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Scott: The Husbandman

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A certain husbandman having reared some choice vegetables and fruits earlier than usual, resolved to present them to the sultan, in hopes of receiving a handsome present. He accordingly loaded his ass and set off for the capital, on the road to which he met the sultan, whom he had never before seen; and who being on a hunting excursion had separated from his attendants. The sultan inquired where he was going, and what he carried. "I am repairing," said the husbandman, "to our lord the sultan, in hopes that he will reward me with a handsome price for my fruits and vegetables, which I have reared earlier than usual." "What dost thou mean to ask him?" replied the sultan. "A thousand deenars," answered the husbandman; "which if he refuses to give, I will demand five hundred; should he think that sum too much, I will come down to two hundred; and if he declines to give so much, I will ask thirty deenars, from which price I will not depart."

The sultan now left the husbandman, and hastening to the city, entered the palace, where the latter soon after arrived with his fruits, and was introduced to the presence. Having made his obeisance, the sultan returning his salute, said, "Father, what hast thou brought with thee?" "Fruits, reared earlier than usual," answered the husbandman: to which the sultan replied, "They are acceptable," and uncovering them, sent a part by the eunuchs into his haram, and distributed the rest to his courtiers, excepting a few which he ate himself, talking all the while to the countryman, whose sensible remarks gave him much pleasure. He presented him with two hundred deenars, and the ladies of the haram sent him a present of half that sum. The sultan then desired him to return home, give the money to his family, and come back with speed, as he wished to enjoy his conversation. The husbandman having replied, "To hear is to obey," blessed the sultan for his bounty, and hastening home gave the deenars to his wife, informing her that he was invited to spend the evening at court, and took his leave. It was sunset when he arrived at the palace, and the sultan being at his evening meal invited him to partake. When they were satisfied, they performed their ablutions, and having said the evening prayer, and read a portion of the Koraun, the sultan, desiring him to be seated, commanded the husbandman to relate him some narrative. The husbandman being seated, thus began.

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Scott, Jonathan (1754-1829). The Arabian Nights Entertainments. London: Pickering and Chatto, 1890. 4 Volumes. Project Gutenberg.

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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