HATIM ET TAÏ: HIS GENEROSITY AFTER DEATH.

It is told of Hatim et Taï, (120) that when he died, they buried him on the top of a mountain and set over his grave two boughs hewn out of two rocks and stone figures of women with dishevelled hair. At the foot of the hill was a stream of running water, and when wayfarers camped there, they heard loud crying in the night, from dark till daybreak; but when they arose in the morning, they found nothing but the girls carved in stone. Now when Dhoulkeraa, King of Himyer, going forth of his tribe, came to the valley, he halted to pass the night there and drawing near the mountain, heard the crying and said, 'What lamenting is that on yonder hill?' They answered him, saying, 'This is the tomb of Hatim et Taï, over which are two troughs of stone and stone figures of girls with dishevelled hair; and all who camp in this place by night hear this crying and lamenting.' So he said jestingly, 'O Hatim et Taï, we are thy guests this night, and we are lank with hunger.' Then sleep overcame him, but presently he awoke in affright and cried out, saying, 'Help, O Arabs! Look at my beast!' So they came to him and finding his she-camel struggling in the death-agony, slaughtered it and roasted its flesh and ate. Then they asked him what had happened and he said, 'When I closed my eyes, I saw in my sleep Hatim et Taï, who came to me with a sword in his hand and said to me, "Thou comest to us and we have nothing by us." Then he smote my she-camel with his sword, and she would have died, though ye had not come to her and cut her throat.' Next morning the prince mounted the beast of one of his companions and taking the latter up behind him, set out and fared on till midday, when they saw a man coming towards them, mounted on a camel and leading another, and said to him, 'Who art thou?' 'I am Adi, son of Hatim et Taï,' answered he. 'Where is Dhoulkeraa, prince of Himyer?' 'This is he,' replied they, and he said to the prince, 'Take this camel in place of thine own, which my father slaughtered for thee.' 'Who told thee of this?' asked Dhoulkeraa, and Adi answered, 'My father appeared to me in a dream last night and said to me, "Harkye, Adi; Dhoulkeraa, King of Himyer, sought hospitality of me and I, having nought to give him, slaughtered him his she-camel, that he might eat: so do thou carry him a she-camel to ride, for I have nothing."' And Dhoulkeraa took her, marvelling at the generosity of Hatim et Taï, alive and dead.




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