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The Sailor and the Pearl Merchant – The author of the following story is unknown. It was gathered with others in Persia, brought to England and presented to the Bodleian Library.

The Story of The Sailor and the Pearl Merchant is a splendid example of the Persian story-teller’s fantastic and magical art.

The present version is from a translation by Reuben Levy, M.A., of MS. Ouseley 231, Bodleian Library. Copyright, 1923, by Oxford University Press, by whose permission it is here reprinted.
The Sailor and The Pearl Merchant
It is related that in the city of Basrah there was a man, Abu’l Fawaris, who was the chief of the sailors of the town, for in the great ocean there was no port at which he had not landed. One day, as he sat on the seashore, with his sailors round him, an old man arrived in a ship, landed where Abu’l Fawaris was sitting, and said: “Friend, I desire you to give me your ship for six months, and I will pay you whatever you desire.” “I demand a thousand gold dinars,” said the sailor, and at once received the gold from the old man, who, before departing, said that he would come again on the next day, and warned Abu’l Fawaris that there was to be no holding back.

The sailor took home his gold, made his ship ready, and then, taking- leave of his wife and sons, he went down to the shore, where he found the old man waiting for him with a slave and twenty ass-loads of empty sacks. Abu’l Fawaris greeted him, and together they loaded the ship and set sail. Taking a particular star for their mark, they sailed for three months, when an island appeared to one side of them. For this the old man steered, and they soon landed upon it.

The Sailor and the Pearl Merchant part 8

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The next day, therefore, the sailor took on board the old man and a black slave, and for three months they sailed, until they once more reached the island of pearls. There they made...

The Sailor and the Pearl Merchant part 7

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Full of terror the sailor swam till he reached the other side of the mountain. There he met an old man who greeted him, and, after hearing his adventure, fed him and took him...

The Sailor and the Pearl Merchant part 6

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But at the sound of his footsteps they raised their heads and called out “Who are you?” He told them that the shepherd had brought him and offered him hospitality. A great cry arose...

The Sailor and the Pearl Merchant part 5

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With great mourning the wife and family of Abu`l Fawaris celebrated his loss; but he, after sleeping soundly in the archway and giving thanks to his Maker for preserving him alive, made his way...

The Sailor and the Pearl Merchant part 4

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In great terror the sailors saw their ship being carried like the wind against the mountain. Soon it was caught in the whirlpool, where the wrecks of ten thousand ancient ships were being carried...

The Sailor and the Pearl Merchant part 3

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Full of trouble and despondency, he sat down at the water`s brink, wondering what he was to do. As he gazed at the sea there came into view a ship, and he saw that...

The Sailor and the Pearl Merchant part 2

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I desire you to go down into this pit and send up sufficient pearls to fill these sacks. Half I will give to you, and we shall be able to spend the rest of...

The Sailor and the Pearl Merchant part 1

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The author of the following story is unknown. It was gathered with others in Persia, brought to England and presented to the Bodleian Library.The Story of The Sailor and the Pearl Merchant is a...

Jewish Heritage

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