The Arabian Nights Entertainments - online book

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

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CAMAEALZAMAN AND BADOUEA 225
' There is no need for me to look longer,' said Danhaech, ' my first impression will remain the same ; but of course, charming Maimoune, I am ready to yield to you if you insist on it.'
' By no means,' replied Maimoune. 'I have no idea of being under any obligation to an accursed genius like you. I refer the matter to an umpire, and shall expect you to submit to his verdict.'
Danhasch readily agreed, and on Maimoune striking the floor with her foot it opened, and a hideous, hump­backed, lame, squinting genius, with six horns on his head, hands like claws, emerged. As soon as he beheld Maimoune he threw himself at her feet and asked her commands.
'Rise, Caschcasch,' said she. 'I summoned you to judge between me and Danhasch. Glance at that couch, and say without any partiality whether you think the youth or the maiden lying there the more beautiful.'
Caschcasch looked at the prince and princess with, every token of surprise and admiration. At length, having gazed long without being able to come to a decision, he said,
' Madam, I must confess that I should deceive you were I to declare one to be handsomer than the other. There seems to me only one way in which to decide the matter, and that is to wake one after the other and judge which of them expresses the greater admiration for the other.'
This advice pleased Maimoune and Danhasch, and the fairy at once transformed herself into the shape of a gnat and settling on Camaralzaman's throat stung him so sharply that he awoke. As he did so his eyes fell on the Princess of China. Surprised at finding a lady so near him, he raised himself on one arm to look at her. The youth and beauty of the princess at once awoke a feeling to which his heart had as yet been a stranger, and he could not restrain his delight.
' What loveliness ! What charms ! Oh, my hearts
15
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