How Two Tribes went to War because of a Goat.

An Arab of the tribe of Benī 'Aqīl took a goat to a city with the purpose of selling it. An Arab of the tribe of Benī Nefīr wished to buy that goat. The owner of the goat wanted eight baghdādās as the price; the purchaser offered six. The owner of the goat swore he would divorce his wife if he gave it for an aspre less than eight baghdādās. And the purchaser swore he would divorce his wife if he gave an aspre more than six. Then the two of them began to quarrel. The Arab who wished to buy took up a stone and threw it at the owner of the goat; it hit his head, which smashed like a rotten gourd. His kinsfolk heard this, and they came and smote that other man, and killed the killer. As a man of each tribe had been slain, they fell one upon another. Every one came on his horse, with his arms, to the field, and they began to fight with each other, so that hills of slain arose, and blood flowed in streams. At length the tribe of Benī 'Aqīl was victorious and put to flight the tribe of Benī Nefīr. That tribe went to the Prince of the Abyssinians and asked help. So the Prince of Abyssinia gave them 200 horse­men, and the Nefīr prince again fell upon the 'Aqīl prince, and they began to fight with one another. At length the fortune of the 'Aqīl prince was changed into disaster, and the Benī Nefīr army returned with victory and triumph.

Feuds, often originating in trifles, are still common among the desert Arabs, and this story is probably of Arabian invention, if not the narrative of an actual occurrence.

No. XXVI—p. 156.

IT is unfortunate that a lacuna in the Persian MS. text (see p. 80 of the present volume) deprives us of the whole of this story, since it probably represented a version nearer to the original than that found in Syntipas, which is very confused towards the conclusion: after the transformation, the prince meets with a peasant, who agrees to become a woman in his place, on condition that his proper sex be restored to him at the end of four months; the prince then proceeds to the court of his intended father-in-law, marries the princess, and contrives to evade the fulfilment of his promise to the peasant.—In the Libro de los Engannos the story is similarly garbled, a “devil” taking the place of the rustic.—In the Mishlé Sandabar, the prince, after his transformation, passes the night near the enchanted fountain; in the morning he meets in the forest a troop of girls, to whom he discloses his rank and present misfortune, and they direct him to the other fountain.— There can be little doubt, I think, that the Arabian version has better preserved the original form of the story, though, strangely enough, nothing is said of the punishment of the treacherous vazīr.

The idea of enchanted fountains whose waters produced re­markable moral or physical transformations in such as drank of or bathed in them is very ancient, and was probably borrowed from classical legends by the mediæval romancists. In chap. xiv of the Gesta Romanorum, a king leaves his daughter in the care of his secretary, who is warned not to allow her to drink of a certain fountain that affected all who drank of it with leprosy. The princess, in spite of all precautions, contrives to reach this fountain, and immediately after drinking of it becomes a leper. In dismay the secretary seeks advice of a holy man, who directs him to a mountain, where he will find a peculiar kind of stone, and a rod. He is to strike the stone with the rod until moisture exudes from it, then smear the affected parts of the damsel's body with the liquid, and she will be restored to health and beauty.

According to the classical legend, there were two springs in Bœotia, of which one was believed to increase, the other to take away, the memory. Cupid's two arrows—one of gold, which created love, the other of lead, which instilled hate—may have suggested the idea of the two fountains in Claudian's picture of the gardens of Venus (De Nupt. Honor. et Mar, l. 69):

Two fountains glitter in the solar beam;
This spouts a sweet, and that a bitter, stream,
Where Cupid dips his darts, as poets dream—

which again seems to have been imitated by Ariosto, in the Orlando Furioso (c. i, st. 77, 78):

Then, as at hazard, she directs her sight,
Sounding in arms, a man on foot she spies,
And glows with sudden anger and despite;
For she the son of Aymon eyes.
Her more than life esteems the youthful knight,
While she from him, like crane from falcon, flies—
Time was the lady sighed, her passion slighted;
Tis now Rinaldo loves, as ill requited.

And this effect two different fountains wrought,
Whose wondrous waters different moods inspire.
Both sprang in Arden, with rare virtue fraught:
This fills the heart with amorous desire;
Who taste that other fountain were untaught
Their love, and change for ice their former fire.
Rinaldo drank the first, and vainly sighs;
Angelica the last, and hates and flies.*

So, too, in Berni's Innamorato, there are the Fountains of Love and of Disdain.—In the old Spanish romance of Diana, by Montemayor, we are told of a fountain that possessed at once the qualities of inspiring love and producing indifference: The priestess of Diana, who knew by inspiration all the misfortunes of her guests, and had traced in her mind a plan for their future happiness, conducted them to the interior of the temple, and filled three cups from an enchanted stream. This beverage having been quaffed by Sereno, Sylvanus, and Sylvania, they instantly fell into a profound sleep, in which they remained for a considerable time. Sereno awoke in a state of the most perfect indifference for his once much loved Diana, while Sylvanus and Sylvania, forgetting their former attachments, arose deeply enam­oured of each other, and employed the most ardent expressions of affection.*

But more closely resembling the enchanted springs of our tale of the Transformed Prince are the magical streams in the Hindū romance of Somasekhara and Chitrasekhara,* which recounts the adventures of two princes, one of whom meets a monkey, who, in his gambols, plunges into a pool, and comes out a man; then leaping into another pool, issues a monkey as before. And in the Indian collection, Sinhásana Dwátrinsati, Thirty-two Tales of a Throne, we read of a magical well which transforms a monkey into a woman, whenever a certain pious hermit comes to converse with her, and again into a monkey before he retires.* In the Tūtī Nāma (35th Night of India Office MS. No. 2573; tale 23 of Kāderī's abridgment), a Bráhman, in love with the daughter of the king of Babylon, receives from a magi­cian a globule, which, put into the mouth, instantly changes a man into a woman, and he is thus enabled to gain access to the damsel. In the Turkish Tūtī Nāma, a sorceress takes the place of the magician, and gives the enamoured youth a seal instead of a globule. But this story is found in a much older work, the Vetála Panchavinsati, 15th tale.