THE HISTORY OF THE YOUNG KING OF THE BLACK ISLES
"It is needless for me to tell you that I was a melancholy spectator of this funeral, while the rest were scarcely moved, the custom was to them so familiar. I could not forbear communicating to the king my sentiment respecting the practice: 'Sir,' I said, 'I cannot but feel astonished at the strange usage observed in this country, of burying the living with the dead. I have been a great traveller, and seen many countries, but never heard of so cruel a law.' 'What do you mean, Sinbad?' replied the king: 'it is a common law. I shall be interred with the queen, my wife, if she die first.' 'But, sir,' said I, 'may I presume to ask your Majesty, if strangers be obliged to observe this law?' 'Without doubt,' returned the king; 'they are not exempted, if they be married in this island.'
The young prince soon gained the esteem of the officers, and was admired by the soldiers. Having no less wit than courage, he so far advanced himself in the sultan's esteem, as to become his favourite. All the ministers and other courtiers daily resorted to Codadad, and were so eager to purchase his friendship, that they neglected the sultan's sons. The princes could not but resent this conduct, and all conceived an implacable hatred against him; but the sultan's affection daily increasing, he was never weary of giving him fresh testimonies of his regard. He always would have him near his person; and to shew his high opinion of his wisdom and prudence, committed to his care the other princes, though he was of the same age as they; so that Codadad was made governor of his brothers.
"To finish the description of this place, which may well be called a gulf, since nothing ever returns from it, it is not possible for ships to get off when once they approach within a certain distance. If they be driven thither by a wind from the sea, the wind and the current impel them; and if they come into it when a land-wind blows, the height of the mountain stops the wind, and occasions a calm, so that the force of the current carries them ashore: and what completes the misfortune is, that there is no possibility of ascending the mountain, or of escaping by sea.
"We set sail, and steered our course toward the Indies through the Persian Gulf, which is formed by the coasts of Arabia Felix on the right, and by those of Persia on the left. At first I was troubled with sea-sickness, but speedily recovered my health, and was not afterward subject to that complaint.
"Soon after, believing that I was asleep, she arose with so little precaution, that she whispered loud enough for me to hear her distinctly, 'Sleep on, and may you never wake again!' and so saying, she dressed herself, and went out of the chamber.
"Sister," said Prince Bahman, "you conceal the truth from us; there must be something of consequence. It is impossible we could observe so sudden a change if nothing was the matter with you. You would not have us satisfied with the evasive answer you have given; do not conceal anything, unless you would have us suspect that you renounce the strict union which has hitherto subsisted between us."
Ali Baba knocked at the door, which was opened by Morgiana, an intelligent slave, fruitful in inventions to insure success in the most difficult undertakings: and Ali Baba knew her to be such. When he came into the court, he unloaded the ass, and taking Morgiana aside, said to her: "The first thing I ask of you is an inviolable secrecy, both for your mistress's sake and mine. Your master's body is contained in these two bundles, and our business is, to bury him as if he had died a natural death. Go, tell your mistress I want to speak with her; and mind what I have said to you."