A plain and literal translation of the Arabian nights entertainments, now entituled The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night Volume 10 (of 17)
The cover image was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.
“The pleasure we derive from perusing the Thousand-and-OneStories makes us regret that we possess only a comparatively smallpart of these truly enchanting fictions.”
A PLAIN AND LITERAL TRANSLATION OF THE ARABIAN NIGHTS ENTERTAINMENTS. NOW ENTITULED
THE BOOK OF THE
Thousand Nights and a Night
WITH INTRODUCTION EXPLANATORY NOTES ON THE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF MOSLEM MEN AND A TERMINAL ESSAY UPON THE HISTORY OF THE NIGHTS
Limited to one thousand numbered sets,of which this is
During the last dozen years, since we first met at Cairo, youhave done much for Egyptian folk-lore and you can do much more. Thisvolume is inscribed to you with a double purpose; first it is intended as apublic expression of gratitude for your friendly assistance; and, secondly,as a memento that the samples which you have given us imply a promiseof further gift. With this lively sense of favours to come I subscribemyself
CONTENTS OF THE TENTH VOLUME.
|MA’ARUF THE COBBLER AND HIS WIFE FATIMAH||1|
|(Lane, The Story of Ma’aruf, III. 671–732.)|
|INDEX OF THE TENTH VOLUME||303|
|I. Index to the Tales and Proper Names||309|
|II. Alphabetical Table of the Notes (Anthropological, &c.)||322|
|III. Alphabetical Table of First Lines—|
|IV. Table of Contents of the various Arabic Texts—|
|A. The Unfinished Calcutta Edition (1814–1818)||448|
|B. The Breslau Text||450|
|C. The Macnaghten Text and the Bulak Edition||457|
|D. The same with Mr. Lane’s and my Version||464|
|Contributions to the Bibliography of the Thousand and One Nights and their Imitations, by W. F. Kirby||465|
MA’ARUF THE COBBLER AND HIS WIFE FATIMAH.
There dwelt once upon a time in the God-guarded city of Cairoa cobbler who lived by patching old shoes. His name wasMa’aruf and he had a wife called Fatimah, whom the folk hadnicknamed “The Dung;” for that she was a whorish, worthlesswretch, scanty of shame and mickle of mischief. She ruled herspouse and used to abuse him and curse him a thousand times aday; and he feared her malice and dreaded her misdoings; forthat he was a sensible man and careful of his repute, but poor-conditioned.When he earned much, he spent it on her, andwhen he gained little, she revenged herself on his body that night,leaving him no peace and making his night black as her book;for she was even as of one like her saith the poet:—
Amongst other afflictions which befel him from her one day shesaid to him, “O Ma’aruf, I wish thee to bring me this night avermicelli-cake dressed with bees’ honey.” He replied, “So Allah2Almighty aid me to its price, I will bring it thee. By Allah, Ihave no dirhams to-day, but our Lord will make things easy.”Rejoined she,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day andceased to say her permitted say.
She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, thatMa’aruf the Cobbler said to his spouse, “If Allah aid me to itsprice, I will bring it to thee this night. By Allah, I have nodirhams to-day, but our Lord will make things easy to me!” Sherejoined, “I wot naught of these words; whether He aid thee oraid thee not, look thou come not to me save with the vermicelliand bees’ honey; and if thou come without it I will make thynight black as thy fortune whenas thou marriedst me and fellestinto my hand.” Quoth he, “Allah is bountiful!” and going outwith grief scattering itself from his body, prayed the dawn-prayerand opened his shop, saying, “I beseech thee, O Lord, to vouchsafeme the price of the Kunafah and ward off from me the mischief ofyonder wicked woman this night!” After which he sat in theshop till noon, but no work came to him and his fear of his wiferedoubled. Then he arose and locking his shop, went out perplexedas to how he should do in the matter of the vermicelli-cake,seeing he had not even the wherewithal to buy bread. Presentlyhe came up to the shop of the Kunafah-seller and stood before itdistraught, whilst his eyes brimmed with tears. The pastry-cookglanced at him and said, “O Master Ma’aruf, why dost thou weep?Tell me what hath befallen thee.” So he acquainted him with hiscase, saying, “My wife is a shrew, a virago who would have mebring her a Kunafah; but I have sat in my shop till pastmid-day and have not gained even the price of bread; whereforeI am in fear of her.” The cook laughed and said, “No harm shallcome to thee. How many pounds wilt thou have?” “Fivepounds,” answered Ma’aruf. So the man weighed him out fivepounds of vermicelli-cake and said to him, “I have clarified butter,but no bees’ honey. Here is drip-honey, however, which is better3than bees’ honey; and what harm will there be, if it be with drip-honey?”Ma’aruf was ashamed to object, because the pastry-cookwas to have patience with him for the price, and said, “Giveit me with drip-honey.” So he fried a vermicelli-cake for him withbutter and drenched it with drip-honey, till it was fit to present toKings. Then he asked him, “Dost thou want bread andcheese?”; and Ma’aruf answered, “Yes.” So he gave him fourhalf dirhams worth of bread and one of cheese, and the vermicelliwas ten nusfs. Then said he, “Know, O Ma’aruf, that thou owestme fifteen nusfs; so go to thy wife and make merry and take thisnusf for the Hammam; and thou shalt have credit for a day ortwo or three till Allah provide thee with thy daily bread. Andstraiten not thy wife, for I will have patience with thee till suchtime as thou shalt have dirhams to spare.” So Ma’aruf took thevermicelli-cake and bread and cheese and went away, with aheart at ease, blessing the pastry-cook and saying, “Extolled beThy perfection, O my Lord! How bountiful art Thou!” Whenhe came home, his wife enquired of him, “Hast thou brought thevermicelli-cake?”; and, replying “Yes,” he set it before her.She looked at it and seeing that it was dressed with cane-honey,said to him, “Did I not bid thee bring it with bees’ honey? Wiltthou contrary my wish and have it dressed