Chapter 5: Aladdin
Chapter 5: Aladdin
The Sultan then turned to Aladdin’s mother, saying: “Good woman, a sultan must remember his promises, and I will remember mine, but your son must first send me forty basins of gold brimful of jewels, carried by forty black slaves, led by as many white ones, splendidly dressed. Tell him that I await his answer.” The mother of Aladdin bowed low and went home, thinking all was lost. She gave Aladdin the message adding, “He may wait long enough for your answer!” “Not so long, mother, as you think,” her son replied. “I would do a great deal more than that for the Princess.”
He summoned the genie, and in a few moments the eighty slaves arrived, and filled up the small house and garden. Aladdin made them to set out to the palace, two by two, followed by his mother. They were so richly dressed, with such splendid jewels, that everyone crowded to see them and the basins of gold they carried on their heads. They entered the palace, and, after kneeling before the Sultan, stood in a half-circle round the throne with their arms crossed, while Aladdin’s mother presented them to the Sultan. He hesitated no longer, but said: “Good woman, return and tell your son that I wait for him with open arms.” She lost no time in telling Aladdin, bidding him make haste.
But Aladdin first called the genie. “I want a scented bath,” he said, “a richly embroidered habit, a horse surpassing the Sultan’s, and twenty slaves to attend me. Besides this, six slaves, beautifully dressed, to wait on my mother; and lastly, ten thousand pieces of gold in ten purses.” No sooner said then done. Aladdin mounted his horse and passed through the streets, the slaves strewing gold as they went. Those who had played with him in his childhood knew him not, he had grown so handsome.
When the sultan saw him he came down from his throne, embraced him, and led him into a hall where a feast was spread, intending to marry him to the Princess that very day. But Aladdin refused, saying, “I must build a palace fit for her,” and took his leave.
Once home, he said to the genie: “Build me a palace of the finest marble, set with jasper, agate, and other precious stones. In the middle you shall build me a large hall with a dome, its four walls of massy gold and silver, each side having six windows, whose lattices, all except one which is to be left unfinished, must be set with diamonds and rubies. There must be stables and horses and grooms and slaves; go and see about it!”
The palace was finished the next day, and the genie carried him there and showed him all his orders faithfully carried out, even to the laying of a velvet carpet from Aladdin’s palace to the Sultan’s. Aladdin’s mother then dressed herself carefully, and walked to the palace with her slaves, while he followed her on horseback.
The Sultan sent musicians with trumpets and cymbals to meet them, so that the air resounded with music and cheers. She was taken to the Princess, who saluted her and treated her with great honour. At night the princess said good-bye to her father, and set out on the carpet for Aladdin’s palace, with his mother at her side, and followed by the hundred slaves.