Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp

Kyle pub­lic library-sum­mer day

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Far off in a beau­ti­ful city in Chi­na a ragged urchin called Aladdin used to play in the street. His father, a poor tai­lor, tried to make him work, but Aladdin was lazy and dis­obe­di­ent, and refused even to help in his father’s shop. Even after his father died Aladdin still pre­ferred to roam in the streets with his friends, and did not feel ashamed to eat the food his moth­er bought with the mon­ey she earned by spin­ning cot­ton.

One day a wealthy stranger came to the city. He noticed Aladdin in the street and thought, “That lad looks as though he has no pur­pose in life. It will not mat­ter if I use him, then kill him.”

The stranger quick­ly found out that Aladdin’s father was dead. He called Aladdin over to him.

Greet­ings, nephew,” he said, “I am your father’s broth­er.. I have returned to Chi­na only to find my clear broth­er, Mustapha, is dead. And Broth­er Good mem­o­ry Nev­er Die Take this mon­ey and tell your moth­er I shall vis­it her.”

Aladdin’s moth­er was puz­zled when Aladdin told her the stranger’s mes­sage. “You have no uncle,” she said. “I don’t under­stand why this man should give us mon­ey.”

The next day the stranger came to their house and talked about how he had loved

his broth­er and offered to buy a fine shop where Aladdin could sell beau­ti­ful things to the rich peo­ple in the city. He gave Aladdin some new clothes and in a short while Aladdin’s moth­er began to believe this man was a rela­tion.

The stranger now invit­ed Aladdin to go with him to the rich part of the city. Togeth­er they walked through beau­ti­ful gar­dens and parks where Aladdin had nev­er been before. At last the stranger showed Aladdin a flat stone with an iron ring set into it.

Lift this stone for me, nephew,” he said, “and go into the cav­ern below. Walk through three caves where you will see gold and sil­ver stored. Do not touch it. You will then pass through a gar­den full of won­der­ful fruit and beyond the trees you will find a lamp. Pour out the oil and bring the lamp to me. Pick some of the fruit on your return if you wish.”

Aladdin lift­ed the stone and saw some steps lead­ing down into a cave. He was fright­ened to go down but the stranger placed a gold ring with a great green emer­ald on his fin­ger.

Take this ring as a gift,” he said, “but you must go or I shall not buy you a shop.”

Now the stranger was in fact a magi­cian. He had read about a lamp with mag­i­cal pow­ers and he had trav­elled far to find it. He knew the mag­ic would not work for him unless the lamp was fetched from the cav­ern and hand­ed to him by some­one else. After Aladdin had brought him the lamp the magi­cian planned to shut him in the cave to die.

Down in the cav­ern Aladdin found all as he had been told. He hur­ried through the rooms filled with sil­ver and gold, and passed through the gar­den where the trees were hung with shim­mer­ing fruit of all colours. At the far end stood an old lamp. Aladdin took it, poured out the oil, and then picked some of the daz­zling fruit from the trees as the magi­cian had sug­gest­ed. To his sur­prise they were all made from stones. Aladdin took as many as he coul car­ry and returned to the steps.

Give me the lamp,” demand­ed the magi­cian as soon as Aladdin came into sight.

Help me out first,” replied Aladdin who could not hand him the lamp because his arms were so full. They argued fierce­ly until crash, the stone slab fell back into place. The magi­cian could not move the stone from the out­side, nor Aladdin from with­in. He was trapped. The magi­cian knew he had failed in his quest and decid­ed to leave the coun­try at once.

For two days Aladdin tried to get out of the cave. He became weak with hunger and thirst and final­ly as he sat in despair he rubbed his hands togeth­er. By chance he rubbed the gold ring that the stranger had giv­en him. There was a blind­ing flash and a genie appeared. “I am the genie of the ring. What can I do for you, mas­ter?”

Get me out of here,” Aladdin gasped. He was ter­ri­fied of the great burn­ing spir­it of the genie glow­ing in the cav­ern. Before he knew what had hap­pened he was stand­ing on the ground above the entrance to the cav­ern. Of the stone slab there was no sign. Aladdin set off for home and col­lapsed with hunger as he entered the house.

His moth­er was over­joyed to see him. She gave him all the scraps of food she had and when she said she had no more Aladdin sug­gest­ed sell­ing the lamp to buy some food.

I’ll get a bet­ter price for it, if it’s clean,” she thought, and she rubbed the lamp with a cloth. In a flash the genie appeared. Aladdin’s moth­er faint­ed in hor­ror but Aladdin seized the lamp. When the genie saw him with the lamp it said:

I am the genie of the lamp. What can I do for you, mas­ter?”

Get me some food,” ordered Aladdin.

By the time his moth­er had recov­ered there were twelve sil­ver dish­es of food and twelve sil­ver cups on the table. Aladdin and his moth­er ate as they had nev­er eat­en before. They had enough for sev­er­al days, and then Aladdin began to sell the sil­ver dish­es and cups. He and his moth­er lived com­fort­ably in this way for some time.

Then it hap­pened that Aladdin saw the sul­tan’s daugh­ter, Princess Badroul­boudoir. Aladdin loved her at first sight and sent his moth­er to the sul­tan’s court to ask the sul­tan per­mis­sion for the princess to mar­ry him. He told her to take as a gift the stone fruits he had brought from the cave.

It was sev­er­al days before Aladdin’s moth­er could speak with the sul­tan, but at last she was able to give him the stone fruits. The sul­tan was tru­ly amazed.

Your son has such fine jew­els he would make a good hus­band for my daugh­ter, I am sure,” he told Aladdin’s moth­er.

But the sul­tan’s chief courtier was jeal­ous. He want­ed his son to mar­ry the princess. Quick­ly, he advised the sul­tan to say he would decide on the mar­riage in three months’ time. Aladdin was hap­py when he heard the news.

But at the palace, the chief courtier spoke against Aladdin and when Aladdin’s moth­er returned in three months, the sul­tan asked her: “Can your son send me forty gold­en bowls full of jew­els like the ones he sent before only this time car­ried by forty ser­vants?”

Aladdin rubbed the lamp once more and before long forty ser­vants each car­ry­ing a gold bowl filled with sparkling jew­els and gold and sil­ver were assem­bled in the court­yard of their lit­tle house.

When the sul­tan saw them, he said:

I am sure now that the own­er of these rich­es will make a fine hus­band for my daugh­ter.”

But the chief courtier sug­gest­ed yet anoth­er test. “Ask the woman,” he said, “if her son has a palace fit for your daugh­ter to live in.”

I’ll give him the land and he can build a new palace,” declared the sul­tan, and he pre­sent­ed Aladdin with land in front of his own palace. Aladdin sum­moned the genie of the lamp once more. Overnight the most amaz­ing palace appeared with walls of gold and sil­ver, huge win­dows, beau­ti­ful halls and court­yards and rooms filled with trea­sures. A car­pet of red vel­vet was laid from the old palace to the new, for the princess to walk on to her new home. Aladdin then asked the genie for some fine clothes for him­self and his moth­er, and a glo­ri­ous wed­ding took place.

Aladdin took care always to keep the won­der­ful lamp safe. One day the princess gave it to an old beg­gar who was the magi­cian in dis­guise, but that sto­ry will have to keep for anoth­er time.

Chi­na, bent on Aladdin’s ruin. As he passed through the town he heard peo­ple talk­ing every­where about a mar­vel­lous palace. “For­give my igno­rance,” he asked, “what is this palace you speak of?” “Have you not heard of Prince Aladdin’s palace,” was the reply, “the great­est won­der of the world? I will direct you if you have a mind to see it.” The magi­cian thanked him who spoke, and hav­ing seen the palace, knew that it had been raised by the Genie of the Lamp, and became half mad with rage. He deter­mined to get hold of the lamp, and again plunge Aladdin into the deep­est pover­ty.

Unluck­i­ly, Aladdin had gone a‑hunting for eight days, which gave the magi­cian plen­ty of time. He bought a dozen cop­per lamps, put them into a bas­ket, and went to the palace, cry­ing: “New lamps for old!” fol­lowed by a jeer­ing crowd. The Princess, sit­ting in the hall of four- and-twen­ty win­dows, sent a slave to find out what the noise was about, who came back laugh­ing, so that the

Princess scold­ed her. “Madam,” replied the slave, “who can help laugh­ing to see an old fool offer­ing to exchange fine new lamps for old ones?” Anoth­er slave, hear­ing this, said: “There is an old one on the cor­nice there which he can have.” Now this was the mag­ic lamp, which Aladdin had left there, as he could not take it out hunt­ing with him. The Princess, not know­ing its val­ue, laugh­ing­ly bade the slave take it and make the exchange. She went and said to the magi­cian: “Give me a new lamp for this.” He snatched it and bade the slave take her choice, amid the jeers of the crowd. Lit­tle he cared, but left off cry­ing his lamps, and went out of the city gates to a lone­ly place, where he remained till night­fall, when he pulled out the lamp and rubbed it. The genie appeared, and at the magician’s com­mand car­ried him, togeth­er with the palace and the Princess in it, to a lone­ly place in Africa.

Next morn­ing the Sul­tan looked out of the win­dow toward Aladdin’s palace and rubbed his eyes, for it was gone. He sent for the Vizier and asked what had become of the palace. The Vizier looked out too, and was lost in aston­ish­ment. He again put it down to enchant­ment, and this time the Sul­tan believed him, and sent thir­ty men on horse­back to fetch Aladdin in chains. They met him rid­ing home, bound him, and forced him to go with them on foot. The peo­ple, how­ev­er, who loved him, fol­lowed, armed, to see that he came to no harm. He was car­ried before the Sul­tan, who ordered the exe­cu­tion­er to cut off his head. The exe­cu­tion­er made Aladdin kneel down, ban­daged his eyes, and raised his scim­i­tar to strike. At that instant the Vizier, who saw that the crowd had forced their way into the court­yard and were scal­ing the walls to res­cue Aladdin, called to the exe­cu­tion­er to stay his hand. The peo­ple, indeed, looked so threat­en­ing that the Sul­tan gave way and ordered Aladdin to be unbound, and par­doned him in the sight of the crowd. Aladdin now begged to know what he had done. “False wretch!” said the Sul­tan, “come thith­er,” and showed him from the win­dow the place where his palace had stood. Aladdin was so amazed that he could not say a word. “Where is my palace and my daugh­ter?” demand­ed the Sul­tan. “For the first I am not so deeply con­cerned, but my daugh­ter I must have, and you must find her or lose your head.” Aladdin begged for forty days in which to find her, promis­ing, if he failed, to return and suf­fer death at the Sultan’s plea­sure. His prayer was grant­ed, and he went forth sad­ly from the Sultan’s pres­ence. For three days he wan­dered about like a mad­man, ask­ing every­one what had become of his palace, but they only laughed and pitied him. He came to the banks of a riv­er, and knelt down to say his prayers before throw­ing him­self in. In so doing he rubbed the mag­ic ring he still wore. The genie he had seen in the cave appeared, and asked his will. “Save my life, genie,” said Aladdin, “bring my palace back.” “That is not in my pow­er,” said the genie; “I am only the Slave of the Ring; you must ask him of the lamp.” “Even so,” said Aladdin, “but thou canst take me to the palace, and set me down under my dear wife’s win­dow.” He at once found him­self in Africa, under the win­dow of the Princess, and fell asleep out of sheer weari­ness.

He was awak­ened by the singing of the birds, and his heart was lighter. He saw plain­ly that all his mis­for­tunes were owing to the loss of the lamp, and vain­ly won­dered who had robbed him of it.

That morn­ing the Princess rose ear­li­er than she had done since she had been car­ried into Africa by the magi­cian, whose com­pa­ny she was forced to endure once a day. She, how­ev­er, treat­ed him so harsh­ly that he dared not live there alto­geth­er. As she was dress­ing, one of her women looked out and saw Aladdin. The Princess ran and opened the win­dow, and at the noise she made Aladdin looked up. She called to him to come to her, and great was the joy of these lovers at see­ing each oth­er again. After he had kissed her Aladdin said: “I beg of you, Princess, in God’s name, before we speak of any­thing else, for your own sake and mine, tell me what has become of an old lamp I left on the cor­nice in the hall of four-and-twen­ty win­dows, when I went a‑hunting.” “Alas!” she said, “I am the inno­cent cause of our sor­rows,” and told him of the exchange of the lamp. “Now I know,” cried Aladdin, “that we have to thank the African magi­cian for this! Where is the lamp?” “He car­ries it about with him,” said the Princess. “I know, for he pulled it out of his breast to show me. He wish­es me to break my faith with you and mar­ry him, say­ing that you were behead­ed by my father’s com­mand. He is for ever speak­ing ill of you but I only reply by my tears. If I per­sist, I doubt not but he will use vio­lence.” Aladdin com­fort­ed her, and left her for a while. He changed clothes with the first per­son he met in the town, and hav­ing bought a cer­tain pow­der, returned to the Princess, who let him in by a lit­tle side door. “Put on your most beau­ti­ful dress,” he said to her “and receive the magi­cian with smiles, lead­ing him to believe that you have for­got­ten me. Invite him to sup with you, and say you wish to taste the wine of his coun­try. He will go for some and while he is gone I will tell you what to do.” She lis­tened care­ful­ly to Aladdin and when he left she arrayed her­self gai­ly for the first time since she left Chi­na. She put on a gir­dle and head-dress of dia­monds, and, see­ing in a glass that she was more beau­ti­ful than ever, received the magi­cian, say­ing, to his great amaze­ment: “I have made up my mind that Aladdin is dead, and that all my tears will not bring him back to me, so I am resolved to mourn no more, and have there­fore invit­ed you to sup with me; but I am tired of the wines of Chi­na, and would fain taste those of Africa.” The magi­cian flew to his cel­lar, and the Princess put the pow­der Aladdin had giv­en her in her cup. When he returned she asked him to drink her health in the wine of Africa, hand­ing him her cup in exchange for his, as a sign she was rec­on­ciled to him. Before drink­ing the magi­cian made her a speech in praise of her beau­ty, but the Princess cut him short, say­ing: “Let us drink first, and you shall say what you will after­ward.” She set her cup to her lips and kept it there, while the magi­cian drained his to the dregs and fell back life­less. The Princess then opened the door to Aladdin, and flung her arms round his

neck; but Aladdin put her away, bid­ding her leave him, as he had more to do. He then went to the dead magi­cian, took the lamp out of his vest, and bade the genie car­ry the palace and all in it back to Chi­na. This was done, and the Princess in her cham­ber only felt two lit­tle shocks, and lit­tle thought she was at home again.

The Sul­tan, who was sit­ting in his clos­et, mourn­ing for his lost daugh­ter, hap­pened to look up, and rubbed his eyes, for there stood the palace as before! He has­tened thith­er, and Aladdin received him in the hall of the four- and-twen­ty win­dows, with the Princess at his side. Aladdin told him what had hap­pened, and showed him the dead body of the magi­cian, that he might believe. A ten days’ feast was pro­claimed, and it seemed as if Aladdin might now live the rest of his life in peace; but it was not to be.

The African magi­cian had a younger broth­er, who was, if pos­si­ble, more wicked and more cun­ning than him­self. He trav­eled to Chi­na to avenge his brother’s death, and went to vis­it a pious woman called Fati­ma, think­ing she might be of use to him. He entered her cell and clapped a dag­ger to her breast, telling her to rise and do his bid­ding on pain of death. He changed clothes with her, col­ored his face like hers, put on her veil, and mur­dered her, that she might tell no tales. Then he went toward the palace of Aladdin, and all the peo­ple, think­ing he was the holy woman, gath­ered round him, kiss­ing his hands and beg­ging his bless­ing. When he got to the palace there was such a noise going on round him that the Princess bade her slave look out of the win­dow and ask what was the mat­ter. The slave said it was the holy woman, cur­ing peo­ple by her touch of their ail­ments, where­upon the Princess, who had long desired to see Fati­ma, sent for her. On com­ing to the Princess the magi­cian offered up a prayer for her health and pros­per­i­ty. When he had done the Princess made him sit by her, and begged him to stay with her always. The false Fati­ma, who wished for noth­ing bet­ter, con­sent­ed, but kept his veil down for fear of dis­cov­ery. The Princess showed him the hall, and asked him what he thought of it. “It is tru­ly beau­ti­ful,” said the false Fati­ma. “In my mind it wants but one thing.” “And what is that?” said the Princess. “If only a roc’s egg,” replied he, “were hung up from the mid­dle of this dome, it would be the won­der of the world.”

After this the Princess could think of noth­ing but the roc’s egg, and when Aladdin returned from hunt­ing he found her in a very ill humor. He begged to know what was amiss, and she told him that all her plea­sure in the hall was spoiled for the want of a roc’s egg hang­ing from the dome. “If that is all,” replied Aladdin, “you shall soon be hap­py.” He left her and rubbed the lamp, and when the genie appeared com­mand­ed him to bring a roc’s egg. The genie gave such a loud and ter­ri­ble shriek that the hall shook. “Wretch!” he cried, “is it not enough that I have done every­thing for you, but you must com­mand me to bring my mas­ter and hang him up in the midst of this dome? You and your wife and your palace deserve to be burnt to ash­es, but that this request does not come from you, but from the broth­er of the African magi­cian, whom you destroyed. He is now in your palace dis­guised as the holy woman — whom he mur­dered. He it was who put that wish into your wife’s head. Take care of your­self, for he means to kill you.” So say­ing, the genie dis­ap­peared.

Aladdin went back to the Princess, say­ing his head ached, and request­ing that the holy Fati­ma should be fetched to lay her hands on it. But when the magi­cian came near, Aladdin, seiz­ing his dag­ger, pierced him to the heart. “What have you done?” cried the Princess. “You have killed the holy woman!” “Not so,” replied Aladdin, “but a wicked magi­cian,” and told her of how she had been deceived.

After this Aladdin and his wife lived Hap­py End­ing.