Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

him, as a preliminary condition to any our dwelling. If you are silent, I will farther intimacy. The preceptor made unhouse you in this presence.' Afraid not the least objection, on which he was of this menaced exposure, the tenants of conducted into a retired and dark cham. the baskets immediately exclaimed, ber, where his bath was ready. On un- Verily, in our presence, the banker acdressing, his own clothes and ornaments knowledged possession of your wealth.' were removed, and in their place a small On hearing these words, the whole court wrapper given to him, which was a piece was filled with surprise, and the banker, of cloth smeared with a mixture of oil, terrified out of his senses, acknowledged lamp black, and perfumes. Similar cloths the debt, and promised restitution. The were employed to rub him after bathing, business being adjusted, the king expressso that he was of a perfectly ebon colour ed his curiosity to see the household difrom top to toe. The rubbing occupied vinities of Upakosa, and she very readily the time till the second lover (the priest) complied with his wish. The baskets arrived, on which the women exclaimed, being opened, the culprits were dragged • Here is our master's particular friend forth by the attendants, like so many in, in here, or all will be discovered;'- lumps of darkness. Being presently reand hurrying their victim away, they thrust cognised, they were overwhelmed with him into a long and stout wicker basket, the laughter and derision of all the asfastened well by a bolt outside, in which sembly. As soon as the merriment had they left him to meditate upon his mis- subsided, Nanda begged Upakosa to extress.

plain what it all meant, and she ac“The priest and the commander of the quainted him with what had occurred. guard were secured, as they arrived, in a Nanda was highly incensed, and, as the similar manner; and it only remained to punishment of their offence, banished the dispose of the banker. When he made criminals from the kingdom. He was his appearance, Upakosa, leading him equally pleased with the virtue and innear the baskets, said aloud,— You pro- genuity of my wife, and loaded her with mise to deliver me my husband's pro- wealth and honour. Her family were perty ;' and he replied, " The wealth your likewise highly gratified by her conduct, husband entrusted to me shall be yours.' and she obtained the admiration and esOn which she turned towards the baskets, teem of the whole city.” and said, ' Let the gods hear the promise of Hiranyagupta.' The bath was then This tale is also in the Arabian proposed to the banker. Before the ce. Nights Entertainments-in that porremony was completed, the day began to tion translated by Dr Jonathan Scott, dawn, on which the servants desired him under the title of the Lady of Cairo to make the best of his way home, lest and her Four Gallants, thereby afthe neighbours should notice his depart fording a proof of the Sanscrit origin ure ; and with this recommendation they of these far-famed stories. I cannot forced him, naked as he was, into the mention the Arabian Nights Enterstreet. Having no alternative, the bank- tainments, without expressing my er hastened to conceal himself in his own

gratification, that we shall soon have house, being chased all the way by the

an opportunity of reading a further dogs of the town.

portion of them. It is well known, “ So soon as it was day, Upakosa re

that Galland did not translate a fifth paired to the palace of Nanda, and pre

of the entire--and though it is unisented a petition to the king against the versally agreed that he chose the best, banker, for seeking to appropriate the

and executed his task admirably, yet property entrusted to him by her hus

great light would be thrown on Asiatic band. The banker was summoned. He denied having ever received any money ral, by the translation of the entire :

manners, and literary history in genefrom me.

Upakosa then said, " When my husband went away, he placed our

I mean such as are translateable, for household gods in three baskets; they

some of the escapades of the Asiatic

writers are too free for our northern have heard this man acknowledge his holding a deposit of my husband's, and

The Reverend Doctor John let them bear witness for me,' The king,

Wait of Saint John's College, Cam. with some feeling of surprise and incre- bridge, has undertaken to fill part of dulity, ordered the baskets to be sent for, the hiatus, by translating two or three and they were, accordingly, produced in

volumes of them from the Arabian the open court. Upakosa then address- manuscripts of the public library of ed them,— Speak, gods, and declare that university, which contain at least what you overheard this banker say in a thousand unpublished stories. The

[ocr errors]

a

ears.

great oriental knowledge of Doctor when, upon-serving up the dishes, he saw Wait amply qualify him for such a swarms of mice sally out from the walls, task.

and make such an attack upon the vicIf there be any story which has tuals as to require the greatest vigilance quite an English air, it is that of of the guests in keeping them off with Whittington and his Cat. Are not, their sticks. This extraordinary scene as Jack Cade's voucher would say, thé brought the cat of the old woman of Siraf bells of London alive at the pre- dined a second time with the king, he

into the merchant's mind, When he very sent day to testify it? Yet the unrelenting East robs us even of that put the cat under his arm, and no sooner story. I can trace it no farther than did the mice appear than he let it go, Persia, where it was told by the Per- and, to the delight of the king and his sian ambassador to Mr Morier, from dead about the floor.

courtiers, hundreds of mice were laid

The king, of whose journey I copy it.

course, longed to possess so valuable an “ In the 700th year of the Hejira, in animal, and the merchant agreed to give the town of Siraf, lived an old woman it up, provided an adequate compensawith her three sons, who, turning out pro- tion were made to its real owner. When fligates, spent their own money and their the merchant was about his departure, he mother's fortune, abandoned her, and was shown a ship finely equipped, laden went to live at Kais. A little while af- with all sorts of merchandise, and which ter, a Siraf merchant took a trading voy- he was told, was to be given to the old age to India, and freighted a ship. It woman for her cat." was the custom of those days, that when

The dates of the English and Pera man undertook a voyage to a distant land, each of his friends entrusted to his sian story strangely correspond. The care some article of their property, and re

700th year of the Hejira falls in our ceived the produce on their return. The

14th century, the very era of our old woman, who was a friend of the Whittington. merchant, complained that her sons had

It would not be hard to extend the left her so destitute, that, except a cat, catalogue; but I do not wish to keep she had nothing to send as an adventure, my readers from more entertaining which yet she requested him to take. matter. I may remark, that among On arriving in India, he waited upon the the amusing fairy legends of the south king of the country, who, having grant- of Ireland lately attested by Mr Crofed him permission to trade with his sub- ton Croker, is one of an Enchanted jects, also invited him to dine. The Lake, with castles and palaces bemerchant was surprised to see the beards neath. This is originally Sanscrit, as of the king and his courtiers incased in witness the city of Mabalialipoor, to golden tubes, and the more so, when he which I ought to say Mr Croker reobserved that every man had a stick in fers it. his hand. His surprise still increased,

R. F.

[blocks in formation]

Oh! there is a dream of maturer years,

More turbulent by far ;
'Tis a vision of blood, and of woman's tears,

For the theme of that dream is war:
And we toil in the field of danger and death,

And shout in the battle array,
Till we find that fame is a bodyless breath,
That vanisheth away.

a

Oh! there is a dream of hoary age,

'Tis a vision of gold in store
Of sums noted down on the figured page,

To be counted o'er and o'er;
And we fondly trust in our glittering dust,

As a refuge from grief and pain,
Till our limbs are laid on that last dark bed,

Where the wealth of the world is vain.
And is it thus, from man's birth to his gravem

In the path which all are treading ?
Is there nought in that long career to save

From remorse and self-upbraiding?
O yes, there's a dream so pure, so bright,

That the being to whom it is given,
Hath bathed in a sea of living light,-

And the theme of that dream is Heaven.

R. G.

THE FAREWELL.

(STANZAS FOR MUSIC.)
WHERE are the hopes that we cherished,
Fondly, madly, in Life's young day?
Like Autumn flowers perished--perished,
Bowed down, and trampled in dire decay :
Then Love's ocean was waveless and calm ;
The garden of Hope breathed balm ;
Bright buds blooming,
And richly perfuming
Every step of our gladsome way!
Oh! sweet was the time, when sinking
Red glowed the sun o'er the western main ;
And o'er our happy heads winking, winking,
Shone Love's star o'er the twilight plain :
Well-well may the reft heart heave a sigh,
When it broods on the days gone by,
The bosom-treasures,
The soul-felt pleasures,
Ne'er on earth to be shared again!

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

THE WANDERER TO HER CHILD

The sun is sunk, and daylight gone,
As over the inoor we journey on ;
The snows are lying all deep and chill ;
The clouds are gathering round the hill;
The winds they are moaning through the air,
And backwards tossing the branches bare;
Oh hush, oh hush, thy piteous cry,
And shut in repose thy little eye;

Be still, my babe, and sleep!
Though cold the snows, and though cold the air,
That sweeps o'er the frozen mountains bare,
More cold was that ungenerous mind,
Which holiest vows were vain to bind,
Which stole my peace, and, ruining me,
Left me to roam the world with thee:
Oh hush, and oh hush thy piercing cry,
And I will sing your lullaby;

Be still, my babe, and sleep!

Thy father he cares not for his child ;
Thou art forsaken, and I reviled ;
From town to town, a dreary way,
We wander along from day to day,
Begging a crust of the poor man's bread,
And laying us down in some humble shell ;
All but thyself look in scorn on me,
And, oh ! I shall ever be kind to thee;

Be hushed, my babe, and sleep!
Ah once, sweet baby, I had a home,
Nor dreamt I then that I thus should roam ;
By a pleasant village our cottage stood,
And my parents were pious, and kind, and good :
They had no comfort but me on earth,
For I was the light of their lonely hearth ;
Till there came to our door, in cruelty gay,
Thy father, who stole their treasure away ;

Be hushed, my babe, and sleep!
The old man broke bis heart, and died,
And soon my mother was laid by his side ;
I was lying in weakness when these they told,
And thou wert an infant three days old ;
I prayed for death, and I wished to die,
Till I heard thy pitiful, tender cry,
And then I petition'd for life, to be
In thy helpless years a mother to thee ;

Be hushed, my babe, and sleep!

A haven yet may smile for us,
And the heart which could neglect us thus,
May feel the misery we have felt,
And share the sorrow itself hath dealt;
We soon shall be over these barren ways,
And I will warm thee, love, at the blaze,
Where, 'mid yon trees, on the upland moor,
Stands kindly open the peasant's door;

Then hush, my babe, and sleep!

THE SUBALTERN.

CHAP. XIV.

For about two hours after day- wood-work. The fire had, indeed, break, no movement whatever was been extinguished; but it left its made on the left of the army. Parties usual traces of blackened timbers and of cavalry and light infantry were, charred boarding. Several dead boindeed, from time to time, sent for- dies lay in the various apartments, and ward, for the purpose of guarding the little garden was strewed with against a sudden return of the enemy's them. These we, of course, proceedcolumns; but the main body kept its ed to bury; but there were numbers ground as it had done the day before, concealed by the bushes on the hilland the stations of the out-posts were side beyond, on which no sepulture not altered. About nine o'clock in the could be bestowed, and which, as af. morning, however, a few changes oc- terwards appeared, were left to furcurred. My picquet, for example, nish food for the wolves and vulmarched a little to the right, and re- tures. Then the smell, being not only lieved a body of Brunswickers, which about the interior, but the exterior, of occupied a farm-house near the point the cottage, was shocking. Not that where the ravine wound inwards up the dead had as yet begun to putrefy; on the enemy's position ; and this for though some of them had lain for body, together with several other bat- a couple of days exposed to the influ. talions, proceeded at a quick pace to- ence of the atmosphere, the weather wards the station of General Hill's was far too cold to permit the process corps. The indefatigable Soult, it of decomposition to commence; but appeared, had withdrawn his forces the odour, even of an ordinary field froin before us, only to carry them of battle, is extremely disagreeable. I against the opposite flank. The whole can compare it to nothing more aptly, of the night of the 12th was spent in than the interior of a butcher's slaughfiling his battalions through the en- ter-house, soon after he may have killtrenched camp; and by day-break on ed his sheep or oxen for the market. the 13th, he showed himself in force Here that species of perfume was peupon the right of the army. But Sirculiarly powerful; and it was not the Rowland was prepared for him. His less unpleasant, that the smell of burnown division kept the enemy in full ing was mixed with it. play, till reinforcements arrived, when Having remained at this post till a decided attack was made; and the sun-set, I and my party were relieved, French, worn out with the exertions and fell back to join the regiment. We of the four preceding days, were to- found it huddled into a single cottage, tally defeated. They escaped with which stood at one extremity of the difficulty within their fortified lines, green field, where we had halted, only leaving five thousand men upon the yesterday, to bring the enemy fairly field.

to the bayonet. Of course, our acBut I must not presume to intrude commodations were none of the best ; upon the province of the historian; officers and men, indeed, laid themlet me therefore return to myself, and selves down indiscriminately upon the my own little party.

earthen floor, and heartily glad was The house of which we now took he who obtained room enough to possession, exhibited very unequivocal stretch himself at length, without besymptoms of having been the arena of ing pushed or railed at by his neighsundry desperate conflicts. The walls bours. The night, however, passed were everywhere perforated with can- over in quiet, and sound was the sleep non-shot; the doors and windows were which followed so inany dangers and torn to pieces; a shell or two had fall- hardships, especially on the part of en through the roof, and bursting in us, who had spent the whole of the the rooms on the ground-floor, had preceding night in watchfulness. not only brought the whole of the Long before dawn on the morning ceiling down, but had set fire to the of the 14th, we were, as a' matter of

« VorigeDoorgaan »