Tales, No Veils

 

The Wednesday Nights Entertainments

By Diana T. Nicholson PRAISE BE TO ALLAH ~ THE BENEFICENT KING ~ THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE ~ LORD OF THE THREE WORLDS ~ WHO SET UP THE FIRMAMENT WITHOUT PILLARS IN ITS STEAD ~ AND WHO STRETCHED OUT THE EARTH EVEN AS A BED ~ AND GRACE, AND PRAYER-BLESSING BE UPON OUR LORD MOHAMMED ~ LORD OF APOSTOLIC MEN ~ AND UPON HIS FAMILY AND COMPANION-TRAIN ~ PRAYER AND BLESSINGS ENDURING AND GRACE WHICH UNTO THE DAY OF DOOM SHALL REMAIN ~ AMEN! ~

For lo! We have a tale to tell. In the days of yore on the estates of Rosemount in the fair Duchy of Westmount, so called for its mountain on which the setting sun does ever cast its hues of red and gold, there dwelt an Imperious Ruler who did one day summon his Chief Wife and sighing, said to her “design for me an Entertainment, for I grow weary of our frivolities and do vow by my beard and the Profit that I must have a change of lifestyle”.

The Chief Wife of whom it was said that she had collected a thousand books of histories relating to antique races and departed rulers, had perused the books, annals, and writings of legendary leaders, and the stories, examples, and instances of present and bygone men and things and knew them by heart, she had studied political philosophy, the arts, and foreign tongues. And she was pleasant and polite, wise and witty, well read and well bred.

She did not know the dismal science, nor the ways of the market place nor the money changers so she did conspire with the Chief Wazir, the Caliph Carl, who was held in highest esteem at seats of learning throughout the land and together they did enact a clever plan to entertain their Ruler with weekly pageants wherein the company was selected from among the wisest in the land and would meet for gentle discourse amidst flagons of refreshing juices.

And the Imperious Ruler was well content. So content was he that he did refuse all other pursuits and did devote himself entirely with the assistance of the Djinns of the ether to setting ever more lavish and contentious topics in ever more magical forms for the assembly’s consideration.

And as the fame of the Wednesday Nights Entertainments and the wit and wisdom of the Wise Persons so gathered about the Imperious Ruler’s table and whose discourse is rooted in knowledge unknown in the Duchy of Westmount did spread across the land and far beyond its borders many aspirants begged to join their august council. Even unto this very day ethereal messengers go forth to the four corners of the earth to summon Wise Persons from foreign lands to assemble around the Imperious Ruler’s table where they do argue and discuss in many tongues while the moon waxes and wanes and all this time the Ruler and his Chief Wife and sometimes their progeny do preside over the Entertainments and do taste of the honey of knowledge.

And from the first days when these Entertainments did commence unto this very day, the gates of the Rosemount Estate do open every Wednesday Night to all who have been summoned and young and old partake of courteous discourse that does not neglect the delights of humour, a tale well told or the gentle harmony of the human voice and musical instruments.

Sinbad 7773b Thus on the ninth day of the fifth month of this present year, the Imperious Ruler, for not even his enjoyment of the Entertainments has curtailed his nature, will open his gates to all who are desirous of partaking in the joyous celebrations of the 1001st Wednesday Nights Entertainments and to pay lavish tribute to a tradition that has its beginnings in the tales of the fair and wise Scheherazade.

ALLAH BE PRAISED!

With apologies to Sir Richard Burton

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