The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-68

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

Of wit and wisdom is Maymunah[FN#98] bare * Whose sire in wisdom all the wits outstrippeth: Man may not tread on mud or dust or clay * Save by good sense, else trippeth he and slippeth. Hereupon the Sworder stepped forward and bound the Sage Duban’s eyes and bared his blade, saying to the King, “By thy leave;” while the physician wept and cried, “Spare me and Allah will spare thee, and slay me not or Allah shall slay thee,” and began repeating:— I was kind and ‘scaped not, they were cruel and escaped; * And my kindness only led me to Ruination Hall, If I live I’ll ne’er be kind; if I die, then all be damned * Who follow me, and curses their kindliness befal. “Is this,” continued Duban, “the return I meet from thee? Thou givest me, meseems, but crocodile boon.” Quoth the King,“What is the tale of the crocodile?”, and quoth the physician, “Impossible for me to tell it in this my state; Allah upon thee, spare me, as thou hopest Allah shall spare thee.” And he wept with ex ceeding weeping. Then one of the King’s favourites stood up and said, “O King! grant me the blood of this physician; we have never seen him sin against thee, or doing aught save healing thee from a disease which baffled every leach and man of science.” Said the King, “Ye wot not the cause of my putting to death this physician, and this it is. If I spare him, I doom myself to certain death; for one who healed me of such a malady by something held in my hand, surely can slay me by something held to my nose; and I fear lest he kill me for a price, since haply he is some spy whose sole purpose in coming hither was to compass my destruction. So there is no help for it; die he must, and then only shall I be sure of my own life.” Again cried Duban, “Spare me and Allah shall spare thee; and slay me not or Allah shall slay thee.” But it was in vain. Now when the physician, O Ifrit, knew for certain that the King would kill him, he said, “O