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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 64 pages of information about If.

JOHN

I see, you fear some danger.

DAOUD

I fear it, master.

JOHN

What danger, Daoud?

DAOUD

Master, I know not.

JOHN

From what quarter, Daoud?

DAOUD

O master, O sole Lord of Al Shaldomir, named the elect, from that quarter.

JOHN

That quarter?  Why, that is the gracious lady’s innermost chamber.

DAOUD

From that quarter, great master, O Lord of the Pass.

JOHN

Daoud, I have cast men into prison for saying less than this.  Men have been flogged on the feet for less than this.

DAOUD

Slay me, master, but hear my words.

JOHN

I will not slay you.  You are mistaken, Daoud.  You have made a great mistake.  The thing is absurd.  Why, the gracious lady has scarcely seen Hafiz.  She knows nothing of the talk of the market.  Who could tell her?  No one comes here.  It is absurd.  Only the other day she said to me . . .  But it is absurd, it is absurd, Daoud.  Besides, the people would never rebel against me.  Do I not govern them well?

DAOUD

Even so, master.

JOHN

Why should they rebel, then?

DAOUD

They think of the old times, master.

JOHN

The old times?  Why, their lives weren’t safe.  The robbers came down from the mountains and robbed the market whenever they had a mind.

DAOUD

Master, men were content in the old times.

JOHN

But were the merchants content?

DAOUD

Those that loved merchandise were content, master.  Those that loved it not went into the mountains.

JOHN

But were they content when they were robbed?

DAOUD

They soon recovered their losses, master.  Their prices were unjust and they loved usury.

JOHN

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