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Words and Phrases for Study
a-gil'-i-ty-nimbleness; briskness; quickness of motion.
In the reign of the Caliph Haroun Alraschid, there lived at Bagdad a poor porter called Hindbad. One day he was carry . ing a heavy burden from one end of the town to the other.
Being weary, he took off his load, and sat upon it, near a large s mansion.
He knew not who owned the mansion; but he went to the servants, and asked the name of the master. “How," replied one of them, "do you live in Bagdad, and know not that this is
the house of Sindbad the sailor, that famous voyager, who has 10 sailed round the world ?"
The porter said, loud enough to be heard, “Almighty Creator of all things, consider the difference between Sindbad and me!
I work faithfully every day and suffer hardships, and can scarcely get barley bread for myself and family, while happy Sindbad spends riches and leads a life of continual pleasure. What has
he done to obtain a lot so agreeable? And what have I done to 5 deserve one so wretched ?"
While the porter was thus complaining, a servant came out of the house and bade him follow him, for Sindbad, his master, wanted to speak to him.
The servants brought him into a great hall, where a number 10 of people sat around a table covered with all sorts of savory dishes. .
At the upper end sat a tall, grave gentleman, with a long white beard, and behind him stood a number of officers and servants, all ready to attend his pleasure. This person was Sindbad.
Hindbad, whose fear was increased at the sight of so many 15 people, and of so great a feast, saluted the company trembling.
Sindbad bade him draw near, and seating him at his right hand, served him himself.
Now, Sindbad had heard the porter complain, and this it was that led him to have him brought in. When the repast was 20 over, Sindbad spoke to Hindbad, asked his name and business,
and said: “I wish to hear from your own mouth what it was you said in the street."
Hindbad replied, "My lord, I confess that my weariness put me out of humor, and made me utter some foolish words, which 25 I beg you to pardon.” “Do not think I am so unjust,” resumed
Sindbad, “as to blame you. But you are mistaken about me and I wish to set you right. You think that I have gained without labor and trouble the ease and plenty which I now enjoy. But
make no mistake; I did not reach this happy condition without 30 suffering for several years more trouble of body and mind than
can well be imagined. Yes, gentlemen," he added, speaking to the whole company, "I assure you that my sufferings have been so extraordinary that they would make the greatest miser lose
his love of riches; and I will, with your leave, tell of the dangers 35 I have overcome, which I think will not be uninteresting to you."
THE FIRST VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR
My father was a wealthy merchant, much respected by every one. He left me a large fortune, which I wasted in wild living. I then remembered Solomon's saying, "A good name is
better than precious ointment," and resolved to walk in my 5 father's ways. I therefore made arrangements to go on a voyage with some merchants.
After touching at many places where we sold or exchanged goods, we were becalmed near a small island which looked like
a green meadow. The captain permitted some of us to land, 10 but while we were eating and drinking, the island began to
shake and he called to us to return to the ship. What we thought was an island was really the back of a sea monster. I had just time to catch hold of a piece of wood when the island
disappeared into the sea. 15 The captain, thinking I was drowned, resolved to make use
of a favorable gale, which had just risen, to continue his voyage. I was tossed by the waves all that day and night, but the next day I was thrown upon an island. I was very feeble,
but I crept along and found some herbs and a spring of water, 20 which did much to restore my strength.
After this I went farther into the island and saw a man watching some horses which were feeding near by. He was much surprised to see me and led me to a cave where there were several other men. They told me they were grooms of the Maha
raja, ruler of the island, and that every year they brought his 25 horses to this uninhabited place for pasturage.
Next morning they returned to the capital of the island, taking me with them. They presented me to the Maha-raja,
who ordered his people to care for me. The capital has a fine 30 harbor where ships arrive daily from all parts of the world and I hoped soon to have a chance to return to Bagdad.
One day the ship arrived in which I had sailed from home. I went to the captain and asked for my goods. “I am Sindbad,” I said, “and those bales marked with his name are mine."
At first the captain did not know me, but after looking at me closely, he cried, “Heaven be praised for your happy escape. These are your goods; take them and do what you please with
them.” 5 I made a present of my choicest goods to the Maha-raja, who
asked me how I came by such rarities. When I told him he was much pleased and gave me many valuable things in return. After exchanging my goods for wood of aloes, sandals, camphor,
nutmegs, cloves, pepper, and ginger, I sailed for home and at 10 last reached Bagdad with goods worth one hundred thousand sequins.
Sindbad stopped here and ordered the musicians to proceed with their concert. When it was evening, Sindbad gave the
porter a purse of one hundred sequins and told him to come 15 back the next day to hear more of his adventures.
Hindbad put on his best robe the next day and returned to the bountiful traveler, who welcomed him heartily. When all the guests had arrived, dinner was served and continued a long
time. When it was ended, Sindbad said, "Gentlemen, hear now 20 the adventures of my second voyage. They deserve your atten
tion even more than those of the first.”
THE SECOND VOYAGE OF SINDBAD THE SAILOR
I planned, after my first voyage, to spend the rest of my days at Bagdad, but I grew weary of an idle life, and put to sea &
second time, with merchants I knew to be honorable. We em35 barked on board a good ship and set sail. We traded from island to island, and exchanged goods with great profit.
One day we landed on an island covered with fruit-trees, but we could see neither man nor animal. We walked in the
meadows, along the streams that watered them. While some 80 gathered flowers and others fruits, I took my wine and provisions
and sat down near a stream between two high trees, which formed a thick shade. I made a good meal and afterwards fell
asleep. I cannot tell how long I slept, but when I awoke the ship was gone.
In this sad condition, I was ready to die with grief. I was sorry that I had not been satisfied with the profits of my first 5 voyage, that might have been enough for me all my life. But
my repentance came too late. At last I took courage and, not knowing what to do, climbed to the top of a lofty tree and looked about on all sides to see if I could discover anything that could
give me hope. Toward the sea I could see nothing but sky 10 and water; but looking over the land I beheld something white,
and, coming down, I took what provision I had left and went toward it, the distance being so great that I could not tell what it was.
As I came nearer I thought it was a white dome, of great 15 height and size; and when I came up to it I touched it and found
it to be very smooth. I went around to see if it was open on any side, but saw it was not, and that there was no climbing up to the top, as it was so smooth. It was at least fifty paces around.
By this time the sun was about to set, and all of a sudden 20 the sky became as dark as if it had been covered with a thick
cloud. I was much astonished at this sudden darkness, but much more when I found it was caused by a bird of monstrous size, that came flying toward me.
I remembered that I had often heard sailors speak of a won25 derful bird called the roc, and saw that the great dome which
I so much admired must be its egg. The bird alighted, and sat over the egg.
As I saw it coming, I crept close to the egg, so that I had before me one of the legs of the bird, which was as big as the 30 trunk of a tree. I tied myself strongly to it with my turban,
hoping that the roc next morning would carry me out of this desert island.
After passing the night in this condition, the bird flew away as soon as it was daylight, and carried me so high that I could 35 not see the earth; it afterwards descended so swiftly that I lost