The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-132

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

Kingdom with none endures; if thou deny * This truth, where be the Kings of earlier earth? Set trees of goodliness while rule endures, * And when thou art fallen they shall tell thy worth. And I wrote in the character Muhakkak[FN#235]:— When oped the inkhorn of thy wealth and fame * Take ink of generous heart and gracious hand; Write brave and noble deeds while write thou can * And win thee praise from point of pen and brand. Then I gave the scroll to the officials and, after we all had written our line, they carried it before the King. When he saw the paper no writing pleased him save my writing; and he said to the assembled courtiers, “Go seek the writer of these lines and dress him in a splendid robe of honour; then mount him on a she mule, [FN#236] let a band of music precede him and bring him to the presence.” At these words they smiled and the King was wroth with them and cried, “O accursed! I give you an order and you laugh at me?” “O King,” replied they, “if we laugh ‘tis not at thee and not without a cause.” “And what is it?” asked he; and they answered, “O King, thou orderest us to bring to thy presence the man who wrote these lines; now the truth is that he who wrote them is not of the sons of Adam,[FN#237] but an ape, a tail-less baboon, belonging to the ship captain.” Quoth he, “Is this true that you say?” Quoth they, “Yea! by the rights of thy munificence!” The King marvelled at their words and shook with mirth and said, “I am minded to buy this ape of the Captain.” Then he sent messengers to the ship with the mule, the dress, the guard and the state drums, saying, “Not the less do you clothe him in the robe of honour and mount him on the mule and let him be surrounded by the guards and preceded by the band of music.” They came to the ship and took me from the Captain and robed me in the robe of honour and, mounting me on the she mule, carried me in state procession