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arabian nights - Comics/Fantasy/Anime

♪1øø1~Greek King and Physician♪


The story of the Greek King and the Physician

"In the country of Zouman, in Persia, there lived a King whose subjects were Greek origin. The King was sorely afflicted with a leprosy, and his physicians had unsuccessfully tried every remedy they knew, when a very learned physician, called Douban, arrivet at the court."

"As soon as he was informed of the King's illness, and heard that physicians had given their master up, he dressed himself as neatly as possible, and obtained an audience of King.
'Sir,' said he, ' i know that all the physicians who have attendet your Majesty have been unable to remove your leprosy, but if you will do me the honour to accept of my services, i will engage to cure you without medicines or ointments.'
The King, pleased with proposal, replied,
'if you are really skilful as you pretendet, i promise to shower wealth on you, and in adition to the presents you shall have, you shall be my first favourite. But dont you tell me earlier, that you will remove my leprosy without making me swallow any potion or applying any remedy externally?'
'Yes, sir,' replied the physician, 'i flatter myself, i shall succed with the help of God, and tomorrow i will begine my cure.'"

"Douban returned to his house and made a sort of racket or bat, with a hollow in the handle to admit the arug he meant to use. That being done, he also prepaered a sort of round ball or bowl, and the following day he presented himself before the King, and prostrating himself at the monarch's feet, kissed the ground before him."

"Douban then arose, and told the King, that he must ride on horseback to the place where he was accustomed to play at bowls. The King did as he was recomended, and when he had reached the bowling green the physician approached him, and putting into his hand the bat, which had been prepared, said, 'o King, exercise youself with striking ball with this bat, untill you find yourself in a profuse perspiration. When the remedy i have enclosed in the handle of the bat is warmed by your hand, it will penetrate through your whole body. You may then leave off playing, for the drug will have taken effect, and when you return to your palace get into a warm bath, and be well rubbed and washed, then go to bed and tomorrow you will be quite cured.'"

"The King took the bat, and spurred his horse after the ball untill he struck it. It was sent back to him by the officers who were playing with him, and he struck it again, and thus the game continued for a considerable time, untill he found his hand as well as his whole body through heated, and the remedy in the bat began to operate as the physician had prophesied. The King then ceased playing, returned to the palace, bathed, and observed very punctualy all the directions that had been given him."

"He soon found the good effects of the prescription, for when he arose the next morning he perceived with equal surprise an joy that leprosy was entirely cured, and that his body was as clear as if he had neves been attacked by that malady. As soon as he was dressed he went into the audience chamber, where he mounted his throne and received the congratulations of all his courtiers, who had assembled on that day partly to gratify their curiosity, and partly to testify their joy at their master recovery."

"Douban entered, and went to prostrate himself at the foot of the throne, with his face towards the ground. The King when he saw him called to him and made him sit by his side, and poiting him out to the assembly, gave him in that public way all the prise the physician so well deserved. Nor did the King stop here, for at a grand entertainment at court on that day he placed the physiciat at his ow table to dine with him alone."

"The great King," continued fisherman," was not satisfied with admitting the physician to his own table, towards evening. When the courtiers were about to depart, he caused him to be dressed in a long robe resembling that which the courtiers usually wore in King's presence, and in addition, made him a present of two thousand sequins. For the next few days this prince thinking he could never repay the obligations he owned to the skilful physician, was continually conferring on him some fresh proof of his gratitude."

"The King had a grand vizier, who was avaricious, envious, and prone by nature to every species of crime. This man observed with malicious fury the presents which had been bestowed upon the physician, whose great character and merit he was determined to lessen and destroy in the mind of the King. To accomplish this purpose, he went to monarch, and said in private that he had some intelligence of the greatest moment to communicate. The King asked him what it was. 'Sir,' replied he, 'it is very dangerous for a monarch to place confidence in a man, of whose fidelity he is not assured. While you overwhelm the physician Douban with your favours and bestow all this kindness and regard upon him, you are ignorant, that he is a trator, who has introduced himself into the court, in order to assassinate you.'
'What is this you dare tell me?' cried the King. 'Recollect to whom you speak, and that you advance and assertion, which i shall not easely belive.'
'O King,' resumed the vizier, 'i am accurately informed, of what i have the honour to represent to you, do not therefore continue to repose such a dangerous confidence in Douban. I repeat, that the physician Douban has travelled from the farthest part of Greece, his own country, to carry out the horrible design i have mentioned.'"

"'No, no vizier', interrupted the King, 'i am sure this whow you consider hypocrite and trator, is one of the most virtuous and best men. You know by what remedy, or rather by what miracle, he cured me of my leprosy, and why did he save me? Cease then from endeavouring to instil unjust suspicions into my mind instead of listening to them, i now inform you that from this very day i bestow upon him a pension of one thousand sequins a month, for the rest of his life, and were i to share all my riches, and even my kingdoms with him, i could never sufficiently repay what he has done for me. I see the reason of this virtue excites your envy, but do not suppose that i shall suffer myself to be prejudiced against him'"

"The vizier was too desirus of the death of Douban to let the matter where it was. 'O King,' replied he, 'it is not envy that makes me hostile to him, it is interest alone that i take in your majesty's preservation. Douban is a spy, sent by your enemies to attempt your majesty's life. He has cured you, you say, but who can tell that? He has perhaps, only cured you in appearance, and not in truth, and who can tell whether this remedy, in the end, will not produce the most pernicious effects?'"

"The Greek King was naturaley rather weak, and had neither penetration enough to discover the wicked intention of his vizies, nor firmness to persist in his first opinion.
'You are right vizier,' said he, 'he may have come for the express purpose of taking my life, an object he can easly accomplish. We must consider what to be done in this difficulty!'"

"When the vizier perceived the King in the desposition he wished to produce, he said to him, 'the best and most certain means, great King, to ensure your repose, and put your person in safety, is instantly to send to Douban, and on his appearance, to couse him to be beheaded!'
'Indeed,' replied the King, 'i think i ought to prevent his designs.'
Having said this, he called one of his officers, and ordered him to summon the physician. The latter, quite unsuspicius of the King's design, hastened to the palace."

"'Do you know,' said the King as soon as he saw him, 'why i sent for you?'
'No sir,' answered Douban.
'I have order you to come,' replied the King,' that i may free myself from my snares by taking my life.'"

"Its impossible to express the astonishment of Douban when he heard himsele thus adressed.
'For what reason, o King,' replied he, 'does your Majesty condemn me to death? What crime have i commited?'
'I have been informed,' said the King, 'that you are a spy, and that you have come to my court to take away my life. Strike!' Added he to an officer who was present, and deliver me from a treacherous wretch who has introduced himself here only to assassinate me!'"

"On hearing this, physician began to think, that the honours and riches which have been heaped upon him excited some enemies, and that the King, through weaknes, he suffered himself to be quided by these. He began to repent having cured the King, but this repentance came too late.
'Is that,' he cried, 'how you repay the good i have done for you?'
The King however paid no attention to his remonstrances, and second time desired the officer to execute his orders. The physician had the recourse to prayers.
'Ah sir,' he cried, 'if you prolong my life, god will prolong yours, do not kill me, lest god should treat you in the same manner.'"

"'You see then,' said the fisherman to the Genie, 'that what has passed between the Greek King and physician Douban, is exactly similiar to what happenee between us.'"

"The Greek King however," he continued, "instead of regarding the entreaties of the physician, exclaimed
'no, no, you must die, or you will take away my liff more mysteriously even than you have cured me.'
The officer then put a bandage over prisoner eyes, tied Douban's hands, and was going to draw his scimitar. But the courtmens who were present felt so much for the physician that they entreated the King to pardon him, assuring his Majesty that they would answer for his innocence. But the King was inflexible, and spoke so peremptorily that they dare not to reply."

"On his knees, his eyes bandaged, and ready to receive the stroke that was to terminate his existence, the physician once more addressed the King in these words
'Since your Majesty refuses to revoke the order for my death, i entreat you at least to give me leave to return home, to arrange my funeral, take a last farewell of my family, bestow some money in charity and leave my books to those who will know how to make a good use of them. There is one among them which i wish to present to your Majesty. It is a very rear and curious work, and worth of being kept even in your treasury with the greatest care.'
'What book can there be,' replied the King, ...
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