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Presently, he fell ill and sickened well nigh unto death, and the sickness abode with him two months, during which she tended him after the goodliest fashion, till Allah made him whole of his malady, when he recalled her tenderness and loving-kindness to him and the persistent zeal with which she had nurst him and being minded to requite her the good offices she had done him, said to her, “Ask a boon of me?”
Thereupon the Wazir sprang up and, opening the private pastern which gave upon the sea, descended to the causeway; then walked on twenty steps and came to the water where he saw Marzawan nigh unto death.
Then quoth to them the ancient one, the Lady of Calamities, In very sooth nought shall profit you, except ye draw you nigh unto the Messiah and put your trust in the True Belief, for, by the virtue of the Messiah, the whole strength of the Moslem host lieth in that Satan, King
Omniscient Being who is nigh unto you, then testify to the truth with secret prayer to him, who is the eternal Fountain of truth: or if you are sworn to undertake high duties, then cheerfully vow to your God first, what you will vow to men by invoking the name of God, and to that which your mouth utters, let your heart say forcibly but calmly,