The hope of delivering himself from poverty prevailed with the fisherman. "I could listen to thee," said he, "were there any credit to be given to thy word; swear to me, by the great name of God, that thou wilt faithfully perform what thou promisest, and I will open the vessel; I do not believe thou wilt dare to break such an oath."
Being able to swim, I swam until night, when my arms and shoulders were tired, and, in this perilous situation, I repeated the profession of the faith, and gave myself up as lost; but the sea rose with the violence of the wind, and a wave like a vast castle threw me upon the land, in order to the accomplishment of the purpose of God. I ascended the shore, and after I had wrung out my clothes, and spread them upon the ground to dry, I slept; and in the morning I put on my clothes again, and, looking about to see which way I should go, I found a tract covered with trees; and when I had walked round it, I found that I was upon a small island in the midst of the sea; upon which I said within myself: "Every time that I escape from one calamity I fall into another that is worse:" but while I was reflecting upon my unfortunate case, and wishing for death, I beheld a vessel bearing a number of men. I arose immediately, and climbed into a tree; and lo, the vessel came to the shore, and there landed from it ten black slaves bearing axes. They proceeded to the middle of the island, and, digging up the earth, uncovered and lifted up a trap-door, after which they returned to the vessel, and brought from it bread and flour, and clarified butter and honey, and sheep and everything that the wants of an inhabitant would require, continuing to pass backward and forward between the vessel and the trap-door, bringing loads from the former, and entering the latter, until they had removed all the stores from the ship. They then came out of the vessel with various clothes of the most beautiful description, and in the midst of them was an old sheikh, enfeebled and wasted by extreme age, leading by the hand a young man cast in the mould of graceful symmetry, and invested with such perfect beauty as deserved to be a subject for proverbs. He was like a fresh and slender twig, enchanting and captivating every heart by his elegant form. The party proceeded to the trap-door, and, entering it, became concealed from my eyes.
Passionate as was Aladdin's love for the princess, he did not talk much to her when they were alone; but only said with a respectful air: "Fear nothing, adorable princess; you are here in safety. If I have been forced to come to this extremity, it is to prevent an unjust rival's possessing you, contrary to your father's promise in favour of myself."
The emperor, who could not comprehend what reason the princes could have to refuse this token of his favour, pressed them to tell him why they excused themselves. "Sir," said Prince Bahman, "we have a sister younger than ourselves, with whom we live in such perfect union, that we undertake nothing before we consult her, nor she anything without asking our advice." "I commend your brotherly affection," answered the emperor. "Consult your sister, meet me to-morrow, and give me an answer."
"Indeed, son," replied the mother seriously, "I cannot help telling you that you have forgotten yourself, and I do not see who will venture to make the proposal for you." "You yourself," replied he immediately. "I go to the sultan!" answered the mother, amazed. "I shall be cautious how I engage in such an errand. Why, who are you, son," continued she, "that you can have the assurance to think of your sultan's daughter? Have you forgotten that your father was one of the poorest tailors in the capital, and that I am of no better extraction; and do not you know that sultans never marry their daughters but to sons of sovereigns like themselves?"
Death hath destroyed them and disunited them, and in the dust they have lost what they amassed;
This plan greatly flattered Aladdin, who hated work but had sense enough to know that such shops were much frequented and the owners respected. He told the magician he had a greater inclination to that business than to any other, and that he should be much obliged to him for his kindness. "Since this profession is agreeable to you," said the African magician, "I will carry you with me to-morrow, clothe you as handsomely as the best merchants in the city, and afterward we will think of opening a shop as I mentioned."下载
"Good mistress," replied the Bird, "you have excellent cooks, let them do the best they can; but above all things, let them prepare a dish of cucumbers stuffed full of pearls, which must be set before the emperor in the first course before all the other dishes."
"I had scarcely uttered these words, when the queen, who sat by the black, rose up like a fury: 'Miscreant!' said she, 'thou art the cause of my grief; do not think I am ignorant of this, I have dissembled too long. It was thy barbarous hand that brought the object of my fondness into this lamentable condition; and thou hast the cruelty to come and insult me.' 'Yes,' said I, in a rage, 'it was I who chastised that monster, according to his desert; I ought to have treated thee in the same manner; I now repent that I did not; thou hast too long abused my goodness.' As I spoke these words, I drew out my cimeter, and lifted up my hand to punish her; but regarding me steadfastly, she said with a jeering smile, 'Moderate thine anger.' At the same time she pronounced words I did not understand; and afterward added, 'By virtue of my enchantments, I command thee to become half marble and half man.' Immediately, my lord, I became what you see, a dead man among the living, and a living man among the dead. After this cruel sorceress, unworthy of the name of queen, had metamorphosed me thus, and brought me into this hall, by another enchantment she destroyed my capital, which was very flourishing and populous; she annihilated the houses, the public places and markets, and reduced the site of the whole to the lake and desert plain you have seen; the fishes of four colours in the waters are the four kinds of inhabitants, of different religions, which the city contained. The white are the Mussulmans; the red, the Persians, who worship fire; the blue, the Christians; and the yellow, the Jews. The four little hills were the four islands that gave name to this kingdom. I learned all this from the enchantress, who, to add to my affliction, related to me these effects of her rage. But this is not all; her revenge not being satisfied with the destruction of my dominions, and the metamorphosis of my person, she comes every day, and gives me over my naked shoulders a hundred lashes with a whip until I am covered with blood. When she has finished this part of my punishment, she throws over me a coarse stuff of goat's hair, and over that this robe of brocade, not to honour, but to mock me."
"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.
"The king and all his court expressed their wish to honour the funeral with their presence, and the most considerable people of the city did the same. When all was ready for the ceremony, the corpse was put into a coffin with all her jewels and her most magnificent apparel. The procession began, and as second actor in this doleful tragedy, I went next the corpse, with my eyes full of tears, bewailing my deplorable fate. Before we reached the mountain, I made an attempt to affect the minds of the spectators: I addressed myself to the king first, and then to all those that were round me; bowing before them to the earth, and kissing the border of their garments, I prayed them to have compassion upon me. 'Consider,' said I, 'that I am a stranger, and ought not to be subject to this rigorous law, and that I have another wife and children in my own country.' Although I spoke in the most pathetic manner, no one was moved by my address; on the contrary, they ridiculed my dread of death as cowardly, made haste to let my wife's corpse into the pit, and lowered me down the next moment in an open coffin with a vessel full of water and seven loaves.
"Sir," said the princess, "it is only a plain country residence, fit for such people as we are, who live retired from the great world. It is not to be compared with the magnificent palaces of emperors." "I cannot perfectly agree with you in opinion," said the emperor very obligingly, "for its first appearance makes me suspect you; however, I will not pass my judgment upon it till I have seen it all; therefore be pleased to conduct me through the apartments."
"I took the king of Serendib's letter and went to present myself at the gate of the Commander of the Faithful, followed by the beautiful slave, and such of my own family as carried the gifts. I stated the reason of my coming, and was immediately conducted to the throne of the caliph. I made my reverence, and, after a short speech, gave him the letter and present. When he had read what the king of Serendib wrote to him, he asked me if the prince were really so rich and potent as he represented himself in his letter. I prostrated myself a second time, and rising again, said: 'Commander of the Faithful, I can assure your majesty he doth not exceed the truth. Nothing is more worthy of admiration than the magnificence of his palace. When the prince appears in public he has a throne fixed on the back of an elephant, and marches betwixt two ranks of his ministers, favourites, and other people of his court; before him, upon the same elephant, an officer carries a golden lance in his hand; and behind the throne there is another, who stands upright, with a column of gold, on the top of which is an emerald half a foot long and an inch thick; before him march a guard of one thousand men, clad in cloth of gold and silk, and mounted on elephants richly caparisoned.