21. The Lady and Her Five Suitors

A lady’s lover is put into jail. To get him out she invites all the important people of state to her house. The Kazi, Wali, Wazir and King are tricked into her home as they all desire her. She gets the Wali write a release note for her lover. They are put into a cabinet because they each time fear the next one to be the lady’s husband. The carpenter is locked up because he has a dispute with the lady over the size of the cabinet. The lady leaves the city with her lover. The five suitors are released by the neighbours after urinating on each other.

The wife of a merchant loves a man when her husband is away. One day this man is cast into prison because of a quarrel he had. The woman clads herself in the most beautiful clothes and goes to magistrate. She brings a paper to testify against the imprisonment of her ‘brother’. The magistrate immediately falls in love with her. He will let him go if she comes to his house, but she invites the Wali to hers. He accepts. Then she goes to the Kazi telling of a Wali who has imprisoned her brother. The Kazi falls in love with her and promises her to let him go. She also invites him to her house. Then she goes to the Wazir asking for the release of her brother. The Wazir want to have his will on her and he is also invited to her home.  Finally she goes to the King of the city. After telling her story he is pierced with the arrows of love. He invites her to his palace, but she says he would do much more honour entering her home. The lady goes to a carpenter to ask him to make a cabinet with five compartments, each with a door for locking up. Next she lets four gowns be dyed and prepares food and drink.

The Kazi comes first to her home and he is put on one of the gowns. After a while there is a tapping on the door and the lady says it is her husband and takes the Kazi to the lowest compartment to hide him. When she opens the doors there is the Wali. She asks him to write a letter to free her ‘brother’ from the gaol which he does. He is asked to put on the second gown. Then there is another tapping on the door and again she says it is her husband. The Wali is put into the second compartment. When she opens the door it is the Wazir, they play a bit with each other and he is given the third gown. Then there is another knock on the door. She puts the Wazir in the third compartment and opens the door. The King has arrived and after some talk desires her. His rich robes are exchanged for the fourth gown. But another knocking is at the door. She again says it is her husband and locks the King up in the fourth compartment. The carpenter enters her house. She tells him the top compartment is too strait. The carpenter disagrees and to prove himself goes into the fifth compartment, upon which she closes it. Then the lady goes to the treasurer with the letter the Wali wrote to release her lover. They both leave the city.

Meanwhile the five in the cabinet stayed within for three days wthout food or drink. They cannot hold their water and urinate over each other. When they complain they know who the others are in the cabinet, except for the King, because he remains silent. Then the neighbours break into the house to see what is going on in the house. When they see the cabinet with the voices coming out they fear there is are Jinni inside it and want to set the thing on fire. But the Kazi screams not to. They are released and shown in the attires the lady prepared for them.

From: The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night — Volume 06

3 thoughts on “21. The Lady and Her Five Suitors

  1. Elena Abainza says:

    Very useful and interesting.Thanks. 🙂

  2. Thanks .. I used this as one of my reference 😀

  3. allan says:

    can i know what is the theme of this story?

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