The Elson Readers, Book 5
by William H. Elson and Christine M. Keck
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A boy needs both physical and moral courage. Neither can take the place of the other. A coward who will take a blow without returning it is a contemptible creature; but, after all, he is hardly as contemptible as the boy who dares not stand up for what he deems right against the sneers of his companions who are themselves wrong. There is no need to be a prig. There is no need for a boy to preach about his own conduct and virtue. If he does, he will make himself ridiculous. But there is need that he should practice decency; that he should be clean and straight, honest and truthful, gentle and tender, as well as brave.

The boy can best become a good man by being a good boy—not a goody-goody boy, but just a plain good boy. "Good," in the largest sense, should include whatever is fine, straightforward, clean, brave, and manly. The best boys I know—the best men I know—are good at their studies or their business, fearless and stalwart, hated and feared by all that is wicked, incapable of submitting to wrong-doing, and equally incapable of being aught but tender to the weak and helpless. A healthy-minded boy should feel hearty contempt for the coward, and even more hearty indignation for the boy who bullies girls or small boys, or tortures animals.

Of course the effect that a thoroughly manly, thoroughly straight and upright boy can have upon the companions of his own age, and upon those who are younger, is incalculable. He cannot do good work if he is not strong and does not try with his whole heart and soul to count in any contest; and his strength will be a curse to himself and to everyone else if he does not have thorough command over himself and over his own evil passions, and if he does not use his strength on the side of decency, justice, and fair dealing.

In short, in life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is: Hit the line hard; don't foul and don't shirk, but hit the line hard! —Abridged.


For Biography, see page 37. Discussion. 1. This selection sums up all the stories of service that you have been reading. You will get most out of it if you will think back over these stories and use them as illustrations of what Mr. Roosevelt tells you is his ideal of the American boy. What examples, in these stories, can you find to illustrate the sentence, "He must not be a coward or a weakling.... He must work hard and play hard"? 2. Illustrate, from the story of Lincoln, what Mr. Roosevelt says about study. What was Lincoln's attitude toward study? What is yours? Did Lincoln's studies have the effect on his character that Mr. Roosevelt speaks about? 3. What story illustrates the sentence, "There is need that he should practice decency; that he should be clean and straight, honest and truthful, gentle and tender, as well as brave"? 4. How does the story about life on the prairie illustrate the paragraph that begins, "The boy can best become a good man by being a good boy"? What is the difference between being "a good boy" and "a goodygoody boy"? 5. Was Ralph the Rover a brave man or a coward? 6. Apply the principle stated by Mr. Roosevelt at the end of the selection to the story about Washington and Braddock. To the story about the boy on the prairie. 7. Can you relate an instance in which a manly boy had a good influence upon another boy or Upon his companions? 8. Do you think the football slogan given in the last sentence on page 137 is a good principle of life? Memorize the slogan. 9. This selection is taken from The Strenuous Life; it first appeared in St. Nicholas, May, 1900. 10. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: shirk; prig; resolutely; indifference; inability; horseplay; deems; indignation; bullies. 11. Pronounce: adage; neither; contemptible; ridiculous; stalwart; incapable; aught; incalculable.

Phrases for Study

against all comers, physical and moral courage, walks of life, practice decency, animal spirits, in the largest sense, homely old adage, aught but tender.



As you gazed through your Crystal Glass of Reading at the selections in Part I, you saw reflected now pictures of home and now again a picture of that early Thanksgiving Day when Pilgrim and Indian sat down together to the "varied riches of gardens and woods and waves." When you heard Massasoit say at the feast, "The Good Spirit loves His white children best," you wondered about the truth of his statement and, as you thought about it, perhaps Abraham Lincoln came to mind; what do you think Lincoln, if he had been alive at that time, might have answered the Indian chief? The poems about home might be called memory-pictures of home; why do you think older people remember with so much fondness their childhood homes? Imagine yourself telling your grandchildren about the home of your youth and about your home pleasures; what things would you mention? Why is it a good thing for a nation to have its people love their homes and the festival days like Christmas and Thanksgiving?

And now a turn of the Crystal Glass reveals a glorious flag, floating protectingly over us. How you love to look upon its starry folds; when statesmen and poets tell you of the meaning of Old Glory you realize that there is good reason for your pride and your love. What did Charles Sumner tell you about the meaning of the stars and the stripes and the colors of the Flag? What did James Whitcomb Riley tell you about how Old Glow got its name? What were the circumstances under which Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner"? What are some of the things you can do to show your respect for the Flag? What are some of the things you remember about Lincoln's boyhood? How does his method of memorizing com-pare with yours? The young George Washington showed remarkable bravery as Braddock's chief assistant; what other fine quality did he show? How may these stories about Washington and Lincoln help you to be a worthy citizen of the country they helped to found and preserve?

We admire all people who are helpful to others, but when in giving service, some forget about themselves and even sacrifice themselves for others, we regard these as heroes. Peter, in "The Leak in the Dike," and the boy in "Somebody's Mother" forgot about themselves in their service to others; one disregarded danger to himself, and the other the possible jeers of his playmates; do you know of any instances of service in your school? It is fine to serve obediently under the command of superiors as did the young Casabianca, but it is even finer to think quickly in an emergency and to do what should be done when there is no one at hand to give orders. Who gave Peter his orders? Tubal Cain belongs to a group of men who have served their fellow men by useful inventions; mention some other inventors and tell how they have helped mankind. Hamlin Garland gave you a glimpse of the pioneer's service to our country; what names of pioneers in your locality are honored for their service in the early days? What ideas of being useful home-members did you get from Hamlin Garland and Theodore Roosevelt? How does the habit of being useful in the home fit one for being a good citizen? American boys and girls have many opportunities for service in the home, in the school, and in their other relations; have you done any piece of service, in an organized way, in your school? Does your school belong to the Junior Red Cross, and does it try' to follow the motto, "Go forth to serve"?

When you look back upon all that you have read of home and country, you no doubt come to the conclusion that "the man without a country" summed it all up when he said, "Stick to your family... Think of your home... And for your country and for your Flag, never dream but of serving her."

From selections found in this book prepare a program for Washington's birthday.



Hush! Again a forest and somebody up in a tree—not Robin Hood... but an Eastern King with a glittering scimitar and turban. It is the setting-in of the bright Arabian Nights.

Oh, now ail common things become uncommon and enchanted to me. All lamps are wonderful; all rings are talismans... Trees are for Ali Baba to hide in; beefsteaks are to throw down into the Valley of Diamonds that the precious stones may stick to them and be carried by the eagles to their nests, whence the traders, with loud cries, will scare them.




When something out of the ordinary happens to you, you call it an adventure. Perhaps you came very near getting drowned in the swimming pool, or you found a purse with some money and some queer treasures in it, or you met a very curious old man, or you caught a rabbit after an exciting chase, or you went on a long journey and saw many wonderful things. If you have had such an experience, you like to tell about it to your friends, and if you have not, you like to hear the stories told by people who have had some thrilling adventure of their own.

From the earliest times to the present the man who has had some unusual experience to tell about has been a favorite. We are eager to hear such stories; they make life seem more interesting and varied. Nowadays we read such stories in books and magazines; we are not dependent upon hearing them from the lips of those who have lived lives of adventure. But centuries ago, before there were books and newspapers, when any journey away from home, even for a few miles, was filled with peril, the traveler who could tell of marvelous things, or the weaver of tales who had a vivid imagination so that he could tell about things that seemed really true, found eager hearers. Among the French, stories about Roland, the wonderful knight who fought in the wars of the Emperor Charlemagne, were known by every boy and girl. The English had King Arthur, and Saint George, and Robin Hood.

Besides these legends about a national hero, there are many collections of stories that have grown up among the common people. One of the oldest of these collections of tales is that known as the Arabian Nights. For hundreds of years these stories were told in the tents of the desert or in the gay bazaars of the cities of the East. About the time of the discovery of America they were written down and became known as the Arabian Nights Entertainment, or the tales of a thousand and one nights. We are told that there was once a cruel King who planned to slay all the women in his kingdom. His wife determined to tell him such wonderful stories that he would give up his cruel purpose. So she told him of enchanted gardens, of caves filled with treasure, of palaces built in a night, and of many other things. He was so eager to hear these stories that a thousand and one nights passed before he could escape from the spell that she laid upon him. By this time he was so much in love with her that he withdrew his wicked order. You may see how marvelous were these tales by reading the stories of Aladdin, of Ali Baba, and of Sindbad the Sailor. Perhaps when you have finished them you will not wonder that the King found the thousand and one nights so happy that he lost his desire to carry out his cruel purpose.

Next, you are introduced to one of the most popular of English heroes, Robin Hood. Many old ballads and tales, older than the first American colony, have come down to us with these stories of the famous outlaw. The stories are very different from those of the Arabian Nights. They have no treasure caves or magic lamps or voyages to strange countries in them. They tell of contests in archery, for which the English were famous; of wrestling and swimming matches; of outlaws and dwellers in the greenwood. Because he was their champion against unjust taxation and oppressive laws, Robin Hood was the idol of the common people. They made up games about him, in which old and young took part. Wandering minstrels sang about him. "Lincoln green," the color of the clothing worn by Robin and his followers, was a favorite with all foresters. Why Robin was so loved you may determine for yourselves by reading the stories of Robin Hood given in the pages that follow.

In Gulliver's Travels we pass from stories like the Arabian Nights and "Robin Hood," which grew up among the common people, to a story composed by a single author who wrote out his material and then had it printed in order that all might enjoy it. We do not know who wrote the story of Ali Baba or the adventures of Robin Hood, but we know all about Jonathan Swift, the great English writer who tells us the story of Gulliver's adventures among the little people, or Lilliputians. Gulliver also had wonderful experiences among a race of giants, and in a land where the citizens were horses that were more intelligent than men.

Somewhat different from all the other tales in this part of our book is the story of Robinson Crusoe, written by Daniel Defoe about two hundred years ago and here condensed for your enjoyment. There was, in Defoe's time, a sailor, Alexander Selkirk by name, who was left by his shipmates on an island and who lived by himself for four years before he attracted the attention of a passing ship. This suggested the idea of Robinson Crusoe to Defoe, but he has greatly expanded the story. Crusoe lived on his lonely island for twenty-seven years. During this time he learned how to make tools, to build his house, to cultivate his farm, to prepare to defend himself against an enemy's attack, and to civilize barbarous people.

In its original form each of the stories in this group makes a good-sized book. While some incidents and many details have been omitted here in order to shorten and simplify the stories, the main plot and all the most interesting incidents are given.

The world is full of stories of adventure; these are only samples of the joyful experiences that you may have through your power to read. And you boys and girls are more fortunate than those who lived in the time of Aladdin, or even those who lived in the time of Robin Hood or Robinson Crusoe, for they had no books at all, or only a few, and if they had any, these books were poorly printed, with very ugly illustrations, not at all like the wonderful books that you may have at will.

But of all the stories that might have been selected, the ones placed before you have been chosen for two reasons. First of all, they are interesting, and are to be read for pure enjoyment. And next, these stories leave with you certain ideas that are well worth while. Aladdin and Ali Baba, the heroes of the Arabian Nights stories, who became rich through their strange adventures, helped their neighbors with their wealth. Robin Hood, too, helped the poor oppressed people of his time, though he did many things that would be wrong today. Robinson Crusoe's lonely life on a desert island shows us how much we depend upon the work of those about us. And Captain Gulliver, in the midst of his wonderful adventures, always kept in mind the ideas of justice and honor.

So in all these stories there is a sense of justice and responsibility. Nowadays—at least in America—men are free. Buried treasure is as hard to find as ever, but it can be found. The man who works hard, who seizes opportunities, who builds up a business or runs a farm, can find his treasure. The government will protect him; we no longer need to use the methods of Robin Hood to get justice. The important question is whether the Ali Babas and Aladdins of our day will feel just such responsibility to others as you find recorded in these stories, and whether the desire to help the unfortunate is as strong in our free America as it was in the heart of Robin Hood.



Aladdin was the son of Mustapha, a poor tailor in one of the rich provinces of China. When the boy was old enough to learn a trade, his father took him into his own workshop. But Aladdin, being but an idle fellow, loved play more than work, and spent his days playing in the public streets with other boys as idle as himself.

His father died while he was yet very young; but Aladdin still continued his foolish ways, and his mother was forced to spin cotton night and day in order to keep herself and her boy.

When Aladdin was about fifteen years old, he was one day playing in the streets with some of his companions. A stranger who was going by stopped and looked at him. This stranger was a famous African magician, who, having need of the help of some ignorant person, no sooner beheld Aladdin than he knew by his whole manner and appearance that he was a person of small prudence and very fit to be made a tool of. The magician inquired of some persons standing near, the name and character of Aladdin, and the answers proved to him that he had judged rightly of the boy. The stranger, pressing in among the crowd of lads, clapped his hand on Aladdin's shoulder, and said, "My good lad, are you not the son of Mustapha, the tailor?" "Yes, sir," said Aladdin; "but my father has been dead this long time."

"Alas!" cried he, "what unhappy news! I am your father's brother, child. I have been many years abroad; and now that I have come home in the hope of seeing him, you tell me he is dead!" And all the while tears ran down the stranger's cheeks, and his bosom heaved with sighs. Then, pulling out a purse, he gave Aladdin two pieces of gold, saying, "Take this, my boy, to your mother. Tell her that I will come and see her tonight, and sup with her." Pleased with the money, Aladdin ran home to his mother. "Mother," said he, "have I an uncle?" His mother told him he had not, whereupon Aladdin pulled out his gold and told her that a man who said he was his father's brother was coming to sup with her that very evening. Full of bewilderment, the good woman set out for the market, where she bought provisions, and was busy preparing the supper when the magician knocked at the door. He entered, followed by a porter who brought all kinds of delicious fruits and sweetmeats for their dessert.

As soon as they sat down to supper, he gave Aladdin's mother an account of his travels, saying that for forty years he had been away from home, in order to see the wonders of distant countries. Then, turning toward Aladdin, he asked his name. "I am called Aladdin," said he. "Well, Aladdin," said the magician, "what business do you follow?"

At this question Aladdin hung down his head, and was not a little abashed when his mother made answer: "Aladdin is an idle fellow; his father strove all he could to teach him his trade, but could not succeed; and since his death, in spite of all I can say to him, he does nothing but idle away his time in the streets, so that I despair of his ever coming to any good." With these words the poor woman burst into tears, and the magician, turning to Aladdin, said: "This is not well, nephew; you must think of helping yourself and getting your livelihood. I will help you as far as I may. What think you—shall I take a shop and furnish it for you?" Aladdin was overjoyed at the idea, for he thought there was very little labor in keeping a shop, and he told his uncle this would suit him better than anything else.

"I will take you with me tomorrow," said the magician, "clothe you as handsomely as the best merchants in the city, and then we will open a shop."

Aladdin's mother thanked him very heartily and begged Aladdin to behave so as to prove himself worthy of the good fortune promised by his kind uncle.

Next day the stranger called for Aladdin as he had promised, and led him to a merchant's, where clothes for all sorts of people were sold. Then he caused Aladdin to try on the handsomest suits, and choosing the one Aladdin preferred he paid the merchant for it at once. The pretended uncle then took Aladdin to visit the bazaars, the khans where the foreign merchants were, and the most splendid mosques, and gave him a merry feast in the evening.

The next morning Aladdin got up and dressed himself very early, so impatient was he to see his uncle. Presently he saw him coming, and ran to meet him. The magician greeted him very kindly. "Come, my good boy," he said with a smile; "I will today show you some very fine things."

He then led him through some beautiful gardens with great houses standing in the midst of them. Aladdin did nothing but exclaim at their beauty, and so his uncle by degrees led him on farther and farther into the country. "We shall now," said he to Aladdin, "go no farther, for I shall here show you some extraordinary wonders that no one besides yourself will ever have seen. I am now going to strike a light, and do you, in the meantime, collect all the dry sticks and leaves that you can find, in order to make a fire."

There were so many pieces of dry sticks scattered about this place that Aladdin collected more than enough by the time his uncle had struck a light. The magician then set them on fire, and as soon as they were in a blaze he threw a certain perfume, that he had ready in his hand, upon them. A dense smoke arose, while the magician spoke some mysterious words. At the same instant the ground shook slightly, and, opening in the spot where they stood, showed a square stone about a foot and a half across, with a brass ring in the center.

Aladdin was frightened out of his wits, and was about to run away, when the magician suddenly gave him a box on the ear so violent as to beat him down and very nearly to knock some of his teeth out. Poor Aladdin, with tears in his eyes and trembling in every limb, got up. "My dear uncle," he cried, "what have I done to deserve so severe a blow?" "I have good reasons for it," replied the magician. "Do you but obey me, and you will not repent of it. Underneath that stone is a great hidden treasure, which will make you richer than many kings if you will be attentive to what I shall say to you."

Aladdin had now got the better of his fright. "Well," said he, "what must I do? Tell me; I am ready to obey you in everything!" "Well said!" replied the magician; "come to me, then; take hold of this ring, and lift up the stone."

To Aladdin's surprise the stone was raised without any trouble, and then he could see a small opening three or four feet deep, at the bottom of which was a little door, with steps to go down still lower. "You must now," said the magician, "go down into this cavern, and when you have come to the bottom of the steps, you will see an open door which leads into three great halls. In each of these you will see, on both sides of you, four bronze vases as large as tubs, full of gold and silver, but you must not touch any of it.

"When you get to the first hall, bind your robe around you. Then go to the second without stopping, and thence in the same manner to the third. Above all, be very particular not to go near the walls or even to touch them with your robe; for if any part of your dress should chance to touch them, your instant death will be the consequence. At the far end of the third hall there is a door which leads to a garden planted with beautiful trees, all of which are full of fruit. Go straight forward, and follow a path which you will see. This will bring you to the bottom of a flight of fifty steps, at the top of which there is a terrace.

"There you will see a niche and in it a lighted lamp. Take the lamp and extinguish it. Then throw out the wick and the liquid that is within, and put the lamp in your bosom. If you should wish very much to gather any of the fruit in the garden, you may do so; and there is nothing to prevent your taking as much as you please."

When the magician had given these directions to Aladdin, he took off a ring which he had on one of his fingers and put it on his pretended nephew, telling him at the same time that it was to secure him against every evil that might otherwise happen to him. "Go, my child," he said; "descend boldly; we shall now both of us become immensely rich for the rest of our lives."


Aladdin jumped willingly into the opening and went down to the bottom of the steps. He found the three halls exactly as the magician had said. These he passed through with the greatest care, keeping in mind his uncle's warning. He went on to the garden, and mounted to the terrace without stopping. There in a niche was the lamp, which he seized, and after he had thrown out the oil which it contained, he put it in his bosom.

This done, he returned to the garden. The trees here were all full of the most extraordinary fruit. Never before had he seen fruits of so many different colors. The white were pearls; the sparkling and transparent Were diamonds; the deep red were rubies; the paler, a particular sort of ruby called balas; the green, emeralds; the blue, turquoises; the violet, amethysts; those tinged with yellow, sapphires. All were of the largest size, and finer than were ever seen before in the whole world. Aladdin was not yet of an age to know their value, and thought they were all only pieces of colored glass.

However, the variety, brilliancy, and extraordinary size of each sort tempted him to gather some of each; and he took so many of every color that he filled both his pockets, as well as the two new purses the magician had bought for him at the time he made him a present of his new suit. Since his pockets were already full, he fastened the two purses on each side of his girdle, and also wrapped some of the gems in its folds, as it was of silk and made very full. In this manner he carried his treasures so that they could not fall out. He did not forget to fill even his bosom quite full, between his robe and his shirt.

Laden in this manner with the most immense treasure, though ignorant of its value, Aladdin made haste through the three halls, in order that he might not make his uncle wait too long. Having passed through them with the same caution as before, he began to ascend the steps he had come down, and reached the entrance of the cave, where the magician was impatiently waiting.

When Aladdin saw his uncle, he called to him, "Help me up!" "My dear boy," replied the magician, "you had better first give me the lamp, as that will only hinder you." "It is not at all in my way," said Aladdin, "and I will give it to you when I am out." The magician still persevered in wishing to get the lamp before he helped Aladdin out of the cave; but the boy had so covered it with the fruit of the trees that he absolutely refused to give it. The wicked magician was in the greatest despair at the obstinate resistance the boy made, and fell into the most violent rage. He then threw some perfume on the fire, and had hardly spoken two magic words, before the stone, which served to shut up the entrance to the cavern, returned of its own accord to the place, with all the earth over it, exactly in the same state as it was when the magician and Aladdin first arrived there.

When Aladdin found himself buried alive, he called aloud a thousand times to his uncle, telling him he was ready to give him the lamp. But all his cries were useless, and, having no other means of making himself heard, he remained in perfect darkness.

Finally he went down to the bottom of the stairs, intending to go toward the light in the garden, where he had been before. But the wails, which had been opened by enchantment, were now shut by the same means. The poor boy felt all around him several times, but could not discover the least opening. He then redoubled his cries and tears, and sat down upon the step of his dungeon, without the least hope of ever seeing the light of day again.

For two days Aladdin remained in this state, without either eating or drinking. On the third day, feeling that his death was near, he clasped his hands in prayer and said in a loud tone of voice, "There is no strength or power but in the great and high Heavens." In this act of joining his hands he happened, without thinking of it, to rub the ring which the magician had put upon his finger.

Instantly a Genius of enormous figure and horrid countenance rose out of the earth. This Genius, who was so extremely tall that his head touched the roof, addressed these words to Aladdin: "What do you wish? I am ready to obey you as your slave, both I and the other slaves of the ring." Weak and terrified, and scarcely daring to hope, Aladdin cried, "Whoever you are, take me, if you are able, out of this place!" No sooner had his lips formed the words than he found himself on the outside of the cave, at the very spot where the magician had left him. Almost unable to believe his good fortune, he arose trembling, and seeing the city in the distance, made his way back by the same road over which he had come. Such a long weary road he found it to his mother's door that when he reached it he was fainting from hunger and fatigue:

His mother, whose heart had been almost broken by his long absence, received him joyfully and refreshed him with food. When he had regained his strength, he told her all, and showed her the lamp and the colored fruits and the wonderful ring on his finger. His mother thought little of the jewels, as she was quite ignorant of their value; so Aladdin put them all behind one of the cushions of the sofa on which they were sitting.

Next morning when Aladdin awoke, his first thought was that he was very hungry and would like some breakfast. "Alas, my child," said his mother, "I have not a morsel of bread to give you. Last night you ate all the food in the house. However, I have a little cotton of my own spinning. I will go and sell it, and buy something for our dinner." "Keep your cotton, mother, for another time," said Aladdin, "and give me the lamp which I brought with me yesterday. I will go and sell that, and the money will serve us for breakfast and dinner too; perhaps also for supper."

Aladdin's mother took the lamp from the place where she had put it. "Here it is," she said to her son; "but it is very dirty; if I were to clean it a little, perhaps it might sell for something more." She then took some water and a little fine sand with which to clean it. But she had scarcely begun to rub the lamp, when a hideous and gigantic Genius rose out of the ground before her, and cried with a voice as loud as thunder, "What do you wish? I am ready to obey you as your slave, both I and the other slaves of the lamp."

Aladdin's mother was much terrified; but Aladdin, who had seen the Genius in the cavern, did not lose his presence of mind. Seizing the lamp, he answered in a firm voice, "I am hungry; bring me something to eat." The Genius disappeared, and returned a moment later with a large silver basin, which he carried on his head. In it were twelve covered dishes of the same material, filled with the most delicious meats, and six loaves as white as snow upon as many plates, and in his hand he carried two silver cups. All these the Genius placed upon the table, and instantly vanished. When Aladdin's mother had recovered from her fright, they both sat down to their meal, in the greatest delight imaginable, for never before had they eaten such delicate meats or seen such splendid dishes.

The remains of this feast provided them with food for some days, and when it was all gone, Aladdin sold the silver dishes one by one for their support. In this way they lived happily for several years, for Aladdin had been sobered by his adventure, and now behaved with the greatest wisdom and prudence. He took care to visit the principal shops and public places, speaking only with wise and prudent persons; and in this way he gathered much wisdom, and grew to be a courteous and handsome youth.


One day Aladdin told his mother that he intended to ask the Sultan to give him his daughter in marriage. "Truly, my son," said his mother, "you seem to have forgotten that your father was but a poor tailor; and indeed I do not know who will dare to go and speak to the Sultan about it." "You yourself must," said he, decidedly. "I!" cried his mother, in the greatest surprise; "I go to the Sultan! Not I, indeed; I will take care that I am not joined to such folly. You know very well that no one can make any demand of the Sultan without bringing a rich present, and where shall such poor folk as we find one?"

Thereupon Aladdin told his mother that while talking with the merchants in the bazaar he had learned to know the value of their gems, and for a long time he had known that nothing which the merchants had in their shops was half so fine as those jewels he had brought home from the enchanted cave. So his mother took them from the drawer where they had been hidden and put them in a dish of fine porcelain.

Aladdin's mother, now sure that such a gift was one that could not fail to please the Sultan, at last agreed to do everything her son wished. She took the porcelain dish with its precious contents and folded it up in a very fine linen cloth. She then took another, less fine, and tied the four corners of it together, that she might carry it without trouble. This done, she took the road toward the palace of the Sultan.

Trembling, she told the Sultan of her son's boldness, and begged his mercy for Aladdin and for herself. The Sultan heard her kindly; then before giving any answer to her request, he asked her what she had with her so carefully tied up in a linen cloth. Aladdin's mother unfolded the cloths and humbly laid the jewels before him.

It is impossible to express the surprise which this monarch felt when he saw before him such a quantity of the most precious, perfect, and brilliant jewels, the size of which was greater than any he had ever seen before. For some moments he gazed at them, speechless. Then he took the present from the hand of Aladdin's mother, and exclaimed, in a transport of joy. "Ah! how very beautiful, how very wonderful they are!"

Then turning to his grand vizier, he showed him the gems and talked privately to him for some minutes. At last he said to Aladdin's mother: "My good woman, I will indeed make your son happy by marrying him to the Princess, my daughter, as soon as he shall send me forty large basins of massive gold, quite full of the same varieties of precious stones which you have already presented me with, brought by an equal number of black slaves, each of whom shall be led by a white slave, young, well-made, handsome, and richly-dressed. These are the conditions upon which I am ready to give him the Princess, my daughter. Go, my good woman, and I will wait till you bring me his answer."

Full of disappointment, Aladdin's mother made her way home, and told her son the Sultan's strange wish. But Aladdin only smiled, and when his mother had gone out, he took the lamp and rubbed it. Instantly the Genius appeared, and Aladdin commanded him to lose no time in bringing the present which the Sultan had wished for. The Genius only said that his commands should be at once obeyed, and then disappeared.

In a very short time the Genius returned with forty black slaves, each carrying upon his head a large golden basin of great weight, full of pearls, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, quite as fine as the jewels that Aladdin's mother had given the Sultan. Each basin was covered with a cloth of silver, embroidered with flowers of gold. There were also forty white slaves, as Aladdin had commanded. All these slaves with their golden basins entirely filled the house, which was but small, as well as the court in front and the garden behind it.

Aladdin's mother now came back and almost fainted when she saw this great crowd and all its magnificence. Aladdin desired her at once to follow the procession of slaves to the palace, and present to the Sultan the dowry of the Princess.

The astonishment of the Sultan at the sight of all these riches is hardly to be imagined. After gazing upon the slaves with their shining heaps of jewels, he said to Aladdin's mother, "Go, my good woman, and tell your son that I am waiting with open arms to embrace him!"

Aladdin was so delighted with this news that he could hardly answer his mother, and, hastening to his chamber, he shut the door. Once more he summoned the Genius, who brought to him garments that shone like the sun. The Genius also brought him a splendid charger and twenty slaves to march on either side of him on the way to the Sultan's palace, all holding purses of gold to scatter among the people.

If there had been a crowd before, there was ten times as great a one now to watch Aladdin as he rode to the Sultan's palace, and to pick up the gold pieces which were showered by his slaves as he went. The Sultan came down from his throne to greet him, and all was feasting and joy in the palace.

After the feast the judge drew up a contract of marriage between Aladdin and the beautiful Princess. As soon as this was done, the Sultan asked Aladdin if he wished to remain in the palace and complete all the ceremonies that day. "Sire," he replied, "however impatient I may be to have entire possession of all your majesty's bounties, I beg you to permit me to wait until I shall have built a palace to receive the Princess in, that shall be worthy of her; and for this purpose I request that you will have the goodness to point out a suitable place for it near your own, that I may always be ready to pay my court to your majesty. I will then neglect nothing to get it finished with all possible diligence."

"My son," answered the Sultan, "take the open space before my palace; but remember that, to have my happiness complete, I cannot see you united too soon to my daughter." Having said this, he again embraced Aladdin, who now took leave of the Sultan as if he had been brought up and had spent all his life at court.

As soon as Aladdin reached home, he again summoned the Genius and commanded him to build instantly the most gorgeous palace ever seen, on the spot of ground given by the Sultan. Early the next morning the Genius appeared. "Sir," said he, "your palace is finished; see if it is as you wish."

Words cannot paint the astonishment of the Sultan and all his household at seeing this gorgeous palace shining in the place which only the day before had been empty and bare. The Princess, too, rejoiced much at the sight. Her marriage with Aladdin was held the same day, and their happiness was the greatest that heart could wish.


For some months they lived thus, Aladdin showing great kindness to the poor, and pleasing all by his generosity. About this time his old enemy, the African magician, found out by some of his magic arts that Aladdin was alive and enormously rich, instead of being, as he had supposed, dead in the enchanted cave. He was filled with rage, and, vowing to destroy Aladdin, he immediately set out for China. There he learned that Aladdin had gone hunting, and was not expected home for three or four days.

The magician bought a dozen shining new lamps, put them in a basket, and set out for Aladdin's palace. As he came near it he cried, "Who will change old lamps for new?"

When he came under the Princess's windows, one of her slaves said, "Come, let us see if the old fool means what he says; there is an ugly old lamp lying on the cornice of the hall of four-and-twenty windows; we will put a new one in its place, if the old fellow is really in earnest." The Princess having given permission, one of the slaves took the lamp to the magician, who willingly gave her the best he had among his new ones.

As soon as night arrived, the magician summoned the Genius of the lamp and commanded him to transport him, the palace, and the Princess to the remotest corner of Africa.

The confusion and grief of the Sultan were terrible when he found the palace vanished and his daughter lost. The people ran in fear through the streets, and the soldiers were sent in search of Aladdin, who had not yet returned.

Aladdin was soon found and dragged before the Sultan like a criminal. He would have been beheaded had not the Sultan been afraid to enrage the people. "Go, wretch!" cried the Sultan; "I grant thee thy life; but if ever thou appearest before me again, death shall overtake thee, unless in forty days thou bringest me tidings of my daughter."

Aladdin, wretched and downfallen, left the palace, not knowing whither to turn his steps. At length he stopped at a brook to bathe his eyes, which smarted with the tears he had shed. As he stooped, his foot slipped, and, catching hold of a piece of rock to save himself from falling, he pressed the magician's ring, which he still wore on his finger, and the Genius of the ring appeared before him, saying "What would you have?" "Oh; Genius," cried Aladdin, "bring my palace back without delay."

"What you command," replied the Genius, "is not in my power; you must call the Genius of the lamp."

"Then I command you," said Aladdin, "to transport me to the place where now it stands." Instantly Aladdin found himself beside his own palace, which stood in a meadow not far from a strange city; and the Princess was then walking in her own chamber, weeping for her loss. Happening to come near to the window, she saw Aladdin under it. And making a sign to him to keep silence, she sent a slave to bring him in. The Princess and her husband having kissed each other and shed many tears, Aladdin said, "Tell me, my Princess, what has become of an old lamp which I left on the cornice of the hall of four-and-twenty windows?"

The Princess then told how her slave had exchanged it for a new one, and said that the tyrant in whose power she was, always carried that very lamp in his bosom. Aladdin was then sure that this person was no other than his old enemy, the African magician.

After talking a long while, they hit upon a plan for getting back the lamp. Aladdin went into the city in the disguise of a slave, and bought a powder. Then the Princess invited the magician to sup with her. As she had never before shown him the least kindness, he was delighted and came. While they were at table, she ordered a slave to bring two cups of wine, one of which she had prepared by mixing in the powder. After pretending to taste the one she held in her hand, she asked the magician to change cups, as was the custom in China. He joyfully seized the goblet, and drinking it all at a draft, fell senseless on the floor.

Aladdin was at hand to snatch the lamp from his bosom. Hastily rubbing it, he summoned the Genius, who instantly transported the palace and all it contained back to the place whence they had come.

Some hours after, the Sultan, who had risen at break of day to mourn for his daughter, went to the window to look at the spot which he expected to see empty and vacant, and there to his unspeakable joy he saw Aladdin's palace shining in its place. He summoned his guards and hastened to embrace his daughter; and during a whole week nothing was heard but the sound of drums, trumpets, and cymbals, and there were all kinds of music and feasting, in honor of Aladdin's return with the Princess.

Some time after this, the Sultan died, and Aladdin and the Princess ascended the throne. They reigned together many years and left many noble sons and daughters at their death.

Suggestions for Silent Reading

Some stories and poems must be read thoughtfully in order to gain the author's full meaning; such reading cannot be done rapidly. In other selections, the meaning can be grasped easily, and the reading can be rapid; in such cases we read mainly for the story, holding in mind the various incidents as the plot unfolds. Throughout this book certain stories, particularly those of Part II, may well be read silently and reported on in class: The following suggestions will help you to gain power in silent reading:

(a) Time yourself by the clock as you read each story suggested for silent reading; what was your reading speed per page? (b) Test your ability to get the thought quickly from the printed page (1) by noting how many of the questions that develop the main thoughts, under Discussion, you can answer after one reading, and (2) by telling the substance of the story from an outline. Sometimes this guiding outline is prepared for you, as in question 19, below; sometimes you are asked to prepare it. This outline may also be used at the close of the lesson as a guide in retelling the story. You may have to read parts of the story again to be able to answer all these questions and to give the substance of the story fully. Notice that the rapid silent readers in your class generally gain and retain more facts than the slow readers do. Try steadily to increase your speed in silent reading.

To supplement and give balance to the lessons in silent reading, certain passages notable for their beauty, their force, or their dramatic quality, are listed, under Class readings, to be read aloud.


Discussion. 1. What kind of boy was Aladdin? What caused the magician to notice him? 3. What did the magician do to make Aladdin and his mother like him? 4. How did he force Aladdin to obey him? 5. What did Aladdin see when he raised the stone? 6. What directions did the magician give Aladdin before he descended the steps? 7. Explain the magician's anxiety to get the lamp before he helped Aladdin up from the cavern. 8. How was Aladdin rescued from the cavern? 9. How did he discover the power of his lamp? 10. What effect did his good fortune have upon him? 11. What use did Aladdin make of the fruit he had gathered? 12. How did Aladdin persuade his mother to see the Sultan? 13. Why did the Sultan permit Aladdin to marry his daughter? 14. How and where was Aladdin's palace built? 15. Where had Aladdin left the lamp when he went on his hunting trip? 16. How did the magician gain possession of it? 17. How did Aladdin regain the lamp? 18. Class readings: Page 156, line 9, to page 160, line 4 (5 pupils). 19. Outline for testing silent reading. Tell in your own words the story of Aladdin, using the following topics: (a) the boyhood of Aladdin; (b) Aladdin's pretended uncle; (c) the visit to the cave; (d) Aladdin's return to his mother; (e) Aladdin and the Princess. 20. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: province; prudence; bewilderment; abashed; extinguish; transparent; enchantment; dungeon; Genius; Sultan; magnificence; bounties; cornice; transport. 21. Pronounce: dessert; nephew; niche; fatigue; hideous; imaginable; porcelain; vizier; gorgeous.


In an old town of Persia there lived two brothers, Cassim and Ali Baba.

Cassim married a wife who owned a fine shop, a warehouse, and some land; he thus found himself quite at his ease, and soon became one of the richest men in the town. Ali Baba, on the other hand, had a wife no better off than himself, and lived in a very poor house. He supported his family by cutting wood in the forest, and carrying it on his asses to sell about the town.

One day Ali Baba went to the forest, and had very nearly finished cutting as much wood as his asses could carry, when he saw high in the air a thick cloud of dust, which seemed to be coming toward him. He gazed at it for a long time, until he saw a company of men on horseback, riding so fast that they were almost hidden by the dust.

Although that part of the country was not often troubled by robbers, Ali Baba thought that these horsemen looked like evil men. Therefore, without thinking at all what might become of his asses, his first and only care was to save himself. So he climbed up quickly into a large tree, the branches of which spread out so close and thick that from the midst of them he could see everything that passed, without being seen.

The robbers rode swiftly up to this very tree, and there alighted. Ali Baba counted forty of them, and saw that each horseman took the bridle off his horse and hung over its head a bag filled with barley. Then they took their traveling bags, which were so heavy that Ali Baba thought they must be filled with gold and silver.

With his bag on his shoulder, the Captain of the thieves came close to the rock, at the very spot where the tree grew in which Ali Baba had hidden himself. After the rascal had made his way through the shrubs that grew there, he cried out, "Open Sesame!" so that Ali Baba distinctly heard the words. No sooner were they spoken than a door opened in the rock. The Captain and all his men passed quickly in, and the door closed again.

There they stayed for a long time. Ali Baba was compelled to wait in the tree with patience, as he was afraid some of them might come out if he left his hiding-place. At length the door opened, and the forty thieves came out. After he had seen all the troop pass out before him, the Captain exclaimed, "Shut Sesame!" Each man then bridled his horse, and mounted. When the Captain saw that all were ready, he put himself at their head, and they rode off as they had come.

Ali Baba did not come down from the tree at once, because he thought they might have forgotten something, and be obliged to come back, and that he should thus be caught. He watched them as long as he could; nor did he leave the tree for a long time after he had lost sight of them. Then, recalling the words the Captain had used to open and shut the door, he made his way through the bushes to it, and called out, "Open Sesame!" Instantly the door flew wide open!

Ali Baba expected to find only a dark cave, and was very much astonished at seeing a fine large chamber, dug out of the rock, and higher than a man could reach. It received its light from a hole in the top of the rock. In it were piled all sorts of rare fruits, bales of rich merchandise, silk stuffs and brocades, and great heaps of money, both silver and gold, some loose, some in large leather bags. The sight of alt these things almost took Ali Baba's breath away.

But he did not hesitate long as to what he should do. He went boldly into the cave, and as soon as he was there, the door shut; but since he knew the secret by which to open it, this gave him no fear. Leaving the silver, he turned to the gold which was in the bags, and when he had gathered enough for loading his three asses, he brought them to the rock, loaded them, and so covered the sacks of gold over with wood that no one could suspect anything. This done, he went to the door, and had no sooner said the words, "Shut Sesame," than it closed.

And now Ali Baba took the road to the town; and when he got home, he drove his asses into the yard and shut the gate with great care. He threw off the wood that hid the gold and carried the bags into the house, where he laid them down in a row before his wife, who was sitting upon a couch.

When he had told the whole story of the cave and the forty thieves, he emptied the sacks, making one great heap of gold that quite dazzled his wife's eyes. His wife began to rejoice in this good fortune, and was going to count over the money that lay before her, piece by piece.

"What are you going to do?" said he. "Why, you would never finish counting them. I will dig a pit to bury it in; we have no time to lose."

"It is right, though," replied the wife, "that we should know about how much there may be. I will go and borrow a small grain-measure, and while you are digging the pit, I will find how much there is."

So the wife of Ali Baba set off and went to her brother-in-law, Cassim, who lived a short way from her house. Cassim was away from home, so she begged his wife to lend her a measure for a few minutes. "That I will with pleasure," said Cassim's wife. She went to seek a measure, but knowing how poor Ali Baba was, she was curious to know what sort of grain his wife wanted to measure; so she put some tallow on the bottom of the measure in such a way that no one would notice it.

The wife of Ali Baba returned home, and placing the measure on the heap of gold, filled it over and over again, till she had measured the whole. Ali Baba by this time had dug the pit for it, and while he was burying the gold, his wife went back with the measure to her sister-in-law, but without noticing that a piece of gold had stuck to the bottom of it.

The wife of Ali Baba had scarcely turned her back, when Cassim's wife looked at the bottom of the measure, and was astonished to see a piece of gold sticking to it. "What!" said she, "Ali Baba measures his gold! Where can the wretch have got it?" When her husband Cassim came home, she said to him, "Cassim, you think you are rich, but Ali Baba must have far more wealth than you; he does not count his gold as you do; he measures it." Then she showed him the piece of money she had found sticking to the bottom of the measure—a coin so ancient that the name of the prince engraved on it was unknown to her.

Far from feeling glad at the good fortune which his brother had met with, Cassim grew so jealous of Ali Baba that he passed almost the whole night without closing his eyes. The next morning before sunrise he went to him. "Ali Baba," said he, harshly, "you pretend to be poor and miserable and a beggar, and yet you measure your money"—here Cassim showed him the piece Of gold his wife had given him. "How many pieces," added he, "have you like this, that my wife found sticking to the bottom of the measure yesterday?"


From this speech Ali Baba knew that Cassim, and his wife also, must suspect what had happened. So, without showing the least sign of surprise, he told Cassim by what chance he had found the retreat' of the thieves, and where it was; and offered, if he would keep the secret, to share the treasure with him.

"This I certainly expect," replied Cassim in a haughty tone; "otherwise I will inform the police of it." Ali Baba, led rather by his good nature than by fear, told him all, even to the words he must pronounce, both on entering the cave and on quitting it. Cassim made no further inquiries of Ali Baba; he left him, determined to seize the whole treasure, and set off the next morning before break of day with ten mules laden with large hampers which he proposed to fill. He took the road which Ali Baba had pointed out, and arrived at the rock and the tree; on looking for the door, he soon discovered it. When he cried, "Open Sesame!" the door obeyed; he entered, and it closed again.

Greedy as Cassim was, he could have passed the whole day in feasting his eyes with the sight of so much gold; but he remembered that he had come to take away as much as he could; he therefore filled his sacks, and coming to the door, he found that he had forgotten the secret words, and instead of saying, "Open Sesame" he said, "Open Barley." So the door, instead of flying open, remained closed. He named various other kinds of grain; all but the right one were called upon, and still the door did not move.

The thieves returned to their cave toward noon; and when they were within a short distance of it, and saw the mules belonging to Cassim laden with hampers, standing about the rock, they were a good deal surprised. They drove away the ten mules, which took to flight in the forest. Then the Captain and his men, with their sabers in their hands, went toward the door and said, "Open Sesame!" At once it flew open.

Cassim, who from the inside of the cave heard the horses trampling on the ground, did not doubt that the thieves had come, and that his death was near. Resolved, however, on one effort to escape and reach some place of safety, he placed himself near the door ready to run out as soon as it should open. The word "Sesame" was scarcely pronounced when it opened, and he rushed out with such violence that he threw the Captain to the ground. He could not, however, escape the other thieves, who slew him on the spot.

On entering the cave the thieves found, near the door, the sacks which Cassim had filled, but they could not imagine how he had been able to get in.

The wife of Cassim, in the meantime, was in the greatest uneasiness when night came and her husband did not return. After waiting as long as she could, she went in the utmost alarm to Ali Baba, and said to him, "Brother, I believe you know that Cassim has gone to the forest; he has not yet come back, although it is almost morning. I fear some accident may have befallen him."

Ali Baba did not wait for entreaties to go and seek for Cassim. He immediately set off with his three asses, and went to the forest. As he drew near the rock, he was astonished to see that blood had been shed near the cave. When he reached the door, he said, "Open Sesame!" and it opened.

He was shocked to see his brother's body in the cave. He decided to carry it home, and placed it on one of his asses, covering it with sticks to conceal it. The other two asses he quickly loaded with sacks of gold, putting wood over them as before. Then, commanding the door to close, he took the road to the city, waiting in the forest till nightfall, that he might return without being observed. When he got home, he left the two asses that were laden with gold for his wife to unload; and having told her what had happened, he led the other ass to his sister-in-law's. Ali Baba knocked at the door, which was opened to him by Morgiana, who was a female slave, clever, and full of invention. "Morgiana," said he, "the first thing I have to ask you is to keep a deep secret! This packet contains the body of your master, and we must bury him as if he had died a natural death. Let me speak to your mistress, and hearken what I say to her."

Morgiana went to call her mistress, and Ali Baba then told her all that had happened before his arrival with the body of Cassim. "Sister," added he, "here is a sad affliction for you, but we must contrive to bury my brother as if he had died a natural death; and then we shall be glad to offer you a shelter under our own roof."

The widow of Cassim reflected that she could not do better than consent. She therefore wiped away her tears, and suppressed her mournful cries, and thereby showed Ali Baba that she accepted his offer.

Ali Baba left her in this frame of mind, and Morgiana went out with him to an apothecary's there. She knocked at the shop door, and when it was opened, asked for a particular kind of lozenge of great effect in dangerous illness. The apothecary gave her the lozenge, asking who was ill in her master's family. "Ah!" exclaimed she with a deep sigh, "it is my worthy master, Cassim himself. He can neither speak nor eat!"

Meanwhile, as Ali Baba and his wife were seen going backwards and forwards to the house of Cassim, in the course of the day, no one was surprised on hearing in the evening the piercing cries of his widow and Morgiana, which announced his death.

And so the body of Cassim was prepared for its burial, which took place the next day, attended by Ali Baba and Morgiana.

As for his widow, she remained at home to lament and weep with her neighbors, who, according to the usual custom, repaired to her house during the ceremony of the burial, and joining their cries to hers, filled the air with sounds of woe. Thus the manner of Cassim's death was so well hidden that no one in the city knew anything about it.


But let us now leave Ali Baba and Morgiana, and return to the forty thieves. When they came back to their cave, they found the body of Cassim gone, and with it much of their treasure. "We are discovered," said the Captain, "and we shall be lost if we are not very careful. All that we can at present tell is that the man whom we killed in the Cave knew the secret of opening the door. But he was not the only one; another must have found it out too. Having slain one, we must not let the other escape. Well, the first thing to be done is that one of you should go to the city in the dress of a traveler, and try to learn who the man we killed was."

The thief who agreed to carry out this plan, having disguised himself so that no one could have told who he was, set off at night, and entered the city just at dawn. By asking questions in the town he discovered that a body had been prepared for burial at a certain house. Having found the house, the thief marked the door with chalk and returned to the forest.

Very soon after this, Morgiana had occasion to go out, and saw the mark which the thief had made on the door of Ali Baba's house. "What can this mark mean?" thought she; "has anyone a spite against my master, or has it been done only for fun? In any ease, it will be well to guard against the worst that may happen." She therefore took some chalk, and as several of the doors, both above and below her master's, were alike, she marked them in the same manner, and then went in without saying anything of what she had done either to her master or mistress.

The thief in the meantime arrived at the forest, and related the success of his journey. They all listened to him with great delight, and the Captain, after praising him, said, "Comrades, we have no time to lose; let us arm ourselves and depart, and when we have entered the city, which we had best do separately, let us all meet in the great square, and I will go and find out the house with the chalk mark." Thus the thieves 'went in small parties of two or three to the city without causing any suspicion. The thief who had been there in the morning then led the Captain to the street in which he had marked the house of Ali Baba.

When they reached the first house that had been marked by Morgiana, he pointed it out, saying that was the one. But as they continued walking on, the Captain saw that the next door was marked in the same manner. At this the thief was quite confused, and knew not what to say; for they found four or five doors more with the same mark.

The Captain, who was in great anger, returned to the square, and told the first of his men whom he met to tell the rest that they had lost their labor, and that nothing remained but to return to the forest.

When they had reached the forest, the Captain declared the mistaken thief deserving of death, and he was at once killed by his companions.

Next day another thief, in spite of this, determined to succeed where the other had failed. He went to the city, found the house, and marked the door of it with red. But, a short time after. Morgiana; vent out and saw the red mark and did not fail to make a similar red mark on the neighboring doors.

The thief when he returned to the forest boasted of his success, and the Captain and the rest repaired to the city with as much care as before, and the Captain and his guide went immediately to the street where Ali Baba resided; but the same thing occurred as before.

Thus they were obliged to return again to the forest disappointed. The second thief was put to death as a punishment for deceiving them.

Next time the Captain himself went to the city, and found the house of Ali Baba. But not choosing to amuse himself by making marks on it, he examined it so well, not only by looking at it. But by passing before it several times, that at last he was certain he could not mistake it.

Thereupon he returned to the forest, and told the thieves he had made sure of the house, and had made a plan such that at last he was certain he could not mistake it. And first he ordered them to divide into small parties, and go into the neighboring towns and villages and buy nineteen mules and thirty-eight large leather jars to carry oil, one of which must be full, and all the others empty.

In the course of two or three days the thieves returned, and the Captain made one of his men enter each jar, armed as he thought necessary. Then he closed the jars as if each were full of oil, leaving, however, a small slit open to admit air.

Things being thus disposed, the mules were laden with the thirty-seven thieves, each concealed in a jar, and the jar that was filled with oil; whereupon the Captain took the road to the city at the hour that had been agreed, and arrived about an hour after sunset. He went straight to the house of Ali Baba, where he found Ali Baba at the door, enjoying the fresh air after supper. "Sir," said he, "I have brought oil from a great distance to sell tomorrow at the market, and I do not know where to go to pass the night; if it would not occasion you much trouble, do me the favor to take me in."

Although Ali Baba had seen, in the forest, the man who now spoke to him and had even heard his voice, yet he had no idea that this was the Captain of the forty robbers, disguised as an oil merchant. "You are welcome," said he, and took him into the house, and his mules into the stable.


Ali Baba, having told Morgiana to see that his guest wanted nothing, added, "Tomorrow before daybreak I shall go to the bath. Make me some good broth to take when I return." After giving these orders, he went to bed. In the meantime the Captain of the thieves, on leaving the stable, went to give his people orders what to do. Beginning with the first jar, and going through the whole number, he said to each, "When I shall throw some pebbles from my chamber, do not fail to rip open the jar from top to bottom with the knife you have, and to come out; I shall be with you soon after." The knives he spoke of were sharpened for the purpose. This done, he returned, and Morgiana took a light, and led him to his chamber. Not to cause any suspicion, he put out the light and lay down in his clothes, to be ready to rise as soon as he had taken his first sleep.

Morgiana did not forget Ali Baba's orders; she prepared his linen for the bath and gave it to Abdalla, Ali Baba's slave, who had not yet gone to bed. Then she put the pot on the fire to make the broth, but while she was skimming it. The lamp went out. There was no more oil in the house, and she had no candle. She did not know what to do. She wanted a light to see to skim the pot, and mentioned it to Abdalla. "Take some oil," said he, "out of one of the jars in the court."

Morgiana accordingly took the oil-can and went into the court. As she drew near the first jar, the thief who was concealed within said in a low voice, "Is it time?"

Any other slave except Morgiana, in the first moment of surprise at finding a man in the jar instead of some oil, would have made a great uproar. But Morgiana collected her thoughts, and without showing any emotion assumed the voice of the Captain, and answered, "Not yet, but presently." She approached the next jar, and the others in turn, making the same answer to the same question, till she came to the last, which was full of oil.

Morgiana by this means discovered that her master, who supposed he was giving a night's lodging to an oil merchant only, had afforded shelter to thirty-eight robbers, including the pretended merchant, their Captain. She quickly filled her oil-can from the last jar, and returned to the kitchen; and after having put some oil in her lamp and lighted it, she took a large kettle, and went again into the court to fill it with oil from the jar. This done, she brought it back again, put it over the tire, and made a great blaze under it with a quantity of wood; for the sooner the oil boiled, the sooner her plan would be carried out. At length the oil boiled. She then took the kettle and poured into each jar, from the first to the last, enough boiling oil to kill the robbers.

This being done without any noise, she returned to the kitchen with the empty kettle, and shut the door. She put out the large fire she had made up for this purpose, and left only enough to finish boiling the broth for Ali Baba. She then blew out the lamp and remained perfectly silent, determined not to go to bed until she had watched what would happen, from a window which overlooked the court.

Morgiana had waited scarcely a quarter of an hour, when the Captain of the robbers awoke. He got up, and opening the window, looked out. All was dark and silent; he gave the signal by throwing the pebbles, many of which fell on the jars, as the sound plainly proved. He listened, but heard nothing that could lead him to suppose his men obeyed the summons. He became uneasy at this delay, and threw some pebbles down a second time, and even a third. They all struck the jars, yet nothing moved, and he became frightened.

He went down into the court in the utmost alarm; and going up to the first jar, he was going to ask if the robber contained in it was asleep. As soon as he drew near, he smelled a strong scent of hot and burning oil coming out of the jar. From this he feared that his wicked plan had failed. He went to the next jar, and to each in turn, and discovered that all his men were dead. Terrified at this, he jumped over the garden-gate, and going from one garden to another by getting over the walls, he made his escape. Before daybreak Ali Baba, followed by his slave, went out and repaired to the bath, totally ignorant of the surprising events that had taken place in his house during his sleep. Morgiana had not thought it necessary to wake him, particularly as she had no time to lose, while she was engaged in her perilous enterprise, and it was useless to disturb him after she had averted the danger.

When he returned from the bath, the sun being risen, Ali Baba was surprised to see the jars of oil still in their places; he inquired the reason of Morgiana, who let him in, and who had left everything as it was, in order to show it to him.

"My good master," said Morgiana to Ali Baba's question, "may God preserve you and all your family. You will soon know the reason, if you will take the trouble to come with me." Ali Baba followed Morgiana, and when she had shut the door, she took him to the first jar and bade him look in and see if it contained oil. He did as she desired; and seeing a man in the jar, he hastily drew back and uttered a cry of surprise. "Do not be afraid," said she; "the man you see there will not do you any harm; he will never hurt either you or anyone else again, for he is now a corpse."

"Morgiana!" exclaimed Ali Baba, "what does all this mean? You explain this mystery." "I will explain it," replied Morgiana, "but pray be cautious, and do not awaken the curiosity of your neighbors to learn what it is of the utmost importance that you should keep secret and concealed. Look first at all the other jars."

Ali Baba examined all the rest of the jars, one after the other, from the first till he came to the last, which contained the oil, and he noticed that its oil was nearly all gone. This done, he stood, sometimes casting his eyes on Morgiana, then looking at the jars, yet without speaking a word, so great was his surprise. At length he said, "And what has become of the merchant?"

"The merchant," replied Morgiana, "is just as much a merchant as I am. I can tell you who he is."

She then described the marks made upon the door, and the way in which she had copied them, adding: "You see this is a plot contrived by the thieves of the forest, whose troop, I know not how, seems to be diminished by two. But be that as it may, it is now reduced to three at most. This proves that they are determined on your death, and you will do right to be on your guard against them, so long as you are certain that even one of the robbers remains."

Ali Baba, full of gratitude for all he owed her, replied, "I will reward you as you deserve, before I die. I owe my life to you, and from this moment I give you your liberty, and wilt soon do still more for you."


Meanwhile the Captain of the forty thieves had returned to the forest full of rage, and determined to revenge himself on Ali Baba.

Next morning he awoke at an early hour, put on a merchant's dress, and returned to the city, where he took a lodging in a khan. Then he bought a horse, which he made use of to convey to his lodging several kinds of rich stuffs and fine linens, bringing them from the forest at various times. In order to dispose of these wares, he took a shop, and established himself in it. This shop was exactly opposite to that which had been Cassim's, and was now occupied by the son of Ali Baba.

The Captain of the thieves, who had taken the name of Cogia Houssam, soon succeeded in making friends with the son of Ali Baba, who was young and good-natured. He often invited the youth to sup with him, and made him rich gifts.

When Ali Baba heard of it, he resolved to make a return for this kindness, to Cogia Houssam, little thinking that the pretended merchant was really the Captain of the thieves. So one day he asked Cogia Houssam to do him the honor of supping and spending the evening at his house. "Sir," replied Cogia, "I am grateful for your kindness, but I must beg you to excuse me, and for a reason which I am sure you will think sufficient. It is this: I never eat of any dish that has salt in it; judge, then, of the figure I should make at your table." "If this be your only reason," replied Ali Baba, "it need not prevent your coming to supper with me. The bread which is eaten in my house does not contain any salt; and as for the meat and other dishes, I promise you there shall be none in those which are served before you."

So Ali Baba went into the kitchen, and desired Morgiana not to put any salt in the meat she was going to serve for supper, and also to prepare two or three dishes of those that he had ordered, without any salt. Morgiana obeyed, though much against her will; and she felt some curiosity to see this man who did not eat salt. When she had finished, and Abdalla had prepared the table, she helped him in carrying the dishes. On looking at Cogia Houssam, she instantly recognized the Captain of the robbers, in spite of his disguise; and looking at him more closely, she saw that he had a dagger hidden under his dress. "I am no longer surprised," said she to herself, "that this villain will not eat salt with my master; he is his enemy, and means to murder him! But I wilt prevent the villain!"

When the supper was ended, the Captain of the thieves thought that the time for revenging himself on Ali Baba had come. "I will make them both drink much wine," thought he, "and then the son, against whom I bear no malice, will not prevent my plunging my dagger into the heart of his father, and I shall escape by way of the garden, as I did before, while the cook and the slave are at their supper in the kitchen."

Instead, however, of going to supper, Morgiana did not allow him time to carry out his wicked plans. She dressed herself as a dancer, put on a headdress suitable to that character, and wore round her waist a fancy girdle of gilt, to which she fastened a dagger, made of the same metal. Her face was hidden by a very handsome mask. When she had so disguised herself, she said to Abdalla, "Take your tabor, and let us go and entertain our master's guest, who is the friend of his son, as we do sometimes by our performances."

Abdalla took his tabor and began to play, as he walked before Morgiana, and entered the room. Morgiana followed him, making a low curtsy, and performed several dances, with equal grace and agility. At length she drew out the dagger, and dancing with it in her hand, she surpassed all she had yet done, by her light movements and high leaps; sometimes presenting the dagger as if to strike, and at others holding it to her own bosom, as if to stab herself. At length, as if out of breath, she took the tabor from Abdalla with her left hand, and holding the dagger in her right, she held out the tabor to Ali Baba, who threw a piece of gold into it. Morgiana then held the tabor out to his son, who did the same. Cogia Houssam, who saw that she was coming to him next, had already taken his purse from his bosom, and was putting his hand in it, when Morgiana, with great courage, suddenly plunged the dagger into his heart.

Ali Baba and his son, terrified at this action, uttered a loud cry: "Wretch!" exclaimed Ali Baba, "what hast thou done? Thou hast ruined me and my family forever."

"What I have done," replied Morgiana, "is not for your ruin, but for your safety." Then opening Cogia Houssam's robe to show Ali Baba the poniard which was concealed under it, "See," continued she, "the cruel enemy you had to deal with; examine him, and you will recognize the pretended oil-merchant and the Captain of the forty thieves! Do you now see why he refused to eat salt with you? Can you require a stronger proof of his treachery?"

Ali Baba, who now saw all that he owed to Morgiana for having thus saved his life a second time, cried, "Morgiana, I gave you your liberty, and at the same time promised to do more for you at some future time. This time has come, and I present you to my son as his wife." A few days after, Ali Baba had the marriage of his son and Morgiana celebrated with great feasting.

After the marriage, Ali Baba decided to visit again the cave of the forty thieves. On reaching it he repeated the word, "Open Sesame." At once the door opened, and he entered the cave, and found that no one had been in it from the time that Cogia Houssam had opened his shop in the city. He therefore knew that the whole troop of thieves was killed, and that he was the only person in the world who knew the secret of the cave.

From that time Ali Baba and his son, whom he took to the cave and taught the secret of how to enter it, enjoyed its riches with moderation and lived in great happiness and comfort to the end of their long lives.


Discussion. 1. How did Ali Baba make his living? 2. When did he first see the robber band? 3. What words did the Captain say to gain entrance to the cave? 4. Why did Ali Baba wish to see the cave? 5. How did he plan to hide his gold after he returned home? 6. What aroused the suspicions of his brother? 7. How did Cassim feel toward Ali Baba when he heard the story? 8. What did Cassim plan to do? 9. Why could not Cassim open the door after it closed upon him? 10. Why did Ali Baba wish to conceal the fact that Cassim was killed by the robbers? 11. Why could not the robbers find Ali Baba's house after it had been marked with chalk? 12. What plan did the Captain of the robbers determine upon in order to have revenge upon Ali Baba? 13. How did Morgiana discover the plot and prevent it from being carried out? 14. How did Ali Baba reward her? 15. How did the Captain manage to win the friendship of Ali Baba? 16. What was his object in doing this? 17. The Captain would not eat salt in Ali Baba's house because, according to an old Eastern custom, the use of salt at a meal was a sign of friendship and loyalty. How did Morgiana save Ali Baba's life? 18. Who is the cleverest person in the story? 19. Did Ali Baba have a right to take the treasure from the robbers and keep it? Why? 20. Class readings: Select passages to be read aloud in class. 21. Outline for testing silent reading. Tell in your own words the story of Ali Baba, using the following topics: (a.) the adventure in the forest; (b) Ali Baba's return; (c) the fate of Cassim; (d) Morgiana's plans; (e) how the thieves were caught; (f) how Ali Baba used his good fortune. 22. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: bridled; recalling; astonished; merchandise; retreat; hampers; resolved; uneasiness; utmost; invention; packet; reflected; suppressed; ceremony; related; confused; presently; enterprise; contrived; diminished; prevent; gilt; surpassed; moderation. 23. Pronounce: Ali Baba; sesame; brocades; inquiries; hearken; affliction; apothecary; lozenge; burial; comrades; averted; corpse; Cogia Houssam; villain; curtsy; agility; poniard.

Phrases for Study

feasting his eyes, full of invention, natural death, repaired to her house, had occasion to go out, lost their labor, thus disposed, wanted nothing, collected her thoughts, rich stuffs, bear no malice, suitable to that character.


In the reign of the Caliph Harun-al-Rashid there lived in Baghdad a poor porter called Hindbad. One day he was carrying a heavy burden from one end of the town to the other; being weary, he took off his load and sat upon it, near a large mansion.

He knew not who owned the mansion; but he went to the servants and asked the name of the master. "How," replied one of them, "do you live in Baghdad, and know not that this is the house of Sindbad the sailor, that famous voyager, who has sailed round the world?"

The porter said, loud enough to be heard, "Almighty Creator of all things, consider the difference between Sindbad and me! I work faithfully every day and suffer hardships, and can scarcely get barley bread for myself and family, while happy Sindbad spends riches and leads a life of continual pleasure. What has he done to obtain a lot so agreeable? And what have I done to deserve one so wretched?"

While the porter was thus complaining, a servant came out of the house and said to him, "Sindbad, my master, wishes to speak to you. Come in."

The servants took him into a great hall, where a number of people sat around a table covered with all sorts of savory dishes. At the upper end was a tall, grave gentleman, with a long white beard, and behind him stood a number of officers and servants, all ready to attend his pleasure. This person was Sindbad. Hindbad, whose fear was increased at the sight of so many people and of so great a feast, saluted the company tremblingly. Sindbad bade him draw near, and seating him at his right hand, served him himself.

Now, Sindbad had heard the porter complain, and this it was that led him to have the man brought in. When the repast was over, Sindbad spoke to Hindbad, asked his name and business, and said: "I wish to hear from your own mouth what it was you said in the street."

Hindbad replied, "My lord, I confess that my weariness put me out of humor, and made me utter some foolish words, which I beg you to pardon." "Do not think I am so unjust," resumed Sindbad, "as to blame you. But you are mistaken about me, and I wish to set you right. You think that I have gained without labor and trouble the ease and plenty which I now enjoy. But make no mistake; I did not reach this happy condition without suffering for several years more trouble of body and mind than can well be imagined. Yes, gentlemen," he added, speaking to the whole company, "I assure you that my sufferings have been so extraordinary that they would make the greatest miser lose his love of riches; and I will, with your leave, tell of the dangers I have overcome, which I think will not be uninteresting to you."


He then told the following story:

My father was a wealthy merchant, much respected by everyone. He left me a large fortune, which I wasted in wild living. I then remembered Solomon's saying, "A good name is better than precious ointment," and resolved to walk in my father's ways. I therefore made arrangements to go on a voyage with some merchants.

After touching at many places where we sold or exchanged goods, we were becalmed near a small island which looked like a green meadow. The captain permitted some of us to land, but while we were eating and drinking, the island began to shake, and he called to us to return to the ship. What we thought was an island was really the back of a sea monster. I had just time to catch hold of a piece of wood, when the island disappeared into the sea.

The captain, thinking I was drowned, resolved to make use of a favorable gale, which had just risen, to continue his voyage. I was tossed by the waves all that day and night, but the next day I was thrown upon an island. I was very feeble, but I crept along and found a spring of water, which did much to restore my strength.

After this I went farther into the island and saw a man watching some horses that were feeding near by. He was much surprised to see me and took me to a cave where there were several other men. They told me they were grooms of the Maharaja, ruler of the island, and that every year they brought his horses to this uninhabited place for pasturage.

Next morning they returned to the capital of the island, taking me with them. They presented me to the Maharaja, who ordered his people to care for me. The capital has a fine harbor, where ships arrive daily from all parts of the world, and I hoped soon to have a chance to return to Baghdad.

One day the ship arrived in which I had sailed from home. I went to the captain and asked for my goods. "I am Sindbad," I said, "and those bales marked with his name are mine." At first the captain did not know me, but after looking at me closely, he cried, "Heaven be praised for your happy escape. These are your goods; take them and do what you please with them."

I made a present of my choicest goods to the Maharaja, who asked me how I came by such rarities. When I told him, he was much pleased and gave me many valuable things in return. After exchanging my goods for aloes, sandalwood, camphor, nutmegs, cloves, pepper, and ginger, I sailed for home and at last reached Baghdad with goods worth one hundred thousand sequins.

Sindbad stopped here and ordered the musicians to proceed with their concert. When it was evening, Sindbad gave the porter a purse of one hundred sequins and told him to come back the next day to hear more of his adventures.

Hindbad put on his best robe the next day and returned to the bountiful traveler, who welcomed him heartily. When all the guests had arrived, dinner was served and continued a long time. When it was ended, Sindbad said, "Gentlemen, hear now the adventures of my second voyage. They deserve your attention even more than those of the first."


I planned, after my first voyage, to spend the rest of my days at Baghdad, but I grew weary of an idle life, and put to sea a second time, with merchants I knew to be honorable. We embarked on board a good ship and set sail. We traded from island to island, and exchanged goods with great profit.

One day we landed on an island covered with fruit-trees, but we could see neither man nor animal. We walked in the meadows and along the streams that watered them. While some gathered flowers and others fruits, I took my wine and provisions and sat down near a stream between two high trees, which formed a thick shade. I made a good meal, and afterwards fell asleep. I cannot tell how long I slept, but when I awoke, the ship was gone.

In this sad condition, I was ready to die with grief. I was sorry that I had not been satisfied with the profits of my first voyage, that might have been enough for me all my life. But my repentance came too late. At last I took courage and, not knowing what to do, climbed to the top of a lofty tree and looked about on all sides to see if I could discover anything that could give me hope. Toward the sea I could see nothing but sky and water; but looking over the land, I beheld something white, and, coming down, I took what provisions I had left and went toward it, the distance being so great that I could not tell what it was.

As I came nearer, I thought it was a white dome, of great height and size; and when I came up to it, I touched it and found it to be very smooth. I went around to see if it was open on any side, but saw it was not, and that there was no climbing up to the top, as it was so smooth. It was at least fifty paces around.

By this time the sun was about to set, and all of a sudden the sky became as dark as if it had been covered with a thick cloud. I was much astonished at this sudden darkness, but much more when I found it was caused by a bird of monstrous size, that came flying toward me. I remembered that I had often heard sailors speak of a wonderful bird called the roc, and saw that the great dome which I so much admired must be its egg. The bird alighted, and sat over the egg.

As I saw it coming, I crept close to the egg, so that I had before me one of the legs of the bird, which was as big as the trunk of a tree. I tied myself strongly to it with my turban, hoping that the roc next morning would carry me out of this desert island.

After passing the night in this condition, the bird flew away as soon as it was daylight, and carried me so high that I could not see the earth; it afterwards descended so swiftly that I lost my senses. But when I found myself on the ground, I speedily untied the knot, and had scarcely done so when the roc, having taken up a serpent in its bill, flew away.

The spot where it left me was surrounded by mountains that seemed to reach above the clouds, and so steep that there was no chance of getting out of the valley. When I compared this place with the desert island from which the roc had brought me, I found that I had gained nothing by the change.

As I walked through this valley, I saw it was strewn with diamonds, some of which were of a surprising size. I had never believed what I had heard sailors tell of the valley of diamonds, and of the tricks used by merchants to obtain jewels from that place; but now I found that they had stated nothing but the truth. For the fact is that the merchants come to this valley when the eagles have young ones, and throw great joints of meat into the valley; the diamonds, upon whose points they fall, stick to them; the eagles pounce upon those pieces of meat and carry them to their nests on the rocks to feed their young; the merchants at this time run to the nests, drive off the eagles, and take away the diamonds that stick to the meat.

I had thought the valley must surely be my grave, but now I took courage and began to plan a way to escape. Collecting the largest diamonds and putting them into the leather bag in which I used to carry my provisions, I took the largest of the pieces of meat, tied it close around me, and then lay down upon the ground, face downwards, the bag of diamonds being made fast to my girdle. I had scarcely placed myself in this position when one of the eagles, having taken me up with the piece of meat to which I was fastened, carried me to his nest on the top of the mountain. The merchants frightened the eagles, and when they had forced them to quit their prey, one of them came to the nest where I was. He was much alarmed when he saw me; but, recovering himself, instead of asking how I came thither, began to quarrel with me, and asked why I stole his goods.

"You will treat me," replied I, "with more politeness when you know me better. Do not be uneasy; I have diamonds enough for you and myself, more than all the other merchants together. Whatever they have they owe to chance, but I selected for myself in the bottom of the valley those which you see in this bag."

I had scarcely done speaking when the other merchants came crowding about us, much astonished to see me, but more surprised when I told them my story.

They took me to their camp, and there, when I opened my bag, they were surprised at the beauty of my diamonds, and confessed that they had never seen any of such size and perfection.

I prayed the merchant who owned the nest to which I had been carried, for every merchant had his own nest, to take as many for his share as he pleased. He, however, took only one, and that, too, the least of them; and when I pressed him to take more, he said, "No, I am very well satisfied with this gem, which is valuable enough to save me the trouble of making any more voyages, and will bring as great a fortune as I desire."

The merchants had thrown their pieces of meat into the valley for several days; and each of them being satisfied with the diamonds that had fallen to his lot, we left the place and traveled near high mountains, where there were serpents of great length, which we had the fortune to escape.

We took shipping at the first port we reached, and touched at the isle of Roha, where the trees grow that yield camphor.

I pass over many other things peculiar to this island, lest I should weary you. Here I exchanged some of my diamonds for merchandise. From here we went to other islands, and at last, having touched at several trading towns of the continent, we landed at Bussorah, and from there I proceeded to Baghdad. There I gave presents to the poor, and lived honorably upon the vast riches I had gained with so many terrible hardships and so many great perils. Thus Sindbad ended the story of the second voyage, gave Hindbad another hundred sequins, and invited him to come the next day to hear more of his adventures.


On the third day the porter again repaired to the house in which he had heard such wonderful tales. After the dinner was finished, the host began once more to tell of his travels.

I soon grew weary of a life of idleness and embarked with some merchants on another long voyage. One day we were overtaken by a storm, which drove us out of our course, and we were obliged to cast anchor near an island. As soon as we landed, we were surrounded by savage dwarfs, who took possession of our ship and sailed away. Left without means of escape from the island, we determined to explore it, in hope of finding food and shelter.

We had not advanced far, however, when we discovered that this island was inhabited by giants, more savage than the dwarfs who had first attacked us. We knew that we could not remain on the island, and so we went back to the shore and planned how we might escape.

When night came, we made rafts, each large enough to carry three men, and as soon as it was light we put to sea with all the speed we could. The giants saw us as we pushed out and, rushing down to the water's edge, threw great stones, which sank all the rafts except the one upon which I was.

All that day and night we were tossed by the waves, but the next morning we were thrown upon an island, where we found delicious fruit which satisfied our hunger. Beautiful as this island was, we found ourselves in danger as great as any we had escaped. My two companions were killed by serpents, and I was almost in despair, when I saw a ship in the distance. By shouting and waving my turban I attracted the attention of the crew, and a boat was sent for me.

As soon as I saw the captain, I knew him to be the man who, in my second voyage, had left me on the island. "Captain," said I, "I am Sindbad, whom you left on the island."

"Heaven be praised," said the captain; "I am glad that my careless act did not cause your death. These are your goods, which I always took care to preserve."

We continued at sea for some time and touched at many islands, where I traded for cloves, cinnamon, and other spices. At last I returned to Baghdad with so much wealth that I knew not its value. I gave a great deal to the poor and bought another estate.

Thus Sindbad finished the story of his third voyage. He gave another hundred sequins to Hindbad and invited him to dinner the next day.


After dinner on the fourth day the merchant once more began to tell of his adventures.

After I had rested from the dangers of my third voyage, my love for trade and adventure again took hold of me. I provided a stock of goods and started on another voyage. We had sailed a great way, when we were overtaken by a storm, and the ship was wrecked. I clung to a plank and was carried by the current to an island; here I found fruit and spring water, which saved my life. The next day I started to explore the island and, seeing some huts, I went toward them. The people who lived in these huts were savages, and they took me prisoner. I was in such fear of them that I could not eat, and at last I became sick.

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