Category Archives: 3 – The Story of the Three Calenders

The Story of the Three Calenders Sons of Sultans; and of the Five Ladies of Bagdad



Commander of the Faithful, that I may not repeat those things which your majesty has already been informed of by my sister, I will only mention that my mother, having taken a house to pass her widowhood in private, first bestowed me in marriage on the heir of one of the richest men in this city.

I had not been married quite a year before my husband died. I thus became a widow, and was in possession of all his property, which amounted to above ninety thousand sequins. When the first six months of my mourning was over, I caused to be made for me ten different dresses, of such magnificence that each came to a thousand sequins; and at the end of the year I began to wear them. Read the rest of this entry




The grand vizier, who had all along been the spokesman, answered Zobeide: “Madam, in order to obey you, we need only repeat what we have already said to the fair lady who opened for us the door. We are merchants come to Bagdad to sell our merchandise, which lies in the khan[26] where we lodge. We dined to-day with several other persons of our condition, at a merchant’s house of this city; who, after he had treated us with choice dainties and excellent wines, sent for men and women dancers and musicians. The great noise we made brought in the watch, who arrested some of the company, [98]but we had the good fortune to escape. But it being already late, and the door of our khan shut up, we knew not whither to retire. We chanced, as we passed along this street, to hear music at your house, which made us determine to knock at your gate. This is all the account that we can give you, in obedience to your commands.”

“Well, then,” said Zobeide, “you shall all be equally obliged to me; I pardon you all, provided you immediately depart!”

Zobeide having given this command, the caliph, the vizier, Mesrour, the three calenders, and the porter, departed; for the presence of the seven slaves with their weapons awed them into silence. As soon as they had quitted the house, and the gate was closed after them, the caliph said to the calenders, without making himself known, “You, gentlemen, who are newly come to town, which way do you design to go, since it is not yet day?”

“It is this,” they replied, “that perplexes us.”

“Follow us,” resumed the caliph, “and we will convey you out of danger.”

He then whispered to the vizier: “Take them along with you, and to-morrow morning bring them to me.”

The vizier Giafar took the three calenders along with him; the porter went to his quarters, and the caliph and Mesrour returned to the palace.

On the following morning, as the day dawned, the sultan Haroun al Raschid arose and went to his council chamber, and sat upon his throne. The grand vizier entered soon after, and made his obeisance.

“Vizier,” said the caliph, “go, bring those ladies and the calenders at the same time; make haste, and remember that I impatiently expect your return.”[99]

The vizier, who knew his master’s quick and fiery temper, hastened to obey, and conducted them to the palace with so much expedition that the caliph was much pleased.

When the ladies had arrived the caliph turned toward them and said, “I was last night in your house, disguised in a merchant’s habit; but I am at present Haroun al Raschid, the fifth caliph of the glorious house of Abbas, and hold the place of our great prophet. I have sent for you only to know who you are, and to ask for what reason one of you, after severely whipping the two black dogs, wept with them. And I am no less curious to know why another of you has her bosom so full of scars.”

Upon hearing these words, Zobeide thus related her story: Read the rest of this entry

3.5 Story of the Third Calendar, Son of a King


My story, said the Third Calender, is quite different from those of my two friends. It was fate that deprived them of the sight of their right eyes, but mine was lost by my own folly.
My name is Agib, and I am the son of a king called Cassib, who reigned over a large kingdom, which had for its capital one of the finest seaport towns in the world.
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3.4 Kisah Si Pencemburu dan Syekh yang Dicemburuinya


‘Ketahuilah wahai tuan Jin, bahwa dahulu ada seorang pria yang sangat dicemburui oleh tetangganya karena kesuksesannya. Tapi semakin ia cemburu, Alloh semakin baik pada tetangganya. Ia semakin sukses. Tapi ketika tetangganya itu mengetahui kecemburuan tetangganya dan keinginannya untuk menghancurkan dirinya, ia memutuskan untuk pindah dan membangun sebuah tempat ibadah di pinggir sebuah sumur di kawasan yang terpencil. Di sana ia menghabiskan waktunya hanya untuk beribadah kepada Alloh.

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3.4 The Story of the Envious Man and of Him Who Was Envied


In a town of moderate size, two men lived in neighbouring houses; but they had not been there very long before one man took such a hatred of the other, and envied him so bitterly, that the poor man determined to find another home, hoping that when they no longer met every day his enemy would forget all about him. So he sold his house and the little furniture it contained, and moved into the capital of the country, which was luckily at no great distance. About half a mile from this city he bought a nice little place, with a large garden and a fair-sized court, in the centre of which stood an old well.

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3.3 The Story of the Second Calendar, Son of a King


Madam,” said the young man, addressing Zobeida, “if you wish to know how I lost my right eye, I shall have to tell you the story of my whole life.”
I was scarcely more than a baby, when the king my father, finding me unusually quick and clever for my age, turned his thoughts to my education. I was taught first to read and write, and then to learn the Koran, which is the basis of our holy religion, and the better to understand it, I read with my tutors the ablest commentators on its teaching, and committed to memory all the traditions respecting the Prophet, which have been gathered from the mouth of those who were his friends. I also learnt history, and was instructed in poetry, versification, geography, chronology, and in all the outdoor exercises in which every prince should excel. But what I liked best of all was writing Arabic characters, and in this I soon surpassed my masters, and gained a reputation in this branch of knowledge that reached as far as India itself. Read the rest of this entry



In order, madam, to explain how I came to lose my right eye, and to wear the dress of a Calender, you must first know that I am the son of a king. My father’s only brother reigned over the neighbouring country, and had two children, a daughter and a son, who were of the same age as myself.

As I grew up, and was allowed more liberty, I went every year to pay a visit to my uncle’s court, and usually stayed there about two months. In this way my cousin and I became very intimate, and were much attached to each other. The very last time I saw him he seemed more delighted to see me than ever, and gave a great feast in my honour. When we had finished eating, he said to me, “My cousin, you would never guess what I have been doing since your last visit to us! Directly after your departure I set a number of men to work on a building after my own design. It is now completed, and ready to be lived in. I should like to show it to you, but you must first swear two things: to be faithful to me, and to keep my secret.”

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