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.

“Fortunate is your slave to stand in the presence of so much wisdom,” continued Menouni, “for I was in doubt:  the splendour of your presence had startled my memory, as the presence of the caravan doth the zebra foal of the desert.”

* * * * *

In this delightful kingdom, where the nightingales sang away their existence in their love for the rose, and the roses gave forth their perfume until the air was one continued essence of delight, such as is inhaled by the true believers when they first approach the gates of paradise, and are enchanted by the beckoning of the Houris from the golden walls, there lived a beautiful Hindu princess, who walked in loveliness, and whose smile was a decree to be happy to all on whom it fell; yet for reasons which my tale shall tell, she had heard the nightingale complain for eighteen summers, and was still unmarried.  In this country, which at that time was peopled by Allah with infidels, to render it fertile for the true believers, and to be their slaves upon their arrival, which did occur some time after the occurrences which I now relate; it was not the custom for the females of Souffra to lead the life of invisibility, permitted only to those who administer to the delights of the followers of the Koran; and although it was with exceeding modesty of demeanour, still did they, on great occasions, expose their charms to the public gaze, for which error, no doubt if they had had souls, beautiful as they were, they would have been damned to all eternity.  Civilisation, as Menou hath said, must extend both far and wide, before other nations will be so polished as to imitate us in the splendour, the security, and the happiness of our harems; and when I further remark to your highness——­

* * * * *

“Proceed, good Menouni,” interrupted Mustapha; “his highness is not fond of remarks.”

“No, by our beard,” rejoined the pacha; “it is for you to tell your story, and for me to make remarks when it is over.”

“I stand in the presence of wisdom,” said Menouni, who bowed low and proceeded.

* * * * *

The beauteous Babe-bi-bobu, for such was the name of the princess, and which, in the language of the country, implied “the cream-tart of delight,” was left Queen of the Souffrarians by the death of her father; and by his will, sworn to by all the grandees of the empire, she was enjoined, at twelve years of age, to take to herself a husband; but it was particularly expressed that the youth so favoured should be of the same high caste as herself, and without scar or blemish.  When, therefore, two years after her father’s death, the beautiful Babe-bi-bobu had attained the age of twelve years, swift runners on foot, and speedy messengers mounted upon the fleetest dromedaries and Arab horses of the purest race, were dispatched through all the kingdom of Souffra to make

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