The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-36

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

and clean distraught. So at last he said, “Summon thy father and thy mother and our kith and kin and sundry of our neighbours,” which she did; and he sent for the Kazi[FN#35] and his assessors, intending to make his will and reveal to her his secret and die the death; for he loved her with love exceeding because she was his cousin, the daughter of his father’s brother, and the mother of his children, and he had lived with her a life of an hundred and twenty years. Then, having assembled all the family and the folk of his neighbourhood, he said to them, “By me there hangeth a strange story, and ‘tis such that if I discover the secret to any, I am a dead man.” Therefore quoth every one of those present to the woman, “Allah upon thee, leave this sinful obstinacy and recognise the right of this matter, lest haply thy husband and the father of thy children die.” But she rejoined, “I will not turn from it till he tell me, even though he come by his death.” So they ceased to urge her; and the trader rose from amongst them and repaired to an out house to per form Wuzu ablution,[FN#36] and he purposed thereafter to return and to tell them his secret and to die. Now, daughter Shahrazad, that mer chant had in his out houses some fifty hens under one cock, and whilst making ready to farewell his folk he heard one of his many farm dogs thus address in his own tongue the Cock, who was flapping his wings and crowing lustily and jumping from one hen’s back to another and treading all in turn, saying “O Chanti clear! how mean is thy wit and how shameless is thy conduct! Be he disappointed who brought thee up![FN#37] Art thou not ashamed of thy doings on such a day as this!” “And what,” asked the Rooster, “hath occurred this day?” when the Dog answered, “Doss thou not know that our master is this day making ready for his death? His wife is resolved that he shall disclose the secret taught to him by Allah, and the moment he so doeth he shall surely die. We dogs are all a mourning; but thou clappest thy wings and clarionest thy loudest and treadest hen after hen. Is this an hour for pastime and pleasuring? Art thou not ashamed of thyself?”[FN#38] “Then by Allah,” quoth the Cock, “is our master a lack wit and a man scanty of sense: if he cannot manage matters with a single wife, his life is not worth prolonging. Now I have some fifty Dame Partlets; and I please this and provoke that and starve one and stuff another; and through my good governance they are all well under my control. This our master pretendeth to wit and wisdom, and he hath but one wife, and yet knoweth not how to manage her.” Asked the Dog, “What then, O Cock, should the master do to win clear of his strait?” “He should