ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP - 2 books and stories free download online pdf in English



Filled with courage from the wizard’s words, and enticed by the dazzle of untold riches, Aladdin descended the twelve steps and passed through the fourfold chamber with the utmost care lest he should touch any of the golden jars therein with so much as the fringe of his garment. When he came to the door at the far end he paused to repeat the names of his ancestors, and opened it; then, lo, before him lay a beautiful garden where the trees were laden with many coloured fruit, while sweet voiced birds sang in the branches. He took the pathway that lay before his feet, and, as he followed it, he looked up and noticed that the trees bore, not fruit as he had supposed, but sparkling jewels flashing with many colours. On boughs where rosy apples might have[71] hung were blood-red rubies half hidden in the leaves, and, where the purple grape might have clustered, were branches of large sapphires. On some trees white blossoms grew, and every blossom was a pearl, while what seemed like drops of dew among the blossoms were purest diamonds. All the leaves of the trees were of mother-of-emerald, and on their under surface they held, like seeds, rows of the emerald itself. Virgin gold peeled like bark from the trunks and branches, and, when bird chased bird through the foliage, there fell such a rain of wealth on the dull earth’s lap as would have enriched a king far above his fellow kings.

But Aladdin, though dazzled by the glitter, thought these sparkling things were but coloured glass; and it was for such that he plucked them with boyish delight until his pockets were full. “These are lovely things to play with,” he said, and proceeded to fill his girdle also.

As he made his way along the garden path, plucking the bright jewels as he went, he caught sight of the alcove at the far end, and, remembering his uncle’s instructions, hastened towards it. There was the stairway of forty-nine steps, and there, hanging from a crystal beam, was the Lamp. He paused, looking up at it. How should he reach it? His uncle had said that the stairway was neither for Aladdin nor for himself, and yet he saw at a glance that the only way of reaching the Lamp was by mounting seven steps of the stairway. He hesitated, then, concluding that the Lamp was the whole object of his quest, and that he must reach it at all costs, he ventured. With some misgivings he mounted the seven steps and, reaching out, took the Lamp from its fastening and descended with it. Then, emptying out the oil, he placed it securely in his bosom, saying “Now, as my[72] uncle said to me, with this Lamp in my bosom all is mine!”

Djin out of lamp looking down on two people

As Aladdin was returning along the pathway among the trees, laden with the precious jewels, fear assailed him lest his uncle would be angry at his delay, for it was borne in upon him that no great delight can come to a mortal without his having to suffer for it. Whereupon he hastened his footsteps, and, passing through the fourfold chamber without touching the golden jars—for the fear of that was still upon him,—he arrived quickly at the foot of the stairway of twelve steps. Heavily weighted as he was with the jewels and the Lamp he proceeded to mount the stairs at a run. But the jewels grew heavier, and the Lamp weighed upon his bosom, so that he was exhausted by the time he was halfway up. Kneeling on the seventh step he looked up and saw the Dervish urging him on with the greatest impatience.

“Bear with me, O my uncle,” he said. “I am heavily weighted and am out of breath. I will soon come to thee.” Then he climbed three steps and one step more, and sank exhausted before the last, which was far higher than the others. The jewels and the Lamp oppressed him with heaviness and he could not mount that last step. “O my uncle, give me thy hand and help me up,” he cried. But the wizard dare not touch him, for so the spell of fate was worded and he must abide by it. “Nay,” he called down, “thou art man enough! It is the Lamp that hampers thee. Reach up and place it on the ledge here; then thou canst mount easily thyself.”

The Dervish held out his hand expectantly for the Lamp and his eyes glittered. Aladdin saw the evil light in them, and, having some mother wit, replied, “O my uncle, the Lamp is no weight at all; it is simply that I am exhausted[73] and this step is too high for me. Give me thy hand and help me up.” “Give me the Lamp!” cried the Dervish holding his hand out for it, and beginning to rage. “Place it on the ledge before thee, and then I will help thee up.” “Nay,” returned Aladdin, growing obstinate, “if thou wilt not give me thy hand I will not give thee the Lamp, for it is in my thoughts that thou wantest the Lamp more than thou wantest me.”

This enraged the Dervish to a point beyond control, and he said within himself, “If I get not the Lamp then may it perish with him!” And, taking a box from his wallet, he threw some powder on the embers of the fire, muttering curses and incantations as he did so. Immediately a flame shot up, and its many tongues went hither and thither, licking the air. The earth shuddered and groaned with a hollow thunder; then the marble slab closed of itself over the aperture, the hillside rushed together above it, and all was as before, save that Aladdin was sealed within that cavern without hope of escape.

Long and loud did Aladdin call to his supposed uncle to save him from a living death; but there was no answer to his cries, and, at last, when he was almost exhausted, he took counsel of himself and plainly saw the truth of the matter. The Dervish was no uncle of his, but a cunning wizard who had made a catspaw of him to secure treasure which, by the laws of magic and destiny, he was powerless to come at in any other way. The whole thing, from the very beginning, was a trick; and he saw it clearly now that it was too late. The way out was sealed, and the darkness pressed heavily upon him. Frantic with the desire to escape from this dungeon he thought of the garden and the stairway in the alcove; but, when he had groped his way to the end of the passage, he found the door closed, and all his efforts failed to open it. The names of his ancestors were of no avail against the magic of the Dervish. At this he wept loudly, and continued to weep throughout the night, until his rage and despair were spent. At last he sank down exhausted on the lowest step of the stairway by which he had first descended, and, feeling himself utterly abandoned by man, he raised his hands to God, praying for deliverance from his calamity.

Now, while he was holding his hands in supplication, he felt the ring upon his middle finger—the ring which the Dervish had placed there saying, “In whatever difficulty thou mayst find thyself this ring will be thy protection; thou hast only to—but of that I will tell thee later.” The Dervish had perhaps given him the ring to gain his confidence, and had purposely omitted to reveal its secret. But now, in answer to Aladdin’s prayer, the power of the ring was revealed as if by the merest chance; for, when he felt the ring, he looked at it; and, seeing a light from the jewel therein, he breathed upon it and rubbed it with his palm to increase its lustre. No sooner had he done this when, lo, the Slave of the Ring appeared, and gathered shape before him, first in a luminous haze, and then, gradually, in clearer and clearer contour.

“Ask what thou wilt, and it shall be done,” said the apparition; “for know that I am the Slave of the Ring and the slave of him on whose finger my master placed the ring.”

Aladdin, seeing before him an Efrite after the order of those invoked by the Lord Suleiman, was terrified, and his tongue clave to the roof of his mouth, so that he could not speak. But the Efrite reassured him with kindly speech. “Thou hast only to ask,” he said, “and thy wish will be fulfilled; for, since my master’s ring is on thy hand, I am thy servant.”

At this Aladdin took heart, and, having considered his wish, resolved to put the matter to the test. “O Slave of the Ring!” he said, “my wish is that thou take me from this dungeon and place me in the light of day where the sun shines and the breezes blow—if indeed it is day, for here have I been for many, many hours.”

Scarcely had he spoken the words when there was a clap of thunder. The cavern opened, and, by some mysterious power, he was conveyed through the opening. Then, when he sat up and looked around him, he was in the light of day upon the hillside, and everything was as it had been when he and the Dervish had first reached the spot.

Aladdin marvelled greatly at this, and said within himself, “I wonder if it was all a dream!” But, when he looked at the ring upon his finger and felt the Lamp and the jewel-fruit he had gathered from the trees in the garden, he knew it was not a dream. Besides, there was the spot where the fire had been; and it was now but a heap of grey ashes on the ground. Turning himself about, he saw the path by which they had ascended, and the gardens stretching below. Nothing had changed. The side of the hill which the Dervish by his magic had opened for his entrance, and the Slave of the Ring had now closed up behind him, was as it had been when he first saw it.

Seeing that he was safe and sound in the outer world, Aladdin fell on his knees and gave thanks to the most High[76] for his deliverance from a terrible death. Then straightway he arose and took the path that led down the hillside and through the gardens of the city in the direction of his home. At length, with wearied body, but elated mind, he reached the doorway of his dwelling, and, entering, found his mother weeping.

“Where hast thou been, my son?” she cried. “All night long I lay awake, anxious for thee; and now it is again near nightfall, and thou comest like one about to die. Where hast thou been, and where is thine uncle?”

But Aladdin could not answer her. What with utter weariness, and the joy of gaining his home once more, he fell in a swoon at her feet. Quickly she dashed water on his face and restored him. Then, when she had made him eat, she enquired gently what had befallen him.

“O my mother,” said Aladdin, “how much thou art to blame! Thou gavest me over to a devil of a sorcerer who tried, by his evil arts, to compass my ruin. I have a stout reckoning against thee for this; for, look you; this vile and wicked one, whom thou toldst me was my uncle, was naught but a liar and an impostor. Think, mother, of the richness of his promises! What was he not going to do for me? His affection for me was overwhelming, and he ceased not to pretend in that lying hypocrisy until the cheat was exposed and I saw that his purpose was to use me for his own ends, and then to destroy me. Mother, the devils beneath the sea and the earth are not the equal of this vile sorcerer.” And thus, having vented his anger at the false conduct of the Dervish, he proceeded to tell his mother, first about the lamp and the jewel-fruit, then about all that had happened on the hillside, from the opening of the earth by a magic spell, to the closing of it again, and his subsequent escape through the Slave of the Ring. “And thus,” he concluded, “thus did this devil’s own shew me in the end that he was accursed and that he cared no jot for me, but only for the Lamp.”

Then Aladdin took the Lamp and the precious stones from his bosom and placed them before his mother, albeit neither knew why the Lamp had been so coveted by the Dervish, or that the stones were more valuable than any possessed by kings. And Aladdin, now weeping for joy at his deliverance, and now cursing with rage at the vile hypocrisy of the sorcerer, found sympathy in both cases in his mother, who wept and cursed with him, crying out that the Omnipotent, who had graciously saved his life, would most assuredly punish that wicked man for his abominable actions.

Now, neither Aladdin nor his mother had rested for two days and two nights, so that, exhausted at length with weeping and with heaping maledictions on the Dervish, they slept; and, when they awoke, it was about noon of the following day. Aladdin’s first words on pulling his wits together were to the effect that he was hungry. “Nay, O my son,” replied his mother, “there is nothing to eat in the house, for thou didst eat yesterday all that there was. But stay, I have some spinning that is ready for the market. I will take and sell it and buy some food.”

She was busying herself about this when Aladdin suddenly called out to her, “Mother! bring me the Lamp, and I will take and sell that; it will fetch more than the spinning.” Now, although Aladdin and his mother knew that the Dervish had greatly coveted the Lamp, they both imagined that[78] he had some strange reason of his own for this; and, as the Lamp was an article that would command a ready sale, the mother quickly agreed to Aladdin’s proposal and brought the Lamp to him in answer to his call. On regarding it closely, however, she observed that it was very dirty. Well knowing that it would fetch a better price if it were clean and bright, she set to work to polish it with some fine sand; when lo, as soon as she started to rub the Lamp, the air before her danced and quivered and a chill gasp of wind smote her in the face. Then, looking up, she saw, towering above her, a being monstrous and terrible, with a fierce face in which gleamed fiery eyes beneath frowning brows. She gazed at this apparition in fear and astonishment, for she knew it was surely a powerful Efrite such as were under the power of the Lord Suleiman. Then the being spoke: “Thou hast invoked me; what is thy wish?” But she only gazed at him, dumb with terror. Again the awful being spoke: “Thou hast summoned me, for I am the Slave of the Lamp which is in thy hand. What is thy desire?” At this the poor woman could no longer endure her fear, and, with a cry, she fell in a swoon.

Aladdin had heard the Efrite’s words and had hastened to his mother’s side. He had already seen the power of the Slave of the Ring, and he guessed that now the Slave of the Lamp had appeared, and was ready to do the bidding of the one who held the Lamp. So he quickly took it from his mother’s hand, and, standing before the Efrite, plucked up courage and said, “I desire food, O Slave of the Lamp! the finest food that ever was set before a king.”

No sooner had he spoken than the Efrite vanished, but only to reappear immediately, bearing a rich tray of solid silver, on which were twelve golden dishes with fruits and meats of various kinds. There were also flagons of wine and silver goblets. As Aladdin stared in amazement at this magnificent repast the Efrite set the tray down before him and vanished in a flash. Then Aladdin turned to his mother and dashed cold water on her face, and held perfumes to her nostrils until she regained consciousness and sat up. And when she beheld the sumptuous repast set out upon the golden dishes she was greatly astonished, and imagined that the Sultan had sent it from his palace. But Aladdin, who was very hungry, fell to eating heartily; and, while persuading his mother to eat, he would tell her nothing.

It was not until they had satisfied their hunger, and placed the remainder aside for the morrow, that Aladdin informed her what had happened. Then she questioned him, saying, “O my son, was not this the same Efrite that appeared to thee when thou wast in the cavern?” “Nay,” he answered. “That was the Slave of the Ring; this was the Slave of the Lamp.” “At all events,” said she, “it was a terrible monster that nearly caused my death through fear. Promise me, O my son, that thou wilt have naught further to do with the Ring and the Lamp. Cast them from thee, for the Holy Prophet hath told us to have no traffic with devils.”