Part 2 - How the king fell in love with the sick handmaiden and made plans to restore her health

    35    O my friends, hearken to this tale; in truth it is the very marrow of our inward state 36    In olden time there was a king; to whom belonged the power temporal and also...


Part 2 - How the king fell in love with the sick handmaiden and made plans to restore her health

 

 

35

  

O my friends, hearken to this tale; in truth it is the very marrow of our inward state

36

  

In olden time there was a king; to whom belonged the power temporal and also the power spiritual.

37

 

It chanced that one day he rode with his courtiers to the hunting.

38

 

On the king's highway the king espied a handmaiden: the king was enthralled by her.

39

 

Forasmuch as the bird, his soul, was fluttering in its cage, he gave money and bought the handmaiden.

40

 

After he had bought her and won to his desire, by Divine destiny she sickened.

41

 

A certain man had an ass but no pack-saddle: (as soon as) he got a saddle, the wolf carried away his ass.

42

 

He had a pitcher, but no water could be obtained: when he found water, the pitcher broke.

43

 

The king gathered the physicians together from left and right and said to them, “The life of us both is in your hands.

44

 

My life is of no account, (but) she is the life of my life. I am in pain and wounded: she is my remedy.

45

 

Whoever heals her that is my life will bear away with him my treasure and pearls, large and small.”

46

 

They all answered him, saying, “We will hazard our lives and summon all our intelligence and put it into the common stock.

47

 

Each one of us is a learned Messiah: in our hands is a medicine for every pain.”

48

 

In their arrogance they did not say, “If God will”; therefore God showed unto them the weakness of Man.

49

 

I mean (a case in which) omission of the saving clause is (due to) a hardness of heart; not the mere saying of these words, for that is a superficial circumstance.

50

 

How many a one has not pronounced the saving clause, and yet his soul is in harmony with the soul of it!

51

 

The more cures and remedies they applied; the more did the illness increase, and the need was not fulfilled.

52

 

The sick girl became (thin) as a hair; (while) the eyes of the king flowed with tears of blood, like a river.

53

 

By Divine destiny, oxymel increased the bile, and oil of almonds was producing dryness.

54

 

From (giving) myrobalan constipation resulted, relaxation ceased; and water fed the flames, like naphtha.

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