The East is rich in Folklore, and the lorist is not troubled to discover

material, but to select only that which it is best worth his while to

preserve. The conditions under which the people live are most favourable

to the preservation of the ancient legends, and the cultivation of the

powers of narration fits the Oriental to present his stories in a more

polished style than is usual in the Western countries. The reader of

these tales will observe many points of similarity between them and the

popular fictions of the West--similarity of thought and incident--and

nothing, perhaps, speaks more eloquently the universalbrotherhood of

man than this oneness of folk-fiction. At the same time, the Tales of

the East are unique, lighted up as they are by a gorgeous extravagance

of imagination which never fails to attract and delight.

C. J. T.



The Cobbler Astrologer, 1

The Legend of the Terrestrial Paradise of Sheddad,

the Son of 'A'd, 21

The Tomb of Noosheerwan, 30

Ameen and the Ghool, 37

The Relations of Ssidi Kur, 47

The Adventures of the Rich Youth, 53

The Adventures of the Beggar's Son, 58

The Adventures of Massang, 68

The Magician with the Swine's Head, 77

The History of Sunshine and his Brother, 89

The Wonderful Man who overcame the Chan, 96

The Bird-Man, 101

The Painter and the Wood-carver, 106

The Stealing of the Heart, 110

The Man and his Wife, 115

Of the Maiden Ssuwarandari, 119

The Two Cats, 127

Legend of Dhurrumnath, 132

The Traveller's Adventure, 135

The Seven Stages of Roostem, 141

The Man who never Laughed, 151

The Fox and the Wolf, 162

The Shepherd and the Jogie, 184

The Perfidious Vizier, 186


In the great city of Isfahan lived Ahmed the cobbler, an honest and

industrious man, whose wish was to pass through life quietly; and he

might have done so, had he not married a handsome wife, who, although

she had condescended to accept of him as a husband, was far from being

contented with his humblesphere of life.

Sittara, such was the name of Ahmed's wife, was ever forming foolish

schemes of riches and grandeur; and though Ahmed never encouraged

them, he was too fond a husband to quarrel with what gave her

pleasure. An incredulous smile or a shake of the head was his only

answer to her often-told day-dreams; and she continued to persuade

herself that she was certainly destined to great fortune.

It happened one evening, while in this temper of mind, that she went

to the Hemmam, where she saw a lady retiring dressed in a magnificent

robe, covered with jewels, and surrounded by slaves. This was the very

condition Sittara had always longed for, and she eagerly inquired the

name of the happy person who had so many attendants and such fine

jewels. She learned it was the wife of the chief astrologer to the

king. With this information she returned home. Her husband met her at

the door, but was received with a frown, nor could all his caresses

obtain a smile or a word; for several hours she continued silent, and

in apparent misery. At length she said--

"Cease your caresses, unless you are ready to give me a proof that you

do really and sincerely love me."

"What proof of love," exclaimed poor Ahmed, "can you desire which I

will not give?"

"Give over cobbling; it is a vile, low trade, and never yields more

than ten or twelve dinars a day. Turn astrologer! your fortune will be

made, and I shall have all I wish, and be happy."

"Astrologer!" cried Ahmed,--"astrologer! Have you forgotten who I

am--a cobbler, without any learning--that you want me to engage in a

profession which requires so much skill and knowledge?"

"I neither think nor care about your qualifications," said the enraged

wife; "all I know is, that if you do not turn astrologer immediately I

will be divorced from you to-morrow."

The cobbler remonstrated, but in vain. The figure of the astrologer's

wife, with her jewels and her slaves, had taken complete possession of

Sittara's imagination. All night it haunted her; she dreamt of

nothing else, and on awaking declared she would leave the house if her

husband did not comply with her wishes. What could poor Ahmed do? He

was no astrologer, but he was dotingly fond of his wife, and he could

not bear the idea of losing her. He promised to obey, and, having sold

his little stock, bought an astrolabe, an astronomical almanac, and a

table of the twelve signs of the zodiac. Furnished with these he went

to the market-place, crying, "I am an astrologer! I know the sun, and

the moon, and the stars, and the twelve signs of the zodiac; I can

calculate nativities; I can foretell everything that is to happen!"

No man was better known than Ahmed the cobbler. A crowd soon gathered

round him. "What! friend Ahmed," said one, "have you worked till your

head is turned?" "Are you tired of looking down at your last," cried

another, "that you are now looking up at the planets?" These and a

thousand other jokes assailed the ears of the poor cobbler, who,

notwithstanding, continued to exclaim that he was an astrologer,

having resolved on doing what he could to please his beautiful wife.

It so happened that the king's jeweller was passing by. He was in

great distress, having lost the richest ruby belonging to the crown.

Every search had been made to recover this inestimable jewel, but to

no purpose; and as the jeweller knew he could no longer conceal its

loss from the king, he looked forward to death as inevitable. In this

hopeless state, while wandering about the town, he reached the crowd

around Ahmed and asked what was the matter. "Don't you know Ahmed the

cobbler?" said one of the bystanders, laughing; "he has been inspired,

and is become an astrologer."

A drowning man will catch at a broken reed: the jeweller no sooner

heard the sound of the word astrologer, than he went up to Ahmed, told

him what had happened, and said, "If you understand your art, you must

be able to discover the king's ruby. Do so, and I will give you two

hundred pieces of gold. But if you do not succeed within six hours, I

will use all my influence at court to have you put to death as an


Poor Ahmed was thunderstruck. He stood long without being able to move

or speak, reflecting on his misfortunes, and grieving, above all, that

his wife, whom he so loved, had, by her envy and selfishness, brought

him to such a fearful alternative. Full of these sad thoughts, he

exclaimed aloud, "O woman, woman! thou art more baneful to the

happiness of man than the poisonousdragon of the desert!"

The lost ruby had been secreted by the jeweller's wife, who,

disquieted by those alarms which ever attend guilt, sent one of her

female slaves to watch her husband. This slave, on seeing her master

speak to the astrologer, drew near; and when she heard Ahmed, after

some moments of apparent abstraction, compare a woman to a poisonous

dragon, she was satisfied that he must know everything. She ran to her

mistress, and, breathless with fear, cried, "You are discovered, my

dear mistress, you are discovered by a vile astrologer. Before six

hours are past the whole story will be known, and you will become

infamous, if you are even so fortunate as to escape with life, unless

you can find some way of prevailing on him to be merciful." She then

related what she had seen and heard; and Ahmed's exclamation carried

as complete conviction to the mind of the terrified mistress as it had

done to that of her slave.

The jeweller's wife, hastily throwing on her veil, went in search of

the dreaded astrologer. When she found him, she threw herself at his

feet, crying, "Spare my honour and my life, and I will confess


"What can you have to confess to me?" exclaimed Ahmed in amazement.

"Oh, nothing! nothing with which you are not already acquainted. You

know too well that I stole the ruby from the king's crown. I did so to

punish my husband, who uses me most cruelly; and I thought by this

means to obtainriches for myself, and to have him put to death. But

you, most wonderful man, from whom nothing is hidden, have discovered

and defeated my wicked plan. I beg only for mercy, and will do

whatever you command me."

An angel from heaven could not have brought more consolation to Ahmed

than did the jeweller's wife. He assumed all the dignified solemnity

that became his new character, and said, "Woman! I know all thou hast

done, and it is fortunate for thee that thou hast come to confess thy

sin and beg for mercy before it was too late. Return to thy house, put

the ruby under the pillow of the couch on which thy husband sleeps;

let it be laid on the side furthest from the door; and be satisfied

thy guilt shall never be even suspected."

The jeweller's wife returned home, and did as she was desired. In an

hour Ahmed followed her, and told the jeweller he had made his

calculations, and found by the aspect of the sun and moon, and by the

configuration of the stars, that the ruby was at that moment lying

under the pillow of his couch, on the side furthest from the door. The

jeweller thought Ahmed must be crazy; but as a ray of hope is like a

ray from heaven to the wretched, he ran to his couch, and there, to

his joy and wonder, found the ruby in the very place described. He

came back to Ahmed, embraced him, called him his dearest friend and

the preserver of his life, and gave him the two hundred pieces of

gold, declaring that he was the first astrologer of the age.

These praises conveyed no joy to the poor cobbler, who returned home

more thankful to God for his preservation than elated by his good

fortune. The moment he entered the door his wife ran up to him and

exclaimed, "Well, my dear astrologer! what success?"

"There!" said Ahmed, very gravely,--"there are two hundred pieces of

gold. I hope you will be satisfied now, and not ask me again to hazard

my life, as I have done this morning." He then related all that had

passed. But the recital made a very different impression on the lady

from what these occurrences had made on Ahmed. Sittara saw nothing but

the gold, which would enable her to vie with the chief astrologer's

wife at the Hemmam. "Courage!" she said, "courage! my dearest husband.

This is only your first labour in your new and noble profession. Go on

and prosper, and we shall become rich and happy."

In vain Ahmed remonstrated and represented the danger; she burst into

tears, and accused him of not loving her, ending with her usual threat

of insisting upon a divorce.

Ahmed's heart melted, and he agreed to make another trial.

Accordingly, next morning he sallied forth with his astrolabe, his

twelve signs of the zodiac, and his almanac, exclaiming, as before, "I

am an astrologer! I know the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the

twelve signs of the zodiac; I can calculate nativities; I can

foretell everything that is to happen!" A crowd again gathered round

him, but it was now with wonder, and not ridicule; for the story of

the ruby had gone abroad, and the voice of fame had converted the poor

cobbler Ahmed into the ablest and most learned astrologer that was

ever seen at Isfahan.

While everybody was gazing at him, a lady passed by veiled. She was

the wife of one of the richest merchants in the city, and had just

been at the Hemmam, where she had lost a valuablenecklace and

earrings. She was now returning home in great alarm lest her husband

should suspect her of having given her jewels to a lover. Seeing the

crowd around Ahmed, she asked the reason of their assembling, and was

informed of the whole story of the famous astrologer: how he had been

a cobbler, was inspired with supernatural knowledge, and could, with

the help of his astrolabe, his twelve signs of the zodiac, and his

almanac, discover all that ever did or ever would happen in the world.

The story of the jeweller and the king's ruby was then told her,

accompanied by a thousand wonderful circumstances which had never

occurred. The lady, quite satisfied of his skill, went up to Ahmed and

mentioned her loss, saying: "A man of your knowledge and penetration

will easily discover my jewels; find them, and I will give you fifty

pieces of gold."

The poor cobbler was quite confounded, and looked down, thinking only

how to escape without a public exposure of his ignorance. The lady, in

pressing through the crowd, had torn the lower part of her veil.

Ahmed's downcast eyes noticed this; and wishing to inform her of it in

a delicate manner, before it was observed by others, he whispered to

her, "Lady, look down at the rent." The lady's head was full of her

loss, and she was at that moment endeavouring to recollect how it

could have occurred. Ahmed's speech brought it at once to her mind,

and she exclaimed in delighted surprise: "Stay here a few moments,

thou great astrologer. I will return immediately with the reward thou

so well deservest." Saying this, she left him, and soon returned,

carrying in one hand the necklace and earrings, and in the other a

purse with the fifty pieces of gold. "There is gold for thee," she

said, "thou wonderful man, to whom all the secrets of Nature are

revealed! I had quite forgotten where I laid the jewels, and without

thee should never have found them. But when thou desiredst me to look

at the rent below, I instantly recollected the rent near the bottom of

the wall in the bathroom, where, before undressing, I had hid them. I

can now go home in peace and comfort; and it is all owing to thee,

thou wisest of men!"

After these words she walked away, and Ahmed returned to his home,

thankful to Providence for his preservation, and fully resolved never

again to tempt it. His handsome wife, however, could not yet rival

the chief astrologer's lady in her appearance at the Hemmam, so she

renewed her entreaties and threats, to make her fond husband continue

his career as an astrologer.

About this time it happened that the king's treasury was robbed of

forty chests of gold and jewels, forming the greater part of the

wealth of the kingdom. The high treasurer and other officers of state

used all diligence to find the thieves, but in vain. The king sent for

his astrologer, and declared that if the robbers were not detected by

a stated time, he, as well as the principal ministers, should be put

to death. Only one day of the short period given them remained. All

their search had proved fruitless, and the chief astrologer, who had

made his calculations and exhausted his art to no purpose, had quite

resigned himself to his fate, when one of his friends advised him to

send for the wonderful cobbler, who had become so famous for his

  • western [´westən] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.西的;西方的   (初中英语单词)
  • universal [,ju:ni´və:səl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.宇宙的;普遍的   (初中英语单词)
  • imagination [i,mædʒi´neiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.想象(力)   (初中英语单词)
  • paradise [´pærədais] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.天堂;乐园   (初中英语单词)
  • sunshine [´sʌnʃain] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.日光,阳光   (初中英语单词)
  • painter [´peintə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.画家;(油)漆工   (初中英语单词)
  • maiden [´meidn] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.少女 a.未婚的   (初中英语单词)
  • shepherd [´ʃepəd] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.牧羊人 vt.带领   (初中英语单词)
  • humble [´hʌmbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.谦卑的 vt.贬抑   (初中英语单词)
  • riches [´ritʃiz] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.房地产;丰富   (初中英语单词)
  • temper [´tempə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.韧度 v.锻炼;调和   (初中英语单词)
  • eagerly [´i:gəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.渴望地,急切地   (初中英语单词)
  • apparent [ə´pærənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.显然的;表面上的   (初中英语单词)
  • misery [´mizəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.痛苦;悲惨;穷困   (初中英语单词)
  • haunted [´hɔ:tid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.常出现鬼的,闹鬼的   (初中英语单词)
  • distress [di´stres] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.痛苦 vt.使苦恼   (初中英语单词)
  • conceal [kən´si:l] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.藏;隐瞒   (初中英语单词)
  • fearful [´fiəfəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可怕的;担心的   (初中英语单词)
  • dragon [´drægən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.龙   (初中英语单词)
  • mistress [´mistris] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.女主人;情妇;女能手   (初中英语单词)
  • fortunate [´fɔ:tʃənət] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.幸运的,侥幸的   (初中英语单词)
  • conviction [kən´vikʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.定罪;确信,信服   (初中英语单词)
  • hastily [´heistili] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.急速地;草率地   (初中英语单词)
  • confess [kən´fes] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.供认;坦白;承认   (初中英语单词)
  • obtain [əb´tein] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.获得;买到;得到承认   (初中英语单词)
  • hidden [´hid(ə)n] 移动到这儿单词发声  hide 的过去分词   (初中英语单词)
  • wicked [´wikid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.邪恶的;不道德的   (初中英语单词)
  • character [´kæriktə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.特性;性质;人物;字   (初中英语单词)
  • aspect [´æspekt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.面貌;神色;方向   (初中英语单词)
  • wretched [´retʃid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可怜的;倒霉的   (初中英语单词)
  • impression [im´preʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.印刷;印象;效果   (初中英语单词)
  • enable [i´neibəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.使能够;赋予权力   (初中英语单词)
  • profession [prə´feʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.职业;声明;表白   (初中英语单词)
  • abroad [ə´brɔ:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.海外;到处;广泛   (初中英语单词)
  • valuable [´væljuəbəl, -jubəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有价值的,贵重的   (初中英语单词)
  • suspect [´sʌspekt, sə´spekt] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.怀疑;觉得 n.嫌疑犯   (初中英语单词)
  • ignorance [´ignərəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.无知,愚昧   (初中英语单词)
  • delicate [´delikət] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精美的;微妙的   (初中英语单词)
  • reward [ri´wɔ:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&v.报答;报酬;奖赏   (初中英语单词)
  • instantly [´instəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.立即,立刻   (初中英语单词)
  • career [kə´riə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.经历;生涯;职业   (初中英语单词)
  • diligence [´dilidʒəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.勤奋,努力   (初中英语单词)
  • principal [´prinsəpəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.主要的 n.负责人   (初中英语单词)
  • cultivation [,kʌlti´veiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.耕作;培养   (高中英语单词)
  • oriental [ɔ:ri´entl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.东方人的   (高中英语单词)
  • brotherhood [´brʌðəhud] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.兄弟情谊;兄弟关系   (高中英语单词)
  • unique [ju:´ni:k] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.唯一的 n.独一无二   (高中英语单词)
  • gorgeous [´gɔ:dʒəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.华丽的;宜人的   (高中英语单词)
  • magician [mə´dʒiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.魔法师;妖道;术士   (高中英语单词)
  • sphere [sfiə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.圆体;天体;范围   (高中英语单词)
  • learned [´lə:nid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有学问的,博学的   (高中英语单词)
  • sincerely [sin´siəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.真诚地;诚恳地   (高中英语单词)
  • inevitable [i´nevitəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不可避免的   (高中英语单词)
  • thunderstruck [´θʌndəstrʌk] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.遭雷击的;吓坏了的   (高中英语单词)
  • seeing [si:iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  see的现在分词 n.视觉   (高中英语单词)
  • breathless [´breθlis] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.屏息的   (高中英语单词)
  • dignified [´dignifaid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.尊贵的   (高中英语单词)
  • thankful [´θæŋkfəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.感激的;欣慰的   (高中英语单词)
  • related [ri´leitid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.叙述的;有联系的   (高中英语单词)
  • prosper [´prɔspə] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.(使…)繁荣(成功)   (高中英语单词)
  • loving [´lʌviŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.爱的,有爱情的   (高中英语单词)
  • ending [´endiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.结尾,结局   (高中英语单词)
  • saying [´seiŋ, ´sei-iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.言语;言论;格言   (高中英语单词)
  • exposure [ik´spəuʒə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.暴露;曝光(时间)   (高中英语单词)
  • preservation [,prezə´veiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.保存;储藏;维护   (英语四级单词)
  • cobbler [´kɔblə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.皮匠;补鞋匠   (英语四级单词)
  • overcame [,əuvə´keim] 移动到这儿单词发声  overcome的过去式   (英语四级单词)
  • grandeur [´grændʒə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.伟大;富丽;壮观   (英语四级单词)
  • comply [kəm´plai] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.照做   (英语四级单词)
  • almanac [´ɔ:lmənæk] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.历书;年鉴   (英语四级单词)
  • resolved [ri´zɔlvd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.决心的;坚定的   (英语四级单词)
  • alternative [ɔ:l´tə:nətiv] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.二中选一的 n.选择   (英语四级单词)
  • poisonous [´pɔizənəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有毒的;讨厌的   (英语四级单词)
  • exclamation [,eksklə´meiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.喊(惊)叫;感叹词   (英语四级单词)
  • cruelly [´kruəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.残酷地;极,非常   (英语四级单词)
  • consolation [,kɔnsə´leiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.安慰,慰问   (英语四级单词)
  • ridicule [´ridikju:l] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.&n.嘲笑;奚落   (英语四级单词)
  • necklace [´neklis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.项链   (英语四级单词)
  • recollect [rekə´lekt] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.重新集合;恢复   (英语四级单词)
  • delighted [di´laitid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.高兴的;喜欢的   (英语四级单词)
  • bathroom [´bɑ:θrum, -ru:m] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.浴室;盥洗室   (英语四级单词)
  • providence [´prɔvidəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.天意,天命,上帝   (英语四级单词)
  • thieves [θi:vz] 移动到这儿单词发声  thief的复数   (英语四级单词)
  • incredulous [in´kredjuləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不(轻易)相信的   (英语六级单词)
  • selfishness [´selfiʃnis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.自私;不顾别人   (英语六级单词)
  • prevailing [pri´veiliŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.占优势的;主要的   (英语六级单词)
  • recital [ri´saitl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.背诵;叙述;音乐会   (英语六级单词)
  • downcast [´daunkɑ:st] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.沮丧的;向下看的   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:10:07
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