THE STORY OF GULNARE OF THE SEA
"Notwithstanding my fainting, the ill-natured old fellow kept fast about my neck, but opened his legs a little to give me time to recover my breath. When I had done so, he thrust one of his feet against my stomach, and struck me so rudely on the side with the other that he forced me to rise up against my will. Having arisen, he made me walk under the trees, and forced me now and then to stop, to gather and eat fruit. He never left me all day, and when I lay down to rest at night, laid himself down with me, holding always fast about my neck. Every morning he pushed me to make me awake, and afterward obliged me to get up and walk, and pressed me with his feet.
Aladdin, enraptured with this news, made little reply, but retired to his chamber. There, after he had rubbed the lamp, which had never failed him, the obedient genie appeared. "Genie," said Aladdin, "I want to bathe immediately, and you must afterward provide me the richest and most magnificent habit ever worn by a monarch." No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the genie rendered him invisible, and transported him into a bath of the finest marble, where he was undressed, without seeing by whom, in a magnificent and spacious hall. From the hall he was led to the bath, which was of a moderate heat, and he was there rubbed with various scented waters. After he had passed through several degrees of heat, he came out quite a different man from what he was before. His skin was clear white and red, his body lightsome and free; and when he returned into the hall, he found, instead of his own, a suit the magnificence of which astonished him. The genie helped him to dress, and when he had done, transported him back to his own chamber, where he asked him if he had any other commands? "Yes," answered Aladdin, "I expect you to bring me as soon as possible a charger that surpasses in beauty and goodness the best in the sultan's stables, with a saddle, bridle, and other caparisons worth a million of money. I want also twenty slaves, as richly clothed as those who carried the present to the sultan, to walk by my side, and twenty more to go before me in two ranks. Besides these, bring my mother six women slaves to attend her, as richly dressed at least as any of the Princess Badroulboudour's, each carrying a complete dress fit for any sultaness. I want also ten thousand pieces of gold in ten purses; go, and make haste."
And the Prince of the Faithful, Abd-El-Melik, wondered at these words, and said: "By Allah, I desire to see some of these bottles!" So Talib replied: "O Prince of the Faithful, thou art able to do so, and yet remain in thy country. Send to thy brother Abd-El-Azeez, that he may write orders to the Emeer Moosa to journey from the Western Country to this mountain which we have mentioned, and to bring thee what thou desirest of these bottles; for the furthest tract of his province is adjacent to this mountain." And the Prince of the Faithful approved of his advice, and said: "O Talib, thou hast spoken truth and I desire that thou be my messenger to Moosa for this purpose." To this, Talib replied: "Most willingly, O Prince of the Faithful." And the king said to him: "Go in dependence on the blessing of God, and his aid." Then he gave orders that they should write for him a letter to his brother Abd-El-Azeez, his viceroy in Egypt, and another letter to Moosa, his viceroy in the Western Country, commanding him to journey, himself, in search of the bottles of Solomon. He sealed the two letters, and delivered them to Talib, commanding him to hasten, and he gave him riches and riders and footmen to aid him in his way.
"Sister," replied Prince Bahman, "nothing can concern you in which we have not an equal interest. It is enough that you desire these things to oblige us to take the same interest; but if you had not, we feel ourselves inclined of our own accord and for our own individual satisfaction. I am persuaded my brother is of the same opinion, and therefore we ought to undertake this conquest, for the importance and singularity of the undertaking deserve that name. I will take the charge upon myself; only tell me the place and the way to it, and I will defer my journey no longer than till to-morrow."
Though his passion was very violent, Aladdin was forced to be satisfied, and to fortify himself with patience. He had at least the satisfaction to find that his mother had got over the greatest difficulty, which was to procure access to the sultan, and hoped that the example of those she saw speak to him would embolden her to acquit herself better of her commission when a favourable opportunity might offer.
"We returned to the palace toward the evening, and the giant arrived shortly after. We were forced to submit to seeing another of our comrades roasted, but at last we revenged ourselves on the brutish giant in the following manner. After he had finished his supper he lay down on his back and fell asleep. As soon as we heard him snore, according to his custom, nine of the boldest among us, and myself, took each of us a spit, and putting the points of them into the fire till they were burning hot, we thrust them into his eye all at once and blinded him. The pain made him break out into a frightful yell: he started up, and stretched out his hands, in order to sacrifice some of us to his rage: but we ran to such places as he could not reach; and after having sought for us in vain, he groped for the gate and went out, howling in agony.