ALADDIN; OR THE WONDERFUL LAMP

Now Aladdins mother had somewhat doubted the Moroccan being her brother-in-law, but as soon as she heard his promise of opening a merchants store for her son and setting him up with stuffs and capital and so forth, the woman decided and determined in her mind that this Maghrabi was in very sooth her husbands brother, seeing that no stranger man would do such goodly deed by her son. So she began directing the lad to the right road and teaching him to cast ignorance from out his head and to prove himself a man. Moreover, she bade him ever obey his excellent uncle as though he were his son, and to make up for the time he had wasted in frowardnes with his fellows. After this she arose and spread the table, then served up supper, so all sat down and fell to eating and drinking while the Maghrabi conversed with Aladdin upon matters of business and the like, rejoicing him to such degree that he enjoyed no sleep that night. But when the Moorman saw that the dark hours were passing by, and the wine was drunken, he arose and sped to his own stead. But ere going he agreed to return next morning and take Aladdin and look to his suit of merchants clothes being cut out for him.

And soon after the ground had cloven asunder before the Moroccan, it displayed a marble slab wherein was fixed a copper ring. The Maghrabi, striking a geomantic table, turned to Aladdin and said to him: An thou do all I shall bid thee, indeed thou shalt become wealthier than any of the kings. And for this reason, O my son, I struck thee, because here lieth a hoard which is stored in thy name, and yet thou designedst to leave it and to levant. But now collect thy thoughts, and behold how I opened earth by my spells and adjurations. Under yon stone wherein the ring is set lieth the treasure wherewith I acquainted thee. So set thy hand upon the ring and raise the slab, for that none other amongst the folk, thyself excepted, hath power to open it, nor may any of mortal birth save thyself set foot within this enchanted treasury which hath been kept for thee. But tis needful that thou learn of me all wherewith I would charge thee, nor gainsay een a single syllable of my words. All this, O my child, is for thy good, the hoard being of immense value, whose like the kings of the world never accumulated, and do thou remember that tis for thee and me.

Then the Maghrabi fell to soothing Aladdin with soft words and telling him wondrous tales, lies as well as truth, until they reached the site intended by the African magician, who had traveled from the sunset land to the regions of China for the sake thereof. And when they made the place, the Moorman said to Aladdin: O son of my brother, sit thee down and take thy rest, for this is the spot we are now seeking and, Inshallah, soon will I divert thee by displaying marvel matters whose like not one in the world ever saw, nor hath any solaced himself with gazing upon that which thou art about to behold. But when thou art rested, arise and seek some wood chips and fuel sticks which be small and dry, wherewith we may kindle a fire. Then will I show thee, O son of my brother, matters beyond the range of matter. Now when the lad heard these words, he longed to look upon what his uncle was about to do and, forgetting his fatigue, he rose forthright and fell to gathering small wood chips and dry sticks, and continued until the Moorman cried to him, Enough, O son of my brother!

And as soon as it was dawn, behold, the Maghrabi rapped at the door, which was opened by Aladdins mother. The Moorman, however, would not enter, but asked to take the lad with him to the market street. Accordingly Aladdin went forth to his uncle and, wishing him good morning, kissed his hand, and the Moroccan took him by the hand and fared with him to the bazaar. There he entered a clothiers shop containing all kinds of clothes, and called for a suit of the most sumptuous, whereat the merchant brought him out his need, all wholly fashioned and ready sewn, and the Moorman said to the lad, Choose, O my child, whatso pleaseth thee. Aladdin rejoiced exceedingly, seeing that his uncle had given him his choice, so he picked out the suit most to his own liking and the Moroccan paid to the merchant the price thereof in ready money. Presently he led the lad to the hammam baths, where they bathed. Then they came out and drank sherbets, after which Aladdin arose and, donning his new dress in huge joy and delight, went up to his uncle and kissed his hand and thanked him for his favors.

The Maghrabi went away and lay that night in his quarters, and early next morning he came to the tailors house and rapped at the door. Now Aladdin (for stress of his delight in the new dress he had donned and for the past days enjoyment in the hammam and in eating and drinking and gazing at the folk, expecting futhermore his uncle to come at dawn and carry him off on pleasuring to the gardens) had not slept a wink that night, nor-closed his eyelids, and would hardly believe it when day broke. But hearing the knock at the door, he went out at once in hot haste, like a spark of fire, and opened and saw his uncle, the magician, who embraced him and kissed him. Then, taking his hand, the Moorman said to him as they fared forth together, O son of my brother, this day will I show thee a sight thou never sawest in all thy life, and he began to make the lad laugh and cheer him with pleasant talk. So doing, they left the city gate, and the Moroccan took to promenading with Aladdin amongst the gardens and to pointing out for his pleasure the mighty fine pleasaunces and the marvelous high-builded pavilions. And whenever they stood to stare at a garth or a mansion or a palace, the Maghrabi would say to his companion, Doth this please thee, O son of my brother?

Then he again clasped Aladdin to his bosom, crying: O my son, I have none to condole with now save thyself. And thou standest in stead of thy sire, thou being his issue and representative and whoso leaveth issue dieth not, O my child! So saying, the magician put hand to purse, and pulling out ten gold pieces, gave them to the lad, asking, O my son, where is your house and where dwelleth she, thy mother and my brothers widow? Presently Aladdin arose with him and showed him the way to their home, and meanwhile quoth the wizard: O my son, take these moneys and give them to thy mother, greeting her from me, and let her know that thine uncle, thy fathers brother, hath reappeared from his exile and that Inshallah- God willing- on the morrow I will visit her to salute her with the salaam and see the house wherein my brother was homed and look upon the place where he lieth buried. Thereupon Aladdin kissed the Maghrabis hand, and after running in his joy at fullest speed to his mothers dwelling entered to her clean contrariwise to his custom, inasmuch as he never came near her save at mealtimes only.

And when he found her, the lad exclaimed in his delight: O my mother, I give thee glad tidings of mine uncle who hath returned from his exile, and who now sendeth me to salute thee. O my son, she replied, meseemeth thou mockest me! Who is this uncle, and how canst thou have an uncle in the bonds of life? He rejoined: How sayest thou, O my mother, that I have no living uncles nor kinsmen, when this man is my fathers own brother? Indeed he embraced me and bussed me, shedding tears the while, and bade me acquaint thee herewith. She retorted, O my son, well I wot thou haddest an uncle, but he is now dead, nor am I ware that thou hast other eme.

And when he looked at his sister-in-law, she wept at these his words, so he turned to the lad, that he might cause her to forget the mention of her mate, as a means of comforting her and also of completing his deceit, and asked him, saying: O my son Aladdin, what hast thou learned in the way of work, and what is thy business? Say me, hast thou mastered any craft whereby to earn a livelihood for thyself and for thy mother? The lad was abashed and put to shame and he hung down his head and bowed his brow groundward. But his parent spake out: How, forsooth? By Allah, he knoweth nothing at all, a child so ungracious as this I never yet saw- no, never! All the day long he idleth away his time with the sons of the quarter, vagabonds like himself, and his father (O regret of me!) died not save of dolor for him. And I also am now in piteous plight. I spin cotton and toil at my distant night and day, that I may earn me a couple of scones of bread which we eat together. This is his condition, O my brother-in-law, and, by the life of thee, he cometh not near me save at mealtimes, and none other. Indeed, I am thinking to lock the house door, nor ever open to him again, but leave him to go and seek a livelihood whereby he can live, for that I am now grown a woman in years and have no longer strength to toil and go about for a maintenance after this fashion. O Allah, I am compelled to provide him with daily bread when I require to be provided!

Now when Aladdin heard the words of his uncle the Moorman, and the design of making him a khwajah- merchant and gentleman- he joyed exceedingly, knowing that such folk dress handsomely and fare delicately. So he looked at the Maghrabi smiling and drooping his head groundward and saying with the tongue of the case that he was content. The Maghrabi the magician, looked at Aladdin and saw him smiling whereby he understood that the lad was satisfied to become a trader. So he said to him: Since thou art content that I open thee a merchants store and make thee a gentleman, do thou, O son of my brother, prove thyself a man and Inshallah- God willing- tomorrow I will take thee to the bazaar in the first place have a fine suit of clothes cut out for thee, such gear as merchants wear; and secondly, I will look after a store for thee and keep my word.

After this he walked up to Aladdin, and drawing him aside, asked, O my son, haply thou art the child of Such-a-one the tailor? and the lad answered, Yes, O my lord, but tis long since he died. The Maghrabi, the magician, hearing these words, threw himself upon Aladdin and wound his arms around his neck and fell to bussing him, weeping the while with tears trickling a-down his cheeks. But when the lad saw the Moormans case, he was seized with surprise thereat and questioned him, saying, What causeth thee weep, O my lord, and how camest thou to know my father? How canst thou, O my son, replied the Moorman, in a soft voice saddened by emotion, question me with such query after informing me that thy father and my brother is deceased? For that he was my brother german, and now I come from my adopted country and after long exile I rejoiced with exceeding joy in the hope of looking upon him once more and condoling with him over the past. And now thou hast announced to me his demise. But blood hideth not from blood, and it hath revealed to me that thou art my nephew, son of my brother, and I knew thee amongst all the lads, albeit thy father, when I parted from him, was yet unmarried.

IT hath reached me, O King of the Age, that there dwelt in a city of the cities of China a man which was a tailor, withal a pauper, and he had one son, Aladdin hight. Now this boy had been from his babyhood a neer-do-well, a scapegrace. And when he reached his tenth year, his father inclined to teach him his own trade, and, for that he was overindigent to expend money upon his learning other work or craft or apprenticeship, he took the lad into his shop that he might be taught tailoring. But, as Aladdin was a scapegrace and a neer-do-well and wont to play at all times with the gutter boys of the quarter, he would not sit in the shop for a single day. Nay, he would await his fathers leaving it for some purpose, such as to meet a creditor, when he would run off at once and fare forth to the gardens with the other scapegraces and low companions, his fellows. Such was his case- counsel and castigation were of no avail, nor would he obey either parent in aught or learn any trade. And presently, for his sadness and, sorrowing because of his sons vicious indolence, the tailor sickened and died.

Presently the magician brought out from his breast pocker a casket, which he opened, and drew from it all he needed of incense. Then he fumigated and conjured and adjured, muttering words none might understand. And the ground straightway clave asunder after thick gloom and quake of earth and bellowings of thunder. Hereat Aladdin was startled and so affrighted that he tried to fly, but when the African magician saw his design, he waxed wroth with exceeding wrath, for that without the lad his work would profit him naught, the hidden hoard which he sought to open being not to be opened save by means of Aladdin. So, noting this attempt to run away, the magician arose, and raising his hand, smote Aladdin on the head a buffet so sore that well-nigh his back teeth were knocked out, and he fell swooning to the ground. But after a time he revived by the magic of the magician, and cried, weeping the while: O my uncle, what have I done that deserveth from thee such a blow as this? Hereat the Maghrabi fell to soothing him, and said: O my son, tis my intent to make thee a man. Therefore do thou not gainsay me, for that I am thine uncle and like unto thy father. Obey me, therefore, in all I bid thee, and shortly thou shalt forget all this travail and toil whenas thou shalt look upon the marvel matters I am about to show thee.

As soon as he was seated at his ease, and before the food trays were served up, he fell to talking with her and saying: O wife of my brother, it must be a wonder to thee how in all thy days thou never sawest me nor learnst thou aught of me during the lifetime of my brother who hath found mercy. Now the reason is that forty years ago I left this town and exiled myself from my birthplace and wandered forth over all the lands of Al-Hind and Al-Sind and entered Egypt and settled for a long time in its magnificent city, which is one of the world wonders, till at last I fared to the regions of the setting sun and abode for a space of thirty years in the Moroccan interior. Now one day of the days, O wife of my brother, as I was sitting alone at home, I fell to thinking of mine own country and of my birthplace and of my brother (who hath found mercy). And my yearning to see him waxed excessive and I bewept and bewailed my strangerhood and distance from him. And at last my longings drave me homeward until I resolved upon traveling to the region which was the falling place of my head and my homestead, to the end that I might again see my brother. Then quoth I to myself: O man, how long wilt thou wander like a wild Arab from thy place of birth and native stead? Moreover, thou hast one brother and no more, so up with thee and travel and look upon him ere thou die, for who wotteth the woes of the world and the changes of the days? Twould be saddest regret an thou lie down to die without beholding thy brother. And Allah (laud be to the Lord!) hath vouchsafed thee ample wealth, and belike he may be straitened and in poor case, when thou wilt aid thy brother as well as see him.

So poor Aladdin forgot his fatigue and buffet and tear-shedding, and he was dumbed and dazed at the Maghrabis words and rejoiced that he was fated to become rich in such measure that not even the sultans would be richer than himself. Accordingly he cried: O my uncle, bid me do all thou pleasest, for I will be obedient unto thy bidding. The Maghrabi replied: O my nephew, thou art to me as my own child and even dearer, for being my brothers son and for my having none other kith and kin except thyself. And thou, O my child, art my heir and successor. So saying, he went up to Aladdin and kissed him and said: For whom do I intend these my labors? Indeed, each and every are for thy sake, O my son, to the end that I may leave thee a rich man and one of the very greatest. So gainsay me not in all I shall say to thee, and now go up to yonder ring and uplift it as I bade thee. Aladdin answered: O uncle mine, this ring is overheavy for me. I cannot raise it single-handed, so do thou also come forward and lend me strength and aidance toward uplifting it, for indeed I am young in years. The Moorman replied: O son of my brother, we shall find it impossible to do aught if I assist thee, and all our efforts would be in vain. But do thou set thy hand upon the ring and pull it up, and thou shalt raise the slab forthright, and in very sooth I told thee that none can touch it save thyself. But whilst haling at it cease not to pronounce thy name and the names of thy father and mother, so twill rise at once to thee, nor shalt thou feel its weight.

Aladdin was nigh to fly with delight at seeing sights he had never seen in all his born days, and they ceased not to stroll about and solace themselves until they waxed a-weary, then they entered a mighty grand garden which was near-hand, a place that the heart delighted and the sight belighted, for that its swift-running rills flowed amidst the flowers and the waters jetted from the jaws of lions molded in yellow brass like unto gold. So they took seat over against a lakelet and rested a little while, and Aladdin enjoyed himself with joy exceeding and fell to jesting with his uncle and making merry with him as though the magician were really his fathers brother.

Then she fell to thanking her false connection, the Moorman, for all his benefits and said to him: O my brother-in-law, I can never say enough though I expressed my gratitude to thee during the rest of thy days and praised thee for the good deeds thou hast done by this my child. Thereupon quoth the Moroccan: O wife of my brother, deem this not mere kindness of me, for that the lad is mine own son, and tis incumbent on me to stand in the stead of my brother, his sire. So be thou fully satisfied! And quoth she: I pray Allah by the honor of the Hallows, the ancients and the moderns, that He preserve thee and cause thee continue, O my brother-in-law, and prolong for me thy life. So shalt thou be a wing overshadowing this orphan lad, and he shall ever be obedient to thine orders, nor shall he do aught save whatso thou biddest him thereunto.

So I arose at once and equipped me for wayfare and recited the fatihah. Then, whenas Friday prayers ended, I mounted and traveled to this town, after suffering manifold toils and travails which I patiently endured whilst the Lord (to Whom be honor and glory!) veiled me with the veil of His protection. So I entered, and whilst wandering about the streets the day before yesterday I beheld my brothers son Aladdin disporting himself with the boys and, by God the Great, O wife of my brother, the moment I saw him this heart of mine went forth to him (for blood yearneth unto blood!), and my soul felt and informed me that he was my very nephew. So I forgot all my travails and troubles at once on sighting him, and I was like to fly for joy. But when he told me of the dear ones departure to the ruth of Allah Almighty, I fainted for stress of distress and disappointment. Perchance, however, my nephew hath informed thee of the pains which prevailed upon me. But after a fashion I am consoled by the sight of Aladdin, the legacy bequeathed to us by him who hath found mercy for that whoso leaveth issue is not wholly dead.

Thereupon the lad mustered up strength and girt the loins of resolution and did as the Moroccan had bidden him, and hove up the slab with all ease when he pronounced his name and the names of his parents, even as the magician had bidden him. And as soon as the stone was raised he threw it aside, and there appeared before him a sardab, a souterrain, whereunto led a case of some twelve stairs, and the Maghrabi said: O Aladdin, collect thy thoughts and do whatso I bid thee to the minutest detail, nor fail in aught thereof. Go down with all care into yonder vault until thou reach the bottom, and there shalt thou find a space divided into four halls, and in each of these thou shalt see four golden jars and others of virgin or and silver. Beware, however, lest thou take aught therefrom or touch them, nor allow thy gown or its skirts even to brush the jars or the walls. Leave them and fare forward until thou reach the fourth hall, without lingering for a single moment on the way. And if thou do aught contrary thereto, thou wilt at once be transformed and become a black stone. When reaching the fourth hall, thou wilt find therein a door, which do thou open, and pronouncing the names thou spakest over the slab, enter therethrough into a garden adorned everywhere with fruit-bearing trees. This thou must traverse by a path thou wilt see in front of thee measuring some fifty cubits long beyond which thou wilt come upon an open saloon, and herein a ladder of some thirty rungs. Thou shalt there find a lamp hanging from its ceiling, so mount t

The Maghrabi replied: O wife of my brother, Aladdin is now a man of sense and the son of goodly folk, and I hope to Allah that he will follow in the footsteps of his sire and cool thine eyes. But I regret that, tomorrow being Friday, I shall not be able to open his shop, as tis meeting day when all the merchants, after congregational prayer, go forth to the gardens and pleasaunces. On the Sabbath, however, Inshallah!- an it please the Creator- we will do our business. Meanwhile tomorrow I will come to thee betimes and take Aladdin for a pleasant stroll to the gardens and pleasaunces without the city, which haply he may hitherto not have beheld. There also he shall see the merchants and notables who go forth to amuse themselves, so shall he become acquainted with them and they with him.

The Maghrabi, the magician, after leaving the hammam with Aladdin, took him and trudged with him to the merchants bazaar, and having diverted him by showing the market and its sellings and buyings, and to him: O my son, it besitteth thee to become familiar with the folk, especially with the merchants, so thou mayest learn of them merchant craft, seeing that the same hath now become thy calling. Then he led him forth and showed him the city and its cathedral mosques, together with all the pleasant sights therein, and lastly made him enter a cooks shop. Here dinner was served to them on platters of silver and they dined well and ate and drank their sufficiency, after which they went their ways. Presently the Moorman pointed out to Aladdin the pleasaunces and noble buildings, and went in with him to the Sultans palace and diverted him with displaying all the apartments, which were mighty fine and grand, and led him finally to the khan of stranger merchants, where he himself had his abode. Then the Moroccan invited sundry traders which were in the caravanserai, and they came and sat down to supper, when he notified to them that the youth was his nephew, Aladdin by name. And after they had eaten and drunken and night had fallen, he rose up, and taking the lad with him, led him back to his mother, who no sooner saw her boy as he were one of the merchants than her wits took flight and she waxed sad for very gladness.

Hereat the Moorman turned to Aladdin and said: Why is this, O son of my brother, thou goest about in such ungraciousness? Tis a disgrace to thee and unsuitable for men like thyself. Thou art a youth of sense, O my son, and the child of honest folk, so tis for thee a shame that thy mother, a woman in years, should struggle to support thee. And now that thou hast grown to mans estate, it becometh thee to devise thee some device whereby thou canst live, O my child. Look around thee and Alhamdolillah- praise be to Allah- in this our town are many teachers of all manner of crafts, and nowhere are they more numerous. So choose thee some calling which may please thee to the end that I stablish thee therein, and when thou growest up, O my son, thou shalt have some business whereby to live. Haply thy fathers industry may not be to thy liking, and if so it be, choose thee some other handicraft which suiteth thy fancy. Then let me know and I will aid thee with all I can, O my son. But when the Maghrabi saw that Aladdin kept silence and made him no reply, he knew that the lad wanted none other occupation than a scapegrace life, so he said to him: O son of my brother, let not my words seem hard and harsh to thee, for if despite all I say thou still dislike to learn a craft, I will open thee a merchants store furnished with costliest stuffs and thou shalt become famous amongst the folk and take and give and buy and sell and be well known in the city.

Presently the Maghrabi arose, and loosing his girdle, drew forth from thereunder a bag full of victual, dried fruits and so forth, saying to Aladdin: O my nephew, haply thou art become a-hungered, so come forward and eat what thou needest. Accordingly the lad fell upon the food and the Moorman ate with him, and they were gladdened and cheered by rest and good cheer. Then quoth the magician: Arise, O son of my brother, an thou be reposed, and let us stroll onward a little and reach the end of our walk. Thereupon Aladdin arose and the Moroccan paced with him from garden to garden until they left all behind them and reached the base of a high and naked hill, when the lad, who during all his days had never issued from the city gate and never in his life had walked such a walk as this, said to the Maghrabi: O uncle mine, whither are we wending? We have left the gardens behind us one and all and have reached the barren hill country. And if the way be still long, I have no strength left for walking. Indeed I am ready to fall with fatigue. There are no gardens before us, so let us hark back and return to town. Said the magician: No, O my son. This is right road, nor are the gardens ended, for we are going to look at one which hath neer its like amongst those of the kings, and all thou hast beheld are naught in comparison therewith. Then gird thy courage to walk. Thou art now a man, Alhamdolillah- praise be to Allah!

Aladdin continued in his former ill courses, and when his mother saw that her spouse had deceased and that her son was a scapegrace and good for nothing at all, she sold the shop and whatso was to be found therein and fell to spinning cotton yarn. By this toilsome industry she fed herself and found food for her son Aladdin the scapegrace, who, seeing himself freed from bearing the severities of his sire, increased in idleness and low habits. Nor would he ever stay at home save at meal hours while his miserable wretched mother lived only by what her hands could spin until the youth had reached his fifteenth year. It befell one day of the days that as he was sitting about the quarter at play with the vagabond boys, behold, a dervish from the Maghrib, the Land of the Setting Sun, came up and stood gazing for solace upon the lads. And he looked hard at Aladdin and carefully considered his semblance, scarcely noticing his companions the while. Now this dervish was a Moorman from Inner Morocco, and he was a magician who could upheap by his magic hill upon hill, and he was also an adept in astrology. So after narrowly considering Aladdin, he said in himself, Verily, this is the lad I need and to find whom I have left my natal land. Presently he led one of the children apart and questioned him anent the scapegrace saying, Whose son is he? And he sought all information concerning his condition and whatso related to him.

So she arose straightway and, going to the market street, bought all she required. Then, returning to her dwelling, she borrowed from the neighbors whatever was needed of pans and platters, and so forth, and when the meal was cooked and suppertime came she said to Aladdin: O my child, the meat is ready, but peradventure thine uncle wotteth not the way to our dwelling. So do thou fare forth and meet him on the road. He replied, To hear is to obey, and before the twain ended talking a knock was heard at the door. Aladdin went out and opened, when, behold, the Maghrabi, the magician, together with a eunuch carrying the wine and the dessert fruits. So the lad led them in and the slave went about his business. The Moorman on entering saluted his sister-in-law with the salaam, then began to shed tears and to question her, saying, Where be the place whereon my brother went to sit? She showed it to him, whereat he went up to it and prostrated himself in prayer and kissed the floor, crying: how scant is my satisfaction and how luckless is my lot, for that I have lost thee, O my brother, O vein of my eye! And after such fashion he continued weeping and wailing till he swooned away for excess of sobbing and lamentation, wherefor Aladdins mother was certified of his soothfastness. So, coming up to him, she raised him from the floor and said, What gain is there in slaying thyself?

The Moroccan magician fared forth next morning and fell to finding out Aladdin, for his heart no longer permitted him to part from the lad. And as he was to-ing and fro-ing about the city highways, he came face to face with him disporting himself, as was his wont, amongst the vagabonds and the scapegraces. So he drew near to him, and taking his hand, embraced him and bussed him. Then pulled out of his poke two dinars and said: Hie thee to thy mother and give her these couple of ducats and tell her that thine uncle would eat the evening meal with you. So do thou take these two gold pieces and prepare for us a succulent supper. But before all things, show me once more the way to your home. On my head and mine eyes be it, O my uncle, replied the lad and forewent him, pointing out the street leading to the house. Then the Moorman left him and went his ways and Aladdin ran home and, giving the news and the two sequins to his parent, said, My uncle would sup with us.

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