There once was a king of Persia, who at the beginning of his reign had distinguished himself by
many glorious and successful conquests, and had afterwards enjoyed such profound peace and
tranquillity as rendered him the happiest of monarchs. His only occasion for regret was that he
had no heir to succeed him in the kingdom after his death. One day, according to the custom of
his royal predecessors during their residence in the capital, he held an assembly of his courtiers,
at which all the ambassadors and strangers of renown at his court were present. Among these
there appeared a merchant from a far-distant country, who sent a message to the king craving
an audience, as he wished to speak to him about a very important matter. The king gave orders
for the merchant to be instantly admitted; and when the assembly was over, and all the rest of
the company had retired, the king inquired what was the business which had brought him to the
'Sire,' replied the merchant, 'I have with me, and beg your majesty to behold, the most beautiful
and charming slave it would be possible to find if you searched every corner of the earth; if you
will but see her, you will surely wish to make her your wife.'
The fair slave was, by the king's commands, immediately brought in, and no sooner had the king
beheld a lady whose beauty and grace surpassed anything he had ever imagined, than he fell
passionately in love with her, and determined to marry her at once. This was done.
So the king caused the fair slave to be lodged in the next finest apartment to his own, and gave
particular orders to the matrons and the women-slaves appointed to attend her, that they should
dress her in the richest robe they could find, and carry her the finest pearl necklaces, the brightest
diamonds, and other the richest precious stones, that she might choose those she liked best.
The King of Persia's capital was situated in an island; and his palace, which was very magnificent,
was built upon the sea-shore; his window looked towards the sea; and the fair slave's, which was
pretty near it, had also the same prospect, and it was the more pleasant on account of the sea's
beating almost against the foot of the wall.
At the end of three days the fair slave, magnificently dressed, was alone in her chamber, sitting
upon a sofa, and leaning against one of the windows that faced the sea, when the king, being
informed that he might visit her, came in. The slave hearing somebody walk in the room,
immediately turned her head to see who it was. She knew him to be the king; but without showing
the least surprise, or so much as rising from her seat to salute or receive him, she turned back to
the window again as if he had been the most insignificant person in the world......
Arabian Folktales The Beautiful Princes of Sea & King of Per
Publication date: 27/09/2015
Arabian Folktales The Beautiful Princes of Sea & King of Persia
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