Young Folks' Treasury: Classic Tales and Old-Fashioned Stories HTML version

The Arabian Nights
Far away on the other side of the world, in one of the great wealthy cities of China, there once
lived a poor tailor called Mustapha. He had a wife whom he loved dearly and an only son whose
name was Aladdin.
But, sad to say, although the tailor was good and industrious, his son was so idle and bad that his
father and mother did not know what to do with him. All day long he played in the streets with
other idle boys, and when he grew big enough to learn a trade he said he did not mean to work at
all. His poor father was very much troubled, and ordered Aladdin to come to the workshop to
learn to be a tailor, but Aladdin only laughed, and ran away so swiftly that neither his father nor
mother could catch him.
"Alas!" said Mustapha sadly, "I can do nothing with this idle boy."
And he grew so sad about it, that at last he fell ill and died.
Then the poor widow was obliged to sell the little workshop, and try to make enough money for
herself and Aladdin by spinning.
Now it happened that one day when Aladdin was playing as usual with the idle street boys, a tall,
dark, old man stood watching him, and when the game was finished he made a sign to Aladdin to
come to him.
"What is thy name, my boy?" asked this old man, who, though he appeared so kind, was really
an African Magician.
"My name is Aladdin," answered the boy, wondering who this stranger could be.
"And what is thy father's name?" asked the Magician.
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"My father was Mustapha the tailor, but he has been dead a long time now," answered Aladdin.
"Alas!" cried the wicked old Magician, pretending to weep, "he was my brother, and thou must
be my nephew. I am thy long-lost uncle!" and he threw his arms round Aladdin's neck and
embraced him.
"Tell thy dear mother that I will come and see her this very day," he cried, "and give her this
small present." And he placed in Aladdin's hands five gold pieces.
Aladdin ran home in great haste to tell his mother the story of the long-lost uncle.