Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything

Bride.Ru

Books Menu

Home
Author Catalog
Title Catalog
Sectioned Catalog

 

- The Arabian Nights Entertainments vol. 3 - 20/74 -


degrees prevailing over my reason, I resolved to cast myself into the sea; I was on the point of doing so, when I heard behind me a great noise of men and horses. I looked about to see what it might be, and espied several armed horsemen, among whom was one mounted on an Arabian horse. He had on a garment embroidered with silver, a girdle set with precious stones, and a crown of gold on his head. Though his habit had not convinced me that he was chief of the company, I should have judged it by the air of grandeur which appeared in his person. He was a young man extraordinarily well shaped, and perfectly beautiful. Surprised to see a young lady alone in that place, he sent some of his officers to ask who I was. I answered only by weeping. The shore being covered with the wreck of our ship, they concluded that I was certainly some person who had escaped from the vessel. This conjecture, and my inconsolable condition, excited the curiosity of the officers, who began to ask me a thousand questions, with assurances, that their master was a generous prince, and that I should receive protection at his court.

The sultan, impatient to know who I was, grew weary of waiting the return of his officers, and drew near to me. He gazed on me very earnestly, and observing that I did not cease weeping and afflicting myself, without being able to return an answer to their questions, he forbad them troubling me any more; and directing his discourse to me, "Madam," said he, "I conjure you to moderate your excessive affliction. Though heaven in its dispensations has laid this calamity upon you, it does not behove you to despair. I beseech you shew more resolution. Fortune, which has hitherto persecuted you, is inconstant, and may soon change. I dare assure you, that, if your misfortunes are capable of receiving any relief, you shall find it in my dominions. My palace is at your service. You shall live with the queen my mother, who will endeavour by her kindness to ease your affliction. I know not yet who you are; but I find I already take an interest in your welfare."

I thanked the young sultan for his goodness to me, accepted his obliging offers; and to convince him that I was not unworthy of them, told him my condition. I described to him the insolence of the young Saracen, and found it was enough to recount my misfortunes, to excite compassion in him and all his officers, who heard me. When I had done speaking, the prince began again, assuring me that he was deeply concerned at my misfortunes. He then conducted me to his palace, and presented me to the queen his mother, to whom I was obliged again to repeat my misfortunes and to renew my tears. The queen seemed very sensible of my trouble, and conceived extreme affection for me. On the other hand, the sultan her son fell desperately in love with me, and soon offered me his person and his crown. I was so taken up with the thoughts of my calamities, that the prince, though so lovely a person, did not make so great an impression on me as he might have done at another time. However, gratitude prevailing, I did not refuse to make him happy, and our nuptials were concluded with all imaginable splendour.

While the people were taken up with the celebration of their sovereign's nuptials, a neighbouring prince, his enemy, made a descent by night on the island with a great number of troops. That formidable enemy was the king of Zanguebar. He surprised and cut to pieces my husband's subjects. He was very near taking us both. We escaped very narrowly, for he had already entered the palace with some of his followers, but we found means to slip away, and to get to the seacoast, where we threw ourselves into a fishing boat which we had the good fortune to meet with. Two days we were driven about by the winds, without knowing what would become of us. The third day we espied a vessel making towards us under sail. We rejoiced at first, believing it had been a merchant ship which might take us aboard; but what was our consternation, when, as it drew near, we saw ten or twelve armed pirates appear on the deck. Having boarded, five or six of them leaped into our boat, seized us, bound the prince, and conveyed us into their ship, where they immediately took off my veil. My youth and features touched them, and they all declared how much they were charmed at the sight of me. Instead of casting lots, each of them claimed the preference, and me as his right. The dispute grew warm, they came to blows, and fought like madmen. The deck was soon covered with dead bodies, and they were all killed but one, who being left sole possessor of me, said, "You are mine. I will carry you to Grand Cairo, to deliver you to a friend of mine, to whom I have promised a beautiful slave. But who," added he, looking upon the sultan my husband, "is that man? What relation does he bear to you? Are you allied by blood or love?" "Sir," answered I, "he is my husband." "If so," replied the pirate, "in pity I must rid myself of him: it would be too great an affliction to him to see you in my friend's arms." Having spoken these words, he took up the unhappy prince, who was bound, and threw him into the sea, notwithstanding all my endeavours to prevent him.

I shrieked in a dreadful manner at the sight of what he had done, and had certainly cast myself headlong into the sea, but that the pirate held me. He saw my design, and therefore bound me with cords to the main-mast, then hoisting sail, made towards the land, and got ashore. He unbound me and led me to a little town, where he bought camels, tents, and slaves, and then set out for Grand Cairo, designing, as he still said, to present me to his friend, according to his promise.

We had been several days upon the road, when, as we were crossing this plain yesterday, we descried the black who inhabited this castle. At a distance we took him for a tower, and when near us, could scarcely believe him to be a man. He drew his huge scimitar, and summoned the pirate to yield himself prisoner, with all his slaves, and the lady he was conducting. The pirate was daring; and being seconded by his slaves, who promised to stand by him, he attacked the black. The combat lasted a considerable time; but at length the pirate fell under his enemy's deadly blows, as did all his slaves, who chose rather to die than forsake him. The black then conducted me to the castle, whither he also brought the pirate's body, which he devoured that night. After his inhuman repast, perceiving that I ceased not weeping, he said to me, "Young lady, prepare to love me, rather than continue thus to afflict yourself. Make a virtue of necessity, and comply. I will give you till to-morrow to consider. Let me then find you comforted for all your misfortunes, and overjoyed at having been reserved for me." Having spoken these words, he conducted me to a chamber, and withdrew to his own, after locking up the castle gates. He opened them this morning, and presently locked them after him again, to pursue some travellers he perceived at a distance; but it is likely they made their escape, since he was returning alone, and without any booty, when you attacked him.

As soon as the princess had finished the recital of her adventures, Codadad declared to her that he was deeply concerned at her misfortunes. "But, madam," added he, "it shall be your own fault if you do not live at ease for the future. The sultan of Harran's sons offer you a safe retreat in the court of their father; be pleased to accept of it. You will be there cherished by that sovereign, and respected by all; and if you do not disdain the affection of your deliverer, permit me to assure you of it, and to espouse you before all these princes; let them be witnesses to our contract." The princess consented, and the marriage was concluded that very day in the castle, where they found all sorts of provisions. The kitchens were full of flesh and other eatables the black used to feed on, when he was weary of feeding on human bodies. There was also a variety of fruits, excellent in their kinds; and, to complete their pleasure, abundance of delicious wine and other liquors.

They all sat down at table; and after having eaten and drunk plentifully, took with them the rest of the provisions, and set out for the sultan of Harran's court: they travelled several days, encamping in the pleasantest places they could find, and were within one day's journey of Harran, when having halted and drunk all their wine, being under no longer concern to make it hold out, Codadad directing his discourse to all his company, said "Princes, I have too long concealed from you who I am. Behold your brother Codadad! I have received my being, as well as you, from the sultan of Harran, the prince of Samaria brought me up, and the princess PirouzŤ is my mother. Madam," added he, addressing himself to the Princess of Deryabar, "do you also forgive me for having concealed my birth from you? Perhaps, by discovering it sooner, I might have prevented some disagreeable reflections, which may have been occasioned by a match you may have thought unequal." "No, sir," answered the princess, "the opinion I at first conceived of you heightened every moment, and you did not stand in need of the extraction you now discover to make me happy."

The princes congratulated Codadad on his birth, and expressed much satisfaction at being made acquainted with it. But in reality, instead of rejoicing, their hatred of so amiable a brother was increased. They met together at night, whilst Codadad and the princess his wife lay asleep in their tent. Those ungrateful, those envious brothers, forgetting that had it not been for the brave son of PirouzŤ they must have been devoured by the black, agreed among themselves to murder him. "We have no other course to choose," said one of them, "for the moment our father shall come to understand that this stranger of whom he is already so fond, is our brother, and that he alone has been able to destroy a giant, whom we could not all of us together conquer, he will declare him his heir, to the prejudice of all his brothers, who will be obliged to obey and fall down before him." He added much more, which made such an impression on their envious and unnatural minds, that they immediately repaired to Codadad, then asleep, stabbed him repeatedly, and leaving him for dead in the arms of the princess of Deryabar, proceeded on their journey for the city of Harran, where they arrived the next day.

The sultan their father conceived the greater joy at their return, because he had despaired of ever seeing them again: he asked what had been the occasion of their stay? But they took care not to acquaint him with it, making no mention either of the black or of Codadad; and only said, that, being curious to see different countries, they had spent some time in the neighbouring cities.

In the mean time Codadad lay in his tent weltering in his blood, and little differing from a dead man, with the princess his wife, who seemed to be in not much better condition than himself. She rent the air with her dismal shrieks, tore her hair, and bathing her husband's body with her tears, "Alas! Codadad, my dear Codadad," cried she, "is it you whom I behold just departing this life? What cruel hands have put you into this condition? Can I believe these are your brothers who have treated you so unmercifully, those brothers whom thy valour had saved? No, they are rather devils, who under characters so dear came to murder you. O barbarous wretches! how could you make so ungrateful a


The Arabian Nights Entertainments vol. 3 - 20/74

Previous Page     Next Page

  1   10   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   30   40   50   60   70   74 

Schulers Books Home



 Games Menu

Home
Balls
Battleship
Buzzy
Dice Poker
Memory
Mine
Peg
Poker
Tetris
Tic Tac Toe

Google
 
Web schulers.com
 

Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything