As soon as the sultan rose the next morning, according to custom, he went into his closet, to have the pleasure of contemplating and admiring Aladdin's palace; but when he first looked that way, and instead of a palace saw an empty space such as it was before the palace was built, he thought he was mistaken, and rubbed his eyes; but when he looked again, he still saw nothing more the second time than the first, though the weather was fine, the sky clear, and the dawn advancing had made all objects very distinct. He looked again in front, to the right and left, but beheld nothing more than he had formerly been used to see from his window. His amazement was so great, that he stood for some time turning his eyes to the spot where the palace had stood, but where it was no longer to be seen. He could not comprehend how so large a palace as Aladdin's, which he had seen plainly every day for some years, and but the day before, should vanish so soon, and not leave the least remains behind.
"Upon this, I stopped some time to rest, being much fatigued with the rapidity of my progress: afterward coming up to the hole, I got through, and found myself upon the seashore. I leave you to guess the excess of my joy: it was such that I could scarcely persuade myself that the whole was not a dream.
Aladdin did not confine himself in his palace; but took care to show himself once or twice a week in the town, by going sometimes to one mosque, and sometimes to another, to prayers; or to visit the grand vizier, who affected to pay his court to him on certain days; or to do the principal lords of the court the honour to return their visits after he had regaled them at his palace. Every time he went out, he caused two slaves, who walked by the side of his horse, to throw handfuls of money among the people as he passed through the streets and squares, which were generally on these occasions crowded. Besides, no one came to his palace gates to ask alms but returned satisfied with his liberality. In short, he so divided his time, that not a week passed but he went either once or twice a-hunting, sometimes in the environs of the city, sometimes farther off; at which time the villages through which he passed felt the effects of his generosity, which gained him the love and blessings of the people; and it was common for them to swear by his head. With all these good qualities he showed a zeal for the public good which could not be sufficiently applauded. He gave sufficient proofs of both in a revolt on the borders of the kingdom; for he no sooner understood that the sultan was levying an army to disperse the rebels than he begged the command of it, which he found not difficult to obtain. As soon as he was empowered, he marched with so much expedition, that the sultan heard of the defeat of the rebels before he had received an account of his son-in-law's arrival in the army.
As soon as the sultan had declared his pleasure, the youngest sister, setting her elders an example, threw herself at the emperor's feet to express her gratitude. "Sir," said she, "my wish, since it is come to your majesty's knowledge, was expressed only in the way of conversation and amusement. I am unworthy of the honour you do me, and supplicate your pardon for my presumption." The other two sisters would have excused themselves also, but the emperor, interrupting them, said, "No, no; it shall be as I have declared; the wishes of all shall be fulfilled." The nuptials were all celebrated that day, as the emperor had resolved, but in a different manner. The youngest sister's were solemnized with all the rejoicings usual at the marriages of the emperors of Persia; and those of the other two sisters according to the quality and distinction of their husbands; the one as the sultan's chief baker, and the other as head cook.
When this action, worthy of the courage of Morgiana, was executed without any noise, she returned into the kitchen with the empty kettle; and having put out the great fire she had made to boil the oil, and leaving just enough to make the broth, put out the lamp also, and remained silent; resolving not to go to rest till she had observed what might follow through a window of the kitchen, which opened into the yard.
When the Princess Badroulboudour was completely dressed, she consulted her glass and women upon her adjustment; and when she found she wanted no charms to flatter the foolish passion of the African magician, she sat down on a sofa expecting his arrival. The magician came at the usual hour, and as soon as he entered the great hall where the princess waited to receive him, she rose with an enchanting grace and smile, and pointed with her hand to the most honourable place, waiting till he sat down, that she might sit at the same time, which was a civility she had never shown him before.
By this discourse, Ali Baba perceived that Cassim and his wife, through his own wife's folly, knew what they had so much reason to conceal; but what was done could not be recalled; therefore, without shewing the least surprise or trouble, he confessed all, told his brother by what chance he had discovered this retreat of the thieves, in what place it was; and offered him part of his treasure to keep the secret. "I expect as much," replied Cassim haughtily; "but I must know exactly where this treasure is, and how I may visit it myself when I choose; otherwise I will go and inform against you, and then you will not only get no more, but will lose all you have, and I shall have a share for my information."
"Notwithstanding my fainting, the ill-natured old fellow kept fast about my neck, but opened his legs a little to give me time to recover my breath. When I had done so, he thrust one of his feet against my stomach, and struck me so rudely on the side with the other that he forced me to rise up against my will. Having arisen, he made me walk under the trees, and forced me now and then to stop, to gather and eat fruit. He never left me all day, and when I lay down to rest at night, laid himself down with me, holding always fast about my neck. Every morning he pushed me to make me awake, and afterward obliged me to get up and walk, and pressed me with his feet.下载
"If it be so," replied the princess, "we must think of preparing a repast fit for his majesty; and for that purpose I think it would be proper we should consult the Talking Bird, who will tell us, perhaps, what meats the emperor likes best." The princes approved of her plan, and after they had retired she consulted the Bird alone. "Bird," said she, "the emperor will do us the honour to-morrow to come and see our house, and we are to entertain him; tell us what we shall do to acquit ourselves to his satisfaction."
Aladdin immediately mounted his charger, and though he never was on horseback before, appeared with such extraordinary grace, that the most experienced horseman would not have taken him for a novice. The streets through which he was to pass were almost instantly filled with an innumerable concourse of people, who made the air echo with their acclamations, especially every time the six slaves who carried the purses threw handfuls of gold among the populace. Neither did these shouts of joy come from those alone who scrambled for the money, but from a superior rank of people, who could not forbear applauding Aladdin's generosity. Not only those who knew him when he played in the streets like a vagabond did not recollect him, but those who saw him but a little while before hardly recognised him, so much were his features altered: such were the effects of the lamp, as to procure by degrees to those who possessed it perfections suitable to the rank to which the right use of it advanced them. Much more attention was paid to Aladdin's person than to the pomp and magnificence of his attendants, as a similar show had been seen the day before, when the slaves walked in procession with the present to the sultan. Nevertheless, the horse was much admired by good judges, who knew how to discern his beauties, without being dazzled by the jewels and richness of his furniture. When the report was everywhere spread that the sultan was going to give the princess in marriage to Aladdin, nobody regarded his birth, nor envied his good fortune, so worthy he seemed of it in the public opinion.
Here Sinbad finished the relation of his fourth voyage. He made a new present of one hundred sequins to Hindbad, whom he requested to return with the rest next day at the same hour to dine with him, and hear the story of his fifth voyage. Hindbad and the other guests took their leave and retired. Next morning when they all met, they sat down at table, and when dinner was over, Sinbad began the relation of his fifth voyage as follows: