The Arabian Nights Entertainments - online book

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

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Prince Camaralzaman was brought up with extreme care by an excellent governor and all the cleverest teachers, and he did such credit to them that when he was grown up, a more charming and accomplished young man was not to be found. Whilst he was still a youth the king, his father, who loved him dearly, had some thoughts of abdicating in his favour. As usual he talked over his plans with his grand-vizir, who, though he did not approve the idea, would not state all his objections.
' Sire,' he replied, ' the prince is still very young for the cares of state. Your Majesty fears his growing idle and careless, and doubtless you are right. But how would it be if he were first to marry ? This would attach him to his home, and your Majesty might give him a share in your counsels, so that he might gradually learn how to wear a crown, which you can give up to him whenever you find him capable of wearing it.'
The vizir's advice once more struck the king as being good, and he sent for his son, who lost no time in obey­ing the summons, and standing respectfully with downcast eyes before the king asked for his commands.
'I have sent for you,' said the king, 'to say that I wish you to marry. What do you think about it?'
The prince was so much overcome by these words that he remained silent for some time. At length he said: ' Sire, I beg you to pardon me if I am unable to reply as you might wish. I certainly did not expect such a proposal as I am still so young, and I confess that the idea of marrying is very distasteful to me. Possibly I may not always be in this mind, but I certainly feel that it will require some time to induce me to take the step which your Majesty desires.'
This answer greatly distressed the king, who was sincerely grieved by his objection to marriage. How­ever he would not have recourse to extreme measures, so he said: 'I do not wish to force you; I will give you time to reflect, but remember that such a step is
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