The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-232

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

Then she asked Ajib, “O my son! where hast thou been?”; and he answered, “In Damascus-city;” Whereupon she rose and set before him a bit of scone and a saucer of conserve of pomegranate-grains (which was too little sweetened), and she said to the Eunuch, “Sit down with thy master!” Said the servant to himself, “By Allah, we have no mind to eat: I cannot bear the smell of bread;” but he sat down and so did Ajib, though his stomach was full of what he had eaten already and drunken. Nevertheless he took a bit of the bread and dipped it in the pomegranate-conserve and made shift to eat it, but he found it too little sweetened, for he was cloyed and surfeited, so he said, “Faugh; what be this wild-beast [FN#470] stuff?” “O my son,” cried his grandmother, “dost thou find fault with my cookery? I cooked this myself and none can cook it as nicely as I can save thy father, Badr al-Din Hasan.” “By Allah, O my lady, Ajib answered, “this dish is nasty stuff; for we saw but now in the city of Bassorah a cook who so dresseth pomegranate-grains that the very smell openeth a way to the heart and the taste would make a full man long to eat; and, as for this mess compared with his, �tis not worth either much or little.” When his grandmother heard his words she waxed wroth with exceeding wrath and looked at the servant—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Twenty-fourth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ajib’s grandmother heard his words, she waxed wroth and looked at the servant and said, “Woe to thee! dost thou spoil my son, [FN#471] and dost take him into common cookshops?” The Eunuch was frightened and denied, saying, “We did not go into the shop; we only passed by it.” “By Allah,” cried Ajib, “but we did go in and we ate till it came out of our nostrils, and the dish was better than thy dish!” Then his grandmother rose and went and told her brother-in-law, who was incensed against the Eunuch, and sending for him asked him, “Why didst thou take my son into a cookshop?”; and the Eunuch being frightened answered, “We did not go in.” But Ajib said, “We did go inside and ate conserve of pomegranate-grains till we were full; and the cook gave us to drink of iced and sugared sherbet.” At this the Wazir’s indignation redoubled and he questioned the Castrato but, as he still denied, the Wazir said to him, “If thou speak sooth, sit down and eat before us.” So he came forward and tried to eat, but could not eat and threw away the mouthful crying “O my lord!