Know thou, O King of the Age, that there was in days of yore and in ages and times long gone before, in the city of Baghdad the Abode of Peace, a Caliph Harun al-Rashid highs, and he had cup- companions and tale-tellers to entertain him by night. Among his equerries was a man named Abdullah bin Nلfi", who stood high in favour with him and dear to him, so that he did not forget him a single hour. Now it came to pass, by the decree of Destiny, that it became manifest to Abdullah how he was grown of small account with the Caliph, who paid no heed unto him nor, if he absented himself, did he ask after him, as had been his habit. This was grievous to Abdullah and he said within himself, "Verily, the soul of the Commander of the Faithful and his Wazir are changed towards me and nevermore shall I see in him that cordiality and affection wherewith he was wont to treat me." And this was chagrin-full to him and concern grew upon him, so that he recited these couplets:--  "Whoso"s contemned in his home and land * Should, to better his case, in self-exile hie: So fly the house where contempt awaits, * Nor on fires of grief for the parting fry; Crude Ambergris[FN#132] is but offal where * "Tis born; but abroad on our necks shall stye; And Kohl at home is a kind of stone, * Cast on face of earth and on roads to lie; But when borne abroad it wins highest worth * And thrones between eyelid and ball of eye." 

(Quoth the sayer), Then he could brook this matter no longer; so he went forth from the dominions of the Prince of True Believers, under presence of visiting certain of his kith and kin, and took with him nor servant nor comrade, neither acquainted any with his intent, but betook himself to the road and fared deep into the wold and the sandwastes, unknowing whither he went. After awhile, he unexpectedly fell in with travellers who were making the land of Hind and journeyed with them. When he came thither, he lighted down in a city of that country and housed him in one of the lodging-houses; and there he abode a while of days, relishing not food neither solacing himself with sleep; nor was this for lack of dirhams or diners, but for that his mind was occupied with musing upon the shifts of Destiny and bemoaning himself for that the revolving sphere had turned against him in enmity, and the days had decreed unto him the disfavour of our lord the Imam.[FN#133] After such fashion he abode a space of days, and presently he homed him in the land and took to himself friends
and got him many familiars, with whom he addressed himself to diversion and good cheer. He used also to go a-pleasuring with his companions and their hearts were solaced by his company and he entertained them every evening with stories and displays of his manifold accomplishments[FN#134] and diverted them with delectable verses and told them abundance of stories and histories. Presently, the report of him reached King Jamhْr, lord of Kashgar of Hind, who sent in quest of him, and great was his desire to see him. So Abdullah repaired to his court and going in to him, kissed ground before him; and Jamhur welcomed him and treated him with kindness and bade lodge him in the guest-house, where he abode three days, at the end of which the king sent to him a chamberlain of his chamberlains and bade bring him to the presence. When he came before him, he greeted him, and the truchman accosted him, saying, "Verily, King Jamhur hath heard of thy report, that thou art a pleasant cup-companion and an eloquent teller of night tales, and he would have thee company with him o"nights and entertain him with that which thou knowest of histories and pleasant stories and verses." And he made answer, " To hear is to obey!" (Quoth Abdullah bin Nafi",) So I became his boon-companion and entertained him by night with tales and talk; and this pleased him with the utmost pleasure and he took me into favour and bestowed on me robes of honour and set apart for me a lodging; indeed he was bountiful exceedingly to me and could not brook to be parted from me a single hour. So I sojourned with him a while of time and every night I caroused and conversed with him till the most part of the dark hours was past; and when drowsiness overcame him, he would rise and betake himself to his sleeping-place, saying to me, Forsake not my service and forego not my presence." And I made answer with "Hearing and obeying." Now the king had a son, a nice child, called the Emir Mohammed, who was winsome of youth and sweet of speech: he had read books and had perused histories and he loved above all things in the world the telling and hearing of verses and tales and anecdotes. He was dear to his father King Jamhur, for that he owned no other son than he on life, and indeed he had reared him in the lap of love and he was gifted with exceeding beauty and loveliness, brilliancy and perfect grace: he had also learnt to play upon the lute and upon all manner instruments and he was used to converse and company with friends and brethren. Now it was his wont when the king arose seeking his sleeping-chamber, to sit in his place and require me to entertain him with tales and verses and pleasant anecdotes; and on this wise I abode with them both a great while in all joyance and delight, and the Prince still loved me with mighty great love and treated me with the utmost tenderness. It fortuned one day that the king"s son came to me, after his sire had withdrawn, and cried, "O Ibn Nafi"!" "At thy service, O my lord;" "I would have thee tell me a wondrous story and a marvellous matter, which thou hast never related either to me or to my father Jamhur." "O my lord, what story is this that thou desires" of me and what kind shall it be of the kinds?" "It mattereth little, so it be a goodly story, whether it befel of olden tide or in these times." "O my lord, I know by rote many stories of various kinds; so which of the kinds preferrest thou, and wilt thou have a story of mankind or of Jinn kind?" " "Tis well! An thou have espied aught with shine eyes and heard it with thine ears, tell it me." Then he bethought himself and said to me, "I conjure thee by my life, tell me a tale of the tales of the Jinn and that which thou hast heard of them and seen of them!" I replied, "O my son, indeed thou conjures" me by a mighty conjuration; so lend an ear to the goodliest of stories, ay, and the strangest of them and the
pleasantest and rarest." Quoth the Prince, "Say on, for I am attentive to thy speech;" and quoth I, "Hear then, O my son,