76 ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP
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 Vizier: ' I see a certain woman in the audience-chamber every day carrying something in a napkin. Call her next time, that I rnay find out what she wants.' Next day, at a sign from the Vizier, 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 Vizier, 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 Vizier said : ' What sayest thou ? Ought I not to bestow the Princess on one who values her at such a price ? ' The Vizier, 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 marriage, she must not appear before hirn again for three months.
Aladdin waited patiently for nearly three months, but after two had elapsed his mother, going into the city to buy oil, found every one rejoicing, and asked what was going on. ' Do you not know,' was the answer,' that the son of the Grand Vizier is to marry the Sultan's daughter to-night ? ' Breathless, she ran and told Aladdin, who was overwhelmed at first, but presently bethought him of the lamp. He rubbed it, and the genie appeared, saying: ' What is thy will 2' Aladdin replied : ' The Sultan, as thou knowest, has broken his promise to me, and the Vizier's son is to have the Princess. My command is that to-night you bring hither the bride and bridegroom.' ' Master, I obey,' said the genie. Aladdin then went to his chamber, where, sure enough, at midnight the genie transported the bed containing the Vizier's son and the Princess. ' Take this new-married man,' he said, ' and put him outside in the cold, and return at daybreak.' Whereupon the genie took the Vizier's son out of bed, leaving Aladdin with the Princess. ' Fear nothing,' Aladdin said to her; ' you are my wife, promised to me by your unjust father, and no harm shall come to you.' The Princess was