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'By Allah! no time is to be lost, he is yet alive,' said he to the Sword-Bearer.

'We will leave the Hodjakees and Mustapha regaling themselves in the Royal Palace, and proceed to the charnel-house at Kassem Pasha. There was great consternation in that locality, for the far-famed establishment instead of being surrounded by the ordinary crowd of customers, was now encompassed by troops of soldiers. To their great surprise all the inmates of the shop were made prisoners, the flooring was forcibly torn up, and a body of armed men, headed by the Lord Chamberlain, rushed into the subterranean hall, to the amazement of the busy fiends, whose deeds had never borne the light of heaven, and to the glad surprise of those who were awaiting their awful doom. The Chamberlain frantically rushed to-and-fro over the pavement all slippery with gore, over the heaps of bones, rolling before him the truncated heads like foot-balls, and anxiously peering into the faces of all who had life in them, until in a distant corner he spied our dervishes. Like lightning he sped on, and fell prostrate at the feet of Ali, the doomed, the rescued Ali! the skilful weaver! One shrill cry of joy burst from them: 'Elhamed Allah. HEAVEN be praised I'

'They now conducted the dervishes to the palace, where our Beorekgee was awaiting the reäppearance of the Chamberlain. For, although he expressed his desire to depart, he was assured that he could not leave the palace without again seeing the Lord Chamberlain. Whereupon he swore to himself, that he would be sure to make mince-meat of that Chamberlain if he ever caught him at Kassem Pasha.

'His anxiety did not last much longer, for the Chamberlain himself now entered and summoned him and the Hodjakees to the presence of the Sultan. His heart bounded within him at the prospect of the royal patronage. High-sounding titles were sweetly whispered by excited fancy, visions of palaces and houris suddenly floated before him, and his soul blessed the enchanted carpet.

He seemed to tread on air as he walked along the corridors of the palace.

'He entered the audience-hall, and raising his eyes to the throne, suddenly became of the hue of death, and with one long shriek of wild despair, Mercy, oh! mercy!' fell to the floor.

'For he saw before him, upon that throne in those regal robes, the dervishes of his own charnel-house, the all-powerful, absolute Sultan and his Grand Vezir.

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'The truth is, that as was customary in the days of Haroun al Reshid, so it had continued to be for Sultans to perambulate the city incognito. Sultan Murad and his Grand Vezir had personated the dervishes of our story, and penetrated into the secrets of the Kassem Pasha pastry.

'We have seen how they would have perished like many others, if a wonderful ingenuity had not, by the interposition of Allah, been

the means of their preservation. For the Sultan had in a curious manner interwoven the history of his awful accident among the arabesques upon the carpet, which was carried to the palace where it only could have been deciphered.

'My story is done,' said the Meddah, and doubtless you are all convinced of the value of the mechanical arts.

"The Sultan himself would have perished if he had not possessed the art of weaving, and the world would never have known why

'KASSEM PASHA's pastry sweet
Pit pat made all hearts beat.'

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A

THE DEATH OF

PHILOSOPHIC

VIRGIL:

FANTASY OF THE MIDDLE AGES.

In a spacious mansion in the suburbs of Rome, at the twilight of the day preceding the nones of March, in the year of the city 734, sat two noble and thoughtful men. The eldest, who was about fifty, was clad in a white tunic. He was thin and tall, with a scholarly stoop in the shoulders; his face was pale and worn, but more, it seemed, with sensibility than time. His companion, who was some five or ten years younger, was wrapt in a purple toga. Between the two was a small table of citron-wood, the legs of which were of ivory, and curiously wrought. Upon this table stood a basket of fruit. The walls of the apartment were covered with pictures and statues; the spaces between were filled with carvings in wood, some of cypress and box, others of ebony, inlaid with tortoise-shell and pearl. The floor was of different colored marble; the ceiling was adorned with ivory, and richly painted and gilded. It was the Corinthian room of Virgil, the poet and magician, who was conversing with the knight Publius, his friend. They had finished the cœna a few minutes before, and adjourned from the triclinium, bearing their frugal desert.

I have been looking at the sun-set, and thinking of my past life,' said the poet, after a brief pause. It has not been altogether wasted, like the lives of so many; still, I cannot but reproach myself, I have accomplished so little. A tree bears in its time hundreds of baskets of fruit; the great deeds of the greatest men can be counted on the fingers. Why should man be so sterile, and Nature so prolific?'

"The lower the life,' the knight answered, 'the more lavish its issue. The oak sheds a thousand acorns, each one of which contains a germ of itself; the bird that sings in the oak lays but a few speckled eggs. Life narrows as it ascends. Birds and trees, the grass of the fields, the sands of the sea-shore- these are the base of the pyramid, the apex of which is man.'

'So we flatter ourselves, Publius. But did we know what the birds and trees think of us, we might not be so proud. 'I can fly over land and sea,' methinks the bird sings; 'over miles of field and wood, and the long, long leagues of water. I soar in the great arch of the sky, up, up to the clouds. What is this thing called man, who creeps so slowly on the ground, and is so driven about by the waves?' 'I grow broad and high,' the oak murmurs with its oracular leaves; 'ever broader and higher, wedding the years with my rings. I hold out my great brawny arms, and wave my green flags in the sun-shine. I laugh at the wind and the rain, and fear nothing, not even Jove's thunder. It is a fearful bolt that slays the mighty oak. But these pigmies around me, who cannot span my bole with their arms, I outlive whole genera

tions of them.' Then there are the rocks and hills, Publius, and the seas and skies. They could tell a tale of longevity which would humble us, their betters. Your figure of the pyramid is not a happy one. But if you must use it, let it be inverted. Life should not narrow, but broaden as it ascends.'

'I was not thinking of man's body,' said Publius, ' when I placed him above the lesser intelligencies, but of that mysterious something which we call his soul. That he should have that, and not have the hardy life of the animals, which he needs so much more than they, puzzles and saddens me. Why should the inanimate oak endure a thousand years, and the most god-like man scarce three-score and ten ? ›

'There are reasons, Publius,' said Virgil, handing the knight a peach from the basket on the table before him; many excellent reasons why the life of man is so short And not the least is this: we eat too little fruit. The animals follow their instinct, and it leads them to their proper food; we follow our debauched appetites, and gorge ourselves with poisons - the fore-runners of disease and death. Thou hast supped with Lucullus, and know what beasts we Romans can make ourselves. We drag the sea for its fish, and empty the air of its birds. We bake and roast and boil them, and huddle them together, course after course, washing the compound down with draughts of fire. Instead of cooling our parched throats with grapes, we press out their juice, and hoard it away in our cellars until it becomes maddening and murderous. I loathe our Roman banquets; there is nothing innocent or natural about them, except the roses which crown our cups. And they, poor things, soon fade, blasted by the foul breath or fouler jests of the drinkers.'

'It is easy,' Publius replied, for you poets and philosophers to live on fruits, delicate and spiritual thinkers that ye are; but the tillers of the soil, the ploughmen of the waves, the stout harvesters of battle-fields, the workers of the world, need, methinks, a stronger diet-something that will make blood, and bone, and sinew.'

"The vitality of flesh,' the philosopher answered, 'is weaker than that of grain, because it was originally derived from grain. It is life at second-hand. We know nothing of grain. It germinates mysteriously in the soil, quickened in the bosom of our Universal Mother. She brings her life to bear upon it in darkness; it is fed with secret moisture, warmed with internal fire. Is it not reasonable that it contains more of the life of the earth than the beasts which feed upon it? There is a slave on my farm at Mantua, an old man, whose years more than equal our two lives, who has never tasted flesh, but has lived on fruit from his birth. There are no signs of age about him, except his white locks; he stands as straight as a man of thirty, and is as broad-shouldered as the Grecian Hercules. Match him for bone and sinew among thy flesh-fed athletes. I have seen him fell an ox with one blow of his fist. We are degenerate fellows, we Romans of to-day; even our

slaves excel us. If this continues much longer, what will become of Rome? Ah! Rome! Rome!' he murmured, if I should never see thee again!' He threw himself back on the couch and gazed upon the scene before him.

It was a grand and beautiful sight, that sun-set picture of Rome. A wilderness of roofs, palaces, temples, and baths, with glimpses of gardens and groves. Here was the palace of Cæsar, built of white marble, and adorned with statues and porticoes; there the forum of Augustus and its gilded pillar, at the base of which all the roads of Rome ended; and there the steep ascent of the Capital and the temples of Jove, Juno, and Minerva. Beyond were the theatres of Pompey and Marcellus, the stadia and hippodrome, and the Circus Maximus, a city in itself. Here and there rose a triumphal arch, dedicated to some great general or emperor; the public squares were peopled with colossal statues, and lifting its shaft serenely in the air stood the great obelisk which Augustus had brought from Egypt - a gigantic needle of granite, covered with hieroglyphics. On the north lay the Tiber, a dark and sluggish stream; and around all was the great wall of Rome, with its multitude of gates. Beyond this, stretching into the country on every side, were the public roads, the great highways of the empire. And over all, like a low-hung dome, was the deep blue Italian sky. The west was red with sun-set, but the veil of darkness was descending in the east, where a few faint stars were twinkling.

'Is not Rome beautiful, Publius?' exclaimed the poet in rapture. 'I am never weary of gazing upon it. I know every inch of its soil, every stone in its streets. I have travelled in foreign lands, in Greece, Egypt, and India; have seen Athens, and Alexandria, and the famous cities of the desert, but nothing like old mother Rome. She is the queen of cities, the mistress of the world. Her atmosphere is divine.'

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"That Virgil should love Rome, is no marvel,' said the knight, with a smile, 'for all the world knows what he has done for her. I have heard the barbarians of Gaul speak of his statues. The magician has made,' said they, as many statues for Rome as there are kingdoms tributary to her. And around the necks of these statues hang bells of magical power. For when a kingdom revolts, the statue which represents that kingdom strikes the bell, and summons the Roman legions to arms. And these statues are called The Preservers of Rome.' I have heard, too, of his lamp, by which the whole city is lighted, (Per Bacche! but there have been nights of late in which it was needed,) of his blooming orchards on the banks of the Tiber; and of the palace he built for the Emperor-that dangerous but convenient palace in which Augustus sees and hears whatever is said and done in Rome.'

It is not by things like these that I would show my love for Rome. I have written a poem, Publius, in honor of Eneas, our great ancestor, and, unless I deceive myself, it will preserve her glory when my statues shall have crumbled into dust. Follow me

VOL. LII.

17

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