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Aladdin's Window

To finish Aladdin's Window—i.e. to attempt to complete something begun by a great genius, but left imperfect. The genius of the lamp built a palace with twenty-four windows, all but one being set in frames of precious stones; the last was left for the sultan to finish; but after exhausting his treasures, the sultan was obliged to abandon the task as hopeless.

Tait's second part of Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel is an Aladdin's Window.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Aladdin's Window from Infoplease:

  • Aladdin's Window - Aladdin's Window To finish Aladdin's Window—i.e. to attempt to complete something ...
  • Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: A - Definitions, origins, and illustrative excerpts for words, phases, and literary allusions starting with "A"

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