Fragrance in Literature-Eastern Tales by Many Story Tellers, by Various

Eastern Tales by Many Story Tellers, by Various


At the powerful voice of her enchantment, the Sultan shrank from his natural form and became a reptile on the earth. His change of form did not take from Misnar his memory or recollection: he was sensible of his disgrace, and of the justness of his sentence; and though he could not fly from himself, yet he hastened into the thicket, that he might hide from the light of heaven. But the calls of nature soon drove him from his recess, to seek his proper food in the desert. He crawled forth, and was led on by a scent that pleased him: his spirits seemed enlivened by the sweet odour, and his cold feeble limbs were endued with brisker motion.
"Surely," said he, in his heart, "the bounteous Allah hath not left the meanest of His creatures without comfort and joy. The smell is as the smell of roses, and life and vigour are in these attractive paths."

"Imagine, O respectable dervish, my astonishment: it almost deprived me of my senses! I was soon drawn from it, however, by the appearance of twenty female slaves, beautiful and well dressed. Some held flambeaux, and other pots full of exquisite perfumes, the sweet odour of which, mingled with that of the wood of aloes, which served to warm the bath, embalmed the air, and raised an agreeable vapour to the very roof of the apartment.[322]

There were no slaves there to inform him of his mistake. They were enjoying the feast, and only returned to the apartment, which they had left open, to fill the pots with perfumes, and prepare, according to the custom of the East, a collation of different sherbets and dried sweetmeats. The hangings concealed the sofa on which Aladin lay.

After this advice, the dervish threw off his cloak, and appeared as a magician. He was covered only with his large particoloured girdle which adorned his breast. He took from a purse which hung from his girdle an instrument for striking fire, and, having lighted a taper, he burnt perfumes, and running over a book, he pronounced with a loud voice a magical charm. Scarcely had he finished when the earth shook under his feet, opened before him, and discovered a square stone of marble, upon the middle of which the magician immediately scattered perfumes. When he thought the air sufficiently purified and refreshed with them, he girded Abaquir with a rope under his arms, put a taper in his hand, and let him down into the opening.

As soon as he arrived at the gates of the palace, a deputation from the Sultan, with an officer at their head, came to present him with a richly-ornamented box filled with betel-nuts. All the halls of the palace which he crossed were perfumed with aloes and sandal-wood; he passed thus even to the most retired closet of the Sultan's apartments.
Soon, by degrees, their manner of living became more and more expensive, as each endeavoured to excel the others in the splendour of his hospitality, and to procure for the next meeting at his house scarcer viands and more costly wines. In this manner they vied with each other, increasing their expenses with savoury spices and the most delicious perfumes.

It happened one day, as this precious merchant was walking in the market, that he had a great quantity of fine glass bottles offered him for sale; and, as the proposed bargain was greatly on his side, and he made it still more so, he bought them. The vendor informed him, furthermore, that a perfumer having lately become bankrupt, had no resource left but to sell, at a very low price, a large quantity of rose-water; and Casem, greatly rejoicing at this news, and, hastening to the poor man's shop, bought up all the rose-water at half its value. He then carried it home, and comfortably put it in his bottles. Delighted with these good bargains, and buoyant in his spirits, our hero, instead of making a feast, according to the custom of his fellows, thought it more advisable to go to the bath, where he had not been for some time.

"Here," said the first, "O stranger, we may rest securely, and the serpent cannot annoy us, for we are seated under the shade of the fragrant cinnamon."

Day, which began to appear, was soon to discover the horrors of this bloody night. With the first rays of morning the nurse went to feed her tender care, whose blood deluged the cradle. Lost in astonishment, she ran to the apartment of the King and Queen to announce this fatal news. Her despair and shrieks went before her, and awakened Chamsada. The unhappy Queen opened her eyes, and found her husband breathing his last at her side. The cries of the nurse made her dread misfortunes still more terrible. A widowed spouse and a weeping mother, she ran to the cradle of her son and took him in her arms. He still breathed, and she conceived the hope of saving his life. The whole palace was in motion. Selimansha arrived with his eunuchs, and surgeons were called, whose skill and attention restored the life of this innocent creature. But they were employed to no purpose on the body of the young monarch, whose death the unfortunate Chamsada deplored.[462] Aromatic and medicinal herbs and the balms of the East produced their effect on the wound of the child, and rekindled the hopes of his mother. He was again placed in the bosom of his nurse, and the presumptive heir of Selimansha was at length out of danger.

At the powerful voice of her enchantment, the Sultan shrank from his natural form and became a reptile on the earth. His change of form did not take from Misnar his memory or recollection: he was sensible of his disgrace, and of the justness of his sentence; and though he could not fly from himself, yet he hastened into the thicket, that he might hide from the light of heaven. But the calls of nature soon drove him from his recess, to seek his proper food in the desert. He crawled forth, and was led on by a scent that pleased him: his spirits seemed enlivened by the sweet odour, and his cold feeble limbs were endued with brisker motion.