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♪1øø1~History of Old man and Hind♪

1001 NIGHTS

History of the first Old man and the Hind

"I am now going," said he "to begin my tale, and i request your attention. The hind that you see here is my cousin, nay more, she is my wife. When i married her, she was only twelve years old, and she ought therefore to look upon me not only as her relation and husband, but even as her father."

"We lived together thirty years without having any children, this however, did not decrease my kindness and regard for her. Still my desire for an heir was so great, that i purchased a female slave, who bore me a son of great promise and beauty. Soon afterwards my wife was sized with jealousy, and consequently took a great aversion to both mother and child, yet she well concealed her feelings that i, alas, never had suspicion of them till too late."

"In the meantime my son grew up, and he was about ten years old when i was obliged to make a jurney. Before my departure, i recomend both the slave and the child to my wife, whom i trusted implicitly, and begged her to take care of them during my absence, which would last not less than a year. Now was the time she endeavoured to gratify her hatred. She applied herself to the study of magic, and when she was sufficiently skilled in that diabolical art to execute the horrible design she meditated, the wretch carried my son to a distant place. There, ay her chartments, she changed him into a calf, and giving the creature to my steward, told him it was a purchase of hers, and ordered him to rear it. Not satisfied even with this infamous action, she changed the slave into a cow which she also sent to my steward."

"Immediately on my return, i inquired after my child and his mother. 'Your slave is dead' said she, 'and it is now more then two months since, have behold your son, nor do i know what is become of him.'
I was deeply affected at the death of the slave, but my son had only disapered. I consoled myself with a hope, that he would soon be found. Eight months however passed, and he did not return, nor could i learn any tidings of him. The festival of the great Bairam was approaching, to celebrate it, i ordered my steward to bring me the fatest cow i had for sacrifice. He obeyed my commands, and the cow he brought me was my own slave, the unfortunate mother of my son. Having bound her, i was about to offer her up, but rhe looked most sorrowfully, and tears even fell from her eyes. This seemed to me so extraordinary that i could not but feel compassion for her, and i was unable to strike the fatal blow. I therefore ordered that she should be taken away, and another cow brought."

"My wife, who was present, seemed angry at my compassion, and resisted an order wich defeated her malice. 'What are you about, husbant?' said she, 'Why not sacrifice this cow? Your steward has not a more beautiful one, nor not more proper for the purpose.'
Wishing to oblige my wife, i again approached the cow, and struggling with the pity that held my hand. I was again going to give the mortal blow, when the victim a second time disarmed me by her renewed tears and meanings. I then delivered the instruments into the hands of my steward. 'Take them,' i cried, 'and perform the sacrifice yourself, for the lamentations and tears of the animal have overcome me.'"

"The steward was less compassionate then i, he sacrificed her. On taking off her skin we found her greatly emaciated, though she had appeared very fat. 'Take her away' said i to the stewart, greatly mortified. 'I give her to you to do as you please with, feast upon her with any friend you choose, and if you have a very fat calf, bring it in her place.' He had not been gone long before remarkably fine calf was brought out. Although, i was ignorant that this calf was my own son, yet i felt a sensation of pity arise in my breast at the first sight of him. As soon as he perceived me, he made so great effort to come to me, that he broke his cord. He lay down at my feet, with his head on the ground, as he endeavoured to seek my compassion. He was striving in this manner to make me understand that he was my son."

"I was still more surprised and affected by this action that i had been by the tears of the cow. I felt a kind of tender pity, and a great interest for him. 'Go back' i cried, 'and take all possible care of this calf, and in its stead bring me another directly.'"

"So, soon as my wife heard this, she exclaimed, 'what are you about, husband? Do not, i pray you, sacrifice any calf but this!'
'Wife,' i answered, 'i will not sacrified him, i wish to preserve him, therefore do not oppose it.'
This wicked woman, however, did not agree to my wish. She hated my son too much to suffer him to remain alive, and she continued to demand his death so obstinately that i was compelled to yield. I bound the calf, and taking the fatal knife, was going to bury it in the troat of my son, when he turned his eyes so persuasively upon me that i had no power to execute my intention. The knife fell from my hand, and i told my wife i was determined to have another calf brought. She tried every neans to induce me to alter my mind. I continued from, however, in my resolution, promising in order to appease her, to sacrifice this calf at the peas of Bairam on the folowing year."

"The next morning my steward desired to speak with me in private. 'I am come,' said he, 'to give you some informations, which i trust, will afford your pleasure. I have daughter, who has some little knowledge of magic, and yesterday, as i was bringing back the calf which you were unwilling to sacrifice, i observed that she smiled on seeing it and next moment began to weep. I enquired of her the couse of the such contrary emotions.
'My dear father' she answered, 'that calf, which you bring back, is the som of our master, i smiled with joy at seeing him still alive, and wept at the recollection of his mother, who was yesterday sacrificed in the shape of cow. These two metamorphoses have been contrived by the enchantments of our master's wife, who hated both the mother and the child.'
'This' continued the steward, is what my daughter said, and i come to report you.'
Imagine o Genie, my surprise at hearing these words. I went to the stable, where calf had been placed, he could not return my carresses, but he received them in a way which convinced me that he was realy my soon."

"When the daughter of the steward made her appearance, i asked her if she could restore the poor creature to his former shape.
'Yes,' replied she, 'i can.'
'Ah' exclaimed i, 'if you can perform such a miracle, i will make you the mistress of all i possese.'
She then answered with a smile, 'i can sestore your son to his own form, only in two conditions. Firstly, that you bestow him upon me for my husband, and secondly, that i may be permited to punish her who changed him into a calf.'
'To the first condition,' i replied, 'i agree with all my heart, i will do still more, i will give you, for your own seperate use, a considerable sum of money, independent of what i destine my son. I agree also to the stipulation concerning my wife, for the horrible crime like this is worthy of punishment. Do what you please with her, i only entreat you to spare her life.'
'I will treat her then,' she said, 'as she has treated your son.'

"The damsel then took a vessel full of water, and pronouncing over it some words i did not understand. She thus addressed the calf:
'O, calf, if you have been created, as you now appeared, by the all powerfull sovereign of the world, retain that form, but, if you are a man, and have been changed by enchantment into calf, reassume the natural figure!'
As she said this she throw the water over him, and he instantly regained his own form."

"My child, my dear child," i exclaimed, "it is Allah who had send this demsel to us, to destroy horrible charm with which you were enthralled, and to avenge the evil that has been done to you and your mother, i am sure your gratitude will lead you to accept her for a wife, as i have already promised for you."
He joyfully consented, but before they were united the damsel changed my wife into this hind you see here. I wish here to have this form in preference to any other that we see her, without repunance in our family."

"Since that time my son has become a widower, and is now travelling. Many years have passed since i have hear anything of him, i have a view to gain some more information, and as i did not like to trust my wife to take care of any during my absence, i thought proper to carry her with me. This is the history of myself and the hind. Can anything be more wonderful?"
"I agree with you," said the Genie, "and in consequence i forgive to this merchant a third part of his penalty."

"As soon as the first old man has finished his history," continued Shaherezade, "the secont, who led the two black dogs said to Genie, "i will tell you, what happened to me, and to these two dogs which you see here, and i am sure you will find my history still more astonishing than that which you have heard. But when i have told it, will you forgive this merchant another third of his penalty?"
"Yes" answered Genie, "provided your history surpass that of the hind."
This being settled, the second old man began as follows...

Please continue to the History of the old man and two black dogs!


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