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PREPARED FOR CHILDREN BY GRACE RHYS
AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
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OF all the tales they used to tell,
Not one that ever I knew,
Did I fear so much, or love so well,
When I was a small child too,
As "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,"
But my Baba had crimson sleeves !
And when it comes to the time of year,
When paint-boxes are new,
And fairy tales are sweet to hear,
Then you shall listen too,
To Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves;"
But paint Baba with crimson sleeves !
The Story of Ali Baba and
the Forty Thieves.
N an old town of Persia there lived
two brothers, Cassim and Ali Baba.
Their father, at his death, left them a
small fortune, which they divided be-
tween them. It might therefore be
thought that their riches would be the
same; but not so, as you shall see.
Cassim married a wife who owned a
fine shop, a warehouse, and some land;
he thus found himself all at once quite
6 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
at his ease, and became one of the richest
men in the whole town.
Ali Baba, on the other hand, had a
wife no better off than himself, and lived
in a very poor house. He had no other
means of livelihood, and of supporting his
wife and children, than by going out to
cut wood in the next forest, and carrying
it about the town to sell on three asses.
Ali Baba went one day to the forest,
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 7
and had very nearly finished cutting as
much wood as his asses could carry, when
he saw a thick cloud of dust, rising very
high in the air, which seemed to be com-
ing towards him. He looked at it long,
until he saw a great company of men on
horseback, who came riding fast, raising
Although that part of the country was
not often infested by robbers, Ali Baba
still thought that these horsemen looked
like them. Without, therefore, at all
thinking what might become of his asses,
his first and only care was to save him-
self. So he climbed up quickly into a
large tree, the branches of which spread
out so close and thick, that from the
8 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
midst of them he could see everything
that passed, without being seen.
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, hung over its head a bag filled
with barley, and fastened it up. Then
they took their travelling bags, which
were so heavy that Ali Baba thought
they were filled with gold and silver.
The Captain of the thieves came, his
bag on his shoulder, close to the rock,
at the very spot where the tree grew in
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 9
which Ali Baba had hidden himself.
After the rascal had made his way through
the shrubs that grew there, he cried out
these words, OPEN SESAM which Ali
Baba distinctly heard. No sooner were
they spoken than a door opened; the
Captain and all his men passed quickly
in, and the door.closed again.
There they stayed for a long time;
and Ali Baba was compelled to wait
IO ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
in the tree with patience, as he was afraid
some of them might come out if he left
. At length the door opened, and the
forty thieves came out. After he had
seen all the troop pass out before him,
Ali Baba heard the Captain say the words,
SHUT SESAMM! Each man then bridled
his horse, and mounted. When the Cap-
tain 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
Ali Baba expected to find only a dark
cave, and was much astonished at seeing
a large, fine vaulted chamber, dug out of
the rock, and higher than a man could
reach. It received its light from a hole
12 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
in the top of the rock. In it 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, were
piled up one on another. The sight of
all these things almost took Ali Baba's
SBut 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
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 13
asses, he went and 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 up to the door, and had no sooner
said the words, "Shut Sesame," than it
And now Ali Baba took the road to the
town; and when he got home, drove his
asses into the yard, and shut the gate with
14 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
great care. He threw off the wood that
hid the gold, and carried the bags into
his 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
out 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 have done
counting. I will dig a pit to bury it in;
we have no time to lose."
It is right, though," replied the wife,
"that we should know nearly how much
there may be. I will go and borrow a
small corn-measure, and whilst you are
digging the pit, I will find how much
So the wife of All Baba set off and
went to her brother-in-law, Cassim, who
lived a short way from her house. Cas-
sim was 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
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 15
Baba was, she was curious to know what
sort of grain his wife wanted to measure;
and she put some tallow under the
measure, which she did without its being
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 observing that a piece
of gold had stuck to the bottom of it.
16 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
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
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 17
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, engraven 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 All Baba that
he passed almost the whole night without
closing his eyes. The next morning
before sunrise he went to him. He did
not treat him as a brother: All Baba,"
said he, harshly you pretend to be poor
and miserable, and a beggar, and yet you
measure your money," and 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
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 it secret, to
share the treasure with him.
"This I certainly expect," replied
Cassim in a haughty tone ; "otherwise I
18 ALI BABA AND ITHE FORTY THIEVES.
will go and inform the officer of police
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 enquiries of Ali
Baba; he left him, determined to seize
the whole treasure, and set off next
morning before break of day with ten
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 19
mules charged 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, when, on
looking for the door, he soon discovered
it. Having cried, OPEN SESAMA the
door obeyed; he entered, and it closed
again. Greedy as Cassim was, he could
have passed the whole day in feasting
his eyes with the sight of so much gold;
20 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
but he reflected that he was come to
take away and lade his ten mules with as
much as he could collect; he therefore
filled his sacks, and coming to the door,
he found that he had forgotten the secret
words, and instead of saying Sesame,"
he said, Open, barley." But the door,
instead of flying open, remained closed;
he named various other kinds of grain;
all but the right were called upon, and
the door did not move.
Cassim was not prepared for this, and
threw the sacks he had collected on the
ground, and paced with hasty steps
backward and forward in the cave;
where let us leave him to his fate.
The thieves returned to their cave
towards 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 alighted, and with their
sabres in their hands, went towards
the door, said OPEN SESAM1 !" and
Cassim, who from the inside of the
cave heard the horses trampling on the
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 21
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
than it opened, and he rushed out with
such violence that he threw the Captain
on the ground. He cold not, however,
escape the other thieves, who, having
their sabres drawn, slew him on the
On entering the cave the thieves
found the sacks near the door which
Cassim had filled, but they could not
imagine how he had been able to get
They agreed to divide the carcase of
Cassim into four quarters, and place
them in the cave near the door-two
quarters on one side, and two on the
other-to frighten away anyone else who
might have the boldness to break into
the cave. Then, leaving it well secured,
they mounted their horses, and rode
The wife of Cassim, in the meantime,
was in the greatest uneasiness, when
night came, and her husband did not
24 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
return. 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 is not yet come back,
and as night is come, 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 SESAM and it opened. He
was struck with horror to find the body
of his brother cut into four quarters.
He decided to carry them home, and
making two packets of the four quarters,
he placed them on one of his asses,
covering them with sticks, to conceal
them. 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, desiring his wife to take
care to unload them; and having told
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 25
her what had happened to Cassim, he
led the other ass to his sister-in-law.
All Baba knocked at the door, which
was opened to him by Morgiana, who was
a female slave, clever, and full of invention.
When he had entered the court he took
off the wood and the two packages from
the ass, and taking her aside, Morgiana,"
said he, "the first thing I have to
ask you is to keep. a deep secret These
two packets contain 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
Morgiana went to call her mistress, and
All Baba then told her all that had
happened, until his arrival with the body
of Cassim: Sister," added he, here is
a sad affliction for you, but we must con-
trive 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,
which had begun to flow, and suppressed
her mournful cries, and thereby showed
Ali Baba that she accepted his offer.
Ali Baba left her in this frame of mind,
26 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
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 eat "
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.
At a very early hour the next morning,
when day began to appear, Morgiana,
knowing that a good old cobbler lived
near, who was one of the first to open his
shop, went out in search of him, and
coming up to him, she wished him a good-
day, and put a piece of gold into his hand.
Baba Mustapha, the cobbler, was natur-
ally of a gay turn, and had always
something laughable to say. Looking at
the money, as it was yet scarcely day-
light, and seeing it was gold, A good
hansel," said he ; what's to be done ? I
am ready to do what I am bid." Baba
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 27
Mustapha," said Morgiana to him, take
all you want for sewing, and come
directly with me ; but on this condition,
that you let me put a bandage over your
eyes when we have got to a certain
street." At these words Baba Mustapha
28 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
began to shake his head. Oh, oh,"
said he, you want me to do something
wrong." But putting another piece of
gold into his hand, Morgiana said, "I
want you to do nothing wrong, only
come with me, and fear nothing."
Baba Mustapha then let himself be led
by Morgiana, who, when she had reached
the street she had mentioned, bound a
handkerchief over his eyes, and con-
ducted him to Cassim's house; nor did
she remove the bandage until he was in
the chamber where the body lay, each
quarter in its proper place. Then taking
it off, "Baba Mustapha," said she, "I
have brought you here, that you might
sew these pieces together. Lose no
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 29
time, and when you have done I will
give you another piece of gold."
When Baba Mustapha had finished his
job, Morgiana bound his eyes again
before he left the chamber, and having
given him a third piece of money, she
led him to the place where she had first
put on the handkerchief; and having
again taken it off, left him to return to
his house. And so the body of Cassim
was prepared for its burial, which took
place the same day, attended by Ali
Baba and Morgiana.
As for his widow, she remained at
home to lament and weep with her
30 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
neighbours, 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 had any thought of
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
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 31
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, without arms, and
in the dress of a traveller, and try to
discover, who the man we killed was,
and where he lived."
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 as
day was dawning. He went towards the
square, where he saw only one shop
open, which was that of Baba Mustapha,
Baba Mustapha was seated on his stool,
with his awl in his hand, ready to begin
his work. The thief went up. to him
and wished him good morning, "My
good man," said he, you rise early to
your work; you can hardly see clearly at
this early hour, so old as you are."
"Whoever you are," replied Baba
Mustapha, "you do not know much of
me. Old as I am, I have good eyes ; and
32 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
so you would have said had you known
that not long ago I sewed up a dead body
in a place where there was not more light
than we have now."
The thief felt great satisfaction at
having so soon found a man who gave
him the very news he wanted. A
body," said he, with feigned surprise,
"why sew up a dead body ?" Oh!"
said Baba Mustapha, I know; you want
me to tell you all about it, but you shall
not know another word."
The thief hereupon drew out a piece of
gold, and putting it into Baba Mustapha's
hand, said, "I have no desire to know any
secret. The only thing I ask of you is
to come with me, and show me the house
where you sewed up the dead body."
"I cannot," replied Baba Mustapha.
"And I will tell you why: they took
me to a particular street and there they
bound my eyes, and then led me to the
house; and when I had finished led me
back the same way." "But at least,"
said the thief, you must remember the
way you went after your eyes were
bound; pray come with me, I will put a
bandage over your eyes at that place,
and we will walk together along the
same streets, and follow the same
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 33
turnings. Come, here is another piece
The two pieces of gold tempted the
cobbler. "I cannot say," said he, that I
remember exactly the way they took me,
but since you will have it so, come along,
I will do my best! "
So Baba Mustapha got up to go with
him, and without shutting up his shop,
he led the thief to the spot where Mor-
giana had put the bandage over his eyes.
And here the thief, who had a handker-
chief ready, tied it over his eyes, and
walked by his side, partly leading him
and partly being led by him, till he
The cobbler was in fact exactly before
the house which formerly belonged to
Cassim, and where Ali Baba now lived.
Before he took the bandage from his eyes,
the thief quickly made a mark on the
door with some chalk he had for the
purpose, and when he had taken it off he
asked him if he knew to whom the house
belonged. Baba Mustapha replied that
he did not live in that part of the town,
and could not tell him. As the thief
found he could gain nothing more from
Baba Mustapha, he thanked him for the
trouble he had taken, and when he left
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 35
him to return to his shop, took the road
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 any one a
spite against my master, or has it been
done only for fun ? In any case, 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
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 prais-
ing 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 caus-
36 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
ing 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 labour, and that
nothing remained but to return to the
When they had reached the forest
the Captain declared the mistaken thief
deserving of death, and his head was at
once cut off 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 cobbler, who led him in the
same way to the house, whose door he
marked with red. But, a short time
after, Morgiana went out and saw the
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 37
red mark, and did not fail to make a
similar red mark on the neighboring
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 All Baba resided;
but the same thing occurred as before.
Thus they were obliged to return
again to the forest disappointed, where
the second thief had his head cut
The Captain next time himself went
to the city, and, with the help of Baba
Mustapha, found the house of Ali Baba.
But not choosing to amuse himself in
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
Thereupon he returned to the forest,
and told the thieves he had made sure
of the house, and had made a plan that
they must help him to carry out.
And first he charged them to divide
into small parties, and go into the neigh-
bouring towns and villages, and to buy
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 39
nineteen mules and thirty-eight large
leather jars to carry oil, one of which
must be full, and all the others
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, and
closed them so as to appear full of
oil, leaving, however, a small slit open
to admit air for them to breathe;
and the better to carry out the trick,
he rubbed the outside of the jars
with oil, which he took from the full
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; when 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
All Baba at the door, enjoying the fresh
air after supper. He stopped his mules,
"Sir," said he, "I have brought the oil
which you see from a great distance to
sell it to-morrow at the market, and at
this late hour I do not know where to
go to pass the night; if it would not
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 41
occasion you much trouble, do me the
favour to take me in for the night."
Although Ali Baba had seen the man
who now spoke to him in the forest, and
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 im-
mediately made room for him and his
mules to go in. At the same time, Ali
Baba called a slave, and ordered him,
when the mules were unladen, not only
to put them under cover in the stable,
but also to give them some hay and corn.
He also took the trouble of going into
-the kitchen to desire Morgiana to get a
supper quickly for a guest who was just
arrived, and to prepare him a chamber
The Captain of the thieves got up at
the same time with Ali Baba and accom-
panied him to the door, and while the
latter went into the kitchen to speak to
Morgiana, he went into the court, with
the pretext of going to the stable to see
after his mules.
Ali Baba having told Morgiana to look
to his guest, and see he wanted nothing,
added, I give you notice that to-morrow
before daybreak I shall go to the bath.
42 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
Take care that my bathing-linen is ready,
and make me some good broth to take
when I return." After giving these
orders he went to bed.
The Captain of the thieves, in the mean-
time, 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 cham-
ber, do not fail to rip open the jar
from top to bottom with the knife you
have got, and to come out; I shall be
with you soon after." The knife he
spoke of was sharpened for the purpose.
This done, he returned, and Morgiana
took a light, and led him to his chamber.
Not to create 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 was not yet gone to bed;
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 not any candle. She
knew not what to do. She wanted a
44 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
light to see to skim the pot, and mentioned
it to Abdalla. "Why," said he, "go
and take some oil out of one of the jars
in the court."
Morgiana accordingly took the oil-can
and went into the court. As she drew
near to the first jar, the thief who was
concealed within, said in a low voice,
"Is it time ?"
Although he had spoken softly, Mor-
giana was struck with the sound, which
she heard the more distinctly as the
Captain, when he had unladed his mules,
had opened all the jars, and this among
the rest, to give a little air to his men.
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
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 45
showing any emotion, assumed the voice
of the Captain, and answered, Not yet,
but presently." She approached the next
jar, and the same question was asked her ;
she went on to them all in turn, making
the same answer to the same question,
till she came to the last, which was full
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 mer-
chant their Captain. She quickly filled
her oil-can from the last jar, and returned
into 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 fire, 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 scald the
robbers to death.
This being done without any noise,
she returned to thekitchen with the empty
48 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
kettle, and shut the- door. She put out
the large fire she had, made up for this
purpose, and only left 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 of the kitchen
which overlooked the court.
Morgiana had scarcely waited a quarter
of an hour, when the Captain of the
robbers awoke. He got up, and open-
ing 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 un-
easy at this delay, and threw some
pebbles down a second, and even a third
time. They all struck the jars, yet nothing
moved, and he was at a loss to account for
it. He went down into the court in the
utmost alarm, with as little noise as
possible ; and going up to the first jar, as
he was going to ask if the robber con-
tained in it, and whom he supposed still
living, was asleep, he smelt a strong scent
of hot and burning oil coming out of the
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 49
jar, by which he feared his wicked plan
had failed. He went to the next jar, and
to all in turn, and discovered that all his
men were dead. Terrified at this, he
jumped over the garden-gate which led
out of the court, and going from one
garden to another by getting over the
walls, made his escape.
When Morgiana perceived that all was
still and silent, and that the Captain of the
thieves did not return, she concluded he
50 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
had decamped, as he did, instead of
attempting to escape by the house-door,
which was fastened with double bolts.
Fully satisfied and overjoyed at having so
well succeeded in securing the safety of
the whole family, she at length retired to
bed, and soon fell asleep.
Ali Baba went out before daybreak,
and repaired to the bath, followed by his
slave, totally ignorant of the surprising
event which had taken place in his house
during his sleep, for 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 dis-
turb him after she had averted the
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 51,
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 enquired the reason of Morgiana,
who let him in, and who had left every-
thing as it was, in order to show it to
"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 bid him look in and see if it
52 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
contained oil. He did as she desired;
and seeing a man in the jar, he hastily
drew back and uttered a cry of sur-
prise. "Do not be afraid," said she,
" the man you see there will not do you
any harm; he has attempted it, but he
will never hurt either you or any one else
again, for he is now a lifeless corpse."
"Morgiana!" exclaimed Ali Baba, what
does all this mean? Do explain this
mystery." "I will explain it," replied
Morgiana, "but pray be cautious, and
do not awaken the curiosity of your
neighbours 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 con-
tained the oil, and he remarked 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, as if
speech was suddenly restored to him,
he said, "And what is become of the
"The merchant," replied Morgiana,
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 53
"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 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 give
you your liberty, and will soon do still
more for you."
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
54 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
and fine linens, bringing them from the
forest at various times. In order to dis-
pose of these wares, he took a shop, and
established himself in it. This shop was
exactly opposite to that which had
belonged to Cassim, and was now occu-
pied by the son of Ali Baba.
The Captain of the thieves who had
taken the name of Cogia Houssain, soon
succeeded in making friends with the
son of Ali Baba, who was young and
good-natured. He often invited the
young man to sup with him, and made
him many rich gifts. When Ali Baba
heard of it, he resolved to make some
return for this kindness to Cogia
Houssain; little thinking that the pre-
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 55
tended merchant was really the captain
of the thieves. So one day he asked
Cogia Houssain to do him the honour of
supping, and spending the evening at his
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 to
the meat she was going to serve for
supper, and also to prepare two or three
dishes of those that he had ordered with-
out any salt.
Morgiana, who was just going to serve
the supper, could not help being annoyed
at this, and making some inquiries of Ali
Baba: "Who," said she, "is this man,
that cannot eat salt ? Your supper will
56 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
be good for nothing if I delay it any
later." "Do not be angry," replied Ali
Baba; "he is a good man; do what I
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 Houssain, she instantly recollected
him to be the Captain of the robbers, in
spite of his disguise; and looking at him
more closely, she saw that he had a
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 57
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 greatest enemy,
and means to murder him; but I will
still prevent the villain !"
When the supper was ended, the
Captain of the forty thieves now thought
that the time for revenging himself on
Ali Baba, by taking his life, was 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 or perhaps asleep in the kitchen."
Instead, however, of going to supper,
Morgiana did not allow him time to
carry out his wicked plans. She dressed
herself like a dancer, put on a head-dress
suitable to that character, and wore a
girdle round her waist of silver 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
58 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
the friend of his
Sson, as we do
4 Abdalla took
his tabor and
began to play,
as he walked be-
Sand entered the
/ 7 room;- Mor-
him, made a
grace and agil-
ity. At length
she drew out
the dagger, and
dancing with it
in her hand,
all she had yet
done, by her
ments and high
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES, 59
times 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 the tabor.
Morgiana then held it out to his son,
who did the same. Cogia Houssain,
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 so deep, that the life blood streamed
from the wound.
Ali Baba and his son, terrified at this
action, uttered a loud cry: "Wretch!"
60 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
exclaimed Ali Baba, "what hast thou
done ? Thou hast ruined me and my
family for ever."
"What I have done," replied Mor-
giana, "is not for your ruin, but for
your safety." Then opening Cogia
Houssain'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
62 ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.
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
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 period is now
arrived, and I present you to my son as
A few days after, Ali Baba had the
marriage of'his son and Morgiana cele-
brated with great feasting.
After the marriage, Ali Baba decided
to again visit the cave of the forty thieves,
in the forest. On reaching it on horse-
back, he dismounted, and went up to the
door, and repeated the words, OPEN
SESAMk." At once the door opened, and
he entered the cave, and found that no
one had been in it from the time that
Cogia Houssain 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
whole world who knew the secret of the
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES. 63
From that time Ali Baba and his son,
whom he took to the cave and taught
the secret to enter it, enjoyed its riches
with moderation and lived in great
happiness and comfort to the end of
their long lives.
TURNBULL AND SPEARS, PRINTERS, EDINBURGH.