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Aladdin And The Wonderful Lamp

from Favorite Fairy Tales.





Aladdin was the only son of a poor widow who lived in China; but instead
of helping his mother to earn their living, he let her do all the hard
work, while he himself only thought of idling and amusement.

One day, as he was playing in the streets, a stranger came up to him,
saying that he was his father's brother, and claiming him as his
long-lost nephew. Aladdin had never heard that his father had had a
brother; but as the stranger gave him money and promised to buy him
fine clothes and set him up in business, he was quite ready to believe
all that he told him. The man was a magician, who wanted to use Aladdin
for his own purposes.



The next day the stranger came again, brought Aladdin a beautiful suit
of clothes, gave him many good things to eat, and took him for a long
walk, telling him stories all the while to amuse him. After they had
walked a long way, they came to a narrow valley, bounded on either side
by tall, gloomy-looking mountains. Aladdin was beginning to feel tired,
and he did not like the look of this place at all. He wanted to turn
back; but the stranger would not let him. He made Aladdin follow him
still farther, until at length they reached the place where he intended
to carry out his evil design. Then he made Aladdin gather sticks to make
a fire, and when they were in a blaze he threw into them some powder,
at the same time saying some mystical words, which Aladdin could not
understand.

Immediately they were surrounded with a thick cloud of smoke. The earth
trembled, and burst open at their feet--disclosing a large flat stone
with a brass ring fixed in it. Aladdin was so terribly frightened that
he was about to run away; but the Magician gave him such a blow on the
ear that he fell to the ground.

Poor Aladdin rose to his feet with eyes full of tears, and said,
reproachfully--

"Uncle, what have I done that you should treat me so?"

"You should not have tried to run away from me," said the Magician,
"when I have brought you here only for your own advantage. Under this
stone there is hidden a treasure which will make you richer than the
richest monarch in the world. You alone may touch it. If I assist you
in any way the spell will be broken, but if you obey me faithfully, we
shall both be rich for the rest of our lives. Come, take hold of the
brass ring and lift the stone."

Aladdin forgot his fears in the hope of gaining this wonderful treasure,
and took hold of the brass ring. It yielded at once to his touch, and he
was able to lift the great stone quite easily and move it away, which
disclosed a flight of steps, leading down into the ground.

"Go down these steps," commanded the Magician, "and at the bottom you
will find a great cavern, divided into three halls, full of vessels of
gold and silver; but take care you do not meddle with these. If you
touch anything in the halls you will meet with instant death. The third
hall will bring you into a garden, planted with fine fruit trees. When
you have crossed the garden, you will come to a terrace, where you will
find a niche, and in the niche a lighted lamp. Take the lamp down, and
when you have put out the light and poured away the oil, bring it to me.
If you would like to gather any of the fruit of the garden you may do
so, provided you do not linger."

Then the Magician put a ring on Aladdin's finger, which he told him was
to preserve him from evil, and sent him down into the cavern.



Aladdin found everything just as the Magician had said. He passed
through the three halls, crossed the garden, took down the lamp from
the niche, poured out the oil, put the lamp into his bosom, and turned
to go back.

As he came down from the terrace, he stopped to look at the trees of the
garden, which were laden with wonderful fruits. To Aladdin's eyes it
appeared as if these fruits were only bits of colored glass, but in
reality they were jewels of the rarest quality. Aladdin filled his
pockets full of the dazzling things, for though he had no idea of their
real value, yet he was attracted by their dazzling brilliance. He had
so loaded himself with these treasures that when at last he came to the
steps he was unable to climb them without assistance.

"Pray, Uncle," he said, "give me your hand to help me out."

"Give me the lamp first," replied the Magician.

"Really, Uncle, I cannot do so until I am out of this place," answered
Aladdin, whose hands were, indeed, so full that he could not get at the
lamp.

But the Magician refused to help Aladdin up the steps until he had
handed over the lamp. Aladdin was equally determined not to give it up
until he was out of the cavern, and, at last, the Magician fell into a
furious rage. Throwing some more of the powder into the fire, he again
said the magic words. No sooner had he done so than there was a
tremendous thunder-clap, the stone rolled back into its place, and
Aladdin was a prisoner in the cavern. The poor boy cried aloud to his
supposed uncle to help him; but it was all in vain, his cries could not
be heard. The doors in the garden were closed by the same enchantment,
and Aladdin sat down on the steps in despair, knowing that there was
little hope of his ever seeing his Mother again.

For two terrible days he lay in the cavern waiting for death. On the
third day, realizing that it could not now be far off, he clasped his
hands in anguish, thinking of his Mother's sorrow; and in so doing he
accidently rubbed the ring which the Magician had put upon his finger.

Immediately a genie of enormous size rose out of the earth, and, as
Aladdin started back in fright and horror, said to him:



"What wouldst thou have of me?"

"Who are you?" gasped Aladdin.

"I am the slave of the ring. I am ready to obey thy commands," came the
answer.

Aladdin was still trembling; but the danger he was in already made him
answer without hesitation:

"Then, if you are able, deliver me, I beseech you, from this place."

Scarcely had he spoken, when he found himself lying on the ground at the
place to which the Magician had first brought him.

He hastened home to his Mother, who had mourned him as dead. As soon as
he had told her all his adventures, he begged her to get him some food,
for he had now been three days without eating.

"Alas, child!" replied his Mother, "I have not a bit of bread to give
you."

"Never mind, Mother," said Aladdin, "I will go and sell the old lamp
which I brought home with me. Doubtless I shall get a little money for
it."

His Mother reached down the lamp; but seeing how dirty it was, she
thought it would sell better if she cleaned it. But no sooner had she
begun to rub it than a hideous genie appeared before her, and said in
a voice like thunder:

"What wouldst thou have of me? I am ready to obey thy commands, I and
all the other slaves of the lamp."



Aladdin's Mother fainted away at the sight of this creature; but
Aladdin, having seen the genie of the ring, was not so frightened,
and said boldly:

"I am hungry, bring me something to eat."

The genie disappeared, but returned in an instant with twelve silver
dishes, filled with different kinds of savory meats, six large white
loaves, two bottles of wine, and two silver drinking cups. He placed
these things on the table and then vanished.

Aladdin fetched water, and sprinkling some on his Mother's face soon
brought her back to life again.

When she opened her eyes and saw all the good things the genie had
provided, she was overcome with astonishment.

"To whom are we indebted for this feast?" she cried. "Has the Sultan
heard of our poverty and sent us these fine things from his own table?"

"Never mind now how they came here," said Aladdin. "Let us first eat,
then I will tell you."

Mother and son made a hearty meal, and then Aladdin told his Mother that
it was the genie of the lamp who had brought them the food. His Mother
was greatly alarmed, and begged him to have nothing further to do with
genies, advising him to sell the lamp at once. But Aladdin would not
part with such a wonderful possession, and resolved to keep both the
ring and the lamp safely, in case he should ever need them again. He
showed his Mother the fruits which he had gathered in the garden, and
his Mother admired their bright colors and dazzling radiance, though
she had no idea of their real value.

Not many days after this, Aladdin was walking in the streets of the
city, when he heard a fanfare of trumpets announcing the passing of the
Princess Badroulboudour, the Sultan's only daughter. Aladdin stopped to
see her go by, and was so struck by her great beauty that he fell in
love with her on the spot and made up his mind to win her for his bride.

"Mother," he said, "I cannot live without the Princess Badroulboudour.
You must go to the Sultan and demand her hand in marriage for me."



Aladdin's Mother burst out laughing at the idea of her son wishing to be
the son-in-law of the Sultan, and told him to put such thoughts out of
his head at once. But Aladdin was not to be laughed out of his fancy. He
knew by this time that the fruits which he had gathered from the magic
garden were jewels of great value, and he insisted upon his Mother
taking them to the Sultan for a present, and asking the hand of the
Princess in marriage for her son.

The poor woman was terribly frightened, fearing lest the Sultan should
punish her for her impudence; but Aladdin would hear of no excuses, and
at last she set forth in fear and trembling, bearing the jewels on a
china dish covered with a napkin.



When she came before the Sultan, she told him, with many apologies and
pleas for forgiveness, of her son's mad love for the Princess
Badroulboudour. The Sultan smiled at the idea of the son of a poor old
woman asking for the hand of his daughter, and asked her what she had
under the napkin. But when the woman uncovered the jewels, he started up
from his throne in amazement, for he had never before seen so many large
and magnificent jewels collected together. He thought Aladdin must be a
very unusual and extraordinary person to be able to make him such a
valuable present, and he began to wonder whether it might not be worth
while to bestow the Princess's hand upon him. However, he thought he
would ask for some further proof of his wealth and power; so, turning
to the woman, he said:

"Good Mother, tell your son he shall have the Princess Badroulboudour
for his wife as soon as he sends me forty basins of gold, filled with
jewels as valuable as these, and borne by forty black and forty white
slaves. Hasten now and carry him my message. I will await your return."

Aladdin's Mother was dismayed at this request.

"Where can Aladdin get such basins and jewels and slaves?" she thought,
as she hurried home to him. But Aladdin only smiled when his Mother gave
him the Sultan's message. He rubbed the lamp, and at once the genie
stood before him, asking him what was his pleasure.

"Go," said Aladdin, "fetch me forty basins all of massive gold, full of
jewels, borne by forty black and forty white slaves."

The genie brought these things at once, and Aladdin then sent his Mother
with them to the Sultan.



The Sultan was amazed at this wonderful show of wealth and at the
quickness with which it had been brought, and he sent for Aladdin to
come to the Court.

Aladdin first summoned the genie to bring him fine clothes and a
splendid horse, and a retinue fit for the future son-in-law of the
Sultan; and then, with a train of slaves bearing magnificent presents
for the Princess, he set out for the Palace.

The Sultan would have married him to his daughter at once; but Aladdin
asked him to wait until the next morning, when he hoped to have a Palace
worthy to receive his wife.

Once again he summoned the genie to his aid, and commanded him to build
a Palace that in beauty and magnificence should surpass any that had
ever been built on the earth before.

The next morning when the Sultan awoke and looked out of his window, he
saw, opposite to his own, the most wonderful Palace he had ever seen.
The walls were built of gold and silver, and encrusted with diamonds,
rubies and emeralds, and other rare and precious stones. The stables
were filled with the finest horses; beautiful gardens surrounded the
building, and everywhere were hundreds of slaves and servants to wait
on the Princess.

The Sultan was so overcome with all this magnificence, that he insisted
upon marrying his daughter to Aladdin that very day, and the young
couple took up their residence in the Palace the genie had built.

For a time they lived very happily, but the Magician, who had gone to
Africa after he had left Aladdin to perish in the cavern, at length
happened to hear of Aladdin's fame and riches; and guessing at once the
source of all this wealth, he returned once more to China, determined to
gain possession of the magic lamp.



He bought a number of new and beautiful lamps, disguised himself as an
old beggar-man, and then, waiting until Aladdin was out hunting, he came
to the windows of the Palace, crying out:

"New lamps for old; new lamps for old."

When the Princess heard this strange cry she was very much amused.

"Let us see," she said to her ladies, "whether this foolish fellow means
what he says; there is an ugly old lamp in Aladdin's room," and taking
the precious lamp, which Aladdin always kept by his bedside, she sent it
out to the old man by one of the slaves, saying--

"Give me a new lamp for this!"



The Magician was overjoyed. He saw at once that it was the very lamp he
wanted, and giving the Princess the best of the new ones in exchange, he
hurried away with his treasure. As soon as he found himself alone, he
summoned the slave of the lamp, and told him to carry himself, the
Palace, and the Princess Badroulboudour to the farthest corner of
Africa. This order the genie at once obeyed.

When Aladdin returned from hunting and found that his wife and his
Palace had vanished, he was overcome with anguish, guessing that his
enemy, the Magician, had by some means got possession of the lamp. The
Sultan, whose grief and anger at the loss of his daughter were terrible,
ordered him to leave the Court at once, and told him that unless he
returned in forty days with the Princess safe and well, he would have
him beheaded.

Aladdin went out from the Sultan's presence, not knowing what to do or
where to turn. But after he had wandered about for some time in despair,
he remembered the ring which he still wore on his finger. He rubbed it,
and in a moment the genie stood before him. But when Aladdin commanded
him to bring back the Palace and the Princess, the genie answered--

"What you command is not in my power. You must ask the slave of the
lamp. I am only the slave of the ring."

"Then," said Aladdin, "if you cannot bring my Palace to me, I command
you to take me to my Palace." No sooner were the words out of his mouth
than he found himself standing in Africa, close to the missing Palace.

The Princess Badroulboudour, who, since the moment when the Magician had
had her in his power, had not ceased to weep and lament for her
foolishness in exchanging the lamp, happened to be looking out of the
window; and when she saw Aladdin she nearly fainted with joy, and sent
a slave to bring him secretly into the Palace.

Then she and Aladdin made a plan to get the better of the Magician and
to recover the lost lamp. Aladdin summoned the genie of the ring, who
procured for him a very powerful sleeping-powder, which he gave to the
Princess. Then Aladdin hid himself behind some curtains in the room,
and the Princess sent a message to the Magician asking him to take
supper with her.



The Magician was delighted at the Princess's invitation, and accepted
it joyfully, never dreaming that Aladdin had found his way to Africa.

As they were eating and drinking together, the Princess put the
sleeping-powder into the Magician's cup of wine--and no sooner had he
tasted it than he fell down in a deep sleep as if dead.

This was Aladdin's chance. Hastily coming out from behind the curtains,
he snatched the lamp from the Magician's bosom, and called the genie to
come to his assistance.

The genie, having first thrown out the Magician, then carried the Palace
with the Princess and Aladdin back to the spot from which it had been
taken.

Great was the Sultan's joy at receiving back his daughter. The whole
city was given over to rejoicings, and for ten days nothing was heard
but the sound of drums and trumpets and cymbals, and nothing was seen
but illuminations and gorgeous entertainments in honor of Aladdin's safe
return.



Aladdin and the Princess ascended the throne after the Sultan died and
they lived long and happily and had many beautiful children.





Next: The Sleeping Beauty

Previous: The Ugly Duckling



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