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Young Folks Treasury, Volume 3 (of 12) - Classic Tales And Old-Fashioned Stories
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"Help me to bed," he said, "for I think that I am not very well."

He was put to bed, and carefully nursed. But a fever had taken hold of him, and for many days Sancho Panza never left his master's bedside. On the sixth day, the doctor told him he was in great danger. Don Quixote listened very calmly, and then asked that he might be left by himself for a little—he had a mind to sleep. His niece and Sancho left the room weeping bitterly, and Don Quixote fell into a deep sleep.

When he awoke, with a firm voice he cried:

"Blessed be God! My mind is is now clear, and the clouds have rolled away which those detestable books of knight-errantry cast over me. Now can I see their nonsense and deceit. I am at the point of death, and I would meet it so that I may not leave behind me the character of a madman. Send for the lawyer, that I may make my will."

Excepting only a small sum of money which he gave to Sancho Panza, he left all to his niece.

Thereafter he fell back in bed, and lay unconscious and without movement till the third day, when death very gently took him.

So died Don Quixote de la Mancha, a good man and a brave gentleman to the end.



GULLIVER'S TRAVELS

VOYAGE TO LILLIPUT

By JONATHAN SWIFT

ADAPTED BY JOHN LANG



I

GULLIVER'S BIRTH AND EARLY VOYAGES

Two hundred years ago, a great deal of the world as we now know it was still undiscovered; there were yet very many islands, small and great, on which the eyes of white men had never looked, seas in which nothing bigger than an Indian canoe had ever sailed.

A voyage in those days was not often a pleasant thing, for ships then were very bluff-bowed and slow-sailing, and, for a long voyage, very ill-provided with food. There were no tinned meats two hundred years ago, no luxuries for use even in the cabin. Sailors lived chiefly on salt junk, as hard as leather, on biscuit that was generally as much weevil as biscuit, and the water that they drank was evil-smelling and bad when it had been long in the ship's casks.

So, when a man said good-by to his friends and sailed away into the unknown, generally very many years passed before he came back—if ever he came back at all. For the dangers of the seas were then far greater than they now are, and if a ship was not wrecked some dark night on an unknown island or uncharted reef, there was always the probability of meeting a pirate vessel and of having to fight for life and liberty. Steam has nowadays nearly done away with pirates, except on the China coast and in a few other out-of-the-way places. But things were different long ago, before steamers were invented; and sailors then, when they came home, had many very surprising things to tell their friends, many astonishing adventures to speak of, among the strange peoples that they said they had met in far-off lands. One man, who saw more wonderful things than any one else, was named Lemuel Gulliver, and I will try to tell you a little about one of his voyages.

Gulliver was born in Nottinghamshire, and when he was only fourteen years old he was sent to Emanuel College, Cambridge. There he remained till he was seventeen, but his father had not money enough to keep him any longer at the University. So, as was then the custom for those who meant to become doctors, he was bound apprentice to a surgeon in London, under whom he studied for four years. But all the time, as often as his father sent him money, he spent some of it in learning navigation (which means the art of finding your way across the sea, far from land). He had always had a great longing to travel, and he thought that a knowledge of navigation would be of use to him if he should happen to go a voyage.

After leaving London, he went to Germany, and there studied medicine for some years, with the view of being appointed surgeon of a ship. And by the help of his late master in London, such a post he did get on board the "Swallow" on which vessel he made several voyages. But tiring of this, he settled in London, and, having married, began practise as a doctor.

He did not, however, make much money at that, and so for six years he again went to sea as a surgeon, sailing both to the East and to the West Indies.

Again tiring of the sea, he once more settled on shore, this time at Wapping, because in that place there are always many sailors, and he hoped to make money by doctoring them.

But this turned out badly, and on May 4, 1699, he sailed from Bristol for the South Seas as surgeon of a ship named the "Antelope."



II

GULLIVER IS WRECKED ON THE COAST OF LILLIPUT

At first, everything went well, but after leaving the South Seas, when steering for the East Indies, the ship was driven by a great storm far to the south. The gale lasted so long that twelve of the crew died from the effects of the hard work and the bad food, and all the others were worn out and weak. On a sailing ship, when the weather is very heavy, all hands have to be constantly on deck, and there is little rest for the men. Perhaps a sail, one of the few that can still be carried in such a gale, may be blown to ribbons by the furious wind, and a new one has to be bent on.

The night, perhaps, is dark, the tattered canvas is thrashing with a noise like thunder, the ship burying her decks under angry black seas every few minutes. The men's hands are numb with the cold and the wet, and the hard, dangerous work aloft. There is no chance of going below when their job is done, to "turn in" between warm, dry blankets in a snug berth. Possibly even those who belong to the "watch below" may have to remain on deck. Or, if they have the good fortune to be allowed to go below, they may no sooner have dropped off asleep (rolled round in blankets which perhaps have been wet ever since the gale began) than there is a thump, thump overhead, and one of the watch on deck bellows down the forecastle-hatch, "All hands shorten sail." And out they must tumble again, once more to battle with the hungry, roaring seas and the raging wind. So, when there has been a long spell of bad weather, it is no wonder that the men are worn out. And when, as was the case with Gulliver's ship, the food also is bad, it is easy to understand why so many of the crew had died.

It was on the 5th of November, the beginning of summer in latitudes south of the equator. The storm had not yet cleared off, and the weather was very thick, the wind coming in furious squalls that drove the ship along at great speed, when suddenly from the lookout man came a wild cry—"Breakers ahead!"

But so close had the vessel come to the rocks before they were seen through the thick driving spray, that immediately, with, a heavy plunge, she crashed into the reef, and split her bows.

Gulliver and six of the crew lowered a boat and got clear of the wreck and of the breakers. But the men were so weak from overwork that they could not handle the boat in such a sea, and very soon, during a fierce squall, she sank. What became of the men Gulliver never knew, for he saw none of them again. Probably they were drowned at once, for they were too weak to keep long afloat in a sea breaking so heavily.

And indeed, Gulliver himself was like to have been lost. He swam till no strength or feeling was left in his arms and legs, swam bravely, his breath coming in great sobs, his eyes blinded with the salt seas that broke over his head. Still he struggled on, utterly spent, until at last, in a part where the wind seemed to have less force, and the seas swept over him less furiously, on letting down his legs he found that he was within his depth. But the shore shelved so gradually that for nearly a mile he had to wade wearily through shallow water, till, fainting almost with fatigue, he reached dry land.

By this time darkness was coming on, and there were no signs of houses or of people. He staggered forward but a little distance, and then, on the short, soft turf, sank down exhausted and slept.

When he woke, the sun was shining, and he tried to rise; but not by any means could he stir hand or foot. Gulliver had fallen asleep lying on his back, and now he found that his arms and legs were tightly fastened to the ground. Across his body were numbers of thin but strong cords, and even his hair, which was very long, was pegged down so securely that he could not turn his head.

All round about him there was a confused sound of voices, but he could see nothing except the sky, and the sun shone so hot and fierce into his eyes that he could scarcely keep them open.

Soon he felt something come gently up his left leg, and forward on to his breast almost to his chin. Looking down as much as possible, he saw standing there a very little man, not more than six inches high, armed with a bow and arrows.

Then many more small men began to swarm over him. Gulliver let out such a roar of wonder and fright that they all turned and ran, many of them getting bad falls in their hurry to get out of danger. But very quickly the little people came back again.

This time, with a great struggle Gulliver managed to break the cords that fastened his left arm, and at the same time, by a violent wrench that hurt him dreadfully, he slightly loosened the strings that fastened his hair, so that he was able to turn his head a little to one side. But the little men were too quick for him, and got out of reach before he could catch any of them.

Then he heard a great shouting, followed by a shrill little voice that called sharply, "Tolgo phonac," and immediately, arrows like needles were shot into his hand, and another volley struck him in the face. Poor Gulliver covered his face with his hand, and lay groaning with pain.

Again he struggled to get loose. But the harder he fought for freedom, the more the little men shot arrows into him, and some of them even tried to run their spears into his sides.

When he found that the more he struggled the more he was hurt, Gulliver lay still, thinking to himself that at night at least, now that his left hand was free, he could easily get rid of the rest of his bonds. As soon as the little people saw that he struggled no more, they ceased shooting at him; but he knew from the increasing sound of voices that more and more of the little soldiers were coming round him.

Soon, a few yards from him, on the right, he heard a continued sound of hammering, and on turning his head to that side as far as the strings would let him, he saw that a small wooden stage was being built. On to this, when it was finished, there climbed by ladders four men, and one of them (who seemed to be a very important person, for a little page boy attended to hold up his train) immediately gave an order. At once about fifty of the soldiers ran forward and cut the strings that tied Gulliver's hair on the left side, so that he could turn his head easily to the right.

Then the person began to make a long speech, not one word of which could Gulliver understand, but it seemed to him that sometimes the little man threatened, and sometimes made offers of kindness.

As well as he could, Gulliver made signs that he submitted. Then, feeling by this time faint with hunger, he pointed with his fingers many times to his mouth, to show that he wanted something to eat.

They understood him very well. Several ladders were put against Gulliver's sides, and about a hundred little people climbed up and carried to his mouth all kinds of bread and meat. There were things shaped like legs, and shoulders, and saddles of mutton. Very good they were, Gulliver thought, but very small, no bigger than a lark's wing; and the loaves of bread were about the size of bullets, so that he could take several at a mouthful. The people wondered greatly at the amount that he ate.

When he signed that he was thirsty, they slung up on to his body two of their biggest casks of wine, and having rolled them forward to his hand they knocked out the heads of the casks. Gulliver drank them both off at a draught, and asked for more, for they held only about a small tumblerful each. But there was no more to be had.

As the small people walked to and fro over his body, Gulliver was sorely tempted to seize forty or fifty of them and dash them on the ground, and then to make a further struggle for liberty. But the pain he had already suffered from their arrows made him think better of it, and he wisely lay quiet.

Soon another small man, who from his brilliant uniform seemed to be an officer of very high rank, marched with some others on to Gulliver's chest and held up to his eyes a paper which Gulliver understood to be an order from the King of the country. The officer made a long speech, often pointing towards something a long way off, and (as Gulliver afterwards learned) told him that he was to be taken as a prisoner to the city, the capital of the country.

Gulliver asked, by signs, that his bonds might be loosed. The officer shook his head and refused, but he allowed some of his soldiers to slack the cords on one side, whereby Gulliver was able to feel more comfortable. After this, the little people drew out the arrows that still stuck in his hands and face, and rubbed the wounds with some pleasant-smelling ointment, which so soothed his pain that very soon he fell sound asleep. And this was no great wonder, for, as he afterwards understood, the King's physicians had mixed a very strong sleeping draught with the wine that had been given him.

Gulliver awoke with a violent fit of sneezing, and with the feeling of small feet running away from off his chest.

Where was he? Bound still, without doubt, but no longer did he find himself lying on the ground. It puzzled him greatly that now he lay on a sort of platform. How had he got there?

Soon he began to realize what had happened; and later, when he understood the language, he learned all that had been done to him while he slept. Before he dropped asleep, he had heard a rumbling as of wheels, and the shouts of many drivers. This, it seemed, was caused by the arrival of a huge kind of trolley, a few inches high, but nearly seven feet long, drawn by fifteen hundred of the King's largest horses.

On this it was meant that he should be taken to the city. By the use of strong poles fixed in the ground, to which were attached many pulleys, and the strongest ropes to be found in the country, nine hundred men managed to hoist him as he slept. They then put him on the trolley, where they again tied him fast.

It was when they were far on their way to the city that Gulliver awoke. The trolley had stopped for a little to breathe the horses, and one of the officers of the King's Guard who had not before seen Gulliver, climbed with some friends up his body. While looking at his face, the officer could not resist the temptation of putting the point of his sword up Gulliver's nose, which tickled him so that he woke, sneezing violently.



III

GULLIVER IS TAKEN AS A PRISONER TO THE CAPITAL OF LILLIPUT

The city was not reached till the following day, and Gulliver had to spend the night lying where he was, guarded on each side by five hundred men with torches and bows and arrows, ready to shoot him if he should attempt to move.

In the morning, the King and all his court, and thousands of the people, came out to gaze on the wonderful sight. The trolley, with Gulliver on it, stopped outside the walls, alongside a very large building which had once been used as a temple, but the use of which had been given up owing to a murder having been committed in it.

The door of this temple was quite four feet high and about two feet wide, and on each side, about six inches from the ground, was a small window. Inside the building the King's blacksmiths fastened many chains, which they then brought through one of these little windows and padlocked round Gulliver's left ankle. Then his bonds were cut, and he was allowed to get up. He found that he could easily creep through the door, and that there was room inside to lie down.

His chains were nearly six feet long, so that he could get a little exercise by walking backwards and forwards outside. Always when he walked, thousands of people thronged around to look at him; even the King himself used to come and gaze by the hour from a high tower which stood opposite.

One day, just as Gulliver had crept out from his house and had got on his feet, it chanced that the King, who was a very fine-looking man, taller than any of his people, came riding along on his great white charger. When the horse saw Gulliver move it was terrified, and plunged and reared so madly that the people feared that a terrible accident was going to happen, and several of the King's guards ran in to seize the horse by the head. But the King was a good horseman, and managed the animal so well that very soon it got over its fright, and he was able to dismount.

Then he gave orders that food should be brought for Gulliver, twenty little carts full, and ten of wine; and he and his courtiers, all covered with gold and silver, stood around and watched him eating. After the King had gone away the people of the city crowded round, and some of them began to behave very badly, one man even going so far as to shoot an arrow at Gulliver which was not far from putting out one of his eyes. But the officer in command of the soldiers who were on guard ordered his men to bind and push six of the worst behaved of the crowd within reach of Gulliver, who at once seized five of them and put them in his coat pocket. The sixth he held up to his mouth and made as if he meant to eat him, whereupon the wretched little creature shrieked aloud with terror, and when Gulliver took out his knife, all the people, even the soldiers, were dreadfully alarmed. But Gulliver only cut the man's bonds, and let him run away, which he did in a great hurry. And when he took the others out of his pocket, one by one, and treated them in the same way, the crowd began to laugh. After that the people always behaved very well to Gulliver, and he became a great favorite. From all over the kingdom crowds flocked to see the Great Man Mountain.

In the meantime, as Gulliver learned later, there were frequent meetings of the King's council to discuss the question of what was to be done with him. Some of the councilors feared lest he might break loose and cause great damage in the city. Some were of opinion that to keep and feed so huge a creature would cause a famine in the land, or, at the least, that the expense would be greater than the public funds could bear; they advised, therefore, that he should be killed—shot in the hands and face with poisoned arrows. Others, however, argued that if this were done it would be a very difficult thing to get rid of so large a dead body, which might cause a pestilence to break out if it lay long unburied so near the city.

Finally, the King and his council gave orders that each morning the surrounding villages should send into the city for Gulliver's daily use six oxen, forty sheep, and a sufficient quantity of bread and wine.

It was also commanded that six hundred persons should act as his servants; that three hundred tailors were to make for him a suit of clothes; and that six professors from the University were to teach him the language of the country.

When Gulliver could speak the language, he learned a great deal about the land in which he now found himself. It was called Lilliput, and the people, Lilliputians. These Lilliputians believed that their kingdom and the neighboring country of Blefuscu were the whole world. Blefuscu lay far over the sea, to these little people dim and blue on the horizon, though to Gulliver the distance did not seem to be more than a mile. The Lilliputians knew of no land beyond Blefuscu. And as for Gulliver himself, they believed that he had fallen from the moon, or from one of the stars; it was impossible, they said, that so big a race of men could live on the earth. It was quite certain that there could not be food enough for them. They did not believe Gulliver's story. He must have fallen from the moon!

Almost the first thing that Gulliver did when he knew the language fairly well, was to send a petition to the King, praying that his chains might be taken off and that he might be free to walk about. But this he was told could not then be granted. He must first, the King's council said, "swear a peace" with the kingdom of Lilliput, and afterwards, if by continued good behavior he gained their confidence, he might be freed.

Meantime, by the King's orders, two high officers of state were sent to search him, Gulliver lifted up these officers in his hand and put them into each of his pockets, one after the other, and they made for the King a careful list of everything found there.

Gulliver afterward saw this inventory. His snuff-box they had described as a "huge silver chest, full of a sort of dust." Into that dust one of them stepped, and the snuff, flying up in his face, caused him nearly to sneeze his head off. His pistols they called "hollow pillars of iron, fastened to strong pieces of timber," and the use of his bullets, and of his powder (which he had been lucky enough to bring ashore dry, owing to his pouch being water-tight), they could not understand, while of his watch they could make nothing. They called it "a wonderful kind of engine, which makes an incessant noise like a water-wheel." But some fancied that it was perhaps a kind of animal. Certainly it was alive.

All these things, together with his sword, which he carried slung to a belt round his waist, Gulliver had to give up, first, as well as he could, explaining the use of them. The Lilliputians could not understand the pistols, and to show his meaning, Gulliver was obliged to fire one of them. At once hundreds of little people fell down as if they had been struck dead by the noise. Even the King, though he stood his ground, was sorely frightened. Most of Gulliver's property was returned to him; but the pistols and powder and bullets, and his sword, were taken away and put, for safety, under strict guard.

As the King and his courtiers gained more faith in Gulliver, and became less afraid of his breaking loose and doing some mischief, they began to treat him in a more friendly way than they had hitherto done, and showed him more of the manners and customs of the country. Some of these were very curious.

One of the sports of which they were most fond was rope-dancing, and there was no more certain means of being promoted to high office and power in the state than to possess great cleverness in that art. Indeed, it was said that the Lord High Treasurer had gained and kept his post chiefly through his great skill in turning somersaults on the tight rope. The Chief Secretary for private affairs ran him very close, and there was hardly a Minister of State who did not owe his position to such successes. Few of them, indeed, had escaped without severe accidents at one time or another, while trying some specially difficult feat, and many had been lamed for life. But however many and bad the falls, there were always plenty of other persons to attempt the same or some more difficult jump.

Taught by his narrow escape from a serious accident when his horse first saw Gulliver, the King now gave orders that the horses of his army, as well as those from the Royal stables, should be exercised daily close to the Man Mountain. Soon they became so used to the sight of him that they would come right up to his foot without starting or shying. Often the riders would jump their chargers over Gulliver's hand as he held it on the ground; and once the King's huntsman, better mounted than most of the others, actually jumped over his foot, shoe and all—a wonderful leap.

Gulliver saw that it was wise to amuse the King in this and other ways, because the more his Majesty was pleased with him the sooner was it likely that his liberty would be granted. So he asked one day that some strong sticks, about two feet in height, should be brought to him. Several of these he fixed firmly in the ground, and across them, near the top, he lashed four other sticks, enclosing a square space of about two and a half feet. Then to the uprights, about five inches lower than the crossed sticks, he tied his pocket-handkerchief, and stretched it tight as a drum.

When the work was finished, he asked the King to let a troop exercise on this stage. His Majesty was delighted with the idea, and for several days nothing pleased him more than to see Gulliver lift up the men and horses, and to watch them go through their drill on this platform. Sometimes he would even be lifted up himself and give the words of command; and once he persuaded the Queen, who was rather timid, to let herself be held up in her chair within full view of the scene. But a fiery horse one day, pawing with his hoof, wore a hole in the handkerchief, and came down heavily on its side, and after this Gulliver could no longer trust the strength of his stage.



IV

GULLIVER IS FREED, AND CAPTURES THE BLEFUSCAN FLEET

By this time Gulliver's clothes were almost in rags. The three hundred tailors had not yet been able to finish his new suit, and he had no hat at all, for that had been lost as he came ashore from the wreck. So he was greatly pleased one day when an express message came to the King from the coast, saying that some men had found on the shore a great, black, strangely-shaped mass, as high as a man; it was not alive, they were certain. It had never moved, though for a time they had watched, before going closer. After making certain that it was not likely to injure them, by mounting on each other's shoulders they had got on the top, which they found was flat and smooth, and, by the sound when stamped upon, they judged that it was hollow. It was thought that the object might possibly be something belonging to the Man Mountain, and they proposed by the help of five horses to bring it to the city.

Gulliver was sure that it must be his hat, and so it turned out. Nor was it very greatly damaged, either by the sea or by being drawn by the horses over the ground all the way from the coast, except that two holes had been bored in the brim, to which a long cord had been fixed by hooks. Gulliver was much pleased to have it once more.

Two days after this the King took into his head a curious fancy. He ordered a review of troops to be held, and he directed that Gulliver should stand with his legs very wide apart, while under him both horse and foot were commanded to march. Over three thousand infantry and one thousand cavalry passed through the great arch made by his legs, colors flying and bands playing. The King and Queen themselves sat in their State Coach at the saluting point, near to his left leg, and all the while Gulliver dared not move a hair's-breadth, lest he should injure some of the soldiers.

Shortly after this, Gulliver was set free. There had been a meeting of the King's Council on the subject, and the Lord High Admiral was the only member in favor of still keeping him chained. This great officer to the end was Gulliver's bitter enemy, and though on this occasion he was out-voted, yet he was allowed to draw up the conditions which Gulliver was to sign before his chains were struck off.

The conditions were:

First, that he was not to quit the country without leave granted under the King's Great Seal.

Second, that he was not to come into the city without orders; at which times the people were to have two hours' notice to keep indoors.

Third, that he should keep to the high roads, and not walk or lie down in a meadow.

Fourth, that he was to take the utmost care not to trample on anybody, or on any horses or carriages, and that he was not to lift any persons in his hand against their will.

Fifth, that if at any time an express had to be sent in great haste, he was to carry the messenger and his horse in his pocket a six-days' journey, and to bring them safely back.

Sixth, that he should be the King's ally against the Blefuscans, and that he should try to destroy their fleet, which was said to be preparing to invade Lilliput.

Seventh, that he should help the workmen to move certain great stones which were needed to repair some of the public buildings.

Eighth, that he should in "two moons' time" make an exact survey of the kingdom, by counting how many of his own paces it took him to go all round the coast.

Lastly, on his swearing to the above conditions, it was promised that he should have a daily allowance of meat and drink equal to the amount consumed by seventeen hundred and twenty-four of the Lilliputians, for they estimated that Gulliver's size was about equal to that number of their own people.

Though one or two of the conditions did not please him, especially that about helping the workmen (which he thought was making him too much a servant), yet Gulliver signed the document at once, and swore to observe its conditions.

After having done so, and having had his chains removed, the first thing he asked was to be allowed to see the city (which was called Mildendo). He found that it was surrounded by a great wall about two and a half feet high, broad enough for one of their coaches and four to be driven along, and at every ten feet there were strong flanking towers.

Gulliver took off his coat, lest the tails might do damage to the roofs or chimneys of the houses, and he then stepped over the wall and very carefully walked down the finest of the streets, one quite five feet wide. Wherever he went, the tops of the houses and the attic windows were packed with wondering spectators, and he reckoned that the town must hold quite half a million of people.

In the center of the city, where the two chief streets met, stood the King's Palace, a very fine building surrounded by a wall. But he was not able to see the whole palace that day, because the part in which were the royal apartments was shut off by another wall nearly five feet in height, which he could not get over without a risk of doing damage.

Some days later he climbed over by the help of two stools which he made from some of the largest trees in the Royal Park, trees nearly seven feet high, which he was allowed to cut down for the purpose. By putting one of the stools at each side of the wall Gulliver was able to step across. Then, lying down on his side, and putting his face close to the open windows, he looked in and saw the Queen and all the young Princes. The Queen smiled, and held her hand out of one of the windows, that he might kiss it. She was very pleasant and friendly.

One day, about a fortnight after this, there came to call on him, Reldresal, the King's Chief Secretary, a very great man, one who had always been Gulliver's very good friend. This person had a long and serious talk with Gulliver about the state of the country.

He said that though to the outward eye things in Lilliput seemed very settled and prosperous, yet in reality there were troubles, both internal and external, that threatened the safety of the kingdom.

There had been in Lilliput for a very long time two parties at bitter enmity with each other, so bitter that they would neither eat, drink, nor talk together, and what one party did, the other would always try to undo. Each professed to believe that nothing good could come from the other. Any measure proposed by the party in power was by the other always looked upon as foolish or evil. And any new law passed by the Government party was said by the Opposition to be either a wicked attack on the liberties of the people, or something undertaken solely for the purpose of keeping that party in, and the Opposition out, of power. To such a pitch had things now come, said the Chief Secretary, entirely owing to the folly of the Opposition, that the business of the kingdom was almost at a standstill.

Meantime the country was in danger of an invasion by the Blefuscans, who were now fitting out a great fleet, which was almost ready to sail to attack Lilliput. The war with Blefuscu had been raging for some years, and the losses by both nations of ships and of men had been very heavy.

This war had broken out in the following way. It had always been the custom in Lilliput, as far back as history went, for people when breaking an egg at breakfast to do so at the big end. But it had happened, said the Chief Secretary, that the present King's grandfather, when a boy, had once when breaking his egg in the usual way, severely cut his finger. Whereupon his father at once gave strict commands that in future all his subjects should break their eggs at the small end.

This greatly angered the people, who thought that the King had no right to give such an order, and they refused to obey. As a consequence no less than six rebellions had taken place: thousands of the Lilliputians had had their heads cut off, or had been cast into prison, and thousands had fled for refuge to Blefuscu, rather than obey the hated order.

These "Big endians," as they were called, had been very well received at the Court of Blefuscu, and finally the Emperor of that country had taken upon himself to interfere in the affairs of Lilliput, thus bringing on war.

The Chief Secretary ended the talk by saying that the King, having great faith in Gulliver's strength, and depending on the oath which he had sworn before being released, expected him now to help in defeating the Blefuscan fleet.

Gulliver was very ready to do what he could, and he at once thought of a plan whereby he might destroy the whole fleet at one blow. He told all his ideas on the subject to the King, who gave orders that everything he might need should be supplied without delay. Then Gulliver went to the oldest seamen in the navy, and learned from them the depth of water between Lilliput and Blefuscu. It was, they said, nowhere deeper than seventy glumgluffs (which is equal to about six feet) at high water, and there was no great extent so deep.

After this he walked to the coast opposite Blefuscu, and lying down there behind a hillock, so that he might not be seen should any of the enemy's ships happen to be cruising near, he looked long through a small pocket-telescope across the channel. With the naked eye he could easily see the cliffs of Blefuscu, and soon with his telescope he made out where the fleet lay—fifty great men-of-war, and many transports, waiting for a fair wind.

Coming back to the city, he gave orders for a great length of the strongest cable, and a quantity of bars of iron. The cable was little thicker than ordinary pack-thread, and the bars of iron much about the length and size of knitting-needles. Gulliver twisted three of the iron bars together and bent them to a hook at one end. He trebled the cable for greater strength, and thus made fifty shorter cables, to which he fastened the hooks.

Then, carrying these in his hand, he walked back to the coast and waded into the sea, a little before high water. When he came to mid-channel, he had to swim, but for no great distance.

As soon as they noticed Gulliver coming wading through the water towards their ships, the Blefuscan sailors all jumped overboard and swam ashore in a terrible fright. Never before had any of them seen or dreamt of so monstrous a giant, nor had they heard of his being in Lilliput.

Gulliver then quietly took his cables and fixed one securely in the bows of each of the ships of war, and finally he tied the cables together at his end. But while he was doing this the Blefuscan soldiers on the shore plucked up courage and began to shoot arrows at him, many of which stuck in his hands and face. He was very much afraid lest some of these might put out his eyes; but he remembered, luckily, that in his inner pocket were his spectacles, which he put on, and then finished his work without risk to his eyes.

On pulling at the cables, however, not a ship could he move. He had forgotten that their anchors were all down. So he was forced to go in closer and with his knife to cut the vessels free. While doing this he was of course exposed to a furious fire from the enemy, and hundreds of arrows struck him, some almost knocking off his spectacles. But again he hauled, and this time drew the whole fifty vessels after him.

The Blefuscans had thought that it was his intention merely to cast the vessels adrift, so that they might run aground, but when they saw their great fleet being steadily drawn out to sea, their grief was terrible. For a great distance Gulliver could hear their cries of despair.

When he had got well away from the land, he stopped in order to pick the arrows from his face and hands, and to put on some of the ointment that had been rubbed on his wounds when first the Lilliputians fired into him. By this time the tide had fallen a little, and he was able to wade all the way across the channel.

The King and his courtiers stood waiting on the shore. They could see the vessels steadily drawing nearer, but they could not for some time see Gulliver, because only his head was above water. At first some imagined that he had been drowned, and that the fleet was now on its way to attack Lilliput.

There was great joy when Gulliver was seen hauling the vessels; and when he landed, the King was so pleased that on the spot he created him a Nardac, the highest honor that it was in his power to bestow.

His great success over the Blefuscans, however, turned out to be but the beginning of trouble for Gulliver. The King was so puffed up by the victory that he formed plans for capturing in the same way the whole of the enemy's ships of every kind. And it was now his wish to crush Blefuscu utterly, and to make it nothing but a province depending on Lilliput. Thus, he thought, he himself would then be monarch of the whole world.

In this scheme Gulliver refused to take any part, and he very plainly said that he would give no help in making slaves of the Blefuscans. This refusal angered the King very much, and more than once he artfully brought the matter up at a State Council. Now, several of the councilors, though they pretended to be Gulliver's friends so long as he was in favor with the King, were really his secret enemies, and nothing pleased these persons better than to see that the King was no longer pleased with him. So they did all in their power to nurse and increase the King's anger, and to make him believe that Gulliver was a traitor.

About this time there came to Lilliput ambassadors from Blefuscu, suing for peace. When a treaty had been made and signed (very greatly to the advantage of Lilliput), the Blefuscan ambassadors asked to see the Great Man Mountain, of whom they had heard so much, and they paid Gulliver a formal call. After asking him to give them some proofs of his strength, they invited him to visit their Emperor, which Gulliver promised to do.

Accordingly, the next time that he met the King, he asked, as he was bound to do by the paper he had signed, for permission to leave the country for a time, in order to visit Blefuscu. The King did not refuse, but his manner was so cold that Gulliver could not help noticing it. Afterwards he learned from a friend that his enemies in the council had told the King lying tales of his meetings with the Blefuscan ambassadors, which had had the effect of still further rousing his anger.

It happened too, most unfortunately, at this time, that Gulliver had offended the Queen by a well-meant, but badly-managed, effort to do her a service, and thus he lost also her friendship. But though he was now out of favor at court, he was still an object of great interest to every one.



V

GULLIVER'S ESCAPE FROM LILLIPUT AND RETURN TO ENGLAND

Gulliver had three hundred cooks to dress his food and these men, with their families, lived in small huts which had been built for them near his house.

He had made for himself a chair and a table. On to this table it was his custom to lift twenty waiters, and these men then drew up by ropes and pulleys all his food, and his wine in casks, which one hundred other servants had in readiness on the ground. Gulliver would often eat his meal with many hundreds of people looking on.

One day the King, who had not seen him eat since this table had been built, sent a message that he and the Queen desired to be present that day while Gulliver dined. They arrived just before his dinner hour, and he at once lifted the King and Queen and the Princes, with their attendants and guards, on to the table.

Their Majesties sat in their chairs of state all the time, watching with deep interest the roasts of beef and mutton, and whole flocks of geese and turkeys and fowls disappear into Gulliver's mouth. A roast of beef of which he had to make more than two mouthfuls was seldom seen, and he ate them bones and all. A goose or a turkey was but one bite.

Certainly, on this occasion, Gulliver ate more than usual, thinking by so doing to amuse and please the court.

But in this he erred, for it was turned against him. Flimnap, the Lord High Treasurer, who had always been one of his enemies, pointed out to the King the great daily expense of such meals, and told how this huge man had already cost the country over a million and a half of sprugs (the largest Lilliputian gold coin). Things, indeed, were beginning to go very ill with Gulliver.

Now it happened about this time that one of the King's courtiers, to whom Gulliver had been very kind, came to him by night very privately in a closed chair, and asked to have a talk, without any one else being present.

Gulliver gave to a servant whom he could trust orders that no one else was to be admitted, and having put the courtier and his chair upon the table, so that he might better hear all that was said, he sat down to listen.

Gulliver was told that there had lately been several secret meetings of the King's Privy Council, on his account. The Lord High Admiral (who now hated him because of his success against the Blefuscan fleet), Flimnap, the High Treasurer, and others of his enemies, had drawn up against him charges of treason and other crimes. The courtier had brought with him a copy of these charges, and Gulliver now read them.

It was made a point against him that, when ordered to do so by the King, he had refused to seize all the other Blefuscan ships. It was also said that he would not join in utterly crushing the empire of Blefuscu, nor give aid when it was proposed to put to death not only all the Big endians who had fled for refuge to that country, but all the Blefuscans themselves who were friends of the Big-endians. For this he was said to be a traitor.

He was also accused of being over-friendly with the Blefuscan ambassadors; and it was made a grave charge against him that though his Majesty had not given him written leave to visit Blefuscu, he yet was getting ready to go to that country, in order to give help to the Emperor against Lilliput.

There had been many debates on these charges, said the courtier, and the Lord High Admiral had made violent speeches, strongly advising that the Great Man Mountain should be put to death. In this he was joined by Flimnap, and by others, so that actually the greater part of the council was in favor of instant death by the most painful means that could be used.

The less unfriendly members of the council, however, while saying that they had no doubt of Gulliver's guilt, were yet of the opinion that, as his services to the kingdom of Lilliput had been great, the punishment of death was too severe. They thought it would be enough if his eyes were put out. This, they said, would not prevent him from being still made useful.

Then began a most excited argument, the Admiral and those who sided with him insisting that Gulliver should be killed at once.

At last the Secretary rose and said that he had a middle course to suggest. This was, that Gulliver's eyes should be put out, and that thereafter his food should be gradually so reduced in quantity that in the course of two or three months he would die of starvation. By which time, said the Secretary, his body would be wasted to an extent that would make it easy for five or six hundred men, in a few days, to cut off the flesh and take it away in cart-loads to be buried at a distance. Thus there would be no danger of a pestilence breaking out from the dead body lying near the city. The skeleton, he said, could then be put in the National Museum.

It was finally decided that this sentence should be carried out, and twenty of the King's surgeons were ordered to be present in three days' time to see the operation of putting out Gulliver's eyes properly done. Sharp-pointed arrows were to be shot into the balls of his eyes.

The courtier now left the house, as privately as he had come, and Gulliver was left to decide what he should do.

At first he thought of attacking the city, and destroying it. But by doing this he must have destroyed, with the city, a great many thousands of innocent people, which he could not make up his mind to do.

At last he wrote a letter to the Chief Secretary, saying that as the King had himself told him that he might visit Blefuscu, he had decided to do so that morning.

Without waiting for an answer, he set out for the coast, where he seized a large man-of-war which was at anchor there, tied a cable to her bow, and then putting his clothes and his blanket on board, he drew the ship after him to Blefuscu. There he was well received by the Emperor. But as there happened to be no house big enough for him, he was forced, during his stay, to sleep each night on the ground, wrapped in his blanket.

Three days after his arrival, when walking along the seashore, he noticed something in the water which looked not unlike a boat floating bottom up. Gulliver waded and swam out, and found that he was right. It was a boat. By the help of some of the Blefsucan ships, with much difficulty he got it ashore. When the tide had fallen, two thousand of the Emperor's dockyard men helped him to turn it over, and Gulliver found that but little damage had been done.

He now set to work to make oars and mast and sail for the boat, and to fit it out and provision it for a voyage.

While this work was going on, there came from Lilliput a message demanding that Gulliver should be bound hand and foot and returned to that country as a prisoner, there to be punished as a traitor. To this message the Emperor replied that it was not possible to bind him; that moreover the Great Man Mountain had found a vessel of size great enough to carry him over the sea, and that it was his purpose to leave the Empire of Blefuscu in the course of a few weeks.

Gulliver did not delay his work, and in less than a month he was ready to sail.

He put on board the boat the carcasses of one hundred oxen and three hundred sheep, with a quantity of bread and wine, and as much meat ready cooked as four hundred cooks could prepare.

He also took with him a herd of six live black cows and two bulls, and a flock of sheep, meaning to take them with him to England, if ever he should get there. As food for these animals he took a quantity of hay and corn.

Gulliver would have liked to take with him some of the people, but this the Emperor would not permit.

Everything being ready, he sailed from Blefuscu on 24th September 1701, and the same night anchored on the lee side of an island which seemed to be uninhabited. Leaving this island on the following morning, he sailed to the eastward for two days. On the evening of the second day he sighted a ship, on reaching which, to his great joy, he found that she was an English vessel on her way home from Japan.

Putting his cattle and sheep in his coat-pockets, he went on board with all his cargo of provisions. The captain received him very kindly, and asked him from whence he had come, and how he happened to be at sea in an open boat.

Gulliver told his tale in as few words as possible. The captain stared with wonder, and would not believe his story. But Gulliver then took from his pockets the black cattle and the sheep, which of course clearly showed that he had been speaking truth. He also showed gold coins which the Emperor of Blefuscu had given him, some of which he presented to the captain.

The vessel did not arrive at the port of London till April, 1702, but there was no loss of the live stock, excepting that the rats on board carried off and ate one of the sheep. All the others were got safely ashore, and were put to graze on a bowling-green at Greenwich, where they throve very well.



THE ARABIAN NIGHTS

ADAPTED BY AMY STEEDMAN



I

ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP

Far away on the other side of the world, in one of the great wealthy cities of China, there once lived a poor tailor called Mustapha. He had a wife whom he loved dearly and an only son whose name was Aladdin.

But, sad to say, although the tailor was good and industrious, his son was so idle and bad that his father and mother did not know what to do with him. All day long he played in the streets with other idle boys, and when he grew big enough to learn a trade he said he did not mean to work at all. His poor father was very much troubled, and ordered Aladdin to come to the workshop to learn to be a tailor, but Aladdin only laughed, and ran away so swiftly that neither his father nor mother could catch him.

"Alas!" said Mustapha sadly, "I can do nothing with this idle boy."

And he grew so sad about it, that at last he fell ill and died.

Then the poor widow was obliged to sell the little workshop, and try to make enough money for herself and Aladdin by spinning.

Now it happened that one day when Aladdin was playing as usual with the idle street boys, a tall, dark, old man stood watching him, and when the game was finished he made a sign to Aladdin to come to him.

"What is thy name, my boy?" asked this old man, who, though he appeared so kind, was really an African Magician.

"My name is Aladdin," answered the boy, wondering who this stranger could be.

"And what is thy father's name?" asked the Magician.

"My father was Mustapha the tailor, but he has been dead a long time now," answered Aladdin.

"Alas!" cried the wicked old Magician, pretending to weep, "he was my brother, and thou must be my nephew. I am thy long-lost uncle!" and he threw his arms round Aladdin's neck and embraced him.

"Tell thy dear mother that I will come and see her this very day," he cried, "and give her this small present." And he placed in Aladdin's hands five gold pieces.

Aladdin ran home in great haste to tell his mother the story of the long-lost uncle.

"It must be a mistake," she said, "thou hast no uncle."

But when she saw the gold she began to think that this stranger must be a relation, and so she prepared a grand supper to welcome him when he came.

They had not long to wait before the African Magician appeared, bringing with him all sorts of fruits and delicious sweets for desert.

"Tell me about my poor brother," he said, as he embraced Aladdin and his mother. "Show me exactly where he used to sit."

Then the widow pointed to a seat on the sofa, and the Magician knelt down and began to kiss the place and weep over it.

The poor widow was quite touched, and began to believe that this really must be her husband's brother, especially when he began to show the kindest interest in Aladdin.

"What is thy trade?" he asked the boy.

"Alas!" said the widow, "he will do nothing but play in the streets."

Aladdin hung his head with shame as his uncle gravely shook his head.

"He must begin work at once," he said. "How would it please thee to have a shop of thy own? I could buy one for thee, and stock it with silks and rich stuffs."

Aladdin danced with joy at the very idea, and next day set out with his supposed uncle, who bought him a splendid suit of clothes, and took him all over the city to show him the sights.

The day after, the Magician again took Aladdin out with him, but this time they went outside the city, through beautiful gardens, into the open country. They walked so far that Aladdin began to grow weary, but the Magician gave him a cake and some delicious fruit and told him such wonderful tales that he scarcely noticed how far they had gone. At last they came to a deep valley between two mountains, and there the Magician paused.

"Stop!" he cried, "this is the very place I am in search of. Gather some sticks that we may make a fire."

Aladdin quickly did as he was bid, and had soon gathered together a great heap of dry sticks. The Magician then set fire to them, and the heap blazed up merrily. With great care the old man now sprinkled some curious-looking powder on the flames, and muttered strange words. In an instant the earth beneath their feet trembled, and they heard a rumbling like distant thunder. Then the ground opened in front of them, and showed a great square slab of stone with a ring in it.

By this time Aladdin was so frightened that he turned to run home as fast as he could, but the Magician caught him, and gave him such a blow that he fell to the earth.

"Why dost thou strike me, uncle?" sobbed Aladdin.

"Do as I bid thee," said the Magician, "and then thou shalt be well treated. Dost thou see that stone? Beneath it is a treasure which I will share with thee. Only obey me, and it will soon be ours."

As soon as Aladdin heard of a treasure, he jumped up and forgot all his fears. He seized the ring as the Magician directed, and easily pulled up the stone.

"Now," said the old man, "look in and thou wilt see stone steps leading downwards. Thou shalt descend those steps until thou comest to three great halls. Pass through them, but take care to wrap thy coat well round thee that thou mayest touch nothing, for if thou dost, thou wilt die instantly. When thou hast passed through the halls thou wilt come into a garden of fruit-trees. Go through it until thou seest a niche with a lighted lamp in it. Put the light out, pour forth the oil, and bring the lamp to me."

So saying the Magician placed a magic ring upon Aladdin's finger to guard him, and bade the boy begin his search.

Aladdin did exactly as he was told and found everything just as the Magician had said. He went through the halls and the garden until he came to the lamp, and when he had poured out the oil and placed the lamp carefully inside his coat he began to look about him.

He had never seen such a lovely garden before, even in his dreams. The fruits that hung upon the trees were of every color of the rainbow. Some were clear and shining like crystal, some sparkled with a crimson light and others were green, blue, violet, and orange, while the leaves that shaded them were silver and gold. Aladdin did not guess that these fruits were precious stones, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, but they looked so pretty that he filled all his pockets with them as he passed back through the garden.

The Magician was eagerly peering down the stone steps when Aladdin began to climb up.

"Give me the lamp," he cried, stretching his hand for it.

"Wait until I get out," answered Aladdin, "and then I will give it thee."

"Hand it up to me at once," screamed the old man angrily.

"Not till I am safely out," repeated Aladdin.

Then the Magician stamped with rage, and rushing to the fire threw on it some more of the curious powder, uttered the same strange words as before, and instantly the stone slipped back into its place, the earth closed over it, and Aladdin was left in darkness.

This showed indeed that the wicked old man was not Aladdin's uncle. By his magic arts in Africa he had found out all about the lamp, which was a wonderful treasure, as you will see. But he knew that he could not get it himself, that another hand must fetch it to him. This was the reason why he had fixed upon Aladdin to help him, and had meant, as soon as the lamp was safely in his hand, to kill the boy.

As his plan had failed he went back to Africa, and was not seen again for a long, long time.

But there was poor Aladdin shut up underground, with no way of getting out! He tried to find his way back to the great halls and the beautiful garden of shining fruits, but the walls had closed up, and there was no escape that way either. For two days the poor boy sat crying and moaning in his despair, and just as he had made up his mind that he must die, he clasped his hands together, and in doing so rubbed the ring which the Magician had put upon his finger.

In an instant a huge figure rose out of the earth and stood before him.

"What is thy will, my master?" it said. "I am the Slave of the Ring, and must obey him who wears the ring."

"Whoever or whatever you are," cried Aladdin, "take me out of this dreadful place."

Scarcely had he said these words when the earth opened, and the next moment Aladdin found himself lying at his mother's door. He was so weak for want of food, and his joy at seeing his mother was so great, that he fainted away, but when he came to himself he promised to tell her all that had happened.

"But first give me something to eat," he cried, "for I am dying of hunger."

"Alas!" said his mother, "I have nothing in the house except a little cotton, which I will go out and sell."

"Stop a moment," cried Aladdin, "rather let us sell this old lamp which I have brought back with me."

Now the lamp looked so old and dirty that Aladdin's mother began to rub it, wishing to brighten it a little that it might fetch a higher price.

But no sooner had she given it the first rub than a huge dark figure slowly rose from the floor like a wreath of smoke until it reached the ceiling, towering above them.

"What is thy will?" it asked. "I am the Slave of the Lamp, and must do the bidding of him who holds the Lamp."

The moment the figure began to rise from the ground Aladdin's mother was so terrified that she fainted away, but Aladdin managed to snatch the lamp from her, although he could scarcely hold it in his own shaking hand.

"Fetch me something to eat," he said in a trembling voice, for the terrible Genie was glaring down upon him.

The Slave of the Lamp disappeared in a cloud of smoke, but in an instant he was back again, bringing with him a most delicious breakfast, served upon plates and dishes of pure gold.

By this time Aladdin's mother had recovered, but she was almost too frightened to eat, and begged Aladdin to sell the lamp at once, for she was sure it had something to do with evil spirits. But Aladdin only laughed at her fears, and said he meant to make use of the magic lamp and wonderful ring, now that he knew their worth.

As soon as they again wanted money they sold the golden plates and dishes, and when these were all gone Aladdin ordered the Genie to bring more, and so they lived in comfort for several years.

Now Aladdin had heard a great deal about the beauty of the Sultan's daughter, and he began to long so greatly to see her that he could not rest. He thought of a great many plans, but they all seemed impossible, for the Princess never went out without a veil, which covered her entirely. At last, however, he managed to enter the palace and hide himself behind a door, peeping through a chink when the Princess passed to go to her bath.

The moment Aladdin's eyes rested upon the beautiful Princess he loved her with all his heart, for she was as fair as the dawn of a summer morning.

"Mother," he cried when he reached home, "I have seen the Princess, and I have made up my mind to marry her. Thou shalt go at once to the Sultan, and beg him to give me his daughter."

Aladdin's mother stared at her son, and then began to laugh at such a wild idea. She was almost afraid that Aladdin must be mad, but he gave her no peace until she did as he wished.

So the next day she very unwillingly set out for the palace, carrying the magic fruit wrapped up in a napkin, to present to the Sultan. There were many other people offering their petitions that day, and the poor woman was so frightened that she dared not go forward, and so no one paid any attention to her as she stood there patiently holding her bundle. For a whole week she had gone every day to the palace, before the Sultan noticed her.

"Who is that poor woman who comes every day carrying a white bundle?" he asked.

Then the Grand Vizier ordered that she should be brought forward, and she came bowing herself to the ground.

She was almost too terrified to speak, but when the Sultan spoke so kindly to her she took courage, and told him of Aladdin's love for the Princess, and of his bold request, "He sends you this gift," she continued, and opening the bundle she presented the magic fruit.

A cry of wonder went up from all those who stood around, for never had they beheld such exquisite jewels before. They shone and sparkled with a thousand lights and colors, and dazzled the eyes that gazed upon them.

The Sultan was astounded, and spoke to the Grand Vizier apart.

"Surely it is fit that I should give my daughter to one who can present such a wondrous gift?" he said....

Now when three months were ended, Aladdin's mother again presented herself before the Sultan, and reminded him of his promise, that the Princess should wed her son.

"I ever abide by my royal word," said the Sultan; "but he who marries my daughter must first send me forty golden basins filled to the brim with precious stones. These basins must be carried by forty black slaves, each led by a white slave dressed as befits the servants of the Sultan."

Aladdin's mother returned home in great distress when she heard this, and told Aladdin what the Sultan had said.

"Alas, my son!" she cried, "thy hopes are ended."

"Not so, mother," answered Aladdin. "The Sultan shall not have long to wait for his answer."

Then he rubbed the magic lamp, and when the Genie appeared, he bade him provide the forty golden basins filled with jewels, and all the slaves which the Sultan had demanded.

Now when this splendid procession passed through the streets on its way to the palace, all the people came out to see the sight, and stood amazed when they saw the golden basins filled with sparkling gems carried on the heads of the great black slaves. And when the palace was reached, and the slaves presented the jewels to the Sultan, he was so surprised and delighted that he was more than willing that Aladdin should marry the Princess at once.

"Go, fetch thy son," he said to Aladdin's mother, who was waiting near. "Tell him that this day he shall wed my daughter."

But when Aladdin heard the news he refused to hasten at once to the palace, as his mother advised. First he called the Genie, and told him to bring a scented bath, and a robe worked in gold, such as a King might wear. After this he called for forty slaves to attend him, and six to walk before his mother, and a horse more beautiful than the Sultan's, and lastly, for ten thousand pieces of gold put up in ten purses.

When all these things were ready, and Aladdin was dressed in his royal robe, he set out for the palace. As he rode along on his beautiful horse, attended by his forty slaves, he scattered the golden pieces out of the ten purses among the crowd, and all the people shouted with joy and delight. No one knew that this was the idle boy who used to play about the streets but they thought he was some great foreign Prince.

Thus Aladdin arrived at the palace in great state, and when the Sultan had embraced him, he ordered that the wedding feast should be prepared at once, and that the marriage should take place that day.

"Not so, your Majesty," said Aladdin; "I will not marry the Princess until I have built a palace fit for the daughter of the Sultan."

Then he returned home, and once more called up the Slave of the Lamp.

"Build me the fairest palace ever beheld by mortal eye," ordered Aladdin. "Let it be built of marble and jasper and precious stones. In the midst I would have a great hall, whose walls shall be of gold and silver, lighted by four-and-twenty windows. These windows shall all be set with diamonds, rubies, and other precious stones, and one only shall be left unfinished. There must also be stables with horses, and slaves to serve in the palace. Begone, and do thy work quickly."

And lo! in the morning when Aladdin looked out, there stood the most wonderful palace that ever was built. Its marble walls were flushed a delicate pink in the morning light, and the jewels flashed from every window.

Then Aladdin and his mother set off for the Sultan's palace, and the wedding took place that day. The Princess loved Aladdin as soon as she saw him, and great were the rejoicings throughout the city.

The next day Aladdin invited the Sultan to visit the new palace, and when he entered the great hall, whose walls were of gold and silver and whose windows were set with jewels, he was filled with admiration and astonishment.

"It is the wonder of the world," he cried. "Never before have mortal eyes beheld such a beautiful palace. One thing alone surprises me. Why is there one window left unfinished?"

"Your Majesty," answered Aladdin, "this has been done with a purpose, for I wished that thine own royal hand should have the honor of putting the finishing touch to my palace."

The Sultan was so pleased when he heard this, that he sent at once for all the court jewelers and ordered them to finish the window like the rest.

The court jewelers worked for many days, and then sent to tell the Sultan that they had used up all the jewels they possessed, and still the window was not half finished. The Sultan commanded that his own jewels should be given to complete the work; even when these were used the window was not finished.

Then Aladdin ordered the jewelers to stop their work, and to take back all the Sultan's jewels as well as their own. And that night he called up the Slave of the Lamp once more, and bade him finish the window. This was done before the morning, and great was the surprise of the Sultan and all his workmen.

Now Aladdin did not grow proud of his great riches but was gentle and courteous to all, and kind to the poor, so that the people all loved him dearly. He fought and won many battles for the Sultan, and was the greatest favorite in the land.

But far away in Africa there was trouble brewing for Aladdin. The wicked old Magician who had pretended to be Aladdin's uncle found out by his magic powers that the boy had not perished when he left him underground, but had somehow managed to escape and become rich and powerful.

"He must have discovered the secret of the lamp," shrieked the Magician, tearing his hair with rage. "I will not rest day or night until I shall have found some way of taking it from him."

So he journeyed from Africa to China, and when he came to the city where Aladdin lived and saw the wonderful palace, he nearly choked with fury to see all its splendor and richness. Then he disguised himself as a merchant, and bought a number of copper lamps, and with these went from street to street, crying, "New lamps for old."

As soon as the people heard his cry, they crowded round him, laughing and jeering, for they thought he must be mad to make such an offer.

Now it happened that Aladdin was out hunting, and the Princess sat alone in the hall of the jeweled windows. When, therefore, she heard the noise that was going on in the street outside, she called to her slaves to ask what it meant.

Presently one of the slaves came back, laughing so much that she could hardly speak.

"It is a curious old man who offers to give new lamps for old," she cried. "Did any one ever hear before of such a strange way of trading?"

The Princess laughed too, and pointed to an old lamp which hung in a niche close by.

"There is an old enough lamp," she said. "Take it and see if the old man will really give a new one for it."

The slave took it down and ran out to the street once more, and when the Magician saw that it was indeed what he wanted, he seized the Magic Lamp with both his hands.

"Choose any lamp you like," he said, showing her those of bright new copper. He did not care now what happened. She might have all the new lamps if she wanted them.

Then he went a little way outside the city, and when he was quite alone he took out the Magic Lamp and rubbed it gently. Immediately the Genie stood before him and asked what was his will.

"I order thee to carry off the palace of Aladdin, with the Princess inside, and set it down in a lonely spot in Africa."

And in an instant the palace, with every one in it, had disappeared, and when the Sultan happened to look out of his window, lo! there was no longer a palace to be seen.

"This must be enchantment," he cried.

Then he ordered his men to set out and bring Aladdin to him in chains.

The officers met Aladdin as he was returning from the hunt, and they immediately seized him, loaded him with chains, and carried him off to the Sultan. But as he was borne along, the people gathered around him, for they loved him dearly, and vowed that no harm should befall him.

The Sultan was beside himself with rage when he saw Aladdin, and gave orders that his head should be cut off at once. But the people had begun to crowd into the palace, and they were so fierce and threatening that he dared not do as he wished. He was obliged to order the chains to be taken off, and Aladdin to be set free.

As soon as Aladdin was allowed to speak he asked why all this was done to him.

"Wretch!" exclaimed the Sultan, "come hither, and I will show thee."

Then he led Aladdin to the window and showed him the empty space where his palace had once stood.

"Think not that I care for thy vanished palace," he said. "But where is the Princess, my daughter?"

So astonished was Aladdin that for some time he could only stand speechless, staring at the place where his palace ought to have been.

At last he turned to the Sultan.

"Your Majesty," he said, "grant me grace for one month, and if by that time I have not brought back thy daughter to thee, then put me to death as I deserve."

So Aladdin was set free, and for three days he went about like a madman, asking every one he met where his palace was. But no one could tell him, and all laughed at his misery. Then he went to the river to drown himself; but as he knelt on the bank and clasped his hands to say his prayers before throwing himself in, he once more rubbed the Magic Ring. Instantly the Genie of the Ring stood before him.

"What is thy will, O master?" it asked.

"Bring back my Princess and my palace," cried Aladdin, "and save my life."

"That I cannot do," said the Slave of the Ring. "Only the Slave of the Lamp has power to bring back thy palace."

"Then take me to the place where my palace now stands," said Aladdin, "and put me down beneath the window of the Princess."

And almost before Aladdin had done speaking he found himself in Africa, beneath the windows of his own palace.

He was so weary that he lay down and fell fast asleep; but before long, when day dawned, he was awakened by the song of the birds, and as he looked around his courage returned. He was now sure that all his misfortunes must have been caused by the loss of the Magic Lamp, and he determined to find out as soon as possible who had stolen it.

That same morning the Princess awoke feeling happier than she had felt since she had been carried off. The sun was shining so brightly, and the birds were singing so gaily, that she went to the window to greet the opening day. And who should she see standing beneath her window but Aladdin!

With a cry of joy she threw open the casement and the sound made Aladdin look up. It was not long before he made his way through a secret door and held her in his arms.

"Tell me, Princess," said Aladdin, when they had joyfully embraced each other many times, "what has become of the old lamp which hung in a niche of the great hall?"

"Alas! my husband," answered the Princess, "I fear my carelessness has been the cause of all our misfortunes."

Then she told him how the wicked old Magician had pretended to be a merchant, and had offered new lamps for old, and how he had thus managed to secure the Magic Lamp.

"He has it still," she added, "for I know that he carries it always, hidden in his robe."

"Princess," said Aladdin, "I must recover this lamp, and thou shalt help me. To-night when the Magician dines with thee, dress thyself in thy costliest robes, and be kind and gracious to him. Then bid him fetch some of the wines of Africa, and when he is gone, I will tell thee what thou shalt do."

So that night the Princess put on her most beautiful robes, and looked so lovely and was so kind when the Magician came in, that he could scarcely believe his eyes. For she had been sad and angry ever since he had carried her off.

"I believe now that Aladdin must be dead," she said, "and I have made up my mind to mourn no longer. Let us begin our feast. But see! I grow weary of these wines of China, fetch me instead the wine of thy own country."

Now Aladdin had meanwhile prepared a powder which he directed the Princess to place in her own wine-cup. So when the Magician returned with the African wine, she filled her cup and offered it to him in token of friendship. The Magician drank it up eagerly, and scarcely had he finished when he dropped down dead.

Then Aladdin came out of the next chamber where he had hidden himself, and searched in the Magician's robe until he found the Magic Lamp. He rubbed it joyfully, and when the Genie appeared, ordered that the palace should be carried back to China, and set down in its own place.

The following morning, when the Sultan rose early, for he was too sad to take much rest, he went to the window to gaze on the place where Aladdin's palace had once stood. He rubbed his eyes, and stared wildly about.

"This must be a dream," he cried, for there stood the palace in all its beauty, looking fairer than ever in the morning light.

Not a moment did the Sultan lose, but he rode over to the palace at once, and when he had embraced Aladdin and his daughter, they told him the whole story of the African Magician. Then Aladdin showed him the dead body of the wicked old man, and there was peace between them once more.

But there was still trouble in store for Aladdin. The African Magician had a younger brother who also dealt in magic, and who was if possible even more wicked than his elder brother.

Full of revenge, this younger brother started for China, determined to punish Aladdin and steal the Magic Lamp for himself. As soon as he arrived he went in secret to the cell of a holy woman called Fatima, and obliged her to give him her robe and veil as a disguise. Then to keep the secret safe he killed the poor woman.

Dressed in the robe and veil, the wicked Magician walked through the streets near Aladdin's palace, and all the people as he passed by knelt and kissed his robe, for they thought he was indeed the holy woman.

As soon as the Princess heard that Fatima was passing by in the street, she sent and commanded her to be brought into the hall, and she treated the supposed holy woman with great respect and kindness, for she had often longed to see her.

"Is not this a fine hall?" she asked, as they sat together in the hall of the jeweled windows.

"It is indeed most beautiful," answered the Magician, who kept his veil carefully down, "but to my mind there is one thing wanting. If only thou couldst have a roc's egg hung in the dome it would be perfect."

As soon as the Princess heard these words she became discontented and miserable, and when Aladdin came in, she looked so sad that he at once asked what was the matter.

"I can never be happy until I have a roc's egg hanging from the dome of the great hall," she answered.

"In that case thou shalt soon be happy," said Aladdin gaily, and taking down the lamp, he summoned the Genie.

But when the Slave of the Lamp heard the order his face grew terrible with rage, and his eyes gleamed like burning coals.

"Vile wretch!" he shrieked, "have I not given thee all thy wishes, and now dost thou ask me to kill my master, and hang him as an ornament in thy palace? Thou deservest truly to die; but I know that the request cometh not from thine own heart, but was the suggestion of that wicked Magician who pretends to be a holy woman."

With these words the Genie vanished, and. Aladdin went at once to the room where the Princess was awaiting him.

"I have a headache," he said. "Call the holy woman, that she may place her hand upon my forehead and ease the pain."

But the moment that the false Fatima appeared Aladdin sprang up and plunged his dagger into that evil heart.

"What hast thou done?" cried the Princess. "Alas! thou hast slain the holy woman."

"This is no holy woman," answered Aladdin, "but an evil Magician whose purpose was to destroy us both."

So Aladdin was saved from the wicked design of the two Magicians, and there was no one left to disturb his peace. He and the Princess lived together in great happiness for many years, and when the Sultan died they succeeded to the throne, and ruled both wisely and well. And so there was great peace throughout the land.



II

THE ENCHANTED HORSE

It was New Year's day in Persia, the most splendid feast-day of all the year, and the King had been entertained, hour after hour, by the wonderful shows prepared for him by his people. Evening was drawing on and the court was just about to retire, when an Indian appeared, leading a horse which he wished to show to the King. It was not a real horse, but it was so wonderfully made that it looked exactly as if it were alive.

"Your Majesty," cried the Indian, as he bowed himself to the ground, "I beg thou wilt look upon this wonder. Nothing thou hast seen to-day can equal this horse of mine. I have only to mount upon its back and wish myself in any part of the world, and it carries me there in a few minutes." Now the King of Persia was very fond of curious and clever things, so he looked at the horse with great interest.

"It seems only a common horse," he said, "but thou shalt show us what it can do."

Then he pointed to a distant mountain, and bade the Indian to fetch a branch from the palm-trees which grew near its foot.

The Indian vaulted into the saddle, turned a little peg in the horse's neck, and in a moment was flying so swiftly through the air that he soon disappeared from sight. In less than a quarter of an hour he reappeared, and laid the palm-branch at the King's feet.

"Thou art right," cried the King; "thy enchanted horse is the most wonderful thing I have yet seen. What is its price? I must have it for my own."

The Indian shook his head.

"Your Majesty," he said, "this horse can never be sold for money, but can only be exchanged for something of equal value. It shall be thine only if thou wilt give me instead the Princess, your daughter, for my wife."

At these words the King's son sprang to his feet.

"Sire," he cried, "thou wilt never dream of granting such a request."

"My son," answered the King, "at whatever cost I must have this wonderful horse. But before I agree to the exchange, I would wish thee to try the horse, and tell me what thou thinkest of it."

The Indian, who stood listening to what they said, was quite willing that the Prince should try the Enchanted Horse, and began to give him directions how to guide it. But as soon as the Prince was in the saddle and saw the peg which made the horse start, he never waited to hear more. He turned the screw at once, and went flying off through the air.

"Alas!" cried the Indian, "he has gone off without learning how to come back. Never will he be able to stop the horse unless he finds the second peg."

The King was terribly frightened when he heard the Indian's words, for, by this time, the Prince had disappeared from sight.

"Wretch," he cried, "thou shalt be cast into prison, and unless my son returns in safety, thou shalt be put to death."

Meanwhile the Prince had gone gaily sailing up into the air until he reached the clouds, and could no longer see the earth below. This was very pleasant, and he felt that he had never had such a delicious ride in his life before. But presently he began to think it was time to descend. He screwed the peg round and round, backwards and forwards, but it seemed to make no difference. Instead of coming down he sailed higher and higher, until he thought he was going to knock his head against the blue sky.

What was to be done? The Prince began to grow a little nervous, and he felt over the horse's neck to see if there was another peg to be found anywhere. To his joy, just behind the ear. He touched a small screw, and when he turned it, he felt he was going slower and slower, and gently turning round. Then he shouted with joy as the Enchanted Horse flew downwards through the starry night, and he saw, stretched out before him, a beautiful city gleaming white through the purple mantle of the night.

Everything was strange to him, and he did not know in what direction to guide the horse, so he let it go where it would, and presently it stopped on the roof of a great marble palace. There was a gallery running round the roof, and at the end of the gallery there was a door leading down some white marble steps.

The Prince began at once to descend the steps, and found himself in a great hall where a row of black slaves were sleeping soundly, guarding the entrance to a room beyond.

Very softly the Prince crept past the guards, and lifting the curtain from the door, looked in.

And there he saw a splendid room lighted by a thousand lights and filled with sleeping slaves, and in the middle, upon a sofa, was the most beautiful Princess his eyes had ever gazed upon.

She was so lovely that the Prince held his breath with admiration as he looked at her. Then he went softly to her side, and, kneeling by the sofa, gently touched her hand. The Princess sighed and opened her eyes, but before she could cry out, he begged her in a whisper to be silent and fear nothing.

"I am a Prince," he said, "the son of the King of Persia. I am in danger of my life here, and crave thy protection."

Now this Princess was no other than the daughter of the King of Bengal, who happened to be staying alone in her summer palace outside the city.

"I will protect thee," said the Princess kindly, giving him her hand. Then she awoke her slaves and bade them give the stranger food and prepare a sleeping-room for him.

"I long to hear thy adventures and how thou camest here," she said to the Prince, "but first thou must rest and refresh thyself."

Never before had the Princess seen any one so gallant and handsome as this strange young Prince. She dressed herself in her loveliest robes, and twined her hair with her most precious jewels, that she might appear as beautiful as possible in his eyes. And when the Prince saw her again, he thought her the most charming Princess in all the world, and he loved her with all his heart. But when he had told her all his adventures she sighed to think that he must now leave her and return to his father's court.

"Do not grieve," he said, "I will return in state as befits a Prince, and demand thy hand in marriage from the King thy father."

"Stay but a few days ere thou goest," replied the Princess. "I cannot part with thee so soon."

The Prince was only too willing to wait a while, and the Princess entertained him so well with feasts and hunting-parties that day after day slipped by, and still he lingered.

At last, however, the thought of his home and his father's grief made him decide to return at once.

"My Princess," he said, "since it is so hard to part, wilt thou not ride with me upon the Enchanted Horse? When we are once more in Persia our marriage shall take place, and then we will return to the King thy father."

So together they mounted the Enchanted Horse and the Prince placed his arm around the Princess and turned the magic peg. Up and up they flew over land and sea, and then the Prince turned the other screw, and they landed just outside his father's city. He guided the horse to a palace outside the gates, and there he left the Princess, for he wished to go alone to prepare his father.

Now when the Prince reached the court he found every one dressed in brown, and all the bells of the city were tolling mournfully.

"Why is every one so sad?" he asked of one of the guards.

"The Prince, the Prince!" cried the man. "The Prince has come back."

And soon the joyful news spread over the town, and the bells stopped tolling and rang a joyful peal.

"My beloved son!" cried the King, as he embraced him. "We thought thou wert lost for ever, and we have mourned for thee day and night."

Without waiting to hear more, the Prince began to tell the King all his adventures, and how the Princess of Bengal awaited him in the palace outside the gates.

"Let her be brought here instantly," cried the King, "and the marriage shall take place to-day."

Then he ordered that the Indian should be set free at once and allowed to depart with the Enchanted Horse.

Great was the surprise of the Indian when, instead of having his head cut off as he had expected, he was allowed to go free with his wonderful horse. He asked what adventures had befallen the Prince, and when he heard of the Princess who was waiting in the palace outside the gates, a wicked plan came into his head.

He took the Enchanted Horse, and went straight to the palace before the King's messengers could reach it.

"Tell the Princess," he said to the slaves, "that the Prince of Persia has sent me to bring her to his father's palace upon the Enchanted Horse."

The Princess was very glad when she heard this message, and she quickly made herself ready to go with the messenger.

But alas! as soon as the Indian turned the peg and the horse flew through the air, she found she was being carried off, far away from Persia and her beloved Prince.

All her prayers and entreaties were in vain. The Indian only mocked at her, and told her he meant to marry her himself.

Meanwhile the Prince and his attendants had arrived at the palace outside the gates, only to find that the Indian had been there before them and had carried off the Princess.

The Prince was nearly beside himself with grief, but he still hoped to find his bride. He disguised himself as a dervish and set off to seek for her, vowing that he would find her, or perish in the attempt.

By this time the Enchanted Horse had traveled many hundreds of miles. Then, as the Indian was hungry, it was made to descend into a wood close to a town of Cashmere.

Here the Indian went in search of food, and when he returned with some fruit he shared it with the Princess, who was faint and weary.

As soon as the Princess had eaten a little she felt stronger and braver, and as she heard horses galloping past, she called out loudly for help.

The men on horseback came riding at once to her aid, and she quickly told them who she was, and how the Indian had carried her off against her will. Then the leader of the horsemen, who was the Sultan of Cashmere, ordered his men to cut off the Indian's head. But he placed the Princess upon his horse and led her to his palace.

Now the Princess thought that her troubles were all at an end, but she was much mistaken. The Sultan had no sooner seen her than he made up his mind to marry her, and he ordered the wedding preparations to be begun without loss of time.

In vain the Princess begged to be sent back to Persia. The Sultan only smiled and fixed the wedding-day. Then when she saw that nothing would turn him from his purpose, she thought of a plan to save herself. She began talking all the nonsense she could think of and behaving as if she were mad, and so well did she pretend, that the wedding was put off, and all the doctors were called in to see if they could cure her.

But whenever a doctor came near the Princess she became so wild and violent that he dared not even feel her pulse, so none of them discovered that she was only pretending.

The Sultan was in great distress, and sent far and near for the cleverest doctors. But none of them seemed to be able to cure the Princess of her madness.

All this time the Prince of Persia was wandering about in search of his Princess, and when he came to one of the great cities of India, he heard every one talking about the sad illness of the Princess of Bengal who was to have married the Sultan. He at once disguised himself as a doctor and went to the palace, saying he had come to cure the Princess.

The Sultan received the new doctor with joy, and led him at once to the room where the Princess sat alone, weeping and wringing her hands.

"Your Majesty," said the disguised Prince, "no one else must enter the room with me, or the cure will fail."

So the Sultan left him, and the Prince went close to the Princess, and gently touched her hand.

"My beloved Princess," he said, "dost thou not know me?"

As soon as the Princess heard that dear voice she threw herself into the Prince's arms, and her joy was so great that she could not speak.

"We must at once plan our escape," said the Prince. "Canst thou tell me what has become of the Enchanted Horse?"

"Naught can I tell thee of it, dear Prince," answered the Princess, "but since the Sultan knows its value, no doubt he has kept it in some safe place."

"Then first we must persuade the Sultan that thou art almost cured," said the Prince. "Put on thy costliest robes and dine with him to-night, and I will do the rest."

The Sultan was charmed to find the Princess so much better, and his joy knew no bounds when the new doctor told him that he hoped by the next day to complete the cure.

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