30 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS
hand it will penetrate throughout your body. Then you must return to your palace, bathe, and go to sleep, and when you awake to-morrow morning you will be cured.'
The king took the club and urged his horse after the ball which he had thrown. He struck it, and then it was hit back by the courtiers who were playing with him. When he felt very hot he stopped playing, and went back to the palace, went into the bath, and did all that the physician had said. The next day when he arose he found, to his great joy and astonishment, that he was completely cured. When he entered his audience-chamber all his courtiers, who were eager to see if the wonderful cure had been effected, were overwhelmed with joy.
The physician Douban entered the hall and bowed low to the ground. The king, seeing him, called him, made him sit by his side, and showed him every mark of honour.
That evening he gave him a long and rich robe of state, and presented him with two thousand sequins. The following days he continued to load him with favours.
Now the king had a grand-vizir who was avaricious, and envious, and a very bad man. He grew extremely jealous of the physician, and determined to bring about his ruin.
In order to do this he asked to speak in private with the king, saying that he had a most important communication to make.
' What is it ? ' asked the king.
' Sire,' answered the grand-vizir, i it is most dangerous for a monarch to confide in a man whose faithfulness is not proved. You do not know that this physician is not a traitor come here to assassinate vou.'
'I am sure,' said the king, ' that this man is the most faithful and virtuous of men. If he wished to take my life, why did he cure me? Cease to speak against him