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As he was thus employed, he was suddenly amazed, by a youth's throwing himself at his feet. His gorgeous apparel, the diamonds that adorned the scabbard of his scymitar, and his majestic stature, bespoke him a prince.
Carazan was astonished: he recoiled from him, as the wary traveller from the deathful serpent, that lies hidden in the burning sands of Lybia; and was leaving the grotto, when the youth, catching hold of his garment, thus addressed him :
"Venerable Sage! pardon the presumption of youth, and the 'forcible manner of my entrance, till you hear my tale. Behold, reverend father! Mahmut, heir-apparent to the imperial diadem of Persia, bending before you. Behold the son of a mighty monarch, at whose name states tremble, and treason is no more, craving your advice. I am blessed with every object that the earth affords, but yet I am unhappy. At an early age, ere the beard bristled on my chin, and pronounced me man, I became sad, sorrowful, and melancholy. I sought the sages of my father's court: I told them that I wanted peace of mind; but, alas! they could give me none. I was recommended to seek the humble cottage, since there only Content resided but the peasant was displeased with his situation in life; he longed to become a satrapa, and was therefore unhappy. I hasted to the wars; I braved the iron front of battle; but, alas! death and slaughter yielded no pleasure. I plunged into debauchery, voluptuousness, and lust; and, after long swimming on the fascinating lake of luxury, emerged only to feel the poignant assaults of my conscience. I come, now, holy Carazan, to implore your assistance and advice; and, if you know the spot, the manner, or the race, in which, or with whom, Happiness resides, deign to impart that knowledge to an unhappy though royal wanderer."
The simplicity and manly eloquence of the prince,
his unaffected deportment, and engaging micn, caught the heart of the aged Persian. A sweet tear of sensibility fell from his eye; and raising the suppliant from the earth, he thus replied:-
Arise, my son, and may the almighty Alla direct my tongue to teach you happiness! Whatever knowledge I have gained, the faithful lips of Carazan shall unfold. You have sought happiness, but in vain; your researches were frustrated, because they were directed to wrong objects. Happiness is not restricted to any class of beings, but lives wholly with Content; and Content may equally reside with the Peasant, the King, and the Sage. The reclaimed libertine may forget his past follies, and quaff her delicious nectar: the king, without debasing his dignity, may eat of her delightful ambrosia.
"To you, Mahmut, Content is, indeed, a stranger! Not because you were hated by her; but because you missed her road, and fell in with her enemies, without knowing them, as the unwary pilgrim will nourish an adder in his bosom, till the point of his sting chastises his temerity. You plunged into the lake of Luxury; but, instead of gaining the bark of Happiness, you tempted the rocks of Satiety, and the quicksands of Gluttony. You sought the habitation of the peasant; but Astrea has long been banished from the earth, and the Golden Age is now no more. You faced the tremendous front of war, you bade the welkin roar with the cries of dying men; and then Content was, indeed, far from you! Death and Destruction are her inveterate enemies; nor can she ever draw breath, when surrounded by Slaughter and Rapine. Would you, my son, gain Happiness; would you obtain tranquillity of mind; attend to these precepts, and put them in practice :
First, my son, remember, that you are a prince, and will shortly have to rule an extensive and wealthy empire; be it, then, your care, to make the people
love you; to effect this, follow Virtue, and act uprightly. Let Vice never seduce your mind to act subservient to your passions; but restrain the licentious wishes of the one, by the strength and solidity of the other. Pursue Justice; let that be the fundamental law, the grand standard by which all your deeds shall be measured. Inspire your subjects with a veneration for Religion and Virtue, by the example of yourself and court. Reject the vain notion, the frivolous idea, that kings cannot be just, without sacrificing a part of their regal dignity; it reflects honour on a prince, to be impartial and good. Your subjects will love you, without fear; their affections will be the guard of your throne, and their loyalty a barrier to the machinations of treason their wealth will be the basis of your splendour, and the strength of your administration. Make them behold, in you, at once, a legislator, a father, and a protector; the guardian of their laws, the defender of their rights: and cease not, on your part, to consider them as your children. Let mutual love rivet you together, by the strongest of all ties; and happiness shall spread over your empire, blessed with plenty and peace. Your subjects will twine around your throne, as the ivy twines around the oak; you shall support them as the oak does the ivy: thus, united together, what treason can ever succeed? what daring fiend of sedition will be able to elude the bow-string?
"Above all, blooming Mahmut! preserve a good conscience that is the foundation of happiness: and, even should the Angel of Adversity smite you, still shall you be happy. But that idea I eradicate from my mind! Alla shall strengthen your power; and your subjects' love shall defeat every attack of misfortune: your life shall pass away, undisturbed by the reproofs of conscience, the vengeance of Heaven, or discontents and rebellions of your people—as this limpid rill glides along, unchoaked by sedges, or obstructed by any other impediment.
"Thus, by attending to the precepts of Virtue, and practising them with exactness and self-denial, you shall live in peace and tranquillity, delight and prosperity, till the Angel of Death shall seize you in his grasp, that the everlasting Genii may usher you into the regions of immortality. Then shall you retire from the dark, terestrial hall; revered and regretted by men, for your justice and impartiality, and beloved by the myriads of heaven, for your piety and righteous
While he thus spoke, Mahmut-who still kept his eyes on the ground-felt a divine fire glowing within him his heart vibrated to the sweet voice of Morality; and he perceived the mists of Superstition and Prejudice, and the dense clouds of Ignorance and Error, vanish from his view, as the thick clouds of night fly at the approach of day. A calm serenity settled on his mind, as the ocean becomes gentle after a hurricane. He looked up, to thank his preceptor; but he was gone, neither could any traces of him be found. It is, however, written in the golden manuscript of Truth, deposited in the celestial temple of Virtue, that he was immediately translated to the mansions of permanent Felicity; and now tunes his lyre to the music of Alla, amidst the celestial choirs of Paradise.
DUTY OF OLD AGE.
MATERIAL part of the duty of the aged consists in studying to be useful to the race who are to succeed them. Here opens to them an extensive field, in which they may so employ themselves as considerably to advance the happiness of mankind.. To them.
it belongs to impart to the young the fruit of their long experience; to instruct them in the proper conduct, and to warn them of the various dangers of life; by wise counsel to temper their precipitate ardour, and both by precept and example to form them to piety and virtue.
It never appears with greater dignity, than, when tempered with mildness and enlivened with good humour, it acts as a guide and a patron of youth.
Religion, displayed in such a character, strikes the beholders, as at once amiable and venerable. They revere its power, when they see it adding so much grace to the decays of nature, and shedding so pleasing a lustre over the evening of life. The young wish to tread in the same steps, and to arrive at the close of their days with equal honour.
They listen with attention to counsels which are mingled with tenderness, and rendered respectable by grey hairs.
Aged wisdom, when joined with acknowledged virtue, exerts an authority over the human mind, greater even than that which arises from power and station. It can check the most froward; abash the most profligate, and strike with awe the most giddy and unthinking.
From the Citizen of the World.
N our late excursions into the country, happening
to discourse upon the provision that was made for the poor in England, he seemed amazed how any of his countrymen could be so foolishly weak as to relieve occasional objects of charity, when the laws had made such ample provision for their support. "In every parish