ADI BIN ZAYD AND THE PRINCESS HIND.



Al-Nu'uman Bin Al-Munzir, King of the Arabs of Irak, had a daughter named Hind, who went out one Pasch, which is a feast day of the Nazarenes, to the White Church, to take the sacrament; she was eleven years old and was the loveliest woman of her age and time; and it so chanced that on the same day came to Hirah [FN#178] a young man called 'Adí bin Zayd [FN#179] with presents from the Chosroë to Al-Nu'uman, and he also went to the White Church, to communicate. He was tall of stature and fair of favour, with handsome eyes and smooth cheeks, and had with him a company of his people. Now there was with Hind bint al-Nu'uman a slave girl named Máriyah, who was enamoured of Adi, but had not been able to foregather with him. So, when she saw him in the church, she said to Hind, "Look at yonder youth. By Allah, he is handsomer than all thou seest!" Hind asked, "And who is he?" and Mariyah answered, "Adi bin Zayd." Quoth Al-Nu'uman's daughter, "I fear lest he know me, if I draw nearer to look on him." Quoth Mariyah, "How should he know thee when he hath never seen thee?" So she drew near him and found him jesting with the youths his companions; and indeed he surpassed them all, not only in his personal charms but in the excellence of his speech, the eloquence of his tongue and the richness of his raiment. When the Princess saw him, she was ravished with him, her reason was confounded and her colour changed; and Mariyah, seeing her inclination to him, said to her, "Speak him." So she spoke to him and went away. Now when he looked upon her and heard her speech, he was captivated by her and his wit was dazed; his heart fluttered, and his colour changed so that his companions suspected him, and he whispered one of them to follow her and find out who she was. The young man went after her and returning informed him that she was princess Hind, daughter of Al-Nu'uman. So Adi left the church, knowing not whither he went, for excess of love, and reciting these two couplets,

    "O friends of me, one favour more I pray: *
         Unto the convents [FN#180] find more your way:
     Turn me that so I face the land of Hind; *
         Then go, and fairest greetings for me say."

Then he went to his lodging and lay that night, restless and without appetite for the food of sleep.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Adi ended his verses he went to his lodging and lay that night restless and without appetite for the food of sleep. Now on the morrow Mariyah accosted him and he received her kindly, though before he would not incline to her, and said to her, "What is thy will?" Quoth she, "I have a want of thee;" and quoth he, "Name it, for by Allah, thou shalt not ask me aught, but I will give it thee!" So she told him that she loved him, and her want of him was that he would grant her a lover's privacy; and he agreed to do her will, on condition that she would serve him with Hind and devise some device to bring them together. Then he took her into a vintner's tavern in one of the by streets of Hirah, and lay with her; after which she returned to Hind and asked her, "Dost thou not long to see Adi?" She answered, "How can this be? Indeed my longing for him makes me restless, and no repose is left me since yesterday." Quoth Mariyah, "I will appoint him to be in such a place, where thou canst look on him from the palace." Quoth Hind, "Do what thou wilt," and agreed with her upon the place. So Adi came, and the Princess looked out upon him; and, when she saw him, she was like to topple down from the palace top and said, "O Mariyah, except thou bring him in to me this night, I shall die." So saying, she fell to the ground in a fainting fit, and her serving women lifted her up and bore her into the palace; whilst Mariyah hastened to Al-Nu'uman and discovered the whole matter to him with perfect truth, telling him that indeed she was mad for the love of Adi; and except he marry her to him she must be put to shame and die of love for him, which would disgrace her father among the Arabs, adding at the end, "There is no cure for this but wedlock." The King bowed his head awhile in thought and exclaimed again and again, "Verily, we are Allah's and unto Him we are returning!" Then said he "Woe to thee! How shall the marriage be brought about, seeing I mislike to open the matter?" And she said, "He is yet more ardently in love and yet more desireful of her than she is of him; and I will so order the affair that he shall be unaware of his case being known to thee; but do not betray thyself, O King." Then she went to Adi and, after acquainting him with everything said, "Make a feast and bid the King thereto; and, when the wine hath gotten the better of him, ask of him his daughter, for he will not refuse thee." Quoth Adi, "I fear lest this enrage him against me and be the cause of enmity between us." But quoth she, "I came not to thee, till I had settled the whole affair with him." Then she returned to Al-Nu'uman and said to him, "Seek of Adi that he entertain thee in his house." Replied the King, "There is no harm in that;" and after three days, besought Adi to give him and his lords the morning meal in his house. He consented and the King went to him; and when the wine had taken effect on Al-Nu'uman, Adi rose and sought of him his daughter in wedlock. He consented and married them and brought her to him after three days; and they abode at Al-Nu'uman's court, in all solace of life and its delight--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Adi abode with Hind bint Al-Nu'uman bin Munzir three years in all solace of life and its delight, after which time the King was wroth with Adi and slew him. Hind mourned for him with grievous mourning and built her an hermitage outside the city, whither she retired and became a religious, weeping and bewailing her husband till she died. And her hermitage is seen to this day in the suburbs of Hirah. They also tell a tale of



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