The Arabian Nights Entertainments - online book

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

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316
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS
THE ADVENTURES OF HAR0UN-AL-RASGH1D, CALIPH OF BAGDAD
The Caliph Haroun-al-Raschid sat in his palace, won­dering if there was anything left in the world that could possibly give him a few hours' amusement, when Giafar the grand-vizir, his old and tried friend, suddenly appeared before him. Bowing low, he waited, as was his duty, till his master spoke, but Haroun-al-Raschid merely turned his head and looked at him, and sank back into his former weary posture.
Now Giafar had something of importance to say to the Caliph, and had no intention of being put off by mere silence, so with another low bow in front of the throne, he began to speak.
' Commander of the Faithful,' said he, i I have taken on myself to remind your Highness that you have under­taken secretly to observe for yourself the manner in which justice is done and order is kept throughout the city. This is the day you have set apart to devote to this object, and perhaps in fulfilling this duty you may find some distraction from the melancholy to which, as I see to my sorrow, you are a prey.'
' You are right,' returned the Caliph, ' I had forgotten all about it. Go and change your coat, and I will change mine.'
A few moments later they both re-entered the hall, disguised as foreign merchants, and passed through a secret door, out into the open country. Here they turned
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