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Payne: Bakoun's Story of the Hashish-Eater

[Go back to The History of King Omar Ben Ennuman and His Sons Sherkan and Zoulmekan (cont.)]

A certain man loved the fair and spent his substance on them, till he became a beggar and used to go about the streets and markets, seeking his bread. One day, as he went along, a splinter of iron pierced his finger and made it bleed; so he sat down and wiping away the blood, bound up his finger. Then he went on, crying out, till he came to a bath, and entering found it clean (and empty). So he took off his clothes and sitting down by the basin, fell to pouring water on his head, till he was tired, when he went out to the room in which was the tank of cold water. Finding none there, he shut himself up [in a cabinet] and taking out a piece of hashish, swallowed it. The fumes of the drug spread through his brain and he rolled over on to the marble floor. Then the hashish made it appear to him as if a great lord were kneading him and as if two slaves stood at his head, one bearing a bowl and the other washing gear and all the requisites of the bath. When he saw this, he said to himself, 'Meseems these are mistaken in me; or else they are of the company of us hashish-eaters.' Then he stretched out his legs and it seemed to him that the bathman said to him, 'O my lord, the time of thy going forth draws near and it is to-day thy turn of service (at the palace).' At this he laughed and said, 'As God wills, O hashish!' Then he sat and said nothing, whilst the bathman took him by the hand and raising him up, girt his middle with a waist-cloth of black silk, after which the two slaves followed him, with the bowls and implements, till they brought him into a cabinet, wherein they set perfumes burning. He found the place full of various kinds of fruits and sweet-scented flowers, and they cut him a melon and seated him on a stool of ebony, whilst the bathman stood to wash him and the slaves poured water on him; after which they rubbed him down well and said, 'O our lord the Vizier, may the bath profit thee and mayst thou come to delight everlasting!' Then they went out and shut the door on him; and he took up the waist-cloth and laughed till he well-nigh lost his senses. He gave not over laughing for some time and saying to himself, 'What ails them to bespeak me as if I were a Vizier and style me "Master" and "our lord"? Surely they are dreaming now; but presently they will know me and say, "This fellow is a beggar," and take their fill of cuffing me on the nape of the neck.' Presently, he felt hot and opened the door, whereupon it seemed to him that a little white slave and an eunuch entered, carrying a parcel. The slave opened the parcel and brought out three kerchiefs of silk, one of which he threw over his head, a second over his shoulders, and a third he tied round his waist. Moreover, the eunuch gave him a pair of bath-clogs, and he put them on; after which in came eunuchs and slaves and supported him, laughing the while, to the outer hall, which he found hung and spread with magnificent furniture, such as beseems none but kings; and the pages hastened up to him and seated him on the divan. Then they fell to kneading him, till sleep overcame him and he dreamt that he had a girl in his arms. So he kissed her and set her between his thighs; then, clipping her as a man clips a woman, took his yard in his hand and was about to have at her, when he heard one saying to him, 'Awake, thou good-for-nought! The hour of noon is come and thou art still asleep.' He opened his eyes and found himself lying on the merge of the cold-water tank, with a crowd of people about him, laughing at him; for the napkin was fallen from his middle and discovered his yard in point. So he knew that all this was but an imbroglio of dreams and an illusion of hashish and was vexed and said to him who had aroused him, 'Would thou hadst waited till I had put it in!' Then said the folk, 'Art thou not ashamed, O hashish-eater, and thou lying asleep and naked, with thy yard on end?' And they cuffed him, till the nape of his neck was red. Now he was starving, yet had he tasted the savour of delight in sleep."

[Resume The History of King Omar Ben Ennuman and His Sons Sherkan and Zoulmekan]

Payne, John (1842-1916). The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night. London. 1901. Gutenberg Vol. I. Gutenberg Vol. II. Gutenberg Vol. III. Gutenberg Vol. IV. Please consult the Gutenberg edition for footnotes; the footnotes have not been included in this web version. Wollamshram Vol. V. Wollamshram Vol. VI. Wollamshram Vol. VII. Wollamshram Vol. VIII. Wollamshram Vol. IX. Please consult the Wollamshram 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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