The Pacha of Many Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 505 pages of information about The Pacha of Many Tales.

List of Tales

Story of the Camel-Driver
Story of the Greek Slave
Story of the Monk
Story of the Monk (continued)
Manuscript of the Monk
Third Voyage of Huckaback
Fourth Voyage of Huckaback
Fifth Voyage of Huckaback
Sixth Voyage of Huckaback
The Last Voyage of Huckaback
The Scarred Lover
The Story of Hudusi
Tale of the English Sailor
The Water-Carrier
The Wondrous Tale of Han
Story of the Old Woman

Prefatory Note

The Pacha of Many Tales, as indeed its title suggests, is constructed in direct imitation of the Arabian Nights.  A Pacha of olden days, enchanted by the stories of Schezehezerade, becomes emulous of the great Haroun, and determines to procure his own stock of entertainment.  By the assistance of a wily barber-vizier he succeeds in the attempt, and listens with greedy credulity to the marvellous histories herein set forth.

On one occasion an English sailor is dragged into the august presence, and demands, with all the dogged independence of his race, the reasons for such treatment.

“You must tell lies, and you will have gold,” replies the vizier.

“Tell lies,” says Jack Tar, “that is, spin yarns.  Well, I can do that.”

The volume before us could not be more suggestively described.  It is a collection of admirable short stories of intrigue and adventure, traveller’s wonders narrated with a perfect air of good faith and no regard for truth or probability.  All the countries on the globe, and many existing only in the imagination, are called into requisition to produce a brilliant phantasmagoria of manners and customs.  The stories move rapidly and defy criticism by the very occasion of their being, invented to amuse and astonish a jaded autocrat.

Hence we feel no shock in reading of an island where the commonest utensils are made of gold, a nursery of whales, five months in the interior of an iceberg, or a journey among the clouds during a thunderstorm.  The demand for brevity strengthens Marryat’s style, and saves him from padding.  He is very happy in contriving expediences, and evinces considerable wit in the conception, for instance, of Yussuf the water-carrier.  Some of the stories, again, are really dramatic, and the “Second Voyage of Huckaback” (p. 126) reaches a height of weird horror that recalls, without paling before the thought, certain passages in The Ancient Mariner.

* * * * *

The Pacha of Many Tales was first published in The Metropolitan Magazine, 1831-1835.  During its appearance Marryat printed in the same magazine (in 1833) a drama, The Monk of Seville, of which the plot is almost exactly identical with The Story of the Monk (p. 44).  “Port Royal Tom,” the shark, and his Government pension, also appear in Jacob Faithful, Chap.  XXV.

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The Pacha of Many Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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