The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-55

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

adding, “Spare my life, so Allah spare shine; and slay me not, lest Allah set one to slay thee.” Replied the Contumacious One, “There is no help for it; die thou must; so ask me by way of boon what manner of death thou wilt die.” Albeit thus certified the Fisherman again addressed the Ifrit saying, “Forgive me this my death as a generous reward for having freed thee;” and the Ifrit, “Surely I would not slay thee save on account of that same release.” “O Chief of the Ifrits,” said the Fisherman, “I do thee good and thou requitest me with evil! in very sooth the old saw lieth not when it saith:— We wrought them weal, they met our weal with ill; Such, by my life! is every bad man’s labour: To him who benefits unworthy wights Shall hap what inapt to Ummi Amir’s neighbor.[FN#73]” Now when the Ifrit heard these words he answered, “No more of this talk, needs must I kill thee.” Upon this the Fisherman said to himself, “This is a Jinni; and I am a man to whom Allah hath given a passably cunning wit, so I will now cast about to com pass his destruction by my contrivance and by mine intelligence; even as he took counsel only of his malice and his frowardness.”[FN#74] He began by asking the Ifrit, “Hast thou indeed resolved to kill me?” and, receiving for all answer, “Even so,” he cried, “Now in the Most Great Name, graven on the seal ring of Sulayman the Son of David (peace be with the holy twain!), an I question thee on a certain matter wilt thou give me a true answer?” The Ifrit replied “Yea;” but, hearing mention of the Most Great Name, his wits were troubled and he said with trembling, “Ask and be brief.” Quoth the Fisherman, “How didst thou fit into this bottle which would not hold thy hand; no, nor even thy foot, and how came it to be large enough to contain the whole of thee?” Replied the Ifrit, “What! cost not believe that I was all there?” and the Fisherman rejoined, “Nay! I will never believe it until I see thee inside with my own eyes.” And Shahrazad per ceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Fourth Night, Her sister said to her, “Please finish us this tale, an thou be not sleepy!” so she resumed:—It hath reached me, O auspicious