Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

CHILDREN'S WISHES.
I wish I was a little bird

Among the leaves to dwell;
To scale the sky in gladness,

Or seek the lonely dell.
My matin song should celebrate

The glory of the earth;
And my vesper hymn ring gladly

With the thrill of careless mirth.
I wish I were a floweret

To blossom in the grovo,
I'd spread my open leaflets

Among the plants I love.
No hand

should roughly cull me
And bid my odours fly,
I silently would ope to life

And quietly would die.
I wish I were a gold-fish

To seek the sunny wave,
To part the gentle ripple,

And amid its coolness lavc.
I'd glide through day delighted
Beneath the

azure sky,
And when night came on in softness

Seek the starlight's milder eye.
Hush, hush! romantic prattlers,

You know not what you say ;
When soul, the crown of mortals,

You would lightly throw away. What is the songster's warble,

And the floweret's blush refined, To the noble thoughts of Deity

Witbin your open mind ?

THE HONEST BIRD.
ONCE on a time, a little bird
Within a wicker cage was heard
In mournful tones these words to sing :
“In vain I stretch my useless wing;
Still round and round I vainly fly,
And strive ir rain for liberty -
Dear liberty, how sweet thou art!”,
The prisoner sings, with breaking beart:-
“All other things I'd give for thee,
Nor ask one joy but liberty."
He sang so sweet, a little mouse,
Who often ran about the house,
Came to his cago; her list’ning car
She turned, the mournful bird to hear.
Soon as he ceased, “Suppose,” said she,
“I could contrivo to set you free;
Would you those pretty wings give me ?"
The cage was in the window-seat,
The sky was blue, the air was sweet.
The bird with eagerness replied, -
“O, yes ! my wings, and sec, beside,
These seeds and apples, sugar, too,
All, pretty mouse, I'll give to you,
If you will only set me free ;
For, O, I pant for liberty !"
The mouse soon grawed a hole; the bird,
In ecstacy, forgot his word ;
Swift as an arrow, look, he flies,
Far up, far up, towards the skies ;
But see, he stops, now he descends,
Towards the cage his course he bends.
“ Kind mouse," said ho, “behold me now,
Returned to keep my foolish vow;
I only longed for freedom then,
Nor thought to want my wings again.
Better with life itself to part,
Than, living, have a faithless heart.
Do with me, therefore, as you will,
Au honest bird I will be still."
His heart seemed full, no more he said :
He drooped his wings and hung his head,
The mouse, though very pert and smart,
Had yet a very tender heart;

THE FOX AND THE GRAPES.
She minced a little, twirled about,
Then thus her sentiments threw out:-

A HUNGRY Fox, prowling about in search of a “I don't care much about your wings, - meal, chanced to enter a garden, in which there Apples and cakes are better things;

were plenty of luscious ripe grapes, but nailed up You love the clouds, I choose the house ; to a trellis so high that he could not reach them. Wings would look queer upon a mousc. He tried what jumping up at them would do My nice long tail is better far,

until he became quite tired, without having So keep your wings just where they are.”

secured a single grapé. “Ah,” said he, “ I'm She munched some apple, gave a smack,

giving myself a great deal of trouble for nothing; And ran into her little crack.

anybody can see they are quite sour.” The bird spread out his wings and flew, And vanished in the sky's deep blue;

THE SAME, VERSIFIED. Far up his joyful song he poured,

A Fox, with hunger almost dying,
And sang of freedom as he soared.

Some grapes upon a trellis spying,
To all appearance ripe, clad 10

Their tempting ruby skin,
A PICTURE.

Most gladly would have eat them,
The farmer sat in his easy chair,

But as he could not get them,

So far above his reach the vine,
Smoking his pipe of clay,
While bis hale old wife, with busy care,

“They're sour,” he said, “ such grapes as these,

The dogs may eat them if they please !"
Was clearing the dinner away.
A sweet little girl, with fine blue eyes,

Did he not better than to whine ?
On her grandpa's knee was catchivg flies.
The old man placed his hand on her head,
With a tear on his wrinkled face;

A CRADLE SONG.
He thought how often her mother, dead,
Had sat in the self-same place.

COME, white angels, to baby and me;

Touch his blue eyes with the image of sleep, As the tear stole down from bis half-shut eye, In his surprise he will cease to weep : "Don't smoke," said the child,“ how it makes

Hush, child, the angels are coming to me!you cry."

Come, white doves, to baby and me; The housc-dog lay stretched out on the floor, Softly whirr in tho silent air, Where the sun after noon used to stcal,

Flutter about his golden hair : The thrifty old wife by the open door,

Hark, child, the doves are cooing to theo ! l'usily turned the spinning wheel. And the old brass clock on the mantle tree,

Come, white lilies, to baby and mo: Had plodded along to almost three.

Drowsily nod before his eyes, Still the farmer sat in his easy chair,

So full of wonder, so round and wise: While close to his heaving breast,

Hist, child, the lily-bells tinkle for thee ! The moistened brow and the head so fair,

Come, white moon, to baby and me; Of his sweet grandchild were prest:

Gently glide o'er the ocean of sleep,
His head bent down on her soft hair lay-

Silver the waves of its shadowy deep:
Fast asleep were they both on that summer day. Sleep, child, and the whitest of dreams to thee,

[graphic]

A FABLB.

SONG FOR AN INFANT SCHOOL

CHILDREN go

To and fro,
In a merry pretty row;

Footsteps light,

T'aces bright:

"Tis a happy sight. Swiftly turning round and round, Do not look upon the ground.

Follow me,

Full of glce,
Singing merrily.

Birds are free,

So are we;
And we live as bappily.

Work we do,

Study too,

For we learn "twice two;" Then we laugh, and dance, and sing, Gay as birds or anything.

Follow me,

Full of gloe,
Singing merrily.

Work is done,

Play's begun;
Now we have our laugh aud fun.

Happy days,

Pretty plays,

And no naughty ways.
Holding fast each other's hand,
We're a little happy band;

Follow me,

Full of glee,
Singiog merrily.

Sing a song of sixpence,

A pocket full of ryc,
Foúr and twenty blackbirds

Baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened,

The birds began to sing;
And was not that a dainty dish,

To set before a king ?
The king was in his counting.house,

Counting out his mouey:
The queen was in her parlour,

Eating bread and honey: The maid was in the garden,

Hanging out the clothes ; There came a little blackbird,

And snapt off her nose.

Loudoni Printed Y TAYLOR and GREENING, Graystoke-place, Fetter-lane; and Published for the Proprietors by W. KENT and Co., Patotxoster-rov.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small]

QUEEN RADEGONDA.

A CHAPTER FROM THE EARLY HIETORY OF FRANCE.

SONG.–THE FAIRIES.
Come, follow, follow me,
Ye fairy elves that be,
Light tripping o'er the green ;
Come follow Mab, your queen.
Hand in hand we'll dance around,
For this place is fairy ground.

When mortals are at rest,
And snoring in their nest,
Unheard and unespied

Through key-holes we do glide :
Over tables, stools, and shelves,
We trip it with our fairy elves.

And if the house be foul
With platter, dish, or bowl,
Upstairs we nimbly creep,

And find the sluts asleep;
Then we pinch their arms and thighs ;
None us bears, and none us spies.

But if the house be swept,
And from uncleanness kept,
We praise the household maid,

And duly she is paid :
Every night before we go,
We drop a tester in her shoe.

Then o'er a mushroom's head
Our table-cloth we spread;
A grain of rye or wheat,

The diet that we eat ;
Pearly drops of dew we drink
In acorn cups fill'd to the brink.

The brains of nightingales,
With unctuous fat of snails,
Between two cockles stew'd,

Is meat that's easily chew'd ; Tails of worms, and marrow of nice, Do make a dish that's wondrous nice.

The grasshopper, gnat, and fly,
Serve for our minstrelsy ;
Grace said, we dance a while,

And so the time beguile :
And if the moon doth hide her head,
The glow-worm lights us home to bed.

O'er tops of dewy grass,
So nimbly we do pass,
The young and tender stalk

Ne'er bends where we do walk ; Yet in the morning may be seen Where we the night before have been.

YN the year 529 Chlother, King of Neustria, with his followers,

joined his brother Theoderik, who was marching against

the Thorings, or Thuringians, a people of the Saxon Confederacy, and both neighbours and enemies of the Austrasian Franks.

The Thuringians lost several battles : the bravest of their warriors were slain on the banks of the Unstrudt; their country, ravaged with fire and sword, became tributary to the victorious kings, who made equal division of booty and prisoners. There fell to the lot of the King of Neustria two children of royal race, the son and daughter of Berther, the last king but one of the Thuringians. The young girl, Radegonda, was hardly eight years old, but her grace and precocious beauty made such an impression on the Frankish prince that he resolved to have her educated so that she might one day become one of his wives.

Radegonda was carefully guarded in one of the royal palaces of Neustria, on the estate of Aties, on the Somme. There, from a praiseworthy fancy of her master and future husband, she received, not the simple education of girls of the Germanic race, who learnt little besides spinning and hunting, but the refined education of rich Gallic women. To all the elegant occupations of a civilised woman were added the study of Roman literature, and an acquaintance with the profane poets and the ecclesiastical writers.

Either her mind was naturally sensitive to all delicate impressions, or else the ruin of her country and family, and the scenes of barbaric life which she had witnessed, had saddened and disgusted her, for she loved the ideal world which books opened to her better than that by which she was surrounded. When she read the Scriptures, and the lives of the saints, she wept and longed for martyrdom; and probably, also, less dismal dreams, dreams of peace and of liberty, accompanied her other readings. But religious enthusiasm, which then absorbed all that was noble and elevated in human faculties, soon predominated in her, and this young barbarian, in attaching herself io the ideas and customs of civilisation, embraced them in their purest form-a Christian life.

With her thoughts turned more and more from the men and things of this century of violence and brutality, she arrived at a marriageable age, and the terrible moment approached when she must become wife to the king whose captive she was.

When the order was issued to send her to the royal residence for the celebration of the nuptials, impelled by an instinct of invincible repugnance to the king, shc took flight; but she was caught, brought back, and, against her will, was married at Soissons, and became queen, or rather one of the queens, of the Neustrian Franks; for Chlotber, faithful to the customs of ancient Germany, was not contented with one wife. ,

Inexpressible disgust, which, in a mind like Radegonda's, the attractions ol power and riches could not diminish, followed this forced

union between the barbarian king and the woman who was estranged proof, she threw the dress of a nun over her royal apparel, and in this from him by the very moral perfections which he had rejoiced to disguise proceeded towards the sanctuary, where sat St. Medardus

, find in her, and which he himself had caused to be cultivated. sad, pensive, and irresolute. “If thou delayest to consecrate me,"

In order to withdraw herself, partially at least, from the duties of said she, in a firm voice, "and fearest man more than God, thou wilt her position, which weighed upon her like a chain, Radegonda have to render an account, and the Shepherd will demand of thee imposed on herself others apparently more rigorous; she devoted the soul of his lamb.” all'her leisure to works of charity or of Christian austerity : she This unexpected apparition, and these mystical words, struck the devoted herself personally to the service of the sick and poor. imagination of the old bishop, and suddenly revived his expiring z al.

The royal house of Aties, where she had been brought up, and Elevating his conscience as a priest above human fears and politic which she had received as a wedding gift, became a hospital for poor cautions, he hesitated no longer, but of his own authority annulled women. One of the queen's favourite occupations consisted in the marriage of Radegonda, and ordained her a deaconess. The going, not merely to visit it, but to fulfil the office of nurse in all robles and vassals also partook of the enthusiasm; they did not dare its most revolting details. The pleasures of the court of Neustria, to bring back by force to the royal abode one who bore to them in the riotous banquets, the perilous field sports, the reviews and war- future the doubly sacred character of a queen and a woman-devoted like tilts, the society of vassals, with their loud voices and uncul- to the service of God. tivated minds, wearied and saddened her. But if any bishop, or The first thought of the new convert (for such was the name then refined and well-informed clerk, a man of peace and mild conver- given to express the renunciation of the world) was to strip herself sation, arrived, she instantly abandoned all for his society; she of all the jewels and valuables she wore. She covered the altar remained with him for hours, and when the time came for his with her head ornaments, her bracelets, her clasps of precious stones, departure, she loaded him with presents as tokens of remembrance, and the fringes of her robes, woven of purple and golden threads; wished him a thousand times adieu, and then relapsed into her former she broke her rich girdle of massive gold with her own hands, say. melancholy.

ing, "I give it to the poor ;" and then thought of saving herself She was never ready, either purposely or from forgetfulness, at from dang r by ins'antaneous flight. the hours of meals, which she took with her husband, being always Free to choose her road, she directed her steps towards the south, absorbed in instructive reading or pious exercises. It was necessary leaving the centre of Frankish domination from an instinct of safety, to call her several times, and the king, tired of waiting, quarrelled and perhaps, also, from an instinct of refinement, which attracted with her violently, without succeeding in making her more punctual. her towards those regions of Gaul in which barbarism had made

At night, under some pretext or other, she got up from her bed, fewest inroads. She arrived at the town of Orleans, and embarked and went to sleep on the ficor on a simple mat or hair-cloth, only re- on the Loire, which she descended as far as Tours. There she balted, turning to the nuptial couch when she was benumbed with cold; thus to wait, under the protection of the numerous sanctuaries open near associating, in a curious manner, Christian mortification with the the Tomb of St. Martin, what the husband whom she had abandoned sentiment of insurmountable aversion with which her husband would determine respecting her. inspired her.

She led thus for some time the disturbed and restless life of the All these signs of disgust did not, however, weary the love of the outlaws who sought refuge in sanctuaries, trembling for fear of being King of Neustria. Radegonda's reluctance irritated him without surprised if she took one step beyond the protecting bounds, sending causing him any real discomfort, and amid his conjugal annoyances petitions to the king, sometimes haughty, sometimes suppliant, negohe contented himself with saying, “ It is a nun, and not a queen, that tiating with him through the medium of the bishops, to induce him I have got."

to resign himself to never seeing her again, and permitting her to And, in truth, there was but one refuge, a conventual life, for this accomplish her monastic vows. soul, wounded in all the ties which bound it to the world. Rade- Chlother at first showed himself deaf to prayers and entreaties ; he gonda's every wish aspired to it; but the obstacles were great, and claimed his right as a husband, attested the laws of his ancestors, and six years passed over her head before she ventured to brave them. threatened to go himself to seize the fugitive, and bring her back. At last a family missortune gave her courage to do so.

Terrified when public rumour or the letters of her friends brought Her brother, who had grown up at the court of Neustria as a her news of this kind, Radegonda then gave herself up to increased hostage of the Thuringian nation, was put to death by the king's austerities—to fasts, vigils, and mortifications in hair-cloth-in hopes orders, on account either of patriotic regrets or inconsiderate menaces. at the same tinie of obtaining assistance from above, and losing all As soon as the queen learnt this horrible news her resolution was the charms she possessed for the man who persecuted her with his taken, but she concealed it. Feigning only to seek religious conso- love. lation, but in reality seeking a man capable of becoming her To increase the distance which separated them, she went from deliverer, she went to Noyon, to the Bishop Medardus, the son Tours to Poitiers, from the sanctuary of St. Martin to the no less of a Frank and a Roman, a personage then celebrated throughout revered sanctuary of St. Hilary. The king, however, was not to be Gaul for his reputation of sanctity.

discouraged, and he once came to Tours under the false pretext of "Chlother had not the least suspicion of this pious errand, and not devotion; but the energetic remonstrancez of St. Germain, the only made no opposition but even ordered everything himself for the illustrious Bishop of Paris, prevented his going any further. Conqueen's departure, for her tears annoyed him, and he was anxious to trolled, so to speak, by that moral power before which the vehement see her more calm and in a less melancholy humour.

will of the Barbarian kings was forced to give way, he, weary of Radegonda found the Bishop of Noyon in his church, officiating the struggle, consented that the daughter of the Thuringian kings at the altar. Upon coming into his presence the feelings which should found a monastery for women at Poitiers; following the agitated her, and which she had until then repressed, burst forth; example given in the town of Arles by a Gallo-Roman matron, and her first words were a cry of distress : " Most holy priest, I Cæsaria, the sister of the Bishop Cæsarius, or St. Cæsaire. wish to leave this world, and to change my costume! I entreat thee, Everything which Radegonda had received from her husband, most holy father, to consecrate me to the Lord !"

according to the Germanic custom, either as dowry or as morning Notwithstanding the intrepidity of his faith and proselyting fer- gift, was devoted by her to the establishment of the congregation, vour, the bishop, surprised at this sudden request, hesitated, and which was to form her chosen family in the place of that which begged for time to reflect. It was a perilous determination, that of she had lost by the disasters of a conquest, and the suspicious breaking a royal marriage contracted according to the Salic law tyranny of the conquerors of her country. She laid the foundations and the Germanic customis_customs which the Church, though it of the new monastery, which was to be an asylum open to all abhorred them, still tolerated for fear of alienating the minds of the women who wished to escape, by retiring, from the seductions of the barbarians.

world or the invasions of the barbarians, in a piece of ground which Moreover, a contention of another kind also arose for St. Medar- she possessed at the gates of the city of Poitiers. dus, besides the internal struggle between prudence and zeal. The Notwithstanding the anxiety of the queen and the assistance of Frankish nobles and warriors who had followed the queen sur- Pientius, Bishop of Poitiers, several years elapsed before the buildrounded her, and cried to him with menacing gestures : Dare not ing was completed; it was a Roman villa, with all its appurtenances, to give the veil to a woman who has united herself to the king! Priest, gardens, porticos, baths, and a church. Either symbolically, or as a beware of depriving the prince of a solemnly-espoused queen!" The precaution for personal safety against the violence of the times, the most violent, laying hands on him, dragged him by force from the architect gave a military aspect to the exterior of this peaceful con, steps of the altar into the nave of the church, whilst the queen, vent. The walls were high and strong like ramparts

, and several frightened at the tumult, sought a refuge with her women in the towers were erected at the principal entrance. These somewhat vestry.

strange preparations made a strong impression on the general imagiBut there, collecting her thoughts, instead of abandoning herself nation, and the announcement of their progress spread abroad like to despair, she conceived an expedient in which there was as much news of great importance. “See,” it was said in the mystical language feminine address as firmness of purpose. To give it the best chance of the time; “see the ark which is building amongst us against the of success, and to put the religious zeal of the bishop to the strongest deluge of evil passions, and the storms of this world.”

The day on which every thing was completed, and the queen Christian and civilised, coloured her patriotic regrets with a rnde entered this place of refuge, which her vows ordered her never to quit poetry, a reminiscence of national songs which she had formerly while she lived, was a day of popular rejoicing. The squares and heard in the wooden palaces of her ancestors, or on the heaths of streets of the town which she was to pass through were filled by an im- her country. The traces of them are still visibly, though mense crowd; the roofs of the houses were covered with spectators certainly in a softened degree, to be met with here and there anxious to see her before the gates of the convent closed upon her for in some pieces of poetry, in which the Italian poet Fortunatus, ever. She proceeded on foot, escorted by a large number of young speaking in the name of ihe queen of the barbarians, endeavours to girls, who, attracted to her by the fame of her Christian virtues, and render her melancholy confessions as he received them from her :perhaps also by the grandeur of her rank, were going to share her " I have seen women carried into slavery with fettered hands and seclusion. Most of them were of Gallic race, and daughters dishevelled hair; one walked barefooted in the blood of her husof senators. These were the women who, from their habits of band, another stepped over the mangled corpse of a brother. Each reserve and domestic tranquillity, were most likely to profit by the has had cause for tears, and I-I have wept for all. I have wept maternal care and pious intentions of their directress, for the women for my relations who died, and I must weep for those who of Frankish race brought some of the original vices of barbarism remain alive. When my tears cease to flow, when my sighs are even into the cloister. Their zeal was impetuous, but of short dura- hushed, my sorrow is not dumb. When the wind murmurs, I listen tion; and, incapable of keeping within any rule or measure, they if it brings me any news; but no apparition of my relations suddenly passed from the most inflexible rigidity to a complete for- appears to me. A whole world divides me from what I love most. getfulness of all duty and subordination.

Where are they? I ask it of the wind that whistles--1 ask it It was about the year 550 when Radegonda commenced the life of t e cloud that floats by. I wish some bird would come of peace and retirement which she had so long desired. This long- and tell me of them. Ah! if I were not withheld by the dreamed-of life was a sort of compromise between monastic austerity sacred walls of this convent, they would see me arrive at the and the indolently luxurious habits of civilised society. The study moment when they least expected me. I would set out in the of literature occupied the first rank among the occupations imposed roughest weather ; I would sail through the tempest joyfully. The on all the community; two hours of each day were to be devoted sailors might tremble, but I should have no fear," If the vessel split to it, and the rest of the time was employed'in religious exercises, I would cling to a plank, and continue my voyage, and if I could the reading of sacred books, and needlework. One of the sisters read seize no fragment of the wreck, I would swim to them." aloud while the others worked ; and the most intelligent, instead of spinning, sewing, or embroidering, were busy in another room transcribing books, to multiply copies of them.

Tue cock is crowing, Although severe on certain points, such as abstinence from meat

The stream is flowing, and wine, the rules tolerated some of the comforts, and even some

The small birds twitter, of the pleasures, of a worldly life; frequent bathing in large tanks

The lake doth glitter, of warm water, and amusements of all kinds, were permitted, and,

The
green

field sleeps in the sun ; amongst others, the game of chess. The foundress and dignitaries

The olrlest and youngest of the convent received, as visitors, not only bishops and members

Are at work with the strongest; of the clergy, but also lay men of distinction. A sumptuous table was

The cattle are grazing, frequently spread for visitors and friends ; delicate collations, and

Their heads never raising, sometimes splendid banquets, were prepared for them, of which

There are forty feeding like one. the queen did the honours out of courtesy, although abstaining from taking any part of them herself.

Like an army defeated, This craving for society gave rise to parties of another kind in the

The snow hath retreated, convent, dramatic scenes were represented on various occasions, in

And now doth fare ill which young girls from without, and probably also the novices of the

On the top of the bare hill; house, appeared in brilliant costumes.

The ploughboy is whooping-anon-anon: Such was the order established by Radegonda in her convent of

There's joy in the mountains ; Poitiers, a compound of her personal inclinations and of the tradi

There's life in the fountains ; tions preserved for half a century in the celebrated convent of Arles.

Small clouds are sailing, After having thus traced out its plan, and given the impulse to it,

Blue sky prevailing ; either from Christian humility or a stroke of policy, she abdicated all

The rain is over and gone!

WORDSWORTH. official supremacy, and made the community elect an abbess, whom she took care to point out, placing herself, as well as the other sisters, under her absolute authority: The woman she selected for this office was named Agnes, a girl of Gallic race, much younger

THE ADVENTURES OF HAITIM TAÏ. than herself, but whom she had loved from infancy, and who was wholly devoted to her. Thus willingly reduced to the rank of a simple nun, Radegonda, when her turn came, cooked, swept the

CHAPTER 1.- (Continued.) house, and carried wood and water, like the rest ; but, notwithstanding this apparent equality, she was still Queen in the convent, AITIM, placing his reliance on God, proceeded on; mean. from her royal birth, her title of foundress, and the ascendancy of while a mysterious man with tattered garments presented intellect, learning, and goodness. It was she who maintained the him every evening with a loaf of bread and a pitcher full rules, or modified them at pleasure; she who strengthened wavering of water, which, after offering his thanks to the Creator, he ate and souls by daily exhortations; she who explained and commented on drank, and thus continued to advance on his journey. the text of the Holy Scriptures, mingling her grave homilies with Suddenly he espied before him a dragon, the head of which little sentences full of tenderness and peculiarly feminine grace. was reared up to the height of a mountain. "You whom I have chosen as my daughters--you tender plants, At first he was greatly alarmed, but gradually began to suspect that objects of all my cares-you, my eyes-you, my life-you, my it must be only a mass of sand. But when he approached nearer, the reliance and sole happiness.'

dragon, observing him, drew in his breath forcibly, and Haitim' was Radegonda had attained the age when the hair begins to whiten, irresistibly drawn from the earth, notwithstanding his utmost efforts without having forgotten any of the impressions of her early child- to keep himself firm, and in an instant he was swallowed alive by the hood; and at fifty the memory of the days spent in her own monster. country, amidst her friends, came to her as fresh and as painful as When Haitim found himself in the dragon's belly he remembered at the moment of her capture. She often said, “I am a poor captive his Creator, and with pious resignation to his will, said, “This I woman.” She delighted in retracing, even in the minutest details, have merited, polluted as I am with sins; it has been my wish to the scenes of desolation, of murder, and of violence, of which she become one of the servants of God, but ah, helpless me! what had been a witness, and partly a victim. After so many years of exile, avail my feeble efforts!" and notwithstanding a total change of tastes and habits, the remem- Thus Haitim constantly kept in mind the beneficence of the brance of the paternal fireside and the old family affections re- Almighty, for whosoever puts his trust in God, and sincerely devotes mained to her objects of worship and of love ; it was the remnant, his life and fortune to the accomplishing of what is acceptable unto and the only one she had retained, of the Germanic manners and the Almighty, him the Creator will never forsake when in adversity. character. The images of her dead or banished parents never Sometimes he trieth his servants even as he tried Job the prophet ceased to be present to her in spite of her new attachments and the of Iram, who bore his sufferings with patience and resignation. peace of mind she had acquired. This woman, who, in a strange In like manner it behoveth the true servants of the Almighty that land, had never been able to love anything which was not both they remain patient and resigned under every calamity.

A PERSLAN TALE.

For three days and nights Haitim thus continued in the loath- the haunts of men and turned his face to the mountains and deserts, some belly of the dragon, where he would have speedily died had it where I chanced to meet him. I inquired into the cause of his disnot been for a talismanic pearl which his wife, the bear's daughter, tress, and learned from him his heart-melting tale. It came into my had fixed in his turban previous to his departure.

mind, that to question the distressed as to his circumstances, and This pearl had a charm in it, by which its possessor became pro- then not to make an effort to relieve him, would be conduct unworthy tected against the bad effects of fire and poison, and hence the venom of a man. For this reason, sir, I have endeavoured to do my best of the dragon bad no effect on Haitim.

in his cause." In truth, the bounteous Creator had timely provided him with The stranger then said, “ Assuredly you must be Haitim himself; an antidote, for it was His will that Haitim should live.

for beside Haitim there is not a man alive who would have acted in Meanwhile the dragon, heartily wishing to be rid of Haitim, said such a manner. Generous Haitim! God is beneficent, and to you to himself, “What troublesome stuff have I swallowed here? I will render the task easy ; but remember, that hitherto no one has recan never digest it, for it still lives and moves about in my inside." turned in safety from the desert of Hawaida, and the few who have

It may be supposed that Haitiin found little comfort within the retraced their steps from thence became distracted in mind and lost dragon's belly; and as he was constantly endeavouring to stand up to the world; however, since you will go, give ear to my advice. and walk about, the trampling of his feet upon the stomach of the The instant you approach the desert of Hawaida, you will be monster so annoyed it, that it coiled and reared in all directions. assailed with enchantments, against which your power and strength

At length, when it found that its food was really pernicious, and will be of no avail. Around you will gather damsels of surpassing caused it much pain, the monster could bear it no longer ; so, making beauty, and among them will be a heart-ravishing nymph, of gracea strong effort, it vomitted, and Haitim was once more thrown into ful form, with waving tresses, resplendent as the full moon; the the open air, whereupon the dragon left him and fled into the moment you behold her your heart will be beyond your control, but wilderness.

you must remain firm of mind and not give way. Should you then Haitim remained on the spot for some time till his clothes were resolve to advance, you have merely to take this fair damsel by the dried by the sun, and then proceeded on his way, till, after travers- hand, and in an instant you will find yourself in the desert of ing the sandy desert, he arrived, exhausted with hunger and thirst, Hawaida. Now, Haitim, if you do not follow my advice, you will at the banks of a river. Here he began to wash both himself and have cause to repent of it till your dying hour.” his clothes, when he observed a large fish floating near him.

When he had done speaking a man with a table in his hands Haitim was congratulating himself on this providential supply of approached the couch on which they sat, and having placed it food, when he perceived that the fish was one half of human form, before them, he covered it with a cloth, and presented them with of extreme beauty, being in fact a mermaid. It approached nearer, water to wash their hands. He then placed upon the table a large and, seizing him by the hand, instantly drew him into the river. bowl full of milk and rice, and two flagons full of pure water, the

Haitim struggled hard to free himself, but his strength was of no most delicious that Haitim had ever tasted. avail; the mermaid hurried him through the deep, and conveyed Having rested there during the night, Haitim next morning took him into her dwelling-place beneath the waters. He next found leave of his host and departed. himself in a splendid apartment, seated on a superb couch, and the After journeying for some days, he arrived on the shore of a mermaid endeavouring by every art to reconcile him to his captivity. lake surrounded with shady trees, and overflowing with clear water.

For seven nights and days Haitim remained the dejected captive Whilst he stood rapt in admiration of this scene, a nymph of more of this monster of the deep. At last, becoming desperate, he said, than mortal beauty, naked from head to foot, gracefully arose from “ I have travelled thus far on the most urgent business, leaving my the water. Haitim, dazzled with her beauty, covered his eyes, and home and kindred, why then dost thou urge me to become an the nymph seizing him by the hand, hurried him into the deep. inmate of this thy abode? My sadness will never allow me to be Haitim found himself for some time sinking rapidly, till at length his an agreeable companion. I pray thee, then, to conduct me to the feet rested on firm ground. He then opened his eyes, and, to his place from whence I have been forcibly dragged."

astonishment, beheld around him a most beautiful and extensive To this the mermaid replied, “Oh, Haitim! stay with me three garden. Here the nymph of the lake quitted her hold of his hand, days longer, and I will consent to thy departure.”

and vanished from his sight. When the three days had elapsed Haitim reminded the mermaid Haitim walked a considerable distance through the garden, when of her promise, to which she replied, “Everything which tends to lo! thousands of beautiful women approached him from every thy welfare shall be accomplished, yet remain a few days more." direction, each of whom assailed him with her charms, and endea

Haitim said, “Remember thy promise, for to stay a moment longer voured to pierce his heart with the arrows of her amorous glances. is to me impossible."

To all these, however, Haitim paid not the least regard, for he kept The mermaid, finding Haitim resolute, at last took him by the hand, in mind the advice of the stranger who had lately entertained him, and in an instant conveyed him to the spot from whence she had and said to himself, “This is all enchantment and illusion.” taken him, and as a last effort said, “Oh, Haitim ! is it really your The damsels then laid hold of Haitim, and conveyed him to a intention to part from me ?"

splendid palace, which was formed entirely of precious stones, and "My duty,” said Haitim, “is imperative, and nothing shall make all sorts of jewels and pearls, and also decorated with numberless me shrink from it."

paintings. When Haitim was inside the palace, standing near a When Haitim gave this decisive answer, the mermaid vanished. throne which he viewed with admiration, he thought within

He then finished the washing of his clothes, in which he had been himself, “ Now that I am in this palace, why should I not for once previously interrupted, and, after drying them in the sun, he dressed sit upon that throne ?" himself and once more set forth on his journey.

He therefore advanced, and upon placing his foot on the throne, After travelling several days he approached a mountain, the top he heard a tremendous crash; he started back, thinking that the of which was covered with beautiful groves of trees. Having stone had broken under his weight. He once more examined it, ascended the mountain, he entered the groves, which were provided and seeing no cause for what he had imagined, he mounted the with elegant couches, and through which flowed rivulets of pure throne and sat down. water. The cool zephyr wasting its fragrance through the trees, ren- He was no sooper upon the throne than the noise was repeated, dered the place refreshing to the soul. Haitim reclined on one of and the beautiful dansel, whom the stranger on the mountain had the couches, and soon fell asleep.

mentioned to him as likely to take his heart captive, approached Meanwhile the proprietor of the place passing by, was surprised at him with the most alluring smiles. She was arrayed in gold and beholding a youth of graceful mien sleeping there. He sat down glittering jewels, and, with a veil thrown over her face, she advanced beside him, and shortly after, Haitim, refreshed by slumber, rose up, and stood at the foot of the throne. and seeing a stranger seated by him, he saluted him respectfully. Haitim was completely bewildered, and felt the strongest incliThe other, in courteous terms, returned his salutation, and said, nation to remove the veil from her face; but then he remembered "Whence came you, and whither are you going? Pray tell me, the advice he had received, and said in his own mind, " It is only by what are your motives for traversing this dreary waste ?"

seizing the hand of this damsel that I can be delivered from this Haitim replied, " I am on my way to the desert of Hawaida." enchantment; however, ere I depart, I must see further into the

The stranger, on hearing this, said, “How came you to adopt so mad illusions of this place." a resolution ?-have none of your friends been kind enough to oppose For three nights and days Haitim remained seated on the throne. your journey ?"

The darkness of the night was dispelled by magic lamps, which to “Such," said Haitim, "is my sincere intention; and placing my re- him were invisible, and his ears were delighted with melodious liance on God, I have undertaken this task, and have proceeded thus sounds. Fantastic groups in endless variety danced amid the scene, far on my way. A prince, by name Munir Shami, has fallen despe- but all the while the damsel of surpassing beauty stood by the rately in love with Husn Banu, the daughter of Burzak the mercbant. throne, sweetly smiling in his face. He was presented with food and This 1.dy has asked of the prince seven questions, the solution of which fruits of every description in golden dishes; but althongh Haitim ale is by oui us power. Weeping in the aconies of despair, he quitted ! most heartily, his hunger was not in the least appeased. Wondering

« AnteriorContinuar »