THE STORY OF ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES
There was, in olden time, in Damascus of Syria, a king, named Abd-El-Melik the son of Marwan; and he was sitting, one day, having with him the great men of his empire, consisting of kings and sultans, when a discussion took place among them, respecting the traditions of former nations. They called to mind the stories of Solomon, son of David, and the dominion which God had bestowed upon him over mankind, and the genies, and the birds, and the wild beasts, and they said: "We have heard from those who were before us, that God bestowed not upon any one the power which He bestowed upon Solomon, so that he used to imprison the genies and the devils in bottles of brass, and pour molten lead over them, and seal a cover over them with his signet."
Aladdin's mother listened with interest to what her son told her; but when he talked of asking the princess in marriage, she could not help bursting out into a loud laugh. He would have gone on with his rhapsody, but she interrupted him: "Alas! child," said she, "what are you thinking of? you must be mad to talk thus."
"Princess," answered the dervish, "for so I must call you, since by your voice I know you to be a woman disguised in man's apparel, I know the place well where these things are to be found; but what makes you ask me this question?"
The vizier carried them as he was directed, and delivering them to the cook, said: "Here are four fish just brought to the sultan; he orders you to dress them." He then returned to the sultan, who commanded him to give the fisherman four hundred pieces of gold, which he did accordingly.
Then they attentively viewed the palace; and, lo, it was devoid of inhabitants, destitute of household and occupants: its courts were desolate, and its apartments were deserted; and in the midst of it was a chamber covered with a lofty dome, rising high into the air, around which were four hundred tombs.
When the gardener took up the box, he gave it into the princess's hands, who, as it was only fastened with neat little hasps, soon opened it, and found it full of pearls of a moderate size, but equal and fit for the use that was to be made of them. Very well satisfied with having found this treasure, after she had shut the box again, she put it under her arm and went back to the house, while the gardener threw the earth into the hole at the foot of the tree as it had been before.
I remained alone in the palace, and at the approach of evening I opened the first closet, and, entering it, found a mansion like paradise, with a garden containing green trees loaded with ripe fruits, abounding with singing birds, and watered by copious streams. My heart was soothed by the sight, and I wandered among the trees, scenting the fragrance of the flowers, and listening to the warbling of the birds as they sang the praises of the One, the Almighty. After admiring the mingled colours of the apple resembling the hue upon the cheek of the beloved maid and the sallow countenance of the perplexed and timid lover, the sweet-smelling quince diffusing an odour like musk and ambergris, and the plum shining as the ruby, I retired from this place, and, having locked the door, opened that of the next closet, within which I beheld a spacious tract planted with numerous palm-trees, and watered by a river flowing among rose-trees, and jasmine, and marjoram, and eglantine, and narcissus, and gilliflower, the odours of which, diffused in every direction by the wind, inspired me with the utmost delight. I locked again the door of the second closet, and opened that of the third. Within this I found a large saloon, paved with marbles of various colours, and with costly minerals and precious gems, and containing cages constructed of sandal and aloes-wood with singing birds within them, and others upon the branches of trees which were planted there. My heart was charmed, my trouble was dissipated, and I slept there until the morning. I then opened the door of the fourth closet, and within this door I found a great building in which were forty closets with open doors; and entering these, I beheld pearls, and rubies, and chrysolites, and emeralds, and other precious jewels such as the tongue cannot describe. I was astonished at the sight, and said: "Such things as these, I imagine, are not found in the treasury of any king. I am now the King of my age, and all these treasures, through the goodness of God, are mine."
Prince Perviz, on the twentieth day after his departure, met the same dervish in the same place as his brother Bahman had done before him. He went directly up to him, and after he had saluted, asked him if he could tell him where to find the Talking Bird, the Singing Tree, and the Golden Water. The dervish urged the same remonstrances as he had done to Prince Bahman, telling him that a young gentleman, who very much resembled him, was with him a short time before; that, overcome by his importunity, he had shown him the way, given him a guide, and told him how he should act to succeed, but that he had not seen him since, and doubted not but he had shared the same fate as all other adventurers.下载
The enchantress, inspired with hope from these words, cried out in a transport of joy, "My heart, my soul, you shall soon be restored to your health, for I will immediately do as you command me." Accordingly she went that instant, and when she came to the brink of the lake she took a little water in her hand, and sprinkling it, she pronounced some words over the fish and the lake, and the city was immediately restored. The fish became men, women, and children; Mohammedans, Christians, Persians, or Jews; freemen or slaves, as they were before: every one having recovered his natural form. The houses and shops were immediately filled with their inhabitants, who found all things as they were before the enchantment. The sultan's numerous retinue, who found themselves encamped in the largest square, were astonished to see themselves in an instant in the middle of a large, handsome, well-peopled city.下载
I was a king, and the son of a king; and when my father died, I succeeded to his throne, and governed my subjects with justice and beneficence. I took pleasure in sea-voyages; and my capital was on the shore of an extensive sea, interspersed with fortified and garrisoned islands, which I desired, for my amusement, to visit; I therefore embarked with a fleet of ten ships, and took with me provisions sufficient for a whole month. I proceeded twenty days, after which there arose against us a contrary wind; but at daybreak it ceased, and the sea became calm, and we arrived at an island, where we landed, and cooked some provisions and ate; after which we remained there two days. We then continued our voyage; and when twenty days more had passed, we found ourselves in strange waters, unknown to the captain, and desired the watch to look out from the mast head: so he went aloft, and when he had come down he said to the captain: "I saw, on my right hand, fish floating upon the surface of the water; and looking toward the midst of the sea, I perceived something looming in the distance, sometimes black, and sometimes white."
The lamp this slave spoke of was the wonderful lamp, which Aladdin had laid upon the shelf before he departed for the chase: this he had done several times before; but neither the princess, the slaves, nor the eunuchs had ever taken notice of it. At all other times except when hunting he carried it about his person.
"I returned home much depressed by this answer; for the fear of my wife's dying first and that I should be interred alive with her, occasioned me very uneasy reflections. But there was no remedy; I must have patience, and submit to the will of God. I trembled, however, at every little indisposition of my wife, and, alas! in a little time my fears were realised, for she fell sick and died.