Aladdin: The Magician
Presently, the Sovran and his son-in-law repaired to the pavilion where they were met by the Princess Badr al-Budur who rejoiced in her husband and, after kissing him between the eyes, led him to her apartments. After a time the Sultan also came and they sat down while the slave-girls brought them sherbets and confections which they ate and drank. Then the Sultan commanded that the whole kingdom be decorated for the triumph of his son-in-law and his victory over the invader; and the subjects and soldiery and all the people knew only Allah in heaven and Alaeddin on earth; for that their love, won by his liberality, was increased by his noble horsemanship and his successful battling for the country and putting to flight the foe. Such then was the high fortune of Alaeddin; but as regards the Maghrabi, the Magician, after returning to his native country, he passed all this space of time in bewailing what he had borne of toil and travail to win the Lamp and mostly that his trouble had gone vain and that the morsel when almost touching his lips had flown from his grasp. He pondered all this and mourned and reviled Alaeddin for the excess of his rage against him and at times he would exclaim, “For this bastard's death underground I am well satisfied and hope only that some time or other I may obtain the Lamp, seeing how 'tis yet safe.” Now one day of the days he struck a table of sand and dotted down the figures and carefully considered their consequence; then he transferred them to paper that he might study them and make sure of Alaeddin's destruction and the safety of the Lamp preserved beneath the earth. Presently, he firmly stablished the sequence of the figures, mothers as well as daughters, ‡187 but still he saw not the Lamp. Thereupon rage overrode him and he made another trial to be assured of Alaeddin's death; but he saw him not in the Enchanted Treasure. Hereat his wrath still grew, and it waxed greater when he ascertained that the youth had issued from underground and was now upon earth's surface alive and alert: furthermore, that he had become owner of the Lamp, for which he had himself endured such toil and travail and troubles as man may not bear save for so great an object. Accordingly Quoth he to himself, “I have suffered sore pains and penalties which none else could have endured for the Lamp's sake in order that other than I may carry it off; and this Accursed hath taken it without difficulty. And who knoweth and he wot the virtues of the Lamp, than whose owner none in the world should be wealthier?”
Maghrabi, the Magician, having considered and ascertained that Alaeddin had escaped from the souterrain and had gotten the boon of the Lamp, said to himself, “There is no help but that I work for his destruction.” He then struck another geomantic table and examining the figures saw that the lad had won for himself unmeasurable riches and had wedded the daughter of his King; so of his envy and jealousy he was fired with the flame of wrath; and, rising without let or stay, he equipped himself and set forth for China-land, where he arrived in due season. Now when he had reached the King's capital wherein was Alaeddin, he alighted at one of the Kháns; and, when he had rested from the weariness of wayfare, he donned his dress and went down to wander about the streets, where he never passed a group without hearing them prate about the pavilion and its grandeur and vaunt the beauty of Alaeddin and his lonesomeness, his liberality and generosity, his fine manners and his good morals.
Presently he entered an establishment wherein men were drinking a certain warm beverage; ‡188 and, going up to one of those who were loud in their lauds, he said to him, “O fair youth, who may be the man ye describe and commend?” “Apparently thou art a foreigner, O man,” answered the other, “and thou comest from a far country; but, even this granted, how happeneth it thou hast not heard of the Emir Alaeddin whose renown, I fancy, hath filled the universe and whose pavilion, known by report to far and near, is one of the Wonders of the World? How, then, never came to thine ears aught of this or the name of Alaeddin (whose glory and enjoyment our Lord increase!) and his fame?” The Moorman replied, “The sum of my wishes is to look upon this pavilion and, if thou wouldest do me a favour, prithee guide me thereunto, for I am a foreigner.” The man rejoined, “To hear is to obey;” and, foregoing him pointed out Alaeddin's pavilion, whereupon the Maroccan fell to considering it and at once understood that it was the work of the Lamp. So he cried, “Ah! Ah! needs must I dig a pit for this Accursed, this son of a snip, who could not earn for himself even an evening meal: and, if the Fates abet me, I will assuredly destroy his life and send his mother back to spinning at her wheel, e’en as she was wont erewhiles to do.” So saying, he returned to his caravanserai in a sore state of grief and melancholy and regret bred by his envy and hate of Alaeddin.
When the Maghrabi, the Magician, reached his caravanserai, he took his astrological gear ‡189 and geomantic table to discover where might be the Lamp; and he found that it was in the pavilion and not upon Alaeddin's person. So he rejoiced thereat with joy exceeding and exclaimed, “Now indeed ‘twill be an easy task to take the life of this Accursed and I see my way to getting the Lamp.” Then he went to a coppersmith and said to him, “Do thou make me a set of lamps and take from me their full price and more; only I would have thee hasten to finish them.” Replied the smith, “Hearing and obeying,” and fell aworking to keep his word; and when they were ready the Moorman paid him what price he required; then taking them he carried them to the Khan and set them in a basket. Presently he began wandering about the highways and market-streets of the capital crying aloud, “Ho! who will exchange old lamps for new lamps?” ‡190 But when the folk heard him cry on this wise, they derided him and said, “Doubtless this man is Jinn-mad, for that he goeth about offering new for old;” and a world followed him and the children of the quarter caught him up from place to place, laughing at him the while, nor did he forbid them or care for their maltreatment. And he ceased not strolling about the streets till he came under Alaeddin's pavilion, ‡191 where he shouted with his loudest voice and the boys screamed at him, “A madman! A madman!” Now Destiny had decreed that the Lady Badr al-Budur be sitting in her Kiosque whence she heard one crying like a crier, and the children bawling at him; only she understood not what was going on; so she gave orders to one of her slave-girls saying, ‡192 “Go thou and see who 'tis that crieth and what be his cry?” The girl fared forth and looked on when she beheld a man crying, “Ho! who will exchange old lamps for new lamps?” and the little ones pursuing and laughing at him; and as loudly laughed the Princess when this strange case was told to her. Now Alaeddin had carelessly left the Lamp in his pavilion without hiding it and locking it up in his strong box; ‡193 and one of the slave-girls who had seen it said, “O my lady, I think to have noticed, in the apartment of my lord Alaeddin, an old lamp: so let us give it in change for a new lamp to this man, and see if his cry be truth or lie.”
—It hath reached me, O King of the Age, that hereupon the Princess said to the slave-girl, “Bring the old lamp which thou saidst to have seen in thy lord's apartment.” Now the Lady Badr al-Budur knew naught of the Lamp and of the specialties thereof which had raised Alaeddin her spouse to such high degree and grandeur; and her only end and aim was to understand by experiment the mind of a man who would give in exchange the new for the old. So the handmaid fared forth and went up to Alaeddin's apartment and returned with the Lamp to her lady who, like all the others, knew nothing of the Maghrabi's cunning tricks and his crafty device. Then the Princess bade an Aghá of the eunuchry go down and barter the old Lamp for a new lamp. So he obeyed her bidding and, after taking a new lamp from the man, he returned and laid it before his lady who looking at it and seeing that it was brand-new, fell to laughing at the Moorman's wits. But the Maroccan, when he held the article in hand and recognised it for the Lamp of the Enchanted Treasury, ‡194 at once placed it in his breast-pocket and left all the other lamps to the folk who were bartering of him. Then he went forth running till he was clear of the city, when he walked leisurely over the level grounds and he took patience until night fell on him in desert ground where was none other but himself. There he brought out the Lamp when suddenly appeared to him the Marid who said, “Adsum! thy slave between thy hands is come: ask of me whatso thou wantest.” “ 'tis my desire,” the Moorman replied, “that thou upraise from its present place Alaeddin's pavilion with its inmates and all that be therein, not forgetting myself, and set it down upon my own land, Africa. Thou knowest my town and I want the building placed in the gardens hard by it.” The Marid-slave replied, “Hearkening and obedience: close thine eyes and open thine eyes whenas thou shalt find thyself together with the pavilion in thine own country.” This was done; and, in an eye-twinkling, the Maroccan and the pavilion with all therein were transported to the African land. Such then was the work of the Maghrabi, the Magician; but now let us return to the Sultan and his son-in-law.