This book provides 3 Classic Children Stories from Arabian Nights, also called one thousand and one nights. The of the most popular stories, Sinbad the Sailor, Ali Baba and the Forty Theives, and Alladin, are featured in this text, edited by William Patten.
The full text of the book can be read online here: https://freekidsbooks.org/3-classic-childrens-stories-arabian-nights-read-online/
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To read the individual stories select the links below
Sample Text From the Book:
ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES
There once lived in a town of Persia two brothers, one named Cassim, and the other Ali Baba. Their father divided a small inheritance equally between them. Cassim married a very rich wife, and became a wealthy merchant. Ali Baba married a woman as poor as himself, and lived by cutting wood, and bringing it upon three asses into the town to sell.
One day, when Ali Baba was in the forest, and had just cut wood enough to load his asses, he saw at a distance a great cloud of dust, which seemed to approach him. He observed it with attention, and distinguished soon after a body of horsemen, whom he suspected might be robbers. He determined to leave his asses to save himself. He climbed up a large tree, planted on a high rock, whose branches were thick enough to conceal him, and yet enabled him to see all that passed without being discovered.
The troop, who were to the number of forty, all well mounted and armed, came to the foot of the rock on which the tree stood, and there dismounted. Every man unbridled his horse, tied him to some shrub, and hung about his neck a bag of corn which they brought behind them. Then each of them took off his saddle-bag, which seemed to Ali Baba to be full of gold and silver from its weight. One, whom he took to be their captain, came under the tree in which Ali Baba was concealed; and, making his way through some shrubs, pronounced these words—”Open, Sesame!” As soon as the captain of the robbers had thus spoken, a door opened in the rock; and after he had made all his troop enter before him, he followed them, when the door shut again of itself.
Read full text here: https://freekidsbooks.org/ali-baba-forty-thieves/
THE STORY OF ALADDIN AND HIS MAGICAL LAMP
There once lived, in one of the large and rich cities of China, a tailor, named Mustapha. He was very poor. He could hardly, by his daily labor, maintain himself and his family, which consisted only of his wife and a son.
His son, who was called Aladdin, was a very careless and idle fellow. He was disobedient to his father and mother, and would go out early in the morning and stay out all day, playing in the streets and public places with idle children of his own age.
When he was old enough to learn a trade, his father took him into his own shop, and taught him how to use his needle; but all his father’s endeavors to keep him to his work were vain, for no sooner was his back turned than he was gone for that day. Mustapha chastised him; but Aladdin was incorrigible, and his father, to his great grief, was forced to abandon him to his idleness, and was so much troubled about him that he fell sick and died in a few months.
Aladdin, who was now no longer restrained by the fear of a father, gave himself entirely over to his idle habits, and was never out of the streets from his companions. This course he followed till he was fifteen years old, without giving his mind to any useful pursuit, or the least reflection on what would become of him. As he was one day playing, according to custom, in the street with his evil associates, a stranger passing by stood to observe him.
Read the full text here: https://freekidsbooks.org/story-aladdin-magical-lamp/
SINDBAD THE SAILOR
In the reign of the same caliph, Haroun-al-Raschid, of whom we have already heard, there lived at Bagdad a poor porter called Hindbad. One day, when the weather was excessively hot, he was employed to carry a heavy burden from one end of the town to the other. Being much fatigued, he took off his load, and sat upon it, near a large mansion.
He was much pleased that he stopped at this place; for the agreeable smell of wood of aloes and of pastils that came from the house, mixing with the scent of the rose-water, completely perfumed and embalmed the air. Besides, he heard from within a concert of instrumental music, accompanied with the harmonious notes of nightingales and other birds. This charming melody, and the smell of several sorts of savory dishes, made the porter conclude there was a feast with great rejoicings within. He went to some of the servants, whom he saw standing at the gate in magnificent apparel, and asked the name of the proprietor. “How,” replied one of them, “do you live in Bagdad, and know not that this is the house of Sindbad the Sailor, that famous voyager who has sailed round the world?” The porter lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, loud enough to be heard, “Almighty Creator of all things, consider the difference between Sindbad and me! I am every day exposed to fatigues and calamities, and can scarcely get coarse barley-bread for myself and my family, while happy Sindbad expends immense riches, and leads a life of continual pleasure. What has he done to obtain from Thee a lot so agreeable? And what have I done to deserve one so wretched?”
While the porter was thus indulging his melancholy, a servant came out of the house, and taking him by the arm, bade him follow him, for Sindbad, his master, wanted to speak to him. The servants brought him into a great hall, where a number of people sat round a table, covered with all sorts of savory dishes. At the upper end sat a comely, venerable gentleman, with a long white beard, and behind him stood a number of officers and domestics, all ready to attend his pleasure. This person was Sindbad. Hindbad, whose fear was increased at the sight of so many people, and of a banquet so sumptuous, saluted the company trembling. Sindbad bade him draw near, and seating him at his right hand, served him himself, and gave him excellent wine, of which there was abundance upon the sideboard.
Read the full story of Sinbad the Sailor here: https://freekidsbooks.org/sinbad-sailor-arabian-nights-classic-childrens-stories/
ABOUT THE ARABIAN NIGHTS
All nations have their fairy tales, but India seems to have been the country from which they all started, carried on their travels by the professional story-tellers who kept the tales alive throughout Asia. In Bagdad and Cairo to-day, that cafe never lacks customers where the blind storyteller relates to the spell-bound Arabs some chapter from the immortal Arabian Nights, the King of all Wonder Books.
No one knows where the tales were written, except that they came out of the Far East, India, Arabia and Persia. Haroun Al Raschid, who was called The Just, was a real Eastern monarch who lived in Bagdad over eleven hundred years ago, about the same time that Charlemagne was King of France. We can believe that the tales are very old, but the most we know is that they were translated from Arabic into French in 1704-17 by a Frenchman named Galland, and that the manuscript of his translation is preserved in the French National Library. American boys first had the chance to read the notes in English about the time President Monroe was elected.