The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1859

Allan Kardec

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The one thousand and second night of the Arabic tales dictated by the spirit of Frédéric Soulié

THIRD AND FINAL PART

VII

Get up, said Nureddin, and follow me.
Nazara threw herself at his feet, crying, begging for clemency.
No clemency for such a fault, said the deceitful Sultan. Be prepared to die.

Nureddin felt really bad for speaking like that but looked forward to the moment when he could reveal himself.

Once Nazara realized that it was impossible to be heard, she fol- lowed him trembling. They returned to the bedroom. Nureddin then asked Nazara to dress up properly. Once she was ready and with- out any other explanation, Nureddin told her that along with Ozana (the dwarf) they would lead her to a suburb in Bagdad where she would find what she deserved. Next they covered themselves with large cloaks so that they could not be recognized and left the palace. But, oh! Horror! They had just transposed the palace doors when their looks changed before Nazara’s eyes; they were neither the Sultan nor Ozana, or the merchants, but Nureddin himself and Tanapla. They were all in shock, particularly Nazara, since they were so close to the Sultan quarters they were fast to move away in order not to be recognized. They had hardly arrived at Nureddin’s house to find it surrounded by a large number of the Sultan’s men, slaves and troops that were sent to have them arrested.

At the first sign of trouble Nureddin, Nazara and the dwarf sought refuge in the most far away room of the palace. The dwarf told them that they should not be afraid of anything. There was only one thing needed to avoid prison: to introduce the pinky finger of the left hand into their mouths and whistle three times. Nazara should do the same and they would thus become immediately invisible to the hostiles who wanted them arrested.

The uproar at the house proceeded to increase in an alarming fashion; Nazara and Nureddin then followed Tanapla’s advice: when the soldiers came into the room they found it empty. After a detailed search they left. Then the dwarf told Nureddin that they should do the opposite now and introduce the pinky finger of the right hand into their mouths and whistle three times. Once they did that they soon became what they were before.

The dwarf warned them that they were not safe in that house and that they should leave it for some time, until the Sultan’s rage had di- minished. He then offered to follow them to his underground palace, where they would feel comfortable, while the means for their fearless return to Bagdad would be arranged in the best possible conditions.


VIII

Nureddin hesitated but Nazara insisted so much that he finally agreed. The dwarf then asked them to go to the garden and eat an or- ange facing east; they would be unnoticeably transported. Since they were suspicious, Tanapla then objected that he could not understand their misgivings after everything he had done for them.

Having gone down to the gardens and eaten the orange, as re- quested, they promptly felt elevated to a prodigious height. The cou- ple then suddenly felt a strong vibration and a cold sensation, noticing that they were now going down at a very high speed. They saw noth- ing on the way down but when they recovered their awareness of the situation they found themselves in the basement, in a magnificent palace illuminated by twenty thousand candles.

Let us now leave our two lovers in their underground palace and return to our dwarf that we had left at Nureddin’s house. We saw that the Sultan had sent his soldiers to arrest the fugitives. After having searched the farthest corners of the house, as well as the gardens, and as they did not find anything, they had to go back and report their useless search to the Sultan.

Tanapla followed them all the way, showing a funny face, and once in a while he would ask how much would the Sultan pay to whoever delivered the two fugitives. And added: “If the Sultan is willing to allow me an audience of one hour I will tell him something that will calm him down and he will be very happy for getting rid of a woman like Nazara that has a bad genie and who would cast every possible disgrace over his head, had she remained there for a few moons.”

The chief of the eunuchs promised to take the message to the Sultan and to bring his answer back.

They had hardly arrived at the palace when the chief of the slaves came to tell him that his master was waiting for him; but warned him that he would be killed if he were trying to trick him.

Our little monster sped up to meet the Sultan. In the presence of that tough and strict man he bowed three times, according to the tradition before the prince of Bagdad.

What do you have to say? Asked the Sultan. You know what is waiting for you if you don’t tell the truth! Speak! I am listening.

Great Spirit, celestial moon, triad of suns, I will not tell you but the truth. Nazara is the daughter of the Black Fairy and the Genie of the Great Serpent of Hell. Her presence in your house would bring every imaginable plague: rain of serpents, eclipse of the sun, blue moon impeding the nocturnal loves; finally, all of your wishes would be denied and your women would become old before the night had finished. I could give you a proof of what I am telling you. I know what Nazara is. If you wish I will fetch her to convince you. There is only one way to avoid such disgraces. It is giving her to Nureddin. He is not what you think either: he is the son of Manouze, the witch and the Genie Rock of Diamond. If you allow them to get married, Manouze will protect you as a sign of recognition. If you refuse... Poor prince! I am sorry for you. Try it. You decide later.

The Sultan heard Tanapla’s words very calmly but then called a troop of armed men and commanded that the little monster be arrested until any event could demonstrate what he had just said.

Tanapla responded:

I thought I was dealing with a great prince; I see, however, that I was wrong and leave up to the genies the matter of revenging their children. Having said that he then followed those who came to arrest him.


IX

Only a few hours had passed since Tanapla was taken to prison when the sun was covered by a somber cloud, as if a veil covered the Earth; then a huge noise was heard and a giant came from inside a mountain, just out- side town, stomping towards the Sultan’s palace.

I would not say that the Sultan was very calm. He was far from that. He trembled like a leaf from an orange tree. As the giant approached he ordered that all doors should be closed and that all soldiers should be in a state of readiness, in order to defend their prince. But, oh! What a surprise! Once the giant approached all doors were opened as if pushed by an invisible hand; then the giant advanced steadily towards the Sultan without a sign or a word. The Sultan got on his knees, before the giant, asking to have his life spared; he wanted to know what the giant demanded from him.

Prince! Said the giant, I don’t say much at this first encounter. I only warn you. Do as Tanapla has advised you to and we ensure that you have our protection. Otherwise you will suffer the consequences of your stubbornness.

That said, he left!
In the beginning the Sultan became awestruck but after a quarter of an hour he recovered from the scaring surprise and far from fol- lowing Tanapla’s advice, he commanded that an edict be published, promising a magnificent reward to whom gave him the direction of the fugitives. Then he ordered that guards be placed at the entrance of the palace and around town and waited patiently. However, his patience did not last long, or even better, he was not given time to test it. Just on the second day an army showed up at the entrance of the city, seemingly coming from the depths of Earth. The soldiers wore moleskin for clothes and used turtle’s carapace as their shields; their axes were made of stones.

The guards wanted to resist but the formidable aspect of that army discouraged them, and dropping their weapons, they opened the doors without saying a word, keeping their posts, and the hostile army solemnly marched towards the palace. The Sultan wanted to resist their entry into his bedroom but, with great surprise, the guards fell asleep and the doors opened by themselves. After that the army commander firmly advanced towards the Sultan and said:

I came to tell you this: Observing your stubbornness, Tanapla sent us to look for you. Instead of remaining the Sultan of a peo- ple that you cannot govern, we will send you to the moles. You will become a mole and you will be a softened Sultan. Behold what you prefer: It is either this or you do what Tanapla told you to do. You have ten minutes to think about it.


X

The Sultan would rather resist, but, for his own good, after a few mo- ments of consideration he agreed with the demands. He only wanted to impose one condition: that the fugitives would not live in his kingdom. He got the promise and immediately, without knowing how and where to, the army just disappeared before his eyes.

Now that the fate of the two lovers was perfectly guaranteed, let us return to them, observing that we have left them in the underground palace.

After a few minutes, astonished, enchanted by the aspect of the won- ders surrounding them, they wanted to visit the palace and its surround- ings. They saw amazing gardens and, a strange thing; they saw it almost as clearly as in the open sky. They approached the palace. All doors were open and there was an ongoing arrangement as if for a big party. They saw this magnificently dressed lady at the main door. Our fugitives did not promptly recognize her. However, as they approached, they recognized Manouze, the witch. A completely transformed Manouze was no longer the dirty, old and crumbling rag. She was a lady of a certain age, but nice, bearing a magnificent poise.

Nureddin, said the witch, I promised you help and assistance. Today I will accomplish that promise. You are close to the end of your sufferings and will receive the price of your tenacity. Nazara will be your wife. Besides, I give you this palace. You will live here and you will be the king of a brave and thankful people. They are worth of you as you are worthy of reigning over them.

Following those words a harmonious melody was heard. A huge crowd of men and women came from all sides, all dressed up for a party. Noble gentlemen and great ladies kneeled before him. He was offered a golden crown, covered in diamonds, while he was told that they acknowledged him as their king; that the throne belonged to him as a paternal inheritance; that for 400 years they were enchanted by the will of perverse witches and such an enchantment could only end by Nureddin’s presence. Then a long speech was given about his virtues and Nazara’s vir- tues also. Manouze then said:

You are happy and I no longer have anything to do here. If one day you feel you need me, knock on the statue that is in the mid- dle of your garden and I will attend immediately. After that she disappeared.


Nureddin and Nazara felt like keeping her longer in order to thank her for all the goodness that she showed towards them. After having talk- ed for a while they returned to their vassals. The parties and celebrations lasted for eight days. His kingdom was long and happy. They lived thou- sands of years and I can tell you that they still live. The only thing is that their country has never been found, or even better, never known.

The End

OBSERVATION: We bring to the attention of the readers the observa- tions that preceded this story, in the numbers of November 1858 and January 1859.


ALLAN KARDEC


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