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The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night - Volume 09 von Burton, Richard F. (eBook)

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The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night - Volume 09

The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night (1885), is a celebrated English language translation of One Thousand and One Nights (the "Arabian Nights") - a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age (8th?13th centuries) - by the British explorer and Arabist Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890). (Excerpt from Wikipedia)

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    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: none
    Seitenzahl: 255
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783958648876
    Verlag: OTB eBook publishing
    Größe: 726 kBytes
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The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night - Volume 09

The Man of Upper Egypt and His Frankish Wife.

We lay one night in the house of a man of the Sa'íd or Upper Egypt, and he entertained us and entreated us hospitably. Now he was a very old man with exceeding swarthiness, and he had little children, who were white, of a white dashed with red. So we said to him, "Harkye, such an one, how cometh it that these thy children are white, whilst thou thyself art passing swart?" and he said, "Their mother was a Frankish woman, whom I took prisoner in the days of Al-Malik al-Násir Saláh al-Dín, 1 after the battle of Hattín, 2 when I was a young man." We asked, "And how gottest thou her?" and he answered, "I had a rare adventure with her." Quoth we, "Favour us with it;" and quoth he, "With all my heart! You must know that I once sowed a crop of flax in these parts and pulled it and scutched it and spent on it five hundred gold pieces; after which I would have sold it, but could get no more than this therefor, and the folk said to me, 'Carry it to Acre: for there thou wilt haply make good gain by it.' Now Acre was then in the hands of the Franks; 3 so I carried my flax thither and sold part of it at six months' credit. One day, as I was selling, behold, there came up a Frankish woman (now 'tis the custom of the women of the Franks to go about with market streets with unveiled faces), to buy flax of me, and I saw of her beauty what dazed my wits. So I sold her somewhat of flax and was easy with her concerning the price; and she took it and went away. Some days after, she returned and bought somewhat more flax of me and I was yet easier with her about the price; and she repeated her visits to me, seeing that I was in love with her. Now she was used to walk in company of an old woman to whom I said, "I am sore enamoured of thy mistress. Canst thou contrive for me to enjoy her?" Quoth she, 'I will contrive this for thee; but the secret must not go beyond us three, me, thee and her; and there is no help but that thou be lavish with money, to boot.' And I answered, saying, 'Though my life were the price of her favours 'twere no great matter.'" - And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say .

1 i.e., Saladin. See vol. iv. p. 116.

2 usually called the Horns of Hattin (classically Hittin) North of Tiberias where Saladin by good strategy and the folly of the Franks annihilated the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem. For details see the guide-books. In this action (June 23, 1187), after three bishops were slain in its defence, the last fragment of the True Cross (or rather the cross verified by Helena) fell into Moslem hands. The Christians begged hard for it, but Saladin, a conscientious believer, refused to return to them even for ransom "the object of their iniquitous superstition." His son, however, being of another turn, would have sold it to the Franks who then lacked money to purchase. It presently disappeared and I should not be surprised if it were still lying, an unknown and inutile lignum in some Cairene mosque.

3 Akká (Acre) was taken by Saladin on July 29, 1187. The Egyptian states that he was at Acre in 1184 or three years before the affair of Hattin (Night dcccxcv.).
When it was the Eight Hundred and Ninety-Fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old woman said to the man, "However the secret must not go beyond us three, to wit me, thee and her; and there is no help but thou be lavish of thy money to boot." He replied, "Though my life were the price of her favours 'twere no great matter." "So it was agreed" (continued the man of Upper Egypt), "that I should pay her fifty dinars and that she should come to me; whereupon I procured the money and gave it to the old woman. She took it and said, 'Make ready a place for her in thy house, and she will come to thee this night.' Accordingly I went home and made ready w

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