20 WHAT THE ROSE DID TO THE CYPRESS
she might learn where he came from and how he had got into her private garden where even lions and wolves did not venture. The nurse went, and was struck with amazement at the sun-like radiance of his face; she salaamed and said: ' O youth! welcome! the lady of the garden calls you ; come !' He went with her and into a palace which was like a house in Paradise, and saw seated on the royal carpets of the throne a girl whose brilliance shamed the shining sun. He salaamed; she rose, took him by the hand and placed him near her. ' 0 young man ! who are you ? where do you come from ? How did you get into this garden ?' He told her his story from beginning to end, and Lady Latlfa 1 replied : ' This is folly ! It will make you a vagabond of the earth, and lead you to destruction. Come, cease such talk ! No one can go to the Caucasus. Stay with me and be thankful, for here is a throne which you can share with me, and in my society you can enjoy my wealth. I will do whatever you wish ; I will bring here King Quimus and his daughter, and you can deal with them as you will.'
' O Lady Latlfa,' he said, ' I have made a compact with heaven not to sit down off my feet till I have been to Waq of Qaf and have cleared up this matter, and have taken Mihr-afruz from her father, as brave men take, and have put her in prison. When I have done all this I will come back to you in state and with a great following, and I will marry you according to the law.' Lady Latlfa argued and urged her wishes, but in vain; the prince was not to be moved. Then she called to the cupbearers for new wine, for she thought that when his head was hot with it he might consent to stay. The pure, clear wine was brought; she filled a cup and gave to him. He said: ' 0 most enchanting sweetheart! it is the rule for the host to drink first and then the guest.' So to make him lose his head, she drained the cup; then filled it again and gave him. He drank it off, and she took a lute from one