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    19- Noor ad Deen Ali and Buddir ad Deen Houssun

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    Chapter 20
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    Commander of the faithful, there was formerly a sultan of Egypt,
    a strict observer of justice, gracious, merciful, and liberal,
    and his valour made him terrible to his neighbours. He loved the
    poor, and protected the learned, whom he advanced to the highest
    dignities. This sultan had a vizier, who was prudent, wise,
    sagacious, and well versed in all sciences. This minister had two
    sons, who in every thing followed his footsteps. The eldest was
    called Shumse ad Deen Mahummud, and the younger Noor ad Deen Ali.
    The latter was endowed with all the good qualities that man could

    The vizier their father being dead, the sultan caused them both
    to put on the robes of a vizier, "I am as sorry," said he, "as
    you are for the loss of your father; and because I know you live
    together, and love one another cordially, I will bestow his
    dignity upon you conjointly; go, and imitate your father's

    The two new viziers humbly thanked the sultan, and retired to
    make due preparation for their father's interment. They did not
    go abroad for a month, after which they repaired to court, and
    attended their duties. When the sultan hunted, one of the
    brothers accompanied him, and this honour they had by turns. One
    evening as they were conversing together after a cheerful meal,
    the next day being the elder brother's turn to hunt with the
    sultan, he said to his younger brother, "Since neither of us is
    yet married, and we live so affectionately together, let us both
    wed the same day sisters out of some family that may suit our
    quality. What do you think of this plan?" "Brother," answered the
    other vizier, "there cannot be a better thought; for my part, I
    will agree to any thing you approve." "But this is not all," said
    the elder; "my fancy carries me farther: Suppose both our wives
    should conceive the first night of our marriage, and should
    happen to be brought to bed on one day, yours of a son, and mine
    of a daughter, we will give them to each other in marriage."
    "Nay," said Noor ad Deen aloud, "I must acknowledge that this
    prospect is admirable; such a marriage will perfect our union,
    and I willingly consent to it. But then, brother," said he
    farther, "if this marriage should happen, would you expect that
    my son should settle a jointure on your daughter?" "There is no
    difficulty in that," replied the other; "for I am persuaded, that
    besides the usual articles of the marriage contract, you will not
    fail to promise in his name at least three thousand sequins,
    three landed estates, and three slaves." "No," said the younger
    "I will not consent to that; are we not brethren, and equal in
    title and dignity? Do not you and I know what is just? The male
    being nobler than the female, it is your part to give a large
    dowry with your daughter. By what I perceive, you are a man that
    would have your business done at another's charge."

    Although Noor ad Deen spoke these words in jest, his brother
    being of a hasty temper, was offended, and falling into a passion
    said, "A mischief upon your son, since you prefer him before my
    daughter. I wonder you had so much confidence as to believe him
    worthy of her; you must needs have lost your judgment to think
    you are my equal, and say we are colleagues. I would have you to
    know, that since you are so vain, I would not marry my daughter
    to your son though you would give him more than you are worth."
    This pleasant quarrel between two brothers about the marriage of
    their children before they were born went so far, that Shumse ad
    Deen concluded by threatening: "Were I not to-morrow," said he,
    "to attend the sultan, I would treat you as you deserve; but at
    my return, I will make you sensible that it does not become a
    younger brother to speak so insolently to his elder as you have
    done to me." Upon this he retired to his apartment in anger.

    Shumse ad Deen rising early next morning, attended the sultan,
    who went to hunt near the pyramids. As for Noor ad Deen, he was
    very uneasy all night, and supposing it would not be possible to
    live longer with a brother who had treated him with so much
    haughtiness, he provided a stout mule, furnished himself with
    money and jewels, and having told his people that he was going on
    a private journey for two or three days, departed.

    When out of Cairo, he rode by way of the desert towards Arabia;
    but his mule happening to tire, was forced to continue his
    journey on foot. A courier who was going to Bussorah, by good
    fortune overtaking him, took him up behind him. As soon as the
    courier reached that city, Noor ad Deen alighted, and returned
    him thanks for his kindness. As he went about to seek for a
    lodging, he saw a person of quality with a numerous retinue, to
    whom all the people shewed the greatest respect, and stood still
    till he had passed. This personage was grand vizier, to the
    sultan of Bussorah, who was passing through the city to see that
    the inhabitants kept good order and discipline.

    This minister casting his eyes by chance on Noor ad Deen Ali,
    perceiving something extraordinary in his aspect, looked very
    attentively upon him, and as he saw him in a traveller's habit,
    stopped his train, asked him who he was, and from whence he came?
    "Sir," said Noor ad Deen, "I am an Egyptian, born at Cairo, and
    have left my country, because of the unkindness of a near
    relation, resolved to travel through the world, and rather to die
    than return home." The grand vizier, who was a good-natured man,
    after hearing these words, said to him, "Son, beware; do not
    pursue your design; you are not sensible of the hardships you
    must endure. Follow me; I may perhaps make you forget the
    misfortunes which have forced you to leave your own country."

    Noor ad Deen followed the grand vizier, who soon discovered his
    good qualities, and conceived for him so great an affection, that
    one day he said to him in private, "My son, I am, as you see, so
    far gone in years, that it is not probable I shall live much
    longer. Heaven has bestowed on me only one daughter, who is as
    beautiful as you are handsome, and now fit for marriage. Several
    nobles of the highest rank at this court have sought her for
    their sons, but I would not grant their request. I have an
    affection for you, and think you so worthy to be received into my
    family, that, preferring you before all those who have demanded
    her, I am ready to accept you for my son-in-law. If you like the
    proposal, I will acquaint the sultan my master that I have
    adopted you by this marriage, and intreat him to grant you the
    reversion of my dignity of grand vizier in the kingdom of
    Bussorah. In the mean time, nothing being more requisite for me
    than ease in my old age, I will not only put you in possession of
    great part of my estate, but leave the administration of public
    affairs to your management."

    When the grand vizier had concluded this kind and generous
    proposal, Noor ad Deen fell at his feet, and expressing himself
    in terms that demonstrated his joy and gratitude, assured him,
    that he was at his command in every way. Upon this the vizier
    sent for his chief domestics, ordered them to adorn the great
    hall of his palace, and prepare a splendid feast. He afterwards
    sent to invite the nobility of the court and city, to honour him
    with their company; and when they were all met (Noor ad Deen
    having made known his quality), he said to the noblemen present,
    for he thought it proper to speak thus on purpose to satisfy
    those to whom he had refused his alliance, "I am now, my lords,
    to discover a circumstance which hitherto I have keep a secret. I
    have a brother, who is grand vizier to the sultan of Egypt. This
    brother has but one son, whom he would not marry in the court of
    Egypt, but sent him hither to wed my daughter in order that both
    branches of our family may be united. His son, whom I knew to be
    my nephew as soon as I saw him, is the young man I now present to
    you as my son-in-law. I hope you will do me the honour to be
    present at his wedding, which I am resolved to celebrate this
    day." The noblemen, who could not be offended at his preferring
    his nephew to the great matches that had been proposed, allowed
    that he had very good reason for his choice, were willing to be
    witnesses to the ceremony, and wished that God might prolong his
    days to enjoy the satisfaction of the happy match.

    The lords met at the vizier of Bussorah's palace, having
    testified their satisfaction at the marriage of his daughter with
    Noor ad Deen Ali, sat down to a magnificent repast, after which,
    notaries came in with the marriage contrast, and the chief lords
    signed it; and when the company had departed, the grand vizier
    ordered his servants to have every thing in readiness for Noor ad
    Deen Ali, to bathe. He had fine new linen, and rich vestments
    provided for him in the greatest profusion. Having bathed and
    dressed, he was perfumed with the most odoriferous essences, and
    went to compliment the vizier, his father-in-law, who was
    exceedingly pleased with his noble demeanour. Having made him sit
    down, "My son," said he, "you have declared to me who you are,
    and the office you held at the court of Egypt. You have also told
    me of a difference betwixt you and your brother, which occasioned
    you to leave your country. I desire you to make me your entire
    confidant, and to acquaint me with the cause of your quarrel; for
    now you have no reason either to doubt my affection, or to
    conceal any thing from me."

    Noor ad Deen informed him of every circumstance of the quarrel;
    at which the vizier, burst out into a fit of laughter, and said,
    "This is one of the strangest occurrences I ever heard. Is it
    possible, my son, that your quarrel should rise so high about an
    imaginary marriage? I am sorry you fell out with your elder
    brother upon such a frivolous matter; but he was also wrong in
    being angry at what you only spoke in jest, and I ought to thank
    heaven for that difference which has procured me such a son-in-
    law. But," continued the vizier, "it is late, and time for you to
    retire; go to your bride, my son, she expects you: to-morrow, I
    will present you to the sultan, and hope he will receive you in
    such a manner as shall satisfy us both." Noor ad Deen Ali took
    leave of his father-in-law, and retired to his bridal apartment.

    It is remarkable that Shumse ad Deen Mahummud happened also to
    marry at Cairo the very same day that this marriage was
    solemnized at Bussorah, the particulars of which are as follow:

    After Noor ad Deen Ali left Cairo, with an intention never to
    return, his elder brother, who was hunting with the sultan of
    Egypt, was absent for a month; for the sultan being fond of the
    chase, continued it often for so long a period. At his return,
    Shumse ad Deen was much surprised when he understood, that under
    presence of taking a short journey his brother departed from
    Cairo on a mule the same day as the sultan, and had never
    appeared since. It vexed him so much the more, because he did not
    doubt but the harsh words he had used had occasioned his flight.
    He sent a messenger in search of him, who went to Damascus, and
    as far as Aleppo, but Noor ad Deen was then at Bussorah. When the
    courier returned and brought no news of him, Shumse ad Deen
    intended to make further inquiry after him in other parts; but in
    the meantime matched with the daughter of one of the greatest
    lords in Cairo, upon the same day in which his brother married
    the daughter of the grand vizier, of Bussorah.

    At the end of nine months the wife of Shumse ad Deen was brought
    to bed of a daughter at Cairo, and on the same day the lady of
    Noor ad Deen was delivered of a son at Bussorah, who was called
    Buddir ad Deen Houssun.

    The grand vizier, of Bussorah testified his joy for the birth of
    his grandson by gifts and public entertainments. And to shew his
    son-in-law the great esteem he had for him, he went to the
    palace, and most humbly besought the sultan to grant Noor ad Deen
    Ali his office, that he might have the comfort before his death
    to see his son in-law made grand vizier, in his stead.

    The sultan, who had conceived a distinguished regard for Noor ad
    Deen when the vizier, had presensed him upon his marriage, and
    had ever since heard every body speak well of him, readily
    granted his father-in-law's request, and caused Noor ad Deen
    immediately to be invested with the robe and insignia of the
    vizarut, such as state drums, standards, and writing apparatus of
    gold richly enamelled and set with jewels.

    The next day, when the father saw his son-in-law preside in
    council, as he himself had done, and perform all the offices of
    grand vizier, his joy was complete. Noor ad Deen Ali conducted
    himself with that dignity and propriety which shewed him to have
    been used to state affairs, and engaged the approbation of the
    sultan, and reverence and affection of the people.

    The old vizier of Bussorah died about four years afterwards with
    great satisfaction, seeing a. branch of his family that promised
    so fair to support its future consequence and respectability.

    Noor ad Deen Ali, performed his last duty to him with all
    possible love and gratitude. And as soon as his son Buddir ad
    Deen Houssun had attained the age of seven years, provided him an
    excellent tutor, who taught him such things as became his birth.
    The child had a ready wit, and a genius capable of receiving all
    the good instructions that could be given.

    After Buddir ad Deen had been two years under the tuition of his
    master, who taught him perfectly to read, he learnt the Koran by
    heart. His father put him afterwards to other tutors, by whom his
    mind was cultivated to such a degree, that when he was twelve
    years of age he had no more occasion for them. And then, as his
    physiognomy promised wonders, he was admired by all who saw him.

    Hitherto his father had kept him to study, but now he introduced
    him to the sultan, who received him graciously. The people who
    saw him in the streets were charmed with his demeanour, and gave
    him a thousand blessings.

    His father proposing to render him capable of supplying his
    place, accustomed him to business of the greatest moment, on
    purpose to qualify him betimes. In short, he omitted nothing to
    advance a son he loved so well. But as he began to enjoy the
    fruits of his labour, he was suddenly seized by a violent fit of
    sickness; and finding himself past recovery, disposed himself to
    die a good Mussulmaun.

    In that last and precious moment he forgot not his son, but
    called for him, and said, "My son, you see this world is
    transitory; there is nothing durable but in that to which I shall
    speedily go. You must therefore from henceforth begin to fit
    yourself for this change, as I have done; you must prepare for it
    without murmuring, so as to have no trouble of conscience for not
    having acted the part of a really honest man. As for your
    religion, you are sufficiently instructed in it, by what you have
    learnt from your tutors, and your own study; and as to what
    belongs to an upright man, I shall give you some instructions, of
    which I hope you will make good use. As it is a necessary thing
    to know one's self, and you cannot come to that knowledge without
    you first understand who I am, I shall now inform you.

    "I am a native of Egypt; my father, your grandfather, was first
    minister to the sultan of that kingdom. I had myself the honour
    to be vizier, to that sultan, and so has my brother, your uncle,
    who I suppose is yet alive; his name is Shumse ad Deen Mahummud.
    I was obliged to leave him, and come into this country, where I
    have raised myself to the high dignity I now enjoy. But you will
    understand all these matters more fully by a manuscript that I
    shall give you."

    At the same time, Noor ad Deen Ali gave to his son a memorandum
    book, saying, "Take and read it at your leisure; you will find,
    among other things, the day of my marriage, and that of your
    birth. These are circumstances which perhaps you may hereafter
    have occasion to know, therefore you must keep it very

    Buddir ad Deen Houssun being sincerely afflicted to see his
    father in this condition, and sensibly touched with his
    discourse, could not but weep when he received the memorandum
    book, and promised at the same time never to part with it.

    That very moment Noor ad Deen fainted, so that it was thought he
    would have expired; but he came to himself again, and spoke as

    "My son, the first instruction I give you, is, Not to make
    yourself familiar with all sorts of people. The way to live happy
    is to keep your mind to yourself, and not to tell your thoughts
    too easily.

    "Secondly, Not to do violence to any body whatever, for in that
    case you will draw every body's hatred upon you. You ought to
    consider the world as a creditor, to whom you owe moderation,
    compassion, and forbearance.

    "Thirdly, Not to say a word when you are reproached; for, as the
    proverb says, ‘He that keeps silence is out of danger.' And in
    this case particularly you ought to practice it. You also know
    what one of our poets says upon this subject, ‘That silence is
    the ornament and safe-guard of life'; That our speech ought not
    to be like a storm of hail that spoils all. Never did any man yet
    repent of having spoken too little, whereas many have been sorry
    that they spoke so much.

    "Fourthly, To drink no wine, for that is the source of all vices.

    " Fifthly, To be frugal in your way of living; if you do not
    squander your estate, it will maintain you in time of necessity.
    I do not mean you should be either profuse or niggardly; for
    though you have little, if you husband it well, and lay it out on
    proper occasions, you will have many friends; but if on the
    contrary you have great riches, and make but a bad use of them,
    all the world will forsake you, and leave you to yourself.

    In short, the virtuous Noor ad Deen continued till the last
    aspiration of his breath to give good advice to his son; and when
    he was dead he was magnificently interred.

    Noor ad Deen was buried with all the honours due to his rank.
    Buddir ad Deen Houssun of Bussorah, for so he was called, because
    born in that city, was with grief for the death of his father,
    that instead of a month's time to mourn, according to custom, he
    kept himself shut up in tears and solitude about two months,
    without seeing any body, or so much as going abroad to pay his
    duty to his sovereign. The sultan being displeased at his
    neglect, and looking upon it as a alight, suffered his passion to
    prevail, and in his anger, called for the new grand vizier, (for
    he had created another on the death of Noor ad Deen), commanded
    him to go to the house of the deceased, and seize upon it, with
    all his other houses, lands, and effects, without leaving any
    thing for Buddir ad Deen Houssun, and to confine his person.

    The new grand vizier, accompanied by his officers, went
    immediately to execute his commission. But one of Buddir ad Deen
    Houssun's slaves happening accidentally to come into the crowd,
    no sooner understood the vizier's errand, than he ran before to
    give his master warning. He found him sitting in the vestibule of
    his house, as melancholy as if his father had been but newly
    dead. He fell down at his feet out of breath, and alter he had
    kissed the hem of his garment, cried out, "My lord, save yourself
    immediately." The unfortunate youth lifting up his head,
    exclaimed, "What news dost thou bring?" "My lord," said he,
    "there is no time to be lost; the sultan is incensed against you,
    has sent to confiscate your estates, and to seize your person."

    The words of this faithful and affectionate slave occasioned
    Buddir ad Deen Houssun great alarm. "May not I have so much
    time," said he, "as to take some money and jewels along with me?"
    "No, Sir," replied the slave, "the grand vizier, will be here
    this moment; be gone immediately, save yourself." The unhappy
    youth rose hastily from his sofa, put his feet in his sandals,
    and after he had covered his head with the skirt of his vest,
    that his face might not be known, fled, without knowing what way
    to go, to avoid the impending danger.

    He ran without stopping till he came to the public burying-
    ground, and as it was growing dark, resolved to pass that night
    in his father's tomb. It was a large edifice, covered by a dome,
    which Noor ad Deen Ali, as is common with the Mussulmauns, had
    erected for his sepulture. On the way Buddir ad Deen met a Jew,
    who was a banker and merchant, and was returning from a place
    where his affairs had called him, to the city.

    The Jew, knowing Buddir ad Deen, stopped, and saluted him very

    Isaac the Jew, after he had paid his respects to Buddir ad Deen
    Houssun, by kissing his hand, said, "My lord, dare I be so bold
    as to ask whither you are going at this time of night alone, and
    so much troubled? Has any thing disquieted you?" "Yes," said
    Buddir ad Deen, "a while ago I was asleep, and my father appeared
    to me in a dream, looking very fiercely upon me, as if much
    displeased. I started out of my sleep in alarm, and came out
    immediately to go and pray upon his tomb."

    "My lord," said the Jew (who did not know the true reason why
    Buddir ad Deen had left the town), "your father of happy memory,
    and my good lord, had store of merchandize in several vessels,
    which are yet at sea, and belong to you; I beg the favour of you
    to grant me the refusal of them before any other merchant. I am
    able to pay down ready money for all the goods that are in your
    ships: and to begin, if you will give me those that happen to
    come in the first that arrives in safety, I will pay you down in
    part of payment a thousand sequins," and drawing out a bag from
    under his vest, he shewed it him sealed up with one seal.

    Buddir ad Deen Houssun being banished from home, and dispossessed
    of all that he had in the world, looked on this proposal of the
    Jew as a favour from heaven, and therefore accepted it with joy.
    "My lord," said the Jew, "then you sell me for a thousand sequins
    the lading of the first of your ships that shall arrive in port?"
    "Yes," answered Buddir ad Deen, "I sell it to you for a thousand
    sequins; it is done." Upon this the Jew delivered him the bag of
    a thousand sequins, and offered to count them, but Buddir ad Deen
    said he would trust his word. "Since it is so, my lord," said he,
    "be pleased to favour me with a small note of the bargain we have
    made." As he spoke, he pulled the inkhorn from his girdle, and
    taking a small reed out of it neatly cut for writing, presented
    it to him with a piece of paper. Buddir ad Deen Houssun wrote
    these words:

    "This writing is to testify, that Buddir ad Deen Houssun of
    Bussorah, has sold to Isaac the Jew, for the sum of one thousand
    sequins, received in hand, the lading of the first of his ships
    that shall arrive in this port."

    This note he delivered to the Jew, after having stamped it with
    his seal, and then took his leave of him.

    While Isaac pursued his journey to the city, Buddir ad Deen made
    the best of his way to his father's tomb. When he came to it, he
    prostrated himself to the ground, and, with his eyes full of
    tears, deplored his miserable condition. "Alas!" said he,
    "unfortunate Buddir ad Deen, what will become of thee? Whither
    canst thou fly for refuge against the unjust prince who
    persecutes thee? Was it not enough to be afflicted by the death
    of so dear a father? Must fortune needs add new misfortunes to
    just complaints?" He continued a long time in this posture, but
    at last rose up, and leaning his head upon his father's
    tombstone, his sorrows returned more violently than before; so
    that he sighed and mourned, till, overcome with heaviness, he
    sunk upon the floor, and drops asleep.

    He had not slept long, when a genie, who had retired to the
    cemetery during the day, and was intending, according to his
    custom, to range about the world at night, entered the sepulchre,
    and finding Buddir ad Deen lying on his back, was surprised at
    his beauty.

    When the genie had attentively considered Buddir ad Deen Houssun,
    he said to himself, "To judge of this creature by his beauty, he
    would seem to be an angel of the terrestrial paradise, whom God
    has sent to put the world in a flame by his charms." At last,
    after he had satisfied himself with looking at him, he tool; a
    flight into the air, where meeting by chance with a perie, they
    saluted one another; after which he said to her, "Pray descend
    with me into the cemetery, where I dwell, and I will shew you a
    beauty worthy your admiration." The perie consented, and both
    descended in an instant; they came into the tomb. "Look," said
    the genie, shewing her Buddir ad Deen Houssun, "did you ever see
    a youth more beautiful?"

    The perie having attentively observed Buddir ad Deen, replied, "I
    must confess that he is a very handsome man, but I am just come
    from seeing an objets at Cairo, more admirable than this; and if
    you will hear me, I will relate her unhappy fate." "You will very
    much oblige me," answered the genie. "You must know then," said
    the perie, "that the sultan of Egypt has a vizier, Shumse ad Deen
    Mahummud, who has a daughter most beautiful and accomplished. The
    sultan having heard of this young lady's beauty, sent the other
    day for her father, and said, ‘I understand you have a daughter
    to marry; I would have her for my bride: will not you consent?'
    The vizier, who did not expect this proposal, was troubled, and
    instead of accepting it joyfully, which another in his place
    would certainly have done, he answered the sultan: ‘May it please
    your majesty, I am not worthy of the honour you would confer upon
    me, and I most humbly beseech you to pardon me, if I do not
    accede to your request. You know I had a brother, who had the
    honour, as well as myself, to be one of your viziers: we had some
    difference together, which was the cause of his leaving me
    suddenly. Since that time I have had no account of him till
    within these four days, that I heard he died at Bussorah, being
    grand vizier to the sultan of that kingdom.

    "‘He has left a son, and there having been an agreement between
    us to match our children together, I am persuaded he intended
    that match when he died; and being desirous to fulfil the promise
    on my part, I conjure your majesty to grant me permission.'

    "The sultan of Egypt, provoked at this denial of his vizier said
    to him in anger which he could not restrain: ‘Is this the way in
    which you requite my condescension in stooping so low as to
    desire your alliance? I know how to revenge your presumption in
    daring to prefer another to me, and I swear that your daughter
    shall be married to the most contemptible and ugly of my slaves.'
    Having thus spoken, he angrily commanded the vizier to quit his
    presence. The vizier retired to his palace full of confusion, and
    overwhelmed in despair.

    "This very day the sultan sent for one of his grooms, who is
    hump-backed, big-bellied, crook legged, and as ugly as a
    hobgoblin; and after having commanded the vizier to marry his
    daughter to this ghastly slave, he caused the contract to be made
    and signed by witnesses in his own presence. The preparations for
    this fantastical wedding are all ready, and this very moment all
    the slaves belonging to the lords of the court of Egypt are
    waiting at the door of a bath, each with a flambeau in his hand,
    for the crook-back groom, who is bathing, to go along with them
    to his bride, who is already dressed to receive him; and when I
    departed from Cairo, the ladies met for that purpose were going
    to conduct her in her nuptial attire to the hall, where she is to
    receive her hump-backed bridegroom, and is this minute expecting
    him. I have seen her, and do assure you, that no person can
    behold her without admiration."

    When the perie left off speaking, the genie said to her,
    "Whatever you think or say, I cannot be persuaded that the girl's
    beauty exceeds that of this young man." "I will not dispute it
    with you," answered the perie; "for I must confess he deserves to
    be married to that charming creature, whom they design for hump-
    back; and I think it were a deed worthy of us to obstruct the
    sultan of Egypt's injustice, and put this young gentleman in the
    room of the slave." "You are in the right," answered the genie;
    "I am extremely obliged to you for so good a thought; let us
    deceive him. I consent to your revenge upon the sultan of Egypt;
    let us comfort a distressed father, and make his daughter as
    happy as she thinks herself miserable. I will do my utmost
    endeavours to make this project succeed, and I am persuaded you
    will not be backward. I will be at the pains to carry him to
    Cairo before he awakes, and afterwards leave it to your care to
    carry him elsewhere, when we have accomplished our design."

    The perie and the genie having thus concerted what they had to
    do, the genie lifted up Buddir ad Deen Houssun gently, and with
    an inconceivable swiftness conveyed him through the air and set
    him down at the door of a building next to the bath, whence hump-
    back was to come with a train of slaves that waited for him.
    Buddir ad Deen awoke, and was naturally alarmed at finding
    himself in the middle of a city he knew not; he was going to cry
    out, but the genie touched him gently on the shoulder, and forbad
    him to speak. He then put a torch in his hand, saying, "Go, and
    mix with the crowd at the door of the bath; follow them till you
    come into a hall, where they are going to celebrate a marriage.
    The bridegroom is a hump-backed fellow, and by that you will
    easily know him. Put yourself at the right hand as you go in,
    open the purse of sequins you have in your bosom, distribute them
    among the musicians and dancers as they go along; and when you
    are got into the hall, give money also to the female slaves you
    see about the bride; but every time you put your hand in your
    purse, be sure to take out a whole handful, and do not spare
    them. Observe to do everything exactly as I have desired you; be
    not afraid of any person, and leave the rest to a superior power,
    who will order matters as he thinks fit."

    Buddir ad Deen, being well instructed in all that he was to do,
    advanced towards the door of the bath. The first thing he did was
    to light his torch at that of a slave; and then mixing among them
    as if he belonged to some noblemen of Cairo, he marched along as
    they did, and followed humpback, who came out of the bath, and
    mounted a horse from the sultan's own stable.

    Buddir ad Deen coming near to the musicians, and men and women
    dancers, who went just before the bridegroom, pulled out time
    after time whole handfuls of sequins, which he distributed among
    them: and as he thus gave his money with an unparalleled grace
    and engaging mien, all who received it fixed their eyes upon him;
    and after they had a full view of his face, they found him so
    handsome that they could not withdraw their attention.

    At last they came to the gates of the vizier who little thought
    his nephew was so near. The doorkeepers, to prevent any disorder,
    kept back all the slaves that carried torches, and would not
    admit them. Buddir ad Deen was likewise refused; but the
    musicians, who had free entrance, stood still, and protested they
    would not go in, if they hindered him from accompanying them. "He
    is not one of the slaves'" said they; "look upon him, and you
    will soon be satisfied. He is certainly a young stranger, who is
    curious to see the ceremonies observed at marriages in this
    city;" and saying thus, they put him in the midst of them, and
    carried him with them in spite of the porters. They took his
    torch out of his hand, gave it to the first they met, and having
    brought him into the hall, placed him at the right hand of the
    hump-backed bridegroom, who sat near the vizier's daughter on a
    throne most richly adorned.

    She appeared very lovely, but in her face there was nothing to be
    seen but vexation and grief. The cause of this was easily to be
    guessed, when she had by her side a bridegroom so very deformed,
    and so unworthy of her love. The nuptial seat was in the midst of
    an estrade. The ladies of the emirs, viziers, those of the
    sultan's bed-chamber, and several other ladies of the court and
    city, were placed on each side, a little lower, every one
    according to her rank, and richly dressed, holding a large wax
    taper in her hands.

    When they saw Buddir ad Deen Houssun, all fixed their eyes upon
    him, and admiring his shape, his behaviour, and the beauty of his
    face, they could not forbear looking upon him. When he was seated
    every one deft their seats, came near him to have a full view of
    his face, and all found themselves moved with love and

    The disparity between Buddir ad Deen Houssun and the hump-backed
    groom, who made such a contemptible figure, occasioned great
    murmuring among the company; insomuch that the ladies cried out,
    "We must give our bride to this handsome young gentleman, and not
    to this ugly humpback." Nor did they rest here, but uttered
    imprecations against the sultan, who, abusing his absolute power,
    would unite ugliness and beauty together. They also mocked the
    bridegroom, so as to put him out of countenance, to the great
    satisfaction of the spectators, whose shouts for some time put a
    stop to the concert of music in the hall. At last the musicians
    began again, and the women who had dressed the bride surrounded

    Each time that the bride retired to change her dress, she on her
    return passed by hump-back without giving him one look, and went
    towards Buddir ad Deen, before whom she presented herself in her
    new attire. On this occasion, Buddir ad Deen, according to the
    instructions given him by the genie, failed not to put his hands
    in his purse, and pulled out handfuls of sequins, which he
    distributed among the women that followed the bride. Nor did he
    forget the players and dancers, but also threw money to them. It
    was pleasant to see how they pushed one another to gather it up.
    They shewed themselves thankful for his liberality.

    When the ceremony of changing habits was passed, the music ceased
    and the company retired. The bride repaired to the nuptial
    chamber, whither her attendants followed to undress her, and none
    remained in the hall but the hump-back groom, Buddir ad Deen, and
    some of the domestics.

    Hump-back, who was enraged at Buddir ad Deen, suspecting him to
    be his rival, gave him a cross look, and said, "And thou, what
    dost thou wait for? Why art thou not gone as well as the rest?
    Depart!" Buddir ad Deen having no pretence to stay, withdrew, not
    knowing what to do with himself. But before he got out of the
    vestibule, the genie and the perie met and stopped him. "Whither
    are you going?" said the perie; "stay, hump-back is not in the
    hall, return, and introduce yourself into the bride's chamber. As
    soon as you are alone with her, tell her boldly that you are her
    husband, that the sultan's intention was only to make sport with
    the groom. In the mean time we will take care that the hump-back
    shall not return, and let nothing hinder your passing the night
    with your bride, for she is yours and not his."

    While the perie thus encouraged Buddir ad Deen, and instructed
    him how he should behave himself, hump-back had really gone out
    of the room for a moment. The genie went to him in the shape of a
    monstrous cat, mewing at a most fearful rate. Hump-back called to
    the cat, he clapped his hands to drive her away, but instead of
    retreating, she stood upon her hinder feet, staring with her eyes
    like fire, looking fiercely at him, mewing louder than she did at
    first, and increasing in size till she was as large as an ass. At
    this sight, hump-back would have cried out for help, but his fear
    was so great, that he stood gaping and could not utter one word.
    That he might have no time to recover, the genie changed himself
    immediately into a large buffalo, and in this stripe called to
    him, with a voice that redoubled his fear, "Thou hump-backed
    villain!" At these words the affrighted groom cast himself upon
    the ground, and covering his face with his vest, that he might
    not see this dreadful beast, "Sovereign prince of buffaloes,"
    said he, "what is it you want of me?" "Woe be to thee," replied
    the genie, "hast thou the presumption to venture to marry my
    mistress?" "O my lord," said hump-back, "I pray you to pardon me,
    if I am guilty, it is through ignorance. I did not know that this
    lady had a buffalo to her sweetheart: command me in anything you
    please, I give you my oath that I am ready to obey you." "By
    death," replied the genie; "if thou goest out from hence, or
    speakest a word till the sun rises, I will crush thy head to
    pieces. I warn thee to obey, for if thou hast the impudence to
    return, it shall cost thee thy life." When the genie had done
    speaking, he transformed himself into the shape of a man, took
    hump-back by the legs, and after having set him against the wall
    with his head downwards, "If thou stir," said he, "before the sun
    rise, as I have told thee already, I will take thee by the heels
    again, and dash thy head in a thousand pieces against the wall."

    To return to Buddir ad Deen. Prompted by the genie and the
    presence of the perie, he returned to the hall, from whence he
    slips into the bride-chamber, where he sat down, expecting the
    success of his adventure. After a while the bride arrived,
    conducted by an old matron, who came no farther than the door,
    without looking in to see whether it were hump-back or another
    that was there, and then retired.

    The beautiful bride was agreeably surprised to find instead of
    hump-back a handsome youth, who gracefully addressed her. "What!
    my dear friend," said she, "by your being here at this time of
    night you must be my husband's comrade?" "No, madam," said Buddir
    ad Deen, "I am of another quality than that ugly hump-back."
    "But," said she, "you do not consider that you speak degradingly
    of my husband." "He your husband," replied he: "can you retain
    those thoughts so long? Be convinced of your mistake, for so much
    beauty must never be sacrificed to the most contemptible of
    mankind. It is I that am the happy mortal for whom it is
    reserved. The sultan had a mind to make himself merry, by putting
    this trick upon the vizier your father, but he chose me to be
    your real husband. You might have observed how the ladies, the
    musicians, the dancers, your women, and all the servants of your
    family, were pleased with this comedy. We have sent hump-back to
    his stable again."

    At this discourse the vizier's daughter (who was more like one
    dead than alive when she came into the bride-chamber) put on a
    gay air, which made her so handsome, that Buddir ad Deen was
    charmed with her graces.

    "I did not expect," said she, "to meet with so pleasing a
    surprise; and I had condemned myself to live unhappy all my days.
    But my good fortune is so much the greater, that I possess in you
    a man worthy of my tenderest affection."

    Buddir ad Deen, overjoyed to see himself possessor of so many
    charms, retired with his bride, and laid his vesture aside, with
    the bag that he had from the Jew; which, notwithstanding all the
    money he had dispersed, was still full.

    Towards morning, while the two lovers were asleep, the genie, who
    had met again with the perie, said, "It is time to finish what we
    have so successfully carried on; let us not be overtaken by day-
    light, which will soon appear; go you and bring off the young man
    again without awaking him."

    The perie went into the bed-chamber where the two lovers were
    fast asleep, took up Buddir ad Deen in his under vest and
    drawers; and in company with the genie with wonderful swiftness
    fled away with him to the gates of Damascus in Syria, where they
    arrived just at the time when the officers of the mosques,
    appointed for that end, were calling the people to prayers at
    break of day. The perie laid Buddir ad Deen softly on the ground,
    close by the gate, and departed with the genie.

    The gate of the city being opened, and many people assembled,
    they were surprised to see a youth lying in his shirt and drawers
    upon the ground. One said, "He has been hard put to it to get
    away from his mistress, that he could not get time to put on his
    clothes." "Look," said another, "how people expose themselves;
    sure enough he has spent most part of the night in drinking with
    his friends, till he has got drunk, and then, perhaps, having
    occasion to go out, instead of returning, is come this length,
    and not having his senses about him, was overtaken with sleep."
    Others were of another opinion; but nobody could guess what had
    been the real occasion of his coming thither.

    A small puff of wind happening to blow at this time, uncovered
    his breast, which was whiter than snow. Every one being struck
    with admiration at the fineness of his complexion, they spoke so
    loud that they awaked him.

    His surprise was as great as theirs, when he found himself at the
    gate of a city where he had never been before, and encompassed by
    a crowd of people gazing at him. "Inform me," said he, "for God's
    sake, where I am, and what you would have?" One of the crowd
    spoke to him saying, "Young man, the gates of the city were just
    now opened, and as we came out we found you lying here in this
    condition: have you lain here all night? and do not you know that
    you are at one of the gates of Damascus?" "At one of the gates of
    Damascus!" answered Buddir ad Deen, "surely you mock me. When I
    lay down to sleep last night I was at Cairo." When he had said
    this, some of the people, moved with compassion for him,
    exclaimed, "It is a pity that such a handsome young man should
    have lost his senses;" and so went away.

    "My son," said an old man to him, "you know not what you say. How
    is it possible that you, being this morning at Damascus, could be
    last night at Cairo?" "It is true," said Buddir ad Deen, "and I
    swear to you, that I was all day yesterday at Bussorah." He had
    no sooner said this than all the people fell into a fit of
    laughter, and cried out, "He's a fool, he's a madman." There were
    some, however, that pitied him because of his youth; and one
    among the company said to him, "My son, you must certainly be
    crazed, you do not consider what you say. Is it possible that a
    man could yesterday be at Bussorah, the same night at Cairo, and
    this morning at Damascus? Surely you are asleep still, come rouse
    up your spirits." "What I say," answered Buddir ad Deen Houssun,
    "is so true that last night I was married in the city of Cairo."
    All those who laughed before, could not forbear again at this
    declaration. "Recollect yourself," said the same person who spoke
    before; "you must have dreamt all this, and the fancy still
    possesses your brain." "I am sensible of what I say," answered
    the young man. "Pray can you tell me how it was possible for me
    to go in a dream to Cairo, where I am very certain I was in
    person, and where my bride was seven times brought before me,
    each time dressed in a different habit, and where I saw an ugly
    hump backed fellow, to whom they intended to give her? Besides, I
    want to know what is become of my vest, my turban, and the bag of
    sequins I had at Cairo?"

    Though he assured them that all these things were matters of
    fact, yet they could not forbear to laugh at him: which put him
    into such confusion, that he knew not what to think of all those

    After Buddir ad Deen Houssun had confidently affirmed all that he
    said to be true, he rose up to go into the town, and every one
    who followed him called out, "A madman, a fool." Upon this some
    looked out at their windows, some came to their doors, and others
    joined with those that were about him, calling out as they did,
    "A madman;" but not knowing for what. In this perplexity the
    affrighted young man happened to come before a pastry-cook's
    shop, and went into it to avoid the rabble.

    This pastry-cook had formerly been captain to a troop of Arabian
    robbers, who plundered the caravans; and though he was become a
    citizen of Damascus, where he behaved himself to every one's
    satisfaction, yet he was dreaded by all who knew him; wherefore,
    as soon as he came out to the rabble who followed Buddir ad Deen,
    they dispersed.

    The pastry-cook asked him who he was, and what brought him
    thither. Buddir ad Deen told him all, not concealing his birth,
    nor the death of his father the grand vizier. He afterwards gave
    him an account why he had left Bussorah; how, after he had fallen
    asleep the night following upon his father's tomb, he found
    himself when he awoke at Cairo, where he had married a lady; and
    at last, in what amazement he was, when he found himself at
    Damascus, without being able to penetrate into all those
    wonderful adventures.

    "Your history is one of the most surprising," said the pastry-
    cook; "but if you will follow my advice, you will let no man know
    those matters you have revealed to me, but patiently wait till
    heaven thinks fit to put an end to your misfortunes. You shall be
    welcome to stay with me till then; and as I have no children, I
    will own you for my son, if you consent; after you are so
    adopted, you may freely walk the city, without being exposed any
    more to the insults of the rabble."

    Though this adoption was below the son of a grand vizier, Buddir
    ad Deen was glad to accept of the pastry-cook's proposal, judging
    it the best thing he could do, considering his circumstances. The
    cook clothed him, called for witnesses, and went before a notary,
    where he acknowledged him for his son. After this, Buddir ad Deen
    lived with him under the name of Houssun, and learned the pastry-

    While this passed at Damascus, the daughter of Shumse ad Deen
    awoke, and finding Buddir ad Deen gone, supposed he had risen
    softly for fear of disturbing her, but would soon return. As she
    was in expectation of him, her father the vizier. (who was vexed
    at the affront put upon him by the sultan) came and knocked at
    her chamber-door, to bewail her sad destiny. He called her by her
    name, and she knowing him by his voice, immediately got up, and
    opened the door. She kissed his hand, and received him with so
    much pleasure in her countenance, that she surprised the vizier.
    who expected to find her drowned in tears, and as much grieved as
    himself. "Unhappy wretch!" said he in a passion, "do you appear
    before me thus? after the hideous sacrifice you have just
    consummated, can you see me with so much satisfaction?"

    The new bride seeing her father angry at her pleasant
    countenance, said to him, "For God's sake, sir, do not reproach
    me wrongfully; it is not the hump-back fellow, whom I abhor more
    than death, it is not that monster I have married. Every body
    laughed him to scorn, and put him so out of countenance, that he
    was forced to run away and hide himself, to make room for a noble
    youth, who is my real husband." "What fable do you tell me?" said
    Shumse ad Deen, roughly. "What! Did not crook-back lie with you
    tonight?" "No, sir," said she, "it was the youth I mentioned, who
    has large eyes and black eyebrows." At these words the vizier.
    lost all patience, and exclaimed in anger, "Ah, wicked woman! you
    will make me distracted!" "It is you, father," said she, "that
    put me out of my senses by your incredulity." "So, it is not
    true," replied the vizier, "that hump-back----" "Let us talk no
    more of hump-back," said she, "a curse upon hump-back. Father, I
    assure you once more, that I did not bed with him, but with my
    dear spouse, who, I believe, is not far off."

    Shumse ad Deen went out to seek him, but, instead of seeing
    Buddir ad Deen, was surprised to find hump-back with his head on
    the ground, and his heels uppermost, as the genie had set him
    against the wall. "What is the meaning of this?" said he; "who
    placed you thus?" Crookback, knowing it to be the vizier.
    answered, "Alas! alas! it is you then that would marry me to the
    mistress of a genie in the form of a buffalo."

    Shumse ad Deen Mabummud, when he heard hump-back speak thus,
    thought he was raving, bade him move, and stand upon his legs. "I
    will take care how I stir," said hump-back, "unless the sun be
    risen. Know, sir, that when I came last night to your palace,
    suddenly a black cat appeared to me, and in an instant grew as
    big as a buffalo. I have not forgotten what he enjoined me,
    therefore you may depart, and leave me here." The vizier. instead
    of going away, took him by the heels, and made him stand up, when
    hump-back ran off, without looking behind him; and coming to the
    palace presented himself to the sultan, who laughed heartily when
    informed how the genie had served him.

    Shumse ad Deen returned to his daughter's chamber, more
    astonished than before. "My abused daughter," said he, "can you
    give me no farther light in this miraculous affair?" "Sir,"
    replied she, "I can give you no other account than I have done
    already. Here are my husband's clothes, which he put off last
    night; perhaps you may find something among them that may solve
    your doubt." She then shewed him Buddir ad Deen's turban, which
    he examined narrowly on all sides, saying, "I should take this to
    be a vizier's turban, if it were not made after the Bussorah
    fashion." But perceiving something to be sewed between the stuff
    and the lining, he called for scissors, and having unripped it,
    found the paper which Noor ad Deen Ali had given to his son upon
    his deathbed, and which Buddir ad Deen Houssun had sewn in his
    turban for security.

    Shumse ad Deen having opened the paper, knew his brother's hand,
    and found this superscription, "For my son Buddir ad Deen
    Houssun." Before he could make any reflections upon it, his
    daughter delivered him the bag, that lay under the garments,
    which he likewise opened, and found it full of sequins: for,
    notwithstanding all the liberality of Buddir ad Deen, it was
    still kept full by the genie and perie. He read the following
    words upon a note in the bag: "A thousand sequins belonging to
    Isaac the Jew." And these lines underneath, which the Jew had
    written, "Delivered to my lord Buddir ad Deen Houssun, for the
    cargo of the first of those ships that formerly belonged to the
    noble vizier, his father, of blessed memory, sold to me upon its
    arrival in this place." He had scarcely read these words, when he
    groaned heavily, and fainted away.

    The vizier Shumse ad Deen being recovered from his fit by the aid
    of his daughter, and the women she called to her assistance;
    "Daughter," said he, "do not alarm yourself at this accident,
    occasioned by what is scarcely credible. Your bridegroom is your
    cousin, the son of my beloved and deceased brother. The thousand
    sequins in the bag reminds me of a quarrel I had with him, and is
    without the dowry he gives you. God be praised for all things,
    and particularly for this miraculous adventure, which
    demonstrates his almighty power." Then looking again upon his
    brother's writing, he kissed it several times, shedding abundance
    of tears.

    He looked over the book from beginning to end. In it he found the
    date of his brother's arrival at Bussorah, of his marriage, and
    of the birth of his son; and when he compared them with the day
    of his own marriage, and the birth of his daughter at Cairo, he
    wondered at the exact coincidence which appeared in every

    The happy discovery put him into such a transport of joy, that he
    took the book, with the ticket of the bag, and shewed them to the
    sultan, who pardoned what was past, and was so much pleased with
    the relation of this adventure, that he caused it with all its
    circumstances to be put in writing for the information of

    Meanwhile, the vizier. Shumse ad Deen could not comprehend the
    reason why his nephew did not appear; he expected him every
    moment, and was impatient to receive him to his arms. After he
    had waited seven days in vain, he searched through all Cairo, but
    could procure no intelligence of him, which threw him into great
    perplexity. "This is the strangest occurrence," said he, "that
    ever happened." In order to certify it, he thought fit to draw up
    in writing with his own hand an account of the manner in which
    the wedding had been solemnized; how the hall and his daughter's
    bed-chamber were furnished, with the other circumstances. He
    likewise made the turban, the bag, and the rest of Buddir ad
    Deen's raiment into a bundle, and locked them up.

    After some days were past, the vizier's daughter perceived
    herself pregnant, and after nine months was brought to bed of a
    son. A nurse was provided for the child, besides other women and
    slaves to wait upon him; and his grandfather called him Agib.

    When young Agib had attained the age of seven, the vizier,
    instead of teaching him to read at home, put him to school with a
    master who was in great esteem; and two slaves were ordered to
    wait upon him. Agib used to play with his schoolfellows, and as
    they were all inferior to him in rank, they shewed him great
    respect, according to the example of their master, who many times
    would pass by faults in him that he would correct in his other
    pupils. This indulgence spoiled Agib; he became proud and
    insolent, would have his play-fellows bear all from him, and
    would submit to nothing from them, but be master every where; and
    if any took the liberty to thwart him, he would call them a
    thousand names, and many times beat them.

    In short, all the scholars grew weary of his insolence, and
    complained of him to their master. He answered, "That they must
    have patience." But when he saw that Agib grew still more and
    more overbearing, and occasioned him much trouble, "Children,"
    said he to his scholars, "I find Agib is a little insolent
    gentleman; I will shew you how to mortify him, so that he shall
    never torment you any more. Nay, I believe it will make him leave
    the school. When he comes again to-morrow, place yourselves round
    him, and let one of you call out, "Come, let us play, but upon
    condition, that every one who desires to play shall tell his own
    name, and the names of his father and mother; they who refuse
    shall be esteemed bastards, and not be suffered to play in our

    Next day when they were gathered together, they failed not to
    follow their master's instructions. They placed themselves round
    Agib, and one of them called out, "Let us begin a play, but on
    condition that he who cannot tell his own name, and that of his
    father and mother, shall not play at all." They all cried out,
    and so did Agib, "We consent." Then he that spoke first asked
    every one the question, and all fulfilled the condition except
    Agib, who answered, "My name is Agib, my mother is called the
    lady of beauty, and my father Shumse ad Deen Mahummud, vizier to
    the sultan."

    At these words all the children cried out, "Agib, what do you
    say? That is not the name of your father, but your grandfather."
    "A curse on you," said he in a passion. "What! dare you say that
    the vizier is not my father?" "No, no," cried they with great
    laughter, "he is your grandfather, and you shall not play with
    us. Nay we will take care how we come into your company." Having
    spoken thus, they all left him, scoffing him, and laughing among
    themselves, which mortified Agib so much that he wept.

    The schoolmaster who was near, and heard all that passed, came
    up, and speaking to Agib, said, "Agib, do not you know that the
    vizier is not your father, but your grandfather, and the father
    of your mother the lady of beauty? We know not the name of your
    father any more than you do. We only know that the sultan was
    going to marry your mother to one of his grooms, a humpback
    fellow; but a genie lay with her. This is hard upon you, but
    ought to teach you to treat your schoolfellows with less

    Agib being nettled at this, ran hastily out of the school. He
    went directly sobbing to his mother's chamber, who being alarmed
    to see him thus grieved, asked the reason. He could not answer
    for tears, so great was his mortification, and it was long ere he
    could speak plain enough to repeat what had been said to him, and
    had occasioned his sorrow.

    When he came to himself. "Mother," said he "for the love of God
    be pleased to tell me who is my father?" "My son," she replied,
    "Shumse ad Deen Mahummud, who every day caresses you so kindly,
    is your father." "You do not tell me truth," returned Agib; "he
    is your father, and none of mine. But whose son am I?" At this
    question, the lady of beauty calling to mind her wedding night,
    which had been succeeded by a long widowhood, began to shed
    tears, repining bitterly at the loss of so handsome a husband as
    Buddir ad Deen.

    Whilst the lady of beauty and Agib were both weeping, the vizier
    entered, who demanded the reason of their sorrow. The lady told
    him the shame Agib had undergone at school, which so much
    affected the vizier that he joined his tears with theirs, and
    judging from this that the misfortune which had happened to his
    daughter was the common discourse of the town, he was mortified
    to the quick.

    Being thus afflicted, he went to the sultan's palace, and falling
    prostrate at his feet, most humbly intreated permission to make a
    journey in search of his nephew Buddir ad Deen Houssun. For he
    could not bear any longer that the people of the city should
    believe a genie had disgraced his daughter.

    The sultan was much concerned at the vizier's affliction,
    approved his resolution, and gave him leave to travel. He caused
    a passport also to be written for him, requesting in the
    strongest terms all kings and princes in whose dominions Buddir
    ad Deen might sojourn, to grant that the vizier might conduct him
    to Cairo.

    Shumse ad Deen, not knowing how to express his gratitude to the
    sultan, fell down before him a second time, while the floods of
    tears he shed bore sufficient testimony to his feelings. At last,
    having wished the sultan all manner of prosperity, he took his
    leave and returned to his house, where he disposed every thing
    for his journey; and the preparations were carried on with so
    much diligence, that in four days after he left the city,
    accompanied with his daughter the lady of beauty, and his
    grandson Agib.

    They travelled nineteen days without intermission; but on the
    twentieth, arriving at a pleasant mead, a small distance from the
    gate of Damascus, they halted, and pitched their tents upon the
    banks of a river which fertilizes the vicinity, and runs through
    the town, one of the pleasantest in Syria, once the capital of
    the caliphs; and celebrated for its elegant buildings, the
    politeness of its inhabitants, and the abundance of its

    The vizier declared he would stay in that pleasent place two
    days, and pursue his journey on the third. In the mean time he
    gave his retinue leave to go to Damascus; and almost all of them
    made use of it: some influenced by curiosity to see a city they
    had heard so much of, and others by the opportunity of vending
    the Egyptian goods they had brought with them, or buying stuffs,
    and the rarities of the country. The beautiful lady desiring her
    son Agib might share in the satisfaction of viewing that
    celebrated city, ordered the black eunuch, who acted in quality
    of his governor, to conduct him thither.

    Agib, in magnificent apparel, went with the eunuch, who had a
    large cane in his hand. They had no sooner entered the city, than
    Agib, fair and glorious as the day, attracted the eyes of the
    people. Some got out of their houses to gain a nearer and
    narrower view of him; others put their heads out of the windows,
    and those who passed along the street were not satisfied in
    stopping to look upon him, but kept pace with him, to prolong the
    pleasure of the agreeable sight: in fine, there was not a person
    that did not admire him, and bestow a thousand benedictions on
    the father and mother that had given being to so fine a child. By
    chance the eunuch and he passed by the shop of Buddir ad Deen
    Houssun, and there the crowd was so great, that they were forced
    to halt.

    The pastry-cook who had adopted Buddir ad Deen Houssun had died
    some years before, and left him his shop and all his property,
    and he conducted the pastry trade so dexterously, that he had
    gained great reputation in Damascus. Buddir ad Deen seeing so
    great a crowd before his door, who were gazing so attentively
    upon Agib and the black eunuch, stepped out to see them himself.

    Having cast his eyes upon Agib, Buddir ad Deen found himself
    moved, he knew not how, nor for what reason. He was not struck
    like the people with the brilliant beauty of the boy; another
    cause unknown to him gave rise to the uneasiness and emotion he
    felt. It was the force of blood that wrought in this tender
    father; who, laying aside his business, made up to Agib, and with
    an engaging air, said to him: "My little lord, who hast won my
    soul, be so kind as to come into my shop, and eat a bit of such
    fare as I have; that I may have the pleasure of admiring you at
    my ease." These words he pronounced with such tenderness, that
    tears trickled from his eyes. Little Agib was moved when he saw
    his emotion; and turning to the eunuch, said, "This honest man
    speaks in such an affectionate manner, that I cannot avoid
    complying with his request; let us step into his house, and taste
    his pastry." "It would be a fine thing truly," replied the slave,
    "to see the son of a vizier go into a pastry-cook's shop to eat;
    do not imagine that I will suffer any such thing." "Alas! my
    lord," cried Buddir ad Deen, "it is cruelty to trust the conduct
    of you in the hands of a person who treats you so harshly." Then
    applying himself to the eunuch, "My good friend," continued he,
    "pray do not hinder this young lord from granting me the favour I
    ask; do not put such mortification upon me: rather do me the
    honour to walk in along with him, and by so doing, you will let
    the world know, that, though your outside is brown like a
    chestnut, your inside is as white. Do you know," continued he,
    "that I am master of the secret to make you white, instead of
    being black as you are?" This set the eunuch a laughing, and then
    he asked what that secret was. "I will tell you," replied Buddir
    ad Deen, who repeated some verses in praise of black eunuchs,
    implying, that it was by their ministry that the honour of
    princes and of all great men was secured. The eunuch was so
    charmed with these verses, that, without further hesitation, he
    suffered Agib to go into the shop, and went in with him himself.

    Buddir ad Deen Houssun was overjoyed at having obtained what he
    had so passionately desired, and, falling again to the work he
    had discontinued "I was making," said he, "cream-tarts; and you
    must, with submission, eat of them. I am persuaded you will find
    them good; for my own mother, who made them incomparably well,
    taught me, and the people send to buy them of me from all
    quarters of the town." This said, he took a cream-tart out of the
    oven, and after strewing upon it some pomegranate kernels and
    sugar, set it before Agib, who found it very delicious.

    Another was served up to the eunuch, and he gave the same

    While they were both eating, Buddir ad Deen viewed Agib very
    attentively; and after looking upon him again and again, it came
    into his mind that possibly he might have such a son by his
    charming wife, from whom he had been so soon and so cruelly
    separated; and the very thought drew tears from his eyes. He
    intended to have put some questions to little Agib about his
    journey to Damascus; but the child had no time to gratify his
    curiosity, for the eunuch pressing him to return to his
    grandfather's tent, took him away as soon as he had done eating.
    Buddir ad Deen Houssun, not contented with looking after him,
    shut up his shop immediately, and followed him.

    Buddir ad Deen Houssun ran after Agib and the eunuch, and
    overtook them before they had reached the gate of the city. The
    eunuch perceiving he followed them, was extremely surprised: "You
    impertinent fellow," said he, with an angry tone, "what do you
    want?" "My dear friend," replied Buddir ad Deen, "do not trouble
    yourself; I have a little business out of town, and I must needs
    go and look after it." This answer, however, did not at all
    satisfy the eunuch, who turning to Agib, said, "This is all owing
    to you; I foresaw I should repent of my complaisance; you would
    needs go into the man's shop; it was not wisely done in me to
    give you leave." "Perhaps," replied Agib, "he has real business
    out of town, and the road is free to every body." While this
    passed they kept walking together, without looking behind them,
    till they came near the vizier's tents, upon which they turned
    about to see if Buddir ad Deen followed them. Agib, perceiving he
    was within two paces of him, reddened and whitened alternately,
    according to the different emotions that affected him. He was
    afraid the grand vizier his grandfather should come to know he
    had been in the pastry shop, and had eaten there. In this dread,
    he took up a large stone that lay at his foot and throwing it at
    Buddir ad Deen, hit him in the forehead, and wounded him so that
    his face was covered with blood. The eunuch gave Buddir ad Deen
    to understand, he had no reason to complain of a mischance that
    he had merited and brought upon himself.

    Buddir ad Deen turned towards the city staunching the blood of
    the wound with his apron, which he had not put off. "I was a
    fool," said he within himself, "for leaving my house, to take so
    much pains about this brat; for doubtless he would never have
    used me after this manner, if he had not thought I had some ill
    design against him." When he got home, he had his wound dressed,
    and softened the sense of his mischance by the reflection that
    there was an infinite number of people upon the earth, who were
    yet more unfortunate than he.

    Buddir ad Deen kept on the pastry-trade at Damascus, and his
    uncle Shumse ad Deen Mahummud went from thence three days after
    his arrival. He went by way of Emaus, Hanah, and Halep; then
    crossed the Euphrates, and after passing through Mardin,
    Moussoul, Singier, Diarbeker, and several other towns, arrived at
    last at Bussorah. Immediately after his arrival he desired
    audience of the sultan, who was no sooner informed of his quality
    than he admitted him to his presence, received him very
    favourably, and inquired the occasion of his journey to Bussorah.
    "Sire," replied the vizier "I come to know what is become of the
    son of my brother, who has had the honour to serve your majesty."
    "Noor ad Deen Ali," said the sultan, "has been long dead; as for
    his son, all I can tell you of him is, that he disappeared
    suddenly, about two months after his father's death, and nobody
    has seen him since, notwithstanding all the inquiry I ordered to
    be made. But his mother, who is the daughter of one of my
    viziers, is still alive." Shumse ad Deen Mahummud desired leave
    of the sultan to take her to Egypt; and having obtained
    permission, without waiting till the next day, inquired after her
    place of abode, and that very hour went to her house, accompanied
    with his daughter and his grandson.

    The widow of Noor ad Deen Ali resided still in the same place
    where her husband had lived. It was a stately fabric, adorned
    with marble pillars: but Shumse ad Deen did not stop to view it.
    At his entry he kissed the gate, and the piece of marble upon
    which his brother's name was written in letters of gold. He asked
    to speak with his sister-in-law, and was told by her servants,
    that she was in a small building covered by a dome, to which they
    directed in the middle of a very spacious court. This tender
    mother used to spend the greatest part of the day and night in
    that room which she had built as a representation of the tomb of
    her son Buddir ad Deen Houssun, whom she supposed to be dead
    after so long an absence. She was pouring tears over his memorial
    when Shumse ad Deen entering, found her buried in the deepest

    He made his compliment, and after beseeching her to suspend her
    tears and sighs, informed her he had the honour to be her
    brother-in-law, and acquainted her with the reason of his journey
    from Cairo to Bussorah.

    Shumse ad Deen Mahummud, after acquainting his sister-in-law with
    all that had passed at Cairo on his daughter's wedding-night, and
    informing her of the surprise occasioned by the discovery of the
    paper sewed up in Buddir ad Deen's turban, presented to her Agib
    and the beautiful lady.

    The widow of Noor ad Deen, who had still continued sitting like a
    woman dejected, and weaned from the affairs of this world, no
    sooner understood by his discourse that her dear son, whom she
    lamented so bitterly, might still be alive, than she arose, and
    repeatedly embraced the beautiful lady and her grandchild Agib;
    and perceiving in the youth the features of Buddir ad Deen, drops
    tears different from what she had been so long accustomed to
    shed. She could not forbear kissing the youth, who, for his part,
    received her embraces with all the demonstrations of joy he was
    capable of shewing. "Sister," said Shumse ad Deen, "it is time to
    dry your tears, and suppress your sighs; you must think of going
    with us to Egypt. The sultan of Bussorah gives me leave to carry
    you thither, and I doubt not you will consent. I am in hopes we
    shall at last find out your son my nephew; and if we do, the
    history of him, of you, of my own daughter, and of my own
    adventures, will deserve to be committed to writing, and
    transmitted to posterity."

    The widow of Noor ad Deen heard this proposal with pleasure, and
    ordered preparations to be made for her departure. While they
    were making, Shumse ad Deen desired a second audience, and after
    taking leave of the sultan, who dismissed him with ample marks of
    respect, and gave him a considerable present for himself, and
    another of great value for the sultan of Egypt, he set out from
    Bussorah once more for the city of Damascus.

    When he arrived in the neighbourhood of Damascus, he ordered his
    tents to be pitched without the gate, at which he designed to
    enter the city; and gave out he would tarry there three days, to
    give his suit rest, and buy up curiosities to present to the
    sultan of Egypt.

    While he was employed in selecting the finest stuffs which the
    principal merchants had brought to his tents, Agib begged the
    black eunuch his governor to carry him through the city, in order
    to see what he had not had leisure to view before; and to inquire
    what was become of the pastry cook whom he had wounded. The
    eunuch complying with his request, went along with him towards
    the city, after leave obtained of the beautiful lady his mother.

    They entered Damascus by the Paradise-gate, which lay next to the
    tents of the vizier They walked through the great squares and the
    public places where the richest goods were sold, and took a view
    of the superb mosque at the hour of prayer, between noon and sun-
    set. When they passed by the shop of Buddir ad Deen Houssun, whom
    they still found employed in making cream tarts, "I salute you
    sir," said Agib; "do you know me? Do you remember you ever saw me
    before?" Buddir ad Deen hearing these words, fixed his eyes upon
    him, and recognizing him (such was the surprising effect of
    paternal love!), felt the same emotion as when he saw him first;
    he was confused, and instead of making any answer, continued a
    long time without uttering a word. At length, recovering himself,
    "My lord," said he, "be so kind as to come once more with your
    governor into my house, and taste a cream-tart. I beg your
    lordship's pardon, for the trouble I gave you in following you
    out of town; I was at that time not myself, I did not know what I
    did. You drew me after you, and the violence of the attraction
    was so soft, that I could not withstand it."

    Agib, astonished at what Buddir ad Deen said, replied: "There is
    an excess in the kindness you express, and unless you engage
    under oath not to follow me when I go from hence, I will not
    enter your house. If you give me your promise, and prove a man of
    your word, I will visit you again to-morrow, since the vizier my
    grandfather, is still employed in buying up rarities for a
    present to the sultan of Egypt." "My lord," replied Buddir ad
    Deen, "I will do whatever you would have me." This said, Agib and
    the eunuch went into the shop.

    Presently after, Buddir ad Deen set before them a cream-tart,
    that was full as good as what they had eaten before; "Come," said
    Agib, "sit down by me, and eat with us." Buddir ad Deen sat down,
    and attempted to embrace Agib, as a testimony of the joy he
    conceived upon sitting by him. But Agib pushed him away, desiring
    him not to be too familiar. Buddir ad Deen obeyed, and repeated
    some extempore verses in praise of Agib: he did not eat, but made
    it his business to serve his guests. When they had done, he
    brought them water to wash, and a very white napkin to wipe their
    hands. Then he filled a large china cup with sherbet, and put
    snow into it; and offering it to Agib, "This," said he, "is
    sherbet of roses; and I am sure you never tasted better." Agib
    having drunk of it with pleasure, Buddir ad Deen took the cup
    from him, and presented it to the eunuch, who drank it all off at

    In fine, Agib and his governor having fared well, returned thanks
    to the pastry-cook for their good entertainment, and moved
    homewards, it being then late. When they arrived at the tents of
    Shumse ad Deen Mahummud, Agib's grandmother received him with
    transports of joy: her son ran always in her mind, and in
    embracing Agib, the remembrance of him drew tears from her eyes.
    "Ah, my child!" said she, "my joy would be perfect, if I had the
    pleasure of embracing your father as I now embrace you." She made
    Agib sit by her, and put several questions to him, relating to
    the walk he had been taking with the eunuch; and when he
    complained of being hungry, she gave him a piece of cream-tart,
    which she had made for herself, and was indeed very good: she
    likewise gave some to the eunuch.

    Agib no sooner touched the piece of cream-tart that had been set
    before him, than he pretended he did not like it, and left it
    uncut; and Shubbaunee (which was the eunuch's name) did the same.
    The widow of Noor ad Deen Ali observed with regret that her
    grandson did not like the tart. "What!" said she, "does my child
    thus despise the work of my hands? Be it known to you, no one in
    the world can make such besides myself and your father, whom I
    taught." "My good mother," replied Agib, "give me leave to tell
    you, if you do not know how to make better, there is a pastry-
    cook in this town that outdoes you. We were at his shop, and ate
    of one much better than yours."

    On hearing this, the grandmother, frowning upon the eunuch, said,
    "How now, Shubbaunee, was the care of my grandchild committed to
    you, to carry him to eat at pastry-shops like a beggar?" "Madam,"
    replied the eunuch, "it is true, we did stop a little while and
    talked with the pastry-cook, but we did not eat with him."
    "Pardon me," said Agib, "we went into his shop, and there ate a
    cream-tart." Upon this, the lady, more incensed against the
    eunuch than before, rose in a passion from the table, and running
    to the tent of Shumse ad Deen, informed him of the eunuch's
    crime; and that in such terms, as tended more to inflame the
    vizier than to dispose him to excuse it.

    The vizier who was naturally passionate, did not fail on this
    occasion to display his anger. He went forthwith to his sister-
    in-law's tent, and said to the eunuch, "Wretch, have you the
    impudence to abuse the trust I repose in you?" Shubbaunee, though
    sufficiently convicted by Agib's testimony, denied the fact
    still. But the child persisting in what he had affirmed,
    "Grandfather," said he, "I can assure you we not only ate, but
    that so very heartily, that we have no occasion for supper:
    besides, the pastry-cook treated us also with a great bowl of
    sherbet." "Well," cried Shumse ad Deen, "after all this, will you
    continue to deny that you entered the pastry-cook's house, and
    ate there?" Shubbaunee had still the impudence to swear it was
    not true. "Then you are a liar," said the vizier "I believe my
    grandchild; but after all, if you can eat up this cream-tart I
    shall be persuaded you have truth on your side."

    Though Shubbaunee had crammed himself up to the throat before, he
    agreed to stand that test, and accordingly took a piece of tart;
    but his stomach rising against it, he was obliged to spit it out
    of his mouth. Yet he still pursued the lie, and pretended he had
    over-eaten himself the day before, and had not recovered his
    appetite. The vizier irritated with all the eunuch's frivolous
    presences, and convinced of his guilt, ordered him to be soundly
    bastinadoed. In undergoing this punishment, the poor wretch
    shrieked out aloud, and at last confessed the truth; "I own,"
    cried he, "that we did eat a cream-tart at the pastry cook's, and
    that it was much better than that upon the table."

    The widow of Noor ad Deen thought it was out of spite to her, and
    with a desire to mortify her, that Shubbaunee commended the
    pastry-cook's tart; and accordingly said, "I cannot believe the
    cook's tarts are better than mine; I am resolved to satisfy
    myself upon that head. Where does he live? Go immediately and buy
    me one of his tarts." The eunuch repaired to Buddir ad Deen's
    shop, and said, "Let me have one of your cream-tarts; one of our
    ladies wants to taste them." Buddir ad Deen chose one of the
    best, and gave it to the eunuch.

    Shubbaunee returned speedily to the tents, gave the tart to Noor
    ad Deen's widow, who, snatching it greedily, broke a piece off;
    but no sooner put it to her mouth, than she cried out and swooned
    away. The vizier was extremely surprised at the accident; he
    threw water upon her face, and was very active in recovering her.
    As soon as she came to herself, "My God!" cried she, "it must
    needs be my son, my dear Buddir ad Deen who made this tart."

    When the vizier Shumse ad Deen heard his sister-in-law say, that
    the maker of the tart, brought by the eunuch, must needs be her
    son, he was overjoyed; but reflecting that his joy might prove
    groundless, and the conjecture of Noor ad Deen's widow be false,
    "Madam," said he, "do you think there may not be a pastry-cook in
    the world, who knows how to make cream-tarts as well as your
    son?" "I own," replied she, "there may be pastry-cooks that can
    make as good tarts as he; but as I make them in a peculiar
    manner, and only my son was let into the secret, it must
    absolutely be he that made this. Come, my brother," added she in
    a transport, "let us call up mirth and joy; we have at last found
    what we have been so long looking for." "Madam," said the vizier
    answer, "I entreat you to moderate your impatience, for we shall
    quickly know the truth. All we have to do, is to bring the
    pastry-cook hither; and then you and my daughter will readily
    distinguish whether he be your son or not. But you must both be
    concealed so as to have a view of Buddir ad Deen while he cannot
    see you; for I would not have our interview and mutual discovery
    happen at Damascus. My design is to delay the discovery till we
    return to Cairo."

    This said, he left the ladies in their tent, and retired to his
    own; where he called for fifty of his men, and said to them:
    "Take each of you a stick in your hands, and follow Shubbaunee,
    who will conduct you to a pastry-cook in this city. When you
    arrive there, break and dash in pieces all you find in the shop:
    if he demand the reason of your outrage, only ask him in return
    if it was not he that made the cream-tart that was brought from
    his house. If he answer in the affirmative, seize his person,
    fetter him, and bring him along with you; but take care you do
    not beat him, nor do him the least harm. Go, and lose no time."

    The vizier's orders were immediately executed. The detachment,
    conducted by the black eunuch, went with expedition to Buddir ad
    Deen's house, broke in pieces the plates, kettles, copper pans,
    and all the other moveables and utensils they met with, and
    inundated the sherbet-shop with cream and comfits. Buddir ad
    Deen, astonished at the sight, said with a pitiful tone, "Pray,
    good people, why do you serve me so? What is the matter? What
    have I done?" "Was it not you," said they, "that sold this eunuch
    the cream-tart?" "Yes," replied he, "I am the man; and who says
    any thing against it? I defy any one to make a better." Instead
    of giving him an answer, they continued to break all round them,
    and the oven itself was not spared.

    In the mean time the neighbours took the alarm, and surprised to
    see fifty armed men committing such a disorder, asked the reason
    of such violence; and Buddir ad Deen said once more to the
    rioters, "Pray tell me what crime I have committed to deserve
    this usage?" "Was it not you," replied they, "that made the
    cream-tart you sold to the eunuch?" "Yes, yes, it was I," replied
    he; "I maintain it is a good one. I do not deserve this
    treatment." However, without listening to him, they seized his
    person, and, snatching the cloth off his turban, tied his hands
    with it behind his back, and, after dragging him by force out of
    his shop, marched off.

    The mob gathering, from compassion to Buddir ad Deen, took his
    part; but officers from the governor of the city dispersed the
    people, and favoured the carrying off of Buddir ad Deen, for
    Shumse ad Deen Mahummud had in the mean time gone to the
    governor's house to acquaint him with the order he had given, and
    to demand the interposition of force to favour the execution; and
    the governor, who commanded all Syria in the name of the sultan
    of Egypt, was unwilling to refuse any thing to his master's

    It was in vain for Buddir ad Deen to ask those who carried him
    off, what fault had been found with his cream-tart: they gave him
    no answer. In short, they conducted him to the tents, and made
    him wait there till Shumse ad Deen returned from the governor of

    Upon the vizier's return, the pretended culprit was brought
    before him. "My lord," said Buddir ad Deen, with tears in his
    eyes, "pray do me the favour to let me know wherein I have
    displeased you." "Why, you wretch," exclaimed the vizier "was it
    not you that made the cream-tart you sent me?" "I own I am the
    man," replied Buddir ad Deen, "but pray what crime is that?" "I
    will punish you according to your deserts," said Shumse ad Deen,
    "it shall cost you your life, for sending me such a sorry tart."
    "Ah!" exclaimed Buddir ad Deen, "is it a capital crime to make a
    bad cream-tart?" "Yes," said the vizier "and you are to expect no
    other usage from me."

    While this interview lasted, the ladies, who were concealed
    behind curtains, saw Buddir ad Deen, and recognized him,
    notwithstanding he had been so long absent. They were so
    transported with joy, that they swooned away; and when they
    recovered, would fain have run up and fallen upon his neck, but
    the promise they had made to the vizier of not discovering
    themselves, restrained the tender emotions of love and of nature.

    Shumse ad Deen having resolved to set out that night, ordered the
    tents to be struck, and the necessary preparations to be made for
    his journey. He ordered Buddir ad Deen to be secured in a sort of
    cage, and laid on a camel. The vizier and his retinue began their
    march, and travelled the rest of that night, and all the next
    day, without stopping In the evening they halted, and Buddir ad
    Deen was taken out of his cage, in order to be served with the
    necessary refreshments, but still carefully kept at a distance
    from his mother and his wife; and during the whole expedition,
    which lasted twenty days, was served in the same manner.

    When they arrived at Cairo, they encamped in the neighbourhood of
    the city; Shumse ad Deen called for Buddir ad Deen, and gave
    orders, in his presence, to prepare a stake. "Alas!" said Buddir
    ad Deen, "what do you mean to do with a stake?" "Why, to impale
    you," replied Shumse ad Deen, "and then to have you carried
    through all the quarters of the town, that the people may have
    the spectacle of a worthless pastry-cook, who makes cream-tarts
    without pepper." This said, Buddir ad Deen cried out so
    ludicrously, that Shumse ad Deen could hardly keep his
    countenance: "Alas!" said he, "must I suffer a death as cruel as
    it is ignominious, for not putting pepper in a cream-tart?"

    "How," said Buddir ad Deen, "must I be rifled; must I be
    imprisoned in a chest, and at last impaled, and all for not
    putting pepper in a cream-tart? Are these the actions of
    Moosulmauns, of persons who make a profession of probity,
    justice, and good works?" With these words he shed tears, and
    then renewing his complaint; "No," continued he, "never was a man
    used so unjustly, nor so severely. Is it possible they should be
    capable of taking a man's life for not putting pepper in a cream-
    tart? Cursed be all cream-tarts, as well as the hour in which I
    was born! Would to God l had died that minute!"

    The disconsolate Buddir ad Deen did not cease his lamentations;
    and when the stake was brought, cried out bitterly at the horrid
    sight. "Heaven!" said he, "can you suffer me to die an
    ignominious and painful death? And all this, for what crime? not
    for robbery or murder, or renouncing my religion, but for not
    putting pepper in a cream tart,"

    Night being then pretty far advanced, the vizier ordered Buddir
    ad Deen to be conveyed again to his cage, saying to him, "Stay
    there till to-morrow; the day shall not elapse before I give
    orders for your death." The chest or cage then was carried away
    and laid upon the camel that had brought it from Damascus: at the
    same time all the other camels were loaded again; and the vizier
    mounting his horse, ordered the camel that carried his nephew to
    march before him, and entered the city with all his suit. After
    passing through several streets, where no one appeared, he
    arrived at his palace, where he ordered the chest to be taken
    down, but not opened till farther orders.

    While his retinue were unlading the other camels, he took Buddir
    ad Deen's mother and his daughter aside; and addressed himself to
    the latter: "God be praised," said he, "my child, for this happy
    occasion of meeting your cousin and your husband! You remember,
    of course, what order your chamber was in on your wedding night:
    go and put all things as they were then placed; and if your
    memory do not serve you, I can aid it by a written account, which
    I caused to be taken upon that occasion."

    The beautiful lady went joyfully to execute her father's orders;
    and he at the same time commanded the hall to be adorned as when
    Buddir ad Deen Houssun was there with the sultan of Egypt's
    hunch-backed groom. As he went over his manuscript, his domestics
    placed every moveable in the described order. The throne was not
    forgotten, nor the lighted wax candles. When every thing was
    arranged in the hall, the vizier went into his daughter's chamber
    and put in their due place Buddir ad Deen's apparel, with the
    purse of sequins. This done, he said to the beautiful lady,
    "Undress yourself, my child, and go to bed. As soon as Buddir ad
    Deen enters your room, complain of his being from you so long,
    and tell him, that when you awoke, you were astonished you did
    not find him by you. Press him to come to bed again; and to-
    morrow morning you will divert your mother-in-law and me, by
    giving us an account of your interview." This said, he went from
    his daughter's apartment, and left her to undress herself and go
    to bed.

    Shumse ad Deen Mahummud ordered all his domestics to depart the
    hall, excepting two or three, whom he desired to remain. These he
    commanded to go and take Buddir ad Deen out of the cage, to strip
    him to his under vest and drawers, to conduct him in that
    condition to the hall, to leave him there alone, and shut the
    door upon him.

    Buddir ad Deen, though overwhelmed with grief, was asleep so
    soundly, that the vizier's domestics had taken him out of the
    chest and stripped him before he awoke; and they carried him so
    suddenly into the hall, that they did not give him time to see
    where he was. When he found himself alone in the hall, he looked
    round him, and the objects he beheld recalling to his memory the
    circumstances of his marriage, he perceived, with astonishment,
    that it was the place where he had seen the sultan's groom of the
    stables. His surprise was still the greater, when approaching
    softly the door of a chamber which he found open, he spied his
    own raiments where he remembered to have left them on his wedding
    night. "My God!" said he, rubbing his eyes, "am I asleep or

    The beautiful lady, who in the mean time was diverting herself
    with his astonishment, opened the curtains of her bed suddenly,
    and bending her head forward, "My dear lord," said she, with a
    soft, tender air, "what do you do at the door? You have been out
    of bed a long time. I was strangely surprised when I awoke in not
    finding you by me." Buddir ad Deen was enraptured; he entered the
    room, but reverting to all that had passed during a ten years'
    interval, and not being able to persuade himself that it could
    all have happened in the compass of one night, he went to the
    place where his vestments lay with the purse of sequins; and
    after examining them very carefully, exclaimed, "By Allah these
    are mysteries which I can by no means comprehend!" The lady, who
    was pleased to see his confusion, said, once more, "My lord, what
    do you wait for?" He stepped towards the bed, and said to her,
    "Is it long since I left you?" "The question," answered she,
    "surprises me. Did not you rise from me but now? Surely your mind
    is deranged." "Madam," replied Buddir ad Deen, "I do assure you
    my thoughts are not very composed. I remember indeed to have been
    with you, but I remember at the same time, that I have since
    lived ten years at Damascus. Now, if I was actually in bed with
    you this night, I cannot have been from you so long. These two
    points are inconsistent. Pray tell me what I am to think; whether
    my marriage with you is an illusion, or whether my absence from
    you is only a dream?" "Yes, my lord," cried she, "doubtless you
    were light-headed when you thought you were at Damascus." Upon
    this Buddir ad Deen laughed heartily, and said, "What a comical
    fancy is this! I assure you, madam, this dream of mine will be
    very pleasant to you. Do but imagine, if you please, that I was
    at the gate of Damascus in my shirt and drawers, as I am here
    now; that I entered the town with the halloo of a mob who
    followed and insulted me; that I fled to a pastry cook who
    adopted me, taught me his trade, and left me all he had when he
    died; that after his death I kept a shop. In fine, I had an
    infinity of other adventures, too tedious to recount: and all I
    can say is, that it was well that I awoke, for they were going to
    impale me!" "And for what," cried the lady, feigning
    astonishment, "would they have used you so cruelly? Surely you
    must have committed some enormous crime." "Not the least,"
    replied Buddir ad Deen; "it was for nothing but a mere trifle,
    the most ridiculous thing you can imagine. All the crime I was
    charged with, was selling a cream-tart that had no pepper in it."
    "As for that matter," said the beautiful lady laughing heartily,
    "I must say they did you great injustice." "Ah!" replied he,
    "that was not all. For this cursed cream-tart was every thing in
    my shop broken to pieces, myself bound and fettered, and flung
    into a chest, where I lay so close, that methinks I am there
    still, but thanks be to God all was a dream."

    Buddir ad Deen was not easy all night. He awoke from time to
    time, and put the question to himself, whether he dreamed or was
    awake. He distrusted his felicity; and, to be sure whether it was
    true or not, looked round the room. "I am not mistaken," said he;
    "this is the same chamber where I entered instead of the hunch-
    backed groom of the stables; and I am now in bed with the fair
    lady designed for him." Day-light, which then appeared, had not
    yet dispelled his uneasiness, when the vizier Shumse ad Deen, his
    uncle, knocked at the door, and at the same time went in to bid
    him good morrow.

    Buddir ad Deen was extremely surprised to see a man he knew so
    well, and who now appeared with a different air from that with
    which he pronounced the terrible sentence of death against him.
    "Ah!" cried Buddir ad Deen, "it was you who condemned me so
    unjustly to a kind of death, the thoughts of which make me
    shudder, and all for a cream-tart without pepper." The vizier
    fell a laughing, and to put him out of suspense, told him how, by
    the ministry of a genie (for hunch-back's relation made him
    suspect the adventure), he had been at his palace, and had
    married his daughter instead of the sultan's groom of the
    stables; then he acquainted him that he had discovered him to be
    his nephew by the memorandum of his father, and pursuant to that
    discovery had gone from Cairo to Bussorah in quest of him. "My
    dear nephew," added he, embracing him with every expression of
    tenderness, "I ask your pardon for all I have made you undergo
    since I discovered you. I resolved to bring you to my palace
    before I told you your happiness; which ought now to be so much
    the dearer to you, as it has cost you so much perplexity and
    distress. To atone for all your afflictions, comfort yourself
    with the joy of being in the company of those who ought to be
    dearest to you. While you are dressing yourself I will go and
    acquaint your mother, who is beyond measure impatient to see you;
    and will likewise bring to you your son, whom you saw at
    Damascus, and for whom, without knowing him, you shewed so much

    No words can adequately express the joy of Buddir ad Deen, when
    he saw his mother and his son. They embraced, and shewed all the
    transports that love and tenderness could inspire. The mother
    spoke to Buddir ad Deen in the most moving terms; she mentioned
    the grief she had felt for his long absence, and the tears she
    had shed. Little Ajib, instead of flying his father's embraces,
    as at Damascus, received them with all the marks of pleasure. And
    Buddir ad Deen Houssun, divided between two objects so worthy of
    his love, thought he could not give sufficient testimonies of his

    While this passed, the vizier was gone to the palace, to give the
    sultan an account of the happy success of his travels; and the
    sultan was so moved with the recital of the story, that he
    ordered it to be taken down in writing, and carefully preserved
    among the archives of the kingdom. After Shumse ad Deen's return
    to his palace, he sat down with his family, and all the household
    passed the day in festivity and mirth.

    The vizier Jaaffier having thus concluded the story of Buddir ad
    Deen, told the caliph that this was what he had to relate to his
    majesty. The caliph found the story so surprising, that without
    farther hesitation he granted his slave Rihan's pardon; and to
    console the young man for the grief of having unhappily deprived
    himself of a woman whom he had loved so tenderly, married him to
    one of his slaves, bestowed liberal gifts upon him, and
    maintained him till he died.
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