EL FETH BEN KHACAN AND THE KHALIF EL MUTAWEKKIL.

The Khalid El Mutawekkil (173) was once again taking medicine, and folk sent him all manner of presents and rarities. Amongst others, El Feth ben Khacan (174) sent him a virgin slave, high-bosomed, of the fairest of women of her time, and with her a vase of crystal, containing red wine, and a goblet of red gold, whereon were graven in black the following verses:

      When th' Imam's made an end of taking medicine And health and strength ensue to him thereon, in fine,
      There's no medicament befits him but to drink, From out this cup, a draught of this decocted wine.
      And break the seal (175) reserved to him, for this, indeed, Right salutary is, hard after medicine.

Now the physician Youhenna (176) was with the Khalif, when the damsel entered; and when he read the above verses, he smiled and said, 'By Allah, O Commander of the Faithful, Feth is better versed than I in the art of medicine: so let not the Commander of the Faithful gainsay his prescription.' Accordingly, the Khalif followed El Feth's prescription and was made whole by the blessing of God.




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