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The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night, Volume I   By:

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Now First Completely Done Into English Prose and Verse, From The Original Arabic,

By John Payne (Author of "The Masque of Shadows," "Intaglios: Sonnets," "Songs of Life and Death," "Lautrec," "The Poems of Master Francis Villon of Paris," "New Poems," Etc, Etc.).

In Nine Volumes:


London Printed For Subscribers Only


Delhi Edition

Contents of The First Volume.

Introduction. Story of King Shehriyar and his Brother a. Story of the Ox and the Ass 1. The Merchant and the Genie a. The First Old Man's Story b. The Second Old Man's Story c. The Third Old Man's Story 2. The Fisherman and the Genie a. Story of The Physician Douban ab. Story of King Sindbad and his Falcon ac. Story of The King's Son and the Ogress b. Story of the Enchanted Youth 3. The Porter and the Three Ladies of Baghdad a. The First Calender's Story b. The Second Calender's Story ba. Story of the Envier and the Envied c. The Third Calender's Story d. The Eldest Lady's Story e. The Story of the Portress 4. The Three Apples 5. Noureddin Ali of Cairo and His Son Bedreddin Hassan 6. Story of the Hunchback a. The Christian Broker's Story b. The Controller's Story c. The Jewish Physician's Story d. The Tailor's Story e. The Barber's Story ea. Story of the Barber's First Brother eb. Story of the Barber's Second Brother ec. Story of the Barber's Third Brother ed. Story of the Barber's Fourth Brother ee. Story of the Barber's Fifth Brother ef. Story of the Barber's Sixth Brother 7. Noureddin Ali and the Damsel Enis El Jelis 8. Ghanim Ben Eyoub the Slave of Love a. Story of the Eunuch Bekhit b. Story of the Eunich Kafour


The present is, I believe, the first complete translation of the great Arabic compendium of romantic fiction that has been attempted in any European language comprising about four times as much matter as that of Galland and three times as much as that of any other translator known to myself; and a short statement of the sources from which it is derived may therefore be acceptable to my readers. Three printed editions, more or less complete, exist of the Arabic text of the Thousand and One Nights; namely, those of Breslau, Boulac (Cairo) and Calcutta (1839), besides an incomplete one, comprising the first two hundred nights only, published at Calcutta in 1814. Of these, the first is horribly corrupt and greatly inferior, both in style and completeness, to the others, and the second (that of Boulac) is also, though in a far less degree, incomplete, whole stories (as, for instance, that of the Envier and the Envied in the present volume) being omitted and hiatuses, varying in extent from a few lines to several pages, being of frequent occurrence, whilst in addition to these defects, the editor, a learned Egyptian, has played havoc with the style of his original, in an ill judged attempt to improve it, producing a medley, more curious than edifying, of classical and semi modern diction and now and then, in his unlucky zeal, completely disguising the pristine meaning of certain passages. The third edition, that which we owe to Sir William Macnaghten and which appears to have been printed from a superior copy of the manuscript followed by the Egyptian editor, is by far the most carefully printed and edited of the three and offers, on the whole, the least corrupt and most comprehensive text of the work. I have therefore adopted it as my standard or basis of translation and have, to the best of my power, remedied the defects (such as hiatuses, misprints, doubtful or corrupt passages, etc... Continue reading book >>

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