AND THE FAIRY PARIBANOU
he constantly paid his visits, and always in a richer and finer equipage.
At last some viziers, the Sultan's favourites, who judged of Prince Ahmed's grandeur and power by the figure he cut, made the Sultan jealous of his son, saying it was to be feared he might inveigle himself into the people's favour and dethrone him.
The Sultan of the Indies was so far from thinking that Prince Ahmed could be capable of so pernicious a design as his favourites? would make him believe that he said to them : ' You are mistaken ; my son loves me, and I am certain of his tenderness and fidelity, as I have given him no reason to be disgusted.'
But the favourites went on abusing Prince Ahmed till the Sultan said : ' Be it as it will, I don't believe my son Ahmed is so wicked as you would persuade me he is; however, I am obliged to you for your good advice, and don't dispute but that it proceeds from your good intentions.'
The Sultan of the Indies said this that his favourites might not know the impressions their discourse had made on his mind; which had so alarmed him that he resolved to have Prince Ahmed watched unknown to his grand vizier. So he sent for a female magician, who was introduced by a back door into his apartment. 'Go immediately,' he said, ' and follow my son, and watch him so well as to find out where he retires, and bring me word.'
The magician left the Sultan, and, knowing the place where Prince Ahmed found his arrow, went immediately thither, and hid herself near the rocks, so that nobody could see her.
The next morning Prince Ahmed set out by daybreak, without taking leave either of the Sultan or any of his Court, according to custom. The magician, seeing him coming, followed him with her eyes, till on a sudden she lost sight of him and his attendants.
As the rocks were very steep and craggy, they were an insurmountable barrier, so that the magician judged that there were but two things for it: either that the Prince retired into some cavern, or an abode of genies or fairies. Thereupon she came out of the place where she was hid, and went directly to the hollow way, which she traced till she came to the farther end, looking carefully about on all sides; but, notwithstanding all her diligence, could perceive no opening, not so much as the iron gate which Prince Ahmed discovered, which was to be seen and opened to none but men, and only to such whose presence was agreeable to the Fairy Paribanou.
The magician, who saw it was in vain for her to search any