After the African magician had given what he brought into Aladdin's hands, he saluted his mother, and desired her to shew him the place where his brother Mustapha used to sit on the sofa; and when she had so done, he fell down and kissed it several times, crying out with tears in his eyes: "My poor brother! how unhappy am I, not to have come soon enough to give you one last embrace." Aladdin's mother desired him to sit down in the same place, but he declined. "No," said he, "but give me leave to sit opposite, that although I am deprived of the satisfaction of seeing one so dear to me, I may at least have the pleasure of beholding the place where he used to sit."
One day when the two princes were hunting, and the princess had remained at home, a religious old woman came to the gate, and desired leave to go in to say her prayers, it being then the hour. The servants asked the princess's permission, who ordered them to show her into the oratory, which the intendant of the emperor's gardens had taken care to fit up in his house, for want of a mosque in the neighbourhood. She bade them, also, after the good woman had finished her prayers, to show her the house and gardens and then bring her to the hall.
The two princes and the princess were, in the meantime, nursed and brought up by the intendant of the gardens and his wife with the tenderness of a father and mother; and as they advanced in age, they all showed marks of superior dignity, which discovered itself every day by a certain air which could only belong to exalted birth. All this increased the affections of the intendant and his wife, who called the eldest prince Bahman, and the second Perviz, both of them names of the most ancient emperors of Persia, and the princess, Periezade, which name also had been borne by several queens and princesses of the kingdom.
Khaujeh Houssain, or rather the captain of the robbers, thought he had now a favourable opportunity of being revenged on Ali Baba. "I will," said he to himself, "make the father and son both drunk: the son, whose life I intend to spare, will not be able to prevent my stabbing his father to the heart; and while the slaves are at supper, or asleep in the kitchen, I can make my escape over the gardens as before."
The sultan returned to his palace, but would not let Aladdin attend him. When he came there, he found his grand vizier waiting, to whom he related the wonder he had witnessed with the utmost admiration, and in such terms as left the minister no room to doubt but that the fact was as the sultan related it; though he was the more confirmed in his belief that Aladdin's palace was the effect of enchantment, as he had told the sultan the first moment he saw it. He was going to repeat the observation, but the sultan interrupted him, and said: "You told me so once before; I see, vizier, you have not forgotten your son's espousals to my daughter." The grand vizier plainly saw how much the sultan was prepossessed, therefore avoided disputes, and let him remain in his own opinion. The sultan as soon as he rose every morning went into the closet, to look at Aladdin's palace, and would go many times in a day to contemplate and admire it.
At last the dervish broke silence. "Sir," said he to Prince Bahman, "I know the way you ask of me; but the regard which I conceived for you the first moment I saw you, and which is grown stronger by the service you have done me, kept me in suspense as to whether I should give you the satisfaction you desire." "What motive can hinder you?" replied the prince; "and what difficulties do you find in so doing?" "I will tell you," replied the dervish; "the danger to which you are going to expose yourself is greater than you may suppose. A number of gentlemen of as much bravery as you can possibly possess have passed this way, and asked me the same question. When I had used all my endeavours to persuade them to desist, they would not believe me; at last I yielded to their importunities; I was compelled to show them the way, and I can assure you they have all perished, for I have not seen one come back. Therefore, if you have any regard for your life, take my advice, go no farther, but return home."
At last the princess broke silence with a deep sigh, and said: "Alas! most honoured mother, forgive me if I have failed in the respect I owe you. My mind is so full of the extraordinary circumstances which have befallen me that I have not yet recovered from my amazement and alarm." She then related her surprising adventures, which the sultaness heard very patiently, but could scarcely believe. "You did well, child," said she, "not to speak of this to your father: take care not to mention it to anybody; for you will certainly be thought mad if you talk in this manner." "Madam," replied the princess, "I can assure you I am in my right senses; ask my husband and he will tell you the same circumstances." "I will," said the sultaness; "but if he should talk in the same manner, I shall not be better persuaded of the truth. Come, rise, and throw off this idle fancy; it will be strange if all the feasts and rejoicings in the kingdom should be interrupted by such a vision. Do not you hear the trumpets of congratulation, and concerts of the finest music? Cannot these inspire you with joy and make you forget the fancies of a dream?" At the same time the sultaness called the princess's women, and after she had seen her get up, went to the sultan's apartment, told him that her daughter had got some odd notions in her head, but that there was nothing in them but idle phantasy.
Little excuse is needed, perhaps, for any fresh selection from the famous "Tales of a Thousand and One Nights," provided it be representative enough, and worthy enough, to enlist a new army of youthful readers. Of the two hundred and sixty-four bewildering, unparalleled stories, the true lover can hardly spare one, yet there must always be favourites, even among these. We have chosen some of the most delightful, in our opinion; some, too, that chanced to appeal particularly to the genius of the artist. If, enticed by our choice and the beauty of the pictures, we manage to attract a few thousand more true lovers to the fountain-book, we shall have served our humble turn. The only real danger lies in neglecting it, in rearing a child who does not know it and has never fallen under its spell.
The emperor went into the hall; and as the Bird continued singing, the princess raised her voice, and said, "My slave, here is the emperor, pay your compliments to him." The Bird left off singing that instant, when all the other birds ceased also, and said: "The emperor is welcome; God prosper him and prolong his life!" As the entertainment was served on the sofa near the window where the Bird was placed, the sultan replied, as he was taking his seat: "Bird, I thank you, and am overjoyed to find in you the sultan and king of birds."
The next morning, as soon as day appeared, Aladdin was agreeably awakened by the singing not only of the birds which had roosted in the tree under which he had passed the night, but also of those which frequented the thick groves of the palace garden. When he cast his eyes on that wonderful edifice, he felt inexpressible joy at thinking he might soon be master of it again, and once more greet his dear Princess Badroulboudour. Pleased with these hopes, he immediately arose, went toward the princess's apartment, and walked some time under her window in expectation of her rising, that he might see her. During this expectation, he began to consider with himself whence the cause of his misfortune had proceeded; and after mature reflection, no longer doubted that it was owing to having trusted the lamp out of his sight. He accused himself of negligence in letting it be a moment away from him. But what puzzled him most was, that he could not imagine who had been so envious of his happiness. He would soon have guessed this, if he had known that both he and his palace were now in Africa, the very name of which would soon have made him remember the magician, his declared enemy; but the genie, the slave of the ring, had not made mention of the name of the country, nor had Aladdin inquired.
Aladdin was carried before the sultan, who waited for him, attended by the grand vizier; and as soon as he saw him he ordered the executioner, who waited there for the purpose, to strike off his head without hearing him, or giving him leave to clear himself. As soon as the executioner had taken off the chain that was fastened about Aladdin's neck and body, he made the supposed criminal kneel down, and tied a bandage over his eyes. Then drawing his sabre, he took his aim by flourishing it three times in the air, waiting for the sultan's giving the signal to strike.
When the gardener took up the box, he gave it into the princess's hands, who, as it was only fastened with neat little hasps, soon opened it, and found it full of pearls of a moderate size, but equal and fit for the use that was to be made of them. Very well satisfied with having found this treasure, after she had shut the box again, she put it under her arm and went back to the house, while the gardener threw the earth into the hole at the foot of the tree as it had been before.
The genie, turning to the fisherman with a fierce look, said: "Thou must address me with more courtesy; thou art a presumptuous fellow to call me a proud spirit; speak to me more respectfully, or I will kill thee." "Ah!" replied the fisherman, "why should you kill me? Did I not just now set you at liberty, and have you already forgotten my services?"
When he was old enough to learn a trade, his father, not being able to put him out to any other, took him into his own shop, and taught him how to use his needle: but neither fair words nor the fear of chastisement were capable of fixing his lively genius. All his father's endeavours to keep him to his work were in vain; for no sooner was his back turned, than he was gone for that day. Mustapha chastised him, but Aladdin was incorrigible, and his father, to his great grief, was forced to abandon him to his idleness: and was so much troubled at not being able to reclaim him, that it threw him into a fit of sickness, of which he died in a few months.