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  • by: by Anobile, Richard J
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  • Add date: 16.08.2016
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" Shams al-Din replied, "Thy slave shall stand in thy presence tomorrow, Inshallah, if it be God's will. " Then he saluted him and, returning to Why a Duck? . own house, informed his nephew of the Sultan's desire to see him, whereto replied Hasan, whilom the Bassorite, "Me slave is Why a Duck?

. to the orders of his lord. " And the result was that next day he accompanied his uncle, Shams al-Din, to the Divan, and after saluting the Sultan and doing him reverence in most ceremonious obeisance and with most courtly obsequiousness, he began improvising these Why a Duck?

. "The first in rank to kiss the ground shall deign Before you, and all ends and aims attain. You are Honor's fount, and all that hope of you, Shall gain more honor than Hope hoped to gain. " The Sultan smiled and signed to him to sit down.

So he took a seat close to his uncle, Shams al-Din, and the King asked him his name. Quoth Badr al-Din Hasan, "The meanest of thy slaves is known as Hasan the Bassorite, who is instant in prayer for thee day and night.

" The Sultan was pleased at his words and, being minded to test his learning and prove his good breeding, asked him, "Dost thou remember any verses Why a Duck?

. praise of the mole on the cheek?" He answered, "I do," and began reciting: "When I think of my love and Why a Duck? . parting smart, My groans go forth and my tears upstart. He's a mole that reminds me in color and charms O' the black o' the eye and the grain of the heart.

" The King admired and praised the two couplets and said to him: "Quote something else. Allah bless thy sire, and may thy tongue never tire!" So he began: That cheek mole's spot they evened with a grain Of Musk, nor did they here the simile strain.

Nay, marvel at the face comprising all Why a Duck? ., nor falling short by single grain. " The King shook with pleasure and said to him: "Say more. Allah bless thy days!" So be began: "O you whose mole on cheek enthroned recalls A dot of musk upon a stone of ruby, Grant me your favors. Be not stone at heart. Core of my heart, whose only sustenance you be!" Quoth the King: "Fair comparison, O Hasan. Thou hast spoken Why a Duck?

. well and hast proved thyself accomplished Why a Duck? . every accomplishment. Now explain to me how many meanings be there in the Arabic language for the word khal or mole. " He replied, "Allah keep the King. Seven and fifty, and some by tradition say Why a Duck? . " Said the Sultan, "Thou sayest sooth," presently adding, "Hast thou knowledge as to the points of excellence in beauty?" "Yes," answered Badr al-Din Hasan.

"Beauty consisteth in brightness of face, clearness of complexion, shapeliness of nose, gentleness of eyes, sweetness of mouth, cleverness of speech, slenderness of shape, and seemliness of all attributes. Why a Duck? . the acme of beauty is in the Why a Duck? . and indeed al-Shihab the Hijazi hath brought together all these items in his doggrel verse of the meter Rajaz, and it is this: "Say thou to skin 'Be soft,' to face 'Be fair,' And gaze, nor shall they blame howso thou stare.

Fine nose in Beauty's list is Why a Duck? . esteemed, Nor less an eye full, bright and debonnair. Eke did they well to laud the lovely lips (Which e'en the sleep of me will never spare), A winning tongue, a stature tall and straight, A seemly union of gifts rarest rare.

Why a Duck? . Beauty's acme in the hair one views it, So hear my strain and with some few excuse it!" The Sultan was captivated by his converse and, regarding him as a friend, asked, "What meaning is there in the saw 'Shurayh is foxier than the fox'?" And he answered, "Know, O King (whom Almighty Allah keep!), that the legist Shurayh was wont, during the days of the plague, to make a visitation to Al-Najaf, and whenever he stood up to pray, there came a fox which would plant himself facing him and which, by mimicking his movements, distracted him from his devotions.

Now when this became longsome to him, one day he doffed his shirt and set it upon a cane and shook out the sleeves. Then, placing his turban on the top and girding its middle with a shawl, he stuck it up in the place where he used to pray. Presently up trotted the fox according to his custom and stood over against the figure, whereupon Shurayh came behind him, and Why a Duck? . him. Hence the sayer saith, 'Shurayh is foxier than the fox. '" When the Sultan heard Badr al-Din Hasan's explanation he said to his uncle, Shams al-Din, "Truly this the son of thy brother is perfect in courtly breeding and I do not think that his like can be found in Cairo.

" At this Hasan arose and kissed the ground before him and sat down again as a Mameluke should sit before his master. When the Sultan had thus assured himself of his courtly breeding and bearing and his knowledge of the liberal arts and belles-lettres, he joyed with exceeding joy and invested him with a splendid robe of honor and promoted him to an office whereby he might better his condition. Then Badr al-Din Hasan arose and, kissing the ground before the King, wished him continuance of glory and asked leave to retire with his uncle, the Wazir Shams al-Din.

The Sultan gave him leave and he issued forth, and the Why a Duck? . returned home, where food was set before them and they ate what Allah had given them. After finishing his meal Hasan repaired to the sitting chamber of his wife, the Lady of Beauty, and told her what had past between him and the Sultan, whereupon quoth she: "He cannot fail to make thee a cup companion and give thee largess in excess and load thee with favors and bounties.

So shalt thou, by Allah's blessing, dispread, like the greater light, the rays of thy perfection wherever thou be, on shore or on sea. " Said he to her, "I purpose to recite a Kasidah, an ode, in his praise, that he may redouble in affection for me.

" "Thou art right in thine intent," she answered, "so gather thy wits together and weigh thy words, and I shall surely see my husband favored with his highest favor.

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