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It was with profound grief that Mustapha and the rescued girls took leave of the robber Orbasan on the following day; indeed, they will never forget him. Fatme, however, the one who had been rescued first, went disguised to Balsora, in order to embark there for home.

After a short and pleasant journey my people reached home. My old father was immensely pleased at their return; the day after their arrival he made a great feast, in which the whole town participated. Before a large assembly of relations and friends, my brother had to relate his story, and they unanimously praised him and the generous robber.

When my brother had finished, my father arose and brought Zoraide before him. "I now remove," he said in a solemn voice, "the curse from thy head; take this girl, as a reward, which thou hast earned through thy unwearied zeal; take my paternal blessing, and may our town never be wanting in men, who are like thee in brotherly love, wisdom, and zeal.”

The caravan had reached the limit of the desert, and joyfully the travellers hailed the green meadows, and trees thickly covered with leaves, the pleasant sight of which they had missed so many days. There was a caravanserai in a lovely valley, which they chose for their encampment, and although it offered little ease and comfort, yet they were all more cheerful and confidential than ever; for the idea of having escaped the dangers and difficulties which a journey through the desert entails, had made them gay, and stimulated their minds to jokes and pastime. Muley, the young and merry merchant, commenced dancing and singing in such a grotesque style, that even the grave Greek Zaleukos could not refrain from smiling. But not content with having regaled his companions with dance and music, he moreover told the story which he had promised them, and when he had taken a slight rest after his gambols, he thus commenced to relate:


THERE lived at Nicea, my dear native town, a man named Little Muck. I can still remember him very well, although I was very young then, especially as I once received from my father a sound thrashing for his sake. Little Muck was already an old man when I knew him, and only three or four feet high. He presented indeed a most extraordinary appearance, and although his body was stunted and thin, yet he had a head which was much larger and thicker than that of other people. He lived quite alone in a large house, and acted as his own cook; people, moreover, in the town would never have known whether he was alive or dead, for he only went out once a month, were it not that at mid-day a powerful steam arose from his house; but he was often seen during the evening walking up and down his roof, and people in the street thought that his immense head only promenaded on the roof. My playmates and myself were wicked youngsters, always ready enough to mock people and laugh at them, and whenever Little Muck came out it was generally a holiday for us. We met on the day he went out, before his house, waiting for his appearance. When the door opened, and his immense head, together with a much larger turban, peeped out, followed by his little body, dressed in a shabby little cloak, wide trousers, and a broad girdle, to which was attached a long dagger of such an immense size that people did not know whether Muck was fastened to the dagger or the dagger to him —when thus he came out, the air resounded with our loud cries of joy; we threw up our caps into the air and danced like maniacs round about him. Little Muck nevertheless bowed to us with a grave and dignified air, and marched down the street with slow steps, dragging his feet as he walked, for he wore such large and broad slippers as I had never seen before.

We boys ran after him always shouting: "Little Muck! Little Muck!" We had also made a little rhyme about

him which we sang in honour of him now and then, namely:

"Little Muck, little Muck,
What an awful fright you look!
In a big house you reside,
Only once a month outside.
You are a plucky dwarf, but still
Your head is almost like a hill;
Do but just turn round and look,
Run and catch us, Little Muck!"

We had often played this joke, and I must confess to my shame, I was the worst. I often pulled him by his cloak, and once I planted my foot on the end of his papooches from behind, so that he fell down. This at first caused me great delight, but I soon ceased to laugh when I saw Little Muck go towards my father's house. He really entered it, and remained in it for some time. I secreted myself behind the door and saw Little Muck come out again, accompanied by my father, who held him respectfully by the hand, and took leave of him at the door, after many bows. I felt very uneasy, and remained for a long time in my hiding-place; but at length hunger, which I dreaded still more than the thrashing, forced me to come out, and, shame-faced and with bent head, I presented myself before my father. "I hear you have insulted the good Muck?” he said in a very stern voice. "I want to tell you the history of this Muck, and I am certain you will never mock him again; in any case, however, before or after, you will get your punishment." This punishment meant twenty-five strokes, which he counted with only too great an exactness. He took his long pipe, unscrewed the amber mouth-piece, and acquitted himself more vigorously than he had ever done before.

After having received the five-and-twenty strokes, my father ordered me to pay attention, and related to me the story of Little Muck.

The father of Little Muck, whose real name was Mukrah, was a distinguished but poor man here in Nicea. He too, lived in almost as solitary a manner as his son does at present. Unfortunately, he did not like him,

because his dwarfed stature made him ashamed of the

boy, and consequently he had him brought up in ignorance. Little Muck, when in his sixteenth year, was still a frolicsome child; and his father, a stern man, continually reproached him with still being so childish, and also on account of his ignorance and stupidity.

The old man, however, had a bad fall one day, in consequence of which he died, leaving behind Little Muck, poor and ignorant. His harsh relatives, to whom the deceased owed more than he was able to pay, turned the poor little fellow out of the house, and advised him to go abroad to make his fortune. Little Muck said that he was already prepared for the journey; and only asked to be allowed to take his father's clothes with him, to which they agreed. His father had been a tall, powerful man, and therefore his clothes did not fit him. Muck, however, soon devised an expedient; he cut off all that was superfluous with respect to length, and then donned the garments. He seemed, however, to have forgotten the curtailing of them in their amplitude, hence his whimsical attire, which he wears to this day; the large turban, the broad girdle, the wide trousers, the little blue cloak, all these are heirlooms of his father, which he has always worn; his father's long Damascus dagger he planted in his girdle, and with a little staff in his hand, he set out on his journey.

Joyfully he walked along all day, for he had set out to seek his fortune. If he saw a bit of broken glass on the road glittering in the sunshine, he would put it into his pocket, really believing it would turn into the most beautiful diamond. If he saw in the distance the glittering cupolas of a mosque, or the sea smooth as glass, he would hasten towards it joyously, thinking he had arrived in some enchanted country. But alas! These phantoms disappeared as he approached them, and only too soon did his fatigue and the complaints of his hungry stomach remind him that he was still in the land of mortals.

Thus he had travelled for two days, hungry, weary, and in despair, endeavouring to seek his fortune; the fruits of the field were his only food, the hard earth his couch. On the morning of the third day, he perceived from the top of a hill a large town. The Crescent glittered upon the

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cupolas, motley banners floated upon the roofs, seeming to beckon Little Muck to come to them. He stood still a moment quite surprised, looking upon the town and its environs. "Yes, that is the place where Little Muck will make his fortune," he said to himself; and notwithstanding his weariness he stepped forward, "there or nowhere." He summoned up all his strength and strode towards the city. But although it appeared so close, he did not reach it till mid-day, for his little legs almost entirely refused their office, so that he was obliged to sit down frequently under the shade of a palm tree to take rest. At length he reached his destination. He arranged his little cloak, improved the position of his turban, broadened his girdle still more, and planted his long dagger in a still more oblique position; he then wiped the dust from his shoes, armed himself with his little staff, and bravely entered the city.

He had already strolled through many streets, but nowhere a door opened to him, nowhere people called out to him as he had imagined: "Little Muck, come in, eat and drink, and rest your tiny legs."

He was again looking up very longingly before a large and beautiful house, when a window opened, an old woman looked out of it, and exclaimed in a singing voice:

"Come on, come on,
The broth is done;
Laid is the cloth,
Enjoy the broth;
Neighbours come,
The broth is done."

The door of the house opened, and Muck saw many dogs and cats go into the house. He remained for some moments in a state of uncertainty, as to whether he should respond to the invitation; at length, however, he summoned up sufficient courage and entered the house. Before him trotted a pair of young cats. He determined to follow them, because they might know the way to the kitchen better than he.

When Muck had reached the top of the stairs, he met the old woman who had looked out of the window. She looked at him sulkily, and demanded of him what he

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