Stories from the Arabian nights/Aladdin and the wonderful lamp

ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMPEdit

Once upon a time, in a far city of Cathay, there dwelt a poor tailor who had an only son named Aladdin. This boy was a born never-do-well, and persistently resisted all his father's efforts to teach him a trade by means of which he would be able in future to earn a livelihood. Aladdin would sooner play at knuckle-bones in the gutter with others as careless as himself than he would set his mind to honest business; and, as to obeying his parents in the smallest matter, it was not in his nature. Such was this boy Aladdin, and yet--so remarkable is the favour of fate--he was strangely predestined for great things. Stricken with grief because of the waywardness and idle conduct of his son the father fell ill and died, and the mother found great difficulty in supporting herself, to say nothing of the worthless Aladdin as well. While she wore the flesh off her bones in the endeavour to obtain a meagre subsistence, Aladdin would amuse himself with his fellow urchins of the street, only returning home to his meals. In this way he continued until he was fourteen years of age, when his extraordinary destiny took him by the hand, and led him, step by step, through adventures so wonderful that words can scarce describe them. One day he was playing in the gutter with his ragged companions, as was his wont, when a Moorish Dervish came by, and, catching sight of Aladdin's face, suddenly stopped and approached him. This Dervish was a sorcerer who had discovered many hidden secrets by his black art; in fact, he was on the track of one now; and, by the look on his face as he scrutinized Aladdin's features, it seemed that the boy was closely connected with his quest. The Dervish beckoned to one of the urchins and asked him who Aladdin was, who his father was, and indeed all about him. Having thus learned the whole history of the boy and his family, the Dervish gave his informer some coins and sent him away to spend them. Then he approached Aladdin and said to him, "Boy, I seem to recognize in thee a family likeness. Are you not the tailor's son?" Aladdin answered him that he was, and added that his father was dead. On hearing this the Dervish cried out with grief and embraced Aladdin, weeping bitterly. The boy was surprised at this and inquired the cause of such sorrow. " Alas! " replied the Dervish with tears running down his cheeks, "my fate is an unhappy one Boy, I have come from a distant country to find my brother, to look upon his face again, and to cheer and comfort him; and now thou tellest me he is dead." He took Aladdin's face in his hands and gazed searchingly upon it as he continued: "Boy, I recognize my brother's features in thine; and, now that he is dead, I will find comfort in thee." Aladdin looked up at him in wonder, for he had never been told that he had an uncle; indeed, he was inclined to doubt the truth of the matter; but, when the Dervish took ten pieces of gold from his purse and placed them in his hand, all doubt was out of the question, and he rejoiced at having found so rich an uncle The Dervish then asked him concerning his mother and begged him to show him the way to her house. And, when Aladdin had showed him, he gave the boy more gold and said, "Give this to your mother with my blessing, and say that her brother-in-law, who has been absent forty years, has returned and will visit her tomorrow to weep with her over the place where his brother is buried." With this he departed, and Aladdin ran to his mother to tell her the news. On the morrow the Dervish sought Aladdin in the street where he had seen him the day before, and found him there among his disreputable friends. Taking him aside he kissed him and embraced him; then, placing ten gold pieces in his hand, he said, "Hasten now to thy mother and give her these gold pieces and say that her brother-in-law would come to sup at her house this night. " So Aladdin left him and ran home to his mother with the gold pieces and the message. Then the widow busied herself and prepared for the coming of this new-found relative. She bought rich food, and borrowed from the neighbours such dishes, utensils and napery as she required. when the supper was ready, and the widow was about to send Aladdin to hasten the guest, the Dervish entered, followed by a slave bearing fruit and wine, which he set down, and then went his way. The Dervish, weeping bitterly, saluted the widow and immediately fell to asking questions about the departed. Then, when he was comforted and they all sat at supper together, the Dervish turned to Aladdin and asked him if he knew any art or trade, At this Aladdin hung his head, and, as he was too ashamed to answer, his mother dried her tears and answered for him. "Alack!" she said, " he is nothing but an idler. He spends his time as thou didst find him, playing with ragamuffins in the street, and is never at home except at meal times. And am an old Woman and ugly through toil and hardship, and grief at his behaviour. Oh my brother-in-law 1 It is he who should provide for me, not I for him." " I am grieved to hear this of thee," said the Dervish, turning to Aladdin; "for thou art no longer a child. 'Wouldst thou like to be a merchant?" he asked. "If so I will give thee a shop with all kinds of merchandise, and thou shalt buy and sell and get gain, and rise to 8 position of importance." At this Aladdin clapped his hands with glee, and his mother was rejoiced. And she chid her boy for his own good, and counselled him straitly to obey his uncle in all things. The Dervish also gave Aladdin much sound advice on the conduct of trade, so that the boy's head was bursting with buying and selling, and he could not sleep that night for dreams of rich stuffs, and bales of merchandise. At last, when the Dervish arose and took his departure, prolnising to return for Aladdin on the morrow and take him to buy his merchant's dress, the wizard felt that he had proved himself undoubtedly the best of brothers-in-law, and the best of uncles. True to his word the Dervish came on the morrow, and Aladdin, holding him affectionately by the hand, went with him forth to the market. There they entered a shop full of the finest materials, and the Dervish asked to be shown some dresses such as a wealthy merchant Inight wear. The owner of the shop laid a great variety before him and the Dervish said, "Now, my son, choose what dress you like." This delicate favour of choice pleased Aladdin greatly, for it seemed that he had now at last reached the age of discretion. He picked out one that he liked, and the Dervish paid the price without any attempt at bargaining. Then they went together to the Han1nlam, and, when they had bathed and rested, Aladdin clothed himself in his new dress and came forth in great delight t kissing his uncle's hand and thanking him again and again. After they had rested the Dervish suggested a walk, and he led Aladdin through garden after garden until they came to the confines of the city t beyond which stood a high hill. "Shall we return t' o my uncle? t' said Aladdin, who was in no mood for climbing the hill, " There are no more gardens outside the city." "Nay," replied the Dervish, "on the hill-side is the loveliest garden of all. Bear up, my son, and be a man; we shall soon be there." And, as they went, he beguiled the boy with anecdotes, so that Aladdin forgot both the length of the way and his weariness, At last they came to a place on the hill-side ,where the Dervish paused and looked about him, saying to himself t " This is the spot I have journeyed so far to find." But to Aladdin he said, "Rest here awhile, O my son, and, when thou art refreshed, gather some wood and we will make a fire; then, if thou wish to see a most wonderful thing, I will show thee that which will take thy breath away." At this Aladdin's curiosity was excited, and, with 110 thought of resting, he began at once to gather wood. When he had collected a sufficient quantity the Dervish lighted the fire, and, taking from his wallet a little box, drew some fine powder from it and scattered it over the fire, uttering an incantation. Immediately, amid rum- blings of thunder, the earth reeled and opened. At this Aladdin fled in terror, but the Dervish, powerless to effect his purpose without the boy's aid, flew after him in a rage, and smote him over the head, so that he fell to the ground stunned. When, presently, he regained his senses, he sat up and cried out, "What have I done, O my uncle, that thou shouldst strike me ?" "Nay, my son," replied the Dervish, "I intended not to hurt thee. Come, now, be a man, and obey my wishes if thou wouldst see the wonderful things that I will show thee." With such words as these he banished Aladdin's fears and smoothed him over. Then he directed him to the opening in the earth, where there was revealed a slab of marble with a brass ring let into it. The Dervish stooped and began to draw figures upon the ground, saying as he did so, "Obey me, Aladdin, in all that I say, for so thou shalt become richer than all the kings of the earth. Know, O my son, that beyond that slab of stone lies vast treasure which none but thee can acquire and live. Therefore, advance, my son, and take the brass ring in thy hand and lift the slab from its place; for it is predestined that thou art the only one on this earth that hath the power to do this thing," And Aladdin, stirred to great wonder by the words of the Dervish, would have done his bidding with alacrity, but, on looking at the marble slab, he saw that it was far too heavy for him. " Never can I raise that alone, O my uncle," he said. " Wilt thou not help me?" "Nay," answered the Der- vish, " it will yield to no hand but thine. Grasp the ring and repeat the names of as many of thine ancestors as thou canst remember, beginning with thy father and mother; for thine ancestors are my ancestors, 0 my son ! By this the stone will come away quite easily in thy hand as if it were a feather. Am I not thine uncle, and have I not said it? And did I not cleave the hill-side with my incantations? Wherefore, pluck up courage, and forget not that all the riches beyond that stone are for thee." Thus encouraged Aladdin advanced to the stone, repeating the names of all the ancestors he could remember; and, taking hold of the ring, lifted the heavy slab from its place with perfect ease, and threw it aside. Then within the aperture lay revealed a stairway of twelve steps leading into a passage. While Aladdin was gazing at this wonder the Dervish took a ring from his finger and placed it upon the middle finger of the boy's right hand, saying impressively as he did so, " Listen to me, O my son! fear nothing in what I am about to bid thee do, for this ring will be thy pro- tection in all dangers and against all evils. If thou shouldst find thyself in evil case thou hast only to- but of that I will tell thee presently. What is more important now is this. In order to come at the treasure, o my son, steady thyself and listen attentively, and see to it that thou fail not a word of these my instructions. Go down the steps and traverse the passage to the end, where thou wilt find a chamber divided into four parts, each containing four vessels of gold, Touch not these on thy life, for if so much as the fringe of thy robe cometh in contact with any of them, thou wilt immediately be turned into stone, Linger not to gaze upon them, but pass right through to the end, where thou wilt find a door. Open this, repeating again the names of thine ancestors, when 10, thou wilt behold a beautiful garden before thee. Take the pathway that is ready for thy feet and proceed forty-nine cubits until thou com est to an alcove, where is set a stairway of forty-nine steps. Look not to ascend that stairway: it is not for thee nor me ; but direct thine attention to a lamp hanging above the alcove. Take it from its fastening, and pour out the oil therein; then put it in thy breast securely, and retrace thy steps to me. Is it clear to thee, my son ? " " O my uncle, it is quite clear," replied Aladdin, and he repeated the instructions he had received. "Pull thy wits together then, my son, n said the Dervish, well pleased; "and descend, for verily thou art a man of mettle, and not a child. Yea, thou, and thou only, art the rightful owner of all this great treasure. Come now! n Filled with courage from the wizard's words, and enticed by the dazzle of untold riches, Aladdin descended the twelve steps and passed through the fourfold chamber with the utmost care lest he should touch any of the golden jars therein with so much as the fringe of his garment. When he came to the door at the far end he paused to repeat the names of his ancestors, and opened it; then, 10, before him lay a beautiful garden where the trees 'were laden with many coloured fruit, while sweet-voiced birds sang in the branches. He took the pathway that lay before his feet, and, as he followed it, he looked up and noticed that the trees bore, not fruit as he had sup- posed, but sparkling jewels flashing with many colours. But Aladdin, though dazzled by the glitter, thought these sparkling things were but coloured glass; and it was for such that he plucked them with boyish delight until his pockets were full. "These are lovely things to play with," he said, and proceeded to fill his girdle also. - As he made his way along the garden path, plucking the bright jewels as he went, he caught sight of the alcove at the far end, and, remembering his uncle's instructions, hastened towards it. There was the stairway of forty nine steps, and there, hanging from a crystal beam, was the Lamp. He paused, looking up at it. How should he reach it? His uncle had said that the stairway was neither for Aladdin nor for himself, and yet he saw at a glance that the only way of reaching the Lamp was by mounting seven steps of the -stairway. He hesitated, then, concluding that the Lamp was the whole object of his quest, and that he must reach it at all costs, he ventured. with some mÏsgivings he mounted the seven steps and, reaching out, took the Lamp from its fastening and descended with it. Then, emptying out the oil, he placed it securely in his bosom, saying, " Now, as my uncle said to me, with this Lamp in my bosom all is mine! " As Aladdin was returning along the pathway among the trees, laden with the precious jewels, fear assailed him lest his uncle would be angry at his delay, for it was borne in upon him that no great delight can come to a mortal without his having to suffer for it. Whereupon he has- tened his footsteps, and, passing through the fourfold chamber without touching the golden jars-for the fear of that was still upon him-he arrived quickly at the foot of the stairway of twelve steps. Heavily weighted as he was with the jewels and the Lamp he proceeded to mount the stairs at a run. But the jewels grew heavier, and the Lamp weighed upon his bosom, so that he was exhausted by the time he was half-way up. kneeling on the seventh step he looked up and saw the Dervish urging him on ,with the greatest hnpatience. " Bear with me, O my uncle," he said. "I am heavily weighted and am out of breath, I will soon come to thee." Then he climbed three steps and one step more, and sank exhausted before the last, which was far higher than the others. The jewels and the Lamp oppressed him with heaviness and he could not mount that last step. "O My uncle, give me thy hand and help me up," he cried. But the wizard dare not touch him, for so the spell of fate was worded and he BUlst abide by it. "Nay," he called down, "thou art man enough! It is the Lamp that hampers thee. Reach up and place it on the ledge here; then thou canst mount easily thyself." The Dervish held out his hand expectantly for the

ALADDIN IN THE CAVEEdit

 
Aladdin in the cave

Lamp and his eyes glittered. Aladdin sa,v the evil light in them, and, having some mother 'wit, replied, "0 my uncle, the Lamp is no ,veight at all; it is simply that I am exhausted and this step is too high for me. Give me thy hand and help me up." "Give me the Lamp!" cried the Dervish, holding his hand out for it, and beginning to rage. "Place it on the ledge before thee, and then I will help thee up." "Nay," returned Aladdin, growing obstinate, "if thou ,vilt not give me thy hand I will not give thee the Lalllp, for it is in my thoughts that thou ,vantest the Lamp more than thou ,vantest me." This enraged the Dervish to a point beyond control, and he said ,vithin himself, H If I get not the Lamp then may it perish with him!" And, taking a box from his wallet, he threw some po,vder on the embers of the fire, muttering curses and incantations as he did so. Imme- diately a flame shot up, and its many tongues ,vent hither and thither, licking the air. The earth shuddered and groaned with a hollow thunder; then the marble slab closed of itself over the aperture, the hill-side rushed together above it, and all was as before, save that Aladdin was sealed ,vithin that cavern without hope of escape. Long and loud did Aladdin call to his supposed uncle to save him from a living death; but there ,vas no answer to his cries, and, at last, when he was almost exhausted, he took counsel of himself and plainly saw the truth of the matter. The Dervish ,vas no uncle of his, but a cunning wizard ,,,ho had made a catspaw of him to secure treasure which, by the laws of magic and destiny, he was powerless to come at in any other way. The whole thing, from the very beginning, was a trick; and he saw it clearly now that it was too late. The ,yay out was sealed, and the darkness pressed heavily upon him. Frantic with the desire to escape from this dungeon he thought of the garden and the stfl irway in the alcove; but, ,vhen he had groped his ,yay to the end of the passage, he found the door closed, and all his efforts failed to open it. The names of his ancestors were of no avail against the magic of the Dcrvish At this he ,vept loudly, and continued to ,veep throughout the night, until his rage and despair were spent. At last he sank do,vn exhausted on the lowest step of the stainvay by which he had first descended, and, feeling hÏlnself utterly abandoned by man, he raised his hands to God, praying for deliverance from his calanlÌty. N o,v, while he ,vas holding his hands in supplication, he felt the ring upon his middle finger-the ring which the Dervish had placed there saying, "In whatever difficulty thou mayst find thyself this ring will be thy protection; thou hast only to-but of that I will tell thee later." The Dervish had perhaps given him the ring to gain his confidence, and had purposely omitted to reveal its secret. But now, in ans,ver to Aladdin's prayer, the power of the ring ,vas revealed as if by the merest chance; for, when he felt the ring, he looked at it; and, seeing a light from the jewel therein, he breathed upon it and rubbed it ,vith his palm to increase its lustre. No sooner had he done this ,vhen, 10, the Slave of the Ring appeared, and gathered shape before hin1, first in a lumin- ous haze, and then, gradually, in clcarer and clearer contour. "Ask ,vhat thou wilt, and it shall be done," said the apparition; "for kno\v that I am the Slave of the Ring and the slave of him on ,vhose finger lllY master placed the ring." Aladdin, seeing before hin1 an Efrite after the order of those invoked by the Lord Suleiman, ,vas terrified, and his tongue clave to the roof of his n10uth, so that he could not speak. But the Efrite reassured him with kindly speech. " Thou hast only to ask," he said, "and thy ,vish will be fulfilled; for, since my master's ring is on thy hand, I am thy servant." At this Aladdin took heart, and, having considered his ,vish, resolved to put the matter to the test. "0 Slave of the Ring! " he said, " my wish is that thou take me from this dungeon and place me in the light of day where the sun shines and the breezes blo,v-if indeed it is day, for here have I been for many, many hours." Scarcely had he spoken the words when there ,vas a clap of thunder. The cavern opened, and, by some mysterious power, he was conveyed through the opening. Then, when he sat up and looked around him, he ,vas in the light of day upon the hill-side, and everything 'vas as it had been ,vhen he and the Dervish had first reached the spot. Aladdin marvelled greatly at this, and said within himself, "I ,yonder if it was all a dream!" But, when he looked at the ring upon his finger and felt the Lamp and the jewel-fruit he had gathered from the trees in the garden, he knew it ,vas not a dream. Besides, there was the spot where the fire had been; and it was now but a heap of grey ashes on the ground. Turning himself about, he sa,v the path by ,vhich they had ascended, and the gardens stretching belo,v. Nothing had changed. The side of the hill which the Dervish by his magic had opened for his entrance, and the Slave of the Ring had now closed up behind him, was as it had been when he first saw it. Seeing that he was safe and sound in the outer world, Aladdin fell on his knees and gave thanks to the most High for his deliverance from a terrible death. Then straight- way he arose and took the path that led down the hill- side and through the gardens of the city in the direction of his home. At length, with wearied body, but elated n1ind, he reached the doorway of his d'welling, and, enter- ing, found his mother weeping. " 'Vhere hast thou been, my son ?" she cried. "All night long I lay awake, anxious for thee; and no,v it is again near nightfall, and thou comest like one about to die. Where hast thou been, and where is thine uncle? " But Aladdin could not answer her. What with utter weariness, and the joy of gaining his home once more, he fell in a swoon at her feet. Quickly she dashed water on his face and restored him. Then, when she had made him eat, she inquired gently ,vhat had befallen him. "0 my mother," said Aladdin, "how much thou art to blame! Thou gavest me over to a devil of a sorcerer who tried, by his evil arts, to compass my ruin." And thus, having vented his anger at the false conduct of the Dervish, he proceeded to tell his mother, first about the lamp and the jewel-fruit, then about all that had hap- pened on the hill-side, from the opening of the earth by a magic spell, to the closing of it again, and his sub. sequent escape through the Slave of the Ring. Then Aladdin took the Lamp and the precious stones from his bosom and placed them before his mother, albeit neither knew why the Lamp had been so coveted by the Dervish, or that the stones were more valuable than any possessed by kings. Now, neither Aladdin nor his mother had rested for two days and t\VO nights, so t.hat, exhausted at length with ",eeping and with heaping nlalcdictions on the Dervish, they slept; and, when they a\voke, it was about noon of the follo\ving day. Aladdin's first words on pulling his wits together ,vere to the effect that he ,vas hungry. "Nay, 0 my son," replied his mot.her, "there is nothing to eat. in the house, for thou didst eat yesterday all that there ,vas. But stay, I have some spinning that is ready for the market. I will take and sell it and buy some food." She ,vas busying herself about this ,,'hen Aladdin suddenly called out to her, " Iother! bring me the Lamp, and I will take and sell t.hat; it ,viII fetch more than the spinning." No,v, although Aladdin and his mother knc,v that the Dervish had greatly coveted the Lamp, they both imagined that he had some strange reason of his own for t.his; and, as the Lamp ,vas an article that would comlnand a ready sale, the mother quickly agreed to Aladdin's proposal and brought the Lamp to him in ans,ver to his call. On regarding it closely, however, she observed that it ,vas very dirty. \Vell knowing that it would fetch a better price if it were clean and bright, she set to ,vork to polish it ,vith some fine sand; when 10, as soon as she started to rub the Lamp, the air before her danced and quivered and a chill gasp of wind smote her' in the face. Then, looking up, she sa\v, to,vering above her, a being monstrous and terrible, ,vith a fierce face in which glealned fiery eyes beneath frowning brows. She gazed at this apparition in fear and astonishment, for she kne\v it was surely a powerful Efrite such as ,vere under the po\ver of the Lord Suleiman. Then the being spoke: "Thou hast invoked me; what is thy ,vish ? " But she only gazed at him, dumb with terror. Again the a\vful being spoke: "Thou hast summoned me, for I am the Slave of the Lamp which is in thy hand. What is thy desire?" At this the poor woman could no longer endure her fear, and, with a cry, she fell in a swoon. Aladdin had heard the Efrit.e's words and had hastencd to his mother's side. He had already seen the power of the Slave of the Ring, and he guessed that now the Slave of the Lamp had appeared, and was ready to do the bidding of the one who held the Lalnp. So he quickly took it from his lTIother's hand, and, standing before the- Efrite, plucked up courage and said, "I desire food, 0 Slave of the Lamp! the finest food that ever was set before a king." No sooner had he spoken than the Efrite vanished, but only to reappear immediately, bearing a rich tray of solid silver, on ,vhich were twelve golden dishes with fruits and Ineats of various kinds. There were also flagons of wine and silver goblets. As Aladdin stared in amazement at this magnificent repast the Efrite set the tray down before him and vanished in a flash. Then Aladdin turned to his mother and dashed cold ,vater on her face, and held perfumes to her nostrils until she regained consciousness and sat up. And ,vhen she beheld the sunlptuouS repast set out upon the golden dishes she 'was greatly astonished, and imagined that the Sultan had sent it from his palace. But Aladdin, who was very hungry, fell to eating heartily; and, ,vhile persuading his mother to cat, he would tell her nothing. It ,vas not until they had satisfied their hunger, and placed the remainder aside for the morrow, that Aladdin informed her what had happened. Then she questioned him, saying, " 0 my son, ,vas not this the same Efrite that appeared to thee when thou ,vast in the cavern?" "Nay," he ans,vered. .., That was the Slave of the Ring; this ,vas the Slave of the Lamp." "At all events," said she, " it was a terrible monster that nearly caused my death through fear. Promise me, 0 my son, that thou wilt have naught further to do with the Ring and the Lamp. Cast them from thee, for the Holy Prophet hath told us to have no traffic with devils." "Nay, nay, 0 my mother," protested Aladdin; "it were wiser to keep them, for did not the Slave of the Ring deliver me from death? and has not the Slave of the Lamp brought us delicious food when \ve were hungry? " "That may be so," replied his mother, "but hear my words, my son; no good thing can come of these dealings with accursed spirits, and it were better for thee to have died in the cavern t.han to invoke their aid." And thus she pleaded with him to cast away the Ring and the Lamp, for she was sore afraid of the power of the Evil One. But Aladdin ,vould not undertake to do this, although, in respect for her ,vishes, he agreed to conceal the objects so that she might never need to look upon them. He also agreed to invoke neither of the Efrites again, unless it ,vere a case of dire necessity. And with this his mot.her had to rest content. Mother and son continued to live on the food that reluained, until, in a few days, it ,vas all gone. Then Aladdin took up one of the dishes from the tray, and, not kno\ving that it ,vas of pure gold, went out to sell it and buy food ,vith the proceeds. In the market he came to the shop of a Jew -a man of exceeding vile methods of buying and selling; and he showed the dish to him. This Jew, as soon as he saw the dish, knew it for pure gold and glanced sharply at Aladdin to find whether he knew its value. Then, preferring that others might call him a rogue rather than that the event might prove hin1 a fool in his o,vn eyes, he took a single gold piece iron1 his pocket and handed it to Aladdin. As for Aladdin, he hastened home and gave the gold piece to his mother, begging her to buy food with it. She did so, and they ate, and were comforted. And so, from day to day, they lived on the proceeds of one dish after another, which t.he unregenerate Hebrew bought at cheaper and cheaper prices, saying always that the metal was inferior and that the demand for such goods was not what it used to be. And, when at last the dishes \vere all sold, Aladdin, \vho, in deference to his mother's wishes, had concealed the Lamp and the Ring against a necessitous occasion, brought forth the former and rubbed it, for so, he concluded, ,vas the Slave invoked. His conclusion ,vas right, for no sooner had he rubbed the Lamp than the Efrite suddenly appeared before him, in1mense and of terrible aspect. " \Vhat is thy wish, 0 my master? " said the Efrite ; " for I am the Slave of the Lamp and of him ,vho holds it." "l\Iy wish," answered Aladdin, "is that you bring me another tray of food similar to the one you brought before." Immediately the Efrite vanished, and, in a moment, appeared again, bearing a tray of food exactly similar to the one he had brought before. He set this down before Aladdin and then disappeared. And they ate and drank and were merry, the food lasting them some days. Then, ,vhen the food ,vas all gone, Aladdin proceeded to dispose of the dishes as before. Taking one of them he ,vent forth to find the Jew, but it chanced that on his 'way he passed the shop of a fair- dealing man-that is to say, not a Je\v-who had no vile 111ethods of buying and selling, but was just, and feared God, When this man saw Aladdin passing he called to him, and told him that he had frequently seen him selling things to the Je\v, and warned him about it. Then Aladdin showed hiu1 the dish of gold and he took it, and weighed it on the scales. "My son," he said, " here is the price if thou wouldst sell." He counted out seventy gold pieces and handed them to Aladdin, who took them and thanked the merchant heartily for his honest exposure of the Jew's wickedness. And thereafter he brought the remaining dishes, and at last the tray, to that merchant, and received from him their full value; so that Aladdin and his mother were placed above want and in a comfortable position for people of their station in life. During this time Aladdin had changed his ways greatly. He no longer consorted with the ragamuffins of the street but selected for his friends men of standing and integrity. Often he would 'watch the jewellers at their work, and the goods they handled; and, through knowledge thus acquired, he began to suspect that the je,vel-fruit he had gathered in the garden of the cavern was not glass, as he had imagined, but real gems. By this and that, and by comparing and asking questions, he came at length to the certainty that he actually possessed the richest je,vels in all the earth. The smallest among them was bigger and more sparkling by far than the largest and finest he could see in any je,veller's shop. One day he ,vas in the je,yellers' market, taking note of things, when a herald came by, crying to all people : "Take heed I By command of the Sultan, King of the Age and Lord of the Earth, let all doors be closed, and let none come forth from shop or dwelling on pain of instant death, for the Sultan's daughter, Bedr-el-Budur cometh to the bath I Take heed! " No'v, on hearing this, a great longing arose in Aladdin's breast to look upon the face of Bedr-el- Budur, the Sultan's daughter. "All people extol her loveliness," he said to himself; "and I-even if I die for it-I will look upon her face; for something-I kno,v not what-impels me to gaze on Bedr-el-Budur the beautiful." Hastening to the Hammam he secreted himself behind the door so that, unobserved himself, he might see her when she came in. And presently the Sultan's daughter arrived; and, as she entered, she lifted the veil from her face, so that Aladdin saw her features clearly. '\That a wondrous beauty was there! The witchery of her eyes 1 The ivory of her skin I The jet of her glossy tresses I These, and the swaying of her graceful body as she walked, caused Aladdin's heart to turn to water and then to spring wildly into flame, Like one walking in a d:ream Aladdin went home and sat him down in dejection of spirit. For a long time he ans,vered not his mother's questions as to what ailed hin1, but continued like one who had beheld a vision so lovely that it had deprived him of his senses. At last, however, he looked up, and said, " 0 my mother, know that until to-day I had believed that all women were of thy fashion of face, but now I find they are not; for to-day I saw the Sultan's daughter, and she is more beautiful than all others on earth." And Aladdin told her how he had hidden behind the door of the Hammam, so that, when Bedr-el- Budur had entered and lifted her veil, he had seen her clearly; and how, on that, a great love had leapt up in his heart and filled him to the exclusion of all else. "And there is no rest for me," he concluded, "until I win the Lady Bedr-el- Budur, and make her my wife." At these daring words Aladdin's mother regarded him sharply, ,vith fear on her face. "Art thou mad, my son?" she cried. "Nay, 0 my mother," he answered, " I am not mad. But, as I risked my life to see her, so will I risk it again to win her; for, without her, life is of no account to me. I will go to the Sultan and ask him to give me the lovely Bedr-el- Budur for my lawful wife." Seeing his determination his mother was sore afraid, and knew not what to do. For a long time she reasoned with him anxiously, pointing out ,vhat a scandal it would be for the son of a poor tailor to aspire to the Sultan's daughter. These arguments, and more, his mother put before him; but Aladdin shook his head at all of them, and remained firm in his determination. "And further, 0 my mother," he said, "I wish no\v that thou go thyself to the Sultan and put my request to him, for am I not thy child? And is it not thy duty to perform this office for me?" "0 my son," she cried in despair, "wilt thou bring me into thy madness? I, a poor ,voman, of humble birth, to go in to the Sultan and demand the princess for my son 1 Besides, 0 my son, how' shall I even gain access to the Sultan's presence for this purpose without bearing a rich gift to offer him ? " "Mother," answered Aladdin, "thy words have served me ,veIl, for they have called to my recollection a thing 'which, through excess of love for the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, I had forgotten. Thou sayest that thou canst not approach the Sultan without a rich gift. Then, 0 my mother, if I place in thy hands an offering richer than any King in the world can make to any other, wilt thou carry out my desire ? " Thinking his words were wild as the wind, and that he could produce no such offering, his mother agreed; but, remembering the Slave of the Lamp, and what had already been done in that way, she stipulated with Aladdin that she would carry out his wish only on condition that it required no further invoking of the Efrite. Aladdin assured her on this and asked her to fetch him a china bowl. Wondering greatly she arose, and brought the bowl to him. Then Aladdin emptied into it all the sparkling jewels which he carried \vithin his garments, and, when they 'vere heaped together in the bo\vl they shone with a dazzling splendour. But, since he realized that it ,vas not impossible that the project might fail, and that he might have to seek to the Slave of the Lamp for advice and help in difficulty, he spoke to his mother on the matter. "0 my mother," he said, " it was the condition of thy promise that I should not invoke the Slave of the Lamp in the furtherance of this my desire; yet it must be understood between us that if thou make a blunder- which thou needst not do-then, to extricate us from a dire calamity, I am free to rub the Lamp and see what its Slave can do for our salvation." His mother assented to this, for she knew, if she failed with the Sultan, all was lost; and, in such case, even the aid of a demon would be acceptable. When lllorning dawned Aladdin's mother arose and prepared herself for the visit to the palace, and, ,vrapping the bowl of jewels in a cloth, went forth early. When the audience was full the Sultan came in and seated himself on the royal divan. All bowed down before him, and then stood ,vaiting with folded arms for his permission to be seated. And, when he gave permission, all sat down in their due order of precedence. Then he listened to their petitions in the same order, and gave his decisions, until the hour grew late, and the audience was declared closed. The Sultan arose and went into the palace, and the princes, with the nobles and the people, went their ways, Among them went Aladdin's mother, thinking to herself that this would be a matter of many days. And every day thereafter she stood in the audience with the bowl of jewels under her arm and heard the petitions, but dared not for very timidity address the Sultan. And in this way she continued for a whole month, while Aladdin was nursing his impatient soul and waiting on the issue. Now the Sultan, being observant, had noticed the woman present herself constantly at the levee. So he commanded the Vizier to see to it that, should the woman present herself again, she be instantly brought before him. And it came according to the Sultan's command to the Grand Vizier; for one day the Sultan saw her waiting in the audience chamber and ordered the Vizier to bring her fOf,vard that he might consider her affair. Now, at last, she was face to face with the Sultan, making obeisance to him and kissing the ground at his feet. "I have seen thee here, 0 woman, for many days," said the Sultan; "and thou hast not approached me. If thou hast a wish that I can grant, lay it before me." At this she kissed the ground again, and prayed fervently for the prolongation of his life. Then she said, "0 J{ing of all the Ages, I have a request; but, peace be on thee, it is a strange one! \Vherefore I claim thy clemency before I state it." These words whetted the Sultan's curiosity, and, as he was. a man of great gentleness, he spoke her softly in reply, and not only assured her of his clemency but ordered all others present to withdraw, saving only the Grand Vizier, so that he might hear her petition in secret. "Now, woman," said the Sultan, turning to her, "make thy petition, and the peace and protection of God be on thee." " Thy forgiveness, also, 0 King," she said. "God forgive thee if there is aught to forgive," he replied. And at this Aladdin's mother unfolded the tale of her son's exceeding love for Bedr-el-Budur, the Sultan's daughter: how life had become intolerable to him because of this, and how his only thought was to ,vin the Lady Bedr-el-Budur for his ,vife, or die-either of grief, or by the Sultan's anger. Wherefore, his life being in the balance in any case, she had come as a last resort to beg the Sultan to bestow his daughter on her son. And she concluded by beseeching the Sultan not to punish either her or her son for this unparalleled hardihood. The Sultan looked at the Grand Vizier, whose face was of stone-for the Lady Bedr-el-Budur had already been promised to his son. "What sayest thou?" said the Sultan, regarding him with merriment in his eyes. But the Grand Vizier only cast a contemptuous look at Aladdin's mother, and answered him: "0 l{ing of the Age! Thou knowest how to deal with this petition." At this the Sultan laughed outright, and, turning a kindly face to the humble suppliant, observed her minutely. " What is that bundle thou hast under thine arm? " he said at last, remembering that she had brought it with her on every occasion. Aladdin's mother, greatly relieved to see the Sultan laughing, unfolded the wrappings of the bowl and handed it to him. As soon as he took it in his hand, and saw the size and splendid sparkle of the jewels, the Sultan laughed no longer, but gazed at then1, speechless ,vith wonder and admiration. Then at length, he handed the bowl to the Grand V'izier, saying, " Upon my oath, this is a marvellous thing! Tell me, 0 Vizier, have I in my treasury a single jewcl that ,vill compare with even the smallest of these ? , The Grand Vizier also was taken aback by their dazzling loveliness and beauty. He would have lied, saying they were glass or crystal, but the stones then1selves flashed back the purposed lie in his teeth. All he could reply was, " Never, 0 my lord the King, have I beheld the like of these; nor is there one in thy treasury that could equal the beauty of the smallest of them." And, saying his, the Vizier turned very pale, for neither he nor his son could approach the Sultan ,vith such a gift. And it was as he had feared, and as Aladdin had prophesied: the Sultan required to know nothing further than what was before him in the bowl. "0 'Tizier," said the Sultan. "What sayest thou? The man who sends me this kingly gift is worthy of my daughter. I, the Sultan, King of the Age, having power over all men, do ,vithdraw my former promise to thee to besto,v her on thy son. Bedr-el-Budur, the one beautiful jewel in the treasury of my heart, is liiY gift in return to the man who has sent me these priceless jewels." The Grand Vizier bit his lips and pondered awhile. Then he spoke. "Peace be on thee, 0 King of all the Ea th. But is not thy promise ,vorth most of all? Thou didst pledge me thy daughter for my son, and with that pledge I ,vent, thinking that the whole earth and all therein were not its value. Wherefore, 0 King, I pray that thou wilt allow this matter time. If thou wilt pledge this foster-mother of a prince that thou ,vilt comply ,vith her request in three months' time, then it seems to me that, by so doing, thou wilt cement the good feeling and loosen the griefs of all parties concerned. And in the meantime-yea, I have good reason for saying it- there will come before thee, 0 J{ing of the Age, a gift compared to which this thou hast seen is but dross." The Sultan weighed the Grand Vizier's words in his n1ind, and accordingly, he said to the woman, "Tell t.hy son that he hath my royal assent, and that I will give him my daughter in marriage; but, as every ,voman knows, these things cannot be hastened, for there are garments and necessaries t.o be prepared; ,vherefore thy son (on whom be peace) must abide in patience, for, let us say, three months. At the end of that time he may approach me for the fulfilment of my promise," Satisfied with t.his, Aladdin's mother thanked and blessed t.he Sultan, and, buoyed up with a burden of delight, almost flew back to her house. There Aladdin was awaiting for her, and, when he saw her hastening, and noticed that she had returned without the bowl of je,vels, his heart rose high to meet her, Then she related to him the details of the interview, laying stress upon the fact that, although the Sultan had been moved at the sight of the jewels to make immedi- ate arrangements for the marriage, a private word from the Grand Vizier had led him to delay the ceremony for three months. "Take heed, my son!" she concluded. "The Grand Vizier hath a motive for this counsel of delay. He is thine enemy. I sa,v it in his face. Beware of him ! " Aladdin was greatly relieved by her news. He felt like one jerked out of the grave; and, where the Sultan was favourable to his suit, he was in no mood to fear a Grand Vizier, "Nay, nay," he said, "the jewels have the eye of the Sultan more than the Grand Vizier hath his ear. Fear nothing, 0 my mother! The Sultan's word is good, and I rest content to wait; though I know' not how such a long time as three months can be got into the calendar." T\vo of these long, weary months went by, and Aladdin nursed his soul in patience. Then a thing happened \vhich gave him seriously to think. On a day in the first week of the third month his mother went forth into the market place about sunset to buy oil, and she sa'v that all the shops were closed, and the people \vere adorning their \vindows \vith bright garlands as if for some festivity. She wondered greatly at this, thinking the Sultan had either changed his birthday or that another child had been born to him. Yet she had gleaned nothing of any great event from the gossip of her neighbours. Having, aft f5 much difficulty, found an oil shop open, she bought her oil, and questioned the man. "Uncle," she said; "what is abroad in the city that the people close their shops and place candles and garlands in their windows? " " Thou art evidently a stranger," replied the man. "Nay, I am of this city," said she. "Then must thou cleanse thine ears," he retorted. "Hast thou not heard that the Grand Vizier's son is to take to himself this evening the beautiful Bedr-el-Budur? Surely, won1an, thou hast been sleeping all day on thine ears, for the ne,vs went abroad early this morning. The Vizier's son is at the Hammam, and these soldiers and officials you see in the streets are ,vaiting to escort him to the palace. And, look you, you are fortunate to get oil to-day, for all those ,vho purvey oil to the Grand Vizier and his house- hold have closed their shops as a mark of respect." Aladdin's mother ,vent home in a state of great con- sternation. Though her feet hastened, her heart lagged behind her, for she kne,v not ho,v to tell her son the terrible ne,vs. She ,vas afraid that after his joy at the Sultan's promise, and his patient waiting, this blo,v ,vould send hin1 from his mind. Then she contrived it in her thoughts that it ,vas best to provoke her son's anger against the Sultan, rather than his grief at the loss of Bedr-el- Budur. .\..ccordingly, as soon as she entered the house and found hhn sitting thinking, as ,vas his 'wont of late, she said, " 0 n1Y son, there is no faith nor trust but in God. Said I not to thee that the Grand Vizier ,vas thine enemy? Out on hhn and the Sultan, for their ,vord is but hot ,vind, and there is no faith in the pron1Ïse of a King." " I see by thy face and by thy speech," said Alaùdin, " that thou hast some bad ne,vs. What is it, 0 my mother? " Then his mother told how that the Sultan had violated his covenant, and ho,v the marriage of the Lady Bedr- el-Budur to the Grand Vizier's son ,vas to take place that very evening. For this she heaped abuse upon the Grand Vizier, saying that it was only the worst of men that could so lead the Sultan to break his promise. \Vhen she had told all, and Aladdin understood ho\v the matter lay, he arose, more in anger than in grief, and cried out against the Grand Vizier and cursed all the parties con- cerned in the affair. But presently he remenlbered that, when all seemed lost, he still had the I.Jamp, and that ,vas something in time of trouble and difficulty. With this he arose and retired to his o\vn chamber, where he brought out the Lamp. Then, having considered ,veIl the manner of his wish, he rubbed it. Immediately the Efrite stepped out of the unseen and stood before him, saying, " Thou hast invoked me: what is thy desire? I anl the Slave of the Lamp in thy hand and am here to do thy bidding." And Aladdin answered: "Kno,v, 0 Slave of the Lamp, that the Sultan promised me his daughter for my wife, but he has broken his ,vord, and this night she is to be united ,vith the Grand Vizier's son; wherefore I ,vish that, as soon as the pair retire, thou take them up, with the couch whereon they lie, and bring thenl hither to me." "I hear and obey," said the Slave of the Lamp, and immediately vanished. Aladdin waited expectantly for some time, for he guessed that the moment would not be long delayed ,vhen the \vedded pair would retire from the ceremonies. And his guess was right, for ,vhen he had waited a little longer, suddenly a cold blast of air s,vept through the chamber; the ,vall opened and there appeared the Efrite bearing in his arms the wedded pair upon the nuptial couch. They had been transported in the t,vinkling of an eye, and, when the Efrite had set the couch down at Aladdin's feet, they were both stupefied ,vith astonishment at this proceeding. " Take that scurvy thief," said Aladdin to the Efrite, pointing to the Vizier's son, " and bind him and lodge him in the wood-closet for the night." And the Efrite did so. He took up the Vizier's son in one hand, and, reaching ,vith the other for cords, drew them from the invisible and bound the miscreant securely. Then he placed him in the wood-closet and ble,v an icy blast upon him to comfort him. Returning to Aladdin he said, " It is done, 0 l\iaster of the Lamp! Is there aught else thou dost desire?" " Naught but this," replied Aladdin. "In the morning, when the Sultan is proceeding to,vards their chamber to ,vish them long life and happiness, convey them back thither in a state of sleep so that the Sultan's knock at their door may ,vake them." "I will obey," said the Efrite, and, in a moment, the air closed over him and he was gone, And Aladdin smiled to himself to think that this thing had been done. Then he turned to the Lady Bedr-el- Budur, who was sitting weeping on the couch, "0 lovely one," said he, " ,veep not; for I ,vould not hurt one hair of thy head, nor sully thine honour in any ,yay. Know that I love thee too much to harn1 thee; but, since thy father the Sultan promised me thee, and has violated his ,vord, I am determined that none other shall call thee his. Rest in peace, lovely lady; for neither am I thy husband nor the thief of thy husband's honour. Where- fore, ,veep not, but rest in peace." So saying he took a sword that hung on the wall of his chamber, and, having placed it by her side in token of security, he stretched himself upon the couch so that they lay with the sword between them. Thus they passed the night. The Sultan's daughter wept the long night through, and Aladdin could not close his eyes for thinking of his unfortunate rival's condition in the ,vood-closet. Towards morning Bedr-el-Budur, utterly exhausted with ,veeping, fell asleep; and, as Aladdin gazed upon her, he saw that indeed her loveliness ,vas rare; and, the more he gazed, the more he thought of the unhappy fate of the Vizier's son. Never was a Ulan so badly treated as to be bound fast on his wedding night and laid in a ,vood-closet in deadly fear of the dreadful apparition that had placed, him there. In the morning, ,vhile Bedr-el-Budur still slept, the Slave of the Lamp appeared according to Aladdin's com- mand. "0 nlY master," he said, "the Sultan hath left his couch and is about to knock at the door of the bridal chamber, I am here to perform thy bidding on the instant." "So be it," answered Aladdin. "Convey them together on the couch back to their place." And scarcely had he spoken ,vhen the Efrite vanished and reappeared ,vith the Vizier's son, ,vhom he quickly un- bound and laid upon the couch beside the sleeping Bedr- el-Budur. Then, lifting the couch ,vith the two upon it, he vanished, and Aladdin kne,v that, before the Sultan had knocked at the door of the bridal chamber, every- thing would be as it had been. Everything ? No, not everything; for the Lady Bedr-el-Budur must awake as from a terrible nightmare; and, as for the Vizier's son, would he sing a song to the Sultan about spending the night in the wood-closet? Aladdin pondered over this and decided that nothing less than a repetition of the affair ,vould wring the truth from either of them. At this moment the Sultan knocked at the door of the bridal chamber in the palace, and the Vizier's son, still cold from the ,vood-closet, arose and opened to him. The Sultan advanced to the couch, and kissed his daughter, and asked her if she was happy and content. By way of ans,ver she glared at him in sullen silence, for she had not forgotten, in dreams or in waking, what had happened to her. The Sultan, not understanding what had befallen, and feeling annoyed, turned and left the chamber to lay the matter before the Queen, to ,vhose ear their daughter's tongue might the more easily be loosed. So he came to the Queen and told her how Bedr-el-Budur had received him, concluding his recital with the remark, "Thus it is; there is trouble behind the door of that bridal chamber." But the Queen smiled at his serious fears and answered him: "0 my lord the I{ing, thou knowest little of the heart of a woman. When it is happiest, a trifle makes it sad; and, when it would send tears of laughter and joy to the eyes, it sometimes turns perverse against itself for very gladness, and sends tears of pain instead. Where- fore, be not angry with her, but let me go and see her. She ,vill surely confide in me." So saying, she arose and robed herself, and ,vent to the bridal chamber. At first sight of her daughter's dejected attitude and pained expression she imagined that some lovers' quarrel over a mere trifle had occurred; but when she kissed her, ,vishing her good morning, and Bedr-el- Budur answered no word to her salutation, she began to think that some grave trouble rested on her daughter's mind. And it \vas not until she had coaxed her, and used every argument known to a mother, that she received an answer to her questions. "Be not angry with nlC, 0 my mother," said Bedr-el-Budur at last, rais- ing her sad beautiful eyes, "but know that a terrible thing has happened-a thing which I hardly dare tell thee lest thou think I have lost my reason. Scarcely had \ve retired, 0 my mother, when there suddenly appeared a huge black shape-terrible, horrific in aspect; and this-I kno,v not ,vhat nor ,vho-lifted the couch \\ hereon we lay and conveyed us in a flash to some dark and vile abode of the common people." And then to her mother's astonished ears she unfolded the tale of all that had happened during the night till, suddenly, in the n10rning, she a,voke to find the monstrous shape replacing them in the bridal chamber at the moment her father the Sultan had knocked at the door. "And that, 0 my mother," she concluded, "is ,vhy I could not answer my father, for I ,vas so bewildered and stricken ,vith unhap- piness that I thought that I was mad; though, now I have thought about the affair from beginning to end, I know that I have my wits like any other." "Truly, 0 my daughter," said the Queen with great concern, "if thou were to tell this story to thy father he ,,'ould say thou ,vert mad. Wherefore, I counsel thee, child, tell it to him not; neither to hinl nor to any other one." "Nay, 0 my mother," answered Bedr-el-Budur, "dost thou doubt me? I have told thee the plain truth, and, if thou doubt it, ask my husband if my tale be true or not." But the Queen replied, "Sweep these fancies from thy mind, 0 my daughter; and arise and robe thyself to attend the rejoicings which this day have been prepared in the city in thine honour. For the whole people is in glad array, and the drums will beat and music will delight the ears of all; and the musicians ,viII sing thy praises and &II ,viII wish thee long life and happiness." Leaving Bedr-el-Budur, then, with her tirewomen, the Queen sought the Sultan, and begged him not to be angry with their daughter, for she had been distressed ,vith unhappy dreams. Then she sent for the Vizier's son to COlne to her secretly, and, when he stood before her, she related to him what Bedr-el- Budur had told her, and asked him if it were true or if he kne,v aught of it. "Nay," he answered, for he had thought the matter over and feared that the truth might rob hin1 of his bride; besides, his acquaintance ,vith the wood-closet seemed to him discredit- able, and he felt little inclined to boast of it. "Nay, 0 my lady the Queen," said he; "I know naught of these things beyond what thou hast told me." From this there was no doubt left in the Queen's mind that her daughter had suffered from a nightmare so vivid that she had been unable easily to cast it from her. Never- theless, she felt assured that, as the day wore on, with its gaieties and rejoicings, Bedr-el-Budur would be enabled to rid herself of these troublous imaginings of the night, and resume her former self. At ('-;-entime, when the ,vild rejoicing of the city had fatigued itself against replenishment by wine, Aladdin retired to his chamber and rubbed the Lamp. Immedi- ately the Slave appeared and desired to know his wish. " 0 Slave of the Lamp," said Aladdin, "do as thou didst last night. See to it that thou convey the bridal pair hither again as man and maid at the eleventh hour of their innocence." The Slave of the Lamp vanished in a moment, and Aladdin sat for a long time; yet he was content, for he kne,v that the wily Efrite was but waiting his opportunity. At length the monster reappeared before him, bearing in his arms the bridal couch with the pair upon it, weeping and ,vringing their hands in excess of grief and terror. And, at Aladdin's word the Slave took the Vizier's son as before and put him to bed in the wood- closet, where he remained, bound fast in an icy chill. And ,vhen it was morning, and the Sultan was about to knock at the door of the bridal chamber in the palace, the Slave of the Lamp appeared and conveyed the bride and the bridegroom swiftly back to their place. The Sultan had come to wish his daughter good morning, and to see also if she would behave towards hin1 as on the former occasion. Then Bedr-el- Budur wept and supplicated him, and told hixn ,vhat had befallen on the second night as on the first. The Sultan repaired imn1ediately to the Grand Vizier and told him all; and asked him whether he had received the same version of this matter from his son. But the Grand Vizier shook his head in the manner of one who might be lying and might not. "Then," said the Sultan, "go at once and question him, for it may be that my daughter hath seen visions and dreamed dreams; albeit, I am unable to disbelieve the truth of her story." So the Grand Vizier went and inquired of his son, and presently returned to the Sultan in great perplexity of face, for his son, ,vhatever he had admitted before, had now confessed to everything, even to the wood- closet. And, moreover he had begged and implored his father to obtain his release from this most unhappy marriage, since it was better to be without a bride and sleep in peace than to have one and perish with cold in a wood-closet. Thus it was with the Vizier's son. "0 King of the Age," said the Grand Vizier, who could not see his way to conceal the truth, "my son telleth the same tale as thy daughter, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur. \Vherefore I beseech thee that thou set a guard this night, so that-" "Nay," broke in the Sultan angrily; "it is an unhappy marriage and bodes no good. Thou didst persuade me that my promise to that \voman in respect of her son was not binding, but these unhappy events and ill-omened affairs make me think thou wast mistaken. Abide not another night, for worse may happen, Go forth, 0 Vizier, and proclaim the marriage annulled. Bid the people cease to rejoice, and command all to go their own ways and comport thelllseives as if the marriage had not been." At this the Grand Vizier bo,ved his head and went forth exceeding ,vroth, and proclaimed the annulment of the marriage to all the people. 'Yhether the Sultan had swiftly forgotten, or tardily remembered, his pledge, Aladdin troubled not to inquire. He ,yaited patiently until the three n10nths had expired, and then sent his mother to demand of the Sultan the fulfilment of his promise. The Sultan, ,vho had not now the bo,vl of je,vels before him to blind his vision, regarded her intently, and sa,v that she ,vas of humble state. "What is thy thought on this, 0 Vizier? " he said. "l\ly ,vord is my word, and I regret that thou shouldst have eXplained it away; yet it seems to me that this woman is not of the kind that could mother-in-Ia,v my daughter. Hast thou a plan which is not a trick? If thou hast, ,vhisper it in mine ear." The Grand Vizier ,vas pleased to hear the Sultan appealing to his ready wit in this \vay. "0 King of the Age," he said, "thy pledge holds good, as ever it did; yea, as good as marriage vows. But verily, if this common ,voman's son desireth thy daughter for his wife, there should be a settlement befitting such a suit. lVherefore ask of him forty bowls of gold filled with jewels of the same blood and tincture as the woman brought at first, ,vith forty female slaves to carry them, and a fitting retinue of forty. This thing, which is a Sultan's right to ask, it seemeth to me he cannot contrive to execute, and thus thou shalt be free of him." "By Allah!" said the Sultan, "thou art of ready wit, 0 Vizier! Truly a marriage settlement is needed." Then, turning to Aladdin's mother, he said: "0 woman! know that ,vhen one asketh the daughter of the Sultan one must have standing, for so it is in royal circles; and, to prove that standing, the suitor must show that he is able to provide for the Sultan's daughter and keep her in that state to ,vhich she has been accustomed. '\Therefore he must bring to me forty golden bowls filled ,vith je,vels such as thou didst bring, ,vith forty beautiful female slaves to carry them and forty black slaves as a retinue. Coming like this, thy son n1ay claim my daughter, for the Sultan's ,vord is the Sultan's ,vord." A sad woman then ,vas Aladdin's mother. She re- turned to her son sick at heart. "0 my son," she ex- claimed, ,veeping, "said I not to thee that the Grand 'Tizier was thine enemy '1 The Sultan remembered his pledge, but the Vizier-may his bones rot I-spake in his ear, and the outcome is this: forty golden bowls of jewels, forty female slaves to carry them, and forty slaves as an escort. With this dowry, 0 my son, thou mayest approach the Sultan and claim his daughter as thy bride." Loudly Aladdin laughed to scorn. And \vhen his mother had brought him food, and he had eaten, he arose and ,vent into his chamber. There he brought out the Lamp, and, sitting down, he rubbed it. Immediat.ely the Slave appeared. In less than an hour he returned and led before Aladdin forty beautiful n1aidens, each carrying a golden bo,vl of jewels on her head, and each accompanied by a magnificent black slave. And \vhen Aladdin's mother sa\v this array she kne,v that it ,vas done by the Lamp, and she blessed it for her son's sake, Then said Aladdin, " 0 my mother, behold, the dowry is ready according to the Sultan's requirement. It is for thee to take it to him, to show him what is in my po,ver, and also that no time hath been lost in complying with his request." Then the maids, ,vith the golden bo,vls of precious stones, arrayed themselves in the street outside the house, and by each maid stood a slave. Thus, led by Aladdin's mother, they proceeded to the Sultan's palace; and the people cruwded in the streets to see this un,vonted sight, for the maids ,vere richly dressed, and all, with the sun shining on their raiment and flashing in the jewels they bore, made a magnificent spectacle. N ever had the people seen such jewels, never such beauteous damsels, never such magnificent slaves. Thus, in due course, came Aladdin's mother before the Sultan, leading the cortège into the Audience Hall. The maidens took the bowls of je\vels from their head and set them on the ground. Then they made obeisance, they and the slaves prostrating themselves before the Sultan; and, having done this, they all arose and stood before him in humble reverence. And, ,vhen the Sultan's gaze at last left the beauteous damsels and fell upon the bowls of je,vels at their feet, he was beside himself \vith wonder and admiration. '\Vhen he found words, he com- manded that the \vhole cortège should present itself, with the jewels, to the Lady Bedr-l :-Budur in her palace. Then he added to Aladdin's mother: "Tell thy son he need fear not but that I shall keep my promise; but bid him come hither to me with all haste, so that I may look upon his face and accept him as my son-in-law; for the lnarriage shall be this very night." The Grand Vizier turned white with rage-,vhiter than his false heart had ever been, even ,vhen a boy. After a dagger-thrust of glances between them, Aladdin's mother made obeisance to the Sultan and thanked him. Then, \vith contempt for the Grand Vizier written plainly on her face, she withdre\v, and returned home, \valking on the air. Now Aladdin, ,vhen he saw his mother returning swift footed and on wings of joy, knew that good tidings came \vith her. But, before he could speak, his mother burst in upon him and embraced him, crying, "0 my son! thy heart's wish is fulfilled. This very night thou art to wed the Sultan's daughter, and so it is proclaimed before all the \vorld," Then did Aladdin rejoice that his expecta- tions ,vere fulfilled, and was continuing to rejoice \vhen his mother addressed him suddenly. "Nay," she said, "I have not told thee all. The Sultan bids thee go to him immediately, for he desires to see his son-in-law. But ho,v shalt thou approach the Sultan in thy merchant's garments? Ho\vever, I have done all I can for thee, and it is now thine own affair." So saying, she withdrew to rest a little, and Aladdin, having blessed her, retired to his chamber and brought forth the Lamp. With a set purpose in his mind, he rubbed it, and at once the Slave appeared. "Thou knowest me: what is thy desire?" "I \vish," answered Aladdin, "that thou take me to a bath which hath no equal in all the kingdoms, and provide me there with a change of raiment of resplendent glory, richer than any the Sultan has ever worn." No sooner had he spoken than the Efrite bore him a,vay in his arms, and deposited him in a bath the like of which no King could compass nor any man describe. Then he sought the jewelled hall and found there, in place of his merchant's garb, a set of robes that exceeded all imagin- ation. At the door of the bath, he was met by the Efrite in ,vaiting, who took up and bore him in a flash to his home. " Hast thou still some further need ? " asked the Slave of the Lamp, about to vanish, " Yea," replied Aladdin. " Bring me here a Chief of 1\Iemluks with forty. eight in his train-twenty-four to precede me and twenty-four to follo,v after; and see that they have splendid horses and equipments, so that not even the greatest in the ,vorld can say, 'This is inferior to mine.' For myself I want a stallion such as cannot be equalled among the Arabs, and his housings must be for value such as one could purchase only in dreams. And to each memluk give a thousand gold pieces, and to the Chief l\lemluk ten thou- sand; for ,ve go to the Sultan's palace and would scatter largesse on the \vay. Wait! Also twelve maidens of unequalled grace and loveliness in person to attire and accompany my mother to the Sultan's presence. And look you! \vhatever of grace and beauty is lacking in my person supply it to me on my natural plan of being. See to it, 0 Slave of the Lamp! " "It is already done," said the Slave of the Lamp; and, vanishing on the instant, he reappeared at once at the door,vay of the house, leading a noble white stallion gorgeously equipped, ,vhile behind came the twelve damsels and forty-nine memluks on magnificent {' hargers. Now, when the Sultan had received word that Aladdin was coming, he informed his nobles and grandees of the meaning of this thing; so that, when Aladdin arrived, there was a vast concourse of people, and all the stateliest of the land \vere there a,vaiting his entry. As the sun rises in glory upon a waiting world, so came Aladdin to the palace. At the door of the Hall of Audience he dismounted, while hands held his stirrup that had never performed such an office before. The Sultan was seated on his throne, and, immediately he saw Aladdin, he arose and descended and took him to his breast, forbidding all ceremony on so great an occasion. Then he led him up affectionately, and placed him on his right hand. In all this Aladdin forgot not the respect due to kings. Forbidden to be too humble, he was not too lofty in his bearing. He spoke: "0 my lord the Sultan t King of the Earth and Heaven's Dispenser of all Good! Truly thou hast treated nle graciously in bestowing upon me thy daughter the Lady Bedr-el-Budur. Hear me yet further, for I have a request to l11ake. Grant me a site whereon to build a palace, un,vorthy as it may prove, for the comfort and happiness of thy daughter, the Lady Bedr-el- Budur ? " Then the Sultan conversed with Aladdin and ,vas greatly charmed ,vith his cotirtliness and eloquence. Anon he ordered the musicians to play, and together they listened to the music in the utmost content. Finally he arose, and, taking Aladdin by the hand, led him forth into the palace banqueting hall, where a splendid supper was a,vaiting them ,vith the lords of the land standing ready in their proper order of degree, Yet above them all sat Aladdin, for he was at the Sultan's right hand. And, while they ate, the music played and a merry 'v it prevailed; and the Sultan drew nearer to Aladdin in their talk, and saw, from his grace, his manner of speech, and his complaisance, that indeed he must have been brought up and nurtured among kings. Then, 'while they con- versed, the Sultan's heart went out with joy and satis- faction to Aladdin, and the whole assemblage saw that it ,vas not as it had been with the Vizier's son. The Grand Vizier himself ,vould have retired early had it not been that his presence was required for the marriage cerenlony. As soon as the banquet ,vas over and the tables cleared away, the Sultan comnlanded the Vizier to summon the Kadis and the ,vitnesses, and thus the contract be- tween Aladdin and the Lady Bedr-el-Budur ,vas duly executed. Then, ,vithout a warning word, Aladdin arose to depart. "Wherefore, 0 my son ?" said the Sultan. "Thy wedding is duly contracted and the festivities are about to begin." "Yea, 0 my lord the King," replied Aladdin; "and none rejoiceth at that more than I; but, if it please thee, it is my thought to build a palace for the Lady Bedr-el- Budur; and if my love and longing for her be anything, thou mayest rest assured that it will be completed so quickly as to amaze thee." At this the Grand Vizier tugged the Sultan's sleeve, but received no attention. " It is well," said the Sultan to Aladdin; "choose what site seemeth best to thee and follow thine own heart in the matter. See! this open space by my palace! What thinkest thou, my son?" "0 King," replied Aladdin, "I cannot thank thee enough, for it is the summit of my felicity to be near thee." Then Aladdin left the palace in the same royal manner as he had approached it, with his memluks preceding and following; and again the people praised and blessed him as he passed. When he reached his house he left all other affairs in the hands of his Chief l\lemluk with certain instructions, and went into his chamber. There he took the Lamp and rubbed it. The Slave appeared on the instant and desired to know his pleasure. "0 Slave," answered Aladdin, "I have a great task for thee. I desire thee to build for me in all haste a palace on the open space near the Sultan's Serai-a palace of magnificent design and construction, and filled with rare and costly things. And let it be incomplete in one small respect, so that, when the Sultan offers to complete it to match the whole, all the wealth and artifice at his command will not suffice for the task." "0 my master," replied the Efrite, "it shall be done with all speed. I will return when the work is finished." With this he vanished. It ,vas an hour before dawn when the Slave of the Lamp returned to Aladdin, and, a wakening him from sleep, stood before him. "0 !\laster of the Lamp," he said, "the palace is built as thou didst command." "It is well, 0 Slave of the Lamp," answered Aladdin; "and I would inspect thy work." No sooner had he spoken than he found himself being borne swiftly through the air in the arms of the Efrite, who set him down almost immediately within the palace. Most excellently had the Slave done his work. Por- phyry, jasper, alabaster and other rare stones had been used in the construction of the building. The floors were of mosaics the which to match would cost much wealth and time in the fashioning, while the walls and ceilings, the doors and the smallest pieces of detail were all such that even the imagination of them could come only to one dissatisfied with the palaces of kings. When Aladdin had wondered at all this, the Slave led him into the Treasury, and showed him countless bars of gold and silver and gems of dazzling brilliance. Thence to the banqueting hall, where the tables were arrayed in a manner to take one's breath away; for every dish and every flagon was of gold or silver, and all the goblets 'were crusted with jewels. But, when the Slave led him farther and sho,ved him a pavilion with twenty-four niche thickly set with diamonds and emeralds and rubies, he fairly lost his wits. And the Slave took him to one niche and showed him how his command had been carried out in that this was the one small part of the palace that ,vas left incomplete in order to tempt and tax the Sultan to finish it. When Aladdin had viewed the \vhole palace, and seen the numerous slaves and beautiful maidens therein, he asked yet one thing more of the Efrite. "0 Slave of the Lamp," he said, "the work is wonderful, yet it still lacketh an approach from the Sultan's palace. I desire, therefore, a rich carpet laid upon the intervening space, so that the Lady Bedr-el-Budur may come and go upon a splendid path\vay of brocade worked with gold and inwrought ,vith precious stones." "I hear and obey," said the Slave, and vanished. Presently he returned and led Aladdin to the steps of the palace. "0 my lord," he said, "\vha t thou didst con1mand is done." And he pointed to a magnificent carpet extending from palace to palace. The gold and the precious stones in the brocade gleamed and sparkled in the stars' last rays before the rise of dawn. \Vhen Aladdin had gazed upon it and \vondered at it, the Efrite carried him in the twinkling of an eye back to his o'vn home. Shortly afterwards, ,vhen the dawn had arisen, the Sultan opened his eyes, and, looking forth from his windo,v, beheld a magnificent structure where the day before had been an open space. Doubting the evidence of his senses, he turned himself about and rubbed his eyes and looked again. There, undoubtedly, was a palace more splendid and glorious than any he had ever seen; and there, leading to it, ,yas a carpet the like of which he had never trod. The news of it spread through the palace like \vildfire. The Grand Vizier came rushing to the Sultan, and, finding him at the \vindow, had no need to tell him the cause of his excitement. "What sayest thou, 0 Vizier?" said the Sultan. " Yonder stands a palace surpassing all others. Truly Aladdin is worthy of my daughter, since at his bidding such a royal edifice arises in a single night." Then the Vizier's envy found vent. "0 I{ing," he said, "thinkest thou that such a thing as this could be done save by the vilest of sorcery? Riches and jewels and costly attire are in the hands of mortals, but this is impossible!" "Impossible?" said the Sultan, " Behold! "-and he pointed towards the palace-" there it stands in the light of day, and thou sayest it is inlpossible. Verily, 0 Vizier, it seems thy wits are turned ,vith envy at the ,vealth of Aladdin. Prate not to me of sorcery. There are fe,v things beyond the power of a man in whose treasury are such jewels as those sent me by Aladdin." At this the Grand Vizier was silent; indeed, his excess of envy \vellnigh choked him, for he saw that the Sultan loved Aladdin greatly. Now when Aladdin a\voke in the morning and knew that he must set forth for the palace where the nobles and grandees were already assembling for the \vedding cele- bra tion, he took the Lamp and rubbed it. The Slave appeared on the instant and desired to know his wish. " 0 Slave of the Lamp," said Aladdin, " this is my \vedding day and I go to the Sultan's palace. Wherefore I shall need ten thousand gold pieces." When all was ready Aladdin mounted his steed and rode through the city while the memluks before and behind distributed largesse all the way. And the people were loud in their praises of his dignity and grace and loved him greatly for his generosity. Anon the palace ,vas reached and there the high officials, \vho ,vere looking for Aladdin and his train, hastened to inforn1 the Sultan of his approach. On this the Sultan arose, and, going out to the gates of the palace to meet hinI, embraced and kissed him. Anon the Sultan commanded the \vedding banquet to be served. And, when it ,vas all ready, Aladdin sat on the right hand of the Sultan; and they, \vith all the nobles and foremost in the land, ate and drank. On every hand were honour and good will for Aladdin, When the banquet ,vas over Aladctin repaired with his memluks to his palace to make ready for the reception of his bride, Bedr-el- Budur. And, as he ,vent, all the people thronged him, shouting, " God give thee happiness! God ble s thy days I" And he scattered gold amongst them. Bedr-el-Budur, watching him from a window in her father's palace, felt her heart turn over and over in her bosom, and then, saying within herself, " He is my husband and none other," she renounced herself to the exquisite joy of sudden love. At eventime the Sultan commanded an escort to con- duct the Lady Bedr-el-Budur to her husband's abode. On this the Captains of guards, the officers of state and nobles, ,veIl equipped, ,vere mounted in readiness and waiting at the door of Bedr-el-Budur's apartments. Presently, preceded by female slaves and eunuchs bearing lighted tapers set in je,velled candlesticks, came forth a vision of loveliness. Bedr-el- Budur, aflame with love for Aladdin, appeared on the threshold like a pure white bird about to fly into space. All too slow was the pro- cession that escorted her to Aladdin's palace. The stately pomp and splendour accorded not with the beating of her heart. She sa,v not Aladdin's mother nor the beauteous damsels, nor the mounted guards, nor the emirs, nor the nobles-her only thought was Aladdin, for her heart ,vas consumed with love. Thus from the Seraglio to Aladdin's palace, where Bedr-el-Budur, as one floating in a dream, was taken to her apartments' and arrayed for presentation to the Court assembled. And of all that Court and multitude of people the only one who had no voice was Aladdin, for, when he looked upon his bride in her surpassing loveliness, he was reft of speech or thought, and stood silent before a joy too great for tongue to tell.


THE LADY BEDR-EL-BUDUR AND THE WICKED MAGICIANEdit

 
The lady bedr-el-budur

At last, when the presentation was over, Aladdin sought the bridal chamber where he found his mother with Bedr-el-Budur. And there, in the apartment all sparkling ,vith gold and precious stones, his mother unveiled her and Aladdin gazed into her eyes and took no thought for the lustre of jewels. And while his mother went into raptures over the splendour of the palace, Aladdin and Bedr-el-Budur exchanged one look of love -a thing \vhich none could purchase with all the treasures of the earth. And so it was with Aladdin and his bride. Great was the Sultan's wonder and admiration when he sa 'v the architecture and masonry of the structure, for, even without, it ,vas all of the rarest and most costly stone inwrought ,vith gold and silver and fashioned with con- summate skill; but when he entered and viewed the entrance hall his breath was snatched away from him, for he had never seen anything so magnificent in his life. At length, finding speech, he turned to the Grand Vizier and said, " Verily, this is the greatest wonder of all. Hast thou ever, from first to last, beheld a palace like this ? " " 0 King of the Age," replied the Vizier gravely, " there hath never been the like of this among the sons of men, It would take ten thousand workmen ten thousand days to construct it; wherefore, as I told thy Felicity, its completion in a single night is the ,vork of sorcery." At this the Sultan was not pleased, "Verily, 0 Vizier," he replied, "thou hast an envious heart, and thou speakest foolishly with thy mouth." At this moment Aladdin approached the Sultan to conduct him through the rooms of the palace. And, as they ,vent from one to another, the Sultan was simply astounded at the \vealth of metal and precious stones on every hand, and at the \vorkmanship thereof. As for the Vizier, he had said all he had to say, and followed sullenIy, nursing an evil heart. At length they came to the kiosk, which was a crowning 'work of jewel-clusters so rich and splendid that the Treasuries of the earth must have been emptied to fill them. The Sultan nearly went from his wits in the effort to calculate the fabulous wealth of this apartment alone. For relief he turned this way and that, gazing upon the niches, which ,vere the most precious and wonderful of all. And in this way he came at length to the niche that had been left incomplete. This gave him speech. "Alas!" he said, relieved to find a fia w, "this niche, at least, is imperfect." Then, turning to Aladdin, he inquired the reason of it. " Yea, 0 my lord," answered Aladdin, " woe unto it; it is indeed unfinished, for the workmen clamoured to be allowed to prepare themselves for the wedding festivities and I had not the heart to say them nay. So they left it as thou seest it." Then, while Aladdin stood by observing intently the effect of his words, the Sultan stroked his beard in contemplation. "0 my son," he said presently, "the thought has come to me to complete it myself." "On the head and eye, 0 King! " cried Aladdin. "And may thy life be prolonged! If thou wilt honour me thus it will be a fitting perpetuation of thy memory in the palace of thy daughter." At this, the Sultan, vastly pleased, summoned his jewellers and artificers, and, empowering them to draw on the Royal Treasury for all they might require, he commanded them to complete the niche. Scarcely had the Sultan finished his directions in this matter when Bedr-el- Budur came to greet him. And his heart leapt with joy at her radiant face when he looked upon her. Then, \vhen she had confided to him ho\v happy she was, Aladdin led them into the banqueting hall, where all was ready. When the Sultan's soul was wellnigh weary with excess of enj oyment he rose, and, bethinking himself of the unfinished niche, repaired to the kiosk to see how his workmen had progressed 'with their task. And when he came to them and inspected their work he saw that they had completed only a small portion and that neither the execution nor the material, which ,vas already ex- hausted, could compare with that of the other niches. Seeing this he bethought him of his reserve Treasury and the jewels Aladdin had given him. Wherefore he com- manded the workmen to draw upon these and continue their work. This they did, and, in due course, the Sultan returned to find that the work was still incomplete. Determined to carry out his design at whatever cost the Sultan commanded his officials to seize all the jewels they could lay their hands on in the kingdom. Even this was done, and 10, still the niche was unfinished, It ,vas not until late on a day thereafter that Aladdin found the jewellers and goldslniths adding to the ,york the last stones at their command. "Hast thou jewels enough? " he asked of the chief artificer. "Nay, 0 my master," he replied sadly. "We have used all the jewels in the Treasuries; yea, even in all the kingdom, and yet the work is only half finished." "Take it all away!" said Aladdin, "Restore the jewels to their rightful owners," So they undid their work and returned the jewels to the Treasuries and to the people from whom they had been taken. And they went in to the Sultan and told him. Unable to learn from them the exact reason for this, the Sultan immediately called for his attendants and his horses and repaired to Aladdin's palace. Meanwhile, Aladdin himself, as soon as the workmen had left, retired to a private chamber; and, taking out the Lan1p, rubbed it. "Ask ,vhat thou wilt," said the Slave, appearing on the instant. "I desire thee to complete the niche which was left incomplete," answered Aladdin. " I hear and obey," said the Slave, and vanished. In a very short space of time he returned, saying, "0 my master, the work is complete." Then Aladdin arose and went to the kiosk, and found that the Slave had spoken truly; the niche ,vas finished. As he was examining it, a memluk came to him and informed him that the Sultan was at the gates. At this Aladdin hastened to meet him. "0 my son," cried the Sultan as Aladdin greeted him, "why didst thou not let my jewellers complete the niche in the kiosk? \Vilt thou not have the palace whole?" And Aladdin ans'wered him, "0 my lord, I left it unfinished in order to raise a doubt in thy mind and then dispel it; for, if thy Felicity doubted my ability to finish it, a glance at the kiosk as it now stands ,viII make the matter plain." And he led the Sultan to the kiosk and showed him the completed niche. The Sultan's astonishment was now greater than ever, that Aladdin had accomplished in so short a space that which he himself could command neither workmen nor jewels sufficient to accomplish in many months. It filled him with wonder. He embraced Aladdin and kissed him, saying there was none like him in all the world. Then, when he had rested awhile with his daughter Bedr-el- Budur, who was full of joy and happiness, the Sultan returned to his o\vn palace. As the days passed by Aladdin's fame ,vent forth through all the land. No,v it chanced that the Sultan's enemies from distant parts invaded his territory and rode do\vn against him. The Sultan assenlbled his armies for war and gave the chief command to Aladdin, whose skill and pro,vess had found great favour in his eyes. And Bedr-el-Budur wept when Aladdin went forth to the wars, but great was her delight when he returned victorious, having routed the enemy in a great battle with terrible slaughter. N o,v the fame of Aladdin penetrated even to distant parts, so that his name was heard even in the land of the l\Ioors, where the accursed Dervish d,velt. This sorcerer had not yet made an end of lamenting the loss of the Lamp just as it seemed about to pass into his hands. And, while he lamented, he cursed Aladdin in his bitter rage, saying within himself. "'Tis well that ill-otnened mis- creant is dead and buried, for, if I have not the Lamp, it is at least safe, and one day I may come by it." But when he heard the name" Aladdin," and the fatne attached to it, he muttered to himself, "Can this be he? And hath he risen to a high position through the Lamp and the Slave of the Lamp?" Then he rose and drew a table of magic signs in the sand in order to find if the Aladdin of Destiny were indeed alive upon the earth. And the figures gave him what he feared. Aladdin was alive and the Lamp was not in the cavern where by his magic he had first discovered it. At this a great fear struck him to the heart, and he wondered that he had lived to experience it, for he knew that at any moment Aladdin, by means of the Slave of the Lamp, might slay him for revenge. Wondering that this had not occurred to Aladdin's mind he hastened to dra,v another table; by which he saw that Aladdin had acquired great possessions and had married the Sultan's daughter. At this his rage mastered his fear and he cursed Aladdin with fury and envy. But, though his magic ,vas great, it could not cope with that which slumbered in the Lamp, and his curses missed their mark, only to abide the time when they might circle back upon him. Meanwhile, in great haste, he arose and journeyed to the far land of Cathay, fearing every moment that Aladdin would bethink him of revenge by means of the Slave of the Lamp. Yet he arrived safely at the City of the Sultan and rested at an inn where he heard naught but praises of Aladdin's generosity, his bravery in battle, his beautiful bride Bedr- el- Budur and his magnificent palace. Taking his instruments of divination, he soon learned that the Lamp was not on Aladdin's person, but in the palace. At this he was overjoyed, for he had a plan to get possession of it. Then he went out into the market and bought a great number of new lamps, which he put in a basket and took back to the inn. When evening was drawing nigh, he took the basket and ,vent forth in the city-for such ,vas his plan-crying, "New lamps for old! Who will exchange old lamps for new?" And the people hearing this, laughed among thelTIselves, saying he was mad; and none brought an old lamp to him in exchange for a new one, for they all thought there was nothing to be gained out of a madman. But when the Dervish reached Aladdin's palace he began to cry more lustily, " New lamps for old! Who will exchange old lamps for new?" And he took no heed of the boys who mocked him and the people who thronged him. Now Fate so willed it that, as he came by, Bedr-el- Budur was sitting at a window of the kiosk; and, when she heard the tumult and saw the pedlar about whom it turned, she bade her maid go and see what was the matter. The girl went, and soon returned, saying, "0 my lady, it is a poor pedlar who is asking old lamps for new ones; and the people are mocking him, for without a doubt he is mad." "It seems proof enough," answered Lady Bedr- el-Budur, laughing. '" Old wine for new' I could under- stand, but ' old lamps for new' is strange. Hast thou not an old lamp so that we might test him and see whether his cry be true or false? " No,v the dalnsel had seen an old lamp in Aladdin's apartment, and hastened to acquaint her mistress with this. " Go and bring it! " said the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, who had no knowledge whatever of the Lamp and its wonderful virtues. So the maid went and brought the Lamp, little knowing what woe she was working Aladdin. Then the Lady Bedr-el-Budur called one of the memluks and handed him the Lamp, bidding him go down to the pedlar and exchange it for a new one. Presently he returned, bearing 8 new lamp, and, when the Princess took it and saw that it ,vas a far better one than the old one, she laughed and said, " Verily this man is mad! A strange trade, and one that can bring him small profit. But his cry is true, therefore take him this gold to cover his losses." And she gave the memluk ten gold pieces, and bade him hasten. But the memluk returned anon with the ten pieces, saying that the pedlar had disappeared, having left all his new lamps with the people. The Lady Bedr-el-Budur won- dered at this, but knew not, nor guessed the terrible consequences of her act. As for the Dervish, as soon as he had got the Lamp, he recognized it. Placing it in his bosom, he left all else and ran, which to the people was only a further proof of his madness. On and on he ran, through the city and its out- skirts, until he came to the desert, ,vhere at last he was alone. Then, and not till then, he took the Lamp froln his bosom and rubbed it. In a flash appeared the Slave of the Lamp. "\Vhat is thy wish? I am the Slave of the Lamp which is in thy hands." And the Dervish replied, " I desire thee to take the palace of Aladdin, with all it contains, and convey it to the land of the l\Ioors in Africa, and set it down upon the open space within the gardens of my dwelling in that land. Take me also with it. I have spoken." "0 my master," said the Slave, "in the twinkling of an eye it is done. If thou carest to close thine eyes for one moment, ,vhen thou openest them thou wilt find thyself ,vithin the palace, in thy garden in the land of the 1\Ioors." And ere the Dervish could say, "I have closed n1Y eye and opened it again," he found that it was even so, as the Slave had said. The palace and all in it ,vere in his own garden, in his own country, with the sun of Africa shining in upon him. Now the Lady Bedr-el- Budur was within the palace, but Aladdin ,vas not. He had not yet returned from the chase. This thing had taken place after nightfall, so that as yet none had perceived it. But at the hour of the rising of the full moon, the Sultan looked forth fron1 a window to admire Aladdin's palace in its silver light; what was his surprise to find that there was no palace there! All was bare and open space just as it had been before this wonderful palace was built. "By Allah!" he cried in distress and alarm. "Can it be that the Vizier was right, and that this splendid thing was but the fabric of sorcery, built in a single night and dissolved in a moment like a dream on waking? And my daughter, where is she? Oh woe! oh woe!" And the Sultan wrung his hands in grief. Then presently he summoned the Grand Vizier, and bade him look forth at the palace of Aladdin. And when the Vizier looked forth and saw no splendid edifice giving back the rays of the moon, but all as bare as it had been before, he turned to the Sultan, his face pale and twitching with excitement. "0 King of the Age," he said, "doth thy Felicity now believe that the palace and all Aladdin's wealth were the work of sorcery? " And the Sultan did not reply, but beat his breast and plucked his beard; for, apart from sorcery, it was enough for him to know that Aladdin's palace was gone and his daughter with it. "Where is Aladdin ?" he demanded at last in wrath. "At the chase," replied the Vizier. "Then I command thee to have him brought before me at once, pinioned and shackled." A glad man then was the Vizier. With all alacrity he issued the Sultan's commands to the captains, who ,vent forth with their soldiers to find and seize Aladdin. It was a difficult task for them, for they all loved him greatly; and, when they came upon him, they asked his forgive- ness, yet took him and led him bound and manacled before the Sultan. But the Sultan, being filled with rage at the loss of his daughter, no sooner set eyes on Aladdin among his captors than he ordered him to the executioner. Nnw when this came to the ears of the people, they sur- rounded the palace and barred its gates and doors, and raised a great clamour \vithout, so that the Sultan sent his Grand Vizier to ascertain the cause. l\Ieanwhile on the scaffold the executioner had spread the mat of death and Aladdin was kneeling thereon blind- folded, ready for the blo,v. The executioner ,valked round him thrice and then turned towards the Sultan, who stood at a 'window and awaited his con1mand to strike. At this mODlent the cries of the people grew louder and fiercer and the Sultan beheld them scaling the walls of the palace. Then fear gat hold of him for the issue, and he signalled to the executioner to stay his hand, and bade the Vizier proclaim to the people that Aladdin was pardoned, As soon as Aladdin was freed from his chains he begged speech of the Sultan, and said to him, "0 my lord, I thank thee for thy clemency, though I know not yet 'wherein my offence lay." So the Vizier took Aladdin to the window and bade him look forth. Utter amazement fell upon Aladdin \vhen he saw that his palace had completely disappeared, leaving no vestige to mark the spot ,vhere it had stood. He was so dazed and be,vildered that he turned in silence and walked back into the Sultan's presence like one in a dream. "\V ell," said the Sultan, " where is thy palace? And, ,vhat is more to me, where is my daughter?" And Aladdin shook his head sorrow- fully and spread his hands in helpless despair; but made no other reply, for he ,vas dumbfounded. Again the Sultan spoke: "It was my thought to set thee free so that thou may est search for my daughter and restore her to me. For this purpose I grant thee a delay of forty days, and, if in that time thou canst not find her, then, by Allah! I will cut off thy head." And Aladdin answered him, "0 King of the Age, if I find her not ,vithin forty days then I no longer wish to have a head left upon my body." And Aladdin went forth sad and dejected. The cries of joy with which the people greeted him fell like lead on his aching heart. He escaped from their good will and wandered in the city like one distraught, greeting none, nor raising his eyes to any greeting. For two days he neither ate nor drank for grief at what had happened. Finally he wandered beyond the confines of the city into the desert. There, on the bank of a dark pool, he resolved to drown himself and so end his misery. But being devout and fearing God, he must first perform his ablutions. So he stooped and took ,vater in his hands and rubbed them together, when 10 ! a strange thing hap- pened; for as his hands came together, he chanced to rub the ring which was on one of his fingers. In a flash the Slave of the Ring appeared and standing before him, said, " 0 my master, what is thy desire?" Aladdin then was seized ,vith great joy, and he cried, " 0 Slave, I desire my palace and my "Tife." "Alas!" answereù the Slave, " that I cannot bring about, for this matter is protected by the Slave of the Lamp who hath put a seal upon it." " Then," urged Aladdin, " since thou canst not bring the palace and my wife to me, transport me to the palace wherever it may be upon the earth." "On the head and the eye," replied the Slave, and immediately Aladdin found himself borne swiftly through the air and set do,vn by his palace in the land of the Moors. Although the night had fallen he could recognize it ,vithout difficulty, and close at hand was the window of his wife's chamber. Great joy at this exhausted what little strength remained to him-for he had neither eaten nor slept for many days-and, overcome with fatigue and weakness, he thre"w himself down beneath a tree hard by and slept. Awakened at da,vn by the singing of birds in the garden, Aladdin arose, and, having bathed in a stream, recited the morning prayer, after ,vhich he returned and sat beneath the window of Bedr-el-Budur's apartment. Now the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, filled with grief at her separation from her husband and her father, could neither sleep nor eat by reason of her keen distress. Each day 'when dawn leapt into the sky she would arise and sit at her window and weep. And on this morning she came as usual, but did not weep, for she sa,v Aladdin sitting on the ground outside. And they both cried out and flew to one another; and their greeting was full of joy. She opened a side door for him, bidding him enter, for she knew it was not the time for the accursed Dervish to come to see her as ,vas his daily \vont. Then, when they had embraced and kissed and shed tears of joy, Aladdin said to her, "0 my beloved, before all else answer me one question: in my apartment there ,vas an old copper lamp which-" "Alas," broke in Bedr-el- Budur, "that lamp was the CBuse of it all, for the man who obtained it by a stratagem told me of its virtues, and how he had achieved this thing by its aid." And in1mediately Aladdin heard this he knew that it was indeed the Dervish ,vho had worked this ,voe upon him. " Tell me, how doth this accursed man treat thee? " be asked. "He cometh once a day," she replied, "and he would fain win my love and console me for thy loss, for he saith the Sultan, my father, hath struck off thy head, and at the best thou wert of poor family and stole thy ,vealth from him. But he gets no ,vord from me, only tears and lamentations." And Aladdin embraced her again and comforted her for ,vhat she had suffered. "Tell me," he asked again presently, ",vhere doth this accursed keep the Lam p ?" "Ahva ys in his bosom," she replied, "where he guards it with the greatest care and none kno,vs of it but me." Aladdin ,vas overjoyed when he heard this, for he thought he sa,v a ,yay to obtain the Lamp. "Listen, my beloved," he said, " I will leave thee now and return shortly in disguise. Bid thy maid stand by the side door to let me in. Then I will tell thee my plan to slay this accursed one and take the Lamp." Then Aladdin ,vent forth upon the road that led to the city, and he had not journeyed far before he met a poor peasant proceeding to his daily toil. Stopping him he offered to exchange his o,vn costly garments for those the peasant was wearing. But the man demurred, ,vhereat Aladdin set upon him and effected the exchange by force. Then, leaving the peasant battered and bruised but dressed like a prince, he went on into the city, and, coming to the market, purchased son1e po,vder of benj, which is called " the son of an instant," for it stupefies in a moment. With this he returned to the palace, and, when he came to the side door where the maid was waiting, she recognized him and opened immediately . Very soon he ,vas exposing his plan to Bedr-el-Budur. "0 my beloved," he said, "I wish thee to attire thyself gaily, and adorn thyself with je,vels in the sparkle of which no grief can live; and, when the accursed cometh, greet him with a smile and a look from thy lovely eyes. Then invite him to sup with thee, and, ,vhen thou hast aroused a blinding passion in his boson1, he 'will forget the Lamp which lieth there. See," he dre"w forth the po,vder, " this is benj, the' son of an instant.' It cannot be detected in red ,vine. Thou kno,vest the rest: pledge him in a cup and see to it that the benj is in his and not in thine. Thou canst do this ? " " Yea," replied Bedr-el- Budur. "It is difficult, but I will dare all for thee; and well I kno,v that this accursed wretch deserves not to live." And on this assurance Aladdin withdrew to a private chamber and sat him down to ,vait. He realized his extreme danger, for he kne,v that if the Dervish so much as suspected his existence in the flesh a rub of the Lamp and a word to the Slave would bring him instant death; but he did not know that Bedr-el-Budur, having learnt the virtues of the Lamp, had exacted a pledge from the Dervish that he would make no further use of it until she had given hin1 her final decision as to whether she ,vould come to him of her O\Vll free will and accord, ,vhich she maintained was a better thing than subsequently to be compelled by the abominable power of sorcery. When the Dervish appeared, she sat weeping as usual, and it 'vas not until, in his protestations of love, he said ,vords that were suitable to her purpose that she paused and half dried her tears as if it needed little 1110re to make her weigh his petition with care Observing this he dre,v near and sat by her side, and now, though no longer weeping, she had not yet found words for him. He took her hand, but she snatched it away crying, "No, it cannot be ! Never can I forget Aladdin I" He pleaded with her, and his passion made him eloquent. She pushed hin1 away petulantly. "Nay, nay," she cried, "I cannot resign my heart to thee at will. Give me, I pray thee, a little space of time-two days; one day-I may decide in one, if weeping do not kill me." The Dervish smote his breast. "Think, 0 Lovely One, how I have waited to \vin thee as man ,vins woman, when in a moment I could call thee mine by other means." And his hand moved to his bosom where lay the Lamp. " Stay!" she cried, rising and standing before him. "Thy pledge! Abide thou in patience. I ,vill come to thee in one hour." So she went, leaving the Dervish in an ecstasy of doubt. At the expiration of the hour the door opened and she stood before him a vision of loveliness in resplendent attire bedecked with priceless jewels. A smile was on her face and her answer to him ,vas in her eyes. She seated herself by his side and said boldly, "Thou seest how it is ,vith me. My tears for Aladdin-who is dead -flowed till the hour was half spent; then, I know not why, they changed to tears of joy for thee, who art alive. Then I arose and arrayed myself gladly and came to thee. Yet even now I am not wholly thine, for tears -now grief now joy, I know not which-contend in mine eyes for him or thee. \Vherefore come not too near me lest ,vhat thou hast won be forfeited. Perchance if we sup together with a jar of the red wine of thine own country-nay, go not thyself for the wine," said Bedr-el- Budur, be-thinking her of the Lamp. "Do not leave me. One of my slave girls \vill go." While she was gone Bedr-el- Budur pretended to busy herself issuing orders to the household about the prepara- tion of supper. And under cover of this she sought and found Aladdin. "It is well," she said as he held her to his heart and pressed his lips to hers. "But, 0 my beloved," he replied, "art thou sure that the Lamp is in his bosom ?" " I will go and see," she answered. And she returned to the Dervish and, approaching him shyly, began to doubt the truth of this great thing-his love for her. As she did this she placed her hands on his shoulders and looked into his eyes; whereat the Dervish drew her close to him and she felt the Lamp in his bosom. Imme- diately she ,vrenched herself free and left him with a glance in ,vhich disdain and love \vere kindly mixed. " It is so," she said on returning to Aladdin, "the Lamp is in his bosom, and, since he embraced me-I could not help it nor could I endure it, beloved -it is a wonder the Slave of the Lamp did not appear to see how I tore myself away, I was pressed so close."

Meanwhi1e the slave girl returned with the wine, and, supper being ready, Bedr-el-Budur invited the Dervish to sit by her at the table. And ,vhen they had eaten some- ,vhat, she paused and questioned him with a glance. It was for him to call for wine, and he did so. Immediately a slave girl filled their goblets, and they drank; and another and another until the distance between them was melted, and they became, so to speak, the best of boon companIons. At length, when the supper ,vas drawing to an end, and the wits of the Dervish were well mastered by wine, Bedr-el- Budur leaned towards him in an unbending mood, "This wine of thine has set me on fire, beloved!" she said. "But one more cup and then, if I say thee nay, do not believe me, for thou hast kept thy pledge and hast won me as man wins woman. And this shall be a loving cup, for it is the fashion in my country for the lover to take the loved one's cup and drink it." "0 lovely one of my eye," he replied, "I will honour thy custom, since thou hast so greatly honoured me." At this Bedr-el-Budur took his cup and filled it for herself, ,vhile a slave girl, ,vho kne,v what to do as well as she hated the Dervish, handed him the cup ,vhich, though it contained the benj, she had just filled as if for her mistress. She even had to be told t,vice that it was not for her mistress but for the guest. So the Dervish took it, and looked into the eyes of Bedr-el-Budur brimming with love. They drank, and imn1ediately the Dervish fell senseless at her feet, while the cup, flung from his nerveless hand, clattered across the floor. In the space of moments Aladdin was on the spot. Bedr-el-Budur's arms were round his neck, and she ,vas sobbing on his breast, ,vhile the Dervish lay stretched helpless before them. And when he had comforted her she went, and the slave girls with her. Then Aladdin locked the door, and, approaching the Dervish, drew the Lamp from hffi bosom. This done, he stood over him and s'wore a fearful oath, then, 'without further shrift, he dre,v his s,vord and hew'ed off his head, after ,vhich he drove the poin t of the s,vord through his heart, for only in this ,yay can a ,vizard be ,yarned off the realm of mortals. Once in possession of the Lamp Aladdin lost no time He rubbed it and immediately the Slave appeared. " I am here, 0 my master; ,vhat is thy ,,,ish?" "Thou knO'west," replied Aladdin, "Bear this palace and all that is in it to the Land of Cathay and set it down on the spot from ,vhich thou didst take it at the command of that." He pointed to the dismen1bered ,vizard. "It is ,yell," said the Slave, who served the living and not the dead; "I hear and obey, on the head and the eye." Then Aladdin returned to Bedr-el- Budur, and, in the space of one kiss of love, the palace with all therein was carried slviftIy back to the original site from which it had been taken. Now the Sultan was in grievous mood ever since the loss of his daughter-the apple of his eye. All night long he ,vould 'weep, and, arising at da,vn, 'would look forth on the empty space where once had stood Aladdin's palace, Then his tears ,vould flo,v as from a ,voman's eyes, for Bedr-el-Budur was very dear to him. But, when he looked forth one morning and sa,v the palace standing as it had stood, he was rapt ,vith joy, Instantly he ordered his horse, and, mounting, rode to the gates, Aladdin came out to greet him, and, taking him by the hand with never a word, led him to,vards the apartments of Bedr-el-Budur. She too, radiant ,vith joy, was running to meet him. Like a bird of the air she fle,v to his arms, and for some moments neither of them could say a word for very happiness. Then in a torrent of ,vords, she told him all about the accursed Dervish; how by his sorcery he had conveyed the palace to Africa, and how Aladdin had slain him, thus releasing the spell and restoring everything to its place. But not a word did she say about the Lamp and its virtues. Then they arose and went to the chamber which contained the trunk and severed head of the Dervish. And, by the Sultan's orders, these relnains of the Sorcerer ,vere burnt to ashes and scattered to the four winds of heaven. And so Aladdin was restored to the Sultan's favour, and he and the Lady Bedr-el-Budur dwelt together in the utmost joy and happiness.


THE END.