Steam has outstripped their dragons and their cars,
THE STORY OF GULNARE OF THE SEA
The tailor's widow reflected that the lamp might be capable of doing greater wonders than just providing victuals for them, and this removed all the difficulties which might have prevented her from undertaking the service she had promised. Aladdin, who penetrated into his mother's thoughts, said to her: "Above all things, mother, be sure to keep secret our possession of the lamp, for thereon depends the success we have to expect;" and after this caution they parted to go to rest. Aladdin rose before daybreak, awakened his mother, pressing her to get herself dressed to go to the sultan's palace, and to get admittance, if possible, before the great officers of state went in to take their seats in the divan, where the sultan always assisted in person.
After the princess had thanked the dervish, and taken her leave of him, she mounted her horse, threw the bowl before her, and followed it till it stopped at the foot of the mountain.
The princess took up the pitcher accordingly, carried with her the cage and Bird, the flagon of Golden Water, and the branch of the Singing Tree, and as she descended the mountain, threw a little of the water on every black stone, which was changed immediately into a man; and as she did not miss one stone, all the horses, both of her brothers and of the other gentlemen, resumed their natural forms also. She instantly recognised Bahman and Perviz, as they did her, and ran to embrace her. She returned their embraces and expressed her amazement. "What do you here, my dear brothers?" said she, and they told her they had been asleep. "Yes," replied she, "and if it had not been for me, perhaps you might have slept till the day of judgment. Do not you remember that you came to fetch the Talking Bird, the Singing Tree, and the Golden Water, and did not you see, as you came along, the place covered with black stones? Look and see if there be any now. The gentlemen and their horses who surround us, and you yourselves, were these black stones. If you desire to know how this wonder was performed," continued she, showing the pitcher, which she set down at the foot of the mountain, "it was done by virtue of the water which was in this pitcher, with which I sprinkled every stone. After I had made the Talking Bird (which you see in this cage) my slave, by his directions I found out the Singing Tree, a branch of which I have now in my hand; and the Golden Water, with which this flagon is filled; but being still unwilling to return without taking you with me, I constrained the Bird, by the power I had over him, to afford me the means. He told me where to find this pitcher, and the use I was to make of it."
And when they came back to the troops, they passed the day devising means of entering the city; and the Emeer Moosa said to those of his chief officers who were around him: "How shall we contrive to enter the city, that we may see its wonders? Perhaps we shall find in it something by which we may ingratiate ourselves with the Prince of the Faithful." Talib replied: "Let us make a ladder, and mount upon it, and perhaps we shall gain access to the gate from within." And the emeer said: "This is what occurred to my mind, and excellent is the advice." Then he called to the carpenters and blacksmiths, and ordered them to make straight some pieces of wood, and to construct a ladder covered with plates of iron. And they did so, and made it strong. They employed themselves in constructing it a whole month, and many men were occupied in making it. And they set it up and fixed it against the wall, and it proved to be equal to the wall in height, as though it had been made for it before that day. So the Emeer Moosa wondered at it, and said: "God bless you! It seemeth, from the excellence of your work, as though ye had adapted it by measurement to the wall." He then said to the people: "Which of you will ascend this ladder, and mount upon the wall, and walk along it, and contrive means of descending into the city, that he may see how the case is, and then inform us of the mode of opening the gate?" And one of them answered: "I will ascend it, O Emeer, and descend and open the gate." The emeer therefore replied: "Mount. God bless thee!" Accordingly, the man ascended the ladder until he reached the top of it; when he stood, and fixed his eyes toward the city, clapped his hands, and cried out with his loudest voice, saying: "Thou art beautiful!" Then he cast himself down into the city, and was destroyed. So the Emeer Moosa said: "If we do thus with all our companions, there will not remain of them one; and we shall be unable to accomplish our affair, and the affair of the Prince of the Faithful. Depart ye; for we have no concern with this city." But one of them said: "Perhaps another than this may be more steady than he." And a second ascended, and a third, and a fourth, and a fifth; and they ceased not to ascend by that ladder to the top of the wall, one after another, until twelve men of them had gone, acting as acted the first. Therefore the Sheikh Abd-Es-Samad said: "There is none for this affair but myself, and the experienced is not like the inexperienced." But the Emeer Moosa said to him: "Thou shalt not do that, nor will I allow thee to ascend to the top of this wall; for shouldst thou die, thou wouldst be the cause of the death of us all, and there would not remain of us one; since thou art the guide of the party." The sheikh, however, replied: "Perhaps the object will be accomplished by my means, through the will of God, whose name be exalted!" And thereupon all the people agreed to his ascending.
He was mounted on a white charger, who had a bit and shoes of gold, his housing was of blue satin embroidered with pearls; the hilt of his cimeter was of one single diamond, and the scabbard of sandalwood, adorned with emeralds and rubies, and on his shoulder he carried his bow and quiver. In this equipage, which greatly set off his handsome person, he arrived at the city of Harran, and soon found means to offer his service to the sultan; who being charmed with his beauty, and perhaps indeed by natural sympathy, gave him a favourable reception, and asked his name and quality. "Sir," answered Codadad, "I am son to an emir of Grand Cairo; an inclination to travel has made me quit my country, and understanding that you were engaged in war, I am come to your court to offer your majesty my service." The sultan, upon hearing this, shewed him extraordinary kindness, and gave him a command in his army.
After some days spent in fruitless search, he came to a plain of prodigious extent, in the midst whereof was a palace built of black marble. He drew near, and at one of the windows beheld a most beautiful lady; but set off with no other ornament than her own charms; for her hair was dishevelled, her garments torn, and on her countenance appeared all the marks of affliction. As soon as she saw Codadad, and judged he might hear her, she directed her discourse to him, saying: "Young man, depart from this fatal place, or you will soon fall into the hands of the monster that inhabits it: a black, who feeds only on human blood, resides in this palace; he seizes all persons whom their ill fate conducts to this plain, and shuts them up in his dungeons, whence they are never released, but to be devoured by him."
Aladdin remained in this state two days, without eating or drinking, and on the third looked upon death as inevitable. Clasping his hands with resignation to the will of God, he said: "There is no strength or power but in the great and high God." In joining his hands he rubbed the ring which the magician had put on his finger, and of which he knew not yet the virtue. Immediately a genie of enormous size and frightful aspect rose out of the earth, his head reaching the roof of the vault, and said to him: "What wouldst thou have? I am ready to obey thee as the slave of all who may possess the ring on thy finger; I, and the other slaves of that ring."
Within a few years afterward, the sultan died in a good old age, and as he left no male children, the Princess Badroulboudour, as lawful heir of the throne, succeeded him, and communicating the power to Aladdin, they reigned together many years, and left a numerous and illustrious progeny.下载
"Madam," replied the good woman, "I should be unworthy the hospitality you have shown me if I should refuse to satisfy your curiosity on that point, and am glad to have the honour to tell you that these curiosities are all to be met with in the same spot on the confines of this kingdom, toward India. The road lies before your house, and whoever you send needs but follow it for twenty days, and on the twentieth only let him ask the first person he meets where the Talking Bird, the Singing Tree, and the Golden Water are, and he will be informed." After saying this, she rose from her seat, took her leave, and went her way.
The sultan was not able to give the least attention to this compliment. The moment he cast his eyes on the forty trays, full of the most precious and beautiful jewels he had ever seen, and the fourscore slaves, who appeared by the elegance of their persons, and the magnificence of their dress, like so many princes, he was overwhelmed. Instead of answering the compliment of Aladdin's mother, he addressed himself to the grand vizier, who could not any more than the sultan comprehend from whence such a profusion of richness could come. "Well, vizier," said he aloud, "who do you think it can be that has sent me so extraordinary a present? Do you think him worthy of the Princess Badroulboudour, my daughter?"
As soon as he was out of the square between the two palaces, he hastened down the streets which were the least frequented; and having no more occasion for his lamps or basket, set all down in an alley where nobody saw him: then going down another street or two, he walked till he came to one of the city gates, and pursuing his way through the suburbs, which were very extensive, at length reached a lonely spot, where he stopped for a time to execute the design he had in contemplation, never caring for his horse which he had left at the khan; but thinking himself perfectly compensated by the treasure he had acquired.
"We spent the day in traversing the island, supporting ourselves with fruits and herbs as we had done the day before. In the evening we sought for some place of shelter, but found none; so that we were forced, whether we would or not, to go back to the palace.
Aladdin, having thus loaded himself with riches, returned through the three halls with the same precaution, made all the haste he could, that he might not make his uncle wait, and soon arrived at the mouth of the cave, where the African magician expected him with the utmost impatience. As soon as Aladdin saw him, he cried out: "Pray, uncle, lend me your hand, to help me out." "Give me the lamp first," replied the magician; "it will be troublesome to you." "Indeed, uncle," answered Aladdin, "I cannot now; it is not troublesome to me: but I will as soon as I am up." The African magician was so obstinate, that he would have the lamp before he would help him up; and Aladdin, who had encumbered himself so much with his fruit that he could not well get at it, refused to give it to him till he was out of the cave. The African magician, provoked at this obstinate refusal, flew into a passion, threw a little of his incense into the fire, which he had taken care to keep in, and no sooner pronounced two magical words, than the stone which had closed the mouth of the cave moved into its place, with the earth over it in the same manner as it lay at the arrival of the magician and Aladdin.