Facsimile and Transcript
enraged, exclaimed, “Cursed dog, what are you doing?”
Immediately, the luckless Melech Mahommed made a bound and assumed the shape of a dog. Then, the servants ran and with hard blows, drove him out of the palace. Melech Mahommed said to himself
Black be the hour and black the day
That led my wandering wide astray
After running up and down and lingering here and there for some time, the poor dog, quite ashamed of his condition, turned towards the city. Danish Bait had mounted his horse and was proceeding to court when the dog ran and crawled beneath the horse’s belly and cowering fawned among his feet.
Danish Bait immediately comprehended the matter. “Ah,” thought he, “it is that unhappy Nephew of mine that has got into this disgraceful situation.” He immediately ordered him to be carried to the dog kennel. “As long as he lives,” thought he, “he shall wear a dog’s collar round his neck.”
Melech Mahommed saw that he had nothing for him but to trust to providence and
said to himself,
“The rose of fortune blossoms fair
The thorn is still my luckless share.”
Six months he remained in the shape of a dog.
One day, Anushah said, “It is a long time now since I have heard anything of my friend Gheti Afroz. What can have come of Melech Mahommed? Can he be playing at chess with her all this while? I must go and see how matters go on.”
He immediately mounted a horse and with a few attendants arrived at the door of her palace. The door was opened and the Shah went in and saw Gheti Afroz adorned in splendid garments of gold cloth. She immediately advanced and, taking him by the hand, conducted him up to the throne and ordered the wine to be introduced. Ruh Afza instantly brought in the ruby wine and they passed the night away in quaffing the goblet and relishing the choicest fruits. When the circle of the earth illuminating Sun descended into the gulf of Babel and the earth
had arrayed herself in sable garments or as the Poetsays when
The Zingi legions ifsing sad and slow
O’er earths green visture bid their tresses flow
While as their blackening ranks debate afar
The sky glows brilliant as one sparkling star.
The Shah retired to his couch of rest, but Gheti Afroz sent for Ruh Afza and said, “contrive by art Magic to turn this Shah of yours into the form of an animal that he may know how poor Melech Mahommed fares, so that some comfort may teach that unhappy lover
When love my friend assails with glances sly
The devotee will find it hard to fly
For in a single Moment disappears
The sage devotion of an hundred years
Whour the lovers feverish pulse would try
Must know the symptoms well by sympathy
Great Avicennas’ skies had all been vain
Caliph himself had felt the lover’s pain.”
Ruh Afza said, “with all my heart I myself wished to propose the very thing to your Majesty.”
In short, the first part of the night had passed, and the Shah was intoxicated with ruby
and the kisses of his Mistress and as the song says
Law at her feet the lover fell
But then other what tongue can tell
The sweet caresses sighs and kisses
That serve to usher sweeter blesses26
The Shah, eager to crop the new blown rose of desire, wished to sleep in the same couch with Ruh Afrza.
She proved capricious and getting into a passion exclaimed, “Ha you cat, what would you scratch me?”
Instantly, the magnanimous king of the nations felt himself whirled giddily round in a circle and taking a spring with his head down most and his heels utmost assumed the form of a cat. Astonished and vexed at the incident that had befallen him, he knew not what to do with himself and till morning he strolled through the garden caterwauling his fate most piteously. When the sun that world subduing Secanider unveiled his glittering countenance, the Shah, ashamed of his situation, crept out of the precincts of the palace and concealed himself in a corner.
At morning, Danish Bait arose
and said to himself, “I must try to get some news of the Shah and his affairs amongst the Peris.”
He mounted his horse and when he came near the Palace, he saw the cat running to meet him. “Ah,” thought he, “it is the Shah sure enough,” and he cried, “very well done great prince.”
Immediately the cat came up to him and he lifted it and placed it in his bosom. Then having sent for the box of medicine, she put a little into the cat’s mouth when the cat whirled round and round and then assumed its own shape.
The Shah immediately dressed himself and rode off for the palace. He was more mortified with the accident than ever a person was in the world and said to Danish Bait, “There is neither while not stratagem by which I can be avenged of her for a Mortal man like me can never contend with a Peri. Thus far, however, I can. Melech Majommed is her sole delight. I will put him to death and sear her bosom with a lasting wound.”
The Vizier answered, “Be it according to your Majesty’s pleasure.”
“Where is he?”s aid the Shah, “send for him instantly.”
Fortunately, however, Gheti Afroz, after the Shah was changed into a cat, had sent a
Perizadi to watch his motions and inform her of whatever should happen. When the Peri heard him express his intention of putting Melech Mahommed to death, she instantly set out to inform her mistress who was presently acquainted with all their proceedings. As soon as Gheti Afroz heard the news, she began to weep and wail bitterly and instantly springing up proceeded to the Court of the Shah.
When the Shah enquired for Melech Mahommed, Danish Bait informed him that he was in the shape of a dog and chained up in his dog kennel. The Shah directly sent some executioners in quest of him, who with great rage and cruelly loosed the dogs and brought them out, lashing them severally all the way.
“This is but cold kindness,” thought Melech Mahommed, “doubtless this day will be the death of me.” Fetching a deep sigh, he repeated the following verses:
Sweet Zephyr to my love impart
The anguish of my banished heart
She feasts from care and sorrow free
And never never thinks of me
If where my charmers graces dwell
She would but grant her slave a cell
Blest in her view with conscious pride
I yet would were the ass hide
Sweet zephyr to my fair impart
The anguish of my fainting heart
Gheti Afroz comprehended his meaning and instantly exclaimed in a loud voice, “My faithful Melech Mahommed, why as you not resume your own own form?”
When the dog heard the voice of the princess, he whirled rapidly round and resumed his own form amid the dogs like a flash of lightening. When Anu Shah was informed of this event, he bit his nails in astonishment and vexation and, finding himself without remedy, he sat stock still with shame and mortification.
Gheti Afroz in the kindest and tenderest manner said to Melech Mahommed, “How stupidly have I managed the business that you have heard nothing of what has happened.” For indeed the luckless lover had heard nothing of the adventures at the Palace of the Peris. Gheti Afroz then informed him all her proceedings for which he was extremely grateful and said,
“For thy dear love who would not bear
Adventures ever strange and rare”
The jovial assembly met and Ruh Afza handed
round the ruby colored wine to the sound of mirth and music. The two lovers were all the world to each other and Melech Mahommed kissed her hands and feet repeating this verse:
All mortal love compared with thee
Seems like the pathway dust to me
The dust shall flit in empty air
Nor ever soil a foot so far
While there they enjoyed each other’s society, the voice of Perizadas with terrible noise and tumult was heard in the Med and they presently perceived that it was the Vizir of the king to whom Gheti Afroz had been betrothed by her father Ansor Shah. He came as an ambassador and was introduced into the presence of the princess who ordered him to deliver his message.
“May you attain every happiness,” said he, “thy Master desires me to say ‘My heart has for a long time been yours but you have never shown me any affection. Meantime, the precious days of life are given to the wind. If it be your intention rather have pity on me and kill me at once, for one of your glances is the sign of life or death to me, but if there is any kindness in your tender heart, give
me a favorable answer that I may know my fate.”
Gheti Afroz answered, “Let him take off his affections from me and leave me to the enjoyment of my own destiny. This youth of the race of man who sits here before you will I make the diadem of my power. Hope nothing from me for I am quite incapable of altering my conduct.”
The Vizir replied, “Thou art done with me and I am done with thee,” and immediately departed with a burning breast and a watery eye.
Gheti Afroz took the hand of Melech Mahommed and seated him on her own throne and said, “My faithful friend. In your separations from me you have endured many distresses, but now I am wholly and solely yours. I devote myself to you and resign myself entirely into your hands. Be you my head the throne the kingdom and myself are yours then.”
When Melech Mahommed heard these words, had he been sick for a hundred years he would have instantly revived, and he repeated
He that in thirst expiring lay
Has found where life’s pure waters play
The wealth of all the world can bring
No joy like Life’s celestial spring,
Then the faithful Melech Mahommed sat on throne and spent all the rest of his life in the glances of his beautiful Mistress in joy, rejoicing mirth, and pleasure, and the full enjoyment of his desires.
Danadil had no sooner finished the story than Semen Ruh arose and threw herself at the feet of the Sheik
“How are you now?” said the sheik.
She replied, “By your favour, I am quite recovered and I now perceive no vestige of my disorder.”
Azar Shah likewise fell at the feet of Sheik and expressed his obligations. He extolled Danadil and Roshen Zemir to the skies and punished the sorceress with the edge of the sword. He ordered the double drums, durms, and cornets to be sounded and prepared a royal entertainment and distributed great sums in charity. He invited all the learned men and men of science and caused the city to be adorned with mirrors and declared himself the disciple of the venerable Sheik.
After sometime, the Sheik requested permission to depart and was attended the first stage by the king with every species of respect and honour. There, the
Shah took leave of him and returned to his own City of Abez where he ordered a public thanksgiving and lived in happiness and pleasure with Semen Ruh in the full attainment of his desires with a numerous offspring. Thus, God granted their desires and wishes and so may he grant all of us to quaff copiously the sherbet of his presence and love through the favour of the prophet and his descendants. Amen.
Copy from a Mss. in the possession of Leyden Mordaunt Ricketts Calcutta 26th January 1812