A free boy and a slave-girl once learnt together in school, and the boy fell passionately in love with the girl. -- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Eighty-Fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the lad fell passionately in love with the slave-lass: so one day, when the other boys were heedless, he took her tablet [FN#104] and wrote on it these two couplets,

    “What sayest thou of him by sickness waste, *
         Until he’s clean distraught for love of thee?
    Who in the transport of his pain complains, *
         Nor can bear load of heart in secrecy?”

Now when the girl took her tablet, she read the verses written thereon and understanding them, wept for ruth of him; then she wrote thereunder these two couplets,

    “An if we behold a lover love-fordone *
         Desiring us, our favours he shall see:
    Yea, what he wills of us he shall obtain, *
         And so befal us what befalling be.”

Now it chanced that the teacher came in on them and taking the tablet, unnoticed, read what was written thereon.  So he was moved to pity of their case and wrote on the tablet beneath those already written these two couplets addressed to the girl,

    “Console thy lover, fear no consequence; *
         He is daft with loving lowe’s insanity;
    But for the teacher fear not aught from him; *
         Love-pain he learned long before learnt ye.”

Presently it so happened that the girl’s owner entered the school about the same time and, finding the tablet, read the above verses indited by the boy, the girl and the schoolmaster; and wrote under them these two couplets,

    “May Allah never make you parting dree *
         And be your censurer shamed wearily!
    But for the teacher ne’er, by Allah, eye *
         Of mine beheld a bigger pimp than he!”

Then he sent for the Kazi and witnesses and married them on the spot.  Moreover, he made them a wedding-feast and treated them with exceeding munificence; and they ceased not abiding together in joy and happiness, till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of societies.  And equally pleasant is the story of

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