Page images
PDF
EPUB

he carried on his head, and twelve covered dishes of the same material, filled with the nicest meats, properly arranged, and six loaves as white as snow upon as many plates, and two silver

cups in his hand. He placed them all upon the table, and 5 instantly vanished.

When Aladdin's mother had recovered from her fright, they both sat down to their meal, in the greatest delight imaginable, for never before had they eaten such delicate meats or seen such

splendid dishes. 10 The remains of this feast provided them with food for some

days, and when it was all gone Aladdin sold the silver dishes one by one for their support. In this way they lived happily for some years, for Aladdin had been sobered by his adventure, and

now behaved with the greatest wisdom and prudence. He took 15 care to visit the principal shops and public places, speaking only

with wise and prudent persons; and in this way he gathered much wisdom, and grew to be a courteous and handsome youth, besides.

ALADDIN WEDS THE PRINCESS

One day Aladdin told his mother that he intended to ask 20 the Sultan to give him his daughter in marriage.

“Truly, my son,” said his mother, “you seem to have forgotten that your father was but a poor tailor; and indeed, I do not know who will dare to go and speak to the Sultan about it.” “You

yourself must,” said he, decidedly. “I !” cried his mother, in 25 the greatest surprise; "I go to the Sultan! Not I, indeed; I

will take care how I am joined to such folly. You know very well that no one can make any demand of the Sultan without bringing a rich present, and where shall such poor folk as we

find such a one?” 30 Thereupon Aladdin told his mother that while talking with

the merchants in the bazaar he had learned to know the value of their gems, and for a long time he had known that nothing

which they had in their shops was half so fine as those jewels he had brought home from the enchanted cave. So his mother took them from the drawer where they had lain hid, and put

them in a dish of fine porcelain. 5 Aladdin's mother, now sure that her son's gift was one that

could not fail to please the Sultan, at last agreed to do everything as her son wished. She took the porcelain dish, in which the present of jewels was, and folded it up in a very fine linen cloth.

She then took another less fine, and tied the four corners of it 10 together, that she might carry it with less trouble. She after

wards set out, to the great joy of Aladdin, and took the road toward the palace of the Sultan.

Trembling, she told the Sultan of her son's boldness, and begged his mercy for Aladdin and for herself. The Sultan heard 15 her kindly, then before giving any answer to her request, he

asked her what she had with her so carefully tied up in a linen cloth. Aladdin's mother unfolded the cloths, and humbly laid the jewels before him.

It is impossible to express the surprise which this monarch 20 felt when he saw before him such a quantity of the most

precious, perfect, and brilliant jewels, the size of which was greater than any he had before seen. For some moments he gazed at them, speechless. When, however, he began to recollect

himself, he took the present from the hand of Aladdin's mother, 25 and exclaimed, in a transport of joy, “Ah! how very beautiful, how extremely rich !”

Then turning to his grand vizier, he showed him the gems and talked privately to him for some minutes. Then to Aladdin's

mother he said: "My good woman, I will indeed make your son 30 happy by marrying him to the Princess my daughter, as soon

as he shall send me forty large basins of massive gold, quite full of the same sort of things which you have already presented me with from him, brought by an equal number of black slaves,

each of whom shall be led by a white slave, young, well-made, 35 handsome, and richly-dressed. These are the conditions upon

which I am ready to bestow upon him the Princess my daughter. Go, my good woman, and I will wait till you bring me his answer."

Full of disappointment, Aladdin's mother made her way 5 home, and told her son the news of the Sultan's strange wish.

But Aladdin only smiled, and when his mother had gone out, he took the lamp and rubbed it, when the Genius instantly appeared and Aladdin commanded him to lose no time in bringing the

present which the Sultan had wished for. The Genius only said 10 that his commands should be at once obeyed, and then disappeared.

In a very short time the Genius returned with forty black slaves, each carrying upon his head a large golden basin of

great weight, full of pearls, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, 15 quite as fine as the others. Each basin was covered with a cloth

of silver, embroidered with flowers of gold. All these slaves with their golden basins, together with the white ones, entirely filled the house, which was but small, as well as the court in front and a garden behind it.

Aladdin's mother now came back and almost fainted when she saw this great crowd and all its magnificence, but Aladdin desired her at once to follow the procession of slaves to the palace, and present to the Sultan the dowry of the Princess.

The astonishment of the Sultan at the sight of all these 25 riches and splendor is hardly to be imagined. After gazing

upon the slaves with their shining heaps of jewels, he said to Aladdin's mother, “Go, my good woman, and tell your son that I am waiting with open arms to embrace him!”

Aladdin was so delighted with this news that he could hardly 30 answer his mother, and, hastening to his chamber, he shut the

door, and, having summoned the Genius, he was dressed in garments that shone like the sun. The Genius brought him, moreover, a splendid charger and twenty slaves to march on

either side of him on the way to the Sultan's palace, all holding 33 purses of gold to scatter among the people.

20

If there had been a crowd before, there was ten times as great a one now to watch Aladdin as he rode to the Sultan's palace, and to pick up the gold pieces which were showered by

his slaves as he went. The Sultan came down from his throne s to greet him, and all was feasting and joy in the palace.

After the feast the judge drew up a contract of marriage between Aladdin and the Princess Badroulbadour. When this was done, the Sultan asked Aladdin if he wished to remain in the

palace and complete all the ceremonies that day. “Sire," he 10 replied, “however impatient I may be to have entire possession of

all your majesty's bounties, I beg you to permit me to wait until I shall have built a palace to receive the Princess in, that shall be worthy of her; and for this purpose, I request that you will

have the goodness to point out a suitable place for it near your 15 own, that I may always be ready to pay my court to your majesty.

I will then neglect nothing to get it finished with all possible diligence.”

“My son,” answered the Sultan, “take the open space before my palace; I have thought lately about filling it up; but remem20 ber that, to have my happiness complete, I cannot see you united

too soon to my daughter.” Having said this, he again embraced Aladdin, who now took leave of the Sultan in as polished a manner as if he had been brought up and spent all his life at

court. 25 As soon as Aladdin reached home, he again summoned the

Genius and commanded him to build instantly the most gorgeous palace ever seen, on the spot of ground given by the Sultan. Early the next morning the Genius appeared : "Sir," said he, "your palace is finished; see if it is as you wish.”

Words cannot paint the astonishment of the Sultan and all his household at seeing this gorgeous palace shining in the place which they had been used to see empty and bare. The Princess was rejoiced at the sight, and her marriage with Aladdin was held the same day, and their happiness was the greatest possible.

30

ALADDIN LOSES AND REGAINS THE LAMP

For some months they lived thus, Aladdin showing great kindness to the poor of the city, and pleasing all by his generosity.

About this time his old enemy, the African magician, found 5 out by some of his magic arts that Aladdin was enormously rich

and much beloved and respected, instead of being as he had supposed, dead in the enchanted cave. He was filled with rage, and, vowing to destroy Aladdin, he immediately set out for

China. On arriving there he went to one of the principal khans 10 and there began talking about Aladdin and the wonders of his

palace. In this way he learned that Aladdin had gone hunting, and was not expected home for three or four days.

The magician bought a dozen of shining new lamps, put them in a basket, and then set out for Aladdin's palace. As he 15 came near it he cried out, “Who will change old lamps for new ones ?”

When he came under the Princess's windows, all the slaves attending on her ran laughing to look into the street. “Oh!”

said one of the slaves, “come, let us try if the old fool means 20 what he says; there is an ugly old lamp lying in the cornice of

the hall with twenty-four windows; we will put a new one in its place, if the old fellow is really in earnest.” The Princess having given leave, away ran one of the slaves with the lamp

to the magician, who willingly gave her the best he had among 25 his new ones.

As soon as night arrived he summoned the Genius of the lamp and commanded him to transport him, the palace, and the Princess to the remotest corner of Africa. The order was

instantly obeyed. 30

The confusion and grief of the Sultan were terrible when he found the palace vanished and his daughter lost. The people ran in fear through the streets, and the soldiers were sent in search of Aladdin, who was not yet returned from hunting.

« PreviousContinue »