The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-129

The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

See, O Ifrit, the mercy of the Envied to the Envier, who had hated him from the beginning and had borne him such bitter malice and never met him without causing him trouble; and had driven him from house and home, and then had journeyed for the sole purpose of taking his life by throwing him into the well. Yet he did not requ ite his injurious dealing, but forgave him and was bountiful to him.[FN#224] Then I wept before him, O my lady, with sore weeping, never was there sorer, and I recited:— “Pardon my fault, for ‘tis the wise man’s wont * All faults to pardon and revenge forgo: In sooth all manner faults in me contain * Then deign of goodness mercy grace to show: Whoso imploreth pardon from on High * Should hold his hand from sinners here below.” Said the Ifrit, “Lengthen not thy words! As to my slaying thee fear it not, and as to my pardoning thee hope it not; but from my bewitching thee there is no escape.” Then he tore me from the ground which closed under my feet and hew with me into the firmament till I saw the earth as a large white cloud or a saucer[FN#225] in the midst of the waters. Presently he set me down on a moun fain, and taking a little dust, over which he muttered some magical words, sprinkled me therewith, saying, “Quit that shape and take thou the shape of an ape!” And on the instant I became an ape, a tail less baboon, the son of a century[FN#226]. Now when he had left me and I saw myself in this ugly and hateful shape, I wept for myself, but resigned my soul to the tyranny of Time and Circumstance, well weeting that Fortune is fair and constant to no man. I descended the mountain and found at the foot a desert plain, long and broad, over which I travelled for the space of a month till my course brought me to the brink of the briny sea.[FN#227] After standing there awhile, I was ware of a ship in the offing which ran before a fair wind making for the shore. I hid myself behind a rock on the beach and waited till the ship drew near, when I leaped on board. I found her full of merchants and passengers and one of them cried, “O Captain, this ill omened brute will bring us ill luck!” and another said, “Turn this