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Since its first translation into a European language between and , The Thousand and One Nights, also known as The Arabian Nights, has been recognized as a universal classic of fantasy narrative. It is, of course, a much older work and one with a complicated genealogy. Based on Indian, Persian, and Arab folklore, this work dates back at least years as a unified collection, with many of its individual stories undoubtedly being even older. One of the collection's forebears is a book of Persian tales, likely of Indian origin, titled A Thousand Legends.

These stories were translated into Arabic about , and at least one reference from about the year calls them The Thousand and One Nights. Arabic stories, primarily from Baghdad and Cairo were added to the ever evolving collection, which by the early 's had assumed its more-or-less final form. Return to the table of contents. A Man of Baghdad Persia An anecdote is told of a man of Baghdad who was in great distress, and who, after calling on God for aid, dreamt that a great treasure lay hid in a certain spot in Egypt.

He accordingly journeyed to Egypt, and there fell into the hands of the patrol, who arrested him, and beat him severely on suspicion of being a thief.

Picking “The Great Ones”

Calling to mind the proverb that "falsehood is a mischief but truth a remedy," he determined to confess the true reason of his coming to Egypt, and accordingly told them all the particulars of his dream. On hearing them they believed him, and one of them said, "You must be a fool to journey all this distance merely on the faith of a dream. I myself have many times dreamt of a treasure lying hid in a certain spot in Baghdad, but was never foolish enough to go there.

The Spiritual Couplets London: Wikipedia article about Jalalu-d'-Din Muhammad i Rumi Wikipedia article about the Masnavi , written between about and Numan's Dream Turkey There was of old time in the city of Cairo a man called Numan, and he had a son. One day when this boy's time to learn to read was fully come he took him to a school and gave to a teacher.

This Numan was exceeding poor, so that he followed the calling of a water seller, and in this way he supported his wife and child. When the teacher had made the boy read through the Koran, he told the boy to fetch him his present. So the boy came and told his father. His father said, "O son, the Koran is the Word of God Most High, we have nothing worthy of it; there is our camel with which I follow my trade of water seller, take it at least and give it to thy teacher. But that day his father could gain no money, and that night his wife and his son and himself remained hungry.

Now his wife was a great scold, and when she saw this thing she said, "Out on thee, husband, art thou mad? Where are thy senses gone? Thou hadst a camel, and by means of it we made shift to live, and now thou hast taken and given it in a present; would that that boy had not been born, or that thou hadst not sent him to read; what is he and what his reading?

Numan saw this thing, and he bowed down his head, and from the greatness of his distress he fell asleep. In his dream a radiant elder, white-bearded and clad in white raiment, came and said, "O Numan, thy portion is in Damascus; go, take it. Brief, the elder appeared three times to him that night in his dream and said, "Indeed is thy provision in Damascus; delay not, go to Damascus and take it. So Numan went forth; and one day he entered Damascus, and he went in through the gate of the Amawi Mosque.

That day someone had baked bread in an oven and was taking it to his house; when he saw Numan opposite him and knew him to be a stranger, he gave him a loaf. Numan took it and ate it, and lay down through fatigue and fell asleep. That elder again came to him in his vision and said, "0 Numan, thou hast received thy provision; delay not, go back to thy house. One day he entered his house, and the woman looked and saw there was nothing in his hand; and Numan told her. When the woman learned that Numan had brought nothing, she turned and said, "Out on thee, husband, thou art become mad, thou art a worthless man; had thy senses been in thy head, thou hadst not given away our camel, the source of our support, and left us thus friendless and hungry and thirsty; not a day but thou doest some mad thing.

And Numan's heart was broken by the weariness of the road and the complaining of the woman, and he fell asleep. Again in his vision that elder came and said, "O Numan, delay not, arise, dig close by thee, thy provision is there, take it. Three times the elder appeared to him in his dream and said, "Thy provision is indeed close by thee; arise, take it.


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The woman made mock of Numan and said, "Out on thee, man; the half of the treasure revealed to thee is mine. The woman saw the marble and, saying in herself, "This is not empty," she asked the pick-axe from Numan. Numan said, "Have patience a little longer. Thereupon grew Numan eager, and he pulled the marble from its place, and below it was a well and a ladder. He caught hold of the ladder and went down and saw a royal vase filled full with red gold, and he called out to the woman, "Come here. Blessed be God, for thy luck and thy fortune.

The king said, "What is this? The king said, "Go ye and bring some from the bottom of the vase. And the king wondered and said, "Go, poor man, God Most High has given it thee, on my part too be it lawful for thee; come, take these sequins also. And all this felicity was for his respect to the glorious Koran. George Redway, , pp. How the Junkman Traveled to Find Treasure in His Own Yard Turkey In one of the towers overlooking the Sea of Marmora and skirting the ancient city of Stamboul, there lived an old junkman, who earned a precarious livelihood in gathering cinders and useless pieces of iron, and selling them to smiths.

Often did he moralize on the sad Kismet that had reduced him to the task of daily laboring for his bread to make a shoe, perhaps for an ass. Surely he, a true Muslim, might at least be permitted to ride the ass. His eternal longing often found satisfaction in passing his hours of sleep in dreams of wealth and luxury. But with the dawning of the day came reality and increased longing. Often did he call on the spirit of sleep to reverse matters, but in vain; with the rising of the sun began the gathering of the cinders and iron. One night he dreamt that he begged this nocturnal visitor to change his night to day, and the spirit said to him, "Go to Egypt, and it shall be so.

So persecuted was he with the thought that when his wife said to him, from the door, "Have you brought home any bread? Poor Ahmet went straight on board a boat which he had been told was bound for Iskender Alexandria , and assured the captain that he was summoned thither, and that he was bound to take him. Half-witted and mad persons being more holy than others, Ahmet was conveyed to Iskender.

Arriving in Iskender, Hadji Ahmet roamed far and wide, proceeding as far as Cairo, in search of the luxuries he had enjoyed at Constantinople when in the land of Morpheus, which he had been promised to enjoy in the sunshine, if he came to Egypt. Time sped on, sympathy was growing tired of expending itself on Hadji Ahmet, and his crusts of bread were few and far between.

Wearied of life and suffering, he decided to ask Allah to let him die, and wandering out to the pyramids he solicited the stones to have pity and fall on him. It happened that a Turk heard this prayer, and said to him, "Why so miserable, father? Has your soul been so strangled that you prefer its being dashed out of your body, to its remaining the prescribed time in bondage? Why, were I to obey my dreams, I would at this present moment be in Stamboul, digging for a treasure that lies buried under a tree.

I can even now, although I have never been there, describe where it is. In my mind's eye I see a wall, a great wall, that must have been built many years ago, and supporting or seeming to support this wall are towers with many corners, towers that are round, towers that are square, and others that have smaller towers within them.

In one of these towers, a square one, there live an old man and woman, and close by the tower is a large tree, and every night when I dream of the place, the old man tells me to dig and disclose the treasure. But, father, I am not such a fool as to go to Stamboul and seek to verify this. It is an oft-repeated dream and nothing more. See what you have been reduced to by coming so far.

Allah be praised, you have encouraged me; I will return to my home. He certainly had wandered far and long to learn that the treasure was in his own garden. Hadji Ahmet in due course, much to the astonishment of both wife and neighbors, again appeared upon the scene not a much changed man. In fact, he was the cinder and iron gatherer of old. To all questions as to where he was and what he had been doing, he would answer, "A dream sent me away, and a dream brought me back.

After digging a short time a heavy case was brought to view, in which he found gold, silver, and precious jewels of great value. Hadji Ahmet replaced the case and earth and returned to bed, much lamenting that it had pleased God to furnish women, more especially his wife, with a long tongue, long hair, and very short wits.

Who knows, she might keep the secret. To test her, at no risk to himself and the treasure, he conceived a plan. Crawling from his bed, he sallied forth and bought, found, or stole an egg. This egg on the following morning he showed to his wife, and said to her, "Alas! I fear I am not as other men, for evidently in the night I laid this egg; and, wife mine, if the neighbors hear of this, your husband, the long-suffering Hadji Ahmet, will be bastinadoed, bowstrung, and burned to death.

Ah, truly, my soul is strangled. In the evening he returned, heavily laden with his finds, and as he neared home he heard rumors, ominous rumors, that a certain Hadji Ahmet, who had been considered a holy man, had done something that was unknown in the history of man, even in the history of hens: Needless to add that Hadji Ahmet did not tell his wife of the treasure, but daily went forth with his sack to gather iron and cinders, and invariably found, when separating his finds of the day, in company with his wife, at first one, and then more gold and silver pieces, and now and then a precious stone.

Turkish Tales New York: The Macmillan Company, , pp. The episode describing the junkman's wife embellishment of his "secret" is classified as a type D folktale. The Peddler of Swaffham England Constant tradition says that there lived in former times in Soffham Swaffham , alias Sopham, in Norfolk, a certain peddler, who dreamed that if he went to London Bridge, and stood there, he should hear very joyful news, which he at first slighted, but afterwards, his dream being doubled and trebled upon him, he resolved to try the issue of it, and accordingly went to London, and stood on the bridge there two or three days, looking about him, but heard nothing that might yield him any comfort.

At last it happened that a shopkeeper there, hard by, having noted his fruitless standing, seeing that he neither sold any wares nor asked any alms, went to him and most earnestly begged to know what he wanted there, or what his business was; to which the peddler honestly answered that he had dreamed that if he came to London and stood there upon the bridge he should hear good news; at which the shopkeeper laughed heartily, asking him if he was such a fool as to take a journey on such a silly errand, adding, "I'll tell you, country fellow, last night I dreamed that I was at Sopham, in Norfolk, a place utterly unknown to me where I thought that behind a peddler's house in a certain orchard, and under a great oak tree, if I dug I should find a vast treasure!

Now think you," says he, "that I am such a fool to take such a long journey upon me upon the instigation of a silly dream? Therefore, good fellow, learn wit from me, and get you home, and mind your business. The peddler observing his words, what he had said he dreamed, and knowing they concerned him, glad of such joyful news, went speedily home, and dug and found a prodigious great treasure, with which he grew exceeding rich; and Soffham Church being for the most part fallen down, he set on workmen and rectified it most sumptuously, at his own charges; and to this day there is his statue therein, but in stone, with his pack at his back and his dog at his heels; and his memory is also preserved by the same form or picture in most of the old glass windows, taverns, and alehouses of that town unto this day.

Andrews and Company, , pp. De la Pryme lived from to Another version of this legend: David Nutt, , pp. The Swaffham Legend England Swaffham Church, noted for its architectural beauties, has furnished material for a legend worth recording. According to tradition, the entire expense of erecting this noble edifice was defrayed by a tinker or pedlar residing in the parish named John Chapman, who, if the voice of the legend is to be believed, was marvelously provided for by Divine Providence.

It is said that this tinker dreamed that if he went to London Bridge he would, to use the phraseology of a certain class of advertisements, "hear of something greatly to his advantage. After standing about the bridge for several hours -- some versions of the legend mention the traditional three days -- a man accosted him, and invited him to unfold the nature of his errand. With candor quite equal to his faith, John Chapman replied that he came there on the "vain errand of a dream.

But not all of it. The box that he found had a Latin inscription on the lid, which of course John Chapman could not decipher. But though unlettered, he was not without craftiness and a certain kind of wisdom, so in the hope that some unsuspicious wayfarer might read the inscriptiou in his hearing, he placed it in his window. It was not long before he heard some youths turn the Latin sentence into an English couplet: Under me doth lie Another much richer than I.

Again he went to work, digging deeper than before, and found a much richer treasure, than the former. With a heart overflowing with gratitude for his good fortune, the tinker shortly afterwards, when the inhabitants of Swaffham wished to re-edify their church, astonished the whole town by offering to defray the expense of a large portion of the works.

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On the ends of the oaken bench nearest the pulpit, there is the carved effigy of John Chapman on one side and that of his dog on the other, and this is sufficient to establish the truth of the legend in the minds of the credulous of the district. John Glyde, The Norfolk Garland: Jarrold and Sons, , pp. A Cobbler in Someretshire England A cobbler in Somersetshire dreamt that a person told him that if he would go to London Bridge he would meet with something to his advantage. He dreamt the same the next night, and again the night after. He then determined to go to London Bridge, and walked thither accordingly.

When arrived there, he walked about the whole of the first day without anything occurring; the next day was passed in a similar manner. He resumed his place the third day, and walked about till evening, when, giving it up as hopeless, he determined to leave London, and return home. At this moment a stranger came up and said to him, "I have seen you for the last three days walking up and down this bridge; may I ask if you are waiting for anyone?

The stranger then advised him to go home again to his work, and no more pay any attention to dreams. I dreamt three nights together that, if I would go into Somersetshire, in an orchard, under an apple tree, I should find a pot of gold; but I paid no attention to my dream, and have remained quietly at my business. He immediately returned home, dug under the apple tree, and found a pot of gold.

After this increase of fortune, he was enabled to send his son to school, where the boy learnt Latin. When he came home for the holidays, he one day examined the pot which had contained the gold, on which was some writing. He said, "Father, I can show you what I have learnt at school is of some use. Elliot Stock, , pp. The Saturday Review , December 28, Upsall Castle England Many years ago there resided in the village of Upsall a man who dreamed three nights successively that if he went to London Bridge he would hear of something greatly to his advantage.


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  • He went, traveling the whole distance from Upsall to London on foot. Arrived there, he took his station on the bridge, where he waited till his patience was nearly exhausted, and the idea that he had acted a very foolish part began to arise in his mind. At length he was accosted by a Quaker, who kindly inquired what he was waiting there so long for. After some hesitation, he told his dreams. The Quaker laughed at his simplicity, and told him that he had had that night a very curious dream himself, which was, that if he went and dug under a certain bush in Upsall Castle in Yorkshire, he would find a pot of gold; but he did not know where Upsall was, and inquired of the countryman if he knew, who, seeing some advantage in secrecy, pleaded ignorance of the locality; and then, thinking his business in London was completed, returned immediately home, dug beneath the bush, and there he found a pot filled with gold, and on the cover an inscription in a language he did not understand.

    Who have you decided you really are now? Who have you decided to become? Make this decision consciously. What do inspirational quotes teach us about strength? Spend more time in it. Use it to do great things. Help others find theirs. All our talents increase in the using, and the every faculty, both good and bad, strengthen by exercise.

    Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. For this reason mastery demands all of a person. Looking for more inspiration? JD, this must be THE definitive inspirational quotation list on the internet. I tell no lie. Sometimes you see them and you like the odd few but all these ignite the imagination, animate the enthusiasm, uplift the heart, and touch the soul.

    Truly magical stuff, I congratulate your massive contribution to humankind! I agree; a definitive list for sure. A bend in the road is the end of the road if only you fail to make the turn.

    Thanks for this amazing compilation! D What can I say. Just Imagine if people put them into pracice……. It felt good to consolidate my favoriate inspirational quotes and organize in them a more definitive way. Now everybody can have inspirational wisdom at their fingertips. Lance — Thank you. Amit — Thank you.

    You reminded me that I left out a key quote from Robbins …. This is very helpfull and one can get inspired ever by just reading your blog JD Even i guess thnak you will be less for your work!! Hats of for this as well as your thinking Quotes!! The Achievement section no doubt is my favourite and Mark Twain is undisputed the-best-of-the-best:. We have heard some of these quotes our whole lives, but they take on different meanings based on where we are in the journey of life and what we have experienced.

    Thank you — what a great post and I have to figure out how to book mark this… my eyes are getting better…I did not have to copy, paste and make it bigger to read any of it — but I did need to come by 3 times…. I love your reply to Mechele.. This could be a book! Have you noticed the thirst we have for inspiration?

    Quotes saved my life. My favs — anything by Thoreau. What a peaceful world that would be. He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life. All life is an experiment. These Concord, Mass, dudes really had it together. I grew up a few miles from Walden Pond and Concord Center. Wish my schools had taken us to field trips around the pond and let us read his words there in the beauty of that place.

    If schools were about eduction they would. Hilary — Thank you.

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    I figured categories would make it a lot easier to jump to relevant inspirational quotes. Wow…this is a post that everyone should bookmark. I am continually looking for great quotes and you have them all right here to enjoy. Really, really great post. Sibyl — Thank you. Such a wealth of quotes you have shared here JD. Walter — Thank you. There truly are quotes for all occasions … the ups, the downs, and all the spaces in between.

    That is one serious list of inspirational quotes. I thank you for taking so much time and putting these together. Frank — Thank you. In my experience, quotes are one of the best ways to have better days. They are great nudges in the right direction. Farouk — Thank you. The beauty is I rarely mind spending time on timeless things. May the sun always shine on your windowpane; May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain; May the hand of a friend always be near you; May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

    The normal definition that we are fed with through romance novels truly does not do this beautifully divine connection any […]. Lorilynn — Thank you! I wanted to have a seriously empowering set of inspirational quotes to help folks onward and upward. A friend sent me this website article of yours tonight. Since tonight, I have subscribed to your site. What a well consolidated and articulated source for ispiration JD! Thank you so much I really value these. The more you explore…! Hey JD … It is great work done by you for humanity … It will help every one to face troubles , be brave and confident In life … Thanks bro.

    You are an awesome person to have taken so much time to benefit everyone who reads, even here where I am in Kenya. Always the best web to be. What a wonderful list of quotes to inspire and comfort those of us who are in need of some support. That applies to most of us at some time in our lives. I was searching for some inspirational quotes to send to my Brother in Law who has suffered a near fatal car crash at the age of Plenty to go for here! In fact so many that instead of being without one, I now have the dilemma of having too many1 Seriously, keep up the good work, and thanks again for your sterling work.

    Truth with humour, always a good combination, making it easy for folks to remember God bless you,. Life really can throw us some wicked curve balls. Thanks for sharing these quotes. Sometimes all we need is a little inspiration! If there are words through which I could show my impression and appreciation in respect of this educative, impressive and inspiring site, I would have certainly used them.

    I have learned that in life, sometimes all I need to feel better is read a great quote. I really enjoyed this one from the list that you put up. You might also be interested by the work of an author I personally admire: She has a great collection of fresh and beautiful Inspirational Quotes between other things. I am heavily charged with great inspiration. Thanks a lot for your efforts to gather all these jewels and sharing with all of us. Thanks alot for uplifting spiritually,,verbally and otherwise ….

    Mr Bawdman say stay focus and remain bless.

    Inspirational Quotes

    Thanks for such a great job with inspirational quotes. Been to many sites, but I believe yours to be the best. Be back often, when I need some encouragement. I am very thankful to you by my heart. Home Life Inspirational Quotes. Starting is the Hardest Part. How To Feel Great Today. How To Live Forever. I agree with you John, this list is one of my favorites. Some of my favorites are: When people tell you who they are, believe them the first time — Maya Angelou Leap and the net will appear -John Burroughs Feel the fear and do it anyway A bend in the road is the end of the road if only you fail to make the turn.

    From Adam Ant to Zig Ziglar, what a great collection of quotations. John — Thank you! David — Thank you. Patrick — Thank you! This is the batch that survived my cutting room floor.


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    That is an amazing list. Thanks for posting them! Vishal — Thank you, on multiple levels! Twain is a master marksmen with his words. Mechele — Thank you. So, He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life. I truly enjoy how some people can make such precise and profound points with skill.

    Here is one of my faves: Rebecca — Thank you. I like the rainbows that follow the rain. I visit this website everyday.. Thank you for doing the world a favor. Estelle — Thank you! The right words really can lift us. Chowrichzy — Thank you. Roy — Thank you. Thank you for making such a great list of quotes. Thank you for putting together such an extensive and inspirational listing of quotes.

    Thanks for this awesome collection — love it! Truth with humour, always a good combination, making it easy for folks to remember God bless you, Pauline. Pauline — Thank you. I like all of them. A lot of people seeking new beginnings have never finished with the past. Thanks for sharing -Omar. Dear JD, Wow, awesome list! You have put a lot of love into it! Again, thank you very much for this wonderful article. Thank you for having such a list of inspirational quotes. A sincere Thank You. You are an Angel. I visit this site daily and just want to thank you for such a great list of inspiration!

    What we do in life, echoes in eternity — unknown. Vince Lombardi — Awesomely inspiring! So much quotes so much greatness. Putting selected one into my collection. What a great collection, this is very inspiration, keep doing well!