Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Shaving of Shagpat; an Arabian entertainment — Volume 2   By: (1828-1909)

Book cover

First Page:

This etext was produced by Pat Castevans and David Widger

THE SHAVING OF SHAGPAT

By George Meredith

AN ARABIAN ENTERTAINMENT

1898/1909

BOOK 2.

THE BETROTHAL THE PUNISHMENT OF SHAHPESH, THE PERSIAN, ON KHIPIL, THE BUILDER THE GENIE KARAZ THE WELL OF PARAVID THE HORSE GARRAVEEN THE TALKING HAWK GOORELKA OF OOLB

THE BETROTHAL

Now, when Shibli Bagarag had ceased speaking, the Vizier smiled gravely, and shook his beard with satisfaction, and said to the Eclipser of Reason, 'What opinest thou of this nephew of the barber, O Noorna bin Noorka?'

She answered, "O Feshnavat, my father, truly I am content with the bargain of my betrothal. He, Wullahy, is a fair youth of flowing speech.' Then she said, 'Ask thou him what he opineth of me, his betrothed?"

So the Vizier put that interrogation to Shibli Bagarag, and the youth was in perplexity; thinking, 'Is it possible to be joyful in the embrace of one that hath brought thwackings upon us, serious blows?' Thinking, 'Yet hath she, when the mood cometh, kindly looks; and I marked her eye dwelling on me admiringly!' And he thought, 'Mayhap she that groweth younger and counteth nature backwards, hath a history that would affect me; or, it may be, my kisses wah! I like not to give them, and it is said,

"Love is wither'd by the withered lip";

and that,

"On bones become too prominent he'll trip."

Yet put the case, that my kisses I shower them not, Allah the All seeing is my witness! and they be given daintily as 'twere to the leaf of a nettle, or over hot pilau. Yet haply kisses repeated might restore her to a bloom, and it is certain youth is somehow stolen from her, if the Vizier Feshnavat went before her, and his blood be her blood; and he is powerful, she wise. I'll decide to act the part of a rejoicer, and express of her opinions honeyed to the soul of that sex.'

Now, while he was thus debating he hung his head, and the Vizier awaited his response, knitting his brows angrily at the delay, and at the last he cried, 'What! no answer? how 's this? Shall thy like dare hold debate when questioned of my like? And is my daughter Noorna bin Noorka, thinkest thou, a slave girl in the market, thou haggling at her price, O thou nephew of the barber?'

So Shibli Bagarag exclaimed, 'O exalted one, bestower of the bride! surely I debated with myself but for appropriate terms; and I delayed to select the metre of the verse fitting my thoughts of her, and my wondrous good fortune, and the honour done me.'

Then the Vizier, 'Let us hear: we listen.'

And Shibli Bagarag was advised to deal with illustrations in his dilemma, by ways of expression, and spake in extemporaneous verse, and with a full voice:

The pupils of the Sage for living Beauty sought; And one a Vision clasped, and one a Model wrought. 'I have it!' each exclaimed, and rivalry arose: 'Paint me thy Maid of air!' 'Thy Grace of clay disclose.' 'What! limbs that cannot move!' 'What! lips that melt away!' 'Keep thou thy Maid of air!' 'Shroud up thy Grace of clay!' 'Twas thus, contending hot, they went before the Sage, And knelt at the wise wells of cold ascetic age. 'The fairest of the twain, O father, thou record':

He answered, 'Fairest she who's likest to her lord.'

Said they, 'What fairer thing matched with them might prevail?'

The Sage austerely smiled, and said, 'Yon monkey's tail.'

'Tis left for after time his wisdom to declare: That's loveliest we best love, and to ourselves compare. Yet lovelier than all hands shape or fancies build, The meanest thing of earth God with his fire hath filled.

Now, when Shibli Bagarag ceased, Noorna bin Noorka cried, 'Enough, O wondrous turner of verse, thou that art honest!' And she laughed loudly, rustling like a bag of shavings, and rolling in her laughter... Continue reading book >>


Book sections



eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books