motley group of fliarpers, merchants' clerks, kept mistresses, idle men, • and nervous women. I liave been accustomed to be nice in my choice of acquaintance, especially for my family; but the greater part of our connections here, are such as we should be ashamed to acknowledge any where else, and the few we have seen above ourselves will equally disclaim us when we meet in town next winter. As to the settled inhabitants of the place, all who do not get by us view us with dislike, because we raise the price of provisions; and those who do, which, in one way or other, comprehends all the lower class, have lost every trace of rural simplicity, and are versed in all the arts of low cunning and chicane. The spirit of greediness and rapacity is no •where so conspicuous as in the lodging-houses. At our feat in the country, our domestic concerns went on as by clock-work; a quarter of an hour in a week settled the bills, and few tradesmen wished, and none dared, to practise any imposition where all were known, and the consequence of their different behaviour must have been their being marked, for life, for encouragement or for distrust. But here the continual

• fluctuation of company takes away all regard to character; the most respectable and' ancient families have no influence any farther than as they scatter their ready cash, and neither gratitude nor respect are felt where there is no bond of mutual attachment, besides the necessities of the present day. I should be happy if we had only to "contend with tbrs spirit during our present excursion, but the effect it

\=\ei. XXXVIII,

has upon servants is most pernicious. Our family used to be remarkable for having its domestics grow grey in its service, but this expedition has already corrupted them; two we have this evening parted with, and the rest have learned so much os the tricks of their statiorr, that we shall be obliged to discharge them as soon as we return home. In the country, I had been accustomed to do good to the poor; there are charities here too; we have joined in a subscription for a crazy poetess, a raflle for the support of a sharper, who passes under the title of a German Count, and a benefit play for a gentleman on board the Hulks. Unfortunately, to balance these various exptnees, this place, which happens to be a great resort of smugglers, affords daily opportunities of making bargains.' We drink spoiled tens, under the idea of their being cheap, and the little room we have is made less by the reception of cargoes of India taffeties, shawl-muslins, and real chintzes. All my authority fiere would be excited in vain; for, I do not know whether you know it or no, the buying of a bargain is a temptation which it is not in tlie nature of any woman to resist '"I am in hopes however the business may receive soæc little check sr<m an incident which happened a little time since: an acquaintance of our's returning from Margate, had his carriage seized by the ('ustom'house oflicers, on account of a piece of silk, which one of his female cousins, without his know-r ledge, had stowed in it; and it was only released by its b ing proved that what she had bought with so much satisfaction as conI i traband, trabnnd, was in reality the home bred manufacture of Spital-sields.

My family used to be remarkable for regularity in their attendance on public worthip; but that too here is numbered amongst the amusements of the place. Lady Huntingdon has a chapel, which sometimes attracts us; and when nothing promises us any particular entertainment, a tea-drinking at the rooms, or a concert of what is ca)led sacred music, is sufficient to draw us from a church, where no one will remark either our absence or our presence. Thus we daily become more lax in our conduct, for want of the salutary restraint imposed upon us by the eonlciousness of being looked up to as an example by others.

In this manner, sir, has the sea-* -son past away. I spend a great deal of money and make no figure; I am in the country and see nothing of country simplicity, or country occupations; I am in an obscure village, and yet cannot ilir out without more observers th:m if I were walking in St. James's Park; I am cooprd up iu Jess room than my own dog-kennel, while my spacious halls are injured by standing empty; and I am paying for tasteless unripe fruit, while my own choic wall-fruit is rotting by bulhels under the trees. —In recompense for all this, we have the satisfaction of knowing that we occupy the ver)' rooms which my lord—had just quitted; of picking up anecdotes, true or false, of people in high lite; and of seizing the ridicule of eye;y character as they pal's by us in the moving (how glass of the place, a pastime which often affords us a £ood deal of mirth, but which, I

[ocr errors]

consess, I can never join in wi" out reflecting that what is i>nX amusement is their's likewise. A» to the great ostensible object of our excursion, health, I am afraid we cannot boa It os much improvement. We have had a wet and cold summer; and these house-, which ar« either old tenements vamped up, or new ones slightly run up lor the accommodation of bather* during the season, have more contrivances for letting in the cooling breezes than for keeping them out, a circumstance which I sliould presume sagacious physicians do not always attend to, when they order patients from their own warm. compact, substantial houses, to take the air in country lodgings, of which the best apartments, during the winter, have only been inhabited Ly the rats, and where the poverty oft he landlord prevents him from laving out more in repairs than will serve to give them a Ihowy and attractive appearance. Be that as it may, the rooms we at prelent inhabit are so pervious to thebres/.e, that in spite of all the ingenious expedient* of lilting doors, pasting paper on the inliue of cupboards, laying sand bag , puttying crevices, and condemning closet-doors, it has given m«" a severe touch of my old rheumatism, aud all my family are in one way or other affected with it; my eldest daughter too has got cold uiia her bathing, though the lea water never gives any body cold.

In answer to thele complaint*, I am told by the good company here, that I have stayed too loo^ iu the lame air, and that now I ought to take a trip to tbe Col, tineut, and spend the winter «f H'ux, which would complete the business. I am entirely of their opinion, that it would complete the business; and have therefore taken the liberty of laying my cafe before you j aud am, sir,

Your's &c. Henry Homelove.

7 be Invent ionofOrgans. From Madame

de Gen/is' Knights of the Swan. The imprison'd winds, released with

. joyful sound, Proclaim their liberty to all around. Anonymous. // n'tji amefi rtve'che qui nej'e fen/e touches de quelque reverence, a confiderer eette •tiajiitesombre de nos eglifei tS" ouir le fan devoticux de nos orgues.


THE two friends having made the promise which he required of inviolable secresy, Giaffar thus entered upon his wonderful story.

"I am thirty-six years old, and my career is completed. I have pasted through it with honour, perhaps with glory; both love and fortune ftrewed it with flowers, till the fatal instant which discovered the abyss in which I was nearly overwhelmed. I have lost every thing, even to my very name; the inhabitants of the East mention it still with benedictions; the affection of a grateful people perpetuates the remembrance of it, and yet it must not be borne by me! Condemned to obscurity, I am become a stranger to my own fame, am unable to enjoy it, and dead to all the world; it is in the eternal silence of the tomb that I receive the approbation and the eulogies of my contemporaries 1 The unfortunate victim of despotism, and tbe fatal example of human vi

cissitudes, I am Barmecide." At the found of this great and celebrated name, the Knights of the Swan rose up. A sentiment of profound veneration and respect rendered them motionless for some minutes: to great minds proscription and misfortune tend to increase the interest which genius and virtue never fail to inspire! The two friends considered Barmecide with an eagerness of curiosity as if they beheld him now for the first time. The emotion and sympathy which they felt was painted on their countenances in so expressive a character, that Barmecide was very strongly attested by it. "O! my friends," cried he, " you restore me to my existence." In saying these words, he threw himself into their arms; aud having received their affectionate embraces, thus resumed his narration. *' My father, born in the dominions of Gerold, had a passion for travelling. He inspired my mother with the same inclination, who was always his inseparable companion. I drew my first breath in Persia; my father was my only instructor, and he taught me by facts and observations founded on experience, and not by lessons derived from books. I had the misfortune to lose this excellent parent when I was twenty years of age; my mother had been dead some time before. 1 had three brothers. We had always lived together in the most perfect union, and were determined not to separate, having often heard of the extreme magnificence of the Court of Aaron Uaschid, we determined to visit Bagdat. Arrived at this superb en pi tal, we became acquainted with several Europeans of our own age, and we I i 2 lodged

[ocr errors]

jition, had heligious concern, jdacity than evtr. aed his orders ia and one morning, i playing on my orgaa iual hour, I heard a violocking at my door. I sliut .iy organ, and rose to enquire .to the cause; when at the same instant a number of armed men, came into my room, and testified the greatest astonishment at finding me alone. The captain of the company asked me, where were my

fence or our presen' (J{ published accomplices. I replied, that I had daily become morr ^prohibiting none. He paid no attention to this «luct, for want \ ^er pain of death, answer, and sought in vain in all llraint impose celebrate their my closets for the other musicians, consciousness *jbey were allowed, He passed several times in the front to a-:ui exr^ioslVilfgeof perform- of my organ, without imagining In this 'JJwdually. it to be a musical instrument; -son pi I1 *^«j»Aibition offended me which was in some measure owing deal v 'that I considered what to my having given it the appearI arr \i'iiM 'ie devised to elude ance of a chest of drawers. At thi !!f/t!'< always a genius for length, not being able to compre'■ unic$; and, after some re- liend how my companions had ^llll I conceived the idea of escaped, he ordered me to folio* (fructing an instrument which him. I desired to be conducted into PM imitate all those with which the presence of the Caliph. He /iras acquainted, and even the replied, that he was conveying iB/nan voice. I endeavoured to me thither. In fact, the prince supply it at the fame time with so had resolved to see me, and to prodigious a volume of sound, that interrogate me himself. Hereit might produce to the ear the ceived me with a gloomy and seefrect of a concert. I worked at vere air, considering me sometime my invention night and day, and in silence; and struck with the sein less than fix months produced renity of my countenance, "Inan instrument of an enormous size, discreet young man," said he, to which I gave the name of Organ, "what could inspire thee with so and which perfectly answered my much audacity, and so much conintentions. I then placed myself Ifempt for life?" " Sir," said I in near my window, and played on reply, " nothing so effectually enit every morning and night, chant- courages innocence as the aspect of ing the service at the same time, an equitable judge."—"Tboucau/i At the end of some days, in forma- not," answered he, "deny thy distion was sent to the Caliph, that obedience. I myself have been


[ocr errors][merged small]


.ipanone." Caliph; .nterests and ./ youth excites %" . willing to pardon

expect a sincere conNo, my lord," answered /ou will not pardon a man .10 sliall be mean enough to inform against his companions and friends." "Well!" exclaimed the Caliph with violence, *' all the Christians at present in Bagdat sliall be this day put in irons." "They will be in that situation only a few hours," said I in a tranquil tone; "and who sliall set them free?" •—" I, my lord." At this answer the Caliph became mute with astonishment, and doubted whether lie should pronounce my sentence, 'or dismiss me as a person insane. I began therefore again thus to address him. "Sir, I can venture to protest to you, that I have not disobeyed your orders, and that I was alone, of which it will be very easy to convince you, if you will deign to send for the chest of drawers, which is in my chamber. I will open in your presence this mysterious article of furniture, and you will find in it a complete evidence of my innocence." The Caliph, whose •astonisliment was augmented by this discourse, issued immediately the order for which I solicited, and my organ was conveyed into his apartment. While I employed myself in putting it into order, the Caliph, who waited with as much curiosity as impatience for the catastrophe of this singular scene, went out for the princess Abaise

his sister, gave her an account o*" our conversation, and returned along with her. The princess, covered with a long veil, which concealed entirely her sliape and her face, placed herself on one of the cushions by the side of her brother at a little distance from, and in front of the organ. Then I asked permission of the Caliph to feat myself opposite my chest of drawers; and, at the fame instant, I began to play, and to sing. The Caliph immediately heard those powerful and harmonious sounds imitating so completely flutes, horns, hautboys, and the human voice; when starting from his feat with wonder and delight, " Is it possible," said he, " that these drawers are an instrument of music r" Yes, my lord," replied I, " and I invented it to soften the severity of your prohibition." '* In prohibiting these assemblies," said the Caliph, '* I wistied principally to prevent the celebrity and solemnity -which the union of different instruments and several voices give t,o your ceremonies, I did not foresee that there could be such an ingenious contrivance to abrogate my edict; but it is but just," added he, "that thole who are compelled to obedience soould be more inventive than their governors." Saying these words, he turned towards Abassa, to alk her what soe thought of this adventure: Immediately the most soothing and delightful voice which had ever yet attracted my ear, requested him in expressions the most flattering for me, to recompense the author of so wonderful an invention." " \oung man," said the Caliph, who then approached me, " I admire the arts and every species of talents'; thy person also pleases me. 1 deJ i 3 sir*

« 前へ次へ »