Part 3 out of 9
With mast, and helm, and pennon fair.
That well had borne their part;
But the noblest thing which perished there
Was that young, faithful heart!
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biographical and Historical Note. Felicia Hemans, (1793-1835), an
English poet, was born in Liverpool, but spent much of her life in
North Wales. "Casabianca" and "The Landing of the Pilgrims" are
her best known poems. The hero of this poem was the son of Louis
Casabianca, the captain of L'Orient, the flagship of the fleet that
carried Napoleon Bonaparte and his army to Egypt. The incident
narrated in this poem occurred during the Battle of the Nile. The
powder magazine exploded, the ship was burned, and the captain, and
his son perished. Discussion. 1. How did it happen that the boy was
alone on the "burning deck"? 2. Find two lines in the third stanza
that tell how the boy showed his faithfulness and his "heroic blood."
3. Why is his father called the "chieftain"? 4. What did the boy ask
his father? 5. Why did he remain in such great danger when he might
have saved himself? 6. What was it that "wrapped the ship in splendor
wild"? 7. What made the "burst of thunder sound"? 8. What things are
mentioned as fragments which "strewed the sea"? 9. Why is it good for
us to read such a poem as this? 10. What service did Casabianca do
for all of us? 11. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: chieftain;
unconscious; booming; despair; fragments; pennon. 12. Pronounce:
heroic; shroud; helm.
Phrases for Study
born to rule the storm, wreathing fires, heroic blood, splendor wild,
lone post of death, borne their part.
Old Tubal Cain was a man of might
In the days when the earth was young;
By the fierce red light of his furnace bright
The strokes of his hammer rung;
And he lifted high his brawny hand
On the iron glowing clear.
Till the sparks rushed out in scarlet showers,
As he fashioned the sword and spear.
And he sang, "Hurrah for my handiwork!
Hurrah for the spear and sword!
Hurrah for the hand that shall wield them well!
For he shall be king and lord."
To Tubal Cain came many a one.
As he wrought by his roaring fire.
And each one prayed for a strong steel blade,
As the crown of his desire;
And he made them weapons, sharp and strong,
Till they shouted loud in glee.
And gave him gifts of pearls and gold,
And spoils of forest free.
And they sang, "Hurrah for Tubal Cain,
Who hath given us strength anew!
Hurrah for the smith! hurrah for the fire!
And hurrah for the metal true!"
But a sudden change came o'er his heart
Ere the setting of the sun,
And Tubal Cain was filled with pain
For the evil he had done.
He saw that men, with rage and hate,
Made war upon their kind;
That the land was red with the blood they shed
In their lust for carnage, blind.
And he said, "Alas, that ever I made,
Or that skill of mine should plan,
The spear and the sword for men whose joy
Is to slay their fellow-man!"
And for many a day old Tubal Cain
Sat brooding o'er his woe;
And his hand forbore to smite the ore,
And his furnace smoldered low;
But he rose at last with a cheerful face
And a bright, courageous eye,
And bared his strong right arm for work,
While the quick flames mounted high;
And he sang, "Hurrah for my handiwork!"
And the red sparks lit the air--
"Not alone for the blade was the bright steel made"--
And he fashioned the first plowshare.
And men, taught wisdom from the past,
In friendship joined their hands,
Hung the sword in the hall, the spear on the wall,
And plowed the willing lands;
And sang, "Hurrah for Tubal Cain!
Our stanch good friend is he.
And, for the plowshare and the plow,
To him our praise shall be.
But, while oppression lifts its head,
Or a tyrant would be lord,
Though we may thank him for the plow,
We'll not forget the sword."
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. Charles Mackay (1814-1889) was a Scotch poet. For some
years he was editor of the Glasgow Argus, and afterwards he became
editor of the Illustrated London News. During the Civil War he was the
special correspondent of the London Times at New York. He wrote many
poems of interest to young people. Historical Note. Tubal Cain was one
of the sons of Lamech, a descendant of Cain. He was an "instructor of
every artificer in brass and iron," that is, he was the first smith.
All that we really know of his history is given in the fourth chapter
of Genesis. Discussion. 1. What did Tubal Cain first make on his
forge? 2. Why did he think that his work was good? 3. What did men say
about him? 4. How did Tubal Cain feel when he saw what men were doing
with the products of his forge? 5. What did he do then? 6. What made
his face "cheerful" at last? 7. Is it better to make instruments of
war or tools for industry? 8. Why was Tubal Cain happy when he made
plows? 9. Was he working for money, or for service? 10. Explain the
last four lines. 11. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: fashioned;
handiwork; wrought; anew; lust; brooding; forbore; plowshare. 12.
Pronounce: hurrah; wield; carnage; smoldered; stanch.
Phrases for Study
man of might, smite the ore, earth was young, taught wisdom from the
past, crown of his desire, spoils of forest free, willing lands, metal
true, oppression lifts its head, upon their kind, tyrant would be
lord, whose joy is to slay.
THE INCHCAPE ROCK
No stir in the air, no stir in the sea;
The ship was still as she could be;
Her sails from Heaven received no motion;
Her keel was steady in the ocean.
Without either sign or sound of their shock,
The waves flowed over the Inchcape Rock;
So little they rose, so little they fell,
They did not move the Inchcape Bell.
The holy Abbot of Aberbrothok
Had placed that bell on the Inchcape Rock;
On a buoy in the storm it floated and swung,
And over the waves its warning rung.
When the rock was hid by the surge's swell,
The mariners heard the warning bell;
And then they knew the perilous rock
And blessed the Abbot of Aberbrothok.
The sun in heaven was shining gay;
All things were joyful on that day;
The sea-birds screamed as they wheeled around,
And there was joyance in their sound.
The buoy of the Inchcape Bell was seen,
A darker speck on the ocean green;
Sir Ralph the Rover walked his deck,
And he fixed his eye on the darker speck.
He felt the cheering power of spring;
It made him whistle, it made him sing;
His heart was mirthful to excess,
But the Rover's mirth was wickedness.
His eye was on the Inchcape float;
Quoth he, "My men, put out the boat
And row me to the Inchcape Rock,
And I'll plague the Abbot of Aberbrothok."
The boat is lowered, the boatmen row,
And to the Inchcape Rock they go;
Sir Ralph bent over from the boat,
And he cut the bell from the Inchcape float.
Down sank the bell, with a gurgling sound;
The bubbles rose and burst around;
Quoth Sir Ralph, "The next who comes to the Rock
Won't bless the Abbot of Aberbrothok!"
Sir Ralph the Rover sailed away;
He scoured the seas for many a day;
And now grown rich with plundered store,
He steers his course for Scotland's shore.
So thick a haze o'erspreads the sky
They cannot see the sun on high;
The wind hath blown a gale all day;
At evening it hath died away.
On the deck the Rover takes his stand;
So dark it is they see no land.
Quoth Sir Ralph, "It will be lighter soon,
For there is dawn of the rising moon."
"Canst hear," said one, "the breakers roar?
For methinks we should be near the shore."
"Now where we are I cannot tell,
But I wish I could hear the Inchcape Bell."
They hear no sound; the swell is strong;
Though the wind hath fallen, they drift along
Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock--
"O Christ! it is the Inchcape Rock!"
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biographical and Historical Note. Robert Southey (1774-1843) was
an English poet. From 1813 until his death he was Poet Laureate of
England. Bell Rock, or Inchcape, is a reef of red sandstone near the
Firth of Tay, on the east coast of Scotland. At the time of the spring
tides part of the reef is uncovered to the height of four feet.
Because so many vessels were wrecked upon these rocks the Abbot of
Aberbrothok is said to have placed a bell there, "fixed upon a tree or
timber, which rang continually, being moved by the sea."
Discussion. 1. What picture do you see when you read the first stanza?
The second stanza? 2. This story tells about a man who failed. You
have read about Peter's heroism and the lives he saved, about the
service a schoolboy rendered to a poor old woman, about a blacksmith
who joyously made the tools by which men raised fruit and grain for
food, and about a boy who was faithful to orders, even though it cost
his life. Here you see how men sometimes try to make of no effect all
the good deeds that others perform. 3. The Abbot of Aberbrothok was a
man who lived up to the ideal of service; how did he do this, and why
did men bless him? 4. Ralph the Rover was a pirate; why did he destroy
the bell? 5. All the others in the stories you have read, boys and
men, thought less of themselves than of others; of what did Ralph
think? 6. Is a merchant who raises the price of food as high as he
can, who makes huge profits while others suffer or starve, any better
than Ralph the Rover? 7. What test of loyalty to our country, would
prove such a man to be a "bad citizen"? 8. Ralph was a free man--what
did "liberty" mean to him? 9. What happened to Ralph the Rover? 10.
Find in the Glossary the meaning of: keel; abbot; perilous; joyance;
breakers; methinks. 11. Pronounce: buoy; mariners; excess; scoured.
Phrases for Study
sound of their shock, mirthful to excess, surge's swell, plague the
Abbot, cheering power of spring, plundered store.
MY BOYHOOD ON THE PRAIRIE
The cabin faced a level plain with no tree in sight. A mile away to
the west stood a low stone house, and immediately in front of us
opened a half-section of unfenced sod. To the north, as far as I could
see, the land billowed like a russet ocean, with scarcely a roof to
fleck its lonely spread. I cannot say that I liked or disliked it. I
merely marveled at it; and while I wandered about the yard, the hired
man scorched some cornmeal mush in a skillet, and this, with some
butter and gingerbread, made up my first breakfast in Mitchell County.
For a few days my brother and I had little to do other than to
keep the cattle from straying, and we used our leisure in becoming
acquainted with the region round about.
To the south the sections were nearly all settled upon, for in that
direction lay the county town; but to the north and on into Minnesota
rolled the unplowed sod, the feeding ground of the cattle, the home of
foxes and wolves, and to the west, just beyond the highest ridges, we
loved to think the bison might still be seen.
The cabin on this rented farm was a mere shanty, a shell of pine
boards, which needed reinforcing to make it habitable, and one day my
father said, "Well, Hamlin, I guess you'll have to run the plow-team
this fall. I must help neighbor Button reinforce the house, and I
can't afford to hire another man."
This seemed a fine commission for a lad of ten, and I drove my horses
into the field that first morning with a manly pride which added
an inch to my stature. I took my initial "round" at a "land" which
stretched from one side of the quarter section to the other, in
confident mood. I was grown up!
But alas! My sense of elation did not last long. To guide a team for
a few minutes as an experiment was one thing--to plow all day like a
hired hand was another. It was not a chore; it was a job. It meant
moving to and fro hour after hour, day after day, with no one to
talk to but the horses. It meant trudging eight or nine miles in the
forenoon and as many more in the afternoon, with less than an hour off
at noon. It meant dragging the heavy implement around the corners, and
it meant also many shipwrecks; for the thick, wet stubble often threw
the share completely out of the ground, making it necessary for me to
halt the team and jerk the heavy plow backward for a new start.
Although strong and active, I was rather short, even for a
ten-year-old, and to reach the plow handles I was obliged to lift my
hands above my shoulders; and so with the guiding lines crossed over
my back and my worn straw hat bobbing just above the cross-brace I
must have made a comical figure. At any rate nothing like it had been
seen in the neighborhood; and the people on the road to town, looking
across the field, laughed and called to me, and neighbor Button said
to my father in my hearing, "That chap's too young to run a plow," a
judgment which pleased and flattered me greatly.
Harriet cheered me by running out occasionally to meet me as I turned
the nearest corner, and sometimes Frank consented to go all the way
around, chatting breathlessly as he trotted along behind. At other
times he brought me a cookie and a glass of milk, a deed which helped
to shorten the forenoon. And yet plowing became tedious.
The flies were savage, especially in the middle of the day, and the
horses, tortured by their lances, drove badly, twisting and turning in
their rage. Their tails were continually getting over the lines,
and in stopping to kick their tormentors they often got astride the
traces, and in other ways made trouble for me. Only in the early
morning or when the sun sank low at night were they able to move
quietly along their way.
The soil was the kind my father had been seeking, a smooth, dark,
sandy loam, which made it possible for a lad to do the work of a man.
Often the share would go the entire "round" without striking a root or
a pebble as big as a walnut, the steel running steadily with a crisp,
crunching, ripping sound which I rather liked to hear. In truth, the
work would have been quite tolerable had it not been so long drawn
out. Ten hours of it, even on a fine day, made about twice too many
for a boy.
Meanwhile I cheered myself in every imaginable way. I whistled. I
sang. I studied the clouds. I gnawed the beautiful red skin from the
seed vessels which hung upon the wild rose bushes, and I counted the
prairie chickens as they began to come together in winter flocks,
running through the stubble in search of food. I stopped now and again
to examine the lizards unhoused by the share, and I measured the
little granaries of wheat which the mice and gophers had deposited
deep under the ground, storehouses which the plow had violated. My
eyes dwelt enviously upon the sailing hawk and on the passing of
ducks. The occasional shadowy figure of a prairie wolf made me wish
for Uncle David and his rifle.
On certain days nothing could cheer me. When the bitter wind blew from
the north, and the sky was filled with wild geese racing southward
with swiftly-hurrying clouds, winter seemed about to spring upon me.
The horses' tails streamed in the wind. Flurries of snow covered me
with clinging flakes, and the mud "gummed" my boots and trouser
legs, clogging my steps. At such times I suffered from cold and
loneliness--all sense of being a man evaporated. I was just a little
boy, longing for the leisure of boyhood.
Day after day, through the month of October and deep into November,
I followed that team, turning over two acres of stubble each day. I
would not believe this without proof, but it is true! At last it grew
so cold that in the early morning everything was white with frost,
and I was obliged to put one hand in my pocket to keep it warm, while
holding the plow with the other; but I didn't mind this so much, for
it hinted at the close of autumn. I've no doubt facing the wind in
this way was excellent discipline, but I didn't think it necessary
then, and my heart was sometimes bitter and rebellious.
My father did not intend to be severe. As he had always been an
early riser and a busy toiler, it seemed perfectly natural and good
discipline that his sons should also plow and husk corn at ten years
of age. He often told of beginning life as a "bound boy" at nine, and
these stories helped me to perform my own tasks without whining.
At last there came a morning when by striking my heel upon the ground
I convinced my boss that the soil was frozen. "All right," he said;
"you may lay off this forenoon."
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. Hamlin Garland (1860-1940) was born in Wisconsin. His
father was a farmer-pioneer, who was always eager to be on the border
line of the farming country; consequently, he moved from Wisconsin to
Minnesota, from Minnesota to Iowa, and from Iowa to Dakota. The hope
of cheaper land, better soil, and bigger crops led him on. When Hamlin
Garland turned his attention to literature, he decided to write
truthfully of the western farmer's life and its great hardships in
pioneer days, as well as its hopes and joys. In A Son of the Middle
Border, an autobiography, from which "My Boyhood on the Prairie" is
taken, he has given a most interesting record of experiences in the
development of the Middle West. Mitchell County, where this scene is
laid, is in Iowa.
Discussion. 1. Describe the boy's new home. 2. What work did the boy
have to do? 3. In what spirit did he start the plowing? 4. Why did his
"sense of elation" soon disappear? 5. Was his task harder than that of
Peter or of the boy who helped "Somebody's Mother"? 6. Must a boy do
some marvelous thing to be a hero? 7. How did the boy try to keep
himself in good cheer? 8. In The World of Nature, A Forward Look you
are told that if you have eyes to see, "the world of Nature is a
fairyland." Why do you think this boy had "eyes to see"? Find your
answer by reading the last two lines on page 131 and the first ten
lines on page 132. 9. What made him wish for freedom? 10. Class
reading: Page 131, line 8, to the end of the story. 11. Outline for
testing silent reading. Tell the story briefly, using these topics:
(a) the region and the cabin; (b) what plowing meant to a boy; (c)
how the boy was cheered. 12. Find in the Glossary the meaning
of: marveled; scorched; skillet; ridges; reinforcing; habitable;
commission; stature; implement; stubble; share; cross-brace; judgment;
tormentors; tolerable; unhoused; deposited; clog ging; evaporated. 13.
Pronounce: chore; tedious; loam; imaginable; gopher; leisure.
Phrases for Study
billowed like a russet ocean, guiding lines, fleck its lonely spread,
tortured by their lances, county town, astride the traces, initial
round, go the entire round, confident mood, plow had violated, sense
of elation, bound boy.
WOODMAN, SPARE THAT TREE
GEORGE P. MORRIS
Woodman, spare that tree!
Touch not a single bough;
In youth it sheltered me,
And I'll protect it now.
'Twas my forefather's hand
That placed it near his cot;
There, woodman, let it stand;
Thy ax shall harm it not;
That old familiar tree,
Whose glory and renown
Are spread o'er land and sea--
And wouldst thou hack it down?
Woodman, forbear thy stroke!
Cut not its earth-bound ties;
Oh, spare that aged oak
Now towering to the skies.
When but an idle boy,
I sought its grateful shade;
In all their gushing joy,
Here, too, my sisters played.
My mother kissed me here;
My father pressed my hand--
Forgive this foolish tear,
But let that old oak stand!
My heart-strings round thee cling,
Close as thy bark, old friend!
Here shall the wild-bird sing,
And still thy branches bend.
Old tree! the storm still brave!
And, woodman, leave the spot;
While I've a hand to save,
Thy ax shall harm it not.
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. George P. Morris (1802-1864) was born in Philadelphia. He
was an editor and a poet and was connected with a number of newspapers
in New York City.
Discussion. 1. To whom is the poet speaking in these verses? 2. What
does he wish to prevent? 3. Why is the tree dear to him? 4. Whom does
he remember seeing under the tree? 5. What did they do there? 6. How
will the poet protect the tree? 7. How does the American Forestry
Association protect trees? 8. Why should trees be cared for and
protected? 9. Why do we celebrate Arbor Day? 10. Find in the Glossary
the meaning of: forefather; renown; towering; heart-strings.
Phrases for Study
near his cot, earth-bound ties, forbear thy stroke, storm still brave.
THE AMERICAN BOY
What we have a right to expect of the American boy is that he shall
turn out to be a good American man. Now the chances are strong that he
won't be much of a man unless he is a good deal of a boy. He must not
be a coward or a weakling, a bully, a shirk, or a prig. He must work
hard and play hard. He must be clean-minded and clean lived, and able
to hold his own against all comers. It is only on these conditions
that he will grow into the kind of American man of whom America can be
No boy can afford to neglect his work, and, with a boy, work as a
rule means study. A boy should work, and should work hard, at his
lessons--in the first place, for the sake of what he will learn, and
in the next place, for the sake of the effect upon his own character
of resolutely settling down to learn it. Shiftlessness, slackness,
indifference in studying are almost certain to mean inability to get
on in other walks of life. I do not believe in mischief-doing in
school hours, or in the kind of animal spirits that results in making
bad scholars; and I believe that those boys who take part in rough,
hard play outside of school will not find any need for horseplay in
school. While they study they should study just as hard as they play
football. It is wise to obey the homely old adage, "Work while you
work; play while you play."
A boy needs both physical and moral courage. Neither can take the
place of the other. A coward who will take a blow without returning
it is a contemptible creature; but, after all, he is hardly as
contemptible as the boy who dares not stand up for what he deems right
against the sneers of his companions who are themselves wrong. There
is no need to be a prig. There is no need for a boy to preach
about his own conduct and virtue. If he does, he will make himself
ridiculous. But there is need that he should practice decency; that he
should be clean and straight, honest and truthful, gentle and tender,
as well as brave.
The boy can best become a good man by being a good boy--not a
goody-goody boy, but just a plain good boy. "Good," in the largest
sense, should include whatever is fine, straightforward, clean, brave,
and manly. The best boys I know--the best men I know--are good at
their studies or their business, fearless and stalwart, hated and
feared by all that is wicked, incapable of submitting to wrong-doing,
and equally incapable of being aught but tender to the weak and
helpless. A healthy-minded boy should feel hearty contempt for the
coward, and even more hearty indignation for the boy who bullies girls
or small boys, or tortures animals.
Of course the effect that a thoroughly manly, thoroughly straight and
upright boy can have upon the companions of his own age, and upon
those who are younger, is incalculable. He cannot do good work if he
is not strong and does not try with his whole heart and soul to count
in any contest; and his strength will be a curse to himself and to
everyone else if he does not have thorough command over himself and
over his own evil passions, and if he does not use his strength on the
side of decency, justice, and fair dealing.
In short, in life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is:
Hit the line hard; don't foul and don't shirk, but hit the line hard!
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
For Biography, see page 37. Discussion. 1. This selection sums up all
the stories of service that you have been reading. You will get most
out of it if you will think back over these stories and use them as
illustrations of what Mr. Roosevelt tells you is his ideal of the
American boy. What examples, in these stories, can you find to
illustrate the sentence, "He must not be a coward or a weakling....
He must work hard and play hard"? 2. Illustrate, from the story of
Lincoln, what Mr. Roosevelt says about study. What was Lincoln's
attitude toward study? What is yours? Did Lincoln's studies have the
effect on his character that Mr. Roosevelt speaks about? 3. What story
illustrates the sentence, "There is need that he should practice
decency; that he should be clean and straight, honest and truthful,
gentle and tender, as well as brave"? 4. How does the story about life
on the prairie illustrate the paragraph that begins, "The boy can best
become a good man by being a good boy"? What is the difference between
being "a good boy" and "a goodygoody boy"? 5. Was Ralph the Rover a
brave man or a coward? 6. Apply the principle stated by Mr. Roosevelt
at the end of the selection to the story about Washington and
Braddock. To the story about the boy on the prairie. 7. Can you relate
an instance in which a manly boy had a good influence upon another boy
or Upon his companions? 8. Do you think the football slogan given in
the last sentence on page 137 is a good principle of life? Memorize
the slogan. 9. This selection is taken from The Strenuous Life; it
first appeared in St. Nicholas, May, 1900. 10. Find in the Glossary
the meaning of: shirk; prig; resolutely; indifference; inability;
horseplay; deems; indignation; bullies. 11. Pronounce: adage; neither;
contemptible; ridiculous; stalwart; incapable; aught; incalculable.
Phrases for Study
against all comers, physical and moral courage, walks of life,
practice decency, animal spirits, in the largest sense, homely old
adage, aught but tender.
HOME AND COUNTRY
A BACKWARD LOOK
As you gazed through your Crystal Glass of Reading at the selections
in Part I, you saw reflected now pictures of home and now again a
picture of that early Thanksgiving Day when Pilgrim and Indian sat
down together to the "varied riches of gardens and woods and waves."
When you heard Massasoit say at the feast, "The Good Spirit loves His
white children best," you wondered about the truth of his statement
and, as you thought about it, perhaps Abraham Lincoln came to mind;
what do you think Lincoln, if he had been alive at that time, might
have answered the Indian chief? The poems about home might be called
memory-pictures of home; why do you think older people remember with
so much fondness their childhood homes? Imagine yourself telling
your grandchildren about the home of your youth and about your home
pleasures; what things would you mention? Why is it a good thing for a
nation to have its people love their homes and the festival days like
Christmas and Thanksgiving?
And now a turn of the Crystal Glass reveals a glorious flag, floating
protectingly over us. How you love to look upon its starry folds; when
statesmen and poets tell you of the meaning of Old Glory you realize
that there is good reason for your pride and your love. What did
Charles Sumner tell you about the meaning of the stars and the stripes
and the colors of the Flag? What did James Whitcomb Riley tell you
about how Old Glow got its name? What were the circumstances under
which Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner"? What are
some of the things you can do to show your respect for the Flag? What
are some of the things you remember about Lincoln's boyhood? How
does his method of memorizing com-pare with yours? The young George
Washington showed remarkable bravery as Braddock's chief assistant;
what other fine quality did he show? How may these stories about
Washington and Lincoln help you to be a worthy citizen of the country
they helped to found and preserve?
We admire all people who are helpful to others, but when in giving
service, some forget about themselves and even sacrifice themselves
for others, we regard these as heroes. Peter, in "The Leak in the
Dike," and the boy in "Somebody's Mother" forgot about themselves in
their service to others; one disregarded danger to himself, and
the other the possible jeers of his playmates; do you know of any
instances of service in your school? It is fine to serve obediently
under the command of superiors as did the young Casabianca, but it is
even finer to think quickly in an emergency and to do what should be
done when there is no one at hand to give orders. Who gave Peter his
orders? Tubal Cain belongs to a group of men who have served their
fellow men by useful inventions; mention some other inventors and tell
how they have helped mankind. Hamlin Garland gave you a glimpse of
the pioneer's service to our country; what names of pioneers in your
locality are honored for their service in the early days? What ideas
of being useful home-members did you get from Hamlin Garland and
Theodore Roosevelt? How does the habit of being useful in the home
fit one for being a good citizen? American boys and girls have many
opportunities for service in the home, in the school, and in their
other relations; have you done any piece of service, in an organized
way, in your school? Does your school belong to the Junior Red Cross,
and does it try' to follow the motto, "Go forth to serve"?
When you look back upon all that you have read of home and country,
you no doubt come to the conclusion that "the man without a country"
summed it all up when he said, "Stick to your family... Think of your
home... And for your country and for your Flag, never dream but of
From selections found in this book prepare a program for Washington's
STORIES OF ADVENTURE
Hush! Again a forest and somebody up in a tree--not Robin Hood...
but an Eastern King with a glittering scimitar and turban. It is the
setting-in of the bright Arabian Nights.
Oh, now ail common things become uncommon and enchanted to me. All
lamps are wonderful; all rings are talismans... Trees are for Ali Baba
to hide in; beefsteaks are to throw down into the Valley of Diamonds
that the precious stones may stick to them and be carried by the
eagles to their nests, whence the traders, with loud cries, will scare
STORIES OF ADVENTURE
A FORWARD LOOK
When something out of the ordinary happens to you, you call it an
adventure. Perhaps you came very near getting drowned in the swimming
pool, or you found a purse with some money and some queer treasures in
it, or you met a very curious old man, or you caught a rabbit after an
exciting chase, or you went on a long journey and saw many wonderful
things. If you have had such an experience, you like to tell about it
to your friends, and if you have not, you like to hear the stories
told by people who have had some thrilling adventure of their own.
From the earliest times to the present the man who has had some
unusual experience to tell about has been a favorite. We are eager to
hear such stories; they make life seem more interesting and varied.
Nowadays we read such stories in books and magazines; we are not
dependent upon hearing them from the lips of those who have lived
lives of adventure. But centuries ago, before there were books and
newspapers, when any journey away from home, even for a few miles, was
filled with peril, the traveler who could tell of marvelous things, or
the weaver of tales who had a vivid imagination so that he could tell
about things that seemed really true, found eager hearers. Among the
French, stories about Roland, the wonderful knight who fought in the
wars of the Emperor Charlemagne, were known by every boy and girl. The
English had King Arthur, and Saint George, and Robin Hood.
Besides these legends about a national hero, there are many
collections of stories that have grown up among the common people.
One of the oldest of these collections of tales is that known as the
Arabian Nights. For hundreds of years these stories were told in the
tents of the desert or in the gay bazaars of the cities of the East.
About the time of the discovery of America they were written down and
became known as the Arabian Nights Entertainment, or the tales of a
thousand and one nights. We are told that there was once a cruel King
who planned to slay all the women in his kingdom. His wife determined
to tell him such wonderful stories that he would give up his cruel
purpose. So she told him of enchanted gardens, of caves filled with
treasure, of palaces built in a night, and of many other things. He
was so eager to hear these stories that a thousand and one nights
passed before he could escape from the spell that she laid upon him.
By this time he was so much in love with her that he withdrew his
wicked order. You may see how marvelous were these tales by reading
the stories of Aladdin, of Ali Baba, and of Sindbad the Sailor.
Perhaps when you have finished them you will not wonder that the King
found the thousand and one nights so happy that he lost his desire to
carry out his cruel purpose.
Next, you are introduced to one of the most popular of English heroes,
Robin Hood. Many old ballads and tales, older than the first American
colony, have come down to us with these stories of the famous outlaw.
The stories are very different from those of the Arabian Nights. They
have no treasure caves or magic lamps or voyages to strange countries
in them. They tell of contests in archery, for which the English were
famous; of wrestling and swimming matches; of outlaws and dwellers in
the greenwood. Because he was their champion against unjust taxation
and oppressive laws, Robin Hood was the idol of the common people.
They made up games about him, in which old and young took part.
Wandering minstrels sang about him. "Lincoln green," the color of the
clothing worn by Robin and his followers, was a favorite with all
foresters. Why Robin was so loved you may determine for yourselves by
reading the stories of Robin Hood given in the pages that follow.
In Gulliver's Travels we pass from stories like the Arabian Nights
and "Robin Hood," which grew up among the common people, to a story
composed by a single author who wrote out his material and then had it
printed in order that all might enjoy it. We do not know who wrote the
story of Ali Baba or the adventures of Robin Hood, but we know all
about Jonathan Swift, the great English writer who tells us the story
of Gulliver's adventures among the little people, or Lilliputians.
Gulliver also had wonderful experiences among a race of giants, and in
a land where the citizens were horses that were more intelligent than
Somewhat different from all the other tales in this part of our book
is the story of Robinson Crusoe, written by Daniel Defoe about two
hundred years ago and here condensed for your enjoyment. There was, in
Defoe's time, a sailor, Alexander Selkirk by name, who was left by his
shipmates on an island and who lived by himself for four years before
he attracted the attention of a passing ship. This suggested the idea
of Robinson Crusoe to Defoe, but he has greatly expanded the story.
Crusoe lived on his lonely island for twenty-seven years. During this
time he learned how to make tools, to build his house, to cultivate
his farm, to prepare to defend himself against an enemy's attack, and
to civilize barbarous people.
In its original form each of the stories in this group makes a
good-sized book. While some incidents and many details have been
omitted here in order to shorten and simplify the stories, the main
plot and all the most interesting incidents are given.
The world is full of stories of adventure; these are only samples of
the joyful experiences that you may have through your power to read.
And you boys and girls are more fortunate than those who lived in the
time of Aladdin, or even those who lived in the time of Robin Hood or
Robinson Crusoe, for they had no books at all, or only a few, and
if they had any, these books were poorly printed, with very ugly
illustrations, not at all like the wonderful books that you may have
But of all the stories that might have been selected, the ones placed
before you have been chosen for two reasons. First of all, they are
interesting, and are to be read for pure enjoyment. And next, these
stories leave with you certain ideas that are well worth while.
Aladdin and Ali Baba, the heroes of the Arabian Nights stories, who
became rich through their strange adventures, helped their neighbors
with their wealth. Robin Hood, too, helped the poor oppressed people
of his time, though he did many things that would be wrong today.
Robinson Crusoe's lonely life on a desert island shows us how much we
depend upon the work of those about us. And Captain Gulliver, in the
midst of his wonderful adventures, always kept in mind the ideas of
justice and honor.
So in all these stories there is a sense of justice and
responsibility. Nowadays--at least in America--men are free. Buried
treasure is as hard to find as ever, but it can be found. The man who
works hard, who seizes opportunities, who builds up a business or runs
a farm, can find his treasure. The government will protect him; we
no longer need to use the methods of Robin Hood to get justice. The
important question is whether the Ali Babas and Aladdins of our day
will feel just such responsibility to others as you find recorded in
these stories, and whether the desire to help the unfortunate is as
strong in our free America as it was in the heart of Robin Hood.
STORIES FROM THE ARABIAN NIGHTS
ALADDIN, OR THE WONDERFUL LAMP
(Ed.--This story, in it's original, uncondensed version, in addition
to many others, can be found at the web site http://www.gutenberg.org,
searching in the index for the title Arabian Nights.)
Aladdin was the son of Mustapha, a poor tailor in one of the rich
provinces of China. When the boy was old enough to learn a trade, his
father took him into his own workshop. But Aladdin, being but an idle
fellow, loved play more than work, and spent his days playing in the
public streets with other boys as idle as himself.
His father died while he was yet very young; but Aladdin still
continued his foolish ways, and his mother was forced to spin cotton
night and day in order to keep herself and her boy.
When Aladdin was about fifteen years old, he was one day playing in
the streets with some of his companions. A stranger who was going
by stopped and looked at him. This stranger was a famous African
magician, who, having need of the help of some ignorant person, no
sooner beheld Aladdin than he knew by his whole manner and appearance
that he was a person of small prudence and very fit to be made a tool
of. The magician inquired of some persons standing near, the name and
character of Aladdin, and the answers proved to him that he had judged
rightly of the boy. The stranger, pressing in among the crowd of lads,
clapped his hand on Aladdin's shoulder, and said, "My good lad, are
you not the son of Mustapha, the tailor?" "Yes, sir," said Aladdin;
"but my father has been dead this long time."
"Alas!" cried he, "what unhappy news! I am your father's brother,
child. I have been many years abroad; and now that I have come home
in the hope of seeing him, you tell me he is dead!" And all the while
tears ran down the stranger's cheeks, and his bosom heaved with sighs.
Then, pulling out a purse, he gave Aladdin two pieces of gold, saying,
"Take this, my boy, to your mother. Tell her that I will come and see
her tonight, and sup with her." Pleased with the money, Aladdin ran
home to his mother. "Mother," said he, "have I an uncle?" His mother
told him he had not, whereupon Aladdin pulled out his gold and told
her that a man who said he was his father's brother was coming to sup
with her that very evening. Full of bewilderment, the good woman
set out for the market, where she bought provisions, and was busy
preparing the supper when the magician knocked at the door. He
entered, followed by a porter who brought all kinds of delicious
fruits and sweetmeats for their dessert.
As soon as they sat down to supper, he gave Aladdin's mother an
account of his travels, saying that for forty years he had been away
from home, in order to see the wonders of distant countries. Then,
turning toward Aladdin, he asked his name. "I am called Aladdin," said
he. "Well, Aladdin," said the magician, "what business do you follow?"
At this question Aladdin hung down his head, and was not a little
abashed when his mother made answer: "Aladdin is an idle fellow; his
father strove all he could to teach him his trade, but could not
succeed; and since his death, in spite of all I can say to him, he
does nothing but idle away his time in the streets, so that I despair
of his ever coming to any good." With these words the poor woman burst
into tears, and the magician, turning to Aladdin, said: "This is not
well, nephew; you must think of helping yourself and getting your
livelihood. I will help you as far as I may. What think you--shall
I take a shop and furnish it for you?" Aladdin was overjoyed at the
idea, for he thought there was very little labor in keeping a shop,
and he told his uncle this would suit him better than anything else.
"I will take you with me tomorrow," said the magician, "clothe you as
handsomely as the best merchants in the city, and then we will open a
Aladdin's mother thanked him very heartily and begged Aladdin to
behave so as to prove himself worthy of the good fortune promised by
his kind uncle.
Next day the stranger called for Aladdin as he had promised, and led
him to a merchant's, where clothes for all sorts of people were sold.
Then he caused Aladdin to try on the handsomest suits, and choosing
the one Aladdin preferred he paid the merchant for it at once. The
pretended uncle then took Aladdin to visit the bazaars, the khans
where the foreign merchants were, and the most splendid mosques, and
gave him a merry feast in the evening.
The next morning Aladdin got up and dressed himself very early, so
impatient was he to see his uncle. Presently he saw him coming, and
ran to meet him. The magician greeted him very kindly. "Come, my good
boy," he said with a smile; "I will today show you some very fine
He then led him through some beautiful gardens with great houses
standing in the midst of them. Aladdin did nothing but exclaim at
their beauty, and so his uncle by degrees led him on farther and
farther into the country. "We shall now," said he to Aladdin, "go no
farther, for I shall here show you some extraordinary wonders that no
one besides yourself will ever have seen. I am now going to strike a
light, and do you, in the meantime, collect all the dry sticks and
leaves that you can find, in order to make a fire."
There were so many pieces of dry sticks scattered about this place
that Aladdin collected more than enough by the time his uncle had
struck a light. The magician then set them on fire, and as soon as
they were in a blaze he threw a certain perfume, that he had ready in
his hand, upon them. A dense smoke arose, while the magician spoke
some mysterious words. At the same instant the ground shook slightly,
and, opening in the spot where they stood, showed a square stone about
a foot and a half across, with a brass ring in the center.
Aladdin was frightened out of his wits, and was about to run away,
when the magician suddenly gave him a box on the ear so violent as to
beat him down and very nearly to knock some of his teeth out. Poor
Aladdin, with tears in his eyes and trembling in every limb, got up.
"My dear uncle," he cried, "what have I done to deserve so severe a
blow?" "I have good reasons for it," replied the magician. "Do you but
obey me, and you will not repent of it. Underneath that stone is a
great hidden treasure, which will make you richer than many kings if
you will be attentive to what I shall say to you."
Aladdin had now got the better of his fright. "Well," said he, "what
must I do? Tell me; I am ready to obey you in everything!" "Well
said!" replied the magician; "come to me, then; take hold of this
ring, and lift up the stone."
To Aladdin's surprise the stone was raised without any trouble, and
then he could see a small opening three or four feet deep, at the
bottom of which was a little door, with steps to go down still lower.
"You must now," said the magician, "go down into this cavern, and when
you have come to the bottom of the steps, you will see an open door
which leads into three great halls. In each of these you will see, on
both sides of you, four bronze vases as large as tubs, full of gold
and silver, but you must not touch any of it.
"When you get to the first hall, bind your robe around you. Then go
to the second without stopping, and thence in the same manner to the
third. Above all, be very particular not to go near the walls or even
to touch them with your robe; for if any part of your dress should
chance to touch them, your instant death will be the consequence. At
the far end of the third hall there is a door which leads to a garden
planted with beautiful trees, all of which are full of fruit. Go
straight forward, and follow a path which you will see. This will
bring you to the bottom of a flight of fifty steps, at the top of
which there is a terrace.
"There you will see a niche and in it a lighted lamp. Take the lamp
and extinguish it. Then throw out the wick and the liquid that is
within, and put the lamp in your bosom. If you should wish very much
to gather any of the fruit in the garden, you may do so; and there is
nothing to prevent your taking as much as you please."
When the magician had given these directions to Aladdin, he took off
a ring which he had on one of his fingers and put it on his pretended
nephew, telling him at the same time that it was to secure him against
every evil that might otherwise happen to him. "Go, my child," he
said; "descend boldly; we shall now both of us become immensely rich
for the rest of our lives."
ALADDIN FINDS THE WONDERFUL LAMP
Aladdin jumped willingly into the opening and went down to the bottom
of the steps. He found the three halls exactly as the magician had
said. These he passed through with the greatest care, keeping in mind
his uncle's warning. He went on to the garden, and mounted to the
terrace without stopping. There in a niche was the lamp, which he
seized, and after he had thrown out the oil which it contained, he put
it in his bosom.
This done, he returned to the garden. The trees here were all full of
the most extraordinary fruit. Never before had he seen fruits of
so many different colors. The white were pearls; the sparkling and
transparent Were diamonds; the deep red were rubies; the paler, a
particular sort of ruby called balas; the green, emeralds; the
blue, turquoises; the violet, amethysts; those tinged with yellow,
sapphires. All were of the largest size, and finer than were ever seen
before in the whole world. Aladdin was not yet of an age to know their
value, and thought they were all only pieces of colored glass.
However, the variety, brilliancy, and extraordinary size of each sort
tempted him to gather some of each; and he took so many of every color
that he filled both his pockets, as well as the two new purses the
magician had bought for him at the time he made him a present of his
new suit. Since his pockets were already full, he fastened the two
purses on each side of his girdle, and also wrapped some of the gems
in its folds, as it was of silk and made very full. In this manner
he carried his treasures so that they could not fall out. He did not
forget to fill even his bosom quite full, between his robe and his
Laden in this manner with the most immense treasure, though ignorant
of its value, Aladdin made haste through the three halls, in order
that he might not make his uncle wait too long. Having passed through
them with the same caution as before, he began to ascend the steps
he had come down, and reached the entrance of the cave, where the
magician was impatiently waiting.
When Aladdin saw his uncle, he called to him, "Help me up!" "My dear
boy," replied the magician, "you had better first give me the lamp,
as that will only hinder you." "It is not at all in my way," said
Aladdin, "and I will give it to you when I am out." The magician still
persevered in wishing to get the lamp before he helped Aladdin out of
the cave; but the boy had so covered it with the fruit of the trees
that he absolutely refused to give it. The wicked magician was in the
greatest despair at the obstinate resistance the boy made, and fell
into the most violent rage. He then threw some perfume on the fire,
and had hardly spoken two magic words, before the stone, which served
to shut up the entrance to the cavern, returned of its own accord to
the place, with all the earth over it, exactly in the same state as it
was when the magician and Aladdin first arrived there.
When Aladdin found himself buried alive, he called aloud a thousand
times to his uncle, telling him he was ready to give him the lamp.
But all his cries were useless, and, having no other means of making
himself heard, he remained in perfect darkness.
Finally he went down to the bottom of the stairs, intending to go
toward the light in the garden, where he had been before. But the
wails, which had been opened by enchantment, were now shut by the same
means. The poor boy felt all around him several times, but could not
discover the least opening. He then redoubled his cries and tears, and
sat down upon the step of his dungeon, without the least hope of ever
seeing the light of day again.
For two days Aladdin remained in this state, without either eating
or drinking. On the third day, feeling that his death was near, he
clasped his hands in prayer and said in a loud tone of voice, "There
is no strength or power but in the great and high Heavens." In this
act of joining his hands he happened, without thinking of it, to rub
the ring which the magician had put upon his finger.
Instantly a Genius of enormous figure and horrid countenance rose out
of the earth. This Genius, who was so extremely tall that his head
touched the roof, addressed these words to Aladdin: "What do you wish?
I am ready to obey you as your slave, both I and the other slaves of
the ring." Weak and terrified, and scarcely daring to hope, Aladdin
cried, "Whoever you are, take me, if you are able, out of this place!"
No sooner had his lips formed the words than he found himself on the
outside of the cave, at the very spot where the magician had left him.
Almost unable to believe his good fortune, he arose trembling, and
seeing the city in the distance, made his way back by the same road
over which he had come. Such a long weary road he found it to his
mother's door that when he reached it he was fainting from hunger and
His mother, whose heart had been almost broken by his long absence,
received him joyfully and refreshed him with food. When he had
regained his strength, he told her all, and showed her the lamp and
the colored fruits and the wonderful ring on his finger. His mother
thought little of the jewels, as she was quite ignorant of their
value; so Aladdin put them all behind one of the cushions of the sofa
on which they were sitting.
Next morning when Aladdin awoke, his first thought was that he was
very hungry and would like some breakfast. "Alas, my child," said his
mother, "I have not a morsel of bread to give you. Last night you ate
all the food in the house. However, I have a little cotton of my own
spinning. I will go and sell it, and buy something for our dinner."
"Keep your cotton, mother, for another time," said Aladdin, "and give
me the lamp which I brought with me yesterday. I will go and sell
that, and the money will serve us for breakfast and dinner too;
perhaps also for supper."
Aladdin's mother took the lamp from the place where she had put it.
"Here it is," she said to her son; "but it is very dirty; if I were to
clean it a little, perhaps it might sell for something more." She then
took some water and a little fine sand with which to clean it. But she
had scarcely begun to rub the lamp, when a hideous and gigantic Genius
rose out of the ground before her, and cried with a voice as loud as
thunder, "What do you wish? I am ready to obey you as your slave, both
I and the other slaves of the lamp."
Aladdin's mother was much terrified; but Aladdin, who had seen the
Genius in the cavern, did not lose his presence of mind. Seizing the
lamp, he answered in a firm voice, "I am hungry; bring me something to
eat." The Genius disappeared, and returned a moment later with a large
silver basin, which he carried on his head. In it were twelve covered
dishes of the same material, filled with the most delicious meats, and
six loaves as white as snow upon as many plates, and in his hand he
carried two silver cups. All these the Genius placed upon the table,
and instantly vanished. When Aladdin's mother had recovered from her
fright, they both sat down to their meal, in the greatest delight
imaginable, for never before had they eaten such delicate meats or
seen such splendid dishes.
The remains of this feast provided them with food for some days, and
when it was all gone, Aladdin sold the silver dishes one by one for
their support. In this way they lived happily for several years, for
Aladdin had been sobered by his adventure, and now behaved with the
greatest wisdom and prudence. He took care to visit the principal
shops and public places, speaking only with wise and prudent persons;
and in this way he gathered much wisdom, and grew to be a courteous
and handsome youth.
ALADDIN WEDS THE PRINCESS
One day Aladdin told his mother that he intended to ask the Sultan to
give him his daughter in marriage. "Truly, my son," said his mother,
"you seem to have forgotten that your father was but a poor tailor;
and indeed I do not know who will dare to go and speak to the Sultan
about it." "You yourself must," said he, decidedly. "I!" cried his
mother, in the greatest surprise; "I go to the Sultan! Not I, indeed;
I will take care that I am not joined to such folly. You know very
well that no one can make any demand of the Sultan without bringing a
rich present, and where shall such poor folk as we find one?"
Thereupon Aladdin told his mother that while talking with the
merchants in the bazaar he had learned to know the value of their
gems, and for a long time he had known that nothing which the
merchants had in their shops was half so fine as those jewels he had
brought home from the enchanted cave. So his mother took them from
the drawer where they had been hidden and put them in a dish of fine
Aladdin's mother, now sure that such a gift was one that could not
fail to please the Sultan, at last agreed to do everything her son
wished. She took the porcelain dish with its precious contents and
folded it up in a very fine linen cloth. She then took another, less
fine, and tied the four corners of it together, that she might carry
it without trouble. This done, she took the road toward the palace of
Trembling, she told the Sultan of her son's boldness, and begged his
mercy for Aladdin and for herself. The Sultan heard her kindly; then
before giving any answer to her request, he asked her what she had
with her so carefully tied up in a linen cloth. Aladdin's mother
unfolded the cloths and humbly laid the jewels before him.
It is impossible to express the surprise which this monarch felt when
he saw before him such a quantity of the most precious, perfect, and
brilliant jewels, the size of which was greater than any he had ever
seen before. For some moments he gazed at them, speechless. Then he
took the present from the hand of Aladdin's mother, and exclaimed, in
a transport of joy. "Ah! how very beautiful, how very wonderful they
Then turning to his grand vizier, he showed him the gems and talked
privately to him for some minutes. At last he said to Aladdin's
mother: "My good woman, I will indeed make your son happy by marrying
him to the Princess, my daughter, as soon as he shall send me forty
large basins of massive gold, quite full of the same varieties of
precious stones which you have already presented me with, brought by
an equal number of black slaves, each of whom shall be led by a white
slave, young, well-made, handsome, and richly-dressed. These are
the conditions upon which I am ready to give him the Princess, my
daughter. Go, my good woman, and I will wait till you bring me his
Full of disappointment, Aladdin's mother made her way home, and told
her son the Sultan's strange wish. But Aladdin only smiled, and when
his mother had gone out, he took the lamp and rubbed it. Instantly the
Genius appeared, and Aladdin commanded him to lose no time in bringing
the present which the Sultan had wished for. The Genius only said that
his commands should be at once obeyed, and then disappeared.
In a very short time the Genius returned with forty black slaves, each
carrying upon his head a large golden basin of great weight, full of
pearls, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, quite as fine as the jewels
that Aladdin's mother had given the Sultan. Each basin was covered
with a cloth of silver, embroidered with flowers of gold. There were
also forty white slaves, as Aladdin had commanded. All these slaves
with their golden basins entirely filled the house, which was but
small, as well as the court in front and the garden behind it.
Aladdin's mother now came back and almost fainted when she saw this
great crowd and all its magnificence. Aladdin desired her at once to
follow the procession of slaves to the palace, and present to the
Sultan the dowry of the Princess.
The astonishment of the Sultan at the sight of all these riches is
hardly to be imagined. After gazing upon the slaves with their shining
heaps of jewels, he said to Aladdin's mother, "Go, my good woman, and
tell your son that I am waiting with open arms to embrace him!"
Aladdin was so delighted with this news that he could hardly answer
his mother, and, hastening to his chamber, he shut the door. Once more
he summoned the Genius, who brought to him garments that shone like
the sun. The Genius also brought him a splendid charger and twenty
slaves to march on either side of him on the way to the Sultan's
palace, all holding purses of gold to scatter among the people.
If there had been a crowd before, there was ten times as great a one
now to watch Aladdin as he rode to the Sultan's palace, and to pick
up the gold pieces which were showered by his slaves as he went. The
Sultan came down from his throne to greet him, and all was feasting
and joy in the palace.
After the feast the judge drew up a contract of marriage between
Aladdin and the beautiful Princess. As soon as this was done, the
Sultan asked Aladdin if he wished to remain in the palace and complete
all the ceremonies that day. "Sire," he replied, "however impatient I
may be to have entire possession of all your majesty's bounties, I beg
you to permit me to wait until I shall have built a palace to receive
the Princess in, that shall be worthy of her; and for this purpose I
request that you will have the goodness to point out a suitable place
for it near your own, that I may always be ready to pay my court to
your majesty. I will then neglect nothing to get it finished with all
"My son," answered the Sultan, "take the open space before my palace;
but remember that, to have my happiness complete, I cannot see you
united too soon to my daughter." Having said this, he again embraced
Aladdin, who now took leave of the Sultan as if he had been brought up
and had spent all his life at court.
As soon as Aladdin reached home, he again summoned the Genius and
commanded him to build instantly the most gorgeous palace ever seen,
on the spot of ground given by the Sultan. Early the next morning the
Genius appeared. "Sir," said he, "your palace is finished; see if it
is as you wish."
Words cannot paint the astonishment of the Sultan and all his
household at seeing this gorgeous palace shining in the place which
only the day before had been empty and bare. The Princess, too,
rejoiced much at the sight. Her marriage with Aladdin was held the
same day, and their happiness was the greatest that heart could wish.
ALADDIN LOSES AND REGAINS THE LAMP
For some months they lived thus, Aladdin showing great kindness to
the poor, and pleasing all by his generosity. About this time his old
enemy, the African magician, found out by some of his magic arts that
Aladdin was alive and enormously rich, instead of being, as he had
supposed, dead in the enchanted cave. He was filled with rage, and,
vowing to destroy Aladdin, he immediately set out for China. There he
learned that Aladdin had gone hunting, and was not expected home for
three or four days.
The magician bought a dozen shining new lamps, put them in a basket,
and set out for Aladdin's palace. As he came near it he cried, "Who
will change old lamps for new?"
When he came under the Princess's windows, one of her slaves said,
"Come, let us see if the old fool means what he says; there is an ugly
old lamp lying on the cornice of the hall of four-and-twenty windows;
we will put a new one in its place, if the old fellow is really in
earnest." The Princess having given permission, one of the slaves took
the lamp to the magician, who willingly gave her the best he had among
his new ones.
As soon as night arrived, the magician summoned the Genius of the lamp
and commanded him to transport him, the palace, and the Princess to
the remotest corner of Africa.
The confusion and grief of the Sultan were terrible when he found the
palace vanished and his daughter lost. The people ran in fear through
the streets, and the soldiers were sent in search of Aladdin, who had
not yet returned.
Aladdin was soon found and dragged before the Sultan like a criminal.
He would have been beheaded had not the Sultan been afraid to enrage
the people. "Go, wretch!" cried the Sultan; "I grant thee thy life;
but if ever thou appearest before me again, death shall overtake thee,
unless in forty days thou bringest me tidings of my daughter."
Aladdin, wretched and downfallen, left the palace, not knowing whither
to turn his steps. At length he stopped at a brook to bathe his eyes,
which smarted with the tears he had shed. As he stooped, his foot
slipped, and, catching hold of a piece of rock to save himself from
falling, he pressed the magician's ring, which he still wore on his
finger, and the Genius of the ring appeared before him, saying "What
would you have?" "Oh; Genius," cried Aladdin, "bring my palace back
"What you command," replied the Genius, "is not in my power; you must
call the Genius of the lamp."
"Then I command you," said Aladdin, "to transport me to the place
where now it stands." Instantly Aladdin found himself beside his own
palace, which stood in a meadow not far from a strange city; and the
Princess was then walking in her own chamber, weeping for her loss.
Happening to come near to the window, she saw Aladdin under it. And
making a sign to him to keep silence, she sent a slave to bring him
in. The Princess and her husband having kissed each other and shed
many tears, Aladdin said, "Tell me, my Princess, what has become of an
old lamp which I left on the cornice of the hall of four-and-twenty
The Princess then told how her slave had exchanged it for a new one,
and said that the tyrant in whose power she was, always carried that
very lamp in his bosom. Aladdin was then sure that this person was no
other than his old enemy, the African magician.
After talking a long while, they hit upon a plan for getting back
the lamp. Aladdin went into the city in the disguise of a slave, and
bought a powder. Then the Princess invited the magician to sup with
her. As she had never before shown him the least kindness, he was
delighted and came. While they were at table, she ordered a slave to
bring two cups of wine, one of which she had prepared by mixing in the
powder. After pretending to taste the one she held in her hand, she
asked the magician to change cups, as was the custom in China. He
joyfully seized the goblet, and drinking it all at a draft, fell
senseless on the floor.
Aladdin was at hand to snatch the lamp from his bosom. Hastily rubbing
it, he summoned the Genius, who instantly transported the palace and
all it contained back to the place whence they had come.
Some hours after, the Sultan, who had risen at break of day to mourn
for his daughter, went to the window to look at the spot which he
expected to see empty and vacant, and there to his unspeakable joy he
saw Aladdin's palace shining in its place. He summoned his guards and
hastened to embrace his daughter; and during a whole week nothing was
heard but the sound of drums, trumpets, and cymbals, and there were
all kinds of music and feasting, in honor of Aladdin's return with the
Some time after this, the Sultan died, and Aladdin and the Princess
ascended the throne. They reigned together many years and left many
noble sons and daughters at their death.
Suggestions for Silent Reading
Some stories and poems must be read thoughtfully in order to gain the
author's full meaning; such reading cannot be done rapidly. In other
selections, the meaning can be grasped easily, and the reading can be
rapid; in such cases we read mainly for the story, holding in mind the
various incidents as the plot unfolds. Throughout this book certain
stories, particularly those of Part II, may well be read silently and
reported on in class: The following suggestions will help you to gain
power in silent reading:
(a) Time yourself by the clock as you read each story suggested for
silent reading; what was your reading speed per page? (b) Test your
ability to get the thought quickly from the printed page (1) by noting
how many of the questions that develop the main thoughts, under
Discussion, you can answer after one reading, and (2) by telling the
substance of the story from an outline. Sometimes this guiding outline
is prepared for you, as in question 19, below; sometimes you are asked
to prepare it. This outline may also be used at the close of the
lesson as a guide in retelling the story. You may have to read parts
of the story again to be able to answer all these questions and to
give the substance of the story fully. Notice that the rapid silent
readers in your class generally gain and retain more facts than
the slow readers do. Try steadily to increase your speed in silent
To supplement and give balance to the lessons in silent reading,
certain passages notable for their beauty, their force, or their
dramatic quality, are listed, under Class readings, to be read aloud.
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Discussion. 1. What kind of boy was Aladdin? What caused the magician
to notice him? 3. What did the magician do to make Aladdin and his
mother like him? 4. How did he force Aladdin to obey him? 5. What
did Aladdin see when he raised the stone? 6. What directions did the
magician give Aladdin before he descended the steps? 7. Explain the
magician's anxiety to get the lamp before he helped Aladdin up from
the cavern. 8. How was Aladdin rescued from the cavern? 9. How did he
discover the power of his lamp? 10. What effect did his good fortune
have upon him? 11. What use did Aladdin make of the fruit he had
gathered? 12. How did Aladdin persuade his mother to see the Sultan?
13. Why did the Sultan permit Aladdin to marry his daughter? 14. How
and where was Aladdin's palace built? 15. Where had Aladdin left the
lamp when he went on his hunting trip? 16. How did the magician gain
possession of it? 17. How did Aladdin regain the lamp? 18. Class
readings: Page 156, line 9, to page 160, line 4 (5 pupils). 19.
Outline for testing silent reading. Tell in your own words the story
of Aladdin, using the following topics: (a) the boyhood of Aladdin;
(b) Aladdin's pretended uncle; (c) the visit to the cave; (d)
Aladdin's return to his mother; (e) Aladdin and the Princess. 20. Find
in the Glossary the meaning of: province; prudence; bewilderment;
abashed; extinguish; transparent; enchantment; dungeon; Genius;
Sultan; magnificence; bounties; cornice; transport. 21. Pronounce:
dessert; nephew; niche; fatigue; hideous; imaginable; porcelain;
ALI BABA AND THE OPEN SESAME
(Ed.--This story, in it's original, uncondensed version, in addition
to many others, can be found at the web site http://www.gutenberg.org,
searching in the index for the title Arabian Nights.)
In an old town of Persia there lived two brothers, Cassim and Ali
Cassim married a wife who owned a fine shop, a warehouse, and some
land; he thus found himself quite at his ease, and soon became one of
the richest men in the town. Ali Baba, on the other hand, had a
wife no better off than himself, and lived in a very poor house. He
supported his family by cutting wood in the forest, and carrying it on
his asses to sell about the town.
One day Ali Baba went to the forest, and had very nearly finished
cutting as much wood as his asses could carry, when he saw high in the
air a thick cloud of dust, which seemed to be coming toward him.
He gazed at it for a long time, until he saw a company of men on
horseback, riding so fast that they were almost hidden by the dust.
Although that part of the country was not often troubled by robbers,
Ali Baba thought that these horsemen looked like evil men. Therefore,
without thinking at all what might become of his asses, his first and
only care was to save himself. So he climbed up quickly into a large
tree, the branches of which spread out so close and thick that from
the midst of them he could see everything that passed, without being
The robbers rode swiftly up to this very tree, and there alighted. Ali
Baba counted forty of them, and saw that each horseman took the bridle
off his horse and hung over its head a bag filled with barley. Then
they took their traveling bags, which were so heavy that Ali Baba
thought they must be filled with gold and silver.
With his bag on his shoulder, the Captain of the thieves came close to
the rock, at the very spot where the tree grew in which Ali Baba had
hidden himself. After the rascal had made his way through the shrubs
that grew there, he cried out, "Open Sesame!" so that Ali Baba
distinctly heard the words. No sooner were they spoken than a door
opened in the rock. The Captain and all his men passed quickly in, and
the door closed again.
There they stayed for a long time. Ali Baba was compelled to wait in
the tree with patience, as he was afraid some of them might come out
if he left his hiding-place. At length the door opened, and the forty
thieves came out. After he had seen all the troop pass out before him,
the Captain exclaimed, "Shut Sesame!" Each man then bridled his horse,
and mounted. When the Captain saw that all were ready, he put himself
at their head, and they rode off as they had come.
Ali Baba did not come down from the tree at once, because he thought
they might have forgotten something, and be obliged to come back, and
that he should thus be caught. He watched them as long as he could;
nor did he leave the tree for a long time after he had lost sight of
them. Then, recalling the words the Captain had used to open and shut
the door, he made his way through the bushes to it, and called out,
"Open Sesame!" Instantly the door flew wide open!
Ali Baba expected to find only a dark cave, and was very much
astonished at seeing a fine large chamber, dug out of the rock, and
higher than a man could reach. It received its light from a hole in
the top of the rock. In it were piled all sorts of rare fruits, bales
of rich merchandise, silk stuffs and brocades, and great heaps of
money, both silver and gold, some loose, some in large leather bags.
The sight of alt these things almost took Ali Baba's breath away.
But he did not hesitate long as to what he should do. He went boldly
into the cave, and as soon as he was there, the door shut; but since
he knew the secret by which to open it, this gave him no fear. Leaving
the silver, he turned to the gold which was in the bags, and when he
had gathered enough for loading his three asses, he brought them to
the rock, loaded them, and so covered the sacks of gold over with wood
that no one could suspect anything. This done, he went to the door,
and had no sooner said the words, "Shut Sesame," than it closed.
And now Ali Baba took the road to the town; and when he got home, he
drove his asses into the yard and shut the gate with great care. He
threw off the wood that hid the gold and carried the bags into the
house, where he laid them down in a row before his wife, who was
sitting upon a couch.
When he had told the whole story of the cave and the forty thieves, he
emptied the sacks, making one great heap of gold that quite dazzled
his wife's eyes. His wife began to rejoice in this good fortune, and
was going to count over the money that lay before her, piece by piece.
"What are you going to do?" said he. "Why, you would never finish
counting them. I will dig a pit to bury it in; we have no time to
"It is right, though," replied the wife, "that we should know about
how much there may be. I will go and borrow a small grain-measure, and
while you are digging the pit, I will find how much there is."
So the wife of Ali Baba set off and went to her brother-in-law,
Cassim, who lived a short way from her house. Cassim was away from
home, so she begged his wife to lend her a measure for a few minutes.
"That I will with pleasure," said Cassim's wife. She went to seek a
measure, but knowing how poor Ali Baba was, she was curious to know
what sort of grain his wife wanted to measure; so she put some tallow
on the bottom of the measure in such a way that no one would notice
The wife of Ali Baba returned home, and placing the measure on the
heap of gold, filled it over and over again, till she had measured the
whole. Ali Baba by this time had dug the pit for it, and while he
was burying the gold, his wife went back with the measure to her
sister-in-law, but without noticing that a piece of gold had stuck to
the bottom of it.
The wife of Ali Baba had scarcely turned her back, when Cassim's wife
looked at the bottom of the measure, and was astonished to see a piece
of gold sticking to it. "What!" said she, "Ali Baba measures his gold!
Where can the wretch have got it?" When her husband Cassim came home,
she said to him, "Cassim, you think you are rich, but Ali Baba must
have far more wealth than you; he does not count his gold as you do;
he measures it." Then she showed him the piece of money she had found
sticking to the bottom of the measure--a coin so ancient that the name
of the prince engraved on it was unknown to her.
Far from feeling glad at the good fortune which his brother had met
with, Cassim grew so jealous of Ali Baba that he passed almost the
whole night without closing his eyes. The next morning before sunrise
he went to him. "Ali Baba," said he, harshly, "you pretend to be poor
and miserable and a beggar, and yet you measure your money"--here
Cassim showed him the piece Of gold his wife had given him. "How many
pieces," added he, "have you like this, that my wife found sticking to
the bottom of the measure yesterday?"
CASSIM VISITS THE CAVE
From this speech Ali Baba knew that Cassim, and his wife also, must
suspect what had happened. So, without showing the least sign of
surprise, he told Cassim by what chance he had found the retreat'
of the thieves, and where it was; and offered, if he would keep the
secret, to share the treasure with him.
"This I certainly expect," replied Cassim in a haughty tone;
"otherwise I will inform the police of it." Ali Baba, led rather by
his good nature than by fear, told him all, even to the words he must
pronounce, both on entering the cave and on quitting it. Cassim made
no further inquiries of Ali Baba; he left him, determined to seize the
whole treasure, and set off the next morning before break of day with
ten mules laden with large hampers which he proposed to fill. He took
the road which Ali Baba had pointed out, and arrived at the rock and
the tree; on looking for the door, he soon discovered it. When he
cried, "Open Sesame!" the door obeyed; he entered, and it closed
Greedy as Cassim was, he could have passed the whole day in feasting
his eyes with the sight of so much gold; but he remembered that he had
come to take away as much as he could; he therefore filled his sacks,
and coming to the door, he found that he had forgotten the secret
words, and instead of saying, "Open Sesame" he said, "Open Barley." So
the door, instead of flying open, remained closed. He named various
other kinds of grain; all but the right one were called upon, and
still the door did not move.
The thieves returned to their cave toward noon; and when they were
within a short distance of it, and saw the mules belonging to Cassim
laden with hampers, standing about the rock, they were a good deal
surprised. They drove away the ten mules, which took to flight in
the forest. Then the Captain and his men, with their sabers in their
hands, went toward the door and said, "Open Sesame!" At once it flew
Cassim, who from the inside of the cave heard the horses trampling
on the ground, did not doubt that the thieves had come, and that his
death was near. Resolved, however, on one effort to escape and reach
some place of safety, he placed himself near the door ready to run out
as soon as it should open. The word "Sesame" was scarcely pronounced
when it opened, and he rushed out with such violence that he threw
the Captain to the ground. He could not, however, escape the other
thieves, who slew him on the spot.
On entering the cave the thieves found, near the door, the sacks which
Cassim had filled, but they could not imagine how he had been able to
The wife of Cassim, in the meantime, was in the greatest uneasiness
when night came and her husband did not return. After waiting as long
as she could, she went in the utmost alarm to Ali Baba, and said to
him, "Brother, I believe you know that Cassim has gone to the forest;
he has not yet come back, although it is almost morning. I fear some
accident may have befallen him."
Ali Baba did not wait for entreaties to go and seek for Cassim. He
immediately set off with his three asses, and went to the forest. As
he drew near the rock, he was astonished to see that blood had been
shed near the cave. When he reached the door, he said, "Open Sesame!"
and it opened.
He was shocked to see his brother's body in the cave. He decided to
carry it home, and placed it on one of his asses, covering it with
sticks to conceal it. The other two asses he quickly loaded with sacks
of gold, putting wood over them as before. Then, commanding the door
to close, he took the road to the city, waiting in the forest till
nightfall, that he might return without being observed. When he got
home, he left the two asses that were laden with gold for his wife to
unload; and having told her what had happened, he led the other ass to
his sister-in-law's. Ali Baba knocked at the door, which was opened
to him by Morgiana, who was a female slave, clever, and full of
invention. "Morgiana," said he, "the first thing I have to ask you is
to keep a deep secret! This packet contains the body of your master,
and we must bury him as if he had died a natural death. Let me speak
to your mistress, and hearken what I say to her."
Morgiana went to call her mistress, and Ali Baba then told her
all that had happened before his arrival with the body of Cassim.
"Sister," added he, "here is a sad affliction for you, but we must
contrive to bury my brother as if he had died a natural death; and
then we shall be glad to offer you a shelter under our own roof."
The widow of Cassim reflected that she could not do better than
consent. She therefore wiped away her tears, and suppressed her
mournful cries, and thereby showed Ali Baba that she accepted his
Ali Baba left her in this frame of mind, and Morgiana went out with
him to an apothecary's there. She knocked at the shop door, and when
it was opened, asked for a particular kind of lozenge of great effect
in dangerous illness. The apothecary gave her the lozenge, asking who
was ill in her master's family. "Ah!" exclaimed she with a deep sigh,
"it is my worthy master, Cassim himself. He can neither speak nor
Meanwhile, as Ali Baba and his wife were seen going backwards and
forwards to the house of Cassim, in the course of the day, no one was
surprised on hearing in the evening the piercing cries of his widow
and Morgiana, which announced his death.
And so the body of Cassim was prepared for its burial, which took
place the next day, attended by Ali Baba and Morgiana.
As for his widow, she remained at home to lament and weep with her
neighbors, who, according to the usual custom, repaired to her house
during the ceremony of the burial, and joining their cries to hers,
filled the air with sounds of woe. Thus the manner of Cassim's death
was so well hidden that no one in the city knew anything about it.
THE ROBBERS SEEK REVENGE ON ALI BABA
But let us now leave Ali Baba and Morgiana, and return to the forty
thieves. When they came back to their cave, they found the body of
Cassim gone, and with it much of their treasure. "We are discovered,"
said the Captain, "and we shall be lost if we are not very careful.
All that we can at present tell is that the man whom we killed in the
Cave knew the secret of opening the door. But he was not the only one;
another must have found it out too. Having slain one, we must not let
the other escape. Well, the first thing to be done is that one of you
should go to the city in the dress of a traveler, and try to learn who
the man we killed was."
The thief who agreed to carry out this plan, having disguised himself
so that no one could have told who he was, set off at night, and
entered the city just at dawn. By asking questions in the town he
discovered that a body had been prepared for burial at a certain
house. Having found the house, the thief marked the door with chalk
and returned to the forest.
Very soon after this, Morgiana had occasion to go out, and saw the
mark which the thief had made on the door of Ali Baba's house. "What
can this mark mean?" thought she; "has anyone a spite against my
master, or has it been done only for fun? In any ease, it will be well
to guard against the worst that may happen." She therefore took some
chalk, and as several of the doors, both above and below her master's,
were alike, she marked them in the same manner, and then went in
without saying anything of what she had done either to her master or
The thief in the meantime arrived at the forest, and related the
success of his journey. They all listened to him with great delight,
and the Captain, after praising him, said, "Comrades, we have no time
to lose; let us arm ourselves and depart, and when we have entered the
city, which we had best do separately, let us all meet in the great
square, and I will go and find out the house with the chalk mark."
Thus the thieves 'went in small parties of two or three to the city
without causing any suspicion. The thief who had been there in the
morning then led the Captain to the street in which he had marked the
house of Ali Baba.
When they reached the first house that had been marked by Morgiana, he
pointed it out, saying that was the one. But as they continued walking
on, the Captain saw that the next door was marked in the same manner.
At this the thief was quite confused, and knew not what to say; for
they found four or five doors more with the same mark.
The Captain, who was in great anger, returned to the square, and told
the first of his men whom he met to tell the rest that they had lost
their labor, and that nothing remained but to return to the forest.
When they had reached the forest, the Captain declared the mistaken
thief deserving of death, and he was at once killed by his companions.
Next day another thief, in spite of this, determined to succeed where
the other had failed. He went to the city, found the house, and marked
the door of it with red. But, a short time after. Morgiana; vent out
and saw the red mark and did not fail to make a similar red mark on
the neighboring doors.
The thief when he returned to the forest boasted of his success, and
the Captain and the rest repaired to the city with as much care as
before, and the Captain and his guide went immediately to the street
where Ali Baba resided; but the same thing occurred as before.
Thus they were obliged to return again to the forest disappointed. The
second thief was put to death as a punishment for deceiving them.
Next time the Captain himself went to the city, and found the house of
Ali Baba. But not choosing to amuse himself by making marks on it, he
examined it so well, not only by looking at it. But by passing before
it several times, that at last he was certain he could not mistake it.
Thereupon he returned to the forest, and told the thieves he had
made sure of the house, and had made a plan such that at last he was
certain he could not mistake it. And first he ordered them to divide
into small parties, and go into the neighboring towns and villages and
buy nineteen mules and thirty-eight large leather jars to carry oil,
one of which must be full, and all the others empty.
In the course of two or three days the thieves returned, and the
Captain made one of his men enter each jar, armed as he thought
necessary. Then he closed the jars as if each were full of oil,
leaving, however, a small slit open to admit air.
Things being thus disposed, the mules were laden with the thirty-seven
thieves, each concealed in a jar, and the jar that was filled with
oil; whereupon the Captain took the road to the city at the hour that
had been agreed, and arrived about an hour after sunset. He went
straight to the house of Ali Baba, where he found Ali Baba at the
door, enjoying the fresh air after supper. "Sir," said he, "I have
brought oil from a great distance to sell tomorrow at the market, and
I do not know where to go to pass the night; if it would not occasion
you much trouble, do me the favor to take me in."
Although Ali Baba had seen, in the forest, the man who now spoke to
him and had even heard his voice, yet he had no idea that this was the
Captain of the forty robbers, disguised as an oil merchant. "You are
welcome," said he, and took him into the house, and his mules into the
THE OIL MERCHANT IN THE HOME OF ALI BABA
Ali Baba, having told Morgiana to see that his guest wanted nothing,
added, "Tomorrow before daybreak I shall go to the bath. Make me some
good broth to take when I return." After giving these orders, he went
to bed. In the meantime the Captain of the thieves, on leaving the
stable, went to give his people orders what to do. Beginning with the
first jar, and going through the whole number, he said to each, "When
I shall throw some pebbles from my chamber, do not fail to rip open
the jar from top to bottom with the knife you have, and to come out; I
shall be with you soon after." The knives he spoke of were sharpened
for the purpose. This done, he returned, and Morgiana took a light,
and led him to his chamber. Not to cause any suspicion, he put out the
light and lay down in his clothes, to be ready to rise as soon as he
had taken his first sleep.
Morgiana did not forget Ali Baba's orders; she prepared his linen for
the bath and gave it to Abdalla, Ali Baba's slave, who had not yet
gone to bed. Then she put the pot on the fire to make the broth, but
while she was skimming it. The lamp went out. There was no more oil
in the house, and she had no candle. She did not know what to do. She
wanted a light to see to skim the pot, and mentioned it to Abdalla.
"Take some oil," said he, "out of one of the jars in the court."
Morgiana accordingly took the oil-can and went into the court. As she
drew near the first jar, the thief who was concealed within said in a
low voice, "Is it time?"
Any other slave except Morgiana, in the first moment of surprise at
finding a man in the jar instead of some oil, would have made a great
uproar. But Morgiana collected her thoughts, and without showing any
emotion assumed the voice of the Captain, and answered, "Not yet,
but presently." She approached the next jar, and the others in turn,
making the same answer to the same question, till she came to the
last, which was full of oil.
Morgiana by this means discovered that her master, who supposed he was
giving a night's lodging to an oil merchant only, had afforded shelter
to thirty-eight robbers, including the pretended merchant, their
Captain. She quickly filled her oil-can from the last jar, and
returned to the kitchen; and after having put some oil in her lamp and
lighted it, she took a large kettle, and went again into the court to
fill it with oil from the jar. This done, she brought it back again,
put it over the tire, and made a great blaze under it with a quantity
of wood; for the sooner the oil boiled, the sooner her plan would be
carried out. At length the oil boiled. She then took the kettle and
poured into each jar, from the first to the last, enough boiling oil
to kill the robbers.
This being done without any noise, she returned to the kitchen with
the empty kettle, and shut the door. She put out the large fire she
had made up for this purpose, and left only enough to finish boiling
the broth for Ali Baba. She then blew out the lamp and remained
perfectly silent, determined not to go to bed until she had watched
what would happen, from a window which overlooked the court.
Morgiana had waited scarcely a quarter of an hour, when the Captain of
the robbers awoke. He got up, and opening the window, looked out. All
was dark and silent; he gave the signal by throwing the pebbles, many
of which fell on the jars, as the sound plainly proved. He listened,
but heard nothing that could lead him to suppose his men obeyed the
summons. He became uneasy at this delay, and threw some pebbles down a
second time, and even a third. They all struck the jars, yet nothing
moved, and he became frightened.
He went down into the court in the utmost alarm; and going up to the
first jar, he was going to ask if the robber contained in it was
asleep. As soon as he drew near, he smelled a strong scent of hot and
burning oil coming out of the jar. From this he feared that his wicked
plan had failed. He went to the next jar, and to each in turn, and
discovered that all his men were dead. Terrified at this, he jumped
over the garden-gate, and going from one garden to another by getting
over the walls, he made his escape. Before daybreak Ali Baba, followed
by his slave, went out and repaired to the bath, totally ignorant of
the surprising events that had taken place in his house during his
sleep. Morgiana had not thought it necessary to wake him, particularly
as she had no time to lose, while she was engaged in her perilous
enterprise, and it was useless to disturb him after she had averted
When he returned from the bath, the sun being risen, Ali Baba was
surprised to see the jars of oil still in their places; he inquired
the reason of Morgiana, who let him in, and who had left everything as
it was, in order to show it to him.
"My good master," said Morgiana to Ali Baba's question, "may God
preserve you and all your family. You will soon know the reason,
if you will take the trouble to come with me." Ali Baba followed
Morgiana, and when she had shut the door, she took him to the first
jar and bade him look in and see if it contained oil. He did as she
desired; and seeing a man in the jar, he hastily drew back and uttered
a cry of surprise. "Do not be afraid," said she; "the man you see
there will not do you any harm; he will never hurt either you or
anyone else again, for he is now a corpse."
"Morgiana!" exclaimed Ali Baba, "what does all this mean? You explain
this mystery." "I will explain it," replied Morgiana, "but pray be
cautious, and do not awaken the curiosity of your neighbors to learn
what it is of the utmost importance that you should keep secret and
concealed. Look first at all the other jars."
Ali Baba examined all the rest of the jars, one after the other, from
the first till he came to the last, which contained the oil, and
he noticed that its oil was nearly all gone. This done, he stood,
sometimes casting his eyes on Morgiana, then looking at the jars, yet
without speaking a word, so great was his surprise. At length he said,
"And what has become of the merchant?"
"The merchant," replied Morgiana, "is just as much a merchant as I am.
I can tell you who he is."
She then described the marks made upon the door, and the way in which
she had copied them, adding: "You see this is a plot contrived by
the thieves of the forest, whose troop, I know not how, seems to be
diminished by two. But be that as it may, it is now reduced to three
at most. This proves that they are determined on your death, and you
will do right to be on your guard against them, so long as you are
certain that even one of the robbers remains."
Ali Baba, full of gratitude for all he owed her, replied, "I will
reward you as you deserve, before I die. I owe my life to you, and
from this moment I give you your liberty, and wilt soon do still more
MORGIANA'S GREAT COURAGE AND REWARD
Meanwhile the Captain of the forty thieves had returned to the forest
full of rage, and determined to revenge himself on Ali Baba.
Next morning he awoke at an early hour, put on a merchant's dress,
and returned to the city, where he took a lodging in a khan. Then he
bought a horse, which he made use of to convey to his lodging several
kinds of rich stuffs and fine linens, bringing them from the forest at
various times. In order to dispose of these wares, he took a shop,
and established himself in it. This shop was exactly opposite to that
which had been Cassim's, and was now occupied by the son of Ali Baba.
The Captain of the thieves, who had taken the name of Cogia Houssam,
soon succeeded in making friends with the son of Ali Baba, who was
young and good-natured. He often invited the youth to sup with him,
and made him rich gifts.
When Ali Baba heard of it, he resolved to make a return for this
kindness, to Cogia Houssam, little thinking that the pretended
merchant was really the Captain of the thieves. So one day he asked
Cogia Houssam to do him the honor of supping and spending the evening
at his house. "Sir," replied Cogia, "I am grateful for your kindness,
but I must beg you to excuse me, and for a reason which I am sure you
will think sufficient. It is this: I never eat of any dish that has
salt in it; judge, then, of the figure I should make at your table."
"If this be your only reason," replied Ali Baba, "it need not prevent
your coming to supper with me. The bread which is eaten in my house
does not contain any salt; and as for the meat and other dishes, I
promise you there shall be none in those which are served before you."
So Ali Baba went into the kitchen, and desired Morgiana not to put
any salt in the meat she was going to serve for supper, and also to
prepare two or three dishes of those that he had ordered, without any
salt. Morgiana obeyed, though much against her will; and she felt some
curiosity to see this man who did not eat salt. When she had finished,
and Abdalla had prepared the table, she helped him in carrying the
dishes. On looking at Cogia Houssam, she instantly recognized the
Captain of the robbers, in spite of his disguise; and looking at him
more closely, she saw that he had a dagger hidden under his dress. "I
am no longer surprised," said she to herself, "that this villain will
not eat salt with my master; he is his enemy, and means to murder him!
But I wilt prevent the villain!"
When the supper was ended, the Captain of the thieves thought that the
time for revenging himself on Ali Baba had come. "I will make them
both drink much wine," thought he, "and then the son, against whom I
bear no malice, will not prevent my plunging my dagger into the heart
of his father, and I shall escape by way of the garden, as I did
before, while the cook and the slave are at their supper in the
Instead, however, of going to supper, Morgiana did not allow him time
to carry out his wicked plans. She dressed herself as a dancer, put
on a headdress suitable to that character, and wore round her waist a
fancy girdle of gilt, to which she fastened a dagger, made of the same
metal. Her face was hidden by a very handsome mask. When she had so
disguised herself, she said to Abdalla, "Take your tabor, and let us
go and entertain our master's guest, who is the friend of his son, as
we do sometimes by our performances."
Abdalla took his tabor and began to play, as he walked before
Morgiana, and entered the room. Morgiana followed him, making a low
curtsy, and performed several dances, with equal grace and agility. At
length she drew out the dagger, and dancing with it in her hand, she
surpassed all she had yet done, by her light movements and high leaps;
sometimes presenting the dagger as if to strike, and at others holding
it to her own bosom, as if to stab herself. At length, as if out
of breath, she took the tabor from Abdalla with her left hand, and
holding the dagger in her right, she held out the tabor to Ali Baba,
who threw a piece of gold into it. Morgiana then held the tabor out to
his son, who did the same. Cogia Houssam, who saw that she was coming
to him next, had already taken his purse from his bosom, and was
putting his hand in it, when Morgiana, with great courage, suddenly
plunged the dagger into his heart.
Ali Baba and his son, terrified at this action, uttered a loud cry:
"Wretch!" exclaimed Ali Baba, "what hast thou done? Thou hast ruined
me and my family forever."
"What I have done," replied Morgiana, "is not for your ruin, but for
your safety." Then opening Cogia Houssam's robe to show Ali Baba the
poniard which was concealed under it, "See," continued she, "the cruel
enemy you had to deal with; examine him, and you will recognize the
pretended oil-merchant and the Captain of the forty thieves! Do
you now see why he refused to eat salt with you? Can you require a
stronger proof of his treachery?"
Ali Baba, who now saw all that he owed to Morgiana for having thus
saved his life a second time, cried, "Morgiana, I gave you your
liberty, and at the same time promised to do more for you at some
future time. This time has come, and I present you to my son as his
wife." A few days after, Ali Baba had the marriage of his son and
Morgiana celebrated with great feasting.
After the marriage, Ali Baba decided to visit again the cave of the
forty thieves. On reaching it he repeated the word, "Open Sesame." At
once the door opened, and he entered the cave, and found that no one
had been in it from the time that Cogia Houssam had opened his shop
in the city. He therefore knew that the whole troop of thieves was
killed, and that he was the only person in the world who knew the
secret of the cave.
From that time Ali Baba and his son, whom he took to the cave and
taught the secret of how to enter it, enjoyed its riches with
moderation and lived in great happiness and comfort to the end of
their long lives.
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Discussion. 1. How did Ali Baba make his living? 2. When did he
first see the robber band? 3. What words did the Captain say to gain
entrance to the cave? 4. Why did Ali Baba wish to see the cave? 5. How
did he plan to hide his gold after he returned home? 6. What aroused
the suspicions of his brother? 7. How did Cassim feel toward Ali Baba
when he heard the story? 8. What did Cassim plan to do? 9. Why could
not Cassim open the door after it closed upon him? 10. Why did Ali
Baba wish to conceal the fact that Cassim was killed by the robbers?
11. Why could not the robbers find Ali Baba's house after it had
been marked with chalk? 12. What plan did the Captain of the robbers
determine upon in order to have revenge upon Ali Baba? 13. How did
Morgiana discover the plot and prevent it from being carried out? 14.
How did Ali Baba reward her? 15. How did the Captain manage to win the
friendship of Ali Baba? 16. What was his object in doing this? 17. The
Captain would not eat salt in Ali Baba's house because, according
to an old Eastern custom, the use of salt at a meal was a sign of
friendship and loyalty. How did Morgiana save Ali Baba's life? 18. Who
is the cleverest person in the story? 19. Did Ali Baba have a right
to take the treasure from the robbers and keep it? Why? 20. Class
readings: Select passages to be read aloud in class. 21. Outline for
testing silent reading. Tell in your own words the story of Ali Baba,
using the following topics: (a.) the adventure in the forest; (b) Ali
Baba's return; (c) the fate of Cassim; (d) Morgiana's plans; (e) how
the thieves were caught; (f) how Ali Baba used his good fortune. 22.
Find in the Glossary the meaning of: bridled; recalling; astonished;
merchandise; retreat; hampers; resolved; uneasiness; utmost;
invention; packet; reflected; suppressed; ceremony; related; confused;
presently; enterprise; contrived; diminished; prevent; gilt;
surpassed; moderation. 23. Pronounce: Ali Baba; sesame; brocades;
inquiries; hearken; affliction; apothecary; lozenge; burial; comrades;
averted; corpse; Cogia Houssam; villain; curtsy; agility; poniard.
Phrases for Study
feasting his eyes, full of invention, natural death, repaired to her
house, had occasion to go out, lost their labor, thus disposed, wanted
nothing, collected her thoughts, rich stuffs, bear no malice, suitable
to that character.