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The Princess Djouher-Manikam

Translated by Aristide Marre and Chauncey C. Starkweather

LEGEND OF THE MALAY ARCHIPELAGO

This is the history of the Princess Djouher-Manikam, whose renown is celebrated in all lands, windward and leeward.

There was in the city of Bagdad a king named Haroun-er-Raschid, sovereign of a vast empire. He was a prince who feared God the almighty, and worthy of all praise, for he was a king descended from the prophet. After having lived for some time in his kingdom, he desired to start on a pilgrimage. So he addressed his ministers and his military chiefs and spoke to them as follows:

“O you all, my subjects, my officers, what is your opinion? I would fain make a pilgrimage to the house of God.”

The cadi, prostrating himself, answered: “Sire, King of the world, the will of your sublime Majesty is very just, but in my opinion your departure would cause the ruin of the inhabitants of the fields, and those of your subjects who accompany you will have much to suffer.”

The prince, having heard these words, said: “The opinion of the cadi is loyal, and you, my officers, tell what is your advice.”

The officers arose, then they prostrated themselves and spoke as follows: “Sire, King of the world, we, your servants, beg you a thousand and a thousand times to cause your forgiveness to descend upon our heads, but how will your Majesty accomplish the pilgrimage? In whom can you trust to protect the country and watch over the palace?”

The prince having heard these words of his officers, none of whom approved of the pilgrimage, kept silence and restrained his anger, and then departed and returned to the palace. Some days after this, by the will of the most high God, the heart of the prince felt more keenly still the desire to make the pilgrimage. He gave orders to gather together the interpreters of the law, the wise men, and the muftis, as well as the officers. When they were all assembled, the prince went to the audience-chamber, and there before the officers of the court he questioned one of the doctors. It was the mufti of the city of Bagdad. He, prostrating himself, said: “The pilgrimage of his Majesty would be an excellent work, but is it of absolute necessity? For the voyage will be very long, and there is no one, my lord, who would be capable of ruling in the place of your sublime Majesty.”

The prince answered: “He in whom we first of all place our trust is God. We shall hope then in the blessing of his envoy. We shall leave the cadi here, and if it pleases God the most high, we shall return promptly as soon as we have accomplished the pilgrimage.”

The King therefore caused to be equipped and provided with all sorts of provisions, those of his subjects who were going to accompany him, and when, the favorable moment had arrived he started with the Queen, some of the maids-of-honor, and his son named Minbah Chahaz. He took his son, but he left behind, guarded in the palace, his daughter called the Princess Djouher-Manikam. In those times there was no one in the country of Bagdad who surpassed in beauty the Princess Djouher-Manikam. Furthermore, she had in her heart the fear of God the most high and worthy of all praise, and would not cease her prayers.

After travelling for some time, the prince her father arrived at Mecca, and fulfilled his duties as a pilgrim. He recited the appropriate prayers. But observing that there was still a great quantity of provisions, the prince said to his officers:

“It is good for us to wait a year or so, for our provisions are yet considerable.”

The officers replied: “It is well, lord of the world! Whatever may be your Majesty's commands, we place them above our heads.” “Since it is thus,” answered the prince, “it is fitting that we should send a letter thus conceived: Peace and blessing upon the cadi: I place my trust in God first of all, and in the cadi, to guard my kingdom, palace, and my child the Princess Djouher-Manikam. Be a faithful guardian, neglect nothing in the cares to be given to my kingdom, for I am going to remain another year for the great pilgrimage.'“

The prince's letter reached the cadi. The latter gave all his efforts to the good administration of the country, and, according to the words of the prince, he avoided every negligence.

But one night while he was on watch near the fortifications of the King's palace, Satan came to him and slid into his heart a temptation. The cadi thought in his heart: “The King's daughter is of a marvellous beauty; her name, Djouher-Mani-kam, is charming; and her face is lovely. Since it is thus, I must marry this daughter of the King.” The cadi called the man who was guarding the gate, exclaiming:

“Ho! Guardian of the gate! Open unto me.”

The guardian of the gate demanded, “Who is there?”

The cadi replied, “It is I, the cadi.”

So the guardian promptly opened the gate, and the cadi entered within the fortification, then went up into the palace and found the princess there saying her evening prayers. He hid behind the lamp in a corner which was dark. When her prayer was finished, the Princess Djouher- Manikam cast her eyes in that direction and saw there was someone standing there in the shadow, so three times again she said the “verse of the Throne”; but she saw that the vision had not yet vanished from her eyes.

Then the princess said in her heart: “What in the world is that? Is it a ghost? Is it a demon? Is it a djinn? If it were, it would have necessarily disappeared when I recited the 'verse of the Throne.'“

The cadi heard these words and said: “O Princess Djouher-Manikam, it is I, the cadi.”

“What are you doing here?” asked the princess. He answered, “I wish to marry you.”

The Princess Djouher-Manikam said: “O cadi! Why do you act so to me? Have you then no fear of God the most high and worthy of all praise? Do you not blush before the face of my ancestor the prophet Mahomet, the envoy of God? May the peace and blessings of God be upon him! As for me, I am the servant of the Lord and I belong to the religion of the envoy of God. I fear to marry now. And you, cadi, why do you act so? My father gave you a charge. He sent you a letter which commanded you to protect the country and all who dwelt in his palace. Why do you conduct yourself in this fashion toward me?”

The cadi, hearing these words of the Princess Djouher-Manikam, felt a great confusion in his heart. He went out of the palace and returned home full of trouble and emotion. When it was day, the cadi sent a letter to the King Haroun-er-Raschid at Mecca. It was thus conceived: “Your Majesty left me to be guardian of his kingdom, his palace, and his daughter. Now, the Princess Djouher-Manikam desires to marry me. This is the reason why I send this letter to your Majesty.” Thus spake the cadi in his letter.

When it reached the prince and he had read it, he immediately summoned his son Minbah-Chahaz. He came in haste, and the King gave him a cutlass and said, “Return to Bagdad and slay your sister, because she will bring shame upon the family by marrying now.”

Minbah-Chahaz bowed before his father. Then he set out to return to his own country.

Arriving at the end of his journey, he entered the city, and went up to the palace of the Princess Djouher-Manikam. She was filled with joy and said, “Welcome, O my brother!”

Minbah-Chahaz answered, “O my little sister, our parents will remain for the great pilgrimage.”

The brother and sister thus chatting together, the Princess Djouher-Manikam said, “O my brother, I wish to sleep.”

“It is well, my sister,” answered Minbah-Chahaz; “sleep while your brother combs his little sister's hair.” And the princess Djouher-Manikam slept.

Her brother then took a cushion, which he slipped under the head of the young virgin his sister; then he thought in his heart: “If I do not execute the commands of my father, I shall be a traitor to him. But, alas, if I kill my sister, I shall not have a sister any more. If I do not kill her, I shall certainly commit a crime against the most high, because I shall not have obeyed the order of my father. I will fulfil then my father's will. It is a duty obligatory on all children. What good are these subterfuges?” His resolution thus confirmed, he bound his handkerchief over his eyes and directed his cutlass against his sister's neck. But at that instant, by the will of God the most high, a little gazelle came up and, by the power of God the most high, placed its neck upon the neck of the princess Djouher-Manikam, saying, “I will take the place of the princess Djouher-Manikam.” And the little gazelle was killed by Minbah-Chahaz. That done he unbound his eyes and saw a little gazelle lying dead with its throat cut, by the side of his young sister the princess Djouher-Manikam.

At this sight, Minbah-Chahaz was stricken with astonishment. He thought in his heart: “Since it is so with my sister, she must be entirely innocent, and cannot have commited the least fault. Nevertheless, although I am confident that she was calumniated by the cadi I must tell my father that I have killed her.”

Minbah-Chahaz set out then for Mecca, to find the prince his father. When he had arrived at Mecca he presented to his father the cutlass still stained with blood. The King Haroun-er-Raschid cried, “Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds. Our shame is now effaced, since you have poniarded your sister and she is dead.” Such were the deeds of this first story.

The princess Djouher-Manikam, having awakened after the departure of Minbah-Chahaz, saw that her brother was no longer there, but that at her side there was a little gazelle with its throat cut. She thought in her heart: “The cadi has slandered me to my father, and that is why my brother came here with orders to kill me.” The princess Djouher-Manikam felt a great shame and thought in her heart, “Since it is so, I must retire to a hidden place.” Now in the King's park there was a solitary place in the midst of a vast deserted plain. There was a pond of very agreeable appearance there, many kinds of fruit-trees and flowers, and an oratory beautifully built. The princess Djouher-Manikam set out and retired to this place to pray to God the most high and worthy of all praise. She was established there for some time when, by the will of God the most high, a certain thing happened.

SECOND STORY

There was in the country of Damas a king who was named Radja Chah Djouhou. This King wished to go hunting in the deserted forests. His first minister said to him, bowing low: “O my lord, King of the world, why does your Majesty wish to go hunting in foreign countries?”

King Chah Djouhou replied: “I insist upon my plan of going to hunt in foreign lands, in forests far removed from ours. I wish to go from place to place, from plain to plain. Such is my will.” The prince set out therefore accompanied by his ministers, his chiefs, and his servants.

They had all been hunting for some time and had not yet found a single bit of game. The prince had directed his march toward the forests of the country of Bagdad. These forests were of immense extent. The heat was excessive, and the prince, being very thirsty, wanted a drink of water. The people who generally carried water for the King said to him: “O lord, sovereign of the world, your Majesty's provision of water is entirely exhausted.”

The prince then asked of his officers and servants: “Which of you can get me water? I will reward him with riches and with slaves.”

These words were heard by one of his officers named Asraf-el-Kaum. He said: “O my lord, sovereign of the world, give me the vase which will serve for water, and I will go and seek water for your Majesty.”

Then the prince said to the people who had brought water for his use, “Give my emerald pitcher into the hands of Asraf-el-Kaum.”

The latter bowed low and started to seek water. Seeing from afar a very large fig-tree, he advanced in that direction. Arriving near the tree he saw at its base an oratory and a pond. At the oratory there was a woman of very great beauty. The splendor of her countenance shone like that of the full moon at its fourteenth day. Asraf-el-Kaum, astonished and moved with admiration, thought in his heart: “Is this a human creature, or is it a peri?” and Asraf-el-Kaum saluted the princess Djouher-Manikam, who returned the salutation.

Then the princess asked him, “What is your desire in coming here to my dwelling?”

Asraf-el-Kaum answered, “I have come here to ask you for water, for I have lost my way.”

The princess said, “Take water, lord.”

Asraf-el-Kaum plunged the emerald pitcher into the pond, and filled it with water. Then he asked permission to return.

Arriving near the King Chah Djouhou he presented the pitcher to the prince, who seized it quickly and drank.

“Asraf-el-Kaum,” said the prince, “where did you find such fresh and delicious water? In all my life I have never drunk the like.”

Asraf-el-Kaum answered: “O my lord, sovereign of the world, there is a garden in the middle of the plain, and in this garden there is a very large and bushy fig-tree, and at the foot of this tree there is a pond, and near this pond there is an oratory. At this oratory there was a woman who was reading the Koran. This charmingly beautiful woman has no equal in this world. I saluted her and then returned to the presence of the sovereign of the world. That is what I saw, my lord.”

“Conduct me to this place,” said the King.

“O sovereign of the world, if your Majesty wishes to go thither, let it be with me alone. Let not my lord take his people with him, for it is a woman, and naturally she would be ashamed.”

The prince set out then on horseback with Asraf-el-Kaum. The princess Djouher-Manikam, seeing two cavaliers approach, thought in her heart: “I must hide myself, so that I may not be seen.” So she left the oratory and went toward the fig-tree. She addressed a prayer to God the most high and worthy of all praise, in these terms:

“O God, I beseech thee, give me a refuge in this tree, for thy servant, O Lord, is ashamed to look upon the faces of these infidels.”

Then by the will of God the most high, the tree opened in two and the princess Djouher-Manikam entered by the split, and the tree closed and became as it was before. The King Chah Djouhou and Asraf-el-Kaum arrived at the oratory, but the prince saw nothing of the princess Djouher-Manikam. He was astonished and said:

“O Asraf-el-Kaum, the woman has gone. But just a moment ago I saw her from afar, seated at the oratory, and now she has suddenly disappeared.” The prince added: “O Asraf-el-Kaum, perhaps, as with the prophet Zachariah (upon whom be blessings!), her prayer has been answered and she has entered this tree.”

Then he offered this prayer to God the most high and worthy, of all praise: “O God, if thou wilt permit that this woman be united to thy servant, then grant her to him.”

The prayer of the King Chah Djouhou was heard, and a woman of dazzling beauty appeared before his eyes. He desired to seize her, but the princess Djouher-Manikam pronounced these words: “Beware of touching me, for I am a true believer.” Hearing these words the King Chah Djouhou drew back, a little ashamed. Then he said:

“Woman, what is your country? Whose child are you, and what is your name?”

The princess answered: “For a long time I have dwelt here, and I have no father nor mother. My name is Djouher-Manikam.”

The King, hearing these words of the princess Djouher-Manikam, took off his cloak and gave it to the princess, who covered all her body with it. Then she got up and descended to the ground. Then King Chah Djouhou, dismounting from his horse, received her, put her on his horse, and took her to the country of Damas.

Asraf-el-Kaum then said to the King: “O my lord, sovereign of the world, you made a promise to your servant. Be not careless nor forgetful, my lord.”

“Asraf-el-Kaum, be not disturbed. I will fulfil my promise to you. If it pleases God, when I have arrived in our own country, I shall certainly give you all that I promised you.”

King Chah Djouhou set out for the country of Damas.

After a certain time on the way, the prince came to the city of Damas and entered his palace. He commanded one of his pages to summon the cadi, and a page went promptly to call him. The latter, in all haste, entered the presence of the King. Chah Djouhou said: “O cadi, marry me to the princess Djouher-Manikam.” And the cadi married them. After the celebration of the marriage the prince Chah Djouhou gave to Asraf-el- Kaum 1,000 dinars and some of his slaves, both men and women. King Djouhou and Princess Djouher-Manikam were happy and full of tenderness for each other. Within a few years the princess had two sons, both very beautiful. The prince loved these children very fondly. But above all he loved his wife. He was full of tender solicitude for her, and bore himself with regard to her with the same careful attention that a man uses who carries oil in the hollow of his hand. Some time later Princess Djouher-Manikam had another son of great beauty. The prince loved this third child tenderly. He gave him a great number of nurses and governesses, as is the custom for the children of the greatest kings. And he never ceased to bestow upon him the most watchful care.

It happened one day that the ministers, the chiefs, and the courtiers of the King, all gathered in his presence, were enjoying all sorts of sport and amusements. The prince showed himself very joyous, and the princess herself played and amused herself with the three children. Her countenance shone with the brightness of rubies; but happening to think of her father, her mother, and her brother, she began to weep and said: “Alas, how unhappy I am! If my father, mother, and brother could see my three children, necessarily their affection for me would be greater.” And the princess Djouher-Manikam burst into sobs. The prince, who was not far from there, heard her, and as the princess did not stop weeping he asked her: “O princess, why do you weep thus? What do I lack in your eyes? Is it riches or physical beauty or noble birth? Or is it the spirit of justice? Tell me what is the cause of your tears?”

Princess Djouher-Manikam answered: “Sovereign of the world, your Majesty has not a single fault. Your riches equal those of Haroun. Your beauty equals that of the prophet Joseph (peace be upon him!). Your extraction equals that of the envoy of God (Mahomet). May the benediction of God and blessings rest upon him! Your justice equals that of King Rouchirouan. I don't see a single fault in you, my lord.”

King Chah Djouhou said: “If it is thus, why then does my princess shed tears?”

Princess Djouher-Manikam answered: “If I wept thus while playing with my three children, it is because I thought that if my father, my mother, and my brother should see my three children, necessarily their affection for me would be greater. And that is why I shed tears.”

King Chah Djouhou said to her: “O my young wife, dear princess, are your father and mother still living? What is your father's name?”

Princess Djouher-Manikam answered, “O my lord, my father is named Haroun-er-Raschid, King of Bagdad.”

Clasping her in his arms and kissing her, the prince asked her: “Why, until this day have you not told the truth to your husband?”

And the princess answered: “I wished to avow the truth, but perhaps my lord would not have had faith. It is on account of the children that I tell the truth.”

King Chah Djouhou answered: “Since it is so, it is fitting that we should start, and make a visit upon King Haroun-er-Raschid.”

He called his ministers, ordered them to make all the preparations, and commanded them to place in order ingots of gold and ingots of silver on which were graven the name of King Haroun-er-Raschid; and his ministers' vestments woven of goats' hair and fine wool, stuffs of price, many kinds of superb precious stones of various colors, formed the burden of forty camels, which bore these presents to the King, his father-in-law, in the city of Bagdad.

During the night Princess Djouher thought in her heart: “If the two kings meet, there will necessarily be discord, and at the end separation.” Having thus thought she said to her husband: “O sovereign of the world, do not set out at the same time with me, for in my opinion the meeting of the two kings would have as a final result a disagreement. Permit me therefore to start first with the three children, that I may present them to my father and mother. Give the command to conduct me to the country of Bagdad, near my father, to whomsoever you shall judge worthy of your confidence for this mission.”

When the prince heard these words of the princess whom he loved so tenderly and whose wishes he granted, he ordered his ministers and chiefs to arrange the transport of the princess and her children. Addressing the ministers he said as follows: “O you my ministers, whom among you can I charge to conduct safely my wife and three children to Bagdad, near their ancestor King Haroun-er-Raschid?”

No one among them dared approach and speak. All held silence. Then the prince, addressing the oldest minister of all, said:

“O my minister, it is you to whom, following the dictates of my heart, I can trust to accompany my wife and three children. For I have always found you loyal and faithful to me. Beside, you are older than the other ministers. And you have the fear of God the most high and worthy of all praise as well as respect for your King.”

The minister said: “O my lord, it is in all sincerity that your servant puts above his head the commands of your Majesty. I shall do my whole duty in conducting the princess and her children to the King Haroun-er- Raschid.”

So the King Chah Djouhou trusted his wife and his three children to this perfidious minister, reposing upon the promise he had made. Forty camels were laden with presents, forty nurses for the children, one hundred ladies in the suite of the princess, a thousand cavaliers, well armed and well equipped, formed the escort. The princess took leave of her husband. He held her clasped in his arms, and, weeping, covered her and his three children with kisses. He bade her to present his homage to her father the Sultan Haroun-er-Raschid, his salutations to her elder brother Minbah-Chahaz, and to place at the feet of their majesties a thousand and a thousand apologies, and to make his excuses to her brother Minbah-Chahaz. Then the prince said to the wicked minister:

“O my minister, you must go now, and lead the camel of my wife, for I have perfect confidence in you. Above all, guard her well.”

But the King did not lean upon God the most high and worthy of all praise, and that is why God punished him.

When the prince had finished speaking to the minister the latter said: “O my lord, King of the world, your servant bears your command on his head.” So the cavalcade started on the march. Princess Djouher-Manikam mounted her camel with her three children. A body-guard held the van. She proceeded accompanied by the wretched minister and all the escort, wending from day to day toward the city of Bagdad. They had reached one of the halting-places when day was turning into night. The minister then erected a tent so that the princess might repose in it. The people put up their tents all about. Princess Djouher-Manikam dismounted from her camel and entered the tent, with her three children. The tents of the nurses and ladies-in-waiting surrounded the tent of the princess in a circle. In the middle of the night a violent rain began to fall. Then the wretched minister, stirred by Satan, was stirred in his heart. He thought: “The King's wife is most beautiful; beautiful, indeed, as her name, Djouher-Manikam. I must marry her.”

So the rebel minister started, and entered the tent of the princess, and asked her to marry him. He found her seated by her three children, occupied in chasing away the mosquitoes. When the princess saw him enter her tent she asked him: “O my minister, what brings you to my tent at this hour in the middle of the night?”

The minister answered, “I have come to beg you to marry me.”

The princess then said: “Is that what brings you here? And it was to you that the King intrusted me on account of your great age, and as if you were my father. It was in you that he put all his confidence that you would take us safely, me and my children, to my venerable father, King Haroun-er-Raschid. What must be your nature, that you should so betray his trust?”

The wretched minister replied: “If you refuse to marry me, I will kill your children.”

“Never,” said the princess, “never shall I consent to marry you. And if you kill my children, what can I do against the decree of God, save to invoke his name?”

The minister killed one of the children. When it was dead, he made the same demand on the princess for the second time, and she answered: “Never shall I consent to marry you.”

The minister said: “If you refuse, I shall kill another of your children.”

The Princess Djouher-Manikam answered: “If you slay my child, it is by the decree of God, and I submit to his will.”

The minister killed the second child.

“No,” repeated the princess. “Never shall I consent to wed you.”

The wretched minister said: “Then I will kill your third child.”

“If you kill him, what can I do but to submit to the will of God, and invoke his name?” The third son of the King was killed.

Questioned anew, the princess said again, “Never shall I marry you.”

And the wicked minister said: “If you will not marry me, I will kill you, too.”

Then the princess thought in her heart: “If I do not appear to yield, he will kill me, too, without a doubt. I must employ a trick.” Then she said: “Await me here, until I wash from my clothes and my body the stains of my children's blood.”

The minister accursed of God replied: “Very well. I await you here.”

Then the princess Djouher went out of her tent. The rain was falling in torrents. The princess, fleeing precipitately, walked during the whole night, not knowing where she was going. She had walked many hours when day broke. The princess arrived thus near a tree in the midst of the plain, and, having measured its height with her eyes, she climbed into it. At this moment there passed along the road a merchant who had made his sales and was returning to the city of Bassrah. His name was Biyapri. Passing beneath the tree he raised his eyes and beheld a woman seated in the tree.

“Who are you?” he said; “are you woman or djinn?”

“I am neither demon nor djinn, but a descendant of the prophet of God (may blessings rest upon him), a disciple of the prophet Mahomet, envoy of God.”

Biyapri climbed up the tree, put her on his camel, and taking up his journey conducted her to the country of Bassrah. Arriving at his house he desired to marry her. But she put him off saying: “Wait, for I have made a solemn vow before God not to look upon the face of a man for forty days. When the time expires, that will be possible. But if these forty days have not yet run I should surely die.” So Biyapri installed her on his latticed roof and lavished attention and care upon her.

Immediately after the flight of the princess Djouher-Mani-kam the minister commanded the whole escort to return and present itself to the King Chah Djouhou. He said to his people: “O all your servants of the Queen, see what has been her conduct. Her three children are dead, and it is she who killed them. After that she disappeared. Where has she taken refuge? Nobody in the world knows that. As for you, depart, bear the bodies of his three children to King Chah Djouhou, and tell him all the circumstances.”

Arriving in the presence of the King, they reported all the circumstances of the minister's treachery toward the princess, and the murder of his three children. They added that the minister had departed, leaving word that he had gone to find the princess, and had taken with him his own three sons, forty soldiers, and the treasure.

When the prince had heard these words he was struck with a stupor. But his sorrow at having let the princess go without him was useless. He caused the three young princes to be buried. The King shed tears, and all the people of the household filled the air with cries and sobs, so that the noise seemed like the bursts of thunder, while the funeral ceremonies were proceeding according to the customs of the greatest kings. After that the King descended from his royal throne and became a dervish, the better to seek in all lands his well-beloved spouse. He had with him three slaves only. One of them was named Hestri.

“Go,” he said to him, “go seek your mistress in all countries.” And he gave him a horse and some provisions.

Hestri said: “May your Majesty be happy! O lord, King of the world, whatever be your commands, your servant places them upon his head.” Hestri bowed low, then mounted his horse and rode away toward the city of Bassrah.

After proceeding some time he reached Bassrah, and passed by the house of Biyapri. At this very moment the princess Djouher-Manikam was sitting on the roof of Biyapri's house. She looked attentively at the face of Hestri as he was passing by the house and called to him saying: “Hestri, what brings you here?”

Hestri, casting his glance toward the roof, saw the princess Djouher- Manikam and said to her: “I was sent by your husband to seek you, princess.”

She replied: “Go away, for the present. Come back when it is night. As it is broad daylight now I fear lest Biyapri should discover our departure.”

Hestri, bowing low, replied, “Very well, princess.” He walked here and there, waiting till night should come. When it was dark he returned to the house of Biyapri and waited a few minutes. Then he called the princess.

“Wait,” she said, “for Biyapri is still watching.” Hestri stooped down, and fell asleep near Biyapri's house, having first of all tied the bridle of the horse to his girdle.

The princess Djouher-Manikam descended from the roof, and mounted the horse while Hestri was yet sleeping. She sat on the horse waiting till Hestri should awake. But an Athiopian robber, who had come to rob the storehouse of Biyapri, saw the horse whose bridle was attached to the belt of Hestri. He unfastened the bridle and led the horse to the middle of the plain. In the mind of the princess it was Hestri who was thus leading the horse. But the moon having risen, the Athiopian saw seated upon the horse a woman of a striking and marvellous beauty. The heart of the Athiopian was filled with joy. He said in his heart:

“For a very long time have I been stealing riches. Truly, I have acquired no small store of jewels, pearls, precious stones, gold and silver, and magnificent vestments of all sorts. But all that is nothing in comparison with the marvel I have just now found and who will become my wife, the light of my eyes, and the fruit of my heart. Now shall I enjoy in peace the happiness of having such a wife.”

The house of the Athiopian robber was seated on the top of a hill. He conducted the princess thither, showed her all it contained, and gave it to her, saying: “O my future bride, it is to you that all which this house contains belongs. Make use of it according to your good pleasure.” The princess said, “First of all, be tranquil.” And she thought in her heart: “This is my destiny. First I was with Biyapri, and now I have fallen into the hands of an Aethiopian robber. It is by the will of God that this has happened to his servant.” The Athiopian robber was bent on having the marriage celebrated at once, but the princess said: “I cannot be married now, for I have made a vow to God the most high not to see the face of a man for three days.”

The Athiopian robber desired to drink, and said: “Come, let us drink together.”

“In my opinion,” observed the princess, “if we begin to drink both together you will become heavy with wine, and I, too. Then they will take me far from you and kill you. Come, I will fill your cup and you shall drink first. When you have drunk enough, then I will drink in my turn, and you shall fill my cup.”

The Athiopian robber was very joyful at these words of the princess. “What you say is true,” said he. He received with great pleasure the cup from the hands of the princess and drank. After emptying the cup many times he fell down in the stupor of intoxication, losing his senses and becoming like a dead man. The princess Djouher-Manikam put on a magnificent costume of a man, and adding a weapon something like a kandjar, went out of the house. Then mounting her horse she rode forward quickly and came to the foot of the hill. She directed her course toward the country of Roum, and continuing her journey from forest to forest, and from plain to plain, she reached the gate of the fortifications of the city of Roum at the moment when the King of that country had just died.

When the princess Djouher-Manikam had arrived outside the fortifications of Roum, she sat down in the baley, near the fort. She was marvellously beautiful, and her vestments, all sparkling with gold, were adorned with precious stones, pearls, and rubies. A man happening to pass by saw her, and was seized with astonishment and admiration. For in the country of Roum there was nobody who could compare with this young man, so handsome and so magnificently attired. He asked:

“Whence come you and why did you come here?”

The princess answered: “I know not the place where I am at this moment. I came from the city of Damas.”

This citizen of Roum took leave and went away to present himself to the vezir and tell what he had seen. The vezir, having heard him, went out promptly to find the young man. As soon as he had approached him and had seen his remarkable beauty and his splendid vestments decorated with precious stones, pearls, and rubies, the vezir seated himself by him and said:

“Young man, whence do you come, and why did you come to this land?”

The princess answered: “I wish to travel through the world for my pleasure. That is my will.”

The vezir replied: “Would you like to have us make you King of this country?” The princess replied: “For what reason should I wish to be king in this country? And by what means could it be achieved?”

The vezir replied: “Our King is dead.”

“Is there no child?” asked the princess.

“The King has left a child,” answered the vezir, “but he is still very little, and incapable of governing his subjects. That is why we will make you King of this country.”

The princess Djouher-Manikam answered: “Why not? What prevents? If you all will follow my counsel I will accept the throne of this country.”

The ministers said, “And why should we not follow the commands of my lord?”

The vezir conducted her to the palace. All the ministers of state and the high officers assembled to proclaim as their king the princess Djouher-Manikam. That done, the princess took the name of Radja Chah Djouhou.

After reigning some time her spirit of justice and her perfect equity in the government of her subjects rendered her name celebrated in all the foreign countries. Radja Chah Djouhou said to her minister:

“O minister, have built for me a baley outside the fort.” And the ministers and the officers commanded them in haste to construct the baley. As soon as it was built they came to announce it to the King. The latter said:

“O my vezir, is there in my kingdom a man who knows how to paint?”

“Yes, my lord, king of the world, there is a very skilful painter here.”

“Let him come to me.”

“Immediately, my lord,” said the vezir, and he ordered a slave to go and summon the painter. The painter came in all haste and entered the presence of Radja Chah Djouhou, bowing his head to the floor. The prince said to him:

“O painter, have you a daughter who knows how to paint?”

The painter answered: “Yes, my lord, king of the world, I have a daughter very skilful in the art of painting.”

“Tell your child to come here.”

The painter bowed again and went to find his daughter. “O my child,” he said, “the fruit of my heart, come, the King calls you.”

Then the painter's daughter quickly set out, accompanied by her father. They together entered the presence of the King, who was still surrounded by his ministers and his officers. The painter and his daughter bowed their heads to the floor. The prince said:

“Painter, is this your daughter?”

“O my lord, king of the world, yes, this is my daughter.”

“Come with me into the interior of the palace.” And at the same time the prince started and entered his apartments, followed by the daughter of the painter. He led the way to a retired place, and said: “My daughter, make my portrait, I pray you, and try to have the resemblance good.” Then the princess Djouher-Manikam clothed herself in woman's raiment, and in this costume she was ravishingly beautiful. That done, she commanded the artist to paint her thus. She succeeded perfectly and the portrait was a remarkable likeness, for the daughter of the painter was very skilful. When her work was finished she received a large sum in gold. The prince said to her:

“Come, sister, let this remain a secret. Reveal it not to anyone in the world. If you tell it I will slay you, with your father and your mother.”

The daughter of the painter said: “O my lord, king of the world, how could your servant disobey your Majesty's commands?”

She bowed low, and asked permission to go home.

Radja Chah Djouhou, in the presence of his ministers and his subjects, said to the vizier: “O vizier, place this portrait in the baley outside the fort, and have it guarded by forty men. If anyone coming to this portrait begins to weep or kiss it, seize him and bring him before me.” The portrait hung in the baley, and the vezir ordered an officer to guard it with forty soldiers.

When the Athiopian robber came out of his drunken slumber he saw that the princess Djouher-Manikam was no longer in his house. So he went out-of-doors weeping, and took up his journey, going from country to country until he arrived at the city of Roum. There he saw a baley, and hanging there a portrait which bore a perfect resemblance to the princess Djouher-Manikam. Quickly he climbed to the baley, and, holding the portrait in his arms, he wept and covered it with kisses.

“O unhappy man that I am! Here is the portrait of my well-beloved for whom I was seeking. Where can she be?”

The guards of the baley, seeing the act of the Athiopian, seized him and bore him before the King. They told the deed.

The prince said: “Athiopian robber, why did you act thus in reference to this picture?”

The Athiopian answered: “O my lord, king of the world, I ask you a thousand and a thousand pardons. Your servant will tell the truth. If they kill me I shall die; if they hang me I shall be lifted very high; if they sell me I shall be carried very far away. O king of the world, hear the words of your humble slave. A certain night I had started out to rob. I found a horse, and on its back there was a woman of the most marvellous beauty. I took her to my house. I fell asleep in my cups. My beloved one disappeared. I became mad, and so it is, O king of the world, that your slave came to the fort and saw the portrait hanging at the baley. This portrait is the faithful picture of my well-beloved. That is why I weep.”

The prince said: “O my vezir, let this man be carefully guarded. Treat him well and give him plenty to eat.” On the other hand, Biyapri, after forty days, mounting the roof, saw that the princess Djouher was no longer there. He became mad, abandoned his house and all his wealth, and, becoming a dervish, went from country to country seeking the princess Djouher-Manikam, without ever finding her. Coming to the country of Roum he saw the baley situated outside the fort, and stopped there. Then he saw the portrait, and, observing it with the closest attention, he began to weep. Then he took it in his arms and covered it with kisses.

“Alas, my well-beloved!” he cried, “here indeed is your picture, but where can I find you?” He was immediately seized by the guard and led before the King of Roum.

“Biyapri,” said the prince, “whence do you come, and why did you act thus?” Biyapri answered: “O my lord, king of the world, your slave asks pardon a thousand and a thousand times. I will tell the whole truth. If they kill me, I shall die; if they hang me, I shall be lifted very high; if they sell me, I shall be taken very far away. When I was engaged in commerce I passed under a tree, and saw that in this tree there was a woman of the most marvellous beauty. I took her and carried her to the city of Bassrah and installed her on the roof of my storehouse. A certain night she disappeared without my knowing where she had gone. Then, O king of the world, I became as one mad and left my native land. Arriving at the country of Roum I saw a baley outside the fort and came to sit down there. Then, my lord, I saw the portrait hanging at the baley. It exactly resembles my beloved, whom I lost. I pressed it in my arms and covered it with kisses. Such is the truth, O king of the world.”

The prince then said to his minister: “O minister, let this man be carefully guarded and give him food and clothes.”

The King of Damas, after abdicating the throne, had left his kingdom, and in the costume of a dervish had started to travel through the different countries. Arriving at Roum, the King Chah Djouhou saw a baley situated outside of the fort, and went to sit down near it. The prince looking closely at the portrait, which was exactly like the princess Djouher-Manikam, burst into a flood of tears and exclaimed:

“Alas! Fruit of my heart, my well-beloved, light of my eyes! It is, indeed, your picture. But you, whom I seek, oh, where are you?”

Speaking thus, the prince took the portrait in his arms and covered it with kisses. Seeing this, the guards of the baley seized him and carried him before the King.

The King said to him: “My lord, whence do you come? How have you wandered into this country? And why did you behave thus about my portrait?”

The King Chah Djouhou answered: “Know that my wife, who is named the princess Djouher-Manikam, has disappeared far from me. It is for that reason that I have left my kingdom, and that I, dressed as a dervish, have walked from country to country, from plain to plain, from village to village, seeking her whom I have never been able to find. But arriving in your Majesty's country I saw hanging at the baley that portrait, which is of a striking resemblance to my wife. It is for this reason that I wept in contemplating this picture.”

The princess smiled, and at the same time her heart was softened at seeing the conduct of her husband. She said to her prime minister: “O my minister, I confide this person to your care. Treat him worthily, give him the best of food and a suite of attendants. He is the King of Damas.”

The minister therefore, by command of the princess, departed and conducted the King of Damas to a fine house, furnished and equipped according to the needs of kings.

The minister took all the riches which had been intended as presents for the King Haroun-er-Raschid. The ingots of gold and of silver, the rich garments in fine stuffs of the country of Rouzoungga, as well as the vestments of the princess Djouher-Manikam and of her three children, were transported and sold in the city of Bagdad. But the King Haroun-er-Raschid, seeing that his name and that of his daughter, the princess Djouher-Manikam, were graven on these ingots of gold and silver, seized all these riches.

The minister of the country of Damas said, “These riches are mine.”

On his side the King Haroun-er-Raschid said: “These riches are mine, for my name and that of my child are engraved on these ingots of gold and silver.”

The minister said, “Since your Majesty declares that these treasures are yours, we must try this case in a court of justice.”

 The King of Bagdad answered: “It is well. We will go wherever you wish.”

“Very well,” said the minister; “let us go then before the King of the country of Roum. That prince has the reputation of being extremely just. Each of us shall plead his cause.”

The prince answered: “It is well.” The minister replied: “O king of the world, let us start without delay.”

So the King Haroun-er-Raschid set out with his son Min-bah-Chahaz, his chief warrior, and his soldiers. The cadi accompanied the prince. On his side, the minister of the country of Damas started, accompanied by his three sons and forty soldiers of the country of Damas. After proceeding some time, they arrived at the city of Roum and entered the fortifications. Each one of them presented himself before the King and pleaded his cause.

The King Haroun-er-Raschid expressed himself as follows: “O king of the world! I present myself before your Majesty to ask your impartial judgment. The minister of the country of Damas brought to Bagdad, among other precious objects, ingots of gold and ingots of silver, on which are engraved my name and that of my daughter, the princess Djouher-Manikam. I seized these, and come to your Majesty to decide my claim to them.”

The King of Roum said: “If it pleases God the most high, this affair shall be judged with the best of my powers.” The King of Roum continued: “My officers and you, my ministers and chiefs, seek all the divine inspiration to decide the difference existing between the King of Bagdad and the minister of Damas.”

The officers bowed low and said: “O my lord, king of the world, whatever they may be, we shall put the commands of your Majesty above our heads and shall carry them out to the letter.” And they deliberated on the character of the dispute.

The King of Bagdad declared: “These objects are precious to me, for they bear engraven upon them the names of myself and my child.”

On the other hand, and at the same time, the minister Damas declared, “These precious objects are mine.”

The ministers and chiefs were very much embarrassed, and said to the King: “O king of the world, we, all of us, are unable to judge this dispute. It is too difficult for us. Only the impartial judgment of your Majesty can decide it.”

The prince said: “It is well. I will pronounce sentence, if it please God the most high, provided that you consent to accept it.”

The King of Bagdad answered: “O king of the world, judge between us according to your impartial justice.”

The King of Roum then said: “O minister of Damas, and you, King of Bagdad, is it the wish of both of you that I should give judgment according to the judgment of God the most high?”

And they both answered: “That is what we ask, the judgment of God.”

The prince replied: “If you consent on both sides, it is well.”

“I consent to it,” said the minister of Damas.

“And I, too,” said the King of Bagdad.

The King of Roum then spoke in these terms: “In conformity with the law of the most high God, I ask this question of the King of Bagdad: Have you a daughter?”

The King of Bagdad replied: “Yes, king of the world, I have a daughter and a son.”

“And have you at present these two children?”

The King of Bagdad answered: “I have my son, but my daughter—I lost her.”

The King of Roum, continuing, said: “What is the cause of the loss of your daughter?” The King of Bagdad answered: “O king of the world, hear my story. While I was gone on a pilgrimage with my wife and my son, whose name is Minbah-Chahaz, I left my daughter to watch over my palace. Arriving at the end of my pilgrimage, I sent home a letter to the cadi, conceived as follows: 'May peace be with the cadi: I shall wait still for the grand pilgrimage about a year longer. As for all that concerns my kingdom, my palace, and my daughter, the princess Djouher-Manikam, watch with greatest care, and beware of any negligence in the protection of my kingdom and my child.' Some time later the cadi sent me a letter at Mecca, couched in these words: 'O king of the world, your servant has received the command to watch over the palace and the princess. But the princess now desires to marry me.' After I had read the letter from the cadi I called my son Minbah-Chahaz, and said to him: 'Start at once for Bagdad, and slay your sister.' My son Minbah-Chahaz started immediately for Bagdad, and killed his sister. Then he returned and found me at Mecca. His cutlass was still blood-stained. Then I cried: 'Praise be to God the Lord of the universe, our shame is effaced.' Such is my story, O king of the world.”

The King of Roum said: “It is well. Now I shall pronounce judgment.” And addressing the minister of Damas he said to him: “O minister of Damas, tell me the truth if you wish that at the day of judgment the prophet should intercede for you (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him!). Speak and tell the truth. Say whence come these riches, in order that I may pronounce my judgment between you.”

The minister of the King of Damas said: “O my lord, king of the world, I will lay at the foot of your Majesty's throne the completed story from the beginning. I received a mission from the King Chah Djouhou: 'O my minister,' he said, 'start, I send you to the city of Bagdad, taking my three children to their grandfather, and my wife, the princess Djouher-Manikam, to her mother and her father, the King Haroun-er- Raschid.' I set out, therefore, with the escort which accompanied the princess Djouher-Manikam, and we arrived at our first halting-place. When it was night I erected a tent, and the people of the escort all put up tents around that of the princess. But Satan breathed into my heart a temptation. This thought came to me: 'The wife of the King is wonderfully beautiful, and she has such a pretty name! I will go and ask her to marry me.' So I entered her tent. At that moment she was seated by her sleeping children, occupied in keeping away the mosquitoes. The princess demanded, 'O my minister, why do you come here?' And I answered, 'I have come to ask you to marry me.' The princess said: 'Have you no fear of God the most high? No, I cannot marry you. What would become of me if I should do such a thing?' Then I said, 'If you will not agree to marry me, I will kill one of your children.' The princess answered: 'If you kill my child it will be by the judgment of God, and what can I do but to invoke his name?' Then I killed one of the children. When he was dead I asked again if she would marry me, and I killed another of the children. When this one was dead I asked the same question. The princess answered, 'I cannot marry when I am already married.' I said to her, 'If you will not, then I will kill the third of your children.' The princess Djouher-Manikam answered, 'If you kill my third child, it will be by the judgment of God, and what can I do but invoke his name, for I am only a woman?' So I killed the third child. After the death of this last child of the King, I put again my question to the princess. She would not consent to marry me. I said to her, 'If you don't, I will kill you.' She answered: 'If you kill me, it is the decree of God. But wait awhile, for I wish to wash my garments and cleanse the traces of my children's blood from my body.' I said, 'It is well. We will have the wedding-feast to-morrow.' She left the tent. It was raining in torrents. I could not discover where she went. Such is my story, O king of the world.”

The King said, “Minister of the country of Damas, have you any sons?”

He answered, “Yes, my lord, king of the world, I have three sons.”

The prince said: “Let your three sons come here, in order that I may give judgment quickly, according to the law instituted by the prophet (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him!). Behold what his law prescribes: The minister killed the children of the princess Djouher-Manikam. It is not, therefore, the minister who should be punished with death, but his children should be slain. The execution of this judgment will be the just application of the law of retaliation between the minister and the princess.”

The minister summoned his three sons. As soon as they had come, he pointed them to the King of Roum.

The latter said to his minister, “O minister, where is the Athiopian whom they brought here?” The Athiopian robber was brought out, and prostrated himself before the King of Roum.

The King of Roum said to him: “Athiopian, return to your own country and change your mode of life. You will never see again the woman for whom you are seeking.” And the prince gave him a keti of gold.

Then the prince said: “O my minister, where is Biyapri? Let them bring him here.” So they brought Biyapri. When he arrived he bowed low before the prince.

The prince said: “Biyapri, go back to your own country and change your conduct. The woman whom you seek you will never see again.” And the prince made him a gift of two keti of gold.

The King of Roum then said: “Let all assemble. I am about to pronounce judgment between the King of Bagdad and the minister of Damas.” The minister and the officers assembled therefore in the presence of the King, together with many of his subjects.

The King of Roum said: “O my executioner, let the three children of the minister of Damas be all killed; such is the divine command.” So the children of the minister of Damas were all three killed.

After they were dead the prince said: “Minister, return to the country of Damas, with a rag for your girdle, and during your last days change your conduct. If you do not know it, I am the princess Djouher-Manikam, daughter of the Sultan of Bagdad, wife of Chah Djouhou, my lord, and the sister of Minbah-Chahaz. God has stricken your eyes with blindness on account of your crimes toward me. It is the same with the cadi of the city of Bagdad.”

The minister of Damas, seized with fear, trembled in all his limbs. He cast himself at the feet of the princess Manikam, and thus prostrated he implored pardon a thousand and a thousand times. Then he returned to Damas all in tears, and overwhelmed with grief at the death of his three sons. The cadi, covered with shame on account of his treachery to the Sultan of Bagdad, fled and expatriated himself.

The King of Roum commanded them to bring the King Chah Djouhou and give him a garment all sparkling with gold, and he sent him to dwell in the company of his father-in-law, the Sultan of Bagdad, and his brother-in- law, the prince Minbah-Chahaz.

Then the princess Djouher-Manikam retired. She entered the palace and returned clad in the garments of a woman. She then went out, accompanied by ladies of the court, and went to present herself to her father, the Sultan of Bagdad. She bowed before her father, her brother the prince Minbah-Chahaz, and her husband, the King Chah Djouhou. The princess said: “O all of you, lords and warriors of the country of Roum, know that I am a woman, and not a man. Behold my father, the Sultan Haroun-er-Raschid, King of Bagdad. Behold my brother, whose name is Minbah-Chahaz; and behold my husband, the King Chah Djouhou, who reigns over the country of Damas. From the time when you placed me upon the throne of Roum, if I have committed any fault by error or by ignorance, you must excuse me, for constantly the servants of God commit faults by error or ignorance. It is only God alone who forgets not, nor neglects, and is free from error or ignorance.”

The grandees of the country of Roum said: “Never has your Majesty committed the least fault, either by ignorance or by error, during the time you have reigned over the country of Roum. Nevertheless, among the judgments just now rendered there was a fault committed by your glorious Majesty. The minister killed, the princess killed, both did it voluntarily. It was a fault of judgment for the princess Djouher-Manikam to have killed the children of the minister, just as the minister committed a fault in killing the children of the princess. There was a likeness there. Still, if it pleases her Majesty to remain upon the throne of Roum, we should all be very glad of it.”

The princess Djouher said: “I shall take leave of you, my lords. It is good that we should make the young prince king, and that he should replace me on the throne.”

The ministers and the officers of Roum responded, “Whatever be the commands of your Majesty, we place them above our heads.”

Then the princess made the royal prince her successor, and the ministers and officers and subjects all bowed low, placed their hands above their heads, and proclaimed him King.

The princess Djouher-Manikam said: “O my child, here are the last instructions your mother gives you: You must practise justice so that God will make strong your realm. To you, my ministers and officers, I confide my child. If he commits some faults by negligence or by ignorance, I pray you take them not too much to heart, for my child is young, and he has not yet attained all the maturity of his judgment.”

The ministers and officers answered: “O your Majesty, may your prosperity grow forever! How could it be possible for us to disobey your commands?”

The princess replied: “O my child, above all must you observe justice and be patient and liberal toward your ministers and officers and all your subjects, so that the favors of God may increase upon your person and that your kingdom may be protected by God the most high by the grace of the intercession of the prophet Mahomet, the envoy of God (may the, peace and blessings of God be with him!). O my child, you must govern all your subjects with a spirit of justice, for in this world, until death, we ought to seek the truth. O my child, above all forget not my last instructions.” Then, taking in her arms the royal child, she kissed him.

The Sultan Haroun-er-Raschid having told the Sultan of Roum that he wished to return to the country of Bagdad, the Sultan gave orders to his ministers to assemble the grandees, the officers, and the soldiers, with elephants, horses, and instruments of music. All came with presents, for the Sultan of Roum wished to accompany the Sultan Haroun-er-Raschid as far as Bagdad and carry him the presents. The favorable moment having arrived, the Sultan Haroun-er-Raschid departed from Roum, directing his way to the country of Bagdad, from plain to plain, and from halting-place to halting-place. After journeying some time, they rejoicing all the way, they arrived at the country of Bagdad.

The ministers, the chiefs, and the soldiers came out to meet the Sultan Haroun-er-Raschid, and they entered the palace. Then the Queen hastened to find the Sultan and her daughter, the princess Djouher-Manikam. Meeting her daughter, she pressed her in her arms and covered her with kisses. She said in tears: “Alas, my child! the fruit of my heart! I, your mother thought that she would never see you again.” And she covered her body with tears and kisses, while she kept repeating, “Alas, my child! I thought you lost forever.” Then the Queen bowed before the Sultan Haroun-er-Raschid. Her son, Minbah-Chahaz, then came to bow before his mother, but the latter pressed him in her arms and kissed him. Then her son-in-law, King Chah Djouhou, advanced and bowed before the Queen in his turn. And she pressed him in her arms and kissed him. All were in tears.

The Sultan Haroun-er-Raschid started for the hall of audience, and gave orders to one of his heralds to assemble his ministers, his warriors, and his subjects. When they were all gathered together the Sultan said: “Now I wish to entertain the ministers, the chiefs, and the officers who escorted us here.” When the Sultan had finished entertaining them they desired to take leave and return to the country of Roum. The Sultan Haroun-er-Raschid made them gifts of vestments of honor, to each according to his rank. They prostrated themselves at his feet, and then returned in peace to the country of Roum.

Afterward, the Sultan Haroun-er-Raschid ordered one of his heralds to assemble his ministers, his officers, and his subjects. Once gathered together, the prince said: “O all of you, my ministers and my officers, you must build me a house of baths seven stories high, on the public square of Bagdad.”

All responded, “O my lord, king of the world, whatever your commands may be, your servants place them above their heads.” And all, ministers, officers, and subjects, gave themselves to the work, each of them doing what was directed by the architect. After some time, the palace of baths was finished. It was sumptuously adorned with curtains of silk, canopies, tapestries woven with gold and fringed with pearls. Rugs embroidered with gold were stretched on the different floors, and there was a quantity of torches and lanterns.

Then the builders came before the King and said: “O my lord, king of the world, your slaves have finished their work according to the commands of your Majesty.”

The King Haroun-er-Raschid gave thanks unto God the most high, worthy of all praise, the true Lord who accords to his servants all their needs.

Then the festivals began. For forty days and forty nights the bands never stopped playing. There were sports, banquets, amusements of all sorts. They gave themselves noisily to pleasure, because the Sultan was going to proceed to the ceremony of the bath of the two spouses, his children. When the watches were finished and the favorable moment had come, the Sultan was arrayed in a magnificent garment embroidered with gold, while the princess Djouher-Manikam was adorned by her mother with superb veils and vestments trimmed with jewels, with pearls and precious stones of an incomparable richness. The spouses thus adorned, the Sultan made them mount a palanquin. His son, Minbah-Cha-haz, was clad in a splendid costume.

The Sultan mounted his horse Sembaran, and his saddle was of carved gold. Surrounded by young princes and lords, by officers of his court and the standards, Haroun-er-Raschid marched at the head. He advanced, followed by princes, ministers, and officers. The wives of the grandees accompanied the Queen with her maids-of-honor, and all the musical instruments gave forth their harmonious sounds. Seven times they made the circuit of the city. When the two spouses had arrived at the foot of the Palace of Baths the Sultan made them ascend. Then came the spouses of the grandees with the Queen, who showered them with rice-powder mixed with amber and musk, and poured on their heads spikenard and curcuma (turmeric). They were both plunged into a bath of rose- water and extracts of all sorts of aromatic flowers, together with water from the sacred fountain of Zemzem.

The ceremonies of the bath finished, the two spouses went out of the Palace of Baths and went into the King's palace. On their arrival, they served a repast to the princes, the orilemas, the doctors of the law, the priests, the ministers, the officers, the common people, men and women. All without exception took part in the feast. When it was ended one of the doctors of the law recited the prayer asking God for perfect happiness, sheltered from all danger in this life and the next. Then he sprinkled showers of the most charming perfumes.

After that the Chah Djouhou went to find the Sultan, and said to him: “O my lord, king of the world, I have to ask your Majesty a favor and pardon. I wish to take leave of your Majesty and return to the country of Damas, for the country of Damas is forsaken, O my lord.”

The Sultan said, “It is well, my lord. Your country, truly, is separated from its King. If it were not for your kingdom I would wish never to be separated from you, now that I have my daughter back again. But if I am inclined to commit a fault, do not comply with it.”

Radja Chah Djouhou answered; “Your daughter is like a soul which has entered my body. That is how I feel. But the countless favors of your Majesty to me, I place them above my head.”

The Sultan Haroun-er-Raschid then said to his prime minister: “O my minister, get ready to start 3,000 soldiers and 300 horsemen. And have elephants or horses well equipped to transport my two children, husband and wife.” When the escort was ready, then the Sultan commanded them to open the place where his treasures were stored, and forty-four camels were laden with riches, with vestments of woven gold and precious objects such as are found only in the palaces of kings.

All these preparations being finished, Radja Chah Djouhou took leave of his father-in-law, his mother-in-law, and his brother-in-law, Minbah- Chahaz. The latter all held in their arms and covered with kisses the princess Djouher-Manikam, as well as Radja Chah Djouhou. He and his brother-in-law Minbah-Chahaz wept as they embraced, and the people of the palace burst into sobs with a noise like that of the waves breaking on the seashore. Finally the princess Djouher and the King Chah Djouhou, after bowing before their father, mother, and brother, set out for the country of Damas, to the imposing sound of all the instruments of music. The Sultan Haroun-er-Raschid and his son, Minbah-Chahaz, conducted them outside of the fortifications. When they were far off, the Sultan went back to his palace, walking sadly with his son, Minbah- Chahaz, and praying God to bless his children.

After some time on the journey, the King Chah Djouhou arrived at the country of Damas. The officers and the soldiers sallied from the fortifications of Damas and went to meet the prince. The ministers and the officers bowed low at his feet, all rejoicing over the happy return and perfect health of the King and Queen. The prince entered his palace, and the two spouses lived full of tenderness for each other.

I will not prolong this story of the princess Djouher-Manikam, which has become celebrated in all countries to windward and to leeward. I close it here, giving my best wishes to those who shall read or hear it, and particularly to those who shall copy it!

 
 
 

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