The vazír said, ‘They have related that in the territory of Fárs, there was a king of good dispositions and an amiable nature, who had placed the foundation of his sway on the benevolent inclination to cherish his subjects, and who on the throne of royalty fully satisfied the requirements of a widely-diffused clemency.

His greatness oped the hand of justice to the whole of human kind,
And by his awe, oppression’s feet, too, were in fetters firm confined.

A son was born to him on whose countenance the signs of rectitude and nobleness were found, and on whose face the marks of world-subjugating triumph were conspicuous.

When Mercury beheld his day of birth appear,
He straight pronounced, ‘Lo! perfect bliss* is here!’

And on the shoulder of this boy there was a black mole of the size of the palm of one’s hand. The king was disturbed at the sight of this, and inquired of the wise men of the time what that mark denoted. They replied, ‘We have seen in ancient books that whoever has such a mark, many dangers will befall him, but in the end he will be a great conqueror and subduer of the world.’ The king was pleased at these happy tidings, and kept the eyes of fostering care fixed on his condition. And in the neighbor­hood of the king lived a Shoemaker, devoid of any nice sense of honor and from birth a lewd fellow. The king observed towards him the rights of neighborly feelings, and had assigned to him a regular pension and a fixed stipend. And he always passed his time tranquilly and in easy circumstances under the shadow of the king’s favor. When the Prince reached the age of four* years, being naturally of a frolicksome temper, he used constantly to come to the Shoemaker’s little room and spend the time in play. The vazír being informed of this state of things, exerted himself to prohibit and prevent this, and said, ‘The sapling of the temper of children is very susceptible, and turns in whatever direction people incline it, and remains fixed so.

The branch, when tender, which is bent awry,
If thou dost straighten it will then come right;
But if two years or three should once pass by,
To straighten it will then exceed thy might.

My advice is that the king should restrain the Prince from associating with the Shoemaker, that his reprehensible qualities may not suddenly infect the royal youth, nor plunge the peerless spirit* of that luminary of the heaven of empire into the abyss of abasement; and that various perils which are to be thence expected may not occur.

From a foul spirit spring all hateful things.’

The king responded, ‘He is a mere child, and has taken a fancy for the Shoemaker, and he is very dear to me. It is probable that if I keep him back from associating with the man, he will be vexed, and his chagrin would tend to distress my heart. I will wait a little till he grows older, and can discriminate between good and bad. We will then, by admonition, bring his conduct into the right way.’ The vazír was silent, and the king sent for the Shoemaker, and bestowed many favors upon him, and having given him hopes of his imperial bounty for the future, said, ‘Thou art my neighbor, and this darling of mine has become attached to thee, and his wish is that thou shouldest be his familiar friend and companion, and protect him from fire and water.’ The Shoemaker kissed the ground of service, and said,

‘May the rose of the king’s garden kindle up the world with light!
May the lamp of his night-hours like day’s radiant torch be bright!

I, your slave, do not find in myself capacity for this post, nor perceive in my own person merit enough for such a dignity, which is the ultimate object of ambition.* But the imperial regard possesses the miraculous powers of the philosopher’s stone, and can make black earth pure gold, and change rude stones into perfect gems.

The earth thou treadest proves instinct with life;
Stones at thy look with golden ore grow rife.

My hope is that under the imperial auspices, the duties of attendance will be in such manner fulfilled that they may attain the honor of approval.’ In short, he accepted the service of the Prince, and boldly taking him up brought him to his own hut, and then carried him back again to the king’s palace. And at times it happened that the Prince stopped all night in his little room, and the king showed his satisfaction at his familiarity with the Shoemaker; while the latter undertook the service of the Prince in such a way, that every day his favor with the king increased, until he became altogether the favorite, and, by reason of his devoted attendance, he carried off the ball of elevation from his compeers.

With the bat of service thou mayst win [right quickly, honor’s] ball.

Day after day he used to take the Prince to wander over flower-gardens, and kept him till night employed in sight-seeing and amusement; and sometimes he spent the night too in gardens and places of entertainment. Once on a time, it became necessary for the king to take a journey; and, when he had formed a fixed intention of going, with a body of his particular attendants, he sent for the Shoemaker, and delivered the Prince anew to his charge, and uttered a number of injunctions that he would attend to his safety. The Shoemaker promised zealously to obey the king’s commands, and girt himself afresh to his duties. Now in the environs of the city, the king had a garden, which was a type of the garden of Paradise above, and a model of the delightful region on high in the highest heaven. The breeze shook from the tresses full of curls of its violets, a profusion of pure musk; and the perfumer of the northern gale bore away from the entangled ringlets of its wild roses* fresh ambergris. The odoriferous shrubs of Eden from the perfumes of its flowers moist with dew, sought to augment their freshness; and the blossoms of the trees Sidrah and Ṭúba borrowed the quality of gracefulness from the variety of its lofty branches.

That garden seemed like Paradise in beauty,
Like Hourís’ eyes its Eden-flowers were shining.
The jasmine, with narcissus’ bowl, did duty
Cupbearer-like; and ebrious, reclining
The violet and red rose, hung: with ringlets
O’er shoulder cast, the hyacinth stood pausing;
The Nasrín to the breeze unveiled,* and springlets
Murmured softly. Fresh pain to lovers causing,
The nightingale and bell-voiced Durráj* sung;
And ravished nature on their accents hung.

The Prince very frequently used to betake himself to pleasant rambles in this garden, and at the very time when the king had chosen to travel, the royal youth had formed the wish of repairing thither according to his wonted custom, and had set off for the garden with a few of his slaves and attendants who always waited upon him. The Shoemaker observed that that day the prince wore on his head a golden crown, and a garment* ornamented with jewels, on his person. The low nature and sordid spirit of that wretch tempted him to deceit and treason, and he thought to himself, ‘This dress and crown are as valuable as the capital of a hundred merchants, nay, equal to the whole contents of a thousand seas and mines. Just now his father is a long way off from the capital, and his mother and all the people of the seraglio are secure of my fidelity. My best plan is to carry off the boy, and having conveyed him to some remote city, sell his ornaments and apparel for an astonishing sum, and pass the rest of my life in happiness and ease.

Propitious is the time—arise! to use thy blessings understand;
Since fortune turns her face to thee, then let her not elude thy hand.’

In the end, that wretch of evil end,* from the greedy desires of his per­fidious spirit, kindled the fire of mischief; and, pouring the face-water* of integrity on the ground of injustice, formed a design against the son of his lord and master. He then imparted his intentions to a shrewd slave, who was his confidant, and found means to ply each of the other attendants with the wine of insensibility; and, having reduced the Prince, too, to the same state, he laid him in a large box. Then when night came, he fastened the box on the back of a quick-traveling she-camel, such that the swift-revolving moon applauded the rapidity of her progress, and the creation-traversing sky eulogised her fleet movements.

In fleetness she outrivaled e’en the sky;
Was linked in running with the moonbeams fair.
Like rushing floods she downward now would fly,
Anon like vapor spring aloft in air.

And he himself mounted a cream-colored steed, which sped like the life of the prosperous, and came on like sudden death. In going it tripped up* arrows, and its bounds consumed the heart of lightning [with jealousy]. Were they to have given it the rein, it would have carried off the ball of speed from thought itself; and had they struck it with the lash, it would have leapt from the globe of earth to the dome of heaven.

Deep the blows of his tramplings, the hoofs of his speed,*
Stamped the Earth-Fish’s* immense back, the moon’s countenance.
Not the sky e’en in swiftness from him took the lead,
Nor the wind to compete with him dared to advance.

And he set the slave also on another wind-rivaling, iron-champing, lightning-paced, thunder-snorting, world-crossing courser.

Earth-traversing like wishes, wild* as lust without control,
Like youth’s season fleetly passing, and precious as the soul.

And he took two other, sumpter-horses, and so carrying them with a supply of food for the way, they set their faces to the journey, and by the time that day dawned, they had traveled a vast distance; and having rested in the early morning a short space, they mounted again, and beginning with fiery haste, like lightning, to traverse the road, they passed far beyond the frontiers of the king’s dominions, and arrived in another country. In the other direction the attendants and slaves of the Prince, stretched out insensible, did not recover ther consciousness till mid-day. At length the gardener being apprised of their condition poured oil of almonds and stale vinegar on the brains of each, so that they came back to their senses, and seeing no trace of the Prince and the Shoemaker, they set off for the city and acquainted the boy’s mother with the circumstances. The queen mounted and came to the garden, but from that delicate rose no perfume reached her nostrils.

I hastened to the garden, but my graceful cypress was not there,
And I missed my new-blown flower that was so smiling and so fair.
On every side, like spring-clouds, I was weeping in despair,
But to glad my tearful eyes came no more my cypress there.

However, when the mother found no tidings of the light of her eyes, she uttered shrieks, and raising shrill outcries to the height of Arcturus, com­manded that they should traverse with the step of search every part and quarter of the garden, and seek diligently throughout the environs and neighborhood of the city and adjoining country. And when after extensive inquiry and infinite trouble the messengers could in nowise reach the station of their desired object, but came back in despair, and represented how matters stood, the queen’s tender nature* began to melt in the fire of separation, and, like a taper, she was consuming in the flame of absence, and was made to understand, by the tenor of her condition, the purport of this couplet.

This night my brain is so on fire that I me down will never sit,
Till taper-like I am consumed, and of this body’s garment quit.

Thus she passed the night, the livelong night, in anguish of heart till morning came; and her sorrow then culminating, she heaved a cold sigh from her distracted breast and said,

Morn-like one breath is left me now, where shall my lover meet my eyes?
Ah! saw I him, I, taper-like, my life for him would sacrifice.

At last the message, ‘Return unto thy Lord,’* having arrived, the taper of her life was extinguished by the violent wind of ‘Every creature which liveth on the earth is subject to decay.’*

She left this garden and the thorn of sorrow in our feet* remained.

The servants of the seraglio represented what had happened, to the king, and the latter, returning to his capital, reposed his greatness there, and gave full vent to all possible lamentation and grief for the loss of his wife and son. At length, having bowed his head on the line of endurance, he adopted the course of patience.

When to the sage—my guide—I had recourse in like distress and pain,
He said, ‘Escape is none, but we must back to him return again.’*

Meantime, however, the Shoemaker having conveyed the Prince to the country of Damascus, after he had expended the jewels, sold him to a merchant, with whom the Prince lived ten years, and grew up into such beauty that he made the market of Egyptian Joseph flat.

Say! what was Joseph? though for him musk’s price were not too high,*
But such thy worth that we might thee at life itself well buy.

Whenever that delicately-educated cypress came forth from his house, a thousand despairing lovers were ready to devote their lives on the road of affection, and from every corner and direction were holding up their hands in prayer for the long life of that straight-statured youth.

Wheree’er he passed in beauty by, to avert ill glances there,
Forth from their sleeves a thousand hands were stretched aloft in prayer.

The merchant was a discriminating and sagacious person, and possessed thorough shrewdness and penetration. He said to himself, ‘It is not for my gain or advantage that I should be attended any more by this slave, for if I keep him concealed in the house he might just as well not exist; and if he issues from the house the fire of mischief is kindled, and no one can look upon his face with composure.

Beware, spectator! for my love is near,
Then close thine eyes if life to thee be dear.

My best course is to take this slave as a present to the King of Fárs, for he is a munificent monarch. It is certain that he will bestow on me a reward equal to twice the value of the slave.’ So the merchant took him to Fárs and presented him to the king by way of offering, and after ten years that he had been torn from his father’s bosom, having now, like the full moon, reached the station of the fourteenth,

A sweet and merry sweetheart of just fourteen years have I,
To whom the moon of fourteen days bows down in fealty.*

he arrived once more in the capital of Fárs. The king, ignorant of his son’s condition, honored the merchant’s offering with acceptance, and sent the new comer to the circle of his favorite slaves, and every day bestowed more and more attention on him, until in a short time he obtained pre-eminence over all his fellows. And, meantime, he had formed a friendship with a Jeweler, who always waited in the treasury, and to whom was assigned the charge* of the precious stones and ornaments. To him the Prince was always doing acts of kindness; and every present that the king gave him, he sent a gem of it to the Jeweler as his share. When, however, the latter perceived the unlimited confidence which was reposed in the slave, his sordid nature formed a vain desire, and he said to himself, ‘I will beguile the slave to bring me the king’s own signet-ring, and by help of that seal I will plunder the treasury and will carry off an abundant store and immense treasure therefrom.’ Wherefore he said to the slave, ‘Sweetheart! every day thou dost lavish a variety of kindnesses on this mean individual, and I wish to requite some of those acts by an acceptable service. There is an inscription on the royal signet of the king of such a nature, that whosoever becomes possessed of this inscription on the seal, obtains absolute power and the whole territory of the world is secured to him.

Just like the seal of Sulaimán, such that inscription’s sway,
Who it possesses, him the realm of Jamshíd will obey.

If thou wilt undertake this task, and, at the time when the king is contentedly indulging in a sweet sleep,* wilt remove that ring from his finger and bring it to me in order that I may take off the impression for thee, the throne of royalty will soon be adorned with the glory of thy beauty, on condition that thou conferrest on me the post of vazír.

Thou from the table of thy fortune apportion me a share.’

By this artifice the Jeweler beguiled the Prince, so that at night-time he entered the king’s bedchamber, and having extended the hand of audacity to the king’s signet, by degrees gently drew it off. The king awoke and said to the slave, ‘Why didst thou venture on this bold act? and what didst thou want with the ring?’ The Prince was unable to utter a word, and the flame of the king’s wrath being kindled, he called an executioner and commanded him to put the slave to death. The executioner first of all pulled off the Prince’s garment from his neck, and at once that black mole on his shoulder was exposed to view. At sight of the mole the king swooned, and the executioner withheld his hand from inflicting the blow. When the king recovered his senses, he kissed the head and eyes of his son, and said, ‘Light of my eyes! the society of the perfidious Shoemaker plunged us into the flames of separation.’ The youth too made excuses and said, ‘The friendship of the Jeweler incited me to this disrespectful action.’ Then the king commanded the Jeweler to be severely punished, and admonished the Prince that in future he should draw in his skirt from the society of base persons, that he might not be overtaken in calamities such as those.

And the advantage to be derived from this story is, that it may become evident to the noble mind of the king that the company of people of bad origin makes the king a slave, and the slave downcast. And the Goldsmith is of the number of those whose society ought to be shunned, but now the king has carried his patronage of him to the limits of excess. The advisable course is, that in favoring and exalting him, moderation should be observed; lest a downright mischief, the remedy of which will be beyond the bounds of possibility, should be the consequence.’ The king gave no heed to the words of the vazír, and said, ‘Sovereign princes do not commence an affair without the guidance of fortune, nor enter upon important matters without the aid of inspiration. What have lofty connections and old family to do with nobility of nature and perfection of qualities? It is the tokens of excellence and good manners, not the vanity of birth and connections, that cause respect and secure honor and advancement.

Let thy own worth expand thy chest with pride,
Nor boast thy long antiquity of race.
The age of pearls with lustre ’s not allied,
But does their hue with yellowness deface.

That person may be regarded as noble and great, whom the reigning monarch distinguishes by his favor: and a mighty potentate said, ‘We are fortune; whomsoever we have raised has been raised, and whomsoever we have put down has been put down.’ So in truth whomsoever we exalt, the head of his loftiness rises above tho top of the twin-stars, near the pole of the Lesser Bear; and whomsoever we degrade, the luminary of his fortune falls into the abyss of obscurity. Should the gale of our favor blow over a salt-marsh, it becomes the envy of the rose-garden of Iram; and when the lightning of our wrath scatters its fire, it consumes a thousand stacks of reputation.

Whom from their presence monarchs chase away,
They from heaven’s peak to earth precipitate.
And whom, like morn, with favor they survey,
From them they strip the sackcloth of their state.

And we have raised this young man, and elevated the head of his honor to the summit of exaltation. Our hope is that the opinion we have formed of him will not prove erroneous.’ The vazír saw that the king was firmly resolved to encourage him, and he therefore held his peace, and made no further opposition in the matter. However, when some days had passed, the Goldsmith, seeing the hand of choice open, placed his foot beyond the centre of moderation; and began, through hope and fear and promises and threats, to encroach on men’s property. One day there was occasion for certain precious stones for an ornament for the princess, and they could not find such as they wanted in the king’s treasury, nor were they procurable in the jewelers’ bázár. The Goldsmith, being engaged in inquiries for the gems, learnt that the daughter of a merchant possessed the valuable stones that were required. Hereupon he sent some persons to her to ask for the jewels, but the girl met them with a refusal, and however much they urged her, it was all in vain. In short they sent for her, and the Goldsmith said* to the princess, ‘I have heard that this merchant’s daughter possesses some royal pearls, such that from the time when the jeweler of the sky gave to view the radiant jewels of the stars in the emerald-colored vault of heaven, none have beheld pearls of such purity and brilliance as those lustrous ones; and so long as the nurse of ocean has tended the pearl unique* in the cradle of its shell, the diver of the sight never saw the equals of those incomparable gems.

Starlike* in beauty and in brilliance, they
Bear from the moon the palm of light away.

And she has also certain rubies of an excellent water, which, like a mother, the radiant sun has with a hundred difficulties nourished in the mine’s womb; and the stony mountain, notwithstanding all its hard-heartedness, has kept, with a thousand acts of tenderness, in its inmost bosom.

Like drops of wine which in the time of snow,
In vestments red to stony hardness grow.

She is also the owner of some pieces of green emerald, such that the eye of the spectator is blinded by looking on them, while by viewing that delicious green color the pupil of the eye has its light augumented.

It aids the vision, and to me it seems
That from its hue the eye derives new beams.

And in her jewel-casket are also some carbuncles, which, like the flowers of Persian pomegranates seem to sparkle with fire in the sight of those who survey them: as well as some turquoises of pleasing color, so clear that heaven appears to have acquired its beautiful enamel from their hue.

Rubies Canopus-like* in their red hue,
Turquoises patterns of ethereal blue.

The princess should command the girl to bring hither her jewels and sell them to us at the current price; and if she does not agree readily and of her own good-will, they ought to be taken from her by severe and rigorous measures.’ Thereupon the princess sent to compel the merchant’s daughter to bring the jewels. The girl protested that she had no such gems and produced the small pieces she possessed. The Goldsmith did not approve of them, and incited the princess to put her to the torture. The king’s daughter was intoxicated and out of herself with the cup of fatuous termination, ‘They (women) are deficient in intellect,’ and the insinuations of the tempter of mankind combining therewith, and the pride of royalty, and of prosperity, and the temptations of violent passions lending their aid, she commanded the merchant’s daughter to be racked, and in a short time that weak helpless one, by the wound of the talons of the eagle of punishment, fell into the claw of destruction. Whereupon the relations of the merchant’s daughter raised their complaints and outcries to the summit of the ethereal sky, and the pure-minded vazír inscribed this state of things on the tablet of the king’s mind. From the smoke of such dishonor, which arose from the window of the seraglio, the cell of the king’s breast was darkened, and in a gracious manner he showered honors on the heirs of the merchant’s daughter, and giving them an abundance of money, made them satisfied, and removing his daughter from the eye of his favor, left off patronising the Goldsmith. And by the disastrous influence of the society of that accursed and cruel villain, the noble princess fell from her elevated position of respect; and the Goldsmith, fearing the vengeance of the king, absconded. The mother of the princess looked upon it as advisable that the latter should leave the city for a few days, and stay for a time in the royal garden residence;* and when the lightnings of the hurricanes of the imperial anger were appeased, and the flame of the world-consuming wrath of the king had been quenched, the princess should return to the seraglio. The latter accordingly proceeded to the garden, and the Goldsmith being apprised of this circumstance, came to wait upon her. When she beheld him, she was seized with emotion, and exclaimed, ‘O unlucky wretch of ill-omened appearance!

If they should paint thy image on a wall,
Fye! that on it one look, one glance shonld fall.

Art thou come back to stir up some new mischief? and employ some fresh artifice to gratify thy covetousness and selfish interests? away with thee! for to see thee again is painful to me, and that I should address thee any more is impossible.’ The Goldsmith came out in despair from the presence of the princess, and directing his steps towards the jungle, went on distracted and perplexed. Night came on, and dark clouds fixed their gloomy pavilion in the expanse of air, and set down the lamp of the stars. The hapless Goldsmith, at such a time, when they had sifted over earth’s surface the powder of darkness,* and had poured the lamp-black of ink on liquid pitch,

That was a night, like negro’s visage, black;
Its gloom spread up and darkened the moon’s back;

advanced like one distraught. It happened that, to capture wild beasts, they had dug a pit in that desert, and a tiger, and a monkey, and a serpent had fallen into it. The Goldsmith, who had cruelly dug pits in the path of mankind, having come round that way, fell into the pit on the top of the animals.

Thou who in cruelty dost dig a pit,
Know for thyself, too, thou preparest it.
Silk-worm-like round thyself no meshes lead,
And for thine own sake, what thou dost take heed!

This group that were at the bottom of the pit were restrained by their own sufferings from molesting one another, and for several days remained at the bottom of the pit in the same fixed position. Till one day a pilgrim,* one of the inhabitants of the city, having set out on a journey, passed by them, and having observed their situation, was amazed, and thought to himself, ‘Well! to be sure, this man is one of the children of Adam, and being overtaken in this vortex of calamity, is nearer the wilderness of death than the encamping-ground of life. Humanity requires that by every attainable means I should release him, and store up the merit of this action for the ‘Day in which neither riches nor children avail.* He then let down a cord, and the monkey, clinging to it, reached the mouth of the pit. The second time the snake was the first to get up. The third time the tiger struck his claws into the rope; and when all these three had reached the level ground, they blessed the pilgrim and said,

‘’T is fortune’s act, no work of ours, if, on some blest occasion rare,
One sought like thou, at utmost need, arrives to grant the sufferer’s prayer.

Know that thou hast conferred a vast favor and thorough kindness upon each one of us, as we firmly feel and acknowledge, but at this time we have not the power of returning and requiting it.’ The monkey said, ‘I pass my time in the skirt of the mountain which lies near the city; if thou wilt be so courteous as to honor my dwelling with thy fortunate footstep, the debt I owe will be remembered.’ The tiger said, ‘I, too, have made my home in the vicinity of the city in such and such a jungle, and if thou wilt please to pass that way I shall, perhaps, as far as my power goes, discharge the dues of service.’ The serpent added, ‘I have chosen my abode in the wall round the city; if thou comest thither and good-fortune should befriend me, I will to the extent of my ability shew my thankfulness for this benevolent act. We would now, however, offer a piece of advice, to which it is thy bounden duty to listen. Do not get this man out of the pit, for he seems to be a false person, and deems it right to requite good with evil. Be not deceived with the outward beauty of his appearance, and be not off thy guard as to his inward foulness and the impurity of his disposition.

Leave outward form, seek mental purity,
A man in shape may worse than brutes e’en be.

And most of the people of the age are engaged in adorning their outward appearance and neglecting their inward man: consequently,

Josephs to sight, they yet are wolves at heart:

especially this man who for several days has been our companion, and whose habits and qualities we thoroughly understand: in his face we have assuredly not seen the tokens of a generous spirit, nor inhaled the odor of fidelity from the flower-garden of his qualities.

From the fair seek not for faith, for none yet did glad inhale,
From time’s flower-garden here, of perfect faith the scented gale.

And if thou wilt not act on our suggestions, there may be a day that thou wilt repent of what thou hast done.’ The pilgrim gave no heed to their words, and let down the rope, and did not listen to their disinterested advice with the hearing of acceptance, but raised the Goldsmith to the mouth of the pit. The latter thanked the pilgrim and told him some portion of the king’s harsh treatment and his own perplexity, and, moreover, he made request that he would pass one day with him, in which case he would perhaps be able to recompense him. The pilgrim replied, ‘At present I have placed the foot of reliance on God in the path of the prosecution of my journey, and I shall make a tour of two or three days in various parts of the world. But I pledge myself that, if fate spares me and destiny so decrees, I will secure the honor of thy society again.

If life remains I’ll wait on thee again.’

With this promise they took leave of one another, and both returned to their own roads. The pilgrim set his face towards his journey, and the Goldsmith went back to the city, and concealed himself in a retired spot. Meanwhile the king, being ashamed of having patronised the Goldsmith, and blushing at not having listened to the advice of his vazír, shewed no regard towards his daughter. Nay, however much the nobles, employing the kind offices of mediation, besought him [to forgive her], their request did not reach the place of acceptance. In this state of things a year passed away, and the pilgrim—having visited some few districts and countries, and gathered three hundred pieces of sterling gold—at length, feeling the sensation of love of country, bethought himself, ‘Although in absence from home things are prosperous with me, and my worldly wealth and future happiness are hourly on the increase, still the air of my own country suits me best, and the water of the fountain of my native land is more gratifying to the palate of my heart.

Though they may make narcissus pots of silver or of gold,
Yet for that flower is better far its own true native mould.’

He then turned his face homeward from exile, and arriving at night-time at the skirt of the mountain, which was the monkey’s abode, he halted there. When a little of the night had passed, two thieves, sanguinary and trouble-exciting, such that Mars the dagger-user was on his guard against their bosom-piercing shafts; and Arcturus, the javelin-holder, held before his face the shield of fear from dread of their life-chasing swords,

Like the eyes of cruel fair ones, full of blood, of stern demeanour,
In the gore of men to stain them they their trenchant blades made keener,

came to his pillow, and having possessed themselves of his money and goods, tied his legs together tightly with the noose of a lasso, and cast him so bound into a dreadful ravine, which was a long way from the public road. The hapless one said to himself, ‘While thou hast a gasp of life still left, and readest a line from the page of existence,

To wail befits not, but to offer thanks.’

All night long the pilgrim lay there bound, and bowed his neck to the decree of fate and the mandate of destiny; at length, when it dawned, from the pain of his hands and feet losing control of himself, he exclaimed,

‘Did my heart’s wailings reach they would prevail,*
But I see none to listen to my wail.’

He was raining down the tears of anguish from his eyes, and was groaning with the agony of his afflicted breast, and exclaiming, ‘Alas! I perish in this woeful strait, and no one has any knowledge of my condition, and with all this life-consuming pain I have fallen into the whirlpool of extinction, and the scent of remedy does not reach the nostrils of hope.

Whose heart is touched for this my sorrow, for poor broken-hearted me?
Save my own heart, I’ve no one near me, who will show me sympathy.

At this time the monkey, having come forth in quest of food, passed by the ravine, and heard a lamentable cry, and discovered in the sound something familiar. Making for the ravine he arrived in the very nick of time* for the pilgrim. When he beheld his friend bound in the bonds of calamity, he gave loose to torrents of tears from the fountain of his eyes, and said, ‘O dear friend! how didst thou fall into this place? and what is thy story?’ The pilgrim replied, ‘Kind friend! in the toil-house of the world there is no blessing of enjoyment without the distress of suffering, and in the ruinous heap of perfidious fortune, there is no treasure of prosperity to be got without the dragon of trouble and woe.

No buyer from this shop has ever stingless honey borne,
None gather in this flower-garden dates without a thorn.

And when a person has learned this secret, and the reality of this circum­stance has been revealed to him, he ought not, like an autumnal cloud, to let fall the drops of regret at the pangful thorn of the world, nor, at the display of its fresh-cheeked flowers, ought he to indulge in mirth like the season of spring; for its grief has no continuance, nor its joy any stability.

In this existence, so soon to expire,
The being or not being should not make us gay;
It gives us water, puts us on the fire,
Freely bestows a thing then forthwith snatches it away.
It gives, it snatches back, and has no shame;
Taking and giving, its task is this, the same.’

He then told the whole story of the thieves, and of their carrying off his gold, and throwing him, bound down, there. The monkey said, ‘Be of good cheer! for,

There is much cause for hoping in despair,
And night’s far limit is the morning fair.

And I will exert myself, as far as I am able, to remedy the mischief, but the most important affair at present is thy liberation.’ He then broke the pilgrim’s bonds, and conveyed him to a house that he had made of twigs and bushes. Then he presented fruits moist and dry, and made representation, saying, ‘To-day, come not forth from this lodging, and with a heart free from care place thy head on the pillow of repose, until I come back.’ With these words he left the pilgrim and took up the trace of the thieves,* and proceeded in pursuit of them. They, however, carrying away the goods and gold had traveled all night, and in the morning, spent and exhausted, arrived at a spring of water. Overpowered with drowsiness they undid the pilgrim’s things from their backs, laid themselves down* and went to sleep* with hearts free from solicitude and minds at ease. At breakfast-time, the monkey came up with them just in the nick of time, and finding them off their guard, took advantage of the fortunate opportunity, and having torn open the bundle of clothes, first of all took out the bag of gold, and carrying it to a retired place, hid it in the ground. He then came back, and as they were still slumbering he took another piece of the pilgrim’s dress, and concealed it in a spot. In short, having carried away all the pilgrim’s things,* together with some of the thieves’ traps,* of which he managed to get hold, he put them in different places, and took up his position on a tree at some distance, waiting to see what they would do. After some time had passed, the thieves awoke, and not finding a trace of the gold or the things, they began to run about in all directions in a state of consternation and dismay. One who surpassed the other in shrewdness said, ‘Brother! this fountain is not a place which men frequent; and besides, there is no vestige of men’s steps near the spring. It must therefore be the abode of demons and fairies, and we have come here securely, and stretching out our limbs, have gone to sleep. This mischief has been done by their people, and we may yet be thankful that they sought not to slay us. Our best course is to run away as fast as possible, and make our heels save the moiety of life that is left us.

Spirits this desert throng unblest:*
Here are strait quarters, room enow for trouble.
They who are here content to rest,
Feel chills hepatic; or, like bile, next bubble.
And he who chooses to alight here,
Is sure to lose his head or night-gear.’

The thieves, then, with terrified hearts took to flight, and the monkey, being free from anxiety as to their return, went back to his house and told the pilgrim what had happened, and for that night took charge of him. In the morning, when the thief of night began to fly with his robes of gloom from the sun’s fountain of light; the solar world-wandering pilgrim, being freed from the bounds of darkness, set his face towards his destined journey.

When in the skies’ expanse appeared to sight,
The sun’s pure gold from ’neath the heap of night;

the monkey took the pilgrim to the spring of water and brought to him his gold and clothes, and what he had taken from the thieves. The pilgrim was satisfied with what belonged to him, and did not possess himself of their things, but bidding the monkey farewell, set out for the city. His way happened to lie through that jungle which was the haunt of the tiger, and that savage animal showed itself in the distance like a raging lion. The pilgrim, terrified at the sight of it, was about to take to flight, when the tiger called out, ‘Be not alarmed!

I bear thy favours, grateful, yet in mind.’

He then advanced, and, thanking him much, besought him that he would wait there a short time. The pilgrim, to oblige him, halted, and the tiger went roaming in every direction in search of a present worthy of his guest, till at last he came to the door of the king’s garden-palace. Entering there he saw a maiden, who was sitting on the margin of a marble basin, and wearing a precious ornament on her neck. The tiger killed her with a single stroke of his paw, and, bringing the ornament to the pilgrim, expressed his regret [for the insignificance of the offering]. The pilgrim, on his part, met his apologies courteously, and departed towards the city. Meanwhile, as he remembered the circumstance of his acquaintance with the Goldsmith, the thought passed through his mind, ‘I have witnessed the good-faith of brutes and wild animals, and their acquaintance bears such excellent fruit as this. If the Goldsmith should hear of my arrival, of course he will show the most exuberant joy at my coming, and will think it incumbent on him to take infinite pains to give me a kind reception. Moreover, by his aid and assist-ance, those pieces of pure gold may be sold at their full price, and this ornament, which is a treasure of gems, may be passed off at a good sum; for his skill in this matter, and his knowledge of the current price of these several articles, is greater than that of other men. It was morning when the pilgrim reached the city, and at that time the report of the murder of the king’s daughter had spread through the city, and the people poured aghast and amazed to the king’s palace. The Goldsmith, too, had come forth from his retirement to make inquiry into the circumstance, and was wanting to find one of his friends, and ascertain what had occurred. All of a sudden he saw the pilgrim, and, displaying the utmost joy, conducted him with respect and reverence to his own abode. After the usual inquiries, he again minutely detailed his adventures, and his exclusion from attendance on the king, and the degradation of rank which had befallen him, and the sums of money and property that he had lost. The pilgrim consoled him, and said, ‘O brother! if thy means of support have been impaired, and the pillars of thy opulence have been crushed by the hurricane of accidents, grieve not, for I have some pieces of sterling gold, and also an ornament containing many jewels; and thou art sagacious in discerning the worth of gold and gems. Sell them carefully and kindly, and take what thou wilt, for there will be no difficulty as to that.’ The Goldsmith sent for the ornament, and when he saw it, he beheld the ornament of the princess. Then putting on a cheerful countenance, he said to the pilgrim, ‘The value of these jewels exceeds the power of the calculator of the imagination to compute. Be of good cheer! for I will this very moment set thy mind at ease; and so, rest thou here in peace until I return.’ The Goldsmith then reflected, ‘I have got a fine opportunity, and secured a rare advantage. If I am remiss and let this slip, I shall prove myself quite devoid of all the advantages of caution and cleverness. Previous to this, the king’s mind has been changed towards me, and at this moment, when they have conveyed to him the news of his daughter’s murder, of course he is grieved and anxious, and on the look-out for the assassin of his daughter.* I can have no better recommendation to him than to consign the pilgrim to the king’s hands, that he may bring him to justice. Perhaps, the king, being pleased with me, I shall again rise to my former station.’ He then resolved on treachery, and went to the palace and announced that he had caught the murderer of the princess, and secured the ornament. The king sent for him, and seeing the ornament, sent some persons to bring the pilgrim iuto his presence. When the hapless pilgrim saw who was the instrument of this deed, he said,

‘Thou hast in friendship slain me, and yet none
Was e’en, by foes, so cruelly undone.

This is my punishment, and I deserve a thousand times as much.’ The king supposed that he was a criminal, and that he was uttering these words in acknowledgment of his misdeeds; and the ornament, too, was corroborative of that suspicion. He commanded, therefore, that they should parade him round the city, and having imprisoned him, should the next day, when they had finished putting him to the usual torture, inflict on him retaliation for his crime. While they were conducting him round the city, the snake on the top of the wall had opened the eye of survey. When it beheld its friend in that state, it set off after him; and after they had shut him up in prison, approached him, and having learnt how matters stood, cried out and said, ‘Did I not tell thee that a man of base nature has no gratitude, and in return for kindness and assistance will perform acts of perfidy and cruelty? Thou didst not listen to me, and I, that very day, when thou didst turn away thy face from the suggestions of thy friends, and refuse attention to advice devoid of any suspicion of self-interest, well knew that the issue of thy affairs would have no other result but repentance.

I ceased that day hopes of Farhád to have,
When to Shírín his blind heart’s reins he gave.’

The pilgrim replied, ‘Kind friend! from the salt of these reproaches which thou scatterest on my wound, nothing, now, but heart-burning and distress of mind can be derived. And my sufferings from neglecting that advice are already sufficient.

The townsfolk shun me and all men revile.

Now excogitate some remedy, which may be a repellent of this misfortune, and a cure for this disaster.’ The snake rejoined, ‘Yesterday I wounded the king’s mother, and all the city-people are at a loss how to heal her. Keep this grass and early in the morning when they come to thee and ask of thee the means to cure her, go and wait on the king, and after thou shalt have recounted what has befallen thyself, give him this grass that his mother may eat it and recover. Perhaps in this way thy liberation and escape may be attainable.’ The pilgrim thanked the snake, and the latter returned to his own hole; and in the morning having ascended the terrace of the king’s palace* called out from a chink, ‘The remedy for the person bitten by the snake is with the innocent pilgrim whom the king yesterday imprisoned.’ At that time the king was seated at his mother’s pillow, and suffering through grief for the loss of his daughter, together with sorrow for his mother’s wound, was in consultation with the doctors as to the remedy for the poison of the serpent. And however many antidotes for poisons and repellents they used, it was all in vain. When the voice reached the king’s ear he said, ‘Go ye and see what person is on the terrace, and whence he utters those words?’ Notwithstanding the search made by the guards, they saw no man on the terrace, and they were led to the conjecture that an invisible monitor had pronounced the words. They went, therefore, and brought the pilgrim out of prison, and taking him to the king, busied themselves with inquiring after the matter of the remedy. The pilgrim said, ‘O king!

May the high court of thy justice and thy gracious majesty,
The K’abah of the wishes of the wants of mankind be!

The cure for this poison is in my possession, and the queen of the world shall this very moment obtain perfect recovery. But I hope that first of all I may be allowed to convey to the august hearing a brief summary of my own affliction. And it befits the king’s justice that for an instant he should open the ear of attention to listen to the state of the oppressed.

So sleep that thou mayest hear the wail of pain,
If one who seeks for justice cry to thee;
He is not suited o’er the world to reign,
Whom in such court we careless slumbering see.’

The king’s heart felt the truth of the pilgrim’s appeal, and he said in a gracious manner, ‘Relate thy case from beginning to end, and fearlessly recount thy whole story.’ The pilgrim, with that boldness which belongs to the truthful, courageously recited his own history; and the writing of his innocence from that crime was clear to the luminous mind of the monarch. Then they mixed that grass with some milk and administered it to the queen, and the effect was her immediate recovery. Thereupon, the king clothed him in a robe of honor worthy the munificence of royalty. Mean­time the Goldsmith was waiting for the pilgrim at the foot of the scaffold, in hopes that he would be put to death as quickly as possible, and so the pieces of gold would remain with him, while he himself would acquire his former credit and rank near the king. All of a sudden the royal mandate arrived that, instead of the pilgrim, they should impale the Goldsmith, and that this should be made the final result of his calumnious accusation, [and that thus it might be shown] that if a traducer should plunge anyone into calamity, on the falsehood of the charge being apparent, and the selfish motive which had been concealed in that accusation coming to light, the very same punishment which he desired should be inflicted on that innocently-suspected person, should be carried out with regard to that lying sycophant. In this very same manner they impaled that ungrateful faithless wretch who had never seen the face of generous feeling nor inhaled the perfume of honor, and thus they cleansed the expanse of creation from the blot of his unclean person, which was the confluence of perfidy and mischief, and the fountain-head of oppression and injurious acts, and he arrived at the reward of his actions and the just recompense of his deeds.

Here in this hall of retribution, he
Who evil does, injures himself alone.
Do good if thou wouldst live on happily;
And in thy acts and thoughts let truth be shewn.

This is the story of kings, with regard to their choice of favorites, and the investigation of the affairs of those who are nearly connected with them. And if the king of Ḥalab had not favoured that man of low origin and bad manners, his daughter would not have assailed the life of the innocent, nor have been killed by the tiger’s paw in retribution. So if the king had not opened his ears to hear the words of the persecuted and oppressed, right would not have been discriminated from wrong, nor truth from falsehood. More­over it behoves kings not to patronise any one incautiously, nor to issue, off­hand, a mandate for the punishment of any; and to be quite certain that good actions will never be thrown away, nor the requital of bad deeds be in anywise delayed. Consequently, at this time when the chamberlain of fate has set up the court of their glory, and the controller of destiny has com­mitted to them the opportunity of prosperous fortune and kingly sway, they ought to exert themselves that they may do things which will be the source of their good fame in this world, and of their advancement and salvation in that to come.

From time to time high heaven surveys with favoring glance some later man,
And fortune grants, in every age, to some new sway, earth’s wide domains.
And since success in lasting flow in no one’s destiny we scan,
Most blest is he whose glorious name new glory each new cycle gains.