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.
Prince of the Faithful, my father, at his death, left considerable property; and soon after that event I married to one of the wealthiest men of the age, who, when I had lived with him a year, died, and I inherited from him eighty thousand pieces of gold, the portion that fell to me according to the law; with part of which I made for myself ten suits of clothing, each of the value of a thousand pieces of gold. And as I was sitting one day, there entered my apartment an old woman, disgustingly ugly, who saluted me, and said, I have an orphan daughter whose marriage I am to celebrate this night, and I would have thee obtain a reward and recompense in heaven by thy being present at her nuptial festivity; for she is broken-hearted, having none to befriend her but God, whose name be exalted. She then wept, and kissed my feet; and, being moved with pity and compassion, I assented, upon which she desired me to prepare myself, telling me that she would come at the hour of nightfall and take me; and so saying, she kissed my hand, and departed.
I arose immediately, and attired myself, and when I Had completed my preparations, the old woman returned, saying, O my mistress, the ladies of the city have arrived, and I have informed them of thy coming, and they are waiting with joy to receive thee:-so I put on my outer garments, and, taking my female slaves with me, proceeded until we arrived at a street in which a soft wind was delightfully playing, where we saw a gateway over-arched with a marble vault, admirably constructed, forming the entrance to a palace which rose from the earth to the clouds. On our arrival there, the old woman knocked at the door, and, when it was opened, we entered a carpeted passage, illuminated by lamps and candles, and decorated with jewels and precious metals. Through this passage we passed into a saloon of unequalled magnificence, furnished with mattresses covered with silk, lighted by hanging lamps and by candles, and having, at its upper end, a couch of alabaster decorated with pearls and jewels, and canopied by curtains of satin, from which there came forth a lady beautiful as the moon, who exclaimed to me, Most welcome art thou, O my sister: thou delightest me by thy company, and refreshest my heart. She then sat down again, and said to me, O my sister, I have a brother who hath seen thee at a festivity: he is a young man, more handsome than myself, and, his heart being violently inflamed with love of thee, he hath bribed this old woman to go to thee, and to employ this artifice in order to obtain for me an interview with thee. He desireth to marry thee according to the ordinance of God and his Apostle, and in that which is lawful there is no disgrace.- When I heard these words, and saw myself thus confined in the house so that I could not escape, I replied, I hear, and obey:-and the lady, rejoicing at my consent, clapped her hands, and opened a door, upon which there came out from it a young man so surpassingly handsome, that my heart immediately inclined to him. No sooner had he sat down than the Kadi and four witnesses entered, and saluted us, and proceeded to perform the ceremony of the marriage-contract between me and the young man; which having done, they departed; and when they had retired, the young man looked towards me, and said, May our night be blessed. He then informed me that he desired to impose a covenant upon me, and, bringing a copy of the Kur'an, said, Swear that thou wilt not indulge a preference, nor at all incline, to any man but me:-and when I had sworn to this effect he rejoiced exceedingly, and embraced me; and the love of him took entire possession of my heart.
We lived together in the utmost happiness for the space of a month, after which I begged that he would allow me to go to the bazar, in order to purchase some stuffs for dress, and, having obtained his permission, went thither in company with the old woman, and seated myself at the shop of a young merchant with whom she was acquainted, and whose father, as she informed me, had died, and left him great wealth. She desired him to shew me his most costly stuffs; and while he was occupied in doing so, she began to utter various flattering expressions in praise of him; but I said to her, We have no concern with the praises that thou bestowest upon him; we desire only to make our purchase, and to return home. Meanwhile he produced to us what we wanted, and we handed him the money: he refused, however, to take it, saying, It is an offer of hospitality to you for your visit this day:-whereupon I said to the old woman, If he will not take the money, return to him his stuff. But he would not receive it again, and exclaimed, By Allah, I will take nothing from you: all this is a present from me for a single kiss, which I shall value more than the entire contents of my shop.-What will a kiss profit thee? asked the old woman. Then, turning to me, she said, O my daughter, thou hast heard what the youth hath said: no harm will befall thee if he give thee a kiss, and thou shalt take what thou wantest.-Dost thou not know, said I, that I have taken an oath? She answered, Let him kiss thee then without thy speaking, and so it will be of no consequence to thee, and thou shalt take back thy money.
Thus she continued to palliate the matter until I put my head (as it were) into the bag, and consented: so I covered my eyes, and held the edge of my veil in such a manner as to prevent the passengers from seeing me, whereupon he put his mouth to my cheek beneath the veil, but instead of merely kissing me, he lacerated my cheek by a violent bite. I fell into a swoon from the pain, and the old woman laid me on her lap till I recovered, when I found the shop closed, and the old woman uttering expressions of grief, and saying, What God hath averted would have been a greater calamity: let us return home, and do thou feign to be ill, and I will come to thee and apply a remedy that shall cure the wound, and thou wilt quickly be restored.