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aladdin lamp

♪1øø1~Aladin and Lamp (4)♪


Aladin and Lamp - part four

"It happened, most unfortunately for Aladdin, that he was absent upon a hunting expedition. This excursion was to last eight days, and only three of them had elapsed. Of this the magician got information in the following way. When he had finished the operation whose result had afforded him so much joy, he went to see the master of the khan where he had taken up his abode, and beginning to converse with him, soon turned the talk into the desired channel. He told him that he had just returned from the palace of Aladdin; and after giving him an enthusiastic account of all the remarkable and surprising things he had seen he continued: 'My curiosity goes still further, and I shall not be satisfied till I have seen the fortunate owner of this wonderful building.' 'That will not be at all a difficult matter,’ replied the keeper of the khan, 'for hardly a day passes without affording you an opportunity of seeing him when he is at home; but he has been gone these three days on a grand hunting party, which is to last for some days longer.’

"The magician did not want to know more: he hurriedly took leave of the master of the khan, and returned to his own apartment. 'This is the time for action,' said he to himself, 'and I must not let the opportunity escape.' He then went to the shop of a man who made and sold lamps. 'I want,' said he to the manufacturer, 'a dozen copper lamps.' The man replied that he had not quite so many in his shop, but if his customer would wait till the next day he would have them ready for him. The magician agreed to wait. He desired the dealer to be careful and have them very well polished.

"The next morning the magician received the twelve lamps, and paid the price demanded without asking for any abatement. He put them into a basket, which he had provided for the purpose, and went with this on his arm to the neighbourhood of Aladdin's palace. Here he walked to and fro, crying with a loud voice: 'Who will exchange old lamps for new ones?' As he continued thus calling, the children who were at play in the open square heard him. They ran and collected round him, hooting at him, as they took him for a madman. All who passed laughed at his apparent folly. 'That man,' said they, 'must surely have lost his senses, to offer to exchange new lamps for old ones.'

"The magician was not at all surprised at the shouts of the children, nor at the ridicule with which he was assailed. He seemed only intent on disposing of his merchandise, and continued to cry: 'Who will exchange old lamps for new ones?' He repeated this so often, while he walked to and fro on all sides of the palace, that at last the Princess Badroulboudour, who was in the saloon of the twenty-four windows, heard his voice; but as she could not distinguish what he said, she sent one of her female slaves to ascertain what was the reason of all the noise and bustle.

"The slave presently returned, and entered the saloon laughing very heartily. 'Well, thou silly one,' said the princess, 'why do you not tell me what you are laughing at?' 'O princess,' replied the slave, 'who can possibly help laughing at seeing yonder fool with a basket on his arm full of beautiful new lamps, which he will not sell, but offers to exchange for old ones.'

"Another of the female slaves hereupon said: 'Now you speak of old lamps, I know not whether the princess has noticed one that stands on the cornice; whoever the owner may be, he will not be very much displeased at finding a new lamp instead of that old one. If the princess will give me leave, she may have the pleasure of trying whether this fellow is fool enough to give me a new lamp for an old one.'

"This lamp of which the slave spoke was the very wonderful lamp which had been the cause of Aladdin's great success and fortune, and he had himself placed it upon the cornice, before he went to the chase, for fear of losing it. Except when he hunted, Aladdin always carried the lamp about him. His precaution, it may be said, was certainly insufficient, for he should have locked the lamp up.

"The princess, who was ignorant of the value of the lamp and of its importance both to Aladdin and to herself, consented to make the trial, and ordered an eunuch to go and get it exchanged. The eunuch accordingly went down from the saloon, and no sooner came out of the palace gate than he perceived the magician. He immediately called to him, and when he came showed him the old lamp, and said: 'Give me a new lamp for this.'

"The magician at once conjectured that this was the lamp he was seeking; because he thought there would not be any other such lamp in Aladdin's palace, where everything of the kind was of gold or silver. He eagerly took the lamp from the eunuch, and after having thrust it as far as he could into his bosom he presented his basket, and bade him take which he liked best. The eunuch chose one, and carried the new lamp to the princess.

"The magician at once stole quietly to a distance, ceased his calling, and no longer invited people to exchange old lamps for new ones.

"As soon as he had traversed the square between the two palaces, he went through the most unfrequented streets, and as he had no further occasion either for his purchased lamps or his basket, he put his load down in the middle of a street where he thought himself unobserved. He then made all the haste he could to get to one of the gates of the city. When he was at last in the open country, he turned down a by-road, and here he remained till he thought a good opportunity occurred to execute the design he had in view.

"The magician passed the remainder of the day in that retired spot, lingering there until the night was far advanced. He then drew the lamp out of his bosom, and rubbed it. The genie instantly obeyed the summons. 'What are thy commands?' cried the genie 'I am ready to obey thee as thy slave, and the slave of those who have the lamp in their hands, both I, and the other slaves of the lamp.' 'I command you,' replied the magician,' instantly to take the palace which you and the other slaves of the lamp have erected in this city; take it, exactly as it is, with everything in it, both dead and alive, and transport it, and me also, into the utmost confines of Africa.' Without making any answer the genie, assisted by the other slaves of the lamp, took him and the whole palace, and transported both to the spot he had pointed out.

"Having thus seen the African Magician, the Princess Badroulboudour, and Aladdin's palace transported to Africa, let us notice what happened in the sultan's capital.

"When that monarch rose the next morning, he did not fail to go as usual to his cabinet and look out, that he might have the pleasure of contemplating and admiring Aladdin's palace. He cast his eyes in the direction where he was accustomed to see it, but saw only the open space that had been there before the palace was built. He thought he must be deceived. He rubbed his eyes, but still he could see nothing more than at first. His astonishment was so great that he remained for some time rooted to the spot. He could by no means comprehend in what manner so large a place should so suddenly and completely vanish that not the smallest vestige remained. 'I cannot be deceived,' he said to himself; 'it was in this very place that I beheld it. If it had fallen down, the materials at least would lie strewn around; and if the earth had swallowed it up, we should perceive some marks of the devastation.' The sultan returned to his apartment, and ordered the grand vizier to be summoned.

"The grand vizier quickly obeyed the sultan's call. He came, indeed, in so much haste, that neither he nor his attendants observed, as they passed, that the palace of Aladdin was no longer where it had stood.

"'O great king,' said the grand vizier, 'the eagerness and haste with which your majesty has sent for me leads me to suppose that something very extraordinary has happened.' 'What has happened is indeed very extraordinary,' replied the sultan. 'Tell me, where is Aladdin's palace?' 'I have just now passed it,' replied the vizier, with the utmost surprise, 'and it seemed to me to be where it stood before.' 'Go into my cabinet,' answered the sultan, 'and come and tell me if you can see the palace.'

"The grand vizier went as he was ordered, and was as much amazed as the sultan had been. When he was quite sure that the palace of Aladdin had really disappeared, he returned to the sultan. 'Tell me,' demanded the latter, 'have you seen Aladdin's palace?' 'Your majesty may remember,' replied the grand vizier, 'that I had the honour to tell you that this palace was the work of magic; but your majesty did not think fit to give heed to my words.'

"The sultan, who could not deny the former representations of the grand vizier, was the more angry against Aladdin, because he was also unable to answer the vizier's words. 'Where is this impostor, this wretch?' he exclaimed, 'that I may strike off his head.' 'It is some days since he came to take leave of your majesty,' answered the grand vizier; 'we must send to him, to inquire about the disappearance of his palace: he cannot be ignorant of it.' 'This would be treating him with too great indulgence I' exclaimed the monarch. 'Go, and order thirty of my horsemen to bring him before me in chains.' The grand vizier instantly gave the order, and instructed the officer how he should prevent Aladdin's escape. The horsemen set out, and met Aladdin, who was returning from the chase, about five or six leagues from the city. The officer, when he first accosted him, declared that the sultan was so impatient to see his son-in-law that he had sent this party of horse out to meet him, and to accompany him on his return.

"Aladdin had not the least suspicion of the true cause that had brought out this detachment of the sultan's guard. He continued hunting on his way home; but when he was within half a league from the city, the soldiers surrounded him, and the officer said: 'Prince Aladdin, it is with the greatest regret that I must inform you of the orders we have received from the sultan. We are to arrest you, and bring you to the palace like a state criminal. We entreat you not to be angry with us for doing our duty.' This declaration astonished Aladdin beyond measure. He felt himself innocent, and asked the officer if he knew of what crime he was accused; but the officer replied that neither he nor his men could give him any information.

"As Aladdin perceived that his own attendants were much inferior in number to the detachment of soldiers, he ...
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