218 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS
necessary, for a prince such as you who will some day be called to rule over a great kingdom.'
From this time Prince Camaralzaman was admitted to the royal council, and the king showed him every mark of favour.
At the end of a year the king took his son aside, and said : ' Well, my son, have you changed your mind on the subject of marriage, or do you still refuse to obey my wish ?'
The prince was less surprised but no less firm than on the former occasion, and begged his father not to press the subject, adding that it was quite useless to urge him any longer.
This answer much distressed the king, who again confided his trouble to his vizir.
' I have followed your advice,' he said ; ' but Camaralzaman declines to marry, and is more obstinate than ever.'
' Sire,' replied the vizir, ' much is gar .ed by patience, and your Majesty might regret any violence. Why not wait another year and then inform the Prince in the midst of the assembled council that the good of the state demands his marriage? He cannot possibly refuse again before so distinguished an assemblage, and in your immediate presence.'
The Sultan ardently desired to see his son married at once, but he yielded to the vizir's arguments and decided to wait. He then visited the prince's mother, and after telling her of his disappointment and of the further respite he had given his son, he added: 'I know that Camaralzaman confides more in you than he does in me. Pray speak very seriously to him on this subject, and make him realise that he will most seriously displease me if he remains obstinate, and that he will certainly regret the measures I shall be obliged to take to enforce my will.'
So the first time the Sultana Fatima saw her son she told him she had heard of his refusal to marry, adding