As he thus stood, listening to the distant thunder and the raving of the storm, he stretched his view in vain to discover some signs of human existence; until, on proceeding a few more steps, a light suddenly appeared at only a short distance from him. It was from the window of a poor fisherman’s hut, who earned his livelihood by catching eels in the adjacent pools and marshes.
On hearing the voice of the king, who rushed forward with a shout of joy on beholding a human habitation, the fisherman hastened to the assistance of the bewildered traveler, whom he believed to have lost his way in the storm. Inquiring who called, King Mansor approached near, and entreated him, if he possessed the least charity, to direct him the shortest path to the residence of the monarch. “The king’s court,” replied the poor man, “is distant from this place above ten long miles.”
King Mansor himself
“Yet I will make it worth your trouble, friend, to guide me thither; consent to oblige me, arid you shall have no reason to complain,” said the king. “Though you were King Mansor himself,” returned the fisherman, “who entreated as much, I would not venture upon it at this hour of the night, and such a night as this is; for I should render myself guilty, perhaps, of leading our honored monarch into destruction. The night is dark, and the waters are out around us.” “But why should you, friend, be so very solicitous about the safety of the king?” “Oh,” replied the good man, “because I honor him more than I do any one else, and love him more than myself.”
“But what good has he ever done you, asked the king, “that you should hold him in such high esteem? Methinks you would be rather more comfortably lodged and clothed were you any extraordinary favorite of his.” “Not so,” answered the fisherman; “for tell me, Sir Knight, what greater favor can I receive from my honored king, in my humble sphere, than to be protected in the enjoyment of my house and goods, and the little earnings which I make! All I have I owe to his kindness, to the wisdom and justice with which he rules over his subjects, preserving us in peace or protecting us in war from the inroads of the Arabs, as well as all other enemies.