After these words, the sultan gave a signal, and immediately the air echoed with the sound of trumpets, hautboys, and other musical instruments: and at the same time he led Aladdin into a magnificent hall, where was laid out a most splendid collation. The sultan and Aladdin ate by themselves, while the grand vizier and the great lords of the court, according to their dignity and rank, sat at different tables. The conversation turned on different subjects; but all the while the sultan took so much pleasure in looking at his intended son-in-law, that he hardly ever took his eyes off him; and throughout the whole of their conversation Aladdin shewed so much good sense, as confirmed the sultan in the high opinion he had formed of him.
"The caliph's present was a complete suit of cloth of gold, valued at one thousand sequins; fifty robes of rich stuff, a hundred of white cloth, the finest of Cairo, Suez, and Alexandria; a vessel of agate broader than deep, an inch thick, and half a foot wide, the bottom of which represented in bas-relief a man with one knee on the ground, who held a bow and an arrow, ready to discharge at a lion. He sent him also a rich tablet, which, according to tradition, belonged to the great Solomon. The caliph's letter was as follows:
"As I approached the bottom, I discovered by the aid of the little light that came from above the nature of this subterranean place; it seemed an endless cavern, and might be about fifty fathoms deep.
When the boy found himself so handsomely equipped, he returned his uncle thanks; who promised never to forsake him, but always to take him along with him; which he did to the most frequented places in the city, and particularly where the principal merchants kept their shops. When he brought him into the street where they sold the richest stuffs and finest linens, he said to Aladdin: "As you are soon to be a merchant, it is proper you should frequent these shops, and be acquainted with them." He then showed him the largest and finest mosques, carried him to the khans or inns where the merchants and travellers lodged, and afterward to the sultan's palace, where he had free access; and at last brought him to his own khan, where, meeting with some merchants he had become acquainted with since his arrival, he gave them a treat, to bring them and his pretended nephew acquainted.
When the magician had sat down, he began to enter into discourse with Aladdin's mother: "My good sister," said he, "do not be surprised at your never having seen me all the time you were married to my brother Mustapha. I have been forty years absent from this country, which is my native place, as well as my late brother's; and during that time have travelled into the Indies, Persia, Arabia, Syria, and Egypt; have resided in the finest towns of those countries; and afterward crossed over into Africa, where I made a longer stay. At last, as it is natural for a man to remember his native country, I was desirous to see mine again, and to embrace my dear brother; and finding I had strength enough to undertake so long a journey, I immediately made the necessary preparations, and set out. I will not tell you the length of time it took me, all the obstacles I met with, and what fatigues I have endured to come hither; but nothing ever afflicted me so much, as hearing of my brother's death. I observed his features in the face of my nephew, your son, and distinguished him among a number of lads with whom he was at play; he can tell you how I received the most melancholy news that ever reached my ears. But God be praised for all things! it is a comfort for me to find, as it were, my brother in a son, who has his most remarkable features."
The smoke ascended to the clouds, and extending itself along the sea and upon the shore formed a great mist.
"I am obliged to you for your advice," replied Prince Bahman, after he had received the bowl, "but cannot follow it. However, I will endeavour to conform myself to that part of it which bids me not to look behind me, and I hope to come and thank you when I have obtained what I am seeking." After these words, to which the dervish made no other answer than that he should be overjoyed to see him again, the prince mounted his horse, took leave of the dervish with a respectful salute, and threw the bowl before him.
"Furthermore, the King of Serendib is so just that there are no judges in his dominions. His people have no need of them. They understand and observe justice rigidly of themselves.'
"One of them said to the other, 'Is not the queen wrong, not to love so amiable a prince?' 'Certainly,' replied her companion; 'I do not understand the reason, neither can I conceive why she goes out every night, and leaves him alone! Is it possible that he does not perceive it?' 'Alas!' said the first, 'how should he? She mixes every evening in his liquor the juice of a certain herb, which makes him sleep so sound all night that she has time to go where she pleases, and as day begins to appear she comes and wakes him by the smell of something she puts under his nostrils.'
As soon as Morgiana had shut the door, Ali Baba followed her; when she requested him to look into the first jar and see if there was any oil. Ali Baba did so, and seeing a man, started back in alarm, and cried out. "Do not be afraid," said Morgiana; "the man you see there can neither do you nor anybody else any harm. He is dead." "Ah, Morgiana!" said Ali Baba, "what is it you show me? Explain yourself." "I will," replied Morgiana; "moderate your astonishment, and do not excite the curiosity of your neighbours. Look into all the other jars."
By the time Morgiana had warmed some water to wash the body, Ali Baba came with incense to embalm it, after which it was sewn up in a winding-sheet. Not long after, the joiner, according to Ali Baba's orders, brought the bier, which Morgiana received at the door, and helped Ali Baba to put the body into it; when she went to the mosque to inform the imaum that they were ready. The people of the mosque, whose business it was to wash the dead, offered to perform their duty, but she told them that it was done already. Morgiana had scarcely got home before the imaum and the other ministers of the mosque arrived. Four neighbours carried the corpse on their shoulders to the burying-ground, following the imaum, who recited some prayers. Morgiana, as a slave to the deceased, followed the corpse, weeping, beating her breast, and tearing her hair; and Ali Baba came after with some neighbours, who often relieved the others in carrying the corpse to the burying-ground. Cassim's wife stayed at home mourning, uttering lamentable cries with the women of the neighbourhood, who came according to custom during the funeral, and joining their lamentations with hers, filled the quarter far and near with sorrow. In this manner Cassim's melancholy death was concealed and hushed up between Ali Baba, his wife, Cassim's widow, and Morgiana, with so much contrivance, that nobody in the city had the least knowledge or suspicion of the cause of it.
"I am one of those rebellious spirits that opposed the will of Solomon, the son of David, and to avenge himself, that monarch sent Asaph, the son of Barakhia, his chief minister, to apprehend me. Asaph seized my person, and brought me by force before his master's throne.