Imatges de pàgina
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tear myself from thee; or I may share the fate of my companions. You were wont to listen with pleasure to my voice, and before I go we will chaunt one last adieu.”

“ Not now; time is precious; the scouts must ere this be out, and even on your track; be ruled—another time will do."

“ Canst thou talk of another time, when this may be our last meeting. No! I am a proscribed inan, doomed to an ignominious death; and should I escape, dare not, as I love my life, again venture within these territories : this, then, may be the last time, and canst thog retuse ?"

Ada said nought, but seating herself on the ground and burying her face in her hand, silently awaited the issue of his determination, in a kind of agony at his stay; although it was so evident, Hamid seemed to regard it not, but sang in a clear melodious voice the following words :

“ Now we part; our joys have fled,

Like the lightning's vivid tress;
Brief as the lustre which they shed,
Such the term of happiness;
And the emblems of our love,
Rest in our hearts and Heaven above.
Now we part, and the rough breeze
Comes swelling on to bear me hence;
And as time flies, with zeal I seize
Those moments of such transient sense ;
And sigh it is my fate to roam
An exile from my loved one's home.
Now we part; the clarion's call,
Invites me to the battled plain;
Where heroes round their banners fall,
And live and die for England's gain ;
I go ;-but should I lay me there,
I die for thee and Britain's fair.
Now we part; a long, long kiss—
The last, perchance; bear witness, Heaven,
That should I wander into bliss,
Or be by tempests tossed and driven,
Or doomed, through lands unknown to rove,

E'en Turks are true to those they love." As he finished the foregoing stanzas, and the echoes of his voice were lost in the distance, a perfect silence prevailed, which either seemed unwilling to interrupt. The moon had just risen, and was throwing her clear silvery beams towards the earth; the scenery around them was beautiful; the trees, natural to the burning soil, flourished here in their luxuriance, and seemed to have received fresh life from the absence of the sun. Behind them was the house of Mustapha, which appeared imbedded in the dark green foliage; and the gilded minarets which rose at intervals, towering high in the air, added a light and beautiful fairy-like appearance to the scene, which may be looked for in vain in other climes. To the right there was a steep road which wound to the summit of a mountain, but the view of its progress was lost in the rocky pile; and to the south, towards the city, there was likewise a

similar path. Suddenly they were aroused from their reverie by the quick and hurried sound of approaching horsemen. Ada listened but for a moment, then turning towards him, with her hands uplifted, and her pale cheeks suffused with tears, said, “ Hamid, fly! fly!- they are here !-stay not a moment, or you are lost-Go! go!-if you love me, go! The youth spoke not; but imprinting a kiss on her lovely cheek, he sprang to his saddle and was quickly tracing his steps to the mountains. Nor had he time to spare; for scarcely had he turned a corner of the road which bid him from her view, than three horsemen, urging on at their utmost speed, swept past, and were rapidly following his path. Ada listened until the sounds were lost in the distance; then, with a heavy sigh and a gloomy foreboding of the future, turned her steps towards the house.

Month after month rolled on, until two years had elapsed since they had last met ; but still time passed on without bringing to her a knowledge of his existence. Oft when the sun had shrouded his burning head beneath the west, and the pale yellow moon held her dominion o'er the universe, would she stray forth, and, whilst admiring the natural beauties of the spot, think of her absent lover, who might ere now, perhaps, have sunk under his fatigue and died in a foreign land, disregarded by the world. These thoughts usually overpowered her weak frame, and she returned to her home in a faiut, exhausted, and almost senseless state. Winter came, and even in this hot clime, for a time he held his frigid sway. The time of her rambling was past, and she was compelled to confine herself within her father's abode ; hope had fled; and to be debarred the pleasure of strolling over the spots where they had passed their happy hours, where they had sung, talked, and parted last, was too much to endure; the bloom from her cheeks had Aed, her strength was gradually decreasing, and her father, who, with a heavy heart, beheld her decline, thought, with bitterness, of his former acts, and would now have given the universe to have recalled them. But luckily for him, his attention was about this time directed from his domestic trials to the public weal; for near twelve months a fierce band of banditti had lodged themselves in the mountains of Angora, and so flagrant had their acts become, that the government had issued a proclamation for their subjection. Rumour, with her babbling tongue, had represented them as a lawless horde of miscreants, many of whom had belonged to the invincible Janizaries, and massacred all whom they caught, to revenge themselves for the death of their companions. The leader of this band was called, either from his unconquerable conduct, or his skill from keeping his troops discovered, The Devil ; but those who had seen him, with all their love of the marvellous, could not but represent him as a bold, handsome, and courteous youth, who honoured the laws of arms and hospitality. Against him, then, was Mustapha commanded to march with a powerful troop-lo return victorious, and give quarter to none.

About three days after his departure, whilst Ada was seated at her window, looking towards the spot where she had last seen her beloved, she was suddenly startled by the entry of a tall dark-featured man, clad in the costume of the late Janizaries. In the first moment of her

surprise, she was about to rush towards him as her lover, but a second glance sufficed to prove her mistake; and recoilinga few steps, staggered, and fell to the ground. The intruder leaned over her, raised her in his arms, and endeavoured, in his rough manner, to restore her to animation; in a short time he succeeded; but as she opened her eyes, and found herself in such an unusual situation, she uttered a piercing shriek for help.

“ Madam,” said the stranger, “I pray you to be silent, or I must leave you with my errand unperformed by the Holy Prophet! I do not mean you harm, but am come by the command of my chief, the bearer of a message to you; it is of importance,-take it, madam, and know that the meanest dependent of him who sends you that, would die to serve you."

Ada took the proffered packet, and as she involuntarily broke the seal, said, “ From whom is this ?-you appear to be one of those og whom the curses of the Prophet have been laid ; is your commander, too, one of the proscribed."

“He is an angel to be worshipped ; a true soldier who would die for a friend; a man who has been cursed in every land he has trod; him whom men call The Devil.As he uttered the last words, he clenched his teeth as if struggling with some mental agony, and suddenly left the apartment.

“I cannot assist him," said Ada, throwing the paper from her ; “ my father has gone forth, and the wretch will die."

“Not by the hand of man!" said a voice at the window ; “ read and judge.” Ada started and looked round; but he who gave the warning had fled. It was some minutes ere she could recover her affright, and when her strayed senses had sufficiently returned, her first action was to seize the packet; she opened and read. No sooner had her eyes glanced over the paper, than she seemed struck with doubt, amazement, and consternation; she stood motionless as a statue, with her eyes intently fixed on the writing : for a moment she remained thus; her brain burned—and had she not been relieved by a sudden flow of tears, her reason might have departed for ever. Fortunately, those tears, which had so long beeen dried up, rolled down her pallid cheeks in rapid succession, and the fever, like a flame overpowered by water, subsided; she convulsively pressed the letter to her heart, kissed it, held it at her arm's length, and gazed eagerly upon it,-again kissed it, and again pressed it to her heart. It was the story of her lover. The words which had caused so sudden a change in the manner of the maiden ran thus:“ Beloved of my soul,

“ After a tedious, heart-rending absence of three years, 1 once more address you from the fulness of my heart. But my mind misgives me.--Ada, must we for ever part?-I fear your answer, when you know I am doubly cursed in the land of my birth. Say it not, for I love you still; for thee alone I live, and for thee would I die. The thoughts of your love have been my safeguard in my absence; for you have I surmounted difficulties which a legion would have shrunk from; for you I have been imprisoned, reviled, and scourged ; and but for you I should ere this have died. Wilt thou, then, banish me from your love, because the populace know me not?-You will not. It will be needless to tell you that on the night of my fight, I quickly escaped from my pursuers. I landed, after a tedious journey, on the territories of my family; but what a scene awaited me.—Ada, I will not tell thee all; it would wring your heart, even should you have forgotten me. Suffice it to say, I was cursed, even cursed on the land of my ancestors; reviled as an impostor, and finally cast into a gloomy dungeon, where I pined away a year of my existence. But I escaped ; and having seen enough of Christian hospitality, I ventured at every hazard to return to my native land. At length I am once more here ; and now, Ada, shall I tell you all ?-) must, for I cannot deceive.Have you heard of a man who is feared throughout the empire, who is termed a being void of principle, a villain, a murderer, and a devil. I am he. But I swear by our Holy Prophet, not one of these epithets can they with justice apply. I am innocent of all.-I already know your father's mission; but for both our sakes shall he without injury be foiled. Canst thou love me now?—Reflect, and be not rash in your decision; I will give you three days, when I shall expect an answer; my happiness depends on it; but for myself I care not, for you alone I live. Adieu, Ada, my beloved, think well of your

“ ABD-Ul-Hamid." As Ada concluded the perusal of this letter, and the first burst of passion, occasioned by such unexpected joy, had Aed,-she reasoned more calmly on her future plans; her love for Hamid had increased rather than diminished during his absence, and she prayed most fervently to the Holy Prophet, to guide her in the approaching struggle between duty to her father and her long plighted troth; she wept as she thought of the unhappiness she was doomed to incur; but the more she considered it, the more fully was she convinced, that, act as she would, it was inevitable. Her life, her happiness rested upon her love. Was she not censured by her father for her misplaced affection? Was she not gradually sinking to the grave, under a gloomy despondency? The struggle was short, but poignant; her duty was great, but her love prevailed, and ere she had retired to her couch, she had determined to follow the fortunes of her lord. Alas! for Ada! too soon had she to learn that happiness reigned not paramount on earth. Happiness! what art thou ?-an ideal vision-a thing to be sought for in vain. The soldier, toiling through months of continued fatigue, looks forward to its enjoyment, when, having returned to his native land, he thinks with pleasure of his hard-earned laurels, and receives the thanks of a grateful populace. But it is transient, and has fled-it enters not the breast unalloyed. Ambition, love, glory, or gain, seem all in league to subvert the celestial gift.

It was as beautiful a morning as ever shone forth upon the earth, clear and calm; the sun had risen midway between the meridian and horizon, brightly tinging the few clouds which remained, as if fixed in the heavens, with a rich purple hue. The spot where we have selected our stand, was in the province of Angora; a tall hill rose towering in the air, presenting its barren and rugged front to the dissatis. fied traveller, whilst at the top, as if to tempt him on, stood an old dilapidated castle, but which of late seemed to have undergone material repairs, and fitted up, at various points, with strong batteries of cannonades, which bespoke its being a well-armed fortress. In the valley at the south rode two horsemen, each attired in the Eastern costume ; but there was a wild, roving appearance about their manners and dress, which told in pretty plain terms they were connected with those parties of banditti who infested the country. Both were mounted on steeds of symmetrical beauty, and the ease and grace with which they sat their saddles and curbed the impatient animals, showed they had been long inured to equestrian habits. But what excited the greatest attention was the peculiarity of their arms; a pair of ordinary pistols was confined at the belt, whilst a pair of greater dimensions occupied the holsters; the never-failing rifle thrown across the saddle before the rider, the heavy sabre at his side, and a long slender lance carried in his hand, and which he thrust in every direction with wonderful alacrity: the latter weapon seemed the favourite of each.Thus doubly armed, they marched on for some time in silence, when the foremost of the two turned towards his companion, and said —

“ Harran, these troops of the Sultan are likely to prove good soldiers, for they have seen service of late. I fear it will be folly in us to withstand their power; what say you ? Shall we resign to their superior arms? You know the royal mandate ; liberty to all, save their chief.” As he finished, he fixed a searching glance upon his companion, and seemed awaiting his answer in breathless anxiety.

“By Mohammed," answered the other quickly, “ I know not what makes you speak thus; but this I know, so long as my good steed can carry me to yonder fastness, so long will I live a free man."

" It is a strong post,” said the other, musingly, whilst his gaze seemed intently fixed on the castle above them, as if scanning its every property.

"Such an one,” said his companion, following the direction of his eye, “ as would defy their power; Abd-ul-Hamid, you are our chief, and proud am I to say, as bold a one as ever drew steel, and should know the meanest serf of your camp would die at his post, should you command him to stand; I know your spirit, as I do your motive, for your former question. You are noble and generous, but unconquerable as the wind, and sooner than surrender to the power of the Prince, you would throw yourself from yon dizzy height. `Is it not so?"

“You are right, Harran; never, whilst I can command my own fate, will I be a prisoner to the Turkish Sultan. Heaven knows, how unwilling was I to adopt my present course of life; but I was driven to it by the actions of the world; I was constrained to become a robber because men would not let me live as others. I take from none but those who can spare it, and who are my implacable foes; and I am for this condemned, cursed, and reviled as a devil; but I can bear it all, for I care not for the censures of the world. What say you, Harran ?" said he, with startling energy, suddenly reining up his horse beside his companion—" treachery may defy even a vigilant watch in those towers."

Treachery!" exclaimed the other in unfeigned astonishment ; “ wilt thou infer "

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