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can conceive of fuch a being. A'veil,
the attempt; but then I saw the great, eft: I thought it indeed infignificant to my neighbours, but inevitable for my fon. My heart was blind to any dan ⚫gers but thofe that threatened itfell.? I endeavoured to reply. My name is Stani; I was early lett an orphan, and am now four hundred leagues diftong 'from my native spot. I must not dread
a torrent which your fon was not afraid to pafs. Beloved by you, and by his fifter, how dear muft not life have been to him! but tell me what power
motive could tempt him to quit 4 'filter-a mother?'-It was for the firft time. Loutfeun, active and duti tu!, fowed the grain on which we subfift. Heaven bieffed his endeavours. I was able to deliver to the merchants of Pekin, who annually vifit our fields, two thoufand bags of rice. But either from fraud, or negligence, they have not returned with the money they had agreed to give me for it. That money, the dowry of my fon, and which was ' expected by the young woman, whom he had chofen for his wife, he has gone to feek: and before the next evening 'ftar fhall appear above the horizon, I 'fhat prefs him to my bofom.' And
may your expectations be fulfilled, laid 'I, and may a fecond daughter increase your felicity! But pardon my curiofity, perhaps a fon-in-law contributes-perhaps be too is chofen to---" The young girl lifted her hand to her eyes, already too well hid by her veil. Ah! what would not i have given for the privilege of con templating in that moment her confusion and her charms. Her mot er replied with a fevere look, The task which Nature has impofed on Thekintfe is farcely begun icarcely has the fifteen times feen the tree which is confecrated to Foe, lofe and refume its foliage. She has duties to perform, and fervices to pay me and the muft pay her debt of duty to her own mother, before the can afpire at the honour of becoming one herfelf. This prudent anfwer made me lefs uneafy. Stani, faid the, a few • minutes afterwards, partake with us our evening repaft. You are now the gueft of this houte, an object facred for Nac theu and Thekintle, as they ought to be for you. Lift your veil, faid he, to her daughter, fear nothing, you are in the prefence of your mother. Bring the difles and the tea; place on our board the fruits of the feafon, and let us offer liberally the gifts which Nature bellows on us with prodigality. At thefe
thefe words I fell at her feet to pay the tribute of gratitude; by procuring me tne fight I fo much defired, the did more for my happiness than the great Emperor of China could have done in the inidft of his palace Reprefent to yourself the fun at the moment of his rifing, when he burits through a thick cloud, fuch to my enchanted eyes appeared the daughter of Nactheu. Únder what gided cieling is fo much beauty to be found? What palace ever received a happier mortal than Stani was at that moment? Seated oppofite to her, I know not what I faid or did in my transport of joy; 1 shall not relate what I felt, for I cannot; but I enjoyed fome hours of unipeakable felicity. I informed them of my birth, my flender fortune, my intention of visiting China, of inftructing myself in the arts of the country, and of transporting them to my own. But how changed were now my defigns! How did I with never to be feparated from her who was to be the only object of
my love to my life's end! Nactheu read my thoughts, and her prudence led her to combat them: the advised me to follow my firft refolutions, and my departure was fixed for the next morning.
I threw myself on the matts that were prepare for me in the chamber of Loutfeun. I flept but little; I rose before the fun; and, as I was about to quit the cottage, and was invoking the benediction of the gods upon it, the good old woman had opened the door, and was ftanding with a veffel full of a red liquor in her hands; the filed on me, and I perceived that she had overheard my prayers.
Take this cordial, fald fhe; where there is ftrength there is courage.' I drank with a heart full of hope and of gratitude, ‘Go, my fon; (how grateful was that name to my ears), profecute your journey; may Heaven guide your fteps and accomplish your wines. I will not receive you at your return with in
I wished alfo to learn. That knowledge I knew I could make fubfervient to my happineis, by employing it only to ren der myself more dear to Thekintfe, more estimable in the fight of her mother, and more useful to both. If they receive me at my return, said I to myself, I will make ́ their cottage inore ftable and more commodious; I will beautify and adorn it: the fterile clay fhall, by my induftry, be come an even path on which my beloved fhall fet her foot with fecurity. On cups of a dazzling whitenefs, I will fix with varnish, the moft brilliant colours: and enamelled flowers, fresh and blooming as her lips, fhail feem to kifs them as the drinks.
My thoughts, being thus continually occupied about her, I collected the feeds that were deftined for the gardens of the Emperor. I wil fow them, faid I, on the borders of her rice fields; there she will enjoy a filutary fhade, fhe will have the choiceft flowers to adorn her, and shall pluck the moft delicate fruits.
I departed. I paffed the torrent, carfying with me the image of Thekintie, and a grateful fenfe of the goodnets of her mother. I traverfed all China: Iob ferved the innumerable people it fofters in its bofom; an ancient people, celebrated for fcience, for indultry, and piety. From its learned men I acquired leffons of practical wisdom, which procure a man eftimation, and make him happy. The knowledge that increafes his ftrength, his power, and his pleafures, and which, by awakening or roufing his paffions, augments his inquietudes and his pains,
With fuch reveries I beguiled the tedious days of abfence; but they pass away like the moft fortunate; they are equally loft in the ftream of time; and make a great part, alas! of that existence which they have rendered unhappy.
l'he period was now come, when, according to my agreement with Nactheu, I had purpofed to return. Informed of what it was useful for me to know, the only inftruction I coveted, I fet out on the road by which I had come. In pro portion, as I approached the happy dwel ling, I felt myfelf agitated with greater emotion and with lefs confidence. The joy that fwelled my heart at my depar ture, began to diffipate at every step. Alas, faid I, if the happiness that Í fondly hope i am on the point of obtaining fhould efcape me!-that powerful caufe of my emulation and courage will, perhaps, become a fource of diftrefs and defpair. Muft every thing that exifts be for ever fübject to change? Like the waves of the fea, the heavens and the rolling fpheres, this earth, and the beings that are born and die on its furface, are never at reft. What have I not to dread from the deftroying hand of time and the inconftancy of fate? These thoughts, with the recollection of what I had been taught, by the bonzes, of the unftable foundation on which all fublunary joys are reared, occupied, and disturbed my foul. Becaufe I was in love, and fubject to the fears and anxieties which attend that paffion. I gave way to my gloomy Na 2 prefages.
prefages. I imagined that the fair Thekint had loft all her charms Sorrow, faid I, or fome wafting difeafe has withered her bloom-death, perhaps may have defolated her fair form-perhaps her brother may have perifhed in the tor rent-or, may it not be the death of her mother that thus o'erwhelms my spirits!
I continued, however, to advance: and, after fifteen days of painful travel, I the fecond time difcovered Pekin. I redoubled my fteps, I haftened over fields and through woods; I afcended a little hill, and difcerned the dwelling of her I loved at the fight of it all my difmal apprehenfions fled away, like the darknels of night at the approach of the fun. I reached the dreaded torrent, but, what was my furprife, when a fingle, but folid arch, from one bank to the other, truck my fight? I viewed with admiration and gratitude this inftance of beneficence. Receive my thanks, thou who haft crec ted this monument, that kindly shortens my way to the object of my wifhes, may thy life be happy and long! While I was thus expreffing my gratitude, I had reached the other fide, and already thought heard the foft voice of my beloved mifrefs, and faw her fair form blushing for joy at my return. Animated with the idea, Iran, I flew, I reached the cottage, and entered.faw Nactheu feated on a matt, with a handkerchief at her eyes, her head leaning on her arm in the attitude of profound grief.-Alas! my mother! I cried, You are alone! Thekintse-she is not here to wipe away your tears! O Gods, Gods! Is it for her you fhed them?'-funk down with apprehension, and embraced her kaces. She remained filent, and her tears redoubled; but her dreadful filence confirmed me in my fad thoughts. She is gone, I cried,-I fhall never see her more- and feil upon the earth overwhelmed in forrow
My diftrefs made the good Nactheu forget her own grief. With an altered voice the called her daughter.At the dear name I reviyed. Happy mother!
I exclaimed, Thekintfe is here, and you " are in tears?' Thoughtless man, faid fhe, is my daughter the only object of my affection? Was I a mother but once?' Alas! Loutfeun?' Yes, the dire torrent buries in its bed the body of my fon; to add to my mifery, I have not been able to procure for it the peace of the grave.'-O my mother! I re· plied, let not vain regret increase · your forrows. Man never wants à
6 grave, avances towards it from
in the bottom of the
fea, or be buried in the bowels of the earth? Wherever thy fon's may reft, his piety to the Gods and his mother, his worth and benevolence, will make
peace hover around the place: he is now happier than you are.-My tears flowed apace, and I wiped hers away. The kintfe appeared. An inexpreffiole tranfport took poffeffion of all my fenfes; my heart beat quick, I could not speak. I took the basket of fruits the had just been gathering, and ventured to prefs her hand. I was permitted to partake with them their fimple meal; I remarked, that the eyes of the mother dwelt on us with complacency, and that the ftrove to conceal her forrows, but, after dinner, when her daughter had left us, the no longer endeavoured to constrain herself.
Stani, faid fhe, the Pekin merchants returned to me and fulfilled their engagements; with the gold they brought 'me I caufed that immenfe and superb structure, that useful bridge, the prefervative of many a future life, to be built over the precipice in which my fon was inguiphed. I confider it as his tomb, an honourable mautoleum dedi'cated to his manes.'-" What, said I, was it thy bereficent hand that threw before the fteps of the traveller that propitious bridge? I paffed it with joy, and bleffed thee a thousand times.That kind, that precious monument ⚫ will attest from age to age thy benevolence to mankind, thy generous fenfibility Young man, faid fhe, Fhave already received my reward. I was at firft inconfoleable. I faid in the bitternefs of my grief, Let us not fuffer that the arrow which hath pierced my heart 'fhould ever wound another. Let me prevent a beloved fon from perishing like mine, and the foul of another equally affectionate from feeling the anguish I now feel. I beftowed all I poffeffed, my whole crops, my golden rings, the finery of my daughter, who has no need of ornaments, to close the abyfs that had proved fatal to him. My hand placed the firft ftone, my eyes faw the laft one laid, and a beam of joy pene'trated my heart.'
I often go to weep on that tomb. " My tears at firft mix with the torrent;
but they gradually abate, and the fight of the good I have done, more powerIful than the counfels of reason, or even than the careffes of my child, fome times confole me for him I have loft." But I will not here repeat any more of the fame benevolent fentiments which she then uttered; they would appear long to the happy and the frivolous, who wish only for amufement; while they would but afflict those who, like the tender and fenfible Nactheu, have, like her, to lament an object tenderly beloved. Alas! in How many hearts fhould I not awaken the remembrance of forrow! They who in this changeful world have not had torn from them a father, a lover, a husband; they who have never grafped the cold and heavy hand of an expiring friend, who have never kiffed the damps of death from the lips of a beloved child-they may think themfelves happy-they have not yet known affliction."
I ventured to fav to Natheu; Heaven does not will that you should re• main inconfoleable; it fends you another fon.-Reject not the stranger who feeks to comfort you, the heart that loves you. Dry your tears, nature and the Gods forbid you to imlulge eternal grief."I expected her anfwer with inquietude. Her eyes were fixed on me, and the wifhed to read my inmost foul. You have feen the flowers when they are a prey to the winds; their tender italks bend this way and that, are now railed and now depreffed; fuch was the image of this tender mother's thoughts. Remove me, said I, from the fight of your charming daughter, and I fwear by Fohe, by yourself, whom I respect as much as him, that I will not appear before her till you give me permiffion. In the mean time, lead me to the fields that were cultivated by ⚫ her brother. I fhall fo ftrive to make then exceed their former fertility, that • when you walk in the midf of abundance you may fay,I have ftill a fon.' A beam of joy fhot across the fadnefs of her countenance; " Stani, fhe faid, the gentleness of your demeanour at fift prepoffeffed me in your favour; your • behaviour and good fense have gained my efleem; remain with us. My • daughter, innocent as the child that hath not yet left its nurse's arms, is ⚫ unconscious of the fentiment that inclines her towards you. Do not anticipate the information of nature. Learn to expect your happiness with patience, its value will be enhanced by
delay Prudence forbids me to truft my daughter with one I have fo lately known; with one whofe labours for the comfortable fubfiftence of a family · are ftill to begin. Endeavour then to acquire a property in our valley. Our hills are covered with trees; let them fall by the stroke of your axe; conftruct your cottage in the neighbourhood of ours; and the inftruments of hufbandry, fo fuccefsfully made use of by Loutfeun, fhall be committed to you. The earth, naturally fertile, offers you its treafures, and on."-The arrival of her daughter interrupted her. Thekintfe held in her arms a lamb that fhe had taken from its mother; a smile fat on her mouth which glowed like the bud of the rofe when it opens in the morning dew. See, faid fhe, the fweet creature, it is newly dropt, and I love it already; feel how foft it is! Ah, 'fhould I prefer it to its mother that knows my voice and follows me every where! no, no---I will not---I hear her bleatings-- I will run and reftore it to her." "Happy age! faid Nactheu with a figh, happy age! that can be pleafed and delighted with the birth of à lamb! How calily docs ir find joy! Stani, my heart has loft the relish of it ⚫ for ever."
To relieve the defpondency of her thoughts, I led her out to follow her daughter, and we defcended into the valley together. There a feat of verdant turf, at the foot of a wild olive-tree, formed an agreeable contraft with the dark colour of its leaves. The fhade, and the folitude of this rural spot, were congenial with the tender ideas that occupied our minds.
Let us fit down here, faid I, and enjoy the laft rays of the fun. Charming Thekintfe, vour mother has adopted me for her fon, and you are now there'fore my fifter. I will not henceforth call you by any other name, and you 'fhall call me brother, and love me as fach. Her looks were expreffive of nothing but furprise. • What! I cried,' Will you not anfwer me? You cannot perhaps love a fecond brother! She was ftill filent; the looked at her mother, and feemed to wait for her permiffion to love me. Good Na&theu, you gave her that permiffion, the warrant, and feal of my felicity! You preffed our hands, you gave us your bleffing, and invoked the bleffing of Heaven on our heads!
What all I fay more!. You know that
Where zephyrs, gentle as the dyin gale That floats at ev'ning o'er the parched vale, Where mufic, fweeter than the woodlark's fong,
In heav'nly tranfport charm the lift'ning
Thither I fly for fuccour and repose,
O think, my Selim, let thy friendfhip dwell On that curft hour when Achmet cried, Farewell;
When dragg'd by whitemen to the fatal ftrand,
Then torn from all that's dear, my native land;
Nor could my Zara's tears or fighs prevail, Nor a fond mother's grief their hearts af fail;
Infatiate monfters! curft, inhuman trade, To deal in blo d, each facred right invade; Heaven's likenefs barter for inglorious gain, And laugh at tortures which themfelves ordain,
Their fhips full freighted, straight the fwel ling fail,
Expanding opes to catch each tranfient gale,
Whilft undiftinguish'd in one common lot,
I bore the rankling poïfon in my breast;
To foften anguifh or affuage my pain;
The dire abode where mis'ry loves to dwell,
That calls me fainting to my task of woe, Cover'd with wounds, and bleeding as I go; No change appears, no prospect of relief, But one continu'd round of toil and grief; Big with despair, my bursting heart will
O, ceafe your cruel ftripes, and let me die In vain remembrance gives the happy clime, In vain fond memory paints what once was mine;
My blooming Zara, kind'red native land, Sweet fcenes of peace and friendship's fac red band,
E'en thee, my Selim, faithful as thou art, No joy can whifper to my grief-fwoln heart, No fond remembrance of each youthful fport,
O'er Nubia's fands, or Abyffinia's court, When in full view the leopard fuiftly ran, And o'er the burning wafte the chafe be Rous'd