The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-217

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

well!”; and quoth another, “Ho! ho!”; and a third, “So! so!”; and a fourth cried, “This youth is mad, is possessed of the Jinni!” So they clapped hands at him and said to one another, “Alas, the pity of it for his youth: by Allah a madman! and madness is no respecter of persons.” Then they said to him, “Collect thy wits and return to thy reason! How couldest thou be in Bassorah yesterday and Cairo yesternight and withal awake in Damascus this morning?” But he persisted, “Indeed I was a bridegroom in Cairo last night.” “Belike thou hast been dreaming,” rejoined they, “and sawest all this in thy sleep.” So Hasan took thought for a while and said to them, “By Allah, this is no dream; nor vision-like doth it seem! I certainly was in Cairo where they displayed the bride before me, in presence of a third person, the Hunchback groom who was sitting hard by. By Allah, O my brother, this be no dream, and if it were a dream, where is the bag of gold I bore with me and where are my turband and my robe, and my trousers?” Then he rose and entered the city, threading its highways and by-ways and bazar-streets; and the people pressed upon him and jeered at him, crying out “Madman! madman!” till he, beside himself with rage, took refuge in a cook’s shop. Now that Cook had been a trifle too clever, that is, a rogue and thief; but Allah had made him repent and turn from his evil ways and open a cookshop; and all the people of Damascus stood in fear of his boldness and his mischief. So when the crowd saw the youth enter his shop, they dispersed being afraid of him, and went their ways. The Cook looked at Badr al-Din and, noting his beauty and loveliness, fell in love with him forthright and said, “Whence comest thou, O youth? Tell me at once thy tale, for thou art become dearer to me than my soul.” So Hasan recounted to him all that had befallen him from beginning to end (but in repetition there is no fruition) and the Cook said, “O my lord Badr al-Din, doubtless thou knowest that this case is wondrous and this story marvellous; therefore, O my son, hide what hath betided thee, till Allah dispel what ills be thine; and tarry with me here the meanwhile, for I have no child and I will adopt thee.” Badr al-Din replied, “Be it as thou wilt, O my uncle!” Whereupon the Cook went to the bazar and bought him a fine suit of clothes and made him don it; then fared with him to the Kazi, and formally declared that he was his son. So Badr al-Din Hasan became known in Damascus-city as the Cook’s son and he sat with him in the shop to take the silver, and on this wise he sojourned there for a time. Thus far concerning him; but as regards his cousin, the Lady of Beauty, when morning dawned she awoke and missed Badr al-Din Hasan from her side; but she thought that he had gone to the privy and she sat expecting him for an