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Payne: Story of King Shehriyar and his Brother (cont.)

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And thou, O my daughter," added the Vizier, "except thou desist from this thing, I will do with thee even as the merchant did with his wife." "I will never desist," answered she, "nor is it this story that can turn me from my purpose; and an thou yield not to me, I will go up myself to the King and complain to him of thee, in that thou grudges the like of me to the like of him." Quoth her father, "Must it be so?" And she answered "Yes." So being weary of striving with her and despairing of turning her from her purpose, he went up to King Shehriyar and kissing the earth before him, told him about his daughter and how she would have him give her to him that next night; whereat the King marvelled and said to him, "How is this? By Him who raised up the heavens, if thou bring her to me, I shall say to thee on the morrow, 'Take her and put her to death.' And if thou kill her not, I will kill thee without fail." "O king of the age," answered the Vizier, "it is she who will have it so; and I told her all this, but she will not hear me and insists upon passing this night with thy highness." "It is well," answered Shehriyar; "go and make her ready, and tonight bring her to me." So the Vizier returned to his daughter and told her what had passed, saying, "May God not bereave us of thee!" But Shehrzad rejoiced with an exceeding joy and made ready all that she needed, and said to her sister Dunyazad, "O my sister, note well what I shall enjoin thee. When I go up to the Sultan, I will send after thee, and when thou comest to me and seest that the King has done his will of me, do thou say to me, 'O my sister, an thou be not asleep, tell us some of thy delightful stories, to pass away the watches of this our night.' Do this and (God willing) it shall be the means of my deliverance and of the ridding of the folk of this calamity, and by it I will turn the King from his custom." Dunyazad answered, "It is well." And the Vizier carried Shehrzad to the King, who took her to his bed and fell to toying with her. But she wept, and he said to her, "Why dost thou weep?" "O king of the age," answered she, "I have a young sister and I desire to take leave of her this night and that she may take leave of me before the morning." So he sent for Dunyazad, and she waited till the Sultan had done his desire of her sister and they were all three awake, when she coughed and said, "O my sister, an thou be not asleep, tell us one of thy pleasant stories, to beguile the watches of our night, and I will take leave of thee before the morning." "With all my heart," answered Shehrzad, "if the good king give me leave." The King being wakeful, was pleased to hear a story and said, "Tell on." Whereat she rejoiced greatly and said, "It is related, O august king, that...

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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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