This explains the welcome given by Chinese Emperors and Caliphs of Bagdad
to all roving minstrels in whose immortality, like flies in amber, they are caught.
In the reign of the Caliph Haroun-al-Raschid, there lived at Bagdad a porter who, in spite of his humble calling, was an intelligent and sensible man.
She soon returned saying that three Calenders, all blind in the right eye, and all with their heads, faces, and eyebrows clean shaved, begged for admittance, as they were newly arrived in Bagdad, and night had already fallen.
In which is introduced one of the pleasantest barbers that was ever recorded in history, the barber of Bagdad
, or he in Don Quixote, not excepted.
Passing beyond this last island, we reached a country where there was a cave that ran to the distance of thirty or forty miles within the bowels of the earth, and that contained a greater number of far more spacious and more magnificent palaces than are to be found in all Damascus and Bagdad.
29} Another had so long an arm that he could sit down in Damascus and indite a letter at Bagdad -- or indeed at any distance whatsoever.
There are no street lamps there, and the law compels all who go abroad at night to carry lanterns, just as was the case in old days, when heroes and heroines of the Arabian Nights walked the streets of Damascus, or flew away toward Bagdad
on enchanted carpets.
Are you Masr-ed-Deen, the merchant of Alexandria, or is it from far Bagdad
that you bring your goods, O, my uncle; and yonder one-eyed youth, do I see in him one of the three kings of whom Scheherazade told stories to her lord?
He felt like the greedy inhabitant of Bagdad when his eyes had been greased with the magic ointment of the dervish, that gave him to see all the treasures of the earth.
An inhabitant of Bagdad, Asiatic Turkey, meets with a dervish, or Turkish monk, who presents him with a vast treasure and with a box of magic ointment, which, applied to the left eye, enables one to see the treasures in the bosom of the earth, but on touching the right eye, causes blindness.
Sometimes I think of the far East, and keep rolling the names of Eastern cities under my tongue: Damascus and Bagdad
, Medina and Mecca.
A man can easily be put out of the way there, then; it is, indeed, the Bagdad
and Bassora of the `Thousand and One Nights.