Chapter 7: Aladdin
Next morning the Sultan looked out of the window towards Aladdin’s palace and rubbed his eyes, for it was gone. He sent for the Vizier and asked what had become of the palace. The Vizier looked out too, and was lost in astonishment. He again put it down to enchantment, and this time the Sultan believed him, and sent thirty men on horseback to fetch Aladdin back in chains. They met him riding home, bound him, and forced him to go with them on foot. The people, however, who loved him, followed, armed, to see that he came to no harm.
He was carried before the Sultan, who ordered the executioner to cut off his head. The executioner made Aladdin kneel down, bandaged his eyes, and raised his scimitar to strike. At that instant the Vizier, who saw that the crowd had forced their way into the courtyard and were scaling the walls to rescue Aladdin, called to the executioner to stay his hand. The people, indeed, looked so threatening that the Sultan gave way and ordered Aladdin to be unbound, and pardoned him in the sight of the crowd. Aladdin now begged to know what he had done. “False wretch!” said the Sultan, “come hither,” and showed him from the window the place where his palace had stood.
Aladdin was so amazed he could not say a word. “Where is your palace and my daughter?” demanded the Sultan. “For the first I am not so deeply concerned, but my daughter I must have, and you must find her or lose your head.” Aladdin begged for forty days in which to find her, promising if he failed to return to suffer death at the Sultan’s pleasure. His prayer was granted, and he went forth sadly from the Sultan’s presence.
For three days he wandered about like a madman, asking everyone what had become of his palace, but they only laughed and pitied him. He came to the banks of a river, and knelt down to say his prayers before throwing himself in. In doing so he rubbed the ring he still wore.
The genie he had seen in the cave appeared, and asked his will. “Save my life, genie,” said Aladdin, “and bring my palace back.” That is not in my power,” said the genie; “I am only the Slave of the Ring; you must ask him of the lamp.” “Even so,” said Aladdin, “but thou canst take me to the palace, and set me down under my dear wife’s window.” He at once found himself in Africa, under the window of the Princess, and fell asleep out of sheer weariness.
He was awakened by the singing of the birds, and his heart was lighter. He saw plainly that all his misfortunes were owning to the loss of the lamp, and vainly wondered who had robbed him of it.
That morning the Princess rose earlier than she had done since she had been carried into Africa by the magician, whose company she was forced to endure once a day. She, however, treated him so harshly that he dared not live there altogether. As she was dressing, one of her women looked out and saw Aladdin.