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the way of

the way of

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Published by koalaqat

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Published by: koalaqat on Feb 02, 2010
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The Way of a Virgin1
The Way of a Virgin
Contents
Virginity and its TraditionsThe Enchanted RingThe InstrumentThe Timorous FianceeAdventures with Hedvige and Helene at GenevaThe Damsel and the PrinceThe Penitent NunAdventures with Hedvige and Helene at GenevaBeyond the MarThe Devil in HellThe Wedding Night of Jean the FoolThe Maiden Well GuardedTale of Kamar al-ZamanThe Fool"Oh Mother, Roger with his KissesFoolish FearThe Princess who Pisseth over the HaycocksThe CombThe SkirmishThe NightingaleThe Pike's HeadThe Lovely Nun and her Young BoarderJohn and JoanThe Husband as DoctorThe Priest and the LabourerThe Two Lovers and the Two SistersThe Burned YardTake Time by the Forelock First Meeting Between a Youth and His FianceeThe Breaker of Eggs
TALE OF KAMAR AL-ZAMAN.
[1]
King Shahriman had a son, Kamar al-Zaman, who "grew up of surpassing beauty and symme- try ," but wasunwilling to marry. For this he is eventually cast into prison. A similar fate has be- fallen Princess Budur, daughterof King Ghayur, Lord of China Islands and Seas, and for a similar reason. The maiden is pictured as one "than whomAllah hath made none fairer in her time withcheeks like purple wine... lips as coral. breastslike two globes of ivory, from whose brightness the moons borrow light, and a stomach with littlewaves as it were a figured cloth with crease like
 
The Way of a Virgin2folded scrolls, ending in a waist slender past all imagination; based upon back parts like a hillock of blown sand, thatforce her to sit when she would lief stand "Two genii, Maymunah, a woman, and Dah- nash, a man,now come into the story, the former as a champion of Kamar, the latter as Princess Bu- dur's. After a long dispute as to the rival charms of Prince and Princess, theyconvey the latter to the Prince's side, the test of beauty to be as follows :Each is to be awakened in turn, without knowledge of the other, and whichever is the more enamoured will be heldinferior in comeliness.Dahnash then changes himself into a Yea, and bites Kamar al-lLaman, who wakes up. The text continues:Then turning sideways, he found lying byhim something whose breath was sweeter than musk and whose skin was softer than cream. Here- at he marvelledwith great marvel, and he sat up and looked at what lay beside him; when he saw it to be a young lady like an unionpearl, or a shin- ing sun, or a dome seen from afar on a well-builtwall : for she was five feet tall bosomed high androsy-cheekedAnd when Kamar al-Zaman saw the lady Bu- dur, daughter of King Ghayur, and her beauty and comeliness, she wassleeping clad in a shift of Venetian silk, without her petticoat trousers, and wore on her head a kerchief embroideredwith gold and set with stones of price; her ears were hung with twin earrings which shone like constel- lations, andround her neck was a collar of union pearls, of size unique, past the competence of any king.When he saw this, his reason was confounded and natural heat began to stir in him; Allah awoke in him the desire of coition and he said to himself:"Whatso Allah willeth, that shall be, and what he willeth not shall be!"So saying, he put out his hand, turning her over, loosed the collar of her chemise; then arose before his sight herbosom, with its breasts like double globes of ivory; whereat his inclination for her redoubled and he desired her withexceeding hot desire. He would have awakened her but she would not awake, for Dahnash had made her sleepheavy; so he shook her and moved her, saying:"O my beloved, awake and look on me ; I am Kamar al-Zaman."But she awoke not, neither moved her head ; whereupon he considered her case for a long hour and said to himself:"If I guess aright, this is the damsel to whom my father would have married me, and these three years I have refusedher; but Inshallah! God willing as soon as it is dawn, I will say to him: Marry me to her, that I may enjoy her; norwill I let half the day pass ere I possess her and take my fill of her beauty and loveliness."Then he bent over Budur to buss her, whereat the Jinniyah Maymunah trembled and was abash- ed and Dahnash, theIfrit, was like to fly for joy. But as Kamar al-Zaman was about to kiss her on the mouth, he was ashamed beforeAllah and turned away his head and averted his face, saying to his heart: "Have patience."Then he took thought awhile and said :"I will be patient; haply my father when he was wroth with me and sent me to his jail, may have brought my younglady and made her lie by my side to try me with her, and may have charged her not to be readily awakened when Iwould arouse her, and may have said to her:" 'Whatever thing Kamar al-Zaman do to thee, make me ware thereof;"Or belike my sire standeth hidden in some stead whence (being himself unseen) he can see all I do with this younglady; and to-morrow he will scold me and cry:" 'How cometh it that thou sayest, I have no mind to marry; and yet thou didst and embrace yonder damsel?'"So I will withhold myself lest I be ashamed before my sire; and the right and proper thing to do is not to touch her atthis present, nor even to look upon her, except to take from her somewhat which shall serve as a token to me and a
 
The Way of a Virgin3memorial of her; that some sign endure between me and her."Then Kamar al-Zaman raised the young lady's hand and took from her littre finger a seal- ring worth an immenseamount of money, for thatits bezel was a precious jewel and set it on hisown; then, turning his back to her, went to sleep.*Thereupon Maymunah changed herself into a flea and entering into the raiment of Budur, the loved of Dahnash,crept up her calf and came up- on her thigh and, reaching a place some four ca- ratst below her navel, there bit her.Thereupon she opened her eyes and sitting up in bed, saw a youth lying beside her and breathing heavily in his sleep,the loveliest of Almighty Allah's crea- tures, with eyes that put to shame the fairest Houris of Heaven; and a mouthlike Solomon's seal, whose water was sweeter to the taste and more efficacious than a theriack, and lips the colour of coral-stone, and cheeks like blood-red anemone"The young man," says Sir Richard Burton, in a footnote, "must have been a demon of chastity."t Carat=one finger-breath here. The derivation is from the Greek Keration, a bean, the seed of the abrus precatorius.Note by Sir Richard Burton.119THE WAY OF A VIRGIN.Now when Princess Budur saw him, she was seized by a transport of passion and yearning and love-longing, and shesaid to herself :"Alas, my shame! This is a strange youth and I know him not. How cometh he to be lying by my side on one bed?"Then she looked at him a second time and, noting his beauty and loveliness, said:"By Allah, he is indeed a comely youth and my heart is well-nigh torn in sunder with longing for him! But alas, howam I shamed by him! By the Almighty, had I known it was youth who sought me in marriage of my father, I had notre- jected him, but had wived with him and enjoyed his loveliness!"Then she gazed in his face and said:"O my lord and light of mine eyes, awake from sleep and take thy pleasure in my beauty and grace."And she moved him with her hand ; but May- munah the Jinniyah let down sleep upon him as it were a curtain, andpressed heavily on his head with her wings so that Kamar al-Zaman awoke not. Then Princess Budur shook him withher hands and said:"My life on thee, hearken to me; awake and up from thy sleep and look on the narcissus and the tender downthereon, and enjoy the sight of naked waist and navel ; and touzle me and tumble me from this moment till break of day! Allah up- on thee, O my lord, sit up andprop thee against the pillow and slumber not!"Still Kamar al-Zaman made her no reply but breathed hard in his sleep. Continued she:"Alas! Alas! thou art insolent in thy beauty120TALE OF KAMAR AL-ZAMAN.and comeliness and grace and loving looks! But if thou art handsome, so am I handsome; what then is this thou dost?Have they taught thee to flout me or hath my father, the wretched old fellow, made thee swear not to speak to meto-night?"But Kamar al-Zaman opened not his mouth neither awoke, whereat her passion for him redou- bled and Allahinflamed her heart with love of him. She stole one glance of eyes that cost her a thousand sighs: her heart fluttered,and her vitals throbbed and her hands and feet quivered; and she said to Kamar al-Zaman:"Talk to me, O my lord! Speak to me, O my friend ! Answer me, O my beloved, and tell me thy name, for indeedthou hast ravished my wit!"

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