Tales from the Arabic — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 791 pages of information about Tales from the Arabic — Complete.
’Verily, I yearn after thee with an exceeding yearning and needs must I enjoy thy favours.’  And he gave her of wealth that after the like whereof women hanker; but she said, ’I cannot do that whereof the king speaketh, for fear of my husband.’  And she refused herself to him with the most rigorous of refusals and would not do his desire.  So the king went out, full of wrath, and forgot his girdle in the place.

Presently, her husband entered and saw the girdle and knew it.  Now he was ware of the king’s love for women; so he said to his wife, ’ What is this that I see with thee?’ Quoth she, ’I will tell thee the truth,’ and recounted to him the story; but he believed her not and doubt entered into his heart.  As for the king, he passed that night in chagrin and concern, and when it morrowed, he summoned the chamberlain and investing him with the governance of one of his provinces, bade him betake himself thither, purposing, after he should have departed and come to his destination, to foregather with his wife.  The chamberlain perceived [his intent] and knew his design; so he answered, saying, ’Hearkening and obedience.  I will go and set my affairs in order and give such charges as may be necessary for the welfare of my estate; then will I go about the king’s occasion.’  And the king said, ‘Do this and hasten.’

So the chamberlain went about that which he needed and assembling his wife’s kinsfolk, said to them, ’I am resolved to put away my wife.’  They took this ill of him and complained of him and summoning him before the king, sat pleading with him.  Now the king had no knowledge of that which had passed; so he said to the chamberlain, ’Why wilt thou put her away and how can thy soul consent unto this and why takest thou unto thyself a goodly piece of land and after forsakest it?  ‘May God amend the king!’ answered the husband.  ’By Allah, O king, I saw therein the track of the lion and fear to enter the land, lest the lion devour me; and indeed the like of my affair with her is that which befell between the old woman and the draper’s wife.’  ’What is their story?’ asked the king; and the chamberlain said, ’Know, O king, that


There was once a man of the drapers, who had a fair wife, and she was curtained [FN#54] and chaste.  A certain young man saw her coming forth of the bath and loved her and his heart was occupied with her.  So he cast about [to get access to her] with all manner of devices, but availed not to win to her; and when he was weary of endeavour and his patience was exhausted for weariness and his fortitude failed him and he was at an end of his resources against her, he complained of this to an old woman of ill-omen, [FN#55] who promised him to bring about union between him and her.  He thanked her for this and promised her all manner of good; and she said to him, “Get thee to her husband and buy of him a turban-cloth of fine linen, and let it be of the goodliest of stuffs.”

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Tales from the Arabic — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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