THE STORY OF ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES
"I was not displeased that she used these pretexts to conceal the true cause of her grief. 'Madam,' said I, 'so far from blaming, I assure you I heartily commiserate your sorrow. I should feel surprise if you were insensible to such heavy calamities: weep on; your tears are so many proofs of your tenderness; but I hope that time and reflection will moderate your grief.'
The princess, more frightened at the tone of the enraged sultan than at the sight of the drawn sabre, at last broke silence, and said with tears in her eyes: "My dear father and sultan, I ask your majesty's pardon if I have offended you, and hope that out of your goodness you will have compassion on me."
And she proceeded to burn perfume and repeat spells until the sea foamed and was agitated.
"Indeed, son," replied the mother seriously, "I cannot help telling you that you have forgotten yourself, and I do not see who will venture to make the proposal for you." "You yourself," replied he immediately. "I go to the sultan!" answered the mother, amazed. "I shall be cautious how I engage in such an errand. Why, who are you, son," continued she, "that you can have the assurance to think of your sultan's daughter? Have you forgotten that your father was one of the poorest tailors in the capital, and that I am of no better extraction; and do not you know that sultans never marry their daughters but to sons of sovereigns like themselves?"
When he came to this part of his narrative the young king could not restrain his tears.
And I possessed wealth that could not be calculated, which I treasured up against misfortunes,
The prince searched the wretch as he lay stretched on the ground, and found several keys. He opened the first door, and entered a court, where he saw the lady coming to meet him; she would have cast herself at his feet, the better to express her gratitude, but he would not permit her. She commended his valour, and extolled him above all the heroes in the world. He returned her compliments; and she appeared still more lovely to him near, than she had done at a distance. I know not whether she felt more joy at being delivered from the desperate danger she had been in, than he for having done so considerable a service to so beautiful a person.下载
By these and other moving expressions the afflicted princess of Deryabar vented her sorrow, fixing her eyes on the unfortunate Codadad, who could not hear her; but he was not dead, and his consort, observing that he still breathed, ran to a large town she espied in the plain, to inquire for a surgeon. She was directed to one, who went immediately with her; but when they came to the tent, they could not find Codadad, which made them conclude he had been dragged away by some wild beast to be devoured. The princess renewed her complaints and lamentations in a most affecting manner. The surgeon was moved, and being unwilling to leave her in so distressed a condition, proposed to her to return to the town, offering her his house and service.下载
The Bird seemed reluctant to satisfy the princess in this point, and indeed made some difficulty to comply. "Bird," said the princess, "remember you told me that you were my slave. You are so; and your life is in my disposal." "That I cannot deny," answered the bird; "but although what you now ask is more difficult than all the rest, yet I will do it for you. Cast your eyes around," added he, "and look if you can see a little pitcher." "I see it already," said the princess. "Take it then," said he, "and as you descend the mountain, sprinkle a little of the water that is in it upon every black stone."
"You say it is not customary to go to the sultan without a present, and that I have nothing worthy of his acceptance. Do not you think, mother, that what I brought home with me the day on which I was delivered from death may be an acceptable present? I mean those things that you and I both took for coloured glass: but now I can tell you that they are jewels of inestimable value. I know the worth of them by frequenting the shops; and you may take my word that all the precious stones which I saw in the jewellers' shops were not to be compared to those we have, either for size or beauty; I am persuaded that they will be received very favourably by the sultan: you have a large porcelain dish fit to hold them; fetch it, and let us see how they will look, when we have arranged them according to their different colours."