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♪1øø1~Noureddin Ali & Bedreddin Hassan (2)♪

1001 NIGHTS

The history of Noureddin Ali and Bedreddin Hassan~Part 2

"A venerable old man next addressed him. 'My son,' said he, 'you must be mistaken, for how could you be last night at Cairo, and this morning at Damascus? That cannot be.'
'It is very true, notwithstanding,' replied Bedreddin Hassan, 'and i assure you, moreover, that i passed the whole of yesterday at Balsora.'
He had scarcely uttered these words when they all burst into a laugh, and cried, 'He is mad, he is mad!'
Some, however pitted him on account of his extreme youth, and a man who was looking said, 'My son, you have lost your reason, you know not what you say. How is it possible that a man should be in one day at Balsora, in the same night at Cairo, and the next morning at Damascus?'
'What i tell you,' persisted Bedreddin Hassan, 'is as true as that i was last night married in the city of Cairo.'
All those who had laughed before burst into fresh shouts at hearing this. 'Take care,' resumed the person who had addressed him before, 'you must have dreamt all this, and the illusion still remains impressed on your mind.'
'I know what i am saying,' replied the youth, 'i have not dreamt i was at Cairo, for i am persuaded i was there in reality. But can you tell me what is become of my robe, my turban, and the purse of sequins i had in Cairo?'"

"Although he assured them that all this was true, yet the people who listened to him only laughed at what he said. At lenght he rose and walked into the city, but the crowd followed him, crying out, 'A madman! A madman!'
On hearing this, some of the inhabitants ran to the windows, others came out at their doors, and some joined the throng who had surrounded Bedreddin Hassan, and joined in the cry, 'A madman!' without knowing why they shouted. Tormented by his pursuers, he came to the house of a pastrycook, and entered to escape from the hooting of the mob who followed him."

"The pastrycook had formerly been the chief of a troop of a wandering Arabs who attacked caravans, and although he now established at Damascus, yet he was feared by all who knew anything of his former life. His appearance soon dispersed the mob that followed Bedreddin Hassan. The pastrycook began question the young man, inquiring who he was, and what had led him to Damascus. Bedreddin Hassan related the story of his birth, and told of the death of the grand vizier his father. He then proceeded to relate how he had left Balsora, how, after falling asleep on the tomb of his father, he had awaked to find himself at Cairo, where he married a lady. Lastly, he expressed his surprise at seeing himself in Damascus without being able to understand any of these miracles."

"'Your history is very astonishing,' said the pastrycook, 'but if you follow my advice, you will not disclose to any one the facts you have related to me. You may remain with me till your fortunes change, and, as i have no children, i will adopt you as my son, if you consent. You may then go freely about the city, and will no longer be exposed to the insults of the populace.'"

"Although this proposal conferred no great honour on the son of a great vizier, Bedreddin Hassan nevertheless accepted the pastrycook's offer, judging, very properly, that it was the only step he could take in his present situation. The pastrycook procured him clothes, and, taking witnesses with him, went before a cadi to decleare that he adopted the young man as his son. Bedreddin Hassan resided with him, and only callinp himself by the simple name of Hassan, soon learned the art of making pastry."

"Whilst this was passing in Damascus, the daughter of Schemseddin Mohammed awoke, and, not finding Bedreddin Hassan by her side, concluded that he had risen softly, not to interrupt her slumbers, and that he would soon return. She was still expecting him, when her father, the vizier Schemseddin Mohammed, came to the door of her apartment. He was much affected by the affront he conceived had bee put upon him by the Sultan of Egypt, and came bewail with her on the unhappy destiny to which she had been abandoned. He called her by her name, and she no sooner heard his voice than she rose up to open the door to him. She kissed his hand, and received him with an air of so much satisfaction that the vizier, who expected to find her bathed in tears, and in grief equal to his own, was extremely surprised, 'Miserable one!' cried he, in a angry tone, 'Is it thus you appear before me? Bearing the horrid fate to which you have been sacrificied, can you present yourself to me with a countenance which bespeaks content?'
When the bride perceived her father's displeasure at the joy which brightened her features, she replied, 'My lord, i entreat you not to reproach me so unjustly. I have not been married to that monster the hunchback, who is more detestable in my eyes than the death itself. All the company treated him with such derision and contempt that he was obliged to go away and hide himself, and make room for a charming young man, who is my real husband.'
'What story is this?' cried the grand vizier, 'Was not the hunchback married to you last night?'
'No my lord,' returned she, 'my husband is a young man i was speaking of, who has large eyes and fine black eyebrows.'
At these words Schemseddin Mohammed lost all patience, and put himself in a violent rage with his daughter. 'Ah, foolish girl!' said he, 'Will you make me lose my senses by your incredulity. Is it not true,' persisted the vizier, 'that the hunchbabk...'
'Let us talk no more of the hunchback,' interrupted she, 'evil befall the hunchbach! I again tell you,' she continued, 'that he has not passed the night in my chamber, but my dear husband, whom i have mentioned to you, and indeed he cannot be now at any great distance from hence.'"

"Schemseddin Mohammed went out immediately to look for this husband, but, instead of finding him, he was in the greatest astonishment at seein humpbacked fellow standing on his head with his feet in the air, and in the very position in which the genie had left him. 'What is the meaning of all this?' he asked him, 'Who placed you in this situation?'
The hunchback, who instantly recognized the vizier, answered, 'You are the man who wishes to give me in marriage to the mistress of a buffalo, the one who is in love with a genie? But i won't be your dupe, i promise you.'"

"Schemseddin Mohammed thought the hunchback was out of his senses. 'Get up,' he cried, and stand upon your legs.'
'I will beware how i do that,' answered he, 'unless, indeed, the sun be risen. You must know, that as i was coming here yesterday evening, a large black cat suddenly appeared to me, and it kept increasing in size till it was as large as buffalo. I shall never forget what it said to me, therefore leave me here.'
Instead of complying, the vizier took hold of the hunchback by legs and obliged him to get up. As soon as he was on his legs he ran away as fast as he could. He went directly to the palace, and presented himself before the Sultan of Egypt, who was highly amused at the accoun he gave of the manner in which the genie had treated him."

"Schemseddin Mohammed them went back to his daughter's apartment, quite uncertain how to think to act. 'Unhappy girl,' he said to his daughter, 'can you give me no furter account of this adventure, which confuses and distracts me?'
'My father,' she replied, 'i cannot tell you anything more than i have already honour to relate to you. But see, here is some part of my husband's dress, which he left on this chair, and perhaps this may throw some light on what you wish to discover.'
So saying, she presented the turban of Bedreddin Hassan to the vizier, who examined it attentively. He then said, 'I should conjecture this to be a turban that belonged to a vizier if it were not made in the fashion of those of Moussoul.'
As he was thus turning it over in his hands, he felt something sewn up in the inside of the turban between the folds. He asked, therefore, for scissors, and on unripping the turban, he discovered a paper folded up. This was the packet which Noureddin Ali on his death bed had given to his son Bedreddin Hassan, who had concealed it in his turban. On opening the packet, Schemseddin Mohammed instantly knew the handwriting of his brother Noureddin Ali, and read the following direction. "For my son, Bedreddin Hassan."
Before he had time to reflect on these circumstances, his daughter put into her father's hands the purse which she had found in Bedreddin Hassan's pocket. He immediately opened it, and saw it filled with sequins, for, through the care of the genie and fairy, it had remained full in spite of all the gold that Bedreddin Hassan has bestowed on those around him. Upon a sort of ticket attached to the purse the vizier read these words, "A thousand sequins belonging to the Jew Isaac." And under them was following inscription, which the Jew had written before he had left Bedreddin Hassan, "Delivered to Bedreddin Hassan, in payment for the cargo of the first vessel that arrives in port belonging to him, and which belonged to Noureddin Ali, his father, of happy memory." The vizier had scarcely finished reading these words, when he uttered a loud cry and fainted away."

"When Schemseddin Mohammed recovered from his fainting fit, he exclaimed, 'My daughter, be not surprised at the accident which has just happened to me, so wonderful is the adventure which has caused it, that you will hardly give credit to it. The husband who have passed the night with you is no other than your cousin, the son of Noureddin Ali. The thousand sequins in this purse remaind me of the quarrel i had with my dear brother. Doubt not, this is the wedding present he makes you. Allah be praised for all these things.'
He then looked at the writing in his brother's hand, and kissed it many times, bathing it with his tears. 'Why cannot i see Noureddin Ali himself here,' he exclaimed, 'and be reconciled to him, as well as i see his handwriting, which causes me so much joy?'"

"He read the packet through and found the dates of his brother's arrival at Balsord, of his marriage, and of the birth of Bedreddin Hassan. Then comparing these dates with those of his own marriage and of his daughter's birth at Cairo, he could not help wondering at the coincidence, and remembering that his nephew was his son in law, he gave himself up entirely to the emotions of pleasure to which all these circumstances gave rise."

"Nevertheless Schemseddin Mohammed could not understand why his nephew had disappeared. He expected him to arrive every moment, and awaited his coming with the greatest impatience. When seven days passed, and ...
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