Aladdin went out of the sultan's presence with great humiliation, and in a condition worthy of pity. He crossed the courts of the palace, hanging down his head, and in such great confusion that he durst not lift up his eyes. The principal officers of the court, who had all professed themselves his friends, instead of going up to him to comfort him, turned their backs to avoid seeing him. But had they accosted him with an offer of service, they would have no more known Aladdin. He did not know himself, and was no longer in his senses, as plainly appeared by his asking everybody he met, and at every house, if they had seen his palace, or could tell him any news of it. These questions made the generality believe that Aladdin was mad. Some laughed at him, but people of sense and humanity, particularly those who had had any connection of business or friendship with him, really pitied him. For three days he rambled about the city in this manner, without coming to any resolution or eating anything but what some compassionate people forced him to take out of charity. At last he took the road to the country; and after he had traversed several fields in wild uncertainty, at the approach of night came to the bank of a river. There, possessed by his despair, he said to himself: "Where shall I seek my palace? In what province, country, or part of the world, shall I find that and my dear princess? I shall never succeed; I would better free myself at once from fruitless endeavours, and such bitter grief as preys upon me." He was just going to throw himself into the river, but, as a good Mussulman, true to his religion, he thought he should not do it without first saying his prayers. Going to prepare himself, he went to the river's brink, in order to perform the usual ablutions. The place being steep and slippery, he slid down, and had certainly fallen into the river, but for a little rock, which projected about two feet out of the earth. Happily also for him, he still had on the ring which the African magician had put on his finger before he went down into the subterranean abode to fetch the precious lamp. In slipping down the bank he rubbed the ring so hard by holding on the rock, that immediately the same genie appeared whom he had seen in the cave where the magician had left him. "What wouldst thou have?" said the genie. "I am ready to obey thee as thy slave, and the slave of all those that have that ring on their finger; both I and the other slaves of the ring."
The emperor had no sooner spoken than the musicians, who had orders to attend, entered, and answered fully the expectations the princes had been led to entertain of their abilities. After the concerts, an excellent farce was acted, and the entertainment was concluded by dancers of both sexes.
The goldsmith took a pair of scales, weighed the dish, and after he had mentioned how much an ounce of fine silver was worth, assured him that his plate would fetch by weight sixty pieces of gold, which he offered to pay down immediately. "If you dispute my honesty," said he, "you may go to any other of our trade, and if he gives you more, I will be bound to forfeit twice as much!"
"The king, my father, died when he was seventy years of age; I had no sooner succeeded him than I married, and the lady I chose to share the royal dignity with me was my cousin. I had so much reason to be satisfied with her affection, and, on my part, loved her with so much tenderness, that nothing could surpass the harmony of our union. This lasted five years, at the end of which time I perceived the queen ceased to delight in my attentions.
The hope of delivering himself from poverty prevailed with the fisherman. "I could listen to thee," said he, "were there any credit to be given to thy word; swear to me, by the great name of God, that thou wilt faithfully perform what thou promisest, and I will open the vessel; I do not believe thou wilt dare to break such an oath."
The enchantress, inspired with hope from these words, cried out in a transport of joy, "My heart, my soul, you shall soon be restored to your health, for I will immediately do as you command me." Accordingly she went that instant, and when she came to the brink of the lake she took a little water in her hand, and sprinkling it, she pronounced some words over the fish and the lake, and the city was immediately restored. The fish became men, women, and children; Mohammedans, Christians, Persians, or Jews; freemen or slaves, as they were before: every one having recovered his natural form. The houses and shops were immediately filled with their inhabitants, who found all things as they were before the enchantment. The sultan's numerous retinue, who found themselves encamped in the largest square, were astonished to see themselves in an instant in the middle of a large, handsome, well-peopled city.
"You may guess, my lord, how much I was surprised at this conversation, and with what sentiments it inspired me; yet whatever emotion it excited I had sufficient self-command to dissemble, and feigned to awake without having heard a word.
The princess, more frightened at the tone of the enraged sultan than at the sight of the drawn sabre, at last broke silence, and said with tears in her eyes: "My dear father and sultan, I ask your majesty's pardon if I have offended you, and hope that out of your goodness you will have compassion on me."下载
Aladdin's mother was received in the palace with honour, and introduced into the Princess Badroulboudour's apartment by the chief of the eunuchs. As soon as the princess saw her, she rose, saluted, and desired her to sit down on a sofa; and while her women finished dressing, and adorning her with the jewels which Aladdin had presented to her, a collation was served up. At the same time the sultan, who wished to be as much with his daughter as possible before he parted with her, came in and paid the old lady great respect. Aladdin's mother had talked to the sultan in public, but he had never seen her with her veil off, as she was then; and though she was somewhat advanced in years, she had the remains of a good face, which showed what she had been in her youth. The sultan, who had always seen her dressed very meanly, not to say poorly, was surprised to find her as richly and magnificently attired as the princess, his daughter. This made him think Aladdin equally prudent and wise in whatever he undertook.
"We continued upon the shore in a state of despair, and expected death every day. At first we divided our provisions as equally as we could, and thus every one lived a longer or shorter time, according to his temperance, and the use he made of his provisions.