Zereer the Weaver, whom Fortune would not befriend.

WHEN the sun was set, and night came, after the first watch, Khojisteh, having put on fine clothes, came to the parrot, and said, “Alas, my friend! you have been a long time giving your consent; and I have heard many of your speeches; but your friend-ship has not benefited me in any degree. The par-rot answered, Ay, my mistress! why art thou angry with me? I constantly endeavour to raise your desires: however, your fortune is not propitious, but like that of Zereer, which would not befriend him.” Khojisteh asked, “What is the story of Zereer?”

The parrot began: “In a certain city was a man named Zereer, who was continually weaving silken stuffs, without allowing himself a moment's re-laxation; nevertheless, he gained nothing. Zereer had a friend who wove coarse cloths. One day he went to his friend, whose house he saw full of gold and effects, such as are in the dwellings of the rich. Zereer said to himself, How comes it that I, who weave stuffs for the rich, and dresses for princes, have not salt to my bread? and from whence has this inferior workman acquired so much wealth? When Zereer returned home, he said to his wife, In this city, nobody knows the value of my abilities, nor makes any account of my profes-sion. I must go to some other city, where my skill will be valued, and myself more regarded. His wife said, Whatever is your destiny will hap-pen to you in this place: you will never acquire a livelihood beyond what fate has allotted you. In short, Zereer did not listen; but went a journey, and having arrived at another city, dwelt there some time, and followed his occupation. When he had hoarded a large sum of money in his purse, he set out for his own house; and, alighting at a place, kept awake till midnight, when, falling asleep, a thief pulled out his purse of gold, and ran away with it. Zereer awoke, ran after the thief, but could not catch him. Helpless, he returned to that city, and there followed his business again for some years longer; and when he had acquired a farther sum of money, once more took the road to his own house. At night he lodged at a place, when, not-withstanding all his precautions, a thief carried off his money. Reduced to poverty, he said to him-self, It is not my fortune to be rich, and therefore the thief has taken away my property. Then he returned home empty-handed, and acquainted his wife with what had befallen him. She said, Did I not tell you, at first, that you could not any-where acquire beyond what is your destiny? Regardless of my words, you went a journey; say now what benefit have you experienced? Zereer was ashamed of himself.”

The parrot, having concluded the story of Zereer, said to Khojisteh, “Arise and go to your lover, hold not delay to be lawful.” When Khojisteh intended to have gone thither, the cock flapped his wings, and morning appearing, her departure was deferred.