豪夫童话(插图·中文导读英文版)(txt+pdf+epub+mobi电子书下载)

作者:(德)威廉·豪夫(Hauff,W.)

出版社:清华大学出版社

格式: AZW3, DOCX, EPUB, MOBI, PDF, TXT

豪夫童话(插图·中文导读英文版)

豪夫童话(插图·中文导读英文版)试读:

前言

威廉·豪夫(Wilhelm Hauff,1802—1827),19世纪德国著名小说家和童话作家。在德国“施瓦本浪漫派”里是最年轻、也是最具有特色的一位,在德国文学史上是个彗星似的人物。虽然只有25年的人生,威廉·豪夫却有三部长篇小说、七部中篇小说和三部童话集,以及众多的散文、书评和随笔等,共36卷。

豪夫童话作为艺术童话的代表,不仅作品出自于作者本人,而且内容上不局限于惩恶扬善的思维套路,不以道德化的情节为教化服务,而是打破与现实的界限,或隐或现折射出作者所处的社会现实,这样内容也随之深化。作为富有寓意和象征的文学体裁,艺术童话成了揭示现代人充满矛盾的内心世界的表达手段。故事本身更具有趣味性和寓意,是真正为青少年准备的读物。

豪夫童话因思想内容深刻、艺术手法高超、故事情节生动、充满乐观进取的精神,已经成为世界文学中的瑰宝,至今仍深受世界各国青少年的喜爱。

在中国,《豪夫童话》也是青少年读者最熟悉、最喜爱的外国文学名著之一。在国内数量不多的《豪夫童话》书籍中,主要的出版形式是中文翻译版,难得见到英文原版。目前,各种英文原版越来越受到读者的欢迎,这主要是得益于中国人热衷于学习英文的大环境。从英文学习的角度来看,直接使用纯英文素材更有利于英语学习。考虑到对英文内容背景的了解有助于英文阅读,使用中文导读应该是一种比较好的方式。采用中文导读而非中英文对照的方式进行编排,这样有利于国内读者摆脱对英文阅读依赖中文注释的习惯。基于以上原因,我们决定编译《豪夫童话》,并采用中文导读英文版的形式出版。在中文导读中,我们尽力使其贴近原作的精髓,也尽可能保留原作简洁、精练、明快的风格。读者在阅读英文故事之前,可以先阅读中文导读部分,这样有利于了解故事背景,从而加快阅读速度。同时,为了读者更好地理解书中内容,在部分章节中加入了插图。我们希望能够编出为当代中国读者所喜爱的经典读本。我们相信,该经典著作的引进对加强当代中国读者,特别是青少年读者的人文修养是非常有帮助的。

本书主要内容由王勋、纪飞编译。参加本书故事素材搜集整理及编译工作的还有郑佳、刘乃亚、赵雪、熊金玉、李丽秀、熊红华、王婷婷、孟宪行、胡国平、李晓红、贡东兴、陈楠、邵舒丽、冯洁、王业伟、徐鑫、王晓旭、周丽萍、熊建国、徐平国、肖洁、王小红等。限于我们的科学、人文素养和英语水平,书中难免会有不当之处,衷心希望读者朋友批评指正。仙鹤哈里发/How the Caliph became a Stork导读

很久以前的一个下午,巴格达的哈里发(伊斯兰国家政教合一的领袖)查希德正躺在沙发上睡觉,一觉醒来,他感到神清气爽、心情舒畅。他的宰相曼舒尔每天总是在这个时候来见他。这天,宰相又来了,但显得有些郁闷。哈里发询问宰相为什么闷闷不乐,宰相告诉他,在宫殿的门口,他看到一个小贩有一批好货,因为身边没有太多的钱,所以心里有些不痛快。

哈里发非常喜欢宰相,早想送件礼物让他开心一下。于是,他就派人把小贩带进宫里。小贩是个身材矮小的胖子,肩上扛着一只箱子,里面装满了各种各样的货物,有珍珠、戒指、酒杯、梳子、镶着珠宝的小手枪等等。哈里发给宰相和自己各买了一个漂亮小手枪,给宰相妻子买了一把梳子。小贩正要关箱子的时候,哈里发忽然发现箱子里还有个抽屉,就问小贩里面装着什么货物。小贩拉开抽屉,里面装着一盒黑色的粉末,还有一张写着古怪字的纸条,哈里发和宰相都不认识那些字。但是哈里发有收集古老手稿的爱好,虽然看不懂写着什么,但总以拥有这类手稿而骄傲,于是毫不犹豫地买下了纸条和黑色粉末。

哈里发对纸上的文字发生了兴趣,很想知道上面写着什么,于是他就问宰相是否有人能解读这些文字。宰相告诉他,大清真寺的塞利姆通晓多种语言,或许能够认识这些神秘的文字。塞利姆很快被请来,他仔细研究起那些文字,忽然兴奋地告诉大家,这些是拉丁文。并开始翻译:“发现这张纸条的人,赞美真主的仁慈吧。任何人只要嗅一嗅黑色的粉末,然后说一声‘穆塔博尔’,他就可以变成任何动物,而且能听懂动物的语言。当他想恢复人形时,只要向东方鞠三个躬,再说一遍‘穆塔博尔’,就可以恢复原样。但是,切记在变成动物后千万不能发笑,否则那句咒语将从记忆中消失,那时将永远不能恢复人样了。”哈里发听后非常高兴,他赏赐了塞利姆,派人把他送走了。接着转身对宰相说,这真是一笔好买卖,只要有一次变成动物的经历,那就心满意足了。他吩咐宰相第二天早晨来见他,一起到野外去嗅嗅黑色粉末,也许真的可以听懂各种动物的谈话了。

第二天清晨,哈里发刚吃过早饭,宰相已经奉命来到。哈里发把那盒黑色粉末塞在腰带里,带上宰相就出发了。他们经过哈里发的许多花园,但是没有找到可以试验魔法的动物。最后,哈里发接受宰相的建议,来到远处的池塘边,他们看到一只仙鹤走来走去,正在寻找食物,而另一只仙鹤也正飞来。他们很欣赏仙鹤优雅的姿态,宰相建议变成仙鹤,哈里发很痛快地答应了。不过哈里发还是比较谨慎,他再次和宰相强调了变回人形的要诀——向东方鞠三个躬,说一遍“穆塔博尔”,并提醒自己和宰相在变成动物后千万不能笑,否则一切就完蛋了。

哈里发从腰间取出黑色粉末,深深地吸了一口,然后递给宰相,宰相也嗅了嗅,两人同时说了咒语“穆塔博尔”,瞬间,两人变成了两只美丽的仙鹤。他们走近那两只仙鹤,看是否可以听懂仙鹤的对话。惊讶地是,他们真的能听懂仙鹤的对话,刚来的那只仙鹤告诉另一只,她来池塘边练习舞步,准备给她父亲的客人表演。哈里发和宰相很欣赏仙鹤的舞姿,但她滑稽的动作引得哈里发和宰相哈哈大笑。宰相首先意识到事态的严重性,想起在变成动物后是不能发笑的。顿时,恐惧笼罩着哈里发和宰相,他们努力回忆那句咒语,但是记忆从他们脑海里消失了。

这对无法恢复人形的君臣,很悲伤地在野外走来走去,他们不知道怎样才能摆脱眼前的困境。饿了,他们只能吃些野果来充饥,唯一的乐趣是能自由地飞翔。他们飞回巴格达,想看看他们消失后这里发生的一切。头两天,全城陷入悲痛和不安的气氛里,但在他们变形后第四天,看到一列华丽的队伍,一个男人骑着一匹高头骏马,居民都向他致敬。哈里发一眼就看出,那是他死敌喀什努尔的儿子,恶毒的魔法师喀什努尔曾经发誓要找机会陷害他,所以他们变成了现在的样子。但是哈里发没有失去信心,他计划到先知的坟地去找机会解除魔法。

他们从宫殿的屋顶起飞,朝着麦地那(伊斯兰教圣地)飞去。飞了几个小时,宰相坚持不住了,恳请哈里发停下来休息,况且天色已晚,也该找地方过夜,哈里发同意了宰相的请求,朝山谷里的一片废墟飞去,这个地方看上去是个废弃的宫殿,从建筑上仍可以看出往日的豪华气派。他们在里面走来走去,忽然宰相曼舒尔听到附近有人的叹息和呻吟声,哈里发急于知道为什么这个废墟里会有人哭泣。他发现叹息和哭泣是从一个房间里发出的,打开房门,透过窗户外的微光,看到一只巨大的猫头鹰正坐在窗台上哭泣。猫头鹰看到他们,很高兴地大叫起来,用地道的阿拉伯语告诉他们,曾经有人能预言,仙鹤会给她带来巨大的幸福。哈里发从惊讶中恢复了平静,然后告诉猫头鹰所发生的一切。猫头鹰听了他们的遭遇后,也开始告诉他们发生在自己身上的事情。她原来是印度国王的独生女儿,因为父王拒绝了魔法师喀什努尔为他儿子的提亲,魔法师怀恨在心,装成一个女佣,给她喝了一杯饮料,所以变成这个样子。魔法师把她送到这里,并告诉她,除非有人不嫌弃她这副丑陋的模样,愿意娶她为妻,否则只有等死。

哈里发听了猫头鹰悲惨的故事,陷入了沉思,觉得他们的不幸之间应该有某种联系;猫头鹰也说,在她童年的时候,有一个占卜的女人曾经预言,一只仙鹤将给她带来巨大的幸福,而且她也许知道使他们得救的办法。哈里发十分惊讶,忙问什么巧妙的办法。猫头鹰告诉他们,给他们带来不幸的魔法师,每月都要来这里一次,和他的同伙一边吃喝,一边炫耀最近干过的勾当。在得意之际,也许会说出你们忘记的那句咒语。

哈里发十分兴奋,忙问魔法师什么时候来。猫头鹰沉默了片刻,然后说,只有他们答应她一个条件,才能满足他们的愿望。哈里发在这个时候,什么条件都愿意答应。猫头鹰说:和他们一样,她也向往获得自由,只有他们中间的一位,愿意娶她为妻,她的魔法才能解除,才能获得自由。这个条件让两只仙鹤感到惊愕,哈里发示意他的宰相跟他出去一会儿。到了外面,两人都劝说对方娶猫头鹰为妻,他们认真地讨论了很长时间,当哈里发看到他的宰相宁愿永远做只仙鹤也不愿娶猫头鹰为妻时,只得无可奈何地同意自己向猫头鹰求婚。猫头鹰高兴极了,告诉他们今夜魔法师们又将聚会在一起。

他们赶紧离开房间,朝着聚会的大厅走去。在黑暗中走了很长时间,他们终于到达了大厅,透过墙缝,他们看到大厅内灯火通明,大厅中间圆桌上摆满了美味,桌子周围坐着一群人,哈里发和宰相一眼就认出了那个商贩,就是把魔粉卖给他们的那个人。周围的人让商贩讲讲最近的成果,商贩炫耀了很多成果,其中也提到了哈里发和宰相的故事。另一个魔法师不经意问了一句,你教给他们什么咒语,商贩很得意地说:“穆塔博尔”,一句非常难念的拉丁语。哈里发和宰相听到咒语,高兴得几乎发狂,迈开长腿朝废墟门口奔去,猫头鹰几乎追不上他们。哈里发是个讲诚信的人,他转过身说:“你是我和我朋友的救命恩人,我愿娶你为妻”。说完,转身面朝东方深深鞠了三个躬,和宰相同时说“穆塔博尔”。刹那间,他们恢复了人形。他们兴奋地拥抱在一起,忽然,他们面前出现了一位美丽动人的姑娘,哈里发和宰相一脸诧异。姑娘微笑着把手伸给哈里发——她就是猫头鹰。三个人实在是太高兴了,他们一起起程返回巴格达。哈里发从他衣服口袋里不但找到了魔粉,还找到了自己的钱袋,他们沿途买了生活用品,很快就到达了巴格达。

哈里发的突然出现,引起了巨大轰动,大家放声欢呼国王的返回。与此同时,哈里发派人抓住了魔法师和他的儿子。哈里发命令把魔法师送到废墟,关在猫头鹰曾经被关过的小屋,让手下把他处死。他的儿子不了解魔法师的恶行,哈里发给了他一个机会选择,或是去死,或者嗅一嗅黑色粉末。儿子选择了后者,宰相给他递上魔法粉末,哈里发念了咒语,瞬间,他变成了一只仙鹤。哈里发让人把仙鹤关在后花园的铁笼子里。

从那以后,哈里发和公主幸福地生活在一起。每天午后,宰相来叙谈的时候,那是他们最快乐的时光,他们会常常谈起曾经的冒险经历。

MANY years ago, on a lovely afternoon, the Caliph Casid of Bagdad sat at his ease on a luxurious sofa. It was a very hot day;he had had a sound nap, and had awakened in the happiest of moods.He drew a few puffs through his long rosewood-stemmed pipe, sipped the coffee brought by an obsequious slave, and stroked his long beard with an air of extreme satisfaction.It was evident that the Caliph felt at peace with the world.Indeed, at such an hour he was easy to approach, and so every day he received a visit from his Grand Vizier, Mansor.

But on this particular afternoon the Grand Vizier seemed rather thoughtful and disinclined to talk;so the Caliph, taking his pipe from his mouth, said:

“What is the matter with you to-day, Mansor?”

The Grand Vizier crossed his arms on his breast, and bowing low answered:

“Mighty lord, there is really nothing the matter;but outside the Castle stands a merchant who has such beautiful wares that I feel quite unhappy that I have no money to spare and to spend.”

The Caliph, who had always rather favoured the Grand Vizier, at once sent a black slave to conduct the merchant to his presence. Not many moments did he wait ere a little fat man, with sunbrowned face and ragged garments, appeared.This was the merchant, and he carried a pack containing all sorts of treasures-pearls and rings, richly ornamented pistols, golden cups and combs.The Caliph and the Vizier turned the articles over and over, and the Caliph bought some fine pistols for himself and Mansor, and for the Vizier's wife acomb.While the merchant was packing up his wares in his box, the Caliph noticed therein a small drawer, and asked what it held.The merchant opened the drawer, and showed them a snuff-box containing some black powder, and a small piece of paper, on which was written something which neither the Caliph nor the Vizier could read.

“I got these from a merchant in Mecca,”said the pedlar,“and do not know what the writing means. If you like, you can have them for a trifling sum.”

The Caliph, who had in his library many rare manuscripts which he could not decipher, but in the possession of which he took pride, bought both snuff-box and paper and dismissed the pedlar. He was, however, very curious about the meaning of the writing, so asked the Vizier if he knew any one who could translate it.

“Gracious lord and master,”answered Mansor,“near the great Mosque lives a man named Selim the Scholar, who understands all languages. Bid him come hither;perhaps he can read these secret instructions.”

The learned man was sent for at once.

“Selim,”said the Caliph,“you are said to be well informed. Look at this writing:if you can read it you shall have a fine new coat;if you cannot, you shall be bastinadoed on back and feet, and every one shall know that Selim the Scholar has not the wisdom he pretends.”

Selim bowed humbly and said:“Thy will be done, great lord!”For some minutes he scanned the writing, then exclaimed:“This is Latin, great lord;if not, may I be hanged!”

“Then if it be Latin, tell us what it says,”returned the Caliph.

Selim read thus:“‘Thou, who this findest, praise Allah for his mercy!Whoever snuffs the powder in this box and says“Mutabor,”changes himself to the form of an animal, and will be able to understand animal language. Should he desire to resume his manhood, he need only turn to the east, bow three times, and repeat the word.But he must beware lest during his metamorphosis he laugh;if so, he will forget the magic word and remain for ever an animal.'”

Satisfied with Selim's translation, the Caliph, binding him by solemn oaths not to divulge the secret between them, gave him a new kaftan and sent him away. To his Grand Vizier he said:“I call that a good bargain, Mansor!I should like for once in a way to be an animal.To-morrow morning come to me.We will go together outside the city, snuff a little of this powder, and understand, perhaps, the language of those which fly, swim, or crawl.”

Hardly had the Caliph Casid breakfasted the following morning ere the Grand Vizier appeared ready for the appointed walk. The Caliph put the snuff-box safely in his sash, and bidding his followers remain in the city, set out alone with the Grand Vizier.First they walked through the gardens of the Caliphate;but hurriedly, for they were anxious to try the experiment, and theVizier spoke of a pond outside the walls where he had seen many animals, but particularly storks, whose dignified actions and hoarse cries had often attracted his attention.

The Caliph, therefore, decided in favour of the pond, and together they walked to its bank, where there were quite a number of these quaint birds, who took no notice of their approach, but continued to fish for frogs. At the same time they noticed overhead another stork which was hastening to join the rest.

“I'll wager my beard,”said the Vizier,“that these storks have plenty to say to each other. What do you think of our turning storks for a time?”

“An excellent idea,”said the Caliph.“But first let us carefully remember exactly how to become men again. We must bow three times to the east, and say‘Mutabor,'then I shall be Caliph and you Grand Vizier.But, in the name of Allah, no laughing, or we shall indeed be in a fix!”

While the Caliph was speaking, he observed how the Stork above their heads balanced his wings and slowly dropped to earth. Quickly he drew forth the box, took a good pinch of snuff, the Vizier doing the same, and both cried:“Mutabor.”

Immediately their legs shrivelled and became thin and red;their lovely yellow slippers became storks'feet and their arms wings;their necks stretched till they were nearly a yard long;their beards disappeared, and their bodies were covered with feathers.哈里发和宰相同时说了咒语“穆塔博尔”

“You have a beautiful bill, my Grand Vizier,”said the Caliph in some astonishment.“By the beard of the Prophet, this is indeed a transformation.”

“Thank you for the compliment,”said the Grand Vizier, bowing.“May I return it by saying that your Highness is even handsomer as a stork than as a Caliph?But would it not be as well to join our comrades at once, and ascertain whether we really can understand stork language?”

By this time the other Stork had settled down. It rubbed its bill against its feet, plumed its feathers and went to the pond.The two new Storks, however, hurried after it, and on nearing the group, to their amazement, heard the following conversation:

“Good morning, Madame Longlegs. You are out early this morning.”

“Good morning to you, dear Chatterbox!Yes, I have had a nice little breakfast. How have you fared?I suppose you only‘pecked a bit'-a mere quarter of a lizard or hind leg of a frog!”

“Thank you very much. I have not much appetite to-day.Besides, I have to dance for the entertainment of my father's guests.Excuse me if I leave you.I must practise a few steps.”

And without ceremony Miss Stork left her companions and at once began her posturing. The Caliph and the Vizier watched her with curious interest;but when she stood on one foot and waved her wings affectedly, they could no longer contain their feelings, butbroke into a hearty peal of laughter.

The Caliph was the first to realise the seriousness of the situation.“This is a joke which gold cannot pay for,”said he.

The Grand Vizier, too, began to regret that they had not sufficiently remembered that they were on no account to laugh. He tried to conceal his discomfiture by exclaiming:“By Mecca and Medina!It would be a fine thing if I must remain a stork for ever.Can you, my lord, remember that stupid word?It has completely slipped my memory.”

Said the Caliph:“Three times must we bow towards the east;and then say‘Mu—Mu—Mu—'”but no more could he recall, and both he and the Caliph had no choice but to remain Storks.

Sadly they wandered through the fields, not knowing what their unfortunate condition might bring upon them. Storks they must remain for the present.It was useless to return to the city and attempt to explain themselves, for who would believe a Stork if he said:“Good people, I am your Caliph!”Or, if belief were accorded, was it likely that the people of Bagdad would consent to be ruled by a Stork?So day by day passed by, and they sustained themselves with wild fruit, finding some difficulty in eating with those long bills.For lizards and frogs they had no appetite.Their one pleasure in this unfortunate state was the ability to fly, and they often flew to Bagdad, and from the roofs watched the doings in the city.看到居民向死敌的儿子致敬

At first they only noticed much sorrow and bewilderment on the part of the people;but about four days after their transformation, as they were resting on the roof of the Caliph's palace, they saw a splendid procession pass through the streets.

Drums and pipes sounded, a man in a gold and scarlet cloak sat on a splendidly caparisoned horse surrounded with liveried guards. Half Bagdad acclaimed him thus:

“Hail, Miszra, Lord of Bagdad!”

The two Storks looked at one another;and then the Caliph said:

“Guess you not, Mansor, why I have been bewitched?This Miszra is the son of my greatest enemy, the mighty magician Cassimir, who in an evil hour swore revenge against me. But I will not despair!Come with me, faithful companion in misery.Let us make a pilgrimage to the grave of the Prophet.Perhaps on that holy spot we shall recall the magic word.”

So they forsook the roof of the Palace, and flew towards Medina.

But they were not yet well accustomed to flying, for they had had little practice, and at last the Grand Vizier gasped out:

“Great lord, with your permission I will rest a little. You fly too fast for me.Evening draws near;would it not be well to seek some shelter for to-night?”

To this the Caliph agreed, and as they perceived in the valley near by a ruin which still had some sort of a roof, they flew in its direction. It had evidently been at one time a castle.Although terribly dilapidated, there were remains of stately apartments and splendid passages.The Caliph and the Vizier traversed these with some interest, but suddenly Mansor stopped.猫头鹰坐在窗台上哭泣

“Lord and deliverer,”faltered he,“it is rather ridiculous for a Grand Vizier, even for a Stork, to be afraid of ghosts. But I hear sobbings and sighings, and my courage fails me!”

The Caliph paused and listened, and heard most unmistakably the soft weeping either of a human being or some animal. Full of impatience, he would have pressed forward to ascertain the cause of this distress, but the Grand Vizier seized hold of Casid's wing so that he should not wantonly rush into any new danger.But it was no use.The Caliph, whether man or stork, had a brave heart, and wrenching himself free at the expense of a few feathers, he plunged into a dark passage.Ere long he came to some broken stairs leading to a door, only half fastened, and from behind which the sobs evidently came.Pressing his beak against this door and carefully awaiting surprises, he saw through the narrow opening a ruined chamber, lighted only by a deep casement window on the sill of which was sitting a large night-owl.Thick tears were streaming from her big round eyes, and with plaintive cries she bemoaned her lot.But when she saw the Caliph and the Grand Vizier she uttered a joyful cry.Hastily brushing the tears from her eyes with a dexterous movement of her brown wings, she, much to the astonishment of thetwo men, called out in excellent Arabic:

“Welcome, welcome, good Storks. You are the tokens of my deliverance;for long ago it was told me that through Storks I should meet with good luck.”

As soon as the Caliph recovered from his astonishment, he drew his feet together in an elegant pose, bowed his long neck, and said:

“Night-Owl!From your words I gather you are a fellow-sufferer with ourselves. But, alas!any hope you may have formed as to our capacity to assist you is doomed to disappointment.You will the better understand this if we relate to you our sad story.”

When the Caliph concluded his recital the Owl said:

“Listen to my tale of woe, and then you will agree that I am as unfortunate as you. My father is the King of India, and I, his only and unhappy daughter, am named Lusa.The magician Cassimir, who bewitched you, worked his arts on me also.He came one day to my father, and asked me in marriage for his son Miszra.My father threw him down the palace stairs.But the wretch determined on an abominable vengeance, and one morning when I was walking in the palace garden he disguised himself as a slave, and brought me a goblet containing a draught, which had the effect of changing me into an Owl.He then conveyed me to this place, and his hateful voice hissed in my ear these terrible words:

“‘In this horrible tower you shall remain till you die, unlesssome one, in spite of your hideous condition, will make you his wife. So I revenge myself on you and your father!'

“Since then many months have passed by, and all alone I have lived in this gloomy tower. Nature's beauties cannot console me, for in the daytime I am blind;only at night can I see.”

The Owl paused, and again brushed from her eyes the tears caused by her sad thoughts.

The story told by the Princess made the Caliph very grave.

“It seems to me,”he said at last,“that between your troubles and mine own there is some resemblance;but where shall we find the key to this riddle?”

The Owl replied:

“My lord, I only know this, that when I was a quite young girl, a wise woman foretold that a Stork would bring me luck;and I have an idea how we may deliver ourselves.”

The Caliph was astounded, and asked what she meant.

“The magician who has wrought evil on us all,”said she,“comes once every month to these ruins. Not far from this apartment is a large hall;there he and others of his sort hold feastings and consultations.I have often watched them.They tell each other of their scandalous tricks;perhaps this next time they meet, the magic word you have so unfortunately forgotten may be disclosed.”

“Oh, dearest Princess,”cried the Caliph,“tell us when will theycome, and where is the hall?”

The Owl was silent for a few minutes. Then:“Do not think me unkind,”said she,“but it is only on one condition that I can grant your wish—”

“Name it, name it,”cried Casid.“Every moment is precious, and no conditions will be too difficult!”

The Owl replied:“I also wish to be free;but this can only happen if one of you offers to marry me-that is the condition.”

At this the Storks seemed rather confused, and the Caliph beckoned the Grand Vizier aside.

“Mansor,”said he, whispering,“this is a stupid idea;but you can marry the Owl afterwards.”

“Indeed,”said the Vizier,“so that my wife may scratch my eyes out when I return home!Besides, look what an old man I am. You are young and unmarried, and can easily offer your hand to a young and beautiful Princess!”

“That is just the point,”sighed the Caliph dejectedly, drooping his wings.“How do we know she is young and beautiful?I do not care to buy a pig in a poke.”

They spoke seriously for some time, but when the Caliph realised that the Vizier would rather remain a Stork than marry the Owl, he gave way, and agreed himself to fulfil this hard condition. The Owl was delighted with the result of their conference.She assured them that they had all chanced to meet at a particularlylucky moment, for this very night the merchants would assemble.

So all three together they left the chamber and went towards the hall. Through many dark passages they softly stepped.At last a bright light streamed through a crack in a wall.As they approached nearer the Owl begged them to make no noise whatever.From the stones on which they stood they could perceive all that was going on in the hall.Many-coloured lamps shed a light equal to that of day.In the middle was a round table with a variety of choice dishes thereon.Round about the table were couches on which men were sitting.In one of these men the Caliph recognised the pedlar who had sold the magic powder.His neighbour at table was asking him for the latest details of his business.Then, among other anecdotes, he told the story of the Caliph and his Vizier.

“And what was the word you gave him?”asked another magician.

“A Latin word,‘Mutabor,'”was the reply.

When the Storks heard this they were beside themselves with joy. They ran so fast from the place that the Owl could scarcely keep up with them.

Then said the Caliph to the Owl:“Saviour of my life and of the life of my friend, receive our ever-heartfelt thanks and honour me by becoming my wife.”Then he turned to the east, for the first rays of the morning sun were showing above the mountain-tops, and he and the Vizier bowed their long necks.

“Mutabor,”cried they, and in an instant were they restored to their former state;and in the delight of the moment the Caliph and Vizier laughed and wept in each other's arms. But imagine their astonishment when they saw a lovely woman, most beautifully dressed, standing before them, who smilingly gave her hand to the Caliph.

“Cannot you recognise your Night-Owl?”said she;and the Caliph was so enraptured with her beauty and grace than he more than once declared that he was only too glad that he had been changed into a Stork.

Three very happy people journeyed together to Bagdad. The Caliph found among his clothes, not only the snuff-box, but his purse;and was therefore able to buy, in the villages they passed through, such things as were necessary, so without any delay they reached the city.Arriving there the Caliph heard strange news.He had been mourned as dead.Now, however, his people hastened to rejoice over his happy return, and with each hour their hatred of the usurper Miszra increased.The crowd rushed to the Palace and seized both father and son.The old man was sent by the Caliph to the tower in which the Princess had lived as an Owl, and there he was hanged.To the son, who was ignorant of his father's magic arts, the Caliph gave the choice of death or a pinch of snuff.As he chose the latter, the Grand Vizier handed him the box.A mighty pinch-and the magic word pronounced by the Caliph changedMiszra into a Stork, and confined in an iron cage, he passed the rest of his life in the Palace garden.

Long and happily lived the Caliph Casid with his Princess wife:his happiest hours, perhaps, still being those of the Grand Vizier's afternoon calls, when they often talked over their strange experiences. And sometimes when the Caliph was in a merry mood he would tease the Grand Vizier about his appearance as a Stork.He would strut stiffly up and down the apartment, flap his arms as if they were wings, and bow as the forgetful Vizier did, crying,“Mu, Mu!”This little scene always gave great delight to the Calipha and her children;but after the Caliph had made fun of his friend with his clapping, croaking, and bowing, and his“Mu, mu, mu!”the Vizier was wont to request that the part of the story referring to the Night-Owl the Calipha herself should relate.援救妹妹法特迈/The Rescue of Fatima导读

我的弟弟莫斯塔法和妹妹法特迈几乎同龄,他只比她大两岁。两人和睦相处,齐心协力地帮助年老体衰的父亲。为了庆祝法特迈十六岁的生日,我弟弟举行了一次宴会,他邀请了妹妹的女友一起赴宴,筵席就摆在父亲的花园里,桌上摆满了精美的食物。晚上,他租了一条装饰华美的三桅帆船,邀请他们一起出海游玩。晚上天气晴朗,从海上看城市的夜景格外美丽。姑娘们兴致很高,要弟弟一直往大海里驶去,弟弟不太情愿地答应了——因为前几天海上曾出现一艘海盗船。离城不远有一个山岬,一直伸进大海,姑娘们要弟弟把船开到那里。

三桅帆船刚到海岬转弯的地方,就遇到了一艘全副武装的船,我弟弟感到情况不妙,急忙吩咐舵手调转船头。他的担心成为现实,那艘船追了上来,拦住了帆船的去路。姑娘们看到大祸临头,都跳起来大叫大嚷,莫斯塔法怎么劝也没用。当那条船驶近的时候,她们吓得全都往后跑,结果把船弄翻了。

当时,岸上早有人看到这艘陌生船的活动——因为最近海盗船活动频繁,大家都很注意,对那艘船也起了疑心。于是几条三桅帆船从岸边开过来援救,海盗船在一片混乱中逃走了。人们把落水的人救上来,发现我妹妹和她的一个女友不见了,同时多了一个谁也不认识的人。原来海盗们把两个姑娘拖上了海盗船,仓皇中丢下了一个同伙。

我父亲悲痛欲绝,莫斯塔法也痛不欲生,他不仅失去了妹妹,也失去了未婚妻,原来另一个被劫的姑娘佐拉埃登正是他的未婚妻,因为她家境贫寒,所以他一直不敢向父亲说起这件事。

我父亲是个严厉的人,他把莫斯塔法叫来,诅咒他,把他赶出家门,告诉他不把法特迈找回来,就不会收回诅咒。可怜的弟弟没想到父亲会这样,他为失去妹妹一直悲痛不已,现在又被父亲赶出家门,真是不幸极了,但这样一来,他的意志反而坚强起来。

他去审讯被抓住的海盗,得知海盗们是贩卖奴隶的,在巴尔索拉经常做贩卖人口的大宗生意。他回到家准备外出旅行。父亲的怒气稍微平息了一些,他给了弟弟一袋金币做旅费。莫斯塔法含泪告别了佐拉埃登的父母,动身前往巴尔索拉。

我们的小城没有一直能开到巴尔索拉的船,因此莫斯塔法走的是陆路。他拼命赶路,生怕到晚了海盗们早已做完贩卖奴隶的生意。他骑的是一匹骏马,也没有行李,所以估计六天时间就能赶到。不料在第四天晚上,他遇到了三个强盗的袭击,强盗们把他绑在马上,拉着马缰飞奔而去。

莫斯塔法完全绝望了。父亲的诅咒似乎应验了。如今他还有什么希望救出妹妹和左拉埃登呢?押送他的强盗一言不发地走了大约一小时,走进了一座山谷。山谷里长着高大的树木,有一片碧绿的草地,一条小溪穿过山谷,草地上搭了十五到二十顶帐篷,木桩上拴着骆驼和骏马。帐篷里传出悠扬的琴声和粗犷的歌声。

我弟弟想这些人在这样幽雅的地方扎营,也许不会怀有恶意。他被带进一顶帐篷,它比其他的帐篷都大,里面装饰华贵,一张软垫上坐着一个面目狰狞、神情狡诈的矮小老头。他虽然竭力摆出一副了不起的架势,但莫斯塔法很快看出,这顶帐篷并不是为了他才装饰得那么奢华的。领路强盗的话也证实了他的看法。“老大在哪?”他们问矮个子。“他出去打一会儿猎。”那人回答说,“不过他委托我代理他的职责。”“他这时候去打猎真不是时候,”一个强盗说,“因为现在我们必须马上决定,是让这条野狗去死呢,还是留着他让人拿钱来赎。这事要老大拿主意,他比你高明。”

矮个子气得想打那人一记耳光,可是没打着,便骂起来;其他人不买他的帐,也骂起他来,帐篷里吵成一团。这时,帐篷的门突然开了,一个高大结实的汉子走了进来,他年轻英俊,像一个波斯王子。除了一把镶着珠宝的短剑和闪闪发光的弯刀外,他的衣饰平常。他神态威严,让人心生尊敬,但不会感到畏惧。

他厉声责问为什么在他的帐篷里喧嚣,那些惊慌失措的强盗告诉了他事情的前因后果,他气得涨红了脸。“哈桑,我什么时候叫你代理我的职责的?”他声色俱厉地对矮个子喝道。

矮个子吓得缩成一团,他悄悄地朝帐篷门摸过去,被老大飞起一脚踢出门外。

矮老头出去后,三个强盗把莫斯塔法带到老大面前。“你命令我们去抓的人押来了。”

老大找人来认他,找来的老太婆赌咒说莫斯塔法就是她认识的苏利埃卡总督。老大怒气冲冲地要把我的弟弟在第二天早上绑在马尾巴上拖着穿过森林。强盗把弟弟带出帐篷时,三个强盗押来了另一个俘虏,他长得和莫斯塔法十分相像,只是肤色略深,胡须更浓。原来他才是真正的总督。总督被带走了,老大朝我的弟弟走去,用短剑割断了绳索,真诚地请求他的原谅。我的弟弟恳请他让自己继续赶路,因为任何耽搁都会导致灾难。老大询问他着急赶路的原因,莫斯塔法把事情详详细细地告诉了他。老大听了劝他留宿一夜,答应第二天给他指一条去巴尔索拉捷径。我弟弟受到盛情款待,舒舒服服地睡到第二天早上。

他醒来的时候听到帐篷外面有人讲话的声音,原来矮个子把昨天受到的难堪都归咎于他,十分恨他,试图以怕他泄露秘密的借口强烈要求老大把他杀掉。老大没有答应,反而亲自送他上路。

一路上,老大对我弟弟说,他们抓到的那个总督原先答应在自己的领地上绝不伤害他们,可是在几个星期前,总督抓住了他手下最勇敢的一个强盗,在严刑拷打后,竟把这个强盗活活绞死了。后来老大派人伏击了总督,今天非把他处死不可。莫斯塔法不敢说什么,他庆幸自己能够安然无恙地逃离虎口。

出了树林,老大勒住了马,给我弟弟指明去路后向他告别,说:“莫斯塔法,你意外地当了奥尔巴桑的客人。我并不要求你把这里的所见所闻一点也不泄露出去。你无端地受了惊吓,我应该为此做出补偿。收下这把短剑作纪念吧。你一旦需要帮助的时候,就把短剑带给我,我会赶来帮助你的。这袋钱,你就留着,也许旅途上用得着。”

我弟弟对他的慷慨表示感谢,但坚决不肯收下钱袋。奥尔巴桑又跟他握了握手,把钱袋扔在地上,骑着马一阵风似的消失在树林里。我弟弟眼见没法赶上他,便跳下马拣起钱袋。奥尔巴桑的慷慨让他惊讶,钱袋里装着满满的金币。我弟弟感谢真主的救命之恩,向真主称赞这位义盗的恩惠,然后兴高采烈地朝巴尔索拉赶去。

莫斯塔法在第七天中午进了巴尔索拉的城门。可是他来迟了,奴隶交易已经在两天前结束了,人们告诉他在交易的最后一天来了两名女奴,她们长得非常漂亮,吸引了无数顾客的目光。他们争相出价,甚至互相厮打,最后她们被出价最高的人买走了。

莫斯塔法设法打听到买下这两名女奴的人名叫提乌利,他住的地方离巴尔索拉有四十个小时的路程。提乌利是一位地位显赫、家境富裕的老人,从前当过卡普冬的总督,现在带着全部财产荣归故里。

起初莫斯塔法想去追赶刚刚走了一天的提乌利,但继而一想,他孤身一人肯定斗不过这位有财有势的人,于是他想了一个主意。他跟苏利埃卡总督长得很像,因为这个缘故他差点被强盗杀了,他决定利用这点,冒充苏利埃卡总督去找提乌利,借机救出两个不幸的姑娘。奥尔巴桑给他的钱帮了他的大忙,他雇了几个仆人,买了几匹马,穿上华丽的衣服,朝提乌利的住地走去。

他来到提乌利的城堡,把头发和胡须染黑,又把脸涂黑,看上去和苏利埃卡总督没有两样,然后派人通报提乌利,说苏利埃卡总督要求借宿一夜。他受到了提乌利的盛情款待。饭后,莫斯塔法把话题渐渐转到主人新买的女奴身上,提乌利对她们的美貌赞不绝口,只是抱怨她们一直愁眉不展;不过,他相信她们很快就会变的。我弟弟对他的接待十分满意,怀着最美好的希望睡下了。

大约一小时后,他被灯光照醒了,眼前是奥尔巴桑帐篷里的矮个子,嘴角露出狰狞的奸笑。莫斯塔法以为自己在做梦,可惜不是,原来矮个子和奥尔巴桑长期不和,逃出来投奔了提乌利,他要求莫斯塔法把妹妹嫁给他,否则他就要去向提乌利告密。

莫斯塔法又愤怒又害怕,眼看成功在望,这个卑鄙的人却把这一切都毁了。他试图杀掉这个矮鬼,可是狡猾的矮个子早就料到他会这么做,马上丢下灯,趁黑逃了出去,还拼命呼叫救命。

我弟弟只好把救姑娘们的事暂时搁下,先让自己脱离险境。他听到门外人声嘈杂,一群人已经到了门口,他抓起短剑和衣服,从高高的窗口跳下,追赶他的人惊讶地看着他爬上高墙,消失在野外的空地。他失去了仆人和马匹,好在腰带里的钱袋总算带了出来。

他善于思索,很快想出了另一个解救的办法。他来到城里,找到一位有经验的老医生,买了一种妙药,这种药能让人像死了一般昏睡过去,但服了解药就会立刻苏醒。妙药弄到手后,他又买了一条长长的胡子和一件黑色的长袍,把自己打扮成一个走江湖的医生。他用一头驴子驮着很多瓶瓶罐罐,朝提乌利的城堡走去。这回他可让人难以辨认了——一条胡子让他变了样,连他自己也认不出自己。他想,等见到提乌利时,就说自己是卡卡曼卡布狄巴巴大夫。事情正如他所料,这个动听的名字使他在那个笨蛋面前身价百倍,提乌利待他如上宾,餐后老头决定请这个医术高明的医生给家里所有的女奴都诊察一下,看看她们是否健康。

提乌利在墙上开了一个孔,让女奴们依次把手伸出来让医生号脉,提乌利大声呼叫女奴的名字,女奴们挨个儿从墙洞里伸出一只手来,六个名字点过了,诊断结果都很健康,提乌利点到第七个名字“法特迈”,于是一只纤细而又洁白的手从墙洞里伸出来。

莫斯塔法抓住这只手,高兴得浑身发抖。接着他神色严峻地说,这是一个得了重病的女奴。提乌利听了很担忧,他吩咐聪明的大夫卡卡曼卡布狄巴巴赶快给她开药方。医生走到房间外面,写了一张纸条告诉法特迈自己要给她一种迷魂药水,可以趁机救她出去,他还有解药,可以让她起死回生,如果她同意配合,就告诉他这贴药没什么作用,作为给他的信号。于是他又为患病的法特迈号了一次脉,顺便把纸条塞在她的手镯下面,他把一剂无害的药水从墙洞递了进去。提乌利很担心法特迈的病,吩咐暂时停诊,因为他花了两千枚金币买她,可不想她像一条母牛一样病死。他命令医生一定要治好她,否则就把他的头砍掉。

就在他们说话的时候,一个黑奴从内厅走出来,对医生说,那贴药没有什么作用。提乌利要我弟弟把全部的本领都使出来,于是莫斯塔法把迷魂药取出来,交给了一个黑奴,告诉他用法和用量,然后借口要去湖边采药,急忙从门口出去了。莫斯塔法来到了离城不远的湖边,把乔装用的衣服扔到水里,在灌木丛中等到入夜,然后悄悄溜到城堡边的墓地里。

莫斯塔法离开城堡不久,有人给提乌利送信说女奴法特迈快要死了。他急忙派人去湖边请医生,可是派去的人不一会儿独自回来说可怜的医生不幸掉在水里淹死了,他的黑色长袍还在湖里飘荡,胡须也不时冒出水面。提乌利眼看女奴没救了,就恶狠狠地诅咒自己和整个世界,还扯着胡子把脑袋往墙上撞,可是这一切都无济于事,法特迈还是咽了气。

提乌利听到法特迈死去的消息,立即吩咐仆人准备一口棺材,因为他不能把死人留在家里。他叫人把棺材抬到墓地,抬棺材的人到了墓地,听到其他棺材里有呻吟和叹息声,吓得把棺材一搁就逃走了。

原来是莫斯塔法躲在其他棺材后面把抬棺材的人吓跑了,这时他走了出来,点起带来的灯,取出装解药的瓶子,打开法特迈的棺材,借着灯光,他看到躺在棺材里的是一个陌生人,既不是他的妹妹,也不是佐拉埃登。不幸的命运又一次捉弄了他,他用了很长时间才恢复镇静,出于同情,他用解药救醒了陌生的女孩。

女子对莫斯塔法的搭救感激不尽,莫斯塔法这才知道在提乌利的城堡里所有的女奴都改了名字,获救的女人被叫做法特迈,纸条和救命药都交给了她,而妹妹和左拉埃登一个被叫做弥尔察,另一个叫做奴尔玛哈尔。

得救的女人看到我弟弟因救错了人而垂头丧气,就鼓励他振作精神,并答应告诉他一个办法,可以营救两个姑娘。女奴告诉他她当提乌利的女奴已有五个月,从一开始就设法逃走。她在内院看到一口水井,很像她父亲家的一种水井,知道水是从宽阔的下水道里引来的,她故意在提乌利面前称赞这口井,提乌利亲口证实水是从城堡外的小溪通过一人高的下水道引进来的,要不是因为她无力搬开井边的大石头,她早就逃走了。现在她告诉莫斯塔法下水道的位置,但是他至少还要带两个男人一起去,才能战胜夜间守卫的奴隶。

我的弟弟虽然已有两次未能如愿,但仍未失去信心,他再次鼓起勇气,祈愿在真主的帮助下实现女奴提出的计划。但是,他上哪儿去找两三个忠实可靠的帮手呢?他想起了奥尔巴桑的短剑和他的承诺。他把女奴安置在郊外一个贫苦的妇人家里,自己用最后一笔钱买了一匹马,策马朝奥尔巴桑的营地奔去,在那里他受到了主人的亲切款待,他叙述了自己失败的经历,当他讲到自己扮演医生卡卡曼卡布狄巴巴时,一向表情严峻的奥尔巴桑也忍不住笑了起来。但是,矮个子的叛变让奥尔巴桑怒不可遏,他发誓要亲手吊死他。

奥尔巴桑答应帮助我弟弟。第二天,奥尔巴桑带了三名最勇敢的汉子,手持武器,骑着骏马,来到了城中,他们等到夜幕降临,被救的女奴带着他们来到溪水边,很快便找到了下水道,女奴在他们爬进下水道前详细对他们讲了进去的路线,又告诉他们第六扇门里面住着法特迈和左拉埃登,门前有两名黑奴看守。

女奴和一个仆人留下看马,莫斯塔法、奥尔巴桑和另外两个大汉沿下水道来到了水井边,他们用力挖,很快就挖出了一个大洞,足够一个人通过。

奥尔巴桑第一个钻了过去,然后帮助其他人过了洞口。他们到了院子里,寻找女奴说的那道门,可是他们不能肯定,因为有一道门被堵起来了,他们不知道女奴有没有把这道门算进去。奥尔巴桑考虑了一会儿,果断地说:”我的利剑将帮助我劈开任何一道门!”

说完,他朝第六道门走去,其他的人都跟在后面。他们打开了门,看到六名黑奴在地上睡觉,他们发觉走错了门,正想悄悄退出去,角落里突然闪出一个人影,大喊救命,声音很熟悉,原来这人就是奥尔巴桑营地里逃出来的矮个子。可是还没等黑奴们弄清是怎么回事,奥尔巴桑就制服了矮个子,塞住了他的嘴巴。接着,他们捆住了黑奴们,用短剑抵着黑奴的胸口问他们奴尔玛哈尔和弥尔察在哪里。黑奴们供认,她们就在隔壁房间。

莫斯塔法冲进那个房间,找到了法特迈和左拉埃登,她们已经被吵闹声惊醒,现在急忙收拾衣服和首饰跟着莫斯塔法走出来。同来的两个强盗建议抢些东西,奥尔巴桑没有同意。他不想给别人留下话柄,说他夜里闯进人家里偷金银财宝。

他们从下水道离开城堡,离开前奥尔巴桑和另一个强盗把矮个子绞死在水井顶端——他们惩罚了这个可耻的叛徒。

第二天,莫斯塔法和两个被救出来的姑娘同奥尔巴桑依依惜别。另一个被救出来的女奴换了装前往巴尔索拉,准备从那里乘船回家。

不久,我弟弟带着妹妹愉快地回到了故乡,我父亲高兴极了,举办了盛大的宴会,几乎全城的人都来参加。我弟弟向亲朋讲了他的故事,大家异口同声地称赞他和那个仗义的强盗。

我弟弟讲完故事后,我父亲站了起来,把左拉埃登带到我弟弟面前。“现在,我把加在你头上的诅咒解除了,”父亲庄重地说,“你为了营救这位姑娘不辞辛劳,现在我把她交给你,作为对你的报酬。请接受父亲的祝福吧,但愿我们的城里有更多像你一样的人,既有智慧、热情,又有手足之情!”

FOR many years Lezah was Cadi of Acara. He had two children, whose names were Mustapha and Fatima.There was only two years difference in their ages, and they loved each other dearly.When Fatima's sixteenth birthday came, her brother prepared a little feast, to which he invited all their playfellows.The repast included only the daintiest dishes, and towards evening he suggested that they should all go for a row on the sea in a barque, which he had had specially decorated for the occasion.

Fatima and her young guests were delighted, for the evening was so fine and the view of the town from the water very picturesque. The girls, however, enjoyed themselves so much that they persuaded Mustapha to row farther and farther away from the shore.This he rather unwillingly did, for a few days ago he had noticed the presence of a Corsair in the bay.

Not far from the town there was a promontory stretching out into the sea, and the maidens wished to go there and watch the setting sun sink into the peaceful waters. As they rowed round it they noticed a boat, in which were some armed men, and fearingdisaster, Mustapha ordered his men to turn the barque round and go back to the landing stage.It seemed almost as if his misgivings were correct, for the other boat immediately followed Mustapha's, then passed it, and kept deliberately between it and the shore.The maidens when they realised their danger became so frightened that they clung together and wept and wailed, and in spite of Mustapha's efforts to reassure them, and his warnings that if they did not sit still the barque might be upset, they became so wild with terror that on the near approach of the Corsair's boat, they crowded to one side and were overturned.

In the meantime the people on the banks had noticed the strange boat, and their suspicions had been aroused;and several craft had put off in order to assist Mustapha should it be necessary. But they only arrived in time to witness the accident.In the confusion the strange boat got away, and as the rescued were placed in different skiffs it was impossible to know at once if all were saved.But by degrees it was only too certain that Fatima and one of her playmates were missing, and that in one of the boats was a man whom no one knew.In reply to Mustapha's threats he admitted that he belonged to a ship which was anchored about two miles away, and that his captors had left him in the lurch as he was trying to save some of the young girls;and that he knew they had taken two off to the ship.

The old father's grief was terrible to witness, and Mustaphawas simply heartbroken, for besides the loss of Fatima, the playmate also missing was a young girl to whom he was secretly betrothed;the slender circumstances of her parents having prevented him from acquainting his own father, a proud and haughty man, of the fact.

When his grief had somewhat subsided, the Cadi sent for Mustapha and said:“Through your stupidity I have lost the light of my eyes and the comfort of my old age. Go away from here;I banish you for ever from my sight.May my curse pursue you, only to be removed when you bring Fatima again to me!”

This was a shock to Mustapha;for he had made a vow to find his sister and her companion, and would fain have asked his father's blessing on the endeavour;but now he was sent out into the world bearing the heavy burden of a curse. And the bitterest thought was that it was undeserved.

He sought out the prison where the pirate sailor lay, and asked for news as to the trade of the ship;and was told that the captain trafficked in slaves, which he sold in the great market-place at Balsora. When he returned to the house to prepare for his journey, he found that his father was less angry, and had sent him a purse of gold for the expenses of his journey.Mustapha next took a tearful farewell of Zoraide's parents, and started on the way to Balsora, going as far as possible by land, as no ship was leaving Acara for the port he desired, and travelling in hot haste, so as not to be far behind the pirates.At the end of four days, as he was riding all alone, three men suddenly attacked him.He saw that they were well armed, and as he valued his horse and his gold less than his life, he shouted that he would surrender.They bound his feet together beneath his horse, set him in their midst, and one of them took his reins and led him along without speaking a word.莫斯塔法遇到三个强盗的袭击

Mustapha now felt afraid that his father's curse was beginning to work, and could hardly dare to hope that his quest on behalf of his sister and Zoraide could succeed, since all his valuables were seized and only his wretched life spared him. He and his silent captors had ridden for about an hour, when they came upon a little valley, surrounded by high trees, and through which flowed a narrow silvery brook.Here he saw from fifteen to twenty tents, and tethered near by were camels and splendid horses;from one of the tents came the sound of a zither and men's voices singing.It seemed to Mustapha that people who could choose such a lovely place to camp in could not have any evil designs on him, and he followed his captors, who had loosened his bonds and signed to him to dismount, without anxiety or hesitation.They led him towards the largest tent, which was beautifully arranged inside.Splendidly covered cushions, hand-made carpets, golden censers, proved that this tent belonged to no common robber.On one of the cushions sat a little old man, hideous to behold;but by the behaviour of his companions Mustapha felt sure that not for him was the tent sohandsomely furnished.

“Where is the Chief?”asked one of the men.

“He is out hunting,”was the reply,“and ordered me to take his place in his absence.”

“That is a pity,”said one of the robbers,“for we want to know if this man shall live or die;and he can decide that better than you.”

The little man rose with offended dignity, and would evidently have liked to pull the robber by the ear, but failing in his intention, the two together began struggling and fighting. Suddenly the curtain of the tent was thrown back, and a tall, handsome man entered.His garments, his splendid weapons, betokened his condition, but more impressive far were his noble features, and calm, penetrating eyes.

“Who is it who dares to quarrel in my tent?”he asked.

A brief silence-and then one of the men who brought Mustapha to the camp explained how it happened;and hearing him, the Chief's fine face reddened with anger.

“When did I set you in my place, Hassan?”thundered he.

The little man crept crestfallen from the tent, his lingering steps quickened by a threatening gesture on the part of the Chief.

When Hassan had withdrawn, the three robbers brought Mustapha to the Chief, who had thrown himself on the luxurious cushions.

“We bring you one whose capture you desired,”said they.

The Chief looked earnestly at Mustapha and said:

“Bashaw of Sulieika, thy conscience will tell thee why thou standest before Orbassan.”

When Mustapha heard these words, he threw himself before the Chief and cried:“My lord, there is some great mistake. I am a most unhappy wretch, but not the Bashaw whom thou seekest.”

All those in the tent were amazed at these words, and Orbassan said:“Your denial will not help you, for I can call people who know you well;”and he gave orders that Zuleima should be brought before him;who when asked if she recognised the prisoner, said:“Certainly, my lord, he is the Bashaw of Sulieika, and no one else!”

“See,”said the Chief,“how little your lie has availed you. I despise you too much to soil my dagger with your miserable blood;but on the back of one of my horses shall you be bound to-morrow morning, and through the forest I will pursue you until the sun sets behind the hills of Sulieika.”

Then Mustapha's courage failed him.“My father's curse is haunting me,”he cried,“and now indeed, dear sister, and still dearer Zoraide, are you lost.”

“Resistance is no good,”whispered one of the robbers, as he bound the captive's hands behind his back.“Best come quietly out of the tent, for the Chief is biting his lips and looking at his dagger. Come, if you wish to live till to-morrow.”

As the robbers drew Mustapha out of the tent, they met three comrades with a prisoner.

“We bring the Bashaw, as you commanded,”said they, and led the captive before the Chief. As the prisoner was going into the tent, Mustapha had an opportunity of observing him, and was struck with the extraordinary likeness to himself, save that the stranger was darker and his beard blacker.

The Chief was also astonished at the resemblance between the two men.“Which of you is the right man?”he asked, looking from one to the other.

“If you mean which is the Bashaw of Sulieika,”said the latest prisioner haughtily,“I am he!”

The Chief looked attentively at him, then signed to the men to take their prisoner away, and when alone with Mustapha cut his bonds with the dagger blade, and invited him to be seated.

“I am sorry, stranger,”said he,“that I mistook you for another;but you may thank Heaven that you did not fall into my brother's hands.”

Mustapha then begged permission to continue his journey without delay, as every moment was of such dire importance. The Chief inquired the object of his travellings, and having heard, suggested that a night's rest would be best for man and beast, and promised on the morrow to show him a short route by which he would reach Balsora in a day and a half.Mustapha willingly consented to remain, and slept soundly till morning.

When he awoke he found himself alone in the tent, but throughthe curtains he could hear voices in discussion, among them those of the Chief and the little black man. He listened, and, to his horror, heard the dwarf suggest that Mustapha should be put to death in case he might betray them.Mustapha was certain that the dwarf owed him a grudge on account of the struggle in the tent the day before;but the Chief, after a moment's thought, said:

“No!he is my guest, and as such his person is sacred, and I am sure he is no traitor!”

As he spoke these words he threw the curtains back and cried:“Peace be with you, Mustapha. Let us pledge each other, and then you must prepare for your journey.”

The attendant immediately brought goblets of sherbet, and when they had drunk, they mounted their steeds, and with a light heart Mustapha took his departure.

They soon left the camp behind, and crossed an open space which led into the forest. The Chief told Mustapha that the Bashaw, whom they had once caught on the chase, had promised not in any way to molest them;but for many weeks he had captured their bravest men, and after tormenting them cruelly had hanged them.The Chief had been watching for him some time, and to-day the Bashaw must die.Mustapha felt thankful at his own happy escape.

At the far end of the forest the Chief reined in his horse, instructed Mustapha as to his way, shook him by the hand, and said:

“Mustapha, you have, by extraordinary circumstance, been theguest of the bandit Orbassan. I know well you will not disclose anything you have seen or heard.You have passed through danger of death, and I admire your fortitude.Take this dagger in remembrance, and should you need help at any time, send it to me, and I will hasten to your assistance.This purse, I pray you, use on your journey.”

Mustapha thanked him for his generosity;he took the dagger, but returned the gold. Orbassan, however, dropped it from his hand, and it lay unheeded on the ground as he sprang to his horse.When he was well out of sight Mustapha picked up the purse, and was startled to find such evidence of his host's magnificence, for the value of the gold was great.He thanked God for his escape, commended the noble robber to His protection, and continued his journey to Balsora at his best speed.

On the seventh day of his journeyings Mustapha rode through the gates of Balsora. Dismounting at an inn, he asked when the slave-market would be held.To his dismay he learnt that he was two days late.The bystanders sympathised with his disappointment, and told him he had lost an excellent opportunity, for on the very last day of the market two most lovely slaves had been brought in, who had attracted the admiration of all the buyers.

Many wished to purchase them, but the biddings went so high that no one could compete with their ultimate possessor. Further inquiries convinced Mustapha that these two slaves were his sisterand Zoraide.He also learnt that their owner was named Thiuli-Kos, and lived quite forty hours'journey from Balsora.He was a rich and elderly man, formerly ruler of Kapudan and a Bashaw, but now quietly managed his large dominions.

Mustapha felt inclined to mount his horse at once and follow Thiuli-Kos without delay. But he remembered that alone and without escort he was powerless against a mighty traveller, and had to think what would be a really possible way to carry out his plans.The strange likeness between himself and the Bashaw of Sulieika, which had nearly been so disastrous to him, gave him the idea of assuming the name, and of so gaining an entrance into the house of Thiuli-Kos, with the prospect of rescuing the unfortunate maidens.

He was able, thanks to Orbassan's generosity, to hire servants and horses, and buy suitable outfit for them and himself ere starting on his journey to the Castle. After five days they were in its neighbourhood.It stood in a fine position, and was surrounded by walls which were almost as high as the building itself.

When he reached the Castle, he dyed his hair and beard black, but only slightly darkened the colour of his skin in order to make his face more like to the Bashaw's. Then he sent his servants in advance to the Castle to crave a night's hospitality for the Bashaw of Sulieika.The servants returned, and with them four handsomely dressed slaves, who took Mustapha's horse by the bridle and led it to the courtyard.There they held it while he dismounted, and fourother attendants led him up a broad marble staircase to Thiuli, who with great friendliness welcomed him, and ordered a meal to be prepared.After he had eaten, Mustapha turned the conversation to the subject of the new slaves, and Thuili spoke enthusiastically of their good looks, but feared their continual fretting would soon destroy their beauty.Satisfied with the success, so far, of his adventure, Mustapha withdrew to rest.

He could hardly have slept an hour, when he was disturbed by the glare of a lamp held close to his face. He roused himself, and thought he must be dreaming, for it was no other than the little brown-faced dwarf from Orbassan's tent who had awakened him.Mustapha pinched and pulled himself to see if it were reality or imagination.

“Why are you here by my bed?”cried Mustapha, as soon as he had recovered from his surprise.

“Do not excite yourself, my lord,”said the dwarf.“I know well why you are come hither. Your face is perfectly familiar to me, though if I had not with my own hands helped to hang the Bashaw, I might have been deceived.Now I have something to ask.”

“First tell me why you are here,”said Mustapha, furious to find he had been recognised.

“Willingly. I could no longer bear the rule of the Chief Orbassan, so I left him;but you, Mustapha, were partly the cause of our quarrel, so you must promise me your sister for my wife.If you do so I will help you in both rescue and flight;if not, I will go to my new master and tell him you are an impostor.”矮个子威胁莫斯塔法

Mustapha was beside himself with rage to think that just as he had so nearly succeeded in his difficult task, this wretched dwarf should suddenly thwart him. There was only one way out of the difficulty-he must kill the man, and he sprang from his couch with sudden, intention;but the dwarf was not unprepared, and, dropping the lamp, ran out into the dark corridor screaming for help.

Here indeed was a catastrophe. His own safety was of first importance, and Mustapha rushed to the window to see if he could possibly jump out.It was rather high from the ground, and beyond was a wall over which he must climb.As he paused to think, he heard voices near, even at the door of his apartment.Securing his dagger and his clothes he swung himself from the casement.The fall was hard, but he had broken no bones, so ran as fast as be could to the wall, reaching it before his pursuers, and found himself once more free.He ran on till he came to a small wood, where he threw himself down to rest and consider what next to do.His horses and his servants he must leave where they were;but his money, most fortunately, was safe in his cummerbund.His busy brain soon worked out another plan.He went through the wood until he came to a village, where he bought a horse and rode to the nearest town.There he sought an apothecary, and was directed to an old and venerable man;to whom he offered a large price for a drug whichwould produce a deathlike sleep, and for another which would instantaneously act as an antidote.

With these in his possession he bought a long false beard, a black gown, and some books, so that he could impersonate a travelling doctor, bound these things upon a donkey's back, and went back to the Castle of Thiuli-Kos. He hoped this time to be more successful, for the beard changed his appearance so that he hardly knew himself.When he reached Thiuli, he announced himself as the physician Chakamankabudibaba, and, as he had hoped, the old ruler immediately ordered his attendance.Chakamankabudibaba presented himself before Thiuli, and they had hardly conversed for an hour before the old man thought his slave-women might as well consult this famous doctor.Mustapha could hardly conceal his pleasure at the prospect of seeing his dear sister again, and with a beating heart followed Thiuli to the Seraglio.They paused in a beautifully decorated but empty room.

“Chambaba, or whatever your name is, great doctor,”said Thiuli-Kos,“observe that hole in the wall. Through it each slave will put her arm, and you can tell by the pulse if she be well or ill.”

This was hardly what Mustapha desired;but he consented to do as Thiuli wished, and the old man took a long roll out of his girdle and began to call his slaves by name, and each in turn passed her hand through the wall, and the physician felt her pulse.

Six had already been declared well and strong when Thiulicalled“Fatima,”and a little white hand slipped through the wall. Trembling with joy, Mustapha seized it, and declared the owner to be ill undoubtedly.Thiuli was much concerned, and begged his wise Chakamankabudibaba to find some medicine which would cure her.

The physician went outside and wrote on a little slip of paper“Fatima, I will save you, if you can shut yourself up and take a draught which will make you unconscious for two days. I have another which will bring you back to life.Do not be afraid.”Then Mustapha returned to the room where Thiuli was impatiently waiting, and taking with him the little draught he felt Fatima's pulse once more and slipped the paper beneath her bracelet, passing the medicine through the opening in the wall.Thiuli seemed in great distress about Fatima, and impatiently awaited the result of the examination.As he left the room with Mustapha, he said in a sad voice:“Chadibaba, what is the matter with Fatima?”

Chakamankabudibaba answered with a deep sigh:

“By the beard of the Prophet, she has a severe fever, which may, perhaps, end fatally.”

At this Thiuli flew into a violent rage.

“How dare you tell me that, accursed dog of a physician. Is she, for whom I gave two thousand golden pieces, to die like an animal?By my oath, if you do not save her, I will cut your head off!”

Then Mustapha perceived that he had made a mistake, and spoke rather more hopefully. But at this moment a slave came out ofthe Seraglio and said that the medicine did not seem to have had a good effect.

“Put forth all your skill, Chakambababa, and whatever fee you ask shall be yours,”cried Thiuli-Kos, almost beside himself with anxiety at the thought of losing so much money spent on a slave.

“I will give her another draught which will greatly help her recovery,”said the physician.

“Do, do;lose no time,”said old Thiuli.

Full of joy, Mustapha went to get his sleeping-draught, and when he had carefully explained to the black slave exactly how it was to be given to the patient, he went to Thiuli and said that he must go out and search for a healing herb on the shore of the lake, and left the Castle. Into the lake, which was not far from the Castle, he threw his disguise, and watched clothes and beard floating on the water;then he withdrew to a short distance, waited for sunset, and then hid himself in the burying-ground adjoining Thiuli's Castle.

Mustapha had hardly been an hour absent from the Castle when the news was brought to Thiuli that his slave Fatima was dying. He sent to the lake, telling his messenger to bring back the physician at once.The man returned alone, and told him that the poor doctor had fallen in the lake and was drowned;his black gown and beard could plainly be seen floating on the waves as they rose and fell.When Thiuli saw there was no more hope, he cursed everything and everybody, tore out the hair of his beard, and banged his headagainst the wall.But this did no good;and Fatima, meantime, died.When he heard the sad news, he ordered a coffin to be made directly, for he would have no dead bodies in his house, and said she was to be taken to the burial-ground.The bearers brought the coffin there, set it down, and ran away, for they had heard mysterious sobs and groans proceeding from it.

Mustapha, who had hidden himself behind some coffins and had noticed how quickly the hearers ran away from the place, stepped forward, and lighted a lamp he had brought with him. Then he drew forth the phial containing the awakening dose, and raised the lid of Fatima's coffin.But what a sad surprise awaited him!The light of the lamp shone on other features than those of his dear sister.Neither she nor Zoraide lay in that coffin, but altogether a different person.He was much cast down at this fresh blow;fate did indeed seem against him;but pity mingled with his disappointment.He opened the bottle, and poured the medicine between the lips of the swooning girl, who sighed, opened her eyes, and seemed to wonder where she was.At last she remembered all that had happened, and stepping out of the coffin threw herself at Mustapha's feet.

“How can I ever thank you, good friend,”said she,“for delivering me from my dreadful seclusion?”

Mustapha interrupted her thanks with the question how it was that she, and not his sister Fatima, was the fortunate slave.

She looked at him in bewilderment.

“Now, I begin to understand,”she said,“all that puzzled me before. In the Harem I was called Fatima, and you effected my escape through a misunderstanding.”

Mustapha begged the slave to give him some news of his sister and Zoraide, and learnt that they were both in the castle, but Thiuli had given them other names. They were now called Mirza and Nourmahal.

When Fatima, the rescued slave, saw how bitterly downcast Mustapha was, she bade him not despair, and said she thought she could tell him of a way to seek and find his dear ones. Overjoyed at the possibility, Mustapha implored her to lose no time but to explain her meaning.

“I was for five months Thiuli's favourite,”she said,“but my thoughts were always bent on escape, though alone and unaided it seemed too difficult. In the innermost courtyard you may have noticed a fountain which spouts its water through ten tubes.This fountain interested me.I remembered one like it in my father's house, and that its waters ran through a wide underground passage.In order to ascertain if this fountain was so built, I flattered Thiuli one day as to its beauty, and asked who the designer was.‘I myself;'answered he;‘and what you see is not all.The water comes at least a distance of a thousand yards, from a brook, and passes through a conduit the height of a man.All this I myself designed.'When I heard this, I often wished only for one moment to have the strengthof a man;so as to remove one stone from the side of the fountain, and thus be able to escape.I will now show you this waterway;through it you can make your entrance into the Castle at night, and free your sister and Zoraide.But you must take at least two men with you, so that you can overpower the slaves who guard the Seraglio.”

As she finished speaking, Mustapha, in spite of the want of success of his former efforts, felt a keen desire to make one more

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