Viz. Viper! You have stuffed me with almonds to such a degree that it will be a month before I am able to swallow another mouthful! (Accidentally stamps on the edge of a sieve lying upon the floor. The sieve turns up sharply, and strikes his shin-bone.) Hu-hu! My leg! My leg! The infernal fools! That cursed sieve! Yes, what is that sieve doing here, you daughter of Belial?
Haid. I will tell your Excellency. This morning, at daybreak, while I was sweeping here, Kerim, the groom, came in. He had a sieve in his hand, and stopped to speak to me. He must have forgotten the sieve, and left it behind.
Viz. Then call in the camel of a groom, so that I may question him. (Exit HAIDAR.) What business had the groom here? What business has a sieve here? I am pursued by ill-luck to-day, wherever I go. As soon as I put my foot into this miserable room something goes wrong.
Viz. (in a fury). Kerim, you lout! You scoundrel! How dare you come into this room? The stable is the place for you! How dare you show your face here, you pig! And what were you doing here this morning?
Ker. (moaning). Oh, your Excellency, I am your willing sacrifice! I made a mistake. I acknowledge my sin. But, your Excellency, by your fathers tombstone, I beseech you to forgive me! Oh, do forgive me! I know how black my guilt is, but grant me your pardon, and by the heads of my parents I swear never to enter this room again as long as I live!
Besh. Oh! Mercy! Justice! I am your faithful slave, Excellency! But what have I done? I am your willing sacrifice. Only vouchsafe to impart to me in what manner I have transgressed! Kill me afterward, if I deserve it!
Viz. (to the SERVANTS). Stop!Beshir, listen to your offense. You have neglected to inform my servants of their duties. Every one in this house is under your orders. It is for you to instruct them all in the proper fulfilment of their offices, and to see that you are decently obeyed. It is you who are answerable for the state of my house. The place of a groom, for instance, is in the stable, and nowhere else, and his sieves are of no use to me in my apartments. But to-day Kerim was in this room with a sieve, and went away leaving it behind him. Not having foreseen such an event, I stepped on the sieve, and it hurt my leg so badly that I can scarcely move. If I, the vizier of a province, carry the burden of its affairs about with me wherever I go, why cannot a camel like you conduct the affairs of a single house, and manage its servants?