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 thine account. I was ashamed, O my mistress, replied Nouzatalfuad. But as to the caliph, he was almost senseless from laughing, and said, O Abou Hassan, thou hast not ceased to be a wag, and to do wonders and strange acts. Abou Hassan replied, O Prince of the Faithful, this stratagem I practised in consequence of the dissipation of the wealth that I received from thy hand; for I was ashamed to ask of thee a second time.

    My possession was exhausted

    When I was alone, I was not tenacious of wealth; but since thou hast married me to this female slave who is with me, if I possessed all thy wealth I should make an end of it. And when all that was in my possession was exhausted, I practised this stratagem, by means of which I obtained from thee these hundred pieces of gold and the piece of silk, all of which are an alms of our lord. And now make haste in giving me the thousand pieces of gold, and acquit thyself of thine oath.

    At this the caliph and the Lady Zobeide both laughed; and after they had returned to the palace, the caliph gave to Abou Hassan the thousand pieces of gold, saying to him, Receive them as a gratuity on account of thy safety from death. In like manner,” also, the Lady Zo-beide gave to Nouzatalfuad a thousand pieces of gold, saying to her the same words. Then the caliph allotted to Abou Hassan an ample salary and ample supplies, and he ceased not to live with his wife in joy and happiness, until they were visited by the terminator of delights and the separator of companions, the devastator of palaces and houses, and the replenisher of the graves.

    Read More about Baldr`s Bale part 4