The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-206

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

that one night, as we were sitting together and talking of wives and children to come, we had words on the matter and he went off in high dudgeon. But I swore that I would marry my daughter to none save to the son of my brother on the day her mother gave her birth, which was nigh upon nineteen years ago. I have lately heard that my brother died at Bassorah, where he married the daughter of the Wazir and that she bare him a son; and I will not marry my daughter but to him in honour of my brother’s memory. I recorded the date of my marriage and the conception of my wife and the birth of my daughter; and from her horoscope I find that her name is conjoined with that of her cousin; [FN#401] and there are damsels in foison for our lord the Sultan.’ The King, hearing his Minister’s answer and refusal, waxed wroth with exceeding wrath and cried, �When the like of me asketh a girl in marriage of the like of thee, he conferreth an honour, and thou rejectest me and puttest me off with cold [FN#402] excuses! Now, by the life of my head I will marry her to the meanest of my men in spite of the nose thee! [FN#403] There was in the palace a horse-groom which was a Gobbo with a bunch to his breast and a hunch to his back; and the Sultan sent for him and married him to the daughter of the Wazir, lief or loath, and hath ordered a pompous marriage procession for him and that he go in to his bride this very night. I have now just flown hither from Cairo, where I left the Hunchback at the door of the Hammam-bath amidst the Sultan’s white slaves who were waving lighted flambeaux about him. As for the Minister’s daughter she sitteth among her nurses and tirewomen, weeping and wailing; for they have forbidden her father to come near her. Never have I seen, O my sister, more hideous being than this Hunchback [FN#404] whilest the young lady is the likest of all folk to this young man, albeit even fairer than he,”—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased her permitted say. When it was the Twenty-second Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Jinni narrated to the Jinniyah how the King had caused the wedding contract to be drawn up between the hunchbacked groom and the lovely young lady who was heart-broken for sorrow; and how she was the fairest of created things and even more beautiful than this youth, the Jinniyah cried at him “Thou liest! this youth is handsomer than any one of his day.” The Ifrit gave her the lie again, adding, “By Allah, O my sister, the damsel I speak of is fairer than this; yet none but he deserveth her, for they resemble each other like brother and sister or at least cousins.