The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-54

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

Sulayman is the prophet of God;” presently adding, “O Apostle of Allah, slay me not; never again will I gainsay thee in word nor sin against thee in deed.”[FN#66] Quoth the Fisherman, “O Marid,[FN#67] diddest thou say, Sulayman the Apostle of Allah; and Sulayman is dead some thou sand and eight hundred years ago,[FN#68] and we are now in the last days of the world! What is thy story, and what is thy account of thyself, and what is the cause of thy entering into this cucur bit?” Now when the Evil Spirit heard the words of the Fisher man, quoth he; “There is no god but the God: be of good cheer, O Fisherman!” Quoth the Fisherman, “Why biddest thou me to be of good cheer?” and he replied, “Because of thy having to die an ill death in this very hour.” Said the Fisherman, “Thou deservest for thy good tidings the withdrawal of Heaven’s pro section, O thou distant one![FN#69] Wherefore shouldest thou kill me and what thing have I done to deserve death, I who freed thee from the jar, and saved thee from the depths of the sea, and brought thee up on the dry land?” Replied the Ifrit, “Ask of me only what mode of death thou wilt die, and by what manner of slaughter shall I slay thee.” Rejoined the Fisherman, “What is my crime and wherefore such retribution?” Quoth the Ifrit, “Hear my story, O Fisherman!” and he answered, “Say on, and be brief in thy saying, for of very sooth my life breath is my nostrils.”[FN#70] Thereupon quoth the Jinni, “Know, that I am one among the heretical Jann and I sinned against Sulayman, David son (on the twain be peace!) I together with the famous Sakhr al Jinni;”[FN#71] whereupon the Prophet sent his minister, Asaf son of Barkhiya, to seize me; and this Wazir brought me against my will and led me in bonds to him (I being downcast despite my nose) and he placed me standing before him like a suppliant. When Sulayman saw me, he took refuge with Allah and bade me embrace the True Faith and obey his behests; but I refused, so sending for this cucurbit[FN#72] he shut me up therein, and stopped it over with lead whereon he impressed the Most High Name, and gave his orders to the Jann who carried me off, and cast me into the midmost of the ocean. There I abode an hundred years, during which I said in my heart, “Whoso shall release me, him will I enrich for ever and ever.” But the full century went by and, when no one set me free, I entered upon the second five score saying, “Whoso shall release me, for him I will open the hoards of the earth.” Still no one set me free and thus four hundred years passed away. Then quoth I, “Whoso shall release me, for him will I fulfil three wishes.” Yet no one set me free. Thereupon I waxed wroth with exceeding wrath and said to myself, “Whoso shall release me from this time forth, him will I slay and I will give him choice of what death he will die; and now, as thou hast released me, I give thee full choice of deaths.” The Fisherman, hearing the words of the Ifrit, said, “O Allah! the wonder of it that I have not come to free thee save in these days!”