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This desert lay on the boundaries of the realms of the King of Persia, one of whose cameleers had lost a camel. He was seeking it vainly on every side, when suddenly he perceived a beautiful lady praying to God. Fearing to disturb her, the cameleer waited till she had finished her prayers, when he went up to her, saluted her, and asked her who she was. "I am,' said she, "a poor, weak handmaid of God." "Who has brought thee here?" continued the cameleer. She replied: "God." Then the cameleer said within himself: "This lady is indeed favoured with the grace of the Most High." He said to her: "I am in the service of the King of Persia; if thou desirest, I shall marry thee, and have for thee the greatest regard." "I cannot consent thereto," replied she; "but for the love of God, lead me to some inhabited spot, where I may find water, and I will remember thee in my prayers." The cameleer complied with her request; he mounted the maiden upon his camel, led her to a village, confided her to the care of the head man of the village till he should return; and set out in quest of the camel he had lost, which he immediately found-a good fortune which he attributed to the maiden's prayers.

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He gave thanks therefor to God, and returned to the King of Persia, to whom he spoke of the maiden's beauty, piety, and of all the perfections with which she was adorned. "Such a lady," said the King, "would suit well to be my wife." Thereupon he mounted his horse, and with a great number of his servants proceeded to the village. When he saw the lady he was filled with admiration, and he said to her: 'Maiden, I am the King of Persia; be my bride, and I will care for thee with the greatest of care. "O King!" replied she, "may the Divine favour increase thy prosperity! Thou

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* In M. Cazotte's rendering of the Arabian version (French translation of the Continuation of the Thousand and One Nights), it is also the cameleer of the King of Persia, and not of King Dādīn, as in the Persian Bakhtyär, who discovers the pious maiden in the desert, and from this point to the end of the narrative M. Cazotte's and the Turkī versions correspond.

possessest a great number of women; and as for me, I have no need of a husband; for the love of God appears to me more desirable than the whole world." And she continued her prayers. Then the King gave orders that his tents should be erected in that spot, and that they should cut there channels of running water; and he remained there some days. At the end of that time, moved by the sweet words and piety of the maiden, but hurried by the affairs of state, he mounted her in a litter, led her to his capital, gave her apartments in his own kiosk, and having ordered preparations for a brilliant nuptial feast, he married her. After that he gave her great riches, beautiful clothes, many servants, and a splendid palace. One night this lady related her adventures to the King of Persia ; and on the morrow that prince assembled a vast army, set out, and took prisoner the King Dādīn, the Vezīr Kārdān, and also the faithful servant to whom the lady owed her life. She called King Dādīn before her, and said to him: "Though I was innocent and true, thou sentest me into a desert to die; but God has had compassion upon me, and has brought thee hither to me, loaded with chains." Then addressing the Vezir Kārdān, she said: "How is it that thou hast allowed thyself to be taken in the snare which thou didst prepare for me?" The Vezir replied: "O maiden! thou wast not guilty, and all that I said was a lie; therefore hath God punished me!" "Praise be to Him!" replied the lady, "for He has granted that I should live, and that people should know my innocence ! For the rest, I desire that they who slew my father should receive their due reward." So the King of Persia ordered the Vezir to be taken to the same desert whither the maiden had been sent. There he died of hunger and thirst. King Dādin was beheaded as a punishment for the murder he had committed; and his dominions were given to the faithful servant [whose good advice aided the safety, the innocence, and the triumph of virtue].


Page 72. "Your Majesty can easily put to death a living man, but you cannot restore a dead man to life."-Here again (see note on page 184) we have what seems to be an instance of borrowing from Sa'di, who, in his Gulistān, viii, maxim 54, thus finely expresses this sentiment (Professor Eastwick's translation) :

'Tis very easy one alive to slay;

Not so to give back life thou tak'st away:
Reason demands that archers patience show,
For shafts once shot return not to the bow.*

Were it possible, we might suppose that our English poet Cowley had simply paraphrased these couplets of Sa'di in the following verses :

Easy it was the living to have slain,

But bring them, if thou canst, to life again:
The arrow's shot-mark how it cuts the air,
Try now to bring it back, or stay it there:
That way impatience sent it; but thou'lt find
No track of it, alas! is left behind.

Page 74. "Women, for their own purposes, often devise falsehoods, and are very expert in artifice and fraud."It was a saying of Muhammad that "women are deficient in judgment and religion," which induces their co-religionists of the other sex to believe that they are more inclined than men to practise whatever is unlawful. When woman was created, the Devil, we are told, was delighted, and said: "Thou art half of my host, and thou art the depositary of my secret, and thou art my arrow, with which I shoot, and miss not." The Turkish Tales

* Husain Va'iz, in his Anvār-i-Suhaili, had probably Sa'di's verses in mind when he wrote: "The arrow which has leapt from the string cannot be brought back, nor can the slain person be resuscitated either by strength or gold."

Lane's Thousand and One Nights, Introd. p. 27.-See a more just estimate of women, cited from the Mahabharata, p. 139 of the present volume.

of the Forty Viziers (another romance of the Sindibād cycle— see INTRODUCTION) chiefly refer to the craft and malice of women. In the present story, however, female artifice is not employed for wicked ends.

Page 74. "The King of 'Irāk."-There are two 'Irāks ; one is a division of Arabia to the south of the Tigris and the Euphrates. Towards the north-east it is watered by the branches of the Euphrates, and is consequently fertile and well inhabited, having many cities and towns, of which Basra is the principal; to the south-west it is a barren desert. By Orientals it is called 'Irāk ‘Arabi, to distinguish it from the other ‘Irāk, ('Irāk ‘Ajami) a province of Persia, bounded on the north by Ghilan and Mazinderān, on the east by Khurāsān, on the south by Farsistan, and on the west by 'Irak 'Arabi. This province contains part of ancient Media and Parthia. It is nearly a hundred and fifty leagues in length, and one hundred and twenty in breadth; partly mountainous and sterile, having vast sandy plains; but the greater part fruitful and populous. Isfahan is the capital. It is of Persian Irāk that the poet

Nizāmī thus speaks :


'Irāk, the delightful, be thy darling,

For great is the fame of its redundancy;

And every rose which enraptureth the soul
Distilleth its balmy drops upon 'Irāk!

Page 74. Abyssinia, or Habashat (that is, "a mixture," or "confusion"), forms an extensive country of Eastern Africa, the boundaries of which are not well defined. The natives call their country Manghesta Ityopia, or Kingdom of Ethiopia.

Page 75. "When they disclosed the object of their mission, he became angry "—at the presumption of an unbeliever (who attributed partners to God) asking in marriage the daughter of one of the faithful. The conversion of Abyssinia to Christianity was prior to the fourth and continued even as late as the

* Dr Jonathan Scott: Notes to vol. vi. of his edition of the Arabian Nights.

twelfth century.

The Coptic patriarch of Cairo is still the nominal head of the Church, but the episcopal office is confined to the Abūnā, the resident head, and author, of the Abyssinian priesthood.-Gibbon.

Page 76. "Caused so much money to be distributed among the soldiers that they were satisfied."-So says Sa'dī, Gulistān i, 14 (Eastwick's translation):

Soldiers, from whom the State withholds its gold,

Will from the scimitar their hands withhold:
What valour in war's ranks will he display,
Whose hand is empty on the reckoning day?

Page 77. "The King of 'Irāk had some years previously given his daughter in marriage to another man, by whom she had a son."-This concealment of a former marriage is incomprehensible. Lescallier's French rendering, made from other Persian texts, gives a different account of this affair: "She had had previously a lover, with whom, unknown to her father, she had intimate relations, and had given birth to a beautiful boy, whose education she secretly confided to some trusty servants." Afterwards the Princess of 'Irāk contrived to introduce him to her father. who was so charmed with his beauty, grace of manner, and varied accomplishments, that he at once took him into his service. Habicht's Breslau edition of the Arabian version agrees with Lescallier on this point. In the version of this story in the Tūtī Nāma (Tales of a Parrot) of Nakshabi, the lady is the daughter of the Emperor of Rūm (see Note, p. 158), and, as in our text, had a son by a former marriage, about whose existence her father charges her not to say a word to her second husband.


* The 50th Night of the India Office MS. No. 2573; and the 35th tale of Muhammad Kaderi's abridgment. Gerrans' English translation, 1792, comprises barely one-fifth of the Tales, only the first volume of it having been published: he probably did not meet with sufficient encouragement to complete his work.

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