The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, vol 4

The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, vol 4

by Sir Richard Francis Burton
     
 
There lived once in the city of Cufa[FN#1] a man called Al-Rabí'a bin Hátim, who was one of the chief men of the town, a wealthy and a healthy, and Heaven had vouchsafed him a son, whom he named Ni'amah Allah.[FN#2] One day, being in the slave-brokers' mart, he saw a woman exposed for sale with a little maid of wonderful beauty and grace on her arm. So

Overview

There lived once in the city of Cufa[FN#1] a man called Al-Rabí'a bin Hátim, who was one of the chief men of the town, a wealthy and a healthy, and Heaven had vouchsafed him a son, whom he named Ni'amah Allah.[FN#2] One day, being in the slave-brokers' mart, he saw a woman exposed for sale with a little maid of wonderful beauty and grace on her arm. So he beckoned to the broker and asked him, "How much for this woman and her daughter?" He answered "Fifty dinars." Quoth Al-Rabi'a "Write the contract of sale and take the money and give it to her owner." Then he gave the broker the price and his brokerage and taking the woman and her child, carried them to his house. Now when the daughter of his uncle who was his wife saw the slave, she said to her husband, "O my cousin, what is this damsel?" He replied, "Of a truth, I bought her for the sake of the little one on her arm; for know that, when she groweth up, there will not be her like for beauty, either in the land of the Arabs or the Ajams." His wife remarked, "Right was thy rede", and said to the woman "What is thy name?" She replied, "O my lady, my name is Tauflík.[FN#3]" "And what is thy daughter's name?" asked she? Answered the slave, "Sa'ad, the happy." Rejoined her mistress; "Thou sayst sooth, thou art indeed happy, and happy is he who hath bought thee." Then quoth she to her husband, "O my cousin, what wilt thou call her?"; and quoth he, "Whatso thou chooses"; so she said, "Then let us call her Naomi," and he rejoined "Good is thy device." The little Naomi was reared with Al-Rabi'a's son Ni'amah in one cradle, so to speak, till the twain reached the age of ten and each grew handsomer than the other; and the boy used to address her, "O my sister!" and she, "O my brother!", till they came to that age when Al-Rabi'a said to Ni'amah, "O my son, Naomi is not thy sister but thy slave. I bought her in thy name whilst thou wast yet in the cradle; so call her no more sister from this day forth." Quoth Ni'amah, "If that be so, I will take her to wife." Then he went to his mother and told her of this, and she said to him, "O my son, she is thy handmaid." So he wedded and went in unto Naomi and loved her; and two[FN#4] years passed over them whilst in this condition, nor was there in all Cufa a fairer girl than Naomi, or a sweeter or a more graceful. As she grew up she learnt the Koran and read works of science and excelled in music and playing upon all kinds of instruments; and in the beauty of her singing she surpassed all the folk of her time. Now one day as she sat with her husband in the wine chamber, she took the lute, tightened the strings, and sang these two couplets,

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940012902443
Publisher:
New Century Books
Publication date:
06/01/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
999 KB

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