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what thanks he owed to the goose Mimi; although his heart urged him to go to his parents, yet from gratitude he suppressed this wish, and said: "Whom but you have I to thank for my becoming once more myself? Without you I should never have found this herb, I should have been compelled to remain in my guise for ever, or, perhaps, should have even died under the executioner's axe. Well, I will reward you for it. I will take you to your father, whose experience in magic will easily effect your disenchantment."
The goose shed tears of joy, and accepted his offer. Jacob passed safely, and without being recognised, with the goose out of the palace, and wended his way towards the sea-shore, to find Mimi's home.
What more shall I say except that they reached the end of their journey safely, that Wetterbock disenchanted his daughter, and dismissed Jacob loaded with presents; that he returned to his native town, and his parents recognised with delight in the handsome young man their lost son; that he bought a shop with the presents he had brought with him from Wetterbock, and that he became rich and happy. I must add, however, that after his disappearance from the Duke's palace a great commotion arose, for when on the following day the Duke desired to fulfil his oath, and decapitate the dwarf for not having found the herbs, he was nowhere to be found; the prince, however, alleged that the duke had allowed him to escape secretly, in order to avoid depriving himself of his best cook, and accused him of not having kept his word. Through this a great war between the two princes broke out, which is well known in history by the name of "Herb War." Many battles were fought, but in the end peace was made, and this peace was called in our country the " Pastry Peace,” because at the feast of reconciliation the prince's cook made the Souzeraine, the queen of pies, to which his Highness the Duke did ample justice.
Thus the smallest causes often lead to great results; and this, O master, is the story of the Long-nosed Dwarf.
Thus related the slave from Franksland, and when he had finished, Sheik Ali Banu ordered that fruits should be given him and the other slaves to refresh themselves, and whilst they were eating he conversed with his friends. The young men, however, whom the old man had introduced were loud in their praises of the Sheik, his house, and all his arrangements. Indeed," said the young scribe, "there is not a more pleasant way of whiling away the time than to listen to stories. I could sit in this way for whole days together, with crossed legs, one arm resting on a pillow and the head supported by the hand, and if it were possible, the Sheik's long water-pipe in my hand, and to listen to stories. This is how I almost picture to myself the life in the Gardens of Mahomed."
"As long as you are young and able to work," said the old man, "such an idol wish cannot be meant by you. But I agree with you, that there lies a peculiar charm in listening to anyone relating a story. In spite of my age, and although I am in my seventy-seventh year, and have heard numerous stories in my life, yet I do not object, if there sits at the corner of the street a man telling stories, and having a great circle of listeners around him, to sit down as well and listen. People dream themselves, as it were, into events which are being related, one lives with these men, these wonderful spirits, fairies and such like people, which do not happen to us every day; and afterwards, if one feels lonely, one has plenty of material to repeat everything to oneself, like the traveller, who is well supplied with everything when he travels through the desert."
"I have never thought about it in that way," replied another one of the young men, "wherein the charm of such stories really lies. But it is with me just the same as with you. Even as a child, and when I grew impatient, people could quiet me by telling me a story. At first it did not matter to me what that story was about, if I only heard something related in which something happened; how often have I listened, without getting fatigued, to those fables which were invented by wise men, and in which they had put the pith of their wisdom,
about the fox and the foolish raven, about the fox and the wolf, many dozens of stories about the lion and other animals. As I grew older, and came more into contact with men, these short stories no longer satisfied me; they had to be much longer, and had to treat about men and their wonderful adventures."
"Yes, I remember still perfectly well that time," interrupted one of his friends. It was you who instilled into us this longing for stories of all kinds. One of your slaves knew how to relate as much as a camel-driver talks on his way from Mecca to Medina; after he had done his work he had to sit down by the side of us on the grass in front of the house, when we entreated him so long until he commenced to relate, and this went on and on until nightfall."
And was there not revealed to us?" said the scribe, "was there not revealed to us then a new, unknown empire, the land of genii and fairies, planted with every wonder of the vegetable kingdom, with costly palaces built of emeralds and rubies, inhabited by gigantic slaves, who appeared on a ring being turned, or the wonderful lamp being rubbed, or the word of Solomon pronounced, and bringing splendid viands in golden dishes. Unconsciously we felt as if transported to that country; we accompanied Sinbad on his wonderful journey; we took a walk in the evening with Harun al Raschid the wise ruler of the faithful; we knew Giaffar, his Vazier as well as ourselves; in short, we had our being in those stories, just in the same way as one lives in dreams at night, and there was not a more beautiful time for us than the evening when we met on the grass-plot, and when the old slave related something to us. But do tell us, old man, how was it that we were so fond of listening to stories formerly, and that even at the present time there is no greater amusement for us?"
The movement which arose in the room, and the request to pay attention, which the overseer of the slaves made, prevented the old man from replying. The young men did not know whether they should rejoice in being allowed to hear another story, or be displeased at their having been disturbed in their interesting conversation
with the old man. A second slave, however, had already risen and began :
Abner, the Jew who saw nothing.
Sir, I come from Mogador, situated on the shores of the great ocean, and when his imperial Highness the Emperor Muley Ismael ruled over Fez and Morocco, the following affair occurred, which I dare say you would like to hear. It is the story of
ABNER, THE JEW WHO SAW NOTHING.
Jews, as you are well aware, are everywhere, and they act as Jews too-cunning, with falcon eye and greedy for the smallest gain, shrewd; the shrewder, the more they are ill-treated; fully aware of their craftiness and somewhat proud of it. But that a Jew sometimes comes to grief through his cunning was proved by Abner, who was one evening taking a walk outside the gate of Morocco. He struts about, a peaked-cap on his head, enveloped in his modest but not over-clean cloak, taking from time to time a sly pinch of snuff from his golden snuff-box, which he does not like to expose to view, strokes his moustache, despite his rolling eyes, which eternal fear and anxiety, and the longing to spy out something which might be turned to advantage, does not rest a moment, yet contentment is apparent in his active features; he must have transacted some good business to-day, and so it is. He is physician, merchant, in fact everything by which money can be made; to-day he has disposed of a slave with a secret fault, purchased at a bargain a camel load of gum, and dispensed to a rich but sickly man his last medicine, not to effect his recovery, but prior to his death.
He had just stepped out of a little wood of palms and dates, when he heard a loud cry of people running up behind him; it was a crowd of imperial ostlers, the master of the horse in front, casting anxious looks in all directions, like men eagerly seeking something that they have lost.
Philistine," the master of the horse called out to him, panting: "did you not see an imperial horse running past with saddle and trappings?"
Abner replied: "The best runner there is has a pretty little hoof, its shoes are made of fourteen carat silver, its mane shines like gold, like the great Sabbath candlestick in the synagogue, he is fifteen hands high, his tail is three and a half-feet long, and the bridle-bit is of twentythree carat gold."
"That is the one!" cried the master of the horse. "That is the one!" exclaimed the whole gang of grooms: "It is the Emir," cried an old horseman. "I told the prince
Abdallah ten times he should ride the Emir in the snaffle. I know the Emir, and I knew beforehand he would throw him, and even if I were to pay for the pains in his back with my head. I said it beforehand. But do tell me quickly where has he run?"
"I have seen no horse at all," replied Abner smiling, "how can I tell where the Emperor's horse has run ?”
Surprised at this contradiction, the gentlemen grooms were just about to press him further, when another event happened.
By a remarkable coincidence, of which there are so many, it occurred just at this time, that the Empress's lap-dog had also run away. A crowd of black slaves came running up, and they cried already at a distance: "Did you not see the Empress's lap-dog?
"It is not a dog that you seek, gentlemen," said Abner, "it is a bitch."
Certainly," cried the chief eunuch, greatly delighted. "Aline, where are you?"
"A little spaniel," continued Abner, "who has recently had puppies, with a long hairy coat, feathery tail, limping on the right fore-foot."
"That is she in flesh and bone!" cried all the blacks. "It is Aline; the Empress went into hysterics, as soon as she was missed; Aline, where are you? what will become of us, if we return to the harem without you? tell us quickly, where did you see her run?"
I have not seen a dog at all, and I do not even know that the Empress, whom may God preserve! possesses a spaniel."
The men from the stable and harem then became angry at Abner's impudence, to joke at the imperial property