[Go back to The Sultan and the Traveller Mhamood Al Hyjemmee]
Some years ago I took a journey from my own country to the land of Yemen, accompanied by a slave, who was a lad of much ready wit, and who carried a wallet containing a few necessaries. As we were entering a town, a rascally koord snatched the wallet from his hands, and asserted that it was his own, which we had stolen from him: upon which, I called out to some passengers to assist me in the recovery of my property, and they helped me to carry the sharper before the cauzee, to whom I complained of his assault. The magistrate asked the koord what he had to allege in his defence; to which he replied, "My lord, I lost this wallet some days since, and found it in possession of the complainant, who pretends that it is his own, and will not resign it." "If it be thine," rejoined the cauzee, "describe to me what it contains, when I shall be satisfied that thou speakest the truth."
The koord assented, and with a loud voice cried out, "In this wallet, my lord, are two chests, in which are collyrium for the eyes, a number of rich napkins, drinking vessels of gold, lamps, cooking utensils, dishes, basins, and ewers; also bales of merchandize, jewels, gold, silks, and other precious articles, with a variety of wearing apparel, carpets, cushions, eating cloths, and other things too tedious to enumerate; besides, I can bring a number of my brother koords to testify to the truth of what I have said, and that the wallet is mine."
When the koord had finished, the cauzee smiled, and asked me and my slave what we could describe to be in the wallet: upon which, my slave said, "My lord, there is nothing in it of what the koord has mentioned, for it contains only both worlds, with all their lands, seas, cities, habitations, men, animals, and productions of every kind." The cauzee laughed, and turning to the koord, said, "Friend, thou hast heard what has past; what further canst thou say?" "The bag is mine," continued the koord: upon which, the cauzee ordered it to be emptied; when, lo! there were found in it some cakes of bread, a few limes, a little pepper, and a cruet of oil. Seeing this, the koord exclaimed, "Pardon me, my lord the cauzee, I have been mistaken, the wallet is not mine; but I must away and search for the thief who has stolen my valuable property." Having said this, he ran off, leaving the cauzee, myself, and the spectators bursting with laughter at his impudent knavery.
The sultan was much diverted with the relation of Mhamood, and requested him to relate another story, which he did as follows.
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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