Cassim married a wife, who soon after became heiress to a large sum, and to a warehouse full of rich goods; so that he all at once became one of the richest and most considerable merchants, and lived at his ease. Ali Baba, on the other hand, who had married a woman as poor as himself, lived in a very wretched habitation, and had no other means to maintain his wife and children but his daily labour of cutting wood, and bringing it to town to sell, upon three asses, which were his whole substance.
The African magician, dazzled more with the lustre of the princess's eyes than the glittering of her jewels, was much surprised. The smiling air with which she received him, so opposite to her former behaviour, quite fascinated his heart. When he was seated, the princess, to free him from his embarrassment, broke silence first, looking at him all the time in such a manner as to make him believe that he was not so odious to her as she had given him to understand hitherto, and said; "You are doubtless amazed to find me so much altered to-day; but your surprise will not be so great when I acquaint you, that I am naturally of a disposition so opposite to melancholy and grief, that I always strive to put them as far away as possible when I find the subject of them is past. I have reflected on what you told me of Aladdin's fate, and know my father's temper so well that I am persuaded, with you, he could not escape the terrible effects of the sultan's rage: therefore, should I continue to lament him all my life, my tears cannot recall him. For this reason, since I have paid all the duties decency requires of me to his memory, now he is in the grave I think I ought to endeavour to comfort myself. These are the motives of the change you see in me; I am resolved to banish melancholy entirely; and persuaded that you will bear me company to-night, I have ordered a supper to be prepared; but as I have no wines but those of China, I have a great desire to taste of the produce of Africa, and doubt not your procuring some of the best."
Then the Emeer Moosa ordered one of his young men to mount a camel, and ride round the city, in the hope that he might discover a trace of a gate. So one of his young men mounted, and proceeded around it for two days with their nights, prosecuting his journey with diligence, and not resting; and when the third day arrived, he came in sight of his companions, and he was astounded at that which he beheld of the extent of the city, and its height. Then he said: "O Emeer, the easiest place in it is this place at which ye have alighted." And thereupon the Emeer Moosa took Talib and the Sheikh Abd-Es-Samad, and they ascended a mountain opposite the city, and overlooking it; and when they had ascended that mountain, they saw a city than which eyes had not beheld any greater. Its pavilions were lofty, and its domes were shining; its rivers were running, its trees were fruitful, and its gardens bore ripe produce. It was a city with impenetrable gates, empty, still, without a voice but the owl hooting in its quarters, and the raven croaking in its thoroughfare-streets, and bewailing those who had been in it.
After this they departed, and they continued their journey until they arrived at a palace; whereupon the sheikh said: "Advance with us to this palace, which presenteth a lesson to him who will be admonished." So the Emeer Moosa advanced thither, together with the Sheikh Abd-Es-Samad and his chief companions, till they came to its entrance. And they found it open, and having lofty angles, and steps, among which were two wide steps of coloured marbles, the like of which hath not been seen: the ceilings and walls were decorated with gold and silver and minerals, and over the entrance was a slab, whereon was an inscription in ancient Greek; and the Sheikh Abd-Es-Samad said: "Shall I read it, O Emeer?" The emeer answered; "Advance and read." So he read it; and, lo, it was poetry; and it was this: