By this time, the tailor's widow was so much used to go to audience, and stand before the sultan, that she did not think it any trouble, if she could but satisfy her son that she neglected nothing that lay in her power to please him: so the next audience-day she went to the divan and placed herself in front of the sultan as usual; and before the grand vizier had made his report of business, the sultan perceived her, and compassionating her for having waited so long, said to the vizier: "Before you enter upon any business, remember the woman I spoke to you about; bid her come near, and let us despatch her business first." The grand vizier immediately called the chief of the mace-bearers, and pointing to her, bade him tell her to come before the sultan.
The grand vizier did not make the sultan wait long for him, but came with so much precipitation, that neither he nor his attendants, as they passed, missed Aladdin's palace; neither did the porters, when they opened the palace gates, observe any alteration.
But the Deity would nought save the execution of his purpose; and thus I became separated from my brethren.
The African magician, dazzled more with the lustre of the princess's eyes than the glittering of her jewels, was much surprised. The smiling air with which she received him, so opposite to her former behaviour, quite fascinated his heart. When he was seated, the princess, to free him from his embarrassment, broke silence first, looking at him all the time in such a manner as to make him believe that he was not so odious to her as she had given him to understand hitherto, and said; "You are doubtless amazed to find me so much altered to-day; but your surprise will not be so great when I acquaint you, that I am naturally of a disposition so opposite to melancholy and grief, that I always strive to put them as far away as possible when I find the subject of them is past. I have reflected on what you told me of Aladdin's fate, and know my father's temper so well that I am persuaded, with you, he could not escape the terrible effects of the sultan's rage: therefore, should I continue to lament him all my life, my tears cannot recall him. For this reason, since I have paid all the duties decency requires of me to his memory, now he is in the grave I think I ought to endeavour to comfort myself. These are the motives of the change you see in me; I am resolved to banish melancholy entirely; and persuaded that you will bear me company to-night, I have ordered a supper to be prepared; but as I have no wines but those of China, I have a great desire to taste of the produce of Africa, and doubt not your procuring some of the best."
Though Ali Baba had seen the captain of the robbers in the forest, and had heard him speak, it was hardly possible to know him in the disguise of an oil-merchant. He told him he should be welcome, and immediately opened his gates for the mules to go into the yard. At the same time he called to a slave, and ordered him, when the mules were unloaded, to put them into the stable, and give them fodder; and then went to Morgiana, to bid her get a good supper. He did more. When he saw the captain had unloaded his mules, and that they were put into the stables as he had ordered, and he was looking for a place to pass the night in the air, he brought him into the hall where he received his company, telling him he would not suffer him to be in the court. The captain excused himself on pretence of not being troublesome; but really to have room to execute his design, and it was not till after the most pressing importunity that he yielded. Ali Baba, not content to keep company, till supper was ready, with the man who had a design on his life, continued talking with him till it was ended, and repeating his offer of service. The captain rose up at the same time with his host; and while Ali Baba went to speak to Morgiana he withdrew into the yard, under pretence of looking at his mules. Ali Baba, after charging Morgiana afresh to take care of his guest, said to her: "To-morrow morning I design to go to the bath before day; take care my bathing linens be ready, give them to Abdoollah," which was the slave's name, "and make me some good broth against I return." After this he went to bed.
"Gentlemen," replied the princess, "if you had given any attention to my words, you might have observed that I had no other intention in what I have done than to recover my brothers; therefore, if you have received any benefit, you owe me no obligation, and I have no further share in your compliment than your politeness toward me, for which I return you my thanks. In other respects, I regard each of you as quite as free as you were before your misfortunes, and I rejoice with you at the happiness which has accrued to you by my means. Let us, however, stay no longer in a place where we have nothing to detain us, but mount our horses and return to our respective homes."
Upon this affront the prince, forgetting the dervish's advice, clapped his hand upon his sword, drew it, and turned about to revenge himself; but had scarcely time to see that nobody followed him before he and his horse were changed into black stones.
"I, and five of my comrades, were carried to one place; here they made us sit down, and gave us a certain herb, which they made signs to us to eat. My comrades, not taking notice that the blacks ate none of it themselves, thought only of satisfying their hunger, and ate with greediness. But I, suspecting some trick, would not so much as taste it, which happened well for me; for in a little time after, I perceived my companions had lost their senses, and that when they spoke to me, they knew not what they said.下载
"Meanwhile I had much liberty, so that scarcely any notice was taken of what I did, and this gave me an opportunity one day to get at a distance from the houses and to make my escape. An old man, who saw me and suspected my design, called to me as loud as he could to return; but I redoubled my speed, and quickly got out of sight. At that time there was none but the old man about the houses, the rest being abroad, and not to return till night, which was usual with them. Therefore, being sure that they could not arrive in time enough to pursue me, I went on till night, when I stopped to rest a little, and to eat some of the provisions I had secured; but I speedily set forward again, and travelled seven days, avoiding those places which seemed to be inhabited, and lived for the most part upon cocoa-nuts, which served me both for meat and drink. On the eighth day I came near the sea, and saw some white people like myself, gathering pepper, of which there was great plenty in that place. This I took to be a good omen, and went to them without any scruple. They came to meet me as soon as they saw me, and asked me in Arabic who I was, and whence I came. I was overjoyed to hear them speak in my own language, and satisfied their curiosity by giving them an account of my shipwreck, and how I fell into the hands of the negroes. 'Those negroes,' replied they, 'eat men, and by what miracle did you escape their cruelty?' I related to them the circumstances I have just mentioned, at which they were wonderfully surprised.
By the time Aladdin had instructed the genie respecting the building of his palace, the sun was set. The next morning, before break of day, our bridegroom, whose love for the princess would not let him sleep, was up, when the genie presented himself and said: "Sir, your palace is finished; come and see how you like it." Aladdin had no sooner signified his consent, than the genie transported him thither in an instant, and he found it so much beyond his expectation, that he could not enough admire it. The genie led him through all the apartments, where he met with nothing but what was rich and magnificent, with officers and slaves all habited according to their rank and the services to which they were appointed. The genie then shewed him the treasury, which was opened by a treasurer, where Aladdin saw heaps of purses, of different sizes, piled up to the top of the ceiling, and disposed in most excellent order. The genie assured him of the treasurer's fidelity, and thence led him to the stables, where he shewed him some of the finest horses in the world, and the grooms busy in dressing them; from thence they went to the storehouses, which were filled with all things necessary, both for food and ornament.
A few days afterward, Ali Baba celebrated the nuptials of his son and Morgiana with great solemnity, a sumptuous feast, and the usual dancing and spectacles; and had the satisfaction to see that his friends and neighbours, whom he invited, had no knowledge of the true motives of the marriage; but that those who were not unacquainted with Morgiana's good qualities commended his generosity and goodness of heart.
The grand vizier endeavoured to divert the sultan from this design; he represented to him the danger to which he might be exposed, and that all his labour might perhaps be in vain; but it was to no purpose; the sultan was resolved. He put on a suit fit for walking and took his cimeter; and as soon as he found that all was quiet in the camp, went out alone, and passed over one of the hills without much difficulty; he found the descent still more easy, and when he came to the plain, walked on till the sun arose, and then he saw before him, at a considerable distance, a vast building. He rejoiced at the sight, in hopes of receiving there the information he sought. When he drew near, he found it was a magnificent palace, or rather a strong castle, of black polished marble, and covered with fine steel, as smooth as glass. Being highly pleased that he had so speedily met with something worthy his curiosity, he stopped before the front of the castle, and considered it with attention.