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Burton: Conclusion of the Tale of Kamar Al-Zaman

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When it was the Two Hundred and Forty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Amjad and As'ad heard this story from Bahram the Magian who had become a Moslem, they marvelled with extreme marvel and thus passed that night; and when the next morning dawned, they mounted and riding to the palace, sought an audience of the King who granted it and received them with high honour. Now as they were sitting together talking, of a sudden they heard the towns folk crying aloud and shouting to one another and calling for help; and the Chamberlain came in to the King and said to him, "Some King hath encamped before the city, he and his host, with arms and weapons displayed, and we know not their object and aim." The King took counsel with his Wazir Amjad and his brother As'ad; and Amjad said, "I will go out to him and learn the cause of his coming." So he took horse and, riding forth from the city, repaired to the stranger's camp, where he found the King and with him a mighty many and mounted Mamelukes. When the guards saw him, they knew him for an envoy from the King of the city; so they took him and brought him before their Sultan. Then Amjad kissed the ground before him; but lo! the King was a Queen, who was veiled with a mouth-veil, and she said to Amjad, "Know that I have no design on this your city and that I am come hither only in quest of a beardless slave of mine, whom if I find with you, I will do you no harm, but if I find him not, then shall there befall sore onslaught between me and you." Asked Amjad, "O Queen, what like is thy slave and what is his story and what may be his name?" Said she, "His name is As'ad and my name is Marjanah, and this slave came to my town in company of Bahram, a Magian, who refused to sell him to me; so I took him by force, but his master fell upon him by night and bore him away by stealth and he is of such and such a favour." When Amjad heard that, he knew it was indeed his brother As'ad whom she sought and said to her, "O Queen of the age, Alhamdolillah, praised be Allah, who hath brought us relief! Verily this slave whom thou seekest is my brother." Then he told her their story and all that had befallen them in the land of exile, and acquainted her with the cause of their departure from the Islands of Ebony, whereat she marvelled and rejoiced to have found As'ad. So she bestowed a dress of honour upon Amjad and he returned forthright to the King and told him what had passed, at which they all rejoiced and the King went forth with Amjad and As'ad to meet Queen Marjanah. When they were admitted to her presence and sat down to converse with her and were thus pleasantly engaged, behold, a dust cloud rose and flew and grew, till it walled the view. And after a while it lifted and showed beneath it an army dight for victory, in numbers like the swelling sea, armed and armoured cap-à-pie who, making for the city, encompassed it around as the ring encompasseth the little finger; and a bared brand was in every hand. When Amjad and As'ad saw this, they exclaimed, "Verily to Allah we belong and to Him we shall return! What is this mighty host? Doubtless, these are enemies, and except we agree with this Queen Marjanah to fight them, they will take the town from us and slay us. There is no resource for us but to go out to them and see who they are." So Amjad arose and took horse and passed through the city gate to Queen Marjanah's camp; but when he reached the approaching army he found it to be that of his grand sire, King Ghayur, father of his mother Queen Budur.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Forty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Amjad reached the approaching host, he found it to be that of his grandsire, Lord of the Isles and the Seas and the Seven Castles; and when he went into the presence, he kissed the ground between his hands and delivered to him the message. Quoth the King, "My name is King Ghayur and I come wayfaring in quest of my daughter Budur whom fortune hath taken from me, for she left me and returned not to me, nor have I heard any tidings of her or of her husband Kamar al-Zaman. Have ye any news of them?" When Amjad heard this, he hung his head towards the ground for a while in thought till he felt assured that this King was none other than his grandfather, his mother's father; where upon he raised his head and, kissing ground before him, told him that he was the son of his daughter Budur; on hearing which Ghayur threw himself upon him and they both fell a weeping. Then said Ghayur, "Praised be Allah, O my son, for safety, since I have foregathered with thee," and Amjad told him that his daughter Budur was safe and sound, and her husband Kamar al-Zaman likewise, and acquainted him that both abode in a city called the City of Ebony. Moreover, he related to him how his father, being wroth with him and his brother, had commended that both be put to death, but that his treasurer had taken pity on them and let them go with their lives. Quoth King Ghayur, "I will go back with thee and thy brother to your father and make your peace with him." So Amjad kissed the ground before him in huge delight and the King bestowed a dress of honour upon him, after which he returned, smiling, to the King of the City of the Magians and told him what he had learnt from King Ghayur, whereat he wondered with exceeding wonder. Then he despatched guest-gifts of sheep and horses and camels and forage and so forth to King Ghayur, and did the like by Queen Marjanah; and both of them told her what chanced; whereupon quoth she, "I too will accompany you with my troops and will do my endeavour to make this peace." Meanwhile behold, there arose another dust cloud and flew and grew till it walled the view and blackened the day's bright hue; and under it they heard shouts and cries and neighing of steeds and beheld sword glance and the glint of levelled lance. When this new host drew near the city and saw the two other armies, they beat their drums and the King of the Magians exclaimed, "This is indeed naught but a blessed day. Praised be Allah who hath made us of accord with these two armies; and if it be His will, He shall give us peace with yon other as well." Then said he to Amjad and As'ad, "Fare forth and fetch us news of these troops, for they are a mighty host, never saw I a mightier." So they opened the city gates, which the King had shut for fear of the beleaguering armies, and Amjad and As'ad went forth and, coming to the new host, found that it was indeed a mighty many. But as soon as they came to it behold, they knew that it was the army of the King of the Ebony Islands, wherein was their father, King Kamar al-Zaman in person. Now when they looked upon him, they kissed ground and wept; but, when he beheld them, he threw himself upon them weeping, with sore weeping, and strained them to his breast for a full hour. Then he excused himself to them and told them what desolation he had suffered for their loss and exile; and they acquainted him with King Ghayur's arrival, whereupon he mounted with his chief officers and taking with him his two sons, proceeded to that King's camp. As they drew near, one of the Princes rode forward and informed King Ghayur of Kamar al-Zaman's coming, whereupon he came out to meet him and they joined company, marvelling at these things and how they had chanced to foregather in that place. Then the townsfolk made them banquets of all manner of meats and sweetmeats and presented to them horses and camels and fodder and other guest-gifts and all that the troops needed. And while this was doing, behold, yet another cloud of dust arose and flew till it walled the view, whilst earth trembled with the tramp of steed and tabors sounded like stormy winds. After a while, the dust lifted and discovered an army clad in coats of mail and armed cap-à-pie; but all were in black garb, and in their midst rode a very old man whose beard flowed down over his breast and he also was clad in black. When the King of the city and the city folk saw this great host, he said to the other Kings, "Praised be Allah by whose omnipotent command ye are met here, all in one day, and have proved all known one to the other! But what vast and victorious army is this which hemmeth in the whole land like a wall?" They answered, "Have no fear of them; we are three Kings, each with a great army, and if they be enemies, we will join thee in doing battle with them, were they three times as many as they now are." Meanwhile, up came an envoy from the approaching host, making for the city. So they brought him before Kamar al-Zaman, King Ghayur, Queen Marjanah and the King of the city; and he kissed the ground and said, "My liege lord cometh from Persia-land; for many years ago he lost his son and he is seeking him in all countries. If he find him with you, well and good; but if he find him not, there will be war between him and you and he will waste your city." Rejoined Kamar al-Zaman, "It shall not come to that; but how is thy master called in Ajam land?" Answered the envoy, "He is called King Shahriman, lord of the Khálidan Islands; and he hath levied these troops in the lands traversed by him, whilst seeking his son." No-vv when Kamar al-Zaman heard these words, he cried out with a great cry and fell down in a fainting fit which lasted a long while; and anon coming to himself he wept bitter tears and said to Amjad and As'ad, "Go ye, O my sons, with the herald, salute your grandfather and my father, King Shahriman and give him glad tidings of me, for he mourneth my loss and even to the present time he weareth black raiment for my sake." Then he told the other Kings all that had befallen him in the days of his youth, at which they wondered and, going down with him from the city, repaired to his father, whom he saluted, and they embraced and fell to the ground senseless for excess of joy. And when they revived after a while, Kamar al-Zaman acquainted his father with all his adventures and the other Kings saluted Shahriman. Then, after having married Marjanah to As'ad, they sent her back to her kingdom, charging her not to cease correspondence with them; so she took leave and went her way. Moreover they married Amjad to Bostan, Bahram's daughter, and they all set out for the City of Ebony. And when they arrived there, Kamar al-Zaman went in to his father-in-law, King Armanus, and told him all that had befallen him and how he had found his sons; whereat Armanus rejoiced and gave him joy of his safe return. Then King Ghayur went in to his daughter, Queen Budur, and saluted her and quenched his longing for her company, and they all abode a full month's space in the City of Ebony; after which the King and his daughter returned to their own country.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,

When it was the Two Hundred and Forty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King Ghayur set out with his daughter and his host for his own land, and they took with them Amjad and returned home by easy marches. And when Ghayur was settled again in his kingdom, he made his grandson King in his stead; and as to Kamar al-Zaman he also made As'ad king in his room over the capital of the Ebony Islands, with the consent of his grandfather, King Armanus and set out himself, with his father, King Shahriman, till the two made the Islands of Khálidan. Then the lieges decorated the city in their honour and they ceased not to beat the drums for glad tidings a whole month; nor did Kamar al-Zaman leave to govern in his father's place, till there overtook them the Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer of societies; and Allah knoweth all things! Quoth King Shahryar, "O Shahrazad, this is indeed a most wonderful tale!" And she answered, "O King, it is not more wonderful than that of...

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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

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