The Merchant's Daughter and the Jackal.

WHEN the sun was set, and night arrived, Khojisteh, whose heart was inflamed with love, went to the par­rot to ask leave, saying, “I have great confidence in your wisdom, and therefore I wait on you every night; if you will not now give me good counsel, and grant me assistance, when will you?” The parrot said, “It is on your account, Khojisteh, that my heart is thus afflicted, and for this reason I shall be unhappy as long as I live. Every night I tell you to go to your lover; but you delay, and listen to my tales. If perchance your secret should be divulged, I will teach you a trick whereby you will avoid all trouble and disgrace; just as the jackal taught the merchant's daughter a trick, and gave her good advice.” Khojisteh asked, “What is the story of the merchant's daughter and the jackal? tell it at full length.”

The parrot began, “In a city was an ameer, who had a son, an ugly person, and of a bad disposi-tion, and sufficiently stupid. When the son ar-rived at manhood his father married him to a mer-chant's daughter, a handsome woman, and who was a proficicm in the art of music. One night, whilst she was sitting on the roof of her house, a young man was singing a song by the side of the wall: the woman hearing his voice, fell in love with him; she descended from the balcony, and approaching the young man, said, I have a stupid ugly husband, can you take me away with you? The youth con-sented, and immediately they set off together, and slept under a tree, by the side of a pond. When the woman fell asleep, the man stole her jewels and ran away. When the woman awoke, she neither saw the jewels on her person, nor the youth beside her; she had no doubt but he had played her a trick, and was gone. When the sun came out of the east, she was standing pensive by the side of the pond. At this juncture arrived a jackal with a bone in his mouth; when, seeing a fish on the banks of the pond, he let the bone fall from his mouth, and ran after the fish: the fish got into the water, when the jackal looked again for his bone, in order to have resumed it, but could not find it, a dog having carried it away. When the woman beheld this sight, she laughed. The jackal said, What woman art thou, and why art thou stand-ing here alone? She told the jackal the whole of her case. The jackal said, You had better do this: Feign yourself distracted, and go home, acting the the part of a mad-woman, laughing and singing, when whoever sees you will forgive you. The woman acted accordingly, and by means of this artifice nobody could find fault with her.”

When the parrot had finished this tale, he said to Khojisteh, “Now is a good time: arise, and go to your sweet-heart: don't be in the least anxious; for if any difficulty should present itself to you, I will teach you a stratagem.” Khojisteh wished to have gone; at which time the cock crowed, and morning appearing, her departure was deferred.