Swahili Tales/Mohammed the Languid

THE HISTORY OF MOHAMMED THE LANGUID.

It was in the time of the Caliph, the Prince of the Faithful, Haroun al Rashid, he sat in his court with his vizirs. And he saw a young slave come in. And he said, "My mistress, the Lady Zubeydeh, sends her compliments, and after compliments, she has made a crown to be worn, and has fallen short one jewel; so look out for her one jewel, a large one." And he looked in his chests, and searched without finding one so large as she wanted.

And he said, "Bring me the crown, that I may look at it." And he brought him the crown, which was made of jewels only. And he told his vizirs who sat with him. And he showed them the crown, and told them, "I want a jewel fit for the top of the crown."

And so it was, each man went out and went to his house to seek for the jewel the caliph wanted, and each one searched without finding it. What they had were too small to serve for the top of the crown. And he went into the town to the merchants, to seek for a jewel large enough, without finding one.

A certain man spoke, and said to the caliph, "No jewel that will do is to be found here in the district of Bagdad. Perhaps in the district of Bussorah, there is a certain man, a youth named Mohammed the Languid, there it will be found."

The caliph called his vizir, Mesroor Sayafi. And he told him, "Take a letter, and journey and go to Bussorah, to the governor, Mohammed Zabidi." And this was the caliph's governor, who was in the district of Bussorah.

And Mesroor Sayafi had the letter given him, and was accompanied by a great host, and travelled by the way of the desert, and went to Bussorah. And they entered the district of Bussorah, and arrived at the house of the governor, Mohammed Zabidi.

And he took out the letter and gave him. And he read it. And when he had read it, he invited him into his house, and prepared a great feast for him, and they went in and ate food. And when they had done, he said to him, "My order that was given me was to give you the letter, and when you had read it, for us to go to Mohammed the Languid. And now set forth, and let us go." And they set out, and were attended, and went to Mohammed the Languid.

And the vizir, Mesroor Sayafi, took out the letter that came from Haroun al Rashid. And he received it with both his hands, and opened it reverentially, and read the letter which came from the caliph.

And when he had read it, he said, "Come into my house." And he said, "I have no business to go into your house. I was told to give you the letter, and that when you had read it we should make our journey and go; for the caliph told me, 'Do not stay, give him the letter and come on your way, and let him come with you.'" And when he had heard that, he said, "I hear and obey; but I pray you drink a cup of coffee." And he said, "I was not ordered to drink coffee with you." And he said, "You must drink my coffee." And he besought him, and he consented perforce, and went within his house, and mounted up-stairs to his reception room. And he invited him in, and he entered within, and sat down.

And when he had sat down, there was brought to him a purse of five hundred deenars. And he said, "I beg of you enter the bath, for you have been harassed many days in the journey coming by the desert, and you must be tired; so, I beg of you, enter the bath."

Well, he arose and entered the bath, and the water which was in the bath was scented with roses, that was the kind of water that was in it. And he entered and bathed. And eunuch slaves came, and rubbed him with silken towels. And when he had finished, he came out and he was given clothes to dry off the water, and each garment was of silk and gold thread. And he dried off the water. And when he took them off, he was brought a packet of other clothes, clothes better than those for drying off the water, and he put them on. And the others were folded up and put with the purse which had been before given to him. And he went into the reception room and sat down.

And when he had sat down, he lifted up his eyes and looked at the reception room, its furniture, and what was spread on its floor. And he found it very marvellous, and thought in his heart, "Even the caliph's chamber is not furnished in this way." And water was brought and he washed, he, Mesroor Sayafi, and the governor, Mohammed Zabidi, and all that were there in the reception room. And when they had washed, they saw young slaves enter with food, and they came and laid it out, and they ate. And when they had eaten, he thought, "These viands are such as are not in the universe."

And he was given a sleeping chamber. And he entered his chamber which was prepared for his sleeping, and there came girls wearing exquisite dresses, each one with a musical instrument; and they entered and played their instruments and sang, that they might lull him, and others danced, and made verses in his praise. And he fell asleep, and slept the midday sleep.

And when he awoke, people were sitting ready at the door waiting for him, to go with him to the bath. And he went to the bath and put off his clothes, and they were folded up and put with the former ones, and he went into the bath, and its condition was just as before, and better. Then when he went out from the bath he was given clothes to dry off the water. And when he had dried off the water, he put off those clothes of silk and gold thread. And other clothes were brought him, to go out into the reception room in, and all the clothes were of price. And he put them on and went out.

And when he went out, food was ready, and they went in and ate food. Afterwards they conversed together till night came on, and another chamber was prepared for him. And he went to lie down. And he looked at that chamber, and the furniture that was in it, and its utensils, and it surpassed the chamber in which he lay down at noon. And he slept until the morning.

And he awoke, and people came and took him, and went with him to the bath. And when he came out, he was given other clothes to dry off the water, and afterwards other clothes were brought him, and he put them on. And those he had worn before were folded up, and put away, and every time clothes were brought him, a purse of five hundred deenars was also brought to him.

And he went out, and went and ate food. And when they had eaten, he said to Mohammed the Languid, "I have no directions to stay two days, and to-day is the second; so make your journey and let us go."

And he said, "Wait for me till after to-day, for I want mules to carry my presents which I wish to take to the caliph." And he said, "I give you leave for to-day." And he was transacting his business all that day. And that day the vizir Mesroor Sayafi had only to rest until sunset. And he entered the bath. And when he came out, there was brought to him as before, and he put them on. And all the clothes he took off were folded up and put into a chest, with a purse of five hundred deenars. And these clothes and that money were for Mesroor Sayafi himself.

And they waited till the morning, and made their journey. And four hundred mules were brought, and these mules were to carry Mohammed the Languid's things. And they loaded them. And he ordered his two mules to be got ready, with saddles of gold, and bits of gold, and reins of silk. One Mohammed the Languid mounted himself, and one the vizir, Mesroor Sayafi mounted. And the governor, Mohammed Zabidi, and they went on their journey, journeying to go to the caliph, in the land of Bagdad. And they set out a great host. And they went along the road.

And when the sun set they got ready their tents and slept. And the tent of Mohammed the Languid, his tent was of silk, and its poles of aloes wood; and they slept, he and the vizir, Mesroor Sayafi.

In the morning they awoke, and they brought out their food and their drink, and they ate and drank. After that, their beasts were saddled and they mounted. And so it was, when the sun set they slept, and when the night was over they went on. And in the course of that journey, the vizir Mesroor Sayafi pondered in his heart, and said, "When I reach the caliph, I will speak to him, to ask this man how he got himself these great riches. I remember his father, he was a cupper at a public bath."

And they went till they reached the caliph, and made their salutations before the caliph. And the caliph was sitting there with his vizirs. And he welcomed him. And the Languid one fell down at the feet of the caliph, and said to him, "I ask pardon of you, I have a matter I wish to tell you." And he said, "Say on." Then he lifted his face, and looked upward. And he moved his lips, and the top of the house opened, and there came out, as it were, palaces, and gardens, and trees in the gardens, and the leaves of those trees were pearls, and their fruit coral.

And the caliph was excessively astonished. And he asked him, "Where did you get this wealth? And we only remember you as Mohammed the Languid, and your father was a cupper at the baths. How then did it happen that you got into such circumstances?" And he answered and said, "If you so order me, I will give you my story; and all these I have not brought you through fear, but I looked upon these as suitable only for you, the king. If then you wish me to give you my story, I will tell it you." And the king gave him the order, and said, "Bring your story."

And he said, "At first when I was young, and when my father died, I was very lazy, so that my mother even fed me. And even when I lay down, I could not turn on the other side, my mother must come and turn me over. And so it was, my mother used to go and beg, and when she got anything she gave me food. And I remained in this state fifteen years in idleness.

Till one day my mother went and begged, and got five dirhems, and she came to me there in the house where I was lying, and told me, 'To-day I have gone begging, and have got these five dirhems; so take these five dirhems and carry them to Sheikh Abalmathfár; the sheikh is going on a voyage to the land of China. So take these five dirhems and carry them to him; perhaps where he is going he will buy you some merchandize, so that you may get profit here, for the sheikh is one of the devout men, he loves the poor; so get up and take him these five dirhems.' And I answered her, 'I cannot go, my mother, and don't talk to me any more about it.' And she said, 'If you don't choose to go, I will just cast you off", I will not give you food, and I will not give you water, nor if you are lying in the sun will I take you out of it; I will leave you to die in your hunger.' And she swore it to me by an oath. And I felt that I should die.

"And I said, 'If you must, then put my sandals ready for me.' And she put my sandals by me. And I said, 'Put them on my feet,' and she put them on. And I said, 'Give me my kanzu.' And she brought it me. And I said, 'Put it on me.' And she gave me a cloth to throw over my shoulder. And I said, 'Give me my staff to lean upon, that I may prop myself with it.' And she put it ready for me. And I said to her, 'Take me up then, that I may stand,' and she took me up. And I said, 'Keep behind and push me, that I may get forward.' And so things were, she pushing me and I lifting one foot at a time, till we reached the shore. And we looked for the Sheikh Abalmathfár. He was putting his goods on board.

"When he saw me, he was astonished, and said, 'What has happened to-day, that you have got to the shore here?' And I gave him my five dirhems, and I said, 'This is my deposit, take them for me where you are going, and buy me some merchandize; this is the business which I came to the shore for.' And the Sheikh Abalmathfár received them.

"And I got myself back to my house, and my condition was just the same, lying down and being fed, and having water given to me to drink.

"And the Sheikh set out, and went his way to the land of China. And they did their trading, and then set out, and went two days' journey. And he forgot my dirhems and had bought me nothing. And he remembered them after two days. And he told the merchants his companions, 'We must go back, I have forgotten the trust of Mohammed the Languid.' And the merchants his companions answered and said to him, 'Will you go back for the sake of five dirhems, when we have put so many goods on board the ship?' And he said, 'If you will not go back, let each one of you make up for him something certain.' And the merchants consented.

"So they came on their journey and proceeded till they reached an island. And that island was called the island of Sunudi, that was its name. And they landed there, in order to go and rest from the troubles of the sea, and they walked about in the town.

"The Sheikh to whom I had given my deposit passed where there were shops, and saw monkeys tied up, and there was one little one which had all its hair pulled off, and its companions beat it. So when the sheikh saw it, he felt compassion for it, and asked for it from the owner, and bought it with my five dirhems. And the sheikh's idea was to bring it to me to play with, for he knew that I was a man without employment.

"And they set out and came on their way to a second island. And that island was called the island of Sodani, for the inhabitants and their companions eat the flesh of men. And when they saw the ship arrive, they went on board and bound the people who were in it, and some they slaughtered, and ate their flesh. And the Sheikh Abalmathfár was left, and two men of his kinsmen, and half the crew. And they were bound, to be killed in the morning.

"But when night was come, the monkey arose and unbound itself first, and then unbound the Sheikh Abalmathfár, and then unbound his kinsmen who were left, until it had unbound them all. When the Sheikh saw that they were unbound, they fled and went away to their ship, and they found it still sound, it was not yet broken up, and they hoisted their sail and fled. And they went over the sea on their journey home.

"And the people who were in the ship used to dive for pearls. And when the monkey saw the people diving for pearls, it plunged in with them. And the Sheikh said, 'I have lost all the luck of that poor man.' But when the people returned, it too returned with them. And it had brought pearls; and its pearls were better than other people's. And it threw them down at the feet of its master.

"Then he said to the company, 'Since we should not have escaped, had it not been for this monkey, let each one then give twelve hundred deenars, and let us take them to its master as each man's ransom for his life.' And they gave them, and Sheikh Abalmathfár collected them, and put with them the pearls that the monkey had got. And the profits of my five dirhems be put in chests and locked them, and wrote on them the mark of Mohammed the Languid.

"So they journeyed until they reached the country of Bussorah, and they fired their cannons and landed.

"My mother heard that Sheikh Abalmathfár was come, and she came and told me, 'Go out and go and see Sheikh Abalmathfár, and give him the hand of safety.' And I told her, 'I cannot go, come and take me up.' And she took me up, and put on my shoes, and my clothes. Then I told her, 'Give me my stick,' and she gave me my stick. And I said to her, 'Keep behind and push me.' And she kept behind and pushed me, and I lifted up one foot, and she pushed me, and I lifted one foot till we arrived.

"And I met with him and gave him my hand, and he asked after my state. And then he told me, 'Your deposit will come to you in the house.' And when we had met, we set out again, and my mother pushed me until we arrived at our house. And I reached it and got back to my place and lay down.

"In a little while I saw a man come in, and he came and gave me a monkey. And he said, 'With the Sheikh Abalmathfár's compliments.' And I took the monkey and let him go, and the man who had brought the monkey went out.

"And I called my mother and showed it to her, and said, 'The Sheikh Abalmathfár has brought me something great; here at home ten monkeys are sold for a dirhem, and he for five dirhems has brought me one.'

"I had not yet had time to finish saying these words to my mother, when I heard a man at the door calling Hodi! And I said, 'Come in.' And he came in with some keys, and gave me the keys, and I saw porters behind him, and they came in and brought some wonderfully big chests. And he said to me, 'Those are the keys of these chests.' And I asked him, 'Why are these chests brought to me?' And he said, 'These are your deposit which you gave to him, to go and buy you merchandize.'

"And I said, 'The Sheikh Abalmathfár had no call to make game of me, who am a poor man. I am a youth before him, and he is a full-grown man before me. He has no call then to make game of me. What was it that I gave him that he should send me these chests? I gave him five dirhems, and the price of the five dirhems is this monkey, which he has brought me. He has no call then to make a jest of me, a poor man.'

"And he who brought the deposit, the chests, said to me, 'He is not making in game of you, by Allah, he is not a man to make a jest of you, and he will come himself directly.'

"We had not yet finished talking in this way, when at once I heard, Hodi! And I saw it was the Sheikh Abalmathfár, and I arose of myself and sat up and welcomed him.

"And he sat down, and explained to me his news, from beginning to the end, what had occurred to them from their setting out. And he told me, 'These chests are your profit, and what is in them; and this monkey is the chief of your possessions.' And he begged my forgiveness heartily, and said, 'I am not the man to make a jest of you,' and we took leave of one another, and he went out and went away.

"And we opened a chest and looked, and saw great wealth. And my mother said to me, 'You were idle, you saw nothing; and now Almighty God has given you good luck. Get up then and look for a house that is good, and live in it.' So I got up and went and looked for a house, and bought a good house, and bought furniture for the house, and bought slaves for the house, girls, homeborn slaves and Abyssinians. And I put them in my house, and everything that was wanted for the house, I bought and put into it. And I bought merchandize and set up a shop.

"And I sat myself in the shop, and my ape sat with me. But in the morning the ape got up and went away, and did not return until the evening: and when it came it brought a bag in its mouth, and it came where I was, and put it before me, and I took hold of the bag and opened it, and saw that it had gold inside; and I poured out the gold, and counted five hundred pieces, and I laid them out and put them away, and waited until the morning. And when I ate, it came and we used to eat together, and I remained in this state: it going out in the morning and coming back and producing a bag. And many days passed.

"Till one day at night, I was lying down in my chamber, the ape came to me and gave me a salutation, and I answered it. But my heart was troubled, and I was much afraid, because of finding an ape speak. And it said to me, 'Mohammed, be not afraid, as for me, Almighty God has ordered for me to be an ape, but I am not an ape, I am a Jin of the the Marids. Almighty God has ordered for me to be a bringer of good fortune to you, to take you out of poverty, and on your part have no fear. I have a matter I wish to tell you. You used to be one of the poorest, with nothing before and nothing behind. Almighty God made me turn into an ape for your sake, to be the cause of your getting wealth. And now the wealth you have is not completed, for you have no wife. I have got you a wife then, I want to marry you, and if you get this wife you will yourself be at rest, and you will get an increase of wealth.'

"And I asked, 'Who is this wife?' And he said, 'To-morrow in the morning adorn yourself, and put on your best clothes, and let your mule be harnessed with its golden harness, and take with you slave lads of the best from among your slaves, and go to the grass market. Go on as far as the seat of such a one, you will see the Shereef wearing the garments of a devotee. Go up to him and salute him, and explain to him your news of wanting a wife, of coming to ask in marriage his daughter. He will say to you, 'You have neither root nor branches.' Tell him, 'My root is a thousand deenars, and my branches are a thousand deenars.' Then tell him all you want, and then give him root and branches, and he will consent, but he will want from you much wealth. What he asks of you, whatever it may be, give him, don't be stingy, and when the marriage is completed you will repay yourself all the wealth you have laid out and more. And we bid each other good-night, and I slept.

"And when it was light I did as he had told me. And I adorned myself, and my slaves, and my mule, and mounted and went to the market and saw the Shereef and saluted him, and he replied to me. And I said to him, 'Attend,' and I explained to him my news, and he answered me in the words the ape had said. And he said to me, 'You have neither root nor branches.' And I gave him two thousand deenars, a thousand for the root and a thousand for the branches. And he consented, and gave me his contract.

"And he said to me, 'A thousand deenars is the dowry, and a thousand deenars the clothes, and a thousand deenars my turban.' And I gave him five thousand deenars, and I took out a thousand deenars and gave to the bystanders, and I was married. When the marriage was finished I went and told the ape that my marriage was finished.

"And he said to me, 'Your circumstances will be prosperous to you, and ask about the hour for your going into the house, I have news which I wish to come and tell you.' And I went and inquired about the hour for going into the house, and then I told him, 'I have it.'

"So he said to me, 'The night that you enter the house as you pass the first door, look into the court, you will see a door to the left; there is a ring on the door and in the ring a key, open and go in; inside you will see a large chest filling up the room, on the chest there is a pot, and on the pot a brass basin, and in the basin water; and on the left hand side of it there is a red cock, and on the right hand side there is a knife inscribed with a charm. Then take the knife and kill the cock over the chest, and when you have killed it, pour out the water in the basin, and wash the knife. And so when you have completed these directions you will see the chest open, and inside it you will see a treasure, and this treasure the Shereef himself does not know of, and when you have got it you will be at peace. For Almighty God has made me an ape, to come and be the bringer of luck to you. And you yourself will dwell in peace, and I shall go my way. But you must do in this way, and if you do not, you will not find good, but only evil.'

"And I said, 'I will do as you have told me.'

"And I went and entered the house, and did as I had been directed to do. And as I opened the door, I heard the girl, the Shereef's daughter, my wife, whom I had married, say, 'The Jin has carried me off.' And when I had gone in, and come out again, and went to my wife's room, she was not there, the Jin had carried her off. So my state was like that of a madman.

"And the Shereef, her father, got the news, and came into the house directly, and came weeping and beating himself with his fists, and rending his clothes. And when he reached me there, he said, 'This it was that he wanted, for I found long ago that the Jin wanted to steal away my daughter from me, and I bound him by these charms, which you have dissolved; and those were medicines which bound him, so that he was turned into an ape, and you have came and loosed him, to lose me my daughter. And so now you had better get out of my sight, for I loved my daughter, and am in bitterness about her; yet I do not wish to harm you.'

"And when he said that to me, I saw that so it was. And I arose, and went to my house, and sat thinking and considering; and I felt the house was not the place for me, and I went out to go and look for my wife. And I went without knowing whither I ought to go; and I pressed on the road, and went through a forest.

"And I saw two snakes—a white and a black. And the black one came with its mouth open, chasing the white one. And I arose, and struck the black snake, and killed it. The white one went on, and departed. And it went; and I saw it returning with three white snakes like itself. And they took hold of the black snake, and cut it up into little bits, and threw them away. And they said to me, 'Your courtesy will not be lost.'

"And they asked me, 'Are you not Mohammed the Languid?' And I said, 'I am the languid one.' And they said to me again, 'Your courtesy will not be lost; we know what it is that has banished you from your home. The cause is the Shereef's daughter, and that Marid wished long ago to carry off the woman. And he was no ape, he is a Jin; and as to what he told you about there being a treasure, there was no treasure, they were the bonds that bound him; and he was changed into an ape by the Shereef. And now,' they said to me, 'please God, you shall get your wife.'

"And they went and returned with a man exceedingly and wonderfully large. And they asked him, 'Do you know such a one?' And that such a one was the Marid that had been a ape. And he said, 'I know him; and now he has changed and become as he was at first, and he has got a wife: he has carried off her that he was watching. And now he has gone to the city of Nuhás. He found the world no place for him.'

"Then they had told him, 'Carry this, your master, and go with him to the city of Nuhás, where his wife is.' And he said, 'I hear.' So they took him, 'Stoop down,' and he stooped down, and they took me and mounted me upon him. And they took me, 'This is a Marid, so while you are upon him do not invoke the name of Almighty God, for if you invoke the name of Almighty God he will melt away, for he is a Marid.' And I said, 'I will make no invocation.'

"And he said to me, 'Hold yourself on well upon me.' And I held on tightly. When I had got hold, he flew and went up with me, I being upon him. And he rose, till from the world where I was as I looked to the earth I saw it no more, I saw the air only. So we went and heard the praises of the angels in heaven, and he went up furiously.

"Then as we went up, I saw a youth of most fair form, with a turban made of a green shawl, carrying a fiery missile. And he called to me by my name, 'Mohammed the Languid!' When he called me, I answered him. And he said to me, 'Invoke the name of Almighty God, or if you do not invoke it, I will strike you with a missile.' And I invoked it.

"As I invoked it the Jin let go of me, and I went off his back. Immediately the youth, when he let go of me, struck him with the missile which he carried in his hand, and he melted away like lead.

"So I was coming on my way till I reached the earth. And I fell into the sea. As I fell I saw a fishing vessel. When they saw me, they came and picked me up, and took me on board their vessel. And they took out some fish for me, and broiled them for me, and I ate. And when I had eaten I found myself a little better. And it was so in speaking with me in their language, we did not understand one another. And they took me and went with me to their king. And their king knew how to speak Arabic, and the country itself was one of the Indian countries.

"So the king talked with me in the Arabic language, and asked my news, whence I came and how I was going, till I was picked up in the sea. So I gave him the news which I had. The king called his vizir, and took me and gave me to the vizir, and told him, 'Find him a place with you, and treat him well, till he recovers his health.' So I went and followed him. And I went on, and he gave me a good house, and good sleeping accommodation, and good food, and every good thing he did to me.

"And I remained the days I remained with him. And at the house where I lived there was a garden, and I sat one day and opened the window which was towards the garden, and I looked, and the garden pleased me exceedingly. And I saw a stream of water in it. And I longed to go and bathe in the stream. And I went down, and went and got into the water and bathed. And then I followed the stream, and it took me out of the town.

"And when I looked up I did not know whence I came, or whither I was going, and I was like a man struck with idiotcy. Then all at once I saw a man on horseback coming towards where I was. And he called me by my name. And he said to me, 'Your courtesy is not lost.' And he asked me, 'Do you know me?' And I said, 'I do not.' And he said, 'I am that white snake's brother; and now I am come to complete our business.' And he called me, and said to me, 'Come, let us mount the horse.' And we both got on the horse and went on.

"And he said to me, 'Now we are near the city of Nuhás.' And I knew not whence I came, and I knew not whither I was going. I knew not before and I knew not behind, I was a mere person. And we went, and arrived at a place where there was a mountain, and a river passing under it. So we dismounted there on the mountain. When I had dismounted I looked for him, but saw him no more.

"So I returned to just my first plight, and waited so a little while. And I heard some one salute me, and I replied to him. And he asked me, 'Do you know me?' And I said, 'I do not.' And he said to me, 'I am the white snake's brother; there are three of us, each one has done what he could for you, and so I have come to do what I can for you.' And he said to me, 'We are near the city of Nuhás, we have reached it, that is it which you see there.'

"And I said, 'I see it; how shall I get in there?' And he took out a sword and gave it me, and said to me, 'Carry this sword.' And the sword was all written over with charms. And I took hold of the sword, and I asked him, 'Where is the path to enter in by?'—As for that city of Nuhás, no one man could open the gate, nor two, nor three, and the gate is fastened.—'Where shall I pass in?' And he said, 'Follow the stream of water, the stream goes into the city of Nuhás.'

"And I followed the stream and carried my sword in my hand. And I followed the stream until I entered into the city. And as I entered I saw marvellous things—every species of things; I saw those that I knew, and those I knew not. And I went with my sword in my hand, and entered into the city, and walked about in the city. And I saw them, but they did not see me, because of my sword which was inscribed with charms.

"And I wandered round till I saw a woman, my wife. When I saw her, immediately I recognized her, and she recognized me, and I came near to her, and we met and asked the news of one another. And I asked her, 'Who brought you here?' And she said, 'It was the ape brought me here. When you had finished doing your work, I saw a man, and he carried me away. Then we stayed not anywhere but here. And wherever he wished to stay it did not suit him, except here, for here no mortal man has any desire to reach this place. So now he has come and put me here. And now he is gone on a journey, and here he only comes on his days. And now, do not be afraid, since you have arrived here and you and I have met, we shall go to our home also.'

"And so she explained to me her news. And she told me, 'All the commands of the Jins in this city of Nuhás are his, he has them. And he has works prepared to bind the Jins. Now then be going.' And she gave me directions. 'You will see an iron bar, it has a ring, and there is an incense pot and there is incense. Take the incense, and put it in the censer, and read while it is fuming, and take the ring, and strike with the iron bar the ring which is with the bar. So the Jins will appear to you of every form, each one in anxiety about himself. And when they come, they will say to you, 'We are your slaves, and our command is yours. Order us what you will, we will do it for you. So when they are come, the ordering is yours; what you wish to do to him is then as you choose.'

"And these words my wife explained to me. And I arose, and went quickly where the iron bar was, and I did as she had told me. And when I had finished striking the bar, at once I saw beings appear to me; some with one eye, some with one arm, some with one leg, and of every form they appeared to me. And they said, 'What matter is it you desire? We are your slaves, and the ordering is yours. Say what you desire.' And I said to them, 'Where is the Marid who came here with a wife? it was he who was changed into an ape.' And they said, 'He is not here; he is gone on a journey, but it is the second mouth since he went on his journey, and this is his time for coming.' And I said to them, 'Quick! bind him and bring him.' At once I saw him brought before me, and his hands behind him. And I asked him, 'Are you he that carried off that lady?' And he said, 'It was I.' So I said to him, 'As the Shereef turned you into an ape and cast you out upon the world, so I will put you in a bottle of copper, and will cast you into the sea.'

"Then I took him and put him into a bottle of copper, and carried him to the damsel, and we cast him into the sea. So I ordered the Jins to carry away every choice thing and every rarity. And myself and my wife, we sat upon a couch, with the bar, and the incense-pot and its incense, and everything that pleased me. And I ordered the Jins to carry us.

"And the Jins carried us until we reached the city of Bussorah, and put us inside my house. And I called my father-in-law, the Shereef, in the morning, and he came with my mother, and my relations, and those I loved. And they came, and we met joyfully, talking and laughing. And we made a fresh kind of marriage, and we made a great wedding with joy, and the damsel's father rejoiced exceedingly. And so we dwelt in joy, talking and laughing.

"And as for these things, say not that I prepared them for you through fear, but I felt that these things did not become me, and so I thought I had better give them to you—you are the caliph, and a great man, and I am a little man."

And the caliph said to him, "Thanks; and do you remain here; go not again to Bussorah." And people were chosen to go to Bussorah, to go and remove his goods. And they came with them to the country of Baghdad, and he dwelt in peace and perfect satisfaction.