As soon as the porters of the sultan's palace saw Aladdin's mother, they went and informed the sultan, who immediately ordered the bands of trumpets, cymbals, drums, fifes, and hautboys, placed in different parts of the palace, to play, so that the air resounded with concerts which inspired the whole city with joy: the merchants began to adorn their shops and houses with fine carpets and silks, and to prepare illuminations against night. The artisans of every description left their work, and the populace repaired to the great space between the royal palace and that of Aladdin; which last drew all their attention, not only because it was new to them, but because there was no comparison between the two buildings. But their amazement was to comprehend by what unheard-of miracle so magnificent a palace could have been so soon erected, it being apparent to all that there were no prepared materials, or any foundations laid the day before.
"The capital of Serendib stands at the end of a fine valley, in the middle of the island, encompassed by mountains the highest in the world. Rubies and several sorts of minerals abound, and the rocks are for the most part composed of a metalline stone made use of to cut and polish other precious stones. All kinds of rare plants and trees grow there, especially cedars and cocoa-nut. There is also a pearl-fishing in the mouth of its principal river; and in some of its valleys are found diamonds. I made, by way of devotion, a pilgrimage to the place where Adam was confined after his banishment from Paradise, and had the curiosity to go to the top of the mountain.
"I went a second time to the Palace of Tears, while she was there. I concealed myself again, and heard her thus cry out: 'It is now three years since you spoke one word to me; you answer not the proofs I give you of my devotion by my sighs and lamentations. Is it from insensibility, or contempt? O tomb! tell me by what miracle thou becamest the depository of the rarest treasure the world ever contained.'
Aladdin's mother brought the china dish, when he took the jewels out of the two purses in which he had kept them, and placed them in order according to his fancy. But the brightness and lustre they emitted in the daytime so dazzled the eyes both of mother and son, that they were astonished beyond measure; for they had only seen them by the light of a lamp; and though the latter had beheld them pendent on the trees like fruit beautiful to the eye, yet as he was then but a boy, he looked on them only as glittering playthings.
The son, far from showing any dislike, readily consented to the marriage; not only because he would not disobey his father, but also because it was agreeable to his inclination.
The very morning of the return to the palace, the sultan went into his closet to indulge his sorrows. Absorbed in himself, and in a pensive mood, he cast his eyes toward the spot, expecting only to see an open space; but perceiving the vacancy filled up, he at first imagined the appearance to be the effect of a fog; looking more attentively, he was convinced beyond the power of doubt that it was his son-in-law's palace. Joy and gladness succeeded to sorrow and grief. He returned immediately into his apartment, and ordered a horse to be saddled and brought to him without delay, which he mounted that instant, thinking he could not make haste enough to the palace.
Though the good widow did not believe the precious stones so valuable as her son estimated them, she thought such a present might nevertheless be agreeable to the sultan, but she still hesitated. "My son," said she, "I cannot conceive that the sultan will look upon me with a favourable eye; I am sure, that if I attempt to deliver your strange message, I shall have no power to open my mouth; therefore I shall not only lose my labour, but the present, which you say is so valuable, and shall return home again in confusion, to tell you that your hopes are frustrated. But," added she, "I will do my best to please you, though certainly the sultan will either laugh at me, or be in so great a rage, as to make us both the victims of his fury."