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♪1øø1~Noureddin Ali & Bedreddin Hassan (3)♪


The history of Noureddin Ali and Bedreddin Hassan ~ part 3

"Schemseddin Mohammed, who was naturally of a warm temper, flew into a violent passion. He immediately repaired to the tent of his sister in law, and said to the eunuch, 'Wretch! Have you the temerity to abuse the confidence i have placed in you?'
Schaban, although sufficienty convinced by the testimony of Agib, thought proper still to deny the fact. But the child mantained the contrary. 'Now, you wicked slave,' cried the vizier, turning to the eunuch, 'after this will you deny that you both went into a pastryshop and ate there?'
Schaban had the effrontery to swear that it was not true. 'You are a liar!' said the vizier, 'I believe my grandson rather then you. Nevertheless, if you cant eat the whole of cheesecake which is on this table i shall be persuaded that you speaking the truth.'"

"Though he was full to the very throat, Schaban submitted to this trial and tool a bit of the cheesecake, but he was obliged to take it out of his mouth again, for his stomach turned against it. He, however, persisted in his falsehood. Irritated by the repeated falsities of the eunuch, and fully convinced that he was guilty, the vizier had him laid on the ground and ordered him to receive the bastinado. The unhappy wretch uttered loud cries on suffering this punishment, and confessed his fault. 'It is true,' cried he, 'that we did eat cheesecake at a pastryshop, and it was an hundred times better than that which is on this table.'"

"The widow of Noureddin Ali thought it was through spite to her and mortify her that Schaban praised the pastrycook's cheesecake, therefore addressing herself to him, she said, 'I cannot believe that the cheesecakes of this pastrycook are more excellent than mind. I will be satisfied at this point; you know where the man live; go to him and bring me back a cheesecake directly.'
She then ordered some money to be given to the eunuch that he might buy the cheesecake, and he set off. When he came to Bedreddin Hassan's shop he said, 'Here is some money for you. Give me one of your cheesecakes, one of our ladies wishes to taste them.'
There happened to be some hot cakes on the table, just out of the oven. Bedreddin Hassan chose the besth and giving it to the eunuch, said, 'Take this, i warrant it to be excellent, and i assure you that no one in the world can make such cheesecakes excepting my mother, who perhaps is still living.'"

"Schaban returned quickly to the tent with his cheesecake. He placed it before the widow of Noureddin Ali, who was impatiently expecting it. She broke off a piece to taste it, but it had scarcely touched her lips when he uttered a loud cry and fainted away. Schemseddin Mohammed, who was present, was very much surprised at this accident, and did all in his power to restore her. As soon as she was recovered she exclaimed, 'By Allah! It must have been my son, my dear son Bedreddin Hassan, who made this cake.'"

"When the vizier Schemseddin Mohammed heard his sister in law say that it was Bedreddin Hassan who made the cheesecake, he felt inexpressible joy, but then reflecting that this joy was altogether premature, he said to her, 'But, madam, what makes you think this? Cannot there be a pastrycook in the world who is able to make cheesecakes as well as your son?'
'I allow,' replied she, 'that there may be pastrycooks capable of making them as good, but as i make them in a very peculiar manner, and as no one except my son possesses this secret it must certainly have been he who made this. Let us rejoice, my dear brother, we have at lenght found him whom we have been so long and so anxiously seeking.'
'Madam,' said the vizier, 'i entreate you to moderate your impatience, we shall soon know what to think of this adventure. We have only to desire the pastrycook to come here, if he be Bedreddin Hassan, you and my daughter will recollect him. But you must conceal yourselves, and see him without seeing you, for i do not wish the discovery to take place in Damascus.'"

"He then left the ladies in their tent and retired to his own. The he summoned fifty of his people before him, and said to them, 'Take each of you a stick, and follow Schaban, who will conduct you to a pastrycook's in the city. When you get there break everything you find in his shop. If he inquires why you commit such an outrage, only ask if it was not he who made the cheseecake that was bought of him by a eunuch. If he acknowledge the fact, seize him, bind him securely, and bring him to me, but take care that you do not strike or hurt him. Go, and lose not time.'"

"The vizier was quickly obeyed, his people, armed with sticks and led by the black eunuch, repaired to the house of Bedreddin Hassan, where they broke in pieces the plates, the boilers, the saucepans, the tables, and all furniture an utensils they could discover, so that Bedreddin Hassan's shop was deluged with sherbet, cream and confectionery. At this sight Bedreddin Hassan was much astonished, and said to them in a pitiful tone, 'My good people, why do you treat me like this? What i have done?'
'Was it you,' asked they in return, 'who made the cheesecake which you sold the eunuch who is with us?'
'Yes,' said Bedreddin Hassan, 'i made it myself. What fault have you to find in it? I defy any one to make better!'
Instead of answering him they seized his person, and having torn off the linen of his turban, they made us of it to tie his hands behind him. Then they dragged him by force out of his shop."

"The populace, who had gathered round, were touched with compassion for Bedreddin Hassan. They took his part, and were inclined to oppose the designs of the people of Schemseddin Mohammed, but at this moment some officers of the governor of the city arrived, and dispersing the mob., favoured the carrying of Bedreddin Hassan, for Schemseddin Mohammed had been to the governor of Damascus to acquaint him with the order he had given, and to reguest his assistance and guard. And this governor, who ruled over Syria in the name of the Sultan of Egypt, did not dare to refuse anything to the vizier of his master. Bedreddin Hassan was therefore dragged away."

"On his arrival, the vizier inquired for the pastrycook when he was brought before him, poor Bedreddin Hassan said, with tears in his eyes, 'Oh, my lord, my lord, do me the favour to tell me in what i have offended you?'
'How, wretch,' exclaimed the vizier, 'was it not you who made the cheesecake you sent me?'
'I confess that it was,' replied Bedreddin Hassan, 'but what crime have i committed by doing so?'
'I will punish you as you deserve,' resumed Schemseddin Mohammed, 'and you shall pay with your life for having made so bad cake.'
'Woe is me!' cried Bedreddin Hassan, 'What do i hear? Is it a crime worthy of death to have made a bad cheesecake?'
'Yes,' replied the vizier, 'and expect not from me any other treatment.'"

"As Schemseddin Mohammed had resolved to set off the same night, he ordered the tents to be struck and all preperations to be made for the commencement of the journey. As for Bedreddin Hassan, the vizier gave instructions that he might be put in a well fastened case, and carried on a camel. As soon as everything was in readiness, the vizier and the people in his suite began their march. They travelled the whole of that night and the following day without resting, at the approach of the night they stopped. They then took Bedreddin Hassan out of his case to give him some food, but they were careful to keep him at a distance from his mother and his wife, and during the twenty days occupied by their journey they treated him in the same manner."

"On reaching Cairo they encamped without the city walls, by order of the vizier, who desired his servants to bring Bedreddin Hassan before him. When the prisoner was come, Schemseddin Mohammed said to a carpenter, whom he had sent for on purpose, 'Go, and get some wood, and cut me a large stake immediately.'
'Oh, my lord,' cried Bedreddin Hassan, 'what are you going to do with this stake?'
'To fasten you to it,' replied the vizier, 'and then have you carried through all the quarters of the city, that every one may behold in the pastrycook, who makes cheesecakes without putting pepper in them.'
At these words Bedreddin Hassan exclaimed in so comic a manner that Schemseddin Mohammed had difficulty to refrain from laughter. 'O, Allah! Is it then for not having put pepper in a cheesecake that i am condemned to suffer a cruel and ignominious death? What!' said Bedreddin Hassan, 'Was everything in my house to be broken and destroyed, myself imprisoned in a box, and at last a stake prepared for my execution, was all this done only because i did not put pepper in a cheesecake? Powers of Heaven! Who ever heard of such a thing?'"

"As the night was now far advanced, Schemseddin Mohammed ordered Bedreddin Hassan to be put back in case and said to him, 'Remain there till to morrow, the day shall not passed before i order to be put to death.'
The case was taken away and placed on the camel that had brought it from Damascus, all other camels were reladen, and the vizier mounting his horse, ordered that the camel which carried his nephew should go before him, thus he entered the city, followed by all his equipage. After passing through several streets, he arrived at his house, where the case was deposited with strict charge not to open it till he should think proper."

"Whilst they were unloading the other camels, Schemsedin Mohammed took aside the mother of Bedreddin Hassan and his daughter, and addressing the latter, said, 'God be praised, my dear daughter, that we have so happily met with your cousin and husband. I dare say you recollect the state in which your chamber was on the night of your nuptials? Go and have everything placed as it was then. If by chance you do not remember it, i can supply the defect in your memory by the description i wrote at that time. On my part, i will go and give orders for the rest.'"

"The Queen of Beauty went joyfully to execute the commands of her father, who began to place all things in the hall in the same position as when the Bedreddin Hassan was there with the humpbacked groom of the Sultan of Egypt. As he read the writing, his servants put each piece of furniture in its place. The throne was not forgotten, nor the lighted torches. When everything was prepared in the hall, the vizier entered the chamber of his daughter, where he placed the clothes of Bedreddin Hassan, together with the ...
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