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The Story Of Prince Ahmed And The Fairy Paribanou

from The Blue Fairy Book





There was a sultan, who had three sons and a niece.
The eldest of the Princes was called Houssain, the second
Ali, the youngest Ahmed, and the Princess, his niece,
Nouronnihar.

The Princess Nouronnihar was the daughter of the
younger brother of the Sultan, who died, and left the
Princess very young. The Sultan took upon himself the
care of his daughter's education, and brought her up in
his palace with the three Princes, proposing to marry
her when she arrived at a proper age, and to contract an
alliance with some neighboring prince by that means.
But when he perceived that the three Princes, his sons,
loved her passionately, he thought more seriously on
that affair. He was very much concerned; the difficulty
he foresaw was to make them agree, and that the two
youngest should consent to yield her up to their elder
brother. As he found them positively obstinate, he
sent for them all together, and said to them: "Children,
since for your good and quiet I have not been able to
persuade you no longer to aspire to the Princess, your
cousin, I think it would not be amiss if every one traveled
separately into different countries, so that you might not
meet each other. And, as you know I am very curious,
and delight in everything that's singular, I promise my
niece in marriage to him that shall bring me the most
extraordinary rarity; and for the purchase of the rarity
you shall go in search after, and the expense of traveling,
I will give you every one a sum of money."

As the three Princes were always submissive and
obedient to the Sultan's will, and each flattered himself
fortune might prove favorable to him, they all consented
to it. The Sultan paid them the money he promised
them; and that very day they gave orders for the
preparations for their travels, and took their leave of the
Sultan, that they might be the more ready to go the
next morning. Accordingly they all set out at the same
gate of the city, each dressed like a merchant, attended
by an officer of confidence dressed like a slave, and all
well mounted and equipped. They went the first day's
journey together, and lay all at an inn, where the road
was divided into three different tracts. At night, when
they were at supper together, they all agreed to travel
for a year, and to meet at that inn; and that the first
that came should wait for the rest; that, as they had
all three taken their leave together of the Sultan, they
might all return together. The next morning by break
of day, after they had embraced and wished each other
good success, they mounted their horses and took each
a different road.

Prince Houssain, the eldest brother, arrived at
Bisnagar, the capital of the kingdom of that name, and the
residence of its king. He went and lodged at a khan
appointed for foreign merchants; and, having learned
that there were four principal divisions where merchants
of all sorts sold their commodities, and kept shops, and
in the midst of which stood the castle, or rather the
King's palace, he went to one of these divisions the next
day.

Prince Houssain could not view this division without
admiration. It was large, and divided into several
streets, all vaulted and shaded from the sun, and yet
very light too. The shops were all of a size, and all that
dealt in the same sort of goods lived in one street; as
also the handicrafts-men, who kept their shops in the
smaller streets.

The multitude of shops, stocked with all sorts of
merchandise, as the finest linens from several parts of India,
some painted in the most lively colors, and representing
beasts, trees, and flowers; silks and brocades from
Persia, China, and other places, porcelain both from
Japan and China, and tapestries, surprised him so much
that he knew not how to believe his own eyes; but when
he came to the goldsmiths and jewelers he was in a kind
of ecstacy to behold such prodigious quantities of wrought
gold and silver, and was dazzled by the lustre of the
pearls, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and other jewels
exposed to sale.

Another thing Prince Houssain particularly admired
was the great number of rose-sellers who crowded the
streets; for the Indians are so great lovers of that flower
that no one will stir without a nosegay in his hand or a
garland on his head; and the merchants keep them in
pots in their shops, that the air is perfectly perfumed.

After Prince Houssain had run through that division,
street by street, his thoughts fully employed on the
riches he had seen, he was very much tired, which a
merchant perceiving, civilly invited him to sit down in his
shop, and he accepted; but had not been sat down long
before he saw a crier pass by with a piece of tapestry
on his arm, about six feet square, and cried at thirty
purses. The Prince called to the crier, and asked to see
the tapestry, which seemed to him to be valued at an
exorbitant price, not only for the size of it, but the
meanness of the stuff; when he had examined it well, he told
the crier that he could not comprehend how so small a
piece of tapestry, and of so indifferent appearance, could
be set at so high a price.

The crier, who took him for a merchant, replied: "If
this price seems so extravagant to you, your amazement
will be greater when I tell you I have orders to raise it
to forty purses, and not to part with it under."
"Certainly," answered Prince Houssain, "it must have
something very extraordinary in it, which I know nothing
of." "You have guessed it, sir," replied the crier, "and
will own it when you come to know that whoever sits
on this piece of tapestry may be transported in an
instant wherever he desires to be, without being stopped
by any obstacle."

At this discourse of the crier the Prince of the Indies,
considering that the principal motive of his travel was
to carry the Sultan, his father, home some singular
rarity, thought that he could not meet with any which
could give him more satisfaction. "If the tapestry,"
said he to the crier, "has the virtue you assign it, I shall
not think forty purses too much, but shall make you a
present besides." "Sir," replied the crier, "I have told
you the truth; and it is an easy matter to convince you
of it, as soon as you have made the bargain for forty
purses, on condition I show you the experiment. But,
as I suppose you have not so much about you, and to
receive them I must go with you to your khan, where
you lodge, with the leave of the master of the shop, we
will go into the back shop, and I will spread the tapestry;
and when we have both sat down, and you have formed
the wish to be transported into your apartment of the
khan, if we are not transported thither it shall be no
bargain, and you shall be at your liberty. As to your
present, though I am paid for my trouble by the seller,
I shall receive it as a favor, and be very much obliged to
you, and thankful."

On the credit of the crier, the Prince accepted the
conditions, and concluded the bargain; and, having got the
master's leave, they went into his back shop; they both
sat down on it, and as soon as the Prince formed his
wish to be transported into his apartment at the khan
he presently found himself and the crier there; and, as he
wanted not a more sufficient proof of the virtue of the
tapestry, he counted the crier out forty pieces of gold,
and gave him twenty pieces for himself.

In this manner Prince Houssain became the possessor
of the tapestry, and was overjoyed that at his arrival
at Bisnagar he had found so rare a piece, which he never
disputed would gain him the hand of Nouronnihar. In
short, he looked upon it as an impossible thing for the
Princes his younger brothers to meet with anything
to be compared with it. It was in his power, by sitting
on his tapestry, to be at the place of meeting that very
day; but, as he was obliged to stay there for his brothers,
as they had agreed, and as he was curious to see the King
of Bisnagar and his Court, and to inform himself of the
strength, laws, customs, and religion of the kingdom,
he chose to make a longer abode there, and to spend
some months in satisfying his curiosity.

Prince Houssain might have made a longer abode in
the kingdom and Court of Bisnagar, but he was so eager
to be nearer the Princess that, spreading the tapestry,
he and the officer he had brought with him sat down,
and as soon as he had formed his wish were transported
to the inn at which he and his brothers were to meet,
and where he passed for a merchant till they came.

Prince Ali, Prince Houssain's second brother, who
designed to travel into Persia, took the road, having three
days after he parted with his brothers joined a caravan,
and after four days' travel arrived at Schiraz, which was
the capital of the kingdom of Persia. Here he passed
for a jeweler.

The next morning Prince Ali, who traveled only for
his pleasure, and had brought nothing but just necessaries
along with him, after he had dressed himself, took
a walk into that part of the town which they at Schiraz
called the bezestein.

Among all the criers who passed backward and forward
with several sorts of goods, offering to sell them,
he was not a little surprised to see one who held an ivory
telescope in his hand of about a foot in length and the
thickness of a man's thumb, and cried it at thirty purses.
At first he thought the crier mad, and to inform himself
went to a shop, and said to the merchant, who stood at
the door: "Pray, sir, is not that man" (pointing to the
crier who cried the ivory perspective glass at thirty
purses) "mad? If he is not, I am very much deceived."

"Indeed, sir," answered the merchant, "he was in his
right senses yesterday; I can assure you he is one of the
ablest criers we have, and the most employed of any
when anything valuable is to be sold. And if he cries
the ivory perspective glass at thirty purses it must be
worth as much or more, on some account or other. He
will come by presently, and we will call him, and you
shall be satisfied; in the meantime sit down on my sofa,
and rest yourself."

Prince Ali accepted the merchant's obliging offer, and
presently afterward the crier passed by. The merchant
called him by his name, and, pointing to the Prince,
said to him: "Tell that gentleman, who asked me if
you were in your right senses, what you mean by crying
that ivory perspective glass, which seems not to be
worth much, at thirty purses. I should be very much
amazed myself if I did not know you." The crier,
addressing himself to Prince Ali, said: "Sir, you are not
the only person that takes me for a madman on account
of this perspective glass. You shall judge yourself
whether I am or no, when I have told you its property
and I hope you will value it at as high a price as those I
have showed it to already, who had as bad an opinion
of me as you.

"First, sir," pursued the crier, presenting the ivory
pipe to the Prince, "observe that this pipe is furnished
with a glass at both ends; and consider that by looking
through one of them you see whatever object you wish
to behold." "I am," said the Prince, "ready to make you
all imaginable reparation for the scandal I have thrown
on you if you will make the truth of what you advance
appear," and as he had the ivory pipe in his hand, after
he had looked at the two glasses he said: "Show me at
which of these ends I must look that I may be satisfied."
The crier presently showed him, and he looked
through, wishing at the same time to see the Sultan his
father, whom he immediately beheld in perfect health,
set on his throne, in the midst of his council. Afterward,
as there was nothing in the world so dear to him,
after the Sultan, as the Princess Nouronnihar, he wished
to see her; and saw her at her toilet laughing, and in a
pleasant humor, with her women about her.

Prince Ali wanted no other proof to be persuaded that
this perspective glass was the most valuable thing in
the world, and believed that if he should neglect to
purchase it he should never meet again with such another
rarity. He therefore took the crier with him to the
khan where he lodged, and counted him out the money,
and received the perspective glass.

Prince Ali was overjoyed at his bargain, and
persuaded himself that, as his brothers would not be able
to meet with anything so rare and admirable, the Princess
Nouronnihar would be the recompense of his fatigue
and trouble; that he thought of nothing but visiting the
Court of Persia incognito, and seeing whatever was
curious in Schiraz and thereabouts, till the caravan
with which he came returned back to the Indies. As
soon as the caravan was ready to set out, the Prince
joined them, and arrived happily without any accident
or trouble, otherwise than the length of the journey and
fatigue of traveling, at the place of rendezvous, where he
found Prince Houssain, and both waited for Prince
Ahmed.

Prince Ahmed, who took the road of Samarcand, the
next day after his arrival there went, as his brothers
had done, into the bezestein, where he had not walked
long but heard a crier, who had an artificial apple in
his hand, cry it at five and thirty purses; upon which
he stopped the crier, and said to him: "Let me see that
apple, and tell me what virtue and extraordinary
properties it has, to be valued at so high a rate." "Sir,"
said the crier, giving it into his hand, "if you look at the
outside of this apple, it is very worthless, but if you
consider its properties, virtues, and the great use and benefit
it is to mankind, you will say it is no price for it, and that
he who possesses it is master of a great treasure. In
short, it cures all sick persons of the most mortal diseases;
and if the patient is dying it will recover him immediately
and restore him to perfect health; and this is
done after the easiest manner in the world, which is by
the patient's smelling the apple."

"If I may believe you," replied Prince Ahmed, "the
virtues of this apple are wonderful, and it is invaluable;
but what ground have I, for all you tell me, to be
persuaded of the truth of this matter?" "Sir," replied the
crier, "the thing is known and averred by the whole
city of Samarcand; but, without going any further, ask
all these merchants you see here, and hear what they
say. You will find several of them will tell you they
had not been alive this day if they had not made use of
this excellent remedy. And, that you may better
comprehend what it is, I must tell you it is the fruit of the
study and experiments of a celebrated philosopher of
this city, who applied himself all his lifetime to the study
and knowledge of the virtues of plants and minerals,
and at last attained to this composition, by which he
performed such surprising cures in this town as will
never be forgot, but died suddenly himself, before he
could apply his sovereign remedy, and left his wife and
a great many young children behind him, in very indifferent
circumstances, who, to support her family and
provide for her children, is resolved to sell it."

While the crier informed Prince Ahmed of the virtues
of the artificial apple, a great many persons came about
them and confirmed what he said; and one among the
rest said he had a friend dangerously ill, whose life was
despaired of; and that was a favorable opportunity to
show Prince Ahmed the experiment. Upon which
Prince Ahmed told the crier he would give him forty
purses if he cured the sick person.

The crier, who had orders to sell it at that price, said
to Prince Ahmed: "Come, sir, let us go and make the
experiment, and the apple shall be yours; and I can assure
you that it will always have the desired effect."
In short, the experiment succeeded, and the Prince, after
he had counted out to the crier forty purses, and he had
delivered the apple to him, waited patiently for the first
caravan that should return to the Indies, and arrived
in perfect health at the inn where the Princes Houssain
and Ali waited for him.

When the Princes met they showed each other their
treasures, and immediately saw through the glass that
the Princess was dying. They then sat down on the
carpet, wished themselves with her, and were there in a
moment.

Prince Ahmed no sooner perceived himself in Nouronnihar's
chamber than he rose off the tapestry, as did
also the other two Princes, and went to the bedside, and
put the apple under her nose; some moments after the
Princess opened her eyes, and turned her head from
one side to another, looking at the persons who stood
about her; and then rose up in the bed, and asked to be
dressed, just as if she had waked out of a sound sleep.
Her women having presently informed her, in a manner
that showed their joy, that she was obliged to the
three Princes for the sudden recovery of her health, and
particularly to Prince Ahmed, she immediately expressed
her joy to see them, and thanked them all together, and
afterward Prince Ahmed in particular.

While the Princess was dressing the Princes went to
throw themselves at the Sultan their father's feet, and
pay their respects to him. But when they came before
him they found he had been informed of their arrival
by the chief of the Princess's eunuchs, and by what
means the Princess had been perfectly cured. The
Sultan received and embraced them with the greatest
joy, both for their return and the recovery of the
Princess his niece, whom he loved as well as if she had been
his own daughter, and who had been given over by the
physicians. After the usual ceremonies and compliments
the Princes presented each his rarity: Prince
Houssain his tapestry, which he had taken care not to
leave behind him in the Princess's chamber; Prince Ali
his ivory perspective glass, and Prince Ahmed his
artificial apple; and after each had commended their present,
when they put it into the Sultan's hands, they begged
of him to pronounce their fate, and declare to which
of them he would give the Princess Nouronnihar for a
wife, according to his promise.


The Sultan of the Indies, having heard, without
interrupting them, all that the Princes could represent
further about their rarities, and being well informed of
what had happened in relation to the Princess Nouronnihar's
cure, remained some time silent, as if he were
thinking on what answer he should make. At last he
broke the silence, and said to them: "I would declare
for one of you children with a great deal of pleasure if
I could do it with justice; but consider whether I can
do it or no. 'Tis true, Prince Ahmed, the Princess my
niece is obliged to your artificial apple for her cure; but
I must ask you whether or no you could have been so
serviceable to her if you had not known by Prince Ali's
perspective glass the danger she was in, and if Prince
Houssain's tapestry had not brought you so soon. Your
perspective glass, Prince Ali, informed you and your
brothers that you were like to lose the Princess your
cousin, and there you must own a great obligation.

"You must also grant that that knowledge would have
been of no service without the artificial apple and the
tapestry. And lastly, Prince Houssain, the Princess
would be very ungrateful if she should not show her
acknowledgment of the service of your tapestry, which
was so necessary a means toward her cure. But consider,
it would have been of little use if you had not
been acquainted with the Princess's illness by Prince
Ali's glass, and Prince Ahmed had not applied his
artificial apple. Therefore, as neither tapestry, ivory
perspective glass, nor artificial apple have the least
preference one before the other, but, on the contrary, there's a
perfect equality, I cannot grant the Princess to ally one
of you; and the only fruit you have reaped from your
travels is the glory of having equally contributed to
restore her health.

"If all this be true," added the Sultan, "you see that
I must have recourse to other means to determine certainly
in the choice I ought to make among you; and
that, as there is time enough between this and night,
I'll do it to-day. Go and get each of you a bow and
arrow, and repair to the great plain, where they exercise
horses. I'll soon come to you, and declare I will give
the Princess Nouronnihar to him that shoots the farthest."

The three Princes had nothing to say against the
decision of the Sultan. When they were out of his presence
they each provided themselves with a bow and arrow,
which they delivered to one of their officers, and
went to the plain appointed, followed by a great
concourse of people.

The Sultan did not make them wait long for him,
and as soon as he arrived Prince Houssain, as the eldest,
took his bow and arrow and shot first; Prince Ali shot
next, and much beyond him; and Prince Ahmed last
of all, but it so happened that nobody could see where
his arrow fell; and, notwithstanding all the diligence that
was used by himself and everybody else, it was not to
be found far or near. And though it was believed that
he shot the farthest, and that he therefore deserved the
Princess Nouronnihar, it was, however, necessary that
his arrow should be found to make the matter more
evident and certain; and, notwithstanding his remonstrance,
the Sultan judged in favor of Prince Ali, and
gave orders for preparations to be made for the wedding,
which was celebrated a few days after with great
magnificence.

Prince Houssain would not honor the feast with his
presence. In short, his grief was so violent and insupportable
that he left the Court, and renounced all right
of succession to the crown, to turn hermit.

Prince Ahmed, too, did not come to Prince Ali's and
the Princess Nouronnihar's wedding any more than his
brother Houssain, but did not renounce the world as
he had done. But, as he could not imagine what had
become of his arrow, he stole away from his attendants
and resolved to search after it, that he might not have
anything to reproach himself with. With this intent he
went to the place where the Princes Houssain's and
Ali's were gathered up, and, going straight forward
from there, looking carefully on both sides of him, he
went so far that at last he began to think his labor was
all in vain; but yet he could not help going forward till
he came to some steep craggy rocks, which were bounds
to his journey, and were situated in a barren country,
about four leagues distant from where he set out.


II


When Prince Ahmed came pretty nigh to these rocks
he perceived an arrow, which he gathered up, looked
earnestly at it, and was in the greatest astonishment
to find it was the same he shot away. "Certainly,"
said he to himself, "neither I nor any man living could
shoot an arrow so far," and, finding it laid flat, not
sticking into the ground, he judged that it rebounded
against the rock. "There must be some mystery in
this," said he to himself again, "and it may be
advantageous to me. Perhaps fortune, to make me amends
for depriving me of what I thought the greatest happiness,
may have reserved a greater blessing for my comfort."

As these rocks were full of caves and some of those
caves were deep, the Prince entered into one, and, looking
about, cast his eyes on an iron door, which seemed
to have no lock, but he feared it was fastened. However,
thrusting against it, it opened, and discovered an
easy descent, but no steps, which he walked down with
his arrow in his hand. At first he thought he was going
into a dark, obscure place, but presently a quite different
light succeeded that which he came out of, and, entering
into a large, spacious place, at about fifty or
sixty paces distant, he perceived a magnificent palace,
which he had not then time enough to look at. At the
same time a lady of majestic port and air advanced as
far as the porch, attended by a large troop of ladies, so
finely dressed and beautiful that it was difficult to
distinguish which was the mistress.

As soon as Prince Ahmed perceived the lady, he made
all imaginable haste to go and pay his respects; and the
lady, on her part, seeing him coming, prevented him from
addressing his discourse to her first, but said to him:
"Come nearer, Prince Ahmed, you are welcome."

It was no small surprise to the Prince to hear himself
named in a place he had never heard of, though so nigh
to his father's capital, and he could not comprehend
how he should be known to a lady who was a stranger
to him. At last he returned the lady's compliment by
throwing himself at her feet, and, rising up again, said
to her:

"Madam, I return you a thousand thanks for the
assurance you give me of a welcome to a place where I
believed my imprudent curiosity had made me penetrate
too far. But, madam, may I, without being
guilty of ill manners, dare to ask you by what adventure
you know me? and how you, who live in the same neighborhood
with me, should be so great a stranger to me?"

"Prince," said the lady, "let us go into the hall, there
I will gratify you in your request."

After these words the lady led Prince Ahmed into the
hall. Then she sat down on a sofa, and when the Prince
by her entreaty had done the same she said: "You are
surprised, you say, that I should know you and not be
known by you, but you will be no longer surprised when
I inform you who I am. You are undoubtedly sensible
that your religion teaches you to believe that the world
is inhabited by genies as well as men. I am the daughter
of one of the most powerful and distinguished genies,
and my name is Paribanou. The only thing that I have
to add is, that you seemed to me worthy of a more happy
fate than that of possessing the Princess Nouronnihar;
and, that you might attain to it, I was present when
you drew your arrow, and foresaw it would not go beyond
Prince Houssain's. I took it in the air, and gave
it the necessary motion to strike against the rocks near
which you found it, and I tell you that it lies in your
power to make use of the favorable opportunity which
presents itself to make you happy."

As the Fairy Paribanou pronounced these last words
with a different tone, and looked, at the same time,
tenderly upon Prince Ahmed, with a modest blush on her
cheeks, it was no hard matter for the Prince to comprehend
what happiness she meant. He presently considered
that the Princess Nouronnihar could never be his and
that the Fairy Paribanou excelled her infinitely in
beauty, agreeableness, wit, and, as much as he could
conjecture by the magnificence of the palace, in immense
riches. He blessed the moment that he thought of seeking
after his arrow a second time, and, yielding to his
love, "Madam," replied he, "should I all my life have
the happiness of being your slave, and the admirer of
the many charms which ravish my soul, I should think
myself the most blessed of men. Pardon in me the boldness
which inspires me to ask this favor, and don't refuse
to admit me into your Court, a prince who is entirely
devoted to you."

"Prince," answered the Fairy, "will you not pledge
your faith to me, as well as I give mine to you?" "Yes,
madam," replied the Prince, in an ecstacy of joy; "what
can I do better, and with greater pleasure? Yes, my
sultaness, my queen, I'll give you my heart without the
least reserve." "Then," answered the Fairy, "you are
my husband, and I am your wife. But, as I suppose,"
pursued she, "that you have eaten nothing to-day, a slight
repast shall be served up for you, while preparations are
making for our wedding feast at night, and then I will
show you the apartments of my palace, and you shall
judge if this hall is not the meanest part of it."

Some of the Fairy's women, who came into the hall
with them, and guessed her intentions, went immediately
out, and returned presently with some excellent meats
and wines.

When Prince Ahmed had ate and drunk as much as he
cared for, the Fairy Paribanou carried him through all the
apartments, where he saw diamonds, rubies, emeralds
and all sorts of fine jewels, intermixed with pearls, agate,
jasper, porphyry, and all sorts of the most precious
marbles. But, not to mention the richness of the furniture,
which was inestimable, there was such a profuseness
throughout that the Prince, instead of ever having seen
anything like it, owned that he could not have imagined
that there was anything in the world that could come up
to it. "Prince," said the Fairy, "if you admire my palace
so much, which, indeed, is very beautiful, what would you
say to the palaces of the chief of our genies, which are
much more beautiful, spacious, and magnificent? I could
also charm you with my gardens, but we will let that
alone till another time. Night draws near, and it will be
time to go to supper."

The next hall which the Fairy led the Prince into, and
where the cloth was laid for the feast, was the last apartment
the Prince had not seen, and not in the least inferior
to the others. At his entrance into it he admired the
infinite number of sconces of wax candles perfumed with
amber, the multitude of which, instead of being confused,
were placed with so just a symmetry as formed an agreeable
and pleasant sight. A large side table was set out
with all sorts of gold plate, so finely wrought that the
workmanship was much more valuable than the weight
of the gold. Several choruses of beautiful women richly
dressed, and whose voices were ravishing, began a concert,
accompanied with all sorts of the most harmonious
instruments; and when they were set down at table the Fairy
Paribanou took care to help Prince Ahmed to the most
delicate meats, which she named as she invited him to
eat of them, and which the Prince found to be so
exquisitely nice that he commended them with exaggeration,
and said that the entertainment far surpassed those of
man. He found also the same excellence in the wines,
which neither he nor the Fairy tasted of till the dessert
was served up, which consisted of the choicest sweetmeats
and fruits.

The wedding feast was continued the next day, or,
rather, the days following the celebration were a continual
feast.

At the end of six months Prince Ahmed, who always
loved and honored the Sultan his father, conceived a
great desire to know how he was, and that desire could
not be satisfied without his going to see; he told the Fairy
of it, and desired she would give him leave.

"Prince," said she, "go when you please. But first,
don't take it amiss that I give you some advice how you
shall behave yourself where you are going. First, I don't
think it proper for you to tell the Sultan your father of
our marriage, nor of my quality, nor the place where you
have been. Beg of him to be satisfied in knowing you are
happy, and desire no more; and let him know that the sole
end of your visit is to make him easy, and inform him of
your fate."

She appointed twenty gentlemen, well mounted and
equipped, to attend him. When all was ready Prince
Ahmed took his leave of the Fairy, embraced her, and
renewed his promise to return soon. Then his horse,
which was most finely caparisoned, and was as beautiful
a creature as any in the Sultan of Indies' stables, was led
to him, and he mounted him with an extraordinary grace;
and, after he had bid her a last adieu, set forward on his
journey.

As it was not a great way to his father's capital, Prince
Ahmed soon arrived there. The people, glad to see him
again, received him with acclamations of joy, and followed
him in crowds to the Sultan's apartment. The Sultan
received and embraced him with great joy, complaining
at the same time, with a fatherly tenderness, of the
affliction his long absence had been to him, which he said was
the more grievous for that, fortune having decided in
favor of Prince Ali his brother, he was afraid he might
have committed some rash action.

The Prince told a story of his adventures without speaking
of the Fairy, whom he said that he must not mention,
and ended: "The only favor I ask of your Majesty is to
give me leave to come often and pay you my respects, and
to know how you do."

"Son," answered the Sultan of the Indies, "I cannot
refuse you the leave you ask me; but I should much
rather you would resolve to stay with me; at least tell me
where I may send to you if you should fail to come, or
when I may think your presence necessary." "Sir,"
replied Prince Ahmed, "what your Majesty asks of me is
part of the mystery I spoke to your Majesty of. I beg
of you to give me leave to remain silent on this head, for I
shall come so frequently that I am afraid that I shall
sooner be thought troublesome than be accused of negligence
in my duty."

The Sultan of the Indies pressed Prince Ahmed no
more, but said to him: "Son, I penetrate no farther into
your secrets, but leave you at your liberty; but can tell
you that you could not do me a greater pleasure than to
come, and by your presence restore to me the joy I have
not felt this long time, and that you shall always be
welcome when you come, without interrupting your business
or pleasure."

Prince Ahmed stayed but three days at the Sultan his
father's Court, and the fourth returned to the Fairy
Paribanou, who did not expect him so soon.

A month after Prince Ahmed's return from paying a
visit to his father, as the Fairy Paribanou had observed
that the Prince, since the time that he gave her an account
of his journey, his discourse with his father, and the leave
he asked to go and see him often, had never talked of the
Sultan, as if there had been no such person in the world,
whereas before he was always speaking of him, she thought
he forebore on her account; therefore she took an opportunity
to say to him one day: "Prince, tell me, have you
forgot the Sultan your father? Don't you remember the
promise you made to go and see him often? For my part
I have not forgot what you told me at your return, and
so put you in mind of it, that you may not be long before
you acquit yourself of your promise."

So Prince Ahmed went the next morning with the same
attendance as before, but much finer, and himself more
magnificently mounted, equipped, and dressed, and was
received by the Sultan with the same joy and satisfaction.
For several months he constantly paid his visits, always
in a richer and finer equipage.

At last some viziers, the Sultan's favorites, who judged
of Prince Ahmed's grandeur and power by the figure he
cut, made the Sultan jealous of his son, saying it was to
be feared he might inveigle himself into the people's favor
and dethrone him.

The Sultan of the Indies was so far from thinking that
Prince Ahmed could be capable of so pernicious a design
as his favorites would make him believe that he said
to them: "You are mistaken; my son loves me, and I am
certain of his tenderness and fidelity, as I have given him
no reason to be disgusted."

But the favorites went on abusing Prince Ahmed till
the Sultan said: "Be it as it will, I don't believe my son
Ahmed is so wicked as you would persuade me he is; how
ever, I am obliged to you for your good advice, and don't
dispute but that it proceeds from your good intentions."

The Sultan of the Indies said this that his favorites
might not know the impressions their discourse had made
on his mind; which had so alarmed him that he resolved
to have Prince Ahmed watched unknown to his grand
vizier. So he sent for a female magician, who was introduced
by a back door into his apartment. "Go immediately,"
he said, "and follow my son, and watch him so well
as to find out where he retires, and bring me word."

The magician left the Sultan, and, knowing the place
where Prince Ahmed found his arrow, went immediately
thither, and hid herself near the rocks, so that nobody
could see her.

The next morning Prince Ahmed set out by daybreak,
without taking leave either of the Sultan or any of his
Court, according to custom. The magician, seeing him
coming, followed him with her eyes, till on a sudden she
lost sight of him and his attendants.

As the rocks were very steep and craggy, they were an
insurmountable barrier, so that the magician judged that
there were but two things for it: either that the Prince
retired into some cavern, or an abode of genies or fairies.
Thereupon she came out of the place where she was hid
and went directly to the hollow way, which she traced
till she came to the farther end, looking carefully about
on all sides; but, notwithstanding all her diligence, could
perceive no opening, not so much as the iron gate which
Prince Ahmed discovered, which was to be seen and
opened to none but men, and only to such whose presence
was agreeable to the Fairy Paribanou.

The magician, who saw it was in vain for her to search
any farther, was obliged to be satisfied with the discovery
she had made, and returned to give the Sultan an account.

The Sultan was very well pleased with the magician's
conduct, and said to her: "Do you as you think fit; I'll
wait patiently the event of your promises," and to
encourage her made her a present of a diamond of great
value.

As Prince Ahmed had obtained the Fairy Paribanou's
leave to go to the Sultan of the Indies' Court once a
month, he never failed, and the magician, knowing the
time, went a day or two before to the foot of the rock
where she lost sight of the Prince and his attendants, and
waited there.

The next morning Prince Ahmed went out, as usual, at
the iron gate, with the same attendants as before, and
passed by the magician, whom he knew not to be such,
and, seeing her lie with her head against the rock, and
complaining as if she were in great pain, he pitied her,
turned his horse about, went to her, and asked her what
was the matter with her, and what he could do to ease her.

The artful sorceress looked at the Prince in a pitiful
manner, without ever lifting up her head, and answered
in broken words and sighs, as if she could hardly fetch
her breath, that she was going to the capital city, but on
the way thither she was taken with so violent a fever that
her strength failed her, and she was forced to lie down
where he saw her, far from any habitation, and without
any hopes of assistance.

"Good woman," replied Prince Ahmed, "you are not so
far from help as you imagine. I am ready to assist you,
and convey you where you will meet with a speedy cure;
only get up, and let one of my people take you behind

him."

At these words the magician, who pretended sickness
only to know where the Prince lived and what he did,
refused not the charitable offer he made her, and that her
actions might correspond with her words she made many
pretended vain endeavors to get up. At the same time
two of the Prince's attendants, alighting off their horses,
helped her up, and set her behind another, and mounted
their horses again, and followed the Prince, who turned
back to the iron gate, which was opened by one of his
retinue who rode before. And when he came into the
outward court of the Fairy, without dismounting himself,
he sent to tell her he wanted to speak with her.

The Fairy Paribanou came with all imaginable haste,
not knowing what made Prince Ahmed return so soon,
who, not giving her time to ask him the reason, said:
"Princess, I desire you would have compassion on this
good woman," pointing to the magician, who was held
up by two of his retinue. "I found her in the condition
you see her in, and promised her the assistance she stands
in need of, and am persuaded that you, out of your own
goodness, as well as upon my entreaty, will not abandon
her."

The Fairy Paribanou, who had her eyes fixed upon the
pretended sick woman all the time that the Prince was
talking to her, ordered two of her women who followed
her to take her from the two men that held her, and carry
her into an apartment of the palace, and take as much
care of her as she would herself.

While the two women executed the Fairy's commands,
she went up to Prince Ahmed, and, whispering in his ear,
said: "Prince, this woman is not so sick as she pretends
to be; and I am very much mistaken if she is not an
impostor, who will be the cause of a great trouble to you.
But don't be concerned, let what will be devised against
you; be persuaded that I will deliver you out of all the
snares that shall be laid for you. Go and pursue your
journey."

This discourse of the Fairy's did not in the least frighten
Prince Ahmed. "My Princess," said he, "as I do not
remember I ever did or designed anybody an injury, I
cannot believe anybody can have a thought of doing me
one, but if they have I shall not, nevertheless, forbear
doing good whenever I have an opportunity." Then he
went back to his father's palace.

In the meantime the two women carried the magician
into a very fine apartment, richly furnished. First they
sat her down upon a sofa, with her back supported with
a cushion of gold brocade, while they made a bed on the
same sofa before her, the quilt of which was finely
embroidered with silk, the sheets of the finest linen, and the
coverlet cloth-of-gold. When they had put her into bed
(for the old sorceress pretended that her fever was so
violent she could not help herself in the least) one of the
women went out, and returned soon again with a china
dish in her hand, full of a certain liquor, which she
presented to the magician, while the other helped her to sit
up. "Drink this liquor," said she; "it is the Water of the
Fountain of Lions, and a sovereign remedy against all
fevers whatsoever. You will find the effect of it in less
than an hour's time."

The magician, to dissemble the better, took it after a
great deal of entreaty; but at last she took the china dish,
and, holding back her head, swallowed down the liquor.
When she was laid down again the two women covered
her up. "Lie quiet," said she who brought her the china
cup, "and get a little sleep if you can. We'll leave you,
and hope to find you perfectly cured when we come again
an hour hence."

The two women came again at the time they said they
should, and found the magician up and dressed, and sitting
upon the sofa. "Oh, admirable potion!" she said:
"it has wrought its cure much sooner than you told me it
would, and I shall be able to prosecute my journey."

The two women, who were fairies as well as their
mistress, after they had told the magician how glad they
were that she was cured so soon, walked before her, and
conducted her through several apartments, all more noble
than that wherein she lay, into a large hall, the most richly
and magnificently furnished of all the palace.

Fairy Paribanou sat in this hall on a throne of massive
gold, enriched with diamonds, rubies, and pearls of an
extraordinary size, and attended on each hand by a great
number of beautiful fairies, all richly clothed. At the
sight of so much majesty, the magician was not only
dazzled, but was so amazed that, after she had prostrated
herself before the throne, she could not open her lips to
thank the Fairy as she proposed. However, Paribanou
saved her the trouble, and said to her: "Good woman, I
am glad I had an opportunity to oblige you, and to see
you are able to pursue your journey. I won't detain you,
but perhaps you may not be displeased to see my palace;
follow my women, and they will show it you."

Then the magician went back and related to the Sultan
of the Indies all that had happened, and how very rich
Prince Ahmed was since his marriage with the Fairy,
richer than all the kings in the world, and how there was
danger that he should come and take the throne from his
father.

Though the Sultan of the Indies was very well persuaded
that Prince Ahmed's natural disposition was good, yet
he could not help being concerned at the discourse of the
old sorceress, to whom, when she was taking her leave,
he said: "I thank thee for the pains thou hast taken, and
thy wholesome advice. I am so sensible of the great importance
it is to me that I shall deliberate upon it in council."

Now the favorites advised that the Prince should be
killed, but the magician advised differently: "Make him
give you all kinds of wonderful things, by the Fairy's
help, till she tires of him and sends him away. As, for
example, every time your Majesty goes into the field, you
are obliged to be at a great expense, not only in pavilions
and tents for your army, but likewise in mules and camels
to carry their baggage. Now, might not you engage him
to use his interest with the Fairy to procure you a tent
which might be carried in a man's hand, and which should
be so large as to shelter your whole army against bad
weather?"

When the magician had finished her speech, the Sultan
asked his favorites if they had anything better to propose;
and, finding them all silent, determined to follow the
magician's advice, as the most reasonable and most agreeable
to his mild government.

Next day the Sultan did as the magician had advised
him, and asked for the pavilion.

Prince Ahmed never expected that the Sultan his
father would have asked such a thing, which at first
appeared so difficult, not to say impossible. Though he
knew not absolutely how great the power of genies and
fairies was, he doubted whether it extended so far as to
compass such a tent as his father desired. At last he
replied: "Though it is with the greatest reluctance imaginable,
I will not fail to ask the favor of my wife your
Majesty desires, but will not promise you to obtain it;
and if I should not have the honor to come again to pay
you my respects that shall be the sign that I have not had
success. But beforehand, I desire you to forgive me, and
consider that you yourself have reduced me to this extremity."

"Son," replied the Sultan of the Indies, "I should be
very sorry if what I ask of you should cause me the
displeasure of never seeing you more. I find you don't know
the power a husband has over a wife; and yours would
show that her love to you was very indifferent if she, with
the power she has of a fairy, should refuse you so trifling
a request as this I desire you to ask of her for my sake."
The Prince went back, and was very sad for fear of
offending the Fairy. She kept pressing him to tell her
what was the matter, and at last he said: "Madam, you
may have observed that hitherto I have been content with
your love, and have never asked you any other favor.
Consider then, I conjure you, that it is not I, but the
Sultan my father, who indiscreetly, or at least I think so,
begs of you a pavilion large enough to shelter him, his
Court, and army from the violence of the weather, and
which a man may carry in his hand. But remember it is
the Sultan my father asks this favor."

"Prince," replied the Fairy, smiling, "I am sorry that
so small a matter should disturb you, and make you so
uneasy as you appeared to me."

Then the Fairy sent for her treasurer, to whom, when
she came, she said: "Nourgihan"--which was her name--"bring
me the largest pavilion in my treasury." Nourgiham
returned presently with the pavilion, which she
could not only hold in her hand, but in the palm of her
hand when she shut her fingers, and presented it to her
mistress, who gave it to Prince Ahmed to look at.

When Prince Ahmed saw the pavilion which the Fairy
called the largest in her treasury, he fancied she had a
mind to jest with him, and thereupon the marks of his
surprise appeared presently in his countenance; which
Paribanou perceiving burst out laughing. "What!
Prince," cried she, "do you think I jest with you? You'll
see presently that I am in earnest. Nourgihan," said she
to her treasurer, taking the tent out of Prince Ahmed's
hands, "go and set it up, that the Prince may judge
whether it may be large enough for the Sultan his father."

The treasurer went immediately with it out of the
palace, and carried it a great way off; and when she had
set it up one end reached to the very palace; at which
time the Prince, thinking it small, found it large enough
to shelter two greater armies than that of the Sultan his
father's, and then said to Paribanou: "I ask my Princess
a thousand pardons for my incredulity; after what I have
seen I believe there is nothing impossible to you." "You
see," said the Fairy, "that the pavilion is larger than what
your father may have occasion for; for you must know
that it has one property--that it is larger or smaller
according to the army it is to cover."

The treasurer took down the tent again, and brought
it to the Prince, who took it, and, without staying any
longer than till the next day, mounted his horse, and went
with the same attendants to the Sultan his father.

The Sultan, who was persuaded that there could not be
any such thing as such a tent as he asked for, was in a
great surprise at the Prince's diligence. He took the tent
and after he had admired its smallness his amazement was
so great that he could not recover himself. When the tent
was set up in the great plain, which we have before
mentioned, he found it large enough to shelter an army twice
as large as he could bring into the field.

But the Sultan was not yet satisfied. "Son," said he,
"I have already expressed to you how much I am obliged
to you for the present of the tent you have procured me;
that I look upon it as the most valuable thing in all my
treasury. But you must do one thing more for me, which
will be every whit as agreeable to me. I am informed that
the Fairy, your spouse, makes use of a certain water,
called the Water of the Fountain of Lions, which cures
all sorts of fevers, even the most dangerous, and, as I am
perfectly well persuaded my health is dear to you, I don't
doubt but you will ask her for a bottle of that water for
me, and bring it me as a sovereign medicine, which I may
make use of when I have occasion. Do me this other
important piece of service, and thereby complete the duty
of a good son toward a tender father."

The Prince returned and told the Fairy what his father
had said; "There's a great deal of wickedness in this
demand?" she answered, "as you will understand by what
I am going to tell you. The Fountain of Lions is situated
in the middle of a court of a great castle, the entrance
into which is guarded by four fierce lions, two of which
sleep alternately, while the other two are awake. But
don't let that frighten you: I'll give you means to pass by
them without any danger."

The Fairy Paribanou was at that time very hard at
work, and, as she had several clews of thread by her, she
took up one, and, presenting it to Prince Ahmed, said:
"First take this clew of thread. I'll tell you presently the
use of it. In the second place, you must have two horses;
one you must ride yourself, and the other you must lead,
which must be loaded with a sheep cut into four quarters,
that must be killed to-day. In the third place, you must
be provided with a bottle, which I will give you, to bring
the water in. Set out early to-morrow morning, and when
you have passed the iron gate throw the clew of thread
before you, which will roll till it comes to the gates of the
castle. Follow it, and when it stops, as the gates will be
open, you will see the four lions: the two that are awake
will, by their roaring, wake the other two, but don't be
frightened, but throw each of them a quarter of mutton,
and then clap spurs to your horse and ride to the fountain;
fill your bottle without alighting, and then return with
the same expedition. The lions will be so busy eating they
will let you pass by them."

Prince Ahmed set out the next morning at the time
appointed by the Fairy, and followed her directions
exactly. When he arrived at the gates of the castle he
distributed the quarters of mutton among the four lions,
and, passing through the midst of them bravely, got to
the fountain, filled his bottle, and returned back as safe and
sound as he went. When he had gone a little distance from
the castle gates he turned him about, and, perceiving two
of the lions coming after him, he drew his sabre and
prepared himself for defense. But as he went forward he
saw one of them turned out of the road at some distance,
and showed by his head and tail that he did not come to
do him any harm, but only to go before him, and that the
other stayed behind to follow, he put his sword up again
in its scabbard. Guarded in this manner, he arrived at the
capital of the Indies, but the lions never left him till they
had conducted him to the gates of the Sultan's palace;
after which they returned the same way they came, though
not without frightening all that saw them, for all they
went in a very gentle manner and showed no fierceness.

A great many officers came to attend the Prince while
he dismounted his horse, and afterward conducted him
into the Sultan's apartment, who was at that time
surrounded with his favorites. He approached toward the
throne, laid the bottle at the Sultan's feet, and kissed the
rich tapestry which covered his footstool, and then said:

"I have brought you, sir, the healthful water which your
Majesty desired so much to keep among your other
rarities in your treasury, but at the same time wish you
such extraordinary health as never to have occasion to
make use of it."

After the Prince had made an end of his compliment
the Sultan placed him on his right hand, and then said to
him: "Son, I am very much obliged to you for this valuable
present, as also for the great danger you have exposed
yourself to upon my account (which I have been informed
of by a magician who knows the Fountain of Lions); but
do me the pleasure," continued he, "to inform me by
what address, or, rather, by what incredible power, you
have been secured."

"Sir," replied Prince Ahmed, "I have no share in the
compliment your Majesty is pleased to make me; all the
honor is due to the Fairy my spouse, whose good advice
I followed." Then he informed the Sultan what those
directions were, and by the relation of this his expedition
let him know how well he had behaved himself. When he
had done the Sultan, who showed outwardly all the
demonstrations of great joy, but secretly became more
jealous, retired into an inward apartment, where he sent
for the magician.

The magician, at her arrival, saved the Sultan the
trouble to tell her of the success of Prince Ahmed's journey,
which she had heard of before she came, and therefore
was prepared with an infallible means, as she
pretended. This means she communicated to the Sultan
who declared it the next day to the Prince, in the midst
of all his courtiers, in these words: "Son," said he, "I have
one thing more to ask of you, after which I shall expect
nothing more from your obedience, nor your interest with
your wife. This request is, to bring me a man not above
a foot and a half high, and whose beard is thirty feet long
who carries a bar of iron upon his shoulders of five
hundredweight, which he uses as a quarterstaff."

Prince Ahmed, who did not believe that there was such
a man in the world as his father described, would gladly
have excused himself; but the Sultan persisted in his
demand, and told him the Fairy could do more incredible
things.

The next day the Prince returned to his dear Paribanou,
to whom he told his father's new demand, which, he said,
he looked upon to be a thing more impossible than the two
first; "for," added he, "I cannot imagine there can be such
a man in the world; without doubt, he has a mind to try
whether or no I am so silly as to go about it, or he has a
design on my ruin. In short, how can he suppose that I
should lay hold of a man so well armed, though he is but
little? What arms can I make use of to reduce him to my
will? If there are any means, I beg you will tell them, and
let me come off with honor this time."

"Don't affright yourself, Prince," replied the Fairy;
"you ran a risk in fetching the Water of the Fountain of
Lions for your father, but there's no danger in finding
out this man, who is my brother Schaibar, but is so far
from being like me, though we both had the same father,
that he is of so violent a nature that nothing can prevent
his giving cruel marks of his resentment for a
slight offense; yet, on the other hand, is so good as to
oblige anyone in whatever they desire. He is made
exactly as the Sultan your father has described him,
and has no other arms than a bar of iron of five hundred
pounds weight, without which he never stirs, and which
makes him respected. I'll send for him, and you shall
judge of the truth of what I tell you; but be sure to
prepare yourself against being frightened at his extraordinary
figure when you see him." "What! my Queen," replied
Prince Ahmed, "do you say Schaibar is your brother?
Let him be never so ugly or deformed I shall be so far
from being frightened at the sight of him that, as our
brother, I shall honor and love him."

The Fairy ordered a gold chafing-dish to be set with
a fire in it under the porch of her palace, with a box of
the same metal, which was a present to her, out of
which taking a perfume, and throwing it into the fire,
there arose a thick cloud of smoke.

Some moments after the Fairy said to Prince Ahmed:
"See, there comes my brother." The Prince immediately
perceived Schaibar coming gravely with his heavy
bar on his shoulder, his long beard, which he held up
before him, and a pair of thick mustachios, which he
tucked behind his ears and almost covered his face; his
eyes were very small and deep-set in his head, which
was far from being of the smallest size, and on his head
he wore a grenadier's cap; besides all this, he was very
much hump-backed.

If Prince Ahmed had not known that Schaibar was
Paribanou's brother, he would not have been able to
have looked at him without fear, but, knowing first
who he was, he stood by the Fairy without the least
concern.

Schaibar, as he came forward, looked at the Prince
earnestly enough to have chilled his blood in his veins,
and asked Paribanou, when he first accosted her, who
that man was. To which she replied: "He is my husband,
brother. His name is Ahmed; he is son to the
Sultan of the Indies. The reason why I did not invite
you to my wedding was I was unwilling to divert you
from an expedition you were engaged in, and from
which I heard with pleasure you returned victorious,
and so took the liberty now to call for you."

At these words, Schaibar, looking on Prince Ahmed
favorably, said: "Is there anything else, sister, wherein
I can serve him? It is enough for me that he is your
husband to engage me to do for him whatever he desires."
"The Sultan, his father," replied Paribanou, "has a
curiosity to see you, and I desire he may be your guide to
the Sultan's Court." "He needs but lead me the way
I'll follow him." "Brother," replied Paribanou, "it is
too late to go to-day, therefore stay till to-morrow morning;
and in the meantime I'll inform you of all that has
passed between the Sultan of the Indies and Prince
Ahmed since our marriage."

The next morning, after Schaibar had been informed
of the affair, he and Prince Ahmed set out for the Sultan's
Court. When they arrived at the gates of the capital
the people no sooner saw Schaibar but they ran and hid
themselves; and some shut up their shops and locked
themselves up in their houses, while others, flying,
communicated their fear to all they met, who stayed not
to look behind them, but ran too; insomuch that Schaibar
and Prince Ahmed, as they went along, found the
streets all desolate till they came to the palaces where
the porters, instead of keeping the gates, ran away too,
so that the Prince and Schaibar advanced without any
obstacle to the council-hall, where the Sultan was seated
on his throne, and giving audience. Here likewise
the ushers, at the approach of Schaibar, abandoned their
posts, and gave them free admittance.

Schaibar went boldly and fiercely up to the throne,
without waiting to be presented by Prince Ahmed, and
accosted the Sultan of the Indies in these words: "Thou
hast asked for me," said he; "see, here I am; what wouldst
thou have with me?"

The Sultan, instead of answering him, clapped his
hands before his eyes to avoid the sight of so terrible an
object; at which uncivil and rude reception Schaibar
was so much provoked, after he had given him the
trouble to come so far, that he instantly lifted up his
iron bar and killed him before Prince Ahmed could
intercede in his behalf. All that he could do was to
prevent his killing the grand vizier, who sat not far from
him, representing to him that he had always given the
Sultan his father good advice. "These are they, then,"
said Schaibar, "who gave him bad," and as he
pronounced these words he killed all the other viziers and
flattering favorites of the Sultan who were Prince
Ahmed's enemies. Every time he struck he killed some
one or other, and none escaped but they who were not
so frightened as to stand staring and gaping, and who
saved themselves by flight.

When this terrible execution was over Schaibar came
out of the council-hall into the midst of the courtyard
with the iron bar upon his shoulder, and, looking hard
at the grand vizier, who owed his life to Prince Ahmed,
he said: "I know here is a certain magician, who is a
greater enemy of my brother-in-law than all these base
favorites I have chastised. Let the magician be brought
to me presently." The grand vizier immediately sent
for her, and as soon as she was brought Schaibar said,
at the time he fetched a stroke at her with his iron bar:
"Take the reward of thy pernicious counsel, and learn
to feign sickness again."

After this he said: "This is not yet enough; I will use
the whole town after the same manner if they do not
immediately acknowledge Prince Ahmed, my brother-in-law,
for their Sultan and the Sultan of the Indies." Then
all that were there present made the air echo again with the
repeated acclamations of: "Long life to Sultan Ahmed";
and immediately after he was proclaimed through the
whole town. Schaibar made him be clothed in the royal
vestments, installed him on the throne, and after he had
caused all to swear homage and fidelity to him went
and fetched his sister Paribanou, whom he brought with
all the pomp and grandeur imaginable, and made her
to be owned Sultaness of the Indies.

As for Prince Ali and Princess Nouronnihar, as they
had no hand in the conspiracy against Prince Ahmed
and knew nothing of any, Prince Ahmed assigned them
a considerable province, with its capital, where they spent
the rest of their lives. Afterwards he sent an officer to
Prince Houssain to acquaint him with the change and
make him an offer of which province he liked best; but
that Prince thought himself so happy in his solitude
that he bade the officer return the Sultan his brother
thanks for the kindness he designed him, assuring him
of his submission; and that the only favor he desired of
him was to give him leave to live retired in the place he
had made choice of for his retreat.[1]


[1] Arabian Nights.



THE HISTORY OF JACK THE GIANT-KILLER


In the reign of the famous King Arthur there lived
in Cornwall a lad named Jack, who was a boy of a bold
temper, and took delight in hearing or reading of conjurers,
giants, and fairies; and used to listen eagerly to
the deeds of the knights of King Arthur's Round Table.

In those days there lived on St. Michael's Mount, off
Cornwall, a huge giant, eighteen feet high and nine feet
round; his fierce and savage looks were the terror of all
who beheld him.

He dwelt in a gloomy cavern on the top of the
mountain, and used to wade over to the mainland in search
of prey; when he would throw half a dozen oxen upon
his back, and tie three times as many sheep and hogs
round his waist, and march back to his own abode.

The giant had done this for many years when Jack
resolved to destroy him.

Jack took a horn, a shovel, a pickaxe, his armor, and
a dark lantern, and one winter's evening he went to the
mount. There he dug a pit twenty-two feet deep and
twenty broad. He covered the top over so as to make
it look like solid ground. He then blew his horn so
loudly that the giant awoke and came out of his den
crying out: "You saucy villain! you shall pay for this
I'll broil you for my breakfast!"

He had just finished, when, taking one step further,
he tumbled headlong into the pit, and Jack struck him
a blow on the head with his pickaxe which killed him.
Jack then returned home to cheer his friends with the
news.

Another giant, called Blunderbore, vowed to be
revenged on Jack if ever he should have him in his power.
This giant





Next: What The Rose Did To The Cypress

Previous: The Princess On The Glass Hill



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