The arabian night:

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    In the
    chronicles of the ancient dynasty of the
    Sassanidae, who reigned for about four
    hundred years, from Persia to the borders
    of China, beyond the great river Ganges
    itself, we read the praises of one of the
    kings of this race, who was said to be the
    best monarch of his time. His subjects
    loved him, and his neighbors feared him,
    and when he died he left his kingdom in
    a more prosperous and powerful
    condition than any king had done before
    The two sons who survived him loved
    each other tenderly, and it was a real
    grief to the elder, Schahriar, that the laws
    of the empire forbade him to share his
    dominions with his brother Schahzeman.
    Indeed, after ten years, during which this
    state of things had not ceased to trouble
    him, Schahriar cut off the country of
    Great Tartary from the Persian Empire
    and made his brother king.
    Now the Sultan Schahriar had a wife
    whom he loved more than all the world,
    and his greatest happiness was to
    surround her with splendour, and to give
    her the finest dresses and the most
    beautiful jewels. It was therefore with the
    deepest shame and sorrow that he
    accidentally discovered, after several
    years, that she had deceived him
    completely, and her whole conduct
    turned out to have been so bad, that he
    felt himself obliged to carry out the law
    of the land, and order the grand-vizir to
    put her to death. The blow was so heavy
    that his mind almost gave way, and he
    declared that he was quite sure that at
    bottom all women were as wicked as the
    sultana, if you could only find them out,
    and that the fewer the world contained
    the better. So every evening he married a
    fresh wife and had her strangled the
    following morning before the grand-vizir,
    whose duty it was to provide these
    unhappy brides for the Sultan. The poor
    man fulfilled his task with reluctance, but
    there was no escape, and every day saw a
    girl married and a wife dead.
    This behaviour caused the greatest horror
    in the town, where nothing was heard
    but cries and lamentations. In one house
    was a father weeping for the loss of his
    daughter, in another perhaps a mother
    trembling for the fate of her child; and
    instead of the blessings that had formerly
    been heaped on the Sultan’s head, the air
    was now full of curses.
    The grand-vizir himself was the father of
    two daughters, of whom the elder was
    called Scheherazade, and the younger
    Dinarzade. Dinarzade had no particular
    gifts to distinguish her from other girls,
    but her sister was clever and courageous
    in the highest degree. Her father had
    given her the best masters in philosophy,
    medicine, history and the fine arts, and
    besides all this, her beauty excelled that
    of any girl in the kingdom of Persia.
    One day, when the grand-vizir was
    talking to his eldest daughter, who was
    his delight and pride, Scheherazade said
    to him, “Father, I have a favour to ask of
    you. Will you grant it to me?”
    “I can refuse you nothing,” replied he,
    “that is just and reasonable.”
    “Then listen,” said Scheherazade. “I am
    determined to stop this barbarous
    practice of the Sultan’s, and to deliver
    the girls and mothers from the awful fate
    that hangs over them.”
    “It would be an excellent thing to do,”
    returned the grand-vizir, “but how do
    you propose to accomplish it?”
    “My father,” answered Scheherazade, “it
    is you who have to provide the Sultan
    daily with a fresh wife, and I implore you,
    by all the affection you bear me, to allow
    the honour to fall upon me.”
    “Have you lost your senses?” cried the
    grand-vizir, starting back in horror.
    “What has put such a thing into your
    head? You ought to know by this time
    what it means to be the sultan’s bride!”
    “Yes, my father, I know it well,” replied
    she, “and I am not afraid to think of it. If
    I fail, my death will be a glorious one,
    and if I succeed I shall have done a great
    service to my country.”
    “It is of no use,” said the grand-vizir, “I
    shall never consent. If the Sultan was to
    order me to plunge a dagger in your
    heart, I should have to obey. What a task
    for a father! Ah, if you do not fear death,
    fear at any rate the anguish you would
    cause me.”
    “Once again, my father,” said
    Scheherazade, “will you grant me what I
    “What, are you still so obstinate?”
    exclaimed the grand-vizir. “Why are you
    so resolved upon your own ruin?”
    But the maiden absolutely refused to
    attend to her father’s words, and at
    length, in despair, the grand-vizir was
    obliged to give way, and went sadly to
    the palace to tell the Sultan that the
    following evening he would bring him
    The Sultan received this news with the
    greatest astonishment.
    “How have you made up your mind,” he
    asked, “to sacrifice your own daughter to
    “Sire,” answered the grand-vizir, “it is
    her own wish. Even the sad fate that
    awaits her could not hold her back.”
    “Let there be no mistake, vizir,” said the
    Sultan. “Remember you will have to take
    her life yourself. If you refuse, I swear
    that your head shall pay forfeit.”
    “Sire,” returned the vizir. “Whatever the
    cost, I will obey you. Though a father, I
    am also your subject.” So the Sultan told
    the grand-vizir he might bring his
    daughter as soon as he liked.
    The vizir took back this news to
    Scheherazade, who received it as if it had
    been the most pleasant thing in the
    world. She thanked her father warmly for
    yielding to her wishes, and, seeing him
    still bowed down with grief, told him that
    she hoped he would never repent having
    allowed her to marry the Sultan. Then
    she went to prepare herself for the
    marriage, and begged that her sister
    Dinarzade should be sent for to speak to
    When they were alone, Scheherazade
    addressed her thus:
    “My dear sister; I want your help in a
    very important affair. My father is going
    to take me to the palace to celebrate my
    marriage with the Sultan. When his
    Highness receives me, I shall beg him, as
    a last favour, to let you sleep in our
    chamber, so that I may have your
    company during the last night I am alive.
    If, as I hope, he grants me my wish, be
    sure that you wake me an hour before
    the dawn, and speak to me in these
    words: “My sister, if you are not asleep, I
    beg you, before the sun rises, to tell me
    one of your charming stories.” Then I
    shall begin, and I hope by this means to
    deliver the people from the terror that
    reigns over them.” Dinarzade replied that
    she would do with pleasure what her
    sister wished.
    When the usual hour arrived the grand-
    vizir conducted Scheherazade to the
    palace, and left her alone with the Sultan,
    who bade her raise her veil and was
    amazed at her beauty. But seeing her eyes
    full of tears, he asked what was the
    matter. “Sire,” replied Scheherazade, “I
    have a sister who loves me as tenderly as
    I love her. Grant me the favour of
    allowing her to sleep this night in the
    same room, as it is the last we shall be
    together.” Schahriar consented to
    Scheherazade’s petition and Dinarzade
    was sent for.
    An hour before daybreak Dinarzade
    awoke, and exclaimed, as she had
    promised, “My dear sister, if you are not
    asleep, tell me I pray you, before the sun
    rises, one of your charming stories. It is
    the last time that I shall have the
    pleasure of hearing you.”
    Scheherazade did not answer her sister,
    but turned to the Sultan. “Will your
    highness permit me to do as my sister
    asks?” said she.
    “Willingly,” he answered. So
    Scheherazade began.

    #1003235 Reply
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    #1003243 Reply
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    Nice Start

    #1003250 Reply
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    Arabian night… The title reminds me of Aladdin and the forty thieves

    #1003924 Reply
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    episode 2
    ( The merchant and the Genie)

    Sire, there was once upon a time a
    merchant who possessed great wealth, in
    land and merchandise, as well as in ready
    money. He was obliged from time to time
    to take journeys to arrange his affairs.
    One day, having to go a long way from
    home, he mounted his horse, taking with
    him a small wallet in which he had put a
    few biscuits and dates, because he had to
    pass through the desert where no food
    was to be got. He arrived without any
    mishap, and, having finished his business,
    set out on his return. On the fourth day of
    his journey, the heat of the sun being
    very great, he turned out of his road to
    rest under some trees. He found at the
    foot of a large walnut-tree a fountain of
    clear and running water. He dismounted,
    fastened his horse to a branch of the tree,
    and sat by the fountain, after having
    taken from his wallet some of his dates
    and biscuits. When he had finished this
    frugal mean he washed his face and
    hands in the fountain.
    When he was thus employed he saw an
    enormous Genie, white with rage, coming
    towards him, with a scimitar in his hand.
    “Arise,” he cried in a terrible voice, “and
    let me kill you as you have killed my
    As he uttered these words he gave a
    frightful yell. The merchant, quite as
    much terrified at the hideous face of the
    monster as at his words, answered him
    tremblingly, “Alas, good sir, what can I
    have done to you to deserve death?”
    “I shall kill you,” repeated the Genie, “as
    you have killed my son.”
    “But,” said the merchant, “How can I
    have killed your son? I do not know him,
    and I have never even seen him.”
    “When you arrived here did you not sit
    down on the ground?” asked the Genie,
    “and did you not take some dates from
    your wallet, and whilst eating them did
    not you throw the stones about?”
    “Yes,” said the merchant, “I certainly did
    “Then,” said the Genie, “I tell you you
    have killed my son, for whilst you were
    throwing about the stones, my son passed
    by, and one of them struck him in the
    eye and killed him. So I shall kill you.”
    “Ah, sir, forgive me!” cried the merchant.
    “I will have no mercy on you,” answered
    the Genie.
    “But I killed your son quite
    unintentionally, so I implore you to spare
    my life.”
    “No,” said the Genie, “I shall kill you as
    you killed my son,” and so saying, he
    seized the merchant by the arm, threw
    him on the ground, and lifted his sabre to
    cut off his head.
    The merchant, protesting his innocence,
    bewailed his wife and children, and tried
    pitifully to avert his fate. The Genie, with
    his raised scimitar, waited till he had
    finished, bit was not in the least touched.
    Scheherazade, at this point, seeing that it
    was day, and knowing that the Sultan
    always rose very early to attend the
    council, stopped speaking.
    “Indeed, sister,” said Dinarzade, “this is a
    wonderful story.”
    “The rest is still more wonderful,” replied
    Scheherazade, “and you would say so, if
    the sultan would allow me to live another
    day, and would give me leave to tell it to
    you the next night.”
    Schahriar, who had been listening to
    Scheherazade with pleasure, said to
    himself, “I will wait till to-morrow; I can
    always have her killed when I have heard
    the end of her story.”
    All this time the grand-vizir was in a
    terrible state of anxiety. But he was much
    delighted when he saw the Sultan enter
    the council-chamber without giving the
    terrible command that he was expecting.
    The next morning, before the day broke,
    Dinarzade said to her sister, “Dear sister,
    if you are awake I pray you to go on with
    your story.”
    The Sultan did not wait for Scheherazade
    to ask his leave. “Finish,” said he, “the
    story of the Genie and the merchant. I am
    curious to hear the end.”
    So Scheherazade went on with the story.
    This happened every morning. The
    Sultana told a story, and the Sultan let
    her live to finish it.
    When the merchant saw that the Genie
    was determined to cut off his head, he
    said: “One word more, I entreat you.
    Grant me a little delay; just a short time
    to go home and bid my wife and children
    farewell, and to make my will. When I
    have done this I will come back here, and
    you shall kill me.”
    “But,” said the Genie, “if I grant you the
    delay you ask, I am afraid that you will
    not come back.”
    “I give you my word of honour,”
    answered the merchant, “that I will come
    back without fail.”
    “How long do you require?” asked the
    “I ask you for a year’s grace,” replied the
    merchant. “I promise you that to-morrow
    twelvemonth, I shall be waiting under
    these trees to give myself up to you.”
    On this the Genie left him near the
    fountain and disappeared.
    The merchant, having recovered from his
    fright, mounted his horse and went on his
    When he arrived home his wife and
    children received him with the greatest
    joy. But instead of embracing them he
    began to weep so bitterly that they soon
    guessed that something terrible was the
    “Tell us, I pray you,” said his wife, “what
    has happened.”
    “Alas!” answered her husband, “I have
    only a year to live.”
    Then he told them what had passed
    between him and the Genie, and how he
    had given his word to return at the end
    of a year to be killed. When they heard
    this sad news they were in despair, and
    wept much.
    The next day the merchant began to
    settle his affairs, and first of all to pay his
    debts. He gave presents to his friends,
    and large alms to the poor. He set his
    slaves at liberty, and provided for his
    wife and children. The year soon passed
    away, and he was obliged to depart.
    When he tried to say good-bye he was
    quite overcome with grief, and with
    difficulty tore himself away. At length he
    reached the place where he had first seen
    the Genie, on the very day that he had
    appointed. He dismounted, and sat down
    at the edge of the fountain, where he
    awaited the Genie in terrible suspense.
    Whilst he was thus waiting an old man
    leading a hind came towards him. They
    greeted one another, and then the old
    man said to him, “May I ask, brother,
    what brought you to this desert place,
    where there are so many evil genii
    about? To see these beautiful trees one
    would imagine it was inhabited, but it is
    a dangerous place to stop long in.”
    The merchant told the old man why he
    was obliged to come there. He listened in
    “This is a most marvelous affair. I should
    like to be a witness of your interview
    with the Genie.” So saying he sat down
    by the merchant.
    While they were talking another old man
    came up, followed by two black dogs. He
    greeted them, and asked what they were
    doing in this place. The old man who was
    leading the hind told him the adventure
    of the merchant and the Genie. The
    second old man had not sooner heard the
    story than he, too, decided to stay there
    to see what would happen. He sat down
    by the others, and was talking, when a
    third old man arrived. He asked why the
    merchant who was with them looked so
    sad. They told him the story, and he also
    resolved to see what would pass between
    the Genie and the merchant, so waited
    with the rest.
    They soon saw in the distance a thick
    smoke, like a cloud of dust. This smoke
    came nearer and nearer, and then, all at
    once, it vanished, and they saw the
    Genie, who, without speaking to them,
    approached the merchant, sword in
    hand, and, taking him by the arm, said,
    “Get up and let me kill you as you killed
    my son.”
    The merchant and the three old men
    began to weep and groan.
    Then the old man leading the hind threw
    himself at the monster’s feet and said, “O
    Prince of the Genii, I beg of you to stay
    your fury and to listen to me. I am going
    to tell you my story and that of the hind I
    have with me, and if you find it more
    marvellous than that of the merchant
    whom you are about to kill, I hope that
    you will do away with a third part of his
    The Genie considered some time, and
    then he said, “Very well, I agree to this.”

    #1003925 Reply
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    more comments keeps me going

    #1004136 Reply
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    morning guys

    #1004138 Reply
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    episode 3

    ” The first Old Man and Of The Hind”

    I am now going to begin my story (said
    the old man), so please attend.
    This hind that you see with me is my
    wife. We have no children of our own,
    therefore I adopted the son of a favorite
    slave, and determined to make him my
    My wife, however, took a great dislike to
    both mother and child, which she
    concealed from me till too late. When my
    adopted son was about ten years old I
    was obliged to go on a journey. Before I
    went I entrusted to my wife’s keeping
    both the mother and child, and begged
    her to take care of them during my
    absence, which lasted a whole year.
    During this time she studied magic in
    order to carry out her wicked scheme.
    When she had learnt enough she took my
    son into a distant place and changed him
    into a calf. Then she gave him to my
    steward, and told him to look after a calf
    she had bought. She also changed the
    slave into a cow, which she sent to my
    When I returned I inquired after my slave
    and the child. “Your slave is dead,” she
    said, “and as for your son, I have not seen
    him for two months, and I do not know
    where he is.”
    I was grieved to hear of my slave’s death,
    but as my son had only disappeared, I
    thought I should soon find him. Eight
    months, however, passed, and still no
    tidings of him; then the feast of Bairam
    To celebrate it I ordered my steward to
    bring me a very fat cow to sacrifice. He
    did so. The cow that he brought was my
    unfortunate slave. I bound her, but just
    as I was about to kill her she began to
    low most piteously, and I saw that her
    eyes were streaming with tears. It seemed
    to me most extraordinary, and, feeling a
    movement of pity, I ordered the steward
    to lead her away and bring another. My
    wife, who was present, scoffed at my
    compassion, which made her malice of
    no avail. “What are you doing?” she
    cried. “Kill this cow. It is the best we
    have to sacrifice.”
    To please her, I tried again, but again the
    animal’s lows and tears disarmed me.
    “Take her away,” I said to the steward,
    “and kill her; I cannot.”
    The steward killed her, but on skinning
    her found that she was nothing but
    bones, although she appeared so fat. I
    was vexed.
    “Keep her for yourself,” I said to the
    steward, “and if you have a fat calf, bring
    that in her stead.”
    In a short time he brought a very fat calf,
    which, although I did not know it, was
    my son. It tried hard to break its cord
    and come to me. It threw itself at my feet,
    with its head on the ground, as if it
    wished to excite my pity, and to beg me
    not to take away its life.
    I was even more surprised and touched at
    this action than I had been at the tears of
    the cow.
    “Go,” I said to the steward, “take back
    this calf, take great care of it, and bring
    me another in its place instantly.”
    As soon as my wife heard me speak this
    she at once cried out, “What are you
    doing, husband? Do not sacrifice any calf
    but this.”
    “Wife,” I answered, “I will not sacrifice
    this calf,” and in spite of all her
    remonstrances, I remained firm.
    I had another calf killed; this one was led
    away. The next day the steward asked to
    speak to me in private.
    “I have come,” he said, “to tell you some
    news which I think you will like to hear. I
    have a daughter who knows magic.
    Yesterday, when I was leading back the
    calf which you refused to sacrifice, I
    noticed that she smiled, and then directly
    afterwards began to cry. I asked her why
    she did so.”
    “Father,” she answered, “this calf is the
    son of our master. I smile with joy at
    seeing him still alive, and I weep to think
    of his mother, who was sacrificed
    yesterday as a cow. These changes have
    been wrought by our master’s wife, who
    hated the mother and son.”
    “At these words, of Genie,” continued the
    old man, “I leave you to imagine my
    astonishment. I went immediately with
    the steward to speak with his daughter
    myself. First of all I went to the stable to
    see my son, and he replied in his dumb
    way to all my caresses. When the
    steward’s daughter came I asked her if
    she could change my son back to his
    proper shape.”
    “Yes, I can,” she replied, “on two
    conditions. One is that you will give him
    to me for a husband, and the other is that
    you will let me punish the woman who
    changed him into a calf.”
    “To the first condition,” I answered, “I
    agree with all my heart, and I will give
    you an ample dowry. To the second I also
    agree, I only beg you to spare her life.”
    “That I will do,” she replied; “I will treat
    her as she treated your son.”
    Then she took a vessel of water and
    pronounced over it some words I did not
    understand; then, on throwing the water
    over him, he became immediately a
    young man once more.
    “My son, my dear son,” I exclaimed,
    kissing him in a transport of joy. “This
    kind maiden has rescued you from a
    terrible enchantment, and I am sure that
    out of gratitude you will marry her.”
    He consented joyfully, but before they
    were married, the young girl changed my
    wife into a hind, and it is she whom you
    see before you. I wished her to have this
    form rather than a stranger one, so that
    we could see her in the family without
    Since then my son has become a widower
    and has gone travelling. I am now going
    in search of him, and not wishing to
    confide my wife to the care of other
    people, I am taking her with me. Is this
    not a most marvellous tale?
    “It is indeed,” said the Genie, “and
    because of it I grant to you the third part
    of the punishment of this merchant.”
    When the first old man had finished his
    story, the second, who was leading the
    two black dogs, said to the Genie, “I am
    going to tell you what happened to me,
    and I am sure that you will find my story
    even more astonishing than the one to
    which you have just been listening. But
    when I have related it, will you grant me
    also the third part of the merchant’s
    “Yes,” replied the Genie, “provided that
    your story surpasses that of the hind.”
    With this agreement the second old man
    began in this way.

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