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before him, and after bitterly reproaching him with ingratitude for the many and unprecedented favours which he had bestowed upon him, in the meantime sends him back to prison. On the following day, the second Vizier urges the King to put him to death; and the King causes him to be brought into his presence, and tells him that he must forfeit his life. Bakhtyar, however, in eloquent terms, protests that he is perfectly innocent of the crime of which he is accused, but expresses his submission to the will of Providence, like a certain unlucky merchant, with whom no affair prospered. This arouses the King's curiosity, and Bakhtyār is permitted to relate the story, after which the King sends him back to prison for that day. Every morning of the eight following days one of the Viziers, in turn, presents himself before the King, and urges that Bakhtyār's execution should be no longer delayed; but when the youth is brought into the King's presence, as on the first day, he pleads his own cause so well, and excites the King's curiosity by reference to some remarkable story, which he is allowed to relate, that his execution is deferred from day to day, until at length the King is reluctantly compelled by the Viziers' complaints to give orders for the public execution of the young man. It happens, however, that the robber-chief who had found the royal infant at the well, and brought him up, is, with a party of his men, among the crowd assembled round the scaffold, and recognising in Bakhtyār his adopted son, rescues


him from the guard, and hastens to the palace, where, obtaining audience of the King, the secret of Bakhtyar's birth is discovered; and the King resigns the throne in favour of his son, and causes the Ten envious Viziers to be put to death.

Such is the frame within which nine different stories are inserted; and although it was doubtless imitated from, it has but a faint likeness to, that of the Book of Sindibad. The work which appears most closely to resemble the Romance of Prince Bakhtyär, in the frame, is a collection of Tales in the Tamul language, entitled, Alakeswara Katha, in which four ministers of the King of Alakapur are falsely accused of violating the King's private apartments, and vindicate their innocence, and disarm the King's wrath, by relating a number of stories.*

According to M. Deslongchamps, in his learned and elaborate Essai sur les Fables Indiennes, there exist in Oriental languages three versions of the Bakhtyar Nāma-Persian, Arabic, and Turki (¿.e., Eastern Turkish-Uygur). Of the Persian version it is said there are numerous manuscripts in the great libraries of England and France; and besides the printed text appended to Sir William Ouseley's English translation, published in 1800, a lithographed text was issued, at Paris, in 1839, probably from a manuscript

*Wilson's Descriptive Catalogue of the Mackenzie MSS. vol. i, p. 220.

in the Royal Library. The Arabian version, under the title of "The History of the Ten Viziers," forms part of the text of the Thousand and One Nights, in 12 volumes, of which Dr Maximilian Habicht edited vols. 1 to 8, published at uncertain intervals, at Breslau, from 1825 to 1838 inclusive, when the work was stopped by Habicht's death. In 1842-3 Professor H. L. Fleischer issued the remaining vols., 9 to 12. The same year when Habicht began the publication of his Arabian text he issued a complete German translation, also at Breslau, in 15 small square volumes, under the title of Tausend und Eine Nacht: Arabische Erzählungen. Zum erstenmal aus einer Tunesischen Handschrift, ergänzt und vollständig übersetzt, von Max. Habicht, F. H. Von der Hagen, und Karl Schall.* But both the number and the order of the tales of our romance are quite different in the translation and the text: the sixth volume of the latter, which contains the romance, was not published till 1834, or nine years after the first issue of the translation; and it would seem that Habicht, in editing his Tunisian manuscript, compared it with other texts, and made very considerable changes. The romance is found in a dislocated form in a work, published at Paris in 1788, entitled, Nouveaux Contes Arabice, ou Supplement aux Mille et Une Nuits, &c., par M.

* The Thousand and One Nights: Arabian Tales. For the first time completely and fully translated from a Tunisian Manuscript, &c.

l'Abbè * * * In this book (which is of little or no value) the several tales are not placed within the frame, or leading story, which, however, appears in connection with one of them. It is also included in the French Continuation of the Thousand and One Nights, translated by Dom Chavis and edited by M. Cazotte, "but singularly disfigured," says Deslongchamps, "like the other Oriental Tales published by Cazotte;" in Caussin de Perceval's excellent edition of the Nights, published, at Paris, in 1806, vol. viii, and in Gauttier's edition, vol. vi. The learned Swede Gustav Knös published, at Goetingen, in 1806, a dissertation on the Romance of Prince Bakhtyar, and the year following the Arabic text, with a Latin translation, under the title of Historia Decem Vizirorum et filii Regis Azad-bacht. He also issued a translation in the Swedish language, at Upsal, in two parts, the second of which appeared in 1814. Of the Turki version M. Amédée Jaubert has furnished, in the Journal Asiatique, Mars 1827, t. x, an interesting account, together with a translation of one of the stories,† from the unique manuscript preserved in the Bodleian Library at Ox

* In 1792 an English translation of this work was published at Edinburgh, in 4 vols., under the title: Arabian Tales. Translated from the original Arabic into French; and from the French into English, by Robert Heron.

† An English rendering of the Turki version of the story translated into French by M. Jaubert will be found at the end of Notes on Chapter VI, pp. 189-194.


ford, which he describes as very beautifully written, the titles of the several tales and the names of the principal characters being in red ink. Unfortunately the manuscript is imperfect; at present it comprises 294 folia. M. Jaubert remarks that this Turki version is characterised by "great sobriety of ornament and extreme simplicity of style, and the evident intention on the part of the translator to suppress all that may not have appeared to him sufficiently probable, and all that might justly be taxed with exaggeration."

There is another Oriental rendering, of which M. Deslongchamps was ignorant, in the language of the Malays, with whom the romance is said to be a great favourite, indeed they have at least two very different versions of its frame, if not of the subordinate stories. In Newbold's work on Malacca,* vol. ii, an outline is given of the leading story, or frame, of one Malay version, which exactly corresponds with that of the Persian original, excepting that for Āzād-bakht we find Zād-bokhtin, and that the minister's daughter, who is carried to the city by the King and in our version is nameless, is called Mahrwat. I am indebted to the courtesy of the learned Dr R. Rost, Librarian to the India Office, for the following particulars regarding two other Malay versions, from Van den Berg's account of Malay, Arabic, Javanese and other MSS., published at

* Political and Statistical Account of the British Settlements in the Straits of Malacca. By T. J. Newbold. 2 vols. London, 1839.

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