Imatges de pÓgina
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amazement at this discovery ; I remembered with the deepest contrition my attempts upon her virtue, and I now secretly rejoiced that she had rendered them ineffectual. I watched her lips with the utmost impatience of curiosity, and she continued her narrative.

• I was sitting on a sofa one evening after I had been caressed by Amurath, and my imagination kindled as I mused. Why, said I aloud, should I give up the delights of love with the splendour of royalty ? since the presumption of my father has prevented my marriage, why should I not accept the blessings that are still offered? Why is desire restrained by the dread of shame ; and why is the pride of virtue offended by the softness of nature? Immediately a thick cloud surrounded me; I felt myself lifted up and conveyed through the air with incredible rapidity. I descended; the cloud dissipated, and I found myself sitting in an alcove, by the side of a canal that encircled a stately edifice and a spacious garden. I saw many persons pass along; but discovered in all something either dissolute or wretched, something that alarmed my fears, or excited my pity. I suddenly perceived many men with their swords drawn, contending for a woman, who was forced along irresistibly by the crowd, which moved directly towards the place in which I was sitting. I was terrified, and looked round me with eagerness, to see where I could retreat for safety. A person richly dressed perceived my distress, and invited me into the house which the canal surrounded. Of this invitation I hastily accepted with gratitude and joy : but I soon remarked several incidents, which filled me with new perplexity and apprehension. I was welcomed to a place, in which infamy and honour were equally unknown; where

every

wish was indulged without the violation of any law, and where the will was therefore determined only by appetite. I was presently surrounded by women, whose behaviour covered me with blushes; and though I rejected the caresses of the person into whose power I was delivered, yet they became jealous of the distinction with which he treated me; my expostulations were not heard, and my tears were treated with merriment: preparations were made for revelling and jollity; I was invited to join the dance, and upon my fusal was entertained with music. In this dreadful situation, I sighed thus to myself: How severe is that justice, which transports those who form licentious wishes, to a society in which they are indulged without restraint! Who

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shall deliver me from the effects of my own folly? who shall defend me against the vices of others? At this moment I was thus encouraged by the voice of some invisible being. “ The friends of Virtue are mighty ; reject not their protection, and thou art safe.” As I renounced the presumptuous wish, which had once polluted my mind, I exulted in this intimation with an assurance of relief; and when supper was set before me, I suffered the principal lady to serve me with some venison ; but the friendly voice having warned me that it was poisoned, I fell back in my seat and turned pale: the lady inquired earnestly what had disordered me; but instead of making a reply, I threw the venison from the window, and declared that she had intended my death. The master of the table, who perceived the lady to whom I spoke change countenance, was at once convinced, that she had indeed attempted to poison me, to preserve that interest which as a rival she feared I should subvert. He rose up in a rage, and commanded the venison to be produced ; a dog that was supposed to have eaten it was brought in : but before the event could be known, the tumult was become general, and my rival, after having suddenly stabbed her patron, plunged the same poniard in her own bosom.

• In the midst of this confusion I found means to escape, and wandered through the city in search of some obscure recess, where, if I received not the assistance which I hoped, death at least might secure my person from violation, and close my eyes on those scenes, which, wherever I turned, filled me not only with disgust but with horror. By that Benevolent Power, who, as a preservative from misery, has placed in us a secret and irresistible disapprobation of vice, my feet have been directed to thee, whose virtue has participated in my distress, and whose wisdom

may
effect

my deliverance.

I gazed upon Selima, while I thus learned the ardour of that affection which I had abused, with sentiments that can never be conceived but when they are felt. I was touched with the most bitter remorse, for having produced one wish that could stain so amiable a mind; and abhorred myself for having used the power which I derived from her tenderness, to effect her destruction. My fondness was not less ardent, but it was more chaste and tender ; desire was not extinguished, but it was almost absorbed in esteem. I felt a passion, to which, till now, I had been a stranger : and the moment love was kindled in my breast, I resumed

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the form proper to the nature in which alone it can subsist, and Selima beheld Amurath at her feet. At my sudden and unexpected appearance, the colour faded from her cheeks, the powers of life were suspended, and she sunk into my

I clasped her to my breast, and looking towards the hermit for his assistance, I beheld in his stead the friendly Genius, who had taught me happiness by affliction. At the same instant Selima recovered. · Arise,' said Syndarac, • and look round. We looked round; the darkness was suddenly dissipated, and we perceived ourselves in the road to Golconda, and the spires of the city sparkled before us.

Go,' said he, Amurath, henceforth the husband of Selima, and the father of thy people! I have revealed thy story to Alibeg in a vision; he expects thy return, and the chariots are come out to meet thee. Go, and I will proclaim before thee, Amurath the Sultan of the East, the judge of nations, the taught of heaven ; Amurath, whose ring is equal to the ring of Solomon, returns to reign with wisdom and diffuse felicity. I now lifted

up my eyes, and beheld the chariots coming forward. We were received by Alibeg with sentiments which could not be uttered, and by the people with the loudest acclamations. Syndarac proclaimed our return, in thunder that was heard through all the nations of my empire; and has prolonged my reign in prosperity and peace.

For the world I have written, and by the world let what I write be remembered: for to none who hear of the ring of Amurath, shall its influence be wanting. Of this, is not thy heart a witness, thou whose eye drinks instruction from my pen ? Hast thou not a monitor who reproaches thee in secret, when thy foot deviates from the paths of virtue ? Neglect not the first whispers of this friend to thy soul; it is the voice of a greater than Syndarac, to resist whose influence is to invite destruction.

VOLTAIRE.

JEANNOT AND COLIN.

Many credible persons have seen Jeannot and Colin of the village of Issoire in Auvergne, a place famous all over the world for its college and its cauldrons, Jeannot was the son of a very renowned mule-driver; Colin owed his existence to an honest labourer in the neighbourhood, who cultivated the earth with the help of four mules, and who, after he had paid the poll-tax, the military-tax, the royal-tax, the excisetax, the shilling-in-the-pound, the capitation, and the twentieths, did not find himself over-rich at the year's end.

Jeannot and Colin were very pretty lads for Auvergnians ; they were remarkably attached to each other, and enjoyed together those little confidentialities, and those snug familiarities, which men always recollect with pleasure when they afterwards meet in the world.

The time dedicated to their studies was just upon of elapsing, when a tailor brought Jeannot a velvet coat of three colours, with a Lyons waistcoat made in the first taste; the whole was accompanied with a letter directed to Monsieur de la Jeannotiere. Colin could not help admiring the coat, though he was not at all envious of it; but Jeannot immediately assumed an air of superiority which perfectly distressed his companion. From this moment Jeannot studied no more; he admired himself in the glass, and despised the whole world. Soon afterwards a valet-de-chambre arrives post-haste, bringing a second letter, which was addressed to Monsieur the Marquis de la Jeannotiere ; it was an order from Monsieur the father that Monsieur the son should set out for Paris directly. Jeannot ascended the chaise, and stretched out his hand to Colin with a smile of

the eve

protection sufficiently dignified; Colin felt his own insignificance, and burst into tears : Jeannot departed in all his glory.

Those readers who like to be instructed as well as amused, must know that Monsieur Jeannot the father had very rapidly acquired a most immense fortune by business. Do

you

ask how it is one makes a great fortune ? it is because one is fortunate. Monsieur Jeannot was handsome, and so was his wife, who had still a certain bloom about her. They came up to Paris on account of a law-suit, which ruined them ; when fortune, who elevates and depresses mankind at will, presented them to the wife of a contractor for the army-hospitals, a man of very great talent, who could boast of having killed more soldiers in one year than the cannon had blown up in ten. Jeannot pleased the lady, and his wife pleased the contractor. Jeannot soon had his share in his patron's enterprise; and afterwards entered into other speculations. When once you are in the current of the stream, you have nothing to do but to leave your bark to itself ; you will make an immense fortune without much difficulty. The mob on the bank, who see you scud along in full sail, open their eyes with astonishment; they are at a loss to conjecture how you came by your prosperity; they envy you at all events, and write pamphlets against you, which you never read. This is just what happened to Jeannot the father, who quickly became Monsieur de la Jeannotiere, and who, having purchased a marquisate at the end of six months, took Monsieur the Marquis his son from school, to introduce him into the fashionable world of Paris.

Colin, always affectionate, sent a letter of compliment to his old school-fellow, in which he wrote his these lines to congratulate' him. The little Marquis returned no answer : Colin was perfectly ill with mortification.

The father and mother provided a tutor for the young Marquis. This tutor, who was a man of fashion, and who knew nothing, of course could teach nothing to his pupil. Monsieur wished his son to learn Latin; Madame wished him not: accordingly they called in as arbitrator an author, who was at that time celebrated for some very pleasing works. He was asked to dinner. The master of the house began by asking him ; "Monsieur, as you understand Latin, and are a courtier,'-— I, Sir, understand Latin ? not a word,' replied the wit, and very glad am I that I don't ; for there is not a doubt but a man always speaks his own language

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