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ALI BABA, OR THE FORTY THIEVES,
THERE once lived in a town of Persia two
-. *' brothers, one named Cassim, and the other Ali
'.'. Baba. Cassim had married a rich wife, but Ali
Baba was poor, and made his living by cutting
Swood, which he brought upon three asses into
the town to sell.
--.. i One day when he was in the forest cutting
.--. wood, he saw a troop of horsemen coming to-
--- ward him. Fearing they might be robbers, he
climbed a tree to hide. Near the tree there was
a steep bank formed of solid rock. \Vhen the
horsemen came up, Ali Baba counted them, and found they were forty in number.
They dismounted in front of the rock, and one, who seemed to be captain, said the
words, Open, Sesame," when instantly a door opened in the rock. Then they
all passed through, and the door closed after them.
Ali Baba stayed in the tree, and after awhile the door opened again, and the rob-
bers came out. Then the captain closed the door by saying, "Shut, Sesame," and
all rode away.
When they were out of sight Ali Baba came down, and, going up to the rock,
said, Open, Sesame." The door at once opened, and Ali Baba, entering, found
himself in a large cave, lighted from a hole in
the top, and full of all kinds of treasure-rich '" '
silks and carpets, gold and silver ware, and ,
great bags of money. He loaded his three ,, j
asses with as many of the bags of gold as they '!,
could carry; and, after closing the door by
saying, "Shut, Sesame," made his way home.
When he came there and told his wife of their
good luck, she was delighted, and wished to
count the gold to see how rich they were. i A j
" No," said Ali Baba, "that will take too long; I \
must dig a hole and bury it at once." You
are right," said she, "but at least let us form ,; Ii
some idea how much there is. Let me meas-
ure it while you dig the hole." -'
The Baldwin Library
ALI BABA, OR THE FORTY THIEVES.
But as she had no measure of her own, she ran to Cassim's wife to borrow one.
Now, Cassim's wife was very inquisitive, and wished to find out what they were
going to use the measure for, so she covered the bottom of it with suet. When Ali
Baba's wife had done with it, she carried it back, but did not notice that a piece of
gold had stuck to the suet. When Cassim's wife saw the gold she wondered
greatly-knowing Ali Baba to be so poor-and told her husband about it. He
went to Ali Baba and persuaded him to explain how he had become so rich as to
have to measure his money, and when he heard the story, he made up his mind
that he, too, would get some of the treasure.
So he started for the forest with a lot of mules the ---
next morning. He opened the door by saying,
"Open, Sesame," and when he went in, it CIlISI-d -
after him. He began to pile up bags of *,old near
the door, but when he was ready to -
go he found that he had forgotten the .,
magic words which opened it, and be- T "
fore he could recall them, the robbers T /
returned. The moment they caught I -
sight of him, they rushed upon him :,S "
with their swords and killed him, and
then cut his body in four quarters, and ~
hung them up in the cave.
When night fell, and Cassim had not '
returned, his wife was greatly alarmed -' i
and went to confer with Ali Baba. 1
He tried to comfort her, but when morning came, ..
and Cassim did not yet appear, he set out for the .
cave with his three asses. When he reached there
and saw his brother's body, he was struck with hor- -
ror at the sight; but he quickly wrapped up the
pieces and carried them home on one of the asses, loading the other two again
He now wished to get Cassim buried without letting any one know that he had
not died a natural death. Cassim's wife had a slave named Morgiana, who was
very quick-witted, and Ali Baba took her into his confidence, and got her to assist
She went next morning to a druggist near by and asked for a medicine which is
used only in case of the most serious sickness. The druggist inquired who
A A N OB A
ALI BABA SHOWS THE COLD TO HIS WIFE.
ALI BABA, OR THE FORTY THIEVES.
"Alas!" said Morgiana, sighing, "my master, Cassim himself, and he is so sick
that we are in great anxiety about him.'
Late in the same day she went again to the druggist to obtain some more of the
medicine, and in answer to his inquiries about her master's condition, said, with
tears in her eyes:
Oh, he is much worse. The medicine appears to do him no good, and I greatly
fear that I am going to lose my good master."
In addition to this Ali Baba and his wife made a point of being often seen pass-
ing back and forth between Cassim's house and their own during the day, and
took care to tell as many of the neighbors as possible that Cassim was dangerously
ill. So no one was surprised when cries and lamentations were heard issuing from
Cassim's house in the evening, and Morgiana spread the news about that her mas-
ter was dead.
Very early the next morning she went to an old cobbler named Baba Mustapha,
whose custom she knew it was to open his stall at daybreak, and, looking around
carefully to see that she was not observed, approached him, and putting a piece of
gold in his hand, whispered:
Baba Mustapha, I have a task for you for which you will be well paid. But I
must make it a condition that you shall be blindfolded while I am taking you to
the place and bringing you back."
Baba Mustapha hesitated a little at
this, fearing he might be led into dan-
ger, but Morgiana named a price for his
services which caused him to set aside
his doubts, and when he had received a
portion of the money down, he allowed
her to bind a handkerchief about his i
eyes, and lead him where she would.
She brought him to her master's house, 7
and when he was in the room where the / i ,
body was, she removed the bandage
from his eyes, and told him to sew the
pieces of the body together.
When he had done the work she again
put the handkerchief over his eyes, after
giving him the rest of his money, and
then conducted him back to his stall.
Then the funeral was held, with the
usual ceremonies, and Cassim was buried
ALI BABA, OR THE FORTY THIEVES.
without any suspicion being excited. The customs of the country allowed a man
to have more than one wife, and it was also usual when a husband died that his
brother should marry his widow. So in order that he might enjoy his good for-
tune, and live as a man of wealth, without causing remarks to be made about his
sudden rise in life, Ali Baba married Cassim's widow, who was known to be rich,
and went to live in her house.
Meanwhile, the robbers had again visited their cave, and finding that the body_
had been removed, saw that somebody knew their secret, and resolved not to rest
till they found out who it was. One of them proposed to go into the town to see
if he could find a clue, and the captain allowed him to do so.. He fell in, by acci-
dent, with Baba Mustapha, who told him of
how he had been hired to sew up a dead
body. The robber at once felt that he was
on the track of the one he was looking for,
so he offered the old man a large piece of
gold to show him the house where he had \
done the sewing. Baba Mustapha explained ;'
that his eyes had been covered on the way, i
but the robber thought that if he were again ,
blindfolded he might remember the turns '
he had made, and so find the place. They 1
tried this plan. Baba Mustapha walked on jil
and at last stopped before a house which i
was indeed, Ali Baba's. The robber marked
the door with chalk, and returned to his
Shortly after, Morgiana came out of the
house and saw the mark, and thinking it
might mean mischief, she marked two or three doors on each side in the same way.
The robber, in the meantime, had reported his success, and the captain ordered
all to go into the town, separately, and meet together at a certain place, where he
would join them. He took the robber who had found the house, and went with
him to look at it, and see what had best be done. The robber led him into the
street where Ali Baba lived, and when they came to one of the doors which Mor-
giana had marked, he pointed to it; but the captain noticed that the next house
was marked in the same way, and on looking further, found five or six more. He
saw that they were foiled, and ordered his men to return to the forest. When they
got there, they put to death the robber who, they thought, had deceived them-a
fate which he admitted he deserved for not taking more pains.
!LLM- _LI f
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THE FALSE OI-L ME T -
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ALI, BABA, OR THE FORTY THIEVES.
Another of the troop then said he would try the task. He went and engaged
Baba Mustapha to lead him as he had the first one, and when he stopped at the
house, put a mark with red chalk in a place where he thought it would not be
But it did not escape the eyes of Morgiana, and she marked the other houses in
the same place and manner.
The robbers went to the town as before, but when the captain and the robber
came to the street they found that they were baffled again. So all returned, and
the second robber was put to death for his failure as the first had been.
Then the captain went himself, and got Baba Mustapha to conduct him in the
same way that he had the others; but he did not put any mark on the house.
Instead, he looked at it so carefully that he would know it when he saw it again.
He then sent his men to buy nineteen mules and thirty-eight leather oil-jars, one
full of oil and the rest empty. When they had brought
S / them to the cave, he put a man in each of the empty
Sajars, and loaded all the jars on -the mules, and set out
for the town so as to reach it about evening.
i \, He led his mules through the streets till he came to
the house of Ali Baba, to whom he applied for lodging,
." saying that he was an oil merchant who had just arrived
and could not find a place to stay. Ali Baba was hos-
f pitable, and allowed him to drive his mules into the yard,
Where he unloaded them, and set the jars in rows, whis-
pering to his men that when they should hear him throw
a stone out of the window, they must come out of the
jars, and he would join them. He then went into the
house and was shown to a room.
.Now it happened that Morgiana needed some oil, and
MORGIAN. as it was too late to buy any, she thought she would
take a little out of the jars in the yard. So she went out with her oil-pot, and
drew near one of the jars to help herself, when, to her great surprise, she heard a
man's voice within it say, softly, Is it time? Startled as she was, she did not
lose her presence of mind, but answered, Not yet, but presently." She went in
this way to all of the jars, answering the same, until she came, last of all, to the
jar of oil.
She saw at once the danger to which her master was exposed, and laid a plan
to avert it. She filled a great kettle from the jars of oil, and set it on the fire till
the oil was boiling. Then she took it and poured enough into each jar to kill
the robber inside. After that she went into the house, and, putting out her light,
ALI BABA, OR THE FORTY THIEVES.
watched through a window to see what would happen. She had not waited long
before the captain, hearing no one stirring, opened his window and began throwing
stones at the jars. But as no movement followed, he became alarmed, and stole
down into the yard, where he found that all of his men were dead. Full of rage
and despair, he climbed over the wall of the yard and made his way off to the cave.
When Morgiana saw him go, she
went to bed well pleased to have suc-
ceeded in saving her master and his
The next morning Ali Baba arose '
early to go to the baths. Upon his
return, he was surprised to see the
jars still in the yard. He questioned ".
Morgiana, who opened the door, in - ,
regard to it. For answer she led him ''", '
to the nearest jar, and asked him to
look into it. He did so and started V' '
back in alarm when he saw the dead -
"Morgiana," said he, "what does '
this mean? Explain what has hap- ,
"I will," said she, "but first look
in the other jars."
So Ali Baba passed from one jar, to another, finding a body in each, until he
came to the oil-jar which was very much sunk. He stood speechless with aston-
ishment for some moments, and then he again requested Morgiana to tell how
this had come to pass. She led him into the house, and related all that had
occurred from the time she had first noticed the mark upon the door to the flight
of the captain.
On hearing the story Ali Baba said to her: "We all owe our lives to your wit
and courage. As a first token of my gratitude, I give you your freedom, and in
due time, I will add still further to your reward."
Then, at the extreme end of the garden, under the shade of some large trees,
he and one of his slaves dug a trench in which they buried the bodies of the rob-
bers. The jars and weapons they hid, while the mules were sent to the market,
at different times, to be sold.
But the captain now hated Ali Baba worse than ever, and swore that he would
have revenge for the death of his comrades. He resolved that he would go to the
. .. i - .-- .. . .' . .
MORGIANA KILLS THE ROBBERS.
"' -- tl'.' ".'"'2
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ALI BABA, OR THE FORTY THIEVES.
town to live, so that he might watch for a chance to carry out his purpose. So he
rented a warehouse, to which he took a lot of silks and other stuffs, and set up as
a merchant under the name of Cogia Hassan.
Now, as it happened, the warehouse which the captain rented was near that of
Ali Baba's son, who was also a merchant. Naturally, they soon became acquainted;
and Cogia Hassan, although not yet aware of the young man's relationship to Ali
Baba, cultivated his friendship as being likely to be of use to him in obtaining the
information necessary to carry out his designs. But it was not very long before
Ali Baba came one day to his son's warehouse, and was seen and recognized by
Cogia Hassan, who soon found out that he was the father of his neighbor. After
this, of course, he became doubly attentive to the son, making him presents, and
often asking him to dine or sup with him. Ali Baba's son felt obliged to return
these courtesies, and so it soon came to pass that Cogia Hassan was invited to
Ali Baba's house to supper.
He went and carried, concealed, a dagger with which he intended to kill Ali
Baba as soon as he saw a chance of doing it with certainty. Ali Baba received
him very cordially, and thanked him for the kindness he had shown towards his
son, saying that to an inexperienced young man such an acquaintance was, in
itself, a valuable advantage.
After further friendly conversation, they sat down to supper. At the meal
Cogia Hassan was careful to abstain from the use of salt, for amongst the Persians
even the wickedest think it wrong to kill a man whose salt they have eaten. Mor-
giana, who was serving, noticed this, and it caused her to suspect him. She
inspected Cogia Hassan closely, and soon became satisfied that he was none other
than the false oil merchant; and when
she saw that he had a dagger con-
cealed under his garment, she perceived
: in what peril her master was placed.
-,- r,,,.., / With her usual quickness she conceived
,il a plan to thwart the robber's purpose,
S t' and she boldly determined to put it into
;" execution at once.
Ii. She was a very fine dancer, and often
"/ t- -".'"- entertained Ali Baba and his guests
S.:. with exhibitions of her skill. As soon
as the principal portion of the meal
'. was over, she retired and arrayed her-
/ "'self in a pretty dancing costume, and
S. then, accompanied by a fellow-servant.
ALI BABA, OR THE FORTY THIEVES.
who sung and played upon the tambou-
rine, she returned and proposed giving a
01#ry. performance, while Ali Baba, and his son,
S'-. and their guest, were enjoying the dessert
4 -'. .and smoking. Cogia Hassan, of course,
S politely expressed his pleasure; although,
secretly, he was annoyed at the intrusion
S, as likely to interfere with his evil intent.
'., Morgiana carried in her hand a jeweled
S. y dagger, and as she danced she would point
S. it first to her own breast and then to those
/ of the others in succession, in a playful
S-~ .--":- *way, and as though it were part of the
dance. Then, at last, she took the tambou-
rine and went from one to another, pre-
senting it for a reward after the custom of
street performers. Ali Baba and his son each put in a piece of gold, and Cogia
Hassan, when she came to him, pulled out his purse to do the same. But as he
reached his hand, Morgiana raised aloft her dagger, and plunged it with all her
strength into his heart, and he fell dead.
Ali Baba cried out with horror; but when
Morgiana told him who his guest was, and,
opening his garment, showed him the con-
cealed dagger; his feelings changed to joy at'
his escape, and admiration for Morgiana's .
shrewdness, courage, and fidelity, and it seemed ,' 1
to him that he could not say nor do enough to
thank her. .
They soon disposed of the captain's body by '
burying it in the garden with those of his com-
rades, and, as the robbers were now all dead, /' .
they were free from further danger. After
awhile, Ali Baba's son married Morgiana, and .'
they lived long in peace and happiness. -