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It is related that Hind, daughter of Al-Nu'man, was the fairest woman of her day, and her beauty and loveliness were reported to Al-Hajjaj, who sought her in marriage and lavished much treasure on her. So he took her to wife, engaging to give her a dowry of two hundred thousand dirhams in case of divorce, and when he went into her, he abode with her a long time. One day after this, he went in to her and found her looking at her face in the mirror and saying,
"Hind is an Arab filly purest bred, * Which hath been covered by a mongrel mule;
An colt of horse she throw by Allah! well; * If mule, it but results from mulish rule."
When Al-Hajjaj heard this, he turned back and went his way, unseen of Hind; and, being minded to put her away, he sent Abdullah bin Tahir to her, to divorce her. So Abdullah went in to her and said to her, "Al-Hajjaj Abu Mohammed saith to thee: 'Here be the two hundred thousand dirhams of thy contingent dowry he oweth thee'; and he hath deputed me to divorce thee." Replied she, "O Ibn Tahir, I gladly agree to this; for know that I never for one day took pleasure in him; so, if we separate, by Allah, I shall never regret him, and these two hundred thousand dirhams I give to thee as a reward for the glad tidings thou bringest me of my release from yonder dog of the Thakafites." After this, the Commander of the Faithful, Abd al-Malik bin Marwan, heard of her beauty and loveliness, her stature and symmetry, her sweet speech and the amorous grace of her glances and sent to her, to ask her in marriage;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Eighty-second Night,
She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Prince of True Believers, Abd al-Malik bin Marwan, hearing of the lady's beauty and loveliness, sent to ask her in marriage; and she wrote him in reply a letter, in which, after the glorification of Allah and benediction of His Prophet, she said, "But afterwards. Know, O Commander of the Faithful, that the dog hath lapped in the vase." When the Caliph read her answer, he laughed and wrote to her, citing his saying (whom may Allah bless and keep!) "If a dog lap in the vessel of one of you, let him wash seven times, once thereof with earth," and adding, "Wash the affront from the place of use." With this she could not gainsay him; so she replied to him, saying (after praise and blessing), "O Commander of the Faithful I will not consent save on one condition, and if thou ask me what it is, I reply that Al-Hajjaj lead my camel to the town where thou tarriest barefoot and clad as he is." When the Caliph read her letter, he laughed long and loudly and sent to Al-Hajjaj, bidding him to do as she wished. He dared not disobey the order, so he submitted to the Caliph's commandment and sent to Hind, telling her to make ready for the journey. So she made ready and mounted her litter, when Al-Hajjaj with his suite came up to Hind's door and as she mounted and her damsels and eunuchs rode around her, he dismounted and took the halter of her camel and led it along, barefooted, whilst she and her damsels and tirewomen laughed and jeered at him and made mock of him. Then she said to her tirewoman, "Draw back the curtain of the litter;" and she drew back the curtain, till Hind was face to face with Al-Hajjaj, whereupon she laughed at him and he improvised this couplet,
"Though now thou jeer, O Hind, how many a night * I've left thee wakeful sighing for the light."
And she answered him with these two,
"We reck not, an our life escape from bane, * For waste of wealth and gear that went in vain:
Money may be regained and rank re-won * When one is cured of malady and pain."
And she ceased not to laugh at him and make sport of him, till they drew near the city of the Caliph, when she threw down a dinar with her own hand and said to Al-Hajjaj, "O camel-driver, I have dropped a dirham; look for it and give it to me." So he looked and seeing naught but the dinar, said, "This is a dinar." She replied, "Nay, 'tis a dirham." But he said, "This is a dinar." Then quoth she, "Praise be Allah who hath given us in exchange for a paltry dirham a dinar! Give it us." And Al-Hajjaj was abashed at this. Then he carried her to the palace of the Commander of the Faithful, and she went in to him and became his favourite.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Six Hundred and Eighty-third Night,
She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that men also tell a tale anent...
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Burton, Richard (1821-1890). The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night. London. 1885-1888. Gutenberg Vol. I. Gutenberg Vol. II. Gutenberg Vol. III. Gutenberg Vol. IV. Gutenberg Vol. V. Gutenberg Vol. V. Gutenberg Vol. VII. Gutenberg Vol. VIII. Gutenberg Vol. IX. Gutenberg Vol. X. Please consult the Gutenberg edition for footnotes; the footnotes have not been included in this web version.
1001 Nights Hypertext. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. The texts presented here are in the public domain. Thanks to Gene Perry for his excellent help in preparing the texts for the web. Page last updated: January 1, 2005 10:46 PM