Click here to Download The Arabian Nights Entertainments PDF Book by Andrew Lang Language English having PDF Size 2.1 MB and No of Pages 157.
In the chronicles of the ancient dynasty of the Sassanidae, who reigned for about four hundred years, from Persia to the borders of China, beyond the great river Ganges itself, we read the praises of one of the kings of this race, who was said to be the best monarch of his time.
The Arabian Nights Entertainments PDF Book by Andrew Lang
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His subjects loved him, and his neighbors feared him, and when he died he left his kingdom in a more prosperous and powerful condition than any king had done before him. The two sons who survived him loved each other tenderly, and it was a real grief to the elder, Schahriar.
That the laws of the empire forbade him to share his dominions with his brother Schahzeman. Indeed, after ten years, during which this state of things had not ceased to trouble him, Schahriar cut off the country of Great Tartary from the Persian Empire and made his brother king.
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Now the Sultan Schahriar had a wife whom he loved more than all the world, and his greatest happiness was to surround her with splendour, and to give her the finest dresses and the most beautiful jewels. It was therefore with the deepest shame and sorrow that he accidentally discovered, after several years.
That she had deceived him completely, and her whole conduct turned out to have been so bad, that he felt himself obliged to carry out the law of the land, and order the grand-vizir to put her to death. The blow was so heavy that his mind almost gave way, and he declared that he was quite sure that at bottom all women were as wicked as the sultana.
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If you could only find them out, and that the fewer the world contained the better. So every evening he married a fresh wife and had her strangled the following morning before the grand-vizir, whose duty it was to provide these unhappy brides for the Sultan.
The poor man fulfilled his task with reluctance, but there was no escape, and every day saw a girl married and a wife dead. This behaviour caused the greatest horror in the town, where nothing was heard but cries and lamentations. In one house was a father weeping for the loss of his daughter.
In another perhaps a mother trembling for the fate of her child; and instead of the blessings that had formerly been heaped on the Sultan’s head, the air was now full of curses. The grand-vizir himself was the father of two daughters, of whom the elder was called Scheherazade. The Arabian Nights Entertainments PDF Book
And the younger Dinarzade. Dinarzade had no particular gifts to distinguish her from other girls, but her sister was clever and courageous in the highest degree. Her father had given her the best masters in philosophy, medicine, history and the fine arts, and besides all this, her beauty excelled that of any girl in the kingdom of Persia.
One day, when the grand-vizir was talking to his eldest daughter, who was his delight and pride, Scheherazade said to him, “Father, I have a favour to ask of you. Will you grant it to me?” He would say no more, and, greatly puzzled, I returned to my room in the palace and went to bed.
When I woke, and considered my adventure, I thought that I must have been dreaming, and sent a servant to ask if the prince was dressed and could see me. But on hearing that he had not slept at home I was much alarmed, and hastened to the cemetery. The Arabian Nights Entertainments PDF Book
Where, unluckily, the tombs were all so alike that I could not discover which was the one I was in search of, though I spent four days in looking for it. You must know that all this time the king, my uncle, was absent on a hunting expedition, and as no one knew when he would be back, I at last decided to return home, leaving the ministers to make my excuses.
I longed to tell them what had become of the prince, about whose fate they felt the most dreadful anxiety, but the oath I had sworn kept me silent. On my arrival at my father’s capital, I was astonished to find a large detachment of guards drawn up before the gate of the palace; they surrounded me directly I entered.
I asked the officers in command the reason of this strange behaviour, and was horrified to learn that the army had mutinied and put to death the king, my father, and had placed the grand-vizir on the throne. Further, that by his orders I was placed under arrest. The Arabian Nights Entertainments PDF Book
Now this rebel vizir had hated me from my boy-hood, because once, when shooting at a bird with a bow, I had shot out his eye by accident. Of course I not only sent a servant at once to offer him my regrets and apologies, but I made them in person. It was all of no use. He cherished an undying hatred towards me, and lost no occasion of showing it.
Having once got me in his power I felt he could show no mercy, and I was right. Mad with triumph and fury he came to me in my prison and tore out my right eye. That is how I lost it. My persecutor, however, did not stop here. He shut me up in a large case and ordered his executioner to carry me into a desert place, to cut off my head.
And then to abandon my body to the birds of prey. The case, with me inside it, was accordingly placed on a horse, and the executioner, accompanied by another man, rode into the country until they found a spot suitable for the purpose. But their hearts were not so hard as they seemed, and my tears and prayers made them waver.The Arabian Nights Entertainments PDF Book Download
“Forsake the kingdom instantly,” said the executioner at last, “and take care never to come back, for you will not only lose your head, but make us lose ours.” I thanked him gratefully, and tried to console myself for the loss of my eye by thinking of the other misfortunes I had escaped.
“I never saw them before,” she answered, “and you came in such a hurry that you may have picked them up on the road without knowing it.” To this the genius only replied by insults and blows. I could hear the shrieks and groans of the princess, and having by this time taken off my rich garments and put on those in which I had arrived the previous day.
I lifted the trap, found myself once more in the forest, and returned to my friend the tailor, with a light load of wood and a heart full of shame and sorrow. The tailor, who had been uneasy at my long absence, was, delighted to see me; but I kept silence about my adventure, and as soon as possible retired to my room to lament in secret over my folly. The Arabian Nights Entertainments PDF Book Download
While I was thus indulging my grief my host entered, and said, “There is an old man downstairs who has brought your hatchet and slippers, which he picked up on the road, and now restores to you, as he found out from one of your comrades where you lived. You had better come down and speak to him yourself.”
At this speech I changed colour, and my legs trembled under me. The tailor noticed my confusion, and was just going to inquire the reason when the door of the room opened, and the old man appeared, carrying with him my hatchet and shoes. “I am a genius,” he said, “the son of the daughter of Eblis, prince of the genii.
Is not this hatchet yours, and these shoes?” Without waiting for an answer–which, indeed, I could hardly have given him, so great was my fright–he seized hold of me, and darted up into the air with the quickness of lightning, and then, with equal swiftness, dropped down towards the earth. The Arabian Nights Entertainments PDF Book Download
When he touched the ground, he rapped it with his foot; it opened, and we found ourselves in the enchanted palace, in the presence of the beautiful princess of the Ebony Isle. But how different she looked from what she was when I had last seen her, for she was lying stretched on the ground covered with blood, and weeping bitterly.
The deck was full of people, who watched my progress with interest, but when I seized a rope and swung myself on board, I found that I had only escaped death at the hands of the genius to perish by those of the sailors, lest I should bring ill-luck to the vessel and the merchants.
“Throw him into the sea!” cried one. “Knock him on the head with a hammer,” exclaimed another. “Let me shoot him with an arrow,” said a third; and certainly somebody would have had his way if I had not flung myself at the captain’s feet and grasped tight hold of his dress. The Arabian Nights Entertainments PDF Book Free
He appeared touched by my action and patted my head, and declared that he would take me under his protection, and that no one should do me any harm. At the end of about fifty days we cast anchor before a large town, and the ship was immediately surrounded by a multitude of small boats filled with people.
Who had come either to meet their friends or from simple curiosity. Among others, one boat contained several officials, who asked to see the merchants on board, and informed them that they had been sent by the Sultan in token of welcome, and to beg them each to write a few lines on a roll of paper.
“In order to explain this strange request,” continued the officers, “it is necessary that you should know that the grand-vizir, lately dead, was celebrated for his beautiful handwriting, and the Sultan is anxious to find a similar talent in his successor. Hitherto the search has been a failure, but his Highness has not yet given up hope.” The Arabian Nights Entertainments PDF Book Free
One after another the merchants set down a few lines upon the roll, and when they had all finished, I came forward, and snatched the paper from the man who held it. At first they all thought I was going to throw it into the sea, but they were quieted when they saw I held it with great care.
And great was their surprise when I made signs that I too wished to write something. “Let him do it if he wants to,” said the captain. “If he only makes a mess of the paper, you may be sure I will punish him for it. But if, as I hope, he really can write, for he is the cleverest monkey I ever saw, I will adopt him as my son.
The one I lost had not nearly so much sense!” No more was said, and I took the pen and wrote the six sorts of writing in use among the Arabs, and each sort contained an original verse or couplet, in praise of the Sultan. And not only did my handwriting completely eclipse that of the merchants. The Arabian Nights Entertainments PDF Book Free
But it is hardly too much to say that none so beautiful had ever before been seen in that country. When I had ended the officials took the roll and returned to the Sultan. From time to time we landed at various islands, where we sold or exchanged our merchandise, and one day, when the wind dropped suddenly.
We found ourselves becalmed close to a small island like a green meadow, which only rose slightly above the surface of the water. Our sails were furled, and the captain gave permission to all who wished to land for a while and amuse themselves.
I was among the number, but when after strolling about for some time we lighted a fire and sat down to enjoy the repast which we had brought with us, we were startled by a sudden and violent trembling of the island, while at the same moment those left upon the ship set up an outcry bidding us come on board for our lives. The Arabian Nights Entertainments PDF Book Free
Since what we had taken for an island was nothing but the back of a sleeping whale. Those who were nearest to the boat threw themselves into it, others sprang into the sea, but before I could save myself the whale plunged suddenly into the depths of the ocean, leaving me clinging to a piece of the wood which we had brought to make our fire.