The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-216

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

his call from the Minaret, “Haste ye to salvation! Haste ye to salvation!” [FN#429] Then Allah suffered his angelic host to shoot down the Ifrit with a shooting star, [FN#430] so he was consumed, but the Ifritah escaped and she descended with Badr al-Din at the place where the Ifrit was burnt, and did not carry him back to Bassorah, fearing lest he come to harm. Now by the order of Him who predestineth all things, they alighted at Damascus of Syria, and the Ifritah set down her burden at one of the city-gates and flew away. When day arose and the doors were opened, the folks who came forth saw a handsome youth, with no other raiment but his blue shirt of gold-embroidered silk and skull-cap,[FN#431] lying upon the ground drowned in sleep after the hard labour of the night which had not suffered him to take his rest. So the folk looking at him said, “O her luck with whom this one spent the night! but would he had waited to don his garments.” Quoth another, “A sorry lot are the sons of great families! Haply he but now came forth of the tavern on some occasion of his own and his wine flew to his head,[FN#432] whereby he hath missed the place he was making for and strayed till he came to the gate of the city; and finding it shut lay him down and to by-by!” As the people were bandying guesses about him suddenly the morning breeze blew upon Badr al-Din and raising his shirt to his middle showed a stomach and navel with something below it, [FN#433] and legs and thighs clear as crystal and smooth as cream. Cried the people, “By Allah he is a pretty fellow!”; and at the cry Badr al-din awoke and found himself lying at a city-gate with a crowd gathered around him. At this he greatly marvelled and asked, “Where am I, O good folk; and what causeth you thus to gather round me, and what have I had to do with you?”; and they answered, “We found thee lying here asleep during the call to dawn-prayer and this is all we know of the matter, but where diddest thou lie last night?” [FN#434] “By Allah, O good people,” replied he, “I lay last night in Cairo.” Said somebody, “Thou hast surely been eating Hashish,” [FN#435] and another, “He is a fool;” and a third, “He is a citrouille;” and a fourth asked him, “Art thou out of thy mind? thou sleepest in Cairo and thou wakest in the morning at the gate of Damascus-city!” [FN#436] Cried he, “By Allah, my good people, one and all, I lie not to you: indeed I lay yesternight in the land of Egypt and yesternoon I was at Bassorah.” Quoth one, “Well!