Fiction > Harvard Classics > Stories from the Thousand and One Nights
   Stories from the Thousand and One Nights.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
The Story of ‘Ala-ed-Din and the Wonderful Lamp: Paras. 75–103
  Every day ‘Ala-ed-Din used to ride through the city with his memluks before and behind, scattering gold right and left among the people, and all the world, foreigners and neighbours, the far and the near, were alike drawn with love to him by reason of his excessive generosity and bounty. And he increased the provision for the poor and indigent, and himself gave them alms with his own hand; for which deeds he acquired great renown throughout the realm; and many of the grandees of the state and the emirs ate at his table, and men swore only “by his precious life!” And he went frequently to the chase and the Meydan and horse exercises and javelin jousts in the presence of the Sultan. And whenever the Lady Bedr-el-Budur saw him performing on the backs of horses, her love for him waxed stronger, and she thought within herself that God had been very gracious to her in causing to happen that which happened with the son of the Wezir, so that she was reserved to be the virgin bride of ‘Ala-ed-Din.  75
  Thus ‘Ala-ed-Din daily increased in fair fame and renown, and the love of him grew stronger in the hearts of all the subjects, and he was magnified in the eyes of the people. At this time, moreover, certain of the Sultan’s enemies rode down against him, and the Sultan equipped the troops to resist them, and made ‘Ala-ed-Din leader of the army. So ‘Ala-ed-Din went with the troops, till he drew near to the enemy, whose armies were very strong. And he drew his sword, and rushed upon the enemy, and the battle and slaughter began, and the conflict was sturdy. But ‘Ala-ed-Din broke them and dispersed them, killing the greater part, and looting their goods and provisions and cattle beyond number. Then he returned triumphant after a glorious victory, and made his entry into his city, who had adorned herself for him in her rejoicing over him. And the Sultan went forth to meet him and congratulated him and embraced and kissed him, and there was a magnificent fête and great rejoicings. And the Sultan and ‘Ala-ed-Din entered the palace, where there met him his bride, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, who was rejoicing over him, and kissed him between the eyes. And they went into her palace, and presently the Sultan and all sat down, and the damsels brought sherbets. So they drank; and the Sultan ordered throughout the kingdom that they should illuminate for the victory of ‘Ala-ed-Din over the enemy. And the chiefs and the soldiers and the crowd turned [their prayers] only to God in Heaven and ‘Ala-ed-Din on earth, for they loved him exceedingly, because of the excess of his bounty and generosity and his fighting for his country, and his charge, and his rout of the foe. And thus was it with ‘Ala-ed-Din.  76
  But as to the Moorish sorcerer, when he had returned to his country, he spent all this time in lamenting the labour and trouble he had taken in his quest of the Lamp, and the more because his labour was fruitless; and the morsel had fallen from his hand just as it was touching his lips. And he fell to thinking over all this, and lamented, and cursed ‘Ala-ed-Din in his exceeding rage, and at times he would mutter: “That this misbegotten boy is dead below ground I am satisfied, and I hope yet to get the amp, since it is still safe.”  77
  One day of the days he drew a table in sand and put the figures down and examined them carefully and verified them, that he might perceive and be certified of the death of ‘Ala-ed-Din and the preservation of the Lamp, beneath the ground; and he looked into the figures, both “mothers” and “daughters,” intently, but he saw not the Lamp. At this, anger overcame him, and he drew the figure again, to be certain of ‘Ala-ed-Din’s death; but he saw him not in the Treasury. So his rage increased and the more so when he ascertained that the boy was alive on the surface of the earth. And when he knew that he had come forth from underground and was possessed of the Lamp for which he himself had endured privations and labour such as man can hardly bear, then he said within himself: “I have borne many pains and suffered torments which no one else would have endured for the sake of the Lamp, and this cursed boy has taken it without an effort; and if this accursed knoweth the virtues of the Lamp, no one in the world should be richer than he.” And he added: “There is nothing for it but that I compass his destruction.” So he drew a second table, and inspecting the figures, discovered that ‘Ala-ed-Din had acquired immense wealth and had married the daughter of the Sultan. So he was consumed with the flame of anger begotten of envy.  78
  He arose that very hour, and equipped himself, and journeyed to the land of China, and when he arrived at the metropolis wherein dwelt ‘Ala-ed-Din, he entered and alighted at one of the Khans. And he heard the people talking of nothing but the splendour of ‘Ala-ed-Din’s palace. After he had rested from his journey, he dressed himself and went down to perambulate the streets of the city. And he never met any people but they were admiring this palace and its splendour, and talking together of the beauty of ‘Ala-ed-Din and his grace and dignity and generosity and the charm of his manners. And the Moor approached one of those who were depicting ‘Ala-ed-Din with these encomiums, and said to him: “O gentle youth, who may this be whom ye praise and commend?” And the other replied: “It is evident that thou, O man, art a stranger and comest from distant parts; but be thou from ever so distant a land, how hast thou not heard of the Emir ‘Ala-ed-Din whose fame, methinks, hath filled the world and whose palace one of the Wonders of the World hath been heard of far and near? And how hast thou not heard anything of this or of the name of ‘Ala-ed-Din, our Lord increase his glory and give him joy?” But the Moor answered: “Verily it is the height of my desire to see the palace, and if thou wilt do me the favour, direct me to it, since I am a stranger.” Then the man said, “I hear and obey,” and proceeded before him and guided him to the palace of ‘Ala-ed-Din. And the Moor began to examine it, and knew that it was all the doing of the Lamp, and cried: “Ah! There is nothing for it but that I dig a pit for this cursed son of a tailor, who could not even earn a supper. And if the fates aid me I will undoubtedly send his mother back to her spinning, as she was before; and as for him, I will take his life.”  79
  He returned to the Khan in this state of grief and regret and sadness for envy of ‘Ala-ed-Din. When he arrived at the Khan he took his instruments, of divination and drew a table to discover where the Lamp was; and he found it was in the palace, and not on ‘Ala-ed-Din himself. Whereat he rejoiced mightily, and said: “The task remaineth easy, to destroy the life of this accursed; and I have a way to obtain the Lamp.” Then he went to a coppersmith and said: “Make me a number of lamps, and take their price, and more; only I wish thee to hasten to finish them.” And the coppersmith answered. “I hear and obey.” And he set to work at them and completed them; and when they were done the Moor paid him the price he asked for them, and took them and departed and went to the Khan, where he put them in a basket. Then he went about the streets and bazars of the city, crying: “O who will exchange old lamps for new?” And when the people heard him crying thus, they laughed at him, saying: “No doubt this man is mad, since he goeth about to exchange old lamps for new.” And all the world followed him, and the street boys pursued him from place to place and mocked at him; but he gainsaid them not nor cared for that, but did not cease perambulating the city till he came under ‘Ala-ed-Din’s palace, when he began to cry in a louder voice, while the boys shouted at him, “Madman! Madman!”  80
  Now by the decrees of destiny the Lady Bedr-el-Budur was in the kiosk, and hearing some one crying and the boys shouting at him, and not understanding what it was all about, she ordered one of her handmaids, saying: “Go and find out who it is that crieth and what he is crying.” So the damsel went to look, and perceived a man crying: “O who will exchange old lamps for new?” and the boys around him making sport of him. And she returned and told her mistress Bedr-el-Budur, saying: “O my lady, this man is crying: ‘O who will exchange old lamps for new? and the urchins are following him and laughing at him.” So the Lady Bedr-el-Budur laughed too at this oddity. Now ‘Ala-ed-Din had left the Lamp in his apartment, instead of replacing it in the Treasury and locking it up, and one of the maids had seen it. So she said: “O my mistress, methinks I have seen in my master’s room an old lamp; let us exchange it with this man for a new one, to find out if his cry be true or false.” And the Lady Bedr-el-Budur said to her: “Bring the Lamp which thou sayest thou didst see in thy master’s room.” For the Lady Bedr-el-Budur had no knowledge of the Lamp and its qualities, and that it was this which had brought ‘Ala-ed-Din her husband to his present high station; and her chief desire was to try and discover the object of this man who exchanged new lamps for old. So the damsel went and ascended to the apartment of ‘Ala-ed-Din and brought the Lamp to her mistress, and none of them suspected the guile of the Moorish wizard and his cunning. Then the Lady Bedr-el-Budur ordered an agha of the eunuchs to go down and exchange the Lamp for a new one. So he took the Lamp and gave it to the Moor and received from him a new lamp, and returned to the Princess and gave her the exchange; and she, after examining it, saw it was really new, and feel a-laughing at the folly of the Moor.  81
  But he, when he got the Lamp and knew it was the Lamp of the Treasure, instantly put it in his bosom and abandoned the rest of the lamps to the people who were chaffering with him, and went running till he came to the outskirts of the city, when he walked on over the plains and waited patiently till night had fallen, and he saw that he was alone in the desert, and none there but he. Then he took forth the Lamp from his bosom and rubbed it, and immediately the Marid appeared to him, and said: “At thy service, I am thy slave in thy hands; ask of me what thou desirest.” So the Moor replied: “I require thee to remove the palace of ‘Ala-ed-Din from its site, with its inmates and all that is in it, and myself also, and set it in my country, the land of Africa. Thou knowest my town, and I wish this palace to be in my town, among the gardens.” And the Marid slave replied, “I hear and obey. Shut thine eye and open it, and thou wilt find thyself in thy country along with the palace.” And in a moment this was done, and the Moor and the palace of ‘Ala-ed-Din and all in it were removed to the land of Africa. Thus it was with the Moorish sorcerer.  82
  To return to the Sultan and ‘Ala-ed-Din. When the Sultan arose in the morning from his sleep, in his affection and love for his daughter the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, he was wont every day when he was aroused from sleep to open the window and look out towards her. So he arose that day, as usual, and opened the window to look upon his daughter. But when he approached the window and looked towards the palace of ‘Ala-ed-Din, he beheld nothing-nay, the place was as bare as it was of yore, and he saw neither palace nor any other building. And he was wrapped in amazement and distraught in mind; and he rubbed his eyes, in case they were dimmed or darkened, and returned to his observation, till at last he was sure that no trace or vestige of the palace remained; and he knew not how or why it had disappeared. So his wonder increased, and he smote his hands together, and the tears trickled down over his beard, because he knew not what had become of his daughter.  83
  Then he sent at once and had the Wezir fetched. And he stood before him, and as soon as he came in he noticed the sorrowful state of his sovereign, and said to him: “Pardon, O King of the Age. God defend thee from calamity. Wherefore dost thou grieve?” The Sultan replied: “Perhaps thou dost not know my trouble?” And the Wezir said: “Not a whit, O my lord. By Allah, I have no knowledge of it whatever.” Then said the Sultan: “It is evident thou hast not looked towards the palace of ‘Ala-ed-Din.” “True, O my master,” replied the Wezir, “it must now be still closed.” Then said the King: “Since thou hast no knowledge of anything, arise and look out of the window and see where ‘Ala-ed-Din’s palace is which thou sayest is shut up.” So the Wezir arose and looked out of the window towards the palace of ‘Ala-ed-Din, and could espy nothing, neither palace nor anything else. So his reason was amazed and he was astounded, and returned to the Sultan, who said: “Dost thou know now the reason of my grief, and hast thou observed the palace of ‘Ala-ed-Din which thou saidst was shut?” The Wezir answered: “O King of the Age, I informed thy Felicity before that this palace and all these doings were magic.” Then the Sultan was inflamed with wrath, and cried out: “Where is ‘Ala-ed-Din?” He answered: “Gone to the chase.” Thereupon the Sultan instantly ordered some of his aghas and soldiers to go and fetch ‘Ala-ed-Din, pinioned and shackled. So the aghas and soldiers proceeded till they came upon ‘Ala-ed-Din, whom they thus addressed: “Chastise us not, O our master ‘Ala-ed-Din, for the Sultan hath commanded us to take thee chained and pinioned. So we beg thy pardon, for we are acting under the royal mandate, which we cannot oppose.” When ‘Ala-ed-Din heard the words of the aghas and soldiers, wonder took hold of him, and his tongue became tied, for he understood not the cause of this. Then turning to them, he said: “O company, have ye no knowledge of the cause of this order of the Sultan? I know myself to be innocent, and to have committed no sin against the Sultan or against the kingdom.” They answered: “O our master, we know no cause at all.” Then ‘Ala-ed-Din dismounted and said to them: “Do with me what the Sultan ordered, for the command of the Sultan must be on the head and the eye.” Then the aghas chained ‘Ala-ed-Din and manacled him and bound him with irons and led him to the city. And when the citizens saw him bound and chained with iron, they knew that the Sultan would cut off his head; and since he was exceedingly beloved of them all, the lieges assembled together and brought their weapons and went forth from their houses and followed the soldiers to see what would be the event.  84
  When the troops with ‘Ala-ed-Din reached the palace, they entered and told the Sultan; whereupon he straightway commanded the executioner to come and cut off his head. But when the citizens knew this, they barred the gates and shut the doors of the palace, and sent a message to the Sultan, saying: “We will instantly pull down thy house over thy head and all others in it, if any mischief or harm come to ‘Ala-ed-Din.” So the Wezir went in and informed the Sultan, saying: “O King of the Age, thy command is about to seal the book of our lives. It were better to pardon ‘Ala-ed-Din lest there come upon us the calamity of calamities; for the lieges love him more than us.” Now the executioner had already spread the carpet of death, and seated ‘Ala-ed-Din thereon, and bandaged his eyes, and had walked round him thrice, waiting for the King’s command, when the Sultan looking out of the window, beheld his subjects attacking him and scaling the walls with intent to pull them down. So he immediately ordered the executioner to stay his hand, and bade the herald go out to the crowd and proclaim that he had pardoned ‘Ala-ed-Din and granted him grace. When ‘Ala-ed-Din saw he was free, and espied the Sultan seated on his throne, he drew near and said to him: “O my lord, since thy Felicity hath been gracious to me all my life, vouchsafe to tell me what is my offence.” Then the Sultan said: “O traitor, hitherto I knew of no offence in thee.” And turning to the Wezir, he said: “Take him and shew him from the windows where his palace is.” And when the Wezir had led him and he had looked out of the window in the direction of his palace, he found the site bare as it was before he built his palace thereon; and he saw never a vestige of the palace at all. So he was amazed and bewildered and knew not what had happened. And when he returned, the King asked him: “What hast thou seen? Where is thy palace, and where is my daughter, the kernel of my heart, my only child, than whom I have none other?” And ‘Ala-ed-Din answered: “O King of the Age, I know not at all, nor what this is that hath occurred.” Then said the Sultan: “Know, O ‘Ala-ed-Din, that I have pardoned thee in order that thou mayest go and look into this matter and search for my daughter for me; and do not present thyself without her; for if thou bringest her not, by my life I will cut off thy head.” And ‘Ala-ed-Din replied: “I hear and obey, O King of the Age. Only grant me a delay of forty days, and then if I do not bring her, cut off my head and do what thou wilt.” And the Sultan answered: “I grant thee a delay of forty days, as thou askest, but think not to escape from my hand, for I would bring thee back even if thou wert up in the clouds instead of on the face of the earth.” “O my lord the Sultan,” said ‘Ala-ed-Din, “as I told thy Felicity, if I fail to bring her at the appointed time, I will come and have my head cut off.”  85
  Now when all the people and citizens saw that ‘Ala-ed-Din was released, they rejoiced with exceeding joy and were glad at his escape; but the shame of what had befallen him, and bashfulness, and the jealous satisfaction [of his enemies] caused ‘Ala-ed-Din’s head to droop. So he went wandering about the city, and was bewildered at the case and knew not what had happened to him. For two days he remained in the city, in a sorrowful state, knowing not how to find his wife and palace, while some of the people brought him food and drink. After the two days he left the city, and wandered about the desert in an aimless manner, and walked on without stopping till the road led him beside a river, where, in the heaviness of the grief that oppressed him he gave up hope, and longed to throw himself into the river. But being a Muslim, and professing the Unity of God, he feared God in his soul, and he stood at the river’s bank to perform the religious ablutions. Now as he was taking the water in his hands, he began to rub his fingers together, and, so doing, he chanced to rub the Ring. Thereupon the Marid [of the Ring] appeared and said: “At thy service! Thy slave is in thy hands. Ask of me what thou desirest.” And when he saw the Marid, ‘Ala-ed-Din rejoiced with great joy, and said: “O Slave, I desire thee to bring me my palace and my wife, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, in it, and all else that it containeth.” But the Marid answered: “O my master thou askest a hard matter which I cannot do. This thing pertaineth to the Slave of the Lamp, and I am not able to attempt it.” So ‘Ala-ed-Din replied: “Since this thing is beyond thy power, take me only and place me beside my palace wherever it may be on the earth.” And the Slave answered: “I hear and obey, O my master.” So the Marid bore him away, and in the twinkling of an eye set him down beside his palace in the land of Africa, in front of the apartment of his wife. It was then nightfall, yet he espied the palace and knew it to be his. And his grief vanished, and he hoped in God, after hope had been cut off, that he should see his wife once more. And he began to consider the mysterious workings of God (glory to his omnipotence!), and how the Ring had cheered him, when all hope would have died had not God aided him with the Slave of the Ring. So he rejoiced, and all his tribulation left him. And as he had gone four days without sleep, from the heaviness of his grief and anxiety and excess of pondering, he went beside the palace and slept under a tree; for, as hath been said, the palace was amid the gardens of Africa outside the city.  86
  That night he slept beside the palace under a tree in perfect repose, though he whose head belongeth to the headsman sleepeth not of nights save when drowsiness compelleth him. But for the space of four days sleep had deserted him. So he slept till broad day, when he was awakened by the warbling of birds, and arose and went to the river there, which flowed to the city, and washed his hands and face, and performed the ablutions, and said the morning-prayer. And when he had done praying he returned and sat under the window of the apartment of the Lady Bedr-el-Budur. Now she, in the excess of her grief at her separation from her husband and from the Sultan, her father, and the horror of what had befallen her from the accursed Moorish wizard, was wont to arise every day at the streak of dawn, and to sit weeping; for she slept not at all of nights, and avoided food and drink. And her handmaiden would come to her at prayer-time to dress her, and as fate had decreed, the girl had opened the window at that instant in order for her to look upon the trees and the streams and console herself. And the maid looked out of the window and discovered ‘Ala-ed-Din, her master, sitting beneath the apartment, and she said to the Lady Bedr-el-Budur: “O my mistress, O my mistress! Here is my master ‘Ala-ed-Din sitting under the window.” So the Lady Bedr-el-Budur arose in haste and looked out of the window and saw him, and ‘Ala-ed-Din turned his head and saw her, and she greeted him and he greeted her, and they were both like to fly with joy. And she said to him: “Arise and come in to me by the secret door, now that the accursed is away.” And she bade the girl descend and open the secret door for him. And ‘Ala-ed-Din arose and entered thereby, and his wife, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, met him at the door, and they embraced and kissed one another in perfect bliss till they began to weep from excess of happiness. And when they were seated ‘Ala-ed-Din said to her: “O Lady Bedr-el-Budur, before anything it is my wish to ask thee somewhat. It was my habit to put an old copper lamp in my apartment in a certain place….” When the Lady Bedr-el-Budur heard this, she sighed and said: “Alas, my beloved, it was that Lamp that was the cause of our falling into this misfortune.” And ‘Ala-ed-Din asked her, “How did this affair happen?” And she told him the whole story from first to last, and how they had exchanged the old lamp for a new one. And she added: “The next day we hardly saw one another in the morning before we found ourselves in this country; and he who cozened us and exchanged the Lamp told me that he had done this by force of magic by the aid of the Lamp, and that he is a Moor of Africa, and we are in his town.”  87
  When the Lady Bedr-el-Budur had done speaking, ‘Ala-ed-Din said to her: “Tell me what this accursed is going to do with thee, and what and how he speaketh to thee, and what is his will of thee.” She answered: “He cometh to see me every day only once, and he would win me to love him, and marry him instead of thee, and forget thee and be consoled for thee. And he saith that the Sultan, my father, hath cut off thy head, and telleth me that thou art of poor people, and that he is the cause of thy wealth. And he blandisheth me with his words, but he never seeth in me anything but tears and weeping, and he hath not heard a kind word from me.” Then ‘Ala-ed-Din said: “Tell me, if thou knowest, where he keepeth the Lamp.” But she replied: “He carryeth it always with him, and it is not possible to part him from it for a single instant. But once, when he told me what I had related to thee, he took it from his bosom and shewed it to me.” So when ‘Ala-ed-Din heard these words he rejoiced greatly, and said: “O Lady Bedr-el-Budur, listen. I propose to go out now and return after changing my dress. So be not surprised at it; but instruct one of thy maidens to stand by the private door till she see me, and then open it at once. And now I will plot how to slay this Accursed.”  88
  Therefore ‘Ala-ed-Din arose and went forth from the palace gate, and proceeded till he met by the way a peasant, to whom he said: “O man, take my clothes and give me thine.” But the peasant would not do so. So ‘Ala-ed-Din compelled him and took his clothes from him and put them on, and gave him his own costly robes. Then he went along the road till he reached the city. And he went to the bazar of the perfumers and bought of them some potent benj, the son of an instant, 1 buying two drachms of it for two dinars. Then he returned along the road till he came to the palace; and when the slave-girl saw him she opened the private door. And he entered to the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, and said to her: “Listen! I wish thee to dress and adorn thyself and dismiss grief; and when this damned Moor cometh, do thou receive him with a pleasant welcome, and meet him with a smiling face, and bid him come and sup with thee; and shew him that thou hast forgotten thy beloved ‘Ala-ed-Din and thy father, and that thou lovest him with vehement love. Then ask him for a drink, and let it be red wine; and, shewing all the tokens of joy and happiness, drink to his secret; and when thou hast served him with three cups of wine, so as to make him careless, put this powder in the cup and crown it with wine; and as soon as he drinketh this cup wherein thou hast put this powder, he shall instantly fall, like a dead man, on his back.” And when the Lady Bedr-ed-Budur heard these words of ‘Ala-ed-Din she said: “This is an exceedingly difficult thing for me to do; but to escape from the profanation of this accursed, who hath afflicted me with separation from thee and from my father, it is lawful to kill the wretch.” Then, after ‘Ala-ed-Din had eaten and drunk with his wife and appeased his hunger, he arose without delay or hindrance and went forth from the palace.  89
  Then the Lady Bedr-el-Budur sent for her tirewoman, who attired her and adorned her and put on her handsomest dress and perfumed her. And whilst she was doing so, behold, the cursed Moor appeared. And when he looked at her in this array, he rejoiced greatly, and all the more when she received him with a smiling face, contrary to her habit; and his love for her increased, and he desired her passionately. Then she took him by her side and seated him, saying: “O my beloved, if thou wilt, come to me this night and let us sup together. Enough of sorrow have I had, and were I to sit mourning for a thousand years or two, ‘Ala-ed-Din would not come back to me from the grave. And I rely upon what thou saidst yesterday, that my father slew him in his sorrow at my absence. Do not wonder that I am changed since yesterday; it is because I have resolved to take thee as my lover and intimate instead of ‘Ala-ed-Din, for I have no other man than thee. So I look for thy coming to me to-night, that we may sup together and drink a little wine with one another. And it is my desire that thou give me to taste of the wine of thy native Africa; perhaps it is better than ours. I have with me some wine of our country, but I desire greatly to taste the wine of thine.”  90
  When the Moor saw the love which the Lady Bedr-el-Budur displayed towards him, and how she was changed from her former melancholy, he believed she had given up hope of ‘Ala-ed-Din, and he rejoiced greatly, and said, “O my soul, I hear and obey whatever thou desirest and biddest me. I have in my house a jar of wine of my country, which I have kept laid up underground for eight years; and now I am going to draw sufficient for us, and will return to thee speedily.” But the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, in order to coax him more and more, said: “O my dearest, do not go thyself, and leave me; but send one of the servants to fill for us from it, and remain here sitting by me that I may console myself with thee.” But he said: “O my mistress, none knoweth but I where the jar is, and I will not tarry long away from thee.” So the Moor went out, and after a little time returned with as much wine as they needed. Then the Lady Bedr-el-Budur said to him: “Thou hast taken pains for me, and I have suffered for thy sake, O beloved.” And he answered: “Not so, O my eye; I am honoured in serving thee.” Then the Lady Bedr-el-Budur sat with him at the table, and they ate, and presently the lady asked him for drink; and immediately the handmaid filled for her a goblet, and then filled another for the Moor. So she drank to his long life and his secret, and he to her life; and she made a boon-fellow of him. Now the Lady Bedr-el-Budur was accomplished in eloquence and refinement of speech, and she bewitched him by addressing him in a delicious way, so that he might become more in love with her. But the Moor thought this was sincere, and did not imagine that her love was feigned, a snare to kill him. And his infatuation for her increased, and he almost died of love when he saw her shew him such sweetness of word and thought; and his head swam, and the world seemed nothing in his eye.  91
  When they came to the end of the supper and the wine had already mastered his brain, and the Lady Bedr-el-Budur observed it, she said: “We have a custom in our country, but I know not if ye have it here. Tell me if ye have or not.” And the Moor asked, “What is this custom?” “At the end of supper,” she replied, “for every one to take the cup of his beloved and drink it.” And she forthwith took his cup and filled it with wine for herself, and bade the handmaid give him her cup, wherein was wine mixed with the benj. Now the maid knew what to do, for all the maids and eunuchs in the palace wished for his death, and sympathised with the Lady Bedr-el-Budur. So the girl gave him the cup, and he, when he heard her words and saw her drinking out of his cup and giving him hers to drink, thought himself Alexander the Great, Lord of the two Horns, as he gazed upon all these tokens of love. Then she said to him, undulating her sides, and putting her hand in his: “O my soul, here is thy cup in my hand, and my cup in thine, thus do lovers drink from one another’s cups.” Then she kissed his cup and drank it and put it down and came to him and kissed him on the lips. And he flew with delight, and resolved to do as she did, and raised the cup to his mouth and drank it off, without thinking if there were anything in it or not. And instantly, in a moment, he fell on his back, like a corpse, and the cup fell from his hand.  92
  Then the Lady Bedr-el-Budur rejoiced, and the maidens ran and opened the door to ‘Ala-ed-Din, their master, who came in, and went up to his wife’s room, and found her sitting at the table, with the Moor lying in front of her like a dead man. And he drew near and kissed her and thanked her. Then rejoicing with excessive joy, he turned to her and said: “Do thou and thy slave-girls retire to thy apartment and leave me alone now, that I may arrange my plan.” And the Lady Bedr-el-Budur delayed not, but went, she and her maidens. Then ‘Ala-ed-Din arose, and locking the door after them, went up to the Moor and put his hand into his bosom and took forth the Lamp; after which he drew his sword and cut off his head. Then he rubbed the Lamp, and there appeared the Marid slave, who said: “At thy service, O my master. What wilt thou?” And ‘Ala-ed-Din answered: “I desire thee to lift this palace from this country and bear it to the land of China, and set it down in the place where it was, opposite the Sultan’s palace.” And the Marid replied, “I hear and obey, O my master.” Then ‘Ala-ed-Din went and sat with the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, his wife, and embraced and kissed her, and she him. And they sat in company while the Marid carried the palace and set it in its place opposite the palace of the Sultan.  93
  And ‘Ala-ed-Din ordered the maids to bring a table before him, and seated himself, he and the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, his wife; and they fell to eating and drinking in all joy and happiness till they were satisfied. Then withdrawing to the hall of carousal, they sat and drank and caroused and kissed each other in perfect bliss. For the time had been long since they had enjoyed themselves together. So they ceased not till the sun of wine shone in their heads, and drowsiness overcame them. Then they arose and went to bed in all contentment. Next morning ‘Ala-ed-Din arose and awoke his wife, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur; and the slave-girls came and dressed and arrayed and adorned her, while ‘Ala-ed-Din put on his handsomest dress, and both were like to fly for joy at their re-union after separation. And the Lady Bedr-el-Budur was the more happy that day, because she was going to see her father. Thus was it with ‘Ala-ed-Din and the Lady Bedr-el-Budur.  94
  But as for the Sultan, after he had banished ‘Ala-ed-Din, he never ceased grieving for his daughter; and every hour of every day he would sit and weep for her like a woman, for she was his only child and he had none other. And as he shook off his slumber, morning after morning, he would go in haste to the window and open it and look where ‘Ala-ed-Din’s palace once stood, and his tears would flow till his eyes were dry and his eyelids sore. Now that day he arose at daybreak and looked out as usual, when, lo, he espied before him a building; so he rubbed his eyes and considered it attentively till he was sure it was ‘Ala-ed-Din’s palace. So he ordered his horse instantly on the spot, and when it was saddled he went down and mounted and went to ‘Ala-ed-Din’s palace. And when his son-in-law saw him coming, he went down to meet him half-way, and took him by the hand and led him to the apartments of the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, his daughter. And she, being very anxious to see her father, came down and met him at the door of the staircase in front of the hall on the ground floor. So her father embraced her and kissed her, and wept, and she likewise. Then ‘Ala-ed-Din led him to the upper rooms, and they sat; and the Sultan asked her of her state and what had befallen her. And the Lady Bedr-el-Budur told him all that had happened to her, and said: “O my father, I did not arrive till yesterday, when I saw my husband. And it was he who delivered me from the power of that man, the Moor, the wizard, the accursed. Methinks on the earth’s face there is none viler than he. And but for ‘Ala-ed-Din, my beloved, I had not escaped from him, nor hadst thou seen me again all my days. But heavy grief and sorrow took possession of me, O my father, not only for my separation from thee, but also for the parting from my husband, in whose debt I shall be all the days of my life, seeing he delivered me from that accursed wizard.” Then she began to relate to her father all that had befallen her, and how the Moor had cheated her in the shape of a seller of lamps, exchanging new for old, and how she had thought this his folly and laughed at him, and being deceived, had taken the old lamp that was in her husband’s room and sent it by a eunuch and exchanged it for a new lamp. “And the next day, O my father, we found ourselves, with the palace and all besides, in the land of Africa. And I knew not the virtue of the Lamp which I exchanged till my husband came and plotted a stratagem by which we escaped. And had he not helped us, the accursed would have possessed himself of me by force. But ‘Ala-ed-Din, my husband, gave me a potion and I put it into his wine-cup, and I gave it him, and he drank and fell down like a corpse. Thereupon my husband, ‘Ala-ed-Din, came in, and I know not how it was done, but we were carried from Africa to our place here.” And ‘Ala-ed-Din said: “O my lord, when I ascended and saw him like the dead, drunk and drowsy with benj, I told the Lady Bedr-el-Budur to go, she and her maids, to the inner apartments, and she arose and went, she and her maids, from that polluted place. Then I drew near to that accursed Moor and put my hand into his bosom, and drew out the Lamp (for the Lady Bedr-el-Budur had informed me that he always kept it there), and when I had taken it, I bared my sword and cut off his damnable head. Then I worked the Lamp and ordered its Slave to bear the palace and all therein and set it down in this spot. And if thy Felicity doubt my words, arise with me and look upon this cursed Moor.” So the King arose and went with ‘Ala-ed-Din to the apartment and saw the Moor, and immediately commanded that they should take the carcase away and burn it and scatter the ashes to the winds.  95
  Then the Sultan embraced ‘Ala-ed-Din and fell a-kissing him, saying: “Forgive me, O my son, that I was going to take thy life, through the wickedness of this cursed sorcerer, who threw thee into this calamity; but I may be excused, my son, for what I did to thee, since I saw myself deprived of my daughter, the only child I have, dearer to me than my kingdom. Thou knowest how the hearts of parents yearn over their children, and the more when they are like me, who have only the Lady Bedr-el-Budur.” Thus the Sultan began excusing himself to ‘Ala-ed-Din and kissing him. But ‘Ala-ed-Din replied: “O King of the Age, thou didst nothing to me contrary to law, nor did I sin against thee; but all this arose from the Moor, that filthy wizard.” Then the Sultan ordered that the city should be decorated, and they adorned it, and the rejoicings and festivities were held. And he ordered the herald to proclaim through the streets: “This day is a high festival, and let rejoicings be held throughout the kingdom for a whole month of thirty days, for the return of the Lady Bedr-el-Budur and her husband.” Thus was it with ‘Ala-ed-Din and the Moor.  96
  Yet ‘Ala-ed-Din was not wholly quit of that accursed Moor, although his body had been burnt and its ashes scattered to the winds. For this miscreant had a brother viler than himself, and even more skilled in necromancy and geomancy and astrology,—“two beans split,” as the proverb saith. Each dwelt in his own region of the world, to fill it with his spells, his deceit, and his wickedness. Now it chanced one day that this brother wished to know how it was with the Moor; and he brought out his table and marked the figures, and carefully inspecting them, discovered that his brother was in the abode of the tomb. So he mourned, being assured of his death. Then he tried a second time, to see how he died and the place of his death; and he found that he died in China and had perished by the vilest of slaughter, and that his destroyer was a youth named ‘Ala-ed-Din. So he forthwith arose and prepared for a journey, and travelled over plains and wastes and mountains a number of months, till he came to the land of China and the metropolis wherein ‘Ala-ed-Din dwelt. And he went to the foreigners’ Khan and hired a room and rested there awhile. Then he arose to wander about the streets of the city to find a way for the accomplishment of his fell design, of wreaking vengeance upon ‘Ala-ed-Din for his brother.  97
  Presently he entered a coffee-house in the bazaar. It was a large place, and many people had gathered together there to play, some at Mankala, and others at backgammon, or at chess, and so forth. And he sat down there and listened to the people who sat beside him talking about a pious woman called Fatimeh, who was always at her devotions in a cell outside the town, and never came into the city except twice a month, and how she had worked a number of miracles. And when the Moorish sorcerer heard this, he said within himself: “Now I have found what I wanted. If it please God, by means of this woman I shall accomplish my purpose.” Then he drew near to the people who were talking of the miracles of this old ascetic, and he said to one of them: “O Uncle, I heard you discussing the miracles of some saint named Fatimeh. Who is she, and where doth she dwell?” And the man answered” “Wonderful! how art thou in our town and hast not heard of the miracles of our Lady Fatimeh? It is plain that thou, my poor friend, art a stranger, since thou hast not heard of the fasts of this holy woman and her abstraction from the world and the perfection of her piety.” And the Moor rejoined: “Yes, O my master, I am a foreigner, and only yesternight came I to your city; and I hope thou wilt inform me concerning the miracles of this good woman and where she hath her dwelling, for I have fallen into trouble, and my intention is to go to her, and ask for her prayers. So that perhaps God (honour and glory to him!) may deliver me from my trouble by means of her prayers.” So the man told him about the miracles of holy Fatimeh, and her piety and the excellence of her devotions. And he took him by the hand and led him forth outside the city, and shewed him the way to her dwelling in a cave on the top of a little hill. So the Moor magnified his favour and thanked him for his goodness and returned to his place in the Khan.  98
  As destiny had decreed, the next day Fatimeh descended to the town, and the Moorish wizard went forth in the morning from the Khan and watched the people thronging, and he drew nigh to see what was the news. So he saw Fatimeh standing, and all who had any sickness came to her, and were blessed by her, and asked for her prayers; those whom she touched recovered from whatever disease they had. The Moorish wizard followed her about till she returned to her cave. Then he waited till the evening had fallen, when he went to the shop of a wine-seller and drank a cup of wine. Then he went forth in search of the cave of Fatimeh the ascetic, and, arriving there, entered and saw her lying on her back upon a piece of matting. So he approached and sat upon her, and drew his hanger and shouted at her; whereupon she awoke and opened her eyes, and saw a man of Morocco with a drawn dagger sitting upon her breast as though with intent to kill her. So she was afraid and startled. Then he said to her: “Listen! if thou utter a syllable or scream, I will kill thee outright that very minute. Get up, now, and do all that I tell thee.” And he swore to her an oath that if she did what he told her, he would not slay her. Then he got up from her, and Fatimeh arose, and he said to her: “Give my thy clothes and take mine.” So she gave him her clothes and headbands and veil and cloak; and he said: “Thou must also anoint me with what shall stain the colour of my face like thy colour.” So Fatimeh went inside the cave and brought a pot of ointment, and took some of it in her palm, and rubbed it on his face, till it became of the same colour as hers. And he gave him her staff, and taught him how to walk and what to do when he went down into the city; and she put her rosary round his neck. Finally she gave him a mirror, saying: “Look, now, thou art not different from me a whit.” And she saw himself as it were Fatimeh in very deed, there as she was. But when he had attained his wish, he broke his oath, and asking for a rope, which she brought him, he seized her and strangled her with it in the cave; and when she was dead he dragged her out and cast her into a pit which was there outside the cave. After which he returned to her cave and went to sleep till day broke.  99
  Then he arose and went down to the city and stationed himself beneath the apartment of ‘Ala-ed-Din, while the people gathered around him, for they were sure he was Fatimeh the ascetic. And he began to do as she did, and laid his hands on the suffering, and recited for these the opening chapter of the Kur’an, and for those another chapter, and prayed for others. And the crowding of the people upon him and their clamour reached the ears of the Lady Bedr-El-Budur, and she said to her maidens: “See what is the news and what is the cause of the uproar.” So an agha of the eunuchs went to see what was the matter, and returned, saying: “O my mistress, this noise is on account of the Seyyideh Fatimeh, and if thou wilt so order. I will bring her before thee that thou mayest be blessed by her.” And the Lady Bedr-el-Budur replied: “Go and bring her to me, for I have long heard continually of her miracles and her merits, and I yearn to see her and be blessed by her; for people in trouble profit greatly by her virtues.” So the agha went and fetched the Moorish sorcerer, disguised in Fatimeh’s clothes. And when he came before the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, and looked upon her, he began saying his beads, and none there doubted that he was the saint herself. Then the Lady Bedr-el-Budur arose and saluted him and seated him beside her, and said: “O my mistress Fatimeh, I will thee to stay with me always, that I be blessed by thee and learn of thee the paths of piety and devotion, and be thy disciple.” Now this was a trick of this accursed magician, and he resolved to complete his treachery further. So he said: “O my lady, I am a poor woman, dwelling in the desert, and the like of me is not worthy to stay in the palaces of Kings.” But the Lady Bedr-el-Budur answered: “Have no anxiety at all, O mistress Fatimeh. I will give thee a place in my house, where thou shalt worship and none ever disturb thee, and thou shalt serve God here better than thou couldst in thy cave.” So the Moor replied: “I hear and obey, O my lady. I will not gainsay thy words, for the word of the children of Kings cannot be contradicted or disobeyed. Only I beg that my eating and drinking and sitting may be in my own room alone, where none may enter; and I do not require dainties, but each day vouchsafe to send me by thy handmaid to my chamber a piece of bread and a drink of water; and when I desire to eat let me eat in my room alone.” The wretch resolved thus for fear lest he should lift his veil, when his affair might be foiled and he be proved a man by his beard and mustache. “O my mistress Fatimeh,” replied the Princess, “be of good cheer; nothing shall be but as thou desirest. Arise now with me that I may shew thee the chamber which I mean to make ready for thy stay with us.” So the Lady Bedr-El-Budur arose and took the wizard, who was disguised as Fatimeh the ascetic, and led him to the place which she had promised him to stay in, saying: “O my mistress Fatimeh, here shalt thou live and this chamber is for thyself, where thou shalt dwell in all ease and comfort and privacy.” So the Moor thanked her for her goodness and blessed her. Then the Lady Bedr-el-Budur took him and shewed him the lattices and the kiosk of jewels with its twenty-four windows, and said: “What thinkest thou, O my mistress Fatimeh, of this wonderful kiosk?” The Moor answered: “By Allah, my daughter it is wonderful and splendid, and me thinks there is none like it in the world. But alas! for one thing which is wanting to its beauty and adornment.” “What is that, O my mistress Fatimeh,” Lady Bedr-el-Budur asked, “which is lacking, and what is this thing which would adorn it?” And the sorcerer replied: “O my lady, all it lacketh is that there should hang from the dome an egg of the bird called the rukh; and were this hung, the kiosk would not be equalled in the world.” Then the Lady Bedr-el-Budur said: “What is this bird, and where is its egg to be found?” And the Moor said: “O my lady, the rukh is a huge bird that lifteth camels and elephants in its claws and flieth off with them, so vast is its strength. And this bird is found chiefly in the mountains of Kaf; and he who built this kiosk can bring thee one of its eggs.” Then they ceased talking, as it was the dinner hour; and when the maidens had laid the table the Lady Bedr-el-Budur seated herself and invited the accursed Moor to eat with her. But he refused and retired to his own room, and there the slave-girls brought him his food.  100
  When it was evening ‘Ala-ed-Din returned from hunting, and his wife met him and saluted him, and he embraced and kissed her. Then looking in her face he perceived a trace of melancholy, and, unlike her habit, she was not smiling. So he asked her: “What hath come over thee, O my beloved? Tell me hath anything disturbed thy mind?” And she said: “Nothing at all; but, O my beloved, I fancied that there was nothing wanting to our kiosk; yet, O my eyes, if an egg of the rukh were hung from the dome there would not be its equal in the universe.” And ‘Ala-ed-Din said: “And for this thou art sad! when it is as easy as possible to me. So be of good cheer, and whatsoever thou dost want, only inform me of it, and I will bring it from the bowels of the earth in an instant.” Then, after cheering her, he retired to his chamber and took the Lamp and rubbed it, and immediately the Marid appeared and said: “Ask what thou desirest.” And ‘Ala-ed-Din replied: “I wish thee to bring me an egg of the rukh to hang from the dome of the kiosk.” But when the Marid heard these words his face become terrible, and he was wroth, and shouted with a tremendous voice: “O hinderer of good deeds, it is not enough for thee that I and all the slaves of the Lamp are at thy service, but thou wishest, moreover, that I bring thee our Lady for thy amusement, to hang her up in the dome of thy kiosk to please thee and thy wife? By God, ye both deserve to be burnt to ashes this instant and scattered to the winds; but as ye were ignorant of this, not knowing its meaning, I pardon you, since ye are innocent. The insult cometh from the accursed magician, brother of the Moorish sorcerer, who pretendeth to be Fatimeh the ascetic, after putting on her dress and slaying her in her cave. And he is come to kill thee in revenge for his brother; and he it was who made thy wife demand this thing of me.” Then the Marid vanished. But when ‘Ala-ed-Din heard this words his faculties departed and his limbs shook at the Marid’s fearful shout. But he plucked up resolution, and went forth from his chamber to his wife’s apartments, where he pretended that his head ached, for he knew that Fatimeh was renowned for the mystery of curing all aches. When the Lady Bedr-el-Budur saw him putting his hand to his head and complaining of pain, she asked him the cause, and he answered: “I know not, except that my head aches badly.” So she instantly sent for Fatimeh, that she might lay her hand upon his head. And ‘Ala-ed-din said, “Who is Fatimeh?” And she told him how she had established Fatimeh the ascetic in the palace. So the slave-girls went and brought the accursed Moor. And ‘Ala-ed-Din rose to him; and, shewing that he knew nothing of the trick, saluted him as though he were saluting Fatimeh the ascetic, and kissed the hem of his gown, and welcomed him, and said, “O my mistress Fatimeh, I hope thou wilt do me a favour, since I have heard of thy success in curing sickness; and I have a violent pain in my head.” Then the accursed Moor hardly believed these words, for it was just what he wanted; but he approached ‘Ala-ed-Din to lay his hand on his head and cure his pain. And he laid one hand on him, and putting the other under his dress drew forth a dagger to kill him. But ‘Ala-ed-Din was watching him, and waited till he had bared the dagger, when he seized him and took the dagger and plunged it into his heart.  101
  When the Lady Bedr-el-Budur saw him, she screamed and said: “What hath Fatimeh the ascetic done that thou shouldst place this awful burden of her blood upon thy soul? Dost thou not fear God, that thou slayest Fatimeh, a holy woman, whose miracles are famous?” And ‘Ala-ed-Din said: “I have not killed Fatimeh, but he whom I killed first killed Fatimeh, and this is the brother of the cursed Moorish sorcerer who seized thee and removed thy palace to Africa by his spells. And this accursed brother of his came to this country, and contrived this trick, and slew Fatimeh and assumed her dress, only to wreak vengeance upon me for his brother’s blood, And he it was who made thee ask for the rukh’s egg, that it might cause my destruction. And if thou doubtedst me, come and look at him I slew.” Then ‘Ala-ed-Din lifted the veil of the Moor, and the Lady Bedr-el-Budur looked and saw a man with a beard all over his face. Then she understood the truth, and said to “Ala-ed-Din: “O my beloved, twice have I brought thee in peril of death!” But he replied: “No harm is done, O Lady Bedr-el-Budur. Blessing on thine eyes! I accept all that cometh from thee with perfect delight.” And the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, when she heard these words, hastened and embraced and kissed him, saying: “O my beloved, all this is my love for thee, and I knew nothing; and I treasure thy love.” And he kissed her and pressed her to his bosom, and their love grew stronger.  102
  Now at that moment the Sultan appeared, and they told him all that had befallen from the brother of the Moorish sorcerer. And they looked at him, and he was dead. So the Sultan ordered that he should be burnt and his ashes scattered to the winds, like his brother’s. But ‘Ala-ed-Din abode with his wife, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, in all content and happiness and escaped all danger. And after a time the Sultan died, and ‘Ala-ed-Din sat on the royal throne and ruled and administered justice to the subjects, and all the people loved him, and he lived with his wife, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, in perfect peace and happiness, till they were visited by the terminator of delights and the separator of companions.  103
Note 1. I.e., which took effect in a moment. [back]


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