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memory. I have been forty years absent from this country, which is my native place, as well as my late brother's; and during that time have travelled into the Indies, Persia, Arabia, Syria, and Egypt, have resided in the finest towns of those countries; and afterwards crossed over into Africa, where I made a longer stay. At last, as it is natural for a man, how distant soever it may be, to remember his native country, relations, and acquaintance, I was desirous to see mine again, and to embrace my dear brother; and finding I had strength enough to undertake so long a journey, I immediately made the necessary preparations, and set out. I will not tell you the length of time it took me, all the obstacles I met with, and what fatigues I have endured, to come hither ; but nothing ever mortified and afflicted me so much, as hearing of my brother's death, for whom I always had a brotherly love and friendship. I observed his features in the face of my nephew, your son, and distinguished him among a number of children with whom he was at play; he can tell you how I received the most melancholy news that ever reached my ears. But God be praised for all things! it is a comfort for me to find, as it were, my brother in a son, who has his most remarkable features."
The African magician perceiving that the widow began to weep at the remembrance of her husband, changed the conversation, and turning towards her son, asked him his name. “I am called Alla ad Deen," said he. “Well, Alla ad Deen,” replied the magician, “what business do you follow ? Are you of any trade ?"
At this question the youth hung down his head, and was not a little abashed when his mother answered, “ Alla ad Deen is an idle fellow; his father, when alive, strove all he could to teach him his trade, but could not succeed ; and since his death, notwithstanding all I can say to him, he does nothing but idle away his time in the streets, as you saw him, without considering he is no longer a child ; and if you do not make him ashamed of it, I despair of his ever coming to any good. He knows that his father left him no fortune, and sees me endeavour to get | bread by spinning cotton ; for my part, I am resolved one of these days to turn him out of doors, and let him provide for himself.”
After these words, Alla ad Deen's mother burst into tears; and the magician said, “This is not well, nephew ; you must think of helping yourself, and getting your livelihood. There are many sorts of trades. consider if you have not an inclination to some of them ; perhaps you did not like your father's, and would prefer another; come, do not disguise your sentiments from me; I will endeavour to help you.” But finding that Alla ad Deen returned no answer, “If you have no mind," continued he, "to learn any handicraft, I will take a shop for you, furnish it with all sorts of fine stuffs and linens; and with the money you make of them lay in fresh goods, and then you will live in an honour
able way. Consult your inclination, and tell me freely what you think of my proposal : you shall always find me ready to keep my word."
This plan greatly flattered Alla ad Deen, who hated work, but had sense enough to know that such shops were much frequented, and the owners respected. He told the magician he had a greater inclination to that business than to any other, and that he should be much obliged to him for his kindness. “Since this profession is agreeable to you,” said the African magician, “I will carry you with me to-morrow, clothe you as handsomely as the best merchants in the city, and afterwards we will I think of opening a shop as I mentioned.”
The widow, who never till then could believe that the magician was her husband's brother, no longer doubted after his promises of kindness to her son. She thanked him for his good intentions; and after having exhorted Alla ad Deen to render himself worthy of his uncle's favour by good behaviour, served up supper, at which they talked of several indifferent matters; and then the magician, who saw that the night was pretty far advanced, took his leave, and retired.
He came again the next day, as he had promised, and took Alla ad Deen with him to a merchant, who sold all sorts of clothes for different ages and ranks ready made, and a variety of fine stuffs. He asked to see some that suited Alla ad Deen in size; and after choosing a suit for himself which he liked best, and rejecting others which he did not think | handsome enough, he bade Alla ad Deen choose those he preferred. Alla ad Deen, charmed with the liberality of his new uncle, made choice of one, and the magician immediately paid for it.
When Alla ad Deen found himself so handsomely equipped, he returned his uncle thanks; who promised never to forsake him, but always to take him along with him; which he did to the most frequented places in the city, and particularly where the principal merchants kept their shops. When he brought him into the street where they sold the richest stuffs, and finest linens, he said to Alla ad Deen, “ As you are soon to be a merchant, it is proper you should frequent | these shops, and be acquainted with them.” He then showed him the
largest and finest mosques, carried him to the khans or inns where the merchants and travellers lodged, and afterwards to the sultan's palace, where he had free access; and at last brought him to his own khan, where meeting with some merchants he had become acquainted with since his arrival, he gave them a treat, to bring them and his pretended nephew acquainted.
This entertainment lasted till night, when Alla ad Deen would have taken leave of his uncle to go home; the magician would not let him go by himself, but conducted him to his mother, who, as soon as she saw him so well dressed, was transported with joy, and bestowed a thousand blessings upon the magician, for being at so great an expense upon her
and seek that of wise and prudent men, to improve by their conversation; “For,” said he, “you will soon be at man's estate, and you cannot too early begin to imitate their example. When they had eaten as much as they liked, they got up, and pursued their walk through gardens separated from one another only by small ditches, which marked out the limits without interrupting the communication; so great was the confidence the inhabitants reposed in each other. By this means, the African magician drew Alla ad Deen insensibly beyond the gardens, and crossed the country, till they nearly reached the mountains.
Alla ad Deen, who had never been so far before, began to find himself much tired with so long a walk, and said to the magician, “ Where are we going, uncle ? we have left the gardens a great way behind us, and I see nothing but mountains ; if we go much further, I do not know whether I shall be able to reach the town again?” “Never fear, nephew," said the false uncle ; “I will show you another garden which surpasses all we have yet seen; it is not far off; and when we come there, you will say that you would have been sorry to have been so nigh, and not seen it.” Alla ad Deen was soon persuaded ; and the magician, to make the way seem shorter and less fatiguing, told him a great many stories.
At last they arrived between two mountains of moderate height, and equal size, divided by a narrow valley, which was the place where the magician intended to execute the design that had brought him from Africa to China. “We will go no farther now,” said he to Alla ad Deen: “I will show you here some extraordinary things, which, when you have seen, you will thank me for: but while I strike a light, gather up all the loose dry sticks you can see, to kindle a fire with."
Alla ad Deen found so many dried sticks, that before the magician had lighted a match he had collected a great heap. The magician presently set them on fire, and when they were in a blaze, threw in some incense which raised a cloud of smoke. This he dispersed on each side, by pronouncing several magical words which Alla ad Deen did not understand.
At the same time the earth, trembling, opened just before the magician, and uncovered a stone, laid horizontally, with a brass ring fixed into the middle. Alla ad Deen was so frightened at what he saw, that he would have run away ; but the magician caught hold of him, abused him, and gave him such a box on the ear, that he knocked him down. Alla ad Deen got up trembling, and, with tears in his eyes, said to the magician, “ What have I done, uncle, to be treated in this severe manner?” “I have my reasons," answered the magician: “I am your uncle, I supply the place of your father, and you ought to make no reply. But, child," added he, softening, “ do not be afraid ; for I shall not ask