ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP - 7 books and stories free download online pdf in English



The Sultan was seated on his throne, and, immediately he saw Aladdin, he arose and descended and took him to his breast, forbidding all ceremony on so great an occasion. Then he led him up affectionately, and placed him on his right hand. In all this Aladdin forgot not the respect due to kings. Forbidden to be too humble, he was not too lofty in his bearing. He spoke:

“O my Lord the Sultan! King of the Earth and Heaven’s Dispenser of all Good! Truly thou hast treated me graciously in bestowing upon me thy daughter the Lady Bedr-el-Budur. Know, O King, that when I consider her grace and loveliness, which cometh from thee, I feel unworthy, like one of the meanest slaves. Yet, since thou hast so honoured me of thy Felicity, I cannot bring to thy feet a slave’s humility, for, by the gift of this lovely lady, thy daughter, thou hast raised me above my fellows beneath thy sheltering wing. Wherefore, while my tongue knoweth no words to thank and extol thee for the magnitude of thy favour, it can still pray fervently for the prolongation of thy life. O King of the Age! be gracious and hear me yet further, for I have a request to make. Wilt thou grant me a site whereon to build a palace, unworthy as it may prove, for the comfort and happiness of thy daughter, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur?”

Now, while Aladdin was thus speaking with courtly grace and diction, the Sultan’s attention was divided between his ears and eyes. While listening to Aladdin’s words he was noting his more than princely raiment, his beauty and perfection of form, his magnificent retinue of memluks, and the royal richness of everything that appertained to him—all following his lordly wake without compulsion, as though it were natural from long custom so to do. And he was bewildered, and wondered greatly that this son of a thousand kings should have been heralded by a woman of the people, saying, forsooth, she was his mother. And, while he was wondering, Aladdin’s mother approached, apparelled in robes more costly than any in his own Queen’s wardrobe, and supported humbly and decorously by her twelve maidens of surpassing loveliness. At this, while the Grand Vizier came nigh to death with envy, the Sultan on a sudden turned to Aladdin and embraced and kissed him, saying, “My son! My son! How hast thou hid from me so long?”

Then the Sultan conversed with Aladdin and was greatly charmed with his courtliness and eloquence. Anon he ordered the musicians to play, and together they listened to the music in the utmost content. Finally he arose, and, taking Aladdin by the hand, led him forth into the Palace banqueting hall, where a splendid supper was awaiting them with the lords of the land standing ready in their proper order of degree. Yet above them all sat Aladdin, for he was at the Sultan’s right hand. And, while they ate, the music played and a merry wit prevailed; and the Sultan drew nearer to Aladdin in their talk, and saw, from his grace, his manner of speech, and his complaisance, that indeed he must have been brought up and nurtured among kings. Then, while they conversed, the Sultan’s heart went out with joy and satisfaction to Aladdin, and the whole assemblage saw that it was not as it had been with the Vizier’s son.

The Grand Vizier himself would have retired early had it not been that his presence was required for the marriage ceremony. As soon as the banquet was over and the tables cleared away, the Sultan commanded the Vizier to summon the Kadis and the witnesses, and thus the contract between Aladdin and the Lady Bedr-el-Budur was duly executed. Then, without a warning word, Aladdin arose to depart. “Wherefore, O my son?” said the Sultan. “Thy wedding is duly contracted and the festivities are about to begin.”

“Yea, O my lord the King,” replied Aladdin; “and none rejoiceth at that more than I; but, if it please thee, it is my thought to build a palace for the Lady Bedr-el-Budur; and if my love and longing for her be anything, thou mayest rest assured that it will be completed so quickly as to amaze thee.” At this the Grand Vizier tugged the Sultan’s sleeve, but received no attention. “It is well,” said the Sultan to Aladdin; “choose what site seemeth best to thee and follow thine own heart in the matter. See! this open space by my palace! What thinkest thou, my son?” “O King,” replied Aladdin, “I cannot thank thee enough, for it is the summit of my felicity to be near thee.”

Then Aladdin left the Palace in the same royal manner as he had approached it, with his memluks preceding and following; and again the people praised and blessed him as he passed. When he reached his house he left all other affairs in the hands of his Chief Memluk with certain instructions, and went into his chamber. There he took the Lamp and rubbed it. The Slave appeared on the instant and desired to know his pleasure. “O Slave,” answered Aladdin, “I have a great task for thee. I desire thee to build for me in all haste a palace on the open space near the Sultan’s Serai,—a palace of magnificent design and construction, and filled with rare and costly things. And let it be incomplete in one small respect, so that, when the Sultan offers to complete it to match the whole, all the wealth and artifice at his command will not suffice for the task.” “O my master,” replied the Efrite, “it shall be done with all speed. I will return when the work is finished.” With this he vanished.

It was an hour before dawn when the Slave of the Lamp returned to Aladdin, and, awakening him from sleep, stood before him. “O Master of the Lamp,” he said, “the palace is built as thou didst command.” “It is well, O Slave of the Lamp,” answered Aladdin; “and I would inspect thy work.” No sooner had he spoken than he found himself being borne swiftly through the air in the arms of the Efrite, who set him down almost immediately within the palace.

Most excellently had the Slave done his work. Porphyry, jasper, alabaster and other rare stones had been used in the construction of the building. The floors were of mosaics the which to match would cost much wealth and time in the fashioning, while the walls and ceilings, the doors and the smallest pieces of detail were all such that even the imagination of them could come only to one dissatisfied with the palaces of Kings. When Aladdin had wondered at all this, the Slave led him into the Treasury, and showed him countless bars of gold and silver and gems of dazzling brilliance. Thence to the banqueting hall, where the tables were arrayed in a manner to take one’s breath away; for every dish and every flagon were of gold or silver, and all the goblets were crusted with jewels. Thence, again, to the wardrobes, where the richest stuffs of the East were piled in great gold-bound chests to an extent that baffled the reason. And so from room to room, where everything that met the eye dazzled and captivated it. And all this had been done in a single night.

Having surveyed it all, Aladdin knew not what to say, scarcely even what to think. It seemed to him that the most sovereign monarch of all the world could command[122] nothing like this. But, when the Slave led him further and shewed him a pavilion with twenty-four niches thickly set with diamonds and emeralds and rubies, he fairly lost his wits. And the Slave took him to one niche and shewed him how his command had been carried out in that this was the one small part of the palace that was left incomplete in order to tempt and tax the Sultan to finish it.

When Aladdin had viewed the whole palace, and seen the numerous slaves and beautiful maidens therein, he asked yet one thing more of the Efrite. “O Slave of the Lamp,” he said, “the work is wonderful, yet it still lacketh an approach from the Sultan’s palace. I desire, therefore, a rich carpet laid upon the intervening space, so that the Lady Bedr-el-Budur may come and go upon a splendid pathway of brocade worked with gold and inwrought with precious stones.” “I hear and obey,” said the Slave, and vanished. Presently he returned and led Aladdin to the steps of the palace. “O my lord,” he said, “what thou didst command is done.” And he pointed to a magnificent carpet extending from palace to palace. The gold and the precious stones in the brocade gleamed and sparkled in the stars’ last rays before the rise of dawn. When Aladdin had gazed upon it and wondered at it, the Efrite carried him in the twinkling of an eye back to his own home.

Shortly afterwards, when the dawn had arisen, the Sultan opened his eyes, and, looking forth from his window, beheld a magnificent structure where the day before had been an open space. Doubting the evidence of his senses, he turned himself about and rubbed his eyes and looked again. There, undoubtedly, was a palace more splendid and glorious than any he had ever seen; and there, leading to it, was a carpet the like of which he had never trod. And all those who awoke betimes in the Sultan’s palace observed these wonderful things, and neither they nor the Sultan could keep their amazement to themselves. The news of it spread through the palace like wildfire. The Grand Vizier came rushing to the Sultan, and, finding him at the window, had no need to tell him the cause of his excitement. “What sayest thou, O Vizier?” said the Sultan. “Yonder stands a palace surpassing all others. Truly Aladdin is worthy of my daughter, since at his bidding such a royal edifice arises in a single night.”

Then the Vizier’s envy found vent. “O King,” he said, “thinkest thou that such a thing as this could be done save by the vilest of sorcery? Riches and jewels and costly attire are in the hands of mortals, but this—this is impossible!” “Impossible?” said the Sultan. “Behold!”—and he pointed towards the palace—“there it stands in the light of day, and thou sayest it is impossible. Verily, O Vizier, it seems thy wits are turned with envy at the wealth of Aladdin. Prate not to me of sorcery. There are few things beyond the power of a man in whose treasury are such jewels as those sent me by Aladdin.” At this the Grand Vizier was silent; indeed, his excess of envy well nigh choked him, for he saw that the Sultan loved Aladdin greatly.

Now when Aladdin awoke in the morning and knew that he must set forth for the palace where the nobles and grandees were already assembling for the wedding celebration, he took the Lamp and rubbed it. The slave appeared on the instant and desired to know his wish. “O Slave of the Lamp,” said Aladdin, “this is my wedding day and I go to the Sultan’s palace. Wherefore I shall need ten thousand gold pieces.” “I hear and obey,” said the Efrite, and, vanishing, returned on the instant with the gold packed in bags. These he placed before Aladdin, and then, receiving no further command, disappeared.

Aladdin called his Chief Memluk and ordered him to take the gold and see that it was scattered among the people on the way to the palace. When all was ready Aladdin mounted his steed and rode through the City while the memluks before and behind distributed largesse all the way. And the people were loud in their praises of his dignity and grace and loved him greatly for his generosity. Anon the palace was reached and there the high officials, who were looking for Aladdin and his train, hastened to inform the Sultan of his approach. On this the Sultan arose, and, going out to the gates of the palace to meet him, embraced and kissed him. Then, taking him by the hand, he led him in and seated him at his right hand. Meanwhile the whole City was in festivity. Pomp and ceremony went hand in hand with gaiety and mirth. Soldiers and guards kept holiday order in the streets where youths and bright-garlanded maidens made merry riot. Within the palace resounded music and singing and the murmur of happy voices, for this was the nation’s day of joy.

Anon the Sultan commanded the wedding banquet to be served, and the eunuchs set the tables out with royal dishes of gold and silver filled with sumptuous viands and fruits that might have been culled in Paradise. And, when it was all ready, Aladdin sat on the right hand of the Sultan; and they, with all the nobles and foremost in the land, ate and drank. On every hand were honour and good will for Aladdin. Everyone was filled with joy at the event, saying that this[125] wedding was as happy as that of the Grand Vizier’s son was unfortunate. Aladdin’s palace and the space around it were thronged with people of every degree who ceased not to wonder at its resplendent beauty and the fact that it had been built in a single night. “May his head survive us all!” said some; and others, “God give him every pleasure, for verily he deserveth it.”

When the banquet was over Aladdin repaired with his memluks to his palace to make ready for the reception of his bride, Bedr-el-Budur. And, as he went, all the people thronged him shouting, “God give thee happiness! God bless thy days!” And he scattered gold amongst them.

Coming to his palace he dismounted, and went in, and seated himself whilst his attendants bowed before him. And, thinking of naught else but his bride, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, he commanded them to prepare for her reception. And they did so. Meanwhile Aladdin looked forth from a window of the palace and saw the Sultan with his horsemen descending into the riding ground. At this he bethought him of his stallion and commanded his Chief Memluk accordingly. Then, mounted on his steed and accompanied by his retinue, he galloped down into the riding ground. There, javelin in hand, he displayed his prowess, and none could stand against him. Bedr-el-Budur, watching him from a window in her father’s palace, felt her heart turn over and over in her bosom, and then, saying within herself, “He is my husband and none other,” she renounced herself to the exquisite joy of sudden love.

At eventime, when the sport and play were over, the princes of the land surrounded Aladdin—for he had become the centre of all interest—and accompanied him to the[126] Hammam. There he was bathed and perfumed, and, when he came forth and mounted his matchless steed, he was escorted through the City by guards and emirs with drawn swords, while all the people thronged in procession before and behind and on every side, beating drums and playing musical instruments and singing for very excess of joy and revel. And when he reached his palace he dismounted and entered, and seated himself. And the nobles and grandees, submitting to the ruling of his Chief Memluk, were seated also, each according to his degree. Then refreshments were served without stint, even to the multitude without the gates. And Aladdin arose in the midst of this and beckoned to his Chief Memluk. “Is there any gold?” he asked. “Yea,” answered the Memluk, “some thousands of pieces.” “Then,” said Aladdin, “scatter it among the people who throng the gates.” And thus it was at Aladdin’s palace.

Meanwhile the Sultan, on returning from the riding ground, commanded an escort to conduct the Lady Bedr-el-Budur to her husband’s abode. On this the Captains of guards, the officers of state and nobles, well equipped, were mounted in readiness and waiting at the door of Bedr-el-Budur’s apartments. Presently, preceded by female slaves and eunuchs bearing lighted tapers set in jewelled candlesticks, came forth a vision of liveliness. Bedr-el-Budur, aflame with love for Aladdin, appeared on the threshold like a pure white bird about to fly into space. All too slow was the procession that escorted her to Aladdin’s palace. The stately pomp and splendour accorded not with the beating of her heart. She saw not Aladdin’s mother nor the beauteous damsels, nor the mounted guards, nor the emirs, nor the nobles—her only thought was Aladdin, for her heart was consumed with love.

Thus from the Seraglio to Aladdin’s palace, where Bedr-el-Budur, as one floating in a dream, was taken to her apartments and arrayed for presentation to the Court assembled. And of all that Court and multitude of people the only one who had no voice was Aladdin, for, when he looked upon his bride in her surpassing loveliness, he was reft of speech or thought, and stood silent before a joy too great for tongue to tell.

At last, when the presentation was over, Aladdin sought the bridal chamber where he found his mother with Bedr-el-Budur. And there, in the apartment all sparkling with gold and precious stones, his mother unveiled her and Aladdin gazed into her eyes and took no thought for the lustre of jewels. And while his mother went into raptures over the splendour of the place, Aladdin and Bedr-el-Budur exchanged one look of love—a thing which none could purchase with all the treasures of the earth. And so it was with Aladdin and his bride.

In the morning Aladdin arose and donned a costly robe of royal magnificence; then, when he had quaffed some delicious coffee flavoured with ambergris, he ordered his steed, and, with his memluks preceding and following, rode to the Sultan’s palace. As soon as the Sultan was informed of his arrival he came to meet him, and, having embraced and kissed him with great affection, led him in and seated him on his right hand. And the nobles and grandees and high officials of the realm craved the privilege to approach him with congratulations and blessings. When this was over—Aladdin having shown an exceeding graciousness to all—the Sultan ordered breakfast to be brought. The tables were immediately laid, and all assembled ate and drank and conversed in a state of the utmost joy and happiness.

House in treetops