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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/126

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The History of Sindban and

And as soon as Sindban saw it, he trembled hand and foot, and was sorely troubled on his account. And as the lad saw his master in trouble, he said unto him: "Why is this thing so grievous to thee? for if you bid me not to speak for a month, I would do it; only bid me that which you desire." Sindban replied: "According to the covenant which I made with your father (I sent word): 'To-morrow thy son will come to thee.' Now it does not seem right for me to alter it, nor do I desire to be false to your father. As for myself, therefore, I will hide myself; and you, my son, look to it that you speak not until six [sic] days shall have passed." On the morrow, he bade the youth go to his father. Now the father, out of love for his son, had assembled for him such companions as used to be with him, and had made for him a banquet. Then his father called him, and brought him to him and kissed him, and conversed with him; but he did not converse with his father. And he began to question him, but he replied not a word.

Then the king said unto those round about him: "What is the matter with my son?" And one answered and said: "His master has anointed him with some root in order that he might cause his instruction to gain firm ground in him, and by means of that root his tongue is bound." And this occurrence on the part of the child was a source of distress to the king; and as one of the king's wives saw it, she said to the king: "Leave him with me, him and me alone; maybe he makes known unto me his affair, inasmuch as he had confidence in me of old, and things which he was in the habit of not telling his mother, he would tell and reveal unto me." And because the mother of the boy was distressed on account of his silence, the woman took the boy and brought him to her house; and she began to converse with him, but he did not speak to her, nor answered her a word. Thereupon she said unto him: "I do not understand you, fool! and besides, are you not king? You don't escape my