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aladdin lamp

♪1øø1~Aladin and Lamp♪


Aladin and Lamp

"IN the capital of one of the richest and most extensive provinces of the great empire of China there lived a tailor whose name was Mustapha. The profits of his trade barely sufficed for the subsistence of himself, his wife, and the one son whom Heaven had sent him.

"This son, whose name was Aladdin, had been brought up in a very negligent manner, and had been so much left to himself that he had contracted many very bad habits. He was obstinate, disobedient, and mischievous, and regarded nothing his father or mother said to him.

"When he was old enough to learn a trade, his father, who was too poor to have him taught any other business than his own, took him to his shop, and began to show him how to use his needle. But neither kindness nor the fear of punishment could restrain Aladdin's volatile and restless disposition, nor could his father succeed in making him attend to his work. No sooner was Mustapha's back turned than Aladdin was off, and returned no more during the whole day. His father frequently chastised him, but Aladdin remained incorrigible; and with great sorrow Mustapha was obliged at last to abandon him to his idle course. This conduct of his son's gave him great pain; and the vexation of not being able to induce young Aladdin to pursue a proper and reputable course of life, brought on a virulent disease, that put a period to Mustapha's existence.

"As Aladdin's mother saw that her son would never follow the trade of his father, she shut up Mustapha's shop, and sold off all his stock. Upon the sum thus realized, added to what she would earn by spinning cotton, she and her son subsisted.

"Aladdin was now no longer restrained by the dread of his father's anger; and so regardless was he of his mother's advice, that he even threatened her whenever she attempted to remonstrate with him. He gave himself completely up to idleness. He pursued this course of life till he was fifteen years old, without showing the least token of good feeling of any sort, and without making the slightest reflection upon what was to be his future lot. Affairs were in this state when, as he was one day playing with his companions in one of the public places, a stranger who was going by stopped and looked attentively at him.

"This stranger was a magician, so learned and famous for his skill that by way of distinction he was called the African Magician.

"Whether this African Magician, who was well skilled in physiognomy, thought he saw in the countenance of Aladdin signs of a disposition well suited to the purpose for which he had undertaken a long journey, or whether he had any other project in view, is uncertain; but he very cleverly obtained information concerning Aladdin's family, discovered who he was, and ascertained the sort of character and disposition he possessed. When he had made himself master of these particulars he went up to the youngster, and, taking him aside, asked him if his father was not called Mustapha, and whether he was not a tailor by trade. 'Yes, sir,' replied Aladdin; 'but he has been dead a long time.'

"On hearing this the African Magician threw his arms round Aladdin's neck, and embraced and kissed him repeatedly, while the tears ran from his eyes. Aladdin, who observed his emotion, asked him what reason he had to weep. 'Alas! my child, 'replied the magician, 'how can I refrain? I am your uncle: your father was my most excellent brother. I have been travelling hither for several years; and at the very instant of my arrival in this place, when I was congratulating myself upon the prospect of seeing him, you inform me of his death. How can I be so unfeeling as not to give way to the most violent grief when I thus find myself deprived of all my expected pleasure? He then asked Aladdin where his mother lived; and when Aladdin had informed him, the African Magician gave him a handful of small money, saying to him: 'My son, go to your mother, make my respects to her, and tell her that I will come and see her to-morrow, that I may have the consolation of seeing the spot where my good brother lived so many years, and where his career closed at last.'

"As soon as the African Magician had quitted him, Aladdin ran to his mother, highly delighted with the money that had been given him. 'Pray tell me, mother, 'he cried as he entered the house, 'whether I have an uncle.' 'No, my child,' replied she, 'you have no uncle, either on your poor father's side or on mine.' 'For all that,' answered the boy, 'I have just seen a man who told me he was my father's brother and my uncle. He even wept and embraced me when I told him of my father's death. And to prove to you that he spoke the truth,' added he, showing her the money which he had received, 'see what he has given me! He bade me also be sure and give his kindest greeting to you, and to say that he would come and see you himself to-morrow, as he was very desirous of beholding the house where my father lived and died.' ' It is true, indeed, my son,' replied Aladdin's mother, 'that your father had a brother once; but he has been dead a long tune, and I never heard your father mention any other.'

"The next day the African Magician again accosted Aladdin while he was playing with three other boys. He embraced him as before, and putting two pieces of gold in his hand, said to him: 'Take this, my boy, and carry it to your mother. Tell her that I intend to come and sup with her this evening, and that I send this money that she may purchase what is necessary for our entertainment; but first inform me in what quarter of the city I shall find your house.' Aladdin gave him the necessary information, and the magician took his departure.

"Aladdin carried home the two pieces of gold to his mother; and, when he had told her of his supposed uncle's intention, she went out and purchased a large supply of good provisions. And as she did not possess a sufficient quantity of china or earthenware to hold all her purchases, she went and borrowed what she wanted of her neighbours. When everything was ready, she desired Aladdin to go out into the street, and if he saw his uncle, to show him the way.

"Although Aladdin had pointed out to the magician the exact situation of his mother's house, he was nevertheless very ready to go; but just as he reached the door he heard some one knock. Aladdin instantly opened the door, and saw the African Magician, who had several bottles of wine in his hands, that they might all regale themselves.

"When the visitor had given to Aladdin all the things he had brought, he paid his respects to the boy's mother, and requested her to show him the place where his brother Mustapha had been accustomed to sit upon the sofa. She pointed it out, and he immediately prostrated himself before it and kissed the sofa several times. 'Alas, my poor brother!' he exclaimed, 'how unfortunate am I not to have arrived in time to embrace you once more before you died!' The mother of Aladdin begged this pretended brother to sit in the place her husband used to occupy. ' No,' he cried, 'I will do no such thing. Give me leave, however, to seat myself opposite, that if I am deprived of the pleasure of seeing him here in person, I may at least look at the spot and try to imagine him present.' Aladdin's mother pressed him no further, but permitted him to take whatever seat he chose.

"When the African Magician had seated himself, he began to enter into conversation with Aladdin's mother. 'Do not be surprised, my good sister,' he said, 'that you have never seen me during the whole time you have been married to my late brother Mustapha, of happy memory. It is full forty years since I left this country, of which, like my brother, I am a native. In the course of this long period I have travelled through India, Persia, Arabia, Syria, and Egypt; and, after passing a considerable time in all the finest and most remarkable cities in those countries, I went into Africa, where I resided for many years. At last, as it is the most natural disposition of man never to forget his native country, nor lose the recollection of his family, his friends, and the companions of his youth, the desire of seeing mine took so powerful a hold on my mind, that I felt sufficiently bold once more to undergo the fatigue of this long journey. I therefore began my travels. It is useless to say how long I was thus employed, or to enumerate the various obstacles I had to encounter before I came to the end of my labours. But nothing so much mortified me or gave me so much pain as the intelligence of the death of my poor brother, whom I tenderly loved. I have recognized almost every feature of his countenance in the face of my nephew.'

"The magician, who perceived that Aladdin's mother was very much affected at this conversation about her husband, now changed the subject, and, turning towards Aladdin, asked him his name. 'I am called Aladdin,' he answered. 'And pray, Aladdin,' said the magician, 'what is your occupation? Have you learned any trade?'

"At this speech Aladdin was much disconcerted; but his mother, seeing this, answered for him. 'Aladdin,' she said, ‘is a very idle boy. His father did all he could to make him learn his business, but could not get him to work; and since my husband's death, in spite of everything I can say, Aladdin will learn nothing, but leads the idle life of a vagabond. He knows very well that his father left us nothing to live upon; he can see that though I pass the whole day in spinning cotton, I can hardly get bread for us to eat. In short, I am resolved soon to turn him out of doors, and make him seek a livelihood where he can find it.'

"As she spoke these words, the woman burst into tears. 'This is not right, Aladdin,' said the African Magician. 'Dear nephew, you must think of supporting yourself, and working for your bread. There are many trades you might learn: consider if there be not any one you have an inclination for in preference to the rest. Perhaps the business which your father followed displeases you, and you would rather be brought up to some other calling. If you have any objection to learning a trade, and yet wish to grow up as a respectable and honest man, I will procure you a shop, and furnish it with rich stuffs and fine linens. You shall sell the goods, and with the profits that you make you shall buy other merchandise; and in this manner you will pass your life very respectably. Consult your own inclinations, and tell me candidly what you think of the plan.'

"This offer greatly flattered the vanity of Aladdin; and he was the more averse to any manual industry, because he knew well enough that the shops ...
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