The chief cook, who had never heard of such a dish, started back, and showed his thoughts by his looks; which the princess penetrating, said: "I see you take me to be mad to order such a dish, which one may say with certainty was never made. I know this as well as you; but I am not mad, and give you these orders with the most perfect recollection. You must invent and do the best you can, and bring me back what pearls are left." The cook could make no reply, but took the box and retired; and afterward the princess gave directions to all the domestics to have everything in order, both in the house and gardens, to receive the emperor.
He was much pleased that he stopped in this place; for the agreeable smell of wood of aloes, and of pastils, that came from the house, mixing with the scent of the rose-water, completely perfumed the air. Besides, he heard from within a concert of instrumental music, accompanied with the harmonious notes of nightingales. This charming melody, and the smell of savoury dishes, made the porter conclude there was a feast within. His business seldom leading him that way, he knew not to whom the mansion belonged; but to satisfy his curiosity he went to some of the servants, whom he saw standing at the gate in magnificent apparel, and asked the name of the proprietor. "How," replied one of them, "do you live in Bagdad, and know not that this is the house of Sinbad the sailor, that famous voyager, who has sailed round the world?" The porter, who had heard of this Sinbad's riches, lifted up his eyes to Heaven, and said, loud enough to be heard: "Almighty creator of all things, consider the difference between Sinbad and me! I am every day exposed to fatigues and calamities, and can scarcely get barley-bread for myself and my family, whilst happy Sinbad expends immense riches and leads a life of pleasure. What has he done to obtain a lot so agreeable? And what have I done to deserve one so wretched?"
"It is needless for me to tell you that I was a melancholy spectator of this funeral, while the rest were scarcely moved, the custom was to them so familiar. I could not forbear communicating to the king my sentiment respecting the practice: 'Sir,' I said, 'I cannot but feel astonished at the strange usage observed in this country, of burying the living with the dead. I have been a great traveller, and seen many countries, but never heard of so cruel a law.' 'What do you mean, Sinbad?' replied the king: 'it is a common law. I shall be interred with the queen, my wife, if she die first.' 'But, sir,' said I, 'may I presume to ask your Majesty, if strangers be obliged to observe this law?' 'Without doubt,' returned the king; 'they are not exempted, if they be married in this island.'
Aladdin, who was well acquainted with what passed in the palace, was resolved that the troublesome adventure of the night before should again disturb the unhappy pair, and therefore had recourse to his lamp, and when the genie appeared and offered his service, he said to him: "Bring the grand vizier's son and the Princess Badroulboudour hither to-night, as thou didst yesterday."
"Observing that he looked on my jewels with pleasure, I fell prostrate at his feet, and took the liberty to say to him: 'Sir, not only my person is at your majesty's service, but the cargo of the raft, and I would beg of you to dispose of it as your own.' He answered me with a smile: 'Sinbad, I will take care not to covet anything of yours, or to take anything from you that God has given you; far from lessening your wealth, I design to augment it, and will not let you quit my dominions without marks of my liberality.' He then charged one of his officers to take care of me, and ordered people to serve me at his own expense. The officer was very faithful in the execution of his commission, and caused all the goods to be carried to the lodgings provided for me.
The sultan went directly to the window which was left imperfect, and when he found it like the rest, fancied that he was mistaken, examined the two windows on each side, and afterward all the four and twenty; but when he was convinced that the window which several workmen had been so long about was finished in so short a time, he embraced Aladdin, and kissed him between his eyes. "My son," said he, "what a man you are to do such surprising things always in the twinkling of an eye: there is not your fellow in the world; the more I know, the more I admire you."
While she was thus bewailing herself, the grand vizier entered, and asked her if the fish were ready. She told him all that had occurred, which we may easily imagine astonished him; but without speaking a word of it to the sultan he invented an excuse that satisfied him, and sending immediately for the fisherman bid him bring four more such fish, for a misfortune had befallen the others, so that they were not fit to be carried to the royal table. The fisherman, without saying anything of what the genie had told him, told the vizier he had a great way to go for them, in order to excuse himself from bringing them that day, but said that he would certainly bring them on the morrow.
After the enchantress had given her husband a hundred blows with the whip, she put on again his covering of goat's hair, and his brocade gown over all; she went afterward to the Palace of Tears, and as she entered renewed her tears and lamentations; then approaching the bed, where she thought the Indian lay: "Alas!" said she, addressing herself to the sultan, conceiving him to be the black, "My sun, my life, will you always be silent? Are you resolved to let me die without affording me the comfort of hearing your voice?"
After this, Gulnare gave birth to a boy, resembling the moon at the full, whereat the king experienced the utmost happiness, because he had not before been blessed with a son nor a daughter during his life. They continued the rejoicings, and the decoration of the city, for a period of seven days, in the utmost happiness and enjoyment; and on the seventh day, the mother of Gulnare, and her brother, and the daughters of her uncle, all came, when they knew that she had given birth to her child. The king met them, rejoicing at their arrival, and said to them: "I said that I would not name my son until ye should come, and that ye should name him according to your knowledge." And they named him Bedr Basim (Smiling Full Moon), all of them agreeing as to this name. They then presented the boy to his maternal uncle, Saleh, who took him upon his hands, and, rising with him from among them, walked about the palace to the right and left; after which he went forth with him from the palace, descended with him to the sea, and walked on until he became concealed from the eye of the king. So when the king saw that he had taken his son, and disappeared from him at the bottom of the sea, he despaired of him, and began to weep and wail. But Gulnare, seeing him in this state, said to him, "O King of the age, fear not nor grieve for thy son; for I love my child more than thou, and my child is with my brother; therefore fear not his being drowned. If my brother knew that any injury would betide the little one, he had not done what he hath done; and presently he will bring thee thy son safe, if it be the will of God, whose name be exalted!" And but a short time had elapsed when the sea was agitated, and the uncle of the little one came forth from it, having with him the king's son safe, and he flew from the sea until he came to them, with the little one in his arms, silent, and his face resembling the moon in the night of its fulness. Then the uncle of the little one looked toward the king, and said to him: "Perhaps thou fearedst some injury to thy son when I descended into the sea, having him with me." So he replied: "Yes, O my master, I feared for him, and I did not imagine that he would ever come forth from it safe." And Saleh said to him: "O King of the Land, we applied to his eyes a lotion that we know, and repeated over him the names engraved upon the seal of Solomon, the son of David; for when a child is born among us, we do to him as I have told thee. Fear not therefore, on his account, drowning, nor suffocation, nor all the seas if he descend into them. Like as ye walk upon the land, we walk in the sea."
"Princess," replied the dervish, "of all the persons who have addressed themselves to me for information, I do not know that ever one made use of the contrivance you propose. All I know is that they all perished. If you persist in your design, you may make the experiment. You will be fortunate if it succeeds, but I would advise you not to expose yourself to the danger."
The next day, his first object was to inquire what people said of Aladdin; and, taking a walk through the town, he went to the most public and frequented places, where persons of the best distinction met to drink a certain warm liquor, which he had drunk often during his former visit. As soon as he had seated himself, he was presented with a cup of it, which he took; but listening at the same time to the discourse of the company on each side of him, he heard them talking of Aladdin's palace. When he had drunk off his liquor, he joined them, and taking this opportunity, inquired particularly of what palace they spoke with so much commendation. "From whence come you?" said the person to whom he addressed himself; "you must certainly be a stranger not to have seen or heard talk of Prince Aladdin's palace. I do not say," continued the man, "that it is one of the wonders of the world, but that it is the only wonder of the world; since nothing so grand, rich, and magnificent was ever beheld. Go and see it, and then judge whether I have told you more than the truth." "Forgive my ignorance," replied the African magician; "I arrived here but yesterday from the farthest part of Africa, where the fame of this palace had not reached when I came away. The business which brought me hither was so urgent, that my sole object was to arrive as soon as I could, without stopping anywhere, or making any acquaintance. But I will not fail to go and see it, if you will do me the favour to show me the way thither."
"Well," replied the robber, "you may, however, remember a little of the way that you were led blindfolded. Come, let me blind your eyes at the same place. We will walk together; perhaps you may recognise some part; and as everybody ought to be paid for his trouble, there is another piece of gold for you; gratify me in what I ask you." So saying, he put another piece of gold into his hand.