3- The Linguist-Dame, the Duenna and the King's Son

We here begin,[FN#184] with the aidance of Allah Almighty, and invite the History of the Tarjumánah[FN#185] and the Kahramanah[FN#186] and the young man, the King"s son, and whatso happed between them of controversy and of contention and interrogation on various matters. It is related (but Allah is All-knowing anent what passed and preceded us of the histories belonging to bygone peoples) that there reigned in a city of Roum[FN#187] a King of high degree and exalted dignity, a lord of power and puissance. But this Sovran was issue-less, so he ceased not to implore Allah Almighty that boon of babe might be vouchsafed to him, and presently the Lord had pity upon him and deigned grant him a man-child. He bade tend the young Prince with tenderest tending, and caused him to be taught every branch of knowledge, and the divine precepts of wisdom and morals and manners; nor did there remain aught of profitable learning wherein the Youth was not instructed; and upon this education the King expended a mint of money. Now after the Youth grew up Time rounded upon the Sovran his sire and his case was laid bare and he was perplext as to himself and he wotted not whatso he should ever do. Presently his son took heart to direct him aright, and asked, "O my father, say me, wilt thou give ear to that wherewith I would bespeak thee?" "Speak out," quoth the King, "that is with thee of fair rede;" and quoth the youth, "Rise, O my sire, that we depart this city ere any be ware of our wending; so shall we find rest and issue from the straits of indigence now closing around us. In this place there is no return of livelihood to us and poverty hath emaciated us and we are set in the sorriest of conditions than which naught can be sorrier." "O my child," quoth his sire in reply, "admirable is this advice wherewith thou hast advised us, O my son, pious and dutiful; and be the affair now upon Allah and upon thee." Hereupon the Youth gat all ready and arising one night took his father and mother without any being cognisant; and the three, entrusting themselves to the care of Allah Almighty, wandered forth from home. And they ceased not wandering over the wilds and the wolds till at last they saw upon their way a large city and a mighty fine; so they entered it and made for a place whereat they alighted. Presently the young Prince arose and went forth to stroll about the streets and take his solace; and whilst he walked about he asked concerning the city and who was its Sovran. They gave him tidings thereof saying, "This be the capital of a Sultan, equitable and high in honour amongst the Kings." Hereupon returning to his father and mother, quoth he to them, "I desire to sell you as slaves to this Sultan,[FN#188] and what say ye?" Quoth they, "We have committed our case to Almighty Allah and then to thee, O our son; so do whatso thou wishest and judgest good." Hereat the Prince, repairing to the Palace, craved leave to enter to the King and, having obtained such permission, made his obeisance in the presence. Now when the Sultan looked upon him he saw that his visitor was of the sons of the great, so he asked him, "What be thy need, Ho thou the Youth?" and the other made answer, "O my lord, thy slave is a merchant man and with me is a male captive, handy of handicraft, God-fearing and pious, and a pattern of honesty and honour in perfect degree: I have also a bondswoman goodly in graciousness and of civility complete in all thou canst command of bondswomen; these I desire to vend, O my lord, to thy Highness, and if thou wouldst buy them of thy servant they are between thy hands and at thy disposal, and we all three are thy chattels." When the King heard these pleasant words spoken by the Youth, he said to him, "And where are they? Bring them hither that I behold them; and, if they be such as thou informest me, I will bid them be bought of thee!" Hereupon the Prince fared forth and informed his parents of this offer and said to them, "Rise up with me that I vend you and take from this Sultan your price wherewith I will pass into foreign parts and win me wealth enough to redeem and free you on my return hither. And the rest we will expend upon our case." "O our son," said they, "do with us whatso thou wishest." Anon,[FN#189] the parents arose and prepared to accompany him and the Youth took them and led them into the presence of that Sultan where they made their obeisance, and the King at first sight of them marvelled with extreme marvel and said to them, "Are ye twain slaves to this young man?" Said they, "Yes, O our lord;" whereupon he turned to the Youth and asked him, "What be the price thou requirest for these two?" "O my lord," replied he, "give me to the price of this man slave, a mare saddled and bridled and perfect in weapons and furniture;[FN#190] and, as for this bondswoman, I desire thou make over to me as her value, a suit of clothes, the choicest and completest." Accordingly the Sultan bade pay him all his requirement, over and above which he largessed him with an hundred dinars; and the Youth, after obtaining his demand and receiving such tokens of the royal liberality, kissed the King"s hands and farewelled his father and mother. Then he applied himself to travel, seeking prosperity from Allah and all unknowing whither he should wend. And whilst he was faring upon his wayfare he was met by a horseman of the horsemen,[FN#191] and they both exchanged salutations and welcomings, when the stranger was highly pleased at the politeness of the King"s son and the elegance of his expressions. Presently, pulling from his pocket a sealed letter wrapt in a kerchief he passed it over to the Youth, saying, "In very sooth, O my brother, affection for thee hath befallen my heart by reason of the goodliness of thy manners and elegance of thine address and the sweetness of thy language; and now I desire to work thy weal by means of this missive." "And what of welfare may that be?" asked the Prince, whereto the horseman answered, "Take with thee this letter and forthwith upon arriving at the Court of the King whither thou art wending, hand to him this same; so shalt thou obtain from him gain abundant and mighty great good and thou shalt abide with him in degree of highmost honour. This paper (gifted to me by my teacher) hath already brought me ample livelihood and prodigious profit, and I have bestowed it upon thee by reason of thine elegance and good breeding and thy courteousness in showing me respect." Hereat the Youth, the son of the King, answered him, "Allah requite thee with weal and grant thou gain thy wish;" and so saying accepted the letter of that horseman with honest heart and honourable intent, meditating in his mind, "Inshallah ta"ála--an it be the will of God the Greatest I shall have good fortune to my lot by the blessing of this epistle; then will I fare and set free my father and my mother." So the Prince resumed his route and he exulted in himself especially at having secured the writ, by means whereof he was promised abundant weal. Presently, it chanced that he became drowthy with excessive drowth that waxed right sore upon him and he saw upon his path no water to drink; and by the tortures of thirst he was like to lose his life. So he turned round and looked at the mare he bestrode and found her covered with a foam of sweat wholly unlike her wonted way. Hereat dismounting he brought out the wrapper wherein the letter was enrolled and loosing it he mopped up therewith his animal"s sweat and squeezing it into a cup he had by him drank it off and found to his joy that he was somewhat comforted. Then, of his extreme satisfaction with the letter, he said to himself, "Would Heaven I knew that which is within, and how the profit which the horseman promised should accrue to me therefrom. So let me open it and see its contents that my heart may be satisfied and my soul be joyed." Then he did as he devised and perused its purport and he mastered its meaning and the secret committed to it, which he found as follows, "O my lord, do thou straightway on the arrival of him who beareth these presents slay him, nor leave him one moment on life; because this Youth came to me and I entreated him with honour the highmost that could be of all honouring, as a return for which this traitor of the salt, this reprobate betrayed me in a daughter that was by me. I feared to do him dead lest I come to shame amongst the folk and endure disgrace, I and my tribe, wherefore I have forwarded him to thy Highness that thou mayest torture him with torments of varied art and end his affair and slaughter him, thus saving us from the shame which befel us at the hands of this reprobate traitor."[FN#192] Now when the young Prince read this writ and comprehended its contents, he suspected that it was not written concerning him and he took thought in himself, saying, "Would Heaven I knew what I can have done by this horseman who thus seeketh diligently to destroy my life, for that this one had with him no daughter, he being alone and wending his way without any other save himself; and I made acquaintance with him nor passed there between us a word which was unworthy or unmeet. Now this affair must needs have one of two faces; to wit, the first, that such mishap really did happen to him from some youth who favoureth me and when he saw the likeness he gave me the letter; or, on the second count, this must be a trial and a test sent to me from Almighty Allah, and praise be to God the Great who inspired me to open this missive. At any rate I thank the Most Highest and laud Him for His warding off the distress and calamity descending upon me and wherefrom He delivered me." Then the young Prince ceased not wending over the wildest of wolds until he came to a mighty grand city which he entered; and, hiring himself a lodging in a Khan,[FN#193] dismounted thereat; then, having tethered his mare and fed her with a sufficiency of fodder, he fared forth to walk about the thoroughfares. Suddenly he was met by an ancient dame who considered him and noted him for a handsome youth and an elegant, tall of stature and with the signs of prosperity showing manifest between his eyes. Hereat he accosted her and questioned her of the city folk and their circumstances, whereto the old woman made reply with the following purport, "Here in our city reigneth a King of exalted dignity and he hath a daughter fair of favour, indeed the loveliest of the folk of her time. Now she hath taken upon herself never to intermarry with any of mankind unless it be one who can overcome her with instances and arguments and can return a sufficient reply to all her questions; and this is upon condition that, should he come off vanquisher, he shall become her mate, but if vanquished she will cut off his head, and on such wise hath she done with ninety-and-nine men of the noblest blood, as sons of the Kings and sundry others. Furthermore, she hath a towering castle founded upon the heights that overfrown the whole of this city whence she can descry all who pass under its walls." As soon as the young Prince heard these words from the love of the King"s daughter and he passed that night as it were to him the longsomest of nights, nor would he believe that the next morn had morrowed. But when dawned the day and anon showed its sheen and shone, he arose without let or stay and after saddling his mare mounted her and turned towards the palace belonging to the King"s daughter; and presently reaching it, took his station at the gateway. Hereat all those present considered him and asked him saying, "What be the cause of thy standing hereabouts?" whereto he answered, "I desire speech with the Princess." But when they heard these words, all fell to addressing him with kindly words and courteous and dissuading him from his desire and saying, "Ho thou beautiful youngling! fear[FN#194] Allah and pity thyself and have ruth upon thy youth; nor dare seek converse with this Princess, for that she hath slain fourscore and nineteen men of the nobles and sons of the kings and for thee sore we fear that thou shalt complete the century." The Prince, however, would not hear a word from them nor heed their rede; neither would he be warned by the talk of others than they; nay he persisted in standing at the Palace gateway. And presently he asked admission to go in to the King"s daughter; but this was refused by the Princess, who contented herself with sending forth to him her Tarjumánah, her Linguist-dame, to bespeak him and say, "Ho thou fair youth! art thou ready and longing to affront dangers and difficulties?" He replied, "I am." "Then," quoth she, "hie thee to the King the father of this Princess and show thyself and acquaint him with thine affair and thine aim, after which do thou bear witness against thyself in presence of the Kazi that an thou conquer his daughter in her propositions and she fail of replying to a query of thine thou shalt become her mate; whereas if she vanquish thee she shall lawfully cut off thy head,[FN#195] even as she hath decapitated so many before thy time. And when this is done come thou back to us." The Prince forthright fared for the monarch and did as he was bidden; then he returned to the Linguist-dame and reported all his proceedings before the King and eke the Kazi. After this he was led in to the presence of the Princess and with him was the afore-mentioned Tarjumánah who brought him a cushion of silk for the greater comfort of his sitting; and the two fell to questioning and resolving queries and problems in full sight of a large attendance. Began the Tarjumánah, interpreting the words of her lady who was present, "Ho thou the Youth! my mistress saith to thee, Do thou inform me concerning an ambulant moving sepulchre whose inmate is alive." He answered and said, "The moving sepulchre is the whale that swallowed Jonas (upon whom be the choicest of Salams![FN#196]), and the Prophet was quick in the whale"s belly." She pursued, "Tell me concerning two combatants who fight each other but not with hands or feet, and who withal never say a say or speak a speech." He answered saying, "The bull and the buffalo who encounter each other by ramming with horns." She continued, "Point out to me a tract of earth which saw not the sun save for a single time and since that never." He answered saying, "This be the sole of the Red Sea when Moses the Prophet (upon whom be The Peace!) smote it with his rod and clove it asunder so that the Children of Israel crossed over it on dry ground, which was never seen but only once."[FN#197] She resumed, "Relate to me anent that which drank water during its life-time and ate meat after its death?" He answered saying, "This be the Rod[FN#198] of Moses the Prophet (upon whom be The Peace!) which, when a living branch[FN#199] struck water from its living root and died only when severed from the parent tree. Now Almighty Allah cast it upon the land of Egypt by the hand of Moses, what time this Prophet drowned Pharaoh and his host[FN#200] and therewith clove the Red Sea, after which that Rod became a dragon and swallowed up the wands of all the Magicians of Misraim." Asked she, "Give me tidings of a thing which is not of mankind nor of the Jánn-kind, neither of the beasts nor of the birds?" He answered saying, "This whereof thou speakest is that mentioned by Solomon, to with the Louse,[FN#201], and secondly the Ant." She enquired, "Tell me to what end Almighty Allah created the creation and for what aim of wisdom did He quicken this creation and for what object did He cause death to be followed by resurrection and resurrection by the rendering men"s accounts?" He answered saying, "God created all creatures that they might witness His handicraft, and he did them die that they might behold his absolute dominion and He requickened them to the end that they learn His All-Might, and He decreed their rendering account that they might consider His wisdom and His justice." She questioned him saying, "Tell me concerning three, of whom my first was not born of father and mother and yet died; and my second was begotten of sire and born of woman yet died not, and my third was born of father and mother yet died not by human death?" He answered saying, "The first were Adam and Eve,[FN#202] the second was Elias[FN#203] the Prophet and the third was Lot"s wife who died not the death of the general, for that she was turned into a pillar of salt." Quoth she, "Relate to me concerning one who in this world had two names?" and he answered saying, "This be Jacob, sire of the Twelve Tribes, to whom Allah vouchsafed the title of Israel, which is Man with El or God."[FN#204] She said, "Inform me concerning the Nákús, or the Gong,[FN#205] who was the inventor thereof and at what time was it first struck in this world?" He answered saying, "The Gong was invented by Noah, who first smote upon it in the Ark." And after this she stinted not to question him nor he to ree her riddles until evening fell, when quoth the King"s daughter to the Linguist-dame, "Say thou to the young man that he may now depart, and let him come to me betimes next morning when, if I conquer him, I will give him drink of the cup his fellows drained; and, should he vanquish me, I will become his wife." Then the Tarjumánah delivered her message word for word, and the Youth went forth from the Princess with fire aflame in his heart and spent the longest of nights hardly believing that the morn would morrow. But when day broke and the dawn came with its sheen and shone upon all mankind, he arose from his sleep and fared with the first light to the palace where the King"s daughter bade the Linguist-dame introduce him, and when he came in ordered him to be seated. As soon as he had taken seat she gave her commands to the Tarjumánah, who said, "My lady directeth thee to inform her what may be the tree bearing a dozen boughs, each clothed with thirty leaves and these of two colours, one half white and the other moiety black?" He answered saying, "Now that tree is the year, and its twelve branches are the dozen months, while the thirty leaves upon each of these are the thirty white days and the thirty black nights." Hereat quoth she, "Tell me, what tree was it bore many a bough and manifold leaves which presently became flesh and blood?" He answered saying, "This was the Rod of Moses the Prophet (upon whom be The Peace!) which was at first a tree but which after cutting became a serpent with flesh and blood." Continued she, "Inform me what became of Moses" Rod and Noah"s Ark, and where now be they?" He answered saying, "They are at this tide sunken in the Lake of Tabariyyah,[FN#206] and both, at the end of time, will be brought out by a man hight Al-Násirí.[FN#207] She pursued, "Acquaint me with spun yarn, whence did it originate and who was it first practised spinning the same?" He answered, saying, "Almighty Allah from the beginning of mankind ordered the Archangel Gabriel to visit Eve and say to her, "Spin for thyself and for Adam waistcloths wherewith ye may veil your persons.""[FN#208] She enquired, "Tell me concerning the Asáfír,[FN#209] and why they were so called, and who first named them with such name?" He answered saying, "There was in the days of the Moses the Prophet (upon whom be The Peace!) a fowl called Fír, and in the time of Solomon the King (upon whom be The Peace!) all the birds paid him obedience, even as did all the beasts, and albeit each and every created thing was subject to the Prophet, withal this Fír would not show submission: so the Wise King sent a body of birds to bring him into the presence, but he refused to present himself. Presently they returned to the Prophet who asked them, "Where be Fír?" and they answered, "O our lord, "Asá Fír,"[FN#210] whence that name hath clung to the fowls." She resumed, "Inform me of the two Stationaries and the two Moveables and the two Conjoineds and the two Disjoineds by jealousy and the twain which be eternal Foes." He answered saying, "Now the two Stationaries be Heaven and Earth and the two Moveables are the Sun and the Moon; the two Conjoineds are Night and Day and the two Disjoineds by jealousy are the Soul and the Body and the two Hostiles are Death and Life."[FN#211] On this wise the Linguist-dame ceased not to question him and he to reply solving all her problems until eve closed in. Then she bade him go forth that night and on the next day come again to her. Accordingly, the young Prince returned to his Khan and no sooner had he made sure that the morn had morrowed than he resolved to see if that day would bring him aught better than had come to him before. So arising betimes he made for the palace of the King"s daughter and was received and introduced by the Tarjumánah who seated him as was her wont and presently she began, saying, "My lady biddeth thee inform her of a thing which an a man do that same "tis unlawful; and if a man do not that same "tis also unlawful." He answered, saying, "I will: this be the prayer[FN#212] of a drunken man which is in either case illegal." Quoth she, "Tell me how far is the interval between Heaven and Earth?" and he answered saying, "That bridged over by the prayer of Moses the Prophet[FN#213] (upon him be The Peace!) whom Allah Almighty saved and preserved." She said, "And how far is it betwixt East and West?" whereto he answered saying, "The space of a day and the course of the Sun wending from Orient unto Occident." Then she asked, "Let me know what was the habit[FN#214] of Adam in Paradise?" and he answered saying, "Adam"s habit in Eden was his flowing hair."[FN#215] She continued, "Tell me of Abraham the Friend (upon whom be The Peace!) how was it that Allah chose him out and called him "Friend?""[FN#216] He answered saying, "Verily the Lord determined to tempt and to test him albeit he kenned right clearly that the Prophet was free of will yet fully capable of enduring the trial; natheless, He resolved to do on this wise that he might stablish before men the truth of His servant"s trust in the Almighty and the fairness of his faith and the purity of his purpose. So the Lord bade him offer to Him his son Is"hák[FN#217] as a Corban or Sacrifice; and of the truth of his trust he took his child and would have slain him as a victim. But when he drew his knife with the purpose of slaughtering the youth he was thus addressed by the Most Highest Creator, "Now indeed well I wot that thou gatherest[FN#218] me and keepest my covenant: so take thou yonder rain and slay it as a victim in the stead of Is"hák." And after this he entitled him "Friend."" She pursued, "Inform me touching the sons of Israel how many were they at the time of the going forth from Egypt?" He answered, saying, "When they marched out of Misraim-land they numbered six hundred thousand fighting[FN#219] men besides women and children." She continued, "Do thou point out to me, some place on earth which is higher than the Heavens;" and he answered saying, "This is Jerusalem[FN#220] the Exalted and she standeth far above the Firmament." Then the Youth turning to the Linguist-dame, said, "O my lady, long and longsome hath been the exposition of that which is between us, and were thy lady to ask me for all time questions such as these and the like of them, I by the All-might of Allah shall return a full and sufficient answer to one and all. But, in lieu of so doing, I desire of thy mistress the Princess to ask of her one question and only one: and, if she satisfy me of the significance I claim therefor, let her give me to drain the cup of my foregoers whom she overcame and slew; and if she fail in the attempt she shall own herself conquered and become my wife--and The Peace!"[FN#221] Now this was said in the presence of a mighty host there present, the great of them as well as the small thereof; so the Tarjumánah answered willy-nilly, "Say, O Youth, whatso is the will of thee and speak out that which is in the mind of thee." He rejoined, "Tell thy lady that she deign enlighten me concerning a man who was in this condition. He was born and brought up in the highest of prosperity but Time turned upon him and Poverty mishandled him;[FN#222] so he mounted his father and clothed him with his mother[FN#223] and he fared forth to seek comfort and happiness at the hand of Allah Almighty. Anon Death met him on the way and Doom bore him upon his head and his courser saved him from destruction whenas he drank water which came neither from the sky nor from the ground. Now see thou who may be that man and do thou give me answer concerning him."[FN#224] But when the Princess heard this question, she was confused with exceeding confusion touching the reply to be replied in presence of a posse of the people, and she was posed and puzzled and perplext to escape the difficulty and naught availed her save addressing the Tarjumánah and saying, "Do thou bid this Youth wend his ways and remove himself until the morrow." The Linguist-dame did as she was bidden, adding, "And on the morrow (Inshallah!) there shall be naught save weal;" and the Prince went forth leaving the folk aghast at the question he had urged upon the King"s daughter. But as soon as he left her the young lady commanded the Tarjumánah to let slaughter somewhat of the most toothsome poultry and to prepare them for food as her mistress might direct her; together with dainty meats and delicate sweetmeats and the finest fruits fresh and dried and all manner of other eatables and drinkables, and lastly to take a skin-bottle filled with good old wine. Then she changed her usual garb and donned the most sumptuous dress of all her gear; and, taking her Duenna and favourite handmaiden with a few of her women for comitive, she repaired to the quarters of the Youth, the King"s son; and the time of her visit was the night-tide. Presently, reaching the Khan she said to her guardian, "Go thou in to him alone whilst I hide me somewhere behind the door and do thou sit between his hands;" after which she taught the old woman all she desired her do of dissimulation and artifice. The slave obeyed her mistress and going in accosted the young man with the salam; and, seating herself before him, said, "Ho thou the Youth! Verily there is here a lovely damsel, delightsome and perfect of qualities, whose peer is not in her age, and well nigh able is she to make the sun fare backwards[FN#225] and to illumine the universe in lieu thereof. Now when thou wast wont to visit us in the apartment of the Princess, this maiden looked upon thee and found thee a fair youth; so her heart loved thee with excessive love and desired thee with exceeding desire and to such degree that she insisted upon accompanying me and she hath now taken station at thy door longing to enter. So do thou grant her permission that she come in and appear in thy presence and then retire to some privacy where she may stand in thy service, a slave to thy will."[FN#226] The Prince replied, "Whoso seeketh us let enter with weal and welfare, and well come and welcome and fair welcome to each and every of such guests." Hereat the Princess went in as did all those who were with her, and presently after taking seat they brought out and set before the Youth their whole store of edibles and potables and the party fell to eating and drinking and converse, exchanging happy sayings blended with wit and disport and laughter, while the Princess made it her especial task to toy with her host deeming that he knew her not to be the King"s daughter. He also stinted not to take his pleasure with her; and on this wise they feasted and caroused and enjoyed themselves and were cheered and the converse between them was delightful. The Duenna, however, kept plying the Prince with wine, mere and pure, until she had made him drunken and his carousal had so mastered him that he required her person of her; however she refused herself and questioned him of the enigma wherewith he had overcome her mistress; whilst he, for stress of drunkenness, was incapacitated by stammering to explain her aught thereof. Hereupon the Princess, having doffed her upper dress, propped herself sideways upon a divan cushion and stretched herself at full length and the Youth for the warmth of his delight in her and his desire to her anon recovering his speech explained to her the reply of his riddle. The King"s daughter then joyed with mighty great joy as though she had won the world universal;[FN#227] and, springing to her feet incontinently, of her extreme gladness she would not delay to finish her disport with her wooer; but ere the morning morrowed she departed and entered her palace. Now in so doing she clean forgot her outer robes and the wine-service and what remained of meat and drink. The Youth had been overcome with sleep and after slumbering he awoke at dawn when he looked round and saw none of the company about him; withal he recognised the princely garments which were of the most sumptuous and costly, robes of brocade and sendal and suchlike, together with jewels and adornments: and scattered about lay sundry articles of the wine-service and fragments of the food they had brought with them. And from these signs of things forgotten he learnt that the King"s daughter had visited him in person and he was certified that she had beguiled him with her wiles until she had wrung from him the reply of his question. So as soon as it was morning-tide he arose and went, as was his wont, to the Princess"s palace where he was met by the Tarjumánah who said to him, "O Youth, is it thy pleasure that my lady expound to thee her explanation of the enigma yesterday proposed by thee?" "I will tell the very truth," answered he; "and relate to thee what befel me since I saw you last, and "twas this. When I left you there came to me a lovely bird, delightsome and perfect of charms, and I indeed entertained her with uttermost honour and worship; we ate and we drank together, but at night she shook her feathers and flew away from me. And if she deny this I will produce her plumage before her father and all present." Now when the Sovran, the sire of the Princess, heard these words concerning his daughter, to wit, that the youth had conquered her in her contention and that she had fared to his quarters to the end that she might wring from him an explanation of the riddle which she was unable to ree or reply thereto, he would do naught else save to summon the Cohen[FN#228] and the Lords of his land and the Grandees of his realm and the Notables of his kith and kin. And when the Priest and all made act of presence, he told them the whole tale first and last; namely, the conditions to the Youth conditioned, that if overcome by his daughter and unable to answer her questions he should be let drain the cup of destruction like his fellows, and if he overcame her he should claim her to wife. Furthermore he declared that the Youth had answered, with full and sufficient answer, all he had been asked without doubt or hesitation; while at last he had proposed to her an enigma which she had been powerless to solve; and in this matter he had vanquished her twice (he having answered her and she having failed to answer him). "For which reason," concluded the King, ""tis only right that he marry her; even as was the condition between them twain; and it becometh our first duty to adjudge their contention and decide their case according to covenant and he being doubtless the conqueror to bid write his writ of marriage with her. But what say ye?" They replied, "This is the rightest of redes; moreover the Youth, a fair and a pleasant, becometh her well and she likewise besitteth him; and their lot is a wondrous." So they bade write the marriage writ and the Cohen, arising forthright, pronounced the union auspicious and began blessing and praying for the pair and all present. In due time the Prince went in to her and consummated the marriage according to the custom stablished by Allah and His Holy Law; and thereafter he related to his bride all that had betided him, from beginning to end, especially how he had sold his parents to one of the Kings. Now when she heard these words, she had ruth upon his case and soothed his spirit saying to him, "Be of good cheer and keep thine eyes clear and cool of tear." Then, after a little while the Princess bestowed upon her bridegroom a mint of money that he might fare forth and free his father and his mother. Accordingly the Prince, accepting her largesse, sought the King to whom he had pledged his parents (and they were still with him in all weal and welfare) and going in to him made his salam and kissed ground and told him the whole tale of the past and the conditions of death or marriage he had made with the King"s daughter and of his wedding her after overcoming her in contention. So the monarch honoured him with honour galore than which naught could be more; and, when the Prince paid him over the moneys, he asked, "What be these dirhams?" "The price of my parents thou paidest to me," answered the other. But the King exclaimed, "I gave thee not to the value of thy father and mother moneys of such amount as this sum. I only largessed thee with a mare and a suit of clothes which was not defraying a debt but presenting thee with a present and thereby honouring thee with due honour. Then Alhamdolillah-laud be to the Lord, who preserved thee and enabled thee to win thy wish, and now arise and take thy parents and return in safety to thy bride." The Prince hereupon thanked him and praised Allah for the royal guerdon and favours and the fair treatment wherewith he had been entreated; after which he craved leave to receive his parents in charge and wend his ways. And when permission was granted to him, he wished all good wishes to the King and taking his father and his mother in weal and welfare he went his ways with them, in joy and gladness and gratitude for all blessings and benefits by Allah upon him bestowed, till he had returned to his bride. Here he found that his father-in-law had deceased during his absence, so he took seat in lieu of him upon the throne of the kingdom; and he and his consort, during all the days of their life in this world, ceased not eating and drinking in health and well-being and eating and drinking in joy and happiness and bidding and forbidding until they quitted this mundane scene to the safeguard of the Lord God. And here endeth and is perfected the history of the Youth, the King"s son, and the sale of his parents and his falling into the springes of the Princess who insisted upon proposing problems to all her wooers with the condition that if they did not reply she would do them drain the cup of destruction and on this wise had slain a many of men; and, in fine, how she was worsted by and she fell to the lot of this youth whom Allah gifted with understanding to ree all her riddles and who had confounded her with his question whereto she availed not to reply; when his father-in-law died, succeeded to the kingdom which he ruled so well.[FN#229] NOTE TO P. 82. {footnote [FN#219]] The Músà (Moses) of the Moslems is borrowed from Jewish sources, the Pentateuch and especially the Talmud, with a trifle of Gnosticism which, hinted at in the Koran (chapt. xviii.), is developed by later writers, making him the "external" man, while Khizr, the Green prophet, is the internal. But they utterly ignore Manetho whose account of the Jewish legislator (Josephus against Apion, i. cc. 26, 27) shows the other or Egyptian part. Moses, by name Osarsiph=Osiris-Sapi, Osiris of the underworld, which some translate rich (Osii) in food (Siph, Seph, or Zef) was nicknamed Mosheh from the Heb. Mashah=to draw out, because drawn from the water[FN#230] (or rather from the Koptic Mo=water ushe=saved). He became a priest an An or On (Heliopolis), after studying the learning of the Egyptians. Presently he was chosen chief by the "lepers and other unclean persons" who had been permitted by King Amenophis to occupy the city Avaris lately left desolate by the "Shepherd Kings." Osarsiph ordained the polity and laws of his followers, forbidding them to worship the Egyptian gods and enjoining them to slay and sacrifice the sacred animals. They were joined by the "unclean of the Egyptians" and by their kinsmen of the Shepherds, and treated the inhabitants with a barbarity more execrable than that of the latter, setting fire to cities and villages, casting the Egyptian priests and prophets out of their country, and compelling Amenophis to fall back upon Ethiopia. After some years of disorder Sethos (also called Ramesses from his father Rampses) son of Amenophis came down with the King from Ethiopia leading great united forces, and, "encountering the Shepherds and the unclean people, they defeated them and slew multitudes of them, and pursued the remainder to the borders of Syria." Josephus relates this account of Manetho, which is apparently truthful, with great indignation. For the prevalence of leprosy we have the authority of the Hebrews themselves, and Pliny (xxvi. 2), speaking of Rubor Ægyptus, evidently white leprosy ending in the black, assures us that it was "natural to the Ægyptians," adding a very improbable detail, namely that the kings cured it by balneæ (baths) of human blood.[FN#231]