What effect would this discovery have on his relations to Helen? He dared not think yet he must think. Already the temptation of his life was forming in his mind. His cousin was sleeping; and with a wild impatience to escape, to get away from all his kind, he stole noiselessly out into the midnight and deserted streets. On, on he went, limping he knew not, cared not where, for his passion and mental agony drove him hither and thither like a leaf before a fitful gale.
Princess, said Aladdin, "do not be displeased that I trouble you with so many questions, since they are equally important to us both. But to come to what most particularly concerns me: tell me, I conjure you, how so wicked and perfidious a man treats you?" "Since I have been here," replied the princess, "he repairs once every day to see me; and I am persuaded the little satisfaction he receives from his visits makes him come no oftener. All his addresses tend to persuade me to break that faith I have pledged to you, and to take him for my husband; giving me to understand I need not entertain hopes of ever seeing you again, for that you were dead, having had your head struck off by my father's order. He added, to justify himself, that you were an ungrateful wretch; that your good fortune was owing to him, and a great many other things of that nature which I forbear to repeat: but as he received no other answer from me but grievous complaints and tears, he was always forced to retire with as little satisfaction as he came. I doubt not his intention is to allow me time to overcome my grief, in hopes that afterward I may change my sentiments. But my dear husband's presence removes all my apprehensions."
What! through that horrid black mud?
All the troubles and calamities I had undergone, said he, "could not cure me of my inclination to make new voyages. I therefore bought goods, departed with them for the best seaport; and that I might not be obliged to depend upon a captain, but have a ship at my own command, I remained there till one was built on purpose. When the ship was ready, I went on board with my goods: but not having enough to load her, I agreed to take with me several merchants of different nations with their merchandise.
Washington was more trying than my work."
This action of the African magician's plainly shewed him to be neither Aladdin's uncle, nor Mustapha the tailor's brother; but a true African. Africa is a country whose inhabitants delight most in magic of any in the whole world, and he had applied himself to it from his youth. After forty years' experience in enchantments and reading of magic books, he had found out that there was in the world a wonderful lamp, the possession of which would render him more powerful than any monarch; and by a late operation of geomancy, he had discovered that this lamp lay concealed in a subterranean place in the midst of China. Fully persuaded of the truth of this discovery, he set out from the farthest part of Africa; and after a long and fatiguing journey came to the town nearest to this treasure. But though he had a certain knowledge of the place where the lamp was, he was not permitted to take it himself, nor to enter the subterranean place, but must receive it from the hands of another person. For this reason he had addressed himself to Aladdin, whom he looked upon as a lad fit to serve his purpose, resolving, as soon as he should get the lamp into his hands, to sacrifice him to his avarice and wickedness, by making the fumigation mentioned before, and repeating two magical words, the effect of which would remove the stone into its place, so that no witness would remain of the transaction.
When he came to this part of his narrative, the young king could not restrain his tears; and the sultan was himself so affected by the relation, that he could not find utterance for any words of consolation. Shortly after, the young king, lifting up his eyes to heaven, exclaimed, "Mighty creator of all things, I submit myself to Thy judgments, and to the decrees of Thy providence: I endure my calamities with patience, since it is Thy will that things should be as they are; but I hope that Thy infinite goodness will ultimately reward me."
When I heard this, I was filled with wonder, and said within myself: "I am King Agib, the son of King Khasib, and it was I who threw down the horseman; but, by Allah, I will neither kill him nor do him any injury." Then said I to the youth: "Far from thee be both destruction and harm, if it be the will of God: thou hast nothing to fear: I will remain with thee to serve thee, and will go forth with thee to thy father, and beg of him to send me back to my country, for the which he will obtain a reward." The youth rejoiced at my words, and I sat and conversed with him until night, when I spread his bed for him, and covered him, and slept near to his side. And in the morning I brought him water, and he washed his face, and said to me: "May God requite thee for me with every blessing. If I escape from King Agib, I will make my father reward thee with abundant favours." "Never," I replied, "may the day arrive that would bring thee misfortune!" I then placed before him some refreshments, and after we had eaten together, we passed the day conversing with the utmost cheerfulness.