There in a city of the cities of China was a man, a tailor and poor, and he had a son by name Alaeddin, who was perverse and graceless from his earliest childhood. When he came to ten years of age, his father would fain have taught him his own craft, for that, because he was poor, he could not spend money upon him to have him taught [another] trade or art the like; he carried him to his shop, that he might teach him his craft of tailoring; but, forasmuch as the lad was perverse and wont still to play with the boys of the quarter, would not sit one day in the shop; nay, he would watch his father till such time as he went forth the place to meet a customer on some other occasion, when he would flee forth incontinent and go out to the gardens with the good-for-nothing lads like himself. This, then, was his case, he would not obey his parents, nor would he learn a craft. His father sickened of his grief and chagrin for his son's perversity and died, whilst Alaeddin abode on that his wise. When his mother saw that her husband had departed this life that her son was a scapegrace and a good-for-nought, she sold the shop and all she found therein and fell to spinning cotton and feeding herself and her graceless son Alaeddin with her toil. The latter, seeing himself quit of his father's danger, in his gracelessness and his perversity and would not abide in their house save eating-whiles; and his poor wretched mother supported him the spinning of her hands till he came to fifteen years of age.
One of the days, as he sat in the street, playing with the vagabond boys, behold, a Maugrabin came up and stopping to look at the lads, singled out Alaeddin from his comrades and fell to gazing upon him and straitly considering his favour. Now this dervish was from the land of Hither Barbary he was an enchanter who would cast mountain upon mountain with his sorcery and was skilled to boot in physiognomy. he had well considered Alaeddin, he said in himself, “Certes, this boy is he whom I seek and he it is in quest of whom I came forth from my country.”
So he took one of the lads apart and asked him of Alaeddin, whose son he was, and questioned him of all his affairs; after which he went up to Alaeddin and taking him aside, said to him, “Harkye, boy, art thou not the son of such an one the tailor?”
And he answered him, saying “Yes, O my lord; but my father died awhile agone.”
When the Maugrabin magician heard this, he threw himself upon Alaeddin and embracing him, fell to kissing him and weeping, that his tears ran down upon his cheek.
Alaeddin was astonished at the Maugrabin's behaviour; so he asked him and said to him, “What is the cause of thy weeping, O my lord, and whence knewest thou my father?”
The Maugrabin answered him, in a mournful, broken voice, “How, O my son, canst thou ask me this question, after telling me that thy father, my brother, is dead, for thy father was [indeed] my brother I am newly come from my country and was rejoicing exceedingly, after this my strangerhood, of my expectation that I should see him and solace myself with him; now thou tellest me that he is dead! Marry, blood discovered unto me that wast the son of my brother, and indeed I knew thee from amongst all the lads; although thy father, when I left him, was not yet married. And O my son Alaeddin,” continued he, “I have lost my consolation my joy in thy father, my brother, whom I had hoped, after my strangerhood, to see ere I died; but separation hath afflicted me in him there is no fleeing from that which is is there any resource against the ordinance of God the Most High.”
Then he took Alaeddin and said to him, “O my son, I have no comfort in thee thou art [to me] in the stead of thy father, since thou art his successor and whoso leaveth [a successor] is not dead, O my son.”
With this he put his hand [to his pocket] and bringing out ten diners, gave them to Alaeddin, saying, “O my son, where is your house and where is thy mother, my brother's wife?”
So Alaeddin took him and showed him the way to their house; and the magician said to him, “O my son, take these monies and give them to thy mother and salute her on my behalf and tell her that thine uncle is come back from his strangerhood; and God willing, to-morrow I will come visit you, so I may salute her and look upon the house wherein my brother dwelt and see where his tomb is.”
Alaeddin kissed his hand and hastened home, running in his joy, to his mother and entered, contrary to his wont, for that he was not used to go in to her save at eating-times. So he went in to her, rejoicing, and said to her, “O my mother, I bring thee glad news of my uncle, in that he is come back from his absence, and he saluteth thee.”
“O my son,” quoth she, meseemeth thou makest mock of me. Who is thine uncle and whence hast thou an uncle on life?”
And he said to her, “O my mother, why didst thou tell me that I had no uncles and no kinsfolk on life? Indeed, this man is my uncle and he embraced me and kissed me, weeping, and bade me tell thee of this.”
And she answered him, saying, “Yes, O my son, I knew thou hadst an uncle, but he is dead and I know not that thou hast a second uncle.”
As the Maugrabin enchanter, he went forth at dawn and fell to searching for for that he might not brook parting from him; as he went about in the thoroughfares of the city, he came upon the lad, who was playing with the vagabonds, as of his wont. So he went up to him and taking him by the hand, embraced him and kissed him; then he brought out of his purse two diners and said to Alaeddin, “Go to thy mother and give her these two diners and say to her, ‘My uncle would fain sup with us; so take these two diners and make a good supper.' But first show me once more the way to your house.”
“On my head and eyes, O my uncle,” answered Alaeddin and foregoing him, showed him the way to the house. Then the Maugrabin left him and went his way, whilst Alaeddin returned home and telling his mother [what had passed], gave her the two diners and said to her, “ My uncle would fain sup with us.”
So she arose forthright and went out to the market, where she bought all that was needful and returning home, borrowed of her neighbours that which she required of platters and the like and proceeded to make ready for supper.
When the time of the evening-meal came, she said to Alaeddin, “ O my son, the supper ready and maybe shine uncle knoweth not the way to the house. Go thou and meet him.”
And he answered her with “Hearkening and obedience.”
But, whilst they were in talk, behold, there came a knocking at the door; whereupon Alaeddin went out and opening, found the Maugrabin enchanter, and with him a slave bearing wine and fruits. So he brought them in and the slave went his way, whilst the Maugrabin entered and saluted Alaeddin's mother; then he fell a-weeping and said to her, “Where is the place in which my brother was wont to sit?”
She pointed him to her husband's sitting-place, whereupon he went thither and prostrating himself, fell to kissing the earth and saying, “Alas, how scant is my delight and how sorry my fortune, since I have lost thee, O my brother and apple mine eye!”
And the abode on this wise, weeping and lamenting, till Alaeddin's mother was certified that he was in earnest and that he was like to swoon of the excess of his wailing and his lamentation. So she came to him and raised him from the ground, saying, “What profiteth it that thou shouldst kill thyself?”
And proceeded to comfort him and made him sit down.
Then, before she laid the table, the Maugrabin fell to relating to her [his history] and said to her, “O wife of my brother, let it not amaze thee that in all thy days thou never sawest me neither knewest of me in my late brother's lifetime, for that I left this country forty years agone and became an exile from my native land. I journeyed to the lands of Hind and Sind and all the country of the Arabs and coming presently into Egypt, sojourned awhile in the magnificent city [of Cairo], which is the wonder of the world. I betook myself to the land of Hither Barbary sojourned there thirty years’ space, one day of the days, as I sat, wife of my brother, I bethought me of my country and my native place and of my late brother and longing waxed on me to see him and I fell a-weeping and lamenting over my strangerhood and distance from him. In fine, my yearning for him importuned me till I resolved to journey to this country, the which was the falling-place of my head my native land, that I might see my brother. And I said in myself, “O man, how long wilt thou be an exile thy country and thy native place, whenas thou hast an only brother and no more? Arise and journey and look upon him ere thou die. Who knoweth the calamities of fate and the vicissitudes of the days? Sore pity 'twere that thou shouldst die and not see thy brother. Moreover, Allah (praised be He) hath given thee abundant wealth and it may be thy brother is in poor case and straitened, and thou wilt help him, an see him.”
So I arose forthright and equipped myself for travel; then, reciting the Fatiheh I took horse, after the Friday prayer, and came, after many hardships and fatigues,--which I suffered, till the Lord (to whom belong might and majesty) protected [me],--to this city. I entered it and as I went about its thoroughfares the day before yesterday, I saw my brother's son Alaeddin playing with the boys; and by Allah the Great, O wife of my brother, when I saw him, my heart crave to him, for that blood yearneth unto blood, and my soul foreboded me he was my brother's son. At his sight I forgot all my toils and troubles and was like to fly for joy; then, when he told me that my late brother had departed to the mercy of God the Most High, I swooned away for stress of grief and chagrin; and most like he hath told thee of that which overcame me. I comforted myself somewhat with Alaeddin, who standeth in stead of departed, for that whoso leaveth [a successor] not.”
Then, he saw her weeping at this speech, he turned to Alaeddin, by way of making her forget the mention of her husband and feigning to comfort her, so he might the better accomplish his device upon her, and said to him, “O my son Alaeddin, what hast thou learned of crafts and what is thy business? Hast thou learned thee a trade whereby thou mayst live, thou and thy mother?”
At this Alaeddin was confounded and abashed and hung down his head, bowing it to the ground, whilst his mother said to the Maugrabin, “How? By Allah, he knoweth nought at all! So graceless a lad I never saw. All day long he goeth about with the vagabond boys of the quarter like himself; nay, his father, woe is me, died not but of his chagrin concerning him; and now, as for me, my case is woeful. I spin cotton and toil night and day, to earn two cakes of bread, that we may eat them together. This, then, is his condition, O my brother-in-law, and by thy life, he cometh not in to me save at eating-times, and I am thinking to bolt the door of my house and not open to him and let him go seek his living for himself, for that I am grown an old woman and have no strength left to toil and provide for the maintenance of a fellow like this. Allah, I get mine own livelihood, I that need one who shall maintain me.”
The Maugrabin turned to Alaeddin and said to him, “How is this, O son of my brother? It is a disgrace to thee to go vagabonding about in this abjection. This befitteth not men like thee. Thou art gifted with understanding, O my son, and the child of [reputable] folk; and it is a shame upon thee that thy mother, who is an old woman, should toil for thy maintenance, now thou art grown a man. Nay, it behoveth thee get thee some means whereby thou mayst maintain thyself, O my son. See, by God's grace, (praised be He) here in our city be masters of crafts, nowhere is there a place more abounding in them: choose, then, the craft which pleaseth thee and I will establish thee therein, so that, when thou growest up, O my son, thou mayst find thee thy craft whereby thou shalt live. Belike thou hast no mind to thy father's trade; so choose other than it. Tell me the craft which pleaseth thee and I will help thee in all that is possible, O son of my brother.”
Then, seeing that Alaeddin was silent and answered him nothing, he knew that he had no mind to any craft at all and recked of nothing but vagabondage and said to him, “O son of my brother, be not abashed at me; so be withal caress not to learn a trade, I will open thee a merchant's shop of the costliest stuffs and thou shalt make thyself acquainted with folk shalt give and take and sell and buy and become known in the city.”
When Alaeddin heard these words of his uncle the Maugrabin, to wit, that it was his intent to make him a merchant, trader, rejoiced exceedingly, well knowing that all merchants' apparel is neat and elegant; he looked at the Maugrabin and smiled and bowed his head, as who should say, “I am content.”
The seeing him smile, knew that he was content to be a merchant and said to him, “Since thou art content that I should make thee a merchant and open thee a shop, be a man, O son of my brother, and to-morrow, God willing, I will take thee first to the market and let cut thee an elegant suit of clothes such as merchants wear; and after that I will look thee out a shop and perform my promise to thee.”
Now Alaeddin's mother was in some little doubt as to the Maugrabin; but, when she heard his promise to her son that he would open him a shop as a merchant with stuffs and capital and what not else, she concluded that he was in very deed her brother-in-law, inasmuch as a stranger would not do thus with her son. So she fell to admonishing her son and exhorting him to put away ignorance and folly from his head and be a man, and bade him still yield obedience to his uncle, as he were his father, and apply himself to make up the time which he had wasted in idleness [with] those who were like him, after which she arose and laying the table, spread the evening-meal and they all sat down and fell to eating and drinking, whilst the Maugrabin talked with Alaeddin upon matters of merchandry and the like. Then, when he saw that the night was far spent, arose and went to his lodging, promising to return in the morning and take Alaeddin, so he might let cut him a merchant's suit.
Alaeddin slept not that night for joy and when it was morning, behold, the Maugrabin knocked at the door. The lad's mother arose and opened to him; however, he would not enter, but sought Alaeddin, that he might take him with him to the market. So Alaeddin went out to him and gave him good-morning and kissed his hand; whereupon the Maugrabin took him by the hand and going with him to the market, entered the shop of a seller of all manner of clothes and demanded a suit of costly stuffs. The merchant brought him what he sought, all sewn and ready, and the Maugrabin said to Alaeddin, “Choose that which pleaseth thee, O my son.”
Alaeddin rejoiced exceedingly, when he saw that his uncle gave him his choice, and chose clothes to his mind, such as pleased him. The Maugrabin at once paid the merchant their price and going out, carried Alaeddin to the bath, where they bathed and came forth and drank wine. Alaeddin arose and donned the new suit; whereat he rejoiced and was glad and coming up to his uncle, kissed his hand and thanked him for his bounties. After the Maugrabin carried him to the bazaar of the merchants and showed him the market and the selling and buying and said to him, “ O my son, it behoveth thee consort with the folk, especially with the merchants, so thou mayst learn of them merchandry, since this is become thy craft.”
Then he took him again and showed him the city and the mosques and all the sights of the place; after which he carried him to a cook's shop, where the morning-meal was set before them in silver platters. So they ate and drank till they had enough and going forth, fared on, whilst the Maugrabin proceeded to show Alaeddin the pleasaunces and fine buildings, in with him to the Sultan's palace and showing him all the fair and fine quarters the city]; after which he carried him to the Khan of the stranger merchants, where he himself lodged. and invited certain of the merchants who were in the Khan. Accordingly they came and sat down to supper, and he informed them that this was his brother's son and that his name was Alaeddin. Then, after they had eaten and drunken, the night being now come, the Maugrabin arose and taking Alaeddin, carried him back to his mother.
When she saw her son as he were one of the merchants, her wit fled [and she waxed] sorrowful for gladness and fell to extolling the Maugrabin's bounty and saying to him, “O my brother-in-law, I might not suffice [to thy deserts,] though I thanked thee all my life long and praised thee for the good thou hast done with my son.”
“O wife of my brother,” answered he, “this is no manner of kindness in me, that this is my son and it behoveth me stand in the stead of my brother his father; so be thou easy.”
Quoth she, “I pray God, by the glory of the ancients the moderns, that He let thee [live] and continue thee, O my brother-in-law, and prolong me thy life, so thou mayst be [as] a wing this orphan boy; and he shall still be under thine obedience and thy commandment and shall do nought but that which thou biddest him.”
“O wife of my brother,” rejoined the Maugrabin, “Alaeddin is a man of understanding and [the son of] decent folk, and my hope is in God that he will follow in his father's footsteps and be the solace of shine eyes; it irketh me that, to-morrow being Friday, I cannot open him a shop. It being congregation day, all the merchants will go out after prayers to the gardens and pleasaunces; but, God willing, on Saturday, an it please the Creator, we will do our business. Tomorrow I will come to you and take Alaeddin, that I may show him the gardens and pleasaunces without the city,--it may be he hath not yet seen them,--and he shall see the merchant-folk and the notables a-pleasuring there, so he may become acquainted with them and they with him.”
lay the night in his lodging; and on the morrow he came to the tailor's house and knocked at the door. Alaeddin--of the excess of his joy in the clothes he had donned and of the pleasures he had enjoyed on the past day, what with the bath and eating and drinking and viewing the folk and the thought that his uncle was coming in the morning to take him and show him the gardens--slept not that night neither closed an eye and thought the day would never break. when he heard a knocking at the door, he went out at once in haste, like a spark of fire, and opening, found his uncle the Maugrabin. The latter embraced him and kissed him and took him by the hand, saying, “O son of my brother, to-day I will show thee a thing such as thou never sawest in thy life.”
Then they went off together and the Maugrabin fell to making merry with and amusing him with familiar talk. They went forth the gate of the city and the Maugrabin proceeded to walk with him among the gardens and to show him the fine pleasaunces and marvellous high-builded palaces; and whenassoever they looked upon a garden or a palace a pavilion, would stand and say to Alaeddin, “Doth this please thee, O my son Alaeddin?”
Alaeddin was like to fly for joy, inasmuch as he saw that which he had never in his life seen, and they gave not over walking and gazing till they were weary, when they entered a fine garden there, that cheered the heart and brightened the eye with its springs up among flowers and its waters issuing from the mouths of lions of brass like unto gold, and sitting down by a lake, rested awhile. As for Alaeddin, he rejoiced and was exceeding glad and fell a-jesting with the Mangrabin and making merry with him, as he were his uncle in very deed. Then the latter arose and loosing his girdle, brought out therefrom a bag full of victual and fruit and the like and said to Alaeddin, “O son of my brother, thou art maybe anhungred; come, eat what thou wilt.”
So Alaeddin proceeded to eat and the Maugrabin with him and they were gladdened and refreshed and their souls were cheered. Then said the Maugrabin, “Rise, O my son, an thou be rested, so we may walk a little and fare onward.”
Alaeddin arose and the Maugrabin walked on with him from garden to garden till they had passed them all and came to a high mountain. Alaeddin had never gone forth the gate of the city nor in all his life had he walked the like of that walk; so he said to the Maugrabin, “O my uncle, whither are we going? See, we have left all the gardens behind us and are come to the foot of a mountain. the way be [yet] far, I have no strength left me for walking, for that I am worn out with fatigue and there remain no more gardens before us; so let us turn back and return to the city.”
“O my son,” replied the Maugrabin, “this is the way and the gardens are not yet at an end, for we are going view a garden, whose like is not with the kings and compared with which all these which thou hast seen are as nothing. So gird up thy loins walking; praised be God, thou art a man.”
And he fell to amusing him with fair words and telling him rare stories, true and false, till they reached the place at which this Maugrabin enchanter aimed and in quest whereof he was come from Barbary the land of China; whereupon, “O son of my brother,” quoth he to Alaeddin, “sit and rest thee; this is the place for which we were making; and now, please God, I will show thee marvellous things, the like whereof no one in the world hath seen, nor hath any looked upon that which thou art about to behold. But thou, after thou art rested, arise and seek sticks and grass and reeds and such like matters as are small and dry, so we may kindle a fire, and I will cause thee look, O son of my brother, upon a thing which passeth understanding.”
Alaeddin heard this, he yearned to see what his uncle was about to do; so he forgot his fatigue and rising forthright, fell to gathering brushwood and dry sticks and gathered till the Maugrabin said to him, “Enough, O son of my brother.”
Then he brought out of his pocket a casket, from which he took what he needed of perfumes, and proceeded to make fumigations and conjurations, speaking words that might not be understanded; and straightway it darkened and thundered and the earth quaked and opened. At this Alaeddin was sore affrighted and would have fled; which when the Maugrabin enchanter saw, he was exceeding, incensed at him, for that without Alaeddin his labour was of none avail, since the treasure whereat he sought to come might not be opened save by means of the lad. So, when he saw him offer to flee, he rose to him and lifting his hand, smote him on his head, that he came nigh to knock out his teeth; whereupon Alaeddin swooned away and fell upon the earth; but, after a little, he recovered his senses, by the virtue of the Maugrabin's enchantments, and falling a-weeping, said to him, “O my uncle, what have I done to deserve from thee this blow?”
The Maugrabin proceeded to soothe him and said to him, “O my son, it is my desire to make thee a man; so cross me not, for that I am thine uncle and as it were thy father; wherefore do thou obey me in that which I shall say to thee, and after a little thou shalt forget all this travail and annoy, whenas thou lookest upon things marvellous.”
Now, when the earth clove in sunder before the enchanter, there appeared to him an alabaster slab and in it a ring of molten brass; he turned to Alaeddin and said to him, “An thou do that which I shall tell thee, thou shalt become richer than all the kings; and on this account, O my son, I beat thee, for that here is a treasure and it is in thy name, and thou, thou wouldst fain have passed it by and fled. But now collect thy wits see how I have opened the earth by my conjurations and incantations. Under stone, wherein is the ring, is the treasure whereof I have told thee; so do thou put thy hand to the ring and lift the slab, for that none of mankind can open it but thou and none but thou can set his foot within this treasure, since it is guarded for thee. But needs must thou hearken from me that which I shall teach thee and lose not syllable of my speech. Marry, all this, O my son, is for thy good, for that this is an exceeding great treasure, the kings of the world possess not its like, and it is thine and mine.”
So poor Alaeddin forgot fatigue and beating and weeping, of his amazement at the Maugrabin's speech and joy that he should become rich after such a measure that even the kings would be no wealthier than he, and said to him, “O my uncle, command me all thou wilt, for I will be obedient unto thy commandment.”
And the Maugrabin said to him, “O son of my brother, thou art as my very son, nay, dearer, for being my brother's son. I have no kindred other than thyself and thou art my natural heir and successor, O my son.”
Therewith he came up to Alaeddin and kissed him. saying, “All these my toils, whom do they concern? are all for thy sake, O my son, that I may make a man rich and great so gainsay me not in aught that I shall tell thee; but go up to yonder ring and raise it, as I bade thee.”
“O my uncle,” quoth Alaeddin, “this stone is heavy; I cannot raise it of myself, come thou also and help me raise it, for I am little of years.”
“O son of my brother,” replied the Maugrabin, “it will not be possible for us to do aught, an I help thee, and our toil will be wasted in vain; but do thou put thy hand to the ring and raise it and it will immediately come up with thee; for, as I said to thee, none may handle it but thou. But, when thou raisest it, name thine own name and those of thy father and mother and it will straightway rise with thee, nor shalt thou feel its weight.”
Accordingly, Alaeddin took courage and summoning his resolution, did as the Maugrabin bade him and raised the slab with all ease, whenas he pronounced his own name and those of his father and his mother. So the stone came up and he threw it aside; whereupon appeared to him an underground place and its door, whereas one entered by a stair of some dozen steps, and the Maugrabin said to him, “O Alaeddin, give heed do punctually that which I shall tell thee, neither fail of aught thereof. Go down with all circumspection into yonder vault till thou come to the bottom thereof and thou wilt find there a place divided into four chambers, each of which thou wilt see four jars of gold and others of native ore and silver. Beware lest thou handle them or take aught therefrom, but pass them by till thou come to the fourth chamber, and let not thy clothes or thy skirts touch the jars, no, nor the walls, and stay not one moment; for, an thou do contrary to this, thou wilt forthright be transformed and wilt become a black stone. When thou comest to the fourth chamber, thou wilt find there a door; open it and speak the names which thou spokest over the slab; then enter and thou wilt find thyself in a garden, all adorned with trees and fruits. Thence do thou fare on some fifty cubits in the path thou wilt find before thee and thou wilt come to a dais, stair of some thirty steps. Above the dais thou find a lamp hung up; take it and pour out the oil that is therein and put it in thy sleeve; fear not for thy clothes therefrom, for that it not oil. And as thou returnest, thou mayst pluck from the trees what thou wilt, for that it is thine, what while the lamp abideth in thy hand.”
When the Maugrabin had made an end of his speech, he drew from his finger a ring and putting it on Alaeddin's finger, said to him, “And this ring, O, my son, shall deliver thee from all hurt and all fear that may betide thee, provided thou observe all that I have said to thee. So now arise and go down; gird thy loins and summon up thy resolution and fear not, for that thou art a man and not a child; and after this, O my son, thou shalt in a little time become the richest of mankind.”
So Alaeddin arose and going down into the underground, found the four chambers and in each four jars of gold. He passed them by with all care and precaution, even as the Maugrabin had bidden him, and entering the garden, fared on there through till he came to the dais and mounting the stair, entered found the lamp. So he quenched it and pouring out the oil that was therein, put it in his sleeve; then, going down into the garden, he fell to gazing upon its trees, whereon were birds extolling with their songs perfection of the Great Creator, and he had not seen them as he entered. Now the fruits of these trees were all precious stones, each tree bearing fruit of one colour and kind of jewel, and these fruits were of all colours, green and white and yellow and red and what not else of colours. Their glitterance outshone the rays of the sun in its forenoon splendour and the bigness of each jewel overpassed description; suffice it that not one of them might be found with the greatest of the kings of the world, nor a gem half the bigness of the smallest that was there.
Alaeddin among the trees and proceeded to gaze upon them and upon these things which amazed the sight and ravished the sense and observing them, saw that, instead of fruits, they bore magnificent jewels from the mines, emeralds and diamonds and rubies and pearls and topazes the like of precious stones, such as confounded the wit. Now, for that this was a thing Alaeddin had never in his life seen, neither was he of ripe age, so he should know the value of these jewels, by reason of his being yet a young lad, he thought that they were all glass or crystal; so he gathered of them what filled his sleeves fell to looking an they were grapes or figs and the like of fruits that might be eaten or not; but, finding them like glass, he proceeded to gather in his sleeve every kind that was upon the trees, albeit he knew not jewels nor their worth, saying in himself, since he had been baulked in his intent of eating, “I will gather of these fruits of glass and will play with them at home.”
Accordingly he proceeded to pluck and put in his pockets his sleeves he filled them; after which he filled his girdle with the fruits and girt himself withal; in fine, he carried off as much as he might, purposing to lay them up with him in the house by way of ornament, for that he thought them glass, as I have said. Then he quickened his pace, of his fear of his uncle the Maugrabin, and hastened through the four chambers and the [outer] vault nor looked, as he returned, at the jars of gold, albeit he might now have taken of them. he came to the stair ascended it and there remained to him but a small matter, to wit, the last step, which was much higher than the others, he could not avail to mount it of himself, having regard to that which he was carrying; so he said to the Maugrabin, “O my uncle, give me thy hand and help me up.”
Quoth he, “O my son, give me the lamp and lighten thyself; maybe it is that which hindereth thee.”
“Nay, O my uncle,” answered Alaeddin, “the lamp hindereth me nought; but do thou give me thy hand and when I am up, I will give thee the lamp.”
The enchanter, who wanted the lamp and that only, fell to urging Alaeddin to give it him; but the latter, having wrapped it within his clothes, with purses jewel-fruits atop of it, not reach it with his hand, so he might give it him. was instant with him to give him the lamp and was like to lose his wits for rage, seeing he attained not his object, albeit Alaeddin still promised him that he would give it him as soon as he was forth of the vault, [and that] without lying thought or ill intent. Then, when he saw that Alaeddin would not give it him, he was angry with an exceeding anger and abandoning all hope of the lamp, conjured and enchanted and cast perfumes into the midst of the fire; whereupon the slab immediately turned over shut itself by the might of his enchantments; the earth covered it like as it was before and Alaeddin abode under the ground, unable to come forth.
Thus the enchanter, forasmuch as he was a stranger and no uncle of Alaeddin, as he said, but had counterfeited himself and avouched leasing, so he might get the lamp by means of the lad, unto whom that treasure was fortuned by the stars-shut up earth upon him and left him to die of hunger. Now this accursed Maugrabin wizard was from the city of Africa Hither Barbary and had from his childhood been addicted to magic and all the occult arts, for which the city in question is renowned. He ceased not from his tenderest years to study and learn in his native land Africa till he became versed in all sciences, and of the much skill and proficiency which he acquired, by dint of study and application for the space of forty years, in the matter of incantations and conjurations, it was discovered to him, day of the days, that among the uttermost of the cities of China was a city called El Kelaas and in this city a vast treasure, the like whereof no king of the kings of the world ever possessed; but the rarest [was] that in this treasure [was] wonderful lamp, if one should come, there might no man be found on earth richer than he, whether in might or in wealth, nor might the greatest king in the world avail unto aught of the riches of this lamp and its puissance and virtue. Moreover saw that this treasure was to be achieved by means of a lad of mean birth, by name Alaeddin, who was of the city aforesaid, and that it was eath to take and unarduous: so he tarried not, but equipped himself forthright for the voyage to China, as we have said, and did that which he did with Alaeddin, thinking to come by the lamp. But his endeavour was baffled and his expectation baulked and his toil wasted in vain; whereupon he sought to kill Alaeddin and closed up the earth upon him by his sorcery, so he might die (and the live hath no slayer moreover, he purposed by this that Alaeddin should not come forth and that the lamp should not be brought up from under the earth. Then he went his ways and returned to his country Africa, woeful and despairing of his hope.
So much for the enchanter and as for what came of Alaeddin, after the earth closed over him, he fell to calling upon the Maugrabin, whom he thought his uncle, to give him his hand, so he might come forth the underground to the surface of the earth; but, when he found that none returned him an answer, he was ware of the cheat which the Maugrabin had put upon him and knew that he was none of his uncle, but a liar and a sorcerer. Therewith he despaired of his life and knew, to his woe, that there was no more going forth for him upon the face of the earth; so he fell to weeping and lamenting over that which had befallen him. Then, after a little, he arose and went down, that he might see if God the Most High had vouchsafed him a door whereby he might go forth; and he went seeking right and left, but saw nought save darkness and four walls shut upon him; for that the Maugrabin sorcerer had by his enchantments locked all the doors and had even shut up the garden, so he might leave him no door whereby he should come forth upon the face of the earth and so hasten his death upon him. Alaeddin's weeping redoubled and his lamentation waxed when he saw all the doors shut and eke the garden, for that he thought to solace himself with them little; but he found them locked, so he fell to crying out and weeping, as he whose hope is cut off, and returning, sat down upon the steps of the stair whereby he had entered the vault, weeping wailing; and indeed he had lost hope.
But it is a small matter for God (extolled be His perfection and exalted be He) when as He willeth a thing, to say to it “Be,” and it is; for that He createth relief out of the midst of stress; by token that, when the Maugrabin enchanter sent Alaeddin down into the vault, he gave him a ring and put it on his finger, saying, “This ring will deliver thee from all stress, an thou be in calamities or vicissitudes, and will remove from thee troubles; yea, it will be thy helper whereassoever thou art;” and this was by the foreordinance of God the Most High, so it might be the means of Alaeddin's deliverance. So, as he sat weeping and bewailing his case and indeed his hope was cut off of life and despair was heavy upon him, he fell, of the excess of his anguish, to wringing hands, after the wont of the woeful; then, raising them [to heaven], he made supplication to God, saying, “I testify that there is no God but Thou alone, the Mighty, the Powerful, the Conquering, the Giver of Life and Death, and Accomplisher necessities, Resolver of difficulties and perplexities and Dispeller thereof, my sufficiency, Thou the most excellent Guardian, and I testify that Mohammed is Thy servant and Thine apostle. O my God, I conjure Thee, by his with Thee, deliver me from my extremity.”
Whilst he was thus supplicating God and wringing his hands in the excess of his affliction for that which had befallen him of calamity, he chanced to rub upon the ring, and immediately, behold, a genie up before him and said to him, “Here am I; thy slave is before thee. Seek whatsoever thou wilt, for that I am his slave who hath the ring in hand, the ring of my lord.”
looked and saw a Marid, he were of the Jinn of our lord Solomon, standing before him, and shuddered at his frightful aspect; but, when he heard the genie say to him, “Seek whatsoever thou wilt, for that I am thy slave, since the ring of my lord is on thy hand,” he took heart and bethought him of the Maugrabin's speech to him, whenas he gave him the ring. So he rejoiced exceedingly and took courage and said to him, “O slave of the lord of the ring, I will of thee that thou bring me out upon the face of the earth.”
Hardly had he made an end of that his speech when, behold, the earth opened and he found himself without, at the door of the treasure, to wit, upon the surface of the earth.
Now, he had been three days under the earth, sitting in the treasure in the dark; so, when the light of day smote on his face and the rays of the sun, he might not unclose his eyes, but took to opening them little by little and shutting them again. till they became stronger and grew used to the light and were cleared of the darkness. Then, himself upon the surface of the earth, he rejoiced exceedingly, but marvelled to find himself overagainst the entrance of the treasure, whereby he went down, whenas the Maugrabin enchanter opened it; and now the stone was shut down and the earth levelled, nor was there any sign therein of a door. So he redoubled in wonderment and thought himself otherwhere; nor was he assured that he was in the very place, till he saw whereas they had kindled the fire of sticks and brushwood and whereas the Maugrabin enchanter had made his fumigations and conjurations. Then he turned right and left and saw the gardens afar off and looked at the way and knew it for that by which they had come. So he gave thanks to God the Most High, who had brought him out on the earth's face and had delivered him from death, after he had given up hope of life. Then he arose and fared homeward, by the way which he knew, till he came to the city and entering, betook himself to their house and went in to his mother. When he saw her, he fell down before her, of the greatness of the joy which possessed him for his deliverance, and swooned away for the affright and the weariness which he had suffered, more by token that he was weak with hunger.
Now his mother had been woebegone since he left her and sat wailing and weeping for him; so, when she saw him come in to her, she rejoiced in him with an exceeding joy, but grief overwhelmed her, whenas she saw him fall aswoon upon the earth. However, she wasted no time in vain lamentation, but hastened to sprinkle water on his face and sought of her neighbours somewhat of perfumes, to which she made him smell. When he was a little recovered, he prayed her bring him somewhat to eat, saying to her, “O my mother, these three days past I have eaten nothing.”
So she arose and setting before him that which she had ready, said to him, “ Rise, O my son, eat and restore thyself; and when thou art rested, tell me what hath happened to thee and what calamity hath befallen thee. I will not question thee now, because thou art weary.”
So, he had eaten and drunken and had refreshed himself and was rested and restored, he said to her, “Alack, mother mine, I have a sore grief against thee in that thou leftest me to yonder accursed man, who strove for my destruction. Indeed, he sought to kill me; nay, I saw death face to face from that accursed wretch, whom thou deemedst mine uncle, and but for God the Most High, who delivered me from him, [I had perished]. Marry, both I and thou, O my mother, suffered ourselves to be deluded by him after the measure of that which the accursed promised to do with me of good and of the love which he professed for me. Know, then, O my mother, that this man is an accursed Maugrabin enchanter, a liar, a deceiver, an impostor and a hypocrite; methinketh the devils that be under the earth are not his match, may God put him to shame in every book! O my mother, what this accursed did; nay, all I shall tell thee is truth and soothfastness. Do but see the villain's duplicity; bethink thee of the promises he made me that he would do me all manner of good the love he professed to me, and how he did all this that he might accomplish his purpose; nay, his intent was to kill me, and praised be God for my deliverance! Hearken, O my mother, and learn what this accursed one did.”
Then he told her all that had befallen him from the time of his leaving her, weeping the while for excess of joy; how the Maugrabin brought him to the hill, wherein was the treasure, and how he conjured and fumigated.
“And indeed. O my mother,” said he, “there overcame me exceeding fear, whenas the hill clove in sunder and the earth opened before me by his enchantments; and I quaked with terror at the voice of the thunder which I heard and the darkness which befell of his spells and fumigations, and of my dismay at these portents, I would have fled. When he saw me offer to flee, he reviled me and smote me, dealing me a buffet which caused me swoon for pain inasmuch as the treasure was opened and he could not go down into it himself, seeing he had opened it by my means and that it was in name and not for him, he knew, being a foul sorcerer, that it might [only] be achieved through me and that this adventure was [reserved] for me. applied himself to make his peace with me, that he might send me down into the treasure, now it was opened, and attain his object by my means; and when he sent me down, he gave me a ring, which he had on his hand, and put it on my finger. So I descended into the treasure and found four chambers, all full of gold and silver and the like; but this all was nothing and the accursed one charged me take nought thereof. Thence I entered a magnificent garden, full of high trees, whose fruits ravished the wits, O my mother, for that they were all of various-coloured crystal, I fared on till I came to the pavilion was this lamp; whereupon I took it forthright and quenching it, poured out that which was therein.”
[So saying,] he pulled out the lamp from his sleeve and showed it to his mother. Moreover, he showed her the jewels which he had brought from the garden. Now there were two great purses of these jewels, whereof not one was to be found with the kings of mankind; and Alaeddin knew not their value, but thought that they were glass or crystal.
“Then, O my mother,” continued he, “after I had fetched the lamp and had gone forth [the garden] and came to the door of the treasure, I cried out to the accursed Maugrabin, who feigned himself my uncle, to give me his hand and pull me up, for I was laden with things which weighed me down, so that it was not possible for me to mount alone. However, he would not give me his hand, but said to me, 'Reach me the lamp that is with thee, and after I will give thee my hand and pull thee up.' I, seeing that I had put the lamp within my sleeve and the purses atop it, could not reach it to give it to him and said to him, 'O my-uncle, I cannot give thee the lamp. When I come up, I will give it to thee.' But he would not help me up; nay, he would e'en have the lamp, and his intent was to take it from me and turn back the earth over me and destroy me, even as he did with me in the end. This, then, O my mother, was what befell me from that foul wizard.”
And he told her all that had passed between them from first to last and fell to reviling the Maugrabin with all rancour and heat of heart, saying, “Out on this accursed one, this foul sorcerer, this hard-hearted oppressor, this inhuman, perfidious, hypocritical villain, lacking mercy and ruth!”
When mother heard her son's speech and that which the accursed Maugrabin did with him, she said to him, “Yea, verily, O my son, he is a misbeliever and a hypocrite, who destroyeth folk with his sorcery; but glory God the Most High, who hath delivered thee from the perfidy and guile of this accursed sorcerer, of whom I thought that he was in very deed thine uncle.”
Now, Alaeddin had passed three days without sleep and found himself drowsy; so he [withdrew to his chamber and] slept. His mother did likewise and Alaeddin ceased not to sleep till next day, noontide, when he awoke and immediately sought somewhat to eat, for that he was anhungred; and his mother said to him, “O my son, I have nought to give thee to eat, for that all I had by me thou atest yesterday. But wait awhile; I have here a little yarn by me and I am going down to the market, so I may sell it and buy thee withal somewhat thou mayst eat.”
“O my mother,” rejoined Alaeddin, “keep the yarn and sell it not; but give me the lamp which I brought home, so I may arise and sell it and with its price buy somewhat we may eat. Methinketh it will fetch more than the yarn.”
So she arose and fetched the lamp; but, finding it exceeding dirty, she said to him, “O my son, this lamp is dirty, and if we wash it and furbish it, it will sell for a better price.”
Accordingly she took a little sand and fell to scouring the lamp withal; but scarce had she begun to rub it when there appeared to her one of the Jinn, foul of favour and monstrous of make as he were of the giants, and said to her, “Say what thou wilt of me. Here am I, thy slave and the slave of whoso hath in his hand the lamp; and not I alone, but all the slaves of the wonderful lamp that is in thy hand.”
When she saw his frightful aspect, she trembled and fear get hold upon her and her tongue was tied, nor could she return an answer, for that she was not used to look upon apparitions like unto this; so fell down aswoon of her terror.
Now Alaeddin her son was standing afar off and he had seen the slave of the ring which he had rubbed in the treasure; so, when he heard the genie's speech to his mother, he hastened to take the lamp from her hand and said to him, “O slave of the lamp, I am hungry; my will is that thou bring me somewhat I may eat, and be it somewhat good past conceit.”
genie was absent the twinkling of an eye and [returning,] brought him a great costly tray of sheer silver, whereon were twelve platters of various kinds and colours rich meats and two silver cups and two flagons clarified old wine and bread whiter than snow; all which he set before him and disappeared. So Alaeddin arose and sprinkled rosewater on his mother's face and made her smell to strong whereupon she revived and he said to her, “Rise, O my mother, so we may eat of this food that God the Most High hath vouchsafed us.”
she saw the great silver tray, she marvelled and said to Alaeddin, “O my son, who is the generous, the bountiful one that hath sought out our hunger our poverty? Indeed, we are beholden to him. the Sultan hath heard of our case and our wretchedness and hath sent us this tray.”
“O my mother,” answered Alaeddin, “this is no time for questioning; rise, so we may eat, for we are anhungred.”
So they arose and sitting down to the tray, proceeded to eat, whilst Alaeddin's mother tasted food such as she had never in all her life eaten. And they ate diligently all appetite, for stress of hunger, more by token that the food [was such as] is given to kings, nor knew they if the tray were precious or not, for that never in their lives had they seen the like of these things. When they had made an end of eating and were full (and there was left them, over and above what sufficed them, [enough] for the evening-meal and for the next day also), they arose and washing their hands, sat down to talk; whereupon Alaeddin's mother turned to her son and said to him, “O my son, tell me what befell of genie, now that, praised be God, we have eaten of His bounty and are satisfied and thou hast no pretext for saying to me, 'I am anhungred.'” So he told her all that had passed between himself and the genie, whenas she fell down aswoon of her affright; whereat exceeding wonderment took her and she said to him, “It is true, then, the Jinn appear to the sons of Adam, though I, O my son, in all my days, I have never seen them, and methinketh this is he who delivered thee, whenas thou west in the treasure.”
“Nay, O my mother,” answered he, “this was not he; he who appeared to thee is the slave of the lamp.”
“How so, my son?” asked she; and he said, “This slave is other of make than that. That was the servant of the ring and this thou sawest is the slave of the lamp which was in thy hand.”
When mother heard this, “Well, well!” cried she.
“Then the accursed who appeared to me and came nigh to kill me for affright is of the lamp?”
“Ay is he,” answered Alaeddin; and she said to him, “I conjure thee, O my son, by the milk thou suckedst of me, that thou cast away from thee both lamp and ring, for that they will be to us a cause of exceeding fear and I could not endure to see them second time; nay, their commerce is forbidden unto us, for that the prophet (whom God bless and keep) warneth us against them.”
“My mother,” answered Alaeddin, “thy speech is on my head and eyes; as for this that thou sayest, it may not be that I should cast away either the lamp or the ring; nay, thou seest that which it with us of good, whenas we were anhungred, and know, O my mother, that the lying Maugrabin enchanter, what time I went down into the treasure, sought nought of gold nor of silver, whereof the four places were full, but charged me bring him the lamp and that only, for that he knew the greatness of its virtues; except he knew it to be exceeding of might, he had not toiled and travailed and come from his land to this in quest of it, nor had he shut the treasure on me, whenas he failed of the lamp, seeing I gave it him not. Wherefore, O my mother, it behoveth us keep this lamp and guard it with all care, for that this is our support and this it is shall enrich us; and it behoveth us show it not unto any. On like wise, as for the ring, it may not be that I should put it off from my finger, forasmuch as, but for this ring, thou hadst not seen me again on life; nay, I had died under the earth within the treasure; so how can I put it off from my hand and who knoweth what may happen to me in time to come of error or calamity or shift of the shifts of mischance, from which the ring might deliver me? However, of regard for thy wish, I will lay up the lamp and let thee not see it henceforth.”
When his mother heard his words and pondered them, she saw them to be just and true and said to him, “O my son, do what thou wilt. For my part, I wish never to see them nor ever again to behold that loathsome aspect I saw [but now].”
Alaeddin his mother abode two days eating of the food which the genie had brought, and when it was finished and he knew that there was left them nothing to eat, he arose and taking a platter of those which the slave had brought on the tray (now they were of fine gold, but Alaeddin knew it not) went with it to the market, where a Jew, a man viler than devils themselves, accosted and he gave him the platter. When the Jew saw it, he took Alaeddin aside, so none might see him, and examining the platter, found it of fine gold, knew not if Alaeddin was ware of its worth or if he was ignorant thereof; so he said to him, “How much, O my lord, for this platter?”
And Alaeddin answered him, saying, “Thou knowest how much it is worth.”
The Jew was perplexed how much he should give Alaeddin for the platter, by reason of his having made him an adroit answer, and bethought himself to give him little, but feared lest he should be aware of its value and debated with himself if he should give him much. Then said he in himself, “Most like he knoweth not its value;” so he brought out of his pocket a gold diner and gave it to him. When Alaeddin saw the diner in his hand, he took it and went off in haste, whereby the Jew knew that the lad was unaware of the value of the plate and repented him sore that he had given him a gold diner and not a carat of three-score: Alaeddin tarried not, but went forthright to the baker and bought of him bread and changed the diner; then, returning to his mother, he gave her the bread and the rest of the money and said to her, “O my mother, go and buy us what we need.”
So she arose and going to the market, bought all that they needed and they ate and were cheered. Then, whenassoever the price of a platter was spent, Alaeddin would take another and carry it to the Jew; on which wise the accursed Jew bought them all of him for a small matter and would fain also have reduced the price; but, since he had given him a diner the first time, he feared to offer him less, lest the lad should go and sell to another he lose that excessive profit. Accordingly, Alaeddin ceased not to sell him platter after platter till he had sold them all and there was left him only the tray whereon they had been; then, for that it was big and heavy, he went and fetched the Jew to the house and brought out to him the tray. When he saw it and noted its bigness, he gave Alaeddin ten diners, which he took, and the Jew went his way.
Alaeddin and his mother lived upon the ten diners till they came to an end; then he arose and bringing out the lamp, rubbed it, whereupon the slave of the lamp, to wit, the genie whom he had seen before, appeared to him and to him, “Seek what thou wilt, O my lord, for that I am thy slave and the slave of whoso hath with him the lamp.”
Quoth Alaeddin, “It is my will that thou bring me a tray of food like unto that which thou broughtest me erewhen, for that I am hungry;” and the slave brought him, in the twinkling of an eye, a tray like unto that which he had brought him before, and on it twelve magnificent platters full of rich meats, together with flagons clarified wine and bread of the finest. Now Alaeddin's mother, when she knew that her son was minded to rub the lamp, had gone out, so she might not see the genie again; but, after a little, she came in to him and seeing the tray full of silver platters, whilst the whole house reeked with the fragrance of the rich meats, marvelled and rejoiced; and Alaeddin said to her, “O my mother, thou badest me throw away the lamp. See now its uses.”
“O my son,” answered she, “may God prosper him; fain would I not see him.”
Then they sat down to the tray and ate and drank till they were satisfied, laying up that which remained with them against the morrow.
Then, when that which was with them of food was finished, Alaeddin arose and taking one of the platters under his clothes, went in quest of the Jew, so he might sell it to him; but, as chance willed it, he passed by the shop of a goldsmith, an honest, pious man, who feared God. When the latter saw Alaeddin, he accosted him and said to him, “O my son, what wilt thou? This many a time have I seen thee pass hereby and betake thyself to such an one, a Jew, and I have seen thee give him certain things. Nay, methinketh even now thou hast somewhat with thee and art seeking him, so thou mayst sell it to him. But thou knowest not, O my son, that the good of the Muslims, believers in the unity of God the Most High, is lawful spoil in the eyes of Jews; nay, they still cheat the Muslims and especially this accursed one with whom thou dealest and into whose hands thou hast fallen. Wherefore, O my son, an thou have with thee aught thou wouldst sell, show it to me and fear nothing, for that, by the truth of God the Most High, I will give thee its price.”
Accordingly, Alaeddin brought out the platter to the old man, who took it and weighing it in his scales, said to him, “Was it the like of this thou usest to sell to the Jew?”
“Ay,” replied Alaeddin, “its like and its brother.”
“And how much,” asked the goldsmith, “useth he to give thee to its price?”
And Alaeddin said, “He useth to give me a diner.”
When goldsmith heard this, “Out on this accursed one,” cried he, “who fleeceth the servants of God the Most High!”
Then he looked at Alaeddin and said to him, “O my son, this Jew is a cheat, who hath cheated thee and laughed at thee, for that the silver of this thy platter is pure and fine; and I have weighed it and find its worth threescore diners and ten; so, an it please thee take its price, take [it].”
Accordingly, he counted out to him seventy diners and he took them and thanked him for his kindness, in that he had shown him the Jew's trickery. Thenceforward, whenassoever the price of one platter was spent, he would carry another to the old goldsmith, and on this wise he and his mother increased in substance; but they ceased not to live at their sufficiency, [betwixt rich and poor], excessive spending squandering. As for Alaeddin, he left idleness and the commerce of striplings and took to consorting with grown men; he would go every day to the market of the merchants and sit with the great and the small of them and question of the ways and fashions of commerce and the prices of articles of merchandise otherwhat. He used also to go to the market of the goldsmiths and the market of the jewellers, and there he would sit and look upon the different kinds of jewels and see them bought and sold; whereby he became aware that the fruits of the trees, wherewith he had filled the purses, he was in the treasure, were neither glass nor crystal, but jewels, and knew that he had happened upon great wealth, such as kings might nowise compass. Moreover, he noted all the jewels that were in the jewellers’ market, but saw not [among] the biggest [of them] one to match with the smallest of those he had at home.
He ceased not to go daily to the market of the jewellers and to clap up acquaintance with the folk, making friends with them and questioning them of buying and selling and giving and taking and dear and cheap, till, one day of the days, he arose in the morning and donning his clothes, went forth, intending, as of wont, for the jewellers' market; but, as he went, he heard the crier proclaiming aloud on this wise, “By commandment of the Lord of Beneficence, the king of the age and monarch of the time and the tide, let all the folk shut their shops and stores and enter their houses, for that the Lady Bedrulbudour, daughter of the Sultan, purposeth to go to the bath, and whoso transgresseth the commandment, his punishment shall be death and his blood be on his own head.”
Alaeddin heard this proclamation, he longed to look upon the Sultan's daughter and said in himself, “All the folk talk of her grace and goodliness, and the uttermost of my desire is to see her.”
So cast about for a device how he might contrive to see the Lady Bedrulbudour and him-seemed he were best stand behind the door of the bath, that he might see her face, as she entered. Accordingly he betook himself to the bath, awhile in advance, and posted himself behind the door, whereas none of the folk might see him.
Presently, the Sultan's daughter came forth and went round about the city and its thoroughfares and diverted herself by viewing it; then she repaired to the bath and when she came thither, she lifted her face-veil, as she entered; whereupon her face shone out, as it were the resplendent sun or a precious pearl, and she was as saith of her one of her describers:
Who sprinkled the kohl of enchantment upon her eyes
And gathered the bloom of the rose from her cheeks, fruit-wise?
And who was it let down the curtained night of her hair
And eke through its glooms made the light of her forehead rise?
When she raised the veil from her face and Alaeddin saw her, he said, “Verily, her fashion glorifieth the Great Creator and extolled be the perfection of Him who made her and graced her with this beauty and goodliness!”
And his back was cloven in sunder, he saw her; his thought was confounded and his understanding and the love of her gat hold upon his whole heart; so he turned back and returning home, went in to his mother, like one distraught. She bespoke him and he answered her neither yea nor nay; then she brought him the morning-meal, as he abode on this wise, and said to him, “O my son, what hath betided thee? Doth there ail thee aught? Tell me what hath befallen thee, for that, against thy wont, I bespeak thee and thou answerest me not.”
Now Alaeddin had been used to think that women were all like his mother and he had heard of the beauty of the Lady Bedrulbudour, daughter of the Sultan, but had not known what beauty and grace were; so he turned to his mother and said to her, “Leave me;” but she was instant with him to come and eat. Accordingly, he came forward and ate a little; then, rising, he threw himself on his bed and lay musing till break of morn; and on this wise he abode all next day. His mother was perplexed at his case, unknowing what had befallen him, and bethought herself that belike he was sick; so she came up to him and questioned him, saying, “O my son, an thou feel aught of pain or otherwhat, tell me, that I may go fetch thee a physician, more by token there is presently in the city a physician from the land of the Arabs, whom the Sultan hath sent to bring hither, and report saith of him that he is exceeding skilful; so [tell me] if thou art sick, that I may go and call him to thee.”
When heard his mother offer to fetch him the physician, he said to her, “O my mother, I am well and not sick, but I had thought that women were all like unto thee. However, yesterday, I saw the Lady Bedrulbudour, the Sultan's daughter, as she went to the bath;” and he told her all that had happened to him, adding, “And most like thou heardest the crier proclaiming that none should open his shop nor stand in the road, so the Lady Bedrulbudour might pass to the bath; but I saw her even as she is, for that, when she came to the door of the bath, she lifted her veil, and when I noted her favour and viewed that noble form of hers, there befell me, O my mother, a passion of yearning for love of her and desire of her mine every part; nor can I ever more have ease, except I get her, and I purpose, therefore, to demand her of the Sultan her father in the way of law and righteousness.”
When Alaeddin's mother heard her son's speech, she thought little of his wit and said to him, “O my son, the name of God encompass thee! Meseemeth thou hast lost thy wit; return to thy senses, my son, and be not like the madmen!”
“Nay, O my mother,” replied he, “I have not lost my wits nor am I mad; and this thy speech shall not change that which is in my mind, nor is rest possible to me except I get the darling of my heart, the lovely Lady Bedrulbudour. And my intent is to demand her of her father the Sultan.”
So she said to him, “O my son, my life upon thee, speak not thus, lest one hear thee and say of thee that thou art mad. Put away from thee this extravagance: shall undertake an affair like this and demand it of the Sultan? Meknoweth not how thou wilt do to make this request of the Sultan, and if thou speak sooth, whom wilt thou make it?”
“O my mother,” rejoined Alaeddin, “by whom [should I make] a request like this, when thou art at hand, and whom have I trustier thyself? Wherefore my intent is that thou shalt make this request for me.”
“O my son,” quoth she, “God deliver me from this! What, have I lost my wits like thee? Put away this thought from thy mind and bethink thee who thou art, O my son,--the son of a tailor, the poorest and least of the tailors in this city, and I also am thy mother and my folk are exceeding poor; so how wilt thou dare to demand the Sultan's daughter, whom her father would not vouchsafe to marry with kings' sons and Sultans, except they were his peers in puissance and rank and noblesse; nay, were they one degree less than he, he would not give them his daughter.”
Alaeddin till his mother had made an end of her speech and said to her, “O my mother, all that thou thinkest I know; marry, I know full well that I am the son of poor folk, nor may all this thy talk anywise avail to move me from my purpose; but I beseech thee, an I be thy very son and thou love me, do me this kindness; else wilt thou lose me, for death hasteneth upon me, an I attain not my wish of the beloved of my heart. In any case, O my mother, I am thy son.”
When his mother heard his speech, she wept of her concern for him and said to him, “Yes, O my son, I am thy mother and thou art my son and the darling of my heart; have none other than thee and the extreme of my desire is to rejoice in thee and marry thee. So, an thou wilt, I will seek thee a bride of our own rank. But suppose [I do this], they ask at once an thou have craft or land or trade or garden, so thou mayst live, and what shall I answer them “ And if I cannot answer poor folk like ourselves, how, O my son, shall I dare to seek the King's daughter of China, who hath none before him and none after him? Wherefore do thou ponder this matter in thine understanding. And who seeketh her? The son of a tailor. I know that, an I speak of this, it will but be for the increase of our ill luck, for that this affair will bring us in great danger with the Sultan and belike there will be death therein for thee and for me. As for me, how can I adventure upon this danger and this effrontery? Moreover, O my son, on what wise shall I demand thee his daughter of the Sultan and how shall I avail to go in to him? Nay, if they question me, what shall I answer them? Most like they will deem me a madwoman. And suppose I gain admission to the presence, what shall I take by way of offering to the Sultan's highness? It true, O my son, that the Sultan is clement and rejecteth none that cometh to him for protection or craveth a boon of him, for that he is bountiful and beneficent unto all, great and small; he bestoweth his favours upon those who are deserving thereof or who have done some feat of arms before him or have wrought for the service or defence of the realm; and thou, O my son, tell me, what hast thou done for Sultan or the realm, that thou shouldst merit of him this boon? Again, this that thou cravest is beyond thy condition; it cannot be that the king will grant thee that which thou seekest. Moreover, whoso presenteth himself before the Sultan and craveth favours of him, it behoveth him take in his hand somewhat that sorteth with the royal dignity; and as I said to thee, how canst thou presume to present thyself before the Sultan and seek of him his daughter, without aught thou mayst proffer him of that which sorteth with his rank?”
“O my mother,” replied Alaeddin, “thou speakest justly and deemest that which is true, it behoveth me consider all that whereof thou mindest me; but, O my mother, the love of the Sultan's daughter, the Lady Bedrulbudour, hath entered into the innermost of my heart; and there can be no rest for me, except I obtain her. Moreover, thou mindest me of somewhat I had forgotten, and that a thing which emboldeneth me to seek of him his daughter by thee. Thou sayst, O my mother, that I have no gift to present to the Sultan, according to the wont of the folk, whilst in fact I have by me a gift and an offering, the like whereof methinketh no king ever possessed, no, nor aught to match therewith; for must know, O my mother, that the fruits, which I brought in the purses the treasure and which I deemed glass or crystal, are very jewels, methinketh all the kings of the world may not compass the least of them, and I, of my companying with the jewellers, know that they are precious stones. Wherefore, an thou please, have the goodness to rise and bring me such a China dish which we have by us, I may fill it with these jewels, and thou shalt take it as a present to the Sultan. By this means I am assured that the thing will be easy to thee, and do thou stand before the Sultan and seek of him my desire; but, O my mother, an thou refuse to further me with thine endeavour for the attainment of my wish of the Lady Bedrulbudour, know that I am a dead man. Be not concerned for the gift, for these be exceeding precious jewels, and know, O my mother, that I have gone many a time to the market of the jewellers and have seen them sell jewels, that had not an hundredth part the beauty of these of ours, at exceeding high prices such as man's wit cannot conceive. When, therefore, I saw this, I said [in myself], 'Verily, the jewels that are with us are exceeding precious.' So now, O my mother, arise, as I bade thee, and fetch me the China dish whereof I bespoke thee, that we may range of these jewels therein and see how they show.”
Accordingly, she arose and brought the China dish, saying in herself, “Let us see if my son's speech be true concerning these jewels or not.”
So she set the dish before Alaeddin and he brought out jewels of all kinds from the purses and proceeded to range them in the dish till he filled it. When it was full, his mother looked at the dish, but could not gaze fixedly thereon, for the radiance of the jewels and their lustre and the excess of their flashing; so she shut her eyes and her wit was confounded at them; yet was she not certified that their value was in very deed so great as her son had said, but bethought her that his speech might be true in that their like was not found with kings. Then Alaeddin turned to her and said, “See, O my mother, this is a magnificent present for the Sultan and I am assured that thou wilt get of him exceeding honour and that he will receive thee with all consideration. And now, O my mother, there remaineth to thee no excuse; so be good enough take this dish and go with it to the palace.”
“O my son,” replied she, “ true it is that the present is exceedingly costly and precious and as thou sayest, none hath the like thereof; but who shall dare to come forward and seek of the Sultan his daughter Bedrulbudour? Nay, I dare not adventure myself and say to him, 'I want thy daughter,' whenas he asketh me, 'What wouldst thou?' Marry, O my son,, my tongue will be tied. And grant that Allah make [the thing] possible and I take courage and say to him, 'I desire to ally myself to thee by [marrying] thy daughter the Lady Bedrulbudour with my son Alaeddin,' they will straightway deem me mad and will put me out with ignominy and reproach; nay, I need not tell thee that by this I shall fall into danger of death, and not I only, but thou also. Withal, O my son, of regard for thy wish, needs must I take courage and go; but, O my son, if the King receive me and honour me for the gift's sake and I seek of him that which thou wilt in matter of marrying his daughter and he ask me, after the wont of the folk, what are thy possessions and thy revenues, what shall I say to him? And most like, O my son, he will ask me of this ere he ask me of thyself.”
And Alaeddin said to her, “Nay, it cannot be that the Sultan will ask this, whenas he seeth the jewels and their magnificence, and it booteth not to think of a thing that will not happen. Do thou but rise and seek me his daughter of him and proffer him these jewels and sit not magnifying the affair in thy thought beforehand. Moreover, O my mother, thou knowest of the lamp which is with me and which presently provideth for our livelihood; all that I seek of it it will bring me, and I trust by its means I shall know how to answer the Sultan, an he ask me of this.”
They abode in talk of the matter all that night and when the morning morrowed, Alaeddin's mother arose and fortified her heart, more by token that her son expounded to her somewhat of the properties of the lamp and its uses, in that it would bring them all they sought. But, when he saw that she heartened herself for that which he set forth to her of its virtues, he feared lest she should talk of this to the folk, so he said to her, “ O my mother, beware lest thou bespeak any of the lamp and its uses, for that this is our fortune; be careful exceed not in speech thereof to any one, lest we lose it and lose this our present prosperity, for that it is from it.”
No fear for that, O my son,” answered she and rising, took the dish wherein were the jewels and wrapping it in a fine handkerchief, went forth betimes, so she might reach the Divan and enter, ere it became crowded. When she came to the palace, the Divan was not yet assembled she saw the Vizier and certain of the chiefs of the state entering the presence-chamber. After a while, the Divan being complete with the Viziers and the chiefs of the state and officers and Amirs and grandees, the Sultan appeared and the Viziers and other the officials and notables ranged themselves before him, whilst he sat down on the throne of his kingship and all who were present in the Divan stood before him, with hands clasped behind them, his commandment to sit. So he bade them be seated and they all sat down, each in his several room; then the petitioners themselves before the Sultan and each affair was decided in its course, the Divan came to an end, when the King rose and entered the palace and each went his way.
As Alaeddin's mother, having come before all, she found room to enter, but withal none bespoke her, so he should bring her in before the Sultan; wherefore she ceased not standing till the Divan broke up and the Sultan rose and entered the palace and all went their ways. When she saw the Sultan rise from his throne and enter the harem, she took her way homeward and returning on her steps, entered her house. Alaeddin, seeing her with the dish in her hand, knew that most like some mischance had betided her, but cared not to question her till she entered and setting down the dish, told him what had passed and finally said to him, “God be praised, O my son, I mustered courage to find myself a place in the Divan, albeit I could not win to speak with the Sultan to day; but to-morrow, an it please God the Most High, I will bespeak him. To-day there were many other folk, like myself, unable to get speech of the Sultan; but be easy, O my son; to-morrow I will without fail bespeak him on thy behalf, and what happened not shall happen.”
When Alaeddin heard his mother's words, he rejoiced with an exceeding joy, albeit, of the excess of his love and longing for the Lady Bedrulbudour, he had looked for the matter to be accomplished then and there; nevertheless, he used patience.
They slept that night and on the morrow Alaeddin's mother arose and went with the dish to the Sultan's Divan, but found it closed; so she asked the folk and they said to her, “The Sultan holdeth a Divan but thrice a week;” wherefore she was compelled return home. Then she proceeded to go every day, and whenas she found the Divan open, she would stand before the door, it broke up, when she would return home; and whiles she went and found the Divan closed. this wise she abode a week's space the Sultan saw her at each Divan; so, when she went on the last day [of the week] and stood, according to her wont, before the Divan, till it was ended, but could not muster courage to enter say aught, the Sultan arose and entering the harem, turned to his chief Vizier, who was with him, and said to him, “ O Vizier, these six or seven days I have seen yonder old woman come hither at every Divan and I note that she still carrieth somewhat under her veil. thou any knowledge of her, O Vizier, and knowest thou what is her want?”
“O our lord the Sultan,” replied the Vizier, “verily women are little of wit; and most like this woman cometh to complain to thee of her husband or one of her folk,” The Sultan was not content with the Vizier's reply, but bade him, an she came again to the Divan, bring her before him forthright; the Vizier laid his hand on his head and answered, “Hearkening and obedience, O our lord the Sultan.”
Meanwhile, mother, albeit she was grown exceeding weary and dejected, yet made light of all weariness, for her son's sake, and continued, as of her wont, to go every court-day and stand in the Divan before the Sultan. one day of the days, she went to the Divan, as of her wont, and stood before the Sultan; and when he saw her, he called his Vizier and said to him, “Yonder is the woman of whom I bespoke thee yesterday; bring her now before me, so I may see what her suit is and accomplish unto her her occasion.”
So the Vizier arose forthright and let bring Alaeddin's mother in before the Sultan. When she came into the latter's presence, she made her obeisance to him and did him reverence, wishing him glory and continuance and eternity of prosperity and kissing the ground before him. Then said he to her, “O woman, I see thee come every day to the Divan and thou speakest not of aught. Tell me an thou have a want, that I may accomplish it unto thee;” whereupon she kissed the earth a second time and called down blessings upon him, then answered, “Ay, O King of the Age, as thy head liveth, I have indeed a want; but before all things do thou give me thine assurance, I may make bold to prefer my suit to the hearing of our lord the Sultan, for that belike Thy Grace will find it a strange one.”
The Sultan, that he might learn what her suit was and for that he was of his nature exceeding clement, gave her his assurance and bidding all who were with him go out forthright, abode alone [with her], he and the Grand Vizier. Then he turned to her and said, “Tell me thy suit, and the assurance God the Most High be upon thee.”
Quoth she, “O King of the Age, I wish thy pardon also.”
And he said to her, “God pardon thee!”
Said she to him, “O our lord the Sultan, I have a son, whose name is Alaeddin, and one day of the days he heard the crier proclaim that none should open his shop nor show himself in the thoroughfares of the city, that the Lady Bedrulbudour, the daughter of our lord the Sultan, was going to the bath. When my son heard this, he wished see her; so he hid himself in a place, whence he might see her well, and this was behind the door of the bath. Accordingly, when she came up, he saw her and viewed her well, beyond his wish; and from that time till now, O King of the Age, life hath not been pleasant to him he will e'en have me seek her of Thy Grace, thou mayst marry her with him, and I cannot do away this conceit from his wit, for that the love of her hath gotten possession of his vitals, so that he saith to me, 'Know, O mother mine, that, except I attain my desire, assuredly I am a dead man.' Wherefore I crave Thy Grace's clemency and hope that thou wilt pardon me and my son this effrontery neither be wroth with us therefor.”
When the King heard her story, he fell a-laughing, of his clemency, asked her, “What is that thou hast with thee and what is that bundle?”
she, seeing that he was not angered at her words, but laughed, opened the handkerchief forthright and proffered him the dish of jewels. When the Sultan saw the jewels (and indeed, whenas she raised the handkerchief from them, the Divan became as it were all illumined with lamp-clusters and candlesticks), he was amazed and confounded at their radiance and fell a-marvelling at their lustre and bigness and beauty; and said, “Never saw I the like of these jewels for beauty and bigness and perfection, nor methinketh is one of them found in my treasuries.”
Then he turned to his Vizier and said to him, “How sayst thou, O Vizier? Sawest thou ever in thy life the like of these magnificent jewels?”
“Never, O our lord the Sultan,” replied the Vizier, “nor, methinketh, is the least of those which be here found in the treasuries of our lord the King.”
Quoth the Sultan, “Doth not he who giveth me these jewels deserve to be bridegroom to my daughter Bedrulbudour? Marry, by what I see, meseemeth none is worthier of her than he.”
When the Vizier heard the Sultan's words, his tongue was tied for despite and he was overcome with exceeding chagrin, forasmuch as the King had promised him that he would marry his daughter to his son; so, after a little, he said to him, “O King of the age, Thy Grace condescended to promise me the Lady Bedrulbudour should be my son's; wherefore it behoveth thine exalted highness appoint a delay of three months, God willing, my son's present shall be greater than this.”
The King, for all he knew that this was a thing whereto the Vizier might not avail, no, nor the greatest King, exercised his clemency granted him the delay he sought; then, turning to the old woman, he said to her, “Go to thy son and tell him I give him [my] word that my daughter shall be in his name; needs must I take order for her equipment; it behoveth him grant us a delay of three months.”
Alaeddin's mother took the answer and thanked the Sultan and prayed for him, then went forth and fared homeward in haste, flying of her joy, till she came to the house and entered. Her son saw her laughing-faced and foreboded good news; more by token that she returned forthright and tarried not, as on each day past, neither brought back the dish. Accordingly he asked her and said to her, “God willing, O my mother, thou bringest me good news; the jewels and their value have wrought their work and thou wilt have found acceptance with the Sultan; yea, he will have shown thee favour and given ear unto thy suit.”
So she told him all that had passed and how the Sultan had received her and had marvelled, both he and his Vizier, at the size and beauty of the jewels, and how he had promised her that [quoth she] “his daughter shall be in thy name. But, O my son, ere he promised me, the Vizier whispered somewhat, whereupon he appointed me for three months hence; and I am fearful lest the Vizier be a man of evil disposition, will change the King's mind.”
When heard his mother's words and how the Sultan had appointed her for months [thence], his heart was lightened and he rejoiced with an exceeding joy and said, “Since the Sultan hath promised for months [hence], true, it long, but in any case my joy is great.”
Then he thanked her for her kindness and the pains she had taken said to her, “By Allah, O my mother, it is as I were in a tomb and now thou hast raised me up therefrom; and I praise God the Most High, for I am presently certified that there is none richer or happier than I in the world.”
Then he waited till two of the three months were past, when his mother went out one day of the days, at sundown, to buy oil, and saw the markets closed and the city all decorated and the folk setting candles and flowers in their windows and saw troops, horse and foot, and mounted eunuchs drawn up in state, with cressets and lustres burning. At this wonder took her; went to an oilman's shop there open and buying oil of him, said to him, “[I conjure thee] by thy life, O uncle, tell me what is toward to-day in this city, that the folk are making this decoration and the markets [are shut] and the houses all adorned and the troops drawn up in state?”
Quoth he, “O woman, methinketh thou art a stranger and art not of this city.”
“Nay,” answered she, “but I am of this city;” and he said to her, “Thou art of this city and knowest not that this is the night of the going in of the Grand Vizier's son to the Lady Bedrulbudour, the Sultan's daughter? Nay, he is presently in the bath and yonder Amirs and troops are drawn up awaiting him, against he come forth, so they may carry him in procession to the palace of the Sultan's daughter.”
When Alaeddin's mother heard this, she was troubled and perplexed in her wit how she should do to acquaint her son with this woeful news, for that the poor wretch was counting the hours till the three months should be ended. So she returned home forthright and going in to Alaeddin, said to him, “O my son, I have news to tell thee, but it irketh me for thy chagrin therefrom.”
Quoth he, “Speak; what is the news?”
And she said to him, “The Sultan hath gone from his promise to thee in the matter of his daughter, the Lady Bedrulbudour, for that this very night the Vizier's son goeth in to her; and indeed methought at the time, my son, the Vizier would change the Sultan's mind, even as I told thee that he bespoke him privily before me.”
“How knewest thou this,” asked Alaeddin, “that the Vizier's son goeth in this night to the Lady Bedrulbudour?”
So she told him all she had seen of the decorations in the city, whenas she went to buy the oil, and how the eunuchs and chiefs of the state were drawn up awaiting the Vizier's son, against he should come forth of the bath, for that this was the night of his going in. When Alaeddin heard this, he fell into a fever of chagrin; presently he bethought him of the lamp and rejoiced and said to his mother, “By thy life, O my mother, methinketh the Vizier's son shall not rejoice in her, as thou deemest. But now leave us be with this talk and go lay us the evening-meal, so we may sup; then, when I shall have passed a while in my chamber, all shall yet be well.”
Accordingly, he had supped, he went into his chamber and locking the door on himself, fetched the lamp and rubbed it; whereupon the genie at once appeared to him and said, “Seek what thou wilt, for I am thy slave and the slave of whoso hath in his hand the lamp, I and all the slaves of the lamp.”
And Alaeddin said to him, “Harkye, I sought of the Sultan to marry his daughter, and he appointed me for months' time; however, he abode not by his promise, but gave her to the Vizier's son, and the latter purposeth to go in [to her] this night. Wherefore I do presently command thee, as thou art a loyal servant of the lamp, that this night, whenas thou seest the bride and bridegroom abed together, thou take them up in their bed [and bring them] hither. This is what I seek of thee.”
“Hearkening and obedience,” answered the genie, “and if thou have a service [to require of me] other than this, command me whatsoever thou seekest.”
And Alaeddin said to him, “I have no present requirement save that whereof I have bespoken thee.”
So the slave disappeared and Alaeddin returned to finish his supper his mother.
When he deemed it time for the genie's coming, he arose and entered his chamber; and after a little, the Marid appeared with the bridal pair in their bed; whereat Alaeddin rejoiced with exceeding great joy and said to the slave, “Bear this gallowsbird hence and couch him in the house of easance.”
genie accordingly took up the bridegroom and couched him in the draught-house; moreover, ere he left him, he blew on him a blast wherewith he dried him up, and the Vizier's son abode in woeful case. Then he returned to Alaeddin and said to him, “An thou need otherwhat, tell me.”
And Alaeddin said to him, “Return in the morning, so thou mayst take them [back] to their place.”
“Hearkening and obedience,” answered the genie and was gone; whereupon Alaeddin arose,--and indeed he had scarce believed that the thing should succeed with him,--and when he saw the Lady Bedrulbudour in his house, he entreated her with respect, albeit he had long burned for love of her, and said to her, “O princess of the fair, think not that I have brought thee hither to soil shine honour. God forbid! Nay, it was that I might not let others thee, for that thy father the Sultan gave me his word upon thee; so be thou in peace and assurance.”
As the princess, when she found herself in that mean dark; house and heard Alaeddin's words, fear and trembling get hold upon her and she was confounded and could return him no answer. Then he arose and putting off his clothes, placed a sword between himself and her and lay down by her side in the bed, without treason; sufficed him to prevent [the consummation of] her marriage with the Vizier's son. Nevertheless, the Lady Bedrulbudour passed the sorriest of nights, never in her life had she known a worse; whilst the Vizier's son lay in the draught-house and dared not stir for fear of the genie.
When it was morning, the genie presented himself before Alaeddin, without his rubbing the lamp, and said to him, “O my lord, an thou wish aught, command me withal, so I may do it on my head and eyes.”
And Alaeddin bade him go carry the bride and bridegroom to their own place. The genie did his bidding in the twinkling of an eye and laying the Vizier's son with the Lady Bedrulbudour, took them up and set them down in their place in the palace, without their seeing any one; but they were like to die of fright, when they felt themselves carried from place to place. Hardly had the genie set them down and gone out when the Sultan came to visit his daughter; and when the Vizier's son heard the door open, he straightway sprang out of bed, knowing that none might enter but the Sultan, and donned his clothes, this irked him sore, for that he would fain have warmed himself a little, having had no time [to do so] since he left the draught-house. The came in to his daughter and kissing her between the eyes, gave her good-morrow and asked her of her bridegroom and if she was content with him; but she returned him no answer and looked at him with a dejected air. bespoke her several times, but she was silent and answered him not a word; so he went out from her and going in to the Queen, told her what had passed between himself and the Lady Bedrulbudour.
The Queen, so she might not leave the Sultan angry with the Lady Bedrulbudour, said to him, `'O King of the Age, this is the wont of most brides, on their wedding-day, to be shamefast and show somewhat of coyness. So be not vexed with her and after a day or two she will return to herself and proceed to speak with the folk; but now, O King of the Age, shame hindereth her from speaking. However, I purpose to go to her and see her.”
Accordingly she arose and donning her clothes, repaired to her daughter's apartment. Then, going up to her, she gave her good-morrow and kissed her between the eyes; but the Lady Bedrulbudour returned her no manner of answer and the Queen said in herself, “Needs must some strange thing have befallen her, to trouble her thus.”
So she asked her, saying, “O my daughter, what is the cause of this thy behaviour? Tell me what aileth thee, that I come to thee and give thee good-morrow and thou returnest me no answer.”
The Lady Bedrulbudour raised her head and said to her, “Blame me not, O my mother; indeed, it behoved me receive thee with all reverence and worship, since thou honourest me by coming to me; but I beseech thee hear the cause of this my case and see how this night I have passed hath been for me the sorriest of nights. Hardly had we lain down, O my mother, when one, whose fashion I know not, took up the bed and transported us to a place dark, foul mean.”
Then she told her mother the queen all that had betided her that night and how they had taken her bridegroom, leaving her alone, and how after a little there came another youth and lay down in the place of her bridegroom, putting a sword between himself and her; “and in the morning” [quoth she] “he who had brought us thither returned and taking us up, carried us back to our place here: and hardly had he brought us hither and left us when my father the Sultan entered and I had neither heart nor tongue to answer him for stress of fright and trembling which possessed me. And belike my father is vexed with me; wherefore I prithee, O my mother, tell him the cause of this my case, so he be not wroth with me for my failure to answer him neither blame me, but excuse me.”
When queen heard the princess's story, she said to her, “O my daughter, beware of this tale before any, lest they ‘Verily the Sultan's daughter hath lost her wits.’ Marry, thou diddest well in that thou acquaintedst not thy father with this; and beware, yea [again I say,] beware, O my daughter, of telling him thereof.”
“O my mother,” rejoined the Lady Bedrulbudour, “indeed, I bespoke thee in sober earnest and have not lost my wits; nay, this is what happened to me, and an thou believe it not from me, ask my bridegroom.”
Quoth the queen, “Rise, O my daughter, and put away these illusions from thy thought; nay, don thy clothes and see the rejoicing that is toward in the town on thine account and the festivities that they celebrate in the kingdom for thy sake and hear the drums and the singing and look upon the decorations, all in honour of thy nuptials, O my daughter.”
Accordingly, she summoned the tirewomen, who dressed the Lady Bedrulbudour and busked her; whilst the Queen went in to the Sultan and told him that there had that night betided the princess a dream and illusions, saying, “BIame her not for her failure to answer thee.”
Moreover, she sent for the Vizier's son privily and questioned him of the affair, whether the Lady Bedrulbudour's speech was true or not; but he, of his fear to lose his bride, lest she should go from his hand, said to her, “O my lady, I know nothing of that which thou sayest;” wherefore the queen was certified that there had betided her daughter illusions and a dream.
The wedding rejoicings continued all that day, with dancing-women and singing-women, and all the instruments of mirth and minstrelsy were smitten, whilst the queen and the Vizier and his son were exceeding assiduous in keeping up the festivities, so the Lady Bedrulbudour should rejoice and her chagrin be dispelled; nay, they left nought that day of that which exciteth unto liesse but they did it before her, so she should leave what was in her mind and be cheered. But all this had no effect on her and she was silent and thoughtful and confounded at that which had befallen her that night. True, the Vizier's son had fared worse than she, for that he was couched in the draught-house; but he belied matter and put away that tribulation from his thought, of his fear lest he should lose his bride and his rank, by token that all the folk envied him his lot, for the much increase of honour it brought him, as also for the exceeding beauty and loveliness of the Lady Bedrulbudour.
As for Alaeddin, he went out that day and saw the rejoicings toward in the city and the palace and fell a-laughing, especially when he heard the folk speak of the honour which had betided the Vizier's son and the greatness of his good luck, in that he was become the Sultan's son-in-law, and the exceeding pomp used in his marriage and bridal festivities; and he said in himself, “Ye know not, good simple folk that ye are, befell him last night, that ye envy him.”
Then, when the night came in and it was the season of sleep, Alaeddin arose and entering his chamber, rubbed the lamp, whereupon the genie appeared to him forthright and bade him bring the princess and her bridegroom, as on the past night, ere the Vizier's son should take her maidenhead. The genie delayed not, but was absent a little while; and when it was the appointed time, he returned with the bed and therein the Lady Bedrulbudour and the Vizier's son. With the latter he did as he had done the past night, to wit, he took him and couched him in the draught- house, where he deft him parched for excess of fright and dismay; whilst Alaeddin arose and placing the sword between himself and the Lady Bedrulbudour, lay down and slept till the morning, when the genie appeared and restored the twain to their place, leaving Alaeddin full of joy at [the discomfiture of] the Vizier's son.
When the Sultan arose in the morning, he bethought himself to visit his daughter Bedrulbudour and see an she should do with him as she had done on the past day; so, as soon as he awoke from his sleep, he rose and donning his clothes, went to his daughter's chamber and opened the door. Whereupon the Vizier's son arose forthright and coming down from the bed, fell to donning his clothes, with ribs cracking for cold; for that, when the Sultan entered, it was no great while since the genie had brought them back. The Sultan went up to his daughter, the Lady Bedrulbudour, as she lay abed, and raising the curtain, gave her good morning and kissed her between the eyes and asked her how she did. She frowned and returned him no answer, but looked at him sullenly, as she were in sorry case. He was wroth with her, for that she made him no answer, and thought that something had betided her; so he drew the sword and said to her, “What hath befallen thee? Either thou shalt tell me what aileth thee or I will do away thy life this very moment. Is this the respect that is due to my rank and the honour in which thou holdest me, that I bespeak thee and thou answerest me not a word?”
When the Lady Bedrulbudour knew that her father was angry and saw the naked sword in his hand, she was like to swoon for fear; she raised her head and said to him, “Dear father, be not wroth with me, neither be thou hasty in thine anger, for that I am excusable in that which thou hast seen from me. but hearken what hath betided me and I am well assured that, whenas thou hearest my story of that which hath happened to me these two nights past, thou wilt excuse me and Thy Grace will be moved to compassion upon me, as I know from thy love for me.”
she acquainted him with all that had befallen her and said to him, “O my father, an thou believe me not, ask my bridegroom and he will resolve Thy Grace of everything, albeit I know not what they did with him, when they took him from my side, nor where they set him.”
When Sultan heard his daughter's story, he was sore concerned and his eyes brimmed with tears; then, sheathing the sword and coming up to her, he kissed her and said to her, “O my daughter, why didst thou not tell me yesterday, so I might have warded off from thee the torment and affright which have befallen thee this night? But no matter; arise and put away from thee this thought, and to-night I will set over thee those who shall guard thee, so there shall not again befall thee that which befell yesternight.”
Then he returned to his pavilion and sent at once for the Vizier, who came and stood before him, awaiting his commands; and the Sultan said to him, “O Vizier, how deemest thou of this affair? Most like thy son hath told thee what happened to him and to my daughter.”
“O King of the Age,” answered the Vizier, “I have not seen my son or yesterday or to-day.”
Whereupon the Sultan acquainted him with all that his daughter the Lady Bedrulbudour had told him and said to him, “It is now my will that thou enquire of thy son the truth of the case, for it may be my daughter knoweth not for fright what happened to her, though methinketh her tale is all true.”
So the Vizier arose and sending for his son, asked him of all that the Sultan had told him, if it were true or not. Whereupon, “O my father the Vizier,” replied the youth, “[God] preserve the Lady Bedrulbudour from leasing! all she saith is true and these two nights past have been for us the sorriest of nights, instead of being nights of pleasance and delight. Marry, that which befell me was yet worse, for that, instead of sleeping with my bride in bed, I lay in the draught-house, a place dark and frightful, noisome of smell and accursed, and my ribs were straitened cold.”
Brief, he told the Vizier all that had befallen him and ultimately said to him; “Dear father, I beseech thee speak with the Sultan that he release me from this marriage. True, it is great honour for me to be the Sultan's son-in-law, more by token that the love of the Lady Bedrulbudour hath gotten possession of my vitals, but I cannot avail to endure one more night like the two that are past.”
When Vizier heard his son's words, he grieved and was exceeding chagrined, for that he had thought to greaten his son and advance him by making him the King's son-in-law; so he bethought himself and was perplexed anent the matter and what was to do therein; indeed it irked him sore that the marriage should be dissolved, for that he had long besought Ten he might compass the like of that affair; he said to his son, “Have patience, O my son, so we may see [how it will be] to-night, and we will set over you guards to guard you; but do not thou let slip this great honour, for that it hath fallen to none other than thyself.”
Therewith he left him and returning to the Sultan, told him that the Lady Bedrulbudour's story was true; whereupon quoth the Sultan, “Since the case is thus, we need no wedding-festivities.”
he bade forthright break off the rejoicings and the marriage was dissolved. The folk and the people of the city marvelled at this strange thing, especially when they saw the Vizier and his son go forth the palace in a pitiable plight for stress of chagrin and despite, and they fell to asking, “What hath happened and why is the marriage avoided and the rejoicings broken off?”
But none knew what was to do save Alaeddin, the suitor, laughed in his sleeve. So the marriage was annulled; but the Sultan had forgotten his promise to Alaeddin's mother and never again bethought him thereof, neither he nor the Vizier; nor knew they whence came that which had happened.
Alaeddin waited till the three months had elapsed, after which the Sultan had promised that he would marry him to his daughter, the Lady Bedrulbudour, then despatched his mother to the Sultan to require him of the performance of his promise. So she repaired to the palace and when the Sultan came to the Divan and saw her standing before him, he remembered his promise to her, that after three months he would marry his daughter to her son, and turning to the Vizier, said to him, “O Vizier, yonder is the woman who presented us with the jewels and we gave her our word that after three months [we would marry our daughter to her son]. Bring her before me forthright.”
So the Vizier went and brought Alaeddin's mother before the Sultan; and when she came into the presence, she made her obeisance to him and prayed God to vouchsafe him glory and endurance of prosperity. The Sultan asked her if she had a need, and she said to him, “O King of the Age, the three months are ended, after which thou didst promise me thou wouldst marry my son Alaeddin to thy daughter the Lady Bedrulbudour.”
The Sultan was perplexed at this her claim, more by token that he saw her in poor case, as she were the meanest of the folk; but the present which she had made him was exceeding magnificent [and indeed] beyond price; he turned to the Vizier and said to him, “How deemest thou? What shall we do? is true I gave her my word, but meseemeth they are poor folk and not of the chiefs of the people.”
The who was like to die of envy and chagrin for that which had befallen his son, said in himself, “How shall one like this marry the Sultan's daughter and my son lose this honour?”
So he said to the Sultan, “my lord, it is an easy matter to rid ourselves of vagabond, that it would not beseem Thy Grace to give thy daughter to a man like this, of whom it is not known what he is.”
Quoth the Sultan, “On what wise shall we rid ourselves of this man, seeing I have given him my word and a King's word is his bond?”
“O my lord,” answered the Vizier, “my counsel is that thou require of him forty dishes of pure virgin gold, full of jewels, such as she thee the other day, forty slave-girls to bear the dishes and forty black slaves.”
“By Allah, O Vizier,” rejoined the Sultan, “'thou speakest rightly; for that this is a thing to which he may not avail and so we shall be rid of him by [fair] means.”
he said to Alaeddin's mother, “Go and tell thy son that I abide by the promise which I made him, but an if he avail unto my daughter's dowry; to wit, I require of him forty dishes of pure gold, which must all be full of jewels [such as] thou broughtest me [erst], together with forty slave-girls to carry them and forty male slaves to escort and attend them. If, then; thy son avail unto this, I will marry him to my daughter.”
Alaeddin's mother returned home, shaking her head and saying, “Whence shall my poor son get these dishes of jewels? Supposing, for the jewels and the dishes, that he return to the treasure and gather the whole from the trees,--and withal methinketh not it is possible to him; but say that he fetch them,--whence [shall he get] the slaves and slave-girls?”
And she gave not over talking to herself till she reached the house, where Alaeddin awaited her, and when she came in to him, she said to him, “O my son, said I not to thee, 'Think not to attain to the Lady Bedrulbudour'? Indeed, this is a thing that is not possible unto folk like ourselves.”
Quoth he, “Tell me what is the news.”
And she said to him, “O my son, the Sultan received me with all courtesy, according to his wont, and meseemeth he meant fairly by us, but [for] thine accursed enemy the Vizier; for that, after I had bespoken the Sultan in thy name, even as thou badest me, reminding him that the term for which he had appointed us was past and saying to him, 'If Thy Grace would vouchsafe to give commandment for the marriage of thy daughter the Lady Bedrulbudour with my son Alaeddin,'--he turned to the Vizier and spoke to him. The Vizier replied to him in a whisper and after that the Sultan returned me an answer.”
Then she told him what the Sultan required of him and added, “O my son, he would fain have present answer of thee; but methinketh we have no answer to give him.”
When heard his mother's speech, he laughed and said, “O my mother, thou sayest we have no answer to make him and deemest the thing exceeding hard; but now be good enough to rise fetch us somewhat to eat, and after we have dined, thou shalt (an it please the Compassionate) see the answer. The Sultan like thyself, thinketh he hath sought of me an extraordinary matter, so he may divert me from the Lady Bedrulbudour; but the fact is that he seeketh a thing less than I had looked for. But go now and buy us somewhat we may eat and leave me to fetch thee the answer.”
Accordingly, she arose and went out to buy her need from the market, so she might make ready the morning-meal; whilst Alaeddin entered his chamber and taking the lamp, rubbed it. The genie immediately appeared to him and said, “Seek what thou wilt, O my lord;” whereupon quoth Alaeddin, “I seek the Sultan's daughter in marriage and he requireth of me forty dishes of pure gold, each ten pounds in weight and full of the jewels which be in the garden of the treasure, the forty dishes to be borne by forty slave girls and each slave-girl to be accompanied by a male slave; wherefore I will have thee bring me this, all of it.”
“Hearkening and obedience, O my lord,” replied the genie and disappearing, was absent awhile, then returned with the forty slave-girls, each attended by a male slave and bearing on her head a dish of pure gold, full of precious jewels. So he brought them before Alaeddin and said to him, “Here is that which thou soughtest. Tell me an thou need thing or service other than this.”
Quoth Alaeddin, “I need nothing [more]; if I need aught, I will summon thee and tell thee.”
Accordingly, the genie vanished and after a little, Alaeddin's mother returned and entering the house, saw the slaves and slave-girls; whereat she marvelled and said, “All this is of the Lamp; God continue it unto my son!”
Then, before she put off her veil, Alaeddin said to her, “O my mother, this is thy time, ere the Sultan enter his palace [and withdraw] to his harem. Take him what he seeketh, and that forthright, so he may know that I can avail unto that which he requireth, ay, and more, and that he was deluded by the Vizier; albeit he thought to baffle me, he and his Vizier.”
Then he arose and opening the house-door, let out the damsels and the slaves, pair by pair, each damsel with a slave by her side, so that they filled the street. His mother forewent them and the people of the quarter, when they saw that rare and magnificent sight, stood looking and marvelling and gazing upon the faces of the slave-girls and their grace and goodliness [and their apparel], for that they were clad in clothes all inwoven with gold and studded with jewels; nay, the least one's clothes of them were worth thousands. Moreover they looked at the dishes saw flashing therefrom a radiance that outshone the light of the sun, albeit each dish was covered with a piece of brocade, gold-inwrought and studded eke with precious jewels. Alaeddin's fared on and the damsels and slaves followed after her, in all fair ordinance and disposition, whilst the folk stood to gaze on the beauty of the slave-girls and extolled the perfection of the Almighty Creator, till she reached the palace and entered it with them.
When the eunuchs and chamberlains and captains of the guard saw them, wonder took them and they were breathless for amaze at this sight, the like whereof they had never in their lives seen, and especially at the slave girls, each one of whom would ravish the wit of an anchorite. Withal, the chamberlains and captains of the Sultan's guards were all of them sons of grandees and Amirs; and they marvelled yet more at the damsels' costly raiment and the dishes which they bore on their heads and on which they might not open their eyes, the excess of their flashing and radiance. Then the guards and told the Sultan, who bade bring them before him forthright into the Divan. So Alaeddin's mother entered with them and when they came before the Sultan, they all did obeisance to him with the utmost courtliness and gravity and invoked on him glory and prosperity; then, raising the dishes from their heads, they set them down before him and stood with their hands clasped behind them, after they had removed the covers.
The Sultan wondered with an exceeding wonderment and was confounded at the beauty of the girls and their loveliness, which overpassed description; his wit was bewildered, when he saw the golden dishes, full of jewels that dazzled the sight, and he was amazed at this marvel, so that he became as one dumb, unable to speak aught, of the excess of his wonderment; nay, his wit was the more perplexed, forasmuch as this had all been accomplished in an hour's time. Then he bade carry the slave-girls and their burdens to the pavilion of the Lady Bedrulbudour; so the damsels took up the dishes and entered; whereupon Alaeddin's mother came forward and said to the Sultan, “O my lord, this is no great matter for the Lady Bedrulbudour's exalted rank; nay, she deserveth manifold this.”
So the Sultan turned to the Vizier and said to him, “How sayst thou, O Vizier? He that can in so short a time avail unto riches like these, is he not worthy to be the Sultan's son-in-law and to have his daughter to bride?”
Now the Vizier marvelled at the greatness of these riches yet more than the Sultan, but envy was killing him and waxed on him more and more, when he saw that the Sultan was content with the bride-gift the dowry; withal he could not gainstand the [manifest] truth and say to the Sultan, “He is not worthy;” so he cast about to work upon him by practice, that he might hinder him from giving his daughter the Lady Bedrulbudour to Alaeddin, and accordingly said to him, my lord, all the treasures of the world were not worth a paring of thy daughter Bedrulbudour's nails; indeed, Thy Highness overrateth this upon her.”
Sultan heard the Vizier's words, he knew that this his speech arose from the excess of his envy; so he turned to Alaeddin's mother and said to her, “O woman, go to thy son and tell him that I accept of him the marriage-gift and abide by my promise to him and that my daughter is his bride and he my son-in-law; so bid him come hither, that I may make acquaintance with him. There shall betide him from me nought but all honour and consideration and this night shall be the beginning of the bridal festivities. But, as I said to thee, let him come hither to me without delay.”
So she returned home swiftlier than the wind, her haste to bring her son the good news; and she was like to fly for joy at the thought that her son was to become the Sultan's son-in-law. As soon as she had taken her leave, the Sultan bade break up the Divan and entering the Lady Bedrulbudour's pavilion, commanded to bring the damsels and the dishes before his daughter and himself, so she should see them. So they brought them and when the Lady Bedrulbudour saw the jewels, she was amazed and said, “ Methinketh there is not one of these jewels found in the treasuries of the world.”
Then she looked at the damsels and marvelled at their beauty and grace and knew that this was all from her new bridegroom and that he had proffered it to her service. So she rejoiced, albeit she had been sad and sorry for her [whilom] bridegroom the Vizier's son,--she rejoiced, [I say], with an exceeding joy, when she saw the jewels and the beauty of the damsels, and was cheered; whilst her father rejoiced exceedingly in her joy, in that he saw her put off chagrin and dejection. Then he said to her, “O my daughter Bedrulbudour, doth this please thee? Indeed, methinketh this thy bridegroom is goodlier the Vizier's son, and God willing, O my daughter, thou shalt rejoice with him abundantly.”
much for the Sultan and as for Alaeddin, when his mother came to the house and entered and he saw her laughing of the excess of her joy, he foreboded good news and said, “ To God Everlasting praise! Accomplished is that which I sought.”
And she said to him, “Glad tidings, O my son! Let thy heart rejoice and thine eye be solaced in the attainment of thy desire, for that the Sultan accepteth thine offering, to wit, the bride gift and the dowry of the Lady Bedrulbudour, and she is thy bride and this, O my son, is the night of your and thy going in to the Lady Bedrulbudour. Nay, the Sultan, that he might certify me of his word, proclaimed thee his son-in-law before the folk and declared that this should be the wedding-night; but he said to me, 'Let thy son come hither to me, so I may make acquaintance with him, and I will receive him with all honour and worship.' And now, O my son, my office ended, whatsoever remaineth is a matter for thee.”
kissed his mother's hand and thanked her amain for her kindness; he arose and entering his chamber, took the lamp and rubbed it; whereupon the genie presented himself and said to him, “Here am I; seek what thou wilt.”
Quoth Alaeddin, “My will is that thou take me to a bath, whose like is not in the world, and fetch me a suit of royal raiment and exceeding costly, such as no king can boast.”
“Hearkening and obedience,” replied the Marid and taking him up, brought him intro a bath, never saw King nor Kisra like, for it was of alabaster and agate and full of marvellous limnings that ravished the sight, and therein was a saloon all embossed with precious jewels. None was there; but, when Alaeddin entered, there came in to him one of the Jinn in human semblance and washed him and bathed him to the utmost of the wish: after he went forth the bath to the outer saloon, where he found his clothes taken away and in their stead a suit of the richest royal apparel. Then sherbets were brought him and coffee with ambergris and he drank and arose; whereupon there came to him a troop of slaves and clad him in those clothes he dressed and perfumed himself with essences and sweet-scented smoke. thou knowest Alaeddin was the son of a poor man, a tailor: yet now none had thought it, had said, “This is the chiefest of the sons of the kings,” extolled be the perfection of Him who changeth and is not changed!
Then the slave of the lamp came to him and taking him up, set him down in his house and said to him, “O my lord, dost thou need aught?”
“Yes,” answered Alaeddin; “I will have thee bring me eight-and-forty mamelukes, to walk before me and four-and-twenty to walk behind me, with their horses and clothes and arms, and let all that is upon them and their horses be of stuffs costly and precious exceedingly, such as are not found in kings' treasuries. Then bring me a stallion fit for the riding of the Chosroës and be his trappings all of gold, embossed with noble jewels; and bring me eight-and-forty thousand diners, in each mameluke's hand a thousand, for that I purpose presently to visit the Sultan; wherefore delay thou not on me, since I cannot go thither without all that whereof I have bespoken thee. Bring me also twelve slave-girls, who must be unique in loveliness and clad in the richest of raiment, so they may attend my mother to the Sultan's palace, and let each slave-girl have with her a suit of apparel fit for the wearing of kings' wives.”
and obedience,” replied the genie and disappearing, brought him in the twinkling of an eye all that he had commanded him withal, whilst in his hand he held a stallion, whose like is not among the horses of the Arabs of the Arabs, housings of the richest stuffs brocaded with gold; whereupon Alaeddin called his mother forthright and delivered her the twelve slave-girls and gave her the [twelve] suits, she might dress herself go with them to the Sultan's palace. Then he despatched one of the mamelukes thither, to see an the Sultan were come forth of the harem or not; so he went and returning, swiftlier than lightning, said to him, “O my lord, the Sultan awaiteth thee.”
Accordingly he arose and mounting, [set forth], whilst the mamelukes rode before him and after him, (extolled be the perfection of the Lord who created them with which clothed them of beauty and grace!), strewing gold upon the folk before their lord Alaeddin, who overpassed them all of his grace and goodliness, and ask thou not of kings' sons, be the perfection of the Giver, the Eternal! Now all this was of the virtue of the wonderful lamp, gifted whoso possessed it with goodliness and grace and wealth and wisdom.
The folk marvelled at Alaeddin's bounty and at the excess of his munificence and were amazed when they saw that which graced him of beauty and goodliness and his courtliness and dignity; yea, they extolled the perfection of the Compassionate One for this His noble creature and all of them great and small down blessings on him, albeit they knew him for the son of such an one the tailor; yet none envied him, but all said, “He is deserving.”
So fared on his way, with the mamelukes before him and behind him, scattering gold upon the folk, till he came to the palace.
Now the Sultan had summoned to his presence the chiefs of his state and telling them that he had passed his word for the marriage of his daughter to Alaeddin, bade them await the latter, commanding them that, when he came, they should all go out to meet him; moreover, he assembled the amirs and viziers and chamberlains and guards and captains of the troops and they were all awaiting Alaeddin at the door of the palace. When he arrived, he would have dismounted at the door, but there came up to him one of the Amirs, whom the Sultan had deputed to that office, and said to him, “O my lord, the commandment is that thou enter, riding on thy charger, so thou mayst alight at the door of the Divan.”
So they all forewent him and he entered till they brought him to the door of the Divan. There sundry of them came forward and held his stirrup, whilst some supported him on both sides and other some took him by the hand, and so they dismounted him. Then the Amirs and officers of state forewent him and brought him into the Divan, till he drew near the Sultan's throne; whereupon the latter came down forthright from his seat and embracing him, hindered him from kissing the carpet and seated him beside himself on his right hand. Alaeddin did that which behoveth and befitteth unto kings of obeisance and invocation and said to him, “O our lord the Sultan, thy Grace's munificence hath vouchsafed accord me the Lady Bedrulbudour thy daughter, albeit I am unworthy of this great favour, for that I am of the lowliest of thy slaves; wherefore I beseech God that He keep and continue thee. Indeed, O King, my tongue faileth to thank thee [as were behoving] for the greatness of this boon, overpassing its competence, thou hast favoured me, and I beseech Thy Grace to vouchsafe me ground, such as is meet, so I may build thereon a palace that shall be fit for the Lady Bedrulbudour.”
The Sultan was amazed when he saw Alaeddin in this regal array and beheld his grace and goodliness and the mamelukes standing in attendance upon him in all their comeliness and fair favour; yea, and his wonderment redoubled when Alaeddin's mother came up attired in rich and costly raiment, as she were a queen, and he saw twelve slave-girls in her service, preceding her, their hands clasped behind their backs, with all worship and observance. Moreover, he noted Alaeddin's eloquence and the elegance of his speech and was amazed thereat, he and all who were present with him in the Divan, whilst fire was kindled in the Vizier's heart for envy of Alaeddin, so that he was like to die. Then, after the Sultan had heard Alaeddin's compliment and had seen the greatness of his quality and his modesty and eloquence, he strained him to his bosom and kissed him, saying, “It irketh me, O my son, that I have not known thee to-day.”
So, he saw Alaeddin on this fashion, he rejoiced in him with an exceeding joy and at once bade the music the drums up; then, rising, he took him by the hand and carried him into the palace, where the evening-meal had been made ready and the servants set the tables. There he sat down and seated Alaeddin on his right hand; whereupon the viziers and chiefs of the state and the grandees of the realm sat also, each in his several room, whilst the drums beat and they held high festival in the palace. Sultan proceeded to make familiar with Alaeddin and to talk with him, and Alaeddin answered him with all courtliness and fluency, as he had been bred in kings' palaces or as he were their constant associate; the more the talk was prolonged between them, the more gladness and joy redoubled on the Sultan for that which he heard of the goodliness of Alaeddin's answers and the sweetness of his speech. Then, when they had eaten and drunken and the tables were removed, the Sultan bade fetch the Cadis and the witnesses; so they came and knotted the knot and wrote the writ [of marriage] between Alaeddin and the Lady Bedrulbudour. Therewith Alaeddin arose and would have taken leave; but the Sultan laid hold on him and said to him, “Whither away, O my son? The bride-feast is toward and the bride present; the knot is knotted and the writ written.”
“O my lord the king,” answered Alaeddin, “I would fain build the Lady Bedrulbudour a palace, besorting her rank and station, and it may not be that I should go in to her without this; but, God willing, the building shall, by the diligent endeavour of thy slave and by Thy Grace's auspice, right speedily despatched. Indeed, I long for present enjoyment of the Lady Bedrulbudour; but it behoveth me [first] apply myself to that which is incumbent on me for her service.”
the Sultan, “O my son, look thyself out the ground which thou deemest apt to thine end and take it. All is in thy hand; but here before my palace is a spacious piece of ground, which meseemeth were best; so, if it please thee, build thou the palace thereon.”
And Alaeddin answered him, saying, “Indeed, it is my utmost desire to be near Thy Grace.”
Then he took leave of the Sultan and going forth, mounted and rode, with his mamelukes before him and behind him, whilst the folk all prayed for him and said, “By Allah, he is deserving!”
till he came to his house and alighting from his stallion, entered his chamber and rubbed the lamp; whereupon the genie stood before him and said to him, “Seek what thou wilt, O my lord” Quoth Alaeddin, “I desire of thee an important service, to wit, that thou build me with all speed a palace before that of the Sultan, which shall be marvellous in its building, never saw kings its like, and be it complete with all its requisites of kingly and magnificent furniture and so forth.”
“Hearkening and obedience,” replied the genie and but, before the dawn broke, he came to Alaeddin and said to him, “O my lord, the palace is finished to the utmost of the wish; wherefore, an thou wouldst see it, arise forthright and look on it.”
So Alaeddin arose and the genie carried him, in the twinkling of an eye, to the palace, which when he saw, he was amazed at its building, for that all its stones were of jade and alabaster and porphyry and mosaic. The genie carried him into a treasury full of all manner of gold and silver and precious jewels past count or reckoning, price or estimation; then he brought him into another place, where he saw all the requisites of the table, platters and spoons and ewers and basins and cups, of gold and silver, and thence to the kitchen, where he found cooks, their cooking-gear and utensils, all on like wise of gold and silver. Moreover, he brought him into a place, which he found full of coffers overflowing with royal raiment, such as ravished the wit, gold-inwoven stuffs, Indian and Chinese, and brocades, and he showed him also many other places, all full of that which beggareth description, till at last he brought him into a stable, wherein were horses whose like is not found with the kings of the world; and therewithin he showed him a storehouse, full of housings and saddles of price, all broidered with pearls and precious stones and so forth.
Alaeddin was amazed and bewildered at the greatness of these riches, whereunto the mightiest king in the world might not avail, and all the work of one night; more by token that the palace was full of slaves and slave girls such as would bewitch a saint with their loveliness. But the most marvellous of all was that he saw in the palace an upper hall belvedere four-and-twenty oriels, all wroughten of emeralds and rubies and other jewels, and of one of these oriels the lattice-work was by his desire left unfinished, the Sultan should fail of its completion. When he had viewed the palace, all of it, he rejoiced and was exceeding glad; then he turned to the genie and said to him, “I desire of thee one thing which is lacking and whereof I had forgotten to bespeak thee.”
Quoth the slave, “ Seek what thou wilt, O my lord;” and Alaeddin said to him, “I will have thee bring me a carpet Of fine brocade, all inwoven with gold, and spread it from my palace to that of the Sultan, so the Lady Bedrulbudour, whenas she cometh hither, may walk thereon and not upon the earth.”
So the genie was absent a little and returning, said to him, ''O my lord, that which thou soughtest Of me is here.”
Therewithal he took him and showed him the carpet, which ravished the wit, and it was spread from the Sultan's palace to that of Alaeddin; then taking him up, he set him down in his own house.
It now grown high day; so the Sultan arose from sleep and opening a window of his pavilion, looked forth and saw buildings his palace; whereupon he fell to rubbing his eyes and opening them wide and looking farther, saw a magnificent palace, that bewildered the wits, and a carpet spread therefrom to his own palace; as on like wise did the doorkeepers and all who were in the palace, and their wits were bewildered at the sight. At this juncture the Vizier presented himself and as he entered, he espied the new palace and the carpet and marvelled also; so, when he came in to the Sultan, the twain fell to talking of this strange matter and marvelling, for that they saw a thing which amazed the beholder and dilated the heart; and they said, “Verily, methinketh kings may not avail unto the building of the like of this palace.”
Then the Sultan turned to the Vizier and said to him, “How now? Deemest thou Alaeddin worthy to be bridegroom to my daughter the Lady Bedrulbudour? Hast thou seen and considered this royal building and all these riches which man's wit cannot comprehend?”
The Vizier, of his envy of Alaeddin, answered him, saying, “O King of the Age, indeed this palace and its building and all these riches may not be but by means of enchantment, for that no man among men, no, not the mightiest of them in dominion or the greatest in wealth, might avail to upraise and stablish [the like of] this building in one night.”
Quoth the Sultan, “I marvel at thee how thou still deemest evil of Alaeddin; but methinketh it ariseth from thine envy of him, for that thou wast present when he sought of me a place whereon to build a palace for my daughter and I accorded him, before thee, [leave to build] a palace on this ground; and he who brought me, to my daughter's dower, jewels such that no kings possess one thereof, shall he lack ableness to build a palace like this?”
When Vizier heard the Sultan's speech and understood that he loved Alaeddin greatly, his envy of him increased; withal he availed not to do aught against him, so he was dumb and could make the Sultan no answer.
Meanwhile Alaeddin)seeing that it was high day and that the time was come when he should go to the palace, for that his wedding-festivities were toward and the Amirs and Viziers and chiefs of the state were all with the Sultan, so they might be present at the bridal)arose and rubbed the lamp; whereupon the genie presented himself and said to him, “O my lord, seek what thou wilt, for that I am before thee, at thy service.”
Quoth Alaeddin, “I purpose presently to go to the Sultan's palace, and to-day is the wedding; wherefore I have occasion for ten thousand diners, which I will have thee bring me.”
The slave was absent the twinkling of an eye and returned to him with the money; whereupon Alaeddin arose and taking horse, with his mamelukes behind him and before him, rode to the palace, scattering gold upon the folk, as he passed, so that they were fulfilled with the love of him and the greatness of his munificence. he came to the palace and the Amirs and eunuchs and soldiers, who were standing awaiting him, saw him, they hastened forthright to the Sultan and told him; whereupon he arose and coming to meet him, embraced him and kissed him; then he took him by the hand and carried him into the palace. where he sat down and seated him on his right hand.
Now the city was all adorned and the instruments [of music] were smiting in the palace and the singing-women singing. Then the Sultan trade serve the morning-meal; so the slaves and mamelukes hastened to spread the table and it was such as kings might take example by. Sultan sat with Alaeddin and the officers of state and the chiefs of the realm and they ate and drank till they were satisfied; and great was the rejoicing in the palace and the city. Glad were all the chiefs of the state and the folk rejoiced in all the realm, whilst there came from far regions the notables of the provinces and the governors of the cities, so they might see Alaeddin's wedding and his bride-feast. The Sultan still marvelled in himself at Alaeddin's mother, how she had come to him in poor clothes, whilst her son had command of this exceeding wealth; and as for the folk, who came to the Sultan's palace, to gaze upon the wedding-festivities, when they saw Alaeddin's palace and the goodliness of its building, there took them great wonderment how so magnificent a building had been upreared in one night and they fell all to praying for Alaeddin and saying, “God prosper him! By Allah, he is deserving. God's blessing on his days!”
Meanwhile having made an end of the morning-meal, arose and taking leave of the Sultan, mounted with his mamelukes and rode to his palace, so he might prepare for the reception of his bride, the Lady Bedrulbudour. As he passed, all the folk cried out to him with one voice, saying, “ God gladden thee! God increase thee in glory! God continue thee!”
And so they brought him home in great procession, what while he showered gold on them. When he came to his palace, he alighted and entering, sat down in the Divan, whilst the mamelukes stood before him with clasped hands. After a little they brought him sherbets and he gave commandment to his mamelukes and slave-girls and eunuchs and all who were in his palace that they should make ready to receive the Lady Bedrulbudour, his bride. Then, when it was the time of the midafternoon prayer the air grew cool and the heat of the sun abated, Sultan bade the troops and the Amirs and the Viziers go down to the horse-course. So they all repaired thither and with them the Sultan himself; whereupon Alaeddin also arose and mounting with his mamelukes, went down into the plain and showed his horsemanship; then he fell to playing the tilting-ground and there was none could stand before him. Now he was riding a stallion whose like is not among the horses of the Arabs of the Arabs his bride the Lady Bedrulbudour was looking upon him from the window of her pavilion, and when she saw his grace and goodliness and knightly prowess, she was overcome with his love and was like to fly for joy in him. Then, after they had played [some] bouts the plain and each had shown what was in him of horsemanship, (but Alaeddin overpassed them all,) the Sultan went to his palace and Alaeddin on like wise returned home.
When it was eventide, the chiefs of the state and the Viziers went and taking Alaeddin, carried him in procession to the Royal Bath, the Renowned ; he entered and bathed and perfumed himself, then, coming forth, he donned a suit yet richer than the first and mounted, whilst the troops rode before him and the Amirs and Viziers. So they fared on with him in great state, with four of the Viziers for his sword-bearers, whilst all the troops and people of the city, both townsfolk and strangers, walked in procession before him, carrying flambeaux and drums and flutes and instruments of mirth and music, till they brought him to his palace, when he alighted and entering, sat down, as did also the Viziers and Amirs who were in his company, whilst the mamelukes brought sherbets and sweetmeats gave all who were with him in the procession to drink, albeit they were a multitude of folk whose number might not be told. Moreover, he gave commandment unto his mamelukes, and they went out to the door of the palace and fell to showering gold upon the folk.
Meanwhile, the Sultan returned from the horse-course and entered his palace, he bade forthright carry his daughter the Lady Bedrulbudour in procession to the palace of her bridegroom Alaeddin. So the troops forthright mounted with the officers of state, who had been in Alaeddin's procession, and the slave-girls and eunuchs went out with flambeaux and carried the Lady Bedrulhudour in great state to her bridegroom's palace, Alaeddin's mother by her side and before her the women of the Viziers and Amirs and grandees and notables. Moreover, she had with her eight and-forty slave-girls, whom Alaeddin had presented to her, in each one's hand a great candle of camphor and ambergris, set in a candlestick of gold, studded with jewels; and all the men and women in the palace went out with her and fared on before her, till they brought her to her bridegroom's palace and carrying her up to her pavilion, her in various robes displayed her. Then, after they had made an end of displaying her, they carried her to the pavilion of her groom Alaeddin and he went in to her. Now his mother was with the Lady Bedrulbudour, and when he came up and did off her veil, she fell to gazing upon the bride's beauty and grace and looked at the pavilion, the which was all wroughten gold and jewels and therein were golden lustres, all embossed with emeralds and rubies; and she said in herself, “Methought the Sultan's palace was magnificent; but, for this pavilion I doubt me the greatest of the Chosroës and the kings never owned its match; nor, methinketh, might all mankind avail to make the like thereof.”
And the Lady Bedrulbudour also fell to looking and marvelling at the palace its magnificence. Then the table was laid and they ate and drank and made merry; and presently there appeared before them fourscore slave-girls, each with an instrument in her hand of the instruments of mirth and music. So they plied their finger-tips and touching their strings, struck up with plaintive airs, till they clove in sunder the hearts of the listeners, whilst the Lady Bedrulbudour redoubled in wonderment and said in herself, “Never in my life heard I the like of these songs;” so that she forgot to eat and fell to listening. As for Alaeddin, he proceeded to pour to her the wine and give her to drink with his own hand, and mirth and good cheer and delight went round among them and it was a rare night, such as Iskender of the Horns in his time spent. Then, after they had made an end of eating and drinking, the tables were removed from before them and Alaeddin arose and went in to his bride.
When it was the morning, Alaeddin arose and his treasurer brought him a costly suit of the richest of kings' raiment; so he donned it and sat down; whereupon coffee was brought him with ambergris and he drank thereof and called for the horses. Accordingly, they were saddled and he mounted and rode, with his mamelukes behind him and before him, to the Sultan's palace. When he reached it and entered, the eunuchs went in and acquainted the Sultan with his presence; which he heard, he arose forthwith and coming to meet Alaeddin, embraced him and kissing him, as he were his son, seated him on his right hand. Moreover the Viziers and Amirs and officers of state and grandees of the realm invoked blessings on him and the Sultan gave him joy prayed God prosper him. Then he bade lay breakfast; they laid [it] and they all broke their fast; and after they had eaten and drunken their sufficiency and had finished and the servants had removed the tables from before them, Alaeddin turned to the Sultan and said to him, “O my lord, [belike] Thy Grace will vouchsafe to honour me this day at the morning-meal the Lady Bedrulbudour, thy precious daughter, and be Thy Grace's company all thy viziers and the chief officers of thy state.”
Quoth the Sultan, (and indeed he rejoiced in him), “Gladly, my son,” and bidding the Viziers and officers of state and grandees attend him, arose forthright and mounted; whereupon Alaeddin and the others mounted also and they all rode till they came to Alaeddin's palace.
When the Sultan entered the palace and viewed its building and ordinance and saw its stones, which were of jade and agate, he was amazed his wit was bewildered at that affluence and wealth and magnificence; so he turned to the Vizier and said to him, “How sayst thou, O Vizier? Hast thou in all thy days seen aught like this? Are there found with the greatest of the kings of the world riches and gold and jewels such as these we see in this palace?”
“O my lord the King,” answered the Vizier, “this is a thing beyond the competence of a king of the sons of Adam, nor might all the people of the earth together avail to build a palace like this; nay, there are no craftsmen living able to do work like this, except ;it be, as I said to Thy Grace, by might of magic.”
The Sultan knew that the Vizier, in seeking to convince him that this was not by might of men, but all of it enchantment, still spoke not but of his envy of Alaeddin; so he said to him, “Enough, O Vizier; let us have no more of thy talk. I know the cause which maketh thee speak on this wise.”
Then Alaeddin forewent the Sultan till he brought him to the high pavilion he looked at the belvedere its oriols lattices, wroughten of emeralds and rubies and other precious stones, and was amazed and astonied; his wit was bewildered and he abode perplexed in his thought. Then he fell to going round about the pavilion and viewing these things that ravished the sight, till presently he espied the casement Alaeddin had purposely left wanting and unfinished. When the Sultan examined it and saw that it was unfinished, he said, “Woe is me for thee, O casement, that thou art not perfect!”
Then, turning to the Vizier, he said to him, “Knowest thou the reason of the lack of completion of this casement and its lattices?”
“O lord,” answered the Vizier, “methinketh it is because Thy Grace hastened upon Alaeddin with the wedding and he had no time to complete it.”
Now Alaeddin had meanwhile gone in to his bride, the Lady Bedrulbudour, to acquaint her with the coming of her father the Sultan; and when he returned, the Sultan said to him, “O my son Alaeddin, what is the reason that the lattice[-work] of yonder oriel not completed?”
“O King of the Age,” replied Alaeddin, “by reason of the haste made with the bridal, the craftsmen might not avail to it.”
Quoth the Sultan to him, “It is my wish to finish it myself.”
And Alaeddin answered, saying, “God prolong thy glory, O King; so shall there remain unto thee a remembrance thy daughter's palace.”
Accordingly the Sultan bade straightway fetch jewellers and goldsmiths and commanded to give them from the treasury all that they needed of gold and jewels and [precious] metals; so they came and he bade them do that which was wanting of the lattice-work of the [unfinished] oriel. the Lady Bedrulbudour came out to receive her father the Sultan, and when she came up to him and he saw her smiling-faced he embraced her and kissed her and taking her [by the hand], went in with her to her pavilion. So they entered all, for that it was the appointed time of the morning-meal and they had set one table for the Sultan and the Lady Bedrulbudour and Alaeddin and another for the Vizier and the officers of state and grandees of the realm and captains and chamberlains and deputies. The Sultan sat between his daughter, the Lady Bedrulbudour, and his son-in- law Alaeddin, and when he put his hand to the food and tasted it, wonder took him at the richness of the meats and the exquisiteness of their seasonings. there stood before them fourscore damsels, each as it were she said to the full moon, “Rise, so I may sit in thy place;” and in each one's hand was an instrument of mirth and music. So they tuned their instruments and touched their strings and struck up with plaintive that dilated the mourning heart. Sultan was cheered and the time was pleasant to him and he rejoiced and said, “ Verily, Kings and Kaisers would fail of thing;”
Then they fell to eating and drinking and the cup went round among them till they had taken their sufficiency, when there came sweetmeats various kinds of fruits and so forth; and these were laid in another saloon. So they removed thither and took their fill of those dainties; after which the Sultan arose, that he might see if the work of the jewellers and goldsmiths likened that of the palace. So he went up to them and viewed their work and how they wrought and saw that they were far from availing to do work like that [of the rest] of Alaeddin's palace. told him that all they found in his treasury they had brought and it sufficed not; whereupon he bade open the Great Treasury and give them what they needed and that, if it sufficed not, they should take that which Alaeddin had given him. So they took all the jewels assigned them by the Sultan and wrought with them, but found that these also sufficed them not, nor might they complete withal the half of that which lacked of the lattice work of the oriel; the Sultan bade take all the jewels which should be found with the Viziers and chiefs of the state; and accordingly they took them all and wrought therewith; but this also sufficed not.
When it was morning, Alaeddin went up to view the jewelers' work and saw that they had not completed half the lacking lattice-work; whereupon he bade them incontinent undo all that they had wrought and restore the jewels to their owners. Accordingly, they undid it all and sent to the Sultan that which was his and to the Viziers [and others] that which was theirs. Then they went to the Sultan and told him that Alaeddin had commanded them of this; whereupon he asked them, “What said he to you and why would he not have the lattice-work finished and why undid he that which you had done?”
And they said to him, “O my lord, we know nothing, save that he bade us undo all that we had done.”
Whereupon the Sultan immediately called for the horses and arising, mounted and rode to Alaeddin's palace.
Meanwhile Alaeddin, after dismissing the goldsmiths and the jewellers, entered his closet and rubbed the lamp; whereupon the genie forthwith appeared and said to him, “Seek what thou wilt; thy slave is before thee.”
And Alaeddin said to him, “It is my will that thou complete the lacking lattice-work of the oriel.”
my head and eyes [be it],” replied the slave and disappearing, returned after a little and said to him, “O my lord, that whereof thou commandedst me I have performed.”
So Alaeddin went up to the belvedere found all its lattices and whilst he was viewing them, behold the [chief] eunuch in to him and said to him, “O my lord, the Sultan cometh to visit thee and is at the palace-door.”
So he came down forthright and went to meet the Sultan, who to him, when he saw him, “Wherefore, O my son, hast thou done thus, and why sufferedst thou not the jewellers complete the lattice-work of the oriel, there might not remain a place in thy palace “O King of the Age,” answered Alaeddin, “I left it not imperfect but of my free will, nor did I lack of ableness to complete it. However, I could not brook that Thy Grace should honour me [with thy presence] in a palace there was somewhat lacking; wherefore, so thou mayst know that it was not for lack of ableness that I left it uncomplete, Thy Grace go up and see the lattice-work of the kiosk, there be aught lacking thereto.”
The Sultan accordingly went up to the pavilion entering the kiosk, it right and left and saw no manner defect in its lattices, but found them all perfect; whereat he was astounded and embracing Alaeddin, fell a-kissing him and saying, “O my son, what is this extraordinary thing? In one night thou dost a work wherefrom the jewellers would fail in months! By Allah, methinketh thou hast not thy fellow the world!”
Quoth Alaeddin, “God prolong thy life and perpetuate thy continuance! Thy slave is not worthy of this praise.”
“By Allah, O my son,” rejoined the Sultan, “thou deservest all praise, in that thou hast done a thing wherefrom [all the] craftsmen of the world would fail.”
Then he went down and entering the pavilion of his daughter, the Lady Bedrulbudour, found her rejoicing exceedingly over this great magnificence wherein she was; and after he had rested with her awhile, he returned to his palace.
Now Alaeddin used every day to mount and ride through the town, with his mamelukes behind him and before him, strewing gold upon the people, right and left, and the folk, stranger and neighbour, near and far, were fulfilled with the love of him for the excess of his munificence and his bounty. Moreover he exceeded in benefaction of the poor and the indigent used himself to distribute his alms to them with his own hand. After this fashion he won himself great renown in all the realm and the most of the chiefs of the state and the Amirs used to eat at his table and swore not but by his precious life. Moreover, he fell to going everywhile the chase and the horse course and to practicing horsemanship and archery the Sultan, whilst the Lady Bedrulbudour redoubled in love of him, whenassoever she saw him disporting himself a horseback, and thought in herself that God had wrought exceeding graciously by her in that there had befallen her what befell with the Vizier's son, so He might keep her for her true bridegroom Alaeddin. So went daily waxing in goodliness of repute and in praise and the love of him redoubled in the hearts of the common folk and he was magnified in men's eyes.
Now in those days certain of the Sultan's enemies took horse against him; so he levied troops to repel them and made Alaeddin chief thereof. Alaeddin set out with his host and fared on till he drew near the enemy, whose troops were exceeding many; where upon he drew his sword and fell upon them and there befell battle and slaughter and sore was the stress of the mellay; but Alaeddin broke them and routed them and slew the most part of them. Moreover, he plundered their goods and possessions and gat him spoil beyond count or reckoning, wherewith he returned in triumph, [having gained] a great victory, and entered the city, which had adorned itself for him of its joy in him. The Sultan came out to meet him and give him joy and embraced him and kissed him, and there was high festival holden in the kingdom and great rejoicing. Then the Sultan and Alaeddin betook themselves to the latter's palace; his bride, the Lady Bedrulbudour, came out to meet him, rejoicing in him, and kissed him between the eyes, and he went in with her to her pavilion; after a little came the Sultan and they sat down and the slave-girls brought sherbets. they drank and the Sultan commanded that all the realm should be decorated for Alaeddin's victory over the enemy; whilst it became [a saying] with the commons and the troops and the folk, all of them, “Allah in heaven and Alaeddin on earth.”
And they loved him yet more, having regard not only to the excess of his bounty and munificence, but to his knightly prowess, in that he had done battle for the kingdom and had routed the enemy.
So much for Alaeddin, and now to return to the Mangrabin enchanter. When he returned to his country, he abode all this time, bewailing that which he had endured of toil and stress, so he might compass the lamp, yet had his travail all been wasted and the morsel had escaped from his hand, after it had reached his mouth; and he still thought upon all this, bemoaning himself and reviling Alaeddin of the excess of his anger against him; and whiles he said in himself, “Since yonder whoreson is dead under the earth, I am content withal and I have hopes of the lamp, that I may yet achieve it, inasmuch as it is still safeguarded.”
Then, one day of the days, he smote the sand and extracting the figures, set them down after the most approved fashion adjusted so he might see and certify himself of the death of Alaeddin and the safe keeping of the lamp under the earth; and he looked well into figures, both mothers and daughters, saw not the lamp, whereupon rage overrode him and he smote the sand a second time, that he might certify himself of Alaeddin's death, but saw him not in the treasure; whereat he redoubled in wrath, and yet more when it was certified to him that the lad was alive upon the surface of the earth and he knew that he had come forth from under the ground and had gotten the lamp, on account whereof he himself had suffered toil and torment such as passeth man's power to endure. So he said in himself, “I have suffered many hardships for the sake of the lamp and have endured fatigues such as none but I might brook, now yonder accursed one taketh it without stress and it is evident an he have learned the use thereof, there will be none in the world richer than he.”
Then, he saw and was certified that Alaeddin had come forth from under the earth and had happened upon the good of the Lamp, said in himself, “Needs must I go about to kill him.”
So he smote the sand once more and examining its figures, saw that Alaeddin had gotten him exceeding wealth and had married the Sultan's daughter; whereat he was all afire for rage and envy and arising then and there, equipped himself for travel and set out for the land of China. When he came to the city of the sultanate, was Alaeddin, he entered and alighting at one of the khans, heard the folk talking of nought but the magnificence of Alaeddin's palace; then, after he was rested from his journey, he changed clothes and went down to go round about in the thoroughfares of the city. He passed no folk but they were descanting upon the palace and its magnificence and talking of Alaeddin's grace and comeliness and his bounty and munificence and the goodliness of his manners and disposition; so went up to one of those who were extolling Alaeddin on this wise and said to him, “Prithee, fair youth, who is this whom you describe and praise? “O man,” replied the other, “meseemeth thou art a stranger and comest from afar; but, granting thou art from a far country, hast thou not heard of the Amir Alaeddin, whose repute, methought, filled the earth, and of his palace, a wonder of the world, whereof both far and near have heard? How is it thou hast heard nought of this nor of the name of Alaeddin, whom Our Lord increase in glory and prosper?”
Quoth the Maugrabin, “ Marry, it is the utmost of my wish to look upon the palace; so, an thou wouldst do me a kindness, direct me thither, for that I am a stranger.”
“Hearkening and obedience,” replied the other and going before him, guided him to Alaeddin's palace.
The Maugrabin fell to examining it and knew that this all of it was the work of the Lamp; so he said, “Alack! Alack! Needs must I dig a pit for this accursed one, this tailor's son, who could not come by a night's supper; but, an destiny enable me, I will send his mother back to spin at her wheel, like as she did erst, and as for him, it shall cost him life.”
Then he returned to the khan in a woeful state of chagrin and colour and despite, for envy of Alaeddin, and his geomantic instruments, his [tablet of] sand, so he might learn where the lamp was, and found that it was in the palace and not with Alaeddin; he rejoiced with an exceeding joy and said, “Now it will be an easy matter for me to bereave this accursed of his life and I have a way to come at the lamp.”
Accordingly he went to a coppersmith and said to him, “Make me so many take of me their worth in full; I will have thee despatch them quickly.”
“Hearkening and obedience,” replied the smith and falling to work on them, speedily despatched them for him. When they were finished, the Maugrabin paid him their price, even that which he sought, and taking the lamps, carried them to the khan, where he laid them in a basket and fell to going round about in the markets and thoroughfares of the city and crying out, “Ho! who will barter an old lamp for a new lamp?”
When the folk heard him crying this, they laughed at him and said, “Certes, this man is mad, since he goeth about, bartering new lamps for old.”
Moreover, people him and the street-boys caught him up from place to place laughed at him. However, he fended not himself neither took heed of this, but ceased not to go round about the city till he came under Alaeddin's palace, where he fell to crying his loudest, whilst the children called after him, “Madman! Madman!”
Now as fate willed it, the Lady Bedrulbudour was in the kiosk and hearing one crying out and the boys calling after him and understanding not what was toward, bade one of the slave-girls “Go see what is this man who crieth out and what he crieth.”
So the girl went and looking, saw one crying out, “Ho, who will barter an old lamp for a new lamp?”
with the boys after him, laughing at him; so she returned and told her mistress, saying, “O my lady, this man crieth, ‘Ho! who will barter an old lamp for a new lamp?’ and the boys are following him and laughing at him;” and the Lady Bedrulbudour laughed also at this marvel. Now Alaeddin had forgotten the lamp in his pavilion, locking it up in his treasury [as was his wont], and one of the girls had seen it; so she said to the princess, “O my lady, methinketh I have seen an old lamp in my lord Alaeddin's pavilion; let us barter it with this man for a new one, so we may see an his speech be true or leasing.”
And princess said to her, “fetch the lamp whereof thou speakest.”
Now the Lady Bedrulbudour had no knowledge of the lamp and its properties, neither knew she that this it was which had brought Alaeddin her husband to that great estate, and it was the utmost of her desire to prove and see the wit of this man who bartered new for old, nor was any one aware of the Maugrabin enchanter's craft and trickery. So the slave-girl went up into Alaeddin's pavilion and returned with the lamp to the Lady Bedrulbudour, who bade the Aga of the eunuchs down and exchange it for a new one; so he took it and going down, gave it to the Maugrabin and took of him a new lamp, with which he returned to the princess, who examined it and finding it new and real, fell to laughing at the Maugrabin's [lack of] wit. Meanwhile, when the enchanter had gotten the lamp and knew it for that of the Treasure, he thrust it forthwith into his sleeve leaving the rest of the lamps to the folk who were in act to barter of him, set off running, till he came without the city, and walked about the waste places, awaiting the coming of the night. Then, when he saw himself alone in the open country, he brought out the lamp from his sleeve and rubbed it; whereupon the Marid immediately appeared to him and said, “Here am I; thy slave [is] before thee. Seek of me what thou wilt.”
Quoth the Maugrabin, “My will is that thou take up Alaeddin's palace from its place, with its inhabitants and all that therein and myself also, and set it down in my country of Africa. knowest my town and I will have this palace be thereby among the gardens.”
“Hearkening and obedience,” replied the Marid.
“Shut [thine] eye and open [thine] eye, and thou wilt find thyself in thine own country with the palace.”
And immediately this befell in the twinkling of an eye and the Maugrabin was transported, with Alaeddin's palace and all that was therein, to the land of Africa.
So much for the enchanter, and now let us return to the Sultan and Alaeddin. The Sultan, of his love and affection for his daughter the Lady Bedrulbudour, was wont, every day, when he awoke from his sleep, to open the window and look at her therefrom; so he arose on the morrow, according to his wont, and opened his chamber-window, so he might see his daughter; but he put out his head and looked for Alaeddin's palace, he beheld nothing but a place swept [and level], like as it was aforetime, and saw neither palace nor inhabitants; amazement clad him and his wit was bewildered and he fell to rubbing his eyes, so haply they were bleared or dimmed. Then he proceeded to look closely till at last he was certified that there was neither trace nor sign left of the palace and knew not what was come of it; whereupon he redoubled in perplexity and smote hand upon hand and his tears ran down upon his beard, for that he knew not what had befallen his daughter. So he sent forthright to fetch the Vizier, who came in to him and seeing him in that woeful state, said to him, “Pardon, O King of the Age (God keep thee from harm!) why art thou woeful?”
Quoth the Sultan, “Meseemeth thou knowest not of my affair.”
And the Vizier said to him, “By Allah, O my lord, I have no knowledge of aught whatsoever.”
“Then,” rejoined the Sultan, “thou hast not looked towards Alaeddin's palace.”
“Nay, O my lord,” replied the Vizier, “it is yet shut.”
And the Sultan said to him, “Since thou hast no news of aught, rise and look at it from the window and see where it is, this palace of Alaeddin's, whereof thou sayest that it is yet shut.”
The Vizier arose and looked from the window towards Alaeddin's palace, but could see nothing, neither palace nor aught else; so his wit was bewildered and he was amazed and returned to the Sultan, who said to him, “Now knowest thou the cause of my distress and seest Alaeddin his palace, whereof thou saddest that it was shut.”
“O King of the Age,” rejoined the Vizier, “I told Thy Grace aforetime that this palace and these affairs were all of them [the work of] enchantment.”
At this the Sultan was fired with wrath and said to him, “Where is Alaeddin?”
And he answered, “He is at the chase.”
Whereupon the Sultan bade sundry of his eunuchs and officers go straightway fetch him bound and shackled. So they went till they came to Alaeddin and said to him, “O our lord Alaeddin, blame us not, for that the Sultan hath bidden us carry thee to him, bound and shackled; wherefore we beseech thee of excusement, for that we are under a royal commandment and may not gainsay it.”
When Alaeddin heard their speech, wonderment took him and his tongue was tied, for that he knew not the cause; then he turned to the eunuchs and officers and said, “Prithee, sirs, you no knowledge of the cause of this commandment of the Sultan? I know myself guiltless, forasmuch as I have done no sin against the Sultan nor against his realm.”
And they said to him, “O our lord, we have no manner of knowledge thereof.”
So Alaeddin lighted down from his stallion and said to them, “Do with me that which the Sultan biddeth you, for that his commandment is upon the head and eyes.”
Accordingly officers shackled him and pinioning him, haled him along in irons and entered the city with him.
The folk, seeing Alaeddin pinioned and shackled with iron, knew that the Sultan was minded to cut off his head, and forasmuch as he was extraordinarily beloved of them, they all gathered together and taking up arms, came forth their houses and followed the troops, so they might see what was to do. When the officers came with Alaeddin to the palace, they entered and told the Sultan, who immediately bade the headsman go and cut off his head. But the commons, hearing of this his commandment, shut the gates of the palace and sent to say to the Sultan, “This very moment we will overthrow the palace upon thee and all who are therein, an the least harm happen to Alaeddin.”
So the Vizier went and told the Sultan and said to him, “O King of the Age, all will be over with us forthright; thou wert best pardon Alaeddin, lest some calamity befall us, for that the commons love him more than us.”
Now the headsman had spread the carpet of blood and seating Alaeddin thereon, had bound his eyes and gone round him three times, the King's final commandment. The Sultan looked at his subjects and seeing them swarming upon him and climbing up to the palace, that they might overthrow it, commanded the headsman to hold his hand from Alaeddin and bade the crier go forth among the people and proclaim that he pardoned Alaeddin and took him [again] into favour.
When Alaeddin found himself released and saw the Sultan sitting, he went up to him and said to him, “O my lord, since Thy Grace hath bountifully vouchsafed me my life, me [yet farther] and tell me the manner of my offence.”
“O traitor,” replied the Sultan, “till [but] now I knew not thine offence;” then, turning to the Vizier, he said to him, “Take him, that he may see from the windows where his palace is.”
Accordingly the Vizier took him and Alaeddin looked from the windows in the direction of his palace and finding the place swept and clear, like as it was before he built the palace thereon, neither seeing any trace of the latter, he was amazed and bewildered, unknowing what had happened. When he returned, the King said to him, “What hast thou seen? Where is thy palace and where is my daughter, my heart's darling and mine only one, than whom I have none other?”
And Alaeddin answered him, saying, “O King of the Age, I have no knowledge thereof, neither know I what hath befallen.”
And the Sultan said to him, “Know, O Alaeddin, that I have pardoned thee, so thou mayst go and look into this affair and make me search for my daughter; and do not thou present thyself but with her; nay, an thou bring her not back to me, as my head liveth, I will cut off thine.”
“Hearkening and obedience, O King of the Age,” replied Alaeddin.
“Grant me but forty days' grace, and an I bring her not after that time, cut off my head and do what thou wilt.”
Quoth Sultan to him, “I grant thee, according to thy request, the space of forty days; but think not to flee from my hand, for that I will fetch thee back, though thou wert above the clouds, not to say upon the face of the earth.”
“O my lord the Sultan,” rejoined Alaeddin, “as I said to Thy Grace, an I bring her not to thee in this space of time, I will present myself before thee, that thou mayst cut off my head.”
Now the commons and the folk, one and all, when they saw Alaeddin, rejoiced in him with an exceeding joy and were glad for his deliverance; but the ignominy which had befallen him and shame and the exultation of the envious had bowed down his head; so he went forth and fell to going round about the city, perplexed anent his case and unknowing how all this had happened. He abode in the city two days in the woefullest of case, knowing not how he should do to find his palace and the Lady Bedrulbudour, his bride, what while certain of the folk used to come to him privily with meat and drink. Then he went forth, wandering in the deserts and knowing not whitherward he should aim, and ceased not going till he came to a river; whereupon, his hope being cut off for stress of chagrin that possessed him, he thought to cast himself into the stream; but, for that he was a pious Muslim, professing the unity of God, he feared God in himself and stood on the bank; of the stream to perform the ablution. he took of the water in his hands and proceeded to rub between his fingers; and in doing this, his rubbing chanced upon the ring, whereupon a Marid appeared to him and said to him, “Here am I; thy slave is before thee. Seek what thou wilt.”
When Alaeddin saw the Marid, he rejoiced with an exceeding joy and said to him, “O slave, I will have thee bring me my palace, with my bride, the Lady Bedrulbudour, and all that is therein.”
“O my lord,” replied the Marid, “it irketh me sore that what thou seekest of me is a thing unto which I cannot avail, for that it pertaineth unto the slaves of the Lamp and I may not adventure upon it.”
“Then,” said Alaeddin, “since this is not possible unto thee, take me and set me down beside my palace, in what land soever it is.”
“Hearkening and obedience, O my lord,” replied the Marid and taking. him up, set him down, in the twinkling of an eye, beside his palace in the land of Africa and before his wife's pavilion. By this time, the night was come; so he looked at his palace and his cares and sorrows were dispelled from him and he trusted in God, after he had forsworn hope, that he should see his bride once again. Then he fell to thinking upon the hidden mercies of God (glorified be His might!) and how He had vouchsafed the ring and how his hope had been cut off, except God had provided him with the slave of the Ring. So he rejoiced and all chagrin ceased from him; then, for that he had been four days without sleeping, of the stress of his chagrin and his trouble and his grief and the excess of his melancholy, he went to the side of the palace and lay down under a tree; for that, as I have said, the palace was among the gardens of Africa without the city. that night under the tree in all ease; but he whose head is in the headsman's hand sleepeth not anights. fatigue and lack of sleep for four days past caused slumber get the mastery over him; he slept till break of morn, when he awoke at the chirp the sparrows. He arose and going to a stream there which flowed into the city, washed his hands and face; then, making the ablution, he prayed the morning-prayer and after returned and sat under the windows of the Lady Bedrulbudour's pavilion.
Now the princess, of the excess of her grief for her separation from her husband and the Sultan her father and of her sore distress at that which had betided her with the accursed Maugrabin enchanter, used every day to arise, at the first peep of dawn, sit weeping; nay, she slept not anights and forswore meat and drink. Her handmaid used to go in to her at the time of the Salutation, she might dress her, and that morning, by the decree of destiny, the damsel opened the window at that time, thinking to solace her mistress with the sight of the trees and streams. So she looked out and seeing her lord Alaeddin sitting under the windows of the pavilion, said to the princess, “O my lady, my lady, here is my lord Alaeddin sitting under the pavilion!”
Whereupon the Lady Bedrulbudour arose in haste and looking from the window, saw Alaeddin, and he raised his head and saw her; so she saluted him and he her and they were both like to fly for joy. Then said she to him, “Arise and come in to me by the privy door, for that the accursed one not now here;” and she bade her handmaid go down and open the door. So the damsel went down and opened to Alaeddin, who arose and entered thereby. His wife, Lady Bedrulbudour, met him at the door and they embraced and kissed each other with all joyance, till they fell a-weeping of the excess of their gladness.
Then they sat down and Alaeddin said to her, “O Lady Bedrulbudour, there is somewhat whereof I would ask thee, before all things. I used to lay an old copper lamp in such a place in my pavilion.”
When the princess heard this, she sighed and answered him, saying, “O my beloved, it was that which was the cause of our falling into this calamity.”
“How came this about?”
So she acquainted him with the whole matter from first to last, telling him how they had bartered the old lamp for a new one; “and next morning,” added she, “we found ourselves in this country and he who had cozened me and changed the lamp told me that he had wroughten these tricks upon us of the might of his magic, by means of the lamp and that he is a Maugrabin from Africa that we are now in his native land.”
When had made an end of her story, Alaeddin said to her, “Tell me, what does this accursed one purpose with thee; what saith he to thee and of what doth he bespeak thee and what is his will of thee?”
“Every day,” answered the princess, “he cometh to me once and no more and seeketh to draw me to his love, willing me take him in thy stead and forget and renounce thee; nay, he told me that my father the Sultan had cut off thy head. Moreover, he useth to say to me of thee that thou art the son of poor folk and that he was the cause of thine enrichment and seeketh to cajole me with talk, but never hath he seen of me aught but tears and weeping or heard from me one soft word.”
Alaeddin, “Tell me where he layeth the lamp, an thou knowest.”
And she said, “He still carrieth it [about him] nor will part with it a moment; nay, when he acquainted me with that whereof I have told thee, he brought out the lamp from his sleeve and showed it to me”
When Alaeddin heard this, he rejoiced with an exceeding joy and said to her, “Harkye, Lady Bedrulbudour; it is my present intent to go out and return in disguise. thou not at this and let one of thy slave-girls abide await at the privy door, to open to me forthright, when she seeth me coming; and I will cast about for a device whereby I may slay this accursed one.”
Then he rose and going forth the [privy] door of his palace, walked on till he encountered a peasant by the way and said to him, “Harkye, sirrah, take my clothes and give me thine.”
The man demurred, but Alaeddin enforced him and taking his clothes from him, donned them and gave him his own costly apparel. Then he fared on in the high road till he came to the city and entering, betook himself to the drug-market, where for two diners he bought of [one of] the druggists two drachms of rare strong henbane, the son of its minute, retracing his steps, returned to the palace. When the damsel saw him, she opened him the privy door and he went in to the Lady Bedrulbudour said to her, “Harkye, I will have thee dress and tire thyself and put away melancholy from thee; and when the accursed Maugrabin cometh to thee, do thou receive him with 'Welcome and fair welcome' and go to meet him with a smiling face and bid him come sup with thee and profess to him that thou hast forgotten thy beloved Alaeddin and thy father and that thou lovest him with an exceeding love. Moreover, do thou seek of him wine, and that red, make him a show of all joy and gladness and drink to his health. when thou hast filled him two or three cups of wine, till thou take him off his guard; then put him this powder the cup and fill it up with wine, and an he drink it, he will straightway turn over on his back, like a dead man.”
When the Lady Bedrulbudour heard Alaeddin's words, she said! to him, “This is a thing exceeding hard on me to do; but it is lawful to slay this accursed, so we may be delivered from his uncleanness who hath made me rue thy separation and that of my father.”
Then Alaeddin ate and drank with his wife that which stayed his hunger and rising at once, went forth the palace; whereupon the Lady Bedrulbudour summoned her tirewoman, who busked her and adorned her, and she rose and donned fine clothes and perfumed herself. Whilst she was thus engaged, the accursed Maugrabin presented himself and was exceeding rejoiced to see her on this wise, more by token that she received him with a smiling face, contrary to her wont; so he redoubled in distraction for her love and longing for her. Then she took him and seating him by her side, said to him, “O my beloved, an thou wilt, come hither to me this night and we will sup together. Enough of mourning; for that, an I sat grieving a thousand years, what were the profit? Alaeddin cannot return from the tomb and I have considered and believe which thou saidst to me yesterday, to wit, that most like my father the Sultan hath slain him, in the excess of his grief for my loss. Nay, marvel not at me to-day, that I am changed since yesterday, for that I have bethought me to take thee to beloved and companion in Alaeddin's stead, seeing there is left me no man other than thou. Wherefore it is my hope that thou wilt come to-night, so we may sup together and drink somewhat of wine with each other, and I will have thee let me taste of the wine of thy country Africa, for that belike it is better [than ours]. Wine, indeed, I have by me; but it is that of our country, and I desire exceedingly to taste the wine of your country.”
When Maugrabin saw the love which the Lady Bedrulbudour professed to him and that she was changed from her whilom plight of grief, he thought that she had given up her hope of Alaeddin; so he rejoiced greatly and said to her, “O my soul, hearkening and obedience unto all that which thou wiliest and biddest me withal. I have with me in my house a jar of the wine of our country, the which I have kept stored these eight years under the earth; so I go now to fill from it our sufficiency and will return to thee forthright.”
Therewithal the Lady Bedrulbudour, that she might beguile him more and more, said to him, “O my beloved, do not thou go thyself and leave me. Send one of thy servants to fill us from the jar and abide thou sitting with me, that I may take comfort in thee.”
“O my lady,” answered he, “none knoweth the place of the jar save myself; but I will not keep thee waiting.”
saying, he went out and returned after a little with their sufficiency of wine; and the Lady Bedrulbudour said to him, “Thou hast been at pains me], and I have put thee to unease, my beloved.”
“Nay,” answered he, “O [thou that art dear to me as] mine eyes, I am honoured by thy service.”
Then she sat down with him at table and they both fell to eating. Presently, the princess called for drink and the handmaid immediately filled her the cup; then she filled for the Maugrabin and the Lady Bedrulbudour proceeded to drink to his life and health, he also drank to her life and she fell to carousing him. Now she was unique in eloquence and sweetness of speech and she proceeded to beguile him and bespeak him with words significant sweet, so she might entangle him yet straitlier in the toils of her love. The Maugrabin thought that all this was true knew not that the love she professed to him was a snare set for him to slay him. So he redoubled in desire for her and was like to die for love of her, when he saw from her that which she showed him of sweetness of speech and coquetry; head swam with ecstasy the world became changed his eyes.
When they came to the last of the supper and the princess knew that the wine had gotten the mastery in his head, she said to him, “We have in our country a custom, meknoweth not if you in this country use it or not.”
“And what is this custom?”
asked the Maugrabin.
“It is,” answered she, “that, at the end of supper, each lover taketh the other's cup and drinketh it.”
So saying, she took his cup and filling it for herself with wine, bade the handmaid give him her cup, wherein was wine mingled with henbane, even as she had taught her how she should do, for that all the slaves and slave-girls in the palace wished his death and were at one against him with the Lady Bedrulbudour. So the damsel gave him the cup, and he, hearing the princess's words and seeing her drink in his cup and give him to drink in hers, deemed himself Iskender of the Horns, whenas he saw from her all this love. Then she bent towards him, swaying gracefully from side to side, and laying her hand on his, said, “O my life, here is thy cup with me and mine is with thee; thus do lovers drink one from other's cup.”
Then she kissed cup and drinking it off, set it down and came up to him and kissed him on the cheek; he was like to fly for joy and purposing to do even as she had done, raised the cup to his mouth and drank it all off, without looking if there were aught therein or not; but no sooner had he done this than he turned over on his back, like a dead man, and the cup fell from his hand.
The Lady Bedrulbudour rejoiced at this and the damsels ran, vying with each other in their haste, opened the palace-door Alaeddin, their lord; whereupon he entered and up to his wife's pavilion, her sitting at the table and the Maugrabin before her, as one slain. So he went up to the princess and kissed her and thanked her for this [that she had done] and rejoiced with an exceeding joy. Then said he to her, “Get thee now into thine inner chamber, thou and thy damsels, and leave me alone, so I may consider of that which I have to do.”
Accordingly, the Lady Bedrulbudour tarried not, but entered the inner pavilion, she and her women; whereupon Alaeddin arose and locked the door on them and going up to the Maugrabin, put his hand to his sleeve and pulled out the lamp; after which he drew his sword and cut off the sorcerer's head. Then he rubbed the lamp and the Marid, its slave, appeared to him and said, “Here am I, O my lord; what wiliest thou?”
Quoth Alaeddin, “I will of thee that thou take up this palace from this country and carry it to the land of China and set it in the place where it was erst, before the Sultan's palace.”
“Hearkening and obedience, O my lord,” replied the Marid [and disappeared], whilst Alaeddin went in and sat with the Lady Bedrulbudour his bride and embraced her and kissed her and she him; and they sat talking and making merry, what while the Marid took up the palace with and set it down in its place before the Sultan's palace.
Presently Alaeddin called for food; so the slave-girls set the tray before him and he sat, he and the Lady Bedrulbudour his wife, and ate and drank in all joy and gladness till they had taken their sufficiency. Then they removed to the chamber of wine and carousel, where they sat drinking and making merry and kissing one another with all eagerness, for that it was long since they had had easance together; and they ceased not from this till the sun of wine rose in their heads and sleep took them; whereupon they arose and lay down on their bed in all rest and delight. In the morning Alaeddin arose and aroused his wife, whereupon her women came to her and dressed her and busked her and adorned her; whilst he, on his part, donned the richest of raiment, both were like to fly for joy at their reunion with each other, after their separation, whilst the Lady Bedrulbudour was especially glad, for that she looked to see her father that day.
So much for Alaeddin and the Lady Bedrulbudour; and as for the Sultan, after he had released Alaeddin, he ceased not to mourn for the loss of his daughter and to sit and weep for her, like a woman, at every time and tide; for that she was his only one and he had none other than her. And every day, whenas he arose from his sleep in the morning, he would go hastily to the window and opening it, look towards the place where Alaeddin's palace was erst and weep till his eyes were dried up and their lids ulcered. He arose that day at dawn, according to his wont, and opening the window, looked out and saw before him a building; so he fell to rubbing his eyes and looking closelier, was certified that it was Alaeddin's palace; whereupon he immediately called for the horses. Accordingly, they saddled them and he went down and mounting, rode to Alaeddin's palace. When the latter saw him coming, he went down and meeting him half-way, took him by the hand and carried him up to the pavilion of the Lady Bedrulbudour, his daughter. Now she also longed sore for her father; so she came down and met him at the stair-foot door, over against the lower hall; whereupon he embraced her and fell to kissing her and weeping and on this wise did she also. Then Alaeddin brought them up to the upper pavilion, they sat down and the Sultan proceeded to question the princess of her case and of that which had befallen her, whilst acquainted him with all that had happened to her and said to him, “O my father, I breathed not till yesterday, when I saw my husband, and he it is who delivered me from the bondage of a Maugrabin, an accursed sorcerer, methinketh there is not a filthier than he on the face of the earth; and but for my beloved Alaeddin, I had not won free of him and thou hadst not seen me all thy life. Indeed, O my father, there possessed me grief and sore chagrin, not only for my severance from thee, but also for the loss of my husband, to whom I shall be beholden all the days of my life, seeing he delivered me from that accursed enchanter.”
Then she went on to acquaint her father with all that had befallen her and to tell him of the Maugrabin's dealings and what he did with her and how he feigned himself a lampseller, who bartered new for old.
“And when,” [quoth she]; “I saw this [seeming] lack of wit in him, I fell to laughing at him, unknowing his perfidy and his intent; so I took an old lamp that was in my husband's pavilion and sent it by the eunuch, who exchanged it with him for a new lamp; and next day, O my father, at daybreak, we found ourselves in Africa, with the palace and all that was therein; and I knew not the properties of the lamp which I had exchanged, till my husband Alaeddin came to us and contrived against the Maugrabin a device whereby he delivered us from him. Now, except my husband had won to us, it was the accursed one's intent to go in to me perforce; but Alaeddin, my husband. gave me a powder, the which I put for him in a cup of wine and gave it him to drink. So he drank it and fell-back as one dead; whereupon my husband Alaeddin came in to me and meknoweth not how he wrought, so that he transported us back from the land of Africa to our place here.”
And Alaeddin said to the Sultan, “O my lord, when I came up and saw him cast down like one slain and sleeping for the henbane, I said to the Lady Bedrulbudour, 'Go in, thou and thy women, to the inner pavilion.' So she arose and went in, she and her damsels, from that loathsome sight; whilst I went up to the accursed Maugrabin and putting my hand to his sleeve, pulled out the lamp, for that the Lady Bedrulbudour had told me he still carried it there. Then, when I had gotten it, I drew my sword and cut [off] the accursed's [head] and making use of the lamp, bade its servants take us up, with the palace and all that was therein, and set us down here in our place. And if Thy Grace be in doubt of my words, do thou come with me and see the accursed Maugrabin.”
So the King arose and going in with Alaeddin to the pavilion, saw the Maugrabin [Iying ]: whereupon he bade forthright take the carcase and burn it and scatter its ashes [to the winds]. Then he embraced Alaeddin and fell to kissing him and said to him, “Excuse me, O my son, for that I was going bereave thee of thy life, through the wickedness of yonder accursed sorcerer who cast thee into this pit; and indeed, O my son, I was excusable in that which I did with thee, inasmuch as I saw myself bereft of my daughter and mine only one, who is dearer to me than my kingdom, and thou knowest how fathers' hearts yearn upon their children, more by token that I have but the Lady Bedrulbudour.”
And he went on to excuse himself to him and kiss him; and said to him, “O Lord of the Age, thou didst with me nothing contrary to the law and I also was guiltless of offence; but the thing came all of that vile Maugrabin enchanter.”
Then the Sultan bade decorate the city and hold festival and rejoicings and commanded the crier to cry in the city that that day was a great festival, wherefore rejoicings should be holden in all the realm during the space of a month, [to wit,] thirty days' time, for the return of the Lady Bedrulbudour his daughter and her husband Alaeddin.
This, then, is what befell Alaeddin with the Maugrabin; but Alaeddin, for all this, was not altogether of the accursed enchanter, withal his body had been burned and given to the winds; for that the accursed one had a brother viler than he [and yet more skilled] in magic and geomancy and astrology; [nay, they were even] as saith the proverb, “A bean and it was cloven in twain;” each dwelt in one quarter of the world, so they might fill it their sorcery and craft and guile. It chanced one day that the Maugrabin's brother was minded to know how it was with his brother; so he fetched his sand-board and smote it and extracted its figures; then he considered them and examining them throughly, found his brother in the house of the tomb; he mourned and was certified that he was indeed dead. Then he smote the sand a second time, so he might learn how and where he died, and found that he had died in the land of China and by the foulest of deaths and knew that he who slew him was a youth by name Alaeddin. So he rose at once and equipping himself for travel, set out and traversed plains and deserts and mountains months and months, till he came to the land of China [and entering] the city of the sultanate, wherein was Alaeddin, repaired to the Strangers' Khan, where he hired him a lodging and rested there a little.
Then he arose to go round about the thoroughfares of the city, that he might spy him out a means of compassing his fell purpose, the which was to take vengeance of his brother on Alaeddin. So he entered a coffee-house in the market, a mighty fine place whither there resorted great plenty of folk, some to play tables, draughts other some chess and what not else. There he sat down and heard those who sat beside him talk of an old woman, an anchoress, by name Fatimeh, who still abode in her place without the city, serving [God], and came not down into the town but two days in the month, avouching her to be possessed of divine gifts galore. the Maugrabin enchanter heard this, he said in himself, “Now have I found that which I sought. An it please God the Most High, I shall achieve my quest by means of this woman.”
So went up to the folk who were speaking of the devout old woman's supernatural powers and said to one of them, “O uncle, I hear you talk of the divine gifts of one she-saint, name Fatimeh. Who she and where is her place?”
cried the man.
“What, thou art in our city and hast not heard of the divine gifts of my Lady Apparently, good man, art a stranger, since thou hast never chanced to hear of the fasts of this holy woman and her abhorrence of the world and the goodliness of her piety.”
“Ay, my lord,” replied the Maugrabin, “I am indeed a stranger and arrived but yesternight in this your town; wherefore I beseech thee tell me of the divine gifts of this holy woman and where her place is, for that I have fallen into a calamity and would fain go to her and crave her of prayer, so haply God (to whom belong might and majesty) may deliver me from my stress, by means of her intercession.”
The man accordingly told him of the divine gifts of the holy woman Fatimeh and her piety and the excellence of her devotion; then, taking him by the hand, he carried him without the city and showed him the way to her abiding-place, which was in a cavern on the top of a little hill; whereupon the Maugrabin thanked him amain for his kindness returned to his place in the Khan.
Now, by the decree of destiny, Fatimeh came down on the morrow to the city and the enchanter, going forth the Khan in the morning, saw the folk crowding together; so he went up, to see what was toward, and found Fatimeh standing, whilst every one who had a pain or an ache came to her, seeking her blessing and soliciting her prayers, and whenas she stroked him, he was made whole of his ailment. The Maugrabin followed her, till she returned to her cavern, and waited till nightfall, when he arose and entering a sherbet-sellers drank a cup of liquor, went forth the city, intending for the cavern of Fatimeh the recluse. When he came thither, he entered and saw her sleeping on her back on a piece of matting; so he went up to her and sitting down her breast, his dagger and cried out at her; whereupon she awoke and opening her eyes, saw a man, a Maugrabin, with a drawn dagger, sitting on her breast offering to kill her. So she feared and trembled and he said to her, “Harkye, an thou say aught or cry out, I will kill thee on the spot. Arise now and do all that I shall bid thee.”
And he swore an oath to her that, if she did for him that which he should bid her, he would not kill her.
Then he rose from her and she rose also, and he said to her, “Give me thy clothes and take mine.”
So she gave him her clothes and head-bands and her kerchief and veil; and he said to her, “Now must thou anoint me, to boot, with somewhat, so my face may become like unto shine in colour.”
Accordingly Fatimeh went within the cavern and bringing out a vial of ointment, took thereof in her palm and anointed his face withal, whereupon it became like unto hers in colour. Then she gave him her staff and taught him how he should walk and how he should do, whenas he went down into the city; moreover, she put her rosary on his neck and finally giving him the mirror, said to him, “Look now; thou differest not from me in aught.”
So he looked and saw himself as he were Fatimeh herself. when he had gotten his desire, he broke his oath and sought of her a rope; so she brought him a rope and he took her and strangled her therewith in the cavern. When she was dead, he dragged her forth and cast her into a pit therewithout; then, to her cavern, he slept there till the day broke, when he arose and going down into the city, came under Alaeddin's pavilion. folk gathered about him, believing him to be Fatimeh the Recluse, and he proceeded to do like as she had been used to do, laying hands on those in pain and reciting for this one the Fatiheh for that a[nother] chapter of the Koran and praying for a third. Then, for the much crowding upon him and the clamour of the folk, the Lady Bedrulbudour heard and said to her women, “See what is to do and what is the cause of this noise.”
So the Ada of the eunuchs went to see what was toward and returning, said to her, “O my lady, this clamour is because of the Lady Fatimeh. An it please thee bid me fetch her to thee, so thou mayst ask a blessing of her.”
And the Lady Bedrulbudour said to him, “Go and bring her to me; marry, this long while past I have still heard of her gifts and excellences and have yearned to see her, so I may ask a blessing of her, for that the folk are beyond measure abundant [in talk] of her So the Aga went and brought the enchanter, disguised as Fatimeh, before the Lady Bedrulbudour; whereupon the Maugrabin offered up abundance of prayers for her, and none misdoubted of him but that he was Fatimeh the recluse. The princess rose and saluting him, seated him by her side and said to him, “O my Lady Fatimeh, I will have thee with me alway, that I may be blessed in thee and eke that I may learn of thee the ways of God-service and piety and model myself on thee.”
Now this was what the accursed sorcerer aimed at; however, the better to accomplish his perfidious intent, [dissembled and] said to her, “O my lady, I am a poor woman sitting in the desert and it beseemeth not that the like of me should abide in kings' palaces.”
Quoth the Lady Bedrulbudour, “Have no manner of care, O my lady Fatimeh; I will give thee a place in my house, where thou shalt do thy devotions, and none shall ever go in to thee; nay, here shalt thou serve God better than in thy cavern.”
And the Maugrabin said to her, “Hearkening and obedience, O my lady; I will not gainsay thy commandment, for that the speech of princes may not be crossed neither disputed; but I beg of thee that my eating and drinking and sitting may be in my closet alone [and] that none may come in upon me. Moreover, I need no rich viands, but every day do thou favour me and send me by thy handmaid a piece of bread and a draught of water to my closet; and when I am minded to eat, I will eat in my closet alone.”
(Now this the accursed did, of his fear lest his chin veil should be raised, when he ate, and so his case be exposed and they know him for a man by his beard and moustaches.) “O my lady Fatimeh,” rejoined the princess, “be easy; nothing shall betide save that which thou wiliest; so rise now [and come] with me, that I may show thee the pavilion I purpose to order for thine inhabitance with us.”
So she arose and carrying the sorcerer to the place which she had appointed him wherein to abide, said to him, “O my lady Fatimeh, here shalt thou dwell; this pavilion is in thy name and thou shalt abide therein in all quiet and ease of privacy.”
And the Maugrabin thanked her for her bounty and prayed for her.
Then the Lady Bedrulbudour took him and showed him the belvedere the kiosk of jewels, with the four-and-twenty oriels, said to him, “How deemest thou, O my Lady Fatimeh, of this wonderful pavilion?”
Allah, O my daughter,” replied he, “it is indeed marvellous in the extreme, methinketh is its like found in the world; nay, it is magnificent exceedingly; but oh, for one thing which would far increase it in beauty and adornment!”
And the princess said to him, “O my Lady Fatimeh, what is lacking to it and what is this thing which would adorn it? Tell me of it; I had thought that it was altogether perfect.”
“O my lady,” answered the sorcerer, “that which lacketh to it is the egg of the bird Roc, which being hung in its dome, there were no like unto this pavilion in all the world.”
“What is this bird.”
asked the princess, “and where shall we find its egg?”
And the Moor said to her, “O my lady, this is a great bird that taketh up camels and elephants in its talons and flieth with them, of its bigness and greatness; it is mostly to be found in the mountain Caf and the craftsman who builded this palace able to bring its egg.”
Then they left that talk and it was the time of the morning-meal. So the slave-girls laid the table and the Lady Bedrulbudour sat down and sought of the accursed sorcerer that he should eat with her; but he refused and rising, entered the pavilion which she had given him, whither the slave-girls carried him the morning-meal.
When it was eventide and Alaeddin returned from the chase, the Lady Bedrulbudour met him and saluted him: whereupon he embraced her and kissed her and looking in her face, saw that she was somewhat troubled and smiled not, against her wont. So he said to her, “What aileth thee, O my beloved? Tell me, hath there befallen thee aught to trouble thee?”
And she answered him, saying, “There aileth me nothing; but, O my beloved, I had thought that our palace of nought; however, O my eyes were there hung in the dome of the upper pavilion egg of the bird Roc, there were not its like in the world.”
“And wast thou concerned anent this?” rejoined Alaeddin.
“This is to me the easiest of all things; so be easy, for it is enough that thou tell me of that which thou wishest and I will fetch it thee from the abysses of the world on the speediest wise.”
Then he had comforted the princess and promised her all she sought, he went straight to his closet and taking the lamp rubbed it; whereupon the Marid at once appeared and said to him, “Seek what thou wilt;” and Alaeddin, “I will have thee bring me a Roc's egg and hang it in the dome of the [upper] pavilion.”
The Marid heard Alaeddin's words, his face frowned and he was wroth and cried out with a terrible great voice, saying, “O denier of benefits, doth it not suffice thee that I and all the slaves of the Lamp are at thy service and wouldst thou eke have me bring thee our liege lady, for thy pleasure, and hang her in the dome of thy pavilion, to divert thee and thy wife? By Allah, ye deserve that I should forthright reduce you both to ashes and scatter you to the winds! But, inasmuch as ye are ignorant, thou and she, concerning this matter and know not its inward from its outward, excuse you, for that ye are innocent. As for the guilt, it lieth with the accursed one, the surviving of the Maugrabin enchanter, who feigneth himself to be Fatimeh the Recluse; for lo, he hath slain Fatimeh in her cavern and hath donned her dress and disguised himself after her favour and fashion and is come hither, seeking thy destruction, so he may take vengeance on thee for his brother; and he it is who taught thy wife to seek this of thee.”
He disappeared, and as for Alaeddin, when he heard this, his wit fled from his head and his joints trembled at the cry wherewith the Marid cried out at him; but he took heart and leaving his closet, went in straightway to his wife and feigned to her that his head irked him, of his knowledge that Fatimeh was renowned for the secret of healing aches and pains. When the Lady Bedrulbudour saw him put his hand to his head and complain of its aching, asked him what was the cause and he said, “I know not, except that my head irketh me sore.”
Accordingly she sent forthwith to fetch Fatimeh, so she might lay her hand on his head; whereupon quoth Alaeddin, “Who is this Fatimeh?”
And the princess told him how she had lodged Fatimeh the recluse with her in the palace. the slave-girls went and fetched the accursed Maugrabin, and Alaeddin arose to him, feigning ignorance of his case, and saluted him, as he had been the true Fatimeh. Moreover he kissed the hem of his sleeve and welcomed him, “O my Lady Fatimeh, I beseech thee do me a kindness, since I know thy usances in the matter of the healing of pains, for that there hath betided me a sore pain in my head.”
The Maugrabin could scarce believe his ears of this speech, that this was what he sought; so he went up to Alaeddin, as he would lay his hand on his head, after the fashion of Fatimeh the recluse, and heal him of his pain. When he drew near-him, he laid one hand on his head and putting the other under his clothes, drew a dagger, so might slay him withal. But Alaeddin was watching him and waited till he had all to-drawn the dagger, when he gripped him by the hand and taking the knife from him, planted in his heart.
When the Lady Bedrulbudour saw this, she cried out and said to him, “What hath this holy anchoress done, that thou burthenest thyself with the sore burden of her blood? Hast thou no fear of God, that thou dost this and hast slain Fatimeh, who was a holy woman and whose divine gifts were renowned?”
Quoth he to her, “I have not slain Fatimeh; nay, I have slain him who slew her; for that this is the brother of the accursed Maugrabin enchanter, who took thee and by his sorcery transported the palace with thee to the land of Africa. Yea, this accursed one was his brother and came to this country and wrought these frauds, slaying Fatimeh and donning her clothes and coming hither, so he might take vengeance on me for his brother. Moreover, it was he who taught thee to seek of me a Roc's egg, so my destruction should ensue thereof; and if thou misdoubt of my word, come and see whom I have slain.”
So saying, he did off the Maugrabin's chin veil and the Lady Bedrulbudour looked and saw a man whose beard covered his face; whereupon she at once knew the truth and said to Alaeddin, “O my beloved, twice have I cast thee into danger of death;” and he said to her, “O Lady Bedrulbudour, thanks to thine eyes, harm [hath betided me thereof; nay,] I accept with all joy everything that cometh to me through thee.”
When the princess heard this, she hastened to embrace him and kissed him, saying, “O my beloved, all this was of my love for thee and I knew not what I did; indeed am I negligent of thy love.”
Alaeddin kissed her and strained her to his breast and love redoubled between them.
Presently, in came the Sultan; so they told him of all that had passed with the Maugrabin enchanter's brother and showed him the latter, as he lay dead; whereupon he bade burn him and scatter his ashes to the winds. Thenceforward Alaeddin abode with his wife the Lady Bedrulbudour in all peace and pleasure and was delivered from all perils. Then, after a while, the Sultan died and Alaeddin sat down on the throne of the kingdom and ruled and did justice among the people; and all the folk loved him and he lived with his wife, the Lady Bedrulbudour, in all cheer and solace and contentment till there came to them the Destroyer of Delights and the Sunderer of Societies.