ALAEDDIN; OR, THE WONDERFUL LAMP.
It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that there dwelt in a city of the cities of China a man which was a tailor, withal a pauper, and he had one son, Alaeddin hight. Now this boy had been from his babyhood a ne'er-do-well, a scapegrace; and, when he reached his tenth year, his father inclined to teach him his own trade; and, for that he was over indigent to expend money upon his learning other work or craft or apprenticeship, he took the lad into his shop that he might be taught tailoring. But, as Alaeddin was a scapegrace and a ne'er-do-well and wont to play at all times with the gutter boys of the quarter, he would not sit in the shop for a single day; nay, he would await his father's leaving it for some purpose, such as to meet a creditor, when he would run off at once and fare forth to the gardens with the other scapegraces and low companions, his fellows. Such was his case; counsel and castigation were of no avail, nor would he obey either parent in aught or learn any trade; and presently, for his sadness and sorrowing because of his son's vicious indolence, the tailor sickened and died. Alaeddin continued in his former ill courses and, when his mother saw that her spouse had deceased, and that her son was a scapegrace and good for nothing at all [FN#66] she sold the shop and whatso was to be found therein and fell to spinning cotton yarn. By this toilsome industry she fed herself and found food for her son Alaeddin the scapegrace who, seeing himself freed from bearing the severities of his sire, increased in idleness and low habits; nor would he ever stay at home save at meal-hours while his miserable wretched mother lived only by what her hands could spin until the youth had reached his fifteenth year.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Fifteenth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when Alaeddin had come to his fifteenth year, it befel, one day of the days, that as he was sitting about the quarter at play with the vagabond boys behold, a Darwaysh from the Maghrib, the Land of the Setting Sun, came up and stood gazing for solace upon the lads and he looked hard at Alaeddin and carefully considered his semblance, scarcely noticing his companions the while. Now this Darwaysh was a Moorman from Inner Marocco and he was a magician who could upheap by his magic hill upon hill, and he was also an adept in astrology. So after narrowly considering Alaeddin he said in himself, "Verily, this is the lad I need and to find whom I have left my natal land." Presently he led one of the children apart and questioned him anent the scapegrace saying, "Whose [FN#67] son is he?" And he sought all information concerning his condition and whatso related to him. After this he walked up to Alaeddin and drawing him aside asked, "O my son, haply thou art the child of Such-an-one the tailor?" and the lad answered, "Yes, O my lord, but 'tis long since he died." The Maghrabi, [FN#68] the Magician, hearing these words threw himself upon Alaeddin and wound his arms around his neck and fell to bussing him, weeping the while with tears trickling adown his cheeks. But when the lad saw the Moorman's case he was seized with surprise thereat and questioned him, saying, "What causeth thee weep, O my lord: and how camest thou to know my father?" "How canst thou, O my son," replied the Moorman, in a soft voice saddened by emotion, "question me with such query after informing me that thy father and my brother is deceased; for that he was my brother-german and now I come from my adopted country and after long exile I rejoiced with exceeding joy in the hope of looking upon him once more and condoling with him over the past; and now thou hast announced to me his demise. But blood hideth not from blood [FN#69] and it hath revealed to me that thou art my nephew, son of my brother, and I knew thee amongst all the lads, albeit thy father, when I parted from him, was yet unmarried."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,
When it was the Five Hundred and Sixteenth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Maghrabi, the Magician, said to the tailor's orphan, "O my son Alaeddin and I have now failed in the mourning ceremonies and have lost the delight I expected from meeting thy father, my brother, whom after my long banishment I had hoped to see once more ere I die; but far distance wrought me this trouble nor hath the creature aught of asylum from the Creator or artifice against the commandments of Allah Al-mighty." Then he again clasped Alaeddin to his bosom crying, "O my son, I have none to condole with now save thyself; and thou standest in stead of thy sire, thou being his issue and representative and 'whoso leaveth issue dieth not,' [FN#70] O my child!" So saying, the Magician put hand to purse and pulling out ten gold pieces gave them to the lad asking, "O my son, where is your house and where dwelleth she, thy mother, and my brother's widow?" Presently Alaeddin arose with him and showed him the way to their home and meanwhile Quoth the Wizard, "O my son, take these moneys and give them to thy mother, greeting her from me, and let her know that thine uncle, thy father's brother, hath reappeared from his exile and that Inshallah -God willing- on the morrow I will visit her to salute her with the salam and see the house wherein my brother was homed and look upon the place where he lieth buried." Thereupon Alaeddin kissed the Maghrabi's hand, and, after running in his joy at fullest speed to his mother's dwelling, entered to her clean contrariwise to his custom, inasmuch as he never came near her save at meal-times only. And when he found her, the lad exclaimed in his delight, "O my mother, I give thee glad tidings of mine uncle who hath returned from his exile and who now sendeth me to salute thee." "O my son," she replied, "meseemeth thou mockest me! Who is this uncle and how canst thou have an uncle in the bonds of life?" He rejoined, "How sayest thou, O my mother, that I have nor living uncles nor kinsmen, when this man is my father's own brother? Indeed he embraced me and bussed me, shedding tears the while, and bade me acquaint thee herewith." She retorted, "O my son, well I wot thou haddest an uncle, but he is now dead nor am I ware that thou hast other eme."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,
When it was the Five Hundred and Seventeenth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Maroccan Magician fared forth next morning and fell to finding out Alaeddin, for his heart no longer permitted him to part from the lad; and, as he was to-ing and fro-ing about the city-highways, he came face to face with him disporting himself, as was his wont, amongst the vagabonds and the scapegraces. So he drew near to him and, taking his hand, embraced him and bussed him, then pulled out of his poke two dinars and said, "Hie thee to thy mother and give her these couple of ducats and tell her that thine uncle would eat the evening-meal with you; so do thou take these two gold pieces and prepare for us a succulent supper. But before all things show me once more the way to your home." "On my head and mine eyes be it, O my uncle," replied the lad and forewent him, pointing out the street leading to the house. Then the Moorman left him and went his ways and Alaeddin ran home and, giving the news and the two sequins to his parent, said, "My uncle would sup with us." So she arose straightway and going to the market-street bought all she required; then, returning to her dwelling she borrowed from the neighbours whatever was needed of pans and platters and so forth and when the meal was cooked and supper time came she said to Alaeddin "O my child, the meat is ready but peradventure thine uncle wotteth not the way to our dwelling; so do thou fare forth and meet him on the road." He replied, "To hear is to obey," and before the twain ended talking a knock was heard at the door. Alaeddin went out and opened when, behold, the Maghrabi, the Magician, together with an eunuch carrying the wine and the dessert fruits; so the lad led them in and the slave went about his business. The Moorman on entering saluted his sister-in-law with the salami then began to shed tears and to question her saying, "Where be the place whereon my brother went to sit?" She showed it to him, whereat he went up to it and prostrated himself in prayer [FN#71] and kissed the floor crying, "Ah, how scant is my satisfaction and how luckless is my lot, for that I have lost thee, O my brother, O vein of my eye!" And after such fashion he continued weeping and wailing till he swooned away for excess of sobbing and lamentation; wherefor Alaeddin's mother was certified of his soothfastness. So coming up to him she raised him from the floor and said, "What gain is there in slaying thyself?"--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was ad the Five Hundred and Eighteenth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin's mother began consoling the Maghrabi, the Magician, and placed him upon the divan; and, as soon as he was seated at his ease and before the food-trays were served up, he fell to talking with her and saying, "O wife of my brother, it must be a wonder to thee how in all thy days thou never sawest me nor learnedst thou aught of me during the life-time of my brother who hath found mercy. [FN#72] Now the reason is that forty years ago I left this town and exiled myself from my birth-place and wandered forth over all the lands of Al-Hind and Al-Sind and entered Egypt and settled for a long time in its magnificent city, [FN#73] which is one of the world-wonders, till at last I fared to the regions of the Setting Sun and abode for a space of thirty years in the Maroccan interior. Now one day of the days, O wife of my brother, as I was sitting alone at home, I fell to thinking of mine own country and of my birth place and of my brother (who hath found mercy); and my yearning to see him waxed excessive and I bewept and bewailed my strangerhood and distance from him. And at last my longings drave me home-wards until I resolved upon travelling to the region which was the falling-place of my head [FN#74] and my homestead, to the end that I might again see my brother. Then Quoth I to myself, 'O man, [FN#75] how long wilt thou wander like a wild Arab from thy place of birth and native stead? Moreover, thou hast one brother and no more; so up with thee and travel and look upon him [FN#76] ere thou die; for who wotteth the woes of the world and the changes of the days? 'Twould be saddest regret an thou lie down to die without beholding thy brother and Allah (laud be to the Lord!) hath vouchsafed thee ample wealth; and belike he may be straitened and in poor case, when thou wilt aid thy brother as well as see him.' So I arose at once and equipped me for wayfare and recited the Fátihah; then, whenas Friday prayers ended, I mounted and travelled to this town, after suffering manifold toils and travails which I patiently endured whilst the Lord (to whom be honour and glory!) veiled me with the veil of His protection. So I entered and whilst wandering about the streets, the day before yesterday, I beheld my brother's son Alaeddin disporting himself with the boys and, by God the Great, O wife of my brother, the moment I saw him this heart of mine went forth to him (for blood yearneth unto blood!), and my soul felt and informed me that he was my very nephew. So I forgot all my travails and troubles at once on sighting him and I was like to fly for joy; but, when he told me of the dear one's departure to the ruth of Allah Almighty, I fainted for stress of distress and disappointment. Perchance, however, my nephew hath informed thee of the pains which prevailed upon me; but after a fashion I am consoled by the sight of Alaeddin the legacy bequeathed to us by him who hath found mercy for that 'whoso leaveth issue is not wholly dead.'" [FN#77]--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Nineteenth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Maghrabi, the Magician, said to Alaeddin's mother, "Whoso leaveth issue is not wholly dead." And when he looked at his sister-in-law she wept at these his words; so he turned to the lad that he might cause her forget the mention of her mate, as a means of comforting her and also of completing his deceit, and asked him, saying, "O my son Alaeddin what hast thou learned in the way of work and what is thy business? Say me, hast thou mastered any craft whereby to earn a livelihood for thyself and for thy mother?" The lad was abashed and put to shame and he hung down his head and bowed his brow groundwards; but his parent spake out, "How, forsooth? By Allah, he knoweth nothing at all, a child so ungracious as this I never yet saw; no, never! All the day long he idleth away his time with the sons of the quarter, vagabonds like himself, and his father (O regret of me!) died not save of dolour for him. And I also am now in piteous plight: I spin cotton and toil at my distaff, night and day, that I may earn a couple of scones of bread which we eat together. This is his condition, O my brother-in-law; and, by the life of thee, he cometh not near me save at meal-times and none other. Indeed, I am thinking to lock the house-door nor ever open to him again but leave him to go and seek a livelihood whereby he can live, for that I am now grown a woman in years and have no longer strength to toil and go about for a maintenance after this fashion. O Allah, I am compelled to provide him with daily bread when I require to be provided!" Hereat the Moorman turned to Alaeddin and said, "Why is this, O son of my brother, thou goest about in such ungraciousness? 'tis a disgrace to thee and unsuitable for men like thyself. Thou art a youth of sense, O my son, and the child of honest folk, so 'tis for thee a shame that thy mother, a woman in years, should struggle to support thee. And now that thou hast grown to man's estate it becometh thee to devise thee some device whereby thou canst live, O my child. Look around thee and Alhamdolillah--praise be to Allah--in this our town are many teachers of all manner of crafts and nowhere are they more numerous; so choose thee some calling which may please thee to the end that I establish thee therein; and, when thou growest up, O my son, thou shalt have some business whereby to live. Haply thy father's industry may not be to thy liking; and, if so it be, choose thee some other handicraft which suiteth thy fancy; then let me know and I will aid thee with all I can, O my son." But when the Maghrabi saw that Alaeddin kept silence and made him no reply, he knew that the lad wanted none other occupation than a scapegrace-life, so he said to him, "O son of my brother, let not my words seem hard and harsh to thee, for, if despite all I say, thou still dislike to learn a craft, I will open thee a merchant's store [FN#78] furnished with costliest stuffs and thou shalt become famous amongst the folk and take and give and buy and sell and be well known in the city." Now when Alaeddin heard the words of his uncle the Moorman, and the design of making him a Khwájah [FN#79]--merchant and gentleman,--he joyed exceedingly knowing that such folk dress handsomely and fare delicately. So he looked at the Maghrabi smiling and drooping his head groundwards and saying with the tongue of the case that he was content.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twentieth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Maghrabi, the Magician, looked at Alaeddin and saw him smiling, whereby he understood that the lad was satisfied to become a trader. So he said to him, "Since thou art content that I open thee a merchant's store and make thee a gentleman, do thou, O son of my brother, prove thyself a man and Inshallah--God willing--to-morrow I will take thee to the bazar in the first place and will have a fine suit of clothes cut out for thee, such gear as merchants wear; and, secondly, I will look after a store for thee and keep my word." Now Alaeddin's mother had somewhat doubted the Maroccan being her brother-in-law; but as soon as she heard his promise of opening a merchant's store for her son and setting him up with stuffs and capital and so forth, the woman decided and determined in her mind that this Maghrabi was in very sooth her husband's brother, seeing that no stranger man would do such goodly deed by her son. So she began directing the lad to the right road and teaching him to cast ignorance from out his head and to prove himself a man; moreover she bade him ever obey his excellent uncle as though he were his son and to make up for the time he had wasted in frowardness with his fellows. After this she arose and spread the table, then served up supper; so all sat down and fell to eating and drinking, while the Maghrabi conversed with Alaeddin upon matters of business and the like, rejoicing him to such degree that he enjoyed no sleep that night. But when the Moorman saw that the dark hours were passing by, and the wine was drunken, he arose and sped to his own stead; but, ere going, he agreed to return next morning and take Alaeddin and look to his suit of merchant's clothes being cut out for him. And as soon as it was dawn, behold, the Maghrabi rapped at the door which was opened by Alaeddin's mother: the Moorman, however, would not enter, but asked to take the lad with him to the market-street. Accordingly Alaeddin went forth to his uncle and, wishing him good morning, kissed his hand; and the Maroccan took him by the hand and fared with him to the Bazar. There he entered a clothier's shop containing all kinds of clothes and called for a suit of the most sumptuous; whereat the merchant brought him out his need, all wholly fashioned and ready sewn, and the Moorman said to the lad, "Choose, O my child, whatso pleaseth thee." Alaeddin rejoiced exceedingly seeing that his uncle had given him his choice, so he picked out the suit most to his own liking and the Maroccan paid to the merchant the price thereof in ready money. Presently he led the lad to the Hammám-baths where they bathed; then they came out and drank sherbets, after which Alaeddin arose and, donning his new dress in huge joy and delight, went up to his uncle and kissed his hand and thanked him for his favours.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twenty-first Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It has reached me, O King of the Age, that the Maghrabi, the Magician, after leaving the Hammám with Alaeddin, took him and trudged with him to the Merchants' bazar; and, having diverted him by showing the market and its sellings and buyings, said to him, "O my son, it besitteth thee to become familiar with the folk, especially with the merchants, so thou mayest learn of them merchant-craft, seeing that the same hath now become thy calling." Then he led him forth and showed him the city and its cathedral-mosques together with all the pleasant sights therein; and, lastly, made him enter a cook's shop. Here dinner was served to them on platters of silver and they dined well and ate and drank their sufficiency, after which they went their ways. Presently the Moorman pointed out to Alaeddin the pleasances and noble buildings, and went in with him to the Sultan's Palace and diverted him with displaying all the apartments which were mighty fine and grand; and led him finally to the Khán of stranger merchants where he himself had his abode. Then the Maroccan invited sundry traders which were in the Caravanserai; and they came and sat down to supper, when he notified to them that the youth was his nephew, Alaeddin by name. And after they had eaten and drunken and night had fallen, he rose up and taking the lad with him led him back to his mother, who no sooner saw her boy as he were one of the merchants [FN#80] than her wits took flight and she waxed sad for very gladness. Then she fell to thanking her false connection, the Moorman, for all his benefits and said to him, "O my brother-in-law, I can never say enough though I expressed my gratitude to thee during the rest of thy days and praised thee for the good deeds thou hast done by this my child." Thereupon Quoth the Maroccan, "O wife of my brother, deem this not mere kindness of me, for that the lad is mine own son and 'tis incumbent on me to stand in the stead of my brother, his sire. So be thou fully satisfied!" And Quoth she, "I pray Allah by the honour of the Hallows, the ancients and the moderns, that He preserve thee and cause thee to continue, O my brother-in-law and prolong for me thy life; so shalt thou be a wing over-shadowing this orphan lad; and he shall ever be obedient to thine orders nor shall he do aught save whatso thou biddest him thereunto." The Maghrabi replied, "O wife of my brother, Alaeddin is now a man of sense and the son of goodly folk, and I hope to Allah that he will follow in the footsteps of his sire and cool thine eyes. But I regret that, to-morrow being Friday, I shall not be able to open his shop, as 'tis meeting day when all the merchants, after congregational prayer, go forth to the gardens and pleasances. On the Sabbath, [FN#81] however, Inshallah!--an it please the Creator--we will do our business. Meanwhile to-morrow I will come to thee betimes and take Alaeddin for a pleasant stroll to the gardens and pleasances without the city which haply he may hitherto not have beheld. There also he shall see the merchants and notables who go forth to amuse themselves, so shall he become acquainted with them and they with him."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twenty-second Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Maghrabi went away and lay that night in his quarters; and early next morning he came to the tailor's house and rapped at the door. Now Alaeddin (for stress of his delight in the new dress he had donned and for the past day's enjoyment in the Hammam and in eating and drinking and gazing at the folk; expecting furthermore his uncle to come at dawn and carry him off on pleasuring to the gardens) had not slept a wink that night, nor closed his eyelids, and would hardly believe it when day broke. But hearing the knock at the door he went out at once in hot haste, like a spark of fire, and opened and saw his uncle, the Magician, who embraced him and kissed him. Then, taking his hand, the Moorman said to him as they fared forth together, "O son of my brother, this day will I show thee a sight thou never sawest in all thy life," and he began to make the lad laugh and cheer him with pleasant talk. So doing they left the city-gate, and the Maroccan took to promenading with Alaeddin amongst the gardens and to pointing out for his pleasure the mighty fine pleasances and the marvellous high-builded [FN#82] pavilions. And whenever they stood to stare at a garth or a mansion or a palace the Maghrabi would say to his companion, "Doth this please thee, O son of my brother?" Alaeddin was nigh to fly with delight at seeing sights he had never seen in all his born days; and they ceased not [FN#83] to stroll about and solace themselves until they waxed aweary, when they entered a mighty grand garden which was nearhand, a place that the heart delighted and the sight belighted; for that its swift-running rills flowed amidst the flowers and the waters jetted from the jaws of lions moulded in yellow brass like unto gold. So they took seat over against a lakelet and rested a little while, and Alaeddin enjoyed himself with joy exceeding and fell to jesting with his uncle and making merry with him as though the Magician were really his father's brother. Presently the Maghrabi arose and loosing his girdle drew forth from thereunder a bag full of victual, dried fruits and so forth, saying to Alaeddin, "O my nephew, haply thou art become anhungered; so come forward and eat what thou needest." Accordingly the lad fell upon the food and the Moorman ate with him and they were gladdened and cheered by rest and good cheer. Then Quoth the Magician, "Arise, O son of my brother, an thou be reposed and let us stroll onwards a little and reach the end of our walk." Thereupon Alaeddin arose and the Maroccan paced with him from garden to garden until they left all behind them and reached the base of a high and naked hill; when the lad who, during all his days, had never issued from the city-gate and never in his life had walked such a walk as this, said to the Maghrabi, "O uncle mine, whither are we wending? We have left the gardens behind us one and all and have reached the barren hill-country; [FN#84] and, if the way be still long, I have no strength left for walking: indeed I am ready to fall with fatigue. There are no gardens before us, so let us hark back and return to town." Said the Magician, "No, O my son; this is the right road, nor are the gardens ended for we are going to look at one which hath ne'er its like amongst those of the Kings and all thou hast beheld are naught in comparison therewith. Then gird thy courage to walk; thou art now a man, Alhamdolillah--praise be to Allah!" Then the Maghrabi fell to soothing Alaeddin with soft words and telling him wondrous tales, lies as well as truth, until they reached the site intended by the African Magician who had travelled from the Sunset-land to the regions of China for the sake thereof. And when they made the place, the Moorman said to Alaeddin, "O son of my brother, sit thee down and take thy rest, for this is the spot we are now seeking and, Inshallah, soon will I divert thee by displaying marvel-matters whose like not one in the world ever saw; nor hath any solaced himself with gazing upon that which thou art about to behold."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twenty-third Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Maghrabi wizard said to Alaeddin, "No one of created beings hath enjoyed the sights thou art about to see. But when thou art rested, arise and seek some wood-chips and fuel sticks [FN#85] which be small and dry, wherewith we may kindle a fire: then will I show thee, O son of my brother, matters beyond the range of matter." [FN#86] Now, when the lad heard these words, he longed to look upon what his uncle was about to do and, forgetting his fatigue, he rose forthright and fell to gathering small wood-chips and dry sticks, and continued until the Moorman cried to him, "Enough, O son of my brother!" Presently the Magician brought out from his breast-pocket a casket which he opened, and drew from it all he needed of incense; then he fumigated and conjured and adjured, muttering words none might understand. And the ground straightway clave asunder after thick gloom and quake of earth and bellowings of thunder. Hereat Alaeddin was startled and so affrighted that he tried to fly; but, when the African Magician saw his design, he waxed wroth with exceeding wrath, for that without the lad his work would profit him naught, the hidden hoard which he sought to open being not to be opened save by means of Alaeddin. So noting this attempt to run away, the Magician arose and raising his hand smote Alaeddin on the head a buffet so sore that well nigh his back-teeth were knocked out, and he fell swooning to the ground. But after a time he revived by the magic of the Magician, and cried, weeping the while, "O my uncle, what have I done that deserveth from thee such a blow as this?" Hereat the Maghrabi fell to soothing him, and said, "O my son, 'tis my intent to make thee a man; therefore, do thou not gainsay me, for that I am thine uncle and like unto thy father. Obey me, therefore, in all I bid thee, and shortly thou shalt forget all this travail and toil whenas thou shalt look upon the marvel-matters I am about to show thee." And soon after the ground had cloven asunder before the Maroccan it displayed a marble slab wherein was fixed a copper ring. The Maghrabi, striking a geomantic table [FN#87] turned to Alaeddin, and said to him, "An thou do all I shall bid thee, indeed thou shalt become wealthier than any of the kings, and for this reason, O my son, I struck thee, because here lieth a hoard which is stored in thy name; and yet thou designedst to leave it and to levant. But now collect thy thoughts, and behold how I opened earth by my spells and adjurations."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day, and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twenty-fourth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Maghrabi, the Magician, said to Alaeddin, "O my son, now collect thy thoughts! under yon stone wherein the ring is set lieth the treasure wherewith I acquainted thee: so set thy hand upon the ring and raise the slab, for that none other amongst the folk, thyself excepted, hath power to open it, nor may any of mortal birth, save thyself, set foot within this Enchanted Treasury which hath been kept for thee. But 'tis needful that thou learn of me all wherewith I would charge thee; nor gainsay e'en a single syllable of my words. All this, O my child, is for thy good; the hoard being of immense value, whose like the kings of the world never accumulated, and do thou remember that 'tis for thee and me." So poor Alaeddin forgot his fatigue and buffet and tear-shedding, and he was dumbed and dazed at the Maghrabi's words and rejoiced that he was fated to become rich in such measure that not even the Sultans would be richer than himself. Accordingly, he cried, "O my uncle, bid me do all thou pleasest, for I will be obedient unto thy bidding." The Maghrabi replied, "O my nephew, thou art to me as my own child and even dearer, for being my brother's son and for my having none other kith and kin except thyself; and thou, O my child, art my heir and successor." So saying, he went up to Alaeddin and kissed him and said, "For whom do I intend these my labours? Indeed, each and every are for thy sake, O my son, to the end that I may leave thee a rich man and one of the very greatest. So gainsay me not in all I shall say to thee, and now go up to yonder ring and uplift it as I bade thee." Alaeddin answered, "O uncle mine, this ring is over heavy for me: I cannot raise it single-handed, so do thou also come forward and lend me strength and aidance towards uplifting it, for indeed I am young in years." The Moorman replied, "O son of my brother, we shall find it impossible to do aught if I assist thee, and all our efforts would be in vain. But do thou set thy hand upon the ring and pull it up, and thou shalt raise the slab forth-right, and in very sooth I told thee that none can touch it save thyself. But whilst haling at it cease not to pronounce thy name and the names of thy father and mother, so 'twill rise at once to thee nor shalt thou feel its weight." Thereupon the lad mustered up strength and girt the loins of resolution and did as the Maroccan had bidden him, and hove up the slab with all ease when he pronounced his name and the names of his parents, even as the Magician had bidden him. And as soon as the stone was raised he threw it aside.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twenty-fifth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that after Alaeddin had raised the slab from over the entrance to the Hoard there appeared before him a Sardáb, a souterrain, whereunto led a case of some twelve stairs and the Maghrabi said, "O Alaeddin, collect thy thoughts and do whatso I bid thee to the minutest detail nor fail in aught thereof. Go down with all care into yonder vault until thou reach the bottom and there shalt thou find a space divided into four halls, [FN#88] and in each of these thou shalt see four golden jars [FN#89] and others of virgin or and silver. Beware, however, lest thou take aught therefrom or touch them, nor allow thy gown or its skirts even to brush the jars or the walls. Leave them and fare forwards until thou reach the fourth hall without lingering for a single moment on the way; and, if thou do aught contrary thereto thou wilt be at once transformed and become a black stone. When reaching the fourth hall thou wilt find therein a door which do thou open, and pronouncing the names thou spakest over the slab, enter there through into a garden adorned everywhere with fruit-bearing trees. This thou must traverse by a path thou wilt see in front of thee measuring some fifty cubits long, beyond which thou wilt come upon an open saloon [FN#90] and therein a ladder of some thirty rungs. And thou shalt also see hanging from its ceiling"--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twenty-sixth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Maghrabi, the Magician, fell to teaching Alaeddin how he should descend into the Hoard and continued, "On reaching the saloon thou shalt there find a Lamp hanging from its ceiling; so mount the ladder and take that Lamp and place it in thy breast-pocket after pouring out its contents; nor fear evil from it for thy clothes because its contents are not common oil. [FN#91] And on return thou art allowed to pluck from the trees whatso thou pleasest, for all is thine so long as the Lamp is in thy hand." Now when the Moorman ended his charge to Alaeddin, he drew off a seal-ring [FN#92] and put it upon the lad's forefinger saying, "O my son, verily this signet shall free thee from all hurt and fear which may threaten thee, but only on condition that thou bear in mind all I have told thee. [FN#93] So arise straightway and go down the stairs, strengthening thy purpose and girding the loins of resolution: moreover fear not for thou art now a man and no longer a child. And in shortest time, O my son, thou shalt win thee immense riches and thou shalt become the wealthiest of the world." Accordingly, Alaeddin arose and descended into the souterrain, where he found the four halls, each containing four jars of gold and these he passed by, as the Maroccan had bidden him, with the utmost care and caution. Thence he fared into the garden and walked along its length until he entered the saloon, where he mounted the ladder and took the Lamp which he extinguished, pouring out the oil which was therein, and placed it in his breast-pocket. Presently, descending the ladder he returned to the garden where he fell to gazing at the trees whereupon sat birds glorifying with loud voices their great Creator. Now he had not observed them as he went in, but all these trees bare for fruitage costly gems; moreover each had its own kind of growth and jewels of its peculiar sort; and these were of every colour, green and white; yellow, red and other such brilliant hues and the radiance flashing from these gems paled the rays of the sun in forenoon sheen. Furthermore the size of each stone so far surpassed description that no King of the Kings of the world owned a single gem equal to the larger sort nor could boast of even one half the size of the smaller kind of them.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twenty-seventh Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin walked amongst the trees and gazed upon them and other things which surprised the sight and bewildered the wits; and, as he considered them, he saw that in lieu of common fruits the produce was of mighty fine jewels and precious stones, [FN#94] such as emeralds and diamonds; rubies, spinels and balasses, pearls and similar gems astounding the mental vision of man. And forasmuch as the lad had never beheld things like these during his born days nor had reached those years of discretion which would teach him the worth of such valuables (he being still but a little lad), he fancied that all these jewels were of glass or crystal. So he collected them until he had filled his breast-pockets and began to certify himself if they were or were not common fruits, such as grapes, figs and such like edibles. But seeing them of glassy substance, he, in his ignorance of precious stones and their prices, gathered into his breast-pockets every kind of growth the trees afforded; and, having failed of his purpose in finding them food, he said in his mind, "I will collect a portion of these glass fruits for playthings at home." So he fell to plucking them in quantities and cramming them in his pokes and breast-pockets till these were stuffed full; after which he picked others which he placed in his waist-shawl and then, girding himself therewith, carried off all he availed to, purposing to place them in the house by way of ornaments and, as hath been mentioned, never imagining that they were other than glass. Then he hurried his pace in fear of his uncle, the Maghrabi, until he had passed through the four halls and lastly on his return reached the souterrain where he cast not a look at the jars of gold, albeit he was able and allowed to take of the contents on his way back. But when he came to the souterrain-stairs [FN#95] and clomb the steps till naught remained but the last; and, finding this higher than all the others, he was unable alone and unassisted, burthened moreover as he was, to mount it. So he said to the Maghrabi, "O my uncle, lend me thy hand and aid me to climb;" but the Moorman answered, "O my son, give me the Lamp and lighten thy load; belike 'tis that weigheth thee down." The lad rejoined, "O my uncle, 'tis not the Lamp downweigheth me at all; but do thou lend me a hand and as soon as I reach ground I will give it to thee." Hereat the Maroccan, the Magician, whose only object was the Lamp and none other, began to insist upon Alaeddin giving it to him at once; but the lad (forasmuch as he had placed it at the bottom of his breast-pocket and his other pouches being full of gems bulged outwards) [FN#96] could not reach it with his fingers to hand it over, so the wizard after much vain persistency in requiring what his nephew was unable to give, fell to raging with furious rage and to demanding the Lamp whilst Alaeddin could not get at it.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twenty-eighth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin could not get at the Lamp so as to hand it to his uncle the Maghrabi, that false felon, so the Magician waxed foolish with fury for that he could not win to his wish. Yet had the lad promised truthfully that he would give it up as soon as he might reach ground, without lying thought or ill-intent. But when the Moorman saw that he would not hand it over, he waxed wroth with wrath exceeding and cut off all his hopes of winning it; so he conjured and adjured and cast incense amiddlemost the fire, when forthright the slab made a cover of itself, and by the might of magic ridded the entrance; the earth buried the stone as it was aforetime and Alaeddin, unable to issue forth, remained underground. Now the Sorcerer was a stranger, and, as we have mentioned, no uncle of Alaeddin's, and he had misrepresented himself and preferred a lying claim, to the end that he might obtain the Lamp by means of the lad for whom his Hoard had been upstored. So the Accursed heaped the earth over him and left him to die of hunger. For this Maghrabi was an African of Afrikíyah proper, born in the Inner Sunset-land, and from his earliest age upwards he had been addicted to witchcraft and had studied and practiced every manner of occult science, for which unholy lore the city of Africa [FN#97] is notorious. And he ceased not to read and hear lectures until he had become a past-master in all such knowledge. And of the abounding skill in spells and conjurations which he had acquired by the perusing and the lessoning of forty years, one day of the days he discovered by devilish inspiration that there lay in an extreme city of the cities of China, named Al-Kal'ás, [FN#98] an immense Hoard, the like whereof none of the Kings in this world had ever accumulated: moreover, that the most marvellous article in this Enchanted Treasure was a wonderful Lamp which, whoso possessed, could not possibly be surpassed by any man upon earth, either in high degree or in wealth and opulence; nor could the mightiest monarch of the universe attain to the all-sufficiency of this Lamp with its might of magical means.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Twenty-ninth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales." whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when the Maghrabi assured himself by his science and saw that this Hoard could be opened only by the presence of a lad named Alaeddin, of pauper family and abiding in that very city, and learnt how taking it would be easy and without hardships, he straightway and without stay or delay equipped himself for a voyage to China (as we have already told) and he did what he did with Alaeddin fancying that he would become Lord of the Lamp. But his attempt and his hopes were baffled and his work was clean wasted; whereupon, determining to do the lad die, he heaped up the earth over him by gramarye to the end that the unfortunate might perish, reflecting that "The live man hath no murtherer." [FN#99] Secondly, he did so with the design that, as Alaeddin could not come forth from underground, he would also be impotent to bring out the Lamp from the souterrain. So presently he wended his ways and retired to his own land, Africa, a sadder man and disappointed of all his expectations. Such was the case with the Wizard; but as regards Alaeddin when the earth was heaped over him, he began shouting to the Moorman whom he believed to be his uncle, and praying him to lend a hand that he might issue from the souterrain and return to earth's surface; but, however loudly he cried, none was found to reply. At that moment he comprehended the sleight which the Maroccan had played upon him, and that the man was no uncle but a liar and a wizard. Then the unhappy despaired of life, and learned to his sorrow that there was no escape for him; so he fell to beweeping with sore weeping the calamity had befallen him; and after a little while he stood up and descended the stairs to see if Allah Almighty had lightened his grief-load by leaving a door of issue. So he turned him to the right and to the left but he saw naught save darkness and four walls closed upon him, for that the Magician had by his magic locked all the doors and had shut up even the garden, wherethrough the lad erst had passed, lest it offer him the means of issuing out upon earth's surface, and that he might surely die. Then Alaeddin's weeping waxed sorer, and his wailing louder whenas he found all the doors fast shut, for he had thought to solace himself awhile in the garden. But when he felt that all were locked, he fell to shedding tears and lamenting like unto one who hath lost his every hope, and he returned to sit upon the stairs of the flight whereby he had entered the souterrain.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Thirtieth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin sat down upon the stair of the vault weeping and wailing and wanting all hopes. But it is a light matter for Allah (be He exalted and extolled !) whenas He designeth aught to say, "Be" and it becometh; for that He createth joy in the midst of annoy; and on this wise it was with Alaeddin. Whilst the Maghrabi, the Magician, was sending him down into the souterrain he set upon his finger by way of gift, a seal ring and said, "Verily, this signet shall save thee from every strait an thou fall into calamity and ill shifts of time; and it shall remove from thee all hurt and harm, and aid thee with a strong arm whereso thou mayest be set." [FN#100] Now this was by destiny of God the Great, that it might be the means of Alaeddin's escape; for whilst he sat wailing and weeping over his case and cast away all hope of life, and utter misery overwhelmed him, he rubbed his hands together for excess of sorrow, as is the wont of the woeful; then, raising them in supplication to Allah, he cried, "I testify that there is no God save Thou alone, The Most Great, the Omnipotent, the All-Conquering, Quickener of the dead, Creator of man's need and Granter thereof, Resolver of his difficulties and duresse and Bringer of joy not of annoy. Thou art my sufficiency and Thou art the Truest of Trustees. And I bear witness that Mohammed is Thy servant and Thine Apostle and I supplicate Thee, O my God, by his favour with Thee to free me from this my foul plight." And whilst he implored the Lord and was chafing his hands in the soreness of his sorrow for that had befallen him of calamity, his fingers chanced to rub the Ring when, lo and behold! forthright its Familiar rose upright before him and cried, "Adsum; thy slave between thy hands is come! Ask whatso thou wantest, for that I am the thrall of him on whose hand is the Ring, the Signet of my lord and master." Hereat the lad looked at him and saw standing before him a Márid like unto an Ifrít [FN#101] of our lord Solomon's Jinns. He trembled at the terrible sight; but, hearing the Slave of the Ring say, "Ask whatso thou wantest, verily, I am thy thrall, seeing that the signet of my lord be upon thy finger," he recovered his spirits and remembered the Moorman's saying when giving him the Ring So he rejoiced exceedingly and became brave and cried, "Ho thou; Slave of the Lord of the Ring, I desire thee to set me upon the face of earth." And hardly had he spoken this speech when suddenly the ground clave asunder and he found himself at the door of the Hoard and outside it in full view of the world. Now for three whole days he had been sitting in the darkness of the Treasury underground and when the sheen of day and the thine of sun smote his face he found himself unable to keep his eyes open; so he began to unclose the lids a little and to close them a little until his eyeballs regained force and got used to the light and were purged of the noisome murk.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-first Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell me some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin, issuing from the Treasury, opened his eyes after a short space of time and saw himself upon earth's surface, the which rejoiced him exceedingly, and withal he was astounded at finding himself without the Hoard-door whereby he had passed in when it was opened by the Maghrabi, the Magician; especially as the adit had been lidded and the ground had been smoothed, showing no sign whatever of entrance. Thereat his surprise increased until he fancied himself in another place, nor was his mind convinced that the stead was the same until he saw the spot whereupon they had kindled the fire of wood-chips and dried sticks, and where the African Wizard had conjured over the incense. Then he turned him rightwards and leftwards and sighted the gardens from afar and his eyes recognized the road whereby he had come. So he returned thanks to Allah Almighty who had restored him to the face of earth and had freed him from death after he had cut off all hopes of life. Presently he arose and walked along the way to the town, which now he well knew, until he entered the streets and passed on to his own home. Then he went in to his mother and on seeing her, of the overwhelming stress of joy at his escape and the memory of past affright and the hardships he had borne and the pangs of hunger, he fell to the ground before his parent in a fainting-fit. Now his mother had been passing sad since the time of his leaving her and he found her moaning and crying about him; however on sighting him enter the house she joyed with exceeding joy, but soon was overwhelmed with woe when he sank upon the ground swooning before her eyes. Still, [FN#102] she did not neglect the matter or treat it lightly, but at once hastened to sprinkle water upon his face and after she asked of the neighbours some scents which she made him snuff up. And when he came round a little, he prayed her to bring him somewhat of food saying, "O my mother 'tis now three days since I ate anything at all." Thereupon she arose and brought him what she had by her; then, setting it before him, said, "Come forward, O my son; eat and be cheered [FN#103] and, when thou shalt have rested, tell me what hath betided and affected thee, O my child; at this present I will not question thee for thou art aweary in very deed."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-second Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell me some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin ate and drank and was cheered and after he had rested and had recovered spirits he cried, "Ah, O my mother, I have a sore grievance against thee for leaving me to that accursed wight who strave to compass my destruction and designed to take my life. [FN#104] Know that I beheld Death with mine own eyes at the hand of this damned wretch, whom thou didst certify to be my uncle; and, had not Almighty Allah rescued me from him, I and thou, O my mother, had been cozened by the excess of this Accursed's promises to work my welfare, and by the great show of affection which he manifested to us. Learn, O my mother, that this fellow is a sorcerer, a Moorman, an accursed, a liar, a traitor, a hypocrite; [FN#105] nor deem I that the devils under the earth are damnable as he. Allah abase him in his every book! Hear then, O my mother, what this abominable one did, and all I shall tell thee will be soothfast and certain. See how the damned villain brake every promise he made, certifying that he would soon work all good with me; and do thou consider the fondness which he displayed to me and the deeds which he did by me; and all this only to win his wish, for his design was to destroy me; and Alhamdolillah--laud to the Lord--for my deliverance. Listen and learn, O my mother, how this Accursed entreated me." Then Alaeddin informed his mother of all that had befallen him (weeping the while for stress of gladness); how the Maghrabi had led him to a hill wherein was hidden the Hoard and how he had conjured and fumigated, adding, [FN#106] "After which, O my mother, mighty fear get hold of me when the hill split and the earth gaped before me by his wizardry; and I trembled with terror at the rolling of thunder in mine ears and the murk which fell upon us when he fumigated and muttered spells. Seeing these horrors I in mine affright designed to fly; but, when he understood mine intent he reviled me and smote me a buffet so sore that it caused me to swoon. However, inasmuch as the Treasury was to be opened only by means of me, O my mother, he could not descend therein himself, it being in my name and not in his; and, for that he is an ill-omened magician, he understood that I was necessary to him and this was his need of me."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-third Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell me some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin acquainted his mother with all that had befallen him from the Maghrabi, the Magician, and said, "After he had buffetted me, he judged it advisable to soothe me in order that he might send me down into the Enchanted Treasury; and first he drew from his finger a Ring which he placed upon mine. So I descended and found four halls all full of gold and silver which counted as naught, and the Accursed had charged me not to touch aught thereof. Then I entered a mighty fine flower-garden everywhere bedecked with tall trees whose foliage and fruitage bewildered the wits, for all, O my mother, were of vari-coloured glass, and lastly I reached the Hall wherein hung this Lamp. So I took it straightway and put it out [FN#107] and poured forth its contents." And so saying Alaeddin drew the Lamp from his breast-pocket and showed it to his mother, together with the gems and jewels which he had brought from the garden; and there were two large bag-pockets full of precious stones, whereof not one was to be found amongst the kings of the world. But the lad knew naught anent their worth deeming them glass or crystal; and presently he resumed, "After this, O mother mine, I reached the Hoard-door carrying the Lamp and shouted to the accursed Sorcerer, which called himself my uncle, to lend me a hand and hale me up, I being unable to mount of myself the last step for the over weight of my burthen. But he would not and said only, 'First hand me the Lamp!' As, however, I had placed it at the bottom of my breast-pocket and the other pouches bulged out beyond it, I was unable to get at it and said, 'O my uncle, I cannot reach thee the Lamp, but I will give it to thee when outside the Treasury.' His only need was the Lamp and he designed, O my mother, to snatch it from me and after that slay me, as indeed he did his best to do by heaping the earth over my head. Such then is what befel me from this foul Sorcerer." Hereupon Alaeddin fell to abusing the Magician in hot wrath and with a burning heart and crying, "Well-away! I take refuge from this damned wight, the ill-omened, the wrongdoer, the for-swearer, the lost to all humanity, the arch-traitor, the hypocrite, the annihilator of ruth and mercy."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-fourth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when Alaeddin's mother heard his words and what had befallen him from the Maghrabi, the Magician, she said, "Yea, verily, O my son, he is a miscreant, a hypocrite who murthereth the folk by his magic; but 'twas the grace of Allah Almighty, O my child, that saved thee from the tricks and the treachery of this accursed Sorcerer whom I deemed to be truly thine uncle." [FN#108] Then, as the lad had not slept a wink for three days and found himself nodding, he sought his natural rest, his mother doing on like wise; nor did he awake till about noon on the second day. As soon as he shook off slumber he called for somewhat of food being sore anhungered, but said his mother, "O my son, I have no victual for thee inasmuch as yesterday thou atest all that was in the house. But wait patiently a while: I have spun a trifle of yarn which I will carry to the market-street and sell it and buy with what it may be worth some victual for thee." "O my mother," said he, "keep your yarn and sell it not; but fetch me the Lamp I brought hither that I may go vend it and with its price purchase provaunt, for that I deem 'twill bring more money than the spinnings." So Alaeddin's mother arose and fetched the Lamp for her son; but, while so doing, she saw that it was dirty exceedingly; so she said, "O my son, here is the Lamp, but 'tis very foul: after we shall have washed it and polished it 'twill sell better." Then, taking a handful of sand she began to rub therewith, but she had only begun when appeared to her one of the Jánn whose favour was frightful and whose bulk was horrible big, and he was gigantic as one of the Jabábirah. [FN#109] And forthright he cried to her, "Say whatso thou wantest of me? Here am I, thy Slave and Slave to whoso holdeth the Lamp; and not I alone, but all the Slaves of the Wonderful Lamp which thou hendest in hand." She quaked and terror was sore upon her when she looked at that frightful form and her tongue being tied she could not return aught reply, never having been accustomed to espy similar semblances.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-fifth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin's mother could not of her terror return a reply to the Márid; nay she fell to the ground oppressed by her affright. [FN#110] Now her son was standing afar off and he had already seen the Jinní of the Ring which he had rubbed within the Treasury; so when he heard the Slave speaking to his parent, he hastened forwards and snatching the Lamp from her hand, said, "O Slave of the Lamp, I am unhungered and 'tis my desire that thou fetch me somewhat to eat and let it be something toothsome beyond our means." The Jinni disappeared for an eye-twinkle and returned with a mighty fine tray and precious of price, for that 'twas all in virginal silver and upon it stood twelve golden platters of meats manifold and dainties delicate, with bread snowier than snow; also two silvern cups and as many black jacks [FN#111] full of wine clear-strained and long-stored. And after setting all these before Alaeddin, he evanished from vision. Thereupon the lad went and sprinkled rose water upon his mother's face and caused her snuff up perfumes pure and pungent and said to her when she revived, "Rise, O mother mine, and let us eat of these meats wherewith Almighty Allah hath eased our poverty." But when she saw that mighty fine silvern tray she fell to marvelling at the matter and Quoth she, "O my son, who be this generous, this beneficent one who hath abated our hunger-pains and our penury? We are indeed under obligation to him and, meseemeth, 'tis the Sultan who, hearing of our mean condition and our misery, hath sent us this food tray." Quoth he, "O my mother, this be no time for questioning: arouse thee and let us eat for we are both a-famished." Accordingly, they sat down to the tray and fell to feeding when Alaeddin's mother tasted meats whose like in all her time she had never touched; so they devoured them with sharpened appetites and all the capacity engendered by stress of hunger; and, secondly, the food was such that marked the tables of the Kings. But neither of them knew whether the tray was or was not valuable, for never in their born days had they looked upon aught like it. As soon as they had finished the meal (withal leaving victual enough for supper and eke for the next day), they arose and washed their hands and sat at chat, when the mother turned to her son and said, "Tell me, O my child, what befel thee from the Slave, the Jinní, now that Alhamdolillah--laud to the Lord!--we have eaten our full of the good things wherewith He hath favoured us and thou hast no pretext for saying to me, 'I am anhungered.' " So Alaeddin related to her all that took place between him and the Slave what while she had sunk upon the ground aswoon for sore terror; and at this she, being seized with mighty great surprise, said, " 'tis true; for the Jinns do present themselves before the Sons of Adam [FN#112] but I, O my son, never saw them in all my life and meseemeth that this be the same who saved thee when thou west within the Enchanted Hoard." "This is not he, O my mother: this who appeared before thee is the Slave of the Lamp!" "Who may this be, O my son?" "This be a Slave of sort and shape other than he; that was the Familiar of the Ring and this his fellow thou sawest was the Slave of the Lamp thou hentest in hand."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-sixth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin said, "Verily, O my mother, the Jinni who appeared to thee was the Slave of the Lamp." And when his parent heard these words she cried, "There! there! [FN#113] so this Accursed, who showed himself to me and went nigh unto killing me with affright, is attached to the Lamp." "Yes," he replied, and she rejoined, "Now I conjure thee, O my son, by the milk wherewith I suckled thee, to throw away from thee this Lamp and this Ring; because they can cause us only extreme terror and I especially can never abear a second glance at them. Moreover all intercourse with them is unlawful, for that the Prophet (whom Allah save and assain!) warned us against them with threats." He replied, "Thy commands, O my mother, be upon my head [FN#114] and mine eyes; but, as regards this saying thou saidest, 'tis impossible that I part or with Lamp or with Ring. Thou thyself hast seen what good the Slave wrought us whenas we were famishing; and know, O my mother, that the Maghrabi, the liar, the Magician, when sending me down into the Hoard, sought nor the silver nor the gold wherewith the four halls were fulfilled, but charged me to bring him only the Lamp (naught else), because in very deed he had learned its priceless value; and, had he not been certified of it, he had never endured such toil and trouble nor had he travelled from his own land to our land in search thereof; neither had he shut me up in the Treasury when he despaired of the Lamp which I would not hand to him. Therefore it besitteth us, O my mother, to keep this Lamp and take all care thereof nor disclose its mysteries to any; for this is now our means of livelihood and this it is shall enrich us. And likewise as regards the Ring, I will never withdraw it from my finger inasmuch as but for this thou hadst nevermore seen me on life nay I should have died within the Hoard underground. How then can I possibly remove it from my finger? And who wotteth that which may betide me by the lapse of Time, what trippings or calamities or injurious mishaps wherefrom this Ring may deliver me? However, for regard to thy feelings I will stow away the Lamp nor ever suffer it to be seen of thee hereafter." Now when his mother heard his words and pondered them she knew they were true and said to him, "Do, O my son, whatso thou wiliest for my part I wish never to see them nor ever sight that frightful spectacle I erst saw."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-seventh Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be not sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin and his mother continued eating of the meats brought them by the Jinni for two full told days till they were finished; but when he learned that nothing of food remained for them, he arose and took a platter of the platters which the Slave had brought upon the tray. Now they were all of the finest gold but the lad knew naught thereof; so he bore it to the Bazar and there, seeing a man which was a Jew, a viler than the Satans, [FN#115] offered it to him for sale. When the Jew espied it he took the lad aside that none might see him, and he looked at the platter and considered it till he was certified that it was of gold refined. But he knew not whether Alaeddin was acquainted with its value or he was in such matters a raw laddie, [FN#116] so he asked him, "For how much, O my lord, this platter?" and the other answered, "Thou wottest what be its worth." The Jew debated with himself as to how much he should offer, because Alaeddin had returned him a craftsman-like reply; and he thought of the smallest valuation; at the same time he feared lest the lad, haply knowing its worth, should expect a considerable sum. So he said in his mind, "Belike the fellow is an ignoramous in such matters nor is ware of the price of the platter." Whereupon he pulled out of his pocket a diner, and Alaeddin eyed the gold piece lying in his palm and hastily taking it went his way; whereby the Jew was certified of his customer's innocence of all such knowledge, and repented with entire repentance that he had given him a golden diner in lieu of a copper carat, [FN#117] a bright-polished groat. However, Alaeddin made no delay but went at once to the baker's where he bought him bread and changed the ducat; then, going to his mother, he gave her the scones and the remaining small coin and said, "O my mother, hie thee and buy thee all we require." So she arose and walked to the Bazar and laid in the necessary stock; after which they ate and were cheered. And whenever the price of the platter was expended, Alaeddin would take another and carry it to the accursed Jew who bought each and every at a pitiful price; and even this he would have minished but, seeing how he had paid a diner for the first, he feared to offer a lesser sum, lest the lad go and sell to some rival in trade and thus lose his usurious gains. Now when all the golden platters were sold, there remained only the silver tray whereupon they stood; and, for that it was large and weighty, Alaeddin brought the Jew to his house and produced the article, when the buyer, seeing its size gave him ten dinars and these being accepted went his ways. Alaeddin and his mother lived upon the sequins until they were spent; then he brought out the Lamp and rubbed it and straightway appeared the Slave who had shown himself aforetime.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-eighth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Jinni, the Slave of the Lamp, on appearing to Alaeddin said, "Ask, O my lord, whatso thou wantest for I am thy Slave and the thrall of whoso hath the Lamp;" and said the lad, "I desire that thou bring me a tray of food like unto that thou broughtest me erewhiles, for indeed I am famisht." Accordingly, in the glance of an eye the Slave produced a similar tray supporting twelve platters of the most sumptuous, furnished with requisite cates; and thereon stood clean bread and sundry glass bottles [FN#118] of strained wine. Now Alaeddin's mother had gone out when she knew he was about to rub the Lamp that she might not again look upon the Jinni; but after a while she returned and, when she sighted the tray covered with silvern [FN#119] platters and smelt the savour of the rich meats diffused over the house, she marvelled and rejoiced. Thereupon Quoth he, "Look, O my mother! Thou badest me throw away the Lamp, see now its virtues;" and Quoth she, "O my son, Allah increase his [FN#120] weal, but I would not look upon him." Then the lad sat down with his parent to the tray and they ate and drank until they were satisfied; after which they removed what remained for use on the morrow. As soon as the meats had been consumed, Alaeddin arose and stowed away under his clothes a platter of the platters and went forth to find the Jew, purposing to sell it to him; but by fiat of Fate he passed by the shop of an ancient jeweller, an honest man and a pious who feared Allah. When the Shaykh saw the lad, he asked him saying, "O my son, what dost thou want? for that times manifold have I seen thee passing hereby and having dealings with a Jewish man; and I have espied thee handing over to him sundry articles; now also I fancy thou hast somewhat for sale and thou seekest him as a buyer thereof. But thou wottest not, O my child, that the Jews ever hold lawful to them the good of Moslems, [FN#121] the Confessors of Allah Almighty's unity, and, always defraud them; especially this accursed Jew with whom thou hast relations and into whose hands thou hast fallen. If then, O my son, thou have aught thou wouldest sell show the same to me and never fear, for I will give thee its full price by the truth of Almighty Allah." Thereupon Alaeddin brought out the platter which when the ancient goldsmith saw, he took and weighed it in his scales and asked the lad saying, "Was it the fellow of this thou soldest to the Jew?" "Yes, its fellow and its brother," he answered, and Quoth the old man, "What price did he pay thee?" Quoth the lad, "One diner."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-ninth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the ancient goldsmith, hearing from Alaeddin how the Jew used to give only one diner as the price of the platter, cried, "Ah! I take refuge from this Accursed who cozeneth the servants of Allah Almighty!" Then, looking at the lad, he exclaimed, "O my son, verily yon tricksy Jew hath cheated thee and laughed at thee, this platter being pure silver and virginal. I have weighed it and found it worth seventy diners; and, if thou please to take its value, take it." Thereupon the Shaykh counted out to him seventy gold pieces, which he accepted and presently thanked him for his kindness in exposing the Jew's rascality. And after this, whenever the price of a platter was expended, he would bring another, and on such wise he and his mother were soon in better circumstances; yet they ceased not to live after their olden fashion as middle class folk [FN#122] without spending on diet overmuch or squandering money. But Alaeddin had now thrown off the ungraciousness of his boyhood; he shunned the society of scapegraces and he began to frequent good men and true, repairing daily to the market-street of the merchants and there companying with the great and the small of them, asking about matters of merchandise and learning the price of investments and so forth; he likewise frequented the Bazars of the Goldsmiths and the Jewellers [FN#123] where he would sit and divert himself by inspecting their precious stones and by noting how jewels were sold and bought therein. Accordingly, he presently became ware that the tree-fruits, wherewith he had filled his pockets what time he entered the Enchanted Treasury, were neither glass nor crystal but gems rich and rare; and he understood that he had acquired immense wealth such as the Kings never can possess. He then considered all the precious stones which were in the Jewellers' Quarter, but found that their biggest was not worth his smallest. On this wise he ceased not every day repairing to the Bazar and making himself familiar with the folk and winning their loving will; [FN#124] and enquiring anent selling and buying, giving and taking, the dear and the cheap, until one day of the days when, after rising at dawn and donning his dress he went forth, as was his wont, to the Jewellers' Bazar; and, as he passed along it he heard the crier crying as follows: "By command of our magnificent master, the King of the Time and the Lord of the Age and the Tide, let all the folk lock up their shops and stores and retire within their houses, for that the Lady Badr al-Budur, [FN#125] daughter of the Sultan, designeth to visit the Hammám; and whoso gainsayeth the order shall be punished with death-penalty and be his blood upon his own neck!" But when Alaeddin heard the proclamation, he longed to look upon the King's daughter and said in his mind, "Indeed all the lieges talk of her beauty and loveliness and the end of my desires is to see her."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Fortieth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin fell to contriving some means whereby he might look upon the Princess Badr al-Budur and at last judged best to take his station behind the Hammam door whence he might see her face as she entered. [FN#126] Accordingly, without stay or delay he repaired to the Baths before she was expected and stood a-rear of the entrance, a place whereat none of the folk happened to be looking. Now when the Sultan's daughter had gone the rounds of the city and its main streets and had solaced herself by sight-seeing, she finally reached the Hammam and whilst entering she raised her veil, when her face rose before sight as it were a pearl of price or a sheeny sun, and she was as one of whom the describer sang,
"Magic Kohl enchanteth the glances so bright of her: * We pluck roses in posies from cheeks rosy bright of her:
Of night's gloomiest hue is the gloom of the hair of her * And her bright brow uplighteth the murks of the night of her." [FN#127]
(Quoth the reciter) when the Princess raised from her face the veil and Alaeddin saw her favour he said, "In very truth her fashion magnifieth her Almighty Fashioner and glory be to Him who created her and adorned her with this beauty and loveliness." His strength was struck down from the moment he saw her and his thoughts were distraught; his gaze was dazed, the love of her get hold of the whole of his heart; and, when he returned home to his mother, he was as one in ecstasy. His parent addressed him, but he neither replied nor denied; and, when she set before him the morning meal he continued in like case; so Quoth she, "O my son, what is't may have befallen thee? Say me, doth aught ail thee? Let me know what ill hath betided thee for, unlike thy custom, thou speakest not when I bespeak thee." Thereupon Alaeddin (who used to think that all women resembled his mother [FN#128] and who, albeit he had heard of the charms of Badr al-Budur, daughter of the Sultan, yet knew not what "beauty" and "loveliness" might signify) turned to his parent and exclaimed, "Let me be!" However, she persisted in praying him to come forwards and eat, so he did her bidding but hardly touched food; after which he lay at full length on his bed all the night through in cogitation deep until morning morrowed. The same was his condition during the next day, when his mother was perplexed for the case of her son and unable to learn what had happened to him. So, thinking that belike he might be ailing she drew near him and asked him saying, "O my son, an thou sense aught of pain or such like, let me know that I may fare forth and fetch thee the physician; and to-day there be in this our city a leech from the Land of the Arabs whom the Sultan hath sent to summon and the bruit abroad reporteth him to be skillful exceedingly. So, an be thou ill let me go and bring him to thee."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Forty-first Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin, hearing his parent's offer to summon the mediciner, said, "O my mother, I am well in body and on no wise ill. But I ever thought that all women resembled thee until yesterday, when I beheld the Lady Badr al-Budur daughter of the Sultan, as she was faring for the Baths." Then he related to her all and everything that had happened to him adding, "Haply thou also hast heard the crier a-crying, 'Let no man open shop or stand in street that the Lady Badr al-Budur may repair to the Hammam without eye seeing her.' But I have looked upon her even as she is, for she raised her veil at the door and, when I viewed her favour and beheld that noble work of the Creator, a sore fit of ecstasy, O my mother, fell upon me for love of her and firm resolve to win her hath opened its way into every limb of me, nor is repose possible for me except I win her. Wherefor I purpose asking her to wife from the Sultan her sire in lawful wedlock." When Alaeddin's mother heard her son's words, she belittled his wits and cried, "O my child, the name of Allah upon thee! meseemeth thou hast lost thy senses. But be thou rightly guided, O my son, nor be thou as the men Jinn-maddened!" He replied, "Nay, O mother mine, I am not out of my mind nor am I of the maniacs; nor shall this thy saying alter one jot of what is in my thoughts, for rest is impossible to me until I shall have won the dearling of my heart's core, the beautiful Lady Badr al-Budur. And now I am resolved to ask her of her sire the Sultan." She rejoined, "O my son, by my life upon thee speak not such speech, lest any overhear thee and say thou be insane: so cast away from thee such nonsense! Who shall undertake a matter like this or make such request to the King? Indeed, I know not how, supposing this thy speech to be soothfast, thou shalt manage to crave such grace of the Sultan or through whom thou desirest to propose it." He retorted, "Through whom shall I ask it, O my mother, when thou art present? And who is there fonder and more faithful to me than thyself? So my design is that thou thy self shalt proffer this my petition." Quoth she, "O my son, Allah remove me far therefrom! What! have I lost my wits like thyself? Cast the thought away and a long way from thy heart. Remember whose son thou art, O my child, the orphan boy of a tailor, the poorest and meanest of the tailors toiling in this city; and I, thy mother, am also come of pauper folk and indigent. How then durst thou ask to wife the daughter of the Sultan, whose sire would not deign marry her with the sons of the Kings and the Sovrans, except they were his peers in honour and grandeur and majesty; and, were they but one degree lower, he would refuse his daughter to them."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Forty-second Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin took patience until his parent had said her say, when Quoth he, "O my mother, everything thou hast called to mind is known to me; moreover 'tis thoroughly well known to me that I am the child of pauper parents; withal do not these words of thee divert me from my design at all, at all Nor the less do I hope of thee, an I be thy son and thou truly love me, that thou grant me this favour, otherwise thou wilt destroy me; and present Death hovereth over my head except I win my will of my heart's dearling; and I, O my mother, am in every case thy child." Hearing these words, his parent wept of her sorrow for him and said, "O my child! Yes, in very deed I am thy mother, nor have I any son or life's blood of my liver except thyself, and the end of my wishes is to give thee a wife and rejoice in thee. But suppose that I would seek a bride of our likes and equals, her people will at once ask an thou have any land or garden, merchandise or handicraft, wherewith thou canst support her; and what is the reply I can return? Then, if I cannot possibly answer the poor like ourselves, how shall I be bold enough, O my son, to ask for the daughter of the Sultan of China-land who hath no peer or behind or before him? Therefore do thou weigh this matter in thy mind. Also who shall ask her to wife for the son of a snip? Well indeed I wot that my saying aught of this kind will but increase our misfortunes; for that it may be the cause of our incurring mortal danger from the Sultan; peradventure even death for thee and me. And, as concerneth myself, how shall I venture upon such rash deed and perilous, O my son? and in what way shall I ask the Sultan for his daughter to be thy wife; and, indeed, how ever shall I even get access to him? And should I succeed therein, what is to be my answer an they ask me touching thy means? Haply the King will hold me to be a madwoman. And, lastly, suppose that I obtain audience of the Sultan, what offering is there I can submit to the King's majesty?" [FN#129]--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,
When it was the Five Hundred and Forty-third Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales;" whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin's mother continued to her son, " 'tis true, O my child, that the Sultan is mild and merciful, never rejecting any who approach him to require justice or ruth or protection, nor any who pray him for a present; for he is liberal and lavisheth favour upon near and far. But he dealeth his boons to those deserving them, to men who have done some derring-do in battle under his eyes or have rendered as civilians great service to his estate. But thou! do thou tell me what feat thou hast performed in his presence or before the public that thou meritest from him such grace? And, secondly, this boon thou ambitionest is not for one of our condition, nor is it possible that the King grant to thee the bourne of thine aspiration; for whoso goeth to the Sultan and craveth of him a favour, him it besitteth to take in hand somewhat that suiteth the royal majesty, as indeed I warned thee aforetime. How, then, shalt thou risk thyself to stand before the Sultan and ask his daughter in marriage, when thou hast with thee naught to offer him of that which beseemeth his exalted station?" Hereto Alaeddin replied, "O my mother, thou speakest to the point and hast reminded me aright and 'tis meet that I revolve in mind the whole of thy remindings. But, O my mother, the love of Princess Badr al-Budur hath entered into the core of my heart; nor can I rest without I win her. However, thou hast also recalled to me a matter which I forgot and 'tis this emboldeneth me to ask his daughter of the King. Albeit thou, O my mother, declarest that I have no gift which I can submit to the Sultan, as is the wont of the world, yet in very sooth I have an offering and a present whose equal, O my mother, I hold none of the Kings to possess; no, nor even aught like it."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Forty-fourth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin said to his mother, "Because verily that which I deemed glass or crystal was nothing but precious stones and I hold that all the Kings of the World have never possessed any thing like one of the smallest thereof. For, by frequenting the jeweller-folk, I have learned that they are the costliest gems and these are what I brought in my pockets from the Hoard, whereupon, an thou please, compose thy mind. We have in our house a bowl of China porcelain; so arise thou and fetch it, that I may fill it with these jewels, which thou shalt carry as a gift to the King, and thou shalt stand in his presence and solicit him for my requirement. I am certified that by such means the matter will become easy to thee; and, if thou be unwilling, O my mother, to strive for the winning of my wish as regards the lady Badr al-Budur, know thou that surely I shall die. Nor do thou imagine that this gift is of aught save the costliest of stones and be assured, O my mother, that in my many visits to the Jewellers' Bazar I have observed the merchants selling for sums man's judgment may not determine jewels whose beauty is not worth one quarter carat of what we possess; seeing which I was certified that ours are beyond all price. So arise, O my mother, as I bade thee and bring me the porcelain bowl aforesaid, that I may arrange therein some of these gems and we will see what semblance they show." So she brought him the China bowl saying in herself, "I shall know what to do when I find out if the words of my child concerning these jewels be soothfast or not;" and she set it before her son who pulled the stones out of his pockets and disposed them in the bowl and ceased not arranging therein gems of sorts till such time as he had filled it. And when it was brimful she could not fix her eyes firmly upon it; on the contrary, she winked and blinked for the dazzle of the stones and their radiance and excess of lightning like glance; and her wits were bewildered thereat; only she was not certified of their value being really of the enormous extent she had been told. Withal she reflected that possibly her son might have spoken aright when he declared that their like was not to be found with the Kings. Then Alaeddin turned to her and said, "Thou hast seen, O my mother, that this present intended for the Sultan is magnificent, and I am certified that it will procure for thee high honour with him and that he will receive thee with all respect. And now, O my mother, thou hast no excuse; so compose thy thoughts and arise; take thou this bowl and away with it to the palace." His mother rejoined, "O my son, 'tis true that the present is high-priced exceedingly and the costliest of the costly; also that according to thy word none owneth its like. But who would have the boldness to go and ask the Sultan for his daughter, the Lady Badr al-Badur? I indeed dare not say to him, 'I want thy daughter!' when he shall ask me, 'What is thy want?' for know thou, O my son, that my tongue will be tied. And, granting that Allah assist me and I embolden myself to say to him, 'My wish is to become a connection of thine through the marriage of thy daughter, the Lady Badr al-Budur, to my son Alaeddin,' they will surely decide at once that I am demented and will thrust me forth in disgrace and despised. I will not tell thee that I shall thereby fall into danger of death, for 'twill not only be I but thou likewise. However, O my son, of my regard for thine inclination, I needs must embolden myself and hie thither; yet, O my child, if the King receive me and honour me on account of the gift and enquire of me what thou desirest,"--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Forty-fifth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin's mother said to her son, "And in reply I ask of him that which thou desirest in the matter of thy marriage with his daughter, how shall I answer him an he ask me, as is man's wont, What estates hast thou, and what income? And perchance, O my son, he will question me of this before questioning me of thee." Alaeddin replied, " 'tis not possible that the Sultan should make such demand what time he considereth the jewels and their magnificence; nor is it meet to think of such things as these which may never occur. Now do thou but arise and set before him this present of precious stones and ask of him his daughter for me, and sit not yonder making much of the difficulty in thy fancy. Ere this thou hast learned, O mother mine, that the Lamp which we possess hath become to us a stable income and that whatso I want of it the same is supplied to me; and my hope is that by means thereof I shall learn how to answer the Sultan should he ask me of that thou sayest." [FN#130] Then Alaeddin and his mother fell to talking over the subject all that night long and when morning morrowed, the dame arose and heartened her heart, especially as her son had expounded to her some little of the powers of the Lamp and the virtues thereof; to wit, that it would supply all they required of it. Alaeddin, however, seeing his parent take courage when he explained to her the workings of the Lamp, feared lest she might tattle to the folk thereof; [FN#131] so he said to her, "O my mother, beware how thou talk to any of the properties of the Lamp and its profit, as this is our one great good. Guard thy thoughts lest thou speak over much concerning it before others, whoso they be; haply we shall lose it and lose the boon fortune we possess and the benefits we expect, for that 'tis of him." [FN#132] His mother replied, "Fear not, therefor, O my son," and she arose and took the bowl full of jewels, which she wrapped up in a fine kerchief, and went forth betimes that she might reach the Divan ere it became crowded. When she passed into the Palace, the levée not being fully attended, she saw the Wazirs and sundry of the Lords of the land going into the presence-room and after a short time, when the Divan was made complete by the Ministers and high Officials and Chieftains and Emirs and Grandees, the Sultan appeared and the Wazirs made their obeisance and likewise did the Nobles and the Notables. The King seated himself upon the throne of his kingship, and all present at the levée stood before him with crossed arms awaiting his commandment to sit; and, when they received it, each took his place according to his degree; then the claimants came before the Sultan who delivered sentence, after his wonted way, until the Divan was ended, when the King arose and withdrew into the palace [FN#133] and the others all went their ways.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Forty-sixth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin's mother, having come the earliest of all, found means of entering without any addressing her or offering to lead her to the presence; and she ceased not standing there until the Divan ended, when the Sultan arose and withdrew into the palace and the others all went about their business. And when she saw the throne empty and the King passing into his Harem, she also wended her ways and returned home. But as soon as her son espied her, bowl in hand, he thought that haply something untoward had befallen her, but he would not ask of aught until such time as she had set down the bowl, when she acquainted him with that which had occurred and ended by adding, "Alhamdolillah,--laud to the Lord!--O my child, that I found courage enough and secured for myself standing place in the levée this day; and, albe I dreaded to bespeak the King yet (Inshallah!) on the morrow I will address him. Even to-day were many who, like myself, could not get audience of the Sultan. But be of good cheer, O my son, and to-morrow needs must I bespeak him for thy sake; and what happened not may happen." When Alaeddin heard his parent's words, he joyed with excessive joy; and, although he expected the matter to be managed hour by hour, for excess of his love and longing to the Lady Badr al-Budur, yet he possessed his soul in patience. They slept well that night and betimes next morning the mother of Alaeddin arose and went with her bowl to the King's court which she found closed. So she asked the people and they told her that the Sultan did not hold a levée every day but only thrice in the se'nnight; wherefor she determined to return home; and, after this, whenever she saw the court open she would stand before the King until the reception ended and when it was shut she would go to make sure thereof; and this was the case for the whole month. The Sultan was wont to remark her presence at every levée, but, on the last day when she took her station, as was her wont, before the Council, she allowed it to close and lacked boldness to come forwards and speak even a syllable. Now as the King having risen was making for his Harem accompanied by the Grand Wazir, he turned to him and said, "O Wazir, during the last six or seven levée days I see yonder old woman present herself at every reception and I also note that she always carrieth a something under her mantilla. Say me, hast thou, O Wazir, any knowledge of her and her intention?" "O my lord the Sultan, said the other, "verily women be weakly of wits, and haply this goodwife cometh hither to complain before thee [FN#134] against her goodman or some of her people." But this reply was far from satisfying the Sultan; nay, be bade the Wazir, in case she should come again, set her before him; and forthright the Minister placed hand on head and exclaimed, "To hear is to obey, O our lord the Sultan!"--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Forty-seventh Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the mother of Alaeddin, as she made a practice of repairing to the Divan every day and passing into the room and standing opposite the King, albeit she was sorrowful and sore aweary, withal for her son's sake she endeavored to make easy all her difficulties. Now one day of the days, when she did according to her custom, the Sultan cast his eyes upon her as she stood before him, and said to his Grand Wazir, "This be the very woman whereof I spake to thee yesterday, so do thou straightway bring her before me, that I may see what be her suit and fulfil her need." Accordingly, the Minister at once introduced her and when in the presence she saluted the King by kissing her finger tips and raising them to her brow; [FN#135] and, praying for the Sultan's glory and continuance and the permanence of his prosperity, bussed ground before him. Thereupon, Quoth he "O woman, [FN#136] for sundry days I have seen thee attend the levée sans a word said; so tell me an thou have any requirement I may grant." She kissed ground a second time and after blessing him, answered, "Yea, verily, as thy head liveth, O King of the Age, I have a want; but first of all, do thou deign grant me a promise of safety that I may prefer my suit to the ears of our lord the Sultan; for haply thy Highness [FN#137] may find it a singular." The King, wishing to know her need, and being a man of unusual mildness and clemency, gave his word for her immunity and bade forthwith dismiss all about him, remaining without other but the Grand Wazir. Then he turned towards his suppliant and said, "Inform me of thy suit: thou hast the safeguard of Allah Al-mighty." "O King of the Age," replied she, "I also require of thee pardon;" and Quoth he, "Allah pardon thee even as I do." Then, Quoth she, "O our lord the Sultan, I have a son, Alaeddin hight; and he, one day of the days, having heard the crier commending all men to shut shop and shun the streets, for that the Lady Badr al-Budur, daughter of the Sultan, was going to the Hammam, felt an uncontrollable longing to look upon her, and hid himself in a stead whence he could sight her right well, and that place was behind the door of the Baths. When she entered he beheld her and considered her as he wished, and but too well; for, since the time he looked upon her, O King of the Age, unto this hour, life hath not been pleasant to him. And he hath required of me that I ask her to wife for him from thy Highness, nor could I drive this fancy from his mind because love of her hath mastered his vitals and to such degree that he said to me, 'Know thou, O mother mine, that an I win not my wish surely I shall die.' Accordingly I hope that thy Highness will deign be mild and merciful and pardon this boldness on the part of me and my child and refrain to punish us therefor." When the Sultan heard her tale he regarded her with kindness and, laughing aloud, asked her, "What may be that thou carriest and what be in yonder kerchief?" And she seeing the Sultan laugh in lieu of waxing wroth at her words, forthright opened the wrapper and set before him the bowl of jewels, whereby the audience-hall was illumined as it were by lustres and candelabra; [FN#138] and he was dazed and amazed at the radiance of the rare gems, and he fell to marvelling at their size and beauty and excellence.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Forty-eighth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, if thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when the King saw the gems he was seized by surprise and cried, "Never at all until this day saw I anything like these jewels for size and beauty and excellence: nor deem I that there be found in my treasury a single one like them." Then he turned O Wazir? Tell me hast thou to his Minister and asked, "What sayest thou, seen in thy time such mighty fine jewels as these?" The other answered, "Never saw I such, O our lord the Sultan, nor do I think that there be in the treasures of my lord the Sultan the fellow of the least thereof." The King resumed, "Now indeed whoso hath presented to me such jewels meriteth to become bridegroom to my daughter, Badr al-Budur; because, as far as I see, none is more deserving of her than he." When the Wazir heard the Sultan's words he was tongue-tied with concern and he grieved with sore grief, for the King had promised to give the Princess in marriage to his son; so after a little while he said, "O King of the Age, thy Highness deigned promise me that the Lady Badr al-Budur should be spouse to my son; so 'tis but right that thine exalted Highness vouchsafe us a delay of three months, during which time, Inshallah! my child may obtain and present an offering yet costlier than this." Accordingly the King, albeit he knew that such a thing could not be done, or by the Wazir or by the greatest of his Grandees, yet of his grace and kindness granted him the required delay. Then he turned to the old woman, Alaeddin's mother, and said, "Go to thy son and tell him I have pledged my word that my daughter shall be in his name; [FN#139] only 'tis needful that I make the requisite preparations of nuptial furniture for her use; and 'tis only meet that he take patience for the next three months." Receiving this reply, Alaeddin's mother thanked the Sultan and blessed him; then, going forth in hottest haste, as one flying for joy, she went home; and when her son saw her entering with a smiling face, he was gladdened at the sign of good news, especially because she had returned without delay as on the Fast days, and had not brought back the bowl. Presently he asked her saying, "Inshallah, thou bearest me, O my mother, glad tidings; and peradventure the jewels and their value have wrought their work and belike thou hast been kindly received by the King and he hath shown thee grace and hath given ear to thy request?" So she told him the whole tale, how the Sultan had entreated her well and had marvelled at the extraordinary size of the gems and their surpassing water as did also the Wazir, adding, "And he promised that his daughter should be thine. Only, O my child, the Wazir spake of a secret contract made with him by the Sultan before he pledged himself to me and, after speaking privily, the King put me off to the end of three months: therefore I have become fearful lest the Wazir be evilly disposed to thee and perchance he may attempt to change the Sultan's mind." And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Forty-ninth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when Alaeddin heard his mother's words and how the Sultan had promised him his daughter, deferring, however, the wedding until after the third month, his mind was gladdened and he rejoiced exceedingly and said, "Inasmuch as the King hath given his word after three months (well, it is a long time!), at all events my gladness is mighty great." Then he thanked his parent, showing her how her good work had exceeded her toil and travail; and said to her, "By Allah, O my mother, hitherto I was as 'twere in my grave and therefrom thou hast withdrawn me; and I praise Allah Almighty because I am at this moment certified that no man in the world is happier than I or more fortunate." Then he took patience until two of the three months had gone by. Now one day of the days his mother fared forth about sundown to the Bazar that she might buy somewhat of oil; and she found all the market shops fast shut and the whole city decorated, and the folk placing waxen tapers and flowers at their casements; and she beheld the soldiers and household troops and Aghás [FN#140] riding in procession and flambeaux and lustres flaming and flaring, and she wondered at the marvellous sight and the glamour of the scene. So she went in to an oilman's store which stood open still and bought her need of him and said, "By thy life, O uncle, tell me what be the tidings in town this day, that people have made all these decorations and every house and market-street are adorned and the troops all stand on guard?" The oilman asked her, "O woman, I suppose thou art a stranger and not one of this city?" and she answered, "Nay, I am thy townswoman." He rejoined, "Thou a towns-woman, and yet wottest not that this very night the son of the Grand Wazir goeth in to the Lady Badr al-Budur, daughter of the Sultan! He is now in the Hammam and all this power of soldiery is on guard and standing under arms to await his coming forth, when they will bear him in bridal procession to the palace where the Princess expecteth him." As the mother of Alaeddin heard these words, she grieved and was distraught in thought and perplexed how to inform her son of this sorrowful event, well knowing that the poor youth was looking, hour by hour, to the end of the three months. But she returned straightway home to him and when she had entered she said, "O my son, I would give thee certain tidings, yet hard to me will be the sorrow they shall occasion thee." He cried, "Let me know what be thy news;" and she replied, "Verily the Sultan hath broken his promise to thee in the matter of the Lady Badr al-Budur, and this very night the Grand Wazir's son goeth in to her. And for some time, O my son, I have suspected that the Minister would change the King's mind, even as I told thee how he had spoken privily to him before me." Alaeddin [FN#141] asked, "How learnedst thou that the Wazir's son is this night to pay his first visit to the Princess?" So she told him the whole tale, how when going to buy oil she had found the city decorated and the eunuch-officials and Lords of the land with the troops under arms awaiting the bridegroom from the Baths; and that the first visit was appointed for that very night. Hearing this Alaeddin was seized with a fever of jealousy brought on by his grief: however, after a short while he remembered the Lamp and, recovering his spirits said, "By thy life, O my mother, do thou believe that the Wazir's son will not enjoy her as thou thinkest. But now leave we this discourse and arise thou and serve up supper [FN#142] and after eating let me retire to my own chamber and all will be well and happy." And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Fiftieth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin after he had supped retired to his chamber and, locking the door, brought out the Lamp and rubbed it, whenas forthright appeared to him its Familiar who said, "Ask whatso thou wantest, for I am thy Slave and Slave to him who holdeth the Lamp in hand; I and all the Slaves of the Lamp." He replied, "Hear me! I prayed the Sultan for his daughter to wife and he plighted her to me after three months; but he hath not kept his word; nay, he hath given her to the son of the Wazir and this very night the bridegroom will go in to her. Therefore I command thee (an thou be a trusty Servitor to the Lamp) when thou shalt see bride and bridegroom bedded together this night, [FN#143] at once take them up and bear them hither abed; and this be what I want of thee." The Marid replied, "Hearing and obeying; and if thou have other service but this, do thou demand of me all thou desirest." Alaeddin "At the present time I require naught save that I bade thee do." Here upon the Slave disappeared and Alaeddin returned to pass the rest of the evening with his mother. But at the hour when he knew that the Servitor would be coming, he arose and refired to his chamber and after a little while, behold, the Marid came bringing to him the newly-wedded couple upon their bridal-bed. Alaeddin rejoiced to see them with exceeding joy; then he cried to the Slave, "Carry yonder gallows-bird hence and lay him at full length in the privy." [FN#144] His bidding was done straightway; but, before leaving him, the Slave blew upon the bridegroom a blast so cold that it shrivelled him and the plight of the Wazir's son became piteous. Then the Servitor returning to Alaeddin said to him, "An thou require aught else, inform me thereof;" and said the other, "Return a-morn that thou mayest restore them to their stead;" whereto, "I hear and obey," Quoth the Marid and evanished. Presently Alaeddin arose, hardly believing that the affair had been such a success for him; but whenas he looked upon the Lady Badr al-Budur lying under his own roof, albeit he had long burned with her love yet he preserved respect for her and said, "O Princess of fair ones, think not that I brought thee hither hither to minish thy honour. Heaven forfend! Nay 'twas only to prevent the wrong man enjoying thee, for that thy sire the Sultan promised thee to me. So do thou rest in peace."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Fifty-first Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy do tell us some of thy pleasant tales." whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when the Lady Badr al-Budur, daughter of the Sultan, saw herself in that mean and darksome lodging, and heard Alaeddin's words, she was seized with fear and trembling and waxed clean distraught; nor could she return aught of reply. Presently the youth arose and stripping off his outer dress placed a scymitar between them and lay upon the bed beside the Princess; [FN#145] and he did no villain deed, for it sufficed him to prevent the consummation of her nuptials with the Wazir's son. On the other hand the Lady Badr al-Budur passed a night the evillest of all nights; nor in her born days had she seen a worse; and the same was the case with the Minister's son who lay in the chapel of ease and who dared not stir for the fear of the Jinni which overwhelmed him. As soon as it was morning the Slave appeared before Alaeddin, without the Lamp being rubbed, and said to him, "O my lord, an thou require aught, command me therefor, that I may do it upon my head and mine eyes." Said the other, "Go, take up and carry the bride and bridegroom to their own apartment;" so the Servitor did his bidding in an eye-glance and bore away the pair, and placed them in the palace as whilome they were and without their seeing any one; but both died of affright when they found themselves being transported from stead to stead. [FN#146] And the Marid had barely time to set them down and wend his ways ere the Sultan came on a visit of congratulation to his daughter; and, when the Wazir's son heard the doors thrown open, he sprang straightway from his couch and donned his dress [FN#147] for he knew that none save the King could enter at that hour. Yet it was exceedingly hard for him to leave his bed wherein he wished to warm himself a trifle after his cold night in the water closet which he had lately left.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Fifty-second Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Sultan went in to his daughter Badr al-Budur and kissing her between the eyes gave her good morning and asked her of her bridegroom and whether she was pleased and satisfied with him. But she returned no reply whatever and looked at him with the eye of anger and, although he repeated his words again and again, she held her peace nor bespake him with a single syllable. So the King quitted her and, going to the Queen, informed her of what had taken place between him and his daughter; and the mother, unwilling to leave the Sultan angered with their child, said to him, "O King of the Age, this be the custom of most newly-married couples at least during their first days of marriage, for that they are bashful and somewhat coy. So deign thou excuse her and after a little while she will again become herself and speak with the folk as before, whereas now her shame, O King of the Age, keepeth her silent. However 'tis my wish to fare forth and see her." Thereupon the Queen arose and donned her dress; then, going to her daughter, wished her good morning and kissed her between the eyes. Yet would the Princess make no answer at all, whereat Quoth the Queen to herself, "Doubtless some strange matter hath occurred to trouble her with such trouble as this." So she asked her saying "O my daughter, what hath caused this thy case? Let me know what hath betided thee that, when I come and give thee good morning, thou hast not a word to say to me?" Thereat the Lady Badr al-Budur raised her head and said, "Pardon me O my mother, 'twas my duty to meet thee with all respect and worship, seeing that thou hast honoured me by this visit. However, I pray thee to hear the cause of this my condition and see how the night I have just spent hath been to me the evillest of the nights. Hardly had we lain down, O my mother, than one whose form I wot not uplifted our bed and transported it to a darksome place, fulsome and mean." Then the Princess related to the Queen-mother all that had befallen her that night; how they had taken away her bridegroom, leaving her lone and lonesome, and how after a while came another youth who lay beside her, in lieu of her bridegroom, after placing his scymitar between her and himself; "and in the morning" (she continued) "he who carried us off returned and bore us straight back to our own stead. But at once when he arrived hither he left us and suddenly my sire the Sultan entered at the hour and moment of our coming and I I had nor heart nor tongue to speak him withal, for the stress of the terror and trembling which came upon me. Haply such lack of duty may have proved sore to him, so I hope, O my mother, that thou wilt acquaint him with the cause of this my condition and that he will pardon me for not answering him and blame me not, but rather accept my excuses."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Fifty-third Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when the Queen heard these words of Princess Badr al-Budur, she said to her, "O my child, compose thy thoughts. An thou tell such tale before any, haply shall he say, 'Verily, the Sultan's daughter hath lost her wits.' And thou hast done right well in not choosing to recount thine adventure to thy father; and beware and again I say beware, O my daughter, lest thou inform him thereof." The Princess replied, "O my mother, I have spoken to thee like one sound in senses nor have I lost my wits: this be what befel me and, if thou believe it not because coming from me, ask my bridegroom." To which the Queen replied, "Rise up straightway, O my daughter, and banish from thy thoughts such fancies as these; and robe thyself and come forth to glance at the bridal feasts and festivities they are making in the city for the sake of thee and thy nuptials; and listen to the drumming and the singing and look at the decorations all intended to honour thy marriage, O my daughter." So saying, the Queen at once summoned the tirewomen who dressed and prepared the Lady Badr al-Budur; and presently she went in to the Sultan and assured him that their daughter had suffered during all her wedding-night from swevens and nightmare and said to him, "Be not severe with her for not answering thee." Then the Queen sent privily for the Wazir's son and asked of the matter, saying, "Tell me, are these words of the Lady Badr al-Budur soothfast or not?" But he, in his fear of losing his bride out of hand, answered, "O my lady, I have no knowledge of that whereof thou speakest." Accordingly the mother made sure that her daughter had seen visions and dreams. The marriage-feasts lasted throughout that day with Almahs [FN#148] and singers and the smiting of all manner instruments of mirth and merriment, while the Queen and the Wazir and his son strave right strenuously to enhance the festivities that the Princess might enjoy herself; and that day they left nothing of what exciteth to pleasure unrepresented in her presence, to the end that she might forget what was in her thoughts and derive increase of joyance. Yet did naught of this take any effect upon her; nay, she sat in silence, sad of thought, sore perplexed at what had befallen her during the last night. It is true that the Wazir's son had suffered even more because he had passed his sleeping hours lying in the water-closet: he, however, had falsed the story and had cast out remembrance of the night in the first place for his fear of losing his bride and with her the honour of a connection which brought him such excess of consideration and for which men envied him so much; and, secondly, on account of the wondrous loveliness of the Lady Badr al-Budur and her marvellous beauty. Alaeddin also went forth that day and looked at the merry-makings which extended throughout the city as well as the palace and he fell a-laughing, especially when he heard the folk prating of the high honour which had accrued to the son of the Wazir and the prosperity of his fortunes in having become son-in-law to the Sultan and the high consideration shown by the wedding fêtes. And he said in his mind, "Indeed ye wot not, O ye miserables, what befel him last night that ye envy him!" But after darkness fell and it was time for sleep, Alaeddin arose and, retiring to his chamber, rubbed the Lamp, whereupon the Slave incontinently appeared.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Fifty-fourth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when the Slave appeared in presence of Alaeddin, he was bidden to bring him the Sultan's daughter together with her bridegroom as on the past night ere the Wazir's son could abate her maidenhead. So the Marid without stay or delay evanished for a little while until the appointed time, when he returned carrying the bed whereon lay the Lady Badr al-Budur and the Wazir's son; and he did with the bridegroom as he had done before, to wit, he took him up and lay him at full length in the jakes and there left him dried up for excess of fear and trembling. Then Alaeddin arose, and placing the scymitar between himself and the Princess, lay down beside her; and when day broke the Slave restored the pair to their own place, leaving Alaeddin filled with delight at the state of the Minister's son. Now when the Sultan woke up amorn he resolved to visit his daughter and see if she would treat him as on the past day; so shaking off his sleep he sprang up and arrayed himself in his raiment and, going to the apartment of the Princess bade open the door. Thereat the son of the Wazir arose forthright and came down from his bed and began donning his dress whilst his ribs were wrung with cold; for when the King entered the Slave had but just brought him back. The Sultan, raising the arras, [FN#149] drew near his daughter as she lay abed and gave her good morning; then kissing her between the eyes, he asked her of her case. But he saw her looking sour and sad and she answered him not at all, only glowering at him as one in anger and her plight was pitiable. Hereat the Sultan waxed wroth with her for that she would not reply and he suspected that something evil had befallen her, [FN#150] whereupon he bared his blade and cried to her, brand in hand, saying, "What be this hath betided thee? Either acquaint me with what happened or this very moment I will take thy life! Is such conduct the token of honour and respect I expect of thee, that I address thee and thou answerest me not a word?" When the Lady Badar al- Badur saw her sire in high dudgeon and the naked glaive in his grip, she was freed from her fear of the past, so she raised her head and said to him, "O my beloved father, be not wroth with me nor be hasty in thy hot passion for I am excusable in what thou shalt see of my case. So do thou lend an ear to what occurred to me and well I wot that after hearing my account of what befel to me during these two last nights, thou wilt pardon me and thy Highness will be softened to pitying me even as I claim of thee affection for thy child." Then the Princess informed her father of all that had betided her adding, "O my sire, an thou believe me not, ask my bridegroom and he will recount to thy Highness the whole adventure, nor did I know either what they would do with him when they bore him away from my side or where they would place him."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day, and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Fifty-fifth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when the Sultan heard his daughter's words, he was saddened and his eyes brimmed with tears, then he sheathed his sabre and kissed her saying, "O my daughter wherefore [FN#151] didst thou not tell me what happened on the past night that I might have guarded thee from this torture and terror which visited thee a second time? But now 'tis no matter. Rise and cast out all such care and to-night I will set a watch to ward thee nor shall any mishap again make thee miserable." Then the Sultan returned to his palace and straightway bade summon the Grand Wazir and asked him, as he stood before him in his service, "O Wazir how dost thou look upon this matter? Haply thy son hath informed thee of what occurred to him and to my daughter." The Minister replied, "O King of the Age, I have not seen my son or yesterday or to-day." Hereat the Sultan told him all that had afflicted the Princess, adding, " 'tis my desire that thou at once seek tidings of thy son concerning the facts of the case: peradventure of her fear my daughter may not be fully aware of what really befel her; withal I hold all her words to be truthful." So the Grand Wazir arose and, going forth, bade summon his son and asked him anent all his lord had told him whether it be true or untrue. The youth replied, "O my father the Wazir, Heaven forbid that the Lady Badr al-Budur speak falsely: indeed all she said was sooth and these two nights proved to us the evillest of our nights instead of being nights of pleasure and marriage-joys. But what befel me was the greater evil because, instead of sleeping abed with my bride, I lay in the wardrobe, a black hole, frightful, noisome of stench, truly damnable; and my ribs were bursten with cold." In fine the young man told his father the whole tale, adding as he ended it, "O dear father mine, I implore thee to speak with the Sultan that he may set me free from this marriage. Yes, indeed 'tis a high honour for me to be the Sultan's son-in-law and especially the love of the Princess hath gotten hold of my vitals; but I have no strength left to endure a single night like unto these two last."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Fifty-sixth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Wazir, hearing the words of his son, was saddened and sorrowful exceedingly, for it was his design to advance and promote his child by making him son-in-law to the Sultan. So he became thoughtful and perplexed about the affair and the device whereby to manage it, and it was sore grievous for him to break off the marriage, it having been a rare enjoyment to him that he had fallen upon such high good fortune. Accordingly he said, "Take patience, O my son, until we see what may happen this night, when we will set watchmen to ward you; nor do thou give up the exalted distinction which hath fallen to none save to thyself." Then the Wazir left him and, returning to the sovran, reported that all told to him by the Lady Badr al-Budur was a true tale; whereupon Quoth the Sultan, "Since the affair is on this wise, we require no delay," and he at once ordered all the rejoicings to cease and the marriage to be broken off. This caused the folk and the citizen to marvel at the matter, especially when they saw the Grand Wazir and his son leaving the palace in pitiable plight for grief and stress of passion; and the people fell to asking, "What hath happened and what is the cause of the wedding being made null and void?" Nor did any know aught of the truth save Alaeddin the lover who claimed the Princess's hand, and he laughed in his sleeve. But even after the marriage was dissolved, the Sultan forgot nor even recalled to mind his promise made to Alaeddin's mother; and the same was the case with the Grand Wazir, while neither had any inkling of whence befel them that which had befallen. So Alaeddin patiently awaited the lapse of the three months after which the Sultan had pledged himself to give him to wife his daughter; but, as soon as ever the term came, he sent his mother to the Sultan for the purpose of requiring him to keep his covenant. So she went to the palace and when the King appeared in the Divan and saw the old woman standing before him, he remembered his promise to her concerning the marriage after a term of three months, and he turned to the Minister and said "O Wazir, this be the ancient dame who presented me with the jewels and to whom we pledged our word that when the three months had elapsed we would summon her to our presence before all others." So the Minister went forth and fetched her [FN#152] and when she went in to the Sultan's presence she saluted him and prayed for his glory and permanence of prosperity. Hereat the King asked her if she needed aught, and she answered, "O King of the Age, the three months' term thou assignedst to me is finished, and this is thy time to marry my son Alaeddin with thy daughter, the Lady Badr al-Budur." The Sultan was distraught at this demand, especially when he saw the old woman's pauper condition, one of the meanest of her kind; and yet the offering she had brought to him was of the most magnificent, far beyond his power to pay the price. Accordingly, he turned to the Grand Wazir and said, "What device is there with thee? In very sooth I did pass my word, yet meseemeth that they be pauper folk and not persons of high condition."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Fifty-seventh Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Grand Wazir who was dying of envy and who was especially saddened by what had befallen his son, said to himself, "How shall one like this wed the King's daughter and my son lose this highmost honour?" Accordingly, he answered his Sovran speaking privily, "O my lord, 'tis an easy [FN#153] matter to keep off a poor devil such as this, for he is not worthy that thy Highness give his daughter to a fellow whom none knoweth what he may be." "By what means," enquired the Sultan, "shall we put off the man when I pledged my promise; and the word of the Kings is their bond?" Replied the Wazir, "O my lord, my rede is that thou demand of him forty platters made of pure sand-gold [FN#154] and full of gems (such as the woman brought thee aforetime), with forty white slave-girls to carry the platters and forty black eunuch-slaves." The King rejoined, "By Allah, O Wazir, thou hast spoken to the purpose, seeing that such thing is not possible and by this way we shall be freed." Then Quoth he to Alaeddin's mother, "Do thou go and tell thy son that I am a man of my word even as I plighted it to him, but on condition that he have power to pay the dower of my daughter; and that which I require of him is a settlement consisting of two score platters of virgin gold, all brimming with gems the like of those thou broughtest to me, and as many white handmaids to carry them and two score black eunuch-slaves to serve and escort the bearers. An thy son avail hereto I will marry him with my daughter." Thereupon she returned home wagging her head and saying in her mind, "Whence can my poor boy procure these platters and such jewels? And granted that he return to the Enchanted Treasury and pluck them from the trees which, however, I hold impossible; yet given that he bring them whence shall he come by the girls and the blacks?" Nor did she leave communing with herself till she reached her home, where she found Alaeddin awaiting her, and she lost no time in saying "O my son, did I not tell thee never to fancy that thy power would extend to the Lady Badr al-Budur, and that such a matter is not possible to folk like ourselves?" "Recount to me the news," Quoth he; so Quoth she, "O my child, verily the Sultan received me with all honour according to his custom and, meseemeth his intentions towards us be friendly. But thine enemy is that accursed Wazir; for, after I addressed the King in thy name as thou badest me say, 'In very sooth the promised term is past,' adding ' 'Twere well an thy Highness would deign issue commandment for the espousals of thy daughter the Lady Badr al-Budur to my son Alaeddin he turned to and addressed the Minister who answered privily, after which the Sultan gave me his reply." Then she enumerated the King's demands and said, "O my son, he indeed expecteth of thee an instant reply but I fancy that we have no answer for him." And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Fifty-eighth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when Alaeddin heard these words he laughed and said, "O my mother, thou affirmeth that we have no answer and thou deemest the case difficult exceedingly; but compose thy thoughts and arise and bring me somewhat we may eat; and, after we have dined, an the Compassionate be willing, thou shalt see my reply. Also the Sultan thinketh like thyself that he hath demanded a prodigious dower in order to divert me from his daughter, whereas the fact is that he hath required of me a matter far less than I expected. But do thou fare forth at once and purchase the provision and leave me to procure thee a reply." So she went out to fetch her needful from the Bazar and Alaeddin retired to his chamber and taking the Lamp rubbed it, when forthright appeared to him its Slave and said, "Ask, O my lord, whatso thou wantest." The other replied, "I have demanded of the Sultan his daughter to wife and he hath required of me forty bowls of purest gold each weighing ten pounds [FN#155] and all to be filled with gems such as we find in the Gardens of the Hoard; furthermore, that they be borne on the heads of as many white handmaids, each attended by her black eunuch-slave, also forty in full rate; so I desire that thou bring all these into my presence." "Hearkening and obeying, O my lord," Quoth the Slave and, disappearing for the space of an hour or so, presently returned bringing the platters and jewels, handmaids and eunuchs; then, setting them before him the Marid cried, "This be what thou demandest of me: declare now an thou want any matter or service other than this." Alaeddin rejoined, "I have need of naught else; but, an I do, I will summon thee and let thee know." The Slave now disappeared and, after a little while, Alaeddin's mother returned home and, on entering the house, saw the blacks and the handmaids. [FN#156] Hereat she wondered and exclaimed, "All this proceedeth from the Lamp which Allah perpetuate to my son!" But ere she doffed her mantilla Alaeddin said to her, "O my mother, this be thy time before the Sultan enter his Serraglio-palace; [FN#157] do thou carry to him what he required and wend thou with it at once, so may he know that I avail to supply all he wanteth and yet more; also that he is beguiled by his Grand Wazir and the twain imagined vainly that they would baffle me." Then he arose forthright and opened the house-door, when the handmaids and blackamoors paced forth in pairs, each girl with her eunuch beside her, until they crowded the quarter, Alaeddin's mother foregoing them. And when the folk of that ward sighted such mighty fine sight and marvellous spectacle, all stood at gaze and they considered the forms and figures of the handmaids marvelling at their beauty and loveliness, for each and every wore robes inwrought with gold and studded with jewels, no dress being worth less than a thousand dinars. [FN#158] They stared as intently at the bowls and albeit these were covered with pieces of brocade, also orfrayed and dubbed with precious stones, yet the sheen outshot from them dulled the thine of sun.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Fifty-ninth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the folk and especially the people of the quarter stood a marvelling at this singular scene. Then Alaeddin's mother walked forwards and all the handmaids and eunuchs paced behind her in the best of ordinance and disposition, and the citizens gathered to gaze at the beauty of the damsels, glorifying God the Most Great, until the train reached the palace and entered it accompanied by the tailor's widow. Now when the Aghas and Chamberlains and Army-officers beheld them, all were seized with surprise, notably by seeing the handmaids who each and every would ravish the reason of an anchorite. And albeit the royal Chamberlains and Officials were men of family, the sons of Grandees and Emirs, yet they could not but especially wonder at the costly dresses of the girls and the platters borne upon their heads; nor could they gaze at them open eyed by reason of the exceeding brilliance and radiance. Then the Nabobs went in and reported to the King who forthright bade admit them to the presence chamber, and Alaeddin's mother went in with them. When they stood before the Sultan, all saluted him with every sign of respect and worship and prayed for his glory and prosperity; then they set down from their heads the bowls at his feet and, having removed the brocade covers, rested with arms crossed behind them. The Sultan wondered with exceeding wonder and was distraught by the beauty of the handmaids and their loveliness which passed praise; and his wits were wildered when he considered the golden bowls brimful of gems which captured man's vision, and he was perplexed at the marvel until he became, like the dumb, unable to utter a syllable for the excess of his wonder. Also his sense was stupefied the more when he bethought him that within a hour or so all these treasures had been collected. Presently he commended the slave-girls to enter, with what loads they bore, the dower of the Princess; and, when they had done his bidding Alaeddin's mother came forward and said to the Sultan, "O my lord, this be not much wherewith to honour the Lady Badr al-Budur, for that she meriteth these things multiplied times manifold." Hereat the Sovran turned to the Minister and asked, "What sayest thou, O Wazir? is not he who could produce such wealth in a time so brief, is he not, I say, worthy to become the Sultan's son-in-law and take the King's daughter to wife?" Then the Minister (although he marvelled at these riches even more than did the Sultan), whose envy was killing him and growing greater hour by hour, seeing his liege lord satisfied with the moneys and the dower and yet being unable to fight against fact, made answer, " 'tis not worthy of her." Withal he fell to devising a device against the King that he might withhold the Lady Badr al-Budur from Alaeddin and accordingly he continued, "O my liege, the treasures of the universe all of them are not worth a nail-paring of thy daughter: indeed thy Highness hath prized these things overmuch in comparison with her."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Sixtieth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when the King heard the words of his Grand Wazir, he knew that the speech was prompted by excess of envy; so turning to the mother of Alaeddin he said, "O woman, go to thy son and tell him that I have accepted of him the dower and stand to my bargain, and that my daughter be his bride and he my son-in-law: furthermore, bid him at once make act of presence that I may become familiar with him: he shall see naught from me save all honour and consideration, and this night shall be the beginning of the marriage-festivities. Only, as I said to thee, let him come to me and tarry not." Thereupon Alaeddin's mother returned home with the speed of the stormwinds that she might hasten her utmost to congratulate her son; and she flew with joy at the thought that her boy was about to become [FN#159] son-in-law to the Sultan. After her departure the King dismissed the Divan and, entering the palace of the Princess, bade them bring the bowls and the handmaids before him and before her, that she also might inspect them. But when the Lady Badr al-Budur considered the jewels, she waxed distraught and cried, "Meseemeth that in the treasuries of the world there be not found one jewel rivalling these jewels." Then she looked at the handmaids and marvelled at their beauty and loveliness, and knew that all this came from her new bridegroom who had sent them in her service. So she was gladdened, albeit she had been grieved and saddened on account of her former husband, the Wazir's son, and she rejoiced with exceeding joy when she gazed upon the damsels and their charms; nor was her sire, the Sultan, less pleased and inspirited when he saw his daughter relieved of all her mourning and melancholy and his own vanished at the sight of her enjoyment. Then he asked her, "O my daughter, do these things divert thee? Indeed I deem that this suitor of thine be more suitable to thee than the son of the Wazir; and right soon (Inshallah!), O my daughter, shalt thou have fuller joy with him." Such was the case with the King; but as regards Alaeddin, as soon as he saw his mother entering the house with face laughing for stress of joy he rejoiced at the sign of glad tidings and cried, "To Allah alone be lauds! Perfected is all I desired." Rejoined his mother, "Be gladdened at my good news, O my son, and hearten thy heart and cool thine eyes for the winning of thy wish. The Sultan hath accepted thine offering, I mean the moneys and the dower of the Lady Badr al-Budur, who is now thine affianced bride; and, this very night, O my child, is your marriage and thy first visit to her; for the King, that he might assure me of his word, hath proclaimed to the world thou art his son-in-law and promised this night to be the night of going in. But he also said to me, 'Let thy son come hither forthright that I may become familiar with him and receive him with all honour and worship.' And now here am I, O my son, at the end of my labours; happen whatso may happen the rest is upon thy shoulders." Thereupon Alaeddin arose and kissed his mother's hand and thanked her, enhancing her kindly service: then he left her and entering his chamber took the Lamp and rubbed it when, lo and behold! its Slave appeared and cried, "Adsum! Ask whatso thou wantest." The young man replied, " 'tis my desire that thou take me to a Hammam whose like is not in the world; then, fetch me a dress so costly and kingly that no royalty ever owned its fellow." The Marid replied, "I hear and I obey," and carried him to Baths such as were never seen by the Kings of the Chosroës, for the building was all of alabaster and carnelian and it contained marvellous limnings which captured the sight; and the great hall [FN#160] was studded with precious stones. Not a soul was therein but, when Alaeddin entered, one of the Jann in human shape washed him and bathed [FN#161] him to the best of his desire.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Sixty-first Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin, after having been washed and bathed, left the Baths and went into the great hall where he found that his old dress had been removed and replaced by a suit of the most precious and princely. Then he was served with sherbets and ambergris'd coffee [FN#162] and, after drinking, he arose and a party of black slaves came forwards and clad him in the costliest of clothing, then perfumed and fumigated him. It is known that Alaeddin was the son of a tailor, a pauper, yet now would none deem him to be such; nay, all would say, "This be the greatest that is of the progeny of the Kings: praise be to Him who changeth and who is not changed!" Presently came the Jinni and lifting him up bore him to his home and asked, "O my lord, tell me hast thou aught of need?" He answered, "Yes, 'tis my desire that thou bring me eight and forty Mamelukes, of whom two dozen shall forego me and the rest follow me, the whole number with their war-chargers and clothing and accoutrements; and all upon them and their steeds must be of naught save of highest worth and the costliest, such as may not be found in treasuries of the Kings. Then fetch me a stallion fit for the riding of the Chosroës and let his furniture, all thereof, be of gold crusted with the finest gems: [FN#163] fetch me also eight and forty thousand dinars that each white slave may carry a thousand gold pieces. 'tis now my intent to fare to the Sultan, so delay thou not, for that without all these requisites whereof I bespake thee I may not visit him. Moreover set before me a dozen slave-girls unique in beauty and dight with the most magnificent dresses, that they wend with my mother to the royal palace; and let every handmaid be robed in raiment that befitteth Queen's wearing." The Slave replied, "To hear is to obey;" and, disappearing for an eye-twinkling, brought all he was bidden bring and led by hand a stallion whose rival was not amongst the Arabian Arabs, [FN#164] and its saddle cloth was of splendid brocade gold-inwrought. Thereupon, without stay or delay, Alaeddin sent for his mother and gave her the garments she should wear and committed to her charge the twelve slave-girls forming her suite to the palace. Then he sent one of the Mamelukes, whom the Jinni had brought, to see if the Sultan had left the Serraglio or not. The white slave went forth lighter than the lightning and returning in like haste, said, "O my lord, the Sultan awaiteth thee!" Hereat Alaeddin arose and took horse, his Mamelukes riding a-van and a-rear of him, and they were such that all must cry, "Laud to the Lord who created them and clothed them with such beauty and loveliness." And they scattered gold amongst the crowd in front of their master who surpassed them all in comeliness and seemlihead nor needst thou ask concerning the sons of the Kings,--praise be to the Bountiful, the Eternal! All this was of the virtues of the Wonderful Lamp, [FN#165] which, whoso possessed, him it gifted with fairest favour and finest figure, with wealth and with wisdom. The folk admired Alaeddin's liberality and exceeding generosity and all were distraught seeing his charms and elegance, his gravity and his good manners, they glorified the Creator for this noble creation, they blessed him each and every and, albeit they knew him for the son of Such-an-one, the tailor, yet no man envied him; nay, all owned that he deserved his great good fortune.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Sixty-second Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the people were bewildered at Alaeddin and his liberality and generosity; and all blessed and prayed for him, high and low, as he rode palace-wards with the Mamelukes before and behind him, scattering gold upon the heads of the folk. Now the Sultan had assembled the Lords of the land and, informing them of the promise he had passed to Alaeddin, touching the marriage of his daughter, had bidden them await his approach and then go forth, one and all, to meet him and greet him. Hereupon the Emirs and Wazirs, the Chamberlains, the Nabobs and the Army-officers took their stations expecting him at the palace gate. Alaeddin would fain have dismounted at the outer entrance; but one of the Nobles, whom the King had deputed for such duty, approached him and said, "O my lord, 'tis the Royal Command that thou enter riding thy steed nor dismount except at the Divan-door." [FN#166] Then they all forewent him in a body and conducted him to the appointed place where they crowded about him, these to hold his stirrup and those supporting him on either side whilst others took him by the hands and helped him dismount; after which all the Emirs and Nobles preceded him into the Divan and led him close up to the royal throne. Thereupon the Sultan came down forthright from his seat of estate and, forbidding him to buss the carpet, embraced and kissed and seated him to the right [FN#167] of and beside himself. Alaeddin did whatso is suitable, in the case of the Kings, of salutation and offering of blessings, and said, "O our lord the Sultan, indeed the generosity of thy Highness demanded that thou deign vouchsafe to me the hand of thy daughter, the Lady Badr al-Budur, albeit I undeserve the greatness of such gift, I being but the humblest of thy slaves I pray Allah grant thee prosperity and perpetuance; but in very sooth, O King, my tongue is helpless to thank thee for the fullness of the favour, passing all measure, which thou hast bestowed upon me. And I hope of thy Highness that thou wilt give me a piece of ground fitted for a pavilion which shall besit thy daughter, the Lady Badr al-Budur." The Sultan was struck with admiration when he saw Alaeddin in his princely suit and looked upon him and considered his beauty and loveliness, and noted the Mamelukes standing to serve him in their comeliness and seemlihead; and still his marvel grew when the mother of Alaeddin approached him in costly raiment and sumptuous, clad as though she were a Queen, and when he gazed upon the twelve handmaids standing before her with crossed arms and with all worship and reverence doing her service. He also considered the eloquence of Alaeddin and his delicacy of speech and he was astounded thereat, he and all his who were present at the levée. Thereupon fire was kindled in the Grand Wazir's heart for envy of Alaeddin until he was like to die: and it was worse when the Sultan, after hearing the youth's succession of prayers and seeing his high dignity of demeanour, respectful withal, and his eloquence and elegance of language, clasped him to his bosom and kissed him and cried, "Alas, O my son, that I have not enjoyed thy converse before this day!" And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Sixty-third Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when the Sultan beheld Alaeddin after such fashion, he rejoiced in him with mighty great joy and straightway bade the music [FN#168] and the bands strike up; then he arose and, taking the youth led him into the palace where supper had been prepared and the Eunuchs at once laid the tables. So the Sovran sat down and seated his son-in-law on his right side and the Wazirs and high officials and Lords of the land took places each according to his degree, whereupon the bands played and a mighty fine marriage-feast was dispread in the palace. The King now applied himself to making friendship with Alaeddin and conversed with the youth, who answered him with all courtesy and eloquence, as though he had been bred in the palaces of the kings or he had lived with them his daily life. And the more the talk was prolonged between them, the more did the Sultan's pleasure and delight increase, hearing his son-in-law's readiness of reply and his sweet flow of language. But after they had eaten and drunken and the trays were removed, the King bade summon the Kazis and witnesses who presently attended and knitted the knot and wrote out the contract-writ between Alaeddin and the Lady Badr al-Budur. And presently the bridegroom arose and would have fared forth, when his father in law withheld him and asked, "Whither away, O my child? The bride-fêtes have begun and the marriage is made and the tie is tied and the writ is written." He replied, "O my lord the King, 'tis my desire to edify, for the Lady Badr al-Budur, a pavilion befitting her station and high degree, nor can I visit her before so doing. But, Inshallah! the building shall be finished within the shortest time, by the utmost endeavor of thy slave and by the kindly regard of thy Highness, and, although I do (yes indeed!) long to enjoy the society of the Lady Badr al-Budur, yet 'tis incumbent on me first to serve her and it becometh me to set about the work forthright." "Look around thee, O my son," replied the Sultan, "for what ground thou deemest suitable to thy design and do thou take all things into thy hands; but I deem the best for thee will be yonder broad plain facing my palace; and, if it please the build thy pavilion thereupon." "And this," answered Alaeddin "is the sum of my wishes that I may be nearhand to thy Highness. So saying he farewelled the King and took horse, with his Mamelukes riding before him and behind him, and all the world blessed him and cried, "By Allah he is deserving," until such time as he reached his home. Then he alighted from his stallion and repairing to his chamber, rubbed the Lamp and be hold, the Slave stood before him and said, "Ask, O my lord whatso thou wantest;" and Alaeddin rejoined, "I require thee of a service grave and important which thou must do for me, and 'tis that thou build me with all urgency a pavilion fronting the palace of the Sultan; and it must be a marvel for it shall be provided with every requisite, such as royal furniture and so forth." The Slave replied, "To hear is to obey."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Sixty-fourth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Slave evanished and, before the next dawn brake, returned to Alaeddin and said, "O my lord, the pavilion is finished to the fullest of thy fancy; and, if thou wouldst inspect it, arise forthright and fare with me." Accordingly, he rose up and the Slave carried him in the space of an eye-glance to the pavilion which, when Alaeddin looked upon it struck him with surprise at such building, all its stones being of jasper and alabaster, Sumákí [FN#169] marble and mosaic-work. Then the Slave led him into the treasury which was full of all manner of gold and silver and costly gems, not to be counted or computed, priced or estimated. Thence to another place, where Alaeddin saw all requisites for the tables, plates and dishes, spoons and ladles, basins and covers, cups and tasses, the whole of precious metal: thence to the kitchen, where they found the kitcheners provided with their needs and cooking batteries, likewise golden and silvern; thence to a warehouse piled up with chests full-packed of royal raiment, stuffs that captured the reason, such as gold-wrought brocades from India and China and kimcobs [FN#170] or orfrayed cloths; thence to many apartments replete with appointments which beggar description; thence to the stables containing coursers whose like was not to be met with amongst the kings of the universe; and, lastly, they went to the harness-rooms all hung with housings, costly saddles and other furniture, everywhere studded with pearls and precious stones. And all this was the work of one night. Alaeddin was wonder-struck and astounded by that magnificent display of wealth which not even the mightiest monarch on earth could produce; and more so to see his pavilion fully provided with eunuchs and handmaids whose beauty would seduce a saint. Yet the prime marvel of the pavilion was an upper kiosque or belvedere of four-and-twenty windows all made of emeralds and rubies and other gems; [FN#171] and one window remained unfinished at the requirement of Alaeddin that the Sultan might prove him impotent to complete it. When the youth had inspected the whole edifice, he was pleased and gladdened exceedingly: then, turning to the Slave he said, "I require of thee still one thing which is yet wanting and whereof I had forgotten to tell thee." "Ask, O my lord, thy want," Quoth the Servitor; and Quoth the other, "demand of thee a carpet of the primest brocade all gold-inwrought which, when unrolled and outstretched, shall extend hence to the Sultan's palace in order that the Lady Badr al-Budur may, when coming hither, pace upon it [FN#172] and not tread common earth." The Slave departed for a short while and said on his return, "O my lord verily that which thou demandest is here." Then he took him and showed him a carpet which wildered the wits, and it extended from palace to pavilion; and after this the Servitor bore off Alaeddin and set him down in his own home. And Shahrazed was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Sixty-fifth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine; an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Slave, after displaying the Carpet to Alaeddin, bore him home. Now day was brightening so the Sultan rose from his sleep and throwing open the casement looked out [FN#173] and espied, opposite his palace, a palatial pavilion ready edified. Thereupon he fell to rubbing his eyes and opening them their widest and considering the scene, and he soon was certified that the new edifice was mighty fine and grand enough to be-wilder the wits. Moreover, with amazement as great he saw the carpet dispread between palace and pavilion: like their lord also the royal door-keepers and the household, one and all, were dazed and amazed at the spectacle. Meanwhile [FN#174] the Wazir came in and, as he entered, espied the newly builded pavilion and the carpet, whereat he also wondered; and, when he went in to the Sultan the twain fell to talking on this marvellous matter with great surprise at a sight which distracted the gazer and attracted the heart. They said finally, "In very truth, of this pavilion we deem that none of the royalties could build its fellow;" and the King, turning to the Minister, asked him, "Hast thou seen now that Alaeddin is worthy to be the husband of the Princess my daughter? Hast thou looked upon and considered this right royal building, this magnificence of opulence, which thought of man can not contain?" But the Wazir in his envy of Alaeddin replied, 'O King of the Age, indeed this foundation and this building and this opulence may not be save by means of magic nor can any man in the world, be he the richest in good or the greatest in governance, avail to found and finish in a single night such edifice as this." The Sultan rejoined, "I am surprised to see in thee how thou dost continually harp on evil opinion of Alaeddin; but I hold that 'tis caused by thine envy and jealousy. Thou west present when I gave him the ground at his own prayer for a place whereon he might build a pavilion wherein to lodge my daughter, and I myself favoured him with a site for the same and that too before thy very face. But however that be, shall one who could send me as dower for the Princess such store of such stones whereof the kings never obtained even a few, shall he, I say, be unable to edify an edifice like this?"--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Sixty-sixth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when the Wazir heard the Sultan's words, he knew that his lord loved Alaeddin exceedingly; so his envy and malice increased; only, as he could do nothing against the youth, he sat silent and impotent to return a reply. But Alaeddin seeing that it was broad day, and the appointed time had come for his repairing to the palace (where his wedding was being celebrated and the Emirs and Wazirs and Grandees were gathered together about the Sultan to be present at the ceremony), arose and rubbed the Lamp, and when its Slave appeared and said, O my lord, ask whatso thou wantest, for I stand before thee and at thy service," said he, "I mean forthright to seek the palace, this day being my wedding-festival and I want thee to supply me with ten thousand dinars." The Slave evanished for an eye-twinkling and returned bringing the moneys, when Alaeddin took horse with his Mamelukes a-van and a-rear and passed on his way, scattering as he went gold pieces upon the lieges until all were fondly affected towards him and his dignity was enhanced. But when he drew near the palace, and the Emirs and Aghas and Army-officers who were standing to await him noted his approach, they hastened straightway to the King and gave him the tidings thereof; whereupon the Sultan rose and met his son-in-law and after embracing and kissing him, led him still holding his hand into his own apartment where he sat down and seated him by his right side. The city was all decorated and music rang through the palace and the singers sang until the King bade bring the noon-meal, when the eunuchs and Mamelukes hastened to spread the tables and trays which are such as are served to the kings. Then the Sultan and Alaeddin and the Lords of the land and the Grandees of the realm took their seats and ate and drank until they were satisfied. And it was a mighty fine wedding in city and palace and the high nobles all rejoiced therein and the commons of the kingdom were equally gladdened, while the Governors of provinces and Nabobs of districts flocked from far regions to witness Alaeddin's marriage and its processions and festivities. The Sultan also marvelled in his mind to look at Alaeddin's mother [FN#175] and recall to mind how she was wont to visit him in pauper plight, while her son could command all this opulence and magnificence. And when the spectators, who crowded the royal palace to enjoy the wedding-feasts, looked upon Alaeddin's pavilion and the beauties of the building, they were seized with an immense surprise that so vast an edifice as this could be reared on high during a single night; and they blessed the youth and cried, "Allah gladden him! By Allah, he deserveth all this! Allah bless his days!"--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her per misted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Sixty-seventh Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when dinner was done, Alaeddin rose and, farewelling the Sultan, took horse with his Mamelukes and rode to his own pavilion that he might prepare to receive therein his bride, the Lady Badr al-Budur. And as he passed, all the folk shouted their good wishes with one voice and their words were, "Allah gladden thee! Allah increase thy glory. Allah grant thee length of life!" while immense crowds of people gathered to swell the marriage procession and they conducted him to his new home, he showering gold upon them during the whole time. When he reached his pavilion, he dismounted and walked in and sat him down on the divan, whilst his Mamelukes stood before him with arms afolded; also after a short delay they brought him sherbets and, when these were drunk, he ordered his white slaves and handmaids and eunuchs and all who were in the pavilion to make ready for meeting the Lady Badr al-Budur. Moreover, as soon as mid-afternoon came and the air had cooled and the great heat of the sun was abated, the Sultan bade his Army-officers and Emirs and Wazirs go down into the Maydán plain [FN#176] whither he likewise rode. And Alaeddin also took horse with his Mamelukes, he mounting a stallion whose like was not among the steeds of the Arab al-Arbá, [FN#177] and he showed his horsemanship in the hippodrome and so played with the Jaríd [FN#178] that none could withstand him, while his bride sat gazing upon him from the latticed balcony of her bower and, seeing in him such beauty and cavalarice, she fell headlong in love of him and was like to fly for joy. And after they had ringed their horses on the Maydan and each had displayed whatso he could of horsemanship, Alaeddin proving himself the best man of all, they rode in a body to the Sultan's palace and the youth also returned to his own pavilion. But when it was evening, the Wazirs and Nobles took the bridegroom and, falling in, escorted him to the royal Hammam (known as the Sultání), when he was bathed and perfumed. As soon as he came out he donned a dress more magnificent than the former and took horse with the Emirs and the soldier-officers riding before him and forming a grand cortége, wherein four of the Wazirs bore naked swords round about him. [FN#179] All the citizens and the strangers and the troops marched before him in ordered throng carrying wax-candles and kettle drums and pipes and other instruments of mirth and merriment, until they conducted him to his pavilion. Here he alighted and walking in took his seat and seated the Wazirs and Emirs who had escorted him, and the Mamelukes brought sherbets and sugared drinks, which they also passed to the people who had followed in his train. It was a world of folk whose tale might not be told; withal Alaeddin bade his Mamelukes stand without the pavilion-doors and shower gold upon the crowd.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Sixty-eighth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when the Sultan returned from the Maydan-plain to his palace he ordered the household, men as well as women, straightway to form a cavalcade for his daughter, with all ceremony, and bear her to her bridegroom's pavilion. So the nobles and soldier-officers, who had followed and escorted the bridegroom, at once mounted, and the handmaids and eunuchs went forth with wax-candles and made a mighty fine procession for the Lady Badr al-Budur and they paced on preceding her till they entered the pavilion of Alaeddin whose mother walked beside the bride. In front of the Princess also fared the wives of the Wazirs and Emirs, Grandees and Notables, and in attendance on her were the eight and forty slave-girls presented to her aforetime by her bridegroom, each hending in hand a huge cierge scented with camphor and ambergris and set in a candlestick of gem-studded gold. And reaching Alaeddin's pavilion they led her to her bower in the upper storey and changed her robes and enthroned her; then, as soon as the displaying was ended, they accompanied her to Alaeddin's apartments and presently he paid her the first visit. Now his mother was with the bride and, when the bridegroom came up and did off her veil, the ancient dame fell to considering the beauty of the Princess and her loveliness; and she looked around at the pavilion which was all litten up by gold and gems besides the manifold candelabra of precious metals encrusted with emeralds and jacinths; so she said in her mind, "Once upon a time I thought the Sultan's palace mighty fine, but this pavilion is a thing apart; nor do I deem that any of the greatest Kings of Chosroës attained in his day to aught like thereof; also am I certified that all the world could not build anything evening it." Nor less did the lady Badr al-Budur fall to gazing at the pavilion and marvelling for its magnificence. Then the tables were spread and they all ate and drank and were gladdened; after which fourscore damsels came before them each holding in hand an instrument of mirth and merriment; then they deftly moved their finger tips and touched the strings smiting them into song, most musical, most melancholy, till they rent the hearts of the hearers. Hereat the Princess increased in marvel and Quoth she to herself, "In all my life ne'er heard I songs like these,'' [FN#180] till she forsook food, the better to listen. And at last Alaeddin poured out for her wine and passed it to her with his own hand; so great joy and jubilee went round amongst them and it was a notable night, such an one as Iskander, Lord of the Two Horns, [FN#181] had never spent in his time. When they had finished eating and drinking and the tables were removed from before them, Alaeddin arose and went in to his bride. [FN#182] As soon as morning morrowed he left his bed and the treasurer brought him a costly suit and a mighty fine, of the most sumptuous robes worn by the kings. Then, after drinking coffee devoured with ambergris, he ordered the horses be saddled and, mounting with his Mamelukes before and behind him, rode to the Sultan's palace and on his entering its court the eunuchs went in and reported his coming to their lord.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Sixty-ninth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, 'With love and good will."---It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when the Sultan heard of Alaeddin's approach, he rose up forthright to receive him and embraced and kissed him as though he were his own son: then, seating him on his right, he blessed and prayed for him, as did the Wazirs and Emirs, the Lords of the land and the Grandees of the realm. Presently, the King commanded bring the morning-meal which the attendants served up and all broke their fast together, and when they had eaten and drunken their sufficiency and the tables were removed by the eunuchs, Alaeddin turned to the Sultan and said, "O my lord, would thy Highness deign honour me this day at dinner, in the house of the Lady Badr al-Budur thy beloved daughter, and come accompanied by all thy Ministers and Grandees of the reign?" The King replied (and he was delighted with his son-in-law), "Thou art surpassing in liberality, O my son!" Then he gave orders to all invited and rode forth with them (Alaeddin also riding beside him) till they reached the pavilion and as he entered it and considered its construction, its architecture and its stonery, all jasper and carnelian, his sight was dazed and his wits were amazed at such grandeur and magnificence of opulence. Then turning to the Minister he thus addressed him, "What sayest thou? Tell me hast thou seen in all thy time aught like this amongst the mightiest of earth's monarchs for the abundance of gold and gems we are now beholding?" The Grand Wazir replied, "O my lord the King, this be a feat which cannot be accomplished by might of monarch amongst Adam's sons; [FN#183] nor could the collected peoples of the universal world build a palace like unto this; nay, even builders could not be found to make aught resembling it, save (as I said to thy Highness) by force of sorcery." These words certified the King that his Minister spake not except in envy end jealousy of Alaeddin, and would stablish in the royal mind that all this splendour was not made of man but by means of magic and with the aid of the Black Art. So Quoth he to him, "Suffice thee so much, O Wazir: thou hast none other word to speak and well I know what cause urgeth thee to say this say." Then Alaeddin preceded the Sultan till he conducted him to the upper Kiosque where he saw its skylights, windows and latticed casements and jalousies wholly made of emeralds and rubies and other costly gems; whereat his mind was perplexed and his wits were bewildered and his thoughts were distraught. Presently he took to strolling round the Kiosque and solacing himself with these sights which captured the vision, till he chanced to cast a glance at the window which Alaeddin by design had left unwrought and not finished like the rest; and, when he noted its lack of completion, he cried, "Woe and well away for thee, O window, because of thine imperfection;" [FN#184] and, turning to his Minister he asked, "Knowest thou the reason of leaving incomplete this window and its framework?"--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Seventieth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Wazir said to the Sultan, "O my lord, I conceive that the want of finish in this window resulteth from thy Highness having pushed on Alaeddin's marriage and he lacked the leisure to complete it." Now at that time, Alaeddin had gone in to his bride, the Lady Badr al-Budur, to inform her of her father's presence; and, when he returned, the King asked him, "O my son what is the reason why the window of this Kiosque was not made perfect?" "O King of the Age, seeing the suddenness of my wedding," answered he, "I failed to find artists for finishing it." Quoth the Sultan, "I have a mind to complete it myself;" and Quoth Alaeddin, "Allah perpetuate thy glory, O thou the King; so shall thy memory endure in thy daughter's pavilion." The Sultan forthright bade summon jewellers and goldsmiths and ordered them be supplied from the treasury with all their needs of gold and gems and noble ores; and, when they were gathered together he commanded them to complete the work still wanting in the Kiosque-window. Meanwhile the Princess came forth to meet her sire the Sultan who noticed, as she drew near, her smiling face; so he embraced her and kissed her, then led her to the pavilion and all entered in a body. Now this was the time of the noon day meal and one table had been spread for the Sovran, his daughter and his son-in-law and a second for the Wazirs, the Lords of the land, the Grandees of the realm, the Chief Officers of the host, the Chamberlains and the Nabobs. The King took seat between the Princess and her husband; and, when he put forth his hand to the food and tasted it, he was struck with surprise by the flavour of the dishes and their savoury and sumptuous cooking. Moreover, there stood before him the fourscore damsels each and every saying to the full moon, "Rise that I may seat myself in thy stead!" [FN#185] All held instruments of mirth and merriment and they tuned the same and deftly moved their finger-tips and smote the strings into song most musical, most melodious, which expanded the mourner's heart. Hereby the Sultan was gladdened and time was good to him and for high enjoyment he exclaimed, "In very sooth the thing is beyond the compass of King and Kaysar." Then they fell to eating and drinking; and the cup went round until they had drunken enough, when sweetmeats and fruits of sorts and other such edibles were served, the dessert being laid out in a different salon whither they removed and enjoyed of these pleasures their sufficiency. Presently the Sultan arose that he might see if the produce of his jewellers and goldsmiths favoured that of the pavilion; so he went upstairs to them and inspected their work and how they had wrought; but he noted a mighty great difference and his men were far from being able to make anything like the rest of Alaeddin's pavilion. And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Seventy-first Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that after the King had inspected the work of his jewellers and goldsmiths, they informed him how all the gems stored in the Lesser Treasury had been brought to them and used by them but that the whole had proved insufficient; wherefor he bade open the Greater Treasury and gave the workmen all they wanted of him. Moreover he allowed them, an it sufficed not, to take the jewels wherewith Alaeddin had gifted him. They carried off the whole and pushed on their labours but they found the gems fail them, albeit had they not yet finished half the part wanting to the Kiosque-window. Herewith the King commended them to seize all the precious stones owned by the Wazirs and Grandees of the realm; but, although they did his bidding, the supply still fell short of their requirements. Next morning Alaeddin arose to look at the jeweller's work and remarked that they had not finished a moiety of what was wanting to the Kiosque-window: so he at once ordered them to undo all they had done and restore the jewels to their owners. Accordingly, they pulled out the precious stones and sent the Sultan's to the Sultan and the Wazirs' to the Wazirs. Then the jewellers went to the King and told him of what Alaeddin had bidden; so he asked them, "What said he to you, and what was his reason and wherefore was he not content that the window be finished and why did he undo the work ye wrought?" They answered, "O our lord, we know not at all, but he bade us deface whatso we had done." Hereupon the Sultan at once called for his horse, and mounting, took the way pavilion-wards, when Alaeddin, after dismissing the goldsmiths and jewellers had retired into his closet and had rubbed the Lamp. Hereat straightway its Servitor appeared to him and said, "Ask whatso thou wantest: thy Slave is between thy hands;" and said Alaeddin, " 'tis my desire that thou finish the window which was left unfinished." The Marid replied, "On my head be it and also upon mine eyes!" then he vanished and after a little while returned saying, "O my lord, verily that thou commandedst me do is completed." So Alaeddin went upstairs to the Kiosque and found the whole window in wholly finished state; and, whilst he was still considering it, behold, a castrato came in to him and said, "O my lord, the Sultan hath ridden forth to visit thee and is passing through the pavilion-gate." So Alaeddin at once went down and received his father-in-law. And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Seventy-second Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."---It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Sultan, on sighting his son-in-law, cried to him, "Wherefore, O my child, hast thou wrought on this wise and sufferedst not the jewellers to complete the Kiosque-window leaving in the pavilion an unfinished place?" Alaeddin replied "O King of the Age, I left it not imperfect save for a design of mine own; nor was I incapable of perfecting it nor could I purpose that thy Highness should honour me with visiting a pavilion wherein was aught of deficiency. And, that thou mayest know I am not unable to make it perfect, let thy Highness deign walk upstairs with me and see if anything remain to be done therewith or not." So the Sultan went up with him and, entering the Kiosque, fell to looking right and left, but he saw no default at all in any of the windows; nay, he noted that all were perfect. So he marvelled at the sight and embraced Alaeddin and kissed him, saying, "O my son, what be this singular feat? Thou canst work in a single night what in months the jewellers could not do. By Allah, I deem thou hast nor brother nor rival in this world." Quoth Alaeddin, "Allah prolong thy life and preserve thee to perpetuity! thy slave deserveth not this encomium;" and Quoth the King, "By Allah, O my child, thou meritest all praise for a feat whereof all the artists of the world were incapable." Then the Sultan came clown and entered the apartments of his daughter the Lady Badr al-Budur, to take rest beside her, and he saw her joyous exceedingly at the glory and grandeur wherein she was; then, after reposing awhile he returned to his palace. Now Alaeddin was wont every day to thread the city-streets with his Mamelukes riding a-van and a-rear of him showering rightwards and leftwards gold upon the folk; and all the world, stranger and neighbour, far and near, were fulfilled of his love for the excess of his liberality and generosity. Moreover he increased the pensions of the poor Religious and the paupers and he would distribute alms to them with his own hand; by which good deed, he won high renown throughout the realm and most of the Lords of the land and Emirs would eat at his table; and men swore not at all save by his precious life. Nor did he leave faring to the chase and the Maydan-plain and the riding of horses and playing at javelin-play [FN#186] in presence of the Sultan; and, whenever the Lady Badr al-Budur beheld him disporting himself on the backs of steeds, she loved him much the more, and thought to herself that Allah had wrought her abundant good by causing to happen whatso happened with the son of the Wazir and by preserving her virginity intact for her true bridegroom, Alaeddin.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Seventy-third Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales." whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin won for himself day by day a fairer fame and a rarer report, while affection for him increased in the hearts of all the lieges and he waxed greater in the eyes of men. Moreover it chanced that in those days certain enemies took horse and attacked the Sultan, who armed and accoutred an army to repel them and made Alaeddin commander thereof. So he marched with his men nor ceased marching until he drew near the foe whose forces were exceeding many; and, presently, when the action began he bared his brand and charged home upon the enemy. Then battle and slaughter befel and violent was the hurry-burly, but at last Alaeddin broke the hostile host and put all to flight, slaying the best part of them and pillaging their coin and cattle, property and possessions; and he despoiled them of spoils that could not be counted nor computed. Then he returned victorious after a noble victory and entered the capital which had decorated herself in his honour, of her delight in him; and the Sultan went forth to meet him and giving him joy embraced him and kissed him; and throughout the kingdom was held high festival with great joy and gladness. Presently, the Sovran and his son-in-law repaired to the pavilion where they were met by the Princess Badr al-Budur who rejoiced in her husband and, after kissing him between the eyes, led him to her apartments. After a time the Sultan also came and they sat down while the slave-girls brought them sherbets and confections which they ate and drank. Then the Sultan commanded that the whole kingdom be decorated for the triumph of his son-in-law and his victory over the invader; and the subjects and soldiery and all the people knew only Allah in heaven and Alaeddin on earth; for that their love, won by his liberality, was increased by his noble horsemanship and his successful battling for the country and putting to flight the foe. Such then was the high fortune of Alaeddin; but as regards the Maghrabi, the Magician, after returning to his native country, he passed all this space of time in bewailing what he had borne of toil and travail to win the Lamp and mostly that his trouble had gone vain and that the morsel when almost touching his lips had flown from his grasp. He pondered all this and mourned and reviled Alaeddin for the excess of his rage against him and at times he would exclaim, "For this bastard's death underground I am well satisfied and hope only that some time or other I may obtain the Lamp, seeing how 'tis yet safe." Now one day of the days he struck a table of sand and dotted down the figures and carefully considered their consequence; then he transferred them to paper that he might study them and make sure of Alaeddin's destruction and the safety of the Lamp preserved beneath the earth. Presently, he firmly stablished the sequence of the figures, mothers as well as daughters, [FN#187] but still he saw not the Lamp. Thereupon rage overrode him and he made another trial to be assured of Alaeddin's death; but he saw him not in the Enchanted Treasure. Hereat his wrath still grew, and it waxed greater when he ascertained that the youth had issued from underground and was now upon earth's surface alive and alert: furthermore, that he had become owner of the Lamp, for which he had himself endured such toil and travail and troubles as man may not bear save for so great an object. Accordingly Quoth he to himself, "I have suffered sore pains and penalties which none else could have endured for the Lamp's sake in order that other than I may carry it off; and this Accursed hath taken it without difficulty. And who knoweth an he wot the virtues of the Lamp, than whose owner none in the world should be wealthier?" And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Seventy-fourth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Maghrabi, the Magician, having considered and ascertained that Alaeddin had escaped from the souterrain and had gotten the boon of the Lamp, said to himself, "There is no help but that I work for his destruction." He then struck another geomantic table and examining the figures saw that the lad had won for himself unmeasurable riches and had wedded the daughter of his King; so of his envy and jealousy he was fired with the flame of wrath; and, rising without let or stay, he equipped himself and set forth for China-land, where he arrived in due season. Now when he had reached the King's capital wherein was Alaeddin, he alighted at one of the Kháns; and, when he had rested from the weariness of wayfare, he donned his dress and went down to wander about the streets, where he never passed a group without hearing them prate about the pavilion and its grandeur and vaunt the beauty of Alaeddin and his lonesomeness, his liberality and generosity, his fine manners and his good morals. Presently he entered an establishment wherein men were drinking a certain warm beverage; [FN#188] and, going up to one of those who were loud in their lauds, he said to him, "O fair youth, who may be the man ye describe and commend?" "Apparently thou art a foreigner, O man," answered the other, "and thou comest from a far country; but, even this granted, how happeneth it thou hast not heard of the Emir Alaeddin whose renown, I fancy, hath filled the universe and whose pavilion, known by report to far and near, is one of the Wonders of the World? How, then, never came to thine ears aught of this or the name of Alaeddin (whose glory and enjoyment our Lord increase!) and his fame?" The Moorman replied, "The sum of my wishes is to look upon this pavilion and, if thou wouldest do me a favour, prithee guide me thereunto, for I am a foreigner." The man rejoined, "To hear is to obey;" and, foregoing him pointed out Alaeddin's pavilion, whereupon the Maroccan fell to considering it and at once understood that it was the work of the Lamp. So he cried, "Ah! Ah! needs must I dig a pit for this Accursed, this son of a snip, who could not earn for himself even an evening meal: and, if the Fates abet me, I will assuredly destroy his life and send his mother back to spinning at her wheel, e'en as she was wont erewhiles to do." So saying, he returned to his caravanserai in a sore state of grief and melancholy and regret bred by his envy and hate of Alaeddin.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the, Five Hundred and Seventy-fifth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when the Maghrabi, the Magician, reached his caravanserai, he took his astrological gear [FN#189] and geomantic table to discover where might be the Lamp; and he found that it was in the pavilion and not upon Alaeddin's person. So he rejoiced thereat with joy exceeding and exclaimed, "Now indeed 'twill be an easy task to take the life of this Accursed and I see my way to getting the Lamp." Then he went to a coppersmith and said to him, "Do thou make me a set of lamps and take from me their full price and more; only I would have thee hasten to finish them." Replied the smith, "Hearing and obeying," and fell aworking to keep his word; and when they were ready the Moorman paid him what price he required; then taking them he carried them to the Khan and set them in a basket. Presently he began wandering about the highways and market-streets of the capital crying aloud, "Ho! who will exchange old lamps for new lamps?'' [FN#190] But when the folk heard him cry on this wise, they derided him and said, "Doubtless this man is Jinn-mad, for that he goeth about offering new for old;" and a world followed him and the children of the quarter caught him up from place to place, laughing at him the while, nor did he forbid them or care for their maltreatment. And he ceased not strolling about the streets till he came under Alaeddin's pavilion, [FN#191] where he shouted with his loudest voice and the boys screamed at him, "A madman! A madman!" Now Destiny had decreed that the Lady Badr al-Budur be sitting in her Kiosque whence she heard one crying like a crier, and the children bawling at him; only she understood not what was going on; so she gave orders to one of her slave-girls saying, [FN#192] "Go thou and see who 'tis that crieth and what be his cry?" The girl fared forth and looked on when she beheld a man crying, "Ho! who will exchange old lamps for new lamps?" and the little ones pursuing and laughing at him; and as loudly laughed the Princess when this strange case was told to her. Now Alaeddin had carelessly left the Lamp in his pavilion without hiding it and locking it up in his strong box; [FN#193] and one of the slave-girls who had seen it said, "O my lady, I think to have noticed, in the apartment of my lord Alaeddin, an old lamp: so let us give it in change for a new lamp to this man, and see if his cry be truth or lie."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Seventy-sixth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, 'With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that hereupon the Princess said to the slave-girl, 'Bring the old lamp which thou saidst to have seen in thy lord's apartment." Now the Lady Badr al-Budur knew naught of the Lamp and of the specialties thereof which had raised Alaeddin her spouse to such high degree and grandeur; and her only end and aim was to understand by experiment the mind of a man who would give in exchange the new for the old. So the handmaid fared forth and went up to Alaeddin's apartment and returned with the Lamp to her lady who, like all the others, knew nothing of the Maghrabi's cunning tricks and his crafty device. Then the Princess bade an Aghá of the eunuchry go down and barter the old Lamp for a new lamp. So he obeyed her bidding and, after taking a new lamp from the man, he returned and laid it before his lady who looking at it and seeing that it was brand-new, fell to laughing at the Moorman's wits. But the Maroccan, when he held the article in hand and recognised it for the Lamp of the Enchanted Treasury, [FN#194] at once placed it in his breast-pocket and left all the other lamps to the folk who were bartering of him. Then he went forth running till he was clear of the city, when he walked leisurely over the level grounds and he took patience until night fell on him in desert ground where was none other but himself. There he brought out the Lamp when suddenly appeared to him the Marid who said, "Adsum! thy slave between thy hands is come: ask of me whatso thou wantest." " 'tis my desire," the Moorman replied, "that thou upraise from its present place Alaeddin's pavilion with its inmates and all that be therein, not forgetting myself, and set it down upon my own land, Africa. Thou knowest my town and I want the building placed in the gardens hard by it." The Marid-slave replied, "Hearkening and obedience: close thine eyes and open thine eyes whenas thou shalt find thyself together with the pavilion in thine own country." This was done; and, in an eye-twinkling, the Maroccan and the pavilion with all therein were transported to the African land. Such then was the work of the Maghrabi, the Magician; but now let us return to the Sultan and his son-in-law. It was the custom of the King, because of his attachment to and his affection for his daughter, every morning when he had shaken off sleep, to open the latticed casement and look out therefrom that he might catch sight of her abode. So that day he arose and did as he was wont.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Seventy-seventh Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when the Sultan drew near the latticed casement of his palace and looked out at Alaeddin's pavilion he saw naught; nay, the site was smooth as a well-trodden highway and like unto what it had been aforetime; and he could find nor edifice nor offices. So astonishment clothed him as with a garment, and his wits were wildered and he began to rub his eyes, lest they be dimmed or darkened, and to gaze intently; but at last he was certified that no trace of the pavilion remained nor sign of its being; nor wist he the why and the wherefore of its disappearance. So his surprise increased and he smote hand upon hand and the tears trickled down his cheeks over his beard, for that he knew not what had become of his daughter. Then he sent out officials forthright and summoned the Grand Wazir who at once attended; and, seeing him in this piteous plight said, 'Pardon, O King of the Age, may Allah avert from thee every ill! Wherefore art thou in such sorrow?" Exclaimed the Sovran, "Methinketh thou wottest not my case?" and Quoth the Minister, "On no wise. O our lord: by Allah, I know of it nothing at all." "Then," resumed the Sultan, " 'tis manifest thou hast not looked this day in the direction of Alaeddin's pavilion." "True, O my lord," Quoth the Wazir, "it must still be locked and fast shut;" and Quoth the King, "Forasmuch as thou hast no inkling of aught, [FN#195] arise and look out at the window and see Alaeddin's pavilion whereof thou sayest 'tis locked and fast shut." The Minister obeyed his bidding but could not see anything, or pavilion or other place; so with mind and thoughts sore perplexed he returned to his liege lord who asked him, "Hast now learned the reason of my distress and noted yon locked-up palace and fast shut?" Answered the Wazir, "O King of the Age erewhile I represented to thy Highness that this pavilion and these matters be all magical." Hereat the Sultan, fired with wrath, cried, "Where be Alaeddin?" and the Minister replied, "He hath gone a-hunting," when the King commanded without stay or delay sundry of his Aghas and Army-officers to go and bring to him his son-in-law chained and with pinioned elbows. So they fared forth until they found Alaeddin when they said to him, "O our lord Alaeddin, excuse us nor be thou wroth with us; for the King hath commanded that we carry thee before him pinioned and fettered, and we hope pardon from thee because we are under the royal orders which we cannot gainsay." Alaeddin, hearing these words, was seized with surprise and not knowing the reason of this remained tongue-tied for a time, after which he turned to them and asked, "O assembly, have you naught of knowledge concerning the motive of the royal mandate? Well I wot my soul to be innocent and that I never sinned against king or against kingdom." "O our lord," answered they, "we have no inkling whatever." So Alaeddin alighted from his horse and said to them, "Do ye whatso the Sultan bade you do, for that the King's command is upon the head and the eyes." [FN#196]--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Seventy-eighth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Aghas, having bound Alaeddin in bonds and pinioned his elbows behind his back, haled him in chains and carried him into the city. But when the lieges saw him pinioned and ironed, they understood that the Sultan purposed to strike off his head; and, forasmuch as he was loved of them exceedingly, all gathered together and seized their weapons; then, swarming out of their houses, followed the soldiery to see what was to do. And when the troops arrived with Alaeddin at the palace, they went in and informed the Sultan of this, whereat he forthright commanded the Sworder to cut off the head of his son-in-law. Now as soon as the subjects were aware of this order, they barricaded the gates and closed the doors of the palace and sent a message to the King saying, "At this very moment we will level thine abode over the heads of all it containeth and over thine own, [FN#197] if the least hurt or harm befal Alaeddin." So the Wazir went in and reported to the Sultan, "O King of the Age, thy commandment is about to seal the roll of our lives; and 'twere more suitable that thou pardon thy son-in-law lest there chance to us a sore mischance; for that the lieges do love him far more than they love us." Now the Sworder had already dispread the carpet of blood and, having seated Alaeddin thereon, had bandaged his eyes; moreover he had walked round him several times awaiting the last orders of his lord, when the King looked out of the window and saw his subjects, who had suddenly attacked him, swarming up the walls intending to tear them down. So forthright he bade the Sworder stay his hand from Alaeddin and commanded the crier fare forth to the crowd and cry aloud that he had pardoned his son-in-law and received him back into favour. But when Alaeddin found himself free and saw the Sultan seated on his throne, he went up to him and said, "O my lord, inasmuch as thy Highness hath favoured me throughout my life, so of thy grace now deign let me know the how and the wherein I have sinned against thee?" "O traitor, cried the King, "unto this present I knew not any sin of thine;" then, turning to the Wazir he said, "Take him and make him look out at the window and after let him tell us where be his pavilion." And when the royal order was obeyed Alaeddin saw the place level as a well trodden road, even as it had been ere the base of the building was laid, nor was there the faintest trace of edifice. Hereat he was astonished and perplexed knowing not what had occurred; but, when he returned to the presence, the King asked him, "What is it thou hast seen? Where is thy pavilion and where is my daughter, the core of my heart, my only child, than whom I have none other?" Alaeddin answered "O King of the Age, I wot naught thereof nor aught of what hath befallen," and the Sultan rejoined, "Thou must know, O Alaeddin, I have pardoned thee only that thou go forth and look into this affair and enquire for me concerning my daughter; nor do thou ever show thyself in my presence except she be with thee; and, if thou bring her not, by the life of my head, I will cut off the head of thee." The other replied, "To hear is to obey: only vouchsafe me a delay and respite of some forty days; after which, an I produce her not, strike off my head [FN#198] and do with me whatso thou wishes"."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,
When it was the Five Hundred and Seventy-ninth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Sultan said to Alaeddin, "Verily I have granted thee thy request, a delay of forty days; but think not thou canst fly from my hand, for I would bring thee back even if thou wert above the clouds instead of being only upon earth's surface." Replied Alaeddin, "O my lord the Sultan, as I said to thy Highness, an I fail to bring her within the term appointed, I will present myself for my head to be stricken off." Now when the folk and the lieges all saw Alaeddin at liberty, they rejoiced with joy exceeding and were delighted for his release; but the shame of his treatment and bashfulness before his friends and the envious exultation of his foes had bowed down Alaeddin's head; so he went forth a wandering through the city ways and he was perplexed concerning his case and knew not what had befallen him. He lingered about the capital for two days, in saddest state, wotting not what to do in order to find his wife and his pavilion, and during this time sundry of the folk privily brought him meat and drink. When the two days were done he left the city to stray about the waste and open lands outlying the walls, without a notion as to whither he should wend; and he walked on aimlessly until the path led him beside a river where, of the stress of sorrow that overwhelmed him, he abandoned himself to despair and thought of casting himself into the water. Being, however, a good Moslem who professed the unity of the God-head, he feared Allah in his soul; and, standing upon the margin he prepared to perform the Wuzú-ablution. But as he was baling up the water in his right hand and rubbing his fingers, [FN#199] it so chanced that he also rubbed the Ring. Hereat its Marid appeared and said to him, "Adsum! thy thrall between thy hands is come: ask of me whatso thou wantest." Seeing the Marid, Alaeddin rejoiced with exceeding joy and cried, [FN#200] "O Slave, I desire of thee that thou bring before me my pavilion and therein my wife, the Lady Badr al-Budur, together with all and everything it containeth." "O my lord," replied the Marid, " 'tis right hard upon me that thou demandest a service whereto I may not avail: this matter dependeth upon the Slave of the Lamp nor dare I even attempt it." Alaeddin rejoined, "Forasmuch as the matter is beyond thy competence, I require it not of thee, but at least do thou take me up and set me down beside my pavilion in what land soever that may be." The Slave exclaimed, "Hearing and obeying, O my lord ;" and, uplifting him high in air, with in the space of an eye-glance set him down beside his pavilion in the land of Africa and upon a spot facing his wife's apartment. Now this was at fall of night yet one look enabled him to recognise his home; whereby his cark and care were cleared away and he recovered trust in Allah after cutting off all his hope to look upon his wife once more. Then he fell to pondering the secret and mysterious favours of the Lord (glorified be His omnipotence!); and how, after despair had mastered him, the Ring had come to gladden him and how, when all his hopes were cut off Allah had deigned bless him with the services of its Slave. So he rejoiced and his melancholy left him; then, as he had passed four days without sleep for the excess of his cark and care and sorrow and stress of thought, he drew near his pavilion and slept under a tree hard by the building which (as we mentioned) had been set down amongst the gardens outlying the city of Africa.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Eightieth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin lay that night under a tree beside his pavilion in all restfulness; but whoso weareth head hard by the headsman may not sleep o' nights save whenas slumber prevail over him. He slumbered till Morning showed her face and, when awakened by the warbling of the small birds, he arose and went down to the bank of the river which flowed thereby into the city; and here he again washed hands and face [FN#201] and after finished his Wuzú-ablution. Then he prayed the dawn-prayer, and when he had ended his orisons he returned and sat down under the windows of the Princess's bower. Now the Lady Badr al-Budur, of her exceeding sorrow for severance from her husband and her sire the Sultan, and for the great mishap which had happened to her from the Maghrabi, the Magician, the Accursed, was wont to rise during the murk preceding dawn and to sit in tears inasmuch as she could not sleep o' nights, and had forsworn meat and drink. Her favourite slave-girl would enter her chamber at the hour of prayer-salutation in order to dress her; and this time, by decree of Destiny, when she threw open the window to let her lady comfort and console herself by looking upon the trees and rills, and she herself peered out of the lattice, she caught sight of her master sitting below, and informed the Princess of this, saying, "O my lady! O my lady! here's my lord Alaeddin seated at the foot of the wall." So her mistress arose hurriedly and gazing from the casement saw him; and her husband raising his head saw her; so she saluted him and he saluted her, both being like to fly for joy. Presently Quoth she, "Up and come in to me by the private postern, for now the Accursed is not here;" and she gave orders to the slave-girl who went down and opened for him. Then Alaeddin passed through it and was met by his wife, when they embraced and exchanged kisses with all delight until they wept for overjoy. After this they sat down and Alaeddin said to her, "O my lady, before all things 'tis my desire to ask thee a question. 'Twas my wont to place an old copper lamp in such a part of my pavilion, what became of that same?" When the Princess heard these words she sighed and cried, "O my dearling, 'twas that very Lamp which garred us fall into this calamity!" Alaeddin asked her, "How befel the affair?" and she answered by recounting to him all that passed, first and last, especially how they had given in exchange an old lamp for a new lamp, adding, "And next day we hardly saw one another at dawn before we found ourselves in this land, and he who deceived us and took the lamp by way of barter informed me that he had done the deed by might of his magic and by means of the Lamp; that he is a Moorman from Africa, and that we are now in his native country."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Eighty-first Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when the Lady Badr al-Budur ceased speaking, Alaeddin resumed, "Tell me the intent of this Accursed in thy respect, also what he sayeth to thee and what be his will of thee?" She replied, "Every day he cometh to visit me once and no more: he would woo me to his love and he sueth that I take him to spouse in lieu of thee and that I forget thee and be consoled for the loss of thee. And he telleth me that the Sultan my sire hath cut off my husband's head, adding that thou, the son of pauper parents, wast by him enriched. And he sootheth me with talk, but he never seeth aught from me save weeping and wailing; nor hath he heard from me one sugar-sweet word." [FN#202] Quoth Alaeddin, "Tell me where he hath placed the Lamp an thou know anything thereof:" and Quoth she, "He beareth it about on his body alway, nor is it possible that he leave it for a single hour; moreover once when he related what I have now recounted to thee, he brought it out of his breast-pocket and allowed me to look upon it." When Alaeddin heard these words, he joyed with exceeding joy and said, "O my lady, do thou lend ear to me. 'Tis my design to go from thee forthright and to return only after doffing this my dress; so wonder not when thou see me changed, but direct one of thy women to stand by the private pastern alway and, whenever she espy me coming, at once to open. And now I will devise a device whereby to slay this damned loon." Herewith he arose and, issuing from the pavilion door, walked till he met on the way a Fellah to whom he said, "O man, take my attire and give me thy garments." But the peasant refused, so Alaeddin stripped him of his dress perforce [FN#203] and donned it, leaving to the man his own rich gear by way of gift. Then he followed the highway leading to the neighbouring city and entering it went to the Perfumers' Bazar where he bought of one some rarely potent Bhang, the son of a minute, [FN#204] paying two dinars for two drachms thereof and he returned in disguise by the same road till he reached the pavilion. Here the slave-girl opened to him the private pastern wherethrough he went in to the Lady Badr al-Budur.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it Was the Five Hundred and Eighty-second Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when Alaeddin went in disguised to his wife he said, "Hear me! I desire of thee that thou dress and dight thyself in thy best and thou cast off all outer show and semblance of care; also when the Accursed, the Maghrabi, shall visit thee, do thou receive him with a 'Welcome and fair welcome,' and meet him with smiling face and invite him to come and sup with thee. Moreover, let him note that thou hast forgotten Alaeddin thy beloved, likewise thy father; and that thou hast learned to love him with exceeding love, displaying to him all manner joy and pleasure. Then ask him for wine which must be red and pledge him to his secret in a significant draught; and, when thou hast given him two to three cups full and hast made him wax careless, then drop these drops into his cup and fill it up with wine: no sooner shall he drink of it than he will fall upon his back senseless as one dead." Hearing these words, the Princess exclaimed," 'Tis exceedingly sore to me that I do such deed; [FN#205] withal must I do it that we escape the defilement of this Accursed who tortured me by severance from thee and from my sire. Lawful and right therefore is the slaughter of this Accursed." Then Alaeddin ate and drank with his wife what hindered his hunger; then, rising without stay or delay, fared forth the pavilion. So the Lady Badr al-Budur summoned the tirewoman who robed and arrayed her in her finest raiment and adorned her and perfumed her; and, as she was thus, behold, the accursed Maghrabi entered. He joyed much seeing her in such case and yet more when she confronted him, contrary to her custom, with a laughing face; and his love-longing increased and his desire to have her. Then she took him and, seating him beside her, said, "O my dearling, do thou (an thou be willing) come to me this night and let us sup together. Sufficient to me hath been my sorrow for, were I to sit mourning through a thousand years or even two thousand, Alaeddin would not return to me from the tomb; and I depend upon thy say of yesterday, to wit, that my sire the Sultan slew him in his stress of sorrow for severance from me. Nor wonder thou an I have changed this day from what I was yesterday; and the reason thereof is I have determined upon taking thee to friend and playfellow in lieu of and succession to Alaeddin, for that now I have none other man but thyself. So I hope for thy presence this night, that we may sup together and we may carouse and drink somewhat of wine each with other; and especially 'tis my desire that thou cause me taste the wine of thy natal soil, the African land, because belike 'tis better than aught of the wine of China we drink: I have with me some wine but 'tis the growth of my country and I vehemently wish to taste the wine produced by thine." And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Eighty-third Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that when the Maghrabi saw the love lavisht upon him by the Lady Badr al-Budur, and noted her change from the sorrowful, melancholy woman she was wont to be, he thought that she had cut off her hope of Alaeddin and he joyed exceedingly and said to her, "I hear and obey, O my lady, whatso thou wishest and all thou biddest. I have at home a jar of our country wine, which I have carefully kept and stored deep in earth for a space of eight years; and I will now fare and fill from it our need and will return to thee in all haste." But the Princess, that she might wheedle him the more and yet more, replied "O my darling, go not thou, leaving me alone, but send one of the eunuchs to fill for us thereof and do thou remain sitting beside me, that I may find in thee my consolation." He rejoined, "O my lady, none wotteth where the jar be buried save myself nor will I tarry from thee." So saying, the Moorman went out and after a short time he brought back as much wine as they wanted whereupon Quoth the Princess to him, "Thou hast been at pains and trouble to serve me and I have suffered for thy sake, O my beloved." Quoth he, "On no wise, O eyes of me; I hold myself enhonoured by thy service." Then the Lady Badr al-Budur sat with him at table, and the twain fell to eating and presently the Princess expressed a wish to drink, when the handmaid filled her a cup forthright and then crowned another for the Maroccan. So she drank to his long life and his secret wishes and he also drank to her life; then the Princess, who was unique in eloquence and delicacy of speech, fell to making a cup companion of him and beguiled him by addressing him in the sweetest terms full of hidden meaning. This was done only that he might become more madly enamoured of her, but the Maghrabi thought that it resulted from her true inclination for him; nor knew that it was a snare set up to slay him. So his longing for her increased, and he was dying of love for her when he saw her address him in such tenderness of words and thoughts, and his head began to swim and all the world seemed as nothing in his eyes. But when they came to the last of the supper and the wine had mastered his brains and the Princess saw this in him, she said, "With us there be a custom throughout our country, but I know not an it be the usage of yours or not." The Moorman replied, "And what may that be?" So she said to him, "At the end of supper each lover in turn taketh the cup of the beloved and drinketh it off;" and at once she crowned one with wine and bade the handmaid carry to him her cup wherein the drink was blended with the Bhang. Now she had taught the slave-girl what to do and all the handmaids and eunuchs in the pavilion longed for the Sorcerer's slaughter and in that matter were one with the Princess. Accordingly the damsel handed him the cup and he, when he heard her words and saw her drinking from his cup and passing hers to him noted all that show of love, fancied himself Iskander, Lord of the Two Horns. Then said she to him, the while swaying gracefully to either side and putting her hand within his hand, "O my life, here is thy cup with me and my cup with thee, and on this wise [FN#206] do lovers drink from each other's cups." Then she bussed the brim and drained it to the dregs and again she kissed its lip and offered it to him. Thereat he hew for joy and meaning to do the like, raised her cup to his mouth and drank off the whole contents, without considering whether there was therein aught harmful or not. And forthright he rolled upon his back in deathlike condition and the cup dropped from his grasp, whereupon the Lady Badr al-Budur and the slave-girls ran hurriedly and opened the pavilion door to their lord Alaeddin who, disguised as a Fellah, entered therein.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Eighty-fourth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin entering his pavilion, went up to the apartment of his wife, whom he found still sitting at table; and facing her lay the Maghrabi as one slaughtered; so he at once drew near to her and kissed her and thanked her for this. Then rejoicing with joy exceeding he turned to her and said "Do thou with thy handmaids betake thyself to the inner-rooms and leave me alone for the present that I may take counsel touching mine affair." The Princess hesitated not but went away at once, she and her women; then Alaeddin arose and after locking the door upon them, walked up to the Moorman and put forth his hand to his breast-pocket and thence drew the Lamp; after which he unsheathed his sword and slew the villain. [FN#207] Presently he rubbed the Lamp and the Marid-slave appeared and said, "Adsum, O my lord, what is it thou wantest?" "I desire of thee," said Alaeddin, "that thou take up my pavilion from this country and transport it to the land of China and there set it down upon the site where it was whilome, fronting the palace of the Sultan." The Marid replied, "Hearing and obeying, O my lord.' The Alaeddin went and sat down with his wife and throwing his arms round her neck kissed her and she kissed him, and they sat in converse, what while the Jinni transported the pavilion and all therein to the place appointed. Presently Alaeddin bade the handmaids spread the table before him and he and the Lady Badr al-Budur took seat thereat and fell to eating and drinking, in all joy and gladness, till they had their sufficiency when, removing to the chamber of wine and cup-converse, they sat there and caroused in fair companionship and each kissed other with all love-liesse. The time had been long and longsome since they enjoyed aught of pleasure; so they ceased not doing thus until the wine-sun arose in their heads and sleep get hold of them, at which time they went to their bed in all ease and comfort. [FN#208] Early on the next morning Alaeddin woke and awoke his wife, and the slave-girls came in and donned her dress and prepared her and adorned her whilst her husband arrayed himself in his costliest raiment and the twain were ready to fly for joy at reunion after parting. Moreover the Princess was especially joyous and gladsome because on that day she expected to see her beloved father. Such was the case of Alaeddin and the Lady Badr al-Budur; but as regards the Sultan, after he drove away his son-in-law he never ceased to sorrow for the loss of his daughter; and every hour of every day he would sit and weep for her as women weep, because she was his only child and he had none other to take to heart. And as he shook off sleep, morning after morning, he would hasten to the window and throw it open and peer in the direction where formerly stood Alaeddin's pavilion and pour forth tears until his eyes were dried up and their lids were ulcered. Now on that day he arose at dawn and, according to his custom, looked out when, lo and behold! he saw before him an edifice; so he rubbed his eyes and considered it curiously when he became certified that it was the pavilion of his son-in-law. So he called for a horse [FN#209] without let or delay; and as soon as his beast was saddled, he mounted and made for the place; and Alaeddin, when he saw his father-in-law approaching, went down and met him half way: then, taking his hand, aided him to step upstairs to the apartment of his daughter. And the Princess, being as earnestly desirous to see her sire, descended and greeted him at the door of the staircase fronting the ground-floor hall. Thereupon the King folded her in his arms and kissed her, shedding tears of joy; and she did likewise till at last Alaeddin led them to the upper saloon where they took seats and the Sultan fell to asking her case and what had betided her.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Eighty-fifth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, With love and good will."---It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Lady Badr al-Budur began to inform the Sultan of all which had befallen her, saying, "O my father, I recovered not life save yesterday when I saw my husband, and he it was who freed me from the thraldom of that Maghrabi, that Magician, that Accursed, than whom I believe there be none viler on the face of earth; and, but for my beloved, I had never escaped him nor hadst thou seen me during the rest of my days. But mighty sadness and sorrow get about me, O my father, not only for losing thee but also for the loss of a husband, under whose kindness I shall be all the length of my life, seeing that he freed me from that fulsome sorcerer." Then the Princess began repeating to her sire every thing that happened to her, and relating to him how the Moorman had tricked her in the guise of a lamp-seller who offered in exchange new for old; how she had given him the Lamp whose worth she knew not, and how she had bartered it away only to laugh at the lampman's folly. "And next morning, O my father," she continued, "we found ourselves and whatso the pavilion contained in Africa-land, till such time as my husband came to us and devised a device whereby we escaped: and, had it not been for Alaeddin's hastening to our aid, the Accursed was determined to enjoy me perforce." Then she told him of the Bhang-drops administered in wine to the African and concluded, "Then my husband returned to me and how I know not, but we were shifted from Africa land to this place." Alaeddin in his turn recounted how, finding the wizard dead drunken, he had sent away his wife and her women from the polluted place into the inner apartments; how he had taken the Lamp from the Sorcerer's breast-pocket whereto he was directed by his wife; how he had slaughtered the villain and, finally how, making use of the Lamp, he had summoned its Slave and ordered him to transport the pavilion back to its proper site, ending his tale with, "And, if thy Highness have any doubt anent my words, arise with me and look upon the accursed Magician." The King did accordingly and, having considered the Moorman, bade the carcase be carried away forthright and burned and its ashes scattered in air. Then he took to embracing Alaeddin and kissing him said, "Pardon me, O my son, for that I was about to destroy thy life through the foul deeds of this damned enchanter, who cast thee into such pit of peril; and I may be excused, O my child, for what I did by thee, because I found myself forlorn of my daughter; my only one, who to me is dearer than my very kingdom. Thou knowest how the hearts of parents yearn unto their offspring, especially when like myself they have but one and none other to love." And on this wise the Sultan took to excusing himself and kissing his son-in-law.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,
When it was the Five Hundred and Eighty-sixth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin said to the Sultan, "O King of the Time, thou didst naught to me contrary to Holy Law, and I also sinned not against thee; but all the trouble came from that Maghrabi, the impure, the Magician." Thereupon the Sultan bade the city be decorated and they obeyed him and held high feast and festivities. He also commanded the crier to cry about the streets saying, "This day is a mighty great fête, wherein public rejoicings must be held throughout the realm, for a full month of thirty days, in honour of the Lady Badr al-Budur and her husband Alaeddin's return to their home." On this wise befel it with Alaeddin and the Maghrabi; but withal the King's son-in-law escaped not wholly from the Accursed, albeit the body had been burnt and the ashes scattered in air. For the villain had a brother yet more villainous than himself, and a greater adept in necromancy, geomancy and astromancy; and, even as the old saw saith "A bean and 'twas split;" [FN#210] so each one dwelt in his own quarter of the globe that he might fill it with his sorcery, his fraud and his treason. [FN#211] Now, one day of the days it fortuned that the Moorman's brother would learn how it fared with him, so he brought out his sandboard and dotted it and produced the figures which, when he had considered and carefully studied them, gave him to know that the man he sought was dead and housed in the tomb. So he grieved and was certified of his decease, but he dotted a second time seeking to learn the manner of the death and where it had taken place; so he found that the site was the China-land and that the mode was the foulest of slaughter; furthermore, that he who did him die was a young man Alaeddin hight. Seeing this he straightway arose and equipped himself for wayfare; then he set out and cut across the wilds and words and heights for the space of many a month until he reached China and the capital of the Sultan wherein was the slayer of his brother. He alighted at the so-called Strangers' Khan and, hiring himself a cell, took rest therein for a while; then he fared forth and wandered about the highways that he might discern some path which would aid him unto the winning of his ill-minded wish, to wit, of wreaking upon Alaeddin blood-revenge for his brother. [FN#212] Presently he entered a coffee-house, a fine building which stood in the market-place and which collected a throng of folk to play, some at the mankalah, [FN#213] others at the backgammon [FN#214] and others at the chess and what not else. There he sat down and listened to those seated beside him and they chanced to be conversing about an ancient dame and a holy, by name Fatimah, [FN#215] who dwelt alway at her devotions in a hermitage without the town, and this she never entered save only two days each month. They mentioned also that she had performed many saintly miracles [FN#216] which, when the Maghrabi, the Necromancer, heard he said in himself, "Now have I found that which I sought: Inshallah--God willing--by means of this crone will I win to my wish."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Eighty-seventh Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Maghrabi, the Necromancer, went up to the folk who were talking of the miracles performed by the devout old woman and said to one of them, "O my uncle, I heard you all chatting about the prodigies of a certain saintess named Fatimah: who is she and where may be her abode? "Marvellous!" [FN#217] exclaimed the man: "How canst thou be in our city and yet never have heard about the miracles of the Lady Fatimah? Evidently, O thou poor fellow, thou art a foreigner, since the fastings of this devotee and her asceticism in worldly matters and the beauties of her piety never came to thine ears." The Moorman rejoined, " 'tis true, O my lord: yes, I am a stranger and came to this your city only yesternight; and I hope thou wilt inform me concerning the saintly miracles of this virtuous woman and where may be her wone, for that I have fallen into a calamity, and 'tis my wish to visit her and crave her prayers, so haply Allah (to whom be honour and glory!) will, through her blessings, deliver me from mine evil." Hereat the man recounted to him the marvels of Fatimah the Devotee and her piety and the beauties of her worship; then, taking him by the hand went with him without the city and showed him the way to her abode, a cavern upon a hillock's head. The Necromancer acknowledged his kindness in many words and, thanking him for his good offices, returned to his cell in the caravanserai. Now by the fiat of Fate on the very next day Fatimah came down to the city, and the Maghrabi, the Necromancer, happened to leave his hostelry a-morn, when he saw the folk swarming and crowding; wherefore he went up to discover what was to do and found the Devotee standing amiddlemost the throng, and all who suffered from pain or sickness flocked to her soliciting a blessing and praying for her prayers; and each and every she touched became whole of his illness. [FN#218] The Maroccan, the Necromancer, followed her about until she returned to her antre; then, awaiting till the evening evened, he arose and repaired to a vintner's store where he drank a cup of wine. After this he fared forth the city and finding the Devotee's cavern, entered it and saw her lying prostrate [FN#219] with her back upon a strip of matting. So he came for ward and mounted upon her belly; then he drew his dagger and shouted at her; and, when she awoke and opened her eyes, she espied a Moorish man with an unsheathed poniard sitting upon her middle as though about to kill her. She was troubled and sore terrified, but he said to her, "Hearken! an thou cry out or utter a word I will slay thee at this very moment: arise now and do all I bid thee." Then he sware to her an oath that if she obeyed his orders, whatever they might be, he would not do her die. So saying, he rose up from off her and Fatimah also arose, when he said to her, "Give me thy gear and take thou my habit ;" whereupon she gave him her clothing and head-fillets, her face-kerchief and her mantilla. Then Quoth he, " 'tis also requisite that thou anoint me with somewhat shall make the colour of my face like unto thine." Accordingly she went into the inner cavern and, bringing out a gallipot of ointment, spread somewhat thereof upon her palm and with it besmeared his face until its hue favoured her own; then she gave him her staff [FN#220] and, showing him how to walk and what to do when he entered the city, hung her rosary around his neck. Lastly she handed to him a mirror and said, "Now look! Thou differest from me in naught;" and he saw himself Fatimah's counterpart as though she had never gone or come. [FN#221] But after obtaining his every object he falsed his oath and asked for a cord which she brought to him; then he seized her and strangled her in the cavern; and presently, when she was dead, haled the corpse outside and threw it into a pit hard by.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Eighty-eighth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Maghrabi, after murthering Fatimah, threw her body into a pit and went back to sleep in her cavern; and, when broke the day, he rose and repairing to the town took his stand under the walls of Alaeddin's pavilion. Hereupon flocked the folk about him, all being certified that he was Fatimah the Devotee and he fell to doing whatso she was wont to do: he laid hands on these in pain and recited for those a chapter of the Koran and made orisons for a third. Presently the thronging of the folk and the clamouring of the crowd were heard by the Lady Badr al-Budur, who said to her handmaidens, "Look what is to do and what be the cause of this turmoil!" Thereupon the Agha of the eunuchry fared forth to see what might be the matter and presently returning said, "O my lady, this clamour is caused by the Lady Fatimah, and if thou be pleased to command, I will bring her to thee; so shalt thou gain through her a blessing." The Princess answered, "Go bring her, for since many a day I am always hearing of her miracles and her virtues, and I do long to see her and get a blessing by her intervention, for the folk recount her manifestations in many cases of difficulty." The Agha went forth and brought in the Maroccan, the Necromancer, habited in Fatimah's clothing; and, when the wizard stood before the Lady Badr al-Budur, he began at first sight to bless her with a string of prayers; nor did any one of those present doubt at all but that he was the Devotee herself. The Princess arose and salam'd to him then seating him beside her, said, "O my Lady Fatimah, 'tis my desire that thou abide with me alway, so might I be blessed through thee, and also learn of thee the paths [FN#222] of worship and piety and follow thine example making for salvation." Now all this was a foul deceit of the accursed African and he designed furthermore to complete his guile, so he continued, "O my Lady, I am a poor woman and a religious that dwelleth in the desert; and the like of me deserveth not to abide in the palaces of the kings." But the Princess replied, "Have no care whatever, O my Lady Fatimah; I will set apart for thee an apartment of my pavilion, that thou mayest worship therein and none shall ever come to trouble thee; also thou shalt avail to worship Allah in my place better than in thy cavern." The Maroccan rejoined," Hearkening and obedience, O my lady; I will not oppose thine order for that the commands of the children of the kings may not be gainsaid nor renounced. Only I hope of thee that my eating and drinking and sitting may be within my own chamber which shall be kept wholly private; nor do I require or desire the delicacies of diet, but do thou favour me by sending thy handmaid every day with a bit of bread and a sup of water; [FN#223] and, when I feel fain of food, let me eat by myself in my own room." Now the Accursed hereby purposed to avert the danger of haply raising his face-kerchief at meal-times, when his intent might be baffled by his beard and mustachios discovering him to be a man. The Princess replied, "O my Lady Fatimah, be of good heart; naught shall happen save what thou wishest. But now arise and let me show thee the apartment in the palace which I would prepare for thy sojourn with us."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Eighty-ninth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Lady Badr al-Budur arose and taking the Necromancer who had disguised himself as the Devotee, ushered him in to the place which she had kindly promised him for a home and said, "O my Lady Fatimah, here thou shalt dwell with every comfort about thee and in all privacy and repose; and the place shall be named after thy name;" whereupon the Maghrabi acknowledged her kindness and prayed for her. Then the Princess showed him the jalousies and the jewelled Kiosque with its four and twenty windows [FN#224] and said to him, "What thinkest thou, O my Lady Fatimah, of this marvellous pavilion?" The Moorman replied, "By Allah, O my daughter, 'tis indeed passing fine and wondrous exceedingly; nor do I deem that its fellow is to be found in the whole universe; but alas for the lack of one thing which would enhance its beauty and decoration !" The Princess asked her, "O my Lady Fatimah, what lacketh it and what be this thing would add to its adornment? Tell me thereof, inasmuch as I was wont to believe it wholly perfect." The Maroccan answered, "O my lady, all it wanteth is that there be hanging from the middle of the dome the egg of a fowl called the Rukh; [FN#225] and, were this done, the pavilion would lack its peer all the world over." The Princess asked, "What be this bird and where can we find her egg?" and the Maroccan answered, "O my lady, the Rukh is indeed a giant fowl which carrieth off camels and elephants in her pounces and flieth away with them, such is her stature and strength; also this fowl is mostly found in Mount Káf; and the architect who built this pavilion is able to bring thee one of her eggs." They then left such talk as it was the hour for the noon day meal and, when the handmaid had spread the table, the Lady Badr al-Budur sent down to invite the Accursed African to eat with her. But he accepted not and for a reason he would on no wise consent; nay, he rose and retired to the room which the Princess had assigned to him and whither the slave-girls carried his dinner. Now when evening evened, Alaeddin returned from the chase and met his wife who salam'd to him and he clasped her to his bosom and kissed her. Presently, looking at her face he saw thereon a shade of sadness and he noted that contrary to her custom, she did not laugh; so he asked her, "What hath betided thee, O my dearling? tell me, hath aught happened to trouble thy thoughts!" "Nothing whatever," answered she, "but, O my beloved, I fancied that our pavilion lacked naught at all; however, O eyes of me, O Alaeddin, were the dome of the upper story hung with an egg of the fowl called Rukh, there would be naught like it in the universe." Her husband rejoined, "And for this trifle thou art saddened when 'tis the easiest of all matters to me! So cheer thyself; and, whatever thou wantest, 'tis enough thou inform me thereof, and I will bring it from the abysses of the earth in the quickest time and at the earliest hour."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Ninetieth Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that Alaeddin after refreshing the spirits of his Princess by promising her all she could desire, repaired straight way to his chamber and taking the Lamp [FN#226] rubbed it, when the Marid appeared without let or delay saying, "Ask whatso thou wantest." Said the other, "I desire thee to fetch me an egg of the bird Rukh and do thou hang it to the dome-crown of this my pavilion." But when the Marid heard these words, his face waxed fierce and he shouted with a mighty loud voice and a frightful, and cried, "O denier of kindly deeds, sufficeth it not for thee that I and all the Slaves of the Lamp are ever at thy service, but thou must also require me to bring thee our Liege Lady [FN#227] for thy pleasure, and hang her up at thy pavilion dome for the enjoyment of thee and thy wife! Now by Allah, ye deserve, thou and she, that I reduce you to ashes this very moment and scatter you upon the air; but, inasmuch as ye twain be ignorant of this matter, unknowing its inner from its outer significance, I will pardon you for indeed ye are but innocents. The offence cometh from that accursed Necromancer, brother to the Maghrabi, the Magician, who abideth here representing himself to be Fatimah, the Devotee, after assuming her dress and belongings and murthering her in the cavern: indeed he came hither seeking to slay thee by way of blood-revenge for his brother; and 'tis he who taught thy wife to require this matter of me.'' [FN#228] So saying the Marid evanished. But when Alaeddin heard these words, his wits fled his head and his joints trembled at the Marid's terrible shout; but he empowered his purpose and, rising forthright, issued from his chamber and went into his wife's. There he affected an ache of head, for that he knew how famous was Fatimah for the art and mystery of healing all such pains; and, when the Lady Badr al-Budur saw him sitting hand to head and complaining of unease, she asked him the cause and he answered, "I know of none other save that my head acheth exceedingly." Hereupon she straightway bade summon Fatimah that the Devotee might impose her hand upon his head; [FN#229] and Alaeddin asked her, "Who may this Fatimah be?" So she informed him that it was Fatimah the Devotee to whom she had given a home in the pavilion. Meanwhile the slave-girls had fared forth and summoned the Maghrabi, and when the Accursed made act of presence, Alaeddin rose up to him and, acting like one who knew naught of his purpose, salam'd to him as though he had been the real Fatimah and, kissing the hem of his sleeve, welcomed him and entreated him with honour and said, "O my Lady Fatimah, I hope thou wilt bless me with a boon, for well I wot thy practice in the healing of pains: I have gotten a mighty ache in my head." The Moorman, the Accursed, could hardly believe that he heard such words, this being all that he desired.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
When it was the Five Hundred and Ninety-first Night,
Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, an thou be other than sleepy, do tell us some of thy pleasant tales," whereupon Shahrazad replied, "With love and good will."--It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that the Maghrabi, the Necromancer, habited as Fatimah the Devotee, came up to Alaeddin that he might place hand upon his head and heal his ache; so he imposed one hand and, putting forth the other under his gown, drew a dagger wherewith to slay him. But Alaeddin watched him and, taking patience till he had wholly unsheathed the weapon, seized him with a forceful grip; and, wrenching the dagger from his grasp plunged it deep into his heart. When the Lady Badr al-Budur saw him do on this wise, she shrieked and cried out, "What hath this virtuous and holy woman done that thou hast charged thy neck with the heavy burthen of her blood shed wrongfully? Hast thou no fear of Allah that thou killest Fatimah, this saintly woman, whose miracles are far-famed?" "No," replied Alaeddin "I have not killed Fatimah. I have slain only Fatimah's slayer, he that is the brother of the Maghrabi, the Accursed, the Magician, who carried thee off by his black art and transported my pavilion to the Africa-land; and this damnable brother of his came to our city and wrought these wiles, murthering Fatimah and assuming her habit, only that he might avenge upon me his brother's blood; and he also 'twas who taught thee to require of me a Rukh's egg, that my death might result from such requirement. But, an thou doubt my speech, come forwards and consider the person I have slain." Thereupon Alaeddin drew aside the Moorman's face-kerchief and the Lady Badr al-Budur saw the semblance of a man with a full beard that well nigh covered his features. She at once knew the truth and said to her husband, "O my beloved, twice have I cast thee into death-risk!" but he rejoined, "No harm in that, O my lady, by the blessing of your loving eyes: I accept with all joy all things thou bringest me." The Princess, hearing these words, hastened to fold him in her arms and kissed him saying, "O my dearling, all this is for my love to thee and I knew naught thereof; but indeed I do not deem lightly of thine affection." So Alaeddin kissed her and strained her to his breast; and the love between them waxed but greater. At that moment the Sultan appeared and they told him all that had happened, showing him the corpse of the Maghrabi, the Necromancer, when the King commanded the body to be burned and the ashes scattered on air, even as had befallen the Wizard's brother. And Alaeddin abode with his wife, the Lady Badr al-Budur, in all pleasure and joyance of life and thenceforward escaped every danger; and, after a while, when the Sultan deceased, his son-in-law was seated upon the throne of the Kingdom; and he commanded and dealt justice to the lieges so that all the folk loved him, and he lived with his wife in all solace and happiness until there came to him the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of societies. [FN#230] Quoth Dunyazad, "O sister mine, how rare is thy tale and delectable!" and Quoth Shahrazad, "And what is this compared with that I could relate to you after the coming night, an this my lord the King deign leave me on life?" So Shahryar said to himself, "Indeed I will not slay her until she tell me the whole tale."
When it was the Five Hundred and Ninety-second Night, [FN#231]
Shahrazad began to relate the adventures of