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transport him to his native country, if he would reward him with half the jewels of his casket. No sooner had this pitiful commander received the stipulated sum, than he held a consultation with his crew, and they agreed to sieze the remaining jewels, and leave the unhappy exile in the same helpless and lamentable condition in which they discovered him. He wept and trembled, intreated, and implored in vain.
"Will Heaven permit such injustice to be practised?" exclaimed Bozaldab. "Look again," said the angel, "and behold the very ship in which, shortsighted as thou art, thou wishedst the merchant might embark, dashed in pieces on a rock : Dost thou not hear the cries of the sinking sailors; Presume not to direct the Governor of the universe in the disposal of events. The man whom thou hast pitied shall be taken from this dreary solitude, but not by the method thou wouldest prescribe. His vice is avarice, by which he became not only abominable but wretched; he fancied some mighty charm in wealth, which, like the wand of Abdiel, would gratify every wish, and obviate every fear. This wealth he has now been taught not only to despise but abhor: He cast his jewels upon the sand, and confessed them to be useless; he offered part of them to the mariners, and perceived them to be pernicious; he has now learned, that they are rendered useful or vain, good or evil, only by the situation and temper of the possessor. Happy is he whom distress has taught wisdom! But turn thine eyes to another and more interesting scene." The caliph instantly beheld a magnificent palace, adorned with statues of his ancestors wrought in jasper; the ivory doors of which, turning on hinges of the gold of Golconda, discovered a throne of diamonds, surrounded by the rajahs of fifty nations, and with ambassadors in various habits, and of different complexions; on which sat Aboram, the much lamented son of Bozaldab, and by his side a fair prin
Gracious Alla !It is my son ?" cried the caliph ; O let me hold him to my heart!" "Thou canst not grasp an unsubstantial vision,” replied the angel : “I am now showing thee what would have been the destiny of thy son, had he continued longer on the earth. "And why," returned Bozaldab, "why was he not suffered to be a witness of so much felicity and power! Consider the sequel," replied he that dwells in the fifth heaven. Bozaldab looked earnestly, and saw the countenance of his son, on which he had been used to behold the placid smile of simplicity, and the vivid blushes of health, now distorted with rage, and now fixed in the insensibility of drunkenness ; it was again animated with disdain, it became pale with apprehension, and appeared to be withered with intemperance; his hands were stained with blood, and he trembled by turns with fury and terror. The palace, so lately shining with oriental pomp, changed suddenly into the cell of a dungeon, where his son lay stretched out on a cold pavement, gagged and bound, and his eyes put out. Soon after he perceived the favourite sultana, who before was seated by his side, enter with a bowl of poison, which she compelled Aboram to drink, and afterwards married the successor to his throne.
"Happy," said Caloc, "is he whom Providence has by the angel of death snatched from guilt; from whom that power is withleld, which, if he had possessed, would have accumulated upon himself yet greater misery than it could upon others."
"It is enough," cried Bozaldab: "I adore the inscrutable schemes of Omniscience!-From what dreadful evil has my son been rescued, by a death which I rashly bewailed as unfortunate and premature! a death of innocence and peace, which has blessed his memory on earth, and transmitted his spirit to the skies."
"Cast away the dagger," replied the heavenly messenger, "which thou wast preparing to plunge into thine own heart. Exchange complaint for silence, and
doubt for adoration. Can a mortal look down, without giddiness and stupefaction, into the vast abyss of Eternal Wisdom? Can a mind that sees not infinitely, perfectly comprehend any thing amongst an infinity of objects, naturally relative? Can the channels' which thou commandest to be cut to receive the annual inundation of the Nile, contain the waters of the ocean? Remember, that perfect happiness cannot be confered on a creature; for perfect happiness is an attribute as incommunicable as perfect power and eternity."
The angel, while he was thus speaking, stretched out his pinions to fly back to the empyreum, and the flutter of his wings was like the rushing of a cataract.
A Review of Life.
The elapsed periods of life acquire_importance from the prospect of its continuance. The smallest thing becomes respectable when regarded as the commencement of what has advanced, or is advancing, into magnificence. The first rude settlement of Romulus would have been an insignificant circumstance, and might justly have sunk into oblivion, if Rome had not at length commanded the world. The little rill, near the source of one of the great American rivers, is an interesting object to the traveller who is apprised, as he steps across it, or walks a few miles along its banks, that this is the stream which runs so far, and which gradually swells into so immense a flood. So, while I anticipate the endless progress of life, and wonder through what unknown scenes it is to take its course, its past years lose that character of vanity which would seem to belong to a train of fleeting, perishing moments, and I see them assuming the dignity of a commencing eternity. In them I
have begun to be that conscious existence which I am to be through infinite duration; and I feel a strange emotion of curiosity about this little life in which I am setting out on such a progress; I cannot be content without an accurate sketch of the windings thus far of a stream which is to bear me on forever. I try to imagine how it will be to recollect, at a far distant point of my era, what I was when here; and I wish if it were possible, to retain, as I advance, the whole course of my existence within the scope of clear reflexion; to fix in my mind so very strong an idea of what I have been in this original period of my time that I shall most completely possess this idea in ages too remote for calculation.
The review becomes still more important, when I learn the influence which this first part of the progress will have on the happiness or misery of the next. One of the greatest difficulties in the way of executing the proposed task will have been caused by the extreme deficiency of that self-observation, which, to any extent, is no common employment, either of youth or any later age. Men realize their existence in the surrounding objects that act upon them, and form the interests of self, rather than in that very self, that interior being, which is thus acted upon. So that this being itself, with its thoughts and feelings, as distinct from the objects of those thoughts and feelings, but rarely occupies its own deep and patient attention. Men carry their minds as they carry their watches, content to be ignorant of the mechanism of their movements, and satisfied with attending to the little exterior circle of things, to which the passions, like indexes, are pointing. It is surprising to see how little self-knowledge a person not watchfully observant of himself may have gained in the whole course of an active or even an inquisitive life. He may have lived almost an age, and traversed a continent, minutely examining its curiosities, and interpreting the half-obliterated characters on its monuments, unconscious the while of a process operating on his own mind to
impress or to erase characteristics of much more importance to him than all the figured brass or marble that the world contains. After having explored many a cavern or dark ruinous avenue, he may have left undetected a darker recess in his character. He may have conversed with many people, in different langua ges, on numberless subjects; but, having neglected those conversations with himself by which his whole moral being should have been kept continually disclosed to his view, he is better qualified perhaps to describe the intrigues of a foreign court, or the progress of a foreign trade; to represent the manners of the Italians, or the Turks; to narrate the proceedings of the Jesuits, or the adventures of the gypsies; than to. write the history of his own mind.
If we had practised habitual self-observation, we could not have failed to make important discoveries. There have been thousands of feelings, each of which, if strongly seized upon, and made the subject of reflection, would have shewn us what our character was, and what it was likely to become. There have been numerous incidents, which operated on us as tests, and so fully brought out the whole quality of the mind, that another person, who should have been discriminatively observing us, would instantly have formed a decided estimate. But unfortunately the mind is too much occupied by the feeling or the incident itself, to have the slightest care or consciousness that any thing could be learnt, or is disclosed. In very early youth it is almost inevitable for it to be thus lost to itself even amidst its own feelings, and the external objects of attention; but it seems a contemptible thing, and it certainly is a criminal and dangerous thing, for a man in mature life to allow himself this thoughtless escape from self-examination..
We have not only neglected to observe what our feelings indicated, but have also in a very great degree ceased to remember what they were. justly wonder how our minds could pass away successively from so many scenes and moments which