Sindbad the Sailor and Hindbad the Porter
As the version of the sixth and seventh voyages of Sindbad the Sailor contained in[FN#197] the Calcutta Edition (1814-18) of the first two hundred Nights and in the text of the Voyages published by M. Langles (Paris, 1814) differs very materially from that of the complete Calcutta (1839-42) Edition[FN#198] (which is, in this case, practically identical with those of Boulac and Breslau), adopted by me as my standard text in the translation of “The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night,” the story of the seventh voyage in particular turning upon an altogether different set of incidents, related nearly as in the old version of M. Galland, I now give a translation of the text of the two voyages in question afforded by the Calcutta (1814-18) Edition, corrected and completed by collation with that of M. Langles, from which it differs only in being slightly less full. It will be observed that in this version of the story the name Sindbad is reserved for the Sailor, the porter being called Hindbad.
Sindbad the Sailor and Hindbad the porter.
On the morrow they[FN#199] returned to their place, as of their wont, and betook themselves to eating and drinking and merry-making and sporting till the last of the day, when Sindbad bade them hearken to his relation concerning his sixth voyage, the which (quoth he) is of the most extraordinary of pleasant stories and the most startling [for that which it compriseth] of tribulations and disasters. Then said he,
The sixth voyage of Sindbad the Sailor.
“When I returned from my fifth voyage, I gave myself up to eating and drinking and passed my time in solace and delight and forgot that which I had suffered of stresses and afflictions, nor was it long before the thought of travel again presented itself to my mind and my soul hankered after the sea. So I brought out the goods and binding up the bales, departed from Baghdad, [intending] for certain of the lands, and came to the sea-coast, where I embarked in a stout ship, in company with a number of other merchants of like mind with myself, and we [set out and] sailed till we came among certain distant islands and found ourselves in difficult and dangerous case.
[One day], as the ship was sailing along, and we unknowing where we were, behold, the captain came down [from the mast] and casting his turban from his head, fell to buffeting his face and plucking at his beard and weeping and supplicating [God for deliverance]. We asked him what ailed him, and he answered, saying, ’Know, O my masters, that the ship is fallen among shallows and drifteth upon a sand-bank of the sea. Another moment [and we shall be upon it]. If we clear the bank, [well and good]; else, we are all dead men and not one of us will be saved; wherefore pray ye to God the Most High, so haply He may deliver us from these deadly perils, or we shall lose our lives.’ So saying, he mounted [the mast] and set the sail, but at that moment a contrary wind smote the ship, and it rose upon the crest of the waves and sank down again into the trough of the sea.