1A. The Tale of the Ensorcelled Prince

A Prince took his cousin as wife. One night he overheard he slave-girl telling another slave-girl his wife was committing adultery. He found out she was in love with a black slave. He attempted to kill the slave, but only heavily wounded him. His wife built a tomb for him, claiming it to be for her mother. She took care of the slave within the tomb. After three years the Prince confronted his wife, but then she put a spell on him, turning him into half stone and half man. She also ensorcelled the city and the landscape. She turned the four faiths into fishes. Every day the Prince is tortured.

The Prince, son of Mahmud Lord of the Black Islands and owner of the four mountains where the ensorcelled Prince is right now, took his cousin as wife. One night when he couldn’t sleep he overheard a slave girl, telling she wondered why her Lord let his wife cheat on him. She would drug the Prince and leave the palace. The first night when he received his wine, he pretended drinking it. When his wife left the palace he followed her. He came to a round-roofed hut of mud bricks. Within the hut was a blackamoor, paralytic slave, which his wife soothed and wooed. When she fell asleep next to the blackamoor slave, he entered the hut and struck at the slave’s neck thinking he would be dead. He left the hut.

The next day his wife had cut her hair and had donned mourning garments. She told her husband she heard that her mother was dead, upon which the Prince said to leave her with her mourning. She continued mourning and after a year asked if she could build a tomb with copula and the Prince consented. Within the tomb was a sepulchre and she brought the slave within it, heavily wounded. He could only drink wine and soup. One day the Prince said that it was enough mourning, but his wife threatens to commit suicide. After three years the Prince had enough and went to the tomb. Here he confronted his wife. When he wanted to cut her down she laughed and put a spell on him, making him half stone and half man. She also ensorcelled the city and turns the four islands into four mountains, and the citizens of the four faith, Moslem, Nazarene, Jew and Magian were turned into fishes: Moslems white, Magians red, Christian blue, and the Jews yellow. Every day the Prince is tortured with a hundred lashes and clothed him with hair-cloth.

From The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night — Volume 01

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