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Arabian nights. English 10   By:

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This etext was scanned by JC Byers ( and proofread by JC Byers, Muhammad Hozien, K. C. McGuire, Renate Preuss, Robert Sinton, and Mats Wernersson.

THE BOOK OF THE THOUSAND NIGHTS AND A NIGHT A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights Entertainments

Translated and Annotated by Richard F. Burton


To His Excellency Yacoub Artin Pasha, Minister of Instruction, Etc. Etc. Etc. Cairo.

My Dear Pasha, During the last dozen years, since we first met at Cairo, you have done much for Egyptian folk lore and you can do much more. This volume is inscribed to you with a double purpose; first it is intended as a public expression of gratitude for your friendly assistance; and, secondly, as a memento that the samples which you have given us imply a promise of further gift. With this lively sense of favours to come I subscribe myself

Ever yours friend and fellow worker,

Richard F. Burton

London, July 12, 1886.

Contents of the Tenth Volume

169. Ma'aruf the Cobbler and His Wife Fatimah Conclusion Terminal Essay Appendix I. 1. Index to the Tales and Proper Names 2. Alphabetical Table of the Notes (Anthropological, &c.) 3. Alphabetical Table of First lines a. English b. Arabic 4. Table of Contents of the Various Arabic Texts a. The Unfinished Calcutta Edition (1814 1818) b. The Breslau Text c. The Macnaghten Text and the Bulak Edition d. The same with Mr. Lane's and my Version Appendix II Contributions to the Bibliography of the Thousand and One Nights and their Imitations, By W. F. Kirby



There dwelt once upon a time in the God guarded city of Cairo a cobbler who lived by patching old shoes.[FN1] His name was Ma'aruf[FN2] and he had a wife called Fatimah, whom the folk had nicknamed "The Dung;"[FN3] for that she was a whorish, worthless wretch, scanty of shame and mickle of mischief. She ruled her spouse and abused him; and he feared her malice and dreaded her misdoings; for that he was a sensible man but poor conditioned. When he earned much, he spent it on her, and when he gained little, she revenged herself on his body that night, leaving him no peace and making his night black as her book;[FN4] for she was even as of one like her saith the poet:

How manifold nights have I passed with my wife In the saddest plight with all misery rife: Would Heaven when first I went in to her With a cup of cold poison I'd ta'en her life.

One day she said to him, "O Ma'aruf, I wish thee to bring me this night a vermicelli cake dressed with bees' honey."[FN5] He replied, "So Allah Almighty aid me to its price, I will bring it thee. By Allah, I have no dirhams to day, but our Lord will make things easy."[FN6] Rejoined she, And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Nine Hundred and Ninetieth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ma'aruf the Cobbler said to his spouse, "By Allah, I have no dirhams to day, but our Lord will make things easy to me!" She rejoined, "I wot naught of these words; look thou come not to me save with the vermicelli and bees' honey; else will I make thy night black as thy fortune whenas thou fellest into my hand." Quoth he, "Allah is bountiful!" and going out with grief scattering itself from his body, prayed the dawn prayer and opened his shop... Continue reading book >>

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