On the Deceits and Treacheries of Women
Know, O Vizir (to whom God be good!), that the stratagems of women are numerous and ingenious. Their tricks will deceive Satan himself, for God the Highest has said Koran, chapter xii, verse 28) that the deceptive faculties of women are great, and he has likewise said (Koran, chapter vi, verse 38) that the stratagems of Satan are weak. Comparing the word of God as to the ruses of Satan and woman, contained in those two verses, it is easy to see how great these latter ones are.
Deceived Husband being Convicted Himself of Infidelity
It is related that a man fell in love with a woman of great beauty, and possessing all perfections imaginable. He had made many advances to her, which were repulsed; then he had endeavoured to seduce her by rich presents, which were likewise declined. He lamented, complained, and was prodigal with his money in order to conquer her, but to no purpose. and he grew lean as a spectre.
This lasted for some time, when he made the acquaintance of an old woman, whom he took into his confidence, complaining bitterly about it. She said to him, `I shall help you, please God.'
Forthwith she made her way to the house of the woman, in order to get an interview with her; but on arriving there the neighbours told her that she could not get in, because the house was guarded by a ferocious bitch, who did not allow anyone to come in or to depart, and in her malignity always flew at the faces of people.
Hearing this, the old woman rejoiced, and said to herself, `I shall succeed, please God.' She then went home, and filled a basket with bits of meat. Thus provided, she returned to the woman's house, and went in.
The bitch, on seeing her, rose to spring at her; but she produced the basket with its contents, and showed it her. As soon as the brute saw the viands, it showed its satisfaction by the movements of its tail and nostrils. The old woman putting down the basket before it, spoke to it as follows, `Eat, O my sister. Your absence has been painful to me; I did not know what had become of you, and I have been looking for you a long time. Appease your hunger!'
While the animal was eating, and she stroked its back, the mistress of the house came to see who was there, and was not a little surprised to see the bitch, which would never suffer anybody to come near her, so friendly with a strange person. She said, `O old woman, how is it that you know our dog?' The old woman gave no reply, but continued to caress the animal, and utter lamentations.
Then said the mistress of the house to h, er, `My heart aches to see you thus. Tell me the cause of your sorrow.
`This bitch,' said the woman, `was formerly a woman, and my best friend. One fine day she was invited with me to a wedding; she put on her best clothes, and adorned herself with her finest ornaments. We then went together. On our way we were accosted by a man, who at her sight was seized with the most violent love; but she would not listen to him. Then he offered brilliant presents, which she also declined. This man, meeting her some days later, said to her, "Surrender yourself to my passion, or else I shall conjure God to change you into a bitch." She answered, "Conjure as much as you like." The man then called the maledictions of heaven upon that woman, and she was changed into a bitch, as you see here.
At these words the mistress of the house began to cry and lament, saying, `O my mother! I am afraid that I shaD meet the same fate as this bitch.' `Why what have you done?' said the old woman. The other answered, `There is a man who has loved me since a long time, and I have refused to accede to his desires, nor did I listen to him, though the saliva was dried up in his mouth by his supplications; and in spite of the large expenses he had gone to in order to gain my favour, I have always answered him that I should not consent; and now, O my mother, lam afraid that he might call to God to curse me.
`Tell me how to know this man,' said the old woman, `for fear that you might become like this animal.'
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