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Burton: The Miser and the Loaves of Bread

[Go back to The Rake's Trick Against the Chaste Wife]

There was once a merchant, who was a niggard and miserly in his eating and drinking. One day, he went on a journey to a certain town and as he walked in the market-streets, behold, he met an old trot with two scones of bread which looked sound and fair, He asked her, "Are these for sale?"; and she answered, "Yes!" So he beat her down and bought them at the lowest price and took them home to his lodging, where he ate them that day. When morning morrowed, he returned to the same place and, finding the old woman there with other two scones, bought these also; and thus he ceased not during twenty-five days' space when the old wife disappeared. He made enquiry for her, but could hear no tidings of her, till, one day as he was walking about the high streets, he chanced upon her: so he accosted her and, after the usual salutation and with much praise and politeness, asked why she had disappeared from the market and ceased to supply the two cakes of bread? Hearing this, at first she evaded giving him a reply; but he conjured her to tell him her case; so she said, "Hear my excuse, O my lord, which is that I was attending upon a man who had a corroding ulcer on his spine, and his doctor bade us knead flour with butter into a plaster and lay it on the place of pain, where it abode all night. In the morning, I used to take that flour and turn it into dough and make it into two scones, which I cooked and sold to thee or to another; but presently the man died and I was cut off from making cakes." When the merchant heard this, he repented whenas repentance availed him naught, saying, "Verily, we are Allah's and verily unto Him we are returning! There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Him, the Glorious, the Great!" --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Eighty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the old trot told the merchant the provenance of the scones, he cried, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" And he repeated the saying of the Most High, "Whatever evil falleth to thee it is from thyself;" and vomited till he fell sick and repented whenas repentance availed him naught. "Moreover, O King" (continued the second Wazir), "I have heard tell, of the malice of women, a tale of...

[Go to The Lady and Her Two Lovers]

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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