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that it was of the greatest importance to know this, that he might take the most proper measures to deliver her from the tyranny of the sultan of Cashmeer.
The princess informed him how she was delivered from the Hindoo's violence by the sultan, as he was returning from hunting; how she was alarmed the next day, by a declaration he had made of his precipitate design to marry her, without even the ceremony of asking her consent; that this violent and tyrannical conduct put her into a swoon; after which she thought she had no other way than what she had taken, to preserve herself for a prince to whom she had given her heart and faith; or die, rather than marry the sultan, whom she neither loved, nor could ever love.
The prince of Persia then asked her, if she knew what became of the horse, after the death of the Hindoo magician. To which she answered, that she knew not what orders the sultan had given, but supposed, after the account she had given him of it, he would take care of it as a curiosity.
As Firoze Shah never doubted but that the sultan had the horse, he communicated to the princess his design of making use of it to convey them both into Persia; and after they had consulted together on the measures they should take, they agreed that the princess should dress herself the next day, and receive the sultan civilly, but without speaking
The sultan of Cashmeer was overjoyed when the prince of Persia stated to him what effect his first visit had had towards the cure of the princess. On the following day, when the princess received him in such a manner as persuaded him her cure was far advanced, he regarded him as the greatest physician in the world; and seeing her in this state, contented himself with telling her how rejoiced he was at her being likely soon to recover her health. He exhorted her to follow the directions of so skilful a physician, in order to complete what he had so well begun, and then retired without waiting for her answer.
The prince of Persia, who attended the sultan of Cashmeer out of the princess's chamber, as he accompanied him, asked if, without failing in due respect, he might inquire, How the princess of Bengal came into the dominions of Cashmeer thus alone, since her own country was far distant? This he said, on purpose to introduce some conversation about the enchanted horse, and to know what was become of it.
The sultan, who could not penetrate into the prince's motive, concealed nothing from him ; but informed him of what the princess had related, when he had delivered her from the Hindoo magician; adding, that he had ordered the enchanted horse to be kept safe in his treasury as a great curiosity, though he knew not the use of it.
Sir, replied the pretended physician, the information which your
majesty has given your devoted slave affords me a means of curing the princess. As she was brought hither on this horse, and the horse is enchanted, she hath contracted something of the enchantment, which can be dissipated only by a certain incense which I am acquainted with. If your majesty would entertain yourself, your court, and the people of your capital, with the most surprising sight that ever was beheld, let the horse be brought into the great square, before the palace, and leave the rest to me. I promise to show you, and all that assembly, in a few moments' time, the princess of Bengal completely restored in body and mind. But the better to effect what I propose, it will be requisite that the princess should be dressed as magnificently as possible, and adorned with the most valuable jewels your majesty may possess. The sultan would have undertaken much more difficult things to have arrived at the enjoyment of his desires, which he expected soon to accomplish.
The next day, the enchanted horse was, by his order, taken out of the treasury, and placed early in the great square before the palace. A report was spread through the town, that there was something extraordinary to be seen, and crowds of people flocked thither from all parts, insomuch that the sultan's guards were placed to prevent disorder, and to keep space enough round the horse.
The sultan of Cashmeer, surrounded by all his nobles and ministers of state, was placed on a scaffold erected on purpose. The princess of Bengal, attended by a number of ladies, whom the sultan had assigned her, went up to the enchanted horse, and the women helped her to mount. When she was fixed in the saddle, and had the bridle in her hand, the pretended physician placed round the horse at a proper distance, many vessels full of lighted charcoal, which he had ordered to be brought, and going round them with a solemn pace, cast in a strong and grateful perfume; then collected in himself, with downcast eyes, and his hands upon his breast, he ran three times about the horse, making as if he pronounced some mystical words. The moment the pots sent forth a dark cloud of pleasant smell, which so surrounded the princess, that neither she nor the horse could be discerned; watching his opportunity, the prince jumped nimbly up behind her, and reaching his hand to the peg, turned it; and just as the horse rose with them into the air, he pronounced these words, which the sultan heard distinctly, Sultan of Cashmeer, when you would marry princesses who implore your protection, learn first to obtain their consent.
Thus the prince delivered the princess of Bengal, and carried her the same day to the capital of Persia, where he alighted in the square of the palace, before the emperor, his father's apartment, who deferred the solemnization of the marriage no longer than till he could make the preparations necessary to render the ceremony pompous and magnificent, and evince the interest he took in it.
(A.) IN Galland's story, the Hindoo is the only one of the ingenious artists whose productions are described. Mr. Lane's 'Magic Horse' has rivals in a wonderful peacock and trumpet :
"And while the king was sitting on the throne of his dominions, on a certain day, during one of these festivals, there came in to him three sages: with one of them was a peacock of gold; and with the second a trumpet of brass; and with the third, a horse of ivory and ebony: whereupon the king said to them, What are these things, and what is their use? The owner of the peacock answered, The use of this peacock is, that whenever an hour of the night or day passeth, it will flap its wings, and utter a cry. And the owner of the trumpet said, If this trumpet be placed at the gate of the city, it will be as a defender of it; for if an enemy enter the city, this trumpet will send forth a sound against him; so he will be known and arrested. And the owner of the horse said, O my Lord, the use of this horse is, that if a man mount it, it will convey him to whatever country he desireth. Upon this the king said, I will not bestow any favour upon you, until I make trial of the uses of these things. Then he made trial of the peacock, and found it to be as its owner had said. And he made trial of the trumpet, and found it as its owner had said. He therefore said to the two sages (the owners of the peacock and the trumpet), Request of me what ye will. And they replied, We request of thee that thou marry to each of us one of thy daughters. Whereupon the king bestowed upon them two of his daughters. Then the third sage, the owner of the horse advanced, and, having kissed the ground before the king, said to him, O king of the age, bestow upon me like as thou hast bestowed upon my companions. The king replied, When I shall have made trial of that which thou hast brought. And upon this, the king's son advanced and said, O my father, I will mount this horse, and make trial of it, and obtain proof of its use. So the king replied, O my son, try it as thou desirest.”
(B.) The Prince, of Mr. Lane's tale, is a most furious fellow. He knocks down the eunuch who guarded the princess's chamber, and disperses her female slaves right and left. Nevertheless, the princess saw at once his beauty and loveliness. Whether Galland, who introduced these Tales to Europe in the time of Louis XIV., chose to soften down the bold Persian prince into a French cavalier, or whether he followed another version of the original, is not within our knowledge. We must confess, however, to a boyish predilection for the very polite and sentimental dialogues of Galland's version:
“ That damsel was the daughter of the king of this city: and her father loved
her with so great an affection, that he built for her this palace; and whenever her heart was contracted, she used to come hither, together with her female slaves, and to remain here a day, or two days, or more; after which she returned to the palace where she generally resided. It happened that she came that night for the sake of diversion and dilatation of the mind, and she walked among the female slaves, attended by a eunuch armed with a sword; and when they entered the palace, they spread the furniture, and gave vent to the odours from the perfumingvessels, and sported and rejoiced. Now while they were thus engaged, the king's son rushed upon that eunuch, struck him a blow which laid him prostrate, and, taking the sword from his hand, ran upon the female slaves who were with the | king's daughter, and dispersed them to the right and left. And when the king's daughter saw his beauty and loveliness, she said, Perhaps thou art he who demanded me in marriage yesterday of my father, and whom he rejected, and whom he asserted to be of hideous aspect. By Allah! my father lied in saying these words, for thou art none other than a handsome person."
In Mr. Lane's 'Magic Horse,' the king interrupts the happiness of the prince of Persia and his daughter. The prince puts on his fighting attitude, and finally issues a general challenge:
“ Then the king proceeded, with the young man before him, until they arrived at the horse-course, when the young man looked at the troops and their number. And the king called out, o companies of men, a young man hath come unto me demanding in marriage my daughter, and I have never beheld any handsomer than he, nor any stronger in heart, nor any greater in intrepidity than he: and he hath asserted that he alone will overcome you and subdue you, and pretendeth that ye, even if your number amounted to a hundred thousand, would be in his estimation but few. But when he cometh forth to combat you, receive him upon the points of your spears, and the edges of your swords; for he hath undertaken a great enterprise.
“ The king then said to the young man, O my son, do as thou desirest with them. But he replied, O king, thou hast not treated me equitably. How shall I go forth to combat them when I am on foot, and the people are mounted on horses? So the king said to him, I desired thee to mount, and thou refusedst. Take then of the horses and choose of them that which thou wilt. He replied, None of thy horses pleaseth me, and I will mount none but the horse on which I came. The king therefore said to him, And where is thy horse? He answered him, It is on the top of thy palace. In what place in my palace? asked the king. He answered, On the roof of the palace. And when the king heard his words, he said to him, This is the first instance that hath appeared of thine insanity. O, wo to thee! How can the horse be upon the roof? But now will thy veracity be distinguished from thy lying. Then the king looked towards one of his chief officers and said to him, Go to my palace, and bring what thou shalt find upon the
roof. And the people wondered at the words of the young man: one saying to another, How can this horse descend the stairs from the roof? Verily this is a thing the like of which we have never heard! Now the person whom the king had sent to the palace ascended to its roof, and beheld the horse standing there; and he had seen none more handsome than it: and he approached it and examined it, and found it to be of ebony and ivory. Some others of the chief officers of the king also went up with this person; and when they beheld the horse, they laughed together, and said, Did the young man speak of such a horse as this? We imagine that he is no other than a madman: but his case will soon appear to us; and perhaps he may be a person of great importance. They then raised the horse upon their hands, and carried it without stopping, until they came before the king, when they placed it before him; and the people assembled around it, gazing at it, and wondering at the beauty of its make, and at the beauty of its saddle and bridle. The king also admired it, and wondered at it extremely; and he said to the king's son, O young man, is this thy horse? He answered, Yes, O king, this is my horse, and thou shalt see a wonder performed by it. The king said to him, Take thy horse and mount it. But he replied, I will not mount it, unless the troops retire to a distance from it. So the king commanded the troops that were around him to retire from it as far as an arrow might be shot.
“ Then said the young man, O king, I am going to mount my horse, and charge upon thine army, and disperse them to the right and left, and split their hearts.
The king replied, Do what thou desirest, and pity them not; for they will not pity thee. And the king's son went to the horse and mounted it. The troops were arranged in ranks before him; and one said to another, When the young man arriveth between the ranks, we will receive him with the points of the spears, and the edges of the swords. But one of them said, By Allah, it is a calamity! How shall we kill this young man with the comely face and the surpassing figure? And another said, By Allah, ye shall by no means reach him unless after a great event; and the young man hath not done these deeds, but from his knowledge of his own valour and pre-eminence. And when the king's son had seated himself firmly upon his horse, he turned the pin of ascent. The eyes of the spectators were strained to see what he would do; and his horse bestirred itself, and moved about with violent action, until it had performed the most extraordinary of the motions of horses, and its body became filled with air. Then it rose, and ascended into the sky. So when the king saw that he had risen, and ascended aloft, he called out to his troops, and said, Wo to you! Take him before he escape from you. But his Vizier and Lieutenants replied, O king, can any one catch the flying bird? This is none other than a great enchanter. God hath saved thee from him: therefore praise God (whose name be exalted !) for thine escape from his band.”