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.
Know, O my master, that there was a certain man who had a neighbour that envied him; and the more this person envied him, so much the more did God increase the prosperity of the former. Thus it continued a long time; but when the envied man found that his neighbour persisted in troubling him, he removed to a place where there was a deserted well; and there he built for himself an oratory, and occupied himself in the worship of God. Numerous Fakirs* assembled around him, and he acquired great esteem, people repairing to him from every quarter, placing firm reliance upon his sanctity; and his fame reached the ears of his envious neighbour, who mounted his horse, and went to visit him; and when the envied man saw him, he saluted him, and payed him the utmost civility. The envier then said to him, I have come hither to inform thee of a matter in which thou wilt find advantage, and for which I shall obtain a recompense in heaven. The envied man replied, May God requite thee for me with every blessing. Then, said the envier, order the Fakirs to retire to their cells, for the information that I am about to give thee I would have no one overhear. So he ordered them to enter their cells; and the envier said to him, Arise, and let us walk together, and converse; and they walked on until they came to the deserted well before mentioned, when the envier pushed the envied man into this well, without the knowledge of any one, and went his way, imagining that he had killed him.
But this well was inhabited by Jinn, who received him unhurt, and seated him upon a large stone; and when they had done this, one of them said to the others, Do ye know this man? They answered, We know him not.-This, said he, is the envied man who fled from him who envied him, and took up his abode in this quarter, in the neighbouring oratory, and who entertaineth us by his zikr* and his readings; and when his envier heard of him, he came hither to him, and, devising a stratagem against him, threw him down here. His fame hath this night reached the Sultan of this city, who hath purposed to visit him to-morrow, on account of the affliction which hath befallen his daughter.-And what, said they, hath happened to his daughter? He answered, Madness; for Meymun, the son of Demdem, hath become inflamed with love for her; and her cure is the easiest of things. They asked him, What is it?-and he answered, The black cat that is with him in the oratory hath at the end of her tail a white spot, of the size of a piece of silver; and from this white spot should be taken seven hairs, and with these the damsel should be fumigated, and the Marid would depart from over her head, and not return to her; so she would be instantly cured. And now k is our duty to take him out.
• Poor persons who especially occupy themselves in religious exercises.
7Zikrs consist in repeating the name of God, or the profession of his unity, etc. in chorus, accompanying the words by certain motions of the head, bands, or whole body*
When the morning came, the Fakirs saw the sheykh rising out of the well; and he became magnified in their eyes. And when he entered the oratory, he took from the white spot at the end of the cat's tail seven hairs, and placed them in a portfolio by him; and at sunrise the King came to him, and when the sheykh saw him, he said to him, O King, thou hast come to visit me in order that I may cure thy daughter. The King replied, Yes, O virtuous Sheykh.
Then, said the sheykh, send some person to bring her hither; and I trust in God, whose name be exalted, that she may be instantly cured. And when the King had brought his daughter, the sheykh beheld her bound, and, seating her, suspended a curtain over her, and took out the hairs, and fumigated her with them; whereupon the Marid cried out from over her head, and left her; and the damsel immediately recovered her reason, and, veiling her face, said to her father, What is this, and wherefore didst thou bring me to this place? He answered her, Thou fiast nothing to fear;-and rejoiced greatly. He kissed the hand of the envied sheykh, and said to the great men of his court who were with him, What shall be the recompense of this sheykh for that which he hath done ? They answered, His recompense should be that thou marry him to her.- Ye have spoken truly, said the King:-and he gave her in marriage to him, and thus the sheykh became a connection of the King; and after some days the King died, and he was made King in his place.
And it happened one day that this envied King was riding with his troops, and he saw his envier approaching; and when this man came before him he seated him upon a horse with high distinction and honour, and, taking him to his palace, gave him a thousand pieces of gold, and a costly dress; after which he sent him back from the city, with attendants to escort him to his house, and reproached him for nothing.--Consider, then, O 'Efrit, the pardon of the envied to the envier, and his kindness to him, notwithstand* ing the injuries he had done him.
The 'Efrit, when he had heard this story, replied, Lengthen not tfiy words to me; as to my killing thee, fear it not; and as to my pardoning thee, covet it not; but as to my enchanting thee, there is no escape from it;-and, so saying, he clove the earth asunder, and soared with me through the sky to such a height that I beheld the world beneath me as though it were a bowl of water; then, alighting upon a mountain, he took up a little dust, and, having muttered and pronounced certain words over it, sprinkled me with it, saying, Quit this form, and take the form of an ape I^whereupon I became like an ape of a hundred years of age.
When I saw myself changed into this ugly form, I wept for myself, but determined to be patient under the tyranny of fortune, knowing it to be constant to no one. I de-r scended from the summit of the mountain, and, after having journeyed for the space of a month, arrived at the seashore; and, when I had stood there a short time, I saw a vessel in the midst of the sea, with a favourable wind approaching the land; J therefore hid myself behind a rock on the beach, and when the ship came close up, I sprang into the midst of it. But as soon as the persons on board saw me, one of them cried, Turn out this unlucky brute from the ship:-another said, Let us kill him:-and a third exclaimed, I will kill him with this sword. I, however, caught hold of the end of the sword, and tears flowed from my eyes; at the sight of which the captain took compassion on me, and said to the passengers, O merchants, this ape hath sought my aid, and I give it him; he is under my protection; let no one, therefore, oppose or trouble him.