The Arabian Nights Entertainments - online book

Children's Classic Fairy Tales From The East, Edited By Andrew Lang

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94                THE ARABIAN NIGHTS
some of them to other people. So turning to the chief oi the eunuchs he said, ' Go and beg my daughter, Queen of Beauty, to come here. I will show her something she has never seen before.'
The chief of the eunuchs bowed and left the room, ushering in a few moments later the princess, Queen of Beauty. Her face was uncovered, but the moment she set foot in the room she threw her veil over her head. ' Sire.' she said to her father, ' what can you be thinking of to summon me like this into the presence of a man?'
' I do not understand you,' replied the Sultan. ' There is nobody here but the eunuch, who is your own servant, the little slave, and myself, yet you cover yourself with your veil and reproach me for having sent for you, as if I had committed a crime.'
' Sire,' answered the princess, ' I am right and you are wrong. This monkey is really no monkey at all, but a young prince who has been turned into a monkey by the wicked spells of a genius, son of the daughter of Eblis.'
As will be imagined, these words took the Sultan by surprise, and he looked at me to see how I should take the statement of the princess. As I was unable to speak, I placed my hand on my head to show that it was true.
'But how do you know this, my daughter?' asked he.
'Sire,' replied Queen of Beauty, 'the old lady who took care of me in my childhood was an accomplished magician, and she taught me seventy rules of her art, by means of which I could, in the twinklimg of an eye, trans­plant your capital into the middle of the ocean. Her art likewise teaches me to recognise at first sight all persons who are enchanted, and tells me by whom the spell was wrought.'
' My daughter,' said the Sultan, ' I really had no idea you were so clever.'
' Sire,' replied the princess, ' there are many out-of-the-
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