The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-251

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

not that I ate with my left hand for conceit and insolence, but from necessity; and the cutting off my right hand was caused by an adventure of the strangest.” Asked I, “And what caused it?”; and he answered:—“Know that I am of the sons of Baghdad and my father was of notables of that city. When I came to man’s estate I heard the pilgrims and wayfarers, travellers and merchants talk of the land of Egypt and their words sank deep into my mind till my parent died, when I took a large sum of money and furnished myself for trade with stuffs of Baghdad and Mosul and, packing them up in bales, set out on my wanderings; and Allah decreed me safety till I entered this your city. Then he wept and began repeating:— The blear eyed ‘scapes the pits Wherein the lynx eyed fall: A word the wise man slays And saves the natural: The Moslem fails of food The Kafir feasts in hall: What art or act is man’s? God’s will obligeth all! Now when he had ended his verse he said, So I entered Cairo and took off my loads and stored my stuffs in the Khan “Al-Masr�r.”[FN#518] Then I gave the servant a few silvers wherewith to buy me some food and lay down to sleep awhile. When I awoke I went to the street called “Bayn al-Kasrayn”—Between the two Palaces—and presently returned and rested my night in the Khan. When it was morning I opened a bale and took out some stuff saying to myself, “I will be off and go through some of the bazaars and see the state of the market.” So I loaded the stuff on some of my slaves and fared forth till I reached the Kaysariyah or Exchange of Jaharkas;[FN#519] where the brokers who knew of my coming came to meet me. They took the stuffs and cried them for sale, but could not get the prime cost of them. I was vexed at this, however the Shaykh of the brokers said to me, “O my lord, I will tell thee how thou mayest make a profit of thy goods. Thou shouldest do as the merchants do and sell thy merchandise at credit for a fixed period, on a contract drawn up by a notary and duly witnessed; and employ a Shroff to take thy dues every Monday and Thursday. So shalt thou gain two dirhams and more, for every one; and thou shalt solace and divert thyself by seeing Cairo and the Nile.” Quoth I, “This is sound advice,”