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- The Arabian Nights Entertainments vol. 1 - 63/63 -

there is no question but that he will load your family with favours."

Ganem asked, what the caliph had done to his mother and sister, which Fetnah told him; and he could not forbear letting fall some tears at the relation, notwithstanding the thoughts which arose in his mind at the prospect of being married to his mistress. But when Fetnah informed him, that they were actually in Bagdad, and in the same house with him, he appeared so impatient to see them, that the favourite could no longer defer giving him the satisfaction; and accordingly called them in. They were at the door waiting for that moment. They entered, went up to Ganem, and embracing him in their turns, kissed him a thousand times. What tears were shed amidst those embraces! Ganem's face was bathed with them, as well as his mother's and sisters; and Fetnah let fall abundance. The syndic himself and his wife were so moved at the spectacle, that they could not forbear weeping, nor sufficiently admire the secret workings of Providence which had brought together into their house four persons, whom fortune had so cruelly persecuted.

When they had dried up their tears, Ganem drew them afresh, by the recital of what he had suffered from the day he left Fetnah, till the moment the syndic brought him to his house. He told them, that having taken refuge in a small village, he there fell sick; that some charitable peasants had taken care of him, but finding he did not recover, a camel-driver had undertaken to carry him to the hospital at Bagdad. Fetnah also told them all the uneasiness of her imprisonment, how the caliph, having heard her talk in the tower, had sent for her into his closet, and how she had cleared herself. In conclusion, when they had related what accidents had befallen them, Fetnah said, "Let us bless Heaven, which has brought us all together again, and let us think of nothing but the happiness that awaits us. As soon as Ganem has recovered his health, he must appear before the caliph, with his mother and sister; but I will go and make some provision for them."

This said, she went to the palace, and soon returned with a purse containing a thousand pieces of gold, which she delivered to the syndic, desiring him to buy apparel for the mother and daughter. The syndic, who was a man of a good taste, chose such as were very handsome, and had them made up with all expedition. They were finished in three days, and Ganem finding himself strong enough, prepared to go abroad; but on the day he had appointed to pay his respects to the caliph, while he was making ready, with his mother and sister, the grand vizier, Jaaffier came to the syndic's house.

He had come on horseback, attended by a great number of officers. "Sir," said he to Ganem, as soon as he entered, "I am come from the commander of the true believers, my master and yours; the orders I have differ much from those which I do not wish to revive in your memory; I am to bear you company, and to present you to the caliph, who is desirous to see you." Ganem returned no other answer to the vizier's compliment, than by profoundly bowing his head, and then mounted a horse brought from the caliph's stables, which he managed very gracefully. The mother and daughter were mounted on mules belonging to the palace, and whilst Fetnah on another mule led them by a bye-way to the prince's court, Jaaffier conducted Ganem, and brought him into the hall of audience. The caliph was sitting on his throne, encompassed with emirs, viziers, and. other attendants and courtiers, Arabs, Persians, Egyptians, Africans, and Syrians, of his own dominions, not to mention strangers.

When the vizier had conducted Ganem to the foot of the throne, the young merchant paid his obeisance, prostrating himself with his face to the ground, and then rising, made a handsome compliment in verse, which, though the effusion of the moment, met with the approbation of the whole court. After his compliment, the caliph caused him to approach, and said, "I am glad to see you, and desire to hear from your own mouth where you found my favourite, and all that you have done for her." Ganem obeyed, and appeared so sincere, that the caliph was convinced of his veracity. He ordered a very rich vest to be given him, according to the custom observed towards those who are admitted to audience. After which he said to him, "Ganem, I will have you live in my court." "Commander of the true believers," answered the young merchant, "a slave has no will but his master's, on whom his life and fortune depend." The caliph was highly pleased with Ganem's reply, and assigned him a considerable pension. He then descended from his throne, and causing only Ganem and the grand vizier, follow him, retired into his own apartment.

Not questioning but that Fetnah was in waiting, with Abou Ayoub's widow and daughter, he caused them to be called in. They prostrated themselves before him: he made them rise; and was so charmed by Jalib al Koolloob's beauty, that, after viewing her very attentively, he said, "I am so sorry for having treated your charms so unworthily, that I owe them such a satisfaction as may surpass the injury I have done. I take you to wife; and by that means shall punish Zobeide, who shall become the first cause of your good fortune, as she was of your past sufferings. This is not all," added he, turning towards Ganem's mother; "you are still young, I believe you will not disdain to be allied to my grand vizier, I give you to Jaaffier, and you, Fetnah, to Ganem. Let a cauzee and witnesses be called, and the three contracts be drawn up and signed immediately." Ganem would have represented to the caliph, that it would be honour enough for his sister to be one of his favourites; but he was resolved to marry her.

Haroon thought this such an extraordinary story, that he ordered his historiographer to commit it to writing with all its circumstances. It was afterwards laid up in his library, and many copies being transcribed, it became public.

End of Volume 1.

The Arabian Nights Entertainments vol. 1 - 63/63

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