The Story of Abou Hassan the Wag or the Sleeper Awakened part 14

The caliph then seated himself at the heads of the two pretended corpses, and said, By the tomb of the Apostle of Allah (God favor and preserve him!), and by the tombs of my ancestors, if anyone would acquaint me which of them died before the other, I would give him a thousand pieces of gold. And when Abou Hassan heard these words of the caliph, he quickly rose and sprang up, and said, It was I who died first, O Prince of the Faithful. Give me the thousand pieces of gold, and so acquit thyself of the oath that thou hast sworn. Then Nouzatalfuad arose and sat up before the caliph and the Lady Zobeide, who rejoiced at their safety. But Zobeide chid her female slave.

The caliph and the Lady Zobeide congratulated them both on their safety, and knew this pretended death was a stratagem for the purpose of obtaining the gold: so the Lady Zobeide said to Nouzatalfuad, Thou shouldst have asked of me what thou desiredst without this proceeding, and not have tortured my heart on thi

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The Story of Abou Hassan the Wag or the Sleeper Awakened part 13

They all four arose, laying wagers with each other, and went forth and walked from the gate of the palace until they entered the gate of the street in which dwelt Abou Hassan the Wag: when Abou Hassan saw them, and said to his wife Nouzatalfuad, In truth, everything that is slippery is not a pancake, and not every time the jar is struck doth it escape unbroken.

It seefheth that the old woman hath gone and related the story to her lady and acquainted her with our case, and that she hath contended with Mesrour the eunuch, and they have laid wagers respecting our death: so the caliph, and the eunuch, and the Lady Zobeide, and the old woman have all four come to us. And upon this Nouzatalfuad arose from her extended position, and said, What is to be done? Abou Hassan answered her, We will both feign ourselves dead, and lay ourselves out and hold in our breath. And she assented to his proposal.

Abou Hassan the Wag

They both stretched themselves along, bo

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The Story of Abou Hassan the Wag or the Sleeper Awakened part 12

Then Abou Hassan laid himself along, and Nouzatalfuad covered him, and bound his eyes and his feet, and seated herself at his head, weeping. And the old woman came in to Nouzatalfuad, and saw her sitting at the head of Abou Hassan, weeping, and enumerating his merits; and when Nouzatalfuad saw the old woman, she shrieked, and said to her, See what hath befallen me! Abou Hassan hath died’ and left me single and solitary! Then she shrieked again, and tore Tier clothes in pieces, and said to the old woman, O my mother, how good he was! The old woman replied, Truly thou art excusable; for thou hadst become habituated to him, and he had become habituated to thee.

And knowing howMesrour had acted to the caliph and the Lady Zobeide, she said to Nouzatalfuad, Mesrour is about to cause a quarrel between the caliph and the Lady Zobeide. And what is this cause of Quarrel, O my mother? said Nouzatalfuad. The old woman answered, O my daughter, Mesrour hath come to them and told them

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The Story of Abou Hassan the Wag or the Sleeper Awakened part 11

Accordingly, Nouzatalfuad extended herself, and Abou Hassan cov-ered her with her veil, and seated himself at her head, weeping. And lo Mesrour the eunuch came up into the house of Abou Hassan, and saluted him, and saw Nouzatalfuad stretched out; upon which he un-covered her face, and exclaimed, There is no deity but God! Our sister Nouzatalfuad is dead! How speedy was the stroke of fate! May Allah have mercy upon her, and acquit thee of responsibility! He then re-turned, and related what had happened before the caliph and the Lady Zobeide, laughing as he spoke. So the caliph said to him, O thou accursed, this is not a time for laughing.

Tell us which of them is dead. He therefore replied, By Allah, O my lord, verily Abou Hassan is well, and none is dead but Nouzatalfuad. And upon this the caliph said to Zobeide, Thou has lost thy pavilion in thy play. And he laughed at her, and said, O Mesrour, relate to her what thou sawest. So Mesrour said to her, In truth, O my mistre

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The Story of Abou Hassan the Wag or the Sleeper Awakened part 10

And the Lady Zobeide re- joined, In truth he was not with thee, nor, didst thou see him; and none was with me just now but Nouzatalfuad, who was mourning and weeping, with her clothes rent in pieces; and I exhorted her to have patience, and gave her a hundred pieces of gold, and a piece of silk; and I was waiting for thee, that I might console thee for the loss of thy boon- companion Abou Hassan the Wag; and I was going to send for thee.

On hearing this the caliph laughed, and said, None is dead but Nouzatalfuad. And the Lady Zobeide said, No, n6, O my lord; none is dead but Abou Hassan. But the caliph now became enraged; the vein between his eyes, which was remarkable in members of the family of Hashim, throbbed, and he called out to Mesrour the Executioner, saying to him, Go forth and repair to the house of Abou Hassan the Wag, and see which of the two is dead.

Mesrour, therefore, went forth running. And the caliph said to the Lady Zobeide, Wilt thou lay me a

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The Story of Abou Hassan the Wag or the Sleeper Awakened part 9

He then extended Nouzatalfuad, and did with her as she had done with him; after which he tore his vest, and plucked his beard, and dis-ordered his turban, and ran without stopping until he went in to the caliph, who was in his hall of judgment; and in the condition above described, he beat his bosom. So the caliph said to him, What hath be-fallen thee, O Abou Hassan? and he wept, and said, Would that thy boon-companion had never been, nor his hour come to pass!

The caliph therefore said to him, Tell me. He replied, May thy head long survive, O my lord, Nouzatalfuad! And the caliph exclaimed, There is no deity but God! and struck his hands together. He then consoled Abou Hassan, and said to him, Mourn not: I will give thee a slave in her stead.

And he ordered his treasurer to give him a hundred pieces of gold, and a piece of silk. The treasurer therefore did as he was commanded, and the caliph said to Abou Hassan, Go, prepare her corpse for burial, and convey it

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The Story of Abou Hassan the Wag or the Sleeper Awakened part 8

He answered, We will feign ourselves dead. I will die before thee, and lay myself out: then do thou spread over me a napkin of silk, and unfold my turban over me, and tie my toes, and put upon my stomach a knife and a little salt; after which, dishevel thy hair, and go to thy Lady Zobeide, and tear thy vest, and slap thy face, and shriek. So she will say to thee, What is the matter with thee?

And do thou answer her, May thy head long survive Abou Hassan the Wag; for he is dead! Whereupon she will mourn for me, and weep, and will order her female treasurer to give thee a hundred pieces of gold, and a piece of silk, and will say to thee, Go, prepare his corpse for burial, and convey it forth to the grave.

So thou shalt receive from her the hundred pieces of gold, and the piece of silk, and come hither. And when thou comest to me, I will rise, and thou shalt lay thyself down in my place, and I will go to the caliph, and say to him, May thy head long survive Nouzat

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The Story of Abou Hassan the Wag or the Sleeper Awakened part 6

Then the slave girls led him by the hand to the drinking chamber, where he saw what astonished the mind; and he continued to say within himself, No doubt these are of the Genii, and this person who was my guest is one of the kings of the Genii, who saw no way of requiting and compensating me for my kindness to him but by ordering his slaves to address me as Prince of the Faithful.

All these are of the Genii. May Allah then deliver me from them happily! And while he was thus talking to himself, lo, one of the slave girls filled for him a cup of wine; and he took it from her hand and drank it; after which, the slave girls plied him with wine in abundance; and one of them threw into his cup a lozenge of bhang; and when it had settled in his stomach, he fell down senseless.

Abou Hassan said, On the condition that thou swear to me by the inscription on the seal of Solomon the son of David (on both of whom be peace!) that thou wilt not suffer thy Afrites to make sport

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The Story of Abou Hassan the Wag or the Sleeper Awakened part 5

And while he was in this state, lo, one of the mamlouks came in and said to him, O Prince of the Faithful, the chamberlain is at the door, requesting permission to enter. Let him enter, replied Abou Hassan. So he came in, and, having kissed the ground before him, said, Peace be on thee, O Prince of the Faithful!

And Abou Hassan rose, and descen-ded from the couch to the floor; whereupon the chamberlain exclaimed, Allah! Allah! O Prince of the Faithful! Knowest thou not that all men are thy servants, and under thy authority, and that is it not proper for the Prince of the Faithful to rise to anyone! Abou Hassan was then told that Giafar the Barmecide, and Abdallah the son of Tahir, and the chiefs of the mamlouks, begged permission to enter.

Mother of Abou Hassan the Wag

And he gave them permission. So they entered, and kissed the ground before him, each of them addressing him as Prince of the Faithful. And he was delighted at this, and returned their

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The Story of Abou Hassan the Wag or the Sleeper Awakened part 4

So a eunuch said to him, O my lord, this is not thy usual custom, O Prince of the Faithful. And he was perplexed at his case, and put his head into his bosom, and then began to open his eyes by little and little, laughing, and saying, What is this state in which I find myself? And he bit his finger; and when he found that the bite pained him, he cried, Ah! and was angry.

Then raising his head, he called one of the female slaves, who answered him, At thy service, O Prince of the Faithful! And he said to her, What is thy name? She answered, Cluster of Pearls. And he said, Knowest thou in what place I am, and who I am? Thou art the Prince of the Faithful, she answered, sitting in thy palace, upon the royal couch. He replied, I am perplexed at my case; my reason hath departed, and it seemeth that I am asleep: but what shall I say of my yesterday’s guest? I imagine nothing but that he is a devil, or an enchanter, who hath sported with my reason.

All this time the c

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The Story of Abou Hassan the Wag or the Sleeper Awakened part 3

After this the caliph said to his host, O Abou Hassan, is there any service that thou wouldst have performed, or any desire that thou wouldst have accomplished? And Abou Hassan answered, In our neighborhood is a mosque to which belong an imam and four sheiks, and whenever they hear music or any sport, they incite the judge against me, and impose fines upon me, and trouble my life, so that I suffer torment from them. If I had them in my power, therefore, I would give each of them a thousand lashes, that I might be relieved from their excessive annoyance.

Abou Hassan being intoxicated

Alrashid replied, May Allah grant thee the accomplishment of the wis’h! And without his being aware of it, he put into a cup a lozenge of bhang, and handed it to him; and as soon as it had settled in his stomach, he fell asleep immediately. Alrashid then arose and went to the door, where he found his young men waiting for him, and he ordered them to convey Abou Hassan upon a

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The Story of Abou Hassan the Wag or the Sleeper Awakened part 2

Thus he continued to do for a whole year; after which, as he was sitting one day upon the bridge as usual, to see who might come toward him, Alrashid and certain of his domestics passed by in disguise; for the caliph had experienced a contraction of the bosom and had come forth to amuse himself among the people. So Abou Hassan laid hold upon him, and said to him, O my master, hast thou any desire for a repast and beverage? And Alrashid complied with his request, saying to him, Conduct us.

And Abou Hassan knew not who was his guest. The caliph proceeded with him until they arrived at Abou Hassan’s house: and when Alrashid entered, he found in it a saloon, such that if thou beheldest it, and lookedst towards its walls, thou wouldst behold wonders; and if thou observedst its conduits of water, thou wouldst see a fountain incased with gold. And after he had seated himself there, Abou Hassan called for a slave girl, like the twig of the Oriental willow, who took a lute and sa

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The Story of Abou Hassan the Wag or the Sleeper Awakened part 1

Abou Hassan the Wag (Anonymous: ioth to 14th Century, A.D.)

The chief glory of Arabian prose literature is the celebrated collec-tion known to us as The Thousand and One Nights. Out of this volu-minous treasure store Abou Hassan the Wag has been chosen as an example of one of the numerous types of story to be found in it. This tale is rich in Oriental colour, furnishing as it does the humorous details of that craftiness which the Arab delights in—at least in the stories he tells and listens to. The story is among the best of the Nights.

The present version is translated by Edward William Lane, whose edition was first published in London in 1839. It is from the 271st to the 290th Night (Breslau ed.). The complete title is The Story of Abou Hassart the Wag, or The Sleeper Awakened.

The Story of Abou Hassan the Wag or the Sleeper Awakened (From the Thousand and One Nights)

There was a merchant of Bagdad in the reign of the Caliph Haroun Alr

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