The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-319

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

sang all manner songs and played on all manner instruments. There they remained drinking till their wine got the better of them and the host treated my brother like a familiar friend, so that he became as it were his brother, and bestowed on him a robe of honour and loved him with exceeding love. Next morning the two fell again to feasting and carousing, and ceased not to lead this life for a term of twenty years; at the end of which the Barmecide died and the Sultan took possession of all his wealth and squeezed my brother of his savings, till he was left a pauper without a penny to handle. So he quitted the city and fled forth following his face;[FN#693] but, when he was half way between two towns, the wild Arabs fell on him and bound him and carried him to their camp, where his captor proceeded to torture him, saying, “Buy thy life of me with thy money, else I will slay thee!” My brother began to weep and replied, “By Allah, I have nothing, neither gold nor silver; but I am thy prisoner; so do with me what thou wilt.” Then the Badawi drew a knife, broad bladed and so sharp grinded that if plunged into a camel’s throat it would sever it clean across from one jugular to the other,[FN#694] and cut off my brother’s lips and waxed more instant in requiring money. Now this Badawi had a fair wife who in her husband’s absence used to make advances to my brother and offer him her favours, but he held off from her. One day she began to tempt him as usual and he played with her and made her sit on his lap, when behold, in came the Badawi who, seeing this, cried out, “Woe to thee, O accursed villain, wouldest thou debauch my wife for me?” Then he took out a knife and cut off my brother’s yard, after which he bound him on the back of a camel and, carrying him to a mountain, left him there. He was at last found by some who recognised him and gave him meat and drink and acquainted me with his condition; whereupon I went forth to him and brought him back to Baghdad where I made him an allowance sufficient to live on. This, then, O Commander of the Faithful, is the history of my six brothers, and I feared to go away without relating it all to thee and leave thee in the error of judging me to be like them. And now thou knowest that I have six brothers upon my hands and, being more upright than they, I support the whole family. When the Caliph heard my story and all I told him concerning my brothers, he laughed and said, “Thou sayest sooth, O Silent Man! thou art indeed spare of speech nor is there aught of forwardness in thee; but now go forth out of this city and settle in some other.” And he banished me under edict. I left Baghdad and travelled in foreign parts till I heard of his death and the accession of another to the Caliphate. Then I returned to Baghdad where I found all my brothers dead