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peans; yet, like the Turks, and from the same cause, such is, their state of irritation, that let their religious tenets be tampered with, and the hand of him (I speak after much personal intercourse) who was ready to adore you as his patron and a demigod, would be raised to slay you as his deadliest foe. Much may be done by quiet and good example, but nothing should yet be attempted by precept, and still less by violence and argument, or by treating their creeds and customs with disrespect. Missionaries, sent forth by our well-meaning societies, were at first modest in their behaviour, but have of late become more zealous than prudent ; and some inflammatory printed papers were last year so industriously circulated by them throughout Bengal, and would soon have spread all over our Indian Empire, that had government not had timely notice of them, and an active police been able to suppress_them, not a mau might have escaped to tell us, that all the Europeans had fallen a sacrifice, and their power been at once annihilated by such an act of ignorance and indiscretion !
Nibil dictum, quod non dictum prius: there is nothing new under the sun. Many years ago I proposed to my Munshi, or Persian teacher in Bengal, to translate Parnell's story of the Hermit, as a fine specimen of our English apologue; when he very quietly referred me to the first Risallah of Sadī, who quotes and comments on it as a text from the Coran. Also the reproof given to Abraham in this apologue of Bishop Taylor, Dr. Franklin, and Sadī, is so similar to what Moses is said by Oriental writers to have received on a like occasion, that I may now safely, quote it as the original.
U9,3 Cārūn, the Korah of our scriptures Numb. xiv. was equally notorious for his wealth and stinginess : and there is a Hadis, or tradition of Mohammed—“that Moses, the cousin of Cārün, had the divine permission to punish his wickedness. Accordingly, in the midst of his kindred and hoards, Moses ordered the earth to open and swallow him up. And it did so gradually; for he at first sunk no deeper than to the knees, then to the waist, after that to the shoulders, and at last to the chin: and after each pause he called aloud, saying, "Have mercy on me, O Moses !--but Moses had no mercy, and the earth finally closed upon him, together with all his riches and clan, And God appeared to Moses and said, Thou hadst no mercy on thy cousin Cārūn, notwithstanding he craved thy forgiveness four sundry times; whereas had he repented, and asked me but once, however iniquitous he had been, I would have compassionated
and forgiven him.”-A Hadīs of their prophet is equally es. teemed by Mussulmans, as the Talmud is by the Jews.
In all the three styles of relating the apologue, Abraham is represented as comfortable in his domestic circle, grateful for the benefits of Providence, and hospitable to strangers of his own sect; but actuated, as most Christian sects also are, by an ignorant zeal and narrow prejudice, he allows himself to be instigated to an act of hard-heartedness and intolerance, which the Deity notices and reproves.
So far the parable is complete, having a beginning, a middle, and an end ; and I cannot but admire both the Bishop's and Doctor's oriental phraseology and happy imitation of the narrative simplicity of their respective copy, for no person after this can give either the credit of being original; but, led astray by our European bud taste of amplifying their subject, the Bishop proceeds in a detail of bringing the old man back, and the Doctor adds to it the particulars of Abraham's punishment in his third and fourth generation; and thus both destroy the unity and integrity of the fable and plot, which together constitute the chief beauty of such a real Persian apologue.
Many of our best writers think, that the stories, like the manners and religions of the East, must undergo an ordeal to adapt them to the ideas of modern Europe; but let me tell them, that we have yet to learu the true art of telling a story from such Persian prose and verse compositions, as the Gulistan and Bostan of Sadi; for by such an amplification as the good Bishop and facetious Doctor have indulged in, the epigrammatic point of their original is blunted, and it is thus retined into a vitiated and spiritless imbecility. The abstraction of our modern philosophy, that fashion of a day, enters too much into all our translations from the oriental writings; and thus the highly expressive is sacrificed to the neat, the pathetic to the brilliant, the strong to the frivolous, and the energetic to the clear; and the simplicity of sentiment, and forcible diction in particular of such an original Persian apologue are frittered away in its copy.
A writer in narrating a story expresses it either in the sentiments of another person, or in his own; the first being the simple narrative, and that generally adopted by our European writers; and the second the dramatic, which is most consistent with the oriental idiom, and particularly with that of Persian writers in their felicitous use of their particle «, saying ; and which infuses such life into a narrative, and corresponds with the λέγων and dicens of the Greek and Latin : as, και αποκριθείς και
VOL. XXVII. CI. NI. NO, LIII. E
"Ino oūs eine,mbyw :-et respondens Jesus dixit,- dicens :-and Jesus answering spake unto the Lawyers and Pharisees, saying ; Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?
With his usual fine taste, Addison caught this real oriental method of telling a story; and has often availed himself of it in giving an English dress to the many eastern parables, with which he has decorated the pages of his Spectators, &c.; and I shall finish with giving literal translations of two originals of his fables from the works of Sadī, which he must have copied from that best of oriental travellers, Sir John Chardin, a valuable edition of whose work was published about twelve years ago at Paris ; for being a refugee with us he wrote it in French; but, though he travelled under the patronage of our Charles the Second, no complete translation of it has ever appeared in English!
Like our Saviour, Sadi introduces some of his most beautiful apologues as parables in his theological discourses; and in his Resalah ii. Sermon 4. he delivers himself as follows; and it is rendered as literal as English words can make it:
“One day Ibraham Idham, the king of Balkh, was seated in the porch of his palace with his ministers and court standing round him in attendance, when, lo! a poor derwish, with a patched cloak, a scrip and staff, presented himself, and was making good his way into the royal residence. The servants called to him saying, O reverend Sir! whither art tliou going ? He replied, I anı going into this inn. They said, This is the palace of the king of Balkh. The king, noticing the bustle, desired they would permit him to approach, when he observed to him, saying, 0 derwish! this is my palace, and no inn. The derwish asked him, O Ibrahim ! whose house was this originally? He replied, The house and mansion of my grandfather. And when he departed this life, whose house was it? He replied, My father's. And when thy father died, whose did it become? He replied, It became mine. And when thou also art gone, to whom will it belong? He replied, To-the prince my
The derwish now said, O Ibraham! a house, which one 'man is in this fashion entering, and another quitting, may be an inn, but is the palace or fixed habitation of no man !"
Ev'n kings but act their parts, and when they've done
Some other, worse or betier, mounts their throne. In No. 289 of the Spectator may be seen Addison's admirable imitation of this; and in No. 293 is his imitation of that most poetical and beautiful sentiment of humility, as contained in only five couplets of the original Persian text in the Bostan
iv. 2. of Sadi; and in like manner this is a verbal translation:
“ A solitary drop of water, as it fell from a cloud, blushed, when it saw the immense extent of the sea, saying, Where the ocean exists ? what place is left for me? if it has a being, my God! what am I? While it was thus viewing itself with the eye of humility, a mother of pearl took it into its bosom, and nourished it with its whole soul : fortune ushered it into an exalted station, for it ripened in this shell into a precious pearl, and became the chief jewel of the imperial diadem of Persia : it rose into dignified eminence, because its walk was humble, and it knocked at the gate of annihilation, till it got an entrance into illustrious existence.”
Let me add another apologue from his Bostan x. 5. in confirmation of what I have before stated, that Sadī, but not I fancy from ignorance, often confounds the characters of an Idolater and Fire-worshipper: it is also an instance of oriental toleration.
Apologue Bostan x. 5. “A Mogh, or fire-worshipper, had secluded himself from the world, and devoted his whole time to the service of an idol: after some years that professor of a detestable belief happened to fall into distressed circumstances. Confident of succour he threw himself at the feet of his idol, and lay prostrate and helpless on the floor of its temple, saying, I am undone; take me, O object of my adoration, by the hand! I am afflicted to the soul, bave compassion on my body! He would often be thus fervent in bis devotion, for his affairs were not in the train of being settled : for how shall an image forward a man's concerns which cannot drive away a fly from settling on its own body? The Mogh waxed warm and cried, 0 slave of sin! for how many years have I worshipped you in vain? accomplish for me the object I have at heart, otherwise I will ask it of the Lord God Paramount. That contaminated Mogh still lay with his face in the dust, now that the pure spirit of God had granted his prayer. An orthodox believer, whose whole life of piety had been clouded with misfortune, expressed his surprise at this, and said, Here is a stiff-necked and abominable Mogh, whose head is still filled with the fumes of his wine-shop, his mind debauched with infidelity, and his hand soiled with perfidy, yet bas God accomplished the object of his wish! His mind was occupied in resolving this difficulty when a revelation from heaven whispered into the ear of his heart, saying, This old and perverted sinner often implored bis idol, and his supplications were disregarded; but were he to quit the threshold of my tribunal disappointed, then where would be the difference between a dumb and perishable idol, and the Lord God Eternal ?
It behoves you, O my beloved! to put your trust in Providence, for any thing besides him is more helpless than a 'stock or stone image: were you to lay your head at this door, it would be cruel to send you away balked of your object."
Of stories like these, and all equally new in Europe, I could furnish you with a more curious variety than Æsop and Phædrus did the Greeks and Romavs; but your readers may think they have more than enough, and for the present I shall subscribe myself
AN INQUIRY into the Symbolical Language
Language of Ancient Art and
Part IX.-[Concluded from No. LII. p. 279.] 209. But what contributed most of all towards peopling the coasts and islands both of the Mediterranean and adjoining ocean, with illustrious fugitives of that memorable period, was the practice of ancient navigators in giving the names of their gods and heroes to the lands which they discovered, in the same manner as the moderns do those of their saints and martyrs : for in those early ages every name thus given became the subject of a fable, because the name continued when those who gave it were forgotten. In modern times every navigator keeps a journal; which, if it contains any new or important information, is printed and made public; so that, when a succeeding navigator finds any traces of European language or manners in a remote country, he knows from whence they canje: but, had there been no narratives left by the first modern dicoverers, and subsequent adventurers had found the name of St. Francis or St. Anthony with some faint traces of Christianity in any of the islands of the Pacific Ocean, they might have concluded, or at least conjectured, that those saints had actually been there : whence the first convent of monks, that arose in a colony, would soon make out a complete history of their arrival and abode there; the hardships which