This section is from the book "Stories From The Thousand And One Nights", by Edward William Lane and Stanley Lanepoole. Also available from Amazon: Stories From Thousand And One Nights: The Arabian Nights' Entertainments.
And she went on: " O my child, the Sultan indeed is clement, and never rejecteth him who approacheth him to ask of him equity or mercy or protection. Ask him for a gift, for he is generous, and granteth grace far and near.
But he granteth his favour to those who deserve it, either having done something before him in battle or otherwise served their country. Then as for thee, tell me what hast thou done before the Sultan's eyes or publicly, that thou shouldst merit this grace? And again, this grace which thou askest becometh not our rank, and it is not possible that the King should give thee the favour which thou wouldst ask. And whoso approacheth the Sultan to ask favours, it behooveth him to take with him something befitting his majesty, as I said to thee; and how canst thou possibly present thyself before the Sultan, and stand before him and ask his daughter of him when thou hast nothing with thee to offer him suitable to his rank ?" And * Ala-ed-Din replied: " O my mother, thou speakest aright and thinkest well, and it behooveth me to consider all that thou hast brought to mind. But, my mother, the love of the Sultan's daughter, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, hath penetrated into the core of my heart, and peace is impossible to me unless I win her. But thou hast reminded me of something I had forgotten, and this very thing doth embolden me to ask of him his daughter. Thou sayest, O my mother, that I have no offering to make to the Sultan, as is the custom of the folk, yet as a fact I have a gift to present the equal of which I think doth not exist among the Kings anywhere, nor anything approaching it; for verily what I thought to be glass or crystal is nothing but precious stones; and I believe that all the Kings of the world have never owned aught to equal the least of them. For by visiting the jewellers I learned that these are the costliest jewels which I brought in my pockets from the Treasury. Therefore be tranquil. In the house is a china bowl; arise, therefore, and fetch it, that I may fill it with these jewels, and we will see how they look in it." And his mother arose and went for the china bowl, and said within herself: " Let me see if the words of my son concerning these jewels be true or not." And she set the bowl before 1 Ala-ed-Din, and be drew from his pockets the bags of jewels, and began to arrange them in the bowl, and ceased not to set them in order until it was full; and when it was quite full his mother looked into it, and could not see into it without blinking, for her eyes were dazzled by the sheen of the jewels and their radiance and the excess of their flashing. And her reason was confounded, though she was not certain whether or not their value was so vastly great; but she considered that her son's speech might possibly be true-that their equals could not be found among the King's. Then 'Ala-ed-Din turned to her and said: "Thou hast seen, O my mother, that this gift for the Sultan is splendid, and I am convinced that it will procure thee great favour from him, and he will receive thee with all honour. So now, O my mother, thou hast no excuse; collect, therefore, thy faculties and arise; take this bowl and go with it to the palace." And his mother replied: " O my son, certainly the present is exceeding precious, and none, as thou sayest, possesseth its equal. But who would dare to approach and ask of the Sultan his daughter, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur ? As for me, I dare not to say to him,' I want thy daughter' when he asketh me ' What is thy want ?' But I know, O my son, that my tongue will be tied. And suppose that, by God's help, I pluck up my courage and say to him: ' It is my desire to become related to thee by thy daughter, the Lady Bedr-el-Budur and my son 'Ala-ed-Din,' they will conclude forthwith that I am possessed, and will cast me forth in shame and disgrace, till I tell thee not only that I shall run in danger of death, but thou wilt likewise. Yet, in spite of all this, O my son, in deference to thy wish, I needs must pluck up heart and go. But if the King welcome me and honour me on account of the gift, and I should ask of him what thou wishest, how shall I reply when he asketh me, as is usual, What is thy condition and thy income? Haply, O my son, he will ask me this before he asketh me who thou art." And 'Ala-ed-Din answered: "It is impossible that the Sultan should thus question thee after looking at the precious stones and their splendor; nor doth it boot to consider things which may not happen. Do thou only arise and ask him for his daughter for me, and offer him the jewels, and do not sit there inventing obstacles. Hast thou not already learned, O my mother, that this Lamp of mine is now a firm maintenance for us, and that all I demand of it is brought to me? And this is my hope, that by its means I shall know how to make answer to the Sultan if he ask me thus".