Supplemental Nights to the Thousand Nights and a Night With Notes Anthropological and Explanatory-Volume 1

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Author: Unknown

Firuz and His Wife [Fn#293]

They relate that a certain king sat one day on the terrace-roof
of his palace, solacing himself with the view, and presently, his
wandering glances espied, on a house-top over against his palace,
a woman seer never saw her like. So he turned to those present
and asked them, "To whom belongeth yonder house?" when they
answered, "To thy servant Fírúz, and that is his spouse." So he
went down (and indeed passion had made him drunken as with wine,
and he was deeply in love of her), and calling Firuz, said to
him, "Take this letter and go with it to such a city and bring me
the reply." Firuz took the letter and going to his house, laid it
under his head and passed that night; and when the morning
morrowed, he farewelled his wife and fared for that city,
unknowing what his sovran purposed against him. As for the king,
he arose in haste after the husband had set out and repairing to
the house of Firuz in disguise, knocked at the entrance. Quoth
Firuz’s wife, "Who’s at the door?" and quoth he, saying, "I am
the king, thy husband’s master." So she opened and he entered and
sat down, saying, "We are come to visit thee." She cried, "I seek
refuge [FN#294] from this visitation, for indeed I deem not well
of it;" but the king said, "O desire of hearts, I am thy
husband’s master and methinks thou knowest me not." She replied,
"Nay, I know thee, O my lord and master, and I wot thy purpose
and whatso thou wantest and that thou art my husband’s lord. I
understand what thou wishest, and indeed the poet hath
forestalled thee in his saying of the verses referring to thy
case,

’Now will I leave your water way untrod; * For many treading that
same way I see:
When fall the clustering flies upon the food, * I raise my hand
whate’er my hunger be:
And lions eke avoid the water way * When dogs to lap at fountain
side are free.’ "

Then said she, "O king, comest thou to a watering place whereat
thy dog hath drunk and wilt thou drink thereof?" The king was
abashed at her and at her words and fared forth from her but
forgot his sandal in the house. Such was his case; but as regards
Firuz, when he went forth from his house, he sought the letter,
but found it not in pouch; so he returned home. Now his return
fell in with the king’s going forth and he came upon the sandal
in his house, whereat his wit was wildered and he knew that the
king had not sent him away save for a device of his own. However,
he kept silence and spake not a word, but, taking the letter,
went on his mission and accomplished it and returned to the king,
who gave him an hundred dinars. So Firuz betook himself to the
bazar and bought what beseemeth women of goodly gifts and
returning to his wife, saluted her and gave her all he had
purchased, and said to her, "Arise and hie thee to thy father’s
home." Asked she, "Wherefore?" and he answered, "Verily, the king
hath been bountiful to me and I would have thee make this public,
so thy father may joy in that which he seeth upon thee." She
rejoined "With love and gladness," and arising forthwith, betook
herself to the house of her father, who rejoiced in her coming
and in that which he saw upon her; and she abode with him a
month’s space, and her husband made no mention of her. Then came
her brother to him and said, "O Firuz, an thou wilt not acquaint
me with the reason of thine anger against thy wife, come and
plead with us before the king." Quoth he, "If ye will have me
plead with you, I will e’en plead." So they went to the king and
found the Kazi sitting with him; whereupon the damsel’s brother
began, "Allah assist our lord the Kazi! I let this man on hire a
flower-garden, high-walled, with a well well-conditioned and
trees fruit-laden; but he beat down its walls and ruined its well
and ate its fruits, and now he desireth to return it to me." The
Kazi turned to Firuz and asked him, "What sayest thou, O youth?"
when he answered, "Indeed, I delivered him the garden in better
case than it was before." So the Kazi said to the brother, "Hath
he delivered to thee the garden, as he avoucheth?" And the
pleader replied, "No; but I desire to question him of the reason
of his returning it." Quoth the Kazi, "What sayest thou, O
youth?" And quoth Firuz, "I returned it willy nilly, because I
entered it one day and saw the trail of the lion; so I feared
lest an I entered it again, the lion should devour me. Wherefore
that which I did, I did of reverence to him and for fear of him."
Now the king was leaning back upon the cushion, and when he heard
the young man’s words, he comprehended the purport thereof; so he
sat up and said, "Return to thy flower-garden in all ease of
heart; for, by Allah, never saw I the like of thy garth nor
stronger of guard than its walls over its trees!" So Firuz
returned to his wife, and the Kazi knew not the truth of the
affair, no, nor any of those who were in that assembly, save the
king and the husband and the wife’s brother.

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Chicago: Unknown, "Firuz and His Wife," Supplemental Nights to the Thousand Nights and a Night With Notes Anthropological and Explanatory-Volume 1, trans. Burton, Richard Francis, Sir, 1821-1890 in Supplemental Nights to the Thousand Nights and a Night With Notes Anthropological and Explanatory-Volume 1 (Benares: Kamashastra Society, 1885), Original Sources, accessed September 25, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3XFMCMSBTLC5ALK.

MLA: Unknown. "Firuz and His Wife." Supplemental Nights to the Thousand Nights and a Night With Notes Anthropological and Explanatory-Volume 1, translted by Burton, Richard Francis, Sir, 1821-1890, in Supplemental Nights to the Thousand Nights and a Night With Notes Anthropological and Explanatory-Volume 1, Benares, Kamashastra Society, 1885, Original Sources. 25 Sep. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3XFMCMSBTLC5ALK.

Harvard: Unknown, 'Firuz and His Wife' in Supplemental Nights to the Thousand Nights and a Night With Notes Anthropological and Explanatory-Volume 1, trans. . cited in 1885, Supplemental Nights to the Thousand Nights and a Night With Notes Anthropological and Explanatory-Volume 1, Kamashastra Society, Benares. Original Sources, retrieved 25 September 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3XFMCMSBTLC5ALK.