The Arabian Nights Entertainments HTML version

The Adventures of Prince
Camaralzaman and the Princess
Some twenty days' sail from the coast of Persia lies the isle of the children of
Khaledan. The island is divided into several provinces, in each of which are large
flourishing towns, and the whole forms an important kingdom. It was governed in
former days by a king named Schahzaman, who, with good right, considered
himself one of the most peaceful, prosperous, and fortunate monarchs on the
earth. In fact, he had but one grievance, which was that none of his four wives
had given him an heir.
This distressed him so greatly that one day he confided his grief to the grand-
vizir, who, being a wise counsellor, said: "Such matters are indeed beyond
human aid. Allah alone can grant your desire, and I should advise you, sire, to
send large gifts to those holy men who spend their lives in prayer, and to beg for
their intercessions. Who knows whether their petitions may not be answered!"
The king took his vizir's advice, and the result of so many prayers for an heir to
the throne was that a son was born to him the following year.
Schahzaman sent noble gifts as thank offerings to all the mosques and religious
houses, and great rejoicings were celebrated in honour of the birth of the little
prince, who was so beautiful that he was named Camaralzaman, or "Moon of the
Prince Camaralzaman was brought up with extreme care by an excellent
governor and all the cleverest teachers, and he did such credit to them that when
he was grown up, a more charming and accomplished young man was not to be
found. Whilst he was still a youth the king, his father, who loved him dearly, had
some thoughts of abdicating in his favour. As usual he talked over his plans with
his grand-vizir, who, though he did not approve the idea, would not state all his