Sunday, March 20, 2011



When the second Darwesh had likewise finished telling the relation of his adventures, the night ended, and the time of morning was just beginning. The king, Azad Bakht, silently proceeded towards his own kingly abode. On arriving at his palace, he said his prayers. Then, having gone to the bathing-house, and dressed himself superbly, he proceeded to the Diwan-i 'Amm and mounted his throne; and he issued an order, saying, "Let a messenger go and bring along with him, with respect, to our presence, four Darweshes who have [recently] arrived at such a place." The messenger went there according to orders, and perceived that the four Darweshes, after performing the necessary calls, and washed their hands and faces, were on the point of setting out on [their peregrinations], and take their different roads. The messenger said to them, "Reverend sirs, the king has called you four personages; come along with me." The four Darweshes began to stare at each other, and said to the messenger, "Son, we are the monarchs of our own hearts; what have we to do with a king of this world?" The messenger answered, "Holy sirs, there is no harm in it, and it is better you should go."

The four Darweshes then recollected that what Maula Murtaza/1/ had said to them, that same had now come to pass; they were pleased at the recollection], and went along with the messenger. When they reached the fort and went before the king, the four Qalandars gave a benediction, saying, "Son, may it be well with thee." The king then retired to the Diwan-i khass, and having called two or three of his confidential nobles near him, he ordered the four Darweshes to be brought in. When they went there [before his majesty], he commanded them to sit down, and asked them their adventures, saying, "From whence come you, where do you intend to go, and where is the residence of your worships?"
"They replied, "May the king's age and wealth be always on the increase! we are Darweshes, and have in this very manner for a long while wandered and roamed about; we bear our homes on our shoulders. There is a saying, that 'a pilgrim's home is where the evening overtakes him;' and all we have seen in this versatile world is too long a tale to relate."
Azad Bakht gave them every confidence and encouragement, and having sent for refreshment, he made them breakfast before him. When they finished [their meal] the king said to them, "Relate all your adventures to me, without the least reserve; whatever services I can render you, I will not fail to do." The Darweshes replied that, "whatever has happened to us, we have not the strength to relate, nor will any pleasure result to the king from hearing it; therefore pardon us." The king then smiled, and said, "Where you were sitting on your couches last night and relating each his own adventures, there I was likewise present; moreover, I have heard the adventures of two of you; I now wish that the two who remain would also relate theirs; and stay with me a few days in perfect confidence, for 'the footsteps of the Darwesh scare away evil.'"/2/ On hearing these words from the king, they began to tremble in consequence of their fear; and having hung down their heads, they remained silent-- they had not the power to speak.

When Azad Bakht perceived that now through fear their senses no longer remained with them, so as to enable them to tell anything, he said [to revive their spirits] "There is no person in this world to whom rare and strange incidents have not occurred; although I am a king, yet I have even seen strange scenes, which I will first of all relate to you [to inspire you with confidence and remove your fears]; do you listen to it with your minds at ease," The Darweshes replied, "O king, peace be on thee! such are your kindnesses towards us darweshes, condescend to relate them."
Azad Bakht began his adventures, and said,
"Hear, O pilgrims, the adventures of the king.
Whatever I have heard or seen, O hear!
I will relate to ye every thing, from end to end.
My story with heartfelt attention hear."
When my father died, and I ascended the throne, it was in the very season of youth, and all this kingdom of Rum was under my dominion. It happened one year, that some merchant from the country of Badakhshan/3/ came [to my capital] and brought a good deal of merchandise. The reporters of intelligence/4/ sent notice to me to this effect, that so considerable a merchant had never visited our city before: I sent for him."He came, and brought with him the rarities of every country, which were worthy of being offered to me, as presents. Indeed, every article appeared to be of inestimable value; above all, there was a ruby in a box, of an exceedingly fine colour, very brilliant, perfect in shape and size, and in weight [amounting to] five miskals./5/ Though I was a king, I had never seen such a precious stone, nor had I heard of such from any other person. I accepted it, and bestowed upon the merchant many presents and honours; I gave him passports for the roads, that throughout my empire no one should ask him any duties; that they should treat him with kindness wherever he went; that he should be waited on, and have guards for his protection, and that they should consider any loss he might experience as their own. The merchant attended at the time of audience, and was well versed in the forms of respect due to royalty; his conversation and eloquence were worth hearing. I used to send for the ruby daily from the jewel office, and look at it at the time of public audience.

One day I was seated in the Diwan-i 'amm, and the nobles and officers of state were in waiting in their respective places, and the ambassadors of different sovereigns, who had come to congratulate me [on my accession to the throne], were likewise present. I then sent for the ruby, according to custom; the officer of the jewel office brought it; I took it in my hand and began to praise it, and gave it to the ambassador of the Franks [to look at it]. On seeing it, he smiled, and praised it by way of flattery; in the same manner it passed from hand to hand, and every one looked at it, and all said together, "The preponderance of your majesty's good fortune has procured you this; for otherwise, even unto this day, no monarch has ever acquired so inestimable a jewel." At that moment my father's Wazir, who was wise, and held the same station under me, and was standing in his place, made his obeisance and said, "I wish to impart something [to the royal ear], if my life be granted."

I ordered him to speak; he said, "Mighty sire, you are king, and it is very unbecoming in kings to laud so highly a stone; though it is unique in colour, in quality, and in weight, yet it is but a stone; and at this moment the ambassadors of all countries are present in the court; when they return to their respective countries, they will assuredly relate this anecdote, saying, 'What a strange king he is, who has got a ruby from somewhere, and makes such a rarity of it, that he sends for it every day, and praising it himself the first, shows it to every one present.' Then whatever king or raja/6/ hears this anecdote, the same will certainly laugh at it in his own court. Great sire, there is an insignificant merchant in Naishapur,/7/ who has twelve rubies, each weighing seven miskals,/8/ which he has sewed on a collar, and put it round his dog's neck." On hearing this, I became greatly displeased, and said with anger, "Put this wazir to death"

The executioners immediately seized hold of his hands, and were going to lead him out [to execution]. The ambassador of the king of the Franks, joining his hands [in humble supplication] stood before me. I asked him what he wanted; he replied, "I hope I may become informed of the wazir's fault," I answered, what can be a greater fault than to lie, especially before kings. He replied, "His falsehood has not yet been confirmed; perhaps what he has said may be true; now, to put an innocent person to death is not right." I said to him in reply, "It is not at all consistent with reason, that a merchant, who, for the sake of gain, wanders disconsolate from city to city and from country to country, and hoards up every farthing [he can save], should sew twelve rubies, which weigh seven miskals each, on the collar of a dog." The ambassador in answer said, "Nothing is surprising before the power of God; perhaps it may be the case; such rarities often fall into the hands of merchants and pilgrims. For these two [classes of people] go into every country, and they bring away with them whatever they find rare in [their travels]. It is most advisable for your majesty to order the wazir to be imprisoned, if he is as guilty [as you suppose]; for wazirs are the intelligencers of kings, and such conduct as this appears unhandsome in the latter, that in a case, the truth and falsehood of which is as yet unascertained, to order them to be put to death, and that the services and fidelity of a whole life should be forgotten.

"Mighty sire, former kings have erected prisons for this very reason, that when the kings or chiefs may be in wrath towards anyone, then they might confine him. In a few days their anger will have entirely subsided, and [the suspected one's] innocence will become manifest, and the king will be exempt from the stain of shedding innocent blood, and not have to answer for it on the day of judgment." Though I wished ever so much to refute him, yet the ambassador of the Franks/9/gave such just replies, that he reduced me to silence. Then I said, "Well, I agree to what you say, and I pardon him his life. But he shall remain imprisoned; if in the space of a year his words are proved to be true, that such rubies are round the neck of a dog, then he shall be released; otherwise, he shall be put to death with many torments." I accordingly ordered the wazir to be carried to prison. On hearing this order, the ambassador made me his humble obeisance,/10/ and performed his parting salute.

When this news reached the Wazir's family, weeping and lamentations took place, and it became a house of mourning. The Wazir had a daughter of the age of fourteen or fifteen years, very handsome and accomplished, perfect in writing and reading. The Wazir loved her greatly, and was extremely fond of her; so much so, that he had erected an elegant apartment for her behind his own diwan khana; and had procured for her the daughters of noblemen as her companions, and handsome female servants waited on her; with these she passed her time in laughter and joy, and playing and romping about.

It happened that on the day the Wazir was sent to prison, the girl was sitting with her young companions, and was celebrating with [infantile] pleasure the marriage of her doll; and with a small drum and timbrel she was making preparation for the night vigils; and having put on the frying pan, she was busy making up sweetmeats, when her mother suddenly ran into her apartment, lamenting and beating [her breasts], with dishevelled tresses and naked feet. She struck a blow on her daughter's head, and said, "Would that God had given me a blind son instead of thee; then my heart would have been at ease, and he would have been the friend of his father." The Wazir's daughter asked, "What use would a blind son have been to you? whatever he could do, I can do likewise." The mother replied, "Dust be on thy head! such a calamity hath fallen on thy father, that he is confined in the prison for having used some improper expressions before the king." The daughter asked, "What were the expressions? let me hear them." Then her mother answered, "Your father said that there is a merchant in Naishapur, who has fixed twelve inestimable rubies on his dog's collar: the king would not believe him, but conceived him a liar, and has imprisoned him. If he had had today a son, he would have exerted himself by every means to ascertain the truth of the circumstance; he would have assisted his father, besought the king's forgiveness, and have got my husband released from prison."

The Wazir's daughter said [in reply], "O mother, we cannot combat against fate; man under sudden calamity ought to be patient, and place his hopes in the bounty of God. He is merciful, and does not hold any one's difficulties to be irremovables; weeping and lamentations are improper. God forbid that our enemies should misrepresent [the motive of our tears] to the king, and the teller of tales calumniate us, for that would be the cause of farther displeasure. On the contrary, let us offer up our prayers for the king's welfare; we are his born slaves, and he is our master; even as he is wroth, so will he be gracious." The girl, from her good sense, thus made her mother comprehend these things, so that she became somewhat patient and tranquil, and returned in silence to her palace. When the night arrived, the Wazir-zadi/11/ sent for her foster father, [or nurse's husband], and fell at his feet and beseeched him greatly, and weeping, said, "I have formed a resolution to wipe off the reproach my mother has cast on me, so that my father may regain his freedom. If you will be my companion, then I will set out for Naishapur, and having seen the merchant [who has such rubies round his dog's neck], I will do all in my power [to the end that] I may release my father."

The man indeed made some excuses at first; at length after much discussion, he agreed [to her request]. Then the Wazir-zadi said, "Make the preparations for the journey in secrecy and silence, and buy some articles of trade fit to be presented as offerings to kings, and procure as many slaves and servants as may be required; but do not let this circumstance be revealed to any one." The foster father agreed [to the project], and set about [the necessary] preparations. When all the materials were got ready, he loaded the camels and mules, and set out; the wazir's daughter also put on the dress of a man, and joined him. No one in the house knew anything whatever [of the departure]. When the morning came, it was mentioned in the wazir's family, that the Wazir-zadi had disappeared, and that it was uncertain where she was gone.

At last, the mother, from fear of scandal, concealed the circumstance of her daughter's disappearance; and there [on the journey] the Wazir-zadi gave herself out as a "young merchant." Travelling onwards stage by stage, they arrived at Naishapur; and with great pleasure they went and put up at the caravan-serai and unloaded all their merchandise. The Wazir-zadi remained there that night; in the morning she went to the bath; and put on a rich dress, according to the costume of the inhabitants of Rum, and went out to ramble through the city. Proceeding along, she reached the chauk, and stood where the four great streets crossed each other; and a jeweller's shop appeared on one side, where a great deal of jewels were exposed [for sale], and slaves wearing rich dresses were in waiting, with crossed arms; and a man, who was their chief, of about fifty years/12/ of age, dressed like rich persons in a short-sleeved jacket, was seated there, with many elegant companions near him, seated likewise on stools, and conversing among themselves.

The Wazir-zadi (who had represented herself as a merchant's son,/13/ was greatly surprised at seeing the jeweller; and, on reflection, she became pleased in her own heart, saying, "God grant this be no delusion! it is most probable that this is the very merchant, the anecdote of whom my father mentioned to the king. O, great God, enlighten me as to his circumstances." It happened, that on looking around her, she saw a shop, in which two iron cages were suspended, and two men were confined in them. They looked like majnun in appearance, only skin and bones remained; the hair of their heads and their nails were quite overgrown, and they sat with their heads reclined on their breasts; two ugly negroes, completely armed, were standing on each side [of the cages]. The young merchant was struck with amazement, and exclaimed, "God bless us." When she looked round the other way, she saw another shop, where carpets were spread, on which an ivory stool was placed, with a velvet cushion, and a dog sat thereon, with a collar set with precious stones around his neck, and chained by a chain of gold; and two young handsome servants waited on the dog. One was shaking [over him] a morchhal/14/ with a golden handle, set with precious stones, and the other held an embroidered handkerchief in his hand, with which he [from time to time] wiped the dog's mouth and feet. The young merchant, having looked at the animal with great attention, perceived on its collar the twelve large rubies, as she had heard [them described]. She praised God, and began to consider thus: "By what means can I carry those rubies to the king, and show them to him, and get my father released?" She was plunged in these perplexing reflections; meanwhile, all the people in the square and on the road, seeing her beauty and comeliness, were struck with astonishment, and remained utterly confounded. All the people said one to another, "Even unto this day, we have never seen a human being of this form and beauty." The Khwaja/15/also perceived her, and sent a slave, saying, "Go thou and entreat that young merchant to come to me."
The slave went up to her and delivered his master's message, and said, "If you will have the kindness, then my master is desirous of [seeing] your honour; pray come and have an interview with him." The young merchant indeed wished this very thing, and said in reply, "Very well."/16/ The moment she came near the Khwaja, and he had a full view of her, the dart of attachment pierced his breast; he rose up to receive her respectfully, but his senses were utterly bewildered. The young merchant perceived that "now he is entangled in the net" [of my charms]. They mutually embraced one another; the Khwaja kissed the young merchant's forehead, and made him sit down near him; and asked with much kindness, "Inform me of your name and lineage? whence have you come, and where do you intend to go?" The young merchant replied, "This humble servant's country is Rum, and Constantinople has been for ages the birth-place [of my ancestors.] My father is a merchant; and as he is now from old age unable to travel [from country to country on his mercantile concerns] on this account he has sent me abroad to learn the affairs of commerce. Until now I had not put my foot out of our door; this is the very first journey that has occurred to me. I had not courage/17/ to come here by sea, I therefore travelled by land; but your excellence and good name is so renowned in this country of 'Ajam/18/ that to have the pleasure only of meeting you I have come so far. At last, by the favour of God, I have had the honour of [sitting in] your noble presence, and have found your good qualities exceed your renown; the wish of my heart is accomplished; God preserve you in safety, I will now set out from hence."

On hearing these [last words], the Khwaja's mind and senses were quite discomposed, and he exclaimed, "O, my son, do not speak to me of such a thing;" stay some days with me in my humble abode; pray tell me where are your goods, and your servants?" The young merchant replied, "The traveller's abode is the sara,e;/19/ leaving them there, I came to see you." The Khwaja said, "It is unbecoming [a person of your consideration] to dwell in the sara,e; I have some reputation in this city, and much celebrity; send quickly for your baggage, &c.; I will prepare a house for your goods; let me see whatever commodities you have brought; I will so manage it, that you will get here great profit on them. At the same time, you will be at your ease, and saved the danger and fatigue [of travelling any farther for a market], and by staying with me a few days you will greatly oblige me." The young merchant pretended/20/ to make some excuses, but the Khwaja would not accept them, and ordered one of his agents, saying, "Send quickly some burden-bearers, and bring the goods, &c., from the caravanserai, and lodge them in such a place."

The young merchant likewise sent a slave of his own with [the agent] to bring the property and merchandise; and he himself remained with the Khwaja until the evening. When the time of [the afternoon] market had elapsed, and the shop was shut, the Khwaja went towards his house. Then one of the two slaves took the dog up under his arm, and the other took up the stool and carpet; and the two negro slaves placed the two cages on the heads of porters, and they themselves, accoutred with the five weapons,/21/ went alongside of them. The Khwaja took hold of the young merchant's hand, and conversing with him, reached his house.
The young merchant saw that the house was grand, and fit for kings or nobles [to reside in]. Carpets were spread on the border of a rivulet, and before the masnad the different articles for the entertainment were laid out. The dog's stool was placed there also, and the Khwaja and young merchant took their seats; he presented to him some wine without ceremony; they both began to drink. When they got merry, the Khwaja called for dinner; the dastar-khwan/22/ was spread, and the good things of the world were laid out. First they put some meat in a dish, and having covered it with a cover of gold, they carried it to the dog, and having spread an embroidered dastar-khwan, they laid the dish before him. The dog descended from his stool, ate as much as he liked, and drank some water out of a golden bowl, then returned and sat on his stool. The slaves wiped his mouth and feet with a napkin, and then carried the dish and bowl to the two cages, and having asked for the keys from the Khwaja, they opened the locks.

They took out the two men [who were confined in the cages], gave them many blows with a great stick, and made them eat the leavings of the dog and drink the same water; they again fastened the doors [of the cages] and returned the keys to their master. When all this was over, the Khwaja began to eat himself. The young merchant was not pleased at these circumstances, and did not touch the victuals from disgust. How much soever the Khwaja pressed him, yet he flatly refused. Then the Khwaja asked the reason of this, saying, "Why do you not eat?" The young merchant replied, "This conduct of yours appears disgusting to me, for this reason that man is the noblest of God's creatures, and the dog is decidedly impure. So to make two of God's own creatures eat the leavings of a dog, in what religion or creed is it lawful? Do not you think it sufficient that they are your prisoners? otherwise they and you are equal. Now, I doubt if you are a Musulman; who knows what you are? Perhaps you worship the dog; it is disgusting to me to eat your dinner, until this doubt is removed from my mind."

The Khwaja answered, "O, son, I comprehend perfectly all that you say, and am generally censured for these reasons; for the inhabitants of this city have fixed upon me the name of dog-worshipper, and call me so, and have published it [everywhere]; but may the curse of God alight on the impious and the infidel!" The Khwaja then repeated the kalima,/23/and set the young merchant's mind at ease. Then the young merchant asked, thus, "If you are really a Musalman in your heart, then what is the reason of this? By so acting, get yourself generally censured?" The Khwaja said in reply, "O, son, my name is reprobated, and I pay double taxes in the city, that no one may know this secret [motive of my conduct]. It is a strange circumstance, which, whoever hears, will get nothing by the recital but grief and indignation. You must likewise pardon me [from relating it]; for I shall not have strength of mind to recount it, nor will you have the composure of mind to listen to it." The young merchant thought within himself, "I have only to mind my own business; why should I to no purpose press him further on the subject?" She accordingly replied to the Khwaja, "Very well; if it is not proper to be related, do not mention it." He then began to partake of the dinner, and having lifted a morsel, began to eat. The space of about two months/24/ the young merchant passed with the Khwaja, with such prudence and circumspection, that no one found out by any chance that he was a woman [in disguise]. All thought that this [individual] was a male, and the Khwaja's affection for him increased daily, so that he could not allow him to be a moment absent from his sight.

One day, in the midst of a drinking feat, the young merchant began to weep. On seeing it, the Khwaja comforted her, and began to wipe away his tears with his handkerchief, and asked him the cause of his weeping. He answered, "O, father, what shall I say? would to God that I had never attained access to your presence, and that your worship had never shown me that kindness which you are showing. I am now distressed between two difficulties; I have no heart to be separated from your presence, nor is there a possibility of my staying here. Now, it is necessary for me to go; but in separating from you, I do not perceive hopes of life."
On hearing these words, the Khwaja involuntarily wept so loudly, that he was nearly choked, and exclaimed, "O, light of my eyes! are you so soon tired of your old friend, that you think of going away and leaving him in such affliction? banish from your heart the idea of departing; as long as I have to live, remain here; I shall not live a day in your absence, and must [in such case] die before my appointed hour. The climate of this kingdom of Persia is very fine and congenial [to your health], you had best despatch a confidential servant, and send for your parents and property here; I will furnish whatever equipages and conveyances you require; when your parents and all their household come here, you can pursue your commercial concerns at your ease. I also have in my life gone through many hardships, and have wandered many countries. I am now old and have no issue; I love you dearer than a son, and make you my heir and head manager. Be you, on the other hand, careful and attentive to my concerns. Give me a bit of bread to eat whilst I live; when I die, be pleased to bury me, and then take [possession of] all my wealth and effects."

To this the young merchant replied, "It is true, you have, more than a father, shown to me kindness and affection, so that I have forgotten my parents; but this humble culprit's father only allowed a year's leave; if I exceed it, then he in his extreme old age will weep himself to death; finally, a father's approbation is meritorious before God, and if mine should be displeased with me, then I fear he may curse me, and I shall be an outcast from God's grace in this world and the next. Now such is your worship's kindness, that you will give me leave to obey my father's commands, and fulfil the duties [of a son] towards a parent; I shall, while life lasts, bear on my neck the gratitude I owe for your kindness. If I am ever [so fortunate as] to reach my native country, I will still ever think of your goodness with my heart and soul. God is the Causer of causes; perhaps some such cause may again occur, that I may have occasion to pay you my respects. In short, the young merchant urged such persuasive and feeling arguments to the Khwaja, that he, poor man, being helpless, yielded to their force./25/ Inasmuch as he was now completely fascinated, he began to say in reply, "Well, if you will not stay here, I will myself go with you. I consider you equivalent to my own life: hence, if my life goes with you, of what use is a lifeless body? If you are determined to go, then proceed, and take me with you." Saying this to the young merchant, he began his preparations likewise for the journey, and gave orders to his agents to get ready quickly the necessary conveyances.

When the news of the Khwaja's departure became public, the merchants of that city on hearing it, began likewise their preparations to set out with him. The dog-worshipping Khwaja took with him specie and jewels to a great amount, servants and slaves without number, and rich rarities and property worthy of a king, and having pitched his tents of various sorts outside of the city, he went to them. All the other merchants took articles of merchandise with them according to their means, and joined the Khwaja; they became for themselves a [regular] army.
One day, having fixed on a lucky moment for departure, they set out thence on their journey. Having laden thousands of camels with canvas sacks filled with goods, and the jewels and specie on mules, five hundred slaves from the steppes of Kapchak, from Zang, and from Rum,/26/ completely armed, men used to the sword, mounted on horses of Arabia, of Tartary, and of Iraq, accompanied [the caravan]. In the rear of all came the Khwaja and the young merchant, richly dressed, and mounted on sedans; a rich litter was lashed on the back of a camel, in which the dog reposed on a cushion, and the cages of the two prisoners were slung one on each side of another, across a camel, and thus they marched onwards. At every stage they came to, all the merchants waited on the Khwaja, and on his dastar-khwan they ate of his food and drank of his wine. The Khwaja offered up his grateful thanks to the Almighty for the happiness of having the young merchant with him, and proceeded on, stage by stage. At last, they reached the environs of Constantinople in perfect safety, and encamped without the city. The young merchant said [to the Khwaja], "O, father, if you grant me permission, I will go and see my parents, and prepare a house for you, and when it is agreeable to you, you will be pleased to enter the city."

The Khwaja replied, "I am come so far for your sake, well, go quickly and see [your parents], and return to me, and give me a place to live in near your own." The young merchant having taken leave [of the Khwaja], came to his own house. All the people of the household of the Wazir were surprised, and exclaimed, "What man has entered [the house]!" The young merchant, that is, the Wazir's daughter, ran and threw herself at her mother's feet, and wept and said, "I am your child." On hearing this, the Wazir's wife began to reproach her, by saying, "O, wanton girl, thou hast greatly dishonoured thyself; thou hast blackened thine own face, and brought shame on thy family; we had imagined thee lost, and, after weeping for thee, had with resignation given thee up; be gone hence."
Then the Wazir-zadi threw the turban off her head and said, "O, dear mother, I did not go to an improper place, and have done nothing wrong; I have contrived the whole of this scheme according to your wishes to release my father from prison. God be praised, that through the good effect of your prayers, and through His grace, I, having accomplished the entire object, am now returned; I have brought that merchant with me from Naishapur, along with the dog (around whose neck are those rubies), and have returned with the innocence you bestowed/27/ on me. I assumed the appearance of a man for the journey; now one day's work remains; having done that, I will get my father released from prison, and return to my home; if you give me leave, I will go back again, and remain abroad another day, and then return to you." When the mother thoroughly comprehended that her daughter had acted the part of a man, and had preserved herself in all respects pure and virtuous, she offered up her grateful acknowledgments to God, and, rejoicing [at the event], clasped her daughter to her bosom and kissed her lips; she prayed for her and blessed her, and gave her leave to go, saying, "Do what thou thinkest best, I have full confidence in thee."

The Wazir-zadi having again assumed the appearance of a man, returned to the dog-worshipping Khwaja. He had been in the meantime so much distressed at her absence, that through impatience he had left his encampment. It so happened, that as the young merchant was going out in the vicinity of the city, the Khwaja was coming from the opposite direction; they met each other in the middle of the road. On seeing him, the Khwaja exclaimed, "O, my child! leaving this old man by himself, where wast thou gone?" The young merchant answered, "I went to my house with your permission, but the desire I had to see you again would not allow me to remain [at home], and I am returned to you." They perceived a shady garden close to the gate of the city on the sea shore; they pitched their tents and alighted there. The Khwaja and the young merchant sat down together, and began to eat their kababs, and drink their wine. When the time of evening arrived, they left their tents, and sat out on high seats to view the country. It happened that a royal chasseur passed that way; he was astonished at seeing their manners and their encampment, and said to himself, "Perhaps the ambassador of some king is arrived;" he stood [and amused himself by] looking on.

One of the Khwaja's messengers called him forward, and asked him who he was. He replied, "I am the king's head chasseur." The messenger mentioned him to the Khwaja, who ordered a negro slave, saying, "Go and tell the chasseur that we are travellers, and if he feels inclined to come and sit down, the coffee and pipe are ready."/28/ When the chasseur heard the name of merchant, he was still more astonished, and came with the slave to the Khwaja's presence; he saw [on all sides] the air of propriety and magnificence, and soldiers and slaves. To the Khwaja and the young merchant he made his salutations, and on seeing the dog's state and treatment, his senses were confounded, and he stood like one amazed. The Khwaja asked him to sit down, and presented him coffee; the chasseur asked the Khwaja's name and designation. When he requested leave to depart, the Khwaja having presented him with some pieces [of cloth] and sundry rarities, dismissed him. In the morning, when the chasseur attended the king's audience, he related to those present the circumstances of the Khwaja; by degrees it came to my knowledge; I called the chasseur before me, and asked about the merchant.

He related whatever he had seen. On hearing of the dog's exalted state, and the two men's confinement in the cage, I was quite indignant, and exclaimed," that reprobate of a merchant deserves death!" I ordered some of my executioners, saying, "Go immediately, and cut off and bring me the heretic's head." By chance, the same ambassador of the Franks was present at the audience; he smiled, and I became still more angry, and said, "O, disrespectful; to display one's teeth/29/ without cause in the presence of kings, is remote from good manners; it is better to weep than laugh out of season." The ambassador replied, "Mighty sire, several ideas came across my mind, for which reason I smiled; the first was, that the Wazir had spoken truth, and would now be released from prison; secondly, that your majesty will be unstained with the innocent blood of the Wazir; and the third was, that the asylum of the universe, without cause or crime, ordered the merchant to be put to death. At all these circumstances I was surprised, that without any inquiry your majesty should, on the tale of an idle fellow, order people to be put to death. God in reality knows what is the merchant's real case; call him before the royal presence and inquire into his antecedents; if he should be found guilty, then your majesty is master; whatever treatment you please, that you can administer to him."

When the ambassador thus explained [the matter to me], I also recollected what the Wazir had said, and ordered the merchant, together with his son, the dog, and the cages, to be brought in my presence immediately. The messengers set off quickly [on the errand], and in a short time brought them all. I summoned them before me. First came the Khwaja and his son [the young merchant], both richly dressed. All present were astonished and bewildered on beholding the young merchant's extreme beauty; he brought in his hand a golden tray, loaded with precious stones, (the brilliancy of every one of which illuminated the room,) and laid it before my throne, made his obeisance and stood [in respectful silence]. The Khwaja also kissed the ground, and offered up his prayers [for my prosperity]; he spoke with such sweet modulation, as if he were the nightingale of a thousand melodies. I greatly admired his elegant and decorous speech; but, assuming a face of anger, I exclaimed, "O, you Satan in human form! what net is this that thou hast spread, and in thine own path what pit hast thou dug? What is thy religion, and what rite is this I see? Of what prophet's sect are thou a follower? If thou wast an infidel, even then what sense is there in thy conduct? what is thy name, that thou actest thus?"

The Khwaja calmly replied, "May your majesty's years and prosperity ever increase; this slave's religious creed is this, that God is one: he has no equal, and I repeat the confession of faith of Muhammad the pure (the mercy of God be shown to him and his posterity; may he be safe!) After him, I consider the twelve Imams as my guides; and my rite is this, that I say the five regulated prayers and I observe fasts, and I have likewise performed the pilgrimage, and from my wealth, I give the fifth in alms, and I am called a Musalman. But there is a reason, which I cannot disclose, that I appear to possess all those bad qualities which have raised your majesty's indignation, and for which I am condemned by every one of God's creatures. Though I am [ever so much] called a dog-worshipper, and pay double taxes, all this I submit to; but the secrets of my heart I have not divulged to anyone." On hearing this excuse, my anger became greater, and I said, thou art beguiling me with words; I will not believe them until thou explainest clearly the reasons which have made thee deviate from the right path, that my mind may be convinced of their truth; then thy life will be saved; or else, as a retribution [for what thou hast done], I will order thy belly to be ripped up, that the exemplary punishment may deter others in future from transgressing the religion of Muhammad.

The Khwaja replied, "O king, do not spill the blood of this unfortunate wretch, but confiscate all the wealth I have, which is beyond counting or reckoning, and having made me and my son a votive offering to your throne, release us, and spare us our lives." I smiled, and said, "O fool! dost thou exhibit to me the temptation of thy wealth? Thou canst not be released, except thou speakest the truth." On hearing these words, the tears streamed profusely from the Khwaja's eyes; he looked towards his son and heaved a deep sigh, and said [to him] "I am criminal in the king's eyes; I shall be put to death; what shall I do now? to whom shall I entrust thee?" I threatened him, and said, "O dissembler! cease; thou hast made too many excuses [already]; what thou hast to say, say it [quickly]."
Then, indeed, that man having advanced forward, came near the throne and kissed the foot of it, and poured forth my praise and eulogy, and said, "O king of kings, if the order for execution had not been issued in my case, I would have borne every torture, and would not have disclosed my story; but life is dear above every [consideration]; no one of his own accord jumps into a well; to preserve life, then, is right; and the abandoning of what is right is contrary to the mandates of God. Well, if such is the royal pleasure, then be pleased to hear the past events of this feeble old man. First, order the two cages, in which the two men are confined, to be brought and placed before your majesty. I am going to relate my adventures; if I falsify any circumstance, then ask them to convict me, and let justice be done." I approved of his proposal and sent for the cages, took them both out, and made them stand near the Khwaja.

The Khwaja said, "O king! this man, who stands on the right hand of your slave is my eldest brother, and he who stands on my left is my second/30/ brother. I am younger than they; my father was a merchant in the kingdom of Persia, and when I was fourteen years of age, he died. After the burial ceremony was over, and the flowers had been removed [from the corpse on the Siyum],/31/ my two brothers said to me one day, 'Let us now divide our father's wealth, whatever there is, and let each do [with his share] what he pleases.' On hearing [this proposal], I said, O brothers! what words are these! I am your slave, and do not claim the rights of a brother. Our father, on the one hand, is dead, but you both are alive and in the place of that father. I only want a dry loaf [daily] to pass through life, and to remain alert in your service. What have I to do with shares or divisions? I will fill my belly with your leavings, and remain near you. I am a boy, and have not learnt even to read or write-- what am I able to do? At present do you confer instruction upon me.

"On hearing this, they replied, 'Thou wishest to ruin and beggar us also along with thyself.' I was silent, and retired to a corner and wept; then I reasoned with myself and said, my brothers, after all, are my elders; they are reproving [me for my good, and] with a view to my education, that I may learn some [profession]. In these reflections I fell asleep. In the morning, a messenger from the Qazi came and conducted me to the court of justice; I saw that both my brothers were there in waiting. The Qazi asked me, 'Why dost not thou accept thy share of thy father's property?' I repeated to him what I had at home said [to my brothers]. The latter said, 'If he speaks this sentiment from his heart, then let him give us a deed of release, saying he has no claims on our father's wealth and property.' Even then I thought, that as they both were my elders, they advised for my good; that if I got my share of my father's property I might improperly spend it. So, according to their desire, I gave them a deed of release, with the Qazi's seal. They were satisfied, and I returned home.

"The second day after this, they said to me, 'O brother, we require the apartment in which you live; do you hire another place for your residence, and go and stay there.' 'Twas then I perceived that they were not pleased that I should even remain in my father's house; I had no remedy, and determined to leave it. O protector of the world! when my father was alive, whenever he returned from his travels, he used to bring the rarities of different countries, and give them to me by way of presents; for this reason, that every one loves most the youngest child. I from time to time sold these [presents], and raised a small capital of my own; with this [sum] I carried on some traffic. Once, my father brought for me a female slave from Tartary, and he once brought thence some horses, from which he gave me also a promising young colt; and I used to feed it from my own little property.

"At last, seeing the inhumanity of my brothers, I bought a house, and went and resided there; this dog also went along with me. I purchased the requisite articles for housekeeping, and bought two slaves for attendance; with the remainder of my capital I opened a shop as a cloth merchant, and placing my confidence in God, I sat down quietly [in it], and felt contented with my fate. Though my brothers had behaved unkindly to me, yet, since God was gracious, my shop in three years' time increased so greatly, that I became a man of credit. Whatever rarities [in the way of clothes or dresses] were required in every great family, went from my shop only. I thereby earned large sums of money, and began to live in affluent circumstances. Every hour I offered up my prayers to the pure God, and lived at my ease; and often used to repeat these verses on my [prosperous] circumstances:--
'Why should not the prince be displeased?
I have nothing to do with him.
Except thyself, O, mighty Prince,/32/
What other [sovereign] can I praise?
Why should not my brother be displeased?
Nothing can he do [to harm me];
Thou alone art my help;
Then to whom else should I go?
Why should not the friend or foe be displeas'd,
During the whole [eight] watches,
Let me fix my affections on thy feet only.
Let the world be wrathful [with me],
But thou dost far transcend [the world];
All others may kiss my thumb,
Only it is my wish that thou be not displeased.'

"It happened, that on a Friday I was sitting at home, when a slave of mine had gone to the bazar for necessaries; after a short time, he returned in tears. I asked him the reason, and what happened to him. He replied with anger, 'What business is it to you? do you enjoy yourself; but what answer will you give on the day of judgment?' I said, 'O, you Abyssinian, what demon has possessed thee? He answered, 'This is the calamity, that the arms of your two elder brothers have been tied behind their backs in the chauk by a Jew; he is beating them with a whip, and laughs and says, 'If you do not pay my money, I will beat you even unto the death, [and if I lose my money by the act] it will be at least a meritorious deed on my part.' Such is your brother's treatment, and you are indifferent; is this right? and what will the world say?' On hearing these circumstances from the slave, my blood glowed/33/ [with fraternal warmth]; I ran towards the chauk with naked feet, and told my slaves to hasten with money. The instant I arrived there, I saw that all that the slave had said was true; blows continued to fall on my brothers. I exclaimed to the magistrate's guards, for God's sake forbear awhile; let me ask the Jew what great fault [my brothers] have committed, in retaliation for which, he so severely punishes them.

"On saying this, I went up to the Jew and said, to-day is the sabbath day;/34/ why dost thou continue to inflict stripes on them? The Jew replied, 'If you wish to take their part, do it fully, and pay me the money in their stead; or else take the road to your house.' I said, 'what is the amount? produce the bond, and I will count thee out the money.' He replied, 'that he had just given the bond to the magistrate.' At this moment, my slaves brought two bags of money. I gave a thousand pieces of silver to the Jew, and released my brothers. Such was their condition, naked, hungry, and thirsty, I brought them with me to my own house, and caused them instantly to be bathed in the bath, and dressed in new clothes, and gave them a hearty meal. I never asked them what they had done with our father's great wealth, lest they might feel ashamed.
"O king, they are both present; ask them if I tell truth, or falsify any of the circumstances. Well, after some space of time, when they had recovered from the bruises of the beating [they had suffered], I said to them one day, 'O brothers, you have now lost your credit in this city, and it is better you should travel for some days.' On hearing this, they were both silent; but I perceived they were satisfied [with my proposal]. I began to make preparations for their journey, and having procured tents and all necessary conveyance, I purchased for them merchandise to the amount of 20,000 rupees. A qafila/35/ of merchants was going to Bukhara;/36/ I sent them along with it.

"After a year, that caravan returned, but I heard no tidings of my brothers; at last, putting a friend on his oath, I asked him [what had become of them]. He replied, 'When they went to Bukhara, one of them lost all his property at the gambling house, and is now a sweeper at the same house, and keeps clean and plastered the place of gambling, and waits on the gamblers who assemble there; they, by way of charity, give him something, and he remains there as a scullion. The other brother became enamoured of a boza-vendor's/37/ daughter, and squandered all his property [on her], and now he is one of the waiters at the boze-khana./38/ The people of the qafila do not mention these circumstances to you for this reason, that you would become ashamed [at hearing them].

"On hearing these circumstances from that person, I was in a strange state; hunger and sleep vanished through anxiety; taking some money for [the expenses of] the road, I set out instantly for Bukhara. When I arrived there, I searched for them both, and I brought them to the house [I had taken]. I had them bathed and clothed in new dresses, and, from fear of their being abashed with shame, I said not a word to them [of what had happened]. I again purchased some goods for merchandise for them, and returned with them home. When we arrived near Naishapur, I left them in a village with all the goods and chattels, and came [secretly] to my house, for this reason, that no one might be informed of my return. After two days, I gave out publicly that my brothers were returned from their journey, and that I would go out tomorrow to meet them. In the morning, as I wished to set out, a peasant of that village came to me, and began to make loud complaints; on hearing his voice I came out, and seeing him crying, I asked, 'Why dost thou make a lamentation?' He answered, 'Our houses have been plundered, owing to your brothers; would to God that you had not left them there!'

"I asked, what misfortune has occurred? He replied, 'A gang of robbers came at night and plundered their property and goods, and they at the same time robbed our houses.' I pitied him, and asked, where are these two now? He answered, 'They are sitting without the city, stark naked and utterly distressed.' I instantly took two suits of clothes with me and went [to them], and having clothed them, brought them to my house. The people [of the city], hearing [the circumstances of the robbery], continued coming to see them, but they did not go out through shame. Three months passed in this same manner; at last I reflected within myself, 'how long will they thus remain squatted in a corner? If it can be brought about, I will take them with me on some voyage.'

"I proposed it to my brothers, and added, 'if you please, I will go with you.' They were silent. I again made the necessary preparations for the voyage, purchased some goods for the trade, and set out and took them with me. After I had distributed the customary alms [for a prosperous voyage], and loaded the merchandise on the ship, we weighed anchor, and the vessel set sail. This dog was sleeping on the banks [of the river]; when he awoke, and saw the ship in the middle of the stream, he was surprised, and having barked and jumped into the river, he began to swim [after us]. I sent a skiff for him, at last having seized [the faithful animal], they conveyed him into the ship. One month passed in safety on the river; somehow, my second brother became enamoured of my slave girl. One day, he thus spoke to our eldest brother, that, 'to bear the load of our younger brother's favours is very shameful; what remedy shall we apply to this [evil]?' The eldest answered, 'I have formed a plan in my mind; if it can be executed, it will be a great thing.' Both at last consulted together, and settled it between them to destroy me, and seize all my property and goods.

"One day, I was asleep in the cabin, and the female slave was shampooing/39/ me, when my second brother came in hastily and awaked me. I started up in a hurry, and came forth [on deck]. This dog also followed me. I saw my eldest brother leaning on his hands against the vessel's side, and intensely looking at the wonders of the river, and calling out to me. I went up to him and said, 'is all well?' He answered, 'Behold this strange sight; mermen are dancing in the stream, with pearl, oysters, and branches of coral in their hands.' If any other had related this circumstance so contrary to reason, I should not, indeed, have believed it. I imagined what my brother said to be true, and bent down my head to look at it. How much soever I looked, I perceived nothing, and he kept saying, 'Do you now see it?' Now, had there been anything, I should have seen it. Perceiving me [by this trick] off my guard, my second brother came behind me, unperceived, and gave me such a push that, without choice, I tumbled into the water, and they began to scream and cry aloud, 'Run, run, our brother has fallen into the river.'

"In the meantime the ship went on, and the waves carried me away from it; I was plunging in the water, and drifting amidst the waves. I became at last quite exhausted; I invoked the aid of God, but nought was of any avail. All of a sudden my hand touched something; I looked at it, and saw this dog. Perhaps, when they pushed me into the river, he also jumped after me, and kept swimming close by my side. I took hold of his tail, and God made him the cause of my salvation. Seven days and nights passed in this manner; the eighth day we reached the shore. I had no strength whatever left, but throwing myself on my back, I rolled along as well as I could, and threw myself on the land. I remained senseless for one whole day; the second day the dog's barking reached my ears; I came to myself, and I thanked God [for my salvation], I began looking around me, and perceived at a distance the environs of a city; but where had I strength, that I should attempt to reach it? Having no other resource, I continued crawling along about two paces, and then rested; in this way I had finished akos/40/ of the road by the evening.

"Half way [to the city] I reached a mountain, and lay there all night; the next morning I reached the city; when I came to the bazar and saw the shops of the bakers and confectioners, my heart began to palpitate, for I had not money to buy, nor did I feel inclined to beg. In this way, I went along, saying to myself, I will ask something in the next shop. At last, strength had failed me, and my stomach/41/ yearned with extreme hunger; life was nearly quitting my body. By chance, I saw two young men dressed like Persians, walking along hand in hand. On seeing them, my spirits revived, as they seemed [by their dress] to be my countrymen-- perhaps some of my acquaintance-- to whom, therefore, I might relate my circumstances. When they drew near, [I perceived] they were of a verity, my brothers; and on perceiving this, I was extremely rejoiced, and praised God, saying, 'God has preserved my reputation; and I have not stretched forth my hands to strangers [for subsistence].' I went up to them and saluted them, and kissed my eldest brother's hand. Immediately on seeing me, they made a great noise, and my second brother struck me so forcibly that I staggered and fell down. I seized my eldest brother's robe, thinking that he would perhaps take my part; but he gave me a violent kick.

"In short, they both thoroughly pounded me, and behaved to me as Joseph's brothers [did to him]. Though I besought them in God's name [to desist] and implored mercy, yet they felt no pity. A crowd assembled [round us]; and every one asked, 'What is this man's crime?' Then my brothers replied, 'This rascal was our brother's servant and pushed him over into the sea, and seized all his treasure and property. We have been long in search of him, and to-day he has appeared [to us] in this guise.' They then continued questioning me, saying, 'O villain! what [infernal idea] entered thy mind, that thou murderedst our brother? What injury had he done to thee? Had he behaved ill to thee, that he had made thee superintendent [of his affairs]?' They both then tore their own clothes, and wept loudly with sham grief for their brother, and continued to beat and kick me.

"In the meantime, the soldiers of the governor arrived, and having spoken to them threateningly, said, 'Why do you beat him?' And taking hold of my hand, they carried me to the magistrate. These two/42/ also went with us, and repeated to the magistrate the same [tale which they had told the crowd], and having given him something by way of bribe, they demanded justice, and insisted on blood for blood. The magistrate asked me [what I had to say for myself]. Such was my condition from hunger and the blows [I had received], that I had not strength to speak; hanging down my head, I remained standing [in silence]; no answer issued from my mouth. The magistrate also became convinced that I was assuredly a murderer; he ordered me to be led to the plain, and placed on the stake./43/ O, protector of the world,/44/ I had paid money, and got these [two here] released from the Jew's bondage; in return for which, they having given money, endeavoured to take away my life. They are both present; ask them if [in all I have related] I have varied a hair's breadth [from the truth]. Well, they led me out [to the plain]; when I saw the stake, I washed my hands of life.

"Except this dog, I had no one else to weep for me; his state was such that he rolled on every one's feet and barked. Some beat him with sticks, and others with stones, but he would not stir from that place. I stood with my face towards theqibla,/45/ and addressing myself to God, I said, 'At this moment I have no one except Thee to intervene and save the innocent! Now, if Thou savest, I am saved.' After this address, I repeated the prayer of shahadat,/46/ staggered, and then fell. By the dispensation of God, it so happened, that the king of that country was attacked with the colic; the nobles and physicians assembled; whatever remedies they applied, produced no good. One holy man said, 'The best of all remedies is, that alms be given to the destitute, and that all prisoners should be released; for in prayer there is greater efficacy than in physic.' Instantly the royal messengers went off running towards the prisons.

"By chance, someone came to that plain [where I was], and seeing a crowd, he ascertained [from a bystander] that they were placing some person on the stake. Immediately on hearing this, he galloped up to the stake, and cut the ropes with his sword. He threatened and chastised the magistrate's soldiers, and said, 'At such a time, when the king is in such a state, are you going to put a creature of God to death?' and he got me released. Upon which, these two brothers went again to the magistrate, and urged him to put me to death. As this official had already taken a bribe from them, he [readily] acquiesced to do whatever they dictated.
"The magistrate said to them, 'Rest satisfied; I will now confine him in such a way, that he will of himself, from want of food and drink, die of sheer exhaustion, and no one will know anything about it.' They re-seized me, and kept me in a corner. About a kos without the city was a mountain, in which, in the time of Solomon, the divs had dug a deep and narrow well; it was called Solomon's prison. Whoever fell greatly under the king's wrath, was confined in that well, where he perished of himself [from hunger and thirst]. To shorten my story, these two brothers and the magistrate's soldiers carried me at night, in silence, to the mountain, and having cast me into that pit, and thus set their own minds at ease, they returned. O king, this dog went with me, and when they put me into the well, he remained lying on its brink. I lay some time senseless in the inside, and then a little consciousness returned to me; I conceived myself to be dead, and that place my grave At this time I heard the sounds of two men's voices, who were saying something to each other; I concluded that these were Nakir and Munkir,/47/ who were come to question me; and I likewise heard the rustling of a rope, as if some one had let it down there. I was wondering, and began to feel about me on the ground, when some bones came into my gripe.

"After a moment, a noise like that made by the mouth when some one is masticating, struck my ears. I exclaimed, 'O creatures of God, who are ye; tell me for God's sake?' They laughed, and said, 'This is the great Solomon's prison, and we are prisoners.' I asked them, 'Am I really alive?' They again laughed heartily, and replied, 'You are as yet alive, but will soon die.' I said, 'You are eating; what would it be if you were to give me some?' They then got angry, and gave me a dry answer, but nothing else. After eating and drinking, they fell asleep. I through faintness and weakness, fell into a swoon, and wept and dreamed of God. Mighty sire, I had been seven days in the sea, and so many days since without food, owing to my brothers' false accusation; yea, instead of food, I had got a beating, and was now ingulfed in such a prison, that not the least appearance of release came even into my imagination.

"At last, life was leaving me; sometimes it came, and sometimes it left me. From time to time some person used to come at midnight, and let down by a rope some bread tied up in a handkerchief, and a jar of water, and used to call out. Those two men who were confined near me used to seize it and eat and drink. The dog constantly witnessing this circumstance, exerted his intelligence, thus, 'In the way in which this person lets down water and bread into the pit, do thou also make some contrivance whereby some food may reach this destitute one, who is thy master, then may his life be saved.' Thus having reflected, he went to the city, [and saw that] round cakes of bread piled up on the counter at a baker's shop; leaping up, he seized a cake in his mouth, and ran off with it; the people pursued him, and pelted him with clods, but he would not quit the cake; they became tired [of pursuing him], and returned; the dogs of the city ran after him; he fought arid struggled with them, and having saved the cake, he came to the well, and threw in the bread. There was sufficient light for me to see the cake lying near me, and I heard, moreover, the dog bark. I took up the cake; and the dog, after throwing down the bread, went to look for water.

"On the outskirts of a certain village, there was an old woman's hut; jars and pots filled with water stood [at the door], and the old woman was spinning. The dog went up to the pot, and attempted to seize it; the old woman made a threatening noise, and the pot slipped from the dog's mouth and fell upon an earthenware jar which was broken; the rest of the vessels were upset and the water spilt. The old woman seized a stick, and rose up to beat [the animal]; the dog seized the skirt of her clothes, and began to rub his mouth on her feet, and wag his tail; then he ran towards the mountain; again having returned to her, he sometimes seized a rope, and sometimes having taken up a bucket in his mouth, he shewed it [to her]; and he rubbed his face against her feet, and seizing the hem of her garment, he continued pulling her. The Almighty inspired the old woman's heart with compassion, so that she took up the rope and bucket and went along with him. He keeping hold of the end of her clothes, after coming out of the hut, kept going on before her.

"At last, he guided her to the very mountain; the old woman imagined, from the dog's conduct, that his master was confined in the well, and that he, perhaps, wanted water for him. In short, conducting the old woman, he came to the mouth of the well. The old woman filled the bucket with water and let it down by a rope. I seized the vessel and ate a morsel of the cake. I drank two or three gulps of the water, and satisfied my hunger and thirst./48/ I thanked God [for this timely supply], and retired to a corner, and waited with patience for the interference of the Almighty, saying, "Now let us see what is to come about." In this manner, this dumb animal used to bring me bread, and by means of the old woman, he used to supply me with water to drink. When the bakers perceived that the dog always carried off bread [in this way], they took compassion on him, and made it a rule to throw him a cake whenever they saw him; and if the old woman neglected to carry the water, he used to break her pots; so that she, being helpless, used to let down a bucket of water every day. This faithful companion removed all my apprehensions for bread and water, and he himself always lay at the mouth of the prison. Six months passed in this manner; but what must be the condition of the man who was confined so long in such a prison, where the air of heaven could never reach him? Only my skin and bones remained; life became a torment to me, and I used to say in my heart, 'O God, it would be better if my life became extinct!'

"One night, the two prisoners were asleep; my heart overflowed [with sorrow], and I began to weep bitterly, and supplicate/49/ the Almighty [to end my woes]. At the last quarter [of the night], what do I see! that, by the dispensation of God, a rope was hanging down in the well, and I heard [some one] in a low voice saying, 'O, unfortunate wretch! tie the end of the rope tightly to thy hands, and escape from this place.' On hearing these words, I in my heart imagined that my brothers had at last felt compassion for me, and, from the ties of blood, had come in person to take me out. With much joy I tied the rope tightly to my waist; some one pulled me up. The night was so dark, that I could not recognise the person who had hauled me up. When I was out, he said, 'Come, be quick; this is no place to tarry.' I had no strength whatever left; but from fear I rolled down the hill as well as I could. Then I saw at the bottom two horses standing, ready saddled; that person mounted me one of them, and he mounted the other himself, and took the lead. Proceeding on, we reached the banks of a river.

"The morning appeared, and we had gone forth ten or twelve kos from the city. I then saw the young man [very clearly]; he was completely armed, having on a coat of mail, together with back, front, and sidepieces [of burnished steel],/50/ and with iron armour on his horse; he was looking at me with great rage, and biting his lips, he drew his sword from the scabbard, and springing his horse towards mine, he made a cut at me. I threw myself off my horse [on the ground], and called out for mercy, and said, 'I am faultless; why are you about to kill me? O, kind sir, from such a prison you have taken me out, and now wherefore this unkindness?' He replied, 'Tell me the truth, who art thou.' I answered, I am a traveller, and have been involved in unmerited calamity; by your humane assistance, I have at last come out alive. And I addressed to him many other flattering expressions.

"God inspired his heart with pity. He sheathed his sword, and said, 'Well, what God wills, he does; go, I spare thee thy life; remount quickly; this is no place to delay.' We put our horses to their speed, and went forward; on the road he continued to sigh and show signs of regret. By the time of mid-day,/51/ we reached an island. There the young man got off his horse, and made me also dismount; he took off the saddles and pads from the horses' backs, and let them loose to graze; he also took off his arms from his own person, and sat down and said to me, 'O you of evil destiny, relate now your story, that I may know who you are,' I told him my name and place of residence, and whatever various misfortunes had befallen me, I related to the end.

*On to the conclusion of the Tale of Azad Bakht*

/1/ The veiled horseman who rescued the first and second Darweshes from self-destruction.
/2/ A Persian proverb.
/3/ Badakhshan is a part of the grand province of Khurasan, and the city of Balkh is its metropolis, to the eastward of which is a chain of mountains celebrated for producing fine rubies.
/4/ All Asiatic princes, like others nearer home, have spies, called "reporters of intelligence," who inform themselves of what passes in public. They are, as a matter of course, the pest of society, and generally corrupt.
/5/ A miskal is four and a half mashas; our ounce contains twenty-four mashas. So the ruby weighed more than half an ounce.
/6/ The word raja is the Hindu term for a prince or sovereign. In more recent times it has become a mere empty title, conferred upon rich Hindus by the Emperor of Delhi.
/7/ Naishapur was once the richest and grandest city in the province of Khurasan. It was utterly destroyed by Tuli, the son of Jenghis Khan (or more correctly, Changis Ka,an), in A.D. 1221.
/8/ Seven miskals are more than an ounce and a quarter.
/9/ The term Farang, vulgarly Frank, was formerly applied to Christian Europe in general, with the exclusion of Russia.
/10/ Literally, "kissed the ground of obeisance," a Persian phrase, expressive of profound respect.
/11/ "The minister's daughter," afterwards called "the young merchant."
/12/ The phrase pachas ek means "about fifty." It is strange that a certain critic on this work, (who has a prodigiously high opinion of himself,) should have rendered the above passage, "whose age was about forty or fifty years!" Most assuredly, the merest tyro in Hindustani can tell him that it cannot have such a latitude as to mean "about forty or fifty." He might just as correctly have said "about fifty or sixty." The phrase pachas ek, as I have stated, means simply "about fifty," i.e., it may beone year more or less.
/13/ In the text, the wazir-zadi is henceforth called saudagar-bacha or the young merchant, being the character under which she, for some time, figures.
/14/Morchhals, vulgarly called chowrees, are fly-flaps, to drive away those troublesome companions; the best kind is made of the fine white long tail of the mountain cow; the others of the long feathers from, the peacock's tail, or the odoriferous roots of a species of grass called Khas. They are likewise a part of the paraphernalia of state in India.
/15/ The title khwaja means "chief," or "master;" it is generally applied to rich merchants, &c., such as we would call "men of respectability." The idiomatic London English for it is "governor," or (as it is pronounced) "guv'ner."
/16/ Literally, "What difficulty" (is there in so doing).
/17/ The city of Naishapur being some 270 miles inland, it would not be easy for the young merchant to reach it by sea. Asiatic story-tellers are not at all particular in regard to matters of geography.
/18/ 'Ajam means, in general, Persia; the Arabs use it in the same sense as the Greeks did the word "barbarian;" and all who are not Arabs they call 'Ajami; more especially the Persians.
/19/Sara,e, sera,i, or caravanserai, are buildings for the accommodation of travellers, merchants, &c., in cities, and on the great roads in Asia. Those in Upper Hindustan, built by the emperors of Dilli, are grand and costly; they are either of stone or burnt bricks. In Persia, they are mostly of bricks dried in the sun. In Upper Hindustan they are commonly sixteen to twenty miles distant from each other, which is a manzil or stage. They are generally built of a square or quadrangular form with a large open court in the centre, and contain numerous rooms for goods, men, and beasts.
/20/ Literally, made excuses from the surface of his heart," i.e., not serious excuses.
/21/ That is, "completely armed." Vide *First Darwesh's story, part 2, note 33*.
/22/ On the exact meaning of dastar-khwan, see note, *Second Darwesh's story, part 1, note 12*.
/23/ The Musalman confession of faith, see *Second Darwesh's story, part 2, note 9*.
/24/ The idiom "do mahine ek," about two months, similar to the phrase, "pachas ek baras," vide *note 12*.
/25/ Literally, "began to smack his lips;" denoting his satisfaction.
/26/ Tartar, African, and Turkish slaves.
/27/ Literally, "I have not proved false in what you have entrusted to me."
/28/ The coffee and pipe are always presented to visitors in Turkey, Arabia, and Persia, and they are considered as indispensable in good manners. [S: In India this is not the case. Sometimes hot rose-water with sugar are given in the three former countries.]
/29/ "Dant kholne" is fully explained in my Grammar, page 129. It appears to have sadly puzzled a learned critic, to whom I have occasionally alluded.
/30/ Literally, "middle brother;" as there were three in number, of course the "second" and "middle" are identical.
/31/ The Siyum are the rites performed for the dead on the third day after demise; it is called the tija in Hinduwi.
/32/ Alluding to God.
/33/ Or it may mean, "my blood boiled" [with resentment].
/34/ The Muhammadan sabbath is Friday.
/35/ A qafila means a company of merchants who assemble and travel together for mutual protection. It is synonymous with caravan.
/36/ Bukhara is a celebrated city in Tartary; it was formerly the capital of the province called Mawaralnahr, or Transoxiana, before the Tartar conquerors fixed on Samarkand. It lies to the northward of the river Oxus or Gihun, which divides Tartary from Persia, or as the Persian geographers term it, Iran, from Turan. Bukhara is celebrated by Persian poets for its climate, its fruits, and its beautiful women.
/37/ The boza is an intoxicating drink made of spirits, the leaves of the charas plant, tari, and opium. Tari, erroneously called todee, is the juice of the palm tree.
/38/ Literally, ale-house, or tippling-house. One is strongly led to believe that this is the origin of our cant word boozing-ken, imported from the East by the gipsies some four or five centuries ago.
/39/ A grateful and luxurious operation in the warm climate of India, more especially after the fatigue of travelling. [S: It is generally performed by women among the rich orientals, and adds to the pleasure they feel; with their delicate hands they press and gently beat the legs and things of the fatigued or indolent wretch, who is stretched out on a bed or carpet.]Shampooing is a word of uncertain etymology; the French have a better term, masser. The natives say it has a physical advantage, as it quickens their languid circulation; perhaps they are right.
/40/ A kos is nearly two English miles, being about fifteen furlongs.
/41/ Literally, "the fire was kindled in my stomach."
/42/ Pointing to his two brothers who were present, and heard his tale.
/43/ The stake was a common mode of punishment in India in former days, and, until recently, was practised among the Sikhs, Marhattas, and other Asiatic princes, who were independent of our government.
/44/ Addressing himself to the king Azad Bakht.
/45/ The term qibla signifies the "point of adoration," and is generally applied to the Ka'ba, or holy edifice, situated in the sacred inclosure of Mecca. To this point all Muhammadans must turn when they pray.
/46/ The prayer of martyrdom among the Musalmans. It is often repeated when they go into action against Christians and Pagans.
/47/ According to the Muhammadan belief, Nakir and Munkir are two angels who attend at the moment of death, and call to an account the spirit of the deceased.
/48/ Literally, "satiated the dog of my stomach."
/49/ Literally, to perform the act of "rubbing the nose on the earth," expressive of extreme humility.
/50/ Literally, "having fastened [on his person] the four mirrors."
/51/ The term zuhr strictly denotes the period devoted to the mid-day prayer, which is offered up after the sun has perceptibly declined from the meridian.


"When the young man had heard all my history, he wept, and addressing himself to me, he said, 'O youth, hear now my story. I am the daughter of the Raja of the land of Zerbad,/1/ and that young man who is confined in the prison of Solomon, his name is Bahramand; he is the son of my father's prime minister. One day the Maharaj [my father] ordered that all the rajas and kunwars/2/ should assemble on the plain, which lay under the lattices [of the seraglio] to shoot arrows, and play at chaugan,/3/ so that the horsemanship and dexterity of every individual might be displayed. I was seated near the Rani/4/ my mother, behind one of the lattices of the highest story, and the female servants and slaves were in waiting around; there I was looking at the sport. The minister's son was the handsomest [man] among them; and having caracoled his horse, he performed his exercises with much address. He appeared very agreeable [in my eyes], and my heart became enamoured of him. I kept this circumstance concealed for a long while.

"'At last, when I became quite restless, I mentioned it to my hand-maid, and gave her many presents [to gain her assistance]. She contrived, by some means or other, to introduce the youth in secrecy into my apartment; he then began to love me likewise. Many days passed in these love interviews. In short, the sentinels saw him one midnight going armed into my apartment, and seized him, and informed the Raja of the circumstance. The Raja ordered him to be put to death; through the solicitations of all the officers of state, his life was pardoned, but he was ordered to be thrown into the prison of Solomon; and the other young man, who is a fellow-prisoner with him, is his brother, and was with him the night [he was seized]. Both were put into the well, and it is now three years since they were confined, but no one has yet found out why the youth entered the Raja's palace. God has preserved my character [from public exposure], and in return for his goodness, I conceived it my duty to continue to supply the two prisoners with bread and water. Since their confinement I go there every eight days, and let them down eight days' provisions at once.

"'Last night, I saw in a dream that somebody advised me, saying, "Arise quickly and take a horse, a dress, a rope-ladder, and some money for expenses, and go to that pit, and deliver from thence the unfortunate prisoners." On hearing this, I started up [from my sleep], and being greatly rejoiced, I dressed myself like a man, filled a casket with jewels and gold pieces, and taking this horse and some clothes with me, I went to the prison to draw them out with the rope-ladder. It was in your fate to be delivered from such a confinement in this manner; no one knows what I have done; perhaps he was some protecting angel who sent me to enlarge you [[=set you at large]]. Well, whatever was in my destiny, the same has come to pass.' After finishing this relation, she took out some cakes fried in butter, some wheaten bread, some pulse, and meat curry from her handkerchief; but first, she dissolved some sugar in a cup of water, and put some spirit of bed-mushk in it, and gave it to me. I took it from her hand and drank it, and then ate some breakfast. After a short while, she made me wrap a piece of cloth round my waist, and led me to the river, and with scissors she cut my hair and nails and bathing me, dressed me in the clothes [she had brought], and made a new man of me. I, having turned my face to the qibla offered up a prayer of thanksgiving; the beautiful girl regarded what I was doing.

"When I had finished from praying, she asked me, 'What hast thou been thus doing?' I answered, 'I have been worshipping the Almighty God who has created the whole world, and who has effected my relief through a being lovely as thou art, and who has inclined thy heart to kindness towards me, and caused me to be released from such a prison. His person is without an equal,/5/ to Him I have performed my devotions, and obeisance, and rendered my thanks.' On hearing these words she said, 'You are a Musalman.' I replied, 'Thanks be to God, I am,' 'My heart,' said she, 'is delighted with your pious expressions; instruct me also, and teach me to recite your kalima.' I said in my own heart, 'God be praised that she is inclined to embrace our faith.' In short, I recited [our creed], viz., 'There is no God but God, and Muhammad is the apostle of God,' and made her repeat it. Then mounting our horses, we two set out from thence. When we halted at night, she talked of [nothing else but] our religion and faith; and she listened and felt delighted [with my words]. In this way we journeyed on incessantly day and night, for two months.
"At last, we arrived in a country which lay between the boundaries of the kingdoms of Zerbad and Sarandip;/6/ a city appeared, which was more populous than Constantinople, and the climate very fine and agreeable. On finding that the king of that country was more renowned for his justice than Naushirwan,/7/ and also for being the protector of his subjects; my heart was greatly rejoiced. Having there bought a house, we took up our residence. After some days, when we had got over the fatigues of the journey, I purchased some necessary articles, and married the young lady according to the law of Muhammad, and lived with her. In the space of three years, I having freely associated with the great and small of that place, established my credit, and entered into an extensive trade. At last, I surpassed all the merchants of that place. One day, I went for the purpose of paying my respects to the first Wazir, and saw a great crowd of people assembled on a plain. I asked some one, 'Why is there such a crowd here?' I learnt that two persons had been caught in the act of adultery and theft; and perhaps they had even committed murder; they were brought here to be stoned [to death].

"On hearing this [circumstance], I recollected my own case; that once upon a time I had likewise been led in the same manner to be empaled, and that God preserved me. 'Who can these be,' [I said to myself], 'that they should have become involved in such calamity? I do not even know if they are justly [punished], or, like me, the victims of a false accusation.' Pressing through the crowd, I reached [the spot where the culprits stood], and perceived they were my brothers, who were led along with their hands tied behind their backs, and with bare heads and feet. On seeing their sad state, my blood boiled, and my liver was on fire. I gave the guards a handful of gold pieces, and besought them to delay [the execution] for a moment; and from thence, having put my horse to his utmost speed, I went to the governor's house. I presented to him, as a nazar, a ruby of inestimable value, and made intercession for them. He replied, 'A person has a plaint against them, and their crimes have been fully proved; the king's mandate has been issued, and I have no alternative.'

"At last, after much entreaty and supplication [on my part], the governor sent for the complainant, and made him consent that for five thousand pieces of silver he should withdraw his charge of murder. I counted out the money, and got his written engagement [not to prosecute them again], and had them released from their dire calamity. O protector of the world! ask them if I tell truth or falsehood." Here the two brothers stood in silence, and hung down their heads like those who are ashamed. "Well, [to proceed], I got them released, and brought them to my house, had them bathed and dressed, and gave them apartments for their residence in the diwan-khana. I did not at that time introduce my wife to them; I myself attended to all their wants, and ate [and drank] with them, and at the hour of sleep returned to my apartment. For the space of three years [the time] thus passed in my kind treatment of them, and on their part, no evil action took place, so as to be the cause of my displeasure. When I used to go out riding any where, they remained at home.

"It happened, that my good wife went one day to the bath; when she came to the diwan-khana, seeing no male person there, she took off her veil; perhaps my second brother was lying down there awake, and immediately on seeing her, he became enamoured of her. He imparted [the circumstance] to our eldest brother, and they formed a plan together for murdering me. I had no knowledge whatever of this circumstance; on the contrary, I used to say to myself, 'God be praised, that this time, as yet, they have done nothing such [as they formerly did]; their conduct is now correct; perhaps they have felt the effects of shame.' One day, after dinner, my eldest brother began to weep, and to praise our native country, and to describe the delights of Iran./8/ On hearing this, the other brother began to sigh. I said, 'If you wish to return to] our native land; then it is well; I am devoted to your pleasure, and it is also my own wish. Now, if it please God, I will go along with you.' I mentioned the circumstance of my brothers' afflictions to my wife, and also my own intentions. That sensible woman replied, 'You may think so; but they again design to perpetrate some villany [towards you]; they are the enemies of your life; you have fostered [a brace of] serpents in your sleeve, and you still place reliance on their regard. Act as you please, but beware of those who are noxious.' At all events, the preparations for the journey were completed in a short time, and the tents pitched on the plain. A great qafila assembled, and they agreed to confer on me the rank of leader andqafila-bashi./9/ A propitious hour being ascertained, [the qafila] set out; but on my part, I was on my guard against my brothers, though in every way I obeyed their commands, and made everything agreeable to them.

"One day [when we arrived] at our stage, my second brother said that, 'one farsakh/10/ from this place is a running fountain like Salsabil/11/ and in the [circumjacent] plain, for miles around, lilies, and tulips, and narcissuses, and roses, grow spontaneously. In truth, it is a delightful spot to walk in; if we had our will, we would go there tomorrow, and enliven our hearts [with the sight], and recover from our fatigues.' I said, 'You are masters here; if you command it, we will halt to-morrow, and having gone to that spot, we will stroll about [and amuse ourselves].' They replied, 'What can we do better?' I gave orders, saying, 'Advertise the whole qafila that to-morrow there will be a halt,' and I told my cook to prepare breakfast, of every variety [of dishes] for next day, as we should go on an excursion [of pleasure]. When the morning came, these two brothers put on their clothes, and having armed themselves, they reminded me to make haste, that we might arrive there in the cool [of the morning] and enjoy our walk. I ordered my horse, but they observed thus, 'The pleasure which results by viewing [the place] on foot, can the same be felt in riding?/12/ Give orders to the grooms that they may lead the horses after us.'

Two slaves carried the kaliyan/13/ and coffee-pot, and went along with us. On the road, as we proceeded, we amused ourselves by shooting arrows, and when we had gone some distance from the qafila, they sent one of the slaves on some errand. Advancing a little farther, they sent the other slave also to call back [the former]. My unfortunate fate would have it [that I remained silent] as if some one had put a seal on my lips, and they did what they wished, and having occupied my attention in talk, they continued to lead me on; this dog, however, remained with me. When we had advanced a considerable distance, I saw neither fountains nor gardens, but a plain covered with thorns. There I had a call for making water, and sat me down to perform it. I saw behind me a flash like that of a sword; and, on looking back, my second brother struck me such a sword-cut, that my skull was cleft in twain./14/ Before I could call out, O savage! why dost thou murder me; my eldest brother gave me [a blow] on the shoulder. Both wounds were severe, and I staggered and fell; then these two pitiless ones mutilated me at their ease, and left me weltering in my blood. This dog, on seeing my condition, flew at them, and they wounded him likewise. After this, they gave themselves some slight wounds, and ran back to the encampment with naked feet and heads, and gave out, that 'some robbers have murdered our brother on that plain, and we ourselves also in a close encounter with them, have been wounded. Move off quickly, or else they will immediately fall on the caravan, and utterly plunder us all.' When the people of the qafila heard the name of robbers, they immediately became alarmed, and marched off and made their escape.

"My wife had [already] heard of the [former] conduct and precious qualities of these [brothers of mine,] and of all the treachery they had practised towards me; hearing now from these liars the events [that had occurred], she instantly stabbed herself to death with her dagger, and restored her soul to her Maker." O Darweshes!/15/ when the dog-worshipping Khwaja had thus far told us of the adventures and misfortunes, I wept involuntarily on hearing them. The merchant having perceived [my grief,] said, "Lord of the world! if it were not a want of respect, I would strip myself naked, and show the whole of my body." Even on this, to [prove] the truth [of what he had related,] he tore his dress off his shoulders, and showed to us [his person]. In truth, there was not the space of four fingers on it free from wounds; and he took off his turban before me from his head, and there was such a great dint in his skull, that a whole pomegranate might be put into it. All the officers of state who were present shut their eyes, they had not the power of beholding [the shocking sight].

The Khwaja then continued his narrative, saying, "O blessed majesty! when these brothers, as they thought, had finished their work and went away; on the one side, I lay wounded, and on the other side, this dog lay wounded near me. I lost so much blood from my body, that I had not the least strength or sensation left, and I cannot conceive how life remained. The spot where I lay was on the boundary of the kingdom of Sarandip, and a very populous city was situated near the place; in that city there was a great pagoda, and the king of that country had a daughter extremely well-favoured and beautiful.

"Many kings and princes were desperately in love with her. There, the custom of [wearing] the veil was unknown; for which reason the princess used to roam about, hunting all day with her companions. Near [the spot where I lay] was a royal garden; she had on that day got leave from her father, and had come to that same garden. Walking about by way of recreation, she chanced to pass over that plain; some female attendants also accompanied her on horseback. They came to the spot where I lay, hearing my groans, they stopped near me. Seeing me in this condition, they rode off to the princess, and said, that 'a miserable man and a dog are lying weltering in their blood.' On hearing this from them, the princess herself came near me, and, afflicted [at the sight,] she said, 'See if any life still remains.' Two or three of the attendants dismounted and having examined me, replied, 'He still breathes.' The princess instantly ordered them to lay me carefully on a carpet and carry me to the garden.
"When they brought me there, [the princess] having sent for the royal surgeon, gave him many injunctions respecting the cure both of myself and of my dog, and gave him hopes of a reward and a gratuity. The surgeon having thoroughly wiped my whole body, cleaned it from dust and blood, and having washed the wounds with spirits, he stitched them and put on plasters; and he ordered the extract of the musk-willow/16/ to be dropped down my throat in lieu of water. The princess herself used to sit at the head [of my bed], and see that I was attended to; and two or four times during the day and night she made me swallow, from her own hands, some broth or sharbat. At last, when I came to myself, I heard the princess say with sorrow, 'What bloody tyrant hath used thee so cruelly? did he not fear even the great idol?'/17/ After ten days, with the efficacy of the spirit of bed-mushk, and sharbats, and electuaries, I opened my eyes; and saw as if the whole court of Indra were standing around me, and the princess at the head of my bed. I heaved a sigh and wished to move myself, but had not sufficient strength. The princess said with kindness, 'O Persian, be of good cheer, and do not grieve; though some cruel oppressor hath used thee thus; yet the great idol has made me favourable towards thee, and thou wilt now recover.'

"I swear by that God who is one, and without a partner, that on beholding her I again became senseless; the princess also perceived it, and sprinkled me with rose water out of a phial held by her own fair hand. In twenty days my wounds filled up and granulated; the princess used to come [regularly] at night when all were asleep, and she then supplied me with food and drink. In short, after forty days, I performed the ablution [of perfect recovery];/18/ the princess was extremely rejoiced, and rewarded the surgeon largely, and clothed me richly. By the grace of God, and the care and attentions of the princess, I became quite stout and healthy, and my constitution became sound; the dog also grew fat. She made me drink wine every day, listened to my conversation, and was pleased. I used also to amuse her by relating some agreeable stories and brief narratives.
"One day she asked to me, 'pray relate thy adventures, and tell me who you are, and how this accident has happened to you,' I related to her my whole history from beginning to end. On hearing this, she wept and said, 'I will now behave to thee in such a manner that thou wilt forget all thy [past] misfortunes,' I replied, 'God preserve you; you have bestowed on me a second existence, and I am now wholly yours; for God's sake, be pleased ever to regard me in this favourable manner.' In short, she used to sit all night with me alone; sometimes the nurse likewise stayed with her and heard my stories, and related [others herself.] When the princess used to go away and I remained alone, I used to perform my ablutions, and concealing myself in a corner, I used to say my prayers.

"Once it so happened, that the princess had gone to her father, and I was repeating my prayers in perfect security, after having performed my ablutions, when suddenly the princess, conversing with her nurse, entered, saying, 'Let us see what the Persian is now doing; whether he be asleep or awake!' But seeing that I was not in my place, she was greatly surprised, and exclaimed, 'Hey day! where is he gone? I hope he has not formed an attachment with some one else.' She began to examine every hole and corner in search of me, and at last came to where I was saying my prayers. She had never seen any one perform his prayers;/19/ she stood in silence, and looked on. When I had finished my prayers, and lifted up my arms to bless God, and prostrated myself, she laughed loudly, and said, 'What! is this man become mad? what various postures does he assume?'

"On hearing the sound of her laughter, I became alarmed. The princess advanced, and asked me, 'O Persian, what wast thou doing?' I could make no reply, on which the nurse said, 'May I take [the responsibility of] thy evils, and become thy sacrifice, it appears to me that this man is a Musalman, and the enemy of Lat and Manat;/20/ he worships an unseen God. The princess immediately on hearing this struck her hands together, and said in great wrath, 'I did not know he was a Turk,/21/ and an unbeliever in our gods, for which reason he had fallen under the wrath of our idol. I have erroneously saved him and kept him in my house,' Saying this she went away. On hearing [her words] I became disturbed, [and alarmed to know] how she would now behave to me. Through fear, sleep was driven from me, and until morning I continued to weep, and to bathe my face with tears.

"I passed three days and nights, weeping in this fear and hope. I never shut an eye [during this time.] The third night, the princess came to my apartment flushed with the intoxication of wine, and the nurse along with her. She was full of anger; and with a bow and arrows in her hand, she sat down outside of the room, on the border of the chaman;/22/ she asked the nurse for a cup of wine, and after drinking it off, she said, 'O nurse! is that Persian who is involved in our great idol's wrath, dead, or does he yet live?' The nurse answered, 'May I bear your evils! some life still remains,' The princess said, 'He has now fallen in my estimation; but tell him to come out.' The nurse called me; I ran forth and perceived that the princess's face glowed through anger, and had become quite red. My soul remained not in my body; I saluted her, and having joined both my hands together, stood before her [in silent respect.] Giving me a look of anger, she said to the nurse, 'If I kill this enemy of our faith with an arrow, will the great idol pardon my guilt or not? I have already committed a great crime by having kept him in my house, and by supplying [his wants.]'
"The nurse answered, 'What is the princess's guilt? you did not in the least know him to be an enemy when you kept him [in your house;] you took compassion upon him, and you will receive good for the good you have done; and this man will receive from the great idol the reward of the evil which he has done.' On hearing these words, the princess said, 'Nurse, tell him to sit down.' The nurse made me a sign to sit down; I accordingly sat down. The princess drank another cup of wine, and said to the nurse, 'Give this wretch also a cup, then he will take his killing with more ease.' The nurse presented me a cup of wine; I drank it without hesitation, and made my salam [to the princess;] she never looked at me directly, but continued all along to give me furtive side glances. When I became elevated [with the effects of the wine,] I began to repeat some pieces of poetry; among others, I recited the following couplet:
'I am in thy power, and if alive yet, what then?
Under the dagger, if one breathes awhile, what then?'
On hearing this verse, she smiled, and turning towards the nurse, she said, 'What, art thou sleepy?' The nurse, guessing her motive, replied, 'Yes, sleep over-comes me.' She then took her leave, and went away./23/ After a short pause, the princess asked me for a cup of wine; I quickly filled it, and presented it to her; she took it gracefully from my hand and drank it off; I then fell at her feet; she passed her hand kindly over me, and said, 'O ignorant man! what hast thou seen bad in our great idol that thou hast betaken thyself to the worship of an unseen God?' I answered, 'Pray, be just, and reflect a little, whether that God [and He only,] is worthy of adoration, who, out of a drop of water, hath created a lovely creature like thee, and hath given such beauty and perfection, that in one instant thou canst drive into distraction the hearts of thousands of men. What a [contemptible] thing is an idol that any one should worship it? The stone-cutters have shaped a block of stone into a figure, and have spread it as a net to entangle fools. Those whom the devil beguiles, confound the Creator with the created; and they prostrate themselves before that which their own hands have formed. We are Musalmans, and we worship him who hath created us. For those [misguided idolaters], He hath created hell; for us [true believers], He hath destined paradise; if you will place your faith in God, you will experience the delights [of heaven], and distinguish truth from error, and you will find that your [present] devotion is false.'

"At length, on hearing these pious admonitions, the heart of that stony-hearted one became softened, and through the favour and mercy of God she began to weep, and said, 'Well, teach me thy faith,' I taught her the kalima, which she repeated with sincerity of heart, and having expressed penitence, and prayed for pardon, she became a [true] Musalman. I then threw myself at her feet [and thanked her]. Until the morning she continued reciting the kalima, and praying for pardon. Again she said, 'Well, I have embraced your faith, but my parents are idolators; what remedy is there for them?' I replied, 'What is that to thee? as any one acts, so will he be treated.' She said, 'They have betrothed me to my uncle's son, and he is an idolator; if I should be married to him tomorrow, which God forbid, he, an idolator, would cohabit with me, and I should bear issue, which would be a dreadful misfortune. We ought immediately to think of some remedy for this, so that I may be freed from such a calamity,' I replied, 'what you say is indeed reasonable; do whatever you think proper.' She said, 'I will remain here no longer, but go forth somewhere else.' I asked, 'by what means can you escape, and where will you go?' She answered, 'In the first place, do you leave me here, and go and abide with the Musalmans in the sarai, so that every one may hear of it, and not suspect you. You will there continue on the look out for [the departure of] vessels, and if any vessel sails for Persia, let me know; for which reason I will send the nurse to you frequently, and when you send me word [that all is ready,] I will come to you, and having embarked in the vessel, I will effect my escape and obtain my release from the hands of these ill-fated heathens,' I replied, 'I will devote myself as a sacrifice for your life and safety, but what will you do with the nurse?' She answered, 'Her case can be easily settled; I will give her a cup of strong poison./24/The plan was fixed upon, and when the day appeared, I went to the sarai, and hired a private apartment and went and resided therein. During this absence, I only lived in the hopes of meeting again. Two months/25/ [after this event,] when the merchants of Rum, of Syria, and of Isfahan were assembled together, they formed the project of returning by water, and began to embark their merchandise on vessels. From residing together I had formed acquaintances with most of them, and they said to me, 'Well, sir, will you not also come [along with us]; how long will you stay in this country of infidels?' I answered, 'what have I wherewith I can return to my country? I have as my property this only, a female slave, a chest, and a dog; if you could give me a little room to stay in and fix its price, I shall then be at ease in my mind, and embark likewise.'

"The merchants allotted me a cabin, and I paid the money for the hire of it. Having set my heart at ease, I went to the nurse's house under some pretext, and said, 'O mother, I am come to take leave of thee, and am now returning to my country; if I could through your kindness see the princess for a moment, it would be a great satisfaction to me.' At last, the nurse complied [with my request]. I said, 'I will return at night, and wait in such a place;' she replied, 'Very well,' Having settled [this point], I returned to the sarai, and carried my chest and bedding on board the vessel and delivered them in charge to the master, and added, 'I will bring my female slave on board to-morrow morning.' The master said, 'Come speedily, as we shall weigh anchor to-morrow early,' I answered, 'Very well.' When the night came, I went to the place I had fixed upon with the nurse, and waited. After a watch of the night had passed, the gate of the seraglio opened, and the princess came out dressed in soiled and dirty clothes, with a casket of jewels in her hand; she delivered the casket to me, and went along with me. As soon as it was morning, we reached the seaside, and embarking on a skiff we went on board the vessel; this faithful dog also went with me. When it was broad daylight, we weighed anchor and set sail. We were sailing along in perfect security, when the report of a cannon was heard from one of the ports. All [on board] were surprised and alarmed; the ship was anchored, and a consultation was held among us [to know] if the governor of the port intended some foul play, and what could be the cause of the firing of cannon.

"It happened, that all the merchants had some handsome female slaves [on board], and for fear lest the governor of the port might seize them, they locked them up in chests. I did so likewise, and having shut up my princess in my chest, I locked it. In the meanwhile, the governor and his suite appeared on board a swift sailing vessel, and constantly nearing us, he came and boarded our ship. Perhaps the cause of his coming to us was this: that when the news of the nurse's death and the princess's disappearance became known to the king, in consequence of his being ashamed to mention the [princess's] name, he sent orders to the governor of the port, saying, 'I have heard that the Persian merchants have very handsome slaves with them, and as I wish to buy some for the princess, you will stop them, and send all the slaves that may be in the vessel to the royal presence. On seeing them, I will pay the full value for such as may be approved of, and the remainder shall be returned.'

"According to the king's orders, the governor of the port came himself on board our vessel for this purpose. Near my cabin was [the berth of] another person; he also had a handsome female slave locked up in his chest. The governor sat down on that chest, and began to collect all the female slaves [that could be found]; I praised God, and said, 'Well, no mention has been made of the princess.' In short, the governor's people put into their own vessel all the female slaves that were to be found; and the governor, laughing, asked the owner of the chest on which he was sitting, 'Thou hadst also a female slave?' The blockhead was frightened, and answered, 'I swear by your Honour's feet, I alone have not acted in this manner; all of us from fear of you have concealed our [handsome] female slaves in our chests.' The governor, on hearing this confession, began to search all the chests. He opened my chest also, and having taken out the princess, he carried her away with the rest. I fell into a strange state of despair, and said to myself, 'such a [dreadful] circumstance has occurred that thy life is gone for nothing; and now we must see how he will treat the princess.'

"In my anxiety for her, I forgot all fear for my own life; the whole day and night I spent in prayers to God [for her safety]. When the next early morn arrived, they brought back all the female slaves in their own vessel. The merchants were well pleased, and each took back his own. All returned, but the princess alone was not among them. I asked, 'What is the reason that my slave is not come back [with the rest]?' They answered, 'We do not know; perhaps the king may have chosen her.' All the merchants began to console and comfort me, and said, 'Well, what has happened is past; do not afflict yourself; we will all subscribe and make up her price, and give it to you.' My senses were utterly confounded; I said, 'I will not now go to Persia.' Then I addressed myself saying to the boatmen, 'O friends, take me with you, and land me on the shore.' They agreed, and I left the vessel and stepped into the boat; this dog likewise came along with me.

"When I reached the port, I kept to myself only the casket of jewels which the princess had brought with her; all my other property I gave to the governor's servants. I wandered everywhere in the way of search, that perhaps I might get some intelligence of the princess; but I could find no trace of her, nor could I get the smallest hint respecting that affair. One night I entered the king's seraglio by a trick, and searched for her, but got no intelligence. For nearly the space of a month I sifted every lane and house in the city; and through sorrow I reduced myself almost to death's door, and began to wander about like a lunatic. At last, I fancied that 'my princess must, in all probability, be in the governor's house, and nowhere else.' I went round and inspected the governor's house, to the intent that should I discover any passage I might enter it.

"I perceived a sewer high enough to allow a man to go in and out, but there was an iron grating at its mouth; I formed the resolution to enter [the house] by the way of this sewer; I took off my clothes, and descended into that filthy channel. After a thousand toils, I broke the grating, and entered the chor-mahal/26/ through the sewer. Then, having put on the dress of a woman, I began to search and examine all around me. From one of the apartments a sound reached my ear, as if some one was praying fervently. Advancing towards the place, I saw it was the princess, who was weeping bitterly and was prostrating herself before her Maker, and praying to him thus, 'For the sake of thy prophet and his pure offspring,/27/deliver me from this country of infidels; and restore me once more in safety to the person who taught me the faith of Islam.' On seeing her, I ran and threw myself at her feet; the princess clasped me to her bosom, and upon us both a state of insensibility fell. When our senses were restored, I asked her what had happened to her; she answered, 'When the governor of the port carried all the female slaves on shore, I was offering up this prayer to God that my secret might not any how be known, and that I might not be recognised, and that your life might not be endangered. He is so great a concealer [of our shame], that no one knew I was the princess. The governor was examining every one with a view to purchase [some for himself]; when it came to my turn, he chose me, sent me secretly to his house; the rest he forwarded to the king.
"'When my father did not see me among those [slaves], he sent them all back. The whole of this artifice was had recourse to on my account. He now gives out, that the princess is very ill, and if I do not soon appear, then in a few days the news of my death will fly through the whole country; then the king's shame will not be [divulged]. But I am now greatly distressed, as the governor has other designs upon me, and always urges me to cohabit with him; I do not agree [to his desires]. Inasmuch as he [really] loves me, he has as yet waited for my acquiescence, and therefore he remains silent and quiet. But I dread [to think] how long matters can go on in this way; for which reason I have determined within myself, that when he attempts anything further, I will put myself to death. But now that I have met thee, another thought has arisen in my mind; if God is willing, except this mode, I see no other for escape.'
"I replied, 'Let me hear it; what sort of scheme is it?' She said, 'If you assist and exert yourself, it can be accomplished.' I said, 'I am ready to obey your commands; if you order me, I will leap into the burning flames, and if I could find a ladder, I would for your sake ascend to the sky; [in short], I will perform whatever you command.' The princess said, 'Go, then, to the temple of the great idol; and in the place where [the people take off/28/ their shoes, there lies a piece of black canvas. The custom of this country is, that whoever becomes poor and destitute, he having wrapt himself up in that piece of canvas, sits down in that spot. The people of this country who go there to worship, give him something, each according to his means.

"'In three or four days, when he collects some money, the head priests give him a khil'at on the part of the great idol, and dismiss him; having thus become rich, he goes away, and no one knows who he was. Go thou also, and sit under that canvas, and hide well thy hands and face, and speak to no one. After three days, when the priests and idolaters shall have given thee a khil'at, and [wish greatly to] dismiss thee; do not thou on any account get up from thence. When they entreat thee greatly, then tell them, "I do not want money nor am I avaricious of riches. I am an injured person, and am come to complain; if the mother of the Brahmans does me justice, it is well; otherwise the great idol will do me justice; and this same great idol will attend to my complaint against my oppressor." As long as the mother of the Brahmans does not come herself to thee, let any one entreat thee ever so much, consent thou not. At last, being compelled to it, she will come to thee herself; she is very old, for she is two hundred and forty years of age, and six and thirty sons, that have been born of her, are the chief priests of the temple; and she is highly respected by the great idol. For this reason she possesses such vast power that all the little and great of this country deem her command [a matter of] felicity; whatever she orders, that they perform with all their heart and soul. Lay hold of the skirt of her garment, and say to her, "O mother, if you do not exact justice from the oppressor to this injured traveller, I will dash my head on the ground before the great idol; he will at last pity me, and intercede for me with you."

"'When, after this, she asks thee all the particulars of thy complaint, tell her, "I am an inhabitant of Persia; I am come here from a great distance, both to perform a pilgrimage to the great idol, and in consequence of having heard of your justice. For some days I lived here in peace; my wife also came with me; she is young, her form and figure are excellent, and her features perfect. I do not know how the governor of the port saw her, but he forcibly took her away from me, and shut her up in his house. With us Musalmans it is a rule, that if a stranger sees one of our wives, or takes her away, it is right that the stranger be put to death by whatever means it may be accomplished, and the wife be taken back; and otherwise, we must abandon food and drink; for whilst the stranger lives, that wife is forbidden to the husband. Now, having no other resource, I am come hither; let us see what justice you do to me."' When the princess had fully instructed me in all these circumstances, I took my leave, and came out by the same sewer, and once more replaced the iron grating.
"As soon as the morning came, I went to the temple, and, having covered myself with the black canvas, I sat down. In three days' time so many pieces of gold, and silver, and articles of apparel were heaped up near me, that it appeared a regular store. On the fourth day, the priests, performing their devotion, and singing and playing, came to me with a khil'at, and wished to dismiss me. I would not agree to it, and called on the great idol for protection, and said, 'I am not come to beg, but to get justice from the great idol and the mother of the Brahmans; and until I get justice I shall not stir from hence.' On hearing this [determination], they went to the presence of the old woman, and related what I had said; after which a Brahman came to me and said, 'Come, the mother calls you.' I instantly wrapped myself up in the black canvas from head to foot, and went to the threshold [of her apartment]. I saw that the great idol was placed on a jewelled throne in which were set rubies, diamonds, pearls and coral; and a rich covering was spread on a golden chair, on which was seated, with great pomp and dignity, an old woman dressed in black, with cushions and pillows [around her], and near her stood two boys, ten or twelve years old, one on her right and one on her left. She called me before her; I advanced towards her with profound respect, and kissed the foot of the throne, and then took hold of the skirt [of her garments]. She asked me my story; I related it exactly as the princess had instructed mo to do.
"On hearing it, she said, 'Do Musalmans keep their wives concealed?' I replied, 'Yes, may it fare well with your children; it is an ancient custom of ours.' She said, 'Thine is a good religion; I will instantly give orders that the governor of the port, together with your wife, shall appear here, and I shall punish that ass in such a manner that he will not act so another time, and all shall prick up their ears and tremble.' She asked her attendants, 'Who is the governor of the port? How dares he take away by force the wife of another man?' They answered, 'He is such a one.' On hearing his name, she told the two boys who were standing near her, 'Take this man along with you instantly, and go to the king, and say, "That the mother declares, that this is the command of the great idol, that whereas the governor of the port commits excessive violence on the people; for instance, he has carried off [by force] this poor man's wife, and his guilt is proved to be great; therefore let an inventory be quickly taken of the delinquent's effects and property, and let them be delivered to this Turk, whom I esteem, otherwise you will be destroyed tonight, and you will fall under our wrath.' The two boys rose up, came out of the place, and mounted their horses; all the priests, blowing their shells, and singing hymns, went in their retinue.

"In short, the great and little of that country having conceived the dust of the spot where the feet of those boys trod as holy, used to take it up and put it to their eyes. In this manner, they went to the palace of the king. He heard of it, and came forth with naked feet for the purpose of their reception, and having conducted them with great respect, he placed them on the throne near himself, and asked them, 'What has given me the honour of your visit to-day?' The two young Brahmans repeated on the part what they had heard from the mother, and threatened him with the great idol's anger.

"On hearing it the king said, 'Very well,' and issued an order to his attendants, saying, 'Let some officers of justice go, and let them immediately bring the governor of the port, along with that woman into our presence, then shall I, having investigated his crime, inflict upon him deserved punishment.' On hearing [this order], I was greatly alarmed in my own heart, [and said to myself], 'This affair indeed is not quite so well; for if they bring the princess with the governor of the port, the matter will be discovered; what then will be my situation?' Being extremely fear-stricken in my mind, I looked up to God, but my countenance was overcast with anxiety, and my body began to tremble. The boys seeing my colour change, perhaps observed that this order was not agreeable to my wish; they instantly rose with vexation and anger, and said harshly to the king, 'O wretch, art thou become mad, that thou steppest aside from the great idol's obedience, and conceivest what we said to be untrue, that thou wishest to send for them both and verify [the circumstance]? Now, take care, thou hast fallen under the great idol's wrath; we have delivered our orders, now do thou look [to it], or the great idol will look [to thee].'
"On hearing these words, the king was so greatly alarmed, that, joining both his hands together, he stood [before the boys] and trembled from head to foot. Having made humble supplication, he endeavoured to appease them; but they would not sit down, and they remained standing. In the meantime, all the nobles who were present, began with one voice to speak ill of the governor, saying, 'He is indeed such a wicked man, and so tyrannical, and commits such offences, that we cannot relate the same before the royal presence. Whatever the mother of the Brahmans has sent word of, is all true; inasmuch as it is the great idol's decision; how can it be false?' When the king heard the very same story from all, he was much ashamed and regretful of what he had said. He instantly gave me a rich khil'at; and having written an order with his own hand, and sealed/29/ with his sign manual [[=his personal seal]], he consigned it to me; he also wrote a note to the mother of the Brahmans, and having laid trays of gold and jewels before the boys as presents, he dismissed them. I returned to the temple highly pleased, and went to the old woman.

"The contents of the king's letter which had arrived were as follows. After the usual compliments and tenders of service and devotion, [the king] had written, 'That according to the orders of your highness, the situation of governor of the fort has been conferred upon this Musalman, and a khil'at/30/ has been bestowed on him. He is now at liberty to put the former governor to death; and all his effects and money now belong to this Musalman; he may do with him what he pleases. I hope my fault will be forgiven.' The mother of the Brahmans was pleased with the letter, and said, 'Let the music strike up in thenaubat-khana of the pagoda.' Then she sent with me five hundred well-armed soldiers, who were good marksmen/31/with the musket, to go with me, and gave them orders to go to the port, seize its governor, and deliver him up to this Musalman, in order that he may put him to death with what torture he pleases. Also let them take care that, except this honoured [Musalman], no one be permitted to enter the [governor's] seraglio, and let them deliver over his money and effects [untouched to the new governor]. When he sends them back with his own accord, let them get a letter of approbation from him, and return to me.' She then gave me a complete dress from the wardrobe of the great idol, and having caused me to mount, she dismissed me.
"When I reached the port, one of my men proceeded before me, and informed the governor [of my arrival]. He was sitting like one in great perplexity, when I arrived my heart was already filled with rage; on seeing the harbour-master, I drew my sword, and struck him such a blow on the neck, that his head flew off like a stalk of Indian corn. Then having ordered the agents, the treasurers, the superintendants and other officials to be seized, I took full possession of the records; and then I entered the seraglio. There I met the princess; we embraced each other most tenderly, and wept, and praised the goodness of God; we wiped each other's tears; I then came out and sat on the masnad, and gave khil'ats to the officers [of the port], and re-established them in their respective situations; to the servants and slaves I gave promotion. To those people who had come as an escort from the temple, I gave presents and gratuities, and having bestowed dresses on their officers, I dismissed them. Then having taken with me jewels of great value, and pieces of fine cloth, and shawls, and brocaded stuffs and goods, and rarities of every region, and a large sum of money as a nazar/32/ for the king, and for the nobles, according to their respective ranks, and for the priests and priestesses, to be divided among them, after one week I went to the idol-temple and laid the presents before the old woman.

"She gave me another khil'at of dignity, and a title. I then went to the audience of the king, and presented my pesh-kash. I addressed his majesty [on the best means] to remove the evil consequences of whatever acts of tyranny and injustice the [former] governor of the port had committed. For this reason, the king, the nobles, and the merchants were all well pleased with me, and the king showered many favours on me, and having given me a khil'at and a horse, he bestowed on me a title and a ja-gir,/33/ with other dignities and honours. When I came out from the royal presence, I gave the servants and attendants so much, that they all began to pray [for my welfare]. In short, I became very happy in my condition; and I passed my days in that country in extreme ease and felicity, after marrying the princess; and I offered up thanks to God [for the happiness I enjoyed]. The inhabitants were quite happy through the equity of my administration; and once a month I used to go to the temple and the king's levee; his majesty, from time to time, conferred on me additional promotion.

"At last, he enrolled me as one of his privy counsellors, and did nothing without my advice; my life began to pass in extreme delight; but God only knows that I often thought on these two brothers [and was anxious to know] where they were and how they were. After the space of two years, a qafila of merchants arrived at the port from the country of Zerbad, and they were all bound for Persia; they wished to return to their own country by sea. It was the rule at that port, that whenever a karavan arrived there, the chiefs of the karavan used to present to me as a nazar some rare presents and curiosities of different countries. On the day following, I used to go to [the chief's] place of residence, and to levy ten per cent. on the value of his goods by way of duty; after which, I gave him permission to depart. In the same manner, those merchants from Zerbad likewise came to wait on me, and brought with them presents beyond value; the second day I went to their tents. There I perceived two men dressed in tattered old clothes, who bore packages and bundles on their heads, right into my presence. After I had examined [the packages], they carried them back; they laboured hard, and attended constantly.
"I looked at them with great attention, and perceived they were, indeed, my two brothers. At that time, shame and pride would not allow me to see them in such servitude. When I returned home, I desired my servants to bring those two men to me; when they brought them, I had clothes made up for them, and kept them near me. But these incorrigible villains again laid a plan to murder me. One day at midnight,/34/ finding all off their guard, they came like thieves to the head of my bed. I had maintained a guard at my door from apprehensions for my life, and this faithful dog was asleep at the side of my bed; but the moment they drew their swords from the scabbard, the dog first barked, then flew at them; the noise he made awaked all; I, also alarmed, started up. The guards seized them, and I knew them to be themselves all over. Every one began to execrate them, [and said] 'notwithstanding all this kindness, how infamously they have behaved!'

"O king, peace be upon you, I also became at last alarmed [for my life]. There is a common saying, 'That the first and second fault may be pardoned, but the third punished.'/35/ I determined then, in my own heart, to confine them; but if I had put them in the prison, who would have taken care of them? They might have perished from want of food and drink, or they might have contrived more mischief. For this reason, I have confined them in a cage, that they may be always under my own eye, then my mind will be at rest; lest being absent from my sight, they may hatch further wickedness. The honour and esteem which I evince towards this dog, are on account of his loyalty and fidelity. O, great God, a man without gratitude is worse than a faithful brute! These were the past events of my life, which I have related to your majesty, now, either order me to be put to death, or grant me my life; to the king command belongs."

On hearing this narrative,/36/ I praised that man of honour, and said, your kindness has been uninterrupted, and there has been no limits to these fellows' shameless and villainous conduct; so true is it, "That if you bury a dog's tail for twelve years, it will still remain crooked as ever."/37/ After this, I asked the Khwaja the history of those twelve rubies which were in the dog's collar. He replied, "May the age of your majesty be a hundred and twenty years! After I had been three or four years governor of that port, I was sitting one day on the top of my house, which was high, for the purpose of viewing and enjoying the sea and plain beneath. I was looking in all directions, when suddenly, I perceived two human figures, who were coming along from one side of the wood, where there was no high road. Having seized a telescope, I looked at them, and saw they were of a strange appearance: I speedily sent some mace-bearers to call them [to my presence.]

"When they came, I perceived they were a man and a woman. I sent the woman into the seraglio to the princess, and called the man before me; I saw he was a youth of twenty or twenty-two years of age, whose beard and mustaches had commenced [growing;] but the colour of his face had become black as that of the tawa/38/. The hair of his head, and the nails of his fingers owing to the heat of the sun were greatly grown, and he looked like a man of the woods. He held on his shoulder a boy of about three or four years old, and two sleeves of a garment, filled [with something], were suspended like a collar round his neck; he cut a strange appearance, and was oddly dressed, I was greatly surprised, and asked him, 'O, friend, who art thou, and of what country art thou the inhabitant, and in what a strange condition do I see thee?' The young man began to weep bitterly, and taking off the two filled sleeves from around his neck, he laid them before me, and cried out, 'Hunger, hunger! for God's sake give me something to eat; I have subsisted for a long while on roots and herbs, and there is not a particle of strength remaining in me.' I instantly ordered him some bread, meat, and wine; he began to devour them.

"In the meantime, the eunuch brought from my haram several other bags which he found on [the stranger's wife.] I ordered them all to be opened, and saw that they contained precious jewels of every kind, each of which was equal in value to the amount of the king's revenue; each one was more valuable than another in weight, shape and brilliancy; and the whole apartment was illuminated with variegated colours, from the reflection of their different coloured rays. When the young man had eaten something, and drank a cup of wine, his senses returned; I then asked him, 'where did you get these stones?' He answered, 'My native country is Azurbaijan./39/ Having separated from my home and parents in my infancy, I have undergone many hardships; I was for a long while buried alive, and have often escaped from the claws of the angel of death.' I said, 'pray, young man, give me the details that I may fully comprehend [your story].' Then he began to relate his adventures as follows:-- 'My father was a merchant, and he used to travel constantly to Hindustan, China, Khata, Rum, and Europe. When I was ten years of age, my father set out for Hindustan, and wished to take me with him. Although my mother and various aunts remarked that I was yet a child, and not old enough to travel; my father did not mind them, and said, "I am now old; if he is not instructed under my own eye, I will carry the regret with me to my grave; he is the son of a man, and if he does not learn now, when will he learn?"
"'Saying this, he took me with him, in spite of their entreaties, and we set out. The journey was performed in health and safety, and when we arrived in Hindustan, we sold some of our goods there, and taking some rarities with us from thence, we set out for the country of Zerbad. This journey was likewise performed in safety; there also we sold and bought goods, and embarked on board a ship, to return the quicker to our country. One day, about a month after, we were overtaken by a storm and hurricane, and the rain began to fall in torrents; the whole earth and sky became dark as a mass of smoke, and the rudder broke; the pilot and master began to beat their heads; for ten days the winds and waves carried us where they pleased; the eleventh day the ship having struck against a rock, went to pieces. I did not know what became of my father, our servants and our goods.

"'I found myself on a plank, which floated for three days and nights beyond any control [of mine]. On the fourth day it reached the shore. I had just life enough remaining. I got off the plank, crawled along on my knees. I some how or other reached the dry land. I saw some fields at a distance, and many people were assembled there; but they were all black, and as naked as the day they were born; they said something to me; but I did not understand their language in the least. It was a field of the chana/40/ pulse; the men, having lighted a large fire, were parching the ears [of chana] and eating them; and some houses also appeared [near the spot]. Perhaps this was their usual food, and that they lived in those houses; they made signs to me also that I should eat. I plucked up some of the graum, roasted it, and began to toss it into my mouth; and having drunk a little water, I laid down to sleep in a corner of the field.

"'After some time, when I awoke, a man from among them came to me, and began to show me [by signs] the road; I plucked up some more of the graum, and followed the road [he pointed out]. A great level plain appeared before me, vast as the plain of the day of judgment./41/ I proceeded, eating the graum as I went; after four days, I perceived a fort; when I went near it, then I saw it was a very high fort, all built of stone, and each side of which was two kos in length, and the door was cut out of a single stone, and had a large lock attached; but I could see no trace of any human being. I proceeded on from thence and saw a hillock, the earth of which was in colour black as surma;/42/ when I passed over the hillock, I saw a large city, surrounded with a rampart with bastions at regular intervals; and a river of great width flowed on one side of the city. Proceeding on, I reached a gate, and invoking God, I entered it. I saw a person who was dressed in the garment of the people of Europe, and seated on a chair; the moment he saw I was a foreign traveller, and heard me invoke God, he desired me to advance. I went up to him, and made him a salam; he returned my salutation with great kindness, and laid on the table instantly some bread and butter, and a roast fowl and wine, and said, "Eat thy belly full." I ate a little, and drank [some of the wine], and fell sound asleep. When the night came, I opened my eyes, and washed my hands and face; he gave me again something to eat, and said, "O son, relate thy story." I told him all that had happened to me. He then said, "Why art thou come here?" I became vexed, and replied, "Perhaps thou art mad; after hardships of long duration, I have at last seen the appearance of [human] dwellings. God has conducted me so far, and thou askest me why I am come here." He answered, "Go and rest thyself now; I will tomorrow tell thee what I have to say."

"'When the morning came he said to me, "There are in this room a spade, a sieve, and a leather bag; bring them out." I said to myself, God knows what labour he will make me undergo because he has made me eat of his bread; having no help for it, I took up those articles and brought them to him. He then ordered me to go to the black hillock [I had passed] and dig a hole a yard deep, and "whatever you find in it pass it through this sieve; whatever cannot pass through, put it in the leather bag, and bring it to me." I took all those implements and went there, and having dug as much [as I was ordered], I passed it through the sieve, and put what remained into the bag, [as directed]; I then saw they were all precious stones of different colours, and my eyes were dazzled with their brilliancy. In this manner I filled the bag up to the mouth, and carried it to that person; on seeing it, he said, "Whatever is in the bag take it for thyself, and go away from hence; for thy stay in this city will not do thee good." I gave for answer, "Your worship has, on your part, done me a great favour by giving me these stones and pebbles; but of what use are they to me? When I become hungry, I shall not be able to eat them nor to fill my belly; and if you give me more of them, what use will they be to me?? That person smiled, and said, "I pity thee, for thou, like me, art an inhabitant of the kingdom of Persia; for this reason I advise thee [against remaining here], otherwise it rests with thee. If thou art determined, at all hazards, to enter this city, then take my ring with thee; when thou reachest the centre of the market place, thou wilt find sitting there a man with a white beard-- his face and general appearance are very like mine-- he is my eldest brother-- give him this ring-- he will then take care of thee; act conformably to what he says, otherwise thou wilt lose thy life for nothing; my authority only extends as far as this; I have no entrance into the city."

"'I took the ring from him, and, saluting him, took my leave. I entered the city, and saw it was a very elegant place; the streets and market-places were clean and the men and women without concealment were buying and selling among themselves, and were all well dressed. I continued advancing on, and viewing sights. When I reached the four cross roads of the market place, such a crowd there was, that if you threw a brass plate, it would have skimmed over the heads of the people. The multitude were so close to each other, that one could with difficulty make his way through. When the concourse became less, I, pushing and jostling, advanced forward. I saw at last the person [described], seated on a chair, and a chummak/43/ set with precious stones lay before him. I approached him, made him my salam, and gave him the ring; he looked at me with a look of anger, and said, "Why hast thou come here, and plunged thyself in calamity? Did not my foolish brother forbid thee?"
"'I replied, "He did forbid me, but I did not mind him." I then related to him all my adventures from beginning to end. That person got up, and taking me with him, he went towards his own house; his residence appeared like the abode of a king, and he had many servants and attendants. When he had retired to his private apartment and sat down, he said with mildness, "O son! what folly hast thou committed, that on thine own feet thou hast walked to thy grave? What unfortunate blockhead ever comes to this enchanted city?" I answered, I have already fully related to you my history; now indeed fate has brought me here; but do me the kindness to enlighten me on the customs and ways of this place, then shall I know for what reasons you and your brother have dissuaded me from staying here." The good man answered, "The king and all the nobles of this city have been excommunicated; strange are their manners and religion! In an idol temple here there is an idol, from whose belly the devil tells the name, sect, and faith of every individual; so, whatever poor traveller arrives here, the king has information of it; and he conveys the stranger to the pagoda, and makes him prostrate himself before the idol. If he prostrates himself, it is well; otherwise, they cause the poor wretch to be immersed in the river; and if he attempts to escape from the river, his private parts/44/ become elongated to such a degree that he has to drag them along the ground. Such enchantment [has God] ordained in this city. I feel pity for thee on account of thy youth; but for thy sake I am going to execute a scheme I have formed that thou mayest be able to live at least a few days, and be saved from this calamity."
"'I asked, "What is the nature of the project [you have formed]? impart it to me." He replied, "I mean to have thee married; and to get thee the Wazir's daughter for thy wife." I gave for answer, "How can the Wazir give his daughter to a wretch so poor and destitute as myself? Will it be when I embrace his faith? This is what I never can do." He replied, "The custom of this city is, that whoever prostrates himself before the idol, if he be a beggar and demand the king's daughter, the king must deliver her up to him in order to gratify his wish, and that they may not grieve him. Now I am in the king's confidence, and he esteems me, for which reason all the nobles and officers of state of this place respect me. In the course of every week, they go twice to the pagoda on a pilgrimage, and there they perform their worship; so they will all assemble there tomorrow, and I will carry thee with me." Saying this, he gave me something to eat and drink, and sent me away to sleep. When the morning came, he took me with him to the pagoda; when we arrived there, I saw that people were going to and fro, and performing their devotions.

"'The king and nobles in front of the idol, near the priests, with heads uncovered, were respectfully seated; also unmarried girls and handsome boys, like Hur and Ghilman,/45/ were drawn up in lines on the four sides. The good old man spoke to me and said, "Now do whatever I say." I agreed, and said, "Whatever you command, that I will perform." He said, "First, kiss the king's hands and feet, then, lay hold of the Wazir's dress." I did so. The king asked, "Who is this, and what has he to say?" The man replied, "This young man is my relation, and he is come from far to have the honour to kiss your majesty's feet, and with this expectation, that the Wazir will exalt him by [admitting him] into his service, if the order of the great idol and your majesty's approbation be [to that effect]." The king said, "If he will embrace our faith and sect, and adopt our customs, then it will be auspicious [for him]." Immediately, [the drums of] the nakkar-khana/46/ of the pagoda struck up; and I was invested with a rich khil'at; they then put a black rope round my neck, and dragged me before the seat of the idol, and having made me prostrate myself before it, they lifted me up.

"'A voice issued from the idol, saying, "O respected youth, thou hast done well to enter into my service; rely on my mercy and favour." On hearing these words, all the people prostrated themselves, and began to roll on the ground, and exclaimed, "Long may you prosper! why should it not be!" When the evening came, the king and the Wazir mounted, and went to the Wazir's house, and they made over to me the Wazir's daughter according to their rites and ceremonies; they gave a great dowry and presents with her, and expressed themselves highly obliged, saying, that according to the commands of the great idol, they had given her to me. They settled us both in one house; when I saw that beauty, then [I perceived that] in truth her beauty was equal to that of a fairy, perfect from top to toe. All the beauties we have heard of, as peculiar to Padmini/47/ females, were centred in her. I cohabited with her without ceremony, and experienced great delight. In the morning, after having bathed, I waited on the king; he bestowed on me the khil'at of marriage, and ordered that I should always attend his levee; at last, after some days, I became one of his majesty's counsellors.

"'The king used to be much pleased with my society, and often gave me presents and rich khil'ats, although I was rich in worldly treasures, for my wife possessed so much gold, property, and precious stones, that they exceeded all bounds and limits. Two years passed in extreme delight and ease. It happened that [my wife] the Wazir's daughter, became pregnant; when the seventh and eighth months had passed, and she entered her full time, the pains came on; the nurse and midwife came, and a dead child was brought forth; its poison infected the mother, and she also died. I became frantic with grief, and exclaimed, what a dreadful calamity has burst upon me! I was seated at the head of the bed, and weeping; all at once the noise of lamentations spread through the whole house, and women began to pour in [upon me] from all sides. Each as she entered, struck one or two blows with her hands on my head, and stood before my face, and began to weep. So many women were assembled [round me], that I was perfectly hidden among them, and nearly expiring.

"'In the meantime, some one from behind seized me by the collar, and dragged me along; I looked up, and saw it was the same man of Persia who had married me [to the Wazir's daughter]. He exclaimed, "O blockhead! for what art thou weeping?" I replied, "O cruel! what a question thou askest! I have lost my empire, and the repose of my house is utterly gone, and thou demandest why I weep!" He said, with a smile, "Now weep on account of thy own death; I told thee at first, that perhaps thine evil fate had led thee here [to perish]; so it has turned out; now, except death, thou hast no release." At last, the people seized me, and led me to the pagoda; I saw that the king, the nobles, and thirty-six tribes of his subjects were assembled there; the wealth and property of my wife were all collected there; whatever article any one's heart desired, he took; and put down its price in cash.

"'In short, all her property was converted into specie; with this specie precious stones were purchased, and locked up in a small box; they then filled a chest with bread, sweetmeats, roast meat, dried and green fruits, and other eatables; and they put the corpse of my wife into another chest, and slung both the chests across a camel; they mounted me on it, and put the box of precious stones in my lap. All the Brahmans went before me singing hymns and blowing their shells, and a crowd for the purpose of wishing me joy came on behind. In this manner I was conducted out of the city, through the same gate by which I entered the first day. The moment when the same keeper of the gate saw me, he began to weep, and said, "O unfortunate, death-seized [wretch]! thou wouldst not listen to me, but by entering this city thou hast lost thy life for nothing! It is not my fault; I did dissuade thee." He said this to me; but I was so confounded, that I could not use my tongue to reply to him; nor were my senses in their right place, to foresee what would become of me at last.

"'They conducted me at last to the same fort, the door of which I had seen shut the first day [I entered this country]. The lock was opened with the assistance of many people united, and they carried in the corpse and the chest of food. A priest came up to me, and began to console me, saying, "Man is born one day, and one day dies; such is the [mode of] transmigration in this world; now these, thy wife, thy son, thy wealth, and forty days' food are placed here; take them, and remain here until the great idol is favourable to thee." In my wrath I wished to curse the idol, the inhabitants of that place, and their manners and customs, and to inflict blows and buffets on that priest. That same man of Persia in his own tongue, forbade me, and said, "Take care, do not on any account utter a word; if you should say anything whatever, they will burn you immediately. Well, whatever was in your destiny, that has taken place: rely now on the mercy of God; perhaps He will deliver you alive from this place."

"'In short, all of them, having left me by myself, went out of that fortress, and shut the door. At that moment I wept bitterly at my solitary and helpless state, and began to kick the corpse of that woman, saying, "O cursed corpse, if thou wast to perish in child-birth, why didst thou marry and become pregnant?" After thoroughly beating her, I again sat silent. In the meantime, the day advanced, and the sun became very hot; my brains began to boil, and I was dying by reason of the stench. On whatever side I looked, I saw the bones of the dead, and boxes of precious stones in heaps. I then, having gathered some old chests together, placed them over each other, so that there might be a shed against the heat of the day, and the dews of the night. I began to search for water, and on one side I saw something like a cascade, which was cut out of stone in the wall of the inclosure, and had a mouth like a pot. In short, my life was [sustained] for some time on the food [they had left with me], and the water [I had found.]

"'At last, the victuals were exhausted, and I became alarmed and complained to God. He is so beneficent that the door of the inclosure opened and another corpse was brought in; an old man accompanied it. When, having left him also, they went away, it came into my head to kill the old man, and take possession of his chest of provisions. So, having taken up the leg of an old chest, I went up to him; he was, poor wretch, sorely perplexed, seated with his head resting on his knees. I came behind him, and struck him such a blow, that his skull was fractured and his brains came out, and he instantly resigned his soul to God. I seized his stock of provisions, I began to live on it. For a long while this was my way, that whatever living beings came in with the dead, I used to kill the former, and having taken their provisions, I fared plentifully.
"'After some time, a young girl once came with a corpse; she was very handsome, and I had not the hard heart to kill her [as had hitherto been my practice]. She espied me, and swooned away through fear. I took up her stock of provisions, and carried it to where I lived; but I did not eat it alone; when I was hungry, I used to carry her some victuals, and we ate together. When the young girl perceived that I did not molest her, her timidity lessened daily and she became more familiar, and used to come to my shed. One day I asked her her story, and who she was; she replied, "I am the daughter of the king's Wakil-i mutlak,/48/ and had been betrothed to my uncle's son. On the day of the marriage night he was attacked with a colic, and was in such agonies from the pain, that he expired in an instant;/49/ they brought me here with his corpse and have left me." She then asked to hear my story; I also related the whole to her, and said, "God hath sent thee here for my sake." She smiled and remained silent.
"'In this way mutual affection increased between us in a short time; I taught her the principles of the Musalman faith, and made her repeat our kalima. I then performed the marriage ceremony, and cohabited with her; she also became pregnant and brought forth a son. Nearly three years passed in this manner. When she weaned the child, I said to my wife, "How long shall we remain here, and how shall we get out from hence?" She replied, "If God takes us out, then we shall get out; otherwise we shall some day die here." I wept bitterly at what she said, and at our confinement, and continuing to weep, I fell asleep. I saw a person in my dream, who said to me, "There is an outlet through the drain; go thou forth." I started up with joy, and said to my wife, "Collect and bring with you all the old nails and bolts which belonged to the rotten chests, that I may [with their help] widen [the mouth of the drain]." In short, I having applied a large nail to the mouth of that drain, used to strike it with a stone until I became quite tired; however, after a year's labour, I widened the opening so much that a man could get through it.
"'I then put the very finest of the precious stones into the sleeves of the habits of the dead, and taking them with us, we three got out through the opening [I had made]. I offered up thanks to God [for our deliverance], and placed the boy on my shoulders. It is a month since we quitted the high road from fear, and have travelled through bye-paths of the woods and mountains; when hunger attacked us, we fed on grass and leaves. I have not strength left to say a word more; these are my adventures which you have just heard,' O mighty king./50/ I took pity on his condition, and having sent him to the bath, I had him well dressed, and made him my deputy. In my own house I had had several children by the princess, but they died one after another, when young; one son lived to five years of age, and then died; from grief for him my wife died also. I was greatly afflicted, and that country became disagreeable to me after her loss; my heart became quite sad, and I determined to return to Persia. I solicited the king's leave to depart, and got the situation of the governor of the port transferred to the young man [whose story I have just related]. In the meantime the king died also; I took this faithful dog and all my jewels and money with me, and came to Naishapur, in order that no one should know the story of my brothers. I have become well-known as the dog-worshipper; and owing to this evil fame, I to this day pay double taxes into the exchequer of the king of Persia.
"It so happened that this young merchant went to Naishapur, and owing to him I have had the honour to kiss your majesty's feet." I asked/51/ the Khwaja, 'Is not this [young merchant] your son? He answered, "Mighty sire, he is not my son; he is one of your majesty's own subjects; but he is now my master or heir, or whatever you choose to call him." On hearing this, I asked the young merchant, "What merchant's son art thou, and where do thy parents reside?" The youth kissed the ground, and beseeching pardon for his life, replied, "This slave is the daughter of your majesty's Wazir; my father came under the royal anger on account of this very Khwaja's rubies, and your majesty's orders were, that if in one year my father's words should not be verified, he should be put to death. On hearing [the royal mandate], I assumed this disguise and went to Naishapur; God has conducted the Khwaja, together with the dog and rubies, before your majesty, and you have heard all the circumstances; I now am hopeful that my aged father may be released."
On hearing these circumstances from the Wazirzadi, the Khwaja gave a groan, and helplessly fell down. When rose water was sprinkled over his face, he recovered his senses, and exclaimed, "O, dire mishap! that I should have come from such a distance, with such toil and sorrows, in the hope that, having adopted the young merchant for my son, I should make over to him by a deed of gift, all my wealth and property, that my name might not perish, and every one should call him Khwaja-zada;/52/ but now my imaginations have proved vain, and the affair has turned out quite the contrary. He, by becoming a woman, has ruined the old man. I fell into female snares, and now the saying may be applied to me, 'Thou remainedst at home, and didst not go to pilgrimage; yet thy head was shaved, and thou art scoffed by all.'"/53/

To shorten my story, I took pity on agitation, and groans and lamentations, and called him near me, and whispered in his ear some glad tidings, and added, "Do not grieve; I will marry thee to her, and, if God pleaseth, thou shalt have children from her, and she shall [now] be thy master." On hearing these welcome words, he became altogether comforted. I then ordered them to conduct the Wazirzadi to the seraglio, and to take the Wazir out of prison, bathe him in the bath, dress him in the khil'at of restoration to favour,/54/ and bring him quickly before me. When the Wazir arrived, I went to the end of the farsh/55/ to receive him, and conceiving him my superior, I embraced him, and bestowed on him anew the writing case of the Wazirship./56/ I conferred also titles and jagirs on the Khwaja, and fixing on a happy hour, I married him to the Wazir's daughter.

In a few years, he had two sons and a daughter born to him. In short, the eldest son is now Malikut-Tujjar, and the youngest, the chief manager of my household. O Darweshes, I have related these adventures to you for this reason, that last night, I heard the adventures of two of your number; now you two who remain, fancy to yourselves that I am still where I was last night, and think me your servant, and my house your takiya; /57/ relate your adventures without fear and stay some days with me. When the Darweshes perceived that the king was very kind to them, they said, "Well, as your majesty condescends to form amity with Darweshes, we both will also relate our adventures: be pleased to hear them."

/1/ The name of the countries which lie, as the people of Hindustan term it, below Bengal, i.e., to the south-east of it; the name includes the kingdoms of Ava and Pegu.
/2/Kunwar is the Hindu name for the son of a Raja.
/3/ The chaugan is a Persian sport performed on horseback, with a large ball like a foot-ball, which is knocked about with a long stick like a shepherd's crook; it is precisely the game called in Scotland "shintey," and in England "hockey," only that the players are mounted.
/4/Rani is the Hindu name of a Raja's wife.
/5/ Literally, "without a partner." The Musalmans consider our doctrine of the Trinity as a deadly error.
/6/ Sarandip is the name for the island of Ceylon among the Arabs and Persians, as well as the Musalmans of India. The ancient Hindu name was Lanka, applied both to the island and its capital.
/7/ The term kisra is evidently applied here to Naushirwan, not to Cyrus, as is stated in some books.
/8/ Iran is the ancient name of Persia in its more extended sense, that is, the Persian Empire. Fars is sometimes used in the same sense. Strictly speaking, it denotes Persia proper, which is only a province of Iran. [S: Iran means Persia in its limited sense--i.e., Persia proper.]
/9/ The qafila-bashi is the head man of the qafila, or company of merchants, who travel in a body for mutual safety, and compose what is commonly called a caravan, properly a karwan; the richest and most respectable merchant of the party is generally elected bashi; all the rest obey his orders, and he directs the movements, &c., of the whole company, and moreover, acts, in all cases of dispute, as judge and magistrate.
/10/ The farsakh, or farsang, or parsang, is a measure of distance in Persia, and contains at the present day about 3 3/4 English miles. Herodotus reckoned the [[Greek]] pasasaggaes in his time at 30 Grecian stadia. [S: The fursookh contains 6166 yards.]
/11/Salsabil is the name of a fountain of Paradise, according to Muhammadan belief.
/12/ The student is of course aware that in most languages a question is frequently equivalent to a negative, as in this sentence. A sapient critic, to whom I have more than once alluded, was pleased to honour me with the following profound remark on the reading given in the original, viz.-- "There is a slip here in Forbes's edition, as well as the Calcutta one. The word nahin, 'not,' is omitted, which destroys the whole sense!!!"
/13/ The kaliyan (or as the moderns say, kaliyun) is the Persian huqqa.
/14/ This is, as the vulgate hath it, "coming it a little too strong;" but be it remembered that Oriental story-tellers do not mar the interest of their narrative by a slavish adherence to probability.
/15/ Here the king Azad Bakht speaks in his own person, and addresses himself to the four Darweshes.
/16/ With regard to the essence of bed-mushk vide *First Darwesh's story, part 1, note 36*.
/17/ The image of the Divine power in that country of Pagans.
/18/ Vide *First Darwesh's story, part 1, note 6*, respecting the chilla, or "period of forty."
/19/ That is to say, she had never seen a Muhammadan at his prayers.
/20/ Lat and Manat were the two great idols of Hindu worship in former times. [S: See Dow's Hindoostan.]
/21/ In the languages of southern India, Turk is the general appellation for a Musalman.
/22/ The chaman is a small garden or parterre, which is laid out before the sitting room in the interior of the women's apartments; it means in general, parterres of flowers.
/23/ The original uses a much stronger expression. ["Having taken her leave, she went to Hell." --FWP]
/24/ Literally, the poison of the halahal, as expression used to denote poison of the strongest kind. The halahal is a fabulous poison, said to have been produced from the ocean on the churning of it by the gods and daityas. Our critic says, on this word, that it means "deadly!!!" will he favour us with some authority on that point, better than his own?
/25/ On the phrase, do mahine men, our critic comes out in great force. He says, "Mir Amman here sins against grammar; it should be, do mahinon men!!!" The critic is not aware, that when a noun follows a numeral it never requires the inflection plural -on, except when it is to be rendered more definite? In reality, Mir Amman would be wrong if he had employed the reading recommended by the sapient critic; do mahine men means "in two months; "do mahinon men "in the two months" (previously determined upon).
/26/ The chor-mahal is a private seraglio [S: where intrigues are carried on by the master in Asia, unknown to his other wives and mistresses; those in the palaces of Dhailee and Agra have often been the scenes of every crime which lust, jealousy, or revenge can prompt].
/27/ The twelve Imams.--Vide *Preface, note 10*.
/28/ The threshold of a pagoda or mosque. The oriental people uncover their feet, as we do our heads, on entering a place of worship.
/29/ Asiatics do not sign their names, but put their seals to letters, bonds, paper, &c.; on the seal is engraven their names, titles, &c.; which absurd practice has frequently given rise to much roguery, and even bloodshed, as it is so easy, by bribes, to get a seal-cutter to forge almost any seal, a notorious instance of which appeared some twenty years ago in the case of the Raja of Sattara. Though the Muhammadan laws punish with severe penalties such transgressions, yet seal-cutters are not more invulnerable to the powers of gold than other men. Kings, princes, nawwabs &c., have a private mark, as well as a public seal, to official papers; and a private seal and mark for private or confidential papers.
/30/ A khil'at or honorary dress is generally bestowed on a person when he is appointed to a new situation.
/31/ Literally, "who could hit a kauri suspended by a hair." The kauri is a small round shell used to denote the minutest denomination of money. In Bengal it is about the hundredth part of a paisa.
/32/The nazar or pesh-kash is a sum of money, &c., which, all oriental officials pay to the prince of the country, or to his favourites, &c., when appointed to their situations. Some people say that such things are done nearer home, with this difference, that among us it is a private transaction; whereas, in the East, it is an open one. [S: It is the great source of emolument and peculation in Asia from the smallest land holder to the King of the country.]
/33/Ja-girs are donations of lands, or, rather, of the revenues arising from a certain portion of land; strictly speaking, such a grant is a reward for military service, though it is sometimes bestowed without that condition.
/34/ As the Musalmans reckon their day from sun-set, this is no bull.
/35/ Literally, "the third fault is that of the mother."
/36/ The king here resumes his address to the four Darweshes.
/37/ A proverb synonymous to ours, of "What is bred in the bone, will never come out of the flesh."
/38/ The tawa is a circular plate of malleable or cast iron, used for baking cakes or bannocks. It is slightly convex, like a watch-glass, on the upper side, where the bread is laid on; the under or concave side being, of course perfectly black. In Scotland, and in the northern counties of England, this domestic implement is called "the girdle," and is still in common use in places remote from towns.
/39/ Till recently a province of Persia; the northern part of ancient Media. It is now, alas! fallen into the deadly grasp of the unholy Muscovite.
/40/ A kind of pea common in India; it is the ordinary food of horses, oxen, camels, &c., likewise of the native. By Europeans it is generally called grum or "graum." [S: Mr. C. F. Martyn, one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the Town of Calcutta, has sent some of it to England to be tried there. I believe this is the first instance of its being sent to Europe-- as it grows in winter in the high latitudes of Upper Hindoostan, it may succeed in summer England.]
/41/ The Muhammadans believe that on the day of judgment all who have died will assemble on a vast plain, to hear their sentences from the mouth of God; so the reader may naturally conceive the size of the plain.
/42/ The surma is a black powder made of antimony, which the Asiatic women use on their eyelids, to give a superior lustre to their black or hazel eyes; when applied with taste, it certainly has that effect. It is likewise used for sore eyes, but I cannot say with what success.
/43/Chummak is the Turkish name for a kind of baton set with precious stones, and used by some of the officers of the palace as an insignia of state, like our rods, wands, &c.
/44/ This ludicrous idea is to be found in the veracious "Voiage and Travaile" of Sir John Maundevile, Kt. Speaking of the "Yles abouten Ynde," he says, "men fynden there an Ile that is clept Crues," where "for the grete distresse of the hete, mennes ballokkes hangen down to their knees, for the grete dissolucioun of the body."
/45/ The Hur are celestial females, and the Ghilman beautiful youths, who are to attend upon all good Mahometans in Paradise [S: according to their ridiculous and abominable superstition].
/46/ The nakkar-khana is the place at the portico of a temple or palace where drums are beaten at stated intervals. It is somewhat akin to the "belfry" of a Romish church, the childish and everlasting noise of which is supposed to constitute an important part of Christianity.
/47/ Padmini, the highest and most excellent of the four classes of women among the Hindus.
/48/ The prime minister, or first officer of state, under the Mughal emperors. [S: Dowlut Rao Saindhea is the present Wakeel-ool Mootluq.]
/49/ Literally, "instant of an instant." With regard to this idiomatic use of the genitive case, vide "Grammar," page 96, paragraph b.
/50/ Here the Khwaja resumes his own story to Azad Bakht.
/51/ The king, Azad Bakht, speaks in his own person.
/52/ The son of a Khwaja or merchant of the highest grade.
/53/ When Musalmans go on pilgrimage to Mecca, they shave their heads on their arrival there; the ridicule is, to have incurred the shaving without the merit of the pilgrimage.
/54/ Called the khil'at sarafrazi, i.e. of exaltation.
/55/ The farsh is the carpet or cloth which is spread in the room, where company is received, or the king's audience is held; for the king to advance to the end of the farsh to receive the Wazir, is a mark of respect, which Asiatic princes seldom pay, even to their equals.
/56/ The insignia of the Wazir's office in India and Persia, is the qalumdan.
/57/ The abode of a faqir is called a takiya.