Chapter 4: Aladdin
Aladdin waited patiently for nearly three months, but after two had elapsed, his mother, going into the city to buy oil, found everyone rejoicing, and asked what was going on. “Do you not know,” was the answer, “that the son of the Grand Vizier is to marry the Sultan’s daughter tonight?”
Breathless she ran and told Aladdin, who was overwhelmed at first, but presently bethought him of the lamp. He rubbed it and the genie appeared, saying: “What is thy will?” Aladdin replied: “The Sultan, as thou knowest, has broken his promise to me, and the vizier’s son is to have the Princess. My command is that to-night you bring hither the bride and bridegroom.” “Master, I obey,” said the genie.
Aladdin then went to his chamber, where, sure enough, at midnight the genie transported the bed containing the vizier’s son and the Princess. “Take this new-married man,” he said, “and put him outside in the cold, and return at daybreak.” Whereupon the genie took the vizier’s son out of bed, leaving Aladdin with the Princess. “Fear nothing,” Aladdin said to her; “you are my wife, promised to me by your unjust father, and no harm will come to you.”
The Princess was too frightened to speak, and passed the most miserable night of her life, while Aladdin lay down beside her and slept soundly. At the appointed hour the genie fetched in the shivering bridegroom, laid him in his place, and transported the bed back to the palace.
Presently the Sultan came to wish his daughter good-morning. The unhappy Vizier’s son jumped up and hid himself, while the Princess would not say a word and was very sorrowful. The Sultan sent her mother to her, who said: “How comes it, child, that you will not speak to your father? What has happened?”
The Princess sighed deeply, and at last told her mother how, during the night, the bed had been carried into some strange house, and what had passed there. Her mother did not believe her in the least, but bade her rise and consider it an idle dream.
The following night exactly the same thing happened, and next morning, on the Princess’s refusing to speak, the Sultan threatened to cut off her head. She then confessed all, bidding him ask the Vizier’s son if it were not so. The Sultan told the Vizier to ask his son, who owned the truth, adding that, dearly as he loved the Princess, he had rather die than go through another such fearful night, and wished to be separated from her. His wish was granted, and there was an end of feasting and rejoicing.
When the three months were over, Aladdin sent his mother to remind the Sultan of his promise. She stood in the same place as before, and the Sultan, who had forgotten Aladdin, at once remembered him, and sent for her. On seeing her poverty the Sultan felt less inclined than ever to keep his word, and asked his Vizier’s advice, who counselled him to set so high a value on the Princess that no man living would come up to it.