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arabian nights - Comics/Fantasy/Anime

♪1øø1~History of Fisherman♪


History of Fisherman

"There once lived, sir, a fisherman, who was old and feeble, an so poor that he could barely obtain food for himself, and for the wife and three children who made up his family. He went out very early every morning to his work, and he made it an absolute rule, that he would throw his nets only four times a day."

"One morning he set out before the moon had set. When he had got to the seashore, he undressed himself and throw his nets. In drawing them to land, he felt them drag heavily, and began to imagine he should have an excellent haul. But, on pulling up the nets, he found that instead of fish he had only caught the carcass of an ass, and he was much vexed and afflicted at having made so bad haul. When he had mended his nets, which the weight of the ass had torn in many places, he cast them a second time into the sea. He again foun considerable resistance in drawing them up, and again he thought they were filled with fish, but great was his disgpointment, when he discovered only a large basket, filled with sand and mud. 'O fortune!' he exclaimed, with a melancholy voice, and in the greatest distress, 'cease to be angry with me. I came from home to seek for life, an thnu threatenest me with death. I have no other trade, by which i can subsist, and i can hardly supply the most pressing wants of my family, but i am wrong to complain of thee, that takest a pleasure in deluding the virtuous, and leaves good men in obscurity, while posess no virtue to recommend them!"

"Having thus vented his complaints, he angrily throw the basket aside, and washing his nets from mud an slime, he throw them i third time. He brought up only stones, shells and filth. It is impossible to describe his despair, but the day now began to break, and like a good Mussulman, he did not neglect his prayers, to which he added the folowing supplication:
'Thou knowes, o Lord, that i throw my nets only four times a day, three times i throw them into the sea, without any profit for my labour. One more cast alone remains, and i entreat thee to render the sea favourable, as thou formerly didst to Moses.'"

"When the fisherman had finished his prayer, he throw his nets for the fourth time. Again he supposed he had caught a great quantity of fish as they were just as heavy as before. He nevertheless find none, but discovered a vase of yellow copper, which seemed? From its weight, to be filed with something, and he observed that it was shut up and stoppered with lead, on which there was the impression of a seal.
'I will sell this to a founder,' said he, joyfully, 'and with the money, i shall get for it, i will purchase a measure of corn.'"

"He examined the vase and shook it, to judge of his contents by the sound. He could hear nothing, and this together with the impression of the seal on the lead, made him think it was filled with something valuable. To decide the question, he took his kniff, and cut it open without much difficulty. He turned the top downwards, and was much surprised to find nothing come out, he set it down before him, and while he watched it closely, there issued from it so thick a smoke, that he was obliged to step back a few paces. This smoke by degrees rise almost to the clouds, and spread itself over sea, and land, appearing like a thick fog. The fisherman, as may easily be imagined, much surprised at this sight. When the smoke had all come out from the vase, it again collected itself, and became a solid body, taking the shape of a Genie, twice as large as any of the giants. At the appearance of this huge monster, the fisherman wished to run away, but his fear was so great he was unable to move."

"'Solomon, Solomon,' cried the Genie, 'great Prophet of Allah, pardon,' beseech he, 'i will never more oppose your will, but obey all your commands.'"

"The fisherman had no sooner heard these words spoken by the Genie, than he regained his courage, and said, 'proud spirit, what is this you say? Solomon, the Prophet to the Most High, has been dead more then eighteen hundred years. Tell me, then, your history, and wherefore you has been shut up in this vase?'"

"To this speech the Genie, looking distantfully at the fisherman answered:
'Speak more civilly, you are very bold to call ne proud spirit.'
'Perhaps the,' returned the fisherman, 'it will be more civil to call you, a bire of good omen.'
'I tell you,' said the Genie, 'speak to me more civilly, before i kill you.'
'And for what reason, pray, would you kill me?' asked the fisherman. 'Have you already forgoten that i have set you at liberty?'
'I remember it very well,' returned the Genie, 'but that shall not prevent destroying you, and i will only grand you one favour.'
'And what is that?' asked the fisherman.
'It is,' replied the Genie, 'to permit you to choose the manner of your death.'
'But in what,' resumed the other, 'have i offend you? Is it that you dont like me for the good service i have done you?'
'I cannot treat you other wise,' said the Genie, 'and to convince you of it, attend to my history.'"

"'I am one of those spirits who rebelled against the sovereignty of Allah. All other Genii acknowledged to great Solomon, the Prophet of God, and submited to him. Sacar and myself were the only ones who disdained the humble ourselves. In revenge for my contumacy, this powerful monarch charget Assaf, the son of Barakhia, his first minister, to come and seize me. This was done, and Assaf capture me, and brought me by force before the throne of the king, his master.'"

"'Solomon, the son of David commanded me to quit my mode of life, acknowledge his authority, and submit to his laws. I haughtily refused to obey him, and exposed myself to his resentment rather then take the oath of fidelijy and submission which he required of me. In order, therefore, to punish me, he conpined me in this copper vase, and to prevent my forcing way out he put upon the leaden cover the impression of his seal, on which the great name of Allah is engraven. Then he gave the vase to one of those Genii, who obeyed him, and ordered the spirit to throw me into the sea, which, to my great sorrow was done directly.'"

"'During the first period of my captivity, i swore that if any man delivered me before the first hundred years were passed, i would make him rich, even after his death. The time lapsed, and no one released me. During the second century i swore that if any one set me free, would discover to him all the treasures of the earth, but still no help came. During the third i promise to make my deliverer a most powerful monarch, to be always at his command and to grant him every day any three requests he choose to make. This age, like the former, passed away, and i remained in bondage. Enraged at last, to be so long a prisoner, i swore, that i would without mercy kill the person who should release me, and that the only favour i would grant him should be the choice of what manner of death he prefered. Since, therefore, you have come here today, and have delivered me, fix upon what ever death you wish.'"

"The fisherman was much unhappy at this speech.
'How unfortunate,' he exclaimed, 'am i to come here and render so great service to šuch an ungrateful creature! Pardon me, and Allah will, in like manner also pardon you.'
'No,' answered the Genie, 'your death is inevitable, determine only how i shall kill you.'
The fisherman was in great distress at finding Genie is resolved on his death, not so much on his own account, as on that of his three children, for he anticipated with anguish the wretched state to which his death would reduce them. He still endeavoured to appease the Genie.
'Let us lose no time,' cried the Genie, 'your arguments will not alter my resolution. Make haste and tell me how you will die.'"

"Necessity the spur to intention, and the fisherman thought of a strategy.
'Since then,' said he, ' i canot escape death, i submit to the will of god, but before i choose the manner of my death, i conjure you, by the great name of Allah, which is graven upon the seal of the Prophet Solomon, the son of David, to answer me truly a question i am going to put to you.'
When the Genie found, that he should be compelled to answer positively, he trembled, and said to the fisherman.
'Ask what you want, and make haste'"

"Soon as the Genie had promised to speak the truth, the fisherman said to him:
'I wish to know whether you were realy in that vase, darest you swear it by the great name of Allah?'
'Yes,' answered the Genie, 'i do swear by the greate name of Allah, that i most certainly was there.'
'In truth,' replied the fisherman, 'i cannot belive you, this vase cannot contain one of that feet. How than can it hold your whole body?'
'I swear to you,' replied the monster, 'that i was there just us you see me. Will you not belive me after the solemn oath i have taken?'
'Not trully,' restored the fisherman, 'i will not belive you unless i see it.'"

"Immediately, the form of the Genie began to change into smoke, and to extend itself as before over both shore and the sea, and then collecting itself, it began to enter the vase, and continued to do so with slow and equal motion, untill nothing remain without. A voice immediately issued forth, saying,
'Now, you unbeliving fisherman, are you convinced now, that i am in the vase?'
But instead of answering the Genie, the fisherman immediately took the leaden cover, and clapped in on the vase.
'Genie,' he cried, 'it is now your turn to ask pardon and choose what sort of death is most agreeable to me. But no, it is better that i should throw you again into the sea, and as long i live, to warn all fishermen that shall come and throw their nets, not to fish up so wicked Genie as you are, that takest an oath to kill him who shall set you at liberty.'"

"At this insulting speech, the enraged Genie tried his utmost to get out of the vase, but in vain, for the impression of the seal of Solomon the Prophet, the son of David, prevented him. Knowing then that the fisherman had the advantage over him, he began to conceal his rage.
'Take heed,' said he in g softened tone, 'o fisherman, whatever i said was merely in jest, and you shouldnt not take in seriously.'
'O, Genie,' answered the fisherman, 'you who were a moment ago the greatest of all the Genii, are now the most insignificant, and suppose not, that your flatering speeches will change anything. You ...
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