300 THE ARABIAN NIGHTS
fruits from the enchanted garden, which sparkled and shone like the most beautiful jewels. She took these with her to please the Sultan, and set out, trusting in the lamp. The grand-vizir and the lords of council had just gone in as she entered the hall and placed herself in front of the Sultan. He, however, took no notice of her. She went every day for a week, and stood in the same place.
When the council broke up on the sixth day the Sultan said to his vizir: 'I see a certain woman in the audience-chamber every day carrying something in a napkin. Call her next time, that I may find out what she wants.'
Next day, at a sign from the vizir, she went up to the foot of the throne, and remained kneeling till the Sultan said to her: 'Rise, good woman, and tell me what you want.'
She hesitated, so the Sultan sent away all but the vizir, and bade her speak freely, promising to forgive her beforehand for anything she might say. She then told him of her son's violent love for the princess.
' I prayed him to forget her,' she said, ' but in vain; he threatened to do some desperate deed if I refused to go and ask your Majesty for the hand of the princess. Now I pray you to forgive not me alone, but my son Aladdin.'
The Sultan asked her kindly what she had in the napkin, whereupon she unfolded the jewels and presented them.
He was thunderstruck, and turning to the vizir said: ' What sayest thou? Ought I not to bestow the princess on one who values her at such a price ? '
The vizir, who wanted her for his own son, begged the Sultan to withhold her for three months, in the course of which he hoped his son would contrive to make him a richer present. The Sultan granted this, and told Aladdin's mother that, though he consented to the