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.
When the Sultan saw 'Ala-ed-Din in this respect he rejoiced with great joy, and immediately ordered the music and band to play. And he arose and took 'Ala-ed-Din and led him into the palace, where supper was made ready and the servants had laid the tables. So the Sultan sat down and seated 'Ala-ed-Din on his right; and the wezirs also sat, and the grandees of the state and lords of the realm, all of them in their degree; and the band played, and they made very merry in the palace. And the Sultan waxed friendly with 'Ala-ed-Din and conversed with him, and he answered with all courtliness and eloquence, as though he had been brought up in the palaces of Kings and had been their familiar. And the longer the conversation lasted between them the greater became the Sultan's joy and satisfaction, as he listened to his graceful replies and the charm of his eloquence.
After they had eaten and drunk and removed the tables, the Sultan commanded to bring the Kadis ancl witnesses, and they came and tied the knot and wrote the contract of marriage between 'Ala-ed-Din and the Lady Bedr-el-Budur. After this 'Ala-ed-Din arose and would have gone out, but the Sultan stopped him, saying: "Whither, O my son? The festivities are beginning and the wedding is ready, and the knot is tied and the contract written." But he answered: **0 my lord the King, it is my intention to build a palace for the Lady Bedr-el-Budur befitting her rank and station; and it is impossible that I should enter in to her before this is done. But, please God, the building shall be finished in the briefest space by the energy of thy servant and the countenance of thy Felicity. And for me, much as I long for union now with the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, yet it behoveth me to serve her and to do so first." So the Sultan said to him: "O my son, choose the land which thou deemest fit for thy project; take it altogether into thy hands; but the best place would be here in front of my palace on the open plain; then if thou so fanciest build the palace there." " This," said 'Ala-ed-Din, " is the height of my desire, to be near thy Felicity".
Therefore 'Ala-ed-Din took leave of the Sultan and went forth riding with his memluks before and behind him. And all the world blessed him and said, " By Allah, he is worthy!" till he reached his house. There he alighted from his horse and entered his chamber and rubbed the Lamp, and, behold, the Slave appeared before him and said: "Ask what thou wilt, O my master." So 'Ala-ed-Din said: "I require thee to do me an important service, which is to build me with all speed a palace in front of the Sultan's Serai; and let it be marvellous in its construction, such as Kings have not seen, and perfect in its fittings of stately furniture fit for princes; and so forth." And the Slave replied, "I hear and obey," and vanished. But before the break of dawn he came to 'Ala-ed-Din and said: "O my master, the palace is finished to the utmost of thy desire, and if thou wish to see it, arise at once and look at it." So 'Ala-ed-Din arose, and the Slave bore him in the twinkling of an eye to the palace. And when he saw it, he was astounded at its construction, for all its stones were of jasper and alabaster and porphyry and mosaics. Then the Slave took him into a treasury full of all sorts of gold and silver and precious stones, not to be numbered or estimated or appraised or valued. And again, he took him into another room, where he saw all the table equipments, plates and dishes, ewers and basins, of gold and silver, and likewise flagons and goblets; and he led him to the kitchen, where he saw the scullions with all their requisites and cooking utensils, all of gold and silver; and next to a chamber full of chests packed with royal raiment, such as captivated the reason, brocades from India and China, and embroideries. Again he led him to numerous rooms all full of what defieth description; and then to the stables, where he found horses the like of which were not found among the Kings in all the world; and from there he took him to the saddle-room, which was full of costly harness and saddles, studded with pearls and fine stones and the like. And all this was done in a single night. 'Ala-ed-Din was astounded and distraught at the vastness of these riches, which the mightiest sovereign on earth could not compass. And the palace was full of servants and maidens whose loveliness would tempt a saint But the most wonderful of all the things to be seen in the palace was a pavilion or kiosk with twenty-four bays, all of emeralds and diamonds and other jewels; and one bay was not finished by 'Ala-ed-Din's wish, in order that the Sultan might be unequal to completing it.
When 'Ala-ed-Din had surveyed the palace in every part, he rejoiced and was greatly delighted. Then turning to the Slave, he said: " I desire one thing of thee, which is still lacking, and of which I forgot to tell thee." And the Slave said: " Ask on, O my master, whatsoever thou wishest." * So he said: " I desire of thee a carpet of splendid brocade, and let it be all worked with gold, and such that when spread it shall reach from my palace to that of the Sultan, so that the Lady Bedr-el-Budur when she cometh hither may walk upon it and not tread upon the bare ground." So the Slave went away for a while, and on his return said: " O my master, what thou didst ask of me is done." And he took and shewed him a carpet which captivated the reason, and it stretched from palace to palace. Then the Slave carried 'Ala-ed-Din back to his house.
At this moment it was already dawn, and the Sultan arose from sleep and opened the window of his chamber and looked out, and in front of his palace he perceived a building; so he began to rub his eyes, and opened them wide to observe it. And he saw a great palace, bewildering the wits; and he gazed upon the carpet laid down from his own palace to that other. And in like manner the doorkeepers and all the royal household were perplexed in their minds at this thing. Just then the Wezir came in, and as he came he perceived the new palace and the carpet, and he too marvelled. And when the Sultan entered, the two began talking of this strange spectacle, and wondering at the sight of this thing, which dazzled the sight and delighted the heart, saying: "Of a truth, the like of this palace could not, we imagine, be built by Kings." And the Sultan turned to the Wezir and said: "Dost thou see now that 'Ala-ed-Din is worthy to mate my daughter the Lady Bedr-el-Budur, after seeing and considering this royal edifice and these riches which the mind of man could not conceive?" But the Wezir, on account of his envy of 'Ala-ed-Din, answered: "O King of the Age, verily this building and this edifice and these riches could not exist save by means of magic, for no man alive, be he the chiefest in authority or the greatest in wealth, could complete this edifice in a single night." Then answered the Sultan: "It is a wonder to me how thou art always imputing evil to 'Ala-ed-Din; meseems, however, that it proceedeth from thy envy of him; for thou wast present thyself when I gave him this land, when he asked me for a site to build a palace on for my daughter, and I granted him this piece of land for his palace before thine eyes. But shall he who bringeth such a dowry of jewels for my daughter as Kings possess not even a few thereof, shall he be unequal to building a palace like this ?"