ページの画像
PDF

dondainè dondaine dondon,- for he was well versed 1, by beautiful and charming objects, the arguments in the tags of old ballads. Now, doctor, ex- | of the iman prove too much; for the most charmclaimed he, let us hear what arguments thou hast | ing descriptions cannot possibly have half the to bring against this.

effect upon us that the objects themselves would I shall, with your majesty's permission, re have. Has nature, on the other hand, benevo. turned Danishmende, do nothing more than lent views, which are only defeated by the genebriefly shew, that the arguments of the iman, in rality, by thoughtlessness, false taste, or corrupt the first place, prove too much ; secondly, too principles; it is then both honourable and use little; and thirdly, nothing at all. Too much ful, by such descriptions as those which have the since all his objections apply as forcibly against misfortune to displease the iman, to lead them nature herself, as to the accounts or figments, back to the path of nature, and to invite them to which to him appear so dangerous; the maxims a wise enjoyment of her bounties. of ihe wise Psammis, the general observations Secondly, his arguments prove too little; for, and experiments on which his morality is built, if even the whole world were filled with pictures are no fictions. If the state in which his plan of of fortunale islands and happy persons, yet we legislation places the inhabitants of the blissfull might bet ten to one, that the passions, which vallies, is the properest possible for humanity, if have in all ages been the movers of the moral it be that wherein mankind suffer the least, l world, would nevertheless continue their play. which occasions the least evil, least allows them The desire of leading an easy life, in every go• to abuse the bounties of nature, and at the end | vernment which is founded on the inequality of of their course least causes them to regret that conditions, will produce the desire of riches, and they have lived, who can, or who has any right to riches the desire of authority, grandeur, and arbi. object to it? Are the agreeable sensations offered trary power. These passions will bring to light us on all hands by nature only like the confec a multitude of talents, as they are more or less tioner's devices fur gamishing our table? Are encouraged by the political constitution, or the they merely temptations, intended to discipline accidental nature of the administration; and the us in a meritorious abstinence? If this has been avidity for the most agreeable enjoyment of life, her view, it must be owned that nature has sur from which the iman dreads a general inactivity, prising whims. Can it be taken amiss if we are | will have a directly opposite effect; it will suprather inclined to regard them as whimsical | ply us with industrious people, inventors, impeople, who would make her such a fool ? Or i provers, virtuosos, and heros, as many, and per. what blame shall we incur if we look upon these haps more, than we have need of. The ideal curious mortals, who in sober sadness take plea delineations of the voluptuousness of the senses, sure for a snare to their virtue, as victims of their of the imagination, and of the heart, will theretormenting effort to destroy the half of their ex fore, froin the nature of the case, powerfully istence? Would they with their splenetic hu assist in promoting the grand object which his mour, with their melancholy, with their anxious reverence has so much at heart. I have not the dread of every moment making a false step, in least doubt, that as long as we are delighted with short, with all the spectres that haunt their these paintings, we shall wish ourselves to be in morbid fancy, be most qualified to promote their those fortunate islands, those Elysian scenes, or own perfection and the true interests of society ? however else you choose to call them, where the Your reverence, who are so highly honoured as most agreeable life costs so little; we should, to be admitted to the table of the Sultan of India, | however, soon be weary of wishing, and without to have the superintendance of the private con expecting suddenly to find a beautiful scollopcerns of five or six of the most beautiful ladies shell car, with six winged unicorns standing in Delhi, and every month slip a hundred baham- ready equipped at our gate, to convey the wisher d'ors into your purse, to provide which a hundred || into the ideal worlds, we should condescend to poor peasants niust work and famish themselves apply ourselves to those methods for procuring to skin and bone, --imagine, perhaps, the con a happy life which lie within our power, and are dition of a poor fellow who lives upon stale crusis | included in the constitution of that world in which and tank water, and that the delicacy of his senses we are placed. The arguments of the iman may not be seduced, has burnt out his eyes in the therefore prove too little and too much, and consun, is not quite so disagreeable, as I will be sequently-nothing at all, which was the third sworn for it, it must be

proposition I promised to evince. However, we Bravo, Danishmende, said the Sultan, in an will suppose the worst instance that can be conunder voice, and an encouraging nod, that did ceived to result from the fictions or descriptions not escape the iman.

in question ; suppose they should have the effect I say, therefore, continued the doctor, unless of bringing all the nations that dwell between the the design of nature was to decoy us into snures Ganges and the Indus to adopt the resolution of abdicating their former habits of life (although it their lawgiver were the angel Jesrad himself, is much rather to be feared that my emir-dervise would not be able to subsist ten years without a would convert all Indostan to his fanatical mo- | Sultan and without an iman. rality, than that Psammis would persuade the I hope so, returned the Sultan. In the mean most inconsiderable province of it to take up his); } time I abide by what I promised thee, Danishwe will nevertheless suppose that might be the mende. Here, iman, your reverence sees the case, what mighty harm, does your reverence appointed successor to the superintendant of the think, would ensue? Psammis would then have dervises. effected what the sages of all countries have been the choice dues honour to your majesty's labouring at for some thousands of years with wisdom, replied the iman, with a look that plainly very moderate success, or do these gentlemen aim spoke the contrary. at something else than to render more happy the It ill becomes a slave to have any wish but condition of mankind ?

the will of his lord, said Danishmrende ; but, if I In fact, said the Sultan smiling, I myself, and might presume to beg of your majesty some other the iman with his brethren, would have the most trilling office. to lose on such a transformation.

Not a word more, said Shah Gebal; Danish: The danger seems greater than it is, said Nur-mende is the man, and good night! mahal; sixty millions of people, even though

(To be continued.]

THE PRUDENT JUDGE.

AN ORIENTAL TALE.

A MERCHANT whose affairs called him I do not care to trust my slaves, and I wish to abroad, entrusted a purse of a thousand sequins place my treasure in the hands of a man who to a Dervise, whom he looked upon as his friend, enjoys, like you, the most unblemished reputaand begged him to take care of it till his return. tion. If you can take charge of it without in.

At the expiration of a year the merchant re- convenience to yourself, I shall to-morrow night turned, and demanded his money; but the send you my most precious effects; but as this Dervise denied ever having received any. The business must be conducted with secrecy, I shall merchant, enraged at this perfily, complained to order my confidential slaves to deliver them to the Cadi. “You have trusted him imprudently,” | you as if they were a present from me." answered the judge; " you should not have A gracious smile appeared on the face of the placed so much confidence in a man whose fide- || Dervise; he made numberless bows to the Cadi, Jily you had never experienced. It will be dif- thanked him for his confidence, swore he would ficult to compel this knave to restore a deposit keep the treasure as carefully as the apple of his which he received without witnesses; but I will eye; and retired as contented as if he had see what I can do for you. Return to him, I already cheated the judge. speak to him amicably, but do not let him know 1 The next day the merchant went again to the that I am acquainted with this affair, and call Cadi, and inforıned him of the ubstinacy of the here to.morrow at the same hour.”

Dervise. « Return to him," said the judge, The merchant obeyed, but instead of recover- || “ and if he persists in his refusal, threaten him ing his money, he was grossly abused. During that you will complain to me; I think you will the altercation a slave of the Cadi caine and gave have no occasion to repeat the menace.” the Dervise an invitation from his master. | The merchant immediately went to his debtor;

The Dervise attended, was introduced into || he no suoner pronounced the Cadi's name, than the principal apartment, received in a friendly | the Dervise, who was afraid of losing the treasure manner, and treated with the consideration which which was to be entrusted to him, returned his is usually shewn to persons of distinguished rank. | purse, and laughingly said, “My dear friend, The Cadi discoursed on different subjects, and, why should you have recourse to the Cadi? your as opportunity offered, mingled in the conversa money was safe in my house; my refusal was tion encomiums on the learning and wisdom of only for the joke's sake, to see how you would the Dervise. After gaining his confidence by take it.” such flattering discourse, he added :-" I sent for The merchant was wise enough not to credit you to give you a proof of my confidence and this joke; and returned to the Cadi to thank esteem; an affair of the greatest importance |him for his generous succour. obliges me to be away from home some months; ! In the mean time the night approached, and

the Dervise prepared himself to receive the pro- i| by an honest and worthy merchant that you are mised treasure; but it passed without any of the a rogue, whom justice will punish as you deserve, Cadi's slaves appearing. This night was to him if a second similar complaint be made against of an inexpressible length. As soon as it was | you." day-light, he went to the judge : “ Icone,” said | The Dervise made a low bow, and retired, he, “ to learn why his honour has not sent his without speaking a word. slaves to me.” “ Because I have been informed ||

THE MONK.

MR. EDITOR,

|| him affictive and importune. Thus Milton reThe following narrative was written by M.

presents to us the angel of darkness apostrophis.

ing in his anger the planet of light; or thus de la Harpe, and was first printed a little before

might be painted Arimanes, the genius of evil, the French Revolution, or rather at the time when

viewing the creation to curse it, and disturb it. the first symptoms of that great political crisis

lapproached him : “Father,” said I, (for he was appeared, just at the epocha when it was in agi

one of those men who are always called Fathers, tation to suppress all religious vows. This was

and who are prohibited from ever becoming so), in 1789. Thirteen years after, it was expected

“ how charming are these woods which encom. that the re-establishment of monasteries would

pass your dwelling! and how greatly must you be demanded ; and this paper was re-printed. It has never been translated, and may, perhaps, be

enjoy them! Those souls who are no longer agi

tated with the passions of the world are the more thought worth preserving in your Magazine,

sensible of the attractions of nature and solitude,

and the enjoyments of your age, are repose and On the pleasant and cultivated hills, which at || a fine day.” a distance command the delicious landscape form “ Young man,” said he, “you are mistaken ed by the banks of th· Rhone, not far from in every thing: what you term my dwelling, is Avignon, the woods belonging to a famous my prison; in solitude the passions ferment with monastery of the order of Camaldules are seen. inore bitterness: Narure is never beautiful to the A more agreable, more fresh, more solitary wretched, and without peace of mind, there is umbrage may we sought for in vain. Nature is no fine day." there simple without being savage, and beautiful " Ah! what can now disturb that peace? without ornament. This walk being near my your white hairs attest long experience-What retreat, is the most frequented by me: it shelters errors can still molest the old age of a solitary from heat, and is an asylum for reveri 's. I being ?” entered it not long since, towards the decline of “ Certainly I have lived long, and lived alone. day, when the calm of the country and the cool | Do you fancy our chain becomes lighter for having of the evening excite tender sensations, which worn it fifty years?" are best enjoyed in silence. Never had thuse Il “ But that chain, did not you choose it?" woods appeared more beautiful to me; I fancied 11 “ Those who have chosen it often finish with every thing I saw was tranquil and happy. Whilst || detesting it, but it was forced upon me.” “ And I was ruminating on this idea, I perceived at the ll who exercised that abominable tyranny on you?” end of an alley a nian advancing, covered with a “ My father.” “ He was then a barbarian !"long white robe, he was walking with slow steps; “ No, he was only weak, and domineered by an and at that moment, where all around me seemed imperious wife. We were many children. It Elysium, I was willing to fancy hiin a happy entered into my mother's arrangements that I shade. But I soon had reason to entertain a very should take the monastic habit; it was she who different opinion. As he drew nearer, I saw on governed: I showed great repugnance to obey his face the prints of sorrow and misfortune; a her, and my father resisted for a long while. glooiny and fatal character was engraven in the This contrariety of opinions caused a domestic wrinkles of bis front, and in the furrows of his war, which imbittered his life. He conjured me hollow cheeks. From time to time, he cast | with tears in his eyes to embrace that condition sinister looks around him, and concluded with which he began to think indispensable. I could dropping them towards the ground; it appeared not bear to see my father unhappy, and I resolved as if the fine day and beautiful country, were to ll to become so myself; I even hoped to be less sa

than I had imagined at first. I fancied one might 'on which I first pronounced my vows. But I soon be accustomed tv what might appear hard- no longer curse her.” ships: youth is susceptible of all kinds of courage. “ You have ceased hating ?” But courage exbausts itself when it sees no term He looked at me for some time, then he cento its efforts. The time came when all the tinued with a bitter smile: “ I have nothing to illusions of enthusiasm, all the errors of imagina Il conceal from you; I have nothing to fear. I tion, gave place to overwhelming truth. Then believed I pronounced maledictions, that a just all my fantastic props fell around me; I looked and avenging being heard them. I no longer and saw nothing but a desert, and despair. I was believe it." surrounded with unhappy wretches become I was struck with these words _“ What! you wicked, who watched each other, and sought to have suffered so much in this life, and you will surprise in the hearts of others complaints which not hope any thing from the other?'-" It no they smothered in their own. I held them in more depends on us to adopt errors than to disexecration, I avoided their society. After the cover truths. Without doubt religious ideas are death of my mother, I made vain efforis to get the charin of misfortune; they would be more released from vows which were involuntary - valuable to me than my sad conviction. But can These useless steps gave my companions a fatal we cast our eyes on this dreadful chaos of evils advantage, of which hypocrisy always abuses. and crimes, and believe it to be the work of a The slave willingly becomes an oppressor. I had perfect being! I look on all men as feeble parcels only one ineans of revenge. The greatest ambi of a perishable matter, the sport of an invincible tion of my fellow-monks was to make proselytes : necessity, as long as for them shall last that system mine was to drive them away; I resolved that they sup: ose to be the essential order of things, every one I might converse with should know and which is only one of the transitory combina. from me the dangers, the shame, and the horrors tions which are lost in the innum-rable revolu. of the monastic life. These woods are pretty itions of eternity. My lot has been bitter. I must well frequented. Solitude speaks to the imagi. | fulfil my destiny: it will end." nation. There is an age where nothing more is “ Thus, in your future, a single instant fixes wanting to give birth to a transient delirium which your attention."-“Yes, that which will be my produces irremediable evils. I do not believe you last; it comes very slowly." 10 be attacked by this madness; but at all events “ Your ingenuousness,” said I, “ must excuse look at that fatal dwelling, and read on the mine. I must communicate one reflection. I threshold these words, which an Italian poet says do not comprehend how; when for you the he read on the gates of hell:"_'You who enter other life is a chimara, and this one a lor. into this place, renounce hope.'

inent." I hesitated_" Make an end,” said he. I was shocked to hear him. “You have led I continued, “I cannot conceive after all I have a terrible life,” said I, “but it nevertheless ap- || hearil, h-w I should meet you this day, walking pears, and is to me a consolatory idea, that evils l quietly in these woods.” have not blemished your soul. The care which “I understand you. There was a time when you take to warn imprudent persons of the snare I might have taken that step: then I dared not, in which they might fall, bespeaks a sensible and || I was still fearful. I now fear no:hing. But compassionate heart."

when my reason became enlightened, my soul was “ You forget,” replied he, “ I told you that | dejecred; I was in despair, and had lost my care was only a vengeance. I hate my companions courage; I abandoned myself to the habitude of because they have injured me; but I cannot love suffering. There is an age at which man will men who tolerate tho e barbarous institutions. | not part with life; it continually afflicts him, and Unhappy ever since my birth, to whoin can I quits him by degrees, without his having the force owe a sentiment of benevolence?"

to cast it off.” “ Perhaps to him who pities you."

Whilst we were thus conversing, ihe face of “ When these abominable retreats are burnt | nature was changed. The storm approached on to the ground, then will I believe in piety and heaps of clouds; the night was growing dark. justice."

We walked on without speaking a word; but “ But you must be sensible how many men from time to time flashes of lightning shed a can say to you, as I do: it is not my fault if a livid light over his features, which made them fanatic founded this house, and if a cruel mother more hideous. forced you into it."

We were advancing towards the convent, and “ My mother!"

were already near it. It seemed as if the tempest He remained ilent a moment; his looks made l had settled on its roof; the thunder rumbled all me shudder.-" My mother! I cursed her a long | round with redoubled claps. while, when each revolving year returned the day I perceived the forehead of the old monk to

brighten for a moment. “O! if the fire of | idea of a God, preferred to renounce it, in crder heaven,” cried he, “ could but consume that to have the more right to hate mankind. odious inclosure, and all the wretches it con | O! thou supreme and necessary Being, in whom tains!"

I believe, because every thing announces thee “ You have then not one friend there?" thou hast not created beauty that men should

“ A frien:-we all call one another brothers, avoid admiring it; thou has not spread out the and we are all slaves."

riches of the creation that men should inhabit After these words he entered into the dwelling dungeons; thou hast not planted in our hearts he had just been cursing, and the door shut him the want we feel of loving our fellow-creatures, in.

in order that we might unceasingly frustrate that My soul was deeply sorrowful. I saw that want, and love nothing. misfortune, when extreme, ends with rendering! Men have disfigured thy works, before they the heart callous, and that the complaints of denied their author; and the atheist has dared despair become blasphemies. This wretch, who | to say; Thou hast not made me; and the fanatic might have found consolation and refuge in the Il has said, Thus hast thou made me.

CELESTINA.-A SPANISH TALE.

CELESTINA, an orphan, and heiress to an | Our two lovers corresponded, and were mo. immense fortune, was, at seventeen, the most ce tually delighted with each other; but Don Pedro lebrated beauty in Granada. She lived with her wished for something more; he had long soliuncle, a cross, avaricious old man, named Don cited the permission of conversing with Celestina Alonzo, who was occupied all the day in count. at her lattice, according to the custom of Spain, ing his ducats, and all the night in silencing the where a window is much more useful at night serenades which were played before Celestina's than in the day, as it is the general place of ren. windows. Alonzo had the design of marrying dezvous. Ac midnight, when the streets are his word to his son Don Henriquez, who, for len deserted, the young Spaniard, wrapped in his years, had been pursuing his studies at the Uni mantle, and armed with his sword, walks, ina versity of Salamanca, and began to explain Cor voking love and darkness, towards a lattice, grated nelius Nepos with tolerable facility.

on the outside, and within inclosed by shutters. All the young cavaliers of Granada were in || Soon they are slowly opened; a fair damsel aplove with Celestina : the only opportunity they pears, and in cremulous accents enquires if any had of beholding her was at mass; and every day | one be there. Her lover, transported with joy, the church she frequented was filled with young re-assures her; they converse in a whisper; the and fashionable men. Amongst these was a | same things are repeated a thousand times; rows capiain of cavalry, named Don Pedro, who had | Ay through the grating. But day begins to dawn, attained this rank at the age of twenty. His and they must separate. Another hour is spent furtune was small, but his family was one of the in adieus; and they quit each other, without most ancient in that country ; and so eminently having uttered an infinite number of interesting was he distinguished for his wit and handsome things which they had intended to say. person, that he aitracted the attention of all the Celestina's lattice was on the ground floor, ladies of Granada. But he had eyes for Celestina on a retired ill-huilt spot, inhabited only by alone; and she, who had perceived this, began to the lowest order of people. Here Don Pedro's return his glances.

old nurse occupied a miserable chamber, directly In this manner passed two months, and Don opposite to Celestina's window. Our hero, upon Pedro had not yet dared to address his fair en. making this discovery, paid the old woman a slaver; his eyes, however, had been very eloquent. visit; and said to her, “ My good mother, I Alihe end of this time our lover found means to have too long allowed you to remain in poverty, convey a letter to his mistress, which informed her for which forgetfulness I am very culpable, and of what she already knew. The rigid Celestina | am determined to repair my fault by giving had no sooner perused it than, with much dig | you an apartment in my own house. Come and ni's, she caused it to be returned to Don Pedro. Il take possession of it immediately, and yield this But as she possessed a very retentive memory, miserable one up to me." The worthy woman, she did not let a word of its contents escape her; surprised and affected to tears by his kind offer, and, at the end of a week, was able to answer would have refused, but he urged her so warmly every sentence of it.

that it was impossible to resist his entreaties;

« 前へ次へ »