1001 Arabian Nights - Volume 4 by Sir Richard Francis Burton

By Sir Richard Francis Burton

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So they conducted her to the house and showed her into the pavilion, whilst the Caliph sat in the hall of audience till the dose of day, when the Divan broke up and he retired to his harem. " They answered, "We hear and obey;" and did as she bade them. " Now some days before this, Ala al-Din had said to Ja'afar, "I complained to the Caliph of my grief and mourning for the loss of my wife Zubaydah and he gave me Kut al-Kulub;" and the Minister replied, "Except he loved thee, he had not given her to thee.

So he went down; and, opening the door, found his father-in-law, the Provost of the merchants with an Abyssinian slave, dusky complexioned and pleasant of favour, riding on a mule. " Then he gave him the letter and Ala al-Din opening it found written what followeth:[FN#74] "Ho thou my letter! when my friend shall see thee, * Kiss thou the ground and buss his sandal-shoon: Look thou hie softly and thou hasten not, * My life and rest are in those hands so boon. "After hearty salutations and congratulations and high estimation from Shams al-Din to his son, Abu al-Shamat.

At this the young man was greatly vexed and cast down and, sighing many a sigh, returned home, sick for love of the damsel; and he threw himself on his bed and refused food, for love and longing were sore upon him. Now when his mother saw him in this plight, she said to him, "Heaven assain thee, O my son! " Then the youth's weakness redoubled upon him, till he gave up sleeping and eating, and his mother bound her head with the fillets of mourning. " So the Caliph bade lay him in bilboes and write thereon, "Appointed to remain here until death and not to be loosed but on the corpse washer's bench;" and they cast him fettered into limbo.

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