The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-302

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

woman, “I never saw aught nicer than this.” She on her side ceased not exclaiming, “Enough, enough, I conjure thee, O my mistress!”; but the women slapped him till he well nigh swooned away. Presently my brother rose and went out to obey a call of nature, but the old woman overtook him, and said, “Be patient a little and thou shalt win to thy wish.” “How much longer have I to wait,” my brother replied, “this slapping hath made me feel faint.” “As soon as she is warm with wine,” answered she, “thou shalt have thy desire.” So he returned to his place and sat down, where upon all the handmaidens stood up and the lady bade them perfume him with pastiles and besprinkle his face with rose￾water. Then said she to him, “Allah advance thee to honour! Thou hast entered my house and hast borne with my conditions, for whoso thwarteth me I turn him away, and whoso is patient hath his desire.” “O mistress mine,” said he, “I am thy slave and in the hollow of thine hand!” “Know, then,” continued she, “that Allah hath made me passionately fond of frolic; and whoso falleth in with my humour cometh by whatso he wisheth.” Then she ordered her maidens to sing with loud voices till the whole company was delighted; after which she said to one of them, “Take thy lord, and do what is needful for him and bring him back to me forthright.” So the damsel took my brother (and he not knowing what she would do with him); but the old woman overtook him and said, “Be patient; there remaineth but little to do.” At this his face brightened and he stood up before the lady while the old woman kept saying, “Be patient; thou wilt now at once win to thy wish!”; till he said, “Tell me what she would have the maiden do with me?” “Nothing but good,” replied she, “as I am thy sacrifice! She wisheth only to dye thy eyebrows and pluck out thy mustachios.” Quoth he, “As for the dyeing of my eye brows, that will come off with washing,[FN#645] but for the plucking out of my mustachios, that indeed is a somewhat painful process.” “Be cautious how thou cross her,” cried the old woman; “for she hath set her heart on thee.” So my brother patiently suffered her to dye his eyebrows and pluck out his mustachios, after which the maiden returned to her mistress and told her. Quoth she “Remaineth now only one other thing to be done; thou must shave his beard and make him a smooth o’ face.”[FN#646] So the maiden went back and told him what her mistress had bidden her do; and my brother (the blockhead!) said to her, “How shall I do what will disgrace me before the folk?” But the old woman said, “She would do on this wise only that thou mayst be as a beardless youth and that no hair be left on thy face to scratch and prick her delicate cheeks; for indeed she is passionately in love with thee. So be patient and thou shalt attain thine object.” My brother was patient and did her bidding and let shave off his beard and, when he was brought back to the lady, lo! he appeared dyed red as to his eyebrows, plucked of both mustachios, shorn of his beard, rouged on both