« ПредишнаНапред »
into infinite space. But really, when we consider the convenience which consols afford to the large and timid rentier class, to nervous old gentlewomen, quiet widows, wary trustees, and the like, it almost seems as if supposing no national debt to exist for the comfort of these deserying persons, it would be necessary to create one.
It is very nice and pleasant to have within one's grasp a certainty; The humblest fund-holder, who puts his little all into the Three-per-cents, has his annual pittance better assured to him than had the longest-headed capitalist of the Whittington times. Dividend-day will bring to him, with machine-like regularity, the moderate fruits of bis loan to sea-encompassed Albion. In the meantime, he has the importance that beseems the possessor of a stake in the country, and is the fractional proprietor of a first mortgage on Great Britain and Ireland.' But then this unimpeachable security is attended by its usual shadow, whose name is Low Interest. Three per cent, with the funds at over ninety, is but poor consideration for the giving up of all one's substance.
Capital is, indeed, a magic wand, that can do nearly every thing, but which it needs a skilled hand to, manipulate.' High interest, in dazzling raiment, like a spangled harlequin, walks the money-market hand in hand with bad security. Many are found, not unnaturally, to run after the glittering impostor, and to take his tinsel and paste jewels for genuine gold and gems. There are several South American republics, certain gold-mining and railway companies, land companies, water companies, the Great Laputa Joint Stock, and the Golconda Extension, which are always flashing their ten or fifteen per cent before the eyes of clergymen with some pounds and more olive branches, of the relicts of Indian colonels, and of the general public. The temptation is cruelly alluring. Never did silvery bait twirl more bewitchingly before a basking pike than does the bribe of two or three extra hundreds a year sparkle before a lady of contracted income, with three or four ambitious daughters, and a brace of sons whom she would like to see transformed into a bishop and a major-general. She must, she really must, as she declares (with the full consent of the chorus of daughters, growing old at Dullington, and eager to exhibit their charms on a wider stage), sell out of those stupid Consols, and give notice to leave the melancholy redbrick house, and “ brighten up" with increased means. So she closes her account with Britannia, and becomes the creditor of his highness the Nawab of Needleput, or helps the republic of Santa Impecuniosa to make war on its enemies, domestic and foreign. For a time she gets thumping dividends. But when the insolvent rajah takes his last dram of opium, or the rebels succeed in bringing to drumhead court-martial all the legitimate authorities of the South American commonwealth, then comes a crash, with unpaid coupons, closed shutters, and the ruin of simple investors.
It is not so easy now as it was a hundred years back to find a sure investment to bring in, say, five per cent on small terms of money. Formerly it was a common practice to buy, on easy terms, a rent-charge on the estate of some nobleman of great landed possessions, just as five hundred years ago it was fashionable to purchase a “corrody” in some abbey, and thenceforth to have beef, and beer, and wbite bread, a cell, and two yearly suits of clothes, for the residue of one's life. But peers manage matters otherwise now than was the rule when Hogarth etched his grim portraitures of manners. There are still some coroneted spendthrifts, but their nets no longer enclose the exceedingly small fish welcome to their great-great-grandfathers, and who paid their thousand or two of hard guineas for an annual slice of my lord's rents. And though a mortgage on minor properties is often obtainable, small estates are often so wrapped up in sheepskin, and prior claims, and ambiguous settlements, so bemuddled as to their title deeds, and so hazy as to their practical value, that a lender who has nothing to throw away in the law courts does not invariably find it facile to exercise the stringent powers which Themis presumably gives him.
Great gains are often made in a quiet way. Indeed, the people who have the knack of absorbing, not dishonestly,
the lion's share in every bargain, are precisely those who would blush to find their doings noised abroad by the blatant trumpet of fame. There are steady, church-going men in England, who turn all that they touch into gold for their private pockets. They wrong no one, but their clear brains, their strong will, and their command of cash, give them the whip-hand of those with whom they deal. In France this is still more the case.
If there be one personage whom our lively neighbors regard as the incarnation of respectability, that personage is the notary. And, if there be a choice, the provincial notary is a shade more respectable than even his jauntier brother of Paris. He is a government officer to begin with, and, therefore, his sleek head is surrounded by the nimbus that belonged, till lately, in Gaul, to every bureaucratic functionary. Then his charge is worth money. He might forfeit it it he misbehaved. Were he in debt he must sell it. He keeps it, and is therefore solvent and well-conducted. He is forbidden by law to speculate with his private funds. He sits on the marg’illiers' bench at the parish church; he wears spotless black, and a crumpled white cravat of unstarched cambric; he wears gold-rimmed spectacles, with perhaps a green shade as well, and in the button-hole of his brown greatcoat there is an inch of that precious red ribbon that å Frenchman loves to look upon. Nothing is more fitting than that those who have savings to invest, and they are very many in thrifty Gaul, should repose boundless confidence in the notary's advice.
Notaries grow rich, as woodcocks were once supposed to grow fat, by suction. The laborer, whether he works in an office or a field, is worthy of his hire, and it is fair that the scrivener should live by Mammon's altar. But what enriches the notary above ordinary men is the engrossing passion of poor Frenchmen for land. A peasant, who hears of fields in the market, will give as much as a hundred pounds an acre for the treehold of sterile soil out of which it takes the toil of Hercules to make a living. He will work persistently, stubbornly, almost savagely, to wring every sack of potatoes and barrel of coarse wine out of his sandy fields and stony vineyard. To get more out of the land he sacrifices others besides himself. His willing wife slaves and druges like a London cab-horse, and changes with hideous rapidity from a young to an old woman, over the daily task in all weathers. His children toil more than is good for the straightening of young backs and the shapeliness of tender limbs, in the service of that Moloch of a farm. Up at earliest dawn, busy till dark night, scraping and haggiing, pinching and saving, the whole family struggle on, spending as little as they can, making the most possible to them. But, “sic vos non vobis," might be the motto of the French peasantry. These poor folks practise the severest self-denial, and display an almost heroic courage as workers, for the emolument, less of themselves, than of the notary. Of the notary or of " his friend in the city;" who found the exorbitant purchase money for the meadows beside the brook, who lent wherewith to buy the cows, and the horse to replace old Quatreblanes when he fell lame, and who advanced the portion of the married daughter established in the nearest town as a petty shopkeeper. The interest is high, but then Monsieur Deslunettes gently deplores that his invisible client exacts a large return for the cash lent, and money, as the peasant very well knows, is
So Jacques goes honne; and works furiously, and lives as hard as he works, under the spur of his fierce landhunger, and loves the barren soil which he could sell, and well, to-morrow, only that he prefers to toil on, and so much the better for canny, comfortable Monsieur Deslunettes. A very scrupulous person, with a lively imagination, might follow with much curiosity and with occasional consternation, the fortunes of the money he had invested.lt would be found now and then to have assumed odd forms. Even loans to governments may do much evil, as well as good. The cash of some benevolent man, whose utmost wrath against the flies would only lead him, like the butcher's daughter described by Corporal Trim, to drive them away, not to kill them, assists somebody to set themselves up in mitrailleuses and sword-bayonets. Harmless Mrs. Grun
ly's savings go to purchase grapeshot and Greek fire. But that the 1864 pennies are too good, gold having entered ortunately for their own peace of mind investors rarely into them by mistake, and that the post-office will give sixlistract themselves by inquisitive speculations as to what pence each for them. The story being swallowed, the conbecomes of their money when they have once put it out at federates offer their victims — generally newsboys and nterest.
children — to sell them the pennies for fivepence, leaving them a penny profit. The poor lads, who have evidently
not profited, like Sam Weller, by the early education of the FOREIGN NOTES.
streets, hurry to the post-office, to find that all pennies are
alike. After all, though, scores of educated people believe MR. DISRAELI is reported to be once more about to try
in the value of a million effaced postage-stamps. his fate as a dramatic writer.
A TRAGEDIAN writes as follows to a London paper: “In Mr. APTOMMAS, the English harpist, has had such suc- view of the popularity attending the late Mr. Robertson's cess in Berlin that he has been engaged by Herr Ullman for system of monosyllabic titles, I propose that some of our a tour in Germany.
other plays be renamed in accordance with modern tastes. MR. EDMUND YATES has resolved to visit this country at
I do not claim this as a novelty, as it has long been a prac
tice for old plots to appear with new titles. I append a few the close of next summer, and deliver a series of lectures on
specimens : – his recollections of Thackeray, Dickens, and Jerrold.
New Name. The veteran basso, Signor Tamburini, at the age of The Tempest
Storm. seventy-three years, has been singing the aria d'entrata of The Merchant of Venice
Trade. the Count from Bellini's “ Somnaibula ;” and as well, it is Much Ado about Nothing
Fuss. aflirmed, as he first sang it 1827, when the air was com
Church. posed expressly for him by Bellini. So the Nice journals
The House on the Bridge
Muddle. A STUDENT in the Edinburgh University, who was fined The Irish Lion
Bull. a guinea for disturbing his class, last week, paid the greater King John
Gladstone. part of it in half-pence, about a quarter of an hour being
Good for Nothing . occupied in counting over the amount. This singular mode I could mention many more, only I can't think of them." of " serving out ”the professor who inflicted the fine was
Among other strange visitors to Paris, the Liberté notices carried out amidst the laughter of the class, by whom the
the presence of the Prince Scanderbeg, accused by some, amount had been subscribed.
says that paper, of being a mere adventurer named "George MR. SALA in an autobiographical preface to a collection Castriot. The Liberté is, of course, ignorant that Castriot, of his magazine papers, intornis the world that his “ original or Castriota, is the name of the Scanderbers, and that the sin was committed in the columns of the Family Herald, in great Albanian chief of the fifteenth century, Scanderbeg, 1845 ; ” but that he was first led to “ the adoption of the or the Bey Alexander, was George Castriota. The present profession of letters as a serious and responsible vocation,” Prince appears to have taken up his residence in the Rue by the success of an article published in Household Words du Bel Respiro, at the top of the Champs Elysées, and the in 1851.
following description is given of his household. His conThe Carnival in Paris was a failure this year. There cierge is a commander of the Order of the Star of Epirus,
wears a fez and a leather apron, and when off duty follows were no marks of rejoicing. Many workmen devoted a day's wages to the national subscription. The aspect of the his Highness, their principal occupation being to keep the
the profession of a cobbler. Two staff officers accompany city was by some declared to be an indication in France of the death of this original pagan feast.
There were no
forty guns with which the Prince usually travels in good masks in the streets.
order. There is a captain of the guards, who cleans his The police appear to have discour
master's boots, introduces visitors, and sings Albanian aged the fèle.
songs songs which, like the “ Tambourgi! Tambourgi!” It is stated, on good authority, that five or six poems
of which Byron heard screamed by “the wild Albanians kirHeine, equal to his very best, are kept under lock and key tled to the knee,” appear to have left no agreeable impresin the secrétaire of the friend to whom they were addressed, sion on the editor of the Liberié. The captain is dressed in and who refuses to publish them on account of their
a tight-fitting blue frock-coat, wears high boots, a fez, al and intimate tone. Surely, it is a mistake to risk the numerous decorations, and carries an ornamented gun en destruction of these poems by keeping them in MS. They bandoulière. should be made public, though the name of the friend they
A FOREIGN journal says it is a sign of a perhaps excepwere written to may well remain a secret.
tional return of confidence in the stability of affairs in the ANOTHER Paris celebrity has gone on. The death is French capital that the sparrows are beginning to go back announced of the telescope man on the Pont Neuf, who used to allow you to have a penny look at the rings of Saturn, ries. It was one of the pleasantest sights of Paris in former &c., at the pedestal of Henri IV. on the Pont Neuf. Ile has times to watch the hosts of birds in the public gardens gathheld the occupation since 1815, and made a very good thing ering around the visitors, and fearlessly picking up the of it. In foriner years wedding parties coming from church crumbs of bread which every true Parisian carried with him used to stop on the Pont Neuf, and the popular astronomer in his afternoon stroll for the delectation of“ les petits oisealways managed to show the happy couple their honeymoon
aux." But with the war the birds, like their protectors, fell in broad daylight.
upon evil times. When the garden of the Tuileries was The Poet Laureate, says the Athenaeum, has presented
transformed into a military camp, the majority of the birds, . t? the Prime Minister a memorial, in which are set forth the finding their tranquillity strangely disturbed, few away in claims of Mr. R. H. Hrne to be allowed to participate in
search of quieter quarters.
Those that remained during the pensions awarded froin the Civil List in recognition of
the siege were killeil an: eaten, and at the signing of the literary, scientiac, and o.h'r public services. Among Mr. «ity. In the months of March anil April the sparrows,
armistice there was not a bird in any of the gardens of the Tennyson’s_co-signatories are Mr. Browning, Mr. Swin- blackbirds, and wood-pigeons again took possession of the burne, Mr. Rossetti, Mr. Morris, Mr. Matihew Arnold, Mr. Carlyle , Lord Lytton, Sir Ilenry Taylor, Mr. Ruskin, Prof. Aag still floated over the cl»ck-to ver.
Tuileries garden, and chirped as merrily as if the Imperial
Then came the Owen, and Miss Harriet Mirtineau.
burning of the palace, and on the morning after the disaster The latest London swindle discovered is a curiously the trees were once mor: tenantless, save tor a few scorched clever and heartless one.
Sume oue has got up a story tledglings found in the ruined nests. From that day, it is
said, neither blackbirds, wood-pigeons, nor ring-doves have and of humanity; advancing from the early outburst of been seen in the garden. An attempt was made during the granite and basalt, through the bowlder of Gneiss to the past summer to reintroduce them, but the couples brought flew Ichthyosaurus and Megatherium. Man then appears as a away as soon as they were released from the cage. The spar- dweller in the pre-historic Swiss lake dwelling on polos rows, more hopeful of the future, have, however, returned with where he bitterly bewails the misfortune of being a pionee? the early spring, and with them has reappeared the familiar of civilization, and as one born before the invention of mol form of the apprivoiseur, with his penny roll of bread ern comforts." and his changing circle of unceremonious guests.
“ There appear to be songs to suit all tastes; but two hare
especially delighted us, both by their originality and the es. MILLAUD, the banker and newspaper speculator, who died cellence of their rhythm. recently in Paris, and who founded the Paris Petit Journal,
“ We cannot close this notice without thanking Mr. Lelani which at one time had a daily circulation of nearly half a
for making us acquainted with this most amusing collectiun million copies, was an enthusiastic believer in the advan
of ballads, and wishing it may be as well received as his tages of liberal advertising. One day he had at his table nearly all the proprietors of the leading Paris dailies. They It may interest our readers to learn that “the geological
former publications, · Hans Breitmann,' and other ballads conversed about advertising. Millaud asserted that the
songs owe their origin to a course of lectures on geology most worthless articles could be sold in vast quantities, if
which Pastor Schmezer delivered at the time. Schetid liberally advertised. Emile de Girardin, of La Presse, who regularly attended these lectures of his friend, and the luiwas present, took issue with him on the subject. 66 What
ter was certain to find as regularly on the following morning will you bet," exclaimed Millaud, " that I cannot sell in one of his lecture a poetical résumé of it on his desk, in the week one hundred thousand francs' worth of the most com
form of a humorous poem.'” mon cabbage-seed under the pretext that it will produce mammoth cabbage heads ? All I have to do is to advertise it at once in a whole-page insertion of the daily papers of this city.” Girardin replied that he would give him a page
THE CARPENTER. in his paper for nothing if he should win his wager. The other newspaper publishers agreed to do the same thing.
I. At the expiration of the week they inquired of Millaud how
O LORD, at Joseph's humble bench, the cabbage-seed had flourished. He showed them his
Thy hands did handle saw and plane; books triumphantly, and satisfied them that he had sold
Thy hammer nails did drive and clench, – nearly twice as much as he promised, while orders were
Avoiding knot and humoring grain. still pouring in; but he said the joke must stop there, and no further orders would be filled. OF all the discoveries for which the world is indebted to
That thou didst seem, thou wast indeed; German professors, one just published by Prof. Schmidt
In sport thy tools thou didst not use;
Nor, helping hind's or fisher's need, may claim to rank among the most singular. Hearing
The laborer's hire, too nice, refuse. Herr Rubinstein play at a concert, he took it into his head to count the notes which that famous pianiste had played
III. by heart, and found them to amount to 62,990, fully justifying therefore an assertion previously made by the physi
Lord, might I be but as a saw,
A plane, a chisel, in thy hand ! ologist Haring, that a pianiste's calling lays about the
No, Lord ! I take it back in awe heaviest tax of any upon the memory. Herr Schmidt was,
Such prayer for me is far too grand. however, not satisfied with this enumeration. Applying Austrian neukreutzers as a dynamometer, he tested the
IV. pressure requisite to strike a key on Herr Rubinstein's piano, and found it to be equivalent to 24 neukrentzers,
I pray, O Master, let me lie,
As on thy bench the favored wood; which is 2} ounce. The force exerted by the pianiste in
Thy saw, thy plane, thy chisel ply, playing the 62,900-note piece he therefrom calculated to
And workme into something good. amount to nearly 94} cwt. IIerr Schmidt then intruded into Herr von Bülow's room and tried his piano, which has
V. a harder touch, but which no doubt Herr Rubinstein could
No, no: ambition, holy-high, have played on perfectly well. Here the pressure would
Urges for more than both to pray : have amounted to 1185 cwt. The discovery may be of
Come in, O gracious Force, I cry interest to pianists who are unaware how great an effort of
O workman, share my shed of clay. muscle they go through in playing a piece, but surely it requires a German professor to draw such a lesson from a
Then I, at bench, or desk, or oar,
With last or needle, net or pen, The Geological Magazine has an unexpected review of
As thou in Nazareth of yore, Mr. Leland's "Gaudeamus." “ It may astound some of our
Shall do the Father's will again. readers,” says the Geological Magazine, " to see in the pages of this journal a notice of a book with such a title as the
GEORGE MACDONALD. above; we must, therefore, at once explain that Scheffel's poems, as translated by Leland, are intended to form a part of every geologist's library, and the English edition being BURN ET T's COCOAINE gives new life to the
hair. small, it can conveniently be put into every geologist's pocket or knapsack. Then, when the way proves long, and the
THROAT AFFECTIONS AND HOARSENESS. — All suffering load of rocks or fossils wearisome, he will find it is good to from Irritation of the Throat and Hourseness will be agreeably sit down on the first convenient seat by the wayside, and surprised at the almost immediate reliet ailoriled by the use of having taken out his pipe and his “Gaudeamus,' he will fol- “ Brown's Bronchial Troches." low Mr. Leland's directions, and say to his companion if he have - or to himself if he have none, one,
-•Let us be
The standard relish universally adopted by the best judges
is the HALFORD LEICESTERSHIRE TABLE 'SACCE. You cab jolly: Mr. Leland writes: "Joseph Victor Scheffel is at present
obtain this fine article of any first-class grocer for only duty
cents per pint bottle. the most popular poet in Germany, and“ without being presented as such, these ballads, though complete in ihem- Read the opinion of Mr. Greene, editor of Boston Post, in selves, form in their connexion a droll history of the world regard to White's SPECIALTY FOR DYSPEPSIA.
EVERY SATURDAY :
A JOURNAL OF CHOICE READING.
SATURDAY, MARCH 30, 1872.
A STORY OF GRAND CAIRO.
cloak hung upon it in fine artistic folds. His small, wellNAFOOSA:
shaped feet were shod in bright yellow slippers, and a spotlessly white turban was wound in soft thick coils round his head. His face - it was a face such as one never forgets,
and which, even in this land of dark-eyed, passionate-visIt
aged men, had a character and distinction of its own. A vast, glistening expanse of pitiless, staring light, and the deep olive skin, a long, flat nose, a thin, broad mouth, which sky above it — intensely blue, and without the tiniest cloud smiled now and then rather sweetly and sadly, and slow, - to diversify its infinite monotony - had contemplated us, lazy, oval eyes, lighting up occasionally with a sort of fierce
fried, shrivelled, dust-blinded mortals, as we had toiled eagerness, almost, I might say, cruelty, which took one's painfully, yet with heroic endurance, through our duties of breath away, and somehow seemed to make one's blood sight-seeing.
creep in one's veins. We had spent the afternoon visiting the dilapidated but Ali and I were fast friends. From the first, he had taken still beautiful “ Tombs of the Caliphs,” standing apart now my donkey and myself under his special protection, and in solemn isolation a mile or two from the city, and surround- his place was invariably by my side. From the first, too, he ed on every side by yellow sand — fitting resting-places, in had been communicative, confidential even, and had readily their deep repose, for the great dead who lie there.
enough let me into the mysteries of his domestic interior. Their calm sleep is seldom disturbed now. Tourists, to One day I had chanced to ask him if he had a wife, or two, be sure, like ourselves, come now and then from the bleak or, perhaps, even three, I had added, with an involuntary North to stare and giddily chatter within the sacred pre- lowering of my voice, and with a wholesale gulping-down cincts. But tourists have not as yet become the plague of of the repugnance I felt at making the odious suggestion. these regions, and their visits are comparatively few and His answer relieved me immensely. Ali had but one wife, far between. They come and go quickly, for there is not and Nafoosa was her name. much to tempt them to loiter, and their voices grow fainter “ And do you love her very much?” I inquired eagerly, and fainter, and their footprints are swiftly effaced from the and with a keen sense of delight at the promising condition ever-shifting sand, and all is silent as before. The swarthy of Ali's morals and manners. Bedouin stalks majestically past next, with his dark, fierce “ Love her? Yes!” And the oval eyes flamed up sudface turned towards the West. He is returning from a denly. “I give her diamants and pearls, and beautiful hurried visit to the hated city, to his roofless home in the dresses - the best in the bazaar. My wife pretty — very desert ; but he will not loiter within reach of even the pretty. Love her? Yes, I do!” he concluded emphatfaintest sounds of civilized life, and his grand, swift, yet ically. never hurried step, quickly passes by, and he is soon lost in This was delightful. But the very next instant my feelthe burning expanse. Then, perhaps, comes a dark string ings received a cruel shock. of heavily-laden camels, or a veiled woman, with a pitcher “ And how long have you been married ? Have you any on her head, and a dusky, naked imp on her shoulder, or a children?" I asked imprudently. troop of laborers, or a file of donkeys. But they all, like “ Children? Yes. One boy, dead — of other wife, you ourselves, have come merely to go again, and, gliding by know; not this one,” he replied, carelessly, and urging my noiselessly, the dead are once more left to themselves. donkey on to a quicker pace.
The sun has set now in a tremulous, golden glory, and the “ Other wife!” I replied aghast. “But, Ali, you told short southern twilight has already deepened into night. The yellow sands and silent tombs are behind us pale, ghostly “She bad, — very bad. Put her away sent her home shadows; and before us is the strange, fantastic city, through to her father. She ugly, very ugly, hate her!” my friend whose narrow streets our donkeys, and we upon them, are proceeded in an off-hand way. threading
our way, under the guidance of our donkey-boy, This was unpleasant, and it took me a few minutes to Ali Achmet. Everybody who has ever been in Cairo is recover myself. Presently, however, I had, with a facility intimately acquainted with the tribe donkey-boy, the irre- which astonished myself, faced the position, and I was curipressible, impudent, yet fascinating youth, who, chattering ously inquiring into all the particulars. Not very many a dozen languages in a breath, bewilders the inexperienced could I gather. The subject seemed to be of very slight traveller into the belief that he is a genius, and knows them interest to Ali. As far as the difficulties of language would all. Foolish supposition, indeed. Six words of each is, on allow me to discover, he had first married a wife of eleven, an average, the extent of his knowledge. But with these he being himself fourteen years old. She had had a temsix words, his bright laughing eyes, his gleaming teeth, his per, and probably a tongue. It was the old story of mothernever tired legs, and his inexhaustible stock of good-will, in-law versus daughter-in-law, except that in this land of fun, and impudence, he is the donkey-boy par excellence of lightly-considered matrimonial engagements, the mother-inall the world, and has won your heart in five minutes. law had carried the day in the end, instead of the wife.
This, however, is a digression, for Ali, our friend, was The refractory Fatimeh had, probably by mutual consent, not, strictly speaking, a donkey-boy, though he called him- returned to her father's house, after the death of her child, self one, but rather a master donkey-boy, owner of several
and in due time Natoosa had become her successor. Nabeasts and several boys. Ali was, in short, a man of sub- foosa! It was a sweet sounding name, and somehow took stance, who was doing well in the world. His age, accord- my fancy strangely: I caught myself repeating it over and ing to his own account, was about twenty ; but he looked, over again with a lingering tenderness, observing which, as all Easterns do, at least ten years older. His figure was Ali suddenly looked up at me with flashing eyes. Would tall and slender, yet strongly made, and his dark camel-hair I come to his house to see her ? he inquired. Nafoosa
would be glad ; his mother would be glad ; everybody the very steep and rickety staircase which led to his w.uld be glad; the coffee would be ready, — “real, Arab “ home.” What a strange, dark place it was! How myscoffee — not the stuff they give at hotel,” with an expressive terious and still seemed the dim, lofty rooms, across which grimace: but good coffee, such as Arab drinks. Would I the lantern, which Ali had lit a few moments ago, threw come?
all sorts of odd, shimmering glances. In the half light, it Of course I said that I would come, some day, soon, but seemed to be quite a palatial abode. We passed through
And I looked back with a smile at the gentlemen of at least two lofty, good-sized apartments before reaching our party. Might they come too? Were they to be al- the one in which Ali, with the gesture of a king, and with lowed to see the lovely Nafoosa ?
a courteous dignity which made me blush for my recent Ali smiled too, but rather darkly. I had only made the ridiculous fit of suspicion and distrust, pointed to the divan proposal for a little jest, but my friend seemed to consider and requested me to be seated. It was easy to see that my it a serious sort of jest, and without ceremony gave it a flat friend was lord and master of his kingdom, and his coming rfusal. No man but himself might look on his wife's face. seemed all at once to rouse it out of the sort of magic slumIler father ? Yes, that did not count. And her brother, of ber in which it had been plunged. Doors opened and shut
Yes. But a stranger, a Frank, a Christian! By again. The shuffling of pattens made itself heard. There the soul of the Prophet's mother, a thousand times, No! was a general waking up, and presently his womankin)
And so it came to pass that to-day, on our way back from began to appear — slaves, servants, relations, children – the Caliphs' Tombs, Ali reminded me of my promise. Its what not ? “In these Eastern households it is as well not fulfilment had been, from one cause or another, from day to to inquire too closely into particulars, nor to attempt to Quy delayed, but now my friend seemed resolved to take no fathom the mysterious depths of a Moslem's harem. Soon ! xcuse, and though I was tired and hungry, and anxious to a faint ray of light began to dawn upon me.
At all events, be at home, I did not know how to refuse his eager invita- whatever or whoever they were, they were not all Ali's. tion, and after a short hesitation, said “yes” to it at last. My friend was one of several brothers, who kept hoise The next minute I half regretted my complacency. Day- together, and the consequence was this numerous fexuale licht had almost gone now, and the Mouski — the Regent congregation, over which his mother reigned as queen. Street of Cairo — was brilliantly lit, and filled with a A hideous, disagreeable old queen she was too.
I disliked sereairing, motley throng. But Ali and I had left the
her from the very first, and looking at her wrinklel, Nouski, and my companions (who were returning to the malignant, hard face, I fancied that I could fully sympahotel), and had turned sharply into a narrow passage, which thize with the wrongs and wocs of the luckless Fatimeh. led us, after a minute or two, into a dark, quiet quarter. The “ But Nafoosa ? I inquired presently, when I had done change was sudden and startling. I was alone with an my best to acknowledge the numerous salaams and greetArıb, whom a week ago I had never seen, and I was in the ings which I received froin all sides, and I had beconie midst of a large Eastern city, and it was late, almost night. somewhat accustomed to the eager gaping and staring to I short, to be perfectly candid, I suddenly felt a little which I was of course subjected. Surely Nafoosa is not triltuned, and rather suspicious and distrustful of my friend one of these?” There were one or two tolerably pretty Ali, in whose complete power I had rashly placed myself. faces among them. But not even the kohl which darkened We had both become very silent. My silly alarms para- their eyes, nor the paint which colored their checks, nor lyzed my tongue, and while Ali was probably indulging in a the gleaming whiteness of their teeth - which I believe pleasant dream of the home to which he was bringing me, was genuine gave them the remotest claims to beauty.
.. ashamed to say that my brain was busy conjuring up As to the rest, they were unmitigatedly ugly and awkward ill sorts of imaginary horrors.
in their tasteless, clumsy clothes, and with their grinning, li was very foolish of me, no doubt. Yet, for my self- vacant smiles. “Surely Nafoosa could not be one of detence, the circumstances were, to say the least of them, these ? Ali, seated by my side on the divan, — all the sightly peculiar. On he went, through narrow lanes and women, not even excepting his mother, standing in various winuing passages, in which my teet came into continual ungraceful attitudes before us, smiled a quiet, superior contact with the walls. So narrow were they, that the sky sort of smile at my question. “ No, certainly. Natoosa ilsuve w. s ofien but a slender streak of dark, liquid blue, was not one of these. She had been sleeping probably, in which a stray star was calmly shining; so narrow, that and was
now dressing herself. She would come in a ofte'n too, the delicately-carvel, latticed, Arabian night bal- minute." conies, jutting out on either side, hid the sky and the stars She was coming even then ; had in:leed come
- noise itogether, and made the passage beneath completely dark. lessly, like an apparition — an'l was standing, white and Once, I remember, we came to a sort of little “Place,” still, in the midst of that chattering, grinning, untaking cros: ing wlich I breathed more freely. Here, too, were the group of women. It was as iť a pure white lily had sudtill, dark houses, and the mysterious balconies, and strange, denly sprung up in the midst of a gaudy, vulgar flower-bed. dusky shadows were lying about. A white-veiled woman Perhaps Nafoosa, roused abruptly from her slumbers was gliling across it in a ghostly fashion. But above, in (Eastern women sleep, from want of any thing else to do, the deep, distant sky, there was a moon, and such a moon! at all times and hours), had not had time to deck herself
, So serenely, beautifully bright, and shining down upon the and had therefore, at íhe summons of her lord, hastily conlittle Piace with such a glorious tranquil light, that it cealed deficiencies by wripping herself up in the white quieted my nerves all at once, and made me feel myself linen garment, called eezrr, which is the female out-of-tdoor again. Our wanderings were moreover nearly concluded toilette in the East. At all events, from whatever cause, now, and presently Ali an I the donkey came to a standstill. she wore it now. The effect of the contrast was delightful.
“ This is my home,” he announced laconically, taking me The eezar was not put on after the usual hideous and unin his arms, the Eastern fashion of dismounting one, and gainly fashion, which converts its wearer into a shapeless, placing me upon my feet in front of a very low arch way, waddling bundle, but was carelessly thrown over the shoulbehind which pitch darkness, and nothing else, was visible. ders, leaving the head and neck uncovered, and if the girl But something was audible sounds which frightened me had studied her appearance for a week, she could not in more reasonably than the imaginary terrors of a few the end have selected a more becoming or striking costume.
the loud barking of a crew of the inevitable How beautiful she was! with those lustrous, wistful eyes, lateful, ugly curs, which are the veritable plague of all and that sott, entirely colorless skin, and that profusion of Eastern cities, and my especial aversion and terror.
rich, dark hair; and when she smiled, as she was now It required all Ali's persuasive powers to reassure me, smiling at me, a shy, surprised smile, so unlike the bold, and 10 induce me to follow him into the sombre regions gaping smiles of the other women, I felt my heart jump whinee the barks, or rather yells, proceeded; but at last, to into my mouth, and thought that in all my life I had never ?..ke a long story short, I plucked up my courage, and, seen any thing half so pretty. leeping close at his heels, I soon found that I had safely And so I enthusiastically informed her husband, who re, (*os el a sort of conrt-yard, and that I was climbing up ceived my compliments with true Eastern phlegm : yet I