« ZurückWeiter »
nion along, who is exerting all his efforts to pursue a different route! Thus they will continue all day at variance, pulling each other in opposite directions, when they might, by kind and mutual compliances, pass on easily, merrily, and happily.
2. Lucy and Emylia concurred in censuring the folly and ill nature of these dogs ; and Euphronius expressed a tender wish, that he might never see any thing similar in their behaviour. · Nature,' said he, · has linked you together by the near equality of age ; by your common relation to the most indulgent parents ; by the endearing ties of sisterhood; and by all those generous sympathies which have been fostered in your bosoms from the earliest infancy. Let these silken cords of mutual love continue to unite you in the same pursuits. Suffer no al. lurements to draw you different ways; no contradictory passions to distract your friendships ; nor any selfish views, or sor. did jealousies, to render those bonds uneasy and oppressive, which are now your ornament, your strength, and your happi. ness.
Ibrahim the Hermit and a Youth. 1. The sun had sunk behind the adjacent mountains, and the sage Ibrahim was retiring to rest, when a knocking at the door of his hermitage drew him thither; he opened it, and there stood before him a youth, whose care-marked visage bespoke him to be the child of grief. • Sire,' said the youth,.permit a stranger to pass the night beneath your friendly roof, till the returning morn enables him to pursue his way with safety,' The hermit bid him welcome to his cot, and spread his homely board before him. Roots supplied the place of costly viands, and water from a neighbouring spring, the place of blood-inflaming wine. The sigh, the starting tear, and all the behaviour of his guest, filled the sage with emotions of compassion; desiring, if possible, to alleviate the pains of the stranger, he thus addressed him:
2. "In a face so young, in a breast'so untutored in this world's cares, it seems to me a wonder that gorrow is a guest; and might it not be thought a bold intrusion, I would know the spring of these your cares : perhaps you mourn the pangs of diappointed love, the loss of some dear friend or earthly joy. Say, if your grief be of the common course, perhaps my riper years may speak the wished-for comfort." Sire,' said the youth, your kind intentions demand at once my thanks and my compliance.
3. My father was a merchant; in point of wealth, Bagdat held not his equal; early he left me to possess his fortune :
the loss of my father was soon forgotten amidst the riches, flatteries, and friends, which then surrounded me : but when reflection took place, happiness became my desire, and I vainly thought that to be rich was to be happy. I enlarged my mer. chandize, I traded to all parts of the globe, and not a wind blew into port, but it brought an increase to my store ; but yet I was not happy; my desires increased with my possession, and I was yet miserable.
4. I then determined to apply to honour, and there seek the happiness which riches would not afford me. I sold off my wares, and by dint of friends and wealth, I soon obtained a commission, and, on several occasions, gave proofs of my valour, till I was sent by the sovereign to oppose a rebellion that had broken out in a distant province. I went, was successful, and returned in triumph, laden with honours ; and so much was the Sultan prepossessed in my favour, that he offered me his daughter in marriage.
5. • Awhile I thought myself happy; but the envy of some, and the artifice of others, soon convinced me of my errour. I now resolved to quit public life, and seek in pleasure the happiness hitherto unknown. My palace now became the scene of continued delights; the richest viands were daily on my table, the most costly liquors sparkled in my bowl, and the beauties of all nations adorned my habitation ; in short, my life was a continued round of pleasure. But, alas! frequent excesses impaired my health, and the diversions of the night embittered the reflections of the morning.
6. • I was now determined to quit my home, and seek in solitude and retirement that happiness I had hitherto sought in vain, and which I am at times inclined to believe is no more than an object of created fancy. For this purpose, I consigned to the care of a friend all ossessions, and was on the search after a proper place of reurement, when night overtook me, and I implored the shelter of your hospitable roof. Here paused the youth, and thus the sage began :
7. The object of your pursuit, my son, indeed is good, and your not attaining it hitherto, arises not from its non-existence, but from your errours in the pursuit of it. Happiness, my son, has not its seat in honour, pleasure, or riches. To be happy is in the power of every individual ; to all, the great Supreme has given wisely; and those who receive what he gives with thank, fulness and content, are the only happy.
8. • Return then, my son, to thy possessions, employ the power of doing good lept by thy Creator, and know that contentment is
the substance, and happiness her shadow; those who possess the one, have the other also.' The words of the sage sunk deep in the breast of the stranger. He retired to rest in peace, and in the morning he returned again to his house, where he witnessed the truth of Ibrahim's advice; and embracing every method to do good, he lived in peace and tranquillity, and experienced, that, to be content, is truly to be happy.
The Poor Old Man. 1. "I Am blind,' said the old man, and have lost the only - blessing heaven had left me; she lies buried in this grave, and every hour of my future life will waft a prayer to the Supreme director, to hasten the period of my last repose beneath the same sod.' • And have your days been always wretched,' said l; • and have your eyes never beheld the light of the sun ? • Alas, sir,' said he, my early days were happy, and my maturer days were not embittered by any poignant sorrow : it is true, I rose early, and sat up late, but it was to give bread and comfort to a numerous family, to whom I had hoped to leave comfortable portions, and an honourable name.
2. But it pleased heaven to take from me five out of seven children to itself, in the course of two years. My wife, who was the best of women, sunk beneath the misfortune : she drooped like a flower, and never held up her head again, till she died. I became almost broken hearted, and soon after, lost my sight. My son, to whose care I entrusted the savings of my industrious years, with a degree of insensibility, no human mind could conceive, left me, not only to my former sorrows, but taking my little treasure with him, added poverty and want to the number of them.
3. • Heaven, however, after making me the victim of its wrath, left me one consolation ; my poor, tender, and affec. tionate Laura, my dutiful child, was permitted, yet awhile, to remain by my side : her youth and innocence, and my age and infirmity, had won the tender pity of all who knew us, and raised us friends among those who knew us not before the days of our sorrow.
4. The quiver of fortune was not yet exhausted against me; one fatal arrow was left! We sat on a sunny bank together, and while I resolved in silence, the dark passages through which I had been ordained to pass, Laura slept : the burning rays of the sun lighted up a fever in her veins ; in a few days sbe died, and left me more than disconsolate. I wept once again, but now trust that I shall weep no more : thére am I led every day to sit an hour upon Laura's grave; upon her grave, which will soon be mine. Alas! again I feel the tears upon my cheek; when, gracious heaven, when will the fountains be dried up forever ?
The Victim. 1. The tragical death of an Indian, of the Colapissa nation, gays a gentleman, who sacrificed himself for his country and son, I have always admired as displaying the greatest heroism, and placing human nature in the noblest point of view. A Chactaw Indian having one day expressed himself in the most reproachful terms of the French, and called the Colapissa their dogs, and their slaves ; one of this nation, exasperated at his injurious expressions, laid him dead upon the spot.
2. The Chactaws, the most numerous, and the most warlike tribe, on the continent, immediately flew to arms : they sent deputies to New-Orleans, to demand from the French govern. our, the head of the savage who had Aed to him for protection. The governour offered presents as an atonement, but they were rejected with disdain ; and they threatened to exterminate the whole tribe of the Collapissas. To pacify this fierce nation, and prevent the effusion of blood, it was at length found necessary to deliver up the unhappy Indian. The commander of the German posts, on the right of the Mississippi, was charge ed with this melancholy commission ; a rendezvous was, in consequence, appointed between the settlement of the Collapissas and the German posts, where the mournful ceremony was conducted in the following manner :
3. The Indian victim, whose name was Tichou Mingo, was produced. He rose up, and, agreeable to the custom of those people, harangued the assembly, in the following manner : • I am a true man ; that is to say, I fear not death; but I lament the fate of my wife, and four infant children, whom I leave behind, in a very tender age; I lament, too, my father and my mother, whom I have long maintained by hunting: them, however, I recommend to the French ; since, on their account, I now fall a sacrifice.'
4. Scarcely had he finished this short and pathetic harangue, when the aged father, struck with the filial affection of his son, arose, and thus addressed himself to the audience : My son is doomed to death ; but he is young and vigorous, and more capable than I to support his mother, his wife, and four infant children: it is necessary, then, that he remain upon the earth to
protect and provide for them : as for me, who draw towards the end of my career, I have lived long enough ; may my son attain to my age, that he may bring up his tender infants ; I have lived as a man ; I will die as a man; I therefore take the place of my son.'
5. At these words, which expressed his paternal love and greatness of soul in the most touching manner, his wife, his son, his daughter-in-law, and the little infants, melted into tears around this brave, this generous old man ; he embraced them for the last time, exhorted them to be ever faithful to the French, and to die rather than betray them by any mean treachery unworthy of his blood.
6. My death,' concluded he, • I consider necessary for the safety of my nation, and I glory in the sacrifice.' Having thus expressed himself, he presented his head to the friends of the deceased Chactaw, and they accepted it; he then extended himself over the trunk of a tree, when, with a hatchet, they severed his head from his body.
7. The French, who assisted at idis tragedy, could not contain their tears, whilst they admire the heroic constancy of this venerable old man, whose resolution bore a resemblance to that of the celebrated Roman orator, who in the time of the triumvirate, was concealed by his son: the young man was most cruelly tortured in order to force him to discover his father, who, not being able to endure the idea, that a son so vir. tuous and so generous, should thus suffer on his account, went and presented himself to the murderers, and begged them to kill him, and save his son : the son conjured them to take his life and spare the age of his father; but the soldiers, more barbarous than the savages, butchered them both on the spot.
Albertus and his Daughter. 1. Albertus had been for many years an officer in the ser. vice of the East-India Company, but was not among those who, by plunder and rapine, accumulated riches at the expense of honour and conscience. He was a native of England, and had married an English lady at Calcutta, whose brother had brought her over, and soon after her arrival died, leaving her upwards of thirty thousand pounds. The wife of Albertus did not long survive her marriage ; she died, and left her only daughter, who was educated by her father, till she attained the age of three years, at which time he einbarked for his native country, taking with him his infant, and the whole of her fortune, which