Pages 91-134

surprised and asked,

“Who has brought this ox here?” Immediately the Shah recollected that he had not seen Melech Mahommed that morning.

“God forbid,” said he, “that this unlucky beast should be our friend himself. Bring us toward where he is; perhaps he has gone to his uncle’s house.” His uncle immediately bowed his head to the ground and said,

“God knows I can tell you nothing about him.” But as soon as he saw the ox adorned with gold and jewels, thought he,

“I would not wonder if this very animal were that ill fated fellow,” and he said with a sarcastic smile,

“May the King live forever if Melech Mahommed be not standing in the presence in beauty and grandeur for Gheti Afroz has gone and left him here to draw.” The prince asked where he was.

“There he is!” said Danish Bait, “tied in a most magnificent style to the tree.”

“It was very wrong,” said the prince, “for Melech Mahommed to kiss the cheek of the princess in the manner he did before all the company.” The hapless ox said to himself,

“I also repent of it most heartily, but I have some hopes from the courtesy and kindness of the king. A shower of tears trickled down his ox-like face. Danish Bait said,

“If the king will not credit it, let him only look here.” He began to lament bitterly by the side of the ox, crying,

“Melech Mahommed, if this be you make some sign to let me know!” The ox made signs by nodding his head. Danish Bait said,

“The curse of God light on you and your doings, wretch, that you are of matchless shamelessness and impudence.” He called his people to get cords and bind him and make him carry all the water that was wanted for ablution. The Shah and all who were at the banquet burst out a laugh. While the hapless—

He that hath happiness in store
May laugh today or tomorrow
But a man will never laugh the more
That his heart is oppressed with sorrows

At last Danish Bait called to his servants to loosen that ill-starred wretch and drive him off to his house. Mounting his horse, he set out while they drove the ox before him all the way. When he got home he ordered them to conduct him to the stall and every day to give him fodder till he grew fat.

“When winter comes,” said he, “I will have him boiled and make mince meat of him, to show that he meant to keep his promise.” He gave one of his people the charge of him till he should grow fat. The poor helpless ox was forced to take up his residence in the stall. A long time passed away and the affair slipped out of the memory of the Shah, and still his uncle showed no sign of compassion. For the space of six months he stayed in the stall. It happened, however, one day that as the Prince was at his wine it came to his head that it was a long while since he had heard any news of Gheti Afroz and that all the while she seemed to have quite forgotten him.

“Who,” thought he, “shall I send to fetch tidings of her?” He recollected the unlucky Melech Mahommed, who had been his messenger on a former occasion and who was still in the shape of an ox.

“What was to be done,” the prince said to Danish Bait, “can you for this time do me the favor to restore Melech Mahommed to his proper shape?” The Vizir recollected the oath he had taken never again to give him medicine, but suffer him to die in the shape in which he was. He began to make excuses and even sent for the box of medicine and showed it to the prince that he might see with his own eyes that he could give him no more.

“To cure him,” said he, “by any other means will be very difficult.” After remaining some time silent, the Shah said,

“To gratify me, make a little more of that medicine.” He answered,

“May the king live for ever if the plant of which it is made can be procured in this country any where except on the hill of Serendil! When the Prince asked how many days journey it was off, he answered a whole month’s journey. The Prince ordered some swift runners to be brought into the presence and asked them in how many days they could bring him that plant. One said in twenty days. The prince said,

“It must be brought much more quickly!" Another said,

“In fifteen days.” The Prince said,

“It must be brought much sooner than that!” Then said one of them,

“I will bring it in ten days.” The Prince conferred on him great rewards and presents beyond number and bade him instantly depart. The Messenger set out with speed and flew like the swiftest falcon. In five days he arrived at the foot of the Hill, and, by the favour of Providence, brought away the plant in his hand. Immediately turning round, he began to fly like a bird so that on the tenth day at noon he presented the plant to the Shah. The Shah praised him highly and conferred on him many honors. Sending for Danish Bait, he showed him the plant. Danish Bait, at the command of the Shah, immediately brought some other ingredients from his house and prepared such a quantity of the medicine that if Melech Mahommed had been metamorphosed a hundred times into a beast it would have been sufficient to restore him to his own shape. The Shah ordered Melech Mahommed to be brought. They brought him accordingly and placed him at the foot of the throne. Danish Bait said,

“Fallacious face, this time, by the fortune and favour of the Shah, you are to become a man. Else you would have died under your disgrace, for you would have never been cured by me. But if you will now take a solemn oath never again to incur the same, I will give you the medicine once more.” The ox saw that the box was again full of medicine and immediately he began to significantly move his head up and down as much as to say that he promised whatever they pleased. Danish Bait ordered them to lower a little water on the medicine and pour it into his mouth. As soon as he had swallowed it, he made a bound and stood up in his own form. He immediately expressed obeisance to the Shah and fell at his uncle’s feet, but they dispatched him directly to the bath. After he had dressed himself, he returned to the presence of the Shah. The Shah said,

“Really Melech Mahommed, you have made a beast of yourself often enough that now you occasion great distress to me and my Vizir.” He promised faithfully to do so no more and made a great many apologies.

The Visit of Gheti Afroz and Melech Mahommed to court of her Father Ansar Shah, king of the Peris

The Shah again ordered him to carry a message—to present his respect to Ghiz afram and to tell her that it was now a long while since he had heard how she fated and he was quite distressed at her coldness and he was anxious to have the pleasure of seeing her. Melech Mahommed took his leave, mounted his steed and soon arrived at the door of the palace. He knocked at the door. Gheti Afroz heard a noise without and cried,

“Open the door; for my faithful Melech Mahommed is come!” Immediately the door was opened. He entered and saw Gheti Afroz sitting on the throne draped in green garments. Her ears and neck were adorned with rich jewels, a perfect picture of voluptuousness and pleasure. Melech Mahommed said,

“Great God! Here have I been spending my precious days in woe for the space of six months, separated from you, while you are living as merry as the day is long without the slightest regard to my situation. He then repeated this verse—

“‘Tis a strange custom is it not
Alas those men maintain it true
The absent ever are forgot
Soon as their face is out of view”

Gheti Afroz said, “I swear by god I have thought of you day and night, all the time!” But come sit down beside me. She placed him by her side. He called for wine and Ruh afza with the cupbearers entered. The cup had passed round several times when a wonderful and extraordinary noise rang from the azure vault of heaven and forty of the Perizadas mounted on horseback appeared. Gheti Afroz saw that the pomp and state was that of one of her elder brothers. With great tumult they entered the palace. Gheti Afroz arose and made respectful salutations, and with great kindness enquired concerning the state of her brother’s health and how her mother, father, sister, aunt, and the whole of her relations were. Her brother answered every question civilly, and seeing a youth of the race of man sitting by her side, he said,

“Gheti afroz, is this the person of human race of whom you are so much enamoured?” She answered,

“It is.” He asked,

“What is his name?” She said

“The faithful Melech Mahommed.”

“What fidelity,” said he, “has he shown to you?” She said,

“He has endured the most wonderful distress for my sake, and has never lost his patience.”

The colour left the cheek of Melech Mahommed, who said to himself,

“What new mischief in the Devil’s name means to come of all this?” Gheti Afroz saw that he was terribly frightened and in a most affectionate manner said,

“You now! What are you afraid of? You have nothing to do with anybody but myself! Take courage, Melech.” Melech Mahommed then recovered a little tranquility of mind. The brother of Gheti Afroz laid hold of her hand.

“Sister, you must swear by the unity of the just and powerful God and the favour of the prophet Solomon that you will for once return to the allegiance of your father. At this very time the marriage of our elder brother is to be celebrated and, if you are absent, the ornament of the family will be absent and, though you have cause to be angry, do not expose me to the disgrace of a fruitless journey.” He pressed her so earnestly that Gheti Afroz could not find in her heart to resist his importunity. She rose and ordered her car and desired all her attendants to make ready.

“On one condition alone,” said she, “I will go with you. I have a particular affection for this youth of the race of man and from him I cannot endure to be absent for a moment. I will take him along with me, and therefore take care that nobody behave to him disrespectfully. Her brother said,

“Do exactly as you think proper. I will act with proper respect and the pleasure shall be mine. She immediately mounted her car in which her brother seated himself along with Melech Mahommed. Her brother said, “Carry all your servants and furniture with you. She answered, “You shall afterwards return here.” They set out and shortly arrived near the abode of her father. Anzar Shah was informed that Gheti afroz was coming and he sent her elder brother with all his Vizirs and Troops to meet her, as he had the greatest affection for her of all his children. For this reason, he was extremely delighted and he ordered the most care for her and for costly carpets to be spread in the most delightful places. He also ordered his own chamber to be prepared for her reception. Gheti Afroz was introduced into the city with every mark of respect and conducted in the most respectful manner to an interview with her father. The Shah showed her every mark of favour and affection and inquired kindly about her affairs.

“But what man-creature is this,” said he, “that you have taken such an affection for?”

“This is he,” said she, turning to Melech Mahommed.

“But what is his name?” said her father.

“The faithful Melech Mahommed,” answered the Princess. Catching him immediately by the hand she made him prostrate himself at the feet of her father, Ansar Shah raised the head of Melech Mahommed and scarcely able to smother his resentment squeezed it so hard to his breast that Melech Mahommed began to conjecture that this reception would cost him dear. Sighing deeply, he recited this verse—

A soothing joy with sorrow bring
But broken vows admit no cure
And ever more their wrongs endure

After a little, the Shah desired Gheti Afroz to go and pay her respects to her mother. The princess obeyed, and, taking the hand of Melech Mahommed, left the audience chamber and entered into the interior apartments. She fell at the feet of her mother and caused Melech Mahommed to prostrate himself in like manner. Her mother showed a true motherly temper, berating her soundly and every minute more and more severely.

“Daughter, said she, “if your heart be quite fixed on this man-creature, there is no help for it. But you might live at home nevertheless, and keep him to wait in your presence. However, you have flung off into an outlandish country and left me with a burning heart to think of your conduct. But this, I fancy you reckoned. Besides, you know, I have betrothed you to person who is constantly sending some messenger or other backwards and forwards to torment us with presentations of conduct. You durst venture to disgrace me so. Take shame to yourself and try to behave a little prudently.” Gheti afroz said,

“Nobody has any right to interfere with my conduct, and I will have nothing to do with any husband, for my affections are fixed on a mortal man. His love is so constant and pure as to disgrace a return. I am well-contented with his affections. If you leave my conduct to my own disposal, it will be best. If not, I will be the death of myself or I shall steal off without once looking behind me to some place so remote that I shall never afterwards hear of your name, nor you of mine.”

Her mother saw that her spirit was intractable. “Nevertheless,” thought she, “since she has come here, her father and brother will find a method of managing her heart. Managing her too roughly at first, however, may not be so proper.” She therefore caused a lofty hall and apartments to be prepared for her reception and left her there to her own meditations, to employ herself after her own way. Gheti Afroz placed Melech Mahommed by her and said,

“Take care, a thousand times care, to commit no impropriety here and disgrace both yourself and me, where every one is thirsting for your blood.” Melech Mahommed answered confidently,

“I am not quite such an idiot, as with all my sense about me and my eyes open, to plunge into irreverent infancy.”

When the unwearied Sun had conducted his splendid caravan to the gates of the west, and the moon adorned with the stars of heaven for jewels appeared, splendid banquets were spread for friendly intercourse. They spent an hour in feasting and pleasant conversation and then retired to the sleeping apartment and slept beside each other. Melech Mahommed arose and said to himself,

“I find I have got into such a perilous situation that it will be next to impossible to extricate myself with life, it is better therefore at all wants to gratify my passion, that my heart may longer be tormented by with the regret of unaccomplished desire.” But just as he wished to lay hold of the girdle of desire, the tormenting tempter awoke and saw Melech Mahommed sitting up and ready to attempt an impropriety.

“Senseless creature,” said she, “what wicked design are you hatching? Lay aside every thought of the kind at least for some days, or you will repent of it! It is also absolutely necessary for you to refrain from kissing either my lips or feet, or you will never escape from this place of perdition. In the company of the Perizadis, it is necessary to act in a respectful manner, as the saying is—

“Whenever you tarry with an host
Beware lest due respect be lost
To friendship comes no direr pest
Than is a disrespectful guest”

“Ah,” thought Melech Mahommed, “there is nothing for it but preserving my respectful carriage!” So he lay down again repeating to himself—

“Our faults I fancy soon or late
Fall on our unsuspecting pate
I counted here without my host
And have my former favour lost”

“How unlucky it is not only to fail my purpose, but to be excluded from kissing both her feet and her lips—

The helpless ass will oft in judgment fail
And lose his ears but not regain his tail

Thus thought he, and repeated to himself—

Kind to the guest and cruel to the lover
Gods! what affection can we here discover
Kind to the cruel, cruel to the kind
‘Tis true we all have heard that love is blind
But sure if love’s religion center there
The followers of his doctrine must dare

Gheti Afroz said, “Don’t be distressed; there are a thousand nights as good as that before you. You may expect a speedy reward and reckon that much time is gone by and little remains between you and it.

The whole night was spent in this unsatisfactory kind of conversation, until the greater light, the dispenser of happiness to the world, the beautiful sun that illuminates the earth at the order of the Merciful God, raised his head in the region of the East, and the tyrant of the world was illuminated—

At dawn of morn, the mighty painter rose
And bade his splendid palaces unloose
Rich flowery tents display’d his vast design
With golden hues from the carnation mine
Night’s black blanket vanished from the sky
Faint and more faint her twinkling tapers die
A monarch now his radiance darts afar
Along the dusky realms of Zanguibar
So great Secander struck the nations dumb
When waved his conquering mace and vanquished

At sun rise Ansar Shah mounted his imperial throne and ordered the drums to announced the nuptials. At the order of the Shah, there struck up the double drums, the trumpets, the serpents, the cornets, the barbuts, and all the other kinds of musical instruments. The sound of Ansar Shah’s drum was heard from as far as five farsangs away. All the world was enraptured at the noise, and immediately prepared to celebrate the marriage. In short, an assembly was soon collected, like that of the blest in Paradise illuminating the world, and thus they spent seven days in festive joys.

On the eighth day, which was that of the ceremony, the Shah ordered all the city to be adorned with looking glasses and to be illuminated with lustres and torches in the most splendid style. He himself went in procession with all his hosts of Houris and Peris in royal splendor. He ordered Juan Bukkt to proceed before him to the splendid palace where the bride resided. There they prepared a throne for the Shah so splendid that it dazzled the eyes of all the world. Ansar Shah seated himself on the throne, and Gheti Afroz adorned herself in the most elegant royal robes.

“For,” thought she, “Melech Mohammed will see me.” On every side the Perizadis in squadrons and in rows ranged themselves before him—

A-right a-left before the throne
Bright ranks of youthful charmers shone
While regal pomp was placed on high
Mid fortune and prosperity

On the one side appeared the nobles of the city; on the other, the judged. In this manner the social board was arranged and nothing could excel the magnificence of the Perizadis for, as the poetsays—

High in the Palace sat the princely band
With martial nobles ranged on every hand
The welcome nuptials all their thoughts employ
And tune their souls to sprightly notes of joy
O’er treasured heaps the deft assistants lean
And wealth unmeasured flits their hands between
Beneath the loads of pearl and precious stone
Jacinth and ruby numerous camels groan
But first of gems the ruby claims the van
Fair light of Yemen and of Budukonan
A thousand camel loads of tapestry gay
Glittering brocades that changeful hues display
Fair Khoten’s youths the radiant stuffs unfold
Each wears a belt and poniard rough with gold
With numerous Linge youths of amber hue
Who boast the scent and tinge of amber too
Around were heaps of gems of amber spread
Innumerous as the waves that roughen ocean’s bed

In short it baffled all powers of description to describe the magnificence and splendor of the ceremonies with which the noble maid was wedded to the young prince; as the planet Jupiter united with the moon of beauty. They brought her home with all manner of mirth and magnificence, and Gheti Afroz likewise, having taken lease of her father and mother, came to her palace and spent some hours in pleasant conference with Melech Mahommed. The luckless lover said in his passion—

“When all are rising in joys
One only grief my heart employs
One only thought of my spirit fills
Yet fortune to increase the ills
Which on my tortured bosom prey
Has stolen my hapless kiss away."

The fair maid, to please him, pledged him in some cups saying—

"What would you heartless lover say
If fortune stole myself away."

Gheti Afroz showed him great affection, and Melech Mahommed recited—

"With water from the crystal lake
You promised first my thirst to slake
I seized the tempting draught in haste
And again in the same train
Ah pierce not the heart again
A thousand times already slain."

Gheti Afroz was highly pleased and said—

If heaven shall grant me thine embrace
I fancy it will soon take place
The roseate bud of young desire
Expands by passions genial fire

She then kindly laid her lip to his and said, “Soul of my life, I fear for you lest you get intoxicated with my favour and swerve from the dictates of that profound respect, the neglect of which will be equally regretted by both you and me. The nature of this place is such that a man of mortal race cannot safely reside in it.

Melech Mahommed without remedy, hung down his head and attempted to fortify his resolution by every terrible consideration he could think of and recited the following verse—

"Oft have I dived in ocean’s depths profound
Yet here this luckless hand one pearl has found
Though countless gems in generous oceans' bed
This wayward fate withholds the precious thread

When the story had proceeded thus far, Semen Ruh opened her mouth and said, “Ha! My learned young man, did the unhappy lover ever attain the accomplishment of his desire? The sheik smiled and observed,

“That would appear to be so from the progress of the story.” When Azar Shah heard this, he was delighted and kissed the feet of the sheik and poured out the most profuse effusions of thanks. To this Danadil replied,

“It is all through virtue of his holiness here present, or I might have told a thousand such stories without the slightest effect. Verily, in removing the sorcery and restoring Semen Ruh to herself again, it is all the virtue of the sheiks most venerable presence. As they were in the height of their compliments, Semen Ruh, impatient at seeing no prospect of the story proceeding, interrupted them to request that Danadil would return to Melech Mahommed. She was quite impatient to hear the rest of the story.

“That will come in its due time,” said the Shiek. Semen Ruh did not so easily give up the point, but the more she entreated, the farther she was from attaining it. Behold—at last instead of Danadil, Roshhen Zemir was called up and desired to re-tell what adventures he had heard and seen. Roshen Zemir did not want many entreaties, but immediately proceeded as follows.

The Marvelous adventures of Roshen Zemirs

When story tellers have to tell a story
The orator behind in all his glory
The pearl of price is sure the power of speech
It is a jewel that no price can reach
No man of understanding dare deny it
Why men are reckoned men of judgment by it
But next to him who can relate a story
The hero of the late comes in for glory
A man is lucky in this lower dwelling
Of whom remains a story with the telling

For this good reason Roshen Zemir proceeded to relate a story about himself. “Lady of the land, I will tell you what,” said he, “I formerly travelled a good deal with the caravans and once upon a time as were journeying towards Mirr we happened to pitch our tents at the foot of a hill around which the ground was smooth and level. As the day drew to a close, the shades of night began to thicken, and the sun descended into the cavern of the west and the sable legions of Zanguebar began to prevail against the brilliant sun of Rum. As the song says—

For in the palace of the twilight skies
The graceful queen of heaven began to rise
Wan was her watery with grief opprest
Like some sweet angel banished from the blest
The modest groves like timid virgins drew
Before their charms a veil of shadowy blue
Fine as the Houris veils in paradise
Which hide their charms from guardian angels eyes
Amid the gardens torch lights glimmering gay
The roses buds like turquoise gems display
With ruby light the opening petals shine
As mantles in the cup the rosy wine
How softly beams the radiant lamp of night
While earths dark Mansion glows with silver light
And swiftly though the sky‘s pavilion move
The airy dancers of the fields above
While from the Ocean of ethereal blue
Celestial divers bring the starry gems to view
In short at sunset the whole caravan went
to rest and the half of the night was spent

When I awoke, without saying a word to anybody but myself, I proceeded to reconnoiter our situation. I came without the lines, when I was astonished to see the whole caravan surrounded by an immense wall.

“What in the world is this,” said I to myself, “when we pitched our tents here no such thing was to be seen”. What can this be? I approached it and put my hand on the wall. I felt a part of it soft and warm and distinctly perceived the motion of breathing.

“Lord have mercy,” thought I, “if this be not a living creature.” To be more certain, I held my hand still for some time and observed at last that it was an immense serpent which had encircled the whole caravan.

God a Mercy, “said I, “if we shall all of us be a mouthful for it.” As I was in these doleful dumps, what should I hear to comfort me but the shrieks, regrets, and lamentations of the whole caravan. Every man began to wail and cry out lustily,

“Ah, my poor fatherless children!” said one.

“Ah, my luckless self!” said another, “to owe my death to such a fearful brute in this delightful vale.” Still they kept each other company till morning. The sun, the Sultan of Rum, at last raised his head. As the Poet says—

Now from his halls with stately stalk
His talisman ofSunderos
Dispels the vapours dark and gross
His crystal ear he raises high
O’er every throne of ebony
from shrinking Night his timid bride
The rosy veil he draws aside
Ye drowsy sleepers, ope your eyes!
To view the gay reviving skies
The cock crows up the drowsy dawn
The birds are chirping on the lawn
Ye sleepers hark tis opening day
Tell us what the songsters say

At break of day people saw that the whole caravan was encircled like a gem set in a ring by an immense serpent, that from time to time uttered a most frightful hiss that was heard for many furlongs . Nobody could suggest a remedy for our distress. It held its tail in its mouth and neither attempted to swallow any body alive not yet would suffer them to proceed on their journey.

Everyone was quite at a loss. “What device to fall on the Mussulmen and the Dervishes!” went their loud lamentations, said as fast as they were able to, “From such a dreadful monster, good lord, deliver us!” However, the snake did not budge an inch for their orisons, and everybody was ready to expire for terror, when, all at once and by the grace of God, I plucked up courage.

“Roshen Zemir, my friend,” said I to myself, “come along and stir thy stumps, and try whether or not thou art destined for victory. Everybody else is driven to despair. If thou killest not this monster, thou art no men for this good world.” Having therefore rattled over my prayers and said my confession of faith to prepare for the worst, I seized my bow and my polished arrows of pure water and advanced to the monster, who presented himself exactly like hill or a mountain.

I notched one of my arrows in the great name of God and drew it home quite to my ear, but just as I took aim at him, the monster’s mouth quitted the lip of his tail and opened a space of a couple of spear lengths. I immediately tried to step outside the terrible circle when he again seized the lip of his tail in his mouth, and effectually barred all passion. I repeated the process several times, and always failed.

“No, thought I, “if I strike him with an arrow ever so dexterously, he will never die of a single wound. It will be a terribly unlucky piece of business if it should provoke him to swallow up the whole caravan, but no doubt the monster must have some meaning in having stopped us in this manner. I therefore present myself before the cuff of the caravan. Sir,” said I, “you are a venerable and respectable man. No doubt there are many respectable persons who have seen life along with you, and will have the goodness to assemble to assist you.”

The chief of the caravan assented and proclaimed that all the men of learning and wisdom and bravery present should for the with assemble and favor him with their advice.

“My firiends,” said he, “let every person declare what he thinks the most useful expedient.

Truly, this monster without a tongue is not without an intention. Had he intended to devour us, he would not have left us all safe and sound to the present time. However, he has neither injured us nor will he suffer us to proceed on our journey. Wherefore the question is by what means are we to find out what he wants.”

Among the rest, an intelligent, business-like gentleman who knows the outs and ins of life stood up and said, “Hajeh, it is true this snake has no tongue, but that is no reason why he should have no ears, and it is very probable if any person would take the trouble to speak to him, that he may turn out not to be very hard of hearing. If any stout-hearted lad could get up to his ear and ask him in a civil whisper what it is that he wants, I warrant you he will make some motion to betray his meaning.”

On this everybody turned their eyes on me. “Let Roshen Zemir do it, for he is the man for my money, your humble servant.” For the sake of modesty, I was necessitated to agree to the proposal after a couple of genuflections and thanks for the favor conferred on me and set off to the conference.

I went up to the monsters head and shouted, “Halloo His length was about one league and his breadth very little short of it. He then raised his head and looked after the caravan and I, for fear of my life, began to fly as fast as my feet could carry me. When the snake saw me absconding in this manner, he drew me back to him with his breath so gently that I really did not perceive my own motion. He immediately made me a sign to mount and seat myself on his back. I really had not courage to cut capers or ride the great horse with such a monstrous animal, but he immediately took me up in his mouth and placed me on his back in spite of my lack of desire. As his sides were steep and his skin slippery, I immediately slipped down to the ground. He quickly lifted me up again, and, having placed one hand on his neck, I saw that there was a hole among the scales. Having fixed myself there, I held stoutly with both hands and recommended myself to god as the verse goes—

While tis a friend that holds the rope
Where’er he leads me I have hope

When the snake perceived that I had got so firm a hold that there was no further fear of falling, he began to stir himself with such agility that he presently outstripped the wind. Every time that he drew his breath, fire burst from his mouth that parched and shriveled the whole desert.

When he had travelled on for a certain space, we arrived at the foot of hill. I saw a hole in the side of it of such dimensions that the serpent could enter with facility. When he arrived at the mouth of the den, he let me down from his back and made a sign to go in.

“Fairly and softly,” thought I, “this hole no doubt is your den, but why do you particularly wish me to visit it?”

“However,” I further thought, “in God's name let me enter in!”

I went on, but nothing earthly was visible. I presently turned on my heel and met my friend at the mouth of the den. He made me a sign as much as to say “have the goodness to walk back again,” and kept biting his lips most terribly with his teeth. I interpreted that that was to denote “kill,” or some thing of the kind at least.

“Doubtless,” thought I, “this must be some monster’s mansion; and what a frightful brute must it be that a beast like you is afraid of the very thought of it!” This put me in a cold shiver. “If such a portentous monster as you be frightened, the lord have mercy on my luckless soul!” I was terrified and out of my scorpion of two length darted out and assailed the snake. The snake, for all his monstrous ire, was frightened and fled, without once looking behind him, to distance of a whole league. He stopped there.

I, however, plucked up my courage, and, pulling and arrow out of my quiver, struck the scorpion and killed him on the spot.

I presently saw a great light near me and perceived that it was a lustre formed of precious stones each of which was worth a whole kingdom. The serpent now made me a sign to carry off as many of them as I could. I took a goodly number and saw that an immense treasure of them was there deposited. Then the serpent took me up and placed me on his neck and came out of the den.

When I came to the door of den, I saw a sage of a luminous aspect standing. I made him a salam. He returned my salutation, saying, “You are very welcome here, Roshen Zemir, who is of my acquaintance in the world.

“Can this be?” thought I, quite surprised. “Who can it be that knows my name so well?”

“Most venerable father,” said I, “if I may be allowed to enquire, how come you to know my name?”

“That,” said he, “I know by God’s good favour. This scorpion which you have killed has yet another companion which is at present sitting on her eggs and will come forth at the end of six months. It is therefore absolutely necessary for you to return hither at the end of that period. So take care that you do not forget, for if you do, be assured that wherever you are, this serpent will find you out and devour you. For look you—this female scorpion has killed the companion of the snake and forcibly possessed itself of her residence. Two young snakes have, however, escaped and are concealed by my care. If it please God, at your return I will introduce them to you. That serpent has every day made signs to me to kill the scorpion, but I told it that its death was at my door. A young man called Roshen Zemir will arrive here and kill it to content you.”

“Most venerable sage,” said I, “may it please you to let me know your name?

“That you will learn at your return,” said he, “for it is written above that you have two or three more pieces of good service to perform. You may now take your departure and God be your guide. But take care not to forget that you have to return here again.”

The serpent stood stock still till the ancient sage had finished his oration, but as soon as he had bid me farewell, he began to move off with me mounted on his shoulders. We had not travelled long before the tents of the caravan began to appear and it fortunately happened to be the very caravan I had left.

When I came near, everybody was in a dreadful alarm, crying, “there comes the monster again! Lord help us!” I sang lustily out to everyone to be cheery, for he would do them no harm. He then let me down from his neck and immediately set out for his own place of residence. I joined the caravan and, having gone to the chief, to the utter astonishment of everybody related what had befallen me.

“God’s mercy be on your head,” said all of them, “you have performed a wonderful feat!”

“Rosher Zemir,” said the chief of the caravan, “nobody ever has or will perform the like, except the young hers Diu Faz, and he was a man of mettle who could perform a notable feat and demonstrate his loyalty purely.”

“What was that feat?” asked your humble servant. The chief of the caravan answered,

The Story of the Diu Faz, or Kill-Devil

The relators of marvelous stories mention that there lived once on a time a young man of Ormus whose name was Diu Faz. He set out for India in order to push his fortune and when he arrived in that country he first and foremost paid his respects to the Emperor. The Emperor of India asked who he was, whence he came, and what were his intentions.

“King of the world, my name is Diu Foz,” answered he, “I am come from the city of Ormus to enter into your service, and am ready to perform whatever task you may please to impose on me.

“What pay will content you?” asked the emperor.

“Every day,” answered Diu Faz, “you must pay me a thousand pieces of silver [500 Rupees]. I will not serve you for farthing less.

“No,” thought the Emperor, “he shall not receive such a pay for so much as a single day till we can see what kind of service he can perform, for doubtless he will turn out to be only a high flyer.”

The Emperor answered him neither good nor bad, but entered his palace and mentioned the circumstance to the queen. The daughter of the Emperor was sitting in the presence and said

“By all means, engage this person for one day or another. He may do you good service. He must certainly be a man of ability, to make such demand” When the Emperor heard his daughter talk thus, he flew into a violent passion.

“Worthless wretch,” said he, “you durst not utter such words in my presence, unless you had fallen in love with him yourself! If this man should enter into my service, everyone would say that the Emperor had engaged him to please his daughter, and by this my name would be defamed.”

“God forbid,” said the princess when she heard such a speech from her father, “that ever your daughter should waste a single thought on a person of his description, who has never seen the face of man excepting that of a relation. But of you, speak of your real opinion. Nothing remains for me but regret.

The Emperor was still more enraged at this observation and said to the queen, “she shall not remain in the palace, for I cannot bear the sight of her.”

“If that is the case,” said the seraglio to take his daughter and carry her to the young man. They did according to their orders, saying

“Receive the maiden which the Emperor presents to you. God’s favour and the Emperor’s forgiveness be up to you, but get out of the kingdom instantly.”

The young man and the princess, equally amazed and concerned, set forward on their journey. The princess, casting back a look on her father’s palace,

“Father,” said she, “you have in this unkind manner expelled me from the city. It is we shall now see what favour God has in store for me.” So saying she set forward.

When Diu Faz and the princess had arrived without the city, they walked on for some furlongs, until they came to a place where two roads met. They were quite as a loss to know whither either of them led. Looking round, they observed a stone seat and certain characters inscribed on the stone. On examining the characters attentively, they saw that the meaning was,

“Whoever arrives here and is ignorant of the road, let him know that the road on the right hand is without danger and without difficulty, but that on the left is full of difficulty and danger.”

When Diu Faz had read the inscription, he looked to the daughter of the Emperor, as much as to say, “what would you have me do?”

“Why do you ask me such a question?” said the fair princess, “ask your own courage. I will follow you wherever your heart leads you. Go on.”

“Hap what may,” said Diu Faz, “God be on my guard.” He proceeded on the left-hand road and the lady followed on close behind him.

For three days and three nights they saw no appearance of danger. On the fourth day an immense desert expanded before them, devoid of house and whole without wells and without water, in which two tremendous elephants of prodigious size appeared. As soon as they smelled the scent of man, they attacked them with the utmost fury.

“Fair lady, what say you now to the matter?” inquired Diu Faz. The lady answered,

“For what do you carry that bow and arrow? For I wonder if you can hit your mark.”

He immediately clapped his hand on his quiver and, laying hold of an arrow, exclaimed—

“The champion when takes his stand
With bow and quiver in his hand
The might of lions can deride
Or elephants inflamed with pride”

The lady answered in the same strain—

“Such as the youth for me has charms
The coward ne’er shall reach my arms”

He replied,

“Love-frenzied force impels the blow
Instant lies low”

Upon the instant the elephants approached the young warrior, he drew the arrow home even to his ear and struck it up to the feather and notch in the elephant’s eye. Seizing another arrow, he instantly struck it so forcibly through the elephant’s other eye, that, with a dreadful yell, it fell on the ground and expired. The second elephant advanced still more furiously, and was slain as quickly as the first. He then drew his scimitar and cut off both their trunks. The Emperor’s daughter was greatly delighted with this expert.

Observing the bodies a little more carefully, they perceived a scar on each of their foreheads. “What can this be?” said they, and pulling out a knife, cut open the scars,and perceived that there was a jewel in each of them, brilliant as the rays of the sun.

They praised God for so lucky a chance and proceeded on their way till they arrived at a vast and populous city with minarets, marquis,and lofty domes raised up to the heavens in every quarter. Diu Faz covered the lady with a veil and conducted her to the caravansera. Towards the close of the day, Diu Faz, having taken his bow and arrows in his hand, came out of the caravansera and saw the Emperor’s vizier marching along with great pomp and tumult. He inquired who it was and was informed that it was the Emperor’s vizier going to counsel. He approached and saluted him.

”What do you want?” said the Vizier, “And whence do you come?”

“I am a nature of Ormus,” said Diu Faz, “And am now come from India.”

“How did you contrive to reach this country?” said the Vizier.

“Blessed be God,” answered the young warrior, “I reached it through his favor.”

“Did you meet with no dangerous adventure?” asked the vizier.

Diu Faz answered, “I met with nothing the world except two furious elephants on my road which by God’s assistance I killed.”

When the Vizier heard that he was amazed and said, “Killed both the elephants did you say? Where is the man who could kill two such prodigious animals?”

”That man am I by God’s favor,”said Diu Faz.

“How can you prove your words to be true?” said the Vizier.

“What proof would you have?” said Diu Faz.

“Was there anything in their foreheads?” said the Vizier.

“Whatever there was I have brought it along with me,” said he.

“Seeing is believing,“ replied the Vizier.

“It is at my lodging,” replied Diu Faz.

The vizier accompanied him to the door of the caravansera. Diu Faz went in and having brought out the precious stones, showed him. Then the vizier was convinced and said, “God’s mercy rest on your head nobody could have slain them but yourself. They have long blocked up that road and a considerable period has now elapsed since the precious stones were inserted in their forehead and they were turned loose. Come along with me that I may present you to the sunlike presence of the Emperor.”

Having caused Diu Faz to mount his own horse, he conducted him to the Emperor’s Court. Diu Faz saluted him with due reverence.

“Who is young man?” said the Emperor, and the Vizir related the circumstances of his story. The Emperor praised him highly and presented him the jewels he had brought.

“But who,” said he, “was your companion on this journey?”

“The Indian emperor’s daughter,” said he.

“What connection has she with you?” asked the Prince then.

Diu Faz related to him the whole story. The Emperor greatly blamed the father of the princess and invited Diu Faz to enter into his service.

“That is the very thing which your servant desires,” answered he.

“But what pay do you demand?” said the Emperor.

“A thousand pieces of silver per day,” answered the warrior.

The emperor agreed to the condition.

“But,” said Diu Faz, “this lady is still an unblemished virgin. I have rigorously refrained from all connection with her until I should have an opportunity of celebrating our marriage.”

The Shah instantly ordered the treasure to deburse on the spot. The sun was requisite for the marriage and so were the constellations of valour and beauty (Jupiter and the Moon) united in a princely and splendid style. Afterwards, the Shah ordered him to send his spouse to visit the royal haram.

“In order,” said he, “that she may form acquaintance with the ladies of my family.”

“That I will with all my heart,” said Diu Faz and as soon as he came home he mentioned the King’s proposal to his lady. The princess however did not so easily assent to it. “What have I to do with the with the Kings family?” said she, “Once for all that will never do.”

When Diu Faz met the king, “Lay may you live majesty,” said he, “I have delivered your message but the lady will not assent to it. Pray excuse but that she is the daughter of an Emperor.

The ladies of the Sultan, however went one day to visit the princess and were received in the politest style. They were entertained with imperial Magnificence and the whole day was devoted to the entertainment so that the Night was arrayed in her sable vestments before the family of the Emperor

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19. [For analysis of verse, see ]
20. [For analysis of verse, see ]
21. [For analysis of verse, see ]
22. [For analysis of verse, see ]