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Part 6 Before The Sultan

aladdin mother
Aladdin Mother | Story of Aladdin

Story of Aladdin beginning…

Aladdin and his mother retired for the night, but the violent passion and dreams of endless fortune that filled the son’s mind stopped him from sleeping as soundly as he would have liked. He rose before first light, went to wake his mother, and pressed her to dress as fast as she could in order to be at the palace gate when it opened.

Aladdin’s mother took the porcelain bowl with its gift of gemstones, wrapped it in a napkin, and carried it to the palace. The grand vizier and the lords of the council had just entered when she arrived at the gate. She joined the large crowd of people seeking an audience and walked with them to the divan or council chamber. It was a splendid room, vast and deep, with a magnificent entrance. She placed herself in front of the sultan. Petitioners were called one after the other, and their matters were discussed, debated, and concluded until the session was over. Then the sultan rose, dismissed his council, and returned to his apartments, followed by the grand vizier and the other ministers. All those who had gathered to have their matters heard left the room, some satisfied with the outcome of their case, others displeased with the judgment made against them, others still hopeful of being heard at another session.

Aladdin’s mother judged that the sultan would not appear again that day and went home. Her son, seeing her return with the gift, hardly dared ask after her journey. His mother, who had never set foot in the sultan’s palace and had not the first idea of what took place there, spoke with great innocence.

“I saw the sultan,” she said, “and I am sure he saw me too. I was standing right in front of him, and nobody stood between us. But he was preoccupied with all the speakers, and it moved me to see the trouble he took to listen to them. It all lasted so long that I think he got bored, for he stood up unexpectedly and withdrew at once, without having heard the many other people who were waiting
to speak. Still, it gave me great pleasure to see him, though I too began to lose patience at having to stand for so long. I will go back tomorrow. Perhaps the sultan will not be so busy.”

Enamored as he was, Aladdin could not but accept this excuse and wait. He was at least satisfied that his mother had made the most difficult leap, which was to hold the sultan’s gaze, and hoped that the sight of others speaking in his presence had emboldened her to act when a favorable moment came.

The next morning she returned to the palace, but she found the divan closed and learned that the council only sat every other day. She brought this news to her son, who was forced to renew his patience. She went back six times on the appointed days and might have returned a hundred times just as uselessly if the sultan, who saw her standing before him at every session, had not noticed her.

One day, the sultan said to his grand vizier: “Some time ago I began to notice a certain woman, who attends every session of the council, always carrying a bundle wrapped in cloth. She stands for the full length of the hearing and is always careful to place herself in front of me. Do you know what she wants?”

The grand vizier, who knew no more than the sultan, felt he ought to say something, and replied: “Your Majesty is aware that women often complain about nothing. This woman has no doubt come to carp about the bad flour she was sold or some other trivial matter.”

The sultan was not satisfied with this answer.

“Call her next time,” he said, “and let us hear her.”

The vizier’s only reply was to kiss his hand and raise it above his head, to indicate that he was prepared to lose his head if he failed to obey.

At the next session, Aladdin’s mother was called forward. She walked after the usher up to the sultan’s throne, and, following the example of the others, she knelt and pressed her forehead to the carpet until the sultan told her to rise. “Good woman,” he said, “I have seen you often in this divan, standing before me from beginning to end. What brings you here?”

“King of kings,” she said, “before I reveal the reason for my presence before your throne, I beg your pardon for the boldness of the question I have come to ask. It is so unusual that I tremble with shame at the thought of submitting it to my sultan.” The sultan sent away all but the grand vizier and told her she could speak without fear.

Once Aladdin’s mother had taken all the precautions that her delicate mission required, she told the sultan how Aladdin had seen Princess Badr album ur, how that encounter had roused him to an irresistible passion, how he had confessed his love to her, and how she had done all she could to talk him out of an infatuation “no less insolent to Your Majesty,” she said, “than to the princess. But he persisted and even threatened to commit some desperate act if I did not come and ask Your Majesty for the princess’s hand. After a terrible struggle, I accepted. Now I beg you to forgive not only myself but my son Aladdin.”

The sultan listened to her with great gentleness, without the slightest sign of outrage or even of derision, and asked what she had in her bundle of cloth. She unwrapped the gift and laid the jewels at the foot of the throne.

sultan’s surprise when he saw stones|Story of Aladdin

One could not describe the sultan’s surprise when he saw so many precious stones assembled in that bowl, for they were larger, brighter, more precious, and more perfect than any he had seen before. For a while, he was so amazed he could not move. When he recovered his composure, he took the gift from Aladdin’s mother’s hands and gave a cry of joy: “How beautiful these are! How rich!” After picking up and admiring almost every stone in turn, and noting what distinguished each of them, he turned to his grand vizier and said: “Look at these, and tell me if there is anything more precious on this earth. Is this gift not worthy of my daughter, and should I not give her to whoever values her at such a price?”

These words threw the grand vizier into a strange turmoil. Sometime before, the sultan had hinted that he wished to marry his daughter to one of the vizier’s sons. Now he feared that the beauty of this gift would change his mind.

“No one can deny,” he said, “that this present is worthy of the princess. But I implore Your Majesty to grant me three months before making a decision. I hope that by then my son will be able to offer you a gift even more precious than Aladdin’s.”

The sultan convinced that his grand vizier could never find his son a present to match this one, still granted him that grace, and told Aladdin’s mother that he consented to the marriage and that she should return after three months.

Aladdin’s mother, who had thought an audience with the sultan impossible, returned home overjoyed. When Aladdin saw his mother enter, both earlier than usual and with smiling eyes, he asked her if he could live in hope.

“My son,” she said, “put an end to your agony. Far from thinking of death, you have every reason to rejoice.” She went on to relate how she had been heard before anyone else, the precautions she had taken before putting her offer to the sultan, and the favorable response he had given. She added that, as far as she could judge, the gift had impressed him and moved him to approval. “I did not expect it,” she said, “as the grand vizier had whispered something into his ear just before he answered me, and I feared that the vizier would turn him away from his good intentions.” Aladdin, elated, resolved himself to patience and counted the hours and days that kept him from his beloved.

Two months had passed when his mother, going into the city one evening to buy oil, found everyone rejoicing and all the shops illuminated. The streets were thick with palace officials in ceremonial dress, mounted on richly caparisoned horses, and surrounded by a multitude of footmen who came and went. She asked her oil merchant what was going on. “Where have you been, my good lady?” he
said. “Do you not know that the son of the grand vizier is to marry the princess tonight? She will soon be leaving the baths, and the officials that you see all around will escort her back to the palace for the ceremony.”

Aladdin’s mother ran home. Her son was unprepared for the terrible news she brought.

“All is lost!” she cried. “You hoped for the sultan’s beautiful daughter, but it was not to be.”

“How could the sultan have broken his promise?” said Aladdin. “How do you know?”

“Tonight,” replied his mother, “the grand vizier’s son will marry Princess Badr al-Budur at the palace.”

She told him the story, in such detail that it left no room for doubt.

Any other man would have given up hope, but secret jealousy kept Aladdin from despair. Without a single word against the sultan, the vizier, or his son, he simply said: “Mother, the grand vizier’s son will perhaps not be as happy as he expects this evening.” He went to his room, took the magic lamp he kept there to hide it from his mother, and rubbed it in the same spot his mother had rubbed it before. At once the jinni appeared before him.

“What is your command?”

“The sultan has broken his promise to me and is marrying the princess to another. I command you to bring me the bride and groom tonight.”

“As you wish, master,” said the jinni.

Aladdin went back to his mother and ate as calmly as usual. After supper, he spoke to her a little about the princess’s marriage, as though the matter no longer concerned him. He returned to his room, and, while his mother went to bed, he stayed up waiting for the jinni to do his work.

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