Selim abode in the governance, invested with the sultanate, and ruled the people a whole year, after which he returned to El Mensoureh and sojourned there another year. And he [and his wife] ceased not to go from city to city and abide in this a year and that a year, till he was vouchsafed children and they grew up, whereupon he appointed him of his sons, who was found fitting, to be his deputy in [one] kingdom [and abode himself in the other]; and he lived, he and his wife and children, what while God the Most High willed. Nor,” added the vizier, “O king of the age, is this story rarer or more extraordinary than that of the king of Hind and his wronged and envied vizier.”
When the king heard this, his mind was occupied [with the story he had heard and that which the vizier promised him], and he bade the latter depart to his own house.
The Twenty-Eighth and Last Night of the Month
When the evening evened, the king summoned the vizier and bade him tell the story of the King of Hind and his vizier. So he said, “Hearkening and obedience. Know, O king of august lineage, that
There was once in the land of Hind a king of illustrious station, endowed with understanding and good sense, and his name was Shah Bekht. He had a vizier, a man of worth and intelligence, prudent in counsel, conformable to him in his governance and just in his judgment; wherefore his enviers were many and many were the hypocrites, who sought in him faults and set snares for him, so that they insinuated into King Shah Bekht’s eye hatred and rancour against him and sowed despite against him in his heart; and plot followed after plot, till [at last] the king was brought to arrest him and lay him in prison and confiscate his good and avoid his estate.[FN#77]
When they knew that there was left him no estate that the king might covet, they feared lest he be brought to release him, by the incidence of the vizier’s [good] counsel upon the king’s heart, and he return to his former case, so should their plots be marred and their ranks degraded, for that they knew that the king would have need of that which he had known from that man nor would forget that wherewith he was familiar in him. Now it befell that a certain man of corrupt purpose[FN#78] found a way to the perversion of the truth and a means of glozing over falsehood and adorning it with a semblance of fair-seeming and there proceeded from him that wherewith the hearts of the folk were occupied, and their minds were corrupted by his lying tales; for that he made use of Indian subtleties and forged them into a proof for the denial of the Maker, the Creator, extolled be His might and exalted be He! Indeed, God is exalted and magnified above the speech of the deniers. He avouched that it is the planets[FN#79] that order the affairs of all creatures and he set down twelve