Historical Children's Literature Collection

Ali Baba; or, the forty thieves: a tale for the nursery [unknown] 1805

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  UJLI    M*4Bvtij
With Three Copperplates.
Price Sixpence.
No. 157, New Bond Street;
"Where is constantly kept on Sale the largest
Collection of Books of Amusement and In-
struction in London,
Citmn it %mtA\it»\ Ifrafl*
In a town of Persia there lived two
brothers, the sons of a poor man; the
one was named Cassim, and the other
Ali Baba. Cassim, the elder, married
a wife with a considerable fortune, and
lived at his ease, in a handsome house,
with plenty of servants; but the wife
b of
 4 All Baba; or9
of Ali Baba was as poor as himself;
they dwelt in a mean cottage in the
suburbs of the city, and he maintained
his family by cutting wood in a neighbouring forest.
One day when Ali Baba was in the
forest, and preparing to load his asses
with the wood he had cut, he saw a
troop of horsemen approaching toward him. He had often heard of
robbers who infested that forest, and,
in a great fright, he hastily climbed
a large thick tree, which stood near
the foot of a rock, and hid himself
among the branches.
The horsemen soon galloped up to
the rock, where they all dismounted.
Ali Baba counted forty of them, and
he could not doubt but they were
thieves, by their ill-looking countenances. They each took a loaded portmanteau from his horse, and he who
seemed to be their captain, turning to
the rock, said, Open, Sesame, and immediately
The Forty Thieves. I
mediately a door opened in the rock,
and all the robbers passed in, when
the door shut of itself. In a short;
time the door opened again, and the
forty robbers came out, followed by
their captain ; who said, Shut, Sesame. The door instantly closed; and
the troop, mounting their horses,
were presently out of sight. ^~
Ali Baba remained in the tree a
long time, and seeing that the robbers
did not return, he ventured down;
and approaching close to the rock,
said, Open, Sesame. Immediately
the door flew open, and Ali Baba beheld a spacious cavern, very light, and
filled with all sorts of previsions, merchandise, rich stuffs, and heaps of
gold and silver coin, which these robbers had taken from merchants and
travellers. Ali Baba then went in
search of his asses, and having
brought them to the rock, took as
many bags of gold coin as they could
c carry,
 Alt Baha ,- or,.
;arry, and put them on their backs,
30vering them with some loose faggots of wood; and afterwards (not
forgetting to say, Shut, Sesame) he
drove the asses back to the city; and
having unloaded them in the stable
belonging to his cottage, carried the
bags into the house, and spread the
gold coin out upon the floor before
his wife.
His wife, delighted with possessing
so much monev, wanted to count it;
but finding it would take up too much
time, she was resolved to measure it;
arid running to the house of Ali Baba's
brother, she entreated them to lend
her a small measure.
Cassim's wife was very proud and
envious: u I wonder," she said to
herself, <e what-sort of grain such
people can have to mea-
but I am determined I will
find out what they are doing."
So before she gave the measure, she
" sure
The Forty Thieves.
artfully rubbed the bottom with some
Away ran Ali Baba's wife, measured her money; and having helped
her husband to bury it in the yard,
she carried back the measure to her
brother-in-law's house, without perceiving that a piece of gold was left
sticking to the bottom of it.
i( Fine doings, indeed 1" cried Cassim's wife to her husband, after
examining the measure, " your bro-
" ther there, who pretends to be so
" very poor, is richer than you are,
" for he does not count his money,
" but measures it."
Cassim hearing these words, and
seeing the piece of gold, grew as envious as his Wife, and hastening to his
brother, threatened to inform the Cadi of his wealth, if he did not confess
to him how he came by it. Ali Baba
without hesitation told him the history of the robbers, and the secret of
n the
8 Alt Bala ; or,
the cave ;   and offered him half his
treasure ; but the envious Cassim disdained so poor a sum,   resolving to
have fifty times more than that out of
the robbers' cave.
Accordingly he rose early the next
morning, and set out with ten mules
loaded with great chests.    He found
the rock easily enough by Ali Baba's
description ; and having said,  Open,
Sesame, he gained admission into the
cave; where he found more treasure
than he even had expected to behold
from his brother's account of it.    He
immediately began to gather bags of
gold, and pieces of rich brocades, all
which he piled close to the door; but
when he had got together as much,
or even more than his ten mules could
possibly carry, and wanted to get out
to load them,  the thoughts of his
wonderful riches had made him entirely forget the word which caused
the door to open.    In vain he tried
. Bame,
The Fsrty Thieves. 9
Bame, Fame, Lame, Tetame, and a
thousand others ; the door remained
as immoveable as the rock itself,
notwithstanding Cassim kicked and
screamed, till he was ready to drop
with fatigue and vexation. Presently
he heard the sound of horses' feet,
which he rightly concluded to be the
robbers, and he trembled lest he
should now fall a victim to his thirst
of riches.
He resolved however to make one
effort to escape; and when he heard
Sesame pronounced, and saw the door
open, he sprang out ; but was in-*
stantly put to death by the swords of
the robbers.
The thieves now held a council, but
not one of them could possibly guess by
what means Cassim had got into the
cave. They saw the heaps of treasure he had piled ready to take away,
but they did not miss what Ali Baba
had secured before.    At length they
O ]T9
 10 Ali Baba; or,
agreed to cut Cassim's body into four
quarters, and hang the pieces within
the cave, that it might terrify any one
from further attempts; and also determined not to return themselves for
some time to the cave, for fear of
being watched and discovered.
When Cassim's wife saw night
come on, and her husband not returned, she became greatly terrified.
She watched at her window till daybreak, and then went to tell Ali Baba
of her fears. Cassim had not informed him of his design of going to
the cave, but Ali Baba, now hearing
of his journey thither, did not wait to
be desired to go in search of him.
He drove his asses to the forest
without delay. He was alarmed to
see blood near the rock; and on entering the cave, he found the body
of his unfortunate brother cut to
pieces, and hung up within the door.
It was too late now to save him,; but
The Fortv Thieves. I	
he took down the quarters, and put
them upon one of his asses, covering
them with faggots of wood; and
weeping for the miserable end of his
brother, he regained the city.
The door of his  brother's house
was opened by Morgana, an intelligent
faithful  female slave,  who Ali Baba
knew was worthy to be trusted with the
secret.    He therefore delivered  the
body to Morgana, and went* himself
to impart the sad tidings to the wife ,
of Cassim,     The poor woman was
deeply afflicted, and reproached herself with her foolish envy and curiosity, as being the cause of her husband's death;   but Ali Baba . having .
convinced her of the necessity of being very discreet, she checked her la-,
mentations,   and   resolved   to  leave
every thing to the management  of
Morgana having washed the body,
hastened   to an   apothecary's,    and
f asked
 1*2 Ali Baha,: or,
asked  for some particular medicine ;
saying it was for her master Cassim,
who was dangerously ill.    She took
care to spread the report of Cassim's
illness through  the neighbourhood ;
and  as  they saw Ali Baba and his
wife going daily to the house of their
brother in great affliction, they were
not surprised to hear shortly that Cassim had died of his disorder.
The next difficulty was to bury him
without discovery ; but Morgana was
ready to Contrive a plan for that also.
She put on her veil, and went to a
distant part of the city very early in
the morning, where she found a poor
cobler just opening his  stall.     Sb^i
put a piece, of gold into his hand;
and told him he should have another,
if he would suffer himself to be blind-   ■
folded, and go with her, carrying his  -
tools with him.    Mustapha the cobler hesitated at first ;  but the gold.
tempted   him,   and   he  consented:
The Forty Thieves. 13
when Morgana, carefully covering his
eyes, so that he could not see a step
of the way, led him toCassim's house;
and taking him to the room where the
body was lying, removed the bandage
from his eyes, and bade him sew the
mangled limbs together.     „
Mustapha obeyed her order ; and
having received two pieces of gold,
was led blindfolded the same way back
to his own stall.
Morgana then covering the body
with a winding-sheet, sent for the
undertaker to make preparations for
the funeral; and Cassim was buried
with all due solemnity that very
Ali Baba now removed his few
goods, and all his gold coin that he
had brought from the cavern, to the
house  of his  deceased  brother,   of
which he took possession ; and Cas-
sim's widow received every kind at-
tent ion
14? ■    , Ali Baba; or,
tention both from Ali Baba and his
After an interval of some months,
the troop of robbers again visited their
retreat in the forest, and were completely astonished to find the body
taken aw?y from the cave, and every
thing else remaining in its usual order.
u We are discovered," said the captain,   " and  shall certainly be  un-
" done if we do  not adopt speedy
" measures   to   prevent   our   ruin.
" Which  of you,   my  brave  com-
" rades, will undertake to search out
" the villain who is in possession of
" our secret ?"■
One of the boldest of the troop
advanced, and offered himself; and
was accepted on the following conditions ; namely, that if he succeeded
in his enterprise, he was to be made
second in command of the troop;
but that if he brought false intelligence,
The Forty Thieves. 15
gence, he was immediately to be put
to death.
The bold robber readily agreed to
the conditions ; and having disguised
himself, he proceeded to the city.
He arrived there about day-break,
and found the cobler Mustapha in
his stall, which was always open before any shop in the town.
iC Good morrow, friend,"  said the
robber, as he passed the stall, et you
" rise betimes : I should think, old as
you are, you could scarcely see to
work by this light."
" Indeed, sir,'' replied the cobler,
£( old as I am, I do not want for good
" eye-sight; as you must needs believe, when I tell you I sewed a
dead body together the other day,
ec where I had not so good a light as
ie I have now."
u A dead body!" exclaimed the
robber, u you mean, I suppose, that
h " you
 16 Ali Baba; or,
Ci you  sewed  up the winding-sheet
(c for a dead body."
" I mean no such thing," replied
Mustapha ; " I tell you 1 sewed the
" four quarters of a man together "
This was enough to convince the
robber he had luckily met with the
very man who could give him the information he was in search of.   However he did not wish to appear eager
to learn the particulars, lest he should
alarm the old cobler.    He therefore
began to laugh :    " Ha ! ha 1" said
he, f I find, good Mr. Cobler,  that
" you perceive I am a stranger here,
<f and you wish to make me believe
<c that the people of your city do im-
" possible things,"
" I tell you," said Mustapha, in a
loud and angry tone, i( I sewed a
'•' dead body together with my own
" hands."
" Then I suppose you can tell me
(( also
The Forty thieves. ly i
" also   where   you   performed   this :
" wonderful business?''
Upon this, Mustapha related every
particular of his being led blindfold to
the house, &c.
"■ Weil, my friend," said the robber, " 'tis a fine story, 1 confess, but
" not very easy to believe : how ever,
" if you will convince me by shewing
'' me the house you talk of, I will
" give you four pieces of gold to
" make amends for my unbelief."      L
" I think/' said the cobler, after
considering awhile, " that if you
i( were to blindfold me, I should* re-.-
(e member every turning we made ;
" but with my eyes open I am sure I
"should never find it."
Accordingly the robber covered
Mustapha's eyes with his handkerchief who led him through most of
the principal streets, and stopping by
Cassim s door, said, " Here it is, I
" went no further than this house."
i The
 Ali Baba ; or,
The robber immediately marked
the door with a piece of chalk ; and
giving Mustapha his four pieces of
gold, dismissed him.
Shortly after the thief and Mustapha had quitted the door, Morgana
coming home from market, perceived
the little mark of white chalk on the
door ; and suspecting something was
wrong, directly marked four doors on
one side and five on the other of her
master's, in exactly the same mariner,
without saying a word to any one.
The robber meantime rejoined his
troop, and boasted greatly of his success. His captain and comrades
praised his diligence ; and being well
armed, they proceeded to the town
in different disguises, and in separate
parties of three and four together.
It was agreed among them, that they
were to meet in the market-place at
the dusk of evening ; and that the
captain, and the robber who had discovered
The Forty Thieves. I9
covered the house, were to go there
first, to find out to whom it belonged.
Accordingly being arrived in the
street, and having a lantern with
them, they began tq examine the
doors, and found, to their confusion
and astonishment^ that ten doors were
marked t exactly alike. The robber
who was the captain's guide could
not say one word in explanation of
this mystery; and when the disappointed troop got back to the forest,
his enraged companions ordered him
to be put to death.
Another now offered himself upon
the same conditions as the former;
and having bribed Mustapha, and discovered the house, he made a mark
with dark red chalk upon the door,
in a part that was not in the least
conspicuous; and carefully examined
the surrounding doors, to be certain
that no such mark was upon any one
of them.
 20 Ali Baba; or,
But^nothing could escape the pry*
ing eyes of Morgana : scarcely had
the robber departed, when she discovered the red mark ; and getting s me
red chalk, she marked seven doors on
each side, precisely in the same place
and in the same manner.
The robber, valuing himself highly
upon the precautions he had taken,
triumphantly   conducted  his captain
to the spot:   but great indeed was
his confusion and dismay,  when he
found  it  impossible  to say,   which,
among fifteen houses marked exactly
alike, was the right one.    The captain, furious with his disappointment,
returned again with the troop to the
forest ; and the second  robber was
also condemned to death.
The captain having thus lost two
of his troop, judged that their hands
were more active than their heads in
such services;   and he resolved to
The Forty Thieves\ 21
employ no other of them, but to go
himself upon the business.
Accordingly  he   repaired   to   the
city,   and addressed himself  to the
J~      cobler Mustapha ;  who for six pieces
of gold  readily performed the same
services for him he had done for the
two other strangers; and the captain,
much wiser  than his men, did  not
amuse himself with setting a mark
upon the door, but attentively consi-
k        dered the house, counted the number
of  its   windows,   and  passed   by it
very often to be certain that he should
know it again.
He then returned to the forest,
and ordered his troop to go into the
town, and purchase nineteen mules
and thirty-eight large jars, one full
of oil, and the rest empty.
In two or three days the jars were
bought, and all things in readiness;
and the captain having put a man into
Ali Baba ; or,
each jar,    properly armed,   the jars
being rubbed on the outside with oil,
and the covers having holes bored in
them for the men to breathe through,
loaded his mules, and, in the habit of
an oil-merchant, entered the town in
the dusk of the evening.    He proceeded to the street where Ali Baba
dwelt, and found him sitting in the
porch of his house.    " Sir," said he
to Ali Baba, u I have brought this
" oil a great way to sell, and am too
late for this day's market.    As I
am quite a stranger in this town,
will you do me the favour to let me
put my mules into your court-yard,
" and direct me where I may lodge
« to-night ?"
Ali Baba, who was a good-natured
man, welcomed the pretended oil-
merchant very kindly, and offered
him a bed in his own house ; and
having ordered the mules to be unloaded in the yard, and properly fed,
The Forty Thieves*
he invited his guest in to supper.
The captain, having seen the jars
placed ready in the yard, followed
Ali Baba into the house, and after
supper was shewn to the chamber
where he was to sleep.
It happened that Morgana was
obliged to sit up later that night than
usual, to get ready her master's bathing linen for the following morning;
and while she was busy about the
fire, her lamp went out, and there was
no more oil in the house.
After considering what she could
possibly do for a light, she recollected
the thirty-eight oil-jars in the yard,
and determined to take a little oil out
of one of them for her lamp. She
took her oil-pot in her hand, and approaching the first jar, the robber
within said, " Is it time, captain?"
Any other slave, perhaps, on hearing
a man in an oibjar, would have
screamed out; but the prudent Morgana
24 Ali Baba; or,
gana instantly recollected herself, and
replied softly, " No, not yet; lie still
" till I call you." She passed on to
every jar, receiving the same question,
and making the same answer, till she
came to the last, which was really
filled with oil.
Morgana was now7 convinced that
this was a plot of the robbers to murder her master Ali Baba; so she
ran back to the kitchen, and brought
out a large kettle, which she filled -
with oil, and set it on a great wood
fire ; and as soon as it boiled, she
went and poured into the jars sufficient of the boiling oil to kill every
man within them.
Having done this, she put out her  ,
fire and her lamp,   and crept softly
to her chamber.
The captain of the robbers, hearing every thing quiet in the house,
and perceiving no light anywhere,
arose, and went down into the yard to
The Forty Thieves.
assemble his men. Coming to the
first jar, he felt the steams of the
boiled oil; he ran hastily to the rest
and found every one of his troop pu
to death in the same manner. Ful
of rage and despair at having failed it
his design, he forced the lock of j
door that led to the garden, and mad
his escape over the walls.
On the following morning, Mor
gana related to her master Ali Bat
his wonderful   deliverance  from th
pretended oil-merchant and his gan
of robbers.    Ali Baba at first coul
scarcely credit her tale ; but when h
saw the robbers dead in the jars, b
could not sufficiently praise her cot!
rage and sagacity';  and without lei
ting any one else into the secret, 1
and Morgana, the next night, burie,
the  thirty-seven   thieves   in a "dee,
trench at the bottom of the gardef
The jars and the mules, as he had rj
use for them, were sent from time-i
Ali Baba; or.
2t t0 the diferent markets,   and
While Ali Baba took these mea-
t res to prevent his and Cassias
dventures in the forest from beL
'rid"? Captai" retUmed ^hf
follf i -Te time aba"doned
:.mself  to gnef  and despair.    At
tagd., however, he determined To
dopt a new scheme for the destruc-
on of A i Baba. He remov^a £
Sprees all the valuable merchandise
om the cave to the city, and took a
inexactly opposite to Ali Baba's
He furbished this shop with every
ung that was rare and costly, a„d
ogia Hassan. Many persons made
iquaintance with the stranger; and
"ong others, Ali Baba's son went
wy day to his shop.   The pretended
p fond of Ah Baba's son, offered
The Forty Thieves.
him many presents, and often
tained him to dinner, on which occasions he treated him in the handsomest manner.
Ali Baba's son thought it was nei
cessary to make some return to these
civilities, and pressed his father to in
vite Cogia Hassan to supper. Al
Baba made no objection, and the in
vitation was accordingly given.
The artful Cogia Hassan would no
too hastily accept this invitation, bu
pretended he was not fond of goin^
into company, and that he had bust
ness which demanded his presence a
home. These excuses only mad
Ali Baba's son the more eager to taki
him to his father's house ; and afte
repeated solicitations, the merchan
consented to sup at Ali Baba's th»
next evening.
A most excellent supper was pro
vided, which Morgana cooked in tht
best manner, and, as was her usua
 »28 Ali Baba ; or,
Custom, she carried in the first dish
herself.    The moment she looked at
Cogia Hassan,  she knew him to be
,the   pretended   oil-merchant.     The
prudent Morgana did not say a word
to any one of this discovery, but sent
the other slaves into the kitchen, and
waited  at table herself;   and  while
Cogia Hassan was drinking, she perceived he had a dagger hid under his
:oat.    When supper was ended, and
;he dessert and  wine on the   table,
Morgana went away and dressed herfelf in the habit of a dancing-girl :
(>he next called Abdalla, a fellow-slave,
:o play on his tabor while she danced.
|   As soon as  she appeared  at  the
parlour door,  her master, who was
/ery fond of seeing her dance, ordered
ter to come in to entertain his guest
vith some of her best dancing.   Cogia
jJassan was not very well satisfied with
;his entertainment,  yet was compel-
ed, for fear of discovering himself,
The Forty Thieves. 29
to seem  pleased  with  the dancing,
while in fact he wished Morgana a
great way off,  and was quite alarmed
lest he should lose his opportunity of
murdering: Ali Baba and his son.
Morgana danced several dances
with the utmost grace and agility ;|
and then drawing a poinard from
her girdle, she performed many surprising things with it, sometimes pre-,
sen ting the point to one, and sometimes to another, and then seemed to
strike it into her own bosom. Suddenly she paused, and holding the
poinard in the right hand, presented
her left to her master, as if begging
some money : upon which, Ali Baba
and his son each gave her a small piece
of money. * She then turned to the
pretended Cogia Hassan, and while
he was putting his hand into his
purse,   she plunged the poinard intc
his heart.
«Wretch IS
Ali Baba ; or,
" Wretch !" cried Ali Baba, " thou
hast ruined me and my family."
<( No, Sir," replied Morgana, ((I
have preserved, and not ruined,
you and your son. Look well at
this traitor, and you will find him
to ■ be the pretended oil-merchant
Me who came once before to rob and
X? murder you."
\ Ali Baba having pulled off the tur-
oan and the cloak which the false
Cogia Hassan wore, discovered that
;ie was not only the pretended oil-
nerchant, but the captain of the forty
robbers who had slain his brother
j Cassim ; nor could he doubt that his
Perfidious aim had been to destroy
iim, and probably his son, with the
'Oncealed dagger.
Ali Baba, who felt the new obligation he owed to Morgana for thus saving
lis life a second time, embraced her,
ltd said, " My dear Morgana, I give
" you
 The Forty Thieves.
you your liberty ; but my gratitude must not stop there, I will
also marry you to my son, who can
esteem and admire you no less than
(( does his father." Then turning to
his son, he added, " You, my son,
will not refuse the wife I offer;
for, in marrying Morgana, you take
to wife the preserver and bene-
" factor of yourself and your fa-
" mily."
The son, far from shewing any dislike, readily and joyfully accepted his
proposed bride, having long entertained an affection for the good slave
Having rejoiced in their deliverance, they buried the captain that
night with great privacy, in the trench
along with his troop of robbers ; and
a few days afterwards, Ali Baba celebrated the marriage of his son and
Morgana with a sumptuous entertainment \
 g § Ah hah a ; or,
ment;   and   everv  one   who   knew
7 w
Morgana said she was worthy of
her good-fortune, and highly commended her master's generosity toward her.
During a twelvemonth Ali Baba
forbore to go near the forest, but at
length his curiosity incited him to
make another journey. When he
came to the cave, he saw no footsteps
of either men or horses ; and having
said, Open, Sesame, he went in, and
judged by the state of things deposited
in the cavern, that no one had been
there since the pretended Cogia Hassan had removed the merchandise to
his shop in the city. Ali Baba took
as much gold home as his horse would
carry; and afterwards he carried his
son to the cave, and taught him the
secret. This secret they handed
down to their posterity ; and using
their good fortune with moderation,
The Forty Thieves. 33
they lived in honor and splendor, and
served with dignity some of the highest offices of the city.
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13. A Puzzle for a Curious Girl; by S. W. with
13 elegant engraved Plates ;  price as. 6d. half-bound.
14. A Visit to a Farm-houfe, with several beautiful
Plates; by S. W. author of the above ; price as. 6d.
15. A Visit to London, intended as a Companion
to the above ; by the sanie author; with several
Plates elegantly engraved; price as. 6d. half-bound.
16. The Book of Trades ; or, Library of the Useful
Arts ; illuftrated with Sixty Copper-plates, in Three
Parts, price 3s. each Part, or js. for each Part with
the Plates coloured; either Part to be had separately.
17. A Tour through England, in a Series of Letters
from a Young Gentleman to his Sister, illustrated with
Sit Views and a Map ; price 3s. 6d. half-bound.
18. Universal History, abridged from Dr. Mavoi's
valuable Work, for the Use of Children and Schpols,
half-bound, with Two Maps, price as. 6d.
19. Miss Aikin's Poetry for Children ; price as.
ao. The Wonders of the Microscope, adorned with
several large and curious Plates; price as. 6d.
a 1, Visits to the Menagerie and Botanical Garden ;
price as. 6dt half-bound! with several Plates.
 Boohs published by Tabart and Co.
The following Nurfery Tales are New and Beautiful
Editions, the Text being newly tranflated, or elegantly re-written, with Three coloured Plates in
each, from original deftgns by Mr.Craig; price 6d?
each :
The fame in French
Blue Beard and Little Red Ridinghood
The fame in French
Pufs in Boots, and Diamonds and Toads
Fortunio and his Comrades
Whittington and his Cat
Riquet with the Tuft
The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood
Children m the Wood
The White Cat
Beauty and the Beafl:
Jack the Giant-killer *
Tom Thumb f
Goody Two. Shoes and Tommy Two Shoes
Seven Champions of Chriftendom
Valentine and Orfon
Prince  Fortune and  Prince Fatal,   with th
Three Wifhes.
Sinbad, the Sailor, Part I.
Sinbad, the Sailor, II.
Aladdin, or the Wonderful Lamp.


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