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Queen Scheherazade tells her stories to King Shahryār.

One Thousand and One Nights (Arabic: كتاب ألف ليلة وليلةKitāb 'alf layla wa-layla; Persian: هزار و یک شب Hezār-o yek šab) is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is often known in English as the Arabian Nights, from the first English language edition (1706), which rendered the title as The Arabian Nights' Entertainment.[1]

The work as we have it was collected over many centuries by various authors, translators and scholars across the Middle East and North Africa. The tales themselves trace their roots back to ancient and medieval Arabic, Persian, Indian, Egyptian and Mesopotamian folklore and literature. In particular, many tales were originally folk stories from the Caliphate era, while others, especially the frame story, are most probably drawn from the Pahlavi Persian work Hazār Afsān (Persian: هزار افسان, lit. Thousand Tales) which in turn relied partly on Indian elements.[2]

Though the oldest Arabic manuscript dates from the 14th century, scholarship generally dates the collection's genesis to around the 9th century.

What is common throughout all the editions of the Nights is the initial frame story of the ruler Shahryar (from Persian: شهريار, meaning "king" or "sovereign") and his wife Scheherazade (from Persian: شهرزاده, possibly meaning "of noble lineage"[3]) and the framing device incorporated throughout the tales themselves. The stories proceed from this original tale; some are framed within other tales, while others begin and end of their own accord. Some editions contain only a few hundred nights, while others include 1,001 or more.

Some of the best-known stories of The Nights, particularly "Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp", "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" and "The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor", while almost certainly genuine Middle-Eastern folk tales, were not part of The Nights in Arabic versions, but were interpolated into the collection by Antoine Galland and other European translators.[4]

Contents

Synopsis

"The Sultan Pardons Scheherazade", by Arthur Boyd Houghton (1836–1875)

The main frame story concerns a Persian king and his new bride. Upon discovering his wife's infidelity, the king, Shahryar, has her executed and then declares all women to be unfaithful. He begins to marry a succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning. Eventually the vizier, whose duty it is to provide them, cannot find any more virgins. Scheherazade, the vizier's daughter, offers herself as the next bride and her father reluctantly agrees. On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a tale, but does not end it. The king is thus forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. The next night, as soon as she finishes the tale, she begins (and only begins) a new one, and the king, eager to hear the conclusion, postpones her execution once again. So it goes on for 1,001 nights.

The tales vary widely: they include historical tales, love stories, tragedies, comedies, poems, burlesques and various forms of erotica. Numerous stories depict djinn, magicians, and legendary places, which are often intermingled with real people and geography, not always rationally; common protagonists include the historical caliph Harun al-Rashid, his vizier, Ja'far al-Barmaki, and his alleged court poet Abu Nuwas, despite the fact that these figures lived some 200 years after the fall of the Persian Empire in which the frame tale of Scheherazade is set. Sometimes a character in Scheherazade's tale will begin telling other characters a story of his own, and that story may have another one told within it, resulting in a richly layered narrative texture.

The different versions have different individually detailed endings (in some Scheherazade asks for a pardon, in some the king sees their children and decides not to execute his wife, in some other things happen that make the king distracted) but they all end with the king giving his wife a pardon and sparing her life.

The narrator's standards for what constitutes a cliffhanger seem broader than in modern literature. While in many cases a story is cut off with the hero in danger of losing his life or another kind of deep trouble, in some parts of the full text Scheherazade stops her narration in the middle of an exposition of abstract philosophical principles or complex points of Islamic philosophy, and in one case during a detailed description of human anatomy according to Galen—and in all these cases turns out to be justified in her belief that the king's curiosity about the sequel would buy her another day of life.

History and editions

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Early influences

A page from Kelileh va Demneh dated 1429, from Herat, a Persian translation of the Panchatantra — depicts the manipulative jackal-vizier, Dimna, trying to lead his lion-king into war.

The tales in the collection can be traced to the ancient and medieval Arabic, Egyptian, Persian and Indian storytelling traditions.[5] Many stories from Indian and Persian folklore parallel the tales[6] as well as Jewish sources.[7] These tales were probably in circulation before they were collected and codified into a single collection. This work was further shaped by scribes, storytellers, and scholars and evolved into a collection of three distinct layers of storytelling by the 15th century:[5]

  1. Persian tales influenced by Indian folklore and adapted into Arabic by the 10th century.
  2. Stories recorded in Baghdad during the 10th century.
  3. Medieval Egyptian folklore.

Indian folklore is represented by certain animal stories, which reflect influence from ancient Sanskrit fables. The influence of the Panchatantra and Baital Pachisi are particularly notable.[8] The Jataka Tales are a collection of 547 Buddhist stories, which are for the most part moral stories with an ethical purpose. The Tale of the Bull and the Ass and the linked Tale of the Merchant and his Wife are found in the frame stories of both the Jataka and the Nights.[9]

The influence of the folklore of Baghdad is represented by the tales of the Abbasid caliphs; the Cairene influence is made evident by Maruf the cobbler. Tales such as Iram of the columns are based upon the pre-Islamic legends of the Arabian Peninsula; motifs are employed from the ancient Mesopotamian tale, the Epic of Gilgamesh. There is also a Shia Muslim influence. Possible Greek influences have also been noted.[10]

Versions

Early references to the collection are found in the writings of Masudi (d.956), who mentions it as a translated book full of untrue stories, and of bookseller Ibn al-Nadim (987-88), who also describes it disparagingly as a "coarse book" and retells the frame story about Shahryar and Scheherazade. In the earliest mentions, the book was referred to variously with the Persian title Hazār Afsān "A Thousand Tales" and with the popular Arabic name Alf Layla "A Thousand Nights"; the name "One Thousand and One Nights" is first attested in a 12th century loan record for a Jewish bookseller in Cairo. However, while this and other evidence suggests that the book was popular during that time and later, the earliest substantial manuscripts that are still preserved today date only from the 14th and 15th centuries. Two main Arabic manuscript traditions of the Nights are known - the Syrian and the Egyptian.

The Syrian tradition includes the oldest manuscripts; these versions are also much shorter and include fewer tales. It is represented in print by the so-called Calcutta I (1814-1818) and most notably by the Leiden edition (1984), which is based above all on the Galland manuscript. It is believed to be the purest expression of the style of the mediaeval Arabian Nights.[11][12]

Texts of the Egyptian tradition emerge later and contain many more tales of much more varied content; a much larger number of originally independent tales have been incorporated into the collection over the centuries, most of them after the Galland manuscript was written[13], and were being included as late as in the 18th and 19th centuries, perhaps in order to attain the eponymous number of 1001 nights. The final product of this tradition, the so-called Zotenberg Egyptian Recension, does contain 1001 nights and is reflected in print, with slight variations, by the editions known as the Bulaq (1835) and the Macnaghten or Calcutta II (1839–1842).

All extant substantial versions of both recensions share a small common core of tales, namely: The Merchant and the Demon, The Fisherman and the Demon, The Story of the Porter and the Three Ladies, the Hunchback cycle, The Story of the Three Apples, enframing the Story of Nur al-Din and Shams al-Din, the Story of Nur al-Din Ali and Anis al-Jalis, the Story of Ali Ibn Baqqar and Shams al-Nahar, and the Story of Qamar al-Zaman. The texts of the Syrian recension don't contain much beside that core. It is debated which of the Arabic recensions is more "authentic" and closer to the original: the Egyptian ones have been modified more extensively and more recently, and scholars such as Muhsin Mahdi have suspected that this may have been caused in part by European demand for a "complete version"; but it appears that this type of modification has been common throughout the history of the collection, and independent tales have always been added to it.[13][14]

The first European version (1704–1717) was translated into French by Antoine Galland from an Arabic text of the Syrian recension and other sources.[6] This 12-volume book, Les Mille et une nuits, contes arabes traduits en français ("Thousand and one nights, Arab stories translated into French"), included stories that were not in the original Arabic manuscript. "Aladdin's Lamp" and "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" appeared first in Galland's translation and cannot be found in any of the original manuscripts. He wrote that he heard them from a Syrian Christian storyteller from Aleppo, a Maronite scholar whom he called "Hanna Diab." Galland's version of the Nights was immensely popular throughout Europe, and later versions were issued by Galland's publisher using Galland's name without his consent.

Poster for a Russian production of 1001 nights.

As scholars were looking for the presumed "complete" and "original" form of the Nights, they naturally turned to the more voluminous texts of the Egyptian recension, which soon came to be viewed as the "standard version". The first translations of this kind, such as that of Edward Lane (1840, 1859), were bowdlerized. Unabridged and unexpurgated translations were made, first by John Payne, under the title The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night (1882, nine volumes), and then by Sir Richard Francis Burton, entitled The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night (1885, ten volumes) - the latter was, according to some assessments, partially based on the former, leading to charges of plagiarism.[15][16] In view of the sexual imagery in the source texts (which Burton even emphasized further, especially by adding extensive footnotes and appendices on Oriental sexual mores[16]) and the strict Victorian laws on obscene material, both of these translations were printed as private editions for subscribers only, rather than published in the usual manner. Burton's original 10 volumes were followed by a further six entitled The Supplemental Nights to the Thousand Nights and a Night, which were printed between 1886 and 1888. Burton's edition is the more famous one; taken together with the Supplements, it is still valued as "the most complete version of texts relating to the Arabian nights available in English". It has, however, been severely criticized for its "archaic language and extravagant idiom" and "obsessive focus on sexuality" (and has even been condemned as an "eccentric ego-trip" and a "highly personal reworking of the text").[16]

Later versions of the Nights include that of the French doctor J. C. Mardrus, issued from 1898 to 1904. It was translated into English by Powys Mathers, and issued in 1923. Like Payne's and Burton's texts, it is based on the Egyptian recension and retains the erotic material, indeed expanding on it, but it has been criticized for inaccuracy.[15]

A notable recent version, which reverts to the Syrian recension, is a critical edition based on the 14th or 15th century Syrian manuscript in the Bibliothèque Nationale, originally used by Galland. This version, known as the Leiden text, was compiled in Arabic by Muhsin Mahdi (1984) and rendered into English by Husain Haddawy (1990). Mahdi argued that this version is the earliest extant one (a view that is largely accepted today) and that it reflects most closely a "definitive" coherent text ancestral to all others that he believed to have existed during the Mamluk period (a view that remains contentious).[13][17][18] Still, even scholars who deny this version the exclusive status of "the only real Arabian Nights" recognize it as being the best source on the original style and linguistic form of the mediaeval work[11][12] and praise the Haddawy translation as "very readable" and "strongly recommended for anyone who wishes to taste the authentic flavour of those tales".[18] An additional second volume of Arabian nights translated by Haddawy, composed of popular tales not present in the Leiden edition, was published in 1995.

In 2008 a new English translation was published by Penguin Classics in three volumes. It is translated by Malcolm C. Lyons and Ursula Lyons with introduction and annotations by Robert Irwin. This is the first "complete" translation of the Macnaghten or Calcutta II edition (Egyptian recension) since Sir Richard Burton. It contains, in addition to the standard text of 1001 Nights, the so-called "orphan stories" of Aladdin and Ali Baba as well as an alternative ending to The seventh journey of Sindbad from Antoine Galland's original French. Unfortunately, the Lyons translation is not truly complete. As the translator himself notes in his preface to the three volumes, it is a "streamlined" version, "more for the eye than the ear." Thus much material has been omitted, and this could be considered regrettable.

In 2005, Brazilian scholar Mamede Mustafa Jarouche started publishing a thorough Portuguese translation of the work, based on the comparative analysis of a series of different Arabic manuscripts. The first three volumes of a planned five- or six-volume set have already been released, comprising the complete Syrian branch of the book (volumes 1 and 2) and part of the later Egyptian branch (volume 3 and onwards).[19]

Timeline

Arabic Manuscript of The Thousand and One Nights dating back to the 1300s

Scholars have assembled a timeline concerning the publication history of The Nights:[20][21][22]

  • Oldest Arabic manuscript fragment (a few handwritten pages) from Syria dating to the early 800s discovered by scholar Nabia Abbott in 1948.
  • 900s AD — Mention of The Nights in Ibn Al-Nadim's "Fihrist" (Catalogue of books) in Baghdad. He mentions the book's history and its Persian origins.

هزار ره صفت هفت خوان و رويين دژ
فرو شنيدم و خواندم من از هزار افسان

A thousand times, accounts of Rouyin Dezh and Haft Khān
I heard and read from Hezār Afsān (literally Thousand Fables)

  • 1704 — Antoine Galland's French translation is the first European version of The Nights. Later volumes were introduced using Galland's name though the stories were written by unknown persons at the behest of the publisher wanting to capitalize on the popularity of the collection.
  • 1706 — An anonymously translated version in English appears in Europe dubbed the "Grub Street" version.
  • 1714 — The Thousand and One Days: Persian Tales by Ambrose Philips. The earliest English translation with an attributed author.
  • 1775 — Egyptian version of The Nights called "ZER" (Hermann Zotenberg's Egyptian Recension) with 200 tales (no surviving edition exists).
  • 1814 — Calcutta I, the earliest existing Arabic printed version, is published by the British East India Company. A second volume was released in 1818. Both had 100 tales each.
  • 1825-1838 — The Breslau/Habicht edition is published in Arabic in 8 volumes. Christian Maxmilian Habicht (born in Breslau, Germany, 1775) collaborated with the Tunisian Murad Al-Najjar and created this edition containing 1001 stories. Using versions of The Nights, tales from Al-Najjar, and other stories from unknown origins Habicht published his version in Arabic and German.
  • 1842-1843 — Four additional volumes by Habicht.
  • 1835 Bulaq version — These two volumes, printed by the Egyptian government, are the oldest printed (by a publishing house) version of The Nights in Arabic by a non-European. It is primarily a reprinting of the ZER text.
  • 1839-1842 — Calcutta II (4 volumes) is published. It claims to be based on an older Egyptian manuscript (which was never found). This version contains many elements and stories from the Habicht edition.
  • 1838 — Torrens version in English.
  • 1838-1840 — Edward William Lane publishes an English translation. Notable for its exclusion of content Lane found "immoral" and for its anthropological notes on Arab customs by Lane.
  • 1882-1884 — John Payne publishes an English version translated entirely from Calcutta II, adding some tales from Calcutta I and Breslau.
  • 1885-1888 — Sir Richard Francis Burton publishes an English translation from several sources (largely the same as Payne[15]). His version accentuated the sexuality of the stories vis-à-vis Lane's bowdlerized translation.
  • 1889-1904 — J. C. Mardrus publishes a French version using Bulaq and Calcutta II editions.
  • 1984 — Muhsin Mahdi publishes an Arabic translation he says is faithful to the oldest Arabic versions surviving (primarily based on the Syrian manuscript in the Bibliothèque Nationale in combination with other early manuscripts of the Syrian branch).
  • 1990s — Husain Haddawy publishes an English translation of Mahdi.

Literary themes and techniques

The One Thousand and One Nights and various tales within it make use of many innovative literary techniques, which the storytellers of the tales rely on for increased drama, suspense, or other emotions.[23] Some of these date back to earlier Persian, Indian and Arabic literature, while others were original to the One Thousand and One Nights.

Frame story

An early example of the frame story, or framing device, is employed in the One Thousand and One Nights, in which the character Scheherazade narrates a set of tales (most often fairy tales) to the Sultan Shahriyar over many nights. Many of Scheherazade's tales are also frame stories, such as the Tale of Sindbad the Seaman and Sindbad the Landsman being a collection of adventures related by Sindbad the Seaman to Sindbad the Landsman. The concept of the frame story dates back to ancient Sanskrit literature, and was introduced into Persian and Arabic literature through the Panchatantra.

Story within a story

An early example of the "story within a story" technique can be found in the One Thousand and One Nights, which can be traced back to earlier Persian and Indian storytelling traditions, most notably the Panchatantra of ancient Sanskrit literature. The Nights, however, improved on the Panchatantra in several ways, particularly in the way a story is introduced. In the Panchatantra, stories are introduced as didactic analogies, with the frame story referring to these stories with variants of the phrase "If you're not careful, that which happened to the louse and the flea will happen to you." In the Nights, this didactic framework is the least common way of introducing the story, but instead a story is most commonly introduced through subtle means, particularly as an answer to questions raised in a previous tale.[24]

An early example of the "story within a story within a story" device is also found in the One Thousand and One Nights, where the general story is narrated by an unknown narrator, and in this narration the stories are told by Scheherazade. In most of Scheherazade's narrations there are also stories narrated, and even in some of these, there are some other stories.[25] This is particularly the case for the "Sinbad the Sailor" story narrated by Scheherazade in the One Thousand and One Nights. Within the "Sinbad the Sailor" story itself, the protagonist Sinbad the Sailor narrates the stories of his seven voyages to Sinbad the Porter. The device is also used to great effect in stories such as "The Three Apples" and "The Seven Viziers". In yet another tale Scheherazade narrates, "The Fisherman and the Jinni", the "Tale of the Wazir and the Sage Duban" is narrated within it, and within that there are three more tales narrated.

Dramatic visualization

Dramatic visualization is "the representing of an object or character with an abundance of descriptive detail, or the mimetic rendering of gestures and dialogue in such a way as to make a given scene 'visual' or imaginatively present to an audience". This technique dates back to the One Thousand and One Nights.[26] An example of this is the tale of "The Three Apples" (see Crime fiction elements below).

Fate and destiny

A common theme in many Arabian Nights tales is fate and destiny. The Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini observed:[27]

every tale in The Thousand and One Nights begins with an 'appearance of destiny' which manifests itself through an anomaly, and one anomaly always generates another. So a chain of anomalies is set up. And the more logical, tightly knit, essential this chain is, the more beautiful the tale. By 'beautiful' I mean vital, absorbing and exhilarating. The chain of anomalies always tends to lead back to normality. The end of every tale in the The One Thousand and One Nights consists of a 'disappearance' of destiny, which sinks back to the somnolence of daily life ... The protagonist of the stories is in fact destiny itself.

Though invisible, fate may be considered a leading character in the One Thousand and One Nights.[28] The plot devices often used to present this theme are coincidence,[29] reverse causation and the self-fulfilling prophecy (see Foreshadowing below).

Foreshadowing

Early examples of the foreshadowing technique of repetitive designation, now known as "Chekhov's gun", occur in the One Thousand and One Nights, which contains "repeated references to some character or object which appears insignificant when first mentioned but which reappears later to intrude suddenly in the narrative".[30] A notable example is in the tale of "The Three Apples" (see Crime fiction elements below).

Another early foreshadowing technique is formal patterning, "the organization of the events, actions and gestures which constitute a narrative and give shape to a story; when done well, formal patterning allows the audience the pleasure of discerning and anticipating the structure of the plot as it unfolds". This technique also dates back to the One Thousand and One Nights.[26]

Another form of foreshadowing is the self-fulfilling prophecy, which dates back to the story of Krishna in ancient Sanskrit literature. A variation of this device is the self-fulfilling dream, which dates back to medieval Arabic literature. Several tales in the One Thousand and One Nights use this device to foreshadow what is going to happen, as a special form of literary prolepsis. A notable example is "The Ruined Man who Became Rich Again through a Dream", in which a man is told in his dream to leave his native city of Baghdad and travel to Cairo, where he will discover the whereabouts of some hidden treasure. The man travels there and experiences misfortune, ending up in jail, where he tells his dream to a police officer. The officer mocks the idea of foreboding dreams and tells the protagonist that he himself had a dream about a house with a courtyard and fountain in Baghdad where treasure is buried under the fountain. The man recognizes the place as his own house and, after he is released from jail, he returns home and digs up the treasure. In other words, the foreboding dream not only predicted the future, but the dream was the cause of its prediction coming true. A variant of this story later appears in English folklore as the "Pedlar of Swaffham" and Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist"; Jorge Luis Borges' collection of short stories A Universal History of Infamy featured his translation of this particular story into Spanish, as "The Story Of The Two Dreamers." [31]

Another variation of the self-fulfilling prophecy can be seen in "The Tale of Attaf", where Harun al-Rashid consults his library (the House of Wisdom), reads a random book, "falls to laughing and weeping and dismisses the faithful vizier" Ja'far ibn Yahya from sight. Ja'afar, "disturbed and upset flees Baghdad and plunges into a series of adventures in Damascus, involving Attaf and the woman whom Attaf eventually marries." After returning to Baghdad, Ja'afar reads the same book that caused Harun to laugh and weep, and discovers that it describes his own adventures with Attaf. In other words, it was Harun's reading of the book that provoked the adventures described in the book to take place. This is an early example of reverse causation.[32] Near the end of the tale, Attaf is given a death sentence for a crime he didn't commit but Harun, knowing the truth from what he has read in the book, prevents this and has Attaf released from prison. In the 12th century, this tale was translated into Latin by Petrus Alphonsi and included in his Disciplina Clericalis,[33] alongside the "Sinbad the Sailor" story cycle.[34] In the 14th century, a version of the "The Tale of Attaf" also appears in the Gesta Romanorum and Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron.[33]

Repetition

Leitwortstil is the 'the purposeful repetition of words' in a given literary piece that "usually expresses a motif or theme important to the given story". This device occurs in the One Thousand and One Nights, which connects several tales together in a story cycle. The storytellers of the tales relied on this technique "to shape the constituent members of their story cycles into a coherent whole."[23]

Thematic patterning is "the distribution of recurrent thematic concepts and moralistic motifs among the various incidents and frames of a story. In a skillfully crafted tale, thematic patterning may be arranged so as to emphasize the unifying argument or salient idea which disparate events and disparate frames have in common". This technique also dates back to the One Thousand and One Nights (and earlier).[26]

Several different variants of the "Cinderella" story, which has its origins in the Egyptian story of Rhodopis, appear in the One Thousand and One Nights, including "The Second Shaykh's Story", "The Eldest Lady's Tale" and "Abdallah ibn Fadil and His Brothers", all dealing with the theme of a younger sibling harassed by two jealous elders. In some of these, the siblings are female, while in others they are male. One of the tales, "Judar and His Brethren", departs from the happy endings of previous variants and reworks the plot to give it a tragic ending instead, with the younger brother being poisoned by his elder brothers.[35]

Satire and parody

The Nights contain many examples of sexual humour. Some of this borders on satire, as in the tale called "Ali with the Large Member" which pokes fun at obsession with human penis size.[36]

Repetition is also used to humorous effect in the One Thousand and One Nights. Sheherezade sometimes follows up a relatively serious tale with a cruder or more broadly humorous version of the same tale. For example, "Wardan the Butcher's Adventure With the Lady and the Bear" is paralleled by "The King's Daughter and the Ape", "Harun al-Rashid and the Two Slave-Girls" by "Harun al-Rashid and the Three Slave-Girls", and "The Angel of Death With the Proud King and the Devout Man" by "The Angel of Death and the Rich King". The idea has been put forward that these pairs of tales are deliberately intended as examples of self parody,[37] although this assumes a greater degree of editorial control by a single writer than the history of the collection as a whole would seem to indicate.

Unreliable narrator

The literary device of the unreliable narrator was used in several fictional medieval Arabic tales of the One Thousand and One Nights. In one tale, "The Seven Viziers" (also known as "Craft and Malice of Women or The Tale of the King, His Son, His Concubine and the Seven Wazirs"), a courtesan accuses a king's son of having assaulted her, when in reality she had failed to seduce him (inspired by the Qur'anic/Biblical story of Yusuf/Joseph). Seven viziers attempt to save his life by narrating seven stories to prove the unreliability of women, and the courtesan responds back by narrating a story to prove the unreliability of viziers.[38] The unreliable narrator device is also used to generate suspense in "The Three Apples" and humor in "The Hunchback's Tale" (see Crime fiction elements below).

Crime fiction elements

The earliest known murder mystery[39][40] and suspense thriller with multiple plot twists[41] and detective fiction elements[42] was "The Three Apples", also known as Hikayat al-sabiyya 'l-muqtula ("The Tale of the Murdered Young Woman"),[43] one of the tales narrated by Scheherazade in the One Thousand and One Nights. In this tale, a fisherman discovers a heavy locked chest along the Tigris river and he sells it to the Abbasid Caliph, Harun al-Rashid, who then has the chest broken open only to find inside it the dead body of a young woman who was cut into pieces. Harun orders his vizier, Ja'far ibn Yahya, to solve the crime and find the murderer within three days or else he will have him executed instead. This whodunit mystery may thus be considered an archetype for detective fiction. Ja'far, however, fails to find the culprit before the deadline.[44][45] Just when Harun is about to have Ja'far executed for his failure, a plot twist occurs when two men appear, one a handsome young man and the other an old man, both claiming to be the murderer. Both men argue and call each other liars as each attempts to claim responsibility for the murder.[46] This continues until the young man proves that he is the murderer by accurately describing the chest in which the young woman was found.[47]

The young man reveals that he was her husband and the old man her father, who was attempting to save his son-in-law by taking the blame. Harun then demands to know his motives for murdering his wife, and the young man then narrates his reasons as a flashback of events preceding Harun's discovery of the locked chest. He eulogizes her as a faultless wife and mother of his three children, and describes how she one day requested a rare apple when she was ill. He then describes his two-week long journey to Basra, where he finds three such apples at the Caliph's orchard. On his return to Baghdad, he finds out that she would no longer eat the apples because of her lingering illness. When he returns to work at his shop, he discovered a slave passing by with the same apple.[48] He asked him about it and the slave replied that he received it from his girlfriend, who had three such apples that her husband found for her after a half-month journey.[49] The young man then suspected his wife of unfaithfulness, rushed home, and demanded to know how many apples remained there. After finding one of the apples missing, he drew a knife and killed her. He then describes how he attempted to get rid of the evidence by cutting her body to pieces, wrapping it in multiple layers of shawls and carpets, hiding her body in a locked chest, and abandoning it in the Tigris river. Yet another twist occurs after he returns home and his son confesses to him that he had stolen one of the apples, and a slave had taken it and run off with it. The boy also confesses that he told the slave about his father's quest for the three apples. Out of guilt, the young man concludes his story by requesting Harun to execute him for his unjust murder. Harun, however, refuses to punish the young man out of sympathy, but instead sets Ja'far a new assignment: to find the tricky slave who caused the tragedy within three days, or be executed for his failure.[50][51]

Ja'far yet again fails to find the culprit before the deadline has passed. On the day of the deadline, he is summoned to be executed for his failure. As he bids farewell to all his family members, he hugs his beloved youngest daughter last. It is then, by complete accident, that he discovers a round object in her pocket which she reveals to be an apple with the name of the Caliph written on it. In the story's twist ending, the girl reveals that she brought it from their slave, Rayhan. Ja'far thus realizes that his own slave was the culprit all along. He then finds Rayhan and solves the case as a result.[45][52] Ja'far, however, pleads to Harun to forgive his slave and, in exchange, narrates to him the "Tale of Núr al-Dín Alí and His Son Badr al-Dín Hasan".[53]

"The Three Apples" served as an inspiration for Hugo von Hofmannsthal's The Golden Apple (Der Goldene Apfel) (1897).[40] It has also been noted that the flashback narrated by the young man in "The Three Apples" resembles the later story of Shakespeare's Othello (1603), which was itself based on "Un Capitano Moro", a tale from Giovanni Battista Giraldi's Gli Hecatommithi (1565).[54]

Another Nights tale with crime fiction elements was "The Hunchback's Tale" story cycle which, unlike "The Three Apples", was more of a suspenseful comedy and courtroom drama rather than a murder mystery or detective fiction. The story is set in a fictional China and begins with a hunchback, the emperor's favourite comedian, being invited to dinner by a tailor couple. The hunchback accidentally chokes on his food from laughing too hard and the couple, fearful that the emperor will be furious, take his body to a Jewish doctor's clinic and leave him there. This leads to the next tale in the cycle, the "Tale of the Jewish Doctor", where the doctor accidentally trips over the hunchback's body, falls down the stairs with him, and finds him dead, leading him to believe that the fall had killed him. The doctor then dumps his body down a chimney, and this leads to yet another tale in the cycle, which continues with twelve tales in total, leading to all the people involved in this incident finding themselves in a courtroom, all making different claims over how the hunchback had died.[55] Crime fiction elements are also present near the end of "The Tale of Attaf" (see Foreshadowing above).

Horror fiction elements

Haunting is used as a plot device in gothic fiction and horror fiction, as well as modern paranormal fiction. Legends about haunted houses have long appeared in literature. In particular, the Arabian Nights tale of "Ali the Cairene and the Haunted House in Baghdad" revolves around a house haunted by jinns.[56] The Nights is almost certainly the earliest surviving literature that mentions ghouls, and many of the stories in that collection involve or reference ghouls. A prime example is the story The History of Gherib and His Brother Agib (from Nights vol. 6), in which Gherib, an outcast prince, fights off a family of ravenous Ghouls and then enslaves them and converts them to Islam.[57]

Horror fiction elements are also found in "The City of Brass" tale, which revolves around a ghost town.[58]

The horrific nature of Scheherazade's situation is magnified in Stephen King's Misery, in which the protagonist is forced to write a novel to keep his captor from torturing and killing him. The influence of the Nights on modern horror fiction is certainly discernible in the work of H. P. Lovecraft. As a child, he was fascinated by the adventures recounted in the book, and he attributes some of his creations to his love of the 1001 Nights.[59]

Science fiction elements

Several stories within the One Thousand and One Nights feature early science fiction elements. One example is "The Adventures of Bulukiya", where the protagonist Bulukiya's quest for the herb of immortality leads him to explore the seas, journey to the Garden of Eden (Paradise) and to Jahannam (Hell), and travel across the cosmos to different worlds much larger than his own world, anticipating elements of galactic science fiction;[60] along the way, he encounters societies of djinns,[61] mermaids, talking serpents, talking trees, and other forms of life.[60] In "Abu al-Husn and His Slave-Girl Tawaddud", the heroine Tawaddud gives an impromptu lecture on the mansions of the Moon, and the benevelont and sinister aspects of the planets.[62]

In another 1001 Nights tale, "Abdullah the Fisherman and Abdullah the Merman", the protagonist Abdullah the Fisherman gains the ability to breathe underwater and discovers an underwater submarine society that is portrayed as an inverted reflection of society on land, in that the underwater society follows a form of primitive communism where concepts like money and clothing do not exist. Other Arabian Nights tales also depict Amazon societies dominated by women, lost ancient technologies, advanced ancient civilizations that went astray, and catastrophes which overwhelmed them.[63] "The City of Brass" features a group of travellers on an archaeological expedition[64] across the Sahara to find an ancient lost city and attempt to recover a brass vessel that Solomon once used to trap a jinn,[65] and, along the way, encounter a mummified queen, petrified inhabitants,[66] life-like humanoid robots and automata, seductive marionettes dancing without strings,[67] and a brass horseman robot who directs the party towards the ancient city,[68] which has now become a ghost town.[58] "The Ebony Horse" features a robot[68] in the form of a flying mechanical horse controlled using keys that could fly into outer space and towards the Sun.[69] The titular ebony horse can fly the distance of one year in a single day, and is used as a vehicle by the Prince of Persia, Qamar al-Aqmar, in his adventures across Persia, Arabia and Byzantium. This story appears to have influenced later European tales such as Adenes Le Roi's Cleomades and "The Squire's Prologue and Tale" told in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.[70] "The City of Brass" and "The Ebony Horse" can be considered early examples of proto-science fiction.[71] The "Third Qalandar's Tale" also features a robot in the form of an uncanny boatman.[68]

The Nights in world culture

Literature

The influence of the versions of The Nights on world literature is immense. Writers as diverse as Henry Fielding to Naguib Mahfouz have alluded to the work by name in their own literature. Other writers who have been influenced by the Nights include John Barth, Jorge Luis Borges, Tom Holland, Salman Rushdie, Goethe, Walter Scott, Thackeray, Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, Nodier, Flaubert, Stendhal, Dumas, Gérard de Nerval, Gobineau, Pushkin, Tolstoy, Hofmannsthal, Conan Doyle, WB Yeats, HG Wells, Cavafy, Calvino, Georges Perec, HP Lovecraft, AS Byatt and Angela Carter.[72]

This epic has been influential in the West since it was translated in the 18th century, first by Antoine Galland.[73] Many imitations were written, especially in France.[74] Various characters from this epic have themselves become cultural icons in Western culture, such as Aladdin, Sinbad and Ali Baba. Part of its popularity may have sprung from the increasing historical and geographical knowledge, so that places of which little was known and so marvels were plausible had to be set further "long ago" or farther "far away"; this is a process that continues, and finally culminate in the fantasy world having little connection, if any, to actual times and places. Several elements from Arabian mythology and Persian mythology are now common in modern fantasy, such as genies, bahamuts, magic carpets, magic lamps, etc.[74] When L. Frank Baum proposed writing a modern fairy tale that banished stereotypical elements, he included the genie as well as the dwarf and the fairy as stereotypes to go.[75]

Examples of this influence include:

  • Edgar Allan Poe wrote a "Thousand and Second Night" as a separate tale, called "The Thousand and Second Tale of Scheherazade." It depicts the 8th and final voyage of Sinbad the Sailor, along with the various mysteries Sinbad and his crew encounter; the anomalies are then described as footnotes to the story. While the king is uncertain—except in the case of the elephants carrying the world on the back of the turtle—that these mysteries are real, they are actual modern events that occurred in various places during, or before, Poe's lifetime. The story ends with the king in such disgust at the tale Scheherazade has just woven, that he has her executed the very next day. Caitlín R. Kiernan has written a story inspired by Poe's, titled "The Thousand and Third Tale of Scheherazade."
  • Ramadan, an issue of Neil Gaiman's acclaimed comic book series The Sandman, draws on several of the stories of the Thousand and One Nights. In this tale, the Caliph Harun al-Rashid (who is a protagonist in many of the Nights) sells the "golden age of Baghdad" to the Prince of Stories, in order that it would never be forgotten. It is implied that the Thousand and One Nights is part of the result of that bargain.
  • Bill Willingham, creator of the comic book series Fables, used the story of The Nights as the basis of his Fables prequel, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall. In the book, Snow White tells the tales of the Fables, magical literary characters, to the sultan in order to avoid her impending death.
  • Writer JinSeok Jeon and artist SeungHee Lee created an 11-volume comic series loosely based the original tale titled "One Thousand and One Nights", originally published in Korea and released in the U.S. by Yen Press. In this retelling, the character of Scheherazade is replaced by a male storyteller who is introduced to the sultan when he takes his sister's place in the sultan's harem.
  • John Barth has alluded to The Nights or referenced it explicitly in many of his works, such as The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor. Scheherazade appears as a character in The Tidewater Tales. In addition, the "Dunyazadiad", one of a set of three novellas that make up Barth's fictional work Chimera (John Barth novel), is a re-telling of the Scheherazade framing story in which the author appears to Scheherazade from the future and recounts stories from the 1001 Nights to her in order to provide her with material with which to forestall her execution.
  • In his criticism of mainstream cinema in "Metaphors on Vision", avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage metaphorically compares Hollywood studio film making to Scheherazade's tales, calling it the, "... heroine of a thousand and one nights (Scheherazade must surely be the muse of this art)..."
  • In 2005 playwright Jason Grote used the literary device of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights to create 1001, combining the traditional Scheherazade story with literary and pop culture allusions ranging from Flaubert in Egypt, Jorge Luis Borges, Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, and Michael Jackson's Thriller. The main characters alternate between playing Scheherazade and Shahriyar and the Palestinian Dahna and the Jewish Alan, who are college students in love in modern New York. The play was premiered in Denver in 2006 and opened in New York City in October 2007 to strong reviews.
  • In 2005 novelist Joseph Covino Jr adapted tales from the classical 1001 Nights in two parts of an intended trilogy titled "Arabian Nights Lost: Celestial Verses I&II."[1], [2]
  • The Nights also had an influence on modern Japanese literature. George Fyler Townsend's revised edition of the Arabian Nights was the first European literary work to be translated into the Japanese language during the Meiji era, by Nagamine Hideki in 1875. The Japanese translation was entitled Arabiya Monogatari ("Arabian Stories" or literally "Stormy Night Stories"), as part of the monogatari genre.[77] Though the book was intriguing to Japanese readers who then had very little knowledge of Arabic culture or the Middle East in general, the Nights didn't gain popularity in Japan until a more Japanified translation, entitled Zensekai Ichidai Kisho (The Most Curious Book in the Whole World), was produced by Inoue Tsutomu in 1888.[78] His translation exerted a great influence on the literature of the Meiji, Taishō and Shōwa periods, with writers and poets such as Hinatsu Kōnosuke, Hakushū Kitahara and Mokutaro Kinoshita citing the work as an influence on their own works.[79] In the early 20th century, other translations from the Lane and Burton editions were also published,[80] including ones from the Lane edition by Kōnosuke and Morita Sōhei,[81] as well a translation of the Andrew Lang edition by Daisui Sugitani,[82] and translations of individual tales by Iwaya Sazanami.[83]

Film, television and radio

There have been many adaptations of The Nights for television, cinema and radio.

The atmosphere of The Nights influenced such films as Fritz Lang's 1921 Der müde Tod, the 1924 Hollywood film The Thief of Baghdad starring Douglas Fairbanks, and its 1940 British remake. Several stories served as source material for The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926), the oldest surviving feature-length animated film.

In the late 1930s, Fleischer Studios made three two-reel animated Popeye cartoons in color for Paramount Pictures. All three cartoons, known also as the Popeye Color Specials (or Features), were adapted from The Nights: Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor, Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba's Forty Thieves, and Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp.

One of Hollywood's first feature films to be based on The Nights was in 1942, with the movie called Arabian Nights. It starred Maria Montez as Scheherazade, Sabu Dastagir as Ali Ben Ali and Jon Hall as Harun al-Rashid. The storyline bears virtually no resemblance to the traditional version of the book. In the film, Scheherazade is a dancer who attempts to overthrow Caliph Harun al-Rashid and marry his brother. After Scheherazade's initial coup attempt fails and she is sold into slavery, many adventures then ensue. Maria Montez and Jon Hall also starred in the 1944 film Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.

In the 1952 Universal Pictures movie The Golden Blade, Harun Al-Rashid (Rock Hudson) uses a magical sword that makes him invincible to free Baghdad from the evil vizier Jafar and his son Hadi and win the love of the beautiful princess Khairuzan (Piper Laurie).

Perhaps the most famous Sinbad film was the 1958 movie The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, produced by the stop-motion animation pioneer Ray Harryhausen. Harryhausen also provide the stop-motion effects for The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974) and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977).

In 1959 UPA released an animated feature about Mr. Magoo, based on 1001 Arabian Nights.

Osamu Tezuka worked on two (very loose) feature film adaptations, the children's film Sinbad no Bōken in 1962 and then Senya Ichiya Monogatari in 1969, an adult-oriented animated feature film.

The most commercially successful movie based on The Nights was Aladdin, the 1992 animated movie by the Walt Disney Company, which starred the voices of Scott Weinger and Robin Williams. The film led to several sequels and a television series of the same name.

"The Voyages of Sinbad" has been adapted for television and film several times, most recently in the 2003 animated feature Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, featuring the voices of Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

A recent well-received television adaptation was the Emmy Award-winning miniseries Arabian Nights, directed by Steve Barron and starring Mili Avital as Scheherazade and Dougray Scott as Shahryar. It was originally shown over two nights on April 30, and May 1, 2000 on ABC in the United States and BBC One in the United Kingdom.

In 2001, the Radio Tales series produced a trilogy of dramas adapted from the Arabian Nights, including the stories of Aladdin, Ali Baba, and Sindbad.

Other notable versions of The Nights include the famous 1974 Italian movie Il fiore delle mille e una notte by Pier Paolo Pasolini and the 1990 |French movie Les 1001 nuits, in which Catherine Zeta-Jones made her debut playing Scheherazade. There are also numerous Bollywood movies inspired by the book, including Aladdin and Sinbad. In this version the two heroes meet and share in each other's adventures; the djinn of the lamp is female, and Aladdin marries her rather than the princess.

In 2009, the BBC Radio 7 science ficition series Planet B featured an episode set in a virtual world which had merged The Nights with a wargame.

Music

  • In 1888, Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov completed his Op. 35 Scheherazade, in four movements, based upon four of the tales from The Nights: "The Sea and Sinbad's Ship", "The Kalendar Prince", "The Young Prince and The Young Princess", and "Festival at Baghdad."
  • There have been several Arabian Nights musicals and operettas, either based on particular tales or drawing on the general atmosphere of the book. Most notable are Chu Chin Chow (1916) and Kismet (1953), not to mention several musicals and innumerable pantomimes on the story of "Aladdin."
  • 1990 saw the premiere of La Noche de las Noches, a work for string quartet and electronics by Ezequiel Viñao (based on a reading from Burton's "Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night")[85]
  • In 1975, the band Renaissance released an album called Scheherazade and Other Stories. The second half of this album consists entirely of the "Song of Scheherazade", an orchestral-rock composition based on the The Nights.
  • In the song "Sheherazade", on his 1988 album One More Story, Peter Cetera refers to the One Thousand and One Nights tale.
  • The song "One Thousand and One Nights" by J-Pop band See-Saw, used as the opening theme song for the second part of the four-part OVA .hack//Liminality ("In the Case of Yuki Aihara"), references The Nights in both the title and the lyrics.
  • In 2003, Nordic experimental indie pop group When released an album called Pearl Harvest with lyrics from The Nights.
  • In 2004, psychedelic trance group 1200 Micrograms released song called 1001 Arabian Nights on The Time Machine album.
  • In 2007, Japanese pop duo BENNIE K released a single titled "1001 Nights", also releasing a music video strongly based around the The Nights.
  • 2008 saw the birth of Australian metalcore band, Ebony Horse, named after the tale "The Ebony Horse."
  • The Dutch music group "CH!PZ" has also released a song called 1001 Arabian Nights and also has a film clip to go along with it which illustrates one of the stories.
  • There is a tourist attraction by the name of Arabian Nights in Orlando, Florida, which is based on the One Thousand and One Nights storyline and features a Princess Scheherazade as the central character in a musical dinner show.

Games

  • The first expansion set for Magic: The Gathering was "Arabian Nights", containing cards based on and inspired by One Thousand and One Nights. This included a card called "Shahrazad" which required the two players to play a separate game within the current game."Players play a MAGIC subgame, using their libraries as their decks. Each player who doesn't win the subgame loses half his or her life, rounded up."-http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=980
  • Tales of the Arabian Nights is a paragraph-based story-telling board game first produced by West End Games in 1985. A second edition was published by Edition Erlkönig in 1999, and a third edition by Z-Man Games is due out in July 2009.
  • The setting of the 1990 EGA PC adventure game Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire is based on The Nights.
  • A Thousand and One Nights, a storytelling game by Meguey Baker, puts the players in the roles of courtiers in the Sultan's palace who are forbidden to leave for various reasons. To pass the time, they take turns telling stories and casting each other as various characters in the tales as they attempt to earn enough favor in the court to win their freedom.
  • A Thousand and One Nights is the name of a Tomahawk weapon available for the character Lexaeus in the video game Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ See illustration of title page of Grub St Edition in Yamanaka and Nishio (p. 225)
  2. ^ Marzolph (2007). "Arabian Nights". Encyclopaedia of Islam. I. Leiden: Brill. 
  3. ^ There is scholarly confusion over the exact form and original meaning of Scheherazade's name, see the note in Scheherazade's own Wiki article on this point
  4. ^ John Payne, Alaeddin and the Enchanted Lamp and Other Stories, (London 1901) gives details of Galland's encounter with 'Hanna' in 1709 and of the discovery in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris of two Arabic manuscripts containing Aladdin and two more of the 'interpolated' tales. Text of "Alaeddin and the enchanted lamp"
  5. ^ a b Zipes, Jack David; Burton, Richard Francis (1991). The Arabian Nights: The Marvels and Wonders of the Thousand and One Nights pg 585. Signet Classic
  6. ^ a b Jacob W. Grimm (1982). Selected Tales pg 19. Penguin Classics
  7. ^ Jewish sources
  8. ^ Burton, Richard F. (2002). Vikram and the Vampire Or Tales of Hindu Devilry pg xi. Adamant Media Corporation
  9. ^ Irwin, Robert (2003), The Arabian Nights: A Companion, Tauris Parke Paperbacks, p. 65, ISBN 1860649831 
  10. ^ Pinault, David (1992), Story-Telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights, Brill Publishers, p. 5, ISBN 9004095306 
  11. ^ a b Beaumont, Daniel. Literary Style and Narrative Technique in the Arabian Nights. P.1. In The Arabian nights encyclopedia, Volume 1
  12. ^ a b Irwin, Robert. 2004. The Arabian nights: a companion. P.55
  13. ^ a b c Sallis, Eva. 1999. Sheherazade through the looking glass: the metamorphosis of the Thousand and One Nights. P.18-43
  14. ^ Pinault, David. Story-telling techniques in the Arabian nights. P.1-12. Also in Encyclopedia of Arabic Literature, v.1
  15. ^ a b c Sallis, Eva. 1999. Sheherazade through the looking glass: the metamorphosis of the Thousand and One Nights. P.4 and passim
  16. ^ a b c Marzolph, Ulrich and Richard van Leeuwen. 2004. The Arabian nights encyclopedia, Volume 1. P.506-508
  17. ^ Madeleine Dobie, 2009. Translation in the contact zone: Antoine Galland's Mille et une nuits: contes arabes. P.37. In Makdisi, Saree and Felicity Nussbaum: "The Arabian Nights in Historical Context: Between East and West"
  18. ^ a b Irwin, Robert. 2004. The Arabian nights: a companion. P.1-9
  19. ^ (Portuguese) Cristiane Capuchinho, Lançada a primeira tradução do árabe d'As Mil e Uma Noites, USP Online, Universidade de São Paulo, 6 May 2005. Accessed online 12 November 2006.
  20. ^ Dwight Reynolds. "The Thousand and One Nights: A History of the Text and its Reception." The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature: Arabic Literature in the Post-Classical Period. Cambridge UP, 2006.
  21. ^ Irwin, Robert (2003), The Arabian Nights: A Companion, Tauris Parke Palang-faacks, ISBN 1860649831 
  22. ^ "The Oriental Tale in England in the Eighteenth Century", by Martha Pike Conant, Ph.D. Columbia University Press (1908)
  23. ^ a b Heath, Peter (May 1994), "Reviewed work(s): Story-Telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights by David Pinault", International Journal of Middle East Studies (Cambridge University Press) 26 (2): 358–360 [359–60] 
  24. ^ Ulrich Marzolph, Richard van Leeuwen, Hassan Wassouf (2004), The Arabian Nights Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, pp. 3–4, ISBN 1576072045 
  25. ^ Burton, Richard (September 2003). The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 1. Project Gutenberg. http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext02/11001108.txt. 
  26. ^ a b c Heath, Peter (May 1994), "Reviewed work(s): Story-Telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights by David Pinault", International Journal of Middle East Studies (Cambridge University Press) 26 (2): 358–360 [360] 
  27. ^ Irwin, Robert (2003), The Arabian Nights: A Companion, Tauris Parke Palang-faacks, p. 200, ISBN 1860649831 
  28. ^ Irwin, Robert (2003), The Arabian Nights: A Companion, Tauris Parke Palang-faacks, pp. 198, ISBN 1860649831 
  29. ^ Irwin, Robert (2003), The Arabian Nights: A Companion, Tauris Parke Palang-faacks, pp. 199–200, ISBN 1860649831 
  30. ^ Heath, Peter (May 1994), "Reviewed work(s): Story-Telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights by David Pinault", International Journal of Middle East Studies (Cambridge University Press) 26 (2): 358–360 [359] 
  31. ^ Irwin, Robert (2003), The Arabian Nights: A Companion, Tauris Parke Palang-faacks, pp. 193–4, ISBN 1860649831 
  32. ^ Irwin, Robert (2003), The Arabian Nights: A Companion, Tauris Parke Palang-faacks, p. 199, ISBN 1860649831 
  33. ^ a b Ulrich Marzolph, Richard van Leeuwen, Hassan Wassouf (2004), The Arabian Nights Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, p. 109, ISBN 1576072045 
  34. ^ Irwin, Robert (2003), The Arabian Nights: A Companion, Tauris Parke Palang-faacks, p. 93, ISBN 1860649831 
  35. ^ Ulrich Marzolph, Richard van Leeuwen, Hassan Wassouf (2004), The Arabian Nights Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, p. 4, ISBN 1576072045 
  36. ^ Ulrich Marzolph, Richard van Leeuwen, Hassan Wassouf (2004), The Arabian Nights Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, pp. 97–8, ISBN 1576072045 
  37. ^ Yuriko Yamanaka, Tetsuo Nishio (2006), The Arabian Nights and Orientalism: Perspectives from East & West, I.B. Tauris, p. 81, ISBN 1850437688 
  38. ^ Pinault, David (1992), Story-telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights, Brill Publishers, p. 59, ISBN 9004095306 
  39. ^ Marzolph, Ulrich (2006), The Arabian Nights Reader, Wayne State University Press, pp. 240–2, ISBN 0814332595 
  40. ^ a b Ulrich Marzolph, Richard van Leeuwen, Hassan Wassouf (2004), The Arabian Nights Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, p. 414, ISBN 1576072045 
  41. ^ Pinault, David (1992), Story-Telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights, Brill Publishers, pp. 93, 95, 97, ISBN 9004095306 
  42. ^ Pinault, David (1992), Story-Telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights, Brill Publishers, pp. 91 & 93, ISBN 9004095306 
  43. ^ Marzolph, Ulrich (2006), The Arabian Nights Reader, Wayne State University Press, p. 240, ISBN 0814332595 
  44. ^ Pinault, David (1992), Story-Telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights, Brill Publishers, pp. 86–91, ISBN 9004095306 
  45. ^ a b Marzolph, Ulrich (2006), The Arabian Nights Reader, Wayne State University Press, pp. 241–2, ISBN 0814332595 
  46. ^ Pinault, David (1992), Story-Telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights, Brill Publishers, pp. 92–3, ISBN 9004095306 
  47. ^ Pinault, David (1992), Story-Telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights, Brill Publishers, pp. 93–4, ISBN 9004095306 
  48. ^ Pinault, David (1992), Story-Telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights, Brill Publishers, p. 94, ISBN 9004095306 
  49. ^ Pinault, David (1992), Story-Telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights, Brill Publishers, pp. 94–5, ISBN 9004095306 
  50. ^ Pinault, David (1992), Story-Telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights, Brill Publishers, p. 95, ISBN 9004095306 
  51. ^ Marzolph, Ulrich (2006), The Arabian Nights Reader, Wayne State University Press, p. 241, ISBN 0814332595 
  52. ^ Pinault, David (1992), Story-Telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights, Brill Publishers, pp. 95–6, ISBN 9004095306 
  53. ^ Marzolph, Ulrich (2006), The Arabian Nights Reader, Wayne State University Press, p. 243, ISBN 0814332595 
  54. ^ Young, John G., M.D., "Essay: What Is Creativity?", Adventures in Creativity: Multimedia Magazine 1 (2), http://www.adventuresincreativity.net/2mag1.html, retrieved 2008-10-17 
  55. ^ Ulrich Marzolph, Richard van Leeuwen, Hassan Wassouf (2004), The Arabian Nights Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, pp. 2–4, ISBN 1576072045 
  56. ^ Yuriko Yamanaka, Tetsuo Nishio (2006), The Arabian Nights and Orientalism: Perspectives from East & West, I.B. Tauris, p. 83, ISBN 1850437688 
  57. ^ Al-Hakawati. "The Story of Gherib and his Brother Agib". Thousand Nights and One Night. http://www.al-hakawati.net/english/Stories_Tales/laila170.asp. Retrieved October 2, 2008. 
  58. ^ a b Hamori, Andras (1971), "An Allegory from the Arabian Nights: The City of Brass", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (Cambridge University Press) 34 (1): 9–19 [10] 
  59. ^ Daniel Harms, John Wisdom Gonce, John Wisdom Gonce, III (2003), The Necronomicon Files: The Truth Behind Lovecraft's Legend, Weiser, pp. 87–90, ISBN 1578632692, 9781578632695 
  60. ^ a b Irwin, Robert (2003), The Arabian Nights: A Companion, Tauris Parke Palang-faacks, p. 209, ISBN 1860649831 
  61. ^ Irwin, Robert (2003), The Arabian Nights: A Companion, Tauris Parke Palang-faacks, p. 204, ISBN 1860649831 
  62. ^ Irwin, Robert (2003), The Arabian Nights: A Companion, Tauris Parke Palang-faacks, p. 190, ISBN 1860649831 
  63. ^ Irwin, Robert (2003), The Arabian Nights: A Companion, Tauris Parke Palang-faacks, pp. 211–2, ISBN 1860649831 
  64. ^ Hamori, Andras (1971), "An Allegory from the Arabian Nights: The City of Brass", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (Cambridge University Press) 34 (1): 9–19 [9] 
  65. ^ Pinault, David (1992), Story-Telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights, Brill Publishers, pp. 148–9 & 217–9, ISBN 9004095306 
  66. ^ Irwin, Robert (2003), The Arabian Nights: A Companion, Tauris Parke Palang-faacks, p. 213, ISBN 1860649831 
  67. ^ Hamori, Andras (1971), "An Allegory from the Arabian Nights: The City of Brass", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (Cambridge University Press) 34 (1): 9–19 [12–3] 
  68. ^ a b c Pinault, David (1992), Story-Telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights, Brill Publishers, pp. 10–1, ISBN 9004095306 
  69. ^ Geraldine McCaughrean, Rosamund Fowler (1999), One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, Oxford University Press, pp. 247–51, ISBN 0192750135 
  70. ^ Ulrich Marzolph, Richard van Leeuwen, Hassan Wassouf (2004), The Arabian Nights Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, pp. 172–4, ISBN 1576072045 
  71. ^ Academic Literature, Islam and Science Fiction
  72. ^ Irwin, Robert (2003), The Arabian Nights: A Companion, Tauris Parke Palang-faacks, p. 290, ISBN 1860649831 
  73. ^ L. Sprague de Camp, Literary Swordsmen and Sorcerers: The Makers of Heroic Fantasy, p 10 ISBN 0-87054-076-9
  74. ^ a b John Grant and John Clute, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, "Arabian fantasy", p 52 ISBN 0-312-19869-8
  75. ^ James Thurber, "The Wizard of Chitenango", p 64 Fantasists on Fantasy edited by Robert H. Boyer and Kenneth J. Zahorski, ISBN 0-380-86553-X
  76. ^ Horner, Avril (2002), European Gothic: A Spirited Exchange, 1760-1960, Manchester University Press, pp. 13 & 183–203, ISBN 0719060648 
  77. ^ Yuriko Yamanaka, Tetsuo Nishio (2006), The Arabian Nights and Orientalism: Perspectives from East & West, I.B. Tauris, pp. 116–7, ISBN 1850437688 
  78. ^ Yuriko Yamanaka, Tetsuo Nishio (2006), The Arabian Nights and Orientalism: Perspectives from East & West, I.B. Tauris, pp. 119–25, ISBN 1850437688 
  79. ^ Yuriko Yamanaka, Tetsuo Nishio (2006), The Arabian Nights and Orientalism: Perspectives from East & West, I.B. Tauris, pp. 125–6, ISBN 1850437688 
  80. ^ Yuriko Yamanaka, Tetsuo Nishio (2006), The Arabian Nights and Orientalism: Perspectives from East & West, I.B. Tauris, pp. 126–9, ISBN 1850437688 
  81. ^ Yuriko Yamanaka, Tetsuo Nishio (2006), The Arabian Nights and Orientalism: Perspectives from East & West, I.B. Tauris, p. 135, ISBN 1850437688 
  82. ^ Yuriko Yamanaka, Tetsuo Nishio (2006), The Arabian Nights and Orientalism: Perspectives from East & West, I.B. Tauris, p. 132, ISBN 1850437688 
  83. ^ Yuriko Yamanaka, Tetsuo Nishio (2006), The Arabian Nights and Orientalism: Perspectives from East & West, I.B. Tauris, p. 131, ISBN 1850437688 
  84. ^ Ley, James (November 2009), "A town called Merv", Australian Book Review: 15–16, http://www.australianbookreview.com.au/files/Features/November_2009/ABR_Nov_09_Ley_review.pdf 
  85. ^ Ezequiel Vinao La Noche de las Noches
  86. ^ Lyrics of "Sahara"

Further reading

  • In Arabian Nights: A search of Morocco through its stories and storytellers by Tahir Shah, Doubleday, 2008. This is a book that explores the ancient living tradition of storytelling that bridges East and West, yet somehow seems to survive at much more pervasively vibrant levels in contemporary Moroccan culture. [3]

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Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night
Volume I
, translated by Richard Francis Burton
The Hunchback's Tale
This is the fifth of the first level tales told by Shahrazad in The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night.

The Book of the One Thousand and One Nights (Arabic: كتاب ألف ليلة وليلة‎ - kitāb 'alf layla wa-layla; Persian: هزار و یک شب - Hezār-o yek šab) is a collection of stories collected over many centuries by various authors, translators and scholars in various countries.

Contents

p.255

It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that there dwelt during times of yore, and years and ages long gone before, in a certain city of China,[1] a Tailor who was an open handed man that loved pleasuring and merry making; and who was wont, he and his wife, to solace themselves from time to time with public diversions and amusements. One day they went out with the first of the light and were returning in the evening when they fell in with a Hunchback, whose semblance would draw a laugh from care and dispel the horrors of despair. So they went up to enjoy looking at him and invited him to go home with them and converse and carouse with them that night. He consented and accompanied them afoot to their home; whereupon the Tailor fared forth to the bazar (night having just set in) and bought a fried fish and bread and lemons and dry sweetmeats for dessert; and set the victuals before the Hunchback and they ate. Presently the Tailor's wife took a great fid of fish and gave it in a gobbet to the Gobbo, stopping his mouth with her hand and saying, "By Allah, thou must down with it at a single gulp; and I will not give thee time to chew it." So he bolted it; but therein was a stiff bone which stuck in his gullet and, his hour being come, he died.--


And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Twenty-fifth Night,

She said,


It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Tailor's wife gave the Hunchback that mouthful of fish which ended his term of days he died on the instant. Seeing this the Tailor cried aloud, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah! Alas, that this poor wretch should have died in so foolish fashion at our hands!" and the woman rejoined, "Why this idle talk? Hast thou not heard his saying who said:--


1^  Other editions read, "at Bassorah" and the Bresl. (ii. 123) "at Bassorah and Kájkár" (Káshghár): somewhat like in Dover and Sebastopol. I prefer China because further off and making the improbabilities more notable.

p.256

   Why then waste I my time in grief, until ❋
     I find no friend to bear my weight of woe?
   How sleep upon a fire that flames unquenched? ❋
     Upon the flames to rest were hard enow!

Asked her husband, "And what shall I do with him?"; and she answered, "Rise and take him in thine arms and spread a silken kerchief over him; then I will fare forth, with thee following me this very night and if thou meet any one say:-- This is my son, and his mother and I are carrying him to the doctor that he may look at him.'" So he rose and taking the Hunchback in his arms bore him along the streets, preceded by his wife who kept crying, "O my son, Allah keep thee! what part paineth thee and where hath this small-pox[2] attacked thee?" So all who saw them said "'Tis a child sick of small-pox."[3] They went along asking for the physician's house till folk directed them to that of a leach which was a Jew. They knocked at the door, and there came down to them a black slave-girl who opened and, seeing a man bearing a babe, and a woman with him, said to them, "What is the matter?" "We have a little one with us," answered the Tailor's wife, "and we wish to show him to the physician: so take this quarter dinar and give it to thy master and let him come down and see my son who is sore sick." The girl went up to tell her master, whereupon the Tailor's wife walked into the vestibule and said to her husband, "Leave the Hunchback here and let us fly for our lives." So the Tailor carried the dead man to the top of the stairs and propped him upright against the wall and ran away, he and his wife. Meanwhile the girl went in to the Jew


2^  Arab. "Judri," lit. "small stones" from the hard gravelly feeling of the pustules (Rodwell, p. 20). The disease is generally supposed to be the growth of Central Africa where it is still a plague and passed over to Arabia about the birth-time of Mohammed. Thus is usually explained the "war of the elephant" (Koran, chapt. cv.) when the Abyssinian army of Abrahah, the Christian, was destroyed by swallows (Abábíl which Major Price makes the plural of Abilah = a vesicle) which dropped upon them "stones of baked clay," like vetches (Pilgrimage ii. 175). See for details Sale (in loco) who seems to accept the miraculous defence of the Ka'abah. For the horrors of small-pox in Central Intertropical Africa the inoculation, known also to the Badawin of Al-Hijáz and other details, readers will consult "The Lake Regions of Central Africa" (ii. 318). The Hindus "take the bull by the horns" and boldly make "Sítlá" (smallpox) a goddess, an incarnation of Bhawáni, deëss of destruction-reproduction. In China small pox is believed to date from B.C. 1200; but the chronology of the Middle Kingdom still awaits the sceptic.
3^  In Europe we should add "and all fled, especially the women." But the fatalism inherent in the Eastern mind makes the great difference.

p.257

and said to him, "At the door are a man and a woman with a sick child and they have given me a quarter-dinar for thee, that thou mayest go down and look at the little one and prescribe for it." As soon as the Jew saw the quarter dinar he rejoiced and rose quickly in his greed of gain and went forth hurriedly in the dark; but hardly had he made a step when he stumbled on the corpse and threw it over, when it rolled to the bottom of the staircase. So he cried out to the girl to hurry up with the light, and she brought it, whereupon he went down and examining the Hunchback found that he was stone dead. So he cried out, "O for Esdras![4] O for Moses! O for Aaron! O for Joshua, son of Nun! O the Ten Commandments! I have stumbled against the sick one and he hath fallen downstairs and he is dead! How shall I get this man I have killed out of my house? O by the hoofs of the ass of Esdras!" Then he took up the body and, carrying it into the house, told his wife what had happened and she said to him, "Why dost thou sit still? If thou keep him here till day break we shall both lose our lives. Let us two carry him to the terrace-roof and throw him over into the house of our neighbour, the Moslem, for if he abide there a night the dogs will come down on him from the adjoining terraces and eat him up." Now his neighbour was a Reeve, the controller of the Sultan's kitchen, and was wont to bring back great store of oil and fat and broken meats; but the cats and rats used to eat it, or, if the dogs scented a fat sheep's tail they would come down from the nearest roofs and tear at it; and on this wise the beasts had already damaged much of what he brought home. So the Jew and his wife carried the Hunchback up to the roof; and, letting him down by his hands and feet through the wind-shaft[5] into the Reeve's house, propped


4^  Arab. "Uzayr." Esdras was a manner of Ripp van Winkle. He was riding over the ruins of Jerusalem when it had been destroyed by the Chaldeans and he doubted by what means Allah would restore it; whereupon he died and at the end of a hundred years he revived. He found his basket of figs and cruse of wine as they were; but of his ass only the bones remained. These were raised to life as Ezra looked on and the ass began at once to bray. Which was a lesson to Esdras. (Koran, chaps. ii.) The oath by the ass's hoofs is to ridicule the Jew. Mohammed seems to have had an idée fixe that "the Jews say, Ezra is the son of God" (Koran ix.); it may have arisen from the heterodox Jewish belief that Ezra, when the Law was utterly lost, dictated the whole anew to the scribes of his own memory. His tomb with the huge green dome is still visited by the Jews of Baghdad.
5^  Arab. "Bádhanj," the Pers. Bád. (wind) -gír (catcher): a wooden pent-house on the terrace-roof universal in the nearer East.

p.258

him up against the wall and went their ways. Hardly had they done this when the Reeve, who had been passing an evening with his friends hearing a recitation of the Koran, came home and opened the door and, going up with a lighted candle, found a son of Adam standing in the corner under the ventilator. When he saw this, he said, "Wah! by Allah, very good forsooth! He who robbeth my stuff is none other than a man." Then he turned to the Hunchback and said, "So 'tis thou that stealest the meat and the fat! I thought it was the cats and dogs, and I kill the dogs and cats of the quarter and sin against them by killing them. And all the while 'tis thou comest down from the house terrace through the wind-shaft. But I will avenge myself upon thee with my own hand!" So he snatched up a heavy hammer and set upon him and smote him full on the breast and he fell down. Then he examined him and, finding that he was dead, cried out in horror, thinking that he had killed him, and said, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" And he feared for his life, and added "Allah curse the oil and the meat and the grease and the sheep's tails to boot! How hath fate given this man his quietus at my hand!" Then he looked at the body and seeing it was that of a Gobbo, said, "Was it not enough for thee to be a hunchback,[6] but thou must likewise be a thief and prig flesh and fat! O thou Veiler,[7] deign to veil me with Thy curtain of concealment!" So he took him up on his shoulders and, going forth with him from his house about the latter end of the night, carried him to the nearest end of the bazar, where he set him up on his feet against the wall of a shop at the head of a dark lane, and left him and went away. After a while up came a Nazarene,[8] the Sultan's broker who, much bemused with liquor, was purposing for the Hammam-bath as his drunkenness whispered in his ear, "Verily the call to matins[9] is nigh." He came plodding along and staggering about till he drew near the Hunchback and


6^  The hunchback, in Arabia as in Southern Europe, is looked upon by the vulgar with fear and aversion: The reason is that he is usually sharper-witted than his neighbours.
7^  Arab. "Yá Sattár" = Thou who veilest the discreditable secrets of Thy creatures.
8^  Arab. "Nasráni," a follower of Him of Nazareth and an older name than "Christian" which (Acts xi., 26) was first given at Antioch about A.D. 43. The cry in Alexandria used to be "Ya Nasráni, Kalb awáni!"=O Nazarene! O dog obscene! (Pilgrimage i., 160). "Christian" in Arabic can be expressed only by "Masíhi" = follower of the Messiah.
9^  Arab. "Tasbíh," = Saluting in the Subh (morning).

p.259

squatted down to make water[10] over against him; when he happened to glance around and saw a man standing against the wall. Now some person had snatched off the Christian's turband[11] in the first of the night; so when he saw the Hunchback hard by he fancied that he also meant to steal his head-dress. Thereupon he clenched his fist and struck him on the neck, felling him to the ground, and called aloud to the watchman of the bazar, and came down on the body in his drunken fury and kept on belabouring and throttling the corpse. Presently the Charley came up and, finding a Nazarene kneeling on a Moslem and frapping him, asked, "What harm hath this one done?"; and the Broker answered, "The fellow meant to snatch off my turband." "Get up from him," quoth the watchman. So he arose and the Charley went up to the Hunchback and finding him dead, exclaimed, "By Allah, good indeed! A Christian killing a Mahometan!" Then he seized the Broker and, tying his hands behind his back, carried him to the Governor's house,[12] and all the while the Nazarene kept saying to himself, "O Messiah! O Virgin! how came I to kill this fellow? And in what a hurry he must have been to depart this life when he died of a single blow!" Presently, as his drunkenness fled, came dolour in its stead. So the Broker and the body were kept in the Governor's place till morning morrowed, when the Wali came out and gave order to hang the supposed murderer and commanded the executioner[13] make pro-


10^  In the East women stand on minor occasions while men squat on their hunkers in a way hardly possible to an untrained European. The custom is old. Herodotus (ii., 35) says, "The women stand up when they make water, but the men sit down." Will it be believed that Canon Rawlinson was too modest to leave this passage in his translation? The custom was perpetuated by Al-Islam because the position prevents the ejection touching the clothes and making them ceremonially impure; possibly they borrowed it from the Guebres. Dabistan, Gate xvi. says, "It is improper, whilst in an erect posture, to make water, it is therefore necessary to sit at squat and force it to some distance, repeating the Avesta mentally."
11^  This is still a popular form of the "Kinchin lay," and as the turbands are often of fine stuff, the petite industrie pays well.
12^  Arab. "Wali" = Governor; the term still in use for the Governor-General of a Province as opposed to the "Muháfiz," or district-governor. In Eastern Arabia the Wali is the Civil Governor opposed to the Amir or Military Commandant. Under the Caliphate the Wali acted also as Prefect of Police (the Indian Fanjdár), who is now called "Zábit." The older name for the latter was "Sáhib al-Shartah" (=chief of the watch) or "Mutawalli"; and it was his duty to go the rounds in person. The old "Charley," with his lantern and cudgel, still guards the bazars in Damascus.
13^  Arab. "Al-Mashá ilí" = the bearer of a cresset (Mash'al) who was also Jack Ketch. In Anglo-India the name is given to a lower body-servant. The "Mash'al" which Lane (M. E., chaps. vi.) calls "Mesh'al" and illustrates, must not be confounded with its congener the "Sha'ílah" or link (also lamp, wick, etc.).

p.260

clamation of the sentence. Forthwith they set up a gallows under which they made the Nazarene stand and the torch bearer, who was hangman, threw the rope round his neck and passed one end through the pulley, and was about to hoist him up[14] when lo! the Reeve, who was passing by, saw the Broker about to be hanged; and, making his way through the people, cried out to the executioner, "Hold! Hold! I am he who killed the Hunchback!" Asked the Governor, "What made thee kill him?"; and he answered, "I went home last night and there found this man who had come down the ventilator to steal my property; so I smote him with a hammer on the breast and he died forthright. Then I took him up and carried him to the bazar and set him up against the wall in such a place near such a lane;" adding, "Is it not enough for me to have killed a Moslem without also killing a Christian? So hang none other but me." When the Governor heard these words he released the Broker and said to the torch-bearer, "Hang up this man on his own confession." So he loosed the cord from the Nazarene's neck and threw it round that of the Reeve and, making him stand under the gallows-tree, was about to string him up when behold, the Jewish physician pushed through the people and shouted to the executioner, "Hold! Hold! It was I and none else killed the Hunchback! Last night I was sitting at home when a man and a woman knocked at the door carrying this Gobbo who was sick, and gave my handmaid a quarter dinar, bidding her hand me the fee and tell me to come down and see him. Whilst she was gone the man and the woman brought him into the house and, setting him on the stairs, went away; and presently I came down and not seeing him, for I was in the dark, stumbled over him and he fell to the foot of the staircase and died on the moment. Then we took him up, I and my wife, and carried him on to the top terrace; and, the house of this Reeve being next door to mine, we let the body down through the ventilator. When he came home and found the Hunchback in his house, he fancied he was a thief and struck him with a hammer, so that he fell to the ground, and our neighbour made certain that he had slain him. Now is it not enough for me to have killed one Moslem unwittingly, without burdening myself with taking the life of another Moslem wittingly?" When the Governor heard this he said to the hangman, "Set free the Reeve and hang the Jew."


14^  I need hardly say that the civilised "drop" is unknown to the East where men are strung up as to a yardarm. This greatly prolongs the suffering.

p.261

Thereupon the torch-bearer took him and slung the cord round his neck when behold, the Tailor pushed through the people, and shouted to the executioner, "Hold! Hold! It was I and none else killed the Hunchback; and this was the fashion thereof. I had been out a-pleasuring yesterday and, coming back to supper, fell in with this Gobbo, who was drunk and drumming away and singing lustily to his tambourine. So I accosted him and carried him to my house and bought a fish, and we sat down to eat. Presently my wife took a fid of fish and, making a gobbet of it,[15] crammed it into his mouth; but some of it went down the wrong way or stuck in his gullet and he died on the instant. So we lifted him up, I and my wife, and carried him to the Jew's house where the slave-girl came down and opened the door to us and I said to her:-- Tell thy master that there are a man and a woman and a sick person for thee to see! I gave her a quarter-dinar and she went up to tell her master; and, whilst she was gone, I carried the Hunchback to the head of the staircase and propped him up against the wall, and went off with my wife. When the Jew came down he stumbled over him and thought that he had killed him." Then he asked the Jew, "Is this the truth?"; and the Jew answered, "Yes." Thereupon the Tailor turned to the Governor, and said, "Leave go the Jew and hang me." When the Governor heard the Tailor's tale he marvelled at the matter of this Hunchback and exclaimed. "Verily this is an adventure which should be recorded in books!" Then he said to the hangman, "Let the Jew go and hang the Tailor on his own confession." The executioner took the Tailor and put the rope around his neck and said, "I am tired of such slow work: we bring out this one and change him for that other, and no one is hanged after all!" Now the Hunchback in question was, they relate, jester to the Sultan of China who could not bear him out of his sight; so when the fellow got drunk and did not make his appearance that night or the next day till noon, the Sultan asked some of his courtiers about him and they answered, "O our lord, the Governor hath come upon him dead and hath ordered his murderer to be hanged; but, as the hangman was about to hoist him up there came a second and a third and a fourth and each one said, 'It is I, and none else killed the


15^  Arab. "Lukmah": = a mouthful. It is still the fashion amongst Easterns of primitive manners to take up a handful of rice, etc., ball it and put it into a friend's mouth honoris causâ. When the friend is a European the expression of his face is generally a study.

p.262

Hunchback!' and each gave a full and circumstantial account of the manner of the jester being killed." When the King heard this he cried aloud to the Chamberlain-in-waiting, "Go down to the Governor and bring me all four of them." So the Chamberlain went down at once to the place of execution, where he found the torch-bearer on the point of hanging the Tailor and shouted to him, "Hold! Hold!" Then he gave the King's command to the Governor who took the Tailor, the Jew, the Nazarene and the Reeve (the Hunchback's body being borne on men's shoulders) and went up with one and all of them to the King. When he came into the presence, he kissed the ground and acquainted the ruler with the whole story which it is needless to relate for, as they say:--There is no avail in a thrice told tale. The Sultan hearing it marvelled and was moved to mirth and commanded the story to be written in letters of liquid gold, saying to those present, "Did ye ever hear a more wondrous tale than that of my Hunchback?" Thereupon the Nazarene broker came forward and said, "O King of the age, with thy leave I will tell thee a thing which happened to myself and which is still more wondrous and marvellous and pleasurable and delectable than the tale of the Hunchback." Quoth the King "Tell us what thou hast to say!" So he began in these words

The Nazarene Broker's Story

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