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thinking only in what manner he should get out of a place which might become his grave, he apprehended, that the vault had closed only because he had not followed the order of the Dervise ; he recalled to his memory the care and goodness he had loaded him with ; reproached himself with his ingratitude , and finished his meditation by, humbling himself before God. At length after much pain and inquietude, he was fortunate enough to find a narrow passage which led him out of this obscure cave; though it was not till he had followed it à considerable way, that he perceived a small opening covered with briars and thorns, through which he returned to the light of the sun. He looked on all sides, to see if he could perceive the Dervise , but in vain; he designed to deliver him the iron candlestick he so much wished for, and formed a design of quitting him, being rich enough with what he had taken out of the cavern, to live in affluence without his assistance.
Not perceiving the Dervise, nor remembering any of the places through which he had passed, he went on as fortune had directed him, and was extremely astonished to find himself opposite to his mother's
house , from which he imagined he was at a great distance. She immediately enquired after the holy Dervise. Abdallah told her franckly what had happened to him, and the danger he had run to satisfy his unreasonable desires ; he afterwards shewed her the riches with which he was loaded. His mother concluded, upon the sight of them, that the Dervise only designed to make trial of his courage and obedience, and that they ought to make use of the happiness which fortune had presented to them ; adding , that doubtless such was the intention of the holy Dervise. Whilst they contemplated upon these treasures with avidity ; whilst they were dazzled with the lustre of them, and formed a thousand projects in consequence of them, they all vanished away before their eyes. It was then Abdallah sincerely reproached himself for his ingratitude and disobedience; and, perceiving that the iron candlestick had resisted the enchantment, or rather the just punishment which those deserve who do not execute what they promise, he said, prostrating himself. -- « What has happened to me » is just ; I have lost what I had no design
to restore, and the candlestick which I » intended to deliver to the Dervise, re» mains with me : it is a proof, that it » rightly belongs to him, and that the rest » was unjustly acquired. » As he finished these words, he placed the candlestick in the midst of their little house.
When the night was come, without reflecting upon it, he placed the light in the candlestick. Immediately they saw a Dervise appear, who turned round for an hour and disappeared, after having thrown them an asper. This candlestick had twelve branches. Abdallah, who was meditating all the day upon what he had seen the night before, was willing to know what would happen the next night, if he put a light in each of them; he did so, and twelve Dervises appeared that instant; they turned round also for an hour , and each of them threw an asper as they disappeared. He repeated every day the same ceremony , which had always the same success, but he never could make it succeed more than once in twenty-four hours. This trisling sum was enough to make his mother and himself subsist tolerably. There was a time when they would have desired no more to be happy; but it was not considerable enough to
change their fortune : it is always dangerous for the imagination to be fixed upon the idea of riches. The sight of what he believed he should possess ; the projects he had formed for the employment of it; all these things had left such profound traces in the mind of Abdallah, 'that nothing could efface them. Therefore seeing the small advantage he drew from the candlestick, he resolved to carry it back to the Dervise in 'hopes that he might obtain of him the treasure he had seen, or at least find again the riches which had vanished from their sight, by restoring to him a thing for which he testified so earnest a desire. He was so fortunate as to remember his name, and that of the city where he inhabited. He departed therefore immediately for Magreby, carrying with him his candlestick, which he lighted every night, and by that means furnished himself with what was necessary on the road, without being obliged to implore the assistance and compassion of the faithful. When he arrived at Magrebi , his first care was to enquire in what house , or in what convent Abounadar lodged; he was so well known, that every body told him his habitation. He repaired thither directly, and
found fifty porters who kept the gate of his house, having each a staff with a head of gold in their hands : The court of this palace was filled with slaves and domestics : in fine, the residence of a prince could not expose to view greater magnificence. Abdallah , struck with astonishment and admiration, feared to proceed. Certainly, thought he, I either explained myself wrong or those to whom I addressed myself, designed to make a jest of me, because I was a stranger : this is not the habitation of a Dervise ; it is that of a king. He was in this embarrassment , when a man approached him, and said to him, « Abdallah , you are » welcome ; my master , Abounadar, has » long expected you. » He then conducted him to an agreeable and magnificent pavilion, where the Dervise was seated. Abdallah , struck with the riches which he beheld on all sides would have prostrated himself at his feet, but Abounadar prevented him, and interrupted him, when he would have made a merit of the candlestick, which he presented to him. « You are but » an ungrateful wretch , said he to him, » do you imagine you can impose upon » me? I am not ignorant of any one of your