This section is from the book "Stories From The Thousand And One Nights", by Edward William Lane and Stanley Lanepoole. Also available from Amazon: Stories From Thousand And One Nights: The Arabian Nights' Entertainments.
Now he had a cock, with fifty hens under him, and he had also a dog; and he heard the dog call to the cock, and reproach him, saying, Art thou happy when our master is going to die?
The cock asked, How so ?-and the dog related to him the story; upon which the cock exclaimed, By Allah! our master has little sense: I have fifty wives; and I please this, and provoke that; while he has but one one wife, and cannot manage this affair with her: why does he not take some twigs of the mulberry-tree, and enter her chamber, and beat her until she dies or repents? She would never, after that, ask him a question respecting anything.
And when the merchant heard the words of the cock, as he addressed the dog, he recovered his reason, and made up his mind to beat her.-Now, said the Wezir to his daughter Shah-razad, perhaps I may do to thee as the merchant did to his wife. She asked, And what did he? He answered, He entered her chamber after he had cut off some twigs of the mulberry-tree, and hidden them there; and then said to her, Come into the chamber, that I may tell thee the secret while no one sees me, and then die:-and when she had entered, he locked the chamber-door upon her, and beat her until she became almost senseless and cried out, I repent:-and she kissed his hands and his feet, and repented, and went out with him; and all the company, and her own family, rejoiced; and they lived together in the happiest manner until death.
When the Wezir's daughter heard the words of her father, she said to him, It must be as I have requested. So he arrayed her, and went to the King Shahriyar. Now she had given directions to her younger sister saying to her, When I have gone to the King, I will send to request thee to come; and when thou comest to me, and seest a convenient time, do thou say to me, O my sister, relate to me some Strange story to beguile our waking hour:-and I will relate to thee a story that shall, it be the will of God, be the means of procuring deliverance.
Her father, the Wezir, then took her to the King, who, when he saw him, was rejoiced, and said, Hast thou brought me what I desired? He answered Yes. When the King, therefore, introduced himself to her, she wept; and he said to her, What aileth thee? She answered, O King, I have a young sisser, and I wish to take leave of her. So the King sent to her; and she came to her sister, and embraced her, and sat near the foot of the bed; and after she had waited for a proper opportunity, she said, By Allah 1 O my sister, relate to us a story to beguile the waking hour of our night Most willingly, answered Shah-razad, if this virtuous King permit me. And the King, hearing these words, and being restless, was pleased with the idea of listening to the story; and thus, on the first night of the thousand and one, Shahrazad commenced her recitations*