There is a castle in Little Armenia with the form of a hawk with a perch therein, and overagainst it the form of a lady that keeps it; and whosoever will remain without sleep in that desert castle for three days and three nights, watching those two forms, that lady would come to him and give him the wish that he asketh. Now once upon a time there was a proud and spirited king over that country, and he kept that watch without sleep for three days and three nights. At the end of the third night he saw a woman, the fairest of the world's women that he had seen, and she said to him, whatsoever thou art fain to get thou shalt get it. I have gold and silver, saith he, and a good lordship and friendly peace, and my power is over every one, and this is the wish that I desire to obtain, to
p.239have thee for my wife. That cannot be, saith she, for I am a spirit, and there is no earthly body around me, and no man can be with me. Howbeit I will grant to thee the great wealth and the lordship and the strength and the peace which thou now hast, and whatsoever other temporal wealth there is in the World to be held by thyself and thine heirs to the end of the ninth generation. He refused to accept this. Since thou acceptest not, saith the lady, I will give the contrary to thee and to thy successor from today till Doom, (namely) to be in subjection to another king, and need of goods, and constant war. She quitted him, and what she said is being fulfilled. The son of a poor man happened to watch for three days and three nights in the same castle, and the lady came to him and told him to ask of her his demand, I were fain to get the wealth of the world, saith he. Thou shalt have it, she said; and say from me that whosoever shall sleep one wink here will never put his sole on the world henceforward.