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Title: Fairy Tales From The Arabian Nights
Author: E. Dixon
Release Date: July, 2005 [EBook #8599]
[This file was first posted on July 27, 2003]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ARABIAN NIGHTS FAIRY TALES ***
The text of the present selection from the Arabian Nights is that
of Galland, 1821, slightly abridged and edited. The edition is
designed virginibus puerisque.
The King of Persia and the Princess of the Sea
Prince Beder and the Princess Giauhara (A Sequel to the Foregoing)
The Three Princes and Princess Nouronnihar
Prince Ahmed and the Fairy (A Sequel to the Foregoing)
Prince Camaralzaman and the Princess of China
The Loss of the Talisman (A Sequel to the Foregoing)
The Story of Zobeide
The Story of the King's Son
The First Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor
The Second Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor
The Third Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor
The Fourth Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor
The Fifth Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor
The Sixth Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor
The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor
There once was a king of Persia, who at the beginning of his reign
had distinguished himself by many glorious and successful
conquests, and had afterwards enjoyed such profound peace and
tranquillity as rendered him the happiest of monarchs. His only
occasion for regret was that he had no heir to succeed him in the
kingdom after his death. One day, according to the custom of his
royal predecessors during their residence in the capital, he held
an assembly of his courtiers, at which all the ambassadors and
strangers of renown at his court were present. Among these there
appeared a merchant from a far-distant country, who sent a message
to the king craving an audience, as he wished to speak to him about
a very important matter. The king gave orders for the merchant to
be instantly admitted; and when the assembly was over, and all the
rest of the company had retired, the king inquired what was the
business which had brought him to the palace.
'Sire,' replied the merchant, 'I have with me, and beg your majesty
to behold, the most beautiful and charming slave it would be
possible to find if you searched every corner of the earth; if you
will but see her, you will surely wish to make her your wife.'
The fair slave was, by the king's commands, immediately brought in,
and no sooner had the king beheld a lady whose beauty and grace
surpassed anything he had ever imagined, than he fell passionately
in love with her, and determined to marry her at once. This was
So the king caused the fair slave to be lodged in the next finest
apartment to his own, and gave particular orders to the matrons and
the women-slaves appointed to attend her, that they should dress
her in the richest robe they could find, and carry her the finest
pearl necklaces, the brightest diamonds, and other the richest
precious stones, that she might choose those she liked best.
The King of Persia's capital was situated in an island; and his
palace, which was very magnificent, was built upon the sea-shore;
his window looked towards the sea; and the fair slave's, which was
pretty near it, had also the same prospect, and it was the more
pleasant on account of the sea's beating almost against the foot of
At the end of three days the fair slave, magnificently dressed, was
alone in her chamber, sitting upon a sofa, and leaning against one
of the windows that faced the sea, when the king, being informed
that he might visit her, came in. The slave hearing somebody walk
in the room, immediately turned her head to see who it was. She
knew him to be the king; but without showing the least surprise, or
so much as rising from her seat to salute or receive him, she
turned back to the window again as if he had been the most
insignificant person in the world.
The King of Persia was extremely surprised to see a slave of so
beauteous a form so very ignorant of the world. He attributed this
to the narrowness of her education, and the little care that had
been taken to instruct her in the first rules of civility. He went
to her at the window, where, notwithstanding the coldness and
indifference with which she had just now received him, she suffered
herself to be admired, kissed and embraced as much as he pleased,
but answered him not a word.
'My dearest life,' said the king, 'you neither answer, nor by any
visible token give me the least reason to believe that you are
listening to me. Why will you still keep to this obstinate silence,
which chills me? Do you mourn for your country, your friends, or
your relations? Alas! is not the King of Persia, who loves and
adores you, capable of comforting, and making you amends for the
loss of everything in the world?'
But the fair slave continued her astonishing reserve; and keeping
her eyes still fixed upon the ground, would neither look at him nor
utter a word; but after they had dined together in absolute
silence, the king went to the women whom he had assigned to the
fair slave as her attendants, and asked them if they had ever heard
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