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Burton: The Merchant and the Two Sharpers

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In a city called Sindah there was once a very wealthy merchant, who made ready his camel-loads and equipped himself with goods and set out with his outfit for such a city, purposing to sell it there. Now he was followed by two sharpers, who had made up into bales what merchandise they could get; and, giving out to the merchant that they also were merchants, wended with him by the way. So halting at the first halting-place they agreed to play him false and take all he had; but at the same time, each inwardly plotted foul play to the other, saying in his mind, "If I can cheat my comrade, times will go well with me and I shall have all these goods for myself." So after planning this perfidy, one of them took food and putting therein poison, brought it to his fellow; the other did the same and they both ate of the poisoned mess and they both died. Now they had been sitting with the merchant; so when they left him and were long absent from him, he sought for tidings of them and found the twain lying dead; whereby he knew that they were sharpers who had plotted to play him foul, but their foul play had recoiled upon themselves. So the merchant was preserved and took what they had. Then quoth the Sultan, "O Shahrazad, verily thou hast aroused me to all whereof I was negligent! So continue to edify me with these fables." Quoth she:--It hath reached me, O King, that men tell this tale 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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