THE Emir Abu-Bekir lost an eye in battle against the Christians. "The Christians shall pay me what they have taken from me," he said; and he sent for a number of Christian captives, and had one of their eyes taken out, in the idea of replacing his own; but it was found that none of them agreed with his in size, and form, and colour. The Emir Abu-Bekir was of very comely person, and his eyes had been so mild and soft, that it was at last thought only the eye of a woman could replace the missing one; the choice fell upon a beautiful maiden named Sancha. Sancha was brought into the Emir's presence, and his physician was ordered to take out her eye, and place it in the vacant socket.
Now Sancha stood trembling and wailing, and by her very crying damaging the perfection of the coveted feature. Then there stood up a travelling doctor who was in great fame among the people, and begged a hearing of the Emir; for albeit he was a Turk, yet he possessed pity and gratitude. He knew that the operation, while a torment to the Christian maiden, would be of no service to the Emir; and he pitied the waste of pain. It happened further, that once, when on a journey he had sunk fainting by the way-side, this very Sancha had comforted and relieved him; and now he determined to rescue her.
Accordingly, he stepped up to the Emir, and told him that he had eyes made of crystal, and coloured by cunning art, which no one could tell from living eyes, and which would be of much greater service and ornament than those of the Christian dogs, whose eyes he might have observed lost all their lustre and consistency the moment they were taken from their natural place. The Emir admitted the truth of the last statement, and being marvellously pleased with the glass eyes the travelling doctor displayed, asked him the price.
"The maiden for a slave," replied the doctor.
The Emir gladly consented to so advantageous a bargain, and suffered the glass eye to be fixed in his head. All the Court applauded the appearance.
"But I cannot see with it!" cried the Emir.
"Oh! you must give it a little time to get used to your ways," answered the doctor, readily; "you can't expect it all of a sudden to do as well as the other, that you have had in use so long."
So the Emir was content to wait; meantime, the doctor made off with his fair prize, whom he conducted safely back to Spain, and restored her faithfully to her friends and her liberty.