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.
On the following day, I observed that my cousin had cut off her hair, and put on the apparel of mourning; and she said to me, O my cousin, blame me not for what I do; for I have received news that my mother is dead, and that my father hath been slain in a holy war, and that one of my two brothers hath died of a poisonous sting, and the other by the fall of a house: it is natural, therefore, that I should weep and mourn. On hearing these words, I abstained from upbraiding her, and said, Do what seemeth fit to thee; for I will not oppose thee. Accordingly, she continued mourning and weeping and wailing a whole year; after which she said to me, I have a desire to build for myself, in thy palace, a tomb, with a kubbeh, that I may repair thither alone to mourn, and I will call it the House of Lamentations. I replied, Do what thou seest fit. So she built for herself a house for mourning, with a kubbeh in the middle of it, like the tomb of a saint; after which she removed thither the slave, and there she lodged him. He was in a state of excessive weakness, and unable to render her any service, though he drank wine; and from the day on which I had wounded him, he had never spoken; yet he remained alive, because the appointed term of his life had not expired. My cousin every day visited him in this tomb early and late, to weep and mourn over him, and took to him wine to drink, and bailed meats; and thus she continued to do, morning and evening, until the expiration of the second year, while I patiently suffered her, till, one day, I entered her apartments unawares, and found her weeping, and slapping her face, and repeating these verses:
I have lost my existence among mankind since your absence; for my heart loveth none but you. Take my body, then, in mercy, to the place where you are laid; and there bury me by your side: And if, at my grave, you utter my name, the moaning of my bones shall answer to your call.
As soon as he had finished the recitation of these verses, I said to her, holding my drawn sword in my hand, This is the language of those faithless women who renounce the ties of affinity, and regard not lawful fellowship!-and I was about to strike her with the sword, and had lifted up my arm to do so, when she rose-for she knew that it was I who had wounded the slave-and, standing before me, pronounced some words which I understood not, and said, May God, by means of my enchantment, make thee to be half of stone, and half of the substance of man!-whereupon I became as thou seest, unable to move, neither dead nor alive; and when I had been reduced to this state, she enchanted the city and its markets and fields. The inhabitants of our city were of four classes; Muslims and Christians, and Jews and Magians; and she transformed them into fish: the white are the Muslims; the red, the Magians; the blue, the Christians; and the yellow, the Jews. She transformed, also, the four islands into four mountains, and placed them around the lake; and from that time she has continued every day to torture me, inflicting upon me a hundred lashes with a leathern whip, until the blood flows from my wounds; after which she puts on my upper half a vest of hair-cloth, beneath these garments.-Having said thus, the young man wept, and ejaculated the following verses:
Give me patience, O Allah, to bear wfcat Thou decreest! I will be patient, if so I may obtain thine approval.
I am straitened, indeed, by the calamity that hath befallen me: but the Family of the favoured Prophet shall intercede for met Upon this, the King, looking towards the young man, said to him, O youth, thou hast increased my anxiety. And where (he added) is this woman?-The young man answered, She is in the tomb where the slave is lying, in the kubbeh; and every day, before she visits him, she strips me of my clothing, and inflicts upon me a hundred lashes with the whip, while I weep and cry out, unable to move so as to repulse her. After thus torturing me, she repairs early to the slave, with the wine and boiled meat.-By Allah, O youth, said the King, I will do thee an act of kindness for which I shall be remembered, and a favour which historians shall record in a biography after me.
He then sat and conversed with him until the approach of night, upon which he arose, and waited till the first dawn of day, when he took off his clothes, and slung on his sword, and went to the place where the slave lay. After remarking the candles and lamps, and perfumes and ointments, he approached the slave, and with a blow of his sword slew him; he then carried him on his back, and threw him into a well which he found in the palace, and returning to the kubbeh, clad himself with the slave's clothes, and lay down with the drawn sword by his side. Soon after, the vile enchantress went to her cousin, and, having pulled off his clothes, took the whip and beat him, while he cried, Ah! it is enough for me to be in this state! Have pity on me then!-Didst thou shew pity to me, she exclaimed, and didst thou spare my lover?-She then put on him the hair-cloth vest and his outer garments, and repaired to the slave with a cup of wine, and a bowl of boiled meat. Entering the tomb, she wept and wailed, exclaiming, O my master, answer me! O my master, speak to me!-and poured forth her lamentation in the words of this verse:
How long shall this aversion and harshness continue? Sufficient is the evil which my passion hath brought upon me!
Then, weeping, as before, she exclaimed again, O my master, answer me and speak to me! Upon this the King, speaking in a low voice, and adapting his tongue to the pronunciation of the blacks ejaculated, Ah! Ah! there is no strength nor power but in God! On hearing these words, she screamed with joy, and fell down in a swoon; and when she recovered, she exclaimed, Possibly my master is restored to health! The King, again lowering his voice, as if from weakness, replied, Thou profligate wretch, thou deservest not that I should address thee.-Wherefore? said she. He answered, Because all the day long thou tormentest thy husband, while he calleth out, and imploreth the aid of God, so that thou hast prevented my sleeping from the commencement of darkness until morning: thy husband hath not ceased to humble himself, and to imprecate vengeance upon thee, till he hath distracted me; and had it not been for this, I had recovered my strength: this it is which hath prevented my answering thee.-Then, with thy permission, she replied, I will liberate him from his present sufferings.-Liberate him, said the King, and give us ease.