Today’s respite hideaway…. shhhhhh don’t tell anyone
The Surreal Books Jonathan Wolstenholme
Costume designed by Cecil Beaton for Birgit Nilsson in the 1963 production of Turandot.
Aladdin & the Wonderful Lamp (part 3)
He came again the next day, as he had promised, and took Aladdin with him to a merchant, who sold all sorts of clothes for different ages and ranks, ready made, and a variety of fine stuffs, and bade Aladdin choose those he preferred, which he paid for.
When Aladdin found himself so handsomely equipped, he returned his uncle thanks, who thus addressed him: “As you are soon to be a merchant, it is proper you should frequent these shops, and become acquainted with them.”
He then showed him the largest and finest mosques, carried him to the khans or inns where the merchants and travelers 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.
This entertainment lasted till night, when Aladdin would have taken leave of his uncle to go home. The magician would not let him go by himself, but conducted him to his mother, who, as soon as she saw him so well dressed, was transported with joy, and bestowed a thousand blessings upon the magician.
Early the next morning the magician called again for Aladdin, and said he would take him to spend that day in the country, and on the next he would purchase the shop. He then led him out at one of the gates of the city, to some magnificent palaces, to each of which belonged beautiful gardens, into which anybody might enter. At every building he came to he asked Aladdin if he did not think it fine; and the youth was ready to answer, when any one presented itself, crying out, “Here is a finer house, uncle, than any we have yet seen.”
By this artifice the cunning magician led Aladdin some way into the country; and as he meant to carry him farther, to execute his design, pretending to be tired, he took an opportunity to sit down in one of the gardens, on the brink of a fountain of clear water which discharged itself by a lion’s mouth of bronze into a basin.
“Come, nephew,” said he, “you must be weary as well as I. Let us rest ourselves, and we shall be better able to pursue our walk.”
The magician next pulled from his girdle a handkerchief with cakes and fruit, and during this short repast he exhorted his nephew to leave off bad company, and to seek that of wise and prudent men, to improve by their conversation. “For,” said he, “you will soon be at man’s estate, and you cannot too early begin to imitate their example.”
When they had eaten as much as they liked, they got up, and pursued their walk through gardens separated from one another only by small ditches, which marked out the limits without interrupting the communication; so great was the confidence the inhabitants reposed in each other.
By this means the African magician drew Aladdin insensibly beyond the gardens, and crossed the country, till they nearly reached the mountains.
At last they arrived between two mountains of moderate height and equal size, divided by a narrow valley, where the magician intended to execute the design that had brought him from Africa to China.
“We will go no farther now,” said he to Aladdin. “I will show you here some extraordinary things, which, when you have seen, you will thank me for; but while I strike a light, gather up all the loose dry sticks you can see, to kindle a fire with.”
Aladdin found so many dried sticks that he soon collected a great heap. The magician presently set them on fire; and when they were in a blaze he threw in some incense, pronouncing several magical words, which Aladdin did not understand.
He had scarcely done so when the earth opened just before the magician, and disclosed a stone with a brass ring fixed in it. Aladdin was so frightened that he would have run away, but the magician caught hold of him, and gave him such a box on the ear that he knocked him down. Aladdin got up trembling, and, with tears in his eyes, said to the magician, “What have I done, uncle, to be treated in this severe manner?”
“I am your uncle,” answered the magician; “I supply the place of your father, and you ought to make no reply. But, child,” added he, softening, “do not be afraid; for I shall not ask anything of you, but that, if you obey me punctually, you will reap the advantages which I intend you. Know, then, that under this stone there is hidden a treasure, destined to be yours, and which will make you richer than the greatest monarch in the world. No person but yourself is permitted to lift this stone, or enter the cave; so you must punctually execute what I may command, for it is a matter of great consequence both to you and to me.”
Aladdin, amazed at all he saw and heard, forgot what was past, and rising said, “Well, uncle, what is to be done? Command me. I am ready to obey.” ……
A secluded cove on Cadlao Island, El Nido, Philippines (by ChrisJ).
Aladdin & the Wonderful Lamp (part 2)
“No,” said he, “I shall not do that; but give me leave to sit opposite to it, that although I see not the master of a family so dear to me, I may at least behold the place where he used to sit.”
When the magician had made choice of a place, and 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 have been married to my brother Mustapha of happy memory. I have been forty years absent from this country, which is my native place as well as my late brother’s. During that time I have traveled into the Indies, Persia, Arabia, and Syria, and afterward crossed over into Africa, where I took up my abode in Egypt. At last, as it is natural for a man, I was desirous to see my native country again, and to embrace my dear brother; and finding I had strength enough to undertake so long a journey, I made the necessary preparations, and set out. Nothing ever afflicted me so much as hearing of my brother’s death. 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 African magician, perceiving that the widow wept at the remembrance of her husband, changed the conversation, and turning toward her son, asked him, “What business do you follow? Are you of any trade?”
At this question the youth hung down his head, and was not a little abashed when his mother answered, “Aladdin is an idle fellow. His father, when alive, strove all he could to teach him his trade, but could not succeed; and since his death, notwithstanding all I can say to him, he does nothing but idle away his time in the streets, as you saw him, without considering he is no longer a child; and if you do not make him ashamed of it, I despair of his ever coming to any good. For my part, I am resolved, one of these days, to turn him out of doors, and let him provide for himself.”
After these words, Aladdin’s mother burst into tears; and the magician said, “This is not well, nephew; you must think of helping yourself, and getting your livelihood. There are many sorts of trades; perhaps you do not like your father’s, and would prefer another; I will endeavor to help you. If you have no mind to learn any handicraft, I will take a shop for you, furnish it with all sorts of fine stuffs and linens; and then with the money you make of them you can lay in fresh goods, and live in an honorable way. Tell me freely what you think of my proposal; you shall always find me ready to keep my word.”
This plan just suited Aladdin, who hated work. He told the magician he had a greater inclination to that business than to any other, and that he should be much obliged to him for his kindness. “Well, then,” said the African magician, “I will carry you with me to-morrow, clothe you as handsomely as the best merchants in the city, and afterward we will open a shop as I mentioned.”
The widow, after his promise of kindness to her son, no longer doubted that the magician was her husband’s brother. She thanked him for his good intentions; and after having exhorted Aladdin to render himself worthy of his uncle’s favor, she served up supper, at which they talked of several indifferent matters; and then the magician took his leave and retired.
#aladdin #lamp #arabian #nights