The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-93

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

Hold fast thy secret and to none unfold * Lost is a secret when that secret’s told An fail thy breast thy secret to conceal * How canst thou hope another’s breast shall hold? And Abu Now�s[FN#153] said well on the same subject:— Who trusteth secret to another’s hand * Upon his brow deserveth burn of brand!” When the Porter heard their words he rejoined, “By your lives! I am a man of sense and a discreet, who hath read books and perused chronicles; I reveal the fair and conceal the foul and I act as the poet adviseth:— None but the good a secret keep * And good men keep it unrevealed: It is to me a well shut house * With keyless locks and door ensealed”[FN#154] When the maidens heard his verse and its poetical application addressed to them they said, “Thou knowest that we have laid out all our monies on this place. Now say, hast thou aught to offer us in return for entertainment? For surely we will not suf fer thee to sit in our company and be our cup companion, and gaze upon our faces so fair and so rare without paying a round sum.[FN#155] Wottest thou not the saying:— Sans hope of gain Love’s not worth a grain?”