation appeared to us so dreadful that several of my comrades designed to throw themselves into the sea, rather than die so painful a death, upon which one of the company answered that it would be much more reasonable to devise some method to rid ourselves of the monster.
“Having thought of a project for this purpose, I communicated it to my comrades, who approved it. ‘Brethren,’ said I, ‘you know there is much timber floating upon the coast; if you will be advised by me, let us make several rafts capable of bearing us. In the meantime, we will carry out the design I proposed to you for our deliverance from the giant, and if it succeed, we may remain here patiently awaiting the arrival of some ship; but if it happen to miscarry, we will take to our rafts and put to sea.’ My advice was approved, and we made rafts capable of carrying three persons on each.
“We returned to the palace toward the evening, and the giant arrived shortly after. We were forced to submit to seeing another of our comrades roasted, but at last we revenged ourselves on the brutish giant in the following manner. After he had finished his supper he lay down on his back and fell asleep. As soon as we heard him snore, according to his custom, nine of the boldest among us, and myself, took each of us a spit, and putting the points of them into the fire till they were burning hot, we thrust them into his eye all at once and blinded him. The pain made him break out into a frightful yell: he started up, and stretched out his hands, in order to sacrifice some of us to his rage: but we ran to such places as he could not reach; and after having sought for us in vain, he groped for the gate and went out, howling in agony.
“We quitted the palace after the giant and came to the shore, where we had left our rafts, and put them immediately to sea. We waited till day, in order to get upon them in case the giant should come toward us with any guide of his own species; but we hoped if he did not appear by sunrise, and gave over his howling, which we still heard, that he would prove to be dead; and if that happened, we resolved to stay in that island, and not to risk our lives upon the rafts. But day had scarcely appeared when we perceived our cruel enemy, accompanied with two others almost of the same size, leading him; and a great number more coming before him at a quick pace.
“We did not hesitate to take to our rafts, and put to sea with all the speed we could. The giants, who perceived this, took up great stones, and running to the shore, entered the water up to the middle, and threw so exactly that they sunk all the rafts but that I was upon; and all my companions, except the two with me, were drowned. We rowed with all our might, and escaped the giants, but when we got out to sea we were exposed to the mercy of the waves and winds, and spent that night and the following day under the most painful uncertainty as to our fate; but next morning we had the good fortune to be thrown upon an island, where we landed with much joy. We found excellent fruit, which afforded us great relief and recruited our strength.
“At night we went to sleep on the sea shore; but were awakened by the noise of a serpent of surprising length and thickness, whose scales made a rustling noise as he wound himself along. It swallowed up one of my comrades, notwithstanding his loud cries, and the efforts he made to extricate himself from it; dashing him several times against the ground, it crushed him, and we could hear it gnaw and tear the poor wretch’s bones, though we had fled to a considerable distance.
“As we walked about, when day returned, we saw a tall tree, upon which we designed to pass the following night, for our security; and having satisfied our hunger with fruit, we mounted it before the dusk had fallen. Shortly after, the serpent came hissing to the foot of the tree; raised itself up against the trunk of it, and meeting with my comrade, who sat lower than I, swallowed him at once, and went off.
“I remained upon the tree till it was day, and then came down, more like a dead man than one alive, expecting the same fate as my two companions. This filled me with horror, and I advanced some steps to throw myself into the sea; but I withstood this dictate of despair, and submitted myself to the will of God.
“In the meantime I collected a great quantity of small wood, brambles, and dry thorns, and making them up into faggots, made a wide circle with them round the tree, and also tied some of them to the branches over my head. Having done this, when the evening came I shut myself up within this circle, feeling that I had neglected nothing which could preserve me from the cruel destiny with which I was threatened. The serpent failed not to come at the usual hour, and went round the tree, seeking for an opportunity to devour me, but was prevented by the rampart I had made; so that he lay till day, like a cat watching in vain for a mouse that has fortunately reached a place of safety. When day appeared he retired, but I dared not to leave my fort until the sun arose.
“I felt so much fatigued by the labour to which it had put me, and suffered so much from the serpent’s poisonous breath, that death seemed more eligible to me than the horrors of such a state. I came down from the tree, and was going to throw myself into the sea, when God took compassion on me and I perceived a ship at a considerable distance. I called as loud as I could, and taking the linen from my turban, displayed it, that they might observe me. This had the desired effect; the crew perceived me, and the captain sent his boat for me. As soon as I came on board, the merchants and seamen flocked about me, to know how I came into that desert island; and after I had related to them all that had befallen me, the oldest among them said that they had often heard of the giants that dwelt in that island, that they were cannibals; and as to the serpents, they added, that there were abundance of them that hid themselves by day, and came abroad by night. After having testified their joy at my escaping so many dangers, they brought me the best of their provisions; and the captain, seeing that I was in rags, was so generous as to give me one of his own suits. We continued at sea for some time, touched at several islands, and at last landed at that of Salabat, where sandal wood is obtained, which is of great use in medicine. We entered the port, and came to anchor. The merchants began to unload their goods, in order to sell or exchange them. In the meantime, the captain came to me and said: ‘Brother, I have here some goods that belonged to a merchant, who sailed some time on board this ship, and he being dead, I design to dispose of them for the benefit of his heirs.’ The bales he spoke of lay on the deck, and showing them to me, he said: ‘There are the goods; I hope you will take care to sell them, and you shall have factorage.’ I thanked him for thus affording me an opportunity of employing myself, because I hated to be idle.
“The clerk of the ship took an account of all the bales, with the names of the merchants to whom they belonged, and when he asked the captain in whose name he should enter those he had given me the charge of, ‘Enter them,’ said the captain, ‘in the name of Sinbad.’ I could not hear myself named without some emotion; and looking steadfastly on the captain, I knew him to be the person who, in my second voyage, had left me in the island where I fell asleep.
“I was not surprised that he, believing me to be dead, did not recognise me. ‘Captain,’ said I, ‘was the merchant’s name, to whom those bales belonged, Sinbad?’ ‘Yes,’ replied he, ‘that was his name; he came from Bagdad, and embarked on board my ship at Bussorah.’ ‘You believe him, then, to be dead?’ said I. ‘Certainly,’ answered he. ‘No, captain,’ resumed I; ‘look at me, and you may know that I am Sinbad.’
“The captain, having considered me attentively, recognised me. ‘God be praised,’ said he, embracing me, ‘I rejoice that fortune has rectified my fault. There are your goods, which I always took care to preserve.’ I took them from him, and made him the acknowledgments to which he was entitled.
“From the isle of Salabat, we went to another, where I furnished myself with cloves, cinnamon, and other spices. As we sailed from this island, we saw a tortoise twenty cubits in length and breadth. We observed also an amphibious animal like a cow, which gave milk; its skin is so hard, that they usually make bucklers of it.
“In short, after a long voyage I arrived at Bussorah, and from thence returned to Bagdad, with so much wealth that I knew not its extent. I gave a great deal to the poor, and bought another considerable estate in addition to what I had already.”
Thus Sinbad finished the history of his third voyage; gave another hundred sequins to Hindbad, and invited him to dinner again the next day to hear the story of his fourth series of adventures.
THE FOURTH VOYAGE
“The pleasures which I enjoyed after my third voyage had not charms sufficient to divert me from another. My passion for trade, and my love of novelty, again prevailed. I therefore settled my affairs, and having provided a stock of goods fit for the traffic I designed to engage in, I set out on my journey. I took the route of Persia, travelled over several provinces, and then arrived at a port, where I embarked. We hoisted our sails, and touched at several ports of the continent, and then put out to sea; when we were overtaken by such a sudden gust of wind, as obliged the captain to lower his yards, and take all other necessary precautions to prevent the danger that threatened us. But all was in vain; our endeavours had no effect, the sails were split in a thousand pieces, and the ship was stranded; several of the merchants and seamen were drowned, and the cargo was lost.
“I had the good fortune, with several of the merchants and mariners, to get upon some planks, and we were carried by the current to an island which lay before us. There we found fruit and spring water, which preserved our lives. We stayed all night near the place where we had been cast ashore and next morning, as soon as the sun was up, advancing into the island, saw some houses, which we approached. As soon as we drew near, we were encompassed by a great number of negroes, who seized us and carried us to their respective habitations.
“I, and five of my comrades, were carried to one place; here they made us sit down, and gave us a certain herb, which they made signs to us to eat. My comrades, not taking notice that the blacks ate none of it themselves, thought only of satisfying their hunger, and ate with greediness. But I, suspecting some trick, would not so much as taste it, which happened well for me; for in a little time after, I perceived my companions had lost their senses, and that when they spoke to me, they knew not what they said.
“The negroes fed us afterward with rice, prepared with oil of cocoa-nuts; and my comrades, who had lost their reason, ate of it greedily. I also partook of it, but very sparingly. They gave us that herb at first on purpose to deprive us of our senses, that we might not be aware of the sad destiny prepared for us; and they supplied us with rice to fatten us; for, being cannibals, their design was to eat us as soon as we grew fat. This accordingly happened, for they devoured my comrades, who were not sensible of their condition; but my senses being entire, you may easily guess that instead of growing fat I grew leaner every day. The fear of death under which I laboured caused me to fall into a languishing distemper, which proved my safety; for the negroes, having eaten my companions, seeing me to be withered, and sick, deferred my death.
“Meanwhile I had much liberty, so that scarcely any notice was taken of what I did, and this gave me an opportunity one day to get at a distance from the houses and to make my escape. An old man, who saw me and suspected my design, called to me as loud as he could to return; but I redoubled my speed, and quickly got out of sight. At that time there was none but the old man about the houses, the rest being abroad, and not to return till night, which was usual with them. Therefore, being sure that they could not arrive in time enough to pursue me, I went on till night, when I stopped to rest a little, and to eat some of the provisions I had secured; but I speedily set forward again, and travelled seven days, avoiding those places which seemed to be inhabited, and lived for the most part upon cocoa-nuts, which served me both for meat and drink. On the eighth day I came near the sea, and saw some white people like myself, gathering pepper, of which there was great plenty in that place. This I took to be a good omen, and went to them without any scruple. They came to meet me as soon as they saw me, and asked me in Arabic who I was, and whence I came. I was overjoyed to hear them speak in my own language, and satisfied their curiosity by giving them an account of my shipwreck, and how I fell into the hands of the negroes. ‘Those negroes,’ replied they, ‘eat men, and by what miracle did you escape their cruelty?’ I related to them the circumstances I have just mentioned, at which they were wonderfully surprised.
“I stayed with them till they had gathered their quantity of pepper, and then sailed with them to the island from whence they had come. They presented me to their king, who was a good prince. He had the patience to hear the relation of my adventures; and he afterward gave me clothes, and commanded care to be taken of me.
“The island was very well peopled, plentiful in everything, and the capital a place of great trade. This agreeable retreat was very comfortable to me, after my misfortunes, and the kindness of this generous prince completed my satisfaction. In a word, there was not a person more in favour with him than myself; and consequently every man in court and city sought to oblige me; so that in a very little time I was looked upon rather as a native than a stranger.
“I observed one thing which to me appeared very extraordinary. All the people, the king himself not excepted, rode their horses without bridle or stirrups. This made me one day take the liberty to ask the king how it came to pass. His Majesty answered, that I talked to him of things which nobody knew the use of in his dominions.
“I went immediately to a workman, and gave him a model for making the stock of a saddle. When that was done, I covered it myself with velvet and leather, and embroidered it with gold. I afterward went to a smith, who made me a bit, according to the pattern I showed him, and also some stirrups. When I had all things completed, I presented them to the king, and put them upon one of his horses. His Majesty mounted immediately, and was so pleased with them, that he testified his satisfaction by large presents.
“As I paid my court very constantly to the king, he said to me one day: ‘Sinbad, I love thee and I have one thing to demand of thee, which thou must grant.’ ‘Sir,’ answered I, ‘there is nothing but I will do, as a mark of my obedience to your Majesty.’ ‘I have a mind thou shouldst marry,’ replied he, ‘that so thou mayest stay in my dominions, and think no more of thy own country.’ I durst not resist the prince’s will, and he gave me one of the ladies of his court, noble, beautiful, and rich. The ceremonies of marriage being over, I went and dwelt with my wife, and for some time we lived together in perfect harmony. I was not, however, satisfied with my banishment, therefore designed to make my escape the first opportunity, and to return to Bagdad.
“At this time the wife of one of my neighbours fell sick, and died. I went to see and comfort him in his affliction, and finding him absorbed in sorrow, I said to him as soon as I saw him: ‘God preserve you and grant you a long life.’ ‘Alas!’ replied he, ‘how do you think I should obtain the favour you wish me? I have not above an hour to live.’ ‘Pray,’ said I, ‘do not entertain such a melancholy thought; I hope I shall enjoy your company many years.’ ‘I wish you,’ he replied, ‘a long life; but my days are at an end, for I must be buried this day with my wife. This is a law which our ancestors established in this island, and it is always observed. The living husband is interred with the dead wife, and the living wife with the dead husband. Nothing can save me; every one must submit to this law.’
“While he was giving me an account of this barbarous custom, the very relation of which chilled my blood, his kindred, friends, and neighbours came in a body to assist at the funeral. They dressed the corpse of the woman in her richest apparel, and all her jewels, as if it had been her wedding day; then they placed her in an open coffin, and began their march to the place of burial, the husband walking at the head of the company. They proceeded to a high mountain, and when they had reached the place of their destination, they took up a large stone, which covered the mouth of a deep pit, and let down the corpse with all its apparel and jewels. Then the husband embracing his kindred and friends, suffered himself, without resistance, to be put into another open coffin with a pot of water, and seven small loaves, and was let down in the same manner. The ceremony being over, the aperture was again covered with the stone, and the company returned.
“It is needless for me to tell you that I was a melancholy spectator of this funeral, while the rest were scarcely moved, the custom was to them so familiar. I could not forbear communicating to the king my sentiment respecting the practice: ‘Sir,’ I said, ‘I cannot but feel astonished at the strange usage observed in this country, of burying the living with the dead. I have been a great traveller, and seen many countries, but never heard of so cruel a law.’ ‘What do you mean, Sinbad?’ replied the king: ‘it is a common law. I shall be interred with the queen, my wife, if she die first.’ ‘But, sir,’ said I, ‘may I presume to ask your Majesty, if strangers be obliged to observe this law?’ ‘Without doubt,’ returned the king; ‘they are not exempted, if they be married in this island.’
“I returned home much depressed by this answer; for the fear of my wife’s dying first and that I should be interred alive with her, occasioned me very uneasy reflections. But there was no remedy; I must have patience, and submit to the will of God. I trembled, however, at every little indisposition of my wife, and, alas! in a little time my fears were realised, for she fell sick and died.
“The king and all his court expressed their wish to honour the funeral with their presence, and the most considerable people of the city did the same. When all was ready for the ceremony, the corpse was put into a coffin with all her jewels and her most magnificent apparel. The procession began, and as second actor in this doleful tragedy, I went next the corpse, with my eyes full of tears, bewailing my deplorable fate. Before we reached the mountain, I made an attempt to affect the minds of the spectators: I addressed myself to the king first, and then to all those that were round me; bowing before them to the earth, and kissing the border of their garments, I prayed them to have compassion upon me. ‘Consider,’ said I, ‘that I am a stranger, and ought not to be subject to this rigorous law, and that I have another wife and children in my own country.’ Although I spoke in the most pathetic manner, no one was moved by my address; on the contrary, they ridiculed my dread of death as cowardly, made haste to let my wife’s corpse into the pit, and lowered me down the next moment in an open coffin with a vessel full of water and seven loaves.
“As I approached the bottom, I discovered by the aid of the little light that came from above the nature of this subterranean place; it seemed an endless cavern, and might be about fifty fathoms deep.
“Instead of losing my courage and calling death to my assistance in that miserable condition, however, I felt still an inclination to live, and to do all I could to prolong my days. I went groping about, for the bread and water that was in my coffin, and took some of it. Though the darkness of the cave was so great that I could not distinguish day and night, yet I always found my coffin again, and the cave seemed to be more spacious than it had appeared to be at first. I lived for some days upon my bread and water, which being all spent, I at last prepared for death.
“I was offering up my last devotions when I heard something tread, and breathing or panting as it walked. I advanced toward that side from whence I heard the noise, and on my approach the creature puffed and blew harder, as if running away from me. I followed the noise, and the thing seemed to stop sometimes, but always fled and blew as I approached. I pursued it for a considerable time, till at last I perceived a light, resembling a star; I went on, sometimes lost sight of it, but always found it again, and at last discovered that it came through a hole in the rock, large enough to admit a man.
“Upon this, I stopped some time to rest, being much fatigued with the rapidity of my progress: afterward coming up to the hole, I got through, and found myself upon the seashore. I leave you to guess the excess of my joy: it was such that I could scarcely persuade myself that the whole was not a dream.
“But when I was recovered from my surprise, and convinced of the reality of my escape, I perceived what I had followed to be a creature which came out of the sea, and was accustomed to enter the cavern when the tides were high.
“I examined the mountain, and found it to be situated betwixt the sea and the town, but without any passage to or communication with the latter; the rocks on the sea side being high and perpendicularly steep. I prostrated myself on the shore to thank God for this mercy, and afterward entered the cave again to fetch bread and water, which I ate by daylight with a better appetite than I had done since my interment in the dark cavern.
“I returned thither a second time, and groped among the coffins for all the diamonds, rubies, pearls, gold bracelets, and rich stuffs I could find; these I brought to the shore, and tying them up neatly into bales, I laid them together upon the beach, waiting till some ship might appear.
“After two or three days, I perceived a ship just come out of the harbour, making for the place where I was. I made a sign with the linen of my turban, and called to the crew as loud as I could. They heard me, and sent a boat to bring me on board, when they asked by what misfortune I came thither; I told them that I had suffered shipwreck two days before, and made shift to get ashore with the goods they saw. It was fortunate for me that these people did not consider the place where I was, nor inquire into the probability of what I told them; but without hesitation took me on board. When I came to the ship, the captain was so well pleased to have saved me, and so much taken up with his own affairs, that he also took the story of my pretended shipwreck upon trust, and generously refused some jewels which I offered him.
“We passed by several islands, and among others that called the isle of Bells, about ten days’ sail from Serendib, and six from that of Kela, where we landed. This island produces lead mines, Indian canes, and excellent camphire.
“The King of the isle of Kela is very rich and powerful, and the isle of Bells, which is about two days’ journey in extent, is also subject to him. The inhabitants are so barbarous that they still eat human flesh. After we had finished our traffic in that island, we put to sea again, and touched at several other ports; at last I arrived happily at Bagdad with infinite riches. Out of gratitude to God for His mercies, I contributed liberally toward the support of several mosques, and the subsistence of the poor, and gave myself up to the society of my kindred and friends, enjoying myself with them in festivities and amusements.”
Here Sinbad finished the relation of his fourth voyage. He made a new present of one hundred sequins to Hindbad, whom he requested to return with the rest next day at the same hour to dine with him, and hear the story of his fifth voyage. Hindbad and the other guests took their leave and retired. Next morning when they all met, they sat down at table, and when dinner was over, Sinbad began the relation of his fifth voyage as follows:
THE FIFTH VOYAGE
“All the troubles and calamities I had undergone,” said he, “could not cure me of my inclination to make new voyages. I therefore bought goods, departed with them for the best seaport; and that I might not be obliged to depend upon a captain, but have a ship at my own command, I remained there till one was built on purpose. When the ship was ready, I went on board with my goods: but not having enough to load her, I agreed to take with me several merchants of different nations with their merchandise.
“We sailed with the first fair wind, and after a long navigation, the first place we touched at was a desert island, where we found an egg of a roc, equal in size to that I formerly mentioned. There was a young roc in it just ready to be hatched, and its bill had begun to appear. The merchants whom I had taken on board, and who landed with me, broke the egg with hatchets, pulled out the young roc, piecemeal, and roasted it. I had earnestly entreated them not to meddle with the egg, but they would not listen to me.
“Scarcely had they finished their repast, when there appeared in the air at a considerable distance from us two great clouds. The captain whom I had hired to navigate my ship, said they were the male and female roc that belonged to the young one and pressed us to re-embark with all speed, to prevent the misfortune which he saw would otherwise befall us. We hastened on board, and set sail with all possible expedition.
“In the meantime, the two rocs approached with a frightful noise, which they redoubled when they saw the egg broken, and their young one gone. They flew back in the direction they had come, and disappeared for some time, while we made all the sail we could to endeavour to prevent that which unhappily befell us.
“They soon returned, and we observed that each of them carried between its talons rocks of a monstrous size. When they came directly over my ship, they hovered, and one of them let fall a stone, but by the dexterity of the steersman it missed us. The other roc, to our misfortune, threw his burden so exactly upon the middle of the ship, as to split it into a thousand pieces. The mariners and passengers were all crushed to death, or sank. I myself was of the number of the latter; but as I came up again, I fortunately caught hold of a piece of the wreck, and swimming sometimes with one hand, and sometimes with the other, I came to an island, and got safely ashore.
“I sat down upon the grass, to recover myself from my fatigue, after which I went into the island to explore it. I found trees everywhere, some of them bearing green, and others ripe fruits, and streams of fresh pure water. I ate of the fruits, which I found excellent; and drank of the water, which was very good.
“When I was a little advanced into the island, I saw an old man, who appeared very weak and infirm. He was sitting on the bank of a stream, and at first I took him to be one who had been shipwrecked like myself. I went toward him and saluted him, but he only slightly bowed his head. I asked him why he sat so still, but instead of answering me, he made a sign for me to take him upon my back, and carry him over the brook, signifying that it was to gather fruit.
“I believed him really to stand in need of my assistance, took him upon my back, and having carried him over, bade him get down, and for that end stooped, that he might get off with ease; but instead of doing so (which I laugh at every time I think of it) the old man, who to me appeared quite decrepit, clasped his legs nimbly about my neck. He sat astride upon my shoulders, and held my throat so tight, that I thought he would have strangled me, the apprehension of which made me swoon and fall down.
“Notwithstanding my fainting, the ill-natured old fellow kept fast about my neck, but opened his legs a little to give me time to recover my breath. When I had done so, he thrust one of his feet against my stomach, and struck me so rudely on the side with the other that he forced me to rise up against my will. Having arisen, he made me walk under the trees, and forced me now and then to stop, to gather and eat fruit. He never left me all day, and when I lay down to rest at night, laid himself down with me, holding always fast about my neck. Every morning he pushed me to make me awake, and afterward obliged me to get up and walk, and pressed me with his feet.
“One day I found in my way several dry calabashes that had fallen from a tree. I took a large one, and after cleaning it, pressed into it some juice of grapes, which abounded in the island; having filled the calabash, I put it by in a convenient place, and going thither again some days after, I tasted it, and found the wine so good, that it soon made me forget my sorrow, gave me new vigour, and so exhilarated my spirits, that I began to sing and dance as I walked along.
“The old man, perceiving the effect which this liquor had upon me, and that I carried him with more ease than before, made me a sign to give him some of it. I handed him the calabash, and the liquor pleasing his palate, he drank it all off. There being a considerable quantity of it, he became intoxicated, and the fumes getting up into his head, he began to sing after his manner, and to dance, thus loosening his legs from about me by degrees. Finding that he did not press me as before, I threw him upon the ground, where he lay without motion; I then took up a great stone, and crushed him.
“I was extremely glad to be thus freed forever from this troublesome fellow. I now walked toward the beach, where I met the crew of a ship that had cast anchor, to take in water. They were surprised to see me, but more so at hearing the particulars of my adventures. ‘You fell,’ said they, ‘into the hands of the Old Man of the Sea, and are the first who ever escaped strangling by his malicious tricks. He never quits those he has once made himself master of till he has destroyed them, and he has made this island notorious by the number of men he has slain.’
“After having informed me of these things, they carried me with them to the ship, and the captain received me with great kindness, when they told him what had befallen me. He put out again to sea, and after some days’ sail, we arrived at the harbour of a great city.
“One of the merchants who had taken me into his friendship invited me to go along with him, and carried me to a place appointed for the accommodation of foreign merchants. He gave me a large bag, and having recommended me to some people of the town, who used to gather cocoa-nuts, desired them to take me with them. ‘Go,’ said he, ‘follow them, and act as you see them do, but do not separate from them, otherwise you may endanger your life.’ Having thus spoken, he gave me provisions for the journey, and I went with them.
“We came to a thick forest of cocoa-trees, very lofty, with trunks so smooth that it was not possible to climb to the branches that bore the fruit. When we entered the forest we saw a great number of apes of several sizes, who fled as soon as they perceived us, and climbed up to the top of the trees with surprising swiftness.
“The merchants with whom I was, gathered stones and threw them at the apes on the trees. I did the same, and the apes out of revenge threw cocoa-nuts at us so fast, and with such gestures, as sufficiently testified their anger and resentment. We gathered up the cocoa-nuts, and from time to time threw stones to provoke the apes; so that by this stratagem we filled our bags with cocoa-nuts, which it had been impossible otherwise to have done.
“When we had gathered our number, we returned to the city, where the merchant who had sent me to the forest gave me the value of the cocoas I brought: ‘Go on,’ said he, ‘and do the like every day, until you have got money enough to carry you home.’ I thanked him for his advice, and gradually collected as many cocoa-nuts as produced me a considerable sum.
“The vessel in which I had come sailed with some merchants who loaded her with cocoa-nuts. I embarked in her all the nuts I had, and when she was ready to sail took leave of the merchant who had been so kind to me.
“We sailed toward the islands, where pepper grows in great plenty. From thence we went to the isle of Comari, where the best species of wood of aloes grows. I exchanged my cocoa in those two islands for pepper and wood of aloes, and went with other merchants a pearl-fishing. I hired divers, who brought me up some that were very large and pure. I embarked in a vessel that happily arrived at Bussorah; from thence I returned to Bagdad, where I made vast sums from my pepper, wood of aloes, and pearls. I gave the tenth of my gains in alms, as I had done upon my return from my other voyages, and endeavoured to dissipate my fatigues by amusements of different kinds.”
When Sinbad had finished his story, he ordered one hundred sequins to be given to Hindbad, who retired with the other guests; but next morning the same company returned to dine; when Sinbad requested their attention, and gave the following account of his sixth voyage:
THE SIXTH VOYAGE
“You long without doubt to know,” said he, “how, after having been shipwrecked five times, and escaped so many dangers, I could resolve again to tempt fortune, and expose myself to new hardships. I am, myself, astonished at my conduct when I reflect upon it, and must certainly have been actuated by my destiny. But be that as it may, after a year’s rest I prepared for a sixth voyage, notwithstanding the entreaties of my kindred, who did all in their power to dissuade me.
“Instead of taking my way by the Persian Gulf, I travelled once more through several provinces of Persia and the Indies, and arrived at a seaport, where I embarked in a ship, the captain of which was bound on a long voyage. It was long indeed, for the captain and pilot lost their course. They, however, at last discovered where they were, but we had no reason to rejoice at the circumstance. Suddenly we saw the captain quit his post, uttering loud lamentations. He threw off his turban, pulled his beard, and beat his head like a madman. We asked him the reason, and he answered, that he was in the most dangerous place in all the ocean. ‘A rapid current carries the ship along with it,’ said he, ‘and we shall all perish in less than a quarter of an hour. Pray to God to deliver us from this peril; we cannot escape, if He do not take pity on us.’ At these words he ordered the sails to be lowered; but all the ropes broke, and the ship was carried by the current to the foot of an inaccessible mountain, where she struck and went to pieces, yet in such a manner that we saved our lives, our provisions, and the best of our goods.
“This being over, the captain said to us: ‘God has done what pleased Him. Each of us may dig his grave, and bid the world adieu; for we are all in so fatal a place, that none shipwrecked here ever returned to their homes.’ His discourse afflicted us sensibly, and we embraced each other, bewailing our deplorable lot.
“The mountain at the foot of which we were wrecked formed part of the coast of a very large island. It was covered with wrecks, with human bones, and with a vast quantity of goods and riches. In all other places, rivers run from their channels into the sea, but here a river of fresh water runs out of the sea into a dark cavern, whose entrance is very high and spacious. What is most remarkable in this place is, that the stones of the mountain are of crystal, rubies, or other precious stones. Here is also a sort of fountain of pitch or bitumen, that runs into the sea, which the fish swallow, and turn into ambergris: and this the waves throw up on the beach in great quantities. Trees also grow here, most of which are wood of aloes, equal in goodness to those of Comari.
“To finish the description of this place, which may well be called a gulf, since nothing ever returns from it, it is not possible for ships to get off when once they approach within a certain distance. If they be driven thither by a wind from the sea, the wind and the current impel them; and if they come into it when a land-wind blows, the height of the mountain stops the wind, and occasions a calm, so that the force of the current carries them ashore: and what completes the misfortune is, that there is no possibility of ascending the mountain, or of escaping by sea.
“We continued upon the shore in a state of despair, and expected death every day. At first we divided our provisions as equally as we could, and thus every one lived a longer or shorter time, according to his temperance, and the use he made of his provisions.
“I survived all my companions, yet when I buried the last, I had so little provision remaining that I thought I could not long endure and I dug a grave, resolving to lie down in it because there was no one left to inter me.
“But it pleased God once more to take compassion on me, and put it in my mind to go to the bank of the river which ran into the great cavern. Considering its probable course with great attention, I said to myself: ‘This river, which runs thus under ground, must somewhere have an issue. If I make a raft, and leave myself to the current, it will convey me to some inhabited country, or I shall perish. If I be drowned, I lose nothing, but only change one kind of death for another.’
“I immediately went to work upon large pieces of timber and cables, for I had choice of them, and tied them together so strongly that I soon made a very solid raft. When I had finished, I loaded it with rubies, emeralds, ambergris, rock-crystal, and bales of rich stuffs. Having balanced my cargo exactly, and fastened it well to the raft, I went on board with two oars that I had made, and leaving it to the course of the river, resigned myself to the will of God.
“As soon as I entered the cavern I lost all light, and the stream carried me I knew not whither. Thus I floated some days in perfect darkness, and once found the arch so low, that it very nearly touched my head, which made me cautious afterward to avoid the like danger. All this while I ate nothing but what was just necessary to support nature; yet, notwithstanding my frugality, all my provisions were spent. Then a pleasing stupor seized upon me. I cannot tell how long it continued; but when I revived, I was surprised to find myself in an extensive plain on the brink of a river, where my raft was tied, amidst a great number of negroes. I got up as soon as I saw them, and saluted them. They spoke to me, but I did not understand their language. I was so transported with joy, that I knew not whether I was asleep or awake; but being persuaded that I was not asleep, I recited aloud the following words in Arabic: ‘Call upon the Almighty, He will help thee; thou needest not perplex thyself about anything else: shut thy eyes, and while thou art asleep, God will change thy bad fortune into good.’
“One of the blacks, who understood Arabic, hearing me speak thus, came toward me and said: ‘Brother, be not surprised to see us; we are inhabitants of this country, and came hither to-day to water our fields. We observed something floating upon the water, and, perceiving your raft, one of us swam into the river and brought it hither, where we fastened it, as you see, until you should awake. Pray tell us your history, for it must be extraordinary; how did you venture yourself into this river, and whence did you come?’ I begged of them first to give me something to eat, and then I would satisfy their curiosity. They gave me several sorts of food, and when I had satisfied my hunger, I related all that had befallen me, which they listened to with attentive surprise. As soon as I had finished, they told me, by the person who spoke Arabic and interpreted to them what I said, that it was one of the most wonderful stories they had ever heard, and that I must go along with them, and tell it to their king myself; it being too extraordinary to be related by any other than the person to whom the events had happened.
“They immediately sent for a horse, which was brought in a little time; and having helped me to mount, some of them walked before to shew the way, while the rest took my raft and cargo and followed.
“We marched till we came to the capital of Serendib, for it was in that island I had landed. The blacks presented me to their king; I approached his throne, and saluted him as I used to do the Kings of the Indies; that is to say, I prostrated myself at his feet. The prince ordered me to rise, received me with an obliging air, and made me sit down near him.
“I related to the king all that I have told you, and his majesty was so surprised and pleased, that he commanded my adventures to be written in letters of gold, and laid up in the archives of his kingdom. At last my raft was brought in, and the bales opened in his presence: he admired the quantity of wood of aloes and ambergris; but, above all, the rubies and emeralds, for he had none in his treasury that equalled them.
“Observing that he looked on my jewels with pleasure, I fell prostrate at his feet, and took the liberty to say to him: ‘Sir, not only my person is at your majesty’s service, but the cargo of the raft, and I would beg of you to dispose of it as your own.’ He answered me with a smile: ‘Sinbad, I will take care not to covet anything of yours, or to take anything from you that God has given you; far from lessening your wealth, I design to augment it, and will not let you quit my dominions without marks of my liberality.’ He then charged one of his officers to take care of me, and ordered people to serve me at his own expense. The officer was very faithful in the execution of his commission, and caused all the goods to be carried to the lodgings provided for me.
“I went every day at a set hour to make my court to the king, and spent the rest of my time in viewing the city, and what was most worthy of notice.
“The capital of Serendib stands at the end of a fine valley, in the middle of the island, encompassed by mountains the highest in the world. Rubies and several sorts of minerals abound, and the rocks are for the most part composed of a metalline stone made use of to cut and polish other precious stones. All kinds of rare plants and trees grow there, especially cedars and cocoa-nut. There is also a pearl-fishing in the mouth of its principal river; and in some of its valleys are found diamonds. I made, by way of devotion, a pilgrimage to the place where Adam was confined after his banishment from Paradise, and had the curiosity to go to the top of the mountain.
“When I returned to the city, I prayed the king to allow me to return to my own country, and he granted me permission in the most honourable manner. He would needs force a rich present upon me; and when I went to take my leave of him, he gave me one much more considerable, and at the same time charged me with a letter for the Commander of the Faithful, our sovereign, saying to me: ‘I pray you give this present from me, and this letter, to the Caliph, and assure him of my friendship.’ I took the present and letter and promised his majesty punctually to execute the commission with which he was pleased to honour me.
“The letter from the King of Serendib was written on the skin of a certain animal of great value, because of its being so scarce, and of a yellowish colour. The characters of this letter were of azure, and the contents as follows:
“‘The King of the Indies, before whom march one hundred elephants, who lives in a palace that shines with one hundred thousand rubies, and who has in his treasury twenty thousand crowns enriched with diamonds, to Caliph Haroun-al-Raschid:—
“‘Though the present we send you be inconsiderable, receive it, however, as a brother, in consideration of the hearty friendship which we bear for you, and of which we are willing to give you proof. We desire the same part in your friendship, considering that we believe it to be our merit, being of the same dignity with yourself. We conjure you this in quality of a brother. Adieu.’
“The present consisted, first, of one single ruby made into a cup, about half a foot high, an inch thick, and filled with round pearls of half a drachm each. 2. The skin of a serpent, whose scales were as large as an ordinary piece of gold, and had the virtue to preserve from sickness those who lay upon it. 3. Fifty thousand drachms of the best wood of aloes, with thirty grains of camphire as big as pistachios. And, 4. A female slave of ravishing beauty, whose apparel was all covered over with jewels.
“The ship set sail, and after a very successful navigation we landed at Bussorah, and from thence I went to Bagdad, where the first thing I did was to acquit myself of my commission.
“I took the king of Serendib’s letter and went to present myself at the gate of the Commander of the Faithful, followed by the beautiful slave, and such of my own family as carried the gifts. I stated the reason of my coming, and was immediately conducted to the throne of the caliph. I made my reverence, and, after a short speech, gave him the letter and present. When he had read what the king of Serendib wrote to him, he asked me if the prince were really so rich and potent as he represented himself in his letter. I prostrated myself a second time, and rising again, said: ‘Commander of the Faithful, I can assure your majesty he doth not exceed the truth. Nothing is more worthy of admiration than the magnificence of his palace. When the prince appears in public he has a throne fixed on the back of an elephant, and marches betwixt two ranks of his ministers, favourites, and other people of his court; before him, upon the same elephant, an officer carries a golden lance in his hand; and behind the throne there is another, who stands upright, with a column of gold, on the top of which is an emerald half a foot long and an inch thick; before him march a guard of one thousand men, clad in cloth of gold and silk, and mounted on elephants richly caparisoned.
“While the king is on his march, the officer who is before him on the same elephant cries from time to time, with a loud voice: ‘Behold the great monarch, the potent and redoubtable Sultan of the Indies, whose palace is covered with one hundred thousand rubies, and who possesses twenty thousand crowns of diamonds. Behold the monarch greater than Solomon, and the powerful Maha-raja.’ After he has pronounced those words, the officer behind the throne cries in his turn: ‘This monarch, so great and so powerful, must die, must die, must die.’ And the officer before replies: ‘Praise be to him who liveth for ever.’
“Furthermore, the King of Serendib is so just that there are no judges in his dominions. His people have no need of them. They understand and observe justice rigidly of themselves.’
“The caliph was much pleased with my account. ‘The wisdom of that king,’ said he, ‘appears in his letter, and after what you tell me, I must confess, that his wisdom is worthy of his people, and his people deserve so wise a prince.’ Having spoken thus, he dismissed me, and sent me home with a rich present.”
Sinbad left off, and his company retired, Hindbad having first received one hundred sequins; and next day they returned to hear the relation of his seventh and last voyage.
THE SEVENTH AND LAST VOYAGE
“Being returned from my sixth voyage,” said Sinbad, “I absolutely laid aside all thoughts of travelling; for, besides that my age now required rest, I was resolved no more to expose myself to such risks as I had encountered; so that I thought of nothing but to pass the rest of my days in tranquillity. One day, however, as I was treating my friends, one of my servants came and told me that an officer of the caliph’s inquired for me. I rose from table, and went to him. ‘The caliph,’ said he, ‘has sent me to tell you that he must speak with you.’ I followed the officer to the palace, where, being presented to the caliph, I saluted him by prostrating myself at his feet. ‘Sinbad,’ said he to me, ‘I stand in need of your service; you must carry my answer and present to the King of Serendib. It is but just I should return his civility.’
“This command of the caliph was to me like a clap of thunder. ‘Commander of the Faithful,’ I replied, ‘I am ready to do whatever your majesty shall think fit to command; but I beseech you most humbly to consider what I have undergone. I have also made a vow never to go out of Bagdad.’ Hence I took occasion to give him a full and particular account of all my adventures, which he had the patience to hear out.
“As soon as I had finished, ‘I confess,’ said he, ‘that the things you tell me are very extraordinary, yet you must for my sake undertake this voyage which I propose to you. You will only have to go to the isle of Serendib, and deliver the commission which I give you, for you know it would not comport with my dignity to be indebted to the king of that island.’ Perceiving that the caliph insisted upon my compliance, I submitted, and told him that I was willing to obey. He was very well pleased, and ordered me one thousand sequins for the expenses of my journey.
“I prepared for my departure in a few days, and as soon as the caliph’s letter and present were delivered to me, I went to Bussorah, where I embarked, and had a very happy voyage. Having arrived at the isle of Serendib, I acquainted the king’s ministers with my commission, and prayed them to get me speedy audience. They did so, and I was conducted to the palace, where I saluted the king by prostration, according to custom. That prince knew me immediately, and testified very great joy at seeing me, ‘Sinbad,’ said he, ‘you are welcome; I have many times thought of you since you departed; I bless the day on which we see one another once more.’ I made my compliments to him, and after having thanked him for his kindness, delivered the caliph’s letter and present, which he received with all imaginable satisfaction.
“The caliph’s present was a complete suit of cloth of gold, valued at one thousand sequins; fifty robes of rich stuff, a hundred of white cloth, the finest of Cairo, Suez, and Alexandria; a vessel of agate broader than deep, an inch thick, and half a foot wide, the bottom of which represented in bas-relief a man with one knee on the ground, who held a bow and an arrow, ready to discharge at a lion. He sent him also a rich tablet, which, according to tradition, belonged to the great Solomon. The caliph’s letter was as follows:
“‘Greeting, in the name of the sovereign guide of the right way, from the dependant on God, Haroun-al-Raschid, whom God hath set in the place of vicegerent to his prophet, after his ancestors of happy memory, to the potent and esteemed Raja of Serendib:—
‘We received your letter with joy, and send you this from our imperial residence, the garden of superior wits. We hope when you look upon it, you will perceive our good intention and be pleased with it. Adieu.’
“The King of Serendib was highly gratified that the caliph answered his friendship. A little time after this audience, I solicited leave to depart, and had much difficulty to obtain it. I procured it, however, at last, and the king, when he dismissed me, made me a very considerable present. I embarked immediately to return to Bagdad, but had not the good fortune to arrive there so speedily as I had hoped. God ordered it otherwise.
“Three or four days after my departure, we were attacked by corsairs, who easily seized upon our ship, because it was no vessel of force. Some of the crew offered resistance, which cost them their lives. But for myself and the rest, who were not so imprudent, the corsairs saved us on purpose to make slaves of us.
“We were all stripped, and instead of our own clothes, they gave us sorry rags, and carried us into a remote island, where they sold us.
“I fell into the hands of a rich merchant, who, as soon as he bought me, carried me to his house, treated me well, and clad me handsomely for a slave. Some days after, not knowing who I was, he asked me if I understood any trade. I answered, that I was no mechanic, but a merchant, and that the corsairs who sold me, had robbed me of all I possessed. ‘But tell me,’ replied he, ‘can you shoot with a bow?’ I answered, that the bow was one of my exercises in my youth. He gave me a bow and arrows, and, taking me behind him upon an elephant, carried me to a thick forest some leagues from the town. We penetrated a great way into the wood, and he bade me alight; then, shewing me a great tree, ‘Climb up that,’ said he, ‘and shoot at the elephants as you see them pass by, for there is a prodigious number of them in this forest, and if any of them fall, come and give me notice.’ Having spoken this, he left me victuals, and returned to the town, and I continued upon the tree all night.
“I saw no elephant during the night, but next morning, as soon as the sun was up, I perceived a great number. I shot several arrows among them, and at last one of the elephants fell, when the rest retired immediately, and left me at liberty to go and acquaint my patron with my booty. When I had informed him, he gave me a good meal, commended my dexterity, and caressed me highly. We went afterwards together to the forest, where we dug a hole for the elephant; my patron designing to return when it had fallen to pieces and take its teeth to trade with.
“I continued this employment for two months, and killed an elephant every day, getting sometimes upon one tree, and sometimes upon another. One morning, as I looked for the elephants, I perceived with extreme amazement that, instead of passing by me across the forest as usual, they stopped, and came to me with a horrible noise, in such number that the plain was covered, and shook under them. They encompassed the tree in which I was concealed, with their trunks extended, and all fixed their eyes upon me. At this alarming spectacle I continued immovable, and was so much terrified, that my bow and arrows fell out of my hand.
“My fears were not without cause; for after the elephants had stared upon me some time, one of the largest of them put his trunk round the foot of the tree, plucked it up, and threw it on the ground. I fell with the tree; and the elephant, taking me up with his trunk, laid me on his back, where I sat more like one dead than alive, with my quiver on my shoulder. He put himself afterward at the head of the rest, who followed him in troops, carried me a considerable way, then laid me down on the ground, and retired with all his companions. After having lain some time, and seeing the elephants gone, I got up, and found I was upon a long and broad hill, almost covered with the bones and teeth of elephants. I confess to you, that this object furnished me with abundance of reflections. I admired the instinct of those animals; I doubted not but that was their burying-place, and that they carried me thither on purpose to tell me that I should forbear to persecute them, since I did it only for their teeth. I did not stay on the hill, but turned toward the city, and, after having travelled a day and a night, I came to my patron.
“As soon as he saw me, ‘Ah, poor Sinbad,’ exclaimed he, ‘I was in great trouble to know what was become of you. I have been at the forest, where I found a tree newly pulled up, and a bow and arrows on the ground, and I despaired of ever seeing you more. Pray tell me what befell you, and by what good chance you are still alive.’ I satisfied his curiosity, and going both of us next morning to the hill, he found to his great joy that what I had told him was true. We loaded the elephant which had carried us with as many teeth as he could bear; and when we were returned, ‘Brother,’ said my patron, ‘for I will treat you no more as my slave, after having made such a discovery as will enrich me, God bless you with all happiness and prosperity. I declare before Him, that I give you your liberty. I concealed from you what I am now going to tell you.
“‘The elephants of our forest have every year killed a great many slaves, whom we sent to seek ivory. God has delivered you from their fury, and has bestowed that favour upon you only. It is a sign that He loves you, and has some use for your service in the world. You have procured me incredible wealth. Formerly we could not procure ivory but by exposing the lives of our slaves, and now our whole city is enriched by your means. I could engage all our inhabitants to contribute toward making your fortune, but I will have the glory of doing it myself.’
“To this obliging declaration I replied: ‘Patron, God preserve you. Your giving me my liberty is enough to discharge what you owe me, and I desire no other reward for the service I had the good fortune to do to you, and your city, but leave to return to my own country.’ ‘Very well,’ said he, ‘the monsoon will in a little time bring ships for ivory. I will then send you home, and give you wherewith to bear your charges.’ I thanked him again for my liberty and his good intentions toward me. I stayed with him expecting the monsoon; and during that time, we made so many journeys to the hill that we filled all our warehouses with ivory. The other merchants, who traded in it, did the same, for it could not be long concealed from them.
“The ships arrived at last, and my patron, himself having made choice of the ship wherein I was to embark, loaded half of it with ivory on my account, laid in provisions in abundance for my passage, and besides obliged me to accept a present of some curiosities of the country of great value. After I had returned him a thousand thanks for all his favours, I went aboard. We set sail, and as the adventure which procured me this liberty was very extraordinary, I had it continually in my thoughts.
“We stopped at some islands to take in fresh provisions. Our vessel being come to a port on the main land in the Indies, we touched there, and not being willing to venture by sea to Bussorah, I landed my proportion of the ivory, resolving to proceed on my journey by land. I made vast sums by my ivory, bought several rarities for presents, and when my equipage was ready, set out in company with a large caravan of merchants. I was a long time on the way, and suffered much, but endured all with patience, when I considered that I had nothing to fear from the seas, from pirates, from serpents, or from the other perils to which I had been exposed.
“All these fatigues ended at last, and I arrived safe at Bagdad. I went immediately to wait upon the caliph, and gave him an account of my embassy. That prince said he had been uneasy as I was so long in returning, but that he always hoped God would preserve me. When I told him the adventure of the elephants, he seemed much surprised, and would never have given any credit to it had he not known my veracity. He deemed this story, and the other relations I had given him, to be so curious, that he ordered one of his secretaries to write them in characters of gold, and lay them up in his treasury. I retired well satisfied with the honours I received, and the presents which he gave me; and ever since I have devoted myself wholly to my family, kindred and friends.”
Sinbad here finished the relation of his seventh and last voyage, and then, addressing himself to Hindbad, “Well, friend,” said he, “did you ever hear of any person that suffered so much as I have done, or of any mortal that has gone through so many vicissitudes? Is it not reasonable that, after all this, I should enjoy a quiet and pleasant life?” As he said this, Hindbad drew near to him, and kissing his hand, said, “I must acknowledge sir, that you have gone through many imminent dangers; my troubles are not comparable to yours; if they afflict me for a time, I comfort myself with the thoughts of the profit I get by them. You not only deserve a quiet life, but are worthy of all the riches you enjoy, because you make of them such a good and generous use. May you therefore continue to live in happiness till the day of your death!” Sinbad then gave him one hundred sequins more, received him into the number of his friends and desired him to quit his porter’s employment, and come and dine every day with him, that he might have ample reason to remember Sinbad the voyager and his adventures.
There formerly reigned in the city of Harran a most magnificent and potent sultan, who loved his subjects, and was equally beloved by them. He was endued with all virtues, and wanted nothing to complete his happiness but an heir. He continually prayed to Heaven for a child; and one night in his sleep, a prophet appeared to him and said: “Your prayers are heard; you have obtained what you have desired; rise as soon as you awake, go to your prayers, and make two genuflexions; then walk into the garden of your palace, call your gardener, and bid him bring you a pomegranate; eat as many of the seeds as you please, and your wishes shall be accomplished.”
The sultan calling to mind his dream when he awoke, returned thanks to Heaven, got up, prayed, made two genuflexions, and then went into his garden, where he took fifty pomegranate seeds, which he counted, and ate. Some time afterward forty-nine of his wives presented him with sons, each one as vigorous as a young palm-tree, but Pirouzè, the fiftieth wife, remained childless. The sultan, therefore, took an aversion to this lady and would have had her put to death had not his vizier prevented him, advising rather that she be sent to Samaria, to her brother, Sultan Samer, with orders that she be well treated.
Not long after Pirouzè had been retired to her brother’s country, a most beautiful prince was born to her. The prince of Samaria wrote immediately to the sultan of Harran, to acquaint him with the birth of a son, and to congratulate him on the occasion. The sultan was much rejoiced at this intelligence, and answered Prince Samer as follows: “Cousin, all my other wives have each presented me with a prince. I desire you to educate the child of Pirouzè, to give him the name of Codadad, and to send him to me when I may apply for him.”
The prince of Samaria spared nothing that might improve the education of his nephew. He taught him to ride, draw the bow, and all other accomplishments becoming the son of a sovereign; so that Codadad, at eighteen years of age, was looked upon as a prodigy. The young prince, being inspired with a courage worthy his birth, said one day to his mother: “Madam, I begin to grow weary of Samaria; I feel a passion for glory; give me leave to seek it amidst the perils of war. My father the sultan of Harran has many enemies. Why does he not call me to his assistance? Must I spend my life in sloth, when all my brothers have the happiness to be fighting by his side?” “My son,” answered Pirouzè, “I am no less impatient to have your name become famous; I could wish you had already signalised yourself against your father’s enemies; but we must wait till he requires it.” “No, madam,” replied Codadad, “I have already waited too long. I burn to see the sultan, and am tempted to offer him my service, as a young stranger: no doubt but he will accept of it, and I will not discover myself till I have performed some glorious actions.” Pirouzè approved of his generous resolutions, and Codadad departed from Samaria, as if he had been going to the chase, without acquainting Prince Samer, lest he should thwart his design.
He was mounted on a white charger, who had a bit and shoes of gold, his housing was of blue satin embroidered with pearls; the hilt of his cimeter was of one single diamond, and the scabbard of sandalwood, adorned with emeralds and rubies, and on his shoulder he carried his bow and quiver. In this equipage, which greatly set off his handsome person, he arrived at the city of Harran, and soon found means to offer his service to the sultan; who being charmed with his beauty, and perhaps indeed by natural sympathy, gave him a favourable reception, and asked his name and quality. “Sir,” answered Codadad, “I am son to an emir of Grand Cairo; an inclination to travel has made me quit my country, and understanding that you were engaged in war, I am come to your court to offer your majesty my service.” The sultan, upon hearing this, shewed him extraordinary kindness, and gave him a command in his army.
The young prince soon gained the esteem of the officers, and was admired by the soldiers. Having no less wit than courage, he so far advanced himself in the sultan’s esteem, as to become his favourite. All the ministers and other courtiers daily resorted to Codadad, and were so eager to purchase his friendship, that they neglected the sultan’s sons. The princes could not but resent this conduct, and all conceived an implacable hatred against him; but the sultan’s affection daily increasing, he was never weary of giving him fresh testimonies of his regard. He always would have him near his person; and to shew his high opinion of his wisdom and prudence, committed to his care the other princes, though he was of the same age as they; so that Codadad was made governor of his brothers.
This only served to heighten their hatred. “Is it come to this,” said they, “that the sultan, not satisfied with loving a stranger more than us, will have him to be our governor, and not allow us to act without his leave? This is not to be endured. We must rid ourselves of this foreigner.” “Let us go together,” said one of them, “and despatch him.” “No, no,” answered another; “we had better be cautious how we sacrifice ourselves. His death would render us odious to the sultan. Let us destroy him by some stratagem. We will ask his permission to hunt, and, when at a distance from the palace, proceed to some other city and stay there some time. The sultan will wonder at our absence, and perceiving we do not return, perhaps put the stranger to death, or at least will banish him from court, for suffering us to leave the palace.”
All the princes applauded this artifice. They went together to Codadad, and desired him to allow them to take the diversion of hunting, promising to return the same day. Pirouzè’s son was taken in the snare, and granted the permission his brothers desired. They set out, but never returned. They had been three days absent, when the sultan asked Codadad where the princes were, for it was long since he had seen them. “Sir,” answered Codadad, after making a profound reverence, “they have been hunting these three days, but they promised me they would return sooner.” The sultan grew uneasy, and his uneasiness increased when he perceived the princes did not return the next day. He could not check his anger: “Indiscreet stranger,” said he to Codadad, “why did you let my sons go without bearing them company? Go, seek them immediately, and bring them to me, or your life shall be forfeited.”
These words chilled with alarm Pirouzè’s unfortunate son. He armed himself, departed from the city, and like a shepherd who had lost his flock, searched the country for his brothers, inquiring at every village whether they had been seen; but hearing no news of them, abandoned himself to the most lively grief. He was inconsolable for having given the princes permission to hunt, or for not having borne them company.
After some days spent in fruitless search, he came to a plain of prodigious extent, in the midst whereof was a palace built of black marble. He drew near, and at one of the windows beheld a most beautiful lady; but set off with no other ornament than her own charms; for her hair was dishevelled, her garments torn, and on her countenance appeared all the marks of affliction. As soon as she saw Codadad, and judged he might hear her, she directed her discourse to him, saying: “Young man, depart from this fatal place, or you will soon fall into the hands of the monster that inhabits it: a black, who feeds only on human blood, resides in this palace; he seizes all persons whom their ill fate conducts to this plain, and shuts them up in his dungeons, whence they are never released, but to be devoured by him.”
“Madam,” answered Codadad, “tell me who you are, and be not concerned for myself.” “I am a lady of quality of Grand Cairo,” replied the captive; “I was passing by this castle yesterday, on my way to Bagdad, and met with the black, who killed all my attendants, and brought me hither. I beg of you,” she cried, “to make your escape: the black will soon return; he is gone out to pursue some travellers he espied at a distance on the plain. Lose no time, but fly.”
She had scarcely done speaking before the black appeared. He was of monstrous bulk, and of a dreadful aspect, mounted on a large Tartar horse, and bore a heavy cimeter, that none but himself could wield. The prince seeing him, was amazed at his gigantic stature, directed his prayers to Heaven to assist him, then drew his own cimeter, and firmly awaited his approach. The monster, despising so inconsiderable an enemy, called to him to submit without fighting. Codadad by his conduct shewed that he was resolved to defend his life; for rushing upon the black, he wounded him on the knee. The monster, feeling himself wounded, uttered such a dreadful yell as made all the plain resound. He grew furious and foamed with rage, and raising himself on his stirrups, made at Codadad with his dreadful cimeter. The blow was so violent, that it would have put an end to the young prince, had not he avoided it by a sudden spring. The cimeter made a horrible hissing in the air: but, before the black could have time to make a second blow, Codadad struck him on his right arm with such force that he cut it off. The dreadful cimeter fell with the hand that held it, and the black, yielding under the violence of the stroke, lost his stirrups, and made the earth shake with the weight of his fall. The prince alighted at the same time, and cut off his enemy’s head. Just then the lady, who had been a spectator of the combat, and was still offering up her earnest prayers to Heaven for the young hero, uttered a shriek of joy, and said to Codadad: “Prince and Deliverer, finish the work you have begun; the black has the keys of this castle, take them and deliver me out of prison.”
The prince searched the wretch as he lay stretched on the ground, and found several keys. He opened the first door, and entered a court, where he saw the lady coming to meet him; she would have cast herself at his feet, the better to express her gratitude, but he would not permit her. She commended his valour, and extolled him above all the heroes in the world. He returned her compliments; and she appeared still more lovely to him near, than she had done at a distance. I know not whether she felt more joy at being delivered from the desperate danger she had been in, than he for having done so considerable a service to so beautiful a person.
Their conversation was interrupted by dismal cries and groans. “What do I hear?” said Codadad; “whence come these miserable lamentations, which pierce my ears?” “My lord,” said the lady, pointing to a little door in the court, “they come from thence. There are I know not how many wretched persons whom fate has thrown into the hands of the black. They are all chained, and the monster drew out one every day to devour.”
“It is an addition to my joy,” answered the young prince, “to understand that my victory will save the lives of those unfortunate beings. Come with me, madam, to partake in the satisfaction of giving them their liberty.” Having so said, they advanced toward the door of the dungeon, where Codadad, pitying them, and impatient to put an end to their sufferings, presently put one of the keys into the lock. The noise made all the unfortunate captives, who concluded it was the black coming, according to custom, to seize one of them to devour, redouble their cries and groans.
In the meantime, the prince had opened the door; he went down a steep staircase into a deep vault, which received some feeble light from a little window, and in which there were above a hundred persons, bound to stakes. “Unfortunate travellers,” said he to them, “who only expected the moment of an approaching death, give thanks to Heaven which has this day delivered you by my means. I have slain the black by whom you were to be devoured, and am come to knock off your chains.” The prisoners hearing these words, gave a shout of mingled joy and surprise. Codadad and the lady began to unbind them; and as soon as any of them were loose, they helped to take off the fetters from the rest; so that in a short time they were all at liberty.
They then kneeled down, and having returned thanks to Codadad for what he had done for them, went out of the dungeon; but when they were come into the court, how was the prince surprised to see among the prisoners those he was in search of, and almost without hopes to find! “Princes,” cried he, “is it you whom I behold? May I flatter myself that it is in my power to restore you to the sultan your father, who is inconsolable for the loss of you? Are you all here alive? Alas! the death of one of you will suffice to damp the joy I feel for having delivered you.”
The forty-nine princes all made themselves known to Codadad, who embraced them one after another, and told them how uneasy their father was on account of their absence. They gave their deliverer all the commendations he deserved, as did the other prisoners, who could not find words expressive enough to declare their gratitude. Codadad, with them, searched the whole castle, where was immense wealth: curious silks, gold brocades, Persian carpets, China satins, and an infinite quantity of other goods, which the black had taken from the caravans he had plundered, a considerable part whereof belonged to the prisoners Codadad had then liberated. Every man knew and claimed his property. The prince restored them their own, and divided the rest of the merchandise among them. Then he said to them: “How will you carry away your goods? We are here in a desert place, and there is no likelihood of your getting horses.” “My lord,” answered one of the prisoners, “the black robbed us of our camels, as well as of our goods, and perhaps they may be in the stables of this castle.” “That is not unlikely,” replied Codadad; “let us examine.” Accordingly they went to the stables, where they not only found the camels, but also the horses belonging to the sultan of Harran’s sons. All the merchants, overjoyed that they had recovered their goods and camels, together with their liberty, thought of nothing but prosecuting their journey; but first repeated their thanks to their deliverer.
When they were gone, Codadad, directing his discourse to the lady, said: “What place, madam, do you desire to go to? I intend to bear you company to the spot you shall choose for your retreat, and I question not but that all these princes will do the same.” The sultan of Harran’s sons protested to the lady, that they would not leave her till she was restored to her friends.
“Princes,” said she, “I am of a country too remote from here; and, besides that, it would be abusing your generosity to oblige you to travel so far. I must confess that I have left my native country for ever. I told you that I was a lady of Grand Cairo; but since you have shewn me so much favour, I should be much in the wrong in concealing the truth from you: I am a sultan’s daughter. A usurper has possessed himself of my father’s throne, after having murdered him, and I have been forced to fly to save my life.”
Codadad and his brothers requested the princess to tell them her story, and after thanking them for their repeated protestations of readiness to serve her, she could not refuse to satisfy their curiosity, and began the recital of her adventures in the following manner.
“There was in a certain island,” said the princess, “a great city called Deryabar, governed by a magnificent and virtuous sultan, who had no children, which was the only blessing wanting to make him happy. He continually addressed his prayers to Heaven, but Heaven only partially granted his requests, for the queen his wife, after a long expectation, brought forth a daughter.
“I am that unfortunate princess; my father was rather grieved than pleased at my birth; but he submitted to the will of God, and caused me to be educated with all possible care, being resolved, since he had no son, to teach me the art of ruling, that I might supply his place after his death.
“There was, at the court of Deryabar, an orphan youth of good birth whom the sultan, my father, had befriended and educated according to his rank. He was very handsome, and, not wanting ability, found means to please my father, who conceived a great friendship for him. All the courtiers perceived it, and guessed that the young man might in the end be my husband. In this idea, and looking on him already as heir to the crown, they made their court to him, and every one endeavoured to gain his favour. He soon saw into their designs, and forgetting the distance there was between our conditions, flattered himself with the hopes that my father was fond enough of him to prefer him before all the princes in the world. He went farther; for the sultan not offering me to him as soon as he could have wished, he had the boldness to ask me of him. Whatever punishment his insolence deserved, my father was satisfied with telling him he had other thoughts in relation to me. The youth was incensed at this refusal; he resented the contempt, as if he had asked some maid of ordinary extraction, or as if his birth had been equal to mine. Nor did he stop here, but resolved to be revenged on the sultan, and with unparalleled ingratitude conspired against him. In short, he murdered him, and caused himself to be proclaimed sovereign of Deryabar. The grand vizier, however, while the usurper was butchering my father came to carry me away from the palace, and secured me in a friend’s house, till a vessel he had provided was ready to sail. I then left the island, attended only by a governess and that generous minister, who chose rather to follow his master’s daughter than to submit to a tyrant.
“The grand vizier designed to carry me to the courts of the neighbouring sultans, to implore their assistance, and excite them to revenge my father’s death; but Heaven did not concur in a resolution we thought so just. When we had been but a few days at sea, there arose such a furious storm, that our vessel, carried away by the violence of the winds and waves, was dashed in pieces against a rock. My governess, the grand vizier, and all that attended me, were swallowed up by the sea. I lost my senses; and whether I was thrown upon the coast, or whether Heaven wrought a miracle for my deliverance, I found myself on shore when my senses returned.
“In my despair and horror I was on the point of casting myself into the sea again; when I heard behind me a great noise of men and horses. I looked about to see what it might be, and espied several armed horsemen, among whom was one mounted on an Arabian charger. He had on a garment embroidered with silver, a girdle set with precious stones, and a crown of gold on his head. Though his habit had not convinced me that he was chief of the company, I should have judged it by the air of grandeur which appeared in his person. He was a young man extraordinarily well shaped, and perfectly beautiful. Surprised to see a young lady alone in that place, he sent some of his officers to ask who I was. I answered only by weeping. The shore being covered with the wreck of our ship, they concluded that I was certainly some person who had escaped from the vessel. This conjecture excited the curiosity of the officers, who began to ask me a thousand questions, with assurances that their master was a generous prince, and that I should receive protection at his court.
“The sultan, impatient to know who I was, grew weary of waiting the return of his officers, and drew near to me. He gazed on me very earnestly, and observing that I did not cease weeping, without being able to return an answer to their questions, he forbade them troubling me any more; and directing his discourse to me: ‘Madam,’ said he, ‘I conjure you to moderate your excessive affliction. I dare assure you that, if your misfortunes are capable of receiving any relief, you shall find it in my dominions. You shall live with the queen my mother, who will endeavour by her kindness to ease your affliction. I know not yet who you are, but I find I already take an interest in your welfare.’
“I thanked the young sultan for his goodness to me, accepted his obliging offer; and to convince him that I was not unworthy of them, told him my condition. When I had done speaking, the prince assured me that he was deeply concerned at my misfortunes. He then conducted me to his palace, and presented me to the queen his mother, to whom I was obliged again to repeat my misfortunes. The queen seemed very sensible of my trouble, and conceived extreme affection for me. On the other hand, the sultan her son fell desperately in love with me, and soon offered me his hand and his crown. I was so taken up with the thoughts of my calamities, that the prince, though so lovely a person, did not make so great an impression on me as he might have done at another time. However, gratitude prevailing, I did not refuse to make him happy, and our nuptials were concluded with all imaginable splendour.
“While the people were taken up with the celebration of their sovereign’s nuptials, a neighbouring prince, his enemy, made a descent by night on the island with a great number of troops and surprised and cut to pieces my husband’s subjects. We escaped very narrowly, for he had already entered the palace with some of his followers; but we found means to slip away and to get to the sea-coast, where we threw ourselves into a fishing-boat which we had the good fortune to meet with. Two days we were driven about by the winds, without knowing what would become of us. The third day we espied a vessel making toward us under sail. We rejoiced at first, believing it had been a merchant-ship which might take us aboard; but what was our consternation, when, as it drew near, we saw ten or twelve armed pirates appear on the deck. Having boarded, five or six of them leaped into our boat, seized us, bound the prince, and conveyed us into their ship, where they immediately took off my veil. My youth and features touched them, and they all declared how much they were charmed at the sight of me. Instead of casting lots, each of them claimed the preference, and me as his right. The dispute grew warm, they came to blows, and fought like madmen. The deck was soon covered with dead bodies, and they were all killed but one, who, being left sole possessor of me, said: ‘You are mine. I will carry you to Grand Cairo, to deliver you to a friend of mine, to whom I have promised a beautiful slave. But who,’ added he, looking upon the sultan, my husband, ‘is that man? What relation does he bear to you? Are you allied by blood or love?’ ‘Sir,’ answered I, ‘he is my husband.’ ‘If so,’ replied the pirate, ‘in pity I must rid myself of him: it would be too great an affliction to him to see you disposed of to another.’ Having spoken these words, he took up the unhappy prince, who was bound, and threw him into the sea, notwithstanding all my endeavours to prevent him.
“I shrieked in a dreadful manner at the sight of what he had done, and had certainly cast myself into the sea also, but that the pirate held me. He saw my design, and therefore bound me with cords to the main-mast, then hoisting sail, made toward the land, and got ashore. He unbound me and led me to a little town, where he bought camels, tents, and slaves, and then set out for Grand Cairo, designing, as he still said, to present me to his friend, according to his promise.
“We had been several days upon the road, when, as we were crossing this plain yesterday, we descried the black who inhabited this castle. At a distance we took him for a tower, and when near us, could scarcely believe him to be a man. He drew his huge cimeter, and summoned the pirate to yield himself prisoner, with all his slaves and the lady he was conducting. You know the end of this dreadful adventure and can foresee what would have been my fate had you, generous prince, not come to my deliverance.”
As soon as the princess had finished the recital of her adventures, Codadad declared to her that he was deeply concerned at her misfortunes. “But, madam,” added he, “it shall be your own fault if you do not live at ease for the future. The sultan of Harran’s sons offer you a safe retreat in the court of their father; be pleased to accept of it, and if you do not disdain the affection of your deliverer, permit me to assure you of it, and to espouse you before all these princes; let them be witnesses to our contract.” The princess consented, and the marriage was concluded that very day in the castle, where they found all sorts of provisions, with an abundance of delicious wine and other liquors.
They all sat down at table; and after having eaten and drunk plentifully, took with them the rest of the provisions, and set out for the sultan of Harran’s court. They travelled several days, encamping in the pleasantest places they could find, and were within one day’s journey of Harran, when Codadad, directing his discourse to all his company, said: “Princes, I have too long concealed from you who I am. Behold your brother Codadad! I, as well as you, received my being from the sultan of Harran, the prince of Samaria brought me up, and the Princess Pirouzè is my mother. Madam,” added he, addressing himself to the princess of Deryabar, “do you also forgive me for having concealed my birth from you? Perhaps, by discovering it sooner, I might have prevented some disagreeable reflections, which may have been occasioned by a match you may have thought unequal.” “No, sir,” answered the princess “the opinion I at first conceived of you heightened every moment and you did not stand in need of the extraction you now discover to make me happy.”
The princes congratulated Codadad on his birth, and expressed much satisfaction at being made acquainted with it. But in reality, instead of rejoicing, their hatred of so amiable a brother was increased. They met together at night, and forgetting that had it not been for the brave son of Pirouzè they must have been devoured by the black, agreed among themselves to murder him. “We have no other course to choose,” said one of them, “for the moment our father shall come to understand that this stranger, of whom he is already so fond, is our brother, he will declare him his heir, and we shall all be obliged to obey and fall down before him.” He added much more, which made such an impression on their unnatural minds, that they immediately repaired to Codadad, then asleep, stabbed him repeatedly, and leaving him for dead in the arms of the princess of Deryabar, proceeded on their journey to the city of Harran, where they arrived the next day.
The sultan their father conceived the greater joy at their return, because he had despaired of ever seeing them again: he asked what had been the occasion of their stay. But they took care not to acquaint him with it, making no mention either of the black or of Codadad; and only said, that being curious to see different countries, they had spent some time in the neighbouring cities.
In the meantime Codadad lay in his tent weltering in his blood and little differing from a dead man, with the princess his wife, who seemed to be in not much better condition than himself. She rent the air with her dismal shrieks, tore her hair, and bathing her husband’s body with her tears, “Alas! Codadad, my dear Codadad,” cried she, “is it you whom I behold just departing this life? Can I believe these are your brothers who have treated you so unmercifully, those brothers whom thy valour had saved? O Heaven! which has condemned me to lead a life of calamities, if you will not permit me to have a consort, why did you permit me to find one? Behold, you have now robbed me of two, just as I began to be attached to them.”
By these and other moving expressions the afflicted princess of Deryabar vented her sorrow, fixing her eyes on the unfortunate Codadad, who could not hear her; but he was not dead, and his consort, observing that he still breathed, ran to a large town she espied in the plain, to inquire for a surgeon. She was directed to one, who went immediately with her; but when they came to the tent, they could not find Codadad, which made them conclude he had been dragged away by some wild beast to be devoured. The princess renewed her complaints and lamentations in a most affecting manner. The surgeon was moved, and being unwilling to leave her in so distressed a condition, proposed to her to return to the town, offering her his house and service.
She suffered herself to be prevailed upon. The surgeon conducted her to his house, and without knowing, as yet, who she was, treated her with all imaginable courtesy and respect. He used all his endeavours to comfort her, but it was vain to think of removing her sorrow. “Madam,” said he to her one day, “be pleased to recount to me your misfortunes; tell me your country and your condition. Perhaps I may give you some good advice, when I am acquainted with all the circumstances of your calamity.”
The surgeon’s words were so efficacious, that they wrought on the princess, who recounted to him all her adventures; and when she had done, the surgeon directed his discourse to her: “Madam,” said he, “you ought not thus to give way to your sorrow; you ought rather to arm yourself with resolution, and perform what the duty of a wife requires of you. You are bound to avenge your husband. If you please, I will wait on you as your attendant. Let us go to the sultan of Harran’s court; he is a good and a just prince. You need only represent to him in lively colours, how Prince Codadad has been treated by his brothers. I am persuaded he will do you justice.” “I submit to your reasoning,” answered the princess; “it is my duty to endeavour to avenge Codadad; and since you are so generous as to offer to attend me, I am ready to set out.” No sooner had she fixed this resolution, than the surgeon ordered two camels to be made ready, on which the princess and he mounted, and repaired to Harran.
They alighted at the first caravanserai they found, and inquired of the host the news at court. “Deryabar,” said he, “is in very great perplexity. The sultan had a son, who lived long with him as a stranger, and none can tell what is become of the young prince. One of the sultan’s wives, named Pirouzè, is his mother; she has made all possible inquiry, but to no purpose. The sultan has forty-nine other sons, all by different mothers, but not one of them has virtue enough to comfort him for the death of Codadad; I say, his death, because it is impossible he should be still alive, since no intelligence has been heard of him, notwithstanding so much search has been made.”
The surgeon, having heard this account from the host, concluded that the best course the princess of Deryabar could take was to wait upon Pirouzè; but that step required much precaution: for it was to be feared that if the sultan of Harran’s sons should happen to hear of the arrival of their sister-in-law and her design, they might cause her to be conveyed away before she could discover herself. The surgeon weighed all these circumstances, and therefore, that he might manage matters with discretion, desired the princess to remain in the caravanserai, whilst he repaired to the palace, to observe which might be the safest way to conduct her to Pirouzè.
He went accordingly into the city, and was walking toward the palace, when he beheld a lady mounted on a mule richly accoutred. She was followed by several ladies mounted also on mules, with a great number of guards and black slaves. All the people formed a lane to see her pass along, and saluted her by prostrating themselves on the ground. The surgeon paid her the same respect, and then asked a calendar, who happened to stand by him, whether that lady was one of the sultan’s wives. “Yes, brother,” answered the calendar, “she is, and the most honoured and beloved by the people, because she is the mother of Prince Codadad, of whom you must have heard.”
The surgeon asked no more questions, but followed Pirouzè to a mosque, into which she went to distribute alms, and assist at the public prayers which the sultan had ordered to be offered up for the safe return of Codadad. The surgeon broke through the throng and advanced to Pirouzè’s guards. He waited the conclusion of the prayers, and when the princess went out, stepped up to one of her slaves, and whispered him in the ear: “Brother, I have a secret of moment to impart to the Princess Pirouzè: may not I be introduced into her apartment?” “If that secret,” answered the slave, “relates to Prince Codadad I dare promise you shall have audience of her; but if it concern not him, it is needless for you to be introduced; for her thoughts are all engrossed by her son.” “It is only about that dear son,” replied the surgeon, “that I wish to speak to her.” “If so,” said the slave, “you need but follow us to the palace, and you shall soon have the opportunity.”
Accordingly, as soon as Pirouzè was returned to her apartment, the slave acquainted her that a person unknown had some important information to communicate to her, and that it related to Prince Codadad. No sooner had he uttered these words, than Pirouzè expressed her impatience to see the stranger. The slave immediately conducted him into the princess’s closet who ordered all her women to withdraw, except two, from whom she concealed nothing. As soon as she saw the surgeon, she asked him eagerly what news he had to tell her of Codadad. “Madam,” answered the surgeon, after having prostrated himself on the ground, “I have a long account to give you, and such as will surprise you.” He then related all the particulars of what had passed between Codadad and his brothers, which she listened to with eager attention; but when he came to speak of the murder, the tender mother fainted away on her sofa, as if she had herself been stabbed like her son. Her two women soon brought her to herself and the surgeon continued his relation; and when he had concluded, Pirouzè said to him: “Go back to the princess of Deryabar, and assure her from me that the sultan shall soon own her for his daughter-in-law; and as for yourself, your services shall be rewarded as liberally as they deserve.”
When the surgeon was gone, Pirouzè remained on the sofa in such a state of affliction as may easily be imagined; and yielding to her tenderness at the recollection of Codadad, “O my son!” said she, “I must never then expect to see you more! Unfortunate Codadad, why did you leave me?” While she uttered these words, she wept bitterly, and her two attendants, moved by her grief, mingled their tears with hers.
Whilst they were all three in this manner vying in affliction, the sultan came into the closet, and seeing them in this condition, asked Pirouzè whether she had received any bad news concerning Codadad. “Alas! sir,” said she, “all is over, my son has lost his life, and to add to my sorrow, I cannot pay him the funeral rites; for, in all probability, wild beasts have devoured him.” She then told him all she had heard from the surgeon, and did not fail to enlarge on the inhuman manner in which Codadad had been murdered by his brothers.
The sultan did not give Pirouzè time to finish her relation, but transported with anger, and giving way to his passion, “Madam,” said he to the princess, “those perfidious wretches who cause you to shed these tears, and are the occasion of mortal grief to their father, shall soon feel the punishment due to their guilt.” The sultan, having spoken these words, with indignation in his countenance, went directly to the presence-chamber, where all his courtiers attended, and such of the people as had petitions to present to him. They were alarmed to see him in passion, and thought his anger had been kindled against them. He ascended the throne, and causing his grand vizier to approach, “Hassan,” said he, “go immediately, take a thousand of my guards, and seize all the princes, my sons; shut them up in the tower used as a prison for murderers, and let this be done in a moment.” All who were present trembled at this extraordinary command; and the grand vizier, without uttering a word, laid his hand on his head, to express his obedience, and hastened from the hall to execute his orders. In the meantime the sultan dismissed those who attended for audience, and declared he would not hear of any business for a month to come. He was still in the hall when the vizier returned. “Are all my sons,” demanded he, “in the tower?” “They are, sir,” answered the vizier; “I have obeyed your orders.” “This is not all,” replied the sultan, “I have farther commands for you:” and so saying he went out of the hall of audience, and returned to Pirouzè’s apartment, the vizier following him. He asked the princess where Codadad’s widow had taken up her lodging. Pirouzè’s women told him, for the surgeon had not forgotten that in his relation. The sultan then turning to his minister, “Go,” said he, “to this caravanserai, and conduct a young princess who lodges there, with all the respect due to her quality, to my palace.”
The vizier was not long in performing what he was ordered. He mounted on horseback with all the emirs and courtiers, and repaired to the caravanserai, where the princess of Deryabar was lodged, whom he acquainted with his orders; and presented her, from the sultan, with a fine white mule, whose saddle and bridle were adorned with gold, rubies, and diamonds. She mounted, and proceeded to the palace. The surgeon attended her, mounted on a beautiful Tartar horse which the vizier had provided for him. All the people were at their windows, or in the streets, to see the cavalcade; and it being given out that the princess, whom they conducted in such state to court, was Codadad’s wife, the city resounded with acclamations, the air rung with shouts of joy, which would have been turned into lamentations had that prince’s fatal adventure been known, so much was he beloved by all.
The princess of Deryabar found the sultan at the palace gate waiting to receive her: he took her by the hand and led her to Pirouzè’s apartment, where a very moving scene took place. Codadad’s wife found her affliction redouble at the sight of her husband’s father and mother; as, on the other hand, those parents could not look on their son’s wife without being much affected. She cast herself at the sultan’s feet, and having bathed them with tears, was so overcome with grief that she was not able to speak. Pirouzè was in no better state, and the sultan, moved by these affecting objects, gave way to his own feelings and wept. At length the princess of Deryabar, being somewhat recovered, recounted the adventure of the castle and Codadad’s disaster. Then she demanded justice for the treachery of the princes. “Yes, madam,” said the sultan, “those ungrateful wretches shall perish; but Codadad’s death must be first made public, that the punishment of his brothers may not cause my subjects to rebel; and though we have not my son’s body, we will not omit paying him the last duties.” This said, he directed his discourse to the vizier, and ordered him to cause to be erected a dome of white marble, in a delightful plain, in the midst of which the city of Harran stands. Then he appointed the princess of Deryabar a suitable apartment in his palace, acknowledging her for his daughter-in-law.
Hassan caused the work to be carried on with such diligence, and employed so many workmen, that the dome was soon finished. Within it was erected a tomb, which was covered with gold brocade. When all was completed, the sultan ordered prayers to be said, and appointed a day for the obsequies of his son.
On that day all the inhabitants of the city went out upon the plain to see the ceremony performed. The gate of the dome was then closed, and all the people returned to the city. Next day there were public prayers in all the mosques, and the same was continued for eight days successively. On the ninth the king resolved to cause the princes his sons to be beheaded. The people, incensed at their cruelty toward Codadad, impatiently expected to see them executed. The scaffolds were erecting, but the execution was respited, because, on a sudden, intelligence was brought that the neighbouring princes who had before made war on the sultan of Harran, were advancing with more numerous forces than on the first invasion, and were then not far from the city. This news gave new cause to lament the loss of Codadad, who had signalised himself in the former war against the same enemies. The sultan, nothing dismayed, formed a considerable army, and being too brave to await the enemies’ attack within his walls, marched out to meet them. They, on their side, being informed that the sultan of Harran was marching to engage them, halted in the plain, and formed their army.
As soon as the sultan discovered them, he also drew up his forces, and ranged them in order of battle. The signal was given, and he attacked them with extraordinary vigour; nor was the opposition inferior. Much blood was shed on both sides, and the victory long remained dubious; but at length it seemed to incline to the sultan of Harran’s enemies, who, being more numerous, were upon the point of surrounding him, when a great body of cavalry appeared on the plain, and approached the two armies. The sight of this fresh party daunted both sides, neither knowing what to think of them; but their doubts were soon cleared; for they fell upon the flank of the sultan of Harran’s enemies with such a furious charge, that they soon broke and routed them. Nor did they stop here; they pursued them, and cut most of them in pieces.
The sultan of Harran, who had attentively observed all that passed, admired the bravery of this strange body of cavalry, whose unexpected arrival had given the victory to his army. But, above all, he was charmed with their chief, whom he had seen fighting with a more than ordinary valour. He longed to know the name of the generous hero. Impatient to see and thank him, he advanced toward him, but perceived he was coming to prevent him. The two princes drew near, and the sultan of Harran, discovering Codadad in the brave warrior who had just defeated his enemies, became motionless with joy and surprise. “Father,” said Codadad to him, “you have sufficient cause to be astonished at the sudden appearance of a man whom perhaps you concluded to be dead. I should have been so, had not Heaven preserved me still to serve you against your enemies.” “O my son,” cried the sultan, “is it possible that you are restored to me? Alas! I despaired of seeing you more.” So saying, he stretched out his arms to the young prince, who flew to such a tender embrace.
“I know all, my son,” said the sultan again, after having long held him in his arms. “I know what return your brothers have made you for delivering them out of the hands of the black; but you shall be revenged to-morrow. Let us now go to the palace where your mother, who has shed so many tears on your account, expects to rejoice with us on the defeat of our enemies. What a joy will it be to her to be informed that my victory is your work!” “Sir,” said Codadad, “give me leave to ask how you could know the adventure of the castle? Have any of my brothers, repenting, owned it to you?” “No,” answered the sultan; “the princess of Deryabar has given us an account of everything, for she is in my palace, and came thither to demand justice against your brothers.” Codadad was transported with joy, to learn that the princess his wife was at the court. “Let us go, sir,” cried he to his father in rapture, “let us go to my mother, who waits for us. I am impatient to dry her tears, as well as those of the princess of Deryabar.”
The sultan immediately returned to the city with his army, and re-entered his palace victorious, amidst the acclamations of the people, who followed him in crowds, praying to Heaven to prolong his life, and extolling Codadad to the skies. They found Pirouzè and her daughter-in-law waiting to congratulate the sultan; but words cannot express the transports of joy they felt when they saw the young prince with him: their embraces were mingled with tears of a very different kind from those they had before shed for him. When they had sufficiently yielded to all the emotions that the ties of blood and love inspired, they asked Codadad by what miracle he came to be still alive.
He answered that a peasant mounted on a mule happening accidentally to come into the tent where he lay senseless, and perceiving him alone and stabbed in several places, had made him fast on his mule, and carried him to his house, where he applied to his wounds certain herbs, which recovered him. “When I found myself well,” added he, “I returned thanks to the peasant, and gave him all the diamonds I had. I then made for the city of Harran; but being informed by the way that some neighbouring princes had gathered forces, and were on their march against the sultan’s subjects, I made myself known to the villagers, and stirred them up to undertake his defence. I armed a great number of young men, and heading them, happened to arrive at the time when the two armies were engaged.”
When he had done speaking, the sultan said: “Let us return thanks to God for having preserved Codadad; but it is requisite that the traitors who would have destroyed him should perish.” “Sir,” answered the generous prince, “though they are wicked and ungrateful, consider they are your own flesh and blood: they are my brothers; I forgive their offence, and beg you to pardon them.” This generosity drew tears from the sultan, who caused the people to be assembled, and declared Codadad his heir. He then ordered the princes, who were prisoners, to be brought out loaded with irons. Pirouzè’s son struck off their chains, and embraced them all successively with as much sincerity and affection as he had done in the black’s castle. The people were charmed with Codadad’s generosity, and loaded him with applause. The surgeon was next nobly rewarded in requital of the services he had done the princess of Deryabar and the court of Harran remained thereafter in perfect joy and felicity.
In a town in Persia, there lived two brothers, one named Cassim, the other Ali Baba. Their father left them scarcely anything; but as he had divided his little property equally between them, it would seem that their fortune ought to have been equal; but chance determined otherwise.
Cassim married a wife, who soon after became heiress to a large sum, and to a warehouse full of rich goods; so that he all at once became one of the richest and most considerable merchants, and lived at his ease. Ali Baba, on the other hand, who had married a woman as poor as himself, lived in a very wretched habitation, and had no other means to maintain his wife and children but his daily labour of cutting wood, and bringing it to town to sell, upon three asses, which were his whole substance.
One day, when Ali Baba was in the forest, and had just cut wood enough to load his asses, he saw at a distance a great cloud of dust, which seemed to be driven toward him: he observed it very attentively, and distinguished soon after a body of horse. Though there had been no rumour of robbers in that country, Ali Baba began to think that they might prove such, and without considering what might become of his asses, was resolved to save himself. He climbed up a large, thick tree, whose branches, at a little distance from the ground, were so close to one another that there was but little space between them. He placed himself in the middle, from whence he could see all that passed without being discovered; and the tree stood at the base of a single rock, so steep and craggy that nobody could climb up it.
The troop, who were all well mounted and armed, came to the foot of this rock, and there dismounted. Ali Baba counted forty of them, and, from their looks and equipage, was assured that they were robbers. Nor was he mistaken in his opinion; for they were a troop of banditti, who, without doing any harm to the neighbourhood, robbed at a distance, and made that place their rendezvous; but what confirmed him in his opinion was, that every man unbridled his horse, tied him to some shrub, and hung about his neck a bag of corn which they brought behind them. Then each of them took his saddle wallet, which seemed to Ali Baba to be full of gold and silver from its weight. One, who was the most personable amongst them, and whom he took to be their captain, came with his wallet on his back under the tree in which Ali Baba was concealed, and making his way through some shrubs, pronounced these words so distinctly: “Open, Sesame,” that Ali Baba heard him. As soon as the captain of the robbers had uttered these words, a door opened in the rock; and after he had made all his troop enter before him, he followed them, when the door shut again of itself. The robbers stayed some time within the rock, and Ali Baba, who feared that some one, or all of them together, might come out and catch him, if he should endeavour to make his escape, was obliged to sit patiently in the tree. He was nevertheless tempted to get down, mount one of their horses, and lead another, driving his asses before him with all the haste he could to town; but the uncertainty of the event made him choose the safest course.
At last the door opened again, and the forty robbers came out. As the captain went in last, he came out first, and stood to see them all pass by him, when Ali Baba heard him make the door close by pronouncing these words: “Shut, Sesame.” Every man went and bridled his horse, fastened his wallet, and mounted again; and when the captain saw them all ready, he put himself at their head, and they returned the way they had come. Ali Baba did not immediately quit his tree; for, said he to himself, they may have forgotten something and may come back again, and then I shall be taken. He followed them with his eyes as far as he could see them; and afterward stayed a considerable time before he descended. Remembering the words the captain of the robbers used to cause the door to open and shut, he had the curiosity to try if his pronouncing them would have the same effect. Accordingly, he went among the shrubs, and perceiving the door concealed behind them, stood before it, and said: “Open, Sesame!” The door instantly flew wide open. Ali Baba, who expected a dark dismal cavern, was surprised to see it well lighted and spacious, in the form of a vault, which received the light from an opening at the top of the rock. He saw all sorts of provisions, rich bales of silk stuff, brocade, and valuable carpeting, piled upon one another; gold and silver ingots in great heaps, and money in bags. The sight of all these riches made him suppose that this cave must have been occupied for ages by robbers, who had succeeded one another. Ali Baba did not stand long to consider what he should do, but went immediately into the cave, and as soon as he had entered, the door shut of itself, but this did not disturb him, because he knew the secret to open it again. He never regarded the silver, but made the best use of his time in carrying out as much of the gold coin as he thought his three asses could carry. He collected his asses, which were dispersed, and when he had loaded them with the bags, laid wood over in such a manner that they could not be seen. When he had done he stood before the door, and pronouncing the words: “Shut, Sesame!” the door closed after him, for it had shut of itself while he was within, but remained open while he was out. He then made the best of his way to town.
When Ali Baba got home, he drove his asses into a little yard, shut the gates very carefully, threw off the wood that covered the bags, carried them into his house, and ranged them in order before his wife, who sat on a sofa. His wife handled the bags, and finding them full of money, suspected that her husband had been robbing, insomuch that she could not help saying: “Ali Baba, have you been so unhappy as to——” “Be quiet, wife,” interrupted Ali Baba, “do not frighten yourself; I am no robber, unless he may be one who steals from robbers. You will no longer entertain an ill opinion of me, when I shall tell you my good fortune.” He then emptied the bags, which raised such a great heap of gold as dazzled his wife’s eyes; and when he had done, told her the whole adventure from beginning to end; and, above all, recommended her to keep it secret. The wife, cured of her fears, rejoiced with her husband at their good fortune, and would count all the gold piece by piece. “Wife,” replied Ali Baba, “you do not know what you undertake, when you pretend to count the money; you will never have done. I will dig a hole, and bury it; there is no time to be lost.” “You are in the right, husband,” replied she; “but let us know, as nigh as possible, how much we have. I will borrow a small measure in the neighbourhood, and measure it, while you dig the hole.” “What you are going to do is to no purpose, wife,” said Ali Baba; “if you would take my advice, you had better let it alone; but keep the secret, and do what you please.” Away the wife ran to her brother-in-law Cassim, who lived just by, but was not then at home; and addressing herself to his wife, desired her to lend her a measure for a little while. Her sister-in-law asked her, whether she would have a great or a small one. The wife asked for a small one. The sister-in-law agreed to lend one, but as she knew Ali Baba’s poverty, she was curious to know what sort of grain his wife wanted to measure, and artfully putting some suet at the bottom of the measure, brought it to her with an excuse, that she was sorry that she had made her stay so long, but that she could not find it sooner. Ali Baba’s wife went home, set the measure upon the heap of gold, filled it and emptied it often upon the sofa, till she had done: when she was very well satisfied to find the number of measures amounted to so many as they did, and went to tell her husband, who had almost finished digging the hole. While Ali Baba was burying the gold, his wife, to show her exactness and diligence to her sister-in-law, carried the measure back again, but without taking notice that a piece of gold had stuck to the bottom. “Sister,” said she, giving it to her again, “you see that I have not kept your measure long; I am obliged to you for it, and return it with thanks.”
As soon as her sister-in-law was gone, Cassim’s wife looked at the bottom of the measure, and was inexpressibly surprised to find a piece of gold stuck to it. Envy immediately possessed her breast. “What!” said she, “has Ali Baba gold so plentiful as to measure it? Where has that poor wretch got all this wealth?” Cassim, her husband, was not at home, but at his counting-house, which he left always in the evening. His wife waited for him, and thought the time an age; so great was her impatience to tell him the circumstance, at which she guessed he would be as much surprised as herself.
When Cassim came home, his wife said to him: “Cassim, I know you think yourself rich, but you are much mistaken; Ali Baba is infinitely richer than you; he does not count his money, but measures it.” Cassim desired her to explain the riddle, which she did, by telling him the stratagem she had used to make the discovery, and showed him the piece of money, which was so old that they could not tell in what prince’s reign it was coined. Cassim, instead of being pleased, conceived a base envy at his brother’s prosperity; he could not sleep all that night, and went to him in the morning before sunrise, although after he had married the rich widow, he had never treated him as a brother, but neglected him. “Ali Baba,” said he, accosting him, “you are very reserved in your affairs; you pretend to be miserably poor, and yet you measure gold.” “How, brother?” replied Ali Baba; “I do not know what you mean: explain yourself.” “Do not pretend ignorance,” replied Cassim, showing him the piece of gold his wife had given him. “How many of these pieces,” added he, “have you? My wife found this at the bottom of the measure you borrowed yesterday.”
By this discourse, Ali Baba perceived that Cassim and his wife, through his own wife’s folly, knew what they had so much reason to conceal; but what was done could not be recalled; therefore, without shewing the least surprise or trouble, he confessed all, told his brother by what chance he had discovered this retreat of the thieves, in what place it was; and offered him part of his treasure to keep the secret. “I expect as much,” replied Cassim haughtily; “but I must know exactly where this treasure is, and how I may visit it myself when I choose; otherwise I will go and inform against you, and then you will not only get no more, but will lose all you have, and I shall have a share for my information.”
Ali Baba, more out of his natural good temper, than frightened by the menaces of his unnatural brother, told him all he desired, and even the very words he was to use to gain admission into the cave.
Cassim, who wanted no more of Ali Baba, left him, resolving to be beforehand with him, and hoping to get all the treasure to himself. He rose the next morning long before the sun, and set out for the forest with ten mules bearing great chests, which he designed to fill; and followed the road which Ali Baba had pointed out to him. He was not long before he reached the rock, and found out the place by the tree, and other marks, which his brother had given him. When he reached the entrance of the cavern, he pronounced the words: “Open, Sesame!” and the door immediately opened, and when he was in, closed upon him. In examining the cave, he was in great admiration to find much more riches than he had apprehended from Ali Baba’s account. He was so covetous, and greedy of wealth, that he could have spent the whole day in feasting his eyes with so much treasure, if the thought that he came to carry some away had not hindered him. He laid as many bags of gold as he could carry at the door of the cavern, but his thoughts were so full of the great riches he should possess, that he could not think of the necessary word to make it open, but instead of “Sesame,” said: “Open, Barley!” and was much amazed to find that the door remained fast shut. He named several sorts of grain, but still the door would not open. Cassim had never expected such an incident, and was so alarmed at the danger he was in, that the more he endeavoured to remember the word “Sesame,” the more his memory was confounded, and he had as much forgotten it as if he had never heard it mentioned. He threw down the bags he had loaded himself with and walked distractedly up and down the cave, without having the least regard to the riches that were round him. About noon the robbers chanced to visit their cave, and at some distance from it saw Cassim’s mules straggling about the rock, with great chests on their backs. Alarmed at this novelty, they galloped full speed to the cave. They drove away the mules, which Cassim had neglected to fasten, and they strayed through the forest so far, that they were soon out of sight. The robbers never gave themselves the trouble to pursue them, being more concerned to know to whom they belonged, and while some of them searched about the rock, the captain and the rest went directly to the door, with their naked sabres in their hands, and pronouncing the proper words, it opened.
Cassim, who heard the noise of the horses’ feet from the middle of the cave, never doubted of the arrival of the robbers, and his approaching death; but was resolved to make one effort to escape from them. To this end he rushed to the door, and no sooner heard the word Sesame, which he had forgotten, and saw the door open, than he ran out and threw the leader down, but could not escape the other robbers, who with their sabres soon deprived him of life. The first care of the robbers after this was to examine the cave. They found all the bags which Cassim had brought to the door, to be ready to load his mules, and carried them again to their places, without missing what Ali Baba had taken away before. Then holding a council, and deliberating upon this occurrence, they guessed that Cassim, when he was in, could not get out again; but could not imagine how he had entered. It came into their heads that he might have got down by the top of the cave; but the aperture by which it received light was so high, and the rocks so inaccessible without, that they gave up this conjecture. That he came in at the door they could not believe, however, unless he had the secret of making it open. In short, none of them could imagine which way he had entered; for they were all persuaded nobody knew their secret, little imagining that Ali Baba had watched them. It was a matter of the greatest importance to them to secure their riches. They agreed therefore to cut Cassim’s body into quarters, to hang two on one side and two on the other, within the door of the cave, to terrify any person who should attempt again to enter. They had no sooner taken this resolution than they put it in execution, and when they had nothing more to detain them, left the place of their hoards well closed. They then mounted their horses, went to beat the roads again, and to attack the caravans they might meet.
In the meantime, Cassim’s wife was very uneasy when night came, and her husband was not returned. She ran to Ali Baba in alarm, and said: “I believe, brother-in-law, that you know Cassim, your brother, is gone to the forest, and upon what account; it is now night, and he is not returned; I am afraid some misfortune has happened to him.” Ali Baba, who had expected that his brother, after what he had said, would go to the forest, had declined going himself that day, for fear of giving him any umbrage; therefore told her, without any reflection upon her husband’s unhandsome behaviour, that she need not frighten herself, for that certainly Cassim would not think it proper to come into the town till the night should be pretty far advanced.
Cassim’s wife, considering how much it concerned her husband to keep the business secret, was the more easily persuaded to believe her brother-in-law. She went home again, and waited patiently till midnight. She repented of her foolish curiosity, and cursed her desire of penetrating into the affairs of her brother and sister-in-law. She spent all the night in weeping; and as soon as it was day, went to them, telling them, by her tears, the cause of her coming. Ali Baba did not wait for his sister-in-law to desire him to go and see what was become of Cassim, but departed immediately with his three asses, begging of her first to moderate her affliction. He went to the forest, and when he came near the rock, having seen neither his brother nor the mules in his way, was seriously alarmed at finding some blood spilt near the door, which he took for an ill omen; but when he had pronounced the word, and the door had opened, he was struck with horror at the dismal sight of his brother’s body. Without adverting to the little fraternal affection his brother had shewn for him, Ali Baba went into the cave to find something to enshroud his remains, and having loaded one of his asses with them, covered them over with wood. The other two asses he loaded with bags of gold, covering them with wood also as before; and then bidding the door shut, came away; but was so cautious as to stop some time at the end of the forest, that he might not go into the town before night. When he came home, he drove the two asses loaded with gold into his little yard, and left the care of unloading them to his wife, while he led the other to his sister-in-law’s house.
Ali Baba knocked at the door, which was opened by Morgiana, an intelligent slave, fruitful in inventions to insure success in the most difficult undertakings: and Ali Baba knew her to be such. When he came into the court, he unloaded the ass, and taking Morgiana aside, said to her: “The first thing I ask of you is an inviolable secrecy, both for your mistress’s sake and mine. Your master’s body is contained in these two bundles, and our business is, to bury him as if he had died a natural death. Go, tell your mistress I want to speak with her; and mind what I have said to you.”
Morgiana went to her mistress, and Ali Baba followed her. “Well, brother,” said she, with impatience, “what news do you bring me of my husband? I perceive no comfort in your countenance.” “Sister,” answered Ali Baba, “I cannot satisfy your inquiries unless you hear my story without speaking a word; for it is of as great importance to you as to me to keep what has happened secret.” “Alas!” said she, “this preamble lets me know that my husband is not to be found; but at the same time I know the necessity of secrecy, and I must constrain myself: say on, I will hear you.”
Ali Baba then detailed the incidents of his journey, till he came to the finding of Cassim’s body. “Now,” said he, “sister, I have something to relate which will afflict you the more, because it is what you so little expect; but it cannot now be remedied; if my endeavours can comfort you, I offer to put that which God hath sent me to what you have, and marry you: assuring you that my wife will not be jealous, and that we shall live happily together. If this proposal is agreeable to you, we must think of acting so that my brother should appear to have died a natural death. I think you may leave the management of the business to Morgiana, and I will contribute all that lies in my power to your consolation.” What could Cassim’s widow do better than accept of this proposal? for though her first husband had left behind him a plentiful substance, his brother was now much richer, and by the discovery of this treasure might be still more so. Instead, therefore, of rejecting the offer, she regarded it as the sure means of comfort; and drying up her tears, which had begun to flow abundantly, and suppressing the outcries usual with women who have lost their husbands, showed Ali Baba that she approved of his proposal. Ali Baba left the widow, recommended to Morgiana to act her part well, and then returned home with his ass.
Morgiana went out at the same time to an apothecary, and asked for a sort of lozenges which he prepared, and were very efficacious in the most dangerous disorders. The apothecary inquired who was ill at her master’s? She replied with a sigh, her good master Cassim himself: that they knew not what his disorder was, but that he could neither eat nor speak. After these words, Morgiana carried the lozenges home with her, and the next morning went to the same apothecary’s again, and with tears in her eyes, asked for an essence which they used to give to sick people only when at the last extremity. “Alas!” said she, taking it from the apothecary, “I am afraid that this remedy will have no better effect than the lozenges; and that I shall lose my good master.” On the other hand, as Ali Baba and his wife were often seen to go between Cassim’s and their own house all that day, and to seem melancholy, nobody was surprised in the evening to hear the lamentable shrieks and cries of Cassim’s wife and Morgiana, who gave out everywhere that her master was dead. The next morning, soon after day appeared, Morgiana, who knew a certain old cobbler that opened his stall early, before other people, went to him, and bidding him good morrow, put a piece of gold into his hand. “Well,” said Baba Mustapha, which was his name, and who was a merry old fellow, looking at the gold, “this is good hansel: what must I do for it? I am ready.”
“Baba Mustapha,” said Morgiana, “you must take with you your sewing tackle, and go with me; but I must tell you, I shall blindfold you when you come to such a place.” Baba Mustapha seemed to hesitate a little at these words. “Oh! oh!” replied he, “you would have me do something against my conscience or against my honour?” “God forbid!” said Morgiana, putting another piece of gold into his hand, “that I should ask anything that is contrary to your honour; only come along with me, and fear nothing.”
Baba Mustapha went with Morgiana, who, after she had bound his eyes with a handkerchief, conveyed him to her deceased master’s house, and never unloosed his eyes till he had entered the room where she had put the corpse together. “Baba Mustapha,” said she, “you must make haste and sew these quarters together; and when you have done, I will give you another piece of gold.” After Baba Mustapha had finished his task, she blindfolded him again, gave him the third piece of gold as she had promised, and recommending secrecy to him, carried him back to the place where she first bound his eyes, pulled off the bandage, and let him go home, but watched him that he returned toward his stall, till he was quite out of sight, for fear he should have the curiosity to return and track her.
By the time Morgiana had warmed some water to wash the body, Ali Baba came with incense to embalm it, after which it was sewn up in a winding-sheet. Not long after, the joiner, according to Ali Baba’s orders, brought the bier, which Morgiana received at the door, and helped Ali Baba to put the body into it; when she went to the mosque to inform the imaum that they were ready. The people of the mosque, whose business it was to wash the dead, offered to perform their duty, but she told them that it was done already. Morgiana had scarcely got home before the imaum and the other ministers of the mosque arrived. Four neighbours carried the corpse on their shoulders to the burying-ground, following the imaum, who recited some prayers. Morgiana, as a slave to the deceased, followed the corpse, weeping, beating her breast, and tearing her hair; and Ali Baba came after with some neighbours, who often relieved the others in carrying the corpse to the burying-ground. Cassim’s wife stayed at home mourning, uttering lamentable cries with the women of the neighbourhood, who came according to custom during the funeral, and joining their lamentations with hers, filled the quarter far and near with sorrow. In this manner Cassim’s melancholy death was concealed and hushed up between Ali Baba, his wife, Cassim’s widow, and Morgiana, with so much contrivance, that nobody in the city had the least knowledge or suspicion of the cause of it.
Three or four days after the funeral, Ali Baba removed his few goods openly to the widow’s house; but the money he had taken from the robbers he conveyed thither by night: soon after the marriage with his sister-in-law was published, and as these marriages are common in the Mussulman religion, nobody was surprised. As for Cassim’s warehouse, Ali Baba gave it to his own eldest son, promising that if he managed it well, he would soon give him a fortune to marry very advantageously according to his situation.
Let us now leave Ali Baba to enjoy the beginning of his good fortune, and return to the forty robbers. They came again at the appointed time to visit their retreat in the forest; but great was their surprise to find Cassim’s body taken away, with some of their bags of gold. “We are certainly discovered,” said the captain, “and if we do not speedily apply some remedy, shall gradually lose all the riches which we have, with so much pains and danger, been so many years amassing together. All that we can think of the loss which we have sustained is, that the thief whom we surprised had the secret of opening the door, and we arrived luckily as he was coming out: but his body being removed, and with it some of our money, plainly shows that he had an accomplice; and as it is likely that there were but two who had discovered our secret, and one has been caught, we must look narrowly after the other. What say you, my lads?” All the robbers thought the captain’s proposal so advisable, that they unanimously approved of it, and agreed that they must lay all other enterprises aside, to follow this closely, and not give it up till they had succeeded.
“I expected no less,” said the captain, “from your fidelity: but, first of all, one of you who is artful, and enterprising, must go into the town disguised as a traveller, to try if he can hear any talk of the strange death of the man whom we have killed, as he deserved; and endeavour to find out who he was, and where he lived. This is a matter of the first importance for us to ascertain, that we may do nothing which we may have reason to repent of, by discovering ourselves in a country where we have lived so long unknown. But to warn him who shall take upon himself this commission, and to prevent our being deceived by his giving us a false report, I ask you all, if you do not think that in case of treachery, or even error of judgment, he should suffer death?” Without waiting for the suffrages of his companions, one of the robbers started up, and said: “I submit to this condition, and think it an honour to expose my life, by taking the commission upon me; but remember, at least, if I do not succeed, that I neither wanted courage nor good will to serve the troop.” After this robber had received great commendations from the captain, he disguised himself, and taking his leave of the troop that night, went into the town just at daybreak; and walked up and down, till accidentally he came to Baba Mustapha’s stall, which was always open before any of the shops.
Baba Mustapha was seated with an awl in his hand, just going to work. The robber saluted him, bidding him good morrow; and perceiving that he was old, said: “Honest man, you begin to work very early: is it possible that one of your age can see so well? I question, even if it were somewhat lighter, whether you could see to stitch.”
“Certainly,” replied Baba Mustapha, “you must be a stranger, and do not know me; for old as I am, I have extraordinarily good eyes; and you will not doubt it when I tell you that I sewed a dead body together in a place where I had not so much light as I have now.” The robber was overjoyed to think that he had addressed himself, at his first coming into the town, to a man who in all probability could give him the intelligence he wanted. “A dead body!” replied he with affected amazement. “What could you sew up a dead body for? You mean you sewed up his winding-sheet.” “No, no,” answered Baba Mustapha, “I perceive your meaning; you want to have me speak out, but you shall know no more.” The robber wanted no farther assurance to be persuaded that he had discovered what he sought. He pulled out a piece of gold, and putting it into Baba Mustapha’s hand, said to him: “I do not want to learn your secret, though I can assure you I would not divulge it, if you trusted me with it; the only thing which I desire of you is, to do me the favour to shew me the house where you stitched up the dead body.”
“If I were disposed to do you that favour,” replied Baba Mustapha, holding the money in his hand, ready to return it, “I assure you I cannot. I was taken to a certain place, where I was blinded, I was then led to the house, and afterward brought back again in the same manner; you see, therefore, the impossibility of my doing what you desire.”
“Well,” replied the robber, “you may, however, remember a little of the way that you were led blindfolded. Come, let me blind your eyes at the same place. We will walk together; perhaps you may recognise some part; and as everybody ought to be paid for his trouble, there is another piece of gold for you; gratify me in what I ask you.” So saying, he put another piece of gold into his hand.
The two pieces of gold were great temptations to Baba Mustapha. He looked at them a long time in his hand, without saying a word, thinking with himself what he should do; but at last he pulled out his purse, and put them in. “I cannot assure you,” said he to the robber, “that I can remember the way exactly; but since you desire, I will try what I can do.” At these words Baba Mustapha rose up, to the great joy of the robber, and without shutting his shop, where he had nothing valuable to lose, he led the robber to the place where Morgiana had bound his eyes. “It was here,” said Baba Mustapha, “I was blindfolded; and I turned as you see me.” The robber, who had his handkerchief ready, tied it over his eyes, walked by him till he stopped, partly leading, and partly guided by him. “I think,” said Baba Mustapha, “I went no farther,” and he had now stopped directly at Cassim’s house, where Ali Baba then lived. The thief, before he pulled off the band, marked the door with a piece of chalk, which he had ready in his hand; and then asked him if he knew whose house that was; to which Baba Mustapha replied, that as he did not live in that neighbourhood he could not tell. The robber, finding he could discover no more from Baba Mustapha, thanked him for the trouble he had taken, and left him to go back to his stall, while he returned to the forest, persuaded that he should be very well received. A little after the robber and Baba Mustapha had parted, Morgiana went out of Ali Baba’s house upon some errand, and upon her return, seeing the mark the robber had made, stopped to observe it. “What can be the meaning of this mark?” said she to herself. “Somebody intends my master no good: however, with whatever intention it was done, it is advisable to guard against the worst.” Accordingly, she fetched a piece of chalk, and marked two or three doors on each side in the same manner, without saying a word to her master or mistress.
In the meantime the thief rejoined his troop in the forest, and recounted to them his success. All the robbers listened to him with the utmost satisfaction; when the captain, after commending his diligence, addressing himself to them all, said: “Comrades, we have no time to lose: let us set off well armed; but that we may not excite any suspicion, let only one or two go into the town together, and join at our rendezvous, which shall be the great square. In the meantime, our comrade who brought us the good news, and I, will go and find out the house, that we may consult what had best be done.”
This plan was approved of by all, and they were soon ready. They filed off in parties of two each, and got into the town without being in the least suspected. The captain, and he who had visited the town in the morning as spy, came in the last. He led the captain into the street where he had marked Ali Baba’s residence; and when they came to the first of the houses which Morgiana had marked, he pointed it out. But the captain observed that the next door was chalked in the same manner: and shewing it to his guide, asked him which house it was, that, or the first? The guide was so confounded, that he knew not what answer to make; but still more puzzled, when he saw five or six houses similarly marked. He assured the captain, with an oath, that he had marked but one, and could not tell who had chalked the rest so that he could not distinguish the house which the cobbler had stopped at.
The captain, finding that their design had proved abortive, went directly to the place of rendezvous, and told the first of his troop whom he met that they had lost their labour, and must return to their cave. When the troop was all got together, the captain told them the reason of their returning; and presently the conductor was declared by all worthy of death. He condemned himself, acknowledging that he ought to have taken better precaution, and prepared to receive the stroke from him who was appointed to cut off his head. Another of the gang, who promised himself that he should succeed better, immediately presented himself, and his offer being accepted, he went and corrupted Baba Mustapha, as the other had done; and being shewn the house, marked it in a place more remote from sight, with red chalk.
Not long after, Morgiana, whose eyes nothing could escape, went out, and seeing the red chalk, and arguing with herself as she had done before, marked the other neighbours’ houses in the same place and manner. The robber, at his return to his company, valued himself much on the precaution he had taken, which he looked upon as an infallible way of distinguishing Ali Baba’s house from the others; and the captain and all of them thought it must succeed. They conveyed themselves into the town with the same precaution as before; but when the robber and his captain came to the street, they found the same difficulty: at which the captain was enraged, and the robber in as great confusion as his predecessor. Thus the captain and his troop were forced to retire a second time, and much more dissatisfied; while the unfortunate robber, who had been the author of the mistake, underwent the same punishment; which he willingly submitted to.
The captain, having lost two brave fellows of his troop, was afraid of diminishing it too much by pursuing this plan to get information of the residence of their plunderer. He found by their example that their heads were not so good as their hands on such occasions; and therefore resolved to take upon himself the important commission. Accordingly, he went and addressed himself to Baba Mustapha, who did him the same service he had done to the other robbers. He did not set any particular mark on the house, but examined and observed it so carefully, by passing often by it, that it was impossible for him to mistake it.
The captain, well satisfied with his attempt, and informed of what he wanted to know, returned to the forest; and when he came into the cave, where the troop waited for him, said: “Now, comrades, nothing can prevent our full revenge, as I am certain of the house, and in my way hither I have thought how to put it into execution, but if any one can form a better expedient, let him communicate it.” He then told them his contrivance; and as they approved of it, ordered them to go into the villages about, and buy nineteen mules, with thirty-eight large leather jars, one full of oil, and the others empty. In two or three days’ time the robbers had purchased the mules and jars, and as the mouths of the jars were rather too narrow for his purpose, the captain caused them to be widened; and after having put one of his men into each, with the weapons which he thought fit, leaving open the seam which had been undone to leave them room to breathe, he rubbed the jars on the outside with oil from the full vessel. Things being thus prepared, when the nineteen mules were loaded with thirty-seven robbers in jars, and the jar of oil, the captain, as their driver, set out with them, and reached the town by the dusk of the evening, as he had intended. He led them through the streets till he came to Ali Baba’s, at whose door he designed to have knocked; but was prevented by his sitting there after supper to take a little fresh air. He stopped his mules, addressed himself to him, and said: “I have brought some oil a great way, to sell at to-morrow’s market; and it is now so late that I do not know where to lodge. If I should not be troublesome to you, do me the favour to let me pass the night with you, and I shall be very much obliged by your hospitality.”
Though Ali Baba had seen the captain of the robbers in the forest, and had heard him speak, it was hardly possible to know him in the disguise of an oil-merchant. He told him he should be welcome, and immediately opened his gates for the mules to go into the yard. At the same time he called to a slave, and ordered him, when the mules were unloaded, to put them into the stable, and give them fodder; and then went to Morgiana, to bid her get a good supper. He did more. When he saw the captain had unloaded his mules, and that they were put into the stables as he had ordered, and he was looking for a place to pass the night in the air, he brought him into the hall where he received his company, telling him he would not suffer him to be in the court. The captain excused himself on pretence of not being troublesome; but really to have room to execute his design, and it was not till after the most pressing importunity that he yielded. Ali Baba, not content to keep company, till supper was ready, with the man who had a design on his life, continued talking with him till it was ended, and repeating his offer of service. The captain rose up at the same time with his host; and while Ali Baba went to speak to Morgiana he withdrew into the yard, under pretence of looking at his mules. Ali Baba, after charging Morgiana afresh to take care of his guest, said to her: “To-morrow morning I design to go to the bath before day; take care my bathing linens be ready, give them to Abdoollah,” which was the slave’s name, “and make me some good broth against I return.” After this he went to bed.
In the meantime, the captain went from the stable to give his people orders what to do; and beginning at the first jar, and so on to the last, said to each man: “As soon as I throw some stones out of the chamber window where I lie, do not fail to cut the jar open with the knife you have about you for the purpose, and come out, and I will immediately join you.” After this he returned into the house, when Morgiana, taking up a light, conducted him to his chamber, where she left him; and he, to avoid any suspicion, put the light out soon after, and laid himself down in his clothes, that he might be the more ready to rise.
Morgiana, remembering Ali Baba’s orders, got his bathing linens ready, and ordered Abdoollah to set on the pot for the broth; but while she was preparing it, the lamp went out, and there was no more oil in the house, nor any candles. What to do she did not know, for the broth must be made. Abdoollah seeing her very uneasy, said: “Do not fret and tease yourself, but go into the yard, and take some oil out of one of the jars.” Morgiana thanked Abdoollah for his advice, took the oil-pot, and went into the yard; when as she came nigh the first jar, the robber within said softly: “Is it time?” Though the robber spoke low, Morgiana was struck with the voice the more, because the captain, when he unloaded the mules, had taken the lids off this and all the other jars to give air to his men, who were ill enough at their ease, almost wanting room to breathe. As much surprised as Morgiana naturally was at finding a man in a jar, instead of the oil she wanted, many would have made such an outcry as to have given an alarm; whereas Morgiana comprehending immediately the importance of keeping silence, and the necessity of applying a speedy remedy without noise, conceived at once the means, and collecting herself without shewing the least emotion, answered: “Not yet, but presently.” She went in this manner to all the jars, giving the same answer, till she came to the jar of oil.
By this means, Morgiana found that her master Ali Baba, who thought that he had entertained an oil merchant, had admitted thirty-eight robbers into his house, regarding this pretended merchant as their captain. She made what haste she could to fill her oil-pot, and returned into her kitchen; where, as soon as she had lighted her lamp, she took a great kettle, went again to the oil-jar, filled the kettle, set it on a large wood-fire, and as soon as it boiled went and poured enough into every jar to stifle and destroy the robber within.
When this action, worthy of the courage of Morgiana, was executed without any noise, she returned into the kitchen with the empty kettle; and having put out the great fire she had made to boil the oil, and leaving just enough to make the broth, put out the lamp also, and remained silent; resolving not to go to rest till she had observed what might follow through a window of the kitchen, which opened into the yard.
She had not waited long before the captain of the robbers got up, opened the window, and finding no light, and hearing no noise, or any one stirring in the house, gave the appointed signal, by throwing little stones, several of which hit the jars, as he doubted not by the sound they gave. He then listened, but not hearing or perceiving anything whereby he could judge that his companions stirred, he began to grow very uneasy, threw stones again a second and also a third time, and could not comprehend the reason that none of them should answer his signal. Much alarmed, he went softly down into the yard, and going to the first jar, whilst asking the robber, whom he thought alive, if he was in readiness, smelt the hot boiled oil, which sent forth a steam out of the jar. Hence he suspected that his plot to murder Ali Baba and plunder his house was discovered. Examining all the jars one after another, he found that all the members of his gang were dead; and by the oil he missed out of the last jar guessed the means and manner of their death. Enraged to despair at having failed in his design, he forced the lock of a door that led from the yard to the garden, and climbing over the walls, made his escape.
When Morgiana heard no noise, and found, after waiting some time, that the captain did not return, she concluded that he had chosen rather to make his escape by the garden than the street door, which was double-locked. Satisfied and pleased to have succeeded so well, in saving her master and family, she went to bed.
Ali Baba rose before day, and, followed by his slave, went to the baths, entirely ignorant of the important event which had happened at home; for Morgiana had not thought it safe to wake him before, for fear of losing her opportunity; and after her successful exploit she thought it needless to disturb him.
When he returned from the baths, the sun was risen; he was very much surprised to see the oil jars and that the merchant was not gone with the mules. He asked Morgiana, who opened the door, and had let all things stand as they were, that he might see them, the reason of it. “My good master,” answered she, “God preserve you and all your family; you will be better informed of what you wish to know when you have seen what I have to show you, if you will but give yourself the trouble to follow me.”
As soon as Morgiana had shut the door, Ali Baba followed her; when she requested him to look into the first jar and see if there was any oil. Ali Baba did so, and seeing a man, started back in alarm, and cried out. “Do not be afraid,” said Morgiana; “the man you see there can neither do you nor anybody else any harm. He is dead.” “Ah, Morgiana!” said Ali Baba, “what is it you show me? Explain yourself.” “I will,” replied Morgiana; “moderate your astonishment, and do not excite the curiosity of your neighbours. Look into all the other jars.”
Ali Baba examined all the other jars, and when he came to that which had the oil in, found it prodigiously sunk, and stood for some time motionless, sometimes looking at the jars, and sometimes at Morgiana, without saying a word, so great was his surprise: at last, when he had recovered himself, he said: “And what is become of the merchant?”
“Merchant!” answered she, “he is as much one as I am; I will tell you who he is, and what is become of him: but you had better hear the story in your own chamber; for it is time for your health that you had your broth after your bathing.”
While Ali Baba retired to his chamber, Morgiana went into the kitchen to fetch the broth, but before he would drink it, he first entreated her to satisfy his impatience, and tell him what had happened, with all the circumstances; and she obeyed him.
“This,” she said, when she had completed her story, “is the account you asked of me; and I am convinced it is the consequence of what I observed some days ago, but did not think fit to acquaint you with; for when I came in one morning early I found our street door marked with white chalk, and the next morning with red; upon which, both times without knowing what was the intention of those chalks, I marked two or three neighbours’ doors on each side in the same manner. If you reflect on this, and what has since happened, you will find it to be a plot of the robbers of the forest, of whose gang there are two wanting, and now they are reduced to three: all this shows that they had sworn your destruction, and it is proper you should be upon your guard, while there is one of them alive: for my part, I shall neglect nothing necessary to your preservation, as I am in duty bound.”
When Morgiana had left off speaking, Ali Baba was so sensible of the great service she had done him, that he said to her: “I will not die without rewarding you as you deserve; I owe my life to you, and for the first token of my acknowledgment, give you your liberty from this moment, till I can complete your recompense as I intend. I am persuaded with you, that the forty robbers have laid snares for my destruction. God, by your means, has delivered me from them as yet, and I hope will continue to preserve me from their wicked designs, and deliver the world from their persecution. All that we have to do is to bury the bodies of these pests of mankind immediately, and with all the secrecy imaginable, that nobody may suspect what is become of them. But that labour Abdoollah and I will undertake.”
Ali Baba’s garden was very long, and shaded at the farther end by a great number of large trees. Under these he and the slave dug a trench, long and wide enough to hold all the robbers. Afterward they lifted the bodies out of the jars, took away their weapons, carried them to the end of the garden, laid them in the trench, and levelled the ground again. When this was done, Ali Baba hid the jars and weapons; and as he had no occasion for the mules, he sent them at different times to be sold in the market by his slave.
While Ali Baba took these measures to prevent the public from knowing how he came by his riches in so short a time, the captain of the forty robbers returned to the forest with inconceivable mortification; and in his confusion at his ill success, so contrary to what he had promised himself, entered the cave, not being able, all the way from the town, to come to any resolution how to revenge himself of Ali Baba.
The loneliness of the gloomy cavern became frightful to him. “Where are you, my brave lads,” cried he, “old companions of my watchings, inroads, and labour? What can I do without you? Did I collect you only to lose you by so base a fate, and so unworthy of your courage! Had you died with your sabres in your hands, like brave men, my regret had been less! When shall I enlist so gallant a troop again? And if I could, can I undertake it without exposing so much gold and treasure to him who hath already enriched himself out of it? I cannot, I ought not to think of it, before I have taken away his life. I will undertake that alone, which I could not accomplish with your powerful assistance; and when I have taken measures to secure this treasure from being pillaged, I will provide for it new masters and successors after me, who shall preserve and augment it to all posterity.” This resolution being taken, he was not at a loss how to execute his purpose; but full of hopes, slept all that night very quietly.
When he awoke early next morning, he dressed himself, agreeably to the project he had formed, went to the town, and took a lodging in a khan. As he expected what had happened at Ali Baba’s might make a great noise, he asked his host what news there was in the city? Upon which the innkeeper told him a great many circumstances, which did not concern him in the least. He judged by this, that the reason why Ali Baba kept his affairs so secret, was for fear people should know where the treasure lay; and because he knew his life would be sought on account of it. This urged him the more to neglect nothing to rid himself of so cautious an enemy.
The captain now assumed the character of a merchant, and conveyed gradually a great many sorts of rich stuffs and fine linen to his lodging from the cavern, but with all the necessary precautions imaginable to conceal the place whence he brought them. In order to dispose of the merchandise, when he had amassed them together, he took a warehouse, which happened to be opposite to Cassim’s, which Ali Baba’s son had occupied since the death of his uncle.
He took the name of Khaujeh Houssain, and as a newcomer, was, according to custom, extremely civil and complaisant to all the merchants his neighbours. Ali Baba’s son was from his vicinity one of the first to converse with Khaujeh Houssain, who strove to cultivate his friendship more particularly when, two or three days after he was settled, he recognised Ali Baba, who came to see his son, and stopped to talk with him as he was accustomed to do. When he was gone, the impostor learnt from his son who he was. He increased his assiduities, caressed him in the most engaging manner, made him some small presents, and often asked him to dine and sup with him.
Ali Baba’s son did not choose to lie under such obligation to Khaujeh Houssain, without making the like return; but was so much straitened for want of room in his house, that he could not entertain him so well as he wished; he therefore acquainted his father Ali Baba with his intention, and told him that it did not look well for him to receive such favours from Khaujeh Houssain without inviting him in return.
Ali Baba, with great pleasure, took the treat upon himself. “Son,” said he, “to-morrow being Friday, which is a day that the shops of such great merchants as Khaujeh Houssain and yourself are shut, get him to take a walk with you, and as you come back, pass by my door and call in. It will look better to have it happen accidentally, than if you gave him a formal invitation. I will go and order Morgiana to provide a supper.”
The next day Ali Baba’s son and Khaujeh Houssain met by appointment, took their walk, and as they returned, Ali Baba’s son led Khaujeh Houssain through the street where his father lived; and when they came to the house, stopped and knocked at the door. “This, sir,” said he, “is my father’s house; who, from the account I have given him of your friendship, charged me to procure him the honour of your acquaintance.”
Though it was the sole aim of Khaujeh Houssain to introduce himself into Ali Baba’s house, that he might kill him without hazarding his own life or making any noise; yet he excused himself, and offered to take his leave. But a slave having opened the door, Ali Baba’s son took him obligingly by the hand, and in a manner forced him in.
Ali Baba received Khaujeh Houssain with a smiling countenance, and in the most obliging manner. He thanked him for all the favours he had done his son; adding withal, the obligation was the greater, as he was a young man not much acquainted with the world.
Khaujeh Houssain returned the compliment, by assuring Ali Baba, that though his son might not have acquired the experience of older men, he had good sense equal to the knowledge of many others. After a little more conversation on different subjects, he offered again to take his leave; when Ali Baba, stopping him, said: “Where are you going, sir, in so much haste? I beg you would do me the honour to sup with me, though what I have to give you is not worth your acceptance; but such as it is, I hope you will accept it as heartily as I give it.” “Sir,” replied Khaujeh Houssain, “I am thoroughly persuaded of your good will; and if I ask the favour of you not to take it ill that I do not accept your obliging invitation, I beg of you to believe that it does not proceed from any slight or intention to affront, but from a reason which you would approve if you knew it.
“And what may that reason be, sir,” replied Ali Baba, “if I may be so bold as to ask you?” “It is,” answered Khaujeh Houssain, “that I can eat no victuals that have any salt in them; therefore judge how I should feel at your table.” “If that is the only reason,” said Ali Baba, “it ought not to deprive me of the honour of your company at supper; for, in the first place, there is no salt ever put into my bread, and as to the meat we shall have to-night, I promise you there shall be none in that. Therefore you must do me the favour to stay. I will return immediately.”
Ali Baba went into the kitchen, and ordered Morgiana to put no salt to the meat that was to be dressed that night; and to make quickly two or three ragouts besides what he had ordered, but be sure to put no salt in them.
Morgiana, who was always ready to obey her master, could not help seeming somewhat dissatisfied at his strange order. “Who is this difficult man,” said she, “who eats no salt with his meat? Your supper will be spoiled, if I keep it back so long.” “Do not be angry, Morgiana,” replied Ali Baba; “he is an honest man; therefore do as I bid you.”
Morgiana obeyed, though with no little reluctance, and had a curiosity to see this man who ate no salt. To this end, when she had finished what she had to do in the kitchen, she helped Abdoollah to carry up the dishes; and looking at Khaujeh Houssain, knew him at first sight, notwithstanding his disguise, to be the captain of the robbers, and examining him very carefully, perceived that he had a dagger under his garment. “I am not in the least amazed,” said she to herself, “that this wicked wretch, who is my master’s greatest enemy, would eat no salt with him, since he intends to assassinate him; but I will prevent him.”
Morgiana, while they were eating, made the necessary preparations for executing one of the boldest acts ever meditated, and had just determined, when Abdoollah came for the dessert of fruit, which she carried up, and as soon as he had taken the meat away, set upon the table; after that, she placed three glasses by Ali Baba, and going out, took Abdoollah with her to sup, and to give Ali Baba the more liberty of conversation with his guest.
Khaujeh Houssain, or rather the captain of the robbers, thought he had now a favourable opportunity of being revenged on Ali Baba. “I will,” said he to himself, “make the father and son both drunk: the son, whose life I intend to spare, will not be able to prevent my stabbing his father to the heart; and while the slaves are at supper, or asleep in the kitchen, I can make my escape over the gardens as before.”
Instead of going to supper, Morgiana, who had penetrated the intentions of the counterfeit Khaujeh Houssain, would not give him time to put his villainous design into execution, but dressed herself neatly with a suitable head-dress like a dancer, girded her waist with a silver-gilt girdle, to which there hung a poniard with a hilt and guard of the same metal, and put a handsome mask on her face. When she had thus disguised herself, she said to Abdoollah: “Take your tabor, and let us go and divert our master and his son’s guest, as we do sometimes when he is alone.”
Abdoollah took his tabor and played all the way into the hall before Morgiana, who when she came to the door made a low obeisance, with a deliberate air, in order to draw attention, and by way of asking leave to exhibit her skill. Abdoollah, seeing that his master had a mind to say something, left off playing. “Come in, Morgiana,” said Ali Baba, “and let Khaujeh Houssain see what you can do, that he may tell us what he thinks of you. But, sir,” said he, turning toward his guest, “do not think that I put myself to any expense to give you this diversion, since these are my slave and my cook and housekeeper; and I hope you will not find the entertainment they give us disagreeable.”
Khaujeh Houssain, who did not expect this diversion after supper, began to fear he should not be able to improve the opportunity he thought he had found: but hoped, if he now missed his aim, to secure it another time, by keeping up a friendly correspondence with the father and son; therefore, though he could have wished Ali Baba would have declined the dance, he had the complaisance to express his satisfaction at what he saw pleased his host.
As soon as Abdoollah saw that Ali Baba and Khaujeh Houssain had done talking, he began to play on the tabor, and accompanied it with an air; to which Morgiana, who was an excellent performer, danced in such a manner as would have created admiration in any other company besides that before which she now exhibited, among whom, perhaps, none but the false Khaujeh Houssain was in the least attentive to her, the rest having seen her so frequently.
After she had danced several dances with equal propriety and grace, she drew the poniard, and holding it in her hand, began a dance, in which she outdid herself, by the many different figures, light movements, and the surprising leaps and wonderful exertions with which she accompanied it. Sometimes she presented the poniard to one person’s breast, sometimes to another’s, and oftentimes seemed to strike her own. At last, as if she was out of breath, she snatched the tabor from Abdoollah with her left hand, and holding the dagger in her right, presented the other side of the tabor, after the manner of those who get a livelihood by dancing, and solicit the liberality of the spectators.
Ali Baba put a piece of gold into the tabor, as did also his son: and Khaujeh Houssain, seeing that she was coming to him, had pulled his purse out of his bosom to make her a present; but while he was putting his hand into it, Morgiana, with a courage and resolution worthy of herself, plunged the poniard into his heart. Ali Baba and his son, shocked at this action, cried out aloud. “Unhappy wretch!” exclaimed Ali Baba, “what have you done to ruin me and my family?” “It was to preserve, not to ruin you,” answered Morgiana; “for see here,” continued she (opening the pretended Khaujeh Houssain’s garment, and showing the dagger), “what an enemy you had entertained! Look well at him, and you will find him to be both the fictitious oil-merchant, and the captain of the gang of forty robbers. Remember, too, that he would eat no salt with you; and what would you have more to persuade you of his wicked design? Before I saw him, I suspected him as soon as you told me you had such a guest. I knew him, and you now find that my suspicion was not groundless.”
Ali Baba, who immediately felt the new obligation he had to Morgiana for saving his life a second time, embraced her: “Morgiana,” said he, “I gave you your liberty, and then promised you that my gratitude should not stop there, but that I would soon give you higher proofs of its sincerity, which I now do by making you my daughter-in-law.” Then addressing himself to his son, he said: “I believe you, son, to be so dutiful a child, that you will not refuse Morgiana for your wife. You see that Khaujeh Houssain sought your friendship with a treacherous design to take away my life; and, if he had succeeded, there is no doubt but he would have sacrificed you also to his revenge. Consider, that by marrying Morgiana you marry the preserver of my family and your own.”
The son, far from showing any dislike, readily consented to the marriage; not only because he would not disobey his father, but also because it was agreeable to his inclination.
After this, they thought of burying the captain of the robbers with his comrades, and did it so privately that nobody discovered their bones till many years after, when no one had any concern in the publication of this remarkable history.
A few days afterward, Ali Baba celebrated the nuptials of his son and Morgiana with great solemnity, a sumptuous feast, and the usual dancing and spectacles; and had the satisfaction to see that his friends and neighbours, whom he invited, had no knowledge of the true motives of the marriage; but that those who were not unacquainted with Morgiana’s good qualities commended his generosity and goodness of heart.
Ali Baba forbore, after this marriage, from going again to the robbers’ cave, as he had done, for fear of being surprised, from the time he had brought away his brother Cassim’s mangled remains. He had kept away after the death of the thirty-seven robbers and their captain, supposing the other two, whom he could get no account of, might be alive.
At the year’s end, when he found that they had not made any attempt to disturb him, he had the curiosity to make another journey, taking the necessary precautions for his safety. He mounted his horse, and when he came to the cave, and saw no footsteps of men or beasts, looked upon it as a good sign. He alighted, tied his horse to a tree, then approaching the entrance and pronouncing the words, Open, Sesame! the door opened. He entered the cavern, and by the condition he found things in, judged that nobody had been there since the false Khaujeh Houssain, when he had fetched the goods for his shop; that the gang of forty robbers was completely destroyed, and no longer doubted that he was the only person in the world who had the secret of opening the cave, so that all the treasure was at his sole disposal. Having brought with him a wallet, he put into it as much gold as his horse would carry, and returned to town.
Afterward Ali Baba carried his son to the cave, and taught him the secret, which they handed down to their posterity, who, using their good fortune with moderation, lived in great honour and splendour.