Meet us on:
Entire Site
    Try our fun game

    Dueling book covers…may the best design win!

    Random Quote
    "The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance."

    Subscribe to Our Newsletter

    Follow us on Twitter

    Never miss a good book again! Follow Read Print on Twitter

    18- The Three Apples

    • Rate it:
    • Average Rating: 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
    • 2 Favorites on Read Print
    Launch Reading Mode Next Chapter
    Chapter 19
    Previous Chapter
    The Caliph Haroon al Rusheed one day commanded the grand vizier
    Jaffier to come to his palace the night following. "Vizier," said
    he, "I will take a walk round the town, to inform myself what
    people say, and particularly how they are pleased with my
    officers of justice. If there be any against whom they have cause
    of just complaint, we will turn them out, and put others in their
    stead, who shall officiate better. If, on the contrary, there be
    any that have gained their applause, we will have that esteem for
    them which they deserve." The grand vizier being come to the
    palace at the hour appointed, the caliph, he, and Mesrour the
    chief of the eunuchs, disguised themselves so that they could not
    be known, and went out all three together.

    They passed through several places, and by several markets. As
    they entered a small street, they perceived by the light of the
    moon, a tall man, with a white beard, who carried nets on his
    head, and a staff in his hand. "To judge from his appearance,"
    said the caliph, "that old man is not rich; let us go to him and
    inquire into his circumstances." "Honest man," said the vizier,
    "who art thou?" The old man replied, "Sir, I am a fisher, but one
    of the poorest and most miserable of the trade. I went from my
    house about noon a fishing, and from that time to this I have not
    been able to catch one fish; at the same time I have a wife and
    small children, and nothing to maintain them."

    The caliph, moved with compassion, said to the fisherman, "Hast
    thou the courage to go back and cast thy net once more? We will
    give thee a hundred sequins for what thou shalt bring up." At
    this proposal, the fisherman, forgetting all his day's toil, took
    the caliph at his word, and returned to the Tigris, accompanied
    by the caliph, Jaaffier, and Mesrour; saying to himself as he
    went, "These gentlemen seem too honest and reasonable not to
    reward my pains; and if they give me the hundredth part of what
    they promise, it will be an ample recompence."

    They came to the bank of the river, and the fisherman, having
    thrown in his net, when he drew it again, brought up a trunk
    close shut, and very heavy. The caliph made the grand vizier pay
    him one hundred sequins immediately, and sent him away. Mesrour,
    by his master's order, carried the trunk on his shoulder, and the
    caliph was so very eager to know what it contained, that he
    returned to the palace with all speed. When the trunk was opened,
    they found in it a large basket made of palm-leaves, shut up, and
    the covering of it sewed with red thread. To satisfy the caliph's
    impatience, they would not take time to undo it, but cut the
    thread with a knife, and took out of the basket a package wrapt
    up in a sorry piece of hanging, and bound about with a rope;
    which being untied, they found, to their great amazement, the
    corpse of a young lady, whiter than snow, all cut in pieces.

    The astonishment of the caliph was great at this dreadful
    spectacle. His surprise was instantly changed into passion, and
    darting an angry look at the vizier, "Thou wretch," said he, "is
    this your inspection into the actions of my people? Do they
    commit such impious murders under thy ministry in my capital, and
    throw my subjects into the Tigris, that they may cry for
    vengeance against me at the day of judgment? If thou dost not
    speedily avenge the murder of this woman, by the death of her
    murderer, I swear by heaven, that I will cause thee and forty
    more of thy kindred to be impaled." "Commander of the faithful,"
    replied the grand vizier, "I beg your majesty to grant me time to
    make enquiry." "I will allow thee no more," said the caliph,
    "than three days."

    The vizier Jaaffier went home in great perplexity. "Alas!" said
    he "how is it possible that in such a vast and populous city as
    Bagdad, I should he able to detect a murderer, who undoubtedly
    committed the crime without witness, and perhaps may be already
    gone from hence? Any other vizier than I would take some wretched
    person out of prison, and cause him to be put to death to satisfy
    the caliph; but I will not burden my conscience with such a
    barbarous action; I will rather die than preserve my life by the
    sacrifice of another innocent person."

    He ordered the officers of the police and justice to make strict
    search for the criminal. They sent their servants about, and they
    were not idle themselves, for they were no less concerned in this
    matter than the vizier. But all their endeavours were to no
    purpose; what pains soever they took they could not discover the
    murderer; so that the vizier concluded his life to be lost.

    The third day being arrived, an officer came to the unfortunate
    minister, with a summons to follow him, which the vizier obeyed.
    The caliph asked him for the murderer. He answered, "Commander of
    the faithful, I have not found any person that could give me the
    least account of him." The caliph, full of fury and rage, gave
    him many reproachful words, and ordered that he and forty
    Bermukkees should be impaled at the gate of the palace.

    In the mean while the stakes were preparing, and orders were sent
    to seize forty Bermukkees in their houses; a public crier was
    sent about the city by the caliph's order, to cry thus: "Those
    who have a desire to see the grand vizier Jaaffier impaled, with
    forty of his kindred, let them come to the square before the

    When all things were ready, the criminal judge, and many officers
    belonging to the palace, having brought out the grand vizier with
    the forty Bermukkees, set each by the stake designed for him. The
    multitude of people that filled the square could not without
    grief and tears behold this tragical sight; for the grand vizier
    and the Bermukkees were loved and honoured on account of their
    probity, bounty, and impartiality, not only in Bagdad, but
    through all the dominions of the caliph.

    Nothing could prevent the execution of this prince's severe and
    irrevocable sentence, and the lives of the most deserving people
    in the city were just going to be sacrificed, when a young man of
    handsome mien pressed through the crowd till he came up to the
    grand vizier, and after he had kissed his hand, said, "Most
    excellent vizier, chief of the emirs of this court, and comforter
    of the poor, you are not guilty of the crime for which you stand
    here. Withdraw, and let me expiate the death of the lady that was
    thrown into the Tigris. It is I who murdered her, and I deserve
    to be punished for my offence."

    Though these words occasioned great joy to the vizier, yet he
    could not but pity the young man, in whose look he saw something
    that instead of evincing guilt was engaging: but as he was about
    to answer him, a tall man advanced in years, who had likewise
    forced his way through the crowd, came up to him, saying, "Do not
    believe what this young man tells you, I killed that lady who was
    found in the trunk, and this punishment ought only to fall upon
    me. I conjure you in the name of God not to punish the innocent
    for the guilty." "Sir," said the young man to the vizier, "I do
    protest that I am he who committed this vile act, and nobody else
    had any concern in it." "My son," said the old man, "it is
    despair that brought you hither, and you would anticipate your
    destiny. I have lived a long while in the world, and it is time
    for me to be gone; let me therefore sacrifice my life for yours."
    "Sir," said he again to the vizier, "I tell you once more I am
    the murderer; let me die without delay."

    The controversy between the old and the young man induced the
    grand vizier to carry them both before the caliph, to which the
    judge criminal consented, being glad to serve the vizier. When he
    came before the prince, he kissed the ground seven times, and
    spake after this manner: "Commander of the faithful, I have
    brought here before your majesty this old and this young man,
    each of whom declares himself to be the sole murderer of the
    lady." The caliph asked the criminals which of them it was that
    so cruelly murdered the lady, and threw her into the Tigris? The
    young man assured him it was he, but the old man maintained the
    contrary. "Go," said the caliph to the grand vizier, "and cause
    them both to be impaled." "But, Sir," said the vizier, "if only
    one of them be guilty, it would be unjust to take the lives of
    both." At these words the young man spoke again, "I swear by the
    great God, who has raised the heavens so high, that I am the man
    who killed the lady, cut her in pieces, and about four days ago
    threw her into the Tigris. I renounce my part of happiness
    amongst the just at the day of judgment, if what I say be not
    truth; therefore I am he that ought to suffer." The caliph being
    surprised at this oath, believed him; especially since the old
    man made no answer. Whereupon, turning to the young man,
    "Wretch," said he, "what made thee commit that detestable crime,
    and what is it that moves thee to offer thyself voluntarily to
    die?" "Commander of the faithful," said he, "if all that has past
    between that lady and me were set down in writing, it would be a
    history that might be useful to other men." "I command thee then
    to relate it," said the caliph. The young man obeyed, and began
    his history.
    Next Chapter
    Chapter 19
    Previous Chapter
    If you're writing a Anonymous essay and need some advice, post your Anonymous essay question on our Facebook page where fellow bookworms are always glad to help!

    Top 5 Authors

    Top 5 Books

    Book Status
    Want to read

    Are you sure you want to leave this group?