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N the capital of one of the largest and richest provinces

of China, lived Mustapha the tailor. He had nothing to depend upon but what he earned from his trade, and so poor

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NotE.—The story of Allah-ed-deen, or, as the name is anglicised, “ Aladdin," has always been one of the most popular of the series of iales known as “ The Tbousand and One Nights,” or “ The Arabian Nights' Entertainments." Baron Von Hammer-Purgstall, in his

Essay on the Origin and Authorship of the Thousand and One Nights," says that these fictions must possess great interest for European readers, who derive at once instruction and amusement up


was he that he could hardly support his wife and his only son Aladdin.

Aladdin, like many an only child, had been spoilt by his parents; and he became turbulent and disobedient, refusing to stay indoors, and spending nearly all his time in the streets, playing with a set of blackguard boys, who were his chosen comrades. Mustapha took him into his shop, and tried to get him to use the needle ; but Aladdin would not learn. Mustapha chastised his rebellious son, but Aladdin would not reform; and at last the poor tailor so took his son's conduct to heart, that he fell sick and fairly fretted himself to death.

The boy's mother, seeing that Aladdin would not work, shut the shor, sold off the stock, and with a little money

she thus raised, and what she could make by spinning cotton, tried hard to support herself and her son.

One day, when Aladdin was playing in the streets as usual, with his choice company of friends, an African magician passed by.

He stopped, and asked the boy if he was not the son of Mus. tapha the tailor. “Yes, sir,"

answered Aladdin ; “but he from them : though difference of character and habit prevents those readers from fully appreciating the magic of the vivid imagination which, in the eyes of the Orientals, constitutes the chief merit of these narrations. . . . The antiquity of the “ Arabian Nights" is proved by a reference to them in the writings of the Arab historian Masoudi, who died A.D. 956. He says: “They say that this book belongs to the class of books translated from the Indian, the

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has been dead a long time.” Hereupon the African magician
kissed Aladdin, and began to weep. On being asked the cause
of his tears, “ Alas, my boy!” he cried, “ your
brother. I have been travelling abroad many years; and
now, when I at last return in hopes of seeing him, you tell
me that he is dead.” Hereupon he asked Aladdin where his
mother lived ; and putting a hand-full of small coins into his
palm, bade the boy say that his uncle would come to see her
next day, to hear about poor Mustapha.

father was my

The poor widow was not a little surprised when her hope. ful son came running home in high glee to tell her of the Persian, and the Greek, such as the work entitled Hezar-Efsaneh, which signifies in the Arabic, Elfkharafah, that is to say, The Thousand Tales, and which is generally known under the name of The Thousand Nights.' It is a history of a king of the Indies, of his vizier, the vizier's daughter Schehersadeh, and her nurse Dinarzade. Such again are the stories of Djilkand and Schimas, the history of a king of India and his ten viziers, the Voyages of Sindbad, and all the other

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new relation he had found, and how his uncle was coming to see her the next day. Mustapha had never spoken of any brother; but the sight of the money made her think there was some truth in the assertion ; for people are not generally very willing to give away money to strange boys in the street.

Next day the magician came according to promise. He was very polite to Aladdin's mother, bewailed the death of his poor brother, and made himself generally agreeable. During supper he turned to Aladdin, and said, “Well, nephew, what business are you learning.-what is your

trade?” Now, as Aladdin was learning nothing at all, except how to fight the boys in the street, he was somewhat at a loss for a reply; but his mother immediately began to answer for him, and gave the magician such an account of her hopeful son's proceedings, that Aladdin felt his ears tingle and his cheeks redden—as well he might.

“This is not well, Aladdin,” said the magician gravely. “You must do something for your living. I will do the best I I can to assist you. If you do not like a trade, I will take a shop for you, and buy you goods, with which you can traffic

, and gain your bread like an honest man.”

Aladdin, who saw a prospect of getting a livelihood without much labour, was very glad of this proposal ; and as for his mother, she thanked the generous uncle a thousand times. The magician seemed to be decidedly in earnest; for the next day he came to fetch his nephew, and took him to walk


works of that kind.” From another passage of the same work of Masoudi, Hammer-Purgstall shows that the “Thousand and One Nights" was originally derived from a Persian, or perhaps an Indian source, and was probably translated in the time of the Caliph Mansour, who came to the throne in 754, thirty years before Haroun al Raschid, who was afterwards made to play so large a part in the histories. Many stories were added at a later time.



through the principal streets of the city. First he called at a tailor's, and bought some new garments for Aladdin, whereat that young gentleman rejoiced greatly; and in the afternoon he took him to the khan or inn where he lodged, and introduced him to several acquaintances as “his dear nephew Aladdin.”

In the evening the magician took him to his mother, who was overjoyed that her boy, whom she loved in spite of his faults, should have met with such a friend ; and he promised to take Aladdin out for a longer walk the next day.

He came the next morning as promised, and walked with the boy out at one of the city gates. He managed to amuse him with pleasant talk, so that Aladdin did not notice how far they went, and he was quite surprised when his uncle at last stopped at the foot of a ridge of mountains.

Between two mountains of equal size there was a little valley. Here the magician turned to Aladdin, and said, “I will show you a thing which will greatly astonish you. But

. while I strike a light, you go and gather some dry sticks.” Aladdin obeyed, and the magician first kindled a fire, then when the fire flickered up high from the sticks that had been kindled, he caused a thick and dense smoke to arise from the flame; and at some mysterious words pronounced by the magician, which Aladdin could not in the least comprehend, this smoke seemed to thicken. Then the earth appeared to tremble slightly, as the magician bent down and

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