« ZurückWeiter »
A DERVISE travelling through Tarty, being arrived at the town of Balk, went into the king's palace by mistake, as thinking it to be a public inn or caravansary. Having looked about him for some time, he entered into a long gallery, where he laid down his wallet, and spread his carpet, in order to repose himself upon it after the manner of the eastern nations. He had not been long in this posture before he was discovered by some of the guards, who asked him what was his business in that place. The Dervise told them he intended to take up his night's lodging in that caravansary.
The guards let him know, in a very angry manner, that the house he was in was not a caravansary, but the king's palace. It happened that the king himself passed through the gallery during this debate, and smiling at the mise take of the Dervise, asked him how he could possibly be so dull as not to distinguish a palace from a caravansary. Sir, says the Dervise, give me leave to ask your majesty a question or two. Who were the persons that lodged in this house when it was first built? The king replied his ancestors. And who, says the Dervise, was the last person that lodged here? The king replied, His father. And who is it, says the Dervise, that lodges here at present? The king told him, that it was he himself. And who says the Dervise, will be here after you? The king answered, the young prince his son. “Ah, Sir," said the Dervise, “a house that changes its inhabitants so often, and receives such a perpe-.. tual succession of guests, is not a palace, but a caravansary.'
WE are told that the Sultan Mahmoud, by his perpetual wars abroad, and his tyranny at home, had filled his dominions with ruin and desolation, and half unpeopled the Persian Empire. The visier to this great Sultan (whether an humourist or an enthusiast, we are not informed) pretended to have learned of a certain Dervise to understand the language of birds, so that there was not a bird that could open his mouth, but the visier knew what it was he said. As he was ove evening with the emperor, in their return from hunting, they saw a couple of owls upon a tree that
grew near an old wall out of a heap of rubbish. I would fain know, says the Sultan, what those two owls are saying to one another; listen to their discourse and give me an account of it. The visi«r approached the tree, pretend ng to be very attentive to the two owls. Upon his return to the Sultan, Sir, says: he, I have heard part of their conversation, but dare not tell you what it is. The Sultan would not be satisfied with such an answer, but forced him to repeat word for word every thing the owls had said. You must know then, said the visier, that one of these owls has a son, and the other a daughter, between whom they are now upon a treaty of marriage. The father of the son said to the father of the daughter, in my hearing, brother, I consent to this marriage, provided you will settle upon your daughter fifty ruined villages for her portion. To which the father of the daughter replied, instead of hfty I will give her five hundred, if you please. God grant a long life to Sultan Mahmoud ; whilst he reigns over us, we shall never want ruined villages.
The story says, the Sultan was so touched with the fable, that he rebuilt the towns and villages which had been destroyed, and from that time forward consulted the good of his people.
THE DEAD ASS.
AND this, said he, putting the remains of a crust into his wallet-and this should have been thy portion, said he, hadst thout been alive to have shared it with me. I thought by the accenē." it had been an apostrophe to his child ; but it was to his
and to the very ass we had seen dead in the road, which had occasioned Le Fleur's misadventure.'. The man seemed to lament it much; and it instantly brought into my mind Sanco's lamentar tion for his ; but he did it with more true touches of nature.
The mourner was sitting upon a stone bench at the door, with the ass's pannel and its bridle on one side, which he took UP
from time to time-then laid them down-looked at them, and shook: his head.' He then took his crust of bread out of his wallet again, as if to eat it; held it some time in his hand-then laid it upon the bit of his ass's bridle-looked wistfully at the little arranges. ment he had made and then gave a sigh. The simplicity of his grief drew numbers about him, and if
Fleur among the rest, while the horses were getting ready; as I continued sitting in the post-chaise, I could see and hear over their heads.
He said he had come last from Spain, where he had been from the furthest borders of Franconia: and had got so far on his return home, when his ass died. Every one seemed desirous to know what business could have taken so old and poor a man, so, far a journey from his own home.
It had pleased Heaven, he said, to bless him with three sons, the finest lads in all Germany; but having in one week lost two of them by the small-pox, and the youngest falling ill of the same distemper, he was afraid of being bereft of them all, and made a vow, if Heaven would not take him from him also, he would go in gratitude to St. Jago in Spain.
When the mourner got thus far in his story, he stopped to pay nature hir tribute—and wept bitterly.
He said Heaven had accepted the conditions ; and that he had set out from his cottage with this poor creature, who had been a patient partner of his journey—that it had eat the same bread with him all the way, and was unto him as a friendo Every body who stood about, heard the
fellow with conLe Fleur offered him money-The mourner said he did not want it-it was not the value of the ass but the loss of him The ass, he said, he was assured, loved him--and upon this told them a long story of a mischance upon their passage over. the Pyrennaen mountains, which had separated them from each other three days ; during which time the; ass had sought him as much as he had sought the ass, and that neither had scarce eat. or drank till they met,
Thou hast one comfort, friend, said I, at least, in the loss of thy poor beaşt; I am sure thou hast been a merciful master to him -Alas! said the mourner, I thought so, when he was alive but now he is dead I think otherwise-I fear the weight of myself and my afflictions together have been too much for him they have shortened the poor creature's days, and I fear I have them to answer for.-Shame on the world ! said I to myself Did we love each other, as this poor soul but loy'd his assoas twould be something:-
THEY were the sweetest notes I ever heard ; and I instantly let down the fore-glass to hear them more distinctly 'Tis Maria ; said the postillion, observing I was listening- -Poor Maria, continued he, (leaning his body on one side to let me see her, for he was in a line between us) is sitting upon a bank playing her vespers upon her pipe with her little goat beside her. The young
fellow uttered this with an accent and a look so perfectly in tune to a feeling heart, that I instantly made a vow, I would give him a four and twenty sous-piece, when I got to Moulines And who is
Maria ? said I. The love and pity of all the villagers around us, said the postillion- it is but three years ago, that the sun did not shine upon so fair, so quick-witted, and amiable a maid ; and better fate did Maria deserve, than to have her bans forbid, by the intrigues of the curate of the parish who published them
He was going on, when Maria, who had made a short pause, put the pipe to her mouth and began the air again—they were the same notes ;-yet were ten times sweeter: It is the evening service to the virgin, said the young man-but who has taught her to play it--or how she came by her pipe, no one knows; we think that Heaven has assisted her in both; for ever since she has been unsettled in her mind, it seems her only consolation---she has never once had the pipe out of her hand, but plays that service upon it almost night and day.
The postillion delivered this with so much discretion and natural eloquence, that I could not help decyphering something in his face above his condition, and should have sisted out his history, had not poor Maria taken such full possession of me
We had got up by this time almost to the bank where Maria was sitting: she was in a thin white jacket, with her hair, all but two tresses, drawn up
a ed a little fantastically on one side-she was beautiful ; and if ev.
a er I felt the full force of an honest heart-ach, it was the moment I saw her.'
Maria looked wistfully for some time at me, and then at her goat--and then at me--and then at her goat again, and so on Alternately
Well, Maria, said I softly-What resemblance do you find ?
I do intreat the candid reader to believe me, that it was from the humblest conviction of what a beast man is,—that I asked the question ; and that I would not have let fallen an unseason-able pleasantry in the venerable presence of Misery, to be entitled to all the wit that ever Rabelais scattered.
Adieu, Maria !-adieu, poor hapless dainsel !--some time, but not now, I may hear thy sorrows from thy own lips-but I was deceived ; for that moment she took her pipe, and told me such a tale of woe with it, that I rose up, and with broken and irregular steps walked softly to my chaise.
WHEN we had got within half a league of Moulines, at a little opening in the road leading to a thicket, I discovered poor Maria sitting under a poplar-she was sitting with herelbow in her lap, and her head leaning on one side within her hand-a small. brook ran at the foot of the tree.
I bad the postilion go on with the chaise to Moulines and Le Fleur to bespeak my supper-and that I would walk after him.
She was dressed in white, and much as my friend described her, except that her hair hung loose, which before was twisted with a silk net. She had, superadded likewise to her jacket, a pale green ribband which fell across her shoulder to the waist ;. at the end of which hung her pipe. Her goat had been as faitless as her lover; and she had got a little dog in lieu of him, which she had kept tied by a string to her girdle; as I looked at the dog she drew him towards her with the string—“Thou shalt not leave me, Sylvio," said she. "I looked in Maria's eyes, and saw she was thinking more of her fa: her than of her lover or her little goat;
for as she uttered them, the tears trickled down her: cheeks.
I sat down close by her; and Maria let me wipe them away as they fell, with my handkerchief. I then steeped it in my own --and then in her's—and then in mine and then I wiped her's again and as I did it, I felt such undiscribable emotions within me, as I am sure could not be accounted for from any combina tion of matter and motion.
I am positive I have a soul; nor can all the books with which . materialists have pestered the world ever convince me of the contrary,