The four Darweshes then recollected that what Maula Murtaza/1/ had said to them, that same had now come to pass; they were pleased at the recollection], and went along with the messenger. When they reached the fort and went before the king, the four Qalandars gave a benediction, saying, "Son, may it be well with thee." The king then retired to the Diwan-i khass, and having called two or three of his confidential nobles near him, he ordered the four Darweshes to be brought in. When they went there [before his majesty], he commanded them to sit down, and asked them their adventures, saying, "From whence come you, where do you intend to go, and where is the residence of your worships?"
"They replied, "May the king's age and wealth be always on the increase! we are Darweshes, and have in this very manner for a long while wandered and roamed about; we bear our homes on our shoulders. There is a saying, that 'a pilgrim's home is where the evening overtakes him;' and all we have seen in this versatile world is too long a tale to relate."
Azad Bakht gave them every confidence and encouragement, and having sent for refreshment, he made them breakfast before him. When they finished [their meal] the king said to them, "Relate all your adventures to me, without the least reserve; whatever services I can render you, I will not fail to do." The Darweshes replied that, "whatever has happened to us, we have not the strength to relate, nor will any pleasure result to the king from hearing it; therefore pardon us." The king then smiled, and said, "Where you were sitting on your couches last night and relating each his own adventures, there I was likewise present; moreover, I have heard the adventures of two of you; I now wish that the two who remain would also relate theirs; and stay with me a few days in perfect confidence, for 'the footsteps of the Darwesh scare away evil.'"/2/ On hearing these words from the king, they began to tremble in consequence of their fear; and having hung down their heads, they remained silent-- they had not the power to speak.
When Azad Bakht perceived that now through fear their senses no longer remained with them, so as to enable them to tell anything, he said [to revive their spirits] "There is no person in this world to whom rare and strange incidents have not occurred; although I am a king, yet I have even seen strange scenes, which I will first of all relate to you [to inspire you with confidence and remove your fears]; do you listen to it with your minds at ease," The Darweshes replied, "O king, peace be on thee! such are your kindnesses towards us darweshes, condescend to relate them."
Azad Bakht began his adventures, and said,
"Hear, O pilgrims, the adventures of the king.When my father died, and I ascended the throne, it was in the very season of youth, and all this kingdom of Rum was under my dominion. It happened one year, that some merchant from the country of Badakhshan/3/ came [to my capital] and brought a good deal of merchandise. The reporters of intelligence/4/ sent notice to me to this effect, that so considerable a merchant had never visited our city before: I sent for him.
"He came, and brought with him the rarities of every country, which were worthy of being offered to me, as presents. Indeed, every article appeared to be of inestimable value; above all, there was a ruby in a box, of an exceedingly fine colour, very brilliant, perfect in shape and size, and in weight [amounting to] five miskals./5/ Though I was a king, I had never seen such a precious stone, nor had I heard of such from any other person. I accepted it, and bestowed upon the merchant many presents and honours; I gave him passports for the roads, that throughout my empire no one should ask him any duties; that they should treat him with kindness wherever he went; that he should be waited on, and have guards for his protection, and that they should consider any loss he might experience as their own. The merchant attended at the time of audience, and was well versed in the forms of respect due to royalty; his conversation and eloquence were worth hearing. I used to send for the ruby daily from the jewel office, and look at it at the time of public audience.
One day I was seated in the Diwan-i 'amm, and the nobles and officers of state were in waiting in their respective places, and the ambassadors of different sovereigns, who had come to congratulate me [on my accession to the throne], were likewise present. I then sent for the ruby, according to custom; the officer of the jewel office brought it; I took it in my hand and began to praise it, and gave it to the ambassador of the Franks [to look at it]. On seeing it, he smiled, and praised it by way of flattery; in the same manner it passed from hand to hand, and every one looked at it, and all said together, "The preponderance of your majesty's good fortune has procured you this; for otherwise, even unto this day, no monarch has ever acquired so inestimable a jewel." At that moment my father's Wazir, who was wise, and held the same station under me, and was standing in his place, made his obeisance and said, "I wish to impart something [to the royal ear], if my life be granted."
I ordered him to speak; he said, "Mighty sire, you are king, and it is very unbecoming in kings to laud so highly a stone; though it is unique in colour, in quality, and in weight, yet it is but a stone; and at this moment the ambassadors of all countries are present in the court; when they return to their respective countries, they will assuredly relate this anecdote, saying, 'What a strange king he is, who has got a ruby from somewhere, and makes such a rarity of it, that he sends for it every day, and praising it himself the first, shows it to every one present.' Then whatever king or raja/6/ hears this anecdote, the same will certainly laugh at it in his own court. Great sire, there is an insignificant merchant in Naishapur,/7/ who has twelve rubies, each weighing seven miskals,/8/ which he has sewed on a collar, and put it round his dog's neck." On hearing this, I became greatly displeased, and said with anger, "Put this wazir to death"
The executioners immediately seized hold of his hands, and were going to lead him out [to execution]. The ambassador of the king of the Franks, joining his hands [in humble supplication] stood before me. I asked him what he wanted; he replied, "I hope I may become informed of the wazir's fault," I answered, what can be a greater fault than to lie, especially before kings. He replied, "His falsehood has not yet been confirmed; perhaps what he has said may be true; now, to put an innocent person to death is not right." I said to him in reply, "It is not at all consistent with reason, that a merchant, who, for the sake of gain, wanders disconsolate from city to city and from country to country, and hoards up every farthing [he can save], should sew twelve rubies, which weigh seven miskals each, on the collar of a dog." The ambassador in answer said, "Nothing is surprising before the power of God; perhaps it may be the case; such rarities often fall into the hands of merchants and pilgrims. For these two [classes of people] go into every country, and they bring away with them whatever they find rare in [their travels]. It is most advisable for your majesty to order the wazir to be imprisoned, if he is as guilty [as you suppose]; for wazirs are the intelligencers of kings, and such conduct as this appears unhandsome in the latter, that in a case, the truth and falsehood of which is as yet unascertained, to order them to be put to death, and that the services and fidelity of a whole life should be forgotten.
"Mighty sire, former kings have erected prisons for this very reason, that when the kings or chiefs may be in wrath towards anyone, then they might confine him. In a few days their anger will have entirely subsided, and [the suspected one's] innocence will become manifest, and the king will be exempt from the stain of shedding innocent blood, and not have to answer for it on the day of judgment." Though I wished ever so much to refute him, yet the ambassador of the Franks/9/ gave such just replies, that he reduced me to silence. Then I said, "Well, I agree to what you say, and I pardon him his life. But he shall remain imprisoned; if in the space of a year his words are proved to be true, that such rubies are round the neck of a dog, then he shall be released; otherwise, he shall be put to death with many torments." I accordingly ordered the wazir to be carried to prison. On hearing this order, the ambassador made me his humble obeisance,/10/ and performed his parting salute.
When this news reached the Wazir's family, weeping and lamentations took place, and it became a house of mourning. The Wazir had a daughter of the age of fourteen or fifteen years, very handsome and accomplished, perfect in writing and reading. The Wazir loved her greatly, and was extremely fond of her; so much so, that he had erected an elegant apartment for her behind his own diwan khana; and had procured for her the daughters of noblemen as her companions, and handsome female servants waited on her; with these she passed her time in laughter and joy, and playing and romping about.
It happened that on the day the Wazir was sent to prison, the girl was sitting with her young companions, and was celebrating with [infantile] pleasure the marriage of her doll; and with a small drum and timbrel she was making preparation for the night vigils; and having put on the frying pan, she was busy making up sweetmeats, when her mother suddenly ran into her apartment, lamenting and beating [her breasts], with dishevelled tresses and naked feet. She struck a blow on her daughter's head, and said, "Would that God had given me a blind son instead of thee; then my heart would have been at ease, and he would have been the friend of his father." The Wazir's daughter asked, "What use would a blind son have been to you? whatever he could do, I can do likewise." The mother replied, "Dust be on thy head! such a calamity hath fallen on thy father, that he is confined in the prison for having used some improper expressions before the king." The daughter asked, "What were the expressions? let me hear them." Then her mother answered, "Your father said that there is a merchant in Naishapur, who has fixed twelve inestimable rubies on his dog's collar: the king would not believe him, but conceived him a liar, and has imprisoned him. If he had had today a son, he would have exerted himself by every means to ascertain the truth of the circumstance; he would have assisted his father, besought the king's forgiveness, and have got my husband released from prison."
The Wazir's daughter said [in reply], "O mother, we cannot combat against fate; man under sudden calamity ought to be patient, and place his hopes in the bounty of God. He is merciful, and does not hold any one's difficulties to be irremovables; weeping and lamentations are improper. God forbid that our enemies should misrepresent [the motive of our tears] to the king, and the teller of tales calumniate us, for that would be the cause of farther displeasure. On the contrary, let us offer up our prayers for the king's welfare; we are his born slaves, and he is our master; even as he is wroth, so will he be gracious." The girl, from her good sense, thus made her mother comprehend these things, so that she became somewhat patient and tranquil, and returned in silence to her palace. When the night arrived, the Wazir-zadi/11/ sent for her foster father, [or nurse's husband], and fell at his feet and beseeched him greatly, and weeping, said, "I have formed a resolution to wipe off the reproach my mother has cast on me, so that my father may regain his freedom. If you will be my companion, then I will set out for Naishapur, and having seen the merchant [who has such rubies round his dog's neck], I will do all in my power [to the end that] I may release my father."
The man indeed made some excuses at first; at length after much discussion, he agreed [to her request]. Then the Wazir-zadi said, "Make the preparations for the journey in secrecy and silence, and buy some articles of trade fit to be presented as offerings to kings, and procure as many slaves and servants as may be required; but do not let this circumstance be revealed to any one." The foster father agreed [to the project], and set about [the necessary] preparations. When all the materials were got ready, he loaded the camels and mules, and set out; the wazir's daughter also put on the dress of a man, and joined him. No one in the house knew anything whatever [of the departure]. When the morning came, it was mentioned in the wazir's family, that the Wazir-zadi had disappeared, and that it was uncertain where she was gone.
At last, the mother, from fear of scandal, concealed the circumstance of her daughter's disappearance; and there [on the journey] the Wazir-zadi gave herself out as a "young merchant." Travelling onwards stage by stage, they arrived at Naishapur; and with great pleasure they went and put up at the caravan-serai and unloaded all their merchandise. The Wazir-zadi remained there that night; in the morning she went to the bath; and put on a rich dress, according to the costume of the inhabitants of Rum, and went out to ramble through the city. Proceeding along, she reached the chauk, and stood where the four great streets crossed each other; and a jeweller's shop appeared on one side, where a great deal of jewels were exposed [for sale], and slaves wearing rich dresses were in waiting, with crossed arms; and a man, who was their chief, of about fifty years/12/ of age, dressed like rich persons in a short-sleeved jacket, was seated there, with many elegant companions near him, seated likewise on stools, and conversing among themselves.
The Wazir-zadi (who had represented herself as a merchant's son,/13/ was greatly surprised at seeing the jeweller; and, on reflection, she became pleased in her own heart, saying, "God grant this be no delusion! it is most probable that this is the very merchant, the anecdote of whom my father mentioned to the king. O, great God, enlighten me as to his circumstances." It happened, that on looking around her, she saw a shop, in which two iron cages were suspended, and two men were confined in them. They looked like majnun in appearance, only skin and bones remained; the hair of their heads and their nails were quite overgrown, and they sat with their heads reclined on their breasts; two ugly negroes, completely armed, were standing on each side [of the cages]. The young merchant was struck with amazement, and exclaimed, "God bless us." When she looked round the other way, she saw another shop, where carpets were spread, on which an ivory stool was placed, with a velvet cushion, and a dog sat thereon, with a collar set with precious stones around his neck, and chained by a chain of gold; and two young handsome servants waited on the dog. One was shaking [over him] a morchhal/14/ with a golden handle, set with precious stones, and the other held an embroidered handkerchief in his hand, with which he [from time to time] wiped the dog's mouth and feet. The young merchant, having looked at the animal with great attention, perceived on its collar the twelve large rubies, as she had heard [them described]. She praised God, and began to consider thus: "By what means can I carry those rubies to the king, and show them to him, and get my father released?" She was plunged in these perplexing reflections; meanwhile, all the people in the square and on the road, seeing her beauty and comeliness, were struck with astonishment, and remained utterly confounded. All the people said one to another, "Even unto this day, we have never seen a human being of this form and beauty." The Khwaja/15/ also perceived her, and sent a slave, saying, "Go thou and entreat that young merchant to come to me."
The slave went up to her and delivered his master's message, and said, "If you will have the kindness, then my master is desirous of [seeing] your honour; pray come and have an interview with him." The young merchant indeed wished this very thing, and said in reply, "Very well."/16/ The moment she came near the Khwaja, and he had a full view of her, the dart of attachment pierced his breast; he rose up to receive her respectfully, but his senses were utterly bewildered. The young merchant perceived that "now he is entangled in the net" [of my charms]. They mutually embraced one another; the Khwaja kissed the young merchant's forehead, and made him sit down near him; and asked with much kindness, "Inform me of your name and lineage? whence have you come, and where do you intend to go?" The young merchant replied, "This humble servant's country is Rum, and Constantinople has been for ages the birth-place [of my ancestors.] My father is a merchant; and as he is now from old age unable to travel [from country to country on his mercantile concerns] on this account he has sent me abroad to learn the affairs of commerce. Until now I had not put my foot out of our door; this is the very first journey that has occurred to me. I had not courage/17/ to come here by sea, I therefore travelled by land; but your excellence and good name is so renowned in this country of 'Ajam/18/ that to have the pleasure only of meeting you I have come so far. At last, by the favour of God, I have had the honour of [sitting in] your noble presence, and have found your good qualities exceed your renown; the wish of my heart is accomplished; God preserve you in safety, I will now set out from hence."
On hearing these [last words], the Khwaja's mind and senses were quite discomposed, and he exclaimed, "O, my son, do not speak to me of such a thing;" stay some days with me in my humble abode; pray tell me where are your goods, and your servants?" The young merchant replied, "The traveller's abode is the sara,e;/19/ leaving them there, I came to see you." The Khwaja said, "It is unbecoming [a person of your consideration] to dwell in the sara,e; I have some reputation in this city, and much celebrity; send quickly for your baggage, &c.; I will prepare a house for your goods; let me see whatever commodities you have brought; I will so manage it, that you will get here great profit on them. At the same time, you will be at your ease, and saved the danger and fatigue [of travelling any farther for a market], and by staying with me a few days you will greatly oblige me." The young merchant pretended/20/ to make some excuses, but the Khwaja would not accept them, and ordered one of his agents, saying, "Send quickly some burden-bearers, and bring the goods, &c., from the caravanserai, and lodge them in such a place."
The young merchant likewise sent a slave of his own with [the agent] to bring the property and merchandise; and he himself remained with the Khwaja until the evening. When the time of [the afternoon] market had elapsed, and the shop was shut, the Khwaja went towards his house. Then one of the two slaves took the dog up under his arm, and the other took up the stool and carpet; and the two negro slaves placed the two cages on the heads of porters, and they themselves, accoutred with the five weapons,/21/ went alongside of them. The Khwaja took hold of the young merchant's hand, and conversing with him, reached his house.
The young merchant saw that the house was grand, and fit for kings or nobles [to reside in]. Carpets were spread on the border of a rivulet, and before the masnad the different articles for the entertainment were laid out. The dog's stool was placed there also, and the Khwaja and young merchant took their seats; he presented to him some wine without ceremony; they both began to drink. When they got merry, the Khwaja called for dinner; the dastar-khwan/22/ was spread, and the good things of the world were laid out. First they put some meat in a dish, and having covered it with a cover of gold, they carried it to the dog, and having spread an embroidered dastar-khwan, they laid the dish before him. The dog descended from his stool, ate as much as he liked, and drank some water out of a golden bowl, then returned and sat on his stool. The slaves wiped his mouth and feet with a napkin, and then carried the dish and bowl to the two cages, and having asked for the keys from the Khwaja, they opened the locks.
They took out the two men [who were confined in the cages], gave them many blows with a great stick, and made them eat the leavings of the dog and drink the same water; they again fastened the doors [of the cages] and returned the keys to their master. When all this was over, the Khwaja began to eat himself. The young merchant was not pleased at these circumstances, and did not touch the victuals from disgust. How much soever the Khwaja pressed him, yet he flatly refused. Then the Khwaja asked the reason of this, saying, "Why do you not eat?" The young merchant replied, "This conduct of yours appears disgusting to me, for this reason that man is the noblest of God's creatures, and the dog is decidedly impure. So to make two of God's own creatures eat the leavings of a dog, in what religion or creed is it lawful? Do not you think it sufficient that they are your prisoners? otherwise they and you are equal. Now, I doubt if you are a Musulman; who knows what you are? Perhaps you worship the dog; it is disgusting to me to eat your dinner, until this doubt is removed from my mind."
The Khwaja answered, "O, son, I comprehend perfectly all that you say, and am generally censured for these reasons; for the inhabitants of this city have fixed upon me the name of dog-worshipper, and call me so, and have published it [everywhere]; but may the curse of God alight on the impious and the infidel!" The Khwaja then repeated the kalima,/23/ and set the young merchant's mind at ease. Then the young merchant asked, thus, "If you are really a Musalman in your heart, then what is the reason of this? By so acting, get yourself generally censured?" The Khwaja said in reply, "O, son, my name is reprobated, and I pay double taxes in the city, that no one may know this secret [motive of my conduct]. It is a strange circumstance, which, whoever hears, will get nothing by the recital but grief and indignation. You must likewise pardon me [from relating it]; for I shall not have strength of mind to recount it, nor will you have the composure of mind to listen to it." The young merchant thought within himself, "I have only to mind my own business; why should I to no purpose press him further on the subject?" She accordingly replied to the Khwaja, "Very well; if it is not proper to be related, do not mention it." He then began to partake of the dinner, and having lifted a morsel, began to eat. The space of about two months/24/ the young merchant passed with the Khwaja, with such prudence and circumspection, that no one found out by any chance that he was a woman [in disguise]. All thought that this [individual] was a male, and the Khwaja's affection for him increased daily, so that he could not allow him to be a moment absent from his sight.
One day, in the midst of a drinking feat, the young merchant began to weep. On seeing it, the Khwaja comforted her, and began to wipe away his tears with his handkerchief, and asked him the cause of his weeping. He answered, "O, father, what shall I say? would to God that I had never attained access to your presence, and that your worship had never shown me that kindness which you are showing. I am now distressed between two difficulties; I have no heart to be separated from your presence, nor is there a possibility of my staying here. Now, it is necessary for me to go; but in separating from you, I do not perceive hopes of life."
On hearing these words, the Khwaja involuntarily wept so loudly, that he was nearly choked, and exclaimed, "O, light of my eyes! are you so soon tired of your old friend, that you think of going away and leaving him in such affliction? banish from your heart the idea of departing; as long as I have to live, remain here; I shall not live a day in your absence, and must [in such case] die before my appointed hour. The climate of this kingdom of Persia is very fine and congenial [to your health], you had best despatch a confidential servant, and send for your parents and property here; I will furnish whatever equipages and conveyances you require; when your parents and all their household come here, you can pursue your commercial concerns at your ease. I also have in my life gone through many hardships, and have wandered many countries. I am now old and have no issue; I love you dearer than a son, and make you my heir and head manager. Be you, on the other hand, careful and attentive to my concerns. Give me a bit of bread to eat whilst I live; when I die, be pleased to bury me, and then take [possession of] all my wealth and effects."
To this the young merchant replied, "It is true, you have, more than a father, shown to me kindness and affection, so that I have forgotten my parents; but this humble culprit's father only allowed a year's leave; if I exceed it, then he in his extreme old age will weep himself to death; finally, a father's approbation is meritorious before God, and if mine should be displeased with me, then I fear he may curse me, and I shall be an outcast from God's grace in this world and the next. Now such is your worship's kindness, that you will give me leave to obey my father's commands, and fulfil the duties [of a son] towards a parent; I shall, while life lasts, bear on my neck the gratitude I owe for your kindness. If I am ever [so fortunate as] to reach my native country, I will still ever think of your goodness with my heart and soul. God is the Causer of causes; perhaps some such cause may again occur, that I may have occasion to pay you my respects. In short, the young merchant urged such persuasive and feeling arguments to the Khwaja, that he, poor man, being helpless, yielded to their force./25/ Inasmuch as he was now completely fascinated, he began to say in reply, "Well, if you will not stay here, I will myself go with you. I consider you equivalent to my own life: hence, if my life goes with you, of what use is a lifeless body? If you are determined to go, then proceed, and take me with you." Saying this to the young merchant, he began his preparations likewise for the journey, and gave orders to his agents to get ready quickly the necessary conveyances.
When the news of the Khwaja's departure became public, the merchants of that city on hearing it, began likewise their preparations to set out with him. The dog-worshipping Khwaja took with him specie and jewels to a great amount, servants and slaves without number, and rich rarities and property worthy of a king, and having pitched his tents of various sorts outside of the city, he went to them. All the other merchants took articles of merchandise with them according to their means, and joined the Khwaja; they became for themselves a [regular] army.
One day, having fixed on a lucky moment for departure, they set out thence on their journey. Having laden thousands of camels with canvas sacks filled with goods, and the jewels and specie on mules, five hundred slaves from the steppes of Kapchak, from Zang, and from Rum,/26/ completely armed, men used to the sword, mounted on horses of Arabia, of Tartary, and of Iraq, accompanied [the caravan]. In the rear of all came the Khwaja and the young merchant, richly dressed, and mounted on sedans; a rich litter was lashed on the back of a camel, in which the dog reposed on a cushion, and the cages of the two prisoners were slung one on each side of another, across a camel, and thus they marched onwards. At every stage they came to, all the merchants waited on the Khwaja, and on his dastar-khwan they ate of his food and drank of his wine. The Khwaja offered up his grateful thanks to the Almighty for the happiness of having the young merchant with him, and proceeded on, stage by stage. At last, they reached the environs of Constantinople in perfect safety, and encamped without the city. The young merchant said [to the Khwaja], "O, father, if you grant me permission, I will go and see my parents, and prepare a house for you, and when it is agreeable to you, you will be pleased to enter the city."
The Khwaja replied, "I am come so far for your sake, well, go quickly and see [your parents], and return to me, and give me a place to live in near your own." The young merchant having taken leave [of the Khwaja], came to his own house. All the people of the household of the Wazir were surprised, and exclaimed, "What man has entered [the house]!" The young merchant, that is, the Wazir's daughter, ran and threw herself at her mother's feet, and wept and said, "I am your child." On hearing this, the Wazir's wife began to reproach her, by saying, "O, wanton girl, thou hast greatly dishonoured thyself; thou hast blackened thine own face, and brought shame on thy family; we had imagined thee lost, and, after weeping for thee, had with resignation given thee up; be gone hence."
Then the Wazir-zadi threw the turban off her head and said, "O, dear mother, I did not go to an improper place, and have done nothing wrong; I have contrived the whole of this scheme according to your wishes to release my father from prison. God be praised, that through the good effect of your prayers, and through His grace, I, having accomplished the entire object, am now returned; I have brought that merchant with me from Naishapur, along with the dog (around whose neck are those rubies), and have returned with the innocence you bestowed/27/ on me. I assumed the appearance of a man for the journey; now one day's work remains; having done that, I will get my father released from prison, and return to my home; if you give me leave, I will go back again, and remain abroad another day, and then return to you." When the mother thoroughly comprehended that her daughter had acted the part of a man, and had preserved herself in all respects pure and virtuous, she offered up her grateful acknowledgments to God, and, rejoicing [at the event], clasped her daughter to her bosom and kissed her lips; she prayed for her and blessed her, and gave her leave to go, saying, "Do what thou thinkest best, I have full confidence in thee."
The Wazir-zadi having again assumed the appearance of a man, returned to the dog-worshipping Khwaja. He had been in the meantime so much distressed at her absence, that through impatience he had left his encampment. It so happened, that as the young merchant was going out in the vicinity of the city, the Khwaja was coming from the opposite direction; they met each other in the middle of the road. On seeing him, the Khwaja exclaimed, "O, my child! leaving this old man by himself, where wast thou gone?" The young merchant answered, "I went to my house with your permission, but the desire I had to see you again would not allow me to remain [at home], and I am returned to you." They perceived a shady garden close to the gate of the city on the sea shore; they pitched their tents and alighted there. The Khwaja and the young merchant sat down together, and began to eat their kababs, and drink their wine. When the time of evening arrived, they left their tents, and sat out on high seats to view the country. It happened that a royal chasseur passed that way; he was astonished at seeing their manners and their encampment, and said to himself, "Perhaps the ambassador of some king is arrived;" he stood [and amused himself by] looking on.
One of the Khwaja's messengers called him forward, and asked him who he was. He replied, "I am the king's head chasseur." The messenger mentioned him to the Khwaja, who ordered a negro slave, saying, "Go and tell the chasseur that we are travellers, and if he feels inclined to come and sit down, the coffee and pipe are ready."/28/ When the chasseur heard the name of merchant, he was still more astonished, and came with the slave to the Khwaja's presence; he saw [on all sides] the air of propriety and magnificence, and soldiers and slaves. To the Khwaja and the young merchant he made his salutations, and on seeing the dog's state and treatment, his senses were confounded, and he stood like one amazed. The Khwaja asked him to sit down, and presented him coffee; the chasseur asked the Khwaja's name and designation. When he requested leave to depart, the Khwaja having presented him with some pieces [of cloth] and sundry rarities, dismissed him. In the morning, when the chasseur attended the king's audience, he related to those present the circumstances of the Khwaja; by degrees it came to my knowledge; I called the chasseur before me, and asked about the merchant.
He related whatever he had seen. On hearing of the dog's exalted state, and the two men's confinement in the cage, I was quite indignant, and exclaimed," that reprobate of a merchant deserves death!" I ordered some of my executioners, saying, "Go immediately, and cut off and bring me the heretic's head." By chance, the same ambassador of the Franks was present at the audience; he smiled, and I became still more angry, and said, "O, disrespectful; to display one's teeth/29/ without cause in the presence of kings, is remote from good manners; it is better to weep than laugh out of season." The ambassador replied, "Mighty sire, several ideas came across my mind, for which reason I smiled; the first was, that the Wazir had spoken truth, and would now be released from prison; secondly, that your majesty will be unstained with the innocent blood of the Wazir; and the third was, that the asylum of the universe, without cause or crime, ordered the merchant to be put to death. At all these circumstances I was surprised, that without any inquiry your majesty should, on the tale of an idle fellow, order people to be put to death. God in reality knows what is the merchant's real case; call him before the royal presence and inquire into his antecedents; if he should be found guilty, then your majesty is master; whatever treatment you please, that you can administer to him."
When the ambassador thus explained [the matter to me], I also recollected what the Wazir had said, and ordered the merchant, together with his son, the dog, and the cages, to be brought in my presence immediately. The messengers set off quickly [on the errand], and in a short time brought them all. I summoned them before me. First came the Khwaja and his son [the young merchant], both richly dressed. All present were astonished and bewildered on beholding the young merchant's extreme beauty; he brought in his hand a golden tray, loaded with precious stones, (the brilliancy of every one of which illuminated the room,) and laid it before my throne, made his obeisance and stood [in respectful silence]. The Khwaja also kissed the ground, and offered up his prayers [for my prosperity]; he spoke with such sweet modulation, as if he were the nightingale of a thousand melodies. I greatly admired his elegant and decorous speech; but, assuming a face of anger, I exclaimed, "O, you Satan in human form! what net is this that thou hast spread, and in thine own path what pit hast thou dug? What is thy religion, and what rite is this I see? Of what prophet's sect are thou a follower? If thou wast an infidel, even then what sense is there in thy conduct? what is thy name, that thou actest thus?"
The Khwaja calmly replied, "May your majesty's years and prosperity ever increase; this slave's religious creed is this, that God is one: he has no equal, and I repeat the confession of faith of Muhammad the pure (the mercy of God be shown to him and his posterity; may he be safe!) After him, I consider the twelve Imams as my guides; and my rite is this, that I say the five regulated prayers and I observe fasts, and I have likewise performed the pilgrimage, and from my wealth, I give the fifth in alms, and I am called a Musalman. But there is a reason, which I cannot disclose, that I appear to possess all those bad qualities which have raised your majesty's indignation, and for which I am condemned by every one of God's creatures. Though I am [ever so much] called a dog-worshipper, and pay double taxes, all this I submit to; but the secrets of my heart I have not divulged to anyone." On hearing this excuse, my anger became greater, and I said, thou art beguiling me with words; I will not believe them until thou explainest clearly the reasons which have made thee deviate from the right path, that my mind may be convinced of their truth; then thy life will be saved; or else, as a retribution [for what thou hast done], I will order thy belly to be ripped up, that the exemplary punishment may deter others in future from transgressing the religion of Muhammad.
The Khwaja replied, "O king, do not spill the blood of this unfortunate wretch, but confiscate all the wealth I have, which is beyond counting or reckoning, and having made me and my son a votive offering to your throne, release us, and spare us our lives." I smiled, and said, "O fool! dost thou exhibit to me the temptation of thy wealth? Thou canst not be released, except thou speakest the truth." On hearing these words, the tears streamed profusely from the Khwaja's eyes; he looked towards his son and heaved a deep sigh, and said [to him] "I am criminal in the king's eyes; I shall be put to death; what shall I do now? to whom shall I entrust thee?" I threatened him, and said, "O dissembler! cease; thou hast made too many excuses [already]; what thou hast to say, say it [quickly]."
Then, indeed, that man having advanced forward, came near the throne and kissed the foot of it, and poured forth my praise and eulogy, and said, "O king of kings, if the order for execution had not been issued in my case, I would have borne every torture, and would not have disclosed my story; but life is dear above every [consideration]; no one of his own accord jumps into a well; to preserve life, then, is right; and the abandoning of what is right is contrary to the mandates of God. Well, if such is the royal pleasure, then be pleased to hear the past events of this feeble old man. First, order the two cages, in which the two men are confined, to be brought and placed before your majesty. I am going to relate my adventures; if I falsify any circumstance, then ask them to convict me, and let justice be done." I approved of his proposal and sent for the cages, took them both out, and made them stand near the Khwaja.
The Khwaja said, "O king! this man, who stands on the right hand of your slave is my eldest brother, and he who stands on my left is my second/30/ brother. I am younger than they; my father was a merchant in the kingdom of Persia, and when I was fourteen years of age, he died. After the burial ceremony was over, and the flowers had been removed [from the corpse on the Siyum],/31/ my two brothers said to me one day, 'Let us now divide our father's wealth, whatever there is, and let each do [with his share] what he pleases.' On hearing [this proposal], I said, O brothers! what words are these! I am your slave, and do not claim the rights of a brother. Our father, on the one hand, is dead, but you both are alive and in the place of that father. I only want a dry loaf [daily] to pass through life, and to remain alert in your service. What have I to do with shares or divisions? I will fill my belly with your leavings, and remain near you. I am a boy, and have not learnt even to read or write-- what am I able to do? At present do you confer instruction upon me.
"On hearing this, they replied, 'Thou wishest to ruin and beggar us also along with thyself.' I was silent, and retired to a corner and wept; then I reasoned with myself and said, my brothers, after all, are my elders; they are reproving [me for my good, and] with a view to my education, that I may learn some [profession]. In these reflections I fell asleep. In the morning, a messenger from the Qazi came and conducted me to the court of justice; I saw that both my brothers were there in waiting. The Qazi asked me, 'Why dost not thou accept thy share of thy father's property?' I repeated to him what I had at home said [to my brothers]. The latter said, 'If he speaks this sentiment from his heart, then let him give us a deed of release, saying he has no claims on our father's wealth and property.' Even then I thought, that as they both were my elders, they advised for my good; that if I got my share of my father's property I might improperly spend it. So, according to their desire, I gave them a deed of release, with the Qazi's seal. They were satisfied, and I returned home.
"The second day after this, they said to me, 'O brother, we require the apartment in which you live; do you hire another place for your residence, and go and stay there.' 'Twas then I perceived that they were not pleased that I should even remain in my father's house; I had no remedy, and determined to leave it. O protector of the world! when my father was alive, whenever he returned from his travels, he used to bring the rarities of different countries, and give them to me by way of presents; for this reason, that every one loves most the youngest child. I from time to time sold these [presents], and raised a small capital of my own; with this [sum] I carried on some traffic. Once, my father brought for me a female slave from Tartary, and he once brought thence some horses, from which he gave me also a promising young colt; and I used to feed it from my own little property.
"At last, seeing the inhumanity of my brothers, I bought a house, and went and resided there; this dog also went along with me. I purchased the requisite articles for housekeeping, and bought two slaves for attendance; with the remainder of my capital I opened a shop as a cloth merchant, and placing my confidence in God, I sat down quietly [in it], and felt contented with my fate. Though my brothers had behaved unkindly to me, yet, since God was gracious, my shop in three years' time increased so greatly, that I became a man of credit. Whatever rarities [in the way of clothes or dresses] were required in every great family, went from my shop only. I thereby earned large sums of money, and began to live in affluent circumstances. Every hour I offered up my prayers to the pure God, and lived at my ease; and often used to repeat these verses on my [prosperous] circumstances:--
'Why should not the prince be displeased?
"On saying this, I went up to the Jew and said, to-day is the sabbath day;/34/ why dost thou continue to inflict stripes on them? The Jew replied, 'If you wish to take their part, do it fully, and pay me the money in their stead; or else take the road to your house.' I said, 'what is the amount? produce the bond, and I will count thee out the money.' He replied, 'that he had just given the bond to the magistrate.' At this moment, my slaves brought two bags of money. I gave a thousand pieces of silver to the Jew, and released my brothers. Such was their condition, naked, hungry, and thirsty, I brought them with me to my own house, and caused them instantly to be bathed in the bath, and dressed in new clothes, and gave them a hearty meal. I never asked them what they had done with our father's great wealth, lest they might feel ashamed.
"O king, they are both present; ask them if I tell truth, or falsify any of the circumstances. Well, after some space of time, when they had recovered from the bruises of the beating [they had suffered], I said to them one day, 'O brothers, you have now lost your credit in this city, and it is better you should travel for some days.' On hearing this, they were both silent; but I perceived they were satisfied [with my proposal]. I began to make preparations for their journey, and having procured tents and all necessary conveyance, I purchased for them merchandise to the amount of 20,000 rupees. A qafila/35/ of merchants was going to Bukhara;/36/ I sent them along with it.
"After a year, that caravan returned, but I heard no tidings of my brothers; at last, putting a friend on his oath, I asked him [what had become of them]. He replied, 'When they went to Bukhara, one of them lost all his property at the gambling house, and is now a sweeper at the same house, and keeps clean and plastered the place of gambling, and waits on the gamblers who assemble there; they, by way of charity, give him something, and he remains there as a scullion. The other brother became enamoured of a boza-vendor's/37/ daughter, and squandered all his property [on her], and now he is one of the waiters at the boze-khana./38/ The people of the qafila do not mention these circumstances to you for this reason, that you would become ashamed [at hearing them].
"On hearing these circumstances from that person, I was in a strange state; hunger and sleep vanished through anxiety; taking some money for [the expenses of] the road, I set out instantly for Bukhara. When I arrived there, I searched for them both, and I brought them to the house [I had taken]. I had them bathed and clothed in new dresses, and, from fear of their being abashed with shame, I said not a word to them [of what had happened]. I again purchased some goods for merchandise for them, and returned with them home. When we arrived near Naishapur, I left them in a village with all the goods and chattels, and came [secretly] to my house, for this reason, that no one might be informed of my return. After two days, I gave out publicly that my brothers were returned from their journey, and that I would go out tomorrow to meet them. In the morning, as I wished to set out, a peasant of that village came to me, and began to make loud complaints; on hearing his voice I came out, and seeing him crying, I asked, 'Why dost thou make a lamentation?' He answered, 'Our houses have been plundered, owing to your brothers; would to God that you had not left them there!'
"I asked, what misfortune has occurred? He replied, 'A gang of robbers came at night and plundered their property and goods, and they at the same time robbed our houses.' I pitied him, and asked, where are these two now? He answered, 'They are sitting without the city, stark naked and utterly distressed.' I instantly took two suits of clothes with me and went [to them], and having clothed them, brought them to my house. The people [of the city], hearing [the circumstances of the robbery], continued coming to see them, but they did not go out through shame. Three months passed in this same manner; at last I reflected within myself, 'how long will they thus remain squatted in a corner? If it can be brought about, I will take them with me on some voyage.'
"I proposed it to my brothers, and added, 'if you please, I will go with you.' They were silent. I again made the necessary preparations for the voyage, purchased some goods for the trade, and set out and took them with me. After I had distributed the customary alms [for a prosperous voyage], and loaded the merchandise on the ship, we weighed anchor, and the vessel set sail. This dog was sleeping on the banks [of the river]; when he awoke, and saw the ship in the middle of the stream, he was surprised, and having barked and jumped into the river, he began to swim [after us]. I sent a skiff for him, at last having seized [the faithful animal], they conveyed him into the ship. One month passed in safety on the river; somehow, my second brother became enamoured of my slave girl. One day, he thus spoke to our eldest brother, that, 'to bear the load of our younger brother's favours is very shameful; what remedy shall we apply to this [evil]?' The eldest answered, 'I have formed a plan in my mind; if it can be executed, it will be a great thing.' Both at last consulted together, and settled it between them to destroy me, and seize all my property and goods.
"One day, I was asleep in the cabin, and the female slave was shampooing/39/ me, when my second brother came in hastily and awaked me. I started up in a hurry, and came forth [on deck]. This dog also followed me. I saw my eldest brother leaning on his hands against the vessel's side, and intensely looking at the wonders of the river, and calling out to me. I went up to him and said, 'is all well?' He answered, 'Behold this strange sight; mermen are dancing in the stream, with pearl, oysters, and branches of coral in their hands.' If any other had related this circumstance so contrary to reason, I should not, indeed, have believed it. I imagined what my brother said to be true, and bent down my head to look at it. How much soever I looked, I perceived nothing, and he kept saying, 'Do you now see it?' Now, had there been anything, I should have seen it. Perceiving me [by this trick] off my guard, my second brother came behind me, unperceived, and gave me such a push that, without choice, I tumbled into the water, and they began to scream and cry aloud, 'Run, run, our brother has fallen into the river.'
"In the meantime the ship went on, and the waves carried me away from it; I was plunging in the water, and drifting amidst the waves. I became at last quite exhausted; I invoked the aid of God, but nought was of any avail. All of a sudden my hand touched something; I looked at it, and saw this dog. Perhaps, when they pushed me into the river, he also jumped after me, and kept swimming close by my side. I took hold of his tail, and God made him the cause of my salvation. Seven days and nights passed in this manner; the eighth day we reached the shore. I had no strength whatever left, but throwing myself on my back, I rolled along as well as I could, and threw myself on the land. I remained senseless for one whole day; the second day the dog's barking reached my ears; I came to myself, and I thanked God [for my salvation], I began looking around me, and perceived at a distance the environs of a city; but where had I strength, that I should attempt to reach it? Having no other resource, I continued crawling along about two paces, and then rested; in this way I had finished a kos/40/ of the road by the evening.
"Half way [to the city] I reached a mountain, and lay there all night; the next morning I reached the city; when I came to the bazar and saw the shops of the bakers and confectioners, my heart began to palpitate, for I had not money to buy, nor did I feel inclined to beg. In this way, I went along, saying to myself, I will ask something in the next shop. At last, strength had failed me, and my stomach/41/ yearned with extreme hunger; life was nearly quitting my body. By chance, I saw two young men dressed like Persians, walking along hand in hand. On seeing them, my spirits revived, as they seemed [by their dress] to be my countrymen-- perhaps some of my acquaintance-- to whom, therefore, I might relate my circumstances. When they drew near, [I perceived] they were of a verity, my brothers; and on perceiving this, I was extremely rejoiced, and praised God, saying, 'God has preserved my reputation; and I have not stretched forth my hands to strangers [for subsistence].' I went up to them and saluted them, and kissed my eldest brother's hand. Immediately on seeing me, they made a great noise, and my second brother struck me so forcibly that I staggered and fell down. I seized my eldest brother's robe, thinking that he would perhaps take my part; but he gave me a violent kick.
"In short, they both thoroughly pounded me, and behaved to me as Joseph's brothers [did to him]. Though I besought them in God's name [to desist] and implored mercy, yet they felt no pity. A crowd assembled [round us]; and every one asked, 'What is this man's crime?' Then my brothers replied, 'This rascal was our brother's servant and pushed him over into the sea, and seized all his treasure and property. We have been long in search of him, and to-day he has appeared [to us] in this guise.' They then continued questioning me, saying, 'O villain! what [infernal idea] entered thy mind, that thou murderedst our brother? What injury had he done to thee? Had he behaved ill to thee, that he had made thee superintendent [of his affairs]?' They both then tore their own clothes, and wept loudly with sham grief for their brother, and continued to beat and kick me.
"In the meantime, the soldiers of the governor arrived, and having spoken to them threateningly, said, 'Why do you beat him?' And taking hold of my hand, they carried me to the magistrate. These two/42/ also went with us, and repeated to the magistrate the same [tale which they had told the crowd], and having given him something by way of bribe, they demanded justice, and insisted on blood for blood. The magistrate asked me [what I had to say for myself]. Such was my condition from hunger and the blows [I had received], that I had not strength to speak; hanging down my head, I remained standing [in silence]; no answer issued from my mouth. The magistrate also became convinced that I was assuredly a murderer; he ordered me to be led to the plain, and placed on the stake./43/ O, protector of the world,/44/ I had paid money, and got these [two here] released from the Jew's bondage; in return for which, they having given money, endeavoured to take away my life. They are both present; ask them if [in all I have related] I have varied a hair's breadth [from the truth]. Well, they led me out [to the plain]; when I saw the stake, I washed my hands of life.
"Except this dog, I had no one else to weep for me; his state was such that he rolled on every one's feet and barked. Some beat him with sticks, and others with stones, but he would not stir from that place. I stood with my face towards the qibla,/45/ and addressing myself to God, I said, 'At this moment I have no one except Thee to intervene and save the innocent! Now, if Thou savest, I am saved.' After this address, I repeated the prayer of shahadat,/46/ staggered, and then fell. By the dispensation of God, it so happened, that the king of that country was attacked with the colic; the nobles and physicians assembled; whatever remedies they applied, produced no good. One holy man said, 'The best of all remedies is, that alms be given to the destitute, and that all prisoners should be released; for in prayer there is greater efficacy than in physic.' Instantly the royal messengers went off running towards the prisons.
"By chance, someone came to that plain [where I was], and seeing a crowd, he ascertained [from a bystander] that they were placing some person on the stake. Immediately on hearing this, he galloped up to the stake, and cut the ropes with his sword. He threatened and chastised the magistrate's soldiers, and said, 'At such a time, when the king is in such a state, are you going to put a creature of God to death?' and he got me released. Upon which, these two brothers went again to the magistrate, and urged him to put me to death. As this official had already taken a bribe from them, he [readily] acquiesced to do whatever they dictated.
"The magistrate said to them, 'Rest satisfied; I will now confine him in such a way, that he will of himself, from want of food and drink, die of sheer exhaustion, and no one will know anything about it.' They re-seized me, and kept me in a corner. About a kos without the city was a mountain, in which, in the time of Solomon, the divs had dug a deep and narrow well; it was called Solomon's prison. Whoever fell greatly under the king's wrath, was confined in that well, where he perished of himself [from hunger and thirst]. To shorten my story, these two brothers and the magistrate's soldiers carried me at night, in silence, to the mountain, and having cast me into that pit, and thus set their own minds at ease, they returned. O king, this dog went with me, and when they put me into the well, he remained lying on its brink. I lay some time senseless in the inside, and then a little consciousness returned to me; I conceived myself to be dead, and that place my grave At this time I heard the sounds of two men's voices, who were saying something to each other; I concluded that these were Nakir and Munkir,/47/ who were come to question me; and I likewise heard the rustling of a rope, as if some one had let it down there. I was wondering, and began to feel about me on the ground, when some bones came into my gripe.
"After a moment, a noise like that made by the mouth when some one is masticating, struck my ears. I exclaimed, 'O creatures of God, who are ye; tell me for God's sake?' They laughed, and said, 'This is the great Solomon's prison, and we are prisoners.' I asked them, 'Am I really alive?' They again laughed heartily, and replied, 'You are as yet alive, but will soon die.' I said, 'You are eating; what would it be if you were to give me some?' They then got angry, and gave me a dry answer, but nothing else. After eating and drinking, they fell asleep. I through faintness and weakness, fell into a swoon, and wept and dreamed of God. Mighty sire, I had been seven days in the sea, and so many days since without food, owing to my brothers' false accusation; yea, instead of food, I had got a beating, and was now ingulfed in such a prison, that not the least appearance of release came even into my imagination.
"At last, life was leaving me; sometimes it came, and sometimes it left me. From time to time some person used to come at midnight, and let down by a rope some bread tied up in a handkerchief, and a jar of water, and used to call out. Those two men who were confined near me used to seize it and eat and drink. The dog constantly witnessing this circumstance, exerted his intelligence, thus, 'In the way in which this person lets down water and bread into the pit, do thou also make some contrivance whereby some food may reach this destitute one, who is thy master, then may his life be saved.' Thus having reflected, he went to the city, [and saw that] round cakes of bread piled up on the counter at a baker's shop; leaping up, he seized a cake in his mouth, and ran off with it; the people pursued him, and pelted him with clods, but he would not quit the cake; they became tired [of pursuing him], and returned; the dogs of the city ran after him; he fought arid struggled with them, and having saved the cake, he came to the well, and threw in the bread. There was sufficient light for me to see the cake lying near me, and I heard, moreover, the dog bark. I took up the cake; and the dog, after throwing down the bread, went to look for water.
"On the outskirts of a certain village, there was an old woman's hut; jars and pots filled with water stood [at the door], and the old woman was spinning. The dog went up to the pot, and attempted to seize it; the old woman made a threatening noise, and the pot slipped from the dog's mouth and fell upon an earthenware jar which was broken; the rest of the vessels were upset and the water spilt. The old woman seized a stick, and rose up to beat [the animal]; the dog seized the skirt of her clothes, and began to rub his mouth on her feet, and wag his tail; then he ran towards the mountain; again having returned to her, he sometimes seized a rope, and sometimes having taken up a bucket in his mouth, he shewed it [to her]; and he rubbed his face against her feet, and seizing the hem of her garment, he continued pulling her. The Almighty inspired the old woman's heart with compassion, so that she took up the rope and bucket and went along with him. He keeping hold of the end of her clothes, after coming out of the hut, kept going on before her.
"At last, he guided her to the very mountain; the old woman imagined, from the dog's conduct, that his master was confined in the well, and that he, perhaps, wanted water for him. In short, conducting the old woman, he came to the mouth of the well. The old woman filled the bucket with water and let it down by a rope. I seized the vessel and ate a morsel of the cake. I drank two or three gulps of the water, and satisfied my hunger and thirst./48/ I thanked God [for this timely supply], and retired to a corner, and waited with patience for the interference of the Almighty, saying, "Now let us see what is to come about." In this manner, this dumb animal used to bring me bread, and by means of the old woman, he used to supply me with water to drink. When the bakers perceived that the dog always carried off bread [in this way], they took compassion on him, and made it a rule to throw him a cake whenever they saw him; and if the old woman neglected to carry the water, he used to break her pots; so that she, being helpless, used to let down a bucket of water every day. This faithful companion removed all my apprehensions for bread and water, and he himself always lay at the mouth of the prison. Six months passed in this manner; but what must be the condition of the man who was confined so long in such a prison, where the air of heaven could never reach him? Only my skin and bones remained; life became a torment to me, and I used to say in my heart, 'O God, it would be better if my life became extinct!'
"One night, the two prisoners were asleep; my heart overflowed [with sorrow], and I began to weep bitterly, and supplicate/49/ the Almighty [to end my woes]. At the last quarter [of the night], what do I see! that, by the dispensation of God, a rope was hanging down in the well, and I heard [some one] in a low voice saying, 'O, unfortunate wretch! tie the end of the rope tightly to thy hands, and escape from this place.' On hearing these words, I in my heart imagined that my brothers had at last felt compassion for me, and, from the ties of blood, had come in person to take me out. With much joy I tied the rope tightly to my waist; some one pulled me up. The night was so dark, that I could not recognise the person who had hauled me up. When I was out, he said, 'Come, be quick; this is no place to tarry.' I had no strength whatever left; but from fear I rolled down the hill as well as I could. Then I saw at the bottom two horses standing, ready saddled; that person mounted me one of them, and he mounted the other himself, and took the lead. Proceeding on, we reached the banks of a river.
"The morning appeared, and we had gone forth ten or twelve kos from the city. I then saw the young man [very clearly]; he was completely armed, having on a coat of mail, together with back, front, and sidepieces [of burnished steel],/50/ and with iron armour on his horse; he was looking at me with great rage, and biting his lips, he drew his sword from the scabbard, and springing his horse towards mine, he made a cut at me. I threw myself off my horse [on the ground], and called out for mercy, and said, 'I am faultless; why are you about to kill me? O, kind sir, from such a prison you have taken me out, and now wherefore this unkindness?' He replied, 'Tell me the truth, who art thou.' I answered, I am a traveller, and have been involved in unmerited calamity; by your humane assistance, I have at last come out alive. And I addressed to him many other flattering expressions.
"God inspired his heart with pity. He sheathed his sword, and said, 'Well, what God wills, he does; go, I spare thee thy life; remount quickly; this is no place to delay.' We put our horses to their speed, and went forward; on the road he continued to sigh and show signs of regret. By the time of mid-day,/51/ we reached an island. There the young man got off his horse, and made me also dismount; he took off the saddles and pads from the horses' backs, and let them loose to graze; he also took off his arms from his own person, and sat down and said to me, 'O you of evil destiny, relate now your story, that I may know who you are,' I told him my name and place of residence, and whatever various misfortunes had befallen me, I related to the end.
The veiled horseman who rescued the first and second Darweshes from self-destruction.
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